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Fetsum: Here and There

Fetsum: Here and There As you know the Sudanese Government has incarcerated our brothers Hussein Kalifa and Abdalla Hamdoi most probably at the request of the dictator. The maximum President Basher can lawfully do was deporting

Fetsum: Here and There
As you know the Sudanese Government has incarcerated our brothers Hussein Kalifa and Abdalla Hamdoi most probably at the request of the dictator. The maximum President Basher can lawfully do was deporting them to the country of their choice unfortunately the law did not matter to the Sudanese government when it comes to us the Eritreans, as it has continued ignoring our people’s appeal to resolve the problem by respecting our brothers’ legal right to safely move out of the country like it should be the case with any unwanted visitor from another society. We are carefully watching the tragedy hoping the Sudanese government promptly do the right and civilized thing but there is no doubt that any more violation to our brothers specially contemplating their deportation to Eritrea will cause a serious problem between our peoples in the long run. I modestly appeal to President Bashir to assure the immediate release of our revolutionaries and safe return to where they came from before the problem explodes out of control. In the mean time I condemn the Sudanese government for this unprovoked violation of our family members and seriously warn it to reverse its illegal action for the peaceful coexistence of our societies.
The responsibility of any Eritrean should be protecting a fellow citizen as much as possible. No matter what our differences may be, we should stand together to protect each other from external forces that threaten our citizens anywhere in the world, thus I appreciate our people’s reaction to the situation and encourage them to continue their peaceful pressure until a solution resets it to normalcy. But are we consistent?
I take this opportunity to humbly remind our people that I was not happy about our silence when brother Kornoleos of the Kunama party was unexpectedly taken from Mineapolis Airport (November, 2015) in his way home from his US visit by US immigration officers that put him in custody for at least more than two months without justified excuse. It was a huge violation of an Eritrean revolutionary by the US government. They released him finally and he is back in Addis after lots of suffering but we abandoned him; did not show up to help the Chairman like we are doing to help our brothers in the recent Sudan event, and almost sacrificed him without any reaction to the dismay of our people in general and the Kunama community in particular. We undermined our selves leaving the matter completely at the hands of US officials without any resistance. Let us please care, love, respect and protect each other without prejudice! Let us stop hypocrisy, becoming the victims of our illusive ethnicities and beliefs and open the heart to all Eritreans on equal basis of nationalistic and familial penetration.
In Balancing the tag of war and titled politics of Eritrea, an article posted at the Mesel-Biherat Website the writer N. Galla discloses that “Samuel interviewed 5 Eritrean intellectuals discussing on different issues ranging from Refugees in Sudan to equality among our Nations and Nationalities etc. And one of them, was Samira Saleh Hassan, uttered this outrageous statement, quote “Aslam Christian trah zeikone haimanot zeibilu nai Kunama aleo” Source, Radio Medrek, Jan/12/16.”
The brother responds saying that “..being a Christian or Muslim in Eritrea or anywhere in the world, does not make you a non-believer as you had labeled Kunama in this particular case. Kunama, like yourself and many other Eritreans, are firm believers in their God, Anna, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, you and me. This is a cultural and religious supremacy unacceptable in today’s and tomorrow’s Eritrea, where we will be working hard to transform it into a tolerant, respectful and just society; and we firmly believe that this is the secret of co-existence.”
Comment: I fully agree with the writer needless to say that our Kunama community is as well composed of believers of the two dominant religions that were imported from other parts of the world to change our indigenous spiritual fabric like what happened to other societies in any other parts of the planet. It is not after all about religion but rather spirituality that matters in this life. I believe all religions and beliefs commonly converge at moralistic or spirituality point of coexistence for all of them to be respected equally. You cannot discriminate me because of my belief nor can you convince me that your Christianity or Islam is better than my Buddhism, for I have been both at different stages upon a time before peacefully and respectfully left for my current choice of spirituality. I don’t have to be a Christian or a Moslem to be an Eritrean, only an Eritrean! Religion is too personal that has nothing to do with the Eritrean identity for all of us to respect any person attached to any denomination whether theistic or not! I feel sorry for her insensitive, chauvinistic and extra shallow comment about our people and tell her up front that she was too biased and narrow minded to put herself in this embarrassing situation without good knowledge of the community, yet claiming educated!
We need to carefully watch what individuals say about any portion of our people and immediately react in defense in order to guarantee our unity and democracy as a unit. The road ahead is not a revision of the past but a new setup with new mentality based on the education we learned from our old divisive mistakes. There is no better Eritrean ethnic group or religion than the others in our country, just different ethnic groups and beliefs that equally signify to the society. We are working to kill the old mentality of ethnic and religious chauvinism and to replace them with absolute equality by law through secular democracy, so should we not tolerate any Eritrean that recklessly disturbs this vision for we have dearly paid the cost of silence ever since our independence struggle till this terrible moment in chronicle. We have to build the broken mistrust between each other and get rid of the ugly causes of our suffering once and for all.
In Medrek’s current cart before the horse politics, Advice to reverse it without delay. A brother saysI objected to Medrek’ s resuscitation of the politically dangerous wudbetaat- at a time when the majority of the opposition have been pleading for an effective grass root opposition movement with one or two aims in mind. I had pointed out in my article that the contact with the wudbetaat was based on wrong, and perhaps due to an unwarranted hope for a quick fix. Others have attributed the continuation of the misguided acts to Medrek’s conscious move to achieve its project at all cost, and with or without the consent of others. The latest disquieting Medrek’s act is the rush of Medrek to meet the Ethiopian prime minister and other top officials in Ethiopia’s capital city. This rush is understandably much worse than the ones before, and that has worried people like me; many Eritreans have rightly expressed their dismay and unhappiness in the different opposition Paltalks.”
Comment: Contact with the wedibat would have been fantastic had it been all inclusive with the minority parties in the opposition, yet not for making a government in unison but to discuss their exclusive rights in the inevitable democratic election and to have them support the exclusive right of the people in organizing the stages by which a temporary government can be erected to monitor and facilitate the election process for power between the then filtered out to be qualified political parties. It does not make sense uniting different political parties that claim to have different programs but it does agitating them to fully cooperate with the people in their exclusive right of organizing the entire process till the final stage of forming a transitional government is reached without their destructive interference.
Instead of  trying to unite them, I believe advising and pressurizing them to shrink their numbers by incorporating multiple parties with minor differences into single parties can tremendously help the situation and any Eritrean individual or group should contribute to this cause, but for them to unite and form the Eritrean government is a little off the wall in my opinion. They cannot legally do it as political parties nor is it beyond the capacity of the people in the condition every civic group works for the grassroots movement in the ground. The facilitation role of any neutral civic force cannot go beyond this in honesty.
Medrekites don’t have to insist exclusively working for their objective under any cost unless there is interest in political power without a democratic process. You simply cannot be exclusive and inclusive or a dictator and democrat simultaneously; only either. This is a very risky approach that cannot be camouflaged by simple excuses whatever they may be because the act of working alone in the existence of many activist individuals and groups implies absence of a mandate that can only originate from a dictatorial mindset, thus cannot produce a democratic ambience in post-Afwerki Eritrea. This may be a quick fix if it works, and probably would have made sense few years ago when the struggle was in confused state of disarray without formidable potential strategy to democracy but not now when at least one group has come up with a grassroots theory that has attracted some of us in this walk. Medrekites cannot ignore (without academic challenge) equally educated and experienced elements of the struggle such as OUR VOICE and their alternate solution without meaningless arrogance and very naïve commonsense.
The role of any civic group in our society cannot accomplish its upshot without including similar groups of intelligence and creativity in the pool. This is a common issue that no civic or political group can navigate in isolation. The Medrekites can claim mandate only if they respect the rest of us but they don’t have it to do it alone on our behalf as it is going, thus should replace their obstinacy by resilience before it is too late. Let us please do it together. Debate with and convince us to either follow you or be willing to work together integrating the available strategies to Asmara, period!
Solomon Belgium: I wondered why Medrek in general and Dr. Asefaw in particular have not learned much from past mistakes and failures of other groups, that were virtually running to meet top officials prior putting the opposition house in order. I wondered whether Medrek had ever thought of the possibility of a strong objection from non-EPDP and the many non-wudbetaat opposition; whether Medrek had ever considered that its right is restricted; whether Medrek had ever thought that its action will tarnish the image of the opposition- that has been viewed by many, including Ethiopian officials, as desperately divided ones, with each pretentiously pretending to represent the opposition.
Comment: Good questions for Medrek to answer from a sincere Eritrean with a positive motive and I hope the group realizes that many of us are concerned about these issues and need some attention and remedy through genuine feedback and cooperation. Let us not exasperate the drift and punish our society by staying apart.
Solomon: I was unable to comprehend Medrek’s move, and I was, and am still not impressed with the formation of the Medrek and Ethiopian government committee- which Medrek considers to be a significant achievement. Medrek has only few rights, like to exist as a forum and group, and to secretly recruit its members; it has also a right to talk and explain to any institution, partner, etc. on the politics of Eritrea, and its aim. But it has no right to contact Ethiopian officials formally with regard to issues concerning Eritrea and the Eritrean opposition; but Medrek did overstep its right, and that must be condemned, to put it bluntly. It did wrong, and any statement by Medrek to justify its visit and contact is null and void.)
Comment: “But it has no right to contact Ethiopian officials formally with regard to issues concerning Eritrea and the Eritrean opposition..”. I agree for a simple reason that an average commonsense can accommodate: we are not ready to discuss our political issues with the Ethiopians. No Eritrean group can talk with the Ethiopians or else about us without our consent through organized and united political infrastructure. We want to know why a group feels representing us without talking to us, needless to say that the Ethiopians are not responsible for our cure, we are! We can do it without their assistance if we do it together and there is no need to get into unnecessary commitment with them before we exhaust our capacity to change the situation. Medrek certainly has the right to work with the Ethiopians but only on its case and the so said Medrek and Ethiopian government committee can only be legitimate as long as the two sides understand that it does not represent the Eritrean people.
Dear Prime Minister Desalegne; I appreciate your concern about our people and your precious time with our Medrekite family to discuss common issues. Thank you Sir for this, I encourage you to help any Eritrean group in the opposition camp; and case assured that we will live in peace helping each other in the long run after the problem is out of the way but I modestly remind you that the group does not represent us because it has no mandate from our people as we know of up to this moment in time. We hope things will change through the group’s clever decision in favor of making it with the people so that we can come at your good office in unison for more significant discussion on our future relationship but that depends on how fast our brothers and sisters in Medrek modulate the unhealthy internal political ambiance. This depends on how willing they may be to join the people in this fight for the basic rights of the Eritrean people which I hope will happen very soon ahead.
Solomon: People like me won’t still classify Medrek as no-good, and as beyond irreparable entity, despite its overstepping of its right, etc. I do still think that Medrek can contribute much to the creation of a grass root movement (GRM), which I consider to be indisputably second to none; Medrek’s contribution can be immense, indeed, considering the easy access of some members of Medrek to foreign institutions, and the fund at its disposal- a lot it is, according to unconfirmed rumors. ( Only few will dispute the extent of Medrek’s high potential to make a difference in the formation of GRM; the fund of Medrek can serve as a significant catalyst in its formation. A well funded and well functioning of GRM will certainly contribute to Eritrea’s stability in post-dictator Eritrea.) I do strongly advise Medrk to opt for [this] choice- i.e. to assist with the formation of GRM, and to shelve its plans for good. Medrek has nothing to lose by choosing [this]; in fact the reverse is true; Medrek will be proud of its contribution and the wish of Dr Asefaw to see a political stable post-dictator Eritrea will be met as well. And all of us will start working happily together for the two prime aims- that is to weaken the dictator, and to boast the internal opposition-, and to learn the democratic culture during this difficult struggle. “
Comment: Well said and I agree. The potential of Medrek in this fight is very significant to the Eritrean people and I highly appreciate their activities compared to the intellectual brain drain experienced during the last few years. Their effort meeting the Ethiopian Prime Minister on our behalf is also highly appreciated but we are not ready yet and we can do better together; that is all we are saying. I don’t think this is too much to ask for our brothers and sisters in Medrek to reject our call for unified intellectual punch. There is no doubt that a united front of the Medrekites and OUR VOICE can solve our problems and there is no reason why this should take time to take place. I want to see the Medrekites and OUR VOICE to work together towards forming a transitional government so that we can move forward swiftly. The drift between the two intellectual groups will only be eventually solved through dialog any way and why do we have to waste time dragging the unification process as such in this critical time when the world is processing a criminal case against the dictator with our political void intact. See you next time!

Review overview
  • AHMED SALEH !!! February 12, 2016

    Selamat Fetsum
    I am in shock to hear about KORNOLEOS the leader of Kunama party
    two month imprisonment in USA soil before released.
    Is it only me or also the general public wasn’t informed ?
    And you should dedicate one of your articles to bring awareness of
    his situation at that moment .
    NB; Again if I missed any efforts done for his release , disregard
    my comments in this subject .

  • tslima enda Meresani February 12, 2016

    Hi Friends, could imagine how far south Sudan better-of than we Eritrean. We are engaged and suffered above 30,000 ex ‘tegadelti’ and honest Ethiopian for nothing in life long prisons in the worst life style, but to the contrary SS will bring African brothers and sisters to their nation. This is typical attitudinal difference between us and the rest of the world. We have to have training to respect human-being and we have to know no one lives in island. we are first or poiners of migration from the rest of the world, but we hate to live with other citizens in our country. this is typically stupidity. we are insulting people from our family just what we call ‘AGAME’ moreover, we are not better off than this indigenous people in all direction. ‘Agame” is nothing but the typical identify of Eritrean and namely ‘” tigray tigrigni”. moreover, we hate our identity that touched our mind by the fake and artificial emanates from colnies italian and britain.

  • k.tewolde February 13, 2016

    Great discussion! But,I suggest don’t put your eggs in one basket,diversify,have options B and C,yes,medrek might be well funded and with a better diplomatic clout than the rest,that doesn’t mean our quest for justice lives or dies in their hand,don’t under estimate the underdog, the power of the people.We can learn from the last Superbowl.

  • N.Galla February 22, 2016

    Dear brother Fetsum,
    Eritrean politicians, starting from Ato Isayas Afewerki to the last today’s sprouting up politicians even in the opposition, except the late Weddi Vaccaro of course, never say:
    a) sorry for the blunder and crimes they did against our people and Country over the years;
    b) they never came forward and defended their acts, blunders, wrong doing, not politically correct speeches….e.g. in the case of the “novice” politician Samira Saleh Hassen and many others..politicians with exclusive politics.
    c) they keep quiet by ignoring what our common people, hafash, our philosopher, our writers, our scientists…are saying and advising them to do things otherwise.
    They, our hypocritical politicians, think they are always right since there is no ” debate” on any subject on one to one basis in Eritrean political culture. And, therefore, this is the reason, the dilemma, and the terrible quagmires we find ourselves in, with nobody taking responsibility for anything in Eritrean politics. But guess what brother. As writers, we do not let them get away easily, freely, and irresponsibly; in others words, “ab riisom alona, ajokha!”
    And please remember, in western societies, the plurality, the tolerance, and the democracy we enjoy today were shaped and reformed by the philosophers and political and social free-thinkers, not by politicians, who, except few ones, are the same everywhere; they are money, glory, fame, power mongers. Period.