Migrants from Eritrea towards Europe: what are the numbers and perspectives?
The number of irregular migration from Eritrea is steadily coming down. 2015 was the peak. 2016 began to come down and in 2017, there is a very sharp descent. The reason, of course, is the improvement of the situation in Eritrea. Eritrea had a very difficult 15 years coupled with very wrong policies of European countries which lead to increased irregular migration. Although the policies of European countries have not changed, the situation in the country is itself changing; and therefore, numbers are coming down. The fact that Eritreans are not coming in significant numbers does not mean that migration will not be a problem for Europe. This is something Europe has to seriously consider and look at its policies. Although, if we are going to be frank in our assessment, the numbers of Africans coming to Europe are very small compared to Africans who migrate to other African countries.
Ethiopia and Djibouti: How are the relations with Eritrea right now?
I think the situation in Ethiopia is something that the Ethiopian people, the neighbors of Ethiopia and more internationally, especially those countries that provide very significant amounts of assistance to Ethiopia should consider. The problem in Ethiopia emanates from a system of governance that marginalizes the majority of Ethiopians. This has brought a very serious crisis to Ethiopia and has the potential to cause problems in the entire region. If we look at the issues in the Horn of Africa, the most important issue is the continued occupation of Eritrean territory by Ethiopia. That is the cause of instability. If that is tackled and Ethiopia withdraws from territory that it’s occupying in violation of international law then we would have peace and stability in the region. That’s the real issue and everything else has been a diversion.
Well on the Djibouti-Eritrea border nothing is happening; it’s peaceful; it’s quiet. It is as it has been over the past ten years, nothing has changed and we don’t expect any change to happen.
On July 8, the UNESCO proclaimed Asmara as a world heritage site
Well, Asmara is a Jewel in Africa. it’s one of the most beautiful, most historical cities in Africa. It needs to be preserved, it needs to be renovated, it needs to be given a huge face lift and protection and preservation. The Eritrean government is committed to do everything it can to turn Asmara, not into a museum piece, but to preserve its character; its history; its uniqueness and at the same time, make it a modern, livable city for the people of Eritrea and for visitors to the country. The Eritrean government is doing everything it can and is preparing to do everything that is necessary to make Asmara, as I said, into a unique livable city in the continent.