Fetsum: A call for new approach from the Youth
“bebetrika tezkewin neiru kedem mis Ethiopia mitecarejna neirna, tselaeti bezihomuna imber” President Afwerki once upon a time in Washington DC. “kalsina mis izi checan mengisti trah tezikewin neiru, abkereba melgesnayo neirna abwishtna zideskelu kelkiluna imber” GI
“bebetrika tezkewin neiru kedem mis Ethiopia mitecarejna neirna, tselaeti bezihomuna imber” President Afwerki once upon a time in Washington DC.
“kalsina mis izi checan mengisti trah tezikewin neiru, abkereba melgesnayo neirna abwishtna zideskelu kelkiluna imber” GI et al’s current dilemma in this fight against the enemy.
Law of Inertia: If you try to move a huge stone by pushing it from all directions, chances are you will stabilize it in the same position because a push in one direction is counter-balanced by another in the opposite direction. The forces applied on the object must be in one direction to cause cumulative effect overcoming its inertia (a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force) and moving it from its position. The fact remains that over 30 political parties and tens of civic and humanitarian organizations have been pushing each other in the process of separately fighting the regime, allowing it to survive or stabilize more than its tendency to fall because of uncontrollable self-created problems.
Narrative: GI has been conducting multiple efforts to work with the reactionary groups in the resistance as we have been disclosing to our people in different occasions in the past. The fake groups that claim to follow grassroots movement have simply refused to dialogue and cooperate with GI in the genuine attempt of trying to mobilize the Diaspora community for global leadership. As a result, the anticipated GI momentum has been drastically slowed down allowing the regime to relax without formidable political contender.
I keenly listened to GI’ important interview with Assenna (April 21/2017) and could not resist my temptation to comment on, without representing any group except myself.
The interview inspired me to look at our current situation from four angles of the society: the people, GI and other pro-unity organizations such as those in England, Germany, Israel, Holland, the anti-unity groups such as Medrek and Hizbawi Mileal et al and the need for vibrant young activists to save themselves from the old generation’s endless compulsion of failure. I have no time to discuss the stationary Political Parties uselessly aging in Addis with no purpose in life.
Apparently, the Eritrean resistance for freedom and justice was going on with three fundamental ideological anchors: Top-Bottom, Bottom-UP and Undefined or without vision beyond overthrowing the regime and replacing it with anything.
Starting backwards, the humanitarian camp has certainly accomplished some goodies]; the successful UN based inquiry on the dictator’s crimes against humanity being the most significant of them all. But where does it stand in the question of unity? Why is it quietly feeling the situation with undefined vision? Is it because of the weak excuse that it does not have to politically involve as humanitarian entity, sheer emptiness about the democratic future of the country or fear of taking a clear position in the ongoing stalemate between the Top-Down and Bottom-UP philosophies of the resistance?
Leaving the clear followers of the Top-Down philosophy such as the Medrekites as a matter of obviousness (Shabias in outlook if not in physical composition) alone, a fundamental difference has today been observed within the groups that claim to advocate the grassroots movement, Top-Down in grassroots veil and genuine Bottom-Up. Although the situation may be considered a progress in a way, (since it reveals the real character of the groups claiming to fight the regime from the grassroots philosophical angle) it remains to be sad considering the urgent condition of our people in general.
How similar are Shabia and the static groups in question?
Shabia’s Natna asararah alena isolated it from the people since the time of independence. Its let me do it alone policy left it lawless, exclusive and stagnant till this point in chronicle. And some wudebatat’s gidefuna natkum giberu has been similarly containing their activities within. Shabia’s wrong attitude that “we liberated Eritrea so we must run it forever without any contender or input from the people” coincides with the wudebetat’s “nehna ina gemirnayo iti grassroots movement imo nihna trah ina nimerho, gidefuna wey abtihtena serhu” attitude currently standing in the way of our freedom and democracy. Both being obviously exclusive, the regime is, at least running the country and justifying it by building dams and roads to some extent. But where is the progress, the rationale that justifies our brothers and sisters in the destructive mindset that have been doing it and still want to do it alone in this situation with no tangible result.
Immobility: Nothing new in Eritrea this long into the dictatorship and no mobility in Diaspora many years since the wudebetat came to existence. Shabia’s disconnection from the people synchronizes with the literal and verbal disappearance of the others.
On democracy: Shabia’s “we represent the people through my name “a party for justice and democracy”” (contrary to its dictatorship) perfectly resonates with the groups’ illusive claim of assuming the mandate to exclusively lead the Diaspora through selective leadership without legitimate mass involvement and intellectual capacity. They claim of being elements of the grassroots movement contrary to their Top-Bottom philosophical position.
Political monopoly: Shabia’s concept of monopolizing the struggle avoided ELF for unified resolution of the problem and the result was more death and destruction for Eritreans in the longer than necessary armed struggle against the Ethiopians. The people paid, at least 15 more years of destruction until independence as a result (since 1975 when both fronts circumscribed Asmara after defeating the Derg before the Soviet Union’s intense involvement that drove them away to the jungle during the demoralizing RETREAT). And our brothers and sisters in the wrong side of history are exasperating the people’s agony by elongating the life of dictatorship, illegally and arrogantly trying to monopolize politics in Diaspora.
Once again in retrospect, Shabia’s “we brought independence and we deserve to rule without interference from the people” perfectly correlates with the adamant elements’ “we started the grassroots movement and we should be the only one that deserve to navigate at leadership level of the relationship with other similar groups minus transparency.”
Power to individuals: The Shabias and the groups in question have short term plan, respectively leading the country and the Diaspora alone. Yet, they meet at the long term projections of the relationship: staying leaders forever without doing anything worthwhile for the people and the Diaspora. Both don’t want to empower the people since they believe in few individuals permanently and exclusively leading the society without the people’s and the Diaspora’s consent. Both believe that the people must remain conditioned only to expect the word from above in Eritrea and respectively in Diaspora, localized in few places with no capacity and interest to globalize their concept. They are afraid to involve the people because they think they will be replaced.
Phobia to dialogue: The regime avoids resolving the Badme crisis through dialogue with Ethiopia and national matters with the people to permanently stay in power, at least through the valid excuse that Ethiopia violated its Algiers agreement to give it up without condition. Likewise, our brothers and sisters in the obstinacy camp refuse to safeguard our people through dialogue with equally significant groups in the resistance probably for their anticipated power grab with another illegal dictatorship.
Unfinished Initiatives: Shabia as you know starts something and quits without explanation. It promises something and breaks it with “we will deliver when the time arrives” excuse (the forto crisis, the issues of prisoners, housing projects and the Badme war induced land allocation in exchange for the BOND collected from the people, etc.). Likewise, our phony civic groups leaders initiate something and leave it unfinished without follow up contact, a case in point being the Global Solidarity’s disappearance from the scene after its Initiative on transiting Eritrea to democracy through its Virginia Symposium (2014) where about ten Professors participated with four or five of them in the panel; yet after promising to update the public on the development. Surprising is that they don’t feel ashamed of their routine practice in this regard!
On Unity: There were groups called HIZBAWI HAILITAT during the struggle that eventually formed HIZBAWI GINBAR (EPLF) and liberating Eritrea after the civil war with ELF, the end result being the then leaders of the HAILITAT that have been rusting in the dictator’s prison enterprise after the Badme war.
Then we heard the news on SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 that says“ERITREANS FOR FACILITATING NATIONAL DIALOGUE (EFND) & ERITREN GLOBAL SOLIDARITY (EGS) WILL MERGE INTO ONE CIVIC ORGANIZATION”. I wish the fist could effectively do it and transform to facilitators of national unity and the Global Solidarity reflecting its name in action by trying to unify the diaspora resistance against the dictatorship with the GI community or otherwise. In contradiction, however, the so said facilitators reject dialogue with GI and Global Solidarity could not come out of its localized mentality in this bizarre Eritrean reality.
I wonder if the groups’ meaningless unity was only to challenge GI and if they will continue peacefully staying together after they accomplish their mission which is so far unknown to the Eritrean people or swallow each other out like the Shabias.
But where is the beef, what the merging was all about based on no follow up news since then? Was it fear-reaction to the birth of GI that was wrongly taken as a contender instead of their support system to resurrection? Where is the impact otherwise? Remember that they stayed apart for years without significant ideological difference and merged after they refused to dialogue with GI for united action towards forming a transitional government in Eritrea.In my view, I believe this was the case because they neither explained what their differences had been, what they resolved in between to take such an action and, of course nothing to show for the move till this moment in time, eight months after promising to show up shortly.
Sticking to failure: President Afwerki after admitting the country’s deteriorating health situation once said that the Sudanese approach to public health was impressive but following it would contradict with Eritrea’s Self-Reliance policy. Similarly, our adamant brothers and sisters in Diaspora stick to their stagnant method of struggle refusing help from other groups in the struggle.
You cannot stubbornly stick to your static effect unless you run out of creativity and simultaneously repulse an inductive energy in inclusive ambiance trying to positively wake you up to the next phase of the fight unless you want to dictate power in future Eritrea. Poor Medrekites may, at least be excused for they came from the same autocratic school of thought like the dictatorship, but what makes the peripheral sympathizers of the independence struggle like any ordinary Eritrean behave as such in the presence of veteran fighters of the era in GI community?
Amanuel: Who is the problem, wedebetat or the people? If the people had interest in GI, what may be the reason for their failure to develop it? How solid is your foundation?
Response: The regime has been a danger to the people and so have the exclusive groups afraid of unity been. A danger for something cannot thus replace another danger to the common target no matter how antagonistic the dangers were to each other. One cannot focus replacing dictatorship by another that claims of having a different outlook of society, as Doctor Berhe taught it in his recent appearance at Assenna.
In so grieving, I believe the GI representatives adequately responded to Aman’s questions but to add a little, no progressive foundation can be solidified without the participation of the people. In the flip, the people that only know following authority couldn’t free themselves and involve without their leaders’ cooperation. They have, thus been part of the problem as well with their leaders carrying most of the responsibility in this situation.
What is to be done now to overcome the problems within the resistance? Expecting the older crowd in GI to change the situation alone is not only naïve but also impossible to say the least. The statement “we will wait until we see something good” is therefore, out of place with rationality for someone has to help out to see something and it is not only our responsibility to make it without the people. At the bottom line, the people must involve to make the difference without expecting us to do it all alone.
GI’s responsibility was producing a road map to transitional government of Eritrea, which it did with flying colors, despite having a lot of room for improvement. It cannot force the people addicted to following their leaders into breaking their conformist chains to develop the grassroots movement on their own. It is their leaders that are sabotaging the movement becoming a headache without any convincing ideological road map to global leadership except names. They are the ones that have had a problem breaking their localized entrapments into the universal scope of unification provided by OUR VOICE and the GI community. With this obstacle in the way, chances are we cannot change the situation as fast as we anticipated and it may only take place by natural causes beyond our control. We cannot win managing the struggle with slower pace than the regime, nor can we with equal speed, only with faster speed than the tortoise, which in our case is moving faster than the reactionary elements of the fight that have been napping with no creativity and sign to wake up.
Now that the older generation is rapidly melting away in the impotent civic groups and political parties, who should take the responsibility of reducing the grassroots movement to practice before the concept disappears like the Vacarroian movement of unification? Seriously believing that the younger generation is about to waste its life in the current defective style of resistance, I tend to remind it to take leadership as soon as possible. It cannot follow the elders trapped in the vicious cycle of stagnation and competition without rational grounds.
Dear Amanuel Iyassu and Meron semedar et al;
You know you have been doing a lot for your people without the help of the older generation that caused the current problem through conformist and dictatorial mindset. You also know that time is against the old members of the struggle in this resistance that chose sitting down for this long watching each other minus any progress to the digress of the people. They will never change and you should not wait any longer unless willing to age like them without impacting the society!!
They will not do now knocking at the gates of heaven what they could not do when they were energetic and young, nor can you afford waiting for the power starved individuals to change the situation without uselessly aging like them. The older generation that compromised its freedom through grudging and unhealthy competition cannot liberate the young generation exposed to the dictatorship it brought upon the society.
Please take care of your destiny, saving our people and yourselves by assertively challenging them through the media and leading the youth to this effect as signatories of GI’s genuine grassroots movement. You must interfere and stop the problem by guiding the youth to defend itself before the dictator falls and something terrible takes place in Eritrea. I advice you to more closely work with dedicated individuals alike and start touring the world with this mission in mind (to liquidate the obstacle out of the way). Once again, I am telling you that they will never change! You should take the mission of democratizing your country more seriously and mange it with young Eritreans of your caliber in accordance with the genuine grassroots ideology in the ground. I am sorry to tell you that you are destined to fight till the end with the extent of contribution you have been doing, so should you upgrade your fight publicly calling the spade a spade and navigating the movement with higher dedication before something regrettable happened in the country.
Wake up to the people’s call bypassing the irrational leaders of the civic groups that have a problem managing their minute differences and understanding democracy beyond uselessly rusting in their closed circles. Convince yourself that those who could not liberate themselves from arrogance and ignorance cannot liberate anyone in society. Please transform your approach and make your move to enjoy a portion of your life in democratic Eritrea for the dying elements of the society cannot bring your liberty after denying its own despite decades of pretentious actuality!