Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa's Most Repressive State

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Oxford University Press, 2016 - History - 253 pages
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The most secretive, repressive state in Africa is hemorrhaging its citizens. In some months as many Eritreans as Syrians arrive on European shores, yet the country is not convulsed by civil war. Young men and women risk all to escape. Many do not survive - their bones littering the Sahara;
their bodies floating in the Mediterranean.

Still they flee, to avoid permanent military service and a future without hope. As the United Nations reported: 'Thousands of conscripts are subjected to forced labor that effectively abuses, exploits and enslaves them for years.'

Eritreans fought for their freedom from Ethiopia for thirty years, only to have their revered leader turn on his own people. Independent since 1993, the country has no constitution and no parliament. No budget has ever been published. Elections have never been held and opponents languish in jail.
International organizations find it next to impossible to work in the country.

Nor is it just a domestic issue. By supporting armed insurrection in neighboring states it has destabilized the Horn of Africa. Eritrea is involved in the Yemeni civil war, while the regime backs rebel movements in Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

This book tells the untold story of how this tiny nation became a world pariah.

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I seriously hate these anti-Eritrea narratives from non-Eritreans. We've fought a 30 year war for our freedom, with the prevoius decades filled with suffering and oppression. Sure, Eritrea has its faults (just as any country would) but it certainly from Ethiopia and European countries has done great for itself considering the little support its getting from other countries. Western countries have consistently degraded and abused us in the name of "progression", but while we were fighting our oppressors, they turned around and fought us back too. We won despite the odds stacked against us, thus these abusive countries want to hinder our growth. If you're not Eritrean and lived through the years of war and hardships, you can never be able to understand our situation. Nearly all of the evidence in this book is flimsy at best, only cherry-picking information that fill in one narrative and taken out of context. Wouldn't let this book tarnish the reputation of a beautiful African nation, especially since its from the mouth of a white man than isn't even remotely Eritrean. 


1 Introduction
2 A Difficult History
3 The Thorny Relationship with Ethiopia
4 Quarrelling with Neighbours
5 Foreign Friends
6 From Freedom to Dictatorship
Smoke and Mirrors
8 The Flight from Eritrea
10 Opposition
11 The Outlook for Eritrea
Leadership of Government Military and Party
US Ambassador Ronald K Mcmullens Assessment of Isaias Afewerki Via Wikileaks
Algiers Agreement that Ended the 19982000 Border War Between Ethiopia And Eritrea
Eritrean Democratic Alliance EDA 2005

Life for the Diaspora

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About the author (2016)

Martin Plaut, the BBC World Service's former Africa Editor, has published extensively on African affairs. An adviser to the Foreign Office and the US State Department he is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

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