Sanctioning Syria is good, but what about the Eritrean regime?

By Aaron Berhane May 26, 2011 On May 24, Canada imposed travel and economic sanctions against Syria. According to Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird...

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By Aaron Berhane
May 26, 2011

On May 24, Canada imposed travel and economic sanctions against Syria. According to Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird, these actions were taken because Syria poses a threat to the region. The country has also refused to end its violent repression of peaceful demonstrators.

These are commendable actions. As a democracy and model of justice, Canada must play a leading role in the world arena. Our stand must be clear and our actions swift to prove to the world that we are fair and just.

This is a really good start. But we have to continue checking our relationship with other dictatorial regimes.

Is it justifiable for Canada to do business with the Eritrean government? It runs the country without a constitution. It has banned the independent press, arrested journalists, religious leaders and innocent people. The Eritrean government converted the whole country into a prison. This is a government that was sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

We shouldn’t leave room for us to be criticized. Let’s stop playing double standards. What we saw happening in Syria and Libya recently, has been taking place in Eritrea for the last decade. We may not have a chance to see it, though, because we are busy assisting Nevsun Resources mine gold in Eritrea.

A dictator is a dictator, whether he has a piece of gold or stone in his pocket.
We must not fail on the issue of our double standards. Let’s sweep them with the same broom. After all we are a fair country.

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