N°1427 – 20/05/2016
With tension rising between Ethiopia and Eritrea after the announcement of the arrest of opponents from Eritrea on the Kenyan border, the Ethiopian government has resumed contact with the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC), the Asmara opposition’s parliament in exile. According to our sources, a meeting was recently held with leaders of ten of its member organisations who had attended the consultative meeting in Nairobi from 27 to 29 November. This new meeting was organized at the initiative of the Eritrean Forum for National Dialogue(EFND/Medrek), a movement founded by former diplomats and dissidents to the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), the ruling party in Asmara. Also present were representatives of Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), which criticizes the sitting without nevertheless following the decision of other of the Ethiopian government’s allies to suspend their participation in ENCDC. The meeting was led by retired General Mesfin Amare. On this occasion, the Ethiopian government promised to restore and strengthen financial and logistical support he had deprived of the ENDC after the consultative meeting in Nairobi. In late April, the authorities agreed to receive a delegation in Addis Ababa from the ad-hoc contact committee formed during the Nairobi consultative meeting and in which the EFND was represented by one of its leaders, Mohiyedeen Shengeb. The latter is also close to Haile Menkerios of South Africa, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative, the Head of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU). However, the Ethiopian government has warned its interlocutors to leave the initiative to revitalize and unify the opposition to the EFND/Medrek.