On 31/05/2017, an Eritrean who identify himself using a nickname Frezghi Mesmer wrote to me via private messenger text the message below to defend my stance regarding Jebert’s case.
Recently, Frezghi Mesmer blocked me after sending a strong message that says, “you have crossed the Red Line”. Immediately, he wrote on his facebook a message calling people to block and unfollow me.
Jeberti are a historic people that spread to four countries in the Horn. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia. They were either converted by the original Sabaha(Mohamed’s followers who fled to Abyssinia) or related to them. The reason they don’t have their own language is that they assimilated centuries ago. They only kept their origin current and not their original language. Sort of like the Jews. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, they played pivotal historical roles. Especially in Eritrea. The Jeberti of Tigray were persecuted by Menelik(?) and driven out or converted. Those that fled into Eritrea joined existing Jeberti. This is why many Eritreans think all Jeberti come from Tigray. Anyway, because of their experience in Ethiopia. Jeberti were skeptical of Union with Ethiopia. As a result, they were the FIRST to fight for independence as a group. The first victims of Andinet terrorists who killed them and burned their homes and businesses. They were the canary in the goldmine for Eritrea. As such, their wish for historical recognition is not only simple justice. It is also supported by Eritrean patriotism or nationalism. It is also a wish expressed in non-violent and peaceful terms. How could you compare them with the odious Agazians? You should have seen their issue in terms of free expression and recognition of expressed identity by the state.
My Immediate response
Please don’t think that I don’t know this history. I have enough historical background. Jeberti people issue is not political but Civic Rights. Of course, the Civil Rights issue in rare cases can be solved through political movement but the consequence is not simple to imagine
If the Jeberti people are asking the same civic rights in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia etc, I don’t think they can achieve it through political means as AL-Nahda Party is trying to do. They should better re-organize themselves and fight in Civic Rights Movement form
From the above message, it is not difficult to understand what Frezghi Mesmer stands for. For more, I will publish the full text of our three years conversation that took from January 2016 to January 2019.