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Brutalised Eritreans faced with a terrible choice

COMMENT Horror has been expressed at the latest migrant drowning catastrophe in the Mediterranean. Little has been said, however, about Eritrea. But 22% of all people entering Italy by boat in 2014 were from the former Italian country, according to the United Nations refugee agency. After Syrians, they are the second-most common nationality to undertake these journeys. Many who died last week were from there. So why is it so rarely discussed? The answer is essentially the problem. Eritrea is without Western allies and far away. It is also in the grip of a highly repressive regime. This week, it was named the most censored country in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists, beating North Korea, which is in second place. Reporters without Borders has called it the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. Nobody talks about Eritrea because nobody (that is, Westerners) goes there. In 2009, I travelled there undercover with cameraman Scott Corben. We remain the only independent journalists to have visited the country in more than 10 years.

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Report: Egypt Preparing Large Assault Against ISIS in Libya Despite Opposition

Egypt is getting ready to launch a large air and ground attack against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in eastern Libya DebkaFile reports, quoting military and intelligence sources. The Obama administration is reportedly opposed to the operation. “Egypt is massing large-scale ground and air forces in the Western Desert along the Libyan border, in preparation for a military campaign to capture eastern Libya — Cyrenaica — from the Islamist State of Syria and Iraq — ISIS — occupation,” reports DebkaFile. “The substantial naval and marine forces assembling at Egypt’s Mediterranean ports indicate the possible launching of the offensive by dropping Egyptian marines on the Libyan coast around Derna (pop: 100,000), which ISIS has made its provincial capital,” it added. “They may be accompanied by simultaneous landings of paratroops from the air.”Some officials have warned that ISIS may use Libya to launch attacks against Europe.

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Thousands of Saudi Forces Flee Bases. Refuse to Participate in Ground Assault on Yemen, Report

Almost 4,000 Saudi forces fled their border bases in anticipation of Riyadh’s order for launching a ground assault on Yemen, European diplomatic sources said on Sunday.“The intel gathered by the western intelligence agencies showed that the Saudi military forces have fled their bases, military centers and bordering checkpoints near Yemen in groups,” diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by Iraq’s Arabic-language Nahrain Net news website.The European sources said that the Saudi forces’ mass AWOL forced Riyadh to declare ceasefire and dissuaded it from launching ground attacks against Yemen. Other reports also said that over 10,000 soldiers from different Saudi military units have fled the army battalions and the National Guard. Experts believe that the Saudi army lacks strong morale to launch a ground invasion of Yemen and such an attack would be considered as a suicide for Saudi Arabia.

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CIO Says Boko Haram is In Zimbabwe En Route to South Africa

The Central Intelligence Organisation has communicated an intelligence report that says the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is in Zimbabwe en route to South Africa. ZimEye.com can reveal that police officers in sections of Matebeleland in particular Bulawayo, have been put on standby following a tip-off from the South African intelligence service that the group is entering that country through Zimbabwe where it is feared they would carry out revenge attacks for the ill-treatment of several Nigerian nationals in the on going xenophobic attacks which have killed seven people and displaced thousands from their homes.Officers were yesterday called for duty at around 9PM and are now temporarily stationed at selected police-stations where they camp. Several cops were seen patrolling the streets wielding FN rifles. The development comes soon after Nigeria in a stand off with South Africa [READ MORE – South Africa Govt Panics Over Nigeria Anger, Reminds them of Boko Haram 300 Girls, TB Joshua Deaths] pulled its ambassador out of South Africa. There has been speculation in recent years that Boko Haram is really an extension of rogue elements in the Nigerian army controlled by politicians who wanted to remove former President Goodluck Jonathan. Ever since the new President Muhammadu Buhari, who is a Muslim was installed the militants group’s activities have appeared to die out, somewhat confirming the speculative reports that they are truly an extension of the national army. The Police spokesperson Charity Charamba had not responded to questions at the time of writing.

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ISIS In Libya Update: Egypt Reportedly Readying Assault On Islamic State Group Positions

Egypt reportedly is preparing a large-scale ground and air assault along the Libyan border to oust the Islamic State group from eastern Libya. DebkaFile, quoting military and intelligence sources, said naval and marine forces are assembling at Egypt's Mediterranean ports for a possible assault on Derna, the militants' provincial capital. DebkaFile noted the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, represents an unacceptable threat to Egypt, and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been warned extremists already have penetrated some Egyptian towns and military units. ISIS fighters are being smuggled through the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt from Syria and Iraq by drug rings, DebkaFile said.

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Mediterranean migrant crisis: why is no one talking about Eritrea?

Horror has been expressed at the latest catastrophe in the Mediterranean. Little has been said, however, about Eritrea. Yet 22% of all people entering Italy by boat in 2014 were from Eritrea, according to the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. After Syrians, they are the second most common nationality to undertake these journeys. Many who died this week were from the former Italian colony. So why is it so rarely discussed? The answer is essentially the problem. Eritrea is without western allies and far away. It is also in the grip of a highly repressive regime. This week, it was named the most censored country in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists, beating North Korea, which is in second place. Reporters without Borders has called it the world’s most dangerous country for journalists.

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Migrants forced to swap oppression at home for deadly journey abroad

Ali Addeh refugee camp, Djibouti (CNN)Henol and Mebratu emerge from their current home, a modest structure with plastic sheeting serving as its roof, carrying the "master folder."One of the most important documents on the camp, it's a record of each Eritrean's name and their case -- whether they've been granted refugee status, whether they've had their resettlement interview, whether they've attempted the journey to Europe by sea, and whether they've survived it. By the rows of names, red dots are marked to signify the dead.In the past few days, news -- from the network of friends and family across the world -- came in that 20 new dots needed to be scratched in -- for the 20 friends who'd drowned off the shores of Italy.

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