What Happened: An Eritrean human rights organization has accused the European Union of funding road projects in the country that will use forced labor, RFI Afrique reported April 1.
Why It Matters: The announcement underscores the reputational risks for countries and companies doing business in Eritrea that stem from Asmara's political system, which remains authoritarian even though the country has begun to open up after signing a peace agreement with Ethiopia.
Background: Eritrea's government has long faced accusations of modern-day slavery due to its harsh form of national service, which includes forced labor.
- Can Ethiopia and Eritrea Keep the Peace, or Will History Repeat Itself? (Feb. 5, 2019)
- Washington Wakes Up to East Africa's Importance (Nov. 29, 2018)
- Eritrea Creaks Open the Door as Fears of War Recede (Oct. 12, 2018)