Sometimes it escalates and reaches at the verge of a confrontation; it happened following the refusal of Ethiopia to implement the demarcation rule; and it is almost happening now as a result of the recent statement by the Ethiopian Prime Minister. According Voice Of America (VOA), The Ethiopian Prime Minister, “charged neighboring Eritrea with backing the Oromo Liberation Front, and he vowed to reciprocate by supporting rebels trying to overthrow the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.” The threat is perceived by some Eritreans as real and immediate, generating fervent discussions in Eritrean paltalk rooms. Only time will tell if the current threat is any different from the former.
During the former threat, a Higdefite approached me to help him advise the opposition organizations to take a neutral position in the event of the outbreak of War. He went on lecturing me on the importance of defending the nation against outsiders (Ba’adawian)…
Frankly, I was really surprised because:
1) I was not even a member of any opposition organization let alone to be in a position to influence.
2) It never occurred to me that a Higdefite would be concerned about the national security of Eritrea. I believed then, and I still do, that Isaias is bent to destroy Eritrea with the active collaboration of his followers.
I told the Higdefite that I was surprised and why. In a normal situation, it is not difficult to predict how he would react. He would dismiss me as Weyane! He would even try to intimidate me—they try it with all, until they learn that there are some combatants, who do not let themselves to be intimidated into silence! The well-known Saleh Gadi Johar is a typical sample case. But, this time the Higdefite reacted differently. He was unusually soft. In fact he pleaded his sincerity to me. These guys are not always in a state of demagogy. They know when to play arrogant and demagogic and when to bend.
I then tried to make him realize that he was demanding the opposition not to do what his own Isaias did some years back. However and even before he started to clarify his position, it occurred to me that he might be a faithful follower of the famous saying: “keshi kem zi bele geber, keshi kem zi gebere ay tegber.” Meaning: “do what the priest tales you to do, but not what he himself does.” What a hypocritical mentality! Then, the Higdefite confessed to me that he was Jebha by that time; and that it was wrong of Isaias to come to power with the help of the Weyane; and that our country was under colony then; and that the situation was different; …he went on and on pleading with all imaginable and an imaginable excuses, that I decided to cooperate. You cannot really imagine how good he mastered the art of flattery.
I did not give Isaias the benefit of the doubt, when he assumed power. But with that particular Higdefite, I was extra generous. I shared him his concerns and I assured him my readiness to cooperate. But, I needed his help. The kind of favor he was asking for was not easy at all. I hade to try to convince Eritreans whose family members, relatives, friends and neighbors were either jailed, killed, tortured or simply made to disappear; Eritreans who lost every thing -their assets, their self respect, their dignity and most of all their humanity; Eritreans whose social structures were dismantled and ridiculed at; Eritreans whose life meant nothing to the dictator, who made them to perish either in limitless prisons or in successive wars. Wars ignited only to satisfy the dictators’ ego.
I had to explain to him that much, because I assumed that he was not aware of the depth of the suffering of our people. I had to. No one with a full knowledge of the state of the nation would plead the way he did. Not even a Higdefite! I promised to help if he could make my mission easier. I did not want to pardon him with a list of demands. I only wanted him to plead to his boss in order to secure the release of all political prisoners (I saw how good he was at it). I also made it clear to my Higdefite fellow Eritrean that it was below my dignity to ask someone help his Executioner! But if he could do his part, I would have the incentive to try. I could even use some of his arguments, especially the unimaginable ones!
Dear reader, I don’t want to insult your intelligence by telling you how the whole story ended.
I do not think that war is looming right now and the above quoted statement of the Ethiopian prime minister is similar to statements made by many other presidents including Isaias, when he declared to overthrow the regime in the Sudan. However, considering the nature of the conflict (too personalized), one cannot rule out the possibility that war might break out when it is least expected. For that reason I will not wait until another Higdefite comes to me in due time. I am the one to plead (gezie nkoloka gezie aytizebe, meaning: do not wait until it is too late). Had I any hope or expectation, I would have pleaded to the dictator himself, if it averts the threat of war.
My pleading is, therefore, directed to all Higdefites. But before I do that let me say few things about the nature of the people I am pleading to:
Human beings have frames of references that define what is to be permitted (Halal) and what is not (Haram). In another words the Halals and the Harams are defined and consistent in a given frame of reference. When you ask a normal person if something is Halal or if it is Haram, he simply refers to the definitions and answers you. He makes sure that the cases to be categorized fit his frame of reference. A Higdefite cannot. For instance, ask him if it is Halal to work from an enemy territory (enemy as defined by the dictators) against a dictatorial regime to bring about democracy. He has no frame of reference that helps him to answer yes or no. His answer depends on the political forces involved. It is Halal if an Ethiopian opposition works from Asmara, but not when an Eritrean opposition works from Addis.
Even with that kind of a chaotic morale value a Higdefite thinks of himself as more patriotic than others. It is time to test his patriotism. Besides defending the nation is the responsibility of all Eritreans. Hence, it is a national duty to create a conductive political environment before it is too late! That is how the Ethiopians took back Bdume and that is why I am pleading.
In the name of the above highlighted sufferings of our people I appeal to all Higdefites to plead to the dictator to leave us alone! He should not monopolize the decision of war and peace in our country, simply because, if war comes, it is our youth who will be forced to fight and die or who will be refusing to fight and die! The end result is the same: the loss of hundreds of thousands innocent lives. It has to be made clear to you that only the Eritrean people decide on matters of peace and war.
And when that happens, I know that the Eritrean people will choose peace! Nothing but peace!
If that is not enough, I plead to them in the name of the deceased fathers (sega abotatkom!), hopping that they still preserve their culture from being overridden by the PFDJ culture.
Your comments are welcome.