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The 2014 Frankfurt Eritrean Festival, the Voice of the Oppressed Featured

2014-08-12 00:00:00 Written by  Published in English Articles Read 11305 times

The 2014 Eritrean festival is due to take place from August 8 to 10, 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany. It is being organized and facilitated under the auspices of the Eritrean Democratic Association, a nonprofit organization, in collaboration with the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).

Unlike previous festivals, this festival is unique and is anticipated to bring a number of new faces and diverse groups together, and will be a launching pad where different ideas will confluence together in an effort to strengthen and articulate the struggle for democracy in our country.

Second, this festival is different from the previous ones, in that it is being held at a time when our country is at a cross roads not only in search for change and justice, but also in terms of the need for redefining the culture and trajectory of the Eritrean opposition (whether the organized political groups or the civil society organizations, or the Eritrean social media).

Third, so far the struggle against the dictatorial regime in our country has been symbolized by splits/narrow groups that produced rivalry, mistrust, and inefficient organization, which in turn enabled the tyranny in Eritrea to establish its widespread influence through varied campaign of fears and lies unfettered. This festival, in various formats and approaches, will address the fragmented nature of the Eritrean opposition not as an isolated development but as a significant underlying element within the context of restoring national unity, and envisioning on the establishment of a true democracy, equality, freedom, and justice for all citizens of Eritrea in post PFDJ Eritrea. Thus, the festival will closely examine why the Eritrean opposition force has undergone intense polarization in the last two decades, which resulted in the loss of our long-held reliance on unity as a fundamental force for our sovereignty and independence.

Fourth, the Eritrean National Democratic Forces (ENDF) will exclusively address and examine in a format of seminar the outcome of the workshop held by the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) in Pretoria, South Africa in May 2014. The objective is to reach out vast majority of Eritreans on the substance and on the wide ranging topics discussed under the theme of “strategic thinking on political and socioeconomic crises in Eritrea: implications, scenarios and responses.”  

Fifth, this festival will not be a forum for advancing competition, exclusion, or hegemony of one group or another. Rather, it will be to create a fresh ground for searching our souls in unison in a manner that would reduce, if not eliminate, the long drawn out uncertainties and disagreements among all the Eritrean groups opposing the tyrannical system in our country on one hand and for crafting our priorities, developing persuasive messaging, and streamlining the delivery mechanism of our messages in a way that will solidify our democratic struggles so as to liberate our people who are facing a daily atrocities and cruelty with impunity on the other hand.

Sixth, the festival will host a presentation by Dr. Hamdy al-Azazy, an Egyptian human rights activist and anti human trafficking, who will speak about the human trafficking in Sinai Desert of whom the majority of the victims are young Eritrean women and girls. Dr. Hamdy will accompany his presentation with video clips and footages on how Eritreans become victims of human traffickers, on how they are being reduced to slavery and becoming subject to brutal violence, rape, and inhumane treatment by groups and gangs that operate between Sudan and the Sinai Peninsula. The presentation will anchor on raising awareness of human trafficking, but also what to do to stop such a horrendous and inhumane acts befalling upon Eritrean refugees.

In summary, the 2014 Frankfurt Eritrean festival will entertain diverse topics on the larger problem facing Eritrean people because of the tyrannical system in our country on one side and how to address it on the other side. This festival will be a groundbreaking for sorting out not only the fundamental problems besieging the Eritrean opposition force but also articulating the strategic path on how to bring the democratic struggle onto one page in the struggle against the PFDJ regime, which is reducing the country to rabbles by the day. Therefore, attend, voice your concern, be part of the voice of reason on behalf of your oppressed people, and help the Eritrean opposition to get out of the limb it is currently in.

Last, as the festival Preparatory committee put it, once the festival is over, we must find a way of working on the ground in partnership to implement what comes out of the festival’s seminars and panel discussions.  

Last modified on Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:32