ICER  Action Alert: Kidnapped from Barantu in Broad Daylight

International Commission on Eritrean Refugees

March 26, 2013    Volume 2013,   Number 18

The Eritrean people’s predicament is too complex that even the Government whom some of us hold responsible is in frantic state to seemingly own the problem by reaching nations such as Egypt  and international organizations like the UN to treat its citizens as free members of the society not chattel. Notwithstanding the motive behind the regime’s unusual move in the past few months, we have no objections for all the measures that we expect it should take immediately.

The ICER Alert 18 as the alert notices before it shows that the cause of the unprecedented exodus of the young from the country is:-

  1. The endless conscription of the young to the army, an army anxiously waiting to fight a phantom war. The solution, therefore, is immediate demobilization
  2. The involvement of Eritrean officials in particular members of EDF in Human trafficking business is open secret. Thus, imprisonment of the notorious elements beginning from the foot soldiers to the high ranking officials is a step in the right direction.
  3. To put matters fairly and squarely the government policy of aggrandizement, total monopolization of business life, fear and corruption are more than enough reasons for citizens as old as 50 years old to leave the country.  ICER expect normalcy to reign over Eritrea

ICER could continue writing letters of complaints to Egypt, UN agencies and by the way to the Sudan too whose government machinery is unashamedly geared towards making thousands of Eritreans victim of human trafficking, but to what end. Unless, one controls the source it is indeed futile exercise to expect solutions from beyond.

  • Recently, Merkeba young lady of 19 year old was kidnapped from Barantu in broad day light. Barantu is a town in Eritrea some 130 Km from the border of Sudan. After few days stay in one of the many makeshift ‘slave holding’ spots in the Sudan, she was transported to Sinai to await her fate, that is, either to pay ransom money of 35,000 USD or face death. Upon hearing the dreadful news her parents hastily sold their house converted the Nakfa into US currency and send her older brother to the Sudan to pay the ransom money. I am sure they wished him Godspeed when he stared his journey. Unfortunately, her brother was caught crossing the border by the Eritrean Security forces and was thrown to jail with all his money confiscated by the government. Meron of Radio Erena had an extensive interview with Merkeb now awaiting death by the criminals in Sinai.
  • Last week prison riot occurred in Yemeni were over 200 Eritreans are kept prisoners. Our source informed us that the cause of the riot in Merkezi prison in Hodeida was the death of a Yemeni prisoner of unknown disease. The prison population amounting 600 blamed the Eritreans and perhaps ‘Somali and Ethiopian’ prisoners as vectors of the disease and asked for their quarantine if not extermination. The Afrikans are desperately calling for help
  • Similarly in Djibouti, prisoners are in an indefinite order of lockup with no one leaving his cell because of an incident that happened few days ago. Two mentally deranged Eritrean prisoners escaped from jail and the prison authorities blamed the entire population for their escape. We have no word yet whether the two mentally challenged inmates are apprehended or not. It is worth noting here that Eritrean refugees in Djibouti are kept as prisoners same as those surrendered EDF members victims of the brief skirmish with Djibouti few years ago.

ICER warns any person leaving Eritrea must be aware of the hurdles ahead. One must be mindful of his surrounding while in Eritrea and outside it. The Eritreans involved in this business, civilians and otherwise are as bad as the Rashaidas and the Bedouin who perfected extortion, blackmailing and torture

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