Of course, it is not a journey for requesting the hand of a blue-eyed blonde Brussels belle or visiting Belgians infatuated by convening conferences.
I wish our brother Habtom Yohannes has left us with the information furnished by Gedab News. His “clarification” displayed his attempt to cover the gravity of the mistake they have done to the opposition camp.
The people of Eritrea are in an ordeal. They need to be rescued by volunteer Eritreans who consider requesting compensation for their volunteer work an indignity; volunteers who are reserved and do not play on the strings of, ‘we have wound up our youth struggling to liberate you from the occupiers or the dictator.’ True volunteers regard their volunteer work not a private or an organizational issue, but a national affair that concerns all Eritreans.
To consider a conference titled “Drawing policies of the United States and European Union towards the Horn of Africa in general and Eritrea in particular” as a private issue, and to say that those who are not invited should not get mad, is a wool on the eyes of the people you intend to represent. To attempt to depict such a conference as unimportance at the time that you aspire to attend it secretly poses a question. A conference arranged to draw policies about Eritrea by internationally influential countries concerns all Eritreans; this is the undeniable stark reality.
Accountability in democratic societies is an essential tool of the people. An honest politician considers himself accountable by the people in all his activities, at any time and place; he regards himself accountable to the people who would elect him to be registered in the pages of history. It is erroneous to consider dealing in national issues as private or an internal organizational issue. The moment any person or organization begins to deal in national issues, that person is accountable to the people on whose behalf that person is acting or speaking. But in authoritarian regimes, accountability means humiliation and complete prostration in front of the dictator.
Our brother Habtom Yohannes says, “It has become a fashion to demand for democracy, accountability, inclusiveness and transparency in season and out of season”. This is disrespect to the values of the struggle that Eritreans waged to realize for more than half a century. Mr. Habtom despises the values of democracy that the Eritrean people want to embrace. He degrades Eritreans. This attitude compels me to question: What is the distinction between what our brother has written and the way the dictator mocks democracy and the Eritrean people? Are Eritreans superficial to such an extent that they mimic seasonal fashions? I discern in such kind of writings the voice of Isaias who presents himself as the sole custodian of the Eritrea.
Representing people demands knowledge of their history. The Eritrean people experienced diversity, they organized parties and elected representatives in the forties and fifties of the last century. Moreover, they have three-decades worth of experience in political and armed struggle. Our people are not apprentices in democracy and free press. Depicting Eritreans as seasonal fashion riders is an act of debasing them.
Mr. Tewelde Gebresellasie, The Chairman Executive Committee of Eritrean Democratic Alliance has acted at the right time to stop the monkeying with the democratic struggle of our people. He addressed his letter to the right person who is expected to receive the results of the Brussels conference. The opposition camp agreed to work under the umbrella of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance. The cause of its ineffectiveness seems to be a result of those who want to work outside the umbrella. The feebleness of the EDA is due to incompetence of some politicians who are pessimistic to win the hearts of the majority, therefore, they succumb to groupings and works of closed circles. They fail to perceive that closed circles activities would will make them end up to nothing in the current disposition of the Eritrean people. The model Isaias pursued will never work again.
The press is not obliged to withhold news until they obtain the whole story. They publish part of the news which they have got; the remaining part of the story should be provided by the parties involved. Breaking news is an example of publishing or broadcasting part of the story. How can we understand a media, awate.com, which published an article of three pages to be accused of not rectifying the news? It is an indigestible accusation. Honestly, what our brother Habtom Yohannes has written is a self condemnation and anti-democratic.
In conclusion, I hope our brothers and sisters who participated in the conference are for democracy and the unity of the Eritrean people. They have to apologize to the opposition camp for the suspicious atmosphere that they created. This will never decrease their status but it will be a lesson in democracy. It is their chance to portray their honesty towards their people and their standing for democratic principles.
I call on our brothers and sisters, the grassroots of the organizations and parties whose leaders participated in Brussels conference, to pressure their leaders to apologize to the opposition camp for the interests of our unity and democratic struggle. I believe they don’t condone the idea of becoming home or incubators of a new dictator and corrupted yes-sir politicians. They should face divisiveness and the new project of dictatorship that is in its early stages of formation.