Home | News    Friday 22 February 2013

Uganda grants asylum to Eritrean football team

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

February 21, 2013 (JUBA) - The Ugandan government has granted refugee status to 15 former members of Eritrea’s national football team who disappeared in the country last year while taking part in a regional tournament.

JPEG - 79.7 kb

Last December, 17 Eritrean players - including the team’s doctor - disappeared in the Ugandan capital, Kampala shortly after the team was eliminated from the East and Central Africa Football Association’s (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup and applied for asylum. Only three players returned home.

According to reports, the country’s refugee eligibility committee has found the players claims valid and granted them asylum.

Ugandan commissioner for refugees Apollo David Kazungu said two of the players who applied for asylum had subsequently returned home for reasons which remain unclear. However, the rest of the squad declined to return to Eritrea, insisting their asylum claims were genuine.

Kazungu explained the players feared they would be conscripted into their country’s mandatory military service.

All Eritrean citizens aged between 18 and 40 years must serve in their country’s military service for a period not less than 18 months.

Although in many cases, conscripts are forced to serve indefinitely in training camps and at state-owned construction sites.

The Uganda Football Association has commended the relevant authorities for resolving the issue of the Eritrean asylum seekers, but said “next time teams should come and play football and return to their countries”.

The incident in Kampala was the third time the Eritrean football team had disappeared in an African state to claim asylum.

In July 2011, 13 Eritrean football players sought asylum in Tanzania after a similar tournament, while 12 members of the national squad disappeared in Kenya and sought asylum there during a 2009 regional championship tournament.

Four Eritrean athletes similarly sought political asylum in Britain after taking part in the London Olympics last year.

Led by reclusive president Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea is one of the world’s most secretive and politically repressive nations and is often referred to as the North Korea of Africa.

The Red Sea nation, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, is often accused by international right groups of summary executions, torture and mass detentions against citizens considered dissenters.

The government in Asmara jails anyone seen to be challenging the regime.

According to human rights groups, thousands of political prisoners currently remain in detention without trial, held in secret underground jails in the harshest of conditions.

Tens of thousands of Eritreans have fled their homeland to neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan to escape political oppression in their country.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The political calculations of Sudan’s military regime 2019-04-22 20:37:26 How Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown and what happens next in Sudan By Ahmed H Adam* On April 11, after 30 years in power, the longstanding dictator, General Omar al-Bashir, was (...)

Will the military or the people lead Sudan? 2019-04-22 16:25:04 Support by regional and international partners will be critical to address the economic crisis, as well as the reformation of government institutions, ministries and security agencies By Ahmed (...)

Will uprising in Sudan provide a new political dispensation? 2019-04-20 06:25:31 By Luka Kuol* The recent wave of uprising in some African countries shows the new means of contesting the African rulers who stayed in power for so long and are hardly to be unseated through the (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)

Sudan Protests: Investigate the custodial death of three University students 2019-03-13 12:53:14 The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) Sudan Protests: Urgent call for investigations into the custodial death of three University students and alleged torture of detainees by (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.