Eritrea Festival, an annual event organized by the non-profit Eritrean Democratic Association (EDA) and the Europe Zone of the now unified Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), was held in central Frankfurt between 2 and 4 August 2019 attended by Eritreans coming from nine European countries as well as from faraway Australia, the United States, and Canada. This year’s festival, which followed the 3rd and Unity Congress of the EPDP and the Eritrean National Salvation/Hidri, was held under the motto of: “We unite in order to be heard and be effective in the struggle to save our nation.”
The major highlight of the three-day events was the Festival Panel on Saturday, 3 August, which was addressed by sister German parties, representatives of Eritrean political and civic organizations, leading Eritrean mass media persons from Assena TV and Erisat, and old media experts and friends of Eritrea from Sweden.
EDA President, Festival Moderators, with Germany’s Green Prty and FDP Reps at Festival Podium
Welcoming addresses to Festival participants were made in Arabic and Tigrigna by stage moderators, Ms Adiam Teferra and Mr. Ghirmai Zemichael, the president of the EDA, Mr. Tesfamariam Kibreab, who expressed his satisfaction with the positive response of all participants and guest speakers to come to this important annual Eritrean politico-cultural event.
Picture shows all speakers who took the podium on different subjects
Following solidarity and support speeches by Ms Laura Knieriu, representative of the Green Party and Ms Katherina Schreiner of FDP (the Free Democratic Party), different speakers were invited to the podium to express both their solidarity with the organizers and their resolve to work in unison in order to hasten the fall of the criminal regime in Eritrea.
Outgoing Chairmen of unified organizations and the new EPDP Chairman on Festival Stage
The outgoing chairmen of the now unified sister organizations, Messrs Menghesteab Asmerom and Kiflezghi Ghebremedhin, spoke in great length about the ENS/Hidri-EPDP unity process and read the 12 political resolutions of their congress in Wiesbaden, Germany. They also invited to the stage Mr. Tesfai Woldemichael (Degiga), the newly elected chairman of the EPDP who spoke on the urgency of strengthening organized struggle and made a strong appeal to all compatriots to join the struggle for democratic change.
Ambassador Andebrhan Weldegiorghis of Eri-Platforum talked on the present situation in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa region and listed priority tasks that Eritrean justice seekers at home and abroad should undertake. Mr. Abel Haile of Unity of Eritreans for Justice (UEJ) stressed the commitment to work closely with unified EPDP and others to end repression in Eritrea. Mr. Bahta Hailemariam read the solidarity message on behalf of the 18 organizations in ENCDC (Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change), and Mr. Kibreab Mesghina presented the message from four sister organizations in the Eritrean National Front (ENF). Mr. Yemane Tesfai spoke representing popular assemblies in Stuttgart, respectively. Pro-democracy and women’s rights activists, Ms Alganesh Ghebre and Ms Salwa Nur, made important interventions on the ongoing Eritrean struggle for democracy. Earlier, young pro-democracy mass media activist and EPDP, Adiam Haile Rufael from USA presented a lively speech on the current struggle and the challenges facing it. (Detailed reports on many of these presentations will follow soon).
One of the events on Saturday was an enlightening panel and exchange with the public moderated by Assena Foundation’s Amanuel Eyasu. Panelists were (from left to right) Messrs Berhane Debessu, Kiflezghi G/Medhin, Ms Adiam Teferra, and Menghesteab Asmerom.
Earlier, mass media activists Amanuel Eyasu of Assenna, Yoel Kiros and Samson Solomon of Erisat spoke expressing their solidarity and good wishes to the Festival organizers.
Festival participants chanting the timely Yiakil/Enough is Enough slogans.