Fetsum: The struggle’s situation in view of Structural Unity
Fetsum: The struggle’s situation in view of Structural Unity Dear Eritreans; I hope all of you are well in this journey related to the virus. I also hope the situation did not divert your attention from
Fetsum: The struggle’s situation in view of Structural Unity
Dear Eritreans; I hope all of you are well in this journey related to the virus. I also hope the situation did not divert your attention from the struggle of the people for genuine democracy. In this series, I like to discuss the Diaspora’s current situation in view of STRUCTURAL UNITY and CONCEPTUAL UNITY because the two dimensions are mandatory for genuine democracy in the country. This will take at least two articles to cover and here is the first.
Whatever we think and how far we procrastinate it immaterial, the Eritrean question of democracy depends on one reality and one of two fundamentally different options. The reality is removing the system as a priority, the options being the future of Eritrea to depend based on party politics or people’s politics. The first can fake it but cannot guarantee genuine democracy while the other certainly would. The choice is yours but one of them will dictate political terms in the country and people must clearly understand the consequence of their pick. In so saying, the Eritrean people will finally remove the dictatorship needless saying they are slowly doing it a step at a time. Even if we fail to change the system together, death will do the Eritreans and the dictator apart at the end of the day. They, however, have to be very careful in making sure genuine democracy reigns in Eritrea after the dictatorship. This is not an exception that requires unique creativity but something that was practiced in tens of African countries for a long time. We just have to study, duplicate and blend with our unique realities and get it over with. Otherwise, we must be ready to suffer the product of our recklessness with another dictatorship. In short, there is no reason for Eritreans to accept anything less than genuine democracy after this dictatorship but they can be forced to comply with injustice if they let it slip away! This is the time and here is the show and everything is at our disposal or we will be at the disposal of our stupidity after this dictatorship.
For what I know, Eritreans have been trying and Failing time and again for a long time. Something comes and disappears after wasting lots of resources for another to show up and follow the pattern. The most recent example is the SINIT group which is now divided because of “leadership weakness” according Dr. Gebre’s recent appearance in Hidri Jeganuna Paltalk room. They are now accusing each other after destroying the foundation together from the beginning. I can say a lot about this and the associated distortions in public but it won’t serve the interest of the people and I prefer to let it go unchallenged. Nothing should have gone wrong after tens of failed efforts of the past though, needless saying the causes of our problems have always revolved around dishonesty, ego, fear, domination, selfishness and ignorance to mention few. Party politics tried to steal the essence of SINIT Festival camouflaged with the people’s outfit and it failed to manage the deception and this is the result. SINIT became a “political organization” after “writing a constitution representing the people” as a “NEUTRAL” element of the society.
It was a joke! The education here is that politically organized or active members of political parties cannot by any means represent the society neutrally; they have taken sides already! A project of the magnitude the Denver Festival Organizers gave the SINIT group could not have been successfully accomplished in favor of the people without the neutrality of the individuals within. Anything of this magnitude should be handled by completely neutral individuals to succeed because the task is not about Party Programs that exclusively concern the political parties but rather about Rule of Law and Constitution that must be worked out under the exclusive authority of the people. The case was totally opposite with SINIT and the result showed at the end of the drama.
The fact remains that one partial, rigid or selfish element in the opposition can only exasperate the suffering of the Eritrean people by indirectly stretching the dictatorship and weakening the struggle. Here is a basic spiritual algebra for every Eritrean in the opposition camp. The world population stands at 7.6 billion compared to the about 5 million Eritreans, making us 0.00066 percent of it. This means there is one Eritrean on planet earth for every 1520 people. Now consider those Eritreans in the resistance resisting the system with questionable partiality towards religion, ethnicity or personal interest (power, money, status, image, etc.) and see what happens vis-à-vis the numbers. To me, this means a person in this classification has no spiritual capacity to love and treat 0.00066 percent of the human race equally. The sufferer or fake activist cannot equally deliver to what one person represents relative to the 1520 people in contrast. If one cannot equally treat 5 million people out of 7.6 billion people because of any form of prejudice, that person can go as far as pretending love to the few people in his village needless to say he can confine the entire Eritrean question within his family at the end of the psychological misfortune. The choice is ours but that is what algebra scientifically tells the spiritual position of people in this tragic mental orientation, and then they die with their identities leaving a compounded mess behind for their kids to suffer the way this generation suffered it out as a result.
The Eritrean struggle for freedom cannot go beyond changing the regime without solid Structural and Conceptual unity and the homework must be fully done right now before we get to the transitional stage. It is with this conviction in mind that I came up with this series of articles for all of us to enjoy. The question should then be what may be going on in both dimensions of the struggle and here is my opinion on one of them.
Structural dimension: To this effect, many things have been tried in the past to only fail because of many reasons beyond this article. Today, however, appears a little different in comparison because of the Yiakl movement. If we are in the same page on this matter, that structural unity is mandatory for our success; it would be impossible to discuss this issue without GI and the Yiakl movement because I honestly believe the two elements of the Eritrean socio-political fabric are the front runners of the struggle in the structural dimension. Yet, without one dominating the other and strictly on synchronized political outlook basis as a matter of coincidence and necessity. GI could have initiated the idea of global leadership but Yiakl discovered it by experience for both sides to welcome the bliss and work for the common vision as part of the society. Here, Yiakl is completely independent of GI and GI is only a facilitator of the ideology as part of the grassroots movement. They both believe the end result of Yiakl must be forming people’s centralism; collecting all regional and continental Bayto’s under one global leadership. We are ideologically one and the same and GI members are enjoying the opportunity firmly believing that the people’s Yiakl is more important than any other civic or political group in the opposition. In light of this humility and wisdom, the GI community is part and parcel of the movement by default logic and by practice. Well, GI is currently working on Memorandum of Understanding for the opposition camp in general and we shall get to it upon release. For now, here is its latest release in part for those of you that did not get the chance to see it.
“Global Initiative to Empower Eritrean Grassroots Movement (GI)
PRESS RELEASE: In Support of the Vibrant Peoples Yiakl Movement and Eritrean Reconciliation Forum for Justice Minnesota, January 2020
The year 2019 was a remarkable year of struggle for salvation, freedom and justice. Eritreans in the diaspora are rising and mobilizing with vigor and enthusiasm to remove the regime and to protect Eritrean Sovereignty by transitioning Eritrea into constitutional democracy. The vibrant Peoples Yiakl Movement in the Diaspora and the emerging Fenkil Movement inside Eritrea are emboldening Eritreans inside and outside Eritrea and transformed the resistance movement to a higher level.
After successful mobilization of all sectors of Eritrean society, the Peoples Yiakl Movement has embarked on organizing Eritreans on a Local and Country levels. Local and Country wide Assemblies/Baitos have mushroomed in various countries in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and other European Countries. The Countrywide Baitos have enacted organizational programs, organizational structures and bylaws for their respective Baitos. Moreover, the countrywide Baitos are in consultation among themselves to coordinate their activities and to establish a worldwide Hizbawi Maebel for the salvation of Eritrean Sovereignty and for achieving freedom and justice in Eritrea.
The noble experience of mobilizing and organizing had faced formidable challenges. As a new experience all over the world, it has to face multiple obstacles and grow organically using the dynamic and rich resources of the Eritrean youth, women and intellectuals from all walks of Life. Bringing all citizens from diverse background and multiple generations and deliberating effectively to enact programs and action plans is not an easy task. No doubt, the learning curve requires time, effort and dedication from all participants. As a combined effort of all dedicated activists, and as a result of intensive discussions, hot deliberations, and constructive criticisms the challenges have been met and the Peoples Yiakl Movement is on a solid ground. It is moving to the next level of worldwide Hizbawi Maebel and preparing itself for a concerted strategic activities and effective action to implement its programs. As a triumphant movement, it has a huge opportunity and responsibility to unite the diverse Eritrean Diaspora for a singular objective of Eritrean Salvation and democratic transition.
GI salutes the dedication and tremendous efforts of all citizen activists (who hail from different political, civic and community background) members of each and every local Baito and their elected representatives. The local Baitos all over the world are the source and the legitimate owners of the Peoples Yiakl Movement. Elected representatives are servants of the local Baitos similar to QUADERE and other officers of a typical Eritrean Village/Adi/Ad/Are.
In the spirit of our cherished tradition and civic culture of all Eritrean society, we call upon all Eritreans fighting for justice in the Diaspora to actively participate in their respective local Baitos and elect their representatives to the nationwide Baito and engage themselves in all activities of the Yeakl Movement.
GI salutes the timely and important initiative of TempoAfric – Meadi Zete Minnesota Conference that established Eritrean Reconciliation Forum for Justice Minnesota. ERFJM has invited Justices seeking Eritrean political organizations, civic organizations, peoples Yiakl movements and study groups. We hope the planned Zoom meeting of representatives of all justice-seeking Eritreans, world-wide will result on a consensus on the best course of action that will end dictatorship in our beloved country, Eritrea
According the press release issued by ERFJM, the objective of this forum is to create a platform that will allow representatives of all Eritrean justice seekers to have an open dialogue to arrive at the most effective approach to end dictatorship in our country and transition to constitutional democratic governance.
GI expects all participants to come prepared with their respective party’s or group’s idea on the best course of action from their respective views. It is our hope that there will be an open and frank discussion, with an open mind, exploring the best course of action.
GI’s Position: Members of GI will participate with an open mind to learn from what others have to say and we hope we will find a uniting strategy that we all will be happy to adopt. From our end, we trust the participants of the conference will agree on the following:
- The need to form legitimate global representatives that will be formed with full and active participation of all the various constituent justice-seeking Eritrean groups.
- The best approach to form legitimate global representatives is the Peoples Yiakl Movement. As a bottom-up grassroots movement, it will pave the way for all Eritrean justice-seekers to participate in their respective localities. We are fully supportive of the Yiakl movement that is going on all over the world with the understanding that members of political parties, civic organizations and others will participate in establishing their Baitos and electing their local representatives. Once, local Baitos are formed and local representatives are elected, the next step is the election of country-wide representatives, from among the locally elected representatives. The ultimate next step is the election of global representatives at a global conference of all the country-wide representatives.
- The organizers should make a concerted and extensive effort to reach out to all Eritrean justice-seekers in the given area using all possible means of communication: radio, websites, literature, phone call, personal communication, etc. Notices of the meeting should be posted in places frequented by Eritreans, such as Mosques, Churches, Community Centers, Restaurants, etc. in various languages. Special effort must be made to reach out to all Eritrean ethnic groups, religious leaders, prominent activists, women, etc.
- In conducting meetings, it is important to have translators available to assist attendees of the meeting.
- The issue of promoting diversity: In electing representatives, care should be made to make sure that elected representatives are from all sectors of the Eritrean society in terms of region, religion, gender and age to the extent possible while making sure that the elected representatives have the requisite capacity in terms of caliber, awareness, experience, dedication and integrity.
It is our strong belief that all the invited group representatives will attend the January 25, 2020 Meeting of Eritrean Reconciliation Forum for Justice Minnesota (ERFJM) and deliberate constructively to unite all Eritrean for the salvation of Eritrea and our people.
Victory to Eritrean People’s Yiakl Movement, January 15, 2020” END
Comment: As you can see, there is no doubt that GI has been part of the grassroots movement overall and sure enough is Yiakl’s strong supporter since its inception, the reason both elements are working together to empower the people into controlling their destiny in future Eritrea. The relationship is smooth but the challenge is difficult. There are many obstacles in the way from the enemy and from some elements in the resistance. Some Eritreans do not want us to organize under global leadership and the challenge continues like in the past. Nevertheless, we hope to see global leadership within this year based on the developments to date.
In the meantime, Yiakl’s recent fundraising activity to assist our people against the virus is commendable. The reason it is going well is because people have trust and all the Baytos under the movement are doing it as a unit. This coordinated effort shows the potential ahead towards working under global leadership which the Eritrean people are expecting from the movement within this year. This work ethic should continue until the mission of global leadership is accomplished. I think work is going on to call an international conference for all Yiakl Baytos around the world towards forming global leadership sometime this year. This may have been going on at suggestion level though interrupted because of the virus but the idea should accelerate all over the world to be effective in 2020 because that is what we expect to see and what must take place in my opinion. The momentum could have slowed down because of the pandemic but we still have about 8 months to work it out and it can be done. Yiakl should accomplish its goal by adjusting to the situation and utilizing the technology as much as possible without being destructed by the virus.
Apparently, there is something called Eritrean Reconciliation Forum for Justice Minnesota where any political or civic group can participate for discussion. The forum was formed sometime in the Summer of 2019 and the few members within have been conducting weekly and biweekly discussions ever since. Today, the forum comprises about eight groups (6 political groups including Bayto (Awassa) , GI and YiAKL) and we hope others will catchup based on its unconditional invitation to more than 30 groups in general. The forum is discussing the immediate future of our country after Isaias and it is important for the people to closely follow the activities as much as possible. To your information, SINIT was part of the forum but not anymore probably after its internal problems came to light but the door is open like for every group in the struggle.
In this opportunity there are two outstanding ideas in discussion that the people should know.
First idea: The people and the political parties must overthrow the regime together but the political parties should carry the burden of democratizing the country at primary (leadership) level of the mission and the people should rally behind in the process. Eritreans do not have to unite under common leadership but rather should work under coordinating umbrellas based on their affiliations. The elements in this school of thought believe in TRANSITIONAL CHARTER but they don’t have a clear position as to who has the ultimate right to draft it legally (the political parties or the people). In this situation that empowers the political parties, the Eritrean people will have to depend on the political parties for drafting the laws and even the constitution. This Top-bottom strategy is opposite to the grassroots based strategy GI was working on needless saying it is also against what Yiakl represents overall. Most of the political groups and Bayto (AWASA) belong to this school of ideology.
Second Idea: The people and the political parties must overthrow the regime together but the process of democratizing the nation has to depend on the people at primary level of the mission. Eritrea must have a neutral transitional government in the transitional stage and the people have the sole and legal right to write or draft the laws including the constitution. GI and Yiakl belong in this grassroots based classification.
In conclusion, the forum is going on and hopefully will close the ideological difference pertaining the democratization of Eritrea. The members have also erected a team to study and draft a Charter for transition and it sounds interesting. We shall see the end product and God bless them all! Finally, Yiakl should unconditionally represent the people in any situation and I believe it is doing it in practice. Things will take a little time to clear up and the young leaders of the movement will face obstacles as usual. But they will learn from experience no matter what and will eventually crystalize the cause through knowledge and wisdom. Yet, they can accomplish global leadership this year because it is within their reach. For now, the movement should improve its structure through different departments, concentrate on transparency, the media and transiting the society through the people’s authority. It should use our resources, study other experiences to democracy and involve dependable advisors to help out. It should use this time to develop the knowhow through different efforts and elevate the capacity into clearly defined goals and educate the people through the social media. AJOKUM, stay pure and patient, dedicate yourselves without personalizing anything. We will succeed at last if we continue working hard because “God helps those who help themselves”. See you soon!