Eritrean footballers granted asylum in Botswana

Botswana has granted asylum to the group of Eritrean football players who defected their after a World Cup qualifying match.

Eritrean players singing the national anthem ahead of the Botswana qualifier

Eritrean players singing the national anthem ahead of the Botswana qualifier Image by Youtube / CC BY 2.0

The 10 players refused to board their plane back to Eritrea on October 13th and applied for asylum in Botswana. Eritrea is currently under investigation from the United Nations for human rights violations. Slavery-like conditions, torture, and the assassination of people suspected of trying to flee the country are common practice according to the UN after a year long investigation.

Similar defections by Eritrean soccer players occurred in Kenya in 2009, Tanzania in 2011 and Uganda in 2012 according to Reuters.

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