Eritrea continues to violate UN resolutions says the Monitoring Group (Jul 17, 2012)
The U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea is due to hand in its latest report to the Security Council this week. It appears from extensive leaks to the media in Nairobi and elsewhere that while Eritrea under strong international pressure had apparently reduced support for the al Qaeda-allied Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, it was still violating U.N. Security Council resolutions and remained a destabilizing influence.
"We're trying to make the case that any improvement in Eritrea's conduct is the result of sanctions, and that it's too early to lift them because of the other violations they have committed," said Matt Bryden, the Monitoring Group coordinator. The report presents evidence that Asmara continued to deploy Ethiopian rebel groups via Somalia, sold weapons to smuggling rings in Sudan, and imported spare parts for its air force despite the UN arms embargo.
"Eritrea has failed to comply with Security Council resolutions and remains a destabilizing influence across much of the region," the report says. It also noted that escape last year of Djiboutian prisoners of war held in Eritrea proved that Asmara was violating a U.N. resolution calling on it to disclose information on their whereabouts after their capture following the Eritrean-Djibouti border clash in 2008. The report also says that the elements responsible for the killing of five European tourists in the Afar region of Ethiopia in January this year were hosted and trained in Eritrea. Last year the Security Council extended the arms embargo on Eritrea as well as the assets freeze and travel ban on some officials following Eritrea's plot to bomb an African Union summit in Ethiopia. Earlier this month, the U.S.
Treasury Department also issued sanctions against Colonels Tewolde Habte Negash and Teame Abraham Goitom, two senior Eritrean military officers which Washington said worked closely with al Shabaab in the past.