The Standard: Relations with Eritrea are vital in the fight against Al Shabaab – 29 January
- Kenyan newspaper The Standard publishes an article by columnist Miriam Wayua about the forthcoming visit of President Uhuru Kenyatta to Eritrea, in the wake of a deadly attack on Nairobi by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
- Wayua writes that Kenya has “played a significant role in turning Asmara away from being a base of support for terrorism to becoming a pivot for peace in the Horn of Africa”.
- “President Uhuru is traveling to Eritrea to become the first Kenyan president to visit that nation since 1999, and the timing is not a coincidence. The President knows that in the wake of the dusitD2 attack, he must take a holistic approach to defeating the terrorist organisation, and that means ensuring that all channels of assistance and support are stopped.”
- She concludes: “Eritrea, for many years, was seen as part of the problem in our region, especially with its assistance to terrorists, but now it can become part of the solution.”
Hungary Today: Foreign Minister: Brussels Migration Policies Danger to Europe – 29 January
- Hungary Today reports on talks between Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Osman Saleh Mohammed, the Foreign Minister of Eritrea, on 29 January.
- Szijjártó said that Hungary disagreed with the European Union position that “migration was an unavoidable consequence of the situation in Africa”, and was in agreement with Eritrea that “mass exoduses from Africa put development there at risk”
- Neither country supports the UN Global Compact for Migration. According to Szijjártó, it “fails to make a distinction between illegal migrants and refugees”, while the UN is “trying to bring back the migration compact that more than forty member states had rejected.”
- During their meeting, both Ministers signed an intergovernmental economic and technical cooperation agreement. Szijjártó said that Hungary has offered university scholarships for ten students from Eritrea and are negotiating a tied aid credit scheme for the construction of a cancer diagnostics centre in Eritrea.
- Hungary supported the lifting of European Union sanctions against Eritrea last year, and voiced support for what Szijjártó called efforts by the country to guarantee human rights.
Africa News: Ethiopia-Eritrea to regularize trade, transport after trial period – 30 January
- The Foreign Ministers of Eritrea and Ethiopia are due to hold a high-level meeting to discuss plans to normalise relations, trade, and transport links between the two countries.
- According to a tweet from Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Meskel on 29 January, the four months from October 2018 to January 2019 have served as a trial period for renewed cooperation between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
- During the four-month period, aid agencies reported an upsurge in the number of refugees entering Ethiopia from Eritrea.
- In December 2018, Eritrea unilaterally closed the border along Zalambessa. Around a month later, another crossing was opened following a meeting between President Isaias and Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed.
- Africa News reports that the prospect of a trade boom between the two countries “stems largely from the unfettered access that Ethiopia… would have to the Eritrean ports” as most imports currently come in via neighbouring Djibouti.
UN Children’s Fund: Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 – Eritrea – 30 January
- UNICEF has issued an appeal to support Humanitarian Action for Children in 2019, a programme with which it and partners will aim to “mainstream humanitarian preparedness planning and response within regular programmes to reach children in need in Eritrea.”
- Amongst other priorities, UNICEF will seek to “reach communities in hard-to-reach areas with integrated services”, strengthen health systems, and improve immunisation coverage. UNICEF will also “provide basic services, such as education, health care, psychosocial support and cash grants, to strengthen community resilience, protect children on the move and build the life skills of adolescents in danger of irregular migration”.
- The programme’s 2019 targets include plans to immunise 110,000 children against measles, bring “critical protection services/mine risk education” to 100,000 children, and implement the WASH programme to provide access to safe water and appropriate sanitation facilities to 60,000 people.
- UNICEF Eritrea is appealing for US $14.2 million to reach its targets.
World Fertilizer Magazine: UNDP report outlines potential for Colluli to boost the Eritrean economy and support the country’s Sustainable Development Goals – 30 January
- A report “initiated and funded” by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been published, looking at the potential of the Colluli potash project to “enhance the delivery of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development in Eritrea”.
- According to Danakali, the report concludes that “Colluli could significantly boost the Eritrean economy with associated benefits to agricultural productivity, training, and employment.”
- The report was prepared during 2018 by senior economists on behalf of the UNDP. It assesses a wide range of econometric data and includes findings from engagements with Eritrean government officials, relevant public institutions, and other Colluli stakeholders.
- Cristian Parra, joint author of the report with Dr P Anand, commented: “Colluli can be an important source of direct impacts in Eritrea […] the project has the potential to generate significant positive effects on the Sustainable Development Agenda of Eritrea, in particular on 13 specific Sustainable Development Goals.”
- The Executive Chairman of Danakali, Seamus Cornelius, said: “Colluli is much more than a great mining asset. Not only does it have outstanding grade, size, location and simplicity; Colluli’s products will also help farmers and support food security in Eritrea, across Africa, and beyond […] We look forward to working with ENAMCO [Eritrean National Mining Corporation] to ensure Colluli reaches its full potential for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
- In its 2018 report Mining and Repression in Eritrea: Corporate Complicity in Human Rights, Eritrea Focus noted that Cornelius has previously admitted to conducting no human rights risk assessment on the Colluli project.