Do sanctions work? The case of Eritrea says “no” | by Kjetil Tronvoll & Mohamed Kheir Omer
Eritrea has lived under United Nations economic sanctions for more than ten years without any notable impact on its politics or economy. Due to its covert economic operations and owing to weak and ineffective enforcement, Eritrea evaded the objective of the sanctions. A new unilateral sanction regime was recently re-imposed by the United States on the belligerent Horn of Africa nation – will the impact be different this time around?
Publisert i Forskningsaktuelt Tirsdag 1. mars, 2022 - 15:16 | sist oppdatert Onsdag 6. april, 2022 - 11:33
By Kjetil Tronvoll & Mohamed Kheir Omer
The U.S. treasury imposed economic sanctions November 2021 on the Eritrean ruling party, the armed forces, and a slew on Eritrean businesses, institutions, and individuals. The measure was in response to the growing humanitarian and human rights crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia, where the Eritrean armed forces reportedly committed widespread atrocities, which may amount to war crimes according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and UN.
In August last year, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the Eritrean army’s chief of staff, General Filipos Woldeyohannes, for the same reasons. Those sanctions were preceded by E.U. sanctions on Eritrea’s National Security Office in March 2021. Thus Eritrea and its officials have joined the club of more than two dozen countries and more than 6,000 companies, individuals and groups sanctioned by the US.
But will they work?