In mid-February, an Eritrean opposition figure, Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a senior member of the Eritrean Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), disappeared after he left his house in Kessala, Sudan. His whereabouts are not known yet.
A few weeks before that, another opposition figure, Mahmoud Jibril, a senior member of the Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement (EFDM), disappeared from Eastern Sudan and no news was heard about him until recently, when he was discovered in a Sudanese security jail.
A few days ago, yet another opposition figure, Adem Haj Mussa, Secretary General of the newly formed organization, Eritrean Front for Change, disappeared after arriving in Khartoum, flying in from Cairo at around mid-night.
Mohammed Ali Ibrahim and Mahmoud Jibril are veterans of the armed struggle for the liberation of Eritrea and continued their struggle against the Eritrean regime until they disappeared.
Adem Haj Mussa had been a member of the ruling party until he abandoned it about five years ago. Since then, he has been a vocal opponent of the Eritrean regime in Egypt, where he is exiled.
Since the overthrow of the Mubarek regime, Adem had taken advantage of the change in Egypt and escalated his struggle. He has secured several interviews with Egyptian media and has been exposing the human rights violations of the Eritrean regime.
Eastern Sudan has become a free roaming ground for the Eritrean regime’s security operatives to intimidate and harass Eritrean exiles and refugee who are presumed to be members of, or sympathetic to, the opposition.
Additionally, some Sudanese officials collaborate with Eritrean regime military officials in the lucrative business of human trafficking and contraband trade. This was documented by the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea in a report it filed with the United Nations on July 18, 2011.
The Eritrean regime has a history of assassinating opposition figures, particularly those with military command backgrounds. For decades, to discourage dissent, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), now renamed the PFDJ–the ruling party in Eritrea–boasted openly about possessing “the long whip of the revolution,” an adaptation of the notorious “revolutionary justice” popularized by Fidel Castro.
In the 1980s, many ELF veterans incuding Said Saleh, Idris Hangala, Weldedawit Temesgen and Mahmoud Hassab were assassinated in Eastern Sudan. Shortly after the independence of Eritrea, Teweldeberhan Gebretsadek (“Wedi Bashay”) was kidnapped from Kassala and he hasn’t been heard of since. His younger sister, Freweini Gebretsadek, waged a lone campaign for decades to no avail. Just one sample of her posting which appeared at the pro-Eritrean regime website, dehai.org, can be found here.