“N’hna nsu – nsu n’hna” they will chant yet again, re-affirming their allegiance not only to their dictator, but also and even more importantly, to what the dictator stands for – the completion of a chauvinist project which started forty odd years ago.
And mind you, this is not taking place somewhere in Eritrea, where one could at least cite coercion or intimidation as the main culprits for joining the allegiance rally – no, not at all. It is happening right here in New York in the middle of Manhattan.
And again, this is not also like it is the 17th century, when poor African slaves who were uprooted from their beloved homelands risked death by lynching if they ever attempted to flee the enslavement by their new white masters.
It is a day and age in which even the welfare and wellbeing of beasts are protected by the law, let alone those of Human Beings. So what to make of these Hgdefite crowds? How on earth could one describe these people?
Well, for starters, the dung beetle comes to mind. The dung beetle, better known as Gi’El or A’kabibo(slang) in Tigrayit, is well known for rolling dung or other excrements into a perfect ball. The dung beetle starts its day by sniffing its surroundings for animal refuse or other excrements. Once it finds its target, it works tirelessly to turn the excrement into a perfect ball. It does this by rolling the dung again and again using all its six legs at times (front motion) or only its larger hind legs at times (indietro). The beetle also climbs on top of the dung ball and then pulls the ball down on one of its sides using its hind legs as a grip on the ground.
And the dung just rolls – because at the end of the day, it is nothing but a sh*t ball. It gets manipulated by the beetle to take the shape the beetle wants it to take. It moves in the direction the beetle wants it to move. It stops, if the beetle wants it to. It rolls again, at the slightest push or pull from the beetle. In essence, it is the beetle’s dung ball, if you will.
Forty years on, Eritrea’s bloody dictator has been manipulating his mogogo crowd the same way a beetle would work a dung ball. I mean for crying out loud – what better depiction could there be for such a crowd who still chant “N’hna nsu – nsu n’hna” even after being humiliated and dragged through dirt for over forty years now?
A sick and disturbed thug is made to join the ranks of the ELF (by design) and from day one of his mission, he embarks on creating a wedge between Muslims and ethnic Tigrigna Christians by smearing ELF’s genuine national struggle for liberation, as a Muslim campaign to exterminate Christian highlanders (his first sniff – just as a beetle’s daily journey starts with a sniff). He unleashes a campaign to shape his chauvinist ethnic agenda and before anybody could notice, the dung starts to take shape.
Some genuine and true nationalist ethnic Tigrignas start to realize the dangers facing the Eritrean revolution and begin to confront the thug in the hopes that he desist from pursuing his clandestine ethnic agenda – but unfortunately, they are all hunted down and exterminated under one pretext or another. Some of those who subscribe to the ethnic agenda or even those who just sympathise with it are fully aware of the extra-judicial killings, yet they all look the other way saying “m’inti mogogo t’hlef anchwa”. And mind you, the mogogo here is not the nation as we are presumed to believe – far from it. It is actually the ethnic agenda.
The years roll by and many join the thug’s campaign wittingly or unwittingly – all the same, because he dressed it up in a seemingly national garb and it was sold to the naïve and to the unsuspecting all alike as a true national endeavour, despite the many red flags to the contrary which kept popping up time and again. All these red flags were ignored over the years using the same mogogo excuse and to the sheer delight of the beetle, the dung just kept rolling into form – the desired form.
From then on it was just an open season. The conniving thug conspired with ethnic kin who also happened to be foreigners in order to kill and maim Eritreans in a bloody ethnic war waged against the ELF. The mogogo crowd gave the usual justifications as if no crime was ever committed and they just kept drooling, sensing the spoils of war coming their way. And the beetle just kept rolling the dung.
They attempted to re-write history by desecrating everything and anything noble and worthy of respect which many Eritreans stood for. They denied the contributions of many heroes and martyrs going as far back as the forties and fifties and they also tried to claim all the credit only for themselves, as if they were the only ones who fought (or we thought they fought) for the liberation of the country.
All throughout, the mogogo crowd kept cheering, showering the thug and his cronies with accolades – “ez’om yom, ez’om yom” who could forget? They cheered and cheered even as the dictator told them in broad daylight that they were his dung ball. At last, the beetle completed shaping the dung into a perfect ball.
But what do beetles do with dung balls anyways? Do they spend so much time and effort just for the heck of it? Obviously they don’t use it for soccer nor do they play bocce with it, so there must be something else they do with it.
Besides being a food source for the beetles themselves (yes, beetles feed on excrements), the beetles also use dung balls to lay their eggs in, where their larva could find ready made food once their eggs hatch (without the spoils of war to fester on, where would the Wuchus, Manjos, Flipos and their likes be today?).
It was obvious that what was built on lies and deceits wasn’t going to last. And sure enough, what followed was sheer hell on earth. Twenty long years of bastardization, and just take a look at the nation they say they built – or to put it more correctly, the nation they attempted to build:
- A nation that feeds on its young by sucking the lives out of them in the most horrific of ways.
- A nation of murderers, shefatu, racketeers, grain thieves and hostage-takers who thrive by feeding on the cesspool the dictator (a limping beetle by now) created for them.
- A nation that can only sustain itself by creating havoc and mayhem in the region it is in and then by turning around and availing itself to play the role of the honest crook.
The horrific list just go on and on – all courtesy of a chauvinist ethnic agenda which was hatched forty odd years ago.
Did the mogogo crowd (a perfect dung ball by now) learn a thing?
If after all these years their mantra still remains to be “N’hna nsu – nsu n’hna” then obviously they haven’t learned a scant. Their purpose in life is amply depicted by the journey of the dung beetle. You can’t be called human when you obediently allow yourself to be rolled like a dung ball – and worse yet, of all the insects, by the ugly Akabibo.
The seminar of Eritrean intellectuals and professionals which was held earlier this month in Addis Abeba debated among other important things, the nature of the PFDJ regime and to be precise, if the regime could actually be described as an ethnic Tigrigna regime or not. Granted that our intellectuals and professionals are fully entitled to have their own political opinion on the regime; it is fair to say that their opinion couldn’t be binding on all of PFDJ’s victims alike. To contend otherwise would be tantamount to denying two important factors in this whole victim-perpetrator relationship: (1) That PFDJ crimes are not arbitrary but rather purpose-driven (2) That the victims themselves have the final say on the matter and that political opinion can not be decreed on them.
If any of our intellectuals or professionals were in any doubt – all they had to do was just ask the victims. They didn’t even have to sweat over the matter.
They should have asked the one million Eritrean refugees in the Sudan who have been blocked from returning to their villages and towns; they should have asked the Kunamas, the Afars and other Lowlanders who have been expropriated and stripped of their lands and livelihoods; they should have asked the Muslims who have been disenfranchised and relegated to second class citizens in their own country – they should have asked all these victims how they would describe the PFDJ regime. They would have been surprised to find that none of those victims would have ever minced their words.