HardTalk: A Quest For Eritrean Blue Revolution
“The revolution has always in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution,” [Huey Newton]
The wave of democratization which began after the fall of USSR in 1989, and that has continued until 2010 (the Arab Spring), has significantly brought the expansion of democracy on the one hand and the transformation of the nature of dictatorship on the other. Interestingly enough, after the cold war, a new type of dictatorship has emerged and became the global phenomenal of governance of nations and nation states. This version of dictatorship has been variously termed as “hybrid” or “competitive authoritarianism” or “electoral authoritarianism” . On this new phenomenal regimes, this author has written an article indicating the prospect of “Eritrea” to join the leagues of hybrid regimes, based on the 1997 constitutional document, in which it depicted a hybrid government of parliamentarianism and presidentialism, a fertile ground for a dictatorship .
These regimes are originated from the failure of their predecessors to grow the economy, provide political order and national security. Their defining features is that they straddle democracy and dictatorship . However, most of them are inclined to autocracy. Therefore, in this piece, I will try to present a little background on the “color revolution” in generaland on the spontaneous youth movement “Brigade NI-Hamedu;”in particular; and subsequently, I will make a case for “Eritrean blue revolution” transforming the spontaneous angry Eritrean youth movement in to an organized social revolution that goes beyond disrupting the festivals of the despotic regime.
The History of Color Revolutions
Historically, ‘color revolution” are symbolically related to the peaceful uprising in the three countries of the old soviet, namely the “rose revolution” of Georgia (2003), the “Orange revolution” of Ukraine (2004), and the “Tulip revolution” of Kyrgyzstan (2005). It was a popular uprising against entrenched political leaders of these three countries. Ostensibly, I could also argue that the “Arab Spring” of 2010 was a continuation of that social movements that have ousted many entrenched regimes who stayed in power for decades.
But, it is also important to note that revolutions have long been known to be “modular’ in nature. According Tarrow’s definition the term modular describes as the spread of collective actions across certain regions . However, the old generational historians have treated revolutions as inter-related phenomena rather as collective of unrelated cases . Since the color revolutions of the post-soviet Eurasia has spread across countries and regions, most scholars seemed to agree that revolutions are modular in nature. Actually, the well revered scholar, Samuel Hantington has demonstrated the effect of one to another, during the third wave of democratization,virtually affecting the entire particular region of the world.
Youth Matters: The Way Forward
According UNDP, young men and women are most of the time, are underrepresented in formal political institution, and political parties. People under the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leaderships. In our case, formal and informal engagement of Eritrean youth is not only beneficial but are quintessential for resilient democracy in futuristic Eritrea. While the Eritrean regime tried to organize our youth as YPFDJ in the diaspora with no interest attached to their future, the Political organizationsin the opposition camp have failed to enroll young generations in to their ranks and files. Hence, suddenlyour young generations have found their voices in the current movement known as Brigade Nihamedu.
Sadly, our young generation, being subjected to endless conscriptions and national services, they have found themselves entangled in to a modern slavery– a relationship between a slave master and a slave, in whichall their sweats and labors are for the interest of the few at the upper echelon of the ruling party. These young Eritreans who have no any future in their country are then forced to leave the country in order to seek refugee everywhere in the world, largely in Africa and Western world. A former student of the Warsay-Yikealo secondary school, at Sawa, had to say this: It is difficult to live here (in Eritrea). You don’t see a future…. A lot of people think of fleeing the country, but then you see people arrested and you think about waiting a better moment .
This precarious environment of modern slavery in our nation, has forced many young Eritreans to leave their country in droves. As a result, the population of our youngsters grew exponentially outside our country. Surprisingly, the Eritrean youth in diaspora have found their voices to fight their tormentor under the nickname“Brigade Ni-Hamedu” hoisting the blue Eritrean flag. It isa spontaneous movement (SM) by its nature, to disrupt the festivals of the despotic regime, in order to dry up the coffers of the organization. This movement successfully disrupted all the festivals in Europe and North America. I salute them for a well done job. And therefore, dear compatriots in the opposition camp, I summon to you, to stand by the side of our youth, to join and offer your help, in order to transform them from spontaneous movement (SM) to a formal organizationally structured of popular movement (PM).
Transforming SM into PM
The struggle of our youth should aim beyond disrupting festivals, if we want to unseat the despotic regime in our country. To do that, we need a well organized movement with all the tools of fighting, synchronizing all the know how’s and the talents of citizens to confront the enemy of our people – Issays and his organization. This is a great opportunity we shouldn’t miss, where our youth seems to be ready to take the torch and to fight in the forefront even by giving their ultimate sacrifice. We have seen their commitments to their cause in the recent battles in the cities of EU, NA, and Israel.
This movement demand unreserved legal, financial, organizational, and diplomatic support. To do that they need a “structured organization” with a competent leadership to run their short and a long run projects as desired for transitional and transformational change. Once it took the necessary form, shape, with a well packaged vision, they will certainly transform from SP to PM. Let us join hands on a “collective mission” that will make us a proud people who recognize our group values harmonizing them by our common values within the framework of “unity in diversity.”
Making A Case for Eritrean Blue Revolution
Formulating a case, it in itself, is a very difficult task. But it is a worthwhile venturing at it. Making a case is making a case study. According Bromley, a case study is a systematic inquiry in to an event or set of related events which aims to describe and explain the phenomenon of interest . Similarly, Yin enumerated three components of case study design (a) research questions (b) proposition (c) units of analysis . Based on the approaches of these two scholars, I will build my case with two units of analysis to formulate a proposition for an “Eritrean blue revolution.”
My case study is focused on the recent set of related events – the movements of our youth (Brigade Ni-Hamedu) who disrupted the festivals of the regime in the diaspora. I will have two units for analysis, which areinterrelated and interconnected in their nature to formulated my proposition. They are (a) brigade Ni-hamedu (b) the blue legitimate Eritrean flag, both of which are the phenomenon of my interest to describe and explain my case for the Eritrean blue revolution.Interestingly, Kenneth Burke the American rhetorician, has pointed out that one of the best tools to influence others is not to oppose their argument, but to get others to identify themselves with your argument . Hence my effort on the subject is precisely that – to make my readers to identify themselves to my argument.
Author Waltz in his book “Man, State, and War,” in 2001, divides the world in to three distinct sphere of study: the individual, the state, and the war . The state of our youth – the many individual Eritrean youth, who are revolting against the Eritrean regime has become the subject of my interest. Our youth are fighting to dismantle the state machine of the despot in order to eradicate the relationship between the slave master and slaves that brought the current predicament of our young generation.This author has explained the power exercised by the Eritrean regime, its politics, the condition of its subject, and the nature of the subjugation in contemporary Eritrea,in his article “Eritrea: the victim of Necropolitics” .For the state of Eritrea war is not an exception but it is permanent state affairs. It is the state of subjugation and the power of death, that transform Eritrean society in to docile society. It is under these circumstances that these young Eritreans who escaped from the trap of slavery have initiated a new struggle in the diaspora – a new phenomenon, that all Eritreans have to embrace it without lame excuses.
Why Eritrean Blue Revolution?
The Eritrean youth movement (BN) is a work in progress on making revolutionary organizational changes to bring a fundamental change in our country. The new uptake of our youth also has made our blue flag as a symbol of its identification. Hence the color of their revolution can be identified as Eritrean blue revolution, that resurrected our legitimate blue flag. The young generations like their fathers, who fought to liberate our country hoisting the blue flag, have used the blue flag in the fight against the despotic regime, that suffocate and enslaved the Eritrean people. Now the Eritrean blue revolution is set in motion by our youth and a new “revolutionary ship” is arrangedthat all of us should ride on and sail to the Eritrean harborsafely. Indeed, the revolution is in the hand of our young generation inherited from the old generations. Let us join them and support them for they are the inheritors of our country.
Eritrean youth has been and will be the drivers of social change from generations to generations, in the history of our nation. No one will dispute this fact. The student movements of the 50s and 60s are good exemplary of that. The current youth movement is a continuation of that effort with different cause at different time and space, due to the brutality of the enemy. For sure, the movement that started in the diaspora will ultimately be landed in our country in the foreseeable future, depending how fast the movement will shape and organize itself to enhance itsmovement and to upgrade the fight beyond disruption offestivals of the regime. The Eritrean professionals and academicians must play their role on contributing a know–how to shape and organize the movement, and to emancipate our people from the grip of the regime. The regime has shocked to the core, to the extent that the despot came out to his mass media to give instruction onhow to face the challenges. This is the best opportunity
to grab it and use it to the overall Eritrean struggle.
 Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, “competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid regimes after the cold war”, Cambridge University press, 2010. Andreas Schedler: “the politics of uncertainty”, Oxford University press, 2013
 Amanuel Hidrat, “Eritrea’s prospect: Joining the league of hybrid regimes” Awate.com, June 13,2015
 Aleksander Matovsski, “popular dictators: the attitudinal roots electoral authoritarianism, Cornell University, 2015,
 Sydney Tarrow, “Modular collective action and the rise of social movement, 1993, politics and society Volume-21 (pp 69-90)
 Henry E. Hale, “Regime cycles, Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolutions in post Euracia” published in world politics-58 (October 2005, pp 133-65)
 Human right watch: “They are making us into slaves, not educating us, August 8, 2019.
 Bromley D.B, “the case study in psychology and related disciplines, 1990, PP 302.
 Lincolin Y.S, “Emerging criteria for for quality I n quantitative and interpretive inquiry, 1995.
 Kenneth Burke, “A grammar of motives” California press, 1969.
 Kenneth Waltz, “Man, The State, and War: A theoretical analysis, Columbia University press, 2001.
 Amanuel Hidrat, “Eritrea: The victim of Necropolitics”, Awate.com, April 5, 2021.