A high-level delegation of the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) headed by Party chairman attended the Africa Committee meeting of the Socialist International that took place in West Africa (Niamey, Niger) between 17 and 18 March 2013 and discussed burning issues under the topic: “peace, security and democracy in the Sahel” with emphasis on the situation in Mali.
The EPDP delegation consisted of the chairman, Mr. Menghesteab Asmerom, and the head of the Foreign Relations, Mr. Woldeyesus Ammar, and had the opportunity of taking part in the deliberations that considered those hot issues bedeviling the Sahel, an African region that stretches from the Horn countries of Eritrea and Somalia to West Africa, including troubled Mali.
The EPDP delegation shared the meeting’s special focus on what has being happening in Mali until the timely French intervention. However, it also drew in sharp terms the attention of fraternal party members of the Socialist International to the disturbing and ever worsening human condition in Eritrea. It stressed what Eritrea and its people, now living under the worst despot in Africa, expect from peace-loving democratic forces of the world.
Besides making its points through intervention at the discussions, the delegation was able to distribute to meeting participants a written statement prepared for the occasion, the Political Programme, Party Profile, and various issues of its English language publication.
The meeting started discussions on the subject matter after electing Mr. Emmanuel Golou of Benin as the chairman of the Africa Committee. A leadership member of the African National Congress (ANC) was elected in absentia as vice-chairman of the Africa Committee for tenure of five years. Mr. Luis Ayala, the Secretary General of Socialist International, shared the front platform with the new Africa Committee chairman and vice-chairpersons of the global Socialist International to assist in conducting of the meeting which was attended by a large number of African delegations and SI member parties from Europe and Latin America.
Nearly a dozen reports and research papers, with special focus on Mali, were presented at the meeting by member parties from countries of the Sahel region, North Africa and other parts of the continent.
The reports established that the disquieting events in the Sahel region, particularly the conflict that unfolded in Mali as of January 2012, were caused by many factors of destabilization including bad governance; corruption; flourishing crime industry of drug dealers and human traffickers; drought, economic hardships and other geopolitical causes.
At the conclusion of the meeting on Monday, the Africa Committee issued what it called “The Niamey Declaration” that dealt mainly with the crisis in Mali.
The Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker of the Republic of Niger attentively listening to a presentation
made by the delegate of the French Socialist Party at the Africa Committee meeting of the SI.
(A reportage with more details will follow soon on the Niamey SI Africa Committee meeting).