Eritrean refugees abandoned by Ethiopia

Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia

Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia now face the risk of being repatriated. The government of Addis Ababa no longer considers them in need of humanitarian protection. Ethiopia no longer plans to welcome women, children and men fleeing the Asmara regime in refugee camps (unless they are somehow linked to the Eritrean armed forces).

Abba Mussie Zerai, an Ethiopian Catholic priest of the eparchy of Asmara said: “We are currently experiencing a delicate situation, a consequence of the agreement signed in 2018 between the two nations.

“What was hoped could be an agreement capable of guaranteeing peace and development in the region, is in fact turning into a nightmare for many Eritreans who cannot return to their homeland.

“This situation and the closure of one of the four refugee camps which hosts over 15,000 people has produced many urban refugees without any form of protection without rights. In Tigrai (the northern region bordering Eritrea) thousands of Eritreans often reduced to hunger, are exposed to all forms of exploitation and abuse. The most vulnerable people are women and minors. Unaccompanied minors especially run the risk of ending up victims of sexual predators, reduced to slavery work.”


Fr Zerai said the situation the refugees were increasingly becoming prey to traffickers. Conditions in the camps in Ethiopia are so poor for the Eritrean refugees, more and more of them are making the exodus to Sudan and Libya.

Refugees who have arrived near urban centres also suffer, he said. In addition to the loss of rights, they also have to face the pandemic and the very high cost of living. Eritreans are thus victims of exploitation, prostitution and deprivation.

Fr Mussie appeals to the Ethiopian government to respect the international obligations they have signed up to that protect the rights of children and the rights of refugees.

“We ask the European Union to invest resources in order to welcome these Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia with dignity. Otherwise the exodus to Europe will increase, with the sad death toll in the desert and in the Mediterranean Sea.”

Source: Fides


  1. This is outright violation of the Constitution of Ethiopia. The unelected Addis Ababa government does not have the authority to do this same as the unelected Ethiopian government should not repatriate muslim Eritrean refugees from Yemen , Saudi Arabia and Kenya to Ethiopia giving them Ethiopian citizenship status while Christian Ethiopians are left in dangerous exile without being repatriated .

  2. Subject: “Eritrean refugees abandoned by Ethiopia” by ZeHabesha, September 14, 2020

    Commentary, 16 Sept 2020
    Poor Eritrea!
    Eritrea does NOT deserve the historical punishment as a pony in international game for seemingly endless time that started far more than one hundred years. Eritreans — known and proved to be honest hard working people, with vast experience — do NOT deserve the seemingly natural mysterious bad luck in every turn of the corner of Life.

    To repeat, for some mysterious reason, Nature seems to be against “Eritreans”. Even the name “Eritrea” belongs to foreign power. — NOT an indigenous name. Let us go back one hundred and thirty years. Eritrea was under Italian colony {50 years} and then taken over by British [10 years} to be taken by Ethiopia [12 years] and then immersed itself in liberation war against Ethiopia [30 years ] and in !991, Eritrea achieved, for the first time in history, its independence. Two years later, Eritreans were awaken by cruel fact that the self-appointed president of Eritrea, citizen of Eritrea, was actually a dictator with a long-held grudge against Eritrea!!!!!!!! The thirty-year struggle for Independence and Liberty came down crashing and Eritreans found themselves in their historical post of struggle for the liberation of Eritrea. Eritrea — with a [population of about three to five millions— is the most unlucky country in the World.

    At present, Eritrea is struggling to be FREE, that has NEVER known, with eighty to ninety [80 – 90}
    Groups, all tooting to be liberators of Eritrea — but, odd as it may sound, NOT as a common ONE FORCE but separate individual groups for their respective internal agenda. And so, Eritrea will keep on going as a pony of international chess game — seemingly for ever, and ever, and ever……….WHAT A CLASSICAL TRAGEDY!!!!!!!

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