Mr. Hussein Khalifa has visited ministry of Foreign Affairs-africa Department

EDA’s Information Office



Mr. Hussein Khalifa Head of the Executive Committee of the Eritrean Democratic alliance ( EDA) has visited today 7th March 2006 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Africa Department and met Anna Brandt Deputy Director General- Head of Africa Department. He was joined by Ibrahim Abdalla and Fesseha Nair information project leaders of the conference.

In his introductory speech, Mr. Hussein first and foremost thanked the ministry on behalf of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance by their good will to sit with him and listen the appeals of the Eritrean people through the official mouth of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance.

He briefed the ministry on the undemocratic and terrorizing policies of the tyrant regime in Eritrea since independence, its human rights violations, its hostile and anti- peace and democracy policies denying all fundamental rights for its citizens. The Eritrean people’s wishes and aspirations were high- jacked and the political organizations who struggled for the independence and liberation were condemned as terrorists and their attempts for dialogue and negotiation for peace and reconciliation was neglected.

Since independence, the opposition political organizations have been inviting the regime for dialogue but to no avail. The opposition organizations tried through friendly countries like the Gulf States and other neighbouring countries but all attempts were rejected by the regime in Eritrea.

The Eritrean opposition political organizations stive for peaceful transition to democracy in Eritrea where all political forces participate but the regime in Eritrea refuses this all- inclusive participation of the political organizations in Eritrea. We denounce violence and we are forces for peace, democracy human rights respect and the rule of law in Eritrea, stressed;  Mr. Hussein Khalifa.

Regarding how the Eritrean Democratic Alliance was established, Mr. Hussein explained briefly the process of alliance building from 1999. The opposition political organizations were convinced that a single organization cannot win peace and democracy in Eritrea and overcome the dictatorial regime in Eritrea on their own. Therefore, they established a national alliance embracing 13 political organization under the banner of Eritrean National Alliance. The Eritrean National Alliance has added members who were outside the alliance and in 2005 established a broad national alliance embracing 16 political organizations under the banner, Eritrean Democratic Alliance ( EDA).

The Eritrean Democratic Alliance has its charter, political structure, programs and policies. Mr. Hussein focused on the building of civil society organizations and capacity building of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance preparing for future good governance. We see the regime in Eritrea  as having no governmental characteristics and not at all a government but one man rule without no checks and balances, emphasized ; Hussein.

Regarding the suspicion and complaints of some of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance member organizations’ alleged connection with terrorism, Mr. Hussein briefed the contact and visits conducted by the USA’s security agency in the Eritrean camps. They have talked with the leaders of these organizations and were convinced that  that they have never been terrorising their people but were and are struggling for peace, democracy human right respect and the rule of law that is missing today in Eritrea. They told them that they are ready to work with all peace loving forces at national , regional and international level.

Regarding the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea;

When Mr. Hussein was asked by Anna, what was the role of EDA on the border conflict.

 Mr. Hussein told the ministry that first the opposition political organizations were not  partners of the conflict, but have realised that even though we were not partners the war damages our people, therefore, we were indirectly involved and decided to talk with Ethiopian government. We would also like to talk with the government in Eritrea but we were not heard. We agreed with PM Melles Zenawi that peace cannot be achieved by war but dialogue.

We have submitted our proposals and memos to the Sanna treaty for cooperation, AU’s Summit in Khartoum last time and to the Arab League and to Mr. Amr Moussa, Head of the Arab League. We recommended them to play the same role as they did in the Algiers agreement for end of hostilities and peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia.. Mr. Hussein said , “ we don’t have official mandate in the border conflict but indirectly we are involved that the conflict should be resolved peacefully,” précised , Hussein.

Anna Brandt has clarified the Swedish Government policies, in general and the development assistance conditions with development countries and Eritrea in particular. She has told Him that there were hope at the beginning of independence in Eritrea but gradually, the government in Eritrea has not shown development towards peace, democracy and human rights respect, therefore we always exert pressure that the government in Eritrea changes its path.

Regarding the border conflict, she has clarified the Swedish government’s position that;

–         Ethiopia accepts and imply the border ruling

–         Eritrea should accepts the dialogue

–         Eritrea lifts up the ban on the UNMEE’s movement

Mr. Hussein has taken the issue of Eritrean refugees in Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries. He told the ministry that every week flee young boys and girls from Eritrea because of persecution and harassing of the regime in Eritrea. What makes one more worried is that the refugees are young generation who would have been builders of future Eritrea. There are today roughly estimated 20000 in Ethiopia and about 500000 refugees most of them who fled this time from the regime in Eritrea.

He urged the ministry that they give their NGO’s and humanitarian organizations to visit  Refugee camps in Sudan and Ethiopia and support them with emergency development programs. Finally , Mr. Hussein submitted the file of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance with its charter , human rights report in Eritrea and memorandum.

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