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Fetsum: Eritrean opposition forces under examination III

Fetsum: Eritrean opposition forces under examination III The FORUM from the last article: Genet-orginal: “It is time for all Eritreans who want change and democracy in Eritrea, to challenge these fragmented groups to wake up and do the

Fetsum: Eritrean opposition forces under examination III
The FORUM from the last article:
Genet-orginal: “It is time for all Eritreans who want change and democracy in Eritrea, to challenge these fragmented groups to wake up and do the right thing. I think what we need is if they don’t call us, we have to call them. “
Meretse Asmelash: “When it comes to these so many organizations what puzzles the most is: do they even know each other? Some people strongly believe they are real and they are there. But there where? If these organizations are alive and residing somewhere then are they asking the public not to bother their SILENCE or what else? At this point I hate to say it but I believe it is not they who are wrong, but us. We have to stop keep knocking the door when we already know that no one is residing there. Their silence is speaking louder to us than their action. What they are telling us is: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. I for one say so be it, and loudly Amen! Amen! Amen…for it
MightyEmbasoyra: Just to add a comment to Brother Meretse…I would say do they know who they are? In my own way of thinking, my guess would be most of these people are either lazy to do the ordinary job like anyone else, selfish, mentally deficient, or plain cruel. If they all blame isayas and his administration, they all have a common enemy and why aren’t they organized under one umbrella? When I say organized, I mean real organization with clear vision, to dismantle this evil individual and his top lieutenants. How many yrs [can] these group talk about the same idiocratic ideologies WITHOUT any fruit? Show me the result would be a one question to ask them but we already know the answer. “
Comment: This is where the EDA stands in relation to the Eritrean people, no wonder the president completely dismissed its existence. EDA has lost connection with reality. Its latest press release was substantially about how destructive the regime has been; something that even an Eritrean bird knows by now. In fact this was not necessary at the current counceouness level of the resistance because there are lots of things to do this year alone. This Alliance could not move forward beyond criticizing the regime and conducting inconclusive meetings that produce nothing except procrastination of important agendas concerning the people. We still cannot afford to isolate it before we fully test it but it better shape up before it gets too late.
The latest EDA’s press release reads as follows:
ፖሎቲካዊ ቤት ጽሕፈት ኤርትራዊ ዲሞክራስያዊ ኪዳን ኣብ መድረኻዊ መደባት ምርኩስ ብምግባር፡ ውደባን ርኽባትን ኣብ ቀጽሪ ኤዲኪ ንህዝባዊ ጨንፈር ርኽብብ02 መጋቢት 2014 ርኽብ ኣካይዱ።
I translated the best content of this EDA meeting at maximum stretch of my understanding as follows
Brother Jamal saleh: represnting the Chairman of the EDA’s political branch said that Eritrea is in big oproblem in everything (electricity, water, etc.) and things getting worst. At the same time, elements that justify an integrating government (pilots , athlets, desertions, etc) have been abandoning the regime creating a good scenario for our people to get lasting solution ahead. We have found searching for ways of solving the inrenal and external problems of Eritrea, securinmg the interest of the people and regional peace important subject matters. On democracy, Mr Saleh said that since the opposition forces are expanding in number time after time, they should consolidate their unity by contacting eachother more often. He reminded all forces in the resistance to maximize supporting the EDA for maximum result.
Brother Abdulrahman Taha from the central comiitee also reminded the opposition force to work under one administration. He briefed on MEDREK MIMIKIKAR POLITICAWI WIDIBAT that was born in August 2013. The meetning was over after the gentleman answered some questions in the platform.’
Comment: You have to deliver to be supported Sir! One would expect something interesting from EDA through this activity because it only shows up once or twice a year but this is what you get from it for your long wait. Reality says, the EDA cannot go beyond a page worth messaging in Tigrigna and Arabic. It tries to inform us of things assuming we know what it has been doing in privacy without any contact or notification in advance. Waiting a year for couple mysterious pages from this EDA is simply ridiculous and unacceptable. We are sick and tired of it: How do you know this? You statistically prove it saying that this release got only 5 commentators from Eritreans worldwide that commented within about 6 hrs of its exposure at Assenna and nothing after. Two of them were the following:
Hara: “We all know the problem. We want to know what they are going to do about it. We are tired of telling us what we know. What we want is solutions to make lasting change.”
Ahmed saleh: “We are victims of our corrupted political and social outlook. That is why we can’t accomplish the required national obligation like others to bring change. The game of blame has been the culture which we are good at so far. Unless the majority refresh the mind to figure out the prior demand of the people disregard politics, the journey ahead couldn’t be suitable. Without any effort from people side we only expect miracle to happen like cowards dream.”
“The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was the main independence movement in Eritrea which sought Eritrea’s independence fromEthiopia during the 1960s and 1970s. In the very late 1950s unorganized political movement seeking independence was secretly active as small cells. And in July 1960, the ELF was openly established in Cairo by Idris Muhammad Adam and other Eritrean intellectuals and students. In 1961 Hamid Idris Awate formed the armed wing of the ELF and declared the armed struggle for independence. Led by Awate, the ELF came into violent conflict with the government on September 1, 1961, using guerrilla war tactics to continue the struggle.”
ELF is the mother of the Eritrean struggle organized in 1960 by some Eritreans about a year ahead of Eritrea’s troublesome or illegal unity with Ethiopia. The Eritrean resistance took 30 years to succeed in 1991 under the leadership of the EPLF after it completely dominated the struggle by winning the civil war between the two fronts. Although EPLF won the war with the Ethiopians and liberated the country, reality asserts that the success was the derivative of cumulative effort by any Eritrean that resisted the Ethiopian colonialism from within or without.
Realistically, EPLF’s success in liberating the country should then directly implies ELF’s success because the event fully accomplished the front’s objective of liberating the country despite who did it. ELF’s Eritrean question has been successfully answered since 1991, the reason ELF’s rank and file members happily accepted the independence in accordance to “the end justifies the means”.
This being the fact, something went wrong in our country; the regime denied us the very important issue of the time; reconciliation between elements directly affected by the antagonistic contradiction between the two fronts. Absolute dictatorship reigned, damaging all members of the Eritrean society without discrimination and stealing its freedom and justice with maximum arrogance and individualism.
We know what happened to us by this dictatorship not to waste any time on because that is why we are here together trying to resolve the unexpected sociopolitical dilemma we confronted as the consequence of our independence.
The question is how this front became part of the EDA and what it really wants to accomplish as a political party! Here is what I found to that effect.
“Alliance of Eritrean National Force
In March 1999 representatives of ten Eritrean opposition groups formed the Alliance of Eritrean National Force, under the leadership of Abdullah Idriss, to overthrow the government of President Isaiyas Aferworki. The new group includes some veterans of the fragmented Eritrean politics, including the Eritrean Liberation Front – Revolution Council (ELF-RC) of Abdellah Idris, who will lead the new alliance. [The original] members of the Alliance include:
  • Eritrean Democratic Resistance Movement (Gash-Setit) [in southwestern Eritrea]
  • Eritrean Initiative Group
  • Eritrean Islamic Salvation Movement
  • Eritrean Kunamas Democratic Movement
  • Eritrean Liberation Front
  • Eritrean Liberation Front National Congress
  • Eritrean Liberation Front – Revolution Council
  • Eritrean People’s Congress
  • Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front
  • Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Eritrea
  • Ato [Mr] Ali Muhammad Sayyid Berhatu.
Apparently, the EDA slightly changed its face in 2008 and this is how it looks like since then.
  1. Democratic Movement For the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunama-DMLEK,
  2. Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization-RSADO,
  3. Eritrean Peoples Democratic Front-EPDF,
  4. Eritrean National Salvation Front-ENSF,
  5. Eritrean Liberation Front-ELF,
  6. Eritrean Peoples’ Party-EPP,
  7. Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development-EIPJD,
  8. Eritrean People’s Congress-EPC,
  9. Eritrean Peoples’ Movement-EPM,
  10. Eritrean Nahda Party-ENP,
  11. Eritrean Democratic party,EDP,
  12. Eritrean Islamic Congress-EIC, and
  13. Eritrean Federal Democratic Party-EFDM.
Changes within EDA between 1999 and 2008
Whether some of the Parties dissolved out of the alliance or changed names within is unknown but the two lists of EDA testify that the following parties had either changed their names or dissolved through the years but today’s EDA does not contain the following parties from its original structure.
  • Eritrean Democratic Resistance Movement (Gash-Setit) [in southwestern Eritrea]
  • Eritrean Initiative Group
  • Eritrean Islamic Salvation Movement
  • Eritrean Kunamas Democratic Movement
  • Eritrean Liberation Front National Congress
  • Eritrean Liberation Front – Revolution Council
  • Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front
  • Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Eritrea,
  • Ato [Mr] Ali Muhammad Sayyid Berhatu.
Surprisingly the ELF stayed intact to still survive with the same name since 1999. The two original ELFs in the least do not any longer exist within the EDA and only ELF does. I am clue less as to what happened to them but I can tell you that the original three ELFs most likely were exclusively composed of active members of the front during the struggle, at least in my opinion. Should this postulate be found reasonable, one wonders why the three ELFs did not form a united party that collectively signifies the front at large to begin with. What could have been their difference to stand independent of each other in the alliance?
We all know that ELF was the mother of the Eritrean revolution that succeeded closing its case with Ethiopia in 1990. What seems apparent is that it may be a party exclusively membered by ELF fighters during the struggle. Apart from the fact that this group is part of the EDA, which is a good indication of being democratic in political orientation I have no idea what motivates it to stand as an independent political party under this meaningless name to our current society.
·         I feel like the era of the struggle is over and Eritreans will not recycle that mentality because it is outdated. There is no such ELF or EPLF in the democratization process of the country 23 years after the objective of the two fronts and their cumulative political philosophy was reduced to practice. There is simply nothing to liberate for Eritreans after the country’s full independence has been crystallized 23 years ago by universal mandate.
·         Why does this front want to liberate calling its name “The Eritrean Liberation front”? It does not add up mathematically or conceptually to me!
Abraham Haile: “ I don’t think they know what they represent, if they do, I never saw them doing productive things like representing troubled Eritrean people in Diaspora, arranging a broad conference to discuss the plight of the so called “their people”, never dispatch their annual activities in a brochure or magazing mode for broad benefit of the people they claim represent. I could be EX- EPLF or ELF member but that would never meant to be that they represent me. “
Comment: Eritreans in the struggle had to unite within the two fronts for the common question (independence). The success of Eritreans in liberating the country directly implies the end of said unity for independence. ELF’s and EPLF’s mandate to lead the Eritrean political life in their pre-independence format was simply contradictory to their assumption that they still have the mandate to continue leading. The Eritrean independence has neutralized the importance of the two fronts in their original format. EPLF at least changed its name to PFDJ conforming to this reasoning because it understood it cannot logically survive with its original name (EPLF). I don’t think ELF sounds very good for its members for there is nothing to liberate for Eritreans.
Should they have different agendas compared to independence, they should challenge them with the people on equal terms of relationship. Should they want to lead Eritrea, they should then come up with a unique national program based on their political philosophy that has nothing to do with the Eritrean independence (fully achieved). This is missing so far for us to justify a party with the name ELF because having been a liberation front during the struggle does not by itself rationalize the front’s position as a political party without a political program for independent Eritrea. This front’s independence focused program during the struggle cannot justify its evolution to a political party without modifications associated with the Eritrean nationhood. The front’s political program during the struggle was drafted in accordance with the question of Eritreans for independence which is an expired phenomenon that does not apply in independent Eritrea.
What seems to be apparent is that the issue of RECOINCILIATION was important to our society during independence although totally suppressed by the bullish regime in Asmara. Whether time has expired the need for reconciliation this long after independence is another issue to entertain but the CONCEPT of reconciliation in view of the ELF cannot justify its old members’ existence under an independent party with that name. The ELFs can unite in request of RECONCILLIATION in post Afwerki Eritrea but they cannot get away with having a political party based on this mentality because nothing except a political program based on one’s political philosophy can justify the existence of this group as a political party. Reconciliation is a process by which a society let’s go past mistakes against each other during the struggle but is not vision oriented phenomenon that deals with economy, justice, gender, retirement or welfare, national defense, etc. that qualifies a group for political party.
Note that I could not find information about this front’s political program in the Net. See you soon!

Review overview
  • rezen March 14, 2014

    Subject: Fetsum: Eritrean opposition forces under examination III, 12 March 2014


    1. The pre-independence era
    A little anecdote here may not hurt. In 1990 or late 1989 [stand to be corrected] there was a huge gathering of Eritreans in Los Angeles, California, USA. The honoured guest speaker was none other than the beloved son of Eritrea, the famous leader of Eritrean liberation front, and outstanding modern hero of Eritrea: Issayas Afewerki Abraham. He gave his speech and was gracious enough to open the floor for question and answer period. He was comfortable and confident of himself at the elevated podium, flanked by a few silent loyalists sitting on each side.

    A question was raised from the floor about the Eritrean “oppositions” of the time.
    The audience instantly booed. They didn’t want to hear about “oppositions”. But the hero calmed the audience and let the question stand in the name of “democratic spirit”. They clapped thunderously as if they did not oppose a minute earlier. Eritreans have the habit of emotional swing to extremes.

    Issayas, in his usual gesture of sly smile; with his head slightly bent forward, as if reading a note; and his right hand elbow on the table while his fingers massaging his back side neck, started with this answer: “who really knows their numbers” referring to the oppositions. The audience, once again, interrupted him with applause and roaring. The Benevolent Leader raised his hand — still with the sly smile on his face. The audience obediently fell silent.

    Issayas resumed: “ from what I heard, sometime back, their number had reached somewhere around ten … I don’t know now” The audience joyfully expressed their emotion with the greatest cheers and laughter, mocking their brethren “oppositions” – completely oblivious that they were laughing at themselves! And the original question was, of course, completely lost, as usual

    No one knows Eritreans more than Issayas Afewerki Abraham. He can dissect the Eritrean psyche, including that of the Intellectuals who admired him; and he returned the gesture with contempt and hatred. It is a culmination of childhood experience coupled with a trait for attentive observation, natural shrewdness, reclusiveness and not trusting a soul, amazing capability for memory and above all characteristic of revenge and hatefulness. The rest is left for the highly educated Eritrean scholars, carriers of Doctor of Philosophy distinction, to research, to dissect and to produce books for the benefit, not for the current lost generation but, for future generations (in whatever form or shape Eritrea may wound-up to be at that time)

    2. Twenty-four years later
    Now, in 2014, Eritreans are still talking about “oppositions” whose precise numbers are still unknown like yesteryears, this time reaching somewhere in the order of thirty-forty and numerous civic groups. What was the proverb about a coward having ‘ten sticks’??? Anyway, to make the thing still “laughable”, the “oppositions” are even hollow in their structure – with no road map, no vision, no constitution, no working organizations….. Some time ago, there was an instance where one “opposition party” consisted of only one person and spouse! Anything can happen in ‘liberated’ Eritrea.

    Be that as it may, now let us go into Fitsum’s commendable effort to really understand the nature of the Eritrean oppositions – not based on assumptions and observations but through examination of documents and utilizing other research techniques. For his mission, Fetsum chose one umbrella organization: The Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDP) which consists of thirteen (13) groups! {not a good luck number, in some quarters}

    So far, for all practical purposes, the result of his examination (unsurprisingly) is nil. Eritrean “oppositions”: a) just simply sprout, one day, by a few people or individuals for personal ambition; b) get together without adequate preparation; c) talk without established agenda; d) form a committee to prepare documentation for the future, which for all practical purposes is empty; and e) once again, they meet, preferably, in an ‘enemy’ country like Ethiopia and the roulette keeps on rotating until the mechanism stops by external force. – as always. And so, a semblance of tranquility reins in the country, with the “inherent problem” still intact but recessed for another Time.

    3. Qualification
    In an endeavour to understand the bizarre nature of Eritrean psyche one would also be tempted to question the depth of knowledge and experience of Eritreans in the field of modern political organization and international relationship. From what we have seen so far – and this is attested by the preliminary findings of Fetsum – the stature of individuals in national as well as in international political arena is woefully lacking – putting it in a kinder stance.

    It is liberally estimated that there are about three hundred Eritreans of extremely high educational caliber in the world, holding important posts in world-wide institutions on various professional careers. In connection with the present peaceful time struggle in Eritrea, there are many professional associations: notably the association of lawyers; the association of journalists; and glaringly the exclusive association of Eritrean Intellectuals at the top. These are the top notch of the Eritrean society. Against this background one expects active interactions and open results for the benefit of the Eritrean people. Most of all, from such caliber of intellectuals one would expect a recognition and appreciation of the Eritrean problem in the international forum. Alas! There is nothing of that nature. What happened? Is there something fundamentally hollow in their years and years of education in Ivy League universities around the world? Is there inherent problem that hinders any cooperation and understanding among them for a common interest of the nation? Shouldn’t the scholars be the vanguard of the country and help to educate and lead the population to enlightenment, freedom and prosperity? What happened? It is truly frightening to contemplate farther on the possible cause for the complete failure of the Eritrean Intellectuals. By the way, if it is any consolation [and there are honest souls hungry for ‘consolation’], it is not a new phenomenon in the African Continent. And Eritrea is not an exception – though, to its detriment, artificial superiority complex was touted around for so long that Eritreans started to actually believing it! What a tragedy! There is a pitiful little story about a conversation between an Eritrean Professor and his colleague American Sociologist. But that is for another time.

    4. Sociological diseases

    It is very hard for Eritreans to face the reality of their psyche i.e. their propensity to lock their minds in trivial and parochial matters – even if it means the total destruction of the country that they claim to love and cherish as exemplified by the horrendous sacrifices made in a 30-year war that produced nothing to the people of Eritrea, except destruction and misery. This is a fact. The three most debilitating cancerous diseases in Eritrea for time immemorial are: Religion, Provincialism and Racism. Eritrea has no enemy, except itself. Eritreans, who know better, may believe that once the beloved hero of yesterday – and enemy number one of today — is gone, Eritrea would be cleansed and transformed into earthly paradise with the population living in brotherhood, love and tranquility! May the good Lord or Alah have mercy upon Eritrea!

    5. Postscript to Fetsum

    Thank you, Fetsum, for your sincere interest and undertaking on the subject matter. It is a mammoth task. Whether or not you succeed in producing well-researched and credible reference document on this specific subject [i.e. characteristic of Eritrean political opposition groups] you will always have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best to a worthwhile cause. That would be your greatest gift.
    The End

    • fetsum abrahamt March 15, 2014

      Brother Rezen; did not I tell u that u are not scared of anything and that u were my role model of fearlessness and open-mindedness? Didn’t u prove urself wrong or proved me right with this articulation? Very important points just in one page worth of words; wow only an over-loaded mind can compress ideas the way urs did in this experience. Ur contribution will help me understand things better in the two subject matters I am working on at the moment in parallel. Please don’t leave us alone here because ur presence will help us install independent mindedness in this forum more effectively needless to say anything about the value and quality of your material to our people in general and to this forum family in particular. U are making me work harder though because you are opening the door for many ideas to come in my mind and u know what new ideas do to writers and thinkers like u: it make them swim deeper in the infinite dimension of the space. I am bless to have this connection with you brother and I am sure u will help us a lot in the other topic on EGS Symposium and thank you.

      impinge I can s is for sure a ta in this forand also cu.


      • rezen March 15, 2014

        Fetsum!!! What are you trying to do to me ?????? Hey! Hey! Hey! don’t forget I am a human being with all the flaws [I am not criticizing the good Lord, mind you]. Even a slight dose of accolade would make me drank and wobble all over the street. So you owe me a pot of tea when, and if, I get a chance to come to the capital city of Planet Earth: Washington D.C.

        With that, you better get on with your paper on the contradiction of Eritrean political oppositions [or any other appropriate title]. Anyway, you are lucky. You have a renowned world Library and universities close-by for your research work etc. I repeat: you have a formidable task ahead of you. Your friend.

        • fetsum abrahamt March 16, 2014

          Rezen; I think I will have a little of your time one day in cozzy environment probably with a little wine on the side. Coffee or tea is also fine with me. But we are hooked to your mind in this forum for you to stick it out till the end! The forum loves your intelligence and I love this environment. Thank you very much

  • Meretse Asmelash March 15, 2014

    Dear rezen,
    “who really knows their numbers” referring to the oppositions
    Issayas resumed: “ from what I heard, sometime back, their number had reached somewhere around ten … I don’t know now”
    Yes, that is exactly what he said. “From what I heard, sometime back, their number had reached somewhere around ten, eleven, twelve pause for a second and the number 13. Then he continued to say I don’t know , unless someone gives me a scratch-paper and a pen so I could write down their names. For his audience it was a done deal, but for the opposition it was a wake up call. Although majority of the audience a few (EPLF Sympathizers) were very much disappointed. Right after the meeting ends they baptized him with a new name “EWALA”. ናቱ ኣብላት፡ ብናይ ማዕዶ ዝንኡ ሰኪሮም ዝጸንሑ ፡ ኣንታ እንታይ ዓይነት ሰብ’ዩ? ንሕና እተጸበናዮ ካልኣ ንሱ ዝጸንሓና ካልእ ፡ ኣይ እዚ ደኣ ጭው ዝበለ “ዕዋላ እንድዩ።
    Although, above all, Isseyas a big lier but that day, that moment, Issayas was right. Yes there were three of us sitting next to each-other somewhere in the middle of the hall. Each of us had at least one question two of us were down but at least managed to ask that question. After the meeting we talk and talk and talk about it. And, our last word agreement was “this is a wake up call” and let’s do whatever we can to unite this damming opposition groups. Immediately after I left back to city where I was residing I wrote the poem “ናእሽቱ ደመና”/1989 and I had been reading the poem whenever I get a chance to read it.
    At one time some people dared to ask me why I read this poem year after year or over and over again? My answer was and still is because, I believe, NO ONE HAVE HEARD THE CRY.

    • rezen March 15, 2014

      Dear Meretse Asmelash,
      Now! that is what I call civilized communication. Ahhh… Wonderful critique; gentle and constructive. You put the Los Angeles meeting of euphoric Eritreans in its correct context – since you were there in person >>> much, much different than a shoddy memory — and a shoddy video. I am not trying to extricate myself from the hook. I am saying that through constructive criticisms a true history of events can be constructed for future generation. So, my friend, please continue to be critical. Thank you.

      By the way, would you consider posting that poem about a ‘little cloud’ with a short introduction of the event. Thanks again.

  • Meretse Asmelash March 15, 2014

    please read as although majority of the audience were too excited a few (EPLF)…

  • Genet-orginal March 15, 2014

    What a well put, constructive criticism of Eritreans! I am speechless.

    • rezen March 16, 2014

      I am SPEECHLESS myself, Dear Genet-original. You see, I am only human! A little pat on the back, from time to time, would do a wonder. Even criticisms laced with understanding and a little kindness would go a long way to establish COMMUNICATION — a commodity woefully lacking in Eritrea. And without that commodity Eritrea would NEVER forge ahead “an inch” towards solving its problem. I bet you a cup of tea on that one [ I am a big spender]!!!! Smile.

  • Meretse Asmelash March 16, 2014

    Dear rezen,
    First allow me to say the following: after I read your comments there was something about the story that felt right to me. What Isseyas said back then should been a turning formula for the opposition organizations. However, that was not the case. Sometimes I came to think may be there is a little critic in every leader’s head that tells him Isseyas would never be a good leader and people will always be hungry for them. Others see it different. Their vision was and still is covered by a black spot (ego) which kept them from seeing the reality. It indeed is unfortunate
    Anyways, before I wrote the previous comment my heart and mind were divided. My mind said NO don’t do it, while my heart said I dare you to tell the truth . My heart won to advise me that there is nothing to be ashamed of telling what happened back then. For so, I decided not compromise, minimize, marginalize, hide, or even deny its desire. Besides, I believe I am one of the those who do not afraid to look their faces on the mirror, because for whatever I see is only the outside reflection of me but not my heart.
    Regarding the poem (((ናእሽቱ ደመና ))) “Little Clouds” the poem is is still posted at at ኹርናዕ ገጠምቲ as well as at and
    I will be more than happy if people read it or re-read it again and submit their feedbacks about it.
    The poem begins:

    ናእሽቱ ደመና ኣብ ላዕሊ ከቢበን
    እንተ ዝሰሞዓና እቲ ንዛረበን
    ጽሙእ ምረወየ ካብ ዓሚ ሎሚ-ዘመን
    ኣትን ደመና ንዕነ ተኣከባ
    ብጠመታክን ዓይኒ ኣይተረብርባ
    ዓዲ ከይተ’ውዕላ ‘ዛ ወሓዚት ሩባ ………

    Thank you for your positive input.

  • selamawit2 March 17, 2014

    Dear Rezen,

    I am very taken with your observation – my „mind“ and my „heart“ say that you are right. Thank you very much!

    Just like a doctor you illustrated the important characteristic symptoms of a „collective disorder“ – you described it the way it is. (BTW, while describing these it is understandable that you can’t focus on the „collective strengths“.)

    Now i want to come up with some questions/comments relating to the CAUSE and to the SOLUTION of these „collective disorders“.

    1. THE CAUSE (?)

    While you depicted the situation with the audience at „a huge gathering of Eritreans in Los Angeles“ i had an image in my mind from people participating there.
    Precisely i saw a woman in the middle of her life, not educated, maybe a mother of 3-5 – no husband/partner next to her. It could have been my mother, when she was younger.
    (It seemed to me) she had no chance to gain much education – at least not enough for understanding what democracy means, not enough for being politically self-determined, not enough for understanding that in politics is not (only) about „brotherhood“ but also about cotroll and distribution of power.
    And i saw this irritated woman sitting there (with my „inner eyes“) and „fellow-running“ like we do it more or less when we watch sitcoms (you know this very American format with voices in the background giving us clear directions when e.g. to laugh and possibly when to be sad) – pushed by irritation and group dynamics.
    I felt very sorry for her – it made me sad watching here sitting there in front of the „hero“ which will turn out as the destroyer of the home-country , which she misses so much, that she can not live a to some degree „normal“ life.
    Lack of the luck to be „educated“ – the cause of „collective disorder“ in “yesteryear” and today!?

    2. “ERITREAN” (?)

    a) How can we define a kind of Eritrean mentality without running the risk to think stereotyped / to prejudge?
    If i look at my own family members, i see ever single one of us so different. You have everything: from completely estrangement from Eritrea (in every case!) to almost fanatic (Eritrean) nationalism.
    You can also say, we all have very different conviction or „mentality“.
    So i ask myself, when is an Eritrean an Eritrean? Who of us is Eritrean – with an Eritrean mentality?
    An Eritrea born? An Eritrea raised? An Eritrea-often-visited? An Eritrea born-raised-and-died? An Never-was-in Eritrea but perceived oneself as Eritrean?
    An „Eritrean“ speaking? An Half Eritrean? Or one with Eritrean ancestors (how many generations far by the way?)? An Eritrean refugee (1., 2., 3.generation?)? Etc…

    I am not about playing a rhetorical game with this questions
    but there are so many different kinds of „Eritreans“ (look at the!

    b) In many western countries as a person with migration background, you are in a situation where you need to chose a narrow-defined identity: It is more about assimilation or isolation (parallel society) than integration of migrants.
    It not like in the USA, that you are Italian/Irish/Hispanic and naturally US-American at the same time.
    It is a very different „struggle“ for identity – the societies are more directed „in-line“.
    You have to chose NEITHER you are Italian/Swedish/German/English…OR Eritrean!

    You said. „It is liberally estimated that there are about three hundred Eritreans of extremely high educational caliber“.
    ‘Would be interesting to know where they live mainly and what backgrounds they have.
    Do they consider their selves Eritrean? Do they feel capable to judge Eritrean issues (as maybe assimilated citizens of the country they live in)? Do they feel capable to stand for Eritrean questions?

    3. SOLUTION (?)

    My further question is: After your great observation, what shell we do? How can we solve the problem? Lay down and die – no, not too long ;-)!

    Running the risk to be considered extremely naive, i assume the only chance we have to solve the mess is LOVE and EMPATHY!
    I read between the lines, communication is your obsession. You know, as long as a person is not as absolutely demonic as iseyas, hitler and co., you can reach him/her but only with empathy and respect.
    If the main problem is lack of education, let’s tackle it!
    I think we should learn from Nelson Mandela (RIP) an Desmond Tutu and empower the good/constructive parts of the people.

    P.S. Today i spoke with my mother: I think she closed the gap of information on democracy and now we together are preparing an internet access and internet introduction for her so that she can participate in e.g. Assenna soon.
    I absolutely prefer being extremely naive than being hopeless. 🙂

  • Tsegai Haile April 6, 2014

    I like the dialog of these concerned Eritreans, keep it alive!