Fostering Interaction of People of Ethiopian Eritrean Divide
"Six presentations were discussed during the half-day conference and the presenters were from both Ethiopia and Eritrean sides. About 100 participants attended the conference and they represented Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia. Among the presenters, Saliha Ibrahim, who is deputy chair person of Eritrean refugee union living in Ethiopia spoke under the title “Opportunities and conducive environment to strengthen the relations between the two fraternal peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea”. She said “even during the 1998 border war between the two countries people to people relations continued and refugee flow from Eritrea to Ethiopia was not interrupted. The culture of hospitality and historical attachments contributed to caring for one to the other and till today that affinity has pulled the two nations to remain in the same line”. Even though the two governments are in no peace and no war situation the Ethiopian government is committed to strengthen people to people relations and we strongly believe that our brotherly Ethiopian people and government are good for us” she added. Samson Isak, Eritrean refugee and third year scholarship student at Addis Ababa University psychology department presented a paper under the title “Prospects of people to people relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea: Eritrean Youth Perspective”. In relation to Eritrean Youth flow to Ethiopia he said, 'If you are found crossing Eritrean border towards Ethiopia the Shabia will shoot you to kill. If you are found crossing to the Sudan’s border you will be imprisoned. However, Eritrean youth prefer coming to Ethiopia and risking their lives and even families encourage their children to come to Ethiopia. This is because the Eritrean youth are highly privileged in comparison with other countries’ refugees in Ethiopia”."