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Eritrea: The Fall of Dictatorship And Consolidation Of Democracy

I wrote my introductory remarks (Part 1 of this series) on this topic before reading Saleh Y’s latest piece. Saleh’s article was published on August 30th, mine on 9/3 but I actually sent it on 9/1. So I have not read his article when I wrote my introductory remarks. Curiously, I decided to write on this subject partly because I wanted to reach people like him whose views about PFDJ seem somewhat ambivalent but reading his latest article, I was gratified to find myself nodding in agreement with a lot of his ideas though I can still detect in him a desire to salvage PFJD in some way. An example of the latter is his description of total victory as a worst case scenario because of a power vacuum that will result. But why should there be a vacuum when it can easily be filled by the victorious (an interim government)?

I believe what motivates Saleh is a desire to avoid bloodshed at all costs which may also account for his ambivalence towards PFDJ. He is to be commended for such caution and for his deep concern for peace. Unfortunately, a bloodless revolution or coup is not always possible particularly when the army’s loyalties might be divided. In fact, it is more reasonable to presume that some factions within IDF will remain loyal to the end or at any rate during the initial stages of the revolution. “No bloodshed” as an ideal to shoot for is a splendid goal as long as we don’t make it a precondition for launching a revolution. If the regime was to violently lash out at the resistance to circumvent its impending doom, for example, are we to suffer it peacefully and allow the resistance or a coup attempt to be squashed to avoid bloodshed? Of course not! As far as talking to PFDJ is concerned, I hope Saleh is alluding to terms of surrender because there can be no other discussions.

His vision of EDF leading the revolt may also be problematic considering how often such scenarios lead to a military dictatorship. I think it is best if civilians (masses and the elite) lead the revolution (with the help of EDF of course). It is never good in my opinion to let anyone with might and guns taste of power because they usually never let go voluntarily! Overall though, Saleh has done a marvelous job at succinctly capturing the broad sketches of a smooth takeover and I enjoyed reading his insightful article. Coming to the topic….

After my introductory remarks, some took me to task for stating that the “overarching goal” of the struggle for independence was all about liberty from a colonial power. I appreciate the criticism of course but I wish readers would extract the gist of the message and avoid dwelling on things that few would disagree about. Should it be necessary for me to mention that the ideals of freedom, dignity etc… also formed part of the aspirations of the fighters? Aren’t these self-evident truths? Who would dispute (except for the YG’s and their likes) that the liberation movement and its actors were men and women of high caliber who were highly motivated, idealistic, and principled? Without such a vision, it would have been impossible to launch a movement that demanded such a heavy sacrifice and fortitude for so many decades.

But the question is did they have a feasible political program for a post-independence Eritrea? The answer is no except in totally vague conceptions. Even their perception of democracy was minted in Marxist models of “democratic centralism” that is more attuned to produce a single-party dictatorship than a democracy. They did the best they could under the circumstances they found themselves in. I am not faulting them but I am saying we should learn from such an experience the importance of looking beyond the immediate goal. The current immediate goal for democratic workers is the toppling of the dictatorship and the establishment of representative democracy. Between these two milestones (fall of the dictatorship and consolidation of democracy) is a period that holds the key to our success or failure in bringing about a vibrant democracy. This is the period of transition. This is when we decide what to do with the criminals, the torturers, the enablers, and the collaborators of the oppressive regime. This is also the time we build democratic institutions and transform the socio-political culture of our country to align them with democratic principles. Whether Eritrea’s transition will come about through mass protests or by an elite-led coup, it is what we do during this period that matter most. That, dear respected reader is the subject I have thrust upon myself to discuss.

Transition presents challenges at many levels: at the political level, we have to decide what to do with the old guard as we stated and how to go about building democratic institutions. Economically, we need to tear down the gigantic government monopoly. Socially, democratic attitudes and thinking need to be instilled in tandem with de-shaebiatization (deprogramming). There are many other challenges such as demilitarization and repatriation of refugees that need to be tackled. In short, an overhaul of the entire infrastructure is needed. We dismantle for obvious reasons: First, the dictatorial system is totally antithetical to democracy; Second, democracy needs to be protected from derailment and this requires the removal of all traces of the dictatorship and the weeding out of any institutional support mechanism that may enable it to reconstitute itself in a new garb. Third, to replace corruption and favoritism by rule of law and justice. The question is: how do we go about it? Here is my take:

Immediately after take over: the PFDJ cabinet should be dissolved and its members (including the president) detained and an interim government formed. The task of the latter will be 1) to ensure that law and order is kept 2) to secure and protect vital government property and documents 3) to set up an election committee 4) to appoint a constituent assembly for drafting of a new inclusive constitution. 5) To see to it that border patrol is kept to prevent serious criminals from fleeing the country. Names and photos of all high officials of the ousted regime should be given to those in charge of guarding the borders (at airports, seaports, and land routes). The interim government should also make sure that former collaborators of the regime are removed from all vital and sensitive positions. Should the interim government also task itself with tackling the refugee issue? I am not sure but a committee to research the issue could be setup leaving implementation to a future elected administration.

All government workers and other civilians who are not accused of serious crimes or of actively collaborating with the regime should be assured that their jobs are secure and that they will continue to receive their paychecks uninterrupted. To forestall restlessness and worry, the interim government should publicly announce this immediately upon takeover and summon all employees to report to work. Likewise, the police force should continue its work of keeping law and order uninterrupted but should be given new guidelines to ensure that human rights, privacy, and other democratic entitlements are protected and respected. No more Police State; no more harassing; and no more spying on innocent citizens!

Criminals and Collaborators: Supporters of the regime can be classified into two broad categories: i) those who committed serious crimes or are suspected of having committed them and ii) those who just went along to get along for fear or some other extenuating reason such as to support a family or simply survival.

People in the second category should be dealt with very leniently and charitably but those who committed crimes or are suspected of committing them should be fully persecuted and punished if their guilt is established. This includes those who abetted or collaborated with those who committed the actual crimes. Those who were in senior command positions will be presumed to have been aware of the crimes committed under their watch unless they can conclusively show they did not participate in planning, ordering, directing, or executing such policies, practices, or acts. Top military officials who may be culpable of gross human rights abuses should be detained but the rest of the military should continue as is (with partial demilitarization in the works). Detention is needed in such cases because otherwise, many top brass criminals would never be persecuted and would vanish before they are apprehended. The military’s main task should be to protect the borders and the interests of the nation including safeguarding vital state assets.

It may be asked at this point: are such persecutions really necessary? Why can’t we just forgive them all and start with a clean slate? There are a number of reasons why such a measure would not be wise. First, it would be unjust to the victims and their families who suffered grave injustice under the regime. Many would deeply resent it. Second, victims and their families might decide to take the law into their hands to get justice they were denied by the new government. Such vigilantism can disturb law and order and lead to a chaotic situation posing a serious threat to the nascent democracy. Third, setting criminals free encourages future violations. It sends a signal that we will be soft with future crimes. By persecuting past crimes, we send a strong signal to would-be saboteurs that we are dead serious against criminals and will not tolerate future violators and offenders.

It is important to keep in mind however that the goal is justice not retaliation. As a sage once put it, “for good, return good; for evil, return justice”. There will be a temptation to sidestep due process to settle old scores but we must rigorously adhere to the principle of innocent until proven guilty. Though common sense would indicate that PFDJ members and collaborators were at least accessories of the brutal regime and therefore obviously guilty at various levels, due process must still be followed before any punishment is meted out. By doing so, we are at the same time nurturing a democratic culture from the get-go.

Institution Building – the Political system: Institution building should begin by laying out the foundational pieces of democratic governance. A new inclusive constitution should guarantee fundamental rights such as equality before the law (no discrimination), freedom of speech, assembly, movement, freedom of religion, right to constitutional remedies, cultural and education rights and rights against abuse or exploitation etc…The constitution should also provide for a way to remove public officials for violations; define election rules, term limits, and the responsibilities of various government officials among other things.

In forming the government, the main issue will be deciding how much power should be retained at the central government level and how much authority should devolve to state/local regional administrations. Should we opt for federalism or other forms of decentralization? Federalism is distinguished from others by the constitutional guarantees it provides. Note that I am not even considering a centralized unitary government as an option for Eritrea because it can easily lead to abuse of authority and marginalization of minority enclaves. Decisions also need to be made about the form of the legislative/Executive functions we want in the government. Should we opt for presidential system, parliamentary, or a mix of the two? How about the electoral design? Do we go for Plurality/Majority, PR (proportional representation) or Semi-PR?

There are advantages and disadvantages to all forms of political systems. To me, the key is inclusion, inclusion, inclusion. The reason why we must focus on inclusiveness should be obvious. First, it adheres to the democratic principle of participation by all. Second, Eritrea is a religiously and ethnically diverse country. Whether we like it or not, ethnicity and ethnic politics are now a reality in Eritrea and must be accommodated at least temporarily to avoid conflict and to build confidence. Third, if any group feels underrepresented, it will have no incentive to support a budding democracy. The latter needs all the support it can get during its formative years and cannot afford to lose the support of anyone. Additionally, when minorities are fairly represented and respected, they will be less likely to resort to violence.

Inclusive engagement is needed not only during implementation phase but also during initial negotiating stages when laws and guiding principles such as constitutions are being deliberated. Disparity and unfair representation is the single factor that accounts for most of the conflicts around the world and is the chief reason why new democracies fail. In whatever we do, therefore major social groups and minorities must be included and feel included. We have roguish bigots of all kinds in Eritrea but what will save us in the end is the presence of a large majority of sensible individuals that believe in coexistence and in sharing power and resources.

The more I ponder on power sharing, the more I find myself leaning towards federalism as a solution (though I am not totally sold to it at this time). What draws me to it is its inclusiveness, its empowerment at the local level, and the relatively fair representation it accords to constituent units.   Many marginalized minority territories that have been suffocating for decades under the dictatorship’s iron grip will demand autonomy and a breathing space and we would be wise to grant it. In federalism, power devolves to regions equally and they have an equal relationship to the central government. The nitty-gritty details of how this will unfold in practice should be decided at a negotiating table to which all major groups or stake holders are invited. The constitution should specify exactly what powers are to be given to various territorial subdivisions and what will be retained at the center. Major issues that affect the nation as a whole such as defense, foreign affairs, currency etc…are traditionally (and quite sensibly) retained at the central government level.

Territorial subdivisions should be given the right to enact their own local laws and constitutions and to form a local government. They should also have control over local agriculture, commerce, culture, budget, and education among other things. This is also in keeping with the practice of many countries that chose federalism. Where local provisions clearly clash with central government’s policies, the central government’s specifications should prevail. This should happen only in cases where the state/local governments’ stipulations have a major impact on national interest. In all other cases, interference in local affairs should be minimal. In the United States, the constitution mandates that powers that are not specifically given to the central government are automatically retained by states. This is a great way to reduce the complexity of the federal arrangement. We should adapt something similar.

As far as the legislative/executive government is concerned, most countries fall into parliamentary systems or presidential systems and in rare cases a mix of both. However, experts tell us that in the last three decades, the long-term success rates of democracies under the parliamentary system were overwhelmingly greater than that of the presidential systems. A parliamentary system is structured to allow several political parties to form a government. For these reasons and for its inclusion-promoting features, I favor the parliamentary system over the presidential. To make sure that the parliament is inclusive enough, the electoral system can be designed with such goal in mind and this in turn must be stipulated in the constitution. To doubly ensure representation, minorities and other disadvantaged groups must be given a share (seats) roughly equal to the votes they earn.

This brings us to the issue of elections. Much of the failure of new democracies is attributable to mismanagement of elections. We can avoid such problems to a great extent if we structure the electoral design with inclusiveness in mind. Elections are the entry point (the engine if you will) that make all the other pieces fall into place. Though mere elections do not make a democracy, there can be no democracy in any shape or form without elections. Elections have a bearing even on the efficacy of the parliamentary system because the latter’s representativeness depends on how candidates that make up the parliament are elected and whether the design ensures that minorities get a fair representation.

Winner take all will never work in Eritrea in my opinion because it excludes smaller parties from gaining legislative seats and from being fairly represented. Some form of proportional representation should therefore be adapted. The latter is preferable because of its inclusion-promoting features. Some political theorists believe that incentives that force political candidates to secure votes across diverse groups is a better approach than parties based on ethnicity or religion. In the long run, this is probably the best approach but initially, political grouping based on ethnicity should be allowed to build trust. If during such processes, serious disputes arise, enlisting the assistance of a neutral party with expertise in the field should be sought.

For the very first elections, it would be prudent to appoint or invite neutral domestic and foreign observers to lend additional transparency and legitimacy to the process. The new rulers should encourage the formation of civil associations and independent media and other watch dogs. But however perfectly we configure the political system, it will mean little without the support of a vibrant economy. Hungry and miserable citizenry do not make good advocates of a democracy because their priorities are elsewhere. Serious reforms are thus needed in the economy to which we turn next.

The Economy:

In the sphere of economy, the government has so depleted the resources of the nation and has so impoverished the public that increasing food production and efficiency will have to be a top priority for the new administration. All government or state owned businesses must be scrutinized with the goal of privatizing them or eliminating them altogether. The economic policy must aim to close gaps between the rich and the poor and to foster greater equality. The wealth of the nation must be managed in such a way that the entire nation benefits from it. Regions with limited resources should receive assistance from the central government as is done in countries like the United States. Entrepreneurship, free initiative, and free competition should be encouraged with reasonable safeguards put in place to prevent exploitation and monopoly. But in the end, it is citizens and their attitudes that make it all possible. The socio-cultural aspect is thus as important (if not more important) than the political and economic aspect.

The Socio-Cultural Factor. There are many habits of mind that followers of a dictator inherit from their leader because of the many years of conditioning and mentoring they have been subjected to and this in turn rendered them totally untrustworthy and even dangerous to the establishment of a democratic government. A thorough de-shaebitization will therefore be needed as a rehabilitative stratagem. All confused and delusional thoughts about dictatorship in dichotomous terms must be discarded. The new government should give detailed account of the criminal history of the Isaias regime going back as far as needed. To drive the point home it must continuously keep harping upon it for a few more years to prevent nostalgia for the old system.

Tolerance, individual autonomy (instead of group-think), and acceptance of responsibility for own actions should be nurtured while blind obedience to authority is discouraged. Education must be stripped of all manipulated historical facts and citizens should be encouraged to think for themselves and to critically evaluate all facts including those given by official government or media. The new rulers should warn the public of the difficulties ahead by reminding them that consolidation of democracy will take time and mistakes may occur along the way.

Conclusion: I have to stop here though I barely scratched the surface because the article is already too long. To summarize, the goal of the transitional period is to dismantle the oppressive legacy in such a way as to prevent its comeback in any shape or form and to establish a firm foundation upon which a representative democracy can be erected. The triumph of democracy and freedom must be final and complete. This requires that we persecute criminals to send a strong signal that we are serious about implementing the rule of law. It also requires the removal of former collaborators of the regime from vital and sensitive positions. They should also be barred from holding key high offices for a set number of years. The goal is restoration of human rights, freedom, and the rule of law and protection of the nascent democracy not retribution or retaliation. As we dismantle the old system, we simultaneously build democratic institutions; form a government, revamp the economy, and reeducate the public.

If we can do this as a people, dictatorship will be history – a bogeyman to frighten posterity with. Let us genuinely respect one another; let us be bold; let us be optimistic; and this can be a reality we all wake up to one day–InshAllah. Not impossible at all! I believe we can do it. Don’t you?

Ismail

Ismailomar10@gmail.com

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  • Ismail

    Selamat All,

    Thanks everyone for your feedback and for all the discussions. I wrote the article above to stir discussion towards the issue of transition and to hopefully lure subject matter experts*. Though I am not sure of the latter (whether we even have bona fide “subject matter experts” in our midst), I am happy to note that we at awate are at least seriously thinking about it. Saleh Y and Amanuel Hidrat have promised to write more on the subject from two contrasting perspectives – we will hold them to that promise. Others will hopefully follow. I may also have more to say on the subject.

    Needless to say, it is a challenging and unpleasant topic but one that must be tackled before we find ourselves with “our pants down” so to speak. Given the vastness and complexity of the topic, it is important that we approach it with humility* and acknowledge that we are all learning as we go (from one another and from our study). Since we are dealing with a topic that involves random elements of human nature (needs and aspirations and a plethora of choices) within a given social context, differences of opinions are to be expected and should be respected. Furthermore, those of us who write or comment on the topic should focus more on future possibilities rather than on past failures. As in our own individual lives, we will never go anywhere if we dwell on our past failings and mistakes. As a writer once put it:

    “Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”

    The past “have lighted fools” as Shakespeare put it ” the way to dusty death”. Are we (Eritreans) fools? Absolutely not! Devious and conniving we maybe at times but never fools (Isayas groupies excepted). Let us therefore put the past behind us and march forward with courage and optimism.

    Ismail (pointblank)
    * Kudos to Kokhob Selam who consistently exemplifies such an attitude.

    • saay7

      Ahlen Ismail:

      This is my working paper on “Democratic coup”. It is the only thing I have read that is written about “democratic coup” which many, understandably, consider a contradiction in terms:

      http://www.harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/HLI203.pdf

      According to the author, a democratic coup can work in a country if it meets all the following criteria:

      (1) the coup is staged against an authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (2) the military responds to persistent popular opposition against that regime; (3) the authoritarian or totalitarian regime refuses to step down in response to the popular uprising; (4) the coup is staged by a military that is highly respected within the nation, ordinarily because of mandatory conscription; (5) the military stages the coup to overthrow the authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (6) the military facilitates free and fair elections within a short span of time; and (7) the coup ends with the transfer of power to democratically elected leaders .

      This is not a perfect fit for Eritrea but it is close enough, in my view.

      saay

      • Semere Andom

        Selam Sal:
        These criteria are sound, but we do not have to meet all of them to facilitate the democratic coup and also it they do not guarantee that democratically elected government will not face an other coup. I think it boils down to the culture of the military and our military’s culture is that of liquidation and not of profiles in compromise. The democratic coup I believe is the actual nuts and bolts of the transition, but the mapping, the introduction of that culture of tolerance and of greater ideals that we need lot of work and when that coup materials the bloodshed can be avoided and the longevity of the democratically elected body and hence the refining and cementing the cycle, the non-vicious cycle of elections that is.
        This happened in Sudan in 1986, the coup of Suwar Al-Dahab met only 1,5, 6 and 7. I think most important is 5, the goal of the coup.
        Eritrea’s democratic coup happened in 1991, it met all criteria except the last two:-). The chances of it ever happening is dismal as in one man scenario no military leader has power to effect any kind of coup and even if a Wedi- Ali happens again, it is unlikely that he would garnet support from the highly polarized EDF all roads will most likely lead to some sort of civil war.

        • saay7

          Selamat awatistas:

          Here’s Haile TG’s proposal.

          “I think a coordinated effort for mass uprisings, middle and lower ranking army officers taking up position and arresting the dictator and all members of his cabinet and senior army commanders and effectively declaring the the end of PFDJ should be the way.

          “Following this and calling for transitional dialog, would in my view be considered disposing off Pandora’s box (with all its content and safely) than opening the lid (IA) and letting out all the demons currently feeding through the umbilical cord from him.”

          If you want to read his posting in context, please refer here:

          http://awate.com/andebrhan-welde-giorgis-book-a-commentary/#comment-1622458938

          saay

      • Ismail

        Selamat Saleh and Semere,

        Thanks Saleh for providing the working paper you are using. I have yet to read it but I am sure it will be very interesting but in terms of its feasibility, my views are closer to Semere’s. To what extent the “how” factor affects the long-term prospect of democracy is probably debatable and will depend on a variety of unquantifiable factors but I do not rule it out. To me, what is important is not who or how the change comes about (barring criminality of course) but whether it will bring about a stable and sustainable democracy. At this point, I am open to all ideas except for those proposals that advocate accepting the status quo.

        Semere Andom…. You make excellent points there except where you assert that 1991 was a democratic coup. I believe this is untenable because it is the last two points that would justify adding “democratic” to the compound term. Without the two last points, it will simply be a coup – a military coup not a “democratic coup”.
        Ismail(pointblank)

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    The chairwoman of the UN’s commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea has now concluded her trip to Italy, where she witnessed that in 2014 alone 32,000 Eritreans (by far the largest group, Syrians being second at around 25000) had so far been rescued by Italian navy. She said:

    “29 September 2014 – Amid forced conscription, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the human rights situation in Eritrea continues to remain “dire,” a United Nations independent expert warned, adding that a new Commission of Inquiry would help “pave the way” to accountability.

    “The creation of my Special Rapporteur’s mandate has increased international awareness about the large-scale violations of human rights in Eritrea,” said Sheila B. Keetharuth, adding that “concrete steps are urgently needed to address such violations.”

    read more: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48950#.VConkvldWjE

    What is significant about this is that the train has finally left for the dictatorial regime and its enablers at home and diaspora. At the very least, IA and his cronies will go down as criminals in history. The result of the inquest would be sealed for posterity in the annals of history. IA, who once lead the independence struggle for Eritrea, will be remembered for the brutality he rained upon the people and country that privileged him to position of power. The Commission has as its mandate, to investigate all violations and abused from 1991 onward.

    We are sure going to hear narratives that would try in vain to pour cold water to the real significance of this development, but rarely has a dictator survived after reaching such a stage of unanimous rejection internally and externally. The Eritrean people will write the last chapter of their great leap to freedom. IA’s fall is not if but when.

    Regards

    • Abraham Hanibal

      This is indeed a very important development in bringing the Isayas regime to accountability. It would cast a light into all the human rights transgretions of the regime, at last a glimpse of light may be appearing in the tunnel. Now that we Eritreans have got the support of the international community to help us out of our misery, it is of paramount importance for us to come with all the evidence that we sit on regarding the abuses of the regime. No stone should be left unturned to shade light into the violations of the PFDJ.
      I hope the Commision would gather abundant and important evidences in order to, eventually bring the perpetrators infront of the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    This is just another senseless claim from those who claim to be in the opposition. I don’t understand what the objective is when some in the opposition try to portray a division in the people in general regarding support or opposition to the PFDJ. Everybody knows that the PFDJ is the enemy of all Eritreans regardless of whether they live in Kebessa or Metahit, whether christian or muslim, whether they belong to one ethnic group or another.
    Instead of trying to unite the people arround nation wide programmes against the PFDJ, they are just wasting their time trying to fabricate a situation of discord among the people. No wonder why these people have not achieved nothing in all these decades.
    We are all victims of the PFDJ, and need to work together in the struggle to remove this evil power. Those who suffer from the removal of PFDJ are only the very few top brass of the group, and a few of their collaborators.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Abraham,

      Can’t you specific to whom you are addressing. Blanket accusation won’t help for corrections nor does it help to our debating. After all you are in the opposition and the oppositions is yours (ours) – at least I see it in your debate. Address it pointblank to the individuals you want them to be corrected.

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Hi Amanuel;
        First I would like to thank you for reminding me to be more objective and factual when I’m expressing my views. In my opinion here I was trying to respond to Amen’s claims, and trying to give my position on those claims. May be it has to do with my disappointment at the lack of progress in the struggle against the PFDJ. But I believe also there is a general perception among Eritreans both inside and ouside the country regarding the prevailing ineffekctivness of the opposition groups in uniting the people arround the main objective of removing the PFDJ. Instead too much time and energy is wasted between the groups at trading blames and counter blames at each other. One has to be able to ask what are the stumbling blocks that are hindering the Eritrean people not to gather arround these opposition groups?
        Even at a time when Eritrea is unlivable under PFDJ’s rule for the bulk majority of Eritreans, the opposition groups have not succeeded in rallying the people in their ranks.

  • Hope

    Amen,
    Good question.
    This is an obsolete propaganda initiated by our enemies and supported by reactionary and puppet Opposition Groups.
    Remember the TPLF Leadership motto:
    “The Kebessa people should be destroyed” as it is the back bone of the Regime.
    But here is the fact:
    More than 75 per cent of the EPLF Army and current EDF have been composed of the Highlanders.
    More than 75 per cent of the martyrs are Highlanders.
    Hence,by default ,the Highlanders will a big asset in any. Eritrean Gov.
    The struggle should be for equal Justice through decentralized governance with equal distribution of resources and representation.
    We should not go back to the Ali Salim saga.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hope,

      (a) Avoid unstudied figures and percentages. B/c It makes your argument baseless. (b) avoid the perceptional argument. B/c it makes your argument irrational. There are no puppet opposition of TPLF. That also is baseless accusations where the conflicting groups in the opposition often use to black mail each other. Don’t take their words and have your own source to validate their claim. Being in Ethiopian doesn’t in anyway make you a puppet of Ethiopia. I know your source and they can’t make it official and available their accusation. Have your independence and make independent source to prove or disprove any kind of claim.This is your big brother’s advice.

      • Hope

        Aman,
        Thanks for your advice.
        Tell me my sources that you know and I will tell you the real mine.
        As to the Statistics:
        I used purposely gross estimate by saying more than 75%,which I will leave to the forum members to judge but I did not want to go back to Ali Salim Saga and Ahmed Raja’s statistics.
        Puppet Oppositios?Yes,indeed Puppets by any standard and criteria,which is the main reason the Silent Majority kept silent about them.
        If the Oppositions are created,engineered,manipulated,funded,supported,advised,organized,etc… by the Ethiopian Government—what do you call them?
        Hint: Since you will not believe my sources,please refer to the Wikileaks and
        Nittric my man,help me here.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hope,
          Because Ghedli was getting help from the Arabs we were called puppets of the Arabs. The good thing is, it doesn’t stop the mission of Ghedli. If Ethiopia helped the opposition, you are joining the chorus of PFDJ to call them Puppets. Which countries’s help doesn’t make us Puppet by the way? From America? Aren’t we being called the tools of CIA? From Sweden? Isn’t Sweden also called the tool of CIA? ( Courtesy DIA’s interview). Hope, from where ever you get the help just stand for the interest of your country. That is the principle you should stand for. The PFDJItes and their sympathizers will always oppose any kind of “relationship the opposition could forge” to change the momentum of the struggle. Again my Advice is stay away from baseless accusations. Second, you said “gross estimate.” That is bad statistics. Gross estimate is not warrant for accusations. Once you start to debate on gross estimate, they will not take you as serious man who talks on real figures. Therefore the two advice I gave you (A and B on my previous comment) are still worth to consider them.
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Hope

            Thanks.
            I will NOT go further beyond this.
            Arabs vs Ethiopia …..
            I can handle the Arab interference but at this juncture of histroy,ohh NO,I will NOT that of the other one.—based on FACTS though.-NOT fear or paranoia. or hate.
            I rest my case on this issue as it is irrelevant and non-essential.

  • Mahmuday? where have you been? i was worried TK might lacked you up in Qaliti prison for giving him a bloody nose. of course you would be charged under terrorism. lol the TPLF gangs love that word. anyway, nice to see around.
    I have an inquiery for the house. considering where we are and with what is going on, what would you say, how you feel; what do you think if PIA comes out and declares that his son, Abraham will assume power till the inaguration of the constitution and election?
    what will be your reaction?

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Hey Nitrikay;
      First give our TK a break; he’s been engaging constructively, and then he’s visited me with his Awash MerT oranges when I was sick with cold/flu, not sure. Apparently, he couldn’t make it to Elaberet estate because of information he got suggesting you were looking out for him around there.
      second, concerning your question of our PIA, I don’t think wedi Afom could do that per information gathered by our Semere from his last “educational” visit to Sawa. He did a good job in teaching you Tigrigna and Tigrayet as evidenced by your post of Tigrigna article today for Awatistas. Now, Hayat knows you’re a real Harbegna ertrawi. In addition, semere’s sorcerer has indicated that PIA would not do that, but a sorcerer is a sorcerer; who could block PIA from doing it? Just crious. Remember that it is Saturday, all is intended for humor, not a hardbal..easy now…OK?

  • Mahmud Saleh

    tes;
    You are an adult with an amazing analytic brain; I brought the age issue to show you how long the man (saay) has been fighting PFDJ, it was not intended to discourage you from criticizing him. I assure you I won’t bring in age issues again. But humility is needed tes, when you mention “retirement and sunshine geberation” you are playing a typical ageist bias. Another thing, we should not jump on ascribing names to someone who disagrees on issues as long as we know we are within the same compound. All that’s needed is the analysis you gave to me, which is really helpful, without saying someone is pfdjite or otherwise.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear estreemed awatistas

    The question of power devolution, either through some sort of federal arrangements or curbing the smallest administrative and legislative districts, envisions the proportional participation of all segments of our people. The goal is:

    a/ how do you ensure localities take care of their affairs

    b/ how do you make sure those localities are represented in the central government.

    All democrats and libertarians (so far one libertarian identified, saay) should agree that there should be a participatory democracy. At this stage, I would speak only as a matter of principle: that PFDJ Eritrea doesn’t reflect Eritrean colorful complexion. Hence, a new way of thinking, perhaps experiences of countries with similar political history and demographic push-pull will need to be explored. But the goal is one: Eritrean political rainbow should be with its full color spectrum, no nationality/language group should be left behind; no social group eploying whatever mode of production ( urban, farmers, or pastorals) should be ignored as haghereseb, or uneducated. So, how do you design a system that ensures local empowerment? Is it through designing smart legislative districts which should be reviewed every X years, or through federalism? All forms of governments have their shortcomings. I think the discussion needs to flow. There are two distinctly clear views. Amanuel H has been advancing the idea of federalism, and he wrote some articles on it; saay is still skeptical of it ( ostensibly due to the size of the country- one time zone), but I believe both agree whatever its structure may be, the future political edifice should be engineered in a way it reflects the reality in Eritrea with its multi-social groups, competing interests,etc. I tend to focus on the end result, and that’s whichever style we adopt in the future, it should ensure local empowerment; it should balance the tendency dominant social groups could exert on the affairs of smaller ones, restrain the power of the central government without impeding its ability to exercise its fiscal, defense, and foreign relations’ authority. I will do my own efforts but will enjoy reading whatever awatistas bring in. The field is abound with literature and varying experiences (success/failure) of nations. It’s just a question of identifying the style that fits the realities of our nation. Below is a link I found to be helpful (most of you may have read it).

    https://web.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/iraq/Decentralize_Power021204.htm

    • saay7

      Mahmuday:

      Just a quick note to correct this (because you are saying it with goodwill unlike ali ma’b’tsemash): my skepticism on Federalism in Eritrea is (a) small size and (b) demographic make up that includes two large language groups and 7 dispersed single-digit language groups. The “time zone” was to answer one question: are there small countries with small population that have a federal arrangement. And the answer is: if there are (and the Federal State of Micronesia is one) it is a country that is, population/landmass wise small but dispersed.

      saay

      • Mahmud Saleh

        saay;
        Yes, Saleh, I included the time zone, because I like it, and just to cheer up folks. I don’t believe participants will reduce your views to that expression,unless, of course, taken out of context for personal attack. So, I follow your entries and am aware of your position.,
        ps: (edited) yes I reread my entry, and stand corrected, I included only the size, sorry.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Mahmuday,

          What has to do “time zone” with the subject we are debating on the natures of governance in a country? I don’t get and I tried to find if any literature to factorized time zone in designing a structure of government. Could you help me on that and educate me. I am really lost, if there is such thing.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            salamat Emma
            He brought that to answer questions pertaining to size, but his whole view needs to be taken in to consideration. I honestly don’t claim to have a completely developed proposal at this juncture; that’s why I encourage the flow of ideas. BTW, thank you for the correction, I don’t know how the “federal” terminology hijacked my thoughts today. I also repeated it in the Tigrigna post but defending your view, anyway, read it later.

        • saay7

          Mahmuday:

          It’s all good. “Inamal aEmalu biniyati”…

          Since you are archiving our discussion resources, here is one Fesseha Nair (with EFDM: Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement) wrote on “federal democracy in Eritrea”

          http://www.gabeel.net/eng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=175:why-federal-democracy-in-eritrea&catid=21:federal-studies&Itemid=18

          saay

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Mahmuday,

      Generally I like your view, for the simple reason you think like me on the principle of “accommodation and fair sharing of political power and economic distribution”. But I will like to correct you about your understanding on what kind of governance I am advocating. I don’t advocate for federalism. Mine is a simple formula, what I think is applicable to our reality. And that is “decentralized unitary governance” which is “short of federalism”. I have given a reason in my long essay why I propose short of federalism. If you see in my article (a) I prefer the former provinces as units of administration where political and administrative power will be devolved (b) I propose a bicameral legislative body in the the central government, one by proportional and the other by equal representation. The proportional goes by population. The equal representation chamber is for purposes of our ethnics to find a fair share participation. There is no other way they could get their fair representation (ask anybody how they will give fair representation, no one show up so far, and I don’t think the fair representation is in their mind). It is only in the legislative power they could get fair representation. The executive power will be either the presidential or the prime-ministerial which ever we decide (my preference is prime-ministerial) and that will be filled by the winner in the contestation of the multi-party election (c) The fiscal/budgetary will be under the power of the legislative in the central government. The administrative units couldn’t be independent, because of the socio-economic development of our society. They will be dependent on the appropriation of budget from the central government. The same the judiciary will be centralized in the central government. That is in a nutshell my proposal in my article. You could also revisit it again to see my argument.

      [No one form the awatistas came with clear structural power distribution so far. And that is my challenge to them in all my debates. Come with detailed and framed structure of governance that gives fair distribution of power and economy. Simply echoing federalism or decentralization unitary governance is not an answer to our dilemma].

      Regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • T. Kifle

        Dear Amanuel H.

        Devolving power that doesn’t include finance is not really autonomy. Think about it.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear T. Kifle,

          It is autonomy. it only defers in the degree of the autonomy. The autonomy the states enjoy in federal government and the autonomy the administrative units enjoy in “decentralized unitary governance” that is short of federalism is different. My reason is even if you try to give then their own independent fiscal autonomy they can’t stand by themselves. In reality the will wait their allotted budget from the central legislative body. But of course once they get their allotted budget from the central government, they will administer their own budget without the interference of the central government.

          Second with the socio-economic development of the country, there is always a room for fiscal autonomy as far as the structure of the government is “decentralized unitary government.” I am just walking on the reality of our society.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Amanuel H.

            OK! It seems you are are concerned about the regions/states in/capability of generating income from their respective constituencies. That’s very clear for quite some years on, it would be unlikely to cover their budgetary requirements. In that case, the central government has the responsibility of providing financial subsidy until the regions/states stand on their own. But that doesn’t bestow the central gov. the management of finance in the regions/states so I would expect you state it in clear manner as you excellently did in other points of your proposal.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear T. Kifle,

            At this juncture my utmost concern is how our diversity gets equitable sharing. That is the main thread to hold our coexistence. The second utmost concern is how to built the pillars of the state(not the pillars of the government) and those pillars are (a) the government (b) the private sector (c) the civil societies. As you know the current state of Eritrea has one pillar only, and that is why I argue always that the state and the government are the same in our nation. As to the pillars of the government I think I have dealt with it in my essay.

            Now why did I bring the pillars of a state? Because they are important to your question as to how the fiscal autonomy should evolve. Here you goes, if we assure the existence of the three sphere in the state of Eritrea, the government, the private sector, and the civic society, however rudimentary the private sector and civic society they could be at the beginining, it is a good start. If we allow foreign and domestic investment (which doesn’t exist now) the industrious Eritrean mind will drive the economy of the nation in no time. As Thomas Jefferson had said once: “as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times”. So Mr. Kifle when the economy of the nation grew and industries are bloomed and become abundant, the economy within the the regional autonomy will also grow. When the circumstance of the national economy changed so also the the institutions will change to allow fiscal autonomy of the administrative regions.

      • Abraham Hanibal

        I agree with your vision of a decentralized system of government, that doesn’t mean a fully fledged federal system. Like what you said the Central Government would have the responsiblity of the nattion’s defense, foreign affairs, and fiscal and monetary policies. But I would like the division of the country not on the old system of Awrajas, but rather on much larger geographical zones, much like today’s system. My choice of bigger adminstrative zones is because of the fact that fewer zones are more effective and economical to run with less bureaucracy. In addition to this, one would expect the adminstrative zones to generate their own income to cover some part of their expenditures to complement the budjet allocated to them from the Central Government. This necessisates to divide the country in such a way that the human and other resources of the country are fairly divided between the zones.

        As you mentioned, the Adminstrative Zones would have enhanced powers regarding the sosio-economic policies of their adminstrations. These zones would be run by local parliaments that would be elected locally based on the proportionality of the ethnic groups that reside there. If some ethnic groups happen to be at a disadvantage due to their fewer numbers, then seats would be reserved for them in the local adminstrations.

        There would be formed nation wide political parties on the basis of their party programmes. Here it is important to stress that these parties should not be based on spesific religion or ethnic group (for understandable reasons), but rather on their policies regarding the socio-economic, political, forein affairs, defense, and other issues. This means that the parties would represent a broader spectrum of the Eritrean society accross religious and ethnic divisions.

        The political parties would nominate individuals from thier member mass who would be elected by a nation wide election to form the National Assembly. And the party/parties that win the majority of the vote form the Central Government.

  • Kokhob Selam

    ክቡራት እንዳ ዓዋተ ሰላም ::

    እቲ ኣካታዒ ኮይኑ ዝቕጽል ዘሎ ሕቶ : እዛ ሓዳስ ሃገር ክትከሎ ብዛዕባ ዘለዋ ምሕደራን ኣገባብ ኣተሃናንጽኡን ዝምልከት እዩ :: ነዚ ብኣገባብ ዘይምምላስ ከኣ እዩ ዓቢ ብዓቲ መሕብኢ ኩሎም ለውጢ ዘፍርሖም ሓይልታትን ውልቀ ሰባትን ኮይኑ ዘሎ :: ብርግጽ እንታይ ዓይነት ምሕደራ ከምዝህልወና ብሓደ ጉጅለ ወይ ፖሎቲካዊ ማሕበር ክውሰን ምኽኒያታዊ ዘንተ – ሞገት ክቅርብ ዝኽእል ብፍጹም የለን :: እቲ ምንታይ ‘ሲ ነዚ ዝውስኖ ሓፍሽ ህዝቢ ስለዝኾነ ግዳ ኸኣ ህዝቢ ንኽውስን ዘርሕው ባይታ ኣብ ምድላው ኣብ መሰረታዊ ጉዳያት ሓባርዊ መርገጽ ዝወስዱ ደረኽቲ ሓይልታት ዘተኣሳስር ገመድ ምፍጣር ከድልየና እዩ ::

    ተቃወምቲ ኢና ዝብሉ ውድባት ይኹኑ ውልቀሰባት : እታ ሓንቲ ደጋጊሞም ዝምክቱላ ሓቂ ህዝቢ ንድኽነትን ስደትን ተዳሪጉ እናበልካ ምቁዛም እያ :: ብኣንጻሩ ህግደፍ ከኣ ተፎፏኻሪ መኸትኡ ” ንሕና ኣብ ኣብ ምውሓስ ልዕላውነትን ኣብ ብልጽግና መጻኢ ወሎዶን ኢና ንሰርሕ ዘላና ” ዝዓይነቱ መኸተ እዩ ዝገብር ዘሎ :: መቸም እታ ቀዳመይቲ ጉዳይ ልዕላውነት ዳርጋ ፍሽልቲ :- ኣብ ተናወሐ ጉዕዞ ሓመድ ድፋጨኣ ዝበለዐትን ኣብ ምብስባስ እትርከብ መኸተ እያ :: እቲ ምንታይ ሲ ህግደፍ ድኣ ሃገራውነት ከየበርዕን እምበር : ህዝቢ ኤርትራ መርገጺኡ ኣብ ልዕላውነት ካብ ልክዕ ገንፊሉስ ክሳብ ኣብ ‘ቲ ዘይተደላይ ዝተፈብረከ ጉዳይ ባድመ ‘ኳ ዘርኣዮ መኸተ ክሳብ ንህግደፍ ‘ውን ኣይትተንክፉ ዝመልክዑ በጺሑ እዩ ዝነበረ ::

    እንተ ‘ ታ ካልኣይቲ ጉዳይ “ምዕባለ መጻኢ ወሎዶ ” ግን ኣብ ምህናጽ ደቂ ሰባት ስለተተኩር ሓቂ ዝተጎዝጎዘት ኣደናጋሪት ሓሶት እያ :: “እዋእ እዚ ሕጂ ዘሎ ህዝቢ እናጽነትካ ኣየናይ መጻኢ ወለዶ እዩ ክህሉ ? ” ንዝብል ሕቶ እዝኒ ኣይህቦን እዩ ህግደፍ :; እቲ ምንታይ ሲ ሓታቲ ዘቅረቦ መተካእታን ንመጻኢ ምሕደራን መንግስትን ስለዘይነደፈ :: ድሓር ህግደፍ ዝሕተተሉ መካኒዝም መዓስ ሃልዩ ‘ ሞ ኣብ ቃልዕ ክትሓቶ ::

    ብዝኾነ ኣብ ዝተዓዘብኩዎ ኩሉ መጽናዕታዊ ጽሑፋት ዓቢ ዕንቅፋት ኮይኑ ንመጻኢት ኤርትራ ብንጹር ከቕርብ ዘየኽኣሎ እቲ ኣብ ብሄራት ዘለና ኣረዳድኣ ጉጉይ ምዃ ኑ ዝረጎደ ኣሉታዊ ግደ ኣለዎ ዝብል ኣረእኣያ ኣለኒ :: እቲ ካልእ ኩሉ ቶኺሽተተይ ዝበለ መስመራት ‘ውን ኣብ’ዚ እዩ ሾንከለል ዘብለና ዘሎ ::

    ብሄር ግን እንታይ እዩ ? ንምዃኑ ብሄር ዘብልዎ ቀጥዕታት ዝማለአ ሕ-ሰብ ኣሎና ዶ ? ዝብሉ ሕቶታት መልስታት ኣለዎም :: የግዳስ መልስታቶም ካብ ቲ ሕሉፍ ቀጻሊ መደረታት ውድባትና ዝተፈልየ ሓቂ ምስ ረኣና ግዝያዊ ስንባዳ ክስመዓና ይኽእል እምበር ክንቅበሎ ክንግደድ ኢና ::

    ተሓኤ ትኹን ህግሓኤ ወላ ውን እዛ ሕጂ ዘላ ወዛል ጉጅለ 9 ብሄራት ኣለዋና እየን ክብላ ጸኒሐን :: እዚ ግን ጹጹይ ታሪኻውን ስነ – ፍልጠታውን መጽናዕቲ ዘይተገብሮ ይበሃል ኢልካ ዝተጎስጎሰሉ ጉዳይ እዩ :: ሓደ ‘ ኳ ካብ ‘ ዞም ነዛ ጽሑፈይ ተንብቡ ዘለኹም ሰባት ኣነ ኣብ ቲ ውሳኔን መጽናዕትን ነይረ ዝብል ሰብ የለን ::

    እቲ ሓቂ ካብ ግዕዝ ዝተወስደ ሃገር ንዝብል ትርጉም ዘቃልሕ ቃል እዩ ብሄር ::ወረ ነቲ ” ግዝኣት” ዝብል ቃል ውን ይገልጾ እዩ :: እሞ 9 ብሄራት ኣለዋና እናብለካ ምዝራብ ሲ 9 ግዝ ኣታት ዶ ኣየስምዕን ? ግዝ ኣት ድ ኣ ብብሄር እንተተማቃቂሉ ኣየናይ ብሄር ሓደ ጅኦግራፊያዊ ቆርበት መሬት ሒዙ ኮፍ ዝበሎ ኣሎ እዩ ?

    እቲ ካብ ስታሊናዊ ምሕደራ ዝተወርሰ ጥራዝ ነጠቅ ቃል ” ብሄር ” እምበኣር ሓቀኛ ትርጉሙ ኣብ ሃገርና ብፍጹም ክሰርሕ ዝኽእል ዓይኮነን :: ድሓር ክዱን ብኣፈ ስላሴ ሃገርና ኤርትራ ብሄረሰባት ድኣ እምበር ” ብሄር ” ዘብል ሮቃሒታት ዝሓዘለ ክፋል ሕሰብ ኣለዋ ክንብል ኣይንኽእልን ኢና :: እንተ ብሄረ – ሰብ ግን 9 ጥራይ ዘይኮነስ ኩሉ ኣነ ብሄረ – ሰብ እየ ዝብል ቅጥዕታቱ ዘማለአ ክብሩ ክሕሎ ይግባእ :: ንሓደ ብሄረ – ሰብ ብሓይሊ ምስ ካልእ ምጽንባር ሓድነት ዘይኮነስ ንሲቪላዊ ኩናት ዝዕደም ጉጉይ መስመር እዩ ::

    ብሄረ – ሰባትና ባህለንን ቅዲ መነባብሮአንን ከምዘለዎ ክቡር ኮይኑ :- ኣብ ምክብባር ዝተመስረተ ማእከላዊ ሓያል ምሕደራ ክህልወን ይግባእ ::

    ሓደገኛነት ኣብ “ብሄር ” ዝተሞርኮሰ ፌድራላዊ ስርዓት እምበኣር ካብ ዘይወድዓውንቱ እዩ ዝጅምር :: ድሓር ከኣ ኣብ ታሪኽና ብሄረሰብኣዊ ይኹን ብሄራዊ ዝበሃል ታሪኻዊ ግድል የብልናን:: ጽቡቕ ዕድል ኮይኑ ‘ውን ወላ ሓደ ብሄረ- ሰብኣዊ ግርጭት ወይ ልዕላውነት ዘለዎ ስምብራት ዝገደፈ : ዛንታ ‘ ዛ ሃገር የብልናን :: በጀካ ግዝያዊ ብገዛእቲ ዝተሰርሐ ሸርሕታት ::

    ክሳብ ሕጂ ፌደራላዊ ስርዓት ኣየድልየናን እዩ ኣይበልኩን :: እቲ ዝብሎ ዘለኹ ኣብ ብሄር ይኹን ኣብ ብሄር -ሰብኣዊ ምቅቅል ዝስራሕ ምሕደራ ፌደራልነት ወድዓዊ ባይታ የብሉን ጥራይ እየ ዝበልኩ ::ከም ኣነ እንተኾይኑ እቲ ” ብሄር ” ዝብል ቃል ሃገራዊነት ውን ስለ ዝገልጽ (ክሳብ ምግንጻል ዘፍቅድ ) መግለጺ ሓቅነት ዘይብሉን ንምብጥጣስ ሃገር ዝዕድም ጎዳኢ መግለጺ ስለ ዝኾነን ንገለ ክፍልታት ብሄረ – ሰባት ሃገርና ‘ውን መሰል ስለ ዝፉሑቅ : ብመጽንዕቲ ዝተሰነየ ካብ ድሑር ውድባዊ ኣረኣእያ ነጻ ዝኾነ መጽናዕታዊ መዕርፎ ክገበረሉ ምመረጽኩ ::

    ብሄረ – ሰባትና ባህለንን ቅዲ መነባብሮአንን ከምዘለዎ ክቡር ኮይኑ :- ኣብ ምክብባር ዝተመስረተ ማእከላዊ ሓያል ምሕደራ ክህልወን ይግባእ ::ንሎሚ ብኸምዚ ክዛዝም ::

    የቀንየለይ ::

    ኮኾብ ::

    • Abraham Hanibal

      ብናተይ ኣረዳድኣ ኣብ ሃገርና ብሄር ክንብል ከለና፡ ንሓደ ጉጅለ ሰባት፡ ናቶም ቋንቋ፡ ባህልን ልምድን፡ ኣከዳድና፡ ኣመጋግባ፡ ሓፈሻዊ ኣገባብ ኣነባብራ፡ ከምኡ ድማ ዝተወሰነ ዝቕመጡሉ ጂኦግራፊያዊ ቦታ ዘለዎም ሰባት ዘጠቓልል ኢዩ። እዚ ክበሃል እንከሎ ግን፡ ልውውጥ ናይ ባህልን ልምድን፡ ኣመጋግባ፡ ኣከዳድና፡ ኣገባብ ኣነባብራ፡ ምትሕንፋጽ ኣብ ሓደ ጂኦግራፍያዊ ከባቢ፥ ወዘተ ኣብ መንጎ እዘን ትሽዓተ ብሄራት የለን ማለት ኣይኮነን። እኳ ደኣ እዚ ምምስሳልን ምቅርራብን፡ ኣብ መንጎ እዘን ብሄራት ልሙድን ንቡርን ኮይኑ፡ ኣብ ጉዕዞ ነዊሕ ዓመታት ዝማዕበለን፡ ኣብ መኸተ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣንጻር ባዕዳውያን ናህሩ ዝወሰኸን ተርእዮ ኢዩ። ሓቂ ንምዝራብ ካብቲ ዝፈልየን ረቛሒታት እቲ ዘቀራርበን ኣዝዩ ዝበዝሕ ኮይኑ፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ሓደ ብሄራት ኤርትራ መሰረት ዝገበረ ፈደራላዊ ስርዓት ክምስረት ኣለዎ ዝብል ኣረኣእያ፡ ነዚ ፍልልያት ካብ ዘይግበኦ ንላዕሊ ኣተዓባቢኻ ምርኣይ ኮይኑ ይስመዓኒ። ስለዚ፡ ኮኾብ ሰላም፡ ብሄራት ኤርትራ መሰረት ዝገብር ፈደራላዊ ስርዓት ዘይምድጋፍኪ ኣነ ውን ይሰማማዕ።

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Abrham, HTG, KS;
        ከምዝተረዳእክዎ፡ ኣማንኤል ዞባዊ እምበር ብሄረሰባዊ ፈደራሊዝም ኣይኮነን ዝዛረበሉ ዘሎ። እቲ ሓሳብ ከም ሓሳብ ምርኣዩን ምስልሳሉን ኣይጎድእን። ዕላማ ናይቲ ክትዕ፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝተመዛዘነን ዝተዛነቐን ውክልና ብከመይ ይርከብ ንዝብል ሕቶ ንምምላስ ዝግበር ፈተነ እዩ። ሓሳበይ ኣብታ ብእንግሊዘኛ ዘቕረብክዋ ርኢቶ ኣጠቓሊለዮ ኣለኹ። ከም ሓሳብ ምርኣዩን ካብኡ ዝበልጽ እንተሎ ምቕራብ ጽቡቕ እዩ። እምበር ኣነ እውን ብብሄራት ዝልለ ፈደራሊዝም ኣብ ኤርትራ ክሰርሕ ዝኽእል ኣይመስለንን። ደሓር ከኣ እታ ጋሕማጥ ብሄረይ ከመይ ክትገብርዋ ኢኹም? ካብ ዙላ ጀሚራ ሰምሃር ሳሕል ገለ ክፋል ሰንሒት፡ ባርካ….ሃይላት፡ ዓባይ ካርታ ረፑብሊክ ትግረ መታን ክትጥርር ክትድለ ኢኻ!!! ኣብ ዙላን ሕርጊጎን ዝነብር ትግረ ጥቓይ ዘለዉ ዓሳውርታን ትግርኛን ይቐርቡኒ ክብለካ ይኽእል። ኣብ ገለብ፡ ቤት ጁክ፡ መስሓሊት ዘሎ ትግረታይ ምስ ኣሕዋተይ ብሊን ይሕሸኒ ክብል ይኽእል። ኣሕዋቱ እዮም ድማ..ወዘተ። ካልኦት እውን ከምኡ ክህልዉ ይኽእሉ እዮም። ኣማንኤል ነዚ ዝዘንገዐ ኣይመስለንን። ብኡ እዩ ድማ ዞባዊ ኣወቓቕራ ክህሉ ከምዝኽእል ዝዛረብ ዘሎ። ስለ’ዚ፡ ብሓሳብ ደረጃ ምርኣዩ ሽግር ኣይኮነን።

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Mahmuday,

          I will reserve reading your tigrina comment to late evening at home.

        • Kokhob Selam

          ዝኸበርካ ማሕሙድ :

          ሓው ኣማኑኤል ኣብ ኩሉ ጽሑፋቱ ኣብ ሞንጎ ህዝቢ ምትእምማን ጥቁውነትን ዝዕድም ምሁራዊ መግለጺታት እየ ረኺበ :: ኣብ ጉዳይ ዞባዊ ምትእስሳር ህዝብታት ‘ውን ንውሽጣዊ ሓድነትን ምዕባሌን ሓሊፉ ኣይኮነን ርእይዎ :: እቲ ምናታይ ሲ እዛ ሃገር ልዕልውነታ ኣረጋጊጻ ካብ ሕሉፍ ኣሉታዊ ታሪኻ ተማሂራን :- ኣውንታዊ ታሪኻ ኣቂባን ሓደ ሓበራዊ ዘማእክል መንግስቲ ሒዛ ጥራይ እያ ምስ ካለ ኦት ኣውንታዊ ግደ እትጻወት :: ጽባሕ ህግደፍ ኣልግስ ኣቢልካ ብጉዳይ ዞብ ምዝራብ ብፍጹም ነተን ብሄረሰባት ንናብ ዝዳወበን ሃገራት ከይደን ከምዝወሓጣ ምግባር እዩ ::

          እቲ ቀዳማይ ቤት ዕዮ እምበኣር ነዛ ባንዴራኣ ካብ ተምበልብል ንጹር ሕጋዊ መምርሕን ንጹር ኣብ ወድዓውነታ ዝተሰረተ ንድፈ -ስራሕ ወይ መደብ – ዕዮ ምቅራብን ናይ ሓባር መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ ምጥራይን እዩ ኢለ ይግመት ::

          እወ : ብክብርታት ህዝብና ኢና ኮሪዕና ብዛዕባ ዞባና ክንዛረብ ንኽእል :: ኣብ ሕ-ስብኣዊ ምዕባለ : ኣብ ማዕረ ምምቅራሕ ሃብቲ ዘነጻጽር ምጣኔ ሃብታዊ ኣሰራርሓ ከየኣትተኣኻን ብተግባር ተበጊስካ ከይበልጸግካን :- ብልጽግናኻ ከይርመስ ዝከላኸል ስራዓት ከይሃነጽካን ዝግበር ኩሉ ህንጡይነት እዩ ጥ ራይ ዘይኮነስ ሓደገኛ ው ን ኮይኑ ይስመዓኒ ::

          እዚ ማለት ብኡ ን ብኡ ንዞባዊ ምትሕቅቃፍ ብተዛማዲ ደረጃ : ምዕባሌኻ እናርኣኻን ከም ተደላይኑቱ ክብ እናብለካ ምኻድ ጌጋ እዩ ማለተይ ኣይኮነን :: ሕጂ ‘ኳ ሕጂ ኢትዮጵያውያን ንሰላማዊ ዝምድናና ክግደሱ ምግባርን ካብ ኣንተብኡ ምቅላሕን ጠቃሚ እምበር ጎዳኢ ኣይኮነን ::

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Kokhob Selam & Mahmuday,
            I read the tigrigna version of your comments now. Kokhob Selam “tsebuq geyrka Hizkani Aloka” Thank you for your understanding. Mahumuday also, except the one glitch, you have the picture of my argument. The rest is let everybody try to bring a proposal for public education and let them have multiple choices until we collectively decide the fate of our state.

          • haileTG

            ሰላማት ኣሕዋት ኮኾብ፡ ማሕሙድ፡ ኣማን

            መቸም እዛ ጉዳይ ከም እትፈልጥዋ፡ ሓያለይ ዝኸደት እያ። ብሓቂ ሓው ኣማን፡ እውን ኣዝዩ ዝግደሰላ ኮይና፡ ጎኒ ጎኒ ኩሉ ሓሳባቱ፡ ኣለይ መለይ ከይበላ ኣይሓልፍን እዩ። ከም እምነ-ኩርናዕ ዓንዲ ፖለቲካዊ ሓሳባቱ ድማ እዝየ የድንቓ እየ። እቲ ምንታይ’ሲ፡ አብ ብዙሕ ምድረኻት ሸለል ተባሂላ ትሕለፍ ኣርእስቲ ብምኽዋና፡ ኣብ ገበታ ትንታነታትና፡ ኣቓልቦ ክትስሕብ ምግባሩ፡ ጻዕሩ ከነሞግስ ይግባእ በሃላይ እየ። ብወገነይ፡ ከምዚ ዓይነት፡ ዝለዓለ መዋቕር ሉኣላዊ ኣቀዋውማ ናይ ሃገር ዝትንክፍ ኣርእስቲ፡ እንተወሓደ ናይ ኩሉ ዝምልከቶ ክፋል ሕብረተሰብና ተሳትፎ ከካትት ናይ ግዲ እዩ። ከመይ’ሲ ዝበዝሔ ክፋል ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ፡ ኣብ ውሽጢ ኤርትራ ብምህላዉ፡ እሞ ድማ፡ ኣብ ነዊሕ ታሪኻዊ ኣመጻጽኣና ዝረግኤ፡ ውሽጣዊ ኩነት ናይ ሃገርና፡ ኣብቲ ውሽጢ ሃገር ብምህላዉ፡ ንዕዑ ኣካል ከይገበርካ’ውን ናብ ፈጽሚ ዘብጽሕ ልዝብ ክጋባእ ስለዘይከኣል፡ ነዚ ዓይነት ሓድሽ ሉኣላዊ ኣቀዋውማ ውድዓውን፡ ሙሉእን ኣተሓሕዛ፡ ክረክብ ኣጸጋሚ እዩ።

            በቲ ካልእ ሸነኹ ግን፡ ነቲ ዝኸይድ ዘሎ ናይ ለውጢ መስርሕ፡ ዘይናቱ ገጽ ኣትሒዙ፡ ፖለቲካዊ ክሳራ ከየምጽእ የሰክፍ። እዚ ክብል ከለኹ፡ እቲ ሓሳብ ምውህሃብን፡ ምምዕባልን፡ ቅዱስ ነገር እዩ፡ እንተኾነ፡ ብሸነኽ ህግደፍ ዝወሃቦ ትንታነ፡ ንህዝብና ካብዚ ተሸኺሉሉ ዘሎ፡ ስቕታን-ደውታን ምዕይ ከይብል ገይሩ፡ ኣብ ቃዝኖት ኣሲሩ ተስፋ ከየቑሩጾ ዝብል ስግኣት እሎኒ። ንኣብነት፡ ቅድሚ ዓመት ኣቢሉ ዑስማን ሳልሕ ወጻኢ ጉዳያት፡ ኣብ ኣትላንታ ተረኺቡ፡ እዚኦም ብወያነ ብዝተዋህቦም መምርሒ፡ ናይ ክሳብ ምግንጻል ፖለቲካ ዝብሉ ፈደራላውያን እዮመ። ዘይሮም ዘይሮም ድማ መሬትን፡ ክፋል ገማግም ቀይሕ ባሕሪ ብሰበብ ርእሰ ውሳነ ሕዝቢ ዓፈር ኣቢሎም ንኢትዮጵያ ንምሃብ እዩ ክብል ሓደ መናፍሕ ተንቲኑ ከይዱ። ብወገነይ፡ ሓደ ኣካል ክከላኸሎን፡ ክመርሖን፡ ክቆጻጸሮምን ዘሸግሩ ኣርእስትታት፡ ነቲ ግቡእን ኣድማዕን ግዜኦም ምሕዳግ ምሓሸ ምበልኩ።

            ብግምጣሉ እውን፡ እቶም ኤትኒካዊ ኣወዳድባ ዘለዎም ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታት፡ እዚ፡ ጉዳይ፡ ብባይቶ ተመጉቱ፡ ናብ ፈጽሚ ዝበጽሕ እምበር፡ ናይ ዋጋ ዕዳጋ ከምዘይኮነ፡ ብሩጉጽ ክበርሃሎም ይግባእ። ነዚ ክብል ከለኹ ግን። እቲ ትሕዝቶ መሃሪ ምኻኑ እኣምን፡ ናይ ሓው ኣማን ተገዳስነት ድማ ብሓቂ ግሩምን ዝድነቕን እዩ እንተበልኩ ዘጋንን ዘለኹ ኣይመስለንን።

            Regards

          • Semere Andom

            Hi HTG:
            I was missing in action on this debate. Now am pressed for time, but let me say this about this comment of yours
            This piece as with some others your wrote in Tig are both a mix of pure Tig and what my former friend Sal (former cus we just broke up;-) PFDJ Tig. Keep up diction like “zrege” and the easily replaceable “ethicawi” and the redundant “behalay eye”, already “elkayo endika” 😉
            If you do the above, I will crown you with TG square:-)
            And let me say I am kidding about the former friend thing in case Sal reads it, these days you never know 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Semere,
            These days you pressed in time and globetrotting busy bee! If you are forming some sort of wddb, don’t forget me 🙂

          • Semere Andom

            Ahlen abu Saleh
            Daemen fi fuaduna, do not worry 😉

          • Hope

            Hey,hey–Hailat.
            Perfetto Inglese and tigrigna.
            Linguist,Sociologist,Teacher,professor(University Lecturer,I was told,am I right?Preacher–kind of—Intellectual,Counsellor,Negotiator,diplomat–etc—Hmm.
            More than mesmerized….I rest all my cases and issues with you—except this Ethiopian factor issue.
            God bless you.

          • Kokhob Selam

            ሃይላት :- ብፉኽስ ዝበለ መዓልታዊ ኣዘራርባ እየ ክዕልለካ ::

            ኣብ ትሕቲ ‘ዚ ኣርእስቲ ብርግጽ ብዙሕ ተባሂሉ እዩ :: ወላ ‘ዛ ኣብ ስልጣን ዘላ ጉጅለ ‘ውን ንስለ ምባል ሲ ብዙሕ ዝበለቶ ኣሎ :: ብፍሽኽታ ዶ ክንጀምር ? ፍሽኽ ምባል ኣካላውን መንፈሳውን ይህብ እዩ ክበሃል ሰሚዐ ነይረ ንኺድ ዶ ?

            ሓንቲ መዓልቲ ኣነን ክልተ ኣዕሩኽተይን ሻሂ ቡን ክንብል ኣብ ቀጥሪ ማሕበረ ኮም ኤርትራ ንኸደልካ : ሓደ ካብ ‘ቶም ኣዕሩኽተይ ክንዮ ኮፍ ዝበልናለን ወናብር ፈንተት ዝበለ ቦታ ዝፈልጦ ሰብ ርእዩ ሰላም ክብል ከደ ‘ሞ ቁሩብ ዶንጎየ : ክልቴና ተረፍና :: ኣነ ነታ ዝገዛእኩዋ ጋዜጣ ሓዳስ ኤርትራ ምግልባጥ ጀመርኩ :: እቲ ምሳይ ዝነብረ ዓርከይ ከኣ ከም ልማዱ ነታ ናይ ምልክታ ገጽ ዘለዎ ፍልዩ ኣሕዲጉ ምንባብ ጀመረ ::

            ስማዕ ‘ባ ገዚእካ ዘይተነብብ ? ብሓውሲ ዋዛ ሓተትኩዎ :;
            “ኣነ ድኣ ደይ ነታ ናይ ምልክታ መርድእ ትብል እየ ዘንብብ “ ይብለኒ ::
            እወ ኣነ ውን ኣስተብሂለልካ እዩ ኮ ግን ስለምንታይ ? እሉ ይሓቶ
            “ኣብ ሓዳስ ኤርትራ እንኮ ሓቂ ዝርከቦ ኣብ መርድእ ዝብል ዓምዲ ጥራይ እዩ “ ኣይብለንን ?

            ካዕ ካዕ ኢለ እንናሓቅኩ እንከለኹ “ ወረ ንሱ ‘ውን ፈጣሪ እንተወሲድዎ እዩ ምበር ህግደፍ እንተበሊዖሞ ኣሮማይ :- ኣብ ሓዳስ ኤርትራ ኣይኮነን ኣብ ዳረት እንዳብኡ ዜና ኣይስማዕን እዩ “ ኢሉ ምስ ወሰኸኒ ስሓቐይ ካብ ምቁጽጻረይ ወጻኢ ኮኑ :: እቲ ግዜ ግዜ ሓፍ ሓፍ ህግዳፍውያን እዩ ዝነበረ :: ንሕና ኸኣ ዳርጋ ኣብ ሞንጎኦም ኢና ዘለና :: ሕሰቦ !

            ነዚ ብርሑቅ ክጥምት ዝጸነሐ ዓርክና ናብ ‘ቲ ዘለናዮ እናመጸ ገና ኮፍ ከይበለ “ኮኾብ ካብ መዓስ ኢኻ ኸ ክንድዚ ዝሰሓቕካ? እንታይ እያ ‘ ዛ ኣስናንካ ክሳብ ዝረአ ዘስሓቐትካ ? “ ኢሉ ሓተተ ክንዲ ኣነ ዝምልሰሉ ግን እቲ ምሳይ ዝጸነሓ ዓርካና ኣዘንተውሉ ንሱ ‘ውን ስሓቐ እሞ ዳሕራይ ዘገደደ መስሓቅ ዘረባ ደርበየ : “ኮኾባይ እንድዒ ኣየፍለጥክን :- መዓት ጎሓፍ እናንበብኪ ሰራውር ርእስኺ ማይ በላ ከይመለአ ኣይተርፍእን እዩ “ ሞይተ ‘ኳ እየ ነይረ ብስሕቕ ሃይላት ሓወይ :: ‘እንዳ ኤስያስ ኣይስመዑ ::

            እዛ ዋዛ ሓቂ እያ ቅሩብ እየ ኣተዓዓርየላ ኣለካ ሙሽ : መመቀሪ !. እቶም ኣዕሩኽተይ ሕጂ ኣንቢቦም ክስሕቑ እዮም :: ኣየሰኣእነና ::

            ናብ ቁም ነገርና ዶ ክንኣቱ :-
            ነዚ ጉዳይ ዞባዊ ምትእሳር ‘ ውን ከም ካልኦት ኣርእስትታት ንሃልኪ ብዙህ ወረቀትን ቀለምን ዝወደኣ ግን ሓንቲ ‘ ኳ መትሓዚ ዘይብሉ ዘረባታት ዳሕዲሓቶ እያ ህግደፍ :: ንወዲ ገረሂ ልባ መቸም ከም ‘ታ ብሕልማ ጠስሚ እትሰቲ ድኻ : ብተስፋ ኣረስሪስዎ ይኸውን እዩ ::

            እንተ ‘ ቲ መስተብሃሊ ግን ኣንቢቡ ምስ ወደአ ኣብ ምንባብ ንዘሕለፋ ግዜ ጸብጺቡ ንዝሓለፈት ግዜኡ ብኻልእ ክፈድያ ከምዝጓየ ጥርጥር የብሉን : ግዜ ውን ትኸስስ እያ : ስብ ልቦንን ሕልናን ክሲ ግዜ ይሰምዕዎ እዮም ::

            እቶም ጽሓፍቲ ገሊኦም ብንጽህና እዮም ዝጽሕፍዎ ዝነበሩ :: ግን ከም ‘ቲ ዝጽሕፍዎ ከምዘይቀረበ ካብ ‘ ቲ ሃጓፋት ትሪኦ ኢኻ ፋሕ ዝበለ
            ዘይስሩዕን ቅደም ተኸተሉ ዝተዘርገ ኮይኑ ምስ ርኣኻዮ ኣብ ሞንጎ ንዝነበረ ኣተኣሳሳሪ ምልእ ሓሳባት “እዚ ኣይደልን እዩ “ እናበለ ዝቡንቁር ተጻይ ዕምሩ ከሕጽሮ ከምዝጸነሐ ትዕዘብ እሞ “ ዋይ ጉድ ረኺባ ዓንቀጽ – ሙጭሊቒት ተሪፋ ብቁርጽርጽ “” ትብል ::

            ከምቲ ኣያ ዑስማን ዓዲ ዓረብ ከም ዘላታ ጠቢሶም : ብጥስጥስ እናበሉ ክበልዕዋ ምስ ርኣየ ዝበሎ “ ደርሆ ኣብዘይ ዓዳ ሞይታ” ::ብሰፊሕ ኣእምሮ ዝተጻሕፈ ይበል ዘብል ሓሳብ ተሓንጊጡ ከምዘይቀረበ ፥ ፍሕ ፍንጭራሕ ኢሉ ክትሪኦ እንከለኻ መዓንጣኻ ሕምስ እዩ ዝብል :: ነዚ እዮም “ኣይ ኣፍሪቃ ምሁራት ብመሃይማት እትምራሕ ኣህጉር !” ዝበሉ መስለኒ ::

            ንኣብነት :

            ሓደ ነዚ ዝዓይነቱ ኣርእስቲ ሒዙ ዝቀረበ ጽሓፊ :- ብዛዕባ ዞባዊ ዝምድና ቅድሚ ምዝራቡ ብዛዕባ ዘቤታዊ ጉዳያት ከዕልል ግድን እዩ :: ማይክሮ ፖሊሲ ሃገርካ ምስ ካለኦት ሃገራት ምይክሮ ፖሊስ ከይፈለጠካን ንኽሊቲኣዊ ዝምድና ዘወሃህድ መስረህ ክትፈጥር ዘይሕሰብ እዩ :: ብዓብዩ ነቲ ዘለካ ተፈጥሮኣዊ ሃብቲ ዘይትፈልጥን ዝኾነ መጽናዕቲ ዘይብልካን እሞ ወረ እታ ሃገር ትሰርሓሉ ቅጥዒ ከይሃለወካን ብዛዕባ ንዞባዊ ዝምድና “ንሕና መሪሕ ግደ ኢና ተጻዊትና “ ምባል ካብ ኣጉል ጃህራ ሓሊፉ ትርጉም የብሉን :: ነዚ ዘሊሉ ዝኸይድ ጽሓፊ ግርምኡ
            ዝተቀንጠጠ ኣፉ ሒዙ ከምዘሎ ብርሑቕ ርኢኻ ትሽፍቐሉ ::

            ሓቂ ሓቂ እየ ዝብለካ : እቲ ኣብ ቅንእን ሓሰድን ዝሕምብስ ዘሎ ልቢ ህግደፍ ኣብ እቲ ዞባ ዘለዋ ሃገራት ብኩናትን ድርቅን ተሓሚሰን እንተዝሓድራ ኣዝዩ ምተሓጎሰ:: ዝኾነ ብህግደፍ ዝኣምን ሰብ እንተ ኣስተብሂልካሉ ሐሕማቑ ዝምነ :- ውድቀት ካለኦት ዓወት ኮይኑ ዝስመዖ:- ሕልንኡ ዝሞተ : ኮይኑ እዩ ዝጸንሓካ :: ኣብ ኣዲስ ኣበባ ሓንቲ ዪኒቨርስቲ ምስነደደት ዕልል ዝብሉ ደቂ ሰባት እያ ህግደፍ ኣጥርያ :: እታ ዩኒቨርሲትይ ምንዳዳ ከምዚ ኣብ ኤርትራ ሓንቲ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ዝተሰርሐት ኮይኑ ተሰሚዕዋኦም :: ፈትዮም ኣይኮኑን ውድቀት ካለኦት ዓወቶም ኮይኑ ስለዝስመዖም እዩ :: ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ስነ ኣእምሮኣዊ ስንክልና ዘለዎ መሪሕነትን ስዓብቱን ንምሕዋይ ብዙሓት ሳይኮሎጂስትስ ምጥራይ ግድን ክኸውን እዩ ::

            ጉዳይ ዞባ ቅድሚ ምዕላልና ‘ምበኣር ብዙ ሕ- ዘቤታዊ ስራሕ ኣለና : ሰላም::

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba KS,

            “ፈትዮም ኣይኮኑን ውድቀት ካለኦት ዓወቶም ኮይኑ ስለዝስመዖም እዩ” :: This is true to their character. We have seen many even in this awate forum. And It isn’t the true Eritrean character.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Sir, they are programmed that way. the day any supporter leave that camp, he starts to eliminate the bad character. some time a man leaves that camp when he delete this bad character. it works both ways I think. really , I am saying it because I have seen it. Lol

          • saay7

            Emma:

            If I may make a suggestion: many (most?) of the Awatistas you are trying to reach do not read long-form articles; they are even less inclined to read it if you don’t provide a link that takes them to a readily-accessible content. Why don’t you present, bullet style, the form of a government you propose for a post-Isaias Eritrea and why the other alternatives are inadequate from a political, social, economic approach–representation, sustainable democracy, development, statehood etc.

            I will try to do likewise with my version of decentralized state. And if we can prevail on either EFDM and DMLEK/RSADO, they can share their version of federalism why they think it would be superior.

            Meanwhile, I am waiting for your article on HOW to bring about change in Eritrea–a change that accomplishes two goals (a) little collateral damage and (b) sustainable democracy.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            You are right though (a) When one of our own Ismail Omer told me that he didn’t read my proposal, I was disappointed (b) When individuals assume that I advocate for federalism, actually many of them (most of the time those who do not differentiate “federal government” and “decentralized unitary government”), I simply understood they are not reading my essays or too complicate to comprehend (c) My friend SGJ also did offer similar advice few days ago in our telephone conversation. Actually, do you know Saay, even if you try to link long essays, it won’t do unless the reading habit of our citizen change. The readers of the link will be still few interested ones. I don’t think it will solve the problem. But I will think about it, and thank you for your gracious advice.

            On the coming article still will be a long essay. The topic will focus, whether there is a concept of “democratic coup” or not. And if there is, what ever the characteristics of the democratic coups are, will it be realistic in the Eritrean reality. I will try to explore on that provocative article of yours whether it is feasible or not. The problem is, I don’t have enough time to do my piece and hence it took me long to finish my articles (essays).

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail

            Amanuel!

            It is hard to believe that you are the same gentle soft spoken Amanuel I used to know! Has the passage of time changed you so much that you are now ready to lock horns with anyone who does not pay proper attention to you or your articles? Why on God’s rapidly decaying earth would you be so disappointed that I haven’t read your article?

            FYI, the main reason why I sometimes do not read your articles is lack of time. That is all. Your articles are often so lengthy, so heavily cited, and so frightfully data
            intensive that it is difficult to go through them quickly when one is
            pressed for time. Meanwhile, other priorities take over. It is for the same reason (lack of time) that you don’t see me commenting or responding to comments as often as I would like to.

            Respectfully,

            Ismail (pointblank)
            p.s. Make your response less than three short paragraphs and I will be eternally grateful (:-)

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Isamail,

            Oh Man! I don’t mean to aggravate you, not to my nature. What I was responding was to the advice of Saay; and I was giving examples to support his suggestion. Nothing more than that. Why should I lock my horn to you who are in the forefront of the struggle against the regime which I call it my struggle? I think the debate is creating misunderstanding even among those who have common purpose in what they do (politically). Actually, I said this reaction when I saw unexpected negative exchanges between Semere Habtemariam and Saay.

            Here you go again the word “disappointing” will put us in a lock horn! No Ismail. I can’t believe, even it doesn’t cross your mind that it might even be lack of choice of words. I think this unfruitful debate (may be from the format) that took its toll on us -creat frictions even between close friends. And if that is the case, what good could come from this debate. None at all. So Ismail, if that word made you discomfort, there is nothing I can do, except to apologize. Therefore my apology to you.

            With respect,
            Amanuel Hidrat (teneges)

          • Ismail

            A big hug Amanuel! There was no need to apologize at all. You see, in the comment in question, you did not just allude to my not reading your article but lumped me with those who misquoted you or misunderstood your position about federalism and decentralization. Though I didn’t read your article, I never misquoted you or misrepresented your position. Did I? That is why I didn’t like it. But reading your sincere comments above, I know that was not your intention. Thanks for clarifying.
            Unfruitful debate? No. I don’t believe there is such a thing. I believe all debates nasty or not add to our store of knowledge though we may not realize it at the time. You are doing an excellent job Amanuel… please keep doing it. I am looking forward to your next article.
            Ismail (pointblank)

  • Hope

    Yep big bro. I advised Tes to do many times but it takes time and he will come along.

  • Hope

    Bingo–L.T
    You read my mind my own.
    I could tell you a similar story:
    -Semitic+Cushitic in origin
    -Some Agew –turned into Blin from Mom’s side
    -Himbirti Hamssen from Dad’s side
    -Muslim +Christian mix from both sides
    -Grew up with Beni Amir/Tigre of Barka
    Then ,where shall I go or which “Federal State should I join??
    It just does NOT make any sense to me.
    People are here just to distract us from main issues.
    —–and now,our neighbors from the South will sit back and laugh at us.
    SAAY,wolud you be so kind to bring up major topics as to :
    -How to mobilize Eritreans across the World to be united for ONE but ONE GOAL
    -National Reconciliation Issues
    -How to re-organize and create a National-All-Inclusive-Democratic Front

  • haileTG

    Selam Ismail,

    This is a belated comment for an otherwise well argued and timely paper. I was rather busy with regional matter, which unfortunately turned fishy 🙂

    If I remember correctly, we have visited the issue of “the day after” a number of times before and your presentation helps to bring it to the fore yet again. Since then, I have been rather getting more convinced of two issues:

    1 – There is going to be regime change/collapse/takeover… unexpectedly

    2 – Most likely there will not be one dominant or even known successor when it happens

    The regime is checkmated from multiple angles that it would need Houdini’s postmasters in the art of magic to survive. The demobilization issue is terminally postponed, the failed economy is in terminal crisis (power shortage has made it to African economic indicator variables now), diplomatic crisis is fatally stuck, the justice issue of political prisoners has reached a dead end, migration can’t be controlled, military blockade is set for good….and much more. The regime is implicated in a dangerous sort of way and the expanding intl. indictments and sanctions are chocking it to death. Things will come to a head and I guess what will be will be. It is the terminal nature of the issues that I am stressing and not down playing the regime’s history of its ability to withstand. But the terminal nature of the ongoing crisis’ has rendered such an asset in the regime’s favor irrelevant, i.e it can’t go for ever and it has gone far enough.

    I often don’t support comprehensive questions put to debtors as: how do you intend to bring change? These type of questions aim beyond the scope of an individual commenter and are asked to illicit rhetorical response. What we know is that the fall of the regime would usher the lifting off of the darkest era of our existence as Eritreans. What we make of it would reflect many of our current tendencies, but for the first time in their recent history (50+ years) Eritreans will start to speak and express views like all mankind. Beyond that, hard to say.

    Regards

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Hailat TG:

      We all are convinced that the PFDJ will collapse soon, but on what time are we counting? Sal just said Eritrea is one time zone country, but I believe there are at least 3 time zones in Eritrea: one for the prisons and time zone for PFDJ and an other one for the rest of us. Since there is no one formidable threat for that will bring the government to collapse, I interpret your, “Most likely there will not be one dominant or even known successor when it happens” to be an euphemism for civil war.

      • haileTG

        Hey Sem,

        Hard to predict but there is no denying that we’ve badly tangled up ourselves into multitude of knots. Suppose the PFDJ initiates change itself, would they release those who are still alive and in jails? When political change happens, people tend to expect their current situation would change equally dramatically, but it wouldn’t. This would create another dynamics quite separate from the G-15 and the likes (which would have its own dynamics too). External backers would deal us some cards too which would have its own dynamics, and finally loyalties would either be to ideals or individuals. So all in all, it is pretty deep hole, and even if you were to consider the regime as a potential candidate, it is virtually irredeemable under any circumstances. So, I would stop there as far as the likely place where we’re gonna get to 🙂

      • Hayat Adem

        Sem,
        Sal’s time zone thing is very new and (at least to me) very strange. We have geography, we have demography, we have language and culture, we have administrative convenience considerations….we have so many different functional considerations whether to decide for centralized or decentralized system. And yet all we refer to is for an imaginary longitudinal lines that have nothing (zero-factor, according to me) to do with political arrangements. It is my first time to hear time zones are policy factor not to choose decentralization.
        I thought they are just imaginary lines. You will find more than one country, side by side within a single time-zone. You will find tens of countries within a single time zone, north-south bound. You may find big countries like China, Ethiopia falling on two time zones. Ethiopia was a unitarian system before 1991. It is federalized now among several regions (not two). You will also find even bigger countries stretching across more that 2 time zones and yet opting for a unitary system, as there are countries even smaller countries than Eritrea embracing a decentralized system. It is very common some too small countries to even fill a single time zone are divided by this imaginary time zone grids.
        Some of us here with a tendency to promote the diversity of people to be the central consideration as opposed to physical conveniences. But physical considerations are by far much more sensible now that the weirdest argument of using imaginary lines is coming to surface from our seasoned thinkers. The message we get from Sal’s note here is about his political view of exploiting every reason (even the imaginary ones) to reject a system that accommodates and cherishes societal diversity. I can see how “people first” can sound a very strange notion to him.
        Hayat

    • saay7

      Haile TG and Sem:

      Hailat, እንቋዕ ካብ ዞባዊ ጉዳያት ናብ ዘበታዊ መለሰካ 🙂 Honestly that thread is virtually unreadable (to me) and it appears that in 11 years all we have traded is one group of hardliners (Eritreans) for another group (Ethiopians.) That’s sad to me because when we wrote the editorial 11 years ago, I thought it was one of the boldest ones we had written (if you remember the political environment then) and it was the one being used by enda hgdef as we are Weyane:) In my FB post my status says: “Change and transition are not the same thing. Change means an alteration in circumstances. Transition is the psychological process of accepting and working through change.” – William Bridges, paraphrased. Well, one of the things we have to transition to is that whatever new regime we are bringing in after the collapse of the Isaias Afwerki regime is, whether we like it or not, going to need the blessing of “regional powers” (code for Ethiopia) for it to be considered legitimate– and it is sad that many of the “regional powers” may have to accommodate the views of their spiteful constituency.

      Coming back to our issue at hand. I think when it comes to the PFDJ, we Eritreans can be broadly categorized: (a) there were those who never had any positive expectation from the EPLF; (b) those who were skeptical and gave it the benefit of doubt; (c) those who were supportive but have turned against it; (d) those who are still with it.

      We are trying to synthesize the views of (a), (b) and (c) above. But it is, understandably, hard because we always go back to analysis in trying to understand its nature. (a) tells (b): I told you so! (a) and (b) tell (c): I told you so. I was right first! Since I was right first, I have a clearer view and you should listen to me! Since I was right first, the least you can do is admit that I was right and you were wrong! Any attempt to present a nuanced answer is treated as refusal to admit mistake. Even worse, it is treated as a reason to be suspicious of the other.

      I think that is a discussion without any benefit. The “how do you intend to bring change” to me, is a simple, pragmatic question. Because that will, in large part, dictate what will happen AFTER the change. The actors that bring about the change will try to control the post-change agenda. Being agnostic on the subject or pleading ignorance is really not going to help us. I believe that we are beyond the “analytics” stage and we should be writing the first drafts of what will become the white papers. I say this with all the modesty I can muster: it is not that we are capable, it is that there is nobody else more capable.

      Sem A:

      On the time zones…some of my favorite Eritreans are the Federalists…but I really don’t understand how one implements a Federal system in Eritrea. I mentioned that we are in 1 time zone because the examples I saw of small states (small size, small population) who had a federal system were those whose size/population is spread over a wide area (literally different time zones.) I think the Federalists romanticize a period of Eritrean history that was largely the work of Italian colonizers and British administrators. But that is an entirely different subject altogether.

      saay

      • Kokhob Selam

        First thing is first . Yes we need to work on our nations case at this moment. I think you brought very important point.Just one question , isn’t possible to modify Federal system with our countries situation -Population size and natural resources etc.? May be this will let our different parties to think in one direction. do you awate team have some old articles that explains about federalism as choice or any other system depending our nations reality? thank you Saay in advance for helping me understand. I think it is time to talk about it.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dearest Kokhob Selam,

          Yes indeed there are different stages of “Decentralized unitary government” and we can absolutely design something that fits to our reality. But there is dishonesty from the advocators of centralized unitary government. They always relate to ethnic federalism. They don’t even argue on the variety of the system. Why? they want to control the political and economic infrastructures of the state, especially for those who want to resuscitate PFDJ.

          • Kokhob Selam

            thank Amuni, I am getting the idea.

          • Hope

            Mr Aanuel Hidrat:
            So–you are saying taht since PFDJ is PFDJ–bad by all criteria and standard,whatever the PFDJ says or suggests is wrong,null and void.is that right Emma?
            At the same time,you have welcome(d) the PFDJ to take part in the future Eritrea as a party,which by default means,it has a right to contribute in the future Eritrea in all aspects-including suggesting its own way of “Federalism”,which is an obsolete term and fantasy in my opinion.
            What we need is :
            A constitutionally decentralized Government System where the Assembly or the Eritrean people will decide,taking into consideration all aspects-the pros and cons included, of each option forwarded and set the best decentralized system based on the actual needs of our own situation with out indulging into region,ethnicity,tribalism,religion,etc—-
            To those who support the RSADO and DMLEK and the Eritrean Federalist Movement,which most of the members dropped off,btw,are you telling me that we are going to have:
            1)Red Sea Afars State
            2)Tigrigna /High Land State
            3)Tigre of Semhar State
            4)Tigre of Barka State
            5)Blin State/Senhit State
            6)Tigre of Sahel State
            7)kunama State of Gash
            8)Nara State of barka
            9)Harendiwa State of Barka
            10)Rashaida State of N Massawa
            11)Jeberti Sate of –what?Highland,?//
            12)Saho State of Semhar/Akelguzay
            13)Erob State of ???
            —then,the worst,they will tell us Self-determination upto seccession/separation,independence,Unity with mamma estopia–crap nonesense.
            It makes me sick when people bring up this nonesense when we have plenty of issues to debate albeit deliberately to confuse us and create chaos.
            Talk about Unity in Diversity,mobilizing and uniting Eritreans and to bring real change and Constitutional Governance..

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hope,
            Two short notes for you (a) allowing their rights to exercise is one thing and having bad or good idea is another thing. I never thought PFDJ had good idea and have never seen good ideas that comes from PFDJ to address grievances or to unit our people. Instead our social fabrics are torn out under their rule very difficult to weave it again. I am just respecting their rights as Eritreans. In PFDJ era I saw only oppression, poverty, disunity, wars, lack of hospitals and high educational institutions, people dying of flu and stomachaches. Nothing good news from Eritrea. Just keep your hope, somehow and someday to come out from this disastrous regime Eritreans have never seen before….even worse than Derg. (b) As to my argument regarding the nature of governance I will refer you to my article. My friend Federalism is one of the decentralized unitary governance. By the way what is decentralized unitary governance before you advocate for it? Let me give you a short description if it could help you and here it is: All federalism is decentralized unitary governance but all decentralized unitary governance are not federalism. Therefore when you advocate decentralized unitary governance you don’t even know what you are advocating. Any specificity?

          • Hope

            Thanks the Elder.I got you and rest my case.Mahmouday already clarified to me your points.
            I think we are on the same page about : “Federalism” in its constructive sense.
            I had a fight with my Uncles—Arhe Hamednaka,Ishak Beshir and Fisseha Nair and I was talking from their perspective.
            Bohashim,and Wed Ammar of the EPDP clarified things for me before.
            I would love to see Bohashim here as he is the Expert on it.
            As to the PFDJ issue,I do not believe in Extremist Judgements and Extremist Opinions.
            It is unfair to say:” Void and Null” to an y idea,in my opinion.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hope,

            Don’t close your mind. open to their ideas, and let them convince the public. It is one of the alternatives. After all Federalism is the best structure of governance. The issue is let them argue how it fits to our reality. One for sure, I could say that “ethnic federalism” in Eritrea is unrealistic, for the simple reason (a) the sizes of the ethnics we have (b) they aren’t even locally concentrated. I mentioned it in my piece. But, however small they are, they should enjoy fair sharing in the political and economic life of Eritreans. That is the central issue in administrating their grievances. You seem you are close to EPDP, do you know what kind of decentralized of governance they advocate? They are not sure what they want, I asked to some central committee of the organization. To no avail.

          • Hope

            Aman,
            I am with you.The Federalism the the EPDP thought was the one you have in mind but that of the Federalist Movement was ethnic,region,rand eligion based but Boashim chnaged his mind per Wed Ammar’s persuation,whoich is close to what you have in mind.
            Plus,I do not believe the EPDP is persuing the “Federal System”,which I could not find in their program now-the updated one.
            May be you are confusing them with that Federalsit Movement,the group that I mentioned above(Arhe H.,Fessehatsion Nair,Ishak Beshir).
            As to being close to the EPDP,No,I am not yet but I support their programas as there is nothing better than them so far based on their program.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hope,
            Can you read it again my comment. It doesn’t say EPDP advocate federalism. My comment does say “decentralized unitary governance”. And my question to you was they are not specific. They don’t tell you how the structure will be designed. This are the people who want to lead the Eritrean people, but how they don’t know even. What did I tell you: All decentralized unitary government are not Federal government but all federal government are decentralized unitary government. Grasp it please and don’t mix it.

          • Hope

            Aman,
            My apology for misreading U.
            I got it and that is why I am with u.
            U R also at the same page with the EPDP except language issue.
            As to the Constitution,
            I beg to differ with U. The EPDP was not trying to appease Mr Mesfin Hagos but it accepted as an initial document to start then improve it by the New Assembly and the majority will take that approach as better than nothing as a starter.
            Academic and discrete analysis might not be a realistic and practical approach but flexible and open minded approach and compromise might do the trick.

        • saay7

          Selamat Kokhob:

          Federalism is just another form of decentralized government.

          In looking at the political program of the existing opposition organization, there is unanimity in the idea of decentralization. Heck, even PFDJ’s charter envision a decentralized governance on the premise that that which is closest to the people governs best.

          The only two federal proposals I have seen are by (1) the Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement (EFDM), which envisions creating three federal state: (a) Eritrean highlands; (b) Western region and (c) Eastern Escarpment and (2) by Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) and Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK) which proposes a federation of ethnic states. So right there, there would be (implicitly) a conflict between the two federal visions: EFDM would, for example, see the Kunama as part of the Gash-Barka federal state…

          All of these are subject to discussion. What is not acceptable, in my view, is to try to win a debate by immediately creating a guilt-by-association: PFDJ is for it, so it must be bad. The benefits of unitary state must be discussed without someone having to carry the burden of defending what PFDJ did.

          saay

      • Abraham Hanibal

        I agree with you saay, that this nonesence infighting is not going to take us any further when we try to confront the PFDJ. Because too much energy and time is being spent on trading blames at each other, while focus is turned away from the basic issue of how to remove the PFDJ dictatorship. All those who are active in the opposition in one way or another do agree that they have a common enemy that they would like to be removed. The problem is that they are not being able to build on this common understanding and come up with a united front against the PFDJ. This is a sign of lack of longsighted, able and unifying leaders in the opposition camp.

        This senseless infighting has been the main reason why the opposition has achieved nothing since it first started in the early 1980’s. And the absence of a unified opposition with clearly defined objectives and strategies is one of the main reasons why the people have not flocked to the opposition. The majority of the Eritrean people agree that the current situation in Eritrea is unsustainable and must be changed. But when they look arround, they see no sign of a viable entity that would fill inn the power vaccum the day after PFDJ’s fall. That is also why dictator Isayas has several times talked of the absence of any opposition to his rule.

        In my opinion unless the working methodology of the Eritrean opposition changes drastically, it will just remain stuck in where it is for years to come. In short, a new blood, that is capable of looking for the greater national interests of the Eritrean People is needed in the opposition, if it it is going to pose a real challenge to the PFDJ.

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear Abraham Hanibal,

          I devote from you that calling for unity is ans spending energy to materialize it is just the second to PFDJ enemy of Eritrean politics. By the name of unity, they come together in a meeting that is supposed to be very fruitful and soon they end up dividing.

          The mystry then is building a technocrats who can design the ship that can reach its destiny while still the chaos is there. Through very carefully designed system, those who are on the wrong rbit will either be vanished (just like the stars, comets, etc) because of political dictation or will survive the storm as their energy is not yet finsihed.

          The question still will be: where to get these autocrats. Oh yah, let an enterprise be formed with 3-4 board of directors (I think these people can be regrouped easily), just like enterpereureship and CEO, and make a vacancy. Those whort listed can be the rightcandidates (academically speaking).

          Oh, yah, this is a future investemet by the way and the group of autocrats are purely profit makers. Let;s just open an office. Oh yah, Saay, what do you think???? Haile TG, hope you will be one of the board members.

          Hawkum
          tes

          • Hope

            Tes,
            Did u really get the above comment or I misunderstood both of u?
            To me,Abraham H said it well.

      • AOsman

        SAAY,

        On your last comment, I thought Switzerland was small enough as an example to use, also UAE seems to be another federal nation. Both are rich, but I don’t think wealth is not what makes them function, more their history.

        With change, the opportunity PFDJ was accorded with a strong centralised government may not be available to the new government, as a nation we will have to be ready to formulate some kind of devolution of power. You better wear you creative hat, the negotiation post-DIA may lead to Federalism if people don’t have full confidence in those sitting in Asmara.

        Regards
        AOsman

        • saay7

          Selamat AOsman:

          I was trying to see a small country with similar demographic make up (2 large and 7 tiny language groups) and same time zone (no geographic dispersion.) Switzerland is small, yes, but 4 distinct language groups (German: 65%, French 22%, Italian 9%, Romansh 1/2%). We have only Tigrinya and Tigre in double digits and 7 single digits…

          Yes, I agree there will be power devolution…but the two formulas I have seen proposed so far (one by regional-consolidation: highland, lowland, eastern escarpment) and one by ethnicity pose their own challenges….huge challenges. And I am very willing to listen and have my creative hat as long as people don’t present their vision as being the ONLY way:)

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Saay,

            Your vernacular only makes you to see on ethnic-decentralization. Can’t we design geographical decentralization using the provinces we had. What is wrong with that? The Switzerland cantons are not formed by linguistic groups though they use three official languages. You are a well read citizen of ours and I am sure you know that there are different decentralizations in the world that fits to each individual country’s realities. At least for the sake of the public you could bring the various decentralization for public education. Please be fair to the other side of the argument at least by compare and contrast argument and don’t define decentralization by ethnic-federalism only.

        • Abraham Hanibal

          “With change, the opportunity PFDJ was accorded with a strong centralised government may not be available to the new government”. I have to disagree with this comment, I feel it doesn’t conform to the Eritrean reality. The fact is that the Eritrean people, despite being diveded into the two main religions of Islam and Christianity, and along different ethnic groups, its unity is among the unique ones by international standards. Muslims and Christians have lived side by side, with mutual respect and tolerance for centuries. This strikingly peaceful coexistence has even survived years of foreign colonization with all their divisive tactics. And, of course, not to mention the 30+ years of armed struggle against Ethiopin occupation which further cemented the bond between the faiths and ethnic groups.

          Talk of system of government in Eritrea based on religious and ethnic lines is contrary to the fact on the ground, and wasting the unique opportunity of mutual respect among the Eritrean people. Why focus on this side issues, when the main issue is that we’ve an entity in today’s Eritrea-the PFDJ that has denied all Eritreans their human and democratic rights regardless of religion and ethnicity? And isn’t it possible to form a central government that respects the freedoms of faith, language, culture, and traditions of all the people? In my view, taking the unique historic context of Eritrea into acount, it is fully possible to form such a government. And possibly it is the only viable alternative, at least, for the comming few decades.

          • AOsman

            Abraham Hanibal,
            I did not notice your response, thus the late response. My quoted comment was based on the following considerations, not merely on religion/ethnic politics:
            1. Lack of unity among the opposition+whatever remains of PFDJ
            2. After an experience with authoritarian regime, people naturally lean towards a weaker government
            3. Generally in a democratic country you expect interest based pull and push factors, power is not concentrated to one entity.
            4. People are less accepting of fear mongering propaganda
            5. There is less confidence on Centralised Power (regardless of its merit)

            Some points essentially may be the same, in any case I believe the future government will be challenged, blank cheques will be the order of the day.

            Regards
            AOsman

      • haileTG

        Selamat Saay,…yeah it is nice to be back after my challenging diplomatic tour of the region 😉

        You are right that we are beyond “analytics” and probably why we are ignore the likes of Fikrejesus and Amanuel when they spew their retarded arguments in dehai:-) The Ethiopia blessing part you mentioned, may be improvised to Ethiopia cooperation because it wouldn’t worry me with rational guys as T Kifle and Horizon but with many it tends in the way of rational thinking. Some how they think the world is falling over them and become too demanding of all sorts of fantasy.

        In my view, Eritrea faces a dangerous transition over the short term, but once it is stabilized, it is pretty the best deal you could get for a country. I think the dangerous transition can be helped to smooth with a friendly and helpful Ethiopia and such could then go to cement long term relationship. To this day, all of the so called “Ethio- Eritrea’s relationship ” has been passed to on the back of the undisciplined relationship both fronts had. From 91 – 97 many Eritreans were hounded from Ethiopia and handed over to PFDJ (still languishing in Jails). All the so called wealthy Eritreans built their wealth over decades before the post-91 period and those were the one’s that were targeted during their conflict. Horn Bank was PDJ parastatal and so was the rest of the shoddy deals. And if IA knew about the war, it is dumb to argue he left his money there. Prior the conflict PMMZ visited Eritrea and the topic was the pulling out of roughly 24000 Eritrea forces from the Southern/eastern Ethiopia. The unsuspecting Eritreans were then targeted because PFDJ had mostly relocated its assets. There is no single investment venture in Eritrea that was created from any benefit from Ethiopia. PFDJ engaged in all sorts of acts, just as they did in congo, Somalia, S.Sudan… yet the Eritrean people were afforded nothing more than to keep their own assets and was later taken back. Yes, Ethiopia has been able to make some mends but the reality is that Ethio-Eritrea relationship soured after 91 and we really aren’t responsible to their unlawful dealings with PFDJ. If Ethiopia had engaged in any lawful dealing with Eritreans, it is the small beginnings now, and even that is much of a good will than to impact Eritrea proper in any significant way. However, despite the sudden turn of events for Eritreans, the Ethiopian people didn’t give in to the senseless incitement as “Ethiopia le garachin” type mass hate mobilization. I was really worried of what could have been like, yet the Ethiopian people refused and gave shelter to the Eritreans who were hunted down at the time. This tells you that we shouldn’t give up on account of the few hate crazed but consider the facts as it pertains the majority.

        To me, one needs to have iA to impoverish Eritrea, it is endowed with many strategic assets for trade, services and tourism that the agro deficit can be made up to kick start healthy recovery. However, the transition is dangerous and might cost us dearly and this is where political settlement with Ethiopia can come in as an immediate stability factor for Eritrea and long term trust and relationship for Ethiopia. That could determine our direction of development into the future and could serve as a strong bilateral foundation.

        Eritrea is ethnically stable, with over 85% of the population deeply intertwined Tigre or highland Tigrigna population, it is unlikely to see any threat of being over run by ethnic strife. Religiously, we are in a difficult middle eastern proximity, yet Eritrean moslems and christians can’t sufficiently dominate one another. They both are at the for front of every aspect of its political, social and economic spheres and need each other unlike many other places where one is under the whim of the other.

        So, we are really looking at chasing out IA and restoring normalcy that never was. When Eritreans have shaken off the demon IA, they will start to work, travel and invest. They will like what they see and become more united and patriotic. Our Achilles heel is IA. And the transition will be as dangerous as his reign. It is with this spirit and taking into account the existing deadlocked border issue and others that I was reaching out to Ethiopians. I must say it is so far encouraging.

        Regards

        • Girmay T.

          Haile, you said “…pulling out roughly 24000 Eritrean forces from southern/eastern Ethiopia.” Can you tell us where you found that figure? For the sake of your own credibility please refrain from pulling arbitrary numbers out of your pocket…understand that people who know the truth are reading your posts…

          • haileTG

            Girmay T

            I got the figure as per a report at the time by news bulletin that I use to subscribe at the time called “East African Review”. It covered a run through of the (I think) quarterly events and on the Eritrea section it covered a brief visit by PMMZ and the purpose as being that of to discuss Eritrea’s then decision to pull out roughly 24000 of its troops from eastern and southern Ethiopia. Unfortunately, it is not online, but I know of a person who kept all copies (lives in different country) and one day I can get my hand to it. The report was made months before the conflict. Now, you can tell us the alternative to that or just say you had no clue.

          • Rahwa T

            Haile,
            According to the Eritreans, in your (plural) previous lectures, the strongest and the highest number of derg army (what was your figure? was it 180000?) was in Eritrea and shaebia defeated this and while the weak woyane was walking all the way to Addis with out shootind a single bullet and now you are telling as 24, 000 shaebian army was in Ethiopia. What was they doing with the weakest derg army? Are you telling us that the poor woyane couldn’t even deal with the weakest ones? I wonder why shaebia had sent its 24000 battle-hardened soldiers while 240 would have been enough as one Eritrean is to 1000 poor Ethiopian according to your ex-foreign minister. It seems that you have lost all your hope on how to deal with Ethiopians. I thought you were the one who was the most sensible man in the forum. Fetima Dechasa must have done some sort of trick to let you temporarily loose your rational thinking. Otherwise, I would expect such comment from the likes of Nitric, hope and dawit.

          • haileTG

            Dear Rahwa…why why why, I am pulling my hair out 🙂

            That statement was meant to say that very little, if any PFDJ assets were in Ethiopia before the war and most of those targeted afterwards were civilians. The report was given inadvertently and Ethiopia and Eritrea were not at war at the time, this is why I thought that it was more credible. It still was a report and could be wrong, exaggerated, fair or absolute truth. The fact is that there are people who would know for sure and it is not a big issue.

            How many Tigrayans died fighting in Sahil, Ghindae, Deqemhare… God knows. I would never bring such issues for “bragging”. In fact, it is saddening when Eritreans or Tigrayans who were never part of the TPLF or EPLF use such cheap bragging about issues that involve the death, carnage and absolute atrocities endured by their people in monstrosity of the wars we went through. If you listen carefully, those people who were there first hand never brag, it is those who considered it an action movie that do. I have no idea how many Tigrayan forces were deployed in different parts of Eritrea at the time too. However, I would never apply that for such cheap self gratification. What is there to take pride from men and women of your flesh and blood being shredded by bombs and run over by tanks. When people use images of those conflict years for bragging, I find it sadistic beyond measure. TPLF knows how and where they helped EPLF and vice versa. But we need to be aware that we are talking about horrific experiences of carnage and atrocity they went through. So, please understand that I wouldn’t go that low to do head counts of tegadelti from both sides here and there and use it for cheap and senseless propaganda.

            When I talk to people far from the conflicts, I know self image and self perception is all that matter to them. How it was for those people at the time is no concern of theirs. This is why they jump when they hear issues that may be interpreted in their head as making them feel inadequate in a war they never participated, lead or had to make the difficult decisions of life and death.

            Fetima’s views are far removed from these realities and hence are to be understood. But in my view, Eritreans and Tigarayans have bore the burnt and cooperated to fend off the threat. We can only remember those difficult times of our history in painful memories of what our people had to go through. Frankly, I find nothing more to be pitied than those people most impacted to fall for such mentality. If 30000 TPLF were in Eritrea, it wouldn’t surprising to me given the complexity of the disaster both fronts were working through. It doesn’t hurt my ego but would know that they were there to be maimed, injured and die for a cause. Sense of bragging is the last thing to come to my mind in connection to it. If the above report was false then it can always be refuted, but my intent is totally opposite to the way you understood. I drive no ego from death and carnage of poor people caught up in the worst type of warfare at the time.

            Regards

          • lady, you are to emotional to see the truth. Haile is too diplomatic to tell you the truth and he is relectant to tell it becouse Futuma is on him lol.
            anyway, get this to your head
            95% all Derg’s forces were stationed in Eritrea and fought EPLF. the absolute truth.
            TPLF never had any heavy Artilery or operated tanks. once EPLF tried to teach you and your TPLF drove to the ditch and that was the end of it.
            EPLF single handily put you in Addis with EPLF tanks visible in Arat-Killo.
            even your songs were written and edited by EPLF cultural and musical department.
            there over 15 books who are written by different Ethiopian generals and all of them talk about their time and battles in Eritrea-Saebia and NONE of them talks about Tigray and TPLF; why do you think it is?
            the truth, with us, Eritreans, let alone to be in Arat-killo, you wouldn’t make out Dedebit. the truth. so, here you have it. i been nice not to tell you how we teach you how to handle a gun and fight.

          • Hope

            Love it Acetto when you talk about the Real EPLF history,which is true but true

          • Hope

            oooh,Rahwit,you read him wrong.Haile’s figures are not his own but has reference and that has nothing to do with the weakness of derghi or weyanes.
            We are just questioning the figure,which could be true,btw for lots of reasons.-at least the EPLF thought that the Ethiopian Front was large and well defended specially around Addis and Debrezeit.
            The only insensible people we have noticed are the ones from the South based on what they have said on this from.
            Please,take it easy and take a deep breath

        • Hope

          Haile,
          Not surprised for your good analysis ,which mesmerized me and is to the point but this one caught my attention and –out of curiosity though ,can you elborate this:’
          “And if IA knew about the war, it is dumb to argue he left his money there. Prior the conflict PMMZ visited Eritrea and the topic was the pulling out of roughly 24000 Eritrea forces from the Southern/eastern Ethiopia. The unsuspecting Eritreans were then targeted because PFDJ had mostly relocated its assets.”
          This is how I understood it:
          -PMMZ was planning some kind of evil act already by asking PIA to relocate the 24K Soldiers(big figure though.May be 2400?coz 24k is 1/3 of the then EDF(EPLF Army)
          -IA had no clue about the motivation behind PMMZ asking IA to remove the EPLF Army
          This is consistent with what Mr Siye Abreha said at that particular period of time:”There is only one more war left over in the North.
          ‘Yi-misraku Dil,be Seien Yideghemal”
          Please elaborate also:
          ” I think the dangerous transition can be helped to smooth with a friendly and helpful Ethiopia and such could then go to cement long term relationship”.
          Make sure that the majority of Eritreans buy you….and ” your optimism”

          • haileTG

            haha…no dear hope. I don’t harbor Ethiopia/Tigray blind hate, so don’t need to twist or fabricate anything. The report is just that so accept or dispute it. It said it was Eritrea that recalled them.

            And I don’t think you believe the CIA fact book about the then troop numbers, do you.

            PFDJ never reduced troop numbers, that was a scam to get demobilization grants and assistance. Between Hanish and Badme, it was barely 2.5 years, do you have figures of releases from army and recruiting?

            Again, Eritreans are going in and out of Ethiopia even from the west, they have already bought the idea from social/economic side, they need leaders that can usher political settlement and wide open the borders for good:-)

          • Hope

            Hailat,
            I just asked you for your clarification due to my poor English.
            But we also need Peace Partner,Hailat.
            The CIA Fact book claimed the EDF figure to be at 50K in 1997.
            The gross estimate of the EPLF Army in 1991 was around 75-80K,hence,the 24K figure is way above 1/3 of that figure.
            Hailat ,I was in Addis when the EPLF marched into the Menelik Palace(I did not I marched in with the them…watch out).
            To my best knowledge,there were less than a division total(6k by EPLF –Mahmouday and Ghirmay will correct me).
            I was only aware of 3-4 Brigades–most of them mechanized ones within Addis.I agree that the EPLF/GoE does not disclose these issues for obvious reasons.
            But ,non-essential.
            I appreciate the Ethiopian Gov for doing so–allowing Eritreans to visit Ethiopia,which benefits more Ethiopia,btw.
            You told me that the Ethiopian Gov has “paid back” Eritreans and returned the confiscated properties but the fact I know is the other way round –that the major ones are owned still by Tigreyans.
            I do not hate Tigreyans but I “hate” their evil intentions and acts against Eritreans.
            Did not you confirm that during your long “Peace tour” of the Region?
            I am not generalizing but I am expressing what I saw and read.
            I would rather invest the “money” and th energy for mobilizing Eritreans for a real change at home and try to build Peace within Eritrea and Eritreans FIRST.
            Once we are united and strong,may be the Ethiiopians will chaage their rhetoric and stand.
            GN Big Bro.
            Good bless for your Peace Effort.
            Read Mathew Chapter 5 every night so that you will feel encouraged and assured.
            “Nisikhum Chew Midri ekhum,etc–“

    • Ismail

      Selamat Haile,

      Thanks for the well-expressed comments. I can’t find anything I disagree with in what you say. You hit the nail on the head when you note that questions about how to bring change are “beyond the scope of an individual commentator”.
      We can all surmise but who can say for a surety exactly how “it will come about”. Did any of us foresee the G15 or the forto incident?

      Ismail (pointblank)

  • said

    Is the Eritrean Mind Made Up for Democracy?!

    Thank you for your article and I cannot agree with you more. The Above question is
    not a reflection by a cynical protester reaching the ultimate in bewilderment,disbelief and frustration. It is a deep probing
    honest question seeking an honest convincing reasonable answer. A guiding answer for one reaching a state of
    free float trying to figure out the rational reasoning processes of the Eritrean Mind as relates to the working of the general universal human mind.

    Intelligent and enlightened humans veering towards detached and objective rational thinking develop an innate fulcrum; a scale of honest self-introspection; a universal measure to weigh and test novelties and transpiring events impacting the welfare and the general well-being of Eritreans, humanity and wider communities as stemming from the broader framework of intellectual and universal values best perceived and adhered to by an enlightened and a widely exposed human mind.

    Onreading Ismail Omer article very thought full article about Democracy. I am living the above dilemma trying to position myself with great humility in a world of apparent Eritrean learned, liberal and intellectual crowds of friends, acquaintances or outright public orators and commentators nowadays passing judgements on inordinate flow of events affecting and afflicting the Eritrean ’ present and future wellbeing. I always, by way of a Caveat, played it the middle ground in both political beliefs and convictions, never adhering to any specific or a particular political ideology or political doctrine in the strong desire to always float free of the strings of the limitations and the vagaries of the whims of individual and collective human minds, reacting with theoretical and ideological formulations in fashionable trendy responses to narrow and incidental historical passages impacting a collective community or societal lives.

    At no time that state of bewilderment became so obvious and so troubling like today while reading first Ismail article at times different occasions, within the short separation of a few days, to two diametrically opposing views of
    supposedly two liberal political activists.
    In reading the article by a relentless Eritrean liberal democratic political activist, an extremely enlightened free minded Eritrea intellectual, describing and labeling, in no minced words, the current Ruling Regime, the Eritrea Junta in Eritrea and the Eritrean claimed democratic Liberals, that I agree with that Asmara regime as outright Fascists,while there is nothing to be surprised, however, seemed to accord well with my generally held views of the current political situation in Eritrea .

    While so happened that I concurred with Ismail. the unknown conclusions and ongoing the unfolding political events in Eritrea from a far distance, here comes a true highly learned Eritrean liberal political activist who is deeply
    embedded in the whirling who have clear idea about political view ,that Eritrea future lies in practicing and adhering Democracy and that future changes may not ravage Eritrea as it happened since the start of the Eritrean independence
    .an outsider Ismail with a good understanding and fresh view of the Eritrean political scene confirming many Eritrean suspicions and concerns with regard to the evolving political situation and current unfolding political events in
    Eritrea especially with the Man’s daring vocal assertiveness calling things by their name.

    Like many i have always been an admirer of Ismail ever since he started to write on awate possessing convincing power of reasoning, yet, above all, a staunch adherent to the universal liberal and humanistic fulcrum in judging passing
    political events, always with a broad universal framework; Like many in awate forum Ismail became a very endeared person to many of us.

    Ismail at this particular juncture in Eritrean politics, seems to epitomize with his open frankness and a crusader’s zeal one of many lone voices in the wilderness of a slew of great predecessors of Eritreans like Ahmad Nasser and many great Eritrean heroes,

    As usual some Eritrean somehow vindictive purposefully dismiss and blast Ismail with a probing question. That definitely, sent my mind in a free spin as I am often stupefied by the misinterpretations of his true intentions and adherence to the general Universal Framework of Values of Principles of “Freedom” and “Justice,” of “True Universal Democratic
    Values, some Eritrean hands undermining the future precepts of “True Representative Democratic Values.”

    Some opinionated very well joined the chorus of all present the blasting and opposing Ismail’s stand on the issues and all
    that he Ismail says and professes.

    Very often Some opinionated Eritrean are negative about those advocate democratic
    system and values ,at times so confounded being in the minority in the same camp of Ismail and like
    , pinching my-self, “am I for real?” “Do I think right on the force of long held Universal Values of ‘Justice’ and ‘Freedom,’ which the cause of justice is universally indivisible and the cause of freedom is indivisible?

    At times our problem is supposedly liberal Eritrean educated class were accepting and advocating that “military Dictatorship,” “military Rule,” was the sole State Governance system that can only work for Eritrea and they are still are roaming around .Ipinched myself again thinking to myself that “I am Not for Real;” “Naïve,” or,rather, most affirmatively, here I am in a place “Where I truly Do Not Belong.”

    I really cannot understand it when Eritreans talk about dignity, while their dignity has been trampled underneath the boots
    of the Eritrean regime. I hope that our future generations will be better than us and that they will make us proud again.

    Eritrea has suffered a lot as a result of attempts to exclude large segment of society by IA and deny them a role in the public sphere our societies need political consensus, and the participation of all political groups.

    • Ismail

      Selamat Said for your very reflective and deep thoughts and I appreciate your generous compliments . As to your question “Is the Eritrean Mind Made Up for Democracy?” I hope we can answer that in the affirmative. Otherwise, our troubles will never end! I am exactly like you when it comes to political neutrality. Though I give my opinions, I try to do it as independently as I can. Sorry for this late response.

      Ismail (pointblank)

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Ismail,

    One day I was discussing with a a friend who spent more than a decade in the opposition group and still roaming around to meet a strong opposition group who are really devoted to make a real change. He belief that he knows the inner working principles of shabia and he once shared on radio programme. But, as time extended beyond his imagination; in which he claimed that the know-how is NO-WHERE, his energy seemed to descend. I talked with him on the way we can make some changes and building a ship that carries all the opposition groups and the people in one and enjoy the wind of peace. He was in doubt that the ship might be of that of the 15thC or older and the direction in which it can follow is dictated by the waves of the ocean in which it is floating or by the wind direction.

    Then, we discussed on how to redesign a 22thC ship that works on renewable energy that is generated from the sources that were once believed to be useless after the 20thC industrial revolution. Then, we agreed at this and designed a new hypotetical party called “Green Party”. The question yet remained unsolved once we aired the word “party”, yah, he was right as he was traumatized by the 30+ parties and organizations or civic societies whom he did a rough survey all along.

    To come then to my point, a system that is lead by elites (which I agree with Amanuel Hidrat’s take) to take the lead in consolidating a technocratic institution (Medrek imagined on this line but failing to build because of their failure at initiation, indeed it is because of their previous EPLFite/PFDJites experiences) and design a system that works on social engineering principles that can safely carry all the existing chaos within the Eritrean political galaxy according to the line of energy they have and yet the syetm to be build transcends in unifying, just the “Theory of Everything” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_everything.

    To do this, from my stay at Awate.com and reading comments from Awate Forumers and its impact to the Eritrean political galaxy, I am quite sure that these technocrats exist and are capable of applying the concept of “Chaos” and “Black-hole” to make a real change for Eritrea.

    Some energies that need to be dealt are:

    1. The concept of federalism: This is a pure out-come of political Fear. It could have being implemented had the Eritrean Social demography gives ample space and the economic resources was distributed uniformily. In the other hand, the political conception was not allowed as PFDJ used a condom while reaching the Eritrean political reproduction and those who tried to be established outside this condom lost the tract in creating a system that is matured enough to give a space for democratic movement. The main reason was fear of contamination.

    2. Ethnic based organization. This is just because of the Ethiopian model to influence PFDJ’s politics. Had the Eritrean politics took the deiscourse of pure religious political form, the chaos could have being prevalent (Just lets read the Letter written by the catholic Church) and PFDJ could have lost his equilibrium. Ethnic based politics has has very limited space though some forces might aggraviate it (The Afar case). Kunama are safe from this dimension and the problem they have is social oppression which is basically related with thier mode of living conditions.

    For now; I think it will be enough and I will come again to continue my listing.

    I just want you to be sure though, if you do not buy totally the concept of federalism, throw it if not be an active advocate of it like some well respected Eritreans are doing. Your pendulum is some where and it is a problem for the social engineers to calculate the components of your energy direction, double standard.

    Saay7, EPLF’s, PFDJ’s or EDF’s popularity is a history and only hisory has the power to record it. trying to keep the institution as ahistorical legacy (PFDJ-DIA) is nothing but a “Monarchy System” and the omd cpmrades just go tp office so that they can enjoy morning sunshine (Kemzi nebere, nigsniet azentewti, Kingdom of Tale tellers. Let the office be replaced totally by people who can make history. I do not see any logic on your argument to see a country that will live in telling history rather than making history.

    Personally, I do not deny any piece of Eritrean history, all kinds of Eritrean history, written, documented; undocumented, live or buried, history will be written. this is a must and my dream to be part of the research group. But, PFDJ is now a history too just like EPLF, ELF, etc, etc. let’s weed-out this totalitarian system and book it in history. The rest, do not expect to tell us hisotry for what you did by sitting in office. We wimm record that while you are retired and and sitting wround your block to have morning sunshine. This is what the EPLFites and now PFDJites lost a chance to enjoy.

    Hmmm, you know that under PFDJ system, there is no retirement. I hope you will have a retirement from Eritrean politics soon and be honored for what you are doing. Now you are too young and we need your energy.

    Hawkum
    tes

  • Abraham Hanibal

    The Eritrean People have sentenced Isayas Afewerki and his nearest servants to DEATH!
    The death sentence is based on:
    *All the criminal acts of imprisoning, and taking the life of thausands of innocent Eritreans.
    *Enslaving the Eritrean youth and the people generally to indefinite servitude claiming false security issues.
    *Causing the death and suffering of thausands of Eritreans as they tried to avoid Isayas’ tyranny.
    *Illegally doing away with the supreme law of Eritrea-The Eritrean Constitution from 1997.
    *Going to war with all neighbouring countries and the resulting loss of Eritrean lives and destruction.
    *Many more crimes…
    Anyone can add to these list of crimes of dictator Isayas and his servants.
    How the death sentence is going to take place? Well, there is no shortage of people with guns inside Eritrea. So anybody who would like to save his country from utter destruction, and at the same time attain a national hero title for the comming Eritrean generations is invited.

  • Ismail

    Selamat Historian,

    Your point is well taken but whatever the nature of the movement was under Sabe and then Ramadan Mohammed Nur , it was under Isayas’s leadership that a new cult-based movement took root in Eritrea that unfortunately continues to this day among his followers. He created a state within a state so to speak. It was under his leadership and his Nhnan Elamanan that a distinct EPLF was truly born.

    Ismail (pointblank)

    • Hope

      Sir,
      I beg to differ.
      The ONLY “EPLF” IA created was the EPRP/aka Secret Party,which messed up things.

  • saay7

    Ahlan Ismail:

    It is always a pleasure to read you.

    I didn’t respond to your intro because it was an intro; I was waiting for the meat of the issue which you have just delivered. I am saying this so you don’t think I was pouting: in general, my belief is that awate columnists should be able to express their views openly without feeling bogged down to some unwritten code of “professional courtesy.” I am just saying to reiterate the point that even if the timing of the publication of our columns wasn’t coincidental… aytskef:)

    We have areas of disagreement and maybe some areas where there may not be clarity on where I am coming from. Let’s address the latter, specifically as it pertains to:

    1. my “ambivalence” of the PFDJ. There are two points I want to make about this: (a) I consider the PFDJ, and indeed the EPLF, a popular movement that was hijacked by Isaias Afwerki and his enforcers. The fact that this happened a long time ago does not change the fact that it was a movement that was initiated to reform inequity, that it was a movement that reflected the aspirations of the Eritrean people and that it is ours, it belongs to the people. One doesn’t own something because it was hijacked; (b) I consider the PFDJ the strongest institution in Eritrea. I have used EPLF, PFDJ and EDF interchangeably, to differentiate them from “Isaias Regime”. If the Boy Scouts of Eritrea, the Chamber of Commerce of Eritrea, the Eritrean Workers Union, the Eritrean Students Union…. was the strongest institution in Eritrea, I would make an argument for using them as our vehicle for change. As I said before, I find very little in the PFDJ’s vision for Statehood very appealing–so this is not me protecting my party; it is simply a recognition that its roots are popular and national; and it has been hijacked by Isaias Afwerki and his enforcers.

    Now, to the areas where we disagree:

    2. I would have liked to see your judgement on what you consider is the most pragmatic way to engineer change. Understandably, your article is about post-change Eritrea (the period between the fall of the regime and the development of a sustainable democracy) but I would have liked to see more than “Whether Eritrea’s transition will come about through mass protests or by an elite-led coup…” You seem to be indifferent to how it will come about. You are well-read: can you give me a single example of an African change of government that came about as a result of “mass protests”? And do you have more to add on who you have in mind when you say “elite-led coup”?

    3. I have a potpourri of issues that I hope we will discuss including arresting Cabinet of Ministers (cabinet?), federal system (for a country with a population of 5 million, and six language groups that are in single digits percentage-wise, all in one time zone: I can’t find a comparable Federal state anywhere in the world that fits ours:), your silence on the make up of the the new government not in an idealistic sense but in the “what-if-Isaias-regime-was-to-fall-apart-tomorrow” sense (and how that relates with our inexperience in building a viable alternative since 1999)…. But I think the one that jolted me (and probably dramatizes the differences in our approaches was this line): “To see to it that border patrol is kept to prevent serious criminals from fleeing the country.” I know that you see the new government’s role is to maintain “law and order” and elsewhere you DO say that “The military’s main task should be to protect the borders and the interests of the nation including safeguarding vital state assets” but seeing that that is in the topic entitled “Criminals and Collaborators”, it still appears that border patrol is to keep criminals in, as opposed to protecting the border from “curious outsiders.”

    All the best!

    saay

    • Ismail

      Selamat Saleh,

      Pouting? No. I regard you too highly to expect such pettiness in you over differences of opinion. I am delighted to read your thoughts.

      Do you know why I said in my article ” I was gratified to find myself nodding in agreement with a lot of ” your ideas? One of the ideas I was referring to has to do with the following statement you made in your article:

      “One man, alone, can’t run a grocery store, much less an entire country. So, Isaias Afwerki and his Enforcers are responsible”

      When I read the above, I thought our opinions about PFDJ were merging because I mistakenly thought by “enforcers”, you meant “enablers” but after reading your comments above, I am not so sure. It appears you have used the word “enforcers” to mean a subset of enablers. That way you can still defend PFDJ as a whole while condemning the mysterious class you dub as “enforcers” (if I am to be blunt). And as if that is not confusing enough, you now came up with another term – Isayas’s regime! – as something quite distinct from PFDJ! You have outdone yourself here Saleh!

      On EPLF/PFDJ, you said the following:
      “I consider the PFDJ, and indeed the EPLF, a popular movement that was hijacked by Isaias Afwerki and his enforcers. ”

      Even if we grant that PFDJ began as a popular movement, we would be talking about the past as Tesfabirhan put it. Moreover, in dictatorial organizations like EPLF/PFDJ, popularity can be induced or manufactured by brutal suppression of dissent and constant propaganda as you know. Hitler’s Nazi’s popularity is a good example. The twin evils of vicious propaganda and swift retribution will eventually soften resistance and teach conformity that will seem “popular” on the surface.

      Don’t imagine for a moment though that I do not share your apprehension about the opposition. I do. In its CURRENT state, the opposition does not inspire much hope. Note the emphasis. But whereas I believe the solution has to come from the opposition or the Eritrean people, you prefer to seek it in PFDJ. You hold this position not because you think PFDJ is good for the country but because it is the only entity strong enough to keep things moving and possibly avoid worse scenarios. Does that approximate your view? If not, my apologies. Assuming I have stated your position correctly here, mine differs from yours in that I believe the solution to any problem should never be sought in an entity that is the source of the problem. Another difference in our thinking is that whereas you have totally given up on the ability of the opposition and the Eritrean people to effect change without PFDJ, I do not. I believe that with proper training and guidance, the opposition and our people can succeed in bringing about change. If the other alternatives seem weaker, one should strengthen them or seek assistance not resign oneself to what one knows not to be good as you do.

      If the opposition lacks the ability to bring change at this particular juncture, it will have to work on ways to make it happen. In the end, it is far less damaging to the ultimate cause to resign ourselves to PFDJ than to wait for an opportune moment to drive it out. What the opposition needs desperately is not brains but know how. We have many cadres deeply versed in the dialectical materialism but only a handful with a good grasp of democracy and its many flavors. That is why I think the opposition needs to humble itself and ask for assistance and training in democratic thinking and governance – NOW.

      You asked:

      “can you give me a single example of an African change of government that came about as a result of “mass protests”? ”

      Easy! Tunisia’s Jasmine revolution in Africa is one example. A mass protest that originally began by an unemployed youth succeeded in finally toppling a dictatorial regime. Though it suffers some hiccups, it is managing to stay afloat. Egypt almost made it if the secularists did not betray democracy due to excessive zeal to punish the brotherhood. I believe the time is not far when Egypt and other countries in Africa and Asia will follow suit. This is probable because of the information explosion. Dictators are increasingly unable to control information and the more people learn facts from diverse sources, the more they will strive for freedom to risk it all.

      You wrote: “I can’t find a comparable Federal state anywhere in the world that fits ours”

      If you are expecting to find an exact replica of Eritrea in terms of language and population so we can emulate its form of government, then you will never find it! Eritrea like other countries of the world has its unique features. As for the theory that federal arrangement works better in bigger countries, I agree with that view because the bigger a country the more difficult to manage from the center. But that does not mean at all such an arrangement will not succeed in countries with smaller populations. It just means that larger countries NEED it more than smaller countries. As for examples of successful small countries with federal systems, Belgium is an example.

      About border patrol, you stated the following:
      “seeing that that is in the topic entitled “Criminals and Collaborators”, it still appears that border patrol is to keep criminals in, as opposed to protecting the border from “curious outsiders.”

      I think you misunderstood me there Saleh. These are not mutually exclusive tasks. We keep criminals from escaping the country AND we guard the borders. In other words, we do both and this is exactly what every country in the world does!.

      Ismail (pointblank)

      • saay7

        Ahlen Ismail:

        Thanks for the feedback. I think because your participation in the discussions we have been having on this subject is intermittent, you may have missed out on the some of the topics I had (I thought) exhausted everybody’s patience with. So part of what I will do will be to repeat that (those who have read it: feel free to skip to number 2 below.)

        1. Many people make the assumption that Isaias Afwerki follows a normal organization chart. This is how they think: PFDJ is the party; the party has a chairman; the chairman of the party is the head of state and government; he appoints his cabinet (all PFDJ members) which is the executive team; he appoints the judiciary (all PFDJ members) and the legislative (all PFDJ members.) Therefore, to dismantle the system in Eritrea, one has to dismantle the PFDJ. In reality, the PFDJ is not even a vehicle (it never meets; it never has congresses, it never has elections)–its sole purpose was to legitimize Isaias chairmanship of a party (last elected in 1994); and the presence of a Front (not a party) that is supposed to be an alternative to multi-party statehood. The Cabinet of Ministers is powerless: so there is no institutionalized executive power. Some of the most powerful people in the regime are not even members of the PFDJ (Yemane Gebremeskel, and the leaders of the “government garages.) Therefore, to say the Isaias regime independent of PFDJ is not “outdoing myself”: it is to describe the Eritrean reality.

        2. Referencing the unpredictability of G-15 and Wedi Ali (both from within “PFDJ” by the way)I am not asking you (or Haile TG) to PREDICT how change will come; I am asking you to see, given everything you know, what is the least bloody way to bring about change. You had said whether changes comes from “mass protests” or the elite… and the focus now is the “mass protests.” When asked to give an example of mass protest, you gave the example of Tunisia.

        3. This is something that I had debated with Emma: my argument is that Tunisia is an exception (even by African standards.) Whatever pieces of counter-argument I had made to show that this is very unlikely to happen was articulated much better by “Foreign Affairs” magazine on June 2011 in an article entitled “Demystifying the Arab Spring.” Chiefly, Ben Ali’s thuggish system distributed its theft only to “the Family” (thereby alienating the equivalent of Wedi Kassa who saw no need to defend a system from which he didn’t benefit); a military that has NO hand in the State economy (thus the army’s interest was not aligned with Ben Ali’s). Tunisians are literally one ethnic group (Arab-Berber is 98%) Finally Tunisia had the Arab world’s oldest and largest labor union.

        4. Federalism. I think in your piece you said you are not completely convinced. I am saying much the same thing; well, I am saying I am very skeptical because the ones making the case haven’t made a compelling argument. They appear to be saying that the one approach we have used in Eritrea was a highly centralized unitary state and they are placing all the sins of the Isaias Afwerki regime on having a centralized unitary state.

        5. On the border, I may have misunderstood you: it is just when you were listing the immediate tasks of the new government, you appeared to be more focused on keeping criminals inside the country (to face justice) as opposed to keeping the chaos-loving elements from sneaking in. Again, this is something we had discussed that you weren’t a part to: a few Awatistas tend to think I exaggerate the risks that will come from Ethiopia and/or Sudan who will, understandably, try to influence the outcome of the flux we will be in.

        saay

        • Ismail

          elamat Saleh,

          It is hard to keep up with you guys!!!

          On PFDJ….

          You were not quoting me directly but I just wanted to make it clear that I never said “to dismantle the system, one has to dismantle PFDJ”. One has to dismantle PFDJ for sure because with or without constant shuffling, PFDJ exists and is real. So, immediately after takeover, the composition of the cabinet that survived the shuffling should be dissolved and the Ministers detained. But dissolving the PFDJ is only the first step. That is why I also recommend in the article that all high level officials who may be guilty of knowingly and willingly collaborating with the oppressive regime should also be detained and removed from office.

          On Tunisia,

          I disagree with you. The point is that a popular revolt toppled an authoritarian regime not only in Tunisia but also in Egypt and Lybia and in many other places. The fact that at this time, they are still struggling does not negate that fact. Furthermore to always insist on precedents is wrong in principle. In fact, it is a fallacy known as “no precedent fallacy”. You used the same fallacy to argue against federalism. Tunisia had no precedent when it launched its revolution. Nor do we need one. Our problems are not totally UNIQUE but our solution and methods can be UNIQUE (in the general sense). As to “the least bloody way to bring about change.”, I am totally with you there but there can be no formulas there unfortunately because there are a lot of random factors that will forever frustrate our best laid out plans.

          Ismail (pointblank)

          As for recommending a

          Ismail (pointblank)

  • Abraham Hanibal

    No wonder; dictator Isayas is used to take credit for others’ contribution in Eritrean modern history. The fact that he has imprisoned his fellow EPLF/ PFDJ comrades in arms never to see the daylight again is just one example. Isayas has such a hunger for power that he is even willing for us Eritreans to forget our liberatiion struggle heroes. In one of his interviews a few years ago with a Swedish jounalist, when asked about the fate of the G15; he replied that their file is closed, they belong to history. This is undescribable cruelty; this man is the greatest tragedy Eritrea has faced in its modern history.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Awatistas,

    This is good news to our refugees in Israel, that the high court in Israel ordered to shutdown the detentions center. Below is a report from Nahalat Binyamin 75 Tel Avive.

    High Court Orders Shutdown of Holot Detention Facility for Asylum-Seekers

    The Holot facility in which detention was intended to be indefinite will be shut down in three months; the one-year mandatory detention period in prison upon entry to Israel has also been voided

    A year ago, the Knesset passed the 4th amendment to the Anti-Infiltration Law that established the open-air Holot detention facility. Asylum-seekers had to participate in three daily roll calls and sleep in the facility. The detainees were forbidden from working. Punishments for violations of the detention regulations were determined by Ministry of Interior clerks who are not jurists.

    The detention in Holot was open-ended, asylum-seekers could only be released if they succumb to Ministry of Interior pressure and “agree” to leave to their country of origin. Detainees could also be freed if they gained refugee status in Israel, but since Israel’s asylum system is extremely unfair, only 0.15% of asylum applications received a positive answer on average per year. In addition, the law mandated that asylum-seekers who crossed the border into Israel after the law came into effect would be imprisoned for a year in Saharonim prison. Both Saharonim and Holot are located near the border with Egypt, far from any population centers. Over 2,000 asylum-seekers were detained under the law.

    Once the law came into effect, the Hotline along with fellow human rights organizations filed a petition to the High Court demanding that the law be voided. Today, the High Court justices ruled seven to two that the Holot detention facility will be closed in three months, and until it is shut down, those detained within it will have to take part in two daily roll-calls instead of three. In addition. the ruling abrogated the article in the law that mandated a one-year detention in Saharonim prison for asylum-seekers who’ve arrived in Israel since the law came into effect in December 2013.

    The response of the petitioners, the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, Assaf – Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, Kav LaOved, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Amnesty International-Israel:

    “The Court made it clear today, once more, in a categorical and unequivocal manner, that the policy toward asylum-seekers cannot be solely based on mass detention of innocent people or complete disregard of the issue. We call on the government: This is the time to act for the mutual benefit of residents of southern Tel Aviv and asylum-seekers – by investing money in improving the infrastructure, welfare and health services in neighborhoods where many asylum-seekers reside, and by working to decrease the density of population in those areas by granting asylum-seekers work permits and encouraging Israelis to employ them.

    Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
    Nahalat Binyamin 75
    Tel Aviv 64394
    Israel

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Good News. I hope the Israeli government respects its responsiblities for a humane treatment of the asylem seekers. Israel has the duty to respect the international convenntion on refugees rights. The asylum cases of these people should be processed fairly and on case by case basis. They should not be coerced to leave Israel for a regime from which they escaped in search of freedom and respectful life.
      Those whose asylem cases have been rejected should be helped by the State of Israel and the UNHCR to try their cases in other countries.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    By now, even the most naive person knows that the fate of the PFDJ system hangs in the hands of one man-Isayas Afewerki. The PFDJ and their supporters seem to have forgotten that Isayas is just like any human being who can die at any time. There is no any succession hierarchy, should the dictator die by whatever reason. This means that a change is quite easy in Eritrea than it seems to be. The only thing those seeking change need to focus is on how to liquidate Isayas. Just get rid of this mad man, and there you will have a broken PFDJ system whiich is prone to change, wether they like it or not.

  • Ismail

    Selamat Amanuel!

    Thanks for the compliments and for remembering my 2001 debate with Dawit! I have also seen you in action tackling many difficult issues tenaciously and skillfully. So I assure you the feeling of respect and admiration is mutual.

    I am glad you brought your article to my attention. I am not going to lie to you. I haven’t read it but don’t be surprised. Due to time constraints, sometimes weeks go by (regrettably) without my visiting awate.com. I miss a lot that way.

    Gandhi once said: ““Men say I am a saint losing himself in politics. The fact is that I am a politician trying my hardest to become a saint.”

    I am neither a saint nor a politician. You on the other hand are a politician and a dynamic writer and thinker to boot. It is perhaps the politician in you that is searching for and demanding the nitty-gritty details? As a person directly involved in the process (though in Diaspora), you are also in a way a stake holder yourself and to some extent already involved in the negotiation. I on the other hand am a non-politician venturing into politics. It is natural therefore for our focus to differ.

    I will be reading your article eagerly to learn from it and to give you my feedback (if I have any) and also look forward to your upcoming article. Kudos to you for your courage and willingness to take on granular matters.
    Ismail (pointblank)

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Ismail:

    Thank you for your thoughts for our community. Here are mine

    1. On Ghedli and our believe in its innate aspiration of justice and democracy alongside removal of the colonial powers to assert our self-determination, I am afraid that this notion that I shared has been shattered to pieces by the latest revelations from veterans founding fathers such as Yemane T interviews, Tesfay T books and Tsegu. Both the interviews and books reveal that the yearning of the people of Eritrea for peace and justice sparked Ghedli and in its nascent stage that yearning was nipped in bud, too young, too soon. What followed, the congresses, political programs was appeasement of that yearning and Ghedli, and specifically EPLF to my mind swaddled in the garb of love of freedom were a bunch of criminals who murdered people for hobby by a mere phone call. The killing that many romantics of yesterday and their mentee of today consider it a mere cost of doing the business, the business being conducting Ghedli. The killing was not even in self defense and necessary to advance Ghedli, it was sadistic. The Ethiopians who were there to kill you were spared and treated humanely and as Col Tsegu tells us in his book the leaders where checked in hotels after independence and leaders of the movements that opposed the current leadership were in dungeons and they were never reported to their families who anticipated either their return or martyrdom after independence. So at least the part of Ghedli that mattered , which concluded the armed struggle were made up of a bunch shameful criminals who deceived the base and got away with crimes in par with the mob. In light of this revelations it is hard to even say we had a Ghedli fighting to free us on our behalf, what we had was ruthless thugs who like the Devil demanded the first born as a sacrifice and unlike the Devil they did not give us what they promised eve n after sacrificing our children to celebrate our deity to them.
    Think about it, when the CIA decide to kill Lummumba for fear of his collaboration with the communists, a former CIA agent in a documentary I watched long time ago said that they really felt bad, but they get to do what they get to do. There was some humanity in that, the display of the internal knowledge that is built-in allhumaity: the gift to tell good from evil even when doing evil. In our case, it was the epitome of what SGJ termed”wedini” with a seasonings of Devil worship, “ewuy, ewey, Isaias dea n wedi Rebi (irony of all ironies) seb kiQntsil endiyu sedidiwo, so tell them not to forget to also kill so and so”

    Conclusion: since the creation of EPLF we did not have any liberation movement, although there were democratic elements whose dream was to make the dream of generation of Eritreans a reality. But we had a bunch of mobsters helming EPLF, the precursor embryo that hatched PFDJ should be called by its rightful name: Casa Nostra

    3. Parliamentary vs presidential governments: interims of the checks and balances both do a good job. Although I enjoy seen the prime minister “tortured” standing on his feet and answering questions until he cannot catch his breath, the presidential system like that of the USA is also complex enough to ensure the checks and balances, where it makes it very hard for one group or person to make decisions that impact the nation negatively and in the event when cool heads do not prevail and colossal blunders are undertaken both systems have the built-in that is self-correcting. Therefore agonizing over what kind of systems to implement is really the least of our problems.

    4. Economy: the new government besides drawing the broad policies of a free market should leave us, the people and the economy alone, and I mean in the true sense of the word. But in the first decade there will be complications when privatizing all the PFDJ properties, how to do it who gets it, do government lackeys get it. The experts will sort this. I recommend non-Eritrean experts, paid by the people and accountable to the elected parliament must handle this. Even the Eritrean intellectuals and experts are not wired to be impartial. The rest if left alone, Eritreans will scour the world, the continent and the Far East to unleash their ingenuity and I want them to do it for their own selfish reasons and not for the good of the country, when every individual works within the laws of the country, enshrined by the elected legislation and overseen by the judiciary, the fruits of the “labor of selfishness” serves the good of the country.

    5. You challenged and asked us if we believe we can do it, we should be optimistic you asserted. Although the apostle Paul said that hope/optimism is second to love, I think hope is equal to love, and we should work on them in tandem. But the gist of your article, your optimism and Sal’s least blood shed scenario are designed in the short term (correct me if am wrong). I am of the opinion that Eritreanism, has been defeated, but not for ever, but everyone reading your comment mostly likely will not be alive to see free and democratic Eritrea. I am not saying PFDJ will not be gone soon. It will go and it will go hard. But on its wake cleaning the mess of 40 years that it created, its design of intrigue to render Eritrea in disarray is daunting task that we must with meticulous deliberation untangle. I wish I was drinking from the Kool-aid that Sal sips every morning. I am referring to his comment to Serray, along the lines of: “our problems can be fixed by any run of the mill government (I am using a passive voice to drive him crazy so he sops drinking that Kool-adi). Our problems are deep, no need to search for root cause, just identify the signs of the root cause.

    My solution is this: It is not original it is stolen from what the Jews did. They had a vision, their vision was the rule of return, after 2000 years of servitude and humiliation they worked on their vision by making themselves better, education, wealth, skills, they used everything at their disposal to lift themselves out of poverty, converting their ghettos to palaces. We in the diaspora can learn from their struggle to lift ourselves from the darkness of becoming the subservient of dictators and truly think by creating a politically diverse, vibrant community by educating ourselves, using the tools and opportunities we have in the west to grab sizable share of the wealth pie. Then and only then can we truly democratized and implement rule of law in our country. This will take 50 years. This number is not pulled out of the ether, it is a rough calculation, a ball park of the years it will take for almost anyone who participated in Ghedli to pass on, for everyone tainted with gehdli to be senile enough to impact the new thinking, long enough years for the ideals of true rule of law, justice devoid of sectarian thinking to be intricately emended in the wiring of the Eritrean brain’s circuitry,

    5. On the criminals and collaborators: I think you have got that right, it is important to delineate lest we indiscriminately render unjust punishment. Many criminals are jumping ship as we speak and they are still living comfortable in the west. Many former EPLF who murdered Eritreans in Sudan, and even joked about it among themselves,”nski seb endaqteli tsubq eki zelki” are in our comminit,churches and mosques and their hunt, us like Israel dead after it was invited must be one of the top agendas of the diaspora community as I mentioned in items 1 and 4. Hunt them down from all the corners of the word and am sure it will shocking to hear the morbid zeal with which they committed their murderous adventures

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Sem,

      While I generally agree with your argument, engaging to remove a system without having in mind what kind of system to replace it, as an opposition, will not make us an alternative to the existing regime. Actually we will give free pass to those who want to reform PFDJ leaving the party intact to rule as they wish. For them Issayas is the only evil in the system, not the system they built on with their on-waiting constitution. Unless you opted to that kind of thinking, I could ask you to recosider your statement which says: “agonizing over what kind of systems to implement is really the least of our problems.” On my book that is the hardest part. [ sem, did you I couldn’t get back to my disqus yet…damn].

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Semere Andom

        Selam Emma:
        When I said “agonizing over what kind of systems to implement is really the least of our problems.” I was thinking about Parliamentary vs Presidential, if we have a genuine system, one of them will do, I did not mean to leave the current presidential system intact. deciding on either one should not and I believe it will not be a show stopper. By now you should know I do not count the current systems, a government to be left intact. Just cus it domiciles in a government house, just cus it has so called minsters, or so called president, I do not consider it one I do not even consider its precursor, the EPLF a liberation movement. This thesis has been brewing for a while now 🙂

        Thanks
        Sem

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Samray,

          I get you. Thank you, after all you have the antiseptic of mind. Did Nitrikay know that? Does he has any clue about it?

          Amanuel Hidrat

        • Hope

          Welcome back Sem.
          Why did you walk away form the “Peace Talks” we have “enjoyed” lately,man?
          Will you join the Highland Sate of the Barka or the Sudan State since you grew up in the Sudan-some how 7yrs?
          To avoid another mess like the PIA and Prof Bereket did,I would gor a Parliamentary one–where there will be checks and balances.

          • Semere Andom

            Cousin Hope, thanks.
            I did not walk away, I was on the road for a few days not hard to catch. yea give or take less than 7 years.

  • Kokhob Selam

    yes Sir Mr.Ismail, wonderful article Jebena page is ready for 2nd page within next 5 mints. the pages will continue in the future.

    • Ismail

      Thank you Kokhob…. looking forward to it.

  • Ismail

    Selamat Amanuel!

    Thanks for the very insightful questions and critique. The intent of my article was to initiate a discussion not to pretend to have it all figured out. As I state in my article, I am not even totally sold to the idea of federalism but as I was writing, I was thinking mainly of territorial subdivisions (in fact I say so in the article) but with due consideration to the ethnic/religious composition of the constituent units. Besides, didn’t I say plainly that the ” nitty-gritty details of how this will unfold in practice should be decided at a negotiating table to which all major groups or stake holders are invited”?

    You ask “Why decentralized federalism is preferable in your view from the other types of decentralization.” The answer (as I stated in the article) has to do with the fact that powers that devolve to constituent units is constitutionally guaranteed in federalism and states/local regions play an active role in and are represented in the central government. This is not the case in other forms of decentralizations. Did I put into consideration the “economic viability of the intended “states” in your mind?” as you ask. No my friend! Those are the nitty-gritty details! I am counting on you (as a seasoned politician) to hammer down the details and that is why I am looking forward to read your article. You better deliver then!
    I wonder what you expected though. Did you expect me to give details of how Eritrea will be subdivided into territorial units naming cities, states, rivers, demarcations, and the economic data of each subunit? Or did you expect me to expound on how many of each biher Afar, Bilen, Tigrigna, Jeberti, Saho etc.. will be represented in the parliament? If so, I ask you: Are you totally out of your mind dear respected compatriot? Can any of these be done without negotiations and discussions with the concerned parties? isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? Isn’t our role as writers best served if we focus more on the big picture (broad outlines and blueprints) rather than on implementation-stage nuts and bolts that can only be decided by the negotiating body?
    As far as the democratic coup is concerned, I do not see any problem conceptually. As to its possibility or feasibility, your guess is as good as mine. Thanks Amanuel for making think about what I wrote.
    Ismail (pointblank)

  • Ismail

    Selamat all,
    Please read the title “The Fall of Dictatorship” not “The Fall Dictatorship”….. Thanks
    Ismail (pointblank)

    [AT: It was our mistake; error has been corrected.]

    • Ismail

      Thanks …

  • Amanuel

    Dear Ismail
    You made it so simple even though you agree that it is easy said than done. Having said that I have two questions, I think needed further explanation.
    1) Interim Government:- As you said it, the period between the fall of the dictator ship and creating constitutional government is very important. This needs very committed and organised Interim Government who has the trust of Eritrean people. However, there is no evidence a force with such capability & credibility exists or will be here in the near future. I think, that is why others suggest that reforming the current system is less risky option. Could you please give us a hint that if such force capable of carrying out those all tasks you have suggested above exists or is likely to emerge in the near future.
    2)Ethic Polotics:- You seem to suggest that ethic politics should be accommodated temporally to avoid conflict or build confidence. However, Ethic politics is irreversible action. Once you embark on it, it creates its own reality on the ground. It is not a process you can switch on and off as you like. There fore, I think it should be implemented permanently if it is the right political option for Eritrea. Unless you can give us further explanation supported by examples of countries went through it successfully.
    Thanks

    • Ismail

      Selamat Amanuel,

      Thanks for your excellent comments. It is in anticipation to views like yours that I ended my article with a plea:

      “Let us genuinely respect one another; let us be bold; let us be optimistic; and this can be a reality we all wake up to one day–InshAllah”

      Am I being too optimistic? Perhaps but the tendency all along has been to forever condemn, belittle, and undermine every effort by the opposition. This has turned it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thanks to views like yours that are repeated ad nauseam, the opposition is caught in a vicious cycle or loop. It perceives itself as
      weak and unable to take on the dictatorship. Such perception generates a feeling of pessimism and despair and this in turn reinforces its negative perception of itself and the cycle continues making the opposition perpetually
      unsure, perpetually ineffective, and stuck in the past.

      We have to get out of such negative mindset otherwise nothing will be possible. We have to learn to respect one another; to encourage one another; and to be optimistic. As for “reform”, it is an empty word that is
      bandied about by those who either do not understand the nature of an entrenched dictatorship and its total incompatibility with democracy or by those who simply want to preserve something from the old system. By reform, they usually mean some sort of compromise with dictatorship (something akin to what the G15
      attempted to do with horrible consequences).

      Your fear that the Interim government might not deliver is a reasonable concern. It is thoughts along those lines that made suggest in the article that for the very first election, we should invite neutral observers (domestic or
      foreign or both) and consult experts in the field. Additionally, if the interim government judges itself totally incapable of handling the task, it can request international support in managing the transition or alternately request
      training for its officers. It would help a lot if this could be done by the opposition before the takeover. There is always a way around a difficulty if we would but stop wallowing in endless self-doubt and search for
      opportunities instead of unduly dwelling on the difficulties and our shortcomings.

      You said “Ethnic politics is irreversible action. Once you embark on it, it creates its own reality on the ground.” I think you are missing the point here Amanuel. Ethnic politics is already a reality in Eritrea! That is not the issue. The issue is rather how to give it expression or how to release it safely and peacefully. This can only be done by recognition and inclusion. That is the point I was making.
      Ismail (pointblank)

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