|« Ethiopian and Qatar Airways :Air Disaster Averted as Radar Fails in Lagos||Ethiopia’s Meles Says Aid Allegations ‘Outrageous and Stupid’ »|
Eritrea has become one of the most unapologetically repressive countries on Earth
As thousands flee regime, Eritrea goes it alone
Facing the prospect of U.N. sanctions and increasing 'brain drain,' young nation's authoritarian president chooses defiance
By Stephanie McCrummen
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, December 14, 2009
ASMARA, ERITREA -- With the threat of U.S.-backed sanctions looming over this isolated Red Sea nation, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki recently summed up his defiant attitude toward the United States, and indeed most things he deems foreign -- a free press, certain religions, electoral democracy, political parties, global warming.
"Leave us alone," said the commandingly tall former guerrilla leader who became Eritrea's first and only president in 1993, after a 30-year struggle for independence from Ethiopia. "We don't want to be pushed around."
Over the past year, the United States and other nations have accused Eritrea of sending money and weapons to al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels in nearby Somalia, and a draft resolution calling for sanctions is now circulating at the U.N. Security Council.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Isaias, 63, dismissed the charges as "fabricated," blamed the United States for pursuing years of failed policies in the region and said of the threatened sanctions: "It will be a regrettable move if it's meant to blackmail or intimidate Eritrea."
Read Full Article from The Washington Post
Eritrea were knocked out by Tanzania last week
Officials have launched a search for Eritrea's national football team after the players reportedly failed to return home following a tournament in Kenya.
The Eritreans were knocked out of the Cecafa competition for East and Central African nations last week.
But when the team plane landed back home, it was reportedly only carrying the coach and an official.
The government, which is frequently accused of repression, denies any players are missing.
But the country's football federation confirmed to Cecafa head Nicholas Musonye that the players had not returned.
Mr Musonye told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme it was the third time the Eritrean team had failed to return home after a tournament.
"The Eritrean federation have done their best to bring a team to the competition - unfortunately these boys had other ideas," he said.
"Definitely they are in Nairobi - we have so many Eritreans here - they must be somewhere."
He said he would establish the facts and hand the details on to the police.
The UN says hundreds of Eritreans flee the country every month.
Critics say the country's repressive government, poverty and a harsh national service regime forces many to leave.
But the government denies that Eritreans are fleeing and accuses the UN of lying about the figures.
Comments are closed for this post.
|<< <||> >>|
«"ethiopian airlines"» adoption agriculture airline airlines athletics aviation business caf china crime diaspora drought dv economy ecx energy eritrea «ethiopian airlines» famine fashion football health ict immigration investment islam it manufacturing media «meles zenawi» migration mobile muslim olympic olympics phone politics power press rail railway religion soccer sport style technology telecom train wikileaks