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Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia – AlJazeera

Ethiopia hosts the highest number of refugees in Africa, a large number of whom are fleeing neighbouring Eritrea. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -  After Syrians and Afghans, Eritreans comprise the third largest group to cross the Mediterranean Sea. They

Ethiopia hosts the highest number of refugees in Africa, a large number of whom are fleeing neighbouring Eritrea.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –  After Syrians and Afghans, Eritreans comprise the third largest group to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

They are aware that their lives are at great risk during the journey, but they would rather take their chances. Back in Eritrea, they say the situation has “reached the bottom”. They are fleeing from a country where, according to Amnesty International, arbitrary detention without charge or trial and torture is the norm for thousands of prisoners of conscience, the rule of law remains sparse, political opposition is banned, and there is no freedom of religion or movement.

Ethiopia is the starting point for Eritrean refugees making their way to Europe. This neighbouring country has the highest number of refugees in Africa – more than 700,000 people according to international monitors, of whom more than 100,000 are Eritrean.

Most refugees are placed in camps by the government, where they say “life is not acceptable because of the heat, the small amount of food and because there is nothing to do all day”.

Many refugees eventually move to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

Once there, they discover a city with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and with a population of 4.5 million which is expected to double by 2040.

Some decide to stay “because life in Addis is not so bad, even if it is quite difficult to earn good money”. They say they scrape enough together through informal jobs or have relatives or friends abroad send them money.

*Some names were changed at the request of the refugees.

Review overview
  • abe March 15, 2016

    So far the government and the people of Ethiopia has done magnificent job in accommodating the refugees.
    But I think Ethiopian government should go farther and extend permanent residence and citizenship to all stay indefinitely.We can’t afford to leave the country for Jihadist.

  • k.tewolde March 15, 2016

    Notice ,non of the youngsters boldly outright criticizes the regime,nobody is spitting venom of revenge for a stolen childhood and squandered future dreams, even though they are the direct victims of the tyrant.It is a beat down,it is brainwashing in its rudimentary sense,it is the shredding of the individual and replacing it with an alter ego – the tyrant.That is where the cultist ‘NIHNA NISU,NISU NIHNA’ comes from.That’s the reason why they snatch them from their parents laps and put them in their camps where the dirty work is done during the formative years when the child personality is molded.The Mosad intelligence has trained them well.Now,the youngster have no clue what he/she is running from,and they cannot fight against their alter ego- themselves.In my personal collection of poems titled ‘Today’s Eritrean youth’ states,’ do I fight this evil within me,it is consuming me alive,so I keep running,drowning,blown away to oblivion with no end in sight..’ Dear fellow citizens,especially those of us who are fortunate enough to get some education, our youth is pleading to us to be pulled out from this mayhem of despair and confusion and see a ray of hope and freedom,at least from their conscience.Nobody has wreaked so much havoc to our society,even all those intruders combined that ruled us in the past than this tyrant.

  • Adiugri March 15, 2016

    Hi Friends, if we consider the situation in Eritrea it is common to be recall the most unique type of crazy life recognizing as jail of the world.
    God Bless all discriminated citizens with no reason in the whole world.

  • new user name March 15, 2016

    Eritrea is not going to bad to worse! The hemorrhage mainly from Kebessa Eritrea is bringing unpleasant demographic changes. You know what I mean! Nonetheless, whomever believes in a future for Eritrea, needs to do something to stop this. what is a country without its youth? tens of thousands of our youth flock to the west in search of a normal world, for normal is missing in Eritrea. However, leaving the country does not bring the desired change, unless one fights back for his rights. what does it take to start a rebellion? how can this be missing in the minds of our youth?

  • oromai erena shikor March 15, 2016


    I am not sure if the government is totally to be blamed ,plus they have no caring opposition party ,and most people are not political, they are just interested how they can get to north America,Europe or Australia and forget about Eritrea and their shi**y life there.And in Ethiopia there are many Higdef{s spies that work underground so like us who are in the west they just want to live, be cyber heros and paltalk warriors. It is a different mind set when you are in Africa and out here.

  • ertra n ertrawyan March 16, 2016

    At this time it is Ethiopian government which is accommodating our citizens in camps.So i would like to thank Ethiopian government specially the Tigray people. And i would also kindly recommend Ethiopian government to provide Eritreans residence and work permit instead of staying them in camps.

    • k.tewolde March 16, 2016

      For real? How about having them sign a waiver condemning their original identity, and grant them immediate citizenship? that would be the icing on the cake.Mission accomplished.

      • AHMED SALEH !!! March 17, 2016

        Take us much us you can big number of Eritreans .
        Make them feel at home among Ethiopian society .
        Others will follow for peaceful future .
        Leave the country with old people , women and children .
        Isolate thugs in Asmera from entire population .
        Plan and execute to claim intended target . Mission accomplished .
        lost consciousness is heading for doomsday . Save our house from
        fire . To seek refugee at neighbor house doesn’t guarantee your
        future well beings . Nothing can compare with your sweet home .

  • Berhe Tensea March 22, 2016

    Thank you for the informative news , Yes the country is exporting thousands of refugees every month till it is empty of its youth completely.