Members of the reserve army in Eritrea are called for military training

December 5, 2018

As usual in a move that appears to divert the public attention away from the political and socio-economic problems in the country, the Eritrean government has in the month of November 2018 ordered members of the reserve army for military training. The reserve army is made of elderly men. The move appears to have been driven by a motive to make the Eritrean people believe it is in perpetual crisis and state of war because following the peace agreement with Ethiopia , the Eritrean people are raising many questions that have no answers from the Eritrean government side. Among the questions asked are:

  1. Releasing political prisoners
  2. The implementation of the 1997 constitution

As the call for the military training for reserve army comes at a time when the peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been signed and normalization of relationship between the countries has been restored. It is believed that this is a plot by the Eritrean government to abort public demands for change.


As it can be seen from the notice posted on the electric poles in the streets of Asmara, city, members of the popular army which is mainly made up of elderly men  are called for military training. The notice reads in Tigrigna reads (and is translated below):

Following the Asmara foot step, the same calls are also made in keren, Aqurdet and Barentu. The Eritrean government has already started logistical preparation for the implementation of the training plan. Meetings were organized with members of the popular army in Keren, Aqurdet and Barentu. In the meetings, authorities explained the the military training is already planned but did not provide the specifics as to when will start. Relating to call for military training members of the  reserve army who participated in the meeting asked challenging questions to the authorities:

  1. Why are we asked to go through military training after we were made to hand over our guns
  2. What new developments have popped up that required us to take military training at this particular time
  3. What is the linkage between the military training the peace agreement.

 As usual the response from the Eritrean government cadres, was concerned  representative  from the government will organize meetings with you and will answer you questions. It is noteworthy that in March 2018, members of the popular army who, were too old had handed over their guns. The less old ones had not handed over their guns. But the meetings were joint meeting that encompassed  both those who handed over their guns and those did not hand over their guns. And the requirement to take military  training concerns both  groups.


The long route and difficult journey of Eritrean refugees to Sudan

smret and sabela

Photo Credit: Smret and Sabela

Translated from Tigrigna

It is becoming common to see the flow of Eritreans to Ethiopia and Sudan.  In-spite of the peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the flow of Eritreans fleeing the country has increased rapidly.  Nowadays the number of Eritreans who try to move to Sudan after entering to Ethiopia has increased increasing the vulnerability of migrants to human trafficking and smuggling.

Here, I have a brief and interesting chat [in Khartoum] with two young Eritreans who fled to Ethiopia as soon as the border opened and later moved to Sudan by paying 3000 USD each. During our chat they gave me detailed descriptions of their journey and the difficulties they faced during their journey. Continue reading “The long route and difficult journey of Eritrean refugees to Sudan”

Khartoum: Eritrean unaccompanied street minors

November 19, 2018

The number of unaccompanied Eritrean refugees migrating to Sudan via Ethiopia is ever in the increase and most of the unaccompanied minors embark on the journey without prior knowledge of the difficulties they face as they do not have the mental capacity to comprehend such difficulties. When they arrive in Khartoum after much suffering and difficulties and violations, the end up in the streets of Khartoum because there are no people to host them. Continue reading “Khartoum: Eritrean unaccompanied street minors”

Sudan: the Impact of the Suspension of the UNHCR Resettlement Programme on Refugees

November 17, 2018

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resettlement programme in Sudan has been suspended leaving applicants in limbo following the fraud scandal investigation which started in May 2018.  The UNHCR office has not yet resumed its resettlement services to the needy refugees. It has been closed since May 2018 due to the fraudulent practices of the office which was exposed by IRIN journalist. Refugees alleged that the UNHCR staff upon receiving bribes have tried to reverse decisions made based on standard eligibility. Continue reading “Sudan: the Impact of the Suspension of the UNHCR Resettlement Programme on Refugees”

The opening of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border: a cause for heightened exodus of Eritreans

November 14, 2018

Following the official opening of the Serha- Zalembesa border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, a big number of Eritreans including children and families have crossed to Ethiopia.

This has also resulted in the increase of Eritreans flowing to Sudan, Uganda and Kenya via Ethiopia. The Eritreans who are flowing to Sudan from Ethiopia trough the border crossings of Metema and Humera include, women, children, unaccompanied minors and youths. Continue reading “The opening of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border: a cause for heightened exodus of Eritreans”