Presentation of Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative

by Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative


Three decades of armed struggle for the independence of Eritrea and the so-called "border conflict" between Eritrea and Ethiopia (1998-2000), resulted in 70,000 soldiers killed from both sides. We witnesssed the results of every military dispute in the region: hunger, impoverishment, displacement of people, land mine hazards, displaced people, confiscation of property, flight, traumatisation and vast suffering for the civilians and others. Forced recruitment has been compulsory for all citizens 18 to 40 years old since 1994. The consequences of Conscientious Objection and desertion are severe torture, long-time imprisonment and the death penalty. The right to conscientious objection is not granted.

At present daily routines are arbitrary detention, disregarding all forms of human rights and a lack of all constitutional rights.

The persecution of (religious) minorities is increasing. Independent NGOs, human right groups or international observers are not tolerated. Investigations demanded by Amnesty International and other organisations are not granted.

We are ...

conscientious objectors from Eritrea, living in Germany. We advocate for a peaceful future and the right to Conscientious Objection in Eritrea. Our initiative is independent from any Eritrean organization, political or otherwise. We are open to all individuals or groups who want to be engaged in our initiative and work toward common aims.

We want ...

to work for a non-violent, democratic process in Eritrea. We believe that all forms of war and military oppression are hindering the peaceful development in our region. Our actions as well as the structure of our organisation is based on grassroots principles. We work in collaboration with similar groups in Germany and other countries.

Our aims

We are working toward founding a national network for Conscientious Objectors inside and outside of Eritrea, which have in mind a lasting peace on the basis of human rights and the right to refuse forced recruitment, militarisation and war in Eritrea. We support the work of human rights groups and peace initiatives in Eritrea and abroad. We speak out for the right of refusing military service and participation in war for reasons of conscience. We see this as an essential part of a peaceful solution.

We counsel and support conscientious objectors and their families, who want to declare their conscientious objection on political, religious or other grounds.

We provide relevant information about the situation of Conscientious Objectors in Eritrea for the German society and any other interested people.

We stand for the interests of the Eritrean people rather than policies of political parties.

Source: Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative, leaflet, May 2005

Keywords:    ⇒ Antimilitarism   ⇒ Eritrea   ⇒ Exile   ⇒ Refugees