Eritrea: Just deserters: Why indefinite National Service in Eritrea has created a generation of refugees [December 2015 edition]

Eritrea is one of the biggest refugee producing countries in the world. During the European summer in 2015, headlines, political summits and activism abounded over the refugee crisis. The largest groups among those risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean were Syrians and Afghans, fleeing from armed conflict and abuses by non-state actors including the Islamic State. But the third biggest group crossing the Mediterranean were Eritreans, fleeing from a tiny country in the Horn of Africa with no ongoing armed conflict. The reasons why Eritreans, especially young adults flee, are less publicized and less well understood. [Revised edition published August 2016 – see AFR 64/4794/2016]

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