Vienna Gathering Discusses Horn of Africa Prospects

Vienna, Austria—UPF-Austria was one of the organizers of a program titled “Perspectives for the Horn of Africa with a Special Focus on Sudan.”

The event, which took place on June 22, 2018 in the Austrian Peace Embassy, was held in cooperation with the United Nations Correspondents Association Vienna (UNCAV) and the Horn of Africa Peace Initiative.

The program was held in recognition of Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Almost 100 people attended the event, which was special in the sense that the dream of our Horn of Africa Peace Initiative was somehow fulfilled, as a peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea had been started just a few days before our event.

This initiative was launched over 10 years ago by H.E. Abdulkadir Hamdan and Abdallah Sharief, who are running the Horn of Africa news agency with the support of UPF-Austria. This news agency is bringing the vision of peace represented by UPF via online media reporting to the counties of conflict in the Horn.

A special surprise guest of the evening was H.E. Saadeldin Hussein Elbushra, the Sudanese state minister for petroleum and gas, who was in Vienna to attend a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Paul Slatin, president of the Austrian-Sudanese Society, spoke about his great-uncle Sir Rudolf Carl Freiherr von Slatin Pasha, an Austrian adventurer who became governor of Sudan’s Darfur province. Abdallah Sharief, the president of the United Nations Correspondents Association Vienna, reported about impressions from a recent trip to Sudan. Andreas Andiel, president of the Austrian-Ethiopian Society, gave an overview of Ethiopia as one of the big nations on the African continent and reported about new developments toward peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

H.E. Abdelkadir Hamdan, counselor of the Eritrean Embassy in Germany and representative of the Permanent Mission of Eritrea to the United Nations in Vienna, spoke about the great hope of the people of Eritrea that their country’s conflict with Ethiopia will come to an end and that a lasting perspective for peace on the Horn of Africa will bring new chances for development.

Professor Dr. Titus Leber, a goodwill ambassador for the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, gave a short report on a project he has started to bring the cultural heritage of Africa to cyberspace. H.E. Omar Shareef H. Eisa from the Embassy of Sudan gave a farewell speech after working several years as a diplomat in Vienna.

Musical performances and a buffet of African cuisine concluded the event.

Written by Peter Haider, president, UPF-Austria