ratchets up sanctions on Eritrea
By the *CNN Wire Staff*
December 5, 2011 -- Updated 2342 GMT (0742 HKT)
(CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council on Monday slapped additional sanctions
on Eritrea for allegedly providing support to armed groups seeking to
destabilize Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa.
"This resolution underscores the international community's condemnation of
Eritrea's destabilizing behavior ... and its support for terrorism," said
Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "Today we have sent a
clear message to the government of Eritrea that it must cease all illegal
actions threatening international peace and stability in the Horn of
The decision to pass Resolution 2023 came two years after the council
adopted Resolution 1907, which imposed sanctions on Eritrea for failing to
engage "constructively in resolving its border dispute with Djibouti," Rice
said in a statement. "Most alarmingly, it was providing political,
financial and logistical support to armed groups seeking to undermine peace
Since then, the United States has "continually received evidence of
Eritrean support for extremist groups in the region" and Eritrea still has
not resolved its border dispute, she said.
"The U.N.'s Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group has documented Eritrea's
support for terrorism, including an appalling, planned attack on the
January 2011 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa," she said. "According to
the monitoring group, Eritrea is financing all of these activities through
illicit means, including threats and the extortion of a 'diaspora tax' from
people of Eritrean descent living overseas."
Monday's imposition of tougher sanctions came in response to that, she
said, adding, "Our goal is to show Eritrea that it will pay an ever higher
price for its actions."
In a statement issued November 29, Eritrea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
called for an investigation into the "groundless rumors" and other claims
"Whereas it is Eritrea's legitimate right to challenge these baseless
campaigns of incrimination in an open forum, the Security Council itself is
duty-bound to investigate issues submitted to it and thereby take the
necessary measures," it said.
It called for "an initiative that could bring viable solution for the
In Monday's text, which was sponsored by Gabon and Nigeria, the council
demanded that Eritrea "cease all direct or indirect efforts to destabilize
The council also called on Eritrea to move forward with Djibouti to resolve
the border dispute.
Monday's resolution won support from 13 of the council's 15 members. China
and Russia abstained. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said there was not
enough evidence to prove that Eritrea was behind the attacks against the
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Received on Mon Dec 05 2011 - 20:13:00 EST