During a recent interview with CNN correspondent Becky Anderson, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen said former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was in Sana and is seeking refugee in Eritrea.
“I think he is in Sana and he is trying to escape.” said FM Yaseen.
Asked where is Saleh trying to flee, Yaseen replied: “He is trying to get to Eritrea….where he has lots of land”.
This ‘news’ was surprising to say the least. Throughout his rule, Saleh supported various Eritrean Islamic terrorists groups against the Eritrean government, ordered his military to attack Eritrean troops on the Hanish islands and openly sided with arch-foe Ethiopia over its occupation of Eritrean territory.
Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that Saleh was seeking refugee in Ethiopia, which has been reported extensively in Western media, including by CNN. According to a report by the MiddleEastMoniter, Ethiopia accepted his request on the condition he does not participates in politics.
So either FM Yaseen is showing a fundamental lack of understanding of the region or he is deliberately trying to inject Eritrea into his country’s crises at the behest of Ethiopia. Based on his government’s previous actions, the latter seems be the more plausible answer.
On June 23, 2014, Andargachew Tsige, an Ethiopian opposition leader, was detained at Sana’a airport, while travelling from Dubai to Eritrea on his UK passport. He was swiftly handed over to the Ethiopian authorities, where he now faces routine torture and a looming death penalty.
The Yemeni regime kidnapped Andargachew and handed him over to Ethiopia, even though they knew this would cause unnecessary tension with Eritrea and the United Kingdom. So this latest disinformation of pulling Eritrea into their primitive sectarian squabbles should be seen through the context of appeasing Ethiopia.