Last week Eritrean Ministers and Presidential advisor Yemane Gebreab met with German officials. The Eritrean government claimed that the delegation held talks with the German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development on what was said to be based on “mutual relations and economic cooperation.”
Though specifies were not stated, the ongoing talks between both sides demonstrates that Asmara is forming closer ties with Europe. These talks follow a German delegation visit to Asmara in December 2015 which included a meeting with President Afewerki. In a country known to be incredibly secretive, it highlights the somewhat shift in foreign policy.
It is to be noted the United Nation’s Commission of Inquiry Report on Eritrea accused the Eritrean government of “Crimes against humanity.” In a country often referred to as “Africa’s North Korea”, where tens of thousands are said to be incarcerated, the conditions for such cooperation remain unclear. However, given the number of Eritreans that are fleeing their country, and concerns in Europe over the scale of irregular arrivals of migrants stemming the flow is understood to be a motive. According to the IOM over 2,000 Eritreans crossed to Italy, via the Mediterranean route from January to April 2016.
With the numbers fleeing Eritrea monthly and this new relationship developing, one can only wonder what effects it will have on the growing exodus of Eritrean youth.