What is expected from the Brussels Conference?

2018 is an extremely busy year for Eritreans. The situation in Eritrea is changed from “no war – no peace”  to “no peace” situation. What is not changed is the strategy that has been used by the opposition forces who are fighting against the dictatorial regime.

After Ethiopia ended its war with Eritrea through its public declaration, Eritreans continued to live under the same brutal system of administration. No change has been done so far. More than that the peace agreement signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia is not made public, be it from Eritrean or Ethiopian side. 

In reaction to the secret agreement between the PFDJ Regime and EPRDF government of Ethiopia, thousands of Eritreans went to Geneva(31/08/2018) to denounce the secret deal and called Ethiopia to respect Eritrean sovereignty.  The day after, on 01/09/2018, a meeting was conducted in Geneva that brought about 250 Eritreans together in order to discuss how they can better be organized in order to mobilize Eritreans and fight against injustice and stand for Eritrean sovereignty. 

The meeting in Geneva was solely conducted by Eritreans themselves. No outsider was involved in any form. Individuals from different countries collaborated independently to call for a mass demonstration and attend a meeting that was meant to discuss Eritrean developments. About 13,000 Euros was raised through online campaigns to cover expenses. 

The demonstration conducted on 31/08/2018 was successful. It attracted thousands of Eritreans from different countries. The meetings that were conveyed the day after was a success despite some challenges that came from an organized sectarian and fanatic group who demanded the use of Arabic language and some other demands that that were orchestrated to destruct from the main agenda of the meetings. At the end of the meeting, a seven-member committee was elected democratically to act as a person-reference in their respective countries. 

The seven-member committee took a six months mandate to mobilize and organize Eritreans who live in their respective countries. So far, 100 days have already passed. I believe the committee is actively working on its mission.

Brussels Workshop

About 450 Eritreans are gathering in Brussels on December 13 & 14, 2018 to conduct a workshop among Eritreans who are fighting against the dictatorial regime in Asmara. No detail is made public about the conference except some information that was circulating by individuals through their Facebook postings. Individuals were invited to attend the meetings through private e-mail messages. I was one of those who received the email though no detail was provided about the event.

I preferred to decline the invitation simply because I received no details. I have read no formal information in any news outlet. In order to provoke some news, I tried to make people to be aware about the event through my facebook post published on 26/11/2018. 

I received no positive feedback. I made my mind that there was no any other information made public. It was just a general call that was circulating via facebook. 

I believe that this kind of information is not sufficient for anyone who has a genuine concern about Eritrean cause. Unless people discuss prior to their meetings openly and publically, whatever or whoever is in the meeting, it will end up without any tangible fruit. The people who attend the workshop will have no power to influence the outcome although their inputs could be incorporated in the reports that are meant mainly for the organizers. 

Europe External Policy Advisors(EEPA) and Brussels Workshop 

Europe External Policy Advisors is a group formed by European academicians who work as experts in different matters that concern Europe. One of these members, 
Miriam Van Riesen is active in Eritrean matters. Miriam Van Riesen works with many Eritrean activists who expose the atrocities of the totalitarian regime in Asmara and human rights defenders who are working to protect Eritreans from danger. 

Unlike the Geneva meetings, Brussels workshop is organized by a foreign organization. It is not made public what is the interest of Europe to organize such meetings. Neither EEPA nor any other body has so far published any information about this workshop. I am not sure if there will be any formal publications that may come after too. 

Eritreans who were expecting some news about Geneva meetings got nothing. They kept silent.

I hope EEPA or any other organization(or individual) will have the courage to make information available about the Brussels conference. Otherwise, it will be a service to European academicians than being an effort to solve propblems of the people of Eritrea who are living in misery. 

These days, the are a number of stressing issues that concern Eritreans most. Human rights, sovereignty issue(border demarcation), removing the dictator, Eritreans in Libya, secret agreements between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Eritreans in Europe who are left without protection and some who are waiting forced deportation, etc, are some of the key topics that need urgent discussions. I hope Brussels will discuss these issues seriously and present their resolutions/statements/recommendations to the wider public. 

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1 Comment

  1. So Tes ? What do you think now, after being in Brussels workshop ? What about statements to the wider public ?

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