May 10, 2012
To: All Eritrean National Political Parties
All Eritrean National Political Fronts
All Eritrean National Political Movements

ICER APPEAL: Save Eritrean Refugees from Human Smugglers

The International Commission on Eritrean Refugees (ICER) would like to appeal to all the political groups in particular to those whose operational base is Ethiopia to give focus on the issues affecting refugees in particular to the shady operation going on in the refugee camps. Frankly, since their base of operation is located stone throw away from Eritrea where the bulk of the refugees originate from we believe they are better placed than most of us to influence events, at least in as far as regulating the flow of persons from the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the Sudan.  The suffering of the Eritrean youth at the hand of the human smugglers, in the prisons of Egypt and the Sudan, the torture and rape of our women, the human organ harvesting is too open to need a complex deciphering manual. The plight of the Eritrean young is so distressing that the UNHCR Commissioner and the European Union parliament has to come up with statements in 2012, accusing the traffickers and the governments in particular the Sudan and Egypt for  refusing to take action against the outlaws in their territories.

This being the case, therefore, why is it so difficult for the political parties and in particular those operating from Ethiopia where part of the illegal activities is occurring cannot act in earnest to stop it?  Is it because  they are too preoccupied dealing with the more burning issues, for example, the overthrow of the unrepresentative regime and replacing it with democratic one? If our assumption is correct, we dare challenge them for singularly focusing on this lofty goal of getting rid of the EPLF led regime but avoiding the more doable task in front of them. We have no doubt whatsoever, that the current government will succumb to its evil doing, face its karma and hopefully replaced by an entity which we hope safeguard the interest of people in general and the young in particular. If history is a guide at all, the task of restoring the rule of law will ultimately fall on those inside Eritrea both the people and the discontented in the army with perhaps some support from those in Diaspora. This is the objective reality as it exist today. Thus, wouldn’t it be meaningful exercise for the political parties to work on the ways and means of stemming the flow of refugee from the homeland to a faraway places where they are subjected to extortion, torture and finally death at the hand of outlaw Arab Bedouin , the Rashidas and Eritreans. We demand that our focus be at alleviating the suffering of the refugees, advocating for their fare treatments in Sudanese, Egyptian, Yemeni and Djibouti prisons, diplomatically engaging governments in the region to reign on their outlaw elements, lobbying the EU, the US State Department for refugee support. It is also worth mentioning here that some of the political organizations are best advised not to unduly interfere in the miserable life of the young in the refugee camps and refrain issuing pass document for the gullible and anxious ones to enable them leave the camps to end up in the Sinai, the Libyan Desert and the Mediterranean sea with no bright prospect in the horizon. There are many in the camps of Mai Aini, Shimelba, Adi Harush whose job is to entice the young to leave home for mere 2,000 USD with the promise of facilitating their transfer across the border to the Sudan on their way to Israel where nothing but desperation awaits them. After the onerous debt is paid by families to Arab and Eritrean slave traders those escaping death or missing vital body organ remain traumatized for life to be useful citizens. As the saying goes charity begins at home.  The quicker we realize that the better for our restless but victimized youth.

The paradox in the whole Eritrean refugee saga is that many Eritreans with the exception of the Rashaidas who claim Eritrean citizenship are involved in the elaborate human smuggling ring with tentacles spreading from Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Sudan to Cairo, the Sinai and Israel.   The majority of the slave drivers are former freedom fighters and members of the National Service. They conduct their business in the open afraid from no one. Some are members of the group who vowed to oust the EPLF regime from power by any means necessary including armed confrontation. Their presence in the cities and towns of Sudan and in the refugee camps located in northern Ethiopia and Eastern Sudan is less than clandestine. In other words, they are well known to this particular group ready to battle the regime. We believe it is within their means to take them out of action should the will exist. In the final analysis, the armed group will not only be judged by how much it has neutralized ‘enemy’ personnel or the degree by which it was able to decommission armored vehicles and tanks but by how much it succeeded in uprooting those dredges from within and protect the refugees from falling victims to human traffickers. ICER had hundreds of names of big and small involved in human trafficking. These culprits are the cause of untold suffering including death and torture of young Eritreans, the destitution of Eritrean families at home and the disruption of life of many working families abroad.

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