Among the many negative roles that these Western mining companies are already playing are the following three:
1. Slave labor: The totalitarian regime is known for using extensive slave labor in its “development projects” under that misleading policy of “self-reliance” that every totalitarian system invokes to control the economy and its people. And now, given that almost all of the local companies subcontracted to do various jobs in the mining projects are government owned, slave labor has become a pervasive problem in these areas.
2. Forced displacement: The forced displacement of indigenous populations from the mining areas and their surroundings has become an ongoing phenomenon, something that will even get worse if any armed sabotage is conducted in any one of these areas. The scorched earth approach that the regime has been using in the Kunama area is a case in point, where a whole ethnic group has been being targeted to pacify a corridor that it is considered too close to the Bisha mining project to be left “unmonitored”.
3. A lifeline to the regime: With monetary aid from outside and revenues from Diaspora Eritreans dwindling, the regime’s hard currency reserve has been totally depleted. If so, with the revenues from the mining projects starting to flow into the PFDJ coffers at a time when the regime is economically challenged, theirs will be the only lifeline that will keep this totalitarian regime afloat, thereby extending the misery of the Eritrean masses unnecessarily for years to come.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Western Mining Companies and Slave Labor in Eritrea