The U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea, published on December 24 a strong message of condemnation addressed to the local government, urgently calling for an end to the practice of forced labor, which it bluntly defines as human trafficking.
The same communiqué then recalls and condemns the practice of national civil and military service, indefinite or completely arbitrary in duration, calling on the country to restore the 18-month duration of conscription, as established in the Proclamation for National Service No. 11/199.
The message is part of an increasingly tense climate in relations between Washington and Asmara, determined by the role of Eritrea in the conflict in the Ethiopian federal state of Tigray and its involvement in the violence that characterized especially the first phase of the military operation, between November and December 2020.
The Eritrean government responded to the U.S. accusations by accusing Washington of having incited the TPLF to attack both the Ethiopian federal government and Eritrea, thus openly siding with the Tigrayan cause. Accusations that the United States have strongly denied, even through the statements of its embassy in Asmara, which accused the Eritreans of spreading fake or manipulated information.
The exchanges of accusations between the two governments take place mainly on social media, where Eritrea makes extensive use of a wide network of fictitious profiles, through which it feeds a constant network of support for government policies.