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  • Hundreds of Eritrean refugees on Friday held rally in the Ethiopian capital Posted on 29 June 2015

    By  Tesfa-Alem Tekle 

    Hundreds of Eritrean refugees on Friday held rally in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in protest to the human right violations committed by the repressive regime in Asmara.

    Protesters who gathered in front of the African Union (AU) headquarters called on the continental bloc to take actions against the Eritrean government for the unfolding gross human right abuses.

    A second group of the Eritrean refugees has also held protest rally outside the European Union office. They called up on the international community to denounce the widespread right abuses.

    Organizers stated that the rally was also in support of the recently released UN report on Eritrea’s human right situations.

    The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday released a report on Eritrea’s human rights situation which highlights extensive and systematic rights abuse in the reclusive Red Sea nation.

    Eritrea previously barred UN investigators from entering to the country but the 500-page report has underscored that the situation in Eritrea is of grave concern which needs much attention.

    Protesters said they want to see justice served over the growing right abuses which continue to force tens of thousands of Eritreans in to exile.

    “The Eritrean government has committed crimes against humanity and president Isaias Afeworki and other military officials must face trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC),” said Bereket Tesfamariam, an Eritrean opponent.

    There are at least 90,000 Eritrean refuges in Ethiopia.

    Thousands of other Eritrean refugees residing at six different camps near the Eritrean border have similarly held demonstrations today at their respective camps.

    Chairman of the Addis Ababa refugees association and organizer of the protest Yohanis Simon said they have received satisfactory response from the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) over their demands.

    Eritrea, gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and since president Afeworki is leading the country forcing into exile all other opposition groups and turned the country in to a one party state to maintain grip on power.

    Yonas Haile, another protester highlighted that the demonstration was to ask for the international community to put pressure on the regime to make urgent democratic reforms.

    “There had been no election since independence. The constitution wasn’t implemented and the president didn’t keep his promise to draft a new constitution,” said Haile.

    He further claims that the government is killing, arresting and intimidating innocent people leaving them with no choice but to flee their home country.

    According to a UN report, during the past two decades 360,000 Eritreans have left their country to exile, also thousands died while trying to cross to Europe in a dangerous sea routes.

    Eritrea has an estimated 4.5 million population. Eritreans seeking asylum in Europe are the second largest after Syrian refugees.

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