The National: Ethiopia’s prime minister arrives in Abu Dhabi – 20 March

  • UAE newspaper The National reports on the arrival in Abu Dhabi of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
  • Abiy was received at Al Bateen Airport by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
  • The leaders were said to have discussed “enhancing bilateral ties and a number of regional and international issues”, in a meeting also attended by Dr Anwar Gargash, Emirati foreign affairs minister.
  • Abiy’s visit to Abu Dhabi followed a stop in Qatar to meet with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. In July 2018, Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki were awarded the UAE’s “highest civil honour” when they visited following the signing of peace accords.
  • A recent investigative report from Al Jazeera revealed that the UAE was operating a secret prison facility inside a military base in the Eritrean port city of Assab.

CBC: Eritrean community ‘traumatized’ after 2nd child hit and killed in crosswalk in just over a year – 21 March

  • Canada’s CBC reports that a second child has been killed in the space of a year at a road crossing in Winnipeg, leaving the Eritrean community there “traumatized”.
  • Speaking to CBC, Eritrean community leader and Orthodox church chairperson Aaron Mehzenta said that the death of a four-year-old girl on 18 March represented “a disproportionate share of tragedies given the size of the community”. The girl’s mother suffered serious injuries.
  • Eight-year-old Surafiel Musse Tesfamariam was struck by a car in February 2018 when he and his mother were crossing a road. He died later in hospital.
  • Mehzenta estimates that there are around 3,000 Eritreans now living in Winnipeg.

World Health Organization: Immunization experts agree on ways to reach more children with life-saving vaccines – 19 March

  • A meeting of immunisation experts from East and Southern African countries held in Asmara on 20 March agreed on 20 recommendations “aimed at reaching more children with life-saving vaccines and accelerating implementation of the Addis Declaration on Immunization to attain universal health coverage”.
  • “Speaking on behalf of the Eritrean Minister of Health at the closing ceremony, acting Director-General for Public Health Dr Andebrhan Tesfatsion called on the participants to follow through on the recommendations agreed upon during the meeting to improve immunization coverage in the sub region.” He said that the remarkable performance by Eritrea and Rwanda should be perceived by all countries as good practice of government ownership and leadership.
  • “WHO Representative to Eritrea Dr Josephine Namboze assured participants of the continued support from WHO to the immunization programme and called on countries to document best practices and lessons learned in immunization initiatives and share widely for cross-fertilization. She echoed that EPI is significant in attaining universal health coverage, and its initiatives could help improve other health programmes in the countries.”

All Africa: Eritrea: 31st Commemoration of Nadew Command’s Demise – 21 March

  • All Africa republishes a press release from the Eritrean Ministry of Information, announcing that the 31st anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Afabet was “conducted on 19 March with patriotic zeal”.
  • Ahmed Mohammed-Nur Rejeb, administrator of the Afabet sub-zone, said at the event that this year’s commemoration was “unique for it is being commemorated at the unfolding era of peace and cooperation through the unparalleled resilience and perseverance of the people of Eritrea”, and that the military operation represented a “noble chapter in the history of the Eritrean armed struggle for liberation in terms of its strategic preparation, organization, precision and speed as well as military competence.”
  • The Battle of Afabet was fought from 17-20 March in 1988, when the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeated the Ethiopian army’s Nadew Command in what was deemed to be a significant victory in the war for Eritrean independence.”

Catholic News Agency: US Catholics’ awareness of Christian persecution increasing – 21 March

  • A recent survey of American Catholics commissioned by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has found that nearly half of those questioned say that global persecution of Christians is “very severe”, an increase of 16 percent from last year.
  • The study by the ACN identified Eritrea as one of a number of countries where “the situation [for religious minorities] was already so bad, it could scarcely get any worse.”
  • Reporting on the story, the Catholic News Agency writes: “When asked what they themselves should do to help persecuted Christians around the world, American Catholics ranked prayer highest, followed by raising awareness at the parish level; donating to agencies that work to support persecuted Christians; and contacting their members of Congress.”

Eritrea Hub: Eritrea gets first Opposition Satellite TV: ASSENA & ERISAT make a breakthrough – 22 March

  • The Eritrea Watch Facebook page features Assenna Satellite TV, reportedly the first opposition satellite television station to broadcast within the country.
  • A post on the page, republished on Eritrea Hub, says that the channel is funded by donors in the Eritrean diaspora, and that many people are already tuning in to the channel’s short, hourly broadcasts.
  • Assenna is said to be giving regular exposure to the ongoing “Enough!” campaign against the Eritrean government, which Eritrea Watch claims is starting to “[change] the Eritrean people’s perception about the opposition”.

RTL: 182 individuals requested asylum in Luxembourg in February – 22 March

  • Luxembourg broadcaster RTL reports that the number of people requesting asylum in the country so far in 2019 has risen to 408.
  • The greatest number of requests for international protection in the month of February were from people coming from Eritrea, at 57.
  • One hundred and eighty-two requests for asylum were made in February, and 88 people were granted refugee status. Eleven individuals “had to return to their country of origin, of which three had to be forced to return.”

East African Business Week: Eritrea Explores Economic Relations With Somaliland – 22 March

  • East African Business Week (EABW) considers some of the potential opportunities for infrastructure development in Somaliland, following the visit of an Eritrean diplomatic delegation as part of efforts to “boost regional peace and harness trade opportunities”.
  • Somaliland has agreed a deal with the UAE for a $442m port development project in Berbera, set to be operated by DP World, and the establishment of a UAE naval base, bolstering its presence in the Horn of Africa.
  • A tripartite agreement between Somaliland, the UAE and Ethiopia gives Ethiopia a 30-year concession for the development and management of the Berbera port. EABW speculates that Eritrea may hope to “get a share of the cake” from these developments in Somaliland


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