Eritrea

More and more Eritrean refugees, mostly educated young men, continue to arrive in Ethiopia, with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, expressing concern over the rising numbers. 'Most say they left their country [to avoid] a prolonged military conscription, but they also say they want to join their families on the road,' Moses Okello, UNHCR’s representative in Ethiopia, told IRIN. Ethiopia hosts at least 61,000 Eritrean refugees.

Eritrea was behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Ethiopia in January and is bankrolling al Qaeda-linked Somali rebels through its embassy in Kenya, according to a UN report. A UN Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea said the Red Sea state's intelligence personnel were active in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, and that the country's actions posed a threat to security and peace in the region.

The first official Eritrean refugees arrived in Sudan in 1968; today, an estimated 1,600 cross the border every month to seek refuge in Shagarab, a large camp in the east of Sudan. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that northern Sudan has more than 100,000 Eritrean refugees but in 43 years, the profile of the refugees has changed. 'The new arrivals are generally young and well educated; they come from the highlands and have no cultural or ethnic ties with local populations,' said Mohame...read more

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its African group, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) to mark World Press Freedom Day by sending an open letter to President Issayas Afewerki of Eritrea, urging him to release all journalists detained by his government. The IFJ and FAJ say the situation of human rights and freedom of expression has been steadily deteriorating in Eritrea where it is estimated that some 30 journalists have been detained, without charges, sinc...read more

As scores of Eritreans drown trying to cross the Mediterranean in the hope of a better life in Europe, a new campaign is highlighting Italy’s complicity in the deaths of migrants, both through its support for dictator Iseyas Afewerki and through its agreements with Gaddafi to prevent the free movement of refugees across the sea.

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