Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and Louis Michel, former Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, at EU headquarters in Brussels, May 2007. Photo Credit: Gerard Cerles/AFP

EU mustn’t ignore human rights in giving Eritrea aid

Article in RFI
30 June, 2017

Europe seems to have neither a development policy, nor a human mobility policy. Using development funds in projects aimed at reducing immigration to Europe will be a colossal and costly failure, on both counts.

“Eritrean activists visited Brussels this week to lobby the European Union over alleged human rights abuses committed by the authorities in Asmara. The campaigners are worried that the EU is ignoring violations committed by the Eritrean government and continues to provide development aid with no strings attached. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a new 90 million euro aid package in July…

Eritrean activists are not alone in their concerns about EU development aid and the prevailing human rights situation.

“There is a lack of conditionality in these agreements,” MEP Lars Adaktusson told RFI in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “There is no doubt that the latest agreement between the EU Commission and Eritrea has weaknesses…”

“Crimes of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, persecution, rape, murder and other inhumane acts have been committed as part of a campaign to instil fear in, deter opposition from and ultimately to control the Eritrean civilian population,” said the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea.”

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