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Reconciliation in Jeopardy

By Fetsum Abraham I believe this article articulates the issue of RECONCILLATION in Eritrea from the perspectives of the young and the old. Can an important social agenda in one generation expire without a solution in

By Fetsum Abraham
I believe this article articulates the issue of RECONCILLATION in Eritrea from the perspectives of the young and the old. Can an important social agenda in one generation expire without a solution in terms of a new generation’s priorities? Has the significance of RECONCILLIATION faded away in time and due to the emergence of new generations born into a different sociological fabric and priorities?
First, however, the following interactions from the forum on Eritrean colleges:
Mehret: “Hi Fetsum;.For what it is worth, Stefanos Temelso was absolutely right. When Indians started bragging about how they paid people to get their job and when it became obvious that some of them were not as qualified as their forged documents indicate, some senior academic staff and some graduate assistant complained and they were hustled right and left for that. In fact some were even ‘frozen’ from their posts. This was all to intimidate other who might want to make their complaints official.”
Weygud: ”Mr. Fitsum, you have a hot cake for writing about the unaccredited neither public nor military academy colleges. By the way, the Institutes and colleges have contrary definition in Eritrea and they operate without a parent (university).”
The crisis continues full speed ahead:
In Eritrea: “ኣብ መንገዲ ኣየር ኤርትራ ክሰርሑ ዝጸንሑ ኣርባዕተ ምኩራት ናይ ኣየር ተክኒሻናት ኣብ እስራኤል ዑቕባ ሓቲቶም ።”
Comment: Many individuals own private airliners in many countries of the world but Eritrea stands alone as the only nation without an independent Civilian/Commercial Airliner. In so far as my last information was concerned Eritrea’s sole commercial airliner SPEEDQUEEN has been sick for a while with no traveling activities. With the best Eritrean aviation professionals that transformed the Ethiopian Airlines to its present status chased out of the country through different excuses, the Eritrean Airlines only exists in name with the help of other Airliners such as the Pakistan’s. To make it worse, this news comes to manifest the staggering rate of professional defections out of the country.
ተቐማጦ ኣስመራ ብምቁራጽ ሓይሊ ኤለትሪክ ከቢድ ጸገም የጋጥሞም ከምዘሎ ካብታ ከተማ ዝረኸብናዮ ሓበሬታ ገሊጹ። እቲ ሳሕቲ ዝቐርብ ኣገልግሎት ኤለትሪክ ካብ ክልተ ክሳብ ሰለስተ ሰዓትስለዘይጸንሕ  እኽሊ ንምጥሓን መስርዕ ተጸቢኻ ከምዘይሰልጥን እቶም ብኤለትሪክ መጎጎ ዝገልገሉ ዝነበሩ ድማ ኣብቲ ብዕንጸይቲ ዝግልገል መጎጎ ንኽጥቀሙ መስርዕ ክገብሩ ከምዝግደዱ ተፈሊጡ።
Life in Asmara today
It has been almost two weeks since there has been any electricity supply in Asmara, mobile phones are dead, Scarcity of petrol and diesel: Horse drawn carts and wheel-burrows have returned to the streets to transport water. There is also a scarcity of domestic fuel for cooking. Kerosene is supplied once or twice a year in the government shops. Every family gets 5-10 liters. When that runs out people use coal. Bread is so scares and is only supplied intermittently etc.,”
Comment: Good luck to the few remaining woods and wild animals in the country. The tortoise is indeed consistent with its backward moon walking carrying the society to disaster.
መንግስቲ ኖርወይ ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝነበረ ቤት ጽሕፈት ኤምባሲኡ 30 ሰነ ብምዕጻው ኣብ ካርቱም ሱዳን ቤት ጽሕፈት ብምኽፋት ተኪእዎ።
ምዕጻው ቤት ጽሕፈት ኤምባሲ ኖርወይ ኣብ ኤርትራ፡መኸተምታ ሓደ ምዕራፍ ዲፕሎማስያዊ ዝምድና ኤርትራ ኖርወይን ከምዝኾነ ምንጭታት ገሊጾም።ወግዓዊ ዲፕሎማስያዊ ዝምድና ኖርወይንኤርትራን ቅድሚ 20 ዓመት ተመስሪቱ።እንተኾነ ኣብ 70ታትን 80ታትን ህዝባዊ ግንባር ካብ መንግስቲ ኖርወይ ዝተፈላለየ ሓገዛት ይምጠወሉ ከምዝነበረ ሰነዳት የመልክቱ።
ድሕሪ ናጽነት ድማ ኣብ ጥዕና፡ትምህርቲ፡ ምዕቃብ ኣካባብ ሕርሻን ካልእን መንግስቲ ኖርወይ ብሚልዮናት ዶላራት ዝትመን ሓገዝ ከምዝገበረ ይፍለጥ።
ብኻልእ ወገን ኣብ ኖርወይ ኣብ ዝሓለፈ ሹዱሽተ ኣዋርሕ 792 ኤርትራውያን ዑቕባ ከምዝሓተቱ ጸብጻብ ወጻኢ ጉዳያት እታ ሃገር ሓቢሩ።እዚ ኣሃዝ ኣብታ ሃገር ካብ ዝተፈላለያ ሃገራት ዑቕባ ካብዝሓተቱ  ንሶማልያ ተኸቲሎም ኤርትራውያን ዝበዝሑ   ከምዝኾኑ ተመዝጊቡ።
Comment: The most eventful nation on the planet keeps rolling on the same destructive path since the time of independence. Norway was one of the most generous nations to the Eritrean struggle if not the most. Norway used to feed our fighters during the struggle, to say the least: Our fighters used a highly nutritious package called NORWAY during battles against the Ethiopians. Eritrea of course has betrayed every nation that helped the struggle for independence (Somalia, Sudan, Sweden, etc) and its own people at large.
As one of the most civilized and generous countries; Norway could not work with Eritrea. How can a country that tried to help a lot during the struggle quietly watch the refugee crisis in our country? A nation that helped in the areas of health and education after independence could no longer tolerate the extent of damage the regime inflicted on the society in both areas without a reaction.
In Diaspora:
“Call for Demonstration Stockholm, Sweden” said an advertisement and stops without any detail what the event is about: Extremely poor communication (typical Eritrean style) my dear folks! Please don’t waste your time and rather demonstrate for UNCONDITIONAL UNITY of the opposition forces and youth organizations if you want to make a difference.
“Eritrean National Council for democratic change
Europe zone/Germany
ሰላማዊ ሰልፊ ኣንጻር ፈስቲቫል ህግደፍ ኣብ ጀርመን፣ ጊሰን – ቀዳም 13 ሓምለ
ቅድሚ ሕጂ ብዝተፈላለየ ኣገባብ ተሓቢሩ ከምዝነበረ ሎሚ ዓመት’ውን ከም ዝሓለፈ ዓመታት ሰላማዊ ሰልፊ ኣንጻር ፈስቲቫል ህግደፍ ንዕለት ክንገብር ምዃና ዳግማይ ንሕብር::”
Comment: Good move but not to the point yet. Would you please, please concentrate more in requesting UNCONDITIONAL UNITY of our FORCES and YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS in any activities you do? When are you going to start demonstrating for UNITY? For how long can this prior goal of the resistance be ignored in demonstrations? Do you really think we will make it without being serious on the question of UNCONDITIONAL UNITY for a transitional government in our country? Good luck!
ወዲ ገራህቱ ዝጸወዖ ኣኼባ ህግደፍ ብዘይ ፍረ ተበቲኑ።ኣብ ዝሓለፈ ዕለት 01 ሓምለ 2013 ዓ.ም ኣብ ስዓታት ድሕሪ ቀትሪ ናይ ምሸት ኣብ ከባቢ ሆሎዎይ ስሜን ሎንዶን ብውዲ ገራህቱ ዝተጸወዐ ኣኼባ ህግደፍ ካብ 40 ክሳብ 50 ዝኾኑኣባላት ህግደፍ ከም ዝተሳተፍዎ እቲ ሓበሬታ የረጋግጽ።
ዕላማ ጻዊዒት ኣኼባ ወዲ ገራህቱ ነዚ ኣብዚ ቅኒያት ክግበር ተሓሲቡ ዘሎ ፌስቲቫል ህግደፍ ዝመርሑ ሓደስቲ ብሕሪያ የማነ ስሑልን መምህር ሃብተን ዝተባህሉ ክመርሕዎ ምዃኖም መምርሒ ንምሃብ ኢዩ ነይሩ። ቅድሚ ኹሉ ብነድሪ ክዛረብ ዝጀመረ ዶርበረኸት ዝተባህለ ቀንዲ ኣገለጋሊ ህግደፍ ዝነበረ’ሞ ብወዲ ገረህቱ ኣብ ዝሓለፈ እዋናት ዝተሰጎ ኮይኑ “መን ኢኻ ንሳኻ ኪኒየው ዲፕሎማሲያዊ ስራሕካ ኣብዚ መጺእኻ መራሕትና ትመርጸልና” ኢሉ ኣይትሓዙኒ ብምባል ክሳብ ክሃርሞ ተወጢጡ ብዓልቲ ቤቱደፊኣ ደፋፊኣ እንተዘይተውጽኦ ጉድ ምኾነ ነይሩ ክብሉ እቶም ዝወዓሉ ጠቒሶም።”
Comment: The Doctor’s open protest against the undemocratic activity (hand-picking Festival Coordinators) of that confused butt-licker was legitimate and timely. Congratulations Doctor and the other Eritreans said to have changed their views in favor of the resistance in that occasion. Continue chasing the useless like they are chasing our people until they drop out of contest.
We went through the civil war between the two fronts where one of them (EPLF) succeeded to violently neutralize the other (ELF) at the bitter end of the scuffle for domination. Although ELF lost the war and EPLF alone at least guided the struggle to success at the end of the day, resentment and grudge continued to exist between some members of the two fronts and few even went as far as denouncing the Eritrean independence under the EPLF from the onset. However the independence induced emotional reaction was experienced by Eritreans individually, most Eritreans were happy and ready to reconcile with each other after independence.
Apparently, I lived through the Eritrean experience during the struggle and after independence thinking that RECONCILLIATION was a priority in Eritrea for the society to move forward closing the contradiction between the ELF and the EPLF that had been going on for decades since the EPLF branched out of its mother (ELF) in the seventies. I even wrote my opinion on the necessity of RECONCILILTION in my book “The Curs of Being and Living It”. The government of Eritrea, however, flatly denied the existence of bad air in our society and totally ignored the most important priority of the time, RECONCILLIATION. It was certainly necessary for us to heal the wounds equally inflicted on our society by the two liberation fronts. The independence created an ample opportunity for reconciliation but the regime blew it away and emotional discharge and dictatorship arrested the people’s zeal to challenge the government on this issue. 22 years after independence, our society continues moving on with the question of RECONCILLIATION untouched.
Was RECONCILLIATION time sensitive?
You step out of your place to do something and you may never make it back home. You go somewhere and accidentally learn something that changes your paradigm for good. “Life is a journey, not a destination”; you see this everyday if you open your mind to other ideas: Check this out:
I recently went to a community bar in DC to accidentally confront a group of people in the opposition camp discussing Eritrean issues in general. They invited me to join and I sat down listening to what they were arguing about. It was then that RECONCILLIATION came to discussion and the older members of the group with different political affiliations (ELF Vs EPLF) intensely got involved in when a young activist took the stage to deliver his opinion. He said that the issue of RECONCILLIATION does not concern the current Eritrean generations produced after independence. He said the issue is strictly a thing of the past that only concerns the older generation of our society and mainly the old members of the two fronts; and that the younger generation has nothing to do with it because it was born into an independent Eritrea. The event (independence) and TIME (22 years of independence) had neutralized the significance of the two fronts through an internationally recognized government. He went on saying that the priority of the youth is to get rid of the dictatorship and erect democracy in Eritrea and not to mediate the contradiction between the two members of the fronts which neither materializes nor exists in the mentality of the youth and even the society at large. In short, he said that the older generation should stay away from injecting its contradiction into the current priorities of the youth which matters the most and better resolve its issues without the involvement of the youth if it wants to.
WOW!! What a radical revelation!!!
To be honest, I as a strong advocate of RECONCILLIATION came to this school of thought for the first time in experience. I was still quietly listening to the gentlemen without a say when the young activist dropped this surprise on us. The older guys appeared shocked and resisted him in favor of their fixation (the need for reconciliation) but it was hard for me to reject the young man’s opinion because it was a derivative of a different ERA’s reality in the history of the Eritrean society.
The question: Has the significance of reconciliation between the two fronts of liberation expired in our society as a function of 22 years procrastination and the new generation’s concrete reality and priority? Is RECONCILLIATION necessary in the current reality of Eritrea where the old ELF and EPLF affiliated individuals are getting old and dying, being replaced by new generations that neither care for nor affected by the issue at large?
The American Civil Rights movement is history to the new black generations who witnessed the election of a black president in America. The contradiction between Martin Luther King’s pacifist approach and that of Malcolm X’s violent method of struggle certainly needed a point of RECONCILLIATION for the civil rights struggle to succeed in the sixties. The difference may still exist among the older Afro-Americans but it is none of the young generation’s concern. Proof: Today’s American reality where racism was damaged by Obama’s election and that some of today’s kids may not even know the history of the two known activists let alone understanding their differences.
Please concentrate on the agenda in sharing your opinions here because it is very important to all of us for the following reasons:
a)      The difference between the two fronts has always been one of the factors that divided our opposition forces throughout and up to this critical moment in history. Remember that some of the opposition leaders are old members of ELF and EPLF.
b)      The old members of the two fronts still want to lead Eritrea after this regime falls with the old grudges intact. They think it is their responsibility to change the political situation of the country because they brought independence.
c)       Is it possible to avoid RECONCILLIATION without nullifying the tendency of the old members of the two fronts to lead the political life of the society?
d)      Does RECONCILLIATION matter to Eritreans anymore?
Enjoy the show

Review overview
  • Kuiper Belt July 18, 2013

    Even though the reconciliation idea is positive by nature, I don’t think that is the main issue at this point of time. Or, putting it in another context, the reconciliation b/n ELF and FPLF is not the timely issue; this was suppose to be done so many years ago, way before independence or right after independence. If reconciliation is going to happen, and if it has to be timely, it is between the government and its victims of now, whom ever they could be. Therefore, it is going to take a big deal of courage to forgive and forget to what is happening because that is what reconciliation literally mean.

    I personally am not ready to forgive and forget and I don’t know how many are like me, and that is my weakness. I believe a mutual reconciliation is the solution for so many problems of Eritrea now, even though as mush as I believe in this type of reconciliation, the flesh that i carry want vengeance at the same time.

    Now to you Mr. Fitsum: Do you believe in reconciliation between the PFDJ and its victims of now or your reconciliation is limited to between ELF and EPLF. I ask this because if you really believe in reconciliation, I believe you would not fall into double standard.

    • Genet July 22, 2013

      How do you do reconciliation while you are being killed? Reconciliation is a process that start after killing or ill treatemtn of others stoped. How does any one expect RECONCILIATION BETWEEN ERITREAN PEOPLE AND THE PFDJ LEADERS, WHILE PFDJ LEADERS ARE KILLING THE ERITREAN PEOPLE?
      I Just asking? I am sure Fitsum will have a response.

  • Genet July 19, 2013

    Hi Fetsum
    Reconciliation is most of time relevant and useful in any given context. Helps to bring civility to a society. It helps for us to be fair to one another. I disagree with the views of that we don’t care about the reconciliation between ELF and EPLF/PFDJ. No matter how old/young we are, as Eritreans, we are the product of ELF and EPLF/PFDJ members. To say we are young generation, so reconciliation is not useful to us is just wrong. Any body who is born after our independent is the offspring of ELF and EPLF/PFDJ members. Why does any body thinks that reconciliation between his/her parents is not relevant?

    There is also some problem with communication. For example, some Eritreans say, “Eritrean youngster said this or that” When we say “Youngster” who are we talking about exactly? In English, in its ordinary use, it means child. If there is a young adult (person age between 20 to 40) saying reconciliation is not relevant, then we have a problem. If a youngster(person age between age 13 to 19), then we have to do some education. Unless we want to be unfair to one anther, reconciliation is very much relevant and it is a crucial conversation.

  • Kalighe July 20, 2013

    For reconciliation to be a healing process and an effective way to come to terms with past, the generation that went through the ‘gedli’ experience, should be encouraged to look critically at their past, lead the reconciliation process jointly with the young, and pass the positive lessons learned in our recent history to the young, so that they can build on it.
    Building on positive experience of past generations is a good way to start nation building.
    History is always present even when a generation that has produced it is already gone.
    How many of those who were into politics in early fifties are still alive, very few I suppose, but the effect of their decisions is still felt now. There is no way the young generation can start a new Eritrean era from zero, practically that will not be possible, instead people should be encouraged to discuss about reconciliation process and take practical steps to that effect.

  • Salem October 31, 2013

    I strongly agree reconciliation and reconciliatory measures should be given priority. That’s the only way we can kill ANINET, TIMKIHTI, MIFILILAY that are controlling our peoples’ minds. We have to be aware that these are the most dangerous poisons deliberately planted and nurtured in to our people heart by the bloody regime. These are one of the many ways of divide and rule all the dictators use to subjugate the mass. Dear Brothers and sisters reconciliation is civilized way of solving problems. Lets talk more about this please.