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Somali President Calls for the Lifting of the Sanctions Against Eritrea

After the peace agreement between Eritrea and Somalia, where they both announced that the two countries would work together to restore better diplomatic relations: the Somali leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, went ahead to call for the end of sanctions that have been put on Eritrea.

Eritrea’s information minister shared a joint statement with the leader on Twitter, ending a three-day historic visit that brought the two nations closer. The two countries have had strained relations for nearly 15 years.

President Mohamed, called for the lifting of the economic sanctions on Eritrea, that were placed following allegations that the country was supporting al-Shabab terror group. Speaking at a banquet hosted by Eritrea’s president, he said, “We urge all economic sanctions and embargo imposed on the people of Eritrea must be lifted so that the economic integration of the Horn of Africa region can be realized.”

Eritrea’s information minister Yemane Meskel added to his sentiments saying, “Eritrea & Somalia will work in unison to foster regional peace, stability & economic integration. Eritrea strongly supports the political independence, sovereignty & territorial integrity of Somalia.”

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Eritrea has been seen to be making peace with neighboring countries, including Ethiopia. Eritrea and Ethiopia also recently made joint moves towards reconciliation and improving diplomatic ties. Reports have it that, “The visit by Somalia’s leader, at the invitation of longtime President Isaias Afwerki, follows a stunning diplomatic thaw between Eritrea and neighboring Ethiopia after more than two decades. Ethiopia under reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has asked that the sanctions on Eritrea be dropped.”

The U.N chief has indicated that there is possibility that the sanctions may be lifted. The U.N. Security Council said that they were pleased over the positive developments that were being witnessed in the Horn of Africa. Media reports also stated that, “Eritrea appealed for the lifting of sanctions at the council meeting, citing support from Ethiopia and Somalia, but Djibouti said the measures must remain in place until a border dispute between the two countries is resolved. The Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 over its refusal to withdraw its troops from the disputed area and its rejection of all efforts aimed at mediating between the two countries.”

Olof Skoog, who is Sweden’s U.N. ambassador and the president of the council, said that there are discussions regarding future of the sanctions, while also pointing that they have noted the efforts of the countries. He said, ““There is a promising diplomatic initiative” involving Eritrea and Djibouti, he said, and “there is a willingness to support the region in these efforts.”

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Written by PH

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