Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Eritrean Authorities Have Arrested 50 Locally Employed U.S. Embassy Personnel

The former US ambassador to Eritrea, Ambassador Ronald McMullen disclosed for the first time that the Eritrean authorities arrested dozens of Eritrean employees of the US embassy in Asmara. Ambassador McMullen, US Ambassador to Eritrea 2007-2010, said: “Forty eight of our Eritrean employees have been arrested from 2001 to 2010; some have been arrested for many years; others were arrested for several weeks or months and kept in horrible conditions.” The US has previously publicized the case of two of its employees who have now been held for over a dozen years without charge or trial but this the first time it has mentioned that so many others have been detained. Ambassador McMullen described the relationship between the embassy and the Eritrean Government as one of “bad relations”, noting that the Government had closed the US defense attaché’s office, ordered out the Peace Corps and US Aid as well as seizing diplomatic pouches.



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