Uprising in Eritrea May End Afwerki 28-Year Rule
Citizens’ uprising against President Isaias Afwerki in the wake of the month has progressed when Tuesday, Security forces allegedly killed 28 student protesters and injured 100 others in the Eritrean capital city of Asmara.
Citizens’ of Zimbabwe two weeks ago started an uprising that ended the 37-year old rule of Robert Mugabe on November 21st, 2017.
Local media said Police opened fire on students protesting the government of President Isaias Afwerki, often criticized as one of the world’s most oppressive and abusive regimes.
The response to the killing of the “innocent” students has been unprecedented, drawing the awe that the Afwerki government that birthed at the independence of the East African country from Ethiopia since 1991 might be crumbling.
“The protests were reportedly a response to the government seizure of Al-Diaa Islamic School, a Muslim religious school of about 3,000 students. Police also tried to arrest the school’s president, Haj Mussa, but the students resisted the takeover, leading to a brawl between police and the students that soon spilled into the streets.
The figure of 28 killed came from the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, an anti-government insurgent group that opposes Afwerki’s government. Their spokesman, Nasredin Ali, called the protests an “uprising” and “revolt” against Asmara as well as a “categorical rejection of the regime.”
“Following the refusal to hand over the school, some 40 people were arrested and this led to the massive protests,” he said. “The army is bringing forces from outside the capital.” Ali’s casualty claim has not been independently verified.
The AFP said the US embassy in Asmara reported gunshots and advised people to stay away from the downtown areas where the protests were taking place. They also reported a significant police presence, but did not report casualties.
Despite a plethora of evidence of the violence surfacing online, the Eritrean government has denied that any blood was spilled, and claims the police were able to peacefully break up the demonstration without any casualties. Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel called the photos and videos of the bloodshed “false reports.”
The “small demonstration by one school in Asmara dispersed without any casualty hardly breaking news,” Meskel tweeted.”
Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km², and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.