Intimidation and Harassment, how the Eritrean Embassy in Nairobi React at the Meeting of the Diaspora

Our Special Correspondent
Saba Makeda
Nairobi 22 February 2015

Eritreans in  Nairobi  have  established  the Eritrean Diaspora in East Africa ( EDEA)  to promote the interests and the  welfare of Eritrean citizens in  the East Africa Region and  help them to  benefit from the hospitality accorded to them in the region. The executive committee had planned an inaugural meeting to be held on Friday 20 February 2015.

Key topics for the meeting were:

  • Current  situation  of Eritrea and the Region  – to be presented by Ambassador Andebrhan Woldeghiorgis –  Former Eritrean Ambassador to the  EU;  former Commission for  Co-ordination with  UN Peace  Keeping Mission Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE)  – author of the book  Eritrea at a Crossroads
  • The role of the  Diaspora  in promotion of peace and  cooperation  to be  presented by Dr Wanyama Masinde – Senior  Lecturer  and Director Institute for  Regional Integration and Development – the Catholic University of East Africa

cartello giant prisonThe meeting was to be opened by Mr Elias Habte Selassie (an Eritrean academician, lawyer and an expert in conflict resolution and development) and   closed by Dr Asefaw Tekeste. (Public Health Director School of Medicine Touro University   )

Guest of honour were:

  • Ambassador  Haile Menkerios  – UN Special  Representative  to the African Union;
  • Ambassador Dr. Monica Juma, MBS was appointed and sworn in as the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Defence on 27th June, 2013. Prior to her appointment as the Principal Secretary, Amb. Dr. Juma was Kenya’s Ambassador Extra-Ordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Amb. Dr. Juma holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Master of Arts (MA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Nairobi and Certificate in Refugees Studies from Oxford University. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria (South Africa); an Associate with the African Programme of the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace, (Costa Rica); and an Adjunct Faculty member at the African Centre for Strategic Studies of the National Defence University, Washington D.C., (United States of America).[1]

At the last minute the inaugural meeting of the EDEA did not take place. There was much confusion however what has emerged is that somehow the Eritrean embassy  lodged a complaint with the Kenyan authorities.

Haile Menkerios

In addition to lodging a protest with the Kenyan authorities, the Eritrean Embassy has also engaged in a campaign of intimidation of Eritreans in Nairobi by sending them mobile text messages. The message states that: the Eritrean Embassy has received complaints from concerned Eritreans about the meeting organised by the EDEA and in particular the nature of the discussion to be held there.  The message further states that no Eritrean should even dream of participating in the meeting. If Eritreans do participate no Eritrean embassy anywhere in the world will provide them with any services.

Andebrhan Woldeghiorgis

Typically the message is a God Father like threat and very divisive. We should note that the key purpose of EDEA is to promote the welfare of the Eritrean citizens and the diaspora and in so doing to address the issue of so many of our young people   running from a ruthless uncaring government in Eritrea.

The reaction of the Eritrean embassy to the initiative, can only  demonstrate to the Kenyan authority  how  Eritrean Government  treats its people, it   should be taken as a sign that EDEA is on the right path,  it should  create  international  alliances carry out the work it has set out to do  seriously – the youth of  Eritrea is watching .

Makeda Saba


In the pictures up Haile Menkerios, down Andebrhan Woldeghiorgis.

Corrispondente dall'Africa, dove ho visitato quasi tutti i Paesi