UN imposed sanctions on Eritrea: China abstained

BBC NEWSBBC, 23 December 2009 — The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on Eritrea because of aid it says it has been giving to Islamic insurgents in Somalia.

The resolution places an arms embargo on Eritrea, and also imposes travel bans and asset freezes on businesses and individuals.

Members of the Eritrean leadership are expected to be affected. The resolution was backed by 13 votes to 15.

China abstained while Libya, the only Arab council member, voted against.

Eritrean officials have repeatedly denied the allegations, calling them a “fabrication” of US intelligence.

The country suspended its membership of the African Union in protest at the call for sanctions in April.

The UN has frequently expressed concern about the flow of arms in to Somalia, where hard-line Islamists of al-Shabab and Hizbul-Islam are battling with government forces for control of the capital Mogadishu.

Somalia has been subject to a UN arms embargo for many years, but weapons are still freely available in the Mogadishu weapons market.

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