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Why reinvent the wheel? A response to the Urgent Call to All Eritreans Worldwide

Why reinvent the wheel? A response to the Urgent Call to All Eritreans Worldwide Recently, we had an opportunity to read a press release posted on Assenna by a taskforce that has been set up to facilitate

Why reinvent the wheel?

A response to the Urgent Call to All Eritreans Worldwide

Recently, we had an opportunity to read a press release posted on Assenna by a taskforce that has been set up to facilitate the formation of a global leadership. Under the title, “Urgent Call to All Eritreans Worldwide”, the press release calls for Eritreans to join the grassroots movement to elect a global leadership whose goal is to represent Eritreans in the Diaspora. It acknowledges the existence of a grassroots movement in many areas of the world and identifies the absence of a global leadership as the main problem of the Eritrean opposition.  In follow up interviews on Assenna and other venues, members of the taskforce discussed their plan to facilitate the formation of a global leadership by conducting public meetings and elections at city, region and global levels.

Before we share our position regarding the contents of the press release, we would like to take a moment to thank members of the taskforce for their interest in the grassroots movement. Moreover, we would also like to express our appreciation for their commitment and dedication to the struggle for democratic change in Eritrea. Therefore, it is with utmost respect that we offer our candid feedback regarding the press release and the interviews, and we sincerely hope that our message will be received in the same spirit.

Do we need a global leadership?            `


The answer to this question is a resounding YES! However, we need to be abundantly clear, as to what kind of global leadership we are talking about here.  As a grassroots movement, we totally agree that we need a democratically elected global leadership that will coordinate and guide the activities of our grassroots movement.  However, as some members of the taskforce seem to hint, we do not support any attempt to form a global leadership that attempts to marginalize the role of the existing Eritrean political organizations.  As we have unequivocally stated in numerous occasions in the past, our grassroots movement has no plans or ambitions to compete for political power after the demise of the tyrannical regime in Eritrea. We are a civil society and will continue to play our historic role as a civil society in the new and democratic Eritrea in order to safeguard our hard fought civil liberties.  In spite of their shortcomings, we strongly believe that our political organizations have a very important role to play in the fight for democratic change in Eritrea.  Therefore, we would like to call upon all Eritrean political organizations to support our grassroots movement and to encourage their members to join hands with us for the common cause.

As mentioned above, our grassroots movement firmly believes in the need to form a united democratic movement and a global leadership.  The good news is that members of the grassroots movement in North America are already working diligently to make this happen! Deleyti Fithi in various cities are working hard to organize their people and to lay the groundwork for the formation of a united democratic movement and a global leadership, as it will require more than just conducting public meetings and running elections.  Once the ground work is completed and a solid foundation is laid at the local level by establishing Bayto Adi in our respective cities, we will convene at a regional level to ratify our charter and to elect a regional leadership (Shimagle Zoba).  By collaborating with Deleyti Fithi in other continents, we will finally be able to elect a global leadership (Ahgurawi Shimagle) that will enjoy a clear mandate and legitimacy to lead our movement worldwide. Since there are mechanisms, procedures, and organizational structures put in place to facilitate the formation of a global leadership, we like to ask members of the taskforce a simple question – why attempt to reinvent the wheel?

We regret to point out that the initiative taken by the taskforce will only result in unnecessary redundancy and inefficiency in our operations and in the deployment of our human resources, and sadly but inevitably, in the fragmentation of the grassroots movement. We are very concerned that the initiative taken by the taskforce has the potential of weakening and fragmenting the grassroots movement by creating confusion and doubt amongst members of the grassroots movement. We strongly urge members of the taskforce to weigh the potential consequences of their actions and to reconsider their approach. We all know the pitfalls of having a fragmented political opposition camp. So, we call upon members of the taskforce to respect and embrace the work that is being done by Deleyti Fithi in many corners of the world and spare our people from having to go down the same road of political fragmentation, despair and apathy again.

In the press release and the Assenna interview, members of the taskforce have gone to great length to share with us their allegiance to the bottom-up approach.  When explaining what brought them together, members of the taskforce state that it is their conviction that the bottom-up grassroots movement would be the most expedient, all-inclusive and democratic way that can end our country’s problems. In an attempt to preemptively address questions that will naturally arise as a result of their initiative, members of the taskforce did not leave any stone unturned to assure us that their initiative is meant to strengthen and support the existing grassroots movement. But if they truly believe in the bottom-up approach, we would like to respectfully ask why they think it would be appropriate to disregard the mandate of a coordinating committee that has been democratically elected to lead our grassroots movement. How can anyone claim allegiance to the bottom-up approach, while attempting to sidestep a democratically elected coordinating committee by parachuting down a self-appointed taskforce from the top.  It is very insulting to many of the Deleyti Fithi, who believe in the bottom-up approach not just as a slogan but as a strategy and as a way forward towards the formation of a united democratic movement.

We are fully aware that the journey the grassroots movement has embarked on is not an easy one. We recognize that it is challenging, frustrating at times, and requires a lot of hard work, commitment and discipline. However, it is the only way that we can reasonably expect to guarantee the best chance of forming a united democratic movement and a democratic global leadership that will be accountable, transparent and that will have a clear mandate from all Eritreans in the Diaspora. We like to caution members of the taskforce not to try to cut corners in their haste to form a global leadership by skirting the pre-requisite steps needed to build a strong foundation and a true grassroots movement. It is very important to keep in mind that our movement is firmly grounded on the bottom-up approach and will not support any attempt to thwart this fundamental belief in a rush to form a global leadership before building a strong foundation at the local level.

As members of the taskforce intend to do, conducting public meetings and running elections will definitely be an important step in the process of the formation of a global leadership.  However, it may be worth noting here to reflect on how members of the civil society, who were supposed to hold 60% of the seats at the National Congress (Hagerawi Bayto) were dealt a bad hand and relegated to total irrelevance at the national conference. It certainly was not because elections were not held at the local level. On the contrary, Eritreans from different parts of the world participated in the election process and did have an opportunity to elect their representatives. Some of them even went on to be elected as members of the Hagerawi Bayto. However, as was demonstrated by this historical event, holding public meetings and running elections in the absence of a strong organization at the local level will not necessarily guarantee a democratic global leadership.

Unless each of us does our homework to mobilize our people at the local level to create a solid foundation, it will be extremely difficult to organize a united democratic movement and form a global leadership.  In order to convene regional and global conferences and elect regional and global leaders as soon as possible, we call upon members of the taskforce to help us strengthen the grassroots movement by organizing their communities at the local level. As Americans say, let’s not forget that all politics is local! We encourage members of the taskforce to organize their local communities, establish Bayto Adi in their respective cities and submit their representatives to the North America grassroots movement network. We would also welcome their engagement in our grassroots movement in any capacity they deem appropriate to share their talents and expertise.

In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to call upon all Deleyti Fithi in the Diaspora to join hands with us in the fight for democracy, justice and rule of law. As a non-partisan all-inclusive movement, we welcome anyone who believes in the common cause regardless of their political, civic or other affiliations. We encourage all Deleyti Fithi to be involved in the mobilization of their local communities and in the establishment of Bayto Adi in their respective cities. The Bayto Adi, which is the basic building block of our grassroots movement, is an essential element of our bottom-up approach. Therefore, please help us in establishing a Bayto Adi in your local communities, so we can join hands to form a united democratic movement and a global leadership.

God Bless Eritrea!

People’s Movement for National Salvation

Charlotte, North Carolina

Review overview
  • abbysinia May 18, 2016

    Guys,do not be confused by so many announcements from different parties.It looks gambling with the political debacle of the country. Stick to the Global leadership initiative.

  • i support the idiya

  • g michael May 18, 2016

    Where is this ‘democratically elected’ task force? Solomon above did you express your advice and views to the public? Nobody was heard making a point about ‘not reinventing the wheel’. No press release from the task force mandated. These two organizations need to communicate in a constructive manner so those deleyti fthi who believe on the noble cause of ‘bottom up’ approach remain united. It has been quite a while since this idea has been floating in the press from various quarters, and yet no news on the activities, progress, time line of this ‘task force’ makes the rest of us feel very frustrated. It is important to remember, that the process ‘ the right approach’ does not become an end itself and not a means for achieving a change. In the predicament we are in, if the sense of urgency is not taken seriously, we may loose Eritrea all together if we haven’t yet. In the meantime, the article comes with unnecessary negative connotations and with vague authenticity as to who are the authors. Do the authors represent the task force? where is this alliance of communities across the North American Region?

  • Ogbai Ghebre-Medhin May 18, 2016

    ዝኸበርኩም ህዝባዊ ምንቅስቓስ ንሃገራዊ ድሕነት፡-
    ናብ “ዓለምለኻዊ ተበግሶ ኤርትራውያን ንምድንፋዕ ህዝባዊ ምንቅስቓስ/GIEEGM“ ዘተኰረ – “ንምንታይ ዳግመ ምምሃዝ መንኰርኰር“ ዝብል ዓንቀጽኩም ብህድኣት ነቢበዮ፣ ኣብ ትሕዝቶ መጸዋዕታኦም ተቓውሞ ኣይነበብኩሉን። መልእኽቲ ናይቲ ዳግመ ምፍጣር መንኰርኰር ዝበልኩሞ ግን ስለምንታይ ንሕና ቅድሜኹም ከለና ዘይትስዕቡና ዝብል ዘሎ እመስለኒ። ብዛዕባ “ዳግመ ምምሃዝ መንኰርኰር“ እንተ ዄንኩም፡ ሓደ ፋሺስታዊ ውልቀ መላኺ ሃገርን ህዝብን እናኣጥፈአ፡ ኣብዚ ዝሓለፈ 15 ዓመታት ኣብ ደምበ ተቓውሞ እንታይ ዲና ክንዕዘ ጸኒሕና? እቲ ደሞክራሲ ዝብል መጸውዒ እናተጠቐማ ናብ 30ታት 40ታት ከም ቃንጥሻ ዓሶ ኪባዛሓን ኪፋናጨላን ዝጸንሓ ውድባት እንታይ ዲዩ ዝሕብር? ነዚ ፋሺስታዊ ውልቀምልኪ ንምእላይ ንህዝቢ ናብ ደገፍተን ዝመቓቕላ ንምንታይ 40 ውድባት ኣድለያ? እዚ ብኣብ ሰማይ ዘሎ ደመና ስልጣን ምንፍፋግ ዘስዓቦ ምፍንጫላት ፋሺስታዊ ውልቀምልኪ ዕምሩ ከናውሕ ጥጡሕ ባይታዶ ከይኮነ ፈጢሩሉ ዘሎ? መንኰርኰር ተቓውሞስ ዳግመ ምምሓዙ ሓሊፉ ተሪፉዎ`ዩ፣ እሞ ን GIEEGM ቅድሜኹም እኮ ንሕና ኣለና ትብሉ ስለ ዘለኹም ካብ ዳግመ ምፍጣር መኰርኰር ድኣ ከመይ ኢልኩም ሓራ ትኾኑ? መፍትሒ ተሳኢኑሎ ዘሎ ምፍንጫላት እቲ ዝዓበየ መርገም ህዝቢ ኤርትራዶ ከይኮነ?
    ከም ዝተረዳእኩዎ፡ GIEEGM ውህደት ኪርከብ በብዘለናዮ ከባቢ ተወዲብናን ዘቲናን ሰሚርና ንቃለስ፡ ብህዝቢ ዝመረጾም መራሕቲ ኣድማዒ ቃልሲ ንግበር ዝብሉ ዘለዉ እመስለኒ፤ እዚ እንታይ ኣበር ርኢኹሙሉ። ጌጋ ድኣ ይኽልኣለይ እምበር፡ እዛ መጸውዒትኩም ካብ ዝሰምዓ ገለ 3 ዓመታት ዝሓለፈ እመስለኒ፣ ግን ዕላማኹምን ቅኑዕ ኣገባብ ቃልሲ እትብሉዎ ዝሓዘ መጸዋዕታኹም ገና ኣይነበብኩን። ስለዚ GIEEGM ነቲ ዘቕረቡዎ ደገፍ ብዙሕ ህዝቢ ረኺቡ ዘሎ መጸዋዕታ ከተቕርቡ ዝኣክል ጊዜ ተጸቢዮሙኹም ኪበሃል ኣይከኣልንዶ? ካብቲ ዝተበገስኩሙሉ ክሳብ ሕጂ ኣብ መንጎ ህዝብታት ዘሳላጥኩሞ እንታይ ኣሎ? ምናልባት ሃገራዊ ቅዋም ክትነድፉ ጊዜ ወሲድኩም እንተ ዄንኩም ስልጣንኩም ኣይኮነን። ካብኡ ተረፈ GIEEGM ሓቢርና ንስራሕ እንተ በሉስ ብዳግመ ምህዞ መንኰርኰር ኪውቀሱ ቅኑዕዶ ኣይመስለንን። እዝስ “ሓጋዚኣ እንተ ረኣየት መዲድ ትሓብእ“ ኢዩ ዝመስል።
    ኣብ መንጎ ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ወጻኢ ሳዕሪሩ ዘሎ ምፍንጫላት ነቲ ምሉእ ክፋል ብርጭቆ ኣብ ክንዲ ምርኣይ ናብቲ ጐደሎ ክፋላ ነድህብ ምህላውና ኣሉታውነት የጥቅዓና ከም ዘሎ ኢዩ ዝሕብር፣ እዚ ኸኣ ርእሰ መርገምና ኢዩ፤ ባዕዲ ዘምጽኣልና ኣይኮነን። ሃገር ትዓኑ፡ መንእሰያታ ይጠፍኡ ምህላዎም ብሓይሊ ውልቀመላኺ ዘይኮነ፡ ብሰሪ ምፍንጫልን ትም ምባል ህዝብን ኢዩ። ስለዚ ይኣክል ምፍልላይ! ምፍልላይን ኲናትን ሳዕቤኑ ተሞኲርናዮ ኣለና፣ ኣብ ትሕቲ ብርሃን ሓርነት ፍትሒ ነጊሱ፡ ሰላምን ራህዋን ከነስተማቕር ስምረት ንግበር

  • Zerai seyoum May 18, 2016

    Claimants to the initiative of forming a “Grass roots movement” are growing from time to time in leaps and bounds. It’s now time for them to have a convention to discuss and elect a body to lead them.

  • Tellit Asis May 19, 2016

    When you said “give the existing grassroots movements a role in the whole project”, you sound like you are asking them to give them some power. If the Global Initiative does that, they will miss the whole principle of grassroots movement. Correct me if I am wrong, but I heard them saying that they are not starting over from scratch or disregarding any existing grassroots movements. They actually made it clear that they want to empower what is existing and form what is not there. Guys, please stop thinking about who gets a position and who doesn’t. Let that power be held by the public

  • Douche Bag May 19, 2016

    ጎርዞ ጓልስ ከግፍ*ልኪ እምበር ከጽብበልኪ ዝብላ ዘይብላ
    ንሂወትና ድማ_____ ክገዝኣ እምበር ዘድሕና ዝሓልየላ
    ስኢና ዝተማህረን ዘይተማህረን______ ኩሉ ዝጨርቀላ
    በጊዕ ዘይተገዝኤት ስ________ ብመእሰሪኣ ዝካትዓላ
    በዚሑ ኤረና_______________ ሎምስ እንድዕላ
    ከምዋዛ ባባ ኢሳያስ_______ ናብ ኢትዮጵያ ክጽምብራ
    ምዃኑ ተራእዩኒ ብኾቦሮ ኣቢናስ ብሕምብጢጥ ክንቅበላ !!!

  • Zewoldi May 20, 2016

    Dear Solomon,
    Seems you do not have sufficient background, before you post that article: Firstly, Global initiative created as a result of meeting on 26-Feb-2016, between Ngabea, Hizibawi Ma’ebel and Prof Araya in his own capacity; that time Ngabea presented their proposal and also prof Araya; but Hizibawi indicated will come with their own proposal for the way forward, then in the next meeting Hizibawi Ma’ebel absent;
    Secondly; once the idea and discussion was matured, out voice leadership from UK was invited and jointed without any reservation; then all leadership was contacted through email and phone; the response to wait patiently; surprising instead of sitting for discussion get better modality how to work you come to public to create more confusion.
    Thirdly Global initiative as it names implying is temporary to create global leadership, as a result the members are all over the world, and also calling public to join hand; so far receiving all of support. Therefore, for you being confide in USA in few cities with few members, you should have take this as an opportunity to increase your moment; Global Initiative with his number of expert is an asset to you to make your life and plan execution more effective; rather than inefficient. Remember GI is not advocating fumigation, rather more synergy and coordination of action plan.

  • Zewoldi May 20, 2016


    Please Solomon as part of People’s Movement for National Salvation, still it is not late to contact GI it is highly advisable to re-think your strategy and create coordintion and engery, Global initiative has open poicy to accomedate any body to work from bottom to top; for example, you donot need to change your name to GI, you keep your beatiful name and mobilise public along GI; let make to happen the dream reality, therefore drop email o “gieegm” , gladly GI will listen to your concern. Remember GI will make yor wheel much better; stronger and advanced wheel

  • tekle May 20, 2016

    let the civic society flourish and replace the existing poletical organizations in the diaspora