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Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VI)

Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VI) There is no success without failure and no failure without initiative. The old form naturally dissolves for a new form to permeate but everything must start somewhere to arrive

Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VI)

There is no success without failure and no failure without initiative. The old form naturally dissolves for a new form to permeate but everything must start somewhere to arrive someplace after countless zigzags. In this life, nothing that ever started made it without loss and no one ever succeeded without learning from mistakes. A toddler can not become an adult overnight as a beginner cannot succeed at the first lap. One must imply to quantify, attempt to qualify and fail to signify! The Denver experience should then be a very good start for something new (involving intellectuals of different skills and socio political affiliations for the common cause) that has to go through multiple obstacles before it reaches its pinnacle whatever the passion may be. It was only an infant experiment in the socio political laboratory of the Eritrean phenomenon with no potential to make a difference without honest mental transformation from within and willingness to work with other civic groups under inclusive global leadership.

Here is the third proposal on the market from brother Doctor Teseggai Isacc that we received on Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 12:30 PM.

“ Subject: goals: ምንጽር ክውቅዑ ዝድለዩ ሽቶታት (goals)

  1. ህግደፍካብ ሒዙዎ ዘሎ ሓይሊ ሃገርን መንግሥቲን ብዝቐልጠፈ ጊዜ ክወርድ ምጽዋዕ።
  2. ህግደፍካብ መዝነቱ እንተወሪዱ፡ ኣጋባብ ምስግጋር ሓይሊ ሃገርን መንግስትን ዝካናወነሉ መንግስታዊ ኣጋባብ ምምስራት።
  3. ህግደፍብወለንታኡ ሓይሊ መንግሥቲ እንተ ዘይኣረኪቡ፡ ተቓውቲ ብዝቐልጠፈ ጊዘ ንህግደፍ ካብ ሒዙዎ ዘሎ መንበረ መንግስቲ ብቕጽበተ-ሓይሊ ከውረድኦ ወተሃደራዊ፡ ሲቪካዊ፡ ሕገን ፍትሒን ዓቕሚምድላብ።
  4. ህግደፍካብ ሓላፍነት ዝወርደሉ ካብ ሎሚ ንምዓስ እንተ-ንውሓት ጊዜ ኣብ ጥሙት ዕላማ ምትካል።
  5. ናይህግደፍ ተኸሰስቲን ብህግደፍ ተበደልቲን ዝምመዩሉን ዝማጻርዩሉን ኣጋባብ ሕጊን ፍትሒን ምምስራት።
  6. ናይስነ ኣእምሮኣዊ መጕዳእቲ ዝወረዶም ዜጋታት ዝድበሱሉን ዝጽገኑሉን ምምሕዳር ምምስራት
  7. ጸብጻብኣብ ስደት ዝጠፍኡ ኤርትራውያን መንእሰያት ጸብጻብ ዝምዝገበሉ ደብተር ምድላው
  8. ሰላምንጸጥታን፡ ዕቃቤ ሃገርን ኣብ ኢድ መንግስታዊ መዝነት ምስፋር
  9. ኣጽዋርውግእ ብመንግስታዊ ኣጋባብ (official order) ኣብ ኢድ መንግስቲ ክርከብ
  10. ወተሃደራትህግደፍ፡ ምልሻ ህግደፍ፡ ኣገልገልቲ (civil servants) ህግደፍ ኣብ ናይ ወተሃደርነት ሓላፍነት ኣብ ኢድ ህዝቢ ዘረክቡሉ ኣጋባብ ብወግዒ ዝተመስረተ ድርጅት ዝመሓደረሉ ኣስፈጸምቲ ስነ ፍጻሜምድላው።
  11. ኩሎምሽግራት ኤርትራ፡ ንሕናን ዝስዕቡና ወለዶን ብሰላምን፡ ብምምያጥን፡ ብምስምማዕን፡ ብስኒትን፡ ብማዕረንት ዓሌት፡ ጾታ፡ ቀቢላ፡ እምነት፡ ክንፈትሖም ቃል ምእታው።
  12. ኩሎምሽግራት ኤርትራ፡ ሕጂ ኣብ ኣቕልቦና ዘይተመዝገቡ፡ ኣብ ዝመጽእ እዋን ግን ጊዜ ጸዊዑዎም እንተተላዕሉ፡ ንሕናን ዝስዕቡና ወለዶን ብሰላምን ብምምይያጥን ብስምምዕን ብስኒትን፡ ብማዕርነት ዓሌት፡ጾታ፡ ቀቢላ፡ እምነት ክንፈትሖም ቃል ምእታው::”

Comment: We did not formally or informally discuss the proposal but I found it acceptable as part of the people’s composite project in this struggle for freedom. The brother is saying that negotiating with the system for peaceful transfer of power is the simplest and safest way of resolving the political stalemate in between. It does not mean doing this will bring a fundamental change in the country even if the dictator cooperates. But we can try it with our elders, professionally and intellectually qualified people; the success depending on the opposition camp’s (political parties, civic society, etc.) willingness to work together on common grounds. It is possible to organize a team of dependable elements and initiate the request behind solid conceptual unity but only with honest willpower to change the situation based on universal socio political ethics.

  1. ህግደፍካብ መዝነቱ እንተወሪዱ፡ ኣጋባብ ምስግጋር ሓይሊ ሃገርን መንግስትን ዝካናወነሉ መንግስታዊ ኣጋባብ ምምስራት።

Comment: The Doctor could have been a little more specific here but I assume he is talking about a transitional government in general. I think this task will be very complicated and difficult to do specially in the absence of an official substitute (vise president) in the country unless challenged with perfect timing and project management oriented scientific approach. We need to consider how we can immediately fill the vacuum ahead. We can not face the transitional stage without clear understanding of how a transitional government should be ideologically and practically organized, for at least the following important reasons:

1)    The next political stop is obviously the transitional phase. We cannot start to experiment on how to form a dependable transitional government at that historical stage in the absence of an active government. We cannot enter that stage without substantial knowledge of the subject and properly manage the humanitarian, sociopolitical, security, diplomatic and beurocratic issues of the country simultaneously.

2)    There is a fundamental difference in the opposition camp on how to transit the society to democracy, although almost everybody believes we will need a transitional government to replace the dictator immediately after his dissolution. The common understanding between all elements in the camp appears to be on peripheral contact level of the concept and without any research and material substance. There is no formal understanding of the matter in the opposition camp that we can say common to all of them because they did not do enough work together on as a component. This difference should be academically resolved today before it creates another disaster in Eritrea because the transitional government can otherwise be easily taken over by the fittest political groups with the country possibly heading to uncertain future, anarchy, dictatorship and even war for that matter. Our recklessness on this instrumental issue will most probably condition the people to only depend on the organized political forces on anything pertaining the society’s internal and external affairs.

3)    We cannot transit to democracy without international support (UN, AU, EU, etc.) and secure the privilege without adequate knowledge and blue print as to how to do it. We cannot guarantee this privilege without reaching agreement on the quality of the anticipated government based on universal concept of the matter because that is how the international community expects it to be in our situation. We have to show we can do it with the highest form of democratic value which can only be a neutral transitional government free of the influence of the political groups in the team. We will face regrettable problems including external intervention should we become reckless here hoping we will figure it out when we get there; when the game is over! This makes it necessary for us to empower the people by reaching academic agreement on the concept of Transitional Government at minimum and at this stage of the fight.

I am sorry for being monotonous on the subject matter and further apologize for deciding to continue being one until I complete this project with few more articles ahead. But this issue is the most important priority of the people that the opposition camp in general should accept as the society’s immediate challenge at large. Our collective focus and honest cooperation on this matter is the foundation that determines the ultimate socio political future of the country. We cannot talk about democracy without a well planed transitional government. This was also one of the most unsettled subject matters within the Denver Conceptual Committee and the immediate assignment it declared to complete by January 6, through an elected research team from the people worldwide.

  1. ህግደፍብወለንታኡ ሓይሊ መንግሥቲ እንተ ዘይኣረኪቡ፡ ተቓውቲ ብዝቐልጠፈ ጊዘ ንህግደፍ ካብ ሒዙዎ ዘሎ መንበረ መንግስቲ ብቕጽበተሓይሊ ከውረድኦ ወተሃደራዊ፡ ሲቪካዊ፡ ሕገን ፍትሒን ዓቕሚምድላብ።

Comment: I welcome the proposal without a problem but I don’t think we can do this without the civic and political groups involving in all inclusive dialogue as soon as possible. Yet, that does not mean we will peacefully transit then after. The Civic Society and the political parties and groups must first achieve Conceptual Unity for the outcome of this suggestion to succeed. They must at minimum agree on something about the immediate future of the society first before organizing a significant project of this magnitude. Unfortunately, the Doctor is silent about what we should do to this effect NOW; how we should earn the capacity now to practicalize his strategies tomorrow. What guarantees peaceful transfer of power to the people in this intellectually vacuum situation? On what common grounds should we agree to execute the proposal? How can we use the slack time or this phase of the struggle as time for preparation to academically develop the capacity of peacefully accomplishing the proposals in the transitional phase at the moment of its arrival? Most of the work about the transitional government should be done at this stage of the struggle for us to be able to legally form it behind the supports of all sects of the society and the international community. I, therefore conditionally accept the Good Doctor’s proposal from broad theoretical angle of the subject but with fundamental difference on the timing of dealing with this inevitable political stage (ignoring to prepare at this time) which I think is out of sync with reality(preparation should precede action) and a very dangerous mistake that would sabotage our democratic process in the long run.

The fact remains that this is not something a society can do through TRUST and SIKIFTA because we have seen what Eritreans can do to each other since the struggle for independence. Love can shape our personal and ethnical relationships as people of one nation but we should not let our political destiny depend on TRUST and SIKIFTA. In so saying, I acknowledge the positive energies of all Eritreans in the opposition camp but I don’t blindly trust anyone of them or suppress my ideas for SIKIFTA at the expense of the society’s wellbeing overall. The mistakes have already consumed most of my life that I no longer have time for them in our current complex political drama. I am not going to look for trust all over the place; let it come by itself as a result of honesty and willingness to work by the law; by acknowledging and respecting each other’s role (the people and the political groups) in the democratic process of our country.

Folks! You may get excited with what has so far been achieved by the opposition camp. You may be optimistic about the political future of the country. You may be satisfied with or disappointed by the slow moving resistance in the midst of the society’s uncertain future. But we must ask why we are not impacting the society as we should. There have to be reasons for our failure to effectively challenge the situation together. I am rather seriously worried about their (Civic Society and Political Parties) reluctance or silence on the need to academically settle their conceptual differences on NEUTRAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT aheads of post Isaias Eritrea. I am worried about their informal and peripheral contact with the extremely important subject matter in the line. I am concerned about how far behind almost all Africans we were on the immediate challenge in question. Let us leave the many African societies that already achieved democracy through their intellectual power alone and frankly evaluate our collective intellectual output in contrast to the following examples.

 “After three weeks of riots that started on December 19, the Sudanese opposition and civil society are calling for a regime change. The Sudan Call, the Sudanese Professional Association and opposition groups, among them the National Consensus Alliance and the Unionist, now want President Omar al-Bashir to step down.”, says FRED OLUOCH, in Sudan crisis deepens as Bashir digs in to contain protestsSATURDAY JANUARY 5, 2019. What we see here is the work of a conceptually united resistance composed of the opposition and the Civic Society producing a potent leadership capable of navigating the mass uprising with continuous momentum beyond the control of the regime.

In their declaration on January 2, they propose a transitional government to lead the country for four years. They have agreed to back the nationwide protests calling for President Bashir’s exit. The coalition of 22 groups says that during the transitional period, a technocrat government would hold a constitutional conference after negotiating peace agreements, including new security arrangements with the armed groups.” This is another example of effective conceptual unity based on common grounds with all differences in place! What we see here is the tendency of the opposition to adapt a neutral transitional government composed of technocrats to run the different aspects of the society based on their specialized expertise and education until replaced by a democratically elected system four year later. Their decision to replace the regime by a well defined transitional government must have been an outcome of hard work and honest democratic relationship with each other. No society with 22 different groups can together arrive at a conclusive decision as such without refined intellectual ethics, dialogues, compromises and academic researches. They are now ready to replace Bashir with a clear picture of the next government. Despite the result, the creams of the society collectively did their homework on the immediate challenges of the society (transitional government) before arriving at that political stage (transitional phase); substantially guaranteeing a smooth transfer of power to the people at the tail end of their democratic drive.

Likewise, a stage is reached where change must come to Congo one way or another through solid conceptual unity of the opposition forces in the country. So far they have together accomplished the following: “Opposition members and observers had said that releasing the results [election] late could be part of a scheme by the Congolese government to rig the election. Although President Joseph Kabila could not stand again, having already served his constitutionally mandated two terms and been in power since 2001, his handpicked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, is widely seen as a puppet…”. The resistance so powerful and united, Kabila has been on efficient check and balance mode of capitulation as far as rigging the election is concerned. He could neither any longer dictate power nor could he replace himself with a hand picked politician. “Despite the multiple attempts to circumvent the Constitution, President Kabila finally understood that the supreme law applies to everyone.”says Sewell Chan, NewYork Times, Aug. 8, 2018. Further, “What matters for the moment is that the Constitution, whether willingly or not, has been respected”, says Senator Jacques Ndjoli, a member of an opposition party, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo. Whatever may take place in the country in the near future, Josheph Kabila appears forced to respect the constitution and step down from power (not yet) because of intellectually guided united resistance that could not have been achieved with broken political pieces like ours.

Different elite groups entertain ideas, study them thoroughly, sign an agreement, collectively decide on the best applicable method of solving the common problem and execute. That is what the Sudanese and Congolese people are currently doing in their societies. In our situation, ideas are briefly entertained and ignored or action is expected to take place without research; action precedes research instead of the reverse similar to sitting for exam without preparation. The result cannot be anything other than confusion, frustration, starting and quitting, procrastination, meaninglessly arguing and complaining. The opposition camp in general has been rusting on its own stagnation confused on how to resist under a unified leadership. Many elements are talking about it today like what I heard in (ATV: እዋናዊ ዛዕባ – ደምበ ተቓውሞ ብፍላይ ፖለቲካዊ ውድባት ኣብዚ ሓድሽ ፖለቲካዊ ኩነታት ኤርትራ), thanks to the hard working Assenna family and specially the vibrant brother Amanuel Eyasu. Quiet a few civic groups are also trying to do something about it nowadays and I hope they will succeed. I just received this message on January 10 and I like it: ”Dear ENCDC supporters and Members: The umbrella organization is Planning for ENCDC conference in the near future and need your support as usual. All the 5 continent are nominating their representatives to attend and be part of this conference. Who should attend 1-All political parties (udebat), 2- Civic societies 3- youth 4- women 5- independent; The nomination will be from the Civic and Independent groups because the political parties will have their share through their parties (udebat).” I believe the collective level of consciousness is growing and people are ready to act as demonstrated in the Wedi Ali and Shiek Usman scenarios but we don’t have conceptually united Civic and Political societies to mange the opportunities at leadership point of the connection as of today. The focus should then be directed to this end. I thank you very much brother Doctor for your outstanding contribution and hope you will help us on this matter using your expertise in History and Political Science. To be continued!

Review overview
  • Mulugeta January 16, 2019

    The commentators disrespect towards the individual person (without any comments on his ideas) is heart breaking, to say the least. Country is a just a collection of individuals – with respect.

    • k.tewolde January 17, 2019

      It is the hallmark of HGDEF’s culture,Mulugeta–character assassination.I had my share shot at Fitsum,but not his character and he always answered with dignity and class.Fitsum, maintain your composure.

  • Deglel January 21, 2019

    Is the author of this article dead or something?
    It looks the Asena Website is keeping the article in the memory of the dead author.