Category Archives: Eritrea News

Eritrea News

Examining International Sanctions: The Case of Eritrea

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

During one of his debates with Socrates, Thrasymachus alleges that “justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger.” For Eritreans (as well as many other regional observers), a clear reflection of this point are the ongoing sanctions imposed against the country. Not only do the sanctions lack basis and remain counterproductive, they reveal a long-existent and glaring double standard.

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Eritrea: Some Clarifications

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

In Tancred, Benjamin Disraeli tells us how “[t]he East is a career.” Eritreans may be forgiven for thinking that likewise, for many mainstream analysts and experts, “Eritrea is a career.” Earlier this year a story on polygamy being mandatory in Eritrea was widely circulated across international media, and this week, an outdated, fictitious report about a North Korean ambassador commenting about Eritrea received considerable attention on social media. Although the stories were hoaxes and satirical, littered with innumerable fabrications and falsehoods – quite easily revealed by simple, perfunctory background research – their broad dissemination and attention poignantly encapsulate how coverage of, journalistic practice toward, and understanding about Eritrea are so problematic. The latest example of this trend is the article, “How the World Forgot ‘Africa’s North Korea’ Eritrea, and What This Means for Migration,” featured in the New Statesman, a British magazine (published 9 September). Not only is the article overly simplistic and lacking in context, it is strewn with inaccuracies and errors, and heavily tinged with paternalistic overtones.

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Sport and Resistance: Lilesa’s Brave Stand for Freedom in Ethiopia

According to the late Nelson Mandela, the great South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, “Sport has the power to change the world.” It brings people together, offering unity and shared celebration. At the same time, however, sport frequently serves as an important outlet for social and political resistance. Specifically, for those suffering oppression, discrimination, and despair, sport is often so significant because it provides a vital means of retaining humanity, dignity, hope, and inspiration.

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World Hepatitis Day 2016: Exploring Eritrea

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day (WHD), one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHD aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.

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Youth Skills Development in Eritrea:

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) highlighted an exciting skills development program being implemented in Eritrea. Undertaken in collaboration with the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) and the Norwegian Government, the program, specifically targeting youths, was scaled-up from a pilot project that was conducted from 2007 to 2011. The skills development program, which aims to enhance the capacity of various vocational training institutions and to equip Eritrean youth with tangible work skills, is significant for several reasons.

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Netanyahu’s Visit to East Africa: A Brief Comment

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is conducting a four-country trip of East Africa, becoming the first Israeli prime minister to visit the continent in at least 30 years. In addition to visiting Uganda, where 40 years ago an Israeli raid led by Netanyahu’s brother, Jonathan Netanyahu (who was killed during the operation), ended a hostage crisis, Netanyahu is also visiting Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. The trip, which holds great commemorative and symbolic value, will focus mainly on cooperation, diplomacy, business and security issues.

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South Sudan and Eritrea Signs Flight Agreement

A new development indicates that South Sudan airline, The Golden Wings, has commenced business to Eritrea. According to Geeskaafrika, the Republic of South Sudan and Eritrea had a meeting where an aviation agreement was signed on the 24th of June with the primary purpose of establishing an easy and direct flight services to and from the two countries.

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Examining the West’s Misguided Approach to the Horn of Africa

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

Last week, a 61-page human rights report about Ethiopia was released, detailing the government’s heavy-handed response to large and widespread anti-government protests and dissent over political and economic inclusion. According to the report, Such a Brutal Crackdown: Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests, during the widespread protests, largely arising within the Oromia region, Ethiopian security forces have resorted to excessive and unnecessary lethal force and mass arrests, engaged in the harsh, ruthless  mistreatment of those in detention, and restricted access to information. Estimates suggest that over 400 protesters or others have been killed by security forces, while tens of thousands more have been arrested.

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Ethiopia Attacks Eritrea: Things to Understand

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

13 June 2016

On Sunday, the Ethiopian government launched an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front. According to a BBC report, “witnesses report hearing heavy gunfire and seeing Ethiopian troops and tanks heading towards Eritrean border.” The region, located along the tense border between the two countries, was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting during the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia war. Full details of yesterday’s attack are still being confirmed and its specific motives or ultimate aims remain unclear. While on Sunday, the Eritrean government confirmed the incident in a press release, claiming that Ethiopia had launched an attack, Mary Harper of the BBC tweeted that the “[Ethiopian] info minister said he wasn’t aware of fighting with [Eritrea].” Then in a puzzling turnaround, on Monday, the Ethiopia claimed that the incident was “a serious offensive, not just a simple skirmish” and in response to an Eritrean attack.

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Eritrea and Human Rights: Notes on the Commission of Inquiry

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

As expected, the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (COIE) declared that “widespread” human rights abuses have been committed in Eritrea over the past 25 years and should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as crimes against humanity. While the report and allegations, based on the work of a three-person panel, are serious, both in their content and implications, numerous aspects of the process have been fraught with extensive problems and shortcomings.

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Challenging Assumptions: A Note on Recent Coverage of Eritrea

Last week, Eritrea Profile featured an interview with Mary Harper, Africa Editor for BBC World News. Harper recently spent several weeks in Eritrea covering the country’s Independence Day celebrations, and her analyses, both within her interview with Eritrea Profile as well as in other outlets, have been balanced, impartial, thoughtful, and quite perceptive. Possessing years of journalistic experience, particularly across Africa, Harper’s coverage of Eritrea has been a reinvigorating breath of fresh air; she avoids the tired clichés, nauseating stereotypes, and longstanding assumptions and distortions to provide an accurate, contextualized, more reliable account of Eritrea. While her entire interview with Eritrea Profile is worthwhile and informative, several things stand out.

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Africa Regional Integration Report 2016

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

A Summary

Last month, the inaugural edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index was released. The index, which is the “product of a strong collaboration on the part of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the [UN’s] Economic Commission for Africa (ECA),” is made up of several broad dimensions of integration and cross-border interaction, such as regional infrastructure, trade integration, financial and macroeconomic integration, productive integration, and the free movement of people. Sixteen specific indicators, which cut across the five dimensions, are utilized to calculate the overall index.

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Justice and the Horn of Africa

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

In one of his debates with Socrates, Thrasymachus alleges that “justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger.” Shifting thousands of miles away and thousands of years forward from ancient Greece, recent events at the United Nations seem to aptly reflect his point. Specifically, last week,Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press revealed that Egypt, the next president of the UN Security Council, proposed a Council trip to Somalia, Egypt, and Eritrea. However, the US balked at the inclusion of Eritrea – according to Inner City Press the US “does not want a Council trip to include Eritrea,” – leading to the likelihood that the visit to Eritrea will be dropped.

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Just Say No to Another Misinformed Analysis

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

In his recent article, “Just Say No to Another Failed State,” published by Foreign Policy, Lester Munson claims that the only solution to the long standing issue between Western Sahara and Morocco is autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty. Problematically, however, the article lacks context and is overly simplistic, is strewn with inaccuracies and errors, and is heavily tinged with paternalistic overtones.

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Eritrea: Refugees fleeing indefinite conscription must be given safe haven

The huge number of young people fleeing indefinite national service in Eritrea is adding to the global refugee crisis. These people have the right to international protection, a new report from Amnesty International has found.

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La Chambre de Commerce de Dubai présente un rapport sur les secteurs autres que ceux des matières premières lors de l’Africa Global Business Forum

Le co-investissement avec des fonds de capital-investissement, l’achat de sociétés de capital-investissement et les rachats directs constituent les principaux modes d’entrée des IDE pour les investisseurs du Golfe intéressés par l’Afrique subsaharienne

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La société civile boycotte le Système de certification des diamants de conflit

Les organisations de la société civile qui siègent à titre de membres d’un mécanisme de certification des diamants de conflit ont annoncé aujourd’hui leur intention de boycotter le processus de Kimberley en 2016, en réaction à la présidence annoncée des Émirats arabes unis.

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