Articles

  • Article from Middle East Report (Fall 2013)

    A firsthand look at the trafficking, torture and ransom of Eritrean refugees in the Sinai, the efforts by Sinai Bedouin to stop it, and some new and sinister developments in the highly profitable criminal operation.

  • Article from Middle East Report (Spring 2013)

    Thousands of Eritreans are fleeing a repressive dictatorship to seek sanctuary elsewhere. But many confront a new peril—a kidnapping and trafficking operation that starts in Sudan refugee camps and ends in the Sinai, where captives are tortured and ransomed for huge sums. Survivors who reach Israel face a growing anti-African backlash and live with daily uncertainty.

  • An oped from The Boston Globe (February 1, 2013)

    Last week, soldiers in Eritrea occupied the country’s Ministry of Information. They were not asking for power, just a crack in the wall, the payoff the society has been waiting for over 50 years of sacrifice and struggle, which the leader of their independence movement, Isaias Afwerki, is denying them. And they are not going to stay quiet any longer.

  • Article from "Middle East Report" (Fall 2012)

    Thousands of Eritreans are fleeing their homeland to escape the tyranny there, but many find themselves in even more peril when they try to reach Israel through the lawless Sinai—or are captured as far away as Sudan and taken to Sinai as part of a criminal trafficking scheme. Ironically, the safest place may be in the country their government deems its arch enemy—Ethiopia.

  • An article from the South African weekly Mail & Guardian (2012)

    Eritrean refugees living in UN-supplied camps inside Ethiopia say they fled their homeland after run-ins with the authorities in this once promising new nation, which has turned into one of the most efficient tyrannies on the continent.

  • Article in Open Skies magazine (Dubai, May 2012)

    From dawn to dusk Ethiopia's Soviet-supplied jet fighters patrolled the skies. But when darkness fell, the barren volcanic hills of the Sahel Mountains came alive as the Eritrean guerrillas turned their hidden base area into a virtual city.

  • A chapter from "Countries at the Crossroads," Freedom House, New York (2011)

    Eritrea showed considerable promise upon winning its independence in the early 1990s, but its renewed confrontation with Ethiopia since war broke out in 1998 not only dominates political discourse to the extent that all dissent is branded as treason; it also provides cover for militarizing the new state and exporting instability to Eritrea's neighbors.

  • from Review of African Political Economy (Sept. 2011)

    Less than a decade after independence, the Eritrea's government shut down the press, jailed its critics, and turned the country into a political prison. This article situates this reversal within the transition from colony to independent state, explores its specific characteristics, and considers prospects for a more democratic outcome.

  • from "Change Not Charity: Essays on Oxfam America's First 40 Years" (2010)

    A critical account of Oxfam America's emergency assistance program in Lebanon in 2002/2003 when Israel invaded the country and extremist Lebanese militias massacred Palestinian refugees and of the formation of Grassroots International a year later when OA, divided over the politics of the undertaking and under pressure from external critics, terminated its engagement.

  • A chapter from "Eritrea's Foreign Relations: Understanding its Regional Role" (2009)

    Eritrea’s relations with the United States have been fraught from the outset—shaped through and overshadowed by those with Ethiopia, almost always to Eritrea’s disadvantage. The arrival of a new U.S. administration under President Barack Obama offers both sides an opportunity for a fresh start, but it must build on—and overcome—a weighty legacy.

  • A chapter from "Eritrea's Foreign Relations: Understanding its Regional Role" (2009)

    Power in Eritrea is exercised through layers that are increasingly opaque as one approaches the center, like a set of Russian matryoshka dolls, nesting one inside the other. An exploration of this as it developed within the circle that now rules Eritrea sheds light on the way former guerrilla commander Isaias Afwerki governs and how he and his circle act to extend Eritrea’s influence across the Horn of Africa.

  • Presented at annual African Studies Ass'n conference and published by allAfrica.com (2003)

    A political assessment of Eritrea's retreat from emerging democracy to fiercely repressive dictatorship and a personal account of the author's journey from supporter to critic.