Formation of Eritrean Solidarity Front Announced Print E-mail
Awate - Gedab News
By Gedab News - May 03, 2009   

Four Eritrean opposition organizations (ELF, Islah, EIJD and EFDM) formed an entity called The Eritrean Solidarity Front (ESF).

The ESF emphasized that the solidarity is not a substitute for the Eritrean Democratic Alliance and is not directed against anyone but the People's Front for Democracy & Justice (PFDJ).

In a press conference called by the ESF on Saturday evening, where the media cadres and representatives of opposition political organizations as well as the independent media centers were present, the election of Sheikh Abu Suhail, Mohammed Ahmed Saleh, the Secretary-General of the Islah movement, as Chairman of the first session was announced.

In a statement distributed to the press after the conference, the ESF identified its major goals:

  • To rally the nation for the restoration of the rights of Muslims and other vulnerable and marginalized sectors; to unite against the abuses and violations that are carried out by the Isaias regime—cultural, social and demographic.
  • To build a knowledge base to address social imbalances and fight underdevelopment, ignorance and promote awareness to face the challenges.
  • Commitment to the territorial integrity of Eritrea and defending the tenets of the nation.
  • To maintain the EDA to achieve democratization of Eritrea; and to create constitutional institutions.
  • To defend religious values with the understanding that religion, besides culture and heritageis, is an ethical immunity of the nation and an essential component of the national identity; the exclusion of religion from the lives of our people is a dilution of our national identity and a threat to moral values.
  • Adoption of a decentralized system of Government with constitutional guarantees which secures and balances between the requirements of national unity and the individuality of national components.

In a speech he delivered at the conference, the chairman, Sheikh Abu Suhail mentioned that the announcement of the Solidarity is intended to narrow the fragmented size of the opposition and to strengthen its effectiveness. He further indicated that the Isaias regime is not only dictatorial, but it carries out a project that targets the  nation, its culture, its religion, its heritage and its land, stating that the declaration of ESF is formed to challenge this project. He emphasized that the ESF does not eliminate the individuality of organizations and is not a substitute for the EDA; its targets is the PFDJ in Eritrea.


Asked whether the idea of solidarity was in reaction to the unitary steps being taken by the Eritrean People's Party & The Eritrean Democratic Party, Hussien Khelifa, the leader of the Eritrean Liberation Front, said that ESF is a result of four years of consultations. He further stated that the Solidarity has called on The Eritrean Islamic Congress and Nahda Party to join the solidarity, and that the two organizations are studying the proposal.


Abu Suhail indicated that the ESF plans to hold a general congress in which civil societies and individuals who agree with the ESF’s program, after one year from which an entity that works for an inclusive system of governance would be created.


The leadership of the ESF is composed of twelve persons, each member organization is represented by three of its leaders.



Last Updated ( May 07, 2009 )
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