Reply to the Report from the Danish Immigration Service’s fact finding missions to Ethiopia and Eritrea – “Eritrea – Drivers and Root Causes of Emigration, National Service and the Possibility of Return,”
Dated November 2014
London 27 November 2014
I gave you references to two articles I published on the Eritrean National Service. One of you also told me that he was reading or was going to read my book—Eritrea: A Dream Deferred. The reason I wanted you to read my work was to enable you to have an in-depth understanding of the ENS, which over time has degenerated into a slave-like open-ended obligation. The information I provided you in the conversation we had was in no way different from the findings of my on-going studies.
I elaborated this extensively in our conversation and in the substantial changes I made to your draft using the ‘track change’ tool. You sent me a document to read based on our conversations. As said earlier, I edited it heavily and sent it to you clearly stating, “I have just sent an edited version of the conversation we had in London. You can definitely attribute the information provided to me.” I expected you to adhere to that document as it reflected my views. Instead of doing that you either used my name generally to lend credibility to your anonymised sources, or picked words or half sentences to fit into your account.
The way you have chosen to quote me contradicts the findings of the studies I have been conducting on the Eritrean National Service and the full information I provided you in our oral communication and in the edited version of the draft you sent to me for comments and approval. Instead of approving the draft you sent to me, I edited it substantially and your report does not reflect that (please see attachment). I would therefore like to be dissociated myself from your report and its conclusions.
I would ask you to make public the views that I have now sent you, dissociating myself from the report and the edited document I authorized you to use. I would ask you to make this public via the Danish and international media in the same way you publicized the report in the first place.
Professor Gaim Kibreab