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Sudan Tribune

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UN body to investigate human rights violations in Eritrea

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 4, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The United Nations (UN) decided to assign human right experts who will investigate alleged “crimes against humanity” committed by the Eritrean government.

The decision comes after the UN Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as well as the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea.

The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea has recently released its report where it unveiled the government’s gross human right violations.

In the report, the Commission said the human rights violations committed in the context of military conscription, indefinite national service and forced labour may constitute crimes against humanity.

It has also condemned the extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and other forms of right abuses by the regime.

The mandate of the commission of inquiry is extended for additional one year period during which it will investigate human rights conditions on the red sea nation.

Established last year, the commission will “Investigate systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in Eritrea with a view to ensuring full accountability, including where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity”

In the past, Asmara denied entry visas to UN officials and experts working on human rights investigation.

The UN has asked the reclusive east African nation to provide the commission detailed information on human rights related condition of the country including on situations of prisoners.

There are an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 political prisoners in Eritrea.

Following the recently released UN report hundreds of Eritrean refugees has held demonstration in Addis Ababa and at six different camps across Ethiopia in protest to the gross human right violations committed by the repressive regime and also in support of the report.

Eritrea, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, has an estimated 4.5 million population.

Every month around 5,000 Eritreans flee home to neighbouring countries mainly to Ethiopia and Sudan. Currently Ethiopia hosts at least 90,000 Eritrean refugees.

According to a UN report, during the past two decades 360,000 Eritreans have left their country in to exile and thousands have died while trying to cross to Europe in a dangerous sea routes.

Eritreans seeking asylum in Europe are the second largest group after Syrians who continue to flee their home to escape conflict.

(ST)