On January 23, 1992, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 733 (1992), which ordered an immediate and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia in response to the rapid deterioration of the situation and the heavy loss of human life and widespread material damage resulting from the conflict in that country. From 2001 to 2008, a number of further resolutions were adopted which strengthened and created a number of exceptions to the arms embargo.
Additionally, in 2008, there were clashes along the Eritrea-Djibouti border and Eritrea was condemned by the international community for initiating hostilities. In January 2009, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1862 which demanded that Eritrea ensure that no military presence or activity was being pursued in Djibouti, that it acknowledge its border dispute with Djibouti, that it engage actively in dialogue to defuse the tension and in diplomatic efforts leading to a mutually acceptable settlement of the border issue, and that it cooperate fully with the UN Secretary-General's good offices. Eritrea did not comply with resolution 1862.
During 2009, there was increased focus on Eritrea’s destabilizing role in Somalia, and its violation of the embargo.
Consequently, on December 23, 2009, the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, adopted Resolution 1907 determining that Eritrea’s actions undermine peace and reconciliation in Somalia and that the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Resolution 1907 demands that Eritrea immediately comply with Resolution 1862 and that all states, and in particular Eritrea, cease any support of armed opposition groups in Somalia.
Resolution 1907 (2009) also imposes sanctions against Eritrea and persons designated by a committee of the Security Council. These sanctions are legally binding upon all UN Member States pursuant to Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations. Therefore Canada must implement them domestically. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on Eritrea (the Regulations) made under the legislative authority of the United Nations Act incorporate these sanctions into Canadian domestic law. However, implementation of the travel ban imposed by Resolution 1907 is ensured in Canada under existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The measures imposed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1907 (2009) include:
- a prohibition on the sale, supply or transfer of arms and related material to Eritrea and to persons designated by the UN sanctions committee established to oversee the sanctions against Somalia and Eritrea (the 751 Committee);
- a prohibition on the provision to Eritrea and to persons designated by the 751 Committee of technical, training, financial or other assistance related to military activities or to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related material of all types;
- an assets freeze against persons designated by the 751 Committee; and
- a travel ban against persons designated by the 751 Committee.
Regulations made under the United Nations Act:
- Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on Eritrea (SOR/2010-84): entered into force on April 22, 2010
- Canada - Eritrea Relations
- Security Council Resolution 1907 (2009)
- United Nations Security Council 751 Committee: information concerning the work of the Committee, including related UN Security Council resolutions
- Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions - Sanctions
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