WARSAW, Poland – Eritrean officials say the decision by the U.N. cultural agency to put the African nation’s capital city of Asmara on the UNESCO World Heritage list is a “victory.”
The unanimous decision came Saturday at a session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Poland. The decision appreciated the outstanding values of Asmara’s modernist architecture immersed in an African highland environment.
Eritrea’s ambassador to France and permanent representative to UNESCO, Hanna Simon, calls the decision the result of years of campaigning and a “victory not just for the Eritrean people but for Africa and the world at large.”
Eritrea’s government, however, has faced widespread criticism over what a U.N. commission of inquiry has said are numerous abuses including enslavement, rape and torture.
Eritrea is a major source of migration toward Europe.