Home | News    Friday 12 May 2017

UAE accused of air strikes against Eritrean Afar civilians

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UAE military jets (WAM Photo)
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 11, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - An Eritrean opposition group on Thursday accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of bombing ethnic Afar fishermen on Eritrean territorial waters in the Danakalia region this week.

The group, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) alleged that at least one was killed and seven others were wounded during recent air strikes by the UAE planes taking off from the Eritrea’s port city of Assab in the Danakalia region.

The group handed over Sudan Tribune list of names of victims.

"RSADO is strongly outraged by the series of deliberate deadly aerial attacks on a Red Sea Afar civilian fishing Boat inside Eritrean territorial water by UAE Forces stationed in Assab-Dankalia Region in Eritrea," the group said

According to RSADO officials, the air strike was carried out as the fishermen’s boat was in its daily fishing routine which started its journey from Eddi town along the coastal area of Eritrean territorial Sea.

"This has been repeated again and again in the last few weeks"

"RSADO is gravely concerned about UAE’s disproportionate airstrike against, already vulnerable, Afar civilians and civilian properties since UAE Military Forces stationed in the Assab Town of Dankalia Afar region"

UAE has reportedly leased Eritrea’s port town of Assab for three decades at a cost of $ 500 million to scale up the coalition battle against Houthi militants in Yemen, allegations Asmera denied.

The UN monitoring group has also confirmed UAE’s military presence in the Red sea nation.

The UAE Force has frequently targeted Afar civilians on suspicion that the fishermen are supplying goods, food items and other demands to the Houthi militants.

According to the group, this is a third time that UAE Forces have carried out Air strikes against Afar civilians that have so far allegedly killed dozens of innocent civilians and destroyed their economic sources.

"RSADO strongly and unequivocally condemns these crimes against humanity and violations of human rights allegedly committed by UAE Forces stationed in Assab that have indiscriminately killed Afar civilians both in their homeland and elsewhere"

RSADO said the presence of the UAE Military in Eritrea has caused the Afars untold suffering economically, socially and environmentally.

"People have no freedom of movement to make a living. Thousands of Afar civilians have systematically disappeared, kidnapped and imprisoned and their properties and businesses confiscated by the repressive Eritrean regime"

"They are now living under unprecedented economic and social hardship, political and social injustice and gross human rights violations imposed on them by the regime"

The ethnic minority Red Sea Afars say they are the victim of human rights abuses and politically motivated persecution by the regime in Asmera as well as by the Foreign States and Multinational foreign Corporations.

"There is prima facie evidence of serious violations that count up to crimes against humanity having been – and still being – committed by the Eritrean regime. These crimes are already documented by the UN," the group further said.

RSADO urged UAE Forces stationed in Assab- Dankalia (Afar Region) in Eritrea to end their airstrikes against Afar civilians.

The Ethiopia-based opposition group urged the UAE government to bring those responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians to justice and compensate the victims and to apologise for its wrongdoing.

RSADO further called on the UN, US, UK, EU, Arab league and international rights groups to pressure the UAE and Arab coalition, in general, to end such "unlawful" airstrikes against Afar civilians.

The armed opposition group further warned that it will take all possible actions and measures to halt such crimes and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Red Sea Afar People in Dankalia Region of Eritrea.

(ST)

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