Eritrea is one of the world’s youngest nations. It became independent in 1993 after decades of war. Now 17 years old, the country is in turmoil. The military group that led the independence war is still in power. The large Eritrean community is in diaspora; many of its members live here in the East Bay, and are divided between those who support the government and those who oppose it. General elections have been postponed indefinitely, and the government has been accused of forcing people into military service and jailing those who dissent or try to flee. Mario Furloni has the story of Dawit Bermane, a man who recently fled Eritrea. Sitting at a café in north Oakland, Bermane remembers his escape.
This audio podcast is the second in a series on the Bay Area’s Eritrean community. You can listen to the first one by clicking here. The third one is available here.