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Cablegate: More Military Roundups in Asmara

VZCZCXYZ0010
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAE #0071 0441406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131406Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASMARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9442
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1599
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1777
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASMARA 000071

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/ITA, DS/IP/SPC/SO, AF/E AND
DRL
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV ASEC MOPS ER
SUBJECT: MORE MILITARY ROUNDUPS IN ASMARA

1. (SBU) RSO, DAO, and CLO witnessed Eritrean soldiers
detaining Eritrean males in a roundup on 02/12/08 near the
Intercontinental Hotel. Several groups of three to four
soldiers, armed with clubs and rifles, were detaining
Eritreans on the side of the road and walking them to a
police station nearby. While at the Intercontinental Hotel,
another Western diplomat told Emboffs that he had attempted
to secretly photograph a group of soldiers holding Eritreans
at gunpoint near a traffic circle. An Eritrean woman noticed
him taking the picture with his cellphone and informed the
soldiers. The Eritrean soldiers pointed their rifles at the
diplomat and took him to the 5th Police station. An
unidentified Eritrean police supervisor yelled at him and
seized his phone. The diplomat stated he had diplomatic
status and was eventually released. He was told to come back
later in the afternoon for his phone.

2. (SBU) Comment: RSO continues to hear reports of mass
roundups in Asmara. RSO sources have told him the situation
is so bad many Eritreans will not leave their houses after
dark for fear of being pressed into national service. The
Embassy's packing company told ambassador last week they were
short-handed as many of their young male were afraid to come
to work for fear of encountering a round-up. The Eritrean
military has increased the number of soldiers roaming the
streets during the nighttime hours searching for people to
conscript. Post has received reports that many Eritreans
living in Asmara are leaving the city for villages outside
the city limits where they feel the Eritrean military will
not be able to find them. End Comment.
MCMULLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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