Africa’s wannabe Mao with a mustache
By Laura Secorun Palet - for OZY.com
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, May 18, 2016
Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea
In October 2013, scores of people from Eritrea drowned when the boat that had promised to carry them to Europe sank. Since then — and despite the clear danger of the journey — the number of asylum-seekers from this small East African nation, population 6.3 million, has tripled to almost that of Syrians. But unlike Syria, Eritrea is not engulfed by civil war. So what are these people fleeing? That’s an easy two-word answer: Isaias Afwerki.
The mustachioed 69-year-old has been the president of Eritrea since its independence, in 1991, yet not a single vote has ever been cast in his favor. Twenty-four years of President Afwerki’s despotism, Marxist rhetoric and army manners — he’s forced every citizen into indefinite military conscription and crushed anything that smells of opposition.
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