Eritrea — June 2006

Sociopolitical Situation

The possibility of a renewed border war with Ethiopia has decreased significantly, though the overall sociopolitical situation in the country remains tense. The inaction of the United Nations concerning forcing Ethiopia to accept the border demarcation and the lack of results to-date of the new U.S. diplomatic initiative at the Boundary Commission in the Netherlands has increased frustrations.

As a result, Eritrea has expanded internal restrictions on movement to include all foreigners. Foreign resident missions need a special permission from the city/sub-zone administration for any movement outside their respective residence addresses. The UN Security Council has decided to reduce the size of the UNMEE by one third. The situation is at a critical stage.

Since last October, Eritrea has tried to normalize its relations with Sudan, which may help alleviate the cost and supply of imported consumables. Just recently, Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki made a state visit to the Sudan, upon invitation by his Sudanese counterpart. To date, the economic pressure, due to “closed border” politics among the nations in the Horn of Africa, is unbearable to the Eritrean people. There is virtually no cross-border trade. In order to supplement the basic living cost, the rationing of basic food items by government-run “fair shops” is still essential. Increasing fuel prices are exacerbating economic issues even further. Now, electricity is also rationed in the capital.

This year’s rainy season started well; it is likely that the harvest will improve. Nevertheless, there is still no self-sufficiency in providing food. The government introduction of “cash for work” as a replacement for “food for work” is still pending action; meanwhile the UN and a few NGOs are considering the next steps with the new directive of ”work for cash.”

Religious Situation

The Eritrean Catholic Secretariat Solidarity/MAADI program, which funds schools and clinics of the church, is now operational as a two-year (2006-2007) program. The secretariat has already made an emergency appeal to European Caritas organizations to raise funds for the purchase of medicine and supplementary feeding supplies for the clinics.

Recent Posts

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Asociación Católica para el Bienestar del Cercano Oriente en español?

Vee página en español