EARLY this week, the Ethiopian spokesperson of the UNHCR Office in Addis Ababa announced that “6,200 Eritreans had crossed into Ethiopia” in the months of October and November. This news has been picked up by various news agencies to conjure up a non-existent image of Eritrea and/or as part and parcel of the smear campaign that are routinely waged against the country and its government.
Leaving the sinister motives aside, what are the real facts?
DURING the general discussion on the report of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, Questions relating to Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons at the third committee of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, Eritrea stressed for the need to have a clear distinction between economic migrants and refugees.
THE UN refugee agency reported there has been a sharp increase this year in the number of migrants and asylum-seekers losing their lives in attempts to get to Yemen, mainly from the Horn of Africa, with more deaths at sea in 2014 than in the last three years combined.
One of the recent tragic incidents took place on 2 October when 64 migrants and three crew died when their vessel, sailing from Somalia, sank in the Gulf of Aden. Since, then five more deaths bring the yearly tally for 2014 to 215, exceeding the combined total for 2011, 2012 and 2013 of 179. Continue reading 2014 Becomes the Deadliest Year at Sea Off Yemen→