By RODNEY MUHUMUZA Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda — Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.

Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.

Millions of already vulnerable people are at risk. And as they gather to try to combat the locusts, often in vain, they risk spreading the virus — a topic that comes a distant second for many in rural areas.

It is the locusts that “everyone is talking about,” said Yoweri Aboket, a farmer in Uganda. “Once they land in your garden they do total destruction. Some people will even tell you that the locusts are more destructive than the coronavirus. There are even some who don’t believe that the virus will reach here.”

Some farmers in Abokat's village near the Kenyan border bang metal pans, whistle or throw stones to try to drive the locusts away. But mostly they watch in frustration, largely barred by a coronavirus lockdown from gathering outside their homes.

A failed garden of cassava, a local staple, means hunger. Such worries in the village of some 600 people are reflected across a large part of East Africa, including Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The locust swarms also have been sighted in Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania and Congo.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has called the locust outbreak, caused in part by climate change, "an unprecedented threat” to food security and livelihoods. Its officials have called this new wave some 20 times the size of the first.

“The current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as ... an increasing number of new swarms are forming in Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia,” a new FAO assessment said.

Favorable breeding conditions through May mean there likely will be another new round of swarms in late June and July, coinciding with the start of the harvest season, the agency said.

The U.N. has raised its aid appeal from $76 million to $153 million, saying immediate action is needed before more rainfall fuels further growth in locust numbers. So far the FAO has collected $111 million in cash or pledges.

The locusts are “invading the Eastern Africa region in exceptionally large swarms like never seen before," the Nairobi-based Climate Prediction and Application Center said.

The new swarms include “young adults,” voracious bugs “that eat more than the adult ones,” said Kenneth Mwangi, a satellite information analyst at the center.

Mwangi and other officials in Kenya cited difficulties in fighting the infestation as coronavirus-related travel restrictions slow cross-border travel and delay the delivery of pesticides.

The verification work of field officers has been curtailed, making it harder for the center to update regional prediction models, Mwangi said.

In rural Laikipia county, among the worst affected in Kenya, some are calling attention to the threat to commercial farms.

“I think, unfortunately, because of other things going on around the world, people are forgetting about the problem with the locusts. But it’s a very, very real problem," farmer George Dodds told the FAO.

Aerial spraying is the only effective way to control the locust outbreak. After the locusts crossed into Uganda for the first time since the 1960s, soldiers resorted to using hand-held spray pumps because of difficulties in obtaining the needed aircraft.

Uganda's agriculture minister said authorities are unable to import enough pesticides from Japan, citing disruptions to international cargo shipments.

The government is yet to meet an additional budget of over $4 million requested for locust control, the minister said.

The sum is substantial in a country where the president has been fundraising from wealthy people to help respond to the virus and its economic disruption. Health workers are threatening to strike over lack of protective gear.

Other countries face similar challenges.

In Ethiopia, where some 6 million people live in areas affected by the locust outbreak, the infestation if unchecked “will cause large-scale crop, pasture and forest-cover loss, worsening food and feed insecurity,” the FAO says.

Bands of immature locusts are forming in areas that include the country’s breadbasket, the Rift Valley region, it said.

Ethiopia’s agriculture minister has said efforts are underway to deploy six helicopters against the infestation that could last until late August.

But ministry spokesman Moges Hailu spoke of an ominous sign: The locust swarms are now appearing in locations where they had not been previously sighted.

Friday, 10 April 2020 13:33

Egypt’s Nile monopoly is over

Written by

April 10, 2020 Eritrea Hub Ethiopia, News

Source: Ethiopia Insight
April 9, 2020, by Moges Zewdu Teshome
 
Gerd 1
 
History teaches us that when change arrives, the best way to deal with it is not to resist, but to adapt
The Nile River, the longest river in the world, stretches across eleven countries.
The Blue Nile, its largest tributary, originates from the Ethiopian highlands and flows all the way to Egypt until it enters the Mediterranean Sea.

Herodotus, two and a half thousand years ago, claimed Egypt as ‘‘the gift of the Nile’’ because it depended on its water and the fertile soils washed from the Ethiopian highlands.
 
For Egyptians, this narrative is as true today as it was thousands of years ago—but Egyptians seemingly forget that the river originates elsewhere. They allow its symbolic value to surpass its economic value. Egypt considers any tampering with the Nile River as a matter of life and death. This explains the combative approach of the Egyptian government towards negotiations over ‘‘fair and equitable utilization’’ of the Nile River.

Upper riparian countries that contribute the entirety of the water that reaches the lower basin countries, Egypt and Sudan, made no effort to tame this trans-boundary river in the past.  It was not until 1999 that the nine-nation Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was set up, launching a series of negotiations over fair and equitable utilization of the Nile River. This showed good progress and culminated in the Cooperative Framework Agreement (the Entebbe Agreement) signed by six out of ten riparian countries in 2010. Egypt refused to sign the agreement and froze its membership in the NBI, disagreeing with upper riparian states over ‘fair and equitable utilisation’. Playing a zero-sum game, it appeared only concerned about the relative gains of other riparian states.

In a broader context, this contention demonstrates tension between the forces of continuity and of change. The assertiveness of the upper riparian countries signified a formidable force of change; a stubborn Egypt stands as an inflexible defender of continuity. Can the force of continuity hold ground when faced by a burgeoning force of change caused by the fundamentally different circumstances of today?

The force of continuity: Egyptian mythology

In any discussion concerning the use of the Nile, Egypt has always boldly claimed historical rights over ‘its water’, including the right to veto any attempt to utilize the river by upstream countries. This claim results partly from a long-held mythology and partly from its erroneous interpretation of treaties and principles of international law. The myth, simply stated, is predicated on the civil law doctrine of res nullius, something belonging to no one or abandoned. The Nile River was adopted by the ancient Egyptians and now it exclusively belongs to Egypt. The underlying assumption was that it could be appropriated by one nation to the total exclusion of others. This is, of course, totally unfounded, and could in fact equally apply to upstream countries, allowing Ethiopia or others to tame the river, with due consideration of others’ rights.

Egypt dressed up its ‘exclusive rights’ with implausible legal arguments, revolving around claims of the binding nature of treaties on (non-involved) parties and the customary law principle of ‘not causing significant harm’. The first is the 1902 Agreement between Britain and Ethiopia on the delimitation of the frontier between Ethiopia and Sudan, though Britain has no more direct interest over the utilization of the Nile River. There has been a fundamental change of circumstances and the principle of state succession does not apply to decolonization.
 
Gerd 2
 
Why the U.S. lost its way on the Nile

The recent debacle reflects an unstable global order overseen by an unpredictable superpower with waning moral and legal authority.

The post-colonial states, in this case Egypt and Sudan, acquired a distinct and new legal personality. Even if an argument could be made that the treaty was still valid, article III only prohibits actions that ‘arrest’ or totally affect the flow of Nile River to downstream states. No upstream state has ever held such a position, which would be against the principle of causing ‘no significant harm’, a principle to which all upstream riparian countries fully subscribe.

In fact, the 1902 agreement has also been repealed by two subsequent treaties (the 1929 Treaty and the 1959 Treaty), between Egypt and Britain. The 1929 treaty gives Egypt the right to veto any future projects to be developed on the Nile River; the 1959 treaty apportions the water of the entire Nile River between Egypt, Sudan, and evaporation. Ethiopia is not a party to either of these treaties and is not bound by any of their stipulations. A treaty is binding only on the parties which signed it.

Egypt also contended that under customary international law, no state should cause significant harm to the interests (existing or future) of other states. Indeed, although it has yet to be properly defined, the ‘no significant harm’ principle has acquired a customary international law status. Equally, a state which claims that significant harm has been caused to its interests by other state(s) must show the actual existence of such harm. The International Court of Justice, for example, stated Nicaragua must prove the existence of trans-boundary harm, in its judgement on the case between Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua, in para.217.
Gerd 3
 
Grand Nile compromise—a Sisyphean task?
Egypt and Ethiopia are unlikely to strike terms over GERD without agreeing a new legal framework governing the Nile Basin.
Egypt has claimed the ‘no significant harm’ factor is relevant to aspects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), but this is essentially contrary to the Environmental Impact Assessment conducted by the Ethiopian government and the findings and recommendations of the International Panel of Experts. The project is in line with international standards and recommendations of the Panel of Experts.

The most specific claim of Egypt, and the main reason for the recent impasse in the tripartite discussions between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, concerns the technical issues of prolongation of the filling period and guarantees over periods of drought. Every state has a sovereign right to use the resources within their territory and no form of diktat can affect this. The timing of the filling can only be reached through mutual cooperation, the result of negotiations carried out in good faith. Nothing more, nothing less.

Ethiopia is not constructing the dam for its aesthetic value; it is to bridge the gap between its ever-increasing need for power and the capacity of the state to provide it. Without provision of alternatives or payment of compensation, Egypt has no legal or moral capacity to demand an excessively prolonged period to fill the dam. As for periods of drought, no one can buy insurance policy for an Act of God. Neither Ethiopia nor Egypt has control over drought, but both have reciprocal obligations for sustainable utilization of available resources.

The force of change: #ITSMYDAM!

History teaches us that when real change arrives, the best way to deal with it is not to underestimate it or resist it, but to adapt one’s position through accommodative strategies. The world is full of compromises and excuses, give and take. The situation in Ethiopia has changed and for the better. The late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, made it clear that Egypt should come to terms the changing circumstances and face the realities of the 21st century. No power can stop Ethiopia from unilaterally utilizing its natural resources. The changes came because the increasing population of Ethiopia, now close to 110 million people, calls for commensurate development to provide it with renewable energy. It is part of the moral and legal obligations incumbent upon the government to meet the needs of its population in the fight against poverty.
The Blue Nile is no more an orphan but a child of Ethiopia, previously neglected but now animating every citizen of Ethiopia. The NBI and the Entebbe Agreement have been the result of Ethiopia’s relentless diplomatic efforts, underlined by the national commitment to claim a fair share of the river, symbolized by the launching of the GERD in 2011. If there is anything that unifies the ruling party, opposition, and critics alike, it is the redeemed sense of justice visible in the GERD project.
 
Gerd 4
 
Why Ethiopia rejected the U.S.-drafted GERD deal

Proposed drought-mitigation mechanisms seen as designed to protect Egypt’s contested share of Nile waters. Ethiopia Insight explains the details.

Indeed, the GERD has as much symbolic as economic value. It is being built by the contributions made by all Ethiopians and as its very name underlines it is a national symbol of unity, justice and power, demonstrating Ethiopians welcome of the ‘return of their prodigal son’. The current diplomatic schism between Ethiopia and Egypt, caused by the failed negotiations, has reinvigorated the general public’s determination to support Ethiopia’s rightful claim over the Blue Nile in general and the unstoppability of the GERD project: ‘it is my Dam!’

The force of change is well supported by the international legal instruments as well. Ethiopia is not bound by outdated and irrelevant colonial treaties. Ethiopia is a sovereign state that has the right to put its natural resources to appropriate use. The only limitation under customary international law is the obligation not to cause significant trans-boundary harm—codified in Art. 2 of the Rio Declaration and upheld by international tribunals and courts here and here. Ethiopia, indeed, has firmly adhered to this principle throughout the negotiations.

Reconciling the irreconcilable

The forces of continuity and change are not mutually exclusive. They can be reconciled if the parties negotiate on the basis of their own interests, rather than mythological positions, when heading to the negotiation table. Egypt must recognise that that Ethiopia provides the lion’s share of the water that reaches Egypt, that it is using a tiny percent of its own water, and that the circumstances have fundamentally changed in the upper riparian states. Ethiopia must not deny the reliance of Egypt on the Nile River and pledge to carry out the GERD project in a manner that does not cause any significant harm downstream. This would allow real negotiations on interests and genuine cooperation would be likely.

The problem has been that Egypt has not been negotiating on the basis of interest, but rather on pre-determined positions—a typical zero-sum game. Had Egypt accepted the basic facts, shown good faith, and been ready to give up its mythical claim of exclusive ownership of the Nile River, agreement on the technical matters, who gets what and when, could easily be reached. Egypt has no right to dictate to Ethiopia how to fill the GERD reservoir but it can negotiate an acceptable outcome, offering compensatory mechanisms or incentives where appropriate. Have these been proposed? It is impossible to provide guarantees against natural disasters like drought, but if parties cooperate in good faith, they can easily work on issues to mitigate any ensuring damage. These are questions that need to be answered, if negotiations are to proceed.
 
Ethiopia does not need Egypt’s permission to start filling GERD

The Blue Nile hydropower dam has been constructed in accordance with international legal principles and Ethiopia has the right to make it operational.
The disruption in the tripartite technical discussions, and Egypt’s refusal to negotiate, have raised concerns about conflict, though no one can afford a devastating war in the 21st century, least of all when the world is being devastated by a global pandemic.

As Thucydides stated, ‘‘it is the rise of Athens and the fear that it instilled in Sparta that made the war inevitable.’’ There is no legal or scientific basis for Egypt’s ‘perceived fear’ of potentially significant harm posed by the GERD. Its claim for exclusive use of the Nile River proves nothing but the fact that ‘‘there is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.’’ Above all, the forces of change cannot be contained or ignored. Egypt must understand that its fears are unjustified, and if it is to continue negotiations in good faith, it must stop running after outside powers or playing with ideology.

The Nile is a water resource located in Africa. The parties in dispute are members of the African Union. The solution should be African, not something dictated by the U.S. or arranged through the Arab League. The world has moved on and the solution must provide for sustainable use of the Nile water, in Egypt as in Ethiopia, a common and agreed response for a common problem.

Source=https://eritreahub.org/egypts-nile-monopoly-is-over

Thursday, 09 April 2020 22:46

Radio Dimtsi Harnnet Kassel 09.04.2020

Written by

Source: Reuters

The bank’s Africa’s Pulse report said the region’s economy will contract 2.1% to 5.1% from growth of 2.4% last year, and that the coronavirus will cost sub-Saharan Africa $37 billion to $79 billion in output losses this year due to trade and value chain disruption, among other factors.

Africa has at least 10,956 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, 562 deaths and 1,149 recoveries, according to a Reuters tally based on government statements and WHO data.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the limits of societies and economies across the world, and African countries are likely to be hit particularly hard,” World Bank Vice President for Africa Hafez Ghanem said.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are racing to provide emergency funds to African countries and others to combat the virus and mitigate the impact of sweeping shutdowns aiming at curbing its spread.

The coronavirus has led to suspension of international passenger travel in many countries on the continent, and hit sectors such as tourism.

Various African governments have announced lockdowns or curfews in response to the virus, which was slow to reach many African countries but is now growing exponentially, according to the World Health Organization.

Real gross domestic product growth was projected to fall sharply particularly in the region’s three largest economies – Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa, the World Bank said.

Oil exporting-countries would also be hard-hit; while growth would likely weaken substantially in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and the East African Community due to weak external demand, disruptions to supply chains and domestic production.

The bank said the spread of the flu-like respiratory disease also had potential to lead to a food security crisis on the continent, with agricultural production forecast to contract 2.6% and up to 7% in the event of trade blockages.

“Food imports would decline substantially (as much as 25% or as little as 13%) due to a combination of higher transaction costs and reduced domestic demand,” the bank said in a statement accompanying the report.

The institutions have also called on China, the United States and other bilateral creditors to temporarily suspend debt payments by the poorest countries so they can use the money to halt the spread of the disease and mitigate its financial impact.[nL1N2BI15A]

“There will be need for some sort of debt relief from bilateral creditors to secure the resources urgently needed to fight COVID-19 and to help manage or maintain macroeconomic stability in the region,” Cesar Calderon, the bank’s lead economist and lead author of the report, said.

The World Bank said African policymakers should focus on saving lives and protecting livelihoods by spending money to strengthen health systems and taking quick actions to minimise disruptions in food supply chains.

It also recommended social protection programmes, including cash transfers, food distribution and fee waivers, to support citizens, especially those working in the informal sector.

08 ሚያዝያ 2020

ኣብ ሓባራዊ ስራሕ ንምጽማድ፣ ንገለ ኣዋርሕ ክካየድ ዝጸንሐ ናይ መራሕቲ ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታት መስርሕ ዘተ ኣብ ወርሒ መጋቢት 2020 ክድምደም ተመዲቡ' እንተነበረ፣ ብምስፍሕፋሕ ኮረና ቫይረስ ምክንያት እቲ ዝተሓስበ ዋዕላ ክካየድ ኣይተኻእለን። ይኩን'ምበር ምስፍሕፋሕ እዚ ለበዳ' (ኮቪድ -19) ኣብ ውሽጥን ኣብ ወጻኢን ዝርከብ ህዝብና ከውርዶ ዝክእል ብርቱዕ ሓደጋ ብምግንዛብ፡ እቲ ዘተ ክቕጽልን ሓባራዊ ተግባር ክሕወሶን ኣብ ምርድዳእ ከም ተበጽሐ ክንሕብር ንፈቱ። በዚ ምርድዳእ’ዚ መሰረት ድማ፣ ዕለት 1 ሚያዝያ 2020 "ሓባራዊ መልእክቲ ናብ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ" ከምእ’ውን ናብ ዝተፈላለያ ግብረ ስናይ ማሕበራትን፣ ዓለምለኻዊ ናይ ጥዕና ትካል ዳይረክተርን፣ ናብ ኮምሽነር ላዕለዋይ ኮሞሽን ሕቡራት ሃገራት ጉዳያ ስደተኛታትን ሓባራዊ መልእክቲን ከምዝሰደደ ዝዝከርዩ። ቀጻልነት ናይዚ ተብግሶ' ንምርጋግጽን፣ ኩሉ ደላይ ፍትሒ ኣንጻር ለበዳ ኮሮና ቫይረስ (ኮቪድ-19) ወሲድዎ ዘሎ ተበግሶ ንምድጋፍን ንምብርታዕን ኣብ ዝተፈላለየ ሜዳታት ዝተሓጋገዝ ፍሉይ ሓይሊ ዕማም ክቕውም ኣኼባ ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታት ወሲኑ።

እዚ ብዝተፈላለያ ምንቅስቓሳትን ናይ ጥዕና ሞያውያንን ተጀሚሩ ዘሎ ተበግሶታት፣ እቲ ዝድለ ዕላማ ብግቡእ ንኽረጋገጽ እቲ ዝካየድ ዘሎ ስራሓት ክወሃሃድን ክተኣሳሰርን ይግባእ። ድሮ’ኳ እቲ ኣብ ኩሉ ኩርናዓት ዓለም ተበጊሱ ዘሎ ወፈራ፣ ዓለምለኻዊ መልክዕ ሒዙ ምህላዉ ጽቡቕ ኣብነት ኢዩ። ኣብዚ እዋንዚ ኣብ ዝተፈላለየ ሃገራት ዝነብር ኤርትራዊ ዜጋ ብስድርኡን ብህዝቡን ዘይጭነቕን ዘይሓስብን የሎን። ዓቕሙ ዝፈቕዶ ኣበርክቶ ክገብር ቅሩብ ከም ዘሎ’ውን ኩሉናንግንዘቦ ኢዩ። ስለዚ ኩሉ ጻዕርና እቲ ተበጊሱ ዘሎ ምስፋሕን ምብርታዕን፣ እቲ ዘይተበገሰ ድማ ከምዝሕወሶ ምስራሕን ክኸውን ለበዋና ነመሓላልፍ።

ጥዕና ህዝብና ንምሕላው ንተዓጠቕ !

ናጻ ኤርትራ ንዘልኣለም ትንበር! 

  1. ኤርትራዊ ሃገራዊ ባይቶ ንደሞክራስያዊ ለውጢ (ኤሃባደለ)
  2. ኤርትራዊ ሃገራዊ ግንባር (ኤሃግ)
  3. ሰልፊ ዲሞክራሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ (ሰዲህኤ)
  4. ውድብ ሓድነት ንዲሞክራስያዊ ለውጢ (ውሓዲለ)
  5. ውድብ ሓድነት ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ (ውሓኤፍ)
  6. ዲሞክራስያዊ ውድብ ዓፈር ቀይሕ ባሕሪ (ዲውዓቀባ)

 

8 أبريل 2020

كان من المقرر أن تنتهي الحوارات التي انخرطت فيها قيادات القوى السياسية لعدة أشهر بعقد ملتقى في شهر مارس الماضي. إلا أن ذلك قد تعذر بسبب انتشار جائحة كوفيد 19. وواضعين في الإعتبار ما قد يتعرض له شعبنا في الداخل والخارج من مخاطر كبيرة جراء هذا الوباء المنتشر، فقد تقرر مواصلة الحوار مصحوبًا بخطوات عملية في هذا السياق. وكانت القوى السياسية الإرترية، بناء على تلك التفاهمات، قد قامت في الأول من إبريل الجاري بتوجيه رسائل مشتركة إلى الشعب الإرتري ، فضلًا عن إرسال مذكرة موجهة إلى المنظمات الإنسانية المختلفة، ومدير منظمة الصحة العالمية، وإلى مفوض المفوضية السامية للأمم المتحدة لشؤون اللاجئين.

وللتأكيد على مواصلة هذه المبادرة. ودعمًا وتعزيزًا لجهود ومبادرات طلاب العدالة من شعبنا والهادفة إلى مكافحة جائحة كرونا (كوفيد 19)، فإن اجتماعات قيادات القوى السياسية قرر تكوين فريق عمل يساهم في مختلف المهام المتعلقة بهذه المبادرات.

ولكي تتحقق أهداف ومبتغى هذا التحرك الذي بدأ بمبادرات العاملين في الحقل الصحي، فلا بد أن يكون هناك تنسيق وتعاون بين جميع الأطراف المنخرطة في هذا العمل الإنساني النبيل. ومن المؤشرات الإيجابية لهذا التحرك أنه أصبح ينتشر في كل مكان وبدأ يأخذ طابعًا عالميًّا. وانطلاقًا من ثقتنا بأنه لا يوجد إرتري في أي مكان غير غلق على أهله وشعبه ولا يفكر بهم، وأنه على استعداد تام للقيام بما يلزم تجاههم وفق ما تسمح به إمكانياته، فإننا سنبذل كل الجهود الممكنة من أجل توسيع وتعزيز تلك المبادرات، راجين من الجميع الانخراط في هذا الجهد الوطني.

لنعمل معًا لحماية صحة شعبنا !!

لتعش إرتريا المستقلة إلى الأبد !!

  1. المجلس الوطني الإرتري للتغيير الديمقراطي
  2. الجبهة الوطنية الإرترية
  3. حزب الشعب الديمقراطي الإرتري
  4. تنظيم الوحدة من أجل التغيير الديمقراطي
  5. الاتحاد الإرتري من أجل العدالة
  6. التنظيم الديمقراطي لعفر البحر الأحمر

ርእሰ-ዓንቀጽ ሰዲህኤ

ካብዚ  ዓለምና ብሰንኪ ሕማም ኮሮና ቫይረስ ምህላውን ዘይምህላውን ተፋጢጠሙላ ዘለዉ ሓደገኛ ኩነታት፡ ንምውጻእ ኩሎም ወገናት ዝነበሮም ኣጀንዳታት ኣወንዚፎም፡ በብርኩርናዑ ንህልውና ሰባት ይረባረቡ ኣለዉ። እንተኾነ ዋላ እተን ኩሉ ከም ዝኽእላ ዝእመነለን ዝነበራ መንግስታት እውን ክሳብ ሎምስ ብዘተኣማምን መኪተን ውዱእ ውጽኢት ከርእያ ኣይከኣላን። ካብዚ ኣብ ዓለምና ከምቲ ዝሓለፈ ናይ ዓለም ውግኣት ናይ ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልን ምጣነሃብታዊ ዓቕምን ኣሰላልፋ ክቕይር እዩ፡ ተባሂሉ ዝግመት ዘሎ ኩነታት ንምውጻእ ካብ ዘኽእሉ መንገድታት ሓደ ብሓባር ምስራሕ ምዃኑ ተኣሚንሉስ ብግብሪ ክስረሓሉ ጀሚሩ ኣሎ። ሃገራት ኣብ ሕድሕደን ናይ መሳርሕን ክኢላታትን ሓገዝ ክለጋገሳ ምጅማረን ከኣ ናይዚ ኣብነት ጌርካ ዝውሰድ እዩ።

ሓቢርካ ምስራሕን ምቅላስን ክሳብ ክንደይ ኣገዳሲ ምዃኑ ንዓና ንኤርትራውያን ሓይልታት ለውጢ  ካብ ካልእ ዝንገረና ዘይኮነ ካብ ተመኩሮ ቃልስና ኣንጻር ህግዲፍ እንርደኦ እዩ። ምኽንያቱ ብሰንኪ ሓቢርካ ዘይምቅላስ ክሳብ ክንደይ እንጽበዮ ውጽኢት ክንረክብ ከምዘይክኣልና ንርዳእ ስለ ዝኾና። ሎሚ እውን እነሆ ጉዳይ ብሓባር ምስራሕን ምቅላስን ኣብ ልዕልቲ ኣገዳስነቱ ኣዝዩ ግዜ ዘይህብ እዋናዊ ዛዕባ ኮይኑ። ኤርትራውያን ሓይልታት ለውጢ ብፍላይ ኣብዚ ዝሓለፈ ክልተ ዓመታት ከስምዕዎ ዝጸንሑ ድምጽታት ኣገዳስነት ሓቢርካ ምቅላስ ክሳብ ክንደይ በሪኹ ከም ዘሎ ዘርኢ እዩ። ድምጺ ኤርትራውያን፡ ፖለቲካዊ ምሕዝነታት፡ ግንባራት፡ ሰልፍታትን ውድባትን እውን ካብዚ ዝተፈልየ ኣይኮነን። እዞም ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታት ውሁድ ድምጾም ጥራይ ዘይኮነ፡ ኣብዚ ቀረባ ግዜ ብዛዕባ፡ ኣብ ሱዳን ኣብ ልዕሊ ስደተኛታት ዝወረደ በደል፡ ኩነታት ኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ኣብ እስራኤል፡ ኢድ ኣእታውነት ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ጉዳይ ኤርትራዊ ዛዕባን ሓደገኛ ወስታ ልኡኻት ህግዲፍ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኣቶ ኣማኑኤል  እያሱን ዘውጽእዎ ናይ ሓባር መግለጽታት መስርሕ ሓድነት ኣብ ምጽራግን ሕድሕድ ምትእምማን ኣብ ምዕኳኽን ዝነበሮ እጃም ብቐሊሉ ዝግመት ኣይኮነን።

እነሆ ሎሚ ከኣ እዞም ፖለትካዊ ሓይልታት ኤርትራ ኣብዚ ዓለምና ኣብ ፍሉይ ኣጨናቒ ኩነታት ኣትያትሉ ዘላ ህሞት ብ31 መጋቢት 2020 “ሓባራዊ መልእኽቲ ናብ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ/ መጸዋዕታ ኤርትራውያን ናብ ዓለም-ለኻዊ ሰብኣዊ ማሕበረሰብ፡ ካብ ፖሊቲካዊ ሓይልታት ኤርትራ” ኣብ ትሕቲ ዝብል ኣርእስታት ብዝተፈላለዩ ቋንቋታት ብሓባር ቃሎም ኣስሚዖም ኣለዉ። እዚ መጸዋዕታ በቲ ሓደ ወገን፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ በቲ ብዛዕባዚ ቀዛፊ ሕማም ኮሮና ቫይረስ ብዝተፈላለዩ ወገናት ዝወሃብ ዘሎ መከላኸሊ መምርሕታት መሰረት፡ ዘለዎ ዓቕሚኳ ውሱን እንተኾነ፡ ክንዲ ዝከኣሎ ነብሱ ክሕሉ፡ ኣብ ሕድሕዱ ክተሓጋገዝን ምስ ሓይልታት ምክልኻሉ ኩይኑ ተጽዕኖኡ ኣብ ልዕሊ ጉጅለ ህግዲፍ ከሕይልን ዝጽውዕ እዩ። በቲ ካልእ ወገን ከኣ እዚ ናይ ሓባር መጸዋዕታ፡ ብሓፈሻ ኩሉ ማሕበረሰብ ዓለም፡ ብፍላይ ከኣ ጉዳይ ሰብኣውነት ዝምልከቶምን ዘገድሶምን ከም ትካል ጥዕና ዓለም ዝኣመሰሉ ትካላትን ኤርትራውያን ኣዕቊቦም ዘለዉ ናይ ርሑቕን ጐረባብትን መንግስታትን፡ ንጉዳይ እቶም “ኣነ ኣለኹልኩም” ዝብል ናይ ህዝቡ  ሓላፍነት ዝወስድ መንግስቲ ዘየብሎም ኤርትራውያን፡ ዝያዳ ኩሉ ግዜ ቆላሕታ ክህብዎ ዝምሕጸን እዩ።

እቲ መጸዋዕታ ብዛዕባ ኩሎም ኤርትራውያን ዝግደስ ኮይኑ፡ ብፍላይ ምስዚ እዋናዊ ኩነታት ኣተሃላልዋኦም ንሓደጋ ተላጋቢ ሕማም ኮሮናቫይረስ ዝተቓለዐ፡ ኣብ መደበራት ስደተኛ፡ ኣብ ከም ሳዋ ዝኣመሰሉ ግዱድ መዳጐንን ኣብ ፈቐዶ ስዉርን ግሁድን ኣብያተ-ማእሰርትን ንዝርከቡ ኤርትራውያን ዝያዳ ቆላሕታ ዝህብ እዩ። እዚ መጸዋዕታ ኣዝዩ እዋናውን ግዜ ዘይህብ ቅልጡፍ ምላሽ ዝሓትትን ብምዃኑ ድሮኳ ብላዕለዎት ጉዳይ ኤርትራ ዝምልከቶም ኣካላት ሰብኣዊ መሰል ሕቡራት ሃገራት ኣቓልቦ ረኺቡስ “እሱራት ፍታሕ” ዝብል መልእኽቲ ናብቲ ማእዝኑ ዝሰሓተ ምምሕዳር ኤርትራ ክመሓላለፍ ጀሚሩ ኣሎ። ምምሕዳር ኤርትራ ግና ሓንሳብን ንሓዋሩን ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝብና ስለ ዝጨከነ፡ ብዛዕባ እሱራት ምፍታሕን ዘይምፍታሕን ዘይኮነ፡ ብዛዕባ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዝተለገሰ ሓገዝ መከላኸሊ ሕማም ኮሮናቫይረስ ኣይቅበልን ምባሉ፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝነበራ ዘይመንግስታዊ ትካላት ጥዕና ምዕጻዉን መራሒኡ ኣብ ክንዲ ተስፋ ዝህብን ዘተባብዕን መግለጽታት  ዝህብ ምሕባኡን ዘመልክቱ ዜናታት ኢና ንሰምዕ፡ ንዕዘብን ነንብብን  ዘለና።

ኣብዚ ወሳኒ እዋን ኣብ ወጻኢ ኣብ ዝተፈላለዩ ኩርነዓት ዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ውሽጢ ዓዲ ንዘለዉ ኮነ ኣብ መደበር ስደተኛታት ንዝርከቡ ዜጋታቶም ንምሕጋዝ ዝገብርዎ ዘለዉ ምንቅስቓስን ዘርእይዎ ዘለዉ ሓልዮትን ዝነኣድን ዘሕብንን ስለ ዝኾነ፡ ኩልና ብተገዳስነት ከነሰንዮ ዝግበኣና እዩ። እዞም ምቕሉላት ሓደ ኣብ ግምት ከእትውዎ ዝግበኦም መሰረታዊ ቁምነገር ግና ኣሎ።  ጉጅለ ህግድፍ ነቲ ምልዕዓሎም ከም ፖለቲካዊ መሕብእን መረሳስዕን፡ ነቲ ልግሶም ተወፋይነቶምን ከኣ፡ ከምቲ ልማዱ መህጠሪ ጉጅላዊ ካዝንኡ ከይጥቀመሎም ምስትብሃል ከድሊ እዩ። እዚ ኣብ ዓለምና ተላቢዑ ዘሎ፡ ጌና መንቀሊኡን መዕረፊኡን ዘይተፈልጠ ሕማም፡ ዓለም ብዓለማ ብማዕረ ዘንቀጥቅጥ ዘሎ እዩ። እንተኾነ ናይ ዝተፈላለያ ሃገራት ስርዓታትን ምምሕዳራትን ኣብ ኣተሓሕዛ እቲ ጸገም ናቱ ግደ ከም ዘለዎን ንብዙሓት ከም ዝፈተነን  ንዕዘቦ ዘለና እዩ።

ብመንጽርዚ ጉዳይ ሃገርና ኤርትራ ምስቲ ዝጸንሐ፡ ህዝቢ ዘየሳትፍ ጥራይ ዘይኮነስ ኣብ ግምት እውን ዘየእቱ ቀይዲ በተኽን ኣብ ንቡር ኩነታት እውን ዝተሳዕረ፡  ኣተሓሕዛ ህግዲፍ ኣብ ምግዳድ እቲ ሳዕቤን ዓብይ ግደ ከም ዝህልዎ ኣይንዘንግዕ። ካብዚ ብምንቃል ከኣ ኣብ ኤርትራ ለውጢ ናይ ምርግጋጽ ቀጻሊ ፖለቲካዊ ቃልስና፡ ብሰንክዚ ኣጋጢሙ ዘሎ እዋናዊ ጸገም ንግዜኡ ደኣ ቀዳምነት ኣይንህቦ እምበር፡ ቀንዲ ውራይና ስለ ዝኾነ፡ በዚ እዋናዊ ጸገም ተሰናቢድና ኣዋዲቕናዮ ህዝብና ንሓዋሩ  መፍቶ ህግዲፍ ክኸውን ኣይንፈቅድን ኢና። ካብ ሓባራዊ ኣዋጃትን መግለጺታትን ክብ ኢልና፡ ምስ ከም ንቕሎ ይኣክልን ብሓፈሻ ተበግሶ ኤርትራውያን ምሁራትን ሞያተኛታት ጥዕናን ኮይና፡ ናብ ዝያዳ ተግባራዊ ስጉምትታት ከነቕንዕ ከድልየና እዩ።

 

(File photo) child marriage, girl, school, rape, abuse
6 April 2020
UN Women (New York)

document

With 90 countries in lockdown, four billion people are now sheltering at home from the global contagion of COVID-19. It’s a protective measure, but it brings another deadly danger. We see a shadow pandemic growing of violence against women.

As more countries report infection and lockdown, more domestic violence helplines and shelters across the world are reporting rising calls for help. In Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom(1), and the United States, (2) government authorities, women’s rights activists and civil society partners have flagged increasing reports of domestic violence during the crisis, and heightened demand for emergency shelter (3 ,4 ,5). Helplines in Singapore (6) and Cyprus have registered an increase in calls by more than 30 percent (7). In Australia, 40 per cent of frontline workers in a New South Wales survey reported increased requests for help with violence that was escalating in intensity(8).

Confinement is fostering the tension and strain created by security, health, and money worries. And it is increasing isolation for women with violent partners, separating them from the people and resources that can best help them. It’s a perfect storm for controlling, violent behaviour behind closed doors. And in parallel, as health systems are stretching to breaking point, domestic violence shelters are also reaching capacity, a service deficit made worse when centres are repurposed for additional COVID-response.

Even before COVID-19 existed, domestic violence was already one of the greatest human rights violations. In the previous 12 months, 243 million women and girls (aged 15-49) across the world have been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this number is likely to grow with multiple impacts on women’s wellbeing, their sexual and reproductive health, their mental health, and their ability to participate and lead in the recovery of our societies and economy.

Wide under-reporting of domestic and other forms of violence has previously made response and data gathering a challenge, with less than 40 per cent of women who experience violence seeking help of any sort or reporting the crime. Less than 10 per cent of those women seeking help go to the police. The current circumstances make reporting even harder, including limitations on women’s and girls’ access to phones and helplines and disrupted public services like police, justice and social services. These disruptions may also be compromising the care and support that survivors need, like clinical management of rape, and mental health and psycho-social support. They also fuel impunity for the perpetrators. In many countries the law is not on women’s side; 1 in 4 countries have no laws specifically protecting women from domestic violence.

If not dealt with, this shadow pandemic will also add to the economic impact of COVID-19. The global cost of violence against women had previously been estimated at approximately US$1.5 trillion. That figure can only be rising as violence increases now, and continues in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The increase in violence against women must be dealt with urgently with measures embedded in economic support and stimulus packages that meet the gravity and scale of the challenge and reflect the needs of women who face multiple forms of discrimination. The Secretary-General has called for all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19. Shelters and helplines for women must be considered an essential service for every country with specific funding and broad efforts made to increase awareness about their availability.

Grassroots and women’s organizations and communities have played a critical role in preventing and responding to previous crises and need to be supported strongly in their current frontline role including with funding that remains in the longer-term. Helplines, psychosocial support and online counselling should be boosted, using technology-based solutions such as SMS, online tools and networks to expand social support, and to reach women with no access to phones or internet.  Police and justice services must mobilize to ensure that incidents of violence against women and girls are given high priority with no impunity for perpetrators. The private sector also has an important role to play, sharing information, alerting staff to the facts and the dangers of domestic violence and encouraging positive steps like sharing care responsibilities at home.

COVID-19 is already testing us in ways most of us have never previously experienced, providing emotional and economic shocks that we are struggling to rise above. The violence that is emerging now as a dark feature of this pandemic is a mirror and a challenge to our values, our resilience and shared humanity. We must not only survive the coronavirus, but emerge renewed, with women as a powerful force at the centre of recovery.
 
Source=https://allafrica.com/stories/202004061106.html

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Posted
7 Apr 2020
Originally published
7 Apr 2020
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South Sudanese refugees practice social distancing as they wait to access a food distribution at Kakuma camp in Kenya. © UNHCR/Samuel OtienoSouth Sudanese refugees practice social distancing as they wait to access a food distribution at Kakuma camp in Kenya. © UNHCR/Samuel Otieno

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is ramping up efforts to increase capacity to prevent, treat and limit the potential spread of COVID-19 among refugee communities across the East, Horn and Great Lakes region of Africa, which hosts some of the largest refugee populations in the world. Living in crowded conditions, without adequate access to water and sanitation facilities, and with precarious livelihoods and food security, refugees in the region are particularly vulnerable to the virus, both in refugee camps and in urban areas.

Following confirmation of the first cases of COVID-19 in South Sudan and Eritrea last week, all countries in the region are now responding to the outbreak. While to date there have been no confirmed cases amongst refugees, asylum-seekers or internally displaced people in the region, the need to be prepared is urgent.

UNHCR is actively engaged with Ministries of Health and other government authorities, and the World Health Organization, on the inclusion of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDPs) in national response plans. A number of countries in the region already have exemplary policies in place that allow refugees to access public health-care services. However, many refugees live in remote areas many miles from the nearest government health facilities. Others live in small, overcrowded dwellings in densely populated urban areas where they face significant challenges in adhering to guidelines around physical and social distancing.

Many of our operations in the region have provided refugees increased quantities of food and basic relief items including soap to reduce the frequency of distributions and the risks posed by queues and large crowds.

The outbreak comes on the top of existing emergency conditions in the region, where 60 per cent of refugees are experiencing food ration cuts due to underfunding. This may be further exacerbated by breaks in the regular supply chain due to a variety of COVID-19 measures, including border restrictions and controls.

The pandemic is also having a severe impact on refugees’ abilities to work and generate income. Many refugees have seen the business they run or work for, often as day workers, forced to close. Those who rely on cross-border trade have been particularly impacted.

UNHCR is advocating to governments to ensure refugees are included in any emergency social protection schemes, while also exploring possibilities to provide the most vulnerable with one-off cash assistance to help meet basic needs. Schools across the region have been closed and it is estimated that some one million refugee students are currently out of school. UNHCR is working with government and non-government partners on distance-learning and digital-learning programs, building on existing partnerships with the private sector to provide online learning in Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Across the region, UNHCR is engaged in COVID-19 awareness, prevention and treatment information campaigns, including through community groups and religious leaders, telephone hotlines, flyers, posters, bulk SMS and WhatsApp messaging, radio announcements, focus group discussions, posters, leaflets, billboards and mural drawings. While bolstering primary-care capacity, including isolation facilities at camp level, we are concerned that health systems across the region are in need of support, particularly to referral hospitals and intensive care units, in case the virus rapidly spreads.

We continue to support the efforts of countries across the region, together with UN agencies and NGO partners, maintaining existing programmes where possible, and implementing a number of new measures to address humanitarian needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

In Djibouti, more than 4,500 refugees and asylum-seekers were provided with new shelters to reduce overcrowding and facilitate physical distancing in Ali Addeh and Holl-Holl villages.

In Ethiopia, supplies of water and soap in the camps are being increased and handwashing stations are being installed, including 127 communal stations and over 14,700 household stations in Gambella refugee camp alone.

In Kenya, isolation wards have been identified with additional beds added in the country’s two refugee camps. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being given to health workers in clinics, while an assessment is underway to identify possible new locations for field clinics to provide health care in refugee camps. The distributions of food, soap and other items have been altered to adhere to social distancing standards. Refugees who have mobile phones are sent messages communicating COVID-19 information and prevention measures.

In Somalia, shelters are being improved and provisions of relief items increased to help with social and physical distancing for the large IDP populations. High-risk IDP sites are being targeted for decongestion and upgrading of shelter and provision of relief items, with plans for UNHCR to support 27,600 IDPs living in high-density IDP sites.

In Sudan, more than 320,000 refugees, IDPs and members of host communities across the country have received soap and other hygiene relief items. A 1,000-litre water tank was installed in Beliel registration centre, South Darfur. New refugee arrivals in eastern Sudan are having their temperature taken upon arrival and monitored for two weeks for symptoms.

In Tanzania, monthly provisions of soap have been doubled and larger jerry cans have been distributed to aid with handwashing in all three refugee camps. Additional handwashing stations have been installed, including new fittings at reception centres, distribution points, markets and schools.

In Uganda, a number of measures were already in place as a result of the response to the threat of Ebola, including health and temperature screening and increased handwashing facilities in, transit and reception centres as well as in refugee settlements. In addition, distributions of soap have been increased and health workers are being provided with additional training specifically on COVID-19.

All countries in the region have introduced strict movement measures, ranging from border closures to lockdowns and curfews. UNHCR urges these countries, some of which have generously hosted refugees for decades, to continue to provide protection and access to asylum to people fleeing war and persecution during this challenging time.

A part of the broader UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan, UNHCR issued an Emergency Appeal requesting US$255 million for life-saving interventions and preparations in response to COVID-19, of which an initial $15 million has been requested specifically for countries in East and Horn of Africa. UNHCR urges the international community to provide the requested financial support needed to ensure the health and safety of refugees, IDPs and host communities during this crisis.

UNHCR’s Bureau for the East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region covers 11 countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Relevant broadcast-quality footage is available for download on UNHCR's content platform Refugees Media.

For more information on this topic, please contact:
In Nairobi, Dana Hughes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +254 733 440 536
In Geneva, Charlie Yaxley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +41 795 808 702
In Geneva, Babar Baloch, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +41 79 513 9549

April 7, 2020 Ethiopia, News

Hitsats Refugee camp

It is clear that Eritreans who have fled from the dictatorship and are seeking sanctuary in Ethiopia are in danger.

As noted by the UN Refugee Agency yesterday, there have been attempts to close the camp.

But the threats do not end there. They have also been physically threatened by agents of the Tigrayan military and Eritrean opposition forces.

Below are letters from Eritreans living in Hitsats, followed by notes made by a researcher working with the refugees and a reply to their concerns from the UNHCR.

Martin


First letter

From Eritrean Refugees in Hitstsa camp

To all Eritrean refugees Agencies at Hitsats camp

Subject: The closing and displaced of hitsats refugee camp

It was on 27th of march 2020, there was meeting in ARRA office by [names removed] with RCC (refugee central committee).

In that meeting they continue to disturb the peace of the refugees, they gave three opportunities for Eritrean refugees at Hitsats . There are the following;

  1. We will relocate you to Adi-Harush and Mai-Ayni, and you will live with other refugees but we didn’t prepare for you any basically needs for you.
  2. You can use all OUT OF CAMP POLICY (OCP) to any Ethiopia city.
  3. If you stay choice to stay at the refugee’s camp of Hitsats, you will never have any service from ARRA and all other NGO’S like UNHCR, IRC, NRC, ZOA and DRC.

Above this the other opportunity are not allowed to choice and to give any other suggestion. Also they told us if we choice to go other camp they aren’t allow us to carry any asset that we have only to carry one bag, because the people of the host community to pay compensation, so you will not take anything from the refugees camp which means from our home.

And we have said there is shortage of budget; the budget isn’t belonging to refugees, to belong to ARRA officers that are ARRA monthly salary.

According the above, the representative Eritrean refugees at Hitsats, as some question that are

  1. Before the previous we asked you to give us official letter but until now it is oral information, so do you have the official letter with you from federal government?
  2. What about UNHCR, did this information know before or not?
  3. We came from Eritrea because of persecution of our right, and you do also the same, you precaution our rights why it is that?
  4. In the last day 21/03/2020, the militant came with guns and cars, why didn’t give us protection, because you are the one you give us a protection  before, but at this time, why you left us without protection.
  5. The message you give us it is unclear, and the refuge may not accepted us so you go down to the refugees and tell by your self

The ARRA Representative also gives like this answer,

  1. We have formal letter from federal but we will not give that letter it isn’t belongs to you.
  2.  UNHCR is under federal so, the one who has power is the federal, so UNHCR must do what we say, and so it is not important to know by UNHCR.
  3. They didn’t give answer for right persecution
  4. When the militant came here we were not here.
  5. We will not give any meeting at this time because of corona, so we tell them during ration food distribution time.

At the last we start to relocate you will be the first one to be going and you will support up for refugees to other camps. When we have finished the meeting, directly went to UNHCR, but the UNHCR told us they have never known about these things.

Because of that Eritrean refugees at Htsats are in bad situation, because of unclear displacement and relocate to other camps, all the refuges from underage up to old people are in stress of mentally and physically.

So at the last we would like to say UNHCR and other human organization, we Eritrean refugees at Hstats need emergence protection, and emergence supporting. And if Ethiopian federal government can’t give us refuges asylum as has agreement with United Nations, must communicate UNHCR, and can relocate out of Ethiopia, that can we have a good protection. If we continue like this situation in Ethiopia we may lose some life. Because of bad situation some people have became mental problem, and there is no any good hospital especial mental illness, like MSF before. So UNHCR all other humanitarian organization so give emergence response for us.

Yours sincerely

Eritrean refugee at Hitsats camp


Second letter

From Eritrean Refugee at Hitsats Camp

                 To all Eritrean Refugees Agencies at Hitsats   

Subject: The problem of the  protection that we had

It was on 21st of march 2020,the Eritrean government opposites which is the the part of the against Eritrea government came to the camp at 5:00pm to Zone D, 6 person they wearing military with guns and other they wear civil cloth together by military car and started to threaten for underage and women to be join with them and to be out from their home and to follow them but the people that leave their zone (D) started to hidden their selves from that situation.

Then the party (the group with military clothes and guns) came to zone A by their cars. It was at 6:45pm the militant that consider as themselves as the operant of Eritrean government, also continued to threaten to  all Eritrean refugees representatives at that time Administration of Refugees and Returnee  Affairs (ARRA) was left us and out of the camp and they told us they will never give us any protection for refugees.

Because of that, when that bad situation happen to us, we called to hitsats polis station and told them all the things happened on us, the hitsats polis came to the camp and caught for them .when the polis checked to the group who threaten for Eritrean refugees ,they found three colts (gun) and kalashnikov (totally 4 guns)with them.

At the next day it is on 22/03/2020 we went to the polis station to give our accuse to the one whom that threaten for us, the polis sent us and told there are also some refugees were supporting them because of their profit but give your name that the militant pointed their guns and we give the name of that persons.

When we return to the refugee camp, we got for some refugees that have relation with the militant. we converse with them, they told us we have given different awareness to some people by the supporting of ARRA for three years ,even in those things what we have done is the knowledgeable tigray government region. Because of they released us from prison.

As we have mentioned what have had happened for us the main problem on us about the children that are below eighteen years old, the children at this time in bad situation, they afraid and lose their confidence, so please take care for those are not matured in their age, especially those are living at the camp without their parents even relatives.

At the last and conclusion we would like to inform that, at this time we are with out of any protection from ARRA and this are difficult for us to live at Ethiopia as refugees, because of the situation that persecuted for us as refugees.

IF there is possibility of transfer us to other countries that can give us a protection, please resettle us to other nearer countries to Ethiopia. We can’t live in we can’t live in Ethiopia because of the game that play on the refugees by different four parts, that are Ethiopian federal government Eritrean president, Militant and Tigray region ,so our life is in danger in this time.    

Yours sincerely

Eritrean refugees in Hitsats camp


Third Letter

From: Eritrean Political refugees of Hitsats Camp

To: The Office of________________________________

Issue:-About  Current affair’s of Eritrean refugee at Hitsats camp

Forwarding Our heartfelt regard’s, We are thankful for the service you giving to us.

On the 5th of March 2020,We (Refugee Central Committee-RCC of Hitsats) were told that all the Eritrean refugees at hitsats Camp (18000) population will be replaced to May-Ayni and Adi-Harush camps by  [name removed], who is ARRA protection Officer at Shire. Since then we all are in crisis. He told us that the information is directly from the federal government of Ethiopia and hence. We the RCC are ordered to inform and convince our people as soon as possible.

However when we kindly requested why this order is given to us suddenly and it was orally not official letter. He responded that it was about a budget deficit and left us.

As the result we the RCC informed our people, the [name removed] information (order) as it is. However our people was at shocked and distributed to hear this. Then we tried to stabilize our people and selected committee to discuss about this issue to assess and to gather the reliable information.

Next we went to UNHCR Office on the 6th of march 2020, and met with [name removed] UNHCR protection officer in Shire. After we asked him about the issue, He responded that he didn’t have any information about it. He told us that he will request to UNHCR at Addis –Ababa and the officers of the Ethiopian government and as soon as, He got reliable information he will share us. Finally he told us that the [name removed]’s reason for replacement the camp to other camp was about budget deficient was not correct information, rather the budget of the four camps has been budgeted for the whole year 2020.

Besides even if there is a replacement of a refugees from a camp to other camps that could never happen suddenly, because it takes long time and carefully assessment and without acknowledge  of the UNHCR Officer. Therefore, based on the above information, we kindly request  the Following question for clarification.

01.So the UNHCR Office shall be concerned about the attempt of the Ethiopian government to move us to other camp without any acceptable reason ,because we are in a critical situation and hence the UNHCR have to negotiate with the federal government.

02.We are Eritrean political refugee in Hitsast camp of Ethiopia.We migrated from our country because of interference the of the government on our religious aspects, unstable peace ,unable to live where want  at our country and absence of freedom to talk what we feel, due to these reasons we migrated here.

03.This sudden crisis in our camp is not more different from what has happened in our country before. Therefore this issue makes us to be psychologically violated and our status is becoming worse from time to time.

  1. We are in a deep fear, psychological stress and protection instability. For this heavy issue, we are kindly requesting the world to put it’s glance on us. First and foremost we are asking the different agency of the world including UNHCR to pass pond us to third country rather than making us to be confused and stressed.

05.The agreement  and Diplomatic meeting of Ethiopian government with Eritrean government makes us to be in a critical protection instability, therefore all agency of the world have to attend and put their glance on us.

06.We need to announce the different agency of the world, UNHCR, Ethiopian government and others that we are really a refugee who asks for asylum but not the supporters and parts of any individual or organized political parts.

07.Finally as refugees we mentioned and asked more critical questions and requests. There fore we are waiting a valuable and sustainable feed back as soon as possible.

THANK’S FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION AND CONSIDERATION ON US.

YOURS SINCERELY

Eritrean refugee of hitsats camp.

Copy;

UNHCR

ARRA

DRC

NRC

IRC


Hitsats interview by a researcher, 30.03.2020

6 people, 3 from various refugee associations in the camp

2 weeks ago the head of ARRA in Shire, [name removed]… informed refugee committee members that the camp will be closed down. The committee have subsequently issued 2 letters addressed to ARRA and UNHCR but at the time of writing haven’t received a reply. Refugees don’t know who made the decision and were only told that this is due to budget constraints although UNHCR said that their budget is secure. Refugees suspect there is less money in the pot for corrupted ARRA officials. They say that ARRA staff in Addis comes from Tigray anyway, and that ARRA does not represent the federal government.

Refugees were told to leave the camp immediately (that was before COVID state of emergency), and to leave any assets/ livestock in the camp. They were told to relocate to Adi Harush and Mai Ayni although the refugee committees there disagreed with the decision due to lack of space and services in both camps.

Some NGOs are still in the camp, but with limited staff members (2-3 people from ARRA, namely protection officers). Again, not clear if they left because of planned camp closure, or because of COVID-19. UNHCR on the ground is supportive of refugees.

On 21 March, a group of 20 Tigrayan and Eritrean opposition soldiers entered the camp with guns and pistols. They tried to forcibly recruit people to join the Eritrean military opposition. They also told them to chant ‘Down with Isaias’ and ‘Down with Abiy’. Some refugees were threatened with guns. Refugees managed to take the intruders to Hitsats police station, but they were released without charge after 4 hours. No aid agency has intervened.

People don’t know what is happening to refugees stuck at the border which is currently closed. Endabaguna reception centre was open until recently, and one interlocutor’s relative was asked to pay between 30-60,000 ETB to be registered as a refugee there.

There are 12,000 people now in the camp (I suspect more) and there is a sense of bitterness about reception of Eritrean refugees in Tigray. I was told that only 500 people were resettled since the camp’s opening in 2013, and many were allegedly Tigrayans, not Eritreans. People don’t know about the new Refugee Proclamation (only about the previous Out of Camp Policy) and said that they would feel more insecure in cities. They said if someone tries to kidnap them in the camp, there are other refugees around to protect them. I got a sense that refugees just want to leave Ethiopia in the long run and are not interested in local integration. They mentioned the urgency of resettlement.

Those who oppose the camp closure are afraid of repercussions – they sleep at a different shelter every night to ensure safety. They said that previously outspoken refugees were forced to give false testimony as ‘Eritrean spies’, and some ended up in prison for 6 years. Refugees are also afraid of deportations. A woman from women’s association said that they feel constantly persecuted, moved from one place to another.

In terms of services, ARRA hospital in the camp has only around 20 beds, it is poorly equipped and staffed with few Ethiopian nurses. The food ratios for refugees were reportedly given to IDPs; wheat was replaced with maize, and it decreased from 15kg to 7kg. Refugees were told to stay in the camp because of COVID-19, remain in their overcrowded shelters, and to wash their hands but the water is as scarce as before. There are no special provisions in case of an outbreak.

In conclusion, Eritrean refugees feel that they are used in a political game between Eritrean regime, Eritrean military opposition, Ethiopian federal government and Tigray regional state government. There is lots of confusion about which of those actors does what, and refugees were cautious to say that nobody really knows the truth behind the decision to close the camp.


Reply from UNHCR to camp residents

UNHCR Letter to Hitsats camp residents page 1

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