The UN Security Council is preparing to lift sanctions on Eritrea after the United States dropped its insistence on prolonging the measures despite a peace deal with Ethiopia, diplomats said on Friday.
Britain circulated a draft resolution to the council on Thursday that calls for lifting the arms embargo and all travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, according to the text seen by AFP.
The council is to vote on the proposed resolution on November 14. Diplomats said they expected the measure to be adopted after the US change in position.
Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace deal in July, but the United States, backed by France and Britain, insisted that Eritrea would first have to show progress on respect for human rights before sanctions could be lifted.
That position however recently changed – a shift some diplomats said was decided by US national security adviser John Bolton, who dealt with the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict when he served as UN ambassador.
The council slapped sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support to Al-Shabaab jihadists in Somalia but the draft resolution acknowledged that UN monitors had “not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab.”
The Eritrean government had long denied backing the group and Foreign Minister Osman Mohammed Saleh slammed the sanctions as “unwarranted” in his address to the General Assembly in September.
The sanctions and arms embargo will end on the day of the adoption of the resolution, according to the text.