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Archive for Eritrea

Newsline: Foreign Ministry appoints Israel’s first-ever Bedouin ambassador

The Foreign Ministry appointed Ishmael Khaldi as Israel’s first Bedouin ambassador on Sunday, to represent the country in Eritrea. Khaldi hails from Khawaled in northern Israel, where he was a shepherd while growing up. He began working for the Foreign Ministry in 2004, serving as Israel’s vice-consul to San Francisco, a diplomat at Israel’s embassy in the UK, where he fought delegitimization, and as an adviser to then-foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. Last month, Khaldi filed a complaint with the police against security guards at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, who he said knocked him down and kneeled on his neck until he yelled that he cannot breathe. (https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/foreign-ministry-appoints-israels-first-ever-bedouin-ambassador-633961) In 2015, Khaldi was summoned from London to Israel over Facebook posts saying some Israelis hate Arabs “more than antisemites hate Jews” and complaining that Israel cared more about convicted spy Jonathan Pollard’s release than Bedouin villages. In 2017, he faced disciplinary measures after he threatened to take Israel to the International Court of Justice and accused the Zevulun Regional Council and Israel Lands Authority of “Bedouin heritage cleansing” because the council planned to sell plots in the village to people from outside the village. The Foreign Ministry appointed several other ambassadors on Sunday, to UN institutions in Geneva, the OECD in Paris, South Korea, Finland, Serbia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan and Nepal, as well as a consul-general in Boston.

Newsline: Eritrea summons German ambassador

The Eritrean foreign ministry summoned Germany’s ambassador to its offices earlier this week over DW’s reporting on the country. Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel on Monday claimed that DW — Germany’s state-owned international broadcaster — was engaged in an “unbridled smear campaign” against Eritrea. In its response, the German Foreign Ministry described the broadcaster as “an independent media outlet that works to high journalistic standards.” “Press freedom is a valuable asset and prerequisite for a functioning democracy,” the ministry, which gave no further details about the ambassador’s meeting, said in a statement on Wednesday. (https://www.dw.com/en/eritrea-summons-german-ambassador-over-dw-coverage/a-50955944) DW has not issued a formal response on the matter.

Newsline: Ethiopia reopens embassy in Eritrea amid thaw in ties

Ethiopia has reopened its embassy in Eritrea after a 20-year hiatus, in a further sign of improving relations between the neighbours who signed a peace accord earlier this year. A brief reopening ceremony in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, on Thursday was attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki and senior officials of both countries, according to state-affiliated Ethiopian Fana Broadcasting. Redwan Hussein was named the new Ethiopian ambassador. Since signing an agreement in Asmara to restore ties on July 9, leaders from both countries have moved swiftly to sweep away two decades of hostility that followed the conflict in 1998. In July, Eritrea reopened its embassy in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and named an ambassador to represent it.


Newsline: Ethiopia to reopen embassy in Eritrea

Ethiopia will also reopen its embassy in neighbouring Eritrea at a yet to be announced date, the country’s Minister for Government Communications Affairs, Ahmed Shide, said in a tweet. The Minister cited an official of the foreign affairs ministry as stating that aside the reopening of the embassy in Asmara, Ethiopia was also working to fully implement the terms of a recently signed pece deal between the two nations. Eritrea on Monday opened its embassy in Addis Ababa after the facility was closed down two decades ago when the two countries engaged in a border war that killed thousands. The reopening was witnessed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki.


Newsline: Eritrea to reopen embassy in Ethiopia’s capital on Sunday

Eritrea will reopen its embassy in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday, Ethiopia’s state-affiliated broadcaster said on Friday, before a visit by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. Fana Broadcasting quoted government spokesman Ahmed Shide as saying the Eritrean Embassy would be operational on Sunday.


Newsline: US embassy says gunfire heard in Eritrea’s capital

The U.S. embassy in Eritrea said it had received reports of gunfire in several parts of the capital, Asmara, after protests erupted in one of Africa’s most secretive nations. “The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid the downtown area where protests appear to be more prevalent,” it said in a statement. “Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.”


Newsline: Ethiopia blames Eritrea for disturbance at embassy in US

The Ethiopian government has pointed its finger at arch enemy Eritrea and Ethiopian opposition groups over a disturbance that took place at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington. Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, Girma Biru, said around 15 people had been involved in the incident, which occurred at the embassy on Monday. “They first went to the consular service office and rudely demanded to speak to the ambassador. And when the officer told them that they needed an appointment, they insulted him and went out and tried to take down the Ethiopian flag,” he said. US security forces subsequently took members of the group into custody after they refused to leave peacefully. The culprits were detained for an hour, with authorities recording their names and addresses, before they were released. According to the ambassador, no legal demonstration had been planned on the day in question and group members are known to US authorities. He further went onto saying that the culprits were mercenaries of Eritrea and Ethiopia opposition groups who are reportedly upset by the successful outcome of recent discussion between the leaders of Ethiopia and the United States on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade, peacekeeping and fighting terrorism. The ambassador said the attack was as a “desperate act” in response to the growing relationship between the two countries.


Newsline: Eritrean Embassy in South Sudan Evacuates Nationals From Warzones

The Eritrean Embassy in the Republic of South Sudan has evacuated nationals from warzones, especially Bentieyu and Bor cities, to Juba in collaboration with the United Nations. The 217 Eritrean nationals, 20 of whom comprising mothers and children, had sought asylum in the compound of the UN office after they were displaced following the outburst of fighting in the country that posed peril on their lives. Currently, they are being taken care in the capital, according to reports. Accordingly, evacuation of the Eritrean nationals from Bentieyu, numbering 165, involved first move to Hilijlij and rental of a charter plane, while two wounded members of the group are receiving medical treatment in Juba city. Reports indicate that 2 Eritrean nationals died and 5 others were wounded in connection with the war in South Sudan.


Newsline: Eritrean Embassy in Israel offering advice how to make illegal money transfers

The Eritrean Embassy in Israel is advising migrants in Israel how to transfer money back to Eritrea through a bank account in Germany, contrary to Israeli law, which forbids such transfers, a group of Eritrean migrants said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The migrants called the press conference the morning after a brawl involving dozens of regime opponents and supporters at an event organized by the embassy at Kibbutz Kinneret on Saturday, in which over a dozen people were wounded and around 15 arrested. They said that the embassy gave instructions to migrants about how to transfer money and also advertised real estate in Eritrea, telling them that it was a good opportunity for them to build a house back in their home country. A law passed earlier this year makes it illegal for African migrants to transfer money out of Israel to their home country, and assigns stiff penalties to people found breaking this law, or Israelis found helping Africans wire money home. The law stipulates that the transfer must be less than the minimum wage in Israel divided by the number of months the person has been in the country. The Eritrean government requires citizens in the diaspora to pay a monthly tax in order to retain their passport and that tax as well as money sent home by citizens outside the country are major sources of revenue for the Eritrean government.


Newsline: Eriterian envoy blames Ethiopia for diplomatic row

Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations is expected to seek audience with the President of the UN Security Council regarding Nairobi’s military intervention in Somalia. At the same time, the UN’s top body is considering a request by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to address the full council. Mr Afwerki is believed to be eager to head off additional UN sanctions against Eritrea related in part to his country’s alleged involvement inSomalia’s civil war. Kenya has accused Eritrea of supplying arms to the Al-Shabaab militants that Kenyan forces are now battling in southern Somalia. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has remained silent on Kenya’s intervention inSomalia. Portuguese UN ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral told reporters that he will be meeting “at the beginning of next week” with Kenya’s ambassador, Mr Macharia Kamau. Mr Kamau wrote to the Security Council last month to explain why its forces have entered Somalia. He said then thatKenya’s action was being coordinated with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.