The Eritrean government is oppressive, drafting people into the army and then not letting them leave, closing down the only university available in the country, and alienating and murdering citizens holding different opinions to the government. These, along with Eritrea’s weak economy, are the main causes of the large number of emigrants.
Eritrea’s political issue is that there isn’t a government that has been elected by the people. This shows that the reason why the government exists is the imposing of power through force. It strikes me as unusual that a country with a population of six million people doesn’t have democracy.
This could be the link to why there are about 150,000 refugees that have fled from Eritrea within the last 3-5years; some cross borders illegally to Ethiopia and Sudan, and others cross the Red Sea to Yemen or Saudi Arabia. The fact that people are willing to risk imprisonment for illegal immigration implies that the alternative of staying within Eritrea is worse or at least bad enough to warrant the risks associated with attempting to flee. In October last year, 300 people lost their lives when a boat capsized in an attempt to leave their country, however this wasn’t the first time.
Why is it that we’ve only heard about this incident, when there have been several other incidents regarding Eritrean migration? A possible reason we have heard about this particular incident is because other more well-known countries were involved in this crisis e.g. Syria. Why isn’t there enough media coverage of the several other capsizing incidents or imprisonment of citizens within Eritrea? Perhaps this may have something to do with Eritrea’s notorious reputation for indefinite detention of journalists.
I do not own this photo.