MA (Female draft evader) Eritrea  UKIAT 00098 (04 May 2004)
Date of hearing: 11th April 2004
Date Determination notified: 04 May 2004
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
"I treat the appellant as if she were to be seen as either a draft evader or required to complete her military service upon return. I find that she has failed to establish a claim that her failure to do military service would amount [to] persecution for a Convention reason."
"The University of Asmara refused diplomas to students who had completed their studies unless they undertook their national service; additionally new graduates were occasionally pressured to work for government bodies. The army resorted to various forms of extreme physical punishment to force objectors, including some Jehovah's Witnesses, to undertake military service. The US State Department 2003 report notes that the police subjected deserters and draft evades to various military disciplinary actions that included prolonged sun exposure in temperatures of up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit or the tying of the hands and feet for extended periods of time."
"20. Relations with Ethiopia which were good following independence in 1993 deteriorated in 1997 as disagreements arose. Fighting erupted in May 1998 in the disputed border area around Badme and spread in June 1998 with both sides carrying out air raids against towns in each others territory. A ceasefire in aerial war fare was agreed in June 1998 and there was a lull in fighting until February 1999. There were clashes between Eritrean and Ethiopian troops throughout the late 1990's and early 2000. In April 2002 delegations from Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to attend the Organisation of African Unity Peace Plans Sponsored Talks in Algeria although those talks ultimately collapsed. In May 2000 hostilities resumed with Ethiopia launching a major offensive and these continued into mid-June but following extensive negotiations both sides expressed their readiness to accept the AOU ceasefire agreement and finally on 19th June 2000 the agreement was signed. This provided for an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Force in a buffer zone inside Eritrea. On 12 December 2000 in Algiers Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a comprehensive peace agreement ending the border conflict."
MR JUSTICE OUSELEY