Several Eritrean opposition members who live in Ethiopia have been facing harassment and fear since the Ethiopian Civil wars intensified.
Some members whose organizations had varying degree of presence in Ethiopia. However, since Isaias Afwerki and Abiy Ahmed made a pact in in July 2018, they have been living in precarious situation. Since then, Eritrean intelligence operatives have been working in tandem with the Ethiopian intelligence units and spreading fear and anxiety to the opposition of Isaias Afwerki’s government.
Since the start of the war in Ethiopia, the country’s security forces have arrested a few member of the Eritrean opposition on vague accusations. They stayed behind bars for three weeks. They were released after the Ethiopian courts acquitted them. However, the security forces didn’t respect the court ruling and arrested them again only to release them after two more weeks.
While all the members who lived in Addis Ababa are accounted for, the whereabout of a few others who lived in Tigrai are unknown.
In addition to the risk on their life, “they are in dire financial situation, particularly those who have families and children. Their colleagues who regularly visited Ethiopia used to provide them with some help until the situation in Ethiopia deteriorated and diaspora opposition members do not travel to Ethiopia anymore.
A leader of an opposition organization said, “we are appealing to the Ethiopian government to guarantee the safety of our members since their living conditions are life threatening.” He added, “The UNHCR that has a presence in Ethiopia is aware of the situation of the individuals who need emergent protection.
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