Gedab News, (Addis Ababa, July 21, 2010): The long-awaited Eritrean national congress, dubbed as the National Conference for Democratic Change (NCDC), is scheduled to convene on July 30, 2010 in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. About three hundred and fifty representatives, the most diverse gathering of Eritreans ever convened in decades, are expected to attend the NCDC.
The conference is expected to discuss three main agenda items: 1) issues related to Eritrean national unity; (2) means to be used on bringing about democratic change in Eritrea, and (3) the transitional period following the collapse of the Eritrean regime. The NCDC Preparatory Committee has finalized the agenda and is in the process of translating the documents between Tigrigna and Arabic.
Despite the pollarized atmosphere which has preceded the organization of the event, the overwhelming majority of the representatives (at least 2/3) are expected to be ordinary Eritrean citizens—women, students, refugees, community elders, religious leaders and other dignitaries—in the Diaspora who reside in Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Although some delegates have already arrived in Addis Abeba, the majority of the attendants are expected to arrive the week of July 26th.
The Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), an umbrella group of 11 Eritrean opposition and resistance organizations, will be represented by 78 members including 22 members of its Executive Council. Also attending will be 21 individuals, representing 18 organizations who are not part of the EDA.
The organizers are expecting diplomats representing several Western, Arab and regional representatives, as well as members of the media.