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Uganda blasts Eritrea over Somalia militia

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th December 2009 03:00 AM

THE Government has welcomed the UN sanctions slapped on Eritrea for supporting Somali insurgents and destabilising its neighbour, Djibouti.

THE Government has welcomed the UN sanctions slapped on Eritrea for supporting Somali insurgents and destabilising its neighbour, Djibouti.

By Henry Mukasa
THE Government has welcomed the UN sanctions slapped on Eritrea for supporting Somali insurgents and destabilising its neighbour, Djibouti.

The Minister for Regional Cooperation, Isaac Musumba, said yesterday that Uganda played an important role through IGAD to ensure that sanctions were imposed.

Eritrea facilitated insurgents against the legally constituted government of Somalia which had fueled the violence, he noted.

He said the Eritrean government recruited, armed, and financed militants and harboured people listed as wanted over the Somalia violence.

“They provided sanctuary to international criminals. It is a rogue state. We petitioned for sanctions on behalf of IGAD and it is gratifying that members of the UN Security Council adopted the resolution.”

The minister observed that Eritrea tried to attack an IGAD member state, Djibouti, and recruited rebels to destabilise it. The two countries have a border dispute.
“We are going to demand for more stringent sanctions from the international community against that country. It’s a spoiler.”

The resolution said Eritrea’s actions undermined peace and reconciliation in Somalia. It called the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea a threat to international peace and security.

The Security Council demanded that Eritrea makes available information on Djiboutian combatants missing in action since the clashes in June 2008. This, the UN said, would enable those concerned to ascertain the presence and condition of the prisoners of war.
The UN sanctions imposed last week constitute an arms embargo, travel bans on key leaders and freezes of their assets and businesses.

The resolution was backed by 13 votes out of 15. China abstained while Libya voted against. The resolution directs Eritrea to “cease arming, training and equipping armed groups and their members, including al Shabaab”. The latter is accused of having links with al Qaeda.

The asset freeze is expected to curb the finances of the individuals and businesses that fund the Eritrean regime, while the travel ban is aimed at the military and political leaders.

The African Union, during its summit in Sirte, Libya last July, asked the UN to impose sanctions on Eritrea.
Eritrea has repeatedly denied that it supports Al Shabaab militants fighting to topple the Somali government.

“The Security Council has decided to impose sanctions on Eritrea on fabricated lies, mainly concocted by the Ethiopian regime and the US administration,” said Eritrea’s ambassador to the UN Araya Desta.

However, the UN monitoring group found that the Eritrean government secretly shipped arms, including missiles and explosives, to Islamic insurgents in Somalia.

Uganda blasts Eritrea over Somalia militia

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