In today’s Eritrean opposition political chaos, there are many developments that delve one into a political puzzle. These developments are mainly originated from the absence of a clear political vision that can respond people’s thirsty to freedom and justice. And it is no wonder such phenomenon are spill-over effects of the dictatorial system.
As Eritreans fought 30 years political struggle under an umbrella of national call, nationalist sentiments were natural to be guiding principles to mobilise the masses. The simplest political strategy that can be exploited was to call societies based on the inner values they believe they possess. Such tactics can be effective for the means. However, once the mind is triggered, it remains on alert since after. These alerts produce conservative political sentiments that do not tolerate liberal thinking.
It is such problem that Eritreans today are facing after the 30 years war and constant brainwashing and orientation of the after independence era utilised by PFDJ regime. Today, the PFDJ regime and almost all groups within the opposition camp are far right wing politicians. Because of this, it is hard to break political barriers we live in.
For example, if one criticises Eritrean revolution, many will jump on and defend that era as it is a sacred time. Not few also make “Red-Lines” or as a “Taboo subject” to be raised.
In political science, such feelings are labelled as right-wing politics. Right Wing Politics hold that certain hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences or the competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to “the conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system. (Source: Wikipedia)
The above characteristics of Right Wing politics indicate that in today’s Eritrean political landscape, almost all political and Civic Rights movements, as well as political parties, are categorized in the right-wing political line, better-called nationalists. It will not be hard to list those groups. However, today I am coming with two political movements that can be categorized as Right-Wing Political movements: Aga’azian Movement and Al-Nahda Party.
Aga’azian Movement introduces itself as follows:
There is no justice without freedom. There is no belonging without Identity. There is no identity without Land. There is no family and structures without values. There is no personal and communal purpose and meaning without Identity. Identity and Values take thousands of years civilisation to develop. These are evidence, scientific and wisdom based truth. Take back your land now and restore your Identity and values before too late.
While Aga’azians are claiming their identity to be from Agazians their spoken language is Tigrigna. In addition, they claim that they are followers of Christian Orthodox Church. Anyone who claims his root from Agazian and an Orthodox Christian is a default member of this movement.
On the other hand, Al-Nahda Party works for the rights of Jeberti People to be identified as a separate ethnic group. While their spoken language is Tigrigna, they claim that their ancestry line is different, their religion is Islam and have a unique culture and way of living.
while Aga’azian movement is new, Al-Nahda Party has stayed for more than two decades in the Eritrean politics. What is most worrying about these two Tigrigna speaking political movements is that they both promote identity politics.
At this time – Aga’azian Movement is the worst ethnic and religious based movement – which will not have a lesser effect than that of Al-Nahda Party. What is strange is Al-Nahda party and Aga’azian Movement is more of the same people but claims their identity based on religion.
Such developments occur when there is a political vacuum. Unless we fight against such fascistic nature political endeavours, we will end up like that of Rwanda’s ethnic cleansing conflicts.
What is worst is ethnic based politics – like that of Jeberti lead by Al-Nahda Party. What Al-Nahda Party is promoting is Ethnic based Identity conflict that will trigger unprecedented consequences. I believe that Jeberti people can call themselves whatever they want but the time they promoted it to a political question they are inflicting ethnic conflicts. Jeberti peoples’ question is a purely humanitarian question and it will be easy to solve it once Eritrea becomes a land that respects Human Rights.
The question of Jeberti as an ethnic group came to the surface with the introduction of Nations and Nationalities Clustering system introduced during the Derg Regime – divide and rule policy. It is worrisome when those who are within the Al-Nahda Party promote such Divide and Rule Policy introduced by dictators.
I am focusing on Jeberti – Al-Nahda Party because it is the worst scenario within the Eritrean politics. Other Social Groupings issues can also be viewed from similar but based on available facts.
Here is my synthesis on Jeberti Political question
They can call themselves whoever they want. It is their right to be named as they want and no one has the power to impose on them what they should be. At the same time, Jeberti people should stop demanding others to approve their ethnic status. Who is who to give identity? What they should take care most is once Jeberti press on this ethnic issue and look other people to endorse their status – it will be the worst scenario in the Eritrean politics. As Eritreans, they have a right to live peacefully.
I am for the rights of any individual or group of people. At the same time, I oppose anyone who inflicts ethnic based politics. Though I am no one to oppose Jeberti to be identified as a separate ethnic group, I oppose politics of Al-Nahda Party. I believe that Al-Nahda Party is the most dangerous party. It must be opposed by all means.
In my understanding, Al-Nahda Party should be changed into a Civic Rights Advocate Group who fight for the Human Rights of Jeberti people by promoting the values of Jeberti People.
Aga’azian Movement is purely fascist. It does not tolerate other social groups and religions. It considers Eritrea as an Aga’azian state and does not respect on today’s sovereign land of Eritrea. Rather, its objective is to unite Eritrea with Tigray region of Ethiopia and claim a new state called Aga’azian.
While Al-Nahda Party does not have a problem to live in harmony with others, its claim as a separate political party that promotes values of Jeberti people is not healthy.