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Fetsum: The regressive legacy of Eritrean activism

Testimony: I have to admit that I was expecting something special for our people at this juncture in the long struggle for Eritrean democracy no matter how demoralizing it had been, unfortunately not. But I cannot

Testimony: I have to admit that I was expecting something special for our people at this juncture in the long struggle for Eritrean democracy no matter how demoralizing it had been, unfortunately not. But I cannot help diffusing my thoughts of the sad situation from the angle of subjective reality. Chances are things will naturally dissolve considering the death of momentum in the Eritrean civic activism that could not resurrect from the darkness of its collective ignorance to the disappointment of our society.  Once again, I am here with my exclusive and independent opinion that only represents me as a person.

The Eritrean struggle for democracy has been in roller coaster for decades, yet it does not seem to have had enough of it may be because it is very comfortable to manifest fake importance from a swinging mindset of totally immobile stillness. Neither could our activists stop uselessness and contradiction pertaining the democratic dream of the people because of sheer ignorance, refusal to learn from experience and strong egoistic drive to stay floating in the spotlight, nor could they show any achievement for what they claim to represent because of chronic unconsciousness as to how to navigate the struggle with rational resilience and intelligence. A sufferer of insignificance, of course cannot stay in the spotlight without pretending for image by throwing something to the people here and there, and this terrible waste of life has become the civic society’s mode of operation that crippled our capacity to collectively change the situation based on exclusive focus on the people’s interest. The result is uselessly aging with wrong self perception and illusive social importance, slowly walking to the graveyard with no creativity and achievement or modesty to quit the struggle for others to stir with healthy mind and unconditional compassion to the suffering of our people under the dictatorship.

In Eritrea: Exploring the divisions rooted in its past history –February 11, 2018 Fesseha Nair testifies; “The process towards unifying all the forces for democratic change in the Eritrean Opposition Camp failed in all its efforts in the past two decades. The process towards unifying all the forces for democratic change in the Eritrean Opposition Camp failed in all its efforts in the past two decades. The struggle from dictatorship to democracy requires skills and knowledge about the identity rooted divisions and their management. The recent split inside EPDP was not based on political program or national principles according the two groups arguments and counterarguments, it was simple resolve it by sitting together and negotiate on the issues of conflict.”

Comment: Yes, it was but it also requires true understanding of democracy, honest interest to adapt it, genuine concern about the people’s condition and higher consciousness which is chronically lacking in the elite class of our society. When life stagnates on a narrow dimension of consciousness for years, failure becomes addictive and everything collapses. This is not only because people get tired of dormant monotony but also because life revolts and takes action to liberate itself from being wasted by mentally confined individuals that have no rational purpose beyond their little “me” to properly utilize it. The more they keep on riding the beltway of confusion and ignorance the stronger they meet at the initial stage of their pretentious vitality. This is why the so called EPDP failed to show anything valuable except its division after decades of static essence; the reason all civic organizations confront every new year with absolute silence on the very meaning of their actuality.

EGS, for example gave a promising symposium on democratizing the country in 2014 with no follow up news whatsoever to only wake up after 4 years of dream-like meditation preparing for another symposium this coming March with its partner EFND that has not yet clearly radiated what it has been doing all the years besides aiming at democratizing the country by rejecting other democratic partners in the pool. Theses groups cannot even share their experience with the Eritrean people because they are not working and have nothing to share. I wonder what they will talk about in the event that most probably will end up with false promises that cannot be substantiated with any form of practical conviction. They want to discuss the situation and go home with out a homework as usual, excuse my pessimism. They call this dying before death neutralizes the body out of existence and sure enough, we will all pathetically die one after another within few years ahead without impacting our society one way or another, needless to say we are already dying everyday as it is.

Fesseha further says; “What we see and experience in the opposition camp in the social media is not constructive but destructive in all aspects. The political leaders have been manipulating and exploiting the unawareness of our people for their narrow benefits, this is the main cause of multiplication of political organizations now and then.”

Comment: The destructive relationship between the civic societies and lack of creativity to excite and attract the people have certainly affected the quality of the interactive media in the diaspora. At the time people expect concrete action and progress, what they have delivered is nothingness to say the least. Our media has been limited to broadcasting news and feelings instead of concrete achievements as a result of the total ineffectiveness of the groups in the midst of the people’s increasing awareness vis-à-vis the regime; so ripe an opportunity to change the situation with non existent input from the civic groups.

But I disagree about the notion that the failure was a derivative of their narrow benefits as said by the grieving brother in the forum. Doing something wrong for personal interest is relatively more noble than doing it for imaginary benefit that cannot be materialized in terms of cash or dignity. They are nor benefiting anything out of their ignorance and opportunism but approaching their mortality with their shame and futility. You can assemble me in the same category as an activist from the society that has nothing to show for years about democratizing Eritrea but none of us is personally gaining from this collective disaster our thin understanding of life and society put us in. That is the story of the civic groups that neither feel ashamed of their empty achievements nor had the talent to blunder the cause of the people for material advantage. It is a loss loss situation beyond the comprehension of ordinary commonsense. 

After stagnating the Grassroots movement through few localized baitos in the United States refusing to globalized it with GI, ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል shows up with the following emptiness to justify its existence without any capacity and down to earth interest to change the situation for the better.

ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ ሰሜን ኣሜሪካ: ቅልዕቲ ደብዳበ ናብ ኣባላትን መራሕትን ኤርትራውያን ፖለቲካውያን ውድባት፡ February 1/2018

መሰረታውያን መቖሚያታትና፡

1.    ኣገባብ ኣሰራርሓናን ኣወዳድባናን ካብ ታሕቲ ናብ ላዕሊ ዝቐንዐ እዩ፣

2.     ኣባልነት ኣብ ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ብውልቂ ደረጃ ኮይኑ፡ ኣብ ኩሉ ጸፍሕታት ዝግበር ምርጫታት ኣብቲ ሓደ-ሰብ ሓደ-ድምጺ ዝብል ኣምር ዝተርመርኮሰ ይኸውን፣

Comment: If this is the case, what stops this group from working with GI on global dimension of the political game? Why is this unit localized only in few North American cities without any progress to expand its local Baitos to other cities and far beyond? What has it done different from what it did years ago and how far has its strategy succeeded ever since?  Why is it coming with “one-vote per person” proposal now after rejecting the same proposal GI has been suggesting from the onset of its birth? Where is the progress report and what is being done at the moment for this unit to pop up with a page worth of information on its fanatical position on the nation’s current political reality?

3.     ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ፡ ህዝባዊ ፖለቲካዊ ስልጣን ንክረጋገጽ ዝቃለስ እምበር፡ ንባዕሉ ንፖለቲካዊ ስልጣን ዘይወዳደር በርጌሳዊ ማሕበር እዩ፣

Comment: Why is it resistive to globalize the grass roots movement from its localized confinement in the US with the GI then? If it does not have political vision in future Eritrea, why does it stand in the way of GI’s globally inclusive mass movement under global leadership instead of finding a common working ground with?

4.     ከም ሻርነት ዘይብሉ ነጻ ፖለቲካዊ ምንቅስቓስ መጠን ኣንጻር ወይ ደገፍ ናይ ዝኾነ ውድብ መርገጽ ኣይወስድን፣

5.     ንኩነታት ሃገርናን ህዝብናን ብዝምልከት ኣብ ዝለዓሉ ዛዕባታት ንጹር መርገጽ ይህልወና፣

Comment: How can an organization be completely neutral on all civic and political organizations and simultaneously acquire clear position on any subject matter pertaining the Eritrean political situation? Can absolute neutrality in (4) be harmonized with taking clear position on the outcome of other groups on the common agenda in (5) without a contradiction and confused mind?

6.     ኣብ ታሪኻውን እዋናውን ግደ ናይ ፖለቲካውያን ውድባት ኣብ ደሞክራስያዊ ቃልሲ ንኣምን፣

7.     ንናይ ሓባር ራእይና ንምዕዋት ምስ ኩሎም ፖለቲካውያን ውድባትን በርጌሳውያን ማሕበራትን ብምትሕብባር ንሰርሕ፣

8.     በርጌሳዊ ማሕበርና እንኮ ወካሊ ናይ ኣብ ደያስፖራ ዘሎ ደላይ ፍትሒ ክኸውን ዕላማ የብሉን፣

Comment: What is going on with this group? Once again, is it possible for a democratic oriented group with “no problem to work with any other Eritrean organization and that has no interest in the political future of Eritrea” to reject GI from becoming a compatible and supportive grassroots partner in the current political drama of the Eritrean diaspora? If the claim in (8) is true, why would this group insist only on its outlook refusing to blend with other ideas within the collective framework of the grassroots movement?

ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ ሃገርናን ህዝብናን ንምድሓን ምስ ኩሎም ኤርትራውያን ፖለቲካውያን ውድባት ክሰርሕ ድልው እዩ። ፖለቲካዊ ውድባትና ፍልልያተን ኣጽቢበን ብኹሉ ዓቕመን ኣንጻር እቲ ቀዳማይ ጸላኢ ንኽቃለሳ ኣብ ዝውሰድ ተበግሶታትን ዝግበር ርክባትን ኣወንታዊተራ ይጻወት።

Comment: I am sorry about this conflicting statement from the angle of action but where is the claimed positive role on working together without diffusing the arrogance against dialogue on developing the grassroots movement with GI, based on equal participation and strategic significance? Claiming to be ready to work with all Eritrean activists and ignoring GI’s multiple requests for dialogue does not synchronize with the statement to say the least.  

ኣብ መደምደምታ፡ ዕላማ ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ፡ ኣብ ምስዓር ህግደፍ፡ ምስ ናይ ኤርትራውያን ፖለቲካውያን ውድባት ዕላማ ተማላላእን ተደጋጋፍን ስለ ዝኾነ፡ ኣባላት ፖለቲካውያን ውድባት ኣብ ህዝባዊ ምልዕዓል ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ ድርብ ኣባልነት ብምሓዝ ምሳናሓቢርኩም ክትቃለሱ ንዕድም። ኣብቲ ነተን ዘይተወደባ ዘለዋ ከተማታት ንምውዳብ እነካይዶ ዘለና ጻዕሪ ሓገዝኩም ከይፍልየና ከኣ ነማሕጽን።

Comment: Does this imply amalgamating the political and civic societies under the leadership of Hizbawi Milieal and only in this condition or allowing them to lead the mass movement all together with equal participation? And how can this chemistry be strictly mass based if the political organizations that focus on political power are allowed to maneuver the so said grassroots movement within the civic society Hizbawi Milieal claims to represent? It sounds like inviting all groups to work under its leadership which is welcome in a sense but only if our brothers and sisters in this group could tell us how far they have achieved with their idea in the last few years of their performance. Is there something to show in this regard for us to be attracted, follow and work under its leadership more than just a page worth of theoretical objectives per year as has been the norm of this groups in the past?

In conclusion, I feel this groups need to soul search and examine themselves for being obstacles to the Eritrean dream of democracy. They need to search for answers as to why they could not achieve anything and cannot achieve further sticking to the same adamant mindset of the dictator from very weak grounds. Reality says that a page worth of contribution per year cannot do the job against the very relaxed regime that requires collective effort from all resources to challenge. this obsession with the same proposals year after year with no action to that effect cannot even scratch the regime let alone toppling it. To the contrary, it is creating voids that motivate people to become anarchic because when reason dies, the capacity to minimize the drift between Eritrean civic organizations proportionally shrinks allowing emotion to dominate the unconscious political environment in motion. I think this hopelessness and unfortunate lack of leadership is the reason for the emergence of few destructive groups with very shallow outlook of the society that we have been witnessing one after another. The absence of unified check and balance mechanism within the struggle is one of the reasons for the emergence of the most savage and primitive imperialist group called Agazian that wants to create a very endangered society based on fallacious and inexistent feudalist history unfit for todays technological universe by African standards. Please stay tuned for my input on this subject matter and whatever comes across, in the next article.

Review overview
  • AHMED SALEH !!! February 14, 2018

    Hey Futsum , a surprise visit from favorite writer in assenna .
    You were missed dearly , Well come back and glad to know you are fine brother . CHEERS .

    • Simon G February 14, 2018

      I second to that and welcome back, brother Fetsum!
      Lately, I am feeling that our people have swallowed U235. In stead of regrouping, we keep splitting, like the U235 chain reaction. Very sad.

  • meretse February 14, 2018

    “There are two groups of people on this world: those who divide everything into two groups, and those who don’t”, I do not remember who said it; but really makes sense to me. By the way my choice is the later one. Brother festum welcome back. Brother Simon. do not let someone steal your precious time
    …will come back soon

  • Fesseha nair February 14, 2018

    Dear Futsum,
    Thank you for the critical commentary article and I hope you go on with your instructive and constructive articles, don’t worry by the personal attacks by some ignorants.

  • g michael February 14, 2018

    Hi Futsum,

    Thank you for articulating what I felt and understood to be when I read their (hzbawi mlee’al) rare public stand on various issues. Your analysis and expose goes much further than my perception and look forward to read your next article on the subject..

  • meretse February 14, 2018

    For any genuine justice seeker it really is unfortunate to witness his/her country’s crisis getting worse as a day passes. Many organizations came promising that they have the best solution for the crisis — when in fact, they too had no merits. To make the matter worse they are even now in deep state of hibernation not knowing the sun has risen. Not quite a few, but many had warned the public especially to the young generation to take responsiblity whatever is left on the ground instead of living everyday cursing the past. Yes, everyone knows they are the victims of the past but running away from the problem would never be a soulution. if I have to add an idea/an advice, which infact has no relationship to the above article— it would be for the “skunk riders”. For the Gods sake please get off the back of skunks. You probably hard heard once or twice : “don’t grab a tigers tail but if you do, don’t let it go.” The saying may had some benefits in the past but it too ambiguous in our time; besides, a tiger’s tail has nothing to do with a skunk’s tail.

  • Segeremo February 14, 2018

    Dear Assenna,
    this forum is turning into a mockery. If you cannot monitor the discussion forum I would rather disable it until you are able to monitor the comments here. I do not see exchange of ideas but insults, unfair and unfounded swiping vulgar insults.
    Please do something about this.

  • k.tewolde February 14, 2018

    “Neither could our activists stop uselessness and contradiction pertaining the democratic dream of the people because of sheer ignorance, refusal to learn from experience and strong egoistic drive to stay floating in the spotlight,”….Indeed Fitsum, I wonder if this is inherent or acquired character of the Eritrean? it is like drawing water from a well with a leaky bucket over and over again.We simply don’t have what it takes to get it right,otherwise we wouldn’t be humiliated by an inept tyrant who should have been retired a long time ago wearing his favorite habanero shirt playing checkers and drinking caffesitto in Little Havana..