Home / Africa / What really happened in Eritrea’s capital Asmara yesterday?

What really happened in Eritrea’s capital Asmara yesterday?

Yesterday, 31st October 2017, there has been social media reports that claims violent protests in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara. According these reports that contain video footage of protesters running away from police, where multiple gun fires are heard.

Eritrean human rights activist Selam Kidane has twitted the following two videos.

And this one

Another Eritrean activist Dawood Saleh also twitted this claiming this is the source of all the protest and chaos.

Later that day, The U.S. embassy in Eritrea  has issued travel warning to its citizens saying “The embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid the downtown area where protests appear to be more prevalent,”.

“Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.” the US Embassy statement added.

According Eritrean opposition outlets the protests were began after the government tried to ban hijab to Muslim women in an Islamic school in a predominantly Muslim district in Asmara called Akeria.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Ghebremeskel downplayed the protests, via Twitter saying “Small demonstration by one school in Asmara dispersed without any casualty.”

According to Eritrean biggest opposition group that are based in neighbouring Ethiopia, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation, claims at least 28 people have been killed and another more than 100 people were injured in yesterday’s protests in Asmara, The Associated Press reported today quoting the rebel group’s spokesman Nasredin Ali.

Eritrea, a country in the coast of Red Sea seceded from Ethiopia in 1991 after a three-decade war that finally ended in referendum for independence. Seven years after independence Eritrea fought for two years with neighbouring Ethiopia over border spat.

The UN has accused Eritrean government for committing crimes against humanity but the government in Asmara always denies the charges. Eritrea has never held any elections since dependence.

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