EPDP Urges EU to Empower Pro-Democracy Forces Instead of Helping the Repressive Regime in Asmara

2015-03-31 21:44:19 Written by  EPDP Information Office Published in EPDP News Read 3029 times

In a memorandum sent today, 31 March, to the European Union (EU), the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) expressed utter dismay with the regional body’s plans to help the dying though still repressive regime in Asmara, and urged Europe to stand with the victimized Eritrean people.



Addressed to Ms Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-Chairperson of the EU Commission, with copies to Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the Council of EU; Mr. Jean-Claude Junker, President of the EU Commission; Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and to foreign ministries of all the 28 EU Member States, the memorandum regretted EU’s plan of repeating another mistake of vainly trying to engage an incorrigible regime that failed it in the past.


Messrs Donald Tusk, Martin Schultz and Jean Claude Junker

The EPDP message also listed priority areas in which the European Union can be of help to the distressed 6 million Eritreans at this critical hour in their life. Copied below is the full text of the memorandum.

Your Excellency EU High Representative Mogherini,

We in the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), an organization in exile struggling for democratic change, are addressing this message to your esteemed office, with copies to all concerned in the European Union, to express our utter dismay about the reported intention of the EU to once more resort to gestures of appeasement with the incorrigible and Africa’s most repressive regime in Asmara.

When the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea submitted its interim report to the UN Human Rights Council on 16 March 2015 affirming that “most Eritreans have no hope for their future” under the current regime, the EU representative, Mr. Peter Sorensen, welcomed the report as “an excellent work” and stated that the EU was “deeply concerned about the persisting human rights violations” in Eritrea. The EU message to the Council also regretted that the Eritrean regime is refusing all cooperation and access to the country where “arbitrary arrests, disappearances, torture, extra-judiciary killings….” are taking place and restriction of freedoms is widely reported.

EU member states that addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 16 March, among them Germany, France and UK, also strongly supported and endorsed the EU statement.


The Council of the European Union

Dear Ms Mogherini,

The EU’s generous grant of €122 million in 2007 did nothing to change the regime from continuing violating human and political rights of its own. Both the EU and the Eritrean regime appeared to have agreed to ignore the Cotonou Agreement stipulating that any support from the EU was strictly conditional to good governance and respect of human rights. To the contrary, the regime in Asmara continued to defy ande violate the Cotonou Agreement and the EU funds had proven to have helped to strengthen the criminal security apparatus of the regime. As a result, more displacement and flight of desperate refugees increased since that time.

Dear Madam,

The Eritrean people deserve sympathy and support and not the repressive regime that victimized them for decades. We therefore appeal to your esteemed office to listen to our people’s appeals to the EU to stop re-empowering a regime whose days now appear numbered.

Instead of supporting the repressive regime, we request the EU and its member states to do the following:

  1. To tell the regime in Asmara that it does not deserve EU support until it stops all the cruelties it is meting out against its own people.
  2. The EU to initiate an extensive package programme for Eritrean refugees in the Horn of Africa. This programme can provide academic education, skill training and scholarships and prepare young and disadvantaged Eritreans for a better future in post-dictatorship Eritrea. It can be financed mainly by the technical assistance funds suspended for over a decade by many countries because of the Asmara regime’s bad human rights record.
  3. We also ask the EU to forget the Asmara regime and engage Eritrean non-state political and civil society actors. These pro-democracy actors deserve your support for empowerment now.

To sum, a resumption of support to the regime in Asmara will again prove to be a wrong action by the EU. It will prove to be repeating a failed experience? We therefore urge the EU and its member states not to spend time and resources on such futile endeavor that will not yield the intended results. Eritreans will continue fleeing the country as long as the regime of Isayas Afeworki in is in power.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 23:48