The bravery of a Catholic priest

Wednesday, 07 August 2019 00:40 Written by

August 6, 2019 News

Glas 

Glass, a large village North West of the town of Keren, has a sizable health station.

It is large – almost a hospital by Eritrean standards. It provided services to nearby villages.

Sadly, it is just one of the 22 health stations ordered to be closed by the Eritrean Government.

Catholic Eparchy of Keren ran 8 clinics and treated about 40,000 patients per year.

In the middle of the night, about two weeks ago, some officers (probably from the nearby military camp) came and suddenly tried to force the main door of the clinic open.

One of the command centres in the country is located just across the main road between Keren Hagaz. This is the road connecting Asmara and Khartoum, via Kassala.

Father Thomas, who was awake, came down and asked the soldiers what they were doing there so late at night. They told him that they had been sent by their superiors and he should mind own his business.

In that instant Father Thomas acted.  He went and rang the church bell.

It is the custom in Eritrean villages when there is an imminent threat or danger to the community, or a significant announcement is to be made.

The villagers poured out of their homes to see what was happening. When they arrived at the scene they protested. The soldiers had no option but to retreat to where they had come from.

Two days later, another set of officers came. This time they arrested Father Thomas and put him into detention. He was released after a two-day incarceration.

July 29, 2019 News

This is not the first such demonstration. Eritreans have been calling on the UNHCR to act for years.


HOW UNHCR EGYPT’S PROTECTION OFFICER CALLED RIOT POLICE ON REFUGEES DEMANDING PROTECTION

Eritrean refugees in Egypt went to the UNHCR office in Cairo on 21 July to demand better protection from the agency which legally represents all recognised refugees in the country. As the 500 refugees reached the agency office, UNHCR personnel asked them to send two people to deliver their message and explain their grievances. The refugees asked Abdulhadi Mohammed and Denden Ismail to deliver a letter and speak to UNHCR personnel about the security concerns of Eritrean refugees in Egypt.

One of the staff who talked with the two refugees was the chief protection officer (a Kenyan lady whose name will be update later) who asked them if they were the organisers of the march and if they had written the letter which listed the refugee’s grievances. They told her that they were simply a part of the march, and they came in to the office because the refugees were asked by her to send some people to deliver the letter which was written by the Eritrean Refugee Community.

The two refugees told the visibly angry protection officer that the refugees were thankful for all the work that the UNHCR office does, but that they still have serious security concerns which the community had reported to her on multiple occasions in the past. They then asked her to let them meet the head of UNHCR Egypt. The ‘protection officer’ kept insisting that the two were the ‘criminals’ who wrote the letter and that they were the organisers of the march. She then told them Eritrean refugees in Egypt have no problems whatsoever, and that they have no right whatsoever to ask anything from the UNHCR, insulted them and did her best to disempower them. She also blocked their request to be allowed to talk with the head of UNHCR in Egypt.

As soon as the refugees saw that the protection officer was in very combative and violent mode, they thanked her for her cooperation and politely withdrew. The rude and threatful ‘protection’ officer then went ahead and called the police telling them some Eritrean refugees had attacked the UNHCR compound. She then followed the two refugees and promised she would show them who she is, and told them they would be punished severely for daring to hint that she was not doing her job properly by demanding better protection from the UNHCR.

The UNHCR staff were in shock as they saw their chief protection officer attacking the refugees verbally, telling the police the refugees were planning security sabotage, promising to punish them even more and watching with satisfaction as police brutally beat them up.

After receiving a call from the protection officer, the police outside started beating up the refugees who were outside the compound. Other UNHCR staff were helpless witnessing the crazed protection officer’s assault and the police’s misguided actions prove the very point the refugees were trying to make.

Denden and Abdulhadi were rounded up by police at the compound and taken to jail. By the time they were being kidnapped from the UNHCR office, the march had been dispersed very violently by police. Many of the refugees had been severely wounded. All the women were crying and desperately calling for help as the UNHCR delivered the punishment it promised.

The other three detainees — Feday Yemane, Hermon Goitom and Yonatan Biemnet — were rounded up on the streets as they returned home from the march. UNHCR staff suggest police might have recognised them because most of the young men at the march were violently and severely beaten by riot police.

None of the five detainees, all of whom hold UNHCR refugee protection papers, have been allowed to communicate with their families and community. They have not yet found any legal representation.

All of the five refugees are being held at a prison in 6th of October (ستة أكتوبر) City. Sources from the district police say the refugees are being held with more than 40 other detainees in a four square metre cell. Sources who are connected with the district public prosecutor’s office confirm that no legal representation for the refugees has approached the public prosecutor’s office and that the refugees, most of whom do not speak Arabic, will be forced to represent themselves at court.

Egyptian citizens who had been through the Sita Aktober prison say that holding conditions are subhuman in the unventilated, overcrowded and extremely unhygienic cells where prisoners are routinely beaten to force confessions. Rape is very common and deliberately overlooked.

Our Egyptian contact who volunteered to talk with UNHCR staff and with police sources was unable to confirm if the protection officer at UNHCR Egypt is the same foul-mouthed Kenyan lady who was working at the South Sudan UNHCR office in Juba in 2013-2014 and who kept insulting and kicking out Eritrean refugees who came to the office to apply for asylum. Whether it is the same person or two, this only shows serious problems with some UNHCR personnel and with the way the agency recruits their staff.

July 25, 2019 News

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2019 Article IV Consultation with the State of Eritrea

Source: IMF

July 23, 2019

On July 22, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV Consultation [1] with the State of Eritrea.

Eritrea has recently emerged from a long period of conflict and international sanctions, which together deprived the country of vital investment, trading opportunities and external support, and left the economy in a difficult situation. Notwithstanding these challenging conditions, the Eritrean authorities have made considerable progress on some development goals, notably in the health and education sectors.

The macroeconomic situation is, however, dire. A sustained period of high deficits, financed through monetization and external borrowing, left Eritrea in debt distress. The banking sector is in a highly vulnerable position due to weak asset quality, scarce foreign currency and tight monetary controls. The economy, dominated by agriculture and mining, is highly vulnerable to shocks and has experienced several episodes of large negative growth in recent years. Reported inflation for the Asmara region has been negative in 2016–18 but has started to stabilize in recent months.

The near-term outlook for real GDP growth is challenging due to the tight fiscal situation and existing restrictions on economic activity. Over the medium term, prospects for a pick-up in growth are promising, including due to new mining projects that are well advanced coming on stream. Moreover, the peace agreement with Ethiopia in July 2018 and removal of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council in November 2018 provide a welcome opportunity for Eritrea to build an impetus for economic development, restore capacity and begin implementing much needed reforms.

Executive Board Assessment [2]

Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ efforts to reengage with the international community and notably with the Fund through the Article IV consultation process. Directors noted that prolonged conflict had exacerbated Eritrea’s economic difficulties and that the macroeconomic situation and near‑term growth prospects are challenging. They underscored the importance of securing macro‑financial stability, addressing the unsustainable debt burden, and removing impediments to private sector‑led growth. Directors emphasized the important role of technical assistance in supporting the country’s development and encouraged close cooperation with the Fund.

Directors noted that the peace agreement and removal of international sanctions provide an opportunity for Eritrea to build an impetus for development and bring vital aid and investment resources to the country. They encouraged the authorities to begin implementing reforms to accelerate the development process, and welcomed the authorities’ intention to pursue an economic development strategy that envisages a strong role for the private sector. Directors underscored that significant reforms and investment, public and private, are necessary to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on agriculture and mining.

Directors welcomed the authorities’ recent efforts to adjust the fiscal position and their intention to limit budget financing and focus on securing grants and concessional loans. Nonetheless, they stressed that continued fiscal pressures could complicate macroeconomic management and warranted continued vigilance. Directors encouraged the authorities to pursue fiscal restraint not only by spending cuts, but also by improving tax collection and broadening the revenue base, while making room for social spending.

Directors noted that Eritrea remains in debt distress with a weak external position. They noted that arrears accumulation, weak debt‑servicing capacity, and relatively low foreign exchange reserves call for strong measures to put debt back on a sustainable path. Accordingly, they called on the authorities to develop a comprehensive debt resolution strategy, including regularizing arrears to unlock external support and ease macroeconomic adjustment efforts.

Directors noted that financial sector stability is crucial to establish the basis for banks to engage in financial intermediation and for the Bank of Eritrea (BOE) to conduct monetary policy. They advised the authorities to update holistically the legal framework, including to restate the BOE’s independence. Directors also encouraged steps to align the AML/CFT framework with international standards.

Directors emphasized that restrictions impeding the private sector should be eliminated and recommended that the authorities reduce state monopolies, impose hard budget constraints on public enterprises and banks, ease foreign exchange restrictions, improve access to financial services, and strengthen property rights. They underscored that actions to improve governance and reduce vulnerabilities to corruption would also be important.

Directors stressed the need for capacity building tailored to country circumstances, particularly the production and analysis of data. They encouraged the authorities to make use of technical assistance from the IMF and other partners in a well sequenced and coordinated manner.

July 25, 2019 News

Eritrea road buildingThe British govenment has provided clairity on just how the European Union will approach the issue of the use of National Service conscripts on the road projects that the EU is funding.

In a letter to Lord Alton, Harriett Baldwin, Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development laid out how this will work.

“Whilst we must recognise that development cooperation in Eritrea, including recent cooperation on road building, is important to support increasingly sustainable and formalised relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, we are clear that the general human rights situation in Eritrea, including the terms of national service, remains a substantial concern.

We have therefore been active within the EU to ensure safeguards are in place, including working with the UN to monitor working conditions and fair remunerations of national service workers involved in the road- building programme, and to encourage wider reform of the national service system.

Sustainable reform of the national service needs to happen in tandem with an improved economic situation and job creation that the international community can support.”

You can read the letter here:

Eritrea 1

Eritrea 2

This clarifies just how the programme of road building which the EU is planning to back – at a cost of EU20 million – will be spent.

You can read the plan here:

EU Eritrea Road rehabilitation

The road building programme depends on good relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia. As the French newsagency – AFP – has pointed out, these are hardly on a solid footing at present.

People walk on July 6, 2019 in the streets of Zalambessa, a town where battered buildings highlight the damage wrought by the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war, which erupted in 1998 and left tens of thousands of people dead.
 
People walk on July 6, 2019 in the streets of Zalambessa, a town where battered buildings highlight the damage wrought by the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war, which erupted in 1998 and left tens of thousands of people dead.
 

ZALAMBESSA , ETHIOPIA – In the heady days after longtime foes Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal a year ago, Teklit Amare’s Peace and Love Cafe near the newly-opened border overflowed with customers.

Now, he paces among empty tables, wondering aloud how to keep his business open as optimism fades, with borders again sealed and hopes of progress dashed.

The Zalambessa border crossing closed at the end of last year without explanation as leaders have remained silent. Others crossings followed suit.

“When they shut the border so soon after opening it, that was the saddest moment,” said Teklit, a former teacher who now struggles to pay his rent.

The feeling is widely shared in Zalambessa, a town where battered buildings highlight the damage wrought by the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war, which erupted in 1998 and left tens of thousands dead.

During the stalemate that followed the end of active hostilities in 2000, Zalambessa was all but abandoned, deprived of infrastructure and other investments.

“After the opening it was very obvious that everybody was happy. They want to trade, to have these connections,” said Hadush Desta, Zalambessa’s top municipal official.

“But now, because of no reason, it’s closed. People are emotional about it. They say, ‘Why is this happening to us?'”

‘Devil in the details’

The border opening was just one breakthrough in the whip-fast rapprochement between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki that began just over a year ago.

Following Abiy’s initial overtures, the two sides embarked on a rapid mending of ties that caught even close observers by surprise, re-opening embassies, resuming flights and taking meetings across the region.

But enthusiasm for the deal has given way to frustration — and not just near the border.

On other goals too — from inking new trade deals to granting Ethiopia access to Eritrea’s ports — high initial hopes have gone unmet.

The lack of communication from both governments makes it difficult to pinpoint why the peace process appears stuck.

Abiy paid a two-day visit to Asmara last week and pledged to “further enhance” the peace process, but no detail was given of their discussions.

“As they say, the devil is in the details. We are not so clear what is going on,” said Abebe Aynete, an Addis Ababa-based senior researcher with the Ethiopian Foreign Relations and Strategic Studies think tank.

Many analysts and diplomats suspect Eritrea is guilty of foot-dragging.

Opening up to Ethiopia would force Isaias to surrender a measure of control, something his critics say he is unlikely to do.

“I personally believe that as long as the current group in Asmara stays in power, I don’t think the border will open and the two countries will not proceed to normal relations,” said Mehari Tesfamichael, chairperson of the opposition Eritrean Bright Future Movement.

Isaias’ notoriously iron-fisted government has long cited the standoff with Ethiopia in justifying harsh policies like compulsory national service, which forces citizens into specific jobs at low pay and bans them from traveling abroad.

Last October, the UN refugee agency noted a seven-fold increase in refugees fleeing Eritrea after the borders opened, with around 10,000 refugees registered in one month.

The peace deal “provided some hope that restrictions on national service would be lifted, but so far there has been little change” in Eritrea, said Human Rights Watch.

Abiy’s woes

Ethiopia’s domestic politics could also be part of the problem.

Abiy’s ambitious reform agenda has run into roadblocks, a fact underscored by the assassination last month of five government and military officials.

The changing landscape has inflamed tensions between Abiy and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that dominates the northern Tigray region and was the strongest political force in the country before Abiy came to power.

Tigray’s administration of Ethiopian border areas means the TPLF should be a major player in normalizing ties with Eritrea, provided it plays along.

“Solving issues related to the border ideally needs the full cooperation of Tigray and the TPLF. That isn’t what we have right now,” said William Davison, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank.

“We have significant rifts between TPLF and its ruling coalition partners and also disputes between the Tigray region and the federal government in Addis.”

‘A better place’

However observers say it’s important not to lose sight of the progress that’s been made.

“Up front we have to acknowledge that we’re in a much better place than we were before the rapprochement, when the possibility of state-on-state conflict was quite high,” said Michael Woldemariam, an expert on the Horn of Africa at Boston University.

Even at the border, the news is not all bad.

Though the Zalambessa crossing closed completely in December, soldiers on both sides have since loosened restrictions. Ethiopian traders say that on some days they cross into Eritrea unimpeded, and on others they can often get through using unofficial crossings.

Back at the Peace and Love Cafe, owner Teklit said he is not giving up just yet.

He said he is encouraged by the fact that ties between the two countries are still officially warm.

“There are rumors that the Eritrean government is fixing the road,” he said. “This gives us hope that they might one day reopen again.”


Eritrean Catholics outside Asmara March 2007. Photo credit: Aid to the Church in Need

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Asmara, Eritrea, Jul 24, 2019 CNA.- The Eritrean government’s recent closure of all Catholic-run health clinics in the country will have devastating effects for the people of the country, warned the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.

Sources in the country told the agency that the situation is dire and denounced the international indifference and lack of response.

“They are preventing us from offering what little we could give, in places where no one cares for the population, not even the state,” a source told Aid to the Church in Need, according to Vatican News.

“What will the people do?”

Last month, military forces arrived at the Church's 22 health care clinics, telling patients to return to their homes, and subsequently guarding the buildings.

The government justified its seizures of the property under a 1995 decree restricting social and welfare projects to the state. The decree has been used intermittently since then to seize or close ecclesial services.

According to the BBC, analysts believe the recent seizures were retaliatory, after the Church in April called for reforms to reduce emigration. The bishops had also called for national reconciliation.

When the government interrupts the work of the Church, it is the people who suffer, Aid to the Church in Need said.


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The agency argued that government-run hospitals lack the equipment and resources to take over the operations of the closed Church-run facilities, particularly in rural areas, Vatican News reported.

The agency also noted that the Catholic health care centers served people of all faiths. Some 95% of Eritreans are non-Catholic.

The Eritrean bishops have objected to the seizure of the clinics, stressing that the Church’s social services are not an act of opposition to the government.

“Any measure that prevents us from fulfilling … the obligations that come to us from the supreme commandment of brotherly love is and remains a violation of the fundamental right of religious freedom,” the bishops said in a statement.

Eritrea is a one-party state whose human rights record has frequently been deplored. Government seizure of Church property in the country is not new.

In July 2018, an Eritrean Catholic priest helping immigrants and refugees in Italy told EWTN that authorities had recently shut down eight free Catholic-run medical clinics. He said authorities claimed the clinics were unnecessary because of the presence of state clinics.

Christian and Muslim schools have also been closed under the 1995 decree designating the state as sole provider of social services, according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom's2019 annual report.

Eritrea has been designated a Country of Particular Concern since 2004 for its religious freedom abuses by the US Department of State.

Many Eritreans, especially youth, emigrate due to a military conscription or a lack of opportunities, freedom, education, and health care.

A July 2018 peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which ended a conflict over their mutual border, led to an open border which has allowed for easier emigration.

Source=https://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=185525

by

In the heady days after longtime foes Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal a year ago, Teklit Amare’s Peace and Love Cafe near the newly-opened border overflowed with customers.

Now, he paces among empty tables, wondering aloud how to keep his business open as optimism fades, with borders again sealed and hopes of progress dashed.
The Zalambessa border crossing closed at the end of last year without explanation as leaders have remained silent. Others crossings followed suit.

“When they shut the border so soon after opening it, that was the saddest moment,” said Teklit, a former teacher who now struggles to pay his rent.

The feeling is widely shared in Zalambessa, a town where battered buildings highlight the damage wrought by the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war, which erupted in 1998 and left tens of thousands dead.

During the stalemate that followed the end of active hostilities in 2000, Zalambessa was all but abandoned, deprived of infrastructure and other investments.

“After the opening it was very obvious that everybody was happy. They want to trade, to have these connections,” said Hadush Desta, Zalambessa’s top municipal official.

“But now, because of no reason, it’s closed. People are emotional about it. They say, ‘Why is this happening to us?’”

– ‘Devil in the details’-

The border opening was just one breakthrough in the whip-fast rapprochement between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki that began just over a year ago.

Following Abiy’s initial overtures, the two sides embarked on a rapid mending of ties that caught even close observers by surprise, re-opening embassies, resuming flights and taking meetings across the region.

But enthusiasm for the deal has given way to frustration — and not just near the border.

On other goals too –- from inking new trade deals to granting Ethiopia access to Eritrea’s ports –- high initial hopes have gone unmet.

The lack of communication from both governments makes it difficult to pinpoint why the peace process appears stuck.

Abiy paid a two-day visit to Asmara last week and pledged to “further enhance” the peace process, but no detail was given of their discussions.

“As they say, the devil is in the details. We are not so clear what is going on,” said Abebe Aynete, an Addis Ababa-based senior researcher with the Ethiopian Foreign Relations and Strategic Studies think tank.

Many analysts and diplomats suspect Eritrea is guilty of foot-dragging.

Opening up to Ethiopia would force Isaias to surrender a measure of control, something his critics say he is unlikely to do.

“I personally believe that as long as the current group in Asmara stays in power, I don’t think the border will open and the two countries will not proceed to normal relations,” said Mehari Tesfamichael, chairperson of the opposition Eritrean Bright Future Movement.

Isaias’ notoriously iron-fisted government has long cited the standoff with Ethiopia in justifying harsh policies like compulsory national service, which forces citizens into specific jobs at low pay and bans them from travelling abroad.

Last October, the UN refugee agency noted a seven-fold increase in refugees fleeing Eritrea after the borders opened, with around 10,000 refugees registered in one month.

The peace deal “provided some hope that restrictions on national service would be lifted, but so far there has been little change” in Eritrea, said Human Rights Watch.

– Abiy’s woes –

Ethiopia’s domestic politics could also be part of the problem.

Abiy’s ambitious reform agenda has run into roadblocks, a fact underscored by the assassination last month of five government and military officials.

The changing landscape has inflamed tensions between Abiy and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that dominates the northern Tigray region and was the strongest political force in the country before Abiy came to power.

Tigray’s administration of Ethiopian border areas means the TPLF should be a major player in normalising ties with Eritrea, provided it plays along.

“Solving issues related to the border ideally needs the full cooperation of Tigray and the TPLF. That isn’t what we have right now,” said William Davison, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank.

“We have significant rifts between TPLF and its ruling coalition partners and also disputes between the Tigray region and the federal government in Addis.”

– ‘A better place’ –

However observers say it’s important not to lose sight of the progress that’s been made.

“Up front we have to acknowledge that we’re in a much better place than we were before the rapprochement, when the possibility of state-on-state conflict was quite high,” said Michael Woldemariam, an expert on the Horn of Africa at Boston University.

Even at the border, the news is not all bad.

Though the Zalambessa crossing closed completely in December, soldiers on both sides have since loosened restrictions. Ethiopian traders say that on some days they cross into Eritrea unimpeded, and on others they can often get through using unofficial crossings.

Back at the Peace and Love Cafe, owner Teklit said he is not giving up just yet.

He said he is encouraged by the fact that ties between the two countries are still officially warm.

“There are rumours that the Eritrean government is fixing the road,” he said. “This gives us hope that they might one day reopen again.”
 

 

African migrants in a packed room at the Tariq Al-Matar detention centre on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Photo: Taha Jawashi, AFP

The images were terrible: the twisted metal and concrete were all that remained after the bombing of the Tajoura Detention Center in Libya’s capital Tripoli. People gathered outside, praying and weeping for those who had been trapped inside. It is more than two weeks since the airstrike hit the center on July 2, leaving at least 53 people dead and many more wounded.

The detention center was estimated to be holding 200 refugees and asylum seekers at the time. Some have since been released, a step welcomed by the European Union. But their statement, describing the development as “positive,” rings a little hollow. Not long afterward another 90 people attempting to leave Libya were intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard, trained and equipped by the European Union, and taken to Tajoura.

There are dozens of detention centers, spread across Libya and holding an estimate 6,000 desperate African migrants. The centers are – in reality – very much part of E.U. foreign policy. It has been clear for some time that European politicians are determined to exclude migrants; whether they are coming for economic reasons or as refugees.

The rise of populist parties has threatened the European political order with migration as the most toxic issue. But the May 2019 elections across the E.U. saw populists fail to make the ground they had hoped to (except in the U.K.). Rather, there was a surge in support for liberal and green parties.

Wall Along Mediterranean

The fall in migration has been dramatic and the E.U.’s own statistics tell the story. Back in 2015 more than a million migrants arrived. As the E.U. puts it:

“Irregular arrivals in the E.U. have decreased significantly since the peak of the migration crisis in 2015. Between January and June 2019, 35 000 irregular arrivals have been registered.”

What has happened is a simple matter of policy. While President Donald J. Trump has talked about building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, the Europeans have acted. As I pointed out over two years ago, the E.U. wall was almost complete.

This is particularly true for African migrants, who have found one route after another effectively sealed. All along the Mediterranean, a virtual “wall” has been constructed. From the Canary Islands in the West to the Sinai in the East, impenetrable obstacles have been put in their way. Little wonder that a flood has turned to a trickle!

A price has been paid for this “success.” Migrants regularly drown in the Mediterranean. Operations by rescue ships, picking up those who get into difficulties, have been blocked.

EU’s Efforts to Halt Migration

But these are not the only “bricks” in the E.U.’s “wall.” In the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, a regional operational center does all it can to turn back African migrants. The E.U.’s work in Sudan includes support for several detention centers in which the migrants have been held.

These activities have continued throughout the upheavals Sudan has been undergoing, which have seen President Omar al-Bashir removed. The E.U. is accused of having links with some of the most repressive forces inside the new administration, including Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, better known as “Hemeti,” whose Janjaweed forces are` responsible for the atrocities in Darfur.

Niger is another location of detention facilities supported by the E.U., and for a similar purpose. Africans who make it to Niger – often after having paid their life savings to smugglers – find themselves detained and persuaded to return to their home countries.

Those who are captured in Libya, or on boats in the Mediterranean, face similar treatment. These are all part of the E.U.’s plans to halt and deter the influx of migrants seeking sanctuary on European shores.

The Italians have recently suggested that the migrants should be allowed to make the journey in the safety and comfort of chartered flights. But there is a catch: the plan is that they would not land in the first country of safety, but are instead given sanctuary across the whole of the European Union. Italy, Spain, and Greece would be exempted from further migration. Some European countries have flatly refused to do this. Hungary, for example, has done all it can to prevent anyone from crossing their borders without permission. Walls of razor wire were installed in 2015, and Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made resisting migration a central plan of his government’s policies.

The E.U. is fully aware of just how terrible the conditions in the Libyan detention centers really are. But for European politicians that is not the issue. Keeping populist threats at home at bay has a higher priority.


Martin Plaut is the author of Understanding Eritrea.

 

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ብቀዳማይ ሚኒስትር ኣብይ ኣሕመድ ዝምራሕ ልኡኽ ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ኤርትራ ናይ ክልተ መዓልታት ዑደት ክፍጽም ሎሚ ንግሆ ኣስመራ ከም ዝኣተወ ሚኒስትሪ ዜና ኣቶ የማነ ገብረመስቀል ኣብ ትዊተር ገሊጹ።

ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ኣቢይ ኣብ ኣህጉራዊ መዓርፎ ነፈርቲ ኣስመራ ኣብ ዝኣተወሉ፡ ፕረዚደንት ኢሳይያስ ኣፈወርቂን ላዕለዎት ሰበ-ስልጣን መንግስቲን ወግዓዊ ኣቀባብላ ገይሮሙሉ።

ክልቲኦም ወገናት 'ኣብ ክልተኣዊ ምትሕብባር ከምኡ'ወን ኣብ ዞባዊ ጉዳያትን ረብሓታትን' ክዘራረቡ ምዃኖም ኣቶ የማነ ኣብ ትዊተሩ ገሊጹ።

ሚኒስተር ፋይናንስ ኢትዮጵያ ኣሕመድ ሽዴ ኣካል እቲ ናብ ኣስመራ ምብጻሕ ዝገብር ዘሎ ልኡኽ ኢትዮጵያ ምዃኑ ተገሊጹ'ሎ።

ዋና ፈጻሚ ስራሕ መገዲ ኣየር ኢትዮጵያ ኣይተ ተወልደ ገብረማርያም'ውን ሓደ ካብቶም ናብ ኣስመራ ዝበጽሑ ዘለዉ ልኡኻት ኢትዮጵያ እዩ።


ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ኣብ 9 ሓምለ 2018 ሓባራዊ ኣዋጅ ሰላምን ምሕዝነትን ሓባራዊ ስምምዕ ተፈራሪመን ነይረን። እተን ስምምዓት፡

  1. ኣብ መንጎ ኢትዮጵያን ኤርትራን ዝጸንሐ ኩነተ-ኲናት ኣኽቲሙ ኣሎ። ሓድሽ መዋእል ሰላምን ምሕዝነትን ተራሕዩ ኣሎ።
  2. ክልቲኦም መንግስታት፡ ህያው ረብሓታት ህዝብታቶም ንዘገልግልን ዘሳጒምን፡ ጥቡቕ ፖለቲካዊ፡ ቁጠባዊ፡ ማሕበራዊ፡ ባህላዊ፡ ጸጥታዊ ምትሕብባር ክሰርሑ እዮም።
  3. ኣብ መንጎ ክልቲአን ሃገራት፡ ናይ መጓዓዝያን ንግድን ተለኮሚኒኬሽንን ርክብ፡ እንደገና ክጅምር፡ ዲፕሎማስያዊ ህላወን ንጥፈታትን ክሕደስ እዩ።
  4. ውሳኔ ዶብ ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ኪትግበር እዩ።
  5. ክልቲአን ሃገራት ዞባዊ ሰላምን ልምዓትን ምትሕብባርን ንምውሓስ ብሓባር ክሰርሓ እየን።

Source=https://www.bbc.com/tigrinya/news-49028656

Addis Abeba, July 18/2019 – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Asmara, Eritrea, today for a tow-day working visit, Yemane G. Meskel, Eritrea’s Minister of Information tweeted.

“The two sides will discuss further enhancement of the all-rounded cooperation between the two countries as well as regional and other matters of mutual interest. The Ethiopian delegation includes Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and other government officials,” Yemane added.

The visit by PM Abiy came exactly one year since Ethiopian Airlines launched its historic flight to Asmara on July 18/2018, more than two decades after diplomatic relations between Addis Abeba and Asmara were severed.

The year-old rapprochement between the two countries saw the normalization of diplomatic relations with the re-opening of their embassies in each other’s capitals. However recently many critics say relations between the two countries were getting frosty, again. Assumptions follow the inexplicable unilateral border closure by Eritrea of the four crossing points connecting it with Ethiopia. AS

Source=https://twitter.com/hawelti/status/1151764929474695168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1151764929474695168&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Faddisstandard.com%2Fnews-pm-abiy-in-asmara-for-a-two-day-working-visit%2F

 

The acquittal of this victim of mistaken identity is also a damning indictment of Italy’s and the UK’s misguided anti-trafficking policy in the Horn of Africa, writes Dr Lutz Oette

Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe

Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

The acquittal of Medhanie Tesfamariam Berhe (Eritrean man accused of human trafficking cleared in case of mistaken identity, 13 July) is a much belated recognition of his innocence, after he was arrested in Sudan following a British tip-off and tried in Italy. It is also a damning indictment of Italy’s and the UK’s misguided anti-trafficking policy in the Horn of Africa. Both states have been at the forefront of the so-called Khartoum Process in which the EU and European states cooperated with regimes such as Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan. Critics of this process had warned all along about the risk of such partnerships. Mr Berhe’s case was therefore not an unfortunate, unforeseeable incident but entirely predictable. It is time for a thorough inquiry to establish the UK’s role in framing an innocent man and effectively delivering him into the hands of Sudanese forces who were known for torturing suspects, and duly did torture Mr Berhe, who is owed more than an apology by the UK.
Dr Lutz Oette
Senior lecturer in law, Soas University of London

Source=https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jul/14/inquiry-needed-uk-role-medhanie-tesfamariam-berhe?CMP=share_btn_link