On the 20th of November, over a thousand Eritreans gathered in Washington DC to learn about the current sanction-related developments, be educated, exchange ideas, and find ways to challenge the continuous attempts to strangulate Eritrea. They gathered to express their support and to affirm their commitment to the people and government of Eritrea.
Mr. Berhane Ghebrehiwot, head of Community Affairs of Eritrea in the US, briefed Eritreans about the current developments in the UN regarding the draft resolution tabled by Gabon and sponsored by Nigeria. Mr. Berhane explained Eritrea’s diplomatic efforts geared at getting into the roots of the issues propelling the animosities against Eritrea by the US and that Eritrea is sparing no effort. The briefing included developments about the current economic activities in Eritrea, the upcoming YPFDJ conference in Nakfa, and what the Eritreans in the Diaspora need to do to play an active role in the national endeavors.
The briefing also gave Eritreans details that they sought. Mr. Berhane explained, the draft resolution crafted by Ethiopia in July and pushed by the US in the Security Council is an effort to deny Eritreans the fruits of their hard work. After a great deal of time and effort, Eritrea is at a stage where it will shift gears into a new era of economic developments, and that momentum is their aim.
While the tabled sanction measure failed to gain traction with the members of the UNSC, Eritreans cannot relax until they remove the first sanction-1907 entirely because they want to use the proposed sanction measure as a bargaining chip to keep the first sanction in place. We must also remember that Gabon’s and Nigeria’s tenure at the security council will end in December.
Mr. Berhane explained the essence of Eritrea’s strength is our mind and determination. Eritreans are experienced, aware, and ahead of all the schemes weaved to distract them from the core issues. And if our enemies can weaken our resolve, then they have won. He urged Eritreans not to be fooled by some of the propaganda ploys designed to scare Eritreans and give the sanction issue unwarranted attention that they seek. He reiterated Eritreans must organize and encourage their youth to play active roles. There are various Eritrean organizations, and Eritreans must join the organizations to contribute their due part without excuses. He also urged Eritreans to write to counter the lies and negative propaganda campaigns.
Mr. Dawit Habte also gave a detailed eyewitness account and a PowerPoint presentation based on a paper he wrote called “The Ghosts of Famine and Drought I could not find in Eritrea.” Mr. Dawit said one of his best sources was the people. He visited many places in Eritrea, and everywhere he went, he was surprised with the greenery, the harvest, and the falling prices of various grains and animals. He even witnessed nontraditional fruits like papaya grown in Zoba Debub. Mr. Dawit said the entire country is transformed and, once deserted, has become forests that attract wild animals. Mr. Dawit stressed the famine propaganda was a concerted “Disinformation” campaign designed to undermine Eritrea’s achievements.
Dr. Ghidewon Abbay Asmerom gave a dynamic educational presentation detailing the genesis of sanction measures imposed on Eritrea and the role of the various actors in it, and the disinformation campaigns against Eritrea and why. As an example, Dr. Ghdewon provided annexes of the evidence supplied by Ethiopia as evidence to the UNSC. The evidence showed an Oromian Colonel, Amharic alphabet lesson notes, and a single Nakfa note as evidence. Regarding Kenya, Dr. Ghidewon showed the improbability of the claim by providing a map that shows that there is no way Eritrean planes could get into Baidowa without flying through hostile airspace. Dr. Ghdewon said this is done to undermine Eritrea because they have never wanted to see Eritrea as a nation, and it would be foolish to think that they will change their mind now. Dr. Ghdewon referred to Wikileaks documents to expose the schemes when he spoke about how they changed visa rules to entice Eritrean youth to flee with false promises. At the same time, there are many languishing in the US to get residence status. Hence, we need to stress Mekete, and in effect, Eritreans must make Mekete a way of life. He said most people see Mekete about the current challenges. However, Mekete should be the way until we see that “We reach to the Moon and Mars,” prompting a long-standing ovation.
Eritreans in the Metro Washington DC area then affirmed their commitment through a resolution. The resolution states:
- We call on the UNSC to annul the illegal Sanction 1907 the US pushed based on fabrication.
- We condemn the US and Ethiopian pushed draft resolution presented by Gabon sponsored by Nigeria to stop Eritreans from supporting their families and nation.
- We call on Ethiopia to withdraw from the Eritrean land it is illegally occupying by breaking international laws after a final and binding decision was rendered in The Hague.
- We affirm our commitments to our martyrs, stating that the 2% allotted for reparation is insufficient. Hence, we condemn any attempt to stop this noble cause.
- Appreciating all diplomatic and developmental efforts exerted by the people and government of Eritrea, we affirm our commitment and support.
- Appreciating those working hard to defend the nation, we express our unyielding commitment and support to our defense forces.
- Condemning those who use different methods to infiltrate the youth and create division, we affirm our commitment and readiness to challenge any attempts.
After a brief comment and question exchange, Liya gave a moving speech and poem to a brave Eritrean mother. The event required that perfect closing. After which, the head of Shimagle Mekete Freweini Tekeste closed the event by thanking the participants and remembering martyrs.