National Integrative Council of Eritrea-USA  

This essay is written to help alleviate the current unifying discourses of Eritreans. My previous, rough draft piece, “GiE-Eritrean Integrative Discourse “ Government in Exile , published @Awate, had  tried to suggest that Salih Younis’s  “GiE” initiative has not only been an Eritrean unifying discourse, but a reference to the other initiatives including reviving one from the shelves of Ato Hirruy Tedla. Saleh Younis had re- initiated the Government in Exile (GiE), which Ato Hirruy Tedla had worked on years ago. One wonders, where Saleh Younis’ team stands on the proposal nowadays. Regardless, I believe GiE had made it possible for Eritrean justice seekers acquire an integrative discourse.

We recently heard some affiliations announcements from Amanuel Iyasu(Assana Media) and Redi’e Mehari(Alena Tv), who formed Eritrean National Force (ENF). Dr. Tsegabu Asmelash and Ms. Frewoini , supports  Ato Hirruy’s initiative, though it deviates  from  his original GiE concept and naming. Other prominent politicians like: Dr. Gebre Gbremariam have publicly spoken against the formation of GiE. Professor Araya Debessay says he does not oppose the idea of GiE, but do not believe the process would work, so he proposes Eritrean National Council (ENC).Professor Araya Debessay is up against particracy and Jacobin Centralism aiming to bring power to the local communities and individual citizens. Yiakl has its own political initiative which has not been disclosed yet, while team freedom is launching a new community movement, Eritrean community for justice and  Eritrean National Front for Justice (ENFJ) with Yes we can! እወ ይከአልዩ!  Slogan. 

In an essay by Stefan Talmon titled” who is a legitimate government in exile?” He says GiE is in exile and doesn’t govern a territory, so, it starts by representing the aspirations of its people inside. In a nutshell he writes that the recognition is attained progressively. Dr. Gebre has a valid argument against the formation of GiE. Though there is a little chance for the countries to give recognition, whoever is qualified will be recognized. The more recognition from influential countries the more people identify with it.

Dr. Gebre talked of the possibilities of forming GiE similar at 1:14 and 1:22 of the tape when he said “ሓቃዊ ወከልቲ ሕዝቢ ኢና ብምባል(by claiming you are the authentic and legitimate spokesmen of the national interest of the country” You can garner more support from our people and distinctive from other redundant acronyms. One cannot say Eritrean Diaspora field can support only one GiE.  After due diligence and winning hurts, the GiE will be the sole representative of the majority and will be identified as the legitimate representative of the majority of the people and get the support it needs.

Eritrean organization and establishments including ENC justify their legality by acquiring licenses as a media civic or parties. GiE can be organized and established like any other organization, in US. The writer was African Missions Empowering Network and having been collaborating with Eritrean Relief and Developments Association in Ethiopia/for refugees. Naming a business is very crucial for to its success. GiE, by its name alone, will be the most integrative drive to unite Diaspora Eritreans and beyond, it will be more visible than the other acronyms and recognized as any other legal existence. Yet, since there many concerns against naming it “GiE”, we can start by forming EPFJ (Eritrean People Front for Justice, ENFJ (Eritrean National Front for Justice) or Eritrean National Force for Justice.

Now, the suggestion is to form an urgent process of forming leaders to represent Eritrea in USA at this very crucial time. Maximum effort would be exerted to put all the opposition on board by identifying their role. NICE’s approach would be to put everybody abroad. NICE Will work with Eritrean Media, Civics, Political Parties and all integrative initiatives. Initial invitations and announcements will be through Media. Email correspondence will follow only with the interested parties. All entities will have the opportunity to present their suggestions and documents deemed befitting the purpose. NICE/Yiakl with the help of other content experts will prepare memorandum of understanding. I believe there are documents, with similar proposal around, with some additional input there can be a complete working document for all future needs.


Eritreans Politicians, Justice/ change activists and the people at large have long been segmented and dysfunctional in our struggle since the last time we had our “self-determination “for Independence. It has been hard to peacefully enjoy our shared values and recognize the non negotiable values of fellow Eritreans. In past years, no matter how much we tried to get unified, we could not identify and agree on one single “integrative purpose” the majority shares. The author believes GiE could be the shortest path unifying and a measurable goal to bring Eritreans together and get rid of the regime in a relatively short time. It is hoped GiE to be the next step to integrate all the efforts Eritreans made and achieve the aspirations of Eritrean people.  Now, to make the endeavor  successful, the shared goal of Eritreans should be to remove ISAYAS. This is where the formation of the Integrative institution, NICE (National Integrative Council of Eritrea) comes.

  • NICE would be a pressure exerting negotiating group, morally mandated by a sizable domain of justice seeker stake holders in USA, to guide and help Eritreans together and resolve our destructive problems
  • NICE, Is proposed to be an Ad hock committee of media and seasoned experts on the subject matter, term limited until the formation of GiE
  • Extending the life of the council would be decided, if it needs to continue after the GiE is formed or through the life of GiE and beyond. The existing India’s integration council was formed over 150 years before the formation of the government. While Brazil’s ministry of integration changed, after it served its purpose. NICE should present equal opportunities, and consider Eritreans shared values, to enforce integration.
  • National Integrative Council for Eritreans will work as a Negotiating Council to help realize the needed unity in all aspects of the struggle(Community, Media, Civic, Political Party and GiE). Create a far sighted integrative discussion among fellow Eritreans as they set a leading body.
  • Yiakl, as movement has accomplished in reaching and mobilizing Eritrean The synergy and momentum developed by the efforts of many justice seekers and the many years of toiling of Eritreans has reached to the highest level in Eritrean opposition’s history. Yiakl is hoped to play more role mobilizing the people as a social movement.

NICE should stress struggle is not about being in power and fulfill personal gratifications, but sacrifices to alleviate the Eritrean predicaments.  After all, the main problem, on this crucial time is how to create a neutral or multilateral council, to help close gaps between Eritrean organizations and individuals in all aspects including familial relationships. Religious organizations, which were supposed to be leading in reconciliations, have not been immune to these unhealthy divisions, themselves. The confusions would be cleared, if the actors identify their place of roles on this sacred endeavor of bringing justice.  We need pragmatic approaches to create unity among Eritreans, by identifying our unique purpose. Not knowing our roles  in the struggle  had been one of the setbacks  for the opposition.

In his connecting the dots presentation Professor Mohamed Beshir illustrates the ideal scenery of governmental roles on a concentric cirle diagram. The outer largest crust represents the people and their roles1. Peoples’ Movements, demonstrations, elections, etc. The area(donut) between each consecutive concentric line defines the terms of references or for each sector to play in the government. :2. Media, Civic, religious, advocacy, trade, think-tank, etc, 3  Political Parties: Two or more parties, 4,Governing Body: Ruling/elected political officials,     5.  Government: Public .

Yiakl/ NTF/ ENC, duties would be to help draft the GiE roles and limits each one in the struggle to be approved by a number of qualified personalities nominated from a number of numbers of qualified existing civic and opposition parties. The author and qualified media personalities will present qualifying criteria for the civic and parties. The author will first discuss with veteran media personalities come with a working document for this project.  I am hoping this should serve as a solution for the confused state we are in.

The questions are:

  • How do we prioritize the projects or find out if there are other similar initiatives, floating around, among the Eritrean justice seeker organizations, no one should be left out.
  • Do the stake holders: Eritrean Social movements, the Media, the Civic societies, Religious institutions, and political parties identify and can play their roles?
  • Can we be able to set up or recognize an authorized body that can dispense terms of references with a bylaw or charter? Can we be able to collect nominees with credentials to help expedite the process, with qualifying criteria?
  • How do we do elections?

Urgency due to Recent Developments in Tigray

The unfortunate war in Tigray, has illuminated a more distinctive segmentation among the Eritrean in Diaspora. A segment of the group supports an alliance with TDF (Tigray Difffence Force), states Esayas is endangering our sovereignty, while the other group argues otherwise. The second group believes better to wait passively, change should come from inside, an alliance with TDF would be  more dangerous to our territorial sovereignty, The latter also argues a violent foreign alliance would lead to brotherly collisions and give  an advantage for TPLF’s vendetta to compromise our sovereignty. There is hatred for Tigrayans(TPLF), in connection to the 1998 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, as they held our land 20 years etc.

And there is nothing wrong to have alliances to remove despotic rulers. The Eritrean commandos (ኮማንዲስ) and the Andnet party (አንድነት) and whoever was on the way of Eritrean struggle for the Eritrean struggle was not spared. An exerted and unified plan has to be made to host the challenges of would be deserting soldiers, to encourage and assure the young, of future plans of resettlements and demobilizations. The writer had worked and saw the challenges of the (Commission for Eritrean Administration CERA /UNHR and many other NGO’s in the early 90’s in Eritrea.

The recent development in Tigray calls for urgency and could be a good opportunity for the much needed change in Eritrea and among Eritreans. Mitigating the causes for differences among ELF/EPLF and TPLF will take as back to the Colonial boundary discussions in dormitories and hallways of Addis Ababa Universities, but no time for that. The hatred between Isayas Aforki and TPLF might lead us to the military pact discussions from 1976 at Afabet to the 1998 economic fallout at the border and his “game over” mantra, we do not have time for that neither. Eritrea is at a crucial time, we should take measures to emulate TDF’s command post, takes risks to trust each other in unity for the sake of one another and the people at large.

Amanuel Hidrat (Awate Forum) writes, “There has never been a time where any country for that matter, including Eritrea, did not involve outsiders to get the upper hand over their opposite. Divisions and interventions in Eritrea’s internal affairs have been as old as Eritrea itself. Ugandan movement and Tanzanian government removed Idi Amin from power. The cooperation of the Indian government and the Bengalese movement in East Pakistan lead to the creation of Bengladesh. The cooperation of the Eritrean struggle and the Ethiopian resistance forces lead to the fall of Derg. Even our own experience teaches us the wisdom and the benefit of alliances against a common enemy. Despite all these facts of the experiences, the evil disruptive despot has managed to confuse us and survive the forces of change and resist to any kind of opposition to extend his reign.”

ንክንሰማማዕ ንሰማማዕ!!   Integratively approach to close gaps between Eritrean organizations and individuals and negotiate interest-based bargaining or win-win bargaining—  negotiation strategy would be to identify common values . Each party of the involved parties work together to find a solution that satisfies the needs and concerns of each party’s goal (purpose). And the parties will announce their shared values against the other who opted not to integrate with the Eritrean cause want to work together.

Amanuel Hidrat (Awate Forum) writes, “There has never been a time where any country for that matter, including Eritrea, did not involve outsiders to get the upper hand over their opposite. Divisions and interventions in Eritrea’s internal affairs have been as old as Eritrea itself. Ugandan movement and Tanzanian government removed Idi Amin from power. The cooperation of the Indian government and the Bengalese movement in East Pakistan lead to the creation of Bengladesh. The cooperation of the Eritrean struggle and the Ethiopian resistance forces lead to the fall of Derg. Even our own experience teaches us the wisdom and the benefit of alliances against a common enemy. Despite all these facts of the experiences, the evil disruptive despot has managed to confuse us and survive the forces of change and resist to any kind of opposition to extend his reign.”

Bayto Yiakl as civic/political is the most rightly situated organization to mobilize the people for the formation Eritreans National Council initiative. Global Yiakl through Yes we can!  slogan ይክአልዩ! ጭርሖ (writer’s suggestion) could help mobilize all the people,  civic, media, opposition parties, and all change seekers to collaborate and create grass root chapters and transform Eritrean community through the slogan “Yikeal”  And “Yes” to “FRONT”! We would rather argue our differences, political ideologies and hierarchy later; Integration should be the shared purpose as a vehicle to clarify Eritreans’ share values. NICE/GiEC will recognize and agree to and focus on problem-solving, not advancing a partisan agenda or particular ideology. Have different areas of responsibility. After the formation of NICE, GiE will be reaching out civic and political organizations, while Yiakl reaches the public. The writer is founding member and was Central Committee and Candidate to the executive of Yiakl had argued against the institutionalization of the social movement, and recently found out it already had developed into hybrid entity meaning Civic and political wings. The writer argues there should only be one role for every organization in the struggle.

The excerpt of my opinion, which was presented then, reads, “The “Yiakle” movement can only be succeeding if we unite and focus on our shared purpose of removing the DICTATOR rather than doubting each other. The lack of our unity has been the setback for the opposition. To make this social movement successful our shared purpose and priority should be removing Isaiah Aforki and his close loyalists. We should not demonize each other with unfound rumors. To the contrary we should trust, welcome and encourage each other, in unity. We should even trust and encourage PFDJITES to defect and join the change seekers. Though, I would not suggest putting the newly converted to the leadership for security purposes.”

Sattel also warns movements end up hijacked by political or end up one, I am afraid that is happening to Yiakl. Clearly defining change is a consistent theme running through successful movements momentums accelerated in time towards a given goal. Gandhi wanted independence from the British. The civil rights movement wanted specific legislation passed. The color revolutions wanted a change in leadership. These were all tangible goals that they could build a strategy around. And the Eritrean people want to remove Isayas.

Eritreans are debating on ill-timed issues they do not have solutions for.  The main current differentiating factor of the political groups is the divide, on their interpretation and understanding of Eritrean “sovereignty”. What is sovereignty? Who is sovereign in Eritrea? Is it God, Isayas Aforki, the land or the individual citizen? Eritreans stand on the Tigray war has been based on prioritization of Eritrean state sovereignty versus popular sovereignty of Eritrean citizenzs.

Throughout the history of human intellectual endeavor, sovereignty has cut across the diverse realms of theology, political thought, and psychology. From earliest Christian worship to the revolutionary ideas of Thomas Jefferson and Karl Marx, the debates about sovereignty—complete independence and self-government—have dominated our history.

Wikipedia references three definitions:

1.”A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area (territory), and, the state of making laws and controlling resources without the coercion of other nations.”

Territorial sovereignty was introduced after the Second World War and during the decolonization of African states. “Article 2(1) of the UN Charter states, the organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members’.

By definition, territorial boundary of a country is guaranteed by the UN and it is almost impossible for a new territorial land to be recognized without, the consent of the member state affected. The lack of recognition of the Somaliland could be an example. The most likely and currently risky of losing sovereignty is due to a long term lease of a port for debt, like the most recent 99 years deal between China and Si Rilanka. And does anyone know what the deal between Isayas and Emirates on Assab Port. That should be the most worrisome of losing the sovereignty of Eritrea. Isayas is believed to give in when he is cornered, what do you think he will do if Isays trades trades  Massawa of TDF,  for his survival.

  1. Popular sovereigntyis the principle that the authority of a stateand its government are created and sustained by the consent of its people, through their elected representatives (rule by the people), who are the source of all political power. It is closely associated with social contract .

Self sovereignty (individual) is the liberty to decide one’s thoughts and actions. Thomas Jefferson used the thoughts first penned by John Locke while writing the Declaration of Independence. The phrase ,“life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” was an idea first considered by Locke in his Two Treatises on Government. Stated in its simplest terms, the theory of independence is the view that a real object does not owe its existence or its qualities to the fact of its being cognized.

Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. In a democratic country people rule .If we are to take a doctrinal approach, considering the fact Eritrea’s population with an approximate of 98%, are Judaic religions as Musllim or Christian believers. And the other 2% are believed to be Animists; I believe Eritrean would tend to elect someone, who would be a guarantor to their values (Human Rights). Since Eritrean people are pious the Eritrean should have a say on how the freedom handled out of the governments abusive and evil iron feast.

Thus, God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as the first “sovereign king” for the Israelites. The Qur’an goes on to state that a king was anointed by In the second chapter of the Qur’an (although here not mentioned by name). David (Dawud) is particularly important to the religious architecture of Islamic Jerusalem.[1] Dawud is known as biblical David who was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the second anointed king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, reigning c. 1010–970 BCE,[5] Both Muslim and Christian attest sovereignty of kings was given to the people by anointing.

Jean Bethke Elshtain examines the origins and meanings of “sovereignty” as it relates to all the ways we attempt to explain our world: God, state, and self. Examining the early modern ideas of God which formed the basis for the modern sovereign state, Elshtain carries her research from theology and philosophy into psychology, showing that political theories of state sovereignty fuel contemporary understandings of sovereignty of the self. As the basis of sovereign power shifts from God, to the state, to the self, Elshtain uncovers startling realities often hidden from view. Her thesis consists in nothing less than a thorough-going rethinking of our intellectual history through its keystone concept.

1. ልዑል==ልዑላዊ==ልዑላውነት፤                Sovereign–Sovereignty
2. ብሄር==ብሄራውነት==                             Nation—–Nationality
3. እግዚእ===ጎይታ ===እግዚአብሄር         Country under God
4.ሃገር==ሃገራዊ ==ሃገራውነት                  Patriotic

The above “deconstruct approach” of extracting the essence of sovereignty leads one to deduce on which one of the Eritreans sovereignty above has been infringed. The Isaias’ regime is an illegitimate one, having stolen the sovereignty from the people, and has been taking the country from one calamity to the other.  The writer believes the sovereignty of Eritrea has already long been, breached by Isayas Aforki.

The Eritrean most common value (ሓባራዊ ክብረታት) missed and displaced our sovereignty (ዘይኑቡር ልዑላውንት) . I had the opportunity to volunteer with a medical mission to the refugee camps in Tigray. The camps had minimum of two churches and one mosque. And all the humanitarian services, such as, supplementary nutrition  for unaccompanied children, for Aids and Mental patients, foot ball recreations and library for children and so on were provided for whatever the UNHCR lacked.

The  concern of those who worship the Eritrean territorial sovereignty  over the Eritrean people in dungeons  and dying the red sea coast over the red blood and the sweat of  young Eritreans on the deserts of Mahmiment to Rahhayt and to  Marsa Teklay to Halibet, Badme,…and now Tigray? Those who do not know better except pretentiously bogus ill-concern lamenting for Eritrean land sovereignty, while they betrayed their comrades in the hell of Eira Eiro, and the young who have been to the slavery of Sawa and saw all the bloody wars. And all the NNN’s (ንሱ ንሕና ንሕና ንሱ), the one who forgot thier loved ones and yoked with the evil. “Where is your brother?”  May God help you save yourself from yourself, especially the God believers, the 98% Muslim and Christians?  And the greedy silent (ላንጋ ላንጋ) majority because of vacation, villa, or the chance burial in Asmara:

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak.
Not to act is to act.”
Dietrich Bonheoffer

The writer will collaborate with media and veteran content-experts within the opposition for the formation of the unifying institution, NICE (National Integrative Council of Eritreans). NICE would be an organization, authorized by the stake holders, to guide and help bring Eritrean justice seekers together and solve problems. And hereby suggests an integrative approach of interest-based bargaining or win-win bargaining— with a negotiated strategy, where the involved parties work together and find a solution that would satisfy the needs and concerns of each and  what their roles should be , this where National Integrative Council of Eritreans (NICE) comes. When disagreements happen, Survey Mechanisms will be used for a pool of registered voters by the people. And the process will continue forward with consent. Roberts Rule will be applied as rule of thump to conduct meetings.

Yiakl –Will have hybrid function on this initiative

Who should be on the NICE?

  • Members of the committee should not have interest for political seats, to curb conflict of interests.
  • The Majority Members of the committee should have governmental experiences like Ministers, Commissioners, General directors in the Eritrean government and other seasoned politicians like the G-13 and G-15, who would sign a covenant, not to run for a political office.
  • Having been a founder of AMEN and a leader of a church for many years, besides witnessing the divisive corruption and ineptness of leaders of church leaders. The writer advices, the writer advice the inclusion of lay religious personalities, making sure there truck record of voicing for justice. The recently formed peace council of religious leaders in also Ethiopia is a testament to the weaknesses observed.

Suggested action items for NICE are to:

  • Help Eritreans reconcile their differences and work for a united purpose.
  • Understand and promote the politics of give and take and avoid issues, or problems, because others have made them matters of partisan dispute, and learn to forgive each other.
    • Produce a working documents for GiE/NICE after collecting and referencing similar works within the Eritrean Diaspora organizations and other documents deemed important to be used for future, in Eritrea.
    • Win the trust of Eritrean Political, civic, media and the Eritrean people at large.
    • Encourage the silent majority to involve and appeal the PFDJ supporters to abscond

NICE(National Integrative Council of Eritreans USA) will be members of the G13 residing in USA and executive board of Yiakl residing in USA . NICE will serve as the provisional representative of USA Eritreans until a democratically elected GiE USA is set up.

As the provisional GiE USA: NICE is expected to work independently to reach out and help narrow gaps and work to resolve conflicts and help reconciliations. NICE will help Eritreans reconcile their differences and work for a united purpose.  Understand and promote the politics of give and take and avoid issues, or problems, because others have made them matters of partisan dispute, and advise to forgive each other. NICE in collaboration with others will work on the renaissance of independence spirit. Use the knowledge of Eritrean Ex-high officials military officers, and opposition political parties to help the new ideas and efforts put forth to give it credibility and share their long experience of opposition activities in Diaspora and link the Eritrean opposition in Exile with their international connections and community influence. Each Eritrean ex-official volunteer will part of an office set by GiE/ENC in collaboration with NICE. These offices will audit the existing Eritrean Government policies and propose amendments and create liaisons with countries and world organizations.

The author proposes NICE recognizes  Ato Saleh Yunis’s joins the NICE  as  has reinitiated the setting of the GiE. By the same taken,   Ato Hiruy should be part of NICE Europe.  ENC (Eritrean National Congress USA), proposed by Professor Araya Debesay(GI) will be the discussion paper to form an Eritrean Congress USA . ( አልጊብካ ምህናጽ). NICE and Yiakl will work one of the very important roles, setting up guidelines needed, and approach content experts , they deem should work on this sacred endeavor. This should to be done ASAP.

NICE /YIKL will help conduct democratic nonpartisan elections to form the GiE USA. In nonpartisan elections, each candidate for office is eligible based on her or his own merits rather than as a member of a political party. No political affiliation (if one exists) is shown on the ballot next to a candidate. This is looks like anther discourse for the Eritrean “Particracy.”

GiE will appoint executive officers to be approved by NICE/Yiakl(temporary till ENC is formed..

The president will be elected within 6 months. Each political party, civic or individuals will present applicants candidates. Every elected has to give up his/her organization and be solely part of GiE. The elected will be accountable to the ENC

Suggested action items for NICE  Provisional “GiE”

  1. 1. Coordinate diplomatic activities; Work on diplomacy with neighboring countries governments around like Ethiopia/Tigray ,and other countries, US representative and their opposition parties, civic and media.
  2. 2. Condemn all forms of agreements that the dictatorial regime of Eritrea enters with any foreign government or entity;
  3. 3. Call on the Eritrean defense and security forces to stand with their people and be an instrument in charting the democratic change of Eritrea;
  4. 4. Work earnestly in the development and application of a common transitional charter;

GiE to solicit support from international media, NGO, government officials, influential Eritrean and friends of Eritreans’ around the globe. The Ethiopian government through its embassy should be approached to sever its ties with Isayas through media and diplomacy.  Isayas can only be defeated with a crisis impacted situation. The closer of the Sudan boarder was the crisis which forced him to make amends with Ethiopia.

GiE Support and empower Eritrean religious leaders to challenge the government’s injustice supporters and call for repentance and reconciliation. Work on diplomacy with neighboring countries governments around like Ethiopia, other countries, US representative and their opposition parties, civic and media.

GiE respond to the general public’s fear of failure and the uncertainty to handle and save the victory post Isayas by building a plan and capacity to survive the Victory by unifying all justice seekers with a dynamic strategy to create or find common goals to unify Eritrean Political and civics and come up with policies reflective of its diversity in Gender, Religion, Age etc

GiE will identify and support active oppositions and encourage the passive change seekers. The new PFDJ converts should empower not undermine the opposition people who have been invested for decades in the movement. All the new participants of the change should try to be fuels to the fire and accelerate the existing momentum and create a force to push the regime off the cliff. Erode the support of Isayas in our community and garner support from all areas: Media, influential people (Eritrean and friends of Eritreans). The above mentioned short listed revered organizations and personalities are due to my personal acquaintance and my discussions on the subject matter.


Related Posts