More Arrests Confirmed

The Eritrean regime has arrested Suleiman Hajj and Jaber Dere’e.

Suleiman Hajj was the mayor of the city of Mendefera, and the deputy to the regional administrator of the South Zone (“Zoba Debub”), Mustapha Nurhussein. Mustapha, along with Abdella Jaber, who was the Director of Organizational Affairs for the ruling party, PFDJ, was arrested last week.

On Sunday, the arrest of Abdella Jaber and Mustapha Nurhussein was confirmed by a representative of the pro-Isaias Afwerki Eritrean community in Okaland, California to a regime-friendly Paltalk room. He stated that he, along with other “community leaders”, had gotten the directive to do so by the Eritrean embassy in Washington, DC.

Suleiman Hajj was Eritrea’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia shortly after Eritrea’s independence. As Mayor (or “administrator”) of the city of Mendefera, he functioned as the number 2 to Mustapha Nurhussein, with whom he had a close working relationship.

Jaber Dere’e was the representative of the ruling party, PFDJ, in its embassy in Saudi Arabia.

In a related issue, Gedab News is unable to confirm the arrest of Ahmed Haj Ali, the Minister of Energy and Mines. Although anything is possible in Isaias Afwerki’s Eritrea, his arrest seems implausible for the following two reasons:

(a) In the cliquish PFDJ system, Ahmed Haj Ali has two relatively strong friends who would warn him from associating with “undesirable elements”. One is Yemane Gebremeskel, the Chief of Staff of the Office of President, who solidified his friendship with Ahmed Haj Ali from their days as fellow EPLF activists in Italy in the 1980s. The other is Simon Gebredengel, the deputy National Security director, who is a close friend from their days as students in Russia in the 1970s.

(b) He does not get into “turf wars” or “power plays.” His ministry is essentially run by others: the de-facto Minister of Mines is Hagos “Kisha”, the Director of Economics Department for the ruling party; the de-facto Minister of Energy is Col Wedi Bayru.

There is no new information on the engineers of the January 21 movement. The Eritrean regime claims that there were 5 individuals who led the siege of the Ministry of Information and that four have been arrested and one was killed in a shoot-out. Gedab News is unable to confirm this information. Our sources in Sudan say that some members of the January 21 movement have begun crossing the border to Sudan.
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