Why is Eritrea the world’s fastest-emptying nation?

(TRT World; by Zeynep Sahin–June 12th, 2017)

The UN likens Eritrea’s forced conscription – sometimes for decades at a time – to slavery. Hundreds of thousands have fled. Here’s why.
Eritrea has been consistently one of the top five biggest source of refugees in Europe for the last decade.
Eritrea has been consistently one of the top five biggest source of refugees in Europe for the last decade. (TRT World and Agencies)

“The youth can’t establish family as no one knows what the future holds; they can’t do business as it has been outlawed for more than a decade; they can’t get proper education as there is systematic impediment against quality education; even if they study they can’t get decent jobs later as they are all required to work on national service,” Abraham Zere, Executive Director and Chief Editor of PEN Eritrea, told TRT World.

“Nationals are denied of all forms of basic freedom such as freedom to worship, freedom to associate and organise, freedom to express themselves, etc. Such renunciation of all forms of freedom is coupled with total disregard for the rule of law and the smallest means of supporting oneself.” said Zere.

Zere said there were currently about 12,000 Eritreans in Uganda; 150,000 in Ethiopia, around 30,000 in Israel, and 125,350 in Sudan, as of 2015. In that year, more than 47,000 Eritreans applied for asylum in Europe.

“The neighbouring countries can barely sustain themselves and each one of the host countries in Africa are known for their notoriety of maltreatment of their own citizens,” Zere told TRT World.

“Europe too is currently plagued with economic hardship and a great surge of anti-refugee sentiment,” he added. Click here