Eritrea Ends Indefinite Military Service
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked makes promise after new batch of Eritrean army recruits say they expect to serve 18 months
Israel will begin deporting Eritreans back to their homeland the moment it ends mandatory military conscription of indefinite duration, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Tuesday.
Reuters had reported earlier Tuesday that the latest batch of recruits drafted into the Eritrean army had informed relatives they were told their service would end in 18 months.
Speaking at a gathering of her Habayit Hayehudi party in Tel Aviv, Shaked said the government was closely monitoring the implementation of the peace agreement signed by Eritrea and Ethiopia earlier this month, which has raised hopes that Eritrea will end mandatory conscription of indefinite duration.
“If, following this agreement, the conscription requirement is canceled, Israel could return the infiltrators to Eritrea – and that’s great news for residents of south Tel Aviv,” Shaked said, referring to the area in Israel with the highest concentration of African asylum seekers.
But sources involved in the issue said that even if the Eritrean army announces an end to indefinite army conscription, this is still just an initial promise – which is a far cry from the actual end of forced conscription in Eritrea.