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Too early to lift UN sanctions on Eritrea: Tibor Nagy

Too early to lift UN sanctions on Eritrea: Tibor Nagy

Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary for the US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, in his testament in front of the Congress welcomed the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea but said it is too early to lift the sanction imposed on Eritrea nine years ago.

Nagy, a former US Ambassador in Ethiopia and who was soon appointed to lead U.S interests in Africa said that “peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea leads us to another remarkable story: reemergence onto the regional and global stage.”

He, however, stressed the fact that further progress is required in dealing with priority issues such as human right concerns, arbitrary detention of religious and political prisoners.

In a response to the Nagy’s statement regarding the sanction, Yemane G. Meskel, Minister of Information of Eritrea told The Reporter that maintaining the sanction is unjust.

“The sanctions were not based on fact and law in the first place. They were unwarranted then and have no rationale whatsoever now.  If certain countries insist on maintaining them, this is pure travesty of justice and law,” he said.

Admiring the positive steps taken by the two countries, Nagy said there are still other concrete issues that need to be improved by the regime in Asmara when it comes to its domestic issues.

“There has to be concrete actions taken and we will remain very engaged and say things that may not always be popular but have to be,” he said.

 “Eritrea cannot assume that by saying wonderful things and opening good relations with the neighbors that will automatically lead to sanction reliefs,” he added.

Speaking about the recent reforms in Ethiopia, the congressional hearing committee raised issues on how to maintain progress in Ethiopia. It also added concerning issues such as internal displacements and ethnic conflicts.

“We are working to provide support to Prime Minister Abiy and his administration across all of these challenges as he continues his work in years ahead,” said the former ambassador.