Eritrea Coup Attempt Fails

Rebel soldiers take over state TV

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 6:26 AM CST

(Newser) – Rebelling soldiers in the tiny African country of Eritrea briefly took control of state-run television yesterday, reportedly seeking to wrest control of the country from its president of 20 years. But government troops shut down the effort, which failed to spark like action from the country's people. President Isaias Afwerki's government has been dubbed the North Korea of the African continent, the New York Times notes, thanks to his iron grip on the isolated nation.

Some 100 soldiers reportedly poured into the Ministry of Information and had its director read out a statement demanding political prisoners' freedom. It's possible they took Afwerki's daughter hostage. Now they're likely cooling their heels in jail, but experts suspect another coup attempt can't be far away. "There’s a lot of dissatisfaction within the armed forces," says one. "If this is suppressed, it won’t be the end."

Map locates Eritrea.   (AP Photo)
In this Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010 file photo, Eritrea's President Isaias Afworki arrives for an African Union summit at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, Libya.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)
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