World | Mon May 30, 2016 8:33am EDT

 
 

ROME A photograph of a drowned migrant baby in the arms of a German rescuer was distributed on Monday by a humanitarian organization aiming to persuade European authorities to ensure safe passage to migrants, after hundreds are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean last week.

The baby, who appears to be no more than a year old, was pulled from the sea on Friday after the capsizing of a wooden boat. Forty-five bodies arrived in the southern Italian port of Reggio Calabria on Sunday aboard an Italian navy ship, which picked up 135 survivors from the same incident.

German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch, operating a rescue boat in the sea between Libya and Italy, distributed the picture taken by a media production company on board and which showed a rescuer cradling the child like a sleeping baby.

In an email, the rescuer, who gave his name as Martin but did not want his family name published, said he had spotted the baby in the water "like a doll, arms outstretched".

"I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive ... It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes."

The rescuer, a father of three and by profession a music therapist, added: "I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive."

Like the photograph of the three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan lying lifeless on a Turkish beach last year, the image puts a human face on the more than 8,000 people who have died in the Mediterranean since the start of 2014.

Little is known about the child, who according to Sea-Watch was immediately handed over to the Italian navy. Rescuers could not confirm whether the partially clothed infant was a boy or a girl and it is not known whether the child's mother or father are among the survivors.

Sea-Watch collected about 25 other bodies, including another child, according to testimony from the crew seen by Reuters. The Sea-Watch team said it unanimously decided to publish the photo.

"In the wake of the disastrous events it becomes obvious to the organizations on the ground that the calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service," Sea-Watch said in a statement in English distributed along with the photograph.

"If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them," Sea-Watch said, calling for Europe to allow migrants safe and legal passage as a way of shutting down people smuggling and further tragedies.

At least 700 migrants may have died at sea this past week in the busiest week of migrant crossings from Libya towards Italy this year, the UN Refugee agency said on Sunday.

The boat carrying the baby left the shores of Libya near Sabratha late on Thursday, and then began to take on water, according to accounts by survivors collected by Save the Children on Sunday. Hundreds were on board when it capsized, the survivors said.

(Editing and additional reporting by Mark John in London)

MA

In an email, the rescuer, who gave his name as Martin but did not want his family name published, said he had spotted the baby in the water "like a doll, arms outstretched".

"I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive ... It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes."

The rescuer, a father of three and by profession a music therapist, added: "I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive."

Like the photograph of the three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan lying lifeless on a Turkish beach last year, the image puts a human face on the more than 8,000 people who have died in the Mediterranean since the start of 2014.

Little is known about the child, who according to Sea-Watch was immediately handed over to the Italian navy. Rescuers could not confirm whether the partially clothed infant was a boy or a girl and it is not known whether the child's mother or father are among the survivors.

Sea-Watch collected about 25 other bodies, including another child, according to testimony from the crew seen by Reuters. The Sea-Watch team said it unanimously decided to publish the photo.

"In the wake of the disastrous events it becomes obvious to the organizations on the ground that the calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service," Sea-Watch said in a statement in English distributed along with the photograph.

"If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them," Sea-Watch said, calling for Europe to allow migrants safe and legal passage as a way of shutting down people smuggling and further tragedies.

At least 700 migrants may have died at sea this past week in the busiest week of migrant crossings from Libya towards Italy this year, the UN Refugee agency said on Sunday.

The boat carrying the baby left the shores of Libya near Sabratha late on Thursday, and then began to take on water, according to accounts by survivors collected by Save the Children on Sunday. Hundreds were on board when it capsized, the survivors said.

(Editing and additional reporting by Mark John in London)

'20 to 30' people dead in new migrant shipwreck

The latest disaster comes two days after five people died while trying to make the crossing to Italy. Photo: Marinare Militare

 

AFP · 26 May 2016, 13:42

 

Published: 26 May 2016 13:42 GMT+02:00

"We estimate the dead to be between 20 and 30 people," captain Antonello de Renzis Sonnino, spokesman for the EU's Sophia military operation to combat people smugglers in the Mediterranean, told AFP.

"A Luxembourg reconnaissance plane spotted a capsized boat around 35 nautical miles off the Libyan coast with about 100 migrants in the water or clinging to the sinking vessel," he said.
   
The Spanish frigate Reina Sofia and Italian coast guard raced to the scene and threw life-floats and jackets to those in the water.
   
"Unfortunately there were bodies too," de Renzis Sonnino said, adding that the rescue operation was still ongoing.
   
In photographs released by EUNAVFOR MED on Twitter, migrants could be seen waving their arms for help as they balance perilously on the deck of the boat, already underwater but clearly visible in the limpid aquamarine sea.
   
The shipwreck followed sharply on the heels of a disaster Wednesday when a migrant boat overturned leaving five people dead, and another sinking on Tuesday which left a baby girl orphaned after both her parents died.
   
A bout of good weather as summer arrives has kicked off a fresh stream of boats attempting to cross from Libya to Italy.
   
The survivors will be added to the list of nearly 40,000 migrants to arrive in the country's southern ports so far this year.

Sourec=http://www.thelocal.it/20160526/up-to-30-people-dead-in-new-migrant-boat-disaster-reports

 

This combination of handout pictures released on May 25, 2016 by the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) shows the shipwreck of an overcrowded boat of migrants off the Libyan coast
This combination of handout pictures released on May 25, 2016 by the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) shows the shipwreck of an overcrowded boat of migrants off the Libyan coast (AFP Photo/) 
 
Rome (AFP) - Dramatic images released by the Italian navy Wednesday captured the moment a heavily overcrowded boat overturned in a shipwreck off Libya which left at least five people dead.
 
The blue fishing vessel, its deck heaving with people, tipped over after the migrants rushed to one side on spotting a rescue ship -- an all too frequent mistake which has led to many disasters in the Mediterranean.
 
The migrants, many of them men, some already wearing orange lifejackets as a precaution, were captured in rare photographs as they clung to the boat's rails or each other, or dropped like stones into the sea.
 
Some are seen hanging on to the starboard edge by their fingertips as the trawler rolls, while others try to balance on the rim.
 
Pictures taken seconds later show the churning waters around the boat peppered with people trying to get away from the vessel which, now overturned, begins to sink, with four people still perched on its upturned hull.
 
The navy said its Bettica patrol boat had spotted "a boat in precarious conditions off the coast of Libya with numerous migrants aboard" but the trawler overturned shortly afterwards "due to overcrowding".
 
The Bettica threw life-rafts and jackets to those in the water, while another navy ship in the area sent a helicopter and rescue boats.
 
- Sounding the alarm -
 
Survivors can be seen in the photographs wearing life-rings, some swimming towards the Bettica as the helicopter whirrs overhead. The navy said 562 people had been pulled to safety.
 
The operation wound up late Wednesday without finding any further survivors or victims.
 
The migrants had sounded the alarm by calling for help using a satellite phone some 18 nautical miles off Libya.
 
The Bettica went on to pluck another 108 migrants from their dilapidated vessel in a second rescue operation on Wednesday.
 
It is not the first time a boat making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean has overturned because of sudden movement onboard when help is in sight.
 
In August last year, a Palestinian survivor of just such a shipwreck described the moment the boat rolled as "like being flung from a catapult. I could only see heads, all around, amid the waves, everyone pushing down on everyone else to try and stay afloat".
 
According to the International Organization for Migration, over 1,370 migrants have lost their lives so far this year as they attempt the perilous crossing to Europe.
 
The latest arrivals bring the number of people rescued and transferred to Italy since the start of the year to nearly 40,000 following the rescue of more than 6,000 since Monday, according to figures collated by the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) and the coastguard.
 
The overwhelming majority of those arriving in Italy so far this year have been from sub-Saharan Africa.
 
Italian media reports warned the number of minors arriving was on the rise. A nine-month old baby girl whose mother died during a crossing this week was being looked after by cultural mediators in the reception centre on Lampedusa island, La Repubblica said.
 
The UNHCR, aid organisations and the Italian government say there is no sign yet of Middle Eastern refugees switching to the Libyan route to Europe following moves to restrict access from Turkey via the Greek islands.
 
 

TesfaNews | 316 | http://www.tesfanews.net/?p=45730">2 Comments |

eritrean migrants in sudanThe UNHCR spokesperson said none of those intercepted in northern Sudan while heading towards the Libyan border to reach Europe are asylum seekers and Sudan may be within its legal right to pursue deportation of these Eritrean migrants from its territory. (Photo: Maram Mazen IRIN)

By Kristy Siegfried | for IRIN,

Authorities in Sudan have launched a crackdown on Eritrean migrants – arresting those living in the capital, Khartoum, and intercepting hundreds travelling north through the country towards Libya, the launching point for smugglers’ boats heading for Europe.

 

Reports that 900 Eritreans were rounded up in Khartoum on Monday and that a further 400 arrested en route to Libya have been deported to Eritrea, come amid recent revelations in the British and German media that the EU is planning to deepen its cooperation with a number of African countries, including Sudan and Eritrea, to stem migration towards Europe.

Kibrom (not his real name), a 16-year-old Eritrean refugee who used the route through Sudan and Libya to reach Europe in 2015, told IRIN that his twin sister was among a group of 130 Eritreans captured by Sudanese soldiers in the town of Dongola, about halfway between Khartoum and the Libyan border, earlier this month.

“I passed the same way. When we were travelling, we had to bribe the police. My sister used the same smuggler, but when he tried to bribe the police, it didn’t work,” he said.

Kibrom’s sister, along with the rest of the group, were taken to a prison in Khartoum where they spent three days. Kibrom said he tried to alert the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, but failed to make contact.

“Only the Eritrean Embassy was informed. They took them in an open truck at night time to the Eritrean border,” he said. “From there they were taken to a prison located in my city – Tesseney.”

Leaving Eritrea without permission is a criminal offense and Kibrom is extremely concerned about his sister, who was trying to evade military conscription, as well as his mother and two younger brothers who are still living in Tesseney.

“My mother can’t even try to see my sister or she will be arrested as well,” he told IRIN over the phone from Sweden where he has applied for asylum. “I’m so worried what’s going to happen to them.”

A spokesperson with UNHCR’s office in Khartoum confirmed that a number of migrants, including Eritreans, had been intercepted in northern Sudan heading towards the Libyan border. Of those being held at the Aliens Detention Centre in Khartoum, UNHCR had only identified six individuals who had previously sought asylum and been recognized as refugees.

None of those six had been deported and the spokesperson did not comment on the other deportations but said:

“If an individual does not apply for asylum through the channels provided and subsequently does not express a wish to seek asylum, Sudan may be within its legal right to pursue deportation of irregular migrants from its territory.

“For UNHCR, the principle prohibiting forcible returns or non-refoulement only takes centre stage when the affected individuals are persons of concern to UNHCR, which does not appear to be the case in this particular instance.”

It is unclear whether UNHCR had access to all of the Eritreans detained in Khartoum prior to their deportation. Meron Estefanos, an Eritrean activist based in Sweden who has been in touch with the relatives of some of the deportees, told IRIN that another group of around 300 Eritreans arrested while making their way to Libya were deported last Friday.

Sudan has a prior record of deporting Eritreans without allowing them access to asylum procedures, a practice that UNHCR has condemned in the past as amounting to refoulement.

Increased Border Controls

In addition to the arrests of migrants in Sudan, Estefanos said there has also been a noticeable increase in controls on the Eritrean side of the Sudan-Eritrea border in the last two months. “Leaving Eritrea to Sudan is becoming hard now,” she told IRIN. “People are being intercepted and sent back.”

Last year, a UN inquiry found evidence that Eritrea is a totalitarian state responsible for “systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations” including a system of indefinite national service that amounts to forced labour.

Eritrean soldiers are instructed to shoot at anyone they discover trying to leave the country illegally, a policy that hasn’t prevented thousands from fleeing across the border every month. While the majority of Eritreans remain in camps in Sudan and Ethiopia, over 70,000 applied for asylum in Europe during 2014 and 2015, according to EuroStat figures.

Source=http://www.tesfanews.net/sudan-and-eritrea-crackdown-on-illegal-migrants/

 

GENEVA (23 May 2016) – Ahead of the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Eritrea on Tuesday 24 May, the United Nations expert Sheila B. Keetharuth, urges the Eritrean Government to implement the 1997 Constitution.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea also calls on all Eritreans to fully embrace democracy and the rule of law to achieve the vision established on 24 May 1991.

“The 25th Independence Anniversary celebration provides Eritreans with an opportunity to reflect on the aspirations and dreams of those who fought for independence.

The 1997 Constitution sets out the vision of what Eritrea wanted to be as a country and yet it remains unimplemented to date. As the country reaches 25 years, this constitutional vacuum provides room for arbitrariness in managing the affairs of the State and engaging with its citizens. 

The independence of the country, that is, the national independence should match with individual independence and freedoms: freedom of conscience, thought, mind and expression; freedom to engage in employment and education of one’s own choice.

At 25, Eritrea needs to take decisive steps to embed democracy and the rule of law in the country. Such a move would advance respect for human rights, while further empowering the people and bridging the gaps between aspirations and reality. I call on the Government to do more to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and to establish the rule of law.

I salute the heroism and courage of all those women and men who struggled for their freedom and fought for their country’s independence. I also acknowledge the determination of those who are still engaged in preserving such hard-won freedom.”

Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea during the 21st Session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2012.  She took her functions on 1 November 2012.  As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity.  A lawyer from Mauritius, she has extensive experience in monitoring and documenting human rights violations, advocacy, training and litigation in human rights in Africa. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/ER/Pages/SREritrea.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – Eritrea: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ERIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact Ms. Françoise Mianda (+41 22 917 92 50 / ) or write to

For media inquiries related to other UN mandates:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / )

For your news websites and social media: Multimedia content & key messages relating to our news releases are available on UN Human Rights social media channels, listed below. Please tag us using the proper handles:
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- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20001&LangID=E#sthash.IHr2wlfh.dpuf

Source=http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20001&LangID=E

GenevaConferencepic 4

Over the past two days, Thursday and Friday, a small group of activists and researchers on Eritrean studies gathered in Geneva with the aim of stocktaking on the post-independence experience of Eritrea (on the occasion of the country’s 25th year of independence). A conference like this should have ideally taken place in Eritrea. As is known to many, due to the sad political reality in Eritrea, this was not possible; thus, the conference had to take place in exile. The conference featured a very proactive engagement, lively discussions, and most of all civilized discourse among participants. Given Eritrea’s highly polarized political landscape, and the fact that some of the speakers at the conference subscribe to fundamentally divergent views with those of others, did not come as an obstacle for a civilized discourse (as some observers may have anticipated).

In the afternoon hours of Thursday, the 19th of May, we had an Opening Speech by Mr. Manuel Tornare, Member of the Swiss Parliament (National Council) and former Major of Geneva, among other things. This was followed by a Panel Discussion with Tanja Müller, Selam Kidane and Salih Nur (with Daniel R. Mekonnen as moderator and discussant). In the evening hours, there was a Welcoming Dinner for presenters, speakers and invited guests.

GenevaConferencepic 2

On Friday, the 20th of May, we had the following presentations:

Mother Tongue versus Arabic: The Post-Independence Eritrean Language Policy Debate, by Abdulkader Saleh M Ohammad
Eritrea’s Wrong Start in 1991: How It Contributed to Where and What It is Today, by
Wolde Ammar
Authoritarian Resilience in Eritrea: The Dual Role of Nationalism, by
Goitom Gebreluel & Daniel R. Mekonnen (presented by Daniel)
Dynamics of Post-liberation Politics – Interrogating Aspirations and Political Space in Eritrea, by Tanja R. Müller
Making Sense of Post-independence Eritrea: A Late African Postcolonial State or a Misunderstood African Exceptionalism?, by
Salih Nur
Civil Society Space in Post-Independence Eritrea, by
Wegahtabrhan Sereke
By Way of Patriotism, Coercion or Instrumentalisation: How the Eritrean Regime Makes Use of the Diaspora to Stabilise its Rule, by
Nicole Hirt & Abdulkader Saleh Mohammad
Collective Trauma: A Major Component of the Eritrean Refugee Crisis, by
Selam Kidane
Legal Battles in Eritrean Transnational Communities, by
Tricia Redeker Hepner & Daniel R. Mekonnen (presented by Daniel)
Leaving Eritrea and Looking for a Safe Haven: Reflections from the Experiences of Eritrean Refugees in Selected Eritrean Diaspora Communities, by
Sadia Hassanen & Beyan Negash (partly presented in the form of a video presentation of Sadia)

The above contributions will make part of a forthcoming conference proceeding (edited volume) that will be refined in the coming months. Other contributors who showed initial interest in participating at the conference but were not able to make it to Geneva have also submitted full version papers that shall make part of the forthcoming edited volume. These include Gaim Kibreab’s “The Military in Post-Independence Eritrea” and Joseph Venosa’s “Liberating Eritrea from Abroad: Diaspora Activism on the eve of Eritrea’s War of Independence, 1958-62.”

GenevaConferencepic 3

The successful finalization of the conference would not have materialized without the active participation and involvement of everyone who played a role in different ways, and in particular the presenters, speakers, commentators and funders. As Convener of the Conference, I am deeply indebted to all of these stakeholders. While the conference may have had its own limitations in some ways, on balance, I am glad to see it coming to fruition the way it did. My effort of the last several months (starting from October 2015) has paid off satisfactorily, thanks to all who have helped in many ways, some of whom are already tagged in this posting; others are unfortunately not on Facebook. Some more colleagues, whose names I see on Facebook, and who deserve a word of thanks include the following: Michael Guggenheimer, Veronica Almedom, and Awet Kidane.

GenevaConferencepic 1

Den 24 maj 1991 är mycket speciell dag för Eritreaner. När vi firar/minns denna dag, så tänker vi på många saker. En del av tankarna och verkligheten som vi kommer att tänka är följande:

-          24:e maj förverkligade drömmen om fritt Eritrea, och slutade den långa lidande av beväpnadekampen för friheten.

-          24 maj var starten för nytt dröm liv för Eritreaner.

-          24 maj var starten för de lidande som eritreanska befolkningen befinner sig i.

-          Om 24:e maj 1991 inte hade hänt med alla dessa händelser, vad skulle vi ha gjort det?

Med utgångspunkten som ovan nämnda och mycket annat tankar, så ska vi tillsammans fira, minnas och blicka fram och tillbaka med vad det innebär den 24 maj 1991 för oss Eritreaner, i Eggebygård (Tensta) i Järvafältet – Järva folkets Park den 28 maj 2016 KL. 19:00 - .

Här med skickar vi Eritreanska Socialdemokrater (Eritreanska S-föreningen) inbjudan till Er alla som vill fira tillsammans, 25 års Eritreas självständighet.

Program

  1. Sport aktiviteter/fotboll match mellan ungdoms klubbar i Rinkeby idrotts Plats (Mellan kl. 10:00 – 16:00).
  2. Information/pratstund om självständighet, vad måste göras för att komma ut ur stagnationen med de eritreanska politiska frågor och annat som hör hemma till dagensagenda.
  3. Att välkomna de nyanlända eritreanska flyktingar det senaste året. Information om integration i Sverige - från Socialdemokratiska politiker.
  4. Kultur utbytte/kultur kväll – Musik.
  5. Mat och dryck finns.

De som vill ha mera information så kan ni kontakta följande telefon nummer. Eritreanska S-Föreningen, Tel: 070-7223287 - 073-5515638 – 070-4306169

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Med vänliga hälsningar,

Eritreanska S-Föreningen,

Obs: Vi kommer att skicka mera Information fram över: via sms, publicmedia och annat.             

Eritrean Orthodox cross

On Thursday, 19 May, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) will join Human Rights Concern Eritrea, Release Eritrea, the Evangelical Alliance, Church in Chains and the British Orthodox Church to protest the continuing repression in Eritrea.

The Eritrean government is one of the most repressive regimes in the world and produces many of the world's refugees. Tens of thousands of Eritreans of all faiths and none have been detained without trial or charge, often in such makeshift facilities as shipping containers, or are simply held in open air pens in the desert.

CSW says: "Join us on 19 May, the 14th anniversary of the start of severe restrictions on churches, to let the world know we haven't forgotten about Eritrea.|

Follow @CSW_UK on Twitter and the hashtag #freeeritrea for updates.

The Eritrea Protest Vigil 2016 takes place on Thursday 19 May, from 3.30-4.15pm, opposite the Eritrean Embassy, 96 White Lion St, London N1 9PF

Source=http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=30101

 

 

London: Protest vigil for Eritrea
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Eritrean Orthodox cross

On Thursday, 19 May, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) will join Human Rights Concern Eritrea, Release Eritrea, the Evangelical Alliance, Church in Chains and the British Orthodox Church to protest the continuing repression in Eritrea.

The Eritrean government is one of the most repressive regimes in the world and produces many of the world's refugees. Tens of thousands of Eritreans of all faiths and none have been detained without trial or charge, often in such makeshift facilities as shipping containers, or are simply held in open air pens in the desert.

CSW says: "Join us on 19 May, the 14th anniversary of the start of severe restrictions on churches, to let the world know we haven't forgotten about Eritrea.|

Follow @CSW_UK on Twitter and the hashtag #freeeritrea for updates.

The Eritrea Protest Vigil 2016 takes place on Thursday 19 May, from 3.30-4.15pm, opposite the Eritrean Embassy, 96 White Lion St, London N1 9PF

Source=http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=30101

 

May 12, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) — Ethiopia authorities said Thursday that they foiled what they described as a "plot" by Eritrean mercenaries to stage a terror attack in the country.

JPEG - 23.8 kb
Eritrea, which borders Sudan and Ethiopia, has been dubbed the North Korea of Africa (HRW)

The National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal counter-terrorism taskforce claimed the armed Eritrea’s mercenaries were caught by Ethiopian security forces in the country’s southern regional state.

The heavy armed mercenaries were captured in a jungle at the southern tip of the country and were conspiring to launch a terrorist attack.

According to the task force, they were captured in a surprise military operation carried out by security forces on 6 May 2016.

Officials told Sudan Tribune that the Ethiopian intelligence agency had the information over the planned attack before the armed mercenaries depart from Eritrea.

According to the officials security forces captured most of the terrorists with their armaments however refuse to disclose on their total number.

Unspecified number of the armed group who tried to escape were also killed.

The terrorists whose travel documents shows to have been prepared by the Eritrean regime traversed Ethiopian borders from Moyale in neighbouring Kenya.

“The terrorists first travelled to Uganda, and they made their way to Kenya before they arrived at their final destination, South Ethiopia”

The captured militants were allegedly trained and armed by the regime in Asmara.

Ethiopia repeatedly accuses the Red Sea nation of deploying terrorists to destabilise nation, an allegation Eritrea denies.

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war however the two neighbours fought a war during 1998-2000 over territorial disputes which killed over 70,000 people.

As their border dispute never settled the two countries remain at No war - No peace situation.

Both countries routinely trade accusations of arming and supporting one the others’ rebel group.

Ethiopia has often foiled Eritrea-backed attacks and have captured a number of terrorist groups while trying to sneak into the country

At a press conference with local journalists, Communication minister Getachew Reda today hinted that the Ethiopian government will consider actions to stop these unfolding Eritrean provocations.

Previously, Ethiopian forces have penetrated deep into Eritrean territories and attacked several military bases including those bases used by militants who are given sanctuary by Eritrea to carry out attacks against Ethiopian targets.

(ST)

Source=http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?page=imprimable&id_article=58943

On Saturday May 7, 2016 the Bay Area Eritreans for Democratic Change (BAEDC) hosted a seminar in Oakland California that attracted many Eritreans. The essence of the seminar was to bring all Eritreans together to discuss and educate on topics that matter to all. This was a special tribute to Eritrea’s 25 years of Independence.

BAEDC Board invited speakers from all walks life of Eritreans, expertise on their respective field. The following were the topics and the presenters:

1.      Afar in Eritrea – by Ahmed Youssouf

Ahmed, an Afar activist, spoke in detail the essence of the Afar people’s struggle. He assured the audience that they are proud Eritreans but wanted to secure self governance and restoration of their culture. He completely rejected the notion of Ethiopian puppets when asked by an attendee. He said we don’t need to prove our identity. We are proud Eritreans and intend to play a pivotal role in development post PFDJ era.

2.      Information and Communication Technology – by Tewelde Stephanos

Technology guru in his own rights, Tewelde educated the audience in internet technology usage. He gave an insight on how the PFDJ junta uses technology in identifying threats. The audience stressed on the importance of training and in his caliber  to offer training sessions to the community. He assured them that he is ready to sacrifice his time.

3.      Eritrean Women’s Rights Issue – by Elsa Mesfun

A veteran fighter with Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and women’s rights activist, Elsa detailed her view on how to reverse course in Eritrea. Her view is to focus on women inside Eritrea for the gross oppression and abuse that has been heaped on them.

4.      Situation of Eritrean Refugees in Eastern Sudan – by Sabrina Jamil and Jamil Aman

Sabrina in her own right was the star of the day. This American born Eritrean young lady brought the audience in an emotional state with her Eastern Sudan trip story. Sabrina and her father Jamil travelled to Sudan to deliver donated medical supplies to Eritrean refugees. Her story was educational as well as sad to know the plight of our people. She is very committed to bring changes to the lives of those refugees. She is putting together a documentary film from her trip. She titled it “The Forgotten” and it will be released soon. The father/daughter team also shared with the audience their next plan to visit the Eritrean refugee camps in Ethiopia. With her charismatic and dynamic personality combined with broad coalition of like-minded youth, Sabrina could be instrumental in bringing a paradigm shift to the Eritrean journey for justice platform. 

5.      Mass Media and Millennium Goals – by Samuel N.

Samuel is a dynamic youth. He articulated the how print and digital media works and how PFDJ spin masters manipulate it to their own likings. When lies repeat themselves again and again, they create a perception.

6.      Eritrean Economy – by Sengal Woldetensae

The last presenter was Sengal, a brother of the veteran fighter Haile Woldetensae (aka Drue). Sengal, an economist by trade, knows his subject. He spoke about gross domestic product (GDP), growth, etc. in layman’s language. He articulated the gyration of GDP and growth due to gold mining. He also pointed out on how Eritrea is ranked amongst the poorest nations, but PFDJ keep painting it a rosy picture to deceive the people.

Three of the presenters (Ahmed, Elsa and Sengal) presented their topics remotely, via Skype. Audio visual was impeccable. After each presentation, ten minutes of questions and answers session was given. The audience were asking many questions proactively and the presenters gave them satisfying answers.

Overall, the conference was a half day event, but it was a gratifying event. The topics were very engaging and very interesting. The presenters were passionate about the topics they presented and kept the audience engaged. The mood was very inviting and very civil. This was a good way to celebrate Eritrean Independence. 

BAEDC board did a great job in putting the event together. They should be commended for a well planned conference. This conference should be used by all Eritreans justice seekers worldwide as a template.