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Eritrea is one of the most repressive states in the world and the refugee camps offer little freedom or safety, but enslavement and abuse instead.
Television journalist Temesghen Debesai had waited years for an opportunity to make his escape from Eritrea, so when the country’s ministry of information sent him on a journalism training course in Bahrain he was delighted, but fearful too.
More than 300 000 citizens have fled Eritrea's chaotic national service. This is the story of one conscript.
Binyam*, a refugee, lives in Kenya now, closing a circle that began with his birth. He’s making a new start with the help of relatives after escaping from Eritrea last year, just as his mother had to do three decades ago.
She eventually went home. Binyam hopes that one day he can, too.
Draconian military conscription rules in Eritrea mean children as young as 12 can be forced into duty. Dan Connell reports.
Binyam Zaid (22) was an unwilling conscript in the Eritrean army when he was caught trying to flee the country and jailed for 18 months at the Halhal military prison. On May 24 he was released in an amnesty that marked Eritrea’s 21st birthday and sent back to his unit.
The United Nations mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (Unmee), monitoring the disputed border between the two countries, reported on Thursday that the buffer zone along the border "remained tense and potentially volatile".
Senafe. June 27, 2001
Scattered across the dust-blown plains of the border zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea, landmines are still waging war a year after the guns fell silent, hindering the homecomings of refugees
Returning home after a year in a refugee camp, Rahma Ebrahim can see her fields, but she cannot set foot in them.
Johannesburg, South Africa. May 26 2000
After its battlefield success, Ethiopia was in no mood to accommodate Eritrea's calls for peace. Meanwhile some 300 000 Eritreans were in need of emergency food relief.
By DAVID GOUGH in Nairobi
Ethiopia claimed victory in its two-year war with Eritrea yesterday following its capture of Zalambessa, denying Eritrean claims that it voluntarily withdrew from the key border town.
Johannesburg, South Africa. May 22 2000
Eritrea's capital, Asmara, is under threat as Ethiopia continues its lightning offensive.
By DAVID GOUGH in Addis Ababa
The Ethiopian army continued its lightning offensive deep inside Eritrea yesterday, threatening its neighbour's capital, Asmara.
Ethiopia took the Eritrean town of Om Hajer, on the borders of Ethiopia and Sudan, in a move designed to protect the western flank of its army, a government official said.
Johannesburg, South Africa. May 1 2000
Johannesburg, South Africa. April 14 2000
Johannesburg, South Africa. April 12 2000
Johannesburg, South Africa. April 10 2000
International neglect, war and three years of drought have left refugees in Ethiopia at the end of the aid queue
By JASON BURKE in Gode
In a dusty compound on the outskirts of the Ethiopian desert town of Gode, 300 women and children are squatting in the dirt. There is no shade so the mothers hold their faded robes over their listless children.
Occasionally an aid worker distributes water from a plastic bucket. When the queue moves forward, the shuffling feet raise clouds of red dust.
Johannesburg, South Africa. April 5 2000
Nearly 16 million people face starvation in the Horn of Africa after repeated crop failures, but ongoing conflicts in the region make food distribution difficult.
By CHRIS MCGREAL in Johannesburg
Europe is preparing to spearhead large aid deliveries to the Horn of Africa in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the famine that claimed close to a million lives in Ethiopia 15 years ago.
Johannesburg, South Africa. December 31 1999
Johannesburg, South Africa. November 15 1999
The war between Ethiopia and Eritrea has displaced hundreds of thousands of people
JUSTIN PEARCE reports
"It was eight months ago the police took him away," Maryam recalls. "First they take the husband to starve the wife."