Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

The Allyship Model of Anti-Marginalization Struggle

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe

Dawit Mesfin’s recent article “All about self-liberation” has generated and stimulated discussion among the greatest notable minds of awate forum. The article and the debaters’ input provoked me to write this piece to enhance Dawit’s thesis of “self-liberation”, by framing it into pragmatic solutions, for those who are self-liberated among us as a group or as individuals. I can’t pass without appreciating the inputs of Yohannes Zerai and Ismail AA in highlighting the need of “self-assessment and self-liberation” of the Eritrean opposition movements, to redefine and redirect their struggle.

Dawit’s “self-liberation” does not only call for fight our demons but also by fighting our demons we can transform the opposition movements, to engage and to liberate our people. In doing so he tried to examine the “shattered Eritrean dream” and “the perverted power” that resides at the helm of the state of Eritrea. Moreover, Dawit didn’t shy away from making his worries known about “the negative episode that takes place within the sphere of the opposition camp” which he accounted as “regionalism, religionism, tribalism, factionalism, and closed nationalism.” I hope Dawit is not characterizing the aggrieved social groups in whatever way they are organized: as tribalists, regionalists, or religionists. I am always baffled when our elites loosely use those socio-political terms in our political discourse.

In this essay I will explain who are the self-liberated individuals or groups, how social mistrust blooms among our social groups and hence within the opposition camp; where are its roots? What are the causes to the birth of “social group” organizations? How do the self-liberated individuals and groups address the grievances of the aggrieved social groups? Why “the allyship model of struggle” is important in the anti-marginalization struggle? Why do we see allegations of Ethnic supremacy in our political discourse? These and others will be addressed in this article.

The Marginalization of Minorities in Eritrea is Real and Alive

Eritreans must come to grips with marginalization. Marginalization in Eritrea does exist be it socially, politically, or economically. It became the basis of all the mistrust within the opposition camp. The current authoritarian or tyrannical regime of the state of Eritrea is using all the tools of oppression and marginalization to stay in power. This is a fact that all our citizens are experiencing in different shape or form. Anyone who denies this fact from those who claim to be solution seekers are indeed dishonest and unprincipled individuals who sow the seeds of disagreement in the discourse of the current struggle. The current marginalizing system in Eritrea is the root of “mistrusts and ethno-grievances” in our nation and it creates conditions for the formation of Ethnic or social group organizations. Any social group that is targeted by the system of oppression or agents of the system of oppressions has the rights to organize and mobilize its social bases to fight and reassure its equitable rights–as individual citizens and as a group. Do we call fighting for equitable rights an ethnicist struggle? Absolutely not. Linguistically, Ethnicism is a prejudice based on ethnic origin or ethnic identity. Scientifically, Ethnicity is more of a sociological term that describe “culture of sizable group of people sharing a common linguistic or cultural heritage.” One can be naïve as to what ethnic and ethnicism entails. But one who advocate for equitable power sharing could not and should not be attacked as ethnicist by the dominant social group, simply for not complying with the politics of the interest of the system that wants to run the nation.

Who Are the Self-Liberated Individuals or Groups?

Robert Brezsny identified the self-liberated individuals as “those who are always tenderly wrestling and negotiating with their own shadows making preemptive strikes on their personal share of the world’s evil, fighting the good fight to keep from spewing their darkness on those around them.” If we take Brezsny’s description as a baseline for identifying our self-liberated individuals in the context of the Eritrean politics, how many of us could honestly claim they are self-liberated? A high benchmark that is difficult to meet with the nature of Eritrean politics.

For starters, here are my own benchmarks to meet the self-liberated requirements, and are less difficult to meet. Self-liberated individuals are (a) those who have liberal progressive values, who understand the pain of their people and work hard to change the quality of life of their people (b) those who strives to maintain the equilibrium of power to maintain peace within our diversity (c) those who have the ears to listen the grievances of the social make up of their people, and work hard to address them to maintain their unity in diversity (d) those who have judicious mind based on justice and fairness (e) and those who never wavered with time and circumstances, and never falter on those principles.

As Fredrick Nietzsche generously opined, that “the great epochs in our lives are at the points when we gain the courage to rebaptize our badness in to the best of us.” Henceforth. it is time to transform ourselves into “self-made heroes and heroine, by washing our own brain, healing our own pain, to command a kind of courage that causes power itself to tremble in its makeshift throne”. In short, all Eritreans must walk towards their fears to find their own power, knowing everyone in the oppressor group is part of the oppression.

The Allyship Model and The Social Justice Allies

In the political tradition of anti-racism of the white liberals in the USA, we have seen them make their own role by forming a mental image that the courts and the official political process were the driving force of anti-racist social change. But in recent years “some activists whose discourse is motivated by political radicalism rather than by liberalism have adopted a different way of foregrounding the agency of white people.” They did so by conceptualizing anti-racist struggle in terms what they termed it the “allyship.” The concept of allyship in general and the anti-racist ally in particular, did not come from the domain of social movements, instead it was imported from the social work of professionals into the social movement activism. Anne Bishop whose book of 1994 “Becoming an ally” had played a great role in popularizing the term. Allyship should not be confused with similar-sounding concept “alliance.” Alliance is “an irreducibly strategic concept that refers to the confluence of different social forces taking up one another’s demand in the context of commitment to reciprocal solidarity and mutual support.” In contrast, Allyship is undertaken by individuals not by the entire movements. Allyship is “a sincere commitment on the part of privileged person to offer ongoing support to individuals, groups, or organizations that are excluded that kind of privilege, and to take direction from them about the form that support should take.” I believe self-liberation or self-emancipation are consistent with allyship model.

How can the concept of “Allyship” be applicable in our realities, in the anti-marginalization struggle? How could we contribute to the struggle of our minorities? what is the role of progressive individuals who are self-liberated in the struggle of our minorities? All these questions, are important to address the mistrusts that hold us from moving forward. The Highlanders–the dominant social force so to speak–must open their ears to listen to the grievances of our minorities, start to show their solidarity as individuals and offer their support on the ongoing struggle of our minorities. Alliances without allyship will not lead us to success. While Allyship could help us to reduce mistrust, alliance will help us to win our common struggle against the brutal system that created all the mess we are entangled in. We must learn the various oppression in our society, because our ignorance of them always makes us part of the oppression.

Self-Liberation is not a Panacea to our Social Ills

Since false ideas have the power to control human souls, only people who value liberty have a motive to win against false ideas that control the norm of society. Self-liberated consciousness is a moral compass for our thoughts and actions. But that cannot be a strategy in our fights to win against oppression. Oppressions are embedded in the social ills of society. The conception of self-liberated individual’s idea and the conditions of the society are governed by different sets of rules. Societies are governed by mutually agreed set of rules, while individual’s thought and actions are governed by the conscious mind of the self. Our sociopolitical problems are reflections of the relationship of our social groups, who are currently venting their grievances in different forms and shapes. Are we ready to recognize their grievances and ready to address them? ‘We are all aggrieved’, is not an answer. Rather, we must address each grievance either within the national political framework or individually depending on their nature.

Pinterest
  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Blink,

    In my reply to your accusation that was directed to me and Ismail AA – two comments below, I have promised to you a link of my articles written about the plight of the highlanders. I will supply you one link and the rest, I will advice you to visit my column – “tebeges” at awate.com. Besides, I will ask you to make a little effort to know about the work of the people, you are ready to accuse them. Below is a link to give you a glimpse of my outcry to the plight of my social group – the tigrigna social group, when I heard bashing against them.

    http://awate.com/hardtalk-straying-from-their-fathers-way-part-iv/

    regards

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Aman,
      Thank you for calm way you have handled the hasty and sentiments littered allegations of our dear brother, Blink.
      Well dome.

    • blink

      Dear Mr. Amanuel
      I read your articles and I can say I have got enough of your perspective and I thank you for that. Back to the above article and why I reacted that way.
      I believe these who assume liberated from the human nature are always trying to avoid some truth, there will never be a 100% liberated individual or society but we can have individuals with good intentions and individuals do not represent the society , we will be mixing as we continue to live. You said “Oppressions are embedded in the social ills of society ” social ills ?? I mean the problem in Eritrea is not directed by one social group against the other , what we have is a dictator that is all, the Tigrinya and Tigre are not signatories of the dictator rule, they have never been a signatory and they never gave a single sign of that. May be they didn’t talk enough about their suffering ,they have suffered enough .I am definitively looking at this as a subjective thing. The perception of the Tigrinya must be put in to account, when we say social ills like ,Examples of some social ills include crime, bullying,delinquency, discrimination, family disintegration, poverty and homelessness. I mean these are all our people experiencing now ,with out any difference. Here I am not saying there have been good to everyone or bad to everyone.

      Even after the dictator, let’s say saay became a leader ,this guy campaigned for long time for , school ,language ,equality and many other issues , but he will never guarantee that he will give a judge for a cattle problem to one Hidarib or Harendawa ,Such dysfunction is likely to be unequally distributed as far as governing continuous,who it effects and how much each subgroup suffers from it doesn’t matter. Now we have ethnic based opposition groups who even refused to talk to other groups, we have opposition leaders who insult Hamid Idris Awate as villain, I personally don’t think such groups are healthy group. I mean who is self liberated and who is not ? Haile was accusing the Tigrinya as beneficiaries of the current system and every one was dancing on it, at that time I felt like this accusation is out of control and it is evil, again I am not saying you didn’t know the problem but what I find it hard is you concluded that the minority are the once in great problem because they have been saying such for long time and the Tigrinya must listen to them ,at least that is my perception from this minority thing. I believe the current problem we have is not social ills of one against the other. The problem in the opposition started when the small ethnic groups tried to accuse the larger once . There must be one question that you , Ismael and Haile give answer and that is , when was the time that the highlanders formed a political opposition group on the name of “Highlanders, Tigrinya ? Who started the crazy things , who spoiled the honest nature of our opposition? The Tigrinya no no they did not but the smaller once did .

      I still believe the social problem in the opposition was started by the minority or the small ethnic groups out of blindness. I don’t believe power by affirmative action is doable in Eritrea,even after the dictator still the smaller groups must fight for all and show the majority that they don’t mean bad. Our world doesn’t work on a balanced way , it will always a tilted one and that small tilted angle is the fight every body must try to make it full circle .I believe all these fighting for their right must continue with out accusing any one but they have to magnify that they have a problem. The kunama , afar , jeberti, saho and any one can not say they are fighting for change while they print their political power maps out of grievances , do you believe the afar political views are going to get them power ? I don’t think because they can not do it alone and they will not get it from others .who in his right mind think kunama will be administered Barentu after the dictator? The reality on the ground is unchangable even by a super liberal leader . When I see barentu , I ask people to read the history of red indians in America or the aboriginal people in Australia. That is what I see. And to assume grievances from such scenario is simply irrelevant to the root cause of the current problem.
      we have a dictator and we have to solve it now before the kunama next generations got lost every inch of their where about. We have a 25 years old Tigre, Tigrinya or may be saho in barentu who has 2 kids and no clue about social grievances of kunama. I believe the grievances thing is simply not fair to the majority of young Eritreans. For me the grievances thing doesn’t exist because I believe young Tigrinya or Tigre have nothing to do with it and they have their own problem and it is about survival or not. While they are on survival mode I can’t ask or accuse them of dehumanizing my ethnic group, that is simply not fair and it will made me greedy and plus a guy hungry for power.Again I apologize if you took it personally when I mentioned your name or Ismael.

      • Haile S.

        Dear Blink,
        Could you please say which Haile you are refering to when you said “Haile was accusing the Tigrinya as beneficiaries of the current system and every one was dancing on it, at that time I felt like this accusation is out of control “? I did comment on that thread. I can clarify if you were reffering to mine. Thanks

        • blink

          Dear Haile.s
          Sorry I forgot the “Z”.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Blink,

        I think we have to stop here. Please don’t tell me the mistrust is not eating our social fabric. Don’t give me an excuse for not fighting the social problem by giving examples the relationship of the whites and Red Indians. And don’t tell me, we can not change the social problem on the ground because the minorities are always minorities and will be dictated by the whim of the majority. Their struggle will continue with those who recognize their plight to assure their fair share in the politics and economy of the nation. You do not need this long hateta to tell us not to speak about the marginalization of the minorities.

        I do not mind what you believe about them (about the minorities). The only thing I could tell you is: don’t throw baseless accusation to us without knowing our history and don’t twist people’s opinion. If you do not believe that there is no marginalization it is okay with me. I will let your words and your positions will be to weighed and measured by the marginalized section of our society and by those who fights for equitable power sharing and fair distribution of economy among our diversity. Human being set principles how they lead their lives and they fight for those principles. And I am fighting for my principles and that is fighting for “fair share living” as bases for peace and coexistence of our society. Just read me that way, and if you want to oppose, do so, without wrongly characterizing my view.

        Regards

        • blink

          Dear Mr. Amanuel
          Yes , I agree we have to stop here because as I can see we are not making any progress to make our view nearer. I wish you a great fortune for your principles , but I want to just tell you that I know what I am saying and I have no illusion that you know yours too. Still I am convinced and confident that people at my age from the highlanders doesn’t lose sleep thinking about the grievances that they have nothing to do. Our differences are simply between the perception we have and I respect your while I reject them fully and rejection is not accusing nor insult. Let’s wait and see .

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam blink,

    You have made a lot good points. But, you seem to have overrated the effect the posts on this forum have on Eritrean politics.

    On the main, people post here to drown their sorrows, that arise from perceived grievances. The current system in Eritrea may not be ideal, but rest assured that an opposition does not exist. What you have here is a mutual consolation society residing in delusion. Another 25 years and nothing will change.

  • Peace!

    Hi Blink,

    Thank you for showing your true colors and for confirming that opposing PFDJ should start with cleaning the opposition camp itself, and further, we should listen closely to honest Ethiopians that they seem to have a good heart and a better vision for both countries.

    Peace!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Blink,

    Who accused the tigrigna speaking or social group? Why are you “zeytebahle tizareb”? Amanuel and Ismail didn’t accuse the tigrigna speaking or social group. Our accusation is always directed to PFDJ and its system. Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved is not sin and will never ever regret on raising the issue of the aggrieved. Second you couldn’t tell that I haven’t spoken or written about the plight of the tigrigna social group. If you want to know it send me your email to email to you or wait till the weekend. So pls discover before you are talking baseless. But..but…but tell me how to reduce the mistrust among our social groups in order to fight collectively? You have stated that you participated in many demonstrations and you have noticed that the tigrigna speaking are the overwhelming majority that show in the demonstrations. If that the case can tell me why the other social groups are not showing up in great number? Do you have your own reason as to why is like that? And what is the solution to the reasons you came about? Am I not trying to address those issues in my writing? It is not the mistrust the reason, then what are the problems that is not bringing us together to fight the lunatic despot? Try to criticize only when you identify the problems and came with solutions and we fail to back you with reasons.

    Here is my email: tebeges@yahoo.com

    Regards

    • saay7

      Emma:

      I think Cousin Blink is responding not to anything written here because you, Ismail, and everyone who was involved in the discussion made it crystal clear that the bad guys are only the PFDJ and their policies affect different groups differently. I think he is responding to a lot of poisonous postings that appear in social media that have criminalize an entire group (or its subset.)

      In other words, it is a classic case of “deHmqo aleni: betrey habuni.” Those who are frustrated with PFDJ (and can do nothing about it), with Weyane (and can do nothing about it), and the international community (and can do nothing about it), and the UN (and can do nothing about it) find it to be of great psychological relief to demonize and beat up people who are victims just like them. In psychology, they call that “transference” and it’s not even a conscious decision. We just have to continue to work hard on a winning strategy, undeterred by past failures because “nothing succeeeds like success”: the minute we score victories, all the apathetic and all the silent and all the experts at transference will clamor to be on our side and claim they were always on our side.

      saay

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Hi blink,

    Thank you Mr. blink. You have confirmed in the above comment that you are a very old record. Isaias has told the people of Kebessa the same. He preached to them you are open to attacks and should support him. The result was he has become the most person who has transgressed on the rights of Kebessa people. He has killed, imprisoned and tortured many of them. Isaias is the main reason of the death of many Kebessa youth in deserts and high seas, and he has done all this in the name of saver and protector of Kebessa people.

    Secondly, you have no right to speak about the believers, the Christians who believe in God. You are an atheist and you have the right only to speak about those who follow your religion, atheism. Stop your trade with Kebessa people.

    I would like to remind you about what you have written before ten days:

    “blink Hameed Al-Arabi • 10 days ago
    Dear Hameed
    Every time people’s fight is all about taking something by either side. I don’t see why god created such creature. Man is unnecessary to the larger part of this world ,except man is the cause of destruction . I have to ask when is the so called god to listen to all these people praying for peace. He is a cruel one if he ever exists. I don’t see any reason to believe he is necessary for human being. Power hungry preachers and power hungry politicians run his world while he creates people with skin cancer or horrible things inside.”

    Al-Arabi

  • sara

    Dear blink.
    Interesting! very unusual from the anti pfdj camp in this forum.

    • blink

      Dear Sara
      I hope you understand, all this attack on the highlanders is not about opposing PFDJ , it has nothing to do with PFDJ. This attack is not different from the attack done by PFDJ over them , I would have said the same things if they attacked other ethnic groups. The attitude they are spewing is simply not political views, it is a way of making outlandish claims and seeding bad things inside Eritrea.

      • sara

        ya akhuna blink..
        high/law land ? i think from what i read here there is lack of info… about Eritrean demography, or some of us have a glimpse of it and we base our discussion from that angle. unless of course we want to create a new
        geography based on our imaginary lines. those who had the opportunity to serve Eritrean cause before and after independence for sure know the real facts and will never raise the high land lawland gzeu zehalefo boletica 50/60.
        i believe there is no law or high or majority and minority thoughts in Eritreans syc at least from the home front, i never heard an eritrean who thinks him self he is a from minority… of course he may say i am from this village,town,area ..
        son/doughtier of this that.. etc but to feel like they do feel minorities in other places… NEVER …. ata blink… wa ertrawi eu ko>

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Blink,
        My dear, though what you wrote has some truth to it, I honestly think you are exaggerating it. The mutual incrimination is there and social group is exempted from the onslaught. But that is natural in the absence of a normal national grievances. Even if we have a functioning parliament, such squabbles are the gist of politics not taboo. Discussing grievances , perceived or real, is part of being a diverse nation. You can have a different view but allow others to have their views.

        Some like Simon think there is no opposition, opposition does not exist only in heaven. Even if our existence as opposition is not acknowledged, no one can say there are no issues that warrant opposing and fighting. The lack of progress is nothing new though sad. During the struggle era many made fun of the never-ending struggle of Eritreans which finally triumphed. As long as there is no justice, the struggle goes on. As long as differ on how to save Eritrea and we care for Eritrea, we are fine though we should have done a lot better. Don’t let temporary frustrations lead you to the unwanted territory. Focus on what needs to be done and convince others–at the end, persuasion doesn’t require being combative. Leave that combative attitude to the PFDJ and its boss, not to your beleaguered compatriots.

  • Haile S.

    Hi Awatistas,
    Arriving home, I just learned the passing of the great memhr Alamin Abduletif. He is one of the greatest voices that had reverberated the heart and shoulders of every eritrean and beyond. He will be remembered for those great songs and his always smiling face.
    I didn’t know about this sad news when I mentioned Uma his song in my earliest comment to Emma. It just happened I was listening to his songs while working.
    If there is a song that makes people of every color and every age to pour to the middle of a ceremony hall, it is his, and particulary Uma. He will be well remembered!

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Haile,
      Cultural lesson as mentioned a few times here 🙂
      The correct title of the song you mentioned is Yimma! Meaning Mother, some pronounce it Yumma, its not Uma (umma) which means Nation.

      • Haile S.

        Absolutely! Thank you Saleh.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat,

      Sad news. He is one of the icons of cultural and revolutionary singers. He will be greatly missed. I hope the awate team will come with an eulogy that explains the life history of this great man.

  • Abraham H.

    Selam Awatista, here is a quote from one of the staunchest pfdj supporters known by the nick ‘hagerawi dhnet’, what hagerawi dhnet, hegerawi tifat ember, lol, regarding a participation of Eritrean athlets in the London World Athletics Championships from last week.

    “ኣብሎንደን ዝካየድ ውውድር ሻምፕዮን ዓለም ትሳተፍ ሃገራዊት ጋንታ ኤርትራ ትማሊ ኣብታ ሃገር ከምዝኣተወት ተፈሊጡ ኣሎ፡ ኣብዚ ካብ 4-13 ነሓሰ ኣብ ለንደን ዝካየድ ውድድር ኤርትራ ኣብ ኣርባዕተ ዓውድታት (3000 ሜተር ስቴፕል ቸይስ፡5000ሜተር፡ 10 ሽሕ ሜተር ጉድያ ከምኡውን ማራቶን) ክትሳተፍ እያ፡እዛ ብኣሰልጠንቲ ዳንኤል ወልደየሱስ ኢሰያስ ኣሰፉውን እትእለ ጋንታ ኣብ ውድድር 5ሽሕ ንዓወትን ሃብተን ኣሮን ክፍለን፡ 10ሽሕ ንንጉሰ ኣምለሶምን፡ ኣሮን ክፍለን፡ ህዝቅኤል ተወልደን፡ ኣብ ማራቴን ንዮውሃንስ ገብረገግሽ፡ ክብሮም ገ/እዝጋብሄርን ኣማንኤል መሰልን፡ከምኡ ድማ ኣብ ውድድር 3ሽሕ ሜተር ስቴፕል ንየማነ ሃይለስላሴ ከተኽትት እያ፡
    ኣብ ውድድር ማራቶን ዓለም 2015 ተዓዋቲ ወርቂ መዳልያ ዝኾነ ግርማይ ገብረስላሰ ብሰንኪ ኣብ እግሩ ዝገጠሞ ናይ መላግቦ ማህሰይቲ ኣብዚ ናይ ሎሚ ዓመት ውድድር ከምዘይሳተፍ ተፈሊጡ ኣሎ።”

    I know that participation in such events is based on the skills and qualifications of the participants, but there is one glaring fact we cannot miss from the list of the Eritrean athlets and their trainers that the ‘other half’ of Eritrea is no where to be seen. Do you see where we are heading to as a nation in terms of huge disparities and imbalances within our society? Also I think if someone were to conduct a research regarding those Eritrean students attending and graduating from institutes of higher education, we would find out at least 80% of them belong to the Tigrinya ethno-linguistic group. These developments in our society which are certainly going to continue unabated as far as the current regime continues, doesn’t bode well for a future peaceful co-existence among the various sections of our society.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Abraham,
      Some of us do not seem to appreciate the future and long term implication of the points you have shared. Even some among us who had access to what Ahmed Rajji had produced do tend to either to forget or simply ignore as fantasies or at best dismiss them as disparities the power interest of the regime has caused rather being works of systematic policies arbitrary decrees and stealth executive directives of the despot carry down through the bureaucracy and state organs. The worrying thing of all is that counter argument to any insistence on exclusion and marginalization tend to be wrapped in thin shell of assault on the entire Tigrigna speaker community which in essence removes guilt from the despots and his foot soldiers of oppression and marginalization.
      But, the point concerned and conscious elements should keep on stressing is that the things going on in our country would sooner or later reach crescendo and that shall not bode well to our country and people because injustice and oppression are not destined to endure for ever. Tomorrow could be frightening if we look at what has been happening to societies in state that have been ruled in way our own people are being governed.

  • MS

    Hello Awatista
    This is rather a lengthy commentary, I apologize for not condensing it).
    I have read some of the worthiest comments in the past week. Thanks to all those who graced us with deep and frank commentaries. There is no doubt that Amanuel has the interest of our country and its people in his heart. Having the opportunity to discuss some of these issues with him, I have learned the man more. His heart yearns to see a country where all of its citizens feel welcome, safe, and equal in all opportunities. I think any decent person would not disagree with what Emma is saying. Our differences are in the way things are framed and in the prioritization of steps. My problem always emanates from the insinuation that a certain “social group” is the cause of the grievances some other ‘social groups’ are said to be raised. I say “said to be raising” because at this time we have no way of telling what exactly the grievances are; if it is a systemic marginalization (planned and executed against certain groups) or if it is disparities that resulted because of the nature of the regime which is affecting everyone (to some extent); which social groups we are talking about, and what percentage of those said “social groups” believe they are indeed systematically, or otherwise, marginalized, etc. Amanuel Hidrat mentions his experience with the leaders of those factions. I would ask the following: can we be sure the views expressed by those leaders represent the views of each of the “social group” they speak of representing? Are they a good sample of the public opinion of those “social groups”?
    Amanuel Hidrat would have avoided some of the misunderstandings by showing us why the national political programs of the opposition would not meet the democratic precondition that such “social groups” would need in order to advance their specific demands. If Emma can say “Here are the grievances, and here is why the current programs of the opposition can’t answer/meet them, and therefore, they have a legitimate concern to have assurances from their allies in the opposition that they won’t have a predicament that is similar to the current one under a regime run by the opposition…”, we would have a clear idea to discuss on, point by point.
    Some topics/subjects that need clearance:
    Self liberation is a continuous process, there is no absolutely self-liberated person; social processes are fluid; they evolve, they change (sometimes to the worst). A person could feel self-liberated only in reference to the challenges that a certain social era produces. Whomever may feel liberated in reference to certain issues might be liberated in others, etc.
    Some folks of contract between the “aggrieved social groups” and the “dominant group”. Ye, in the history of mankind, we have to see a constitution or a document that has solved marginalization. The best Constitutions in the world have not solved grievances of certain sects, they have not solved issues of political and socioeconomic marginalization. But they enable the marginalized to assert themselves, they become a reference and a tool to fight back for their shares. That type of a document/constitution becomes enduring when it is endorsed by representatives of the people in free Eritrea, where there is a fair chance for all the social groups to be represented, where the leaders/representatives have a mandate from their bases in order to negotiate/dialogue for the promotion of their interests.
    The current opposition’s configuration and the way demands/priorities are framed leave us with the following scenarios.
    Scenario I:
    – The largest ethnic group (Tigrinya) feels it is oppressed/marginalized by an unelected government from deciding on its future.
    – The aggrieved social groups feel the root cause of the current grievances is PFDJ’s policy and not an inherent value of our Tigrinya compatriots
    Here you have a common ground and the talking points are policies and not particular social group. You can have a healthy debate/discussion and come out with a framework of mutual understanding. You can solve hiccups that may arise along the way.
    ScenarioII
    – Some political factions of the “aggrieved social groups”, sometimes dubbed “minorities” insist that the backbone of the current regime hails from Tigrinya, therefore, they say, “we can’t trust their ‘democratic programs’ unless we have a concrete assurance that they won’t act like PFDJ once the opposition assumes power.”
    This position risks of dismantling the opposition itself because:
    1. It assumes that Tigrinya’s are not trustworthy (even when they are opposing PFDJ along their sides, in one trench!!
    2. Assumes that the leaders who claim to represent the “aggrieved group” have the mandate to decide a major component of the covenant of free Eritrea.
    3. Assumes that the leaders of the opposition who hail from our Kebessa people have the mandate to discuss on the behalf of the Tigrinya people.
    4. It is counter productive and divisive because, if followed, the identity and values of a people are becoming the target, not PFDJ’s policies which have no endowment and support from the majority of our Tigrinya people. In addition to the lack of legitimacy- because such an endeavor could only be taken by free citizens of Eritrea through an approved upon democratic process- it poses ethnic groups against each other and the victor surely is PFDJ. When ideas are framed in a “we versus them” people get defensive and the victim is always the solution.

    • Ismail AA

      Hayak Allah Ustaz Mahmoud,

      Let me first do the ritual I most of time do when I feel graced with postings that I know had consumed precious time to think about and write. So, with the hope it won’t sound boring to some of my compatriots here in this forum I must thank you for this expanded contribution to the discussion. The points or ideas raised, clarified or suggested could either remove, or alert the reader of, ambiguities that help us to have better understanding of the views of others and improve or correct one’s own. This posting is very rich and useful on that score.

      1. The first point that caught my sight was the question of framing ideas (things) and arranging priorities to implement in dealing with the regime through political and public relations campaigns or even with weapons. Without challenging the efficacy of this postulate I would have liked to learn from you the requisites we need to discharge of this important first phase steps. I mean to ask here whether creating the right conditions for some collective forum of dialogue in good faith is a priority in its own right that could enable us to do those two tasks and enshrine them in a program of action that serve us as mandatory reference (in the interim period to the removal of the dictatorship at least) to all its signatories be them the social groups or across s socio-ethnic national forces.

      2. The reference to “social groups”, “ethno-linguistic groups” and “minorities” seems to me causing pretty noticeable confusion in our debates. It is not clear to me whether we are using this term each in its own rights or using them interchangeably. I am raising this point because you have stated that it is insinuated that one social group act as culprit in aggrieving the rest of the social groups, and the latter gang up against the former. In my humble opinion, I do not really believe framing the debate in such manner really represent the problem we have been trying to tackle. I believe that the description “social group” is very ambiguous because there could also be “social groups” within the bigger social groups, depending how a social group is defined.

      3. The assertion that the grievances are claimed rather concretely established seemed to me needing more clarification. It is true that none of the ethnic organizations or other organizations have pronounced or publicized in very well nuanced (systematic or disparities due to regime policies) memoranda of grievances be it to the governing entity that do not even accept their existence or any outside party. But under the circumstances, they have written their grievances and positions in political documents in the same way the national programs of their counterpart did. Moreover, I believe that establishment of resistance or rights focused movements do not usually pass through public opinion determining mechanisms to sort out percentages of support or opposition. These movements arise when the elites of the concerned groups feel duty bound to respond to wrongs or violation of rights. In such scenarios, thus, leaders simply represent the views of their bases or constituencies since the part cannot act in lieu of the whole though it can claim speaking on behalf of the whole.

      4. In closing these remarks, bear with me to scribble few words about “social groups-dominant group” contract and the function of constitution and constitution making in relation to societal problem resolution. As far as the debate on our own problems is concerned, I have never perceived through my own experience with the dealing of the opposition and their problems the demand had anything to do with two entities: the social groups vs the dominant groups which alludes to the opposition segment hailing from the Tigrigna ethnic group. As far as I know, there had been debates and arguments on collective charters or covenants during the ENA, EDA and the national congress that the Hawassa congress had produced. Demand that the so called dominant group been asked to sign to on the terms of social groups “social contract” does not really make sense let alone be proposed a remote alternative.
      On the constitution and constitution making, it might be true that it may not resolve all problems of society fundamentally because constitutions are primarily designed to lay down basic legal infrastructures for resolving issues that societies face at one stage and preclude them at future stages through amendments and by laws; and these issues are never static and could arise due to dynamisms of social, political and material-spiritual life of society which could impact society positively or negatively at any stage of developments.
      As a last word, let me share with you that this country in which I am living as exile (read: marginalized) Eritrean the problems that had faced the inhabitants who had been so divided and passed through wars and internal conflicts, the constitution and constitutional norms and codification had solved their problems to the extent one cannot believe what their history tells. Since the problem they had by and large are similar in nature and roots to our problems, I envy them and wonder whether we Eritreans, and the generation after me, would be fortunate to develop the awareness my compatriots in my second country had experienced to build such a prosperous nation.

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi MS,
      I think you are putting the burden of proof on Aman. It is everybody responsibility to find out the things that you are saying Aman should provide. I like Aman’s take not for its applicability of efficacy. But for the simple fact that he is saying I went and met and spoke to at least some of the aggrieved sections of our society. These is a big thing. He is not forming his idea from past or text books.

      The day I thought PFDJ was over was when they practically jailed Abune Anthonious. They were striking straight at the heart of the Tewhado, Tigrinya sacred values. Now I can see how wrong I was. Biher Tigrinya are the makers and shakers of the country at the moment. At the same time you see them the most empty handed. They are brutalized like everybody, in some instances, even worse. They are loosing their sons and daughters and are even afraid to mourn their dead. They are not allowed to bury their dead in their own plot of land unless PFDJ pleases.
      Now I do not think there is any sacred thing left to offend the sense of humanity of the Tigrinya masses to rebel against the monsters they put in power.
      So MS to say the Tigrinya fate is the same as the Kunama, Afar or a Beni-Amer is not correct to say the least.
      Anyone would expect them to do their share, which is bigger for many reasons. But they are sitting observers to their own tragedy.
      Given the reality I would expect Aman and the likes to be the norm but unfortunately they are the rare exception.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Haile Z,

        If people could have made their critics after doing their homework, knowing them, and interacting with them, we wouldn’t be where we are. But we are always judges from our homes. There is no effort in knowing them why they are the way are, and how to change the situation that makes them the way they are. Haile, our social relationship is not that good. It is just we don’t want to speak about our relationships and the things that affected us.

        This reminds me my friend SGJ in one of his article, asked us to check whether our telephone books has a heterogeneous list, about a decade or more ago, before our telephone books are replaced by our telephones. If we don’t have cross cultural conversations on matters of national issue on one to one openly, how could one speaks about solutions to our problem? Unrealistic to say the least. So Haile our hearts are not open to each other’s pain.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Awatistas, I must say it is very discouraging to witness the Justice Camp, very dysfunctional and almost non-existent right now, spends a lot of enery, and time talking about how to address Eritrea’s socio-economic problems at this time. How could the Justice Camp address the various ills of our society when it doesn’t have access to the people and country? How difficult is it to identify the priority of priorities, i.e. posing a challenge and ultimately removing the DIA regime which is the source of all those ills? Why couldn’t we focuss on how to rally the people accross the various social strata against the main culprit of the tragedy, i.e. the pfdj? Yes, I agree with those who’re claiming the pfdj’s main base is among the Tigrinya ethnic group, and the central political and economic power of the country is held by those people who come from this ethnic group. This reality is not something that happened all of a sudden during the DIA regime, it is a continuation of historical trends, though it has been strengthened further during the current regime. But the oppostion camp is not in a postion to deal with the imbalances or grievances of the smaller ethnic groups or any other group at this time; simply because it has no access to decision making and the people that need to be empowered. The best we can do right now is to identify all the injustices and grievances of our social groups and to agree on a tentative strategy as to how solve or ameliorate them in post DIA/pfdj Eritrea. All our efforts, resources, and time should be directed at the removal of the regime; it is only then we could deal with all the ills of our society.

    • blink

      Dear Abraham
      If you agree the Tigrinya are the enablers of the dictator and accuse them of aggression, why would they even care to sit with us , I think this accusation against the highlanders is counterproductive at best. It will not serve the justice camp at all. You are saying to them that first they have to accept their guilty and then help us , it is wickedly corrupt. We have a problem and the problem is Issaias ,that we must tell to all Eritreans unless the pal talking is just rubbish . We need a united front against the dictator or we will be here for long , Down in this debate , I read saay , Ismael and SG on name expedition, you know what, they did not agree on one name . These three people have been in this for a long period of time and that is simply a sad thing to witness. Mr. Amanuel is accusing the highlanders and I think that is bad as the highlanders will direct their revenge on people like Mr. Yacob ( from Islamic party) . Mr habtemariam apologized long time ago to some people on behave of the Tigrinya and we knew what happened after that. The grievances thing is simply an obstacle nothing more. I am from a very tiny Ethnic in Eritrea and I know for a fact a Tigrinya in enda gergish has nothing to say about a Tigrinya in Anseba. I think the small groups will stil be mashroomed even after the dictator, It is the fact the tigrina will continou to have the larger share of any Eritrean political life. We do not need to peel every hair to see the skin , we know each other and trying to intimidate the Tigrinya is a bad recipe for our goal. They are may be the largest number in Eritrea and even more in the west diaspora and we need to play safe with them because after few years the situation in the west for Eritreans will change dramatically , we know this website and others are becoming secondary to live Facebook, pal talk and other media , go check how many sick minded guys are out there , I think most do not buy this grievances thing . We can sing day in day out about this but they will not buy it. We must give them a better way of framing our problems not this grievances or aggression thing.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Abraham,

      Let me start with your question: “Why couldn’t we focus on how to rally the people across the various social strata against the main culprit of the tragedy”? Because the mistrust within our societies held us from from rallying the whole social strata against the Culprit. What it surprise me still is: we are asking the same question almost for two decades. The truth of the fact is, either we believe there is no mistrust among us (which is untrue), or we don’t want to address the mistrust that kept all of us in our comfort zone with our affiliations. Sometimes, straight shooters are needed to say it pointblank.

      Second, you also said: “The best we can do right now is to identify all the injustices and grievances of our social groups and to agree on a tentative strategy as to how solve or ameliorate them in post DIA/pfdj Eritrea.” That is exactly where we are failed in the opposition camp. We are failed to identify the injustices and grievances of our social groups so as to chart a ” tentative strategy as to how to solve and ameliorate them in post PFDJ.” There is lack of honesty to see what we see the problem that kept us from working collectively. Abraham thank you for your question you make me to vent my disappointment.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Thomas

    Dear Awatistas,

    Can someone tell me what seems to be for the deterioration of the relationships between the PFDJ mafias and Italy? The “meshrefet” in supporting hopelessness websites have started defaming Italy and her people? When did all at a sudden the evil marriage of the pfdj and Italy came to end?

    • saay7

      Thomas:

      Near as I can tell, the trigger was an interview that Yemane G had with an Italian newspaper. This same interview was published the first week of July and the last week of July by one of the kiddie websites (the purpose was to tell the sheep that their favorite wolf is alive and well) but the mesherfets actually thought it was 2 interviews.

      There really never was any good relationship between the governments of Eritrea and Italy, not since the two expelled each other’s ambassadors in 2001. There *were* PFDJ-Milan PFDJ-Italian municipalities deals, and Italians with “honorary Eritrean ambassador” titles facilitating God-knows-what. The one thing u can assume when a relationship goes sour and PFDJ is fuming is that money was involved.

      Otherwise, it is unseemly for an African country to complain that it doesn’t have a good relationship with its former colonizer. Can u imagine Mugabe saying that? Isn’t one of the complaints of Pan Africanists that Frenchphile Africa is getting ripped off by France? Italy got late in the game in the scramble for Africa and it got what Belgium, France, England didn’t.

      saay

      • Thomas

        Selam Saay,
        Thank you very much for the educational feed!! I was Nitricc on this one:)

        • Nitricc

          Hi Thomas, very funny, huh? it is very okay to go Nitricc than the alternative, Thomas-D, which stands and self explanatory to be Thomas Dengola.

        • Desbele

          Hi Thomas
          you make my day

      • Hayat Adem

        Yes Saay,
        It all started in 2001 when the floating vacation house in Massawa that belonged to Meloti and later owned by Italy as a heritage was suddenly forced to host an unexpected intruder aka Isayass. The Italian top diplomat in Eritrea then complained about the unannounced visit through appropriate diplomatic channels. Isayass became so furious that he immediately declared the Italian diplomat persona-non-grata and also ordered the heritage house be demolished right away, which was done in front of many eye witnesses. Italy reciprocated. Then after, the relationship was never the same.

  • MS

    Dear All awatista family
    Thanks for the kind and comforting expressions. Despite the fact that I have been one of those few untamed awatistas, and despite our sometimes sharp differences, we are still a family. Your compassionate sentences say it all. I actually brought the occurrence of the accident to let Emma know that i have had reasons to be late to join him in discussing his article. Let us be honest. The writers here are not paid for their time and efforts, the moderators also are not paid. The one thing awate writers would consider as a reward is robust feedback and discussions on the theme of their articles. So, it was intended to be my way explaining to Emma (a man I dearly respect, despite our minor political differences) why I was late to jot down my humble observation. It was not intended to divert your focus from the article. But, thanks all.
    That being said, welcome tes, you have been missed. Hayat, thanks, and I can tell you that i was attentive while the accident happened. The only time I put on my field jacket and fly off to the mountains off Sahel is when you give me hard time…ha…ha…ha… And as I recall it, all was quiet last week. To give you a picture: I was driving my kids home from a Summer writing camp, and had to stop because an ambulance arrived with its sirens on; it would cross at the intersection. All the lanes stopped. And this gentleman who was driving a utility truck rammed to us from the rear. My car was squeezed to half size, I’m grateful that both of my sons made it without major injury (just bumps and shock). I’m also grateful that the other driver was safe. The car is totaled. This brings me to Bayan. Fortunately both of us have full insurance coverage, including rental services until I get the check and shop for another car. Saleh Johar, when I read Gedab’s news on the state of Asmara’s sanitation; it reminds me of a song that the late Oqbagaber sang for the sorry state of the streets of Asmara under the occupation of the derg. They say history repeats itself, sometimes in a more vicious way. If Oqbagaber rose up, I think he would sing the same song with some changes: may be switching Derg to PFDJ, and tweaking the lyrics to be more condemning….
    That’s a traffic/reflection report/Hateta for today, now let’s go back and discuss Emmas article.
    Again, thanks all.

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi MS

      Glad you, all, walked safe from the wreck MS.

      This reminds me an accident I had 20 years ago. Our car rolled twice when it stopped we came out one by one dusting our cloths. Was your road dusty?

  • MS

    Selam Emma
    I ave been really really busy, and together with my two sons, we survived a bad car crash. We are fine. Thanks God-NaHmedhu wo NeshKruhu.
    It is an educational piece and as usual, you have given it your best. You have attracted many of the best minds of awatistas, their input was priceless, thanks to them too. That by itself attests to the fact that you have provided them with a beefy stuff to feed on (These guys jump onto the opportunity whenever provided with good stuff to discuss); I envy the minds of Dawit, Yohannes, ismailAA, SAAy, Bayan…but as the Tigrigna saying goes, “chru b’Aqma TeHegom, and here is my take.
    1. As an awareness discussion, it is indeed needed. As a strategy for change, I’m afraid we are putting the cart before the horse. And here is why:
    a/ Issues of marginalization (political; social, economic) become clear when we discuss them against c constitutional backdrop. When someone mention marginalization, the next questions are: who is marginalizing whom; why?; what is the deviation degree in terms of lack of political, economic, social benefits, etc…marginalized to what articles of the constitution? Where are the studies (and how valid are they?) that make us pronounce these assertions?
    b/ based on the above can we say the current situation is the “normal” against which we should weigh things?
    2. I firmly believe the current situation is not NORMAL, and everything we see is the manifestation of an abnormal situation. The main task should be on establishing normalcy in Eritrea: functioning institutions based on live constitution. Once we do that then Allyship and what have you can take a center stage because now we have established a baseline against which we should make comparisons to see if there are discrepancies in rights of individual citizens and social groups. We can say: hey my right has been trampled based on article so and so of my constitution, etc.
    In a nutshell, this is a stage where all social and political groups should make concessions in establishing that baseline (a constitution that is drafted and adopted by elected bodies, where unfettered popular participation takes place in order to make the constitution reflective of the different social groups and their socioeconomic strata.
    3. I firmly believe that asserting or insinuating that a certain social (ethnic, or religious) group is benefiting from the current regime is inaccurate and detrimental to our social cohesion as a nation (unity). Today, we have bad policies of a government that no social group has endorsed. Even if we believe that ruling body is marginalizing some to the benefit of “its base”, it surely is doing it without the consent of that base-in this case the Tigrigna social group.
    4. We have seen ethnic organizations and foundations that fan their activities mushroom. Yet, we have to see anyone of them garnering the support of the social group they purport are fighting for. Hundreds of lowland Eritreans have been living in Sudanese refugee camps. In the eighties and nineties, some Jihadist movements have tried to agitate them, but those organizations failed to gain a critical mass of those refugees and the lowlanders inside the country. Why? There are thousands of Kunama refugees in Tigray. Why has the KUnama organization continues in the same anemic state? Why did it fail to galvanize those KUnama living inside and outside? Afar, Saho, blin…the same. The point is: the notion that ethnic groups should fight for their rights is not new. The notion that group organizations should take primacy and they could serve as building blocks for a national solution is not new. It just has not worked.
    5. Generally, when we say opposition, we mean an opposition that is different and better than PFDJ, in all aspects including in managing sociopolitical issues. Most political programs address these issue on programmatic level. However, like anything else of the opposition, this too has been stalled in its ink form. In addition, if our opposition can’t accommodate this basic issue- social marginalization- then I’m afraid it may ned to redefine itself because this issue is at the core of social justice.
    Conclusion: The issue of social justice, which could not come true without a conducive national political framework, should be seen as an important component in the fight for a positive change. The holly grail is establishing an atmosphere where a democratic transition takes place. All these issues (power and resource distributions, rights of citizens….could be hammered out there. After that clean start, civic and social issues take primacy, and we will have a reference (the constitution) which will assist us in articulating our grievances; and citizens can use that constitution as a weapon in promoting certain individual/group interests.
    Thanks.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Mahmoud,

      Shocked after having read your first sentence and could not proceed reading. Al Hamdu lilah al alf salama. Suprising! I felt today to have missed your presence in the forum while jotting a few things in response to my brother Beyan. I thought perhaps it is vacation time and having time with the family.
      Alf salama.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mahmuday,

      I regret to hear the bad news of your car accident. But thanks God that you and your family are alive. I will call you this evening. Regarding your input, I will address it separately.

      Regards

    • Haile S.

      Hi MS,
      Sorry to hear about the accident, but glad to hear you are ‘sain et sauf’ (safe & sound). ዑፍ ብዓቕማ ብብርዒ ስገም ትሕጎም, እህም….. great proverb! BTW can you imagine a bird holding s bristle between its beaks perching on the back of another fluffy one and trying to cup the fluffy shoulder? I see the droplets of blood budding out!! You don’t have a barley bristle, but a zebu horns capable of alleviate the excurciating shouldered pains of sufferers. You are definitly one of those great people you listed.

    • saay7

      Oh, wow, MaHmuday:

      I am glad you and your boys are fine! I am very happy that the bad car crash has not in any way impacted your ability to articulate your viewpoint.

      saay

    • tes

      Selam Mahmud Saleh,

      It is good to read that you survived such a serious car crash. Take care.

      tes

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear MS,

      Blessed are those who stare danger in the face but do not fall victim to it! Glad you and your sons were lucky enough to have walked away from the accident.

      The modesty exhibited in the views you expressed regarding the recent Awate debates and debaters is very refreshing. But let it be known that it cannot take away from – but instead adds to – your own mammoth contribution to the learning process at the forum. Thanks brother!

    • Saleh Johar

      Ahlan Mahmouday,
      I am happy you survived that one. Salamtek. However, after such incidents, a sacrifice of a goat is a must. Sedeqa. And then throw the skin in the street, it is the fashion nowadays 🙂

    • Abraham H.

      Selam MS, sorry to hear about the accident, but thanks God you made it safely out of a horrifying car crash.

    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Mahmud Saleh

      I was shocked when I read about your car accident. I’m glad you and your two boys are unharmed and doing OK.

      Semere Tesfai

    • Peace!

      Selam Mahmuday,

      I am sorry that this has happened to you. I wish you the best and most speedy recovery possible.

      Peace!

    • blink

      Dear Mr.MS

      I am sorry for the car crash and happy you escaped with your two sons from the car crash . Live long sir.

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Mahmuday,
      So relieved to know you and your family have survived this. If you were the driver and the incident was a self created one, the lesson would be to be fully present at the wheels and more so when the entire family members are on board.
      Hayat

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mahmuday,

      The issue of grievances and issue of marginalization should not come only for purposes of awareness and discussion. But it should come (a) to recognize their existence (b) to have a common understanding on them (c) as a source of our mistrust within our social groups and became a barrier on the current struggle, then it is not an issue to be left without addressing them (d) the solution is, to come with a framework of some understanding at least within the opposition camp as to how we will address them as we go forward. So my friend it should part of the strategy [Ans to your point-]].

      Yes the issue of marginalization is the issue of constitutional product. The dominant social force in our society advocate the implementation of the 1997 constitutional document. Without going to details, the document does not address the grievances of our minorities. Hence their primary object is to vent their grievances until a condition is created that address their grievances. Second, there is no widespread recognition to their grievances, rather they are condemned as ethnicist and subnational disease of the society by the dominant social group. What guarantee do they have even after the demise of the regime? [Ans to your point- 2]

      Yes, there isn’t any social group that benefit from the current regime. But the attitude towards our minorities is not inviting nor does their grievance recognized by the dominant force. The common phrase we hear is “abey Keybets-hu Eyom” – a disgusting retorts that hurt the bond that hold us together. [Ans to your point-3].

      Your point-4 and point-5 are your reflections as an outsider from the organizations in the opposition camp, hence I will leave it without comment to do your homework.

      Regards

    • Beyan

      Dear MS,
      EnQuaE Rebbi/abbajiggo adHanekka mis deQQikha. I was imagining you and your boys dusting off your shoulders leaving the scene of the accident unscathed. If it was with another vehicle hope the other person(s) made it out safely as well. When all is said and done, one hopes that all involved had robust insurance so y’all don’t end up getting into an unexpected debt.

      That said, MS you bring up a very interesting topic. I don’t know what to call it, a phenomenon, if you will, that we all non-English speakers suffer from. No matter how good writers we are, we tend to think the other person is far more prolific than we would ever be. I firmly believe that we each have unique capacity to express our ideas. To some extent, the stigmal of ESL label has forever been framed in our mind that we are unable to completely disentangle ourselves from.

      Cheers,
      BN

    • sara

      Dear mahmuday
      an accident is a terrible thing to go through no matter what type , I am sorry this has happened to you and your children. Thanks god you are all safe, and i wish you all the best and a quick recovery from this shocking experience to the children.

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      حياك الله الأستاذ محمود صالح

      الحمد الله على السلامة
      العربي

    • Thomas

      Hi MS,

      We cannot afford to lose a hero and his beautiful family. I am very happy you survived the crush. It will be a learning thing and final, because all of us had it at least once. The only difference would be when immediate family are on board. I wish you and your family all the best and long life!!

    • Nitricc

      Mahumuday; I am very happy to hear you and your children are just fine. There never good being in accident but at least it wasn’t your fault. last year an Arab guy rear-end my car and nothing happen to my car but his car minor damage. Once I checked my car and there were no damages, I told the guy he can go. Well he insisted the police must come. I told him it is not for him if the police to come and book the accident. He won’t listen and I told him to call the police then; and I went back to my car. not even five minutes police came did their thing and not only wrote him citation for the accident but they found out his insurance was expired one week priory to the accident. They towed his car and they got him on driving with expired insurance too. I felt bad for him, while they were waiting for the tow truck, I asked him if he needs a ride and he said he already called his son. the point is everyone make sure your insurance is ON.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Mahmuday,

      I am glad you and yours are safe and sound. The google dictionary defines Accident as follows: “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.” The key words are “unexpected” and “unintentional” and yet most of us never fail from trying to advise one another to be “careful” the next time. So, my friend, be careful next time!

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Mahmud,
      Glad to read you and the family are safe.
      Ghezae Hagos

  • Dawit Mesfin

    Dear all,

    Allow me to start with something negative and then think aloud along the principle of ‘Allyship’.

    The movement seems to go against the grain of perceived wisdom. The way things are going, we lack in substantive, meaningful political, social, and cultural criticism of the kind of discourse relevant to the machinations of our real concerns. Today, the discourse seems to have fallen under the spell of strange ideas so far removed from the actual issues sometimes I ask myself whether it would be possible to sustain our resolve.

    Remember, that happened to Woldeab – he was accused by the Christians of harbouring the Muslim agenda. And of course, some Muslims labelled him unfairly as a ‘Christian Crusader’. You can imagine how ‘frustration politics’ creeps in in such instances and push one over the edge. Similarly, there is a lot of pushing and shoving around us now that need to be contained before it contains us for good. Would it be far-fetched if I say that we have failed to fill the gaping holes of the frustrations we see around us with hope?

    I know there is that crucial element of fatigue which, I think, is mostly caused by frustration and resentment towards the stalemate we have caused. We catch ourselves engage in scuffles against one another instead of propping each other up and those who demonstrate the potential to lead. Sometimes I wonder if the aim is to place ourselves at the centre of the movement, regardless of whether we deserve such central role in our movement or not. I am sorry to say that I observe a dearth of vision and actionable approaches out there. To that I would like to add that we have no one to blame but us.
    How many times have we caught ourselves wondering whether the decent instincts of those who can actually read and analyse our current situation and are endowed to lead us out of this quagmire can actually penetrate the PFDJ fort? Have we devised means to break loose from our own ‘kuddas’ in order to reach out to our people back home purposefully? Let me step aside from this vitriolic attack and think differently – thoughts that consider the efforts exerted by the justice-seeking camp to date.

    There was a time when many of us fell for the most ludicrous argument that we used to embrace without batting an eyelid. Do you remember the time when we could not vent our pent-up frustrations in the past? The dictum was ‘either you follow or get out of the way’. Many of us were mobilised in such a way that we viewed anything that did not fall in line with the EPLF thought process was opposed to the ‘struggle of the people of Eritrea’. Suffice it to say that I know very well what I used to think of the ex-ELF fighters and their sympathisers. Eventually we broke that barrier and began to see sideways and ‘listen to the other voices’.

    Friends, since then, let me refer to it as the moment of my enlightenment, not only did we teach ourselves to discuss Eritrean predicaments openly amongst ourselves but we also managed to move forward by bringing the views of the international community to our side. We exposed the regime to the world. And the world recognised our legitimate concerns. I wish the reader could pause for a minute to think that this, by far, is our crowning achievement to date.
    This is where ‘self-liberation’, ‘Allyship’ come in. If I liberate myself from all the backward looking infighting, then I am encouraged and perhaps prompted to see what is ahead me – ditch the current stalemate and embrace what Yohannes Zerai has expressively described as ‘progressive campaign’. Amanuel Hidrat’s argument has given us a big nudge to reflect more on the hurtful practices of exclusivity – the need to reach out to others and form alliances that will help us move the movement forward.

    Now, allow me to go back to that crucial element of bringing the international community on board and use it as a litmus test for the concept of Allyship. How did we employ that breakthrough to our advantage? Did we make considerable progress since then? Well, I happen to think we have yet to make use of or capitalise on that campaign-capital. We still continue to look backwards, fight among ourselves. Yes, we continue to blame each other by absolutely refusing to shoulder the blame for the entire fiasco!

    Our ‘Egsh’gsh’ has opened new ambiances for opportunists to assert themselves as care-takers of the movement, hasn’t it? I believe that is how we, please note I am using the ‘we’ pronoun, created the fundamentalist elements to sprout amidst us. Again, that is how we took part in processes that have made our movement irrelevant to those sitting on the fence. By now they should have all joined us. I hope I am not being too harsh here.

    That is where Allyship fails, in our case – because we could not come out of that ‘kudda’ – our very own Achilles heel. Amanuel, I am stuck. Please help me think this through.

    • Nitricc

      Hey Dawit Reading your article, I can’t help but to say few things. I believe every generation have it is own character, quality and values as well as damaging weakness. I can’t say the independence generation will change its belief and the way they think. For instance; take the current US president is a good example. Everyone is trying to change the man in how he operates and the way he conducts himself but he can’t change, that is how he knows how to do things and doing his way has got him in to power, precisely. I see the same things with Eritrean older generation, true the struggle for independence brought some cohesiveness and political line ally-ship once the political objectiveness (independence) achieved, the ally-ship continued with same values what created it in the first place.
      In my view, that is how I see and I have accepted that the idea that nothing will change regarding the older Eritrean generation. So, by accepting what is fact and real, it saves me from disappointments and false exceptions. And it is better to start from ground to form a new strategy for building real ally-ship. There two fundamental building tools to get to real ally-ship; one you must install and teach the value of Empathy; without Empathy it is impossible
      to build any form of ally-ship. Next Empathy, the sense of entitlements must be eradicated from all citizens. Accordingly this where I get the greatest sense of hope, optimism and aspiration of the future is just that Bright. We can point all the negatives and shortcomings of SAWA but what SAWA is doing to the youth is eradicating the sense of entitlement from the mind of the youth while building ally-ship with every ethnic of the nation is priceless. When you spend that much time, go to school with, train together and sleep under one dorm, it is ally-ship for life. The greatest proof of that is the inability of the Eritrean opposition with the money of the Weyane to turn the trained youth against the Eritrean government is the real definition and the real mining of ally-ship. No Eritrean product of SAWA wants to shoot at other products of SAWA,Empathy at work and installed. Like I have said, I have accepted the real-time facts and I don’t expect any change from the older generation, it is what it is but the FUTUR? Nothing
      but bright!!!! the point is, if anyone install Empathy and eradicate the sense of entitlement from life, not only you will have happy life but it makes you a real ally-ship to every human kind.

      • Dawit Mesfin

        Hello Nitricc,
        Your supposition, that members of the older generation will never change, is quite scary. Do you mean it is unlikely that we shed our skin? If that is the case then we are in trouble, doomed.

        The link between the independence generation (us) and the ‘Wikipedia’ generation will be there in some shape or form. I hope you will agree with me if I say that life is all about a concatenation of circumstances, events, generations and so forth. So, do not write us off yet … you will not get rid of us that easily : -)

        On a more serious note, yes, we have to accept the new generation because that is the will/rule of nature … natural process of the life cycle. We cannot expect to remain relevant to the grand old age of XX. We should step aside and allow nature to dictate – empower the young to take over. Some of us think holding on makes us strong; on the contrary, we are killing ourselves. We should learn to let go … we can play support roles if need be. We had our chance and we blew it. It is your turn now. On one condition …. don’t let it take you too long. I want to go home … the world sliding, the world is going, and death is approaching. That is my entitlement 🙂

        • Nitricc

          Selamat Dawit; No, no one can write of the Greatest generation, ever! my take was as great as the older generation is, it is not without its short coming. to be blunt, the greatest weakness of the older generation is rigidity. At times when this Inelasticity couples with grudges and revenge; it makes it deadly. If Every one practices a little flexibility and an open mind, perhaps there is hope.
          Regarding brining the youth in to the front political atmosphere so the youth can shoulder its responsibility, the idea is ideal and noble but it is not going to happen as long as the current government is in power. But in due time, make no mistake, they will do their things.

        • tes

          Selam Dawit,

          I hope this is not your strong opinion/views about today’s generation of Eritrea.

          the independence generation (us) and the ‘Wikipedia’ generation . If it is, then I have a serious reaction.

          In case, we are not Wikipedia generation but Victimized generation. And I don’t think you are free from letting us to this abyss. Self-confession is better than calling. I thought your ‘Self-Liberation” article was a transcendence of your past experiences. I hope it is.

          tes

          • Abraham H.

            Selam tes, I don’t think brother Dawit was trying to put the current generation in negative connotation when he refered to them as the ‘Wikipedia genration’; I think he just meant they are living in an era of information technology.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Nitricc,
        I wish it you would have some mercy on your conscience so that it can help you make relatively modest judgement. Anyway, as one who did my bit on the side of the segment of our people you termed old generation impervious to change, I do not mind if you would be able “… to start from ground …” and preserve your country in unity and cohesion of its people. Empathy and denying the young of rewards which you uphold as yardsticks for Allyship that shaped the SAWA generation calls for more questions than answers. What would you say when substantial number of SAWA generation died in senseless wars, ended up in exile, unmarked graves in deserts of eaten by sea predators.

        • Nitricc

          Greetings, ISmail, long time my friend! I think you should stop-by more often? Ismail, I reached that conclusion after observing the behavior of my own family when it becomes to politics. I observed the behavior of the Eritrean government. I have studied with care, how the Eritrean intellectuals has become Ineffectual; I believe, my deliberation i.e. conclusion is fair. I mean, how do you or anyone can explain the people who fought, bled and wasted their entire life to create a nation called Eritrea and then the very nation they bled to free and to create is making them to waste their life in underground prison. They never had the chance to defend themselves or face their accusers. lets say the government is the most rigid and brutal and releasing the prisoners is unthinkable but how about the rest of the people? why can’t they, the people. the greatest generation stand up in unison and demand justice and hold the government of Eritrea responsible? This alone is enough for any one to conclude what I have concluded.

          Regarding SAWA generation; Like I have said, it is not prefect but, but it will payoff in a biggest way for Eritrea’s future. To bring and mix from all different ethnic in one place, trust me, it will pay off, big time. You are right and It is true there are problems with SAWA, just like life, in day to day life, people make a choice. Some choose good and some decisions are bad. From day, I am opposed to leaving the country. I have always believe that it is better to stay home and fight or die fighting what you believe is wrong. you must right the wrong. fleeing is not the solution but if some one tried to cross the desert and dies, well, who is responsible? I mean, okay lets hold responsible the government of Eritrea for the lose of life in the war; who is responsible who ” ended up in exile, unmarked graves in deserts of eaten by sea predators.” ?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Nitricc,
            I see you have come closer to the middle. A little effort and contemplation will surely help you cross the redline and be fully committed in the struggle for justice–for its own sake, not diluted by partisan and age segmentation.

            Firstly, it’s wrong to generalize and talk of a generation as if it is one identical block. In life, good and bad are not limited to any age group and naturally, the heavy lifting is always the task and responsibility of the able generation. The previous generation as a whole, faced a challenge and stood up firmly and won. Sadly, the bad apples came on top and that happens in life. Nownthebresponsibility ofmtge heavy lifting does not belong to the older generation but to the young. And they have to be principles , committed, and bold. Asking delivery from the older generation who have done thermostat and are still doing it is unfair and reckless generalization.

            In any struggle, it is individual decisions that dictate wher one stands. No one wil roll a d carpet to news comers in the struggle simply because they are young though they should be encouraged and be ready to receive guidance and advise so that they can occupy their position. If you remembers, until a few years ago, splintering and sectarian tendencies was blamed on the older generation. I held that what we are safe ring from is a cultural problem and not a generational one. And if we fail tnresolvebthem now, future generations will deal with them endlessly. No many were convinced with my argument. Now tell me: which generation is obsessed with factionalism, indecisiveness, arrogance and splintering– and big ego massaging?

            I think our main problem is lack of a conducive political environment wher we can debate and solve our national issues;,that is controlled by the unelected cruel regime. I also think the root cause of many of our problems is ill governance and particularly the lack of justice in Eritrea. Out people say, kab guyey mouaal, ksad mHaz, holding the bull by the horn five get rid of the root cause, we will be able to face our problems face to face. That will decide if we deserve to be a nation among nations. And Eritreans are up to that challenge.

            I encourage you to cross the line and plebe do not be tempted to trivialize the situation. It is simply justice against injustice. .

          • Nitricc

            Hey SJ, I will replay my take but till then I am struggling with this take of yours. you said

            “Firstly, it’s wrong to generalize and talk of a generation as if it is one identical block”
            my question is, is there any way to describe a specific generation with the risk of generalization?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Nitricc

            Yes there is a way: verification. My generation and the one before me cannot be defined by the few bad apples. If you take the PFDJ and opposition leaders (I am assuming those are who you mean) then they are hardly more than a couple of hundred men (negligeable number of women) the entire two generations are either suffering at home or in exile or in refugee camps. And those are the people who ate fire and did miracles. Now they are old, no career, no retirement cushion, no peace, and can’t be in the country they wasted this youth to liberate or are languishing in Eritrea. To define all of that generation by the few is disingenuous and unfair. So, a few bad people cannot define two genuine patriotic generations.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Nitricc,

            What you are saying is encouraging; it hints at redressing my grievances which is my entitlement as a veteran whose only lingering aspiration or hope is to stay breathing until your generation would rise up to take responsibility and close ranks to first overcome the trap of the deceptive patriotism and so called selflessness which you termed as “eradication of entitlement” as well as understanding the real reason why SAWA was designed and win back your precious homeland.

            Dear Nitricc, I hope you have read or heart the so called “cultural revolution” in China during the time of Mao tze Tung and the Communist Part there. The best the current despot had learned during his stay in China as ELF trainee was the aim and substance of the cultural revolution. SAWA was never craft to serve as melting pot of the peculiarities and traits of the Eritrean youth they carried from ethnic, religious and cultural origins and transform to uphold a unifying Eritrean identity. The whole idea was to keep the youth in harness and curtail their roles, passions and youthful tendencies to challenge authorities to change. The regime was desperate in insulating itself from any challenge first consolidate power and then sustain it. It had succeeded because it shield its action in the trust the people gave it right after the exit of the enemy force. In fact, such moves are not really peculiar to Eritrea; the Ethiopian Derg did it immediately after the take over by pushing the youth from their schools and colleges to the away from the urban centers to rural areas under the pretext of literacy campaigns.

            The point I am trying to share with you is that in retrospect SAWA has proven disaster and I find it very hard to understand how “it will payoff in a biggest way for Eritrea’s future” when we all can see the damage it ha caused in the past and is causing at the present. How can we not understand that those who perished along the paths of perilous journeys, died in high seas and lost their lives in unnecessary wars or incurred permanent injuries and those who had gone to exiles would have benefited their country and themselves and their families had they been fortunate to live under a sensible government that discharged the minimum of its responsibilities and demand realistic sacrifices from the youth in the interest of their own future and preservation of their nation?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Nitricc

            I saw progress in you and is encouraging. Our generation has done what was demanded in their youth age. This is the time your generation to pick up from what was left from us, and take the stock of our nation to emancipate and change the current realities of our people. At this time our generation’s share in the struggle will be limited to supplementary support to your generational effort.

            Regard

          • Nitricc

            Hey Aman-H; I agree! your generation has done miracles which I have the greatest respect for. It is an amazing journey. There is one shortcoming; at 11.59 they didn’t finish the job. In a way, I am glad they didn’t finish it. that way it will give as the opportunity, the duty and responsibly to do our parts.
            Don’t you ever lose hope, it will get done; the right and the just way; there is no other choice.

      • Mez

        Dear Nitric,
        Entitlement for what, & how? Was the whole Eritran libation struggle and/ or Eritrean culture an entitlement based way of thinking & style of life? Very confusing.

        The SAWA scool undertaking does have many folded aspects; it is widely reported that it is a one year program. In this one year, 1) there is the school curriculum, 2) military curriculum, and probably 3) some activities.
        4) I would assume a lots of political material being provided, day in day out, the way PIA wants it to be.

        All of them will have certain curricula objectives to achieve in a very narrow window of time.

        I doubt if this program would really transform kids the way you narrated–or rather really deform and skew their world outlook.

        Concerning the “…..No Eritrean product of SAWA wants to shoot at other products of SAWA…..”, you just want to look the news of the “shootongs”, and subsquent death of some Eritrean while trying to cross the boarder to the south some time last week. Probably that tells you all, about your boasting of SAWA products. They killed cold-blooded unarmed civilian. So much so about your well versed SAWA graduates regarding human dignity, utmost protection of civilian life. Even enemy solders have the basic protection, by law, to be taken as POW and not to shoot them at the spot.

        One final point: “….if anyone install Empathy and eradicate the sense of entitlement from life, not only you will have happy life…..”

        If what you stated is really correct, that in one year, overly powered school curriculum, then the whole world would have done that, and booms you have a social transformation.
        Remember the failures of the cultural revolution in China, the East block (communism) disappearance….

        As to me, my friend, SAWA is a trick to save and extend the government of the PIA with NO appreciable dividend for Eritrean.
        Thanks

        • Nitricc

          Hi Mez; you seem to be stuck in this PIA this PIA that. I am talking about the whole situation of Eritrea, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Let’s get you off from this PIA bus for a minute; see what I am thinking.. what I have said regarding entitlement. in short what I am saying is this…

          Yesterday; Gedli, No sense of entitlement, strong unit , All in for national Aspiration========Victory

          Today , once the Gedli objectives at hand then the sense of Self of entitlement, the personal objectives and the (I) kicked in ======= Absolute political unrest, confusion, anger, disappointments, finger pointing, name calling, you name it.
          .
          Tommorow ;Sawa, By getting everyone to serve is mandatory; the feeling of self-entitlement is eroded from the mind of the young, for Good! By assigning every person with every different ethnic as roommates, classmates and trainees, not only the seeds of “ I AM Better” or “ I am from the chosen ethnicity” are destroyed for ever and ever but empathy, harmony and everlasting congruence
          is planted , so the future people of Eritrea can live in absolute serenity========== ERITREA Worthy of all the blood, all the misery of the people and an Example of Africa!!!!!

          • Mez

            Dear Nitric,

            Let me be very brief,

            Your point of view is well taken. I have a problem to swallow and stay happy on your “today ” portion; with your statement: the basic foundation of “inviolable individual person dignity” is greatly tampered.

            As the saying goes, yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery; I believe everyone has think in real time–that is today. Hence PIA evil, PIA killer, PIA egoistic of the highest order; simply inhuman–that with all his tentacles.

            Thanks

          • Nitricc

            Hi Mez; I think you are forgetting PIA is 70 years old and his days as a human are numbered. We should able to think. plan and strategies post PIA. As a private citizen to think and act in real time and take the order of the day, yes, you can do that but as a leader, as a person who is shouldering the entire people’s future the nations well being; you can’t think about the day while ignoring tomorrow.
            So, that is okay, we disagree. Even if you think about the word “lead” it doesn’t mean to follow or to take care the order of the day but to clear the way a head of time where the people and the nation wanted to go.

          • Mez

            Dear Nitric,

            My point is about the challenge of “today”; not about an imaginary tomorrow.

            I wish, PIA to live thousand more years–like Matusala.

            But at the same time I wish him to leave the political power to people, who are in the early 40-ies; mainly to those post-ghedli generations. And listen to them.

            This way the contemporary challenge of the nation could be tackled accordingly; that in a much better policy approach.

            Thanks

          • Nitricc

            Hey Mez, All i am saying is that regardless the system we got work for a better future. I am going to leave you with Tsion’s heart warming essay
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/essay-of-the-week-summer-pride-grows-into-action_us_5984b6f2e4b0bd8232029753

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dawit,

      Sorry for a belated response. I have been busy these days. Now let me comment to your concerns.

      Contrary to your take, I could boldly argue that we do not “lack in substantive, meaningful political, social, and cultural criticism” to the kind of discourse relevant to the nature of the system we have and the real concernsabout it. Actually the system in place is a totalitarian regime that sustain its power by exploiting the social cleavages that has been there in the society since the 40s. Any sociopolitical conflicts are reflected from its cultural, political, and economic
      imbalances. In a multicultural society the dominant social force’s interest are always established deeply and firmly in the political and economic power of the state. In doing so their state machine has to use all the instruments of oppression and marginalization to run the government. In such scenario the “social interest” override wisdom to govern without justice and equitable life, culturally, socially, economically, and politically.

      Keep in mind brother, despite the tyrannical nature of the regime, there are section of our society who believe that the alternative, that might be culturally different, does not represent them and as a result they prefer to stay with the regime. This is a fact on the ground. Because of these realities, the minorities – the aggrieved social groups are organized to mobilize their social base to fight and reaffirm their equitable rights in governing and economic life of their people.

      Second, I also heard from my parents (as they are from the same faith) that WelWel was accused of making alliance with Ibrahim Sultan. The issue of Eritrean independence/ or union had created a religious divide by having different positions on the issue. Hence the accusation of welwel by the Christian section of our society was open that frustrated him in the over all of the struggle.

      Third, the struggle of independence demands alliances and not allyship, because “independence” had become a common project by all Eritrean social groups. Once our independence actualized, the nature of the struggle has changed to the struggle of sociopolitical and socioeconomic interest of the multicultural social groups. Hence the current struggle is between the aggrieved and the marginizing power in the state of Eritrea. In such political context the concept of allyship is relevant and and worth of supporting to engage on the side of the aggrieved.

      [I might edit later this evening]. Let me go.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • saay7

        Emma:

        No need to edit; this is quite lucid and I think it crystallizes for me the difference of opinion you and I have on the issue.

        Remember during the armed struggle, we had the concept of drrb qalsi (dual struggle). The major struggle was for independence (to be free from Ethiopian occupation); the dual struggle (actually borrowed from Marx concept of class struggle) was that which Eritreans had to wage against fellow Eritreans. A prime example of this, as you well remember, was the struggle that women and the proletariat had to wage against the power structure of the petty bourgeoisie.

        what I am saying is it is the same: the primary struggle is against lawlessness and arbitrariness and a culture of violence and impunity because this targets all Eritreans. While waging that primary struggle, the secondary struggle should go on.

        What I hear you saying (and what I see practiced) is that the secondary struggle should happen first because without it the primary struggle won’t succeed since trust is completely gone.

        Did I represent your views accurately?

        saay

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Saay,

          Let me first confess that I was a devoted proponent of marxist philosophical ideology in the field. There were reasons to be influenced by that ideology. First, other than the Arab countries, the socialist countries – the USSR and its satellites as well as Chinese Republic were the only countries that support the liberation struggle at that time. Second, I still believe Marxist philosophy is a good principle in forging a “selflessness” fighters and in building the spirit of “camaraderie” in the ranks and files of the liberation fronts. Without these two philosophical virtues of marxism ” selflessness and camaraderie” nothing could have been attained. So Marxism as a philosophical tool is more preferable than any philosophy during our armed struggle. You know as I know Capitalist philosophy is embedded on the idea of self interest. Then philosophy of self-interest will not create the spirit of commitment to each other in the project of national liberation struggle. Enough to my confession, and let me address your concerns:

          Yes, our struggle with its “national democratic program” has had a dual purpose. “National” because it wages a war to liberate our land and “democratic” because it was building rudimentary democratic institutions in the liberated areas to reduce cultural barriers (such as the women issue and others). By the same token – the current struggle has a dual purpose. While we are fighting against the lawless totalitarian regime, we are also trying to address the mistrust that hold us from advancing our struggle against the regime. If we don’t do both as primary and secondary the “system” will survive as long as we are remained divided and let the mistrust hovering within our society. To have a primary and secondary struggles does mean to hold the secondary and deal with primary. No. What it means is: while we are dealing with the primary, we have to create a framework to the issues that are categorized as secondary. In this case, on the issue of mistrust and grievances we must have a common understanding and common perspectives how to address them as opposition to the current regime. Otherwise what guarantee will they have our minorities after the demise of the current regime?

          Regards
          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,
            .
            Abi is not here at this moment, so instead read my comment. I wish I had time to bring up all the Marxists teachings and results of their religious quality demands on the young of those days. Yes, YOU were successful.
            .
            You started your response to saay, by saying ..”Let me first confess that I was a devoted proponent of Marxist philosophical ideology in the field.”
            .
            What does that mean? You are not a Marxist now?
            From your statements of your belief in Marxist philosophy for the liberation fronts, one get the impression that you only approved of it as a brain washing tool or mechanism to create a selfless force.
            ( I wonder about your take about those who use religion as a mechanism for that selfless force. The template is there.)
            .
            I can only imagine in those days armed with that religion, you were a devoted scholar, preaching those terms and verses, new definition of words and concepts.
            BTW: I still see those traits in you, albeit in a different environment.
            I wonder, how many of those young comrades believed and followed you. Would they recognize you if they saw you today.
            .
            .
            Now, when you speak on behalf of “Eritrean minorities” with such conviction and persistence, should a calm and sober observer consider and follow your lead or weigh the pressing problems Eritrea is facing in the proper context. I looking from outside fear that you are looking for a cause to champion. The old Marxist verses and slogans are ringing in you.
            .
            Ethnic problems are the least of the current Eritrea’s problems. I dare say Ethiopia has 10 or 100 times more potential and current ethnic problems than your country.
            You keep fanning a small or non-existent condition and you might succeed in creating one. I am afraid sometime in the future, you might raise the issue of a trans-gender problem in Eritrean Military and society.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Kim,

            At this point I am a proponent of multiculturalism philosophy. I do not think any relationship between the philosophy of multiculturalism and Marxist philosophy. If there is any I might learn from you. I hope this will answer to your perception about me.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Mr KH:

            Give it up buddy; there is only one Abi and the only reason his abuse was tolerated was because of his wit 😂 U are actually telling Amanuel Hidrat, an Eritrean activists, what the priorities in Eritrea are and he got it all wrong. It sounds to my ear exactly what Nitrric sounds like in ur ears when he is giving u lectures about Gonder and Sidama.

            By the way, Abi has found a new home at Asmarino whose forum is a perfect fit for his anti-Arab, anti-Eritrea, anti-Ghedli diatribe. He is still the same Abi but no longer unique because everybody in the forum agrees with his worldview of hate hate hate.

            saay

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY; hahahahah, I know more about Gonder and Gojjam more than Kim and Abi combined. lol. I see in Abi’s profile that he is active at Asmarino what ever you call it. I guess when you are from Gonder, there is a big part of self pride. I once told that there is a big empty white building in Addis that no one knows what the use of the building is but it is securely protected by armed guards; the building is called by Addis people “Gondere Building.”
            hahahaha if this smack of mine does not bring back Abi, nothing will. lol

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Saay,
            You sound like Trump twitting at 3AM, and it is not about North Korea or Iran. Did it occur to you you are officially declaring “Asmarino … is a perfect fit for anti-Arab, anti-Eritrea, anti-Ghedli diatribe”? And you are not me; you are part of the Awate Team. Awate calls Amarino all that, including “anti Eritrea”? Are we missing something?

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Hayat, from what he declared here before in his own Alnahda column, Saay is no longer member of the Awate team or Awate staff, whatever how you refer to the team. He has, however, moderating tasks as you can see from his account name. And as far as I can see, Saay is talking about the Asmarino forum and those who frequent it, not the website.

          • saay7

            Funny Hayat:

            Not asmarino, but the asmarino forum via disqus.

            Go thru the comments and you will find out that every comment is either an attack on Ghedli or tegadelti, an attack on Eritrea, praise of Ethiopia, or attack of awate ( the “shifts” man or the “taliban” website or both.). I am not saying this happens occasionally. I am saying every single post is in that vein

            Saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I will say that Nitricc’s knowledge of Gonder and Gojam, despite himself, is superficial to say the least. I hate to pile on him but his knowledge of Eritrea is even less. However, I have to admit that on rare occasions Nitricc is on target.
            .
            Thanks for the good information. Asmarino is anti-Arab. Abi is commenting at Asmarino, I hope he kept his title Ras or is it Luel Ras.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Nitricc

            Hey, KIM, hahahaha, there is nothing to pail on. Not knowing your country or not knowing Eritrea is not a crime. But to know what I know about both countries without setting my foot is positive. Now why do you think you were paling on me? come-on man!!! lol

          • blink

            Dear saay
            It is good that you come to grips when it comes to Abi, you used to push me because of his wits. You see , I was right the whole time. Tetsgibeni kicha si ab mequloaa kela efelta you negeru.

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Of course, it made perfect sense for our revolution to be Marxist not only for the reasons you gave (search for allies indicated that only the socialist/communists would) but for what it was fighting against (the despotism of imperial Ethiopia.). This is why the USSR never came to grips with why the Eritrean revolution would continue even after the emergence of the Marxist (Stalinist actually) Derg.

            On to the primary and secondary struggle. Now the reason that worked in the Eritrean revolution (worked in the field at least relatice to the “field” compared to where us civilians lived) was because the tegadelti were in a social laboratory. And when you liberated a land, one of the first things you did was to give us “political consciousness” classes. This class clearly assumed that we need to be awakened. And these classes were not “optional” or electives: they were prerequisites to good citizenship.

            How are you going to do that now? Let’s strip it all of the euphemism of “social groups” and speak candidly. You are speaking of the ethno-linguistic groups Kunama, Afar, Jeberti, Saho, Hedareb, Blin, Rashaida, Nara? Or is it more: grouped by socio-economic class (refugees, farmers, pastoralists?) is it geographic: the grievances of Massawans, Gash-Barka, and the land-dispossessed in Eritrean highlands?

            A “grievance” suggests there is not just a victim but also a transgressor. And there is also a mechanism to address the grievance beyond just listening. For example, a kunama may have grievances not just against the Tigrinya but also against the Tigre and the Nara. And a “Tigre” in Sahel or Semhar would have nothing to do with this grievance other than that he shares the “Tigre” identity with a Beni Amer.

            What we are looking for is not grievance addresseses but a negotiation between political actors on how to defeat the primary target and then come with rudimentary understanding of what kind of political infrastructure will help to minimize (not eliminate) the possibility of them happening again. This can be achieved when political actors who represent the diversity of Eritrea in the right proportion meet. Without the right proportion what you have is the EDA charter (remember the paralysis after article 2 and 3.)

            One more thing: the primary goal is to defeat the Isaiasists. And if there is no discipline and everyone creates their dream charter, just know that it gets in the way of creating a dynamic powerful movement. I will give you a simple example: Beyan posted the program of Nahda Party and one of its articles spoke of the equalitu of women — as long as it doesn’t contradict religious edit–is respected. (Not exact wording). Now if a woman is reading that, and she has a choice to embrace post-PFDJ Eritrea, PFDJ Eritrea, or be part of the silent majority, what do you think she will choose?

            My point is this: the wish list of the Secondary is always getting in the way of the Primary. And as long as that is happening we will be exactly where we are: stuck.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            First, yes I am speaking about the Ethno-linguistic groups, which I preferred to call them “social groups.” And also yes that “grievance” suggest the “aggrieved or the victim” and the “oppressor” that cause the grievances – just to validate your statement. Do we have the aggrieved and the oppressor in our nation? Yes we do. We start from recognizing its existence. Then be sympathetic to their plights and say I feel and understand your pain. Finally, show them your allyship and lend them any possible solution to their situation as we go forward. [Note: we are all aggrieved is neither a solution nor will it be a sympathetic to their plight].

            Second, usually, the aggrieved are represented by their elites or their political practitioners. Talking with the aggrieved through their representatives is crucial to create some understanding not to “minimize” but to eliminate. Negotiation to “minimize” is not a good word for a starter. It only breeds distrust and it will only displays platitudes on the eye of the negotiator for the aggrieved. So the effort should be to “eliminate” the issue of marginalization.

            Third, I agree on the concept of “proportionalities.” Because the concept itself also suggest equitable solution. You see Saay, talking about proportionalities and and equitablities with our minorities could help in trust building and working atmosphere. So all my argument are predicated on these two concepts. So fighting the system (the Isayasist as you love to call them) and building trust should go side by side in the current struggle. Without building trust there is nothing can be done about collective struggle.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7 and Aman,
            After following the exchanges between you carefully as I always do, I end up with a perception that both of you have made powerful arguments. But I remain with more questions:
            1. Are we looking at what we have as concrete realities in the context of the realities that created them and trying to craft a realistic framework viable to change the cause and the effect?
            2. Can we demand the de-construction of social and political entities that history has caused so that it may be possible to challenge the omnipotent historical force that caused them? ( I am talking about the Goliath (regime) and the Davids that we came to know as ethno-social groups that crowd our opposition landscape.
            3. Couldn’t it be judicious to take the reality as it is and try to find a collective middle ground that integrate the grievances of them all into a national platform (covenant) that at least offer hope and promise that their fate after their investment in removing the source of their grievances would be favorably different than existing conditions that leave the regime thrive and prolong its life?
            Regards to both of you.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Ismailo,

            I can’t agree more to what you have stated. My intent is precisely that, when I say “the struggle against the system and the effort of building trust must go side by side.” Otherwise there will be no meaningful collective struggle. My experience talking with the existing organized social groups and knowing their grievances and their demands made me to be sympathetic to their plights. First hand experience has a big impact on your decisions and your positions. The problem we have in our discussions is, we assume the social relationship of our society is the same to what we know when we are young. It is not. Our minorities are feeling the the spirit of betrayal from the national project by the regime and are suspicious to what is going in the opposition camp as we became failed to show allyship to their demand and their struggle. These are the realities starring on our face with no recognition to it. So Ismailo, we are in the same page on the issue at hand.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,

            From my meticulous reading of your writings (unfortunate to meet in person so far) I do not understand your position as to has emanated from mere “sympathetic to their plights” of the aggrieved social groups. I understand it as an authentic position built on justice and rights of fellow citizens. In fact, I understand it as had been informed by the essence and promises of social justice you and I had cherished, and took as rationale for doing our bit for the liberation of our country under the National Democratic Program, besides personal propensity towards justice and fairness.

            Moreover, I agree you that we tend to take grass root social relations in the life of our people as starting value judgement to appraise the relationship of our social groups with nature of the governance order running the affairs of our post independence nation-state, and distribution of rights and access to power and resources of the nation. I think stretching the beautiful and decent person to person and community to community whose epitome the thread of our dear brother Ismael Ibrahim Mukhtar has graced us in this forum should not be taken as rationale to warrant glossing over and simplification of the politics and norms that operate a nation-states. The gist of the issues we have to debate is the justice system that should govern the affairs of the state and its organs to oversee fair and just distribution of access to the bounties resources of a homeland can afford its inhabitants.

            I must add, furthermore, the challenge we are facing as justice seeking camp, as you have noted, is that entrenched suspicions and mistrusts the marginalized social groups have towards the regime have sipped to the ranks of the opposition. I think you might have noted this during the debates and positions taking at the Hawassa congress in the Summer of 2011.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            Despite we couldn’t move forward after the congress, I was gratified by the nature of the diversity of the attendants – a reflection of the rainbow of the Eritrean mosaics. The 2010 meeting of the council taught me how deep was the mistrust within our society, be it religious wise or ethnic wise. That is why I was stressing the importance of trust building to my friend Saleh Younis (Saay).

            Ismail, I wish I know you like now before the congress, so that we could have seen each other in person at that historical moment. I remember Ibrahim Ghedem whom we know each other through FB, came to see me during our recess at the congress. The congress became the occasion to know each other in person. If you attend the congress, then we miss that opportunity. I remember listening on a tap recorded from the Kessel fistival where Ibrahim Ghedem was sharing his view about the current Eritrea. From his comment that still stained in my mind was this; “I do not see my image in the current mirror of Eritrea”. Look Ismail those words keeps me to fight indefatigably to make sure that Every Eritrean should be able to see his/her image in the Eritrea we dream for.

            Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Your are right; such gatherings are indeed gratifying architecture of our social and human set up. Our problem is that we continue to fail on translating that beauty to political and social contract built on the ruins of shattered mistrust that has been haunting us and costing us in lives and material progress. We have not even put our steps on the threshold to identify and harness the forces among us (political and social elites) who feed on our week links and curtail our movement to cementing national unity under a governance by sanctioned by our people’s own collective will.

          • saay7

            Selam Ismail:

            It’s a chicken and egg story. Emma is saying that it is impossible for us to create a dynamic movement until such time as the aggressors listen to the grievance of the aggrieved and acknowledge that not all of us are aggrieved equally. (I think.). I am saying that that is something that we will negotiate later because there is no “social group” that sees itself as an aggressor much less willing to acknowledge its role in it. And all this does is delay us. The “admit your mistake and ask for an apology” didn’t even succeed at an individual level–all the demands on the former members of the EPLF to apologize yielded nothing except losing them and all potential joiners–much less at a societal level.

            What we need to do now is to speak in broad themes to give assurances that PFDJ won’t happen–decentralization, self-rule, religious freedom, endorsing the UN principle of social rights as distinct from individual rights–and focus on (a) presenting a viable alternative to Isaiasism (b) defeating Isaiasism.

            Moreover much of the grievances of ethno-linguistic groups don’t require political organizations but civil society. In fact the only reason that so many have been weaponized into political groups (and you can tell this by their formation dates) was because of periods in the last 16 years that coincided with (a) a sense that PFDJ was about to collapse and there was the me-too effect of people feeling left out from power sharing and (b) Ethiopias off again on again off again on again off again on again role in trying to help reorganize it. Remove these two factors and the “social group” advocates go back to hibernation.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,

            Thank you very much for incisive and lucid language and style you grace your reader in stating your views. Let me pick two expressive statements from this post: the “chicken and egg” and ” the jump[ing] from the frying pan to the fire” statements. I think it is essence and meaning of the second statement that has caused the sense and meaning of the first. If I were to be burdened to summarize the debate you and Amanuel are having, I would say these debaters are not coming to the middle ground because while the one insists that the social groups and their organizations won’t risk jumping on the pan unless they make sure the fire under it is extinguished, the other is insisting that won’t happen unless the social groups opt transform to civil societies.

            My prescription would be that since the two positions are reflections of the existing realities, the stalemate (egg and chicken) would not be broken unless we put the two positions on the table with the intention of finding middle ground mechanism and fitting modalities. In other words, what saay7 has listed in the second paragraph of this post will have to be negotiated in good faith at an inclusive forum and find their way into a task program with clear beginning and end in which all the stakeholders could find their fears and anxieties have been and duly addressed.

            I believe that Amanuel has the misgiving that since mistrust is real than apparent the aggrieved social groups are justified to demand assurance from their compatriots in the opposition hailing from the Tigrigna speaker component that they should be more accommodative and at least sign on to the opposition task program that should include safety valves that preclude resurrection of the current despotism and all facets of marginalization. I do not think that anyone with pragmatic mind would equate the Tigrigna speaking compatriots in the opposition should be held responsible for what the regime has done or is doing, and are liable to apology. What is being demanded is agreement on a task program (charter, national covenant) similar to LC (Letter of Credit), to use a parlance of the business world. For example at the 2011 Hawassa congress, one of the issues that reinforced the already hardened mistrust was objection to discussing the draft constitution which was part of the preparatory committee documents. This had exasperated the tension and fear of the future which the jumping from pan to fire phase could explain.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selamat Saay & Ismailo (Abeiti-Adi)

            Saay: Let me try again by dividing the context ,if it could help us in bringing together, if not to make our positions clear. The two context will be (a) The issue between the “aggressor” and the “aggrieved”, and that is between the “regime” and the “marginalized” (b) The issue of “mistrust” between our social groups in the opposition camp. By doing that we will add the issue of “recognition to the grievances” and the issue of “proportionaliies and equitabilities” in to the equation. At the end I will pose a question to you putting yourself in the the plight of the Afar and Kunama, not from far watching but at the center of their predicament.

            First the aggressor is not the tigrigna social group, it is the regime. The regime does not represent the entire tigrigna social group, despite its social base is from it. The aggressor (the regime) will not listen to the aggrieved and apologize, b/c it is doing it on purpose as a tool for staying in power. Hence the issue of apology is referred only to the regime though it will not happen. There is no social group as such to be categorized as aggressor. So do not make my argument to look to our readers the conflicts between the tigrigna and the other social groups. It is not. Our compatriot from the tigrigna social group are not responsible for the action of the regime.

            Second, the issue of “mistrust” between our social groups in the opposition camp is as a result how we see the contradictions between the “aggressor” and the “aggrieved”. The minorities are claiming we are marginalized by the regime – which is true. And the tigrigna social group are saying we are all aggrieved, while we all know grievances are displayed in different forms and shapes. Here is where I am saying and calling my own social group to recognize their grievances. In such scenario there is no need of apology, for they are not part of the aggressor, rather they are indeed part of the alliance in the fight against the aggressor regime. What we need in the opposition is a reciprocal recognitions to the grievances that exist in whatever shape or form to any social group.
            By doing that and envisioning how to address them, that I believe will create trust in the process of our struggle. Again without going this kind of process, we will not able to fight to the issues you mentioned in your second paragraph of your comment, and we will never find a lasting solution.

            Third, to frame the grievances of the social group into the struggle of civil society, with the nature of the regime we have, where there is no constitution and rule of law to fight peacefully inside your country is unrealistic mode of struggle. We have to be reminded that Eritrea is governed by the whim of Issayas and his party where its citizens has no any kind of rights. In such scenario the aggrieved, the suffocated, and the determined, have the right to fight by any means available to them to restore their rights.

            Finally, let me ask you this: Suppose you are from the marginalized social group, say for instance the Afar, whom their only way of living is from fishing, and you are banned from harvesting fish, that eventually forced you to live in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Do you ask me and others as compatriots from the tigrigna speaking to recognize the plight you are in? Can I do any kind of help to your “cause” be it politically, socially, culturally, economically, without recognizing your predicament? Do I need to apologize to you in order me to render recognition and offer help to your cause? Let me see by putting yourself on their shoes though you couldn’t, and check your feeling when I come to the refugee camp and tell you, the only way you could fight is by organizing in to civil societies. What will be you reaction to my suggestion?

            Ismailo: I have nothing to add or oppose to your comment. I don’t know the reason, but our views are always congruent. Could it be from the background of our political culture? but then there are countless colleagues we don’t see eye to eye. Say for example Semere Tesfay.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,

            You provoked me to say a word or two about my own painful wound. It’s a matter of justice and fairness that is bringing us to common understanding. You know that I belong to the receiving end of the cruel equation our nation is facing. I hail from people who happened to had paid more than their fair share, and yet been disproportionately marginalized and are losing their abodes and lands. But, I do not say much about all this because I read it within the context of the whole as well as believe that the organization that was formed in my name is not the perfect way of removing the grievance of my people. By the way, I feel I am in fact personally marginalized. Otherwise I would not have found my self in an asylum seeking center a short time after the country I have done everything I could was liberated.

            Anyway, let me stop here throwing salt in to my own wound and share with you and the rest of the Awate community something I never wanted to share. My late father (passed away recently) told me voice to me an innocent concern that can summarize the story of the marginalized and displaced communities in their own country after its liberation not voluntarily but by government order.

            After he dismantled his tukuls in Khashmel- Girba refugee camp in Sudan and decided to go back, he was not allowed to go back to where he and the family left when they fled the killings of the Derg. I asked him why on earth he chose to stay in the area of Ali Gider because I thought it was his personal preference. He told: ” ኣይም ኣብኖሂ ጋሪን ባሮል ንደፈይሸንህ ያኒን ሳራህ ዋኑን ያሚቲን ገድ ታኮ ለም ሚናሪገ ” (እንታ እሞ ክንገብር ናይ እንዳማትና መረት ኣቀሚጦምና ኣለዉ፡ ዋናታቱ ምስ መጹ እንታ ከም ዝኸውን ኣይንፈልጥን ( what can we do. We are staying on the property of others. I do not know what will happen when the owner come). This pierced my heart like a bullet shot, and nearly regretted the loss of my productive age and career. I know, as you had shared the example of a Kunama or Afar compatriots, there are new settlers on the land and property my father wanted to return to and live the last days of his life there. He is now buried at a place in the middle of his journey to close a painful chapter of his life in exile. He was not fortunate to get a government that he dreamed to have in a country he knew blood and wealth was paid to liberate.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismailo & Saay (Abeiti-Adi)

            Ismailo: I share your pain. It is this and like this that makes me more focused on the issue of marginalization and I am challenging my compatriots that “we all are aggrieved” is not an answer to communities that are suffered immensely. All our communities do not have the same grievances. For instance, the grievance of the Afar and the grievances of the highlanders is not the same, the grievance of the Semharin and the grievances of Kunama isn’t the same. Certain communities are dismantled from their ancestral places and are thrown into refugee camps, something you don’t expect after all the sacrifice given to the birth of the nation. So what is left for me and you at this age is, to leave this world with “clean heart” advocating for the truth, fairness, and justice. We are all aggrieved isn’t fair nor does it show a judicious mind as long as the nature of the grievances aren’t the same.

            Saay: Doesn’t negotiation also suggest addressing grievances. If that is the case aren’t the negotiators going to listen to others grievances and vis versa vent their grievances to others? Isn’t after going through that process that they will discover the solution, whatever that common solution might be? If that is the case again why do we need to argue negotiation vs listening? I don’t have problem with that as long it bring a lasting solutions – a mirror that shows the images of our rainbow.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            Your below statement, whether intentional or not, is kind of making a caricature of Emma’s views.
            Sorry to say it but you are kind of playing YG, focusing at the extreme end of an idea.
            I am sure anyone, especially you, can see the difference between those (“biher Tigrigna” members) who are maintaining the system by hook or crook and all members of “biher Tigrigna” that are opposing it and challenging it.
            I do not think I have to list names or organizations, you know them better.
            No Eritrean non-tigrigna organization, in their right mind, will demand apology from Elsa Chirum, Amman and many others that are doing much more to dispose of the dictatorship.
            The crude fact remains though that the system is in place because section of ” biher Tgrigna” are maintaining it. (Example the likes of Sender Tesfai. This is just a joke ST is simply a big mouth).
            The “admit your mistake and ask for an apology” didn’t even succeed at an individual level–all the demands on the former members of the EPLF to apologize yielded nothing except losing them and all potential joiners–much less at a societal level.( I am NOT saying that’s what Emma is saying but that’s where such preconditions end up.) Can u imagine asking a Tigrinya speaker who lost family members to prisons, disappearances, murder, human trafficking, sea drowning and indefinite servitude, emasculated church….. “hey you Tigrinya speaker: you have done us wrong. Not you but the institution you helped build.” It is a non-starter.”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Haile Zeru,

            Yes Haile, Saay always tries to make you bad looking by making his own interpretation to our discussions. Who in his right mind (who has addiction to politics) will ask to get an apology from the entire tigrigna population? The regime “the aggressor” does not represent the tigrigna social group. But…. let the issue be on the front loading be debated, and along the way something we can give and take.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hi Emma and Haile Zeru:

            That’s not a very nice thing to say Emma. And this after I took pains to understand what you are saying, repeating it back to you, asking you if the oppressor is above and beyond PFDJ, if by “social groups” you mean “ethno-linguistic groups” and after I clarified that you are not saying that A should apologize to B but that the trajectory will lead there?

            Have you considered the possibility that the cryptic way you write may be contributing to being misunderstood? Writing simply, using simple words, using commonly understood phrases may eliminate mistrust and accusing others of bad intent. Ironic given that your topic is about building trust.

            Now before I proceed further do I understand you as saying that the aggressor is only PFDJ but that its aggression affects different “social groups” differently? And that this being the case we have the responsibility to listen to and empathize?

            If that is the case, let me know and I will ask you to expound on it. And recognize that it won’t address the mistrust as some of our social groups don’t think the problem is limited to PFDJ but to the eco system (culture) that raised it and nurtured it.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Well, brother that is precisely my point of view is. If some social groups do not think that the aggressor is the PFDJ and the system they run, but the entire tigrigna social group. Then we have a big mountain to climb to address realistically by continuous engagement. But my experience and my engagement with them didn’t give me any hint of that kind. The simple demand they had in my conversation with them was an autonomy to administer themselves and exercise their own culture. They believe on the integrity of Eritrean sovereignty. This is first hand info from the Afar and Kunama social groups.

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            The reason I think negotiation is better than “grievance listening” is two fold:

            1. Although you have said (correct me if I am wrong) that you see ethnic linguistic groups as a political constituency, a religious group cannot be a political constituency, and some disagree with you as they consider religious identity and the group rights that come with it more important than ethnic rights;

            2. That although you believe in self rule, you do not want such self-rule to be based on ethnic enclaves with rights up to secession, and some disagree with you on that;

            3. That beyond the Kunama and the Afar, there are other social groups (including the Tigrinya) who feel that the PFDJ rule disproportionately oppressed them;

            4. That we are all doing this within the context of trying to influence a very large silent majority who can be manipulated easily into believing that decentralization, self rule, ethnic rights advocacy will lead to disintegration.

            So this calls for negotiation not grievance listening.

            saay

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,
            Hoping you do not mind my interjection.

            I agree with what you are saying with one caveat. Just remove (conceptually) the article of the Constitution that requires 75% to amend it. You know that even the “biher Tigre” wouldn’t master such a percentage to affect any change. Now such percentages are in all Constitution. What we can do is negotiate a Constitution that accommodates possibly all of us. And then keep the percentage or lower it.
            In other words any negotiation cannot take place on a closed document.
            “negotiation and not grievance listening.”
            I think it is kind of a circular argument that we have been through already.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Haile Zeru, Saay and Emma<

            "negotiation and not grievance listening."

            I think it is not either or situation. As I understand it, not everybody is in a situation to negotiate on behalf of a group or a party. Listening and discussing issues, and debating them is what prepares the ground for a meaningful negotiations by politicians. If there is no conducive atmosphere, and enough awareness of the issues, negotiations cannot start from nowhere–a common understanding and empathy should be nurtured among citizens to guarantee negotiations lead to workable results. Knowing issues are critical before embarking on negotiations.

            I think…

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba SGJ,

            You are right. Ditto to my answer that I just gave to Saay few minutes ago.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SGJ,

            That sounds right to me.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile:

            Interject away buddy.

            I was pushing constitutionalism not 1997 Constitution so your proposal is very agreeable to me. The 1997 constitution was killed by the stranger bed-fellowship of Isaias and the opposition.

            Negotiation assumes equal partners. Listening to grievance assumes an unequal –paternalistic relationship. In any negotiation there will be listening but unlike the one proposed by Emma–“empathy to grievances”–negotiation is multi-directional. This is important when you consider the largest, but often ignored social group with the most grievances: Eritrean women.

            saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            May I interject too? Thank you.
            I was saying what you are saying in a less detailed and intellectualized format about 3 days ago. (see below)
            You dismissed my statement by comparing it to that of Nitricc’s statements about Ethiopian affairs. Fair enough.
            I thought you were trying to build a bridge to A.H and build up a good will credit for the certain inevtable eventual debits to follow. What surprises me is this, after all these years, you don’t seem to come to terms with his thinking process. (maybe you don’t have a choice)
            A.H thinking process is fully functional only when he uses the Marxists software, he memorized and grew up with, and nothing else. (It is a religion, I tell you, I know a couple of Durgists)
            He does not see common sense or any other kind of sense, if it does not run through that software.
            The template is this:
            If he had an AK-47, he would have brought about a “happy” self ruling social groups in Eritrea.
            Then one day a couple of representatives from the Afar “social group” come in to see him. They request to have an informal ambassadorial exchange with the two Afar “social groups” beyond the border.
            They will disappear never to be heard from again, AS THE WORLD TURNS.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • saay7

            Selam Mr KH:

            Ere beslasse, what’s with all this may I interject? I appreciate the politeness but this is a forum and anyone with a disqus account can interject.

            On Emma, it’s your “this is not what the Eritrean people want” thing u said that rubbed me the wrong way because you (an Ethiopian) were addressing Amanuel (an Eritrean.) Probably some subdued subterranean nationalist impulse. Otherwise, have at it.

            The rest of ur assessment of Amanuel, I think it’s based on your shock that a stealth urban activist was doing his duty as a stealth urban activist and organizing Eritreans in Addis. It was silly when it came from Abi (what’s next: a spy who spies?) and it is still silly coming from Mr KH. Your anger is misplaced: blame the Ethiopian counter-intelligence for not doing its job. Although if it will make u feel better, they arrested many of his contemporaries.

            On the Marxist stuff, no comment 🙂 let’s just I find Emma hard to understand but I often blame myself for it.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            Indeed, many were arrested and many died trying to end the Derg nightmare. I remember my friend Goitom Lebassi, a Debrezeit cadet who was killed trying to finish off Mengistu. I think Eritreans and their Ethiopian allies deserve a credit for challenging and destroying the Derg, the monstrous junta? Thank you Amamnuel, and all the rebels who struggled inside the belly of the beast to bring freedom to the people of the region. The fact that Isaias and his minions hijacked all the sacrifices and defaced its meaning, changes nothing but only elongates the struggle.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir,

            I sent you a message via the AT’s support email and I am wondering whether you received it or it ended up in spam folder. Just curious!

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I don’t have anger towards A. H at all. Maybe wrong choice of words might have conveyed that message. I consider him to be brutally honest man from what I have read of him. He sits on activist’s organizations and slugs it out with big and small. So it is not anger towards him.
            I think, what it probably was some of his ideas and or logic,(those terms) that I find irritating at times. Trying to clarify my position I might have used harsh words.
            .
            In your case you took an offense from what I said to him in regard to Eritrea. It sounds like you heard something an envoy of the Emperor might have said, well I don’t know if it is all my fault. It is my opinion after all. I sometimes have taken offense when Eritreans say similar things about Ethiopia, only because of sincerity I have no ill will towards Eritrea.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi KH,
            Why is cross border geographical location of any people presented as a threat? Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have many such extensions and I don’t think it should be seen as a threat.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Saleh Johar,
            .
            Sorry for the delayed response. No I am not presenting it as a threat but as an ever evolving and changing problem that needs to be managed. Thanks to the colonialists, it will be with us for a long long time. People on both sides of the border have a tendency to gravitate to each other. The Capitals of the nations want to keep that arbitrary line and thus the constant changing problem for the folks.
            My understanding is that even if Angels are governing both capitals low grade frictions with changing times will continue. I said Angels, mind you.
            .
            What I am trying to point out to Mr. A.H, however, is that with all the problems that need to be dealt with at this time the one he is tackling is not the priority or urgent.
            It is akin to someone who is discussing an organ transplant, a relative of the patient brings up shingles problems or serious itching to the Doctor. O.K it might be useful information but 1st thing 1st.
            That is my opinion.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Kim,
            Thanks. I understand. But what I meant was this:

            Frictions are caused by lack of freedoms, bad governance, and economic inequality. One social group straddling the border of any number of countries or different races living beyond each other’ border line is not a cause for friction or stable relations. And we have examples of both types. The race and other descriptions of inhabitants is hardly a cause for friction which can happen in any case and be avoided by the factors I mentioned above. In our case, the case of Afar and others is often brought up as a threat. That is what I objected to.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah saay7,

            I thought in regard to negotiation from the perspective of what is being discussed here at this forum, the grievance vs listening issue is a matter of semantics. The essence and content of the agenda at a negotiating table or venue is the same. If there are no grievances that warrant formulation into agenda points there will hardly be need for negotiation because grievance will simply remain in the realm of appeals to authorities who cause grievances.

            Moreover, when we speak about women, which is very important, in the context of the Eritrean political and social realities, are we imagining them as a constituency in their own right or their cause could be seen and understood in the framework of the existing and fractious affiliations and constituencies? If it is the former, how about the youth, the peasants and the laborer or worker? Considering the social and political status (institutional infrastructure) of the state we have, can we understand grievance of women as express-able in term of a constituency at a negotiating table?

            Regards

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam Saay, (Amanuel and all others engaged in the discussion)

            I have been following with interest the back-and-forth between you and Amanuel (which many others have joined) in the last 72 hours or so. At one point, you characterized the essence of your debate with Amanuel as being akin to an egg and chicken situation – which I agree it is. At another point (in reference to Amanuel’s advocacy for ‘having the aggressor/transgressor LISTEN to the aggrieved’ vs. your preference to ‘have all the parties NEGOTIATE’), you stated that “In any negotiation there will be listening.” One might be tempted to characterize this statement as nothing more than a futile exercise in semantics – which it is not, since it is a correct/valid statement although, of course, of little efficacy in the context of the Saay-Amanuel debate.

            So, what exactly is the point I am trying to make here? I guess I am thinking out loud that despite what may appear to some as exchanges full of semblances and superficialities, the ongoing debate is, in fact, much loftier in its quality and in its contributions to the cause. Specifically, it is: (i) probing critical and weighty issues that are bound to have immense consequences on the fate of the ongoing struggle for change, hence on the political future of the country and (ii) yielding impressively powerful ideas and convincing arguments which, if pursued and developed further and if it engages a broad section of the opposition, would crystallize into viable strategies and solutions. Consensus would then be built around these instruments to begin addressing the nation’s sociopolitical problems.

            Let me now turn to one of the main issues of the debate. Your statement that “Negotiation assumes equal partners.” is, of course, both correct and true. But it is precisely because the statement is true that some commenters, Amanuel among them, are reluctant to accept negotiations as a first step for addressing marginalization-provoked grievances. Indeed, attempting to apply the concept contained in this factual statement to the problem at hand would take one right to the very heart of Amanuel Hidrat’s argument: Many in the opposition camp, not least the aggrieved parties themselves, believe that marginalized social groups are not “equal partners” to the “advantaged, dominant group” in the country – they are equals not in terms of their rights; not in their social status; not in their political and economic power!

            It is obvious from the foregoing that Amanuel & Co. do have a valid point in advocating for a process that would redress existing grievances (that arose from marginalization and its consequences) as prelude to, and precondition for, negotiations. But, I believe they have so far fallen woefully short of proposing a realistic and workable process that Amanuel passionately argues should be undertaken.

            I will hopefully pick up on that point briefly in my next comment.

            Thank you.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Johannes,

            Glad to have you back and offered lucid idea as usual. As you might have had time to glance at the comments I made to saay7 bellow, your understanding, and as well as that of saay7’s, about the nature and format of negotiation of conflict resolution cases that involve nations, international or regional bodies or even conflicts and disputes in the framework of governance system operating in accordance of sustainable institutions is correct. But what we are discussing here in this forum concern a nation-state and a government that satisfy none of these prepositions.

            What we are facing is a station-state whose basic institutional political social infrastructure are still pending because the processes of their formation ave been hamstrung by a regime that tries to project itself as protector and preserver of the cultural and material interest of an important segment of the nation. Therefore, what the marginalized components are aggrieved from is that they have been denied their rights to take part in the process of building the state and its institutions. If one needs to go to the core of the crisis, thus, it is this fundamental right the regime has violated. Instead of providing the rightful processes in which the components of the nations could represent their interests in the processes of fitting them under national legal institutions that can address the concerns of all protected by laws protecting accesses to the means of decent lives for all as law and order abiding citizen, the regime has been arbitrarily deciding their fates within the crude and lawless nation-state by decrees issued by an all powerful despot.

            So what the aggrieved components of the nation are demanding is neither empathy nor sympathy. What they demanding their enlightened compatriots from the Tigrigna speaking compatriots in the opposition milieu to do is to understand this crucial point and participating in a grand project of constructing national solidarity, which anchor itself on a social and political task program, which you and I have spoken in our earlier exchange as a social and political equilibrium.

            As a footnote, I should add that there is scarcely need for a proposal of a one side work program. Since the matter concerns the thinking about a suitable process in which a national task program will have to be negotiated by representatives of all (at least the mainstream) in the opposition, the notion that two sides – one that awaits a proposal and another to propose it – seems to me a hardly constitutive a starting premise.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Yohannes & Ismailo (Abeiti Adi),

            Yohannes: I was expecting you to come with a comprehensive outlook on the issue at hand that Saay, Ismail, and myself are debating intimately to have a common understanding and search a possible resolution to the mistrust that keeps eating our social fabric. You did a critical and weighty inputs to the ongoing discussion and am sure it will have a great influence in making our citizens cognizant to the matter. This debate, like what SGJ has put it correctly, is intended “to create conducive atmosphere and enough awareness” before the structures of the negotiations are set to deal with them. So your input on the ongoing discussion is crucial as you are one of the farsighted individuals in this forum. Keep the flow of your valuable inputs.

            Ismailo: I will not let this issue to go unheard, for it is a fundamental to the coexistence of our diversity to maintain the equilibrium and live peacefully. I hope I will write another article to make a call for building a grievance-centric intellectual movements. I will see how my thoughts will evolve around it.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Selam Ismail,

            Thank you for your rejoinder. I am in agreement with many of the key ideas that you expounded in your response to my comment although that agreement is not reflected in the comment. Here is why:

            On account of my personal circumstances, I came in late into the discussion and wrote my comments having just skimmed through some of the main exchanges between Saay and Amanuel. Thus, given the constraints on my time, I decided to express my views partially in the rejoinder I posted earlier. That comment represented my views on the details of the logic of argument as seen from the position taken by Amanuel. In short the points/arguments in that comment are based on the presupposition that there is a social group (or in Saay’s parlance, ethno-linguistic group) that can be unambiguously labelled as the “aggressor social group.” I had indicated in my comment that I will soon pick up where I left off in my follow up comment specifically to address that issue.

            This having been the case and reading your response to my post, I now realize that my decision to express my views in parts may have turned out to be misleading. I hope to be able to remove any resulting misunderstanding by posting the “other half” of my views as soon as I possibly can,

            Thank you.

          • saay7

            Selam Yohannes:

            Thanks for joining in. But before you do, let me quote a critical part of your piece:

            In short the points/arguments in that comment are based on the presupposition that there is a social group (or in Saay’s parlance, ethno-linguistic group) that can be unambiguously labelled as the “aggressor social group.”

            Neither I nor Amanuel agree on the premise you have placed.

            We are saying there is one aggressor (PFDJ) and its aggression has impacted different social groups differently but there is no aggressor social group.

            saay

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear Saay,

            I used the word “presupposition” in my response to Ismail’s comment to explain the reason/basis for a line of argument that I presented in an earlier comment as something that one could advance. There was no direct or indirect attribution of that ”presupposition” to you or to anybody else; and no names were mentioned in SPECIFIC REFERENCE to that “presupposition.” Your name was mentioned strictly in relation to the use of the phrase “ethno-linguistic group” as opposed to “social groups”.

            I therefore do not understand your response above and I am really baffled by it. Are you telling me I cannot make the presupposition I made in my rejoinder? Or are you claiming that I had in any way tried to link the specific “presupposition” I mentioned to your earlier comments? Would you please explain.

            Thank you.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            Your idea “”negotiation and not grievance listening.””
            Would be perfect 26 years ago. But now I think time has slipped away and the Eritrean societal issues maddied so bad that some dose of what Aman is saying is kind of inevitable.
            Eventhough I do not know what that entails concretely.
            Is it ok to confess ignorance?

          • saay7

            Selam Yohannes Z:

            Of course it’s perfectly valid to confess ignorance. In fact what we all need is an update to PFDJs “zura hagerka” (your your country) that is less superficial. The PFDJ version of zura hagerka organized for the Diaspora is look at that building, look at those women with earrings, look at the braids on that woman, and look at all these great things the PFDJ has built (hospitals schools dams.) The Justice Fighter versersion would be “I am so and so and I come from this land and this ethno linguistic group now let me tell you our story and cap it with things you may not know.”

            There are so many things we don’t know. You do all this and then negotiate. The thing I don’t like about “grievance listening” is that it immediately places people on the defensive as if they are being accused, particularly given that some of those who claim to speak for our social groups (the Islamist groups, an English-language Kunama website, not to mention the Paltalk and social media) have been reckless with their language.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            I like it. Justice seekers as a brand is too timid and resembles begging. On the other hand, worriers also has negative reflection on the doves. What about “Justice Camp”?

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Saleh J.
            I am hesitating to ask whether we are being struck by debate fatigue. These past few days we being confronted by choice of terminologies to frame our ideas such as listening to or negotiating; seeking justice or militancy (warriors) for justice and may be more soon. I am reluctant to believe whether engaging in such matters will keep us focused on the main picture. If we were to agree on the bedrock issues search for descriptive terms would not need from us that much toiling.
            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Ismail,
            I understand your concern, I have it too. But I also find branding important provided the debate doesn’t drag on forever. I am done with that by the way, from now on, I will use the term Justice Camp and Justice warrior or fighter–this timid “seeker” thing always annoyed me. I am done and sorry.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah SJ,
            Afarin (Persian equivalent to ahsanta in Arabic). By the way, I mostly prefer to use opposition camp and Justice Camp is also fine and would not require me to concede much. It is nice that you are done; but has our saay7 heard you, too?
            Thanks Sal.

          • saay7

            Ismail:

            There are other choices. The clearest one is freedom fighter. This is because there is no freedom in Eritrea and it has the added benefit of showing the struggle is a continuity of what was started in 1961. Extra benefit: it annoys both the PFDJ and those who hate Ghedli and tegadelti 🙂

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah saay7,
            Freedom fighter label would get most votes though liberal democrats and economic determinists would probably not like it.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            I wish our problem was with the “name” how to be called. Unfortunately, our weakness and our failures of not coming together has nothing to do with the name. All are lofty names, that we are still struggling to be worthy to our names and be fruitful to the cause of our people. Whether we call ourselves justice seekers or freedom fighters, justice worriers, it does not change our realities. What it change our realities to produce tangible outcome to the struggle. That tangible outcome can not be realistic without coming together by addressing the problem within us before we tackle the despot and its system.

            Second, see MS’s comment expressing the orgs have not mandate from their bases. They can not fight against the despot if they claim they do not represent the pain of their social base or to the grievances of their base in the current struggle. There is no way of getting official mandate from our people. In such scenario, they can only be representative to the cause of our of their social base.

            Imagine if we we had that kind of attitude during the armed struggle, we will never rally our people to a successful outcome.
            When Awate and the organizers of ELF in Cairo Started the armed struggle they were not given that mandate from our people. What they did – they launch the armed struggle to fight for the aspiration of our people. So by the same token, our social group’s organizations represent to the grievances of their social base. They don’t need official mandate as far as they represent to the aspirations of their base -that is to fight for their rights- for fair and equitable power and resources in their nation.

            So Ismailo, nahna negersi mewedaeta yeblun. We can’t even agree on the basic mode of struggle, nor do we are ready to listen each other to our grievsnces. If there is no mutual recognition from all sides, we will keep and live in the same”Kuda” Areza. Mehret Yewridelna.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Haile S.

            Selam Emma
            The only way of undoing ኩዳ ዓረዛ is by bringing in ኡማ of Alamin Abdeletif WITHOUT tigrignatizing it into ኩዳ as I see being done frequently during weddings. My understanding of MS’s comment is just an extreme sensitivity and caution not to touch a hornet’s nest resulting in everyone getting stung. However, neither the Meticulous sensitivity of MS nor the blunt warning of Blink can save the tigrigna from getting called or repproached of being pfdj collaborators when the leadership, its core decision makers, the majority of its administrators, generals, ministers etc are Weldenchi’el, Gerenchi’el or Letenchi’el. The tigrignas have to own their migraine and the other grievance stricken Eritrean parts have to own their sick compatriots and find a common remedy for the common ills. The illness came in the process of independence, it is our common illness.

          • MS

            Ahlan Haylat, Emma, and Ismail, Haile Zeru
            I love the way HaileS put it. The data and empirical experience don’t lie. I get it. But leaders or the so called liberated individuals should think ahead of events and beyond the capacity of ordinary gerenchiel and Omar or letenchiel and Halima….We should not feel we are in a normal situation similar to the ones we live in here in the West. For instance, Here in the USA, black, indigenous, Latino, Chinese, Irish and so on promote their community interests openly, often blaming the system, meaning the white race. We also have the white supremacists who complain that the white race has been reversely discriminated. In addition to these, we have cross racial or cultural civic and professional organizations. The American Constitution and the attitudes of American society towards each other have evolved through centuries. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate to be blunt and even sometimes annoying. The political culture here has matured enough to absorb shocks. Governmental institutions are stronger to sustain pressures. There is a vibrant mass media, and therefore, at the end of the day, the majority will build consensus. The radicals will live on the fringes, sometimes taking advantage of the confusion, as it happened in 2016 election. However, even if they come to power, I would argue, they can’t change the fundamentals of American political system…
            Eritrean society has strong aspect. Its components have known each other, and as a society, it has passed through tough times. It has been tested. I do not doubt that.
            Weakness: has no domestically grown civic institutions that lead it towards understanding and practicing modern politics. It has been kept in its revolutionary stage. It does not have a prior knowledge/experience of a democratic practice of governance (concepts such as the separation of powers, modern concepts of justice administration, conflict management using outlined guidelines (laws and regulations based on a constitution), free mass media which checkmates the corruption of power, etc. A great segment of the older generation has no education. Women are still underserved and have not gained their optimum potential, which means we lack the contribution of almost 50% of our human resource in our endeavor to advance progressive ideas. In addition to this, we have constraints imposed by history. This obvious in meetings where attendants waste times in complaining why EPLF members were granted membership in opposition, and so on. Ex-EPLF members whine why they are treated like spies when they are openly disassociated with PFDJ. And the grievances continue:
            We are all complaining; we are all aggrieved.
            – Ex-ELF members accuse each other, sometimes along ethnic, regional and religious lines
            -Ex-ELF and Ex-EPLF members exchange blames and accusations
            – The young generation revolts and condemns the old generations
            -It occurs to some that the stalemate will not resolve unless they deconstruct the established notion of united Eritrea which was the result of the long armed liberation struggle. They look for shortcuts. And believe me, there are no shorter cuts than playing with ethnic, religious and regional agendas. These agendas unravel nations. And if not contained, they are more than able to ruin national projects and the peaceful coexistence between peoples. They are very dangerous if not handled diligently. Because unlike the societies where we live, developing nations have a delicate balance to keep in check. That is why the leaders of the opposition are expected to lead and not merely echo the voices of activists. Leadership implies that sometimes you are going to take decisions that some of your vocal supporters may not like in the interest of the common interest. Example:
            Say, if the leaders of a particular “aggrieved social group” play it reasonably well, and if they could negotiate on a framework that will leave enough space for them (like any other Eritrean) to exercise their rights, they become a part of the coalition. This attitude leads to a win-win situation. However, if they are so belligerent on insisting that their demands be met, then, the other side also will come with its own demands. Well, then we live in a vicious cycle of kuda areza…All become complainants. Here we have a situation where the internal pressure resulting from the discords of members of the opposition camp is greater than the external pressure (the will and commitment of individuals, and groups to make compromises in the interest of building a bigger and stronger front) and an explosion will indeed happen. There should be an equilibrium between the forces that advocate for absolute unity (hade hzbi-hade lbi) and the forces who advocate for an absolute autonomy. That equilibrium could come only if we avoid the blame game. As Haile pointed out, indeed I’m extra sensitive regarding these issues because I’m cognizant of the risks looming on the horizon. We are talking about a people who fought for decades against a common enemy; we are supposedly talking about factions that should have one common enemy.
            I believe the stakes are so high when it comes to the leaders of the factions because they are vying for power, and they are treating each of the social group as pawns.
            Emma: Having a program, or the announcement of a certain undertaking does not need any mandate. If your program is appealing to the mass, the mass will follow you. Then your legitimacy comes from the following of the mass. That’s what happened regarding the armed struggle. If you could indicate to me that Afars are rallying around the organization that talks in their name; or if you could show me that the Kunama’s have rallied around Kernelios, etc., and this is after 17 years, then I will be proven wrong.
            Another point is this: The mandate of the current opposition organizations is one of a revolutionary nature; it is to enable a transition to a democratic process. They should not be wasting time for the production of a final product because they don’t have the last word in our future. The people have the last word. If that is the case, then why all the insistence of producing a 100% contract? The demand of building a 100% proof contract suggests that these leaders are thinking of becoming the leaders of future Eritrea. Otherwise, if they know their mandate is limited to bringing change, they would not insist on guarantees. These safeguards are given only by a constitution that is approved by all Eritreans. Therefore what they think of at this stage as a final product may not end up being the final product in the future. That’s why focusing on mutually benefiting agendas is important. And that is why they could win big by acting as equals

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            It is not my burden to find out for you whether their social base support them or not. It is your burden too to find out before you throw your critics. I did my homework and am still communicating with them to show my allyship. If these two social groups are pushed away from their ancestral place to a refugee camp by the brutal regime, the Afar and the Kunama people have not choice except to be represented by their elites who are organized to voice their predicament. Now, me and you and others from other social groups do not have the right to tell them who should represent them.

            Mahmuday, this is a simple preposition and simple logic that there is no other than their own kinships to represent them. My role and your role is to know exactly what their grievances is, and help them how to amiliorate it. So at least I did my homework and do your homework to know first hand their grievances and reserve critics before you talk and communicate with them. That is a simple thing everyone has to do if we are committed to resolve our problems.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Emma and Mahmouday,
            Revolutions and rebellions do not embark by electing or delegating leaders they emerge in the process and once they do, the bulk follows them. If not, they disappear. Just like the Eritrean revolution–its founders and leaders were neither elected or appointed by the people but they embarked on the task driven by conscience and assumed leadership. That is the role of the elite in any society, w’Allah yeAlem., I may be wrong.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abu Salah,

            Yes you are right leaders are emerged in the process, but also revolutions and movements are emanated from the aspirations of their people that gives them a tacit popular mandates to lead the revolution. Thank you for the interjection.

            Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Saleh,
            Hasha wallahi, brother, you are damn right. That is what I tried to tell my brother MS in my unusually long “Hateta” to his long “Hateta” yesterday. Isayas and the rest were never sent to the field as representatives after getting a passing score in public plebiscites.

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            I have thrown some pointers in the hope that you would expand your discussion which would help all of us.
            1. Are the squabbles you witness between and among the leaders (most of them in power as long as IA has been in power) representative of the social relations existing between our “social groups”? If you agree with my homework, I would say “No”. Example: the Tigre, Nara, kunama, Saho, Hidareb blin have contact zones, and areas where they mix. Surely, there will exist local grievances, for instance around Gogne, may be in Mensura…with good policies, these communities could live with each other. So, my question is if you had the chance to conduct inter-communal dialogue in Gash-Barka, the result would be much different than what awasa produced. They would hammer out ways of managing their local affairs without burdening the other with preconditions. Therefore, what I’m hinting to is that the deadlock is a result of some leaders getting more shares than they deserve. I’m saying that what you have been witnessing is the bickering of individuals who have long-standing grudges against each other, individuals who don’t trust each other. So my challenge was for you to show us if those representatives could be a fair sample of our social groups. They could be a sample of a fairly distributed representation only when they are elected by the people through a democratic process. Then they could claim that they represent their districts’ grievances. Therefore, i’m contending that the attempt of translating the grievances among these leaders to our social groups is incorrect.
            2. I don’t dispute the facts that some areas are affected more than others when it comes to land use and other services. The Bini-Amer (Tigre) have a legitimate gruievances when the vast plains of Forto sawa are confiscated; when the banks of Gash-Barka are distributed to “investors” who are selected on their loyalty to the regime; most of those patches of lands are now barren, their trees have been uprooted but no production to benefit the local labor force and the market at large. Bisha is found in the border between the communities of Nara and Bini-amer; you heard the story of Kerkebet; Emahmimet (Sahel) and other areas have the same problem. The Kunama’s and Afars also have experienced similar predicament. There are villages in the highlands whose lands have been appropriated to “investors”; who have been incorporated to other districts without their consent and approval. Other communities have similar stories. So, brother we are indeed all affected.
            3. I know leaders are borne in a process and a process is an outcome of another process, etc. That does not equate the current leaders and the leaders of Eritrean revolution. I have enough information based on readings i do and first hand information from young folks who once happened to be members of those organizations. The stories they tell me is not encouraging. You tell me if the process you allude to has impacted the communities they claim to represent positively. What was their impact in the lives of the Afdars and the Kunama in these 17 years? Have they made any qualitative or quantitative change in their own organizations? If not why? If yes, what?
            4. This is the most important point: I trust your knowledge of the opposition Emma, and it would be an outrageous claim to say that I know it better. I’m always here to learn from you. That’s why I asked you the following: Could you point at the programs of the mainstream opposition (NCDC, EDA, or even EPDP, National salvation front, etc), and tell us why the demands of the aggrieved social groups would not be met? Why they would see their compatriots as trajoan horses for a PFDJ like political regime? I think it becomes productive if we can debate on concrete items.
            5. An inclusive democratic transitional program should be enough at this time. No one has the mandate to give guarantees. Organizations may carry organizational programs that carry “eske megentel”, that is fine., But they should not try to present is as the making or breaking card of any unity talks because no one can give them that guarantee but a constitution that is approved by Eritreans under a free political atmosphere.
            Respectfully, Bixaayka.
            Selam Hider.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustazna Mahmoud,

            Forgive me for intruding, and would like you to throw some light on your view that “They [leader] would be a sample of a fairly distributed representation only when they are elected by the people through a democratic process.” Don’t think this sounds more theoretical than practical in the context of the existing realities in Eritrea? The notion this statement contains presupposes conditions in which people could take part in making choices (elections) such as constitutionally sanctioned electoral mechanisms such as local opinion sampling plebiscites. Can we be realistic demand leaders or movements in the current circumstances in Eritrea should satisfy such requirements?

            Moreover, the issue raised in item 4 which contends that the mentioned programs should have satisfied or responded to the demands or grievances of the aggrieved seems to me a bit subjective because the compatriots who constitute the rank and file of the aggrieved groups are authentic part and parcel of the Eritrean people’s struggle for liberation and carried their fair share in it. So, they are aware of the past as well as the recent programs and their contents. But the issue that we should care to consider is what happened to them under what they had anticipated to be fair national government that would care for the best interest of them in the framework of the population of the nation. The core rationale for their options arise that the regime has been busy pushing and dispersing them to the margins, and out of the margin as far the Afar and Kunama’s are concerned.

            Finally, I must add that your take in item 5 makes sense and could be an answer if it could be fairly accommodative in format, procedure, realization and implementation. The struggle of the opposition since the beginning of the era of umbrellas in 1999 was crafting such “An inclusive democratic transitional program” though it assumed various titles such as charter and roadmaps under the ENA, EDA and NCDC. The problem was not that it did not represent their interests, and in fact most of them were signatories, but due to the fact that some of the so called national forces resisted to adopt it unless every member submitted to their terms of sitting at the driving wheel. This last point had in fact, and will persist on, served as crucial indicator to them that they should not trust what the future holds. Did they not hear and read the proceedings and outcomes of the EPLF congresses in 1977 and later about promises of democratic life under the government in independent Eritrea? Thus, refusal to relegating leadership at the top to qualification and competence in opposition transitional era has been an ominous indicator to the future. The debate now has to focus on the grand search of finding the social-political equilibrium allay suspicions and respond to concerns of all stakeholders in the national pursuit to freedom and common future.

          • MS

            Ahlan Ustaz IsmailAA
            Why do you behave so politely Ya Ustazana. Albeit beitek ya Habibi, yours is not an intrusion and you make the discussion more lively. Thank you for the input. I think my points are legitimate to consider. I understand your points, but the leaders are expected to act judiciously. How could they compare their compatriots with the regime in power or the current opposition with a liberation movement (EPLF)? The times are different and the mandates are different. I still want to know what areas do they oppose to? What exactly do they expect to get from an opposition in exile, an opposition that does not administer a kilometer square inside Eritrea? I am all ears.
            The slogan of the time is: We are all suffering; we are all stakeholders. edey idka nbel….
            I think we need to be very careful. I openly say this. There are bad policies of a government that no section of our people elected. I understand that the Afars and the Kunamas are hurt because of the border war, and because of the “no peace no war “state prevailing in the region. There are other communities along the border which are affected too.
            Anyway, the above was to make up a reply of yours that I missed, I do respect your inputs.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mahmuday,

            The Afar and the Kunama people are not hurt only from the border war, but also by the policy of the current government, please. Let me give you an example: The Afar people whose lives only depend on fishing are banned from fishing and are forced to live refugee camps. So Mahmuday we can not and should not attribute all the current predicament of our people to the border war. All the problem that exist after 2001 are the result of the policy of the government. Do not try to defend the undefendable policy of the government.

            Regards

          • MS

            Ahlan Amanuel
            “Do not try to defend the undefendable policy of the government and attribute every problem that exist today as the result of the border war.”
            Really? Akiluka?
            Have a nice day.

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Ustaz Mahmoud,

            Thanks for your warm heartedness which I sincerely reciprocate. Hoping you would bear with my repeated knocking at your door, I must exchange with your a few words on the Kunamas and Afars just for the sake of setting the record straight.

            These two communities have been vulnerably subjected to injustice, especially the Kunamas, for long time. Perhaps the geographical location of the former, and the quality of the land of the latter, they have been targets of covetous eyes of those who wield power and control. The Kunama land was the target of usurpation since the colonial times and before through the pre and post annexation times and during the tenure of the current government. We remember the raids of Alula and later the so call unionist supported shiftas and flagrant campaign blessed and funded land acquisition, which Qeshi Demetros’ Mahber (organizations) that used to specialize in enabling their members to acquire business installations and properties in the town of the lowlands such as shops and other business projects. Thus, the border war and the current stalemate on the border and their ramifications are simply extra burdens that they share with their other compatriots.

            As final point, let me quickly add that save on individual and casual level in insignificant fringe circles, I would be extra cautious to broaden the opinions that try to compare opposition individuals with the regime or the EPLF. If such attitudes are posed as policies, I would not hesitate to deplore them because they are liabilities to the interest of the opposition.

          • MS

            Ahlan IsmailAA
            While I appreciate your cordial disposition, I would like if you could elaborate on the following:
            “I would be extra cautious to broaden the opinions that try to compare opposition individuals with the regime or the EPLF. If such attitudes are posed as policies, I would not hesitate to deplore them because they are liabilities to the interest of the opposition.”
            I will follow up with a short recap of what I have been saying regarding this topic. Thank you for sticking to substance.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz Mahmoud,
            Actually I was trying to respond to your inquisitive question: “How could they [the leaders of the social groups] compare their compatriots [in the opposition camp] with the regime in power or the current opposition with a liberation movement (EPLF)? … I still want to know what areas do they oppose to”. The opinions we casually hear or read from some individuals from within the social groups ranks should not be construed as representing their organizations’ unless they are tabled and publicized as policies. If it would be the latter case, I am on record that I would hesitate to deplore those policies. I hope the point is clearer now, and sorry for the ambiguity.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman, I think there is one latest development now from Addis Ababa about the meeting of the leaders of the constituent organizations of the ENCDC. The leaders had a conference in the last few days and have come up with a promising communiqué regarding how to revitalize the umbrella organization which has so far been crippled with internal conflicts.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Abraham,
            Yes, I have seen the press statement; I have actually been following the rough and long meetings. Let us hope those people have learned lessons from their past follies and failure to shoulder responsibilities and prove this time they mean business.
            Regards.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            I fully sign to your views in your first paragraph. What you have written in your second paragraph coincide well with the points I tried to exchange with Ustaz Mahmoud. It’s quite worrying that we seem to often slide to wasting time on peripheral issues and get walking in enclosed circle at the expense of core issues that deserve attention and examination for the purpose of rallying views.
            Regards

          • saay7

            SGJ:

            “Social Justice Warrior” is an accepted phrase used in the US. They get their way via civil disobedience and no violence so our pacifists should be ok.

            “Justice Camp” is fine but what do you call the person: Justice Camper? 😉

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Saay,
            The camp is where fighters embark from. So, justice worrier would be fine with identifying the block as Justice camp

          • Yohannes Zerai

            Hi Saay,
            Obviously, you are responding to Haile Zeru in the above rejoinder, but curiously enough you addressed it to “Yohannes Z.”! What is going on here? Some kind of fixation:-) If so, I can only hope it is a positive one 🙂

          • saay7

            Selam Haile Z:

            Just kidding. Sorry for the mix-up!

            saay

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            The confess ignorance is in the sense of listening to the aggrieved party.
            – Who is the listner?
            in our context.
            The offenders are PFDJ upper and middle echelons. Most of them members of biher Tigrigna. But unelected, therefore not representing the biher.
            -obviously they do not think they are doing anything wrong.
            -What good does it (the listening) do to the aggrieved party? If delivered by a proxy.

            -What could be the desired outcome.
            How could it help to unite the society to organize itself for a better change?
            Even though I think Amman has some good ideas, I confess ignorance to the implementation, execution and even a clear outline of such idea.
            The listening might have a healing effect if done by someone who is the official representative of the country. Which is not our case.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam SaaY,

            Somehow, I missed this comment of yours – a response to Haile Z. Let us differentiate the “women’s issue” and “social group”issue. Women’s issue is “cultural issue” and requires socio-cultural revolution to address it. But social group issue is socio-contradiction issue and requires change of governmental philosophy to address the existing grievances. At least to highlight their differences and the mode of struggle that goes with it. Women’s issue as important as it is, it requires its own topic and separate discussion than mixing with the issue at hand. Don’t you think so?

            reagrds

          • saay7

            Amanuel:

            I don’t agree with your classification of women’s issue as distinct from a social issue that requires change of governmental policy. And I doubt you would make that assessment if you spoke to any of our women’s rights advocates. If you take a look at all of our civil society and political orgs they have done a terrible job at recruiting women and it’s precisely because of their attitude of “oh well that is a social revolution issue that we don’t have a mandate to address.”

            saay

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Amanuel Hidrat

        I know it is all with good intention, I know you’re trying to help our “marginalized” ethnic communities, I know it is all for the good of Eritrea and Eritreans…….. but in actuality you’re not helping neither to the very “marginalized” ethnics you’re trying to help nor to their cause. Or simply your ideas on your above comment are not defensible – at least the way I see it. Let me explain

        This is what you said

        1. Actually the system in place is a totalitarian regime that sustain its power by exploiting the social cleavages that has been there in the society since the 40s. Any sociopolitical conflicts are reflected from its cultural, political, and economic, imbalances. Keep in mind brother, despite the tyrannical nature of the regime, Keep in mind brother, despite the tyrannical nature of the regime, there are section of our society who believe that the alternative, that might be culturally different, does not represent them and as a result they prefer to stay with the regime. This is a fact on the ground. Because of these realities, the minorities – the aggrieved social groups are organized to mobilize their social base to fight and reaffirm their equitable rights in governing and economic life of their people. This is a fact on the ground. Because of these realities, the minorities – the aggrieved social groups are organized to mobilize their social base to fight and reaffirm their equitable rights in governing and economic life of their people.”

        Amanuel: Please, please, please correct me if I’m wrong before I go too far. So far, if I’ve understood you correctly, this is what you’re saying:

        A. – There is cultural, political, and economic, imbalance in Eritrean society that favor ethnic Tigrignas. Meaning: In today’s Eritrea – in the hierarchy of economic ladder (economic class), ethnic Tigrignas as an ethnic whole, are ranked above other ethnics.

        B. – The PFDJ regime social base is ethnic Tigrigna

        C. – The PFDJ regime attracts its base using 1940s social cleavage (Muslim/Christian division) in order to stay in power.

        D. – “There is a segment ethnic of Tigrignas who believe that the alternative, that might be culturally different from them (Muslim regime), does not represent them, and as a result they prefer to stay with the PFDJ regime. This is a fact on the ground.”

        F. – “Because of these realities, the (Muslim) minorities – the are aggrieved social groups, are organized to mobilize their social base to fight and reaffirm their equitable rights in governing and economic life of their people.”

        Again, please tell me if this is what you believe. And please tell me if this is an accurate description of the current Eritrean opposition description of the PFDJ regime.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Semere,

          I do not frame the Eritrean politics by religious divide, nor does I consider the Muslim Eritrean as minorities. My argument on the majority/minority refers to our social groups – the building blocks of our society. So your understanding to my argument is wrong. But do you deny the social base of PFDJ is the tigrigna speaking or tigrigna social group? Come on brother. If I define the PFDJ it is not the definition of the opposition camp. It is only my definition and am responsible for the what I say and for what I write.

          Regards

          • Semere Tesfai

            selam Amanuel Hidrat

            “Do you deny the social base of PFDJ is the tigrigna speaking or tigrigna social group?”

            I do, I really do deny it Amanuel. And these are my reasons:

            There are many ethnic Tigrigna dominated civic and political organization that oppose the PFDJ regime. There are many ethnic Tigrigna dominated media outlets (Internet, radio, TV) that oppose the PFDJ regime. Have you read/hear what Asena and Asmarino write/say about Isaias and the PFDJ regime? There are men and women from ethnic Tigrigna that never stopped demonstrating rain shine snow in every town of this planet. There are ethnic Tigrigna writers including here at Awate, who never stopped writing harshly about the PFDJ regime. There are faith based ethnic Tigrigna vocal opposition that never stopped voicing their opposition to the PFDJ regime – all, yes all with unwavering track-record for decades. Now compare that with your – ‘the PFDJ regime is supported only by ethnic Tigrignas’ argument. Do you think that is helpful to the fight against the PFDJ regime?

            Amanuel: the problem is not lack of ethnic Tigrignas in the Eritrean opposition – there are plenty of them. The problem is – in the Eritrean opposition camp, the Islamic, ethnic, civic, regional and political opposition organizations don’t see the ethnic Tigrignas opposition organizations any different than the PFDJ regime. And by the same token, the ethnic Tigrignas in the Eritrean opposition don’t see the ethnic and Islamic political organizations any different from the notoriously known jihadist and Islamist organizations in and around our region. And Please don’t blame the PFDJ regime for that.

            Now, if you care to defeat the PFDJ regime, if you care to make the Eritrean opposition a winning opposition, if you want the Eritrean opposition to be a respected opposition that have the support of Eritreans from all walks of life…….. try to narrow that gap – not widening it by blaming ethnic Tigrignas as a whole for supporting the PFDJ regim, which they never did.

            The PFDJ regime may be bad for Eritrea but the finished product of the collective opposition in Awasa, which I suppose you were part of, is worst. Try to do better rather than pointing fingers to others.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Semere,

            Because there are many civic and political organization from the tigrigna social group in the opposition camp, it does not prove that the social base of PFDJ is not from the tigrigna social group. Indeed It is. You have to deal with it . It is also true that the opposition camp are organizations of different social group. we have to deal with it to addresd to the reasons as to what makes them to be organized the way they are.

            In order to solve the problem (a) recognize our realities as it exist (b) know the cause of that realies (c) address them to find solutions (d) to address them we need to be honesty and frank to find an acceptable solutions to live peacefully and equitably. If we set our mind to listen the voices of others, it will be the beginning for looking solutions to our problem. So brother telling the truth of our realities is not widening the gap, but rather it is the first step to looking solutions. Do not make our realities to be defined by HabaE Queslu HabaE feuSu. I am not in that business.

            Regard

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel

            Aman you’re dead-wrong at least for these reasons:

            A. – We can argue/speculate about ratios and percentages to the whole all day long, but the fact of the matter is – the ethnic Tigrigna community is a divided community today EXACTLY like it was divided community during our Ghedly years. There is nothing new.

            B. – Again, we can argue about ratios and percentages, but the second biggest ethnic block, the Tigre ethnic community, is a divide community today EXACTLY like it was divided community during our Ghedli years – yes again, nothing new.

            C. – Also, we can argue about ratios and percentages, but we could also say the samething about the Bilen, the Jeberti, the Saho…….. ethnic communities.

            But, but, but, but it is not even that, that bothers me the most. It is the fact that….

            THERE IS NOTHING, YES NOTHING TO BE GAINED BUT EVERYTHING TO BE LOST, BY LUMPING THE TIGRIGNA ETHNIC COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE WITH THE PFDJ REGIME.

            And I don’t understand why people in the Eritrean opposition fail to see this reality.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Semere,

            You are always twisting my comment. Please don’t do it again. Where did I lumped the whole Christian with the regime? Because the social base of PFDJ is from the Christian, it doesn’t mean the wholeChristian is the supporter of PFDJ. It can’t be at all by any means.You are better than that. The PFDJ has never represented and will never represent the Christian social group. Period.

            Please, if you have something to say worthy of argument do that. Otherwise we are dealing with the issue of our society. What you are doing is simply defending the cruel regime that is tearing the fabric of our society.

            Regards

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Hi Semere Tesfai,

          When a minority social group holds power entire country lives in chaos. Their entire attention is only how to protect themselves from the majority. They are fear driven guys; therefore, they are in a continuous hunt to those who oppose them and don’t agree with their way of ruling the country. A minority social group at the elms of power never makes changes in the system of her ruling the country. They deem any change will deprive them from power forever and will be subjected to law pursue. A nation ruled by minority social group will never enjoy stability and progress, conditions will deteriorate persistently. We have a plain example in the group that is ruling Eritrea. Nothing has changed within the past twenty-six years and will continue in the same way or worse. You can topple majority authority by demonstration, but you can never topple minority authority by demonstration. You can only topple or dismantle them by force.

          Al-Arabi

          • Semere Tesfai

            Merhaben Sediqi Al-Aziz

            I don’t have any problem, if any political organization tried to DEFINE the PFDJ regime, in any way it sees it fit. But I’ve a problem when an opposition political organization that intends to govern Eritrea one day, criminalizes a whole ethnic community (ethnic Tigrigna in this case) by associating it, with a regime that it want to defeat.

            It is not right, it is divisive, it is not a winning strategy, it doesn’t help us as a people and as a nation to move foreword. It only creates a wedge between our communities. That’s all I’m saying. Thanks.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam my dear friend,

            Our fathers and mothers say, “Be with clean heart and sleep on a rail way”. My friend, Semere, the Tigrinia ethnic group who are with clean hearts do not need your defense or any other person protection, because their righteous stances will put them at the right place vanguards with their brothers and sisters from the other components of the Eritrean people. It is shame on you to make the lofty Tigrinia as a shield to defend the mafia in Asmara. Please, stop your trade with the name of Tigrinia ethnic group.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            You said: “minority social group holds power entire country lives in chaos and disaster.”

            Who is this “minority social group”?

            Unfortunately, you [Hameed] have no credibility of being a democrat; it is highly likely that you aspire to take Eritrea to the Stone Age.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            I am not speaking about a Mars Man, but about the Stone Age Man. My friend I kindly request you to get out of your shell for five minutes only, and contemplate about where you are. Certainly, you will discover that you are a Primitive Man.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Who is this “minority social group” that has no name?
            Do you believe yourself to be a democrat or someone trapped in a Stone age mentality?

            Don’t be shy, answer these questions.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            The message has reached you. I think that is what required exactly. You can feign as deaf and that is your problem.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            You do not even have the guts to name your perceived enemy. What a coward.

            By the way, with what sort of system do you aspire to replace the current one? Tell us, do not be shy.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            HI Simon Kaleab,

            I want to replace the hyena by a lamb. Who loads meat on the back of hyena except the fools. I am using concepts you can understand. Once a man like you wanted to travel to his village. He woke up early in the morning and went to Asmara bus station. He took his ticket and boarded the bus and sat on the driver”s chair. All travelers occupied their seats and the driver came to drive the bus to its destination, but there is someone sitting on his seat. He requested the man to leave the seat of the driver, but the man refused leaving the seat. He said that I came early morning and booked for the first seat. All the people in the station gathered and tried to convince him but the dull man refused. At last a man joined the crowed and asked them what is the problem? They told him that man is refusing to leave the seat of the driver. The man told them leave him for me. He came to the man and whispered on his ear; the man immediately woke up and went to the rear seat of the bus. The people there surprised. What did you say to him that made him understand? I told him that the seat that goes to his village is the rear seat.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Keep on mumbling till eternity. This shows that you are getting hot under the collar.

            Does this mean that you are refusing to answer my questions?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            I don’t see any questions from your side to answer them. Concerning the “Social Group” that stands with the regime doesn’t require explanation from me, because researches and facts on ground have confirmed them years back. ኣጥብቆ ጠያቂ የናቱ ሞት ይረዳል

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Is there something you are hiding that you do not want to talk about?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            ንለባም አምተሉ አበይ ከይስሕቶ ንዓሻ ደርጋሓሉ ኣበይከይፈልጦ:: Tell me you are a fool, I will whisper to you on your ears.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Opposition wannabe! What type of opposition are you?

            Do you have an army? Are you going to lead from the front or are going to rant from behind?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            You make me laugh. You have a very tiny undeveloped mind. You are a bane on the back of the Eritrean people. I don’t blame you or blame your masters; but I blame those who supported you reach the present stage which you don’t deserve.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Do you have an army? Are you going to lead from the front or are going to rant from behind? Or are you just laughing your head off.

            By the way, where did you get this “Al-Arabi” name?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            No, Mr. Simon, I don’t have an army. I am a poor guy. Army is not for persons like me, but for persons like you who rob, kill, cut heads off and terrorize poor citizens. You are very powerful, no one will push you aside. You came to Ghedli with your weapons, no one has given you a single bullet. You always do miracles. You are the most courageous people on earth. Cheers to you. Now, you don’t need to ask me whether I have army or not, or whether I lead from the front or rant from behind.

            Al-Arabi, Al-Arabi, Al-Arabi ……………

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            You said: “… rob, kill, cut heads off and terrorize poor citizens.”

            I thought that is up your street, something you are intimately familiar with and proud of.

            Where do get the name “Al-Arabi” from?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            Concerning, robbing, killing, terrorizing, human trafficking and all that stuff you are experts in them holding a UN certificate. How much of alms did you get this month from your host country? It is disgusting to see a mendicant rude.

            Tell me first where did you get your name “Simon Kaleab” from?

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            “… rob, kill, cut heads off and terrorize poor citizens” is a heritage you are proud of. These are happening right now, as we speak, in religious paradises/hell holes you idolise, such as the Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iranistan.

            My name is not imposed under duress, and it does not refer to an ethnic group. It does not express the desire of a wannabe upstart.

            Where do you get the name “Al-Arabi” from?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            Don’t forget, my friend, you have an honorary credentials in robbery, human trafficking, terrorizing of innocent Eritreans since twenty-six years. You are granted those testimonies from international civic societies, human rights organizations, press organization, UN, etc. You are labeled as the worst rulers in the world who turned entire country to a prison. You are afraid to hear any free voice. I wonder in what condition you will be when you hear the clatter of bullets. Certainly, you will contaminate the world with unpleasant odors. How much of alms did you receive this month from your host country? It is disgusting to see a mendicant behaving rude. A beggar should be humble, but a primitive is always at the bottom.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            “free voice” aka “clatter of bullets”, Where do you get the name
            “Al-Arabi” from?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            You are totally paralyzed.

            Al-Arabi

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Hameed,

            Paralyzed by “free voice” aka “clatter of bullets”. Where do you get the name “Al-Arabi” from?

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Hameed Al-arabi, you said “Nothing has changed within the past twenty-six years and will continue in the same way or worse.”. What do you think will happen if the sole decision maker of the pfdj regime-DIA dies, for example tomorrow? I cannot grasp it when his blind and deaf followers act as if he is immortal, putting all their eggs in the same basket, no matter what it costs the Eritrean nation, and no matter how grave their recklessnes is to the continued survival of the nation.
            The ‘n’kid tray’ constituency will bear the sole responsibility when the nation, that has been established at the cost of enormous sacrifices, is rendered no more.

  • said

    Selam,
    Oh God of the universe and have a mercy on us . Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Say it all.to have an honest stance with ourselves Examination and Resolution .In order to liberate our soul and wrong done to other people in our name. One would start say Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew 6: 9-13) For Christians, these words express the moral self-awareness that is indispensable in the creation of equitable human relations among individuals and nations. In praying “Forgive us our trespasses,” Christians recognize and confess the ways in which they – and the state acting in their name – transgress against the rights and wellbeing of other people. Getting right with their god requires Christians to acknowledge and undo the wrong they have done to others. Failure to do so leads to blowback violence from people their government has trespassed against.
    It is hard to imagine some Bible and quran -loving,our dear patriot Christians and some Muslim-supporting President IA asking for sincncer forgiveness.

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam Yohannes, Amanuel, Ismail AA, Dawit Mesfin, and All:

    This is the kind of discourse individuals in the diaspora can do something constructive about. The social and political landscape today calls for courageous individuals like you (hats off to Amnauel who never wavers on this principle) can help shape it where tolerance and understanding would gain currency. It is one thing to have a dialogue on issues, sometimes completely another when the minority groups begin to assert themselves. How about bringing the issues a little closer to reality. Therefore, here is what a quick search in the Internet produces. Many minority groups do and continue to advocate for their rights on myriad of its facets; it might just be that we are not going where they are to find them.

    Before I share with you the following two groups’ principles, albeit it partially, a disclosure of sorts is in order. I belong to neither of the group I am citing. My only vested interest is – just like you gentlemen – wanting to see what your take is. The first one is from an Afar group based in Canada and the second one from Eritrean Nahda Party.

    1. SELF RULE AND GOVERNANCE (Click on the title for more details)

    “EASE calls for an alternative, sustainable, federated and autonomous Afar State Based on the principles of freedom, autonomy and equality for all nationalities…”

    The following passage’s source from Eritrean Nahda Partyyou will find below.

    2. “መሰራተዊ መትከል ሰልፊ ናህዳ ኤርትራ”

    1. ሃገራዊ ሉዓላውነት ሓድነት ህዝብን፡ መሬትን ባሕርን ኤርትራን: ኣብ ድሮ ነጻነት ብኣህጉራዊ ተፈላጥነት ዝታኣመነሉ ጆኦግራፊካዊ ዶባት ንኣምን፡

    2. መሰልን ማዕርነትን ብሄራትን ቋንቋታትን ኤርትራ ንኣምንን ነኽብርን፡

    3. ጀበርቲ ርእሱ ዝኻኣለ ብሄር ሙዃኑ ንኣምን። ውሳኔ ስርዓት ህግደፍ ግዴታዊ ናይ ብሄራት ጽምበራ ውዱቕ ኮይኑ፡ ነፍሲ ወከፍ በሄር በቲ መጸዊዒ ስሙ ክጽዋዕ ዲሞክራሲያዊ መሰሉ ሙዃኑ ንኣምን፡

    4. ኩለን ብሄራት ኤርትራ ናይ ገዛእ ርእሰን ቋንቋን ባህልን ንኸመዕብላ ምሉእ መሰል ከምዘለዎም ይኣምን፡

    5. ኩለን ቋንቋታት ኤርትራ ማዕረ እየን። ዓረበኛን ትግሪኛን ዕላውያን ሃገራውያን ቋንቋታት እየን። ኣብ ኩሉ መንግስታዊ ስራሓት ድማ ዓረበኛን ትግሪኛን ናይ ምሕደራ ቋንቋታት ኮይነን ብማዕረ ንኽትግበራ ሕገ-ምንግስታዊ ግድነት እዩ፡

    6. ካብ ኩሎም ፓለቲከውያን ሓይልታት ፍጹምን ርጉጽን ፡ ካብ ዝኾነ ተጽዕኖ ናጻ ዝኾነ ቤት ፍርዲ ምምስራት። ቤት ፍርዲ ነጻ ዝኾነ ኣተግባሪ ስርዓተ-ሕጊ እዩ።

    3. “ዕላማ ሰልፊ ናህዳ ኤርትራ”

    1. ኣብ ቅዋም ዝተሞርከሰ ዲሞክራሲ ፍትሕን ማዕርነትን ሕብረ-ሰልፋውነትን ዝእምነቱ ፓለቲካዊ ስርዓት ምምስራት፡

    2. ብሄራት ኤርትራ ቋንቋአንን ባህለንን ንምምዕባል ምምሕዳራዊ ጉዳያት ብቋንቆአን ንኽጥቀማ ምትብባዕ፡ እዚ ድማ መሰል ብሄራትና ኮይኑ ዋሕስ ሓድነትና ዝረጋገጸሉ እዩ፡

    3. ቅዋም ዝቕይዶ ዘይሙእኩል ምሕደራ ምኽታል፡

    4. ነጻ ዝኾነ ሓጋግን ፈጻምን ፈራድን ኣካላት ዝጠምር ስርዓት ምምስራት፡

    5. ዲሞክራሲያዊ ህይወት ዘለዎ ባይቶኣዊ ስርዓት ንኽምስረት ኩለን ፓለቲካውያን ሰልፍታት ብሰላማውን ርትዓውን ኣገባብ ተወዳዲረን ብምርጫ ስርዓት ከም ዝሕዛ ምግባር፡

    6. ኣብ ዞባና ሰላምን ርግኣትን ንምርግጋጽ ምስ ኩለን ጉሮባብቲ ሃገራት ኣብ ናይ ሓባራዊ ረብሓ ሕድሕድ ምክብባርን ዝተሰረተ ጥዑይን ሓያልን ዝምድናታት ንምህላው ብዕቱብ ምስራሕ፡

    7. ብህዝቢ ዝተመርጸ በርጌሳዊ መንግስቲ ምምስራት፡ መንግስቲ ኣብ ዝኾነ ሃይማኖታዊ ጉዳያት ጣልቃ ከይኣቱ ብቅዋማዊ ሕጊ ምክልኻል፡

    8. መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ዝሙርከሰሉ ሕግታት ምንጩ ካብ ቅዋማዊ ሕጊ ኤርትራ ክኸውን፡

    9. ብቕዋማዊ ሕጊ ዝቕየድ ፍትሓውን ዲሞክራሲያውን ሕብረ-ሰልፋውነት ዝሰረቱ ፓለቲካዊ ስርዓት ምምስራት፡

    4. “ሰብኣውን ዶሞክራሲያዊ መሰላት”

    1. መሰል ምውዳብ፡ ምሕሳብ፡ ምዝራብን ምጽሓፍን ከምኡውን ሰላማዊ ተቓውሞታት፡ ስራሕ ጠጠው ናይ ምባል መሰላት ብዘይ ገለ ዕቃቤታት ምሕላውን ምኽባርን፡

    2. ናይ መራኸቢ ብዙሓን ምዕቡል ተክኖሎጂ ብዘይ ገደብ ናይ ምጥቃም መሰል ምኽባር፡

    3. ዝኾነ ዜጋ ብዘይ ገበን ዘይምእሳርን ዘይምቕጻዕን፡ ብዘይ ትእዛዝ ቤት ፍርዲ ዘይምፍታሽን ኣብ ኣብያተ-ማእሰርቲ ዘይሰብኣዊ መርመራታት ዘይምክያድ፡

    4. ምስ ሃይማኖት ብዘይራጸም ኣገባብ ማዕርነት ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ምርግጋጽ፡

    5. መሰል ህጻናት ኣሮጋውያን መንእሰያትን ምኽባር፡

    6. ኩሎም ዜጋታት ኣብ ትሕቲ ቅዋም ንመንግስቲ ምድጋፍን ምቅዋምን መሰሎም ሕልው ኮይኑ ንኽምረጹን ክመርጹን መሰል ይህለዎም፡

    7. ነጻ ዝኾነ ንሰብኣዊ መሰላት ንጠበቓ በርጌሳውያን ማሕበራት፡ ሃይማኖታውን ሞያዊ ትካላትን ንኽቆማ ምድጋፍን ምትብባዕን፡

    8. ኣብ ኩሉ ምንግስታዊ ትካላት ምምሕዳራዊ ኣካላትን ፍትሓዊ ተሳትፎ ብሄራትን ካልኦት ማሕበራዊ ጉጅለታትን ምርግጋጽ፡

    9. ሃይማኖታውን ታሪኻውን ቦታታት ንኸይጸንቱ ምክልኻል።

    10. መንግስቲ ኣብ ዝኾነ ሃይማኖታዊ ጉዳያትን እምነትን ኣብ ትሕቲ ዝኾነ ይኹን ኩነታት ወይ ብዝኸነ ምኽንያት ጣልቃ ከይኣቱ። ኩለን ሃይማኖት ኣብ ትሕቲ ሕጊ ብማዕረ ይሪኤን።

    Source: http://www.erinahda.org/index.php/k2-listing/item/218-3-2016

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi Beyan,

      4. ምስ ሃይማኖት ብዘይራጸም ኣገባብ ማዕርነት ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ምርግጋጽ፡

      What is this supposed to mean?
      It begs interpretation. Were women present when this was written and voted upon?

      • Bayan Nagash

        Selam Haile,
        Excellent question! As I alluded to it earlier, I don’t belong to Eritrean Nahda Party. I may have inadvertently helped deviate from the topic when I should’ve specifically asked the discussants whether they could support a minority political party like Nahda.

        To give an answer to your pointed question, well, let me just say this: If history is any guide, seldom does one see the adequate representation of women. In fact, I tend to contend that is one of diaspora’s folly in that the political landscape is so polarized and so vulgar that our women simply shun us, thereby, unfortunately, shunning their own interests from being addressed.

        So, I seriously doubt it that women would’ve been present during the conception of “when this was written”. This is an area where all opposition and civic groups must make every effort to recruit women into their fold. But, of course, the political and social space needs to be made far more friendlier to Eritrean women than I’ve seen it over the years. For example, Medrekh has no women in its organization. Eritreans for Facilitating National Dialogue (EFND), to its credit, has two women – still so much to be desired for. The latter made conscious effort to include the opposite gender. I don’t know how many women Eritrean Global Solidarity (better known as EGS) and others have in their leadership or regular members.

        Haile, you raise an excellent question, hopefully, someone from Eritrean Nahda Party can enlighten us on this.

        Cheers,
        Beyan

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Bayan,

      Thanks for engaging, and the same goes to our principled, freedom and justice loving compatriots you have mentioned. The predicaments the minority groups of our young nation have been facing due to post independence circumstances, which had not remotely been conceivable during the years of our national liberation struggle, are demonstrably quantifiable. Similar to the two examples you have shared, others also had articulated their programs that express their demands and positions in the context of over all nation-state affairs as advocated by the members of the opposition movement. Due to the pressure the minorities have been facing through marginalization that endangered their cultural and social set ups, in addition to gradual and serious threats of being denied of their source of livelihood such as farm/grazing and fishing sea lanes, most of them have organized themselves in political formations guided by programs. They had argued their causes at various forums of the opposition such as the umbrellas (ENA, EDA and lastly at the Hawassa (Ethiopia) forum of 2011 that had produced charters and task programs projecting towards future discourse in the pursuit of collective national endeavor in which a constitutional order anchored on enjoyment of rights and due discharging of duties in the framework of a governance that guarantee equal and level field of opportunities would define citizenship and its affiliation to the state away from segmental or ethno-religious yardsticks for distributing the above and beneath surface bounties that national homeland can provide for its inhabitants.

      Thus, the debate, which should encompass the elites, is much about establishment of liberated and all-inclusive national platforum that could unite and extricate the currently bogged down anti-regime opposition movement able to represent and address the cumulative grievances of the nation and its components.

      This is the issue that has been discussed under the threats posted by Dawit Mesfin and usefully expanded by Amanuel Hidrat. These justice and freedom advocating brothers like Yohannes Zerai and many others who actively participate in this forum, are the threshold for continued campaigning to liberate more compatriots who care for the salvation of the nation from unforeseen future, which we can see and observe with sadness in the fate of nations not far from our borders that had passed through the misfortunes under disruptive dictatorial systems. The hope is that we Eritreans have to be able to recognize the dangerous conditions in our country on time and close ranks in the interest of collective good rather being swayed by deceptive protectionist cultural or segmental jingoisms the regime has good at to date. The regime is transient; but the legacy it could leave for us behind should should seriously preoccupy us.

      Regards

      • Bayan Nagash

        Selam Ismail AA,

        As usual, your rejoinders are lucid and apt. This was no exception. Pressed in time here, but I have some pointers in mind that I will try to inject by Thursday, inshallah! This is rather an important pivot that our so called progressives are finally making vis-a-vis our traditionally and culturally rich minority groups, at least, in this space.

        Many thanks,
        Beyan

      • Bayan Nagash

        Selam Ismail AA,

        Thursday seems way too far to wait in this fast moving digital world, therefore, let me hastily inject the ideas that I promised to share with you. At the outset of your entry you stipulate the following: “Due to the pressure the minorities have been facing through marginalization that endangered their cultural and social set ups, in addition to gradual and serious threats of being denied of their source of livelihood such as farm/grazing and fishing sea lanes, most of them have organized themselves in political formations guided by programs. They had argued their causes at various forums of the opposition”.

        If it isn’t for brevity, there is nothing you say that can be characterized as effusive. You seem to not only capture the essence of the marginalized as have the two authors who successively kept the seemingly dimming opposition light from dying; but you also capture the spirit of the minority groups who appear to be fighting alone in their respective corners.

        Two ideas, neither of which I must disclose emanates from my head, but the combination of which can help us get closer to living and breathing the progressive camp in all of its essences. Thus, allow me to set the scene. The first happened at a dinner table recently where we were shooting the breeze. Shooting the breeze the Eritrean style is never an idle chit chat, it seems to always revolve around serious issues related to the beleaguered nation-state we all proudly call our own. What this particular Eritrean I met for the first time has said I have been mulling it over and had been etched in my mind’s eye for a little over a month now:

        (1). That the opposition is full of groups and individuals who do not want to share the burden of responsibility but who are always ready when it is about power sharing rings so true;

        The following happened over a Skype one-on-one talk in which the person on the other line struck me when he was referencing someone else having said this:

        (2).That the likelihood of him guessing one’s ethnicity is high if the person is willing to volunteer what opposition group he/she belongs to or vice versa. In other words, if a person is willing to voluntarily share his/her ethnic background that guessing accurately the likelihood of which opposition camp that individual belongs to is high.

        If we take the two presumptions having some kernel of truth to them, then this is where the self-liberation should kick in and where we need to begin to do some serious self-reflection, evaluation and introspection and forge the alliances and allyships in earnest and from a sincere place at that. Once this is done, number (1) will not be an issue as each one of the group will be working for their vested interest and by extension the interest of the country.

        Cheers,
        BN

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Bayan,

          Thank you for your sharing matters that had preoccupied your thoughts. Unfortunately I will try to be brief for pressure of time.

          To begin with, let state unambiguously that it would dishonest on my part if I would deny the truth (to a substantial extent ie.) those two points you have raised portend. The way how power had been and is being exercise both before and after independence has rendered it (i.e.power) a licence that determine the fate of fortunes as individuals or groups in future. This reflect the fragility of the relations that tie the ethnic and demographic components that make up the nation. Looked from wider perspective, the issue of power has been and shall continue to haunt social and political cohesions in the so called developing and underdeveloped nations of which our own is an outstandingly telling member.

          Thus, the missing trust the negative perceptions our national experience had caused, and reinforced by post independence disastrous conditions, has reflected and negatively afflicted the body politic of the opposition. When you enquire with one or the other why power has been divisive, you will hear the answer in a nutshell: ‘nobody want to be bitten from the same snake hole’. Of course sober and objective study of our conditions would perhaps make the rationale plausible because our people have not never had chance to live in stable nation-state conditions that provided even modicum of requirements that harness people to move from clusters (ethno-cultural) to life under a statehood anchored on relations based on citizenship defined by rights and duties under codes of law duly executed by legitimately empowered governance order.

          To come to your concluding idea, thus, I perfectly concur with your take that it has in fact already become over due that we should start “serious self-reflection, evaluation and introspection and forge the alliances and allyships …”. That is the reason why the discussions that have been going on in the past few weeks thanks to bold and sincere contribution of our two compatriots – Dawit and Amanuel – very encouraging because they provide us space to reflect and try to engage as many people as possible to get involved and never give up the hope duty to the stalemate in to which the opposition has landed in.

          Bayan, forgive for the brevity of my response due to time and excuse me if you happen to find it difficult to make sense of what I hastily scribbled.

          • Beyan

            Selam Ismail AA,

            It gives me some solace when reading many of the entries here that Eritrea’s potential to thrive is still palpable. There is this immensely untapped reservoir of professional talents that have not been made to good use. You have insightfully noted when explaining the dynamics of power that was thrusted from pre-independence to post-independence coupled with the mistrust, which created a perfect storm for the recipe of economic, social, and political disaster that continues unabated i n our country today.

            Indeed, the mistrust is deep and the venomous snake bite that you alluded to remains localized political pain; the ripple effect of the poison continues to cause not only social “swelling, convulsions, nausea [as so happens with a snake bite]”, but also the “paralysis” is writ so large it hurts as freshly as it did when EPLF turned PFDJ decided Eritrea was not liberated for all Eritreans but for its own fighting forces and those who would serve its Amen corner.

            The clapping with one hand has proven to be consequential on so many levels and so many fronts we in the opposition are finding it difficult to contain. How can one blame the opposition lot wanting a covenant of sorts before they can work together with any other groups be it in alliance with or forging allyship? Many wish us to see the mistrust and the dominance of political power being wielded by certain element of Eritrea’s population bereft of its historical context. I don’t.

            The historical context that I never tire from relating whenever an opportunity presents itself is this: The Eritrean political landscape is operating in antiquated and/or anachronistic setting in that the modus operandi of pre-independence, the tools of political analysis of the ghedli era as such cannot hold for many reasons that you have mentioned and more. In my estimate, it won’t work because decontextualized analysis won’t do. The context in which Eritreans fought together as they dropped all forms of personal identities except for nationalism was one crucial component that helped the nation-state project succeed.

            But, once the territorial integrity was realized and the geographic identity was secured, the other identities needed to be left to their own devices to function and blossom as any civilized societies do: That politics, first and foremost, is local. That citizenship and civic duty for the sovereignty on an individual ought to have been a sacred right equally belonging to any group that wished to identity itself as ti deemed it fit.

            When PFDJ began to interfere to the kind of God one group should pray for; when PFDJ alone decided who has the right to claim what ethnicity to belong to, all bets were off and that Eritreans were not going to take such a behest without a fight, which is why we now see the proliferation of individuals and groups fighting from their respective corners, as it were, to the death. Without assigning any blame trying to analyze such complex dynamics using the antiquated political analysis as sectarian elements, what have you will get us nowhere, but become fodders to the regime’s cannon.

            Many ethnic groups are choosing to create and function in their own enclaves because – maybe – it is time we all function as a nation and as many nations do. We should begin to see the whole dynamics from the perspective of social and political justice and begin to forge “alliances and allyship” based on giving credence and giving genuine validation to one another.

            I completely concur with your assertion “…the discussions that have been going on in this forum in the past few weeks thanks to bold and sincere contribution of our two compatriots – Dawit and Amanuel – are very encouraging because they provide us space and reason to reflect and try to engage as many people as possible, and never give up hope due to the stalemate in to which the opposition has landed.”

            Ismail, your rejoinder was so impeccably and tightly fit, “it make[s] [every bit of] sense” in my book. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to share your valuable viewpoints that I have come to cherish tremendously. Likewise, I am responding in kind even though I am under a great deal of time pressure with some deadlines needing to be met and counter-met. But, some things can’t just be put off, can they – this was a case and point.

            Cheers,
            BN

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Beyan,
            I cannot find enough words to thank you for the time you have spared to respond to my cursory points. I am glad to be blessed and read such organized thoughts picked up from vast store of knowledge and penned with great erudition as well. Forgive me for not being able to give justice to what you have graced us in this forum because I am not in my place at this moment.
            God willing, I will have to re-read this important post and come up with comments because I am convinced we will have to continue to engage and make good use of the opportunities available to us in this wonderful forum, and perhaps some good could crop up, at least some modest paradigm shift from the way we used to look at our national affairs to fairly new and proactive level that could rally those who may be persuaded of letting themselves look at and reflect carefully dangerously gathering clouds on peripheries of our own horizon. Who among us anticipated nation like Syria and Libya that led independent existence and made considerable progress economically at least would fate they are facing now? Can we have sound sleep seeing the destiny of the still fragile nation-state in the hands of the current regime and the man at its helm?

            Regards

  • said

    Greeting
    Thank you for your wall thought article,
    Eritrea is in a Deep Mess. You do not need to be a trained Economist ; a Shrewd Political Observer; a well-versed person of the world to draw simple conclusions from apparent simple signs hovering in the horizons.
    The above Prelude AMPLY applies to Eritrea , left Leaderless, Rudderless, a Mammoth of the horn of Africa strongman that when Nuso sneezes causes the entire region to go into a vertigo of the spells of dizzying illnesses.
    Asmara regime , is left in the reins of unstable amateur; is open to all kind foolish scandals and most unorthodox whimsical near childish controversial policy initiatives that are drawing further deeper the wedge causing an ever-deeper discordance and is splitting right in the middle the Eritrean Society. Eritrea and the Eritrean Society are in a deep state of polarization. Eritrean Society in a deep, very deep state of divergence the like of which Eritrean never experienced ever since the unionist war on Eritrean independence movement .
    Eritrean have always been good at self-derision one does not know where to start, supremacist NUSO poisonous manifesto and in short, whose doctrinal was meant the purity of his ethnic race to rule Eritrea at the top of helm and he manipulated rivalries in order to gain upper hand to his personal advantage , sought to bring the many his ethnicity together . secrecy and Unity was a core tenet, and a major reason for EPLF’s imminent success. Success compelled hard core followers to believe they were under impression ,they had divine guidance . with new found prophate .The number of his followers swelled following few successes in felid of war. Some senior officials pledged allegiance to NUSO and warmly encouraging. Many other top cadres were not so convinced. This at a critical time and fortuitous time. and in time more submitted to this new warrior NUSO. These are the early dark days of the new Eritrean to come and has been in play for years and is being biblical terrifying It’s the reason why we are all here , NUSO have been able to subvert all reason and fact in collective decision making. NUSO have his enabler and his crowd put at the top, suitable expression: ‘If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn’t get there by itself.’ and in all respects, Eritrean problem has simply worsened and deepened.
    Yes I may be wrong ,but is only one way of looking at events folding. Nuso coupled with an unbridled degree of arrogance, that they, his minion no longer rely heavily on ideology to justify their by gone era of communism’s ideology ,today it is a multiple forms of lawlessness and oppression. and a spectacle of disparagement and humiliation. The state violence and acts of domestic terror is endless , effects is producing widespread suffering and increasingly make visible the violence by Asmara dictator regime.

    Eritrea has entered a period of politics without euphemisms, a no-holds-barred frontal assault on human values, institutions and social relations, wrapped up in the discourse of greed and practices characteristic of dictator regime Mode of governance.

    NEHNAN ALMANAN, It moved like lightning, so fast that by the time and panic set in, it was already too late. Every fighting would make the soil fertile for a new enemy, No one was spared. and a multitude of his most senior inner cadre were not spared . truly they suffered an awful fate, as the entre nation did . NUSO combination of ignorance and intellectual arrogance that results directly from his own group identity playing victim to start with , The necessary riposte to such statements is that some PFDJ can get away with such opinions because of the tribe that they belongs to – that of ruling class , tiny sellout upper-middle class, hypocrite pseudo -intellectuals. That the privilege garnered from EPLF membership of this blind elite gives them license to claim to be the voice of objectivity and universality, capable, as it were, of comprehending the rest of human experience from communist scientific mass voice and their diaspora armchair. Those execrated others whom they critiques as being reliant on “the postmodern ethos” are in fact merely asserting the validity of their own views in much the same way as they are – referring to textual sources, logic, analysis, and, though they may deny it, and today we know that each have personal experience to not denied who wrong they were ..
    The other problem confronting the country is the endemic violence against minorities, and the poor. Eritrean s social fabric is damaged beyond repair. Some still treat any person on the basis of a group to which they belong,

    Experience of subtle prejudice is something dominant group are good at , perhaps enviably, forever denied access to minority rights . By refusing to accept the fact and experience of some Eritrean testimonies of Muslims, however, refusing even to believe in the existence of Islamophobia prejudice , but forsakes rationality in favour of a false opposition between reason and experience which, in actuality, comes down to whose experience we are talking about – that of dominant, or that of others.lefet not answerd.

    • Mez

      Dear Said,
      as a reality check, the Eritrean government still has a solid support base among the Diaspora. Unless at least half of the diaspora declare, and beleive that the government is doing more harm than good, there will be no true grassroots level movement for change back home.

      Thanks

      • Peace!

        Hi Mez (Mizan)

        What make you different from PFDJ supporters given you are an aggressive supporter of Agazianism, worst than PFDJ? ንኻልእካ በሎ:)

        Peace!

        • Mez

          Dear Peace,

          I am neither-nor for both political outlooks. I have no idea what really Agazianism is.

          And I stay with my observation above.

          Thanks

  • saay7

    Selamat Emma:

    Thanks for taking the time to write this article and for your clarity of view that the way forward must include a way for us to listen to the grievances of our marginalized people. An observation and a question. Well actually all questions

    1. Could the American civil rights movement have succeeded if black Americans did not share one hugely important identity–religion–with their oppressors? In other words, would the civil rights movement have succeeded if it was led by Sheikh Martin Luther King and not Reverend Martin Luther King?

    2. Is it a coincidence that many if not most of the white allies of the civil rights movement were Jewish Americans, who have strongly incolcuated values about what it means to be oppressed?

    3. Successive Ethiopian administration were even more blatant in their oppression of Muslim and lowland Eritrea. Why did this not result in the Muslim Liberation Front or Eritrean Islamic Jihad in the 1960s and 1970s but it did in the 1990s and 2000s?

    Questions not necessarily just addressed to you Emma, but I would welcome your input. You can also factor in what percentage of the poor working class white Americans were sympathetic to or struggled with the black civil rights movement.

    saay

    • Ismail AA

      Ahlen dear saay7,

      Since you allowed others to say something on your question, I hope I won’t appear as rude intruder to scribble a few things without awaiting Emma (I address him as Aman) to comment on them.

      The first question is hypothetical and anyone can say anything one way or the other. But I should add that the civil rights movement in America would have had been conceived, let alone succeed, under the banner of any of the “isms” be that religious or secular during those times except the Christian faith which was actually the reason for the first persecuted white European settlers who landed in Newfoundland. Christian ethics and morality had shaped up the culture and conscience of Americans and those who stood in solidarity with the black American Christian communities were responding to their values and norms which was actually detrimental to the interest of the secular economic determinant minded mainstream white America, especially the agro-industrial segment of it centering Mid to Southern belts of the country. Furthermore, Jewish Americans had also shared marginalization and persecution in Europe, and it could not have been coincidence for them to sympathize with the African American communities in their struggle to end racial segregation and liberation as beneficiaries of the rights the constitution of the USA had stipulated.

      Having inserted a few words within the context of question three, let me jot a few more words on question number three which actually stirred my passion to write these few sentences. When we deal with the launching of the Eritrean struggle under the ELM and later the ELF, we not forget that the Eritrean patriots were responding a status quo in the name of the federal autonomous state. It was the violation of that arrangement that had rationalized their response. This means any movement could have been launched under any other banner save the national banner or flag. In other words, no other source of reference be it religion on both divides could have had lent legitimacy to the struggle. That is why both the ELM and the ELF never hoisted any emblem except the national flag.

      But the post 1980-82 conditions that led to response to political Islam were initiated by the political and military events that preceded them. In my view, the alliance and reliance of the EPLF on the TPLF to defeat the ELF was key in rallying the people in the lowlands and the refugee camps in the Sudan. The EPLF/TPLF alliance was read as sectarian and religious solidarity that dislodged an integral part of what was considered of a patriotic movement that struggled for the liberation of Eritrea. Individuals among the elites that upheld religious perceptions such as the Moslem Brotherhood version, had found recruiting and rallying ground among the refugee as well as the peasant communities inside who were struck by the bitterness the EPLF had caused. This had shifted the patriotic secular set up that had informed the national liberation movement to movements that saw constituencies in religious ideologies and communal settings. To this was added, the post 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution and its ramifications in the larger Middle East and Islamic lands that undermined the previous pan-national and leftist movements that failed to effect change in governance or social and economic life of the populations.

      • Abraham H.

        Dear Ismail AA, your statement “That is why both the ELM and the ELF never hoisted any emblem except the national flag.”, has provoked me to ask a question to myself or anybody who might have the answer as to why the EPLF chose to bring another flag as its emblem? And who decided the details of the EPLF flag in the first place? To make matters worse, the EPLF flag was modified in a hopeless way, to reflect the Federation era flag by removing the yellow star and replacing it with a wreath of golden olive leaves. Yellow olive leaves are indication of nothing but withering leaves of an olive tree.

        • blink

          Dear Abraham
          While I tend not to say a word about the ELF or EPLF and TPLF as the ELF guy Ismael stated , I will try to say some about the EPLF flag and the current flag:

          1,The EPLF, formally created at its First Congress in 1977, resulted from the consolidation of various groups that left the ELF.5 For some time, both the ELF and EPLF were represented in the field and the EPLF needed a new symbol to distinguish itself from the ELF and from the subordination of Ethiopia. The EPLF flag’s distinct design is deep with meaning: the green stands for the fertility of the country; blue stands for the sea; the red for the blood lost in the fight for freedom; and the yellow star has meaning in its shape and color the color represents the mineral resources of Eritrea while the five corners of the star stand for Equality, Unity, Liberty, Justice and Prosperity, in which it lost its meaning when PFDJ run over it.

          2:After the Referendum which brought independence to Eritrea, the new government ultimately proposed a new flag which combined both the Eritrean Federal Flag and the EPLF Flag, both of which had represented Eritrea’s fight for independence. The five-pointed star of the EPLF Flag was replaced with a wreath, in the model of the Eritrean Federal Flag, but it was modified such that, “The yellow wreath symbol in the red triangle has 12 leaves on each side, with six more on the upright branch in the middle, totaling altogether to 30, which is the number of years of the armed struggle for liberation that the Eritrean people had to endure.”The current national flag of Eritrea is not just a symbol of an independent Eritrea, but embodies that concept.

          I may not have stated correctly and are ready to be corrected .

          • Abraham H.

            Dear blink, thanks for the feedback. I’m personally not against the content and meaning of the current Eritrean flag, though, I wonder who decided it to be like that. But I’m of the view that the yellow color on the olive wreath is wrong; it should be green to reflect the natural color of the leaves.
            Here is my suggestion how the flag should look like:) I don’t like the angular shape of the red color; so let’s straighten up the lines to have three equal sized fields of yellow, red, and blue, from top to bottom. The GREEN olive wreath will then be placed in the middle of the red field. Notice: I’ve replaced the green color on the current flag with yellow, because our greenery could be represented by the green olive wreath.
            Just an opinion; but I really hope in post DIA era, our democratically elected representatives would decide and approve the details of our flag, just like other national symbols in our Constitution.

          • blink

            Dear Horizon
            Flag issue is just in the 100th behind other important issues, for sure it is up to the elected representatives to decide but if we get ride of the current system and some how manage to out muscle the fringe groups to form a constitutional government, every thing after that is a side issue.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam blink,

            If you are young Eritrean, I understand you when you try to avoid saying anything on the ELF and TPLF-EPLF. It’s just too an embarrassing reading of sad episodes of history of a national movement when one segment of it relied on an alien force to spill the blood of own compatriots-in-arms just for the sake of the ego of leaders who were out there to dominate. By the way, Ismail interacts here in this forum as an Eritrean and not ELF although proud to had been, and still is in some ways, member of it in doing his very modest bit in the liberation of his country. So, please accept Ismail’s gratitude for recognizing him as an “the ELF guy”.

            Again, if you are young Eritrean fan of the current order in Eritrean, I commend you for caring to have some (even cursory) information about the Eritrea’s national flag. It is simply important to be informed about state symbols such as insignias, seals and flags that served us to legitimize the national pursuit for self-determination and statehood. That was why many heroes and heroines were martyred with those state relics in the pockets or sawn on their shirts and uniforms, in addition to thousands who endured torture and incarceration, and died in prison cells of the enemy. If the current dictator would be honest and truthful, he would tell that he had passionately associated with everything that identified the statehood of Eritrea along with his classmates in former Prince Mokonnen Secondary school. Nobody questioned how the Eritrean flag was made whether offered or domestically designed. The indelible fact was that it was constitutionally legitimized national emblem. A child born by cesarean section or natural labor is just a child of his parents. The Eritrean flag and its background should be understood in that sense. The opposition it faced from the unionists or later by some with some agendas and ambitions would not alter this truism.

            About the flag of the EPLF and its origin, you might be better placed than me to tell us what you have offered. What I can add is that Isayas Afeworki had a plan since the time he set foot in the field. Time has proven that he treaded on his path with incredible hatred of anything that seemed to associate him with persons and organizations that obstructed his way to power and domination. For him, the Eritrean flag which also represented the ELF and others fell within that category; and he moved alone his way with remarkable ability to shroud his ego and passion in victimhood and opportunism: unproven grievances about the ELF and alliance with the late Osman Sabbe are just cases in point, besides physical liquidation of his childhood friends and classmates such as Musia and many others just because they differed with him in views and because he thought they were capable of competing with him.

            In regard to my brother, Abraham’s surprise why Isayas had to misrepresent the olive wreath part of his organizational flag turned national after the liberation, he just acted in the way conventional dictators do. For them, the illogical becomes logical and insensible becomes sensible just because their whims and egos dictate. Isayas believed deep in his heart of hearts what the original flag of Eritrea meant to the majority of the Eritrean people if we rule out the remnants of the Unionists who used to refer to it as Rabita (Moslem League) flag in their effort to stir the emotions of their constituency. He thought it was difficult to totally ignore it if he wanted to be endorsed as national leader.

            Thus, the reason for changing the green of the olive wreath to burned out ones (some just tell us they are golden leaves) was just he wanted to massage his ego of shunning the things others hold dear. But, the fact remains that his action will live to be recorded in the annals of history as mediocre and reckless attempt to mock the sense and intelligence of the Eritrean people. Burned out or dried olive leaves could be dictatorially modified olive leaves to be presented as golden leaves.

            respectfully and best regard.

          • blink

            Dear Ismael
            It would be unfair to you and many other great Eritreans heroes if I say things and it will be also against my perspective and principles to go against any of the two historical organizations, for me both are equally strong pillars of Eritrea as a country. The mistakes made in 1991 by not including ELF was a mistake of Eritreans for generations , that mistake still hunts us . I hope we say enough to that and move beyond that.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Blink,
            Thank you for your courage. Please keep on searching and learning (I am assuming that you are young; otherwise my advice would be misplaced). Our hope is what our youthful generation will do to win back their nation and unite their people.

          • blink

            Dear Ismael
            Well , how old is young , it depends because I am sure at my current age you were full of national ideas and I am sure I didn’t have 1/16 of your early
            ages of statesmanship , but I take your advice with out hesitation .

          • Ismail AA

            Dear blink,

            Thanks again for you humility, dear. It seems my assumption was not misplaced. Hence, allow me to scribble the following few points:

            Well, the circumstances and times I had lived my youthful age and the one you are living through are different.
            In my time, we as a generation were dealing with restoring rights and freedom that were illegally robbed from us through conspiracies and flagrant violation of the an internationally sanctioned arrangement our founding fathers grudgingly accepted as a compromise. For me, still as primary school student, it was enough to witness the de-hoisting of my national flag and leaving an alien one flying, and been forced to learn an alien language in place of my own national languages (Tigrigna an Arabic).

            For your generation, the stakes are harder because you are dealing of winning back rights and liberties we, the liberation era generation, had promised and an indigenous government had betrayed, and squandered the resources of you country and lives of thousands of your generation in adventurous wars and in perilous odysseys across deserts and high seas to run from oppression and loss of careers and lives, and thereby seriously endangering the survival of a nation and land your fathers and mothers had restored at very high cost of blood, sweat, lives as well as resources and careers.

            Thus, the journey of your generation calls for deeper contemplation and sophistication of crafting social and political convenant fit for restoring the breached unity of your nation provide you with axis on which you can collectively balance your acts for the sake of common national purpose that shall open the way towards harmonious development and progress under a common national identity that shall embrace in equality the beautiful diversity forces of history had bequeathed to you.

      • saay7

        Selamat Ismail, Robel Cali, Legacy, Yohannes Z and Amanuel H:

        Thanks to all of you for taking the time to engage. I was hoping I would hear from Semere T–because you know his would have been very different–but there is still time. For what it is worth, here’s my take, to add more grist for the mill:

        1. The American civil rights movement could not have succeeded without reaching the critical mass of having more white people in support of, than opposed to, the equality of black men. Of course, this took a very, very, very, very long time, counted in centuries. I don’t know if it is true or urban legend but there is supposedly a letter by Hamed Idris Awate outlining his vision that the Eritrean struggle would never succeed without the active participation of Eritrean highlanders. What I see in all of this is a determination to win, not just a determination to struggle. I am suggesting now that one of the biggest problems we have in the Eritrean opposition is that “struggle” has become the end and not the means, and we don’t discuss enough the strategies for winning. Or even what “winning” is like.

        2. My second question, about the role of the Jewish Americans in the civil rights movement is to highlight the fact that there is a total absence of sacrifice in the Eritrean opposition. Nobody is willing to give up anything–except money and time–towards the cause. (When I say nobody please read it as almost nobody.) Think of the people who have given up a life of leisure and comfort to do something really, really hard: lead a political party. And you will find that it is mostly people who are struggling “part time” and in most cases, only after securing their retirement. No judgement here: I am one of them. But there is a cost to this: we are not good role models to those young people who should lead us because we are telling them: this struggle is important but no so important that you should give up your career for. (I did a mental count: and I can think of maybe 3 people who have done that.)

        3. The last one is a cultural critique: we are followers. And by “we” I mean all Eritrean political activists, government and opposition. In the 1970s, we followed the prevailing political wind and talked about socialism. In the 1980s, some of our opposition learned about Islamic Jihad. In the 1990s we learned about political Islam, federalism and ethnic rights and self-determination up to secession. In the 1990s, we (including the PFDJ) were all neo-liberals. Now we have ultra-nationalists flirting with fascism. The world influences us a lot more heavily than it should. Whatever is the Eritrean culture that we claim to be proud of, doesn’t appear to be strong enough to be a shield against an authoritarian government (which requires parents to meekly surrender their teenage children to boot camps), it doesn’t appear to be strong enough to stand up against disappearances, displacement and mass exodus.

        What am I getting wrong? None of this is a throw your hands up and give up but a call for a very honest appraisal of us–our history, our culture.

        saay

      • Robel Cali

        Hi Ismail,

        EPLF teaming up with TPLF against ELF rallied the lowlands to adopt political Islam?

        The problem with this idea is at the time of this happening, both ELF and EPLF were mostly comprised of Christian fighters and both groups held similar Marxist Ideologies.

        ELF as an organization had many incidents in which Christian ELF fighters were massacred in cold blood, which is a strong sign Islamists were already embeded in the organization long before EPLF teamed up with TPLF to fight them.

        Rebels fighting rebels of the same group and ideology was/is common. For example, ELF liquidated ELM and wanted to eliminate EPLF. TPLF also eliminated the smaller TLF. There was nothing sectarian about these wars. It had to do with power. Just look at Syria today. There are numerous Islamist organizations fighting themselves, each claiming their interpretation of Quran is the most accurate.

        Real sectarianism is calling a political group that claims to represent the entire country by a religious or ethnic name fully knowning a large percentage of your countrymen are not represented by it.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Robel Cali,
          Please re-read the questions of saay7 carefully. You are talking about totally different things.
          Thank you.

    • Legacy

      Hi Saay,

      I am of the opinion that irrespective of who the Civil Rights Movement leader(s) were, change was coming. Peaceful transformation do not take place because the nature or type of strategies/tactics oppressed groups employ to effect change but solely rests in the willingness of those in power to share, relinquish or bring about change.

      Obviously, the calculus that goes into the privileged’s rationale as to when to call it quits are rather numerous but suffice to say change happens when they say ‘it is time”. Otherwise you get with deferred dreams like the Arab Spring or Fall depending how you look at it.

      The Mandela’s , the MLK’s and the Ghandi’s narratives are rather a ‘face-saving’ exit strategies employed by those who have decided that it is time to move on.

      Sincerely,

      Responding to your #1 point.

    • Robel Cali

      Hi Saay

      Regarding your third question, modern jihadism was born during the Afghan-Soviet war (Dec 25, 1979 – Feb 15, 1989). Prior to that, we don’t really see jihadism in the 20th century. By the 1980s, many reminants of ELF were openly Islamist. Just about all the Eritrean jihadist groups operating today have their origins in 1980s Sudan.

      The better question is: why didn’t the Christians of Eritrea select a narrow rebel movement like the Christian Liberation Front or Eritrean Christian Crusade Movement? Why is it only Muslims that do these narrow type of religious movements and political parties?

    • Yohannes Zerai

      Dear Saay,

      My apologies for this rather late response to your post. I just do not want to pass up the opportunity to express my views on these profoundly important questions:

      1. I believe that Ismail AA has adequately answered the first question.

      2. As implied in your second question, the support of the Jewish American community was critical to the progress and eventual success of the civil rights movement (CRM). However, even if one were to imagine different social, economic and political realities that would have excluded the Jewish community as the stalwart supporter of the CRM, there would not have been a dearth of forces that could play the same role. Support could, for example, have come from the Japanese, Chinese, Native-American communities that had seen their fare share of alienation, marginalization and oppression.

      There is, of course, no point in reverting to nitpicking over differences in size, economic power, political clout, etc. between these communities (forces). Such differences may, at best, have changed (i.e., perhaps prolonged) the duration of the struggle, but certainly would not have changed the outcome. The overarching truism here is that oppressive systems rarely, if ever, confine they oppressive policies to just one single social group, but invariably alienate various groups in different ways and for different reasons. As such, oppressive systems are good at cultivating breeding grounds for aggrieved and antagonistic elements in their societies. Indeed, what makes removal of such a system from power an immense task is not lack of sufficient numbers of groups that are in opposition to the system. The main problem, as the realities of our own movement attest, is always the difficulty of uniting these groups into a formidable alliance of forces that can overpower the system.

      3. Ismail’s comment on the third issue provides a broad perspective on the historical developments, sociopolitical conditions and regional affairs that may have ultimately given rise to the specific conditions referred to in your question. True enough, those conditions may well have their roots in the developments of the past four decades or so that Ismail has aptly summarized. But in expressing my views on the issue, I prefer to consider a shorter timeframe, i.e., the period which followed the developments Ismail has narrated and which coincided with the process which saw the alignment of forces in Eritrean politics take shape to assume its present configuration.

      The thirty-year war for liberation was the time when Eritreanism took hold and deepened
      as a national identity. In that era, the enemy was foreign domination, the aspiration was national independence and the struggle had to be waged by all social groups in pursuit of a shared goal near and dear to the hearts of all involved. But the culmination of the struggle unfortunately and unfairly delivered all the groups that bled and died for it into the hands of a cruel system – a system bent on subjecting a vast section of the population to exclusion from (and marginalization in) the social, political and economic life of their country.

      Having been betrayed in their national aspirations by their “own” government and determined to fight for their rights, embittered social groups had no choice but to adopt sub-national goals as causes for their struggles. Specifically, they had to redefine their renewed struggles in ways they believed will serve the narrow interests of their respective communities, and moved to stick it to the dictatorship that screwed up their national aspirations in the first place! In short, the sociopolitical tendencies and narrowly-based aspirations we are witnessing today are essentially the response of marginalized social groups to the power that muscled them out of their legitimate participation in their own country’s affairs!

      Thank you.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Yohannes, kemey.
        I must reveal that I have never encountered a compatriot outside those with whom I played my modest role within collectively set political-organizational program with whom I sharing looking at our current national predicaments from the same trajectory. What you have written in your last paragraph are simply the fruits we are picking of lack of long term vision and naively relying on sincerity of our leaders that they will be selfless and will deliver to people the essence and content of aspirations for which they generously paid in sweat and blood.
        As I tried to tell our brother Bayan, the dilemma of the liberated sons and daughters of our betrayed people is whether they shall be able to come with a national formula that integrate the grievances of our people in to sum total of national grievances so that those retarded and retrospective forces on both side of the equation (government and opposition) would be tamed to cherish what modern and progressive nation-state could provide in terms of meaningful development of the resources of the country that cater for the improvement of the lives of the citizens in equality and harmonious co-existence.
        Thanks for the inspiration you ideas give me to voice what revolve in my mind.

        • Yohannes Zerai

          Dear Ismail,

          It is wonderful that you find commonality between the views you and I hold on some aspects of our ongoing struggle for democracy and justice. Harmonization of personal opinions is an outcome that is expected to flow from political discourse and dialogue. It is at the same time a process by which consensus can be built around key national issues that the opposition movement will have to eventually address. I therefore hope that the observation you have made on congruence of our ideas will, before long, hold equally true for the majority of participants at this forum and even for a large segment of the opposition movement.

          Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Yohannes,
            Thank you; and I share with you the hope. After all, that is why we are trying to speak and encourage others to do the same. This forum and the participants in it should prove that objective discourse can bring people to common understanding that can lead to platforms where they could debate and come up with crystallize views on divisive issues and come out with integrated platform and a do-able inclusive task program.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Saay,

      Sorry my week end was hectic to respond to your questions, though some of them was hypothetical questions. However, I couldn’t give better answers than the two our best (Ismail and Yohannes) had given you. So I stand with their eloquent explanations.

      Regards

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam saay,
      .
      The 3 questions you raised the 2nd one is the question I wanted to add some points to.
      The Jewish community, specially after the 2nd World War, were in severe stress and were struggling for their own survival and insecurity. ( When I say Jewish Community, I don’t mean all…heck there were and are Jewish racists.)
      The civil rights movements grew using, the Good Book, and the American founding documents. That movement began to grow and started to get traction. A charismatic leader appeared. The empathy of the Jewish community developed along with it. The relatively heavy presence of Jews in the banking, entertainment and opinion making industries was utilized for the cause. The leaders in these institutions provided a lot of covert and overt support.
      .
      I sense they, the Jews, needed another oppressed people to align with and strengthen/mitigate their own future survival.
      “Never Again” was one of their slogans used to guarantee what happened in Germany will never be repeated. It must be one of the elements of survival to try to form alliances. The doors they were helping open for the African American was wide enough to include themselves.
      .
      I will not discount the righteousness of the non-violent civil rights movement to touch anyone with an open heart. Therefore Jews and others saw the injustice and could not ignore it any longer. ….It was time.
      .
      Mr. K.H

  • Selamat Aya Amanuel,

    Abegss is the point of recognition for those who STAND on 17! I.e.for those 墨绿 ظيتبقسو. Ztbegesu. As in Mr. Dawit Mesfun’s “…it gets awry” at times.

    I know, si yo conozco! Me gustas comidas Como aroj con pollo y abicheuelas, DA Boogie Down Bronx wegaHtawi tebegsoU!

    The Allyship indeed.

    Abu AAshera Weapon X – Evolution.

    tSAtSE

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear Amanuel,

    Thank you for an interesting article that carries Dawit Mesfin’s thesis of self-liberation a step further and advocates for its possible application in efforts that must be undertaken to address the problems of ethnic grievances and marginalization in our society.

    To help me put my ideas in perspective, I will with your permission liberally quote from your article. In particular, I would like to refer to the statements:

    “The Highlanders–the dominant social force so to speak–must open their ears to listen to the grievances of our minorities, start to show their solidarity as individuals and offer their support on the ongoing struggle of our minorities.”

    And

    “We must learn the various oppression in our society, because our ignorance of them always makes us part of the oppression.”

    Using the ideas encapsulated in those statements as a staging ground for my comment, let me sincerely state that I agree in principle with almost everything you wrote about attitudes that must be developed, self-liberation that must be exercised, self-transformation that must be achieved and principles that must be upheld in the struggle against marginalization of social groups as part of the overall struggle for national liberation from tyranny.

    I also agree with the roles and responsibilities you prescribed for those individuals you variously described in your article as “progressive, self-liberated, privileged, members of the dominant social group, etc.” Those roles and responsibilities are pretty heavy and not easy to live up to; but they are, by no means, of the type that would be characterized as tall order either! Having said that, I find it imperative to stress that there is an equally heavy burden of responsibility which must be placed on the shoulders of minority social groups who struggle, as they should, to claim for themselves equality of citizen/group rights as well as a fare share of social, political and economic power in the country. Specifically, theses groups’ leaderships and memberships alike must:

    a) believe in their heart of hearts that there are countless number of Eritreans who are actually or potentially sympathetic to their causes and are willing to support their struggles for equality and justice,

    b) articulate the subordination and injustice they face, clarify the goals and outcomes they aspire to in their struggles and specify the support and cooperation they seek, first and foremost, to their country-people as primary targets of their appeals for solidarity. They must realize that, in the long run, outside support will prove to be a mere supplement, not a substitute for the support of other national groups with whom they share a common destiny!

    c) seek the support of self-liberated countrymen/women regardless of their ethnic origin/identity and avoid blanket characterization of other social groups and their memberships.

    It must also be emphasized that as they organize themselves, mobilize their resources and seek to broaden their support base in their struggle against marginalization, our minority social groups must set the tone for, and essentially lead the way in, promoting trust, inclusivity, inter-group cooperation and national cohesion. Finally, it should be plainly clear to all of us that it is not the ideas, qualities and efforts of some individuals or specific groups that will bring about the just and democratic change that we all yearn for. Such a change is bound to be a product of an enlightened environment which can only be built with the contribution of each and every social group in our country!

    Thank you.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Johannes,

      “… change is bound to be a product of an enlightened environment which can only be built with the contribution of each and every social group in our country!”. It cannot be stated more eloquently. In my view, this the phase of the maturation of process you and I have been talking about under Dawit’s thread: the socio-political equilibrium the opposition segment that should unite the progressive groups and individuals guided by clear national program of action. If the forward looking social and political forces would coalesce in to a broad national movement under such a national scheme, the process would culminate to “an enlightened environment” that will open the way to smooth constitution making process because inclusivity and trust would broaden in the process of struggle while marginalization and exclusion would recede.

      On the roadmap you have beautifully set out for the minority groups and the so called dominant sector of the population should mutually follow, I could not have written it any better. At this point, I must take note the role of the idea and implementation of Allyship process could play in the interaction among the individuals and groups in the framework of the current conditions of our country. For this, I have to thank Amanuel for the time he had invested in producing such a good and relevant concept.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Hello Ismail,

        From the exchanges that you and I have had in the discussions that followed the posting of Dawit Mesfin’s and Amanuel Hidrat’s articles, I can see that we are on the same wavelength on the issue of how the core concepts put forth in these great pieces relate to the current state and future of our national struggle for change. I am glad that is the case.

        The constructive roles and responsibilities that Amanuel urged members of the dominant social group to assume in support of the struggles of minority groups are, of course, rooted in the concept of Allyship as articulated in his piece. Therefore, my endorsement of his recommendations means that I have embraced, albeit implicitly, the underlying concept. But Amanuel’s contribution to my understanding of the issue of marginalization of minority groups in Eritrea actually goes much farther than that.

        During my early days at Awate, I had no awareness of the existence of the problem of marginalization of social groups in the country much less of its potentially detrimental effects on the progress of the ongoing struggle for democratic change. But my cognizance of the problem and of its long-term political, social and economic repercussions continued to grow as I read opinions that Amanuel and a few others expounded on the subject. Amanuel in particular has been persistent and passionate in his advocacy for acknowledging the existence of marginalization in Eritrean society and for the need to begin addressing it as a national problem. His efforts in this regard have benefitted me immensely for which I remain grateful.

        Thank you.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Yohannes,

      Thank you for your sharp rejoinder. You always come with expanded perspectives and some additive values to the message of the writers. You are amazing! One hopes, indeed, to be from the young generation to render an extended good services to our nation and its people. Let me quote you to emphasize the points you made.

      “I find it imperative to stress that there is an equally heavy burden of responsibility which must be placed on the shoulders of minority social groups who struggle, as they should, to claim for themselves equality of citizen/group rights as well as a fare share of social, political and economic power in the country. ”

      The heavy burden of responsibilities in the struggle of anti-marginalization, should be on the shoulder of our minorities – to organize and mobilize their bases, articulate their grievances, demand their inalienable rights. Without our minorities setting the motion as you outlined it in your comment, the concept of “allyship” from the dominant social force is irrelevant. Your comment must be read by our minorities to use your commentary as a guideposts in their struggle. Framing their struggle on religious bases doesn’t invite in forging “allyship” for promoting trust and inter-group cooperation, thereby in the process to assure their equitable rights.

      Thank you Yohannes.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Amanuel,

        I thank you very much for the kind words. But, I honestly do not believe I deserve that much credit for what is really nothing more than a modest input to a great discussion. As I noted in an earlier exchange with Dawit Mesfin, powerful ideas conceived by great minds are known to stimulate other minds into deep thinking out of which come worthwhile contributions. At best, that is what happened here – nothing more! Put differently, much of the credit goes to you guys for throwing in the ideas which triggered the interesting and helpful discussions and kept them going.

        But a greater reward for all of us seems to lie in what has come out of those discussions. It is gratifying to see that a consensus seems to be slowly emerging around many of the issues raised in the discussions that followed posting of your article and that of Dawit. That, in my opinion, is a significant step in the long process of harmonizing diverse political opinions into a shared national goal to which we can all commit ourselves.

        Thank you.

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Hi Emma,

        “Without our minorities setting the motion as you outlined it in your comment, the concept of “allyship” from the dominant social force is irrelevant.”, as usual always crooked.

        Al-Arabi

  • KBT

    Selamat kulukhum
    Good friend you can write and write and write and yet samo nothing will change brother ,come to the light
    You live in a fairytales ,stop believing your lies pfdj is there to stay ,it root foundation are deep and strong .
    The wind already change ,western knows your trickery change is coming in Ethiopia and nowhere for you to go
    Please enjoy your welfare and be quite ,the only think the failed opposition can do is to beat innocent men and women Eritrean diaspora In Europe,shameful ,soon judgment is coming ,mighty GOD is with us not with liers

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Hi KBT,

      Really, do you believe in God? Does God encourage greediness and ruling people by the barrel of gun? Even beasts are controlled by their instincts; but you are void of anything humane or beastial.

      Al-Arabi

      • KBT

        Selam Ahmed al whatever
        This is why I said god is with us ,because of your lie ,finger pointing without any evidence
        Who is thirst of power kkk ???who running western capital for help to pressure Eritrea so it could collapse
        Who want to create chaos by religion and by ethnicity ,??
        please people like you are undesirable in Eritrea,stay where you are and Roth ,Eritrea is in good hand

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Hi KBT,

          A chaotic mafia definitely will collapse. Where people to born or live their life I think is not your business. It appears, you claim to own what you don’t really. You have to comprehend my friend well, if I don’t live freely in my homeland Eritrea without any oppression, believe me, you will never get repose in Eritrea. I will make your life all full of stress, hell, until you explode with destructive diseases.

          Al-Arabi

          • KBT

            Selam Hameed
            You will be welcome ,will make ready the rope for you ,so we can hung in the middle of Asmara kkkkkk
            We don’t feel intimidated by garbage like you ,you only attack from the back innocent you terrorist,we will hunte you wherever you are ,

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi KBT,

            You see you will always be in alert, in stress, jogging the whole of your life. You will lead unstable life, no repose at all. You will continue to live a jangle man to the end of your life. A shifta is always in a run even if there is no one hunting him. He jumps from his shadow and every sound regard it will swallow him. I understand you have written your comment while you were in a queue to receive alms in the gates of a civilized nation that is ruled by law and respects human beings. It is incongruent to be mendicant and at the same time unrefined.

            Al-Arabi

      • blink

        Dear Hameed
        Every time people’s fight is all about taking something by either side. I don’t see why god created such creature. Man is unnecessary to the larger part of this world ,except man is the cause of destruction . I have to ask when is the so called god to listen to all these people praying for peace. He is a cruel one if he ever exists. I don’t see any reason to believe he is necessary for human being. Power hungry preachers and power hungry politicians run his world while he created people with skin cancer or horrible things inside.

        • Selam blink,

          Why do you see human beings as the lost angels and God as the policeman? Why do you think that God gave man his consciousness, the power to differentiate between good and evil, and wrong and right, and why did He give man the social laws of the ten commandments? It is because his aim was to set man free, to think and arrange his life in a sharing way, for himself and by himself.

          If you go for the scientific concept of human development as the famous scientist Stephen Hawking was saying in his recent interview, it could be that human behavior can be explained by genes of greed and aggressiveness that developed in his genome during human evolution.

          Why do some people amass billions of dollars, as long as they know that they and their families will not be able to spend a fraction of it during their lifetime, and yet they are ready to kill not to share it with the poor? Why do human beings kill and cause mayhem for the sake of power and to stay in power? What sort of satisfaction do they get out of it? May be fame during their lifetime, but a Big Nothing after their demise. It is all in human nature, and due to the fact God gave him consciousness and did not leave him to live with his instinct as all the other animals.

          Therefore, you should try to find the answer in human beings themselves and in each one of us, and not outside of human beings, by trying to transfer the responsibility to God. As long as we have the power of knowledge of good and evil and wrong and right, we own the crimes, the mistakes and the consequences too. Therefore, God cannot be the policeman. Man has been given the right of choice freely, to save or destroy himself. If he has chosen to ignore the teachings, it is not God’s fault. If men annihilate themselves as they are going to do so in the future, again it is not the responsibility of God. He has other creatures to care about in the billions of planets, and not only the spoiled brats, human beings have become, on this planet earth.

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          HI blink,

          When all what man fabricated/produced such as computers, mobiles, robots, etc failed to define human being or the world around them. They all have a limited capacity shoved to them by human being. They don’t exceed what was given to them by man. My friend don’t jump to issues beyond your mental capacity and give us conclusions about things you don’t understand. Mr. blink come down from the top of the tree and discuss about things you can comprehend. You are unable to administer your country properly though it is possible like other peoples of the world. Why do I see you roaming the world seeking for asylum or a job?

          Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear
            The real world doesn’t need your god perspective, all the things you said like job and tech are made by man based on real science not dust of dreams from so called god. Horizon gave me the 10 commandments and you will bring yours , what I am saying is who is praying more perfectly so his god listens to him, the kid in Yemen or the kid in Eritrea?? Why would the Abrahamic God, all-loving and all-powerful, allow natural evils to torment and kill people? Why can’t he keep kids from getting cancer, or stay the waves of tsunamis or feed these terrorists run over small kids with their blessed knife??? Al Arabi I think you can lecture me and make me come down from the tree.

            Why, if God so ardently wants us to know and accept him, does he hide himself from humanity? And, since modern humans originated over 100,000 years ago, why did God wait 98,000 years before sending his son to redress our sins—and then to only a small portion of humanity within a hundred miles of Jerusalem? Or, if you’re sufficiently sophisticated to see God not as a bearded spirit but as The Ground of All Being, why isn’t
            that Ground obvious to everyone?
            And would a loving God really let someone burn forever because they were Jews, or didn’t get baptized???

            Your beloved god is so nice that he choose to burn the ME out of love , he must be enjoying the agony of small palastain children.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            It is better to compare yourself with those you see, sense and touch. Leave what we don’t see and compare yourself with humans and you will get yourself that you possess a very tiny mind full of ills that medical doctor fails to cure. You have to know all diseases have a cure, but man fails to explore it. Certainly, you will continue to suffer from skin cancer until you know your job and come up with the cure.

            Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear Al arabi
            So you wanted your god to be free not to be questioned for his failures? Your beliefs are private but they end up dictating the state on what to do for the public on different things , even last week you and your friends try to silence people for writing in reference to verses from Quran and yet you want your way is the best.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            Let it be clear for you, I want a state that is dictated by her entire people only; put this as a ring on both of your ears. Please, don’t attempt to label vainly others with your destructive ills. I know you listen only to the drum beats of your empty brain. You didn’t leave any space in your brain to think freely and positively. Your brain is totally occupied by seeking handouts and fishing riff-raffs.

            Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear Al Arabi
            What will it take to break the heavily curtained window of denial deep inside your head??
            Internal and external intolerance is now Islam’s brand. Those great past Muslim civilisations famous for diversity, humanity, science, extraordinary achievements have died, now people like you are the most brilliant people and you are known for destroying smart minds of the Muslim world. Christians believe their god is super but if you read deep their god is born from virgin woman , you guys are simply intolerant to reality.I don’t believe you are being honest on the wishes of all but only on your small world of dust dreams, I don’t live from any once hand outs and I don’t bow down to any one . I am the owner of my own life. No one pays for me but your court looks great , after all you are promised great things and I am sure you are searching. Look religion especially the Abrahamic once are making people blind by their false promises, I urge you to read other books. The caves are tourist attractions nothing else.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            If you are saturated with phobia about any religion that is your problem and don’t consider others suffer from the same ills as you seem to be. I don’t have any phobia against any religion. People are free to believe in whatever religion they like. I know it is very difficult for you to get rid of your ill mindset which you accumulated in it distorted notions for years. This makes me to believe you will end up distorted by some kind of cancer specially the skin cancer or blood cancer which you most afraid from. The worst thing in the world is to feign that you believe in diversity, humanity, science, civilization. My friend the peoples who put their touches on the history of mankind are those who have open minds and think freely. You have to conceive very well alms seekers will not carve civilization but will terminate their life at the gates of other peoples. I think parroting terminologies will not make of you a civilized, humane, and extraordinary person who will participate in the well being of humanity. Those who fail to clean their own houses will not be expected to contribute in the progress of others. You miss to know your exact size and that is your dilemma. My friend, the first step towards civilization begins with the evaluation of yourself and pinpointing your position in the universe.

            Al-Arabi

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Awatistas,
    Please read Dawit’s excellent post as rejoinder to Aman’s article, and not as response to mine.
    Thank you.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Amanuel and all,

    I have reason to celebrate this article. It is a superbly written piece that substantially broadens the message Dawit Mesfin wanted to transmit on the one hand, and on the other, it beautifully underscores what the core value and purpose of this forum should be: hosting goal-oriented articles and providing space for free debate to generate ideas that add to our cumulative pool of useful ideas. Amanuel has done both so capably that warrant admiration and deserved commendation.

    By supplementing the ideas of one another, the two brothers – Amanuel and Dawit – are calling on each of us who may want to involve in the struggle to change the current worrisome political and social conditions in our country to make a pose and engage in sober self- assessment that could help roles to be played in meaningful ways.

    While Dawit had put the liberated mind of the individual at the center the anti-regime opposition struggle, Amanuel expands that very idea to the realm of groups of elites and their interaction within the broader social and political realities that have polarizing the socio-political milieu along regional, ethnic and religious divides. He mercilessly negates the dismissive ትሕቲ ሃገራዊነት (subnational) notions that some among the elites peddle in effort to shield the dictatorship from criticism of the ethnic political and social formations the marginalizing policies of the regime have caused. In the current affairs of our country the issue of whether marginalization exists or not cannot really preoccupy a conscientious and justice oriented mind.

    As Amanuel has correctly observed the fact that oppression and disruption of normal life pervades across the entire population cannot justify a person to gloss over the double predicament the dominated ethnic groups have been enduring under a regime that uses marginalization as power sustaining strategy by foolishly posing as protector from imaginary cultural and social threats of one segment of our society the regime considers as power base. It’s not hard to understand that the minority groups have subjected to a sharp sword that cuts on both sides: enduring oppression alongside of the other components of the nation as well as fighting for survival as social and demographic entities within the nation. The latter ordeals of the involve groups have been the key issue for the justice and equality advocating compatriots among whom Amanuel Hidrat stands tall for his decades long consistency through word and writing. It is simply a matter of understanding the fact that whether or not groups such our Kunama or Afar components of our nation should desist from using their ethnic and demographic capital to organize and fight for their survival. When 80% of those people have been pushed from their rightful habitats and compelled to live in exile as refugees due to being pushed out from their sources of livelihood such as farming land and fisheries.

    To conclude these a bit expanded remarks on this important article, I should jot a few words on the two notions of alliance and allyship Amanuel has described. Without going to details on them, I think it’s better for me to share the way two of my compatriots had demonstrated. the one happened years ago when Professor Tesfatsion Medhanie took the podium at one of the Kassel Festivals and told the audience that unless a Christian compatriot from Kebessa raised his/her voice in denunciation of the wrong done to his/her Moslem compatriots in the lowlands and vice versa, how can we as Eritreans guarantee the unity of our nation. The other one that I can mention is the voice our own Saleh Johar has raised through the article that has dignified the front page of this forum. These two examples serve as the practical implementation of the message Amanuel wanted to tell by explaining what allyship is.

    With many thanks

    • Dawit Mesfin

      Dear Amanuel,

      I am glad that you have taken the ‘self-liberation’ argument to a conceptual level by invoking the theory of Allyship in your discussion. From your article I have learned a concept I was not familiar with – that of Allyship, a tool that helps us, I believe, to dislodge our hangups and adopt or learn the good in others. I have also learned that it is embedded in a rights-based struggle – a move that demonstrates we are all in the same boat. It is more than empathy (emotion sharing), isn’t it? It calls for the need to challenge ourselves and build bridges with others. However, a quick read through the literature revealed that it is more complicated than I first thought. Well, which theory does not possess limitations? Let me stop here for now before I put my foot in my mouth and re-iterate a thing or two on self-liberation.

      My thoughts on self-liberation emanate from the fact that I catch myself floundering around in my thoughts from time to time. As much as I would like to live with an awareness that implies the necessity of developing a critical consciousness of my own world, sometimes things go awry. I realise that my mind, and sometimes my heart, are capable of playing tricks on me. I notice, in me, that I inflate my sense of righteousness. There are times when I feel, rather wrongly, I occupy the fairest, the most legitimate or most justified position in our struggle. And I judge others. When I look around me, to my horror, I notice that I live alone or those I consider ‘mine’, if you know what I mean. In my article, simply stated, I just wanted to point out that by going through the self-liberation process I can come to realise that we all have a stake in one another’s liberation due to the overlapping work of our multiple groups within the same camp. Do I know how do I deal with those ‘outside’ my camp?

      If Allyship is a process of building ties with others then what will be our relationship with those whose motives we do not trust? Just a thought. I believe Yohannes Zerai dealt with it in his previous rejoinders when he brought up the issues surrounding progressivism.
      Ismail, I like your response to Amanuel. Sorry, for not saying much because I am being rushed out from the Library.
      Dawit

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Dawit,

        All the credit is to you, Dawit. If you wouldn’t come with that valuable article, I wouldn’t conceive an idea and related it to the issue I care about. and took it as vehicle to communicate them.

        Dawit – yes, allyship is a lifelong process as model for building relationships with the marginalized social group. You asked me what will be our relationship with those motives we do not trust? Once we are committed to allyship, our minds will not be in the business to know the motives of the aggrieved. Again, once we engage to scrutinize the motives of any social group, we will not be in a position to understand the possible feeling of resentment and bitterness of the aggrieved. I believe your article helped me how to acquire “Self-liberated mind” and as such I shouldn’t engage in the business of identifying motives, but rather to build relationship with the aggrieved to understand their marginalization, in the hope to contribute in their struggle as individual. If we have a clean mind we could be a social grievances arbiters.

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Ismail,

      Thank you for your vote of confidence. Your elaboration to the premises of my piece, surely makes it, something an issue worth of attention and spending time to heal our society.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

The Smashed Eritrean Wristwatch

06 Sep 2017 Awate Team Comments (32)

[this was first published in May of 2015 in objection to an attempt by some hacks to revive old partisan rivalry, and…

Eritrea: The Constitution

04 Sep 2017 Ali Salim Comments (271)

Here is a follow-up on “gual mengedi” – the constitution. I will stick to word limit and make it short.…

Eritrea’s 150th Anniversary!

01 Sep 2017 Ismael Ibrahim Mukhtar Comments (140)

My adopted nation, Canada, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary on July 01, 2017. The celebration was huge, passionate and colorful.…

Water: Black Market Economy of Eritrea

29 Aug 2017 Gedab News Comments (16)

Four people were arrested on Monday in Asmara after they were caught selling water to citizens from a water tanker.…

Music

Cartoons

Links

Follow Us

Email
Print