President Isaias Afwerki on Human Trafficking | By Sophia Tesfamariam
… If we ask why human trafficking was introduced into Eritrea, the answer is simple. It was introduced to sabotage the National Service programs by targeting the youth, the working power. In… their view, in order to create opposition abroad the youth should flee the country first. To do that, pictures were created, pictures that suggest that there are economic and political woes in Eritrea but there are ample opportunities abroad. Smuggling the youth is an organized trafficking. The United Nations, The Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations are involved in it. They operated openly by stationing their camps in Ethiopia, Sudan and other neighboring countries. Papers were facilitated to send Eritreans abroad; this was never done for other people. The aim at the end of this human trafficking is to weaken Eritrea by filtering the youth out of the country and organizing it abroad as opposition. All the existing intelligence agencies operating under the cover of the UN and other non-governmental organizations did a lot of damage backed up by the current technology. The head of these operations is in Sudan, as it is easier to smuggle the youth into Sudan. One can go to Ethiopia, Djibouti or even the sea but Sudan is the easiest. And these organized operations have been there for over a decade. Human trafficking is a crime by the laws of the UN. They claim “they have economic and political problems.” But this is a human trade. It is horrifying even to speak of the abomination of this trade. It put innocent Eritreans into all kinds of misery. Not only those who died and or disappeared in the process, but even those who have got papers and left abroad, are living in concentration camps. This was done to prevent them from working and sending money to their families.
Therefore, the sole purpose of these operations was to get the youth out of their country and to organize them into oppositions in short period of time, as they all had taken military trainings. And it was further intended to bring them through Ethiopia and open another war. But none of it worked.
There is no one that goes to betray his or her parents, people or country. There could be a few but the tens of thousands that fell into the traps of cross-border trafficking refused to comply with the offers given to them. They are being subjected to numerous crimes as attempts are constantly made to lure them to illegal contraband activities so as to deter them from trying to find work, make a living, settle, and remit to their families. As this is a crime even by international standards, it remains the responsibility of this nation, government and people to take this matter seriously and hold those responsible accountable. There is nothing worse than human trafficking, as it steals the chances of tens of thousands of youngsters. Wherever they are, one can hardly say that these young people have a decent work and lead a good life. If you look at it from a broader perspective, they have also lost their opportunities for education and professionalism.
So human trafficking is more than just a cumulative crime, which is aggravated when taking into consideration the political, economic, cultural and social opportunities that the youngsters have lost. And to hinder us from uttering these grievances, different attempts are constantly made, such like the UNSC Sanctions resolution. But this crime shall not remain concealed as we have detailed information of all the parties involved. Setting aside the intended politics and strategies, which need investigation, this crime was committed against human rights. Those who committed the crime should be held accountable and the truth be known to the world. The good thing is that, in spite of all the hardships and challenges they face, the people that have been smuggled across the border remained loyal to their people and country, which is a big blow to the criminals. When looking back at history, the fact that a small country should be made to face endless challenges for generations is not a coincidence. This people will never fall victim to their devious schemes. The traits of the subservient regimes and those of their sponsors pose two threats: a people and nation that grows stronger on the one hand and regimes that grow weaker and plummeting towards crises. And it is in an attempt to change all this that we are being victimized. So where do we stand? What lies ahead of us? We need to not only assess the years that have passed but work harder knowing that all issues will have to be dealt with critically in 2013 and the years beyond.