Eritrean exodus threatens to overwhelm Ethiopian border areas

The pace at which Eritreans are leaving the country is increasing rapidly.

With the Ethiopian border open at 18 entry points, hundreds of Eritreans are arriving daily in busses, cars and on foot.

Between 250 and 500 were reported to be crossing daily at the start of September, but the numbers are now rising.

Many are seeking asylum at the Endabaguna screening  centre, which is struggling to register all those who arrive. As many as 600 a day are asking for asylum, some of them Eritrean troops, stretching the centre’s handling capacity.

It is reported that the crossings were closed yesterday (19th September). The official reason given was that this was ‘due to the security situation’.  The border is said to have re-opened again today.

Eritreans registering at official centres may only be the tip of the iceberg. Others don’t bother with registration, instead going to join friends and family already living in Ethiopia.

Professor Mirjam van Reisen, of Tilberg University in the Netherlands, who was recently in the Ethiopia-Eritrea border area, is concerned the situation could escalate out of control.

“Visiting the area we saw the joy of people crossing into Ethiopia, but the numbers are now huge. This is becoming an uncontrolled flight from Eritrea. Ethiopia will need substantial international assistance if it is to cope with a major exodus,” warned Professor van Reisen.

Eritreans say they are leaving because their government has failed to institute political and economic reforms in their country. Others say they are joining family members already living in Ethiopia.


There have been long traffic jams at the border town of Zalambessa as the trade between the two countries has built up. Trucks with grain, flour and building materials are leaving Ethiopia, while electronic goods and other consumer goods are being taken in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. ኤርትራዊያንና ትግሬዎች የኢትዮጵያና የህዝቦቿ ነቀርሳወችና መዥገሮች ናቸው። የእነዚህ ህዝቦች እንደ ቅማል መጣበቅ ለሃገራችን የኤኰኖሚ፣ የታሪክ፣ የፖለቲካና የፀጥታችን ሁሉ ስጋቶች እንዲሁም የውድቀታችንም ምክንያቶች ናቸው።
    ስለሆነም ኤርትራዊያን ሲገነጠሉ አላማከሩንም ሲመለሱም ከእኛ ዕቅናና ፍላጎት ውጭ መሆን የለበትም ነበር ሆኖም ኢትዮጵያውያን መብታቸውንና ክብራቸውንም አስጠባቂ መንግስት ባለመኖሩ አሁንም እንደ ትናንቱ ችጋራቸውን ለማራገፍ ከንቱ ባህላቸውንም ሊጭኑብን ከአሳ ነባሪና ከበርሃ ስቃይ እያመለጡ ወደ ሃገራችን ሲገቡ በተቃራኒው ደግሞ ኢትዮጵያውያን በስደት የባህር ሲሳይ መሆናቸው ሊዘነጋ አይገባውም።
    የኤርትራዊያን በገፍ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ መግባት የሚጠቅመው ህወሓትንና ኦነግን ሲሆን ለሻዕቢያም ከህዝባዊ አመፅ ይገላገላል።
    ስለሆነም ኢትዮጵያዊ መንግስት ሲኖረንና ከኦነግና ከህወሃት ጥምር ፋሽስታዊ አገዛዝ ስንወጣ ወደ መጡበት እንመልሳቸዋለን።

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