29 Nov 2019 - 11:09

Qatar rejects false accusations by Eritrean Information Ministry


The State of Qatar has totally rejected false accusations contained in a statement by the Eritrean Ministry of Information, stressing that Qatar has nothing to do with any factions or groups in Eritrea, a matter which the Eritrean government knows very well.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was surprised by the sudden issuance of the Eritrean statement by the Ministry of Information, instead of resorting to the diplomatic and legal channels that are recognised in the international community. This raises suspicion about the real intentions and the parties behind this unrealistic statement”, the Ministry’s statement noted.

The statement said that the State of Qatar had delivered a protest note in April to the Ambassador of the Republic of Eritrea to Qatar, expressing its disapproval and surprise at a similar statement issued by the Eritrean Ministry of Information.

The statement said that the Ambassador of the Republic of Eritrea to the African Union had called on the State of Qatar to mediate between his country and Djibouti in their border dispute in 2017, considering the State of Qatar was the main negotiator of the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 2010, if the Eritrean government had any doubt about the truth of these ridiculous allegations issued by the Ministry of Information,it would not have made this request.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the Eritrean Ministry of Information to consider the facts and the roots of the problems, rather than accusations and falsification of the facts of a country where the friendly Eritrean people only have full respect and appreciation.


Under construction: Lamu port will have 32 terminals, one of which will be owned by Ethiopia, which has stakes in several other ports in the region, including Doraleh, Djibouti and Berbera.
23 November 2019

Ethiopia will own one of the berths in Kenya's Lamu port, and the two countries are working to speed up the issue of the title deed.

"When President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Ethiopia in March, Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy discussed with him the issue of a title deed for the land we've been allocated in Lamu where the berth will sit, and he undertook to have it speeded up," Ethiopia's ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem, told The EastAfrican in Nairobi.

President Kenyatta was in Addis Ababa in early March as a head of a large business delegation, and Prime Minister Abiy presided over a two-day Kenya-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum in the Ethiopian capital.

Over 400 business leaders from Kenya and Ethiopia attended the investment forum.

The two leaders said at the forum that the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset), was central to the unlocking of the economic potential not just of their two countries, but of the entire East African region.

Progress on the Lapsset Corridor project, a vast undertaking of ports, pipelines, roads, and railways serving Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan in the first phase, had been halting until the uptick in recent months.

In October, Kenya completed the first berth of the Ksh32 billion ($320 million) Lamu Port, and construction of a second berth is underway.

When completed, Lamu port will have 32 berths, with Kenya betting that would give it the edge in the intense port race along the Bab el-Mandab (which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden), and the Indian Ocean lane from Mogadishu to Maputo.

Mr Meles however denied suggestions reported in The EastAfrican that Ethiopia's recent rapprochement with erstwhile foe Eritrea, and stake and investment in several Horn of Africa ports, meant it was turning its back on Lamu and Lapsset.

Ethiopia has stakes in Doraleh, Port of Djibouti, Khartoum's largest seaport, Port Sudan, and has invested $80 million for a 19 per cent stake in Somaliland's port of Berbera, and is also seeking a holding in Eritrea's Assab port.

"Ethiopia is a country of 110 million people, and the Lamu port will be particularly critical for us in serving the southern part of our country," Mr Meles said.

"Kenya and Ethiopia have the longest standing mutual defence pact between two African countries, so our strategic interests have a long history and endure", he said. "With a title deed, we should be able not just to invest in Lamu, but more widely in Lapsset," Meles added.

The Kenya-Ethiopia Defence Pact was signed in 1964 between Kenya's founding president Jomo Kenyatta, and Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie.

Kenyatta and Selassie were very close, with the former enabling the latter to get a large piece of land a spitting distance from State House Nairobi to build the Ethiopian embassy.

The Kenyan Embassy in Addis Ababa is closer to the National Palace, located next to the major bigger Embassies such as Russia and Belgium.

Security angle

Meles couldn't be drawn to comment on the wider state of geopolitics in the Horn of Africa, but analysts say the 55-year-old defence pact, and the proliferation of foreign military bases in the Horn of Africa, mean that in the long-term, Lamu will present to Ethiopia a level of security other ports don't.

Ethiopia is the largest landlocked country by population in the world. Within the country's national security establishment, there is unease about the proliferation of foreign military bases in the Horn.

There are 10 military bases in the Horn of Africa, with six in Djibouti by the US, France, Italy, Japan, China and Saudi Arabia.

Eritrea hosts the United Arab Emirates base, and a Russian logistics base is also forming there. Somalia hosts a Turkish military training base, while the semi-autonomous territory of Somaliland hosts UAE's second base.

A berth at Lamu sitting on land that it owns, would give Ethiopia tremendous ability to hedge against strategic risk, in ways other Horn of Africa don't.

Indeed the ongoing new foreign policy debate in Addis calls for a stake over the Red Sea and, and diplomatic sources say Ethiopia also wants to launch a naval force. Such a force could, foreseeably, be based in Lamu.

Domestic demands

Ethiopia is currently one of Africa's fastest growing economies and, though landlocked, also has the continent's largest state-owned shipping line.

Prime Minister Abiy's reforms, have also opened the doors for long-pent up grievances and local nationalist demands to explode.

There are several new demands for regional autonomy, and more protests than can be counted on the finger tips. The country needs dramatic economic growth and creation of opportunities to soak up many of those demands.

Ethiopians with a sense of history will also be mindful that the domestic price for disruption in the Bab el-Mandab, and further north, can be high.

Scholars have noted that the 1967-75 Suez Canal closure, during the Egypt-Israel conflict had far reaching impact on world trade with a major increase in shipping costs from the Middle East, Asia and East Africa to Europe, and hit Ethiopia hard.

The resulting economic downturn contributed to unrest and the 1974 revolution that ousted Emperor Selassie. And that was at a time when Eritrea was still part of Ethiopia and it had a port. Now it doesn't.

Owning a small slice of terminal in Lamu port, even in a foreign land, would likely be a better deal for Ethiopia in the long term, than being a paying tenant at the mercy of a landlord in a vast port anywhere else.


November 27, 2019 News

On Tuesday afternoon there was another attack on a journalist in the London area. This time the target was Amanuel Eyasu, the founder and editor of Assena TV.

The incident bore a striking resemblance to the attack on the journalist Martin Plaut in November 2018. Then a man who called himself Jacob Ghebremeohin posed as an Eritrean with information from home, arranged a meeting at the British Library before flinging a basin of milk, flour and eggs over Martin. Jacob Ghebremeohin was found guilty of assault, fined and bound over, for the attack.

Jacob Ghebremeohin during the attack on Martin Plaut

Yesterday’s attack on was allegedly also carried out by Jacob (or Yakob) Ghebremeohin.

Amanuel Eyasu says he was contacted by a woman who said she had come from Eritrea and wanted to share information with him. They arranged to meet at Putney Bridge Station at 2.30.

When Amanuel arrived he found a group of four or five men and one woman onlooker. They tried to corner him and to throw liquid over him, but he retreated towards the station, where the incident was captured on CCTV.

Some of the liquid went over his trousers, but most missed its target. There followed a fracas during which Amanuel defended himself, but received kicks to his legs.

Most of the assailants ran away, but one man – allegedly Jacob Ghebremeohin – was detained until the police arrived, when he was arrested. Amanuel, who gave the police a statement, refering to the prior attack on Martin Plaut, was not seriously injured, although he is bruised and his clothing has been damaged.

On hearing of the personal attack on Amanuel, the Chairman of Assenna Foundation, Habte Hagos said:

“I am shocked and appalled that such an attack has again happened in broad daylight on the streets  of London by PFDJ sympathisers. This is an unprovoked and cowardly act, and I commend the British police for their swift act in apprehending one of the attackers. The others have been captured on CCTV cameras and I am sure they will be in handcuffs before too long.

Unlike our fellow citizens in Eritrea, we live in a country where the rule of law is paramount and that no one can go around attacking people in the manner these brainwashed thugs have done without being punished.

Amanuel has tirelessly worked for his country, putting in as much as 20 hours 24/7 to expose the suffering inflicted on the Eritrean people by Isaias and his handful cliques over many years. Amanuel’s achievement in this regard is second to none and he is hugely admired by many peace loving and nationalist Eritreans across the world.

Like the cowards who attacked him, Amanuel could have kept his silence but he chose to speak out on behalf of his people. Only fools or people with interest can stand outside and clap their hands whilst an arsonists burns down their home – any ordinary person would of course try to stop them by all means.

Destruction is precisely what Isaias and his cliques are doing to our beloved country for which so much blood was sacrificed to liberate. These people do not care about the huge number of young Eritreans that perish in the desert and at sea to escape torture, enslavement and to simply live an ordinary life; to get education, to work and to start a family.

Rights denied to them by the unelected ruler in Asmara who childishly trivialise their suffering by asking “Who told them to go?”.  Isaias and his clique do not care about the Eritrean people. All they care about is ensuring, in anyway they can, for the world to remain ignorant of their crimes. This is why they attack justice seekers such as Amanuel.  

This cowardly attack on Amanuel will not stop the excellent work he does and has been doing for a long time. The Assenna Foundation Board is committed to supportin him in that endeavour. Lawyers have been informed of the brutal attack yesterday and Assenna Foundation Board will take all necessary action to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

We will fight injustice with justice. Our martyrs gave their lives in order we Eritreans can live in our homeland under the rule of law – free from oppression and fear. To build a country where every Eritrean wishes to live in rather than flee from.  Freedom is not free as we know it from our bitter history. Time to remain silent whilst our own people are tortured day in and day out is long gone – indeed silence is now complicit to the crimes being committed by Isaias.

We must peacefully fight to save our people and the very fabric of Eritrean society which Isaias is hellbent to destroy. Our martyrs expect no less of us. May they rest in peace.

Amanuel Eyasu holds MA in Journalism and MA in Information Management. Amanuel has worked as a head teacher, journalist and as the head of Eritrean News Agency, Asmara and Environs. He also worked as a Broadcast Media Coordinator with the BBC. As a journalist, Amanuel covered closed sessions of the Eritrean Cabinet for many years. He has interviewed senior politicians, including Isaias Afewerki and the late Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi. Amanuel is the founder of Assenna Foundation and current editor of assenna.com and Radio Assenna.


The International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
25 November 2019

Washington DC and London — After years of austerity, a number of Eurozone countries are now considering expansionary fiscal policies. And in the UK, government spending is set to return to levels last seen in the 1970s. But austerity abounds elsewhere in the world, including in some of the poorest countries.

Since 2010, governments around the world have been cutting public expenditure. New research found that about 75 per cent of the global population, or 5.8 billion people, will be in countries undergoing austerity by 2021.

This new wave of austerity will commence next year and will affect 130 countries, most of which are in the developing world. As many as 69 countries will undergo "excessive contraction", cutting expenditure below levels achieved prior to the global financial crisis of 2007. The list includes countries with dire development and human needs, such as Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Iraq, the Republic of Congo, and Yemen.

Rather than investing in a robust recovery to bring prosperity to citizens, governments are cutting pensions, public sector wages (including those of teachers and health workers), social assistance, and labour protections. Yet, the social consequences of austerity policies are already painfully clear. Millions of people will be pushed into poverty as a result, many of them women, children, and persons with disabilities.

In the developing world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advises governments to undertake austerity reforms either as part of its regular surveillance missions, or when countries have to sign up to its structural adjustment programmes to borrow money.

While the IMF claims to protect social spending in these programmes, independent research proves otherwise. IMF-mandated policy reforms led to cuts in government education and health (pdf) spending, increased income inequality (pdf), reductions in labour rights (pdf), declining access to healthcare, and a rise in neonatal mortality in developing countries.

Beyond these direct effects on social protection, there is another less-recognized problem. By shedding qualified civil servants, IMF austerity prescriptions have undermined the administrative ability of governments to deliver effective public services in the future. Recent evidence also shows IMF-imposed tax reforms do not result in greater government revenues. It simply reshuffles where revenues come from: more from regressive goods and services taxes, and less from other sources. This represents a passing of the buck onto the poorest members of society.
The recently completed Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank presented an opportunity to take stock of the damaging consequences of austerity. In the wake of widespread protests in Ecuador's ongoing IMF programme, continuing from earlier protests in Argentina, the need for an alternative path was especially pressing. Critical observers hoped for intellectual leadership and concrete commitments away from austerity. What they got was more of the same: trumped-up statements on the need to strengthen social spending, but with a bottom-line of fiscal belt-tightening.
Austerity does not need to be the "new normal." One of the most disturbing conclusions after the past decade of austerity is that these budget cuts were never actually necessary. Governments could -- and should -- have pursued alternative policy options. These would have brought prosperity to citizens and avoided the current wave of social discontent.

Even in the poorest countries, governments can create fiscal space. Public services and investment can be funded through progressive taxation, a crackdown on illicit financial flows, improved debt management, more accommodative macroeconomic frameworks, and -- in the case of the poorest countries -- lobbying for more aid. For example, more than 60 countries have renegotiated sovereign debt in recent years, allowing governments to spend less in debt service and more in necessary development expenditures.

These strategies for increased funding are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon by 193 countries in September 2015 at the United Nations, with specific commitments for universal education, health, and social protection.

Meeting these internationally agreed development goals means putting-to-bed the damaging austerity policies of the past decade. Most importantly, it entails recognition that an austere future is an avoidable catastrophe.

Isabel Ortiz, a former director of the International Labour Organization and UNICEF, is director of the Global Social Justice Program at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University.

Thomas Stubbs is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Research Associate in Political Economy at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.


November 24, 2019 Uncategorized

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP

The evening was cold and rainy, but inside the University of Bristol Geography department there was an excellent turnout for a series of most informative presentations from Eritrean experts.

Thangam Debbonair, who is standing to be a member of parliament on 12 December, kindly left her campaign to take the time to open the event.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. Thangam, Helen Kidane and Yodit Estifanos Afewerki

She explained how vital it was for the British Parliament to continue to scrutinise how the Eritrean government behaved, its links with the international community and attempt to halt its human rights abuses.

Habte Hagos, who chair’s Eritrea Focus, explained to the Bristol audience the organisation’s increasingly successful campaign to counter the Eritrean regime’s activities.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. Habte addressing with Dr Sarah Ogbay and Yodit Estifanos Afewerki (far left)

There then followed expert presentations from Helen Kidane (who had organised the event) Dr Sarah Ogbay (who described the terrible journeys Eritreans made to escape from the country of their birth) and Yodit Afewerki (who drew on her work with Eritreans in Italy to explain the complexities of acclimatising to a new country).

There was a lively question and answer session, with well informed interventions and questions from the audience.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. Mohammed (from Keberi Trust) speaks from the audience

Thangam Debbonaire

Former MP for Bristol West, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and Co-Chair on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea.

Petros Tesfagherghis explained his role during the liberation struggle.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. Thangam with Petros

Helen Kidan

Co-founder of the ‘Horn Human Rights’ and ‘Eritrean Youth’ in the UK; Executive member of the ‘Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights’; member of the ‘Network of Eritrean Women’ and ‘Eritrea Focus’.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. Helen Kidane (left) and Yodit Estifanos Afewerki

Yodit Estifanos Afewerki

Works with migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Currently employed by the French NGO, Médicines du Monde within a European project previously in Calabria and now in Rome, where she manages a project on access to healthcare for migrants in informal settlements.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. left to right: Yodit Afwerki, Dr Sarah Ogbay

Dr Sarah Ogbay

Member of the EFND, LIA-BAAL (languages in Africa, British Association of Applied Linguistics) and the Network of Eritrean Women, Eritrean Snit Study Group.

Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP. left to right: Yodit Afwerki, Dr Sarah Ogbay and Habte Hagos Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP



Exhibition on Eritrea opened by Thangam Debonnaire MP

‘Eritrea in the News’ is a photographic exhibition revealing a series of fascinating images captured at pivotal points in the country’s history, from Italian colonial rule through to the struggle for independence and the repression of dictatorship that followed. The photographs feature a mix of archive material and personal collections. The exhibition shows the trajectory of the country in a visual snapshot of the places and people that have shaped Eritrea, stretching as far back as 1882 up to the present day.Today, after decades of repression, there is a glimmer of hope. Ethiopia has reached out to Eritrea. Their leaders have met and there is the prospect of reconciliation. Yet Eritreans still long for true freedom.

About Eritrea Focus Eritrea Focus is an association of Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs), human rights organisations, exile and refugee groups and individuals concerned with the gross abuses of human rights in Eritrea. It is an open and inclusive organisation that welcomes members from all sections of the Eritrean communities both at home and in diaspora as well non-Eritreans that are concerned with the dictatorship and the complete absence of rule of law in the country. It is funded through voluntary donation from members.

No Protection for Refugee Children in Libya

Sunday, 24 November 2019 20:44 Written by

November 24, 2019 Eritrea, News

By Sophie Stocker

“He is stuck in Libya. If he wants to survive, he must get out. While talking to him it was very clear he was scared. He said so himself. He begged me to do anything that could help him.”

Imagine living in fear. Imagine living in a world where all you know is dictatorship. Imagine having to leave everything behind for a slight chance to survive. Because you know that if you stay, you will be tied to chains in a prison. The prison that you have lived in your whole life. The prison that you know will only shackle you tighter.

So, you risk everything. You leave everything behind so that you might find a better life. A life with freedom. A life without a tightrope around your neck.

Daniel is a 15-year old boy who is currently in Libya. He had to leave his home country, Eritrea, when he was 13 years old. He had gone to school since he was 5, and one morning, while going to school with his friend, Tesfay, he decided to leave without telling his family. He did not want to describe the exact events of that morning, but said that he and Tesfay saw an opportunity to go.

I asked him why he needed to leave his country, what he thought, and he told me that he had to leave because there was “no freedom”. “No freedom” because of the indefinite national service that children have to go to once they enter into the final year of school, “no freedom” because of the restrictions of travelling, “no freedom” because of a future of forced labour under permanent national service.

Eritrea is currently one of the most dangerous countries to live in because of its ruthless dictatorship. The president, Isaias Afwerki, imprisons everybody who doesn’t agree with him. There are strict rules and if the people don’t follow those rules, they go to jail. People have to flee, Daniel said, because there is no freedom in the most literal sense.

Daniel could not tell his mother that he left, because she had no phone. It has been two years, and he still has not been able to tell her. On his journey, he met Eritrean smugglers. They helped him get out of Eritrea to Libya for money. The price he had to pay was 8.750 US$ (7.835€) which his family had to pay up for him, as he had no money. They managed to collect the money by asking people in the church to help, and they then sent the money to Sudan, where the payment was made.

Unfortunately, his friend Tesfay could not pay this money, and therefore he was left behind in Sudan. Daniel does not know what happened to his friend. Whether he is alive or not, he does not know. Daniel travelled on to Libya, where he is still to this day. Throughout his travels, he saw horrible things. People were beaten with sticks, and tortured with electric wires. People were sexually violated and raped. People died at the hands of the smugglers.

Daniel’s bigger sister lives in Sweden, where he was trying to join her, but due to a mistake made in the system about the date of birth of Daniel, he was not allowed to rejoin her through the UNHCR resettlement scheme. He therefore is stuck in Libya. If he wants to survive, he must get out. While talking to him it was very clear he was scared. He said so himself. He begged me to do anything that could help him. In the UNHCR Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) camp where he is now, there are 1,500 people, most of them young boys and girls, and pregnant women.

So imagine if that was you. Or your child. Or your sister and brother. Just imagine.

*The names of the refugees were changed for security reasons but the real names are known to the author.

The author interviewed Daniel on 2019, October 13 and 15 by phone. The original transcript is with the author. The interview is part of a school project. The author is a 16-year old student. The name of the author is a penname for security reasons.

Eritrean president arrives in Khartoum for visit

Friday, 22 November 2019 10:44 Written by


Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan (L, front) receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki (R) at the Khartoum Airport in Khartoum, Sudan, on Sept. 14, 2019. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Saturday arrived in Khartoum for an official two-day visit to Sudan, a statement by Sudan’s Sovereign Council said. (Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir)

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Saturday arrived in Khartoum for an official two-day visit to Sudan, a statement by Sudan’s Sovereign Council said.

Afwerki was received upon arrival at Khartoum airport by Chairman of the Sovereign Council Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan and a number of ministers, the statement added.

Afwerki is expected to hold talks with a number of Sudanese officials over the bilateral ties and means of strengthening and developing them further.

KHARTOUM, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) — Sudan and Eritrea on Monday agreed on cooperation in military and security fields.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Monday concluded an official visit to Sudan that started on Saturday, which is considered the first since 2014.

Upon Afwerki’s departure at Khartoum airport, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Asma Mohamed Abdullah announced a joint communique about the two countries’ agreement on cooperation in many fields.

“The Republic of Sudan and Eritrea have agreed to cooperate in the following fields. Cooperation in the defence and military fields, including the ground forces, the air force, the marine forces, the defence industries, training and medical services,” the communique said.

The two sides have also agreed to cooperate in the security fields, including exchange of information, capacity building and combat of organized cross-border crimes, it noted.

In 2018, the Sudanese-Eritrean relations witnessed tension, particularly after Sudan announced the closure of its borders with Eritrea in the wake of what Khartoum said “potential threats on the eastern border.”

After the ouster of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, the Sudanese-Eritrean relations witnessed a relative breakthrough, where Asmara sent its Foreign Minister Osman Saleh to Sudan in May.

In June 2019, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, the then chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, visited Asmara and held talks with Afwerki.

During the visit, the two countries agreed to open the joint border and facilitate the movement of the citizens, though the deal has not been implemented on the ground.


Eritrean under-20 soccer players Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Mewael Tesfai Yosief, Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, and Hanibal Girmay Tekle talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.
In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, from left, Eritrean under-20 soccer players Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Mewael Tesfai Yosief, Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, and Hanibal Girmay Tekle talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.

WASHINGTON - The fate of four Eritrean football players seeking asylum in Jinja, Uganda, remains uncertain, weeks after they fled their hotel during a tournament.
The players had been set to compete with the Eritrean National Team in the Cecafa Under-20 Challenge Cup in October. For the past six weeks, they have been moving from house to house to avoid being caught by Eritrean agents in Uganda, their lawyer told VOA.

Kimberley Motley, an American attorney dealing with international law and representing the four men, said they fear being returned to Eritrea, where they could face imprisonment and torture.

“They simply want to be able to live free in a country that is not going to imprison them, and which is a great fear that they have if they’re sent back to Eritrea. And they’re very fearful that they will be sent back by the Ugandan authorities,” Motley said.

Eritrean under-20 soccer players Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle, and Mewael Tesfai Yosief talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.
Eritrean under-20 soccer players Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle, and Mewael Tesfai Yosief talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.

Ugandan officials didn’t respond to VOA’s requests for updates on the footballers’ case.

“They’ve been in hiding,” Motley said. “They’ve been moving from place to place, hoping that a country is kind enough to accept them as asylum seekers based on their very solid claim of being persecuted if they were sent back to their country.”

In a video posted by “One Day Seyoum,”  a group focused on human rights for Eritreans, the footballers said there is a campaign against them, and they fear being tracked and illegally detained by Eritrean agents in Uganda.

“We are in grave danger,” Mewael Yosief, one of the footballers, said. “We are in need of help. Because if they catch us, when we go back home, it’s going to be an unimaginably severe danger for us, because we might face imprisonment — unimaginable punishments. And it might even cause us death,” the 19-year-old said.

Eritrean under-20 soccer players Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle, and Mewael Tesfai Yosief talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.
Eritrean under-20 soccer players Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes, Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle, and Mewael Tesfai Yosief talk together in a house where they are staying in Uganda.

In 2015, 10 players on the Eritrean national football team sought and secured asylum during a World Cup qualifying match in Botswana. In 2009, the team made worldwide headlines when the entire roster defected and refused to fly home after a match in Kenya.
To support the remaining players who did not defect during the Uganda tournament, some members of Eritrea’s diaspora started a GoFundMe drive that has raised more than $44,000 to allow “these young men to be able to enjoy their careers at home and allow them to enjoy their return.”


Ethiopia “ordered” $4Billion worth of French Military Jets

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 10:25 Written by

in News November 19, 2019

Asmara (HAN) November 19, 2019. Regional Security and Stability NEWS.

French Rafale jet.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wants to modernise his old air force and for this, he has sent an official letter to the French president. The information is revealed on Monday in the French weekly Le Point.

The prime minister sent his “shopping list” to President Emmanuel Macron. Abiy Ahmed asked France to help “reinforce the Ethiopian Air Force” by providing, on credit, a sophisticated arsenal detailed on three pages.

This list includes: 12 combat aircraft (including Rafale and Mirage 2000), 18 helicopters and 2 military transport aircraft manufactured by Airbus, 10 Dassault UAVs, electronic jamming systems.

And even more surprising said the French weekly Le Point, thirty M51 missiles with a range of over 6,000 kilometres and nuclear head! A demand for the least extravagant (and illegal) knowing that France and Ethiopia have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. If we refer to the sales prices of previous similar contracts, the bill could exceed 4 billion dollars without the nuclear head.

Officially, France refuses to get involved in this “thorny” issue of M51 missiles as it has forged a strategic partnership with Egypt Al-Sissi, a major buyer of French arms since 2014.

French Journalist Arianne Lavrilleux said on Monday in the program Tout un monde, Ethiopia’s problem is that it does not have the means to afford these weapons. “The prime minister recognised it himself and wrote that he would need a loan for all this equipment.”

She added, “Ethiopia hopes to strengthen its credibility in the Horn of Africa and establish its image of local guardian of peace with international institutions. The country is already present in several UN peacekeeping missions in East Africa. It is also a way to win against its neighbours, major powers like Kenya and Egypt, who do not necessarily see a good eye to the rise of Ethiopia.”

Lavrilleux said, “Addis Ababa would, therefore, buy French arms on credit and it is the French State that would guarantee this loan. “So, if Ethiopia could not repay, the French taxpayer would pay.”


Two killed after tribal clashes in Port Sudan

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 12:08 Written by

Participants in the White Banners procession arrive in Port Sudan from Kassala on 1 September 2019 (ST photo)

November 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Two people were killed and at least seven others were injured on Monday as a result of tribal clashes in Port Sudan, capital of the eastern Red Sea State.

The security authorities imposed a curfew from 5 pm to 6 am, while army troops were deployed across the town to prevent the resumption of the intercommunal conflict.

The bloody clashes erupted between members of the Beja and Beni Amer tribes following a public meeting held by the leader of United Popular Front for Liberation and Justice (UPFLJ), and Deputy Chairman of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front Amin Daoud, who returned to Sudan last week after long years of exile during the regime of ousted President Omer al-Bashir.

Witnesses told the Sudan Tribune that Port Sudan, in a matter of moments, turned into a war arena when dozens of people scrambled from neighbouring areas with white arms to take part in the clashes at the place of the meeting.

They added that some houses had been burnt in the adjacent neighbourhoods where took place confrontations with white weapons.

The Red Sea Governor, Hafiz al-Taj Makki, blamed al-Amin Daoud for the lawlessness, saying he did not observe an agreement with him to postpone the meeting until security measures are put in place.

Makki told Sudan Television late on Monday that the state security committee had informed him that the current security situation in the city did not allow the organisation of a mass rally in the wake of tribal tensions in Port Sudan several weeks ago.

The governor who was speaking from Khartoum added that he had conveyed this message to Daoud and agreed together that the meeting would be held after Daoud’s return from Juba as the peace talks will resume within four days.

""We were surprised to learn at nine in the morning that Alamin Daoud moved during the night accompanied by a number of vehicles without permission and without notifying the state government and he was welcomed by a large crowd".

The governor confirmed that there were human casualties as a result of the tribal clashes but he did not give further details.

"The issue has been resolved by imposing a curfew and the measures will continue," he further said.

At his speech, Daoud denounced the state government’s refusal to authorize him to address the public meeting and pledge to complain to the Sovereign Council.

In a separate statement Osama Said, SRF spokesperson and a leading member in the Beja Congress regretted the intercommunal clashes before to condemn "in the strongest terms" the killings and sabotage that occurred Monday in Port Sudan as a result of the "severe tribal polarization exploited by the agents of the former regime"

"We call on all the people in Port Sudan from Ben Amer, Al-Hindawah, Al-Marar and the rest of the Beja branches to restraint and not give the opportunity to the promoters of sedition who want to hit our social fabric and create chaos that taking the whole country into a dark tunnel and bring it back to the era of corruption and tyranny".

He further called on the Prime Minister and his government to travel to Port Sudan to calm the tensions, restore order and to hold accountable the responsible of "this sedition".

At least 37 people were killed last August during tribal clashes in Port Sudan, between the Beni Amer and Nuba tribes.