The Eritrean opposition asked to leave Ethiopia?
SSUE 1479 DATED 27/07/2018
THE INDIAN OCEAN NEWSLETTER
There is one casualty of the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea: the Eritrean opposition. On 14 July, the day when the Eritrean president Issayas Afeworki arrived in Addis Ababa for a 3-day official visit, the head of the Liaison Office for Eritrean Matters and executive secretary of the Sana'a Forum, the retired Tigrayan general Mesfin Amare, summoned to the Atlas hotel in Bole, close to the route to be taken by the official procession, the leaders of Eritrean opposition organisations based in Addis Ababa. At the meeting the general handed them official letters from the Ethiopian government urging them to cease all political activities on its soil targeting Eritrea, failing which they would be asked to leave the country without delay. General Mesfin Amare assured the leaders that they would not be handed over to the Asmara regime, but nevertheless informed them that all opposition radio stations broadcasting from Ethiopia would be closed, and that their slots on state-owned television would also be cancelled. According to our information, the federal government has also taken various measures to disarm organisations with a military wing on its soil, which until now had been receiving logistical and military support. The Eritrean opposition has been caught off guard by this rapprochement. On 9 June, a few days after the decision of the EPRDF's executive committee to agree to the Alger accords and the conclusions of the arbitration commission, the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) described Ethiopia's peace offer as a �distant dream' which would not prevent Eritrea from being a destabilising factor in the region. On 12 June, Haj Abdu Nur, the president of the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC), an alliance of the leading Eritrean organisations, wrote an open letter to Abiy Ahmed Ali stating that following the resumption of relations with the Asmara regime, the government would take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of Eritrean opposition activists present on its soil.