Home | News    Friday 22 February 2013

Uganda grants asylum to Eritrean football team

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

February 21, 2013 (JUBA) - The Ugandan government has granted refugee status to 15 former members of Eritrea’s national football team who disappeared in the country last year while taking part in a regional tournament.

JPEG - 79.7 kb

Last December, 17 Eritrean players - including the team’s doctor - disappeared in the Ugandan capital, Kampala shortly after the team was eliminated from the East and Central Africa Football Association’s (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup and applied for asylum. Only three players returned home.

According to reports, the country’s refugee eligibility committee has found the players claims valid and granted them asylum.

Ugandan commissioner for refugees Apollo David Kazungu said two of the players who applied for asylum had subsequently returned home for reasons which remain unclear. However, the rest of the squad declined to return to Eritrea, insisting their asylum claims were genuine.

Kazungu explained the players feared they would be conscripted into their country’s mandatory military service.

All Eritrean citizens aged between 18 and 40 years must serve in their country’s military service for a period not less than 18 months.

Although in many cases, conscripts are forced to serve indefinitely in training camps and at state-owned construction sites.

The Uganda Football Association has commended the relevant authorities for resolving the issue of the Eritrean asylum seekers, but said “next time teams should come and play football and return to their countries”.

The incident in Kampala was the third time the Eritrean football team had disappeared in an African state to claim asylum.

In July 2011, 13 Eritrean football players sought asylum in Tanzania after a similar tournament, while 12 members of the national squad disappeared in Kenya and sought asylum there during a 2009 regional championship tournament.

Four Eritrean athletes similarly sought political asylum in Britain after taking part in the London Olympics last year.

Led by reclusive president Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea is one of the world’s most secretive and politically repressive nations and is often referred to as the North Korea of Africa.

The Red Sea nation, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, is often accused by international right groups of summary executions, torture and mass detentions against citizens considered dissenters.

The government in Asmara jails anyone seen to be challenging the regime.

According to human rights groups, thousands of political prisoners currently remain in detention without trial, held in secret underground jails in the harshest of conditions.

Tens of thousands of Eritreans have fled their homeland to neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan to escape political oppression in their country.

(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.

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


Terrorism Tops African Summit Agenda: Lip service or strategic move? 2016-02-07 04:56:59 By Trayo A. Ali In Africa, terrorism is not only strategic threat to continent political security and destabilization, but more importantly it also constitutes fundamental challenge and eminent (...)

South Sudan and the nation building! 2016-02-06 11:47:08 " Disagreement does't mean disapproval." Oprah Winfrey. By Dhano Obongo I have been delving in a debate within myself as to what could possibly be the proper way to expound a presentation to (...)

Honest tribute to Bishop Santo Pio of Juba Archdiocese 2016-02-05 07:42:13 By James Okuk, PhD The Auxiliary Bishop Santo Loku Pio (born in 1969) of Juba Archdiocese has been consistent in his stance on faith and reason in the context of South Sudan. We should keep (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Civil society group decries delay of S. Sudan transitional gov’t 2016-01-29 18:08:53 South Sudan Civil Society Alliance Date: 29.1.2016 For the immediate Release Press Release Following the passing of deadline of the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity in the (...)

Africa: Strengthen steps to end child marriage 2015-12-14 08:04:41 December 10, 2015 African governments should coordinate action to improve laws, education, health care, and public awareness to end the scourge of child marriage, Human Rights Watch said today (...)

Professor Akolda, it is too early for you to go 2015-12-06 06:36:15 I learnt from social media of the untimely departure of Professor Akolda Maan Tier on the 30th Nov 2015, whom I knew and admired, as one of the great, committed sons of both Sudans, who dedicated (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2016 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.