EAJA Executive Committee convenes in Khartoum, makes crucial decisions
EAJA President, Dr Muheldin Ahmed Idris, Titawi, opened the statutory meeting. “This meeting is taking place at a time when the media freedom crisis in Eastern Africa remains stubborn and deepening. Violations of journalists’ rights are increasing with more killings and arrests of journalists in our region”.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, EAJA Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman expressed appreciations to the Sudanese Journalists Union for the hospitality. “By holding this meeting we confirm that EAJA remains our fighting weapon for press freedom and journalists rights, and we must struggle to maintain it as an independent, militant fighting regional association”.
The President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Jim Boumelha spoke at the EAJA Executive Committee meeting and delivered a message of solidarity to the EAJA leadership and members.
Yaser Yusuf Ibrahim, State Minister of Information of Sudan, welcomed EAJA leaders in Khartoum and explained their commitment to work with the Sudanese union as a partner to ensure media freedom and reform laws for the benefit of media freedom.
The EAJA Executive Committee received an official communication from Rwandan Journalists Association (ARJ), stating that they have officially withdrawn ARJ delegate, Jane Uwimana, from serving in EAJA Executive Committee as a treasurer and subsequently deployed Edmund Kagire, new Secretary General of ARJ, to serve in EAJA Executive Committee, subject to decision of the Executive Committee.
After consultations with members and having noted that there was no objection with regard to submission from ARJ, EAJA executive committee endorsed the deployment of Edmund Kagire and appointed him as EAJA Treasurer in line with article 10 (4) of the Association’s constitution.
“It is with great pleasure for me to serve in EAJA executive committee as treasurer. Let me assure you ARJ’s undivided support to EAJA leadership and full respect for our constitution. I will discharge my constitutional duties diligently and I’m honoured to work along with President Titawi and Secretary General Omar Faruk” Kagire said in taking his new role as EAJA Treasurer.
The meeting received an organisational report and reviewed EAJA’s work over the past year, and assessed progress and challenges since May 2013 ordinary General Meeting. The meeting adopted resolutions strengthening the organisational operations of EAJA.
The EAJA Executive Committee unanimously agreed to establish its Operations Office in Khartoum, Sudan, following the offer from SJU with fully equipped offices, and it will maintain its regional office in Djibouti.
The committee agreed to launch a campaign work on safety of journalists, exile journalists, precarious work and decriminalisation of journalist and projects.
The meeting passed several resolutions on safety of journalists & problem of impunity and press freedom situations in Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. The Executive Committee resolved to convey full and strong support in solidarity with First Secretary of Cameroonian Journalists Union (SNJC), Félix Cyriaque Ebolè Bola, who is under house arrest and facing military trial in Cameroon.
EAJA Executive Committee applauded the decision of Executive Board of Egyptian Journalists Syndicate (EJS) to join the IFJ and its intention to join EAJA to promote journalists’ common interests since Egyptian journalists shares common professional interests with horn of Africa.
The meeting received a briefing from Salah Omar Al-Sheikh, General Secretary of SJU, who last week visited Asmara, Eritrea, on the situation of journalists in Eritrea. EAJA agreed to intensify its campaign to free Eritrean journalists.
EAJA leaders attended the closing ceremony of a training course for 500 new member journalists who joined the Sudanese journalists, which is made the union’s total member to 7240 journalists.