Red Sea Afar Human Rights organization issued statement on May 30, 2020 regarding the tragic situation in the Afar Red Sea region in Eritrea after famine danger swept the region as a result of the siege imposed by the Eritrean regime on the citizens of the region.
In our current statement, RSAHRO monitored the ongoing repression in continuing to starve the people with wide harassment of citizens, blocking sources of their livelihood, persecution and the denial of their human rights, and the failure of the regime to respond to the repeated calls of Notables and local leaders to lift the siege imposed on them, which is leading to worsening humanitarian crisis that is leading to famine.
Accordingly, our organization issues this statement and summarizes the arbitrary measures taken by the Eritrean regime against the Red sea Afar in Eritrea and the continuation of the tragic conditions in the region.
The following points are what Red sea Afar human Rights organization monitored.
1) On May 31, 2020 , a committee composed of local leaders and sheikhs of the Ghal’lo district in the north of the region met with government delegates in the district and informed them that the people were starving and asked them to provide food and allow them to move to do fishing activities. They also demanded the return of more than 50 fishing boats the Eritrean navy confiscated in Late May 2020 under direct order of the commander of the Eritrean Naval Force called colonel Ahmed Mohammed (known by Wadi Halima).However, the District administration, ignored their request and did not give him any attention.
2) On May 31, 2020 , Halima Mohammed Omar, pregnant mother died after she lost a large amount of blood due to lack of medical assistance in bada Area, Ghal’lo sub-zone. This is happened after the authorities closed the only existed health post in badda area.
3) On June 1, 2020, the regime forces obstructed cars carrying 58 quintal of flour that were destined for the people in Harsile area, south of Asseb, confiscated part of it in favor of the local government , and burned 28 quintals on the pretext of the expiry date of the flour. This was reported on national TV channel (Eri-tv) in order to justify the irresponsible act.
4) On June 2, 2020, the commander of the battalion (No. 1), Brigade (No. 1) of Corps (No. 15) of the Eritrean forces led by Samuel Yacoub known as wadi Yaqoub, met with the local leaders and and people of bada by direct order of 15th corp commander Colonel Habteselus Endrias.The local leaders asked the commander to return the consifacated food and camels they seized. However, the commander refused to return the foods instead allowed them to take camels. The local leaders refused his request and the meeting ended with out agreement. Simultaneously, the military unit under the command of Wadi Yacob consficated other convoy of camels carrying aid and food supplies from Ethiopian border.
5) On the evening of June 3, at the military corps headquarter in Adaito, the forces massacred 8 camels which was consifacated and detained in the border area, unconcerned with the owners continuing demands to return back their camels.
6) On June 3, trucks carrying vegetables and other foodstuffs were arrived from Asmara to Assab city to decrease the pressure on the people of the area, however they were not distributed to the residents.The commander of the military zone General Teckle menjus ordered the vegetables to be distributed to the army and government officials in Asseb city and residents were deprived of it.
7) The outbreak of skin diseases on children and elderly people in the area of makaka’ and Alale(North of Asseb). Malnutrition and an acute shortage of food and medicine are prevalent in this area.
8) RSAHRO noticed that the Eritrean government has not taken any precautionary measures to halt the outbreak of the Covid-19 in the region. Nevertheless, the regime has taken counter measures by closing health centers, forced evacuation of patients from health stations, as well as lack of preparation of Quarantine centers.Also medical devices and safety materials are not provided so far.
In addition to that, the regime arrest people who arrive from neighboring countries and throws them in prison in several military detention centers in the region.
9) Under the pretext of Covid-19, the Eritrean government locked up fishermen who arrived from Yemen in the detention centers of Naval force in Nakhrua and Harat Islands. Also, the regime locked up 42 people who arrived from Yemen and Ethiopia in Marsa fatuma, Naval force detention center. Moreover, 32 people who arrived from Ethiopia and Djibouti being held in Adi Nefas prison, on the outskirts of Asseb. These kind of unprecedented measures makes people vulnerable and contributes to the spread of covid-19 as they are detained in inappropriate places.
10) RSAHRO want to confirm that the Eritrean authorities are still persisting in their intransigence and mistreatment of the Red Sea Afar people in closing all the all the borders without finding any solutions to ease the tragic situation and prevent the exacerbation of the crisis until now.
Red Sea Afar Human Rights Organization hold the regime fully responsible for the grave Human right violations and inhuman practices, deliberate starvation and persecuting Red sea Afar people in their own land.
RSAHRO repeat its call and appeal to human rights Organizations , international and regional organizations and neighboring countries to put pressure on the Eritrean regime to lift the deliberate siege and stop the systematic starvation of our people in Eritrea.
Red Sea Afar human Rights organization (RSAHRO)
June 7, 2020