«Eritrea is the country with less freedom in the world ». These words come not from someone who opposes president Isayas Afeworki or from the hated government of Ethiopia, instead they come from an official United Nations paper. The report, produced by an investigating human rights Commission which listened to the testimony of 550 Eritreans and examined 160 papers (but was not allowed to enter the country), accuses the Eritrean government of «systematic, widespread and grave violation of human rights», including torture, sexual violence, disappearances, forced labour. Eritrea is described as «The ‘North Korea’ of Africa » where democratic institutions and processes do not exist, nor does freedom of press, military service is indefinite and the country’s relations with all neighbour states are disastrous.
But how did this arise? The roots lie in the country's history (...)