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.

An exiled Eritrean opposition force has called for Egypt and Libya-type mass protests to end the rule of the east African nation’s government, which is led by president Isaias Afeworki. The Eritrean leader has been in power since 1991, following 30 years of armed struggle that led to the country’s independence.

The Foreign Minister of Djibouti, in talks with the US Embassy, called President Issaias Afwerki of neighbouring Eritrea 'a lunatic'. He also revealed Eritrea opposes any real Somali peace talks. According to US Embassy wires leaked by Wikileaks, Djibouti's Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf in April 2008 widely distrusted the government of neighbouring Eritrea.

The jailed Eritrean-born journalist, Dawit Isaak, has won the Golden Pen of Freedom Award for 2011. Isaak, who has dual Eritrean-Swedish citizenship, was one of the founders of Eritrea's first independent newspapers, Setit. He was detained without charge in 2001 in Eritrea after his paper published letters demanding democratic reforms.

This latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses the fragile political and economic situation following the devastating war with Ethiopia (1998-2000). Just a decade ago, Eritrea might reasonably have been described as challenged but stable. Today it is under severe stress, if not yet in full-blown crisis. While not likely to undergo dramatic upheaval in the near future, it is weakening steadily. Its economy is in free fall, poverty is rife, and the authoritarian political more