Commentary on the coming conference organized by EEPA

By Fesseha Nair

Fesseha Nair

Fesseha Nair

The conference organized by EEPA( Externa European policy advisory) to align the US and EU policy on democracy and human rights abuse in Eritrea is a solidarity action for humanity and is welcome by the Eritrean people. International support and advice is a human action and must be appreciated. If the conference purpose is to bring all the actors in the region/ Horn of African countries, in case of Eritrea those invited are only members of the CIDRIE and a leader from Eritrean political organizations/ EPP, EDP and EPM.

Excluding many other civil societies in Europe united under an umbrella organization NECS( Network Eritrean Civil Societies) and the Eritrean Democratic Alliance an umbrella organization consisting of 13 political organizations from participating in the conference does not promote the democratization process in Eritrea.

If the EU/ EEPA organized conference is for the human rights and democracy for the Eritrean people, it should have a common mental map of the Eritrean conflict. Putting the design of the conference requires careful consideration and planning.

In case of Eritrea, if the conference results will be accepted it should have included all those who can influence the process of democratization in Eritrea.

The aim of the conference is to align the policy on Eritrea regarding human rights and democracy, participation in such conferences by parties with a genuine stake in the conflict is a core issue, because they have a claim to be included. Conferences organized by EU/ EEPA either it is advisory or for support and advice should first assess the parties with genuine stake in the conflict in Eritrea.

Parties excluded from such conferences or sidelined will be motivated to undermine the outcome of such conferences. It will further damage the internal process of building trust among the Eritrean Democratic forces struggling for peace, democracy and human rights in Eritrea.

The organizers of the conference are responsible on the consequences of such conferences dividing the Eritreans between those who want monopolize the political power after the fall of the dictatorship in Eritrea, but such conspiracies are born failed. The Eritrean people will never accept those who call themselves learned super human beings who are always the problem and never being part of solution. The invited Eritreans in the conference have all a weak-link with the common people of Eritrea, they are part of the Eritrean problem and never part of a solution.

A Conference To Align EU-USA Policy Towards Eritrea

The European Union will host a two-day conference on Eritrea beginning on November 9.  Mr. Luisa Morgantini, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament, is scheduled to open the conference.

The conference is organized by European External Policy Advisory (EEPA), a Belgian NGO entity represented by Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen.

The conference aims to align the policies of the EU and the USA toward Eritrea and the Horn of Africa region and to promote democracy and human rights in the region.

Those expected to attend the EU conference of November 9 and 10 include:  Kathleen Ferrier, MP; Roger Moore, Director Horn of Africa, Directorate-General Development, European Commission; Karl E Wycoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Horn, State Department; Ambassador Ana Gomes, Member of the European Parliament; Jonathan Elliott, Human Rights Watch, Africa Advocacy Director; Giampaolo Calchi Novati, Head of the Africa Programme at ISPI, professor, University of Pavia, History of Africa; Emma Achilli, EU Human Rights and Democracy Initiative, European Commission; Eva-Britt Svensson, MEP, Sweden, European Parliament; Judith Sargentini, MEP, Netherlands and former democracy activist Southern Africa; Anthony Carroll, Vice President, Manchester Trade Ltd, policy specialist on the Horn, Washington, USA; Tom Vens, Eritrea desk, European Commission; Guillaume Lacroix; European Council, Africa; Thijs Berman, MEP; Mohamed Ahmed Jama, Director of the Somali Organization for Community Development Activities (SOCDA) in Mogadishu; Karl E Wycoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Horn, State Department; Jeremy Lester, Head of Unit Horn of Africa Region, Directorate-General Development, European Commission Page; Eshetu Bekele, Executive Director, Poverty Action Network of Civil Society Organizations (PANE) in Ethiopia; and Elsa Chyrum, an Eritrean Human Rights Activist.

The ambassadors of Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea have also been invited but the Eritrean ambassador, Mr. Girma Asmerom, is unlikely to attend.

Scheduled speakers include Mr. Koos Richelle, the Director of EuropeAid at the EU; Mr. Robert Houdek , the former ambassador to Eritrea and Ethiopia; Mr. Kjell Bondevik, formerly the prime minister of Norway and now president of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights; and Dr. Bereket Habteselassie, Distinguished Professor of African Studies and Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina and the former Chair of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea and Mr. Dan Connel, author, journalist, Distinguished Lecturer in journalism and African politics at Simmons College, Boston will give a speech in the session.

The Eritrean “Task Force” At The Conference

A group of Eritreans with close links to Kassahun Chekole and Ana Gomes, has also been formed to attend the conference. The individuals attending and the organizations they are affiliated with are as follows:

Ms. Selam Kidane, (Release Eritrea)

Mr. Noel Joseph, (EHDR-UK)
Mr. Daniel Rezene Mekonnen, CDRiE
Mr. Abdulrahman Sayed, CDRiE
Professor Gaim Kibreab, CDRiE
Mr. Suleiman A. Hussein, CDRiE
Ms. Mehret Gebreyesus, EDP
Mr. Dawit Mesfin, EDP
Mr. Woldeyesus Ammar, joint leadership committee of EPP, EDP and EPM

Abdulrahman has been appointed the spokesperson for the conference.

Last Updated ( Oct 29, 2009 )

The author of this commentary welcome the initiative taken by EEPA- conference aligning the policy of US and EU on Eritrea but critical to its organization and participation methods.

Short URL:

Posted by on Nov 2 2009 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in |2011