Monthly Archives: February 2017

Léonard Vincent: Refused a Conference on Behalf of Eritreans for the Eritrean Cause

I do not have the detail but it is sad to hear people like Léonard Vincent to retreat from being public figures and and refusing to attend conferences for matters that concern Eritrean current suffering because of continued threats and defamations they receive daily from European politicians and regime supporters in trying to block and silence him to be the voice of the voiceless.

Léonard has contributed tremendesely for the Eritrean tragic humanitarian crisis for the last 8 – 9 years. He is a dedicated man for the Eritrean cause, a journalist, a writer, an activist and humanist Léonard Vincent for his refusal of an ivitation he received to hold a conference on the Eritrean Situation.

He didn’t mention directly what threats he is receiving to make a decision so saddenly  but it seems that it is really worrisome. To stop such noble men from being the voice of the voiceless is a hult for human rights advocators.

According to his post, the main reason of refusing to speak publically seems that the treatment he usually encounters from the regime supporters and European politicians who are solely interested on their political interest and agenda. Léonard mentioned that he is a victim of direct defamation, verbal assualts and threats simply because he stands for the suffering of Eritrean youth.

Neverthless  he strongly believes that Eritrean Issue can be reflected truely if Eritreans themselves become the actors of their affairs. Having a confidence on Eritreans themselves to handle their situation, Léonardo indicated that there are capable Eritreans who can conduct conferences across Europe, for example, people who he knows personally from Radio Erena(Paris) for such a long time.

Léonard stressed that he will continue to speak about the Eritrean suffering not by becoming at the head but as a human being who cares about the freedom of his fellow human being. He conveyed a strong message to those who invited him for the conference that it is the Eritrean themselves who can be the masters of their agenda.

Léonard Vincent has a blog who frequently publishes his well reseacrhed and opinionated articles about Eritrea (since 2009) – https://erythreens.wordpress.com/ and has published two books that focus one on current Eritrean situation and suffering of Eritrean youth during their never ending journey of immigration to Europe and other areas of the world (Les Erythréens) and other about his experience of visit in Greek (Athènes ne donne rien) . He is a French citizen and a journalist at RFI

I salut Léo for his courageous work and reject detractors who try to silence him from being the voice of the voiceless Eritreans.

___________________________

PS:

Books published

  1. Les Erythréens
  2.  Athènes ne donne rien

Documentary

Erythrée : Biniam, la voix de la liberté »

_____________________________

Original Post by Léonard Vincent

Réponse à une invitation à tenir une conférence sur l’Erythrée envoyée à l’instant :

“Bonjour,

Avant tout, je vous remercie pour votre invitation. Malheureusement, je suis obligé de la refuser, et ce pour plusieurs raisons que vous pourrez comprendre, j’en suis sûr. D’abord, mon exposition personnelle autour de la situation de l’Erythrée me vaut beaucoup trop de contrecoups à mon sens : agressions verbales de toutes formes, diffamation, dénigrement, provenant non seulement des partisans du régime, mais aussi de militants politiques européens qui défendent leur propre agenda et non celui des indigents qu’ils prétendent assister, de fonctionnaires sans culture et sans projet autre que la gestion étroite des priorités de leurs chefs, d’universitaires jaloux qu’on empiète sur leurs plate-bandes, de journalistes soucieux de se hausser du col en manifestant publiquement du mépris pour un confrère. Cette situation désagréable me place face à un dilemme. Je ne suis plus disposé à subir cela en silence mais, si je venais à répondre aux invectives ou aux rabaissements, le sujet essentiel sortirait du cadre de la conversation publique : je veux dire les Erythréens eux-mêmes et leurs appels à l’aide. Je suis donc arrivé à ce stade où, paradoxalement sans doute, je me cantonne au retrait de la parole publique autant que faire se peut, pour au moins préserver intact l’intérêt que la terrible situation de l’Erythrée suscite depuis quelques années en Europe, aussi mince soit-il. Peut-être ma position sera-t-elle amenée à changer, mais ce raisonnement me semble cohérent à ce stade.

Ensuite, je suis convaincu que, pour parler de l’état d’esprit et de la marche tragique et héroïque de la jeunesse érythréenne, les mieux placés sont les Erythréens eux-mêmes. J’ai donc pris la résolution de m’effacer à leur profit, et de me tenir littéralement derrière eux, pour les soutenir au besoin, mais certainement pas pour marcher à leur tête. Je vous invite donc à chercher des voix érythréennes pour parler à vos collaborateurs. Il en existe de précieuses en Europe, comme mes amis de Radio Erena par exemple.

Très cordialement,

Léonard Vincent”

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Nationalism, Nation and Country: A Random Facebook Discussion

This was extracted from my facebook post of 24/02/2017 and the followed discussions(24/02 – 26/02/2017). I found it interesting to share as it has touched many areas covered. Thanks to Zaki Zerom for allowing me to use the materials we discussed in this blog. I have used synonym names for the other participants. 

Facebook Post:

The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war. Sydney J. Harris

Discussion that followed

Zaki Zerom

“What it does ” is the phrase I am having problem with. Who is “it”? The government or the people?

Frezghi:

I like the saying. I consider the avoidance of needless war the highest proof of true love for your people.

Ezana Caleb

I wish if you can stop preching your old and unadjusted political believe. Sometimes i wander why people like you become blind to see and accept the reason of suffering of human beings.

Nationalistic ideologies is what we need now to restore world order. Multiculturalism and Patriotism are the main reason of human suffering d all over the world. These are the reason:

  1. Multiculturalism, created fertil land for Islamic ideology to disturb our peace. (See what muslim terrorist are doing all over the world)
  2. Patriotism is the fact and base behinde of almost all oppressive governments. ( See almost all governments came by revolution including Eritrea).

There for please be fair and kind for all humans.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

[To Ezana] I think you must be the last person to speak about all human being as your political stand(Agazian Ideology) testifies.

Have you ever wondered what Social Nationalism is all about? If you don’t google it but it is exactly what you are preaching for. It is Social Nationalism that gave birth to Nazi. Hope you know what is the iceberg of Nazism.

Another thing: you are blindly guided by Hate of Islam – hence Islamophobia centric. It says a lot about you on your stand against humanity.

Zaki Zerom

Our fight is not with people of other countries but with our own dictator. Call it nationalism, patriotism or any other term you like, just try to find the ingredients that could bring the different segments of our society together. Finding the common sentiments of belongingness for each other the land we hail from. Cherish our values and love one another. What is bad about this?

Tesfabirhan REDIE

The ingredients that I believe could bring us together:

  • Let’s fight for Eritrean people’s right to live – Our Rights as human being to live
  • As we don’t have a constitution -at least lets be guided during the transition period by Universal Constitution – which can help us as a guiding principle.
  • Let’s fight for our democracy – under the principle of “From the people, by the people, to the people” – hence lets be guided by Democracy to fight for our people’s rights
  • Lets know our people need Constitution, not rule of the jungle
  • Let’s acknowledge Eritrea is an already existing and sovereign country, like any other country with all its combined values and its own history; be it good or bad – it is all our history. One may respect the good or the other might deny the bad. But at the end, all are just history. We live neither in the past nor in the future but at present. At the same time, we look in the past to learn and we project it as an experience for the future not to repeat the mistakes.
  • Let Rule of Law be our guidance.
  • Let our wisdom shine our much we value justice and are blessed by our practice on our fellow human being.
  • To defeat the regime, lets use all available tools – our people, the International community, inside and outside Eritrea, violent and non-violent, all tools that can get rid of the dictatorial regime. Lets ally with all forces that fight against the regime.
  • Let’s believe that each entity of Eritrea is living together on its will, a kind of mutual aggrement,, a kind of referendum, or engagement based on wills, not by force, not by history, not by blood, not by ethnic, not by origin, whatever it is, but just by mutual aggrement. This belief will help us to respect the choice of the other fellow.
  • Always, always, let’s remember our guidance is our sovereign country.

Zaki Zerom

You keep saying “let’s” , Let’s ….who is included here? Isn’t that all we are talking about – to be able to define the “let’s”

Tesfabirhan REDIE

Ok, I will be very friendly with you as you seem to miss what “let’s” stands for:

Let’s -contraction of let us: used to express a suggestion, command, etc, by the speaker to himself and his hearers.

Does it make sense now?

Zaki Zerom

Lol Tes. Sorry if my comment wasn’t clear but I wasn’t asking you to tell me about the contraction of “let us”. I was asking if the “us” in “let’s” refers to “all Eritrean people”.. Reading through your comment, I just felt like your usage of “we” and “us” assumed that we already have unity amongst us. But please, disregard my previous comment.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

Regardless of our unity on purpose, we are united as Eritreans. This is what is most important for me.

We, or us stands for Eritreans – no less no more.

Zaki Zerom

In order for us to say “we”, we must have a common purpose – and our common purpose should not only to remove the dictator but also to build a nation. ….and a nation can only be created and build through nationalism. Well, you got my drift.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

Lol. nationalism never created a nation in history. Basically someone is a nationalist hence, nationalism, because the nation already existed. Nationalism is nothing but blind submission to the already existing nation and align all forces to follow the same line as defined by the nationalists according to what they think a nation is.

Well being my take. I will repeat, regardless of our purpose, no matter how awefully we do, Eritreans are Eritreans.

Ok, according to nationalists definition, what I am saying is a myth. As a nation belongds to those who only obey or worship what the nation stands for according to their views.

Suppose, according to One Nation Movement nationalist beliefs, if an Eritrean does not respect the Martyrs, he doesn’t belong to the Nation called Eritrea.

This is what it makes me unsleep whenever I see nationalists popping up day in, day out.

Zaki Zerom, lets have a wider and liberal definition of what a nation stands for.

Zaki Zerom

I don’t think you are reading the word “NATION” properly.and the word Nation-al-ism.

Zaki Zerom

I think you are confusing country with nation. Several nations can be created within one country.

Zaki Zerom

In your earlier post, you listed seven definitions of a NATION. Having seven definitions shows that it can have different contexts. I know a lot of times a nation and a country are used interchangeably but the sociological definition of a nation is what i am talking about here. In general, a country can always be a nation, but a nation is not necessarily a country.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

haha, I think you are a sociologist. Your reference says a lot. It is sad to speak about imagined community when we are talking about real society, the society of Eritrea.

Anyway, Don’t go that far, thanks to wikipedia, I will give you its definition

On Nation: Nation

Tesfabirhan REDIE 

Well, lets see the definition of a nation then:

  1. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
  2. The territory occupied by such a group of people: All across the nation, people are voting their representatives out.
  3. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language
  4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) an aggregation of people or peoples of one or more cultures, races, etc, organized into a single state: the Australian nation.
  5. (Sociology) a community of persons not constituting a state but bound by common descent, language, history, etc: the French-Canadian nation.
  6. body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own.
  7. Nation inhabitants of a country; a community of men or animals; the people of the earth, collectively [Source: The Free Dictionary]
    etc

Unless you are bringing a new definition of a nation, I don’t think what you are saying is true.

Zaki Zerom

Man, don’t be arrogant about this brother. I will suggest you read this on the subject

Imagined community

Tesfabirhan REDIE

haha, I am not. I am just copy and paste what I got. I am not but the facts that I am bringing might be arrogant by themselves brother. Facts gives a pain.

By the way, why you brought a reference that starts with a title, “Imagined”.

I think I can learn then a lot from your previous post.

Lets speak on facts not imagined one.

Zaki Zerom

Do all the seven definitions you listed necessarily refer to a country? Absolutely not.

To give you an example:

Before independence, Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia, and a nation
After independence, Eritrea became a country and a nation.

Do you see the difference? The NATIONHOOD was there long before independence.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

If you have the eyes to read, everything is given.

But let me be again kind for you:

A country –

  1. A nation or state.
  2. The territory of a nation or state; land.
  3. The people of a nation or state; populace
  4. The land of a person’s birth or citizenship
  5. A region, territory, or large tract of land distinguishable by features of topography, biology, or culture:
  6. (Human Geography) a territory distinguished by its people, culture, language, geography, etc
  7. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) an area of land distinguished by its political autonomy; state
  8. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the people of a territory or state

[Source: Country – The Free Dictionary]

How about now.

But when have read this, please check what you wrote.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

Ok, if it is from socilogical point of view, that is only one aspect but yet it is incomplete.

One Nation Movement is not a socialogical movement, it is a supposed to be “political”.

But if you are refering socilogical, becareful, there is what is called “Social Nationalism” – which has given rise to Nazis.

Take care what definition you take brother.

Words matter.

Zaki Zerom

Oh my god, SMH

what do you understand about this Nations within Nations

Tesfabirhan REDIE

I feel very sorry.

Let me bring some materials from the reference you brought.

————————

An imagined community is a concept coined by Benedict Anderson to analyze nationalism. Anderson depicts a nation as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group.[1]:6–7

Anderson’s book, Imagined Communities, in which he explains the concept in depth, was first published in 1983, and reissued with additional chapters in 1991 and a further revised version in 2006.

The media also creates imagined communities, through usually targeting a mass audience or generalizing and addressing citizens as the public. Another way that the media can create imagined communities is through the use of images. The media can perpetuate stereotypes through certain images and vernacular. By showing certain images, the audience will choose which image they relate to the most, furthering the relationship to that imagined community.
—————————–

Can I ask you one question please

“How long have you been outside Eritrea?”

I am afraid now One Nation Movement might have the same approach.

It is shame, really shame.

Zaki Zerom

If you continue arguing on this, i am going to take your bajela away and send you to back to high school. Seriously, this shouldn’t even be a subject of discussion.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

I am ready to give you. I am now very confident to lecture you on this subject. Lol

I am an engineer, but now I will be a sociologist. By the way, I like sociology.

Zaki Zerom

Now I see the problem with you. You are trying to apply the laws of physics on society completely ignoring feelings – sentiments,

Sentiments matter!

Tesfabirhan REDIE

  • Haha, I use law of physics often when there is an action, hence I react.
  • And I use also dynamics, if people are trying to keep my eyes closed.
  • In addition, I use thermodynamic principles to absorb the heat generated.

You see, physics helps.

By the way, why you are giving me a book available at amazon?

I can not wait and buy in order to argue with you. Anyway, let me provide you some material on “The Nation within a Nation”.

I read about three paragraphs and I think your reference again has a flaw.

Meaning of Nation and Nations

We are not talking about black community. We are talking about Eritreans.

Zaki Zerom

If the afar, the kunama, the bilen ethnic groups do not have any sense of belonginess to the tigrigna group and to each other, there will not be any Eritrean Nation – and therefore no country called Eritrea.

Tesfabirhan REDIE

I think none of these are fighting to have their own nation. They all believe on One Nation called Eritrea.

But there are severe and justified grievances that is forcing them to fight for an Autonomous state within the unified Eritrean naion.

Afar – for example, have formed state in Exile – called Eritrean Afar State in Exile-EASE. Recently (2016) they had a very eye-opening gathering. Their objective is not to have Afar country, but if things continue to worsen and no solution is found for their grievances, they can go to the extreme choice of struggle[emphasis mine]. Afar State in Exile are fighting for justice, like any other Eritrea, but they also have an objective that extends into forming an Afar Autonomous state.

For more details read Our Mission at their official website

In 2007, I have visited Assab and on my way, I got a chance to visit known Afar towns along the Red Sea. What I saw there is really worrisome. I have witnessed through my eyes that the Afar people were prohibited to fish even for their own daily home consumption, let alone to sell in the local market. Forget about taking a boat and sail(because they are suspected of crossing the sea – smuggling business), as they used to do throughout their life.

The same is true with Kunama – Kunama are native people who are treated badly – the worst, by PFDJ regime. I fully support their struggle.

For Bilen, so far, there is no movement except cultural. But there is a very strong cultural rehablitation movements. I hope we [I am a Bilen] will preserve our culture for generations to come.

But on the struggle against PFDJ, Bilen are fighting with anyone who opposes PFDJ without forming a unified one ethnic centered party (which shows their unifiying power).

Therefore, let’s not fabricate unfounded scenarios.

The only movement that has openly standed against Eritrean Nation so far is Agazian Movement (and check here too).

There is some conspiracy of Union with Ethiopia movement but I believe it is fictional or some wishful thinking, at least for the moment.

My Political take

I will fight for Kunama, Afar and now Akeleguzay people to make their dreams true. I believe on strong regions which can govern themselves under one Nation called Eritrea.

I believe on Decentralized Govenment, hence States – which have their own internal Administration System. I am against the Centralized Administration system which is now used by PFDJ rule.

Equally I believe on United Sovereign Eritrean territory of 1890.

Though I am not sure whether belongness is a correct political term or not, I believe that there are very strong and common binding factor:

1. The nation – Eritrea
2. Soverign territory
3. History – our common and shared history since 1890, including the final Border Agreement of 13 April 200283-195_border_agreement_2002
4. Economy
5. Family relationship, etc

In my political understanding, “belongingness” is what it lets people go in conflict. Tigrigna people belong to no one except are Eritreans. Tigrigna people can not in Assab and claim that it belongs to them. The same is true for Afar.

But, as Eritreans, everyone has an obligation to protect the sovereign country called Eritrea.

But there is no limit for people’s movement in a sovereign country. People have a right to move all over Eritrea and live according to the country’s rule.

What I am saying is not different than the concept of United states of America which might be different from that of Unitary States -there is a proposal writen at awate about this topic.

Here in France for example, there are 13 regions which have almost an autonomous rule. Each region has its own flag and governor.

Anyway, here we can refer what Afar State is expected to be according to its advocators.

 

 

 

 

 

Dictator’s Effect: Poverty at its Peak

Eritrea as a country  has existed since 1890. Since then, it has seen colonial system, federatal system, invader’s rule, short lived liberator’s highdays and since 2001 pure dictatorial regime.

When Italy colonized Eritrea by defining the trritory, Italians built the country like their home country. Cities with modern infrastructures were developed. Asmara, the then chosen to be capital city was built in exact copy of Rome’s architectural buildings. Modern transporation system, sanitary network, communication and administrative systems were introduced.

asmara_1
Architecrual buildings of Asmara, source: google

By the end of  mid 1970s, there were about 75,000 Italians living in Eritrea, predominantly in Asmara. During those days, Asmara was considered “Small Rome”. The late Ethiopian dictatorial regime, Derg, has played its role to ruin Eritrea.

Despite Derg’s destructive rule, Eritrea is ruining like no other time under the current dictatorial regime of PFDJ.

Asmara Ruining like ‘No Other Time’ for the last 17 years.

Staring 2000, PFDJ has introduced a marshal plan with a sole purpose of nationalizing everything, the people and the resources. Since then, Asmara has registered unprecedented poverty and destruction. It is hard to imagine how much the effect is but recent eye-witness photos leaking from the country are testifying the immense destruction happening.

Here is what Elizabeth Chyrum (A Human Right’s Concern-Eritrean Director ) has put in her facebook page.

elsa

Transportation Crises in Eritrea

The transportation and communication sector is one of the public services that is clearly and directly affected by the maladministration of the authoritarian regime in Asmara.

The majority of the Eritrean people use land transport services hence the importance of sufficient public bus services is indisputable. There were public transport buses owned by different individuals and associations but they are now out of business, owing to government action. The authorities deliberately denied bus companies access to fuel and banned the import of spare parts. The regime also conscripted bus drivers into the military service. It also forced the owners to pay huge tariffs and taxes. The implementation of these anti- business policies, deliberately intended to undermine the private sector, has resulted in the transport services being engulfed in a huge crisis.

Once the privately-owned bus companies were put out of business, the bus transportation service was replaced by buses administered through government’s own economic institution, the PFDJ. These new buses were imported duty free. They are administered by Harat Company – an economic arm of the PFDJ. The problem with these buses is that they remain unable to meet the demands of public transportation. Principally, there are far too few buses in total number and like any other sector of the economy administered by the government or PFDJ, the service is embroiled in a high level of maladministration and corruption. As a result, commuters are forced to stand waiting for a bus day and night at every bus station. Some people report that, just to get a bus from Asmara to Tesseney, they wait at the bus station for three days and night to no avail.

Some of the photos she shared are disturbing. Even I can not imagine how fast life is deteriorating in Eritrea. I left Eritrea in 2012. By then, I was disappointed how life became bitter and poorer. But to tell you frankly, it was much better than today. It is paradoxical to witness 2012, even 2000, was better than 2017.

Photo footage of current Transportation condition in Eritrea, (source, Elizabeth Chyrum facebook page)

Water has become a very scarce commodity in Asmara. Once a well developed water distribution network, now Asmara dwellers are struggling to get water for daily use. Water is distributed on a ration base through water tank loaded vehicles. To get water, each family has to spend the whole day lining.

Some of the video shared are:

Water Distribution system of Eritrea

Ruining sewage structures

Spying Network and Diaspora Community Control Network

It is not a secret that the dictatorial regime muscles are deeply extended in the diaspora community. Every Eritrean is controlled directly or indirectly by the regime. A whole building and office facilities are dedicated on this mission. A recent photo leaked from Asmara(thanks to Elizabeth for sharing) reveals this evil agenda of the PFDJ regime.

elsa2

Those who might not understand Tigrigna, this list is the room number of each office that works for the Foreign Mission Control Officers. There are 16 offices. The offices are categorized into 6 main branches. Each one is a controling mechanism of Diaspora according to the will of the regime.

  1. Foreign Mission Officer
  2. Tax Collection (2%) and Finance
  3. Reception of Guests
  4. Dosiers Verification Center
  5. ID Card, Passport and Visa Services
  6. Communication Center(Control of Message received by fax and e-mails).

cover

Marine Le Pen: Sanity of Liberty or Controversy of Policy

On 21/02/2017, I came to learn that Marine Le Pen, the far right Predidential candidate of Frence 2017 has refused to wear headcraft during her scheduled meeting with Lebabon Mufti during her tour in Lebanose. Here is my reflection.

Sanity of Liberty

I don’t agree with most policies that the far right presidential candidate of France 2017 wants to implement but I REALLY ADMIRE HERE DECISION TO REFUSE HEADCRAFT during a scheduled meeting with Lebanon’s Mufti. She ddoesn’t wear in her daily life why then she has to just to meet the mufti.

By doing this, I think Le Pen has shown her role as an emancipated and free woman of 21thC. Freedom is freedom and should not be taken away at any time and place.

I am confident also the Mufti will admire her decision and arrange another meeting that respects her full freedom.

Relatively Lebanon is a liberal country by comparing to other Islamic States. Respecting Marine Le Pen’s freedom not to wear headcraft will therefore make Lebanon more liberal, not other wise.

Marine Le Pen refusal to wear veil

Still Lebanon has some liberal views regarding to religious communities. And its society are open minded and respect diversity. As a Francophonic country, its link with European culture is strong despite challenges facing the area zone.

Now that it is an important moment for the world in the political discourse to follow for the 21cC, what leaders do matters. Marine Le Pen, a conservative leader of France, iShe is trying to preserve the historical legacies of French civilization throughout the 19thC and 20thC.

This being the fact, France has strong world heritage in terms of liberty and secular views. Obeying what religious leaders order is therefore unacceptable.

Marine Le Pen, as crazy as she is, she didn’t let the French Revolution down in her trip to Lebanon. She has shown her strong side, an emanicipated woman of all oppressions. I believe therefore, her womanhood in the French eyes will give an honour of legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.

I salut her courage and modeling role of all women to fight against religious oppressions.

Controversy of Policy: Paradox

In september 2016, Nice court has moved on banning women not to wear headcraves in public areas. This rule affected Moslem women directly. Though The highest French Court ruled against the banning lawsuite, it has questioned the controverial issue of human body liberty. Especially, women were affected directly.

For more follow this link and this one and this one

Marine Le Pen, like all other of her conservative beliefs, it has supported the banning. This has uproared liberal thinkers and strong supporters of feminist movements.

On this occasion, I call Marine Le Pen to support other people’s choice of wearing whatever they want. In the paradoxical move of banning headcraft in public areas of France, she [Marine Le Pen] supported the ban. And this shows her double standard on her own liberty according to what she beliefs and her controverial policy of limiting people’s freedom. 

marine-le-pen3

In my conclusion, I refuse any kind of impossed rule on human being, be it on men or women. People should be guided by liberal life rules and respecting a choice of someone should be the ultimum sanity.

A Converse on One Nation Perspectives

Tesfabirhan:

Unless One Nation Movement comes with a revised beliefs and an inlcusive objectives and with a clear strategy, it is simply a hallucination, it is simply another entry of 2017 in the opposition list.

I wish they have learned something from Medrek, a supposed platform for all opposition groups, turned itself an opposition organization which competes with the existing camp.

Daniel:

When you said inclusive objectives what do you mean? Would you mind listing the inclusive objectives that you have in mind.

Tesfabithan:

Very good question.

Some of the inclusive objectives that I have in my mind:

1. Lets avoid social classification system –

Reason: be it 9 ethnic groups or 100, it does not matter. Lets respect this declaration on human rights Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

2. Lets not exclude forces that believe change can also come from outside.

Reason: All opposition forces are fighting from outside, including the One Nation Movement. Lets consider therefore all the opposition forces are part of the changing process, not a supplementary.

3. Lets not be isolasionists

Reason: Declaring ‘No intereference of outside forces in the Eritrean matters’ is nothing but Isolationist Strategy.

Even our struggle for independence had ally forces – like China, Syria, Cuba, Somalia, Ethiopia (TPLF), Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc.

4. Lets avoid strategy of saying, ‘If you agree with me, welcome, if not get away”

5. Lets acknowledge people’s grievances –

Reason: every thing has a reason to exist. For example, Kunama Opposition forces, Afar, Jeberti, etc, have a reason to exist. If their rights to exist as people fails in danger, they have every right to fight for self-determination.

6. Lets not preach again nationalism on the same style that we are preached by the existing oppressive regime.

Reason: Lets read what Nationalism/Patriotism is. In fact, what One Nation is trying to convey is purely the Ideology of Nationalists. You can read this link and you will see why One Nation Movement is not coming with any original material.

Read about Nationalism

For more detailed analysis, you can also read what I wrote in my blog. In case, I am attaching it here. One Nation Movement: A big mistake from its Start

sheik_ibrahim_sultan_woldeab_woldemariam

A Converse: One Nation and its Complications

These conversations are teken from a facebook page after a person named, Bahlibi (full name is not given) has posted the topic below. Three people involved in the discussion in addition to me. I will not include their names except mine. Rather I will replace their names with Bahlibi, Zaki and Daniel. The discussion was held on 17/02 – 18/02/2017.

Topic:

ሓንቲ ኤርትራ ዝብል ሓቓፍን ቁዱስን ቃል ዝሕምሞም ሰባት እንተሃልዮም፣ ወይ ክታብ ሸኽ ዛይድ ወይ ድማ ክልተ ሸውዓት ጋብር ደርዓንቶ ምሕጻብ ከድሊ እዩ።

Converse 

Trend 1:

Tesfabirhan Redie: 

Bahlibi I think we are familiar with the way you are describing things. Isn’t it the same what dictator Issaias told when he was asked about why the youth are fleeing the country?

No one will feel bad when the notion of one Eritrea is mentioned. But history has taught us not to accept such candy words without questioning critically.

Unfortunately, those who are trying to sell the current One Nation concept seems not to be different from existing dictatorial notion of “Hade Libi -Hade Hizbi”.

Lets accept constructive criticism before blocking anyone who tries to get clarifications.

Bahlibi: 

Tesfabirhan Redie you have a valid point, brother. A constructive criticism should always be welcomed with open arms.I don’t intend to advocate for a blind worship. But here, we are neither talking about policy nor political reconstruction. It is a simple and plain rally for unity. Regardless of our political philosophy, ethnic or religious affiliations, we all have Eritrea at heart. There is absolutely nothing wrong with “We love one Eritrea” rallying point.

Tesfabirhan Redie:

Bahlibi, thanks. But what history teaches us, there is something wrong with “We love one Eritrea”. We can’t be blind adherents of this notion again. We need to clarify again and again untill everyone feels safe with it.

Bahlibi: 

Tesfabirhan know where you are trying to get with this. But as rule of thump, you can never start a political dialogue or national reconciliation processes by focusing on things that differentiate us. But you focus on the things that bring us together-Eritrea.And then, we all sit down to discuss our grievance, our ambitions, differences and potential solutions.

Tesfabirhan Redie:

People are always there and everyone loves for the country. Our father Wedi Vacaro’s call is a strong indicator on hwo strong we are to come together. What we lack is a clear mission, objectives and strategy.

Especially, when people come together, what they are not getting is an inclussive idea.

In fact, the call for unity is becoming boring.

Forget now all the past and decades old experiences, what happend to EYS is enough to get a hint on what can be if it is empty call.

Therefore, everyone is not far from the notion but is skeptical on its discourse.

Bahlibi: 

Tesfabirhan Yes, we should have clear mission, objective and strategy. But in this simple picture/paint/slogan, the aforementioned factors are engraved. Mision? To free Eritrea together and live in a constitutional government where people enjoy the rule of law, rights, and responsibilities. Objective?To debunk the divisive and chaotic situation in the social media and fight the political arsonists who are trying to compromise our social and political solidarity. Strategy? Bringing all Eritrean nationals together to achieve a common goal-getting ride of the monster in Eritrea. Is this too much to ask? One more thing. Whether it is about the people in EYSC or EYFF, we have to learn to respect all the people who have dedicated their life, time, energy and money to be a voice for the voiceless. To me, every person in the opposition is a strategic ally. Everything they do is to help Eritrea and Eritreans. Do they get it wrong? of course. But they are ordinary human beings who are trying to do something right about the wrongs in their homeland.

Zaki:

[Tesfabirhan] So, are you telling us not to love Eritrea? What is your argument that asking people to love the country would derail the opposition?

Tesfabirhan Redie:

[Zaki] What you are saying is your own imagination. And this is mine: My belief is very simple: As much as I love my country, every Eritrean loves it. Very simple. I don’t believe on politics that tells people to love their country.

Any politics that asks people to love its country is simply to clasify people. Of course nationalists will always ask people to love their country. This is what PFDJ does.

Zaki, please lets not repeat mistakes again and again.

All what I am asking is to have a very broad definition of One Nation.

 

Zaki:

Yes, it is important for people to ask for a strategy but to oppose without even knowing the details makes one obstructionist.

Tesfabirhan Redie:

I believe that the details are outlined on the website of One Nation Eritrea. In case there is any other secret behind, I am sorry I am not aware about it. But what I depend my concern is all based on the information given on this page: http://www.eritrea1nation.com/

Zaki:

So?, it says ” no sectarianism “. Are you a sectarian?

Zaki:

Where are you getting this “telling people to love their country” from? I don’t support forcing people, either.

Zaki:

I am a nationalist, and I don’t call a forced love for a country nationalism. We don’t have the same understanding of nationalism brother.

Tesfabirhan Redie:

[Zaki] First: I am not a nationalist. But I know what nationalism is and what nationalists promote. It is exactly what you are doing.

On sectarianism – I am not sure from where you are bringing it. But I believe on a complete separation of state and religion and in a complete autonomy of religious practices that respects rights of the other each religious or non religious group.

Trend 2:

Zaki:

[Tesfabirhan] I have been waiting for the opposition groups to come out and address the toxic and divisive politics of the last two years or so. Except a couple of known political activists who showed some concern, all kept quiet. Now, those who have been in hibernation for a long time are coming out to oppose nationalism. I am confused. Are these people benefitting from division?
My slogan is:
Yes to + and ×
No to ÷ and –

Tesfabirhan Redie:

[zaki]I think you thought this One Nation to be the final and blowing movement. No one benefits from division but everyone is concerned from issues that will continue to divided us.

Daniel:

Tesfabirhan, The division is already here: Look no further, just examine the following:

Political Organizations (19 +/-)
Ethnic Based Political Organizations (5 +/-)
Religion Based Political Organizations (4 +/-)
Regional Based Political Organizations (2 +/-)
Civic Organizations (30 +/-)
Youth Oriented Organizations (7 +/-)
Women Based Organizations (3 +/-)
Refugee and Human Rights Organizations (10 +/-)
Umbrella Organizations ( 3+/-)
Radio (10 +/-)
Websites (35 +/-)
Paltalk/Facebook Pages (15 +/-)

Tesfabirhan Redie:

Daniel, thank you Daniel for this information. It is very helpful in this discussion.

Let me ask you: Have you reached all these lists and clearly identified their grievances and concerns?

I think they can not be simply called for unity irrespective of their differences. They exist because they have a reason.

No one likes to be divided but there are unavoidable circumstances that leads you into.

Just suppose the youth organizations. EYSC and ENMNS – can these two groups ignore their differences and become united?

EYSC doesn’t seem to have problem with the believes of One Nation but ESMNS will have a real serious problem.

In one of the list of One Nation belief, what One Nation beliefs is on change that comes from inside only and rejects any outside interferences. Though I can not say that EYMNS has interference of Ethiopia, their movement is so clear that change of the oppression regime includes from outside too.

Do you think then EYSC and EYMNS be united in this movement for a common goal?

Another question:

onenation-loveIn the photo that shows 9 ethnic groups – do you think Jeberti will welcome and be part of the One Nation Movement?

Thousands of questions are lining in my head to be written. For now, these are enough I think.

Zaki: 

So, are you questioning the motive behind a nationalistic movement or you are simply saying it is a bad idea? If it is the latter you just have to realize that you don’t have the monopoly of good ideas and all you need to do is accept the difference as you have accepted all the 50+ groups. It is only one more group to take

Tesfabirhan Redie:

What you said is exactly what I am addressing. There are differences that we need to address before starting any movement.

For example, you and I have different political views though we both love our country.

My point is not to make nationalist to be a bad idea, though on some specifici points I believe so, but to show that One Nation has ignored concerns of the people. Say for example, by displaying 9 ethnic groups phot and indicating that is what they are calling one Nation.

If we agree then, there is difference in our views, do not preach us “One Nation”. For me, what I am understanding is this One Nation concept is a continuation of PFDJ “Hade Hizbi – Hade Libi” mantra that is originated from Socialism or Communism definition of Nationalists.

This is my understanding.

And if One Nation Movement wants to join the 50+ list, you are very welcomed. Hopefully meskerem will include it in the over crowding list.

But my wish is to see a movement that reduces these 50+ into fewer but united and strong clusters of opposition camp.

Wish is wish!

Zaki: 

Tes, I don’t expect 100% of Eritreans to be nationalists but we do need nationalists if we want to have a nation

Tesfabirhan Redie:

Zaki, I think the Eritrean political landscape is over saturated by nationalists. What we don’t have is something higher or different than that.

And this is a view that puts democracy and justice first by incorporating human rights and rule of law within it. This is the area that we really are in shortage.

Thanks to our 30 years struggle and now 26 years constant brainwashing and chaos in accordance to PFDJ nationalistic ideology, almost all Eritreans are Nationalists by default.

And if you notice our failures, it is basically because we are using or repeating mistakes done by our previous nationalists.

No matter how often we come with new names, our mindset is still there. Look, EYSC manifestation is clearly visible in this One Nation beliefs. and we are all witnessing on what has happened and is happening to its memebers no matter how good missions they outline.

Therefore, what we need is a new paradigm, or a total shift from the principles that we are constantly utilizing.