Home | News    Tuesday 24 April 2012

Eritrea blames CIA for rumours of President’s ill health


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 23, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Eritrean government on Monday dismissed allegations that its president, Isaias Afewerki, is fatally ill; claiming it is a smear campaign orchestrated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

President of Eritrea Isaias Afewerki (Photo: Getty Images)

Recently Eritrean opposition groups have been alleging that the former rebel leader’s health has deteriorated due liver disease and has sought medical treatment in Qatar.

However, in a statement released on Monday, the Eritrean ministry of information said the president is “in robust health, and by all means of medical standard, he is at the peak of his health”.

Eritrea accused the CIA of being the “rumour monger” which fomented the allegation.

In the Ethiopian capital, an Eritrean opposition official, Nesredin Ahmed of the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) told Sudan Tribune that his organisation is waiting for reliable information on the president’s health from its sources in Asmara, which will be disclosed soon.

Afewerki has been the president of the former Ethiopian province since it gained independence in 1993.

Asmara’s relationship with the US has long been fraught; it often accuses the US of siding with arch-enemy, Ethiopia.

The Eritrean leader recently accused the US of being behind last month’s cross-border raids by the Ethiopian army.

Addis Ababa targeted bases which it accused of harbouring rebels who carried out raids in Ethiopia, with Eritrea’s backing.

Following the attack, on state television Afewerki said the attacks - which were Ethiopia’s first military incursion into Eritrea since the two neighbours ended the 1998-2000 border war - were plotted by Washington, with the aim of diverting attention from implementing the boundary commission’s decision.

The Hague-based boundary commission awarded the Badme region to Eritrea in 2002, but it remains under Ethiopian control.

According to a leaked cable from the US embassy in Asmara, the former US ambassador, Ronald McMullen, said Afewerki feared the US would try to kill him by firing a missile on his residence in the coastal city of Massawa. McMullen also described Afewerki as an "unhinged dictator".

Eritrea, which is under growing global diplomatic pressure, is facing UN-imposed sanctions for arming and financially supporting al-Qaeda-linked militants fighting to overthrow the weak, UN-backed government of Somalia.

Eritrea is widely accused of being a destabilising force in the region.


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  • 24 April 2012 09:02, by backtoschool

    Isaiah Afewerki is good to died because he make him self to be friend of northern Sudan.

  • 24 April 2012 09:32, by Epuol

    He is the only stupid African leader who is still misleading by Arab,He is good for nothing in Africa Good for him to die.

    • 25 April 2012 06:11, by zulu

      You forgot about Beshir of Sudan. I think he is the most dummest led by National Criminal Party of Taha and Nefi.

  • 24 April 2012 20:01, by Justice Seeker

    Close to 4 million Eritreans suffering under his dictatorship would be freed if one of the most idiot of our times die. I will be the first to congratulate all Eritreans if his death is true. God bless Africa. Amen!

  • 25 April 2012 00:51, by bini massawa

    The CIA department used to have a good reputation and was highly respected and trusted in their work, but now sadly has sunken to the lowest level, gave false information with no proof for example, that Iraq has nuclear bomb etc. It’s become like a cheap tabloid magazine. When it comes to Eritrea we hear and see many false propaganda and news accusation.(part 1)

  • 25 April 2012 00:53, by bini massawa

    (part 1 continued)This is not the first time we hear our beloved president is sick. Even let’s make their wish come true, what makes our government strong is the people of Eritrea the people are the government and the government are the people. Until we treat it right and just, nothing will change Eritrean people we never kneel down. Issas Afwerki is not immortal.

  • 25 April 2012 00:55, by bini massawa

    ( part1 ending) Issas Afwerki will go and Issas Afwerki will come. When it comes to Eritrea we are all ISSAS AFWERKI!!!!!!

    • 25 April 2012 05:13, by The Ethiopian

      I want your Isayas to live for long too. But for a different reason. I want all the Eriterians who have voted for `freedom` from Ethiopia to suffer more under Isayas. I wish he lives forever and all you agonize in pain with him. Your economy down the toilet, not even have the guts to defend yourself when Ethiopia attacks you 2 month ago.Ever more isolated from the rest of the world like iran/NKori

  • 25 April 2012 05:24, by The Ethiopian

    I will send you the new Eriterian map done by Meles too, Just in case a new puppet is put in power in Asmara.Don`t forget that we ( Ethiopian) are your `colonizers`, so we know better for you bandas. So I will correct your last word, Long live Esayas and God Damn Eriteria.Have a good night!!!!

    • 27 April 2012 05:10, by wedi erre

      President Isaias Afewerki is every Eritrean , for all agame keep dreaming.remember agame malelit you’re not gonna last long.

      • 29 April 2012 04:50, by The Ethiopian

        You sound like a BIG loser. Have you talked to your grand mother who got kicked out of Ethiopia because Meles " didn’t like the color of her eyes". I like this quote by Meles. Thats one of my favorite quote from him. So going back to your grand mother.... her house in Addis is sold, her business of many years sold, put on the back of a truck and dropped off at the border. Do I feel bad for her? NO

        • 29 April 2012 04:55, by The Ethiopian

          You sound one of those shabias who was kicked out too. Try to change your eye colour if you want to come back. Hehehehe.
          There is so much peace now that most of the Shabias and eriterians are out. You were the cancer cut out. Enjoy your esayas forever.

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