Overview: The Government of Eritrea continued to make regular public statements about its commitment to fighting terrorism. Eritrea also continued and broadened its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and it allowed military elements of the coalition to base in Eritrea.
In May 2017, the United States recertified Eritrea as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. antiterrorism efforts under Section 40A of the Arms Export and Control Act, as amended. In considering this annual determination, the Department of State reviewed Eritrea’s overall level of cooperation with U.S. efforts to counter terrorism, taking into account U.S. counterterrorism objectives and a realistic assessment of Eritrean capabilities.
Eritrea has been subject to UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions since December 2009 due to past evidence of support for al-Shabaab and other activities that have contributed to regional instability. UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCR) 1907 (2009) and 2011 (2013) established and consolidated a two-way arms embargo on Eritrea, most recently renewed in UNSCR 2385 (2017). The sanctions regime on Eritrea also includes provisions for a travel ban and asset freeze measures with regard to individuals or entities designated by the UN Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea. At present, there are no UN listings for the sanctions regime as it relates to Eritrea. While the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group’s (SEMG) 2017 report did not find conclusive evidence that Eritrea is supporting al-Shabaab, the Government of Eritrea continued to refuse to allow the SEMG inspectors to visit Eritrea, limiting the scope of its investigations. The SEMG did not find evidence of continued Eritrean support to armed groups intent on destabilizing Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Due to the Government of Eritrea’s lack of transparency, there was no clear picture of the methods it used to track terrorists or safeguard its citizens. For a number of years, members of the police have refused to meet with security officials from western nations to discuss policy matters, although the United States had informal contact with some law enforcement counterparts in 2017.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no significant changes since 2016.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Eritrea is not a member or observer of a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body or a member of the Egmont Group. Eritrea is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a maritime security program that focuses on building the capacity of law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): There were no significant changes since 2016.
International and Regional Cooperation: In December, Eritrea co-sponsored UNSCR 2396 on returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters.
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