Eritrean Troops Besiege Mutineers in Asmara
[An Nahar] Eritrea
...is run by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), with about the amounts of democracy and justice you'd expect from a party with that name. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country. The president, Isaias Afewerki, has been in office since independence in 1993 and will probably die there of old age. ...
n army tanks besieged the information ministry in central Asmara on Monday after some 200 mutineers seized the building to call for political reform, diplomatic and diaspora sources said Monday.
No shots had been fired and the rest of the city appeared calm, the diplomats added, although very few details were immediately available.
"The ministry of information is under siege," a diplomat said.
Amanuel Ghirmai, an Eritrean journalist in Gay Paree for independent Radio Erena, said that around a 100 army mutineers stormed the hill-top ministry -- which towers over the capital of the Red Sea state -- early on Monday morning.
They reportedly ordered news readers at the government-run television and radio station -- the only source of media for the authoritarian state -- to read a statement that they will implement the country's constitution.
The statement also reportedly ordered the release of prisoners of conscience.
"We do not know who is leading the situation... everybody has been put into the same room (in the ministry)," Amanuel said, adding that he had spoken to sources in Asmara.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-22