March 2019

Eritrea continued its political diplomacy with respect to Ethiopia and Ethiopia’s opposition movements, the latest examples of which are the reconciliation agreements between Ethiopia and opposition from the Afar and Gambella regions. During their 20-year war, Ethiopia and Eritrea routinely accused each other of facilitating and supporting opposition movements in their respective countries. After the two countries signed a peace deal in 2018, Eritrea has hosted several peace talks between Ethiopia and its opposition movements in Asmara, continuing the wave of positive diplomacy.

On the downside, this month, United Nations Human Rights experts said that Eritrea was unable to account for or give clarity on the fate of missing journalists, opposition leaders and human rights defenders. Christoph Heynes, UNRH expert, expressed grave concerns about the static human rights posture of the government. They said some of the mystery cases go as far back as 2001 and as recently as last year. Examples are the 2001 detention of 18 journalists, of which none is known to be alive, the 2001 case of the arrest of 11 former top officials of the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice and the latest 2018 detention of former Minister of Finance Berhane Abrehe and his wife, Almaz Habtemariam.

Comments are disabled.