Eritrea 'a state under siege'

2010-09-22 11:04
Nairobi - The international community must engage more with Eritrea to prevent it from becoming the next failed state in the Horn of Africa region, the International Crisis Group think tank said Tuesday.

"Just a decade ago, Eritrea might reasonably have been described as challenged but stable," ICG said in a report analysing Eritrea since the 1998-2000 war with Ethiopia.

"Today it is under severe stress, if not yet in full-blown crisis. While not likely to undergo dramatic upheaval in the near future, it is weakening steadily," ICG said.

"While there is no open protest at the moment, the government cannot take this for granted over the long term. Change is really only a matter of time," said Andrew Stroehlein, Crisis Group's communications director.

The group said the militarism and the authoritarianism that "define Eritrea's political culture" have their roots in the region's violent history and notably in the 30-year war for independence, achieved in 1991.

Stabilising force

"The real significance of that legacy has only become clear in the past decade, as President Isaias Afwerki and a small cohort of ex-fighters have strengthened their grip on power, while suppressing social freedoms in favour of an agenda centred on an obedient national unity and the notion that Eritrea is surrounded by enemies," Crisis Group said.

The group's report said the army, long the country's main stabilising force, is "becoming less stable, riddled with corruption and increasingly weak".

"The international community should engage with Eritrea on the basis of a greater understanding about the country's past and current grievances," Crisis Group said.

Eritrea gained its independence from neighbouring Ethiopia following a 30-year war. But tensions with Ethiopia remain high, and a border dispute led to a return to armed conflict between 1998-2000.

Read more on:    eritrea  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You can be quite an extrovert today as you have the desire to mingle and connect with the crowd. Sometimes it is easier for you to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.