5 December 2011 - Security Council
Sanctions Regime Against Eritrea - Explanation of vote by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Two years ago, in December 2009, the Security Council adopted resolution 1907 implementing a sanctions regime against Eritrea. These sanctions were adopted because of the support lent by Eritrea to armed groups destabilizing Somalia, and as a result of its refusal to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve its border dispute with the Republic of Djibouti.
Despite the international community’s appeals, the Eritrean authorities have, over the last two years, failed to meet the Security Council’s expectations.
The information contained in the most recent report by the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts is a cause for concern. It is notably apparent that Eritrea is continuing to conduct destabilizing activities in several States in the Horn of Africa. Furthermore, Eritrea has not demonstrated the good faith or the determination necessary to find a peaceful solution to the border conflict with the Republic of Djibouti. It has not even done anything to resolve the issue relating to prisoners of war, which constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law.
In the absence of any constructive action by Eritrea, and given the fact that this morning we heard the concerns expressed at the highest level by the IGAD member States, a gradual strengthening of the sanctions regime is justified. That’s the purpose of the resolution submitted by Gabon and Nigeria, to whom we are grateful for having represented Africa in this African crisis.
We have made sure that this resolution does not have an impact on the Eritrean population. The text of the resolution signals the international community’s concern regarding the Eritrean authorities’ activities that violate international law and the Security Council’s decisions, and thereby aims to put an end to them.
The sanctions adopted by the Security Council can be reversed. To that end, we urge Eritrea to immediately embark on a path toward greater openness. This requires putting an end to the destabilizing activities in neighboring countries and resuming strong, good faith dialogue with its neighbors, notably with the Republic of Djibouti, under the auspices of the mediation efforts led by the State of Qatar.
Thank you, Mr. President./.