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Visualizzazione dei post da Maggio, 2008

Bambini in guerra

Lontano dall'essere risolto, il dramma dei bambini soldato è una realtà ancora grave e radicata: oggi decine di migliaia di baby-mercenari sono impiegati nei gruppi armati di 24 Stati e territori. E le bambine sono le più penalizzate. A ricordarlo è il rapporto 2008 della Coalizione Stop all'uso dei bambini soldato, che all'Italia chiede di cancellare la dichiarazione di riserva sull'arruolamento volontario nell'esercito a 17 anni. Strategie e norme ancora inadeguate
Non è possibile fornire il numero esatto dei bambini soldato, ma le cifre diffuse un anno fa alla conferenza intergovernativa di Parigi ('Free children from war') parlano di almeno 250.000, il 40 per cento dei quali costituito da bambine. Il dato è un aggiornamento della stima dei 300.000 bambini soldato emersa dieci anni prima; la riduzione è stata determinata dal fatto che circa 50.000 baby soldati hanno preso parte ai programmi di disarmo, smobilitazione e riabilitazione (Ddr). Tuttavia, i n…

Eritrea, la colonia tradita

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"Siamo venuti qui per primi e siamo considerati come se fossimo gli ultimi arrivati". E'un coro unanime, sommesso, quello che si leva dal bar Asmara, dal caffè Eritrea, dal take-away Dallaq. Sono pochi, ma frequentati assiduamente, i locali eritrei di Bologna. Già verso le 18 è possibile incontrare gruppi di giovani che bevono birra chiara e giocano a scala quaranta. Sono arrivati da qualche anno, e aumentano a ritmo vertiginoso, scappati da una patria martoriata dalla guerra con l'Etiopia ufficialmente finita nel 2000. "Il trattato di Algeri non ha fatto altro che accertare uno stato di fatto, non ha posto soluzioni", spiega Amaniel, sindacalista della Cgil. Il Paese infatti permane in stato d'allerta: i soldati non hanno abbandonato le trincee, il processo di militarizzazione avviato dal capo di Stato Isaias Afewerki non accenna a fermarsi, gli scontri armati, sulle montagne del Badme, continuano a distruggere vite umane.
"Io sono fuggito dall&#…

Ethiopia says ready to secure route to Djibouti port

ADDIS ABABA, May 15 (Reuters) - Ethiopia is prepared to secure its vital trade corridor with the Red Sea port of Djibouti in the event of any conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea, its Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Thursday.Ethiopia relies on Djibouti for its sea-bound imports and exports after Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia 17 years ago left Ethiopia a landlocked country.Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh said earlier this month Eritrean soldiers had entered his nation, digging trenches and building defences."The recent Eritrea-Djibouti row was a threat to the peace and security of the whole Horn of Africa," Meles said in an address to the country's business community."They (Eritreans) do act silly sometimes, but I don't think they would go totally insane."Meles said he will strive to secure the route between Ethiopia and Djibouti's port, but did not elaborate on exactly how this would be achieved."In the face of the unpredicta…

Key quotes from Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki

ASMARA, May 13 (Reuters) - Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki gave a rare interview to Reuters on Tuesday to discuss politics and economics in the Horn of Africa and his country.Here are some of his quotes:ON U.N. FEARS OF NEW ERITREA-ETHIOPIA BORDER WAR"That's a gimmick meant to cover up for the failure of the U.N Security Council to do anything for the last six years. Now they are playing the scare game."NORMALISATION WITH ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT?"It's too late. It could have been mended a long time ago without going and resorting to this unnecessary war ... If you can be an angel or someone like Christ, maybe."U.N. AND U.S. ROLE IN SOMALIA"It's part of a plan meant to weaken the Somali resistance ... I don't see any useful purpose.""You would categorise anything terrorist or linked with terrorism when you have failed to address the issues seriously. You can go back to the early 90s and see how the United States played the Somali i…

Eritrean leader blames CIA plot for youth exodus

ASMARA, May 13 (Reuters) - Eritrea accused the CIA and other Western agencies on Tuesday of luring young people away from the Red Sea state in a plot to weaken a nation seen as a threat to U.S. interests in the region."It's an orchestrated, organised operation financed by the CIA," President Isaias Afwerki told Reuters.Up to 25,000 Eritreans leave illegally each year, most into neighbouring Sudan and Ethiopia on their way to Europe or the Middle East, diplomats and analysts say. Some Eritreans are granted political asylum in Western countries."Hundreds of young have been misled that there is heaven outside ... It's an orchestrated attempt to deplete this nation of its young," Isaias added."We have evidence. We know what's going on in terms of the media campaign, psychological warfare, tempting people, trying to facilitate them to cross the border."The 62-year-old former guerrilla leader, who took power in 1991, said Britain's intelligence …

Eritrea sees mining start by end of 2009

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ASMARA, May 13 (Reuters) - President Isaias Afwerki forecast on Tuesday that Eritrea's first gold mine would begin producing by the end of 2009, starting a metals industry with "huge" reserves and potential to drive development.But Isaias said his government would take time with its foreign partners to develop mining both to maximise social benefits for Eritreans and avoid the so-called "resource curse" that has bedevilled other African nations.Experts predict a boom for Eritrea -- believed to be rich in gold and industrial metals -- and half a dozen foreign firms explore in the Horn of Africa nation of 4.5 million people."The gold reserves in this country are not comparable to anywhere in the region -- Sudan, Ethiopia, anywhere else," Isaias told Reuters in a rare interview with Western media."The reserves and potential are there. It's huge."Isaias said the most advanced project, by Canada's Nevsun Resources Ltd , would likely start…

Eritrea denies Djibouti border accusation

ASMARA (Reuters) - Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki denied on Tuesday sending troops into neighbouring Djibouti, saying Asmara had no desire for another crisis in the Horn of Africa.Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh said earlier this month Eritrean soldiers had entered his nation, digging trenches and building defences. He said the armies were "facing each other" and urged international intervention."It's a fabrication, we know. There is no basis for that ... There has never been any problem," Isaias said."We decline the invitation to go into another crisis in the region," he added, chuckling during an interview with Reuters in the Red Sea state's capital Asmara."And to anyone inviting us to another crisis, we'll say 'no thank you, we are not coming'."Eritrea's long-running enmity with Ethiopia dominates politics in the Horn of Africa. They fought a 1998-2000 border war and favour different sides in the Somali con…

Eritrea says UN scaremongering on war risk

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ASMARA (Reuters) - U.N. fears that a pullout of peacekeepers on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border may lead to a new war are unfounded scaremongering and a "gimmick" to cover the world body's failings, Eritrea's leader said on Tuesday.In a rare interview with Western media, President Isaias Afwerki also told Reuters a United Nations effort to broker peace talks for Somalia this week were a U.S.-inspired attempt to undermine a legitimate resistance movement.Eritrea and Ethiopia's long-running enmity, including a 1998-2000 border war, and the conflict in Somalia, have polarised the Horn of Africa, one of the world's poorest and most conflict-riven regions.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last month the withdrawal of the majority of 1,700 peacekeepers on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border, following a fuel cutoff by Asmara, risked new hostilities on the 1,000-km (620 mile) frontier."It is a gimmick and a cover-up for the failure of the (U.N.) Security Council and …

Eritrea secures broad acclaim for its rich natural resource and locomotives

Asmara, 6 May 2008 - Italian railway experts said that Eritrea is a major tourism destination in view of the fact that it is endowed with spectacular landscape and rich natural resources, coupled with classic locomotives as well as the prevailing peace and security. The remarks were made by Italian railway experts, Mr. Stefano Petini and Mr. Roberto Vasilichi, who took part in a training course for young Eritrean citizens on locomotive handling.

Indicating that he is visiting Eritrea for the 6th time, Mr. Petin stated that in the course of his visits, he witnessed major development stride on the basis of internal resource. He highly appraised the revival of the Eritrean railway system which was out of function for a long time through the dedication of elderly railway experts. Mr. Petini further expressed satisfaction for taking part in efforts to bequeath the skill and know-how of the elderly railway experts to the young generation. The Italian national added that Eritrea is one of t…

Djibouti accuses Eritrea of border violation

DJIBOUTI, May 6 (Reuters) - Djibouti has accused Eritrea of violating its border in a worsening dispute over the Horn of Africa neighbours' shared frontier.Djibouti says Eritrean soldiers entered its territory last month to dig trenches and build other defences. Eritrea has made no official comment."The violation of the border is flagrant. The two armies are facing each other. The situation is explosive," Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh told reporters late on Monday."We have asked for international arbitration from the Arab League and the African Union."Eritrean officials were not available for comment.Djibouti and Eritrea clashed over their border in the mid-1990s. On Saturday, the African Union called on both sides to show restraint and resolve any dispute with dialogue.It said it was sending a fact-finding mission to the border and would consult officials from both countries.Asmara fought a 1998-2000 border conflict with Ethiopia that killed some 70…

Eritrea calls for disbanding of UN border force

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Reuters) - Eritrea, which earlier this year obliged a U.N. peacekeeping force to leave its disputed border with Ethiopia, is now calling for the Security Council to wind up the mission altogether.
The demand, in a letter from the Red Sea state's permanent U.N. representative, came after the council, in a statement issued late on Wednesday, said it would consult Eritrea and Ethiopia on the future of the 1,700-strong force.
The force, known as UNMEE, had patrolled the border since 2000, when a two-year war between the Horn of Africa neighbors ended. It pulled out in February, saying Eritrea had cut off fuel supplies, and most of its troops have returned to their countries of origin.
Eritrea said countrywide fuel shortages had prompted the cutoff, but has made no secret of its disillusion with the United Nations for failing to enforce a border ruling by a boundary commission that favored Asmara.
In its latest statement on the issue, the Security Council again conde…