BBC World Service, Newsday: Interviews with Habte Hagos and Martin Plaut – 15 November

  • The BBC World Service broadcast interviews with Habte Hagos and Martin Plaut, who discussed the UN Security Council vote to lift sanctions on Eritrea, and the situation in the country following the July peace initiative with Ethiopia.
  • Habte spoke on the current situation in Eritrea and the exodus of people in border towns to Ethiopia. “When you see people fleeing ‘peace’, you worry”, he told Newsday.
  • Martin was asked about the sanctions regime, and the regional and domestic implications of the UN Security Council voting to bring it to an end.
  • Interview with Habte Hagos (from 27:00)
  • Interview with Martin Plaut (from 27:00)

IRIN [Integrated Regional Information Networks]: Eritrea-Ethiopia peace leads to a refugee surge – 15 November

  • IRIN publishes a feature on the current situation of Eritrean refugees fleeing to Ethiopia.
  • The opening of border crossing points in September has led thousands of Eritreans to flee their country. About 175,000 are now applying for refugee status in Ethiopia.
  • Although the influx of people is putting pressure on Ethiopia, the government retains an open-door policy, but the growing refugee population may become increasingly difficult to manage.
  • Upon arrival, refugees stay in camps before moving to the cities for work. The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) – to which Ethiopia has committed – provides refugees with more opportunities to leave camps and better access to jobs and education.
  • Eritrean refugees now make up 79 percent of the urban refugee population in Addis Ababa.

The Economist: Sanctions on Eritrea are lifted – 15 November

  • The Economist analyses the lifting of UN sanctions against Eritrea in the light of the recent peace initiative with Ethiopia.
  • The vote at the UN Security Council to end the sanctions – originally imposed over Eritrea’s links to foreign militant groups – was taken in light of regional rapprochement efforts, although the UNSC will continue to monitor Eritrea-Djibouti relations through reports every six months.
  • The Economist argues that the sanctions were ultimately ineffective, and that arms were often smuggled across the border from Sudan and that the expansion of an Emirati military base may have violated the arms embargo. Economic sanctions were “practically toothless”, according to Awet Weldemichael of Queen’s University in Canada.
  • Canadian mining firm Nevsun said sanctions had had “no impact” on its investment in Eritrea.


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