Three years Conversation and Debate with Frezghi Mesmer – Part II/II

To read Part I, please click here

This conversation is a conversation done with unknown Eritrean whom I faced with his ideas fearlessly for three years. On January 04, 2019, he gave up and decided to block me after I crossed his “Red Line”. I believe that he is one of the great politicians who has dominated Eritrean politics for the last 15 years. According to him, his main interest is the case of Eritrean Eritrean Lowlands and Jeberti community recognition in Eritrea.

Last message from Frezghi Mesmer

As a faceless man, I always maintained my privacy when I deal with him as he did so. But, we continued exchanging for the last three years in civility and amicably. It is unfortunate that he decided to leave when he can not more tolerate my freedom to express my idea freely.

I know he kept his identity secret. But, why suddenly he decided to bring his red Line to me when I discussed Aberra HAGOS family. Is he from them, if so, why he feels hurt when he was the one who was criticizing many Eritreans freely? Well, my analysis will follow. For now, I am making our conversation public so that Eritreans can know how farFrezghi Mesmer and I were engaged for the last three years.

Frezghi Mesmer

It is not clear what you believe. It is only clear that you don't trust Zaki or myself. From what you wrote, you accuse the PFDJ of being anti-Akele, anti-Muslim, etc. Which means if those groups are oppressed, there must be a group on top that oppresses them.

Tesfabirhan

As far as I don't know who you are, I don't care about trust. We exchange on politics. And my stand is very clear. If I am discussing with you, please do not think that I consider you a special target. I am discussing, debating or arguing with you as far as you stay engaged. Otherwise, I do dozens of engagement in a day which is similar to yours. And I like the way we engage. It is pure politics, When I engage with you,, I consider myself engaging with ideas, not with people. And I like this. I bring your identity because I can not discuss at a personal level. And I have lots of respect for the idea you bring though I don't agree in almost all.

Frezghi Mesmer

The regionalists in the opposition will always pick
the Hamasein as the oppressing group. Yet, as I said in the post, there is no
benefit to being Hamasien with the regime. No extra rations, no slavery
exemptions, etc. The Hamasein origin leaders in the EDF or PFDJ are
specifically forbidden to help their own people. That is building popular
support and a constituency. So, when there are no clear benefits to a region
and no exemption from oppression, it cant be said that Hama is the oppressive
region.

Frezghi Mesmer

That is decent of you to say but let me point out bias. You likely have a lot of activist contacts. Most of them have conventional ideas about the problem in Eritrea. You could not go against what they believe. You have to smooth over those differences because you have to live with them. With me, since I am no one, you don't. You can afford(politically and socially) to take a hard line. My out-of-the-box views also make this easy. I submit to you that you are as boxed in by conventional opposition ideas as any PFDJ supporter is by PFDJ ideas. Neither do you effectively apply LD ideas to our particular issues? The Jeberti issue bore that out. Your view on Jeberti is not based on LB. They are typical lowland AND highland chauvinist ideas about Jeberti. So, if your ideas about Jeberti are conventional, then it follows that your ideas about the highland regions are also conventional. Which means superficial and unexamined as it applies to the Diaspora opposition. I am stepping away for 30 mins to an hour....will reply later

Tesfabirhan

well, I see this from two angles. 1. PFDJ benefits no one even for its core members. PFDJ is a system that kills everybody. 2. To run PFDJ as a system, it needs competent and obedient people. And for this, officers who are trained to run the system are from Hamasien. This could be based on its early days of EPLF era. Nihnan Elamanan Manifesto is the perfect read why people from Hamasien are at the center of the helm. And I have experienced it based on an eyewitness who is who within the most trusted system operators.

Tesfabirhan

Jeberti Issue - I did a long discussion with Dr. Mustafa - a Jeberti who wrote about the history of Jeberti people. And I clarified why I am critical about their claim. My call is very simple - Jeberti people should upgrade their rights to a human rights issue and fight for it. So far, they are at a political level. Remember - human Rights includes 1. Social, Cultural and Economic Rights 2. Civic and Political Rights. By advocating their human rights grievances, they can get international attention and those who are skeptical about their claim could understand it in a safe way. Otherwise, like we see recently, movements like Aga'azians can immerge who can create identity conflicts. And this is purely LD perspective.

Tesfabirhan

My politics to PFDJ is purely rejection. I don't use
my LD to fight against PFDJ politics. I use LD within the opposition camp
because I believe that it is the best means to save us from our current
political bunkruptcy. Therefore, I am using a double strategy.

Frezghi Mesmer

There are no trusted operators. Interchangeability is the main feature of the system. I will grant you that the EPLF has a large percentage of Hamasien origin individuals. That had to do with geography. If the early days of the EPLF are in the middle of Hamasein, then its early recruits are Hama. As Ghedli recruiting followed social patterns, you joined the front where you had friends and relatives. As such, the EPLF has a lot of Hama in general. From such large numbers, any number of corrupt collaborators can be found. Also, one culture of Hamasein that you are unfamiliar with is their tendency to discount their region almost entirely. No Hamaseinay will help another simply because of regional connection. No Hama tells their children to marry within the region. Self-negation of one's regional identity is exclusive to the Hama. As such, Hama leaders tend to be viewed as fair by most Eritreans. They will not do special favors on a region. Whereas, other regions have an almost palpable sense of regional clannishness. You will see them give board exemptions to their co-regionals. Even to the extent of the immigration office, you can count on co-regional favors if you are from a region OTHER than Hama. One other personality tendency of the Hama is the famous naivete and foolishness they have. They are easy to control by DIA. Neither does DIA pick the educated Hama. He picks the most uneducated, naive, and corrupt ones. Wuchu was the best example. Wuchu only believed in war. He took care of his soldiers. His dog-like loyalty to DIA was viewed more due to his peasant and naive nature than any malevolence. While UOA students can rightly hate him for his threats in WIA, the majority of the Eritrean people generally liked him. He knew the name of every decent fighter in his divisions. He was popular in a way that did not threaten DIA. That is the benefit of using Hama for DIA. You have to dig deeper than the superficial conclusions your friends tell you.

Tesfabirhan

My concern on the Lowland issue - it is purely
anti-pfdj occupation. I am against PFDJ Land Proclamation. And I do believe
that the lowlanders are the primary victims. I want to restore land ownership
and return those occupied to their owners.

Tesfabirhan

About Hama - it is good that you acknowledged the high number of Highlanders. Let us leave this as it is. On characterization - I don't agree with you. No one told me about this. I lived in Eritrea observing "who is who" and now I am continuing to observe who is who. Of course, PFDJ system does not welcome educated people. It is a system of non-academicians - Even now, here in the diaspora, it does not welcome educated people. However, Nihnan Elamanan is everything to start with and conclude from. Without understanding Nihnan Elamanan, we can not understand PFDJ. In principle - PFDJ is Anti-Muslims. Any Muslim is not trusted through a Muslim can take a higher position as a cover of diversity issue. EPLF from the very beginning identified itself as "Christian Highlanders (just like what is now Aga'azians are claiming) who are ready to work with any to liberate Eritrea". This self-identification is a clear sign of their true identity and unmixed identity. According to their manifesto, they worked with anybody who agrees with them. Yet they operated EPLF as a private enterprise of the Highlanders (Hamasien). I am saying this with confidence because that is what they teach in PFDJ Cadre School in Nakfa, right now. 2 special days are reserved on Nihnan Elamanan teachings. And for this, either DIA or Yemane Gebreab are entitled to teach.

9/25/17, 11:13 PM

Frezghi Mesmer

Well, I agree with you on the Land Proclamation. I
also agree the lowlands are the main victim of this law. It is a law written
using a farmer's perspective in a nation that is 50% agro-pastoralist. I agree
on the high number of highlanders in regime. I never question that. I have
characterized the regionalism issue as highlanders complaining about a 35% Hama
-25% Seraye-20% Akele shares of positions, while the Lowlands only has 20% or
less. 50% of the country has less than 20% representation. So, my sympathy is
always with the forgotten lowlands as opposed to greedy or sensitive
highlanders. It is what a patriotic would do. To support the truly oppressed (lowlands)
vs those that are marginally oppressed in terms of representation.

Frezghi Mesmer

On EPLF being mainly highlanders, that is a historical
issue. The lowlands dominated the ELF. At a time when it was popular to join
the struggle, in the early 1970s, the majority of lowland youth flocked to
Jebha. While highland youth flocked to both EPLF and ELF. However, once Jebha
left the field. The number of lowlanders in the struggle dropped. Save for
Hizbawi Hailitat 1st Wing aka Ubel. They formed the core for the secret party
and were a stable component for PFDJ rule until Forto.

Tesfabirhan

I think, we do not such big differences on what
happened. Our biggest difference is this You want to check. I want to move. I
care less on what was there except to learn. What I care is the Secret Party
you mentioned is the monster of our suffering. And this secret party has
created the system now in use by PFDJ. And my objective is to WEED OUT this
system. I am not fun of what happened. I want freedom today.

Tesfabirhan

Hope this summarizes
Our differences

Tesfabirhan

In politics, our difference is this You are conservative and you check. I am progressive- hence I move on. This is our difference. And it is not bad. What we should understand is every one of us is well aware of what he is advocating for. And when argument emerges, it is basically our political difference.

9/26/17, 7:23 PM

Frezghi Mesmer

First of all, because you were quick to judge me. You did not know
i was the biggest proponent for lowland rights. To the point where many people
think I am Muslim. Also, I am not conservative at all. I want truly fundamental
change. I see the instrument of fundamental change as being the way WE THINK.
Not the positions we take. The positions are meaningless if the underlying
political culture is corrupt. We know that democracy is a CULTURE of norms and
traditions. Not simply a system of laws. So, introducing healthy political
norms is a far bigger challenge than introducing law. Those norms should be
easier to institute in the DIaspora. Where there is minimal political cost.

Frezghi Mesmer

But, Diaspora politicians, in their loneliness and
need for social acceptance are more prone to group think and the perpetuation
of negative norms and traditions.

9/27/17, 10:54 PM

Tesfabirhan

First of all, I believe that democracy is a political process that needs to be learned and practiced. It is not therefore as you are describing Second: A fundamental change needs a strong political ideology. No one can join unless there is a clear politics to follow. Today, Eritreans are in political chaos. Though I have a strong belief that we will overcome, this chaotic situation needs to come out and take the lead. I do not think you are strong proponent lof lowlanders rights. In fact, I have not seen you advocating your politics or what you believe on except checking politics that stand against EPLF and those who use Ethiopia as a strategic place. I am reading you closely. You are more conservative than I can imagine. No nationalist is free from being conservative.

9/28/17, 6:55 PM

Frezghi Mesmer

Lol, so self-important. If you didn't see it, it did not happen? Is that your reasoning? You don't know my history at all. You are simply quick to judge and stubbornly stick to it. An underlying tendency for dictatorial beneath all your LD talk. First of all, as Free Eri, I was a Moderator for Eritreans for Action FB group. A group that is overwhelmingly lowland and Muslim. Second, ask Wad Haiget, Asia Abysinnia Job, and Shabbash Kerenite. They are all lowlanders who have interacted with me well for years. They know my stance on the lowlands. Another evidence is that some Christians think I am Muslim. For example, Milen Tewelde Lia and Chris Omally Tumuzhgi are convinced I am a Muslim due to my stance. Look at my Friends list, I have as many Muslim as I do Christian. Most from Eritreans for Actions and others who saw my post in support of lowland rights.

Tesfabirhan

My friend, I think I have all these information. I
have a good friend who has followed you since 2012 or 11. And i know free Eri
too as your nick name. Therefore do not take me naive for what I am saying.
Your area of interest is nationalism. Do you forget that you played a negative
role to widen the gap between EYSC and Simret? I remember very well your never
ending debate between Thomas Solomon and you.

Frezghi Mesmer

My "defense" of EPLF history is not based on ideology. It is practicality. The Ghedli-storytelling is an escape from a true struggle. By reviewing what happened years ago and condemning it today, the activists do not have to face what is happening today. They do not have to deal with the much larger issues of today. it is also done in a selective and regionalist manner. It is anti-justice to accuse without evidence and to defame outside a court of law. It is a dictatorial politics borrowed from the PFDJ. No need to beautify it. As far as Ethiopia as a strategic place, that has been proven to be a dead-end. We have an Ethiopian agent, Amiche, controlling who addresses Eritreans and who doesn't on Paltalk. Lol, what a ridiculous position. We also now know that Tigrayans have different priorities concerning Eritrea. They want an Agazian like future. Not the same future we Eritreans want for ourselves. For both these stances, you should be my biggest defender. Because the anti-EPLF Ghedli storying telling is anti-justice and hurtful to our struggle. While the Ethiopian interference only gave us parties that are welfare eaters, Unionists, or Agazians. That is the bitter truth. A true struggler embraces the truth and uses it to guide him. A faux struggler uses truth sparingly. Which is the mode most in the opposition use it? Already, you are doing the same as them. With your strong stance against Mesfin Hagos, promising secret evidence, and yet revealing little. You have been swept up by the same currents as the others.

Tesfabirhan

And I know you defended the lowlanders. But mind me,
what I am saying is your political interest is mainly Eritreanism.

Tesfabirhan

LD is this and I am guided with 1. Sovereignty 2.
Freedom of citizens 3. Human rights of every Eritrean as absolute and protected
4. Freedom of movement including goods 5. Free market 6. Universal suffrage 7.
Transparency 8. Rule of law
These plus other important principles (applied in the Eritrean
context) are what 8 use to debate, right, defend, activate, etc. And my
evaluation and opposing for you is based on these guidelines.

Frezghi Mesmer

LOL, are you kidding? SIMRET seperate themselves from
EYSC long before I started to comment. I questioned the use of armed struggle
to Tomas Solomon. He was never able to justify it as a tactic or a strategy.
Four years after they formed their stupid Strategic Actions Group, they have
not done a single action! Is that my fault? Simretawiyan were delusional,
dictatorial, and overly aggressive. They took out their regionalist feelings on
fellow strugglers. Seeing fellow strugglers as more of a problem than the
regime. It is Smret that opened the way for the Regionalism-based parties of
today. Now, they are quiet because they have painted themselves into a
political corner. Idiots. Smret or Tomas did not like my questioning and
criticism of their armed struggle nonsense. They asked EYSC to ban me and EYSC
refused. That was their issue with me and EYSC. Besides, Smret was in the
middle of the anti-Bologna intimidation of 2013. Do you really think they
wanted to work with EYSC? They hated EYSC's program, stances, leaders, etc etc.
They were more interested in defeating EYSC than the regime. All they did is
blunt the entire youth movement in ineffectiveness. There is not a more
destructive movement than Simret. They tried to become the anti-EYSC with their
Ethiopian help and co-opting of EYSC branches worldwide. Even the infamous EYSC
Board revolt was influenced by the regionalism sentiment of Simret and its
sympathizers in EYSC.

Tesfabirhan

At least, accept that you are conservative
Then we can move on. Otherwise, we will continue to argue
On the description of Simret, I agree with you. What I
don't agree with you on having Ethiopia as a strategic place.
Your nationalism pride ruled you to reject it. Know
that Saleh Younis from awate has the same stance as yours here

Frezghi Mesmer

No. Your conclusions are glib and superficial. You
have a long way to go before I take your pronouncements as meaningful. Already,
you missed a large part of my brand of nationalism. My brand of nationalism is
that every group's issues are legitmate and part of the nationalist discourse.
I PRACTICED what I believe in in the last 4-5 years. I took Lowland and JEBERTI
issues as my own nationalist issues. I am a Tigrinya speaker from Karneshim
like that idiot Wuchu. What am I conserving them? Your definition of
conservative doesnt apply to me because this is a new idea in Eritrean
discourse.

Tesfabirhan

I always laugh when you insist people to come with a strategy.
It is very laughable for me.

Frezghi Mesmer

It was not nationalism! it was 1000% practicality!

Tesfabirhan

It is not because a strategy is not needed, but to come with a working ideology, you need a clear political ideology. Here is how I see to come with an efficient strategy: It is in chronological descending order 1. Political ideology 2. Vision 3. Mission 4. Goals 5. Objectives 6. Policies 7. Strategies 8. Programs 9. Projects 10. Events
Now locate where you are focusing - 7th. For you and I to come out with a successful strategy, we should at least agree on our political ideology and vision. And the same applies to all political parties/civic
societies/communities etc.

Frezghi Mesmer

I accept your order of change. Now, where your
political ideology flounders in the opposition is the political culture of the
opposition is the same as the PFDJ. Because they refuse to accept criticisms,
they never improve. So, number 1 should mean political ideology that RESPECTS
the norms of democratic culture. In practice, none of the groups or individuals
respects the norms of democratic culture or LD. EVEN YOU, insisted on labeling
me and defaming me before asking any questions. So, if you can’t even
discipline yourself to follow your own strategy, what hope is there? 

Tesfabirhan

Frezghi - transparency matters not your village or
region or religion. I don't care from where you came. What I care is your open
and transparency

Tesfabirhan

If you are feeling that In defamed you or labeled you,
fore give me. It must be ignorance to read you wrongly. What label is your
politics or ideas you bring to the common platform.. The good I don't know you
as a person. Hence nothing will be changed into personal thing However, up to
date i hold my description of your political line You are a nationalist. And
area of interest is to check and defend what has happened in the past.

Tesfabirhan

On number 1: Political ideology It depends. Each one
has its own ideology. What we should come to common understanding is we have
differences. Once we acknowledge our differences, we can debate on and come out
with a unifying politics that can produce a common vision.

Frezghi Mesmer

Nonsense and nonsense. It is acceptance of our
differences and a common democratic vision that will get us there. We don’t
need an ideology. We need accept different views and respect it. Our problem is
a cultural problem. Not an ideological problem. Will continue later. Have
another work meeting...

Frezghi Mesmer

A powerful event. They used their faith to steel them
from fear of death.

Tesfabirhan

Very true

Last Conversation 04/01/2019

3:04 AM

Frezghi Mesmer

you crossed the line with your defamation of the
Aberra family. Asmarinos of several generations know them well and love them
dearly. Your insult to them is an insult from my generation to my
great-grandparents. The depth of your insult is only overcome by the depth of
madness that has gripped your mind. Seek professional help. Mind your family
and your responsibilities. As for me, I am done with you. Blocking you from now
on.

End of Conversation 04/01/2019




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