Eritrean Security Arrests Hundreds Of Citizens

In late May and early June, security officials of the Eritrean regime rounded hundreds of Eritreans in Asmara and the southern Red Sea provinces of Eritrea.

Among those confirmed to have been arrested in Asmara are:

Abdu Abduselam (well-known football player), Abdurahman Huruy, Abdurehim Abdulwasie, Hussein Said, Selahadin Abdulhay, Suraj Nurhussein, and Sammy Abdulkaleq. The citizens were rounded up from their homes, and the security officials confiscated whatever valuable property (cash, gold) they could find at their residences.

As the regime never charges citizens with any crime or brings the arrested to court, it is unclear what the rounded up are accused of doing. What is clear is that the regime sometimes arrests citizens as a means of raising funds from their families, not as bond for release, but simply as a way to identify which families have the means to pay.  The following are recent examples of individuals arrested and the funds their families were forced to raise:

Abdulhafiz Abdul’awel :  500,000 Nakfa
Adem Ibrahim              : 100,000 Nakfa
Mohammed Nur          : 300,000 Nakfa

Meanwhile, on June 6, the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), one of the eleven Eritrean opposition groups which make up the umbrella group Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), issued a press release accusing the Eritrean regime of initiating a “new wave of crackdowns on Afar citizens, from Tio to Edi to Assab and everywhere in between.” RSADO alleges that, over a two-day period, the regime rounded up truckloads of Eritreans, who were captured “while going after their meager resources of fishing, goat herding, and trade.” RSADO explains that the intent of the round up is multi-purposed: as a retaliation for the uprising in Denkalia and as means by “newly installed Major General Gerezghier “Wuchu” Andemariam [one of Eritrea’s five commanders] to ethnic cleanse Red Sea Afar in Dankalia of their indigenous land.”

Since January, RSADO has escalated its military campaigns which are often co-ordinated with either the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK) or the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF.) On May 4, 2010, eight of the 11 members of the EDA signed a memorandum of understanding to unify their military wings under one command

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