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WHO IS LETTING ERITREA DOWN? Ezana Sehay 03/05/ 2014 Eritrea is at a critical juncture.  It is facing a fundamental threat:  its unity is under assault, social norms are deteriorating, and the economy is in an extreme


Ezana Sehay 03/05/ 2014

Eritrea is at a critical juncture.  It is facing a fundamental threat:  its unity is under assault, social norms are deteriorating, and the economy is in an extreme derailment. All these as the consequence of Isayas’s pitiful iniquitous 23 year rule that is blighting the nation, capsized the people’s aspiration for democracy and caused mass exodus that rivals that of the Derg era.

The question on every one’s mind is; is there a way out of this maelstrom situation? The answer is a qualified yes.

Truth be told, Eritrea has everything it needs to overcome the current existential quandary or fend off the consequential demise of the PFDJ regime, with one giant exception; a lynch pin. An effective and visionary leadership is the missing link of the Eritrean politics.  Such leadership has been the chimera goal of Eritreans and still remains to be as such.

We all know Eritrea is walking on a thorny rope and that people are stuck with a polarizing government and an opposition eco-system that is dysfunctional. At this stage, both lack the credential to garner the people’s trust. Because the politics of both are not working and won’t work or May I say don’t commensurate with democratization and pluralism.

I have confidence given the opportunity; the people of Eritrea are capable of making the right decisions. I know their culture of enterprise is still strong, most of them still have the values and characteristics that helped them achieve independence and overcome two decades of PFDJ brutality. I know despite the daunting challenges their spirit is adamantine.  All they need is a leadership that can sublimate their impulses and give them guidance.

Wherefore, Eritreans are asking where are those intellectuals who are supposed to be vying for remedies to mitigate the country’s quagmire and avoid the specter of national disaster. Where are those?

Policy makers; who can build functional institutional structures, lay the ground for one coherent objective: a democratic nation building.                                                                                   Social analysts; who can help unleash the creative potential of the people.                             Critical thinkers:  who can form political and civic societies which in turn would facilitate a new paradigm: sin qua non for pluralism.

In other words why are so many Eritrean intellectuals outside the loop of Eritrean politics or are so poorly equipped or disinterested in playing a positive role?  Hence, the most important challenge for Eritreans is to figure out how to court these reluctant compatriot scholars and develop the kind of leadership the Eritrean political landscape lacks.

And that is disconcerting. Because the gravity of the problems the people are facing added to the absence of a genuine leadership is already beginning to have its toll. There are signs, the collective national identity and cohesiveness is eroding.

Not because of the sins of pride, religious, or ethnicity, rather, because of the failure of the Eritrean leadership at both end of the political spectrum, to offer perspectives that properly addresses the current political and social reality.

And certainly is not the “blatant external meddling”. Eritreans know, this is a narrative perpetuated by the regime as an excuse to cop out of its national responsibilities.

No, the greatest threat to Eritrean national unity – besides the obvious (ISAYAS) – is the ineptness of the people who are tacit or should’ve been natural leaders of the Eritrean transformation: the Eritrean intellectuals and professionals, Sons and daughters of Eritrea who seem to have lost track of the important national imperatives.

Not all of them, I hasten to say, there are great scholars and some daring thinkers, who keep on inspiring and playing an indispensable role in the rough-and-tumble of Eritrean politics.

I am talking about those scholars, who have become cauterized about Eritrea’s plight. Higher learning in the Eritrean Diaspora esp. in the West has mushroomed. But despite the cornucopias of scholars, hither to, an inordinate of them are in inertia. Some demonstrate vapid concern, but most are indifferent or may I say sufficiently disinterested about what goes on in Eritrea or its future.

As for those intellectuals active in politics; their loyalty is apportioned between the government and the opposition. The sad reality is though, that so many of Eritrea’s best educated, best placed people are too invested on old politics and primordial values to genuinely help the country transition to the next level.

Take for example the regime affiliated intellectuals: instead of guiding and advising the regime to act on the interest of people, they have opted to serve as its spin doctors. And by in large, buttress divisive narratives … loyalty vs. betrayal, authority vs. subversion, and pull the government away from the middle all the way to the extreme.

Instead of opportunities for change they see threats; instead of hope they see danger; instead of healing a broken nation they inflame gaping wounds; and instead of focusing on the possibilities of progress they duel on revision and the undoing of everything that is true and worthy to stand.

The intellectuals on the other side of the isle (opposition) are hard to bunch in to one category. Some are consistently reflecting the peoples’ aspirations as well as their angst.  Yet, there are those, who from to time devote their considerable talent, time, and energy to petty squabbles, trivial chatter and sectarian or partisan pontification that relives the ugly past rather than to transcend it.

Another invidious feature of such intellectuals is vivid in the proliferation of Eritrean political or civic groups, ostensibly opposition. If political or civic groups are tradable commodity, Eritrea will be the richest country in the world.

Eritreans, rightfully so, are suspicious of such mass incubation of groups. And sometimes question the sincerity of those who are keen on fabricating parties in lieu of joining those already in the field. In addition, the parties or groups that have emerged recently seem to follow a pattern, a pattern that looks unscrupulous.

Some are formed as a parallel group and to perpetuate schism.  Some pop up at a particular time, usually to divert attention away from an opposition group that’s gaining momentum. Some are formed for the sole purpose of creating a chasm with another group. All these groups initially conjure up some cursory ideas but cope out fast.

If the leaders of all these groups or parties are for democracy and pluralism I am sure there is one group among the well established that would satisfy most of their political ideals. All they have to look is for mutually advantageous grounds. They should know, such proliferation is counterintuitive and is becoming an albatross to the opposition’s success.

On the other hand, may be that is their goal, May be they are the cats Isayas sent to roam among the pigeons. May be their mission is to throw a monkey wrench at any one or group that seems to pose a serious challenge to the regime. I mean it is plausible. If you see the trade mark of these humbugs: one day they raise the bar, but they limbo under it the next day.

Evidently, Eritrean elites are still haunted by some back ward sentiments. Perhaps due to embedded mediocrity or general tendency and inclination to express parochial loyalties that favor regional or religious predispositions, Eritrean political leaders remain ravaged by baseless arguments and ad-hominem attacks.

There lies the problem; rather than face the stark reality of existential national predicament, and address the socio-economic break down of the nation, their discourse tends to be dominated by partisan, regional or religious grievances and victim hood, beneath which begat an inter-group animosity.

This entails the rather disturbing realization that Eritreans are more prone to day (more than any other time), to relinquishing their own sense of identity.

We know the country doesn’t have the right leadership running it. Unless things change, and change fast, it is hard to say for sure, what kind of leadership or system it will have in the future and survive in the long haul.

Eritrean politics, for too long, has been dominated by unpleasant and destructive discourse, mixing self-pity and arrogance in equal terms. Consequently, each of Eritrea’s failures has a pre-fabricated excuse, each of its successes generate significant controversy.

This will continue unless the political and civic leaders expand their outreach, wholly absorb the reality on the ground and fully respect the lines of division drown between them according to their sphere of influence, profoundly believe in democracy as an idea, and prepare to work with the others not against the others.

This problem will continue unless the educated class tries to rectify its shortcomings, misjudgments, and failures concerning the country’s current socio-economic and political dispensation.

It is worth noting, that there is always going to be differences in political interests or ideals. Moreover, politics is not about unanimity, at best, politics is about consensus. So in the name of democracy and pluralism the stake holders should look for ideological similitude.

More often than not, a party’s (group) political interest or goal and the national interest are mutually exclusive. In such circumstances it is acknowledged; the former should be the handmaiden of the later.

It is time for the Eritrean scholar and leaders carpe diem. It is time for the intellectuals give a little to the country and people who gave them a lot. It is time for all the political and civic leaders engage sensibly and open an earnest political discussion in the spirit of collaboration and reciprocal altruism.

Review overview
  • Tesfu Kbrom March 6, 2014

    Araya Debas has become the mothpiece of PFDJ, Dr. Asefaw Tekeste and Petros Tesfaghiorghis are beating the drum of Medrek With Andebrhan and Abdella Adem, Meriem is a Secret sympathizer of PFDJ, Dr. is dead. I do not know about the others. As for Keleta Kidane or whatever his rubbish name, he is a charlatan. Just forget him. He tries to creat division among Our People and is an agent of Meskerem.

  • Nati March 6, 2014

    Your article is an excellent one and you hit the cord.
    The lock of participation of the intellects is elongating the Eritrean problem and the Eritrean people are suffering longer than they should. Most of the intellects are too busy minding their personal business but I hope that they will wake up and play a leading role in taking the Eritreans out of the enemy’s bondage, PFDJ.

  • ተወልደመድህን March 6, 2014

    Maj. General Gebregziabher Andemariam (Wuchu), Chief of Staff of Eritrean Armed Forces passes away
    Asmara, 06 March 2014 – The Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Armed Forces, Maj. General Gebregziabher Andemariam (Wuchu), passed away today at the age of 64. The veteran fighter has been under medical treatment inside the country and abroad.

    The late Maj. General Gebregziabher joined the Liberation Forces in 1971 and served in various capacities ranging from a rank-and-file member to Front Commander, and demonstrated heroic feats in challenging military engagements requiring exemplary bravery and sense of steadfastness. The departed heroic fighter indeed served his people and nation with remarkable spirit of dedication.

    The late veteran fighter is married and father of 8.

    The funeral ceremony of Maj. General Gebregziabher Andemariam (Wuchu) would be conducted on Saturday (March 8) at Asmara Patriots Cemetery at 10 AM.


    Quoting WIC…”Ethiopia Tourism generates over 1.38 bln USD in six months

    · Addis Ababa, 28 February 2014 (WIC)- Over 1.38 billion US dollars revenue was obtained from tourism in the first half of this Ethiopian budget year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism…..” END OF QUOTATION

    Big Deal , We Eritreans are always touring different countries ….to Sudan ,Djibouti ,Kenya ,Uganda,Israel….even to SHIMELBA RESORT CAMP in Tigray Ethiopia (unless it became Eritrea after the demarcation)…..
    Source: President Isaias Afeworqi

  • ogba March 7, 2014

    Hi brother Ezana! Thank you for your contribution as always.Our intelectual Eritreans most of them they are not better than the ordinary people.The are opportunists and thats why they are serving to themselves instead looking for the common goal of their country. As you said it our society needs a muture guide line to be guided with to transform the Nation with clear vision based in the conistitution. The leadership now,in power weren’t honest from day one. Eventhough, the demand for independece of our country was Sky high, But there wasn’t check and balancing in the leadership level. It was a free ride to the dictator to control evrything as he wishes. Therefore. the damage is done long time ago. Now,It is easy to blame the opposition with no base inside its own country. But, out side of the country with daily close commonication with its people. This is well planned by the dictatorial system. As we all know Then in this way what kind of connection do we have with people I would say Zero. Poor people only one lying voice of Detzi Hafash. We like it or n’t it is hard to creat a good relationship with out a good ground with our peopleinside the country. Ther were so many attempt had been made since then. But for no avail because of the strong structure of security apparatis mostly set for delivering power for the dictator. The dictator has many scaring tactics with people inside the country it is a choice of life and death. That said you obey me you live, if you don’t you die kind. Even on the diassopra the same tactics like if you want to invest or build house or to enjoy you vacation in side your country that you should obey me in’t you aren’t Eritrean kind. He use a lot of tactics to keep seprate the opposition from the mass. For example, if the base is in Sudan the name is Mujahiden if they move to Ethiopia the name is Weyane in the Menu and ect… This is the other things confused our people to join the opposition. However, for some times the big lies look like there is truth on it,but not for that long our people start realizing at last. We are waking up we have one goal to reach and that is a country with a RULE of LAW and Justice and Democracy. Then we will live with peace among ourselves and with our neighbores and the world. I for one I am ready to pay any price to save my country from crampling down with Isaias and his cronies. I have a vision this will pass too. God bless and Thank you for the opporyunity.

  • BUKRIZION ABEL March 9, 2014


  • BUKRIZION ABEL March 9, 2014