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Analysts have wondered why the UNHCR has maintained sealed lips, should they not have issued a statement condemning the perpetrators of these vicious acts! Thus, the believe that the UNHCR has flagrantly abused its institutional mandate to spearhead and conspire in a campaign targeting Eritrean youth.

The political backdrop behind this concerted policy was the Eritrea and TPLF-led Ethiopia border war between May 1998 and June 2000. Known to be the largest and deadliest conventional war in contemporary African history.

The brutal conflict that led to the death or injury of tens of thousands, large-scale displacement of civilians, and devastatingly high economic, infrastructural, and development costs for both countries was the result of the TPLF expansionist policies, as well as its desire to roll back Eritrea’s independence.

Experts note that following the failed attempts, the TPLF initiated other multifaceted efforts including "isolation, destabilization, vilification and psychological operations and degrading the country’s ability to develop or defend itself”. The TPLF carried out repeated military attacks in direct violation of international law and UN agreements. However, the west, led by the US, showered it with billions in aid and military armaments, shielded it from all criticism or censure, and provided it with vital diplomatic and political cover.

It is believed that Western-financed groups, including Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and Amnesty International (AI), among others, worked closely with the TPLF to produce an incessant stream of disinformation, denigration, and smears against Eritrea.

Analyst revealed that in an attempt to strangle the country into submission, the TPLF officials for years incessantly lobbied Western governments to cut off aid to investment and cooperation with Eritrea in 2009 and 2011. Human resources and the young population were equally targeted by the spectrum press, to wean the youth from national service to downgrade Eritrea’s defence and developmental capabilities.

The UNHCR is considered as a principal conduit for implementing this malicious policy which stripped and weakened the 18-months long national service considered a critical national institution and an important foundation for the country.

To hide the true intent of the scheme, the UNHCR issued two "Eligibility Guidelines" in 2009 and 2011 which advocated for the extension of “blanket asylum rights to all Eritrean migrants”, especially the youth and national service members.

The disproportionate migration of Eritreans in the past decades has been the result of the UNHCR’s Guidelines, assiduously accompanied as they were by explicit campaigns to encourage Eritrean youth to cross over to neighbouring countries from which they would be “resettled” in third counties usually Europe, Canada, Australia and the US.

Hence, tens of thousands of other Africans - including Ethiopians, Sudanese, Somalis, and others - were also prompted to seek refugee status posing as “Eritreans” due to the perceived ease of acquiring refugee status under this label.

Experts undescore that UNHCR’s inexcusable demeanour is not limited to these deplorable acts. There is overwhelming evidence of its full cooperation with TPLF officials and its refugee arm-ARRA- in the past years in various illicit activities, including intelligence gathering, recruitment for subversive agendas and financial embezzlements that are incompatible with UNHCR’s humanitarian mandate.

In a nutshell, UNHCR has much to answer for as it has been mired in, and is guilty of complicity in politicized human trafficking of Eritrean youth.

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