(Asmara 02-01-2015) Freedom Friday (Arbi Harnet) activists in Asmara have this afternoon confirmed that the Eritrean regime has called off the announcements requiring many Asmara residents to report for training, tomorrow 3rd of January 2015.
The calls were issued with stern warning of severe repercussion for those who failed to report for training some three weeks ago. However sensing the determination to ignore these calls just like the previous calls in October authorities in the Central Region of the country have started spreading last minute messages about the postponement of the training.
The activists stated: ‘Asmara residents were determined to ignore these calls just like the three previous calls, but they [the regime] backtracked at the last minute and tonight nearly everyone, at least here in “zoba maekel” are aware that it has been called off, we don’t think they will ever pursue the plan again. If the challenge from the public is maintained at this level there is no reason why we won’t see the end of the regime in this new year’.
Three weeks ago all members of the Popular Army and members of the national service who have not registered were informed to report for training on the 3rd of January and sternly warned about repercussions of failing to report. It was feared that the regime will force people to go to “Gahtelay Military training Center”, renown for its inhospitable climate, where the elderly recruits of the Popular Army would have found impossible to cope with.
The repeated show of quiet resistance has become a norm in the Capital where there is a growing confidence and solidarity among residents, who have stood firm in their determination to resist forced militeraisation of the civilian population.
The Popular Army in Eritrea is made up of civilians over the age of fifty, who are required to get armed and trained and be on call for duties in their local area, including night patrols.