Is the EU attempting to protect the Eritrean dictatorship?
EU plans to try and stop the flow of refugees from Eritrea are causing officials to downplay a UN report into potential crimes against humanity by the regime.
The European Union appears set on defending one of Africa’s most notorious dictatorships. A UN investigation into whether Eritrea’s regime’s human rights abuses are so severe that they constitute crimes against humanity are due to be released on 8 June, but senior EU officials are already attempting to downplay its findings.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Marie-Christine Vergiat, Left Front French MEP, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee. “We have been warning the Commission for months about the situation in the Horn of Africa and especially in Eritrea – without any results.”
The tiny nation of Eritrea – situated between Ethiopia and the Red Sea – is haemorrhaging people. As many as 5,000 a month cross borders, evading guards with orders to shoot to kill. They flee a regime that traps them in permanent servitude: a system of indefinite conscription that can last for decades.
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