By Charles Lotara
The African Union has welcomed and hailed the decision by the United Nations Security Council to remove the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea.
The Horn of African nation had sanctions imposed on it for nearly a decade after it stood accused by the Security Council for funding Al-Shabaab, a terrorist organization that has threatened peace and security for years.
On a press statement published earlier Thursday, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said, the move is a leap towards the consolidation of the positive developments unfolding within the region.
“Yesterday’s decision is a further step towards the consolidation of the recent positive developments in the Horn of Africa, marked by an improvement of bilateral relations between the countries of the region, as well as by a renewed determination to promote good neighborliness and foster regional cooperation.
“These developments are a major contribution to the African Union drive towards silencing the guns by 2020 and advancing continental integration in the context of Agenda 2063 flagship projects,” he said.
The Security Council Wednesday said the move was driven by the lack of conclusive evidence that the Eritrean government supports the Al‑Shabaab terrorist organization according the report by the 15-member Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group that was terminated after the passage of the resolution.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres added that there is a powerful wind of hope blowing across the Horn of Africa after Eritrea signed a peace deal with Ethiopia facilitated by the Saudi Arabian government ending decades of simmering conflict.
Meanwhile, Somalia has been left swimming in the mud after the UNSC renewed arms embargo exceptional to deliveries of weapons, ammunition or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training intended solely for the development of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia to provide security for the Somali people.
According to news reports, Eritrea and Djibouti announced on Friday that they would also normalize diplomatic relations with each other following a falling out on the border, in 2008, which left several dead and resulted in hostages being taken from both sides.