Eritrean refugees and opposition parties in exile in Ethiopia celebrated the anniversary of “the start of the struggle for independence” from Ethiopia. Eritrea won its independence in 1994 through a referendum.
The celebration was attended by more than 3000 members of the diaspora including scholars and singers.
Ethiopia harbors about 180,000 Eritrean refugees in generous conditions providing them scholarship and special work permits.
The organizers has stated that the Eritrean dictator Isayas Afewerki has hijacked what was a struggle for freedom and democracy and created a pariah state where its citizens flee in masses. Ethiopia is treating us with utmost friendliness despite the propaganda of the regime in Eritrea claiming Ethiopia to be the enemy, they said.
The participants also pledged to remove the dictatorship and build a country that lives in harmony with its neighbors.
Close to 5,000 Eritreans flee the Horn of Africa nation every month trying to reach refugee camps in neighboring countries like Ethiopia while many others try to make it to Europe through deadly boat travels across the Mediterranean sea.