Open Letter to the Eritrean Head of State

Your Excellency, President Isaias Aferwerki:

We write to convey our most sincere congratulations upon your country’s normalization of diplomatic relations with Ethiopia. This is a development much appreciated by all Africans of goodwill.

We write to you in our capacity as citizens of Africa to pledge our unequivocal solidarity with all the people of Eritrea. This includes the many Eritreans we see enduring all manner of risk and suffering in search of a better life outside their homeland. We acknowledge that we too hail from nations with varying governance and developmental challenges.  We write to you, in the spirit of Pan-African solidarity, to seek common solutions to our shared problems.

Africa’s many disparate nation states have undergone significant and diverse changes over the course of the last two decades.   [Today, many more Africans live in freedom than under repression].  Importantly, those African countries that have made the most progress – including attracting investment and tourism – over the last 25 years have been those whose citizens enjoy greater freedom of expression, press and movement, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and political pluralism. 

Sadly, in these critical areas, Eritrea has not kept pace with the changes seen elsewhere.  Over the past two decades Eritrea has been described as the most closed society on our continent, an unfortunate situation for a country with such rich human capital and potential, with so much to offer not only Africa but also the world.

We trust that by opening this channel of communication with Your Excellency, we may be afforded the opportunity to work with you to restore your country and the great people of Eritrea to their rightful place in the family of African nations.

Of particular concern to us is the fate of several journalists and activists who have been imprisoned for prolonged periods of time in Eritrea, many of whom have reportedly been denied regular visits from their families and loved ones.

Equally, we are disheartened by the plight of the many thousands of Africans, including some Eritreans, who feel compelled to flee their home countries in search of a better life for themselves and their families, risking life and limb and enduring inhumane deprivations and indignities across deserts and oceans.

Too many of these fellow Africans have found themselves in the rapacious hands of modern day slave traders and people traffickers even causing some to end up in slave markets in places such as Libya. Too many of these migrants and refugees have perished at sea in their quest for a better life. 

We Africans are blessed with too much in our home countries to have our citizens suffer and be devalued this way.  This gloomy picture needs to change, and it is in this spirit that we address this message of solidarity to you, Your Excellency.

We respectfully call upon Your Excellency to allow a delegation of the signatories hereunder to visit Eritrea, and to afford us the opportunity to meet with you and your government as well as with ordinary citizens, including journalists, writers, and other persons currently in prison.

As with the bold step you have taken to normalize relations with Ethiopia, we believe a gesture of this kind would go a long way towards ending Eritrea’s isolation from the larger African family and could help usher in a new era of prosperity and freedom for your people.

It would be an honour to furnish you with any additional information you might require of us and we eagerly await your response.

The Signatories,

  1. Prof. Wole Soyinka, Nigeria, Nobel Laureate
  2. Rafael Marques de Morais, Angola, leading anti-corruption campaigner and award winning investigative journalist
  3. John Githongo, Kenya, publisher, leading anti-corruption campaigner and award winning anti-corruption activist
  4. Kwasi H. Prempeh, Ghana, Executive Director of Center for Democratic Development
  5. Farida Nabourema, Togo, Executive Director of Togolese Civil League
  6. Leyla Hussein, Somalia, Women’s Rights & Health Campaigner, psychotherapist, writer and founder of the Dahlia Project
  7. Maina Kiai, Kenya, founder of the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association
  8. Maaza Mengiste, Ethiopia, award-winning writer of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze
  9. Iva Cabral, Cape Verde, Chancellor of Lusófona [Lusophone] University and  daughter of Amílcar Cabral
  10. Belabbès Benkredda, Algeria, CEO and Founder of the Munathara Initiative, the Arab world’s largest online and television debate forum highlighting voices of youth, women and marginalized communities.
  11. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Uganda, a leading LGBT rights activist, founder and executive director of the LGBT rights organization Freedom & Roam Uganda, 2011 recipient of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders
  12. Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, Uganda, musician, member of parliament and youth leader recognized throughout East Africa
  13. Tundu Lissu, Tanzania, lawyer, CHADEMA politician, member of parliament and former president of the Tanganyika Law Society
  14. Amr Waked, Egypt, award winning actor, best known for his role in Syriana
  15. José Eduardo Agualusa, Angola, award winning writer, finalist in the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for his seminal work A General Theory of Oblivion
  16. Nasser Weddady, Mauritania, leading civil rights activist, consultant and co-editor of Arab Spring Dreams.
  17. Chiké Frankie Edozien, Nigeria, writer and professor of journalism at New York University
  18. Emmanuel Iduma, Nigeria, author
  19. Mona Eltahawy, Egypt, author and journalist
  20. Mireille Tushiminina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gender & Equality advocate
  21. Felix Agbor Nkhongo, Cameroon, Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and leading human rights defender
  22. Boniface Mwangi, Kenya, democracy activist, Ukweli political party founder, photographer and artist
  23. Adeyanju Deji, Nigeria, leading democracy activist and human rights defender
  24. Alieu Bah, The Gambia, leading democracy activist and human rights defender
  25. Tutu Alicante, Equatorial Guinea, leading democracy activist and Executive Director of Equatorial Guinea Justice (EG Justice)
  26. Andrea Ngombet Malewa, Congo Republic, Global Coordinator of the Sassoufit Collective 
  27. Roukaya Kasenally, Mauritius, CEO of African Media Initiative
  28. Abdelrahman Mansour, Egypt, Executive Director of Open Transformation Lab, leading human rights defender and journalist
  29. Reem Abbas, Sudan, journalist and leading human rights defender
  30. Moussa Kondo, Mali, journalist, CEO and founder of the weekly L’Express de Bamako, anti-corruption crusader, Country Director of Accountability Lab Mali, 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, 2018 Obama Foundation Fellow.
  31. Ericino de Salema, Mozambique, Director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), academic, lawyer and journalist
  32. Jestina Mukoko, Zimbabwe, leading human rights activist and Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Initiative
  33. William Amanzuru, Uganda, environmental rights defender, founder of Friends of Zoka, winner of the EU Human Rights Defenders’ Award 2019
  34. Miguel de Barros, Guinea-Bissau, sociologist and Executive Director of the environmental NGO Tiniguena
  35. Bheki Makhubu, e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland), Editor of the Nation Magazine and leading democracy defender
  36. Edson da Luz aka Azagaia, Mozambique, rapper and leading activist
  37. Charles Onyango-Obbo, Uganda, leading publisher and columnist
  38. Rodney Sieh, Liberia, leading newspaper editor of FrontPage Africa and democracy activist
  39. Oludotun Babayemi, Nigeria, democracy activist and monitoring and evaluation expert,
  40. Akin Olaniyan, Nigeria
  41. Chanda Chisala, Zambia, founder and president of Zambia Online
  42. Dany Ayida, Togo, Resident, Country Director, National Democratic Institute (DRC)
  43. George Sarpong, Ghana
  44. Rosemary Mwakitwange, Tanzania, Chief of Party, Freedom House
  45. James Smart, Kenya, leading journalist and news anchor
  46. Abdulrazaq Alkali, Nigeria, Executive Director Organisation for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) Nigeria 
  47. Mathatha Tsedu, South Africa, Adjunct professor of journalism, Wits University and Acting Executive Director of the National Editors Forum (SANEF)
  48. Brenda Zulu, Zambia, journalist and ICT specialist
  49. Emanuel Saffa Abdulai, Sierra Leone, Executive Director of Society for Democracy Initiatives
  50. Zecharias Berhe, Ethiopia, Senior Fellow, African Good Governance Network
  51. Sylvia Amiani, Kenya, counseling and psychosocial practitioner focused on refugees in Germany
  52. Lamii Kpargoi, Liberia, journalist, democracy activist and lawyer
  53. Dr. George Ayittey, Ghana, economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation, Washington DC
  54. Evan Mawarire, Zimbabwe, pastor and democracy activist, founder of #ThisFlag movement
  55. Zineb El Rhazoui, Morocco, journalist and human rights advocate
  56. Marc Ona Essangui, Gabon, environmentalist, Executive Secretary of Brainforest
  57. Fred Bauma, Democratic Republic of Congo, democracy and youth activist, leader of the Lucha Social Movement
  58. Dr. Justin Pearce, South Africa, Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University
  59. Asma Khalifa, Libya, activist, cofounder of Tamazight Women Movement
  60. Violet Gonda, Zimbabwe, journalist and President of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT)
  61. Fatoumata Camara, The Gambia, journalist, CEO/Founder  of the Fatu Network
  62. Jelili Atiku, Nigeria, human rights artist
  63. Fred Muvunyi, Rwanda, editor at Deutsche Welle, Op-Ed contributor for Washington Post and a consultant for Freedom House
  64. Aimable Manikrakiza, Burundi, CEO of the Centre for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes
  65. Houssem Aoudi, Tunisia, CEO/Founder of Wasabi and Cogite – co-working Space, entrepeneur and activist
  66. Chouchou Namegabe, Democratic Republic of Congo, journalist and human rights activist, CEO & Founder Anzafrika
  67. Thulani Maseko, e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland), leading human rights lawyer
  68. Samba Dialimpa Badji, Senegal, journalist
  69. Mariama Camara, Guinea, fashion designer and humanitarian, Founder/President of Mariama Fashion Production and the There is No Limit Foundation
  70. Olívio Diogo, São Tomé, sociologist and media commentator, coordinator of the Civil Society Network
  71. Adeola Fayehun, Nigeria, journalist/producer, Keeping it Real with Adeola
  72. Mohamed Soltan, Egypt, Executive Director, the Freedom Initiative
  73. Memory Banda, Malawi, children’s rights activist
  74. Ali Amar, Morocco, veteran journalist, co-founder and director of online news outlet Le Desk
  75. Mohamed Keita, Mali,  Pan African rights advocate
  76. Norman Tjombe, Namibia, human rights lawyer and activist
  77. Uyapo Ndadi, Botswana, human rights lawyer, activist, and founder of the Ndadi Law Firm
  78. Phil ya Nangoloh, Namibia, human rights activist, monitor and Executive Director of NamRights Inc
  79. Jacqueline Moudeina, Chad, prominent award-winning lawyer and human rights activist
  80. Rosmon Zokoue, Central African Republic, journalist, blogger and activist
  81. Ahmed Gatnash, Libya, co-founder & VP of Operations, Kawaakibi Foundation
  82. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana, Africa’s leading investigative journalist and private investigator
  83. Boubacar Diallo, Niger, Editor, Liberation newspaper
  84. Abdourahman Waberi, Djibouti, acclaimed novelist, essayist, academic and short story writer, human rights activist, professor of literature at George Washington University
  85. Doudou Dia, Senegal, Executive Director, Goree Institute, Center for Democracy, Development and Culture in Africa
  86. Alain Mabanckou, Congo, novelist, journalist, poet and academic
  87. Francis Kpatindé, Benin, journalist, former editor-in-chief of the newsweekly Jeune Afrique and former spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
  88. Mustafa Haji Abdinur, Somalia, award-winning journalist
  89. Thembo Kash, Democratic Republic of Congo, award-winning cartoonist
  90. Damien Glez, Burkina Faso, award-winning editorial cartoonist
  91. Ahmed Abdallah, Comoros, journalist
  92. Anton Harber, South Africa, former journalist with the Rand Daily Mail until its closure by the apartheid government, co-founder and editor of the Weekly Mail (now The Mail & Guardian) and Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand
  93. John-Allan Namu, Kenya, award-winning investigative journalist, co-founder of Africa Uncensored, 2017 Desmond Tutu Fellow
  94. Alice Nkom, Cameroon, leading human rights lawyer, defender of rights of the LGBT community
  95. Mouctar Bah, Guinea, veteran journalist
  96.  Andrew Feinstein, South Africa, former ANC MP, Executive Director of Corruption Watch UK, author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
  97. William Rasoanaivo, Madagascar, award-winning political cartoonist
  98. Claudia Gastrow, South Africa, anthropologist, Univeristy of Johannesburg
  99.  Motlatsi Thabane, Lesotho, professor of History, University of e-Swatini
  100. Cyriac Gbogou, Ivory Coast, blogger, co-founder of O’Village and key actor in the new technology sector in the country
  101. Canon Clement Hilary Janda, South Sudan, Pan African Ecumenist
  102. Ola Diab, Sudan, journalist and activist

* This article has been updated 10 June 2019, 10.27 p.m.

Comentários

128 comments

  • Tesfagabir Berhe Tesfu

    Thank You a Million comrades.

    This means a lot to us, Eritreans.

    Please update us of any development on this regard.

    I must warn you – the dictator has a track record of ignoring any calls of this nature…

    • It is unbelievable to hear this mockery, that the whole Africa was silent, watching our coordinated enemies, for many yrs trying to destroy the Eritrean people and now we emerged victorious defending our sovereignty with resilience and sacrifices of precious sons and daughters. You should be ashamed of yourself to come up with such a ridiculous letter. Shame on you!!!!!!

  • Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless people of Eritrea and victims of injustice!

    • Thanks Araia Ephrem. Africa still got the dependency syndrome after 60 years of independence . Never thought of marshal plan to use their human capital and resources. Leaders who highly compromise the benefits of the future generations. Think about Norway 55 years back, die hard people conserving their resources and utilizing it judiciously made their children & grandchildren where they are now.
      A. Ghilamichael

      • Thanks the so called signatory ppl who are been initialed this by z anti-Eritrean clowns, this ppl Saddenly interested regarding solidarity where were they when 80k Eritreans was expelled from Ethiopia did they think not Africans none sense keep your idea to your self or help your own ppl first.

  • Excellent. Well done

  • There is light on the other side that will shine on Eritrea tomorrow. We are grateful to our African brothers for their concern.

  • Thanks all

  • Thank you for being the voice for the voiceless. The Eritrean people need your help. Keep pushing!

  • Enough is enough for dictatorial administration of Eritrean government.

    • This ppl are motivated by the DAESH of Ethiopia TPLF or by the group Yiakil none sense deprived individuals with no aim or goals.

  • Thanks for you all Brothers and sisters.
    As an Eritrean and as a youngster whose hope and future had sufocated and distroyed by the ISAIAS regime, to read this type of article i feel we are not alone we have brothers and sisters who can feel our pain and mourning.
    Again Thanks for all of you.
    From your brother AMAN TEWELDE.

  • This is what my mother Africa need. Look out and speak for the brothers and sisters across the border. I’m excited and hopefull

  • Thank you for being voice for voiceless journalists, activists and others who have been for prolonged periods of time without trial and no due process of law in a sentence. once again I thank you for the exposure open letter to unelected dictator Isaias Aforqi.

  • Why now? Who’s idea is this? What is the motive? Where were you during the 30 years armed struggle for independence?
    Where were you between 1998 and 2018? Why didn’t you say nothing when 80K Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin were deported from Ethiopia and all their properties and wealth confiscated by the minority TPLF regime.
    This is not sincere and mind your own business.

  • Thank you so much for your voiceless it is very intersting

  • Thank you so much for your voiceless it is very intersting

  • Admire to your effort.Thank you too much.

    It is good advisr to whom who cann hear.The mad dog is very far from good doing.
    your good work is very good to Eritrean people.we know that we are not alone.

  • I appricate you and thanks for you are stand with voiceless people of Eritrea.
    May God Bless You !!!!

  • As a former asylum seeker from Eritrea residing in Norway, proud of pan-africans caring about their brothers. It seems a little late but still it means a lot for Eritreans.

  • Obrigado Rafael !! This shows you and your co-signers have big heart and think about Africa as a whole and not only your particular countries. Thank you again for making our suffering in Eritrea your suffering and writing about it . God bless You all !!

  • That’s awesome, thumbs up

  • Thank you so much for stepping up to make your voice in solidarity with the Eritrean people who have been enduring dictatorial oppression inside and suffering outside in exile for decades.

    This collaborative work is historic and should continue to raise awareness and pressure for change.

  • Mohamed Saleh Ibrahim

    Thank you for your initiative .
    Hope it brings some sense to the senseless ruthless regime .

  • I am Dr. Yasin Madani. I am member of Eritrean National Organization for human rights.
    It is very commendable and sincere efforts that made by all African activists.
    I am very proud to be African. Indeed your letter has reflected your high sense of humanity. The divtarship in Eritrea is living in the dark ages.

  • I am so happy to see a dedicated African family leadership to send such a clear letter to Mr Isias Afwerki, hopping a prompt response to fulfill their requirements. I genuinely think it’s an amazing step forward to bring African countries issues on the table and to share our people’s problems. Eritrea needs help, thank you for your engagement and God bless all of you to rescue our unlimited problems.

  • Thank you! We need your support!

  • All I want to say is next to Yeakil slogan Must be UNITY.

  • kidane Habteselassie

    Just concerned!. This is about Eritrea, and I do not see any Eritrean contributing to your ideas.

  • Berhe Tewoldeberhan

    The solidarity from African fellows is highly appreciated. In solidarity we can influence positive change.

  • Thank you very much for your initiative. I felt like Africa and the world had abandoned us. This is the time when opposition to the regime has gained momentum. Your initiative is a catalyst to this effort. I assume you will not be granted a visa to enter Eritrea. However I assume people of your stature will continue to write about the atrocities happening in Eritrea and be a voice to the voiceless. Thank you again.

  • Thank you very much for your voice to the voirceless

  • I thanks African brothers and sisters for that you Anderstude this proplem tach oll off us work to gether to freedom to our wright to gether we win to good. Agenst that darkenes in Eritrea we are in big trouble ann human Eseyase and his felowers they make big big damages so far and thanks again again

  • I am Dr. Yasin Madani an Eritrean human rights activist .
    I appreciate your commendable efforts and stands with our people in Eritrea .
    The divtarship in Eritrea has deprived all citizens from the ABC of life.
    Please go ahead and expose to all international community to the untold human crimes in Eritrea

  • With the exception of all the signatories pls ! Keep all the LGBT campaigners away from Africa LGBT is Unnatural way of life.

  • I suggest you concentrate on the liberation and independence of those African states that are still shackled to their former colonizers. Help them to follow the #Eritrean model of freedom and of self reliance. Also for your own good, stop your dependence on news/info feed from the West.

  • I feel deep regret for these Araia Efrem’s support for the evil dictator. He is a person who has no conscience, an evil man like the dictator. Instead of supporting the well wishers of the Eritrean people he is becoming a supporter of a brutal regime.

  • Thank you for becoming a voice to voiceless.

  • dears .thanks for your concerning about eritrean .

  • For you Brothers & Sisters 103 Compassionate African stars, the people of Eritrea will always be Grateful and remember you! This is new for Africa, it is Historical proportion and for the first time I am proud of Africa! Thank you!!!

  • At 1st Thank you 2 much for your kindly attention, and I appreciate that conscious awareness. Allah bless Africa.

  • Dear African brothers and Sisters,
    I am proud for your very bold and humane gesture.
    Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless Eritrean people.
    Please keep it up until your voice is heard and never be disappointed nor discouraged by whatever reaction that you may encounter from our African North Korea.
    God bless you all and it is understood that a trip of 1000 kilometers is started with only one step.

    Best regards
    Habte

  • Thank you for all the signatories….At least it shows that our challenge is being felt by our brothers and sisters from the continent. With all our differences and confusion with the current political situation at home; the rain of change may not come easily by us. Lets hope that the learned African brothers/sisters will have a chance to challenge the Dictator at home.

  • As africans ur inititatives are Wellcome. What i don’t understand is you seen to have failed to take in to consideration all the events which braucht us in to this Situation . None of u had the balls to stand by the Eritrean People as we were sanctioned and cornered. If we came out of the Most difficult Situation, then es will do it now without you. First clean your own homes which are still under neocolonialism. Your democracies have not the hungry children in your countries.

    • Yonas Donkey,
      Free your mind from the grips of the psychotic dictator in Eritrea. You are indeed not talking about the people of Eritrea who are being destroyed by your master, Isaias Afewerki.

      The least you can do is shut up when others do for you what you yourself should be doing.

  • Sad is that the africans who were supposed to be our brothers are always the instrunments of the enemies who r sleepless to destroy us. And this is nothing other than futile attempt to stay relevant.

  • Why don’t they try to help the helpless countries like libya, or u were ordered to try again with eritrea

    • Edeed as you say that they must help such of bad countries but eritrea is resolved to hlpe because eritrea need more to safe the people suffering of by the government and before any action comes by the civil of Eritrean.

    • They might do that next time; when they begin and end is not your business.

  • I would like to thank our intellectual and influential brothers and sisters from Africa for your concern and care about the most oppressed and forgotten people of Eritrea.
    You are the bright future of Africa.

  • https://youtu.be/2rz5_eg-dZY

    Watch the video and listen how the west punished Eritrea, did say something then.

    • The dictator in Eritrea is not from the West and he is not even Eritrean. he is Ethiopian. The torn of the Eritrean people is Isaias Afewerki, not the west or anyone else. Get on with the program.

  • Thanks so much

  • Dear African Intellectuals
    I am very proud of you and your courageous support for the people of eritrea and push for the change.

    God bless you

  • Thank you for understanding and being voice of the suffering of Eritreans.

  • I appreciate the initiative. However, the Eritrean dictator is unlikely to give a positive reply.

  • What a remarkable endeavor by African for Africans. This is how we should respond to any atrocities in our continent. You set an example that should be the norm when violations of human rights are seen anywhere and especially in Africa. Thank you for your initiative to expose what we are going through as Eritreans.

  • Help can be made at any time, we can’t ask the people who wants to help, where they were until now.

  • Berhane Woldegabriel

    Dear honourable brothers and sisters. Thank you for the desirable intervention. My friends and I are proud of and heavily indebted to all of you. I hope that President Isaias will respond positively and promptly to your appropriate requests, although it may be too late to many of the victims.
    Again I salute you for your exemplar initiative and humane social responsibility.
    With immense respect !
    Berhane

    • Dear intellectual Africans;

      Even though you open letter or for that matter your petition came very late, I commend you for your effort and hope this will be the beginning not the last help you render to the Eritrean people.

      I thank you again!

  • Dear african btothers anf sisters,i am proud for you very bold and humane gesture.

    Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless Eritran people.

  • Thanks All

  • Thank you for writing this letter. I appriciate for recognizing Eritrean problems and the suffer of Eritrean citizens. Please dont stop on this and continue raising your voice to international organizations as well. We Eritreans need a desperate help to save our people and our nation from a brutal tyranr. Good bless you all

  • For all the critics of Dr. Bereket, this is Pan- Africanism for you

  • Yohannes Jone
    We appreciate your commitment to voice those who voiceless! Thank you again, God, bless Eritrea and the hall Africa

  • Merci beaucoup vraiment les africains se serait super toujours ensemble et bientôt finit dictactorship en Afrique #Esayas aforki bien sûr il est criminel nous avons plus de 60000 mille en prison. #ERYthree toujours pas de nouvelles donc merci encore

  • Thank you very much but the brutal dictator will not reply

  • Thanks our pan african, for the voice.

  • Dear brother and sisters thank you so much for being the voices to our struggle. I doubt you will get a response from the person who deliberately closed Eritrea and is killing and kidnapping our innocent citizens.

  • I am sorry to say this .. the Open letter is too late too little ….the message gives credit and hope to Isaias. Isaias would think that he still represents Eritrea. The reality is that Isaias is on his last legs. we should stop recognize Isaias as Eritrean leader or President. we should work post -Isaias era. Thanks

  • Thank you for contribution to the people of Eritrean which is leading by dictatorship . Thank you for being the voice of the voiceless people keep in prison and jailed in their home country.
    We need to stand for our people which suffering. Let solve African proplem by African. Thank you .

  • Thanks u all it is a good start !!!

  • Thank you all brothers and sisters

  • As an Eritrean who was abused and used by the brutal blood thirsty dictatorial regime in my country I salute you all for standing firm on the side of the people of Eritrea. I hope you keep on following up this issue you just have started until my people get back their right for a decent life. Aluta continua !!!!!!!

  • It is so nice to see fellow Africans write an inspiring letter as such, encouraging a leader and expressing their views for a better Africa together. Am proud of you all and I wish all Africans understand that our culture is based on the existence of our brothers and sisters. “You are, therefore I am” unity is strength. We must restrain from all sort of division and unite to make African great.

  • Thank for write the situation of Eritrea. We will waiting for the response of the government but I think he doesn’t answer the right situation. We will see hopefully the right way. Thank you for thinking our Africa continent. Enough is Enough dictatorship of the government of Eritrea 🇪🇷🇪🇷🇪🇷

  • For the critics of Dr. Bereket, who never understood his PanAfricnist stand, this should give you a glimpse of who they are and what they stand for.

  • Thank you so much for being on the side of the Oppressed.
    I beg you not to be bothered by the negative
    Commentators. Every Dictator has a few followers who are benefiting from the lawless, with no constitution, only one man show.

  • Thank you, Araia Ephrem you have summed it up! You took every word from my mouth.
    You are a true Eritrean.
    God bless!

  • Dear Signatories

    By virtue of writing this formal, decent and open letter to the Head of State of Eritrea, stay assured that you have rendered the current Government of Eritrea redundant.

    Kind Regards

    Gabriel Guangul

  • I really appreciate the initiative and look forward to positive response from President Isaias. The people of the Horn Africa have suffered a lot for more 100 years due to the geopolitical attractiveness of the region to colonizers and the water issue related to the Nile. It is my hope President Isaias will librates himself from the agenda if Egypt and other foreign countries and work toward free Eritrea and Horn Africa.

  • muito obrigado! Merci beaucoup! Thank you for your initiative!

  • Thanks very much Pan African writers and Artists brothers for your concerning the peoples Eritrea who are suffering difficulties due to the agressive dectatership political group l mean PFDJ mafias .

  • Thank you for contribution to the people of Eritrean which is leading by dictatorship . Thank you for being the voice of the voiceless people keep in prison and jailed in their home country.
    We need to stand for our people which suffering. Let solve African proplem by African. Thank you .

  • Thanks for understanding our problems
    For sending Messages to the dictator
    Government .

    Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless people of Eritrea and victims of injustice

  • This gay doesn’t have ears to others initative.

  • Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless Eritrean people. We really need your help to change our coutry from prison to a peaceful country. The dictatorship Isaias has changed the country to hell. We need to stop him.

  • The ethnical fascist rule of the TPLF had been killing thousands,displacing specially the Amharas and imprisoning tens of thousands during its 27 year rule. These were some of the TPLF crimes against humanity. The Eritrean dictator has never committed crimes of this nature and magnitude. When the TPLF guys focus on the dictator in Eritrea, they try to cover up the crimes of their own bosses and paymasters.

  • Thank you and God bless you.

  • Thanks for All of you we are proud of your Stand with our opporeessed people who Suffering and live the worst era in his life under the (DiA)Dictator Issaias Afeworki ..thanks you gave us feeling back that we are not Alone …
    Eritrean -Germany
    Feki Medeni

  • First of all, No body recognize these people as influential Africans. Except for the Nigerian author, the rest are all journalist and self serving HRs defenders working for the known western interest groups. They are all the people named by Franz Fanon as white mind with black mask. Eritrea has no respect for these people who are stooges of the Empire

  • Can I say Africa is awakening and opening eyes to stand together against dictatorship, oppression, injustice and evil deeds?
    You deserve utmost thanks at least for understanding the excessive pain and untold suffering of our people and for being in solidarity with us .
    If we start promoting education, become legitimate outspoken people and voice of the the voiceless , then Africa will not be any more the home of tyrants.
    May God bless Africa!!!

  • As much as I appreciate the gesture and spirit of this open letter to the Eritrean president, a discrete letter would have yielded a more positive effect.Leaders like him respond to “behind the spotlight”engagements since he believes he has some real and some perceived enemies.He will question the motive behind this group.Approach him the African way and use elders and respected African diplomats.He will not be moved by private sector intellectuals.Everything you requested off him is valid.But the question remains,who is behind it?

  • Some how I doubt any of those “Africans” who signed this letter have ever been to Eritrea. If they had they wouldnt have embarrassed themselves by joining this insulting proclaimation. One cannot walk the streets of the capital cities of any of the signatories home countrys without fear of being mugged, yet we walk the streets of Asmara without fear.
    As for the so called “journalists” in prison, these meddling, ignorant “African Pan Africanists” should know that they all were involved with the CIA station chief in Asmara aka “Cultural Attache”, recieved illegal funds from this criminal and were jailed for their crimes. Trying to portray these traitors as genuine journalist is an insult to real journalist everywhere. Of course none of you had ever met any of these lowlifes. I have. Maybe you should have done some homework before joining in this slanderous attack on the one country in Africa that is a role model for its lack of corruption, how we take care of our people and have “Never Kneeled Down”, something your home countries all specialize in. Clean up your backyards before attempting to tell us how to run our country. Selam and Rain for Eritrea!
    Thomas C. Mountain
    Asmara, Eritrea

    Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com

    • Thank you thomas for your objective testimony. None of them know the reality in Eritrea and it is a pity for them to be concerned about a country that has to be commended for its anti colonial and neocolonial stand and for being an example for the good and righteous.

  • Thank you all of you African brothers . Keep up the good work !

  • What a laughingstock! In the first place, except the nigerian author, none of theseAfricans are known in their own country, let alone to be influential. All are journalist or self serving HRs activists working as an extension of the western agents of Domination and exploitation. For us Eritreans they are no different than HRW, NED, Freedom Institution etc who are actually the pay masters of these imposters ! As Franz Fanon described these people are whites in african mask. Eritrea has no sympathetic ear to these useless bastards and their pay masters. I pity them for not knowing with which country they are dealing with. We are a country pursuing our own independent economic and poltical model that serves our peoples interest.

  • Thanks a lot Araia Ephrem. You hit the nail on the head

    To me all our “enlightened” Africans are saying is nothing but a crocodile tears.

    Where the hell were they when our beloved people were bleeding & massacred, property, & all kinds of domestic animals wantonly bombarded, and a lot of atrocities (to many to mention) afflicted upon innocent people & country for 30 years and beyond.

    I want to remind those African brothers & sisters, thanks Eritrea will go it alone, like it did with those bitter-struggle years.

    I was there in Nigeria when prof. Whole Shoinka got the so-called Nobel Prize in English literature (not in his native language-Yoruba). Around the same time when Ethiopia declared the biggest offensive (the sixth offensive) to destroy our strugle”once and for all” there was a conflict between the British & Argentina about the Falkland islands. That caused 1025 dead between the 2 if I can remember well.

    Unfortunately , the casualty between Eritrean freedom fighters & Ethiopia was over 13,000 (over 11,000 being from Ethiopia). Now your Nigerian papers had a huge coverage to the non African event (front page coverage) and a very little coverage (almost at the back pages) to the “African” war.

    As an African I was really pissed off and as a result I had to write to the New Nigerian news paper to complain. As a result the Nigerian government had to kick me out of my job and had to leave the country ultimately.

    Now I want to humbly request the likes of Wole Shoinka and others to put your energies towards Libya and all other countries that are bleeding to death, thanks to your western mentors & their evil multinational corporations.

    With due respect,
    C. Sahlezghi

  • To the signatories of the letter!
    Your letter has made me very concerned. Not about Eritrea, but about Pan Africanism. If an “elite” group of Pan Africanist couldn’t comprehend Eritrea’s struggle against neocolonialists, then how on the earth could you represent Pan Africanist.
    Eritrea was forced to face countless covert and overt hostilities that targeted the Eritrean struggle for self determination and self reliance, by using Ethiopian consecutive regimes they strived to wipe off Eritrea from the map of the earth, when they failed and Eritrea became a sovereign country, they tried to destabilize the country and remove the incorruptible Eritrean leadership in order to replace them by a puppet government who run their errands by
    – waging ful scale war
    – imposing official and nonofficial sanctions
    – weaken Eritrea by draining its youth out from the country
    – trying to isolate the country politically, economically and diplomatically.
    Yet, the fact that you chose to ignore these contextual facts shows that, either you are ignorant on Eritrean issues or you are simply doing neocolonialists bidding.
    Either way it is very sad for our Continent. Seeing 102 prominent Africans promoting neocolonial agenda is a reason why Africa should shed tears for its sellout or ignorant children.
    Another issue is, that you were as quiet as a church mouse when Eritrea was forced face immeasurable hostilities and had to pay tremendous price for its existence. Now when Eritrea come out victorious, thanks to its resilient people and leadership, instead of hailing Eritrea for its historic victory over the neocolonial powers you chose act as friends of Eritrea and repeat the same song the neocolonialists used to sing to justify their illegal actions taken to subdue Eritrea
    By experince Eritreans know how neocolonialist work. We still remembered how the corrupted leaders of various African countries conspired with Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs at that time to impose the shameful and illegal sanction on Eritrea in the name of peace and security?
    To make it shorter, my answer to you as an Eritrean, your initiative is not African, and it is not welcome in my country. Eritreans has the ability to see beyond persuasive words, so let alone the president, even I, a civilian, am rejecting this balderdash.

  • How dare you speak on behalf of Eritrea and why now?? Interesting, how the letter resembles the “African initiative Sanctions,” nothing new here. Where were you when Eritrea was going through so much, not a single voice was raised by these “Africans,” what a shame. With all the titles on the authors of this rubbish piece, one will think you will know a thing or two about the past of Eritrea and where it stands now. A typical African mentality to keep the colonialist mindset. Thank God Eritrea is not governed by such buffoons. It boggles the mind, not one mention of the Eritrean history and the plight of its people the last 20 years, at least that is a recent memory. The President of Eritrea H.E. Isaias Afewerki is busy building a nation and besides few sell-outs and individuals who sold theirs souls to the higher bidder, this letter is unequivocally rejected from its inception.

  • Dear Sirs:

    This letter is unprofessional and a harassment to the Eritrean people, nothing less nothing more.
    Now the sad part is that word has already got out, exposing you of becoming a tool of misinformation.

    Either you were in coma or bluntly ignoring what Eritrea was subjected too, in the past decades, with falsely concocted accusations that lead to her being sanctioned. So to you all my questions is why now? Where were you when Eritrea
    was suffering under the falsely concocted sanctions …

    I don’t think this letter has the best interest of Eritrea, I find it to be offensive and out off touch.

    Alex Mesfin

  • Yohans Tsigeyohans

    Well done guys!
    I am proud of you to see tring for the peace of our land but no one will reply since they are doing it purposefully!
    The dictotorial leadership if killing so many secretally and for the same reason I left my lovely nation Eritrea,
    I know what is happening very well.

    Yohans
    UK

  • Thank you so much ,you guys stand for truth and justice for our people and please continue To spread all over the world.

  • African brothers and sisters, thank you very much for your initiative. I believe your initiative will encourage our oppositions to work hard to remove the dictators of Eritrean government. I don’t think the dictators will provide you visa to enter Eritrea. However; please continue to write your opinion what is happening to Eritrea and be a voice to the voiceless. For those people they oppose your initiative are pro-dictators and you do not need to listen them. Thank you again

  • Dear neighbors only to those who are 50+:

    Eritreans need to accept the wrongs they committed so do Tigrains and Ethiopians as a whole.

    Do some soul searching before you present yourselves as people who care about your fellow neighbors. You have not owned your mistakes yet.(those done agains the deportees). With all due respect the young Tigrains and Ethiopians as a whole are not to blame.
    But those of you who are at least 50 years old and up should know better. Not long ago all of you every Ethiopian citizen except for professor Woldemariam my hat is off to him you all stood by silently and deported 60,000 plus Eritreans. Not a single one of you specially those who live abroad uttered a single word to condemn the wrong move.

    Do you think out of 5 million plus Eritreans at least half maybe as smart as you are.

    Eritreans made mistakes in the past so did you. Accept your mistakes look for genuine reconciliation and we move on. Yes some ignorant Eritreans during Hailesellasie era belittled our respected uncles, fathers, brothers, sisters,mothers and aunts from Tigray. Shame on them. Till this day it makes me feel uncomfortable of some of the derogatory things said to those hardworking God fearing, res[ectfull Tigrain and other Ethiopian uncles of mine. However overtime I think most of those ignorant Eriteans have started at least to not continue those attitudes. And if they haven’t their loss. The new generation needs to move on. Our dear father memhir Woldekidane whom I respect a lot misses one point. Yes we are one. But we have to own what we did in the past and talk about it. What we didn’t understand was we were belittling ourselves.

    We hurt you at some point you got your revenge. Good for you. I get that. You are human beings. Now you got your respect. Now the cycle has to stop. .

    We have no choice but to live together for ever. Look in the USA the north burnt down the south during the civil war. Today it is in the history books accepted and reconciled.

    And the rest of our African brothers except for Zuma of south Africa where were they when Gaddafi was fed to the wolves let alone us. He gave each one of the African countires millions of dollars. When he was devoured they watch just like the wilder beasts watch when a lion is eating one of their own. So please it is a joke. You do not need them you need to come out clean.

    thanks for reading my post

  • To the ill- advised elitist!
    The purest voice of hope, doesn’t meddle with the dreams of the oppressed! For those who are unfamiliar, it is worthy note that sometimes it takes an anti-intellectual stance in order to me it work! A stance that one needs to know before making it work!
    You’ve got to be misguided enough, in some ways, to plunge into something that you have no idea what it’s about. Eritrean life and struggle for its independence and self-determination has shaped its (our) characters to be resilience and survive aggression of many forms. And, on the eve of June 20 our hero remembrance, it is where we become profoundly proud and thankful to the brave and self-less, because without it, we wouldn’t have stabled across our strength.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you very much beloved brothers and sisters!
    Your letter gave us hope and voice to the voiceless people of Eritrea!
    We dearly paid for indepencence but never enjoyed its fruits … the dictator has:

    + Closed the only university in the whole country
    + Forced all the young students to complete their final year secondary school in a military camp called Sawa, near the border with Sudan. We did daily military training along with our studies.
    + Not a single free Newspaper, Radio or Tv station.
    + Systematically pushed all the young people out of the country to exile (extended the 18 months National service to undefinite period of time). Even now after one year anniversary of the peace agrrment with Ethiopia nothing has changed and the national service is still for indefinite period.)

    These and many many more crimes against the Eritrean people are done and being done inorder to consolidate power and avoid being threatened by young and educated Eritreans.

    In their reply to your letter, they cried crocodile tears and mentioned the Eritrean Martyrs as if they care about our Martyrs. Our Martyrs gave their precious life, so that we may live in our beloved country in peace, democracy and harmony. But because of the dictatorial regime, Eritrea is second to the war torn Syria in number of refugees. But now, it seems things are changing positively for Eritreans .. from inside and exile are saying Enough …. and your letter came at the right time …. when Eritreans are reflecting on what was our Matryrs vision ans what really in happening.

  • Thank you very much beloved brothers and sisters!
    Your letter gave hope to those of us in exile and voice to the voiceless people of Eritrea!
    Time has changed. Nowadays, diplomatic pressure is much more effective than weapons.
    We dearly paid for our independence but never enjoyed its fruits … the dictator has:
    + Closed the only university in the whole country
    + Forced all the young students to complete their final year secondary school in a remote military camp called Sawa, near the border with Sudan. We did daily military training along with our studies. Sawa has a harsh climate of very high temperatures.
    + closed all private Newspapers. No private Radio or TV station.
    + Systematically pushed all the young people out of the country to exile (extended the 18 months National service to indefinite period). Even now after one year anniversary of the peace agreement with Ethiopia nothing has changed and the national service is still for indefinite period.)
    These and many many more crimes against the Eritrean people are done and being done in order to consolidate power and avoid being threatened by young and educated Eritreans.
    In their reply to your letter, they cried crocodile tears and mentioned the Eritrean Martyrs as if they care about our Martyrs. Our Martyrs gave their precious life, so that we may live in our beloved country in peace, democracy and harmony. However, because of the dictatorial regime, Eritrea is second to the war torn Syria by its number of refugees. Now, it seems things are changing positively for Eritreans …. from inside as well as from those in exile. They are together saying Enough …. and your letter came at the right time …. When Eritreans are reflecting on what our Martyrs vision was and what really is happening.

  • This is a rediculous trashy & non-sense piece of writing without any strech of regard to the esteemeed people of Eritrea, its leadership and a gross insult to their intelligience who paid emmeasurable sucrifice during their 30 years of struggle to their very right to self-determination & their self actualization process after independence to which your respective countries were alloted in early 1960 by the former colonizers of your land & the current captivators of your respective minds.

    You have neither moral nor intellectual capability to express solidarity with Eritrean people as history duely registered very well your silence during their struggle for their very right to self-determination and during their resilient defiance agaist the immoral, injust & illigal demonization, encirclement and sanctions against the good people of Eritrea and the country at large. You were not only deaf, but, also cheer observors when Eritrean people were suffered by the bombardments by Napalms and forced to be either internally displaced from their sweetly cultivable land or obliged to flee even their beloved country due to the attrocities of regional surrogates lead behind by the successive supper powers who worked hard against Eritrean cause due to the geopolitical and strategic reasons. You have neither any strech of idea how Eritrean people disregards your non-sense appeal nor your immaterial gesture as they march towards a bright future with dignity by enduring against all odds and emerged triumphant at this very era in which you conviently try to convey what you have been instructed by your handlers behind the scene.

    Without any strech of exageration, Eritrean people are very much ahead of you and very much vigilant against any one who try to drail their thoughtful march to recoup their lost opportunities due to your deafness during their hardships. Eritrean people will neither borrow your non-sense piece nor import any thing else, but will continue to cultivate and nurture its own version of political schema of Eritrean polity with dignity based on citizenship… unlike to identities based on sub-human affiliations.

  • Thank you for your principled stand against tyranny in Eritrea.

    Thank you for your compassionate solidarity with the people of Eritra.

    Thank you for your relentless determination to making our Africa a better place for Africans to live….

    Victory is indeed certain
    #Yiakl

  • Thank you so much being a voice for the voiceless of my people (Eritreans) and victims of injustice administration of corrupted government of HGDEF!

  • Habtegiorgis ABRAHA

    I feel honoured to add my opinions/ experience in respect of the concern, courage and thoughtful contributions of our African sisters and brothers. I usually don’t join such discussions, but today!

    First and foremost, Thank you very much!

    Many Eritreans of my age, have experienced the disrespect, calling names, the Tigreyans/ Ethiopians had been through during the 50’s and 60’s, especially in the capital city, Asmera, and have not deceased completely yet. That, I believe, has left deep scratches upon them. As far as my awareness is concerned, that experience involved a small group, ‘Asmarino’ who were looking down upon village life, including of their relatives, and not just upon Tigreyans/ Ethiopians only – a colonial remnant sub-culture.

    What was specific to Tigreyans/ Ethiopians at the time was the misery they were suffering. This shameful and ignorant attitude, whether those who hold to, or play it until now consciously or unconsciously are small petty elements. So, it is a misuse to put it as Tigreyan vs Eritrean to complicate existing Eritrean – Ethiopian disputes and mutual concerns.

    Similarly, there are old enmities between liberation fronts; the most distractive and the one that led to the border war of 1998 – 2000, was the involvement of the TPLF along the side of the EPLF in the 1980 –19 81 Civil war between ELF and EPLF. The TPLF was played by the tyrant Isu or together with other bigger hands against the ELF. The tyrant Isu conspired with the TPLF to hand them Badme and environs which was then under the control of the ELF once they got rid of the ELF.

    Quite earlier, the ELF who was aware of the area as a disputed land, had delegated a special committee who was working together with the Committee representing the TPLF the whole year of 1979 to resolve any contradictions but was sabotaged by their conspiracy with the EPLF. This is a big scar that the Eritrean and the tigreyan communities have inherited because of the interference of the TPLF in the 1980 –19 81 Civil War.

    After Eritrea’s independence, 1n 1998, although because of their conspiracy and the outcome of the Civil War, Badme and environs was left to the TPLF, the Tyrant claimed the land and opened the border war of 1998 – 2000. That war involved the whole nation of Eritrea, thousands of young lives, destruction, and worst the tyrant Isu used it to hunt Eritreans and to keep the country hostage under his military dictatorship unheard of in Africa.

    Apart that Ethiopia was the colonial power, the war of independence, and its costs including human life, was taken for granted. But all grudges, examples 1, 2, & 3 remained Eritrean – Tigreyan.

    The accusations like, ‘where were you’, ‘CIA elements’, … will only be unsewered and make sense in the whether or not free press, rule of law, freedom of expression and association exists in Eritrea. And as a matter of historical records of Eritrea, here is my offer:
    Dr. Getachew (Ethiopia and the United States: History, diplomacy, and Analysis፡ member of American Association of University Professors, American Political Science Association, African studies Association, Association of African Political Scientists, Lecturer at University of Maryland Eastern US)

    Again, those of you who seem to be apologetic to the Tyrant rule in Eritrea, and proud to sing ‘Self Reliance’, … the Tyrant has been the best man to call the anti – CIA slogans during the struggle war. And do the Eritrean people have to wait the implementation of those empty slogans from the graveyards of the Tyrant or from the lords of “Medemer”?

    Have a good day!

    Habtegiorgis ABRAHA

  • What happen to my article?

  • What happened to my article?

  • I commend the efforts of all the signatories of this letter. Regardless of their motives, they have, in fact, started a dialogue regarding the future paths Eritrea will take.

    There is, as you said, isolation of Eritrea from the Continent. I would like to see that change.

    I understand the reason there are no Eritrean Signatories among you, seeing as how even I am using a false name.

    I hope this creates a platform for a discussion that will see Eritrea progressing beyond a war- and a siege-mentality.

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