ናይ ደቂ መታሕት ኣብ ትሕቲ ዝብል ስያሜ ኣብ ለንደን ዝተገብረ ሰሚናር ብዝምልከት ኣብ ዓባይ ብሪጣንያ ብዝነብሩን ኣብ ዓውደ ፖሊቲካን ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን ዝነጥፉን ዝወጸ ጋዜጣዊ መግለጺ
ናይ ደቂ መታሕት ኣብ ትሕቲ ዝብል ስያሜ ኣብ ለንደን ዝተገብረ ሰሚናር ብዝምልከት ኣብ ዓባይ ብሪጣንያ ብዝነብሩን ኣብ ዓውደ ፖሊቲካን ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን ዝነጥፉን ዝወጸ ጋዜጣዊ መግለጺ
ብዕለት 29 መጋቢት 2014 ብስም ደቂ መታሕት ኣብ ከተማ ለንደን ሰሚናር ከምዝተኻየደ ዝዝከር እዩ። ኣብኡ ከኣ ናይቲ ሰሚናር ስያሜ ዝሓዘለ ሰነድ ከምዝተአወጀ ብስም ደቂ እቲ ከባቢ ኸኣ ሓደ ማሕበር ወይ ምትእስሳር ከምዝቖመን ተነጊሩ። ኝሕና ኸኣ፡ ኣብቲ ዝተባህለ ሰሚናር ዝተኻየደሉ ሃገር፡ ማለት ኣብ ዓባይ ብሪጣንያ እንነብር ስለዝኾናን፡ ስቕታና ኸኣ ከም ኣካል ናቱ ወይ ድማ ከምደገፍቲ ናይ ዕላምኡ ምእንቲ ከይትርጎም፡ ኣብ ልዕሊቲ ዝተጠቐሰ ፍጻሜ ዘለና ርእይቶ ምስፋር ግቡእና እዩ ኢልና ንኣምን።
ንሕና፡ ኣብ ዓውደ ፖለቲካን ጉዳይ ሰብኣዊ መሰላትን እንነጥፍን ኣብ ዓባይ ብሪጣንያ ኸኣ እንነብርን ኢና። ሕድሪ ናይቶም ኣብቲ ህዝብና ንም እንቲ ሓርነትን ደሞክራስን ማዕርነትን ኣብ ዘካየዶ ቃልሲ ብመስዋእቲ ዝሓለፉ ሰማእታትና ንምኽባር ካብ ዝስማዓና ሓላፍነትን፣ ነቶም ንሃገርና ከም ሃገር ምእንቲ ክትቆውም መሰረት ዘንበሩን ምእንቲ ነጻነታ ኸኣ ከቢድ መስዋእቲ ዝኸፈሉን ቀዳሞት ወለዶታትናን፡ ንሶም ብዝገደፉልና ታሪኽን ናይ ቃልሲ ውርሻን ከኣ ስለ እንኾርዕ፡ ቅሳነት ናይ ሃገርናን ሓድነት ናይ ህዝብናን ከኣ ስለዘገድሰና፡ ልዕሊ ኹሉ ከኣ ህዝብና ንምልኪ ስዒሩ ኣብ ሃገርና ፍትሕን ማዕርነትን ዝሰፈኖ፡ ግፍዒ ኸኣ ወጊድ ዝብል ስራዓት ከቅውም ብቕዓት ከምዘለዎ ጽኑዕ እምነት ስለዘለና፡ ብዛዕባ’ቲ ዝተባህለ ሰሚናርን ኣብኡ ዝተኣውጁ ዘለና ርእይቶ ከምዚ ዝስዕብ ጌርና ንገልጽ።
1. እቶም ናይ “ደቂ መታሕት” ዝብል ሰሚናር ዘዳለዉ ሰባት፡ ብዘይ ወላሓደ ውክልና ናይቲ ብስሙ ዝካየድ ህዝቢ መታሕት፡ እንተላይ እቶም ሰሚናሮም ዝተካየደሉ ሃገር ዝቕመጡ፡ ብዛዕባ’ቲ ሰሚናርን ኣብኡ ዝቐረበ ወረቐትን ምስቶም ብርእይቶ ዝሰማምዕዎም ሰባት ጥራይ ክዘራረቡን ምድላዋቶም ከካይዱን ምምራጾም፡ ነቲ ንነብሶም ዝሃብዎ ውክልና ናይ መታሕት ቅንዕና ዝገዶሎ ምዃኑ ይሕብር። ንዝመስረትዎ ማሕበር ናይ መታሕት ዝብል ስም ምሃቦም ከኣ፡ ውክልና ዝሃቦም ዘየለ ክነሱ፡ ንነብሶም ከም ወከልቲ ናይ መታሕት ንምቕራብ ካብ ምህቃን ሓሊፉ ካልእ ትርጉም ክወሃቦ ኣይክእልን እዩ።
2. ምክያድ ናይዚ ሰሚናር እዚ፡ ከምኡውን እቲ ኣብኡ ዝተአወጀ ሰነድን፡ ካብቲ ንምእንቲ መሰላት ህዝቢ መታሕትን ካልኦት ክፋላት ናይ ህዝቢ ኤርትራን ዝካየድ ሓቀኛ ቃልሲ ምህዳም እዩ ኢልና ንኣምን። ፍትሒ ኣብ ኤርትራ ኸኣ፡ ምልኪ ብምስዓርን፡ ኣብ ቦትኡ ኸኣ ኣብ ክሊ ቅዋማዊ ምሕደራን ልዕልና ሕግን ናይ ኩሎም ዜጋታት ማዕርነት ዘረጋግጽ ስራዓት ንምቛም ሓባራዊ ቃልሲ ብምክያድ ጥራይ እዩ ዝረጋገጽ ኢልና ኢና ንኣምን። ሽዑኡ ኸኣ እዮም ክሎም እቶም ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ግፍዕታት ዝፈጸሙ ኣብ ፍትሓዊ ቤት ፍርዲ ዝቐርቡን እቶም ግዳያት ግፍዒ ከኣ ካሕሳ ዝረኽቡን።
3. ደቂ መታሕት ከኣ ንምእንቲ መሰላቶምን መሰላት ኩሉ ህዝቢ ኤሪትራ ምስ ኩሎም ደቂ ሃገር ብሓባርን ንሓያሎ ዓመታትን፡ ኣብ ክሊ ከቢድ ወጋ ዝኸፈላ ፖለቲካውያን ውድባትን በርጌሳያን ማሕበራትን ክቃልሱ ጸኒሖምን ኣለዉን።
4. ከምዚ ዘኣመሰለ ተርእዮታት፡ ንሓድነት ናይ ክፍላት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ክፈታተን ስለ ዝኽእልን፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ ሓይልታት ተቓውሞ ኸኣ ኣብ ክንዲ ሓድነት፡ ናይ ዘይምትእምማን መንፈስ ስለዘዕሙቕ፡ ኣሉታውነቱ ምንጻር ሃገራዊ ግቡእና ዝጠልቦ ምዃኑ ንኣምን። ሓይልታት ተቓውሞ ኸኣ ካብ ሓላፍነተን ገዲፈን ኣብ ጓል ነገር ከየድህባን፡ ኣብ ክሊ መሰረታዊ ለውጢ ዘውሕስን ዲሞክራስያዊ ስርዓት ንምትካል ዘኽእልን መደብ ሓቢረን ክሰርሓ ንጽውዕ።
ዕድመ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ
ነጻን ሓራን ኤርትራን ትንበር
ክብርን ዝኽርን ንስውኣትና
ብሓባራዊ ቃልስና ንምልኪ ክንስዕርን
ስውኣትና ዝሓለሙዋን ዝተሰውኡላን ሃገር ክንሃንጽ ኢና
ዝርዝር ኣስማት ክታሞም ዘንበሩ
1. መሓመድ ዓሊ ልባብ
2. ሑመድ መሓመድ ስዒድ ኩሉ
3. ፍሰሃ ዑቕባማርያም
4. ኣማል ዓሊ
5. ዓብደላ ሄጂ
6. ያሲን መሓመድ ዓብደላ
7. ዓብደራሕማን ሰይድ
8. ሓምድ ድራር
9. ኢድሪስ ሁመድ ኣደም
10. ሳላሕ ኣቦራይ
11. መሓመድ ዓሊ ፋይድ
12. ኻልድ ከጀራይ
13. ኣሕመድ ኢድሪስ
14. ዶክተር ቃኣብደልቓድር ዳዉድ
15. ኻልድ ኢብራሂም
16. መሓመድ ጣህር ደበሳይ
17. መሓመድ ኣብዱ ዑመር
18. ዓብደራሕማን ገደም
19. መሓመድ ኑር “ቡርካን”
20. ዩሱፍ ስሌማን
21. ኢድሪስ ኣድሓና
22. ኢብራሂም ዑመር
23. ዓብደልሓኪም ዓብደኑር
24. ዑመር ስሌማን
25. ኑሪ መሓመድ ዓብደላ
26. ሙስጠፋ ኩርዲ
27. መንሱር ዑመር
28. ጀማል ስዒድ
29. ዓብደልፈታሕ ኸሊፋ
30. ሰላሕ መሓመድ ዜን
People Centered Bottom-Up Approach of Uniting: Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance
by Asihel Betsuamlak
After 30 years of armed struggle, Eritrea became an independent and sovereign country. May 24, 1991 was a day of redemption for the heroic Eritrean people who paid incalculable sacrifices for the achievement of Eritrean national independence and freedom. However, 23 years later, the dream for freedom, peace and prosperity was snatched from the country by a home grown group dictated by a self-appointed “President for life”. He has been in power since the country’s independence and has controlled every aspect of political, economic and social life of the young nation.
Every aspect of political life in Eritrea is dominated by the leader’s group. There is no semblance of modern institutional governance. On the economic front, every aspect of Eritrea’s economic activity is controlled by regime’s companies. The security system is heavily dependent on a network of prisons and underground dungeons. Torture, disappearance, and execution of Eritrean men, women and even children, who show any sign of disobedience, are common practice of the regime. To this day, Eritrea continues to be a country that is run with no constitution, no rule of law, no elections and no free press. Employing a rule similar to 17th century rule of absolute monarchs, the dictator and his regime are introducing severe measures of total subjugation and militarization of the nation. It becomes evident that the regime is not only bad for the nation and its people of Eritrea; the regime is toxic for the nation and should be removed expeditiously. In order to remove the totalitarian dictatorship and achieve its objectives, the civic and democratic resistance needs to evaluate its current state and unite and consolidate itself using basic bottom-up approach.
II. Current State of Eritrean Resistance for democratic change
Eritreans have been calling for justice, rule of law, democratic governance and national reconciliation since Eritrea became independent. However, the regime ignored all calls for national reconciliation and democratic governance. The regime continued a path of complete domination. As a result, the majority of Eritreans are now rising against the brutal dictatorship in a broad spectrum of resistance movements, associations and organizations against the regime.
However, a unified democratic and civic resistance has yet to evolve. The absence of a defined core mission, articulated shared vision and a winning grand strategy for democratic change are still missing from the resistance movement. The resistance has yet to overcome the challenges of the residual politico-military culture, fragmentation and splitting, top-down structures of alliances and groupings, and absence of civic democratic unity of Eritrean citizens and stakeholders. Albert Einstein once said “you cannot solve a problem with the same mode of thought that created the problem” fits Eritrea’s condition. It is difficult to remove dictatorship with the same culture and mode of thinking that created the tyrannical regime in Eritrea. Some of the most pervasive challenges that the resistance has faced include:
1. Prevalence of politico-military culture: After the armed struggle for national independence, Eritrea and Eritreans were blessed with an opportunity to enjoy their freedom. Yet, we were also confronted with a challenge to build civic democratic institutions of governance. Once in power, the regime exploited every opportunity to monopolize political, security, military, economic and social life in Eritrea. The regime discarded rich tradition of civic culture that was passed on from generations. Moreover, the leader and his henchmen used politico-military mechanisms similar to the colonial oppressors as a tool to intimidate, control and dominate every aspect of Eritrea. It took them a few years to concoct a broad military service under the name of “National Service”. As a result, the politico-military regime was entrenched for the benefit of the ruling dictatorial regime.
At the same time, the resistance organizations were embroiled in their own politico-military groupings. It is important to note the role that these groups played in the armed struggle. They played a historic role in weakening and defeating consecutive occupying armies and in consolidating Eritrean national armed struggle for independence. Rather than uniting all democratic resources and mobilizing for democratic change, the opposition groups were stuck in their old structures and leaderships. They were fragmented with no cohesive strategy and vision for the new reality of independent Eritrea. The fragmentation was worsened by fruitless competition among them.
2. Fragmentation: It is reported that there are 33 Eritrean opposition political parties. These political parties have proven to be more of a liability than an asset to the cause of Eritrea. Democratic Eritrea will be a multi-party country where people’s sovereignty and citizen’s freedom is respected. What the Eritrean people need at this critical junction is a leadership group that can speak with one voice on behalf of the voiceless victims of the ruthless regime. The main challenge of the resistance movement continues to be the absence of unity and the lack of a cohesive core mission for the salvation and democratization of Eritrea. The traditional resistance groups were divided based on their organizational histories and affiliation during the armed struggle. New groups started to organize based on confessional, ethnical and other grievances. Meanwhile, the fragmentation and the proliferation of multiple groups with the same platform (sometimes carbon copy programs) impeded the progress of Eritrean democratic resistance. Instead of building a goal oriented, civic driven and citizen centered movement for democratic change, the resistance was riddled with ineffective groups dominated by personalities – often tied to pre-independence experience or ethnic and confessional agendas. Any attempt of unity was tramped and complicated by group leaders with contradictory platforms.
3. Top-down alliances and groupings: The Eritrean democratic resistance has been growing considerably in numbers. Since the end of the border war of 1998-2000, the call for democratic change grew louder. Intellectuals and senior government ministers called for reform. However, the regime clamped down all decent and shut down the limited free press. All dissenting ministers, officials, independent journalists and thousands of innocent Eritreans including senior citizens were jailed and silenced. Soon the opposition gained a broader support from the people. Moreover, the Jan 21, 2013 Forto army uprising, led by the heroic Colonel Saied Ali Hijay, exposed the regime further and inspired the resistance.
However, much of the resistance movement was dominated by top-down group structures and fragmented blocks with divergent political agendas. Instead of coalescing on a core mission centered on democratic ideals and civic resistance, the groups focused on their respective organizational platforms. The individual group agenda hindered the resistance from focusing on a comprehensive program for change. Instead of forming a broad national civic and democratic front to defeat the dictatorial regime, they focused on forming competing blocks and entered into more fruitless competition among themselves. Top down based repeated attempts of unity of various organizations has failed and disappointed the broader resistance movement for more than a decade.
Another cause of failure of the top-down approach was the politics of – “minimum program”. The minimum program is a catch phrase often repeated by many to justify the fragmented work of various opposition groups. Yes, organizations can establish alliances based on minor programs while they are focused on their major separate programs. These arrangements can succeed: 1) If the programs of the allying parties are not mutually exclusive and not contradictory to each other; 2) if there is an arbiter or some common institution that all parties comply with. Attempts of unity based on minimum programs of mutually exclusive groups without an arbiter or common abiding institution has impeded the establishment of an effective resistance.
In other words, the nature of the Eritrean democratic resistance and the resources that are available to it prohibit minimum program based alliances from becoming effective. The reasons for not becoming effective include: a) absence of common national institutions that are not controlled by the allying parties; b) the platforms and party programs of the allied parties are divergent and sometimes contradictory; c) Fierce and fruitless competition of the allying parties for domination and control of the resistance; d) limited resources of the Eritrean democratic and civic resistance was dispersed to satisfy the divergent major group programs at the cost of the common democratic and civic national program; etc.
The top-down approach of unity did not work. The suffering of the Eritrean people in general and the youth in particular and the urgency of national salvation from grave dangers demand more effective approaches to unite all citizens and employ all available resources. Uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance with effective and practical bottom-up approach is an urgent task.
III. Bottom-Up approach of Uniting and consolidating Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance.
Eritrean Citizens are engaged in a struggle to restore their freedom and dignity by removing the dictatorial regime. However, the resistance movement is still suffering from the absence of a united core mission, shared vision and grand strategy to defeat the dictatorial regime. The culture, attitudes and mode of thinking that sustained the dictatorial regime and exasperated the opposition groups need to be replaced with civic and democratic values, attitudes and mode of thinking.
The core mission of the Democratic and Civic Resistance need to be articulated. Eritrea belongs to its heroic people who paid heavy sacrifices to liberate it and make a sovereign nation. The sovereignty of Eritrea belongs to the people of Eritrea. Therefore, regaining Eritrean people’s sovereignty and ensuring Eritrean citizens’ liberty, freedom and dignity is the source of the core mission of Eritrean democratic and civic resistance.
The dictatorial regime is hijacking Eritrean sovereignty and enslaving Eritrean citizens. The removal of the dictatorial regime and its dictatorial apparatus and establishing a peaceful, constitutional democratic system that enshrine people’s sovereignty and Eritrean citizen’s dignity should be the essence of the core mission. Moreover, the gathering catastrophe that is snowballing on Eritrea compel urgent removal of the dictatorial regime provides an added urgency to the core mission. The bottom-up approach of uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance ensures Eritrean people’s engagement and ownership of the core mission.
The core mission of Eritrean Democratic and Civic resistance gives life to a vision that can be shared by all. In order to bring the core mission to fruition and achieve liberty and freedom, the united democratic and civic resistance needs to crystalize a shared vision of all stakeholders. Ensuring all Eritrean citizen’s ownership of their nation and their future; enshrining the inalienable right of Eritrean citizen’s freedom to life, liberty and property; protecting the freedom of all citizens by respecting the diverse and rainbow composition of the Eritrea people should be incorporated in the shared vision of the united democratic and civic resistance. In order for a shared vision to grow and last through time it must be shaped by the shared view of all citizens. It should not be imposed from ideological leaders. It has to evolve from the bottom up and emanate from the conviction and beliefs of Eritrean citizen. As the great leader and icon of struggle Mahatma Gandhi put it – “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history”; Eritrean citizens that share core mission and vision can regain their liberty, freedom and dignity and establish a democratic system by removing the tyrannical regime.
In order for a core mission and shared vision to be crystalized, core democratic and civic values need to be embraced and become a culture of the democratic resistance. The core democratic values including: tolerance. Respect for diversity, reciprocity and trust in each other — must be respected and practiced by all Eritrean citizens. The core values of our ancestors and the rich tradition of our society need to be respected and preserved.
Furthermore, the guiding principles of the resistance need to be identified and implemented. They include:
a) People’s Sovereignty and Citizen Power: Eritrean united democratic and civic resistance should be guided by the principle of people’s sovereignty. Article 21 (3) of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of authority”. The People/citizens are the source of legitimacy. This has been used as a slogan and as a cover-up by political leaders for too long, and always at the expense of the broader citizens. Unlike the sloganeering that reduce people to “masses” led by “vanguards”, people’s sovereignty empower citizens and provides citizens to be co-creators of decisions. It does not provide for hero-worship and blind obedience. People’s sovereignty and citizen power accept all citizens as equal stakeholders.
b) Democratic rights and freedoms: various democratic rights and freedoms emanate from people’s sovereignty. They are naturally God-given rights of each and every citizen. They should not be limited or curtailed by ideologies, doctrines and other philosophies.
c) Various guiding principles including: 1) rule of law; 2) transparency; 3) accountability 4) regular and fair elections 5) economic freedom and property rights, etc. need to be enshrined and implemented at all levels.
IV. Foundation and formation of Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance
The Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance’s foundation and formation should be based on the following principles:
a. Bottom-up structure that provides freedom, liberty and responsibility of citizens in all aspect of their life. Bottom-up structure provides all-inclusive platform for all citizens to participate in their own affairs. It creates trust and understanding of each other. Trust and understanding advances constructive decision making and successful implementation of programs.
b. Democratic structure that facilitates full engagement of all citizens and stakeholders. Democratic structure provides effective process of give and take in political decision making. Moreover, it provides a space and opportunity to vet all issues comprehensively and to reach at an optimum resolutions using available citizens’ wisdom.
c. Accountable execution of political functions and programs: Implementation and execution of programs and strategies require individual accountability. The bottom-up approach emphasizes that programs and activities need to be executed with defined performance measures. All involved are held accountable for their performance.
d. Dynamic and responsive organizational structure that can meet ever-changing challenges of the struggle: The ever-changing circumstances require that organizational structures need to be adoptive. The superiority of bottom-up approach’s over the top-down structures is that it compels leaders, actors and agents to be on top of their field and continuously strive to meet the ever-changing challenges. Since accountability and transparency are the guiding principles of bottom-up approach, those who fail to adopt and change will be held accountable for their performance.
The main objective of the bottom-up approach is to unite and consolidate the Eritrean democratic and civic resistance. Uniting citizens can be achieved by bringing citizens together through direct contact and communication. Direct contacts and constructive communication can build mutual understanding and experience. It can be achieved by organizing citizens in a Local Citizen’s Chapter in their respective locality/city.
The local chapters, then, become the basic units of the global citizen’s solidarity for democratic change. They become the foundation and the main source of legitimacy for the united democratic and civic resistant. Citizens are not only participants in the chapters but also active co-creators of decisions and activities. The local citizen’s chapters democratically elect their board/committee to lead and coordinate the united democratic and civic resistance in their locality/city.
In order to achieve their objective of defeating the tyrannical regime, local chapters need to be connected on a regional level by creating national/regional coordinating organs. The regional organ coordinates activities of all chapters in the region. It organizes periodic regional level events including seminars, conferences, conventions, rallies and other activities. The national/regional level convention/conference evaluates past performance and draws effective operational strategies of resistance for the region.
The local and regional chapters need to be connected globally to achieve their objectives. Global conference need to be convened as soon as the formation of national/regional bodies is completed. The global conference should be constituted by representatives of the local citizens’ chapters and leaders of political organizations, civic associations, religious and community leaders and prominent Eritrean individuals. The purpose of the global conference may include approving road map and grand strategy of the resistance at the global level and electing a global coordinating council of the resistance. The global coordinating council will become the official and legitimate representative of the global citizen’s solidarity for democratic change.
Concerted efforts of uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance based on bottom-up approach underway in Northern America and Europe. Dedicated, justice seeking and democratic minded Eritreans of all walks of life with different political persuasion are forming their local committees and organizing their localities. Moreover, they have already started to coordinate their activities by establishing regional provisional coordinating organ. The bottom-up approach of uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance is off to a positive beginning. It has started establishing promising platforms for engaging the youth, women, men, veterans and intellectuals. It is like bringing the Eritrean village (Adi/Ad/Are…) into every city and locality where Eritreans live and uniting the citizens to be co-creators of their decisions and activities.
Furthermore, prominent Eritreans, media foundations, civic associations are tirelessly mobilizing Eritreans in different parts of the world to unite. They are calling Eritreans to rise and organize in unison for democratic change. Dr. Tewelde Tesfamariam – Wedi-Vacaro has conducted an effective campaign of mobilizing and educating the Eritrean public in diaspora for the last six months with great success. Assena Foundation’s Amanuel Eyasu has a successful tour to many cities to strengthen the bottom-up approach and consolidate the media for the united democratic and civic resistance. Many dedicated Eritrean websites are informing and inspiring Eritreans in their democratic and civic resistance.
People-centered-bottom-up approach of uniting Eritrean democratic and civic resistance and the establishment of global citizen’s solidarity for democratic has the following advantages:
1. Legitimacy of the Eritrean democratic and civic resistance: the illegitimate regime is exploiting the absence of a legitimate representative in Eritrea. Bottom-up approach of organizing Eritrean citizens will be able to establish an official and legitimate representative of the Eritrean people with manageable effort and with our Eritrean resources at a short time. The legitimate leadership will have the backing and the support of Eritrean citizens who are actively involved in all aspects of the resistance.
2. Lasting Unity of All Eritreans: the difficult task of national unity and the unity of all Eritrean stakeholders will be grounded on the entire Eritrean citizens. A legitimate and an all-inclusive bottom-up approach would be a solid ground for national unity and unity of all Eritreans irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, gender or experience. Moreover, the unity will be based on active engagement of citizens to create results of national harmony, nation-building and the overarching need for peace and tranquility for the advancement of Eritrean society in all spheres of life.
3. People’s Sovereignty and citizen’s power: The bottom-up approach’s essence is people’s sovereignty generated from citizen’s power. Citizens are the source of power. Their active engagement in national decision-makings and activities guarantees the success of the activities. Citizen’s private self-interest and the common public interest will be balanced in an effective and productive manner for the benefit of all Eritreans irrespective of their gender, religion, region or ethnicity.
The nation-state of Eritrea and the people of Eritrea are suffering under a tyrannical regime. The dire situation of Eritrea is going from worse to worst by the day. Majority of Eritreans are now opposing the regime. A multitude of political and civic organizations and associations and broad based and civic minded citizens are calling and working for democratic change in Eritrea. However, the multiple political and civic entities and the broader civic minded citizens are not effectively organized and united to successfully challenge and defeat the dictatorial regime.
Top-down attempts of unity and alliances were undergoing for the last decade and half with little or no results. Politico-military culture, fragmentation and top-down approaches have been hindering the resistance from achieving the desired unity for democratic change. Using people centered, citizen owned and civic driven effective bottom-up approach of uniting and organizing Eritrean democratic and civic resistance is urgently needed. The bottom-up approach with its civic and democratic tenets and practices will help transform the outdated politico-military culture into civic and democratic culture by building civic capacity of Eritrean citizens and their institutions.
Moreover, Eritrean democratic and civic resistance need to clarify its core mission, crystalize its shared vision and build a citizen based bottom up institutions to achieve the desired objectives of democratic change. Furthermore, a wining grand strategy with clear goals and objectives should be drawn and an effective execution mechanism should be built to unleash Eritrean citizen’s capacities to defeat the tyrannical regime and build a peaceful constitutional democratic system of governance in Eritrea.
Victory to Eritrean United Democratic and Civic Resistance
Glory to our Martyrs
An Initiative to Rally the Eritrean Lowland Societies
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Common Principles and Action Plan:
Contents: Introduction Historical Background Principles and basis for action Fundamental rights and principles The Strategic joint plan of Action for the Political and Civil Forces Part I: Vision Part II: Mission Part III: Tasks Part IV: Guiding Values for the Joint Action Plan Part V: The Specific and General Strategic Objectives Specific Objectives: Society Affairs General Objectives: National Affairs PART VI: Mechanisms Work Code of Ethics Conclusion
Introduction: Eritrea is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious country composing various social components, a fact that permits any component to express itself and its future ambitions within the frame of the existing reality of the Eritrean diversity. This initiative is made in that context to primarily address the concerns of Eritrean Lowland Societies, hereinafter referred to interchangeably as Eritrean Lowlanders, Lowland Societies, or the Society. A Society characterized by close blood ties and social kinship relations, and that shares deep inherent economic modes of production, in addition to existence of cultural bonds, a common history and destiny forged across time through facing the same challenges and upholding similar aspirations. Its people live in a geographically connected area that extends from the strategic Red Sea coastlines of the Semhar region in the East to the Sudanese border in the West, with a cross-border extension of related community that shares the same bonds of blood, intermarriage, culture and history albeit existing in two sovereign states. This is in addition to its extensions along the contact regions with the Kabasa region.
Despite the fact of common destiny and history shared, this society is also embellished with rich diversity of ethnicity, languages and religions that define each constituent’s specific characteristics without negatively impacting on the cohesiveness of the overall social texture of the society. This diversity represents a model of peaceful coexistence across time established by strong bonds of mutual respect and recognition, shared interests and devoid of the usurpation of others’ rights which explains the complete absence of any domination or exclusion relations between the Society’s different components. It is worth mentioning that the Kunama national component that is characterised by special cultural and religious diversity is an original part and clear manifestation of the colourful diversity of the lowland society.
Furthermore, the Afar component while constituting one of the important historical national components in the country as a part of the Lowlands and has strong ties of religion, culture, joint history, destiny and aspirations with the rest of the Lowlands Society, is characterised by special mode of life, geographic region, political force and option within the frame of Eritrean national struggle and having people’s extensions across the border with Djibouti and Ethiopia.
The Lowland Society possesses inherent strengths and great potential. The social oriented reforms and the political struggle of the Rabita led by Sheikh Ibrahim Sultan in the 1940s is a testimony to the fact that this society not only fights injustice in all forms but can ultimately win despite all odds. The ELF’s waging of the armed struggle ignited by Hamid Idris Awate in 1961, despite the surrounding hardships, not only paved the way for Eritrea’s independence, but also to a certain extent contributed to the downfall of both Haile Selassie and Mengistu regimes. This enhances the belief that this society and Eritrea at large was capable not only of fighting injustice but also defeating one of the strongest armies in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1960s that had required a great resolve and vision. Yet, Eritrea’s independence would not have been achieved if all the Eritrean people did not rally around the revolution that was initiated by lowland society.
The Society also has weakness factors that are necessary to identify and address. These are mainly attributed to the prevailing pastoral mode of living that is characterised by continuous mobility, loose, independent and decentralised type of inter-relations. These traits account for the apparent tendency towards individual freedom and independence rather than to conform to strict centralised and collective mode of relationships and control mechanisms that regulate inter-relations. The split of the Muslim League followed by other splits among the Eritrean Liberation organisations at the different times and the presence of many political organizations in the opposition camp today is an indication of such weaknesses. The society needs to look into these weaknesses and address them effectively instead of trying to avoid them a fact that has caused much misery and further disintegrations. No other force except its own will can bring it out of this predicament. However, neither the mode of living nor the transformations of the society and life in general have remained stagnant, but have been affected by general developments in the region and in particular by the long armed struggle for liberation which helped the people to conform to the necessity of organising themselves into different forms and also due to the relative stability created in countries of refuge, access to education, and the wider experiences gained have induced qualitative changes in the structure and social relation-structures and concepts.
These changes played a big role in the adaptation to the necessity of hierarchal organisational forms. Nevertheless, the Society still suffers from certain weaknesses mainly due to the lack of cohesion and unity of its political and civic forces. It is a matter that has exposed its land and vital interest to great perils, and its history to malicious attempts of distortion. Thus all concerned members of the Society are called upon to rescue it from its current state of dormancy and help revitalise it to rebuild and recover the necessary strength to reclaim its usurped rights and resume its positive historic role. Its revitalization will enhance the national struggle for democracy and justice. A Society formerly renowned for being proud and resolute and that had never bowed down to humiliation and subservience and that has always courageously stood up and fought for its rights and freedoms has to regain its legitimate aspirations in leading a free, dignified and decent life.
This Society has been subjected for quite a long time to systematic and concerted attacks from both the dictatorial chauvinistic regime as well as some opposition elements or organisations, all aiming to demote and belittle its national stature and role under different justifications and pretexts. Therefore, it goes without saying that such dismissiveness and attempts of marginalization had, and will continue to have a negative impact on the entire national struggle in general and on all the marginalized national components in particular. Events throughout the different national historical epochs have demonstrated that whenever this Society with its considerable population and wider expanse of land has been impeded or incapacitated from properly playing its significant role in the national struggle, that would pave the way for the forces of domination and exclusion to prevail and impose hegemony on all other constituents as has been lately witnessed in the unjust concentration of power and wealth at the hands of the chauvinistic Kabasa clique and its cohorts.
Eritrea is again caught at cross-roads. We had lost the opportunity to be an independent country in the 1950s. We lost too many lives in the long war for independence and also in the civil wars that intermittently broke out during the armed struggle among the different Eritrean movements thus protracting our fight, suffering and delaying the ultimate victory. The EPLF has pursued its exclusionary policies since inception and after independence by marginalising the lowlands together with other components despite their dominant role as pioneers in the independence struggle. Thus under the policies of the current dictatorial regime the country risks being dismantled. More over some opposition factions are pursuing policies and endeavours that aim at making cosmetic reforms while retaining the status quo.
It is therefore in the interest of all national forces who have been struggling against the oppression and domination of the chauvinistic dictatorial regime in Eritrea for more than two decades, that this society and all other components play their due role towards the restoration of their denied rights and to realise democracy, justice, and social equality in the context of unity in diversity. This demands that each component should start putting its own house in proper order to be able to effectively contribute to the general national struggle.
Despite the prominent role that this society had played in stirring and instilling Eritrean patriotism through unwaveringly rejecting both proposals of partition and full annexation and standing for full independence; but also it stood up fighting tooth and nail against the imposed annexation with Ethiopia with all available means and rallying all Eritrean components around the fight for the cause of national independence thus preserving the unity of Eritrean land and people. It had paid a dear price in the process being the major target of the Shifta gang attacks and later the commandos military campaigns that were directly sponsored by the Emperor of Ethiopia and executed by his army and the native collaborators from the Unity Party and their associates. That was carried in desperate and futile attempt to compel the people to abandon their legitimate pursuit for independence to that in favour of unity. As a consequence its land and people had suffered the brunt of the scorched land policy and military campaigns where untold numerous atrocities had been committed in different forms of wide spread lootings, genocides and exile. The massive Ethiopian campaign in 1967 targeting people, livestock and other properties which resulted in the first wave of mass refugees to the Sudan is testimony to that. Forty years later most of those refugees still live in refugee camps neglected by their countrymen, their supposed ‘Government’ and by the international community. However, this had not deterred the people from bearing the responsibility of the struggle they vowed it to themselves to carry with resolve and determination by finally taking to arms to regain their denied rights and freedoms.
The people in this society initially had constituted the only life line that sustained the life of the revolution in its critical early stages infusing the vital human, moral and material support needed and unreservedly paid great sacrifices in human life toll fallen as martyrs in the process of liberating the land and the people. However, it has not only been unrewarded but flagrantly was denied by the dictatorial oppressing regime their legitimate basic rights, including the right of return of the refugees to their home places. This in resonance with the long-time practiced old-new policies of the systematic patterns of displacement and resettlements that had started in the lowlands during the Ethiopian occupation and has unabatedly continued in a more aggressive manner after independence by the incumbent dictatorial chauvinistic regime. Which has continued under the fallacious claims and pretexts, based on the unjust legacy of the Italian rule that unfairly declared large tracts of lowlands as ‘domaniale’ that is being presumed as no man’s land. Disregarding the fact that the original population had long being forced to desert during the liberation war but falsely claimed that they have willingly chosen not to go back, preferring to remain permanently resettled in areas of their current asylum. That is maliciously assumed to become their alternative homeland by the regime. And even those who opted to return after independence, many of them were exposed to imprisonment, torture and re-displacements and strangely enough among those were civilians and freedom fighters who were also prisoners of the Ethiopian colonisation force. The apparently noticed targeting of this same society again by some of the Eritrean opposition elements and forces in a manner reminiscent to that of the dictatorial regime’s policy in attempts to side-line and belittle its role, history and chances of equal and fair involvement in the struggle. Thus a noticeable concerted effort of exclusion and domination has been conducted aiming at distancing and hampering it from playing a leading and competitive political role in the struggle. These consistent attempts are purported to force this society to resign to the state of marginalisation and completely abandon playing its historic role and duty. Similar to the roles it had played in the declaration and the initiation of the armed struggle and spearheading of the opposition movement against the current dictatorial regime. No doubt the absenting or marginalising attempts of such component of vast geographical as well as population gravity from playing its natural role in defending its rights and pursuing the course of its historical struggle would negatively impact on the general national struggle and in particular upon the marginalised sectors. It would also pave the way for the domination and control of power and wealth of the chauvinistic forces to prevail as has already occurred.
For all such obvious and noticeable reasons we believe it is time that people of this society have to be consciously aware of the impending risks jeopardising their existence and role as a recognised original partner in the nation. It becomes also necessary now to revise, prioritise and develop strategies that preserve the interests and national role of the society commensurate to the magnitude of the enormous sacrifices being offered and to the human, geographic and natural resources it possesses. This society has always stood for the national unity but cannot afford to pay the bill to preserve the unity of the nation on its own and at the expense of its interests. National unity is a collective responsibility that all national components have to equally strive to, bear and share the burden together. This initiative is a call to reunite all sectors of this society in order to enable them to properly defend their legitimate rights and interests and play their historic role in close coordination with the rest of the Eritrean components to effectively contribute to the ongoing democratic struggle for realising justice, equality, freedom, democracy and the rule of law. That requires closely and continuously working, coordinating and cooperating with all its political forces, civil society organizations, prominent figures, intellectuals on societal issues and nationally with its close allies particularly from the Eritrean marginalized national components.
Thus it is a call to unite the rank and file of this society to enhance its role and capacity to realise and defend its legitimate rights and basic vital interests and for all joining effort to safeguard the freedom and dignity of this society in particular and that of all national components that oppose and fight against domination and hegemony and recognise our rights in general. It is not a call for segregation or isolation from others which is incompatible with the nature of hospitality and unreserved openness to the other that characterises this society. It is not also aimed against any national component but the common enemy that is the dictatorial regime and its associates. On the contrary it is a call for strengthening, reviving and enhancing its role in the national struggle for democratic change.
The stressing of the positive contributions of this society in the initiative, is not in any way meant to overlook the significant roles and contributions of the patriotic pioneers from the other social components who took a stand in favour of independence and joined the armed struggle at its early stages, particularly our compatriots in arms and veterans from the, Asaorta, Saho, Jeberti, and Afar and as well as the national pioneers from Kabasa Christians. We cannot also undermine the role played and sacrifices paid by all Eritrean components for independence. Therefore, the lowland society as has always been the case, will strive and look forward to enhance the joint struggle in the present and future with all national forces of the political spectrum that really struggle for democracy, justice and equality and that mutually recognise our rights. This call is not meant to weaken or undermine its historic national role but to the contrary, to strengthen it.
It is in the interest of all forces struggling against the injustices and domination of the current chauvinistic, sectarian and dictatorial regime existing in Eritrea since independence and for the establishing of peace and stability and restoration of the denied rights and realisation of democracy, justice and equality in the context of diversity that this society should play its role properly and all others too.
It is not possible to make a proper objective assessment and analysis of the current Eritrean reality by solely conducting serious deep probing to explore the root causes of the current apparent problems detached from looking into the history of the formation of Eritrea as a country with its current geography and demography and its repercussions. This country was formed by the Italian colonialists in line with the general purpose of the European colonial scramble for establishing colonies in Africa in search of raw material resources and new markets for their developing home industries. Prior to that event the different parts of the country were subjected to the control and influence of various colonial and regional powers. Where the highlands (Kabasa) mostly had come under the rule and influence of the Abyssinian empire, the South Eastern low lands remained mostly under the influence of local and regional Afar sultans while the Western lowlands had gone through successive control of different occupational powers among which were the Blue Sultanate of Sinnar and Turkish rule and the combined Ottoman – Egyptian before the Italian occupation. As a consequence, had evolved the development of parallel societies with different cultures, affiliations and loyalties in the different parts of what was to become known later as Eritrea.
The forcible disruption and intrusion of the European colonial powers in the course of events and in peoples life developments in the continent in general and that of the Italians in Eritrea in particular, not only aborted and disrupted the course of natural evolution of the national state development towards the creation of culturally and socially homogeneous nations within the boundaries of the original natural habitat, but it also led to the fragmentation and separation of the original entities from their kinsmen in the newly formed nations composing ethnically and culturally heterogeneous groups confined within the boundaries of these newly formed states that lack enough harmony and cohesively binding structures that any proper nation state requires.
Eritrea has inherited this heavy burden of colonial legacy like many other African countries, a fact that cast dark shadows and negative effects on later national developments. The effect of which is more clearly discernable in the continuous failure to achieve durable national unity in general and the unity of the political forces in particular throughout the years from self-determination, the armed struggle and the independent state epoch and up to now. Therefore, the conclusion that can be drawn is that we cannot overlook or ignore this reality in any way. It is also not possible any longer for the lowland society to continue the luxury of entertaining in self-denial to play the custodian role of a national unity transcending or overstepping the reality in pursuance to such self-appointed responsibility irrespective of the roles played by others and at the expense of its interests and rights. Forgetting that unity can only be preserved when a nation equally belongs, represents and embraces the interests of all and in turn the components comprised by it mutually recognise each other’s rights and interests and accept the existing diversities that characterise each of them.
Therefore what the lowlands society has to do is first to recognize and accept this reality and then positively deal with it without unnecessarily exaggerating the precedence of its national role over its societal one; but reasonably maintaining the balance needed between the two. The lowlands society should also ardently work with the other components in the building and maintaining of national unity on basis that guarantee the rights and interests of all parties and preserve the pride and dignity of each. Calling for the right of all components to their fair share of power and wealth; far from the practices of domination, exclusion and hegemony by any party whatever the excuses and justifications could be. It is noticed that whenever the issue of the rights of national components is raised, some Muslim sectors particularly in the lowlands, view that sceptically and apprehensively, thinking this would pose a threat to the accepted order and perception of the religious and cultural dichotomy established among the Eritrean people and may cause to disturb the delicate balance that exists between the concerned national partners. But on the other hand such concerns and worries are hardly found or felt at least to the same degree by other Eritrean Muslims who without reservations have formed their nationality based organizations that defend the rights and interests of their specific societies. Thus we think that the social and religious dichotomy of the Eritrean people though it is important is merely a version of the reality and a level of engagement in addition to the ethnic, national and the nationality ones. It is found that the different components have different local concerns related to cultural, land, power, and wealth and across border people-relationship issues. Such issues and concerns vary from one component to the other according to its geographical location, ethnicity, different priorities, needs and degree of deprivations including that of the lowlanders. For example, there are those who are found to be benefiting of the current dictatorial regime’s policies of land expropriations, while others at the receiving end are suffering as a result of that.
It is high time that this society should pay greater attention and focuses on its interests and seriously reconsiders its relations with others based on the recognition and respect of mutual interests and rights of each other. At the same time, it should continue to pursue its engagement and cooperation with others in promoting the struggle to realise the common national goals, interests and aspirations. It must also realise that achieving, sustaining, and safe-guarding national unity is a collective responsibility for all to bear and observe and not an exclusive concern and obligation for a particular society or component. We also don’t see any problem with the current paradigm shift in attitude that most Eritrean social components adopted in viewing things from the perspective of their own interests as collective interests apparently should not exclude or contradict but has to accommodate the specific interests of all national components. This, contrary to the view entertained by the lowlands society and which had stemmed from the lingering effects of the idealistic mind-set instilled by the overwhelmingly optimistic national euphoria that prevailed in the 1940s.
Based on this understanding, we call upon all political organizations, civil societies and prominent national figures of this society to focus their attention and priority on enhancing the cohesion and coordination between all sectors of this society. This is in order to defend and realise its interests, keep and maintain its course of struggle in line with the positive history and tradition of sacrifices established. Thus continue to play a positive role in the struggle to realise the common goals and interests alongside the rest of the national components and with all others who stand against all forms of injustice, for the freedoms and rights and the establishment of a decentralized system based on the rule of law and that guarantees the basic rights, especially the right of all components to a fair share of power and wealth.
Principles and Basis for Action
The inability, for whatever excuse or pretext, to develop a culture and practice of adopting strategic planning methods for the execution of daily struggle duties, is in the final analysis but a prelude to failure, even if it is not a deliberately intended act. Any work or effort expended without setting a realistic, integrated plan is considered a form of adventure of unpredictable outcome and could be of dire and disastrous consequences, in spite of all the good intentions.
The political opposition of the lowland society has utterly failed to deliver results on the objectives of safeguarding and promoting the interests of its social constituents due to different reasons, but that can mainly be attributed to the lack of adopting strategic planning methods that have characterised the different stages of the struggle in the past and the present. Despite the impressing, honourable national struggle record that this society had garnered by virtue of being the pioneer of the armed struggle and a major one among those who consistently and resolutely fought for national independence, having paid a dear price to that effect; but unfortunately it has not been able to reap the fruits of its struggle at any time. A matter that necessitates serious reconsideration and careful investigation of the root causes of these repeated failures and a need to undergo deep soul-searching to find more viable and effective solutions and ways out of these chronic failures.
Despite the failures mentioned, it is necessary to point out and commend the resolute stand and struggle of the political opposition forces that is being waged under unfavourable conditions against the policies of domination and exclusion practiced by the EPLF and the regime since its inception.
To embark on with a new vigour, spirit and approach it is imperative that this society should accurately identify the basic consensual principles and rights that reflect its interests and objectives. Then with full commitment and arduous work strive towards realising its ultimate goal by consolidating all efforts and drawing a sound, well studied strategy to achieve its objectives far from the traditional practice of work that is based on individual decisions and spontaneous impulsive methods. This will not be possible, without defining and formulating a clear vision of what all the concerned forces finally wish to achieve in the foreseeable future. The vision should set the direction of the struggle towards achieving the envisaged picture of the future that this society wishes to draw. That should vividly reflect and embrace the legitimate aspirations of leading a dignified, decent and prosperous life in a democratic and flourishing nation.
Thus, it is necessary to formulate some general basic principles to depart from. These are to be extensively discussed further and developed to clearly reflect the specific reality and deal with the top priorities and after reaching consensus are to finally be adopted and abided by as a covenant and a joint plan of action for all concerned sectors of the society, the political, civil organizations and independent personalities to embrace. Guided by these principles and objectives all are required to work together to achieve and defend their societal interests, and effectively struggle with other national components and forces to realise the aspired change.
Fundamental Rights and Principles
The following are some of the basic rights and fundamental principles that are to be embraced and adopted:
1 – The Right to Life: This is a fundamental inalienable natural right that should be granted for the lowlands society as well as all national groups and individuals. It is the right to live a safe and decent life and without threat of any form that may jeopardise the life of any group or individual. To be guaranteed a Life of full dignity and respect, to live in their respective home places and anywhere within the nation from cradle to the grave free from fear or danger.
2 – Basic Rights and Freedoms: The basic freedoms and liberal rights are considered as the most fundamental and indispensable ones that should be observed and guaranteed. To mention only some examples, but not in an exclusive and exhaustive sense, are the freedom of expression in all forms, conscience and political activities, rights of the formation of political and social organizations, professional associations, trade unions and social groups. The Cultural and social rights and freedoms of free gathering, movement, working and living freely without hindrance, right of property ownership and personal freedoms are to be guaranteed. The right of protection against illegal, extra judicial arrests, incarcerations and disappearances has to be respected.
3 – The Right of Land Ownership: The land within the original habitat of the society, whether collectively or individually owned customarily is considered belonging to the society. Land ownership must be subject to the norms and customary laws that historically have been proved and adopted for the management and ownership of land by the society. This gives the Social components the right of land tenure in their historical recognised and defined ancestral territory as an indisputable right that should not be compromised in any way. It is also required to reconsider the violations that took place in the form of land expropriation and unlawful redistribution through the enforcement of land-grabbing policies and practices in the lowland territories during the era of Ethiopian occupation and the laws enacted by the incumbent dictatorial regime’s organised resettlements that have been established, sponsored and protected by the regime without the consent of the indigenous legal owners of the land, based on the fabricated myth that the land here belongs to no one as it is allegedly claimed to be considered free communal land without owners, which is but a false justification made to legalise the unlawful land grabbing policy practiced in the lowlands. We believe Eritreans have the right to live in any part of the country, be it in the lowlands or highlands but organised settlements are not accepted. Yet such right needs to be based on consultation with the locals and with their consent and acknowledgement.
4 – The Right of Religion and Worship: Religions must be deeply respected and freedom of belief and worship should be guaranteed by law including the right to establish religious institutions and choose their leaders according to the wishes and arrangements of the followers without any external interference. The state should be neutral and stand at equal distance from all religions. In the lowlands Islam is the major religion, a fact that should be taken into consideration when legislating laws they do not contradict with the essence of Islam and other religions, including the traditional ones in the region.
5 – Language: All languages shall be considered equal by law with the adoption of Arabic as an official national language in the lowlands and nationwide.
6 – National Unity: National unity should primarily be based on a voluntary, free will choice of all national components to coexist in one nation, mutual recognition and acceptance of the ethnic and cultural diversity existing, guaranteeing the parity and equality in rights and duties and the embracing of the legitimate interests of all the national components. The lowland society in this respect has to preserve its cultural identity and struggle to guarantee and realise its specific objectives and interests and regain its expropriated and confiscated land and properties using all available means.
7 – The Right to Sharing Power and Wealth: All national components should be guaranteed the exercise of this right based on the adoption of a constitutional decentralized system of governance that endorses locally self-rule of national components, fair allocation of any natural resources discovered within the region and centrally enable a fair participation and sharing of power and wealth at the national level for all.
8 – Respect for all Martyrs and War Disabled Fighters and Veterans: Uphold due respect to the heroic history and sacrifices of our martyrs and defend that legacy against any distortion or abuse that desecrate and denigrate their roles and revered names. Safeguard and respect the heroic history of the struggle and the tremendous sacrifices offered by our society and others to liberate the nation. Provide the necessary care and help to the families of martyrs, disabled fighters and veterans that would enable them to live a decent life they deserve.
9 – Eritrean History: Our history needs to be revised and rewritten by historians from all the national components to objectively reflect the real history of our people. The EPLF version of distorted history is to be totally rejected and discarded.
10 – Relations: The lowlands society should have strong relations with its neighbours and with that of its people’s extensions living across borders. It is necessary to maintain and strength inter-relations; establish harmony and social peace between all national components based on shared interests and recognition of diversities existing among them. Build strategic relations with its extensions across the border to the mutual benefit and interests of both societies. It is also necessary to build strong relationships with the neighbouring countries based on mutual national interests, recognition of national sovereignties, integrities, none-interference and enhancing historically existing brotherhood relations among the countries concerned.
11– The Rights of Refugees: To guarantee and stress the inalienable right of all refugees to return to their home places and their right to claim back their land with the provision of the necessary support for their rehabilitation and proper compensation. Reiterate and emphasise this right with all concerned circles including our national partners as a joint priority to achieve as soon as the dictatorial regime is changed.
12 – General Human Rights: The recognition of all universal human rights and freedoms adopted in the different UN conventions such as human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, and indigenous & minorities conventions etc. with particular emphasis of recognising and enhancing the rights of women to political, economic, social role and engagement in life and their right to equal opportunities in education, public services and employment in recognition of their role in the struggle, past and present, and that of building a cohesive society.
13 – Environment: To have the necessary legislations and plans to protect and prevent the environment from pollution of all forms and deterioration due to irresponsible utilisation of forests, green plant cover, pastures, water and other natural resources. It is also important to take necessary measures for prevention from other environmental abuses as a consequence of unsuitable application of farming methods and over-population pressures due to the lack of having proper and well planned infrastructure facilities in place.
14 – Mining and Mineral Resources: It is known that the lowlands are very rich in underground mineral resources, therefore it becomes necessary to set the necessary legislations that preserve the right of the local people to have a due share from the revenue obtained, better chance of employment and local population development projects. Investors should legally be responsible to attend to their social obligations in accordance to national and international laws including wise use of resources and application of environmentally friendly methods of mining.
The Strategic Joint Plan of Action for the Political and Civil Forces
As noted above, the purpose of adopting and working with the principles of strategic planning is a prerequisite for guaranteeing a successful achievement of the ultimate goals set, based on a clear shared vision of the future and the adoption of a realistic mission plan to realise that vision. A fact that is essential in determining the direction of the course to pursue in a context of a comprehensive roadmap that includes the mechanisms applied, proper strategy and the tactics to be adopted to realise the desired end goal.
Part I: Vision
To establish a conscious and flourishing society that is aware of its rights and responsibilities as part of a democratic system where justice, equality and the rule of law prevails and where peaceful, harmonious and decent life is realised for all in a prosperous and stable country with bright future prospects.
PART II: Mission
To accomplish the building of a strong, cohesive, united and interest-conscious society that is able to realise its objectives and future vision, meet the challenges encountered, properly defend its interests and coordinate with the other national components in playing its due role by actively and positively contributing to the common struggle waged for democratic change to replace the current dictatorial regime with democratic one.
Part III: Tasks The above mentioned vision and mission can only be achieved through the proper mobilization of all sectors of the society and its political and civil organizations to build up an effective social and political force in order to recover its role, reinstate its position and properly impact on the course of events through:
1 – Creating a deep and comprehensive public opinion and consciousness; adopt policies and objectives on the basis of shared common interests that help to establish and strengthen the role of the society.
2 – Forming of strong and influential public pressure groups that safeguard and realise the interests and objectives of the society and contribute to the development of the political work. Which will assist in enhancing the role, stature and positive contributions of the society in its struggle for the aspired democratic change.
3 – The formation of free civil society organizations that play their dual roles in preserving the interests of its constituents as well as safeguarding, upholding and defending the general interests and rights of the society as a whole. They will also assist and promote the active participation of civil society organizations in the struggle for democratic change and in the state-building process.
4 – Make the best use of all social media such as Paltalk and Facebook for mobilisation to reach youth and women.
5 – To assist and urge all political organizations related to the society to adopt policies that primarily defend and realise the specific interests of this society along with their duties in the course of the general struggle. Form a common umbrella organisation composing civil groups with the adoption of more effective ways and mechanism of struggle for the different organizations and groups of the society that without compromising the organisational independence of the constituent member organisations. As this initiative is based on the minimum common goals, principles and work plan that facilitate the coordination of all efforts and the creation of a suitable condition for joint action. That is in order to defend the interests and rights of the society and to play an effective positive role on the national level with the other components, particularly those marginalised ones that share the same goals and concerns of realising justice and equality and also with all forces fighting for the noble human values of freedom, democracy and human rights.
Part IV: Guiding Values for the Joint Action Plan
1 – Strong belief in the power of society’s collective-interest conscientiousness that generates once formed a self-driving force and momentum needed to preserve, defend and achieve the goals and interests aspired.
2 – Promoting the values of brotherhood, cooperation, collaboration and enhancing the cohesion among society components and national reconciliation and social peace based on justice equality and mutual respect among all national components.
3 – Conformity and unison between the principles and values upheld and preached with practice on the ground will enhance credibility factors.
4 – Creating strong commitment for community and political leadership to adopt and practice openness, transparency and accountability in all its joint work to preserve the common interests of the community that will assist in building trust.
5 – Establishing the tradition and practice of institutional and democratic methods in internal and external work relations between political, civic and community organizations.
6 – To adopt the principle and practice of rotation of leadership posts in both the political and the civil society organizations to gradually prepare and promote the youth of both sexes to future leadership positions.
7 – To prioritise the collective interests of the society above self and narrow group interests.
Part V: The Specific and General Strategic Objectives
1 – Specific Objectives: Society Affairs
a) To build new public networks and formations in different places in a manner that suit the conditions and the needs of its members thus creating a strong and influential public lobby groups capable to meet the challenges of struggle and effectively work to achieve and protect the goals and interests of the society and enable its political force to play its due positive role in the national struggle.
b) To mobilize all human power, competence and skill resources to the service of societal interest and effectively channel efforts to instil and promote social consciousness that will preserve and defend the common societal interests.
c) Using the capacity and potential of websites in propagating and instilling interest- consciousness and awareness among the public.
d) To support and be concerned about the needs of martyr’s families, war disabled fighters and veterans in a manner that preserves their dignity and recognise their roles and assist in the recording and documentation of their rich history and experience of the struggle.
e) To utilise in a better way the human and material resources and capabilities of the society in adopting a well-studied plan that serve the public and private interests and provide the essential social services in all fields particularly in relieving the suffering of refugees in the camps and the outskirts of towns and villages.
f) Work more efficiently and effectively through the development of programs, plans and documents that to upgrade the quality of the needed work performance of the society and the general struggle. In addition to periodically and continuously revising and improving the Charter, principles of the consensual action plans in order to update and upgrade them to keep up with the latest developments.
g) Political organizations should closely and continuously work together and coordinate their stands and work in facing the challenges posed and defending the interests of the society. The public should in turn support the political organizations in order to enable them properly execute their duties and play the required role in achieving the goals and defending the interests of their society and in enhancing their role and influence in the general national struggle.
h) Provide the necessary advice and support to facilitate greater involvement of youth groups along the general stream line of the ongoing struggle of the opposition and in support of the rights of the Eritrean national components, including the rights of lowlands society in the aspired final democratic change.
i) To create and develop innovative mechanisms and practices for proper management of work and better coordination between the various components and help to unify their vision and channel all human resources and capacities to the purpose of realising the objectives of the society.
j) It is obvious that the accomplishment of any significant major work prerequisite the availability of the necessary financial resources in place. Thus the provision of material support should be given the utmost importance either through the collection of subscriptions and donations from members, friends of the community in addition to finding other additional fund generating methods to increase the financial capacity in different ways without contradicting the objectives and principles adopted.
k) To periodically hold seminars and conferences for the elites and representatives of various society sectors and forces in order to exchange views, take stands, make continuous evaluation of the performance and upgrade plans, policies and work programs with the purpose to meet the current challenges and explore the prospects of future developments and requirements.
l) To prepare the necessary studies on vital issues and subjects of concern to society that by carrying and cooperating with research and study- Centres that promote democracy and good governance and attend to studies and documentation that meet the challenge of the on-going distortions of the history and role of the society.
m) To focus more on issues of education, both in terms of quantity, quality, specialisation, encourage to boost graduate numbers from the vulnerable society sections particularly in refugee camps and the seeking of the necessary support for that.
2 – General Objectives: National Affairs
a) To ardently engage in deepening and consolidating the concepts of democracy, institutionalism and the rule of law in Eritrea among all national partners and preserving the gains that have been achieved in this respect represented by the formation of more developed umbrella group work forms, and adopting the tradition of dialogue through national conferences and seminars.
b) To encourage and support youth group opposition activities directed against regime and for democratic change and attempt to link them with the mainstream political objectives of the opposition forces that struggle for democratic change thus broadening the base and vitalising the struggling force.
c) To work in more efficient and responsible manner with all opposition forces and national groups in order to promote and preserve the common interests of all national components. This is through active coordination and positive engagement with all national partners in conferences, seminars, chat rooms, and other national platforms.
d) To engage with all national partners on the clear basis of the recognition of mutual interests, basic rights and freedoms of each in addition to the common national goals and interests shared in struggling against the regime and for democratic change.
e) To build strategic relationships with governments and peoples of the world, especially with neighbouring countries on the basis of mutually common interests, mutual respect and recognition of national sovereignty and integrity, cooperation in maintaining peace and development and good relations that serves the interests of the peoples of the region. In addition to this we have to strive hard to establish strong and durable relations with all regional and international organizations in order to win more support for the just cause of struggling for democratic change.
f) To promote and build strategic relationships with all communities related to our people’s extensions living across the border in neighbouring countries.
PART VI: Mechanisms
In order to translate the here above mentioned plans and programs into actions and realise the objectives, build strong links between the various societal sectors and coordinate work, we call for the establishment of a common umbrella civil organization and a leading council through which all societal sectors are able to coordinate and work together to implement the agreed upon programs with all sectors of the society.
1 – To urge the political organizations of this society to create a common umbrella organization based on: More developed well studied programs, methods and tools of work and to closely coordinate with each other in executing some of the political and military plans that serve the goals and interests of society and play a more effective role in the national struggle.
2 – For the civil sectors to establish a uniting umbrella organization that effectively defend and promote the public interest and lead public works necessary to that effect.
3 – To establish a system that regulates methods of coordination and cooperation between the civil and political forces in line with the ultimate interests of the society.
Work Ethics Code
Any working group needs to set certain clear rules of engagement that regulate the activities and relations of members based on accepted ethical norms of relations and interactions. This helps to organize, define and develop the work relations and maintain sound inter-relationships between the various parties involved, provided that everyone is to abide with and respect them in entering into dealings and interactions carried between the concerned parties, namely:
1 – To accept and respect the differences in opinions and options that the different parties may hold considering that as normal and natural human beings behaviour, which should not affect in any way the work relationships. All should work together to achieve the fundamental interests of the society in accordance with the clear rules and guidelines of engagement adopted that define and regulate the interactions and relationships between the various parties and the mutual responsibilities and the work-ethics binding them all.
2 – To respect and accept the Eritrean social and cultural diversity in all its forms whether on the national level or among the lowlands society and recognize the right of any component to express itself in the manner it finds appropriate without imposing any form of patronage upon it. It is also required to respect the rights, freedoms and interests of the society as well as of all other national partners.
3 – To devote all resources, efforts and energies in order to achieve the objectives and to maintain the interests of the society, for the joint struggle against the regime and not to be squandered in side- issues distraction and petty differences that provoke contradictions and adverse bickering.
4 – Refrain from personifying issues of differences, abusing each other, questioning the credibility, character assassination and black smearing campaigns against individuals or organizations as well as all negative actions that affect group relations and impede joint work.
5 – Establish and promote a culture of collaboration, cooperation and work across barriers of politics, religious, cultural and racial differences that divide community. Mainly focus on issues of convergence and avoid or minimise those of divergence. Adopt proper methods of problem- resolution and difference management through dialogue that ultimately serve the higher interests of society and the nation.
6 – Encourage and urge for collective work instead of individual based endeavours giving priority to the general interest of the society to that of personal or organisation interests.
7 – To abide, observe and comply with all the fundamental principles and action plans that have been agreed upon in this document, or any documents or agreements that may branch out from this and be fully committed to implementing that.
The belief and full conviction that the enabling of any marginalized component or force is tantamount to the enabling of all components that suffer exclusion, domination and deprivation by some partners in the nation whether that is from the dictatorial regime or from the opposition side and in tribute and recognition of the significant contributions made by this society and the appreciation of the important role it had played in the national struggle in contrast to the injustice it suffered are the motives behind the preparation of this initiative. Our interest in the lowlands society arises from the paradox between its strategic position, areal extension, considerable population, and homogeneity of its components versus the heroic positive legacy of its national struggle and the fact this society has been unable to reap the fruits of these advantages as logically expected. But contrary to the anticipated outcome their land has become an easy prey to settlers and their refugees still languish in very humiliating and miserable conditions in refugee camps in neighbouring countries as a consequence of deliberate hostile policies of the regime. In addition to the fact that this society has been also subjected to continuous denial of its rights and role by some of the opposition forces and exposed to attempts of exclusion and marginalization that strangely resonate with that of the regime made under various unfounded claims and pretexts. But such situation would not have arisen in the first place, if the lowlands society has paid enough attention to attend to and protect its societal interests at least to equal extent to the preoccupation and efforts it devotes to the national concerns. This situation will certainly continue if the society fails to realise this and set its internal household in proper order first and then adopt a strategic plan that clearly defines the objectives and determine the practical execution plan in a way different from the current prevailing work set that is based on trial and error and improvisation methods. Thus it is time to blow the whistle that the ongoing attempts of cancelling this society out of the political equation will not only hurt it, but will also negatively impact on the overall national struggle and would widely open the chance for the emergence and domination of exclusionist groups to monopolise power. Therefore, the call for this society is to stand up and take seriously the challenges posed. Though at face value this initiative seems to benefit the lowlands society only, in reality the benefits will extend to include all components that suffer from marginalization and domination. It will also contribute in making the nation more safe and sound when justice, peace and security would prevail. Thus it would certainly accelerate the struggle for change and establishing of decentralized constitutional governance system that realises democracy, the rule of law, equality, justice and fairness in power and wealth sharing processes for all.
Based on the foregoing analysis and on the fact that this initiative intends to bring together the various political and civil forces of the lowlands society around a set of minimum consensual principles and a general program that does not constitute the outlook of any one entity, all concerned are called upon to actively contribute in enriching the debate to develop these proposals to finally enable reaching more comprehensive consensus and adopt a charter that would successfully assist accomplishing the aspired goals of this society.
The Founding Committee for the Eritrean Lowlanders’ League.
1. Ustaz Mahamud Mohammed Ibrahim UK
2. Hamid Omer Izaz- UK
3. Miss Amna Idris UK
4. Mahmoud Aderob USA
5. Ismail Suliaman USA
6. Mohammed Ishaq Swed.
7. Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim Ger.
8. Taha Yaccob Ger.
9. Hamid Haj Ali Australia
London, United Kingdom on 29th March 2014
Dr. Tadios Tesfu: A prelude of a quantum leap in Eritrean politics
dedicated toAhmed M. Nasser, April-1-2014
By now, maybe you are expecting to read an April fool. Not at all, the Eritrean politics and quantum mechanics have common denominator. In both cases, the problems to be treated are very small but the frameworks of their solutions are sophisticated mathematics, due to their incompatible property concerning the classical natural law. Sometimes they function, but for sure, nobody understands why and how they function. The last but not the least, they function by chance. Naturally, in classical physics transformation of state is a continuously process (natura non-facit saltus), on the contrary in quantum mechanics and Eritrean politics the transformation of a state occurs suddenly (a quantum leap). One should treat the Eritrean politics similar to lottery with the theory of probability.
In 1905, one of the main phenomenon that induced the origination of quantum mechanics by Max Planck and Niels Bohr was the dual property of light (the particle or/and wave characteristics of light). Albert Einstein refused to accept the result of quantum mechanics that the nature of light can not be entirely explained by the classical laws of physics (Newtonian Mechanics). Einstein said, “God does not play dice”. This means God has always a plan, whenever and whatever God does. He was unsatisfied with the idea of infeasibility in quantum mechanics to make predictions by knowing the initial values (position and momentum) of a body in experiment, because of the Heisenberg “uncertainty principle”.
As previously explained things happened by chance in quantum mechanics. The thought experiment (Gedankenversuch) of the Austrian mathematician called the Erwin Schrödinger’s cat (die Schrödinger Katze) illustrates the paradox and complexion of quantum mechanics at its best. Hereby Schrödinger’s cat experiment: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed massive box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity, the flask will be broken, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not at the same time both as alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition (both the state of dead and alive) ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other (the state of dead or alive). Nevertheless, we are aware of the achieved scientific and technological development in our modern world due to the unconventional mindset of a few European physicists of the time. We can learn four points from quantum mechanics:
- Almost nature functions by chance.
- In reality, things are not as they seem to be.
- To obtain a good solution, sometimes it is important to take unconventional routes.
- The interaction of experimenter has an impact on the outcome of the experiment.
Now let us search for the Schrödinger’s cat (the key solution of our problems) in the box and figure out, if the cat is alive or dead. Well, the probability to find the magical key by searching the key in the destination (in a space and time dimensions) where we have lost it, this will limit the energy expenditure by confining the framework of search, in a given Cartesian coordinates.Please note, in this case your intervention affects the outcome of your investigation. If so, what are our political key solutions to make a quantum leap out of our desolated state of mind?
The affirmation of point one 1
First, there is a story I heard from many ELF fighters especially from those who were students in Addis Ababa in the sixties about the highly respected intellectual historian Mr. Michael Gaber, who was my admirable teacher at UNSCO in Kassala Sudan. In the sixties, Gaber was one of the main Eritrean national activists in Addis Ababa. In Addis Ababa, Gaber and the leader of the regime were used to be rivals, due to bossiness of the later. Michael Gaber had the best grade and level of intellectuality that might enable him to be someday the president of Eritrea. By then, the leader of the regime was suffering of paranoia caused by strong feelings of jealousy and inferiority that he hated so‘s guts Michael Gaber. As reported, Michael Gaber has written a letter from Addis Ababa to the ELF leadership in Eritrea in the sixties. To my opinion, the objectives of that letter might have played a decisive role in changing the history of the Eritrean struggle. To be specific, Michael Gaber requested the ELF leadership to be very cautious with the prominent new comer due to his separatistic attitude and destructive intensions. Well, the rest is history. The ELF leadership was not clever enough to catch the point. Instead, they promoted the leader of the regime to be elected in the revolutionary upper central leaderships of ELF (ቅያደል-ዓማ) for unreasonably purpose of personnel assessment (by chance), after they sent him to china to learn and improve the art of war and political soft skills of diplomacy. That was the alpha of the vicious circle and the omega of Eritrean revolutionary spirit.
Second, at the beginning of the eighties there is an interview of the regime leader in a video telling the reasons, why the socialistic Ethiopian regime of Mengistu Hailemariam (መንግስቱኃይለማርያም, Dergi (ደርጊ)) is going to collapse one day. His explanations were as follows, because
- Dergi is not democratic
- Dergi is not legitimated and prevailed by the rule of law
- Dergi is injustice
To my mind, these are exactly the reasons why the PFDJ will collapse someday. Somehow amazing is that what he added afterwards in that historical interview. He said for sure, by now we are not able to tell, whether the Dergi-regime is going to collapse by our military power or by other external factors that might help us to achieve our goals (the question of probability). Recall, this was in the midst of the cold war. Meantime the satellites of the socialistic part of the world started to collapse one after the other. It was the question of time for the unrivaled single super power in the world to impose a new world order. Back then, the most of African countries were forced to profess their political and ideological affiliation clearly to get economical and military assistance. Unfortunately, the ELF leadership has professed their political principles as the friends of the Soviet Union too early that they were forced to withdraw from Eritrea. On the contrary, the regime leader was preaching self-reliance and political independence throughout the eighties. Although leader of the regime was a loyal student of Mao Zedong, he has never stopped to nurse his relationship to the USA, to get their economical assistance and political mercy indirectly. These are some of the intuitive political calculi added with big portion of fortune (opportunism by chance). I believe his capability and area of political influence were at that time grossly confined to compass the new emerging international policy with the wind of change.
The affirmation of point 2
Nowadays we are the witness of many political events that even our so-called professional politicians are not able to explain to us why things are running out of their hands and things happen the way they happen. Many of the leadership of the opposition groups are not picked and groomed carefully to carry the responsibility of the Eritrean people (not action-oriented). Contrariwise, I assume many of the recent leadership have landed by parachute in the Eritrean political arena from a destination unknown (probabilities of quantum leap). This is exactly parallel to the history of the leader of the regime. Many of these young and old leaderships with a forged scholar degrees are sophomorically preaching to act in the name of the people by using new-fashioned terms like democracy, justice, human rights, gender equity and the old exhausted term of the Eritrean history, the so-called UNITY. If we try to investigate their political ideals narrowly using their imposed political mechanism and actions, we just find how visionless, complacent and empty-minded small crooks they are. The hidden driving force of these new political elite, which is a disguised dark matter behind their colossal ambitions, makes difficult to predict the implication of their fuzzy political agenda (like the state of the cat in quantum mechanics). Therefore, my folks: in reality and especially in our politics, things are not as they seem to be. De facto, there is no a political enemy or friend forever, because in politics within a short time, things can change dramatically. Hereby cautiousness is recommended!
The affirmation of point 3
To obtain a good solution, sometimes it is important to take unconventional routes. This a tough job for every human beings on earth. The godfather of psychoanalytic, Sigmund Freud, has said “mankind desire things which they use to see in their surroundings everyday”, because we are the creature of habit. To change your habits, you should be mentally ready to change your attitude and beliefs by making new willful intents that you have to follow-up consequently (how high the dues to pay and how painful the scarification to make, might be). The initiation of taking such decisions is a rocky road for creature of habit. Look how tough it is for millions of people to stop smoking cigarettes, although the consecution of smoking is a lung cancer disease. As many of us know, smoking has only disadvantages; this is true, if we only exclude the recent idea of the founder of birth control pill, the chemist Carl Djerassi, using nitrosyloxid due to its property to narrow the blood vessels. Please note, nitrosyloxid is one of the many toxic byproducts of smoking.
A VISION to change the paradigm & beyond it, accompanied by a steadfast belief (principles) to convert the status quo, is the way out.
What are the barriers to be challenged to convert the status quo?
Are they maybe our past and recent routes of our political engagement and social interaction or the international and regional interventions due to our geographical and historical uniqueness? I think it is the sum of all. Let us analyze the demons we have summoned in the past in order to challenge the barriers in the future to achieve our goals (peace, democracy and justice).
- On the political barriers
- The formation and presences of the political organizations like the ELF, EPLF EDA and some others, especially their experiences of struggle and way of conflict management are still prevailing in the mindset of our society that we are incapable to start a new mechanism of profound scientific conflict management to solve our rustic troubles. Additionally, the political organizations were not lining-up the mass. This means they have never tried seriously to consult their grassroots and execute the trials and tribulations of their grassroots in real politics. To my opinion, time after time, they should set smart goals to line up their grassroots by specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely suitable political survey. Social engaged politicians rely on compiled information by their constituents to make the right decisions. Such an inevitable action manages trust. This political barometer of success will accomplish to bridge the gap between policymakers and people by dynamic structures of bottom up approaching. Nonetheless, I like to proclaim my respect to all our political organizations and our fighters for their life-achievement regarding freedom, independence and martyrdom. Nevertheless, new conflicts demand adequate timely solutions.
- Maybe still, as a fact, we did not have accepted some of the religious and ethnic motivated political movements in our society belong to our reality. I believe our diversity could reinforce our national unity and not vice versa. The religious and ethnic motivated political movements do not represent the majority opinion of the nation. Certainly, they might cause a barrier in achieving our goals of peace, democracy and justice, if the aspirations of the minority in our society are suppressed. A democratic system implies soft commodities of minority rights. The rights of minority in democratic system presume the rights of individuals in a society. If you are incapable defending and securing your own rights in a society, you will be unable to protect the rights of your society/nation. Therefore, my folks: constancy might be intended, but for all of that tolerance and acceptance should be appropriated!
- We should redefine the role of civic society in the Eritrean community and especially in the Diaspora, because nowadays we are living in a box of confusion. In our case, we have to create a democratic society by transforming the ultra nationalistic society to a civic society. The formation of a democratic society postulates to some extents illuminated and educated citizens. Otherwise, due to the defaults of the policymakers and cluelessness of the mass, the state will end at dictatorship and tyranny of the majority, respectively. Exactly, this is the role of civic society to play, namely to defend and to conserve the democratic conventions or principles of a nation by educating, illuminating and sharpening the political awareness of the population to originate civic democratic institutions like students, labors and women’s union. They should organize for their communities like language schools, cultural centers (music, dancing and sports contest) to create the notion of togetherness and develop a democratic and tolerant society. Civic societies that educate and consult policymakers on the views of the voter about a specific issue can be regarded as a credible and useful source of information. More than these, civic society stakeholders should not compete for a vacancies in political power, otherwise the vice versa of their objectives will flourish.
- On the social barriers
- I have explained some of the social barriers to our democracy extravagantly at my first publication of September 2013 at Assenna.com (A Knight fencing against backwardness and injustice). For example, like the issue of gender equity by occupying political key positions by women to end up the paternalistic and patriarchal orientation of our society. This is a main issue that implies political awareness of a society in transformation. The female political stakeholders in this case should be aware of their impact to change the society by participating and engaging in all political elections and national proclamation actively. It is not enough celebrating the international women’s day once a year by giving speeches and reading poems of female heroism. I still believe the key to reeducate our society lies in the hands of our mothers. The mindset on the future efforts of our mothers matter: It depends on their initiation to make out of their sons civilized citizens or savage poachers.
Einstein said, common senses are the sum of all prejudices that one acquires until the age of 18. Thus, think new and think different!
- Nowadays, the people of Eritrea can be divided regionally in two categories (Inlanders and Diaspora) and politically in three categories (supporter of the regime, opposition and the silent majority), while the supporter of the regime and the opposition groups are in the minority and to some extent with differentiated political interest/attitudes. The silent majority per se is not silent; it is just undetermined and apathetic. I believe the critical point or pain threshold of the silent majority is not surpassed. Otherwise this is like a dormant volcanic that can be active any time to erupt. Many individuals and very few intellectuals are doing a good job to activate the silent majority. Well, to end up with the cross sectioning of the silent majority; a transparent communication with clearly defined massage of a visionary charismatic leadership is the last offer that the opposition has to make, to convince the silent majority to get out of their caves. Nonetheless, the silent majority should be aware of their responsibility towards the futurity of their people and grandchildren. Hence, civil-courage is the merest hint they have to show, if they want to washout their hands clean like Pilatus from the blood of innocent Eritreans shaded by the regime. Here is an urgent call and encouragement from my side to the silent majority to make up their minds and expose their boiling hidden rage versus the regime by organizing themselves in the readily existing political umbrella. Together we can make it; yes, we can!
- Creating sustainable national assets of Eritrea by cultivating its human resources should be the future-project of Eritreans, which should have started yesterday. Well, in the past and especially in the times of struggle for independence, as usually in almost many countries with background of revolution, the revolution eats its children. Therefore, our handful intellectuals and many of our scholars became deliberately the victims of marginalization, assassination and humiliation. This criminal intent to clean systemically the rare and valuable species of our society was planned and hired by the regime to secure his power. Well, the spirit of time changes everything and little things bring a change. But a change is not a little thing! Now the Eritrean people are seeking for change. Eritrean young professionals, intellectuals and especially the weak-gender are asked to make their contributions. I am aware of how difficult for an educated person might be to coach and to lead the people of a country that has 90% level of illiteracy. Nevertheless, it is time to show inner morality and to fulfill your commitment to get your people out of the darkness. Wherever you are and whatever you do, as an intellectual, you can compass your desperate people who are trampling in the valley of ignorance, because your pen can be mightier than a nuclear weapon and your words sharper than a Carbon, Silicon and Titanium doped Katana-Sword of a Samurai. It is time to navigate the ship in the direction of peace, democracy and justice.Inshallah!
- On the regional and international intervention barriers
Respectively, we should take the international and regional intervention in our struggle for democracy as a given due to strategical and historical backgrounds of our country. Therefore, it is reasonable to draft a future roadmap that depends on complimentary globally thinking and a conceptual locally acting philosophy, to transform the nation from its present state. A sustainable peaceful coexistence with our neighbouring countries and the international community could only be based on a diplomatic mutual support and respect. Nevertheless, in the context of international policies, we should be aware that a political and economical stability only could be achieved by picking smart goals within the bargaining agreements in the framework of negotiations. The last but not the least, we should be aware of how many (political stability and economical commodities) we can offer in our region for the international community. We must bring under our control our already internationalized problems. I am sure, by doing so, our country will be the shooting star of the international media outlets and the world will stop breathing until our problems are solved. Therefore, “We ought not to be afraid of death while we are dying”.
The affirmation of point 4
The interaction of experimenter has an impact on the outcome of the experiment. This fact is not only a quantum mechanical construction. Exactly, this affects our daily life. This ensures the existence of the second law of thermodynamics (the Entropy = degree of disarrangement or thelossofinformationinatransmittedsignal) that the nil point in the Kelvin temperature scale is unachievable.
Back to politics, yes of course; the interaction of experimenter has an impact on the outcome of the experiment. Imagine, if the leader of the regime did not participate in the struggle of independence and if things did not happen by chance as they did in our history, the outcome of our struggle will be different from its present form. The exceptionally gifted jazz musician George Benson said if you want to start learning to play the guitar, do not think by playing the guitar you will change the basics of music, the only difference is you! You can play the same music differently than other musicians do that the music can be more emotional and vivid.
We are the product of our infantile education and adult experience; therefore, we have to change our mindset to handle the future and acute challenges. On the upcoming elections (congress), we should select our leadership locally action oriented and via parallel vote.