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Friday, Dec. 2nd: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

December 2nd is an international awareness day to end slavery.  On this awareness day, the world is called upon to stay awake and aware paying attention and making efforts to understand the ugly faces of

December 2nd is an international awareness day to end slavery.  On this awareness day, the world is called upon to stay awake and aware paying attention and making efforts to understand the ugly faces of slavery.  Those who see and understand the sufferings of those enslaved are determined to speak out loudly denouncing the injustice against the enslaved by the slave-holders, masters and oppressors.  On this international awareness day to end slavery, the free people in this world are inclined to test this maxim that says: ‘just raise the voices of the voiceless by raising high the slavery awareness’ in order to provide those others out there with opportunities to turn the awareness into successful action of ending slavery.

On this awareness day, it is humanly worth to closely hear the never stopping screams of the enslaved people in Eritrea and elsewhere.  The awareness includes understanding those who are condemned to extinction through depopulation of their country or imprisonment in dungeons of those who are fighting for their rights, opinions and beliefs.  The Eritrean enslavement, which is casted out of fear, is not expected to fear imprisonment, disappearance or death.  The intimidation by fear is out of fear of disappearance or imprisonment in brutal prisons along with internationally forbidden tools of torture that force and condemn Eritreans inside Eritrea to enslavement under the tyrant’s harsh rules.

The awareness on this day, thus, is about raising the slaves’ recognition ability to ignore the fear that is imposed on them.  Through raising awareness, the enslaved Eritreans will be able to know that the tyrant is equally scared of the slaves’ anger.  The hidden anger in each of those enslaved, if exploded, will certainly crush the tyrant’s tyranny into pieces. Yesterday, our martyrs used their fates to ensure that no Eritrean is crushed or defeated by fear.  Our martyrs knew that only the fearless enjoys liberty and freedom and guarantees the freedom of others.  The memories of our martyrs confirm us that fear can be defeated.  The history of our martyrs also tells us that only courage that is casted out of fear can defeat the slaves’ fears.  Therefore:

-It is time for the enslaved to win over fear and to courageously declare their preparedness to reclaim liberty.

-It is time for the enslaved to reclaim the freedom of expression and say “NO” to tyranny, “NO” to slavery, and “NO” to intimidations.

-Yes, it is time to tell the world that you “the enslaved” are not afraid of freedom, change, and certainly not afraid to talk your heart.

The focus of the slavery awareness is on shaping and molding the minds of the enslaved to stand up for their rights against the oppressors and the tyrants by doing what they are not allowed to do.  If fear is deep rooted, it is time not to make decisions based on fear because fear cannot be a choice.  But getting rid of fear can be a choice in the fight for freedom from slavery.

Can the Regime’s lack of Institutional Capacity be the cause of Enslavement?

The regime’s representative, Yemane Ghebreab (manki), in an immediate reaction to COIE’s (Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea) accusations delivered a statement confirming that the regime is still learning because it has no idea about freedom, justice and rules of law.  But the UN knows that the regime with its closed mindedness cannot be expected to be committed to listening to recommendations let alone to implementing them.  The UN is convinced that the change in the treatment of the people can only come through implementation of the approved constitution.  Thus, the world has identified that it is not the regime’s lack of institutional capacity but the absence of the political-will that is causing the regime’s lack of commitment to listening to the voices of its victims and learning how to stop its crimes against humanity in Eritrea.

The regime may need another 25 years to learn how to free itself from violations and to end the crimes of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance and torture.  However, the enslaved Eritreans through the slavery awareness will outperform the regime in learning how to reclaim their rights sooner and faster, snatching back their monies and properties as well as freeing their daughters and sons from the unlimited conscription and forced labor.

To improve the regime’s institutional capacity, the tyrant should learn how to overcome his pride by opening his mind and recognizing good ideas.  After all, the tyrant cannot hide his crimes because his fleeing population has got all the stories about his abuses out.  The UN knows that the tyrant has to have an open mind in order to have the required political willingness to take into consideration the UN’s recommendations, new ideas and all suggestions that can help to improve his governance.  However, the regime is not ready to accept any recommendation that benefits the Eritrean people and frees them from unlimited conscription and slavery.  The UN is also focusing on eliminating the regime’s starvation policies by learning from Eritrean civil societies (not the regime’s civic societies) on how to have an open doorway to new ideas or schemes that can help to improve the lot of the ordinary people.

The Eritreans inside Eritrea, unlike the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas, don’t want to be tied up by the chains of the tyrant forever.  On the other hand, the Eritrean justice seekers are calling for change because the Eritrean martyrs died for the liberation of the country in order for the Eritreans to live the country and not flee it.  Thus, all that is needed on this awareness day is to remind the tyrant to take an entire new direction in improving his governance, as required by the COIE, by having effective, transparent and accountable ministries and departments.

Since the regime’s ability to change can improve with policy change, it is necessary for the regime to have open mindedness in order to improve its policies through practice change.  In looking at a policy change from various points of views, there can be a need for change of some of fundamental political practices.  In the process of any policy change, conflicting opinions are inevitable, yet denying facts to promote self-interest is optional.  But if the tyrant cannot brush away his pride and come to a negotiating table with the people, similar as the neighboring countries are doing, he will remain entrenched in his tyranny abusing the rights of the people and resorting to slavery and forced labor.

In today’s world, the Eritrean refugees size relative to the country’s population size places Eritrea with those failing nations.  The denial of basic rights and abuses are nationwide and, as horrific as they are, the cruelties and mistreatments are considered to be extreme thereby qualifying the Eritrean slavery to be listed as the worst servitude of all times.  The regime has used border wars and other fear mongering tactics to deceive the conscripts into accepting the unlimited conscription.  As hostages of the deceit, those conscripted into unlimited or for life forced labor appear to be feeling like being robbed of their youth life.

The Regime’s use of Catchphrases to Enslave the Eritrean People

Eritreans inside Eritrea distinguish their imposed slavery from the self-slavery of the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas, who through their voluntary submission had to concede their self-respect and pride under the tyrannical mantra of “Isu Nihnan, Nihnan Isua.”  Unlike the historical slavery where one was captured and sold to become a slave, the modern slavery inside Eritrea is the product of pretexts of border wars and rushed nation-building that gave rise to mass enslavement through endless conscription driven by catchy political slogans.  The purpose of the weighty slogans, such as: “We are here day and night in our trenches to safeguard our national sovereignty against the Ethiopian aggressors,” or “Our national sovereignty before our human rights,” all these are to generate submissive minds that accommodate endless conscription or national services that condemn the Eritrean mass to forced labor working for free on agricultural harvest and building residential homes for the generals and their relatives.

Thus, the modern slavery is about exploitation and forced labor.  Unlike the historical definition of slavery that was about the slave being treated like a property by the slave-owner, the modern slavery is about systematically condemning the person to all types of human violations with enforced hard labor and restrictions of freedom of movement rights.  The difference between the historical and modern slavery is that the historical slavery ends with disowning of the slave by the slaveholder, whereas the modern slavery, as a systematic exploitation as it is, it ends with effective implementation of the country’s constitution.  The second difference is that, under the historical slavery, the owned slave is aware that the distasteful tough conditions imposed on him/her could end by fighting for freedom.

The post-independence desire of the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas focuses on contributing towards the country’s nation-building.  But that desire was manipulated by the tyrant into endless donations to support the tyrant’s wars.  Because of the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas’ perception that the country is at war with many external enemies, they have chosen to take a stand against the implementation of the approved constitution.  As a result, they devised a stand that declares: “It is no time to talk about the implementation of the approved constitution or any rights to be respected, when the country is in a dire situation to defend itself.”  Conversely, the Eritrean justice seekers believe that Isayas purposely declares a war in order to end any demand for change including the awaiting implementation of the constitution and, as well, to impose enslavement through unlimited conscription, forced labor, poverty, and injustice in treating the people.  The pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas, as self-enslaved, always trust the tyrant and dismiss the justice seekers’ justifications.

Therefore, in the absence of the constitution or any rule of law, the world is accusing the tyrant of gross human rights violations in Eritrea.  In this regards, the Eritrean Diasporas are stuck in opposing views with the pro-tyrant Diasporas, who are undermining the UN’s calls for promoting and protecting the fundamental human rights of every Eritrean to dignity and a decent life.  As a result, the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas are busy helping the hyrant to place more chains on the limbs of those on forced labor inside Eritrea.  On the other hand, the justice seekers Eritrean Diasporas are demanding the approved constitution to be implemented so as slavery and the sufferings of the people from oppression and injustice to end.

What Awareness can promote the Right Actions?

Raising Awareness is another way of fighting the fight to end the systematic slavery in Eritrea.  The world, the UN, and the Eritrean justice seekers have spoken out against the systematic enslavement of Eritreans inside Eritrea.  At the same time, on the other side, the pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas want the last vestige of African slavery to be replaced by a systematic slavery and continued under the tyranny rule in Eritrea.

Eritrea, as a nation, has two problems: embargo of the tyrant on the people, and the UN’s embargo on the tyrant.  Raising awareness on this day, the 2nd of December, is to help the tyrant understand that his leniency to the people will get him leniency of the world, UN, and ICC.  This means that under temporary win-win policies, the tyrant will not have sleepless nights when he allows the people to have visitation rights to prisons to know whether their loved ones are dead or alive.  Further, if the tyrant agrees, under his voluntary and permanent win-win policies, the constitution will be implemented to result in win-win solutions to all Eritrean problems.

In the absence of the right awareness for the right action, the country may have lose-lose situations, where the two embargoes will continue to hold.  If the right awareness is not in the right place, the right action cannot be expected.  Since the tyrant’s generals and his ministers are always subjected to decisions from the tyrant’s (president’s) office, the awareness campaign should focus on convincing the tyrant to take interest and care about mitigating the Eritrean problems through win-win policies.

It is not about how the tyrant inflicts fears to force the people into silence.  Nor it is about how the tyrant blackmails the generals and the ministers into becoming scapegoats taking the blames for all crimes committed against the Eritrean children, mothers, youth and the elderly.  Included also there is no need to know about how the regime is engaged in hiding violations when the UN’s follow up is in full force and effect.  The awareness day is about how to change the frustrations and counter accusations to win-win solutions with less damage.

As a self-inflecting system, Isayas has failed to undo his own damages.  The pro-tyrant Eritrean Diasporas are always speaking about how the world is unfair and unfairly accusing the tyrant.  What these people are missing is that the world has targeted Isayas because he is targeting the Eritrean people as his enemies, mistreating them.  As a result, Isayas has been put in a beltway with only two exists: The first exist exists him to the Eritrean people’s blessings, and the second exists him to the ICC (International Criminal Court).  The choice is his.

The UN is just saying that if the tyrant wants to be called a ruler with a government, he has to have the people of the country in the country.  As such, the depopulation of the country should stop immediately by encouraging two ways movement.  Otherwise, Isayas does not qualify for the title of a ruler without people.  Included are also, as a government, the tyrant has to unfreeze the frozen private bank accounts and the country should have enough money in circulation as well as budget with effective budgetary management.  Such a move will be an answer to the public demands for better governance.

The comfortable political narrative, nowadays, is about ending tyranny in Eritrea.  And, the political awareness is to remind that the tyrant needs nothing more than having a warm relation with the Eritrean people, as a reconciliation offering.  Therefore, to heal the wounds of the nation and its people, let the Eritrean justice-seekers’ democracy first succeed without constitution by letting peaceful transition start with higher dimensions of political consciousness and awareness at a negotiation table to implement an effective constitution.

In Support of the International awareness day to end slavery


Review overview
  • Bereket T. December 3, 2016

    Further to our discussion, the most worrying some is while dictators fall sooner or later, sometimes facilitated by their own self-destructive inertia and often leaving chaos and destruction behind them. This is prone to occur in a society where there are no well-organized opposition groups determined to initiate and coordinate popular resistance from within, no or limited culture of civil disobedience and an abundance of firearms in circulation a situation like that of current Eritrea. So what are your practical plans and lasting solutions for Eritrea? The Eritrean opposition are not short of a better idea compared to the regime in Asmara, but they don’t have the will power to implement it and that’s why the Eritrean people are so disgusted and discouraged with the opposition.

    • Z, Hagos December 3, 2016

      Everyone of us in a way is responsible for the predicament of our people under the dictator’s rule. Be it the regime or the opposition is subject to the people’s power. I mean, the people if they would recognize their power they could come up with the right decision. The question that follows is: but how? The people are obliged to organize themselves by first standing together to take their concerns to the street of their cities. A united voice can smash anything like a strong wind – just any in its way. No one can stop it.
      If the people would recognize such power, they would not blame the opposition. They would first blame themselves. Now, we come, how then the people are weakened not to have a united voice. The main problem is the regime. The regime is playing divisive policies to weaken the people. He is not by himself (Isayas). Some other foreign powers are behind to weaken the Eritrean people’s power. Mostly, these powers revolve around the Arab Gulf countries. These Arab Gulf countries are not only weakening the Eritrean people but also the neighboring countries of Eritrea. These Arab Gulf countries are favoring Isaias because he loves power. For power, Isaias is ready to sell even his own family. He is just in blind love with power. Otherwise, like the UN said, he is not capable to even rule and control his daily behaviors.