French President: Let’s Put “Maximum Pressure” on Eritrean Leaders

French President Hollande said Eritrea becoming empty as residents leave.(Photograph: Pool/Reuters)

By TesfaNews,

French President Francois Hollande says “maximal” political pressure has to be applied on Eritrean leaders to mend the serious migration situation of it citizens to Europe.

Speaking at a meeting of more than 60 leaders from both Africa and the European Union in Malta, Hollande said Eritrea is becoming empty of its own population.

“Nobody is talking about it. It is a country that is becoming empty of its own population with unscrupulous leaders who let their people go,” adds President Holand.

Hollande said that Europe’s dealings with Eritrea require “a job to be done which is political, and which needs a strict and demanding diplomacy.”

Noting that a lot of the migrants that are also coming are from Sudan, Holland said unless the EU delivers in terms of aid, the migration crisis that has sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to Europe this year will continue.

“Africa needs more international development aid in order to curb the flow of migrants from African countries,” said Hollande affirming his position on giving aid to stop the refugee crisis.

The EU summit in Valletta, Malta is focusing on addressing the reasons why people are leaving their home countries, better organizing legal migration channels, boosting protections for migrants, battling smugglers and improving cooperation with African nations on returning people who do not qualify for asylum.

Meanwhile, the European Union and Ethiopia have cut a deal to tackle migration and human smuggling, the Associated Press reports from Valletta, Malta.

Under the agreement, Ethiopia would have access to money from a €1.8bn ($1.9bn; £1.3bn) “trust fund” to help African nations better manage migration, it reports.

Ethiopia is a major hub for people who are trying to reach Europe. It is also home to more than 700,000 refugees from other countries.

* BBC, AP and VOA News contributed to the above story