Eritrean Navy Kills Red Sea Afar Recruits “Escaping” to Yemen

Eritrean Navy Kills Red Sea Afar Recruits “Escaping” to Yemen

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 3, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – Agents of the Eritrean National Security have  massacred a group of Eritrean Navy members after accusing them of  planning to escape on speed boats to neighbouring Yemen, Ethiopia based  Eritrean rebel group alleged on Saturday.

“Government agents’  murdered 80 members of the Eritrean Navy on a broad day light in public  in Northern red sea region of Bardoli vicinity”, leader of the rebel Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), Ibrahim Haron told Sudan Tribune.

Haron said the victims are all ethnic Afar minority and their burial ceremony was held on Friday.

The rebel official said the killings were a state-sponsored mass murder and politically motivated.

“The Navy and the brutal Eritrean government in particular are responsible for the mass murders”, he said.

Citing to inside sources, Haron claimed that colonel Wedi Halima was the military official who ordered the mass killings.

Eritrean naval members several times fled in the past their country in groups to Yemen in protest to the regime’s worsening repression but the latest  failed attempt saw the biggest in numbers of defecting army members.

The reclusive Red Sea nation considers any citizen who tries to flee as traitor constituting a punishment of a lengthy jail terms or death  penalty.

The punishment severs if deserters are members of the Army.

“We call up on the international community to urgently intervene over  the ethnic cleansing against innocent Eritrean Afars who are being  slaughtered on daily bases by the dictatorial regime”, he said.

The rebel official vow to carry out military actions in retaliation to  the mass murders and called upon all other political organization to  join struggle against regime in Asmara.

Eritrean ethnic Afars  repeatedly allege of being subjected to persecution, imprisonment,  torture or death by the Eritrean security service in accusation of  having links with the rebel group in Ethiopia.

Eritrea gained  independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after 31 years of revolutionary  movement however since had been a one-party state ruled by President  Isaias Afwerki and his Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)  party.

International human rights organizations say that Eritrea  stands amongst world’s top worst human rights and press freedom records. The regime is also accused of turning the country into a “giant  prison”.

Reports indicate that currently there are up to 10,000  political prisoners languishing in the country’s harsh and secret  detention centres including in shipping containers.

Eritreans on  daily basis flee to neighbouring countries in protest to  political  repression or to escape an indefinite military service which is  mandatory to all citizens aged between 18 and 50.

In Ethiopia alone, there are some 80,000 Eritrean refugees

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