UN renews arms sanctions against Eritrea and Somalia


The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday voted to extend separate arms embargos against Eritrea and Somalia.

The extension means both embargos will now be enforced until November 15, 2018. Eleven members of the security council voted in favour of the move while none voted against it – although there were four abstentions from Bolivia, China, Egypt and Russia.

Somalia embargo extended

For Somalia, the UN’s decision means the modified arms embargo held against it will remain in place for another twelve months. The sanctions are designed to prevent this illicit import of arms into the country as well as the illegal export of charcoal.

The embargo against Somalia doesn’t restrict the delivery of military goods supplied to the country’s national army, which is logged in a bitter fight against militant extremist group Al-Shabaab. The security council insists the regulations put in place by the embargo are essential for preventing military-grade weapons from reaching the terrorist group.

Likewise, Al-Shabaab continues to make revenue from the illegal export of charcoal. The council is calling on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Member States to help Somali authorities to implement a total ban on the import and export of charcoal.

Sanctions extended against Eritrea

Eritrea has long since been implicated in the support of Al-Shabaab, partly resulting in the sanctions placed against it by the UN. However, numerous experts point to a lack of evidence backing up such accusations and call for a lift on the arms embargo placed against Eritrea.

However, the sanctions placed against the Horn of Africa nation will also remain in place until November 2015.

Council members who chose to abstain from Tuesday’s vote expressed their regret that proposals for changes to be made to the embargo, reflecting the lack of evidence pointing towards Eritrean support for Al-Shabaab, were denied.


Featured image: By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437460

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.