Revitalization of the ENCDC (Bayto)
Dr Tadios Tesfu/Frankfurt Germany 20.11.2015
Why should we revitalize Bayto?
The ENCDC (Bayto) is the biggest agglomeration of Eritrea political parties, civic societies, intellectuals and justice-seeker individuals ever found in the history of Eritrea for the implementation of democracy. The main objectives of the Umbrella are to overthrow the dictator and to facilitate smooth transition of power after the fall of the dictator by restating rule of law, drafting new national constitution and providing new elections in Eritrea within two years. This Umbrella is the first of its category to represent the positive aspects of our political pluralism and ethnical and religious diversities that could be perceived as the spirit of the Eritrean people for freedom and coexistence. Unfortunately, within the last four years Bayto could not fulfill its objectives, due the following facts:
First, the incompetence and negligence of its leadership, second, the intervention (action) of EDA on the daily business of Bayto, seeking for more political power and influence within Bayto which might help them to impose their future political programs and ideals by destabilizing them. Third, agglomeration of other political newcomers and old forces those were against the formation of Bayto in Awassa/Ethiopia. They refer to Bayto as a Pro-Ethiopian political tool and not as an Eritrean political Umbrella. Fourth, Ethiopian government self-inflicted imprudent measures are the case. They treat Bayto and the other fragmented small Eritrean organization equally. They are more inclined to help the ethnical and religious Eritrean political organizations than helping Bayto financially and morally. Although they seem very committed to help the repressed Eritrean people, I have a notion that they failed to perceive Bayto as our irrigation system to democracy, peace and prosperity. Hereby I do not want to minimize their hospitality of our refugees by providing them with as such as medical care, scholarship and shelter and for the endeavor to support our opposition groups by giving them a play ground to fight back the dictator.
These are some of the reasons why Bayto could not function as it was supposed. Nevertheless, due to the struggle of the Eritrean People inside and outside of the Eritrea against the regime, nowadays Dictator Isayas Afewerki (DIA) and his PFDJ regime are levitating between life and death like the Schrödinger cat in Quantum Mechanics. It is amazing that nobody is able to open the Pandora‘s Box to see whether the cat is dead or alive. This reminds me about the death of Stalin. Weeks after his death no one of his medical doctors dared to say he is dead, as if Stalin was immortal. However, the question of how and who is going take over the power after the fall or natural death of DIA is now urgent than ever before. The PFDJ regime and his military are much weakened as we have heard from Demhit’s leader Mola. Besides that, there are inconvenience and quarrel between the high military PFDJ officials and the army too. This could be a fuel for upcoming civil war.
And what is going on with the political opposition groups, who have been waiting for more than 35 years to get to power? Sorry, but I cannot tell you a story which is easy to digest. Dr. Sara O. puts it this way, which I believe is adequate. She said that nowadays the Eritrean opposition is like a ghost. Here and there, we hear about conferences, meetings and festivals of the opposition groups that take place, mostly with some agreements made on cooperation and working together on minimum objectives, as they use to call it. Why a minimum program, I always ask myself, like many Eritreans do and wonder if there is a maximum program, like overthrowing the dictator. But no planned or fixed projects have been elaborated by the parties so far, which might help to overthrow DIA soon. Almost all of the big worldwide demonstrations (in Bologna, Geneva, and New York), public meetings, and festivals were organized by Eritrean grass root movements, while the leadership of the political parties was yawing. No wonder these chairmen are old men (gramps) between 70 and 100 years old. I have the feeling, for them this might be a new hobby and maybe an entertainment in their retirement to hold a chairman position and lead their organizations to deterioration.
What about the Eritrean youth groups in the opposition? Well, nothing new, like father like son. There is one special thing to be told about our youth; the youth is waiting to be liberated from DIA by their fathers and mothers. These battle-tested gramps and grannies on the age between 70 and 100 years have to take their Kalashnikovs and demolish DIA and PFDJ afterwards to give the power to the youth.
What about the middle-aged intellectuals and justice-seeker individuals? Well, they are making some contribution to fight the dictator. Mostly they are activists for human rights and democracy. They participate in many meetings of the international community and successfully address the harsh human rights situation in Eritrea. Who has given them a mandate to represent the Eritrean Diaspora at such places is the question to be asked? Mostly these are individuals who are not elected by the people locally to represent us in such panels. I wonder, how popular some of them really are, although their contribution is of a minor value.
The most of that makes me contemplative about the choice of our tools and mechanisms of struggle against the DIA are the political organizations we have. Disregard of their political programs, which are based on religious, ethnic, gender and age which to my mind never ever reflect the core mindset of our society, additionally by adding to their names phrases like Eritrean Peoples’, national salvation or democratic movements and so on, to inflate their apathetic state of mind. In fact nowadays these are the main hurdles of the Eritrean people on its fast track to democracy, peace and prosperity. Here can be ascertained the name of organization and their daily intrigues are literally not coherent with each other at all. Their ambition for power could be explained as an athlete waiting for a reward after striking a defective performance.
Lately, we read about a workshop took place in Germany to clarify their political position regarding the future of our country and the notes on some of their objectives regarding the dictatorship. By the way, for your information this was a workshop organized by an Eritrean broker and spare time polemic separatist seeking for future investment opportunities, a currently unemployed German former secret service agent and a club of a dead poet. I wished this workshop was organized by the German government itself, as I have requested Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel many times in my letters. Similar to the summit of the Syrian opposition groups in Germany that she has organized some years ago. The Syrian groups were promoted to design a road map, a political Chart and national constitution for the time after the fall of B. Al Assad.
However, that was not the case here, but anyway our political organizations agreed in 10 points in this workshop to work together by signing the agreement and published it in social media. Well, I wonder, why and what was the reason it took them years to come to such an agreement. The question will be, why not 5 years ago because the Eritrean people have founded Bayto in 2011? Why still many of these organizations and some individuals do not want Bayto? They almost have played a big role to destroy the biggest Eritrean people’s umbrella from inside and outside, in order to form small senseless political bric-a-brac. This will result in general marginalization of Eritrean intellectuals and contra communality of Eritrean People. This indeed was detected during the latest workshop in Germany; how bizarre! It is abominable and I am about to barf, watching these guys make an offer to the criminal officials of PFDJ military and beg them to share with them power, after the fall of the PFDJ. This is “Nay Daka Daka, Nay Gilet Gilet”, as it was stated by the Isayas Afewerki at the beginning of the millennium in Frankfurt. This is really brown-nosing. What we need is a fundamental systematical change and not an amendment of fragile pot. I want to make it clear that if we are speaking about Eritrean political organization and their members, we are talking about 2 to 50 persons. This means, these organizations are definitely part of the Eritrean people, but the more than 4 million Eritreans are not part of these organizations. Any attempt and action made by these organizations to represent the people of any kind at upcoming panels are illegitimate, as we always used to tell the PFDJ as well, although they tell us every day that they are the government of Eritrea.
My proposal to overcome this crisis will be to revitalize Bayto by participating all of our democratic forces and reform the structure of the Umbrella by forming an action-oriented leadership now (right man or woman on the right position). The leadership of Bayto should be elected by the grass root democratically, locally and representing our diversity (religion, ethnicity, age, gender and so on) and not by contingent (quota of the political organizations) as we have practiced four years ago. We should practice Rousseau’s direct democracy “by the people to the people”. We experienced it so many times that in such case a representative democracy cannot be our choice. That is why it is reasonable if the second national congress of the ENCDC to be organized by the ENCDC grass root members. In advance the elections of the ENCDC second national congress’ preparatory-committee should take place by involving all Eritreans organized by picking and grooming the candidates from the ENCDC grass root members. Because the ENCDC grass root members include members of political parties, civic society as well as Eritrean intellectual individuals. This will be fair if all the ENCDC members have the same starting point without any discrimination due to their affiliation or history of membership of any political parties. The quota system we had is not an adequate tool to meet the recent requirement. We observed inherent vice of social sophisticate awareness, political maturity, administrative capability, professional seriousness and refined soft skills from our political and Bayto leadership in the last years, which are the results of the quota system.