Radio Erena: 02 October 2017
An attempt by the Eritrean ruling party – the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice – PFDJ, to stop an Eritrean festival, which was organized by the City of Geneva, has been failed.
According to Radio Erena sources, the festival was planned for 22nd through the 24th of September by Pre en Bulle – an organization supported by Swiss government’s Office of Integration – the city of Geneva chapter.
The representative of the PFDJ at the Eritrean Consulate in Switzerland noted to have made the attempt to stop the festival because it was organized without the knowledge and approval of the government of Eritrea.
The Eritrean Consulate warned Eritreans in the city they would be held accountable, should they participate in the festival, stated the source.
One of the coordinators of the festival known as Sebastian confirmed that Pre en Bulle has received an official letter to stop the festival from the Eritrean Consulate. He added that he visited the consulate and was faced by angry members who told him to cancel the festival.
Mr. Sebastian further said that he told the PFDJ representatives at the consulate that the festival has no political motive but to help the Eritrean immigrants integrate with the Swiss society – their cultures and traditions.
According to an Eritrean participant of the festival – by the name of Simon Mehari, several Eritreans participated in the festival although there were some people who avoided it as they thought it was organized by the PFDJ and some others – mostly sympathizers of the PFDJ, on the other hand, avoided it thinking it was organized by the opposition camp.
Mr. Mehari stated the official coordination of the festival was free from the involvement of Eritreans from both camps and that it was organized for all Eritreans equally regardless of their political affiliations.
After assessing the failure of the attempt, PFDJ representative at the Eritrean Consulate released a false propaganda claiming the Festival was not for Eritreans and most of the Eritrean artists – who are sympathizers of the PFDJ, were forced to abandon their allocated slots. One of those artists was – the famous Kunama and Tigrigna singer – Dahab Faytinga.
As migration of Eritreans to Switzerland is one of most alarming issues in the country, the Swiss government is reported to, openly and in secrete, engage on continuous talks with the Eritrean government in an effort to find a lasting solution.