Asmara Eritrea - October 26th 2003
The last day in Eritrea is reserved for the
family of my wife and some friends, so it is essentially the same story as on
October 10th and 11th, drinking tea and Eritrean coffee. We discuss the latest
developments in the Eritrean Ethiopian peace process *).
At 22:00 I have to be at the airport. I have
told everyone it is better not to come to the airport. Once there you are guided
from one counter to the other by the military, there is little chance to return
and say goodbye.
Before entering the airport compound there is
a passport and ticket check and at the entrance of the airport building there is
a second check of the passport. At the desk of Eritrean Airlines there is a
third check and you will have to check out your video equipment as well
(hand the paper you filled upon arrival) You have to fill in an exit form,
similar to the entry form, to deliver at the final passport control after you
have paid the 20 dollar airport tax at another counter (do not make the mistake
to spend your last dollar in Asmara and be sure to have some extra dollars since
prices may be subject to changes).
After all checks and double check, you are to
wait for several hours between the tax free shops of the airport (almost twice
as expensive as in Asmara itself!). Most Eritrean
people know they will have to wait a long time, so their check in time is
extended up to 24:00.
The Eritrean Airlines plane will not make its
stopover in Italy, which means take-off will be delayed for a few hours as not
to arrive in Amsterdam to early. It is 02:00 at night when we finally take off,
to arrive at 7:20 in Amsterdam.
Textile shop in Edaga Arbi - Asmara Eritrea.
One of the last traditional houses in Akria - Asmara Eritrea.
Modest house Akria - Asmara Eritrea.
Haile, my brother in law - Asmara Eritrea.
Freweini his wife - Asmara Eritrea.
Yodit their daughter - Asmara Eritrea.
Michael, their oldest son and my guide - Asmara Eritrea.
United Nations Mission to Eritrea and Ethiopia Headquaters
Sembel Housing Complex Asmara Eritrea
Tsega taking care of Terhas children - Asmara Eritrea.
Sembel Housing Complex - Asmara Eritrea.
Asmara Intercontinental Hotel - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.
*) December 12, 2000 Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace agreement in Algiers,
after a 2 1/2-year border war.
Article 4, sub article 15 reads as follows: “The parties agree that the delimitation and
demarcation of the Commission shall be final and binding. Each party shall respect the border so determined as well as territorial
integrity and sovereignty of the other party”.
On April 13th 2002 the Permanent Court of Arbitration
in The Hague published the conclusions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.
In September 2003 Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, formally informed the Security Council that
Ethiopia rejected the decisions of the International Boundary Commission (arbitration of the International Court in the Hague). He declared the
proposed 1 000 km international border drafted by the commission as "null and void".
This disrespect of Ethiopia for the decisions of the Court of Justice in The Hague has practically halted the