DEMONSTRATION FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN ERITREA
Date: 24 May 2013- Time: 2:00PM – 6:00PM -Venue: in Front of 10 Downing Street The Coordinating Committee representing the different exiled opposition political and civil society organizations in London calls on all Eritreans and the friends of Eritrea
Date: 24 May 2013- Time: 2:00PM – 6:00PM -Venue: in Front of 10 Downing Street
The Coordinating Committee representing the different exiled opposition political and civil society organizations in London calls on all Eritreans and the friends of Eritrea to participate in the Pro-democracy Peaceful Demonstration.
Eritrea achieved its independence de facto and de jure on 24 May 1991 and 24 May 1993, respectively after 30 year of armed struggle which resulted in massive loss of human lives, destruction of property and infrastructure, as well as forgone opportunities. All Eritreans and their friends expected that independence would relegate all forms of political oppression and human rights violation to the dustbin of history and consequently, independent Eritrea would be a fortress of liberty and tranquility.
To the dismay of most Eritreans and their friends, the incumbent government has been emulating its reviled predecessor resulting in boundless impunity, lack of respect for the sanctity of rule of law, human rights, property rights and livelihoods of citizens. Present day Eritrea is ruled by a transitional government that had declared on the day it was formed (1993) that it would relinquish power to a constitutionally elected democratic government within four years. Instead, the transitional government has been in power for 20 years and there is no indication that it will remove itself from power voluntarily in the foreseeable future. Independent Eritrea has degenerated into a one-party state in which there is absolute dearth of freedom of association, freedom of speech and expression. All forms of dissent are equated with treason.
Most of the country’s able-bodied men and women are in arms. All citizens—men and women—between 18 and 40 years are required to perform a mandatory 18 months long national service. After 2002, the national service has become open-ended and the age of eligibility has informally been extended to 47 for women and 56 for men. Given the low average life expectancy, most Eritreans are likely to die before being able to fend for themselves and their families. Tens of thousands of Eritreans are fleeing from the modern form of slavery and when en route to safety, they have been falling in the hands of ruthless human traffickers, kidnappers and human organ traders in eastern Sudan and the Sinai desert. Conditions in Eritrea have simply become so unbearable not many citizens within the age of conscription are willing to stay. If the flow continues unabated, not only many precious lives would continue to be wasted, but the country’s future may be threatened. The only way we could save the lives of our youth and the future of our country is by working together for democratic change and transformation. Change rarely comes on its own. It is the result of conscious human action. Unless we act now, we are failing in our duty as responsible citizens.
The London Coordinating Committee is therefore calling upon all members of the Eritrean community in the United Kingdom, the majority of whom had fled the country in the post independence period, to come out forcefully and join the peaceful demonstration and say LOUDLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND CALL FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE.
The Coordinating Committee – London, Uk
13 May 2013