The national congress that convened in Awassa is a distinctive landmark event in the history of Eritrea. It embraced the vast majority of the Eritrean Diaspora: all the political backgrounds and colours. The congress discussed ailments that enervated the whole nation for more than half a century, it melted down the iceberg, nullified retarded views, boosted unity and paved the way for a promising future. The most breathtaking touches of the congress was the cooling and fixing applied to the highly stressful and intense system of our debate and the initiation of a new culture in the politics of Eritrea. This article will deal with the immediate successes accomplished in Awassa and drop the minor setbacks as an experience that should be evaded in our next national congress in Asmara.
The deep-rooted notion that Eritreans do not listen to each other has vanished in Awassa and it was replaced with a new conception, the culture of dialogue and consideration of grievances. This civilized stage of refinement has contributed towards reaching a common understanding that inclusion and dialogue are the sole effective tools by which the most complex problems could be solved. Such a matured understanding has led to the ratification of a roadmap and a charter that strongly links them with one another, thus breaking the vicious circle of disharmony that existed among Eritreans for decades.
The fruits of that symphony was the birth of a national council which is composed of civic society and political parties to shoulder the heavy duties ahead. Not only that, but the national congress also acknowledged that organized civic societies advance the demands of the people and protect them from cadgers. The involvement of civic society has proven its constructive and decisive role in actualizing success. They surely confirmed they are the safety valves for the aspirations of the people, and bolster of the real nationalists, and barriers from infiltration of interlopers and split-hatchers.
In Awassa the silent majority were bereaved of their excuses. The key reason of their silence on the savagery of the regime was the division of the opposition. Though it is unpersuasive to remain motionless at the time the people of Eritrea are being brutalized, it was a window of escape from bearing responsibilities. Today, the national congress responded to their calls by uniting the opposition under the national assembly, leaving no space for more pretexts. Silence on the brutalities of the regime against the people of Eritrea, from now on, is looked at as a inhuman and national treason.
Likewise, the congress has ended the Byzantine scholars’ type of debate: Are angels males or female? Which came first, the egg or the chicken? The debate that the scholars were engaged in when their beloved city Byzantine, was about to fall in the hands of their enemy.
Equally, the people of Eritrea were put to test with similar debates. At the time the criminals transformed the county into a big funeral square, the opposition was debating about: shall we kiss the dictator or face him? And at the moment the people expected their immediate assistance they discuss about: Do we represent the people? Has Isaias changed to a discriminator, exclusionist and dictator in the twenty-first century or he was a sich person from the beginning? Is current Ethiopia a sister country or an enemy? Is it the ethnic organizations or the regime that jeopardize the unity of Eritrea? And the list goes on to divert the people of Eritrea from bringing about an end to the atrocities of the dictator in Eritrea.
The mastermind of the regime has built his policy of ravaging the country on divide and rule. He started to play negatively on the diversity of our people since his affiliation with the revolution. From the outset, he emitted his fatal poison among the people whose trust to each other was already weakened by foreign occupiers. He has divided us into Christians and Muslims, lowlanders and highlanders, nine ethnic groups, Tigrinya and Arabic languages. Those are national issues that should be dealt with great care; but Isaias and his evil cabals exacerbated them up to the point of brink of the collapse of the nation.
The dictator lectures continually that democracy is unworkable in a country that is divided on the basis of religion, ethnicity, tribes, and regions. He supposes western democracy is inapplicable in Eritrea and instead he presents his own system of rule which he claims he has developed during the struggle against occupation. He asserts arrogantly that “hade hizbi hade libi” (a mad man who throws stones in all directions) is the system that suits Eritrea. He has made himself believe that the end of his regime means a doomsday for Eritrea.
Isaias has betted his existence and continuation on authority in the disunity of the Eritrean people. In order to secure his reign he made sure that his agents infiltrate the opposition and play on the differences of our society and cause great damage on its fabric. The discord among the opposition that he sowed is the reason that encouraged him to speak out without hesitation that he does not have any opposition in Eritrea. However, Awassa has eroded his dreams and demolished his kingdom which he knitted for more than four decades.
All his expectations evaporated into the thin air. The positive achievements of the national congress have sent him a vehement warning to depart from the political scene of Eritrea before it is too late. The primitive society that was divided into families, tribes, ethnicities, religions and regions have learned how to organize itself in one body under one leadership without changing their skins. The vertical and horizontal divisions of the clans and tribes, the names the dictator and his cohorts like to label the people of Eritrea with, have subsided forever. The loopholes that take us back to the outdated differences and contentions are sealed off tightly. By now, he is gazing at the debris of mess he has created in Eritrea and the region. No wonder, it is the harvest of the dim-witted.
The tsunami of the national congress didn’t only sweep away the regime; the soft-landing group’s ambitions too were washed away in Awassa. This narrow circle has built its aspirations to blossom out on the crisis of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance and the Eritrean National commission for Democratic Change. They regarded themselves as the only elites who should either negotiate with the regime or dislodge it from power. Their evaluation of the majority of the opposition groups is not different from that of the regime. They consider those who are not under their command and hegemony as regionalists , fundamentalists, incubators of groupings and riffraff. Dialogue with the diverse composition of the Eritrean opposition doesn’t exist within the program of this group. They consider the Eritrean people as subjects who should only follow and carry out their excellencies’ orders and instructions. In theory, they lecture their adherence to diversity and multiparty; practically, their conception in many parts intersects with that of the regime, hade libi hade hizbi.
They boycotted the national congress assuming there was no adequate arrangements to hold it. They justified their walkouts with perfection, requesting from the people who are exhausted for more than half a century to jump over a big gap and start from a flawless 100% perfection; but they failed to confer us with a model of a country that commenced from that faultless topnotch. They dissembled in many of their proclamations that a chaotic situation will ensue from a hastily prepared congress. But the congress did not generate a chaotic situation. The reason of their boycott dispersed, and devising a new pretense will expose them plainly to the people of Eritrea who are doubtful about their credibility and their intentions. No place for more qmish adey hankwiluni (I stumbles over my mother’s gown).
This soft-landing group has walked through all the strings to escape from the comprehensive gatherings. Their entire analysis and speculations have drowned in the Awassa lake. That lake, for those who do not know, was created centuries ago by the dramatic depression on the earth’s crust that was caused by huge volcanic eruptions that formed the Great Rift Valley that extends from Mozambique through Mount Kilimanjaro, to the Red Sea and north to Jordan in the Middle East. Awassa has a geographic ties with Asmara and it is not strange for Awassa to be the witness of the dawn of regime in Asmara. It is a real dawn, Yibba (father), unlike the forced dawn that our siblings the hard working farmers of Wazintet complained about.
The door for this soft-landing circle is now ajar. It is beyond their capacity to stop the train that is set to motion. The shortest way to catch the train is to choose any lake around Brussels or California to purify themselves from planktons stuck upon them and join the national assembly for democratic change. It is good to do that before they go too far astray. I recommend them to benefit from the Tigre saying: mn qroob wedqa min tsaleE dahna (He who falls from low height escapes injuries.)
Recently, the masterminds, the dictator-makers protruded from their dens with shabby tools to pump life on them, but failed to rehabilitate the stiffened body and to replace the expired dictator with a new one. The case is dihri mot qbets tiEna (after death give up hope on health, dear Softies). The age of vanguard party and inspired leader is gone for good, no more manipulations of the fate of the Eritrean people. It is time for all who wish to see the freedom of their people to support the national assembly and participate in the creation of a new honorable history.
Awassa has accredited the social mosaic stamp as the only acceptable stamp by the people of Eritrea. Any group or person not carrying the recognized mosaic stamp is null and void. Stray goats twill not grab the fruits of our struggle anymore. The group that still lives in the past and believes that the exhausted old system of politics could work today, will harvest phantasm only. It is better to study the Arab spring and the effects of modern technology very well. Today the peoples of the Third World are wide-awake. No one could dally on the glow of the youth or trifle the compassion of the people. The Eritrean youth realize well that their right place is with the national consensus. They will never be deceived by the expired or the neo-opportunists. By no means, will our youth allow themselves to become a bridge for a new Sawa. The narrow circle outside the satellite coverage (with the worn-out thoughts) should perceive that the only way to win the hearts and minds of the Eritrean people is to approach them with an authenticated social-mosaic stamp that was agreed upon in Awassa by the six hundred prudent Eritreans.
On top of all of that, Awassa has caused a hard time for those who wish us to play Hibo without a break. Hibo is a traditional women’s mourning dance among some tribes in the Eritrean lowlands when a prominent leader of a tribe dies. Some of the women wear the clothes of men and dance with swords, and others dancers pour sand on their heads, tug their hair, slap their cheeks, and hit their chests, all the time the street dance is accompanied by loud cries. The sight of the tousled and dusty women is horrific; it scares children very much and makes them sleepless. I believe men also could not dare face the raged hibo dancing women. And even husband couldn’t dare divorce their disheveled and dust coated wives when they return home. For sure, none of the usual darling are welcome; the fear from the glittering swords stays alive.
The Hibo group (the-you-are-lost-beyond-recover group) will always remind us of the calamities that befell the ELF and the atrocities of the Ethiopian occupation. They wish us to live in the past and recycle our mourning. They desire us to hit drums and dance hibo hysterically. The ELF, EPLF and the Ethiopian occupation have become history, and our hibo dance will change nothing in that history. We are the sons and daughters of the twenty-first century. Our current issue is to rescue our people from the claws of the dictator. Luckily, the national congress has shifted the scene from that of hibo dance to the creation of a new history. In case the hibo group or the dictator insists that a hibo dance is reproduced, we pledge to create a North Korean style regime when the dictator dies. I refrained from promising a hibo, for that terrorizes even the monkeys.
Awassa has not only sufficed with drifting the regime and its satellites in the Diaspora, but it has also equipped the national assembly with all software needed for a decisive success. The mission of the assembly was facilitated by documents that were approved by the national congress, and the road is well leveled for them to work without hesitation. There are no questions of what next; everything is readymade for use to the extent of moraka dib edeka wa arweka dib tahteka (the stick is in your hand and the snake is under you.) The congress has veered all to direct their energies towards the snake and target the head.
The panic of our traditional politicians from civic societies and elites have sunk down deep into the Awassa lake. Seminars of elites do not pose danger to our politician authorities anymore; on the contrary, they substantiate and strengthen the position of our politicians and bind them tightly with their people. Unjustified fear has lost its base from where it was ravaging the national cohesion. Mistrust and suspicion was erased between the varied constituents of the Eritrean people and they are all set to engage wholly against the regime. Awassa has reconciled the whole Eritrean spectrum for the common interests of all.
In Awassa all the bedlams ceased to function, amebic proliferation sterilized, the phantoms dwarfed, the loss of compass rectified, respect and confidence recovered, and readiness for to face strife encompassed all. The old pages of division are now closed and a new page full of hope has opened. On the other side, the regime has lost its basic factors of survival. In the Eritrean politics, Awassa has opened a new civilized school of thought that is based on consideration, altruism and dialogue. The national congress has purged empty talks and directed the energies towards facing the mafia regime in Asmara.