Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eritrea rebels say they killed 12 government troops | |

Jubilant Eritrean troops show off their weapons after recapturing the western Eritrean town of Tesse..

By Aaron Maasho

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Two little known Eritrean rebel groups said on Friday they had killed 12 government soldiers in an early morning attack.

The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO) and the Eritrean National Salvation Front said they carried out the raid on Thursday in Kermed, Adi Metras, Ingra Abo, Adi Tela’a and Meshal Akran, all in southern Eritrea.

“The enemy units were engaged for nearly two hours,” the groups claimed in a statement.

“They suffered both human casualties and material losses that included 12 dead and more than 15 wounded, in addition to various types of military hardware.”

The claims were the first since last year when RSADO said it killed 17 intelligence agents and wounded another 37 in an attack on army barracks.

There was no immediate comment from the Eritrean government but authorities in Asmara often dismiss foreign-based opponents as “puppets” acting under the orders of foreign governments.

Eritrea accuses arch-foe Ethiopia of working to destabilise the Red Sea state, while Addis Ababa declared openly in April that it would support Eritrean rebels in a bid to oust President Isaias Afewerki’s administration.

RSADO says its operations are in response to Asmara’s refusal to grant autonomy to the Afar, whose homeland straddles Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Egypt. Police kill young Eritrean woman on the border with Israel

An appeal to the UN to take action. Rome/al-Arish,October 23rd, 2011. The organization is publishing the dramatic pictures of the body of the young refugee riddled with bullets, and sending a desperate appeal to the international institutions to prevent this killing of civilians.

Rome, October 24, 2011. Friday, October 21st, 2011: on the border between Egypt and Israel, Alam Haji, a young 36-year-old Eritrean woman (in the photos*), a widow and mother of three children, was shot and riddled with bullets by the Egyptian border police as she made a vain attempt to cross the border to qualify for international protection. The woman, who was hit by no less than 7 bullets (3 to the abdomen, 1 in the shoulder and 3 to the lower limbs) was taken to hospital but died a painful death. An activist observer for EveryOne Group in Northern Sinai assisted the displaced woman in her last moments. Before she died, Alam Haji told him she had traveled to Northern Sinai in an attempt to reach Israel and take her children away from the humanitarian crisis in Eritrea.

"Alam's death is appalling and unacceptable," say the co-presidents of EveryOne Group, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau "because this slaughter of innocent refugees has been going on for years without the international institutions intervening, and with the complicity directly or indirectly of those governments that implement rejection policies towards those fleeing war, persecution and calamities.

Every year, "explained the activists of the NGO based in Italy," dozens of Eritrean refugees are shot dead by Egyptian border guards on the border with Israel. Those who survive are arrested and imprisoned for up to two years while they wait to be deported back to their homeland. As we have reported several times in the past, due to a lack of medicines and the harshness of the prison conditions, many exhausted migrants perish in prison. EveryOne Group has been following the events linked to human trafficking in North Sinai for over two years: "Added to this tragedy, we have the cases of refugees who fall into the hands of traffickers, and those whose unidentified bodies are found in the desert, often deprived of their kidneys."

EveryOne has already sent several appeals in recent months to the United Nations, the European Union and the Egyptian government (and its representatives in Europe) to prevent the executions of Eritrean migrants on the border. In a new appeal today, sent to the European Parliament, the EU Commission, the Council of Europe and the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights and Refugees, EveryOne Group explains: "Once again we have transmitted the voices of the persecuted to the United Nations High Commissioners and the authorities of the European Union in order that they may do everything in their power to induce Egypt to put a stop to this odious and intolerable form of persecution of refugees, which leads every year - among the guilty silence of the international community - to appalling violations of human rights and the destruction of innocent human lives."

* WARNING: Please be aware that the photographs below are shocking and disturbing. Those images are used in an informational context, and should only be viewed by those who are not offended by such images and who are of a legal age in their community to view information which contains such images. Do not scroll down this page if you are shocked and offended easily.

Friday, October 21 Haji Alam was still alive

Three bullet holes in the abdomen of the victim

Haji Alam died due to severe wounds