Eritrea’s Afwerki Unable to Get Visa to Address UN on Sanctions

 

By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is unlikely to be able to travel to New York in time to address the United Nations Security Council on the day it will vote on sanctions on one of the poorest African nation.

The president has yet to be granted a visa, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the UN, Araya Desta, said in a telephone interview. To be able to address the council at 10 a.m. on Dec 5, he would have to leave no later than tomorrow, he said. The vote is scheduled for the Dec. 5 in the afternoon.

Eritrea has requested a postponement on the vote to allow Afwerki to plead his case, Desta said. While Russia, which holds the rotating presidency of the council, has been sympathetic, the U.S. is insisting the vote must go ahead on that day, according to Desta.

UN member states “shall undertake appropriate measures to promote the exercise of vigilance” in their dealings with Eritrea’s mining industry, according to a copy of the draft resolution, which adds to 2009 sanctions that included an asset freeze and a travel ban on government leaders.

The current text was watered down from an October draft that banned companies from investing in mineral resources and prohibited the payment of a remittances tax.

The resolution now “condemns” the use of a 2 percent tax paid by Eritreans abroad “for purposes such as procuring arms and related materiel for transfer to armed opposition groups” and “decides Eritrea shall cease these practices.”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at [email protected]

 


 

U.S. Says Visa Approved for Eritrea’s Afwerki to Travel to UN

December 02, 2011

By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. said today that Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and members of his delegations were granted visas to travel to New York and address the United Nations Security Council before it votes on sanctions on the African nation.

A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the UN, Mark Kornblau, said that visas for the Eritrean President and several members of his delegation were approved on Friday, hours after they had submitted their applications.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at [email protected]