Nairobi 22 February 2015
Eritreans in Nairobi have established the Eritrean Diaspora in East Africa ( EDEA) to promote the interests and the welfare of Eritrean citizens in the East Africa Region and help them to benefit from the hospitality accorded to them in the region. The executive committee had planned an inaugural meeting to be held on Friday 20 February 2015.
Key topicsfor the meeting were:
The meeting was to be opened by Mr Elias Habte Selassie (an Eritrean academician, lawyer and an expert in conflict resolution and development) and closed by Dr Asefaw Tekeste. (Public Health Director School of Medicine Touro University )
Guest of honourwere:
At the last minutethe inaugural meeting of the EDEA did not take place. There was much confusion however what has emerged is that somehow the Eritrean embassy lodged a complaint with the Kenyan authorities.
In additionto lodging a protest with the Kenyan authorities, the Eritrean Embassy has also engaged in a campaign of intimidation of Eritreans in Nairobi by sending them mobile text messages. The message states that: the Eritrean Embassy has received complaints from concerned Eritreans about the meeting organised by the EDEA and in particular the nature of the discussion to be held there. The message further states that no Eritrean should even dream of participating in the meeting. If Eritreans do participate no Eritrean embassy anywhere in the world will provide them with any services.
Typically the messageis a God Father like threat and very divisive. We should note that the key purpose of EDEA is to promote the welfare of the Eritrean citizens and the diaspora and in so doing to address the issue of so many of our young people running from a ruthless uncaring government in Eritrea.
The reaction of the Eritreanembassy to the initiative, can only demonstrate to the Kenyan authority how Eritrean Government treats its people, it should be taken as a sign that EDEA is on the right path, it should create international alliances carry out the work it has set out to do seriously – the youth of Eritrea is watching .