Radio Erena: 15 July 2022
The three recent stabbing occurrences in France which involved Eritrean immigrants are upsetting signs of the increasing violence among Eritreans in the diaspora.
On the night of Sunday, 9 July, an Eritrean was stabbed to death, another was critically wounded in a brawl that flared up in the 18th Arrondissement according to the French police. Three days earlier, in Bourges, a city about 240 km north of Paris, a thirty-six-year-old Eritrean woman stabbed a social assistant three times in the belly, the woman who lost a lot of blood is in stable condition.
Montpelier, the southern French city also witnessed another dreadful stabbing incident when a 26-year-old Eritrean stabbed a French woman according to the local police. The investigations are underway to determine the motives behind the appalling three incidents.
The Eritrean community in Munich, Germany, was likewise traumatized by the killing of two Eritrean young girls on Eid Al-Adha morning (July,10.) The two women were killed by a mad Eritrean as one of the victims refused his marriage proposal.
These unfortunate incidents add to a long chain of similar grim incidents in different world cities all involving Eritrean individuals and families. For instance, in Arizona, in the summer of 2020, a man stabbed to death two children (aged 7 and 9) with their 18-year-old auntie, the motive: a family wrangle. Eritrean youths in Libya, Israel, and the UK were involved in bloody violence which claimed dear lives and left anger and bitterness among relatives and friends. An Eritrean, who donned several stabs to his wife in Israel, committed suicide in his cell in Hadarim prison while awaiting trial.
One can site many fatal incidents among the Eritreans in diaspora, these incidents can’t be separated from the social circumstances of Eritrean families due to immigration difficulties and dilemmas.
A ten-year span study, covering the years 1998-2008 on suicide cases and public health problems in Sweden and Norway was published by Cambridge University in October 2021. The study showed that the Eritreans ranked first among the African communities in suicide attempt rates.
There were 24 cases among Eritreans compared to 14 among the Somalis and 39 other cases for all the African comminutes combined in the two Scandinavian countries.
Eritreans started fleeing their country largely with the scorched land military campaigns of emperor Haile Selassie in the summer of 1967. Thousands of Eritrean peasants left their homes and fields for Sudan. Others crossed the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia which witnessed an oil boom in the following decade. In Early 1981, the fraternal fight between the two main revolutionary factions forced thousands of the Eritrean Liberation Front fighters to flee to Sudan, and later many of them made their way to the Middle East, the US, Europe, and Australia.
Eritrean diaspora communities did witness violent and sad instances here and there, but the current distressing rate is unmatched and demands profound attention. The heartrending causes which forced thousands of Eritreans to leave their country and the ill-fated journeys of immigrants along with all the suffering could, no doubt, be behind these heartbreaking incidents and violence. Yet whatever the suffering and agonies faced by immigrants; nothing justifies the taking of souls by such violent means.
A better understating and consequent healthy handling of such incidents depends on studies and investigations. So far, sadly, the Eritrean academics from different disciplines are wholly absent and ineffective in studying, curing, and meeting the problems of their diaspora communities’ problems and needs.
By Fathi Osman