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Large Numbers of Trafficked Eritreans Expected in Europe

In the last few months, the Eritrean army has dismantled most of its search points around the borders of Ethiopia and Sudan. As a result, the shoot-to-kill order has become less lethal.

Eritrea has relaxed the border control with Sudan to alleviate the shortage of food and other supplies in Eritrea. Contraband and smuggling business, on top of the import activities by the parastatals, has increased dramatically though this has not alleviated the acute shortage of fuel, food and other supplies.

The relaxation of the border has affected the flow of refugees to Ethiopia, which now is receiving entire families and underage children. Until recently, only the young and the physically able persons could take the risk of sneaking thorough the heavily guarded dangerous border.

Eritrean forces are thinly distributed across the border areas since many of the conscripts have escaped leaving the army with hollow units. On top of that, it has been reported that some of the soldiers are cooperating and helping the escapees make it to Ethiopia. At least in two instances, two escapees stated they were stopped by a scout of the Eritrean army and then shown the safest and shortest way to reach the Ethiopian refugee camps.

Ethiopia houses tens of thousands of refugees in several camps; however, in spite of the big numbers of new arrivals, the camps are being emptied relatively quickly.

Recently, an unknown party has started to smuggle the Eritrean refugees across the border from Ethiopia to Sudan. Until two months ago, escapees who wanted to make it to Europe or North America and Australia were ferried by buses for a fee of 400 Ethiopian Birr and dropped near the tri-point where the borders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan meet: Humera (Ethiopia), Hamdait (Sudan) and Om Hajjer (Eritrea).

Many of those dropped at the border have fallen into the hands of human traffickers.

A few weeks ago, a busload of escapes were intercepted by Eritrean security forces and taken to Eritrea. But some news indicate the victims ended up in the hands of human traffickers who kidnapped them after they entered Sudanese territories.

Since then, a few escapees have traveled to Sudan in an airplane for a fee of 8000 Ethiopian Birr.

Unconfirmed news state that the travelers are given laissez passer documents in the refugee camps. When asked who issues official travel documents apart from the government of Ethiopia, our source doubted the involvement of the government in the mass transportation of the refugees and stated, “…there are well organized human smugglers, they always operate in the refugee camps with impunity.”

Based on the history of the region, observers suspect the travel operations are organized by human traffickers who have access to official facilities.

In the past, Ethiopian security forces have apprehended several collaborators of human traffickers from among the refugees.

As of the recent weeks, Human traffickers are transporting a new, and bigger wave of Eritrean escapees to Libya and Egypt from where they will head to Europe.

It is expected that many escapees will overwhelm the Italian coasts in the near future.

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Crisis In The Eritrean Army

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  • tes

    what is PFDJ trying to say?

    Is he searching for the secret behind the death of Lampedusa victims? Aka, it is not for DNA search but conspiracy theory search. the usual american fault line search

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.tesfanews.net/wp-content/uploads/370.pdf&hl=en_US&chrome=true

  • Dawit

    Opening the flood gate

    • Fanti Ghana

      Dawit,
      You are simply amazing! To be honest, I wouldn’t have remembered the wheel chair.

      • Goytom

        are the trees escaping too?

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hey Goytom,
          When things used to be okay, those trees were used for their shades by those waiting for
          the “welcoming committee of Eritrea” to open the gates (those gates weren’t always flood gates; you know.)
          If you have seen enough of Dawit’s carttoons lately I am sure you will agree that he
          is really gifted, but he really surprised me by remembering those veterans on
          wheel chairs that quickly.

          • Goytom

            he is gifted, i agree. living in america you get used to political cartoons exposing hypocrisy or hidden agenda in a comedic way and you might laugh a little. but in the eritrean case “yehzneka tray” . even if they make it out thru those flood gates there are wolves everywhere thereafter. very sad!

    • dawit

      ‘Leave your gun behind’ those who stay at home will need it to defend their families and animals from would be adventurers who may think they could walk in to rape and still your loved ones that you left behind. Good luck in your extended vacation. NB Don’t forget to send the 2% when you reach your destination, pay back the balance of you debt for the free education and health care you received growing up till the time you became strong to cross the deserts and seas, otherwise you will be accused as a thief. That is not a good reputation for a hard working Eritrean citizen. Bon Voyage.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista,

    When we were gobsmacked and lost for words at the audacity of an Eritrean born US runner to literally run away from the ordeals of his people that seek urgent global attention, a humble Eritrean (although by far more talented than the run away American) Michael Adonai has finally depicted the story of the Eritrean mother that gave birth while drawing, permanently on the pages of history. Yes, never to be forgotten from the mind of humanity for eternity. What a work Michael, what an astuteness, what a humble elegance! God bless you brother…leka eza hager a’elaf qeTefti ent’nawexuwa, hade kndi shiH z’Konu jeganu alowa 🙂

  • Aman & Group

    For me and my group here in North America
    Hope is correctly and eloquently articulating
    and representing our ideas so from now on
    we I and my group have endorsed him to
    be our representative and represent all our
    ideas in the Awate and beyond opposition forum.
    No more redundance and replication of ideas and opinions
    as far as we are concerned.
    Thankyou Hope ! keep up the momentum going on and on
    until victory day !!

  • Hope

    ooooohh–that is “scary” Salem haftey,the sis of the CAN DO heroines!

  • Hope

    The Addis opposition is out The Nationalist opposition is in.
    Heralding The Coming of Age of the Eritrean Opposition.
    Will this group convince the Eritrean public and alleviate its concerns what change would bring to the nation?
    The Eritrean youth flight is an extreme phenomenon that should not be limited to blaming the regime.
    The Addis opposition is out The Nationalist opposition is in.
    Heralding The Coming of Age of the Eritrean Opposition.
    Will this group convince the Eritrean public and alleviate its concerns what change would bring to the nation?
    The Eritrean youth flight is an extreme phenomenon that should not be limited to blaming the regime.

  • Hope

    The Addis opposition is out The Nationalist opposition is in.
    Heralding The Coming of Age of the Eritrean Opposition.
    Will this group convince the Eritrean public and alleviate its concerns what change would bring to the nation?
    The Eritrean youth flight is an extreme phenomenon that should not be limited to blaming the regime.

  • Hope

    Courtesy of Meskerem.net:
    Haile the “G”……Am I missing your pic here?
    The Addis opposition is out The Nationalist opposition is in.
    Heralding The Coming of Age of the Eritrean Opposition.
    Will this group convince the Eritrean public and alleviate its concerns what change would bring to the nation?
    The Eritrean youth flight is an extreme phenomenon that should not be limited to blaming the regime.

    If this initiative is going to succeed,then this is a kind of Opposition we would like to see,provided it is free from external interference..
    I see Prof Bereket H.,Dr Assefaw,Amb Andebirhan,Semere kesete and my favorite,Mr.Bohashim—

    • haile

      hmmm….and why were you looking for a Simerrr guy like me on that pic? 🙂 ok on a serious note, isn’t it a step in the direction that you were asking for that they are meeting? Did they also announce that other patriotic nationals that you belittle are out and they are in? Of course they didn’t. That wold be below them, only the deceiver and bent to polarize would add statement like that. Well, there are two possible outcomes:

      1 – The Eritrean people are so foolish, take the divisive statement to heart and set upon each other and let the dictator ride on

      2 – They have figured mekerem’s angle from a million miles, feel disgusted and absolutely reject it.

      Those brave Eritreans need to be encouraged for what they are doing, note be used for cheap moonlighting of hgdef lackeys.

      • Hope

        Your poiint?
        I already made my point—
        I will go for any Group who believes and practises the Motto” Eritrean Solutions for eritrean problems by Eritreans and only by Eritreans–w/o any external experience.

        • Hope

          Your poiint?
          I already made my point!!!
          I will go for any Group who believes in and practises the Motto:” Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean problems by Eritreans and only by Eritreans–w/o any external interference.
          No need of Aboy Sibhat or Mr. Bereket.

  • SM

    Salem,
    Here is the serious contradiction:
    The “Shoot to kill Policy ” was changed to direct policy of human trafficking and organ harvesting”.
    While the Policy against the human trafficking is so harsh to the extent of shoot to kill, at the same time, it also involves human trafficking and organ harvest.

  • Pappillon

    The root cause is not the no-war-no-peace policy. It is the incompetency of Isaias marinated with his evil intention towards the Eritrean people. The Eritrean people are living in a time where hopelessness is taken for a normal phenomenon simply because they are desensitized to the point of being unresponsive to what a normal life is. There seems to be a general consensus enforced by Isaias’ foot shoulders on the people where the remains of an Eritrean (read: Naizghi Kiflu) is denied a proper burial in his home country; a mother of four snatched away from the sight of her children as they awaited for her at the airport (read: Aster Yohannes); the death of three hundred plus Eritrean souls in a violent sea not to mention Isaias’ cold and inhuman response when he was asked about Joshua (read: I don’t know him, I don’t know him, how would I know where he might be if I don’t know him) are taken for a normal thing. This macabre reality negates the demand of the day where democracy and multi party system and blaming partially or the entire fiasco on the Weyane is a luxury. Again, if you’re serious and have a heart, your focus should be on how to uproot the evil tyrant back in Eritrea for he is the sole enemy and a deadly cancer eating up the Eritrean people.

    • Salem

      If you don’t want to believe what is inherently clear then that is on you but I for one will not indulge you in your emotional rant about Isaias. Seems you have a hard on for him. Everything revolves around him in your world. Stop being an emotional talkative little wuss. Man up and take action and stop whining.

  • haile
    • Pappillon

      Dear Haile The Greatest,*

      Denial is a powerful mechanism. It is actually a human element where it is the upside of a placebo. Abstraction aside, all we can say is, ፈጣሪ ኩሉ ዓለም ንኤርትራ ሃገርና ይኣኽለኪ ይበላ.

      *I concur with the recent “vote of confidence” where you’re taken for the greatest Awatista ever. For real.

      • Hi Pappi,
        McHaile was chosen the greatest Awatista? When did this happen? ከመይከምዩ ነገሩ ሕጊ የለን ድዩ ኣብዚ ዓዲ??
        But seriously, yes indeed Hailat’s contribution is to be admired. Good fella!
        I like the sharp pencils of yours, too. You just need to work on improving the frequency.

        • Pappillon

          Dear Rodab,

          Thanks for those kind words– the feeling is of course mutual. You must have missed it. It was a unanimous consent so to speak including the neither here nor there PFDJ lackeys conceded. His mastery not only of the English language but Tigrinya as well stole the show where his crystal clear understanding of the inner workings of PFDJ was also one of the main reasons he flew over other contestants with bright colours.

          ሓፍትኻ

        • haile

          መጸ ድማ ሮዳብ….መቸም ሃይለ ንእሽቶ ሹመት ወይ ወሰኽ ደሞዝ ሂቦሞ ክትሰምዕ እንኮለኻ፡ ዋላ ብስራሕ ገይሽካ እንተሎኻ፡ ሓዲግካዮ ነዛ ሸብሮ ክትገብር ክትምለስ ኣሎካ!…እንታይ ኮን ክትረክብ ወደይ?….haha just kidding. Thanks for the compliment too rodab, thisho dma tihisho..

  • hope

    AT,Please try also to analyse as to why the exodus might gotten the potential to get worse….Not only that the border is more “open” but the EU has become more–“open and friendly”—-

  • Eyob Medhane

    … And the depopulation continues. Fast and furious……

    • Ermias

      Eyob, okay now you provoked me and I am going to depopulate your country one person at a time. I need your advice because a lot of my Ethiopian friends do not seem to give me consistent advice. A friend of mine wants to bring her mom from Ethiopia (Tigray) for a visit. I tried this for her in 2011. She has two daughters. Anyway, during the 2011 case, her mom went to the interview in Addis and without even looking at the lengthy and eloquent letters I wrote, the consulate asked the woman, how many kids her daughter has in the US and their ages. The old lady couldn’t answer the ages part because she thought they were asking her exactly to the date. She could have easily said they are teenagers. So the consulate said, ‘well, you are going there to babysit and we don’t think you will come back.’ Denied. That is to the best of our knowledge.

      Now the older grand daughter is graduating from college in June so I am trying to help them bring their granny. I wrote the letters already, gathered pictures, tax return, employment verification etc. This is just to show that they will support the visitor while she is in the US and that the kids are not babies with diapers.

      Do you know what else might be helpful? I had brought my mom using the same technique from Asmara in 2002.

      I appreciate any help. I will tell my friends too all about you.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Ermi,

        Just for the record, you have no idea how it makes me feel really sad to see the fast depopulation of Eritrean Kebessa from their country. I guess I made known enough times what I think about it and who I think is conspiring to make them lose their country in order to make them the tiniest minority of Eritrea. The country they once were flying very high.

        Back to your friend’s mother.

        The US embassy workers in Addis are from my experience are the most unprofessional, ill educated and seem uninterested in their job. In fact, some of them seem to be straight out of the hood of Crenshaw, in Los Angeles and South East in DC. Therefore, the way they may have talked to the sweet old lady could be confusing or they may have just been in a crappy mood to deny her a visa. Here is what I know about the requirements. 1) They want you to show a bank account, which they think it proves that you are well off enough to decide not to come back to the country. Or a property, business that you directly manage, which it’s responsibility brings you back. 2) Stamps of other countries on your passport. They happen to believe that, had you had some opportunities to leave the country before to anywhere and you chose to come back, you may not have an interest to live anywhere else. 3) I know some friends and relative of mine that have a letter written from their senators or congressmen to the US embassy to affirm that their sons and daughters are their constituents and there will be a graduation, a wedding and request a cooperation to obtain a visa for the mother or the father to attend the event from the embassy… (Ye degaf debdabe 🙂 )

        • Abinet

          Eyob
          What about a letter from the university stating that she is a prospective graduate? I know somebody who was successful that way . Of course a good bank account or a fixed asset is always a plus.

          • dawit

            How about being a little creative and register with UNHCR as Eritrean refugee, fabricate some lies about DIA and Eritrea, bribe some of the officers who reshuffle the files to put her the first to receive the Refugee visa. That may be the fastest way of getting visa to the West who are absolutely convinced Isaias the Devil and Eritrea the hell. No need to have bank account or properties in Eritrea. Just report PFDJ confiscated it all!

        • Ermias

          Eyoba and Abi. Thank you gentlemen! Eyoba, I like your description of the embassy staff at Addis. I vividly remember some of this in my three tries to come to the US. By the third time, my uncle had things figured out and he helped me make it through. I actually know two older gentlemen who came to the US free as embassy employees so shouldn’t that be a good incentive to be a good worker there?

          1). The granny lives in a village and I would highly doubt that she would have a bank account. She does have plenty of land and I believe a decent house. We are trying to see if the house is under her name.

          2). She never left Ethiopia.

          3). I am afriad we are running out of time. I wish I spoke to you earlier though because I could have easily gotten a letter.

          Like Abi said, someone else also told me that if they are in a good mood, then you get your visa no questions asked but sometimes you could have a strong case and you get turned away.
          We will send all the paperwork by Saturday, I will keep you guys posted.

          By the way, Crenshaw and South Central LA lives upto its reputation. During a visit there in 2001 or so, I saw incredible things on the streets there. One of which was a dude bouncing his car up and down and making U-Turns as he pleased while cops in their cars were idly watching. It was interesting to watch young guys running the street with booze on one hand and a gun on the other. Total craziness.

      • Abinet

        Ermi
        It is always easy to sponsor your own mom than someone’s .besides, it is a hit or miss situation. It is better if the graduating girl invite her grand mom .
        Good luck!

        • Ermias

          Abi, I am actually only drafting the letters and helping gather the info. My friends are going to be the signers and sponsors. But I agree it’s hit and miss with most visa related applications.

    • hope

      and—–you will be a happy camper—mission accomplished—Very,very “nice” neighbor indeeded.

  • Pappillon

    ኣየ ‘ዞም ወያነ’ዚኦም ጉድ ረኺቦም. It doesn’t matter whether the shoot to kill policy is still in effect or if it has ever been in effect at all or not, the point is your chronic denial the existence of the pink Elephant in the living room. The tyrant in Eritrea is hemorrhaging the nation of its vital signs. Don’t you get it? Why is it incredibly difficult for you to see when the nation is turning blue as it is being suffocated like there is no tomorrow? The crux of the matter is again, why are people leaving the nation in droves? That is the fundamental issue that you and your likes need to address and think really hard if you’ve an iota of conscience in you at all. If your rationale is በትረይ ሃቡኒ ዘሕምቖ’ለኒ by all means knock yourself out and beat your drums around the walls of Awate.com till it “crumbles”. If you’re going to say the reason people are leaving is because of Weyane’s refusal to abide by the border verdict, a paraphrased “Oh those Weyanes.” comes to mind as in Boney M’s famous lyric “Rasputin”.

    • Salem

      If the numbers the UN reports are true, then less than 1% leave the nation per year. Should I focus on the slim minority or the vast majority of those who remain in the nation? Migration is not something that only happens to Eritrea. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Let’s address the root cause (no war-no peace policy) first so the subsequent symptoms can be remedied.

    • haile

      Dear Papillion

      Thanks sis. for your kind words in the earlier posts. BTW didn’t you know? As far as hgdef is concerned, woyane is running Eritrea. Virtually everything that goes on in the country (including the way hgdef have to do their work and its outcome) is under total influence of woyane. I am worried that the newPFDJ ID cards proposed would say “The Woyane Repiblic of Eritrea” 🙂

      • Pappillon

        Hey The G8est.

        Check this out “http://vimeo.com/93404077” into the first six minutes. It is of course a silent clip sans black-and-white smoke screen. The body language of the “cabinet ministers” tells more than the reporter in the background tries to convey. They are tense, frightened and out-of-it pretending to be scribbling something as Don Corleone plays with his mustache.

        ሓፍትኻ

  • Hope

    AT,stick to this confirmed news :”When asked who issues official travel documents apart from the government of Ethiopia, our source doubted the involvement of the government in the mass transportation of the refugees and stated, “…
    We all,specially the AT, know that the Ethiopian government has been involved directly or by proxy .
    You also conveniently avoided the role of the UNHCR and the facilitation by the USA–per the Wikleaks—like the 10K Visas allocated from Nairobi.You also conveniently ignored the role of the “Smugglers” located in each and every Tigray Camp with the full knowledge of the Tigray State Government; and you even conveniently kept quite about the Incident at one of the Tigray Camps.
    Salem,welcome to the forum and you have an obligation,as a neutral Journalist, to challenge the “Selective Journalism ” here.

  • Salem

    Shoot to kill policy less lethal? UN reports 3K leave monthly but yet we’ve yet to hear one case of someone being shot. That means the border guards are either horrible shots or the so called shoot to kill policy doesn’t exist. I’d favor the latter position. Once again Awate gives Weyane a tad bit more information than needed. we need to have responsible journalism not one that circumvents and abridges on our national security.

  • Kokhob Selam

    This news is not good. I wish the people are right in Eritrea facing our home made problem at this moment at least since PFDJ is almost weak to challenge the mass. and those who are making U turn should be advised to make another U turn but join the mass this time forgetting their yesterday’s extreme stand. the slogan “Smerrrr” should be the real stand for independent and democratic Eritrea. this is time to stand firm for free -independent and democratic Eritrea more than ever.

  • Pappillon

    Dear Ali Salim,

    After reading the Gedab News report, you will have to double dose your medication. If you haven’t read it yet, heads up is in order. The report is pretty intense. In a nutshell, it says, the fact that the border is porous, Weyane will be in walk-in-a-park mode and mood to instil a puppet government where Godena Harnet is turned into Godena And’net. I happened to bring your dramatic U-Turn to a colleague of mine who specializes in psychoanalysis and he suspects, ህግደፍ ኣብ ስሬኻ ኣጻሕጺሖምኻ ከይኮኑ after you went astray with your “Land Grabbers” double dare, otherwise he said, a brilliant guy like you could not have possibly gone into U-Turn, V-Turn or W-turn.

    • hope

      We are talking about the official declaration and policy by the same Weyanes you are trying to defend.
      We already admitted our mistakes and we are working on it.