All Africa: Eritrea: International Women Day Celebrated in Anseba and Gash Barka – 07 March

  • All Africa publishes a press release from the Eritrean Ministry of Information on the celebration of International Women’s Day in the Anseba and Gash Barka regions in the north of the country.
  • Teke’a Tesfamichael, President of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) attended a ceremony in Halhal. Ali Mahmud, Governor of the Anseba region, called on women to “strengthen organizational capacity and enhance contribution in realizing national development programs as they have done in bringing about independence and safeguarding the national sovereignty.”
  • Amna Hassan, head of the NUEW branch in the Anseba region, said that the union’s efforts are focused on equipping women with skills and knowledge to strengthen “their participation in the nation building programs.”
  • In the Gash Barka region, the head of the local NUEW branch, Yehdega Yohannes, called on women to “preserve the noble political values and reinforce contribution in this era of peaceful prospect.”

The National Interest: Russia’s Africa Ambitions – 07 March

  • American international affairs magazine The National Interest publishes a commentary by Dr Peter Brookes, senior fellow at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, on Russian ambitions in Africa.
  • Brookes says that “as a major global energy player, Russia clearly has an economic interest in African energy issues”, with African energy producers being potential competitors in the oil and gas sectors and partners in the development of nuclear power plants.
  • He writes: “Russia is looking at establishing a logistics base in Eritrea, which also sits on the banks of the Red Sea (to the south of Sudan) and near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that leads to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Sea. While Russian and Eritrean officials haven’t said much about the base’s purpose beyond trade and development, foreign military facilities aren’t unheard of in Eritrea. Asmara allowed the United Arab Emirates to establish a naval and air base there.”
  • “Bases in Sudan and Eritrea would potentially allow Moscow to collect intelligence on, and interfere with, shipping through the Red Sea between the Mediterranean and the Arabian Seas. This would include U.S. warships sailing to, or from, the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.”

Eritrea Hub: A year of fighting for Eritrean rights: the work of Eritrea Focus – 07 March

  • Eritrea Hub posts the Eritrea Focus Annual Report for 2018, highlighting what it calls a “real year of achievements – in the UK Parliament, with the Eritrean diaspora and with the British government.”
  • The report provides a summary of the parliamentary advocacy, campaigning, and media coverage of Eritrea Focus in 2018.

News Ghana: Ethiopia and Eritrea Put Their Resources on Restoring Trade Relations – 08 March

  • News Ghana republishes an article by Daniel Otieno on the “winds of change” blowing across the Horn of Africa following the peace deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
  • Otieno writes: “With the peace pact, landlocked Ethiopia can now use, tax-free, the Red Sea ports in Assab, in the south of Eritrea, and in Massawa in the north. Ethiopia currently spends over $1.5 billion annually for the use of Djibouti ports. Eritrean industries, on the other hand, will gain access to Ethiopia’s 100 million consumers (the second-largest in Africa).”
  • Martin Plaut, senior research fellow in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, said: “For the peace efforts to stick, both Ethiopia and Eritrea must complete internal reforms. Prime Minister Abiy [Ahmed] has pushed Ethiopia much further down the road of reform, while Eritrea still has a long way to go. Consolidating democracy and internal peace-building will be needed if the dramatic pace of change is to hold in the region.”

Daily Nation: Forgery syndicate aiding illegal foreigners, administrator says – 08 March

  • Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation reports that Marsabit County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has defended immigration officers at the Kenya-Ethiopian border point in Moyale over allegations of illegal issuance of travel documents to foreigners.
  • Kitiyo attributed the illegal possession of passports by foreigners from Ethiopia and Eritrea to “a growing syndicate that forges travel documents”.
  • The Commissioner alleged that “racketeers” are taking advantage of the cordial relations enjoyed by the two nations as a result of the Kenya-Ethiopia treaty signed by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Emperor Haile Selassie, allowing their citizens to acquire visas at the border entry points.
  • Kitiyo “confirmed that there has been an influx of foreigners and human trafficking over the last few months following a move by the Eritrean government to grant its citizens free movement to Ethiopia.”

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