Update to ERT31648.E of 8 April 1999 on the treatment of members of Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) and their supporters by security forces in Eritrea [ERT36152.E]

Specific references to the treatment of members of the Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) and their supporters by security forces in Eritrea could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Amnesty International reports that "allegations that the authorities had arbitrarily detained government opponents or critics, some accused of links with exiled opposition groups, were difficult to substantiate" (2000, 100), while Country Reports 1999, adds that in 1999, "there were unconfirmed reports that the Government arbitrarily holds several Eritrean Liberation Front members" (2000, 141).

The ELF-RC is an opposition party in exile (ION 2 Dec. 2000; ibid., 13 Jan. 2001). Its head "Ibrahim Mohamed Ali is also chairman of the Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF), a group of several opposition factions with support in Addis Ababa and Khartoum" (ibid.). In December 2000, Khartoum reversed its position on the Eritrean opposition when it turned back some ELF-RC members who had arrived at Khartoum airport for a conference of Eritrean opposition forces (ibid., 13 Jan. 2001). According to the ION this sharply "illustrates Sudan's mistrust of an Eritrean opposition faction which is furthest from Islamic ideas and the most strongly backed by Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front" (EPRDF) (ibid.). The former chairman of the ELF-RC, Ahmed Nasser, reportedly lives in exile in Stockholm, Sweden (ibid., 2 Dec. 2000).

The Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) corroborates this information when it states that "Ethiopia is using its pro-government web site Walta Information to publish statements and information from Eritrean opposition parties" (8 June 2000).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International. Amnesty International Report 2000. (London: Amnesty International Secretariat).

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1999. 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) [Paris]. 13 January 2001. "Eritrean Opponents Manhandled." (NEXIS)

_____. 2 December 2000. "Debate all Round." (NEXIS).

_____. 22 April 2000. "Ibrahim Mohamed Ali (Eritrrea). (NEXIS).

Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). 8 June 2000. "Pro-government Website Focusing on Eritrean Opposition Parties" http://www.reliefweb...ountrystories/other/20000608.phtml [Accessed: 1 Feb. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin.

Africa Confidential.

Keesing's Record of World Events.


Resource Centre. Country File. Eritrea.

Internet sites including,

All Africa News.

Amnesty International.