Archive for Eritrea
The Ethiopian government has pointed its finger at arch enemy Eritrea and Ethiopian opposition groups over a disturbance that took place at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington. Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday. “They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said. US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully. The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released. According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities. He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism. The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.
The Eritrean Embassy in the Republic of South Sudan has evacuated nationals from warzones, especially Bentieyu and Bor cities, to Juba in collaboration with the United Nations. The 217 Eritrean nationals, 20 of whom comprising mothers and children, had sought asylum in the compound of the UN office after they were displaced following the outburst of fighting in the country that posed peril on their lives. Currently, they are being taken care in the capital, according to reports. Accordingly, evacuation of the Eritrean nationals from Bentieyu, numbering 165, involved first move to Hilijlij and rental of a charter plane, while two wounded members of the group are receiving medical treatment in Juba city. Reports indicate that 2 Eritrean nationals died and 5 others were wounded in connection with the war in South Sudan.
The Eritrean Embassy in Israel is advising migrants in Israel how to transfer money back to Eritrea through a bank account in Germany, contrary to Israeli law, which forbids such transfers, a group of Eritrean migrants said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The migrants called the press conference the morning after a brawl involving dozens of regime opponents and supporters at an event organized by the embassy at Kibbutz Kinneret on Saturday, in which over a dozen people were wounded and around 15 arrested. They said that the embassy gave instructions to migrants about how to transfer money and also advertised real estate in Eritrea, telling them that it was a good opportunity for them to build a house back in their home country. A law passed earlier this year makes it illegal for African migrants to transfer money out of Israel to their home country, and assigns stiff penalties to people found breaking this law, or Israelis found helping Africans wire money home. The law stipulates that the transfer must be less than the minimum wage in Israel divided by the number of months the person has been in the country. The Eritrean government requires citizens in the diaspora to pay a monthly tax in order to retain their passport and that tax as well as money sent home by citizens outside the country are major sources of revenue for the Eritrean government.
Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations is expected to seek audience with the President of the UN Security Council regarding Nairobi’s military intervention in Somalia. At the same time, the UN’s top body is considering a request by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to address the full council. Mr Afwerki is believed to be eager to head off additional UN sanctions against Eritrea related in part to his country’s alleged involvement inSomalia’s civil war. Kenya has accused Eritrea of supplying arms to the Al-Shabaab militants that Kenyan forces are now battling in southern Somalia. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has remained silent on Kenya’s intervention inSomalia. Portuguese UN ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral told reporters that he will be meeting “at the beginning of next week” with Kenya’s ambassador, Mr Macharia Kamau. Mr Kamau wrote to the Security Council last month to explain why its forces have entered Somalia. He said then thatKenya’s action was being coordinated with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.
Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki suspects the United States has plans to assassinate him by bombing his residence, according to leaked secret American diplomatic cables. The Cable from the US embassy in Eritrea released on December 15 on WikiLeaks, quoted US ambassador to Eritrea, Ronald McMullen also as saying that Isaias also believed Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has attempted to have him killed over a decade ago. The Eritrean president was nearly assassinated while returning to Asmara after a family holiday in Kenya, 14 years ago. “Isaias thinks the United States will attempt to kill him by missile strike on his residence in the city of Massawa,” the cable said, quoting a U.N. official. “He is paranoid and believes Ethiopian PM Meles tried to kill him and that the United States will attempt to assassinate him,” McMullen wrote to his superiors in Washington on November 5, last year. Following its independence in 1993, Eritrea (a former region in Ethiopia), went in to a bloody border war with Ethiopia between 1998-2000. The war killed over 70,000 people. Last week, The African Union’s Panel of the Wise, at its 9th assembly in Algiers, Algeria has urged a launch for a new and binding peace process to resolve the long-standing border row between Ethiopia and Eritrea.