During a debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Avebury, a Liberal Democrat politician, informed his colleagues that Eritrea no longer has extended military service.
“The Eritrean ambassador told us that from last November conscription was limited to 18 months and that conscripts would not be required, as before, to perform civilian work such as road building, earning no more than $30 a month.” Said Avebury.
Avebury explained Eritrea’s justification for implementing indefinite military service was due to Ethiopia’s illegal occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories, and to “maintain a large armed force as a precaution against further military attacks by its bullying neighbor.”
The UK politician also attributed much of Eritrea’s alleged human rights violation’s on Ethiopia’s “no war, no peace” strategy. He went on to state that “if the threat of [Ethiopian] aggression were lifted, violations of human rights would diminish and the flow of refugees would be further reduced”.
Avebury concluded his remarks by calling on his Government, and the EU, to launch a new diplomatic effort for peace in the region, and for Ethiopia to withdraw its forces from Eritrean territory.