PFDJ Structures: Its Hardware and Software Network Dissection, Analysis and Thinking Beyond

A month or more days before, I posted in my Facebook page saying: “I will write a series of articles that expose PFDJ into 20 volumes.” The title was “PFDJ Structures: Its Hardware and Software Network Dissection, Analysis and Thinking Beyond.” As I plan, it was supposed to be started by February 10, 2014. But, due to busy class time and exams, I could not start at the specified time. Thank you for your patience and here is my first volume out of the 20 volumes that I am going to post weekly in a series form.


The objective of this Article:

As the title indicates, it is a piece of writings that try to explore the hardware and software component of the PFDJ regime and based on available information and my personal interpretations to those matters.

Note: All writings are my own interpretations based on my experience and references available in all possible means. For any case, I am the only and only responsible person for these series. All errors, mistakes, criticisms, appreciations, and acknowledgments I do are of purely my own. Hence, I would kindly apologize for any inconveniences or misinterpretations that it may follow and at the same time, I am the only one to be responsible.

General Introduction

In this article, I will try to search the hardware and software component of today’s PFDJ to make an analysis that can contribute in raising the consciousness and awareness of Eritrean people in general and then to think beyond when the RIGHT OF LAW is restored to the people. PFDJ’s name is now 18 years and 11 months old. It got its name after 3rd EPLF  congress held in Nakfa at the year of 1994. The people had little information regarding the evolution of this name through the first two letters were synonymous with that of [EP] LF, and little attention was paid for the later meaning of JD (Which literally stands for “[FOR] JUSTICE [AND] DEMOCRACY. This simple abbreviation for PEOPLE’S FRONT for DEMOCRACY and JUSTICE’ has all the hidden mystery that we as people are now suffering from.

Saying this as a background, historical analysis will be done on the evolution of this political system, especially in connection with the EPLF (Eritrean People Liberation Front) and parallel liberation fronts that never got a chance to be heard of in the post-Independence Eritrea.

Therefore, the whole topic will have a vast approach starting from the very initial historical developments of the Eritrean political skeleton starting from 1961 and with possible flashbacks of the early 1940-1961 political evolution of Eritrea. But, more emphasis will be given on the working principles, policies, strategies, organizational and frontal premises.

To do this, today, I will start with the basic claimed ideology of Social Justice which the PFDJ advocates in all spheres of the domestic and international out-reaches of his works.

timely comments are very welcomed and I very much appreciate to do so.

Whish you Good follow-up.

Part I

Social Justice: Social Justice: A Failed Ideology of PFDJ

Social justice is an ideology introduced by the ruling totalitarian bandit of EPLF/PFDJ in the Eritrean state from its early time of the 1970s. This ideology was not clearly expressed during the early times of the struggle as Marxist-Leninist ideology and Socialism were tools in up-grading the social consciousness of the masses and fighters.  During the last years of struggle, a new approach was drafted that was thought to be adopted in a pro-independent Eritrea. In reality, this was not a conscious move as it was driven by the changing political environment of the world and political diversity of the revolutionaries. In the early years of independence, EPLF appeared more of the democratic front with all promising democratic institution establishments and mixed systems of economical inclination. Such promises lead to new hope in the political situation of the horn of Africa.

But, things came to change soon after EPLF drafted the first charter in 1994 and with the eruption of the new border conflict with Ethiopia. When we closely examine the way EPLF/PFDJ runs its social, economic and security policies, there is a clear observance of the social justice ideology in all spheres.  In the charter adopted by the third congress of 1994, PFDJ’s vision is clearly telling Social Justice as a means of economic developments and social democracy. It states that the vision of PFDJ is to have equitable distribution of wealth, services and opportunities, and special attention to be paid to the most disadvantaged sections of society. Additionally, the Eritrean constitution ratified in 1997, in chapter 1 Article 1 (1), it is clearly stated Eritrea is a sovereign and independent State founded on the principles of democracy, social justice and the rule of law. And Article 8 (1) of the Economic and Social Development states the State shall strive to create opportunities to ensure the fulfillment of citizens’ rights to social justice and economic development and to fulfill their material and spiritual needs.

Therefore social justice is a clear principle that was outlined in achieving the vision of PFDJ in building Eritrea according to the various sources from the PFDJ and the Eritrean constitution. But, how far they succeeded in achieving this goal?

To start this, I think it is wise to start with the definition of Social Justice.

The term and modern concept of “social justice” were coined by Jesuit priest Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in 1848 by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. The phrase has taken on a very controverted and variable meaning, depending on who is using it. Social justice as a secular concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. The words or at least concepts of ‘social justice’ are used in contexts where people understand social justice to be about fairness beyond individual justice. According to Craig et al, “it is often seen these days as either a relic of the 1970s or a catch-all used by conservatives and progressives alike”.

Social justice is justice exercised within a society, particularly as it is applied to and among the various social classes of a society. A socially just society is one based upon the principles of equality and solidarity; which pedagogy also maintains that a socially just society both understands and values human rights, as well as recognizing the dignity of every human being. The Constitution of the international labor organization affirms that “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.” Furthermore, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action treat social justice as a purpose of human rights education.

Baldry argues that “we should all be clamoring for the revival of social justice that is, ensuring systemic and structural social arrangements to improve equality, as a core political and social value”. To put it simply, the concept of social justice involves finding the optimum balance between our joint responsibilities as a society and our responsibilities as individuals to contribute to a just society. Many different ideas exist about where that optimum balance lies.

The international human rights system is an important way of advocating for or enforcing fair distribution of resources in the world. However, as Baldry and McCausland note, obtaining “… remedies under the human rights system require a significant degree of understanding of that system, and the resources and skills to advocate for the rights that are breached. Ironically, it is those most in need of assistance when their human rights are breached that are often least able to access such a system”.

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