The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday voted to extend an arms embargo imposed on Eritrea and Somalia.
The fifteen-member UNSC in a majority vote of 11 as against four abstentions adopted resolution 2385 to renew sanctions regime against the two Horn of Africa nations.
According to Sebastiano Cardi, the Italian ambassador to the U.N., the current extension spells out of further reviewing both regimes in the coming months. The decision of the council comes barely a week after a panel of experts called for the lifting of sanctions particularly on Eritrea. The panel in a report said there was no conclusive evidence that Eritrea was supporting al-Qaeda linked insurgents Al-Shabaab group based in Somalia.
A United States – backed resolution led to the imposition of arms sanctions on Eritrea in 2009, with the main reason being their alleged support for Al-Shabaab. Eritrea has described the sanctions as ‘useless and unjustified.’
Somalia on the other hand are also under a sanction regime despite being the biggest sufferer of attacks by al-Shabaab. Security watchers say the arms embargo is partly to blame for the inability to effectively match rampaging insurgents.
The Horn of Africa region is generally one that has complex security issues. Ethiopia has internal crisis to deal with aside its border tensions with Eritrea. It is also actively engaged in the fight against Al-Shabaab inside Somalia. It is, however, at peace with Sudan and Djibouti.