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Horn of Africa This Week

Eritrea looks to boost development

In a rare interview with Agence France-Presse, Eritrea’s Yemane Gebremesekel, director of the president’s office, addressed trade and investment opportunities in the Horn of Africa nation. Gebremeskel stated that building relations with foreign investors as well as with neighboring countries is necessary for the Eritrea’s development. Allegations of human rights abuses along with supporting armed groups in Somalia have strained Eritrea’s relationships with much of the international community.

Jane Vaughn of the AFP reported,

Accusations of flouting democratic ideals and muzzling the media and opposition are common from rights groups and the international community.

But Yemane insists that his country is unfairly judged and is often examined in a vacuum, without considering the wider context shaping Eritrea’s politics.

“You can take a snapshot, you can have a checklist, you can say ‘OK, the press is owned by the government, there is no political opposition,’ you can reach that kind of simplistic conclusion,” he said. “Or you can look at the complexity of issues, the trajectory we have gone, the problems we are facing, the external threats we are facing.”

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Mohammed A

Mohammed Ademo is a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC. He's the founder and editor of OPride.com, an independent news website about Ethiopia.

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