Canada is investigating allegations that Eritrea’s diplomatic mission in Toronto has continued soliciting money for the East African regime’s military despite being warned by the Department of Foreign Affairs to stop.
The RCMP and Foreign Affairs are reviewing new evidence that appears to show the Consulate General of Eritrea has been imposing a fee of up to $500 on Eritrean-Canadians to meet the country’s national defence needs.
The fundraising scheme would be illegal since Eritrea is the subject of United Nations Security Council sanctions. Canada insisted in September that Eritrea either cease soliciting such payments or recall its consul, Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael.
But nine months later, evidence gathered by an Eritrean-Canadian human rights group shows the practice has continued: As recently as January the consulate issued forms demanding payment for Eritrea’s “national defence against Ethiopian invasion.”
The documents also show the consulate is still imposing a 2% income tax on Eritrean-Canadians — a practice Ottawa had also insisted had to end after the RCMP and UN reported that those who refused to pay were subjected to threats, intimidation and coercion.
Somali news leader