The Eritrean Holocaust — And How To Stop It
This is a serious attempt to first describe and explain the present situation in Eritrea and the nature of its political leadership. It then tries to suggest some simple but effective solutions which may have far reaching consequences for the future of the country and the region within a short time, not years. In my opinion, there is no other way under the prevailing circumstances.
1.1. Are the Eritrea people slowly experiencing genocide, holocaust (or Maafa, as they call it in Swahili, or Misnatn Tif’atin Eritrawian) of a variety which has rarely been seen, heard or read in human history? I am afraid that is the truth: it is happening, albeit slowly, in front of our eyes – and there are compelling reasons for saying that. Make no mistake, the dismantling of the Eritrean state and society and the subsequent extreme tragedy unfolding in the lives of individual Eritreans, especially the young, is a deliberate act, not the result of incompetence or ignorance. That is what makes the whole thing so hurtful. This is an instance of human nature at its worst. We have had more than enough, and our suffering must end now.
1.2. This submission holds the dictator Isaias Afwerki totally responsible for what has gone terribly wrong in Eritrea in the last 21 years since independence: no one else!! It thus proposes a two- pronged legitimate measures to bring him to account: (a) secure an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) , and (b) enforce the arrest warrant using instruments allowed by international law – including citizens’ arrest.
2. Extent of the Problem
2.1. During the Eritrean war of liberation, 60,000-100,100 Eritreans were martyred. Our loss was terrible, but we accepted it with grace as a worthy price for our independence. Since the interim period of 1991-1993, we have faced unexpected misrule which makes a mockery of our independence. We have been reduced to the status of servants, nay, dehumanised slaves in our own land. According to my conservative estimate, Eritrea may have lost about 1-2 million of its citizens since the said interim period.
This includes all those who died in the border wars deliberately started and maintained by the dictator: 20,000 – 40,000 in the Badme War alone. Then, there have been the masses of people who have been killed or disappeared as a result of extrajudicial measures against individuals taken by security agents from their homes, prisons, work places, farms and streets. This includes the 157 Islamic teachers who were rounded up in Keren one day not to be seen again. Also remember the many Christian evangelists and fellow worshipers who were imprisoned, tortured and killed. Then, there are the many who have died and suffered when trying to cross the border and flee the country and in the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, the latter exposing human capacity for cruelty at its worst in ways that cannot even be imagined. We should not forget the G15 and the journalists who were locked away never to be seen again, many of them presumed dead. We should add to the total all those who have left the country to escape oppression and death and the Kunamas who have experienced ethnic cleansing and genocide and the Eritreans from Metahit who fled to the Sudan as refugee during the war of liberation and who have been disowned by the regime in the last 21 years.
We have to also include to the total the unborn children who have remained unrealised as a result of the adverse conditions created by the dictator, with young conscripts and even older ones denied the birthright to have a peaceful family life. (For further details, ref. Redie Mehari, Alena, Tilmi Ni Zeri Krdad, 2012, 622 pages.) Certainly, in Simerrr Pal Talk, Part 5 recently, a former prison guard, interrogator and security officer, Berhane Afro, said that about one million Eritreans have been killed and disappeared by the Isaias Afwerki regime – and he says, “Iski hisebiwo, men gidi zterefe alo’iyu? Hade million zikewun seb’indiyu bi’HIGDEF tefiu zelo!! [just think about it, who is left? About a million people have been made to disappear by PFDJ]” He was talking from what he saw and observed. He is a credible witness. This is consistent with what we have been hearing from other courageous ex-Eritrean security officers who are now in exile abroad as well. One of these is “Pilot” (alias), who has been extensively raising the plight of the victims of the brutal regime, exposing the inner workings of its security apparatus and exploding the myth behind the veneer (ref. Pilot’s Interview with Radio Assenna and Radio Wegahta, Parts 1-7).
2.2. For a small population, this is catastrophic. It amounts to more or less 20%-30% of the population, comparable in proportion to the extermination of a third of the population of Europe in the Middle Ages due to Black Death, a tragedy of Biblical proportions, thought by many to have been the end of the world. Of course there are differences in time scale and intensity. But, this does not diminish the severity of what we have suffered as a nation. Does the Eritrean experience amount to a holocaust? In fact, it does in a wider sense of the word. Jews have no monopoly over the term. Black Americans identify the extreme atrocities and racial cleansing perpetrated on them by Whites during the earlier part of the 20th century as the Holocaust of Black America (Please Google), and they have a Black Holocaust Museum lest anyone forgets. The atrocities, which are well documented, were absolutely shocking, but actually, a lot less than 15,000 people died. Needless to say, we have lost a lot more. In short, we have our own holocaust so graphically epitomised by what our youth have been experiencing in Sinai in the hands of the Bedouins and the torture and killing chambers of HIGDEF whose secrets are now coming to the open. In the future, we should have our own Eritrean Holocaust Day and Museum as well.
2.3. Dr Alganesh Ghandi, an Eritrean who runs a charitable organisation from Italy, recently described in an interview with assenna.com what she observed in Sinai and what was reported to her by victims rescued from their Bedouin captors, it must be said, with the help of a decent and kind sheik (Not all people are the same): victims shackled, kept hungry, tortured, unwashed and scared in extreme heat and hardship, those who were killed to sell their organs (kidneys, corneas, etc.), young men and women raped even after paying money, women made pregnant adding to the extreme pain and confusion, women whose breasts were cut off as a warning to others to force them to pay, babies snatched from their mothers with the threat of slaughter, women who were forced to pluck lies from their unwashed hair and insert them into their private parts, etc.
The three young Eritrean women (also interviewed by assenna.com) who were rescued by Dr Alganesh and kept in a shelter in Cairo also corroborated what the good doctor reported and added that they were personally raped (something very difficult for Eritrean young women to admit) and even forced to have lesbian sex. They added that the 17-20 year-old young men were also raped, and at least one of them sodomised with wood and died as a result of it. The Eritrean regime should take the primary responsibility for this, not the Bedouins however stupid, ignorant diabolical and criminal they may be.
Now, in the last two days, we have been hearing wide-spread lamentations in Asmara and other towns in Eritrea of people wearing traditional white garb in churches and other places of worship pleading for contributions to save their children kidnapped and kept captive in the Sinai from “losing their kidneys and eyes”. Apparently, the other atrocities are not mentioned but only implied due to cultural reasons. Some people are so shocked that they cannot find any explanation for what is happening except to say that the end of the world is nigh.
There are reports that some families have been forced to sell their houses to save their children in captivity in the Sinai. Others have also sold whatever they can, including withdrawing all their money from the bank to send to their children’s captors. It is reported that in one case, one military man in the Eritrean Army agreed to pay the money requested and asked the agents of the captors in Asmara to come to his house to collect the money. When they came, he drew his pistol and frog matched them to the nearest police station. The next day, however, his second son was kidnapped when he was going to school. We do not know what happened after that. Actually, the Bedouin captors have been receiving their blood money from the families of the captured using their collaborators in Asmara, and possibly in other Eritrean towns as well. The question that arises from this is, therefore, whether this could have really happened without the knowledge of the Eritrean authorities, especially some of the corrupt generals. The answer is almost certainly not. You need to know that nothing on this scale can take place even without the knowledge of any ordinary security officer. This links the Eritrean regime with the Sinai tragedy, and it is complicit with and culpable of the crime.
2.4. Soon after independence, HIGDEF concocted wars and rumours of war to maintain a state of emergency that allowed it to bring the society under its grip. Young people were rounded up and put in military camps and used as cannon fodder or the source of slave labour – not primarily to do good for society but to break their will and keep then under strict control. The new rulers also disposed off most of the veteran fighters who might have challenged them and come up with their serious demands by demobilizing them in mass without proper compensation. Many of them had to flee the country which they fought for to seek asylum elsewhere. The regime also closed the only university in the country and plundered the library. This was done intentionally to prevent the emergence of a strong opposition within the country. The economic base of the country (the private sector) and its competitive edge was also deliberately eroded to shift the attention of the people from politics to mere bread and butter issues. Who will believe the regime’s recent claims out of a hat of achieving extraordinary economic growth even with the benefit of the new gold-silver mine at Bisha (with only “12+ yrs of current reserve”) whose proceeds are anyway misused. To deliberately further degrade the living standard of the people and even deny them enough food, the regime has prevented many aid organisations from operating in the country. Those who remained there for sometime were forced to pay tax for what they were bringing into the country to help needy people, including children.
2.5. However, HIGDEF officials, especially some military generals have been amassing ill-gotten gains through massive corruption, including the extraction of money using extreme torture from the relatives of prisoners or those who had already escaped the country. Actually, these acts of torture and extortion are similar to what has been going on in the Sinai by the Bedouins. These are perks of the job allowed to the key officers and loyalists of the regime. Some reports suggest that there is some link between those who operate the Bedouin kidnapping networks and some HIGDEF officers, and they give specific instances as examples.
2.6. There is no freedom of worship, no press freedom, no constitution, no independent judiciary and no parliament. Any security officer can pick anyone from the street and have him imprisoned or killed at will without having to account to anyone. Knowledge and free thinking is not encouraged. (n’BABUR i.e. HIGDEF inte kedimkaya weilka!!) “If you exceed the speed of the train you are finished.” There is only one fountainhead of knowledge and truth who must be listened to and obeyed at all times without question. Elders who were traditionally much respected in the society have lost their status and are now expected to let their children speak first. The moral values and standards of the society have been discarded. Now, it is as if anything goes so long as you do not encroach on the whims and interests of the regime. The country, its resources and its people, including its young women have been treated as chattels to be used especially by the big boss as he pleases.
Alas, this is the truth. We have no state, and we have no leaders to speak of – only predators. As they say, “HIGDEF zigebero gud tezaribka aywudainyu!!” But, HIGDEF is Isaias Afwerki himself.
3. Root Cause of the Problem
3.1. In 1972, at the age of 27, Isaias Afwerki wrote an important and brilliant treatise in Tigrigna on the prevailing circumstances of the struggle, and more importantly on military strategy. He clearly states that military action is the continuation of politics by other means – perhaps, a more effective one. The title of the treatise was The Book of Menkae (111 pages) which in many ways may be compared with Adolf Hitler’s Main Kampf. In one section, Isaias tries to explain why and how mistakes in strategy occur and what the consequences would be unless they are corrected in time. Near the end of the section, he makes an ominous remark. He says thus:
When personal interests and inclinations are put above those of the masses, and if there is carelessness and laziness, then countless mistakes will occur. And if there is no willingness to correct those mistakes and they become obstacles to work, there will be the need to make fundamental changes. Isaias Afwerki (1972)
Paradoxically enough, it was as if he was trying to explain exactly forty years ago the present tragic and painful situation in Eritrea. In short, the root cause of our trouble is that the much admired and adulated leader has betrayed us and he has not lived up to his promise: he has clearly put his personal interests above those of the people. We have been taken for a ride. We are not fools, and we are not to blame in any way. This man is morally bankrupt, deceitful and grossly corrupt and selfish. He was covering up his true nature until he could secure full power and authority over our lives. Now, he wants to rule for life and he has even prepared a crown prince. Even the god-kings of the past had much lesser powers than this man. For instance, Julius Caesar, the Roman king-god could not disband the Roman Senate and rule absolutely as he liked. In any case, we know the tragic and unnecessary fate he faced. Ethiopian emperors such as Yahannes, Menelik and Haile Selassie did not have as much power over their people as Isaias has over Eritrea.
He thinks that he is the giant, and we are the dwarfs who have to crawl and prostrate in his presence, the SUN KING. As he predicted, (a) by putting his interests first far above those of the people, (b) by his laziness (He likes to sleep very much by his own admission.), and (c) by his carelessness because he feels that he is not accountable to anyone – he has made himself prone to making countless mistakes (as he predicted in 1972) which have manifested themselves in huge strategic errors and misrule which have blighted the lives of so many Eritreans. The writing is on the wall everywhere. But still, he does not care. Therefore, he should not blame us for the consequences if we seek fundamental changes as he suggested in his youth.
3.2. Make no mistake, Isaias is not stupid, and there is logic (albeit deviously used) behind his madness. According to his calculation, there is no way that there will be a Maghreb type of uprising in Eritrea. He knows that the Eritrean opposition groups are weak and not up to the challenge. He has also taken care of the youth who could have given him a hard time by sending them to remote areas and isolating them and controlling them using various devious means including hunger, deprivation and mental and physical torture. In these circumstances, one has to fight or run away. These young people are so demoralized, humiliated and their self confidence crushed that they can in no way fight the regime. All they could do is run away and try their luck regardless of the risk. For Isaias, this is good riddance, and he and his generals are actually using the misfortune of these helpless young people to extract money from their families under the threat of torture or death. This is utter moral decrepitude.
Isaias has also done away with the heroic veterans we had who could have opposed him. More than 80% of them are now either dead or in prison or disabled mentally or physically or both or are so weak and out of touch that they cannot pose any threat to him. He has also played the generals against each other so that they cannot unite against him. The irony is that perhaps they don’t know it but even the ministers and the generals are Isaias’s prisoners. He closely follows their movements using his vast network of spies and pounces on them if he sees the slightest signs of trouble. Actually most of his dealings are with the colonels and below to undercut the influence of the generals. He also bribes them massively. He, therefore, thinks that he is the king of the jungle, and that no one could touch him. This is why he has taken his position for granted so much that he is saying he will rule without elections for another forty years. He thinks that whatever he says or does, he could get away with it. This is why he does not respond well in interviews when he is brought under pressure and commits many infelicities and faux pas unbecoming the head of state, if there is one in Eritrea.
3.3. Another contributory factor to his arrogance is also his family background. In the early years, he posed himself as a Marxist revolutionary hiding his background from public scrutiny. Please make no mistake. Isaias’s father is not a jebeli or a jeberti from Keren. (We would not be surprised if Isaias himself was spreading the rumour when he was with Kiyadal Ama that he was the illegitimate and clandestine son of an Arab, a jebeli – to win trust from his bosses at the time.) If you compare his physical appearance with his siblings, you will immediately see the similarity. This explains a lot. Isaias’s great grandfather (Ras Hagos) was the younger brother of Emperor Yohannes IV of Tembien. Thus, the line is Isaias – Afeworki – Abraha – Hagos – Mirach. Emperor Yohannes was Kassa Mirach, and we can see the link. This is well documented in Ethiopian history. Therefore, there is no escape.
Being the Emperor’s younger brother, Ras Hagos seems to have been rather cocky. Because of a dispute (hatched by Emperor Menelik) over the governorship of Shire with Ras Alula Aba Nega (the former ruler of Midri Bahri, or Eritrea), Hagos had a fight with Alula. Ras Hagos died on the battlefield in Western Tigray. Ras Alula was also wounded, and he died two months after the battle. It is said that the people of Tigray were outraged by the killing of Ras Alula, and the young Abraha, Hagos’s son, had to exile himself with his wife to Eritrea to escape hatred and retribution. Abraha is, therefore, the founder of the Afwerki Dynasty in Eritrea, and that is why Isaias called his son Abraham after his grandfather, apparently who meant a lot to him. The story about his close royal family connection seems to have been an important part of his upbringing – and seems to have gone to his head.
It is very important to understand this and the death and the exile in the family which can explain why Isaias seems to have deep anger in him – and no special love for Tigray and Tigreans, or Ethiopia and Ethiopians, nor Eritrea and Eritreans. He just loves only his lone self and has always remained astonishingly secretive. He will do anything possible (even deviously use the lamentable vulnerability of Tigreans and those of Tigrean descent in Eritrea to his personal advantage, as is well known) to stay in power. He would not care even if Eritrea burns to the ground and its people with it. If that were to happen, he would immediately abandon ship and not sink with it as a self-respecting captain with morals would. Actually, for any eventuality, he must have already prepared by now an escape route for himself – and, of course, the money he has looted is already in the bag. Is that not clear? This man is dangerous, a psychopath. His sharp mind makes him even more dangerous. There is medical evidence to prove this as we shall see next.
3.4. Isaias Afwerki’s personality profile actually exactly matches the characteristics that Prof. James Fallon, an American neuroscientist, describes in his ground breaking lecture “The Mind of a Dictator”, Psychology Today (Pease Google and see video). Please also check the detailed and amazingly graphic description of Isaias Afwerki’s personality and inclinations provided by Mesfin Hagos, Isaias’s close associate and confidant for many years (now an exile in Germany) in an interview with Ato Keleta Kidane, a programme producer with EPDP Radio (see www.harnnet.org). Unfortunately for us Eritreans, the prof. says that the mind of a dictator is very similar or the same in the way it operates as that of a murderer. Some of the characteristics he lists are: narcissism (which Isaias has in plenty), deceitfulness, cold cruelty, austere or extravagant sexuality, megalomania, extreme form of selfishness, lack of empathy and understanding of the suffering of others, etc. The picture that emerges from a close examination of the workings of Isaias Afwerki’s mind is that he is intelligent alright and a good strategist when he is calm – let’s give the devil his due.
However, he is also a disturbed individual whose upbringing does not seem to have helped. His problem is that he is excitable, and he can be blinded by rage and the desire to take revenge even at a great cost to himself and those around him. He can also inflict harm on others without considering the pain and the consequences of it. He is very surprised and gets depressed when he gets results he did not expect. It is as if he thinks the world should run according to his own rules and expectations: he is delusional. He is also extremely secretive, and sometimes believes the lies he tells others and himself as well. He lives in fantasy. That is why he makes huge strategic mistakes that have major national, regional and international significance. It is not that he has lack of information or intelligence. It has to do with his emotions and mental states. For instance, when the Badme border war started, he knew that thousands of Eritreans would die. But, he was certain that he would emerge victorious and reap the personal benefits. But, it did not happen that way and could not have happened that way anyway. For a person who has a balanced mind, it was all clear before the war started how it would end up. Eritrea was no watch for Ethiopia with 13-14 times the population and economic size of the small country. His persistent support for the Al Shabab of Somalia in the face of all the international outrage is another. There seems to be something wrong somewhere: it is obvious. He is a dangerous man who can not only send an individual to his death without any care as if it is changing a shirt (there are many examples for this), he can even plunge a country to a disastrous war knowing very well that there would to terrible loss of life and property just based on his personal interests and delusional expectations. This is the form his madness has taken.
Therefore, in these circumstances, what is to be done?!!
4. The Solution
4.1. There is no doubt about it. The Chief Architect of Disaster (CAD) and the paramount perpetrator of destruction of so many Eritrean lives, property and lost opportunities is no one else but Isaias Afwerki himself. Mis riesa zikales hilikegnan newregnan iyu Isayas. Fit’hegnan, nseb zihaliyn lebamin merahi si’ina dhri izi kulu zehlefnayo tsegem. Aytgageyu president yeblnan!! He is not playing the role of a president. Therefore, he should henceforth not be called as such. Call him Dictator Isaias if you will, but never president, please!! There was a Chinese philosopher called Lao Tzu, and he wrote a treatise under the title of “Rectification of Names”. His thesis was that if society is to function well, we need to start with the rectification of names. We need to correctly name things according to their intrinsic value and function. Thus, a leader must act like a leader, a teacher like a teacher and a father like a father if he/she is to deserve the name. Otherwise, he argued, there will be chaos and confusion in society. That is why it is important to identify Isaias Afwerki by his essence and function i.e. criminality.
4.2. No one else but the CAD Isaias Afwerk is the primary cause of our servitude and misery. The corrupt generals, their murderous subordinates, the Yemanes, the crude and semi-literate minister of propaganda, the Bedouins and their Eritrean collaborators, or the followers of Hizbawi Mekete, the hijacked servile websites in the Diaspora and the thousands of spies of the regime inside and outside the country, etc. have only been playing a second fiddle. CAD Isaias is the fountainhead of all these instruments of disaster and their lamentable activities. Therefore, he is legally culpable for everything that has gone wrong in Eritrea in the last 21 years. The case has to now be brought before a qualified and authorised prosecutor at the International Criminal Court with the purpose of securing an arrest warrant against Dictator Isaias Afwerki.
4.3. But, how can this be achieved? We believe that there is enough evidence to convince the ICC Chief Prosecutor that justice will be served by arresting Isaias Afwerki and bringing him to the ICC court in Geneva for trial like some of his predecessors like Slobodan Milosevic. For this purpose especially (a) all Eritrean human rights associations and anyone committed to the promotion of justice, (b) all Eritrean lawyers’ associations in any part of the world, and (c) all Eritreans and non- Eritreans with relevant expertise and who can help and are willing to help should form the Eritrean Victims of Genocide Committee (EVGC) and start compiling a dossier with verifiable details to prove that Isaias Afwerki and his regime have committed crimes against humanity. Isaias should also face charges of theft and irresponsible squander of public money and resources.
Fortunately, a lot of evidence is now coming out as a result of the few brave Eritreans who were working as security officers, prison guards, interrogators, etc with the regime. All these things should be properly and systematically recorded with witnesses and if possible forensic evidence that can convince the International Criminal Court (ICC) to start a proceeding against CAD Isaias Afwerki. We think that if properly presented, the following may be enough to secure a conviction.
4.3.1. The 157 Muslim teachers (with long beards) who were rounded up from Keren and thereabouts on one day never to be seen again (presumed executed) and their bodies disposed off without the knowledge of their families.
4.3.2. The many Christian believers who were imprisoned by the regime and died because of torture and maltreatment. Those whose whereabouts is unknown have to also be accounted for: Dr Tecleab, Dr Mengisteab, Dr Kiflu Ghebremeskel, Haile Naizghi, Dr Fitsum.
4.3.3. Members of G15 and the many journalists who were detained in Embatkala and later at Irairo – many of them reported dead in prison due to lack of proper medication and severe hardship.
4.3.4. Those who died in the atrocities at Adi Abeyto
4.3.5. Those who were taken from the prisons in Mendefera and Adi Quala and executed without justice
4.3.6. Those who are periodically picked up from their homes in Asmara in the middle of the night and never seen again. We need to compile a detailed data base on this.
4.3.7. The genocide of the Kunamas. Their ancestral land was confiscated and their homeland depleted of its population as a result of displacement and mass killing. Kernelios Idris should be able to help in this regard by preparing a compelling dossier.
4.3.8. Other cases.
4.4. After the arrest warrant is issued against Isaias Afwerki, no doubt, will be very angry first. He will then become scared, suspicious and depressed – predictably, taking more and more alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate himself for his mental illness. A close psychological diagnosis of Isaias’s mental state suggests an underlying depressive illness which may unfortunately sometimes lead to thoughts of suicide. Actually, Isaias is not as strong as he looks from outside. He is a tortured soul. It is sad to see any human being in such a state. But, what can we do? He has forced us into this!!
The next step is to help the international community and the ICC to secure the actual arrest of Isaias Afwerki. The details of how this can be achieved should be worked out by those who have the expertise in the matter. Once he is arrested, the Eritrean people will have their day in court to tell the world in detail what Isaias and his regime have done to them. The ICC may decide to imprison him for life, or a limited number of years or let him go scot free. We have no problem with that. We believe in justice, not in punishing anyone without sufficient evidence admissible in court and without due process as Isaias has been doing at least for the last two decades.
4.5. Anyway, after the arrest of Isaias, what will happen in Eritrea? Of course, the Eritrean military leadership will be in a state of shock, and they will probably try to impose a state of emergency. But, there is a big rift among them encouraged by Isaias himself. Therefore, the new regime will be weak. Some of the generals and ministers will also probably start to openly talk about the need for reform and the immediate release of political prisoners such as members of G15 and the jailed journalists. There will also be a lot of desertions and mass uprisings of the rank and file in the Eritrean Army which the generals will not be able to control. That will probably be followed by mass demonstrations organised by the Eritrean labour unions and students with demands for a new democratic dispensation. In the face of all this, the new military council will declare forthcoming elections and allow political parties that have hitherto been banned to operate freely and compete for votes. The Eritrean Army leadership, like the Egyptian Army leadership, will finally be forced to invite the people to take over the reins of power. That is what we all want!! All this can be done legally and peacefully without a single bullet being shot!! We believe that it is simple, clean and smart.
6.1. We had given Isaias Afwerki the benefit of the doubt for too long. Unfortunately, because of our excessive respect and admiration for what he did in the past, he now thinks that he owns the country and its people and can do with them as he likes. He has clearly crossed the red line, and he must be stopped by any means legal allowed in international law. We have been dreadfully tormented and betrayed by leaders whom we entrusted with our lives, and our society is disintegrating. We can’t take it anymore. It is time to organise and act decisively.
6.2. As you have seen, holding endless meetings and demonstrating and shouting against Isaias Afwerki and his evil regime (even with loud speakers) will not change anything. Please don’t waste your time. I believe that what is proposed here is the bitter medicine required under the circumstances if we are to get our country back at the earliest possible time. Let us quickly establish the Eritrean Victims of Genocide Committee (EVGC) and support it in every way, including financially. The toothless, disunited and disorientated opposition political parties and groups should at least vigorously support the EVGC. If they do that, their existence will not have been in vain.
The committee will be our vanguard, our strong arm in our people’s fight against Isaias Afwerki and his brutal regime. There is no need for an invading army as some people have been proposing, no need for cruisers or mysterious saboteurs, there is no need for any form of violence really. We just need to do the right things and cleverly mobilise international support on the basis of humanity, decency, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law and justice in the world.
6.3. Our job will be made much easier and faster if we do our homework well: (a) our facts must be complete, credible and well documented, and (b) our expects and intellectuals should be able to build a compelling case against the dictator on the basis of evidence. If we work together and are determined enough to secure justice for ourselves and the generations to come, we should be able to secure the ICC arrest warrant and the detention of Isaias Afwerki much sooner than most people think possible. By the way, once the arrest warrant is issued by the ICC, any individual or group (Eritrean or non-Eritrean) could make a citizen’s arrest on Isaias Afwerki anywhere in the world he may be found and hand him over to the police, but not harm him in any way. We believe that the legal arrest of Isaias Afwerki is the best way under the prevailing circumstances to end the harrowing oppression, suffering and lamentation of the Eritrean people. Even the ICC arrest warrant will change a lot.
Have we not cried enough? Have our hearts not bled when hearing especially recently of the unimaginable torment and death suffered by our young people? We now know what to do, and let us do it without wasting time – please!!
[awate editor’s note: this article originally appeared un-edited, very briefly, on Monday. It was modified by the author to comply with awate.com’s standards.]