1 February 2013

Eritrea's Information Minister

Yesterday we reported that the Eritrean Information Minister, Ali Abdu Ahmed, in an exclusive interview over the phone with the Swedish newspaper Expressen had confirmed that he had fled from Eritrea.

Unfortunately, it appears that this was not strictly accurate. The interview that Expressen carried out was actually with Ali Abdu's brother Saleh Ahmed, though Saleh says he did put two questions to his brother for the paper concerning the disappearance of Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak, imprisoned for more than a decade, and whether the Swedish authorities had made any attempt to contact Ali Abdu about that case.

However, all other comments in the story came from Saleh Ahmed himself. Saleh runs an opposition Eritrean website Awate.com from California.

His brother, Ali Abdu, has been one of President Isaias closest associates for many years and he apparently took the decision to leave the regime while on a business trip to Germany in November last year. His disappearance led to the immediate arrest of his 15 year old daughter and a brother. He is however yet to make any direct statement in person about his reasons for leaving the government, and it remains unclear where he is currently residing.

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