Over 290 Eritreans sneak into Ethiopia


May 21,2006 (KHARTOUM)-More than 290 Eritreans have entered Ethiopia via Zalambessa in Tigray State in protest against the regime in Asmara, the Gulo-Mekheda Woreda Police in Eastern Tigray Zone said.

Zonal Police Chief, Inspector Tigabu Gebre-Selassie told ENA yesterday that the escapees that entered the country since November this year include soldiers, university and high school students as well as farmers.

Some of the students said they have entered Ethiopia to escape compulsory military service upon completion of 11th grade in Eritrea.

They said students attending classes in Asmara University and other colleges have been receiving military training.

They said many parents have been sending their children to neighbouring countries due to the compulsory military recruitment as well as the expensive cost of living.

Parents, whose children flee abroad, are obliged to pay 50,000Naqfa (Eritrean currency), they said, adding, a decision has been passed to execute any Eritrean caught while escaping to Ethiopia.

According to the Zonal Police Chief, the students have said that currently around 40,000 parents, whose children had fled abroad, are thrown into jail.

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