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The Eritrean Covenant

Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar

 eritrean childThe Eritrean Covenant


Reviving the Eritrean covenant: We, the authors of this statement, are a diverse group of civic-minded Eritreans who come from all walks of life, from inside Eritrea and the Diaspora and from different ethnic, regional, and political background and persuasions. Individually, like many ordinary Eritreans, we have been involved in varying degrees in Eritrea’s struggle for independence. Since 1991, we have been speaking out on behalf of all Eritreans against the injustices perpetuated by the PFDJ ethnocratic regime2, 3. We invariably have done so while advocating the urgent need for constructive dialog, national reconciliation, and the principle of unity through diversity as the cornerstones of peace, stability and justice in Eritrea, but unfortunately with little prospect for a meaningful change. After years of wrestling with the decision of how best to broach these difficult issues, we have reached a consensus to speak out as a group following the long tradition of Eritrean Muslims of resisting oppression and domination that started in the 1940’s and decidedly gave rise to the development of many patriotic movements and eventual independence. However, seventy years later, the very just demand for fairness and equality that spurred the independence movement remains elusive for Eritrean Muslims. The need for us to consider speaking out collectively has become ever more important and urgent especially in this post 911 era where politics of fear is opportunistically peddled by the ruling clique in Asmara and some politicians in the opposition. In this statement, we examine these issues in the context of the overall deteriorating situation in Eritrea that prompted us to speak out, and the attendant threats of the PFDJ’s ethnocratic policies to the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between Eritrean Christians and Muslims. We speak out so as to heighten public awareness of these critical issues and their wider implications of these conflicts to the future of our country’s security and prosperity.

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