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Vol 43 No 13

Published 28th June 2002


Eritrea

Disarmed but not demobbed

People grow poorer and less free but the regime stands by its guns

Despite sanctions by the European Union and other donors for bad governance, harsh treatment of political prisoners and tight controls on the press, President Issayas Aferworki shows no sign of yielding. Aid cuts harm his people but he takes a hard line, preparing for tightly controlled elections in 2003 and five more years in power. Before those elections there will be a congress of the ruling People's Front for Democracy and Justice and a party reshuffle to reflect his preferences.The aid foregone since last September, when Issayas cracked down on all public dissent and closed the private press, may be as much as US$400 million.

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