The Kenya government is optimistic it will get the support needed to push for further sanctions against Eritrea during Monday’s UN Security Council meeting.
Officials said they had galvanized support from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the UN Security Council and the East African Community (EAC) states to support their position against Eritrea’s.
“We have lobbied enough support for the UN meeting on Monday(today),” said Ms Mary Ombara, Director of Communications in the Ministry of Information and Communications on Saturday.
Kenya and Eritrea exchanged diplomatic rhetoric before the UN Security Council after Asmara accused Nairobi of “defamation” over claims that Eritrea was airlifting plane loads of arms and other ammunition to the Al-Shabaab in Somalia. Kenya is fighting the militants.
Eritrea asked the Security Council to take action against Kenya for the utterances.
Kenya also filed a counter-claim against Eritrea, providing the Council with information it believed could prove Eritrea’s complicity.
The case is set for discussion on Monday. Eritrea sought a hearing before the UN on October 24 to defend itself against the accusations. The Security Council granted Eritrea a hearing on Monday.
However, Asmara has asked to be given more time for the arrival of its delegation, including President Isaias Afewerki.
Eritrea said it was under travel sanctions from the US and only obtained their visas on Thursday. Kenya and its six IGAD neighbours have called for additional sanctions on Eritrea.
They are seeking a ban or restrictions on taxes levied on remittances by Eritreans living abroad. The two per cent levy has been criticised as a form of “extortion.”
Ethiopia, Eritrea’s arch-enemy, says there have been fears the taxes generated from the mining sector are used to support the purported activities of Eritrea in Somalia.