On October 16, the UN announced that eighteen countries have been elected to the position of member of the Human Rights Council for the three-year period 2022-2024, and among them five from the African continent. These are Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, Gambia and Somalia, which thus join the other 29 member countries of the Council, which is responsible for the promotion and defence of human rights in the world.

The news was greeted with particular satisfaction in Eritrea. The vote for admission to the Council is in fact expressed by secret ballot by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and the favourable outcome to the candidacy of Eritrea represents for the government of Asmara an indirect form of support at the international level.

This support, in such a delicate phase of regional relations, while the risk of new heavy sanctions by the United States is looming, could mean for Eritrea a lower risk of wider sanctions promoted by the UN.

The appointment of Eritrea (but also of Cameroon) within the UN Human Rights Council has aroused the protest of many NGOs involved in the protection of human rights, led in particular by R2P, which denounce the choice of including some countries as detrimental to the very credibility of the Council.


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