Seyoum O/Michael Withdraws In Protest From Alliance Meeting Print E-mail
By Gedab News - Oct 21, 2002   

Objecting to Mr. Herui T. Bairou's nomination for the leadership of the Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF), Mr. Seyoum O/Michael, the chairman of Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC), has withdrawn this morning from the meeting in Addis Abeba.   The ELF-RC is one of a dozen member organizations of the opposition umbrella movement, the Alliance.

Mr. Seyoum O/Michael stated that Mr. Herui T Bairou, who joined the Alliance less than a month ago, is too recent of a member to effectively lead the Alliance.   As reported previously by Gedab News, the Alliance has nominated Herui T. Bairou and Abdella Idris of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) as the Chairman and vice Chair of the Alliance. 

Many mediators attempted to get Seyoum O/Michael to reconsider his decision, all to no avail.  The meeting, which has been partly attended by delegates from neighboring countries, Europe and the United States, is expected to adjourn Monday evening.

The Alliance has agreed to unify its military wing under one command.  The execution of this agreement is reportedly based on two phases, which will include confidence-building measures for some member organizations who wanted firmer assurances.   The final resolution is reported to make no references to Eritrea's 1997 constitution.  Gedab News had been told by reliable sources that the Alliance would accept with revisions?the 1997 Constitution.


The last time the two prominent Eritreans were elected to similar positions was at the first congress of the ELF, in 1971, when Herui T Bairou and Abdella Idris were elected the Executive Vice President and Head of Military Office respectively.  At the time, Mr. Seyoum O/Michael was serving a ten-year sentence in an Ethiopian jail for his role in organizing the student movement of the mid-sixties. 

Movement for Democracy & Change  

Meanwhile, representatives of Movement for Democracy and Change (MDC) and Eritrean People?a1?s Liberation Front-Democratic Party (EPLF-DP) issued a joint resolution agreeing to work together to speed up the struggle for justice, and to create an environment of Peace and tranquility for Eritreans.   Mr. Semere Kesete, the former president of Asmara University student union who fled in July from an Eritrean jail after a year in detention without charges, and Mr. Mussie Ephrem, a citizen who gained prominence by suing the government of Eritrea for violating Eritreans?human rights, represented MDC.   EPLF-DP was represented by Mr. Mesfin Hagos, a member of the PFDJ Reformers movement (G-15), who escaped arrest because he was on a medical-related visit to the United States. in September 18, when eleven of his colleagues were detained by the government.  

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