Speech delivered by the Secretary General of the Executive Office of Eritrean Democratic Alliance at the parliament of Sweden, at the liberal party club

EDA Information Office

Ladies and Gentle men,

On behalf of the Eritrea  democratic alliance, EDA, and my self, I sincerely thank Birgitta Olsson a genuine friend of the oppressed people of Eritrea, a champion of liberty, Justice,

Human rights to be with us  this evening and chair the seminar and in this occasion, I wish you Birgitta  all success in your Parliamentary career and noble political aspirations. In the mean time I seize this opportunity to express my gratitude to the panelists of the seminar. I would like to express my Appreciation for silk (Swedish International Liberal centre) to contribute and realize this Seminar to take place in the liberal party room at the Swedish Parliament. The Eritrean Association for peace and democracy deserves sincere thanks for their good deeds and should be commended.

Ladies and Gentle men,

As you all know, the huge sacrifices paid by the Eritrean people led  the country to the  officially secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia  and on May 24th Eritrea declared as a sovereign state to fulfill the long awaited aspiration of the  people.  The referendum that  conducted and supervised by the United Nations confirmed the independence of the country to take its place among other nations as member of the UN and Organization for African Unity.

Ever since the regime invested in power and consolidated its grip on the state, started  practicing all means of  repression and harassment  in its quest to do away to those who do not share its opinion and set out to arrest members of other political organizations and its leaders to-date their where abouts is unknown as well as its own cabinet members. Furthermore, a number of people who oppose the regime had been either eliminated, kidnapped or disappeared from neighboring countries by the hench men of the dictator and its secret service.

The regime rejected time and again mediation initiative taken by some of the friendly neighboring countries  to open dialogue with opposition organization of Eritrea .

The current regime of Eritrea is a dictator and totalitarian in its nature and in this regard, on 12/7/1995 Eritrean disabled  independence war veterans gathered in a peace full demonstration demanding freedom of speech and to improve their situations, conversely they were gunned down by the security forces of the regime. The regime even suspended the constitution that was approved under great pressure from the international community. Unfortunately, Eritrea at present is under the tyranny of one man, namely, the president.

On the Economic sphere, it is far from being liberalized  which is under the control of the regime. The most beneficiary of the economy is the regime spear headed by its sole party, where monopolizing national economy and preventing national capital from participating in the development activities of the country. It slummed  all doors shut in the face of  the Investment and as a result most of the local capital was transferred abroad.

The regime by declaring the right of possession of the land, hence, confiscated the land from its genuine owners in order to be the property of the government. This declaration adversely affected the lives of the farmers and pastoralists that make up the greatest part of the Eritrean people.

On the Education field, the regime-imposed to each and every ethnic group to be taught by its mother tongue at schools with out providing adequate means of resources and with out the consent of the parents. Such measure deteriorates the quality of teaching level.

This in turn brought about the spread of illiteracy in the communities. Those who pass to secondary level face more difficulty due to lack of a solid base of early training. A very small percent of them go to the single university in the country, while the majority of the students (90% – 95%) must do unlimited military services. All students sitting for the secondary school certificate Examinations are compelled to stay two years in Sawa military school. Those who failed in the Examination are immediately transferred to the Army. Thus they are again forced to spend most of their productive years of their life in frustration and uncertain future.

Concerning the repatriation of the refugees who fled their country during the war, the regime refuses their return making lame Excuses that the country can not afford to receive them. It also demands to be paid for the cost of repatriation.

Ladies and Gentle men,

 Remember what the regime did to Sweden in the mid of the past decade, and to the UNHCR. As result, refugee camps in neighboring countries are still full of hundreds of thousands of destitute refugees. All aid has been cut off from these refugees, as the UNHCR sees no legal reason to continue considering them as refugees while their country is free. These refugees are living in very appalling unprecedented condition. The regime’s foreign policy, as you know, does not aim to protect the interests of the Eritrean people. It does not promote mutual respect and benefits between the countries in the region.  Contrary to this, the regime from the very beginning followed a policy of conflict with neighboring countries. Under the pretext of protecting national sovereignty and by entering in to the internal affairs of these countries, to mention but a few, the Sudan and countries of the horn of Africa. As a result of the regime’s wrong foreign policy we have witnessed a devastating war with Ethiopia, which its havoc consequences are still echoing in the region affecting the prospect for peace and stability.

Ladies and Gentle men,

The regime’s track record on the human rights arena, I think you could have guessed from the above-mentioned policies of the government. What kind of country are we speaking about? The answer is: Simply a country with no rule of law which turned the country into a big prison. The regime has failed to respect international laws that prohibiting torture, maltreatment of the civilians. Even religious institution, which should be respected, did not Escape from the tyranny and suppression of the regime. It is enough here to indicated that the regime has lately put patriarch Antonios the 3rd, head of the Eritrean Orthodox church , under house arrest. After ousting him from his post and putting another person aligned with the regime. This is a very dangerous act and unprecedented move known in the history of our country! It is in this kind of situations that the Eritrean opposition political forces are continuing their struggle to accomplish the goals that the Eritrean people paid heavy sacrifices for it .As a result the Eritrean democratic Alliance was formed to enable our people to practice their lawful rights.

The alliance’s main political programs can be summarized as following

            1. Implementing multi-party system and peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections.

            2. Following decentralized mode of ruling the country

            3. Using democratic dialogue as means of solving disputes between different political     parties and any political entities

                  4. The full recognition and Implementation of international laws and charters concerning human rights.

                  5. Complying with international laws concerning relations with neighboring countries, regional and international organizations and institutions.

  Ladies and Gentle men,

In the face of our limited capacity and huge hardships of our people, we call upon you and the people of the free world to stand beside the Eritrean people in their ordeal. We hope that you will use your influence on your government to perform its humanitarian role to our people. We rely heavily on your support as parliamentarians with a glorious history in advocating for peace, civil rights, democracy and the rule of law to help the Eritreans to put an end to the tyranny and suppression that currently prevailing in the country.

At last I hope I have highlighted the main issues that face our country, I, also hope to answer your questions and observations.

 Thank you very much for being here this evening to honor Eritrea.

Hussein Khelifa Mohamed Ali

Eritrean Democratic Alliance

Executive bureau Secretary General

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