Eritrea

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 04 September 2020

Ten-Year Review: Non-signatory Eritrea supports the convention’s humanitarian objectives, but has not taken any steps to join it. Eritrea has participated as an observer in meetings of the convention, but not since 2015. It voted in favor of a key annual United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2019.

Eritrea has not produced cluster munitions and denies stockpiling them, but used cluster munitions during the 1998–2000 war with Ethiopia.

Policy

The State of Eritrea has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Eritrea has acknowledged the convention’s humanitarian rationale and expressed interest in joining it, but has not taken any steps towards accession.[1] As a contaminated state, Eritrea has said it understands the problems caused by cluster munitions, and therefore supports their prohibition.[2]

Eritrea did not participate in the international meetings of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but attended the two African regional meetings, where it supported a comprehensive ban.[3]

Eritrea participated as an observer in several of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties until 2014 and attended the First Review Conference in 2015.[4] It has not participated any of the convention’s meetings since 2015.

In December 2019, Eritrea voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[5] It voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Eritrea is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

An Eritrean official said in 2010 that the country has not produced cluster munitions and has no stocks.[6] In 2013, Eritrea stated that it does not use or stockpile cluster munitions.[7]

Eritrea reportedly inherited Chilean-manufactured CB-500 cluster bombs when it achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1991.[8] It also possesses Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.[9]

Use

Eritrean and Ethiopian forces both used cluster munitions during their 1998–2000 war.[10]

Eritrean aircraft attacked the Mekele airport in Ethiopia with cluster bombs in 1998.[11] In 2009, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission in The Hague awarded Ethiopia US$2.5 million “in respect of deaths and injuries, medical expenses, and property damage resulting from the dropping of cluster bombs in the vicinity of the Ayder School in Mekele.”[12]

Although Ethiopia has denied it, there is ample evidence that it also used cluster munitions during the war, to attack several parts of Eritrea.


[1] In 2010, Eritrea told States Parties that it supports the convention and sees benefits in joining. Statement of Eritrea, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010. Notes by the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). In May 2013, a representative said that the ratification process had been delayed by other priorities. Statement of Eritrea, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 23 May 2013. In 2012, a government official said a committee assigned to study the convention would provide recommendations on accession. CMC meeting with Ghebremedhin-Mehari Tesfamichael, Finance and Administrative Officer, Eritrean Mission to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 18 April 2012. Notes by the CMC.

[2] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” September 2008.

[3] For details on Eritrea’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 199.

[4] Eritrea did not attend the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2013 or 2016–2019. It participated in an intersessional meeting of the convention in 2012. Eritrea has attended regional workshops on the convention.

[5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.

[6] CMC meeting with Elsa Haile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New York, 20 October 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[7] Statement of Eritrea, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 23 May 2013. In an interview with the Monitor, the representative repeated that Eritrea does not produce, export, use, or stockpile cluster munitions, but is affected by cluster munition remnants from the war with Ethiopia. Interview with Filmon Mihretab Kifle, Director for Regional Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Lomé, 22 May 2013.

[8] Rae McGrath, Cluster Bombs: The Military Effectiveness and Impact on Civilians of Cluster Munitions (London: Landmine Action, August 2000), p. 38.

[9] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 423.

[10] The UN Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia’s Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMEE MACC) reported that in 2007, unexploded PTAB 2.5 and BL755 submunitions were found in Eritrea. See, UNMEE MACC, “Annual Report 2008,” undated draft, p. 1, provided by email from Anthony Blythen, Programme Officer, UN Mine Action Service, 7 April 2009. Additionally, a UN team in the area of Melhadega in Eritrea identified and destroyed an unexploded M20G DPICM-type submunition of Greek origin in October 2004, but it is not known who used the weapon. See, UNMEE MACC, “Weekly Update,” Asmara, 4 October 2004, p. 4.

[11] Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, “Partial Award—Central Front—Ethiopia’s Claim 2 between The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea,” The Hague, 28 April 2004, p. 24.

[12] Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, “Ethiopia’s Damages Claims Between The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia And The State of Eritrea,” The Hague, 17 August 2009.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Policy

The State of Eritrea acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 27 August 2001, becoming a State Party on 1 February 2002. Eritrea has not enacted domestic legislation or reported any new national measures to implement the Mine Ban Treaty, as required by Article 9.[1]

Eritrea previously attended meetings of the treaty semi-regularly until 2014, but has not attended a meeting of the treaty since the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Eritrea also last submitted an Article 7 transparency report in 2014.

On 5 December 2018, Eritrea voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 73/61 promoting universalization and implementation of the convention, as it has in previous years.[2]

Eritrea is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, stockpiling, retention, transfer, and use

Eritrea has stated that it has never produced antipersonnel mines, and that all the mines used in past conflicts were obtained from Ethiopian forces (either from minefields or storage facilities) during the 1962–1991 war of independence.[3]

In its Article 7 reports, Eritrea has indicated that it no longer has a stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[4] Eritrea’s treaty-mandated deadline for destroying any stocks of antipersonnel mines was 1 February 2006.

In 2010 and 2011, Eritrea reported that it is retaining 101 live antipersonnel mines for training purposes and 71 inert mines.[5] It has not reported on the intended purposes and actual uses of the live retained mines.

In 2006, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia alleged the transfer of antipersonnel mines from Eritrea to non-state armed groups in Somalia.[6] Eritrea said that the allegations were “baseless and unfounded … Eritrea has never provided landmines or any other military support to any of the factions in Somalia.”[7] Eritrea did not respond to requests for information from two presidents of Mine Ban Treaty Meetings of States Parties for further information on this matter.[8]

There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines since the end of the 1998–2000 border war with Ethiopia. Between 2003 and 2008, there were incidents caused by newly laid antivehicle mines in the Temporary Security Zone, according to news reports and the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Mine Action Coordination Center (MACC).



[1] At a March 2004 regional mine workshop, Eritrea said it planned to “take all the necessary measures to adopt implementing legislation.” However, Eritrea has not reported on any national implementation measures, such as legislation, in its recent Article 7 reports.

[2] “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 73/61, 5 December 2018.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 10 March 2008.

[4] See Form B of each Article 7 report. Eritrea maintains that all of the approximately 450,000 mines it obtained from Ethiopia during the 1962–1991 war were subsequently laid during the 1998–2000 border conflict, except for those that were unusable, which were disposed of or destroyed. In 2002, Eritrea claimed that 40,000 mines had been destroyed by the Eritrean Defense Forces following the end of the liberation war. UNMEE MACC could not confirm this. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 249. UNMEE MACC estimated that Eritrea laid about 240,000 mines during the 1998–2000 conflict. Interview with Phil Lewis, Program Manager, UNMEE MACC, Asmara, 18 January 2002.

[5] Eritrea is retaining 40 PMN, 40 POMZ-2, and 21 PMD-6 (up one from 20 in 2009) live mines, as well as 71 inert mines of each of the following types: 57 POMZ-2 (one in 2009), four M35 (one in 2009), three MON-100 (one in 2009), two M16, and one each of the PPM-2, PMN, PMD-6, M14, and MON-50 antipersonnel mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 10 April 2010; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 4 April 2011.

[6] The May 2006 report of the UN Monitoring Group stated that the government of Eritrea transferred 1,000 antipersonnel mines to “militant fundamentalists” in Somalia on or around 5 March 2006. The November 2006 report stated that the government of Eritrea transported antipersonnel mines and other weapons by cargo aircraft from Assab, Eritrea to Mogadishu, Somalia in July 2006. In addition, an October 2005 report alleged two shipments of unspecified mines (either antipersonnel or antivehicle) from Eritrea to Somalia. See “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1630 (2005),” S/2006/229, 4 May 2006, p. 12; “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1676 (2006),” S/2006/913, 22 November 2006, pp. 11–16; “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1587 (2005),” S/2005/625, 4 October 2005, p. 16; Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 411–412; and Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 369–370.

[7] Letter A1/212/07 from Elsa Haile, Director, UN and Multilateral Organizations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 July 2007.

[8] For details of statements and actions by the two Presidents relating to the UN Monitoring Group reports, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 356.


Mine Action

Last updated: 12 October 2018

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party
Article 5 deadline: 1 February 2020
Not on track

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

Eritrea Demining Agency (EDA), reports to the Office of the President

Mine action strategic plan

None

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards (NMAS)

Operators in 2017

None reported in 2017

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

33.42kmSHA (as reported at end of 2013)

Cluster munition remnants

No contamination

Other ERW contamination

UXO contamination, extent unknown

Land release in 2017

Landmines

No land release reported

Progress

Landmines

Eritrea last submitted an Article 7 transparency report in 2014. The latest reports on the extent of contamination and land release results are for 2013. It failed to submit an updated Article 5 workplan as required by States Parties upon granting its second extension in 2014

Note: SHA = suspected hazardous area; ERW = explosive remnants of war; UXO = unexploded ordnance.

Contamination

The State of Eritrea is affected by mines and ERW dating back to World War II, but largely as the result of the struggle for independence in 1962–1991 and its armed conflict with Ethiopia in 1998–2000.

In May 2015, the Deputy General Manager of the Eritrea Demining Agency (EDA) reported “no significant progress registered by the EDA currently.” He stated, though, that the EDA was being reorganized in an effort to make “better progress.”[1] The EDA did not respond to repeated requests for further information, since 2015, including most recently in 2018.

The last estimate of mine contamination in Eritrea dates back to the end of 2013, when Eritrea reported that 434 mined areas remained over an estimated 33.4km2.[2] This was a two-thirds reduction on the earlier estimate of 99kmof June 2011,[3] and significantly lower than the 129kmidentified by the 2004 landmine impact survey.[4]

SHAs by region (at end 2013)[5]

Zoba (region)

SHAs

Estimated area (m2)

Semienawi Keih Bahri

166

9,462,537

Anseba

144

10,230,940

Gash Barka

63

6,252,951

Debub

29

3,894,036

Maakel

24

2,423,325

Debubawi Keih Bahri

8

1,169,029

Total

434

33,432,818

 

Antipersonnel mines and ERW are reported to negatively affect socio-economic conditions in Eritrea, blocking access to agricultural and pastoral land vital to farmers and animal herders, and preventing the implementation of construction and development projects, including of roads, schools, and clinics.[6]

Program Management

The EDA, established in July 2002, is responsible
for policy development, regulation of mine action, and the conduct of mine clearance operations. The EDA reports directly to the Office of the President. The Eritrea mine action program is entirely nationally managed.

Operators

In the past, demining has been primarily conducted by the engineering units of the Eritrean defense forces under the supervision of the EDA, which also carries out quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) in accordance with Eritrea’s National Mine Action Standards.[7] According to its second Article 5 deadline extension request, submitted in 2014, Eritrea planned to deploy “at least” five demining teams during its second extension period, the same number as then deployed, but might increase the number if adequate financial and logistical support were found.[8]

Following expulsion of international NGOs in 2005, Eritrea does not allow any international demining operators to conduct survey or clearance in Eritrea.

Land Release

Under its 2014 extension request, Eritrea projected that up to 15.4kmof mined area could be cleared within five years. It reported that 67.3kmof contaminated area had been cancelled through non-technical survey and that 5.7kmwas cleared over 38 mined areas in 2011–2013.[9] 

Eritrea has not provided any updates on mine action activities to States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty since 2014. Previously, in 2013, Eritrea reported release of 157 SHAs totaling 33.5km2, leaving 385 mined areas of close to 24.5kmto be surveyed.[10] Forty-nine new mined areas with a total size of 9kmwere discovered in five of the country’s six regions during non-technical survey in 2013: Anseba, Debub, Gash Barka, Maakel, and Semienawi Keih Bahri.[11]

In 2013, Eritrea seemingly cleared approximately 2.26kmof mined area, almost twice the amount cleared in 2012 (1.2km2).[12] The number of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines destroyed in 2013 was not reported. 

Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the three-year extension granted by States Parties in 2011 and a further five-year extension granted in 2014), Eritrea is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 February 2020. It is not on track to meet this deadline.

In January 2014, Eritrea submitted a second Article 5 deadline extension request seeking a further five years to continue clearance and complete re-survey of SHAs, but not to fulfil its clearance obligations under the treaty. In June 2014, States Parties granted Eritrea its extension request until 2020, but noted that five additional years beyond Eritrea’s previous February 2015 deadline “appeared to be a long period of time to meet this objective.”[13] 

Re-survey during the second extension period is planned to involve both technical and non-technical survey of all remaining mined areas across six regions. Re-survey is planned to run concurrently with clearance in priority areas in the Anseba, Maakel, and Semienawi Keih Bahri regions.[14]

Based on a predicted clearance rate of 0.384kmper team per year and 1.92kmper five teams per year, Eritrea estimated that five teams operating at this optimum pace could clear almost 15.4kmin the five-year period.[15] However, this clearance rate was acknowledged by Eritrea as “ambitious” due to the “inevitable collaboration...of the demining teams with the survey teams.” In addition, while Eritrea seems to have set reasonable estimates
for its clearance rates, which roughly match its progress in previous years with similar capacity, this accounts for less than half of the total area Eritrea has estimated as requiring either clearance or re-survey (33.5km2), leaving some 18kmunaccounted for in the workplan.[16]

Eritrea projected that costs for the extension periodwould amount to more than US$7 million, all to be raised nationally.[17] In 2011–2013, Eritrea managed to raise only $257,000 annually. As of December 2013, Eritrea had not received international funding for mine clearance, and in its statement at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, it said that progress in clearing mines would be slow because it “had limited resources and capacity of one small poor nation.”[18] It is therefore unclear how Eritrea intends to raise the finances necessary for its survey and clearance activities, particularly in light of its regrettable policy not to accept international technical assistance. 

In April 2014, at the Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Eritrea stated that the extension period was designed to gain greater clarity about its mine problem, at which point Eritrea “could plan and think about the financial resources to be allocated for mine action.”[19] It was further stated that Eritrea “won’t complete clearance in the next five years,” and will likely require a third extension.[20] Eritrea has not provided States Parties with any information since, nor did it submit an updated Article 5 deadline extension request workplan as requested. It did not attend any meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty in 2016, 2017, or the first half of 2018.

Mine clearance in 2013–2017[21]

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2017

N/R

2016

N/R

2015

N/R

2014

N/R

2013

2.3

Total

2.3

Note: N/R = not reported.

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Email from Habtom Seghid, Deputy General Manager, EDA, 6 May 2015.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 7. This was despite finding 49 previously unrecorded SHAs in five regions across an estimated area of 9kmduring non-technical survey in 2013. Analysis of Eritrea’s Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, submitted by the President of the Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties on behalf of States Parties mandated to analyze requests for extensions, 20 June 2014, p. 2. 


[3] Eritrea’s reply to questions from the Article 5 Analyzing Group about its Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 7 June 2011, p. 2. 


[4] Survey Action Center (SAC), “Landmine Impact Survey, Eritrea, Final Report,” May 2005, p. 7. 


[5] Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 8.

[6] Analysis of Eritrea’s Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 20 June 2014, p. 3.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form F, p. 5.

[8] Ibid., p. 10.

[9] Analysis of Eritrea’s Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 20 June 2014, p. 2.

[10] Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 7. 


[11] Analysis of Eritrea’s Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 20 June 2014, p. 2.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2012), Form F, p. 10.

[13] Decision on Eritrea’s Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 26 June 2014.

[14] Statement of Eritrea, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 9 April 2014.

[15] Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 10.

[16] ICBL Comments on Eritrea’s Article 5 Extension Request, March 2014.

[17] Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 11.

[18] Statement of Eritrea, Mine Ban TreatyThirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 6 December 2013.

[19] Statement of Eritrea, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Standing Committee on Mine Action, Geneva, 9 April 2014. Notes by the ICBL.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Emails from Habtom Seghid, EDA, 2 March 2010, and 21 and 22 July 2011; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports (for 2011 and 2012), Form J; and Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 8.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 07 October 2013

Since 2008, the government of the State of Eritrea has supported the logistical and medical supplies for the demining teams operating under the Eritrean Demining Authority, as well as paying the salaries of two of the teams, a contribution valued at approximately US$257,000 per year.[1]

In 2012, donors did not report any international assistance to Eritrea for mine action. The government of Eritrea has persistently refused to accept the return of international demining NGOs since their expulsion in 2005.[2]

Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[3]

Year

National ($)

International ($)

Total budget ($)

2012

257,000

0

257,000

2011

257,000

121,253

378,253

2010

256,567

1,183,206

1,439,773

2009

256,569

354,535

611,104

2008

259,654

271,154

530,808

Total

1,286,790

1,930,148

3,216,938

 

 



[2] ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Eritrea: Mine Action,” 22 September 2011.

[3] See Landmine Monitor reports 2008–2011; and ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Eritrea: Support for Mine Action,” 19 September 2012.


Casualties

Last updated: 26 July 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

The total known number of mine/ explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties in Eritrea is 5,299 (2,522 killed; 2,777 injured).[1]

Casualties in 2016

Unknown (2015: unknown)

 

In 2016, the Monitor did not identify any landmine/ERW casualties in The State of Eritrea. There is no systematic, reliable available data collection in Eritrea with respect to mine/ERW casualties. Since 2013 the Eritrean Demining Authority (EDA) has not provided any casualty data. There is reason, however, to believe that casualties occurred in 2016 but were not systematically recorded.[2] For 2016, UNICEF reported seven landmine/ERW accidents, a decrease from the 22 incidents identified by UNICEF in 2015. However, statistics on casualties caused by the incidents were not reported.[3]

The total known number of mine/ERW casualties in Eritrea is 5,299 (2,522 killed; 2,777 injured).[4] The EDA recorded 802 casualties (206 killed, 596 injured) between 2000 and the end of 2012, including 365 from 2005–2011 (86 killed, 279 injured).[5] The Eritrea Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) remains the most extensive source of cumulative casualty data, identifying 4,934 mine/ERW casualties up to June 2004 (2,436 killed, 2,498 injured).[6] Previous estimates of tens of thousands of mine casualties in Eritrea in total remain unconfirmed.[7] However, the LIS data collection was limited to communities that reported mine contamination.[8] Therefore, it is likely that the LIS does not record veterans injured and killed by mines from urban localities.

Cluster munition casualties

At least 172 cluster munition casualties have been reported in Eritrea; 163 of which were reported as occurring during cluster munition attacks, all in 2000 or earlier. Another nine casualties of unexploded cluster submunitions were also recorded.[9] No further information on whether there had been casualties caused by cluster munition remnants was available.



[1] The total includes the casualties from the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) to June 2004 and casualties recorded by the Eritrean Demining Authority (EDA) for 2005–2010; data emailed from Habtom Seghid, EDA, 20 April 2013; and casualties for 2011–2013 reported in Eritrea’s Article 5 Extension Request.

[2] UNICEF-Eritrea, Mine Risk Education Picture Book, undated, p. 4.

[3] UNICEF, “UNICEF Annual Report 2016: Eritrea,” undated, p. 3.

[4] The total includes the casualties from the Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) to June 2004 and casualties recorded by the EDA for 2005–2010; data emailed from Habtom Seghid, EDA, 20 April 2013; and casualties for 2011–2013 reported in Eritrea’s Article 5 Extension Request.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), August 2011, p. 11; emails from Habtom Seghid, EDA, 30 March 2012 and 20 April 2013; and interview with Habtom Seghid, EDA, 25 May 2012; Article 5 Extension Request.

[6] See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2005 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005),

[7] A disability study report in 2008 indicated that the total number of persons with disabilities was 75,212. The number of mine/ERW survivors was not reported. Email from Gbemi Akinboyo, Chief, Child Protection, UNICEF, 14 September 2009. In 2006, the MoLHW reported that there were 84,000 mine survivors in Eritrea from a total of 150,000 persons with disabilities. ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2006.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2011, p. 11.

[9] On 22 April 1990, two cluster munitions were reported to have been used in an overcrowded street in the center of the port town of Massawa. Human Rights Watch, Africa Watch, “Ethiopia, ‘Mengistu has Decided to Burn Us like Wood,’ Bombing of Civilians and Civilian Targets by the Air Force,” News from Africa Watch, 24 July 1990, p. 4; and Handicap International (HI), Fatal Footprint: The Global Human Impact of Cluster Munitions (Brussels: HI: November 2006), p. 18.


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 26 July 2017

Action points based on findings

  • Develop a transparent mechanism to document and record landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) accidents.
  • Finalize and implement the draft national policy on disability.
  • Mainstream children with disabilities into educational programs.
  • Revitalize mine action capacity in Eritrea.
  • Mobilize resources to expand the community-based rehabilitation program to support the thousands of disadvantaged landmine/ERW victims.

Victim assistance commitments

The State of Eritrea is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other ERW who are in need. Eritrea has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty.

As of 1 July 2017, Eritrea had not signed or acceded to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).[1]

At least 2,810 mine/ERW survivors have been reported in Eritrea.[2] An estimated 650,000 Eritreans live in landmine- and ERW-contaminated areas.[3]

Victim assistance since 2015

Starting in 2014, UN agencies have unsuccessfully sought funding for victim assistance programming in Eritrea through the Portfolio of Mine Action Programs.[4]

Victim assistance in 2016 

In 2016, Eritrea showed significant improvement in the availability of rehabilitation services.

Assessing victim assistance needs

Through the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) network, the Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare (MoLHW) continued to collect data on persons with disabilities at the community level, but no specific assessment of survivor needs was conducted.[5] An estimated 120,000 to 150,000 Eritreans live with some form of disability.[6]

Victim assistance coordination[7]

Government coordinating body/focal point

MoLHW: Coordination and implementation of services for mine/ERW survivors

Coordinating mechanisms

None

Plan

None

 

The MoLHW is responsible for the coordination of services for all persons with disabilities, including mine survivors.[8] In 2011, Eritrea announced the development of a comprehensive national disability policy, which remains in draft status.[9] In 2015, under the coordination of the MoLHW, a comprehensive review of the draft policy was conducted with various stakeholders to finalize the policy.[10]

Inclusion and participation

The MoLHW hosted the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2016, in the exposition hall in Asmara. The four nationally recognized disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs)—the National Association of the Visually-Impaired, the National Association of the Hearing-Impaired, the National Association of the Mentally and Developmentally Impaired, and the Eritrean National Association of War Disabled Veterans (ENWDVA)—participated in the event.

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[11]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2016

The Rehabilitation and Integration Division of the Social Welfare Department within the MoLHW

Government

CBR: physical rehabilitation, referral services, psychosocial support, socio-economic reintegration and other services for persons with disabilities, such as social inclusion and vocational training; managing the four orthopedic workshops in the country

Staffing at the orthopedic workshop increased along with the capacity of existing staff to enable the workshop to accommodate more beneficiaries; CBR activities expanded into four additional regions

Ministry of Health

Government

Medical treatment, physiotherapy, and psychological support

Ongoing

ENDWVA

National organization

Services including mobility devices, loans, small business opportunities, counseling, and workshops

Ongoing

UNICEF

International organization

Mine risk education; psychosocial support to children affected by mines/ERW, especially in remote rural areas; evidence-based advocacy; first aid training; increased access to education for children with disabilities

Ongoing

 

In 2016, Eritrea showed significant improvement in its efforts to increase the availability of rehabilitation services. The orthopedic workshop in Asmara was able to hire additional staff and build the capacity of staff at the workshop to provide mobility devices to beneficiaries. Through the MoLHW’s CBR program, an additional 120 CBR workers were deployed to four regions that had previously not been reached, extending the CBR program’s coverage to 80% of the country. The CBR program provides physical therapy and psychosocial support to landmine and ERW survivors and persons with disabilities.[12]

Eritrea signed a Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework (SPCF) 2017–2021 agreement with the United Nations to support cooperation between the government, UNICEF, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The SPCF continued efforts made under the previous agreement between Eritrea and the UN agencies, which include support for the CBR program and continues the provision of donkeys to assist children with disabilities access schools.[13]

Education in Eritrea remains non-inclusive, with separate schools for children with disabilities.[14]



[2] Survey Action Center, “Landmine Impact Survey, Eritrea, Final Report,” May 2005, pp. 21 & 25–27; Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2011, p. 11; email from Habtom Seghid, EDA, 20 April 2013; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 23 January 2014, p. 9.

[3] UNICEF, “2016 Humanitarian Action for Children,” undated.

[4] Email from Michael Tewoldemedhin, UNDP, 28 April 2017.

[5] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Tedla Gebrehiwot, UNICEF Eritrea, 29 April 2017.

[6] Mela Ghebremedhin, “Through Harmony…Strength is delivered’: International Day of Persons with Disabilities,” Shabait News, 6 December 2016.

[7] Statement of Eritrea, Standing Committee on Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 29 May 2013; email from Tedla Gebrehiwet, UNICEF Eritrea, 22 October 2014; United States (US) Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Eritrea,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014, p. 21; and UN, “2011 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, March 2011, p. 155.

[9] Ibid., para. 6.1; and response to Monitor questionnaire from Tedla Gebrehiwot, UNICEF Eritrea, 29 April 2017.

[10] Email from Tedla Gebrehiwot, UNICEF Eritrea, 25 May 2017.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Tedla Gebrehiwot, UNICEF Eritrea, 29 April 2017.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Mela Ghebremedhin, “Through Harmony…Strength is delivered’: International Day of Persons with Disabilities,” Shabait News, 6 December 2016.

[14] Ibid.; and United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016,” 3 March 2017.