Eritrea team given asylum in Uganda


By Andrew Jackson Oryada BBC Sport, Kampala

Uganda has granted asylum to the 15 players from the Eritrea football team and the team doctor whoabsconded in the country in December during the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup.

Apollo David Kazungu, the Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, said on Monday that the Refugee Eligibility Committee had found the group’s claims valid and granted them refugee status.

The Eritrean team had been eliminated in the tournament in the early stages after drawing with Zanzibar 0-0, losing 3-2 to Malawi and being beaten 2-0 by Rwanda in their last match on Saturday.

Instead of boarding the next plane out of Uganda, 17 players and officials left their Sky Hotel reportedly to go shopping, but only three returned to Asmara.

“This is very good news if they have finally been sorted by the relevant authorities. But next time teams should come and play football and return to their countries,” said Uganda Football Association’s vice-president in charge of youth, Patrick Ogwel.

Kazungu explained that two of the players who had applied for asylum returned home, but the rest refused to return because they feared they would be conscripted into military training.

He also revealed that although the Eritrean players have been granted asylum, they have not been relocated to the resettlement camp because they prefer to stay around Kampala.

Kazungu explained that the Ugandan government’s policy is not to force any refugee into the settlement camps, adding that it is acceptable for the Eritreans to stay in an urban setting like Kampala if they can afford to.

After the 2010 Cecafa tournament in Tanzania, 13 players from Eritrea’s team also disappeared and defected. Several of those players have since reappeared in Houston, Texas under a refugee resettlement programme in the United States.


Eritrea team given asylum in Uganda — 12 Comments

  1. According to the news report “… two of the players who had applied for asylum returned home…”. The odds are stacked against these two individuals.

    1. They will first be questioned by the security squad

    2. Then they will right away face detention for attempting to flee.

    Unless otherwise they are asked to fill out what’s infamously known as “TaEsa Wereket”.

  2. Here is what the Uanda’n Football Association’s vice-prsident in charge of youugh have to say “…But next time teams should come and play football and return to their countries,”

    Does this guy know what he is talking about or there is an explanation to it. In another area in the news report it is stated that “… the Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda…had found the group’s claims valid and granted them refugee status.”

    This raises a question, would another Eritrean team receive refugee eligibility with similar claims? Kinda confusing…May be the vice presidents statement is just his opinion.

  3. Exercise your freedom and don’t forget about your brothers and sisters they don’t have one in Eritrea they need your help to be free .

  4. to be honest , the main problem is not freedom,thats why we sell our country for money,thats why we sell our beloved brothers to bedewn,GERB BEHAKAL ZIBEHAL KEMZI EYU. DBEBELNA ENETEBELNA NIFALAT SELEZIKONA,some of them enged direct some of them,they advocat for them to get ajob,false craying.

  5. Hgdef mended turned our country in to one of the most undesirable places to live in the world. It’s shame our 100,000+ martyrs had fallen for this.

  6. Wish them good luck! And, if their time permits, I wish to see them play at least one time game, anywhere, anytime, against any team, in the name of “Forto Team” or call it dedication to the Forto Events.

  7. anta hgdef zbluka mendef hmam nay hzbi eritrea koinkana zeleka nay mlionat hzbi shigr kelo ab zbanka tsbuk alena ktbl zehfr eyu gudefuna bejakum beritrewnewtna ab alem etom kendi tesakeiti rekebti mekera koina zselena ena emo haye eske newzi resah digtaterawi sraat bhabar nhjemo *****

  8. kqwskekum enda hgdef eti swur wditatom nhade seb ketfewo ente delyom ala sma dey tnger hbeti merzam medhanit ente ashetitom ente astyom dhri gele seatat wey mealta handebetawi arifu wey meitu etbl were tmetseka ai tzengeu yehwat eti tenki kulu hzbi efelto eyu gn afu tweyu wey dma blbu entay fenekalna anta goita ‘anti kidane mhret arbi eki aetikyom emo arbi mealti dma menksyom ezom rgumat ftret elu kemarr tsemee.kisab meas ena ke ehm zbele teahgomenda bele ane eye nguskum abay sgedu eblo alo nhzbi eritrea meskinay ezi echa ezi dey gbeo hzbi nezi lewah hzbi ezi mosa deamer mtegebeo do abesa gn dehann enda hgdef dekislkums ay thadrun gdddddddddddiiii

    • freweini,
      Ajokhi freweini haftey. nhna dema bterana knhagumon keribna ena. droqua kedamay medalewi at’imnayom alona 21january.

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