January 21st, is it the beginning of the End to the two decades of Eritrean tyranny?

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Feb 4th, 2013
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Eritrean Protesters

Eritrean Protesters

Over the past few days, after the alleged failed “coup d’etat” attempt on 21st of January 2013 at the Eritrean Ministry of Information which resulted the National to be off from the air one day, a series of raids and storming of Eritrean embassies in Europe have become a common scene. A case in point,  it’s to be recalled that the Eritrean Embassy in London was stormed on January 24, 2013 by Eritrean opposition groups for a few hours and who torn down the picture of their President which was hanging on the wall of the embassy. In a related development disgruntled Eritreans who reside in Italy  raided their Embassy in Rome on unspecified day this week. Last week, more than two dozens of  Eritreans who reside in Sweden demonstrated in front of their Embassy in Stockholm early in the afternoon of January 25, 2013 to express support to their fellow countrymen from the Army who tried to occupy the Eritrean Ministry of Information on January 21, 2013 demanding reform and democracy. The protesters also urged Issaias Afewerki, the man who runs the country with iron-grip for two decades, to step down and release thousands of prisoners of conscience who are imprisoned in various jails across the country. They said they have had enough of tyranny and impunity and called up on the international community to pressure on Afewerki to implement the constitution of the country which the dictator promised back in 1997. The protestors denounced injustice, indefinite military service, extrajudicial killings and imprisonments of journalists, religious minorities and dissidents. Given large numbers Eritrean community in Sweden; the turn out to the rally was modest however it is difficult to know whether this could have been due to the very harsh weather (-11 degree temp) or fear of reprisal by the regime against families/relatives back-home.

Eritrean Protesters

Eritrean Protesters

Hence these kinds of actions by Eritreans at home and abroad show the growing discontent and despair to two decades of dictatorial regime which is affecting not only ordinary Eritreans but also the most privileged sectors of the society- the Army. Two pilots last October defected to Saudi Arabia with the presidential jet and Afewerki’s right-hand man and Minister of Information, Ali Abdu, has disappeared from the public scene for over six weeks, which according to some Eritrean opposition groups the regime is slowly crumbling. It sounds like the the one time hero who founded the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front  to claim independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and being an autocratic ruler ever since then, is loosing his iron-grips.

Eritrean Protesters

Eritrean Protesters

But make no mistake; he is still idolized and worshiped by many Eritreans by persuasion and/or indoctrination are  in hundreds of thousands across the globe exhorting money from fellow compatriots to keep the blood-line of the regime in Asmara. I’ve my own share of blow from this group, for the first time ever,  CNNireport removedmy post about Thursday’s rally outside Eritrean Embassy; because it was “flagged” by a community. My guess is that the post was flagged either by officials or/and supporters of  PFDJ (People’s Front for Democracy & Justice, what an ironic name) . I’ll leave the judgment to you if the clip has offensive content which harms the public in any form or shape. Hmm, I will take it as a recognition.

For IndepthAfrica

Theodros Arega

Stockholm, Sweden

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