Monday, September 17, 2007

Eritrea: A Sad Anniversary

Today is the sad anniversary of the detention of hundreds of government officials, journalists and other community leaders six years ago in Eritrea. Amnesty International has a press release detailing the lack of progress in the human rights climate to date. An action is available here.

Meanwhile, instead of releasing prisoners of conscience and permitting freedom of speech and association, the Eritrean government is hosting conferences for the Somalian opposition and encouraging further destabilization of the region. The US government has taken note,

[US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi] Frazer said that this was about more than just simply considering Eritrea as a rogue state in the region.

It was quite specifically Eritrea's relationship with recognised terrorists which could lead to its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

This, in turn, she said would bring a change in the nature of its relationship with the US and in the ability of the US and other countries to provide assistance to Eritrea's government.

Hmm. Maybe if the US government had put more pressure on the Eritrean government five or six years ago there would still be a viable opposition to work with?

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