Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - Nearly three thousand Eritrean refugees have protested in the camp of Berahle in the Afar region of Ethiopia a few kilometers from the border with Eritrea.
The protesters wanted to draw the attention of the international community on what they call "the genocide committed by the government in Asmara against the minority Afar."
"We appeal to the United Nations and the international community to protect the Eritrean Afar from the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by this brutal regime," say the refugees in a statement.
In an interview with Sudan Tribune, Rashid Saleh, president of the youth association of the refugee camp of Berahle, said that the demonstration was organized to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the independence of Eritrea noting that "despite Eritrea gained independence over 20 years ago, its population has not yet been released."
It is estimated that there are 5,000 political prisoners in Eritrea held in appalling conditions. Thousands of young people prefer to flee the country (there are several Eritreans among the people who disappear swallowed by the waters of the Mediterranean groped in the crossing of the Channel of Sicily).
In Ethiopia alone, there are 70,000 Eritrean refugees. The camp of Berahle was built in 2008. It is in a desert region where the temperature easily reaches 45 degrees Celsius. The camp is home to more than 5,000 people in precarious sanitary-hygienic conditions. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/05/2013)