26 September 2011

Eritrea: Foreign Aid Funds to Volcano Victims Diverted - Opposition

Addis Ababa — An exiled opposition group on Monday accused the government in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, of failing to extend assistance to thousands of nationals affected by volcanic activity and famine in the Dankalia region.

The Addis Ababa-based Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) accuse the Eritrean government of diverting international aid intended for the Eritrean Afar community.

Nabro volcano erupted in June in the south of Eritrea, leading to disruption to international air traffic. Little is known about the event as press in Eritrea is tightly controlled.

The group said some 20,000 people from the Afar ethnic group have been displaced following the eruption in the region.

RSADO spokesperson, Yasin Mohamed Abdela, told Sudan Tribune that, "no shelter was prepared, they were just evacuated to an open area and abandoned there. They are sheltered under trees."

He said that due malnutrition, diarrhoea and de-hydration disease seven children died in September alone.

The opposition group has long accused the Eritrean government of launching an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Afar minority.

"What is going on now is part of the genocidal policy of the brutal government against innocent Afar nationals" said Abdela.

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