This conversation was held between an awate Forum member and me after another Awate Forum member provoked me to say something on his comment by including my name. Reading my comment, Fnote Selam came in and continued to ask me questions on my definition of PFDJ system and what I mean exactly when I say that.
First Nitricc said,
“Mahmuday; a nail to the coffin is the expressive word. SAAY asked every person on this forum, especially Aman-H to make his case and to show how fendamnetal change can be achived and no one gave answer to SAAY’s inquiry. No one has idea besides rigid stand of fundamental change. no one ever came up; okay we will do this and this. then after every one failed to show the way; SAAY came out swinging with his plan for change. all they did was reject SAAY’s plan for a change with out giving him any explanation. he was even labeled as chauvinistic.
Now, with this article; strong evidence oriented argument, let’s wait what name Tes will come up. in any way from pure argument and debate stand point; it is crystal clear which way Eritrea must go.”
Then, my immediate response was,
I have nullified the whole article. No need to debate with an already dead article. Saay’s chauvinistic character is a crystal clear now. He is exposed naked by himself. I recommend him to come with a reconcilatory approach now.
We are enough with emboldenment. AT did great thing to inform us, inspire us and embolden us to say spade is a spade. Now, it is time to reconcile. No more tension and proposals. We have more than enough proposals on the table. It is time to discuss, organize and fight together for PFDJ.
It is time for reconcilation among the opposition camp. It is time to build hope and it is time to marsh together.”
And I added,
DIA came with his “Nihnan Elaman” and every innocent Eritrean followed him without questioning what it mean after. And now, you are expecting us to accept saay7 or Amanuel Hidrat proposal? We are not that much naïve. We read history and we learn from it. I like SGJ appraoch, he informs. Individuals have full freedom and unlimited boundry to inform the people, what ever it is good they think.
But, Saay7 and Amanuel Hidrat are coming with a proposal. Ok, as an idea it is fine but we will not be fooled twice now. Eritrean people should sit together and come with his own and common strategy. Saay7, Amanuel Hidrat, SGJ, Mahmuday, Semere, Hope, Kokhob, Peace, me, etc can only inform. As part of the people, we are obliged to sit and discuss with our people. We are not donors.
Remember what you fatal statement about bread and freedom is. No one should give freedom but must own it.
Look! Hayat came with her proposal and the people rejected her. YG came with his opportunitic proposal, people rejected him. Amanuel H., came with his proposal and not all are convinced. Saay is coming with his one and only one proposal, reforming and people are saying no. There are many others also who came with their proposal and rejected, just like Wedi-Vacaro, Amanuel Assenna etc.
If we ask deeply why this all rejection to individual proposals is that Eritreans are well experienced from DIA. They don’t want now to be deceived again.
We as individuals can inform people just like that of SGJ. Let’s inform people and help them to know the TRUTH. The truth is within us but someone in somewhere may not know it on time. This is the job of writers and analysts. coming with proposals and especially like that of saay7 despising his own people’s capability is a flaw.”
After this, a man named Kokhob Selam joined in and wrote: “perfect, don’t care who said it but why he said it. NO MORE CHEATING everything should be clear.”
As a respected awate forumer, I didn’t omit this single sentence and I went to elaborate my say on Nitricc. For this, I responded to Kokhob Selam,
For me, to inform is the duty of every citizen. To inspire, we need people to inspire us, models, like you, like saay7, like SG, like Amanuel, like Hayat, like Dr Sara, like Mahmuday. We need exceptional people to embolden us, very brave people, just like that of our Martyrs.
FInally, it is the entire people’s duty to reconcile within himself for the better future. We have enough role models as informers, inspirators and emboldeners. Many initiatives were done for reconcilation and luckily many organizations, political parties and inndividual parties are ready for it. But so far, it has not been complete because of scapegoat reasoning (kemish adey ankifuny) and we are where we are now today.
Let’s revise our informing strategy, let’s invent a new way to inspire people, let’s always and always remember our history to be emboldened and then the reconcilation process will be not that much difficult.
Among us, we have opportunists, reformists, dismantlers, humanists, business people. Opportunists will always hatch as far as we are weak. Business people will always be there, no matter how we are weak or strong. We can kick the opportunists by being strong and united and the business people are safe to be handled when we are strong. But, if we are weak and divided, the reformists will not have room to reform, dismantlers will be exploited by opportunists and business people and humanists will simply cry and unheard.
Therefore, through reconcilation, we will be strong. But, reconcilation with whom should be clarified. Reconcilation is among the groups that claim that they have best way/strategy and worked hard to dominate the other. Before, it was among ELF and EPLF, we remember the intervention of our people in years of 1970s. Now, we can not reconcile with PFDJ. PFDJ is a barbaric regime that does not believes on human existence.
But, the opposition groups should be courageous enough and sit together. Not for receiving command but to discuss and debate boldy for the common good.
I am really ON as my meditation is getting exited. Let me stop here.
It is then after this Fnote Selam came in and got into discussion. Good read
I would like to ask you one Q. focusing on your 5th paragraph, you said no reconciliation with PFDJ. Can you be more specific as to who and who you are no willing to reconcile? Everyone that has PFDJ card? IA and his closest entourage? All or some ministers? All generals, colones and alike? PFDJ cadres? The party’s central committee? Tegadelti?…
(I will responded your question broadly according to my understanding. This is my personal understanding of the reconcilation according to the Eritrean context. If you don’t have enough time to read, just the first paragraph is enough for your specific question, the rest s just explanation using examples. Good read)
Very good question. First of all PFDJ for me is the system. It is not the PFDJ card holder. If he drops his system, totally abandons it and joins the Justice camp, well, that is what we are all fighting for. If the PFDJ card holder has a crime, well, everything is documented and justice will look unto him. No one has superiority on the other. Therefore, make sure that I am not talking about individuals (Who knows I also had committed a crime one day). People should have a chance to open their case. Equally, I believe that Eritreans are peace loving people and for peace sake, they may apologize each other and move on for peace and development together.
The reconcilation that I referred is with the political orginazations with different polarizing programs and are not able to sit together and lack understanding to move on. Through reconcilation, they can narrow their differences and still keeping their core principles. Through reconcilation process, they can sit together and discuss their differences. Through reconcilation, they can have a chance to know who is who very well.
Dear Fnote Selam, I have tried to study the overall programs of the existing political organizations and I can almost say except in their very few political terminologies, all have common visions, missions. They differ hugely in their strategies and in some exteremely few in their objectives.
Some of the exceptional difference is the question of some extermely vulnerable societies like Afar and Kunama. These communities demand upto self-determination. Ok, no problem, oppressed people did that, are doing and will do. As far as there is oppression, people can raise that issue and pursue their agenda. Historically, in the Eritrean case, it is impossible. Because Eritrean problem is not Afar problem, is not Kunama problem, is not Bilen problem is not highland settlers problem, lowlands problem or Islamic or christian problem. It is a pure dictatorial problem. But because of vulneraibiltiy, some sectors of our society might be exteremely vitimized. For example, the Afar people, the Jihova witness community, the Pentecostal church case, some Islamic religion follower’s case etc.
Yet, we can sit together and discuss. EPDP for example did a reservation on Bayto and refused to sit unless the requiremenets he particularily asked is not fulfilled. Gosh, this is not an academic argument. It is a national issue, let even it takes 100 years, still we need to believe that we have to go on the reconcilation process. We need to sit and discuss. The things that differentiate us most, we can let them pending. For example, the self-determination issue. We can develop trust, we can increase the economic integrity, we can make the bond very strong and finally the issue can be re-assessed.
Dear Fnote Selam, even President issaias for some is God, perfect and innocent and yet they are with the justice camp because they believe that there is no law in Eritrea. They never question their God but bring side issues to make their case to be heard. It is fine. We can not ask someone to abandon his/her God. But he believs that he needs justice, let him come. Some folks for example wants to put D-ictator as a prefix infront of IA-Issaias Afewerki and others prefer P-resident, the Lion of Nakfa, Nisu Nihna bla bla. This is not the case. Personally, me, I like to put D as a prefix. But I can not pursuide someone to put the same like me or convert the Lion of Nakfa adjective into Wekariya (fox) Nakfa, or Demon Issaias. Each person has his own choice and has a reason to say. Yet, all can not refuse to negotiate for the common good because we are all Eritreans fighting for a FREEDOM.
Well, there are some extreme cases, for example, the way we write our history (the refusal of Idriss Awate as Eritrean hero – for example), the Neo-Andenet issue, etc. Yet, I don’t see any reason why people are refusing to sit together and reconcime themselves. If it is of neo-Andenet issue; we can sit with them and tell them we are the people who fought 30 years bloody war to be ourselves, no need to revise history again. We can tell them that we are strong, proud people for what we did and no regret about it. We can sit with them and show them who we are. for the case of historical facts, history is not merciful, we can not like it or dislike it. We can not labeled it as equivalent to the holy scripture when we like it or equate it with the bandits history when we dislike it. The truth is always alive and we can get it. Neverthless, all these issues are what we all as Eritreans are looking to make reconcilations. In the reconcilation process, there are objectives realities and subjective realities.
To conclude, reconcilation is not about individuals. Individual case is individual. Always one is responsible for what he did as Wedi-Vacaro used to say. Reconcilation is a national issue and it concerns everybody. I believe that NO SINGLE party has so far been established on REVENGE based political mission. They are all for JUSTICE and this is what I am talking about. PFDJ in its overall make-up is not for justice and hence even if we like to do so there is no room to make it happen unless we all want to go to PFDJ’s hell. How can I ask the demon to allow me to enter his hell and sit with him and discuss for the common good when there is no good at all, not at all, rien in french.
Therefore, PFDJ card holders, well, first lets throw their card, leave their ideology (divide and rule) and start to look for justice. I don’t understand why you picked the word tegadelti. dear Fnote Selam, Eritrea without tegadelti is incomplete. They are not alien or different classes. PFDJ has introduced the classification system, which is equivalent to the Hindu system and this is what it is upto now today. In my dictionary, there is no special group called tegadalay, warsay, yikealo gebar bla bla. We are all equally responsible citizens and we deserve equal treatments. If there were tegadelti yesterday, there are agelglot today. And they all work for the nation.
Dear Tes,Thanks for taking your time to explain, I have now much better understanding of your vision. If you are willing, I would like us to continue our discussion. Please don’t take me as if I am out there to trip you, but rather kind of Enkan Haban discourse in order to iron out any rough ideas and understating that we may have.
I would like to nudge a bit more on the PFDJ thing. I commend you for not attaching the name PFDJ to any particular group. However, you definition of PFDJ as a “system” needs more elaboration. Are you talking about PFDJ charter as whole or there are some aspects of it that you find absolutely unacceptable? If so, could you give us some examples. lets start with this and the we will take from there.
BTW, the reason I mentioned Tegadelti is because I think they, as a group, have played significant part (mostly by being passive) in giving IA and co a foot hold to what they are now. I will explain in more detail some other time, lets for now discuss the PFDJ thing.
I have to say though, you assertion that the opp groups need to find a common ground (which is plenty) is spot on. Can’t agree more.
PFDJ charter is first a product and one of the tools of PFDJ system. When I talk about a system, I am talking about the software that runs PFDJ as an institution. I never accuse PFDJ as attached to any particular group or sector of our population and thank you for understanding that.
For me, PFDJ is a by-product of a hybrid ideology, an exact copy of North Korean Juche ideology and is derived from Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophy. It is a barbaric form of socialism. Having re-produced this ideology, it has outlined its charter 1994 and clearly identified its social, political and economic policies. Always the ideology remains at the top and any person assigned to the office of the PFDJ learns the ideology and becomes the tool for running the system.
Dear FS, as I have read many of your comments, you are wise enough to know what a system is. I am quite sure that you want my own definition. To be frank, I don’t have my own definition of system as it is already well defined subject in the world literature. But, to make it easy for Nitricc, I will share this video as I know Nitricc is following our discussion and I want him to follow the flow.
The ideology creates the system and the system is composed of different components.
Some of the basic system compnents
Remark: This is my own way of defining the system components and I would like you to come with your own system component description.
1. Absence of law: Law should not be present and hence rule of the jungle is utilized. That means anyone within the system has autonomous and unlimited power to perform its task.
2. Social make-up: They hate diversity and especially mental diversity. hence, the system runs to narrow social make-up, hade libi hade hizbi slogan is aimed for that. To narrow diversity, they use very selective and limited media outlets. And hence, one TV channel, one news paper and one online service (Eri-TV, haddas Ertraand shabait.com). And all speak the same thing. No diversity. And remember, information dissimination is important for the building of social make-up.
3. Economy: Everyone should have the same supply chain no matter what the demand is. The financial sources and lines should be controlled and directed.
4. Politics: no need for multiple parties and what for.
5. Power: very concentrated and tightly controlled, usually centered.
6. Security: highly needed and terror is the means to keep it secure.
8. Education: No need for thinkers and hence only technical minded people are needed. No need for big universities. College graduates are well enough to run the economic sector.
9. stability: force is the means
10. Human resource and especially cadres: YES sayers and that can perform a task without analysing the final out-come. They have to be smart enough to receive and perform commands without questioning.
11. International relationships: no need as they always are greedy in their agenda to exploite.
12. World view: Conspiracy theory
13. Administration: Divide and rule
14. Notion of country: It puts the country above the nation (to use Dr. Sara’s terminologies). The country is above everything and everything is meant to serve the country not the vise-versa. Everything should be submissive to the state.
15. Service: Everyone is forced to give his life to the country, a sacrifice and there is question what for. It is haram (forbidden) to ask about the whys.
16. Citizens: don’t own their rights but the state owns evey individual not the vice versa. Citizens are hostages and must be around as the sacrifice demanded is always high.
Dear FS, I will be happy to continue iresponding you if you have more questions or if you need more clarifications. But first, let me make two things clear.
A. What I believe is, PFDJ as a whole is anti peace, development, freedom, and humanity. Therefore, I will not go into it one by one and give you my opinions on every component. PFDJ system as a whole is anti Eritrean values.
B. Make sure that in my dictionary there is no classification, groupings or advantaged and special higher ranking members. Everyone who is in the system must be good for it and one can not be present with the absence of the other.
Thanks for the detailed (much detailed than I anticipated) response. Now, it is very clear to me what you mean by PFDJ system. Now I want to raise 2 points,
1. Now that we have defined the system (and as far as I am concerned, it goes without saying how evil it is), but do you think everyone associated with it are not be reconciled with? or are there certain individuals that are particular enablers of the system that should be avoided at any cost?
2. You know PFDJ do not present themselves as you so articulately described them, they put a different spin to it with emphasis how Eritrean people have been victimized (which I think there is some truth to it and they are able to convince quite a lot of people). So how do we show the mass of Eritreans and even people who naively considered themselves PDFJ, the true colors of PFDJ and more importantly, how do we show them that PFDJ is not good for Eritrea (I think this is the easy part) and (I can’t emphasize enough how important this is) how do we convince people that there are BETTER ALTERNATIVES? BTW, this is not a Q direct at you in particular, just me thinking aloud and hoping we could continue to discuss it…..In my humble opinion, I don’t think calling Eritreans ‘uniquely mean’ or telling Eritreans their current misery is curse for separating from Ethiopia or Eritreans should apologize for their independence because it is the result of violence …is going to work.
Please share with me how you think we can achieve this, I will also think about it.
Thanks again for the discussion,
For question no. 1: I kindly ask you to drop the enablers or certain indviduals that you are mentioning. I don’t see the PFDJ system with certain group of people like that. The system has been built years before and in fact it is a by-product but modified version of the EPLF secret parties working sytem. Of course, the sytem was built by people but once it was set, everyone can run the sytsem; And the people hired to run the system, there are criterias. For example, YPFDJ is a perfect candidate for the system. Any Eritrean can be trained to run it and once he is in the system, he will perform all actions demanded by his task.
For question no. 2: Everybody knows PFDJ as a criminal junta. The only problem is a sound number of PFDJ folks and some confused people who oppose the regime are not differentiating between PFDJ and a government. After continuous exposure of PFDJ atrocities, the people are now understanding the difference between the two but we need to work hard. But I am very positive on the achievements registered so far. The simple strategy therefore is to isolate PFDJ from the Eritrean life and build trust among the people themselves. When people come united, the governance system will be rightly established. Remember, we are fightig for a democratic system, the people to be governed by itself. Don’t take it as a literal statement. people throughout their creation were self-governed. Therefore, let’s continue isolating PFDJ (today about 60% has already been accomplished, result of my own guess) and once it has reached about 80% or around, PFDJ is gone. Let’s remember, in 1998, almost 100%. was not able to differentiate between the government and PFDJ.
But sorry, this is becoming a discussion between us and if you want to continue, even we can make it by private text exchange or by phone if you are confortable with.
Sorry for the late response. And I won’t bother you with the PFDJ thingy, but if I may I would like to to just point out one thing. Our discussion started with your statement regarding not reconciling with PFDJ and you did a great job of describing PFDJ as a system. As such it is easy to just say I am against this system, but in reality systems are not hollow things, there are people who make up the system, from those who dont know why they continue to associate with it, to those who want to change it, to those who forcibly enable it and everything else in between. So, I think identifying the different shades of PFDJ is going to be important going forward. Having said that,I just want to say this is a minor point to disagree upon and I will support your struggle against PFDJ in your own way.
Regarding the second point, as you said, it is hard to find anyone not negatively affected by PFDJ, so I think our focus should be on convincing our people that there are better alternatives out there. I say that because from my experience, people (especially the youth) dont necessarily know there are alternatives.
BTW, can I take the 16 points you listed that define PFDJ and make it to some sort of campaign brochure (with some changes)?
It is good that at least the description I did has clarified my definition of PFDJ as a system. regarding the people who make make-up the system, as I said, the system hires people who will run it. There are requirements that need to be fulfilles for such positions.
1. Suppose a security officer is needed to run PFDJ security office. The person who will be qualified should be good in creating terror and punish people without no mercy. Birgader Abraha Kasa is for example the best candidat for this position. As he was a trained war security gurdiand of the revolutionary days. During the revolution, he knwe how to liquidate those who stood against, oppose or broke the revolutionary commands. From his past experience, his blood became cold through execution of thousands of freedom fighters. He likes torturing people, keeping them in underground and he perfectly knows how to hire who will work under him. But first, the system believes that terror is the only means to keep the society controlled.
2. Controlled Economy: Hagosh Kisha is the best candidat. First of all, Hagosh Kisha is a graduate of economics from USA university. And when he was a student, he was involving as active member of the Eritrean Student movement in North America. He has acquired valuable.sound experiences on how to smuggle money from the western country to the war front and he also mastered on how to collect money from the Eritrean society living abroad. More than that, he took experience on the black market activity of EPLF as he was directly or indirectly involving in the transfer of money. Then, the PFDJ system needs a man who runs its economic policy and Hagosh Kisha, first as an economic graduate and second having first-hand experience on the illegal business activity will be for sure number one to fulfill that position.
3. Information: Yemane Gebreab, as a graduate of journalism and a person who worked in the information and propaganda center of EPLF is a master guru in the brainwashing and infromation delivery needed during the war time. After independence, PFDJ’s political office was occupied by this well known struggle era information and propaganda specialist is number one. And remember that PFDJ sytem needs a very good propagandist and brainwasher. Therefore, Yemane Gebreab will be the best candidat. Being in the political office of PFDJ, he easily controls the ministry of information. After 2001, Ali Abdu became a Minister of information (not fully titled) and knowing who Ali ABdu was is the best candidate in serving as an extension of brainwashing and propaganda officer.
4. Power: It should be very centered, dictatorial and cruel. For this, DIA is the best candidat.
You can continue the elaboration as such but the core principle is, first the PFDJ system is designed in such away that people should serve the country. And to serve, aka slavery, you need the system and of course to run the system you need people. But lets believe that today may be hagosh Kisha, DIA, Yemane Gebreab etc are serving today and if they are gone, other candidates are always present searching for a job. It is a job and the one who is selected for a particular position should work hard for the mission. And PFDJ has a mission.
I would like to emphasise here, first of all, the system is designed by people or it can also be by a single person, just think it like any innovation, a computer or like the computer game machine for example. Once designed and assembled, the whole system needs the whole compnent to be present. And if one component is missing, the other parts will not work. But, we should take care. We may then conclude that if DIA (dictator) is removed, then the system is over. Well, here is the challenge. For the system to work, the other components need someone who can replace the dictator. They need a dictator if not their existence is meaningless. And for this they have a mechanism to nurture another dictator unless the whole system is dismantled.
The tricky here is, how the system is able to reproduce its missing component. I can simply say, a creature who lived in a devil’s house knows the devil and is a devil by default. Conseauently, within the PFDJ system, there are many devils who were nurtured and got matured there. No matter how and when, if any individual officer is removed from the system, the system hires another candidate who can serve the system who is staying around.
Let’s have a look closely on the PFDJ replacement strategy of man power missing from certain component. The ministry of Zonal administration. After Sherifo, the place stayed almost vacant and non-functional for almost 12 years. Finally he got one but unfortunately he didn’t serve long. sooner, the position is occupied by a man who knows the devil’s house very well, Woldenkiel Abraha. The ministry of information has followed the same trend and yet is has no a person in charge as a full minister. The ministry of defence, Filipos is now almost upto that position but no official and known title. For DIA, sure there is someone online and all around are following the trend.
For me, it is just like that of president Putin in toda’s Russia. Putin knows the communist system and after he believed that he secured a firm position in the hearts of Russian people, he came with his mindset and is trying to revive the old Soveit Hegemony through his chauvinistic line of thinking. The same can happen also in Eritrea unless we completely destroy the whole component who make-up the system. destroying doesn’t mean that killing but making them non-function. For this, I say that PFDJ should be banned from the political landscape of Eritrea, there shouldnot be reconcilation with PFDJ and its members should be charged for what they did by law.
This whole dismantling process will take time even after PFDJ fall as still the system will continue to reside in the minds of many people and the economic infrastrature, security infrastracture, the trustship among the Eritrean soceity will continue to have an impact. We have best example of the eastern Europe where the communist ideology is still not fully dismantled from the mind of the people though most of the economic infrastructures are replaced.
I read that you asked to Amanuel Hidrat, whether it is a needed for people to agree on the defintion of the regime. Well, it is not a must according to my understanding but I believe that it will be good for our struggle. It is not a pre-requisite but a necessity to avoid unneccasy terminology conflict and hence it can be a blockage from proper and conscious reconcilation. The problem that I see is not on failing to understand the definition but rejecting somebody’s definition. For example, Amanuel Hidrat and I agree on the way a PFDJ system is defined but Mahmud and Abrhimo are not agreeing witho our definition of a PFDJ as a system. And we have a very rough debate regarding this matter. In fact, it is failure oof PFDJ characterisation that is dividing the opposition camp.
Last, you asked me if you can use the listed above points for some kind of campaign brochure. Well, it is good idea if you find it good to use it and it is upto you. But I would like to tell you that I have put the points here in the awate forum discussion section and I understand that I don’t own them any more though I am responsible for what I said. The copy right is not to be meant for me but it belongs to awate.com. All I can assure you is that I am responsible for what I said but I don’t own it and if you find it good to use them ask AT.
Saying this, I hope you are able to understand my broad comprehension about PFDJ. And I thank you.
The discussion was held within 7 days, 24/01-31/01/2015
Comiled in Angers, France on 01/02/2015