by Peter Clottey
November 21, 2014
Eritrea’s top diplomat to the United Nations says the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has committed a “conceptual mistake” in a report, which stated that in the past 37 days more than 6,000 Eritreans had claimed asylum in neighboring Ethiopia.
The U.N. refugee agency said Eritrea’s renewed conscription drive was to blame for the sharp increase in the number of youths fleeing the country.
But Eritrea’s U.N. ambassador, Girma Asmerom, dismissed the report as a calculated effort to undermine the government by creating disaffection among its population. He said Eritrean citizens migrate just like other nationals, which he said is a global phenomenon.
“The U.N. has to do its bit of homework, because there are no asylum-seekers in Ethiopia,” said Asmerom. “We do not understand why they are concocting certain terminologies of asylum-seekers, and [a] refugee kind of concept does not really fit into the Eritrean picture,” he said.
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