UN report says the east African country decreases its help for the al-Qaeda-allied group amid international pressure.
Eritrea has reduced its support for the al-Qaeda-allied al-Shabab group in Somalia under international pressure but still violates UN Security Council resolutions and remains a destabilising influence, a UN report says.
The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which investigates violations of an arms embargo on both nations, said in a report to the Council, seen by the Reuters news agency, that it had found no evidence of direct Eritrean support for al-Shabab in the past year.
The Council imposed the embargo on the tiny east African state of Eritrea in 2009 over concerns its government was providing finance and weapons to al-Shabab - charges Asmara denied.
The Monitoring Group now says that support has evaporated.
This was "a symptom of growing friction between the authorities in Asmara and al-Shabab's leadership" as well as the "result of enhanced international scrutiny, which has made direct support, a much riskier undertaking than in the past", said the report, which is scheduled to be published this week.
"Although it is possible that the Eritrean authorities have continued to provide financial and other forms of assistance to [Somali] armed opposition groups, without their activities being detected, it is the Monitoring Group's assessment that any such assistance is negligible," the report said.
Instead, the panel presented evidence that Asmara deployed Ethiopian rebel groups via Somalia, sold weapons to smuggling rings in Sudan that do business with Palestinian arms dealers, and imported spare parts for its air force.
Eritrea, which declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a long war, is routinely accused by Addis Ababa of supporting Ethiopian separatists. Eritrea says the accusations are false and aim to tarnish its reputation.
Read more : AJE 17 July 2012