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( The friendship agreement between Eritrea and its neighbor Ethiopia gives politicians hope that the Eritrean refugees will be sent home

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018

New hope thanks to friendshipAgreements Councilors want more repatriations to Eritrea

BERN - The Confederation wants to "support" Eritrea - in association with international organizations. But this is not enough for two councilors and one national council: their proposals, which the Council of States is discussing on Wednesday, demand more activity and less spectators.

The friendship agreement between Eritrea and its neighbor Ethiopia gives politicians hope that the Eritrean refugees will be sent home.   MANUEL GEISSER / ZVG 

Posted on 18.09.2018 | Updated at 12:06

The Eritrea asylum policy of Switzerland is a perennial favorite in the FederalPalace. No less than three initiatives on the subject handled Wednesday the Council of States . Their common goal: forward with the return of the provisionally admitted Eritreans!

The debate is fueled by the weekend signed friendship agreement between Eritrea and its neighbor Ethiopia . The 20-year war between the two East African states is ultimately the reason why so many Eritreans have left their country. The Eritrean regime uses this conflict to force its citizens into national service - a permanent service in the countryside.

Now both states are approaching each other again. Peace in the Horn of Africa is water on the mills of those politicians who want to send the Eritreans back home.

SEM slows expectations

But that is not so fast, according to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). "It is too early to assess if and to what extent the peace intentions between the two countries can change anything in the current asylum and removal practice of the SEM," says spokesman Lukas Rieder. "First we have to wait and see how the situation develops. Of course, the SEM continues to watch the situation in Eritrea very attentively. "

However, the SEM has pilot tested the situation of 250 Eritreans. 20 have to leave Switzerland. The crux: Eritrea is unwilling to resume citizens forced to return. The Federal Council's answers to Eritrea's attacks from parliament are also helplessly talking about "dialogue" and "internationally coordinated measures".

Switzerland is to send migration experts to Eritrea

FDP Council of States Damian Müller (33, LU) draws different conclusions. Although he acknowledges that the SEM does a good job and reviews the preliminary recordings of Eritreans (Blick reported). But the Liberals criticizes that no attempt is made to make the directions. The department of Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (58) "must now accelerate," said Müller. Otherwise, the credibility of our asylum policy will be lost.

The Lucerne refers to the Refugee Convention: "This states clearly that repatriations are lawful and Eritrea must resume its people." Switzerland must therefore finally establish a diplomatic presence in Eritrea and send a migration specialist instead of an ambassador.

FDP asylum politician Philipp Müller (65, AG) wants the SEM to move forward. "20 signposts to 250 cases seem to me very little. In addition, I believe that all 9500 preliminary recordings should be reviewed, »he told the« Aargauer Zeitung ».

Federal Office wants to "support" Eritrea

The third initiative, by National Councilor Andrea Geissbühler (42, SVP), calls for negotiations with the Prime Minister of Eritrea, Isayas Afewerki (72). The National Council adopted this motion in June, but the Council of States is likely to slow down. His advisory commission requests a refusal, because the Federal Councilcan not be told whom to talk to. On the other hand, the majority of the Commission wants to ask the Federal Council to continue the dialogue with the Eritrean authorities and other states.

SEM boss Mario Gattiker (61) relies on this approach. He does not expect the situation to improve until the government of Eritrea is ready to "open up and initiate reforms," ​​he recently said to LOOK.

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