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News Analysis

Close the Eritrean Embassies Not The Borders

Next month a European Summit will discuss the measures to be taken following the Lampedusa boat crash. The Eritrean refugees are increasingly desperate and will take any risks to reach safety. During this Summit, the EU should not close its borders for these refugees, but in stead it should close the Eritrean diplomatic posts, which directly benefit from the trade of human smuggling and extortion of its refugees.

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The slaves of Eritrea

Canadian mining company Nevsun has been accused of using forced labour to build a mine in Eritrea. How could something like that happen in the modern business world?

The news was grim, but not surprising. Yannick Lamonde, an official within Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), received word in January last year of an impending report by a prominent non-governmental organization. Its contents were explosive: Human Rights Watch claimed a Canadian-owned mine in Eritrea had been built partly by de facto slaves. ....

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Eritrean Refugees at Risk

Many languish in desert camps. Some have been kidnapped, tortured, and ransomed—or killed—in the Sinai. Others have been left to die in the Sahara or drowned in the Mediterranean. Still others have been attacked as foreigners in South Africa, threatened with mass detention in Israel, or refused entry to the United States and Canada under post-9/11 “terrorism bars” based on their past association with an armed liberation movement—the one they are now fleeing.

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Lampedusa boat tragedy: a survivor's story

Last October a boat went down off the Italian island of Lampedusa, killing 366 migrants on board. What happened next? This is the story of Fanus, a survivor and one of thousands of people who flee Eritrea every year in search of asylum

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Behind Lampedusa Shipwreck: A Journey of Perils and Profits

"I had friends, close friends, people I'd traveled with from Eritrea, who drowned when I survived," he said.

Mr. Yohannes's journey and the Lampedusa shipwreck are emblematic of the perils and profits of a people-smuggling operation stretching across Africa and beyond to Europe. It is an expanding route in the global, $6 billion migrant-smuggling business that is becoming better organized by black marketers, and more lucrative, experts say. The low risks and high profits have left smugglers undeterred by crackdown attempts.

A coast guard vessel patrols the Mediterranean. Massimo Berruti/AgenceVU for the for The Wall Street Journal

On Friday, EU leaders are expected to sign off on a number of new proposals—including beefing up patrols of the Mediterranean and revisiting the idea of allowing refugees to apply for asylum from abroad—in a fresh bid to tackle the problem.

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Ethiopia and Eritrea: Brothers at war no more

It is very possible that the EPRDF will hand over the symbolic town of Bademe to Eritrea - which was awarded to the latter by the EEBC - but it can only get away with such a move domestically by selling it as a necessary sacrifice for a comprehensive and durable peace. The fact that the individuals leading the current Ethiopian government did not take part in the decision-making processes of the border war and subsequent peace agreement means that they are less constrained by the commitments of their predecessors.

For President Afwerki, on the other hand, the stakes are much higher. In fact, resolving the stalemate is likely to create more challenges than benefits to his personal power base. ...

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Welfare, justice and freedom of speech for Isayas followers

PFDJ/YPFDJ has shown their utmost contempt for their own people the 1st of December 2013. The average person would react with anger against the underlying issues for Eritrean losses of human life in just one day. This is not the first time, and will certainly not be the last time that a group of Eritreans die tragically in the escape from the regime. However it is the first televised loss that has been shared with the outside world. YPFDJ/PFDJ responded to this by inviting Isaias Afewerki´s representative to a meeting.

How this is legally possible in Sweden is to me a mystery. I would think that Sweden would bring to justice a dictator and his extended arms, for a crime I would call genocide, when he gets out of Office. How can you allow his representatives to even come to Sweden and have meetings in the midst of ongoing serious violations of human rights?

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Eritrea's military is trafficking the nation's children, report says

Senior military officers kidnap and hold to ransom youngsters, and many are sold on to human traffickers, according to report ...

Basing their findings on interviews with 230 Eritreans who suffered this fate, the researchers conclude that between 2007 and 2012, some 25,000 to 30,000 people were trafficked. The report, by Meron Estefanos, a Swedish human rights activist, and Professor Mirjam van Reisen and Dr Conny Rijken of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, estimates that $600m has been extracted in this way.

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Is the Horn of Africa facing another collapsing state?

Just as the Horn of Africa is witnessing the slow restoration of one collapsed state - after more than two decades of anarchic conditions in Somalia - it may be facing the collapse of another.

The small country of Eritrea, only 20 years after gaining independence from Ethiopia, has emerged as one of the largest sources of refugees in Africa - as well as one of the most militarised societies in the world. It is increasingly displaying signs of withering state structures and an unsustainable humanitarian situation.

Although Eritrea is sometimes referred to as the North Korea of Africa, a more appropriate point of comparison may be Somalia and its descent into civil war. The already fragile security conditions in Eritrea's neighbouring states means that its collapse could have major implications for regional stability.

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Sinai: In the Realm of Death

In the current weekly print supplement Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, published in the German leading newspaper SZ, a horrific story about the torture of kidnapped Africans in Egypt's Sinai is spreading across 24 pages. Called "In the Realm of Death", it is a harrowing account of an 18-day trip to hell by the award winning journalist Michael Obert and Magnum photographer Moises Saman. As the report is only published in German but contains vital information especially for Egyptian readers and government authorities, I am recounting their trip here and added translations of vital passages that are chilling to read. ...

... A human rights organisation in Israel alone has collected testimonies from over 1,300 Africans who barely survived the torture camps in the Sinai. Their stories tell of unspeakable crimes against humans and they carry the – well documented – horrific scars and injuries to go with it. ...

It is my wish that more people are willing to be aware of the terrible crimes against humans that are ongoing day by day by day in the Sinai desert. And that we manage to pressure the interim Egyptian government to undertake steps to put an end to one of the biggest atrocities of our times.

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Eritrea Has Failed to Realize Its Revolutionary Dream

Once a revolution is over, how do you judge its success? A victory for Mao's vision of the People's Republic of China was not exactly a victory for the people of China. A glorious, clean revolution isn't easy. Look at Russia, France, Cambodia, Iran. Look at Egypt today. In the coming decades, we will see the result of revolutions played out across the Arab world and, quite possibly, across Europe as well. Will they be deemed successes by anyone other than the victors?

A crucial, but little reported, example of a hard fought revolution and its troubling aftermath can be found in the Horn of Africa.

Twenty years ago, Eritrea—in the northeast of Africa—became a legally independent nation, having won its de-facto independence from Ethiopia two years earlier, in 1991. ...

(Photo: In 1998, the Eritreans went back to war with Ethiopia. The country's youth were quickly mobilized to go back into the trenches.)

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Asmarino Fundraising! Simply because there is so much more to be done!

Asmarino is one of the earliest and pioneering websites that has been providing media service to Eritreans at home and in Diaspora for the last 15 years.

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Asmarino

Updated Submission Guide

Submission Guidelines:

Any articles or press releases must contain contact information including your telephone number, exceptions being made for writers from inside Eritrea only. If you are writing from Eritrea, state that you are writing from Eritrea and you will be given instruction to securely verify that you are actually writing from Eritrea.

No google phone or VOIP phone numbers are allowed. Each submission must have the following line: contact information followed by a telephone number, your full real name; that is, even if you desire to use a different "pen name".

We have added strict SPAM filter on our Email Server, any email that has more than one recipient and not addressed to the proper asmarino pages (English, Tigrigna, Arabic pages) will be stored in the junk folder possibly delaying posting or never be posted.

From now onward, we are not going to accept multiple postings of articles. Exceptions will be made when an article is also posted at another website with a different audience, with little or no overlap with asmarino audience.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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