British Government Welcomes Eritrea's Decision to Limit National Service to 18 months
Since November 2014, Eritrea has limited National Service to 18 months
Recently, Lady Glenys Kinnock, a British politician, asked the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, who visited Eritrea in December 2014, on what their "assessment of the assurances given by the government of Eritrea that military service will be limited to 18 months; and whether they will undertake analysis of the matter and report on the outcome."
Joyce Anelay, the Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, replied:
"Eritrean officials provided assurances that national service will now be strictly limited to 18 months. We welcome this decision but will continue to press the Eritrean government to live up to this commitment."
Similarly, during a House of Lords debate on Eritrea and Ethiopia two weeks earlier, Lord Avebury, a Liberal Democrat politician, informed his colleagues that Eritrea ended its open-ended National Service (NS).
"The Eritrean ambassador [Estifanos Habtemariam] told us that from last November conscription was limited to 18 months and that conscripts would not be required, as before, to perform civilian work such as road building, earning no more than $30 a month." Said Lord Avebury.
News of Eritrea capping NS first came in November, when AdalVoice reported that the charge d’affairs of the Eritrean embassy to the United States, Mr. Berhane Gebrehiwet, told Eritreans from the United States that NS would be limited to its original practice of 18 months.
A month before Mr. Berhane's announcement, the Danish Immigration Service (DIS), which was in Eritrea to report on the real human rights situation in the country, mentioned "the government is considering returning to the original 18 months of National Service that is stipulated by the law."
Regarding the length of NS during their visit, DIS quoted a Western official in Asmara who stated that “a broadly shared perception is that the government has eased its approach to National Service. Today it is easier to be released from service and for young people today, National Service seems to be limited to a couple of years.”
British Government Welcomes Eritrea's Decision to Limit National Service to 18 months Reviewed by Admin on 12:05 PM Rating: