REFILE-Eritrea mutineers vanish as calm returns

Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:54am EST
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* Mutineers stormed information ministry on Monday

* Demanded release of political prisoners

* One-party state shunned internationally

By Richard Lough

NAIROBI, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Dissident Eritrean soldiers who had seized the information ministry were gone on Tuesday and calm returned to the capital, Asmara, an Eritrean envoy and Western diplomat said.

The soldiers took over the ministry on Monday to demand the release of thousands of political prisoners, a sign of a deepening rift between some factions of the military and the secretive country's president, Isaias Afewerki.

Eritrea's envoy to South Africa said there had been a "small incident" at the ministry but that order had been restored.

"The situation in Asmara and elsewhere is no different from any other day," Salih Omar Abdu told Reuters.   Continued...