It is to be noted that US, until today, hasn't explicitly stated its stand on additional sanctions on Eritrea. Since a damning report implicating Eritrea in terror activities throughout the region - supporting the Al Shabaab Islamist terrorist group; planning to bomb the AU summit in Addis Ababa; arming militant groups in Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan; smuggling arms to Hamas, etc - by the UN Monitoring Group has been made public, it is only the IGAD states (Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan) that have made their stand on this issue clear. They want no less than sanctioning Eritrea's mining sector and the illegal 2% tax the regime collects from its large diaspora population through various coercive methods. Now, the US seems to fully support the further tightening of the sanctions.
Today, at the UN Security Council stakeout on East Africa and Middle East, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has made it clear that the US would want to see the stiffening of sanctions on the rogue regime:
Reporter: On Somalia, it is said that the U.S. is seeking additional sanctions against Eritrea. Is that true? And if so, why? And on human rights reporting, are you frustrated that the South Kordofan human rights report hasn’t yet been released by the UN? And what should the UN be doing about those people in South Kordofan?
Ambassador Rice: The United States is very, very concerned about Eritrea’s behavior in the region. Its support for Al-Shabaab, its support to destabilize its neighbors is documented quite thoroughly and persuasively in the report of the special panel. We heard during the session last month from virtually all of Eritrea’s neighbors that they face a pattern of destabilization that is quite troubling and quite disturbing. Moreover, we’re profoundly troubled and we have clearly condemned the support that Eritrea lent to the terrorist attack that was planned for—to coincide with the African Union summit last January in Addis Ababa. We think that’s an absolutely abhorrent development, and we think it merits the full attention of the Council. Yes, the United States is very much interested in additional pressure and sanctions being applied on Eritrea. This is something that we’ll continue to discuss and debate in the Security Council. But from the U.S. point of view, we think that that is timely.
Reporter: Is there a famine in Eritrea? The idea of imposing sanctions …
Ambassador Rice: Well, first of all, any measures to be contemplated would be carefully targeted and would not go in any way to harm the people of Eritrea, who are suffering enough as it is. We believe there is a famine in Eritrea, but we’re deeply concerned that none of us know because they have barred UN agencies, barred NGOs. It has become a black hole in terms of governance and humanitarian ground truth. And the people of Eritrea, who must…most likely are suffering the very same food shortages that we’re seeing throughout the region are being left to starve because there is not access, there’s a clear cut denial of access by the government of Eritrea of food and other humanitarian support for its people. Thank you.