Press Statement

Few days ago, it came to our attention that a joint letter from the Eritrean Global Solidarity (EGS) and the Network of Eritrean Civil Societies in Europe (NECS) was sent to the British Prime Minister Mr. David Cameroun in the relation to the Conference on Somalia organised by the British government and that took place on   in London.

While writing to the conference organisers, be it in support or otherwise, it is in principle a good idea, especially that we as Eritreans are not indifferent to the sad Somali reality. Nevertheless, it is imperative that we clarify a few points regarding this letter.

  1. CDRiE is one of the organisations that make the EGS and as such, we consider it our right to be consulted and this applies to all organisations within EGS.
  2.  Instead of limiting the scope of the letter to expression of solidarity with the Somali people and applauding those who try to alleviate their plight, the contents of the letter express positions of highly contentious political nature which some member organisations may not subscribe to. We in CDRiE certainly do not subscribe to such a position.
  3. CDRiE strongly believes that the problems across the Horn of Africa are intertwined and that only holistic regional and international approaches would achieve sustainable peace and stability. We are cognizant of the fact that the Eritrean government’s policy does not serve the interest of peace in Somalia or in the region, but we are also equally aware that the Ethiopian government’s policy on Somalia is not better if not worse. It is a policy that does not serve the interest of peace either in Somalia or in the entire region.  From our point of view, singling out one culprit without mentioning the other or willy-nilly presenting giving the impression that Eritrea’s and not Ethiopia’s proxy war in the region is a problem is not only contentious but partisan. 
  4. This is not the first time the EGS Executive Board makes public statements and expresses positions of political nature with which we disagree with. This is the result of the decision-making process which the EGS has adopted and which we believe is incompatible with the nature of an umbrella civil society organisation. It is our firm belief that an umbrella civil society organisation which is a confederation of independent organisations should make decisions based on consensus and/or clearly defined guidelines. So far, the EGS has been acting more as a unitary organisation when it is not.  We hope this does not happen again.

Finally, we hope that the above points are taken as a positive criticism and pave the way for a constructive dialogue aiming at producing harmony within EGS. It is our desire to see EGS remain united and play a more effective role in mobilising Eritreans in favour of peaceful transition to democracy, rule of law and justice.

Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea – CDRiE

The Executive Board

London 28.02.2012


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