British politicians plan visit to Eritrea

Source: All Party Parliamentary Group for Eritrea

Kate OsamorYesterday afternoon Kate Osamor MP was announced as the newly elected Chair of the APPG for Eritrea. Kate brings her experience as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and as long time Chair of the APPG for Nigeria.

The reformed All-Party Parliamentary Group for Eritrea has a total of 18 members, including first time MPs and one who started first as an MP in 1979.

The group benefits from the experience of three former Foreign Office Ministers, including Harriett Baldwin who was Minister for Africa until late 2019, as well as members of the International Relations Committee and other regional and topical APPGs.

With members from Labour, Conservative, Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats and Green Party the APPG for Eritrea covers every political persuasion in Westminster in both Commons and Lords.

The APPG has already spoken to the UK Ambassador to Eritrea and has invited the Eritrean Ambassador to Parliament for a frank private discussion on areas of concern and potential cooperation.

Since reforming after the election members have met to discuss the possibility of a delegation to Asmara and have started to formally review the benefits of diplomatic engagement with the Eritrean regime. The APPG is looking at taking a comprehensive look at the UK’s relationship with Eritrea, including the possibility of increased cooperation on international development and the actions of the Eritrean embassy in the UK. The APPG has also invited Human Rights Watch and academic experts on Eritrea to give evidence in Parliament on indefinite military conscription in the next few weeks. The officers hope to begin formal hearings in an enquiry on UK/Eritrean relations in the near future.


Chair Kate Osamor, Formerly Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

co-Chair Thangam Debbonaire

co-Chair Baroness Goudie, Advisor to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Vice-chair Baroness Anelay, Chair of the international Relations Committee

Vice-chair Harriett Baldwin, Minister for Africa 2018-2019

Vice-chair Lord Alton, Member of the International Relations Committee

Vice-chair Stephen Doughty, Chair of the Somaliland APPG

Vice-chair Flick Drummond, Chair of the Women, Peace and Security APPG

Vice-chair Philip Hollobone

Vice-chair Lord Chidgey

Vice-chair Fleur Anderson

Vice-chair Mark Pritchard

Vice-chair Bishop of Salisbury

Vice-chair Theo Clarke



Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Green Party

Lord Luce, Former Foreign Office Minister

Laurence Robertson, Chair of the APPG for Ethiopia and Djibouti

Patrick Grady, Former SNP International Development Spokesperson



  1. The EU funds are one of the main bloodstreams for the regime in Eritrea.
    The EU funds has funded the regime for many years and have never asked where the money was spent.
    The EU funds have never been accounted for at anytime, i.e. there is no accountability.
    The EU funds do not reach the people of Eritrea because the government does not have a culture of transparency.
    The EU funds are used to buy military equipment which do not serve the Eritrean people and their quest for freedom, equality and peace.

    1. That I, Geert Heikens, EC ambassador to Eritrea from 2004-2006, had to leave Eritrea before the end of my normal 4 years was because I asked for accountability of funds, in the case food aid. I also blocked payments due to insufficient progress in a project. So some more nuances instead of sound bites will be welcome. This reaction, however, does not mean that I have any sympathy for the regime. One if not the most repressive in the world. I mentioned several times that the EU = Commission and Member States should start an Art 96 procedure.

  2. You always had been the Eritrean people’s voice and I wish I could do or say more than thank you.
    Your contribution to respect humanity is exemplary !

  3. I think the formation of APPG is going to check the EU and other countries assistance given to the dictator in Eritrea one way or the other just for the sake of their countries’ benefit. This in itself made Eritrea a forgotten nation and as a result the people are languishing under a parish dictatorial regime for years to count. Thus I strongly emphasize that the main problem makers are the hidden strategy of the western and other countries , as the supper powers have maneuvered in the forties and fifties. So, I highly commend the formation of the APPG for Eritrea and work for the benefit of the oppressed people. I hope also, the IMF, World bank, the EU and others stop funding the Eritrean regime which does not reach the Eritrean people. At last but not the least, I urge the donor countries help the Eritrean political parties to form a broad national front under the sponsor of APPG for Eritrea if possible.

    1. The UK is leaving the EU. They can’t check an entity they’re no longer apart of. They’ll be regulated to the sidelines after they’re departure.

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