CrisisWatch Eritrea

Unchanged Situation

UN expert deplored Eritrea’s human rights record, while relations between Moscow and Asmara continued to strengthen. 

Eritrea’s human rights record came under renewed UN scrutiny. In his fourth report to UN Human Rights Council, UN special rapporteur Mohamed Babiker 20 June said situation in Eritrea remains dire, with authorities showing “little willingness to address ongoing violations”, which include “indefinite and compulsory national service, the repression of freedom of religion or belief, the state of the rule of law and the administration of justice, and violations of civil and political rights”; Babiker also noted Eritrean authorities’ growing efforts to suppress critical voices in the diaspora. Chargé d’Affaires to UN Habtom Zerai same day criticised “annual ritual of demonising Eritrea”.

Eritrea welcomed Russian naval presence in Red Sea. Speaking to Russian news agency Tass, Russian Ambassador to Eritrea Igor Mozgo 11 June said Asmara had welcomed “visits” of Russian navy ships to Red Sea and advocated “permanent presence” in region; Mozgo added that Asmara would like to see more active Russian presence in Africa to serve as “counterweight to Western influence”. Comments come after Russian Pacific fleet late March-early April visited Massawa port, indicating growing defence partnership between the two countries.

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