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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The role of Eritrea's diaspora in regional peace and human rights
Author:Weldehaimanot, Simon M.ISNI
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:political repression
one-party systems
Abstract:The author explores the role Eritrea's diaspora has been playing in promoting democracy, peace and human rights in their country and in the Horn of Africa. Thirty years of conflict in Eritrea (1961-1991) and famine forced almost a million Eritreans to seek asylum in neighbouring and western countries. While in the diaspora, this community supported Eritrea's independence struggle led then by a charismatic front and continues to do so. However, the front has become the worst oppressor of its people, leading to massive outmigration again. Eritrea's diaspora could have forced the government to protect human rights by making support conditional to the establishment of democracy, but unawareness, nostalgia, timidity, gross apathy and sheer opportunism has made this community play a negative role, thereby betraying the safe haven accorded by neighbouring countries and western democracies. Border conflicts with Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sudan depended to some extent on contributions from Eritreans abroad. Some diaspora Eritreans should not be allowed to claim persecution on the one hand and continue supporting their persecutor on the other. Eritrea has become an African version of North Korea. Since 2009, it faces sanctions from the UN Security Council. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]