An article by Dr. Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s (AI), European Institutions Office, entitled “from hell to hell: Eritreans at home and abroad” appeared on New Europe, 5-11 May 2013 publication, made a desperate attempt to sully the image of Eritrea and vilify the vigorous preparations of the Eritrean people, inside and abroad, for the euphoric celebration of the 22nd year of independence.
The Embassy of the State of Eritrea, Brussels, for illustration purposes and without entering into polemics, briefly presents some of the accomplishments of Independent Eritrea:
• On equality:
Equal rights and opportunities have been promoted in a way that takes into consideration the social, cultural and geographical diversity of the country. As a small but diverse country, with a population evenly divided between Muslims and Christians, and nine ethnic groups, it has been able to build a harmonious society. Eritrea has also maintained its proud achievements in the role and position of women in society, in the political, economic, social and cultural life.
• On Development:
Eritrea’s progress in promoting a vibrant social sector strategy and achieving the MDG’s has been nothing less than remarkable, all the more so since it was done with the active and decisive involvement of the population. The developments so far assert Eritrea’s commitment and practice in promoting the rights to social progress. In fact, it is a pride to see an arid and semi-arid nation, lying in a region affected by recurrent cycles of drought and famine achieving food security.
Furthermore, youth Empowerment is another priority of the Eritrean government and society. The national service program which is misunderstood by many and wrongly maligned by others provides the youth with opportunities to develop their personalities and acquire valuable skills, even as they contribute to the country’s social and economic development.
• On Health:
Health security has been promoted and, infant and maternal mortality have gone down dramatically, killer diseases including malaria have been tamed, polio, meningitis and measles eradicated. Female Genital Mutilation is on the wane, not only due to government action, but the active role of the population, including religious leaders. In general, the demographic distribution of health services also shows great achievement.
• On Education:
Education is free from the elementary all the way to university and post-graduate levels. Accordingly, Eritrea has made significant progress in providing access and continuity to education. As a result, enrolment both in terms of demographic and geographic coverage has been exponentially growing since independence. Special attention has been given to rural areas, ethnic minority groups, nomadic communities and girls education through innovative programs. The provision of mother tongue education has also addressed fundamental issues of equity and relevance in education. Of particular significance is the major investment made in reorganizing higher education by decentralizing the only University in the Country thereby establishing institutions of higher learning in each of six Administrative Regions.
• On Political System:
Eritrea is building a participatory political system. This is based on the active involvement of its people, at home and abroad, who participate fully on all decisions that affect their lives. This is work in progress and much remains to be done, but our people are confident we are on the right track in the political process of nation building.
• And many more.. .
Thus, the answer to the Director is “YES INDEED, THERE IS MUCH TO CELEBRATE IN ERITREA” and he is invited to participate in and witness the celebrations of the Diaspora, taking place from the 16 May to first week of June 2013 in various European cities and the world at large.