today's Pick
Eritrean football team seeks asylum in Uganda
Publish Date: Dec 06, 2012
  • mail
  • img

The "missing" Eritrean national football team has applied for asylum in Uganda rather then return home, officials said on Wednesday.

"The 18 members have told us their country is not safe for them once they return and they want political asylum," Uganda's minister for refugees Musa Ecweru told AFP.

"They are in the hands of the Ugandan government and United Nations and we have given them protection," he added.

Ugandan police were alerted on Monday when the team members disappeared after losing to Rwanda 2-0 in a regional tournament, according to the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA).

"We have instructed police to call off the search for them because these people are not a threat to Uganda, they say they want protection," Ecweru said.

If the players pass an eligibility test, they will be given refugee status, he added.

Thousands leave the Red Sea nation every month, according to the UN, fleeing conscription and a hardline government that jails critics in harsh desert labour camps, and is ranked worst in the world for press freedom.

In 2007, six national players sought asylum in Angola after a game there, while in 2009, 12 Eritrean national football players sought asylum after a game in Kenya.

Last year, 13 members of Eritrea's Red Sea football club sought asylum in Tanzania.

Eritrean officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
On the backof a calm, but beautiful cloudy sky, as the sun set, 300 foot pilgrims from Lira finally walked into the Uganda Matyrs'' shrine in Namugongo, after trekking for two weeks...
Kenyan pilgrims arrive in Namugongo after 30 days
The Pilgrims from Kenya who have been walking for over a month have finally arrived at Namugongo. With clothes drenched in sweat, blisters on their feet, swollen ankles and strained muscles, the group of 500 trekked for over 700 kilometres. The group comprises of belivers from Machakos, Bungoma, Ki...
Morning downpour delays Lira pilgrims
The early morning showers have delayed the 300 Lira pilgrims camped at St. Jude cathedral in Naguru....
Why make the journey to Namugongo?
EACH one of the pilgrims has a different story, and reason as to why, they have taken the long trek, from Lira to the Uganda Martyrs Shrine on foot...
Kenyan pilgrims embark on final lap
Kenyan pilgrims who spent the night at Namagunga set off at 4:30am for the final stretch of their long trek to Namugongo. By 7:00am the group was approaching Mukono town...
Lira pilgrims on final leg of long trek
On Monday, a group of 300 pilgrims from Lira district will walk to their final destination – the martyrs’ shrine at Namugongo – ahead of Wednesday’s Uganda Martyr’s Day celebrations....
Will cutting down the intake of students at Makerere guarantee the availability of facilities?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter