The Guardian: Organ trafficking in Egypt: ‘They locked me in and took my kidney’ – 09 February

  • The Guardian runs a feature on refugees who have fallen victim to organ trafficking, with the illicit trade in organs apparently “flourishing in Egypt, bolstered by an EU-funded clampdown on refugees by security forces”.
  • Reporter Seán Columb speaks to Eritrean refugee Dawitt (a pseudonym), who says he fled Eritrea aged 13 to avoid indefinite military conscription.
  • “Struggling with debt and desperate to make the sea crossing to Europe, [Dawitt] looked in vain for regular work”, writes Columb. “Then he met a Sudanese man who suggested a “safe and easy way” to raise the cash – selling a kidney.”
  • Columb writes: “Dawitt’s story is more common than statistics suggest. According to a 2018 report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has collected data on 700 incidents of organ trafficking, primarily from north Africa and the Middle East […] Anecdotal evidence suggests organ brokers are increasingly approaching migrants with the offer of a passage to Europe in exchange for donating an organ. The irony is that the trade is being driven by the broad EU policy to “externalise borders” by increasing the capacity of African states such as Libya, Egypt and Sudan to manage migration, given a boost by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.”

Eritrea Hub: How to share Addis Ababa – 11 February

  • Eritrea Hub republishes a column from Ethiopia Insight by Olaana Abbaaxiiqi, who considers the question of capital cities in federal countries, with respect to the case of Addis Ababa.
  • Abbaaxinqi writes: “[I]n order to know the governance structure of a federal capital, the major question we should ask is whether it is accountable to the federal government, state government, or whether it is a sovereign state in a federation.”
  • “Addis Ababa was the capital city of Shewa and the modern Ethiopia Empire since its creation. After 1954 it was a chartered city administered by a Mayor with some autonomy and accountable to the Ministry of Interior. The 1975 Urban Land Proclamation changed the governance structure and the next major change came with the demise of the Derg. Proclamation 7/1992 declared Addis Ababa one of 14 regional states. In the 1995 constitution however, it lost that status.”

African Daily Voice: Eritrea commemorates Operation Fenkil’s 29th anniversary – 11 February

  • African Daily Voice reports on the commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the Second Battle of Massawa, known as Operation Fenkil, fought between the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) and Ethiopian forces.
  • Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki laid a wreath at the Tiwalet Monument in memory of the operation, at a ceremony held under the title “Fenkil: The Dawn of Freedom”.
  • The Second Battle of Massawa took place in 1990 in and around the coastal city of Massawa in Eritrea.
  • The battle is commemorated by a memorial of three tanks in War Memory Square near Massawa city centre.

RTL [Luxembourg]: Foreign minister Asselborn in Africa until Thursday – 11 February

  • Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is due to visit Eritrea as part of a trip to the Horn of Africa, taking place from 11-14 February.
  • RTL reports that Asseborn will first meet with President Sahle-Work Zewde in Ethiopia, before travelling to Eritrea.
  • Asseborn’s visit comes as the EU has announced a €20 million programme to build roads linking Eritrean port cities and the Ethiopian border to “boost trade, consolidate stability, and have clear benefits for the citizens of both countries through the creation of sustainable growth and jobs”.

The New Times [Rwanda]: Magnel salutes Mugisha after his Tour de l’Espoir stage win – 11 February

  • Rwandan cyclist Moise Mugisha won the final stage of the under-23 African Cycling Race, known as the Tour de l’Espoir, while the Eritrean Yakob Debesay won the overall classification.
  • Debesay, 19, claimed victory with an accumulated time of 8:37:13 across the five stages of the race.
  • As the best team in this year’s Tour de l’Espoir, the Eritrean national team earned qualification to the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir, to be held in France from 15-25 August.


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