Imagine if your home became unlivable. If your government targeted you because of your beliefs. If war broke out and your neighborhood were caught in the crossfire. If severe droughts threatened your ability to feed your family. Would you stay put and hope for better times? Or risk everything for an uncertain future in a... Read more »
Eritrean Refugee Project
Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers are the 21st century’s stateless wanderers. They have become part of an international migration crisis, with over 300,000 Eritreans holding refugee status in 2013. In a series of upcoming articles, Africa Talks will post interviews with journalists and subject matter experts and examine data to make sense of the Mediterranean migrant crisis, with a focus on Eritrean refugees.
On Oct. 3, 2013, hundreds of migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea. Less than a quarter mile from the Italian island of Lampedusa, their rickety, overcrowded boat began to sink. They set a blanket on fire to call for help, but flames engulfed the ship. The passengers crowded to one side, and the vessel capsized.
In a recent Poynter.org story, we argue for greater scrutiny of the figures that nonprofits, NGOs and the U.N. produce. We use a specific statistic from the UNHCR — the claim that 5,000 Eritreans leave the country each month — to illustrate our point. Over the past seven months, we compiled articles that highlighted the... Read more »
The bodies of helpless refugees awash the shores of Libya and pile the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. Most died in search of a dignified life. Those who survive face uncertain futures, discrimination and prison. Many of these refugees come from Eritrea, a country where freedom and opportunity are severely restricted.
Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a border war from 1998 to 2000. Thousands died, and animosities persist to this day. When the war ended, the international community formed a boundary commission to delimit and demarcate the countries’ shared border. The commission was responsible for reconciling each side’s border claims.
Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers have become part of an international migration crisis. What do we know about these stateless wanderers? Why do the flee, and what happens when they cross the Mediterranean in search of a new home?