Press release

Eritrea is a country situated in the Horn of Africa sharing borders with Ethiopia on the south and south west, the Sudan on the west and Djibouti on South East. It occupies an area of 119,000² k/m, with a population of about 5 millions and with shore lines that runs about 1000 km along the western side of the Red Sea starting from the strategic Bab El Mandab Strait.

The country won its independence in 1991 after a 30 year long heroic liberation war waged by all political sectors and components of the people against Ethiopia paying a very high price in sacrifices along the process. The EPLF and its regime came to power after forcibly ejecting the many years’ long partners of struggle out of Eritrea only few years before independence declared its vicious intention to solely control and monopolies’ power excluding all other national organizations and even denying them the right to share in the nation building process. The Eritrean opposition organizations natural response was to oppose this exclusionist, hegemonic policy of dominance the regime systematically practiced which voided the independence of its essence and that clearly denied the legitimate rights and aspirations of the people. All this ushered to the birth of the worst totalitarian regime that developed gradually to full fledged autocracy.

The incumbent regime has suspended a ratified constitution, denied the people of basic democratic rights and freedoms including the freedom of press and expression. The only free full functioning are coercion institutions that wielded to suppress the people and incarcerate opponents for indefinite and without trial converting the country into a big prison garrison. This caused many people to flee the country exposing themselves to life risking encounters the worst of which was the last April ship sinking event in the Mediterranean sea with a full load of around 400 Eritrean refugees on board and many similar events has occurred in different places.

The regime’s foreign policy has earned it the title a rogue state without competition in the region .It has adopted a war inciting, adventurous policy escalating simple border issues and skirmishes into direct and proxy wars against all neighbouring countries thus becoming a primary factor of destabilization in the region. In contradiction with its obligation as a member of the international community the regime has disregarded all diplomatic norms of conduct and practice in its relation with regional and international organizations including humanitarian and human rights NGOs. All these led the UN to enforce an embargo on the regime which is looking into extending it longer.

Ten years ago the Eritrean opposition organizations decided to form an alliance on the minimum common grounds basis under the name of Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA). Last year EDA called for and convened a wide base public participating National Conference (30 July-10August/2010) in which consensus were reached on crucial national principles, policy matters that furnished the ground for a democratic change struggle to replace the regime with a democratic, rule of the law based governance. To further consolidate and develop the results attained it was decided to call for an all inclusive and well prepared National Congress in a year’s time from then. A Commission of 53 members was elected to carry out and facilitate the preparations necessary for holding a successful National Congress for Democratic Change due to take place from 20th to 30th November 2011. To that effect draft documents on Road Map, Political Charter, Transitional constitution and national assembly by laws were drawn and fully and democratically discussed by the public and suggested amendments were forwarded to the Commission to consider. Finally Congress delegates were democratically elected by the public. The expected outcome would be discussing and endorsing the prepared documents, a formation of a national assembly and other relevant organizational structures to lead the united opposition in the struggle for change and eventually establishing a democratic National Transitional Council in Exile would be considered.

We call upon you and all peace, democracy and justice loving and upholding forces to support our just cause and democratic struggle and help in conveying our plight through all available means, diplomatic or media to the rest of the world.



Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change – (London Support Committee)


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