Home | News    Wednesday 3 October 2007

200 Kunama people flee Eritrea to Sudan

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By Tesfa-alem Tekle

October 02, 2007 (Mekelle, Ethiopia) — Some 200 Eritreans have fled to Sudan last month to protect themselves from the threat they received at home, an Eritrean opposition group said today.

In an interview with Sudan Tribune in Mekelle a high ranking official of the opposition Eritrean Kunama Liberation Democratic Movement (EKLDM) who requested anonymity for security reasons today said, ’’the Eritreans who entered Sudan include government soldiers, students, farmers and other community members."

"Eritrean authorities forces have tightened security measures and control of the border movements in order to prevent Eritrean from fleeing to neighboring states. These measures include even shot to kill style for those who refuse to execute injunctions." He said.

Also, they take tough measures against those are caught while escaping to neighboring countries" the official added.

The Kunama is a minority ethnic-group living in the western part of Eritrea.

The opposition EKLDM further indicated that confused by the ever increasing number of Eritreans fleeing, the Eritrean government has been sending spies to Sudan to kidnap those fled and bring them back to Eritrea.

’’Recently a spy team has entered Sudan with two vehicles kidnapped 50 Eritreans from a refugees camp named Stawo Eshrine by deceiving them that it will take them to Khartoum for a cheaper payment. "The official further said.

The whereabouts of the 50 Eritreans or many others who were caught crossing to neighboring countries is not known yet. No family member is allowed to ask government over his missing children nor is allowed to sit mourning if his child is killed by government hands the group revealed.

The government has also ordered confiscation of cattle belonging to families of soldiers who flee from the army, the opposition movement said, adding that followers of the ruling party have for instance recently snatched the cattle of the Kunama native soldier Andan Ankap.

The government is also rounding up individuals in Tessenei town who it suspects are helping people cross to Sudan and taking them to unknown places, EKLDM stated.

(ST)

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