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Open Letter – Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the United States of America

November 24, 2021

Steven C. Walker, Chargé d’Affaires

Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the United States of America
179 Alaa Street
Asmara, Eritrea

Dear Mr Steven C. Walker:

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your unwavering commitment to human rights, peace, decency, and goodwill toward the Eritrean people. In the face of tyranny, you have been an epitome of American values – to stand against repression, injustice and human rights violations perpetrated by the PFDJ regime.

Moreover, while asserting the policy of the United States for regional peace, stability, freedom, justice and humanitarian access, we applaud you for condemning the Eritrean regime for its atrocities, a threat to peace and human rights abuses.

Eritrean Global Yiakl Movement is a worldwide umbrella association of eleven national member organizations; from Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America. We are a socio-political advocacy group for human rights, freedom, justice, and democracy in Eritrea, seeking to bring an end to the killings, misery, slavery, injustice, repression, corruption, and exodus endured by our people under the dictatorial regime of President Isaias Afwerki.

As human rights activists and justice seekers, we at Eritrean Global Yiakl Movement are also deeply concerned with the people of Eritrea being dragged into conflicts, bringing death and destruction. The Tigray region of Ethiopia currently hosts about a hundred thousand Eritrean refugees. The escalation of the conflict and the Isaias regime being the main actor in the war had left the vulnerable refugees to face kidnappings, intimidation, harassment and hunger. They are living under constant anguish, cut off from humanitarian assistance and unsure of their fate.

The precarious situation has been fertile ground for rape, starvation and killings committed by different actors against the refugees, many of whom have been abducted and forcibly repatriated by the regime, and to this day, their whereabouts remain unknown.

Dear Mr Walker:

Your call for releasing imprisoned journalists and all other political prisoners and allowing a free press in Eritrea is commendable as it invoked the people’s wish expressed in the 1997 ratified Constitution of Eritrea.

We are fortunate to have you living among our people as a first-hand witness of the hardships faced by our people, exposing the prevalence of violence, repression, and imprisonment under the dictatorship. The late Dr Martin Luther Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”; certainly, you have not been silent.

Moreover, we are grateful for your initiative in rebuffing the Eritrean Ministry of Information’s falsifying press release, and you addressed the Eritrean people directly by translating Executive Order 14046 into Tigrigna and Arabic languages. As a result, many Eritreans are aware of the intent and purpose of the sanctions imposed and realize it is not aimed at them.

Finally, as freedom and peace-loving global citizens, Eritreans are decent people full of hopes and aspirations who deserve liberty and the pursuit of happiness; thus, on behalf of the voiceless Eritreans and Eritrean Global Yiakl Movement, we thank you for your courageous deeds.

You are truly a friend of the Eritrean people.

Respectfully,

Diplomacy Department

Eritrean Global Yiakl Movement

Cc:

  • Bob Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman
  • Jim Risch, Ranking Member
  • Chris Coons, Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman
  • Anthony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State
  • Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa

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