The Plight of Eritrean Refugees

By G. E. Gorfu
Dec. 05 2009

Eritrean Refugees in the middle of the deep seaFor quite some time now the world has been witnessing the sad spectacle of Eritrean refugees in their hundreds after facing the treacherous seas arriving in Europe. It is reminiscent of the 70s when thousands of war displaced Vietnamese boat people were in similar circumstances. The world watches quietly and does not seem to have learned much from the tragedies of Darfur, Rwanda, or The Democratic Republic of Congo, and appears to be at a loss as to what should be done when these human tragedies do occur.

The case of Eritrean refugees is a human tragedy in the making and the world is watching quietly. Their most common destination is Italy. Sadly however, their troubles are not over when they arrive. Having jumped from the frying pan to the fire, they are often returned to the place of their departure and thrown back into the frying pan. Why? It is somewhat of a complex and triangulated, illogical setup.

The longtime chief of terror and paymaster of terrorism, Libya’s leader for the last forty years, Muammar Gaddafi, after decades of banishment from the World Community, and having been a pariah and rouge, has been newly re-baptized and welcomed back into the fold of the UN. Not only has he been welcomed with open arms, but is currently holding the Chairmanship of the UN Security Council. This is a rotten egg on face of the UN. What a shame the UN has to fall this low!

If Gaddafi had no oil, it would have been a different story all together. We hear them vilifying Mugabe and making him look for worse than Gaddafi even though he is neither a terrorist nor a paymaster of terrorism. The main difference however, is that Mugabe has no oil. When oil factors in the equation, the World Community seems to lose all its sense of justice, ethics, or even sanity. The great powers lose their compass and do not seem to be able to tell what is left or right, or what is right or wrong. With oil as the trump card, anything goes. Oil dissolves all and can wash away transgressions and everything is forgiven and forgotten. But if you have no oil like Mugabe, you better watch out. And refugees are all but deprived of their basic Human Rights and become dispensable. What a tragedy!

The World Community has seen enough horrific crimes by that other Africa’s terrorism paymaster, Isaias Afewerki, and of his aiding and abetting terrorists at large. It has been documented, and he does not even deny any of it. In fact, he is arrogant, adamant, and takes pride in his support of various terrorist groups from Somalia, to Ethiopia, to Djibouti, and Yemen, and even as far away as the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. Repeated warnings have been issued against him to stop these dastardly deeds, but so far he does not relent, but continues to carry on thumping his nose at the UN and a World Community that seems to be totally impotent.

Now, what is the link between these terrorism paymasters? They seem to have reached a tacit and quiet agreement between them to deport Eritrean refugees back from Europe to Eritrea and into the arms of that terror master, Isaias, to a certain imprisonment, to an inescapable and terrible torture, and a probable death. In fact, not only Libya, but also Egypt, Italy, and Malta, have colluded in this criminal pact of returning Eritrean refugees to Isaias. Sometimes they send them back directly, and sometimes they send them back to Libya or Egypt, where Libya’s Gaddafi and Egypt’s Mubarak, (that other corrupt dictator), who hand them over to Isaias. And these are the axis of evil who are the cause of all the human misery!

When poor countries like Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Djibouti continue to take in thousands of Eritrean refugees in camps like Shimelba, what is the excuse for wealthy European countries like Italy and Malta to deport refugees? What has gone wrong with the World Community that it is not taking steps to stop them? Why has the civilized world quietly allowed this to go on for so long? How many lives have to perish before we wake up and cry foul? What will history say about this tragedy? Will the world wait until it is too late as it did in Darfur, Rwanda, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and after the fact apologize in regret?

‘Gaddafi has oil and if you want oil, you better not say anything that offends him’ seems to be the “new” Golden Rule. Sadly, the one who has the gold makes the rule. What about Human Rights? Are refugees not human beings? All ethics goes out of the window as the world scrambles for oil. In the 70’s the Vietnamese boat people were rescued and many came to the USA and settled. No one was sent back to Vietnam. What has changed now? Why are Eritrean refugees any different?

See also Open Letter to President Barack Obama

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