Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Eritrea: Refugees flee the world’s most repressive and secretive regimes

TELEVISION JOURNALIST TEMESGHEN Debesai had waited years for an opportunity to make his escape, so when the Eritrean ministry of information sent him on a journalism training course in Bahrain he was delighted, but fearful too. On arrival in Bahrain, he quietly evaded the state officials who were following him and got in touch with Reporters Sans Frontières. Shortly after he met officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who verified his details. He then went into hiding for two months so the Eritrean officials in Bahrain could not catch up with him and eventually escaped to Britain.

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Eritrean refugee crisis continues to escalate due to Canadian mining

Where are those brave Eritreans? those who were trashing Ethiopia day and night in all over Europe in the 80th and 90th? where are those people who claimed they are peculiar people? all that empty bravado disappear as thin air, now it become history and for some of us, it is laughable

By Michael Stewart

As millions of refugees brave their way across a Europe increasingly hostile to their existence, it is still Syrians dominating the headlines. But the third-largest group crossing the Mediterranean is fleeing the small African country Eritrea, home to one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world.

The gut-wrenching photo of drowned toddler Alan Kurdi has strained Canadians' humanitarian mettle. Many have criticized Stephen Harper's failure to welcome a single refugee across Canada's borders since publication of the photo, yet few have reckoned with the ways in which Canadians are complicit in driving desperate people toward the sea.

Earlier this month, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson hosted a public forum on the refugee crisis. Those in attendance discussed the complexity and cost of privately sponsoring refugees and revisited a campaign promise to make Vancouver a Sanctuary City.

Daniel Tseghay, a writer, broadcaster and an activist, is of Eritrean descent and spoke at the mayor's forum. "Every single Eritrean that exists in the diaspora," Tseghay told Mayor Robertson, "knows someone directly or has someone in their family who has drowned in the Mediterranean."

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Ethiopia: World Bank Translator, Activists Face Trial

Activists Heading for Food Workshop Charged With Terrorism

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian authorities should immediately drop all charges and release a former World Bank translator and two other local activists charged under Ethiopia’s repressive counterterrorism law after trying to attend a workshop on food security in Nairobi, six international development and human rights groups said today.

On September 7, 2015, the authorities charged Pastor Omot Agwa, Ashinie Astin, and Jamal Oumar Hojele under the counterterrorism law after detaining them for nearly six months. The charge sheet refers to the food security workshop, which was organized by an indigenous rights group and two international organizations, as a “terrorist group meeting.” The three were arrested on March 15 with four others while en route to the workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Three were released without charge on April 24, and a fourth on June 26.

“Ethiopia should be encouraging debate about its development and food security challenges, not charging people with terrorism for attending a workshop organized by respected international organizations,” said Miges Baumann, deputy director at Bread for All. “These absurd charges should be dropped immediately.”

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

British Political Prisoner Moved to Ethiopian 'Gulag'

By Jack Gilbert
British citizen Andargachew Tsege, facing a death sentence in Ethiopia for spurious terrorism charges, has been moved from a secret detention centre in Ethiopia to a notorious federal prison in the African nation's capital, VICE News can exclusively reveal.

Longtime democracy campaigner Tsege has now been captive for more than a year without access to lawyers, family or consular assistance, after being kidnapped at a Yemen airport by Ethiopian officials.

The 60-year-old father of three fled Ethiopia's military regime as a student activist in 1979 and became a political refugee in the UK. He later founded opposition group Ginbot 7 in 2005, which was classified by the Ethiopian government as a terrorist organization.

In 2009 the government accused Ginbot 7 of organizing a failed coup and sentenced Tsege to death in absentia, in a trial "lacking in basic elements of due process," according to American diplomatic observers.

Last year, Ethiopian agents seized Tsege at Sanaa Airport in Yemen. He has remained in solitary confinement since then, in an unknown location until the recent move. The legal charity Reprieve, based in London, has taken up his case.

The democracy activist's family believe that the UK's close strategic alliance with Ethiopia means that an innocent man could end up being sacrificed on the geo-political altar.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Escaped from Eritrea, refugee route leads to Europe

By Karim Lebhour
7 hours ago

Hitsats (Ethiopia) (AFP) - Eritrea is a day's trek through dusty hills from the refugee camp in Ethiopia, a way station for tens of thousands of Eritreans who have fled their oppressive homeland.

But while life is tough in the town-like camp of thousands -- living in baking heat in simple canvas tents or brick houses -- no one thinks of going back, or of staying in the camps.

Escape from the hermetic Red Sea state means only one thing -- to travel onwards for a better life.

"We want to go, to go anywhere," 25-year old Abraham told AFP in Hitsats camp in northeastern Ethiopia, just south of the Eritrean border.

For those who have fled the dictatorial regime of President Isaias Afwerki, which has created a repressive system in which people are routinely arrested on a whim, detained, tortured, killed or disappeared, a return home offers only a prison sentence -- or worse -- for treason.

Once they have left, the only possible move is onwards abroad - and for most, that dream is of an eventual life in Europe.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Eritrea warns of Ethiopia war 'sabre-rattling' ......


Nairobi (AFP) - Eritrea has accused arch-rival Ethiopia of "sabre-rattling" and of threatening to invade, with the neighbours still in a tense standoff following a 1998-2000 border war.

Asmara's Ministry of Information said in a statement that war-like rhetoric from Ethiopia's main party in the ruling coalition -- the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) -- had increased.

Eritrea, which broke away from Ethiopia in 1991 after a brutal 30-year independence struggle, remains on an effective war-footing with Addis Ababa after a return to war in 1998.

"The TPLF's sabre-rattling has been a common staple throughout winter. And this has been ratcheted up in the past few weeks," said the information ministry statement, released Monday.

"The TPLF regime is resorting to tactics of covert intimidation to dissuade various circles from associating with Eritrea. It has gone beyond these hints to openly assert that, 'it has secured a green-light from the United States to unleash war against Eritrea.'"

There was no immediate reaction from Ethiopia, but Addis Ababa has previously dismissed such statements as propaganda.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia to Conclude Labour Recruitment Contract.....Ethiopians government must stop this madness…

Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign the Domestic Workers' Recruitment Agreement to protect the rights of Ethiopian domestic workers in that country, an official said.

The agreement will change the working situation of Ethiopian citizens in the Saudi Arabia including salary payment, having a leave and protection from domestic abuses and human right violations by their employers, Liaison Officer with Ethiopia's Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Temsegen Omar told ENA.

If signed, the deal will make the Saudi government share responsibility with employers and agencies for any violation of rights against Ethiopian domestic workers.

Saudi Arabia was reluctant to sign the contract that obliged it to take responsibility for violation of rights against citizens, but finally they managed to narrow differences, said Temesgen,

He said: "Initially there were some differences and the differences are solved in line with Ethiopia's needs in that the Saudi government should give guarantee and share the responsibility for safety of Ethiopian domestic workers' in workplaces and while trying to return home."

Ethiopian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia have been complaining about various violations including unpaid salary, domestic abuses such as torture and rape.

The Ethiopian government had banned in October 2013 its citizens from travelling to Arab countries in search of work until lasting solution is found.

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Just Out Of Jail, Ethiopian Leader Brings A Sharp Message To Obama

Just a few months ago, Bekele Gerba was languishing in a high security Ethiopian jail, hearing the cries of fellow prisoners being beaten and tortured. Now, the 54-year-old foreign language professor is in Washington, D.C., for meetings at the State Department. His message: The Obama administration should pay more attention to the heavy-handed way its ally, Ethiopia, treats political opponents — and should help Ethiopians who are losing their ability to earn a living.

Gerba is a leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress, a political party that represents one of the country's largest ethnic groups. With estimated numbers of about 30 million, the Oromo make up about a third of Ethiopia's population.

In 2011, Gerba was arrested after meeting with Amnesty International researchers and sent to prison on what he calls trumped up terrorism charges, often used in Ethiopia against political dissidents. In court he made remarks that have been widely circulated in Ethiopia and beyond: "I am honored to learn that my non-violent struggles and humble sacrifices for the democratic and human rights of the Oromo people, to whom I was born without a wish on my part but due to the will of the Almighty, have been considered a crime and to be unjustly convicted."

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Four decades after Haile Selassie’s death, Ethiopia is an African success story

Ethiopia has changed beyond all recognition since the death of its last emperor, Haile Selassie, 40 years ago. Haile Selassie was surreptitiously murdered at the age of 83 by the military revolutionaries who had overthrown him a year earlier. Though t-shirts bearing his familiar features are to be seen on the streets of Addis Ababa, the days of the empire have gone and there is no move to restore it.

Gone too is the Derg, as the military regime was called. It attempted to build a communist state on the ruins of the empire, like its backers in the then USSR. Though it built what initially seemed to be an effective dictatorship, it was unable to cope with the economic incompetence of state socialism – symbolised for the outside world by the great famine of 1984 – or the resistance aroused by brutal top-down central rule.

This resistance was led by the movement for the independence of the northern province of Eritrea. One of the most effective insurgencies the world has ever seen, it brought down the Derg in the province in 1991. Eritrea has since tragically degenerated into an African North Korea, which has succeeded only in providing a massively disproportionate number of the refugees now besieging Fortress Europe. The government of the rest of Ethiopia – by far the largest part of the country – fell to an allied guerrilla movement, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

UN says 4.5 million Ethiopians now in need of food aid after poor rains! It is crazy after 25 years of TPLF rules still Ethiopia is hungery??

The number of Ethiopians who will need food aid by the end of this year has surged by more than 1.5 million from earlier estimates, according to United Nations agencies. After failed rains, some 4.5m people are now projected to require assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) , the World Food Programme and the UN children’s agency, Unicef, said.

This is an increase of 55% on initial projections of 2.9 million, and means donors must urgently provide an extra $230m to meet these needs.

Gillian Mellsop, Unicef representative and acting humanitarian coordinator, said donors had been generous but more was needed to prevent unnecessary human suffering. “The situation facing us today marks a significant change in our plans, requiring the scaling up of assistance, now,” she said.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, with nearly double-digit growth every year for the last decade, but failed rains have had devastating consequences for food supplies for its 96 million people.

“The belg rains were much worse than the National Meteorology Agency predicted at the beginning of the year. Food insecurity increased and malnutrition rose as a result,” said David Del Conte, Ocha’s acting head of office in Ethiopia, referring to the short rainy season that stretches from February to April.

Areas normally producing surplus food in the central Oromia region were also affected by shortages, and lack of water has affected livestock there and in other pastoralist areas, the agencies said.

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