Thursday, 25 December 2014

Letter, notes and pictures of the G 13 in Berlin, Asmara 2000

Standing left to right: Haile Debas, Assefaw Tekeste, Kassahun Checole, Araya Debessay, Mussie Misghina, Dawit Mesfin, Paulos Tesfaghiorgis, Mereim Omer. Sitting left to right Khaled Beshir, the late Reesom Haile and Mohamed Kheir Omer. Missing is Bereket Habte Sellasie (who could not make to Asmara) 

The G13 letter in English:

My reflections on The G13 ’Berlin Manifesto’: Part I

The G13 ’Berlin Manifesto’: Lessons & Way Forward (Part II):

" October 1, 2000:  Having met in Germany in the last week of September, thirteen Eritrean scholars and professionals, later known as “G-13”, who reside in Europe, the United States, Eritrea and South Africa, write a letter to President Isaias Afwerki.   The letter, which was leaked and came to be as the “Berlin Manifesto” spoke of a nation whose government is beset by “serious contradiction and a major rift among the leadership” and called for a sober appraisal of post-war Eritrea.  It called for national reconciliation, collective leadership, implementation of the ratified constitution, abolishing the “Special Court”, divesting the ruling party from the economic life of Eritrea and called on the President to seize the moment to turn a crisis into an opportunity to “re-claim your hard-earned reputation.” The letter was signed by Araya Debessay (USA); Assefaw Tekeste (USA); Bereket Habte Selassie (USA), Dawit Mesfin (UK), Haile Debas (USA); Kassahun Checole (USA); Khaled Beshir (USA), Miriam M. Omar (UK); Mohammed Kheir Omar (Norway); Mussie Misghina (Sweden); Paulos Tesfagiorgis (Eritrea); Reesom Haile (Brussels) and Lula Ghebreyesus (South Africa.)  The latter withdrew her association shortly after signing the document.

January 1, 2001:  Dawit Mesfin, a participant in the meeting held in Germany that resulted in the “Berlin Manifesto”, is interviewed by shortly after his return from Asmara.  Mr. Dawit Mesfin, along with ten signatories of the Berlin Manifesto, had traveled to Asmara, at the invitation of President Isaias Afwerki, to discuss the issues they raised in their letter.  Dawit Mesfin describes the meeting the group had with President Isaias Afwerki on November 25, 2000 as a “gate crashing experience”from the standpoint that it actually took place.  However, in terms of content, about an hour of the time was spent discussing the leaking of the private letter. "

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