The bishops of Eritrea are calling citizens to remain in the country, and those who have left to return.
“There is no need to emigrate if one lives in a decent country,” write the bishops in a 36-page pastoral letter, written on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence of the country. The letter is titled “Where is your brother?”
According to information sent to Fides Agency, the bishops referred to the Lampedusa tragedy of 3 October 2013 in which 400 migrants, most of them Eritreans, died when their boat sank en route to Italy.
“Instead of finding solutions to prevent such tragedies from happening again, the situation has worsened,” the bishops said.
The Eritrean bishops highlighted the fragmentation of families, brought about by lengthy military service or incarceration in jail or rehabilitation centers, as one of the primary problems faced within the country.
“One should encourage those who live in the diaspora to return …. it is useless to ask why our youth flees abroad,” they added, citing poor education, lack of prospects, and poor economy as reasons that young people emigrate, which in turn leaves many of the elderly people on their own.
“All of this creates a desolated and grief-stricken Country,” the said.
The pastoral letter went on to appeal for the respect of human rights of prisoners: “The people arrested must be treated humanely, and must be judged by a court.”