Asmara, 04 March, 2020 / 10:40 pm (ACI Africa).
Following the incident that saw the Ethiopian Cardinal and his delegation denied entry into Eritrea, being forced to spend a night at Asmara airport, Catholic Bishops in the northeast African nation have, in a letter addressed to Eritrean government authorities, expressed disappointment over the “most unfortunate incident”.
“We, hereby, wish to express our deep regret for this most unfortunate incident, whose reasons we have, so far, no means of comprehending,” reads in part the letter of the Bishops in Eritrea.
Addressed to the National Office for Religious Affairs in Eritrea, the letter makes known the sentiments of the Bishops, namely, that they “remain in the dark as to the reasons of the facts that have sadly occurred on February 22 at the International Airport of Asmara.”
Recalling the “most unfortunate” unfolding of February 22, the Eritrean Church leaders confirm that the Cardinal-led delegation “had received the entry permit stamped in their passports, valid for one month.”
“This notwithstanding (and) most disconcerting for us, as Eritreans, they were made to wait at the airport of Asmara from Saturday, 22 February, 5.15 pm to Sunday 23 February 2020, 12.00 noon, to eventually return home right from the airport,” the Bishops recount in their collective letter signed by the Secretary General of the Eritrean Bishops Conference, Abba Tesfaghiorghis Kiflom.