Eritrea’s government rejected expanded sanctions adopted by the United Nations, saying the measures will heighten tensions in the Horn of Africa region and bring economic hardship to the Eritrean people.

“The sanctions were the result of undisguised U.S. hostility toward Eritrea,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on the government’s website today. “It was an attempt by the U.S. administration to scapegoat Eritrea for its faulty and failed policies in the Horn of Africa.”

Thirteen members of the UN Security Council yesterday voted in favor of a resolution broadening the scope of a two-year-old asset freeze and travel ban imposed on Eritrean individuals and entities, while Russia and China abstained. A UN report published in July accused Eritrea of supporting rebel groups in the region, including al-Shabaab, which is fighting to oust Somalia’s Western-backed government and establish Islamic law.

The report also accused the Eritrean government of planning a failed plot to disrupt an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in January by bombing civilian and government targets, a charge which the resolution acknowledged.

Eritrea has denied any involvement in such a plot. Meanwhile Wikkileaks revealed the reports of the American embassy in Addisababa that the bombing may have in fact been the work of GoE security forces.

The text was dluted from an October draft that sought to bar companies from investing in mineral resources and prohibit the payment of a remittances tax.

Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd. is involved in a gold, silver, copper and zinc mining project in Eritrea that began commercial production in February, according to the company’s website. Eritrea’s government has a 40 percent stake in the Bisha Mine, 150 kilometers west of Asmara, it said.



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