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Archive for the tag “Isias Afeweki”

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

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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

The World needs Rambo right now!

John Rambo: “[alternate line from Director’s Cut] You’re not going anywhere. And there isn’t one of us that doesn’t want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something. Your call” (John Ramo, 2008).

The world is spinning in circle and things are continuing sometimes without any change. But the situations are still uncertain. There are fleeing civilians from the Democratic Republic of Congo, continues civil-war inside South Sudan, oppression in Burundi and Rwanda. Grand issues in regions of Somalia as AMISOM fiercely goes after Al-Shabaab. The continued civil-war infused with control from Saudi Arabia and United States in Yemen. The war inside Syria with the fleeing refugees from there. The international complications this all assess. The massive amounts of people who are inflicted in this conflicts.

This is also the issues created by and their national alliances, like Syria are also in hot-bed with Russia, United States, Turkey and Iran. The same can be said with the international implications to the stalemate between Qatar and the rest of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That the Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and so on are all blocking, so many nations has cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

With all the conflicts and bigger diplomatic spats, the world needs Rambo’s. Especially considering that the deaths where it doesn’t counts is showed when it comes to mud-slides in Sierra Leone. The importance of Hurricane Harry, which is credible storm in Texas, but the world should have cared of the 500 deaths in Western Africa.

That the world is significant fragile is with the President Trump and the nuclear codes, the vicious attacks of both representatives and international leaders like Merkel and President Kim Jung-Un. The threats between North Korea and United States are clearly flaring up the tensions in South-East Asia, as the rockets keep shooting-up and testing.

Therefore, with this we need Rambo, someone to come in with confidence. Rambo needs to come into the problems and sort them out. So that the diplomatic disputes gets sorted out, as his spring fears into the ones who are in the same room. If Rambo came with his weapons and his rhetoric, maybe Trump wouldn’t such and ass. Maybe Putin would try out other tricks, than actually using methods of deception. As so many other world leaders would seek peace instead of wars and refugees. Rambo could come in and make a change.

The nice talk of Bono, the ethical codes of United Nations has not worked. The non-peaceful atmosphere is steady in too many places, to many deaths should be examined and not die without any consideration. Rambo could have helped, made sure the council and the world forums would actually not talk, but act. The crisis in South Sudan, DRC, Burundi, Syria, Yemen, Middle East and so on.

The world needs Rambo, the world needs a hero who can actually give a damn, not just make the world a place for multi-national companies who rob the resources and would not care for kids working for militias, so the world can cobalt for the smart-phones production. Rambo needs to come and make change, he might not be perfect. But something has to change. Someone has step-in, Rambo needs to come and significantly change in the world. Times change, but Rambo might sort it out!

Murdock: Rambo, you can feel totally safe because we have the most advanced weapons in the world available to us.

Rambo: I’ve always believed that the mind is the best weapon.

Murdock: Times change.

Rambo: For some people” (Rambo: First Blood Part II, 1985).

IGAD Executive Secretary Calls for Restraint at Djibouti-Eritrea Border (19.06.2017)

Ethiopia calls for Restaint on the ‘border conflict between Djibouti-Eritrea’ (18.06.2017)

AU Commission calls for Restraint on the Djibouti-Eritrea Border (19.06.2017)

The Chairperson of the Commission appeals for calm, restraint and stresses that the AU is fully seized with the matter.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 19, 2017 – The Chairperson of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is following the recent developments between the Republic of Djibouti and the State of Eritrea in the aftermath of Qatar’s decision to withdraw its peacekeeping troops at the Djibouti- Eritrea border.

The Chairperson of the Commission appeals for calm, restraint and stresses that the AU is fully seized with the matter. He highlighted that the AU Commission, in close consultations with the authorities in Djibouti and Eritrea, is in the process of deploying a fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border.

The Chairperson of the Commission stands ready to assist Djibouti and Eritrea to normalize their relations and promote good neighborliness within the framework of relevant AU instruments.

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)

#QatarCrisis: Eritrea-Djibouti territorial dispute over Ras Doumeira flare up as Qatari Peacekeepers leave!

In times of war, the law falls silent.

Silent enim leges inter arma” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Merriam Webster defines the Snowball effect like this: “a situation in which one action or event causes many other similar actions or events” (Merriam Webster). At this moment and time, the Qatar diplomatic crisis has hit another level. A level that is unbelievable. To fellow Republics on the Horn of Africa are already in a military dispute over a territory, which they have fought over twice. Last time these nations fought over it was back in 2008.

These Republics are Eritrea and Djibouti. Who are two different states and with different approach to alliances and matters in general. Eritrea has in this crisis hold itself neutral to either Saudi Arabia and the GCC, while not doing anything with it’s affiliation to Qatar. Therefore, the Djibouti did earlier cut their ties with Qatar and with that the Qatari Peacekeepers in the area has left the nation. That Djibouti is important to Ethiopia and their trade is natural as the port and railway goes from Ethiopia to Djibouti. So if Eritrea want to hit two birds with two stones, they go and bang on Djibouti.

So the sudden cutting off Qatar has lead to change of powers and also of military stronghold between Djibouti and Eritrea. As the Eritrean has reacted to and sent the army closer to the disputed area. Both nations has claims to this area. Similar to activity on the Ethiopian border, which has been disputed since the independence of Eritrea. The same seem to be the case on the Djiboutian border and land.

That is why it isn’t surprising that the Eritrean government sends army and attack when the peacekeepers who has secured the territory since the last war in 2008. Certainly, the Asmara government want to take advantage, even if it costly, as the Djibouti sends their reports straight to the African Union and the United Nations Security Council to clear the air of the vicious attack from Eritrea. So the state can be seem as warlords and criminal in their acts on international scale. This is the own making of Eritrea, as they have done in recent years. Gone into war with neighbors without winning and neither getting recognition for their military operations.

There are reports that on Monday the 19th June 2017, the UNSC will take the dispute behind closed doors before finding out solution to the stalemate and current crisis between the nations. This is a long for conflict for the territory and not the first time Eritrea does this. Certainly, the GCC should intervene and help Djibouti, especially since the Republic sided with them. If it wasn’t just play for the gallery and needed display for the GCC. So that they have enough cards in the deck to hopefully get Qatar to give-in. Instead, there isn’t any indication of acts from KSA, Bahrain or United Arab Emirates, as the soldiers and territory is supposed to be ceased.

The GCC and allies have been in communication with neighboring Federation of Somalia to get them to cut ties with Qatar, without any luck, but Djibouti did so and even sent the Qatari peacekeepers home. Therefore, their proof of loyalty deserves to be repaid and that in full. That is if there are any honor in the GCC and their diplomacy in their sphere. So the Eritrean forces are now in the Dumera mountains and Dumera island, which violates the border territory of Djibouti.

Just to make matter worse, this report has also come out recently:

Not trusting his army, Ismael Omar Guelleh sent a request for military support to Ethiopia and China. He wants Ethiopia and China to send military men and equipment to the border with eritrea to impress the latter. On the other side asmara concerned the movements of Ethiopian troops to the conjunction between the three countries, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, sent three military miles to its southern border or the region” (Hassan Cher Hared, HCH24.com, 12.06.2017)

And this one which is more on the nerves of Eritrea:

The statement by the retired Ethiopian general is so nerve wracking to all levels of the regime even the aging Eritrean president has wrote a letter to selected world leaders. “Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micro-manage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” he is quoted by Eritrean state media to have said” (…) “Isais Afwerki always says it is not Ethiopia that is working against him, but the government of the United States of America. He says this to make himself bigger than life by antagonizing the world super power unsteady of another third world country which happens to be 20 times his tine country. “The ‘border dispute’ was a simple ruse as the boundary between the two countries was defined and determined without any ambiguity in colonial times. But Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micromanage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” said the Eritrean president in the letter, according to the Eritrean ministry of information website” (Tigrai Online – ‘The Eritrean regime is nervous about an Ethiopian retired general’ 16.06.2017 link: http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/fear-nervousness-eritrea.html).

Clearly, if these allegations are true, this would give reasons not only for the GCC issues and the interference in the Horn of Africa, that the KSA, Bahrain and UAE have in the region. As they got the Djibouti government to cut ties and make sure they loyalty would be rewarded. While that is happening, the Eritrean have not taken sides, but takes advantage of the Qatari battalions leaving Djibouti. This gave way for a demilitarized zone, which they could come and takeover. This is what happening, but if the state of Eritrea are using the media this way and swaying the public as the reports are. Than it is sick and twisted, but not surprising with the massive overload of the regime of Asmara has on its citizens.

Well, the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea isn’t over, if Djibouti will get help from either their close ally Ethiopia or China, even the GCC, time will tell. Because they should see it is their time to help out, since they we’re taken by surprise, and has now also the advantage that the international community, the African Union and the United Nations Security Council will react to the hostile act of Eritrea. This is not a good look on the matter.

How news and media company describes the recent history!

9TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONFLICT RAS DOUMEIRA

There are feelings that even words will never translate. Feelings that we only feel in front of these heroes… Doumeira. In front of these men who face the enemy night and day. Depends on their lives. With only one currency: Homeland or death. Yesterday, no one was insensitive. ” Military, police, gendarmes, Republican Guards, whatever your rank, we all join in your pain to have lost some of your brothers in arms, some of which are still in an unknown position. In this moment of celebration, I fully associate myself with the sorrow felt by their families. We have lost soldiers who have become heroes that neither the history nor the republic of Djibouti will ever forget” (Djib-Live, 09.06.2017).

Let’s end it on a Djiboutian note:

Mahamoud Ali Youssouf statement about the withdrawal of the Qatari troops from Ras Doumeira, the Eritrean troops have move back into the area. “All options are on our table whether its diplomatic or military,” said the Djiboutian Foreign Minister” (Djiboutian, 16.06.2017).

Hopefully it will be sorted out diplomatically and not with arms, even if the Eritrean answered the other one with invasion of border territory. Clearly a violation and a breach of trust between neighbor states. That the Djibouti republic have a good case and also the upper-hand is evident, but if the Eritrean forces will back-down and go back without a fight. That is only a matter of their will retaliate if the Djibouti army returns to their expected territory. Peace.

Djibouti calls on the UNSC after a territorial dispute with Eritrea after Qatarian peacekeepers leave (15.06.2017)

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

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