Tigrai Online Jan. 23, 2013
A mutiny in Eritrea went almost completely unnoticed when renegade troops staged one of the strongest challenges yet to the country’s authoritarian rule.
On Monday, a group of soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information, briefly taking over the state-run television service in an apparent rebellion, which failed. They called for a change in the constitution and the release of political prisoners. Rights groups say up to 10,000 are being held.
The small country in the horn of Africa remains isolated and is often described as repressed.
With thousands of political prisoners, a constitution that remains in limbo, and a president who has failed to keep promises of reform, analysts say more challenges are inevitable.
Eritrea is a secretive nation that has been ruled by one president and one party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice, since it gained independence in 1993.
Now the tiny nation is in the headlines for an army mutiny that may - or may not - have been a coup attempt. But analysts say it is only a matter of time before Eritrea's President Isaias Afawerki is confronted again.
The man who the US once praised as a renaissance leader had promised elections, and to open up the political system, neither of which materialised.
The country's reportedly poor human rights record and restrictive press laws have drawn comparisons with North Korea - an image the president disputes.
Source: Al Jazeera