Category: United Eritrea Media

Eritreans flee camps but find they’re in psychological prisons

Eritreans flee camps but find they’re in psychological prisons
By Ismail Einashe
March 17, 2015



Eritrean refugees
Eyes hungry for Freedom: Eritrean refugees (An undated on a UNHCR site)

Television journalist Temesghen Debesai had waited years for an opportunity to make his escape from Eritrea, so when the country’s 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 that he met officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 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 he escaped to Britain.

Debesai told no one of his plans, not even his family. He was concerned he was being watched. He says a “state of paranoia was everywhere” and there was no freedom of expression. Life in Eritrea, he explains, had become a “psychological prison”.

Crackdown on dissent
After graduating top of his class from Eritrea’s Asmara University, Debesai became a well-known TV journalist for state-run news agency Erina Update. But from 2001, the real crackdown began and independent newspapers such as Setit, Tsigenai and Keste Debena, were shut down. In raids, journalists from these papers were arrested en masse. He suspects many of those arrested were tortured or killed, and many were never heard of again. No independent domestic news agency has operated in Eritrea since 2001, the same year the country’s last accredited foreign reporter was expelled.

The authorities became fearful of internal dissent. Debesai noticed this at close hand, having interviewed President Isaias Afwerki on several occasions. He describes these interviews as propaganda exercises because all questions were pre-agreed with the minister of information. As the situation worsened in Eritrea, the post-liberation haze of euphoria began to fade. Eritrea went into lockdown. Its borders were closed, communication with the outside world was forbidden, travel abroad without state approval was not allowed. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 40 could be called up for indefinite national service. A shoot-to-kill policy was imposedfor anyone crossing the border into Ethiopia.

Debesai felt he had no other choice but to leave Eritrea. As a well-known TV journalist he could not risk walking across into Sudan or Ethiopia, so he waited until he got the chance to leave for Bahrain.

The world’s most secretive state
Eritrea was once a colony of Italy. It came under British administrative control in 1941, before the UN “federated” Eritrea to Ethiopia in 1952. Nine years later Emperor Haile Selassie dissolved the federation and annexed Eritrea, sparking Africa’s longest war. This long, bitter war glued the Eritrean people to their struggle for independence from Ethiopia. Debesai, whose family went into exile in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, returned to Eritrea as a teenager in 1992, a year after the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) captured the capital Asmara.

For Debesai, returning to Asmara had been a “personal choice”. He wanted to be a part of rebuilding his nation after a 30-year conflict and, besides, he says, life in post-war Asmara was “socially free”, a welcome antidote to conservative Saudi life. Those heady days were electric, he says.

An air of “patriotic nationalism” pervaded the country. Women danced in the streets for days to welcome back EPLF fighters. Asmara had remained largely unscathed during the war thanks to its high mountain elevation. Much of its beautiful 1930s Italian modernist architecture was intact, something Debesai was delighted to see.

But those early signs of hope that greeted independence quickly soured. By 1993 Eritreans overwhelmingly voted for independence and since then Eritrea has been run by Afwerki, the former rebel leader of the EPLF. Not a single election has been held since the country gained independence.

Today Eritrea is one of the world’s most repressive and secretive states. There are no opposition parties and no independent media. No independent public gatherings or civil society organisations are permitted. Amnesty International estimates there are 10 000 prisoners of conscience in Eritrea, who include journalists, critics, dissidents, as well as men and women who have evaded conscription. Eritrea is ranked the worst country for press freedom in the world by Reporters Sans Frontières.

No way out but on foot
The only way for the vast majority of Eritreans to flee their isolated, closed-off country is on foot. They walk over the border to Sudan and Ethiopia. The UN says there are 216 000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and Sudan. By the end of October 2014, Sudan alone was home to 106?859 Eritrean refugees in camps at Gaderef and Kassala in the eastern, arid region of the country.

In Ethiopia, Eritrean refugees are found mostly in four refugee camps in the Tigray region, and two in the Afar region in northeastern Ethiopia.

During the first 10 months of 2014, 36 678 Eritreans sought refuge across Europe, compared with 12 960 during the same period in 2013. Most asylum requests were to Sweden (9 531), Germany (9 362) and Switzerland (5 652). The UN says the majority of these Eritrean refugees arrived by boat across the Mediterranean. Most are young men, who had been forced into military conscription. All conscripts have to go to Sawa, a desert town and home to a military camp, or what Human Rights Watch has called an open-air prison.

Many young men see no way out but to leave Eritrea. For them, leaving on a perilous journey for a life outside their home country is better than staying. The Eritrean refugee crisis in Europe took a sharp upward turn in 2014, as the UNHCR numbers show. Tragedies like the drowning of hundreds of Eritrean refugees off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013 demonstrate the perils of the journey west and how desperate these people are.

Frightened asylum seekers
Eritrean refugees who go no further than Sudan and Ethiopia face a grim situation. According to Lul Seyoum, director of International Centre for Eritrean Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Eritrean refugees in a number of isolated camps inside Sudan and Ethiopia face trafficking and other gross human rights violations. They are afraid to speak to, and meet, each other. She said the situation had worsened since Sudan and Eritrea became closer politically.

Eritrea had a hostile relationship with Sudan during the 1990s. It supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, much to the anger of President Omar al-Bashir who was locked in a bitter war with the people of now-independent South Sudan. Today tensions have eased and Afwerki has a much friendlier relationship with Sudan – to the detriment of the tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees in Sudan.

A former Eritrean ministry of education official, who is a refugee in the United Kingdom and who is afraid to be named, believes Eritreans have no freedom to speak out in Ethopian camps such as Shimelba.

The official says that in 2013 a group of Eritrean refugees came together at a camp to express their views about the boat sinking near Lampedusa and Ethiopian authorities fired live bullets at them.

Traffickers in cahoots with authorities
Seyoum believes the movement of Eritreans in camps in Ethiopia is restricted. “The Ethiopian government does not allow them to leave the camps without permission,” she says.

Very few of those who do get permission to leave end up in Ethiopia. Instead, through corrupt mechanisms, they are trafficked to Sudan.

According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds of Eritreans have been enslaved in camps in Sudan and Egypt over the past 10 years, many enduring violence and rape at their hands of their traffickers in collusion with state authorities.

Eritreans who make it to the West are afraid to speak publicly and are fearful for their families back home.

Now based in London, Debesai is a TV presenter for Sports News Africa. As an exile who has taken a stance against the regime of Afwerki, he has faced harassment and threats. Over coffee, he shows me a tweet he’s just received from Tesfa News, a so-called “independent online magazine”, in which they accuse him of being a “backstabber” acting against the government and people of Eritrea.

Others face similar threats, including the former education ministry official. A number of Eritreans said they did not want to be interviewed by me because they were afraid of the consequences.

Debesai said: “It takes time to overcome the past, so that even for those in exile in the West the imprisonment continues.” He adds: “These refugees come out of a physical prison and go into psychological imprisonment.”


(Source:
Mail&Guardian)


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Israel to deport Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to third countries

Authorities will give people 30 days to leave; those who refuse will face a hearing to determine their indefinite imprisonment

African asylum seekers gather around a fire during protests outside the Holot detention centre in the Negev
African asylum seekers gather around a fire during protests outside the Holot detention centre in the Negev. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA

Israel will begin deporting asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan to unnamed third countries in Africa even if against their will, the immigration authority announced on Tuesday.

The assumption is that the third countries are Rwanda and Uganda, althoughIsrael has not revealed details.

According to the interior minister, Gilad Erdan, the move will “encourage infiltrators to leave the borders of the state of Israel in an honourable and safe way, and serve as an effective tool for fulfilling our obligations towards Israeli citizens and restoring the fabric of life to the residents of south Tel Aviv”.

Until now, the state exerted pressure and provided a one-off monetary incentive for asylum seekers to leave voluntarily, but only if they signed written consent. Now the state will give them 30 days to leave; those who refuse will face a hearing to determine their indefinite imprisonment.

People in Holot, a detention facility in the Negev, currently requesting asylum will not be immediately affected by the new measure.

Mutasim Ali, a detainee in Holot who fled Darfur and is a leading activist in Israel’s African asylum seeker community, said the new policy was not that different from the current grim reality.

“This is just another technique Israel is using to make our lives miserable and force people to leave,” he said. “There is not a big difference between being detained in Holot and being imprisoned in Saharonim [a prison in the Negev desert]. If we had other options we wouldn’t be in Israel.”

According to Asaf Weitzen, the head of the legal department at the Hotline for Refugees and Migrant Workers, the new policy is the state’s way of circumventing a recent supreme court ruling that limits detention to 20 months.

“Determining that someone who does not leave ‘voluntarily’ will be incarcerated for an indefinite amount of time is a blatant violation of the principles of international law,” said Weitzen, adding that there was no guarantee they would have any rights once they reach the third country.

Eritreans and Sudanese are entitled to collective protection under the 1951 UN refugee convention, to which Israel is a signatory, because their lives would be in danger if they were sent back to their countries of origin.

An estimated 42,000 Eritrean and Sudanese nationals currently reside in Israel, of whom about 2,000 are being held in Holot. According to the immigration authorities, 1,500 left with consent to a third country in 2014 and 7,000 returned to their home countries.

U.N. Warns of ‘Total Collapse’ in Yemen as Houthis Continue Offensive By KAREEM FAHIM and NICK CUMMING-BRUCEMARCH 31, 2015

 

A police officer surveyed a crater where homes once stood near the airport in Sana, Yemen, as a Saudi-led offensive targeted suspected Houthi militia sites. CreditKhaled Abdullah/Reuters
 CAIRO — The United Nations’ human rights chief warned on Tuesday thatYemen was on the brink of collapse, as health officials in the southern port city of Aden described a medical system failing after weeks of urban warfare that had left scores dead and hospitals overflowing with bodies.

The warning from the human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, came as a Saudi-led military offensive against the Houthis, a militia group from northern Yemen that Saudi officials have accused of serving as a proxy force for Iran, threatened to burst into a broader conflict.

The Houthis, acknowledging their alliance with Iran but denying acting on its orders, have been able to extend their offensive despite intensifying airstrikes by Saudi warplanes across Yemen.

Israel will deport Eritrean, Sudanese refugees to Africa under new policy Authorities believe there is no legal barrier to forcing Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to leave Israel for a third country that is not their native country – even if this is done against their will. By Ilan Lior | Mar. 31, 2015 | 9:38 AM

African asylum seekers at the Holot detention facility protest their comrades' expulsion from Israel

Israel will begin to deport Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to countries in Africa – even without their consent – under a new policy in the works at the initiative of the Israel Population and Immigration Authority.

Until now the state would impose considerable pressure on Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to leave on their own accord, either to their native countries or to other African countries, but refrained from deporting them. Those who have left Israel have done so only after signing a document declaring that their departure is voluntary. This is because Israel grants group protection to asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea, as it is bound to by the Refugee Convention the state has signed. Group protection means that Israel cannot deport people whose lives would be in danger in their own country.

However, in the last few months the Population and Immigration Authority – a branch of the Interior Ministry – along with Justice Ministry representatives have been discussing a policy change. The authority believes that there is no legal barrier to forcing Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to leave Israel for a third country that is not their native country – even if this is done against their will. The Justice Ministry is expected to permit their deportation to neutral states. In the initial stage, the target countries are Rwanda and Uganda. The policy change will most likely not take place until it has the approval of the new interior minister, a post likely to go to Shas leader Arye Dery.

Two months ago, a representative of the state hinted at such a policy change during a High Court of Justice discussion of the issue. If an asylum seeker in Israel was offered the option of moving to Canada, the person would not have the right to refuse, argued attorney Yochi Gnessin, who heads the State Prosecutor’s Office department that deals with illegal immigrants. “A person who is offered a move to a state that does not constitute a danger to their life or their freedom does not have the right of veto,” she said.

There are currently about 42,000 citizens of Eritrea and Sudan in Israel, of which some 2,000 are being held in the Holot detention facility in the Negev. According to data the state provided the High Court, 5,803 citizens of Sudan and Eritrea left Israel last year, 1,093 of them to third countries. Until now, Israel has not revealed the names of the third countries or the nature of the agreements, if any, reached with them, but it is known that asylum seekers have been sent to Rwanda and Uganda.

A Haaretz investigation published last April revealed that those asylum seekers who left Israel for Rwanda and Uganda had no basic rights and no legal status in those countries. This made survival virtually impossible, prompting them to leave Rwanda and Uganda and resume being refugees once again, according to reports by human rights groups.

According to the United Nations refugee convention, asylum seekers cannot be sent to any country unless there is an agreement with that country that ensures safeguarding their rights and welfare, notes Oded Feller, an immigration lawyer with the Association of Civil Rights in Israel.

“The government of Israel has refused to expose any agreements with the governments of Uganda and Rwanda, and it is doubtful if any such agreements exist in writing. Those countries deny there are agreements at all,” added Feller.

The Population and Immigration Authority declined to provide a response.

Eritrean armies clashed on multiple points Ethiopian, Eritrean armies clashed on multiple points Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 @ 7:18 pm by Daniel Berhane

Tension remains high on Ethiopian and Eritrea border after a series of clashes in mid-March.

The situation deteriorated on the second weekend of the month (March 14 or 15) following a surprise attack by Eritrean military around Badme area.

Several personnel of an Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) unit were killed by the ambush, as HornAffairs was able to confirm from firsthand sources.

The sources insisted the incident was not an accidental one and appeared uninterested in taking prisoners of wars. The sources did not postulate what prompted the Eritrean attack. Nor was it clear if the Ethiopians were in their own territory at the time. It is to be recalled, however, an Ethiopia-backed Eritrean opposition group had claimed to have attacked a government facility near Asmara on March 11.Map - Ethiopia, Eritrea military clash

ENDF retaliated a few days later (March 18?) crossing several kilometers into Eritrean soil. The specific area through which ENDF crossed the border was described by our sources as “in the Badme area to the east of Tekeze river, but to the west of the Eritrean ambush”. 

There are no details on the magnitude ENDF’s attack. Yet, HornAfairs ascertained that the troops remained inside Eritrea at least until last Friday.

The March 20 attacks on the Mai Edaga garage and on a gold mining site further deep inside Eritrean territory took place following these two unreported incidents.

The Eritrean military principal garage near Mai Edaga is about 63 km from Ethiopian border and about 42 Kilometers away from Asmara by air distance. The second target, Bisha gold mine site, is some 75 km away from the closest Ethiopian border and some 95km afar from Asmara by air distance. A Canadian company, Nevsun, and the government of Eritrea jointly own the mining project.

The attack on the two locations is very likely to have been conducted by missile, though a couple of Ethiopian and Eritrean media outlets reported it as an air strike.

The report of missiles around Soloda Mt on March 20 (which I then tweeted as Eritrean) must have been Ethiopian missiles rather than the vice versa. While many residents of Adwa town witnessed the vibration effect of the missiles, military people deemed it unlikely that Eritrea would pick the area as a target. On the other hand, an account of an old man, who lives to the north of Soloda Mt, as having seen a missile (flying quietly with vibrations felt on the ground), was deemed acceptable by ENDF officers with long careers. However, we were not able to corroborate the old man’s account from a second source, nor did we find adequate information on the missile capabilities of ENDF.

The extent of the damage on the two targets remains unknown, as Asmara remained silent regarding both the garage and the mining site. Nevsun, on the other hand, acknowledged an attack on the mining site, describing it as “an act of vandalism [with] no significant impact to operations and no personnel were harmed.”

The confusion regarding the nature of the assault and the its magnitude appears to be the same among Asmara resident sources. A foreigner journalist toldHornAffairs last Wednesday that his sources in Asmara confirmed an air strike. Whereas, a United Nations staffer claimed, citing her colleagues in Asmara, that it was “just a big cylinder explosion”.

Ethiopian officials were unwilling to provide adequate information on the matter, though the attack is certain. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told journalists last Friday that his government will comment when a formal allegation of air strike is made. Another senior Minister gave a similar reply to HornAffairs last week on Monday, though we did not deem it newsworthy at the time. Yet, it indicates the line was adopted immediately after the incident.

It appears the “air strike” hypothesis was born out of the perception that Ethiopia doesn’t own such artilleries rather than a deliberate making of ENDF officials. Yet, the military bras might have found the narrative convenient, as it would improve the public image of the Air Force and to avoid potential questions on the capabilities of the nation. Western nations routinely turned down ENDF’s request for advanced weaponry purchases claiming the need to preserve regional power balance and the risk of diversion to a third country.

Tension remains high on Ethiopian and Eritrea border after a series of clashes in mid-March.

The situation deteriorated on the second weekend of the month (March 14 or 15) following a surprise attack by Eritrean military around Badme area.

Several personnel of an Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) unit were killed by the ambush, as HornAffairs was able to confirm from firsthand sources.

The sources insisted the incident was not an accidental one and appeared uninterested in taking prisoners of wars. The sources did not postulate what prompted the Eritrean attack. Nor was it clear if the Ethiopians were in their own territory at the time. It is to be recalled, however, an Ethiopia-backed Eritrean opposition group had claimed to have attacked a government facility near Asmara on March 11.Map - Ethiopia, Eritrea military clash

ENDF retaliated a few days later (March 18?) crossing several kilometers into Eritrean soil. The specific area through which ENDF crossed the border was described by our sources as “in the Badme area to the east of Tekeze river, but to the west of the Eritrean ambush”. 

There are no details on the magnitude ENDF’s attack. Yet, HornAfairs ascertained that the troops remained inside Eritrea at least until last Friday.

The March 20 attacks on the Mai Edaga garage and on a gold mining site further deep inside Eritrean territory took place following these two unreported incidents.

The Eritrean military principal garage near Mai Edaga is about 63 km from Ethiopian border and about 42 Kilometers away from Asmara by air distance. The second target, Bisha gold mine site, is some 75 km away from the closest Ethiopian border and some 95km afar from Asmara by air distance. A Canadian company, Nevsun, and the government of Eritrea jointly own the mining project.

The attack on the two locations is very likely to have been conducted by missile, though a couple of Ethiopian and Eritrean media outlets reported it as an air strike.

The report of missiles around Soloda Mt on March 20 (which I then tweeted as Eritrean) must have been Ethiopian missiles rather than the vice versa. While many residents of Adwa town witnessed the vibration effect of the missiles, military people deemed it unlikely that Eritrea would pick the area as a target. On the other hand, an account of an old man, who lives to the north of Soloda Mt, as having seen a missile (flying quietly with vibrations felt on the ground), was deemed acceptable by ENDF officers with long careers. However, we were not able to corroborate the old man’s account from a second source, nor did we find adequate information on the missile capabilities of ENDF.

The extent of the damage on the two targets remains unknown, as Asmara remained silent regarding both the garage and the mining site. Nevsun, on the other hand, acknowledged an attack on the mining site, describing it as “an act of vandalism [with] no significant impact to operations and no personnel were harmed.”

The confusion regarding the nature of the assault and the its magnitude appears to be the same among Asmara resident sources. A foreigner journalist toldHornAffairs last Wednesday that his sources in Asmara confirmed an air strike. Whereas, a United Nations staffer claimed, citing her colleagues in Asmara, that it was “just a big cylinder explosion”.

Ethiopian officials were unwilling to provide adequate information on the matter, though the attack is certain. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told journalists last Friday that his government will comment when a formal allegation of air strike is made. Another senior Minister gave a similar reply to HornAffairs last week on Monday, though we did not deem it newsworthy at the time. Yet, it indicates the line was adopted immediately after the incident.

It appears the “air strike” hypothesis was born out of the perception that Ethiopia doesn’t own such artilleries rather than a deliberate making of ENDF officials. Yet, the military bras might have found the narrative convenient, as it would improve the public image of the Air Force and to avoid potential questions on the capabilities of the nation. Western nations routinely turned down ENDF’s request for advanced weaponry purchases claiming the need to preserve regional power balance and the risk of diversion to a third country.

Nigeria election: Muhammadu Buhari wins

Residents celebrate the anticipated victory of Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari in Kaduna, Nigeria 31 March 2015
Supporters of Gen Buhari celebrated as the results came in

Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria’s presidential polls, in the country’s first election victory by the opposition.

His party said his opponent, the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat and congratulated him.

Gen Buhari was ahead of Mr Jonathan by at least two million votes.

Observers have generally praised the election but there have been allegations of fraud, which some fear could lead to protests and violence.

However, a spokesman for Gen Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party praised Mr Jonathan, saying: “He will remain a hero for this move. The tension will go down dramatically.”

“Anyone who tries to foment trouble on the account that they have lost the election will be doing so purely on his own,” the spokesman added in quotes carried by Reuters.

line

Analysis: Will Ross, BBC Nigeria correspondent, Abuja

Finally the long wait is over. The opposition’s Gen Buhari has won this pivotal contest.

This is a hugely significant moment in Nigeria’s history. Never before has a sitting president lost an election and it feels as though Nigeria has turned a corner.

Since independence from Britain in 1960 there have been numerous coups and rigged elections. This poll has brought to the surface dangerous religious and regional differences. The outcome may be disputed by some and there is still a fear of violence.

But many Nigerians feel for the first time they have the power to vote out a government that is not performing well.

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Results at 18:00 local time (18:00 GMT) showed Gen Buhari with 15 million votes, and Mr Jonathan with 12.8 million votes.

Mr Jonathan had led Nigeria since 2010, initially as acting leader before winning elections in 2011.

Nigeria has suffered from several attacks by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people in its drive to establish an Islamic state.

Many voters have said that they believe Gen Buhari is better positioned to defeat Boko Haram.

Somalia: UNHRC Observed Silence in Memory of Ambassador “Bari Bari” – See more at: http://www.geeskaafrika.com/somalia-unhrc-observed-silence-in-memory-of-ambassador-bari-bari/8449/#sthash.drHJbYHw.dpuf

Somalia: UNHRC Observed Silence in Memory of Ambassador “Bari Bari”
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Geneva (HAN) March 31, 2015 – Public Diplomacy, Regional defense and security News. The United Nations silence in memory of Ambassador “Bari Bari”.

The United Nations Human Rights Council observed a minute of silence this afternoon in memory of Ambassador Yusuf Mohamed Ismail “Bari Bari”, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, who lost his life on Friday as a result of a terrorist attack in Mogadishu.

Members of the Human Rights Council were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Ambassador Bari, who was a well-known figure in Geneva, widely respected and admired for his strong leadership and unwavering commitment to human rights.

“Ambassador Bari was a true champion of human rights. His tireless work within the Human Rights Council to promote and protect human rights, in particular in Africa, was recognized by many and is honoured by us all”, stated Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, President of the Council.

Since taking up his post in Geneva in 2008, Ambassador Bari has helped translate the work of the Human Rights Council into real results on the ground. Only last week, the Council established an Independent Expert on Albinism, an issue that Ambassador Bari was deeply committed to and fought hard for over the past years in close cooperation with civil society.

“Ambassador Bari’s tireless efforts with regard to the human rights situation in his own country were exemplary regarding him as a true advocate for his people and his country”, Ambassador Ruecker added.

On behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the President of the Council expressed to Ambassador Bari’s family and friends, as well as the people of Somalia, the Council’s most sincere condolences.


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Eritrea Denied Joining ‘Firmness Storm’ Military Operation

Afwerki_Firmness_Storm
Eritrea Denied Joining ‘Firmness Storm’ Military Operation
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Asmara (HAN) March 29, 2015 – Public Diplomacy, Regional defense and Maritime security News. Eritrea rejected to participate military intervention in Yemen.

Eritrea rejected Arab league invitation about Yemen Crisis. Eritrean leader, Isyas Afwerki rejected military involvement in Yemen. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are asking military and logistic  support to their neighboring countries to stop Hezbollah style militants in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Sudan accepted to is provide ground troops as well as warplanes for a Saudi-led military intervention against Shiite rebels in Yemen, the defence minister said on Thursday.

Saudi warplanes launched strikes on the Houthi station in southern yemen to stop their advance on embattled President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi’s headquarter in Aden.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had assembled a coalition of more than 10 countries for the operation it dubbed “Firmness Storm”, including Sudan Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

“We are taking part with air and land forces in the ‘Firmness Storm’ operations and our forces have now begun mechanised movement towards the sites of the operations,” Sudanese Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohammed Hussein told a press conference.

The Sudanese defense minister gave no further details on the number of troops or aircraft involved, or what role they would play to facilitate operation “Firmness Storm”.

The Sudanese military spokesman Colonel Al-Sawarmy Khaled Saad said the goal of the operation was “protecting Islamic holy sites and protecting the Horn of Africa, Red sea and Maritime security”.


 

HAN & Geeska Afrika Online (1985-2015), the oldest free independent Free Press in the region, brings together top journalists from across the Horn of Africa. Including Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Afar and Harari. Plus, we have daily translations from 150 major news organizations in the Middle East and East African regions. Contact at news@geeskaafrika.com


Geeska Afrika Online (1985 -2015) – The International Gateway news and views about the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda), the best IGAD news and information Online Site for the last 30 Years.

At Egypt Summit, UN’s Ban, Arab League Secretary-General discuss cooperation on regional, global challenges

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) and Nabil el-Araby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States at the 26th Summit of the League of Arab States in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. March 2015 UN Photo/Evan Schneider

29 March 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Nabil El-Araby Secretary General of the League of Arab States pledged today continued cooperation between the two organizations and discussed strengthening international efforts on a range of issues as the League’s Summit continued in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

According to a readout of a meeting between the two leaders, the Secretaries-General reviewed the continued cooperation between the United Nations and League of Arab States and exchanged views on strengthening international efforts against counter-terrorism, and on Syria, Iraq, the Middle East Peace Process, Yemen and Libya.

Mr. Ban and Mr. El-Araby agreed to remain in close touch on the issues of concern to both organizations.

Continuing his programme on the margins of the Summit, Mr. Ban also met with the President of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The Secretary-General congratulated Egypt on a successful summit and also commended Egypt’s leadership role in many regional issues.

In a discussion on the Middle East peace process, Mr. Ban underlined the importance both of Palestinian reconciliation and of reconstruction in Gaza. Despite generous pledges made at the Cairo conference in October 2014, the Secretary-General underscored that the disbursement of funds for Gaza had been very limited, which had dangerous implications on the ground.

The Secretary-General and President el-Sisi discussed the importance of all sides continuing to work for a genuine two-state solution where both Israelis and Palestinians would respect their mutual security needs.

The Secretary-General then briefed the President on the difficult situations in Yemen, Libya and Syria, where his Special Envoys were tirelessly working to promote dialogue and stability and to end conflict in all three countries. Mr. Ban also briefed President Sisi on current United Nations initiatives to combat extremism and terrorism.

The Secretary-General also updated the President on a number of important on-going development-related issues within the framework of the UN, including the negotiations on the sustainable development goals, the upcoming Addis Ababa Financing for Development Conference, and the UN climate change conference in Paris at the end of the year.

Mr. Ban’s discussions continued with Somali’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The Secretary-General expressed condolences to the President over the victims of the most recent terrorist attack in Mogadishu.

The Secretary-General welcomed the President’s leadership in the ongoing State formation process, including the establishment of the National Leadership Forum. He also emphasized the importance of inclusivity, especially of women, youth, minorities and other weak communities, in Somalia’s State-building approach.

They discussed Somali stakeholder’s commitment to meet key Vision 2016 timelines to complete Somalia’s federal state formation process and to review the provisional constitution.

The Secretary-General and President Mohamud also discussed the alarming humanitarian situation and human rights concerns in the country, as well as developments in the region.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

In Egypt, Ban calls on Arab leaders to strengthen bonds for region’s people, global security

Breaking News: ኣብዚ ሰሙን ዚ ፣ ኣብ ውሽጢ ሰለስተ መዓልታት ጥራይ 613 ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ናብ ሸገራብ ከምዝኣተዉ ምንጭታት ኣሰና ካብቲ ቦታ ሓቢሮም።

Eri_Refugees15ኣብዚ ሰሙን ዚ ፣ ኣብ ውሽጢ ሰለስተ መዓልታት፣ ማለት ዝሓለፈ ሰኑይ፣ሰሉስ ረቡዕን ጥራይ 613 ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ናብቲ ኣብ ሱዳን ዝርከብ መዓስከር ስደተኛታት ሸገራብ ከምዝኣተዉ ምንጭታት ኣሰና ካብቲ ቦታ ሓቢሮም።

እቶም ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት 123 ትሕቲ ዕድመ ቆልዑን 75 ደቀንስትዮን ይርከቡዎ።

እዚ ዝተጠቕሰ ቁጽሪ ስደተኛታት ነቶም ብላዕለዋይ ኮምሽን ስደተኛታት ውድብ ሕቡራ ሃገራት ከይተመዝገቡ ብቐጥታ ናብ ካርቱም ዝኸዱ ስደተኛታት ዝዓምም ኣይኮነን።

እቶም ንዋሕዚ ስደተኛታት ኤርትራውያን ንነዊሕ ዓመታት ከስተብህሉሉ ዝጸንሑ ኣብቲ ከባቢ ዝርከቡ ምንጭታት በዚ ንቡር ዝሰኣነ መመሊሱ ዝውስኽ ዘሎ ፍሉይ ናህሪ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት፣ `ሃገር ትጠፍእ ኣላ` ክብሉ ዝተሰምዖም ክቱር ስንባደ ገሊጾም።

ብወገን ኢትዮጵያ `ውን ካብዚ ብዘይፍለ መንገዲ ልዑል ጻዕቂ ዘለዎ ዋሕዚ ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ከምዘሎ ክመጽኡ ዝጸንሑ ሓበሬታት የመልክቱ።