Eritrea: Is Rumor of Coup a Sign of Impending Regime Change?

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Earlier this week, there were unconfirmed reports of an attempted coup in Eritrea, where president Isaias Afewerki has held power since 1993.

Afewerki’s government has endured phases of instability over the last 20 years, and he has denied reports of attempts to topple his government, including one attempt by the military in August, 2009.

Afewerki, who is leader of the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, came to power in 1994 after leading the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front [EPLF] in its 30-year struggle for independence in 1991.

Observers inside Eritrea say although Afewerki appears to maintain a strong grip in power, growing discontent within the military may signal impending regime change. How much longer can Afewerki hold power?