As Prime Minister Abiye Ahmed returns from the historic visit to Eritrea, a long letter from ENCDC containing appreciations, views, and requests, awaited him at home. We wished him good luck when he left, and we wish him well now with his peace, love and democracy vision for the entire continent. We believe Dr. Abiye had learned a lot from the Eritrean people, and the government that doesn’t represent them. Issayas Afewerki seemed to enjoy the new topics of love, forgiveness, unity, openness (Perestroika), the issue of bilateral cooperation, and completely abandoned the Algiers Agreement of border demarcation which he used to freeze negotiations for the pasts 16 years. Issayas is now coming to Addis Ababa to join the new venture of “Unity” “Medemer” for the purpose of his own old dream, and not embracing the general concept of harmony addressed by PM Abiye. Eritreans are now left with countless tasks to achieve our own national unity- “Hagerawi Hadnet, Whda’t Al Wetenya” and join Abiye in the regional peace cooperation of all nations concerned. ENCDC and the opposition are entering a new stage of reality which should be carefully assessed and immediacy tackled by restructuring offices and calling for an immediate convention of its 2nd National congress.
The thirty years of Eritrean revolution of armed struggle that ended in 1991 had been called multiple names of admiration due to its difficult, bloody, and unbearable circumstances- descriptions like “lonely war in the world” , “longest liberation war in Africa etc. In 1991 the Eritrean people persevered, and Eritrea became the 193rd independent nation in the world. The people then like last week overjoyed with hope and better future, danced in the streets of all cities and towns in jubilation. Every citizen shared an optimism of political stability, social harmony, and economic prosperity. In less than 2 years following independence, contrary to the peoples’ imagination, the liberator-Eritrean People’s Liberation front (EPLF) gradually gave birth to a new authoritarian party-the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) and created a one party system of Government that till today ruled the country with no political pluralism, no constitutional mandate, and no freedom of civil liberties.
After the referendum held under the auspices of international institutions, and communities, the true colors of the regime came to emerge when Issayas Afewerki-the party leader at various intervals ordered the invasion neighboring countries-the Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Djibouti to detract the people and the government from the daunting task of implementing a “ratified constitution”. The “lonely war for democracy” then continued to be hunted down to underground jails of urban and rural penitentiaries, and driven out beyond the borders of the country into the Sudan and Ethiopia. The silent majority continued to suffer from fear, and unexplainable, issues of nationalism, tribalism, loyalty to the regime as sons and daughters, “liberators”, and future “nation builders” contrary to the facts of abuse, torture, slavery practiced by the regime on the entire nation.
The war between Eritrea, and Ethiopia that started in 1998 just ended last week by both leaders signing a joint declaration of peace and friendship in Asmara on July 9th 2018. ENCDC had recently been energized since the political organizations convened in Shire Conference November 2017 to resolve their differences. This week the political organizations submitted a memo to the council stating that they had completely exhausted debating their differences, and had cleared the way for the council to convene the 2nd National congress. ENCDC is revitalizing itself energized by the declaration of peace between the two nations and a predicted possible consequential release of our prisoners, and rehabilitating the half million young men and women conscripts enslaved in the army in the name of National Service.
These days, there is no shortage of political speculations from the optimists who wished reconciliation is soon to follow in Eritrea, and the ill wishers spreading bad news about the good will of the host country-Ethiopia towards ENCDC. ENCDC understands Ethiopia’s priority to its national interest, and holding our Congress in Ethiopia is not against its national interest. The regime in Asmara could have invited ENCDC to convene its congress in Asmara as part of reconciliation plan among Eritreans. This in turn could have facilitated the bilateral relations in progress between the two countries. Of course such an invitation must be guaranteed by internationally mandated institutions for the freedom, safety and security of all concerned.
At the present All ENCDC branch offices, Executive, Legislative and Congressional preparatory committee is geared towards restructuring their offices, and preparing to assemble its constituents for the 2nd National Congress. There will be no stone left unturned to include every organization that is ready to participate in the political process of the 2nd National congress in accordance to criteria set by the laws and regulations of its charter. But ENCDC also had gained enough experience from previous practices and will not entertain ideas merely intended to delay and detract from accomplishing its goals. ENCDC calls on our people inside Eritrea and all justice seekers in the Diaspora to stand with the organization and help in the tasks at hand structured to conduct a successful Congress. In the coming few weeks, our representatives will be all over the world revisiting and explaining its documents. All regional offices will be reactivated, and continuous bulletin will be posted in Eritrean news and social media outlets.
Victory to Our People!!
“Let Freedom Ring” *MLT
ENCDC Media and Information Office
July 14, 2018