South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, ANC, on Thursday (May 23) congratulated Eritrea on its 28th independence day celebrations.
An ANC statement described this year’s edition as the first post-war commemoration – in reference to the decades long border war that Eritrea had with Ethiopia until July 2018.
The statement issued by ANC’s Department of Information and Publicity and signed by Lindiwe Zulu, an international relations executive read in part: “This auspicious Eritrean National Independence Day has an extraordinary significance!
On this glorious day, we salute Comrade President Isaias Afwerki, the leaders of our fraternal party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) for their principled struggle for justice, economic self-determination and development.
“It is the first National Independence Day celebrations in the post-war Ethiopia – Eritrea era (1998 – 2018). We commend both the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia for this new era of peace and cooperation in the political, economic and social spheres.
It continued: “On this glorious day, we salute Comrade President Isaias Afwerki, the leaders of our fraternal party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) for their principled struggle for justice, economic self-determination and development.
Eritrea today (May 24) climaxes the week-long celebration which has also been replicated in several capitals across the world. The former Ethiopian territory got independence in 1991 before voting in a 1993 referendum under the auspices of the United Nations.
It is a one-party state that has had Afwerki as leader since independence. It has serially been accused of gross rights abuse including the jailing of opponents and members of the media.
Till July 2018 when it finally made peace with Ethiopia, very little was heard of the country most watchers described as reclusive, a description the Information Minister has rejected.
STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS ON ERITREA’S FIRST POST-WAR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS, 24th MAY 2019 pic.twitter.com/PKaYe9lFXr— African National Congress (@MYANC) May 23, 2019