EGS Press Release: Eritrean Refugee and the unfolding crisis in Libya‏

TO:       Mr. Antonio Guterres

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Geneva


Dear Mr. Guterres,


We, the a worldwide movement of people, Civic and Human Rights Organizations who campaign for internationally recognized human rights, would humbly like to bring to your attention the plight of over 2000 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers who have been stranded in Libya.

We write this letter to you with the utmost urgency and with the hope that we will be lucky enough that it will make it to your office in due time to avert a major human tragedy with your full co-operation and active support.


The unfolding crisis in Libya has imposed an unexpected level of tragic suffering on our Eritrean brothers and sisters who were already suffering due to lack of Refugee protection, and their situation has been exacerbated since the uprising started. They are caught between the opponents and proponents of change.


The issue of the use of Sub-Sahara mercenaries by the Libyan government has made it difficult for the individual Libyan citizens to differentiate between legitimate refugees and hired hands of the Libyan government. So far two Eritrean refugees have been shot dead and three have been attacked with iron bars, knives and machetes by anti-government protesters in Benghazi.


On the 22nd  and 23rd  of February 2011, a group of armed civilians abducted nineteen Eritrean  refugees out of their houses in Tripoli, and so far their whereabouts are not known.


We have also received information that, on Sunday 27 February, over 100 Eritrean refugees were rounded up and were taken to Twisha prison.


Many, including vulnerable adults, women and children have been living in hiding, with no food and medicine supplies.
These innocent Eritreans have been victimized, intimidated and forced to starve due to the prevailing conditions. Unfortunately, unlike all other decent nations that came to the rescue of their citizens, the authoritarian government in Eritrea has not even issued a press release to show a modicum of concern for its citizens. It has abandoned its citizens to their fate. We are not surprised by its lack of action or defining silence, since the primary reason that the Eritrean refugees ended up in Libya was to flee from persecution and the brutality of the Eritrean government.


Under the current dire situation we, Eritrean members of various civic societies and human rights organizations scattered in Diaspora, are trying to fill the gap and appeal to your office and the rest of the humanitarian world to help our fellow citizens. We feel under this extremely dangerous circumstance a temporary safe haven must be found in a third country until a permanent solution is arrived at.


We hope you will heed our heartfelt appeal and extend the full weight of your office to save our people in their desperate hour.


We are willing and ready to co-operate to the best of our ability and capacity with your office.


Thanking you in advance for your understanding and help.


Yours respectfully


Eritrean Global Solidarity

Office of Executives



The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

US department of State

2201 C Street NW,

Washington, DC 20520

The Baroness Ashton

Vice President of European Commission


Mr. Charles A.Kwenin –  

The regional head of Africa in International Organization of Migration (IOM), Geneva,   

Ms. Alia Al-Khatar-Williams,

Senior Legal Officer – UNHCR Geneva office






1.       Mr. Teklai Abraha


Eritrean American Public Forum of Greater New York. 
New York, USA


2.       Elizabeth Chyrum


Human Rights Concern – Eritrea

London, United Kingdom


3.       Dr. Yebio Woldemariam


Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea 
New York, USA


4.       Mr. Seyoum Tesfaye


Eritrean Global Solidarity



5.       Mr. Ghebrihiwet Woldeselassie


Citizens United for Human Rights in Eritrea- San Diego. 
California , USA


6.       Mr. Tesfaledet Maharenna


Tesfa Delina Foundation, Inc
California, USA


7.       Mr. Bashir Saleh


Eritrean-American Public Forum of Dallas/Fort-Worth



8.       Dr. Yonas Mehari


Eritrean Community for Human Rights and Refugee Protection 
Washington, DC



9.       Mr. Yohannes Fre


Eritrean Democratic Public Forum-Boston


10.   Dr. Rahwa Berhane


Eritrean Public Forum Minnesota 


11.   Mr Amanuel Muhtsun

Vice Chairman

Eritrean Youth Global Movement. 
Washington, DC 



12.   Mr Mussie Zeray


Agenzia Habeshia per lo Sviluppo e la Cooperazione 

Rome, Italy


13.   Mr. Haile Kiflai


Qalna – Eritrean Human Rights Group

14.   Dr. Angesom Atsbaha


Eritrean Public Forum,

Chicago Illinois, USA


15.   Mr. Haile Tesfay


Eritrean Global Solidarity for Justice and Human Rights- Atlanta

Atlanta GA, USA


16.   Mr. Fessehaie Kebede


Eritrean community in Seattle and Vicinity



17.   Mr. Karar Hiyabu


Eritrean American Public Forum

Las Vegas, USA


18.   Aron Haile  V. Chairman
       Eritrean Youth for Change
       Bay Area, California, USA


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