US threatens Eritrea with sanctions

Washington says Eritrea is running out of time to end support for Somali opposition fighters.

    Eritrea has been accused of sending arms to armed groups opposed to the Somali government [AFP]
     

    Sanctions threat

    "The United States, and the new administration, had hoped and frankly continues to hope that there may be a window for improved relations with Eritrea, that Eritrea may step back" from policies that fan unrest in Somalia, she said.

    Should Eritrea continue with its policies in regard to Somalia, the United States could "in short order" consider steps that include "potentially, sanctions," in concert with African allies and the United Nations, Rice said.

    Relations between Washington and Asmara have been poor in recent years.

    Eritrea said that the US has given support to Ethiopia, Asmara's main regional rival, in a protracted dispute over the demaracation of the border.

    Washington has in turn accused Eritrea of giving help to armed groups controlling swaths of southern Somalia and most of Mogadishu, the capital.

    Most of the opposition fighters belong to the al-Shabab group, which is trying to bring down Somalia's transitional government and establish its own version of Islamic law.

    Somalia's government and other nations have said that Eritrea has supplied arms to opposition fighters in breach of a UN embargo, claims Asmara has denied.

    The African Union has called on the United Nations to impose sanctions on Eritrea for backing the rebels.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.