A message received nine hours ago from Eritrea
A message regarding the public memorial for Lampedusa Victims at the Martyer’s Cemetery in Asmara, planned for tomorrow has been circulating like wild fire throughout Asmara and further afield. This has inevitably become an issue of grave concern to Eritrean authorities who are currently deploying large number of army contingents from reservists of the 52nd and 53rd Divisions. The new deployments are reinforcing the Demhit (TPDM Ethiopian opposition) mercenaries who are already on duty patrolling Asmara.
Additionally the government is spreading rumours through its informal networks (known as 03 locally), stating that the new operation is under the command of General Philipos, renowned for his ruthlessness. The rumours state that the track record of the government is such that it has never tolerated any form of protest including that of the disabled veterans who were gunned down from the hilltops at Maihabar in 1994.
Responding to the rumours several elders are said to be encouraging the people stating: ‘we are only commemorating our dead, it is our cultural duty, if the President responds with cruelty, our children in the armed forces certainly wouldn’t collaborate in that, nor would they let the foreign soldiers harm us. Besides there is nothing we can do gripped by fear like this, we may be afraid of death but death is certainly not afraid of us, as we seem to die everywhere we end up’
Similarly the young people who have been at a standoff with the Demhit mercenaries for a week now are said to have determined to attend the memorial service come what may.
Meanwhile, insiders state that, the president who has been extremely anxious about tensions in Asmara is said to have passed a strict order, for the quelling of the move for a memorial service by any means necessary.
Asmara is caught between the people trying to assert their wish and the government trying to maintain control.