Eritrea Border Regions Pose High Travel Risk

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By Athena Yenko | August 5, 2014 2:41 PM EST

The government is advising Australians not to travel Eritrea.

Australians are highly advised against travelling to Eritrea because of unstable security situation and travel restrictions issued by local authorities against foreigners.

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Eritrean migrants take cover from the rain under an umbrella during the daily food distribution at the harbour in Calais, northern France, May 27, 2014. French authorities dispense medicine against scabies and announced that they will close three such camps tomorrow morning where several hundred illegal migrants gather before attempting to cross the channel to Britain. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

"We strongly advise you not to travel to all border regions due to ongoing conflict and instability between Eritrea and the neighbouring countries of Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti," the government warns.

Permits to travel out of the Eritrea's capital, Asmara, shall be duly sought by foreign nationals and Australian consular officials.

The Australian Government admits that its capacity to give consular aids and emergency assistance in the region is very limited as it does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Eritrea. The nearest embassy would be the Australian Embassy in Cairo.

According to government's information, there had been incidents where the Eritrean authorities have refused consular access to detained foreign nationals. Hence, the government underlined that the government may not be able to promptly help travellers that may be detained in Eritrea.

Meanwhile, Russia is holding its heavy military exercises with 100 aircrafts in the west of Eritrea near the Ukraine border, local media reports.

The said exercise is reportedly conducted to test the Russian armed forces' capacity and to engulfed the the surveillance capabilities of the Russian defense forces in the Red Sea, after the Cold war, the report said.

A related military exercise is also scheduled within three months as Russian military "pontoon" exercise will be conducted again in Eritrea's red sea region. This time around, the exercise will involve 600 servicemen and 150 units of engineer equipments.

Russia is said to be moving its exercises in Eritrea as it protests against US' "pretentious, prosecutorial manner" of sanction. Russia is also criticising Europe for allowing to be "dictated by Washington," the report alleged.

In the interim, US naval vessels and aircraft are using Eritrea's neighbour state, Djibouti, for its joint military exercises.

US had reportedly donated $7 million as form of economic aid to Djibouti in 2000 - $2.7 m for emergency food, $2m for a humanitarian demining program and $100,000 for self-help, democracy and human rights related activities.

As opposed to Eritrea, Djibouti had maintained its close relationships with France and other Western nations.

Djibouti is also home to France's largest foreign military base since 2002 and home to several thousand French military personnel.  

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(Photo: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol / )
Eritrean migrants take cover from the rain under an umbrella during the daily food distribution at the harbour in Calais, northern France, May 27, 2014. French authorities dispense medicine against scabies and announced that they will close three such camps tomorrow morning where several hundred illegal migrants gather before attempting to cross the channel to Britain. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
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