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Seven Eritrean Cyclists defected to Ethiopia

Tigrai Online, October 16, 2015

Seven Eritrean Cyclists defected to Ethiopia
Seven members of the Eritrean Cycling team defected to Ethiopia and they are in Enda Abba Guna, Tigrai at a temporary refuggee processing center.

Seven of the 14 higher division Eritrean cyclists defected to Ethiopia. Less than a week after ten Eritrean soccer players defected in Botswana, another Eritrean team of cyclists defect to Ethiopia. If this is not a sign of failed state what is? The seven athletes had bitter disagreement with the relevant Eritrean sports Authorities about many issues including getting better living conditions.


The cyclists demanded their old bicycles and other equipment should be updated in order for them to carry out their duties as cyclists, but their bosses never replaced the old and dilapidated cycling equipment making countless excuses. Finally the cyclists brought their demand for new bicycles in a written form, but they didn’t get any answer. After they exhausted all available venues to get their basic demands answered, they Eritrean cyclists informed the authorities they cannot participate in the next competition which was in few days.

The decision of the cyclists was very upsetting to the people in power. As a punishment the cyclists were told, if you are not going to be part of the cycling teams you are going to go for military training.

Then the team members decided to abandon the brutal Eritrean regime like the many thousands of their brothers and sisters before them.

The Eritrean seven cyclists crossed the dangerous border between Ethiopia and Eritrea and they gave themselves to the Ethiopian authorities. The Eritrean team was welcomed by the Ethiopians at the border and transported to a temporary refugee center in Enda Abba Guna in western Tigray.

A few days ago ten members of an Eritrean football team defected and they are seeking asylum in Botswana. The UNHCR reported a while ago that about 5000 Eritreans were escaping from Eritrea and arriving in Ethiopia every month.

Immigration for political or economic reasons is normal, but in Eritrea’s case, people are fleeing away from their country to save their lives from their own government. The sad thing is those who are leaving the country are the most educated, the youngest, the most productive and the future generation of Eritrea.

Following is the list of the cyclists who defected to Ethiopia.

  1. Hermon Mengsteab

  2. Tesfagabr Haftu

  3. Kibrom Gebrekidan

  4. Tesfalem Mehari

  5. Sirak Misgna

  6. Mehari Eqbagebriel

  7. Mikael Tekliya

On top of the usual social problems

The Eritrean group known as the People's Front for Democracy and Justice – PFDJ led by Isaias Afewerki are destroying the Eritrean dream. At the same time they are eroding the last ditch of the greater Arab ploy to weaken Ethiopia through Eritrea so indirectly Shabiya is strengthening Ethiopia’s position in the Horn of Africa.

We wonder what the diehard spporters of the mafia leaders in Asmara has to say about these weeks news about their country. Keleta Kidane, Semere Tesfai, and the mouthpeaces of the regime Tesfanews and Meskerm come to mind.

Hope has been vanquished in Eritrea by the gangsters in power that is why thousands are leaving the country. It is ridiculous to say the least when Dr. Berhanu Nega and Ginbot-7 are telling Ethiopians they are bringing justice, freedom and democracy from Eritrea to Ethiopia.

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