Following the report of the Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), the United Nations Security Council passed resolution (2111) on 24 July to relax the arms embargo on Somalia and Eritrea, to extend SEMG’s mandate until November 25, 2014, to “underline” the importance of Eritrea granting access to the SEMG.
The UN bases its authority to impose embargo on Eritrea and Somalia on Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This, the UN maintains, is because it has determined that “Eritrea’s influence in Somalia, as well as the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea, continue to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region.”
SEMG’s original mandate was to monitor arms trafficking to Somalia; however, following repeated demands that Eritrea cease from arming Somali rebels including Al Shabab; following repeated pleas that Eritrea enter into negotiations with Djibouti to resolve their border dispute–demands and pleas that were ignored by the Eritrean government–the UNSC expanded the mandate of SEMG to include Eritrea.
As anticipated by Gedab News on 22 July, the SEMG recommendations on heightened monitoring of mining revenues to Eritrea were not accepted by the UN.
The arms embargo on Eritrea will remain in place, with some changes to accommodate “humanitarian or protective use.”
Since 2009, the UN has called on Eritrea to provide access to the monitoring group. Just as emphatically, the Eritrean regime has been denying access to the monitoring group claiming that the group is politicized and often demanding information which is outside its mandate. Resolution 2111, once again, “underlines” its expectation that the “Government of Eritrea will facilitate the entry of the Monitoring Group to Eritrea without any further delay.”
The Eritrean regime continues to state that Ethiopia’s refusal to abide by the ruling of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) decision demarcating the Eritrea-Ethiopia border is a bigger threat to international peace and regional security and the UN’s refusal to act demonstrates its lack of fairness as well selective application of the UN Charter.