Situated in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea is a country strong-armed by a dictatorial leader, President Isaias Afwerki, a man who’s held this role for 26 years!
And under his rule, chaos and violence have plagued Eritrea, leading many natives to attempt escape. This included 15-year-old Ciham Ali Ahmed.
Though born in America, Ciham was raised in Eritrea by a father who once worked closely with President Afwerki. But when conflict sparked between the two, Ciham’s father fled, knowing his life was in danger.
Reportedly, he coordinated a secret escape for his daughter, fearing she’d be subjected to a life of conscription-slavery, or forced labor - as all children are in Eritrea at age 18.
Sadly, Ciham would never see freedom.
Caught at the border of Sudan on December 12, 2012, Ciham was arrested and imprisoned. It’s been five years since anyone has seen her.
On CNN, her uncle shared his disappointment in America’s lack of intervention for an abducted U.S. citizen, along with the only details he knew: “[We were told] her case is being personally handled by [Eritrea’s] President and nobody knows anything about it.”
Six years have passed since Ciham’s enforced disappearance - a life stolen by a totalitarian government who cares less about Black lives and more about power… unless we do something about it.