Following an emergency meeting, the EPDP Executive Committee on 2 July issued a strong statement forewarning the new Ethiopian Prime Minister not forge any hasty relation with the unreliable regime in Eritrea which failed to reconcile with its people that it abused and wronged for so long. The EPDP leadership also sent an urgent call to sister Eritrean organizations to meet and see what can be done at their level.
The statement further wished to remind Dr. Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia that "the repressive and anti-people ruling clique in Asmara, now showing unlimited enthusiasm to befriend itself with Ethiopia, is not reconciled with the Eritrean people in abused and wronged, and that the relation wanted by that regime with Ethiopia can be both dangerous and short-lived."
The EPDP leadership also repeated its call to the international community "to give appropriate attention to the suffering of the Eritrean people and not to unwind its scrutiny over the repressive regime because of the reported pledges for rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia".
(Printed below is the full text of the 2 July statement of the EPDP EC)
EPDP Statement on Regional Developments
And a Call to the Eritrean Opposition Camp
The EPDP Executive Committee finds it appropriate to once again look into the continually growing developments in our region whose impact is felt beyond Eritrea and Ethiopia. The huge importance of the winds of change in the region drew early on the attention of the EPDP whose EC welcomed on 27 May 2018 the fast unfolding phenomenon in fraternal Ethiopia. The EC action was followed on 24 June by the EPDP Chairman's public statement clarifying the extent of the party's support to the well-intended gestures. Now, backed by additional evaluation of the situation, the EPDP EC finds it absolutely necessary not only to take position on the new Ethiopian initiative related to Eritrea but also to make an urgent call to sister organizations in the Eritrean opposition camp to start thinking of what must be done at their level.
First and foremost, the Executive Committee repeated its commendation to the Ethiopian decision to end the "no-peace-no-war" stalemate by fully supporting the final and binding ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), a wise step and right position which the EPDP also supported and struggled for in the long past relentlessly.
It is true that there has not been any reason for the one-man dictatorship in Asmara to cause untold suffering to the steadfast people by depriving them of rule of law and most basic human rights because of an unresolved border conflict. Based on the Algiers Agreement, the EEBC expected the two sides to expeditiously implement the final and binding ruling with the support of UN experts. This could not be achieved because, contrary to EBBC ruling, Ethiopia asked "dialogue" prior to the start of demarcation process. Nevertheless, Ethiopia's full acceptance of the EBCC ruling after 16 years and its seeming determination to implement demarcation without prior dialogue is a major step promising the hope for peace and stability in our troubled region.
Amidst this good tidings, what utterly surprised Eritreans and the watching world was the unexpected reactions of the Eritrean regime, which until recently bragged of making no contact whatsoever until a start of a process for demarcation, hastily sent its delegation to Addis Ababa. This was done before it even knew the extent of the Ethiopian call for action, and without the knowledge of the guarantors of the Algiers Agreement. It is becoming apparent that the regime was less concerned with Eritrea's national sovereignty; and may be the very destructive border war itself was not war because of the border issue. Therefore, it is time for us Eritreans to be fully aware of the dangers that can befall to Eritrean sovereignty because of the actions of the regime in Asmara.
We know there existed problem related to the Ethio-Eritrean border before Eritrea's independence, an issue which could have been solved easily soon after 1991. It indeed was a mistake to leave it unaddressed till 1998. Today, the regime's border related second betrayal, and the possible dangers of not resolving it now are grave concerns. It distresses all forces of change and peace because it is not a concern of only one political force or one social group. Only to stress, the danger of not resolving the border problem is the burden of all Eritrean political and civic associations and interested citizens. And as a follow up of previous proposals for joint work, the EPDP once more comes with this highly important call to the Eritrean opposition camp to meet as a matter of urgency and address the ever disquieting Eritrean situation and avert additional dangers to the country and its people.
We in the EPDP are fully aware of the fact that the entire nation, nowadays including pro-regime sections, are shocked by the sudden decision of the regime to send its envoys to Addis Ababa after having held all Eritreans hostage of its excuses about the border issue. We do not only want peace between the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia but we have been struggling and paying heavy price for its sake, including irreparable damage to the social fabric and the generations. The misplaced language and theatrics of the regime's delegation in Ethiopia raise many big questions. The well placed fear of many Eritreans is that the Asmara regime could be bent at yet unknown betrayal of Eritrean sovereignty by allowing the underhand of alien interests. Our people therefore should no longer allow the regime to find other hiding corners for its betrayal of people's interests. Nor will the agenda of the Eritrean struggle end with resolution of the border issue. In fact, the main Eritrean agenda is winning and guaranteeing peace, democracy and prosperity for the long deprived nation. Therefore, it is time for the entire nation, including the defense forces and other organized groups, to make a united stand and solve their national problem.
The EPDP, which relentless struggled for the implementation of the ruling of EBBC, warmly and promptly welcomed the determined right step taken by the Government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed to end the border conflict without further delay believing that it serves the best interests of our two peoples.
The EPDP feels it as a duty to remind the Ethiopian Prime Minister that, compared to what prevailed in Ethiopia, the Eritrean situation was an all-round disaster. We therefore are inclined to believe that the Ethiopian Prime Minister is not bent at denying Eritreans the democracy and good governance that he wants to prevail in Ethiopia. Therefore, we wish tell Ethiopian PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed to be fully aware of facts: that the repressive and anti-people ruling clique in Asmara, now showing unlimited enthusiasm to befriend itself with Ethiopia, is not reconciled with the Eritrean people in abused and wronged, and that the relation wanted by that regime with Ethiopia can be both dangerous and short-lived.
Likewise, we ask the international community to give appropriate attention to the suffering of the Eritrean people and not to unwind its scrutiny over the repressive regime because of the reported pledges for rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Voicing Together, We Get Heard!
Working Together, We Get Effective!
The EPDP Executive Committee
2 July, 2018