News Highlights: Eritrean diaspora protests, message from inside Eritrea, Horn of Africa drought

In this week’s news highlights: a member of the Freedom Friday (Arbi Harnet) speaks to a Dutch journalist about the protest in Asmara; article emphasises that ordinary people organised protest Asmara; air strikes in Somalia; drought in the Horn of Africa continues impacting the region; Eritrean diaspora rallies and unites worldwide; report calls for change of EU-Eritrea migration policies; rape used as instrument of war in Libya.

Greater Horn of Africa

Eritrea: Freedom Friday movement calls for international inquiry
A member of the Freedom Friday (Arbi Harnet) movement in Eritrea spoke over the phone to a Dutch journalist. In the conversation, he called for an international investigation following the Asmara protest in Eritrea. He also confirmed that the security forces, although using force, refused to shoot at people. He continued his phone call stating: “Muslims and Christians are united” in the protest. He ended by saying that resistance against government repression will continue in Eritrea, despite the fear.

Eritrea: Something is moving behind regime’s wall
An article published on Asmarino Independent draws conclusions after the protest in Asmara. The article emphasizes that last week’s protest was the first protest in a long time held and organised fully  by ordinary people, not linked with open opposition movements. 

Horn of Africa: Drought continues to severely impact the region
The ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa continues to severely impact the people. According to what is known, 15 million people are food insecure. Drought continues to torment the region, whereas heavy rainfall in some areas has caused crop failure too. The drought causes displacement and early signs seem to suggest that rainy seasons in countries like Somalia may again fail.

Somalia: Air Strikes conducted by US army
A statement published by US airforce together with the Somali army informs about two separate air strikes in northeastern Somalia. The operations were conducted by joint efforts of the two armies targeting terrorists’ safe bases.

South Sudan: Refugees having a central role in Uganda economy
South Sudanese refugees are a boost for the Ugandan economy. A BBC article analyses the impact of refugees fleeing from civil war in South Sudan from a different point of view. As shown by UNHCR figures, Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees, especially women and children. Part of the reason why the Ugandan government has been so welcoming, is because of the positive transforming effect the refugees have had on the north Ugandan countryside.


Europe: European and worldwide rallies after Asmara protest suppression
London, Stockholm, Washington DC and New York: these are some of the cities which are becoming the theatre of protests held by the Eritrean diaspora community in response to the suppression of the protest in Asmara, Eritrea, last week.

European migration policy: New approaches needed in dealing with Eritrea
A report from different organisations, based in part on 67 testimonies from Eritrean migrants, is calling for a change in the approach of EU migration policy with Eritrea. The report refers to the Khartoum process: ‘It focuses too much on states and not enough on people’ and ‘it fails to address the root causes and political drivers of undocumented migration’ as stated by Dr. Lutz Oette. The study shows how Eritrean refugees are forced to risk their lives while fleeing the country.

North Africa

Libya: Rape used as instrument of war
The Guardian published an article that shows how male rape became an instrument of war on Libyan soil. In testimonies gathered, it is shown that male rape has been used during the 2011 Libyan revolution by rebels and is still ongoing in Libyan prisons and detention camps as testified : “There was a black man, a migrant. In the evening, they threw him into one of our cells: ‘You rape this guy, otherwise, you’re dead!’”