According to Eleanor Ainge Roy in Queenstown, the New Zealand’s first Eritrean, African member of parliament (MP) sparks tears as he recounts escape from Eritrea, the eritrean military oppression, like north Korean style military prison.

New Zealand’s first African MP has reduced politicians to tears telling the story of his journey of “hope” from a war-torn Eritrea to a Sudanese refugee camp and eventually into government as a Labour MP.

“I’m an Eritrean. I’m a former refugee. I’m a Muslim. I’m a trade unionist and a living-wage advocate. But most importantly I stand here before you today as a Kiwi bursting with pride,” Ibrahim Omer said in his maiden speech following October’s election.


Geeska Afrika Online,  background  check in the Horn of African ethnic groups: Ancient Saho speaking people are descendants of ancient Kushites. They are the indigenous peoples of the present day Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, and northern Somalia (Somaliland) city of Sahil or Sayla.

Omar is from the Saho tribe,  an ethnic Cushitic peoples inhabiting the Horn of Africa


Meanwhile, Incoming Labour list MP Ibrahim Omer says it’s a privilege to be first the African MP, in the New Zealand.

After a night of celebrations over Labour’s biggest victory in 50 years, incoming list MP Ibrahim Omer​ spent Sunday afternoon with his friends at his favourite Wellington cafe.

New Zealand’s first African MP

Understood to be the country’s first African MP, Omer said it was a huge privilege – one he did not take for granted.

Speaking from Peoples Coffee in Newtown, Omer – who is 42 on Labour’s list – said he was looking forward to being part of an historic and diverse caucus.

With most of the votes counted, Labour looks set to win 49 per cent of the party vote, giving the party 64 seats in Parliament.

“We need a Parliament that looks like New Zealand and reflects the real New Zealand,” Omer said.

While there was still a way to go to improve representation, Omer was looking forward to helping bridge this gap.

Problems he would focus on in his new role were low-paid workers – “it’s in my heart” – racism and unequal opportunities.

He also wanted to focus on issues members of refugee and migrant communities may face. “I’ve always been passionate about doing things for communities.”

Omer would be bringing lived experience to his new role.


Photo: Ibrahim Omer campaigning with Labour MP Chris Hipkins during NZ’s 2020 general election. Getty Images Copyright 2020

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