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International Sanctions: Interests versus Values

UN Security Council 

International Sanctions: Interests versus Values

June 25, 2014

In recent days, international sanctions have once again garnered attention. In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, largely in response to “Russia’s illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and provocative military activity.”1 These latest sanctions follow those imposed months ago that “came into force in order to respond to the gravity of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, the United States, which itself has a series of sanctions against Russia, announced a set of sanctions against Uganda. Passed in response to the new Ugandan law that harshly penalizes homosexuality, the US sanctions (in conjunction with measures applied by other Western donors) will halt or redirect approximately $118m in aid to the African country.2

While the Canadian and American sanctions were passed ostensibly to protect “sovereignty and territorial integrity,”3 and “reinforce support for human rights…regardless of sexual orientation,”4 they also illustrate blatant double standards, and the hypocrisy of Canadian and American foreign policy.

For example, contradicting its stance toward Russia, Canada annually funnels millions of dollars in aid to Ethiopia5 which, for over a decade, has militarily occupied sovereign, Eritrean territory - violating the international Permanent Court of Arbitration’s “final and binding” ruling of 2002.6 Africa’s largest overall recipient of foreign aid,7 Ethiopia is also the largest recipient of Canadian foreign aid. From the years 2002 until 2012 - or generally aligning with Ethiopia’s ongoing military occupation - Canada provided Ethiopia with a total of CAD$1,495,802,832 in aid.8

                                     Source: Canadian International Development Platform 9

Regarding the US, as it singles out Uganda for sanctions, a number of key American partners and aid recipients - such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - also harshly criminalize homosexuality. Tough new legislation against homosexuality was recently implemented in Nigeria,10 while in Saudi Arabia homosexuality is punishable by death (via stoning), flogging, and prison time.11

Sanctions are an important - and increasingly regular - feature of international diplomacy. Although the effectiveness of sanctions remains a contentious point of debate, their inconsistent application negates their credibility, arouses valid charges of double standards, and raises suspicions that interests rather than values determine the choice to impose a sanction or not.12

1A) [LINK]
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10 [LINK]
11A) [LINK]
   B) [LINK]
12 [LINK]

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International Sanctions: Interests versus Values Reviewed by Admin on 3:07 PM Rating: 5


  1. Thomas Sankara: “he who feeds you, controls you” -

    TPLF's aid addiction has turned the country into a puppet welfare state in which their foreign and domestic policies revolve on serving the interests of those that pay its bills.

    To call Ethiopia an independent country is to call a slave an independent worker.

    "¶3. (S//NF) He further opined that Ethiopia's military movements along the border were an attempt to impress upon the United States and the EEBC that Ethiopia would pull out unless the EEBC reversed its decision to finalize demarcation on November 27. He underscored his analysis that Ethiopia was not bluffing and would withdraw, but Ethiopia would not
    attack Eritrea unless Prime Minister Meles received a green light from Washington. "

  2. Over 80 percent of African nations do not have a set boarder, but they learn to just live with it. Ethiopia and Eritrea did not have a set boarder, they lived in peace with an open boarder. The people of Badme and the Irob (saho christian tribe) have operated within their village as Ethiopia. When Eritrea invaded Badme and Irob lands, Eritrea ended the peace by trying to take aggressive claim to land the people did not want to give and trying to enforce an Italian European map that claims far more territory than on the original agreed lines . If eritrea believes in one's right of self determination, then why should they just kick a towns people who believe and are loyal to ethiopia off their own land that they put worked for

  3. The failed double standard "west" attitude is becoming more and more clear to anyone, thus is a necessity to find a valid alternative to the new world order to tackle this corrupted system, maybe BRICS maybe Russia itself, but something must be done, the world can't anymore bear it.

  4. Thanks! Fekrejesus for highlighted sanctions:interests versus value.
    As far as I understand no country on earth is interested about the rule of law to be respected. Every country is working for own strategic interest, are not interested either for human rights violation in those countries. I think they would have sanctioned Ethiopia for not respecting human rights and the rule of low, instead feeding them food aid.

  5. if they believe they're ethiopians, then they can pack their things and move out from Eritrean territories. End of game.

  6. "Regarding the US, as it singles out Uganda for sanctions, a number of key American partners and aid recipients - such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - also harshly criminalize homosexuality. Tough new legislation against homosexuality was recently implemented in Nigeria,10 while in Saudi Arabia homosexuality is punishable by death (via stoning), flogging, and prison time."

    This is an excellent point FikreJesues makes. Western media uproar over Uganda criminalizing homosexuality felt forced and scripted. The truth is, a homosexual is much safer in Uganda than in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria.

    Speaking of Saudi Arabia, it is the gayest place on the planet. Who would of thought segregating men and women from interacting on a daily bases would create the right conditions for homosexuality to spread like a plague. As a result of in the closet homosexuality, Saudi Arabia is known as a nation of having one king and millions of queens.

    I recommend you guys read this article below titled, "the Kingdom in the closet" to see how prevalent homosexuality is in Saudi Arabia.

  7. To the guy from the poorest country in the world. If it wasn't for the west, feeding you and your family, you can not last a day fighting the eritreans with your skeleton bodies. If you can't feed yourselves, who do you think finance the war against eritrea. Let me tell you something real. Once your reign of Addis a baba is over. every ethiopian and eritrean is going to look for your heads. And you will start your new miserable lives from diaspora to diaspora for a centuries. Forget about irob or badme.

  8. zeEbekhayo kelbis aynkeska iyu nay woyane neger

  9. I sure would like to see our Eritrean Doctors do the same thing in our country.

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - A groundbreaking ceremony for a medical city
    centre that will cost 100 million USD will take place in the presence of
    Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom in Addis Ababa on Saturday,
    June 28, 2014.

    The initiator and owner of the project, the
    Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG), said the centre will have a
    hospital, long-term care and other health related facilities, including
    hotel and meeting centre, office buildings and relevant retail
    (pharmacy, health gym and physical therapy) facilities.

    at a press conference held on June 25, 2014, EADG Board Chairman Dr.
    Girma Tefera said, “ We are more than 200 physicians of Ethiopian origin
    coming together to develop and deliver high quality medical care
    through education and research for the people of Ethiopia, Africa and

    The hospital to be built will have advanced diagnostic
    and imaging centre and provides specialized surgery (orthopaedic,
    neurological, cardio/vascular etc), cancer treatment, and
    urgent/emergency services, it was indicated.

    According to EADG,
    the centre of excellence hospital will provide first-rate healthcare,
    transfer medical knowledge and skills to healthcare workers through
    education and relevant medical research, and meaningfully improve the
    delivery of healthcare in Ethiopia, the region and Africa.

    project to be constructed in two phases is expected to be finalized in
    three years. The government will reportedly provide land freely while
    the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and African Development Bank provide

  10. The vicious economic sanction has failed in its mission in many countries. It is a tool of American foreign policy to apply pressure on a country which is disobeyed to the hegemonic dominance.

  11. Dont you get your food from Ethiopia. Is it not smuggled into Eritrea through Kenya, Sudan Etc. You are just hating because your failed state has turned into the North Korea of Africa.

  12. they said we don't need Aid, well said!
    U.A.E. Red Crescent distributes clothing to children in six Eritrean provinces

  13. they sanctioned Uganada and Sudan not because of Human Rights abuse but because they cooperate with Eritrea instead of Ethiopia (it is ETHIOPIA - WOYANE making and NOT THE UN !!! TEMAHARU !.


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