Home | News    Wednesday 30 January 2013

Eritreans in UK rally in support of army mutiny

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

January 29, 2013 (LONDON) - Activists say that over 2,000 Eritreans including opposition politicians’ held a demonstration in London on Tuesday seeking democratic change in one of the world’s most politically repressive nations.

JPEG - 14.5 kb
Eritrean president Isaias Afewerki, who was been in office since independence in 1993, at press briefing in Asmara, December, 10, 2002. (Source: http://www.defense.gov/photos/newsphoto.aspx?newsphotoid=4235)

In an email sent to Sudan Tribune, organisers said the rallies were in support of last week’s siege at the ministry of information in Asmara by dissident soldiers.

On Monday 21 January, some 200 Eritrean soldiers with two tanks occupied Eritrea’s ministry of information and took over the state-owned Eritrean Radio and Television Agency and aired a statement demanding for the release of all political prisoners and the implementation of the 1997 constitution.

Tuesday’s demonstration in London aimed to send a clear message to the dissident army that the Eritrean diaspora is on their side.

Demonstrators chanted for president Isaias Afewerki, who has held office since 1993 following Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia, to step down.

Organisers also called on all Eritreans across the world to hold similar protests and extend the necessary support to the exiled opposition to bring change in Eritrea.

This is a second demonstration to be held in London in less than a week. On Thursday protesters stormed the Eritrean embassy in London and briefly occupied it after staging demonstrations outside the building.

Once inside, protesters pulled down and tore-up photos of president Afewerki.

The dissident soldiers, who are reportedly led by General Saleh Osman, ended their siege at the media agency after they were surrounded by troops loyal to the president.

They were asked to peacefully return to their bases first and told their demands would be negotiated later.

Various media networks have reported that the mutiny was over and calm has been restored. However, unconfirmed sources coming out of Eritrea say the mutineers left the ministry of information only after the regime in Asmara promised to meet their demands and that the two sides are currently in negotiations.

Hailay Nuguss, who is a journalist and politician, told Sudan Tribune that the incident in Asmara last Monday cannot be called a coup plot.

“The staged siege had no violence and no single shot was fired. It was a brief take-over of the state media," he said, adding “we can’t consider that [the siege] as a coup plot but it was a demand for political reforms".

It is very difficult to get information about the secretive Eritrean nation - also referred as Africa’s North Korea by some press freedom groups - as the East African country does not allow any independent news sources to operate.

However, opposition websites are reporting that the Eritrean government has detained dozens of people, including regional governors and senior military officials following the mutiny.

The opposition websites alleged that Mustafa Nurhussein, governor of the Southern region, and Abdella Jaber, director of organisational affairs for the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), were among those detained following the mutiny.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Red Sea nation, referred to by right groups as a “giant prison”, has an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 political prisoners.

The mutiny, the country’s first since it gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, came just a few weeks after Eritrea’s information minister, Ali Abdu, fled the country and sought asylum in Canada.

There has been no an official comment from government over the incident so far.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 31 January 2013 17:35, by Wolleyewu

    Issayas is a life time hero for his country men/women Eriterians unlike the rotten deceased cancer victim Zenawi. He stood firm against Westerns to protect his people and has secured refugee status wherever they go(for those who are interested to live and work in abroad). He is not corrupted, never committed treason against own nation so how could he be charged with fabrication unlike Zenawi

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Musa Hilal’s "Awakening": Khartoum’s worst nightmare? 2015-04-22 06:33:05 By the Sudan Democracy First Musa Hilal, once one of the principal commanders of the Janjaweed militias which supported the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the 2003/04 ethnic cleansing campaign in (...)

A brief history one man’s destructive misrepresentations 2015-04-18 08:07:54 By Eric Reeves Al Jazeera America is currently airing a two-part documentary that attempts to represent the character and causes of the catastrophe that has overtaken South Sudan following the (...)

Sudan’s election marred by arbitrary detention, and insecurity 2015-04-18 06:31:10 By African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies Sudan’s national general elections began on 13 April 2015. Scheduled to end on 15 April, they were extended one day by the National Elections (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudan’s 2015 Elections: A huge step in democratic consolidation 2015-04-22 13:12:25 EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN 3 CLEVELAND ROW, ST.JAMES'S LONDON SW1A 1DD TEL: 020-7839 8080 PRESS AND INFORMATION RELEASE (2/2015) Sudan’s 2015 Elections: A Huge Step in Democratic (...)

Sudanese security arrest rights defender Adil Bakheit 2015-04-18 08:04:21 FRONT-LINE DEFENDRSPress StatementSudan Human rights defender Adil Bakheit arrested Human rights defender Mr Adil Bakheit was arrested on 16 April 2015 by the National Intelligence and Security (...)

Which do you choose? Peace or War? 2015-04-18 06:16:42 To the South Sudanese Diaspora Which do you choose? Peace or War? Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan, April 11, 2015 “The Voice of the South Sudanese Diaspora” Who are/What is the South (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.