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

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.