12 Mar 2010
In Dec 2009, we, a group of Eritreans from all walks of life and different backgrounds, met in London to discuss and assess the ever ominous conflict in the Horn of Africa, particularly between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The London Conference’s aim was, for the major part, to reflect on the pertinence of peace, which has been absent for decades, in our region and to outline ways forward that would contribute towards improving the lives of our people on the basis of attaining and maintaining peace and stability in our region.
The conference was concluded with the delegates’ affirming commitments to following the course of peace until significant progress is made to resolve discords and conflicts peacefully, in the region. On the whole, it was agreed that the conflicts in our region involve us all and behove us to resolve them.
Further the conference agreed that a Peace Charter would facilitate the launch of and guidance to a peace movement that mobilises all peace-loving people and beseech governments to adopt peaceful means to resolve differences, through various campaigns that are rooted in our peoples’ vision of peace. The delegates then proceeded to set up a committee whose task was to oversee the drafting of the said charter and organise a larger meeting of Eritreans in May 2010.
In accordance to the mandate given to the Organising Committee a peace charter has been drafted and preparations for the forthcoming conference are well underway. The Conference will be held in the UK from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd May 2010; potential participants have been short-listed; invitations are being processed and conference programme is being finalised. The major aim of the conference will be to ratify the charter which in turn will be the basis for a grass-roots led peace movement.
Efforts are being made to ensure a well balanced composition of attendants; reflecting the social realities of Eritrea. Gender will also be taken into account. It is anticipated that representatives of political groups, civil societies, religious institutions, media, as well as academics and activists will attend the conference.