Torture in the Sinai: Who is to Blame?

Torture in the Sinai Desert
Who is to blame? National Service, Diaspora family, International Conspiracy or greener pasture?

By Gebre Fessehazion,

Eritrea is the most peaceful country in Africa and one of the safest nations in the world. As a result of that, its nine ethnic people live in a perfect harmony. It is hard to find a crime or violence in Eritrea on a daily basis as it is very common event is in the rest of the continent.

Eritrea, which is the newest nation of Africa, is engaged in a national development campaign to eradicate poverty once of all and to achieve also a major economic success. Eritrea is doing well in order to ensure a social justice of its people. But, despite the grim picture painted by the “media” and “anti-Eritrea camps“, Eritrea may not be on a giant economic stage, but rather heading towards stabilization and prosperity.

Nowadays, much has been said about human trafficking in the Sinai desert and unfortunately, much emphases were given only to Eritrean victims. Especially, Mirjam van Reisen, professor of International Social Responsibility at Tilburg University (in the Netherlands) and also founder and director of Brussels-based Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA) with the collaboration of Meron Estifanos from Sweden wrote a report about “Human trafficking in the Sinai.

In that report, she claims that Eritreans are escaping because of the abuse from the Eritrean government. Everybody is aware about the horrors that refugees endure in the hands of traffickers in the Sinai Desert but to blame the Eritrean government rather than the Egyptian and Israeli governments is more or less something for hidden agenda.

Mirjam van Reisen wrote …

” Somalian and Eritrean refugees running away from violence in their own countries end up captured in the Sinai. And if money runs out, torture follows.” Stop this, says EEPA director and Chair of International Social Responsibility, Prof Mirjam van Reisen. (Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad)

The situation in Somalia is a public secret but to identify Eritrea with Somalia is just to ignore the intelligence of the international community.

The Sinai Desert is inside Israel. It is funny why can the most powerful country in the middle East unable to stop this Modern Day Slavery. I hope Prof. Mirjam van Reisen aware that for Israel, with the most sophisticated and highly trained military, would be easy to halt this mass murder that occurring on its soil. But it was premeditated and well planned for hidden agenda.

But the reactions that we are hearing from her overrules most people’s common sense. Dr. Mirjam without batting an eye said “the involvement of Eritrean authorities and military officials in the trafficking and their links with a criminal organization …” which is much far away from the reality and facts on the ground.

For more than ten years now, the people of Africa in general and the people of the Horn of Africa in particular has been the target of the Human trafficking networks. Therefore, it is preposterous to tell us that the Sinai Desert Scenario is a new found crime that starts to happen recently.

Every year, thousands of Eritreans from all over the world travel to Eritrea to visit their homeland. As far as the official figures are concerned, annually more than 80 thousands Eritreans from Diaspora visit their motherland. No one dares to spend his vacation in a country which is a volatile and dangerous. But, unlike Dr. Mirjam’s claims, Eritrea is the best place to visit and safe haven for tourists.

I hope that Prof. Mirjam van Reisen (with the respect of her personal background) will do more research about Eritrea and know more about the true identity of the most promising country in Africa before she started to throw her garbage on the face of the good people.


 The writer is an Eritrean activist who lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands