Wednesday , December 12 2018
Home / Articles / Securing Common Understanding On Our Core Issues

Securing Common Understanding On Our Core Issues

Securing Common Understanding on our Core Issues – National Language, Land Proclamation, Refugee Repatriation, Ethnic and Minority Issues, Developing Human Resources – for United and Stable Eritrea.

The paper below is meant as an accompaniment to the video presentation I gave recently and it is not a replacement to it. Therefore, I urge readers to watch the video first, thereafter read the text, thereby gaining the intended broader perspective that you will need if we are going to have constructive discourse. Here is the link to the video:

Allow me please to thank the initiators and organizers of the Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN read in Tigrinya as ጂያን) two-day conference held in California, USA, on 26 – 27, 2015. Thank you very much for inviting me to talk in your conference. The conference preparatory committee has asked me to focus in my talk on National Language, Refugee Repatriation, Land Proclamation, Diverse Eritrean Ethnic (Minority) Groups and Developing Eritrean Human Resources. These are the five core principles/issues that GEAN (ጂያን) identified as fundamentals that would serve as a mixture to engage Eritrean Muslims in the Eritrean political landscape.

I was elated that prominent Eritrean personalities also presented during the two-day conference like Mr. Salih Ghadi Johar, Ustaaz Mahmoud Aderob, Ustaaz, Mahmoud Gimie, Ustaaz Moahmed Idris “Jawaray”, Ustaaz Abdu Khalifa, Ustaaz Jamil Aman, Dr. Mohamed Beshir, Dr. Jellaledin, Dr. Sadia Hassanen, Ustaz Zein Shokai, Ustaz Jamil Aman, and many others. This kind of a noble gathering must be publicized because it is very encouraging sign that Eritreans from all walks of life, at long last, are taking a lead on issues that is deep in the recess of their hearts and minds.

I think it is not a surprise to you all that Eritreans have differing perspectives, rather contradictory at times; on these five core principles/issues. They are endorsed by some while with preconditions by others. Yet some elites reject them all together claiming that our only issue is lack of democracy. Nonetheless, the good news now is that the concerned have finally realized the need to have a common understanding on these subjects. I think GEAN’s initiative is an excellent start towards that end.

Now that the sense of urgency that these five core principles that GEAN (ጂያን) identified found a platform in a conference setting, the next logical step clearly is to discuss these issues in a larger forum like Awate.com toward finding practical solutions that I am sure that’s what the two-day conference was intended for. The challenge, nevertheless, remains that designing an appropriate communication strategy to present the Issues along with their solutions to all stakeholders is not an easy undertaking. It is with that purpose in mind that I am rising to the occasion to engage my Eritrean compatriots in this noble website where it serves as a market of ideas in which discussions are seldom grey.

To design an appropriate communication strategy, dividing the stakeholders to three distinct groupings is constructive: (1) Eritreans from all walks of life; (2) neighboring/ regional countries that have geo-political interest; (3) and the International community, specially, those who have direct influence in the current world politics. Eritreans could be further divided into the ‘elite’ and the ‘common’ people, the strategy to which should be discussed by all Eritreans thoroughly. Therefore, these approaches should not only be the Eritrean elites concerns in the domestic front but equally importantly discussions should also be ensued as seen through the lens of regional and international community.

Nevertheless, it must explicitly be made clear that no one has the silver bullet to Eritrea’s seemingly intractable problems, nor does anyone possess the monopoly of good ideas. The five core issues were discussed, to the extent possible; in the two-day conference experts in each subject had given their ideas. The aim thus here is to focus on how to present each of the core principles to all Eritreans in a concise and transparent manner to quell the myths that have been drummed into the ears of all Eritreans for decades now. Such excessive exposure to negative propaganda in that Eritreans were made to feel that discussing these issues will lead to regional and religious divisions in Eritrea – the Hade libbi hade hizbi refrain is a case in point. Keeping that in mind, these five core issues need to be presented as clear and as simple as that ‘what does each issue mean?’ and ‘What it is not?’ For instance, when we talk about Diverse Eritrean Ethnic Groups, we mean, Eritrea is a land of diverse people who have their own belief, value, and way of living, language & religion. In other words, Eritreans want their diversity to not only be acknowledged and recognized but are demanding to freely practice them.  On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that Eritreans do not have a common value that all of them should share. These other issues should also be defined accordingly. But, at the end of the day, the ownership and leadership to solve these issues must rest in the hands of those who are affected by them.

It is good to know that in relation to the five core issues, GEAN (ጂያን) has identified two weaknesses with the Eritrean Muslims that need immediate attention – being observers instead of participants, followers instead of leaders. It is quite safe to suggest two attendant corollaries to these weaknesses: Sizable number of Eritreans have experienced a complete pull out from the Eritrean politics citing a pretext ‘NO involvement in religious and political matters’. The other group immersed themselves excessively in other countries’ politics (Palestinian, Syrian, Sudanese etc.) to the extent that they forgot their own case. But to the surprise of many, both groups claim that their individual and community rights have been taken away by the dictatorial regime in Eritrea. Now, it is not a rocket science to understand that one’s rights cannot be regained if not fought for. Appropriate strategies to this kind of mindset requires due diligence, one that can help reconcile these contradictory positions is what the GEAN (ጂያን) conference and now a forum like this one can help in the amelioration process, which leads to the next phase, to strive for a change.

Taking the lead through communication and working together with Eritreans and other stake holders is one way of moving forward. We should not forget that one of the reasons of the political, economic and social disparities among Eritreans have been branched from these issues. Their deliberate negligence – historically and by the regime in Asmara – has led to the concentration of economic and political and social power in the hands of one ethnic group. As part of the expected solution proposals, I do suggest that the five core issues be written in a form of an objective, mission, and vision that every Eritrean individual, civil societies and opposition political organizations should adopt. Any of the stipulated Eritrean organizations should and ought to consider adapting many of the following strategies; it ought not to be left up to GEAN (ጂያን) to embrace. Alas, putting into consideration the advantage and disadvantage of each strategy is instructive:

  1. GEAN (ጂያን) should set up branches all over the world and encourage its members to provide possible solutions for the issues.
  2. GEAN (ጂያን) ought to reach out and encourage like-minded Eritreans and organizations to endorse the five core issues to incorporate them with their agendas and suggest a solution.
  3. GEAN (ጂያን) should work due diligently to reach out and encourage like-minded personalities, endorse the core issues, and work towards solving them, but not necessarily under GEAN’s name because these issues are not privy only to a certain segment of Eritrean society, they are national issues.

Whether GEAN (ጂያን) or any other entity that ultimately embraces the aforementioned strategies, it must first define each issue in an easy to grasp language, in a style, for example, what it is? What it is not? Such an approach will clearly be used as a guide towards possible solutions.

I do believe that, engaging Eritrean Muslims from all walks of life in the Eritrean political landscape under the five core principles will benefit all Eritreans. Their engagement will lead to their strength. ‘Strong Muslims’ will lead to ‘Strong Christians’, which creates a ‘Balance of power’. Balance of power will lead to ‘Strong Eritrea’. Strong Eritrea means ‘Stable Eritrea’. Stable Eritrea definitely will not only shield an ‘intervention’ from regional and international powers in our internal affairs, but also will become part and parcel of the larger world community that abides by the rules of engagement, which is in severe short supply in Eritrea today.

Meanwhile, I am painfully aware that mere endorsement of core principles does not equate nor translate to mean solving other core issues that exist in Eritrea – Absolutely not.  And I do also know that politics is a game of power manipulated by the party/person in power. What I am saying now is very simple – irrespective who or which political party / coalition of political parties will be in power in tomorrow’s Eritrea – should be ready to accept and implement the proposed or to be proposed solutions of at least the core principles identified herewith. It is advisable not to play unnecessary politics of power on these fundamental elixirs that go deep into the Eritrean national character. The rest could be left to the game of politics. What we all aspire to see not only free and democratic Eritrea but stable Eritrea that allows all Eritreans to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, from which we have been deprived for so many decades now. It will be a remiss if I do not remind all Eritreans to imagine for a mere second what unstable Eritrea would look like. That nightmarish scenario deserves, in fact, only a Nano second not even a minute. Now, we are all duty bound to wear our solution oriented gears so we may discuss our issues civilly. Once again, I do appreciate GEAN’s initiative not because it is Eritrean Muslims’ issue, rather because it is our national issue.

About Dr. Ibrahim Sirage Ahmedin

Check Also

Mayday, Mayday! Eritrea is sinking!

Dear Eritreans, I am the son of Eritrean bred parents. I was born, raised, and …

  • Dayphi

    contiuation to number 2………. Yet you want me to consult the person who doesnt have any article written on the subject, but dodge the other giant, ustath Amanuel Hidrat, in an imperative tone. I dont understant the wisdom of prefer the one with no article on that subject to the one who has several article. I leave the wisdom of that cherrypick entirely to you.

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear Hope & Awatawyan,

    Rest assured we are painfully aware of the many plights that our brothers and sisters from all walks of life continue to go through with the clique at the helm in Eritrea – that’s our enemy number and we should never overlook that for a second.

    Since you have asked specifically of certain groups let me assure you that we had individuals from Bilen who visited from outside California, and to our knowledge, there were no groups we were told whom we can approach to invite, therefore, we settled for individual invites. Likewise, we did with other groups, such as the Sahos. Kunamas. With the latter, unfortunately we were not able to reach. Of course, if you know any group we should approach we will be grateful to receive the info. By now, you know how to reach us as you seem to have been following the discussion closely.

    Of course, the next time around we expect it to be robust, an all inclusive gathering one that includes all stakeholders irrespective of any identity, region, religion, gender, or any other identifying markers. The only marker for the next time around we will care about would be the national one, namely, Eritrea. At least that’s my ardent desire, dream, and hope, Mr. Hope and hope to see you there. So, now you have a standing invitation, hope you will honor it.

    Sincerely,
    Beyan

  • Music Novice

    Greetings V.F.,

    All religions are fairy tales; in our case, foreign made fairy tales.

    We have been wasting life, property, time and energy quarrelling over Middle Eastern made fairy tales/ideologies such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, rather than thinking clearly and utilizing what is here on Earth.

    • Nitricc

      HI MN

      “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Nitricc,

        Correct.

        Here is a quote which compliments yours:

        “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear VF,
    I kindly ask you to read Amanuel Hidrat’s latest piece. It is not hatred that drives the minority Eritreans, be it Muslims and Christians (e.g., Jehovah Witness) alike – it is grievances. I wish you take a moment to contemplate what’s making you jump to such a conclusion at grievances receiving such central attention in Awate, on a scheme of things, it amounts to a Nano second. So, it is perhaps your own trepidation, your own internal fear of the unknown that is pushing you to throw your wrath at those who are airing their frustration. In the parlance of American politics these days, where the Republican Presidential primary candidates use the anxiety of their common folk to tap into their unfounded fears, as it were, their constituencies begin to buy into such notions as building the wall as high as that of The Wall of China to block immigrants from coming in, and by golly, get this: One particular candidate is even promising to make the Mexican government pay for such a wall. Or another who believes that no Muslim American should become president, oxymoron all right, but such contradictions seldom matter when the majority has anxiety lurking beneath eating him/her up. So, they come in droves to support such asinine political ploy. But, in the end, my guess these candidates will be weeded out. They may survive Iowa primary, but I doubt beyond New Hampshire…it is only a matter of few days, we will find out for sure.

    So, dear VF, your ax of hade libbi hade hizbi comports with mine, but for different reasons. The Eritrean minority groups are not saying had Muslim libbi Hade Muslim hizbi. What they are saying instead is let us affirm our differences, but celebrate our similarities – and there is a huge distinction between the former and the latter. You seem to see it as distinction with no differences except for the one who is wielding power is doing it by stick the other is trying to do it, I don’t know, I suppose through dialogue and discourse. Hope you introspect a little more than what you have lamented so far, it just does not seem to stand to scrutiny.

    Sincerely,
    Beyan

    • V.F.

      Well dear Beyan, the implication of your proposals is that the Christians are faring well and living large. The facts speak for themselves. In my opinion, every Eritrean is suffering to a great extent. I wouldn’t say such group has it worse than the other. Golij people have their land confiscated. I am sympathetic to them and others in similar situations. People in the deep south have nothing left in their villages. People in Asmara are living in darkness and extreme hardship. I don’t see any gaps in suffering between Muslims and Christians. If the Muslims are not represented well in the government, to me that is a blessing in disguise. Who wants to be a part of this brutal regime? In addition, ask Saay, and he will tell you just one single person, nothing more nothing less, is to blame for everything ailing our people and our country, Muslim, Christian, Highlander, and Lowlander alike. So what are our Muslim brothers and sisters missing? To be a part of IA’s enablers? I wouldn’t want to be in that position. If Muslims are well under-represented, it is a great thing. They are keeping their hands clean.

      Now, what should we do? I expect our Muslim brothers and sisters to join the fight we are waging against IA and PFDJ. That starts with associating with their Christian brothers and sisters. As I said the other day, Muslim Eritreans are nowhere to be seen near Christians. They have chosen to be segregated. If I am wrong, correct me. I think they are secluding themselves by choice. I grew up in Asmara and the way I saw Muslims was exactly like I did Christians. We simply had different names. That is how we knew if someone was Muslim or Christian. What happened now?

      In my opinion, every entity that is based on religion, is dangerous for Eritrea. I hope all Eritreans can see past that and not get duped into believing PFDJ selectively suppresses one group or another. It is a well know fact, in fact, that IA and his close generals and officials are from Hamassien. But what difference has that made to the people of that region? Nothing. They are suffering as much as anyone, if not more.

      Dear Beyan, Mahmoud Saleh asked you very important questions the other day, but you dodged most of them. And this comment has no new information except expressing gratitude to some key personalities. Forgive me for being a little ‘defar’ here because I have a lot of respect for you personally. I know your credentials and I know you have a big heart. No question in my mind, you are a very compassionate and well meaning man. Also, I have no insecurities about my religion. Muslim Eritreans should have every right for anything they want to do. I support that 100%. I supported GEAN on that principle. But irritates me is when the assertion that ‘the regime in Asmara is highlander/Christian dominated and that has been a cause of Muslim agony.’

      Please simply tell me if there is any group in Eritrea (by region, religion, zone, subzone, gender, age group, affluence) faring better than the other with the exception of a few hundred PFDJ officials and military personnel?

      Sincerely,

      V.F.

      • Bayan Nagash

        Dear V.F. and Awatawyan,

        First and foremost, I appreciate not only the vote of confidence you lavished me with for which I feel ill deserving, but also that I come to this virtual space or any other sociopolitical space from a place of a concern. And, the latter is precisely where my concerns emanate from and that means a huge deal to me, my heart felt gratitude for that, V.F. At the root of Eritrea’s political discourse there is this anomaly, which is laced with antipathy, certainly apathetic might be the precise term here. Apathy appears to rule the day bereft of any sympathy, sympathy that requires and demands an ability to put oneself in another’s shoes, if you will. It does not take much to see all Eritreans are suffering; after all, isn’t what all those of us in the opposition want: to rid of the menace at home.

        There is no inkling doubt in my mind that Eritrean highlanders are paying heavily since the inception of the 1998 war with Ethiopia. The majority of those who are vanishing in the high seas are our brothers and sisters from the highland. If we cannot sympathize with such tragedy, then we might as well cease to exist. Simply put, scratching our wounds will only exacerbate it, it would not heal it and that’s where the Asmara regime wants us to preoccupy ourselves with. We need NOT prove to each other who is suffering the most, that’s is just too silly to merit any discussions. That shark in the high seas or that turbulence in the Mediterranean Sea does not discriminate based on color, religion, nationality, or any identifying markers.

        Our collective sympathy toward our Eritrean folk from the highland and the lowland (including other parts of Eritrea) must come in line, but we have never been able to see the plight, for example, of the Afars or Kunamas or the lowlanders who have been languishing in the Sudanese refugee camps, why? We have never spoken collectively against the execution of the Jehovah Witness when they became one of the first group to be victimized by the regime. In fact, most of the hooligans in dehai were saying ጽቡቅ ገበርዎም ። When some 150 educated, young Eritrean Muslims were taken away in the dead of the night to never be heard from, we may not have said ጽቡቅ ገበርዎም, but we never raised any concerns, apathy was at the root of it. When the disabled veterans were mowed down in mai Habar, there might have been some sympathy, but nothing of the sort that would amount to anything meaningful to hold anyone accountable. So, little by little, the nooses on Eritreans’ necks have been tightening until no Eritrean neck is now safe from that suffocation. Our collective suffering is nothing to sneeze at: it is real, it is an existential threat – Make no mistake about it.

        So, dear V.F., let us get to the real issues that GEAN (ጂያን) is raising. Do you V.F. or can you show or bring your sympathetic ears and unequivocally and in no uncertain terms say that you agree a 110% with the five core principles that most of the minority groups are raising and that not only you agree with it but you will support it in the future of Eritrea once the menace is removed. These happened to be what the Eritrean Muslims’ fundamental concerns are. Can you not only say it but also accept its germaneness and work toward its applicability, not because Eritrean Muslims are raising these issues but because it is a concern for all Eritreans? These are the core issues that these minority groups are saying happened to be their fundamental concerns. Why do some people show reluctance to accept these issues?

        Mahmud Saleh’s questions were discussed in the various links that I shared for him to listen before I could answer any of them; he never got back to me. The only safe assumption there is that he had listened to the Radio Medrekh interview some of the GEAN’s Tigrinya Media Team discussed in that interview. So, I left it at that. Let me now turn to the crux of the paragraph that is at the center of GEAN’s concerns, and that is what you state as follows:

        “Now, what should we do? I expect our Muslim brothers and sisters to join the fight we are waging against IA and PFDJ. That starts with associating with their Christian brothers and sisters. As I said the other day, Muslim Eritreans are nowhere to be seen near Christians. They have chosen to be segregated. If I am wrong, correct me. I think they are secluding themselves by choice. I grew up in Asmara and the way I saw Muslims was exactly like I did Christians. We simply had different names. That is how we knew if someone was Muslim or Christian. What happened now?”

        It is that drifting, that segregation, that alienation from one another that GEAN is hard at work to change. “…our Muslim brothers and sisters” are in the trenches but it is simply writ too small, it is just that GEAN thinks could be made to writ large. That path toward “associating with their Christian brothers and sisters” requires open heart and mind from the majority of our population, namely the Christian Highlanders. There has to be a meeting point where convergence will ostensibly occur. It, however, requires acknowledgment and validation of the concerns and what they deem central for them to come to the round table.

        Now, you V.F. or Brother Mahmud Saleh for that matter and many others who may not see these issues as central and who may see these issues being addressed within the constitution that will be drafted once the Asmara regime is removed from power. Now, that would not make any difference, would it, i.e. if all of us say, is this all of your concerns my brothers and sisters come aboard let us fight for the just cause together the way we did during the 30 years struggle. Can you and Mahmud accept this as a reconciling points and working together? And that’s precisely what the Muslim brothers and sisters are saying: These are our terms to work with our Christian brothers and sisters. Of course, one expects the Christian Highlanders and others to come up with their central concerns and together we can march forward to removing the bastards, the clique that’s wreaking havoc at home. That’s all V.F. We are not that far apart. We are far more closer in our thinking than we care to believe. It is for these reasons I work closely with Eritreans Facilitating for National Dialogue (EFND) and it is exactly why I work with Medrekh’s advocacy wing, likewise with Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN). I see no contradictions in such work because all of these will inevitably converge and it is in that convergence I see the power of oppositions’ hands being strengthened to overcome the hurdle and the obstacles that stands in our way toward a just cause. I have no inkling doubt that we will get there, but we must first open our arms and hearts toward one another.

        Respectfully,
        BN

  • Dayphi

    Dear Hope,
    1….. I’m bedazzled by your humbleness addressing me as Sayidna and Shaikh… Kibret yihabelley Hawey Hope. But first i must make this confession. I’m neither your master, shaikh, nor anybody else’s for that matter. An amicable Hawey or dear suffice.
    2….. A dear awateyan recently made a statement that it is good to be inquisitive. You know him, so no need to name him. Based on that i simply requested to prove your bold and unethical statement of who died more since you implied it is statisticlly true.. Rather than producing your evidence or admitting you concocted that so called statically true thing, you kept running right and left, evaiding and quibbling and pushed the answer to Awate.com, weini ghebrezghier, and now to ahemd raji and the AT , as the statement in question belongs to them not to you. You will hounted by that who died most debakle for the rest of your life as our fallen heros are not there for bargaining chips or scoring cheap political again. Anyways, i will nomore ask you to present the stat or the staement you did on paragraph 2. You live with your staement, i will leave with my request for evidence unanswered.
    In response to Brother Bayan Negash latest request, i am erazing my preparend long answer and dropping the rebuttal to this subject who died most.
    Thank you again brother Hope.

  • Bayan Nagash

    Greeatings Awatawyan,

    On behalf of Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (GEAN – ጂያን), please allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Awate Team in general and Saleh “Gadi” Johar in particular. The latter bears a specific mention, frankly, he is the lone soldier who has been at the forefront of activism with insight, dogged determination, and intensely tenacious and resolutely visionary on the path toward the undoing of the misrule of Eritrea that has gone awry for far too long now. Next, of course, is Dr. Ibrahim Sirage, who not only offered his idea at the GEAN conference last month, but decided to post it in Awate and SGJ agreed to it because the man knows what a genuine activism smells like miles away, and Dr. Ibrahim Sirage has done a marvel at delivering the right message, in the right tone, in a straight forward manner, in a language that the nerve center of political actors of Eritrea can comprehend.

    Now, the highland, by its geographical lottery, will always be the nerve center of sociopolitical discourse in Eritrea, for that reason Tigrinya language is hard to see it separated from such center of gravity, at least at this junction of our historical trajectories. Therefore, the nerve center needs not get nervous, all what the marginalized groups such as the Afars are saying is unequivocally clear, and it was an honor for GEAN to work with one of the many Eritreans who have been relegated to the margins of politics. Eritrean Afar State in Exile (EASE) was one case in point. GEAN is cognizant of its shortcomings in that there are many more Eritreans who are in the fringes who must be pulled to the center of gravity. Eritreans, time and again, have shown their strength is traceable for all to see when they pull their resources together – all one has to do is look at its history in what worked and what did not. A specific mention must be made here as well, seeing Brother Hassan Meqe from Afar eloquently arguing by coming to the center of the conversation is laudable and such discourse should always be encouraged. This is precisely what GEAN (ጂያን) is trying to do: Bring all Eritrean stakeholders to the center of the conversation, and what better way to accomplish than this august space, aptly named at that and its namesake weighing heavily to its stated purpose: To “inform, inspire, embolden, and reconcile.”

    Forgive me for not remembering all those who were discussing on empirical data to show where the hegemonic power has been leaning toward vis-à-vis Eritrean political structure in the last quarter of a century and beyond, really. The ever resourceful AOsman has pulled not only that of Ahmed Raji’s seminal research, but also now that of another resourceful fellow, Jelal Yassin Aberra, which he shared to Awate readers. Now, some may find this reason or that to not accept thee numbers and the data to back certain results, but we are beyond that point now. The reality is such that we must all pull together as quantitative data or qualitative paradigm may end up showing it matters very little to the menace at home as the clique does not give a hoot about our evidences, it is bent out of shape to destroy the fabric of Eritrean society. Period.

    One of my favorite commentators is Ambassador, and I was nodding in agreement with his assertion about Marxism, feminism, and the like until at the last paragraph he made a dramatic turn, a turn that one sees in Shakespear’s famous sonnets, where his poems catch you unawares toward the end. I come to the world of research by way of literature & social sciences, therefore numerous types of qualitative research appeal to me, critical research in particular, the roots of which can be traced to Marxism (based on “economic conditions and class structure”). the preoccupation of Habermas in things cognitive we arrive at (“emancipatory knowledge”); oh, who could forget Paulo Freire (“transformative & emancipatory education”) – all these combined helps us see the world in it holistic sense and not just through crunching number as though humans can be quantified in their every endeavors. Quoting Crotty (1998, p. 113) is instructive here: “It is a contrast between a research that seeks merely to understand and research that challenges” and of course “research that reads the situation in terms of interaction and community and a research that reads it in terms of conflict and oppression” so on and so forth. I should probably add what encapsulates everything for me personally is that “a research that accepts the status quo and a research that seeks to bring about change.” This is where critical research I find more appealing because it pushes the sociopolitical envelop, turns the hegemonic power on its head by going deep to the thing that matters most: How power is negotiated in these socially and historical constructed structures of governance within any society and what are the forces that allow for such structures to continue unabated. What we attempt at GEAN is to undue these structures through conversation, through the power of persuasion, and the only way that can be accomplished is via discourse in spaces like this one.

    Finally, I must make a special mention of ELL and its leaders in general and Mahmoud Aderob in particular to GEAN’s conference success. The first organization that GEAN reached was ELL when it conceived of its idea. Mr. Aderob’s leadership was crucial in this endeavor along with Mahmoud Gimie. The second group that GEAN approached is an Al Nahda leader who had shown indispensable leadership ability, one who never tired from encouraging us is no other than Nuraddin Abdulkadir with his vast networking; we were able to reach to our Jeberti Eritrean brothers and sisters from various parts of the U.S. And another instrumental individual who helped in the outreach effort was Hassen Mia and many more who might not wish to be mentioned here but do their fight for justice anonymously.

    There is inherent risk here, mentioning some names invariably leads to forgetting others. If such turns out to be the case, please know that GEAN (جأن) is grateful to all those who helped bring us together last month. Let us assure you we are working due diligently to take the mandate to the next level. And, of course, many thanks goes to Awatawyan who are ready to sharpen one’s mind through their relentless challenges, a welcome gesture in my book, because that is what Awate is: a sociopolitical space, a market place of ideas where any thoughts and concepts are scrutinized endlessly. It is but guaranteed that one cannot satisfy all participants, but the fact they were willing to engage is the very first step toward finding amicable solution to our sociopolitical and socioeconomic shortcomings, we got plenty of those alright. A case and point is the discussion that ensued between Semere T., Mahmoud Aderob, and others that shows how people can come to a consensus if and when they keep engaging with one another. GEAN aims to bring all Eritreans to the center of the political spectrum. We have already seen the beginning of that in the article and the accompanying video that Dr. Ibrahim Sirage kindly availed for Awate readers.

    Personal Note:

    Of course, the big hearted Orange County, California, which I consider my home away from home, my community did not let GEAN down. I should add each of the preparatory committee is connected to OC one way or another. The strength of our connection the Orange County community could be characterized in matters of degree, but not in the substance of it. This is the community, after all, into which I brought my siblings to. This is the community that saw to it that I married one of the community members. This is the community in which we brought two beautiful kids into this world. This is the community where my mother found her final resting place. Saying I feel a strong connection to Orange County, California and to the land as I have buried part of me in it, is an understatement. The big OC never let me down and I am eternally grateful to that.

    Should you have any further queries, we can be reached at geanoferitrea@gmail.com

    Cheers,

    P.S. In the words of Thomas, let this go into the annals of a colossal waste of time, but it somehow feels nothing like it at all, nonetheless I wouldn’t waste my time in trying to wallow in such a notion.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Bayan,

      ጂያን – ተስፋ ዘለዎ ስራሕ ::ብፍላይ ኣቀራርባ! እንታይ ክወጾ :: እቲ ዶክተር እሞ ድማ ኣወራርዳ ሰነ ሞጎት ይበል !! ብጀኻ ባ ገለ – ካልእ ዝሰማዕ ናይ ዚ ሰብ ተንተና እንተሎ ደሊኻ ኣስምዓኒ :: እምበር ርማንሲ እዋእ ሰሚዕካ ዘይጽገብ: ኣብ ገለ ኮልተፍተፍ ክብል እንከሎ ድማ መሊሱ ይምቅረካ ::

      • JEMAL

        Dear Kokhob Selam
        As requested below is a link to the interview with dr Ibrahim Siraj. There is another one as well let me know if you want me to send you
        http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/tigrinya/en/content/interview-dr-ibrahim-sraj

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Jemal,
          Thank you. But I have heard it before you send the link. in fact I even put it in USB to hear it again and again in my car. I normally do that to hear this type of talk. what a wonderful world, the world of this doctor is very much clean. By the way all what he said is also discussed in awate (this site). it seems to me we have the same line when comes to principle, only he has different way of saying things. what I love from him is he is not only talking but hearing what he is talking …why I say so is because I notice that after completing his one statement he make sure it is not converted to negative side by negative people and reinforce by adding one antivirus statement. I mean he say things while observing. I love people who think and observe their own self. they are creative but they make sure if what they are creating is useful

          Thank you again for reading my interest and providing me the link..

  • tes

    Dear Ismail A. Ahmad,

    Let me tell you this: I have great respect to you and your contribution. And now I learned that you are much more greater more than I can imagine. Every time I push people of Citizens of Awate Nation (to borrow aklilu zere’s phrase), I learn a new outlook. And hre you are to share your wisdom with us. I am lucky to be an Awatista Family visitor. I said visitor as I believe deep inside me been a family member of Awate family is too precious for me that I can’t afford to be. The good thing is the family is very open and welcoming to visitors like me.

    Saying that my intervention was not to mean negative rather for a fruitful engagement. To be frank I was a bit puzzled by defensive approach and by some very aggressive and arrogant calling (a comment written by Mohammed Ahmded – who acted aggressive, arrogant to our beloved Awatista Mahmud Saleh) and in an unusual comment written by Bayan Nagash – by trying to neglect issues raised by Awatistas as if it is a conspiracy. I feel unusual disappointment when ever I read such disrespecting comments.

    Yours was different. It was not harmful at all but trying to be non-engaging. And I wrote to you as I was observing some unusual trends coming when Awatistas tried to challenge GEAN objectives and missions. And my intervention is as usual, a trial from a young to be politician and commentator here at awate.com for creating a conducive environment.

    Two years active participation here in this form has evolved my way of thinking and hopefully it will shape further my world outlook and my stand for human justice. Whenever I see some of the pillars of Awate being knocked negatively I do not hesitate to intervene. And all is for good intentions.

    Saying the above I am humbled by your innocent responses and full of wisdom lines.

    Regards

    tes

  • Dayphi

    Thank you Dr. Ibrahim S Ahmedin for this well presented speech and article. I wholeheartedly support the promoting of this core va.ues engage Eritrean Muslims specially the youth in the homeland issues. What people should understand is that our Core issue doesnt mean our only issue with Isayas and Sha3biyyah. But every opposition group should understand these grievances and include the in their political agendas to bring change and justice. As our Dr. mentioned these issues will be discussed post isayas regime is just a lip service and is understood by many muslims as not interest by the other deleyti fithi in solving the half of Eritreans grievances. Muslims Eritrean should engage all Eritreans bearing in mind that not all will support this core issues but should never be disappointed if they find تسويف or deaf ears at the beginning. i dont expect hardliners ex sha3biyas like Mesfin Hagos and Mahmoudo Sharifo ( ab zellewo bdaHan yihallu to easily be convinced

    • Dayphi

      Rather, i see many Eritrean political parties and civil society groups with overwhelming or majority muslim members or led by Eritrean muslims, such as Al Nahda Party, Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement, Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development, ELL, ELF, RSADO of our Affar brothers/sisters, and many many more. i wish if GEAN explains to us what they meant we muslims are observers not leading or participating.
      Thank you again, Ustath Ibrahim Ahmedin

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Tes,

    I wasn’t asking you, how you celebrate if he is gone. Look I may even try a cart wheel in the process break my back, but I will give a try.

    I was referring how do you vision to move our country if and when he is gone. I think I understand what you wrote as far as “PFDJ as an organization should be banned like that of Nazi and all the systems installed should be weeded-out with out trace.” I don’t completely disagree with you the system of PFDJ should be removed from the face of the earth, because it’s a parasite system and it’s main objective / .focus and existence is by spying the Eritrean people as primary enemy and how to subjugate and control them.

    How ever my question was, how do we get to that transition, if the majority forced members of the system are willing and able to transform and hand over power to the people.

    I do have a problem with PFDJ and it’s social justice “which is has none”. My definition of Social justice and ideals that I would uphold are that of the Scandinavian countries.

    Berhe

  • Hope

    Adarob:
    I think we are “messed up and screwed up ” with self-inflicted perceptions and misunderstanding of each other!
    Teg Senete Tesfay is not the persona you perceived him to be!
    He counter-challenged those that should be !
    Case in point:
    Ali Salim’s “Declaration of Civil WR on Highland Eritreans and Christians”!
    He effectively challenged that nonsensical topic !
    But he was labelled as Anti-Eri Muslims!
    He also effectively refuted and made a great rebuttal of the Weyane Conspiracy and Evil Agenda,a well documented FACT!
    But then,he was labelled as a Koboro Junky and PFDJ Supporter!
    Now ,since he tried to challenge the GEAN and isome ifs members’ Unconstructive Rhetoric ,you labelled him as ” Anti-Muslim!
    Funny,the good thing is that he has not given up!; and he will never!
    Him and his likes did not bled for the sake of only Eritrean Highlanders and Christians but for all Eritreans!

    As I told before,the statistics and the figures equally imply to who died most for the Liberation of Nacfa,Semhar,Gash Barka,Aseb,Baduma,Barentu,Keren,Afabet,etc…,not just for Highland Eritrea!

    And yet,the ELL and EASE or RSADO or DEMLK and even the GEAN is complaining that the Highlanders and Christians are being settled in Denkalia or Gash Barka as if Denkalia and Gash Narka are not Eritrean Lands!
    If they are not listed to settle their,why did their sons and daughters died there then ?
    We can debate about Equal Social Justice and for an Inclusive Constitution in a United and non-polarized way!

    If the Muslim Eritreans have remained indifferent,that is their problem ,not that of the Eritrean Highlanders and Christians!

    Let us “Catch up”,please ;and if that is the Goal of the GEAN and the ELL,I am more than part of them!

    To correct you and your biased and skewed attitude and perception,let me mention few issues here:

    -The EPDP and Medrekh have done a SUPERB job to unify all Eritreansof all walks of life and all kinds of background but we know what some of us and some Eritrean Websites have done against the invitation of Muslim Eritreans and Lowland Eritreans!
    Here is what I heard :
    ” Do not trust these NGOs of Highland Eritrea as they are :
    -“SPY Agents and under cover Agents of the PFDJ”!

    -” They do not represent the Social Fabric of Eritrea”!

    There are well documented facts of well organized and well coordinated Defamatory Campaigns against some Eritrean Grass Roots Movements by some people and self appointed Activists claiming to be Pro Reconiciluation on paper but acting otherwise!

    It is beyond HYPOCRISY to claim that the Muslim and /or Lowland Eritreans are isolated by the Eritrean Highlanders and Christians while at the same time campaigning against their invitation and their effort to be inclusive rather than joining them and struggling with them and within them!

    This is not just a TRUST issue but beyond that !

    • adarob

      Habibi hope, don’t be hopeless !
      Muslems are not blaming you and the eritrean highlanders. They are blaming themselves for not been enuagh to fight the system of the eplf/pfdj that create this mess. Ofcourse the tigrinya are victim of the system and dickheads like their Muslems brothers, why they would obey such a divisive system if they are majority as you claim? Don’t worry about Semere, he has been in this mess for a longer timer but he is in the right direction, he manage.

    • Dayphi

      Dear Hope,
      each paragraph you wrote is a subject by itself. In paragraph 2 you said, “As I told before,the statistics and the figures equally imply to who died most for the Liberation of Nacfa,Semhar,Gash Barka,Aseb,Baduma,Barentu,Keren,Afabet,etc…,not just for Highland Eritrea!”. I would be grateful to you if you kindly show us that official and factual statistic.
      Thank you in advance.

      • Hope

        Ahlen Ya Saidna Dayphi!
        Thanks for your feedback!
        First of,I was not interested into the details of the statistics but was provoked to do so!
        Second,if you are really serious to know the well documented statistics by the EPLF which has never been done by any Rebel Group or and Government in history to my best knowledge,you have it ready including here at Awate.com!

        Hint :
        I heard Ms Weini Ghetezghiher of Dimtsi i Hafash reporting that about 25 thousand Martyrs were from Akeleguzay Area,specifically from Segheneiti/Tsenaa Deghle,and Dekimahre area!
        Then add Deki Seraye and specially from Hamasien !

        This is to just to answer your question only,not to say that other ERITREANS did not die for Eritrea!

        The reason I brought this was to counter argue against,who threatened that the Highlanders should not settle in Gash Barka and Denkalia!

        • Dayphi

          Merhaba Hope. still you have the moral obligation to once in your life to prove your claim from official statistic or figure, or recant what you wrote on that paragraph as a made up story. your assumption was un ethical, un eritrean
          and you failed to prove your stat and figure from official counting of our martyrs.you cant be taken serious here in this respected awate site if you cant prove your claim of of the statistic and figures as you claimed on that paragraph. The least you can do is admit you dont have any official official statistic that supports your claim and apologize to the souls of our fallen comrades and their loved ones for that made up claim of statistic and figures. A hearsay is just a hearsay, not truth, not evidence.

  • tes

    Dear Ismail A. Ahmed,

    Thank you for responding and it is not late.

    Let me emphasize my political approach: I am a pro-humanism. I love human being and I love justice. Within humanity, I love diversity and I dance with in the beauty. I smile every time I see human being when treated as human being. I fight against discrimination and any kind of oppression. My dream is to see human being to be like a white cloud, simply floating and unharmed.

    Within humanity, there is everything and I believe for everything there is a way. Just two opposite examples: for those who love peace, everything is white and the rule of law is nature, and for those who live against [peace] there is the rule of law that call calls for justice.

    And my fight is against those who stand against peace. I am against oppressors, I am against lawless[negative definition – as it can also be positive if nature is the only ruling system] people.

    Be them Moslems, Christians, any group within the existing social groups, I love them equally. No minority, no majority. Everyone on this world was born because nature has called. No classification and no politics within this.

    Dear Ismail, you mentioned Semere Tesfai and you are absolutely right when you say, “I would even dare to take the liberty of believing that you do not concur with assertions individuals like Semere Tesfai make, and debate issues along majority-minority divide.. Yes absolutely!

    Just within this week, I replied to Amanuel Hidrat why I do not engage Semere Tesfai seriously. His political approach is in fact very allergic to me, very allergic. Saying that as I can see him these recent days, he is trying to be more open and ready to engage in a fruitful discussions. I hope he will continue. Amanuel Hidrat is inviting him to the world of humble people and hopefully he will listen more.

    Approaching politics through the windows of Minority-Majority is a disillusioned communist and die-hard bourgeois philosophy. In the world of justice there is only one rule and that is justice .

    My assertion is: The time you divide people on minority-majority outlook, justice is lost.. Humanity should be treated as humanity and equal justice should exist* without prejudice.

    My political philosophy being as stated above, I would like to say something on what you have dropped here, be it intentionally or not. You wrote,

    “My comment was not intended for anything, nor did it suggest disengaging on any level. Well I don’t know then why you wrote if it was not intended for everything. I don’t know; Here in this forum we discuss on ideas, we engage people and we challenge ideas. As far as what you wrote is intended for nothing, you are disengaging. Ok, I understand your terms in general, meaning, your target was not those of pro-justice but this type of approach is non-existent here at awate.com. Well I’am not in the political engagement philosophy of “‘let no one be left behind’ ** as I have a believe that let those die-hard PFDJites be down to the world of hell” but at least I believe here in this forum we have a culture of saying something. To repeat, In this form [Awate Forum], we have a culture of saying something”***. Therefore when ever you land I kindly call you to say something.

    I thank you for your patience to read this long response

    tes

    *I said “exist” because there should not be above justice. I have put this argumentative word to express a philosophical concept of “To be given” as I oppose anyone who tries to give. If there is anything to be given, let it be from God/Allah and may be for some just existence.

    **Where saay7 and Mahmud Saleh are prominent advocates of this line of thinking

    ***As the motto of this website indicates, “Inform, Inspire, Embolden and reconcile”.

    • Abi

      Philosopher Tes
      ” My dream is to see human being to be like a white cloud, simply floating and unharmed .”
      What do you mean? Please be considerate for the philosophy challenged people like me. Write it in a layman language.
      You also said, “Approaching politics through the window of Majority-Minority is a disillusioned communist and die hard bourgeois Philosophy. ” Well, Mr Philosopher , I didn’t know communists and bourgeois share the same philosophy.
      The good thing is we live to learn.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Abi,

        You need to leave tes alone.

        He doesn’t know where he is coming from, and where he is going. Do you remember the Costa Rican footballer Paulo Wanchop, who had the same style as tes; he used to go past the touch line because he didn’t know where he was going.

        • Abi

          HI music
          There was this player I forgot his name who scored a hat-trick on his own goal. That is Tes for you.
          Have you ever seen a floating white cloud human being? I have. It is called The Michelin Man!

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Abi,

            The chap could have done that as well. He could have dribbled past his own goal keeper. He was fun to watch.

            A floating white cloud human being? That is called a ghost.

          • Abi

            Hi Music
            If the guy gets a chance he will change every living thing to a ghost. No wonder he loves to talk about grave, death, blood, vampire….
            With him around here, it is always Halloween.

      • tes

        Dear Abi,

        I have quited responding to you for a reason. The reason I have until proven wrong I will continue to do so.

        This comment is meant to show you a respect I have for you as a person not for your insulting approach.

        tes

  • A.Osman

    Dear Hope,

    We are branching off, we will struggle to have a meaningful discussion.

    The reason I mentioned EPDP, as you know them more and I guess your position is that their program cater for the grievances mentioned. I was simply quizzing you on EPDP to understand why a fitting political program was not sufficient to mobilize, I expect you to take that as an opportunity to pitch for EPDP.

    As for TPLF/Weyane is concerned, when it comes its time to discuss them, I have no qualm about discussing them. But if you are going to put them in front of our face whenever we want to let talk internal affair, it gets boring.

    The rest let us focus on the big topics raised in the article and see what is possible to move forward.

    Regards
    AOsman

  • Semere Tesfai

    Ahlen Adarob

    Very true: “sometimes rude and sometimes embarrassing” – but we live and learn. And thanks God human brain is dynamic.

    After our “sometimes rude and sometimes embarrassing” debate, at least we (Ali Salim and I) were never the same again. We changed forever. I think you said – I changed for the better:). I will take that as a compliment.

    The point: No issue is too small. No issue is too ethnic/faith/region/ውድብ specific. Let’s bring every issue that is ailing our community/society to the open; and let’s challenge each other’s brain to the limit. After all isn’t that what Awate is for?

    Good to hear from you Ya SaEr Aziz.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Haw Semere,

      Admitting your flaw should be first step in the engagement of give and take of our political discourse. Your response to Aderob is an exemplary of that. I welcome it as a step forward. You see brother, we mature with sincere understanding each others grievances. After all politics is about addressing grievsnces. If we do that our differences is manageable.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

    • Adarob

      Ahleeen Semere, Shukren Li Deyafa!
      Let me remind you of the quote of The day;
      “After all politics is about addressing grievsnces. If we do that our differences is manageable”. Ustuz Amanuel Hidrat.
      Not only you, we have all to change to the better.
      Br,
      Adarob

  • Mohammed Ahmed

    Ahlan Dr. Ibrahim,

    Thank you for the well articulated presentation; you didn’t mince your words – and for that alone, you deserve the full respect of all those who care to listen.

    What GEAN has embarked on is not something new – it has always been there in one form or another but nonetheless, its efforts should never be viewed as an attempt to re-invent the wheel, but rather as a genuine endeavour to reinforce the sense of direction the wheel is supposed to take. Any effort or initiative in that regard should be fully supported even by those who claim to have seen their days. That eventually at some point in the near future all these efforts will culminate in the creation a single point of convergence for the disenfranchised groups is an unavoidable destiny. And incidentally, this is really what gives the creeps to all those hopeless bigots who subscribe to HGDEF’s ethnic agenda.

    That you will see some of these bigots cry foul every time there is an effort by the dis-enfranchised to re-assert their rights as you have seen here and elsewhere is not all that surprising. Some of these sick bigots even have the audacity to try and pass as Muslims by using Muslim pen-names for the sole purpose of spilling their hate and vitriol. The reason I bring these thugs up is not that they matter one bit – but it is because I see tasking efforts being required on the part of some well meaning folks to engage these bigots in genuine dialogues. That the bigots will never engage in good faith is a given as this would contravene their very raison d’etre.

    The tone GEAN set in outlining its core objectives (which you have also emphasized in your video presentation) couldn’t be any clearer. That Eritrean Muslims will be encouraged and galvanized to rally around core objectives which are detrimental to their national aspirations are not actions they need approval for from any body – least of all the bigots.

    It is about time that some among us stop victimizing the dis-enfranchised for their honesty.

    Regards

    • tes

      Dear Mohammed Ahmed,

      If you were present in the meetings, if, I hope the tone of the meetings was not as you are uttering here. Tired of such non-engaging approaches. Such attitudes of pretension will only lead us to abysmal failures. It is better to engage seriously than being defensive aggressively.

      The same message can be conveyed to Bayan Nagash and Ismail .A. Ahmed. Cool down and engage if you can. It is good to think that the success of GEAN is a success for Eritrea too.

      tes

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam Mohammed Ahmed

      Please, have respect. If you have substance bring it on; you should not hurl insults at us, instead. I have not read any bigotry or other nonsense accusations. I’m reading comments seeking more clarifications. This is an opportunity for GEAN to engage readers. Why do people or organizations post their articles, in the first place? Are not they meant for influencing, clarifying or informing about their endeavors? Why are you guys getting so unbelievably defensive?

      No body said you could not think or act the way you want to. What’s equally true is, though, very few may believe the fact that initiatives and congregations represent what they say they represent. Remember there were many such initiatives in the past. They all hit the wall of Eritrean fabrics. They did not make a dent on our fabrics, but they passed to be memories; they passed to be shattered. Today, many political organizations accommodate the political essence of what GEAN appears to uphold. Years back, I read a book by the late Ahmed Nasser. I remember he raised similar core issues, but presented them within a national framework. Those issues have always been the core of every Eritrean political movement and organization. Nothing new in that. People are examining the approach and not the substance.

      You said, ” Some of these sick bigots even have the audacity to try and pass as Muslims by using Muslim pen-names for the sole purpose of spilling their hate and vitriol.”
      I’m the only one carrying a Muslim name on the other side. Now, your language aside, what makes you think this sort of language and wild allegations could be helpful to your position. I imagine even decent folks who support GEAN will find it obnoxious and nauseating. By the way Mahmud Saleh is my real name. Let me stop there, because the Quran tells us we should never trespass onto judging people’s faith.
      Brother Beyan Negash, thank you for your attention, keep up your levelheaded manner in answering questions. Whatever the difference, civility is important.

      • Hope

        Selam Naye wo Nay Beyinye!,Ustaz Mahmud:
        Ahhh,here we go ,Civility ,Professionalism and Experience in Action!.

        My frustration and reservation are that we are being told that this one is good but that one is bad and rather than working jointly and in a United Wat,every one tries to sell himself as if Eritrea is short of Ideas or Intellect!

        The other concern I have is things are presented and lectured in an extreme way as if one Social Group is there to oppress the other one!

        I do not see and appreciate the Ethics and Constructiveness of this Approach!

        And worse ,it is being said and done publically by Public Figures”!

        What I see here is a sort of unproductive confrontation and Hililkh and a sort of Revenge!ful approach !

    • Dis Donc

      Awate,
      this is very uncalled for!!!

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam Ayneta and Awatawyan,

    It is one thing to be quizzical about something, but completely another to delve into a conjecture when the conversation is ongoing. Just ask and when the complete picture fails to emerge, one can give you credit for your assumptions. Please try to see the process that GEAN sees a way to move forward in phases:

    (1) GEAN sees Muslim Eritreans less engaged in the political process, it decides to do something about it instead of whining and complaining; it thus identifies the core minimum principles by which they can engage in the national project. It works for two years to the conference date engaging myriad Muslim Eritreans – from most ethnic and regional groups to the extent possible – and shares with these various entities about the five pillars, the people overwhelmingly respond in the affirmative seeing these core principle as the most important politically engaging venues. As an advocacy group, GEAN’s concern is a way of finding the disengaged entities and bring them onward for dialogue, conversation, and discourse.

    (2) Once the first step is achieved, which has partially been accomplished as the overwhelming approval in the conference in by the attendees of last month, the mandate to move forward has been set in motion. There is a whole lot more that GEAN will have to do this globally. Once that is laid out, the second phase is to gather with the rest of Eritrean groups, mainly the highlanders, who were not part of the first phase for obvious reasons: The highlanders are not the ones who are disengaged, they are ready to come to the round-table kzzatayyu with their brothers and sisters. That’s the essence and the spirit from which GEAN has been operating. Ayneta, you may not know this, but I am part of EFND and part of Medrekh’s advocacy group, because, this is my personal belief, an engaged Eritrean is the best way of moving forward. Therefore, I have let many individuals within these groups to be ready to have a dialogue when we the Muslim Eritreans who have been disengaged, gezana nKustir and nwulul, we will come to for that zete, that conversation, the dialogue, and that discourse which has been absent for decades now. What harm is in this, Ayneta?

    I am honestly baffled by these conspiracies that people are quick to jump to, instead of letting this take its due course. After all, it is being done in broad day light. The Muslim Eritreans are making the best assessment possible before they begin to engage in the political discourse, why do they need a permission from anyone in how they go about in doing this. They know better than any outsider what would work in favor of Eritrea and its people in the way they deem it fit. If the last 25 years are any indication, the PFDJ lot failed the country and its people miserably. There has to be an alternative to such madness. That alternative is an engaged citizenry, the humongous chunk of which has been absent from the process – by golly, GEAN is doing something about such a profuse shortcoming.

    Frankly, any Eritrean Muslim or Christian who is worth his/her salt should be happy to see that a group of Eritreans are doing something to fix the sociopolitical ill that they have been seeing for decades. Once they identified the pulse of the problem, all rambunctious noises are now trying to deafen and deviate from the core principles, which GEAN sees is best achieved through conversation. So, let us collect our heels, cool it, allow for the process to march forward, not that the process that GEAN has embarked upon is stoppable because the people are ready to be engaged in their own terms instead of what has been dictated to them for years on end, to which Dr. Ibrahim Sirage speaks eloquently, and the video clip of which is worth watching the second time. With weddi Tikabo’s befitting “weddi Teare” song, let us all shiggrna naErri is the spirit of the message that a resonance power like no other. Ayneta, give the song a chance, and listen to the lucid lyrics and absorb it, I mean with all your might ingest as though it was food and astemaQQrro ekha, and you will see what I mean. Oh, by the way, this has been my morning routine for my kids to listen to as they get ready for school and they do a little shmishhim for my sake, and there just is nothing more pleasing to the eye than to see them beam.

    Ayneta, don’t get me wrong. I am no dictator, for the longest, the kids have been waking up to Pharrel Williams’ song – “happy”, partial lyrics of which is worth stating here:
    It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
    Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
    I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
    With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
    Because I’m happy
    Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
    Because I’m happy
    Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
    Because I’m happy
    Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
    Because I’m happy
    Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

    Sincerely,
    BN

    P.S. I have never been this happier in my life because of being part of a project that GEAN is undertaking, which I feel it deep in my bones is an absolute right thing to do. So, be happy, Ayneta life is good. We are Eritreans will overcome the menace who is wreaking havoc at home. But, we must be able to listen to one another deep from the recess of our respective hearts.

    • tes

      Dear Bayan Negash,

      Let me interject:

      First of all let me thank you for opening the venue to GEAN this much clearly in a more transparent way. Now we can see better through the curtail.

      Saying that here is my point below.

      I read in between your lines that read, ““I am honestly baffled by these conspiracies that people are quick to jump to, instead of letting this take its due course.”.

      This conspiracy bla bla, I thought only PFDJ uses it for his skewed politics. Aha, not expected from you any how.

      My friend Bayan, there is no conspiracy here. It is very straight and based on available documents to the forumers here at awate.com. No more no less. In fact you didn’t come honest to tell you the truth. Your comment below and here in this makes everything clear on how you tried to be a “nice politician”. Yah nice politicians. I think I will miss Bayan, the one that I know.

      Dear Bayan, there is no conspiracy here. If GEAN’s objective is to bring Moslem Eritreans to the platform of Eritrean political landscape, well this is all good. In fact Moslem Eritreans are very active on Eritreans though they seem somehow shy to sit with everyone.

      GEAN should stand for its name. Point! And everyone will be happy. trying to be when not is misleading and one the major problems facing the opposition camp. You have been in EFND and they camouflaged themselves in a nice and friendly name and GEAN came, they did the same.

      No matter how we try to be the positive thing that I see within each established organization (hatching) is they all are echoing justice. I am very happy with that. The rest I believe on SWOT analysis and a strong organization will stand tall at last.

      tes

      • Bayan Nagash

        kbur Haw Tes & Awatawyan,

        I am keenly aware that when I write to one individual there are ten, if not more, individuals whose line of thinking could be in sync. So, I am cognizant of that fact, for that reason seldom do I forget to use Awtawyan along with the person I addressing. Just minor correction on EFND versus EFND (Medrekh). The former is Eritreans Facilitating for National Dialogue (EFND). The latter is Eritrean Forum for National Dialogue, aka, Medrekh. I work with both because they have noble ideas of bringing forth disparate Eritrean civil societies or political groups in a round table to find common denominator amidst these groups so they may begin to work together. I see no contradictions in these efforts – the ostensible goal is to eliminate the menace at home. GEAN is no different, except its starting point is specifically engaging Eritrean Muslims toward that political process which has been missing for quite sometime, nothing more, nothing less.
        Let me leave you with Tagore’s poem that speaks to awaken us from the habit of mind stupor that we may sometimes suffer because we don’t want to venture to the future of the unknown, where discriminatory behaviors tend to emanate from. I am not accusing you or anyone for that matter. All I am saying by the following poem is to have an open mind to listen to our brothers and sisters what it is that they are telling us and not what it is that we want to hear and wish to hear that they are saying.

        “Where The Mind Is Without Fear”
        by Rabindranath Tagore

        Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
        Where knowledge is free
        Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
        By narrow domestic walls
        Where words come out from the depth of truth
        Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
        Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
        Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
        Where the mind is led forward by thee
        Into ever-widening thought and action
        Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
        © by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

        • tes

          Dear Bayan Nagash,

          This is Bayan Nagash that know deep inside my contemplative mind. Thank you for such lengthy and enlightening response. Stay with us and my criticism to you (which is still surfacing) is to call the good hearted Bayan who is far from conspiracy theory.

          On this occasion I would kindly say, “let the conspiracy theory be for those who conspire the word ‘justice’ for the simple reason of escaping from societal grievances and concerns.

          Else as usual my due respect is flowing like River Nile.

          tes

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All

    There is a tell-tale sign of an idea that won’t fly.

    If you can’t defend your idea in a mixed crowd, if you can’t campaign for your idea in every neighborhood of the Nation in broad daylight, if you’re uncomfortable talking about your idea outside your likes – you don’t have a winning argument. You are not adding value to the Eritrean political discourse. You’re just wasting your time and mine.

    I said it before (during Ali Salim heated debate) and let me repeat it to the GEAN people again. In today’s Eritrea, there is no Muslim specific issue; there is no ethnic specific issue, there is no region specific issue. “National Language, Refugee Repatriation, Land Proclamation, Diverse Eritrean Ethnic (Minority) Groups and Developing Eritrean Human Resources” are not Muslim specific issues. They are issues of every Eritrean citizen. When it comes to these “core Muslim issues”, an Eritrean Christian is as much of a stakeholder as his next door Eritrean Muslim.

    Eritreans (of all faiths, ethnics and regions) are neighbors, coworkers, classmates, employers and employees, husbands and wives, parents and children…… The life of each and every one of us is entangled and interconnected with our other fellow citizen.

    There is no region in Eritrea that has ethnic purity. There is no faith in Eritrea that has ethnic/region purity. There is no Highland or Lowland that has ethnic or faith purity. That is the Eritrean reality. And that is a good thing.

    That being our reality, no Eritrean can claim to have separate cause/grievance from his/her neighbor, spouse, children, classmate, coworker, employee, employer……… that warrant dis-inviting/alienating his/her neighbor from national dialogue that affect his/her life in a big way.

    Semere Tesfai

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Semere,

      When you stop name calling and show them humility, they will definitly engage you. Feel their pain to feel your pain what ever that pain might be. It is that reciprocal feeling that bring us to a common solution. So far you do not have that attitude. You told them that the highlanders are the manority and they are entitled to govern Eritrea, when you debate with Ali Salim. You need some adjustment on your approach to engage you.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Amanuel

        Amanuel: you’re not debating ideas, you’re just saying words. Where/when did you see me name calling? If you’ve an idea that challenge my idea, bring it on; it is an open forum. If you don’t, don’t bring things that are not written.

        As to Ethnic Tigrigna being the majority in Eritrea, yes they are. Their size is the combined total number of the other nine ethnics. And I’m not going to apologize for it, because ethnicity is not a choice, it is given. I didn’t choose to be from ethnic Tigrigna.

        I’m here to debate issues to make wrongs wright.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Haw Semere,

          With that attitude, do not complain as to why they do not want to engage you.That is why they refrain to engage you. Untl you lend them your ear to listen their grievances, I don ‘t think they will engage you. How difficult is this to understand ?

          Regards

        • AMAN

          Dear Semere
          Are you an extremist ? Such ideas have no place
          in democracy or democratic governance system.
          Not in our name
          Yes it is true we Tigrigna people are majority yet
          we reject systems based on extremism or dictatorship.
          So definitely your opinion represents only you and not
          the opinion of the Tigrigna people. You are not one of us !
          All we wish for our country is a democratic system based
          on moderation and inclusiveness.

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam Semere T.,

      Nobody claimed the five core principles were Muslim Eritrean issues only. They are Eritrean issues period. The conference was done in broad day light. Issues were discussed in broad day light. The Eritrean Muslims happened to believe that these issues must be addressed in broad day light today, tonight, and tomorrow and not be cloaked under or treated as sub-regional issues. And so the post conference results were disseminated via mediums such as Medrekh Radio and the written texts and video outputs are now being disseminated via this august space here.

      Now, I genuinely fail to see your assertion here. I fail to see the connection between what one individual like Ali Salem had said or written in the past with what an overwhelming part of Eritrean population who happened to be Muslims are now saying these the issues we care about: What is your beef with that exactly? Do you care to acknowledge in this space right now and right here if you endorse these five core principles, or are you going to muddy the water with individuals who have nothing whatsoever to do with what’s being said here? Solve this self made riddle that you are advancing here.

      BN

      • Ted

        Hi BN. In the second paragraph ” who happened to be muslims” seems you are trying to make it appear those people who took the initiative are Muslims only by sheer coincidence. Is it? and if it is by design, why you think having Muslims only in the conference make it conducive to come up with “five core principles”.

        • Bayan Nagash

          Hello Ted,

          If I say, two individuals, for example, who happened to be Americans won a Nobel Prize, say in Physics, am I making it sound like a coincidence or factual statement. We are splitting hair here. I guess it is a matter of interpretation, isn’t it? It so happened that I am writing this at nighttime. As it happens, I am going to wish you a blessed night.

          Good Night, Ted.
          BN

          • Ted

            Hi BN, it is complicated enough to warrant hair splitting. Good ideas for our betterment are good no matter who came up with it. Let hope wider audience catch the essence not be hostage to personalized religion and region issue. It is part of our History that like minded people take the initiative to involve Eritreans at large.
            You didn’t explain the whole thing as you think you did.

          • Bayan Nagash

            Hello Ted,

            These things require time and due diligence on all of us. I have tried my best to engage Awatawyan the best and honest way I know how. And, there will be more occasions in which some of these issues will begin to converge through time. The main thing is that we are all trying to deal with them in the context and from the perspectives of where stand today. Tomorrow might be a different story. The conversation, the dialogue, and the discourse must continue unabated.

            I concur with your notion though Ted, that personalizing issues seldom help, be it of ideological, regional, religious mold. If I disagree with you, for example, vehemently on a topic, I should never personalize it to a point of letting that get in the way of so many things we can do together for the betterment of our people and the country we are all a part of in our future encounters. So, don’t lose hope that if I “didn’t explain the whole thing as [I] thought [I] did”, there will come a time when we will understand each other better, I hope.

            Sincerely,
            BN

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Byan Negash

        Any issues that concern all Eritreans could only be solved by political parties, institutions, organizations……that look exactly like Eritrea itself.

        GEAN doesn’t look like Eritrea; not even close. Therefore GEAN is incapable of solving Eritrean collective problems. If any it is an impediment to the solution of our collective problems – problems that you alluded “Nobody claimed the five core principles were Muslim Eritrean issues only”. That is the bottom line.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Bayan Nagash

          merHaba Semere T.,

          I will let time be the judge. Humans are uniquely endowed to think backward and forward and be in the present all at the same time. Therefore, I will let time to be the judge of this.

          BN

    • Hassan Meqe

      Hello there Semere,

      It seems every time we bring forth Afar rights in Eritrea,
      it seems to unearth the ugliest earthworms of the Tigrigna highlands. Is this the same Semere Tesfai(Bumper Sticker Semere),
      Your comment below justifies mentioning you in the same sentence as the likes of Afweki and the PFDJ elites in Asmara; you said… “There is no region in Eritrea that has ethnic purity”. We agree with you.

      Having said that, this didn’t happen as result of natural process but rather by design. We think you’re the culprit of this process. What you have alluded to is the reflection of PFDJ’s constitutional design/plan. When
      the Afwerki Tanks rolled in to Danakalia in 1991, the Afar were the 99.9 Majority population of Danakalia, except for few Ethiopia laborers in Assab.That makes them pure ethnicity of Dankalia. Today, your tanks have even penetrated the remotest hinterland of Afar villages and dislodged the indigenous Afar and uprooted them from towns like Assab ,Wade, Galaalu,Baylul, Idi,…..,ect even from the Islands such as Dahalak, Marsa Fatuma, the Afar fishing boats are confiscated and fishing training are given to Tigrignas. Not only the Tigrigna are the majority ethnicity in Afar coast but control all the fishing activities that were alien to Tignrigna prior to 1991.

      We have been alleging for years now Eritrea is systemically ethnic cleansing the Afar from Eritrea and colonize the area with highlanders from Tigrigna. Now the Plan has worked. The Eritrean Tigrigna are the majority in Dankalia today.

      If this makes you proud Eritrean and somewhat invincible, you have achieved your goals. But rest assured my friend, nothing lasts forever. You’re plan is doomed to fail, it’s unsustainable and Unacceptable.

      See you soon in Assab my friend.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Hassan M.

        You said: “We have been alleging for years now Eritrea is systemically ethnic cleansing the Afar from Eritrea and colonize the area with highlanders from Tigrigna. Now the Plan has worked. The Eritrean Tigrigna are the majority in Dankalia today.”

        So, are you saying that the Afar population have been systematically removed from Dankalia to make space for highlanders? Are you advocating the slogan ‘Dankalia for Afars only’? Amazing!

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Hassan Meqe

        First I want to thank you for your unique response. I’m elated to hear from my Afar compatriot. That is a voice I don’t hear often enough, which I want to. Second, sorry for my ignorance, but to this day, I was under the impression that the GEAN (ELL) political project was outside the Afar political sphere. If I’m wrong, meaning, if Afar Muslims are considering themselves part of the GEAN (ELL) political movement, that’s even better.

        But having said that, I don’t believe there is any wisdom, in painting all ethnic Tigrignas with the same brush (as enemies of Afar/Muslims) and seeking solution based on that premise. We will be better served as a people, if we communicate with each other and attempt to find a political formula that would unite us as a people and that would serve our collective interest for the long haul. Because it is impossible to solve our collective problems by erecting walls along our ethnic, faith and regional lines. We are all in this together; and we all have to learn to listen to each-other and we all have to learn to work together to solve our collective problems. At least that is what I believe.

        As to the sins of PFDJ (the misery that is being unleashed by PFDJ regime to the Afar people), please refrain from criminalizing every ethnic Tigrigna – where ever they may reside. Caught by their day to day hectic life to put food on the table, most ethnic Tigrignas including me, don’t know much what is happening to the Afar people. Please educate us.

        And make no mistake, like you and everyone else, ethnic Tigrignas want to live, and live in peace as well.

        Semere Tesfai

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Hassan,

        Thank you for spending the time to engage in this forum. I think, in my case you are probably the first person that I am reading who are from Afar region. And I can tell you, please to continue to do so and hope you remain engaged not only Afar issue but the whole debacle we all find ourselves with this regime.

        The only thing that I will ask you and I have asked others to do the same, please do try to make the distinction between the regime of Isayas Afeworki and the forced and held hostage “Eritreans from the highlands/ Kebesa”. I never call my self “Tigrina” as I despise the word, because it’s was baptized to me and my likes by the EPLF/PFDJ but I do belong to that category of people you are describing.

        I am not denying that the majoring of it’s handlers and supporters of the regime are from the Eritrean highlands / Kebesa so for you and others to highlight the injustice perpetrated by my kind of people is completely understandable.

        What I want to suggest is to be cautious and try to understand the situation of our people and how we are held hostage by the regime. So for example you said:

        ” Today, your tanks have even penetrated the remotest hinterland of Afar villages and dislodged the indigenous Afar and uprooted them from towns like Assab ,Wade, Galaalu,Baylul, Idi,…..,ect even from the Islands such as Dahalak, Marsa Fatuma, the Afar fishing boats are confiscated and fishing training are given to Tigrignas. Not only the Tigrigna are the majority ethnicity in Afar coast but control all the fishing activities that were alien to Tignrigna prior to 1991.”

        Let me ask you this, do you think the “Tigrignas” are forced consriptes of the regime / army or willing solider / business / traders who wanted to take over Afar lands and want to be fisherman instead.

        What I think is, the PFDJ since it wants to monopolize the entire Eritrean economy and “fisheries” as one of hard cash earning industry, it wants to capitalize it and in the process it’s dominating as you indicated. But non of the forced solidiers are really benefiting from this industry. They are for the most part forced to serve there, under the direct order of some general or otherwise.

        The reason I say that, given a choice to do what ever they wanted for the life, I think majority of them will not chose to be fisherman and go to Afar land. So the point I wanted to make is, we should try to focus and make a distiniction that the regime should be our target and not the people who are serving there by force. Trust me, as soon as this regime is removed, none of the “Tigrina” will stay there if they are not willing to do so.

        For me personally, I have a lot of issue with the Eritrean constitution. The constitution is solely designed to serve that IA be the president and he has total control of our country and the people. The only problem for him was, they only gave him two terms to serve and it’s NOT enough for him.

        As far as the type of system we wanted to create I think, personally a Federal system with the traditional “Awarajata 8 or 9 of them” would really serve better with the rights of citizens uphold, such as rights for people to live and work where ever they chose, rights to free assembly, rights freedom of speech and worship.

        I live in Canada and I may be bias but I think it’s probably the best system for our country and our population configuration.

        Berhe

        • Dayphi

          Bless your heart Hawwey Berhe for understanding the plight of our people of Affar/ Dankalia region. Disseminating them into Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti wasnt enough to them, now they find themselves in mass exodus to yemen and beyound as life became unbearable after confiscating and disrupting their main source of life sustainance, the fishing.
          On the other hand, i totally support your idea of federal or decentralized system of governance where each awraja has more autonomy or awrajahood to keep the texture, rights, and self rule of its inhabitants the way each awraja sees it best.
          Thank you again.

        • Fnote Selam

          Hi Berhe,

          agreeing with most of what you just said, just want to add a few things…

          I think we, tigrignas, should take some responsibility for the current mess in Eritrea (especially marginalization of minorities) because most of the leaders of the regime and almost all its supporters (especially the diaspora ones) come from tigrigna. This is not to say all tigrignas should face the court that a few among us committed (every individual who committed a crime should reconcile himself with the society and/or face court, regardless whether that individual is tigrigna, tigre, kunama, afar, saho etc). It is not to say all tigrigna should apologize to all other ethnic groups (i am sure they dont look for our pity). When i say we should take responsibility, I mean that we should take the charge in ending the regime in eri (led by mostly tigrigna) and lead in way of reconciliation and restoring trust among the ethnic groups. I had the chance to interact with some hard core pfdj loyalist over the last year or so, the kind of racism and condescension that comes out of their mouth without a hint of bother against the various eris ethnic groups is just mind boggling and a star reminder we have a long way to go to ward respectful relationship….(BTW, it was brought to my attention that casual racism is quite common among tigrignas in the silent majority and even active opp grps as well….)

          It is rather disappointing to see some tigrigna people in this forum question the intentions of the various ethnic based groups while granting huge benefit of the doubt to ia and pfdj….just shameful…

          Best,

          FS.

          • Adulis

            well said!

      • Hope

        Dear Hassn:
        I respectfully disagree with your first paragraph as,let alone Semere Tesfay,who bled for all Eriyreans,no SANE Eritrean would think the way you expressed it!
        It is your misperception!
        If the System or the Regime has done so,then the Regime or the System in question should be blamed for,not the innocent Cotozens and it is beyond unethical and beyond defamation to claim otherwise with a blanket generalization and accusation!
        That is a typical TPLF Propaganda as a means of breaking the back bone of the Kebesaa People and Christians as the TPLF knows that the Kebessans are indeed the BACK BONE of Eritrean Independence and Sovereignty based on history ,more so than their alleged history of “betraying Eritrea”!

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear Awatawyan please read Hassan’s points below:

    Thanks for the kind words Br, Amanuel

    We believe the Afar present a unique opportunity for Eritrean salvation. The geopolitical- socioeconomic advantage of Afar homeland(Dankalia) has the potential to unite Eritreans, for democratic reform and coexistence. But first, we must confront the historic and racial bigotry and ideological insult towards the Afar people of Eritrea and other indigenous communities in Eritrea.

    The Demonization and Dehumanization agenda carried out by PFDJ elites in order to control the Afar resources and strategic assets by, 1st-declaring the Afar as incapable to govern themselves, backwards, uncivilized and even worst as the “enemy sympathizers” , 2nd -by drafting the Eritrean constitution supported by these ideology is a cancerous threat to the unity of our people. These are the underlying problems we must confront together. When Eritreans came together to fight against similar subjugation by Emperor H/Selassie, we have all seen the result, it was the birth of a new nation and though it’s short-lived, the establishment of dignity of Eritrean people.

    Afar are not targeted simply because they happen to be Muslims in Eritrea today, but they are certainly targeted for their Ethnic background to cleanse them of Dankalia. If we are to learn from the past, we should start with opining up the 1997 Eritrean constitution and include the rights of the Marginalized and the Disenfranchised. There are enough resources and share of power to around for all of us.

    The Afar and EASE welcome positive engagement and respectful dialogue. With a friend like you Amanuel, Eritreans are capable of set up their road map to real and sustainable democratic reform in Eritrea.

    Hassan Meqe
    ==========

    Dear Amanuel H, Ayneta, Hassan, & Awatawyan:

    The above note from Hassan is precisely why we should discuss our issues irrespective of our station in the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ladder in Eritrea and in the diaspora. I am hoping EASE’s video clip will continue to be instrumental in bringing forth the plight of our brothers and sisters from Afar. GEAN is proud to helping bring forth such an important Eritrean issue, of course, with the lucid assistance of EASE and its spokesperson, brother Ahmed in Canada.

    Amanuel, you may find the following link of interest since you are going to write a piece related to our Afar region, which is least addressed in any of the Eritrean discussions, which might be what Hassan had in mind when he mentions the “2nd drafting of Eritrean… constitution” in his note above. For convenience, here is the Abstract of the paper – and the link below it – written by Professor Magnet, a constitutional scholar out of Canada on behalf of the people of Afar.

    Abstract:

    Eritrea went through a constitutional process from 1995 to 1997, which resulted in a text that provides for the rule of law, democratic institutions and human rights. The text was ratified by the National Assembly, but never implemented.

    The United Nations, the USA and the EU support the 1997 Constitution. They have called on Eritrea to “[i]mplement [it] fully and without further delay”.

    This recommendation is challenged here. Eritrea is multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual. The 1997 Constitution creates a highly centralized Stalinist structure that experience teaches does not work in deeply diverse democracies. Eritrea requires a power sharing constitution, fabricated in a proper negotiated process.

    Implementing the 1997 Constitution would likely bring Eritrea’s two large nationalities into conflict with its eight smaller nationalities with high risk for violent civil strife that could spill over into neighbouring countries. This is concerning for geopolitics and would be devastating for human rights.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2691461

  • Bayan Nagash

    Dear Ismail & Awatawyan,

    It is partly for this reason that GEAN does not care about advancing its name. The issues it raises are that need to be dealt with, not the who but the how and the why should these issues become front and center of the Eritrean political landscape moving forward that matters the most. Some think that if and when these core issues are addressed that other pertinent issues will, therefore, not be dealt with. All what GEAN is saying is that Eritreans who happened to be Muslims overwhelmingly see these issues central to the core of their being. If those who have other issues bring theirs forward, be it Christians, Animists, Agnostics, or Atheists, it matters not. Let us talk about the issues that all Eritreans care most, these five core issues are, indeed, Eritrean national issues. If others can’t seem to bring themselves to care about these issues, they should know that they are ignoring a fundamental part of their populations’ concerns.

    Nobody doubts that EPLF brought forth independence, that has been proven beyond the shadow of any doubt. What it, however, forgot to realize is that liberation of Eritrean territories was not meant for EPLF and its cohorts, i.e., for its power base only, which is precisely what it ended up doing. And, little by little that base continues to erode until there is only a clique left to lead a nation. So, scratch a surface in PFDJ’s worldview, it is nothing more than a mile wide, an inch deep. In other words, the lights of freedom were lit briefly on, but there does not seem to be anyone home to enjoy that freedom for which Eritreans from all walks of life paid the ultimate price for.

    Beyan/Bayan

    • tes

      Dear bayan Nagash,

      Here is what you wrote, It is partly for this reason that GEAN does not care about advancing its name..

      Well then GEAN is occupied by fear of the existing political landscape. Do you think that an organization that fails to advance her true identity will become successful?

      If we go back to the 1940s and 1950s politics, it is Al-Rabita Al-Islamiya of Sheik Ibrahim Sultan that succeeded to bring all Eritreans in one table or better to say succeeded to take a lead in the struggle for Eritrean independence. but Al-Rabita Al-Islamya didn’t hide her name. In fact every Eritrean loved it and embraced it. The other party that came together with this party is ‘Mahber Fikri hager”. These two formed a perfect harmony to fight against those who advocate for union.

      And now there shouldn’t be FEAR. Let the name say everything. We have a saying in Tigrigna, “Shim yimerih, tuwaf yiberih”. Let GEAN therefore be brave to named as it stands for.

      Therefore I don’t see any problem for advancing their [GEAN] true name.

      tes

      +Ismail A.Ahmde is trying to discipline the forumers instead of discussing the concern raised. It is not good. Lets engage. Only though engagement we can prosper. Enough with those who give lectures about discipline.

  • A.Osman

    Dear Hope,

    1. Would it have been acceptable to you if it was raised in 1997?
    2. You stated that EPDP political mission caters for all the issues raised, did they have people flocking to join them? Basically, I am saying what is the catalyst to maximise participation. GEAN are trying one way, I am sure they will listen if you propose a better alternative.
    3. I think we are already there, can you imagine that EDA members were surprised and shocked to know that Prof.Magnet was working to come up for a federal arrangement even up to secession in the event that the Afar were unable to find a solution within Eritrean politics. Putting your head in the sand does not do away social problems that we have, GEAN’s attempt is one of many to reverse the fragmentation and I like such efforts.

    TPLF and Weyane, I don’t know what to do with them…..they always lurk in our internal affair :). Can we discuss internal issues with confidence that Eritreans are as patriotic as PFDJ in caring about the sovregnity of Eritrea.

    Regards
    A.Osman

    PS. Disclaimer – I am not a member of GEAN, nor one of the 200 or so participants of the conference – but I endorse their effort, until I see evidence that they are trying to use it as a platform for political manipulation.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear GEAN leaders/coordinators

    I have some questions for you, and I hope to see you up front promoting your ideas/missions and defending your positions. You the leaders/coordinators please, if possible tell us your position in the advocacy group so that we can take your inputs with some grains of authority, otherwise, you are leaving the forum to discuss an issue that has just been out of the conference. The discussants lack prior knowledge of your group or its activities, I can’t point to any useful press/literary, or news of engagement that has been done in the past except a news piece by Awate.com and a linked video of EASE (which has really exacerbated the situation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt-8A0JBJGs

    The awate.com news piece goes, ” According to a press release sent to Gedab News, the two-day conference was organized “on the premise for the need of political engagement of Eritrean Muslims in the Diaspora.” The news continues to tell us that around 200 “Eritreans activists, humanitarian groups, and professional attended the conference…”

    So far no mention that the conference attendees or the network itself is solely composed of ERITREAN MUSLIMS. And it would not be an issue of concern because men could join women to discuss women’s issues; Christians could join Muslims to discuss issues that are of concern to Muslims, Kebessa compatriots could join their lowland compatriots in discussing matters lowlanders consider of concern or deem vital to them and VICE VERSA. If there is a concern of Muslim disengagement in national issues it’s not solely and exclusively a Muslims’ concern. It’s all justice seekers’ concern. It’s the concern of all Eritreans. Therefore, I would expect some of those professionals who attended the conference to be Christians, because I don’t see why a Christian community organizer or a Christian sociologist would not be interested to help out the children of his compatriot Muslims, if it’s a matter of igniting interest of Eritrean politics into the hearts and minds of Eritrean Muslim youth. I would be interested in helping out my Christian youth.

    According to the news, “Diaspora Muslims, particularly the young, are more detached from Eritrean affairs relative to their Christian compatriots.” What study has been done to make such conclusion? According to my knowledge, the GEAN press release that the news was based on has not been made public, nor the findings the news underlined would be made public has not been made public.

    The problem with such undertakings is the lack of engagement. Knowing that there are more than three political parties that run on mobilizing Muslims, aware that the Lowland League was established upon similar premises; cognizant that there are many ethnic political factions that bank on this idea; mindful that many political organizations which run on national platforms accommodate these same issues; it is only natural to ask what’s new in GEAN?

    Please bear questions I have so far posed, and add the following in your answer (I seek nothing but engagement, since the forum is walking blindly.

    1. Where there Christian participants? If not, was there an a plan/intention to summon their presence and why did it fail?

    2. When do we expect your press release, and the findings of the conference to be made public?

    3. Is there a site where we can get additional information?

    4. “Diaspora Muslims, particularly the young, are more detached from Eritrean affairs relative to their Christian compatriots,” is take from the news awate.com disseminated. I assume you agree with that. Why do you think so?

    5. “National Language, Land Proclamation, Refugee Repatriation, Ethnic and Minority Issues, Developing Human Resources” Dr. Ibrahim. I also assume you agree with him. Are these issues exclusively Muslim concerns?

    Conclusion: I reaffirm the following.

    1. Eritrea’s current problems cuts across sectarian section. Any sociopolitical problems we can talk about is the making of the regime seizing power. If we assume that around half of our people are beneficiaries of the regime’s policies, and indirectly affirm that the regime enjoys the backing of that portion, then we are in dire straits. I do believe the policies of an authoritarian regime cuts across demographical section.
    2. Current Eritrean political manifestations is not a tell tale sign of what democratic Eritrea should look like. The reason of why there is an opposition is because we have a system that created such issues that GEAN raises and similar other issues that should unite INTENTIONS and EFFORTS to realize those intentions/ political programs. Therefore, in theory, the reason why we have different factions and programs is because the regime is hurting us cross sectional. That means poorly defined and delineated initiatives have no net positive impact in the general struggle for justice, rather they play into the hands of PFDJ. That’s in addition to being duplicates. For instance, when ELL was launched, it was criticized because it did not include Muslim highlanders…well, it was then said ELL wasn’t a Muslim project. It was said that regardless of religious affiliations, ELL would include all low landers. Then the Question of Afar came out. It was said Afars had their own umbrella organization. Well, if ELL is a non-religious all inclusive civic league, what does a political organization that threatens to go “up to secession” has to do with it? Don’t the Affars have the right to join their lowland compatriots to discuss issues that concerns ALL LOWLANDERS? Now with the lecture of EASE in GEAN conference, and the presence of some ELL proponents, it seems to me that GEAN is taking the game to a higher level. If not please enlighten me. This reminds me a paragraph in one of Ustaz Bayan Negash where he said it was wise all the “marginalized” ethnic groups should unite and confront Tigrigna ethnic group. The following paragraph, taken from Ustaz Ibrahim also reinforces this suspicion.
    “I do believe that, engaging Eritrean Muslims from all walks of life in the Eritrean political landscape under the five core principles will benefit all Eritreans. Their engagement will lead to their strength. ‘Strong Muslims’ will lead to ‘Strong Christians’, which creates a ‘Balance of power’. Balance of power will lead to ‘Strong Eritrea’. Strong Eritrea means ‘Stable Eritrea’.
    Therefore, according to the author of the article, Dr. Ibrahim, a new configuration, based on religion, is the panacea to Eritrea’s ailments!!!
    Then, it is correct for some discussants to say that GEAN acronym is misleading.
    3. I do believe such initiatives aim at the day after change, not in bringing change. Because the work for change demands unity. It demands finding common ground and emphasizing what connects us rather than what separates us.
    Anyway, this is intended for the people behind GEAN to het to the front and answer concerns of the forum. This is an opportunity that they should seize , because the forum could be taken as a microcosm of Eritrean society. When they answer a concern spelled out in this forum, they are answering similar concerns Eritreans may have, but unable to make them public. There is much to be had in engagement. So, come out and engage the forum, provide it with more materials
    Thank you if you have finished reading this comment.

    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      I concur with you fully and I join you to call GEAN leaders to enlighten us more on this issue.

      tes

    • Bayan Nagash

      Selam kbur Haw Tegadalay Mahmud & Awatawyan,

      What appears to be clear from your inquiry is that you did not hear or read the news press that came out in Medrekh Radio, nor the three part interview that was conducted with GEAN’s Tigrinya Media Team (TMT) by the same media outlet. Therefore, the first logical order of the day will be to listen to such media releases, thereafter any other pending issues can be addressed accordingly. So, for your convenience and that of other Awatawyan herein follow the links in chronological order:

      Medrekh Radio Tigrinya Press Release on Global Eritrean Advocacy Network (Per request, the text version of this press release is available. Send your request to geanoferitrea@gmail.com)

      https://youtu.be/QigPYUAEcd4?t=1315

      Part I Radio Interview with GEAN’s Tigrinya Media Team (12 January 2016)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1b39lOgYLo&feature=youtu.be&t=1907

      Part II Radio Interview with GEAN’s Tigrinya Media Team (15 January 2016)

      https://youtu.be/eo5vxSFhD8Q?t=1552

      Part III (This is the final interview 19 January 2016)

      https://youtu.be/cHodOvaeGys?t=2422

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Beyan
        Thanks for the answer. One more:
        Still I feel the answer of the network is that it doesn’t want to engage the forum. Radio interviews are not substitutions of engaging a forum, because you are answering others’ questions not necessarily our forums live discussions. I will see if I find the answers to the questions I posed. But, I have to tell you that I’m very disappointed for not giving me short answers (may be no ore than two sentences for each of the questions. Most people I know are not radio listeners. I listen to the radio only when I’m on the road. Therefore, I kindly request you to give the forum brief answers. Particularly questions number 1, 4, 5 and others. What I’m looking at is confidence, brother Beyan. As a general rule people who propose such initiatives need to get out in the forefront of discussions and promote their ideas. Since the net work has made itself public, and keeps seeping out its ideas through multiple channels, it should not require us to send our concerns privately through emails. That’s the wrong signal.

        • Bayan Nagash

          Selam Mahmud,

          With all due respect, brother Mahmud, GEAN’s e-mail was offered so that the forum does not become a playground for links and pdf documents. Oh, by the way, there is an Arabic version of the press release, if anyone is interested in reading it in Arabic, they can send their request to geanoferitrea@gmail.com.

          Again, brother Mahmud, if you are not a listening or a watching type like me, which is well and good, but there must be an exception made here since you are the one who is asking, I simply gave you where you can get some of the answers. Your demands are unfair, whether your questions have been preemptively addressed via radio or through the written word, you have to be flexible enough to do that so we may avoid redundancies, that was the only intention for my availing the links. You need to do some due diligence here – listen to the media output – thereafter we can engage in the forum to our heart’s content. Let me now check questions 1,4, & 5. If I do not furnish any response, that is because they have been addressed in the links previously provided in this space. I believe this is fair enough.

          Sincerely,
          Beyan

          P.S. Oh, by the way, I just scrolled above to see questions 1, 4, & 5. They are addressed in the links, at least that’s my belief. If after listening you find that you have a follow-up question, then they will be addressed accordingly – One step at a time brother.

          • tes

            Dear Bayan Negash,

            I also endorsed all questions addressed by Mahmud and hence do not assume that you are only communicating with him.

            Just to be very specific: What does the news released by Gedab News stands for?

            Mind me here, my point is if GEAN main objective is to create a platform where Moslem Eritreans can be the a fierce stakeholders of the on-going struggle for justice as the news reported indicates it is a noble idea. However this movement is mainly to demobilize Moslems. I wish a parallel organization to be formed too to mobilize the Christian Eritreans because as we all know 60-70% of the diaspora Eritreans are within the silent majority. if we assume 50-50 are from both sections, then 0.5 x .65 x100% = 32.5% – 32.5% are already within the silent majority category.

            Dear Bayan we shouldn’t be afraid of to be called exactly for what we stand for.

            Let me tell you this: when ELL was formed, I was delighted as it stands clearly as its name implies. Ali Salem tried to blackmail it by using his own perceived analysis though. When you deal with ELL you know exactly with whom you are dealing with. Nevertheless it will be very difficult on dealing with GEAN as its name is very complicated.

            Let GEAN therefore come straight with its true name and promote its mission. I will be always happy to be a part when there is transparency. Camouflaged name giving should end so that justice to prevail.

            tes

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates
    *
    Greetings to all !
    *
    I would say that the multi ethnic EPLF experience of organizing itself and
    handling the intrinsic Nationality issues of one Nation state and the secular
    and moderate result it provides to the National politics is more preferable &
    better choice when forming a nation state in this age or era of world civilization
    and political development; than the one brought up by the TPLF which is more
    into the past century and doesn’t cope or harmonize with current world social
    and political developments and consciousness. The TPLF model is more narrow
    in its scope and operates on the periphery or extremist side or band of the spectrum.
    It seems more as the work of Pol Pot and the Cambodian communist Khmer Rouge
    party or the Albanian communist party in which both do not account the current reality
    of the society but would like to rewind the clock backwards in order to create a new
    society starting from zero – a purely communist utopian society.
    Thus the EPLF model is more in tune and up to date with Eritrean and Ethiopian society
    and socio-political realities and can easily be better adapted or adopted by in Ethiopia
    with better success.
    Any transformative or new politics that comes along should always take consideration
    of the objective realities and status of social developments that prevail in that time rather
    than to rewind back social development like a clock to suit your administration or find it
    easy to manage according to your new doctrines.

    • Ali

      Sorry, I don’t consider EPLF nationalistic or multi ethnic like Jebha where every ethnics were involved politically and military. EPLF [Shabia] was an organization sorely based on Tigrayan’s interest. They are worse than TPLF. At least TPLF dismantled Union fascism built by the Shoa and gave every ethnic rights of their own language and power in their region in Ethiopia.

      Arabic and ethnic languages are marginalized today in Eritrea for political reason while Tegrenia language are compulsory in the education and national service. Even though, Lowlanders and Saho highlanders favor their ethnic and the Arabic language while Tegrenia is an ethnic language spoken by Tigray-Jeberti people. The government, military and the economical sector are entirely consist of Tigrayan elites.

      It is evident between old generation Eritreans and the diaspora who are able to speak their ethnic language-Arabic whereas those under PFJD is spoken Tegrenia. This is seen as clear chauvinism and sectarianism incited by the former EPLF bandits who are now running the country.

      That said, there will be a huge crisis in the language and social barrier in the future.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Ali,

        Do you accept that the EPLF brought independence to Eritrea?

        • Mesfin

          Good day AT and Music Novice
          You never give up on EPLF. You must be one of the die hard supporters. Are you getting paid.
          EPLF did not bring independence, the Eritrean people brought independence, which was than taken away, the independence, from the people by some EPLF members. If you are following the discussion, no one is taking sides of any political/army or civic organization. It is about the GEAN and its plans for the future Eritrean constitution.

          Thank you
          Mesfin

          • tes

            Dear Mesfin,

            In case I am reproducing what MN political stand is,

            “..for sure, I am a critical supporter of the EPLF/PFDJ as the only party capable of leading a united Eritrea.”

            He tried but he will not hide from the eagle eyes of Awate Forum.

            tes

  • Hope

    Adarob:
    I got your point but you should have expected a follow up question(s)!’
    -despite that more than 80% of the EPLF Force was composed of Highlanders and Christians,more than 50% of the CC Members of the EPLF were Muslims!
    -Based on the EPLF Force ,more than 75% of the documented Martyrs are said to be Highlanders and Christians.
    -Grossly speaking ,more than 80 % in Prison and held incommunicado are said to be Highlanders and Christians!
    -For fact,more than 90% of the victims of Human Trafficking,Rape,the Sea and the Desert Deaths,Organ Harvesting,Refugees are Highlanders and Christians!
    Etc….
    This is not to justify the Socio-Economic Injusyice or Ineqialoty in Eritrea but to counter argue against the u constructive statements and blanket generalization or accusations made by the Piblic Figures and intellectuals in question !
    As I said it repeatedly,the Oppression is universal and our approach should be different and into date and contporaty,not a polarizing and divisive as it will unconstrictive and unhelpful and rather,it will drag the Genuine Struggle for a real change!
    You see how the Medrekh,at one point baptized as a” Transient Winter Project” is moving fast besides bringing together the seemingly irreconcilable Groups!

    That is the way to go,not “The Obsolete and the Weysne Style Struggle”!

    If you are advising your naive kids telling them that the Highlanders and Christians are their Oppressors and their Enemies,by default,you are advising them to declare a Civil war on those Highlanders and Christians,and as such, we might create an Eritrean “ISIS Group!”!
    Wasn’t that what Ali Salim declared on this same website?

    Short term memory problem or transient “Dementia”?
    Go figure it out,if not consult a second grader Eritrean kid to help you out !
    Tit for tat?
    Eye for an Eye?
    Th
    We are in the 21st Century,not in Zemene Orit or Bluy Kidan Era!
    Time for National Reconcilation without ifs and buts!
    The past is history ,only good for learning a lesson to do better today and tomorrow !
    Kem Shinti Ghemel Nidihrit!

  • PTS

    Good evening,
    If GEAN is about Muslim issues, why doesn’t the name indicate that? The name, as it stands, gives the impression of and for all Eritreans. Can you have kunama movement without kunama being part of the name (DMLEK)? Or womens’ association (NUEW)? Or rifle association (NRA)?
    I will be brutally honest and you gonna hate me. You live in America and you do not feel comfortable using Islam or Muslim as part of the acronomy.

    • Lamek Berhane

      Selamat PTS, I read the news article from a few weeks ago. It seems like their mission is to mobilize the muslim population of Eritrea…that is not a bad thing on and of itself. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen exactly what they have in mind but the fact that they are out there in public is good because they will be judged by the people. But I do agree in some sense that the muslims need to wake up or if they are awake, they need to be more active in participating with the compatriots in bringing about a change in Eritrea. Just as they want equal rights and what not, the sacrifice has to be parallel. My two cents.

  • Ayneta

    Dear Awate:

    Thank you Beyan for posting the mission and objectives of GEAN.

    In its objectives and mission, no mention of Muslim Eritreans is made. It seems to me GEAN is all about serving as a platform to unite all Eritreans together by giving a voice to those sidelined from the struggle. It isn’t necessarily about Eritrean Muslims. But from the commentary I am reading, it seems GEAN was specifically designed for Muslim Eritreans. There is a huge difference between the two. Serving the national interest by providing a platform for marginalized groups is entirely different from focusing merely on Muslim Eritreans. The first is noble, the second one is counterproductive and divisive.

  • AMAN

    Postal Mail
    c/o Awate Mail

    To Woyane / Tplf AND Baggage

    Yes
    _
    Get the F$*ck Out of the Place !
    The **** Sooner , The ***** Better !

  • AMAN

    Greetings all Awates !!

    AyNisadedin Ena Lomi ! AnLaQeQim zendro !

    Drop the purse /wallet (of the people) you stole !!!!!!

    Awet N’ Hafash !

    Yours, A.

  • tes

    Dear Dr. Ibrahim Siraje Ahmedin,

    The good thing is we never failed to establish one organization after another. The bad thing is every organization established tries to be the umbrella of all Eritreans when it is not. I wish GEAN was ELL and ELL was GEAN.

    News broad casted here via Gedab News about GEAN has everything. The objective of GEAN is to empower the self-segregated Eritrean Moslems. This is a noble idea and I don’t see any major difference with ELL.

    Justice will prevail in Eritrea for sure but not when one tries to be inclusive while he is not. Personally I believe on balancing powers and views. There is no sin in organizing that way. The sin aggravates when there is pretension and what I see in those day after day hatching organizations this trend;

    Anyway, when you live in a state of injustice, every trial that searches for justice is fine.

    My wish is to see ELL and GEAN merged together and empower the fight for justice.

    “True Peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of JUSTICE” Martin Luther King (1958)

    tes

    • Ayneta

      Tes:
      Your comment assumes, albeit implicitly, that GEAN is for Muslim Eritrean lowlanders. But no mention or allusion of such assumption is made in the objectives and mission of GEAN as posted by Beyan Negash below in this commentary. Where did you get your claim that, ”the objective of GEAN is to empower the self-segregated Eritrean Muslims”?

      • tes

        Dear Ayneta,

        Read this news and then respond.

        http://awate.com/gean-adopts-four-core-eritrean-issue/

        tes

        • Ayneta

          Tes:
          Thank you for the link. Awate is not getting the info straight when it comes to GEAN. In the link, it is clearly stated that GEAN is meant for Muslim Eritreans while in the objectives and mission as posted by Beyan, there is no particular focus on Eritrean Muslims. Its name, GEAN, appears to support its missions and objectives, but for some reason Awate.com has given as an entirely different perspective. Something appears fishy.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Ayenta,

        If the formation of GEAN is intended to organize the Eritrean Muslin in the Diaspora per Gedab news, it can’t be other than to our Muslim brothers and not for other purposes. Ayenta, it is straight forward. As the article also indicates, SGJ was a member of the participants. And hence Gedab news was dispatched straight from the conference. I do not think our friend Beyan will dispute Gedab news. That is why I displayed my qualms earlier in my comment.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    Well said!

    It seems that a lot of hibernating groups are coming out of the woodwork, bit by bit, in order to piggyback on the existing popular discontent in Eritrea.

  • AMAN

    To be fair and frank
    the reason pushing “fair minded intellectuals” or independent scholars
    to the defense of minority’s ( religious and ethnic ) cause is the religious
    and nationality extremism ideas that the TPLF and its politics is infusing
    into Eritrea’s political arena.
    The ideas of the Habesha scholars and intellectuals that call for moderate
    platform on religious and Nationality political agendas and the ideas and
    practices of the TPLF who think and operate in religious and Nationality
    extremism are at odds or contradictory in nature.
    The only way to bring the minorities and their ideas into the fold is only through
    secular and moderate political thinking and practice. And this is absent in the
    TPLF lead political camp. Thus a paradigm shift is necessary or needed in the
    thinking and practice of the TPLF/EPRDF camp with new moderate leaders
    leading the way than the extremists we had seen so far.
    As long as there is extremist thinking and practice on one end it is inevitable
    to find a similar but polar opposite response and reaction on the other end
    created through induction like the formation of opposite but equal polarity
    separated by some distance in electromagnetic fields or the clouds.
    That is it is such absence of secular and moderate thinking and practice
    in politics that brings extremist ideas and organizations ( primary identities &
    identity politics ) to the fore front.
    extremist agendas an

  • Ambassador

    Greetings to you all:

    There is a recurring debate between post-structural (for example feminists) and Marxists on the method of focus for struggle against subjugation. If there is a particular lesson that I draw from this debate, it is the Marxists response to the nuances of subjugation raised by feminists.

    Post-structural feminists dwell much on the discursive construction of a deserving victim as in a form of women, female or any gender identities or non-identities you may like to consider. What they basically mean is that the subjugated gender (for example woman) is considered incapable of being a man, thus produced as a segment of a society that deserves to hold limited positions. This, they say, creates women as a deserving victim. It is not that the society does not understand their plight; it is just that the society thinks women deserve the treatment they get. This as a backdrop, post-structural feminists devised a method of struggle at a level of discourse-that alienates everybody but them.

    Marxists on the other hand say, if all these feminists need is to be equal to men who are subjugated to almost the same level of women by the ruling class, all they are doing is reinforcing the anti-struggle narrative of the autocrat that sees unity of the lower class as a threat to its existence. Further they say, though their method of struggle, post-structural feminists create more enemies than they can handle- read almost all men, conservative cultural and religious adherents and the ruling class. Marxists focus on class struggle, thus have a common, single enemy to those who feel subjugated that provides the much needed clarity for struggle. If the struggle wins, they say, a classless society will be created where everyone, regardless of creed, ideology, gender, or ethnicity will be equal….the jury is still out on this one.

    Now you may debate on the effectiveness of class struggle as it is suggested by Marxists. You may even think of them as bigots (as I sometimes do) for they are insensitive to the nuances of subjugation experienced by different segments of the society. But no one doubts their clarity of purpose. Then comes my feeling about this article that, if all these ethnic minorities, Muslims, Arab wannabees long for the day they will be subjugated equally to that of the poor Tigrigna fella, we are doomed. I may even suddenly find myself as an enemy of ethnic minority, Muslim and Arab wannabe for I am a Tigrigna and Christian. When I fight against my fellow subaltern, Isaias will continue to rule for a thousand years.

    • Chefena

      Dear all
      I would like to add to the idea of discursive construction of reality. Identifying such ‘core issues’ and raising them to the national agenda and building a national consensus is a good idea, but by no means an easy task. Being able to account for the claimed cause- and-effect relationship needs to be backed by empirical details grounded on rigorous study. Until we do that, what we claim to be the case is, will still remain an ideological and discursive formation. Eritrean history is replete with production of discourses by both incumbent political elite and the hopeful counter-elite. They are used to advance their own vested political interests. We hope that GEAN, as it purports to be doing, will endeavour to come up with empirically sustainable views in order to sell them to the ‘Other’

  • V.F.

    Dear author and GEAN, the five core principles are good ‘in principle.’ I have endorsed these principles by writing to Beyan Negash here. But first we need to create a platform to address those core principles: National Language, Land Proclamation, Refugee Repatriation, Ethnic and Minority Issues, Developing Human Resources. The problem we now have in Eritrea is much more fundamental than this list. This list is for a democratic Eritrea, to be addressed during drafting a constitution and setting up other institutions. As you well know, the Christian highlanders are the ones faring the worst at this point in time. No more than a few hundred or a few thousand Christian Highlanders are in power and the people in power have been nothing but relentlessly annihilation the Kebessa population in particular and all Eritreans in general. These are good ideas for debate post PFDJ/IA Eritrea.

    Right now, I urge, all my fellow Muslim Eritreans to join the fight of toppling the current equal opportunity repressive regime. To me fighting to stop extrajudicial killings, mass arrests and persecutions and disappearances, confiscating people of their own money by pretexts of changing the currency to fight corruption, etc. are more urgent and need to be addressed now by joining all the forces trying to topple PFDJ. What language we do this in is immaterial at the moment.

    What if PFDJ accepts all the five core principles right now and implements them without any delay and yet the regime continues to do the following: indefinite national service continues, mass persecutions, giffa, arrests, monopoly of the entire economy, driving our your out of the country? Is that mission accomplished for GEAN?

    • Tafla

      V.F
      “What if PFDJ accepts all the five core principles right now and implements them without any delay and yet the regime continues to do the following: indefinite national service continues, mass persecutions, giffa, arrests, monopoly of the entire economy, driving our your out of the country? Is that mission accomplished for GEAN?”

      Very good question! But these 5 core issues are eternal issues for Muslim Eritreans. ELL, The Eritrean covenant, ELF…This kind of articles are not meant for *me and you. They are meant to unite muslims only and if they can find 1 or 2 useful idiots who are eager to be called openminded intellectuals. People like the writer would have loved if all Christians were pro-PFDJ, it would be more helpful to his agenda. The land issue is the only political issue that is worth discussing. All the other points are nonsense.

      * Read the call for muslim unity in black and white in this article.

      • Nitricc

        Hey Tafla; I have my own reservations about Religion based movement. the greatest tragedy to humanity is religion. and any movement; organization or gathering based on religion; it is never for the greater good. Take Eritrea’s case; PFDJ is mostly Christian but no one will claim the Muslims are oppressed or neglect under PFDJ rule. so, what is the point to establish muslims only network; organization, movement; call it whatever you want. of course the likes of VF, religious thugs will endorse such idea. they endorse it, not because they believe in such cause but it will give them the prefect opportunity to establish such organization that includes, only Christians. it is all connected!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Ayenta,

    Framing the Eritrean politics by “religion” is the most dangerous sociopolitical discourse that might lead us akin to that of the Lebanese tragedy. The current marginalization Is not religious marginalization, rather it is sociopolitical and socioeconomic marginalization of our minorities. This nature of marginalization can only be addressed and resolved by equitable sharing both politically and economically. In fact all our minorities should build their political case exactly like that of the ” EASE ” beautifully and realistically.

    regards
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Hope

      Selam Ustaz Amanuel!
      Am glad u understood the risks of not only Religion bass politics but also that of the TPLF Style and sponsored Ethnic and Region based Politics!
      I would expect you to come up with a Genuine and unbiased Article dealing with this kind of Politics!
      The Risk -Benefit Assessment /Analysis!!

    • Hassan Meqe

      Thanks for the kind words Br, Amanuel
      We believe the Afar present a unique opportunity for Eritrean salvation. The geopolitical- socioeconomic advantage of Afar homeland(Dankalia) has the potential to unite Eritreans, for democratic reform and coexistence. But first, we must confront the historic and racial bigotry and ideological
      insult towards the Afar people of Eritrea and other indigenous communities in
      Eritrea. The Demonization and Dehumanization agenda carried out by PFDJ elites in order to control the Afar resources and strategic assets by, 1st-declaring the Afar as incapable to govern themselves, backwards, uncivilized and even worst as the “enemy sympathizers” , 2nd -by drafting the Eritrean
      constitution supported by these ideology is a cancerous threat to the unity of our people. These are the underlying problems we must confront together. When Eritreans came together to fight against similar subjugation by Emperor H/Selassie, we have all seen the result, it was the birth of a new nation and though it’s short-lived, the establishment of dignity of Eritrean people.

      Afar are not targeted simply because they happen to be Muslims in Eritrea today, but they are
      certainly targeted for their Ethnic background to cleanse them of Dankalia. If we are to learn from the past, we should start with opining up the 1997 Eritrean constitution and include the rights of the Marginalized and the Disenfranchised. There are enough resources and share of power to around for all of us.

      The Afar and EASE welcome positive engagement and respectful dialogue. With a friend like you Amanuel, Eritreans are capable of set up their road map to real and sustainable democratic reform in Eritrea.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Brother Hassan,

        Your comment strenghtened to my optimism on our nation ‘s future and for keeping the equilibrium of its part (our social groups) to maintain their coexistence. I will be glad to join hand and strive for new constitutional transformation that gives equitable power sharing and fair economic distribution.

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

      • tes

        Dear Hassan Meqe,

        I spent about 10 days in Assab in the year of 2007 (summer). I have witnessed on eye account Assab been locked. At that time only one boat was allowed to bring basic logistics such as wheat flour, Onion, Potato. and tomatoes. etc. Just one boat.

        I have seen residents of Assab being chased away from the sea shores and not being allowed to fish even for their family consumption.

        I also spent some hours in Tio, Gelalo. The Afar people were trying to bring some materials for sale across the sea. but most of their stuffs were confiscated. The marine force was there and protecting them not to sail.

        Ah, I have many worrisome memories.

        I remember being the only guest in a hotel near the port. Only one person in a big hotel.

        I hope the Afar people will go back to their ancestral place and prosper.Denakil region has all the best resources everyone needs. Unfortunately PFDJ is colonizing it like all the rest of Eritrea. I fully support Afar grievances and I am happy when ever I see these people getting united and fight against the home grown dictator.

        Get united and kick PFDJ from the Denakil region. I am always with you.

        tes

  • Bayan Nagash

    selam Ayneta & Awatawyan,

    The following is from GEAN’s literature that addresses most of the pertinent questions you posed above:

    Global Eritrean Advocacy Network is an advocacy group that seeks to promote and advance issues it deems central to a just, peaceful, democratic and prosperous (present and) future Eritrea. It is committed to working closely with all individuals and groups that seek to advance these central issues regardless of political, religious or other orientations to garner support, help devise strategy and execute plans to fulfill aspired goals

    GEAN’s mission statement can be summarized as:

    To educate, mobilize, organize, influence public opinion and elected officials, empower Eritreans around important national issues and to inspire them to energetically and proactively participate in the national discourse; and to safeguard their aspirations for freedom, peace, equality and justice through equal representation and an inclusive national constitution that represents all sectors of Eritrean society within a free and democratic Eritrea.

    Purpose for outreach efforts:

    GEAN seeks to meet and engage like-minded individuals and groups to share ideas, brainstorm best ways to address existing challenges and avert future obstacles as well as share resources, talents and aspirations. We believe in promoting issues that are factually based, empirically quantifiable, rigorously researched will and do stand the test of time. We believe such factually based and thoroughly researched ideas will help cementing sound and long lasting laws, policies, services and practices.

    Beyan/Bayan

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    The very fact the EPLF/PFDJ succeeded in liberating Eritrea shows that it must have done something correct to unite the fragile nation.

    One cannot accuse the EPLF/PFDJ of favouring one ethnic group. On the contrary, they are trying to construct a new Nation on the basis of the Ghedli narrative only, after erasing old modes of thinking of every ethnic group.

  • A.Osman

    Dear MN,

    What you quoted is a fact, does it mean GEAN rejects your point that now most of those who are suffering are from Kebessa? No they don’t…..the current impact may need analysis (as your understanding of the suffering of other communities may not be full), but no one is denying all are suffering.

    There is a chronology for the good, bad and the ugly situation that Eritrea has gone through. If you were to run parallel chronology to assess how various groups in Eritrea fared, for some it may be bad, bad and ugly….when there was a potential to develop Eritrea in the early 90’s, the favor was skewed towards Highlanders, unfortunately now you can make an assertion that as Eritrea is regressing a heavier burden of this deteriorating condition may have fallen to the children of Highland Eritrea.

    The message of GEAN can be as we try to reverse our condition from the ugly to good, it is not enough to frame such path in the way it was done in the early years of independence, it has to be crafted mindful to the suffering of all groups. To do so, we may not agree with each other but we have to listen to all the complaints, without ifs and buts.

    GEAN should be challenged, at the same time we have to appreciate that it can play a role to narrowing the gap/divide that we have among Eritreans.

    Regards
    AOsman

    • Music Novice

      Greetings A. Osman,

      I do not accept the allegation that there is a “concentration of economic and political and social power in the hands of one ethnic group.”

      This allegation is a perception that does not stand scrutiny vis-à-vis the current objective reality in Eritrea. The EPLF/PFDJ is a tight knit group of people who, after liberating Eritrea, still think along the lines of ‘Us and Them’, in a secretive guerrilla movement mode. That is all to it. However, if anyone tries to think along sub-national narrative lines, the EPLF/PFDJ will be the first to land on them like a ton of bricks.

      Let us not worsen the current bad situation, and let us not follow the losers’ path of finding differences rather than common points of unity using a thinking and problem solving approach.

      • A.Osman

        Dear MN,

        Unfortunately always a small group will rule, it is fine to say a small clique does not represent you, but you cannot remain in denial about what others have to say about the challenges they faced in the past and are likely to face in future if something is not done about it.

        The point is about laws and policies enacted that have created an unfair condition among citizens. The evidences were adequately covered by at least Ahmed Raji’s lost rainbow series, under a democratic system those issues will remain unresolved if not properly understood and addressed. Listening to each other will only enrich our understanding of the extent of suffering faced by our fellow Eritreans, with time ours idea on how to resolve our problems will start to converge, then solutions can be devised with much ease.

        You don’t need to be sensitive, after all, no one is seeking compensation for missed opportunities.

        Regards
        AOsman

        • Music Novice

          Greetings A.Osman,

          I accept Eritrean Independence brought about through the systematic struggle of the EPLF, and therefore the EPLF/PFDJ represents me. The EPLF was a guerrilla movement and not a
          Scandinavian Socialist party. It led its members with Maoist discipline, which is appropriate for the conditions of an armed struggle. Furthermore, the EPLF’s approach is/was necessitated by the
          fragile nature of the nation which is sitting on many fault lines. That is why I do not have many unrealistic fantasies and expectations in Eritrea for a long time to come.

          I am also far from sensitive; quite the contrary. I am simply pointing our your own distorted perceptions of reality and exaggerated expectation that arise due to your own acute sensitivity.

          I worked at the University after independence, and it is the environment I know best. Would you care to point out any acts of ethnic monopoly in the context of University education?

          • A.Osman

            Dear MN,

            I have read your comments about AU in the past, but also have heard other views on regional competitions that were brewing within the institution. The way scholarships to South Africa and elsewhere were dealt with also is another complaint that I have heard, but since I was not a student there I can’t say if it was due to corruption or systematic problem.

            Saying that, your stay at the University does not make you an authority on issues of disadvantages and discrimination throughout Eritrea, maybe at AU. Topics of National Language, Refugee Repatriation, Land Proclamation, Minority Rights have been raised in the past, do you believe the status-quo on those matters is tenable in the future?

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            So you are unable to point out any concrete instances of ethnic monopoly in the context of University education in Eritrea other than repeat the rumours and innuendoes you have heard? What a shame, you started with a big bang claim but you finished with a whimper.

            You said: “… status-quo on those matters is tenable in the future?”

            The EPLF/PFDJ needs to loosen up a bit. What is needed is establishing the rule of law, a fixed term national service, relaxing the party’s stranglehold on the economy, quietly releasing political prisoners (no fanfare and confrontation is necessary) and allowing the free movement of citizens. But what we do not need are multi-parties, in particular those based on special interest groups and unrestricted press ‘freedom’/mayhem.

          • A.Osman

            Dear MN,

            Haha you bought the Uni to the discussion, it did not even cross my mind when discussing the whole issue of disadvantage in Eritrea. Now the big bang that you called is on National Language, Refugee Repatriation, Land Proclamation, Minority Rights…you can fit your Uni somewhere and say ” AyreAna AysemaEna”, but in itself is not the main topic. If you read Ahmad Raji’s 5 series articles, Abu Are’s on mother tongue policy and the attempt in past by UN to repatriate Eritrean in the past, am I just talking from whispers or you are burying your head under the sand. Sorry for the lazy approach as I usually provide the links, but I am assuming you know what I am referring to.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • dawit

            Selamat AOsman,
            I really enjoy your discussions with MN and I am not trying to disrupt the flow of the discussion. I simply want to know what was the UN effort to repatriate Eritrean refugees in the past? Could you elaborate or offer a link on this topic? It seems to me UNHCR at least is not in the business of resettling of Eritreans in their country, but rather encouraging Eritreans to be refugees by building more refugee camps in neighboring countries. Do we have entities that try to exploit Eritrean refugees as political football against PFDJ?
            Regards
            dawit

          • A.Osman

            Dear Dawit,

            Good question, I am not referring about recent refugees, those from 1968 up to independence who were living in refugee camps in east Sudan. There was effort to repatriate in the early years after independence. PFDJ may have wanted to milk the process, but eventually it reached a dead end with most of the refugees staying put or dispersing to the rest of Sudan and elsewhere……worse after some years the assistance given to those in the camps was cut off (I think around 2004) and they have lived in the worse conditions ever since……….I will try to dig the information sometime tomorrow….

            Regards
            AOsman

          • A.Osman

            Dear Dawit,

            Information on UNHCR effort to repatriate Eritreans follows with the issues surrounding the slow process that led to an eventual cessation of support.

            U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1997 – Sudan

            http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a8b64.html

            It touches on dispute about the number of refugees, the slow process in the 90’s and financial disputes over the scope of the repatriation program.

            29 Jan 2002, Background note on Eritrean refugees in Sudan (gives the plan)

            http://reliefweb.int/report/eritrea/background-note-eritrean-refugees-sudan

            It gives detail on assistance proposed to the refugees

            8 May 2002,UNHCR Declares Cessation of Refugee Status for Eritreans,

            http://www.unhcr.org/3cd9111e4.html

            Dec 31 given as the deadline

            8 Oct 2002, Sudan/Eritrea tensions put Eritrean repatriation on hold

            http://www.unhcr.org/3da2d1824.html

            After a temporary break in June due to the rainy season, UNHCR had planned to resume repatriation. SPLA attacks north-east of Kassala, subsequently borders are closed and there is tension between the two governments.

            01 Nov 2002, ERITREA-SUDAN: Refugee agency unaware of forced repatriations

            http://www.irinnews.org/report/35469/eritrea-sudan-refugee-agency-unaware-of-forced-repatriations

            Sudan attempts to take unilateral action as the deadline looms

            Regards
            AOsman

          • dawit

            Dear AOsman,
            Thank you and I really apreciate for your great effort to locate the information on the history and status of Eritreans refugees in Sudan. Personally for me it was an educational and an eye-opener to the problem. From my readings from the links, it does not implicate the Eritrean government had neglected the refugees issues. but instead Sudan was complicating the orderly repatriation of the refugees playing politics to its internal problem with South or East Sudan. Also it was the period right after the border war with Ethiopia when Sudan-Ethiopia-Yemen forged an alliance that tried to squeeze Eritrea politically and economically. I also don’t understand why UNHCR decided to end the refugee status of all Eritreans at a time when 100s of thousands were internally displaced due to the border war with Ethiopia. I don’t believe UNHCR was acting genuinely to resettle Eritreans. I have also read reports and comments AT some blaming the continued Eritrean refugees problem on Eritrean government to score some cheap propaganda against Eritrean government, May be this is an area that Eritreans in opposition and supporters of the government could cooperate to initiate a new effort to help the Eritrean government to resettle the Refugees, Just like the 2% tax to help our Martyrs families we can help to end the plight of Eritrean refugees who want to resettle say a 1% diaspora tax exclusively for such purpose. Since it is one of the five core problems identified in the article and want to resolve it we need to cooperate with the Eritrean government, otherwise it simply a political game to score some cheap points against the Eritrean government, What do you think?
            Regards,
            dawit

          • A.Osman

            Dear Dawit,

            Somehow I did not notice your response, thus the late response. There are a number of articles on this issue in Awate archive, but was tied up to dig locally. The first link provided that covers up to 1997 is where most of the blame is put on PFDJ, not after the border war. More detail is required to understand the reason for the slow process in repatriating refugees. As for the cessation by UNHCR, even though unfortunate, considering the multiple crisis they have to deal with it is not sustainable to carry on supporting refugees while their country in peace.

            I am quoting the section that needs further exploration to understand when we had peace and stability, what prevented the refugees from returning to their homes? A whole subject that needs to be addressed by an expert on the subject, so the same mistakes are not repeated.

            Eritrean Refugees Most Eritrean refugees fled to Sudan in the 1980s or earlier to escape civil war and famine. Some have been in Sudan for 30 years. Approximately 340,000 were living in Sudan at year’s end, although some estimates put the number as high as 600,000. UNHCR has acknowledged that disagreement over the actual numbers of Eritrean refugees “has generated too much controversy.”

            Despite peace in Eritrea, organized repatriation of Eritrean refugees has proceeded slowly, and remained stalled during 1996. Approximately 150,000 Eritrean refugees are believed to have left Sudan in recent years, most of them with no international assistance. UNHCR’s organized repatriation program began in late 1994 and assisted the return home of nearly 25,000 persons during 1994-95.

            Although no organized repatriation occurred during 1996, an estimated 11,000 Eritreans returned home from Sudan without assistance, according to Eritrean sources.

            Financial disputes over the scope of the repatriation program, and deteriorating relations between the governments of Sudan and Eritrea, have contributed to the slow pace of repatriation. The two countries severed diplomatic relations in 1995. Military hostilities along the border “made the repatriation land routes, and the exercise as a whole, seem risky,” UNHCR reported. Sudanese authorities at the border posed an additional obstacle to repatriation by imposing taxes on the possessions of some Eritreans who were returning home.

            Sudanese authorities blamed the Eritrean government for the lack of repatriation. “Eritrea is selective…in determining its nominees for repatriation,” a Sudanese refugee official complained in mid-1996. Charges that Sudanese officials were harassing some refugees – about 220 were expelled during the year – prompted UNHCR to seek an accelerated repatriation schedule, without success.

            Approximately one third of the refugee population lived in about 25 settlements in eastern Sudan. UNHCR conducted a camp census during the year. Some 210,000 others lived in Sudan’s larger towns and urban areas. Although many refugee families were largely self-sufficient, they struggled to cope with land shortages and declining land productivity. About 55,000 refugee children attended school.

            Nine out of ten Eritrean refugees want to repatriate eventually, according to a survey published in 1996 by the Life and Peace Institute. About 85 percent of refugee households in Sudan indicated that assistance levels in Eritrea would be a major determinant in their decision whether to go home. Lack of transportation assistance was the primary impediment to repatriation for 17 percent of the refugees, according to the survey. More than half of the refugee households not living in Khartoum have sent a family member to visit Eritrea to assess conditions, the study found.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Berhe Y

            Dear A. Osman,

            I think the grievances of Eritrean Muslims with the PFDJ regime, such as language, land, resources is well placed. I am afraid sometimes it appears that, when Eritrean Muslims elites describe the problems / inssues, they indicated the PFDJ/ EPLF regime as a Christian / Kebesa benefiting regime.

            I can tell as a Christian Eritrean, there is nothing more damaging to our culture, our religion, our values, our women or social fabric and our over all existence as a society that these regime. The regime it does what it does NOT for the benefit of the Eritrean Christians highlands. This may come as a surprise, but I would challenge anyone who can prove me wrong if this regime did anything for the Eritrean Christians benefit compared to any other regime before it. Absolute destruction.

            There is no point in going and compare, if this regime oppress Christians more so than Muslims. I agree with you, it may have come in different stages and it has oppressed Muslims more than it did Christians initially but I can tell you, if you ask a Christian like me, this regime has been oppressing our people for a long time, even when they were EPLF.

            I know off course the majority of those in it’s ranks are Christians. And the majority of it’s supporters are Christians and this may indicate that, it’s a regime of Christians. But the fact the matter is, oppressive regime in other parts of the world, like for example Stalin Russia, or Saddam Iraq, or Pot Pot Cambodia oppressed their own people and their own kind. And the oppression of Christians by the PFDJ regime is not different.

            I do realize the statistics of Ahmed Raji and I am not refuting the facts he presents and he did a great job in highlighting. But at the same time, one needs to exercise caution not to interpret as it means that, because the “Muslims are suffering” there for Christians are benefiting.

            I would leave this facts to ponder. Look at the Awate Myrtreyers album and find out the names and of those killed in the war. Can one say that, is this the kind of benefit the Christians getting from this regime.

            Berhe

          • A.Osman

            Dear Berhe,

            I agree with you, if we are to compare we will drawing a regression graph and analysing which one was steeper, is steeper now and is likely to go on that mode if something is not done. All that is required is that we understand what all the segments of our society are struggling with, we will better informed to deal with it in the future.

            It is unfortunate that if an ethnic complains, by default it is assumed that Highlanders are benefiting. It does not have to be that way, but we should not to go on rejecting people who want to speak of their own problem. I have not seen anyone from the ethnic minorities rejecting the suffering that many from Kebessa are going through, so why is it when they complain some go all defensive?

            I was away from the net for sometime today, OMG MN is still waiting for evidence…..I might have to look for the links of the mentioned references and at the same time I have a feeling he will not accept them. Anyway I will dig the 4-1 rainbow articles in case he has not read them.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            A regression graph connecting which numerical variables?

          • A.Osman

            Dear MN,

            Can’t find the “I am waiting post” and I have to go…in the interim if you have not read them yet, the following articles will quench your thirst to know:

            The Lost Rainbow (I)
            http://web.archive.org/web/20091018120237/http:/www.awate.com/portal/content/view/5262/5/

            The Lost Rainbow (II)
            http://web.archive.org/web/20091018175241/http:/www.awate.com/portal/content/view/5270/5/

            The Lost Rainbow: Issues of Equity in Eritrea (III)
            http://web.archive.org/web/20090912011330/http:/www.awate.com/portal/content/view/5281/5/

            The Lost Rainbow: Issues of Equity in Eritrea (IV)
            http://web.archive.org/web/20091004162124/http:/www.awate.com/portal/content/view/5322/5/

            Regards
            AOsman

          • A.Osman

            X – years (1991 to now)
            Y – condition

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            Condition is what numerical variable?

          • A.Osman

            Dear MN,

            You are serious about this one :), in your variables, you can put employment (you can subdivide it to various government institutions), education (feel free add AU), land allocation, business licensing and many other variables that are directly affected by government policies or related to government services, but don’t ask me to volunteer with the data…You can further catergorise Eritreans across many divides and draw up the trend lines. AR did a good job using information in the public domain, you can dig deeper and disprove his hypothesis or could go on the AyreAnan AysemanEnan mode and ignore it.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            You meant to say numerical variables such as: Number in Employment, Number in Education etc. You see, you were not precise enough in your description.

            Are you claiming here that the Number of Muslims or other non-Tigrinya speaking ethnic groups employed or studying at the University decreased compared to the era of the Derg and Emperor Haile?

            The criteria for employment at University or for enrolling to study is Grade Point Average (GPA) which is free from religion or ethnic bias or, as we say, religion or ethnicity blind.

            I know a specific case whereby my friends in Computer Science were desperately trying to recruit a Muslim chap who was a Physics Graduate from Addis Ababa. The chap had a good GPA, and was highly sought after, but his employers at the Civil Aviation Authority needed him badly, so they could not release him. If I am not mistaken, few years later, the chap was sent to the University of Reading in the UK to study Atmospheric Physics. It would be great, if the chap I am talking about is reading this post to verify this story.

            The problem with recruitment, both for employment and education, of the category of people under discussion is that there are very few around because they have gone Absent Without Leave (AWOL).

            It would also be good if Dr. Mohammed Keir, who was a dean at the College of Agriculture for many years and was involved in serious decision making, could give his opinion on this issue.

          • A.Osman

            Dear MN,

            Thank you for being more precise, that is how we should debate by refining what is said rather than bringing out what is not meant and intended in a particular statement.

            I have told you that my knowledge on AU is very limited as I did not study there. Dr MK would probably help, but still you are shifting the issue to AU only, while the article is bring a broader issue.

            It is amazing what you can extract from google, in the following link there is a data more than 170 pages compiled by Jelal Y.Aberra. It is probably outdated, you might find something about AU too as I did not read it in detail.

            http://www.jeberti.com/pdf/Salih%20%20Abdellah%20%20%28TGRINYA%29%2027-8-2011.pdf

            Regards
            AOsman

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            There is some data related to education, under the title ‘Composition of Students by Ethnicity’, but I am not sure if it is related to the University. What is the source of this data? Under what conditions is it collected? Furthermore, to reach at a meaningful interpretation of the data, one must be mindful of the context.

            You are mistaken when you say discussing the issue in the University context is “shifting the issue”. On the contrary, it is highly relevant as the University is a small scale, a microcosm, of the larger society.

            I think this whole complaint about ethnic domination is related to being AWOL and is the result of persecution complex. Let us say, you are ‘Rebel Without A Cause’!

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            I am still waiting for an answer.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam AOsman,

            Did you listen MN saying ” quietly release political prisoners”? That statement tells about him what his stand is on the issue of justice. He sound one of those who justified their imprisonment. Yegermal.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • A.Osman

            Dear Amanuel,

            I think MN has lost hope on change through opposition and has said it few times. I suspects he does not mind PFDJ to carrying on ruling, with little adjustment here and there as face lift. Otherwise you are asking too much.

            Regards
            AOsman

          • tes

            Dear AOsman,

            This MN, I think he is just trying to camouflage. He is insisting to approve PFDJ this way or that way. Hope to be exposed.

            tes

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes,

            What is new under the Sun?

          • Music Novice

            Greetings A.Osman,

            Any evidence of ethnic monopoly? I am still waiting for an answer.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Amanuel H.,

            I have nothing against the Political Prisoners, in particular the G15 – some of whom I know personally. I criticised the G15 tactics in the same way that I criticise the EPLF/PFDJ in constructive manner. I support the freeing of those imprisoned, quietly and without fanfare because this is the Realpolitik/pragmatic approach.

            But, for sure, I am a critical supporter of the EPLF/PFDJ as the only party capable of leading a united Eritrea.

            I detest special interest groups who have been on life support machine for decades and are now slowly crawling out of the woodwork in the hope of capitalising by piggybacking on the current discontent.

          • tes

            Dear MN,

            Well, wEll, wELL!!!

            Here is your political stand as you said,

            “..for sure, I am a critical supporter of the EPLF/PFDJ as the only party capable of leading a united Eritrea.”

            Ok Mister MN, well well well;

            tes

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Tes, Amanuel and all,

            If I can come to the defense of MN, not that he needs it but I think you guys misunderstood. I think it should be perfectly ok to respect the stance of MN, or Mahmud without implying any ill intention if they say the support EPLF/PFDJ as the only organization who can being a lasting change after it goes through some reform or bring about internal change.

            I think this is a perfectly ok stand to have in my opinion, but I would say to them is, Tseda yiSnaHkum but their stand should be respect no matter how much one seems to disagree.

            The reason I respect their approach is that, considering the “unknown” alternative that we may face, in absence of an organized and disciplined military power, it’s highly likely that a power vacuum will be created that can lead to civil war and wanton destruction. Somalia, Lybia, Iraq being the main example.

            On the other hand, Egypt, Burma can be used as an example a good / sort of reform/ transition took place while the system is in tact. China being the best example.

            I personally do not think it’s a bad approach assuming it can succeed. I only think for that to happen, peaceful resistance and pressuring the system of IA is required in order to create a catalyst for change as the other alternative, change through force means, seems not to work based on the participation of the Eritrean people.

            Berhe

          • tes

            Dear Berhe Y.,

            As far as you support reform and some kind of cosmetic change for sure you will defend MN. Kindly though do not tell us we (I) misunderstood him.

            Here is what you said, “I think this is a perfectly ok stand to have in my opinion, but I would say to them is, Tseda yiSnaHkum but their stand should be respect no matter how much one seems to disagree.”.

            Well in case you forgot here is what I would like to remind you:

            there is no white thing on reforming PFDJ or kind of but blood. G-15 and Forto-2013 movement were best examples of these next to be bloody reform movements. I hope you not blind and deaf to those movements. Just I hope so.

            tes

          • Berhe Y

            Dear tes,

            I don’t know what your comment “well, well mean”, actually I was responding to Amanuel H. comment “He sound one of those who justified their imprisonment. Yegermal.”.

            This sounds to me a bit harsh, and all I was saying, it’s possible that one should support / reform of the system as an alternative.

            I will give you an example, what if Isayas drops dead tomorrow….and some how the PFDJ re-organize it self and decided to make significant changes, like, free prisoners etc, allow political opposition to come in and participate in the political process etc…

            It’s really possible scenario, are we going to beat up the “uproot the PFDJ” no matter…that’s what I mean by Tseda YiSnaHkum and I really welcome this change if it’s going to alleviate the suffering of our youth and our people and change our country to better future, with some sort of peaceful transition.

            Off course, I fully support justice needs to be served and we can come to terms with some sort of reconciliation that will help us ease the pain and move forward.

            Let me turn the page around and ask you this. If IA drops dead tomorrow, what would you ask/recommend the best way to move forward?

            Berhe

          • Music Novice

            Greetings tes,

            You said: “there is no white thing on reforming PFDJ or kind of but blood.”

            After decoding tes’ English, this means violent revolution. But, tes, how are you going to achieve this? With Onions, Potatoes, Garlic and Cabbages from Food-Tech?

          • tes

            Selam Music Novice,

            I am not revolutionary but evolutionary. Saying that however what you are forgetting is most revolutions were and are and will be farmers. In case you forgot, even your junta EPLF was made of farmers.

            As for me I am a proud poor farmer, an engineer, a lecturer and now a fighter for justice. To fight for justice nothing is needed but a compassionate heart.

            Haha, Music Novice, the remenant of dehai, are you still that much spoiled. Even dehai has gone for good. Come and say ““Yes to Justice” if you have any traces of humanity*.

            tes

            *I am foolish though to expect traces of humanity from one who is a critical supporter of PFDJ.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Eritreans,
    Albert’s Einstein is quoted to have said that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insunity. What GEAN has set out to accomplish was tried so many times in the past and every one of them ended in fiasco. GEAN will soon meet the same fate because it is retrogressive , divisive, polarising etc. Genuine Eritreans take their Sovereignty second to none, primary. All others including language, religion, region ,ethnic etc. are secondary. Any one who attempts to undermine the supermacy of our Sovereignty under any pretense will not succeed.

    Our Martyrs fell fighting the enemy and were buried in shallow graves all over the land, throughout Eritrea irrespective of their religion, ethnic, region or religion. And If we follow the fallacious theme of GEAN, now that the country is independent, we will have to dig their graves and rebury them where they ethnically, regionally, religiously, linguistically belong. This is unfathomably absurd only sick people can advocat.

    And who is GEAN’s target? Not of course the impostor isaias afewerk and his cabals but the people of Kebesa. This is very unsettling because woyane too has slated deqi kebesa for humiliation for their alleged arrogance. The question is whether these two enemies of deqi kebesa are also coordinating their activities. Time will tell.

  • Tafla

    Hi all!
    It’s all just pointless to continue saying the same thing over and over again. If we had any trust in each other these issues would have not been considered controversial at all. But if it soothes you to blame even your balding head on PFDJ, go ahead, but it won’t make your hair grow back again. The issue is at the core of the compisition and history of the nation, the longer we ignore it, the longer our suffering will be!

    All the best!