An Appeal to End Human Rights Violations Against Eritrean Refugees

2021-03-29 10:39:21 Written by  EDA, Board of Directors. Published in English Articles Read 426 times

We in the Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA)*, a charity registered in California USA, wish to address this urgent appeal to UNHCR all concerned for tangible action in support of the Eritrean refugees everywhere, but most urgently to the 20,000 Eritrean refugees, shamefully described as “missing” from UNHCR camps in northern Ethiopia. Likewise, the estimated two million Eritreans in forced exile and those inside the huge prison called “Africa’s North Korea” also no doubt deserve timely attention from the international human rights and humanitarian community.

As you very well know, Sirs and Madams, when Eritrea achieved its independence in the early 1990s, the euphoric Eritrean people had hoped to establish democratic institutions that include the rule of law, national constitution and a government structured by election.  Dictator Isaias who had not yet achieved a total grip of power seemed that he would go with the will and aspirations of the revolutionary army and the people that was depicted later as a ploy.  Despite his games, a provisional legislative body was formed, constitution was drafted and ratified awaiting implementation.  However, deceitfully, and systematically he scrapped all of them and instead he built a brainwashed army structured to match his devilish vision.  That is to say he built an army that executes his orders blindly.   

When it comes to the tragic story of the Eritrean nation it appears that the world has taken its eyes off the ball and shifted its attention to what is currently taking place in the region of Tigray, Ethiopia.  Having said so, however, it should not be interpreted as if we are downplaying the evil deeds being perpetrated on the people of Tigray by Isaias and his accomplices. What we are attempting to do is to remind the relevant international organizations that the same practitioner of crimes against humanity in Eritrea is simultaneously carrying on the same crimes.

This is by no means new to the dictator in Eritrea; wanton killings, unexplained disappearances, throwing people in foxholes and containers or sending innocent people to the Danakil strip - the hottest spot in the world all these without a day in court.  Isaias created by design a generation whose future he turned to ashes by sending them into a forced military service in perpetuity. Those who could escape the entrapment left the country with no clear destinations.  The bottom line for them is simply how to get out of the hell and never look back.  The danger they face in the process cannot deter them and as long as Isaias remains in control of the country this trend will not end anytime soon.  Therefore, the country is devoid of its most productive segment of the society.

We understand there may be Isaias fatigue among the international organizations and governments, but the fact remains that the people of Eritrea are being persecuted everyday which desperately calls for world attention and action.  It is an open secret that there is no accountability or transparency, there is no rule of law, no justice or democracy in the so-called government of Eritrea. To every ones’ shock there is no constitution whatsoever by which the country is ruled which admittedly encourages the dictator to pursue his agenda of reducing the country into rubbles.  We believe there is no country in our world that does not have any form of constitution regardless of its content.  The dictator in Eritrea is the only one who is given a free pass to breach international laws and norms. 

Therefore, President Isaias had the audacity to interfere in the internal affairs of Ethiopia without any knowledge or consent of the Eritrean people which explains how much he disregards his own people.  Unfortunately, in the last 30 years the world community was observed giving the dictator toothless warnings and at times to our bemusement, the United Nations and the European Union used to grant him financial assistance as if they did not know they were throwing money into a bottomless pit.  As far as we know the dictator never had a project geared towards the development of the country.  Even though, there is no economy worth mentioning, what you have in Eritrea is a command economy.

The sovereignty of the people and the country is already violated by the blunders of the reckless outfit in Eritrea.  As we speak Isaias is using COVID–19 as a cover to lock in the people and famish them for the purpose of keeping them in the dark while he is committing genocide in Tigray.  Particularly, he does not want to be noticed while our service men and women are transported back to Eritrea wounded or in body bags.  Yet, the dictator keeps denying his presence in Tigray let alone to commit genocide.  The question is when will the Western powers and the U.N. understand the blood – thirsty Isaias Afewerki’s denials and manipulations and one day give him a stern warning for which he would respond instantly because he understands so well the consequences of a forceful warning.

Therefore, we urge in all seriousness the democracies of the world and the United Nations to rescue the besieged Eritrean people under the mercy of the bloody dictator and our refugees populating many unfriendly camps in the world who lack basic necessities to sustain them.  Once again, we urge the international community not to allow the total collapse of Eritrea.  The solution is in your hands to stop the pillaging of our country by the evil dictator who should have been arrested long time ago by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague.

EDA has been an activist and continues to advocate for the protection and full rights of Eritrean Refugees.  About 100,000 Eritrean refugees have been residing in Ethiopia, Tigray region in four refugee centers.  Under the international law Ethiopia is legally responsible to ensure their protection.  Unfortunately, after The Federal forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea invaded Tigray on November 4, 2021, two of the refugee camps, Shimeliba and Hitxax were attacked brutally by Prime Minister Abiy’s and dictator Isaias’ forces that 20,000 of them are unaccounted for and no information of their whereabouts.  We strongly urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and all international organizations to pursue in finding them and ensure their safety.  The perpetrators have violated international refugee laws that constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity and must be held accountable.

The latest decision of the EU to impose sanctions on some notorious PFDJ club members is a welcome down payment for the arrest of the bigger fish (Isaias) for his crimes against humanity. The Eritrean people have been crying in the wilderness for at least 30 years without anyone coming to their rescue. But now they are very much hopeful that the international community will step up and take serious measures against the ruthless dictator and end the years of pain and agony of the Eritrean people.

(*The Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA) is founded for public and charitable purposes under the State of California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law.  With 501 (C) (3) non-profit status. For many years, EDA has been supporting an Eritrean refugee school and a war disabled victims’ center in Kassala, Sudan. It also runs the “Sponsor a Child” program which has helped many Eritrean refugee children. EDA is also an activist and advocacy organization that works with all local and international charity organizations and UN agencies in carrying out missions of advocacy for refugees’ rights and justice.)

With best regards,

EDA, Board of Directors.

March 26, 2021

Last modified on Monday, 29 March 2021 12:50