Historically, Eritrean politics traces back its origin after the birth of colonized Eritrea. Italians mobilized thousands of Eritreans as Ascaries(conscripts). These conscripted ascaries were the first victims of fascism, especially in the 1935-1941 ambitious project of Benito Mussolini to colonize Ethiopia. Mussolini’s fascist ideology has left deep roots among the Eritrean elites of the 1940s and 50s. Since then, Eritrean politics is shaped as such.
To make it short, for the last 50 years(1941 – 1991) and then the pro-independence Eritrean thinking and organizational formation promotes “COUNTRY FIRST” ideology. The country is considered the source of everything. And, anyone is dictated to put first his country before even asking about basic human rights. “Before you ask your rights, first do what the country asks you to do” is a policy that we Eritreans are subjected for the last 30 years. As a result thousands of Eritreans have left the country in search of basic human rights, a right to live freely.
What is now so sad and worrying is to witness such tendencies again to rise. Eritrea by Eritreans for Eritreans; ኤርትራ ብኤርትራውያን ንኤርትራውያን – the most racist slogan, and another similar but promoted by different groups, ኤርትራ ንኤርትራውያን – Eritrea for Eritreans – has now elevated to a concrete ideologies of the now re-emerging political organizations such as EPDP and Global Yiakil.
EPDP – Eritrean People’s Democratic Party – a member of International Soclialist Organization (until its dissolution, 2019) – is now shifting to Eritreanism – an ideology which traces its origin from the Italian Fascism era – a right wing politics. By now, it means EPDP has left its Left Block – the Socialist Block. Well, good for them but we have noted.
Global Yiakil – a new political organization(2018) – has now formally embraced Eritreanism after its first Congress. This organization comprises members from 11 countries in its global umbrella. Since its birth, Yiakil has promoted Eritrea for Eritreans – a right wing politics – and they have clearly rejected any other political ideological tendencies. They use labels such as, “traitors, sellers, country first, etc.” a label which are so common among the PFDJ regime followers.
My objective here is not to exhaust my concern about the worrisome political landscape developments but rather to highlight and then continue to talk about the danger we are entering if these tendencies are left unchecked.