President Hosni Mubarak: Why is Egypt Murdering Refugees?! By Kidane Alemayehu

April 21st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Open Letter to H.E. the Egyptian President, Mr. Hosni Mubarak,

April 20, 2010.

Your Excellency,

I wish to submit this open letter to Your Excellency with the hope and belief that you would give the important issue of international human rights an urgent and positive consideration. Specifically, my appeal to you is concerned with Egypt’s shoot-to-kill policy applied on poor Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees crossing over from Egypt to Israel.


Here is what was reported by Reuters only last February, 2010:

“Egypt Police Kill Migrant At Israel Border

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Reuters) – Egyptian police shot and killed an Ethiopian migrant Tuesday, injured two others and arrested 10 as they tried to cross the Egyptian-Israeli border, medical and security sources said.”

Here is another similar report by AFP on March 27, 2010:

‘ “Egypt police kill two Eritrean migrants at Israel border

AFP – Egyptian police shot dead two Eritreans on Saturday as the would-be migrants tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official told AFP. Four people were also wounded during the shooting, including one who was in a critical condition, and another person was arrested. “

Mr. President:

The above murders are only examples of the inhumanity perpetrated by your government at the Israeli/Egyptian border. It should be noted that according to reliable sources, the refugees were shot in the back as they were fleeing from the Egyptian soldiers. What does this indicate about the humanity, let alone the bravery, of the soldiers?

It is time, Mr. President, that you put an immediate and a complete stop to your soldiers’ travesty, an international crime by any standards.


There are a number of tragic and, at the same time, ironic aspects to the situation occurring at the Egyptian side of the border with Israel. An amazing one is the fact that Egyptians who are members of the African Union are killing other Africans from entering, of all places, Israel! The Israeli government, on the other hand, applies civilized and humane standards that avoid mistreating, let alone killing refugees. The other irony is that Egypt thrives on the water (86%) cascading from Ethiopia free of charge. The soil that produces food in Egypt came from Ethiopia. But Egypt murders Ethiopian refugees at the Israeli border with impunity. A further irony is the fact that Egypt claims to be in compliance with international human rights declarations but its soldiers commit murders in open day light! In addition, the Egyptian government mercilessly loads refugees on airplanes and drops them back to Eritrea, for example, and only the Almighty knows what may have happened to the unfortunate human beings.


There was a time when Egypt was considered a place of refuge for people beleaguered in their respective countries. The most famous of these were, of course, Mary, the mother of Lord Jesus Christ, the child Jesus himself, and their escort, Joseph. I would not like to believe, Mr. President, that you are taking on the role of King Herod!

Ethiopia was and continues to be a place of refuge. I am sure you will remember, Mr. President, the historic fact that Prophet Mohammed sent his daughter, Rockeya with her husband as well as some 100 Arabs to Ethiopia where he knew that they would be treated with respect and the utmost care. They had stayed in Ethiopia for 15 years before they returned to Mecca.

I also remember in the 1950’s and 1960’s many Arabs, especially from the Ymen, who had migrated to Ethiopia and were working freely in rural and urban areas. The term “Arab Souq” was quite prevalent in Harer, an Ethiopian province, referring to shops operated by Arabs.

Do you think, Mr. President, that your soldiers should murder Ethiopian refugees?


I appeal to you, Mr. President, in the name of the Almighty whom we all worship, to stop your soldiers from murdering Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees. We do not expect you to sympathize with the causes that force people to flee from their beloved countries but request you to treat them in a humane and a civilized manner.

I also fervently request the international community in general and all the honourable individuals and organizations to whom this open letter is copied to extend their support in putting a stop to the Egyptian government’s murder of Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees at the Israeli/Egyptian border.

With thanks for your attention and expeditious action,

Yours respectfully,

Kidane Alemayehu

CC: Mr. Barack Obama, President of USA
CC: President of the African Union
CC: Secretary General, United Nations
CC: Secretary General, the Arab League
CC: President, European Union
CC: Executive Director, UNHCR
CC: Executive Director, UNHRO
CC: US State Department
CC: Ethiopian Human Rights Organization
CC: Eritrean Human Rights Organization
CC: Amnesty International

  1. Response necessary
    | #1

    I say in response we kill all Egyptians in Ethiopia and eritrea

  2. efzion
    | #2

    oohhh..what s wrong..with all the world.. from top to the bottem every nation need blood of there oppositions- some grups & polaticians drive us in killing, even all the media, movie & music drive on power,magic,killing,sex-this s all just like a game & democraci allows u all to do what ever u need n want…so u ve to choose !

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    Thank you Ato Kidane for your open letter addressing the inhuman treatment and killings of Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees by Egyptian police.

    Following Ato kidane’s example,the rest of us should continue to express our anger and protest against such maltreatment through various channels.

    Perhaps this is a microcosm of the plight of a great number of refugees from the Horn who try to escape life threatening situations and persecutions at home perpetrated by tyrannical regimes.Some of them might also be forced to leave their respective lands in search of better lives away from acute poverty and starvation.

    While some are lucky in escaping these dire situations,the fate of the majority especially these days seems to be out of the frying-pan into the fire.
    We hear of similar similar harrowing tales of brutal treatments of these unfortunate people also in places such as Kenya,South Africa,Yemen and many other Middle Eastern Arab countries.

    These people are really in need of urgent help.Everyone should be sensitive and respond to their plight.

    In particular,those of us who were once refugees,knew what sad experience meant but who are now thankfully leading better lives and have the means to help our kindred should not be oblivious of their desperate plight.

    Of all the people who should sympathize with refugees and fight for their decent treatment wherever they are,I think, former refugees with secure lives must be in the forefront.

    Former refugees should never forget that they were once ‘there’ and that should stir them to action.

    The rest of compassionate humanity would help better if it could remember the simple Jewish observation that ‘we are all refugees,exiles and alien residents on this planet’.

    Let us therefore help each other in our brief sojourn here on this earth.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    We are not killers. We give shelter and food even to our enemies. It is the tradition of all Eritreans and Ethiopians.

  5. hussein
    | #5

    Mubarak is a bloody dictator
    Mubarak soon will have Sharon distny
    will not dye or live

  6. Qum-Neguer
    | #6

    What’s an even more amazing irony is the fact that the Ethiopian regime has given fertile land to Egypt free of charge while Egyptian soldiers are murdering poor Ethiopian refugees with total impunity!

    Why is the Ethiopian government silent in the face of the crime being committed by Egypt against Ethiopians? Why is Ethiopia providing Egypt with free water, land, and soil????????????????????????????????????????

    It seems that Mubarak is emulating his former murderous dictator, the Pheroah of Egypt who tried to kill Moses and the other Israelis who were crossing the Red Sea with the assistance of the Almighty. President Mubarak: the same disaster will happen to you unless you stop the crime that your soldiers are committing against Ethiopians.

  7. Sophie
    | #7

    I have to say this is one of the silliest letters I have ever read. It is one thing to harshly criticize and condemn the Egyptians for killing Eritrean refugees trying to get to Israel. By the way, the refugees are Eritreans, not Ethiopians. But please do not give silly reasons as to why Egyptians should not kill Eritreans such as the ones you gave about Jesus or Mohammed or the Yemenis or even the Nile. What do these things have to do with modern day geopolitics and human rights? Abeshas please take your mind out of ancient history and think in modern and rational terms.

    Egyptians are doing the dirty work of the Israelis and their state department supporters who pressure Egypt to keep the Egyptian/Israeli secure because they fear terrorist infiltration into Israel. In other words, Eritreans are getting caught in the middle of the the Arab-israeli conflict. Egypt does not respect human rights for their own citizens let alone others.

    Also, worse than the Egyptian govt is the the Eritrean one, who has ordered the Eritrean army to kills its citizens trying to escape Eritrea to go to Sudan.

    So, in other words, we are dealing with gross human rights violators in both Egypt and Eritrea enabled by Israel and the US.

  8. Qum-Neguer
    | #8

    Sophie’s remarks are strange to say the least! To Sophie it doesn’t seem to matter whether an Eritrean (or for that matter, an Ethiopian) is murdered by an Egyptian soldier as long as oppression exists in the respective countries. What is more strange is Sophie’s wild idea that the Egyptians are committing the crime at the behest of the Israelis who do not apply such extreme measures against ruefugees in their own country. How ridiculous can one get in support of murderers?!!!!!!!!

    Murder is murder by any stretch of an imagination!

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