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UN draft resolution would hit Eritrea mining

Tigrai Online
Oct. 18 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Mining companies would be banned from investing in Eritrea's potentially booming minerals sector under a draft U.N. resolution that Security Council members are due to start negotiating on Tuesday.

The council is weighing the investment ban, as well as an import ban on Eritrean minerals and other measures to add to existing sanctions against the Horn of Africa state in retaliation for Eritrea's alleged support of Islamist rebels in Somalia. Eritrea denies supporting the rebels.

But diplomats said some of the toughest provisions in the proposed resolution, which has been drafted by Gabon, faced opposition from some members of the 15-nation council, meaning the final text could be watered down.

Proposals by an East African bloc to toughen sanctions on Eritrea have been stalled for three months as the search went on for an African state sitting on the Security Council to sponsor them.

The Inter Governmental Authority on Development, or IGAD, which groups seven East African states, called in July for more sanctions to hit the Eritrean mining sector and remittances.