No evidence of human rights reforms in Eritrea – UK – 19 October

  • In a written UK parliamentary question, The Lord Alton of Liverpool, Vice Chairman of the All Parliamentary Group on Eritrea, asked “[…] Her Majesty’s Government whether they have seen any evidence of substantive Human Rights reforms in Eritrea since the most recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea to the thirty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”
  • Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, Minister of State, FCO replied: “The UK has seen no evidence of any human rights reforms in Eritrea since the last session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Minister for Africa raised our concerns on the human rights situation with the Eritrean Foreign Minister when they met on 25 September, and expressed our hope for an improvement in light of political developments in the region.”
  • Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin met with Osman Saleh on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York. Eritrea dedicated its address to demand for the lifting of sanctions imposed by the Security Council. The article features a picture of this meeting.

Bloomberg: DP World Sees Key Role for Once-Isolated State in Ports Plan – 19 October

  • Bloomberg reports on an interview with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World CEO, in which he said Eritrea was potentially about to play a key role in the company’s projects in the Horn of Africa.
  • After Djibouti cancelled a contract with DP World in February, the company plans to develop more ports in the Horn to increase trade flows to Dubai, and Eritrea appears an attractive alternative route in the region.
  • The country is located in a strategic position in the Horn of Africa, by the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to the Red Sea, a major shipping route dedicated to tankers headed for the Suez Canal.
  • The story is also reported by Shipping Watch.

Twitter: Eritrea’s President meets Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs – 19 October

  • Yemane G. Meskel, Eritrean Minister of Information, tweeted that he “[was] received in the State House today by a Russian delegation led by Mr. Mikhail L. Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. President Isaias underlined Eritrea’s readiness to strengthen its bilateral cooperation with Russia in various sectors.”
  • Tweeted with a picture of President Afwerki with Mr Bogdanov. Eritrea pledges to address human rights challenges – 18 October

  • Africanews reports on a statement issued by Eritrea pointing to its membership of several human rights treaties as a defence of its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).
  • The election of Eritrea was challenged by Human Rights groups and campaigners, who were outraged by Eritrea’s claims of good human rights records.
  • Key measures to improve the country’s human rights records would start with the release of political prisoners, the end to the indefinite national service and the opening up of the political and democratic spaces.

BBC News: Eritrean asylum seeker, 17, relocation labelled ‘tragic’ – 18 October

  • BBC runs a feature about Abedom Beyene, a 17 year-old asylum seeker from Eritrea, who has been moved from his initial supported living house in Northampton to Leicester with no reason given. A Labour councillor said it undermined his attempts to settle in a community after a traumatic and lengthy journey.
  • Cambridgeshire County Council, responsible for Abedom’s welfare, authorised the transfer despite him being considered a member of his local community, where he has emerged as a promising athlete.
  • Abedom left Eritrea when he was 14 and survived many traumatic events before arriving in the UK.
  • A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire County Council said that a “shortage of accommodation for all children and young people in care, which means some children and young people are placed outside of Cambridgeshire”.

International Organisation for Migration: A region on the move – 18 October

  • The International Organisation for Migration Regional Office for the East and Horn of Africa publishes a mid-year trends report from January to June on the latest migration developments in the Horn of Africa.
  • Despite great hopes that the rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia would ease tensions in the Horn of Africa, displacement levels remain too high, and the IOM report estimates that 4.6 million refugees and asylum seekers, as well as 13.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are hosted in the greater region.
  • Between January and June 2018, Eritreans were the second highest declared nationality disembarking in Italy (2,555), making up 15 percent of the total arrivals after Tunisians (3,002)


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