today's Pick
Eritrean football team seeks asylum in Uganda
Publish Date: Dec 06, 2012
newvision
  • 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 digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
US police kill boy holding fake gun
Police in the US city of Cleveland shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was in a playground waving around what turned out to be a replica gun....
Thugs steal church offertory in Malaba
Christians of Malaba Catholic Church awoke to a rude shock on Saturday, after thugs broke into the church and stole property and an unspecified sum of money collected as offertory....
Burkina gov
Burkina Faso's interim leaders were expected to unveil a new government lineup on Sunday, with the country anxious to see the extent of military influence under civilian President Michel Kafando....
Boko Haram gunmen kill 48 fish vendors
Boko Haram gunmen killed 48 fish vendors in Nigeria''s restive Borno State, near the border with Chad....
3000 evacuated after WWII bomb found in France
The 250-kilogramme (550-pound) bomb was found near the city's town hall during the building of a new metro line....
The Indonesian Football Association banned 12 players and officials who competed to score own-goals in a farcical match last month....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter