What Happened: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy told a congressional hearing Sept. 12 that despite U.S. support for Eritrea's nascent reconciliation with Ethiopia, it is too soon to discuss lifting U.N.-imposed sanctions on Eritrea, Reuters reported.
Why It Matters: Following moves to reconcile with Eritrea, Ethiopia's government has supported dropping sanctions against its neighbor. While the United States is signaling that sanctions relief will not come anytime soon, Eritrea's diplomatic outreach could eventually lead to foreign investment from Russia or members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Background: Eritrea has been considered a pariah state for years due to credible reports of widespread human rights violations and deals with North Korea. The U.N. Security Council issued sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 over its alleged support for militants in Somalia.
- Eritrea, Ethiopia: Can Their Rivalry End? (June 20, 2018)
- Ethiopia, Eritrea: A Border Dispute May Finally End (June 5, 2018)
- Understanding East Africa's Power Politics, One Core at a Time (May 16, 2018)