Chronology of Events


February 2019

On 21 February, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed Council members in consultations on Eritrea-Djibouti relations, including on the 18 February letter from the Secretary-General to the president of the Council on the issue. 

November 2018

On 14 November, the Council adopted resolution 2444, lifting sanctions on Eritrea and extending various elements of the Somalia sanctions regime until 15 November 2019 (S/PV.8398).

July 2018

On 10 July, Council members issued a press statement commending  the signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship on 9 July by the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and welcoming “the commitment by both parties to resume diplomatic ties and open a new chapter of cooperation and partnership”.

November 2016

On 8 November, Council members met for a briefing by the Chair of the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela), on the final reports of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (S/2016/919 and S/2016/920). On 9 November, the Council adopted resolution 2316 reauthorising Somalia anti-piracy measures. On 10 November, the Council adopted resolution 2317 on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions with ten votes in favour. Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela had hoped to include a request for the SEMG to report within 120 days on recommendations for lifting sanctions measures imposed on Eritrea; however, this proposal was rejected and the five countries abstained.

October 2015

On 9 October, the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee held informal consultations to discuss the Monitoring Group’s final reports on Somalia (S/2015/801) and Eritrea (S/2015/802). On 14 October, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s letter of 7 October concerning the strategic review of the UN Support Office for the AU Mission in Somalia and a possible extension of the support package for the Somali National Army to Puntland troops and Somali police. On 23 October, the Council adopted resolution 2244, which renewed the partial lifting of the arms embargo, maritime interdiction of illegal arms imports and illicit charcoal exports, the humanitarian exemption and the mandate of the Monitoring Group. Venezuela abstained, objecting to the conduct of negotiations by the penholder and certain provisions in the resolution on Eritrea (S/PV.7541).

July 2015

Ambassador Rafael Ramírez (Venezuela), chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee, briefed Council members on 16 July.

July 2012

In consultations on 24 July, the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee chair briefed Council members on the work of the Committee and presented two separate reports of the sanctions Monitoring Group (on Eritrea and on Somalia).

April 2012

Eritrean permanent representative Araya Desta addressed the Council’s Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea (751 and 1907 Committee) on 18 April.

March 2012

On 15 March Ethiopia announced that it had launched a military attack against positions on Eritrean territory, accusing Eritrea of training Ethiopian rebel groups. In response, Eritrea, in a letter the next day, called on the Council “to shoulder its legal and moral responsibilities” and take “appropriate measures to rectify acts of aggression” against Eritrea.

January 2012

In a letter to the Council on 18 January, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of being responsible for a “terrorist attack” against a group of 22 tourists travelling in the Ethiopian state of Afar, in which five people were killed. Eritrea denied any involvement.

December 2011

The Council adopted resolution 2023 on 5 December, condemning Eritrea’s violations of Council resolutions 19071862  and 1844, calling on it to cease all efforts to destabilise other states, and expanding the mandate of the Monitoring group for Somalia and Eritrea.

August 2011

In a letter to the Council on 4 August, Eritrea submitted its “preliminary remarks” on the Monitoring Group’s report. It refuted all the findings of the report and maintained that there was no conclusive evidence of any violations on its behalf.

July 2011

The Council extended the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea for another 12 months on 29 July. It made no changes to the sanctions regime for Eritrea, but requested a separate report on Eritrea from the Monitoring Group. Previously, the foreign minister of Eritrea met with the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee on 22 July. On 19 July, Eritrea was invited, along with IGAD members Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda and IGAD representatives, to an informal dialogue with Council members. On 4 July, IGAD issued a communiqué condemning the activities of Eritrea and its role in “destabilizing the region by supporting extremists”, calling on the Council to put an end to these activities.

July 2010

On 20 July, the Council held a meeting under the heading of “Peace and Security in Africa,” to discuss the Secretary-General’s 22 June report on Eritrea’s compliance with resolution 1907 regarding the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea.

June 2010

The Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed Council members in consultations on 11 June. In a subsequent press statement, Council members welcomed an agreement signed by Djibouti and Eritrea, mediated by Qatar, to resolve their border dispute through a negotiated settlement on 6 June. The Council was informed the next day in a letter from Qatar which also said that Eritrea had withdrawn its troops from the disputed border area.

May 2010

The president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, addressed the Council on 19 May and asserted that the Eritrean occupation of his country’s territory was a matter of the gravest national security concern and warned that recent meetings between Eritrean officials and Ambassador Heller was not a sign that Eritrea was becoming more cooperative.

April 2010

The chair of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, visited Eritrea on 24 April and received a letter from Eritrea to the Council detailing its positions on resolution 1907, the border dispute with Ethiopia, its relations with Djibouti and the situation in Somalia.

January 2010

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki sent a letter to the Council on 28 January calling for a repeal of resolution 1907.

December 2009

On 23 December, The Security Council adopted resolution 1907 which imposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on Eritrea.

July 2009

Council members met in closed consultations  and were briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 21 July.

April 2009

The Council heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 7 April. It was agreed that the Council presidency would request a meeting with the permanent representative of Eritrea to express the Council’s concerns and the Secretary-General would continue his good offices efforts and report back to the Council at a later stage. In a letter to the Council on 6 April, Djibouti called for implementation of resolution 1862.

March 2009

The Secretary-General reported to the Council in a two-page letter on 30 March that Eritrea had not complied with the demands in resolution 1862 and said that he intended to pursue his contacts with the parties as well as with relevant regional organisations in order to assist in the implementaion of the resolution.

January 2009

In a statement from its foreign ministry on 15 January Eritrea rejected the Council’s demands in resolution 1862 (adopted on 14 January) that Eritrea withdraw its forces to the positions of the status quo ante no later than five weeks after its adoption.

October 2008

On 23 October, The President of Djibouti , Ismail Omar Guelleh, addressed the Council in an open meeting, calling for action to solve the conflict between Eritrea and Djibouti.

17 September 2008

The Council was briefed on the dispute and discussed the report of the fact-finding mission.

28 July to 6 August

A Council requested fact-finding mission visited the region.

24 June 2008

The Council held a debate on Djibouti-Eritrea under agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa”. The representative from Djibouti stated that Eritrean troops were continuing their incursion, while Eritrea denied those accusations (S/PV.5924).

16 June 2008

France sent three ships to Djibouti (reportedly to assist with medical care, logistics and intelligence).

14 June 2008

The East African regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also expressed serious concern over Eritrea’s “military attack”.

12 June 2008

The Council condemned “Eritrea’s military action against Djibouti.”  The Arab League reportedly called for Eritrean withdrawal. The US also issued a statement condemning Eritrea’s “military aggression.”

10 June 2008

Fighting between Djibouti and Eritrean troops erupted.

5 May 2008

Djibouti sent a letter to the Council expressing concern about a build-up of Eritrean troops along the common border. Recalling previous tensions in 1996 over border issues, the letter contained a timeline of the build-up starting in February up until April 2008, when Djibouti President Ismael Omar Guelleh advised of Eritrean occupation of the Ras-Doumeira border area.

4 May 2008

The Arab League’s Peace and Security Council reaffirmed the need for respect for the unity and territorial integrity of states, calling for the peaceful settlement of the problem.

2 May 2008

The AU Peace and Security Council adopted a statement urging the two countries to show restraint and resolve any disputes through dialogue.

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