Praise and Criticize:“The Eritrean Accord: Harmonized Constitution”
First and foremost, I congratulate Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar for taking the initiative of amending the Eritrean constitution using a mixture of the 1952 Eritrean Federal constitution and the ratified 1997 Eritrean constitution in his
I for one am on record for advocating the use of the ratified 1997 Eritrean constitution to unify the Eritrean people in their quest for establishing the rule of law in Eritrea. See the Rule of Law in Eritrea This is assuming that it is amended to remove provisions that violate the rule of law such as the allowance of the sole ownership of land by the state. I am not infatuated with the 1997 ratified Eritrean constitution; if the rule of law can be established in Eritrea using an amalgam of the 1952 Eritrean federal constitution and the ratified 1997 constitution so much the better.
Still, I need to stress the fact that on this item, a major one in my book, you are one of the first groups who have finally seen the daylight and the wisdom that using the constitution as a unifying factor is the best method to struggle against the PFDJ. Moreover, only those kinds of constitutions are the solutions to Eritrea’s problem – the need to create a state that is governed by a constitutional liberalism. This seems to me a paradigm shift that is a thinking that swings away from the fight for group rights (highlanders versus lowlanders) to the fight for the respect of the rights of individual citizens and the respect of the rights of minorities of all kinds and the fight for the rule of law. The route is the constitution.
Now to the major blunders you committed. At times you seem to personalize issues and view items from highland versus lowland dichotomy and inter-Kebessa conflict (Hamsien v Seraye v Akeleguzai) and not examine policies and ideologies in their historical contexts. If you delve into personalities, you will do major errors, and thus lose all credibility you may have and thus you will be unable to convince Eritreans on the major project, for example the harmonizing of the constitutions.
To speak bluntly, most of your points highlighted in bullet items eight to twelve are all rubbish, unsubstantiated rumors, and in some instance pure lies and conjectures in order to propagate false theories. These are unworthy to come out from the pens of educated and assuming ethical and rational Eritreans. You assert you are for the rule of law, but on the other hand maybe unconsciously, you propagate fanaticism of regions and religions that are not in tune with the current sociological factors of Eritrea. You also violate rights of privacy and the protection of property rights. Let me bring to your attention two major blunders and pure lies. Unfortunately I will delve into accomplishments of individuals to prove my points, and show you that in essence you have not fully grasped the concepts of the rule of law and the respect of the rights of individual citizens. That includes the respect of the rights of individuals who are not in your group and I might add that includes also people who you may even consider your enemies. The rule of law has to be applied equally to all. Mind you it is not only the state that violates the rights of individuals, many non state actors do so such as you have done in my following examples. The only reason we concentrate on the state is that when the state violates those rights it is worse since the state can go the extra mile and use violence.
First, on item #10: You presented that the firing of so many teachers from Asmara University in mid 1990s is because of the “conflict” between Hamasien and Akleguzai. This seems to me that you are copying the playbook of Isaias Afwerki. I never imagined such an utterance to come out from an opposition group and a liberal one at that. To substantiate your argument, you claim that Andebrhan Woldegiorgis is from Akeleguzai. Nothing is far from the truth; this is a lie of the highest order. I know for a fact that Andebrahan is from Seraye, a village not far from Mendefera. (Disclosure: I myself am from Seraye, from Adi Quala.) In addition, you claim that Andebrahn does not have the academic credentials to run the Asmara University. I have no clue about the academic credentials of the members of your group. What I know is that Andebrhan has a graduate degree from the University of Colorado. At one time he was a lecturer at the Business School at Haile Selassie University. He was A PhD candidate at Harvard University before he joined the EPLF in the field. What more do you want?
Branding a person of something he is not is equivalent to the approbation of his property which is a violation of the rule of law. Property rights do not deal only with land and houses or other tangible properties, but they also deal with intangible properties like once being, intellect and once origin. Spreading falsehood about a person is tantamount to the violation of his property rights and the violation of his privacy. This applies also to people who you may consider are in the “enemy camp,” including Isaias himself. What are the points of the lies then?
Truth be told Isaias is anti educated Eritreans and thus in order to demolish Asmara University; he does not need someone from “Akeleguzai,” nor does he need someone with a PhD from Yale University. Isaias only needs an errand boy. I am not here to defend Andebrahn, the least of my concern, I have no idea what his role was in the demolition of the university. I also know the university was demolished much later under a different administrator. I am here to expose a lie despite the fact that it carries the banner of an opposition. I firmly also believe in the concept of the due process of law and innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This has nothing to do with Andebrahn being an “Akeleguzetai” or not having “academic credentials” – both counts false. As far as Isaias is concerned that messenger assigned to demolish the university can be from Keren or Agordat or Massawa. If one were to take your analysis to its logical conclusion then one would wrongly characterize it as a conflict between the highlanders and the lowlanders and not face the truth that Isaias is anti high caliber education. And we have seen a lot of that kind of shoddy analysis.
Isaias does not care about Hamasien, nor does he hate Seraye or Akelguzai or Keren or whatever. He cares only about his power, and he will use regionalism or provincial attachments to pursue his interests. I do not believe the Eritrean people are in the game that Isaias plays. Just examine the intermarriages between the highland provinces in your area. The problem is that if you view items through the lens of regionalism or religion you will always fall into the very traps of Isaias – an Eritrean society divided along religious and region lines. If you view it from the point of view of individual citizen rights and not groups rights (in this case Akelguzai and Hamsien) and the rule of law you will not fall into that trap.
Second, on Item 11. You falsely assert that the Eritreans for Liberation in North America (EFLNA) was established when the Ethiopian Army started massacring highland Christians. This is a deliberate lie to falsely accuse that educated Christian highlanders never cared about the plight of their fellow Eritrean lowlanders. EFLNA was established in 1970 when a major massacre took place around Keren when an Ethiopian Army general was ambushed and killed by the ELF. The last time I checked Keren is in the lowlands. The massacre of Christian highlands started around 1975 when the Derg was in full control, about five years after the establishment of the EFLNA. What is the point of the lie? Your mind seems to be so clouded with viewing all issues through the prisms of religion and region that you have become so audacious to distort and falsify facts that are well known to all.
It seems in certain instances you are unable to do a simple fact check. The point is if you are not careful with such simple facts and disseminate such falsehood to the whole world, how can I trust you with other earth shattering and consequential facts to the Eritrean people? Once these untruths are exposed some of your analysis about the so called dichotomy of the Christians and Muslims and the inter-Kebessa squabbling you yourself created in your writing to fit your assumptions that are hinged on falsehoods will crumple down like a house of cards.
The Eritrean Accord contribution. Rightly you deserve a great praise on this one. Hopefully, others will follow you.