Friday, August 31, 2012

Eritrean's Pariah sate FM declares " Political Power of Iran Will Enhance Peace in Region"


The foreign minister of Eritrea stated:” Iran, as an influential power in the political interaction of the world, will help the extension of peace and friendship in the region”. 

 Eritrea FM: Political Power of Iran Will Enhance Peace in Region(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The foreign minister of Eritrea stated:” Iran, as an influential power in the political interaction of the world, will help the extension of peace and friendship in the region”.

Osman Salih Mohammad, foreign minister of Eritrea, on the sidelines of the ministerial meetings of the 16th NAM summit, stated:” the participants of the different NAM member countries are doing their best for extending political, cultural, and economic interactions among NAM members and have reached some good results”.

“Most of the NAM members are developing countries and are doing their efforts in international communities to encounter imperialism”.

He acknowledged Iran’s political power in the region and restated:” we hope Iran, with considering its capabilities, could promote peace in the region”.

Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman trumps Kenya's David Rudisha in the men's 800m


Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman trumps Kenya's David Rudisha in the men's 800m

David Rudisha 
AFP

ZURICH — Ethiopian teenager Mohammed Aman trumped world and Olympic champion David Rudisha of Kenya in emphatic style in the men's 800m in the Diamond League meeting here on Thursday.
This race, Rudisha's only outing since he won gold in London earlier this month in a new world record of 1min 40.91sec, had been billed as another chance for the 23-year-old Kenyan to better his own mark.
But no one had counted on the kick of 18-year-old Aman, who finished sixth at the Olympics but who importantly last year became the first and last man to defeat Rudisha since 2009.
Starting in lane seven with Kenyan training partner Sammy Tangui on his outside, Rudisha bolted past his pacemaker in the opening strides.
With any chance of a world record completely out of the window in cold, wet conditions, Rudisha found himself in front but in a real dogfight with Aman, who kicked past the Kenyan world champion as the duo rounded the last bend.
Aman held on for a convincing win in a personal best of 1:42.53, with Rudisha timing 1:42.81 and another Kenyan, Leonard Kosencha, completing the podium (1:44.29).
"The race was good, really," said Rudisha. "The race was fast and the winner acheived a 1:42.5 time and new personal best.
"My legs felt tired and I cannot run well if the weather is not good.
"I hoped for a fast race here and am a little disappointed. It is very difficult to get a good pacemaker to pace for a 800m world record, but this time it was good. It was the rain that stopped me."
Aman was left extremely happy with having trumped Rudisha for a second time.
"I am incredibly thankful to win in front of this audience with a new personal best and a new national record," he said.
"This was the final Diamond League race and therefore a strong one. I am very happy and hopefully next year I will beat the world record."
Tags: athleticssport

Thursday, August 30, 2012

3 imprisoned Eritrean reporters confirmed dead AP


3 imprisoned Eritrean reporters confirmed dead
PARIS (AP) — Reporters Without Borders says it has confirmed the death in captivity of three Eritrean journalists who'd been imprisoned in the African country since 2001.
The media freedom group says Dawit Habtemichael, the deputy editor of biweekly newspaper Meqaleh, died in the second half of 2010 while detained at the Eiraeiro prison camp.
The group says the date of death of two other journalists — Mattewos Habteab and Sahle Tsegazab — couldn't be established.
Eritrea is a one-party state on the horn of Africa that international observers accuse of carrying out arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.
The journalists' arrests were part of a wider effort in 2001 to repress dissent and critical commentary.
Of 11 reporters arrested at the time, only four are alive.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

‘A Stand in the Sinai’: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary – CNN Press Room - CNN.com Blogs

‘A Stand in the Sinai’: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary
Eritrean refugees show their torture wounds
August 28th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

‘A Stand in the Sinai’: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

  • Follow-up to CNN’s award-winning documentary ‘Death in the Desert’ which uncovered the shocking trade of organ trafficking in the Sinai Desert
  • Progress discovered in Sinai Peninsula since last year’s original
TX: Friday 21 September at 2130 BST
African refugees, mostly from Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, face a dangerous journey crossing Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as they seek a better life in Israel.
As reported in last year’s award-winning CNN Freedom Project documentary ‘Death in the Desert’, the reality that awaits these migrants is often slavery, rape, imprisonment and torture.
In ‘Death in the Desert’, CNN correspondent Fred Pleitgen uncovered evidence that many of these refugees trying to reach Israel had fallen into the hands of human traffickers in the Sinai. These traffickers then tortured the refugees, and in some cases harvested their organs for sale on the black market, leaving many of their victims to die.
In 2012, in ‘A Stand in the Sinai: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary’, Pleitgen returns to the Sinai and finds a different reality now awaits the constant flow of African refugees. He speaks to Bedouin tribal leaders who say they are now working to battle human trafficking in the region, offering medical support and safe havens for these refugees.
Bedouin Sheikh Mohammed Abu Billal tells Pleitgen these refugees usually come to him with “signs of torture and rape, dressed in rags and starved…methods of oppression to exploit them for money. The burden is heavy on me, but it is a responsibility called upon us by Islam…that is why I spend my money to harbour them and bring happiness to their hearts at any cost,” says Sheikh Mohammed.
“When the CNN Freedom Project first discovered the atrocities taking place in the Sinai, it was not enough to do a standalone report,” says Tony Maddox, Executive vice president and managing director of CNN International. “Fred’s continued commitment to this story speaks to the Freedom Project’s core mission: that is to uncover stories of modern-day slavery, bring them to light, raise awareness and hopefully contribute to effective change.”
Earlier this year, the U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. recognised ‘Death in the Desert’ with the prestigious Tom Renner Award for its investigative coverage of organised crime or other criminal acts, citing the CNN team’s “great personal risk in crossing the dangerous badlands of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to expose a network of human trafficking and organ sales.”
About The CNN Freedom Project
In 2011, CNN Worldwide launched ‘The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery,’ a multi-platform initiative aimed at exposing the horrors of modern-day slavery, highlighting the growing efforts to stop the trade and exploitation of human beings and amplifying the voices of the victims. From debt bondage in India to sex trafficking rings in Southern California, the CNN Freedom Project has generated more than 250 stories of modern-day slavery. Many notable figures have partnered with the Freedom Project since its launch including Anil Kapoor, Demi Moore, COMMON, Mira Sorvino and Emmanuel Jal.
CNN.com’s Freedom Project blog on www.cnn.com/freedom serves as the platform where users can participate in the global discussion and debate around modern-day slavery. The CNN Freedom Project is on Twitter –@CNNFreedom – and Facebook at www.facebook.com/CNNFreedom. Through these channels, users can connect directly with CNN about this cause, learn more about the organisations standing on the frontlines and see how they are affecting change.

Full air times for ‘A Stand in the Sinai’
Friday 21 September at 16:30 and 21:30 BST
Saturday 22 September at 14:00 and 21:30 BST 
Sunday 23 September at 10:30 BST 
Monday 24 September at 04:30 BST
For more information, please contact:
Joel Brown
Senior Press Officer
CNN Europe, Middle East & Africa
+ 44 20 7693 0967
joel.brown@turner.com

Friday, August 24, 2012

Eritrean General sells Eritrean refugees to Arabs as medical spare parts






Eritrean B.General Teleke Mengus sells Eritrean refugees to Arabs as medical spare parts The head of the Eritrean Boarder Surveillance department B. General Tekel Menejus with his colonels control the human trafficking and body part commercialization of Eritrean refugees. In the past the Eritrean soldiers were ordered to shoot escaping Eritrean to the neighboring countries with live rounds, but now the cash them and sell them to Bedouin. The Main head for such enterprise is Col. Fessum who supposedly heads the Ethiopian opposition movements in in the western areas is the key ally of the Bedouins for such highly lucrative body part market in the Arab world. Every week of thousands of Eritreans are sold to the Bedouin tribes known as Rashid’s dispersed in Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and Arabian Peninsula. They are known for their as nomadic businessman. They sell anything starting from petrol, foodstuff, electronic, car spare parts and arms. Te most lucrative is Human trafficking.







Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Will this can be the time to talk peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea? - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

August 21, 2012 — The horn of Africa has seen recurring turbulent events again and again. Precious time wasted as is the demise of many innocent lives. The lost opportunities can not be recouping once it is gone. Neighboring countries went to unwanted war that could have been resolved in a civilized manner sitting in a round table. Still the horn of Africa is one of the most unstable regions, due to the standoff between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Unfortunately, the tragic events are designed for purposes that do not benefit the citizens of the region. It is designed and is left to be implemented by countries of the region to those who are strangers to the countries who eventually will benefit in a long term through means of divide and rule. Youth of the region are deprived from being thinkers and academicians, and are carrying cannons and bullets.
The war between neighboring countries Eritrea and Ethiopia has come to closure when the “EEBC” Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission ruled the boundary that divides the two countries. Unfortunately, under the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia did not comply and fulfill its obligation and is still sitting in a sovereign land of Eritrea. Eritrea accepted the ruling and has acknowledged since then that will be implemented fully.
Now that Meles Zenawi dies there is an ample opportunity for the new leadership in Ethiopia to take this opportunity to bring peace and harmony to the whole region. Eritrea on its part has never been the enemy of the Ethiopian people and understandably is to the benefit of the region to start a new chapter.
Once the two neighboring nations are able to resolve once and for all the mistrust, the domino affect will spiral to the region to earn lasting peace. The Djibouti Eritrea issue is emanated from the designers of the Ethiopia vs Eritrea case.
The Somali issue was getting their house in order before the invasion of Ethiopia. The mistrust and interference among Somalis prevented them to come together to solve their own problem by their own.
The Sudan, South Sudan case may not differ to the other conflicts in the region. It requires an honest broker to bring the case to close. Although the Sudanese vs South Sudan have had rocky and bumpy past, things that brings them together is definitely more than divided them. They can bring peace and harmony to their well being of their citizens and with that to the whole region. The discussions that already started between the two countries leaders hopefully will go beyond temporary benefits to garner them lasting peace.
Hopefully, the new administration of Ethiopia will come with positive attitude to clear the air in the region; will pull out their troops from Eritrean sovereign land.
With this the intended peace will flourish to all countries of the region, and will focus on trade exchange, business partnering and united front to protect all.
The author is the Former Bank of Eritrea Administrator. He can be reached atIbrahim_Ibrahim@experienceworks.org

Chalice Gold Mines closer to sale of Zara Project in Eritrea - Proactiveinvestors (AU)

Chalice Gold Mines (ASX: CHN; TSX: CXN) is a step closer to selling its 60 per cent interest in the Zara Gold Project in Eritrea to China SFECO Group.

SFECO has agreed to acquire Chalice’s 60 per cent interest in the Zara Project for US$78 million in cash plus a deferred payment of US$2 million.

SFECO has received all necessary regulatory approvals in the People’s Republic of China, including that of the National Development and Reform Commission, to complete the transaction.

SFECO requested an extension of the date for the satisfaction of conditions for its acquisition of Chalice’s 60 per cent interest in the Zara Gold Project in Eritrea by one month to 26 August 2012.

Approval of the Minister for Energy of Mines of the Government of the State of Eritrea for the transfer of the interest in the Zara Project is the next step and completion of the sale of the 30 per cent interest in the Zara Project by Chalice to the Eritrean National Mining Corporation.

This latter condition is for the benefit of Chalice, which can elect, at its option, to waive the same. Chalice said it was confident that these remaining conditions will be satisfied shortly, leading to completion in early September.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cultural event called illegal - Winnipeg Free Press

Protesters say a concert Saturday was a fundraiser for the Eritrean government, one of the most repressive regimes in the world. It's illegal in Canada to give money to the Eritrea for military activities.
DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image
Protesters say a concert Saturday was a fundraiser for the Eritrean government, one of the most repressive regimes in the world. It's illegal in Canada to give money to the Eritrea for military activities.
Organizers billed it as a Folklorama-style cultural event, but protesters called it something very different -- an illegal fundraiser for one of the most repressive regimes in the world.
About 20 protesters greeted cars and vans as they inched their way into the parking lot of the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church hall on College Avenue Saturday night. Inside the hall, the Walta Cultural Group, an Eritrean band, was performing as part of a "mini-festival."

SCATHING REPORT

Freedom of expression and association were severely restricted. No political opposition parties, independent media, civil society organizations or unregistered faith groups were permitted. Military conscription was compulsory, and frequently extended indefinitely. Thousands of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners continued to be held in arbitrary detention. Torture and other ill-treatment were common. Detention conditions were appalling. Large numbers of Eritreans continued to flee the country.
-- source: Amnesty International's 2012 annual report on Eritrea
Protesters with the Eritrean-Canadian Human Rights Group of Manitoba said the band is a military one and is touring Canada accompanied by Zemhret Yohannes, the minister of research and documentation for Eritrea's ruling party. The tour is a fundraiser for Eritrea's military-backed dictatorship, disguised as a cultural event, they said.
A monitoring group's report to the UN earlier this summer red-flagged such festivals, and local human rights lawyer David Matas says the African country has been involved in financing groups associated with terrorism. Allowing the country's leaders into Canada to pass the hat is unacceptable, he said late last week.
In 2010, Canada adopted a UN Security Council resolution prohibiting anyone from providing money to Eritrea for military activities.
Ottawa also made members of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front inadmissible to Canada. The law says it is an organization "known to have engaged in acts of subversion and terrorism."
Still, dozens of local Eritreans paid $35 to attend the event Saturday night. Protesters said many did not realize where their money was going or were simply homesick for Eritrean culture. Or they feared bucking local agents of the Eritrean regime.
"We escaped from these people and now they're in our backyard," said protester Bereket Yohannes, no relation to the minister.
Protesters questioned whether the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency was investigating the event and its organizers, and how the minister and the band gained entry into Canada.
They also questioned why officials with St. Joseph's church allowed the group to rent their hall for the event.
Officials with the church and with the Archdiocese of Winnipeg could not be reached Saturday.
Four security guards, local members of the Eritrean community, kept the protesters at bay and ushered cars into the parking lot.
They would not allow a reporter into the event, even with a ticket. Security guards said no one from the event would speak to the media, and would not say where money raised from the event was going.
"It's a cultural event," said one security guard. "You need to leave us alone."
The guard denied the minister was attending, though protesters said the minister attended similar events in recent days in other cities, including Edmonton and Toronto.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Eritrea's flag-carrying runner seeks asylum in UK to flee repressive regime | UK news | The Guardian

Olympic athlete and middle-distance runner is one of four from country seeking escape from repressive regime
Weynay Ghebresilasie
Weynay Ghebresilasie is seeking asylum in the UK, along with three other Eritrean athletes. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
It was while his team-mates on Eritrea's Olympic team were out watching the men's marathon in the Sunday sunshine that Weynay Ghebresilasiefinally decided to take the decision that has changed his life forever.
Without a goodbye, the 18-year-old walked out of his quarters at the Olympic village, threw away the sim card that had been given to him by the team's minders and embarked on the process of claiming asylum in the UK – turning his back on a life as a conscript in the army of one of the world's most reclusive and repressive regimes.
"As recently as last month, when I competed in Spain, I had managed to retain some optimism that the conditions back home would get better, but they seem to be getting worse and worse instead," Ghebresilasie told the Guardian. The middle-distance runner carried his nation's flag during the Olympic opening ceremony at the head of a team 12 Eritrean athletes.
While there have been reports that as many as a dozen athletes from various countries have gone "missing" rather than choose to return to their home country, Ghebresilasie is the first to go public on why he has chosen to claim asylum.
Visas permitting Olympic athletes to be in the UK legally run out in November but Ghebresilasie said that he has already spoken to immigration officials at the UK Border Agency's asylum screening unit in  Croydon.
Three other Eritrean athletes including Rehaset Mehari, the team's only female athlete, have also claimed asylum but were not willing to come forward to speak due to fears of retribution against their families, according to the Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change, a diaspora-based opposition group which is now providing support to Ghebresilasie.
"There are reasons to be concerned about our families because the regime is unpredictable and is likely to treat my actions as a betrayal," the 3000m steeplechase runner said.
"If someone is being accused of illegally leaving the country it's not unusual for a fine to be imposed on their family, or for their next of kin to be detained."
Despite struggling with extreme poverty and with a population of little more than 5 million people, Eritrea maintains one of the largest armies inAfrica, made up of soldiers forced indefinitely into national service. A 2009 investigation by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) said these conscripts are subjected to torture and illegal forced labour.
"Once you are forced into national service there is no way of getting out of what is a very tough life, other than if you lose a limb or are declared medically unfit," said Ghebresilasie, who has three brothers in the Eritrean army and lost a fourth in the 1998-2000 war with Ethiopia that claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Clad in a red and black tracksuit and cradling a bottle of water, he appeared melancholy as he chatted about his Olympic experience, in which he finished 10th in his heat.
"It had been a dream come true to compete here and I was hoping to perform well, perhaps even come close to a medal, but due to mismanagement and politics I could not achieve what I wanted." he said
"The truth is that we are not treated as athletes. For example, there were times when we went to other countries to compete and I was denied medical treatment by the Eritrean officials in charge, some of them high ranking-army officers."
In contrast, he had nothing but positive comments to make about Britain's stewardship of the Olympics, mentioning the "fantastic hospitality" and singling out the volunteers for special praise.
Asked if he could one day envisage himself competing for Britain, should the right circumstances evolve, he replied: "I still very much love my country and it's the harsh conditions and lack of basic human rights which has compelled me to seek asylum."
"Who knows what the future holds but for now I'm taking things one day at a time and I hope to continue to pursue my first love which is athletics."
Ghebresilasie is not the first Eritrean athlete to use the opportunity afforded by sport to seek a new life elsewhere. The entire nationalfootball team fled during a 2009 competition in Kenya, leaving only a coach and one other official to make the journey home.
But many other Eritreans have not been so lucky in their attempts to flee a country where President Isaias Afewerki – described as an "unhinged dictator" in the US embassy cables revealed by WikiLeaks – justifies the existence of his large army with the threat of a renewed conflict withEthiopia, from which Eritrea gained independence in 1992.
The UN estimates that 3,000 people left Eritrea in every month of 2011, most for Sudan or Ethiopia, many bound for Israel, while an investigation by the Somalia and Eritrea monitoring group uncovered a trafficking highway running from the Eritrean highlands through Sudan's refugee camps into the Sinai desert, delivering Eritrean asylum-seekers to Bedouin gangs, who use starvation, electrocution, rape and murder to extort up to $40,000 (£25,000) from relatives in the Eritrean diaspora for their release.
"The situation forces people to do things that may cost them their life, but at the end of the day sometimes there isn't a choice," Ghebresilasie said.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dutch Eritreans forced to pay ‘war tax’ | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Issayas Afewerki

Dutch Eritreans forced to pay ‘war tax’

Published on : 14 August 2012 - 11:09am | By ((C) ANP/ scris.it)
More about:
The Eritrean Consulate in The Hague has been extorting money from Eritreans in the Netherlands for almost twenty years. A report in Dutch daily de Volkskant claims people are being forced to hand over two percent of their monthly income to support the regime of President Issayas Afewerki.
According to de Volkskrant, those who refuse to pay are subject to threats and intimidation and are denied consular services. An Eritrean entrepreneur told the paper that he was only given permission to visit his mother in Eritrea when he agreed to pay “tax arrears” amounting to more than 600 euros. 
The man then made monthly payments, but when he wanted to travel to Eritrea a second time to visit a seriously ill brother he was again confronted with a demand for “arrears” of almost 800 euros. 
A report earlier this year from the United Nations suggested that the Eritrean regime was systematically extorting money from the global diaspora.  President Afewerki’s regime insists this ‘tax’ is needed to wage jihad or ‘holy war’ in the Horn of Africa.  Eritrea funds and arms the radical Islamic terrorist network Al Shabaab which is active in the region. 
There are an estimated 14,000 Eritreans in the Netherlands. The Hague Consulate has not yet responded tode Volkskrant’s report. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Will Eritrean Athletes Defect During Olympics? VOA

Ethiopia's Gbre-gziabher Gebrmariam, left, leads ahead of Eritrea's Zerenay Tadese, 2nd left, and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele during Men's 10,000 meters race at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, August 27, 2007.

All athletes

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Anita Powell
LONDON —  As athletes from around the world convene in London, Africa watchers are looking at competitors from the small coastal nation of Eritrea -- not for their skills, but because Eritrean athletes have been defecting in droves from the increasingly restrictive nation.

Dozens of athletes have defected in the last decade due to what critics say is to escape an authoritarian regime.

​​As competitors take to the Olympic arena, Eritreans in exile say they will be watching their fellow countrymen.

​​​​​​​​Michael Tesfai, an official at the Eritrean Embassy in London, says the country will field 12 Olympic athletes in several sports, including running and cycling. And, he insists, all 12 are going home.

“Because they are Eritreans and they love their homeland, so obviously I expect them to go back to their country, like anyone’s desire,”  Tesfai insists.

The Olympic crew includes half-marathon silver medallist Zersenay Tadese, who credits his country for his success. But Eritrea does not inspire such patriotism in everyone.

The nation’s soccer team first made headlines when four of its players defected during a match in Kenya in 2006.

In 2009, the entire team vanished in Kenya after a match. They later resurfaced in Australia. Then, last year, 13 players disappeared in Tanzania.

Several of those players have since ended up in the U.S. city of Houston under a refugee resettlement program.

Resettlement coordinator Dario Lipovac says he sees the athletes as being very brave for giving up their spots on a top Eritrean team.

"All seven of them are very happy to be here, and they're grateful, and of course no one's happy to be out of their country, of course all of them have family there and they miss them," says Lipovac. "But for them, this is a new beginning and we'll make sure that they achieve their full potential. And I hope that we'll see them play soccer on a big level very soon."

Eritrean athletes are not the only Olympians who are seeking to leave.

Two members of the Cuban women's soccer team defected to Canada earlier this year, and five basketball players recently disappeared during a tournament in Puerto Rico.

Decades ago, Soviet athletes drew similar attention.

Eritrea has become Africa's top pariah state in recent years. The Red Sea nation has been ruled since its 1993 independence by one man, President Isaias Afewerki.

Rights groups say Isaias’ administration has jailed countless political opponents, repressed freedoms and repeatedly postponed elections. Eritrea has gone to war twice with Ethiopia in the last decade. Army service is mandatory.

Human Rights Watch's Africa director Daniel Bekele says all of these factors have contributed to an increase in defections over the last decade.

“There has been a pattern of such kinds of defections, and these prominent defections from prominent sportsmen and women is a symbol of the seriousness of the problem," says Bekele. "But overall the number of people fleeing from Eritrea is increasing. From 2001 to 2011 over 200,000 Eritreans, and that’s about 5 percent of the population of Eritrea, have fled the country, and that’s a disturbing number and an indication of the seriousness of the problem.”

Eritreans in exile declined to be interviewed, citing fears it might put their families at risk.

But Lipovac, the refugee coordinator in Houston, passed on a message from his soccer players to Eritrea's Olympians: "When you go to London, we will be cheering for you."