In a press release issued today, Dr. Yususf Berhanu, the chairman of the executive office of the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC) urged Sudan and Egypt to protect Eritrean refugees.
The press release stated that the Eritrean Opposition “expresses outrage at the Isaias regime’s complicity in people and organ trafficking” and accused it of inhumanity “toward suffering Eritrean refugees fleeing repression and torture at home.”
The Press release also accused the Eritrean ruling party of greed and “heartless involvement in lucrative human trafficking of its own citizens” and denounced the brutalization and killings of Eritrean refugees in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by “murderous Bedouin organ traffickers.”
Refugees who have no means of bribing Eritrean officers involved the smuggling business usually cross to the Sudan by risking their lives through places where border guards have a shoot-to-kill order.
Once in the Sudan, Eritrean refugees risk being caught by Sudanese traffickers who collaborate with the Eritrean officers in the human trafficking business. Many have been deportated back to Eritrea where they “are routinely jailed, tortured or killed.”
Other refugees who escape from Eritrea end up in the hands of Bedouin human traffickers in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, where their captors ask payments of tens of thousands of dollars ransom for their release.
Those who make it across the Sinai Desert attempt yet another risky border crossing into Israel. If caught by Egyptian security guard, they risk being shot at or imprisoned and deportated to Eritrea. Hundreds of refugees are currently being held in Egyptian prisons.
The chairman of the ENCDC Executive Office “urged the Egyptian authorities to release the estimated 600 Eritrean refugees” who are imprisoned in that country.
Gedab News learned that the ENCDC has already initiated contacts with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in an attempt to secure the release of the refugees and to find third countries willing to settle them.
The ENCDC Executive Office is stationed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and can be reached at telephone number 251 911 78 85 89 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org