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Somalia and Eritrea: UNSC renews sanctions but opens path for lifting embargoes

NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 14 – For the first time the UN Security Council has recognized today Somalia’s progress in arms control and has committed to revising the embargo once Mogadishu has met all the conditions, the Italian Permanent Representative Sebastiano Cardi said today after the vote on a resolution renewing sanctions towards Somalia and Eritrea.

Italy shares deep cultural, economic, historical and strategic ties with the whole horn of Africa and it is deeply committed to the full restoration of peace and security in the region, said Cardi who is also President of the Security Council for the month of November. Resolution 2385 condemns the violations of the arms embargo, which undermine the Somali sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Italian Ambassador noted, adding that Italy spared no effort in negotiating the text adopted today, to introduce some provisions that could reflect the evolution of the situation and open the way for reviews of the sanction regime in the near future.

Turning to Eritrea, the Security Council recognized – for the first time in the operative part of the resolution – that there is no conclusive evidence of the alleged support of Eritrea to Al-Shabaab, as the Monitoring Group has been stating for four years. The Security Council committed to reviewing the sanctions on Eritrea again, starting in the next semester. To this end, Eritrea should enhance its cooperation with the Sanctions Committee and the SEMG, in particular facilitating a visit by the Chair of Committee. Cooperation with them is not an option, it is mandatory requirement in order to open more doors fin the coming months.

“Sanctions are an instrument, not an end. Like every instrument, they must be revised when new circumstances require it. Somalia and Eritrea should seize the opportunities offered by the resolution adopted today”, Cardi observed.

In the resolution adopted by 11 affirmative votes and four abstentions, the 15-member body requested the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) to continue its investigations related to the export to Somalia of chemicals that may be used as oxidisers in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices, such as the precursors ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate and sodium chlorate. Those abstained in the vote were Bolivia, China, Egypt and Russia. (@OnuItalia)

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