The Indian Ocean Newsletter, The Ethiopian government authorities are taking the mainly Afar ARDUF armed rebel movement’s opposition to the creation last month of three special kebele (small administrative entities) in the Afar Regional State very seriously.In response to threats issued by ARDUF’s leader in Asmara, Mussa Ibrahim, to attack the transport routes, the Ethiopian federal authorities asked the head of the security in the Afar Regional State, Seyum Awal, to deploy special police forces at the strategic points where the rebels could operate.
The latter see the creation of the three special kebeles as going back on the 21 September agreement between the presidents of the two Ethiopian regional states, Ismail Ali Siro (Afar) and Abdi Mahmud Omar (Somali).
Indeed, this agreement obliged the Somali Regional State to hand back the administration of these same localities to the Afar Regional State.
An upswing in violence in this region which is crossed by routes communicating with Djibouti would impact the whole Ethiopian economy.
Swedish law firm reports Isaias Afewerki and several ministers to the police for crimes against humanity.July 2, 2014 (AFP) — Several top Eritrean leaders have been reported to the police for crimes against humanity by a Swedish law firm, as a new law took effect enabling such crimes committed anywhere else in the world to be prosecuted in Sweden.
The report lists a series of alleged crimes including torture and kidnapping, and targets Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and several of his ministers by name.
There is a lot of evidence from human rights groups, particularly about indefinite imprisonment without trial (in Eritrea).
Percy Bratt, human rights lawyer
June 2, 2014 (The Washington Post) — The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its projections for economic growth in 2014, including the economies that are expected to grow the most this year. The results are telling – and have implications way beyond these 10 countries. Read more…
US Department of State
Secretary of State
May 27, 2014
On behalf of the American people, I welcome the opportunity to send my warmest wishes to the people of Eritrea on the 23rd anniversary of your independence which took place May 24. Know that the government and people of the United States stand beside you in your continued search for the promise of a free, prosperous, and democratic Eritrea. Read more…
February 3, 2014, Geneva (AFP) — Enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture were just a few of the violations Eritrea was accused of during a UN review of its human rights record Monday.
Diplomats gathered at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva condemned the isolated and autocratic country’s brutal repression of basic rights, charging the lack of freedom was prompting a mass exodus.
The government of Eritrea’s “widespread violation of human rights and the lack of prospects for participatory democracy contribute to large numbers of Eritreans fleeing the country,” US representative Peter Mulrean told the assembly. Read more…
January 19, 2014 (Facebook) – These photo were taken in 1896 in a field hospital in Massawa, Eritrea. It depicts Eritrean askari (soldiers) and some Italian officers. The soldiers were captured in a battle on March 1, 1896, between the invading Italian colonial army and Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Read more…
Eritrea’s refugee crisis threatens to undermine the stability of the secretive country.
By Goitom Gebreluel and Kjetil TronvollOctober 15, 2013 (Aljazeera) — Just as the Horn of Africa is witnessing the slow restoration of one collapsed state – after more than two decades of anarchic conditions in Somalia – it may be facing the collapse of another.
The small country of Eritrea, only 20 years after gaining independence from Ethiopia, has emerged as one of the largest sources of refugees in Africa – as well as one of the most militarised societies in the world. It is increasingly displaying signs of withering state structures and an unsustainable humanitarian situation.
Although Eritrea is sometimes referred to as the North Korea of Africa, a more appropriate point of comparison may be Somalia and its descent into civil war. The already fragile security conditions in Eritrea’s neighbouring states means that its collapse could have major implications for regional stability. Read more…
April 9, 2013, Addis Ababa Sudan Tribune) — A female Eritrean Air Force pilot has defected to Saudia Arabia where she is seeking political asylum in Saudi Arabia, in in a latest sign of embarrassment to the dictatorial regime in Asmara.
Captain Rahwa Gebrekristos deserted to Saudi Arabia after being sent to the kingdom last week on assignment to retrieve a presidential jet that had been waiting for return following the defection of another two air force pilots last year.
However, like her two former colleagues, Yonas Woldeab and his deputy Mekonnen Debesay, who secretly flew president Isaias Afewerki’s plane to Saudi Arabia last October before defecting, Gebrekristos is also claiming asylum. Read more…
“The kidnappers would make me lie on my back and then they would get me to ring my family to ask them to pay the ransom they wanted,” she says, lifting up the back of her shirt to expose a rash of deep scars.
“As soon as one of my parents answered the phone, the men would melt flaming plastic over my back and inner thighs and I would scream and scream in pain.
‘Please help me’
I will never forgot the desperate words, broadcast on the BBC, of an Eritrean refugee who was being held hostage in Egypt’s north Sinai.
“It’s bad, bad. Have no enough food, enough water,” a tearful and desperate man called Philemon Semere told me on the phone last November. Read more…
January 30, 2013, BEIRUT (Swedish Expressen – Google translation) – Eritrean dictator Isaias Afewerki’s Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed has fled the country and is living today in a secret location. Read more…
Young Eritreans peacefully stormed Eritrean Embassy in Rome, Italy, yesterday, Jan 29, 2013, in support of the Eritrean mutiny a week ago. In Washington DC, some were arrested trying to do the same thing.
Watch more pictures, below, of Washington, DC Eritrean protesters Read more…
Was the latest challenge to President Isaias Afawerki’s rule just a taste of things to come?
January 23, 2013 (Aljazeera) — A mutiny in Eritrea went almost completely unnoticed when renegade troops staged one of the strongest challenges yet to the country’s authoritarian rule.
On Monday, a group of soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information, briefly taking over the state-run television service in an apparent rebellion, which failed. They called for a change in the constitution and the release of political prisoners. Rights groups say up to 10,000 are being held. Read more…
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
January 21, 2013
GARSEN, Kenya — Eritrea, a sliver of a nation in the Horn of Africa that is one of the most secretive and repressive countries in the world, was cast into confusion on Monday after mutinous soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information and took over the state-run television service, apparently in a coup attempt. Read more…
Dissident soldiers take over information ministry and force state media to call for the release of political prisoners.
January 21, 2013 (AlJazeera) — A group of dissident Eritrean soldiers have laid siege to the information ministry and forced the state media to announce a call for the release of political prisoners, according to a senior Eritrean intelligence official.
The renegade soldiers forced the director of state television to make an announcement, the intelligence official said.
“The soldiers have forced him to speak on state TV, to say the Eritrean government should release all political prisoners,” the source said on condition of anonymity. Read more…