Liberty Bi-Monthly English Organ of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party - EPDP ERITREANS GATHER IN FRANKFURT FESTIVAL 2013; DISCUSS HOT ISSUES OF NATIONAL CONCERN. READ PAGE 3
Lady Ashton reassures:
EU is “both concerned with the plight of the Eritrean people and attentive to the voices of Eritreans living abroad”. Read page 11
Issue # 22
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reportage on Eritrea Festival 2013 in Frankfurt …....……………....……….3 - 6
At Eritrea Festival 2013, EPDP Chairman Depicts Sad Situation of Eritrea and its People …….………………………..........................6 - 7
ENDF Holds Lively Seminar on 1st Festival Day…………………………………….8-10
South Africa’s EMDHR Sends Solidarity Message……………………………………10
Lady Ashton Clarifies EU’s Position on Eritrea …....………….………...……..……11-12
EPDP Issues Joint-Action Proposal ……………...…………..….…….......………….12-13
Central Council Holds 3rd Regular Meeting ………………………………………….14-15
Norway Closes Embassy in Asmara……………………………………………………15
EDA in N. America Helps Renovate Wad-Sherifey School…………………………16-18
EPDP Members in Asmara Reprimand Regime and Opposition……………………19
All-Europe Congress of 10 EPDP Branches Held in Frankfurt………………………20
EDA N. America Funds Renovation of Wad-Sherifey School (read p. 16)
REPORTAGE ON ERITREA FESTIVAL 2013 IN FRANKFURT The annual politico-cultural Eritrea Festival was again this year held colourfully in the German city of Frankfurt between 2 and 4 August 2013. Its main slogan was “We struggle for a constitutional state and social justice”. The main even on 2 August was a seminar of members of the Eritrean National Democratic Forces (ENDF) of which the EPDP is a member. (See separate story).
Masters of ceremony on events on Saturday, 3 August, were Ms Tiebe Tekie and Mr. Ghirmai Zemichael who started by saluting Festival participants and explaining in Arabic and Tigrinia the objectives of the annual festival. Also welcoming the audience to the event was a folkloric dance led by Eyob Haile. On his part, Ato Afeworki Abai, chairman of the preparatory committee informed the audience on details of the day`s programme. And as usual, the audience included the representative of the Mayor of Frankfurt, Ms Erika Freundschuh.
invited to the podium, Ms Freundschuh conveyed Mayor Peter Fieldman’s good wishes for
the success of the politico-cultural festival annual held in Frankfurt, a city known for its contributions to the growth of German political thoughts and social integration. The Mayor’s representative also talked in great length about the qualities women have in all fields of life and underlined the urgency of promoting the role of women in leadership positions at any level in a society. Her presentation in German was being translated to Tigrinia by Dr. Aklilu Ghirmai, member of the Central Council of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).
This was followed by an enlightening presentation by Dr. Habtemichael Tekleberhan on the constraints of the Eritrean opposition camp vis-a-vis the expectations of the people. The presenter, a chemist in Sweden and long-time political activist, tried to show through examples, drawings and graphics some ways that the Eritrean opposition camp can come out of its old box and engage in new and proven ways that can help it achieve its long delayed goal.
Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom, chairman of the EPDP saluted organizers of the festival and the audience starting with good wishes for those on Ramadan fasting (see separate report) Mr. Abdurahman a-Sayed, a human rights activist from UK, who is also member of the Coordinating Committee of the Eritrean National Democratic Forces (ENDF), spoke on the still stiff challenges in the struggle ahead and the prospects of the inevitable resurgence of post-PFDJ Eritrea.
Mr. Tzehaie Kubrom, chairman of the newly established Eritrean Human Rights and Refugee Advocacy (EHHRA), introduced the non-profit charity registered in Germany by explaining the aims and objectives of the body. His presentation was supported by a video show depicting the suffering of the hostages of human trafficking in the Sinai. Public debate on the presentations by Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom, Dr. Habtemichael Tekleberhan and Mr. Abdurahman a-Sayed was coordinated by Mr. Haile Woldu (Dangish).
At the end of the panel discussion and question and answer session, the festival participants were invited to an all-night folkloric music and dance led by known singers Eyob Haile, Ghirmai ‘Tiyus’, Yonatan ‘Shekortet’, Alem Assefaw (Embaba) and a DJ entertainer who also sung folklore in two Eritrean languages. On the third day of the festival, EPDP chairman Menghesteab Asmerom held a meeting with organizers of the successful Eritrea Festival 2013 and warmly thanked them for their tireless work to make all festival events of great interest to the general public. He also briefed party members on latest developments within EPDP and the rest of the opposition camp.
EPDP CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES ERITREA FESTIVAL 2013; DEPICTS SAD SITUATION OF ERITREA AND ITS PEOPLE In his key speech at the Eritrea Festival 2013, Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom, the Chairman of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), presented a distressing picture of the economic, political and social condition in Eritrea and urged all Eritreans to fully appreciate the danger hanging over their country and people and take appropriate action to avert it.
In his lengthy but attentively received speech, the EPDP chairman gave details on the miseries of daily life in today’s Eritrea, and the utter failure of the dictatorial regime to provide to people the very basic necessities like bread, personal security, health care and education
The EPDP Chairman noted that, contrary to the rosy picture presented by the state-controlled Eritrean media and its television broadcasts, all social services and so-called “infrastructural” developments are total failures by all standards. The hospitals and public health clinics build by the regime are empty shells with no qualified personnel or medical supplies to serve the public. Schools have been build in several places but the quality of education has fallen to the deep bottom. Roads built through the forced labour of unpaid “national service” recruits are not only of very low grade but are not put to use yet due to the literal no-existence of economic activities in the country. Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom also explained in great detail the political repression in the country under the one-man dictatorship and the extremely disquieting human rights abuses ongoing in Eritrea for the past two decades. He also talked about the unending suffering of Eritrean refugees and appreciated the contributions of individual Eritrean activists in support of our compatriots in great need of immediate help. He mentioned with high appreciation Dr. Alganesh Fisseha (Ghandi) of Italy; Ms Meron Estefanos in Sweden; Ms Elsa Chyrum and Ms Selam Kidane in UK as well as the Eritrean priest in Switzerland, Aba Mussie Zerai, for their hard work in support of Eritrean refugees and in the promotion of human rights of Eritreans everywhere.
Among other things, the EPDP Chairman regretted the continued weakness of the Eritrean diaspora organizations opposed to the regime and hoped these organizations will soon realize the urgency of reactivating themselves in order to mobilize Eritreans to act and remove the dictatorial regime. In conclusion of his 45-minute speech, the EPDP Chairman mentioned some of the diplomatic and other achievements of his party during the past 12 months and explained the commitment of party members to help make things happen in Eritrea soon.
ENDF HOLDS AWARENESS SEMINAR FOR MEMBERS, SYMPATHIZERS DURING ERITREA FESTIVAL 2013 On the first day of Eritrea Festival, the Coordinating Committee of the Eritrean National Forces
(ENDF) conducted a briefing and awareness seminar for members and sympathizers. Mr. Assefaw Berhe, member of the ENDF Coordinating Committee, opened the meeting by welcoming participants and introduced Mr. Abdurahman a-Sayed, another ENDF Coordinating Committee member, and the subject of his presentation which included experience of ENDF and the prospects of rebuilding Eritrea in post-dictatorship period. Mr. Abdurahman a-Sayed explained that the ENDF was organized by national democratic forces committed to defend independent political decision of Eritreans in resolving Eritrean issues; the resolve to bring about lasting change through non-violent means of struggle, and to promote the idea of people-centred change with the strong participation of the Eritrean people at home. He underlined the advantages of people-centred non-violent struggle that has taken place in Tunisia and Egypt in the last few years in contrast with the mayhem that is taking place in Syria today and the outcome of the armed hostilities still simmering in Libya. The speaker ex-
Mr. A. a-Sayed further explained with examples the benefits of reconciliation and coordinated work for fragmented opposition forces. He said the South African United Democratic Front or UDF, of which the ANC was an integral part, was a success because it enabled coordinated work among diverse forces made up of political organizations, civil society groups, churches and individuals. The UDF struggled for political and human rights of South Africans.
The speaker informed festival participants on the activities of the ENDF and some of its achievements in the past two years. The untold miseries suffered by the Eritrean people were adequately explained, and that the ENDF is committed to intensify its struggle to ensure more effective implementation of the targeted UN sanctions against the Eritrean regime.
The educational presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session on the main issues raised by the presenter.The untold miseries suffered by the Eritrean people were adequately explained, and that the ENDF is committed to intensify its struggle to ensure more effective implementation of the targeted UN sanctions against the Eritrean regime. The educational presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session on the main issues raised by the presenter.
IN A SOLIDARITY MESSAGE, SOUTH AFRICA’S EMDHR SEES ERITREA FESTIVAL AS PLATFORM FOR DEMOCRACY In a solidarity message to the Eritrea Festival in Frankfurt, the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) expressed its strong conviction that such an event “organized out of free will of the people is a platform towards building a free, democratic, and just society that guarantees the equality, human rights, and dignity of its people.” The EMDHR message, issued by its Department for External Relations, commended the “indomitable and indefatigable spirit of all Eritrean democrats not only for organizing this festival but also their relentless pursuit for democracy, freedom, justice, and dignity through active non-violent means” The message went on: “In this pursuit, you shall have a helping hand in the EMDHR and together with all likeminded Eritrean democrats, we are more assured that we shall end the misery of our people and usher in a democratic dispensation in our beloved country. We wish you a successful festival and keep marching in the just struggle for democratic change”.
In Reply to an EPDP Memo, High Representative Catherine Ashton Clarifies EU Position on Eritrea In reply to a memorandum of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), Lady Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy, reassures Eritreans that the EU is “both concerned with the plight of the Eritrean people and attentive to the voices of Eritreans living abroad”. Lady Ashton’s August 2 letter was in response to a memorandum of the EPDP Foreign Office sent to Her Excellency Lady Ashton on 12 June 2013 urging the EU and its member countries to commit themselves in fully backing the implementation of the recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council of Ms Sheila Keetaruth, the UN Special Rapporteur for Eritrea. The EU High Representative’s letter further stated that “the EU supports the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur” and that it consistently invited the Eritrean authorities to engage with the international community on the human rights situation in Eritrea. Lady Ashton’s message went on as copied below.
“The EU’s policy with regard to Eritrea is twofold: Cooperation between Ethiopia and Eritrea and support the full implementation of the Algiers Agreement. The EU remains convinced that both parties must implement the Algiers Agreement fully and without qualification. “On the other hand, the EU continues to be concerned by the lack of concrete progress on the improvement of the human rights situation in Eritrea, including with the situation of political prisoners. The EU addresses its concern in the frank and principled political dialogue with the Eritrean government. This includes the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur.
“As regards the situation of those fleeing from Eritrea, the EU follows closely the situation of human trafficking and refugees in Egypt and in particular in the Sinai. Through our co-operation programmes, the EU addresses the migration trends and contributes to the creation of better perspectives, notably for youth, in the country. “In addition, the EU keeps regular contacts with the Egyptian authorities as well as with the regional offices of UNHCR and IOM on this matter. The EU will continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to take the appropriate measures to ensure that the human rights of migrants and refugees are fully respected. We have called on them to allow UNHCR to implement its mandate on the entire territory of Egypt, including the Sinai region in compliance with Egypt's international commitments. “Finally, the EU is financially supporting the IOM project “A Protection Project: Supporting governmental and nongovernmental partners to protect migrants' human rights along the Africa Route”. The project's objectives are to strengthen capacities to uphold and monitor migrants' human rights in Egypt. “In conclusion, I would like to reassure you that the EU remains committed to the promotion of human rights and to achieving the vision of a peaceful and stable Eritrea within the Horn of Africa.”
EPDP Calls for Intensive Dialogue in the Eritrean Opposition Camp In a statement released on 16 August, 2013, Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) regretted the unending and debilitating internal squabbles of the various organizations in the Eritrean opposition and called for intensive dialogue among the concerned forces towards finding a way out of the dilemma. Extensively discussed at the EPDP leadership organs and branch members, the proposal for dialogue spelled out seven key points that would direct the intended dialogue. The full statement is printed below. *** The Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), springing from its existing vision and conviction on the realization of common objectives by joint action, and in spite of the stumbling blocks continually posed against its past proposals and mechanisms, has decided to once again table out its viewpoints as spelled out in this statement. At this critical juncture in the history of our people, the creation of a viable common platform that guarantees the participation of political and civil organizations and individuals committed for democratic change is of utmost importance. This objective has been and still is one of the enduring principles of the EPDP. The realization of this objective of forming a viable national platform in its turn reassures the success of lasting national harmony centred on peace, stability, democracy, unity and prosperity for the entire nation.
The EPDP believes that the long delayed reward to our people can be realized when a constitutional system of governance is attained with the participation of the people. And no doubt, a democratic constitutional system will allow political parties and the rest of the citizenry to make their viewpoints heard in a peaceful manner without failing to give top priority to national unity and state sovereignty. But the above mentioned long-term common objectives will find conducive atmosphere for realization only when the incumbent dictatorship is removed through a joint action. To ensure the success of the aspired democratic change, there need to be created an inclusive common umbrella based on a minimum political programme. It is the strong conviction of the EPDP that this principled belief must be shared at this particular stage in our struggle by all Eritrean forces striving for democratic change. A jointly planned and organized national dialogue that focuses on joint action is the way to go in achieving our common objectives and missions. Therefore, as a follow up of its previous proposals, the EPDP is pleased to come up once again with this plan that we believe can advance the much needed common action. The gist of the proposal outlined below, which takes past experiences into consideration, expects every partner to commit itself to do all what it can. 1. Strive to remove the dictatorial regime and replace it by a democratic system. 2. After the removal of the dictatorial regime, immediately form a national unity (national reconciliation) government. 3. Uphold the unity of the people and the land is a central objective. 4. Organize a meeting/conference/congress that includes Eritrean political and civil organizations and national figures. 5. No organization will be allowed to include in the common platform its maximum political programme that conflicts with the programmes of others. Individual platforms of each organization will have political space for competition in a democratic and peaceful manner under a national constitution that shall be adopted after the fall of the current dictatorship. 6. Establishing a national umbrella that includes forces struggling against the current dictatorship. 7. Creating leadership organs that can coordinate and lead the common platform or umbrella set up to centralize the plans and objectives of the current stage in the struggle. The leadership organs need to be effectively inclusive so that the social structures and vast majority of the people shall have a sense of belonging to the national platform or umbrella. Long Live the Unity of Our People!! Death to the Dictatorial System!! The Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) 16 August 2013
EPDP Central Council Issues Statement of 3rd Regular Meeting The Central Council of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) held its 3rd regular meeting between 20 and 21 July 2013. The meeting used the opportune moment to focus on charting most immediate plans upon issues of pressing national urgency because it was held at a time: When the condition of the Eritrean people was still at its worst; When the dictatorial regime is desperately fumbling for survival tactics externally and among its followers; When the opposition forces are starting to reconsider their failed efforts that so far bore little success; When our youths are finally coming out of their emotional outbursts and starting a rational discourse on what is to be done to change the bad situation; and When Eritrean human rights groups and individual activists are redoubling their bold engagements in defense of human rights, especially in favour of the much abused Eritrean refugees.
The meeting has enjoyed a spirit of mutual understanding and unrestrained self-confidence at the end of a calm and successful year of collective achievements by EPDP which left behind it as of August 2012 a previous period of unsettling internal squabbles that challenged and indeed constrained smooth Party functions. The council adopted timely and important decisions after receiving and discussing wide-ranging reports presented be the Party Chairman, the executive offices and the Auditor General. The EPDP Central Council expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the major part of the action plan that it handed over to the Executive Committee in its second meeting a year ago. It observed that useful lessons were learned from the few tasks not achieved in the last plan due to various reasons and decided to have them reviewed and included for action in the period ahead. The session further scrutinized draft plans and adopted the programme for the new work period now starting. In reviewing important observations made by the General Auditor, the Central Council instructed concerned offices and Party organs to render the necessary cooperation towards straightening Party functions facing constraints. The council also passed decisions that can help different Party organs to enhance their performances in line with guidelines issued by the general auditor in relation with Party assets and finances. Regarding the Eritrean opposition camp, the EPDP Central Council expressed deep concern about the failure of the camp to measure up to the expectations of the Eritrean people. It wished the Eritrean opposition organizations would make clear distinction between priority tasks of the current struggle and their individual long-term visions for post-dictatorship Eritrea. In other words, the council urged each one of the opposition forces to realize that the topmost joint task for this stage is to give priority only to the common objectives and their realization.
Springing from its deep concern about the endless paralysis witnessed in the Eritrean camp, and based on its keen feeling of the duty and obligation to play its role towards laying out the ground for a joint action by the opposition, the EPDP shall very soon come out with a proposal for joint action by the entire Eritrean opposition. The Central Council has mandated the drafting of the proposal to the EPDP Executive Committee. The meeting did not hide its utter disappointment and frustration with the inaction manifested in the opposition camp - that it called national loss - due to unjustified misunderstandings and disagreements. However, it welcomed as positive steps the very recent development of initiatives for contacting one another for dialogue. One other issue of central concern at the meeting was the plight of Eritrean refugees. The EPDP leadership thus underlined the importance of garnering energies and capacities of Eritrean organizations and the international community towards taking effective action to alleviate their suffering. The EPDP Central Council also expressed its gratitude to all those Eritrean and other humanitarian and human rights activists whose helping hand reached many of our compatriots in distress. The Central Council received full account surrounding the disappearance on 14 February 2012 in Kassala Sudan of leadership member Mr. Mohammed Ali Ibrahim and instructed the Executive Committee to continue the efforts. The meeting commended the brilliant Party achievements in the international and regional meetings in Niamey, Guttenberg and Leipzig and instructed the Executive Committee to build on those important diplomatic tasks at a wider world stage. Likewise, the Central Council expressed admiration and paid gratitude to EPDP members and sympathizers as well as some members of other Eritrean organizations for their generous financial donations to encourage the continuation of the brilliant EPDP achievements during 2012-2013 in the spheres of international diplomacy, public relations and information. The 3rd regular session of the EPDP Central Council was concluded after electing a nine-member Executive Committee with one-year tenure. EPDP Central Council 21 July, 2013
Norway Closes Embassy in Eritrea Norway is the latest to close its Embassy in Asmara this summer, thus ending a chapter in Norwegian–Eritrean relations and further adding to the isolation of the repressive regime in Eritrea. As is the case for Switzerland and other countries, the Norwegian Embassy in Khartoum has taken over responsibility for Norway’s representation in Eritrea. However, Norwegian–Eritrean relations date further back, with extensive Norwegian solidarity in connection with the Eritrean War of Independence (1961–91). Development cooperation between Norway and Eritrea has mainly focused on human rights, democracy-building, peace processes and humanitarian relief. Norwegian aid was channeled through Norwegian NGOs until they were all, with the exception of Norwegian Church Aid, asked to leave Eritrea. Government-to-government assistance has gradually been reduced since 2000. The decision to close the Embassy was reportedly influenced by the fact that Eritrea asked Norway to discontinue all its development activities in the country in the autumn of 2011.
RENOVATED WAD SHERIFEY SCHOOL STARTS CLASSES WITH 651 ERITREAN REFUGEE CHILDREN By Osman Ahmed, School Supervisor
The Wad Sherifey Refugee School for Eritrean in East Sudan has been renovated and started in mid -June its new academic year for 2013-2014 with 651 registered students, of whom 55.3% are girls. The learning environment of the school was in bad shape until April this year. Now, and thanks to contributions coming from Eritreans of different political orientations in North America, the damaged walls were reconstructed; cracks on walls and ceilings repaired; and all classrooms, school compound walls, doors, windows as well as student benches painted in different suitable colours.
WadSherifey is now a school with better learning environment for 651 Eritrean refugee children.
The 25-year old buildings of the school thus took a better shape!! Wad Sherifey looks a new school!! The donation for repairs, totaling about 30,000 Sudanese pounds (US$ 5,000) was sent to the school administration from the Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA), a non-profit charity registered in the United States.
The yawning wall and ceiling cracks…..
… have been quite repaired
In the academic year just started, the Wad Sherifey Refugee School has registered 360 girls and 291 boys. The vast majority of the students are in grades 1 to 6 which are taught in Arabic, with Tigrinia given as subject at all levels. The school follows an adopted Eritrean curriculum. Grades 7 and 8, which teach mostly in English, registered a total of 77 students this year. Naturally, many of the students who come from Eritrea face language difficulties in the initial months.
The old student benches are repainted…are now cleaner and look better.
The school, located only a stone’s throw from the Eritrea-Sudan border, was started in tents and shacks in 1984 by the alliance of the Eritrean Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (ERCCS) which still enjoys legal recognition of the host government to function in East Sudan. The buildings of the school were constructed in concrete in 1988 with funds contributed from the Netherlands. The school was in very bad shape by 2005 until it obtained the kind attention of the ever helpful Eritrean priest, Aba Marino Haile of Milan, who, with his friends contributed 40,000 Euros to renovate it. He and his friends also contributed another 25,000 Euros to build an extension for class rooms and other school uses. For the last nine years, the lion’s share of the school budget has been covered by a charity in Switzerland (ASEE) in cooperation with the usual partners in and around Milan. Parents of the refugee children contribute very school amounts for petty school expenses. Aside from the regular staff salaries, the school is still in great need of water supply and sanitation requirements as well as other needs like student uniforms. The task is beyond the capacities of the small charities that have been supporting the school till now. Other generous donors are kindly requested to come forward to keep the school going on until the problem of Eritrean refugees finds a lasting solution.
Adequate water supply and sanitation problems still require the kind attention of people of goodwill that can reach the school through ASEE, EDA and/or directly to the school administration. And more: the 18 teaching staff at Wad Sherifey are still paid “volunteer” type of salaries – the lowest in the region. It is one of the persistent problems of the refugee school.
EPDP MEMBERS INSIDE ERITREA REPRIMAND THE REGIME AND THE OPPOSITION FOR UNHELPFUL GENERALIZATIONS EPDP Members inside the Homeland In their recent periodical contribution to the party website Harnnet.org members of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) inside the homeland have admonished both the Asmara regime and the opposition in diaspora for the ongoing generalized mutual criticism and accusations as if everyone in the opposition or everyone in the regime is bad and to be blamed.
Under their August 2013 Tigrinia article entitled “መታን ከይንጋገ - In Order to Avoid Mistakes”), the EPDP m have rebuked and advised both the government supporters and those opposed to it to kindly avoid genera cusations by putting everybody on the other camp in one basket. “(In this regard) we see it appropriate to our mistakes”, they urged. .The article pointed out the situation in Iraq after the demise of the Ba’athist regime of Dictator Sadam Hussein. It noted that the regime installed after the fall of Sadam without exception demonized everyone who was a member of that party and that the outcome was the still continuing instability and lack of security in post-Sadam Iraq. The insider EPDP members reminded that the current ruling clique of PFDJ (the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice) was formed with a new charter in 1994 consisting of heroic members of the erstwhile EPLF (Eritrean People’s Liberation Front) and the ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front). For various justifiable reasons, many ELF members remained outside Eritrea. In a nutshell, one cannot deny the truth that the now disfigured PFDJ was founded by our historic heroes of the liberation struggle some of whom met their untimely death, some are languishing in prison or in exile and many others regretfully passing their unhappy days under the close scrutiny of the regime. The article affirms that, in spite of the differences they had, both the ELF and the EPLF were organizations that gave birth to Eritrea’s national heroes. The former ELF/EPLF members who founded the PFDJ in 1994, were joined by other Eritrean heroes who genuinely believed in the building of a just and democratic new state. Unfortunately, a small clique hijacked the organization and kept everybody hostage, as is the case to many Eritreans who fell victim to human traffickers in the Sinai. The article further advised that it is time for Eritreans to realize that, today, the vast majority of the population is opposed to the regime in Asmara and that it is wise to concentrate action against the regime and stop hammering on the mistake that everybody serving the regime is supportive of the PFDJ clique.
ALL-EUROPE CONGRESS OF EPDP BRANCHES ELECTS LEADERSHIP; ADOPTS PLAN OF ACTION Delegations of ten branches of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) coming from Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Holland, Switzerland and Germany conducted a successful congress on 1 August 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, and finally reactivated the functionality of the EPDP Europe zone. Taking part as observers in the congress were EPDP leadership members as well as Mr. Ghirmai Ghebreselassie (Keshi) from the EPDP North America zone. The congress was opened by Mr. Andezion Ghirmai, the chairman of the preparatory committee, who explained the contents of the agenda for the congress. The EPDP chairman, Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom, commended the preparatory committee and the provisional zonal committee for their efforts towards organizing the event and wished a resounding success to this All-Europe Congress. A message of good wishes to the congress from Mr. Tesfamichael Yohannes, head of the EPDP Organizational Office, was read by his representative, Mr. Negassi Hamde. After a check up of quorum and individual introduction of the congress participants, the preparatory committee chairman reported on the process that led to the holding of the congress. Following the election of a five-person congress secretariat to be chaired by Mr. Shumai Berhe of Norway, the congress discussed the relevant reports and finally adopted the future work plan for the new All-Europe Zone leadership.
At the final phase of the congress, a seven-person zone leadership with two reserve members was elected through a secret ballot. They were: Messrs. Dawit Teweldemedhin, Berhane Ghebrekristos, Isaac Woldemariam, Medhanie Habtezghi, Ms Alganesh Yacob, Ms Tiebe Tekie, Fitwi Kifle, Haile Tinsaew and Teclesenbet Ghebremariam. 20