As 400 African youth gathered in Addis Ababa on 24 April 2019 for the Second African Youth Forum, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC), received an Eritrean message reminding him of Africa’s forgetfulness of the plight of Eritrean youth who are scattered all over the globe.
The four-day youth conference opened by the AUC chairman is convened under the theme of “One Million by 2021 Initiative” aiming to boost what it called the 4Es (Employment, Enterpreneurship, Education and Engagement) for the benefit of African youth.
The EPDP memorandum to Mr. Moussa Mahamat welcomed the initiative but reminded the continental organization of its continued failure address the societal breakdown in Eritrea. It cited a recent study showing that nearly two million Eritreans live outside their country, a vast majority them being youth below the age of 35 and that they will not for sure benefit from “the AU’s commitment to promote the 4Es for African youth as long as the repressive Eritrean regime is in absolute grip of power”.
The memorandum added: “The African Union has been requested by UN bodies, including the UN Commission of Human Rights, to address the problem of political and human rights in Eritrea” and that this could have started by AU “trying to find an appropriate mechanism of bringing to accountability members of the Eritrean ruling clique charged of grave violations of human rights, including “crimes against humanity”.
EPDP’s angry message expressed sadness of AU giving “deaf ears to repeated calls for help by Eritrean no-state actors and remaining silent on this disquieting situation for over quarter of a century now”. It also noted that AU’s “regrettable omission to act on time” can eventually lead to “another painful development disrupting the peace and security of the entire Horn of Africa region”.