Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Ethnic Federalism in Eritrea Is a Recipe for Disaster

Ethnic Federalism in Eritrea is a recipe for disaster. It is a call for putting Tigrinya nationality under one banner, united and powerful. It is a step closer towards what the Agazian movement is calling for, eventually, the creation of Tigrinya/Tigrayans dominated state with its extended borders. It is asking for replacing the current Tigrinyan dominant dictator regime to another tyranny of the majority in the name of democracy.  

 

Some might say if that is the case, why most Tigrinyans are not first to call for ethnic federalism. Of Course, if you are a decent Christian Tigrinya speaker in Asmara, you probably would be content, if your country has a multi-party democratic system, democratically elected national parliament, free market, free press and a separate judicial system. To be fair, not only if you are Tigrinyan, but also if you are a privileged individual or group, you would be satisfied, if the people in your country enjoy some basic freedoms, peace, and stability. If you are a liberal, educated and open minded individual, regardless of where you come from, you probably wanted more than what I listed; you wanted Eritrea to have some kind of decentralized government system where all groups in their regions have some kind of self-governance democratic system. You all know if these conditions are secured, you would be able to get on with your lives without fear or persecution. Most of you will know, your businesses would flourish, you would have a good harvest, your children will grow to enjoy the good education, healthy and you would have guaranteed roofs over their heads.

 

However, if you are a Kunama family that is driven out of its land from the outskirts of Barnetu,  or one of the hundreds of Afar refugees in Tigray who fled from Mersa Fatima and Rehayto, or from the voiceless 7000 Saho speaking families who are constantly threatened to be evacuated from Irafale, you will know. having a democratic system in Asmara in itself is unlikely to have any significant positive impact on your family life. You will know, from the history, old and recent, different authorities whether colonial, national or otherwise, so far have shown no genuine interest in your dignity, your basic human rights, your development, your education and your culture and language. You know you have been exploited by colonial powers to become servants and combatant manpower in and outside Eritrea, you have offered unlimited sacrifices to fight against occupiers for freedom, for little gain and return, your land has been stolen, your language has been diminished and your lifestyle has been destroyed. Politically your voice has not been heard both by the government. civic activists and opposition powers.  You know the current regime would not last forever but you are desperate for it to collapse sooner than later. Nevertheless, you also don’t trust just having another regime with a one functioning parliament government system in Eritrea, would necessarily reserve your rights for self-determination in the future. That’s why you wanted to have your own nationality parliaments which have separate powers from that of National/Central Parliament.   I absolutely understand your predicament and fully support your cause. I, therefore, will never suggest to you, to hand over all the powers to any national parliament even, if it is a democratically elected one. This is even if you are told, by sympathetic opposition leaders, that you will be given some kind of self-rule. I know and you know, what is given to you by others one day, can also be taken away from you another day.

 

What I am suggesting to those who call for ethnic federalism is that you do not need to be separated and isolated from other nationalities in Eritrea within ethnic based borders that would be impossible to create without a total war with each other. Ethnic based federalism, by its nature, would further exacerbate and institutionalize the bitter divisions that is developing fast among Eritreans which is exploited by the regime and fuelled by groups such as Agazian movement. This can seriously affect peace, stability, security which is the basis for political stability and national unity that without the system would collapse. As we all know, economic prosperity can only be achieved where investors find the right conditions to engage in economic activities. There are further potential risks of tensions among population, in an era of economic decline that those who are dominant ethnic groups end up expelling members of other smaller ethnic groups in their federal states, for no other reason than that they are perceived to have taken their jobs, and land  which belonged to the ‘indigenous people’. This can then could develop to an ugly civil wars and ethnic cleansing.

 

In my view, there are more benefits to doing things together than separately. I believe you can still preserve your land, promote your language, enrich your culture and tradition and at the same time enjoy a meaningful self-determination in another way than under ‘ethnocratic political system’. Economically we are faced an increasingly globalised world that offers new opportunities but also new challenges. What citizens eventually would demand from their regional and national governments of any kind are how they would be able to tackle poverty, education, health and investment in the land and resources among many others. These demands would be very difficult to tackle when ethnic groups are engaged in political competitions among themselves.  

 

The need for separation and isolation would be dissipated when we all understand and fight for universal human rights for all individual and groups. I therefore believe our common good and harmony can still be achieved when all Eritreans from different backgrounds advocate for creating a system that does not handover all powers to the central government, but create a system that based on a ‘shared rule on a national level, and self-rule on a regional level’. This is when all Eritreans from different political spectrums, civic groups and activists come together and agree now to create for the future, larger political regions, each with its own separate democratically elected regional parliaments that is separate from central/national parliament as suggested in the article that published on awate on 28th November 2016. Our most beautiful city Asmara, would remain the capital for the nation, where the national parliament is located.  Here, we would have a system that curbs any chance of  Tigrinya, Tigre, Christian, Muslim or any other groups from dominating political power or marginalizing less powerful groups. We would have a system that has a constitution that only gives limited powers to national/central parliament in Asmara such as defence, foreign relations, and international commerce. A system that allows for four regional parliaments to make and change their regional laws related to their land, language, education, the local economy and much more without an intervention of the central government.

 

Pinterest
  • saay7

    Selamat Ismail:

    Your post triggered what will follow–it is a stream of consciousness, and it is just a lament to help us (the younger readers) assess where we are and, from my perspective, to support my conclusion that our post-independence existence has been marked by a series of missed opportunities:

    1. Pre-1991: The general consensus in revolutionary Eritrea was that the struggle was about giving Eritreans the right to self-determination, a right guaranteed by the UN to all colonized people. All colonized Africans got right to self-determination; Italy colonized Eritrea; therefore, Eritrea must get the right to self-determination. And what will Eritreans with right to self-determination do? We are fairly sure they will demand independence. In the meantime, we will practice some of what were taken from us by Ethiopia when the Federal Act was annulled and for those 10 years (1952-1962) we sorta practiced: Tigrinya-Arabic as official or working languages, green olive branches on blue background flag. Of course, we had no intention of practicing all the rights we claimed were taken from us by Ethiopians: representative democracy, deliberative legislative body, free press, right to independently organize and assemble: all of those had to be made subservient to the Marxist Revolution striving for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

    2. 1991-1993: this was an opportunity missed. The EPLF used the logic of “we secured Eritrean independence and we dictate the terms for nation-building.” Political organizations have to disband themselves and their members join the body politic as individuals but not as an organized group. The EPLF continued to fly the Blue Flag and the duality of the two languages in all of the States’s communications (coat of arms, seal)

    3. 1993: Eritrean referendum. The Blue Flag was retired and its place came the EPLF flag of green, blue, red triangles. The difference was in lieu of the gold star, we would have a gold olive branches.

    4. 1995-1997: In the constitutional drafting stage, once again, the selection of the commissioners was all approved by PFDJ (which had replaced the EPLF in 1994) and the constitution was to be guided by the Charter of the PFDJ. This was another missed opportunity for both pro-PFDJ and pro-opposition parties. The PFDJ could have easily accommodated the opposition by making symbolic changes; and the opposition could have participated more enthusiastically. The fact is that in 1995-1997, the EPLF/PFDJ enjoyed the support of the Eritrean people and the opposition had little leverage.

    5. 1997 – 2014: This is when the Eritrean constitution was placed in limbo. There was nothing in the constitution that would have gotten in the way of Eritrea’s ability to fight a war (1997-98) or to manage post-war disillusion. There was only one: the government’s fear of being held accountable for wrong policies it had pursued that resulted in the war, and how it was executed. It was also a missed opportunity for the opposition–whose single call can only be constitutional government–refused to use the constitution as a rallying cry. The inaction of both sides–for their own reasons–resulted in the death of the constitution with nobody grieving for it.

    6. 2014- present: It was in May 2014 when President Isaias Afwerki announced that we are going to draft a new constitution. Nobody knows who the commissioners or drafters are. In subsequent interviews, he has reneged on this and corrected interviewers who asked about the ‘constitution’: no, he said, we are not working on a constitution (Qwam) which outlines all rights and duties of citizens but Governing Laws (Hge mengisti.) I know: I had always used those two interchangeably but the fact that IA corrected the interviewer when he said “Qwam” and the fact that the word has been made to disappear tells me otherwise.

    7. With all that out of the way, we have Eritreans who want to rewind the starting point to 1952 and use that as reference point. This is the same document that doesn’t give women the right to vote or be voted; it has a lot of reference to Ethiopia and its supremacy in major areas (foreign policy, customs, military, security), and it is a document that was created under duress. The only reason, to my mind, people mention it nostalgically is because it had 68 parliamentarians, half Muslim half Christian. When you point out all its flaws, its supporters (and my friend Bohashem who debated me about Federalism is one) says, “oh, all that can be amended.” Well, if that is the case, why go all the way to 1952 when you can go to 1997 if ‘all that’ can be amended?

    8. And, what is even worse, if IA and PFDJ were to say, we are so tired of governing this country and we want to turn power over to an organization, we have made no progress in organizing and coming up with roadmaps that a majority of our people can agree on. We keep saying “return power to the people” but the people, in politics, need organizations that speak on their behalf. The latter is the only one within our (Diaspora Eritreans) control: and if we can’t get that right–organizing a broad-based movement–we are not fit to govern and all our calls for “return power to the people” are a call for power vaccum.

    saay

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Saay,

      I feel elated to have incited you to come up with classroom quality input. I should add that if you want a dent or a peep into over stocked arsenal of knowledge of a man you should tell him something he doesn’t like. That way, he would open his store in order to correct you or teach you. Otherwise, if you tell him how what he likes thrilling is, the best you may get is a lousy thank you compliment.

      So, it feels great that I managed prod you respond with such a useful summary of our overall situation so far, and zeroed in what you wrote in item 7, and on which I would like to jot a few word since I have nothing to add to the contents under the 6 items before it. But, let me first express full concurrence about the missed opportunities and what the future could have in store for us if fail to compromise and cling to preconceived ideas.

      Thus, my allusion to the1952 constitution was actually not triggered by its relevance as an alternative in its own right. The time and circumstances that led to its writing were different, in addition to the shortcomings you mentioned. The point, I tried to make was in the context of the entrenched attitudes that are precluding us to compromise, which required us to descend down to political –ideological no man’s land rather stubbornly trying to deal from inside high reinforced concrete fortresses. Given such circumstances, therefore, the spirit of compromise that led to the making of that document could be used as a precept in reducing the number of the claimed constituencies.

      • saay7

        Hala Ismilom and Mahmuday:

        When you say “…you should tell him something he doesn’t like…” I hope you were not talking of what you wrote:) Isteqfurullah: I don’t think you have ever written anything I don’t like and even if you do, you have such a gentle way about you, I wouldn’t recognize it. You have entered the pantheon of Fanti Ghana.

        And Mahmuday, I wasn’t setting out to type a response much less a fantastic one. I was trying to write an appeal. Items 1 -7 are just a preamble to #8. That we, who are opposed to the reign of IA and his Iron Fist should present an alternative and this alternative has to be a broad-based movement. There are many reasons for why we have not succeeded in forming this broad-based movement and I was suggesting that if we keep on doing what we have been doing, we will keep on getting what we have been getting. I think whatever it was that enabled Eritreans to persist and succeed with the Revolution (Nih, indomitability, perseverance) is the same one that prevents us from negotiating in good faith. For decades now, all Eritrean political groups have held on to the maximalist position even as they know that it is not tenable: just waiting for the other guy to give in. What we have: a permanent state of stand-off.

        And to those who read this about the opposition and are thinking at least my government is not like that, you are kidding yourself. It is even worse with the government because its stubbornness infects its domestic and foreign policy.

        saay

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Ustaz saay,
          It was a bit clumsy on my not to add a word or two to make it specific. It was actually a general remark to express gratitude for the superb summary my earlier comments had generated, and appreciate the erudition and organized store of knowledge that you are blessed to have.
          Thank you for your nobility and humbleness.

    • MS

      Ahlan SAAY

      Just FANTASTIC summary. Also thanks to Ustaz IsmailAA for his insightful and indeed provocative input which enticed you to come up with this solid appraisal. Number eight is very important, although it has become customary for opposition leaders and commentators to bypass it with a timid light-touch.
      BTW: The constitution of 1952 was one of the documents used in drafting the 1997 constitution. Additions were Eritrean organizations constitutions and charters, customary laws of Eritrean society, and other relevant constitutions and experiences of other nations with similar socioeconomic features, etc.
      Ustaz IsmailAA summarized it beautifully as follows:
      “The bottom line should be how to build a constitution and a system that would put us on track to genuine nation building journey that leads to real citizenship deeply rooted in duties and rights, and not built on fragile fault lines that could end up in a national cul-de- sac that would seriously endanger sustenance of our young state.”
      Regards.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Moderator,
    My comment of yesterday has been moved to pending status. It was earlier approved stayed on the thread. Have no clue why it happened.

  • Ahmeddin

    Salam all

    The arguments against unitary government system in Eritrea are not about a denial for the need to accommodating regional, religious and ethnic differences, fin order to achieve nation building and unity. Instead it is about challenging whether this accommodation and unity are best served by a unitary national government with full powers. It is an argument against allowing a dominant group to make decisions on all and crucial constitutional matters and rights. This means allowing a winning group by majority vote system to decide about how far to go in ‘giving rights’ to others so that to maintain its own ‘nation building agenda’ in the name of national security and stability.

    It is a Utopian and idealistic idea to simply suggest a democratic unitary state in Eritrea, can be neutral with regard to rights of marginalised nationalities and regions. It is a common belief that the outcome of replacing the current absolute and dictator regime in Eritrea with another unitary government is allowing one dominant group to get the best deal out of it; well, for the foreseeable future at least.

    What we also know from so many examples of unitary states in the developing world is that, the states are shown to be the institutional vehicles for promoting nation-building agenda of a dominant national groups on the expense of others. This Utopian idea of relying on a good will of ‘Eritrean patriotism’ and ‘brotherhood’ would not hold water, when it comes to fierce power struggle that we all seen during liberation era, happening now and is likely to continue beyond the fall of the current regime for some generations. In my view, nation building and unity where all citizens, groups, and regions enjoy a full democratic rights and justices, can only be achieved by clearly separating national and regional legislative powers.

    • D-Dan

      Your attempt at drawing parallels between a unitary state and a federal (separating national and regional ) is very infantile and quite erroneous. There are no parallels to be drawn here. Moreover, the fact that you conflate nation building with state building shows you clearly have no grasp on building in whatever form or shape it comes. Nation building is an arduous and impossible task in Eritrea due to the 9 nations within. You have clearly paid attention to this when you said “Eritrean patriotism” and “brotherhood” has failed while ironically calling for more failure of this yourself here. State building however, is something to aspire for and one towards which we should work. Perhaps you don’t see this but your call for “national and regional legislative powers” does little to compliment state building — that which had to do with creating a stable institution at the state level. Simply put, your call is fighting for ethnic autonomy by other means. Hardly solving the issue but perpetuating it indefinitely as a struggle for regional power. Under such arrangements, when a group feels that enough powers have not been devolved to it, they turn to their guns and call for their bothers to arm, right? Hate me for this, but devolution of powers without institutionally built state is simply transforming the issue on another dimension than solving it.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam D-Dan,

        I am interested in the argument you tried to make. Indeed nation building and state building are two different issues. Nation building is “constructing national identity with the power of the state.” In other words it is the building of a nation with a sense of national identity. On the other hand state building is creating institutions necessary for the long term social, economic, and political development. In short the construction of a functioning state. Now my question to you is: what kind of government is conducive for state building and nation building?if we agree that government is an instrument for both “state” and “nation” building. It is a subject of great importance in our case. Could you give your view on it please?

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • D-Dan

          Selam Neaka Yikun Amanuel Hidrat

          Thank you for elaborating on the distinction I was trying to make between state and nation-building. As you may have very well gathered, nation-building is a futile exercise in Eritrea and is bound to fail. It is not exclusive to this downtrodden country we call home but is a continent wide problem, we are only waking up to this reality as the late comers. Many have experimented with a number of federal or similar arrangements in these quasi-states in order to overcome the problems with which colonialism has left them, and as we all know, many have failed.
          Someone in the comments here — I believe one of the moderators– has gone through a list of missed opportunities where we could have succeeded at nation building, one of the major ones being the period immediate after independence. Of course one needs to learn from history but the point of invoking them here, it appears, is not to learn but to hold those who missed those opportunities accountable and in the process of doing so, to score a political point. Just my general observation here in order to give you a brief glimpse of what I think about this whole nostalgic exercise.

          Now back to your questions. I started with the proposition that nation building is a futile exercise in Eritrea and one which has already failed by which ever standards you measure it. I say this for two reasons. One conceptual and the other grounded on history and reality.
          The conceptual one like I said earlier is not exclusive to Eritrea but is an Africa–perhaps even global — problem. We are doomed as long as this quasi-states and their borders exists. These are not organic states and we all know the correlation between organic states and nation building, a positive one at that. These states are an eternal need of foreign threats to secure national unity. I am sure you agree with me that our country owes its entire history of unity to external threats and if one should get hyper-political, Isaias Afewerki’s foreign policy since independence is a continuation of this constant search for outside threats in which the inside can be secured. Nation building has failed miserably in the continent.

          The second point relates to the time factor. Nation building is time consuming and it is not something that can be accomplished in a single generation, add to that an ethnically diverse nationalities. Our struggle, the blood and sweat and the price we paid for independence stretched over half a century didn’t even manage to get us an inch closer to national unity.
          The solution lies here, knowing this time factor — and with time comes historical factor– is paramount. If things take time, that means they are bound to change along the process. With that in mind you can map out how things could play out in say 50 years from now which ever form of state building we pursue. This is the reason I said devolution of powers is not the solution. When you ad the time factor to devolution it is not hard to see how much powers the regions demand in 50 years. If the goal is to create a unified state in the long run, the solution is not devolution but one which leads to that. Like I said, state building is process not an event as many here seem to understand it. The goal of devolution is to ease or even eradicate ethnic division and avoid state failure not to build a state. In this regard, what many seem to want here is to provide solution to the current crisis, not state building where they seem to conflate the two.

          You asked “what kind of government is conducive for state building and nation building?”. A government with contingency plan based on the understanding that state building is a process not an event which can be accomplished by the simple prescription of federalism or power devolution. What you need is not something that is set in stone but one which changes with time and circumstances with the ultimate goal of accomplishing a strong central government with functioning and respected institutions. As far as my view goes, federalism and devolution of powers is crisis management mechanism not a state building one.

          Wedehankum
          Dan

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Dan,

            I wanted to welcome you for stopping by and thank you for your input.

            First let me start by what you said:

            Of course one needs to learn from history but the point of invoking them here, it appears, is not to learn but to hold those who missed those opportunities accountable and in the process of doing so, to score a political point.

            I think you are referring to saay comment where he listed the lost opportunity. I knew saay for the past 15 or so years, and off all the Eritrean elite that I come to come to read and learn, there isn’t a person that I can think off who is far, far from writing something to “score a point”. He is the most optimistic person that we, Eritreans are blessed to have. All his writing if you pay particular attention is geared towards a fair, equatable and shared system to set the path for brighter future, with all our limitations. What I like to ask you and please do not take it in a wrong way, let’s all try to understand that we are here together in this journey, and leave our assumption and give a little respect to each other. I understand this does not mean that we need to agree with all our opinions (and we shouldn’t, no body can) but we all love our country and let’s focus in a small contribution that each and everyone make and make it bigger.

            I apologize if I crossed the line but I see your input and I hope an exchange with saay and others in this forum can be a great learning / sharing of ideas.

            Yesterday as I was driving and listening to the radio, I heard a talk by an Indian political scientist Neera Chandhoke, where she was making an argument for a secular India. As I was listening to her I was thinking to your comment and the questions raised by AH to you.

            Listening to challenge India have (over 1.2 billion people), more than 22 national languages + English, the difference between the rich and the poor, religious, ethnic difference and not to mention the cast system that’s ingrained in the society plus the long history of colonialism.

            Sometimes I wonder if our Eritrean elite are really exaggerating our internal problems, our differences, our history and our political and future state. May be there is too much focus on our challenges and our differences and very little on the positive aspects of our society.

            Berhe

            http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/what-happens-when-we-stop-asking-questions-why-india-must-be-secular-1.4181418

            What happens when we stop asking questions: Why India must be secular Political scientist Neera Chandhoke makes a heartfelt argument for a secular India at a talk delivered in Mumbai. Against the growing tide of Hindu nationalism and India’s history of inter-religious strife, she draws on Western and Indian thinkers to make the case for diversity — not simply a social nicety, but as a condition for civilization itself.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Dan, your opinion that state and nation-building in Eritrea is a failed experiment is a pre-mature judgement. Eritreans have yet to unleash their potentials and capabilities when it comes to these issues. I think you agree with me when I say that our country has essentially been held under the hostage of the narrow Isayas clique ever since its independence, but in particular for the last 16 years. So it is very unfair and unbalanced to come up with the conclusion you made. I’m of the opinion that, let’s first get rid ourselves of the major stumbling block in our path-the Isayas regime; then and only then we would see how far Eritreans are capable of building their viable state-institutions. Under the current regime, we’ve lost an immense opportunity to build a united and vibrant nation; despite , in my opinion, we are very much capable of doing so, as the necessary ingredients of peace-loving, hard-working, and mutually respectful peoples are already there.
            Dictator Isayas, instead of capitalizing on this great good will of the Eritrean people to the betterment of the nation, he has been exploiting it for his personal empowerment and enrichement. Even some dictators could be considered ‘good’ because they do and wish something good for their people; the one we have is one of the worst on earth.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi D-Dan,

            Like wise selam Neaka Yekun.

            Thank you for the response to my questions. Your comment makes me to comment on the issue of state building. There is no nation building without a functioning state. So building a state is a prerequisite to nation building. I hope you will agree with me on that.
            And
            Now, I will say few words based on the two premises in your comment.

            (a) “If the goal is to create a unified state in the long run, the solution is not devolution but one which leads to that.” Look this statement of yours and your choice of government “strong centralized government” and if strong centerilized government means “centralized unitary government”,then How does

  • Ahmeddin

    What we need is an open and honest discussion about the issues that matter to us. This is not favouring one group over another.
    Democracy at its purest form is based on majority rule and would not provide justice for all. A regional federal system that has been suggested in this article is not an ideal solution but a necessary compromise and can only be achieved by consensus. There is a need for a balancing exercise to be struck here; the absolute democracy with the heavy emphasis on individual democratic rights as citizens, and the rights of those groups who desperately need their rights to be protected from this type of democracy itself. A suggestion that it is only through democratic channels that citizens must determine a governance and constitution matters, to me, is a denial to accept the reality on the ground that dominant groups would deal from unitary governmeny system.

    We all know in a democracy that allow the majority rule to avail, the majority would then have the final say on this constitutional matter. Ismail commented that “Tigrigna is majority against all others when divided”. Semere has recognised that there is a need, as he put it ” to CURB THE EXCESS POWER of ethnic Tigrignas to a level that is FAIR and ACCEPTABLE to all’. Most non Tigrinyans perhaps agree with Semere’s statement and believe that a democratic unitary government system would be heavily dominated by Tigrinyans and genuinely fear that this would further marginalise the rest.

    • Hagos Kahsay

      Dear Ahmeddin,

      Just a short reflection. If your primary concern is empowering your ethnic group,Saho, and the biggest threat to them is Tigrinya, why would you expect any Tigrinya to not think of his selfinterest and accept an arrangement that is designed to weaken them?

      Federalism or decentralization is a way for different regions to excercise selfrule? Do you oppose selfrule?

      Best regards
      /Hagos

    • blink

      Dear Ahmeddin
      Can you dream about Eritrea that respect individual rights of any one? I mean be it Citizens or foreigners. I personally don’t think that will happen in my life time. I am young too, what I am saying is we need a reality Check, we can accuse the Tigrinya and they will still rule Eritrea by a great margin , it is a fact in the ground. What we have to show them is our grievances plus willingness to work with them for a better future ,unless all these minorities are just not up to the task of taking on the Tigrinya. We need to accept this reality, we need their voices, and energy,with out the Tigrinya there is nothing the others can do , none. Eritrea can only move forward if only a saho child and a Nara child has the same chance of success in Eritrea as of the Tigrinya,that idea must be cemented in the Eritreans fabric unless a written document can do nothing if we have a divisive view on each other.

      I personally don’t think PFDJ favors the Tigrinya than the saho kids , it is just a mistake we all assume the Tigrinya are having honey moon after dergi. That kind of attitude is rude plus dangerous in its kind.

    • Robel Cali

      Hello Ahmeddin

      Chances are, even if Eritrea had a federal system, you will still be marginalized. The only difference is they will share the same mother tongue as you. You’re living in a fairytale if you think otherwise.

      I wouldn’t have any issues with local self rule IF they are secular. But knowing impoverished people cling to impoverished ideas, all we are going to get are little theocracy chiefdoms.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Robel Cali ,

        What did you mean ?

        • Robel Cali

          Hi Kokhab

          Poor people cling to poor ideas like religion, xenophobia, and sexism.

          Poor Muslims tend to be more religious. And if given a choice, they will vote for religious laws and other bad ideas. In the end, you get a poor theocracy that is more interested in building places of worship and what women wear rather than hospitals and universities. Thus, creating a cycle of poverty and misery that entrenches itself with each coming generation.

          This is not limited to Muslims. This applies to Christians too. As Obama pointed out to a Pennsylvania crowd:

          “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

          And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

          The only solution is to guarantee secularism prevails in Eritrea.

  • Berhe Y

    Dear blink,

    Right now the Muslim countries and the Muslim population (Arab world) are the most affrected since the US and UK and their allies started their campaign war on terror.

    Afganisthan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Yemen (millions and millions) of people and the Palestinian are all affected.

    Donald Trump trip to SA and signing 100 billion dollars of arms will set the world on fire once all that arms end up with those groups (as was the case for Syria).

    The extremist group will use all this misery the people from Middle East are going as fertile ground for recruits.

    The West (US and allies), SA , Iran, Israel, Turkey and Russia should take responsibility for all the suffering and chaos that the world is witnessing today.

    And I am afraid this will stop anytime soon.

    Berhe

    • Selam Berhe Y.,

      The ordinary muslims in the middle east and the ordinary citizen in the west are the pawns (victims) in the chess game of power and money religious fanatics, ruling families in the middle east, and conservative governments in the west, are playing. All these are tied together with oil money and deep-seated interests. When 16 out of the 19 terrorists responsible for 9/11 were saudis, the usa government didn’t say much, and when some muslim religious leaders are blamed for creating extremist views in young muslims in european mosques, and the money to help this comes from middle eastern sources (may be not directly from governments, but from individuals), again they do very little.
      The question is who really wants or does not want the scourge of terrorism to persist, and where is the world going to with leaders like Trump, who one day dances the sword dance with saudi princess, and soon after he lands in the usa, starts to shout that muslims from some muslim majority countries, who of course, do not have oil money to buy arms worth billions of dollars, to be banned from entering the usa?

    • blink

      Dear Berhe
      Yes , I agree. I always wonder what could the saudis do with state of the art weapons? I mean they have been buying nonstop from a long time. The American arms industry needs these rich gulf states just to continue but their arms.Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing are beneficiaries of deals signed over the past century.

      Defense and aerospace stocks rallied Monday after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states signed arms deals worth $350 billion with the U.S. over the weekend. And we can assume all this is just due to Iran but why ?

      I think the public of these countries are also to blame for not challenging such centuries old false narratives. The ME people except the filthy rich once suffer from their own failure as of ours for not challenging the authorities. Terrible thing keeps happening every day yet the people are trapped inside two forces , religious fanatics and a sale out governments.
      I think the west must invest in economic policies of the ME or they have to shut down some Saudi financed institutions too. This all is just a good wish , What matters is interest that is all. Money money …..

      • Selam blink,
        The latest news coming from the middle east is that four arab countries of the region, egypt, ksa, uae, and bahrain have severed diplomatic relations with qatar, because they see it as a rogue state that is destabilizing the region through al qaeda, isis and pro-iran terrorists, (a very serious accusation).
        In addition, the behavior of the uae does not seem to be harmonized with that of the region, because it behaves as a regional power trying to replace the ksa as the main usa ally. It is said that it has deep relations with the state of israel through the back door.
        Therefore, political turmoil which could affect the region is possible in the near future.

        • blink

          Dear Horizon
          I think these 4 countries also feel confident to push back Qatar due to trump recent visit to KSA. Trump can not refuse the billions and he was also a Gold receiver in the Saudi state dance. As of now every air , land and sea connection to Doha is closed. 40% of food import to Doha come through KSA. I guess they need this to make sure the boss is respected.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear blink, I don’t know the background of the dispute between Qatar and the rest of the Gulf countries. But it is very surprising to see them all taking such drastic action against little Qatar in a co-ordinated fashion in the Holy month of Ramadan. It is even reported that UAE has asked all Qatari diplomats to leave her territory within 48 hrs, and the rest of Qatari citizens within two weeks time. It seems the Arab countries wanted to strangle Qatar to submission by cutting it off from the world; but, fortunately Qatar is not landlocked and it can still trade with the rest of its neighbors like Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Oman, and the rest of the world via air and sea.

          • Mez

            Dear Abraham,

            It seems to me this is mainly a blowback effect of the Syrian War; now the Greater Middle East region is on the move….

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Mez, yes, the issue is quite complex with various variables playing in the equation. Qatar is believed to have better relations with Shia Iran, which is the arch rival of Saudi Arabia. But it still surprises me why Qatar, with a significant number of Wuhabis as in KSA, go against the policies of the rest of the GCC. There is also the issue of the Qatari state-owned media-Al-Jazeera, which has proven to be very brave and inflluential in covering controversial issues in the Arab world, issues that might not be to the liking of the stronger nations of KSA and Egypt.

  • MS

    Selam All
    Once again London is mourning because of a coward act of terrorism. The zealots who hit at the heart of London want us to believe that they have acted on behalf of Islam. We must tell them, “Not in my name.” I must admire the tolerance and maturity the Western societies are showing. Instead of widening societal faults and try to exploiting these acts of terrorism for political gains, most politicians and media institutions are doing the right thing: isolating the few zealots and depriving them of the oxygen they need to stoke violent reaction and retributions. By embracing the peace-loving communities on whose behalf these zealots claim to be committing the atrocities, these zealots will be defeated soon. The voice of unity is enduring. Can we Eritreans learn something from this experience?
    Londoners, my condolence.

    • Abraham H.

      Selam MS, I just wonder whether there is a global authority of the Islamic religion, and whether there is the practice of excommunication in Islam? If there is such a world body and practice, then how about excommunicating all the members and sympathizers of the terrorist networks like the Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, etc from the Islamic religion? I mean zealots and cold blooded killers should never be allowed to use the name of the faith of Islam in executing their heinous crimes. In other words, these killers have to be expelled from the otherwise peaceful world Islamic community.

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Abraham,

        The question you asked on global level, and the one MS had asked on own level as Eritreans, are questions should be asked by everyone, everywhere and anywhere. Such kind of violence have no border, and could not be deterred in anyway even by powers who enjoy possession of enormous human and resources capabilities. The only way of dealing with the problem is denying them fertile soil in which to incubate and from which they could launch. And that begins with education, spread of awareness, providing employment to the youth and desisting society from suffocating society.

        At the root of violence were oppressive regimes that had impoverished the youth and denied them any hope of future. The condition of own country and fate of the youth are case in point that should worry us and cause us to ask questions.

        Such circumstances are enticingly exploited by power and expansion-hungry powers and use them for political agendas. We saw how the violent ideological variants were used in late 70s and 80s for mobilizing the youth on religious bases to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, and we what is happening in Syria and in Iraq since 2003. We are told that there gunmen from 80 nationalities fighting in Syria, and hundreds of them hail from western countries.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam Ismail, you are right, excommunication, even if it were possible would not cure the disease, because these people have already rejected the norms and teachings of Islam, perverting the messege to fit their destructive agenda. And when people talk about ‘extremist Islamic terrorism’ they forget to mention that the main victims bearing the brunt of these fanatics are actually Moslems themselves. For example, just a few days before yesterday’s terror attack in London, there were scores of innocent Moslems killed in Afghanistan and Iraq by these terrorists; but their tragedy has almost gone unnoticed.
          You are right, one has to focus at the root cause of the problem, i.e. by creating opportunities to the deprived youth of the, unfortunately, this is almost mission impossible considering the authoritarian nature of the Arab regimes, even some of them blamed to be the source of the poisonous ideology. Most of the would be terrorists are those who reside in the third world under abject poverty and lack of opportunities; however, we have also to remember that a number of the terror attacks in the West are being perpetrated by young people who were born, grown up, and educated in the West coming from well to do positions. In these cases, the toxic ideology is the culprit.

        • Mez

          Dear Ismail,

          1) The 1980/90 Afghanistan war….xx,
          2) The irq (2003-current )….xx,
          3) the Syria war since 2011…xx,
          4) The Libya war….xx
          5) the Yemen war: progressing to be ….xx.

          To turn around all these to a peace process, a DAUNTING task.

          xx stands for: global geopolitics

          Thanks

      • MS

        Ahlan AbrahamH
        Sorry for the late reply. Please consider this as a reply intended to stir some discussions on this subject. Also recall our previous discussions on the history of Islam and the need for reform. I’m not, by any measure , qualified to give a definitive answer. Instead, I will shade some additional light on the subject.
        1. To my knowledge there is no such thing called excommunication in Islam. There are things that are clearly stated to be sins, and things that are not desired.
        2. The focus is more on declaring certain actions are not Islamic rather than declaring certain individuals are not Muslims. For instance taking the life of others becomes necessary only in self-defense. Certainly, attacking unarmed civilians, be it in Bagdad or London is a sin. The reason why Islam does not communicate individual is because that part is left to the day of judgement. Only God decides whether someone has acted sinful and deserves the fire. There is no institutional authority between the individual and God that can rule on behalf of God.
        3. That being said, there are many schools and they have differed slightly in this regard.
        4. Today, the words Kafer (infidel), or Tekfeer (apostasy),have become common in medias of the Middle East. The Saudis call Houthis The Takfeeri movement (AlHarka attakfeeria), the Houthis call the Saudis the same. Even the secular Syrian government calls the Islamist movements Takfeeri. On the other hand, those radical movements battle the governments for the same reason. The same goes with the Taliban and the Afghan government; militant Sunnis and Shia, etc. This is to show you that there is no magic wand in this game.
        5. Certain institutions do pass edicts. There are religious institutions in any country for ruling in controversial religious matters, called Dar Al-iftae, thus comes the word Mufti. The Mufti has the authority to rule on these matters. However, the fundamental tenet of Islam is that one has to do his/her own Ijtihad (Jihad) or effort in order to make sure whatever a Mufti passes is acceptable. At the end Muftis are human beings. Therefore, you don’t see a binding effect. Another person may pop up and give a differing edict. You may recall when Osama Bin Laden wanted to unleash carnage on civilians, he asked certain scholars to pass fatwa (edict) that support his plan.
        6. There were efforts after September 11 to unify the different schools and scholar institutions, I have not checked on their progress. Al-Azhar (Cairo) is an institution that has wide acceptance, and people wait to see what comes out of it. The Wahabis have their foothold in Saudi Arabia. Shia is slightly different because it has hierarchical decision making. You remember when AL Khomeini passed an edict on Salman Rushdie in the eighties; he also declared all who fought the Iraqis would go to heaven and gave the poor soldiers KEYS that they would use to open the gates of heaven. In my humble understanding, in my upbringing, I was taught that only my good actions would be the keys to heaven. But that shows you the Shias have some earthly authorities that they follow carefully.
        6. Finally, on its political aspect, both you and IsmailAA nailed it so well that there is nothing I can add. The bottom-line is that these zealots are just criminals; people who have lost the essence of humanity. Any Muslim with modest knowledge of the religion will tell you that blowing up innocent people is sinful. However, these guys are a new breed that represent the dark side of humanity. I doubt any Fatwa will stop them. The only smart way to defeating them is to deprive them of innocent followers and to promote tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.
        Regard.
        Regards.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Ustaz Mahmoud,

          Jazak Allah kheir (God reward you) for in-a-nutshell explanation of an enormous and highly controversial issue. I can witness you have an excellent grasped of the matter.

          You are right there have been many attempts to centralize of universalize the source of rulings on jurisprudence (fiqh), especially the two principal branches – Sunni on behalve of its four variants (mazahb) through al Azhar and Shia and its variants through Najaf in Iraq. This was going on since the time of Al Afhani and al Mawdudi of Pakistan, and was even attempted after Ayatollah Khomeini took over in Iran. But there was no breakthrough for many reasons: One was that the Sunnis world was divided. The issue of the Wahabi sect was not yet settled. There was no accord on whether it was a fifth mazhab or not. The other issue was the political element was always an obstacle. Even Al Azhar was under the control of the government and could operate without the approval of the ruling authorities. Thus, reaching consensus was almost impossible. Instead, the religious institutions took the path of competition, and those who had more money and resources like the Wahabis got ground and expanded to establish facts on the ground.

          In passing, I would like to share with you a point political propaganda had initiated. The talk that the Iranians (Khomeini) during their war with the Iraqi’s handed over keys to heaven to fighter is not correct. They simply talked about martyrdom for person who die for just cause like in any other places. I am mentioning this for the sake of fairness because I happened to be there during the war till a few weeks before secession of hostilities in August 1988.

          • MS

            Ahlan Ustazna
            I really thank you for clarifying on the widely circulated allegation that Al Khomeini’s had decreed the keys to heaven. I apologize for not doing a due diligence. I honestly took it that way and never bothered to verify it. As you know, I was in the field during that war, and our only source of information were either western Media or Arab media outlets which, in any case, were against Iran.
            Thank you for the superb addition.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam MS, thank you so much for your elaborate reply; it adds a lot to my knowledge of Islam. Very surprising when someone gives KEYS to poor people with which to open the gates of Heaven; that amounts to acting like God Himself. You said “Only God decides whether someone has acted sinful and deserves the fire. There is no institutional authority between the individual and God that can rule on behalf of God.”; which I think is also supported by some Verses in the Qur’an. But it surprises me when some Muslim countries go to the extreme step of death punishment for apostasy, based on the Hadith.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All

    This is a very good article. Not that it is solution oriented article, far from it, but at least it brought a hot topic worthy of each Awatista’s time and energy, to voice his/her opinion. And I commend the author for bringing this topic to the front page of Awate – so all Awatistas can flex their brain muscles to advance their ideas, to shape and mold Eritrea’s public opinion.

    But as you can see there is a problem: the heavyweights of Awate are not saying much. The reason? The Muslim stakeholders who truly believe, they are wronged by the current set-up of the PFDJ government – I suppose are saying ኣብ ልብና ዘላ ፈሊጥኩም: ‘ታ ሽግር ባዕልኹም ፍትሕዋ: ተዘየሎ ኣይንሕጎስን ኢና – meaning read our mind and do the right thing to solve the problem. If you don’t we’re not going to be happy. The ethnic Tigrigna heavyweights (the Amans and the iSems) who have made a name for themselves, as champions of ethnic equality and fairness, don’t have much of a solution oriented idea worthy of marketing – just empty talk.

    Now with the intent to make the heavyweights talk, and with the objective to search a fundamental solution to our governing problem, let me throw some hand grenades to wake’m up both. All, in order the wheels of war-of-ideas to keep moving. My rewarded for all this? As usual getting waterboarded!! Now let’s roll the wheel of “great” ideas.

    1. – The 1997 Eritrean Constitution:

    The 1997 Eritrean constitution is dead for good! And it should be. The reason (a) it was never embraced by many of our ethnic communities – because all besides ethnic Tigrignas felt, it failed to address their concerns and interests properly (b) for years now, the chief author of the 1997 constitution has been denigrating and trashing the very constitution he helped write (c) we Eritreans as a people have learned a lot since the 1997 constitution was drafted. We can do better. Let me say some more about the chief author of the 1997 Eritrean constitution:

    The chief author of the 1997 constitution was given an opportunity to be one of the heroes of Eritrean’s sons. He was given an opportunity to be the father of the Eritrean constitution. As a father of our constitution, he was given the opportunity to be in the lines of Ibrahim Sultan, Wel Wel, Kebire, Idris Mohamed Adem, Sabe, Isaias, Ahmed Nasser, Abdellah Idris……… All he had to do was humble himself, stay with his people, and serve his people by opening state of the art Law School in Eritrea – using the trust, respect, and name recognition the Eritrean people gave him. Yes, he could have made world tour – in North America, Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan countries – and Eritreans around the globe would’ve flocked to see him and would’ve contributed million and millions of dollars to fund his Law School project. But selfish, arrogant, self-centered that he is, he blew this opportunity. He was not there for his people when Eritrea was invaded, he was not there for his people when Eritrea was sanctioned and isolated, he was not there when young Eritreans needed him to better themselves and to better the country we all love. Instead he was in the business of selling books and in the business of buyer’s remorse.

    Now, tell me: why would any Eritrean worth his salt, allow this selfish guy to be the father of Eritrean constitution, seen in every text book of our children, when there are many selfless dignified Eritreans who served their people and their country, their entire life? I wouldn’t.

    2.- Future Eritrean government – Federal vs. Unitary

    No matter who is at the helm, Eritreans will always have a unitary system of government. The Eritrean central government will always have supreme authority over the nation, and the administrative zones (ዞባዊ ምምሕዳራት) will have very limited powers – power that is exclusively specific to their region, and power that doesn’t interfere or contradict with the power of the central government. Eritrea is (a) too small and too simple (not complex) to have federal system of government (b) Each Eritrean region is a multi-ethnic muli-faith region with no ethnic purity. Eritreans of all ethnics and faiths are neighbors, coworkers, employees and employers, schoolmates, friends and soulmates (c) Most Eritrean ethnics are minorities in their own region. Therefore, there is no rational for having federal system of government in Eritrea.

    3. – Let’s face it: the crux of the matter is – not what system of government we should or shouldn’t use, but how to CURB THE EXCESS POWER of ethnic Tigrignas to a level that is FAIR and ACCEPTABLE to all. And if that is the objective, beating around the bush is not going to get the job done. Erecting walls between communities and faiths is not going to make anyone safe and secure – and definitely no one is going to prosper.

    Therefore you all heavyweights – stop your political correctness, have the courage, say it, and challenge us with your solution oriented bright ideas. Ethnic Tigrignas don’t have any evil intention towards other ethnics and faiths. We all are in this together. Just tell us what is good for all and demand for it. Like…… let me throw some ideas……

    A. – In the Eritrean constitution, demand to secure a clause that guarantees the establishment of a permanent caucus of non-Tigrignas and non-Tigres ethnic representatives with a veto power at all time.

    B. In the Eritrean constitution, demand equal ethnic representation in the Eritrean senate (like 27 highly qualified senators – three from each Eritrean ethnic community type thing)

    C. – In the Eritrean constitution, demand the central government to allocate a fixed percentage of the Eritrean GDP (say 3% of Eritrea’s GDP) to be allocated for cultural and language development for the non-Tigre and non-Tigrigna ethnic communities…………..

    Please, let’s try to be problem solvers and talk about solutions for a change – instead of daily ethnic Tigrigna bashing. Thank you.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Semere Tessfay,

      In this comment of yours at least we see eye to eye on one point. Creating a bicameral legislative body one by proportional representation and the other by equal representation. The chamber of equal representation for all our social groups is the one you call it “the Senate”. I will not argue as to what should we call the chamber. You see brother there is no other way that our minorities could get fair political representation than in the legislative. The executive is for the political parties and the judiciary is for qualified legal communities. On the other points you made we need more discussion to make fair power devolution to the periphery. But you have my thumbs up for recognizing the political representation of our minorities. One step forward. I have never thought Semere and myself to come on the same page for any given political context of Eritrean issue. You make me say never say never.

      Regard

      • Kokhob Selam

        Yes EMA,

        All those none stop meetings we make in different time and place should have an open agenda to
        discuss on the way Amanuel put it. I think it is because we didn’t openly put things that we always fail in processing plans. I can’t wait to see someone giving us other alternatives.Although I have a bit doubt on the accuracy of data on the chart and the quantity of ethnic groups mentioned, and I am a bit confused on how to take care of the already existing parties scattered here and there (not because of ideological differences but because of the old story or back ground of politicians) of I am optimistic that we will
        succeed in solving social problems since we have people who have deep knowledge like the writer above.

        The above post was written by me on post I remember…

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Semere T,

      Ideas in pursuit of “… search[ing] a fundamental solution to our governing problem”. Thank you, sir, for this statement. Accepting existence of problems make 50% of the solution (forgive me if I am exaggerating). My interest in this statement emanates from the fact that it heralds a message that get us out of a debate in a closed box: Tigrigna is majority against all others when divided; and is 50% when the rest cluster themselves under whatever rubric. It is good that you have challenged others to provide ideas on what ail our society, and expose it to unknown future whose remote signals lurk on the horizon.

      So, you have my vote for opening the way, except that the Moslems are not saying that “ኣብ ልብና ዘላ ፈሊጥኩም: ‘ታ ሽግር ባዕልኹም ፍትሕዋ: ተዘየሎ ኣይንሕጎስን ኢና “. This arrogant and reduces the value of what you intended to write in this post. I think, the smart Tesfai that you are, moslems of any among our society for that matter, have not yet succumbed to the bounty fate could provide. They just have not become so fatalistic that they have no option but await others to find out when is closed in their hearts and minds and throw them some rights on a “መብለዕ ቂርሲ” as token of soothing their conscience.

      On the 1997 constitution and author (s), I agree with you. That document doomed from the beginning because the sponsor or the employer had not really meant it. He had used the process just for buying time until his way to absolute power be paved clear from any challenges inside his own organization or the outside world.

      On the system of governance you have discussed, stating a unitary state set up as an only option is premature (theoretically speaking that is). The writing of the future constitution should not be preempted by a prior prescription though it is legitimate groups or individuals could state their views such as some organizations have already done in their programs. The point I am trying to drive home is as many other pending matters, constitution making process is also a constitutional issue that has to be determined through proper and legitimate mechanisms prior the drafting entity would be assigned. Moreover, what you have stated in item (3) hints a kind of fait accompli, and that the job of the constitution writer will have to be “CURB THE EXCESS POWER of ethnic Tigrignas to a level that is FAIR and ACCEPTABLE”. The assumption here is the constitution should be built on the facts on the ground as existing currently, allocations of power and resources should follow ethnic numbers. Such an approach could also face prepositions in kind. The reasonable criteria or guidelines should anchor on the idea of citizenship exercised on terms of rights and duties, and not on ethnic or confessional givens. This will pave way for allocations based on competences and qualifications on state and resources levels. In a word, the state should be an entity of individual citizens and their place in it rather than other particular formations of the society. Besides, notions such as “Ethnic Tigrignas don’t have any evil intention to harm other ethnics or faiths” pose as overstating things. Who said others have ill intentions against Tigrigna? Current and future debate has nothing to do with our kebessa compatriots; it has to do a lot with a dictatorship that stands on them as power base. Otherwise the future and what it will have in store will have equal impact or bearing on all. The ship should be stirred towards the rescuing destination for all.

      As final word, let me state that the points you have stated in A, B, and C fall in the realm of constitutional dispensations. I agree they are worth deliberating on. Some of them, the bi-cameral representation has already been the air. I think, if my memory helps me, our brother Herui Telda Bairu had floated some ideas in one of his writings. I do not remember now where and when. If I am mistaken I ask forgiveness in advance.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Good morning Ismailo,

        Hiruy wanted the second chamber on equal basis, equal christian and Muslims, instead on the social group basis to address the minority. Religious equality does not address the grievances of our minorities. The political problem in Eritrean is not the inequality of religion, it is the unfair distribution of political and economic of our social makes. My understanding: the framing of Eritrean politics with religion by our minorities is to find a united voice to challenge and to balance the dominant force of the christians. I hate to frame politics on religious basis. And therefore, if we address the grievances of our minorities, as it should be, the Eritrean politics will find a win win political resolution. Hiruy’s Idea is problematic from the get go.

        regards

        • Ismail AA

          Ahlen Aman,

          Thank you for remembering Herui’s views. I think he was inspired by the representation in the post 1952 parliament. The 68 seats comprised 34 each on confessional basis.

          Having written this, I hope you did not misunderstand me when I responded to Semere’s statement on Moslems. I agree with you political arrangements based on confessional or ethnic or even other sectorial grounds end up in glossing over the rights of individual citizens in a state. In other words, their loyalty get torn between state and sub-state.

          As I have state in my comments, the best interest of the citizen lies in rights and duties equilibrium irrespective of confessional or ethnic affiliations. Fairness and justice will depend on how far the constitution will rest on real safeguards that orient the human and material resources towards fair development plans framed on priorities and needs of social members of society. This will make fair distribution of political and economic rights as you have stated.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            Our thinking so far is congruent towards liberal philosophy and towards understanding the grievances loomed in the Eritrean politics. And I do not think we will be different addressing them. So I didn’t misunderstood you to your input in replying our brother Semere. Your thoughts are well organized and well put for your readers. This might be the last engagement for I am going away from town for a week. But if time permit will try to follow awatistas. Have a good one till then.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Aman,
            Thanks. Have good time and stay well.

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Ismail AA

        1. – “Current and future debate has nothing to do with our kebessa compatriots……” Really?

        Sir, in these quotes from this article where do you see the PFDJ regime?

        – “Ethnic Federalism in Eritrea is a recipe for disaster. It is a call for putting Tigrinya nationality under one banner, united and powerful. It is a step closer towards what the Agazian movement is calling for, eventually, the creation of Tigrinya/Tigrayans dominated state with its extended borders.”

        Who is the enemy here?

        2. – ” I believe you can still preserve your land, promote your language, enrich your culture and tradition and at the same time enjoy a meaningful self-determination in another way than under ‘ethnocratic political system’.”

        Is the PFDJ regime ethnic Tigrigna (ethnocratic) regime? Are ethnic Tigrignas the sole beneficiary of the PFDJ regime? To avoid future Eritrean governments from being called “Tigrigna ethnocratic” regimes, what should ethnic Tigrigna’s equitable fair share be in future Eritrean governments? Was ELF an Islamist organization?

        2. – “I want you (the Non-Tigrigna ethnics) to have your own nationality parliaments which have separate powers from that of National/Central Parliament.”

        Is this what the Eritrean opposition really wanted? In this website, it is an everyday normal thing to read such rhetoric, and I’ve never seen any outrage from the Awate heavyweights. What does that tell you?

        3. – “I….. will never suggest to you (the non-Tigrigna ethnics), to hand over all the powers to any national parliament even, if it is a democratically elected one.”

        So, if not “democratic rule” and “democratically elected leadership” then, what is the endgame here?

        Ismail: I know you’re ready tell me, ‘this is not an article I penned and these are not my words’. And that is very true. But you don’t need to – silence is speech in itself. I suppose you read the article and didn’t have any qualm with it, and that speaks volume in itself.

        But let me quote you:

        4. – “Moslems are not saying that “ኣብ ልብና ዘላ ፈሊጥኩም: ‘ታ ሽግር ባዕልኹም ፍትሕዋ: ተዘየሎ ኣይንሕጎስን ኢና “. This is arrogant and reduces the value of what you intended to write in this post.”

        Sorry, you felt that way, but that is the reality. The Eritrean opposition (including you) don’t have any coherent message that articulate how to move forward – meaning (a) what the Eritrean constitution ought to look like (b) what ethnic Tigrignas and other ethnics equitable power distribution should look like (c) what strategies and benchmarks we ought to have to assure equal rights under the law and equal opportunity for every individual Eritrean citizen (d), how resources public services and opportunities ought to be distributed among our communities, to insure unity peace stability and prosperity for all, in order to change the quality of life of our people for the better……

        All you hear every single day from the Eritrean opposition is (a) ethnic Tigrigna bashing (b) praising the Addis regime more than the Ethiopians themselves (c) copy paste propagate SEMG, ICC, CoI….propaganda (d) calling those who are defending and building Eritrea SLAVES (e) encouraging young Eritrean to leave their country subtly and at times openly (f) political Islam, ethnic politics, regional politics, erecting walls between communities…….

        Nothing about themselves (the opposition), nothing about defending Eritrea’s territorial integrity, nothing about future NATIONAL economic plan for Eritrea, nothing about how they (the opposition) are better than the PFDJ regime, nothing about………… Just, blame, complain, whine, count mistakes and misdeeds – which are not alternative ideas in themselves.

        I hope you prove me wrong with your alternative ideas.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Ismail AA

          Selam Semere Tesfai,

          Fine that you have responded to the comments I made with focus on your call for exchanging ideas on points you listed about “fundamental solution to our governing problem”. I was a kind of lured by this commonly concerning matter. That was really my departure point without failing to note in passing the arrogant “ኣብ ልብና ዘላ ፈሊጥኩም: ‘ታ ሽግር ባዕልኹም ፍትሕዋ” attitude towards the people you asked to provide ideas. If this is not an expression of arrogant attitude of a person who has persuaded himself that the status quo at had put him in position to act as foster father. I think worthy readers in this forum are smart enough to note the message you intended to pass.

          Furthermore, what I understood from your response comments is that I did not understand you well. The impression I got was that you were inviting people to engage because you have recognized governance problem exists, which I thought it was a genuine call useful ideas that help enhance resolution of the problem you had cited.

          But, it turned out that your interest was something different, and you quickly jumped back to your old and familiar trench of defending the status quo just like a tortoise that sticks out its head to look around and enjoy the surrounding, and then at slightest sound recoils its head back as far it can inside the shell. What I got was return your favorite cut and past spree and complained that I did not respond to what the author of the article had written, and conveniently concluded that not doing so (silence) constituted approval.

          Now I want to close these remarks by a few words on the complaint about the opposition. Unless you have made your mind not to care or read, many of the opposition organizations do have alternative ideas enshrined in their political programs. If you would care to appraise a few of them you would not you would be in better position to sort out if they would constitute alternatives from the point of view of their owners. The only thing you complaint hints is that they failed to back their ideas with the logic of force, besides failing to rally behind the despot’s aggressive adventures such as igniting destructive border that cost thousands of killed and maimed plus exposing the security of the still internally fragile new state.

          By the way, in my view, at the moment the territorial integrity and sovereignty are being protected by the despot’s powerlessness rather than strength because had felt strong he would not halted provoking the neighbors left and right and risked the future of the state. You and me know that what is left for him is spying and surveillance capabilities sufficient to suffocate the people and prolong his power.

    • Mez

      Greetings Semere,

      Waw, this is an article by itself.

      Your reasoning 2,a) is not strong enough–I beleive.

      I will have to contemplate more of the federal arrangement; due to the war like history of the nation.

      Thanks

    • Abraham H.

      Selam Ato Semere,
      You said “The 1997 Eritrean constitution is dead for good!”. I want to tell you that it is not the first ever Eritrean Constitution written by Eritreans themselves, that has been dead, but the one who declared it dead-DIA and his worshipers, like you who’ve been dead morally and conscientiously. The reasons you gave for your declaration of the document’s death:
      a) it being accepted only by the Tigrinyas not others; I’ don’t know how you came to this conclusion because there has never been a research to discuss the acceptance or non-acceptance of the document among the various Eritrean ethnic groups. From what we know, the constitution building process was led by a constitution commission set up from within the PFDJ Central Council, some intellectuals, as well as some Eritreans outside the realm of the PFDJ. The Commission led by the respectable doctor Bereket Habte Silase conducted extensive nationwide, as well as in the diaspora, seminars and discussions among the Eritrean people to get the needed feedback and opinions of the public, a process that lasted for three years. At the end of this exhaustive process, the document was ratified by a 500+ member Constituent Assembly comprising of the then National Assemby and other representatives of the Eritrean people, including the diaspora communities.
      b) Here you are being true to your nature of denigrating anyone who criticises the regime that you worship
      c) Here, again, you are parroting what has come out of the mouth of the dictator, I could only say shame on you! What is really that the Eritrean people have learned in the years after the ratification of the Eritrean Constitution upto now regarding a constitition building process? About how to make a brute authoritarian dictator?
      And lastly I want to tell you what you’ve written about the person of the respectable doctor, indeed, the father of Eritrea’s first self-written Constitution, is nothing but ክንደአን ዘይኣኽላስ…

    • saay7

      Selamat Semere:

      You have perfect the art of branding really well. Between the great divide of those who mostly or entirely support the Gov of Eritrea and those who mostly or entirely oppose it, you have positioned yourself in some above-it-all position where you (theoretically) have staked out an independent position but (practically) devote all your energies to criticizing the stereotypical opposition. The stereotypical opposition that u have constructed in your head spends all its time in “Tigrinya bashing.” By readership and audience size, the most popular Eritrean opposition media outlets are awate, Asennai, Erena, Facebook Live broadcasts, Facebook posters, Paltalk talkers and any reasonable assessment of their content tells any reasonable person that your stereotype is wildly off and frozen in some time capsule.

      Similarly, within the Awatista community, you have created a heavy-hitters and soft-hitters (?) camp where you have (again) staked out a position where you can criticize the heavy-hitters.

      Who are the heavy-hitters? And what makes them so? And have none of them had their positions known on what they envision in the post-Isaias Eritrea?

      In short inaccuracy of your description of Eritreas political actors is only matched by your degree of confidence of what future Eritrean politics will be like. If your knowledge of Eritreas current trends are so wildly off, shouldn’t you temper (just a bit) your certitude about what will happen in the future?

      As for your proposal for ensuring harmonious coexistence among Eritreas social groups, I don’t think the issue is how many legislative bodies Eritrea should have but how much power and autonomy should be given to the provinces. And that, in 2017, is no longer an everybody-except-the-Tigrinya-speakers issue (which may have been the case in the 1990s and 2000s. It’s the demand of everyone INCLUDING many Tigrinya speakers who feel completely disenfranchised.

      saay

    • Selamat Semere Tesfay,

      A feather weight input meanwhile:

      “But as you can see there is a problem: the heavyweights of Awate are not saying much. The reason? The Muslim stakeholders who truly believe, the…. ”

      You are too much of a heavyweight, I think/thought, to succumb to such a blatant falsity and champion/propagate it.

      ጻጸ

  • Robel Cali

    Hello Everyone

    The writer thinks Tigrinya people have it good. And he seems to be concerned that if Tigrinya people unite, its bad news for other Eritreans. Tigrinya people are the most educated group in the Horn of Africa. They can stand on their own two feet without any other Eritrean group’s assistance. Granted, they are better off within a united Eritrea but if the Tigrinya bashing persists, I think at some point, they are going to say, “we don’t need you”. They can’t keep turning the cheek forever. Either you grow up and come to your senses or your going to see what a real failed state is going to look like with you (Tigrinya bashers) running the show and no Tigrinya there to help you.

    The biggest losers in a TPLF-inspired ethnic federalism (that’s where the idea and push is coming from) are Jebertis and Rashaidas. Name a Tigrinya village in the highlands that will forfeit their ancestral land to Jebertis? Ditto for Hidarebs and Tigres when it comes to Rashaidas. This is a recipe for disaster. Either we all live on the land as equals or we can fight over it like barbarians. There are no other options.

    And while i agree each region should be allowed to have its own law making ability, I think it should be within reason and free from religious-inspired laws. Because I have a feeling if there are no limitations then there will be two Eritreas: a secular progressive highland and a conservative religious lowland. If that is the case then the highlands will not be a playground for religious people to escape to from the calamities of their own religious laws like the Sudanese have done with Asmara in recent years. Either come to reality that religious inspired laws are not compatible with modern societies or be brave enough to declare independence and suffer on your own as an independent state.

    Lastly, There is no Agazian Movement. It’s a one man youtube hate show. No sane person cares for the guy.

    • Mez

      Dear Robel,

      You didn’t support your statement with data; which means you are more gossip based, and biased.

      Thanks

      • Robel Cali

        Hi Mez

        Since the Italians arrived, Tigrinya people have been known as the most educated in the region. Within Eritrea it’s not debatable. Within the region it really isn’t either but I guess I’ll post some authors/historians who hold this view point:

        “Although endowed with a better educated citizenry than its neighbors, Eritrea has limited agricultural potential and long years of war have weakened its commercial and industrial base.” – The Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions, By Jack A. Goldstone, P. 156

        “It was the fifty years of Italian rule that irrevocably separated Eritreans from Ethiopians. Under the Italians, Eritreans made great strides into the twentieth century, that left them better educated and more sophisticated than their neighbors to the feudal south. The Eritreans began to develop a collective consciousness of being people with a connected past and a common destiny and the Eritrean nationalistic culture was born. ” Eritrea Political Layout, a History. By Edward Baldwin

        “They [Eritreans] are generally better educated, more urbane and cosmopolitan than Ethiopians, and they had apparently concluded that their country cousins constituted a burden rather than a base.” Inequity in the global village: recycled rhetoric and disposable people, By Jan Knippers Black

        • Abi

          Hi Robel
          I agree in everything you said. I’m glad Ethiopia is not a burden anymore. What a relief!!!!

        • Hi Robel Cali,
          How do you compare what you said above with the following?
          Education in italian colonies: “A small minority of Africans, who were permitted to attend schools created for a section of the local population, were given an education that was designed to reinforce their role as inferior and as targets for an idea of a superior ‘Italian civilisation’.”
          “Education for Eritreans were limited to the Italian language and basic skills, and was designed to produce menials for the Italians.”
          “The Eritrean student should be able to speak our language moderately well; he should know the four arithmetical operations within normal limits…and of history he should know only the names of those who have made Italy great.” But education was never widely available to Eritreans, and fourth grade was the highest level an Eritrean was allowed to reach. There were only 20 schools for Eritreans in 1938-39, with 4,177 students.
          “The British increased the number of elementary schools to 100 and opened 14 middle and 2 secondary schools. The curriculum introduced in 1943 covered agriculture, woodworking, clay-modeling, carpet-making, shoe-making, reading, writing, and hygiene for boys, and reading, writing, hygiene, weaving, sewing, basket work, and domestic science for girls.”
          None of the above are mine.
          So, this is why you say Tigrinya people have been known as the most educated in the region, they made great strides into the twentieth century, during the italian colonial rule, that left them better educated and more sophisticated than their neighbors, the feudal south,.

        • Mez

          Good day Robel,

          What about this, I will just quote:

          “A. Eritrean Education – Italian Colonial Period (1890-1941):
          A formal European style of education was first introduced into Eritrea during the Italian colonial period. The first schools for Italians only, were opened in 1896. There was only a very gradual opening up of education opportunity for Eritreans, beginning only after the World War -I. It is reported that in 1923 there were only 523 Eritrean students enrolled in the country.
          The purpose of Italian education in Eritrea was clear and narrow. It was to indoctrinate the Eritreans with devotion for Italy and a respect for Italian culture and civilization.
          These schools were opened for Eritreans to become worthy elements of the native troops, interpreters, clerks, telephone operators and typists.
          Allen (1953) pointed out that “there had been about twenty- five (25) schools in operation during the Italian colonization. In addition Eritreans were allowed to learn or study up to grade four: this was extended to grade five at the end of the colonization period. The medium of the instruction during this period was Italian.”
          It is observed that in 1935, 2,472 students were enrolled. By 1939, the total number enrolled in Eritrea was 4,177 students. This shockingly small number of Eritrean students had further declined by 1941. Then there were only 16schools in operation.
          There were 152 teachers in these schools including 33 Italian elementary school teachers, 86 nuns and 27 Eritrean assistants. Moreover only one out of five students remained in these schools until the end of the school year.”

          And then:

          ” Eritrean Education – Ethiopian Period (November 1962 – May 1991):

          In 1964, it was reported that there were 200 primary schools opened, enrolling over 42,000 students. There were also 7 secondary schools, with almost 19,000 students operating, with a small evening program, university extension and a TTC. There were also a surprising number of private schools and about 30,000 students enrolled in government schools. But after the heavy and fierce fighting began in areas surrounding Asmara 1975, the number of schools and students dramatically dropped. Many students were massacred, mass imprisonment, detention, blockage of main roads, others were forced to serve in the military and some others were left their towns either to join the liberation fronts or to live as refugees through out the world.”

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Mez

            You’re using the same arguments Ethiopians used to make. They used to mock Eritreans because they were only educated up to the 4th grade during the fascist era of Italian occupation but the irony was they were hardly educated during that point in history.

            That’s like you’re starving but refuse to get some food because it’s not enough for you. Some education is always better than no education.

            And even today, despite having a large semi-nomadic population, Eritrea is ahead of its neighbors in literacy rates.

            My point still stands: Tigrinya people are the most educated in the region. The second most educated ethnic groups are Jebertis of Eritrea.

          • Mez

            Dear Robel,

            Please be specific and FACT driven in your arguments. That way we learn from each other. The above quote I gave you is an official compilation from the Eritrean government; if you need I can provide a citation.

            Those people whom you may call educated, most of them are Eritrea/Ethiopian education products after the federation. The generation of Dr. Berkey–give and take 10 years from that are all products of the Eritrea-Ethiopia education system.

            Otherwise I haven’t seen any historical documents supporting your claim; if you have one, pls share with.

            Thanks

            PS: probably we have to define what education means.

          • Abi

            Hi Mez
            One can be Educated or Instructed.

  • blink

    Dear heavy hitters of awate forume
    I would like to take this moment to thank Mr.Ahmeddin Osman, before you all move to other Topic , Sir you have been hitting such topic and i always love your take , you are not like some people ,who wanted us to live in the past and debate by it none stop. I and i hope many have followed the debate between favorite people of this forum. I hope also many people learn some thing from such people. We need such articles in this forum. I believe these revolution dehumanize-rs has no idea on such topic because their knowledge about the Eritrean fabric is limited . They have zero interest too , Look down “where are they ” none of them is around . Saay , Amanuel , MS , Ismael , Tes , Berhe , peace and others …… i personally count on you guys. when i type awate.com I always wish all of you are around to help us get some perspective on such issues , i personally believe these who wanted us to live in the past wanted us to continue going back word . we have read countless articles about our revolution. thanks to some evil wishers they take us down the road to debate about our own cause.

  • MS

    Selma All
    I think calling for the intervention of IsmailAA, our conflict manager/Arbitrator General, is needed. It is my opinion that Emma and SAAY need the gentle IsmailAA. Federal or not federal, let’s first have the opportunity to discuss it in Eritrea.

    • Ismail AA

      Hayak Allah Ustaz wa Ramadan kareem,
      Thank for the generous offer. I won’t complain about the job specification, but I not sure how lucrative the paycheck is going to be. It should be once a life time chance given the cruciality and importance of the job.
      Now, here is a hint of how the assignment would be tackled by the honorable arbitrator. It is clear the riddle for resolution is hidden in the elusive word called trust. Saay is arguing that we must accept the 1997 constitution because it came with safeguards attached, namely the law will take care of the problems we may face on the way of implementation. Aman is refusing to take risk because experience had demonstrated that those who wield power could not and should not be trusted. In other words, he won’t take the fulture in good face and accept the law that the constitution perscribes would take care of problems of implementation. So, he wants a new constitution written in political and social environment that give space for fair participation of the stakeholders.
      Thus, my job would be how to goad the two debate masters to forget for the moment the constitution, unitary centralized or decentralized type of governance, bear with me and focus the debate on how to tackle creating trust between you two. This will give you comfortable state of mind to proceed with the debating positions that will lead you to negotiation that will narrow difference and reach mutually advantageous compromise: win-win and not remain bogged in debating and debating.
      So, ustaz MS, I have shown you how I will perform. If you think I am up to the job, let me know and notify saay and Aman that I will be waiting them with stringent house rules.

      • G. Gebru

        Dear Ismail AA,
        Ramadan kerim.
        I think the difference between saay7 and Aman is simple.
        This is my assumption that saay7 is afraid of the existing precarious political and social situation of the country and a simple rong move can take Eritreans back to square one to the extent that we might lose what is achieved so far.

        On the other hand if I am reading Aman well, I think what is achieved so far is for him unreversable under any situation or condition and go for more radical change. That will solve our political and social grievances ones and for all.

        Sorry for the interference and wish you success in your new task in reconciling these two Awate giants.
        Thanks and God bless us all.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear G. Gebru,
          Thank you for the Ramadan greeting. You are right the two giant debators are dealing with the issue from own perspectives. But, the bottom line is that both of them have their heart and soul on the future wellbeing of their people. That is important and we benefit from their experiences and ideas the bring to the discussion.
          If you ask me about my wish, I will tell you that I want to be graced to see them members in our national commission arguing on matters of what is good for our people and nation soon after our people would get relief from the nightmare they are in.

          • blink

            Dear ismael
            I love these two guys and i always wanted them to debate with out increasing the temprature because we can only learn from both unless what is the point debating with our revolution bashers.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear blink,
            Love for those two guys in this forum is universal. They are just addictive and like-able. And, do not worry; they know how to move the notch down when they feel it getting a bit hoter. They are masters and experienced because they have around for quite long here.

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Ismail AA,
            The Ramadan greeting is wajeb.
            Dear brother as you stated it there is no one who doesn’t wish good things to his country. As a divers society regardless of our quotas in numbers it is a must to accomodate divers ideas and find means of implimenting them to the moderate satisfaction of all.
            After all we are people who until recently were living in peace and harmony with the simple respective local laws known as heghi endaba and the central goverment sponsered civil and creminal laws.
            Thanks.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Gebru,
            Keep on hopeful and optimistic. Our people shall inevitably will end the current abnormality created by a regime monopolized by power hungry man. At the end of the day our youth shall gather their acts together and defeat the dictatorship, in the same way our youth did to defeat occupation and win independence.

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Ismail AA,
            I am always hopefull and optimisic about our country. The problem is what I am hopefull and optimistic of might not necessarly be in agreement with that of my other sistrers and brothers.
            Take Abi’s comments seriouslly. የሄ ሰውየ ደብተራ ወይም ቃልቻ ሳይሆን አይቀርም። ጠንቀቅበል፣ (ለሳቅ ያህል)
            Thanks.

          • Abi

            Hi G Gebru
            I don’t even take myself seriously .
            እንደኔማ ቢሆን እንደፍላጎቴ
            ቢሰማልኝ ኖሮ እግዚኦታ ፀሎቴ
            መች ይገባ ነበር ወንበዴ ከቤቴ?

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Abi,
            መገዲ ምስ ወዲ ዓዲ እንደሚባለው፣
            አራት ኪሎና ስድስ ኪሎ የተደለተው፣
            ወንድሞችህ አይደሉም ጐተው ያስገቡ ወንበዴው፣
            መጽሐፋቸው ትተው የሌላ መፅሐፍ ወደው፣
            ያባቶታቸው ታሪክና ጀግንነት አካላሽተው፣
            አባቶቻቸው ረስተው የባዕድ ሐወልት ተክለው፣
            አረ ተወየኝ ስንቱን እንበለው፣
            የአፍ ብልጫ የማያስተካክለው።
            ይልቅስ ተባብረን እንለምን፣
            ለዛ ጨክኖ የማይጨክን።
            አመሰግናለሁ።

          • Abi

            Hi G Gebru
            እስቲ ፀሎትህን በትግርኛ ሞክር:: የላይኛው አማርኛ መስማት ካቆመ ሰነባብቷል::

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Abi,
            ታድያኮ የአማሮች ዱዓ ሰምተዋል፣
            ለኤርትራዎች ነጻነት ሰጥቶዋል፣
            ዛሬ ካገኙ በኋላ ቢረሱ፣
            የሰጠ እንደሚቀማ ቢያስታውሱ፣
            ባልፎከሩ ባልተግበሰበሱ።
            የሚያሳዝነው ሻዕብያን አምኖ የሚፎክረው፣
            ባለነገሩ ማንመሆኑን የማያውቀው።
            ለዛሬ ይህን ይበቃሃል።
            ከሰላምታ ጋር።

          • Abi

            Hi G Gebru
            የለም አይበቃኝም ትንሽ ጨምርበት
            ሻእቢያዎች ያልቅሱ እኔም ልሳቅበት

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Abi,
            እነሱ ያልቅሱ እኔ ልሳቅበት ብለህ ስትለኝ፣
            የወያኔ ካድሬ መስልከኝ፣
            አፍንጫ ሲመታ ዓይን ያለቅሳል እንደሚባለው፣
            ማልቀሳቸው ማልቀስየን መሆኑ መቸቀረወ፣
            በዕላማ ብንለያይ ጀብሃ ሻዕብያ ብንባባል፣
            አራቢጣ እስጦቢያ ብንባባል፣
            እኮነን የአንድ መሬት ልጆች የፈጣሪ ብቅል።
            ከንግዲህ እዚህ ይበቃል።
            ከሰላምታ ጋር።

          • Abi

            Selam Gashe Ismail
            ምን እዳ ውስጥ ገባህ ወዳጄ! ዝሆኖች መሃል መገኘት አደገኛ ነው::
            This is all I say about the “giants” who have been arguing for the last 55 years.
            ሳይግባቡ ተጋቡ
            ሳይዋደዱ ዘጠኝ ወለዱ
            ሳይደራጁ አረጁ
            ሳይታነፁ ህግ ቀረፁ

            ዝሆኖች ሲጣሉ ብዙ ነው መዘዙ
            ምስኪኖች ሽሹ ጥጋችሁን ያዙ

          • Ismail AA

            Selam gashe abi,
            min larg wedaje. yeshmagelewosh ida aydelem indiye sewosh meshemgel. Ante bisha xelothn atnfegegn.

          • Abi

            Selam Gashe
            የኔ ፀሎት ሰሚ ቢያገኝ ኖሮ ይሄን ጊዜ ሳህል ተራራ ላይ እንደ ዝንጀሮ ተንጠላጥለህ ቀርተህ ነበር::
            እንደገባህበት አንተው ተወጣው:: ባይሆን እሳት አቀብልሃለሁ :: ያለውን የቸረ አይደል የሚባል

          • Ismail AA

            Selam gash abi,
            aw feTari cher aydel. xelothn bisema noro kezaw terara werjie abayn teshagre senga tera iders neber wey?

          • Abi

            Selam Gashe
            ሰንጋ ተራንማ ከነቄራው ተራራው ላይ ሆነህ በሪሞት ኮንትሮል ተቆጣጥረኸው ነበር ወደ መሬት ስትወርድ ማጣፍያው አጠረህ እንጂ::

          • ሰላማት ጋሸ ኣል ሰይድ ከቢር፡

            ጋሸ ‘ንትይ ኢልካዮ አወ ጓሲ
            ጠለ በጊዕ ብመሪሕ ግመለይ
            ከም ኣ መልይ ኣመለይ።

            ጻጸ

          • Selamat Abi,

            “ምስኪኖች ሸሹ” ኣዎ
            ሽሕን ዋልታን ኩኑ
            Grand Indeed.

            “ኣውራጉንዳን”

            ጻጸ

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Ismail AA,
            .
            I admire people who take upon thank-less jobs. Your “perilous venture” begins in earnest.
            I hope you take my input under advisement. I would like to submit, in blind trust, an idea to be presented at your discretion.
            .
            The conventional wisdom dictates that when an Eritrean constitution is being discussed at an Eritrean Forum, Ethiopians as a rule should not participate, if they do they should be severely ignored.
            However, since ideas are being thrown in for the long term well being of Eritreans and are being evaluated on merit, I wanted to submit one and only one item to be included in the constitutional framework. I am a one issue man.
            .
            The item is a declaration to Eritreans and Ethiopians in particular, to neighbors and the world in general that…….Eritrea will never become a staging platform for all the future unholy wars against Ethiopia.
            The immediate effect of such prominent declaration in the constitution or amendment to it relaxes Ethiopia. When Ethiopia is relaxed, Eritrea relaxes and love will be in the air. The sky is the limit for cooperation.
            Good luck.
            .
            Mr K.H

          • Berhe Y

            Dear K.H.

            I am sure Ismael AA will grant your wish. I would also like, I think, if the Ethiopians Awatist can participate in the Eritrean affairs and share their experience, it would make our constitution better.

            Having said that, I hope you can take the time and read Eritrea 1952 Constitution and what a lost opportunity that was to for the people of Eritrea and that of Ethiopia. Had we have leaders, the federal arrangement could have been spread to the rest of Ethiopia.

            https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=forums&srcid=MDU3ODY3ODQ0MjU0NDE3MzIxMTEBMDUxMjA3NzI0NTcyNzExODA3MDMBbk5tekdVUGRiRThKATAuNQEBdjI

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe, I’ve a simple question to you and other forumers.
            Was the federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia in 1952 the result of the free will of the Eritrean people as a whole or was it an arrangement that was imposed on the Eritrean people by Ethiopia with the blessing and fascilitation of its Superpower allies?

          • Mez

            Greetings Abraham,

            An outstanding question.

            Thanks

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abraham,

            I am not sure I am the right person to answer your question properly. I think others who are more qualified can do so.

            My understanding is that, Ethiopia, its allies and including Eritrean Unionist party were for total union as suppose to the other political groups for independence.

            The federation was a compromise that gave both fanctions, not a total union and not totally independent either.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Hawuna Berhe
            Where is Semere Andom? Still celebrating Canadian Independence Day?

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            He is around, probably just busy with work / life.

            It’s called Canada Day (didn’t really have to do any fighting to become independent) and it’s on July 1st. This year it’s special because Canada is celebrating 150th birthday.

            Berhe

          • Abi

            Thanks Hawuna Berhe
            Canada is a young country. Younger than some of Awatista around here.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe Y, thanks for the effort to reply to my question. After searching the web what I could read is that various historians, including, the father of our own, home-grown, unimplemented Constitution from 1997, Dr. Bereket Habte Silase, agree that the federation and the Constitution that enforced it were actually shoved down the throat of the Eritrean people by the then UN General Assembly and the Great Powers. They were neither the free choice of the Eritreans nor the result of a conclusive finding by the fact-finding Commision that was set up by the UN. Not only were Eritreans divided on issue, with the Ethiopian king applying excessive force, manupilations, and enlisting the support of the Orthodox Church in his campaign to gain control of Eritrea; but also the UN Commision disagreed on its recommendations. In my opinion, the federal arrangement was a bad omen as to what was in store for Eritreans from the Ethiopian Emperor; it was ill-fated project to begin with because it was not based on the free will of the Eritrean people.
            Against such a background, it amazes me when I see many Eritreans in this forum, you included, Berhe Y. with all due respect, when they try to canonize the federal arrangemnet of the 1950’s.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abreham,

            You asked me if the “the federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia in 1952 the result of the free will of the Eritrean people as a whole or was it an arrangement that was imposed on the Eritrean people by Ethiopia with the blessing of its Superpower allies?”

            Here where my focus is on the “Eritrean people as a whole?”

            I think there is no point in denying the facts. Half of Eritrea (mostly Muslims) wanted total Independence and the other half (Christians) wanted total union. The British proposed to divide the country, the Muslims to join Sudan and the Christians with Ethiopia. The Italians that were there wanted Eritrea back to Italy.

            As you indicated the Orthodox Church and most of it’s adherent wanted and supported the union. A good example is, you can relate all the names given to their daughters / sons almost in every house hold. Awetash, Alganesh, Tsehaynesh, Amaresh, Asefash, Hibret, Ethiopia, Brinesh or what ever name rymes with “nesh”, is I think the support and the desire they family had with the “union” of Ethiopia. Without exaggeration, I think there is almost every household with that kind of names…

            I personally do not hold against the people for wanting to join/ union with Ethiopia because from their point of view, I think they had a very good reason both economically, politically and socially.

            Knowing what we know now and how things has turned out, perhaps it was best if we had gone our separate ways. Had the federation was implemented in it’s true sprite I think it was a good compromise, specially in 1952 where the entire continent was under colony one way or the other.

            From realist point of view, even in the past 120 years since Italian colonization, it’s the only time Eritreans had the best administration EVER. And it’s not because of Ethiopia and the federation, but because Eritreans had their own government and their own parliament. When I hear Yemane Baria song, “Eritrea hagerey baito ms aqoment” I remember that time.

            Berhe

          • blink

            Dear Abraham
            I think it was imposed on us by force but soft force.

          • Mez

            Dear Blink,

            What is soft force?

            Some bench mark info…

          • blink

            Dear Mez
            You can read a book called bound to lead by Joseph nye but in short he defined it like .. to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than by coercion (hard power), using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Recently, the term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations. In 2012, Nye explained that with soft power, “the best propaganda is not propaganda”, further explaining that during the Information Age, “credibility is the scarcest resource.

            Even now weyane are using it but I am sure they know,they already fail. Now do the short man kill people yes he does but he was wise to implement his policies by the help of western nations. The Eritrean people knew nothing about federation with Ethiopia in 1952 nor do they even know what the hell is that.

          • Mez

            Good day Robel,
            From what I red, historical documents on the ground, it was Asmara and it’s industrial who had the vital soft power of that era. Not Addis Ababa.

            Thanks

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Berhe Y,
            .
            Thanks for the link. I will read it.
            I think, it was the late Prime Minister at the time (Aklilu) who was a strong advocate for keeping the federation but the Emperor listened to others.
            .
            Who knows as to what could have been. There were plenty opportunities then and there are plenty of opportunities now.
            Luck never lined up. We have to prey for wise leaders.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Kim,

            I am staunch (chauvinist) believer in the truism that wisdom has no nationality. A person who shares wisdom and good will is endowed by his creator. He can have any identity, and when we read and listen to what a persons says or writes we are out in pursuit of wisdom. So, at a minute you grant your wisdom to us Eritreans, you are no longer Ethiopian; you are just a wise human being who wants and aspires good for others.

            Now back to your point. Eritreans as people are aware of how much peace and tranquility is cherished by themselves and their neighbors. The reverse is also true. They know before any that they would never make their land available for aggressors or invaders, or become pawns in the hand of others to harm their neighbors. The sovereignty they had paid dearly in blood and sweat is not just disposable for the benefit of others. After all, we Eritrean know that we will be first trench in case our neighbors shall engage in wars against invaders deploying in our land.

            I think you and me realize the source of the anxiety that Ethiopians feel skeptical that Eritrea could be staging pad of aggression. This seems to have been entrenched in the psyche of ordinary citizens due to prolonged secular-cum-religious propaganda dressed in some past historical events such as the Turks, Egyptians and Italians. But the fact is history has turned the corner. At that time there was sovereign Eritrea and the territories that comprised it were fragile and dispersed.

            But Ethiopia or regions that comprised it had faced invasion from other directions. In the middle ages or so called 13th century restoration periods up to the time of Imam Ibn Ibrahims (Gragn) northward push, or the Mahdists of the Sudan, there had been intermittent wars. History cites wars of Amde Zion, Zara Yacob with the eastern and south eastern rim principalities. Thus, suspecting today’s Eritrea could become a launching pad for aggression against Ethiopia has become devoid of relevance. There will be no need for constitutional guarantee, mutual care and cooperation will do.

          • Selam Kim Hanna,
            But, is it really possible for eritrea to put a clause in her constitution that declares that she will never become a staging platform for aggression against ethiopia. This is equivalent to accepting in front of the whole world community that she is a rogue country and she has been doing so (whatever the truth may be). This should come through her readiness for good relations and not through the constitution, I think.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear K.H., asking for inclusion of an item of guarantee that “Eritrea will never become a staging platform for all the future unholy wars against Ethiopia”, is ridiculous. Alternatively, it could have been done through a mutual treaty of peace, and respect of mutual sovereignty between the two countries. But even this is not guaranteed. Speaking from the Eritrean perspective; how could we trust a neighbor that has not only once, but at least, twice broken its obligations towards us?
            1-Ethiopia broke the UN enforced federal arrangement of the 1950’s
            2-Ethiopia broke its promise of unconditional acceptannce of the border ruling of 2002

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abraham H,
            .
            The idea was shot down. It didn’t get any altitude.
            Perhaps, you might be right, it was ridiculous. I thought in the discussion, the identical/similar article/amendment could be required or negotiated on our side, to radically change the existing attitudes.
            As you said history is against it and we might just have to live with all the possibilities.
            .
            Mr. K.H

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Ismailo,

        I welcome different persecutives in a debate, for it helps you to understand the mind of peoples as well as you could learn something that was not in the picture of your mind, whether you support it or not. The only thing I hate is adjectives and ridiculing. Saay could have any kind of position and that is his God given right. But he has the habit of playing with crude adjectives and has to stop that. He should not worry to have irreconcilable views b/c we are not assigned to resolve the sociopolitical ills of our society. We are just dropping our ideas into “Bahri of ideas to be assorted in the frame of future constitutional process. That is it.

        So on my side, you have the green light to hear your wisdom from one of the rare.

        Regards
        Senay MeAlti

        • Ismail AA

          Ahlen Aman,

          Yes, you are absolutely right. We all visit this forum to learn and enjoy ideas brothers and sisters bring in to enrich our understanding of articles people like you and saay contribute. Every one of us cherish calm, decent and mature debates free unnecessary qualifications as you wrote. Having differences is a blessing because they source of wealth of ideas from different perspectives. If we agree on everything, then the debate would be dry and monotonous. That is why I meticulously follow when you and saay debate; and I assume many do.

          By the way, the MS comment was an expression of humor. I hope no one will take his suggestion serious. I just responded in kind – humor though some could have found my words tasteless. I think I would never dare to pretend and counselling Aman and saay. I mean who am I to risk such perilous venture.

      • saay7

        Selamat Sheik Ismail:

        Is this arbitration or mediation? Director or proxy? Will your findings be final and binding? 😀

        You described my position as follows: “Saay is arguing that we must accept the 1997 constitution because it came with safeguards attached, namely, the law will take care of problems we may face on the way to implementation. And, insists on why we invest time and energy when we already have one ready.”

        Not exactly and I suspect it is my fault because I wasn’t really trying to describe my position but to show that a decentrarlized unitary state is better than a centralized unitary state and any form of federalism (regional or federal). Now, here’s where I think the, um, colorful exchange with Emma commenced:

        He said he is happy to see the evolution of my view as I used to be for centralized unitary state. I said could you show me where I said that? Request Ignored.

        Then Emma asked me to explain what I meant when I said there is a fusion between executive and legislative in parliamentary systems. I gave multiple examples. Ignored.

        Then Emma in his usually emphatic note said in a parliamentary system legislators lose their vote privileges in the parliament once they join the executive. Berhe Yeman said not in Canada. Berhe ignored.

        Then Emma said the Eritrean constitution was the only one in the world that lets the parliament elect the president. Not so, said Abraham, and gave examples. Abraham ignored.

        I could go on and give you 3 more examples but that will suffice for now:

        Now, what is the point of having debates if one side insists on treating it like the indoctrination session you guys used to have in the Fronts. The whole points of debates is to change your mind or to rebut when you are presented with facts you were not aware of.

        Now, to my position. The 1997 Constitution’s ability to be used as a rallying document was diminished when the PFDJ itself disowned its own document. This was done in May 2014 (I wrote an article about it: Why Isaias Afwerki Invalidated the Eritrean Constitution.) Months earlier, some upper echelon of the PFDJ, using pen-names, had explained that the chairman of the constitutional commission of Eritrea, Dr. Bereket Habteselasse, acknowledging to a Canadian professor/lawyer that the Eritrean constitution does not provide sufficient safeguards to minorities had “unbeknownst to them [the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea], fatally compromised their autonomy and the legitimacy of the Commission and may have irreparably damaged the future of the constitution.”

        So now, we have wasted 1995-2017 (12 years of young Eritrea’s life) without a constitution with each side blaming the other for the absence of a constitution. My position is that the final draft of any future Eritrean constitution with envisions a decentralized unitary state will not look very different from the 1997 constitution and, therefore, it is good to start with that documents and make all the amendments that will safeguard the rights of minorities.

        On the other side of the debate, I see many arguments that deal only with the “I was not invited properly to the party” side of the story which, given the time we have wasted and the fact that a future constitution will not look all that much different from it, should be swallowed hard for the sake of the people.

        My other request is that since all these ideas we are floating and fighting over are not even ours–all of them borrowed from the West–it would give our debate more realism if we did away with vague phrases and actually spoke about Eritrea. How do we define regions? Who are the social groups? What are their grievances? How do you balance freedom with security? What are the risks and benefits of each proposal? These should be discussed in great detail now, not after an abrupt change seizes the country.

        saay

        • Ismail AA

          Hayak Allah saay (taqabel Allah qu’dakum we qiyamakum)

          I have presented proof of my performance and approach to MS. Decision to endorse the offer or not still pending. You won’t like me to toil for unpaid job. But I feel great that the parties in the case have already taken initiatives to elaborated their cases. But the judge has not yet been recruited by the honorable MS.

          Now, to begin with, the five things you mentioned do not apply. Arbitration will be too subjective and discretion driven. Mediation will not do either because ideas cannot be reconciled through mediation; persuasion may be better. Proxy doesn’t fit here because it means the judge’s job would be pulling strings one way or the other whenever proxy role player would not satisfy his perception.

          So, the approach will be direct, and will be enforced by the power of appeal. Since the arguments the two sides present make a lot of sense and powerful in their own right, there is no need for court proceedings. Each side can uphold own position with the condition that differences are better if they remain cordial. Thus, there will not be need for rulings – binding or optional. That much for the humor part with hope all will not fall as tasteless and dry.

          Now, after having read the feeds on both sides, I felt my response to Aman is equally relevant to you, too. Aman has no problem with elaborating your position on the matter. He just stressed that he does not like inserting “adjectives” in the debates. If that is the case, then the problem is solved. Each side can state views in plain way and language, and differences could be managed within the parameters of the norms that govern decent and respectful discussions.

          Thus, hoping MS would not forget to pay me for the time I spent in responding to the feedbacks I was honored with both parties in the case, I await the decision from MS of whether I will take up the offer or not.

          Have a nice Iftar time; in my place we have still several hours to go.

          • saay7

            Hala Isamilom:

            Of course I expect you to toil for an unpaid job: it’s an Eritrean “tradition”, thanks to MS’s front. So much so that a person who demands just compensation for his or her labor is considered selfish and self-centered 😀

            Actually, Emma and I will be fine. We go through these blowups once every six months and then we forget all about it.

            I am more interested in expanding the debate to ensure that it’s not one-on-one but with all stakeholders giving their input. I would love to hear from the two least heard from voices: those who insist on ethnic federalism and those who argue for unitary and centralized system. My only wish is that we actually talk about Eritreans: their land, their history, the different social groups and their priorities. Even if we don’t arrive at a consensus we will at least be exposed to all the possible viewpoints which is what a forum that aspires to be a university should deliver.

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you Saay7 –

            Just wish to see you and Ema on open debate..

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen saay and Aman,

            “Emma and I will be fine”. This was what I told one of the forumers yesterday who sounded a bit worried about raising the temperature in the debate. I told him not worry because they always move the notch down when they feel it getting a bit hotter, and tried to assure him that you two have nothing against one another but your hearts on the good of your people. In a debate it is always thrillingly beneficial when there are discordant than convergent views. People just get ideas from different perspectives and would have better condition to make sensible judgements. So, please continue to grace the forum with more debates, not less.

            Saay, you are right in wishing to hear and read more on those issues you have mentioned. Actually, I think so long as the Eritreans have not yet settled on one of them, there will be debates as had been happening intermittently in the past years. At the end of the day, the final and binding judgement shall fall in the realm of Eritrean people’s sovereign decision through the ballot box as prescribed by the law enshrined in their constitution.

            Now, you might be wondering what my position on the issue is that I am indulging in commenting on what others say and write on the matter, which is quite fair. Aman may be for sure, and saay might as well, know that I had been a loyal soldier of organized political organizations right from days the ELF was the only organization on the in the land. The news to you now is that I still am a loyal member of a working organization that is committed to a particular program in which the aspired form of governance has been enshrined through congresses. But, note that when I come to this forum and scribble things, I represent myself as person, and not the organization.

            Thus, I did my bit in the debates that had gone in the run ups to those congresses. The current political program prescribes a unitary system with decentralized administrative distribution of power. In other words, the state remains unitary but power will have to devolved to the peripheries or provincial bodies. Whether the old provincial partition shall be maintained or revised is an issue for the future.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Ismailo Selam,

            See bellow post of Ema ..has welcomed you to go head for debate .. when of course Saay7 has no problem if this will be materialized..

            what if you ..

            ask SGL to organize it? I am saying so because wider politicians….

            what if you .. discuss this planed for more people appear during discussion ..

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Ismailo,

            I assume you are a member of “hagerawi dehnet” correct me if I am wrong. You hinted also tha your organization believes on ” decentralized unitary government”. I am curious if you have debated in your organization about the types of decentralization, namely (a) political (b) administrative (c) fiscal decentralization. If you debated on them, based on the Eritrean reality how did come in to conclusion as to what kind of decentralization will be feasible to Eritrean however and in whatever are the unit of administration are curved. If somehow you have reached to give say “political decentralization” to the periphery, then what type of political administration did you find feasible from the three, namely (a) deconcentration (b) delegation (c) devolution. The reason I am asking is any organization can’t promote decentralized unitary government without knowing the types and which type they envision for our nation. Similar question I asked to EPDP members and I found it they don’t. Simple we are for “decntralized unitary government” is not enough as there are many types of it. I hope talking about the types among those who believe on decentralized unitary government is also quintessential. Don’t you think so?

            Regards
            Senay MeAlti

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Aman,

            Thank you for the feedback, and your assumption about my political-organizational affiliation is correct. The question you asked is profound in many aspects for students of political science and government. I would not be candid with you if I tell you the subjective and objective conditions through which the Eritrean organizations (fronts and now political formations) had allowed them to undertake the elaborate discourse on the matters you have listed in this feedback. Their nature and mission was limited to military pursuit to tackle the occupation army and mobilization of the people for that end.

            For that process, they needed political programs that highlighted broad outlines of their aspirations, and a program of rules that regulated operational relationships of the organs that made up the organizations. The issue of state and governance was understood as part of constitutional matters that fall in the realm of people’s sovereign rights that had to express themselves through duly incorporated legal mechanisms entrusted to state organs such as elected representatives and commissions etc. Thus, those political organizations had no legal capacities and mandates to discharge responsibilities of deciding on constitutional matters. But, this did not rule out that they could not pronounce their aspirations on those issues by way of general programmatic resolutions.

            To jump back to your question, if you have noted what I wrote you could see that my reference was to a unitary state and administrative matters under it. I wrote :

            ” the state remains unitary but power will have to be devolved to the peripheries or provincial bodies. Whether the old provincial partition shall be maintained or revised is an issue for the future.” The assumption here is the type of governance system has not been specified.

            The resolution pertaining to administration was drafted with the old provinces in mind without engaging in defining future administrative partitions which, as noted earlier, belonged to constitutional arrangements.
            Thus, the sub clause of the resolution under administration that our last congress had adopted came as follows:
            (b) “Adopting de-centralization to allow the regions to share power on the national level so that the injustices, which the diverse national groups have been suffering due to disproportionate development, shall be addressed.”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            Thank you for your input, as always. The reason I asked you is, I consider our struggle for liberating our country is transformed to the struggle of democracy and good governance. Even adopting decentralized administration in your political platform in itself is good example of political transfor

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Aman,

            I just saw your feedback. I agree with what your summed up endgame of the liberation forces (front) ought to have been. After the completion of the primary phase (winning independence) what had been on the secondary phase of of their mission should have had occupied the primary level on their priorities. The normal process was to transform to party formations, as you have rightly written.

            Some had actually started to lay down the preliminary grounds to transform their nature – from fronts of various tendencies to monolithic platforms (parties). As an example, I can cite my own organization at the time, namely, the ELF-RC.

            With the hope that the EPLF would act as transitional government and would change from liberation front status to party status, and would lead the country out of the previous phase to a new state and national building phase, the ELF-RC (Khartoum) had drafted its party platform, and adopted new policy that closed the chapter of armed struggle and ushered political participation.

            You might remember the debate a statement by Tesfai Degiga at the Kassel Festival of 1991 had triggered when he declared that his organization had turned the muzzle of the gun downward, which symbolized the end of the armed phase of the struggle.

            But the shattering of what was hoped from the EPLF had changed the situation. The refusal of the EPLF to honor its invitation to RC delegation, and ignoring appeals and supportive statements, the ELF-RC appraised the situation in its entirety, including the pre-1991 relations, and came to the conclusion that the EPLF would not change, and would transform to a force of exclusion and monopolization of country. Thus, transforming to another formation did not make sense because it entailed dispersal of the tendencies the front formation had embraced, and were vital in facing the challenges.

    • tes

      Selam MS,

      I agree with you that Ismail AA can bring different ideas in one table without creating further division and most probably with a reconciliation tone. Saying that;

      Most of the time I don’t understand why Emma and saay7 argue. It is very hard to say that they disagree the time they exchange wisely. Instead prejudice is killing their main theme.

      Let us take in this thread:

      They both agree that DUG is more relevant. But then they brought another issue – UG quoted from the shelved Constitution of 1997. And then they brought Dr. Bereket. This is shenkolel.

      The gist of their difference is very simple:

      1. saay7 is for reforming PFDJ
      2. Amanuel Hidrat is for fundamental change.

      Whatever they say in between is just a waste of time. I wish they learned something from their 4(almost) years conflict.

      These days saay7 has evolved a lot (as I can read from his lines) while Emma is stuck in his old ideas.

      tes

      PS: I sent an article to AT for publication. Its title is – A Critique: Amanuel Hidrat’s political thinking on Social Grievances, his Advocacy and Reconciliatory Approach . It could have added some values to visit Amanuel Hidrat’s thinking. I hope it will be published sooner as it is relevant with the ongoing discussion.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam haw Ahmedin,

    You presented Ethnic Federalism as the worst system of governance without giving a plausible argument. Just see the title of your article. What you should have done in your argument (a) list all the possible system of governments for purposes to compare and contrast and to see which one fits with our reality (b) explain the reality of our society (c) explain why ethnic Federalism is not appropriate to our reality with all its disadvantages. Otherwise simply alluding ethnic Federalism as disaster is not good argument. The way you put your argument sounds that ethnic Federalism is a bad system. Any kind of Fedralism is better than any kind of system available in the democratic system. For instance Ethnic Federalism of India is good for Indian people that fits to their reality. So you didn’t give good reasons as to why ethnic Federalism or any kind of Federalism does not work in Eritrea, and in what circumstances and realities ethnic Federalism or any kind Federalism could be applicable to convince your readers.

    Note: I am not an advocator of any kind of Federalism to Eritrean reality for the reasons I gave in my articles.

    Regards

  • Mez

    Dear Ahmeddin,

    I would think the discussion paper is more of an opinion on the topic; I would say it is neither scientific nor journalistic material.

    Due to its past 50 years warlike-turbulent history, Eritrea may go the federally arranged path. It may have probably 5 or 7 federal states. The building blocks for any arrangement would/could be the old Kebele and Woreda units.

    Any arrangement would have to take the macroeconomic viability, and cultural tie into account.

    I would think the Switzerland, Indian/ Pakistani experience would give us some insight on federalism.

    Regarding governance, the German government system may be something to learn from; (the troublemaker mafioso system) makes Italy not the correct school to learn from.

    If federal system comes to be practiced in the future, the most vibrant federal states would be Assab, Massawa, Asmara, Barentu, Keren,… due to economic resource and population size gravity.

    In a federal system, Afar and Kunama may fetch very well (in any formula of federal accommodation).

    Thanks

    • blink

      Dear Me
      Do you believe there is a perfect system from outside to solve our problem ? I think it is possible to learn from others but to assume it is good is not easy. We Eritreans first need to see our problem and look for solutions. Many people think old (enda BA ,, many if them) think are ok but I question their honesty plus their intentions. I think Eritreans can’t be served by old rules. Eritreans who love federal system mention that Switzerland is their example but none of all these Switzerland federal system are the same as we are . I think They are not divided across ethnic either. My wish and hope is Eritreans can find our own way of solving problems. Ethnic federal system is evil especially if it happens to us. Regional federal system also is not nice because these awurajawian can’t be nice either. I think all these Ethnic or regional federalist are playing a reckless gambling with the young emotions,and their efforts is taking us backwards.

      • Mez

        Dear Blink,

        Please take some time and read about Switzerland (Schweiss ).

        We can learn a lot from them.

        Probably the Asian too.

        Federal or no federal, the lingo-cultural, geographic, regional-economic-viability are factors to consider when creating an administrative unit.

        We better come forth and discuss things than get afraid of them; at the end life is only one and we have to try to come to the peaceful one.

        Thanks

        • blink

          Dear Mez
          Yes you are right but we also need to consider our people’s current situation ,specially the big mouth you tubers are talking just to feel relaxed not to explore ideas and I think the Toxic once are becoming more and more ugly.

  • tes

    Dear Ahmeddin Osman,

    Thank you for coming with such provoking article. I agree with you that Ethnic federalism is a disaster. Not only ethnic federalism but regional based federalism is also another disaster (as is in promotion by Bohashim and other like minded people).

    What is worst is ethnic based politics – like that of Jeberti lead by Al-Nahda Party. What Al-Nahda Party is promoting is Ethnic based Identity conflict that will trigger unprecedented consequences. I believe that Jeberti people can call themselves whatever they want but the time they promoted it to political question they are inflicting ethnic conflicts. Jeberti peoples’ question is purely humanitarian question and it will be easy to solve it once Eritrea becomes a land that respects Human Rights.

    The question of Jeberti as an ethnic group came to the surface with the introduction of Nations and Nationalities Clustering system introduced during the Derg Regime – divide and rule policy. It is worrisome when those who are within the Al-Nahda Party promote such Divide and Rule Policy introduced by dictators.

    I am focusing on Jeberti – Al-Nahda Party because it is the worst scenario within the Eritrean politics. Other Social Groupings issues can also be viewed from similar but based on available facts.

    Here is my synthesis on Jeberti Political question

    They can call themselves who ever they want. It is their right to be named as they want and no one has the power to impose on them what they should be. At the same time, Jeberti people should stop demanding others to approve their ethnic status. Who is who to give identity? What they should take care most is once Jeberti press on this ethnic issue and look other people to endorse their status – it will be the worst scenarion in the eritrean politics. As Eritreans they have a right to live peacefully.

    I am for the rights of any individual or group of people. At the same time I oppose anyone who inflicts ethic based politics. Though I am no one to oppose Jeberti to be identified as a separate ethnic group, I oppose politics of Al-Nahda Party. I believe that Al-Nahda Party is the most dangerous party. It must be opposed by all means.

    In my understanding, Al-Nahda Party should be changed into a Civic Rights Advocate Group who fight for the Human Rights of Jeberti people by promoting the values of Jeberti People.

    I do have my own views on other ethnic based political parties but I don’t see any danger as that of Jeberti.

    At this time – Aga’azian Movement is also another worst ethnic and religious based movement – which will not have lesser effect than that of Al-Nahda Party. What is strange is Al-Nahda party and Aga’azian Movement are more of the same people but claim their identity based on religion.

    Such developments occur when there is political vacuum. Unless we fight against such fascistic nature political endeavours, we will end up like that of Ruwanda’s ethnic cleansing conflicts.

    tes

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Tes,

      I am sorry for the loss.

      Berhe

  • Earl

    Keep Eritrea Christian. It’s MAJORITY is Christian. Therefore it makes sense to have a Christian government.
    No Muslim country is prosperous, the only prosperous Muslims are the ones that live in Christian countries.
    We don’t want Islam in Eritrea just like the rest of the world. We need to fully embrace Christianity 100% in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
    ERITREA IS FOR CHRISTIANS!! ⛪️🙏🏾🇪🇷🇪🇷

  • Earl

    Keep Eritrea Christian. It’s MAJORITY is Christian. Therefore it makes sense to have a Christian government.
    No Muslim country is prosperous, the only prosperous Muslims are the ones that live in Christian countries.
    We don’t want Islam in Eritrea just like the rest of the world. We need to fully embrace Christianity 100% in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
    ERITREA IS FOR CHRISTIANS!! ⛪️🙏🏾🇪🇷🇪🇷

  • MS

    Hello Awatistas the greatestistas
    Thanks to Ustaz Ahmeddin Osman for your contribution. The more we read diverse views the more we become aware of the more subliminally feelings and concerns.
    I agree ethnic federalism is unattainable, and if shoved into Eritrea’s throat at gun point, it will be the end of the country. It is not sustainable, economically, socially, and demographically. The other choice is the one advanced by you, brother Amanuel Hidrat and others, which is based on regional similarities. I like the decentralized unitary government, given it is further elaborated.
    Back to your article, most federalist (tonic or regional) do so from the fear of the majority ethnic group(s). You also made it clear in your introductory paragraph that you oppose ethnic feralism based on the fact that it would give the Tigrigna majority an outright upper hand, not because of its inherent weakness when espoused in countries such as Eritrea where most of its 9 ethnic groups number in the 5% or less out of estimated 4 million, where most ethnic groups are not distinctly and clearly separated from their neighbors, where familial lines and history run across regions and ethnic groups…It also falls short because it makes the current government as a measuring stick thus condemning the Tigrigna social group as having insatiable appetite to swallow others. It further assumes, that Eritrean politics forever will be based on ethnic affiliations. In short the current discussions assume, the existential confrontation between the Tigrigna on one side, and the rest on the other.
    I think this is a mistaken analysis. We need to be able to see beyond the current regimes composition, policies and whatever connotations it may project.
    Therefore: I agree there should be a decentralized type of governance that considers Eritrea’s development plan, it’s social compositions, it’s political maturity. Party formation (hence, politics) should never be based on ethnicity, religion, or region). I think each party needs to show it could represent Eritrea. Civic associations are different and they could be based on any narrowly defined agenda of interest. We should look for something that fits Eritrea, not for something that fits our desire. An Eritrean who lives in the USA may aspire something similar to what he/she see here, another one who lives in MeQele may think the only solution is ethnic federalism, someone from Canada may propose quite different…etc. These issues are good for academic discussions.
    Another eraneuous assumption is the notion that Adi (village) or the old provinces should be taken as minimum sociopolitical units. This assumes that Eritrea will live in medieval age forever; that there will not occur social and economic mobility. Once the economy heats up and the political gridlock is passed, mobility will be a matter of necessity for economic growth. And with mobility and resettlement (not imposed but socioeconomic migrations based on the law of supply and demand of labor and market forces), familial ties, and peoples’ attachment to certain villages or regions will be obsolete.
    I therefore tend to walk between SAAY and Amanuel until further notice. I do appreciate your contribution too, but you should not oppose ethnic federalism simply because it buttresses Tigrigna grip to power. Oppose it for its impracticality, and for the shortcomings it entails in addressing the grievances of small ethnic groups. Example: take the western region: Kunama, Nara and Hidareb will still be minorities. Therefore, a smart redistributing could be designed within a decentralized unitary government to address most of the social and economic grievances. And let us make it clear, PFDJ does not have an endorsement of the Tigrigna group. Unless we get this right, and as long as we are envisioning solutions based on the notion that the current government represents Tigrigna, we will never move forward. In short, any politic proposals that do not attract the measure sociopolitical blocks, will not have a success. The next move is declaring a civil war.

  • jacob abreham

    Dear Ahmedino,

    In whatever administrative system ,you haven’t shed any light on how the “Jebertis” could be accommodated in Eritrea.As the land allocation process comes to an end to the private and public ownership ,the fate of the “Jebertis” would remain a puzzling question where to send them. What do you suggest could they be accommodated? It seems that they are destined to be alienated from all forms of life in Eritrea as the Land issue comes to settlement.

    • G. Gebru

      Dear brother,
      Greetings.
      Dear, the Jeberty compatriots have no land ownership problem.
      In the highland of Eritrea they live in villages. There are villages entirely Jeberty villages and the are Jebertys who live in villages mixed with their christian brothers with equal village rights. If we are to talk about the towns due to their enlightened commercial mindset they had (I don’t know about today) the upper hand in commerece and trade. They were like all ordinary Eritreans sharing life at its best in those days.
      Thanks.

  • Dear All,

    Please, do not ask me to explain, because i have no idea, but this is what i found in wikipedia as i was browsing.
    “In an ethnoterritorial federation – a “compromise model” – the largest ethnic group is divided among more than one subunit. Examples include Canada, India and Spain. This type of system may be appropriate for nations that contain one dominant group.”
    I wish people who have some idea on this enlighten us a little more.

  • saay7

    Selamat Ahmeddin:

    Related to your article, federalism in Eritrea, two Eritreans debated the best form of governance for Eritrea: federalism or decentralized unitary state.

    You can listen to the debate here.

    The Eritrean advocating for federalism in Eritrea, Abdulrahman Al-Sayed (Bohashem) made it clear that his preference is regional federalism and he doesn’t consider ethnic federalism as viable in Eritrea. The debate is in Tigrinya:

    https://youtu.be/AV_LoOvU7Q8

    saay

    • ሰላማት ሳይ ፡

      ኣቶ ቦሻሄም፡ “ስሚዒታውያን ኣይንኹን” ዋላ አዃዋ ጠለብ ኣቶ ሳልሕ ዩኒስ ይንበር፡ “ዝዘንገዖ/ዘንጊዑ ኢዩ ዘሎ” ኣጀማምራ ንፈደራልያውያን ስምዒታዊ ክስባን ጥራይ ኢዩ ኣክህሲቡ ብሃላይ ኢየ ብወገነይ።
      ኣቶ ሳልሕ 2ይቲ Debate፡ ናይ “ዘረባዊ ዘይጽሑፋዊ፡” አኹል ምድላው ጌሩ፡ ዕድመ የቕርብ።

      From the audio, very lengthy intro format, I am not sure if it can called a debate. However, SaliH Younis’ Decentralized Unitary is what will occur in the event of change of Adminstration ocuring. SaliH Younis has his crystal ball tuned to …..2becontinued…

      ጻጸ

    • blink

      Dear Saay
      I think federal system to minority in Africa is just repeating the same dictator , I don’t believe the kunama can feel safe under Tigre majority or any one to that effect.So what is the point of federal system in developing country like Eritrea. And the state can have a very complex system and not easy to have a smooth way of laws over the land. There is no reason to have federal system in Eritrea due to economic and other toxic reasons.

      The Ethiopians have Ethnic federal system and the deportation system of tegaru from Gonder was very quick and ugly, second I do not see kunama can monopolies over Tigre , Tigrinya or any other group like the weyane did in Ethiopia.

      I want an example of good federal system in Africa? Nigeria, Ethiopia,,,,, all are legends of killing them harshly and cruelest way of corruption by their own elites.

      What does he mean when he said four ,,, I did not get it. Are you a pal talker too ? 😱

      • saay7

        Selam blink:

        Answering your last question first: that was my first Paltalk presence and it was an interesting one. For one thing, I think either the US has changed us those who live in the US or all Eritreans have become Isaiasinized: they take forever to answer one question.

        The reason I made an exception is because I consider the subject important and I also consider that the opposition which is not immune to groupthink has collectively embraced “federalism” and I thought a contrarian view is necessary.

        I kept saying that Bohashem was recommending two governments plus a court which mitigates their disputes. I was wrong. He (and all region-based federalism) are actually recommending 9 constitutional governments (1 federal and 8 regional) ones in a country that has no history of self-government, no instititions, virtually no civil service or legal community. Everybody seems to think that “hgi endaba” will solve it all.

        saay

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Saay,

          I have not heard the debate as yet, so my questions may be premature. If it is, just point me to hear again and get back to you. But if it’s relevant:

          I do agree that Eritrea has no capacity, the population or the land to justify and build 9 constitutional governments. I just did a quick search on google, and as per wiki “Of the 192 UN member states, 165 are governed as unitary states.”.

          I think these data says a lot in terms of the complexity and why we need to be realistic and compare our selves (out country) with those other countries before us who went through and learn from them. But I do understand and why people want and support the “Federal system” because the history of those in power (be it 1952 or since 1991) is not a good record one can go by to have full faith.

          Having said that, let me ask you.

          What type of unitary government do you think is suitable for Eritrea. (Assuming this is a correct classification).

          1) Unitary Parliamentary
          2) Unitary Presidential

          I think Parliamentary system is better for Eritrea. I can explain if need be why.

          In my opinion, there has to be a government (majority, coalition how ever mix to get the majority) that needs to be accountable.
          There has to be an official opposition), who keeps the government in check and accountable.

          No single party or No “Unity government made up of supporters / opposition etc..as we have in the current constitution”.

          I personally think the lack of “Parliamentary unitary government in Eritrea” during the federation is the reason we lost our parliament (1952).

          All of them put together as one government (those who oppose and those who support) and we were played along our division.

          Berhe

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe the Light:

            As you know, presidential systems are focused on separation of powers (executive, legislative) whereas parliamentary systems are hybrid of executive and legislative with a revolving door between the two. Which one is best for Eritrea? If we are saying let’s try something that has worked in Eritrea-like countries (sub-Saharan Africa), I am afraid the answer is discouraging: one in eight democracies fail in sub-saharan Africa whether it is a presidential or parliamentary system. In the developed or middle country world, parliamentary democracy has a higher rate of surviving systemic shocks than presidential, which has a higher rate of devolving to dictatorship.

            The Commissioners of the 1997 Constitution were very much aware of this, which is why they create the one they gave us. They were trying to avoid Italy, a parliamentary democracy which did not appear to have a government for more than a year.

            It is ironic but a prerequisite to federalism is having a strong central government or self-sustaining political entities (colonies, states.)

            Personally, I am indifferent to whether the central government is parliamentary or presidential so long as it is truly representative and we don’t have, like Ethiopia, a winner-takes-all politics. Come to think of it, that is what we have in Eritrea: winners-keepers govt.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            You say”parliamentary system is a hybrid of legislative and executive”. Could you explain before I comment on it please. I am interested to comment on your comment, though me and you have gone through it for sometime.

          • saay7

            MerHaba Emma:

            In a parliamentary system, the head of government (the executive) is always from the political party in the parliament (legislative) that won the majority or plurality of the vote.

            In a presidential system, the head of government (the executive) does not have to be from the political party that controls the parliament (legislative.)

            Ergo, presto, in a parliamentary system is considered a fusion between the legislative and executive.

            Except in the 1997 Eritrean constitution which attempted to cross this bridge and fell in the cracks:)

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Saay,

            I watched the video last night, and I found both sides very interesting. I leaned toward your suggestion at the end for one simple reason: “ዓቕምና ኣይፈቕዶን” was a famous TPLF key phrase to all hard questions and it always worked.

            In case people come back to you for details to implement your idea, here is a head start as your reward for a case well argued.

            For an entity in Eritrea to qualify as a political organization, PO, it must collect X number of signatures.

            X = population count/75

            Every PO will send one person to form the Parliament.

            The top 10 with the highest num of signatures but could not meet the quota will be allowed to register as a PO, but they will have to join forces to elect 5 reps or abstain for a given election cycle.

            The traditionally known 9 regions will elect their 1 rep each in addition to their election via their PO.

            Pariament’s tasks:
            _ Make laws (constitution)
            _ Make Budget
            _ Elect a leader (avoids winner takes all, but a minimum percentage is needed)
            _ Declare war (I hope not)

            Leaders tasks:
            _ Appoint ministers
            _ Execute the laws
            _ Appoint 6 citizens selected by their intellectual capacity or their position in society as community leaders to be added to the parliament with full voting rights.

            Num of parliament so far 95.

            The top 5 POs with the highest signatures, will have the option of bringing with them one each vice rep who will have an observer’s seat in the parliament but no voting rights. The idea being to groom them for subsequent elections and keep them well informed of the systems and who is who of the powers that be etc…

            If you are up to the challenge of having to explain why in God’s name, you would involve a Weyanay (ናይ ቀደም ከይኣኽለና), I will volunteer to expand and apply some finesse to the above platform.

            ይሀው ፈረስ፤ ይሀው ሜዳ!

            PS:
            Sorry, I couldn’t find a less intrusive place.

          • blink

            Dear Fanti
            I just have one question and that is the number 9 thing. I can not imagine that number will be back , apart from that your logic looks nice except one thing and that is its connection to TPLF 😀 , I am guessing saay will use big lens.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello blink,

            the TPLF thing was unavoidable. It was meant as a joke because it is a phrase we inherited from EPLF.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Professor Fanti Ghana,

            I follow the case .. You are amazing ..

            “ይሀው ፈረስ፤ ይሀው ሜዳ! ”

            KS..

          • saay7

            Hey His Fantiness:

            First of all, are you sure the phrase is “ዓቕምና ኣይፈቕዶን” and not “ዓቕምና ይፈቕዶ’ዩ ማለት ኣይኮነን”? If TPLF is a good student of the EPLF it should go with the passive double negative. Instead of saying “ተጋጊና” you say, “ጌጋታት ኣይተገብረን ማለት ኣይኮነን.”

            Secondly, I am against re-inventing the wheel particularly when we (Eritreans) are playing catch-up to decades of wasted opportunities. Use what is available: the definitive rule on party formation (for national parties) was written by the Committee that included Mahmud Sherifo (before his arrest.) It is not just signature count but diversity of the signatures. His committee’s requirement was that the party membership/signature have at least 3 of Eritrea’s 9 language groups. This will force the national parties to diversify and it will discourage polarization. You can’t do us vs them when you need them to qualify as a genuine bonafide party. Many people mention Switzerland as the dream federal state. But none of its major political parties caters to a single ethno-lingual group.

            The “ይሀው ፈረስ፤ ይሀው ሜዳ!” triggers something funny: an Eritrean put out a video on youtube challenging Isaias Afwerki to a one-on-one run-off and he uses that phrase. Will share this weekend if you remind me.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            The parliamentary system is not a hybrid of executive and legislative as you alluded in your first comment. Once a prime minister is elected, him/her with his/her cabinet will not have a seat in the parliament. They become executive that are accountable to the parliament. Hence the system is not a hybrid system. However, in the presidential system the president is elected from popular vote – direct from the vote of the entire population. And he is accountable to the public and not to the parliament. These are the only two government structures in a democratic system. Anything outside these two are not democratic system, including the hybrid government that depicted in the 1998 constitutional document, where the president is elected from the parliament, a new experiment that never ever tested in the world, and for sure the president is neither accountable to the parliament nor to the public. More ever the president and his cabinet are both legislative and executive that weakens the power of the legislative and renders excessive power to the legislative. Those who advocate for the hybrid system should be aware that the system by virtue of its nature is a fertile womb for dictators. If by chance it became the enforceable document, unfortunately, the Eritrean people will go from predicament to predicament. The Eritrean people should chose either the presidential system or the parliamentary system – more preferable the later than the former.

            Regards

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Emma,

            May be there are different forms of parliament system but here in Canada, the prime minister, and his cabinet (all elected) are members of the parliament and they keep their seat in the parliament.

            They have the same vote as all other members.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            I hope this is not going to be one of those saay-emma talking past each other series 😀

            In a parliamentary system, the chief executive comes from the legislators. (fusion)
            In a presidential system, the chief executive does not come from the legislators. (independence)

            In a parliamentary system, the continued power of the chief executive is dependent on the vote of confidence of the legislators. (fusion)
            In a presidential system, the chief executive does not depend on the goodwill of the legislators; s/he can only be impeached if s/he violates constitution. (independence)

            In a parliamentary system, the chief executive will always be from the political party that won the majority or plurality in the legislative arm. There is no “divided government.” (fusion)
            In a presidential system, the chief executive does not have to be from the political party that won the majority or plurality of the legislature. There is often a “divided government.” (independence)

            In a parliamentary system, a member of the executive branch of government who loses being part of the executive team goes back to being an Member of Parliament. (fusion)
            In a presidential system, the executive who loses his/her job goes back to practicing law:) or wait until the next election cycle. (independence.

            The major benefit of the presidential system is separation of powers between executive and legislative arms of government.
            The major benefit of the parliamentary system is that things actually get done because there is synergy between the two branches.

            saay

          • Selamat Saay,

            Hypnotic beat. After every parenthesis enclosed word, I started to repeat it. Then the contrast fusion v independence dawned.

            GitSAtSE

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman, just a few words: you seem to have a fast and hard rule regarding types of gov. Example you said, “in the presidential system the president is elected from popular vote – direct from the vote of the entire population.” this is not always the case: there are presidential systems where the president is elected from the parliament: examples: South Africa, Marshal Islands, Nauru, Botswana, Suriname/Wikipedia. Also according to Wikipedia, “In a full-fledged presidential system, a president is chosen directly by the people or indirectly by the winning party to be the head of the executive branch.
            You said ” And he [the president] is accountable to the public and not to the parliament”. The USA is one typical example of a presidential system, do you think Trump is not accouuntable to the US Congress?
            -Regarding the Eritrean Const. from 1997, you said “the president is neither accountable to the parliament nor to the public.”, which is false; the president and the rest of his cabinet ministers are indeed accountable to the parliament/national assembly. The president could even be impeached by two thirds majortiy of the parliament seats. Further you said “the president and his cabinet are both legislative and executive that weakens the power of the legislative and renders excessive power to the executive.” This is also not unique to the Eritrean Const. as Berhe Y told you, there are systems where members of the executive do have also voting rights in the parliament. Besides, not all members of the Eritrean cabinet would come from the parliament, some of them could be chosen outside the parliament based on merits, etc, in that case obviously these ministers do not have voting rights in the parliament.

          • saay7

            Hey Abraham:

            I noticed that about our friend Emma, too. I think it is an occupational hazard: you see, in his field, you have to be precise down to milligram and miscalculation can be fatal. So he expects this neat division even in the most complex human arrangement: power distribution i.e. politics 😉

            I think we should all say things like “in my opinion”, “gega ykhla’aley de’amber” before we issue our edicts. Our level of certainty about a subject does not make our opinion on the subject more valid; it just shows our minds are closed and we will not entertain counter arguments.

            That applies to all of us, so this not just targeted at Emma. God knows I am guilty of that. But none can approach Abi in that department 😂

            saay

          • Abi

            Hi Saaytanish
            In my opinion, …
            I’m learning.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Saay, I believe so; there is no such a ready made rule that works for each and every society. There are some general outlines of govt systems, and each society has to fit them and modify them so that they best serve the interests and realities of that given society.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman,
            In the parliamentary systems the:
            -legislative is the parliament (made up of the governing party(ies) and all other parties that won the threshold of seats needed for representation according to the electoral system of the given country).
            -the executive is the government which is made up of the prime minister and his/her cabinet of ministers.
            In addition there is an independent justice system, and, of course, the state-owned, and private press.
            -The executive body prepares drafts of laws, the budget, etc, and it is upto the parliament to approve, amend or reject any law drafts.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay the Sun:).

            I have heard the Italy experience as an example (Dr. Bereket said, parliament democracy could be messy) but honestly that is really a lame excuse. Why not just a presidential system with term limit instead of adding the complexity of creating a system that will never work (with all members of parliament expected to vote for a president).

            Personally I think they were pretending to appear like they have a constitutional multi-party system but in reality, they have a Single party system just like they have as in PFDJ. They wanted to bring some opposition members to the party (like Huriy and others from the opposition) but have them blended in the party and essentially have PFDJ. They created a constitutions that’s perfect for Isayas and his government but they went bold and made a TWO terms limit.

            That’s water under the bridge now, so perhaps this will be an opportunity to have it right next time around.

            I do sympathize with the Eritreans who wanted federal system of government for the lack of trust. Let’s look at the record for the Eritreans who have been in power. For example during the federation time, and in the past 26 years. In other words, the Kebesa Eritreans, we do not have a good record to show that, when it comes to power and sharing power, that we can be trusted. The record speaks for it self…so I really understand.

            I think the party formation is a good start, I don’t remember all the specifics of it now but at a time when I read it, I actually thought it was a good document. So I agree it could be a starting point…but honestly I do not think we should limit this or that and force people to join if they are not willing to do so…I believe the system should be able to do that for them..for their own interests.

            If we adapt a parliamentary system of government, I think it would probably be the best way we can achieve and build the trust that we need. The parliament system would make the party formation, minimum this minimum that redundant.

            Another key point the regional federation advocates probably think about is, the reality of the population make up of the country. I don’t know for a fact, but the population make up of our country may have a significant advantage / disadvantage to some region / group which I think the federal system is probably a little safe.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Berhe, you said “No single party or No “Unity government made up of supporters / opposition etc..as we have in the current constitution”. First, there is no such article in the Constitution from 1997 that claims the thing you cited. Second, what is wrong if a certain party wins the majority seats and forms a government?

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Abraham,

            Ok my comments were not properly thought out and sorry if I have confused you. I made this argument many times with Saay and I thought it was understood.

            Let me put it in simple terms:

            1) based on the current ERITREAN constitution (1997), how do elect a president? How do you think having “opposition members” to those running to be president suppose to support / endorses?
            Can you please give such an example, other than single party system (eg China, etc) this is practical, or working.

            2) there is nothing wrong with that and that’s what I support, the party that wins the majority forms a government. If no party has majority, they parties figure out how to form one (coalition etc). Can you tell me in today Eritrea, that’s is the case?

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe,

            1- yes, according to the Eritrean Constitution from 1997, to be elected as president first you need at least 20% of nomination votes from the parliament. This means there would be maximum 5 nominees for the presidency. After that you need to get an absolute majority vote (more than 50% of all members of parliament) to be elected as president. So, yes, this requires a great deal of consensus amongst the parliament members to elect a president unless there is/are parties with absolute majority seats and their reps are willig to vote for a nominee amongst them. But even in parliamentary systems, there should be a consensus amongst the parties and representatives to back a given prime minister and his/her govt, unless the governing body has majority/coalitions.

            2-I don’t know what you mean by “in today’s Eritrea” because that is out of question. If you mean in the Constitution from 1997, that would be exactly like what you’re saying. The party or coalition parties with absolute majority have the possibility of electing a president amonst them. According to the 1997 Constitution, the president is free to elect his cabinet of ministers from his party or his coalition parties or from any other parties or even someone without a seat in the parliament could be elected as a minister, however all nominees have to be approved by the parliament.

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Abraham,

            Let’s agree that a president is just a job like any other job (may be more important) but it’s a job. If we agree that is the case, then we can assume there are lots and lots of people who are more than qualified to do the job, specially since the job is for a term, until next election. Let’s also agree that in politics, there is no such thing as a good will of the opposing party. That is the opposing party or leader their primary objective is to take power legally from who ever is in power and not necessarily, support or endorse anyone they oppose to begin with (otherwise what’s the point of having different party).

            If you agree in this general statements, now let’s see the advantage of having a parliament like the current ERITREAN constitution stipulates? Before I list down a whole list of flows, that mathematically impossible to achieve, I want to understand (assuming you support the constitution in how a president is elected) what would be the advantage of having such a system.

            2) I was referring to the 1997 constitution. Let’s look at Eritrea parliament during the federation. Asfaha Tesfamichael was not an elected member of the ERITREAN federation, he was the king representative. When Tedla Bairu resigned, he was nominated to run for the chief executive by Qeshi Dimetros and he run against Haragot and he won. The he become effectively chief executive and representative of the king at the same time.

            Don’t you think the decision that followed, abolishing the federation has something to do with the division of power, the roles and responsibilities of the government and the opposition.

            No body should look to find a perfect constitution, but we should never shy away from adapting something that has worked over time in different countries.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe, I”ve not studied or are not familiar with the Eritrean Constitution from the Federation era. But on general basis I would say the parliament was not operating under free and fair atmosphere, but under duress and coercion from the king and his unionist adherents like the Qeshi. As far as I’m concerned I don’t see any serious flaws with the Eri Const. from 1997; alas, if only a fraction of it were implemented, we would have been in a much better place today. Nothing is worse than to be “led” by one diactator, someone with evil designs against the Eritrean people at that.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abraham,

            Until I get back to you and Saay on your comment to my question, let me correct you if I may on one point. In parliamentary system, the prime minister will be automatically from the winning party in the election and he does not need consensus to be a prime minister from the other parties in order to build and run his government. If the winning party does not have enough votes needed to meet the threshold, the winning party have another choice and that is to form a coalition with any of the contestant parties. That is how parliamentary system works. So no need consensus from the other parties,

            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman, thanks for the reply. But in case of no party winning a majority to form a govt, then that party need to form coalition with other parties that have similar policies in order to have the mandate of governing. This is also called consensus between the coalescing parties. They would also have to agree upon from which party the prime minister would come; not necessarily from the party with greater number of seats. For example, a party with fewer number of seats within the coalition may present the condition that the prime minister must come from it if it is to back the other parties in forming the gov.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abraham,

            Keep in mind a party could have the majority in votes without having the threshold of majority that require to form a government. Let me give you an example: In the 2010 general election of Great Britain the conservative party lead by David Cameron got the majority votes but not enough to form a government. So they make a coalition with the liberal party to meet the required vote to form a government. The conservative party offered some seats for their ministerial offices to the liberal party. They agreed and formed the government. The prime minister is by law from the one who gets the majority whether they get the required votes (whatever the election laws determine) or less than the required votes but yet the majority. Remember the majority could by one or more votes, technically speaking. Suppose in a multi party elections of five parties, say a party need 50% or more of votes from total votes in the nation to form a government. No one from the five hit the threshold of the percentage required but still one of them will win the majority. Winning the majority is not necessarily meeting the required percentage but still hold the prime-ministerial office in the coalition government.

            Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman, Abraham and Berhe,

            The departure point in parliamentary system is the specifications the constitution prescribes, which is crafted to reflect agreed upon fair representation of the electorate (the people).The constitution can vary from one country to another.

            Here is an example: The Netherlands is a coalition governments un a constitutional Monarchy that emerged from history of elaborate socio-confessional diversity.The current political system is consummation of consociationalist democratic arrangement referred to in local parlance as “pillars”
            that represented the confessional divisions of the society.

            This diverse socio-religious distribution gave rise to a parliamentary system of 150 seats. Due to existence of many parties no one of them can get a majority of (75+1) to form a government independently.

            But the constitutions gives the party that gets most seats in an election the right to provide the prime minster. In other words, the leader of that party selected to top election list becomes the prime minister.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman,
            I think this is becoming a ‘shenkolel’, but my reply was based on your claim that no consensus is needed in parliamentary systems. And I argued that in the case where there is no single political party winning the needed seats to form a gov, then it must negotiate with other party(ies) to get the needed seats and form a coalition gov. I called this process of finding partners as a consensus, because that is exactly what the parties are doing: negotiating, through a give and take process, and through consensus.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abraham and Emma,

            I agree to example you gave, when a party does not have the majority they can form a government by making a coalition. This is typically in most European parliament and it works pretty much well.
            But I don’t necessary agree that this is a consensus (as in making consensus with a political party who are diametrically opposed) but coalition based on interests.

            The political leaders of those parties do it for their own selfish interest (be it party interest or personal interest). And this is all perfectly fine, what I don’t agree is to expect the opposition parties / leaders to make consensus for another party / leader without expecting much (like the Eritrean constitution stipulated, expect to vote for a president).

            I know some constitution is better than nothing that we have, but since it’s never used and it will never be used again, I think it’s best that we start with something that actually work (we can still use most of the articles).

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            Because we have a document in shelve, let start even with all its flaws is not an argument. The issue is should be what kind of constitution will best serve and address the grievances of our diversity. The current constitution on the shelve will only serve for hegemonic group who are on power that gives the excessive power to the presidency in legislating and executing his agenda where the voice of the minorities group will not be heard. Such kind of document is a recipe of disintegration and extinctions, and God save us from such scenarios. We have witnessed many minorities being extincted by such hegemonic, abusive, and systematic systems.

            Berhe, what is the problem of drafting a constitution that gives equitable powers to our social make and live in peace and harmony? Why do we need a document drafted by a group and their supporters that only reflect and serve their interest? A smart and a brilliant person like you to even suggest such kind of document makes me bewildered to say the least. Berhe listen to the grievances of our diversity and act accordingly. I hope you are not from those who subtly say “Abey keybezhu Eyob”. Think about it seriously.

            Regards

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Emma,

            Anta Emma, bHade Afitu. Zgedefkaley yeblika.

            I think you completely misundesftood me, or what I have said.

            Can you please read my last paragraph and I think it’s inline to what you wrote.

            Let me know if still want me to respond to your questions?

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Berhe,

            The point I took to make my argument from your statement is “we can still use most of the articles.” Brother there nothing good for the Eritrean people in the document except the bill of rights which are universal. The constitition is determined (a) on how it gives the right to own property including a land (b) by the nature of governance and its structure envisioned to it (c) by how it gives equitable sharing to its diversity in sociopolitics and socioeconomic life of its people. So the word “most” made me to react the way I react. Other than that I am comfortable with all the argument you tried to make. No bad intention towards you.

            Regard

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Emma,

            I agree. “Most” is probably not the right word. Personally I think we need to be open minded and let’s start on something that other have built on.with that in mind,I think looking at the 1952 and 1997 is a good starting point. Again it may be possible that we don’t even use 1%, but it’s the due diligence and process that we have done all we can to come up with the best possible outcome.

            I personally think, those who were involved had good intentions, no matter how flawed the document turned out to be so, acknowledging their efforts is a step in the right direction.

            I think saay had a long essay with this regard, on honoring Dr. Bereket.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            I do not want to provoke my friend Saay now, for we have debated as two opposite protagonists on the document. He was for “centralized unitary government” which was envisioned in the document. However, I saw a change in position in his debate with Abderahman on pal talk advocating for “decentralized unitary government” which I understand that he is looking a constitutional amendment to it. If that is the case our views are converging slowly but surely. We have still a sticking issue and that is on the “hybrid structure of government” and hopefully we will come to the same understanding as to its nature and the power accumulated to the execitive in that nature of hybrid structure. My argument is simple, and that is, let us bring a system that gives equitable sharing in economic and political life of our people. The current document doesn’t is my argument. Taking all kind of references including the 1952 and 1998 is not a problem with me as far as we come with a constitution that satisfy our society and taken as supreme law by all citizen. We are not there now and we have not a document that all of us defend it.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Really? I advocated for centralized unitary government? When and where?

            Actually I don’t know anyone in Eritreas political sphere who advocates for Centralized Unitary State. In the 1997 constitution the Commissioner envision Eritrea as a unitary state and in its National Charter, the PFDJ envisions it as a decentralized unitary state. (Quote available upon request.)

            So I don’t know how and why that would require an amendment 🙂

            On the equitable and fair power sharing we are all in agreement. The challenge is that Eritreas demography and geography doesn’t simplify things: it’s impossible to create ethnic federalism (assuming we want symmetrical regions) because of the huge disparity in population sizes; it doesn’t lend itself to regional federation because all language groups with the exception of Tigrinya, Tigre and Afar will be minorities within their own geographical regions.

            This is why I think the way forward is a decentralized unitary state: the decentralization optimizes group rights and the unitary nature optimizes individual rights.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Ah, we will go to the same cycle of arguments. My understanding is, you support fully the shelved document. The structure of the government as envisioned in it, is centralized unitary government that doesn’t give regional autonomy of the administrative units however they are constituted according the document.

            saay “Unitary state” is a general term that could imply either “centralized” or “decentralized”. Then how do we identify it? We identify it how the the power of the government is distributed. The document does not talk about distribution of power to the perphery nor does it talks about the nature of power that will be distributed (either political or administrative power or both). So the nature of the structure of government as dipcted is centralized, the periphery being governed by representatives from the central government. Check with doctor Bereket the chairperson of the commission.

            In fact the good doctor has admitted that we can make amendment to reflect the distribution power to the periphery among others that include issues about land and official languages. So my friend if you defend the current document as is, then logically you were for centralized government, and if still argue for the document without any change, that means still you are. Logic dictates me to imply you as as promoter of the document. If I am wrong tell me where I am wrong at least on your position. As to the nature of the government in the document it is “centralized” and you could check with the author. I am not saying just from the air.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            No sir; the good doctor never said that because:

            Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.

            Why do you need a constitutional amendment when the constitution told you it can be changed by law? You don’t need it at all. In my opinion 😀

            I have one question Emma: what is it in the 1997 constitution that denies a citizen rights or power to design the ideal decentralized unitary state that would meet with your approval? Here I am not asking specifically about the constitution as written and not as we think it is written or on who wrote it.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            My friend the quote from the document I read it thousand times. Don’t tell me you don’t read it. It is because the way it is written that I am arguing against it. How do you know whether it will be decentralized government or centralized government from the that particular article? How do we know the power of the prephery from that article? At least the way it is can’t the protagonists of both side argue in making their case in the making the law. If that is the case how do you confidently tell me it will be decentralized to reverse the question to you. Issayas and his organization told the Eritrean people they will build a nation with constitutional democracy. You know where we are and we all are feeling the pain. Who to whom will trust now once we are betrayed with all the scars of the people. The only solution is to sit together and allow the Eritrean people to make their own constitution without maneuvering and dictating the process.

            Saay, Saay, because you don’t hear the good doctor, don’t argue that the doctor hasn’t said it. When you do that you are not arguing. Go and listen to th video and his speeches he made in Canada at the conference organized by the Canadian professor who support the cause of the Afar people’s . I will try to find it after work the shows the change of his position on the nature of government. So እዚ ዓጻቅ ዘረባን ምንአስን እንዶግዳ ግደፎ”. Just make your case and I will make my case.

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            You still haven’t answered my question on what is it about the 1997 constitution you would like to change to ensure rights of peripheries and marginalized people.

            On Dr Bereket, not only am I am familiar with the video you are referencing on an event organized by our Afar compatriots but when the PFDJ used what he said in Canada to go on massive defamation campaign, I also wrote a lengthy article in his defense. So no need to find the video. He gave the same answer he gave all critics of the constitution: there is a mechanism for its amendment.

            Saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Saay,

            Now if ” he (the good doctor) gave all critics of the constitution” why are you saying “the good doctor never said” amendment while in fact I am telling you he did. Now you are telling me “there is a mechanism for its amendment” when our argument was whether the document needs amendment and whether the good doctor hinted about it. You see saay, as you know what you are talking, I know what I am talking. I am here to argue against you and like you who advocate for the document. Just argue on what kind of constitutional document you believe in and I will do mine. Stop ridiculing people when you do not have to say.

            Second what is the purpose of quoting the article, when in fact the article does not talk about decentralization? How did you know that I haven’t read it?

            Now to your question: To ensure the rights of the periphery and marginalize social groups (a) to the periphery, the constitution should ensure the distribution of power and the nature of the power that will be distributed to the periphery – my preference will be political and administrative power (b) to the marginalize social groups, ensure the need of bicameral legislative body one by proportional representation and the other by equal representation to give equitable political power to our marginalized minorities. The detail will be left to the parliament or assembly.

            why did the US need a bicameral legislative one proportional representation and one equal representations? In order to ensure the unity of the federal state and to respond the grievances of the small states. Am I right saay? So in our reality there is grievances of our minority social groups. I told you my solution and tell your solution. When we frame a constitution, as a political document of the nation, we must put in to consideration all the grievances of our society in order the document to be embraced and defended by all citizen. Ezi wedehanka.

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            The first paragraph was a piece of advice to you and all of us; you can take it or leave it. And the advice is since none of us are political scientists and this is some self-taught discipline for us, we should not talk with absolute certainty and we should leave a little room for doubt and uncertainty. You have a tendency to speak in absolute terms and you never acknowledge corrections: Berhe Y corrected you within 30 minutes about Canadian parliamentary system; Abraham corrected you about the different presidential systems–and you just move on like they never corrected you: it is like some dogma that you don’t want to be bothered with facts.

            I have listened and read to every statement made by Dr. Bereket on the constitution and he has always explained the rationale for the Commission’s final product (1997 Constitution) and he has always said that constitutions are organic documents that can always be amended and the Eritrea constitution, likeways, has means for its amendment.

            The article in question IS talking about how to decentralize a unitary state. It is saying that the powers of the regions shall be determined by law (statute.) (The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.) The language is standard in any unitary state that wants to leave the decision on how much to decentralize governance to future lawmakers. In fact, it is word for word a statement that appears in the Yemeni constitution. (As you know the CCE consulted far and wide in African, Asian, Western constitutions.)

            Thank you for sharing with me your preference and it is a respectable position. Just remember the more detailed you are in the constitution the less flexibility you have.

            The situation with the United States is, as you know, far different from ours. At the time the drafters of the consitution were debating, it was a fight between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. As you know, the case in the US was that of 13 independent states (colonies) which had a confederation. Some argued that confederation was not good for their security because of the absence of a strong central government they were prey for aggressive states. Others argued that confederation was good because it ensured maximum independence of the states. As a compromise between freedom and security they came up with their bi-cameral system. Is this the case in Eritrea? Do we have independent, self-sustaining states?

            I would appreciate an example of a country, like Eritrea–poor, small, but diverse–which has created a sustainable system by prioritizing the “grievance of our minority social groups” over its interests to remain as a viable state free from the constant harassment by a much bigger neighbor.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            Very sad when you twisted what I have said. I didn’t say to apply the US reality to our reality. The reason I gave an example the US, is simply how they address the grievances of small states by giving equal seats to all the states in one of the chamber. By the same token we have to design a constitution to address the grievances of our social groups. You don’t have any idea how to address it but you are good at ridiculing people. I have never seen a twister of people’s statement to make your argument like you, however pointless it is. Good job if that is a debate to convince. Did you find my argument anomaly as you did call to a Swedish scholar anomaly when it does not fit to your argument. That is how Saay acts when he has no argument any way. We can’t continue like this with attitudes. Have a good one.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            Just for more information to me , what is the understanding of the larger ethnic groups about the smaller once ? Do you have any idea about what they feel ? Another important issue is the reality on the ground at this moment. Who is larger in barentu now ” kunama or Tigrinya ” ?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Blink,

            I didn’t forget to answer your questions. If you do not mind, I would like to postpone them for other days, for I do not want to add more fire to the current disagreement, and they are from the same loop of arguments. But trust me I will answer them either in article form or in a comment.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Amanuel
            I thought the same too sir, let’s hope we recognize the reality, I will stay tuned to your article or answer.

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            The problem my dear Emma is that you are dogmatic and anybody who doesn’t agree with your prescription is someone who doesn’t want to listen to the grievances of our social groups.

            This is nonsense and let me prove it. You have said you do not support ethnic federalism. But what if some of our social groups think that’s the only fair and equitable way to address their grievance? If you hold on to your view that no we can’t have that because it won’t work does that mean you are insensitive to their grievance? Of course not. So why can’t you extend the same courtesy to those who disagree with you that for example we don’t need a bicameral system?

            And how’s twisting to state a fact: the US move towards federalism (a federation of states) was from confederation (independent colonies loosely aligned)? Is it also twisting if I say that the compromise left so many things vague it had to go through a brutal civil war to be corrected?

            You have to stop tasking things personally: we are only discussing ideas and they are not even our own! Have you noticed that in none of these debates do you actually describe Eritreans in detail? It’s always a vague reference to social groups and their grievance. Who are these social groups? What exactly is their grievance? how does your proposal address it? Now that would be a debate awatistas would join.

            So aytkjori ab lbkha temeles

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Sway,

            The more you you talk the more you digress from distorting to insulting. At the risk of my fear that you will go further into the pit of defaming people, I will ask you a question. when does disagreeing in opinion makes one dogmatic or just a simple disagreement? Why my disagreement becomes a dogma and yours not? Please don’t try to appear a naked hypocrite. When did I say for one who disagree with me does not want to listen the grievances of our social group despite I believe that there are some out there like the people you call them bigots? Can’t for any particular view or statement that comes in a debate, if I feel that particular view won’t address the grievances, show my disagreement? Other than those who consider ethnicism for those ethnic who aggrieved collectively as a group, it never cross my mind those who are debating on the issue to consider them against social grievances. I don’t know so far that you are one from them because you are always hiding behind your clever words. You know clever doesn’t me wise anyway. So saay we have debated for long years we know each other and I know your tactics that when you things does not in your way you employ your asmarino culture way of attacking, just to remind you. I thought you are a man of debate but you aren’t. Have a good night.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            Ummm, okay.

            Take it easy and when you calm down please reopen the topic but this time by being very specific about Eritrea. And if you are in a reflective mood, re-read the thread, consider all the absolutist statements you made, the gentle corrections you got and how you absolutely ignored them.

            PS: “my feelings are hurt” is not an argument.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Emma,

            I do not want to come between you and Aya AdiU (as you affectionately call Saay).

            If you and Saay (among Eritreas best intellectuals) can not come to a reasonable understanding about future Eritrea constitution, imagine the problems average people like me will have.

            I think we need to agree that it’s complex and difficult issue that it will take everyone involvement and voice in order to build something we all cherish.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            Unfortunately we are not the best not good debators either. But there are few out there and you are one of them. You are doing well, and yes the issue are complex, difficulty, even with involvement of everyone will still be difficulty to come to a common solution. Mehret yewrdelna. Thank you and have a good one.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selam Berhe the Light:

            Emma and I don’t have to agree about the future formula for Eritrea. We just have to leave our horses named Moral outside to avoid the temptation of climbing on them.

            Eritrean political debates have not gotten to the stage of “I am right you are wrong.” They are still at the “I am right you are evil” stage. Meda Ertra klte rieyto kxwer aykielen iyu 😂

            saay

          • Selamat Berhe Yeman,

            Perhaps the word some sums it? B Y Way of ሰጀስሾን…ክልተ-ቀጻሊ.

            ጻጸ

          • Selamat Berhe,

            One reason SOME PEOPLE push for the Ethnic Federalism in Eritrea is: The VERY ATTRACTIVE ETHIOPIA and the prospect of a very secure life for Eritrea’s Elite. The rights and self governance for Eritrea’s 9 to 12/13../17 nationalities is only the justification literature that will be discarded at the event horizon. A prepared well rehearsed speach is nothing more than a well edited/re-edited well written essay. Closer attention to …. 2becontinues…

            I velieve Pips, lots of them, are Catering to Ms. Havisham???? 2bcontinued… 2beco n t i……n

            ጻጸ

        • blink

          Dear saay
          Thanks sir, I hope many see your view as honest and heartfelt good will to Eritrea.
          Thanks for the link too

        • Earl

          Keep Eritrea Christian. It’s MAJORITY is Christian. Therefore it makes sense to have a Christian government.
          No Muslim country is prosperous, the only prosperous Muslims are the ones that live in Christian countries.
          We don’t want Islam in Eritrea just like the rest of the world. We need to fully embrace Christianity 100% in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
          ERITREA IS FOR CHRISTIANS!! ⛪️🙏🏾🇪🇷

      • Earl

        Keep Eritrea Christian. It’s MAJORITY is Christian. Therefore it makes sense to have a Christian government.
        No Muslim country is prosperous, the only prosperous Muslims are the ones that live in Christian countries.
        We don’t want Islam in Eritrea just like the rest of the world. We need to fully embrace Christianity 100% in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
        ERITREA IS FOR CHRISTIANS!! ⛪️🙏🏾🇪🇷🇪🇷

      • Mez

        Greetings Blink,

        The “….deportation from Gonder….”

        is primarily caused by the inertial politics in Tigray State (TPLF caused).

        There is a huge gap between what you say and the cause of the problem.

        Thanks

    • Earl

      Keep Eritrea Christian. It’s MAJORITY is Christian. Therefore it makes sense to have a Christian government.
      No Muslim country is prosperous, the only prosperous Muslims are the ones that live in Christian countries.
      We don’t want Islam in Eritrea just like the rest of the world. We need to fully embrace Christianity 100% in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
      ERITREA IS FOR CHRISTIANS!! ⛪️🙏🏾🇪🇷

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Author,
    I’ve read it with interest but I am not sure if I understood you better when I got through the last line of your article. The article seems hastily written and the issue it raises is not an easy subject that can be tackled on the fly.
    Is ethnic federalism inherently a bad settlement? Is it bad for Eritrea? What is the next best alternative?
    Federalism in general works better with diverse identity societies. Eritrea is diverse enough to consider it. Ethinic federalism may have a chance to work well in nations that are with ethnically divided societies. It should be studied, discussed and compared if it can be adopted as a working system for Eritrea.
    One of the central assumption that runs throughout your article is that ethnic federalism might unfairly advance Tigrinna hegemony. I really doubt that. I would argue for the opposite. Generally speaking, Federalism, ethnic or otherwise, is meant to tame down hegemonic statuses in socities not promote them.

  • Legacy

    Hi Ahmeddin,
    It is very depressing to hear that even Eritrea, which compared to the other countries in the region is considered relatively homogeneous experiences ethnic strif.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Legacy,
      .
      Gee……..”ethnic strif”, I didn’t get that. To be frank I didn’t get much out of it. You better look inside as to what is depressing you. I will tell you what is mildly depressed me.
      I read the article, it was like a Chines dish. You eat the whole thing and 10 minutes later you are hungry.
      .
      I am going to focus my attention to the middle management of Awate University.
      Your graphics department deserves some kind of award for its creative displays. I do enjoy most of the graphics that goes along with the title of the articles.
      .
      However, (excuse me for the exaggerations) I don’t come and pay all this tuition and expenses at Awate University for the graphics. Is there a non-graphics department that pays attention, read and pass the articles presented in prominent positions? If the answer is yes, I have a recommendation to Sr. management.
      .
      Switch the authority and functions of the two departments, I will bet my Tuition money you can’t go wrong.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Abi

        Hi Mr Kim
        Looks like you have never seen someone from Singapore.

        • Gashe Abi,

          I have. Going in reverse, as in marchia ‘ndietro. I must admit, I do put weight on KH’s review. By the way Mr. Kim Hanna, aren’nt you from Singapore or is it your Aroh con abichuelas comidas del Cino te guatas?

          ኣውራ ጉንዳን

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam GitSAtSE,
            .
            I have been wondering for a long time.
            .
            Did you by any chance known by Awtistas as: AMAN a while back.
            I used to like him and was beginning to understand him when he disappeared. Each time I read you I see a family resemblance.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Mr. Kim,

            In real life, AMAN, an Artist, is a friend and, yes you are right, my nephew as well.

            Shishini!

            ኣውራ ጉንዳን

  • Brhan

    Hello all,

    The writer did not mention his references to the points he raised, except his good wish.

    There is no mention to relevant literature in political science with regard to ethnic federalism. The literature includes theories, models and approaches about the subject matter. It also includes comparative studies. These would support the points the writer made in his article as well as to his conclusion.

    The issue of Ethnic Federalism is serious issue, it needs research not good wish.

    Ramadan Kerim

  • KBT

    Selamat kulukhum
    The problem you guys don’t understand it’s not about democracy and election that the people of Eritrea
    Care the most for now it’s the existence of hard earned Eritrea as country,independent and it sovereignty respected
    That you and many other had with TPLF regime and with some foreign power worked hard to undermine.
    Who don’t want elections free from foreign interference ?
    who don’t want democracy with strong economies??everybody
    Eritrea was ablige to take this masure when it sovereignty was put into question,when it existence was put into question
    By the TPLF invasion and the international community peace guarantor failed to fulfill it obligation,we were alone
    In this uncertain future Eritrea needed a strong man that can unifie the people ,and keep Eritrea sovereignty safe .
    Do you understand now , no amount of propaganda or fake news or crocodile tears of the so called opposition
    Will change that .

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear KBT ..

      I need more explanation.. what do you mean?

    • Brhan

      Hello KBT,
      You have been for long time in Awate and you know the environment very well…it is a forum to discuss not shout ….
      Unless you are inside Eritrea where you can say like that for fear not to be arrested for saying your expression!

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Brhan,

        KBT knows where, when to say things but…

      • KBT

        Selamat
        Have you been there? ?
        Did the experience you claim happened to you? ?
        Please explain how and why have you been arrested.

  • jacob abreham

    Hello Ahmedin,

    In your article, you seem to have either avoided or forgot to mention the fate of so called “Jeberti”. I hope in your ensuing articles you might include the future of the “ Jeberti” in Eritrea ,which seemed to have put into a big question mark. Their fate has been in limbo for quite some time, and with their last decade political squander in the opposition ,it appears that it would be unsuited to accommodate them in any form or shape be it politically, economically and socially in now and tomorrow’s Eritrea.

    • KBT

      Selamat kulukhum
      Because there is no ethnic group called jeberti my brother
      That is in some narrow brain that it exists ,jeberti speech tigrigna
      There is no historic evidence of jeberti ethnic existence

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear KBT

        Hi KBT –Who said so ? you? no my friend , actually there is such thing in Eritrea historically or scientifically… what we mean by that is relatively.. and if you call Saho & Kunam are different Ethnic groups why you don’t want to call Jebertiy an Ethnic bhere why..explain please ..

        • KBT

          Selamat
          Because saho and kunama have specific language and live in specific erea ,the jeberti live among tigrigna and speech tigrigna so in based of what are they different

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi KBT,

            Please , now explain to me — why if they will be called by other ethnic group ! in Eritrea the only scientifically approved ethnic group is Rashayda–there are 5 criteria language- culture-etc,,

          • KBT

            Selamat kulukhum
            Again how is that make them different from tigrigna ?
            You don’t know what you talking about right?
            You said also he don’t know about federalism, well I can see it in ethiopia and it a failed policy ,I can see it in Nigeria and it s a failed policy.
            I know the intention is to divide and weaken our country,but again you guys failed miserably.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Selamat KBT,

            “I know the intention is to divide and weaken our country,but again you guys failed miserably.”

            Where was that – ” watch at your words ” recently some one on this site said –

            Now where is awate team? why they are no warning you?

          • KBT

            Selamat
            I think it’s you that wish awate to warn me cause you can’t stand the true right ???

    • blink

      Dear Jacob
      That is simply not true, I don’t believe the jeberti are asking a Gold played sit , their question can only be answered by the Eritreans in a democratic way not by crying fool or by sympathetic words. Once an individual rights are respected in Eritrea ,I believe we all can see the mirror.

  • michelda

    Dear Ahmeddin Osman

    The cat is out of the bag now, there is no going back now. The curse of ELF, EPLF and TPLF and other wannabe 1960th communist will haunt the god fearing innocent people of Ethiopia and Eritrea for the forcible feature. what a cursed generation….

  • G. Gebru

    Dear Ahmedin Osman,
    Ramadan Kerim.
    Before independence Eritrea was divided into eight districts or Awrajas. Within these Awrajas the Eritrean people, other than poletically motivated minor social problems the Eritrean people were living in harmony and peace within their Awrajas and the free movement of people from one Awraja to the other.
    Within one Awraja you will find people of different faiths and customs living side by side equally sharing their good and bad days and engaging together their challenges.
    The dictatorial regime established zones are indirectly like what the TPLF officially declared ethnic federation. The only difference is that ‘in Ethiopia ethnic boarder lines are demarcated. So one of the best solutions is to go back to the Awraja system and establish an equally representative strong central leadership with a strong legistlative, excutive and judiciary organs.
    Thanks.

The Allyship Model of Anti-Marginalization Struggle

28 Jul 2017 Amanuel Hidrat Comments (249)

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe Dawit Mesfin’s recent article “All about self-liberation”…

Ahl Al-Kahaf: The Sleepers of Ephesus

21 Jul 2017 Saleh "Gadi" Johar Comments (189)

Let me begin by wishing success and fruitful discussions for the organizers and attendants of the Sheffield Meeting, planed for…

All about Self-Liberation

17 Jul 2017 Dawit Mesfin Comments (86)

  I have a friend who served as a British soldier during WWII whose stories I find quite fascinating. In fact,…

Massawa's Cultural Heritage: Through the Prism of PFDJ

10 Jul 2017 Gedab News Comments (262)

This investigative report was published on June 23, 2003. Two days ago, Asmara, Eritrea’s capital city was designated a “World…

Music

Cartoons

Links

Follow Us

Email
Print