Call from Melbourne

On 12 June 2005, the Eritrean Liberation Front – Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) organized a seminar for the Eritrean community in Melbourne, Australia, in which members and leading cadres of Eritrean opposition organizations and important personalities took part. The agenda items of the seminar were:

  1. The current situation in Eritrea

  2. The role of the Eritrean opposition in general and of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) in particular, and

  3. Our visions for Eritrea’s system of governance in the future.


The ELF-RC delegation, currently touring Australia, presented a general briefing on the agenda items regarding the position of the Eritrean opposition in the struggle against the regime in Eritrea. After exhaustive discussions and important interventions, the seminar participants reached the following conclusions:


First: Regarding the Current Situation in Eritrea

  1. The regime in Eritrea has no legitimacy to stay or continue in power. It was neither elected by the people nor mandated by the only party on which it had depended; particularly after the party split with many of its leading cadres detained, killed or exiled.   

  2.  It is a regime that has trampled upon the basic civic rights and freedoms of our people, imprisoned or condemned without due process of law or legal defense persons and groups that opposed it or espoused different viewpoints. As a result, Eritrea has been turned into a big prison where the people live in a state of fear and insecurity and without social peace and harmony.

  3. The one party regime in Eritrea became the source of fraud and corruption and itself became a system of exploitation and swindling of public resources for personal ends. This led to the current desperate situation of economic collapse that turned two-thirds of the population to absolute poverty that made people depend only on charities.

  4. Production and economic growth has been halted and education for youth effectively curbed because those young generations have been conscripted and dumped into so-called national service projects that do not have any reasonable basis, clear objectives or limited duration. Our youth are denied the opportunity of playing their natural role in public life and are instead subjected to continued brainwashing and exploitation.

  5. In order to stay in power, the regime is engaged in inflaming conflict and hatred in the society by exploiting religious, ethnic and cultural differences.

  6. Relations with our neighbours have been damaged, and those senseless armed hostilities the regime incited have cost the nation not only the lives of tens of thousands of Eritrean youth but also left our country isolated and without any dependable friend or ally.  The flight of thousands of our youth towards the neighbouring countries is on the increase due to the criminal regime’s policies and measures.

  7. After liberation, the regime failed to repatriate Eritrean refugees from the neighbouring countries. Today, Eritreans are, ironically, fleeing their country again as refugees because Eritrea has been turned into a big prison of its own people. 


The regime in Asmara is an oppressive dictatorship that adversely affected the lives of all Eritreans, albeit with different levels, sparing no cultural or social segment, Muslims or Christians, lowlanders or highlanders.


The current dictatorial leadership in Eritrea has an ignominious record in the past when it worked to thwart the all-inclusive Grand National programme initiated by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and started to be implemented on the ground during the days of the national liberation struggle.  Today and at state level, the autocratic leadership of the regime is doing what it can through programming and practice to engineer a distorted image for our nation, and to this end it is engaged at attempting to isolate all those opposed to its views and those who reject its wicked politics of disfigurement of our nation in political, social and cultural spheres.


Second: Regarding the Eritrean Opposition and EDA

The accord reached between the Eritrean political opposition and the creation of the EDA is a step in the right direction., and deserves the support of all Eritreans opposed to the regime and all those who wish to establish in our homeland a system that allows the enjoyment of all basic rights.


However, there still remains the need of exerting strenuous efforts in order to activate and strengthen the opposition camp. The EDA is called upon to further enhance and make very clear its political message and action. This will help rally the support of the people. There is a need of creating an effective communication and a successful diplomacy in order to reach all of our people and their friends everywhere.


Third:  Regarding the Future

It is important for a national programme to ensure the participation of all citizens. Eritreans need to know the detail of what exactly is to be done in order to be able to share the burden of the work at all levels. Needless to say, it is incumbent upon the opposition to avoid being entangled in details wherein it would limit itself to reaction to misdeeds by the regime. It should instead put forth the grand picture for change. What we have in Eritrea is a dictatorial regime, with its power arsenal of a programme and mechanism and its own as well as its social and cultural setup.


The alternative for Eritreans is to establish a democratic state that abides by the rule of law, in which all citizens are treated with justice and equality in enjoying their rights and performing their duties, where individuals enjoy their natural rights and where nationality groups enjoy their cultural rights.  


Therefore, the participants of this seminar in Melbourne urge all Eritreans inside the homeland and abroad to support the EDA and work closely with it in order to remove the dictatorial regime and in its place establish a New Eritrea for all Eritreans and by all Eritreans.


Melbourne, 12 June 2005.




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