UN Children’s Fund: Eritrea Humanitarian Situation Report: January-December 2018 – 23 January

  • UNICEF published its report on the humanitarian situation in Eritrea in 2018.
  • In 2018, UNICEF supported the Government of the State of Eritrea to reach over 46,700 acutely malnourished children under five, treating over 13,430 children for severe acute malnutrition and more than 33,290 children for moderate acute malnutrition.
  • Eritrea is characterised by harsh climatic conditions, including cyclical drought, which affects groundwater resources, and flooding during rainy seasons. The risk of landmines and explosive remnants of war continues to affect border communities, particularly children. 
  • UNICEF supported advocacy and behavioural change activities, enabling more than 67,000 people to adopt appropriate hygiene practices.
  • The latest available Eritrea Population and Health Survey (EPHS) dates from 2010. It reported that approximately 300,000 children were out of school, up to 23,430 children under five were at risk of severe acute malnutrition, and all children under five were affected by sporadic outbreaks of diarrhoea and measles. A new EPHS is expected in early 2019.
  • As of 31 December 2018, UNICEF Eritrea has received funding from the Government of the United Kingdom (DFID), the Governments of Japan, Ireland, and Italy, and the Central Emergency Response Fund.

CBC: Sister of refugee claimant worries about her looming deportation to Eritrea – 23 January

  • CBC News reports that Tiebe Mengustu, an Eritrean woman living in Canada, has expressed her concern over the fate of her sister, Zebib Mengustu, who is facing deportation to Eritrea.
  • On 3 January, Zebib, whose application for permanent residence in Canada was rejected in 2016, refused to sign a deportation order while being held at the Edmonton remand Centre. Her deportation was scheduled for 25 February and she was then considered a flight risk, triggering her detention in the Centre.
  • CBC reports that documents from Citizenship and Immigration Canada show Zebib’s refugee protection claim was rejected in July 2012. The refugee protection division questioned the authenticity of her Eritrean identification card and concluded that it was “most probably counterfeit.”
  • On July 30, 2016, Zebib’s application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds was rejected. A senior immigration officer noted “the applicant has not established her identity as a national of Eritrea.”
  • Zebib arrived in Canada in 2011, and worked as a taxi driver and housekeeper before being detained. Zebib’s sister Tiebe has permanent resident status in Canada, and another of her siblings has Canadian citizenship.

Assenna: Eritrean Woman hit by police car in Walthamstow dies – 24 January

  • Assenna reports on the death of an Eritrean woman in Walthamstow, London, who was fatally killed by a police car responding to a 999 call.
  • The 26-year-old Eritrean refugee was struck by the police vehicle on Forest Road, North London at 23:45pm on 23 January. Police are now trying to trace the victim’s next of kin, who are thought to live outside the UK.
  • The woman had been a resident of the YMCA Walthamstow for the past 18 months. Pav Kaur, a resident of the area, said there was “a very sombre atmosphere” in the vicinity.

Ethiopian News Agency: Kuwait Hails Ethio-Eritrea Peace Deal – 24 January

  • Ethiopian News Agency reports that the Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah has commended the peace deal reached between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • Abdulfatah Abdullahi, Ethiopian Ambassador to Kuwait, expressed his intention to implement the peace deal “into [the] mutual socio-economic development of the whole region”, suggesting that it could stabilise the security situation and peace of the Horn of Africa region.
  • Sheikh Sabah said that Kuwait would provide support to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the countries.

Mining Technology: Supreme Court of Canada hears evidence in Nevsun human rights case – 25 January

  • Mining Technology reports that lawyers have presented evidence to the Supreme Court of Canada in a lawsuit involving Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources, accused by four Eritrean workers of human rights abuses and the use of forced labour at its Bisha gold mine.
  • MT writes that Canada is looking to clamp down on private companies that aim to take advantage of less stringent rules governing worker protection and human rights in other countries.
  • In January 2018, the Canadian Government created the Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, a position tasked to ensure Canadian companies operating abroad would be held to sustainable business practices regardless of where their projects are located.
  • A 2013 Human Rights Watch report into working conditions at the Bisha mine, titled “Hear No Evil”, found that many workers came into the mine as national service conscripts, and were forced to work 12-hour days for longer than the required 18 months.
  • “Nevsun should immediately work to address the shortcomings of its engagement in Eritrea and refuse to continue operating under the status quo,” said HRW in its report. “The company should insist on full cooperation from its partners in investigating allegations of human rights abuse connected to the Bisha project.”



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