ኣብ መፋርቕ ወርሒ ግንቦት 2020 ኣቢሉ ይኸውን “ህጻናት ኣድሕን” (Save the children) ዝተባህለት ማሕበር ኣብ ጅረፍ ካርቱም ወኪሎም ልኢኾም። እቲ ዝሰደድዎ ወኪል ኣብቲ ብስርዓት ኢሳያስ ዝተዶኮነ ከም ስለያውን ፕሮፖጋንዳውን ቁጠባውን ንጥፈታት ዘሰላስልሉ ብማሕበረ-ኮም ዝፍለጥ ቦታ ብምምጻእ ንብሰንኪ ቫይረስ ኮሮና ዝመሓላለፍ ሕማም መከላኸሊ ዝኸውን ሓገዝ ክንህብ ጽጉማት ኤርትራውያን ንምምዝጋብ መደብ ስለዘሎ ክትተሓባበሩና ክብል ነቲ ኣብኡ ንዝጸንሖ ዋርድያ ምስተወከሶ፡ ዋርድያ ኪዱ ኪዱ ኣብዚ ጽጉማት የብልናን ክብል መሊሱሉ። ወዮ ልኡኽ ድማ ከመይሉ ኣብ ጅረፍ ጽጉማት ስደተኛታት ዘየለዉ ኢሉ ንነብሱ ክሓትት ዕድል ከይሃበ ነታ በቲ ዋርድያ ዝተዋህበቶ ሓበሬታ ከም ዉዱእ ወሲዱ ከምዘላታ ናብቶም ሓለፍቲ ናይ’ቲ ማሕበር ኣመሓላሊፉዋ። ንሳቶም ድማ ብሸነኾም ነቲ ዝበጽሖም ሓበሬታ ተቐቢሎም ንጅሬፍ ንጎኒ ገዲፎም ንዴም ብምቕናዕ ኣብ ሓደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ዝተኣኻኸቡሉ ቦታ ብምኻድ መምጽኢኦም ምስ ገለጹሎም ነቲ ሓሳብ ተቐቢሎም ስድራቤታት ኣብ ምምዝጋብ ክተሓባበርዎም ድሉዋት ምዃኖም ብምግላጽ ስርሖም ብቐጥታ ብምጅማር 2000 ዝኾኑ ስድራ ቤታት መዝጊቦም ስም ዝርዝር ኣረከብዎም።

ብድሕር’ዚ “ህጻናት ኣድሕን” ንነፍስ-ወከፍ ስድራ ቅድም ኣኣርባዕተ ሳሙና፡ ሸሸውዓተ ማስክን ከክልተ ሳኒታይዘርን ብምዕዳል፤ ብድሕሪኡ ድም ንነፍስወከፍ ስድራ ሰሰለስተ ሽሕ ጅኔ ሱዳን ሂቦሞም።

ገለ ግዱሳት ኤርትራውያን ነዚ ምስ ሰምዑ፡ ምስ ሓለፍቲ ናይቲ ማሕበር ተራኺቦም እቲ ብዛዕባ ጅረፍ ዝበጽሖም ሓበሬታ ቅኑዕ ከምዘይኮነ፤ ኣብ ጅሬፍ ማእለያ ዘይብሎም ጽጉማት ስለዘለዉ ጎሲኹሞም ክትሓልፉ ግቡእ ኣይኮነን ብምባል ምስ ኣብርሁሎም፣ ምዝጉባት ይኹኑ ዘይምዝጉባት ብዘየገድስ ሓደ ሽሕ (1000) ዝኾኑ  ኤርትራውያን ስድራቤታት ኣብ ምምዝጋብ ክተሓባበርዎም ሓተቱ።

እቶም ግዱሳት ኤርትራውያን፡ 22 ዝኾኑ  ካብ ዝተፈላለየ ዞናታት ጅረፍ፡ ጣይፍን ኣርከዊትን ብምጽዋዕ ብዛዕባ’ቲ መደብ ኣብርሁሎም። 

ኣብ ሓጺር ግዜ ተንቀሳቒሶም ድማ ልዕሊ እቲ ዝተደልየ ቁጽሪ (ልዕሊ 1000) መዝጊቦም ኣቕሪቡ።  ትካል ህጻናት ኣድሕን ድማ፡ ን1000 ኤርትራውያን ዝኸውን ልክዕ ከም’ቲ ንኢትዮጵያውያን ዝኸውን ደገፍ ስለዝሃቡ፡ እታ ሽማግለ ኤርትራውያን ካብ ዝሓለፈ ዓርቢ  03/07/2020 ጀሚራ፡ ነቲ ደገፍ ንጽጉማት ኣብ ምዕዳል ትርከብ ኣላ። እቲ ንነፍስወከፍ ስድራ ኢትዮጵያውያን ዝተዋህበ 3,000 ጅኔ ግን፡ እቶም ጽጉማት ኤርትራውያን ብሕጂ ክውሃቦም ኢዩ ትጽቢቶም።

 

ኣካያዲ ሽማግለ ዞባ ኤውሮጳ ሰልፊ ዲሞክራሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ካብ ጥሪ ክሳብ መወዳእታ ወርሒ ሰነ 2020 ኣብዘሎ ግዜ ዘካየድዎም ሃገራውን ሰልፋውን ዕማማት ኣብ ስሩዕን ዘይስሩዕን ኣኼባታት ክርእዮም ዝጸንሐ እዃ እንትኾኑ፣ ካብ ዘስፈሮም መደብ ስራሓት ብተግባር ዝተሰላሰሉን ገና ኣብ መስርሕ ፍጻሜ ዝርከቡ ውጥናትን ንምግምጋም ብዕለት 26 ሰነ 2020 ኣኼባ ምክያዱ ካብ ኣቦ መንበር ኣካያዲ ሽማግለ ድሒሩ ዝበጻሓና ሓበሬታ ኣረጋጊጹ። ኣብዚ ተጠቒሱ ዘሎ ዕለት ዝተኻየደ ኣኼባ 8 ኣባለት ካብ ኣካያዲ ሽማግለ ዞባ ኤውሮጳ ዝተሳተፍዎ ኮይኑ፣ ድሕሪ እዋናዊ ኲነታት ሃገርን ደምበ ተቓውም ብሓፈሻን ምዝርራብ ኣብ ሰለስተ ዓበይቲ ህዝባውን ማሕበራውን ጉዳያት ምዝርራቦም እውን እቲ ዜና ኣመልኪቱ ኣሎ።

  1. ኲነታት ኤርትራውያን መንእሰያት ኣብ ኤውሮጳ መንእሰያት ኤርትራውያን ተካእቲ ወለዶን ቀንዲ ኣፍረይቲ ሓይሊ ሕብረተሰብን ምዃኖም ተፈሊጡ፣ ኣብ ክንዲ ብኽንክንን ሓልዮትን፣ ብሃገራውን ህዝባውን ወኒ፣ ብትምህርትን ፍልጠትን ማሃዝነትን ዝምልመሉን ዝዓብዩን፡ መሰሎምን ሪሞምን ተገፊፎም፡ ኣብ መደበር ወታሃደራዊ ታዓሊም  ብሕሰምን መከራን ይበልዩ፡ ብዛዕባ ህዝቦምን ሃገሮምን መታን ከይሓስቡን፣ ኒሕን ሕልናን ከጥፍኡን   ብስርዓት ህግደፍ ካብዝወርዶም ዘሎ ስቓይን ሕሰምን ከምልጡ  ክብሉ፣ ከይፈተዉ ካብ ዝፈትዉዎም ስድራ ቤቶምን ሃገሮም ክወጹ ዝተገደዱን ገና ኣብ መንገዲ ስደት ምህላዎምን ርእዩ።

 ኣብ ጉዕዞ ስደቶም፡  ኣብ ሱዳን፡ ኢትዮጵያን ሊብያን  ከይበጽሑን ምስኣተዉን ብዘጋጥሞም  ብሓፈሻኡ ናይ ሞትን ሂይወትን ኩነት፣  ማሕበራውን ስነ-ኣእምራውን  ሃሰያ፡ በደላት፣ ውርደትን ሕሰምን ወሪድዎም እዩ።  ኣብ ኤውሮጳ ምስ ጸበጽሑ ውን ከምቲ ዝተጸበይዎን ዝባሃግዎን ስለዘይኮነሎም፡ ስደት ከቢድዎም ስለዘይጠዓሞም፣ ብቁጽርስ እቶም ዝመሃሩን ዝሰርሑን ዘለዉ ዉሑዳት ምዃኖም ኣኼባ ርእዩ። ብሰሪ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ሃለዋት ከኣ ኣብ ስደት ነብሰ ቕትለት ዝፍጽሙ ኤርትራውያን መንእሰያት ዉሕዳት ኣይኮኑን። ስነ-ኣእምራዊ ሕማማት ኣሕዲሮም ዝሳቀዩ ዘለዉ፡ ብዝተፈላለየ ማለት ቀሊል ኮነ ፍኲስ ገበናት ኣብ ኣብያተ ማእሰርቲ ሃገራት ኤውሮጳ ዘለዉ ኤርትራውያን ውን ውሕዳት ዘምዃኖምው ሽማግለ ተመልኪቱ። ኣብ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ህሞት፣  እቶም ኣብ ህዝባውን ሃገራውን ቃልሲ ዝግደሱ መንእሰያት ኤርትራውያን ውሑዳት ክኾኑ ባህርያዊ እዩ። ስለዚ መንእሰያት ኤርትራ ተካእቲ ወለዶታት ንኽኮኑን ክሳብ ሕጂ ዘየብቓዓና ምኽንያታት ወጊድና፡ ኣሰር ጀግንነትን ሃገራውነትን ዝሓለፈ ወለዶ ንምኽታል ሓያል ጻዕርን ምንቅስቓስን ከም ዘድሊ ኣካያዲ ሽማግለ ዞባ ኤውሮጳ ኣጽኒዑ።  

  1. ምጉልባት ተሳትፎ ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ሓርነታዊ ቃልሲ መላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብትሕቲ ምልካዊ ስርዓት ይሳቐን ይብደልን ምህላዉ ብዘይካ ገለ ውሑዳት እንዳፈለጡ ዘጽቐጡ ሰብ ጠቕሚ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኩልና ዝውርድ ዘሎ ግፍዒ ብምዃኑ ንፈልጥ ኢና። ምስዚ ግን ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ገዛእ ጉዳዮም ህዝቦም እንዳጸነተን ሃገሮም እንዳተደፈረትን እንከላ ኣማዕዲካ ምርኣይ ስለዝነውሔ፡ ብማዕሪኡ ወጽዓን ጭቆናን ህዝብና ይናዋሕ ምህላዉ ተገንዚብና ኣንጻር ምልኪ ክንላዓል ይግባኣና፡ እዚውን ዕማም ናይ ውሑዳት ዘይኮነስ ናይ ኩልና ዋኒን ስለዝኮነ፡ ህዝቢ ኣብ ደምበ ተቓውሞ ክዓስልን ተጊሁ ክቓለስን በርቲዕካ ምስራሕ ከምዘድሊውን ኣኼባ ተገንዚቡ፡ ንምዕዋቱ ዝካኣል ዘበለ ክፍጽም ድልዊ ምህላዉ ዝበጻሓና ሓበሬታ ኣረዲኡ።
  1. ተሳትፎ ማሕበራዊ ክፍልታት ሕብረተ-ሰብ ኤርትራ ኣብ ቃልሲ፡ ብረታዊ ቃልሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብሳላ ተሳትፎ ኩሉ ማሕበራዊ ክፍልታትን ደርባዊ ጽላታትን ህዝብና ምዕዋቱ ዝሳሓት ኣይኮነን። ሎሚውን ከምቀደም ተሳትፍፎ ናይ ኩሎም ማሕበራዊ ክፍልታት ህዝብና ብፍላይ ድማ ግደ ደቂ ኣንስትዮን መንእሰያትን ክዓዝዝ፡ ኣብ ኩሉ ጽፍሕታት ውዳቤታት ዝግባእ ቦታ ክሕዝ ከምዘድሊ ብዝርዝርን ግዜ ሂቡን ድሕሪ ምዝርራብ ንኣኼባ ዝተታሕዘ ነጥብታት ተደምዲሙ።

ኣኼባ ኣብዚ ዝሓለፈ ሽዱሽተ ኣዋርሕ ንዝተዓወቱ ዕማማትን ንዘዐወትዎም ኣባላት ሽማግለን ኣፍልጦ ብማሃብ፡ ንዘጋጠሙ ናይ ቃልሲ ዕንቅፋታትን ብፍላይ ድማ ኣብ ዓለምና ወሪዱ ዘሎ ተላባዒ ሕማም መሊኦም ዘይተሳለጡ ትልሚ ስራሓትን ድሕሪ ምምማይ፡ ነፍሲ ወከፍ ኣባል ኣካያዲ ሽማግለ ዞባ ብሓላፍነት ንዝተዋህቦ መደብ ስራሕን ንዝተመዘዘሉ ክፍልን  ብተናጸል ኮነ ብሓባር ንምዕዋት ክሰርሕ ናይ መጻኢ ትልሚ ዕማማት ብምስራዕ ደምዲሙ። ብዘይካዚ ነዚ ኣካላዊ ርክባትን ኣኼባታት ከይግበር ከሊኡ ዘሎ ምኽንያታት ንምስዓር፡ ኣሎ ዝባሃል ዘመናውን ስሉጥን ናይ ርክብ መስኖታት ክጥቀምውን ወሲኑ።

JULY 6, 2020  NEWS

President Isaias Afwerki has been a busy man.

  • On the 5th of May he returned to Asmara after seeing Prime Minister Abiy in Addis Ababa.
  • Then on 27 June he was landing at Asmara after spending three days with the Sudanese leadership, including Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.
  • Now he’s in Egypt for a three day visit, where he will meet President Sisi.

So what’s going on? At the end of each trip there are bland press releases that tell the Eritrean public precisely nothing.

But it is not that difficult to join up the dots.

What do Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have in common? The Nile and the standoff over Ethiopia’s GERD dam, which it is scheduled to begin filling within the next two weeks.

Egypt appealed to the UN Security Council, but got little more than verbal support. Talks between the three parties are reported to have continued over the weekend, with discussions on Saturday.

But Egypt continued to complain there was no progress. The Egyptian irrigation ministry said “fundamental technical and legal differences” remained unsolved.

Meanwhile, the situation in Ethiopia is tense, following the death of the popular Oromo singer, Hachalu Hundessa. Clashes with the security forces by protesters left at least 166 people dead.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blamed the killing of the singer, and the subsequent violence, on “coordinated attempts” to destabilise the country, hinting that a foreign power was involved. Egypt swiftly denied any responsibility, with Egyptian diplomats saying that “Ethiopia should not blame its problems on external factors.” 

President Isaias, who has been in Ethiopia, Sudan and is now in Egypt – all in the last two months, would love to see himself as a mediator. He has always seen Eritrea as playing a regional role, and this fits perfectly into his self-image.

The Libyan situation

But there is another reason for President Isaias to be in Egypt and that is the crisis in Libya.

The situation in Libya is nothing if not complex, with Russia, France, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states all backing one or other of the key players. This is a simplified list of who is backing whom.

Government of National Unity in Tripoli                   General Khalifa Hafter in Tobruk

United Nations                                                                      Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE

NATO, USA, Italy, Turkey, Qatar                                         Russia, France

In this situation it is not difficult to see where Eritrea fits in.

President Isaias has been in league with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, assisting them in their war in Yemen against the Houthi rebels.

The port of Assab provides the UAE with a base, with Asmara airport also occasionally being used.

In March the Guardian newspaper carried this report:

The United Arab Emirates, which is backing Khalifa Haftar, the warlord commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, is thought to have sent more than 100 deliveries by air since mid-January, according to flight-tracking data

Most of the suspect UAE flights leave military bases in the UAE, while some appear to depart from a base run since 2016 by the UAE in Eritrea, where an authoritarian regime is in charge and there is minimal international monitoring.

In all, the flights are thought to have carried about 5,000 metric tons of cargo into Libya in very large chartered transport planes that land at an airport close to Benghazi, Haftar’s coastal stronghold, or in western Egypt, from where their loads are thought to be trucked into Libya.

The Bloomberg news agency reported that the UN had information about these UAE airlifts.

At least 37 flights in early January are being investigated by the UN panel of experts responsible for monitoring sanctions on Libya, according to two diplomats briefed on the report that was presented to the Security Council this month. Excerpts of the report were also shared with Bloomberg. The flights were operated by a complex network of companies registered in the U.A.E., Kazakhstan, and the British Virgin Islands to disguise the delivery of military equipment, the diplomats said.

The panel found an increase in secret flights from the U.A.E. and its airbase in Eritrea to airfields under the control of Haftar, who is fighting to defeat the internationally-recognized government based in Tripoli, the report said. Some of those flights, which transfer high volumes of weapons, were operated by two Kazakhstan operators, according to the diplomats.

Egypt became very concerned about the threat to General Haftar’s position in Tobruk, as the UN backed government forces advanced.

President Sisi declared that a red line existed beyond which Egypt would not tolerate any further advances. Egypt could intervene in Libya with the intention of protecting its western border, he said.

Eritrea (with its links to the UAE and Saudis) and the role of Assab as a base from which military equipment and munitions can be sent to General Hartar, clearly has a stake in the Libyan conflict.

There is a good deal for President’s Sisi and Isaias to discuss in the coming days.

Source 

 

Posted

 
6 Jul 2020
 
Originally published
 
5 Jul 2020
 
Origin
 
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July 5, 2020 -(KHARTOUM) - Sudan has established a national mechanism for coordination with the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), which will begin its activities on January 1, 2020.

On June 3, the UN Security Council approved the establishment of a political mission in Sudan to support democratic transition and peace implementation, in response to a request by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

"The Prime Minister issued a decision to form the national mechanism for coordination with the UNITAMS, and appoint Ambassador Omer al-Sheikh as the national coordinator," reads a statement issued by Hamdok’s office on Sunday.

Al-Sheikh is one of the skilled Sudanese diplomats with rich experience in international organisations. He previously served as head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and also served as ambassador in many capitals.

The new mission which does not include military components will provide technical assistance to the Constitution drafting process, supporting the implementation of all human rights, equality, accountability and rule-of-law provisions in the Constitutional Document.

The UNITAMS will also assist in peacebuilding, civilian protection and rule of law. It will support Sudan’s capacity to extend State presence and inclusive civilian governance, in particular by strengthening accountable rule of law and security institutions, and by building trust between State authorities and local communities, according to the UN resolution.

Mechanism’s powers

Hamdok’s decision seen by Sudan Tribune provides that the new mechanism will include 14 other members besides Ambassador al-Sheikh. All of them are civilians except the representative of the military intelligence.

The main task of the committee is to coordinate between the government and the UNITAMS at the federal and state levels and identifying Sudan’s support needs.

Furthermore, the prime minister conferred to the new mechanism all the attributions and functions of the National Committee for Coordination with UNAMID, including following up the withdrawal of UNAMID from Darfur.

The mechanism will negotiate a draft Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) and will follow up on its implementation.

The committee also will follow up on the procedures for the annual renewal of the UNITAMS and submit recommendations to the government.

The UN Security Council in its resolution establishing UNITAMS requested Secretary-General to swiftly establish the political support mission and provide the Council with a suggested structure and geographical deployment within 60 days.

(ST)

Sourcehttps://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/sudan-establishes-national-mechanism-coordination-unitams

 

JULY 5, 2020  ERITREA FOCUSNEWS

Eritrea Focus

Habte Hagos: Virtual Conference Closing Remarks – 4 July 2020

[Not read at the end of conference due to time constraint]

As this conference draws to a close it is my pleasure to make a few final remarks.

Let me begin by thanking everyone for their contributions; whether you are here today, or you were here earlier in the week. I think it would not be an exaggeration to say that this has been a considerable success, where we all too often feared it would be a failure.

As you may know, we had prepared for a conventional conference in partnership with the University of London Institute of Commonwealth Studies, with a wonderful venue kindly donated by them. Sadly, COVID struck and it was not to be. All those face-to-face meetings and informal discussions were, unfortunately, lost.

However, the task of working on a transitional blueprint for a democratic Eritrea was urgent, and we had to act. So, we took advantage of this new technology, and here we are. People attended from various parts of the United States, Australia, Israel, Southern Africa and beyond.

I want to thank everyone who participated, giving so much of their time and energy to helping us take this work forward. Much of the credit must go to the experts who spent over a year preparing the papers that underlay the ideas that we have been discussing. The spirit of lively, but courteous, debate that characterised this week is a credit to us all. Even when the most hotly-contested issues were before us, we treated each other with respect – something we cannot say always characterises Eritrean discussions!

Special thanks must go to those who worked hard behind the scenes: Helen Kidane, Yvonne Orengo, Paulos Michael and Kiflom Teklehaimanot in particular. We are also immensely grateful to our sponsors – the National Endowment for Democracy. Their generosity has made this conference possible. I will be formally writing them to convey our thanks for their donation.

As I said at the start of this conference, we will now take the comments and feed them into the discussions we will continue to have to formulate a blueprint. Once this has been thoroughly prepared and reviewed, we will be ready to go public with our work. We hope to hold a further conference towards the end of the year/early next at which we can formally present our blueprint to the participants and then make it public for the Eritrean people. Our aim will be – as ever – to make a contribution to a democratic, free country. Our work, along with that of others, should help a future government to find a way forward in those first, vital months following a transition.

What this conference has shown is the immense goodwill that permeates our community. Eritreans from very different backgrounds came together to share their experiences. It was humbling to listen to men and women who have spent the best part of their lives attempting to build the kind of Eritrea that we all want. We heard from Professor George Ayittey (from Ghana) on the lessons from other African nations which was insightful. We listened brother Festum Abraham’s comments about how vital a neutral administration is in overseeing a transition process.

For me, this conference had three key lessons.

Firstly, there is a deep desire in our Eritrean community to unite, work together and to transform that desire into a movement that can lead us to a new democratic Eritrea that is at peace with itself and its neighbours. Eritrea Focus is not that movement, but we would be willing to assist and do all we can to encourage our diverse communities to come together;

Secondly, we have an immense pool of goodwill from our allies across the world. Whether you look at the work of the Hotline for Refugees in Israel, or the America Team for Displaced Eritreans, we know who our friends are. We will build on their contributions and find others who can support our work. We already have links with democratic institutions across the world. We will strengthen these and seek even more supporters who share our vision, whenever we can and wherever they maybe; and

Thirdly, our work – collectively – is well understood and appreciated by our people. We can say with some confidence that even in the villages of Eritrea and the refugee camps of Sudan, Ethiopia and Libya there is an increasing awareness of what we, in the diaspora are doing. The regime may seem strong and stable; the reality is quite the opposite. The more credible and viable we are, the more confident our Eritrean people will be that the bright future ahead belongs to them and no one, but no one, can take it away from them again.

Finally, and as we bring the conference to a close, I would like to pose two question that, we as Eritreans, need to take away with us and ponder upon:

  1. Was the sacrifice of our martyrs to liberate our country from Ethiopian oppression only for our people to be humiliated, abused, enslaved and exiled in their tens of thousands by an internal enemy?
  1. What are we going to do about it individually and/or collective to ensure justice is served and the long nightmare of our people comes to an end?

I often wondered who or what is the worst enemy of the Eritrean people; Isaias or our disunity? I was, therefore, absolutely delighted to hear from brother Hailemariam Tesfai that the Eritrean opposition groups have decided to unite. I commend them hugely for that. At long last, the suffering and nightmare of the Eritrean people may be coming to an end.

With that, I bring this conference to a close – I wish you all well and stay safe.

Thank you.

Habte Hagos

Chair, Eritrea Focus

————————– ENDS ——————————-

Some of the hundreds of speakers and participants

Saturday, 04 July 2020 21:45

Radio Dimtsi Harnnet Sweden 04.07.2020

Written by

 and Alex Cizmic

The Eritrean players (from left) Abiel Oqbay, Isaias Abraham, Ismail Sultan, Eyob Girmay, Robel Kidane, Yosief Mebrahtu and Filimon Semere are in hiding in Uganda.

Seven Eritrea internationals who have been in hiding in Uganda for more than six months fear being captured and sent home “as traitors” if they are not granted asylum.

In December 2019 they were part of the Eritrea team that reached the final of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup – an annual tournament for teams from east Africa – for the first time. They were due to return home on a flight with the rest of the squad after a 3-0 defeat by the hosts Uganda but Abiel Oqbay, Isaias Abraham, Ismail Sultan, Eyob Girmay, Robel Kidane, Yosief Mebrahtu and Filimon Semere escaped and have since been on the run.

The Ugandan authorities, having initially co-operated with the Eritrean embassy in Kampala in the search for the players, issued them with asylum registration cards in January before a proposed interview with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that has yet to materialise.

“In January they told us to be patient because if the police opened the procedure our cases will move on smoothly,” said Oqbay. “Then in May they called us back and said they can’t help us at the moment. We don’t know what to do, because we don’t have many resources to move forward … we have been eating only once a day.”

Since 2009 it is estimated that more than 50 players have used their status as international footballers to escape the oppressive regime of the Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki, which imposes lifetime military service on many subjects and bans groups of more than two people congregating in public places. A recent report by the Norwegian Refugee Council outlined concerns that asylum seekers in Uganda often face long delays in their applications given the fact that more than 1.7 million refugees were expected in the country this year.

The coronavirus pandemic has made the situation even more desperate, and George Ghebreslassie – a senior member of the America Team for Displaced Eritreans, which has been helping the players in Uganda – has warned that the players are still at risk of being captured if the UNHCR does not intervene.

“As soon as I talked to them, I was terrified to hear they were in Uganda without any protection,” Ghebreslassie said. “Uganda is a hub for the supporters of the Eritrean regime and some people are looking for the players. If they catch them they will punish them so they can serve as an example of how the regime treats who they consider as traitors.

“Something within UNHCR doesn’t work; it seems they don’t realise the seriousness of the situation. I talked to a woman there, but she didn’t follow up the case. The players need to be moved to a safer place under UN protection as happened to their youngest colleagues some months earlier.”

The Guardian has sought comment from UNHCR but received no response.

In January, the Guardian spoke to Mewael Yosief – one of the four players from the country’s under-20 side who fled after reaching the Cecafa Under-20 Challenge Cup semi-final in Uganda a few months earlier. They are awaiting the result of their asylum application but Kimberley Motley, the American attorney who is following their case, said that was a slow process.

Mewael Tesfai Yosief (left), with Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle and Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes in a house in Uganda last October.
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Mewael Tesfai Yosief (left), with Simon Asmelash Mekonen, Hanibal Girmay Tekle and Hermon Fessehaye Yohannes in a house in Uganda last October. Photograph: AP

“They have been interviewed in order to see if they qualify – which they do,” she said. “It is up to a country to invite them, but the Covid-19 pandemic has complicated things. Countries aren’t really accepting refugees now.”

Oqbay and his teammates spent their first weeks in Uganda in Kampala, where they were moving from place to place to avoid capture, before in February going to a more remote location thanks to the help of Ghebreslassie’s organisation, which is based in Pennsylvania. Despite several attempts by Giulia Tranchina – an Italian immigration lawyer based in London – to advance their case with UNHCR for Uganda, there has been no progress.

“We are aware we have to wait,” Oqbay said. “We love football so much and what we want is just to be safe in a free country where we can continue playing.”

Source=https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/02/fears-grow-over-seven-eritrea-football-internationals-on-the-run-in-uganda-asylum?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WhatsApp

 

Thursday, 02 July 2020 22:12

Radio Dimtsi Harnnet Kassel 02.07.2020

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