Thirteen votes in favour and two abstentions saw the UN Security Council toughen sanctions on Eritrea

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution toughening sanctions against Eritrea after East African governments accused the state of plotting terrorist attacks and supporting rebel groups.

The action, adopted on Monday, with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions, allows the council to increase the number of individuals and entities that can be hit with a travel ban and assets freeze.

The resolution demands that Eritrea "cease all direct or indirect efforts to destabilise states, including through financial, military, intelligence and non-military assistance".

Eritrea has backed al-Shabab Islamist militants in Somalia, according to a UN sanctions monitoring group and neighbouring governments.

Somalia's President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said "the regime in Eritrea insists on terrorising my people."

The resolution also "condemns" an alleged Eritrean plot to bomb an African summit in Addis Ababa in January.

However, demands made by Gabon and Nigeria, which drew up the resolution, to include a ban on investment in Eritrea's key mining industry and a government tax on remittances sent back by Eritrean workers abroad were dropped.

The action was passed after several East African leaders called on the 15-member Security Council to clamp down on Eritrea.

"It is a problem of attitude of a certain clique in Asmara that has never grown up from a rebel group," said Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

"It is a problem of lawlessness and reckless disregard for international law."
Eritrea has strongly denied the claims made about its activities.

Source: Agencies