Submitted by Swedish- Eritrean Partnership for Democracy and Human Rights
Swedish Foreign Minister
We, the undersigned representatives of Eritrean political and civil society organizations and community members residing in this country, have jointly decided to submit to you this urgent message regarding the extremely critical situation in our country of origin, Eritrea. This appeal seeks your most immediate attention and action to prevent Eritrea from becoming another full-fledged failed state in the region because of a regime that has turned to be one of a couple of worst of the worst in suppressing fellow citizens on this planet.
We above all appeal for mistakes by fraternal countries to be corrected as soon as possible. Dictators may keep the peace only for some time. But extreme repression as the one in Eritrea does always lead to the worst situation that cannot be imagined until it happens.
We Eritreans submitting this appeal fully understand the ill-advised feeling growing in this country and in the diplomatic corridors of the rest of continent that, observing the harmful developments in the region (e.g. Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria), what Eritrea deserves is simply a repressive dictatorship that it already has!But we cannot disagree more.
After 30 years of liberation war and additional 24 years of military bravado and hostilities with all neighbors by dictator Isaias Afworki, Eritrea’s 6 million people today constitute one of the two most militarized societies on the globe. Many learned estimates indicate that up to 90% of Eritreans inside the country and abroad are today opposed to the regime in Asmara and wish to get rid of it anytime soon by any means possible.
Presently, the regime’s security apparatus may appear hard to break. However, the situation is already humanly unbearable and cannot be reversed by any amount of support. It is thus very likely that, if the repressive regime which already lost the trust of the entire population is helped to continued, the highly militarized Eritrean society will at any moment implode and sow chaos to Ethiopia, the Sudan and much beyond the immediate region. We know nothing worse can happen to this fragile region than Eritrea’s imminent implosion/explosion if the regime is helped to continue to stay in power. It will not stay in power. It can only lead to a regrettably disastrous chaos.
The vast majority of us Swedish- Eritreans residing are today opposed to the autocratic regime in Asmara and are of the full conviction that the country will become another war zone like Somalia or Libya ONLY if the lawless regime that caused untold suffering to our people for the past 24 years is appeased with and let to continue its stay in power. Only to reiterate: we cannot hide that we are appalled by the unjustified appeasement with the reprehensible regime by the EU and a number of European countries.
Therefore, we are submitting to the Government and Parliament of Sweden this joint appeal of all Eritreans opposed to the dictatorship in Eritrea and struggling for justice and democracy to ask your support and most immediate action on the following major areas:
- Initiation of a Robust Program in Support of Eritrean refugees:
- Eritrea should be considered a humanitarian disaster area. The hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refugees in the Horn of Africa region as well as those stranded in Libya, Yemen and Israel deserve an action plan initiated by the EU and supported by the international community.
- Those recent arrivals in the refugee camps in the Sudan and Ethiopia, who exceed 300,000, require a robust program that should include not only better health, food and shelter facilities but also educational and skill training programs that can be funded mainly by resources that were suspended by different countries in the past several years from reaching the Eritrean people because of the reprehensive human rights record of the Eritrean government.
- A joint UN-EU action is required to address the plight of over 2,000 refugees still in Libya, 50,000 refugees in Yemen and 35,000 in Israel which still considers them as infiltrators and illegal migrants.
- EU Must Stop Beefing Up the Dictatorship in Eritrea:
- Needless to say, the dictatorship in Eritrea, which failed to listen to different recommendations and advice in the past quarter of a century, does not deserve support to stay longer. The people inside the home country and abroad are doing all what it takes to replace the callous dictatorship by a democratic system of governance. We therefore appeal to you and all member countries of the EU to advise this important regional organization (EU) to stop its planned support with more than €300 million to the regime in Eritrea.
- Humane Refugee Policies Requested
- We likewise call on Sweden and the rest of European countries to revise their refugee policies by opening up their doors to distressed Eritrean asylum seekers who are stranded in hostile places like Libya.
- Support UN Decisions and RecommendationsTrusting that you will give due attention and appropriate action on the above, we remain, Swedish- Eritrean Partnership for Democracy and Human Rights1. Swedish standing committee for foreign affairs3. Human rights organizations ( Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch
- 2. Swedish EU- parliament leaders
- Copies to:
- Respectfully yours,
- We also strongly appeal to Sweden and the rest of European countries in the EU and outside it to give full support to UN Security Council Resolutions on targeted sanctions as well as to the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council and its Eritrea-related organs that include the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea and the UN Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea.