Tag Archives: Eritrea

Eritrea–A Nation Or A Giant Prison?

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that Eritrea is rapidly becoming a nation in which basic rights of freedom of speech or being able to decide one’s life choices are vanishing as the government enforces its power over all aspects of life. Georgette Fagnon, Africa director of HRW, notes: “Eritrea’s government is turning the country into a giant prison. It should immediately account for hundreds of ‘disappeared’ prisoners and open its jails to independent scrutiny.” State repression has driven thousands from the land and created a new refugee problem in Africa to go along with other refugee issues. HRW condemned the European Union for giving money to Eritrea because development projects are being built using prisoners and conscripts to do the work.

All secondary students are required to spend their senior year in high school in the armed forces. The mandatory 18 month national service that all adult males and females must perform has been extended so that each individual can be conscripted up to the age of 55. Thee are reports that as thousands flee their parents must either pay a fine or spend time in jail because a child fled the country. Christian leaders also say their religion is being persecuted and many put in jails. To make matters even worse, the Eritrean government is now extending a helping hand to terrorist groups.

Eritrean Refugees Being Deported From Egypt

The plight of refugees from Eritrea continues to create issues in Egypt and Israel who are facing the prospect that thousands of these people are fleeing their native land. There are reports Eritrea is getting ready to resume its conflict with Ethiopia and is now forcibly recruiting thousands of new soldiers from its country. This has caused thousands of Eritrean to seek refuge in nations which can offer a respite from the violence and brutality that is so common in their native land. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees(UNHCR) complains these refugees should not have been deported back home but “should have been deported to, and resettled in, a third country.”

A major issue regarding the Eritrean refugees is that many are using Egypt as a transit area in order to reach Israel where they hope to find refuge. But, Israel does not seek any more Eritreans even as many are being used to replace Palestinian workers. The recent rampage by a bulldozer driver only accentuates efforts in Israel to rely on foreign workers and thus eliminate the possibility a Palestinian will turn out to be associated with terrorist organizations. However, as Israel accepts some it only makes itself a target for thousands to head north in search of peace and security.

War Looms In Horn Of Africa As Bush Stands Idly By

The International Crisis Group, a prominent think tank, warned that “the risk that Ethiopia and Eritrea will resume heir war in the next several weeks is very real” Both sides have moved thousands of troops to their borders and any incident might spark the resumption of war. If war breaks out, claims the group, “there will be no easy military solution,” since both sides are prepared to fight indefinitely. Part of the reason for the current crisis arises from the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia which was encouraged and supported by the Bush administration which wanted to crush the Islamic government which was in power. Eritrea, as a Muslim nation, opposed this action by Ethiopia which is mainly Christian. The two nations have previously been at war although an uneasy peace now reigns. President Bush has within his power the ability to calm things down since Ethiopia obtains considerable support and aid from the United States.

This is merely another example of Bush in operation. He becomes obsessed with crushing “terrorism” and in so doing only exacerbates issues, not solves them. The Somalia Islamic government was undoubtedly not a supporter of democracy, but for the first time in years some semblance of order had been established in Somalia. Now, with an invasion led by Christian Ethiopian troops (the US provided naval and air support) anger among Muslims has risen. One wonders if Bush ever listens to experts prior to supporting violence.