International Commission on Eritrean Refugees
ICER Action Alert July 18, 2012 Volume 2012, Number 14
Eritreans leaving their country for safety is increasing at an alarming rate. The condition of those who already left home to lead a normal life than what they had In Eritrea is equally appalling. It is estimated that there are about 2,000 of them hold as hostages by the Bedouin in Sinai. Moreover, the refugee camps in Ethiopia are crowding and some over capacity to accommodate more refugees than what is allowable by the UNHCR standard. Inside the supposedly shelter camps, human smugglers continued with their sinister schemes to entice refugees leave the camps for relatively better living condition existing in the Sudan, Israel and by extension Europe and America. It is no more secret, that the Sudan has become a hunting ground to snatch unsuspecting young people for sale to the highest bidder. The authorities are helpless and/or unwilling to put an end to the illegal activities of the human smugglers, the majority of whom are Eritreans. The conditions in mainland Egypt if not comparable to the Sinai is still dangerous where refugees are shot point blank and thrown to dungeons for months without due process of law. Israel, considered the land and honey by some and a bridge to Europe and the USA by many is as cruel as the Siberian winter. The refugees have no homes to sleep, no job to remind them of their man-womanhood, and no respect whatsoever for their humanity. They live under a constant threat of imprisonment and worst deportation to hell-hole Eritrea where they left never to return.
There are many blames to go around but for now ICER wants to limit its accusation to the Eritreans actively engaged in human trafficking and those with primitive instinct who inadvertently abate these illegal activities through their readiness to pay ransom for the release of their loved ones. We request that they refrain from doing so and instead advise the young to stay home or at most stay put in the refugee camps. Unless and until one stands firmly against the traffickers and those poor souls (driven by familial sentiments, clan solidarity and euphoric pseudo nationalism) the agony of the unsuspecting and anxious young will continue till hell freezes. It is also the duty of every person in particular those determined to restore the rule of law in Eritrea to challenge the riffraff in the refugee camps located in the Sudan and Ethiopia as well as in Kessella, Khartoum, Cairo and Tel Aviv.
Here are some additional names of the human traffickers that we would like the public to know. As indicated in the Report compiled by ICER in mid February of 2011, under the heading ‘The Saga of the Eritrean refugees and the Human Traffickers’ some of the traffickers name is not real. Obviously, they use more than one alias to mask their identity.
1) Recent trip by an ICER member to Israel reveals that many refugees in Israel claimed to have been traded to Rashaida by a person named Tedros (ቴድሮስ). We believe Tedros (ቴድሮስ) frequently travels from the Shegraib camp in Eastern Sudan to Mai Aini camp in Ethiopia. Tedros (ቴድሮስ)is responsible of the sale of hundreds of refugees to the Bedouin.
2) Chai wedi Barentu and Mebrahtom Tsegai (ጨዓይ ወዲ ባረንቱን መብራህቶም ጸጋይ) operating from the Kessella were caught red handed with 80 hostages in Halfa Jedida by Sudanese Forces in May 2012. Consequently, Mebrahtom Tsegai (መብራህቶም ጸጋይ) was found dead by unknown assailants while the victims were sent to prison. The underboss for this operation is the person by the name John (ጆን)residing in Khartoum.
3) Some time in May 2012 in a stint organized by a daring Eritrean by the name Abel (ኣቤል)five human smugglers were caught by Sudanese security forces and sent to prison in Bahri. Among those captured are:-
a) Abdela (ዓብደላ)no father’s name- stationed at Kessela
b) Haysem(ሃይሰም)- Beni Amer and Kunama hybrid-Stationed at Kessela
c) Mehari Ogbai from Tesenaኢ(መሓሪ ዑቕባይ)- operating from Kessela
d) Meron Semere (ሜሮን ሰመረ) from Asmara- also stationed in Kessella who later escaped from prison
4) In April 2012, 45 Eritreans who just left the refugee camps in Ethiopia were hold hostages and smuggled to Sinai. A hefty sum of 34,000 dollars was asked for each victim. Those responsible for the capture and sale of the refugees are:-
a) Jemal Yasin (ጀማል ያሲን) the phone number reads 00201064090843,
b) Daniel (ዳኒኤል) wedi Mendefera (ወዲ መንደፈራ) with two telephone numbers 00201021194735 and 054-8378693
5) One who is living comfortably at the expense of poor Eritrean families and gullible few who foot the ransom bill is John(ጆን). We believe John’s other alias is wedi Batsi(ወዲባጽዕ). Our source indicates that he bought a house in Cairo where his family including his mother lives in the outskirt of the city. Wedi Batsi is notorious human smuggler whose name props up whenever issues concerning kidnapping and ransom money are raised.
6) Tesfaalem tekilemaryam(ተስፋአለም ተክለማርያም)(his real name), also used Azien(ዓዜን), and sometimes Tesfay (ተስፋይ)as alias is now in Sinai. He is responsible of torture and acts of cruelty in Sinai. He was a former military instructor in Sawa and a perhaps an informant to the Embassy in Cairo.
7) Michael (ሚኪኤል)whose first name is not alias but real is a torturer per excellence. It is suspected that he is responsible for the death a fellow Eritrean Yonas in March 2012 in the Sinai. Ironically, the UN office in Cairo is processing his resettlement to a third country.
8) Aklilu (ኣክሊሉ) his first name happens to be real works for the Red Cross in Cairo. His primary job is to liaise between the traffickers and the hostage holders in Sinai. He is closely associated with the Eritrean Embassy in Cairo, thus placing him at the center of the kidnapping operation where we suspect that Eritrean officials are involved in this lucrative slave trading business.
9) Our investigation reveals that many of the refugees who find themselves victims of hostage taking originate from the May Aini camp in Ethiopia. Regarding this situation we have informed the Ethiopian authorities to take action and try to stop the illegal activities conducted by few whose name is indicated below. To our disappointment they have not taking any action so far.
a) WediTewelde(ወዲ ተወልደ) (Mai Ayni Refugee camp- ማይ ዓይኒ ) in Ethiopia(ኢትዮጵያ)
b) TsegayZeriga (ወዲ ፀጋይ) (Mai Ayni Refugee camp- ማይ ዓይኒ) in Ethiopia(ኢትዮጵያ)
c) Tesfalidet (ተስፋልደት) he owns restaurant inside the refugee camp (Mai Ayni Refugee camp - ማይ ዓይኒ) in Ethiopia(ኢትዮጵያ)
d) Abraham(ኣብራሃም) nickname Golam (ጎላም) manages an entertainment center with Pools and Billiards at Mai Ayni Refugee camp -ማይ ዓይኒ)
e) Franko (ፍራንኮ) not his real name but own Tea shop in Mai Ayni Refugee camp -ማይ ዓይኒ)