Eritrea Hub:  Behind the assassination attempt against General Sebhat Efrem – 13 February

  • Eritrea Hub republishes an article from Eritrea Watch, reporting a possible assassination attempt on General Sebhat Efrem. The article notes that details of the incident are sketchy and based on anonymous sources.
  • General Sebhat Efrem is the current Minister of Mines in Eritrea, and well known for his role as commander of the gorilla army during Eritrea’s war of independence.
  • According to the report, anonymous witnesses confirmed that an assailant was captured by passers-by and handed over to security. It is believed he shot the General once in the head using a silencer. It is suggested he snuck into the apartment block under the cover of a power cut.
  • After the incident, the General was flown to a hospital in Dubai, UAE. It is believed authorities in Dubai only learnt the importance of the person under treatment after few days.
  • There has been no official comment from the government of Eritrea.

News Deeply: How Migration Deals Lead to Refugee Commodification – 13 February

  • Academic Gerasimos Tsourapas writes a critical analysis of the trend towards “compacts” – schemes for managing forced displacement by supporting the integration of displaced persons into the host state job market, thereby preventing them from travelling further.
  • He writes, “Western states appear less receptive to hosting refugee populations and prefer to outsource the management of forced displacement to the global south, but that “such arrangements encourage the treatment of refugees as commodities. They empower host states to view displaced populations as a resource – or, more aptly, a source of economic “rent”.
  • According to Tsourapas’ own research, “Governments are beginning to employ refugees in their foreign policy agenda, particularly in their negotiations with industrialized states of the global north”.
  • He identifies three implications of this trend, explored in detail in the article. These are: Migration deals that create new ways for developing countries to become dependent on international donors; the commodification of refugee populations skews host-state policies with a view to attracting external funding; and encouraging refugee rent-seeking behaviour domestically.

Geeska Afrika Online: Eritrea: Minister Osman Saleh holds talks in Luxemburg – 14 February

  • On 14 February Mr Osman Aaleh, Eritrea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, met and held talks with a delegation from Luxembourg, headed by Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • The two sides discussed bilateral relations, the progress of the peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well as regional issues of interest to the two countries.
  • Osman expressed expectation that European countries will support efforts to strengthen economic cooperation between states in the Horn of Africa, and that effort will be exerted to strengthen economic cooperation and partnership between Eritrea and the European Union.

Borkena:  Eritrean Public Diplomacy team arrive in Addis Ababa, concert in 4 cities – 14 February

  • Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported the arrival of an Eritrean public and cultural diplomacy team in Addis Ababa.
  • The team, which is composed of 55 Eritreans from different cultural, professional, and other backgrounds, is pursuing motives of strengthening historical as well as people-to-people relations between the two countries.
  • The team will take part in a range of events and concerts in different parts of Ethiopia to celebrate and strengthen peace between the two countries.
  • The concert in Bahir Dar is on February 16, Adama February 17, Hawassa February 19, and Addis Ababa February 21.

CNBC Africa: Prime Minister Abiy receives further support for reforms in latest whistle-stop tour of Europe – 14 February

  • Prime Minister Abiy led an Ethiopian delegation on a three-nation European Tour: in Italy where they met the President and the Pope; Davos where the Prime Minister addressed global leaders at the World Economic Forum; and Brussels for meetings with the European Union Commission.

Eritrea Hub: Lessons Ethiopia and Eritrea can learn from other conflicts – 14 February

  • Eritrea Hub publishes an extract from a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which draws lessons from conflicts in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Colombia in relation to Eritrea.
  • The report notes that increasing trade is a key part of creating and sustaining economic growth in post-conflict countries. However, most post-conflict countries are highly dependent on primary commodity exports for growth, which raises the likelihood that they will revert back to conflict – in addition to creating opportunities for corruption.
  • Despite this, the report notes that moving up the value chain is difficult. It requires hard infrastructure like roads, bridges and railways, electricity generation and transmission, and for the general population to attain education that endow them with basic skills. It is highlighted that Ethiopia and Eritrea face problems in these areas.
  • Taking examples from Rwanda – a successful example of post-conflict development, the report points to the following lessons for post-conflict states: Identify sensible opportunities for moving up the value chain; Beware white elephants (vanity projects over fundamental infrastructure); and to create an enabling environment for Public-Private Partnerships.

Mareeg: Update: Somalia-Eritrea friendly Football match – 14 February

  • Mareeg reports that a friendly football match between Somalia and Eritrea that was due to be played in Mogadishu this week has been postponed.
  • “We are waiting to hear from the Eritrean Football Federation to inform us [of] the new date of the arrival of their delegation in Mogadishu” read a statement from the Somali Football Federation.
  • Eritrea is expected to be the first country hosted in Somalia since 1988.

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