Eritrean Youth Conference: Concluding Remarks
We the participants of the Eritrean Youth conference convened in Washington DC between the 25th and 27th of May, discussed and debated openly and with a lot of dedication to the pertinent issues that are a cause for concern to us and our people.
We expressed our outrage at the plight our people are suffering under PFDJ’s unlawful reign, when over 500 of us held a powerful rally outside the Embassy here in Washington DC and drove the messages home to PFDJ that; Enough was indeed enough and that we are not going to sit aside and watch as they destroy our country.
In accordance to our conference’s theme: ‘Eritrean Solutions to Eritrean Problems’ we had a detailed look at the problems besetting us as a people:
- Our people’s situation has reached an all time low: every aspect of Eritrean life is being marred by PFDJ’s ugly influence that is endangering our very existence: people can’t work to earn a living, our parents have been denied their rights to the warmth and comfort of their children, our religious leaders are even denied their rights to pray and worship the God of their ancestors. Our proud culture of peaceful and cooperative coexistence is being trampled all over and to make matters worse people can’t even express their views freely.
- The youth are bearing the brunt of PFDJ’s misguided policies, living under slave-like conditions where they are forced into a life of poverty and loss of opportunities including opportunities to family life.
- Those that are driven into exile are faced with hurdles that are unimaginably difficult in the hands of criminal gangs that capitalise on the sorry state of our destitution; kidnapping people and charging ransom to the tune of $20,000 to $30,000 and subject them to rape and torture to extort this ransom.
- Of grave concern is the plight of women whose modern day slavery is even worse than their male peers. Theirs is often a life of sex slavery where they are abused by the rank and file of high ranking army officers.
- We noted the unfortunate situation of some religious leaders who have chosen to turn a blind eye to the Government’s inhumane handling of the people by the government, including the fate of their fellow religious leaders and their flock. We are appalled by the fact that some have even gone as far as branding fellow religious leaders who are fighting for justice ‘cults’.
- The situation of prisoners of conscience: Journalists, religious leaders, political leaders who called for reform and many more who are languishing in barbaric prisons with their fate and condition unknown even to their family members.
- Veering away from philosophical debates, we recognised the lack of a coherent strategy as a stumbling block for progress in the struggle against tyranny in Eritrea.
Recognising the enormity of the insurmountable challenges put against our people and the immediate need to install democratic and just system in Eritrea we the participants of this youth conference will work to:
- coordinate our efforts in spirit and in action
- ensure that all our efforts are targeted against PFDJ as the sole adversary against our people
- be action oriented, result driven and united in our endeavours
- enhance the momentum of the global fight against the dictator, that has been ongoing for many years now
- Considering the urgent nature of the task of saving Eritrea, we will escalate our fight with immediate effect.
To this end, we pledge to work conscientiously and with relentless effort, to realise the salvation of our people
Participants Of The Eritrean Youth conference
May 27, 2012