Eritrean Women’s Team Soccer Players Hiding After Escape in Uganda | Soccer

The Guardian understands that the five members of Eritrea’s women’s team under the age of 20 who escaped after playing in a tournament in Uganda last year remain hidden.

According to sources close to the players, five people between the ages of 16 and 19 (Rwam Solomon, Jordanos Abraham, Shamat Hussum, Rahel Michael, and Trashabate) were “safe” after escaping hours before the match with the host. I’m fine. ” Cecafa Women’s Under-20 Championship on November 2nd. It is estimated that more than 60 players have used their international status since 2009 to escape the oppressive government of President Isaias Afwriki of Eritrea, which is the first case involving female players. ..

The Uganda Football Association (Fufa) was initially understood to have been involved in investigating the disappearance of female football players, but spokesman Ahmed Hussein said, “The issue was handed over to Ugandan police and outside our jurisdiction. Is. ” What was Fufa’s role in the study?

Auka Gecheo, Executive Director of Cecafa, said: When asked if Sekafa, aware of the past asylum of Eritrean football players at the regional tournament, took concrete steps to avoid new disappearances, he said, “The authorities are the tournament and the participating teams. Was informed about. Security was also provided to all the hotels where the team was staying. “

A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said he could not comment on individual cases.

This month, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea released a report criticizing the country’s deteriorating situation, citing forced military recruitment, arbitrary arrests, disappearances and torture in recorded violations. .. A 14-year-old child was hired to fight the conflict with Ethiopia, and Eritrea’s human rights situation continued to flee thousands to other countries for asylum.

“I am seriously concerned about the situation of hundreds of Eritreans who have disappeared in violation of human rights standards and have been arbitrarily detained in secret prisons,” submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. In his report, Mohammed Abbassaram Babikar wrote.

At the end of March, Eritrea was scheduled to face Botswana in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. However, they withdrew three weeks before the first leg was scheduled to take place for no apparent reason. This means that Eritrea’s men haven’t played senior games since the friendly match against Sudan in January 2020, and the last match was nearly three years ago with Namivia in the September 2019 World Cup qualifiers. I played a match.

Robel Teklemichael excels in Ethiopian coffee since becoming the second cross-border soccer player in Eritrea since the outbreak of the war between the two countries in 1998, but his ex-under 20 team. The mate Hanibal Tekle, Mewael Yosief, Simon Asmelash and Hermon are unlikely. Johannes will join him soon. They have been hiding in Uganda for almost three years after escaping in the Sekafa Cup under the age of 20. They are backed by UNHCR, but have not yet heard news about resettlement in a new country.

“At this point, it’s basically in the hands of UNHCR,” said Kimberley Motley, an American lawyer working on their proceedings.

Seven other senior internationals who went missing after helping Eritrea reach the first Sekafa Cup final in December 2019 – Abel Okbeikiro, Eyova Gilmei, Yoshiev Mebratu, Philmonterele, Robert Kidan, Abraham , Ismail Jahar – wants to hear positive feedback News after being interviewed by the Norwegian Refugee Council in late April.

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