Thursday , November 15 2018
Home / All / An Initiative to Rally the Eritrean Lowland Societies

An Initiative to Rally the Eritrean Lowland Societies

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.

Historical Background

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.

Conclusion

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

About Eritrean Lowlanders' League

Check Also

A Glimpse at Gedli Boulevard, From the sidewalk

Exactly a year and a few weeks ago I wrote a draft article to post …

  • Hayat Adem

    Have you ever heard PFDJites admitting they ever made mistakes? Never. This guy who commented above is a typical example. He spoke of illegal occupation. He must have had Badume in mind. Badime was under Ethiopian admin before Isaias started the war and occupied it. If there was illegal occupation that ever happened on Badume, it was that occupation by Isaias until the Ethiopians removed him. Then Badume is back in their hands. And until demarcation is done per EEBC decision, there is no talk of illegal occupation. It is not right but if you want to talk of illegal occupation before demarcation is enacted, then PFDJ is also occupying some areas the await transfer after demarcation in the Zerona area. PFDJites speak of the ones deported from Ethiopia and not the slightly higher number of Ethiopians deported by PFDJ the opposite way. Weyane admitted some mistakes and are trying to redress in some way. PFDJ never admitted of any wrongs. Because PFDJites are angles, they never make mistakes. THC speak of the 19k Eritrean soldiers who got killed in action because of a war started by PFDJ as verified by a 3rd party. THC attributes this causality to the work of Weyane and blames them. What about the 17K Ethiopian soldiers who lost their lives in the same theater defending themselves from a war they never expected it to come from a friendly country? You also talk of Tigrayans as the next enemies. Go ahead THC, hate the Tigreans, and the best you will get is still love from them, or an equal amount of hate, or worse is you will reap doubly packed hate for every single hate. See if that helps you get anywhere while your country is on a slippery road of collapse, and the ones that are lucky not to be counted with the lost 19K are fleeing to Ethiopia, and we are still talking about u-turns, and lowland-highland politics while also being outpaced by the explosive situation in our hands.

    • Shum

      Hayat, did I read that right. You said your country instead of our country. Care to clarify?

  • Hayat Adem

    ክላን’ዶ፡ ‘ስኻ ድማ! ወያነ ወያነ ክትብል መከራኻ ረኺብካ!

    • Kokhob Selam

      KKKKKK.

  • Abinet

    Keep on creating imaginary enemies . Amara, Tigre , who is next? They are all proud Ethiopians .
    Find a mirror and look through it . You will find your enemy . As easy as that. No need to cross the border looking for an enemy that doesn’t exist. Those Amaras and Tigray you arrogantly call enemies took you with open arms in good times and bad times. In good times you were the creme of the society in every aspect, and in bad times they take care of you in refuge camps .some refuge Eritreans are attending colleges in ” enemy” land ,while none are attending in asmara university .
    Get real.

    • bystander

      Abinet,
      Please don’t make me laugh. Amaras and Tigray have been good to Eritreans? I guess the armed struggle for independence was launched in a vacuum. Tigrayans have been good to Eritreans? I guess it is an imaginary country that is occupying our land illegally. And those 19,000 Warsays must have committed suicide or something. And those Eritreans who were brutally kicked out of Ethiopia and made to walk through landmines, well, I guess that just didn’t happen. It is all in our head. It is all imaginary. Thanks for clarifying Abinet.

  • Hayat Adem

    Dawit,
    Someone told me the incompetence of pfdj to lead eritreans in a funny way and I thought if you can turn it into a cartoon expression, here is the idea>
    -he considers eritreans as smart, fast and innovative and for that as rabbits
    -he considers eritrea (the country) as a train locumotive of 9 cars moving along the time line (past to future)
    -passengers of that locomotive are those rabbits that you see them boarding on and off
    -turtle is at the front pulling and moving this train

    • bystander

      Hayat,
      If that’s how you describe “EPLF” and “Eritreans” as “rabbits”, what are Weyane and Tigray then? Snakes? Weasels?

    • Dawit

      Hayat,

      I thought your idea required more time so I came up with something different but inspired by yoour comment. I will post it in few minutes.

  • Hayat Adem

    Semere,
    You can’t just throw your slogans. Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions. You seem to have been suffering a lot from becoming too mechanical, The other day, you came out to tell us the Kebessa are 50+% and that is why you think they deserve to exercise a lion’s share power over others. Your PFDJ follows similar thought lines on power sharing and worse on other aspects. Such views and policies cause much resentment on other people and push them to look for extreme solutions.And now you are telling us how closer Eritrean regions are in relation to Asmara, and that as an assurance of zero-risk for break-up. Excuse me brother, regions don’t need any threshold distance from the capital city to effect separation. It is not how far their geography is what matters most; it is how distant their hearts are.

    • Semere Tesfai

      Hayat

      “You seem to have been suffering a lot from becoming too mechanical, The
      other day, you came out to tell us the Kebessa are 50+% and that is why
      you think they deserve to exercise a lion’s share power over others.”

      So what does your Woyane think about minority/majority governing? Cunning that you are, I bet you’re going to bring side issues to deflect the question. But anyway, back to our Eritrea:

      I believe, the best politics for a diverse nation like ours is not ethnic/religious/regional politics that polarize people, but a Secular Nationalist politics that is anchored on competing ideas. Eritrea would be better served when it allows only, secular nationalist political parties (that look like Eritrea itself), in which any bright Eritrean child who dreams to be a president one day can be a president. Not because of his/her ethnicity/faith/region… but because of his/her talent.

      If we raised the bar and made it a requirement for all political parties to look like Eritrea before they attempt to compete in an election to govern a diverse nation, then every political party (organization) will do everything in its power to have diverse members and diverse party bosses in order to reach every segment of the Eritrean society. If we don’t, what we get is what you’re witnessing – (40? organizations) and some more hatching every day everywhere.

      And this is how diversity in a secular nationalist politics work: if the Eritrean population is a 50/50 male/female ratio, then every political party with an ambition to govern the nation will work very hard to approach that magic number to maximize its vote count. If 50% of the Eritrean people are under 35 years of age, then every political party that dreams to govern Eritrea one day will work very hard to represent the young to maximize its vote count. If 50% of the Eritrean people lives in big and small cities and towns, every political party will do its level best to earn the vote of that segment of the population to get to the helm…….. And make no mistake – in any political competition and and vote count, religious and ethnic affiliation is not a determining factor: bread and butter issues are.

      A Saho from SenAfe who earns his/her ends meet by trading with Zalambessa doesn’t have the same interest and won’t vote the same way like a Saho in Massawa who earns a living depending on the treasure of the Red Sea. A Saho farmer in Gash Setit doesn’t have the same interest and won’t vote the same way like a Saho businessman in Asmara…. Or simply, it would be a loosing political strategy to count on Saho’s vote (or just any other vote) simply because they are Sahos or just because they are Muslims.

      Maximizing your vote count, by selling your vision and by broadening your base is the name of the game. And in that game, some will sink, some will swim, some will ride the wave – and some will just waste their time on ethnic/religious/regional nonsense only to be disappointed. What a pity!

      • Hayat Adem

        Semere,
        some days ago, you told us tigrigna are 55% and size must proportionately reflect their power influence in eritrea. What about saho? well according to your logic, they only should expect 4% empowerment as they are 4% eritrean population. that means right and duty are identity-size dependent.
        today, you have improved it a little. you said it has to be about competing ideas. meaning even minority members have a chance of shining if they can bring quality ideas to the plate. keep on improving and we might see eye to eye down the road, who knows.

        but again, leave your mechanical thoughts such as “that region/people will not go away from us because they are very close to asmara” halewlew. the challenge of keeping eritrea one and stable is a real challenge. the longer pfdj stays, the closer is the danger. your mere slogan “eritrea is forever” won’t help in stopping the danger.

        • Alhagiga

          Hayat sister,although I agree with him on his political views when it comes to running a nation,however Semere’s statistics has no merit,the statistics does not take into consideration the large number of Eritreans in Sudan’s cities and refugee camps,there are, no less than 500.000 Eritreans in Sudan,and that is conservative estimation,and they are mainly lowlanders,because of the proximity and the war that affected them directly since 1960s,and there are also large number of Saho tribes in refugee camps,which fled in 1967 after their villages were burned down by Ethiopian Troops,and they are in cities too like Kasala,Port Sudan,Ghadaref,and Khartoum,many of them they don’t hold HGDEF’s ID due to their political believes,there for they are not included in the statistics,also another factor is that since 1950’s there was a large number of Tigraians arrived in Eritrea and settled and enter married with highlanders,it is common in Eritrea to find highlanders either from father side or mother side relate to Tigray,and the luck that their villages were not burned as much as other ethnic group kept them intact,except those young fighters in the front.

  • Dear Kim Hanna,
    One should be careful not to fall into a trap. This “Amhara” vs “Amara” thing is
    similar to adding an “h” to make an Eritrean name look different from an Amhara
    name. In Amharic, I will never write “አምሃራ” but “አማራ”. In English, I would say that it is not a grave mistake to write both ways. Life is not all about identity. We are what we are, no matter what. Nothing could change that. Therefore, let us be free.
    Regards.

    • Kim Hanna

      Horizon,
      Thank you, I changed my mind again, let us be free!!
      K.H

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hi Kim,

    Sorry I don’t know the song. I wish I could help. And I suggest, if you want to get a response from the person that you’re trying to have a conversation with, it doesn’t help that you told him that you are Amara. You would have known what he thinks of Amaras, had you read his articles here in awate. Downright Hitlerite bigots, usually don’t know and understand what it means having a civilized conversation and normal human interaction, unless the conversation is about bloodletting of the particular group of people they target for extermination. If you remember even few words from that song, I will try to dig it for you…

    • times have changed

      Eyob, Amaras are now irrelevant to Eritreans. Tigrayans are the new Amaras if you want to talk about Eritrean anger and grievances toward Ethiopian administrations. Who is illegally occupying sovereign Eriterean territory in violation of international ruling? It’s not Amaras. Who killed and maimed 19,000 Warsays? It’s not Amaras. Who expelled Eritreans from Ethiopia after confiscating their properties and leaving them penniless and destitute. It’s not Amaras. Tigrayans are the new Amaras. Just telling the truth.

    • Kim Hanna

      Eyob,
      Thank you for your effort. I will ask around to see if I can find a hint. It is really difficult to look for 50 year old probably, a commemoration song of Eritrea/Ethiopia unification. It had/has powerful people set against it. I don’t hold hope for it. Thanks again for all your posts too.
      K.H

  • bystander

    Weyane is the greatest evil that befell not just Ethiopia but the entire Horn.

  • Dawit

    I was not tense. Why would I be tense? I may have sounded serious though. I don’t think having a sympathetic tone has a harmful effect. Sympathy + Empathy are good attributes to have a healthy relationship with one’s society.

  • Wilad Ere

    Dear Semere Tesfai (the right Semere – the Ertirean Semere). There is a need to distinguish here because the other Semere is the wrong Semere (Tigray Semere Andom). But you, sir, are the right Semere! The Eritrean Semere. You bleed red, green, yellow and blue. That’s our colors man. Eritrea forever indeed! Amen!

  • Semere Andom

    Dear Semere:

    -On your ridiculous ad hominem claim that Eritrea is the most stable nation: I say from you lips ( your fingers in this case) to God’s ears. Eritrea has been set up to be fragmented by the PFDJ and we have suffered civil wars in the past during the the armed struggle and the current situation has made it worse. Fragmentation does not mean we will be killing each like like the Rwandans. We have enough problems, not because we are inherently bad ad bigoted as people, but because our makeup, historical narrative and our current unjust system makes us prone to fragmentation. Do we have the wherewithal to combat it and triumph? Absolutely yes!. But lease do not fleece us with the platitude of we can think our way to stable society. If you or any one thinks the civil war that we suffered, yes the civil war that you are intimately aware of,that unnecessarily protracted our liberation did not have ethnic overtone is a fool

    On the majority rule:you did good until you said the minority to be loyal without developing a mechanism with which the minority can have fair representation.

    Sem

    • haile

      Selamat Semere A,

      moxi’Ka KershebaE eyu z’xawet zelo 🙂 Because there were Eritreans all over Ethiopia (dotted all across the then provinces) during HS and Mengistu, how was it possible that there became an independent entity for all these people scattered all across? Peoples of various cultural and religious backgrounds have their own defined places of origin and where they are at this instant is indeed irrelevant.

      I am going to give some generally held percentage estimates, but would say to those who argue that there can’t be valid census, there is. The regime is obliged to submit various types of population data to different third party agencies as the UN, WHO, World Bank…and these sources are utilized as secondary sources in many citations. So, easy up with my next set of numbers.

      In central and southern regions, more than 90% are Christian and ethnic Tigrinya. In the northern red sea regions, almost to 90% are Moslem and over 65% of the western lowlands and 95% of the Tigre are Moslem too. There are indeed well defined clusters and regions that map individual cultural/religious/identity attributes on one-to-one bases. Such clusters serve as the center of attraction that would normally be the drop-ship site of their share of political power and resource. It may be reasonable to claim that there is comparative stability along the ethnic divisions. And that is simply sealed by the virtue of sheer differences in numerical composition. It would be foolish and stupid to assume the same across religious lines. There is a well established, geographically delimited and politically as well as historically justified fault-line there. Only an idiot would say otherwise.

      We know that this issue is typically restive away from the headlines, yet it is there and it would take thinkers and people of courage to cement the unifying work that has been done thus far and take it forward. It is true PFDJ has been a major stumbling block in our nation building process, gave prominence to ignorant, lair and pompous people to destroy everything that Eritreans accumulated alone. Yet, hope thrives, and we shall overcome. KershebaE texawitka harba yelen, edl mexaE twldi kenewfrelu ember knlqeHalu newri..

      Regards

  • Semere Tesfai

    – Eritrea is forever; and I say it with confidence and with pride. Eritrea is one of the most stable countries in this planet. Eritrean fragmentation will never, never, never….happen unless there is a direct intervention from powerful foreign powers. Because in Eritrean society there are no fault lines; for better for worse, our lives are interconnected and intertwined weaved towards one destiny.

    – In Eritrea, there will never be a divided society: Lowland Society Kebesaland Society that is. There could only be Eritrean society or no Eritrean society at all. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

    – In Eritrea it is impossible to have ethnic or religious regions. When the Woyanes divided their country (Ethiopia) into ethnic Killils (regions), at least they have 90% or better ethnic purity in each Killil (spare Southern Killis) to implement their political project. In Eritrea only an idiot would entertain such an idea. Tigres call home (live) 20 Kms away from Asmara in the east (at Dirffo), they are 15-30 kms away from Asmara in the north, they are 15-20 kms away from Areza at Obell and Mai-Wessen; they are even few of them 15-25 kms from Mendefera at Hazemo. As a little boy, I lived in Tahtay Embatkala and went to school (3rd & 4th grade) in LaElai Embatkala. I was playing KershebaE all day with my Saho and Tigre schoolmates. And there were not too many of us from ethnic Tigrignas in my neighborhood.

    – And Embatkala is just 36 kms from Asmara. Sahos are 50% of the Adi-Keih and SenAfe population; they are at Segeneiti, whole Hazemo, in every Eritrean city, all over Western lowlands, allover Semhar and North Denkalia. The Jebertis are almost in every village in Seraye, in every region of the country, and in every big and small Eritrean cities and Towns.

    – Now, tell me: how would you like to draw your Lowland Society so you can protect your Arabic language, your Islamic faith, and your Islamic culture from being contaminated by the Tigrignanization of Eritrea? I hate to say this, but if you can’t draw your region on the map, how could you possibly dream of having a pure ethnic/religious region that would satisfy your Lowland Society Islamic dream?

    – Land: my argument is very simple. If I’m Eritrean enough to to sweat, bleed and die at every square inch of Eritrean land, fundamental fairness says, I must have every right to till the land to make ends meet, at every square inch of the land with no strings attached. And that was the basis of our principle when we fought for Eritrean independence. If you would have asked any Tegaday during Ghedli years – why he/she was willing to die at any given hill/village/region, the answer would have been the same: ‘the land is my land and the people are my people; and dying for my people and for my land is a noble cause worth dying’ or (ለ ምድር ምድሬ ቱ፡ ዎ ለሰብ ሰብኤ ቱ። ‘ግል ምድርካ ዎ ‘ግል ሰብካ ሞት ሄ፡ ሓላል ቱ።) end of story. There is no mine and yours but ours. period.

    – Majority rule: If you are for democracy, which I believe everyone of us is, the rule is very simple. The majority have the obligation to protect the rights of the minority; and the minority have the obligation to remain loyal opposition to the rule of the majority. And please, please….democracy is not about competing religions, it is not about competing ethnics, it is not about competing regions… it is about competing ideas for the betterment of the whole good. If we manage to have a civilized opposition that understands its political role in the nation, every political party will do every possible right-thing, to broaden its base in order to govern the nation. And if the political party bosses fails to look like Eritrea, then their political party will cease to exist. It is that simple.

    – The call for Lowlanders Society: it is a loosing proposition. Many, many, many…. have tried it before and many, many, many… more desperate people will try it in the future; but it is not a winning strategy. Because in life, religion is not a rallying factor. People from different regions, from different ethnics, from different classes, from different backgrounds…..not only they have different needs but also they see things differently. Those who disagree, and are hell bent to rally Eritrean Lowlanders (Muslims) against their ethnic Tigrigna brothers – well GOOD LUCK!!!!!

    But if they can’t defend their ideas in the cyber world, how could they possibly defend their ideas in every town, in every village, in every neighborhood…. in front of mixed crowd? I believe it is a pipe dream, it is hallucination, it if far from reality – but hey, let them keep dreaming.

    • Kim Hanna

      Dear Semere,
      My God you sound just like me. I am Amara. At one time I did not even want to be referred to as anything but Ethiopian. Times change. BTW Amara is the correct spelling, I read an article by a Dr. recently, so be sensitive to our demand. The “h” must have been added by our northern neighbors.
      K.H

    • Kim Hanna

      Semere,
      I forgot to add. There was a Tigrinya song I used to hear on Ethiopian Radio around Meskerem months. I don’t know the name of it. The singer had a beautiful voice with that beautiful tune about the road between Asmara and Addis Ababa. I wish I could hear it again one more time, even though it does mean anything. Maybe Eyob?
      K.H

  • Hadnetna

    Whether we are from the highlands or lowlands, the one thing that unites us all as Eritreans is our belief in a sovereign and independent Eritrea. No one wants to go back to the dark days of Ethiopian colonization! In the spirt of unity, I dedicated this wonderful song of remixes about Eritrean unity and exceptionalism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDJFHjWVncY

    • dine

      i change my mind after the music, am staying eritrean.

    • Wilad Ere

      Thanks Hadnetna! That was a treat. I really enjoyed the music. Gosh, I miss Abraham Afewereki. He was very innovative. Glad to see others have followed in his footsteps and are turning out great Eritrean unifying music. Thanks again for the treat. Eritrea forever!

  • tes

    Though I wished success for the initiators, my concern is yet not green.

    1. What makes Eritrean politics vague is its nature of initiation. All is based on FEAR. YG – his fabrication of false Eritrean identity is purely of FEAR, actually fear of identity crisis and trying a possible hiding haven under the worship of Haile-silase.

    2. Afar people’s movement is purely FEAR of extiniction.

    3. Medrek’s movement is purely FEAR of future Eritrea without the legacy of PFDJ
    eru.
    4. PFDJ dictatorship is fear of power and dominance

    I could have continued to list, but may be it will be a duplication of Haile Zeru. Anyway, this is the worst scenarios in the Eritrean politics.

    Deki metahit (Lowlander’s society) is purely the PRODUCT OF COMPLEX FEAR. And worse, it is repeating what our forefathers did before.

    Yes, Eritreans who live in the lowlands suffered a lot, their land was taken, they could get a grazing land and they can not plough their land, and more, they became victims of PFDJ security policy, cultural policy, educational policy… etc.

    But then, is it logical to initiate a geopolitical platform that can ruin the main theme of dictatorship of PFDJ?

    PFDJ is killing all people with no discrimination. Lets read all countries that were under the communist USSR direct influence, especially the western Europe. That is what we are now facing. Let’s fight for this. Lets not follow the old and bancrapted political methodology. We have a clear political issue, that is aTotalitarian regime. To call now people under the umbrella of geo-politics is just chaos and a delay for the overthrow of dictatorship.

  • Ermias

    Hi Sheba, tunnel vision is bad I know but I am much more critical of the PFDJ regime as they are afflicting huge miseries on our people as opposed to the cyber opposition which is at worst ineffecive.

    With respect to this article, I am not sure what more to say. I hate wearing the hat of being a politcal analyst but if you insist here is my two cents but I lose patience usually without finishing my thoughts or expanding and supporting my ideas. I like statisitcs better, just as you do.

    I think, all the people of Eritrea should express their grievances freely in any medium as individuals or as organizations. However, you have here eight men and one woman from Europe, Australia, and the United States speaking on behalf of eight ethnic groups of Eritrea (may be 7 if you exclude meshakin saho). I wonder if every ethnic group is represented by the founding committee members?

    They are effectively implying that the highland people’s interests are well protected by the regime and that the lowlands have and are giving more than the highlanders. Here comes the issue of statistics. How many people have died in the 30 year war for indepedence? What percentage from each ethnicity? How many people have been imprisoned, persecuted, and killed by the PFDJ regime after independence? What percentage from each group? How do those percentages compare if we do a weighted average of their respective ethinicities? See if we go down this slippery route, we quickly open a can of worms. One contradictory thing to note – they are claiming that the lowland cannot continue to give more for this unity than the highland and also that unity should be by choice not by force. (Please note that I am paraphrasing most of this so I apologize before hand for any misrepresentation.) Well, then the YG school of thought can fight back by quoting “Kebessa Eritrea’s Suicide Mission from Sahel to Lampedusa: The Other War.” This school of thought argues that this idea of Eritrea (lowlands and highlands as a unit) has been drying out the kebessa woman’s womb. See, if these 9 people here go full force and start attracting a good number of followers, the other extreme can gain momentum just as quickly too if not quicker. That is why I just say these guys can try their luck and see how far they go. Where would they get any support if they go for the most extreme option of “all available means?” At this point, I am having trouble giving these guys ideas any serious thought.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Ermi,

      You may be surprised, but I don’t see that much of outrageous proposal on this ‘initiative’. People, especially, those people, who are under a thumb of excessively oppressive overlords feel very strongly about their identity and think in rather narrow ethno-religious centric terms over broader nationalistic view of their country or nation. This actually exactly happened in Ethiopia some 24 years ago. Every group had ‘liberation’ front. The overbearing system they had to go through was somewhat forcing them to thing that ‘I would be better, had I have lived only with my own kind’. Acknowledging their grievances and taking not to radical but step by step moderate corrections of wrongs that have been done to them with their full participation, as part of the decision making process about every aspect that affects their lives would bring them back to the path of thinking wider. It would make them to say ‘may be it’s not so bad to live with this other people’. That is what happened in Ethiopia. First, everyone’s right was acknowledged. (Self determination, up to succession) To do that, a procedure was set through constitution, albeit it’s long and arduous. That gives them a time to reflect about their options, while they getting used to self administration and start to enjoy some of its fruits, along it’s showing them the overwhelming benefits of living with others. It lets them sharing resources of others, while enjoying their own. ( swapping it) At the end, the ‘succession’ part becomes meaningless. This by the way, not reflected only in Ethiopian constitution. It is also in the most revered ‘We the people’ constitution of the United States. In American constitution, states have a right to self determination. But other than the few crazies in Texas, who raise that option once in a blue moon, when they elect a governor named Rick Perry, who no one takes seriously, the article is an almost dead one. Yet, it’s there to guarantee people that they have an option, should the oppression becomes unbearable. The ‘liberation fronts’ in Ethiopia are also dying down, as they have the reason and the platform to fight for and their old school leaders are getting old and somewhat lost the will to press on. Even the fiercest once like Ogaden Liberation front have been relegated to Internet news letters, because they were told by their own people that their help is not needed anymore. The same story with OLF (Oromo Liberation Front). On this article, it suggests for people to have cross border relations with their kin across the border. I see no problem what so ever with that. An Eritrean Beja family can have close relatives in Sudan and it certainly appropriate to demand unfettered access to have contacts with them. That goes to The Afars with Ethiopia and Djibouti, the Sahos in Ethiopia and of course the Kebessa in Tigray and Amhara, Ethiopia ( the last part, only if you want to 🙂 I know many are a bit Squamish to admit that they can have cross border relations with Ethiopians God forbid!) That actually should be encouraged. It fosters harmony between the countries around the neighborhood. It’s good business and peace keeping around the borders. It’s not to be afraid of. Of course a law of the national/federal government will regulate the cross border relations to make it orderly with full input of the concerned parties culture, custom and traditions. My biggest concern on this initiative is the grandiose claim of ‘Arabic has to be the national language’. Throughout history, usually Arabic, when it is imposed doesn’t come by itself. It has baggages. It brings an Arab culture that seeks to destroy the one that already exists, where ever it arrived. Egypt was a land, where there was a language, an alphabet, a thriving civilization, religion and culture. Alas. That’s all gone, but very little left of it now, because Arabic has arrived with full of its baggages. As I said before in this forum, Islamic countries like Turkey and Iran have thrived without it. Iran managed to send a rocket to space, because it has kept its identity, language and culture and resisted Arabization. So did Turkey. It managed to be one of the world’s respected modern economies, because it has kept Arabization with arms length. So did Malaysia. So the point I wanted to make is other than the sugar coated ‘gift’ of Arabization on this ‘initiative’ the other suggestions are not so bad…..

      Sal and Gash Saleh,

      Now go ahead hurl your stones on me. I am ready…

      • Ermias

        Hi Eyoba, see that is why I didn’t want to let you off the hook with respect to analyzing Eritrean matters. I wrote to Sheba a response too with respect to this article. You put this most elaborately. I also implied that they can try their luck but I can’t see them gaining much traction any time soon just as the YG school of thought will not gain any traction any time soon.
        The Arab national language to me is a wild suggestion. Someone was claiming here that the small ethnic groups languages are becoming more and more extinct so importing Arabic just so you will not use Tigrinya seems juvenile.

        Your analysis is excellent and so adding gibberish from me is useless.

        If I may suggest to the moderator, however, to make this comment by Eyob Medhane as featured comment. Agree or disagree, it is educational.

      • Saba

        Dear Eyob, mighintsal waza key mesleka, as most Eritreans are determined to go all the way once they pursue an ideology. So it might not be a quick U turn as you saw in Ethiopia. AS with all his education took him >3years.

        The intermarriage between the people in both borders was common till 1998 and still continues. And in practice there is no that much difference between tigrigna speakers in both borders, other than the 60years of Italian colonization. I know pfdj made you believe that they are different. Same thing with other ethnics. The second point you are totally missing here is that they are requesting to administer their lowland as if it is a nation by itself. As i said before, that will make me feel adi areb, not adey mearey. So i advise you not to trivialize it if you want to fight for the basic human right in Eritrea. If you bring to the opposition camp the ethio factor, the lowland factor, the haymanot factor, etc your cyber opposition will be more virtual opposition.

  • dine

    this is the beginning of ever lasting solution for eritrea’s problem .am gonna say for the habesha eritreans brothers and sisters back to mama when you do , don’t forget to bring the kunama and afar with you.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Thank you, Ermi. 😉

  • Haile Zeru

    ggfdgdf

  • Haile Zeru

    Let us look how many proposals we have for this great country of ours, called Eritrea.

    PFDJ-Despotic dictatorship (Tigrinya centric and occasionally uses some useful idiots from other ethnic groups. As time goes by it is more crispy. )

    YG-Neo andnet. Eritra Fake people (identity), Fake history, Fake culture, Fake blood and sweat. His solution Habesha nation, Habesha identity. Others can go to…)

    Semere Tesfay- Pro PFDJ- Tigrinya centric dictatorship if need be alliance with Tigray as it happened before. His Formula for perfect Solution. Dictatorship of the majority.

    Ali Salm 1 – Resolute, no none sense lowlander. Strong demand for lowlanders share in all aspects.
    I suppose within the Eritrean nation.

    Ali Salim 2-Langa Langa, Mongo mongo, day dreamer. He dreams the moon to set democracy somewhere there.

    Ethinc Organizations – Self-determination up to secession. Some are willing to back it up by forming armed units. If they are allowed to secede probably they will join their kin on the others ide of the boarder. Hopefully they will accept them.

    Lowlander society, Old idea re-surfacing. In the 40’s it was under the umbrella of Moslem league.
    First of all why is it difficult or impossible for an Eritrean nation to meet in its Constitution almost 90% of the issues that are discussed in this document? If a new Eritrea cannot accommodate 90% of these demands then it is good for nothing. I am leaving 10% just in case.

    It is also incumbent on the righters (as far as ideas can go) to compromise on the 10%. This way probably no need for the existence of the society. This of course if PFDJ is removed-uprooted, YG ostracized, and Semere Tesfay ideas evaporated. This way anybody can have a happy country called Eritrea. A real one.
    If Ethnic rights are respected maybe the people from the otherside will love to join us!!! Self determination to stay Eritrean.

    But if you are like PFDJ, YG, Semere Tesafy who say our way or the high way then I prefer the high way.

    Self determination up to seccession (Afar can join his afar, Kunam his Kunama if there is one on the otherside of the boarder, the Hadendewa with Sudanese Hadendawa, The Beni Amer with their kin on the other side of the boarder, and the Tigrinya with his kin on the south) etc…The joining is intended the people and the land they live on. In this last scenario also no need for the existence of the society. Because it does not have a purpose.

    The purpose of this society is under the assumption that there will be a country called Eritrea where the lowlanders have their fair share. If there is no presupposition of Eritrea then the demands are just hollow. Nothing.

    Actually, I like the idea of Eritrean Lowlander society for purposes that are not exactly as the authors are contemplating. If you see in the world a lot of indigenous languages are dying. Working to preserve such heritage is important for all humanity. So far preserved history of humans is in archeology and the DNA, lately in the books. The first two are nature devised archiving. With the modern technology we should be able to preserve everything. Almost all the language at risk of extinction are in the lowlands. But, Of course if a Nara person is not free and happy to live in his land what is the point of preserving his/her language or culture? Actually it is impossible. Therefore an Eritrea that does not take care of such matters what good is it for? Lowlander societies could also be very instrumental in these aspects.

    Those who say Long leave PFDJ are saying Death to Eritrea. All the ideas above are because Eritrea has become hell to live in therefore anything is better. Some run at cost of getting killed, some drown, some crawl to get away from it. Lowlander society is a reaction not a cause.

  • Haile Zeru

    Let us look how many proposals we have for this great country of ours, called Eritrea.

    PFDJ-Despotic dictatorship (Tigrinya centric and occasionally uses some useful idiots from other ethnic groups. As time goes by it is more crispy. )

    YG-Neo andnet. Eritra Fake people (identity), Fake history, Fake culture, Fake blood and sweat. His solution Habesha nation, Habesha identity. Others can go to…)

    Semere Tesfay- Pro PFDJ- Tigrinya centric dictatorship if need be alliance with Tigray as it happened before. His Formula for perfect Solution. Dictatorship of the majority.

    Ali Salm 1 – Resolute, no none sense lowlander. Strong demand for lowlanders share in all aspects.
    I suppose within the Eritrean nation.

    Ali Salim 2-Langa Langa, Mongo mongo, day dreamer. He dreams the moon to set democracy somewhere there.

    Ethinc Organizations – Self-determination up to secession. Some are willing to back it up by forming armed units. If they are allowed to secede probably they will join their kin on the others ide of the boarder. Hopefully they will accept them.

    Lowlander society – Old idea re-surfacing. In the 40’s it was under the umbrella of Moslem league.
    First of all why is it difficult or impossible for an Eritrean nation to meet in its Constitution almost 90% of the issues that are discussed in this document? If a new Eritrea cannot accommodate 90% of these demands then it is good for nothing. I am leaving 10% just in case.

    It is also incumbent on the righters (as far as ideas can go) to compromise on the 10%. This way probably no need for the existence of the society. This of course if PFDJ is removed-uprooted, YG ostracized, and Semere Tesfay ideas evaporated. This way anybody can have a happy country called Eritrea. A real one.
    If Ethnic rights are respected maybe the people from the otherside will love to join us!!! Self determination to stay Eritrean.

    But if you are like PFDJ, YG, Semere Tesafy who say our way or the high way then I prefer the high way.

    Self determination up to seccession (Afar can join his afar, Kunam his Kunama if there is one on the otherside of the boarder, the Hadendewa with Sudanese Hadendawa, The Beni Amer with their kin on the other side of the boarder, and the Tigrinya with his kin on the south) etc…The joining is intended the people and the land they live on. In this last scenario also no need for the existence of the society. Because it does not have a purpose.

    The purpose of this society is under the assumption that there will be a country called Eritrea where the lowlanders have their fair share. If there is no presupposition of Eritrea then the demands are just hollow. Nothing.

    Actually, I like the idea of Eritrean Lowlander society for purposes that are not exactly as the authors are contemplating. If you see in the world a lot of indigenous languages are dying. Working to preserve such heritage is important for all humanity. So far preserved history of humans is in archeology and the DNA, lately in the books. The first two are nature devised archiving. With the modern technology we should be able to preserve everything. Almost all the language at risk of extinction are in the lowlands. But, Of course if a Nara person is not free and happy to live in his land what is the point of preserving his/her language or culture? Actually it is impossible. Therefore an Eritrea that does not take care of such matters what good is it for? Lowlander societies could also be very instrumental in these aspects.

    Those who say Long leave PFDJ are saying Death to Eritrea. All the ideas above are because Eritrea has become hell to live in therefore anything is better. Some run at cost of getting killed, some drown, some crawl to get away from it. Lowlander society is a reaction not a cause.

  • Ermias

    Sheba, what an interesting take on the article! I didn’t see it that way at all but you may be right.

    You mentioned statistics – one of the biggest issues we have in Eritrea is that there is no official census of anything. For the lowland people as an example, what percentage are happy with the status quo? What do they think should be the official language? How many know Arabic? Who do they feel closest too in terms of shared customs? Do they feel dominated by highlanders? Do they feel they are giving too much for this unity? Would they imprison women for drinking alcohol and dressing like hoochi mammas? Excuse my French there. We don’t know anything.

    • Sheba

      I put the statistics comment having you in mind:) I believe it is important to have statistical data on those issues and other fields. I get stat-related questions very often and my answer is the same, i do not know. One thing i can say is that i will respect the lowlanders as long as they do not impose it one me when i go there(this time golij:)), if not i would not feel i am in Eritrea anymore. I guess you like naughty stuff so you will be the first to be imprisoned:)

  • ZULA

    Why is it that when the non tigregna people come togther to form an association it becomes HARAM and when the tigregna people come together to form an assocation it is HALAL ?
    Also, since when we start calling the non Tigregna Eritreans as MINORITIES ?
    On how census, statistics and actual scientific data does teh Tigregna people became a MAJORITY in Eritrea ?
    Repeating one thing a 1000 times like a parrot doesn’t make it a fact, so please enlighten me on this if you have a fact data to support it.

    • Sheba

      I think the lowlanders”minority” is politically speaking(in terms of political representation). Numerically, i think Tigrigna speakers are minorities and some of them are defecting to amhara (or amara) wanna be:)

    • Dawit

      Statistics =======================================================100%
      Tigrinya ===========================55%,
      Tigre ==============30%,
      Saho ====4%,
      Kunama ==2%,
      Rashaida==2%,
      Bilen ==2%,
      other* =====5%

      Other*=Afar, Beni Amir, Nera 5% (CIA’s 2010 est.)

      #####################################################################

      Statistics =========================================================100%
      Christians===================================62.9%
      Islam ===================36.2%
      other =0.9%

      According to http://www.pewresearch.org

      If election were to be held in Eritrea, given one man one vote, the overwhelming majority of the public offices would go to Christian Tigrina. To remedy the imbalance, politicians need to organize a political party based upon an ideology rather than religion, region or language.

      • Saba

        I was part of that study so you have to mention me:)

        • Dawit

          The above statistics is fairly accurate because it was compiled by white (may be some non-habesha blacks) people. They won’t deliberately skew statistical data related to the dark continent to prove something which is untrue. So, it is highly unlikely that you are excluded from the study. Now, go to bed and sleep tight:-)

          • Saba

            I guess you did not get it. I conducted the study in collaboration with them. So i deserve some credit. The study suffers some sampling and other biases. They did not go to many villages like adi zeragito, enda cyber(silicon valley), ruba neqatsit, mai kah kah, etc. Just kidding do not google them but if you do you will find may kah kah for real, instead of mai jah jah in google map:)

          • Dawit

            Villages are not created nor are they destroyed. They have existed since the big-bang. On the other hand, matter was created from nothing (thanks to the big bang), but has not yet been destroyed.

            Focus on what statistics does not say as well as what it says to get the complete picture. For more info. about statistics, consult with Haile the great who says he is a statistician by practice.

          • Saba

            You sound very tense. Relax my friend, i was just playing with the names, high sympathetic tone for a longer period of time is harmful. Villages are not destroyed? I do not wanna lecture you about tectonic forces or stat. There is a new village created in bada area, HAWI-LEYTO city:) izi hatew ketew big bangu ti amno dika?

      • ZULA

        Dear Dwelt
        When did CIA or Pew Research did census count inside Eritrea ?

        Neither those entities nor the Eritrean government did any census in the last 23 years to support your argument. This is all a guess work, what I need is a scientific fact which is a result of nation wide count NOT MAKING UP A MAKE BELIEF STATS from Wikipedia.

        Try again.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Moderators,

    Am I mistaken or you went back to hold comments to moderate them? My last comment to Ermias has been held for moderation (which is fine) Then it disappeared all together. If it has been deleted, please let me know what rendered it to the trash bin. Thanks…

    • Saleh Johar

      If this helps, you are on the whitelist, but on this Disqus is erratic. And if there is no “teregna” moderator, it can be delayed until someone attends to the Forum. Sometimes we are short of time and manpower and we have to attend life requirements. Be patient since this doesn’t happen from our side but rarely. You duplicate comments are deleted. It reminds me of people who keep pressing the pedestrian light switch a hundred times as if an already switched-on button will understand they are in a hurry 🙂

      • Eyob Medhane

        Eshe, Gash Saleh,

        Thank you. I knew that when you get to be ‘teregna’ moderator, things will be alright! 🙂

  • Ermias

    I have conclusive evidence that Hayat writes from the East Coast of the USA.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Ermias,

      Your ‘investigative’ skill is so mesmerizing. Please tell me, tell me, who am I? 🙂

      Araya,

      I hope they will boot out unceremoniously, as quickly as possible. You know that they are watching you right? Be afraid. Be very very afraid. ‘Your eyes colors’ started to look like undesirable for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. You don’t belong there. If you don’t have respect for your hosting nation and it’s people, start packing. You’ll never know, when they will catch up to you. You can do all your hate speech, from outside like many of your likes, once you’re plucked out…

      • Ermias

        Eyoba, sarcasm aside, I just learned that you are from the west coast. That’s as much as I can tell about you. Ask Hayat where she is, if I am wrong, I will suspend myself from this website indefinitely.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Ermi,

          ‘Suspend yourself from this website indefinitely’, because you are wrong about my whereabouts Wait! I’ll take that back. Don’t suspend yourself. You are great and enjoyable to read, but you are still wrong… 🙂

          • Ermias

            Yes, no, you are in the east. I was getting distracted and I wanted to impress you so bad. የጅብ ችኩል ቀንድ ይነክሳል። በችኮላ ነበር ኣንተን ያንበብኩህ ልጅ እዮብ፥፥ I am sorry I can’t suspend myself from here eyobiye, this keeps me of out trouble. lol. I like your posts too because it gives us a wider perspective.

            I will tell you this Eyoba. Yesterday, I was on a routine training. So the instructor was teaching about tunnel vision and how we cannot be too focused on the task on hand and expand our horizon, you know all that cliche stuff. Anyway, so he shows a video. There were six men and women, three dressed in complete black and the other three in complete white. Each group (black and white) had a basketball and so our task was to count how many passes the white group makes in one mintue. He said men and women come up with completely different numbers. Now, I was like I got beat all these women here, my ego was on the roof. So he plays the video, I count 17 passes and I was like that is it, who can be better than me. He then said okay, there is no women and men differences but he let us watch the video again just casually this time. I was shocked to see that somewhere within that minute, some guy dressed as a guarilla comes in within the other six people and he was dancing and having fun. I did not see him at all the first time around because I was so wired and so focused – tunnel vision, that’s how we can miss the boat. Sorry for the complete digression but my point is to encourage you to hang on here and enlighten us with you perspectives to keep us balanced. Same goes for T. Kifle, Abinet, Horizon, etc. as Ethiopians and also others who have different views than the average awatista.

          • Sheba

            So your tunnel vision was being “only anti-pfdj” 🙂 I see you surprised by this article and has little to say. Have you ever seen lowlanders settled in high land areas?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ermas,

            Ha! Interesting. What you had to say about ‘tunnel vision’ is very worthy to note. Honestly, I do not know where you are and I don’t even try to guess. Having said that, reading your posts gives me two impressions about you. 1) We are in the same age group. ( don’t ask what that is,as I have stopped counting couple of years ago. 🙂 ) Few months ago, my son drew a paper post card for my birthday and, instead of having the ‘oh’ moment, I said to myself (of course not to him) ‘what the hell is he remind me how old I am for?’ 2) You say what you think, without filtering them with calculative manner. Some times that could annoy people (including me) But I like it. It shows you have no malice. You are just you. I think that is what gravitates me to your posts to read them. As far as your invitation for me to keep contributing, I of course will. Lately, I somewhat reserved my thoughts to myself, especially on issues that are exclusively Eritrean, unless the word ‘Ethiopia’ is mentioned. Particularly, I feel I have said everything I had to say on articles, such as the above one throughout the last three years. I however will keep checking and reading yours’ and everyone else’s opinion and educate myself. Thank you for the open invitation, though.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Hi Ermias,

            Apparently, I seem to be ‘black listed?! ‘ by the moderators or by the Disques itself. I don’t know. I tried to respond a post to you couple of times, but they repeatedly were discarded. I appealed to the moderators, but no response. I’ll see, if this one makes it and, if not, I’ll ship out all together. Thanks…

          • Ermias

            Eyob, don’t despair yet. Disqus does erratic things sometimes. Sal has acknowledged this before. I saw your post and when I click on my disqus it shows up but it says it is still being moderated. I will copy and paste it below.
            But I think you should not limit yourself to when only Ethiopia is raised. Your take on this article in particular would actually be very insightful because given Ethiopia’s experience over the last 24 years mebtu eske ras wisane ena eske megentel, how would you handle a situation like this?
            Speaking of me, yeah I have a little temper which I get from my tigre nature. What ticks me off a little bit is when people attack the defenseless. Some guys make a mockery of people drowning in the meditranean sea, Araya’s remark about the bus accident, those shouldn’t have a place anywhere. Other than that, I try to stay positive in general.
            Here is your post:

            [Moderator:please don’t duplicate comments. There is no reason to lose patience]

    • hayat adem

      Now you are scaring me Ermi:(

  • Sheba

    To all people who were color blinded or desensitized by pfdj’s “hade hizbi hade libi” that are now trying to be hypersensitive:
    We need to address the specific needs of all minorities in ALL places but at the cost of unity? Let say i go to tesseney and i feel like i am in adi areb, imprisoned for drinking alcohol or i have to have a male companion from my family anywhere i want to go. Is that the kind of Eritrea you dream? Where is the unity then? For me such kind of Eritrea was never existed and it will NEVER exist.

    This comment is not based only on this article. I met many real people with such idea(i know there are statisticians here:), i have not done randomized study )

  • Salah Ejail

    A Prematurely dead project.Desperate people take desperate actions.

  • Ermias

    I have no idea what to make of this. It is really hard to read, that is my only complaint. Other than that, no need for anyone to get alarmed here. Until I am proven wrong, I will never worry about the disintegration of highland and lowland. The mighty British proposed this prior to federation, it failed utterly because Eritreans will always prefer unity, one Eritrea, kebessa and metahit bmulu’a. Well, at least, I like to believe that.

    I think it is really a good idea for any individual or group of people to express their frustrations and let it all out. Sometimes it helps to vent and a large number of us (yours truly included) have no first hand knowledge to speak of when it comes to the lowlands of Eritrea and its people.* However, this group espouses lowland first and unity as a secondary matter. I wouldn’t put too much weight on this group (who wrote the article) because what means and support (from lowland Eritreans) do they have to implement anything they proposed here? However, it would be wise to use this as an opportunity to look beyond our comfort zones and try to understand the issues of lowland Eritreans not in this context but in comparative terms. Are their issues the same as the ones in highland Eritrea?

    *The land issue could be a real issue and it needs to be looked at closely. As an example of my ignorance (perhaps many can relate too), many years ago, someone (a highlander, ex-ELF fighter) was telling me that he and his family lived in Golouj, they were farming there after moving back to Eritrea from Sudan in the mid 1990’s. I never asked him but in the back of my head I always thought ‘did he buy the land?’. Because as we all know, who can get a piece of land (even to sit on let alone farm) in Kebessa if you are not wedebbat? Should we resettle some of the lowland refugees (maybe 10K of them) in, say, quohayin or smejana or serejeka? I am not a propenent of the land-grabber theory but one thing these guys make a good point on is ‘systematically re-settling’ a large number of people in any area should be unconsitutional.

  • Hayat Adem

    How do you know I’m in Mekele? You may think such lies are just harmless to say but when you say them effortlessly it really shows your character. ክስታን ከይሓጠዩ ከይሓድሩ ንአንጽዋ ክንዲ ብዕራይ ይብልዋ!

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear all,
    Are we giving on aspiring to find happiness in what we know today as Eritrea? This initiative is very clear that it is about metaHit not Eritrea. One shouldn’t be confused about the forked tone this initiative sounds to deceivingly signal. But, it is not about Eritrea and it is not about metaHit in Eritrea. It is not shockingly surprising if some individuals group themselves to think of any new initiative about whatever entity they think but to see institutions
    such as AT we used to know them jealously guarding the sovereignty of Eritrea as a sacrosanct finality lending a platform to such a group is depressing and unsettling. The injustices and excesses of Eritrea can only best addressed in the framework of Eritrea. We don’t need further break-up to solve our problems which mostly emanate from poverty and backwardness. PFDJ is only a problem as far as it remains an obstacle to Eritreans in their effort to break poverty and backwardness vicious circle. Promoting MetaHit will never solve problems of poverty and facilitate development.
    The initiative said in its introduction: “This society [MetaHit] 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.” This is a clear prelude in pursuit of divorce. With this context scroll down to 6 where they had to say this: “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.”
    This is to say, MetaHit to be remain part of Eritrea proper should be freely and voluntarily choosing it. To be so, it has to get its land back. If not, not only is going to walk out of Eritrea but will be using any means to get back what is taken from it. On number 10, you get the real tone of the spirit, that not only the call is for Metahit to ex-reach Kebessa but also to reach-out other cross border proximities. How else do you interpret this: “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. … 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.” This is a thought only you can frame in the notion of assuming a nation-level identity.
    And do you see any clear commitment of building an Eritrean nation as one entity and society boldly stated in their mission and vision? No, not even a single word is there as a sign post. This totally a recipe of further cut of the same cake, and seeking cross border rapprochement, leaving the Kebessa out in the cold. What does the AT see good in this in promoting such a divisive initiative as is without editorializing its message with a balancing perspective? Isn’t this a typical example of what YG warned us of being inspired by the cutting and not the essence of the cake? My anger comes from seeing what is coming.

    • haile

      Hello Hayat, OK time for conspiracy theory 🙂

      These guys are just bluffing, they don’t have the slightest facility to implement what they say in practice. But, why do they bluff? Here is wild theory:

      – Medrek started to build bridges with PFDJ, failed to gain traction

      – U-turns after U-turns to build bridges with PFDJ, failed to gain traction

      – Now, another coded message that uprooting the PFDJ sur Meho lewti might open a Pandora’s box in undermining national unity, this won’t gain traction either

      It would have been nice for people to approach the current state of national crisis with the sole intention of alleviating it than to facilitate group/individual interests. Hafash y’Ezeb alo, msTelaEle gn ms hgdef leKaKimu daHlak kesagrom eyu 🙂 (kidding…)

    • Semere Andom

      Dear Hayat, do not pull romantic on me now 🙂

      Dear Saleh

      The dream of all romantics (only the justice seeking romantics) and de-romantics is to see a free, united and democratic Eritrea devoid of any PFDJ legacy and nostalgia and for the poor Eritrean people to reclaim their true legacy. You and I believe that the only obstacle to this aspiration was and is PFDJ.

      The ethnic diversity with very small groups makes Eritrea complex and prone to the dictatorship of the majority, therefore as I said to Sheba if the lowlanders could unite under this banner, I perceive it as less divisive because it is not based on religious and ethnic fragmentations, it becomes a geopolitical issue and a tussle between lowland and highland as Dawit has depicted and this pull and push can be equlibirimized by the pillars of democracy and equity.

      Now on the insinuation of separation and reclaiming their land: I see it as fair, this speaks to both the current situation and a cautionary tale for the future government that the land that was confiscated by the PFDJ be returned to their rightful owners. I ecnoutner many leading opposition members that believe that land should be owned by government and the same people are ambivalent about the 2% and the slave labor (nationals service) that PFDJ has instituted. Should we have a country with the PFDJ reassignment of new provinces and land confiscated in the future? I cannot tell the hidden agenda of the authors of this article as you seem to discern and I cannot vouch for them either, but keep in mind that the PFDJ have refused the lowland refuges to return to home of their fathers by claiming their fertile land and selling it to rich diaspora investors for profit sharing. They feel threatened of their very existence as endangered and marginalized segment of our society.

      We are certain that the dreams of Eritreans will not be realized under the PFDJ, and there is real angst that future governments may not be able to undo what the PFDJ has concretely cemented. There are actually things we can infuse in the future constitution in this article such as the official language issue that will make 50% of Eritreans happy

      If future Eritrea cannot accommodate the needs/dreams and aspiration of all its stake holders and it is so fragile like egg shells that it cannot withstand some of the allusions of the contents of this article then it does not deserve to exist in the first place. The resilience of the our people should be measured in how they can handle the difficult issues that the makeup of Eritrea mandates and not solely on war time bravery

      All the crap that we are united by design and divine was fed to us by you know who, we are only united when we look after our respective interests as geopolitically deferent people. We cannot just needle Eritrea together as per our whim as PFDJ is doing.

      Saleh:

      It is hard to be accused, but your terse response borders on the defensive. Atensena wo atensiay egl Hayat 🙂

      Sem

    • ibrahim

      I would like to know your understanding of the available lierature not your guts that led you to a forked tone…..let us qualify it as forked…effortless incrimination isvlike a flue and am afraid to catch one inder your theme. Keep the good work we seek unadultrated culture of engagement for we are non eithout. Thanks

  • Fenomeno

    Arabic is already an official language in Eritrea right? You could disagree on the way it is being used, but adopting the language as an official language would not be necessary in my opinion. By stating that is should be adopted as the national language of the lowlands specifically you are actually diminshing its role on paper.

  • debay

    I’d rather say we Eritreans always believe we can solve the problem with out actually addressing it! the manner in which many people have been responding shows how bleak our future is.

  • Dawit

    There is another opposition party in the offing 🙂 Enjoy.

  • Kokhob Selam

    We use to suffer as we don’t say it right. we use to suffer as we hide our feelings. Let us say it without hiding anything and let us accept our differences and work narrowing it to the minimum possible. then that will help us in choosing the system we want to govern future Eritrea.

  • Alhagiga

    It is quite interesting to know,where are the borders of lowlands, the Eritrean demography has changed so much the last few decades, that it is wise to make study based on today’s reality. In it’s historical role the lowlands has contributed a lot. however this document and its writers forgot to acknowledge those who suffered with them during that time and still languishing in refugee camps, regardless their geographical location. a
    A little spirit of generosity will take us along way, as our forefathers did.

    – اللغات الرسمية : اعتبار جميع اللغات متساوية أمام القانون مع اعتماد اللغتين العرﺑية
    والتغرينية لغتين رسميتين في تعام5ت الدولة مع أحقية المكونات الوطنية في استخدام اللغات
    واللھجات والثقافات المختلفة المتداولة والخاصة ﺑھا ﺑالطريقة التي تراھا مناسبة ﺑمحض ارادتھا
    ودون تدﺧل أى جھة
    On issue of language there is a mistake in translation,the Arabic copy clearly says as above, the official languages are Arabic and Tigrinia,and the right of the rest of the languages to use their languages with out interference .

  • rr

    I call this African style civilization.

    It would be more surprising if you come up with agricultural development plan or
    education plan. Let NGOs or the whites do that for you instead.

  • Araya

    At last a subject HAILE and Hayat will not touch. by the way hayat yes i am next door to you, i am in addis, i know you are in mekele. HIDARAT, when are you coming. I know it was canceled but word has it it is on again, bring your own water, it has been no water in my house for the last six days, where is haile so he can blame the PFDJ for this debacle,
    it used to be no water for a day or max two now six days and there is no electric every other day,
    Hidarat, knowing what you deal with you know who, is not interest of conflict to debate with likes of SAAY about Eritrea ,
    or is it just you are hypocrite to full extent of the word? Miskinay.
    eyob, i wasn’t making fun of the city bus accident. i was just hoping they send one of the city bus’s to pick up the likes of HIDARAT, they make me sick,

  • haile

    Selamt Awatista,

    This idea is new and perhaps it would be good to give it time to properly form itself in the first place. It appears that geographic identity are assumed to be able to readily converge into socio-political and cultural identity. The positive aspect of this venture is the fact that it aspires to coalesce social into singular interest constituency. Looked in isolation, such would also positively contribute to guarantee peace and stability with in the nation by helping to simplify the power sharing process. The glaring concern is however, this is only an “on paper” stage of its genesis. The different groups that are said to form the parts do not have unique history in being closer to each other than to those that are not included by default. Is a Kunama closer to an Afar or a highlander? You can test all other permutation with the hand shaking Lemma. You may find that you would end up creating the same problem that you started out to solve. So, I am upbeat of the fact that an effort is made to motivate and promote this section of our society into the ongoing political struggle for justice, equality and freedom. But, its real deal practicalities appear highly complex from where I stand, atop the highland mountains 🙂

    Regards

  • Sheba

    The more i read, the more it sounds divisive. If you do not want us, we will not beg you. One language nationwide and that is not tigrigna. So why do we need to have another foreign language as the main language nationwide? If you keep digging on the idea of the “lowland society” may be we need to revise our highland-kestanay or eritrea-tigrigni or tigray-tigrigni too. Anyway i am not fun of this “hade-libi hade hizbi” and we will see who will be better off with out the other.

    • Saleh Johar

      Sheba, if one article by a few people makes you drop the entire Eritrea, it is apparent you never believed in it. Citizens fight for what they have regardless of what others say.

      • selam

        Chickens are coming home to roost!! I feel sorry for folks like haile and et al…they don’t seem to get Saleh Gadi’s real agenda!
        EPLF has neutralized such evil actions before and it will do same now. Let the frustrated vent their frustration. There is no lowland Eritrea or highland Eritrea, there is only one Eritrea which is lead by Hezbawi Genbare Harnet Eritrea!! Period!!!

      • Sheba

        Hi Saleh Johar, I feel like you are ignoring them. i am focusing on the idea, not the number, as those people can be the tip of the iceberg. If they are many people, are you still gonna ignore them or fight them or succumb to their idea?

        • Saleh Johar

          The question remains: why does an article makes you disown the unity of Eritrea? What would you do if it is invaded then? All I am saying is: there are stuff, however uncomfortable they make you, should not be above the nation. I am not ignoring anything, I am just stating that we have seen so many scary moons and one more will not make it any worse.

          • Sheba

            You can remain desensitized to such issue no matter how many articles they are. I have read other articles before and actually awate.com used to be full of such articles. I have met also many people with similar ideas, some even say that they are from the lowlands somewhere close to Sudan but they say they are not from Eritrea. So you can think this will pass without any effect, as usual. But i think we need to address them instead of ignoring them. So if the lowland society decides to have their own nation, you wouldn’t fight them for the sake of unity? I hope this time you will answer this specific question.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Sheba:
      First you have to understand that geopolitics will always be with us. The South and North in USA fought because they had different interests, but lucky for the world the USA because of visionary leaders like Lincoln survived and thrived and it has become a role model for all of us, a sort of a country for people like us to look up to learn from its bitter history and emulate its democratic underpinning. So if handled with justice, rule of law and sensitivity, a strong and united lowland will server us well.

      In canada we have the west and Quebec, an English and French provinces respectively always testing the limits of the federal system. Quebec wanted to separate at one point and failed by referendum, This is to say that geopolitics is world phenomenon.

      The good thing about this article is that it is geopolitical in nature and not religious, they are not advocating religious politics, but geopolitics. You have to understand that the lowlands includes, both religions and several ethnic groups and if the lowlands gels under one lowland banner to protect after their interests, I find it uniting rather than dividing, it will unite, the Kunama, Nara, Tigre and Afar and even Chirstians as there are highlanders who made their home in the lowlands for almost half a century and for all intents and purpose consider themselves lowlanders. Just an other set of glasses for you to look through. Also please be cognizant it is natural for the minority lowlands to be threatened.

      I sensed some despair in your tone, so I am dedicating this song to cheer you up by Senait Debessay,who was in prison and is presumed dead.She sings of the jubilation she felt to see her once stranged sons united. I think we have to be worried about veterans like Senait disappreating, we have to worry about a future nation that will have not veterans, no founding fathers and a nation that has become a prostitute of one man who claimed it as his only son and only founding father, The issues of geopolitics can be solved by erecting the pillars of democratic nation.

      As to Arabic as national language, I did not read it as replacing Tigriniya, but making Arabic officially as a national language, since we currently do not have official language, but we have Tigriniya as unofficial official language, I think they are saying declaring Arabic, which Muslims consider their sacred language. I maybe wrong, they need to clarify.

      Also the article does not blame christians for their problems, but PFDJ, no land grabber bigotry. Maybe someone needs to spend a week in this lowland group and comeback with an L-Turn

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eg1VS9UExU

      Thanks
      Sem

      • Sheba

        Hi Semere, it is sad that innocent people like Senait debessay to be imprisoned and presumed to be dead. Instead of focusing to the basic rights of all people, some people want their rights first even at the cost of unity.

        This supposed division between lowlanders/highlanders is more than english/french division. It could be just talk but there are real people with such idea. I will be their reminder:)
        Thanks for your soothing reply but be vigilant:)

      • ibrahim

        This is the type of engagement which will elevate us to what we claim UNITY in diversity. My self am a strong believet in transparency “Afworki’s x-chewing gum ).I earnestly hail the organizers effort to renovate structural pillar for the benefit of us dreamers of reclaiming our dear nacent nation suffering in traditional incubators for lack of bittet medication. Thank you

  • tes

    It
    is good that such big intitiative is coming also that will back-up the
    justice movements from all angles. that is how PDFJ can be kicked-off
    soon.

    How safe it is and how open it is in its mission can be left for an open public debate and awareness?

    I
    am afraid it may finally stay in Wushate and discuss its matter alone.
    As we all know, PFDJ is against the Eritrean people and he succeeded in
    dividing Eritreans based on many factors. And these divided forces need a
    spring board to stand as political forces and this is what I understood
    after reading the whole document

    I thank awate teamand SG’s comment stating that, awate published
    the english version so that everybody who can not read the arabic
    version is able to read and say what s/he feels and this is pure
    rational, reasonable and making information available to the masses.

    I read in one of the “Fundamental Rights and Principles”point number (5) saying,

    “All
    languages shall be considered equal by law with the adoption of Arabic
    as an official national language in the lowlands and nationwide.”

    Oke,
    as a fundamental principle, it is well taken. But, is it practical now
    to limit the language use in only one, that is Arabic?

    make all the information into at least the Eritrean languages (9) and publish it. Then everybody is aware what is going on.

    ANd to the world, write it in English, French even chinese now adays. In that way every corner can be reached.

    Information exchange matters a lot for success of any movement.

    Even
    most Eritreans (especially young) who are living in the western world
    are only able to read English, or tigrigna written in eglish alphbets.
    Use all the technologies available to dissiminate.

    Just my opinion and wish success for the initiatives.

    Tesfie

  • Dawit

    Tug of war.

    • Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    • haile

      Dawit

      You’re turning great at this by the day…keep it up, we need it. እንተኾነ ግን ጋኔን እምበር ይወጥጥካ፡ ኤረ ሽኮር እይትወጣጥጣ ከምኡ ገይርካ፡ ዓሰርተ ሰይጣን ከይተልዕለልና ፡-)

  • Rodab

    On number 9 (under fundamental rights and principles),
    Our history, for the most part, is intact and doesn’t need to be revised or rewritten. yiHmeQ yitsebiQ it is there. True, by glorifying itself and degrading all others, the EPLF has willfully tampered a portion of the history that deals with the armed struggle. In that regard, correction will be required and will be done once the right people are on the right position. But on the fundamental belief of history of Eritrea’s foundations (colonization and the subsequent nationhood), I have no reason to believe there is a significant discrepancy amongst the various segments of society and/or political groups.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Rodab,
      Precisely so. If we stop what EPLF/PFDJ are trying to inoculate their own culture (alien by its nature) the Eritreans have a unified history about their nation (its bad and good). Look Rodab, that is the thread that binds us and will remain to be so if we resolve the issue of justice and rule of law.

    • tes

      Rodab, do you think that Eritrean history is written? Do you even think that EPLF’s hisotry is written? Come have a look on their history books, even they are deleting some pictures when one opposes them Did you think that all the G-15, many of the menkae movements, Wedi-Ali, Abdela jabir were not on any photos of the Fenkil operation, nadew, nakfa and more more?

      I remember a history lecturer who died recently always critizing the PFDJ document and research center for failing to do so.

      PFDJ only wrote 2 history books, Aynifelale and Federshin, that is may be from 1941-1958 and they are writing hisotry during the colonial period (Already Zemhiret, the guru of hsitory fabrication) published by his name one small book in Tigrigna.

      therefore, Eritrean history is not compiled and put as a document, it is available, just Historians should be given a chance to sit and write, not politicians.

      Therefore, history has to be written and nothing is wrong with no. (9).

      For the rest, it is a metter of debate and working programs.

      I hope this initiative is not for divisions, like the wedi kola in the derg period or before.

      • Rodab

        Tes,
        Keeping in mind the distinction between “written” and “rewritten”, I would agree with you that our history is not written adequately. Far from that. I remember saying that to Sal when we were chatting about Eritrean music. And yes I’ve heard of the regime’s attempt to erase G-15 from archived videos, but I see that as a history in the making that will be written in the future, as oppose to erasing history. You can try to hide history, but you can’t erase it for erasing implies trying to make it as if it never happened.

        Aman,
        So far we are in the same page till you start getting into deep details. As they say, the devil is in the details:-)

        By the way, this document is full of controversy, I just randomly (kind of) picked history. Language is one big one. On what basis are they saying Arabic should be the official language when Tigrigna is spoken by the majority of Eritreans?

  • Semere Tesfai

    Thank you Awate. It’s about time to discuss Eritrean issues. I’m sick and tired of these Woyane cadres nonsense.

    Now, hoping the Eritrean Lowlanders’ League (ELL) leaders are willing to use this opportunity to explain their positions, and are willing to take questions from the public, I’m dying to know:

    What is the difference between Eritrean Lowlanders and Eritrean Muslims? Is a Muslim from Adi-Keih, Mendefera, Asmara…. a Lowlander? Is a Christian from ethnic Tigrigna, born and raised in Agordat Tesenei Massawa Assab…. a Highlander? How about a mixed child (Muslim/Christian)? Are Naras and Kunamas Lowlanders? Is Eritrean Lowlanders League, a political organization that has an ambition to govern Eritrea one day?

    Thank you.

  • tafla

    Kerenite,
    Very good observation, I hope all Eritreans are as wise as you and refrain from unnecessarily inflamatory language. There are societal ills in Eritrea, but there is an eternal truth about Eritrea, whenever we are divided, we all lose. Don’t be fooled by the games EPRDF is playing with the Eritrean opposition. They give with one hand and take with the other.

  • negash

    I am happy that you came up with this initiative. As far the rights are concerned we all agree it is the objective behind our struggle. As far as unity is concerned you are correct. But you better stick to the old regional division instead lowland, highland; moslim, christian divide. All regions shall have their own elected parliament choce their own regional governors they can make relations with people across the border.

  • dine

    for the first time a read the possible solution for eritrea, i call this ”give back to caesar what is caesar’s and to Jesus what is Jesus’s” .

  • Sheba

    Clearly there was injustices toward lowlanders and some areas from seraye and akeleguzay. So it is fair that they undergo their 3 stages of U turn like AS. We can understand them better if they express themselves, as long as it is not against the other groups.

  • Hayat Adem

    What is AT’s interest and explanation in entertaining such divisive content and giving a platform to such initiatives?

    • Saleh Johar

      Hayat, this has been going on for days on the Arabic websites and social media. Heated debates are going on. Would you prefer to remain ignorant of what is happening or you would rather be informed? We think there is a divide on where people get their information and we believe English readers would be informed of what is going on. Remember awate.com is an information website and we try to live to our promise of keeping you informed. That is the interest of AT as I understand it.

      • Tesfu

        Dear Mr. Johar
        Kbel uya zdeleyu zagra kokah ebluya. I thought you have sound understanding or interesting views on big issue/ideas, not for the sake of keeping people interested on G in, G out. That is all I have to say

      • Hayat Adem

        Okay, fair enough on explaining your role of informing us from all sources. But, you never brought us contents written by shabait editorials as they are. Isn’t this a typical draft that is grounding a foundation to split eritrea along the 1940/50s political partitioning lines? This is an initiative clearly ringing louder than addressing injustices of eritrea today within the national geographical framework. This is a dangerous step. I reject such initiative categorically. I accuse AT of playing a role in disseminating and facilitating dangerous initiatives that could potentially lead to the break up of today’s eritrea as we know it.

        • AOsman

          Hayat,
          This is nothing compared to those articles that Ali Salim used to post, I don’t know why you so sensitive. Also the paper is presented by EDJE and it is not something new. Read their introductory document.
          http://awate.com/position-paper-for-a-network-group-edje/

          Regards
          AOsman

        • Saleh Johar

          Hayat, one more accusation from you will not make it any worse, pile it.
          On bringing you contents from Shabait, it is many languages and we do not do present it just to satisfy a weird desire to duplicate and make us work even more.

          That is is potentially divisive, I agree. But remember so many commentators consider your position many things.

          If you have accusations and you are not sure of the culprit, don’t worry, throw it at Awate Team and we happily relieve you of it–nAakhi zeykone nmen Hayat Haftna!

    • Peace!

      What is AT’s interest in entertaining YG’s and his ambassadors’ old nonsense divisive ideas?

  • Tewelde

    Deki metahit / kola’s version of N’hnan E’lamanan’s after 30 somthing years of deki kebesa’s N’hnan E’lamanan. I hope deki kebesa would look at the current and past injustices towards their lowlanders and join the their brothers in creating a just society before this version takes us into another round of injustice.

  • Toker

    Here we go again Kolama Degama Dergi creation

  • Kerenite

    Not gonna touch this one with a ten foot pole. It’s got Weyane’s name all over it.