Our attitude determines the destination: an Eritrean cry

By Desale Okubamichael
dessu81 (AT) gmail (DOT) com

The euphoria

During our long and tortuous history, our attitude made us win, and it made us lose. We feel both the successes and the losses deep in our hearts.

The achievement of independence in 1991 was a miracle. All the heroism and determination that went into winning caused an awesome feeling. The joy and the celebration are printed in my memory. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Most Eritreans had great hope for the future at that time. We trusted the EPLF fighters as our gods. I thought they would turn Eritrea into a peaceful and prosperous country. I thought Eritreans would be equally rich.

But I had no understanding of democracy, diplomatic relationships, or economic policies — I had no clue about the external world. I thought everybody was an enemy of Eritrea and everyone was either a past or a potential coloniser. The one thing I was sure of was that Eritrea’s time had come and Eritreans would be free forever and own their future.

The fighters were so exciting to watch: wearing simple shorts and shirts, strapping on their web belts, cleaning their guns with skill, and dutifully following instructions from their commanders. Members from all of Eritrea’s nine ethnic groups looked the same in those uniforms and seemed to be in harmony with each other: men, women, Muslims, Christians, the educated and the uneducated ready to give their best and die for their people if needed. The freedom feeling and the song “Wesede Ayay B’al Sere” are still fresh in my memory.

What could go wrong under these fighters and their leadership? Continue reading

ተጋዳላይ–ሲቪል:- ናይ ኤርትራ ኣፓርታይድ

ኣብ ኤርትራ ተጋደልቲ ናይ በይኖም ዓሌት ኣይኮኑን። ከምኡ ድማ ንሕና ሲቪል ዜጋታት ዓሌት ኣይኮንናን። ይኹን ደኣ እምበር ብመንጽር መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ተጋዳላይን ሲቪልን ክልተ ዝተፈላልዩ ደረጃታት ዜግነት እዮም። ነዚ ኣብ ሃገርና ንቡር ኮይኑ ዘሎ ኣፋላላይ ቀው ኢልና ምስ እነስተውዕሎ፣ ብብዙሕ መዳያቱ ምስ ስርዓት ኣፓርታይድ ይመሳሰል’ዩ።

ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ: ጸዕዳ ምዃን ምንም ገበን የብሉን። ገበነኛስ እቲ ንጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ልዕሊ ጸሊም ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ጌሩ ዝቖጽር ፈላላዩ ሕገ መንግስቲ እዩ።

ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ምዃን ዓወትን ሃብትን፣ ወይ ድማ ካብ መንግስቲ ፍሉይ ክብረት፣ ፍሉይ ምትሕብባርን ሓገዝን ግድን የውህበካ ማለት ኣይኮነን። አረ ብዙሓት መደንገጽ ጸዓዱ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃውያን ነይሮምዮም። ብዙሓት ድኻታት ጸዓዱ ኔሮም: ብዙሓት ውጹዓት ጸዓዱ ኔሮም። እዚ ማለት ግን ኣፓርታይድ ኣይነበረን፣ ወይውን እቲ ስርዓት ኣፓርታይድ ድኹም’ዩ ኔሩ ማለት ኣትይኮነን።

ብተመሳሳሊ ኣብ ሃገርና ሎሚ: ብዙሓት ዘይጠዓሞም፣ መደንገጽ፣ ተጋደልቲ ኣለዉና። ኩሎም ተጋደልቲ ኣብ ስልጣን ዘይምህላዎም፣ ወይ ውን ኩሎም ተጋደልቲ ጥዒምዎም ዘይምህላዉ ምልክት ድኽመት “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ ክኸውን ኣይክእልንዩ።

ብመንጽሩ ግና: ሓደኳ ሲቪል በዓል ስልጣን ዘይምህላዉ ንህላወ “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ የርእየና። ኣብ ኤርትራ: ኩሉ ዝርኤ ስልጣናት (ከምኒ ኣመሓዳሪ፣ ሚኒስተር፣ ኣምባሳደር)፣ ከምኡ’ውን ኩሉ ‘ዘይርኤ’ ስልጣናት (ብድሕረ መድረክ ኣብ’ቲ ውልቀ-ምልኪ ጽልዋ ዘለዎም፣ ወይ ከኣ ዘተግብሩ) ብ ተጋደልቲ እዩ። እዚ “ኣፓርታይድ” ወለዶ ውን ይሰግርን እናሰገረን እዩ። ንኣብነት ነቲ መንግስቲ ልዕል ዝበለ ተኣማንነንት (loyalty) የድልዮ ንዝበሎ ናይ ወተሃደር-ነፋሪት ምብራር (ፓይሎት) ናይ ትምህርቲ ዕድል ንሲቪል መንእሰይ በጭራሽ ኣይወሃብን።

ከምቲ ኣቀዲመ ዝበልክዎ: ብዘመነ ኣፓርታይድ: ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ ጸዕዳ ምዃን ምንም ገበን የብሉን። ግናኸ ጸዕዳ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃዊ ኮንካ ብኣካይዳ ኣፓርታይድ ዘይምጉሃይ፣ ዘይ-ጸዓዱ ዜጋታት ክግፉዑ ርኢኻ “ዓገብ” ዘይምባል፣ ብፍላይ ይብደሉ ምህላዎም ዘይምእማን፣ ወዘተ. ተኻፋሊ ወይውን ተጠቃሚ ግፍዒ ኣፓርታይድ ይገብረካ እዩ።

ተጋዳላይ፣ ወዲ-ተጋዳላይ ወይ ውን ዕባይ ቤት-ትምህርቲ-ሰውራ ምዃን ገበን የብሉን። የግዳስ ብግብርካ ወይ ውን ብዘይ ምግባርካ: ብ ስቕታኻ: ተኻፋሊ “ኣፓርታይድ”፣ ወይ ከኣ ተጠቃሚ ግፍዒ “ኣፓርታይድ” ኣብ ኤርትራ ክትከውን ኣዝዩ ዝከኣልዩ።

 

Eritrean president and  high ranking officials at Independence Day celebration in Asmara May 24, 2007.

Eritrean president and high ranking officials at Independence Day celebration in Asmara May 24, 2007. All high ranking government officials are former soldiers of the EPLF group.

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ነዚ ኣብ ሃገርና ንቡር ዝኾነ ተጋዳላይ–ሲቪል ምፍልላይ ዜጋታት: “ኣፓርታይድ” ክትብሎ: ቃልብቓሉ ቅኑዕ ኣጸዋውዓ ኣይከውንን። ኣፓርታይድ (Apartheid) ዝብል ቃል ቀንዲ መቦቆሉ ካብቲ ኣብ ኣብ ደቡብ-ኣፍሪቃ ካብ 1948 ክሳዕ 1990 ዝነበረ: ማዕርነት ጸዓዱን ጸለምትን ዜጋታት ዘየኽብር ሕገ መንግስቲ እዩ። ካብዚ ዝነቐለ ድማ ሎሚ ሓደ ምምሕዳር ኣብ መንጎ ዜጋታት ሃገሩ: ዓሌታዊ ኣፈላላይ ምስ ዝገብር “ኣፓርታይድ” ብዝብል ንገልጾ።

We speak therefore we are –Republic no.2

A monthly underground newsletter from inside Eritrea has it’s second issue. Republic, written in Tigrinya language, is critical of the government. Criticizing the government or it’s policies is a crime in Eritrea.
You can download this new issue from here (Repuplic_Eritrea_Vol2).

Click image to download Republic in PDF

Click image to download Republic in PDF

You can follow Republic newsletter on twitter.

Is Eritrea a tiny country?

Eritrea is not quite a tiny country. In terms of land area (excluding water bodies) there are just as much smaller countries in the world as there are larger ones. Although far below the mean, Eritrea covers an area slightly larger than the median.

Eritrea’s estimated population of 6 million is  far below the mean (33 million), but this is because few countries have extremely huge population. By population size Eritrea lies almost at the median of all countries. This means if you were to line up all the approximately 200 countries by their population size, starting from China all the way to Tuvalu, Eritrea would rank 100–give or take a few.

With an area of 101,000 sq. Km (39,000 sq miles), Eritrea lies just above the median of all countries. (Data from World Bank Database).

With an area of 101,000 sq. Km (39,000 sq miles), Eritrea lies just above the median of all countries as shown in this histogram. (Data from World Bank Database).

The 2013 estimated population of Eritrea is 6 million. Just about half of wold countries have population below that. (Data from Wold Bank Database)

The 2013 estimated population of Eritrea is 6 million, just about half of wold countries have population below that. (Data from Wold Bank Database).

 

The perceived ‘smallness’ of Eritrea that many assume is, I believe, mainly because of its insignificance in world stage (politics, economy, trade, etc.). And not so much because of mere size.

Considering the amount of world news headlines Eritrea is  making (refugees tragedies, kidnappings, organ harvesting, etc.) and the nuisance we have become to far away countries (from Israel in the Middle East to the European Union and UK in the West),  it might not be long before our country’s size is realized. Ironic that we should achieve our dream of world recognition in this way.

By the same standards, Eritrea’s ‘smallness’ is not quite the excuse for the many hardships and conflicts we continue to face throughout our history.

ኣይፋልኩምን ዴምህት!

“መንቀሳቐሲ!”
መዓልካ ከይበለ ንዝዘንጠለካ ጓና
ኮር ተገምጠል’ዩ ክንድዚ መሽክንክን ልመና፣
አብ ዝደበነ ገጹ ፍሽኽታ ሰዅዑ
ውሪሕሪሕ ቁሊሕሊሕ፣ የማነጸጋም ጥቕኡ።

… ተገፋፊ

ከም ከፍቲ ናብ ዕዳጋ፣ ዝውሰዱ ናብ ማሕረዲ
ኮብኪቦም ይወስድዎም ነቶም ግዳያት መዓልቲ፣
ብዘይ ፈሪሃ ‘ዝግሄር፣ ብዘይ ንሕስያ
አሕሊፎም ሃብዎም ካን ን ሻዕብያ።

… ወተሃደራት ዴ.ም.ህ.ት.

Open letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses

Date: September 1, 2014

To:
Jehovah’s Witnesses
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn NY 11201-2483
USA

Deeply ashamed by the cruel and inhumane treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses in my country, I am writing you this letter to express my solidarity with the persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eritrea. This September it will be 20 years since Isaac Mogos, Negede Teklemariam and Paulos Eyassu were imprisoned on Saturday, September 24, 1994. The first members of your congregation to suffer extended imprisonment and torture in Eritrea.

Since becoming an independent country in 1993, my country consistently harasses, imprisons, and tortures Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I have lived all my life in Eritrean capital, Asmara. A small city that was once upon a time the home town of Isaac Mogos, Negede Teklemariam, Paulos Eyassu, and many other imprisoned members of your congregation. Asmara has not been my home since I fled my country recently. I am not a Jehovah’s Witness but my family and I have friends who are; I am a witness to the integrity and high moral standards that members of your faith have.

Although I (and the Eritrean society in general) have very little to do with the actions of my government, it is never the less my pain when innocent members of my society are subjected to such inhumane torture and imprisonment, and it is my responsibility to at least stand in solidarity and be vocal when such atrocities are being committed in my home country.

The right for everyone to choose their own religion and to practice it is a God given right. It is also a basic human right stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No human being has the right to torture another human being. No one has the right to take away the freedom of others and to force them to change their religion.

Sincerely,

Signed: Samuel N.

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Left to right: Paulos Eyassu, Isaac Mogos, and Negede Teklemariam; in-chains for their faith since September 24 1994. Photo taken sometime 1996 (photo from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jehovahs-Witnesses-in-Sawa-Prison-Camp-in-Eritrea)

Left to right: Paulos Eyassu, Isaac Mogos, and Negede Teklemariam; in-chains for their faith since September 24 1994. Photo taken sometime 1996 (photo source here )

List of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Eritrean prisons: 20 years in prison without being charged or sentenced

Take the pledge to show your support and solidarity with the persecuted Jehovah’s witnesses in Eritrea.

Click image to show your solidarity.

Click image to show your solidarity.

List of Jehovah’s Witnesses currently in prison in Eritrea

(None have been charged or sentenced. Data retrieved from JW.org on September 2014. Download list in PDF here: List of JW in Eritrea.) Continue reading

ዝተመላኽዐ ዛንታ ገድሊ (ብ ዮሴፍ ገብሪሂወት)

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እዛ ጽሕፍቲ ትርጉም ናይታ “Romanticizing Ghedli (I)” ዘርእስታ ብዮሴፍ ገብሪሂወት ተጻሒፋ፡ ብ 12 መጋቢት 2008 ኣብ መርባእብ ሓበሬታ ኣስማሪኖ ዳት ኮም ዝተዘርግሐት ጽሕፍቲ እያ። ናብ ቛንቛ ትግርኛ ብ ኣዳለውቲ ጋዜጣ መሰለይ ተተርጒማ፡ “ምቅንጃው ገድሊ” ብዝብል ኣርእስቲ ከኣ ኣብ 2008 ተዘርጊሓ ኔራ። ንምርዳእ ይሕግዝ ብዝብል ገለገለ ናይኣተረጋጉማ ምትዕርራያት ገይረ ኣቅሪበያ ኣለኹ። 
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“ገድሊ”

ሓደ ካብቲ ቀንዲ ንህዝብና ኣጋጢምዎ ዘሎ ጸገማት፡ ተቐናጅዩ [ካብ መጠን ንላዕሊ ተመላኺዑ] ዝቐርብ ዛንታ ገድሊ ኤርትራ እዩ፥ መብዝሕትኡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ነዚ ተጋኒኑን ተመላኺዑን ዝቐረበ ዛንታ ክርሕርሖ ፍቓደኛ ኣይኮነን። ምቕንጃው [ብሓሶት ዝተመላኽዐ ታሪኽ] ንሃገር ክቀትል ይኽእል’ዩ እንተ ኢልና፡ ከምዚ ናይ ኤርትራ እዩ። እዚ ሎሚ አብ ጉዳይ ሃገርና ንዕዘቦ ዘሎና ሓንቲ ሃገር ንሓደ ስነ-ሓሳብ ከተጥፍኦ እንከላ ኣይኮነን (ከምዚ እንተዝኸውን ምሓሸ ኔሩ)፥ እንታይ ደኣ ሓደ ስነ-ሓሳብ ንሓንቲ ሃገር ከጥፍኣ እንከሎ እዩ።

ገድሊን እቲ ምስኡ ተተሓሒዙ ዝኸይድ ናውትን ሓዊስካ፡ ነቲ ንነዊሕ እዋን ኣብ እንግድዑ ጾይርዎ ዝጸንሐ ህዝቢ ከቢዱዎስ፡ ኣብ ክጻወሮ ዘይክእል ደረጃ በጺሑ ይርከብ። እዚ ባዕልና ዝፈጠርናዮ ኣውሬ፡ ሃርጋፍ ሸውሃት ስለዘጥረየ፡ ሸውሃቱ ንምርዋይን ቀጻልነቱ ንምርግጋጽን ነባሪ ዝኾነ ናይ “መስዋእቲ” ባህሊ ክፍጠር ኣድልይዎ። ንሓደ ንጹር ዘይኮነ፡ ደብዛዝን ኣካራኻሪን ሕልሚ ንምውሓስ፡ በዚ ጸይቀ-ግኑን ኣውሬ ሓደ ወለዶ ድሕሪ እቲ ሓደ ክብልዑን ክሃልቑን ኣለዎም። ሎሚ ኣብዚ ናይ መወዳእታ ዕምሩ ድማ፡ ንመላእ ሃገር ንኸጽንት ኣብ ምውጥዋጥ ይርከብ። ሻዕብያ ክመውት እንተኾይኑ፡ ሃገር ድማ ምስኡ ከም እትመውት ኣቀዲሙ ወሲኑ’ዩ። ዛጊት ብዙሓት ኤርትራውያን፡ ክንዲ ነቲ ናይ ሃገር ሱር ሕማሞም ኮይኑ ዘሎ “ገድሊ” ምምራር፣ ገድሊ ድኣ ኣይኹን እምበር ንዝኾነ ካልእ ነገር ክውንጅሉን ሓላፍነት ከሰክሙን ይመርጹ።

እቲ ኣዝዩ ዝገርመኒ ነገር፡ ኣብ ዝኾነ ይኹን ጉዳይ ሃገር ቅንጣብ እኳ ክሰማምዑ ዘይክእሉ ወገናት ከይተረፈ፡ ሓደ ዘሰማምዖም ነገር እንተሎ፡ እቲ ተመላኺዑ ዘሎ ዛንታ ገድሊ እዩ። ዝተመላኽዐ ዛንታ ገድሊ ማለት፡ ንገድሊ ጸጽቡቑ ካብ መጠን ንላዕሊ ምግናን፥ ነቲ ገግናዩ ከኣ ምንእኣስን ከምዘይነበረ ምኽሓድን እዩ። Continue reading

Eritrea: Map of Terror

When was the last time someone beat you violently?
Do you remember yourself screaming at the top of your lung, begging for mercy?

Most Eritreans can answer these questions with an exact date. And it probably happened in one of these ‘prisons’. Click on the image to be directed to an interactive map.

Click image to be directed to the interactive map.

Click image to be directed to the interactive map.

Eritrea: The authorized version of events

coat_of_arms_of_eritrea

The Eritrean government propaganda are so outrageous that even the hardcore government supporters have to tune-down government propaganda in an effort to make the claims seem less stupid.

Even critics often moderate many of the government’s claims just to make them reasonable enough to be critiqued (for the claims are silly beyond that possible to criticize).

The above is taken from my post a year ago, “Eritrea according to the government”. Then I discussed how the “authorized version” of Eritrea is nothing like the Eritrea people talk about. Government supporters and critiques alike routinely moderate the government’s stand on things. It’s not fair.

Below I have laid out the typical government position on various things. I am playing the sober government official. This piece is not a satire.

[These government stands are pretty much “common knowledge” for anyone who follows Eritrean government affairs.]

The authorized version of events

(1) Arrest of G-15

It is common knowledge that 15 or so high officials were arrested in 2001. Some people focus on the “how” and on minor technical details. Doing so they miss the big picture: “why?”

The G-15 were not arrested for criticizing or challenging the government. The Eritrean political culture is based on constructive criticism and discussion. Those officials were arrested for treason and for collaboration with the enemy. They trampled on the blood of our martyrs and decided to negotiate through back channels with our enemies (Western powers and Ethiopia) in order to ‘sell’ Eritrea for personal gains.

Talking on the “how” and on technical aspects of their arrest… true there might have been certain procedural oversights, or even blunders I dare say. But that should not divert us from the big picture. They deserve to be arrested. Justice needed to be done.

(2) Freedom of Press

Eritrea does not ban independent media inside the country. The closing down of the three or so non-Eritrean-government owned media had nothing to do with freedom of press. The reason these newspapers were closed in 2001 was because it was found that these newspapers were being subsidized and operated by Western elements. We have evidences that suggest they were being used by foreign intelligence agencies. Obviously we cannot allow foregn intelligence agencies to operate in Eritrea.

Various Western so called human rights and press freedom organizations have accused us of lack of press freedom. This is baseless accusation.

Reporters Without Borders  for example has ranked Eritrea as having the lowest press freedom in the world while at the same time, simultaneously, ranking Eritrea alongside North Korea. This shows the West is ignorant of North Korea.

(3) Arrest of ‘journalists’

Our constitution guarantees freedom of press and the government holds this right dear. What must be emphasized is that the so called journalists who were allegedly arrested in 2001 were not arrested for their journalistic work. No one in Eritrea has ever been arrested for being a journalist.

(4) Closing of the only University

The University was restructured to meet the ever increasing number of new students. The university was restructured and its resources reallocated to various new colleges. The new colleges were purposely installed across all regions of the country to ensure equal development of all regions of Eritrea. In short the university was “multiplied” by opening new institutions of higher education.

As a result the number of students enrolling and graduating across the country has grown dramatically. The new colleges have their own challenges: they might be less equipped, infrastructure is still basic and so on. But that is the price we are willing to pay for the future development of education for all.

(5) Detention of University students in 2001

In 2001 students of University of Asmara volunteered to work on development projects in their summer break. Accordingly the government assigned the students  to participate in the reconstruction of their country. The students were assigned to work on rural Eritrea for the summer, which they did.

Some media outlets deliberately distorted this simple fact and made outrageous accusation on the government. They reported that because the university students refused to comply to work without compensation, the  government had detained the entire student body (over 2,000 students) in a desert military camp at Wia (about 45 kilometers south of Massawa city) for months. Such reports are utter rubbish.

(6) Involvement with Al-Shabaab of Somalia

We have been accused of arming, training, and equipping armed groups including al-Shabaab. And hence become the victims of an un-just sanction by the UN Security Council since December 2009.

Eritrea supports the self determination of the Somali people and condemns the involvement of any foreign powers trying to institute puppet government in Somali.

The Eritrean government is committed to helping the Somali people by all diplomatic and political means. Other than that the Eritrean government has never armed, trained, and/or equipped any armed group in Somalia or in the region.

(7) Clashes with Djibouti

The United Nations and the Djibouti government claimed that Eritrea had military clashes with Djibouti on 10 to 12 June of 2008. Furthermore, they claim that Eritrea has refused to disclose information on Djibouti combatants killed or captured in these so called clashes.

The government of Eritrea deny there ever was any military clashes with Djibouti. The government, therefore, has no knowledge of and cannot produce the allegedly ‘missing’ Djibouti combatants.

If there was any minor border skirmishes between Djibouti and our border patrols: we deny any minor border skirmishes.

It is a shame that this false information, along with false allegations of trying to destabilize parts of Horn of Africa was used to impose UN sanction on Eritrea in 2009.

(8) Detention of Orthodox Patriarch: Abune Antonios

The Eritrean Orthodox Church is the biggest Christian denomination in the nation. Regarding the administration of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the government of Eritrea has knowledge of the following: Abune Antonios was elected Patriarch by the Holy Synod on March 2004 and enthroned as the third Patriarch of the Eritrean Church on April 2004. On January 2006 the Holy Synod decided to remove the Patriarch and elected Patriarch Dioscoros as his successor.

We have heard allegations that the Eritrean government was involved in removing the Patriarch. Some have even gone as far as accusing us of detaining His holiness the ex-Patriarch.

As matter of principle the Eritrean government does not involve in any internal working of religious organizations. We cannot comment on church internal procedures. We don’t keep track of citizens and we don’t have any reason to investigate the whereabouts of the ex-Patriarch Abune Antonios.

(9) Persecution of religions

Eritrea guarantees the freedom of thought and freedom of religion. Various Western so called human rights organizations (including the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International) have accused us of religious intolerance. We stand accused of the banning of houses of worship, torture, arbitrary arrest of persons based on religion (including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians, Orthodox Christians, and Moslems). In addition we stand accused of interfering in the religious orders and the administration of the Eritrean Orthodox, the Catholic, the Lutheran and the Moslem.

We deny all accusations.

(10) Restriction of travel within or outside the country

This piece of misinformation is repeated everywhere that it is often accepted by the gullible without question.

The government of Eritrea does not impose travel restrictions. This misinformation stems from the fact that Eritreans doing their military service under the National Service are not allowed to leave the country without completing their national duty.

In addition while doing military duty, conscripts are of course subject to certain restrictions of the army barracks they are in. this is standard procedure for any country. Otherwise any Eritrean who has completed his or her National Service is free to leave and enter the country just like anywhere in the world.

(11) Shoot-to-kill border policy

Eritrea is currently in a standoff with the Ethiopian occupiers. The Ethiopian government currently has occupied land that belongs to Eritrea and has refused to heed to the the final and binding arbitration of the  The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EECB).

Due to the extensive militarization of our borders and the repeated incursion of Ethiopian army units into our borders, people illegally crossing the border risk being mistaken for enemy combatants. So far the government has not reported of any incident (accident) in which a civilian was shot at, but it would not be unprecedented if that happens given the tense nature of our borders.

People caught leaving or entering our borders illegally are brought before civilian Court and processed according to the law. It is unthinkable that any citizen risks arbitrary arrest, torture or even death for crossing our borders illegally.

(12) Indefinite conscription

The Eritrean law requires that all men and women spend 18 months of National Service which includes six months of military training. Draft dodging is a crime and is punished as such. Cases are handled on a case by case bases and I cannot comment (nor can I remember by heart) on the possible punishment handed to individuals for draft dodging, but I can definitely guarantee that any punishment the Eritrean legal system issues if fair and fits the level of the crime.

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*please e-mail me (DissidentDiaries@Gmail.com) or use the form below to send me additional topics I should address.