Melbourne Rally 2012: Solidarity with Eritrean Youth

Eritrean youth at home are living without hope and future, and a necessary question to be asked is, what kind of citizens are they going to be? Eritrea is going to have a generation of unskilled and untrained youth. Under such conditions, the future is bleak and very frightening to contemplate. In March 2011, nearly 400 Eritreans tragically lost their lives after a boat in which they were travelling capsized in the Mediterranean Sea and almost all of them drowned and perished in a very tragic circumstance. The death of these innocent people – including children and women –demonstrates how desperate Eritreans are at home. They are daring to embark on a high risky mission to reach Italy in search of a better life in Europe. They were compelled to embark on a treacherous high risky journey escaping oppression and gloom future at home. The relentless hardship Eritrean youth are enduring at home is unprecedented. Similar tragic incidents happened in the past and will happen in the future, so long as Eritreans are facing relentless hardship in their home country and escaping Eritrea in droves to neighbouring countries and beyond.


Like any person of unflagging conscience, the Melbourne Rally Organising Committee profoundly saddened by this tragic incident. Reading the names of those innocent human beings tragically perished for reasons not of their own making bewildered and dumbfounded us, not comprehending how this tragic incident of mega-proportion occurred. Yet, what angered us more is little has been said about it in the International Media and little attention is given to the sad situation in Eritrea by the International Community. Is this a failure on our part to expose the rouge nature of the PFDJ regime or indifference by the International Community to the human tragedy in Eritrea? Whatever is the answer, Eritreans in Diaspora have moral obligation to prioritise two things:

  1. Continue exposing PFDJ’s crimes to the International Community; remind the International Community of their moral obligations towards Eritrea and its suffering people, and in the process encourage them to take concrete steps to expeditiously alleviate the misery of the Eritrean people.
  2. Continue compiling the names of PFDJ’s (direct and indirect) victims. took the lead in compiling the victims’ names. did a marvellous work in publishing the names of those who perished in the Mediterranean Sea in March last year.

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The world has witnessed waves of youth-oriented popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle-East, which have trembled dictators everywhere. It has become very clear to all dictators that they are not immune from the rage of oppressed people, regardless of their well-armed and brutal security forces. They deployed them to crush the aspirations of the people, but they failed! The youth rage is waged to stamp out political oppression, suppression of freedom, social inequality, bad governance, youth unemployment, just to mention a few. The Eritrean people in their home country are facing the same situation under the rule of the dictatorial regime that ruled Eritrea with an iron fist for 20 years and turned the country into a giant prison. Like in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and surely more to come in 2012, it is time now to take Eritrea in the path of democracy; it is time now to release all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, journalists and many others languishing incommunicado for indefinite period; it is time now to build the foundations of transparent and accountable institutions; and it is time NOW above all for peace, justice and democracy!


We will erect remembrance/memorial shrine for all victims of the Eritrean regime when power returns to the people. We will have a national day of mourning to honour, remember and respect the lives of Eritreans cut-short by PFDJ’s heinous crimes. Our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to ALL PFDJ victims’ families, relatives and close friends.



Melbourne Rally Organising Committee

2 January 2012

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