Evacuate Eritrean refugees from Libya death camps – Diaspora conference calls on EU

(Brussels, 13 December) As European Union leaders present their bid for a responsible common migration policy, a conference of over 200 members and spokespersons of the Eritrean diaspora on the old continent taking place this week in Brussels calls for the evacuation and resettlement of Eritrean refugees from Libya and their protection.

Despite the rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia there are no changes in Eritrea as serious human right violations continue and Eritreans as a consequence continue to flee. Indeed, human trafficking of Eritrean refugees is still increasing. Thousands of Eritrean refugees perish at the hands of human traffickers in Libya, often held hostage for ransom, while thousands of euros are collected by the diaspora to free them.

Abrahalei Tesfay, a refugee living in Italy, continues to receive desperate calls from Eritreans about the situation of their relatives left without any hope in Libya: “I have seen horrific footage from Libya, of emaciated Eritrean refugees, starved, denied medical care, tortured, repeatedly abducted and held for ransom for thousands of euros. They must be evacuated immediately.” Roughly ten thousand Eritrean refugees are languishing in camps in Libya.

Eritreans continue to flee their country in record numbers, crossing the border to Ethiopia. According to Tekei Gebreysus Measho, Representative of the Administration for Refugees and Return Affairs (ARRA), Eritreans are crossing into Ethiopia and seeking asylum at the rate of 350 to 600 per day. Measho notices that Eritrean refugees are continuously reporting that “the situation in Eritrea is very dire. The indefinite national service is still fully in place and living conditions have worsened.” According to UNHCR, 12 percent of the entire Eritrean population has fled the country.

African leaders attending the Eritrean diaspora conference have expressed their concerns over the situation in Eritrea and Libya and call for better cooperation with Europe to provide protection. “Over the past two days, I have listened to many refugees, it has been shocking to hear their stories,” states Chief Fortune Charumbira, the Vice-President of the Pan-African Parliament who has opened the conference this Wednesday. “Their testimonies reveal modern-day slavery in Africa. We need to do all in our power to stop modern slavery on the African continent.”

As of 2019, the Eritrean government will lead an EU-financed Khartoum anti-trafficking programme. The appointment is despite substantial evidence linking top-level Eritrean officials to human trafficking.

“We are concerned that to fight human trafficking, more EU funding will be approved this week, for countries such as Eritrea whose highest officials are linked to the practice,” says International Relations Professor Mirjam Van Reisen of Tilburg University who describes this as: “… a cynical policy.” She adds: “The EU must stop financing those benefitting from human trafficking.”

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ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ካብ ቀታሊ መዳጐኒታት ሊብያ ኸምዝግዕዙ ይገበር–ዋዕላ ኣብ ደገ ዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያን ናብ ሕብረት ኤውሮጳ ጻውዒት የቕርብ

(ብራስለስ፡ 13 ታሕሳስ) ኣብዚ መራሕቲ ኤውሮጳዊ ሕብረት ንሓላፍነታዊ ኣገባብ ምሕደራ ዋሕዚ ስደተኛታት ይኸውን ዝብልዎ ኣማራጺታት ዘቕርቡሉ ዘለዉ እዋን፡ ኣብ ብራስለስ ኣብዚ ሰሙን ዝካየድ ዘሎ ዋዕላ ልዕሊ 200 ኣባላትን ኣፈኛታትን ኣብ ስደት ዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያን፡ ኣብ ሊብያ ዝርከቡ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ክግዕዙን ዳግም ክጣየሱን ክግበር፡ ከምኡ ድማ ድሕነቶም ክረጋገጽ ጻውዒቱ ኣቕሪቡ።

ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ፖለቲካዊ ምሕዝነት ኣሐዲሰን ክነሰን፡ ከቢድ ምግሃስ ሰብኣዊ መሰላት ገና ኣብ ኤርትራ ይቕጽል ብምህላዉ ከም ውጽኢቱ ዋሕዚ ካብ ሃገሮም ዘምልጡ ኤርትራውያን ይቕጽል ኣሎ። ካብዚ ሓሊፉ፡  መሸጣ ሰባት ኣብ ልዕሊ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ይውስኽ ኣሎ። ኣሽሓት ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት፡ ዝበዝሕ እዋን ጸለቕ ንኽኸፍሉ ጅሆ ተታሒዞም፡ ኣብ ወጻኢ ዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያን ናጻ ኸውጽእዎም ኣሽሓት ኤውሮ እናኣከቡሎም፡ ኣብ ኢድ ተሻየጥቲ ኣብ ሊብያ ይሃልቁ ኣለዉ።

ኣብ ኢጣልያ ስደተኛ ዀይኑ ዝነብር ኣብርሃለይ ተስፋይ ብኹነታት ናይቶም ኣብ ሊብያ ብዘይተስፋ ዝተረፉ ቤተሰቦም ዓቕሊ ዘጽበቡ ኤርትራውያን ኣዘውቲሮም ዝድውሉሉ ጻውዒታት ይቕበል። “ካብ ሊብያ ዝመጸ ኣስካሕካሒ ተንቃሳቓሲ ስእልታት ዝማህመኑ፡ ዓጸቦ ዘሳቕዮም፡ ክንክን ሕክምና ዝተኸልከሉ፡ ብርቱዕ ግፍዒ ዝወረዶም፡ ብተደጋጋሚ ዝተጨውዩን ኣሽሓት ኤውሮ በጃ ኽኸፍሉ ብጸለቕ ዝተታሕዙን ርእየ እየ። ብቕልጡፍ ክግዕዙ ኣለዎም፡” ድማ ይብል። ዓሰርተ ሽሕ ዝበጽሑ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ኣብ መዓስከራት ሊብያ ይማስኑ ኣለዉ።

ናብ ኢትዮጵያ ዶብ እናሰገሩ፡ ተራእዩ ዘይፈልጥ ብዝሒ እዮም ኤርትራውያን ሃገሮም ገዲፎም ዝስደዱ ዘለዉ። ብመሰረት ወኪል ምሕደራ ጉዳያት ስደተኛታትን ተመለስትን ኢትዮጵያ ዝዀነ ተክኤ ገብረየሱስ መዓሾ፡ ካብ 350 ክሳብ 600 ኤርትራውያን መዓልታዊ ናብ ኢትዮጵያ እናሰገሩ ዑቕባ ይሓቱ ኣለዉ። እቶም ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት፡ “ኣብ ኤርትራ ዘሎ ኹነታት ኣዝዩ ሕማቕ እዩ። መዛዘሚ ዘይብሉ ሃገራዊ ኣገልግሎት ገና ኣብ ቦትኡ እዩ ዘሎ። ኩነታት ናብራ መሊሱ ይኸፍእ ኣሎ፡” ኸምዝብሉ ይጠቅስ። ብመሰረት ላዕለዋይ ሽማግለ ስደተኛታት ውድብ ሕቡራት ሃገራት፡ 12 ሚእታዊት ካብ መላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ካብታ ሃገር ኣምሊጡ እዩ።

ነቲ ዋዕላ ኣብ ስደት ዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያን ዝተሳተፍዎ ኣፍሪቃውያን መራሕቲ ብዛዕባ እቲ ኣብ ኤርትራን ኣብ ሊብያን ዘሎ ኹነታት ዘለዎም ስክፍታ ገሊጾም። “ኣብ ዝሓለፈ ኽልተ መዓልቲ ብዙሓት ስደተኛታት ክዛረቡ ሰሚዐ። ዛንታታቶም ንምስምዑ ዘስካሕክሕ እዩ፡” ይብል ብረቡዕ ነቲ ዋዕላ ዝኸፈቶ ምክትል ፕረሲደንት ሕብረ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ባይቶ ቺፍ ፎርቹን ቻሩምቢራ። “ምስክርነታቶም ኣብ ኣፍሪቃ ዘመናዊ ባርነት ከምዘሎ ዘርኢ እዩ። ኣብ ኣፍሪቃ ዘመናዊ ባርነት ከይህሉ ዓቕምና ዘፍቅዶ ዘበለ ኽንገብር ኣለና።”

ምስ ምእታው 2019 መንግስቲ ኤርትራ መሪሕነት ናይቲ ብሕብረት ኤውሮጳ ዝምወል ጸረ ምስግጋር ሰባት ዝዀነ መደብ ክቕብል እዩ። እዚ መዝነት እቲ ላዕለዎት ሰበስልጣን ኤርትራ ምስ መሸጣ ሰባት ዘለዎም ምትእስሳራት ዘርኢ መርትዖታት ኣብ ቦትኡ እንከሎ እዩ ናብ ኤርትራ ዝሓልፍ ዘሎ።

“ኣንጻር መሸጣ ሰባት ንምቅላስ ተወሳኺ ንኸም ኤርትራ ዝኣመሰላ ላዕለዎት ሰበስልጣነን ኣብቲ ንግዲ ዝተዋፈሩ ሃገራት ዝወሃብ ምወላ ሕብረት ኤውሮጳ ኣብዚ ሰሙን ክጸድቕ ምዃኑ ብዙሕ ዘሰክፈና እዩ፡” ትብል ኣብ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ቲልቡርኽ ኣህጉራዊ ዝምድናታት እትምህር ፕሮፌሰር ሚርያም ፋን ራይሰን። “ስግንጢራዊ ኣገባብ ምሕደራ ስደት፡” ክትብል ድማ ትገልጾ። ወሲኻ፡ “ሕብረት ኤውሮጳ ነቶም ካብ መሸጣ ሰባት ዝኸስቡ ወገናት ገንዘብ ምሃብ ከቋርጾ ኣለዎ ትብል።”

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.

Milkta

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”