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Trump’s Trade-War is now hitting East Africa: Because of possible lost trade with Second-Hand Clothes!

Museveni buying shoes in Wandegeya, 02.06.2017.

United States of America is really just cherry-picking the world right now, they are evolving into a beast and not an Uncle Sam. President Donald J. Trump don’t like to have friends, unless they are related or Roger Stone. That is now seen with his recent activity, not that he knows of these countries or these market. That I say, because he has no hotel or haven’t laundered money from there. The countries being hurt by his new policies are Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Places he would never travel to or have consideration about. That is because in his mind, they are shitholes, but as long as they serve as vassal states for the United States. Everything is fine and dandy.

What we are talking about is this:

(A) THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO DESIGNATE A SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY AS AN ELIGIBLE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY IF THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES THAT THE COUNTRY (SEE NOTE*)

(1) (A country that) has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing–

(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimises government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets” (AGOA – ‘AGOA Country Eligibility’).

It is special that the US President is using this against these three states on the imports of used-clothes and shoes. That these three republics trying to develop their own textile and clothes industry, to create work and also revamp the economies. That would mean, that people would also earn more money and spend more money. In the end buying foreign produced clothes on the fashion-lines, that usually are branding American and European brands. Therefore, I don’t understand why Trump suddenly acts like this, when Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania wants to secure their industries.

Because, it is not many days ago, since the President himself used rules and provisions to secure the Steel and Aluminum industry on his own soil. So, that the giant United States can control it, but their trading with other can be spoiled, because it doesn’t favor the President. Seems like double-standard to be. It is easy to muffle the poor and the ones with lack budgets, that are in need of donors. They need to stifle the demands of the powerful, but the ones with power can just use the same means themselves. Still, that doesn’t make it right.

That the United States are trying to force their used-clothes on Rwanda. Like they don’t deserve their own clothes industry and to secure better products, local designs and local textiles is insane. Why shouldn’t they strive for that? Why shouldn’t Uganda strive for their own Bata’s? What is wrong with Tanzanian made shoes? Nothing really, that should be supported, especially if the United States wants to think long-term and create better exports. They would earn even more on ordinary trade of clothes, not second-hand that sold bulk and through other channels. But I am sure that Trump has no knowledge of this or even could imagine it.

This is clearly a step of imperialism from United States, since they cannot stomach, that the partners and the ones getting donations through USAID. Isn’t accepting to be a bazaar for their used stuff. The products that is B-Level and already had their day in the sunshine.

Knowingly, how he is America First, the man himself should understand how others wants to build to their own industries, but thinking Trump has that capacity of thinking is overstepping and thinking that he could actually calculate, that others are sovereign too and not only his state. The East African Republic’s shouldn’t be punished for acting in their own interests over second-hand clothes. Neither second hand shoes. That is insulting and infuriating. If it was just charity and done out direct needs. It would make sense, but if your forcing bad products, because of own will for quick-profits and at the same time destroying local industries. I understand why Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda is trying to ban it and stop it. I respect that and stand behind it. Who wants a old T-Shirt, when you can buy a local-made?

If you buy a local-made, it would create a job for the one making it, the one designing it and the one selling, plus the distribution within the state. That is good business and create lots of job. These jobs create other jobs and funnel money in the system. So some of them will buy foreign design and clothes, that might even be American. That is how the United States should think, if they cared about a free-market narrative, but they are now planning to punish Rwanda and others, because they want to build-up own industry.

Trump is creating a trade-war over Second Hand Clothes.

Second Hand Clothes to East Africa!

Washington, DC – The President determined today the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In response to a petition filed by the U.S. used clothing industry in March 2017, the Administration initiated an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear. The review found that this import ban harms the U.S. used clothing industry and is inconsistent with AGOA beneficiary criteria for countries to eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment. Based on the results of the review, the President determined that Rwanda is not making sufficient progress toward the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment, and therefore is out of compliance with eligibility requirements of AGOA. Consequently, the President notified Congress and the Government of Rwanda of his intent to suspend duty-free treatment for all AGOA-eligible apparel products from Rwanda in 60 days” (AGOA – ‘ President Trump Determines Trade Preference Program Eligibility For Rwanda, Tanzania, And Uganda’ 30.03.2018).

This is infuriating and not cool. AGOA should be used as a method to not destroy industry in the developing countries, but add revenue both ways. Now the United States is just using imperialism. Trade-War with East African Countries.

Trump is foolish and also, this is not gaining sympathy and the reasons for this. This isn’t adding and just show how belittling and narrow-minded he is. But that we knew, we just have to see who spanks him. Peace.

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Teff-Flour Patent Belongs to Ethiopia: Sanction Roosjen and his businesses now!

It is now revealed that someone named Jans Roosjen of the Netherlands has a United States Patent on the Teff Flour, the tradition food source backing done thousands of years. Roosjen is officially a pre-historical human being, he is back-to-future, he is the mirage and the answers of all things. Since he can patent something that has been part of Ethiopian culture and their practices, without their consent and without consideration. He is not the owner of Teff Flour. The United States Patent Office shouldn’t accept this, because this is taking someones national pride and food culture and stamping their ill-gotten name on it.

This is a mockery of invention, this is cultural and staple food theft. It would be like stealing french-fries from Belgium, the Kimchi from South Korea or the Feijoada from Brazil. No one owns that invention, but you cannot patent it too. This is made for the people and owned by the people, secondly, as a foreigner you should appreciate the culture, not steal it. That is what this man has done with the Patent of Teff Flour milling. Like he invented it, he didn’t invent it, he just served a document and filing to the Patent Office. They should have dismissed it as a insane thinking of a European man, who has no ownership to the food cuisine of Ethiopia. 

Teff History:

Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is a cereal crop of Poaceae or Gramineae family with small grains. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC [1]. Teff seeds were reported to be discovered in a pyramid which is thought to date back to 3359 BC [1]. It is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values. Its center of origin and diversity is Ethiopia” (…) “The cultivation of teff as a major cereal crop in Ethiopia was started thousands of years ago. As mentioned in the Introduction, some researchers have indicated that teff production in Ethiopia has a history of more than 4000 years. Teff is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values” (Daba, 2017).

Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) states this:

Between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food and teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated.[4] Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and Eritrea between 4,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE. Genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor.[5] A 19th century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful; the seeds in question (no longer available for study) are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.[6]” (eol.org – ‘Eragrostis tef’).

That Roosjen own business, which is on his page teff-grain.com, where he states: “given the fall-numbers the mixing of teff-grain or flour with other flours/seeds is patented”. That is very insane, that a man from Netherlands or Holland is thieving a 1000 year old tradition and trying to keep it to himself. That is disgusting, it would be okay if he imported it through Prograin, the company he is owns and serves, but patenting it, is taking it a bit to far.

So the Roosjen started a shop in 2004, patent it in 2006 and has forgotten the tradition of the food. It is time for the world to patent everything for Nethlands, the wind-mills and when coming to foods. It is time for Ethiopians to patent Dutch tradition food, to retaliate like Pannenkoeken, Erwtensoep, Poffertjes and Stroopwafels. Because if a random Dutch man can patent food for centuries and get away it. The Ethiopian and government, should do similar acts until the Dutch retract this nonsense. This is demeaning and insulting of all humanity. Its like patenting human life itself, Roosjen next project could be to patent one of the pyramids of Egypt. Since he could already has stolen, the pride and staple food of injeera of Ethiopia.

Roosjen, you do not own an African Cuisine, you don’t have the rights to patent 8000-year old tradition food from Ethiopia. How dear you, you should retract it and be glad to mother, that you can still import this food and the flour itself. The Ethiopian partners of yours should stop selling to you. Since, you have betrayed their tradition and their cuisine, they should boycott you and yours families business.

A Dutch Company and a Dutch Man is lucky to be able to trade the commodity, they should sanction the man. The farmers, the traders in Addis Ababa, the ones who has traded with his company and the ones licensing sale to him. Should stop immediately, he doesn’t deserve it. Because he has stolen part of the pride of Ethiopia. No one has the right to do so. No-One has the right to do so, it is insulting and demeaning.

Peace.

Reference:

Daba, Tadessa – ‘Nutritional and Soio-Cultural Values of Teff (Eragrostis tef) in Ethiopia’ (May 2017)

Opinion: Now that the World Bank has new priorities, they will most likely not loan to the pipelines in East Africa!

 

There is certain movements that will strike as more expensive for the East African Community (EAC). This being for the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Government of Kenya (GoK), who has big plans of petroleum pipelines from their oil-fields and to the coast. That being from Turkana to Lamu Port. While the Ugandan oil goes from Hoima to Tanga Port in Tanzania. Both development and industrial projects will have issues with the funding. The World Bank has supported massive infrastructure projects in both countries.

Therefore, for the two counties big development and oil industry, this is giant set-back, since they have to find funding and loans for the pipelines on the open market. Even with higher interests and making the profits of it lesser, than it would have been with a World Bank loan. It would not hurt the pocket as much as it does on the open market. The banks wants more profits themselves and also make sure they are paid-in-full.

With all this in mind. There are speculations, but first. Parts of the self-answering service. Before we look at the reactions in Kenya and Uganda. All of are important, as the state is involved in the licensing and building the pipelines. They are directly into the development and procurement of the pipelines. That is why this is big blow for the administrations and their possible tax-profits on it.

Word Bank Q&A:

Q. How is “upstream” oil and gas defined?

Upstream is an industry term that refers to exploration of oil and natural gas fields, as well as drilling and operating wells to produce oil and natural gas” (World Bank, 2017).

Current projects in our portfolio would continue as planned. However, no new investments in upstream oil and gas would be undertaken after 2019, unless under exceptional circumstances as noted in the decision” (World Bank, 2017).

Kenya Pipeline:

The announcement by the bank, which has significant interests in Kenya’s oil prospecting sector, does not bode well for the country’s anticipated entry into the club of oil producing nations beginning next year. Analysts said they do not expect an immediate reaction to the announcement even as they acknowledged that it takes the shine from oil in the long term” (…) “Locally, the World Bank is offering technical support to the Kenyan government, through the Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project, to prime all stakeholders for commercial oil production and sale. The six-year programme is scheduled to run until February 2021 and involves the World Bank managing a Sh5.2 billion fund set up by investors from Germany, Norway and Britain. The World Bank’s private lending arm, International Finance Corporation, is however directly involved in Kenya’s oil fields, having a 6.83 per cent stake in Africa Oil, the Canadian exploration firm with interests in northern Kenya oil blocks” (Mutegi, 2017)

Uganda Pipeline:

The pipeline, is expected to be completed by the year 2020, when the country is scheduled to start oil production. In fact, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart recently commissioned the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. The two leaders laid mark stones for the crude oil pipeline in Mutukula, Kyotera district and Kabaale in Hoima district. Total E&P Uganda, a subsidiary of French oil giant, Total S.A, is spearheading the construction of the crude oil pipeline on behalf of the joint venture partners. Adewale Fayemi, the general manager, Total E&P Uganda says discussions are ongoing to discuss on the formalities of how the pipeline will be run. Already, an agreement has been reached that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will be run and managed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – private pipeline company. This means that a private company will be incorporated with joint venture partners – Tullow Uganda, Cnooc Uganda Ltd and Total E&P Uganda, and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania as shareholders in the company” (Ssekika, 2017)

Certainly, this will put a strain on the projects. They have to deliver another type of arrangement to make sure they get funding and have the funds to pay the added interests the banks wants. The added points on the dollar and the interest-rates will hit state-owned firms and the state itself. Since the pipelines most likely becomes more expensive and will be less profitable.

That the World Bank is pulling out of these projects is all within line of the Paris Accord, as they have professed is the reason. Still, this will make these projects more expensive and make sure they are earning less on it. Unless, the crude-oil prices are going up to a level that makes these investments even more profitable. That is only for time to tell. Since it is costly projects and also sophisticated to build. There is needed lots of expertise combined state planning to achieve the development plans.

This is just the beginning, but the pipelines and these investments are vital for both Kenya and Uganda. As the governments are already borrowing state funds on the possible earnings from the oil reserves in their basins. Therefore, they need to drill and need the petrodollar as quickly as possible. Peace.

Reference:

Mutegi, Mugambi – ‘World Bank dims Turkana oil hopes’ (14.12.2017) link: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/World-Bank-dims-Turkana-oil-hopes/996-4227848-u02v8n/index.html

Ssekika, Edward – ‘East African Crude Oil Pipeline: The Inside Story’ (11.12.2017) link: http://www.oilinuganda.org/features/economy/east-african-crude-oil-pipeline-the-inside-story-details-emerge-of-how-the-crude-oil-pipeline-will-be-financed-managed.html

World Bank – ‘Q&A: The World Bank Group and Upstream Oil and Gas’ (12.12.2017) link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/brief/qa-the-world-bank-group-and-upstream-oil-and-gas

Eritrea: Press Briefing note on Attacks/threats by States against UN Human Rights Experts (21.11.2017)

Eritrea: Statement of ELS on the Protest of October 31 (02.11.2017)

The Eritrean Law Society (ELS) is closely observing developments that have led to, and that have followed after, the unprecedented civilian protest of 31 October 2017, which occurred in the heart of the capital city of Eritrea. The protest was prompted by the announcement of a drastic government decision that affected the status of educational establishments administered by Eritrean religious institutions. Another major motive for the protest is the arbitrary arrest of respected elders and spiritual leaders, notably Haji Mussa Mohammed Nur, who strongly opposed the government decision.

Although the details of causalities are not yet fully known, ELS is concerned by the fact that brute force, including live ammunition, was used to suppress the protest, which was nothing more than a peaceful demonstration against a drastic government measure affecting the lives of thousands of people. In our view, the protest signifies one fundamental reality. In today’s Eritrea, citizens have no choice of whatsoever nature in pursuing their individual and group aspirations, life plans, goals, and purposes. Eritreans do not also have access to independent and impartial institutions, including courts of law that can safeguard their fundamental rights and freedoms in the event these essential entitlements are wantonly violated by government authorities.

History dictates that no population can be ruled forever under the yoke of unbearable authoritarianism. There is an urgent need in Eritrea for a full return to a system of governance based on constitutional order, the requirements of democratic accountability, and respect for the rule of law, including the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Eritrean people. ELS would like to take this occasion to make a call on the international community and those who can play a role by pushing for a full return to a democratic system of governance in Eritrea.

Meanwhile, the following reminder is also important for all peace-loving and justice-seeking Eritreans. We shall stay the course and remain vigilant against all sorts of divisive and cheap political machinations orchestrated by the authoritarian regime in Eritrea, its brazen apologists and messengers. It is always important to remember that the regime will make continuous recourse to methods that promote its narrow political agenda as well as frustrate the momentum ushered by the protest of 31 October.

Eritrean Law Society
Executive Committee
November 2, 2017

UN Special Expert report of June 2017 reveals the hardships of the citizens in Eritrea!

The government of Eritrea is usually keeping it low-key and not telling their stories. The nation which has since liberation from Ethiopia since 1993. Therefore, the long-term stay of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and their President Isias Afwerki, who is still in power. His use of the power and keeping it all close, is the reason that the state of Eritrea is like it is. The oppression of their own citizens and total control. That is the reason for the fleeing Eritreans, as well as the military service and tight-control of the industries. It is all in service of the Central Leadership in Asmara. Which doesn’t concern the citizens, they are being used by the EPLF and their needs. Therefore, every time a United Nations report comes out, it reveals new aspects and shows by the admission of the diaspora who are telling the stories that needs to be told. Since the media, the government and all parts of society in Eritrea is silenced by the President Afwerki. Take a look!

Support of Al-Shabaab and North Korea:

In 2009, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, primarily in response to Eritrea’s suspected support for Al Shabaab in Somalia. In its most recent report, the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea stated that it had found no firm evidence of Eritrea’s support for Al Shabaab. It also described the use of Eritrean land, airspace and territorial waters by the Arab coalition supporting the anti-Houthi military campaign in Yemen, as well as the construction of a permanent military base at Assab International Airport and a new permanent seaport adjacent to it.3 In November 2016, the Security Council noted the finding about the lack of evidence pointing to Eritrean support for Al Shabaab, but expressed concern for ongoing Eritrean support for other regional armed groups and lack of cooperation with the Security Council; it extended the arms embargo on Eritrea” (…) “February 2017, the Panel of Experts supporting the Security Council Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) accused Eritrea of violating the arms embargo by buying military communications material from the DPRK. On 21 March 2017, the United States imposed sanctions pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) on the Eritrean Navy and any successor, subunit, or subsidiary thereof for prohibited transfer to or acquisition from DPRK of goods, services, or technology controlled under multilateral control lists” (Keetharuth, P: 5, 2017).

Arbitrary Arrests:

During the reporting period, the Special Rapporteur continued to receive reports of new cases of arbitrary arrest and detention. The reasons for the arrests appear to be those previously identified by the Commission of Inquiry, namely attempting to evade military service or trying to assist a family member in doing so; trying to leave the country; practicing an unauthorised religion; or offending a high-ranking Government or official of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the sole political party in the country. The Special Rapporteur has received no official communication indicating that the Government has released arbitrarily detained prisoners or that it has provided information about the fate of high profile individuals subject to enforced disappearance” (Keetharuth, P: 6, 2017).

Food Supplies:

While some interlocutors told the Special Rapporteur that they had witnessed an active economic life during visits to Eritrea, with thriving markets and well-stocked shops, she heard from Eritreans in the diaspora that their relatives back home are struggling to meet their basic needs. While they confirmed the availability of food, they indicated that many households were unable to afford adequate and sufficient basic supplies, and were trying to cope with acute water shortages, especially in Asmara. As noted above, the recent UNICEF report confirmed this, indicating that half of the children are stunted. Reportedly, increasing numbers of people are leaving drought-affected regions in search of better living conditions. The ability to purchase food and other basic items has also been hampered by cash withdrawal limits which are still in place following the Nakfa currency exchange programme introduced by the Government at the end of 2015” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

Internet Freedom:

Since October 2016, reportedly, internet cafes must now require that customers register before being permitted to use the internet, allowing for the tracking of their browsing history. If confirmed, this new regulation would have an impact on the conduct of internet users and further restrict freedom of expression. In addition, frequent power cuts and very slow connections interfere with the use of internet” (Keetharuth, P: 8, 2017).

I think this things says a lot. The admissions and the connections to rouge elements prove the issues of Eritrea. This are just a few of them, there been more admissions in the past of the breaches of Human Rights, the lack of transparency and justice for the citizens. This proves the grand-issues of the Eritrean government and how they violate their own people. Peace.

Reference:

Keetharuth, Sheila B. – ‘A/HRC/35/39 – Eritrea’ (07.06.2017)

Joint NGO letter on Renewing the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea (05.06.2017)

Geneva, 5 June 2017

RE: Renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, write to urge your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea at the forthcoming 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. In view of the ongoing crimes under international law, including torture, enslavement and enforced disappearances, and violations of fundamental freedoms committed in Eritrea, the Special Rapporteur’s mandate remains an indispensable mechanism to advance the protection and promotion of human rights in Eritrea.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was established at the 20th UN Human Rights Council Session in 2012 to monitor the human rights situation in Eritrea. From June 2014-June 2016, the mandate was also represented on the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (CoI). The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was extended in July 2016 to follow-up on the recommendations of the CoI. It has been instrumental in monitoring the dire situation on the ground, highlighting on-going violations and the failure to implement the recommendations of the CoI and in providing a crucial platform to help amplify the voices and concerns of victims.

The findings of the CoI and UN Special Rapporteur reveal that the Eritrean authorities have continued to impose a broad range of unwarranted restrictions on fundamental human rights, precipitating mass migration, including of unaccompanied children. Despite commitments by the State to reduce national service to 18 months, indefinite national service and forced labor persist throughout the country. [1] Persons who attempt to avoid military conscription, take refuge abroad, practice an unsanctioned religion, or who criticise government officials continue to be arrested and imprisoned for lengthy periods. [2]

The absence of an independent judiciary means that victims of these human rights violations have no recourse to justice at home. As a result, in Eritrea impunity persists and those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances remain unaccounted for.

In light of these concerns, we respectfully request your delegation to co-sponsor a resolution during the 35th UN HRC session that renews the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, provides the mandate holder with all necessary support, and urges the Government of Eritrea to cooperate with the mandate holder including allowing unencumbered access to the country.

Sincerely,

Africa Monitors
Amnesty International
ARTICLE 19
Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea
CIVICUS
Connection e.V
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Eritrean Diaspora in East Africa
Eritrean Lowland League
Eritrean Law Society
Eritrea Focus
Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights
Eritreans for Human and Democratic Rights – UK
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea
Human Rights Watch
Information Forum For Eritrea
International Fellowship of Reconciliation
International Service for Human Rights
Network of Eritrean Women
PEN Eritrea
People for Peace in Africa
Release Eritrea
Reporters Without Borders
Stop Slavery in Eritrea Campaign
War Resisters International

Eritrea must free prize winning journalist, says UN human rights expert (03.05.2017)

Mr. Isaak was arrested in September 2001 during a political crackdown on the so-called G-15, a group of politicians, and journalists critical of Government policies.

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 3, 2017 – The Government of Eritrea must free journalist Dawit Isaak who has been awarded a prestigious press freedom prize some 15 years after he was detained, a United Nations human rights expert says.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, is also calling on the authorities in Asmara to release unconditionally all others detained unlawfully.

“The Eritrean authorities should stop the practice of arrests and detention carried out without legal basis instantly,” said Ms. Keetharuth, welcoming the award of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 to Mr. Isaak.

Dawit Isaak, who is 52 and a playwright, journalist and writer, moved to Sweden in 1987, where he later became a citizen. He returned to Eritrea only after independence in 1993 and was one of the founders and reporters of Setit, the first independent newspaper in the country.

Mr. Isaak was arrested in September 2001 during a political crackdown on the so-called G-15, a group of politicians, and journalists critical of Government policies. Some were detained and tortured, others disappeared. The last known sighting of Mr. Isaak was in 2005. His whereabouts now are unknown.

“The case of Mr. Isaak is emblematic of all those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances by the Government of Eritrea and remain unaccounted for,” said Ms. Keetharuth.

The Special Rapporteur recalled the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, which concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Eritrean officials had committed crimes against humanity, including the crime of enforced disappearance, in a persistent, widespread and systematic manner since 1991.

“The Government of Eritrea has an obligation to urgently provide information on the fate and whereabouts of all those deprived of physical liberty. This would be a first and long-overdue indication that the Government is committed to rebuilding trust with the Eritrean people,” Ms. Keetharuth said.

“By allowing independent monitors immediate and unhindered access to all places of detention, official and unofficial, the Government would send a strong signal that it acknowledges human rights violations of the past, while taking steps to improve the situation on the ground now.
“The arrests of Dawit Isaak and his fellow journalists remain the most visible sign of repression of freedom of expression. The Eritrean authorities continue to stifle all forms of expression that could be perceived as critical of the Government and its policies,” she said.

Ms. Keetharuth reaffirmed that freedom of expression was a basic human right, and a free press one of the tenets of a democratic society, providing a valuable check on potential excesses by government.

Communiqué of the Consultative Meeting of IGAD Member States on the Current Drought Situation in the Region (31.03.2017)

IGAD: Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and Reintegration of Returnees in Somalia (25.03.2017)

 

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