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ICC Note: 

The EU is voting on whether or not to send 90m Euros in aid to Eritrea. The problem is that have added no stipulations to the aid regarding Eritrea’s abysmal treatment of its citizens. Eritrea is a relatively small and unimportant nation on the global circuit. This has meant in the past that they are able to conduct some of the worst humanitarian rights violations in the world with impunity and very little international recognition. They have state supported persecution of many different Christians in their country, and this continued aid from the EU would just encourage Eritrea to continue their persecution.


07/03/2017 Eritrea (AllAfrica) – Eritrean activists visited Brussels this week to lobby the European Union over alleged human rights abuses committed by the authorities in Asmara. The campaigners are worried that the EU is ignoring violations committed by the Eritrean government and continues to provide development aid with no strings attached. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a new 90 million euro aid package in July.

“A lot of EU states are obviously reengaging with the Eritrean government but there isn’t any change on the human rights situation,” said Helen Kidan, Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR).

Kidan and other Eritrean activists spent time in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday meeting with officials from the EU Commission as well as European lawmakers.

“Europe is trying to address its migration issue by supporting so-called development in countries like Eritrea,” said Kidan, who represents the South African-based civil society group.

The EU has finalised a package of projects and programmes worth almost 90 million euros as part of the bloc’s European Development Fund, according to a speech given by Christian Manahl, Head of the EU Delegation to Eritrea.

Eritrean activists are not alone in their concerns about EU development aid and the prevailing human rights situation.

“There is a lack of conditionality in these agreements,” MEP Lars Adaktusson told RFI in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “There is no doubt that the latest agreement between the EU Commission and Eritrea has weaknesses.”

The Swedish MEP, who has travelled to Eritrea and witnessed the “appalling” conditions in the country, said it is impossible for the EU to monitor human rights in the country.


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