Skip to comments.Eritrea: the African North Korea which thousands will risk anything to escape
Posted on 10/04/2013 6:28:20 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
There is no civil war in Eritrea: its people flee because their isolated homeland could pass as an African version of North Korea. Like the Kim regime in Pyongyang, President Isaias Afewerki keeps Eritrea on a permanent war-footing.
Most adults are conscripted into the army or forced to perform compulsory labour of some kind. Today, one Eritrean in every 20 serves in a bloated army with 320,000 soldiers.
Mr Isaias justifies this eternal mass mobilisation by claiming that neighbouring Ethiopia is scheming to re-conquer Eritrea. Just as the fictional state of Oceania was always at war in George Orwells 1984, so Mr Isaias presents his repression as essential to guarantee the survival of the nation against outside enemies.
That message has some resonance because of Eritreas traumatic history. The country broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 after waging a brutal 30-year struggle for independence. The two neighbours have remained bitter rivals ever since, fighting a border war between 1998 and 2000 that claimed perhaps 70,000 lives.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A basket case piece of geography.
Obama’s presidency should be known as the ‘the Eritrean Period’
Home of the to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and France's 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion. Large US supply base and drone base.
WOW! I thought I was up on world geography ... never heard of this place. My bad.
The only reason Eritrea is in the news is because about 500 of them piled in a fishing boat and headed for Italy this week. About 150 made it.
Eritrea is the Muslim portion of Ethiopia, at least they were until independence. This is the front lines of the war between Islam and Christianity. Ethiopia was basically cut off from the rest of Christianity for most of 1000 years and Eritrea has now cut them off from the sea.
They are worth a mention because they are the biggest state sponsors of Al Shabaab in Somalia; the group responsible for the Kenya mall massacre.
I remember back in the early 70's when Ethiopia was in the US sphere and Somalia was in the Soviet sphere. Then one day, they both switched.
Asmara is a pretty name for the capitol of the Republic of Hell Hole
How about Somaliland?
Thank for the information, greatly appreciated.
Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the NSA had a major site in Asmara, manned mainly by US Army and US Navy signal intelligence specialists.
Or its neighbor Puntland?
Want to see a weird "country" look up Western Sahara. Half of it is controlled by Morocco, the other half by an Algerian backed group. There is a big dirt mound that separates them running the length of the country. It hasn't had a government for 50 years.
I did not know that.
Yes, it was weird. I remember when all the “intellectuals” I knew supported Eritrea in its breakaway from Ethiopia. One of the earliest examples of the current cheering for Muslims versus Christians.
Sorry I didn’t recognize Eritrea, however my ignorance of the geography of this area doesn’t extend to Somalia ... due to recent (and ongoing) headlines.
I don’t question what you say but I note their president stated in the article story here has the first name Isaias , I was always under the impression, Eritrea was sort of split religiously speaking.
“The registered, census-based religions are the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church (a miaphysite Oriental Orthodox denomination), the Roman Catholic Church, Eritrean Lutheran Church, and Sunnite Islam. All other religions are persecuted, including other denominations of Islam, such as Shi’ism, and other denominations of Christianity, such as any of the myriad Protestant denominations.”
The Eritreans I think in spite of religion, are just ancient foes of the Ethiopians, Eritreans enjoyed being an Italian Colony. Eritreans helped Italy invade Ethiopia. Eritrea also whipped Ethiopia and put in new rulers by defeating them in that war in the ‘90s I believe. Let’s not all forget Ethiopia was a client of the Soviet Union.
See pictures of Italian Military Cemeteries on this webpage: http://www.asmera.nl/eritrea2011/eritrea31052011.htm Interesting how they are kept up immaculately. That website has images of Italian architecture too.
In fact, when Eritrea defeated Ethiopia, the Ethiopians had the old Soviet tanks.
You may well be right. Even the CIA world fact book doesn’t give a religious breakdown. The President is supposedly Eastern Orthodox. I guess I made a false assumption based on their support for Al Shabaab. Thanks for the correction.
Somaliland declared independence and has been governing itself for years while Somalia is still a basketcase.
I claim the dirt mound as the Free Republic of Dirtistan
Is that yellow stuff sulfur?
You can't have it. Western Sahara has been a jobs program for several hundred UN Peacekeepers since 1988. Don't put the Bangladeshis in the blue helmets out of work.
Kind of like spying then? but on radio signals and stuff?
I almost sent them back to making sackcloth
Maybe! I’d really have to research it but sometimes, maybe it was bing wallpaper, there really is some extraordinary land over there. I guess, some people would say that is some of the cradle of civilization, I don’t know. Ethiopia is in the Bible.
Which by the way, Ethiopians and Eritreans speak Asmara as their language, I think they are basically the same people, Ethiopia itself is a very Christian (Orthodox) Nation I believe and then, Eritrea is probably more split religiously.
Sorry, my bad ... again. As usual, too quick to jump.
Education is a great thing and the constant education I get on FR is a G_d send. Thanks.
The Church of Saint George is carved out of a single stone.
I think that is all true, thanks
I usually jump and post before reading past the headline, makes it more interesting.
So here, Eritrea may have once been a friend of Israel but now?? Found this blog, looks pro-Muslim but still tells some things.
“On December 23, 2009 the UN Security Council imposed sanctions (Resolution 1907/2009) against Eritrean government based on allegation of supporting Islamic Resistance in Somalia.”
(link with-held if that is alright)
Also states that Eritrea is 60% Muslim.
” strategic relationship between the new government of Eritrea and Israel when Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki travelled to Israel for medical treatment in 1993. Afewerki was transferred to Israel by an American airplane. The US representative in the Eritrean capital Asmara suggested the idea after the Eritrean leader fell ill. These happenings along with American efforts led to the opening of an Israeli Embassy in Asmara on March 15, 1993, prior to the official announcement on April 27, 1993. Official sources[who?] later stated that Israel is creating the biggest naval base outside Israel on the Dahlak Archipelago. This followed an agreement between Eritrea and Israel signed in 1995. Eritrea used Israeli warships and huge logistical support from that naval base during its occupation of the Yemeni Hanish Islands in 1996. The sources[who?] disclosed that Israel has presence on two Eritrean islands: Dahlak and Fatma. Israel also has monitoring centers on the Red Sea to oversee the Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan, in addition to oil movements. Mossad is said[by whom?] to have a very active intelligence gathering station not far from Eritrea’s borders with Sudan. However, Eritrea condemned Israeli military action during the 20082009 IsraelGaza conflict.”
I am posting this, I remember once, Eritrea was considered friendly to Israel, it appears that has changed yet, unclear all the same.
A few years ago a friend (Reserve SEAL) asked me about it. he wasn’t satisfied with the intell he was getting from the Navy.
I stopped off at our local library and got him water depth charts, Warehouse descriptions, fork lift types and numbers, and pictures of the boats he would be operating with the Eritrean navy. They had an old WWII Higgins boat that they still operated to visit some of the small islands.
A few hours with the ‘CIA Handbook on Ethiopia’ and the import-export shelf was sufficient. We discussed local diseases, and recommended cooking methods and water purification.
Off he went, and the first day they gave as gifts to their counterparts boxes of “O” rings. They spent most of the day going over their counterpart’s scuba gear replacing the seals that had gone bad (dry rot).
There wasn’t an actual war, but he caught a round in his shoulder. The border was very testy. Eritrea had won their independence by rebellion from Ethiopia, and dictated the terms of peace in Addis Abbaba.
And the women there are exotic and beautiful. Don’t look too long, the locals take it personally.
Believe it or not, but Eritrea actually scores worse in terms of press-freedom than North Korea.
They both nosed out Turkmenistan by a hair. Quite a collection of "places not to visit" at the bottom of that list.
But Eritreas president is Christian as is nearly half the population, the other half being Moslems
I got corrected already about that but even though the president may have been raised in a nominally Christian household his loyalty lies elsewhere. He was trained in China and supports Al Qaeda.
Thanks for that information. I didn’t know that