Tag Archives: Covid-19

UN Fears ‘Massive Community Transmission’ of COVID-19 in Tigray

The interruption of COVID surveillance and control work for more than a month along with the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people is feared to have facilitated massive community transmission of the pandemic in Tigray, a UN report says. (Photo: ICRC)


The United Nations fears “massive community transmission” of COVID-19 in Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, fueled by displacement and the collapse of health services, as humanitarian workers finally begin to access the region two months after fighting began. Hospitals have been looted, even destroyed. Continue reading UN Fears ‘Massive Community Transmission’ of COVID-19 in Tigray

The Right and Wrong Way to Control COVID-19

There are only a couple of countries in the world that completely protected their people from COVID-19 and I live in one of them, thank God.


There are only a couple of countries in the world that have completely prevented COVID-19 from infecting their people and I live in one of them, thank God.

We don’t wear masks and our hospitals function normally. We are not afraid to meet anyone, to go anywhere and any cough we develop is no cause for alarm. Continue reading The Right and Wrong Way to Control COVID-19

What Happens Next in Ethiopia’s Political Turmoil

Abiy’s ultimate goal is to move Ethiopia away from ethnic politics, closer to the kind of secular federalism that exists elsewhere. The problem? It’s not clear that’s what Ethiopians want, and it’s not clear he can drive that in a democracy. (Photo: @AbiyAhmedAli)


This week Ethiopia’s government entered the controversial sixth year of its five-year mandate. But the administration of Abiy Ahmed isn’t going anywhere… not even after a particularly violent summer. Covid-19 has produced plenty of political drama these last few months, but Ethiopia has experienced more than most—here’s why. Continue reading What Happens Next in Ethiopia’s Political Turmoil

FM Osman Saleh Addresses the 75th Sessions of UN General Assembly (pre-recorded)

Foreign Minister Osman Saleh delivers a speech on behalf of President Isaias Afwerki at the 75th Sessions of the UN General Assembly.


Your Excellency Ambassador Volkan Bozkir
President of the General Assembly;
Your Excellency Mr. Antonio Gueterres
UN Secretary-General;
Honorable Participants,

I have the honour to deliver this speech on behalf of the President of the State of Eritrea, H.E. Mr. Isaias Afwerki.

The UN General Assembly is taking place this year at a critical juncture when the world is at a cross-roads on account of the vicious COVID-19 global pandemic that has inculcated an immense loss of life so far. Continue reading FM Osman Saleh Addresses the 75th Sessions of UN General Assembly (pre-recorded)

The Story of An Innovative and Cost-Effective Hand Washing Stands

Eritrea promotes workplace safety, hygiene, and safe re-opening of Government offices and businesses during COVID-19

In partnership with UNDP Eritrea, an initiative led by the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW) to manufacture and distribute an innovative, cost-efficient, and effective hand washstand was aimed at putting in place workplace safety measures that are in line with the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: UNDP Eritrea/Modici)


The National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW) has introduced simple and effective hand-washing stands. This ensures workplace safety and wellbeing whilst also promoting local innovation and job creation in Eritrea. Continue reading The Story of An Innovative and Cost-Effective Hand Washing Stands

Continued Fight Against Maternal and Child Mortality Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

“They prefer to deliver at homes and they only visit the health institutions when things get complicated, sometimes this costs them their lives”


N epalese medical doctor Dr. Sailesh Rajbanshi is an obstetrician and gynecologist who has over 10 years of experience in Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, and now in Eritrea since December 2019. Continue reading Continued Fight Against Maternal and Child Mortality Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Ethiopia: Army Issues Stern Warning Against Anyone Planning to Violate Constitution

General Berhanu warned that state power can only be held through elections and not through advocating for the chaos of “transitional and caretaker” [government] agenda.

General Berhanu Jula, Deputy Chief of Staff and Military Operations Division Head of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), said the army will be “forced to take actions against anyone who claims to violate the constitution.” Continue reading Ethiopia: Army Issues Stern Warning Against Anyone Planning to Violate Constitution

Italian School of Asmara: Interview with Senator Aldo Di Biagio

What are the underlying issues and dynamics behind the ‘closure’ or ‘withdrawal’ of the Italian school’s license in Asmara? (Photo: Scuola Italiana di Asmara)


Q : Senator in recent days a growing controversy has developed over the closure of the Italian Schools of Asmara characterized by unclear and sometimes contradictory positions. Can you take stock of the situation?

Senator Aldo: I have followed this serious problem with interest and attention, witnessing the transformation of a banal misunderstanding into a state affair. Too many voices very often unqualified have generated confusion in public opinion without, however, being able to clarify the exact dynamics of the events.

First of all, I consider it appropriate to highlight the difference between the terms such as “closure” and “withdrawal of the license” by explaining that the Italian authorities have “closed” the schools on their own initiative and without prior agreement with their Eritrean counterparts, while the Eritrean authorities, having acknowledged this initiative, they reacted by “withdrawing the license“.

Therefore, it is not correct to say that the Eritrean authorities have closed the Italian schools in Asmara, but at most they have limited themselves to reacting accordingly.

Having said this, it does not mean that the problem is limited to this since on the contrary it has its roots many years ago and is part of a wider inattentive attitude shown by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its relations with Africa in general and with Eritrea in particular.

Q : What is it about exactly, Senator?

For many years, geo-political reasons have led Italy to prefer pro-Ethiopian choices rather than cultivating diplomatic relations with Eritrea with which we share deep historical ties and this attitude has also affected the management of Italian schools that have often found themselves on the verge of closure due to our non-compliance.

>> ALSO READ : Senator Aldo Di Biagio: A Note to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs

The latest case dates back to 2012, when the signing of a bilateral technical agreement seemed to have healed a long series of misunderstandings and to be able to begin a new path of collaboration and community of intent. However, even that document has remained a dead letter and it is only thanks to the goodwill of the Eritrean authorities that it has reached to the present day by overcoming many organizational difficulties.

In 2016, during a visit to Eritrea, I personally went to check the state of the management of Italian schools as well as a courtesy visit to our diplomatic headquarters. The impression I got convinced me that no progress had been made in the management of school activities and that the situation was such that negative consequences had to be expected, and I wrote everything in a detailed report which I presented on my return to the relevant supervisory bodies.

Q : Do you think there is still room for negotiation to prevent the definitive closure of the Italian schools in Asmara?

I believe that the real extent of the problem that has arisen over time with the Eritrean government is unclear to most. Italian schools are just the last piece that has highlighted in all its seriousness a diplomatic problem that must now be tackled at the highest levels. The stakes are very high and it is the credibility of the “Italian system” that is at stake.

For too long, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lacked a forward-looking political leadership with a long-term strategy, and all its interventions are fragmented and often inconclusive. Only thanks to the value of our ambassadors, often abandoned to themselves, have we managed to contain a diplomatic drift that has led Italy to be considered an unreliable country.

With Prime Minister Conte’s visit to Eritrea and Ethiopia to greet the peace accords, there was hope for a radical change of attitude towards the two countries no longer divided by political obstacles, but finally united in their intent. The facts have shown that Italy has not been able to grasp the favorable moment that could have made it the front-runner of these epochal events, probably failing to evaluate its enormous implications and potential.

Q : Do you intend to take the field to encourage a possible turnaround in diplomatic relations with Eritrea?

A few years ago the Hon. Andrea RICCARDI, but above all the Hon. Lapo PISTELLI had had some happy insights about the opportunity to concretely strengthen relations with Eritrea in order to bridge the negative effects of years of neglect and inattention. Unfortunately, the political developments following these initiatives did not allow their realization.

>> ALSO READ : EritreaLive Interviews Italian Senator Aldo Di Biagio

During a private conversation with President Isaias in Asmara during the celebrations for the jubilee of the liberation of the country to which he had been invited, I pledged to try in every way to honor what was promised by the Italian institutions and not implemented .

I still feel invested in this commitment and I intend to do everything possible in the primary interest of Italy and out of respect for Eritrea. (* Google translation)

Senator Aldo Di Biagio is a member of the Italian Senate. A 2018 picture of the Senator with President Isaias near Logo dam.