Eritrea seeks Nigeria’s help over UN sanctions

From Oghogho Obayuwana, Abuja

THE state of Eritrea is seeking Nigeria’s intervention in the wake of the imposition of sanctions on it by the United Nations (UN).

Nigeria assumed a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in January this year.

Describing the set of sanctions as a travesty of justice, Eritrea’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mohammed Ali Omaro said yesterday at a briefing in Abuja that the eastern African country wants Nigeria “as an African leader and our voice at the UN Security Council to play its role as an uninfluenced arbiter in the gang-up against another progressive African country by certain powers that go everywhere and create the problem only to turn around and start to want to solve it. We believe that this is the time to say no to neo-colonialism…”

The UN had in December last year imposed a set of sanctions on Eritrea over its perceived role in Somalia and refusal to withdraw troops following a dispute with neighbouring Djibouti. The sanctions stipulate arms embargo, travel restrictions and asset freezes.

Flanked by senior embassy officials, the envoy denied the allegations that led to the sanctions.

He said: “The one on financial support of the TFG (Transitional Federal Government of Somali), it is equally tenuous. The people and government of Eritrea are struggling to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through self-reliance, hence do not have the financial ability to bankroll armed groups in Somalia… State of Eritrea does not have any border juncture with Somalia. These accusations are further preposterous in the light of large naval and air force presence in the Red Sea -The French and the U.S. bases in Djibouti – and naval forces roaming the Indian Ocean, adjacent to Somalia, under the pretext of fighting piracy. How can Eritrea evade all these military bases and sophisticated surveillance system to deliver arms to Somali armed groups? It is very ridiculous…”

He said further: “Within the African Union (AU) and African states, there is now zero tolerance of intimidation tactics employed by the powerful countries over the weak, because of their influence in the United Nations. Nigeria is now a non-permanent member of the Security Council. It represents Africa. Since Eritrea is an African state and a member of the AU, it looks towards Nigeria to help defend the rights of Eritrea where they have been systematically violated… All we want is that we be given a fair chance to defend our nation in the face of those false accusations. What we want is for Nigeria as an African country to play its role.”

The Eritrean envoy added that: ” Eritrea has always supported Nigeria when it comes to elections at international organisations. It is our official policy, we are not saying this for payback, but even in sports, our support is always lining up behind Nigeria, so naturally, when we feel victimised now, we cry to the big brother.”

According to Omaro, “All this scenario was fabricated by the United States (U.S.) because it wants to cover up for its failure or failure of its policies in the horn of Africa. It starts by creating crisis and when it gets out of hand, it then turns around to manage it and blame everybody else. Is this the way to run foreign policy with a humane face? It is compounding the problem of Africa where you now isolate Eritrea and to spoil its image or harm it economically. We consider this a means of blackmail but since we are not a recipient of grant funding, none of our developmental projects will be affected… ”

Since the independence of Eritrea in 1993 after a referendum that followed its liberation in 1991, the only Nigerian head of state that has visited Eritrea, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was in that country in October 2002. On that occasion, four agreements between the two countries were signed in the areas of economic co-operation and partnership, joint commission, Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) as well as on the Technical Aids Corps (TAC) programme.

Omaro, however, lamented what he called the slow pace of implementation of the pacts. It is, however, expected that with the visit to Nigeria last month by the country’s Foreign Minister Oman Saleh, both nations are moving faster towards the implementation of the agreements.

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Posted by on Mar 5 2010 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Eritrea seeks Nigeria’s help over UN sanctions”

  1. Togoruba

    I want to remind Nigeria and all African nations what did Isaias (the illegitimate ruler of Eritrea)say about them.
    1. The AU (African Union) is a useless organization (with despise).
    2. Eritrea did not recognize and respect the AU (by isaias).
    3. Looking down on all African nations (by isaias)
    The dictator is mentally sick and feels self-aggrandizement.
    It seems that the Sanctions started their effect early, and he started feeling the heal of the incoming inferno (where he will dwell). Aha, Eritrea is in Africa, when did you realize that isaias? Do have friends in Africa except the colonel of Libya? (al tiyour aala ashkaliha taqaa)
    Please, revise his history (what did he say in AU meetings).
    How does he look at African nations and AU?
    Don’t be fooled by his cry, he a a ruthless dictator and he has to be prosecuted by the ICC (International Criminal court) and not try to help and cooperate with him.
    Anyway, no one can help him any more, as his end is approaching. As for the so called Eritrean ambassador to Nigeria, he is an old and useless Isaias office boy, serving all his life his master isaias. He and people like him will disappear forever from Eritrea, very soon, because serving oppression, criminals means you are part of it.
    The cry of isaias will be louder in the future, as he is in the final stage of his tyrannical rule.
    The interview with the English Al Jazeera channel, showed his stupidity, tension, ignorance and shallowness. it is a pity for a country and people to be ruled by such mentally retarded person.

  2. Mama Africa

    Hiji do hayesh bekhyat..

    The nazi regime losing it again.
    Haven’t we witnessed Isayas bashing African leaders, Gawanu “Monkeys” brainless puppets, idiots. etc.. the shameless dictator is kneeling down again for rescue from African leaders.

    Mr Omaro must come to his sense.

    2. Mr Omaro sounds like suffering Stockholm Syndrome. In fact Mr Omaro should be the president of Eritrea today given his role during the struggle at the early stage, his skills and qualifications. It is a pity to see Mr Omaro serving the man who deliberately destroyed his reputation and made him invisible. I encourage Mr Omaro to wake up and stand for justice with the people of Eritrea instead of becoming a petty messenger of the a nazy gang.

    Nigerians should do favor to the people of Eritrea by speeding up and in putting extra pressure against the nazi regime and finally make sure the dictator joins Sadam in hell.

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