Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 11th, 2010 10:20 EST
Refugees May Be Handed Back To Eritrean Government:  What Does This Mean?

Refugees May Be Handed Back To Eritrean Government: What Does This Mean?

By Alan Gray

The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) today said Eight refugees from the Red Sea Afar area of Eritrea, who fled to Yemen across the Red Sea for safety last week, have been apprehended by Yemeni Authorities in Hudayda, Yemen.

Six of the men defected from the Eritrean Naval Force with their navy patrol speed boat and the other three are students from the Ethnic Afar minority. The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization says they learned the Eritrean authorities made contact with the Yemeni government and are attempting to extradite the men back to Eritrea.

The Red Sea Afar is one of the persecuted minorities inside Eritrea. The Eritrean Government is subjugating the Afar with untold atrocities including Murder, Torture, Rape, Disappearances, Expulsions, Forcible Confinements and Aggression against them in their ancestral homeland in Eritrea.

The afar land is targeted by Eritrean regime for its geo-political significance and it rich resources under the sea and above along the coastline. Afar is an obvious target for repression.
The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization spokesman

In the past 10 years, around 200,000 Rea Sea Afar fled their ancestral homeland in Dankalia, to neighboring countries for safety.

There are 24,000 Refugees registered with UNHCR in Ethiopia, Many more are not registered. It has been over a week since this news was first heard, and the spokesman says they are very concerned about their safety and fate.

The Eritrean Government makes no secret of the treatment of defectors who are apprehended, especially if they flee from their duty as soldiers. Their punishment is execution in front of their military units so it will deter others from doing the same.

In 2004 there was a similar incident where a 17 year old Afar soldier (Mahmud Kassim Shehem) and three other military officials fled to Djibouti. All four were handed back to the Eritrean Military by the Djibouti Authorities.

All four were executed by the Eritrean Government on the spot after they were handed over, and the Eritrean Government acknowledged their deaths.

The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization issued a request to Human rights organizations, including Human Rights watch and Amnesty International.

We urge the international Human rights organizations, such as Human Rights watch and Amnesty International to put pressure on the Yemeni Government to honor the international covenant for refugees and save the lives of these helpless Afar citizens, if they`re handed back they will most certainly face death at the hands of the Eritrean Government.
Here are the names of Detained Afar citizens.
1. Rashid salih alawi
2. Ali Idris Alilo
3. Ali mahmmed
4. Anwar Abdu Ali
5. Ismail Robito osman
6. Shifa akadar
7. Ahmed shami muktar
8. Ahmed mussa raga
9. Name unknown

From Wikipedia:
The Afar Depression (also called the Danakil Depression or the Afar Triangle) is a geological depression, includes Afar Triple Junction, near the Horn of Africa, also a part of the Great Rift Valley, where it overlaps Eritrea, the Afar Region of Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Afar is well known as one of the cradles of hominids, containing the Middle Awash, site of many fossil hominid discoveries; Gona, site of the world`s oldest stone tools; and Hadar, site of Lucy, the fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarensis.

Source: The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization