Amid reports of serious clashes between Eritrean regime supporters and regime opponents in Israel, the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP) on 5 June urged the UNHCR Chief, High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, to strengthen protection for Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel and other dangerous places including Libya.
Reportedly instigated by agents of the Eritrean Embassy in Israel, the clashes in Tel Aviv and Kiryat Malakhi during the past weekend, caused serious injuries affecting many asylum seekers who were celebrating the 27th independence anniversary of their country. Knives and stones were used in the brawls. Further house-to-house scuffles took place on Monday, 4 June, and there were fears that they may continue. A BBC report said that 13 of the pro-regime assailants and three of the regime opponents were arrested for questioning.
The EPDP memorandum to UNHCR, which was also copied to the African Union, the African embassies in Israel and to the Israel envoy to the UN headquarters in Geneva, stated that embassies of the Eritrean regime in many countries are the source of divisions and clashes among Eritrean communities and asked enhanced protection from agents of the criminal regime in Asmara.
The EPDP appeal also called upon "the Israel authorities and all other concerned governments to identify the so-called "refugees" supporting the regime in Asmara and take drastic action of sending them back to their employer - the Eritrean regime" itself.
The memorandum also alluded to the disquieting situation of Eritreans in other places, and urged the UNHCR "to do more in support of the victimized Eritrean asylum seekers stranded in Libya, and in particular to the 140 survivors of the recent killings by human traffickers at Libya's Bani Walid".