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Letter to the UNHCR Spokesperson, Mr Adrian Edwards from Eritrean Community in Italy

Adrian Edwards

Letter to the UNHCR Spokesperson, Mr Adrian Edwards

Dear Mr. Adrian Edwards,

The Eritrean Community residing in Italy writes to express dismay and concern about your statement confirming the death of about 350 Eritreans in the latest boat tragedy in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast.

The community of Eritreans in Italy, which express its sorrow for all the victims without distinction of origin, understandably lives hours of anguish and share the same hopes of the families back home that pray your statements on the number of Eritrean victims are incorrect, that the survivors interviewed by you are mistaken about the identity of our fellow compatriots. No Eritrean would like that the news spread by you were to be true, we wish the information provided to be wrong and that's why we ask, hoping for a prompt response, how can UNHCR know the exact number of Eritreans when it still does not know the exact number of victims? (Since the total number has been estimated from 700 to 900 approximately). How can we only know that the Eritreans were 350 when the origin of the other victims from Syria, Somalia, Chad, Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia remains unknown? How can the only certain figure, beside the apparent one of the 28 survivors, be for the number of Eritrean victims already estimated to be 350? And if, as you stated, the number of Eritreans was made clear by the survivors, how many Eritrean survivors have been able to correctly identify 350 of their fellow citizens? Has UNHCR obtained their documents? Or has it adopted any other method to prove their nationality?

The Community of Eritreans in Italy is living hours of anguish, understandably it hopes that the figure of the 350 Eritrean victims of the latest tragedy, as stated by UNHCR, are proven to be unsubstantiated and that this number is not being exploited for political ends.

We look forward to a prompt and clarifying reply.

Best Regards,

Media Committee Italy

Spokesperson of the Community of Eritreans in Italy

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Letter to the UNHCR Spokesperson, Mr Adrian Edwards from Eritrean Community in Italy Reviewed by Admin on 7:26 PM Rating: 5


  1. Damn!!
    Why are ISIS killing the wrong people?

  2. "ፈሊጡ ዘጽቀጠስ መድፍዕ ነይንቕንቖ"! ኣቱም ሰባት፡ ደይመደይ ኢሎም እዮም እኮ፡ ንሃገርና ደይሽማ ክህቡ ህርድግ ውዒሎም ህርድግ ዝሓድሩ! ምጽሓፍኩም ግን ዝነኣድ ስጉምቲ እዩ።

  3. The pattern the oppressor use to crack down peoples or nations is very old and unmasked indeed, they insist to use it still cause in some country works properly to bring regime change, "nàana mesiluwen kedanagerana, resièno ò menenetna" niqueh hezbi kemzello..
    Lomi ewen kem Temali..qualena merrir iyu,
    awetna naygeden iyu..

  4. I loughed just because of yr comparison! I still wonder the activist Meron Estifanos though one of the opponent have revealed that there were no Eritreans. I am now surprised when I read the above statement. I am eager to hear from back home!

  5. We join the Eritrean community in Italy in opening our hearts and prayers to all who were victims of this terrible tragedy. I echo their call that only accurate and verifiable information be released. A time of enormous sorrow and grief, is the worst time to perpetuate inaccurate information about Eritrea and its people. Let us join hands in promoting peaceful and sustainable development in the Horn of Africa. It must be development that respects the autonomy and self-determination of Eritrea and neighboring countries. We can create together a world in which no child, woman, or man has reason to flee.

  6. There are no 'right people' to kill. Killing sisters and brothers from any country or culture is a senseless and despicable act.

  7. ኣሌክ - Alec youApril 24, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    Thing is, the UN is the ENEMY of Eritrea. and nothing good can come from the Enemy. what ever they do, they are doing it for their interest. They are try to look like an Angle to deceive gerhtata. but, remember deki Eri even Satan was an Angle. and thats why, we said we know them very well-- they can't fool us all. and to those who says the UN care for us--- how can u think our enemies do good things towords Eritrea and its people, when they're the cause of all this. Is there ur stupid or deliberately saying that to suit ur agenda in-order to get power. they only care for their interest and the fox doesn't tell whats its intention towards the chicken. so we have the right to care for our country's interest and at the same time staying vigilant. :-)

  8. History is relating itself. The same community was saying the same thing during Lampadusa accident for over a year ago. Instead of focusing on the root cause and how to to stop this from happening , you are trying to shoot the messanger. It is a well know fact for many Eritreans that too many of our youth are leaving the country. And most of them try to reach Europe via Libya. So let's forget 350, what if they were 50 of them Eritreans, isn't that high enough?. And if you are really concerned and doesn't trust IN agency why don't you send a representative who will go there and find out the exact numbers you are looking for? at the end of the day you are leaving in Italy.

  9. It's 13 year that we ask to the international community to shoulder its responsibility regarding the EEBC's implementation, which is one of the main cause of our youth to flee the country..

  10. Lobbying and agitation is crucial here. We need to stop those stranded in Sudan and Libya! What is the use of barking after the loss is becoming unbearable? The world leaders have agreed to stop the ships before they start sailing. It is something. The root cause are the agitators who make the youth leave the country. There are lots of hands involved in this blender. Some of us have to be blamed that by sending money relatives and neigbors or else acquaintances are envying and decided to leave without any proper understanding what the concequences would be. The second one is the criminals, our own people ganged to snatch money from their own blood. The gov't is working to build the country and school are opened for the young to study. What else do they want then? We have to accept our poverty and be patient. A lot of progress is undergoing.

  11. What about the open ended national service where people are expected to server Issays for ever?. How do you expect the youth to build up a family and put a food to the table with 10 dollar per month payment? The youth founght back the Woyane aggrestion and sayed in the military service for decades, what else do you want them to do? How should they wait for Issyas to change his mind?. I recently met someone who was part of 1:st round, and left the country recently, are you going to tell him to be patien?. If being patient is what is requried why dont you lead by example and go back and help with the "developöent" and be patient?

  12. So with other words we are on the mercy of Ethiopia/UN? Is that what you are saying?. What if the Ethiopian wont leave Badme for one more decade, our suffering will continue?. Do you know how many countries around the world have border dispute with their neighbors but still have normal life?. A good example is India and Pakistan, they have a border dispute which has been going on for several decades and still not solved?. Do you see India or Pakistan listing all their adult population to open ended military service?. The national service is there just to save Issays Afeworki from revolution and nothing else. All the youth in cities would mean a risk for his one man rule.

  13. The national service do not stand there and wait for woyane or wait for you to cry your crocodile tears on their name. They are building Eritrea from the ground while you advocate from your comfort. Why dont you instead go in person and show us your brilliant solution ?


  15. Everybody is sympathetic to those who have served for a long time! It is senseless to accuse the government for prolonging the service. What choice did it have? Wouldn't a responsible government do what it can to defend its hard-won sovereignty?

    How come I do not hear you shouting at the Weyane even for a fraction of the time a fraction less louder? I do not think you do not get that the prolonging of the no-war-no-peace condition was purposely imposed to effect an intended plan: either have Eritrea bow to conditions the Weyane will demand or walk to Ras Kasar without a shot!!!

    The government of Eritrea devised Warsay-Yikealo campaign to counter this Ethiopian design. The youth were to get the skills in various areas of reconstruction and nation building while they served their country and remained mobilized. The Weyane had always threatened and at times had actually attacked our troops and even boasted about it. Besides, maintaining high alertness was necessary not only because of what I just mentioned but to deter it from any misadventures! Lastly, if it demobilized the service men and women, what kind of jobs were available to them?

    But you, despicable traitors conspired with the enemies of Eritrea by calling the campaign meant to keep the youth useful and proud of building up the country as "slavery" at the behest of the operators of imperialist forces! You campaigned to stop any foreign currency from entering the country including the 2% Reconstruction and Rehabilitation tax even if it was meager compared to kind of jobs it can have opened! do not forget you cheers as sanctions were imposed! Do not forget that you and others campaigned, endorsed and contributed by paying the smuggling fees traffickers demanded and are complicit in the drain of human capital from the country and the suffering of the youth in the process! Do not forget all the money the trafficker millionaires are earning c/would have been useful in creating jobs in the country if the smuggled youth used it to make businesses!

    And by the way, you have not been following news regarding the fact that as of the current round of national service. An Eritrean who is not up-to-date on information about his country, . . . Weyanay?!

    Weslata! Feshqual!

  16. Hello Dr. Mahaffy?
    I am sorry you misunderstood me.
    Let me ask you few questions regards some if you think they deserve to die.
    * How about killing those powerful people who created and funded ISIS?
    * How about killing Al-Qaida leaders?
    * How about killing ISIS leaders?
    * How about killing the many well three piece suit dressed powerful leaders like Hitler?
    * How about killing Mosollini before he invaded any African country?
    * How about human traffikers who are causing untold human suffering?
    * How about powerful leaders who are purposely lying for personal gain, while fully aware that their policies are the main causes of people killing each other in the thousands?
    What do you do to those powerful people who are only good at killing peaceful women and children?

    I understand there are some who are opposed to capital panisment.

  17. Weslat we Weslat! Did you want him to say yes so that you cheer victory, Weyanay? You should realize people see the world differently! You want to see it as a sign of being at the "mercy" of the Weyane, but we see it as being denied justice (once again) and standing for our rights. We simply see it as defending ourselves from the evil Weyane and its backers. Do not cast the more important issue asside--that the EEBC decision has to be enforced and that Ethiopia should leave our territories in which it still has its troops ready for invasion. What do you want other than its repeated attacks and declarations? What do you want other than US officials (indirectly through their former state department officials) of the intent to effect regime change? How about their political actions that clearly indicate they are preparing to have Ethiopia do their job? You don't see that or you are doing your part by reducing the discouraging Eritreans to fight? Maybe that is your job!

  18. @ Biniam

    and Pakistan are NOT good examples and should not be compared to the current illegal occupation (sanctioned by the US) of Eritrean territory by Ethiopia. What you are referring to in Pakistan/India is the disputed area of Kashmir WHICH IS A CONTESTED AREA AND NOT A SETTLED BORDER DISPUTE AS IS THE CASE WITH THE ERITREAN/ETHIOPIAN BORDER. There is a big difference between a border dispute and the illegal occupation of undisputed territory belonging to a sovereign nation. To reiterate, there is
    no border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, there is only one nation illegally (although fully sanctioned by the US) occupying another nation’s territory.
    I hope I have explained the difference sufficiently and that you now
    understand the distinction.

    The true intentions of the Ethiopian
    government (Regime change in Eritrea), the pretext for the 1998 war, and its designs for Eritrean territory (mainly Assab) are not lost on the Eritrean leadership or its people.

    The good news is that the Eritrean government has announced that the National Service duration will no longer be extended past its original mandate and that National Service participants will only be required to serve 18-24 months as was envisioned and practiced before the war with Ethiopia in 1998. The head of political affairs for the country recently participated in an open forum discussion in Europe where he provided some additional information as to how
    and when this would occur. You can listen to the discussion by clicking the link below:

  19. Isayas Afewerki for my view, is a Revolution himself, tell me one in Africa, forget the whole world who went on his own very simple manner..I don't know your views, but i'm too of his school, i mean share the same ideology..qes ilu yeqeyed allo, be aqmu, be nay Hezbu of course. I just turn you to the answer H.E. Yemane Gebreab gave to the Austrian based think tank Kresky forum, is there any in africa a leader who allow his sons study in africa? The was Sanakara, muàlimu Nyerere, but they are history, what about now?
    Remember, many people made a wrong calculation thinking that development comes from heaven on a click..they forget that can take many generations to build a sustainable economy.

  20. First of all thank you for keeping the discussion on respectful manner without any personal name calling. My point when it comes to comparing the border dispute between India/Pakistan versus Eritrea/Ethiopia, is not about who is right or wrong, it is all about border disputes may not get solved quickly as some people think. Why? Because It is not always about having the verdict on your side or not, it is a lot about who your friends are or how powerful your are compared to you the other part. If you prefer another example, take the Golan heights which is internationally recognized Syrian territory but Israel has been able to occupy it for decades without any significant international outcry. Why because of the Israelis have powerful friends around the world.
    My suggestion would have been let the Woyanes occupy Badme and lets focus on solving our internal issues first and keep our youth at home / progress economically, and sooner or later there will come a time (keeping in mind of Ethiopian internal politics) when we will easily take back Badme without firing a single bullet.

    Regarding national service will be time limited to 18 months, based on the mention by Yemane, is just a joke. Lets me ask you this, if this would have been for real, why don't Yemane go on Eri-TV and announce to the Eritrean youth / people who are directly affected by it instead of on some international seminar?. This is not the first time we hear it, one Eritrean diplomat said the same thing for several months ago, but still no official announcement. This tells you that it is just a drama for the international public than for Eritreans.

  21. Relive me i used to be a strong supporter of Issays Afeworki. Let me be honest and tell you this i still admire him for all years he spend in the deserts, during the independence struggle. No one will take that from him. But Issays we knew pre/post the war with Woyane are two different personalities. After arresting the G-15 he became a mad man who start to think that Eritrea belongs to him. Let me ask this question, how come we have to get stuck with same guy as a leader for more than 40 years (pre/post independence)? Forget the opposition, i belie in smooth transitional change hence isn't there anyone else in HGDEF who can take over?. I believe we have several people with leadership quality who can take over easily and do a better job, and bring up new ideas both for internal and external issues. If you think that there is no one else, then the question will be what if in case of Issays sudden death? What will happen then?. GEDLI became successful because of we had collective leadership, but since 2001, we have ended up with and old man who have lost his path for long time ago. I used to like to listen to his interviews before but you must admit that the interviews he is giving now days are an embarrassment even for die hard supporters.

  22. If you are a supporter of the endless national service, what are you doing in the west? What dont you lead by example and go back to participate in this wonderful idea of endless national service?. It is easy for you to sit in your comfort zone and ask people to do this and that.

  23. I did not compare the three countries to Ethiopia and Eritrea; I only tried to show the similarities between n/s korea and Et/Er. I comapred north koreas building its military for a very impossible war with its southern neighbour and south korea exceling in its nation building; and equally Eritrea building or trying to recruit a 6 million strong army for the very impossible war of aggression from its southern neighbour,while Ethiopia is building a nation so far reducing poverty by 30%.Is it wrong or you hate the mention of north korea in association with Eritrea.Though i did reside in Eritrea and have relatives there whom i visit occasionally,one does not have to ;to know about Eritrea.Whoever is the head of state of Eritrea is none of my concern; though as i have said earlier ;i have some stakes and worry about the countries (Eritreas)future.As to the nightmare, keep on cheating yourselves;nobody in Ethiopia presntly thinks about someone who is digging his own graves.
    Ethiopia is in somalia not because of somebodys interest, rather the historical enemity of both countries and the border war we had ever since the problem child of Africa 1, got its independence and wants to create a greater somalia by carving portions of Ethiopia,kenya and Djibouti.Just like your Eritrea is building a mighty army to defend itselves from an aggressor,we are there to defend our very long border.
    Every Ethiopian is on call whenever an agressor like problem child of Africa 2 tries to attack us whether it is my relative or not as we Ethiopians are one when it comes to external aggression...rememmber BADAME????

  24. Mr Iq you are wrong, there is no class in ethiopia,we all are Ethiopians. If you are talking about the trenches you dug and put the disabled with the automatic weapon as they can not retreat and die shooting,that is in your history

  25. South Korea DOES have compulsory national service. So does North Korea. There are many SOUTH Koreans who try to get out of National Service, some go as far as to have surgery designed to damage the body so that they can get a medical waiver, some claim conscientious objection, and some leave the country all together.

  26. Yes they do! but for males only and very limited.women can volunteer, but are not obliged.Thanks for the info.

  27. My intended purpose of explaining to you why comparing India/Pakistan’s Kashmir dispute to the Eritrean/Ethiopian Badme issue was not to infer who was right or wrong. I merely stated the facts. I am not sure why you keep referring to the Badme issue as a border dispute. I will not waste too much time responding to you on the Badme issue as we apparently do not have much common ground on which to start. For starters the Badme issue is not a border dispute. The “dispute” was settled through arbitration which both sides agreed to enter.
    The GolanHeights Syria/Israel issue should not be compared to the Ethiopian/Eritrean Badme issue for many reasons. The Golan Heights is still a conflict zone with significant fighting as recent as 2012/2013/2015. There are also many dynamics involved in the Golan Heights dispute including Hezbollah, Iran, and Israeli national security. Also there was a UN Resolution against Israel on the matter of annexation, albeit symbolic in nature. The same cannot be said about Ethiopia. It is also important to note that Israel has compulsory national service.

    It appears to me that your recommendation/suggestion for Eritrea post 1998-2000 Badme war is to let Ethiopia occupy Eritrean territory turn a blind eye and wait for Ethiopia to succumb to its own internal political issues, which is ridiculous on so many levels. I do not think you completely understand the threat that Ethiopia posed to Eritrea post Badme war. I get the impression that you believe if we just let Ethiopia “be” in Badme then we would be free to go about our business freely with respect to the rest of Eritrea. This is a very short-sighted and misguided way of thinking.

    You have every right to be doubtful of the recent pronouncements of the head of Political Affairs regarding the end of indefinite National Service in 14 months time. You are correct that this is not the first time that we have heard this statement and it was mentioned few months ago, prior to that it was NEVER mentioned in absolute terms. Three months ago is not a long time and Yemane has given a few interviews in which he stated emphatically that the decision to go back to 18-24 months has been made, this has never happened before and you
    should welcome it. I do know of a few people in service who have been notified of the changes, but we will all see what happens in 14 months time. If you are familiar with the way the Eritrean government announces political changes then you will not hold your breath for an Eri-TV expose.

  28. I wish I was wrong, unfortunately it is true and there will be ethnic classes as long as Woyane is ruling Ethiopia.
    About Eritrean fighters, even the disabled are equal to everyone else, that's why they fight along their comrades. I know it is difficult for woyane to understand disabled soldiers getting equal treatment. We know how x-TFLF freedom fighters and the 1998-2000 war dead woyane soldiers were treated by your government.
    P.S. Thanks for following the norm (I like to think to took my advice), that is, writing in lower case letters.


  30. Oh jart! Keditu wede matu?! Keep on making up stories as you go and citing rummer mongers to support you views. If indeed you are honest, your problem is that you have compartmentalized the world with no consideration to the dynamics of the relationships among countries at both regional and international levels. At times you speak as if you are considering issues as if they exist by themselves in a vacuum! When you do consider other things, you only go as far as superficial and non existent similarities.

    If you indeed you are honest why don't you start considering the whole world and its current dynamics. Don't forget to consider historical relevance. You will learn a lot! Don't worry about Eritrea!

  31. You give a proper burial- respect.

  32. What about you ? Be man enough and confront the goodwilling people who dedicate their life to death INSIDE Eritrea. Do it now before you die of bloodsugar or heart attack jumping from forum to forum spreading your lies against the CAN DO people and the country. Eritrea will survive as usual unlike your wishes be you a runout or whoever you are the enemy of united people who believe on sweat, hardwork and above all their Creator !

  33. Mind your life ! ye wetet znb !

  34. That is what everybody does here is name call.

  35. It is because we have agame government that is afraid to fight to take what is rightfully theirs. PIA says Eritrea is at war so why do you not return home and support your country during a time of war.

  36. Go back to Eritrea and support her during whaf PIA calls a state of war and reason for open ended national service

  37. Go home boy and support Eritrea during her time of war they need you in national service they do not need your loud mouth barking from afar

  38. Remember this jart? Why Woyane praised Eritrea?

  39. Wedi Shawl sweared ones "SGAYBOY ILE" we do not give our beloved Eri back to you, Juj-Majuj ! LOL

  40. Isnt that exactly what we have done the last 15 years, sit and wait or with your own word "...let Ethiopia occupy Eritrean territory turn a blind eye and wait for Ethiopia to succumb" ? So what do you suggest to do to remove the Ethiopians from Badme?. There are two options and none of them applicable. 1) Remove the Woyanes by force 2) Diplomacy i.e. get help from international community to force the woyanes out. Both of them didint work for the last 15 years and dont expect to work now, why?. Because of the way Issays has handled both cases. Please suggest what to do then.

  41. Dont forget Issyas and Kisha hates to be called Agame too, if you know what i mean :). As former Eritrean ambassador Adebrahan wrote in his book Issays once said in private conversation as he was drunk "I know you call me Agame behind my back, but let me tell you this i am the one who gave you independence and can destroy this country anytime i want"

  42. Do they have open ended national service?. Most of us Eritreans agree on having national service, no discussion about it. What we are against is the open ended nature of it, which force people to run away instead of waiting for their release and plan for their future.

  43. you fools are living in the past...350 drowned 22 killed by iss..this is today fool endless petetick fool

  44. Thanks for yr response. My being here is different and no need to confess because I am not as young as these generation who are fleding like mushroom. It is not for the sake of Isyaas these young people are serving it is for their people and for their country. If we don't pay attention and think for the future the consequrnces is severe. We know from the beginning that we are one of the poorest country. Our ports were our hope in the beginning but it didn't give us time for bringing much before the war broke. I strongly believe building the nation is better and as a result a lot of progress is underway. It is not a personal matter and we should not argue taking side. There is a proverb in Amharic 'yerega wete kebe yewetal'. It is one way of lobbying when we tell our brothers and sisters to go to school and learn to be someone. Is it not NS after y finish 12th grade? Why are children under 15 years leave the country? Is it fair? Yes true when refugees come here the standard of living is better but the European countries had war and poverty before and the then young people built their country. Now is our turn to build our country. After independence it was only 7 years that we were in a better condition. Everyone was with great hope. Beside the war how many people were deported from their homes and their property looted. I agree the NS is long. A lot of justification is given and the progress made also was revealed so many times by concerned officials. The reason why these people are leaving maybe because of 'kene' like I mentioned above or else there are enemies who don't want to see Eritrea as a country. These devious people are among us!


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