Today's date: Monday, 3 September 2007
 Responses to Information Requests
Eritrea: Information on the treatment by the government of Eritrea of political opposition, specifically members of the Eritrean Liberation Front - Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC).


Limits of Available Information:

Available documentation specific to this subject is limited and oral sources contacted emphasized the second- and third-hand nature of their information. Several sources mention the difficulty of obtaining specific information on the human rights situation in Eritrea. The chairperson of Texas Southern University's History and Geography department in Houston said the "system is so tight" in Eritrea it is difficult to get information on current conditions (4 Mar. 1996). Amnesty International Report 1995 states, for example, that "information about detentions of government opponents was difficult to obtain and confirm" (1995, 127).

While Country Reports 1995 was not available at time of writing, Country Reports 1994 states that "although Eritreans continue to express their opinions openly on various issues, there is some self-censorship, especially with regard to the President and the Government" (1995, 76). The media in Eritrea is controlled by the government, although the government promised a new press law for 1995 that would allow for some private ownership of the media and guarantee freedom of expression (Demers 19 Mar. 1995, 12; Africa Report May-June 1995, 53). By the third quarter of 1995 the new press law had not yet been enacted (EIU 3rd Quarter 1995, 23). The Programme Coordinator of the Ethiopian Association of Toronto stated that there were no independent sources to confirm or deny reports of events in Eritrea, and that Eritrean journalists would not try to report on possible government mispractices (29 Feb. 1996).


In May 1991 the forces of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated the army of Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam in Eritrea (Europa 1994 1994, 1064). The EPLF, formed around 1970, had broken away from the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) after several years of internecine ethnic and religious fighting within that organization (The Courier July-Aug. 1994, 11; Africa Today 2nd Quarter 1991, 32). The EPLF assumed power in 1991 and established an interim government composed primarily of its own members (Europa 1994 1994, 1064). Eritrea achieved formal independence on 24 May 1993 after a UN-supervised referendum in April, in which 99.8% of those Eritreans who voted endorsed the region's separation from Ethiopia (ibid.). The country was admitted to the UN on 28 May 1993 (ibid.). Also in May 1993, the EPLF announced that its provisional government, led by Isaias Afewerki, would continue for an estimated four years, until after the development and ratification of a new constitution (see section entitled "EPLF/PFDJ Position on Political Activity") (LCHR 1994, 102). In February 1994 the EPLF renamed itself the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), a move Country Reports 1994 describes as intended "to signify its transition from an insurgent group fighting for independence to a political movement" (Country Reports 1995, 76).

Main Opposition groups:

A complete list of Eritrea's opposition groups is unavailable among sources consulted by DIRB. However, the following partial list has been drawn up based on available information1:

1. Jihad Eritrea

2. Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) led by Abdella Idriss. According to a professor with the African Studies Center at Michigan State University who visited Eritrea in 1995, the "old ELF has about 8-10 small offshoots (splinter groups)... It is very hard to call many of them parties or opposition groups" (24 Jan. 1996). A political science professor at the University of California at Los Angelos (UCLA), who has studied African politics since 1960 and visited Eritrea in 1995, agreed that some splinter groups may only have a few members (1 Mar. 1996).

3. ELF-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC)2 led by Ahmed Nasser.

4. ELF-Central Command (ELF-CC) or Central Leadership (ELF-CL) led by Tewolde Gebreselassie.

5. ELF-United Organization (ELF-UO) led by Mohammed Said Nawud.

6. Eritrean Democratic Liberation Movement (EDLM) or Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea (DMLE) led by Hamid Turky.

7. ELF-National Council led by Abdulkader Jailany.

8. Democratic Front for the Liberation of Eritrea (DFLE), a coalition of the ELF-CL and DMLE.

General Human Rights Situation:

Information regarding the overall human rights situation in Eritrea is somewhat conflicting. In commenting on the situation in Eritrea in 1994, Country Reports 1994 observes that "the Government continued to have strong support, and it generally respected human rights" (Country Reports 1994 1995, 74). According to Country Reports 1994, there were "reliable reports" of local police detaining people without charge for extended periods, but there were no reports of politically motivated killings, disappearances or torture in 1994 (ibid. 74-75). While emphasizing that he is not an expert on Eritrea, a former law professor at Rutgers University who visited Eritrea in January 1995 to attend a seminar at the invitation of the Constitution Commission stated that at the time there was no visible evidence of repression, very few police or soldiers were evident, and there was no indication of "hard actions" on the part of the government pertaining to human rights abuses (6 Mar. 1996). He added that he could not say whether the situation has changed since then (ibid.).

In its annual evaluation of levels of freedom in the world Freedom Review evaluated Eritrea as "Partly Free" in 1995, giving it six on a scale of seven for "political rights" and four on a scale of seven for "civil liberties", where "1 represents the most free and 7 the least free category" (Jan.-Feb. 1996a, 16-17). Countries with a rating of six for political rights are described as "typically ... systems ruled by military juntas, one-party dictatorships, religious hierarchies and autocrats" (Jan.-Feb. 1996b, 14). For civil liberties "as one moves down the scale below category 2, the level of oppression increases, especially in the areas of censorship, political terror and the prevention of free association" (ibid.). Please see the attachments from this periodical for further information.

Comments by several oral sources on the general human rights situation in Eritrea were similar to those of a Washington immigration and refugee lawyer, who said that "the climate is still one in which it is difficult to express political opposition" (1 Mar. 1996). Jeune Afrique states that protest movements are harshly repressed (9-15 Nov. 1995, 33). The Programme Coordinator of the Ethiopian Association of Toronto referred to the Eritrean state as a "police state" (29 Feb. 1996) and the Chairperson of the History and Geography department of Texas Southern University said that there are limitations on freedom of movement and freedom of expression in Eritrea (4 Mar. 1996).

A document published by the ELF-RC on 24 June 1995 states that the Eritrean government has "committed a number of atrocities on innocent civilians simply for voicing their opposition to, or peacefully demonstrating against, its dictatorial policies and measures" (ELC-RC 24 June 1995 2). For further information on the ELF-RC's views on the human rights situation in Eritrea, please see the attachments. Referring to the opposition as "masters of disinformation," the UCLA political science professor stated Eritrea has a "shining record" on human rights in comparison to the rest of northeastern Africa (1 Mar. 1996). Similarly, according to the Swiss Review of World Affairs, Eritrean people "enjoy more security and freedom than almost anyone else in Africa" (Oct. 1995, 19).

Some current human rights concerns in Eritrea stem from discontent with the National Service Programme3 as well as Islamist incursions near the border with Sudan: in July and August 1995 armed conflict between the government security forces and rebels broke out in the Assab and Danakil regions in northwestern Eritrea, reportedly triggered by young men refusing to do national service (Indian Ocean Newsletter 30 Sept. 1995, 4; The Eritrean Newsletter Aug.-Sept. 1995b, 8-9). The government arrested and detained numerous people in connection with these incidents4 (ibid., 8; Indian Ocean Newsletter 30 Sept. 1995, 4).

Apparently because they did not participate in the war and the 1993 referendum for independence and now refuse to participate in national service, the Jehovah's Witnesses, who represent 2,000 people out of a total population of 3.5 to 4 million, had their citizenship removed in December 1994 and their passports cancelled; since that time they have lost their jobs as civil servants, had their business licenses cancelled and their schools and shops were forced to close (Libération 21 Apr. 1995; The Eritrean Newsletter June-July 1995a, 11; Africa Report May-June 1995, 52). According to the Swiss Review of World Affairs, the government's repression of the Jehovah's Witnesses is partly "to combat all forms of fundamentalism" (Oct. 1995, 18). President Afewerki has emphasized the need to keep religion and politics separate in Eritrea (Africa Report May-June 1995, 53; Demers 19 Mar. 1995, 11; Xinhua 10 July 1995). In early July 1995 he told all religious leaders that religious groups could not be politically involved in the country's affairs (ibid.; Horn of Africa Bulletin July-Aug. 1995a, 7).

Since the Eritrean government cut diplomatic ties with Sudan on 5 December 1994, accusing it of supporting the Islamist Jihad Eritrea movement and fomenting conflict in Eritrea, the Jihad Eritrea has increased its "small-scale" attacks in western areas around Ali Ghider, Gash/Setit and Barka near the Sudanese border (Review of African Political Economy Mar. 1995, 129; EIU 1st Quarter 1995, 21; Africa Research Bulletin 1-31 Jan. 1995, 11707; Africa Confidential 4 Aug. 1995; Nouvel Afrique/Asie July-Aug. 1995, 25). Reportedly, the ELF has also carried out similar attacks in the same areas (ibid.; Africa Confidential 4 Aug. 1995).5 The Eritrean government has responded by mobilizing its armed forces and reportedly carrying out several arrests of suspected supporters of the Jihad Eritrea in western Eritrea in January 1995 (Africa Research Bulletin 1-31 Jan. 1995, 11708; EIU 1st Quarter 1995, 21; AI 1995, 127; The Eritrean Newsletter June-July 1995a, 10).

EPLF/PFDJ Position on Political Activity:

Information on the government's position on multipartyism and democracy is somewhat ambiguous. President Afewerki has emphasized that the Eritrean government will not permit the formation of political parties until after the new constitution is approved by the country (Al-Yawm 15 June 1994; Demers 19 Mar. 1995, 11; Medhanie Dec. 1994, 2; Professor African Studies Center 24 Jan. 1996).6 The professor with the African Studies Center at Michigan State University stated that people feel the constitution must come first to ensure a "clean, fair and orderly political competition" (ibid.). However, individuals and interested groups have been encouraged to participate in and contribute to the constitution-making process, but not as political party representatives (ibid.; New African Sept. 1995).

The President stated shortly after the April 1993 referendum that the EPLF wanted to avoid the "fatal" mistakes of other liberation movements that had monopolized power and shut out the opposition (Al-Hayah 22 May 1993). In June of that year, he stated that the leadership was in the process of establishing a "government in which all political forces participate"; he also claimed at that time that the current government represented all parties and factions (Mena 30 June 1993).

In May 1994, when the president was asked about political participation of Eritreans outside the country, he stated that the government did not want to form parties with groups that are "stuck to the legacy of the ELF ... " (Horn of Africa Bulletin May-June 1994, 7). The October 1995 issue of the Swiss Review of World Affairs states that the government will not allow parties based on "ethnic or religious lines or around former civil-war factions" (p. 19). A researcher with the Brookings Institute who works on the Horn of Africa region and was last in Eritrea during the 1993 referendum indicated that the PFDJ's dismissal of the ELF is partly due to past conflict between the two groups7 (1 Mar. 1996).

President Afewerki has suggested that one-party rule and democracy are not necessarily incompatible, referring to Eritrea as a "controlled democracy" (Demers 19 Mar. 1995, 11; Africa Report May-June 1995, 53). According to the Swiss Review of World Affairs, the leaders of the ruling party "clearly do not intend to relinquish power in the near future" (Oct. 1995, 18). Similarly, the UCLA political science professor does not envisage multiparty democracy in Eritrea for some time to come (1 Mar. 1996). The PFDJ is reportedly carrying out a widespread campaign to recruit members (Demers 19 Mar. 1995, 11; Swiss Review of World Affairs Oct. 1995, 19).8

The ELF-RC has denounced the restrictions on political activity for opposition groups (LCHR 1994, 102; Country Reports 1994 1995, 77; ELF-RC 24 June 1995, 2) and has called on the PFDJ to recognize other political movements and allow them to operate freely (ibid., 3).

 Some sources point out that members of ELF factions, including the ELF-RC, have been accommodated within the government or have worked with it (Horn Reports 21 Nov. 1992, 3; Indian Ocean Newsletter 12 June 1993, 3). The UCLA political science professor states, "the majority of the effective ELF leadership in the field is not actively hostile to the current PFDJ leadership" (1 Mar. 1996). Some members of the ELF-RC are among the 50 members of the Constitutional Commission (Country Reports 1994 1995, 74; Africa Report May-June 1995, 54; EIU 1st Quarter 1995, 20).

Treatment of the Political Opposition/ELF-RC:

The attached report by Professor Tesfatsion Medhanie of the University of Bremen states that by the end of 1994 only the detention of prominent members of the ELF-RC had received media attention (Dec. 1994, 8). However, the report contends that "any one actively politicking for the ELF-RC as a member or a follower of the organisation is targeted by the regime and even any one with demonstrable sympathy for the ELF-RC cannot feel quite safe" (ibid.).

The chairperson of the history and geography department at Texas Southern University stated that based on what he has heard and read ELF-RC members and their families would likely be "carefully watched" and perhaps "at risk" if active in politics against the government (4 Mar. 1996). He specified that the level of risk depends on the level of participation (ibid.). Similarly, the researcher with the Brookings Institute stated that members of the ELF "have to keep a low profile" and only the ELF factions most critical of the PFDJ leadership are at risk (1 Mar. 1996). He added that the family members of the opposition likely face less risk (ibid.).

The UCLA political science professor made reference to the continued absence of information on ELF-RC members abducted in Sudan in 1992, and on 26 members arrested in 1994 in Ethiopia, adding that it is not clear who is responsible (1 Mar. 1996). Please refer to Response to Information Request ERT19466.E of 19 January 1995 for information on these events.

Amnesty International reports that in 1995 "scores" of political prisoners remained in detention despite the release of 132 people detained since 1991 on suspicion of complicity with the former regime in Ethiopia (1995, 127). Amnesty International further reports that "several suspected government opponents were detained without charge or trial" in 1995 (ibid.).

The ELF-RC claims the PFDJ has a widespread network of informers whose role is "to pry" on the political opposition, and that these informers have been involved in the detention and disappearance of "numerous" political prisoners, including ELF-RC members (The Eritrean Newsletter Apr.-May 1995, 15; ELF-RC 8 Apr. 1995).

The ELF-RC reports that in mid-1995 the dead body of a former member of the ELF-UO was discovered in Mansura, Upper Barka region while another ELF-UO former member was kidnapped in Asmara by suspected PFDJ spies (The Eritrean Newsletter June-July 1995b, 14). The Indian Ocean Newsletter reports that Mahmoud Dinai, a member of the ELF-UO and chairman of the provincial council in Barka Province, was arrested in early October 1995 (9 Dec. 1995, 4). Additional and/or corroborating information on these claims could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB 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.


Africa Confidential [London]. 4 August 1995. Vol. 36, No. 16. "Eritrea: Asmara's Finest."

_____. 20 March 1992. Vol. 33, No. 6. "Ethiopia: Eritrea's Hard Road to Independence."

Africa Report [New York]. May-June 1995. Vol. 40, No. 3. Alan Zarembo. "Eritrea: 'Controlled Democracy'."

Africa Research Bulletin [Oxford]. 1-31 January 1995. Vo. 32, No. 1. "Political Relations: Eritrea-Sudan: Countdown to Conflict."

Africa Today [Denver]. 2nd Quarter 1991. Vol. 38, No. 2. Tekle Mariam Woldemikael. "Political Mobilization and Nationalist Movements: The Case of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front."

Al-Hayah [London, in Arabic]. 10 December 1993. "Liberation Front Demands Role for Opposition." (FBIS-AFR-93-240 16 Dec. 1993, pp. 5-6)

_____. 16 September 1993. "Opposition Revolutionary Council Issues Statement." (FBIS-AFR-93-181 21 Sept. 1993, p. 2)

_____. 22 May 1993. "Afewerki on Constitution, Separation of Powers." (FBIS-AFR-93-100 26 May 1993, pp. 6-7)

Al-Yawm [Al-Dammam, in Arabic]. 15 June 1994. "President on Domestic Issues, Ties with Israel." (FBIS-AFR-94-120 22 June 1994, pp. 5-6)

Amnesty International. 1995. Amnesty International Report 1995. New York: Amnesty International USA.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. 30 September 1992. "Four Eritrean Groups Form Alliance of National Unity to Define Independent State." (NEXIS)

_____. 6 February 1991.

Chairperson - History and Geography Department. Texas Southern University, Houston. 4 March 1996. Telephone interview.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1994. 1995. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

The Courier [Brussels]. July-August 1994. No. 146. Robert Rowe. "Eritrea; The Rebirth of a Nation."

Demers, Clovis. 19 March 1995. Information Mission to Eritrea 9 February - 3 March 1995. Montréal: International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). EIU Country Report: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti. 4th Quarter 1995. "Eritrea." London: Economist Intelligence Unit.

_____. 3rd Quarter 1995. "Ëritrea." London: Economist Intelligence Unit.

_____. 1st Quarter 1995. "Ëritrea." London: Economist Intelligence Unit.

Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC). Foreign Information Department, Bonn. 24 June 1995. Highlights to the Present Situation in Eritrea.

_____. Foreign Relations Office, Bonn. 8 April 1995. Letter sent to the DIRB, Ottawa.

The Eritrean Newsletter [Bonn]. August-September 1995a. No. 66. "The Xth Eritrea Festival '95: The Panel Discussion."

_____. August-September 1995b. "Escalating Conflicts in Dankalia."

_____. June-July 1995a. No. 65. "The EPLF Regime Through the Eyes of an Eritrea Watcher."

_____. June-July 1995b. No. 65. "News: Arrests, Deaths and Disappearances on the Rise."

_____. April-May 1995. No. 64. "News: Elimination of EPLF Informers Continues."

The Europa World Yearbook 1994. 1994. 35th ed. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications.

Former Professor of Law. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 6 March 1996. Telephone interview.

Freedom Review [New York]. January-February 1996a. Vol. 27, No.1. "Table of Independent Countries: Comparative Measures of Freedom."

_____. January-February 1996b. Vol. 27, No.1. "The Tabulated Ratings."

Horn of Africa Bulletin [Uppsala, Sweden]. September-October 1995. Vol. 7, No. 5. "Secularism, Nationalism and Democracy Basis for Eritrea's Constitution."

_____. July-August 1995. Vol. 7, No. 4. "Eritrea: President Tells Religious Organizations to Stay Out of Politics."

_____. May-June 1994. Vol. 6, No. 3. "President Issaias Discusses Political Issues; The Press and Opposition Parties."

Horn Reports [Ottawa]. 21 November 1992. Vol. 1, No. 1. "Eritrean Unity." Ottawa: OXFAM-Canada.

Human Rights Watch. September 1991. Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Washington. 1 March 1996. Telephone Interview.

The Indian Ocean Newsletter [Paris]. 9 December 1995. No. 697. "Eritrea: Opponents Arrested."

_____. 11 November 1995. No. 693. "Eritrea: A Rose by Any Other Name."

_____. 30 September 1995. No. 687. "Eritrea: Danakil Rebels."

_____. 12 June 1993. No. 579. "Eritrea: The President's New Men."

_____. 3 October 1992. No. 544. "Eritrea: Four Fronts Team Up Against EPLF."

Jeune Afrique [Paris]. 9-15 November 1995. Jean Luc Eyguesier. "Comment va le petit dernier?"

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1995. Vol. 41. Reference Supplement. "Eritrea."

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (LCHR). 1994. Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993. New York: LCHR.

Libération [Paris]. 21 April 1995. Derek Stewart. "Les héros de la guerre d'Erythrée sont fatigués."

Medhanie, Tesfatsion. December 1994. "Eritrea 1994: Review of Human Rights Situation." (Unpublished paper, University of Bremen).

Mena [Cairo, in Arabic]. 30 June 1993. "Eritrean President Seeks Relations with South Africa." (FBIS-AFR-93-125 1 July 1993, pp. 2-3)

The Middle East [London]. May 1995. Chris Kutschera. "Eritrea: Hostility in the Horn."

New African [London]. September 1995. Jennie Street. "Eritrea Makes a Constitution."

Le Nouvel Afrique/Asie [Paris]. July-August 1995. No. 70-71. Hamesso Boroda. "Vers un front anti-soudanais?"

Political Handbook of the World: 1994-1995. 1995. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications.

Professor with African Studies Centre. Michigan State University, East Lansing. 24 January 1996. Fax received by the DIRB.

Professor of Political Science. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). 1 March 1996. Telephone interview.

Programme Coordinator - Ethiopian Association of Toronto. 29 February 1996. Telephone interview.

Researcher, Brookings Institute. Washington, DC. 1 March 1996. Telephone interview.

Review of African Political Economy. March 1995. Vol. 22, No. 63. John Markakis. "Eritrea's National Charter."

Swiss Review of World Affairs [Zurich]. October 1995. No. 10. Oswald Iten. "Ethiopia and Eritrea: The Fruits of Division."

The Xinhua General Overseas News Service. 10 July 1995. "Eritrean President Stresses Separation of Religion, Politics." (NEXIS)


Amnesty International (AI). 1995. Amnesty International Report 1995. New York: Amnesty International USA, pp. 127-128.

Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC). Foreign Information Department, Bonn. 24 June 1995. Highlights to the Present Situation in Eritrea, pp. 1-4.

Freedom Review [New York]. January-February 1996a. Vol. 27, No.1 "Table of Independent Countries: Comparative Measures of Freedom," pp. 16-17.

_____. January-February 1996b. Vol. 27, No.1 "The Tabulated Ratings," p. 14.

_____. January-February 1996c. Vol. 27, No.1. "Survey Methodology," pp. 11-15.

Medhanie, Tesfatsion. December 1994. "Eritrea 1994: Review of Human Rights Situation." (Unpublished paper, University of Bremen), pp. 1-11.

Office of Asylum Affairs (OAA), Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. December 1994. Eritrea - Profile of Asylum Claims & Country Conditions. Washington, DC: United States Department of State, pp. 1-5.

1         Information on the various groups is drawn from the following sources: Political Handbook of the World: 1994-1995. 1995. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications; Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1995. Vol. 41. Reference Supplement. "Eritrea"; and The Eritrean Newsletter [Bonn]. August-September 1995. No. 66.

2              Please note that a single reference has been found to another ELF-RC, the ELF-Revolutionary Committee, that is distinct from the ELF-Revolutionary Council discussed in this Response to Information Request (BBC Summary 6 Feb. 1991). When asked about the existence of the ELF-Revolutionary Committee, the professor with the African Studies Center at Michigan State University said that, although he has heard of it, its size and objectives are not clear (24 Jan. 1996).

3              Eritrea's National Service Programme requires 18-40 year-old Eritreans to do six months military training and one year military service through development work (Indian Ocean Newsletter 11 Nov. 1995, 2).

4              The ELF-RC provides a figure of 1200 people arrested and detained (The Eritrean Newsletter Aug.-Sept. 1995b, 8).

5              Several sources mention the possibility of an overlap between the Jihad Eritrea, formed in 1989 with the goal of setting up an Islamic state in Eritrea, and the ELF, whose membership is largely Muslim (Keesing's 1995, R13; The Middle East May 1995, 14; Swiss Review of World Affairs Oct. 1995, 17-18; Chairperson, Texas Southern University 4 Mar. 1996; Former Professor, Rutgers 6 Mar. 1996). The Africa Research Bulletin reports that when it was originally founded the Jihad Eritrea involved former ELF members (1-31 Jan. 1995, 11708). The UCLA political science professor said that former ELF members may have joined the Jihad Eritrea but that this group is more likely to be a creation of the Sudanese government (1 Mar. 1996). For its part, the ELF-RC states that it could not cooperate with the Jihad Eritrea because it "draws the line betwen Islam as a faith and as state ideology" (The Eritrean Newsletter Aug.-Sept. 1995a, 5).

6              The constitution, which the government claims will be based on "secularism, nationalism and democracy" (Horn of Africa Bulletin Sept.-Oct. 1995, 6), is expected to be ratified by May 1996 and elections to be held in 1997 (EIU 4th Quarter 1995, 23; Africa Report May-June 1995, 53; New African Sept. 1995; Professor African Studies Center 24 Jan. 1996).

7              Between 1972 and 1974 the ELF and EPLF engaged in a civil war while also fighting Ethiopian forces (Europa 1994 1994 1064). There was a renewed struggle between the two anti-Ethiopian groups in the early 1980s and the ELF was then forced into Sudan by the EPLF, where it was disarmed by the Sudanese government (HRW Sept. 1991, 117).

8              According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the PFDJ reportedly has over 500,000 members (3rd Quarter 1995, 21).??

Source: Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada

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