During the Eritrean – Djiboutian border conflict, that took place between 10 – 13 June 2008, there were Prisoners of War (POW) from both sides. The 19 Eritrean POW have been detained in Negad detention center in Djibouti. One of the POWs (see pictured) has developed mental health problems since. He is seriously ill, and does not receive any medical care.
The Eritrean regime does not acknowledge that Djibouti has Eritrean POW, even though they have been there for over five years. Their presence has been repeatedly brought to the notice of the Eritrean government by the Djibouti authorities; and the International ICRC.
Their situation is very worrying, with nothing to do during the day, no education, no employment, nothing to do basically. Just sitting and waiting to be liberated. For how long….?
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea have repeatedly implored the Djiboutian government to release the POW, but they are unwilling to do so. They are keeping them in prison to exchange them with their own POW who have been detained incommunicado in Eritrea.
The sad thing is while the Djiboutian are doing everything to get back their prisoners of war, the Eritrean POW have no government to ask about them.
The Djiboutian government has also detained 250 Eritrean refugees for over four years in Nagad Detention Centre. These are mostly deserters from the enforced military conscription in Eritrea. However, because of the border dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti, and these refugees have military training, they are treated as security risks. They fled from the living hell of Eritrea to end up in another hell in Djibouti.
What can we do to help our brothers?
Let’s organise worldwide demonstration outside the Djiboutian embassies to protest the illegal detention of the Eritrean refugees in Djibouti.
Let’s write to President Ismail Omar Guelleh (The president of the Republic of Djibouti ), and ask him to release our refugees and Prisoners of War.
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea