What is expected from the Brussels Conference?

2018 is an extremely busy year for Eritreans. The situation in Eritrea is changed from “no war – no peace”  to “no peace” situation. What is not changed is the strategy that has been used by the opposition forces who are fighting against the dictatorial regime.

After Ethiopia ended its war with Eritrea through its public declaration, Eritreans continued to live under the same brutal system of administration. No change has been done so far. More than that the peace agreement signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia is not made public, be it from Eritrean or Ethiopian side. 

In reaction to the secret agreement between the PFDJ Regime and EPRDF government of Ethiopia, thousands of Eritreans went to Geneva(31/08/2018) to denounce the secret deal and called Ethiopia to respect Eritrean sovereignty.  The day after, on 01/09/2018, a meeting was conducted in Geneva that brought about 250 Eritreans together in order to discuss how they can better be organized in order to mobilize Eritreans and fight against injustice and stand for Eritrean sovereignty. 

The meeting in Geneva was solely conducted by Eritreans themselves. No outsider was involved in any form. Individuals from different countries collaborated independently to call for a mass demonstration and attend a meeting that was meant to discuss Eritrean developments. About 13,000 Euros was raised through online campaigns to cover expenses. 

The demonstration conducted on 31/08/2018 was successful. It attracted thousands of Eritreans from different countries. The meetings that were conveyed the day after was a success despite some challenges that came from an organized sectarian and fanatic group who demanded the use of Arabic language and some other demands that that were orchestrated to destruct from the main agenda of the meetings. At the end of the meeting, a seven-member committee was elected democratically to act as a person-reference in their respective countries. 

The seven-member committee took a six months mandate to mobilize and organize Eritreans who live in their respective countries. So far, 100 days have already passed. I believe the committee is actively working on its mission.

Brussels Workshop

About 450 Eritreans are gathering in Brussels on December 13 & 14, 2018 to conduct a workshop among Eritreans who are fighting against the dictatorial regime in Asmara. No detail is made public about the conference except some information that was circulating by individuals through their Facebook postings. Individuals were invited to attend the meetings through private e-mail messages. I was one of those who received the email though no detail was provided about the event.

I preferred to decline the invitation simply because I received no details. I have read no formal information in any news outlet. In order to provoke some news, I tried to make people to be aware about the event through my facebook post published on 26/11/2018. 

I received no positive feedback. I made my mind that there was no any other information made public. It was just a general call that was circulating via facebook. 

I believe that this kind of information is not sufficient for anyone who has a genuine concern about Eritrean cause. Unless people discuss prior to their meetings openly and publically, whatever or whoever is in the meeting, it will end up without any tangible fruit. The people who attend the workshop will have no power to influence the outcome although their inputs could be incorporated in the reports that are meant mainly for the organizers. 

Europe External Policy Advisors(EEPA) and Brussels Workshop 

Europe External Policy Advisors is a group formed by European academicians who work as experts in different matters that concern Europe. One of these members, 
Miriam Van Riesen is active in Eritrean matters. Miriam Van Riesen works with many Eritrean activists who expose the atrocities of the totalitarian regime in Asmara and human rights defenders who are working to protect Eritreans from danger. 

Unlike the Geneva meetings, Brussels workshop is organized by a foreign organization. It is not made public what is the interest of Europe to organize such meetings. Neither EEPA nor any other body has so far published any information about this workshop. I am not sure if there will be any formal publications that may come after too. 

Eritreans who were expecting some news about Geneva meetings got nothing. They kept silent.

I hope EEPA or any other organization(or individual) will have the courage to make information available about the Brussels conference. Otherwise, it will be a service to European academicians than being an effort to solve propblems of the people of Eritrea who are living in misery. 

These days, the are a number of stressing issues that concern Eritreans most. Human rights, sovereignty issue(border demarcation), removing the dictator, Eritreans in Libya, secret agreements between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Eritreans in Europe who are left without protection and some who are waiting forced deportation, etc, are some of the key topics that need urgent discussions. I hope Brussels will discuss these issues seriously and present their resolutions/statements/recommendations to the wider public. 

Jelal Yassin ABERRA – እቲ ክኢላ ማሕበራዊ ምህንድስናን ቃልሱ ንምምስራት ማእከልነት ጀበርትን(Jabartiyyah Order)

Jelal Yassin Aberra – እቲ ዕሉል ተቓላሳይ ንመንነት ጀበርቲ ቀስ ብቐስ መንነትን ክብርታትን ካልኦት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እናጥፍአ ሓድሽ መንነት ጀበርቲ ከጸባብቕን ክኹልዕን ዝውዕል ናይ ዘመና ተበላጺ ፖለቲከኛ – ሓደ ብሓደ ነቶም ክሕይሉኒ እዮም ዝብሎም ኣብ ትሕቲኡ ከም ዝሑቆፉ ይገብር። ንኣብነት ከም በዓል ዶር. መሓመድ ኬር ዑመር – ካብ ባርካ፣ ተስፋይ ተምነዎ – ካብ ሓማሴን፣ ወዲ ፍሊፖን ካልኦት ውልቀሰባት ይኹኑ ውድባት ሓደ ብሓደ እናወሓጠ ንቃልሱ ብዘይ ተጻብኦ ዕዉት ንክከውን ዝቃለስ ዘሎ ምሁርን በሊሕን ፖለቲከኛ ዘመና እዩ። ብዙሓት ውን በቲ ንሱ ዝኽተሎ ጥበብ ሰዲዕም ዕላማ ጀላል ያሲንን ብጾትን ኣብ ምትግባር ብዘይ ተጻብኦ ክዉን ንምግባር ኣበርቲዑ ይሰርሕ ኣሎ።

Jelal Yassin ABERRA and his subordinates

Jelal Yassin ABERRA ናይ Social Anthropology ምሁር ኮይኑ ሳልሳይ ወለዶ ካብ Hagos ABERRA – ወኪል ማሕበር Khatmiyyah ኣብ ከበሳ ኤርትራ ዝነበረ እዩ። ኣብዚ ግዜዚ ድማ ብስም መሰል ብሄር ጀበርቲ እናተንቀሳቐሰ ኣብ ኤርትራ ሓድሽ ማእከልነት ጀበርቲ (Jebertiyyah Order) ንምትካል ይሰርሕ ኣሎ።

ማእከልነት ክበሃል ከሎ ልክዕ ከምዚ ናይ ደቂ al-Mirghani ኣብ ከሰላ ዘሎ ሃይማኖታዊ ዝሰረቱ ቅዉም ማእከል ኮይኑ ኣብታ ሃገር ድማ ሱር ተኺሉ ንዝሰፍሐ ዕላማታቱ ይንቀሳቐስ። እዚ ምንቅስቃስ እዚ ነቲ ዝጸንሐ ሕብረተ-ሰብ እናወሓጠ ብካልእ ዘይነበረ ሓድሽ መንነት ኣብ ምትካእን ድሕሪ ኣማኢት ዓመታት ድማ ብፍጹም ዘይነበረ ሓድሽ መንነት ዘለዎ ሕብረተሰብ (Jabartiyyah) ክትካእ ይከኣል።

እዚ ዝኾነሉ ድማ እቲ ዝነበረ ሕብረትሰብ ብዝተፈላለየ እናደኸመን እናጸነተን ስለዝኸይድ ክብርታቱን ባህሉን በቲ ሓድሽ ሕብረተሰብ እናተሰርቀን እናተለወጠን ቀስ ብቐስ ይቕህም። እዚ ማለት ግና እቲ ዝነበረ ሕብረተሰብ ይጸንት ማለት ዘይኮነስ ናብቲ ሓድሽ መንነት እናረዓመ ስለዝኸይድ መንነቱ ይቕይር። ዝነበረ ታሪኹ ድማ ይርሳዕ። ብፍላይ እቲ ዝነበረ ባህልን ክብርን ኣምጻር እቲ ሓድሽ ሕብረተሰብ ስለዝኾነ ከም ሓደ ፍንፉን ተቖጺሩ ክጉሓፍ ከም ዘለዎ ይግበር። እዚ ኣብ Social Evolution (Social Anthropology) ኣዝዩ ረቂቕ ዓውደ ፍልጠት ኮይኑ ምስዚ ብJelal Yassin ABERRA ዝቕለስ ዘሎ ቃልሲ መንነት ብሄረ ጀበርቲ ብዙሕ ዘመሳስሎ ኣገባባት ኣለዎ።

ንጀላል ያሲን ኣበራ ኣቦሓግኡ(Grand father) ኣብ ግዜ መግዛእቲ ጣልያን ወኪል Khatmiyyah Order) ኣብ ከበሳ ኤርትራ ኮይኑ ምስቶም ኣብ ከሰላ ዝማእከሎም መራሕቲ ሃይማኖት ደቂ al-Mirghani ጥቡቕ ርክብ ዝነበሮ ኮይኑ ከም ወኪል ኣብ ኣስመራ ሓያል ምንቅስቓስ ኣሕዋት ኻትምያ መስሪቱ። ንሱ ዝመስረቶ ጨንፈር ድማ ክሳብ ሕጂ ኣብ ማእከል ኣስመራን ካልኦት ኣብ ከበሳ ዝርከባ ከተማታት(ብፍላይ ኣብ ሰራየ) ስሩዕ ስርሐን ይቕጽላ አለዋ።

Grand Mosque of Khatmiyyah Order፡ Kassala, Sudan

እቲ ብኣበራ ሓጎስ ዝጀመረ ምንቅስቃስ ድማ እንሆ ሕጂ ናብ ሳልሳይ ወለዶ ሰጊሩ ኣብ Norway ከም ስደተኛ ኮይኑ ዝነብር ወዲ ወዱ ንABERRA HAGOS ዝኾነ Jalal Yassin ABERRA ይቕጽል ኣሎ። እዚ ናይ ሕጂ ፍሉይ ዝገብሮ እንተሃልዩ ጨንፈር ኻትምያ ዘይኮነስ ማእከልነት ጀበርቲ(Jabartiyyah Center) ኣብ ኤርትራ ንምትካል ብፖለቲካውን ሃይማኖታውን ምንቅስቃሳት ዝተሰነየ ሓያል ውዳበ ዘለዎ ቃልሲ ኣብ ምክያድ ይርከቡ። ዕላማ ናይዚ ምንቅስቓስ ድማ ብስም መሰል መንነት ብሄረ ጀበርቲ ዝንቀሳቐስ ግን ከኣ ነቲ ኣብ ኤርትራ ዘሎ ሕብረትሰብ ግቡእ ክብሪ ዘይህብ ምንቅስቓሳት ጽባሕ ውን ዘይተደልየ ነውጽታት ኣብ ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ ክፈጥር ይኽእል እዩ።

ቀዋሚ ሕብረተሰብ ዝበሃል የሎን። Social evolution ኩሉ ግዜ ምስ ሃለወ እዩ። ነገር ግና ኣብ ፖለቲካዊ ነውጽታት ተሓቢእካ ዝግበር ሽርሕታት እንትርፎ ኣሉታዊ ሳዕቤን ኣዎንታዊ ፍልቀት( Positive Evolution) ከኸትል ኣይክእልን እዩ።

ብፍላይ ድማ ንሓደ ሕብረተሰብ እናወንጀልካን እናኣጸለምካን(ንኣብነት ነቲ ትግርኛ ዝዛረብ ክርስትያናዊ ወገን ኤርትራ) ዝግበር ምስፍሕፋሕ ነቲ ባህርያዊ ዝኾነ evolution ጨውዩ – systematic and direct elimination of societies and social values የኸትል እሞ መልክዕ ናይ መግዛእቲ ይሕዝ። ብፍላይ እዚ ዕላማ’ዚ ብፖለቲካዊ ስልጣን ክጭበጥ ምስ ዝሕሰብ ኣዝዩ ሓደገኛ ሳዕቤን ይህልዎ።

ወላ’ኳ Jelal Yassin ABERRA ዝገብሮ ዘሎ ረቂቕ ኲናት ውልቃዊ ክበሃል እንተኸኣለ እቶም ጎኑ ጎኑ ዝንቀሳቐሱ ውልቀ ሰባት(ንኣብነት Dr. Mustafa Lysedie) ማሕበራት(ማሕበረ ኮም ጀበርቲ) ፖለቲካዊ ውድባት(Al-Nahda Party) ወዘተ ብመሰረቱ እቲ ብኣበራ ሓጎስን ደቁን ዝጀመረ ፖለቲካውን ሃይማኖታውን ቃልሲ ንምቕጻልን ኣብ ሸትኡ ንምብጻሕን እዩ። እዚ ድማ ብስም ብሄረ ጀበርቲ ጉልባብ ተጠቒምካ ማእከልነት ጀበርቲ(Jabartiyyah Center/Order) ንምምስራት እዩ። እዚ ማእከል ድማ ቀንዲ ሕመረቱ ሃይማኖት እስልምና ኮይኑ ንመንነትን ማሕበራዊ ክብርታት(Identity and Social Values) ሕብረተሰብ ጀበርቲ ዝቕልስ ዝዓለመ ማእከልነት ምቛም ማለት እዩ።

እዚ ምምስራት ማእከልነት ብቅንዕናን ግሉጽን ምስ ዝስራሕን ዝህነጽን ጸገም ዝፈጥር ኣይኮነን። ድሮ ኣብ ኤርትራ ብዙሓት ማእከላት ነናተን መንነትን ክብርታትን ዘለወን ናብ ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ’ውን ዓቢ ጽልዋ ዘለወን ብዙሓት እየን። እዘን ማእከላት ሃይማኖታውን ቁጠባዊ ፖለቲካዊ ባህላዊ ወዘተ ክኾና ይኽእላ።

ንኣብነት ናይ Orthodox ዝተፈላለየ ማእከልነት ኣሎ። ናይ ካቶሊክ ዝተፈላለየ ማእከልነት ኣሎ። ናይ ምስልምና ዝተፈላለየ ማእከልነት (ብፍላይ ናይ Sunnah Islam) ወዘተ።

ማእከላት ንምቛም ናብ ዘየድሊ ፖለቲካዊ ሸንኮለል ምኻድ ኣየድልን እዩ። ብፍላይ ንከማኻ ማእከልነት ዘልዎ እናጸለምካ ወይ ክብሪ ከይሃብካ ማእከልነት ክትፈጥር ምጽዓር ብፍጹም ቅኑዕ ኣይኮነን።

ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ድማ ነዚ ብJelal Yassin ABERRA ዝምራሕ ቃልሲ ማሕበር ጀበርቲ(Jabartiyyah Order) ከስተውዕለሉን ካብ ዘየድሊ ምርጻም ወጺኡ ብፍልጠን ንቕሓትን መሰል ኩሉ ኤርትራውን ክብርታት ኤርትራውን ዝኽበረሉ ኩነታት ኣብ ምፍጣር ሓቢሩ ክቃለስ ይግባእ።፡

ኣብ’ዚ ግዚ’ዚ ኤርትራዊ ማእከልነት (Eritrean Order) የብልናን። ማእከልነት ኤርትራ ከይ ተኸልካ ካልኦት ንኣሽቱ ማእከላት ኣብ ምምስራት ዝግበር ቃልሲ ድማ ኮንቱ ድኻምን ፍሽለትን እዩ ዘስዕብ። እንሆ’ውን ኣብ’ዚ 27 ዓመት ብዘይ ዝኾነ ማእከልነት ስለዝተረፈ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ፋሕ ፋሕ ይብል ኣሎ።

ኣነ ከም ኤርትራዊ ዕላማይ ማእከልነት ኤርትራውያን(The New Eritrean Order) ንምምስራት እዩ። ነዚ ማእከልነት ክውን ከይከውን ዝንቀሳቐሱ ሓይልታት ድማ ብዝከኣለኒ ኣብ ምልላይን ብዛዕብኦም ናብ ህዝቢ ምቅላዕን ይንቀሳቐስ ኣለኹ።ሓደካብዚ ምንቅሳቕሳተይ ድማ ከም በዓል Jelal Yassin ABERRA ዝገብርዎ ዓይነት ቃልሲ ህዝቢ ንኽፈልጦም ምግባር እዩ። ህዝቢ ፈሊጡ ድማ ከከም ኣድላይነቱ ድማ ክግምግምን ይሕግዝ።

3ይ ገጽ ህግሓኤ ብስም ደለይቲ ፍትሒ? ወዲ ካርነሽም Michael Anday Kidane ብጾትካን – ንዑ ደኣ ኣብ ልብኹም ተመልሱ

ብዕለት 25/11/2018 ሓደ ሓድሽ ኣርማ ኣብዚ ገጻት facebook ክቀላቐል ውዒሉ። ብወገነይ እዛ ብደም ንጹሃን ዝጨቀወት ኣብ ልዕላዊ መሬት ኤርትራ ተሰቒላ ተንበልብል ዘላ ባንዴራ ህግደፍ ምቅልቓል ምስ ኣብዝሐት ብምግራም ክከታተል ድሕሪ ምውዓል ናብ ናይ ሓደ ዝፈልጦ ዓርከይ ገጽ መጽሓፍ(facebook) ዘወር ብምባል ከምታ ኣብ ፈቐድኡ ገጽ መጽሓፍ የዕሩኽተይ ዝገብራ ኣመለይ እዋእ ናይ ደሓን ዲኹም ደኣ ህግሓኤ ክትመልሱና ትመስሉ ኢለ ከምቲ ወትሩ ቶኽታዂ (provocative) ጽሑፈይ ፈይ ኣቢለ። ካብ ዝፈራሕክዎ ኣይወጻእኩን – እወ ንሕና ናይ ኣቦታትና ህዝባዊ ግንባር(EPLF) ወረስቲ ኢና ብምባል ድፍረት ዝመልኦ ቃላት ደርብዮምለይ።

ብምስትንታን ድማ EPLF 3? ብምባል ኣብቲ ናተይ ገጽ መጽሓፍ ነታ ኣርማ ስሒበ ለጢፈያ። ብዝገደደ ድማ ሓደ ካልእ ሓውና ካብ ሓማሴን ወዲ ካርነሽ – እወ ንሕና ህዝባዊ ግንባር ኢና ብምባል ብተወሳኺ ኣረጋጊጹለይ። ስለዚ እንበኣር ንጽባሕ’ውን ዳግማይ EPLF ከይፍጠር እሞ ንህዝቢ ከምቲ ዝሓለፈ ጌጋታት ከይደግም ዓገብ ክብል በዛ ሓጻር ጽሑፍተይ ወሲነ።

ኣብዚ ቀረባ መዓልታት እንሆ 3ይ ገጽ ደቂ ንሕናን ዕላማናን ካብ ካርነሽም ነቒሎም ዘለዉ ድማ ይመስሉ። ብርግጽ ድማ ንሕና ህዝባዊ ግንባር ኢና ይብሉ ኣለዉ።

ሓደ ካብቲ ምኽንያታዊ ሸፈነ ዝጥቀምሉ ዝመስሉ ድማ ንሕና ህግደፍ ኣይኮናን እንታይ ደኣ ህዝባዊ ግንባር ኢና ዝብል እዩ። ህዝባዊ ግንባር ድማ ብንሕናን ዕላማናን ዝምራሕ ዝነበረ ንክርስትያን ደቂ ከበሳ ዘማእከለ ውድባዊ ቅርጺ ዝነበሮ ብምንባሩ እዚ ድሕሪ 50 ዓመት ምምስራቱ(ኣብ 1969 ካብ ቅያዳ ኣልዓማ ዝተፈንጨለላ) ንርእዮ ዘለና ኩሎም ሽፋናቱ ምስ ተቐርፈ ጥራሕ ዝባኑ ኮይኑ ከምታ ንሕናን ዕላማናን ዝሓንጸጸቶ ኣባላቱ ንግዳም ተቓሊኦም ይርከቡ። ከም ዝኣረገ ተባዕታይ ደርሆ ድማ ቆርቦቶም ብንፋስ ይውቃዕ ኣሎ።

ኣብዚ ሰዓት እዚ ንሕና ህዝባዊ ግንባር ኢና ዝብሉ ብስም ደለይቲ ፍትሒ ዝንቀሳቐሱ ክትርኢ ከለኻ ዘሰክፍ ጥራሕ ዘይኮነ ገና እቲ ቃልሲ ነዊሕን መሪርን እዩ ዝመስል።

ህዝቢ ብስቪላዊ ማሕበራት ይጥርነፍ ደቂ ካርነሽም ከኣ “ግንባር ደቀ-ባት” ኢሎም ሳልሳይ ገጽ ንሕናን ዕላማናን – “ንሕና ክርስትያን ደቂ ከበሳ” ይቀላቐሉ ኣለዉ እሞ ንዑ ደኣ ኣብ ልብኹም ተመለሱ ንበል። ኣቦታቶም ተጋግዮም ሕጂ ከኣ ንሶም ዳግማይ ክጋገዩ ኣይግድን እሞ ከኣ ኣብ ቅድሚ ዓይንና።

ከም ኤርትራዊ ሊበራል ዴሞክራት ምምስራት ፖለቲካዊ ሰልፍታት ይኹን ውድባት ብመትከል ዝድገፍ ከም ዝኾንኩ ኣናኣረጋገጽኩ ነገር ግና ታሪኽ ኣይርስዕን። ህዝባዊ ግንባር ሓርኔት ኤርትራ ወላ እኮ ንብረታዊ ቃልሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣብ መወዳእታኡ እንተኣብጽሖ ብ “ማኒፌስቶ ንሕናን ዕላማና” ይምራሕ ስለዝነበረ ኣብ መወዳእታኡስ ነቲ ብኽንደይ መስዋእቲ ዝተረኽበ ናጽነት ብውሑዳን ክመርሖን ንመላእ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ድማ ከሳቕዮን ከሳድዶን እዩ ተራእዪ። እንሆ ድማ ኣብዚ 27 ዓመታይ እንትርፎ ስቅያትን ሞትን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ካልእ ወላ ሓንቲ ምዕባለ ዘይተራእየላ ብድኽነት 1ይቲ ካብ ዓለም ኮይና ኣብ ጸልማት እትነብር ሃገር ኮይና ትርከብ።

ስለዚ ኣብዚ ግዜዚ ንሕና ህዝባዊ ግንባር ኢና ኢሉ ዝንቀሳቐስ ዝኾነ ፖለቲካዊ ሓይሊ ናይ ጥዕና ዘይኮነስ ዳግማይ ስቅያት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እዩ ብዓቢኡ ዝቕጀለካ። በዚ ኣጋጣሚ ድማ ንወዲ ካርነሽም ሓማሴናይ ምክኤል ዓንዳይን ብጾትን ናብ ልብኹም ተመለሱ ይብል። ስምን ኣርማን ህዝባዊ ግንባር ሒዝካ ንቃልሲ ድሉው ኣለኹ ምባል ፈጺሙ ናይ ጥዕና ኣይኮነን።

10 Most Prominent Religious Centers that have existence in Eritrean Sovereign Land

Religion plays a central role in social, cultural, economic and to a greater extent political views of a society. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge about religious institutions and centers that have influence in Eritrea.

Eritrea has no not yet developed an independent and sovereign religious center that was born in Eritrea. All of the existing religious centers are imported from different parts of the world. This makes Eritrea strongly connected with the origin of these religious centers.

As a liberal democrat, I am for the separation of state and religion and religious institutions. It is one of the basic and important principle that the right to belief or worship is central of my political and human rights advocacy. Therefore, I have full respect on the autonomy and freedom of any religious institutions to run their stated affairs without themselves meddling in state affairs.

However, as far as the institutions are operating in Eritrea, they have an obligation to respect sovereignity of the country and respect rule of law without losing their autonomy and links with the outside world in which they are networked with. By doing so respect and security of all institutions can be guaranted.

Any religion or religious institution that organizes events is better if it registers under the country registration code without losing its right freedom as a by sovereign and autonomyous institution. By doing so, it can receive Constitutional protection guaranted within the sovereign and independent country.

It is within the above general understanding and opinion that I have tried to list the most prominent religious institiona which are operating in the PFDJ controlled Eritrea, both public(recognized) or underground(unrecognized). All of them have direct or link with the country of origin.

Under the PFDJ controlled Eritrea, only four religions or religious denominations are recognized. These are the Orthodox Church of Eritrea, Catholic Church, Islam(Sunnah) and Evangelical Church. Outside these four, any other religious institution is banned. Most of them are closed and their members are subjected to persecution, prison, exile, forced conversion, etc.

Four of the recognized religious leaders with the UN General Secretary, Kofi Anan

Some of the the most influencial religions that have influence in the life of Eritrean citizens are:

1. Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Egypt

2. Al-Azhar Mosque, Egypt

3. Grand Mosque of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

4. Roman Catholic Church, Vatican(Rome)

5. Evangelical Church, Sweden

6. Jehovah Witness – USA

7. Pentecostal Church – USA

8. Baha’i Center, Iran/Israel

9. Asmara Jews Synagogue, Israel

Jews Synagogue in Asmara

10. Jerusalem, equally important for all Chriatians and Muslims, Israel

Note: the list includes only those religious centers which have strong presence in Eritrea. It is not complete, and it does not serve any outside the reasons mentioned above. If you know more

Is the Eritrean Orthodox Church heading to the footsteps of Biblical Babylon?

For the last 27 years, Eritrean Orthodox Church has expanded rapidly in the world with the help of immigrants. However, the PFDJ controls most of the Church day-to-day activities through its agents.

These Agents are trained Political Cadres who work under the cover of priesthood, deacons and Sunday Bible Teachers and Activity organizers.

Although the Church followers are political refugees, in most cases they have no other alternative but attend church centers managed by these PFDJ sponsored agents. Bevause of this, there are occasional conflicts inside the churches.

The video below is a scenario happened in Milan, Italy. The people are chasing out the PFDJ Agent Priests from the church. It is sad to see the conflict between the people and the ruling regime members in the side the church.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=558203731296529&id=100013207215946

This is the beginning of the greater to come civil unrest in Eritrea. I call all Eritreans and other concerned international bodies to do thorough studies in order to find reconciliatory solutions before it becomes too late. Otherwise, there will be another Babylon phenomenon in Church.

In this video below, the General Secretary of the Eritrean Orthodox Church Synods, Abune Lucas has accused Eritrean Patriarch Abune Antonios as one who did traison by following other dogmas which is not accepted by the Church.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2202618523341443&id=100007799504322

Patriarch Antonios was elected as head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and within a short time in service, he was forced to be removed from his post and put in prison since 2006. Today, he is under house arrest, making it almost 13 years.

Although the Orthodox Church has appointed other Partiarch and continued to do so until the death if the third Patriarch in 2014, the action of removing Patriarch Antonios from his position is unlawful. It has received strong condemnation by sister Oriental Orthodox churches.

The damage to the Orthodox Church is quite visible. Now, the Church has two different administration systems working inside and outside Eritrea.

The one which is working inside Eritrea is controlled by PFDJ. It has become an instrument in the sustainability of PFDJ dictatorial regime.

Outside Eritrea, the Church is further divided into those who oppose the regime but who believe in the oneness of the Church, and other USA based Eritrean Orthodox Church headed by Abune Merkorios which opposes any political meddling in Church affairs.

The combined effect of meddling Church and politics has produced a great damage to the once united and strong Eritrean Orthodox church.

Note: the cover photo shows the most notorious and main agent of PFDJ inside the Church. He is one of the architect of Banning Pentecost Church and persecution of its members by encouraging the government to take actions. His followers are now scattered throughout the world preaching radical teachings which has zero tolerance against other religions, especially Pentecost.

Sectarianism is coming back in Eritrean Politics: “50 – 50” Ideology

Sectarianism is not uncommon in Eritrean political history. After Italians lost their colony in Eritrea, Eritreans faced a serious challenge to secure a free and independent country simply because of their sectarian politics. The diehard Orthodox Christians and Muslims were unable to overcome their religious prejudice. Instead, each group worked for their interest.

The Orthodox Christians were in favor of the Ethiopian monarchy simply because they had a perception that their religious values and threats can be secured if they can join Ethiopia. This fear-based political perception was exploited by opportunists to solidify Ethiopian interference in Eritrean politics. This sectarianism soon developed to become an ideological background and mobilization strategy by then formed strong and Ethiopian backed Unionist Party which was working under the guidance of the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Abune Markos.

On the other hand, Eritrean Muslims were against Ethiopian aggressive expansion agenda mainly in fear of their religious values and discrimination. Therefore, The Muslims came together to form a political organization that advocates Mulsim interest by rejecting any form of unity with Ethiopia. They organized all Muslim communities through an active participation of religious leaders to secure an independent Eritrea. To achieve their political agenda, they formed an exclusively Muslim dominated political party, the Eritrean Muslim League, presided by a religious leader Sayyid Muhammad Abu Bakr al_Murghani, from Al-Mirghani family.

ALRA

These two sectarian political groups had dominated most of the Eritrean fate for almost two decades(1941 – 1961). Because of their extreme stands and values, they promote on, Eritrean case for independence was put in jeopardy. As a result, Eritrea was put in Federation with Ethiopia(UN Resolution Article 390(A)) which was later ended in 1961 through forced annexation by Ethiopia that led to 30 years bloody war.

This bitter sectarian politics of the 1940s and 1950s did not end there. During the early years of the armed struggle, Eritreans had no trustee among themselves. The Christian highlanders were treated as traitors. The leadership of the newly formed revolutionary front was dominated by Muslims. With the flux of many Christians to the armed struggle, a serious competition started to develop that ended into two opposing factional groups.

isciaAlthough the armed struggle was inclusive to all Eritreans, mistrust among freedom fighters was prevalent. The Christian highlanders were felt excluded in decision making. This feeling was hijacked by young revolutionaries to form a separate front later called EPLF lead by Isaias Afewerqi. Isaias Afewerqi wrote a manifesto which specifically mentions the Christian Highlanders. This brought a new type of sectarian politics at a wider context hidden into nationalistic agenda.

Nihnan Elamanan

Although EPLF became so large to include all Eritreans, its internal working guidelines had a strict code of conduct which maintained the original manifesto of “We and Our Objectives -Tigrigna Version” that discriminates Muslims who are a considered a threat to the mission. After independence, EPLF renamed itself “PFDJ”. Although it resembled more democratic, its internal working principle and excluding Muslims from day to day decision-making process over national issues became clear.

Although PFDJ is purely a totalitarian regime controlled by one-man, many Eritreans became resentful for its discriminatory approach. This gave a perception by some Eritreans the regime to be a Christian government. I do not agree with such labeling though I do acknowledge PFDJ favors Christians in most sensitive areas. But this is the nature of dictators. Anyone whom they feel confident with is not hesitant to work with.

Opposition Forces and Political Crisis

So far, the opposition has failed to build a strong resistance and united opposition group. The impact of sectarianism is prevalent everywhere. These sectarian feelings include religious, regional, ethnic and tribal sentiments. With the exception of some disgruntled and small political factions who promote radical agendas, these sentiments have not come to the surface as a well structured organizational working system.

Recently, regional-based civic associations are starting to take shape as a center of organization the wider population in the opposition camp. What is good about these civic associations is that they are trying to keep a distance from any agenda that is centered in power grabbing.

Social grievances towards PFDJ have led to perceive Muslims are excluded from power. To regain this, there are feelings which ought to proportionate power among Muslims and Christians fairly. This is a reasonable social grievance. However, power allocation based on religious affiliation can lead to unprecedented damage of sectarianism. Eritreans had experienced this in the 1950s. Most Eritreans rejected that tries to assume power based on religious affiliations. However, with growing political crisis and new political developments in Eritrea, some new initiatives are taking a momentum of a power-sharing mechanism based on an equal number of Christians and Muslims.

“50 – 50” Ideology

“50 – 50” Ideology stands for a power-sharing mechanism based on 50% Christians and 50% Muslims. Its basic hypothesis is, “to build trusteeship power should be shared equally”. One of the recent emerging pioneers in this ideology is coming from USA resident two Eritreans through their declared new manifesto called “Denver Manifesto”.

These two Eritreans who are in the forefront to promote the Denver Manifesto are Mr. Sengal Weldetnsae and Dr. Saleh Nur. Both are residents of USA and have extensive experience in Eritrean politics and profession.

Denver Manifesto

Watching their interview with Tempo Afric TV, the content of the manifesto and its spirit seems great. So far, I have not found any issue which I disagree.

My concern is with the implementation strategy. On 21/10/2018, Mr. Sengal Weldetnsae had a seminar in London, UK. During the presentation, he said that in every committee equal number of Christians and Muslims. The reason was to allocating based on Christians and Muslims is to build trust among the divided Eritreans

This is the purest form of sectarian politics. If the actors behind the manifesto believe that their document is strong motion to solve most Eritrean political concerns, what is the need for injecting religion as a means to implement the manifesto?

If the manifesto can stand by itself, Eritreans can adhere to the principles no matter what religion they follow. Not only this, power-sharing based on religion can be a source of discrimination.

I do believe that any politics that have a potential effect on the overall Eritrean social make-up should be kept neutral to religion. Otherwise, unexpected negative sentiments could develop that will us into the bitter experiences we had before.

Jelal Yassin Aberra & Co: “Fighting for the Cause of Eritrean Jeberti” or “Fighting for Jihad of a Pen”? (Part II/III)

lease find Part I/III by clicking here

Jelal Yassin Abera and the nature of his advocacy works

To be honest, I had no idea who Jelal Yassin Abera was until a friend of mine sent me a document composed of 174 paged compiled data (please click here to find the document). And during my five years in politics, I missed an opportunity to know about him. I think he is not an outspoken activist.

In his 174 pages, the detailed compilation is all about “who is who” in the current ruling regime of Eritrea. This huge data is no simple. It could only be collected by a better informed and well-educated person. It is divided into categories and analyzed. However, the technic used and observing the way the data was analyzed, it raises a critical question.

The nature of data compilation can be summarized as follows:

1. Dividing Geographical Location-based “dominant social groups”

The data was compiled by dividing Eritreans” Eritreans into two groups: (1) “Tigrigna” and “& others. This kind of classification has never been used in Eritrea. Since 1970, Eritreans are divided into 9 ethnic groups and any document about Eritrean demography lists 9 of them. Jelal Yassin used his own grouping system. But, this is done to divide the people into religious groups to serve his purpose. Tigrigna represents Christians while Others is meant to represent majority Muslims. The Tigrigna speaking Muslim(Jeberti) are grouped into “Others”. In the figure below(taken from the dossier), the color is meant to represent geographical zones(Zoba) inhabited by majority Tigrigna (blue) and Others(Red).

zonal personels
Social Groupings used by Jelal Yassin Aberra: Tigrigna(blue) represents Christians, and “Others” represents Muslims

2. Adding Jeberti as a Separate Ethnic Group

Under the existing social groupings, Eritreans are divided into nine(9) ethnic groupings. This clustering was introduced during the struggle for independence by following the Communist model of Nation and Nationalities. The ethnic-based division was introduced to replace the previous tribal groupings. It was primarily implemented based on spoken language and shared cultures. With the exception of one ethnic group(Rashaida), eight of the ethnic groups have the same name as the language spoken.

Jeberti refused to be grouped with the newly created Tigrigna ethnic by claiming their unique identity. Although they did not deny their mother language to is Tigrigna(there is some argument with the spoken language too), they claimed that their family lineage, history, culture, tradition, mode of life and religion is different from the other Tigrigna ethnic group.

After independence, the right to have a separate Jeberti Ethnic claim gained its momentum after EPLF rejected it without any hearings. The transitional government issues National ID cards that recognize only 9 ethnic groups and every official data released is prepared based on 9 ethnic groups. As a result, there is no official data, in whatever form published apart from the 9 groups.

What Jelal Yassin Aberra did is contrary to the classical statistical data representation system. He compiled the socio-demographic data by dividing Eritrean people into 10 ethnic groups. This is nothing but to serve the basic purpose he fights for. The figure he presented is a fabricated one. However, it says everything about his ambitions. In his table, he gave Jeberti 8% out of the total population size of Eritrea. This is something weird data. Although it is hard to figure why he put that number, it is not hard to reject his fabricated number.

Eritrean population 2010 according to Jelal Yassin Abera
10 Ethnic Group Classification and their Socio-demographic distribution, according to Jelal Yassin Aberra’s data

Compared to the already recognized ethnic groups, the Jeberti community in Eritrea is not significant. They live predominantly in Asmara and Mendefera. Jeberti Eritreans are known people in Eritrea for their unique way of life and activities. For the last 100 years, their number is growing through assimilation. These assimilation is creating confusion to differentiate who is Jeberti. Today, there are other Eritreans who are now called Jeberti simply because of their spoken language and religion(Muslims). For example, many Asawurta descendants who live in the highland of Eritrea are considered as Jeberti by mistake. But the people themselves never recognized themselves as Jeberti but by their own family. Jelal Yassin could have added these people, including their settlements, to magnify the Jeberti population in Eritrea.

For example, according to current groupings, I belong to Bilen. Bilen speaking people are distributed in almost an entire region. They have villages predominantly Bilen speaking people. Yet, according to the socio-demographic distribution, Bilen have never been more than 3% share. In contrast, Jelal Yassin assigned 8% for Jeberti(see the table below which extracted from the dossier). This type of presentation is misleading. If it is used for political purposes, it can be as dangerous as it is fabricated- fabrication of information.

For more details, please follow the link attached here below:

Data Compiled by Jelal Yassin Abera: Jelal_Yassin_Abera_174_page_data_Salih-Abdellah-TGRINYA-27-8-2011

3. Using the Data as a Political Tool – the incidence of Forto 2013

It is a mistake to make conclusions about the possible purpose of this data compilation but there was some important hypothesis that can be developed from the nature of the data, failed military coup d’etat of January 2013 and the political actors who played as mobilizing agents outside Eritrea.

Forto 2013
Commander of the Failed J2013 Coup D’Etat – Colonel Wedi Ali

on January 21, 2013, there was an incident in Eritrea which tried to remove PFDJ regime by force. This incident was a failed military coup in Eritrea after more than 100 soldiers led by a Military Colonel who to took his mechanized battalion all the way to Asmara and occupied temporarily the Ministry of Information building found in the heart of Asmara, Forto. Though dictator Isaias dismissed the incident by belittling the operation three weeks after, a serious hypothesis can be developed by correlating important events related to political movements outside Eritrea.

Many news outlets outside Eritrea reported about the event the time the operation happened. Eritreans came to learn about the incidence through news broadcasted from abroad followed by family telephone calls.

Example: New York Times, Paris based independent News Media(Erena), and an Independent Journalist Martin Plaut are among the first reporters of the incidence.

Of course, my objective is not to bring all the events related to the coup d’etat. Rather, I am trying to correlate the data compiled by Jelal Yassin Abera and its possible link with the operation.

Depending on the year of service and nature of data collected, it seems the information details about Eritrean institutions and personnel that were who were in power from 2001 to 2012, mainly after the crackdown of PFDJ Central Political Committee and arrest of G – 15. It has listed all the administrative constituents and structures of the regime including a detailed name list of six(6) administrative regions, 59 sub-zones, and 2606 villages or local administrations. A name list of almost every public, government, military, security, and the diplomatic officers is well presented.

Such detailed data might have been planned to be used as an instrument in outlining strategies to throw the regime and then replace officers of the ousted government with new officers. The document has compiled name list of more than 5000 government officers.

Ministry and public services combined

But there is one worrisome nature of the data. What Jelal Yassin Aberra did was, he divided the officers along religious affiliations. This is a serious political maneuvering. In many occasions, PFDJ regime is accused of as a “Christian regime”. And, if any coup d’etat is assumed within this premise, then the outcome can lead to another kind of oppression or civil arrest.

When it comes to sectarian politics, Eritreans have a bitter experience. Any attempt to that tries to look Eritrean politics along religious lines can trigger civil war as it was experienced between EPLF and ELF during the thirty (30) years struggle for independence.

It is hard to say Jelal Yassin Aberra was part of the Master-mind of the failed military Coup D’Etat. However, analyzing his family background, the case of Jeberti Rights advocacy works and the accusation of PFDJ as a Christian regime, it is time to re-think what type of political advocacy is carried by Eritreans. Any mistake made today cannot be easy to correct it. And, Eritrea can face another political crisis.

Jelal Yassin Aberra & Co: “Fighting for the Cause of Eritrean Jeberti” or “Fighting for Jihad of a Pen”? (Part III/III)

Please follow Part I by clicking here

Please follow Part II by clicking here

iii. Demolishing a Church: the case of “Abdella”

Red Sea Afar

An individual activist for the cause of Eritrean Afar people in particular and Eritreans in general, whose first name is Abdella and his facebook profile nickname Red Sea Afar(check the video below) is among those few who are repeatedly mentioning Tigrigna speaking people. Is originally from the Dankalia Region of Eritrea (lowland) and now living as a refugee in Finland(EU). He is among those who continuously advocate against the Tigrigna highlanders. In several of the live video he has openly advocated by saying, “Tigrigna speaking highlanders are not welcome to live in Dankalia region.”

Though he is an independent activist and his opinions reflect only his and none of whatever he is associated with, he discloses his association with a political organization called RSADO. Nevertheless, his activities might have a reputational damage to RSADO unless RSADO takes initiatives to correct his mistakes.

His main advocacy work focuses on the Afar rights and autonomy of Dankal region under the banner of “Dankalia for Afar people”. I do respect his plea for the Afar’s rights and I am an ardent supporter of Afar struggle for their human rights and rights to self-govern their own affairs within the sovereignty of the country. However, I do not support discrimination policies, in any form, to be applied in any region of Eritrea. Dankalia is an integral part of Eritrea’s sovereignty and every Eritrean should be treated equally everywhere.

In contrast to the above principles, I have followed some irresponsible and discriminatory campaigns by “Red Sea Afar” in several live presentations he had broadcasted through his private facebook channel. In several of his broadcasts, it is clear to observe his discrimination against the Tigrigna speaking communities of Eritrea. He expresses his favor of one social group of Eritreans(Example – Jeberti) over the other. This is a potential case for discrimination. And, if such campaign continues, it may nurture the sense of hate towards a certain group of people in the future.

Though he asked an apology publically, in one of his presentations, he openly sent a warning message to the Christians either to demolish or convert into other uses any church(es) that are found in Afar land simply because he was claiming Afar people do not need them. This is a serious clue how far this person can go against one group of people, especially the Tigrigna speaking highlanders. I am saying this because the political organization he is associated with[RSADO] has a good working relationship with Eritrean Lowland League.

B. Civic Associations

i. Members of Jeberti Civic Association

Though Jeberti Civic Association claims its primary objective is to fight for the rights of Jeberti Community in Eritrea to have a separate ethnic group by separating from the EPLF invented Social clustering system, in many of their works, it seems they have much more complex issues.

In a book published by one an individual person whose name is Dr. Mustafa Lysedie, it has a strong allegation against the Seraye inhabitants. The book was first published in 2014 under a title “መን እዮም ኤርታውያን ጀበርቲ” with about 350 page. And, there is a new version which is available now for sale at amazon.com under a new title “ኤርትራውያን ጀበርቲ – መበቆላዊ ድሕረ ባይታ”. A book review about the first version is given here in an audio form

I have not read the two books yet. But, what is presented by Jeberti According to the book titled, “መን እዮም ኤርትራውያን ጀበርቲ? (ሓድሽ ሕታም – ኤርታውያን ጀበርቲ – መበቆላዊ ድሕረ ባይታ መበቆል Who are the Eritrean Jeberti? – Eritrean Jeberti – Background of the Origin – Genealogy”, the Jeberti people who happen to live in Awraja Seraye were driven out from their ancestral land simply because of their religion, which is Islam. According to Dr. Mustafa Lysedie, those who committed such actions(may be a crime) came from Agaw – Lasta in the 14thC and expanded their occupation by replacing the native people who were Muslims. Not only this but also Dr. Mustafa Lysedie has put a claimed Jeberti are majority Beja Descendants.

  1. An old version of the Book cover

Who are Jeberti_original book_cover.PNG

b. A new version of the Book – 2017

The book is endorsed by those who are currently active in the Jeberti Ethnic Rights Advocators group. In addition, Jeberti Ethnic advocators have tried to file an Ethnic cleansing claim against the current ruling regime of Eritrea to UNHCR (or Can be downloaded from here Refworld Eritrea Treatment of Jebert..) Such a claim has serious consequences as it could be a potential accusation against ethnic cleansing that is continuing against the Jeberti people since the 14thC. Being an Eritrean and advocator of Human Rights, I can not see such claims lightly.

PFDJ is a brutal regime. When it comes to its crimes, it has no preferential treatment. It has committed systematic and widespread crimes against humanity since 1991 as it is confirmed by a Special Rapporteur of Human Rights Commissioner of Inquiry – Eritrea(COI-E). The crimes committed by PFDJ is reported at the UN Human Rights Commission found in Geneva in 2015 and the report was approved in 2015. I think there is no special mention of ethnic cleansing that targets Jeberti community. And, I believe the Jeberti people have welcomed the COiE report of 2015.

What remains is the allegations against the historical crimes that is written in the book prepared by Dr. Mustafa. I hope the Seraye people will sit and discuss with the Jeberti Ethnic Rights Advocators and resolve such serious claims.

Some of the feedbacks given through concerned Eritreans include ኣብ 21-ክፍለ ዘበን ታሪኽ ክጥምዘዝ ኣይግባእን

There is also another similar allegations against individuals who were active in Eritrean politics in the 1940s. This is my main topic in this article.

ii. Eritrean Lowland League

The Eritrean lowlanders which are now in the course of organizing themselves under the banner of a civic association called, “Eritrean Lowland League”. The association is composed of activists and politicians who came together from Senhit, Sahel, Barka, Semhar and Gash-Barka regions of Eritrea to advocate for the rights of Eritrean lowlanders. They have a number of important objectives which raises long-standing grievances of the lowlanders, especially the forgotten refugees who are living in Sudanese refugee camps for the last 60 or more years. In addition, they are concerned with the highland expansion and land grabbing activities in the lowland area. In general, they are working for the respect of human rights of the lowlanders, like religious freedom, language, and administration systems.

In this line, they have serious issues on land grabbing and expansion activities which they believe it is in favor of the Tigrigna speaking highlanders. Not only this, based on the claims of 1952 Eritrean Federal Constitution, they are claiming the Arabic language was meant basically to the lowlanders. This is a misleading interpretation of the 1952 Constitution. Article 38(1) states, Tigrigna and Arabic shall be the official language of Eritrea. There is no mention of geographical location.

What the Lowlanders Association is accusing is that the Tigrigna elites are the only who are refusing other social groups to have Arabic as their official language. This is out of the context of the 1952 Constitution.

I think the interpretation of the official language use is in line to the association claim emphasizes their notion for “the Muslim Majority concept”. Not only this, the Tigrigna(Highland) elites is specifically mentioned as a target group for historical mistakes committed during the armed struggle(as shown in Figure below). Such statements need careful analysis and scrutiny otherwise it may have a unprecedented damage in the trust and unity of Eritreans as a whole.

For further references, the complete content of the English and Tigrigna version of the Social Contract prepared by Eritrean Lowland League is attached below.

  1. ELL’s Initiative of the Social Contract – English version
  2. ELL’s Initiative of the Social Contract – Tigrigna version

You can also follow my opinion about Eritrean Lowland league provided in the youtube video(below). I pledged my support while pledging to improve those which I believe have a potential to violate human rights if their objective is fully implemented.

Conclusion

Though it is hard to differentiate religion from politics when politics is exploited systematically to advance a religious mission, it becomes more complicated. Often, it becomes the source of mistrust that can develop into a serious conflict. Eritreans are victims of this mix.

Jelal Yassin Aberra & Co. have gone further to mix religion, identity, history, and politics. This is the most complex political discourse. what makes unique is the claim of Jeberti ethnic rights is exploited to advance a greater mission through Jihad of the Pen. The strategy followed is unique in its approach.

Though there is nothing wrong with the style they follow, it needs careful analysis by stakeholders for a greater unity and trusteeship. Otherwise, this kind of sophisticated politics is common among the elites. But, when it goes down into the masses who are unconscious, its effect is usually negative which can be the source of religious conflict.

The case of Jeberti as a separate ethnic group can be better advanced by following universal approach for “The Rights of the People”. There is no need to mess people’s rights in politics.

Jelal Yassin Aberra & Co: “Fighting for the Cause of Eritrean Jeberti” or “Fighting for Jihad of a Pen”? (Part I/III)

Preamble

For many, it could be strange to talk about the concept of Jihad of the Pen and its impact in Eritrean politics. I will not be surprised if I receive some condemnation too. But, this is my understanding and opinion which I came to grasp through my consistent and close engagement in the Eritrean politics since 2013.

In the beginning, all I had was resentment against the oppressor in Asmara. I started to fight the regime which is controlling Eritrea with a merciless dictatorship based on my life experience and with a damaged understanding I had about politics. I had no idea about the politics of the opposition camp and how they operate apart from being happy to have Eritreans who opposed the regime.

As an amateur to Eritrean politics, I started to write about PFDJ ideology and its institutions. At the same time, I started to engage in discussions which were going on at Awate Forum among well experienced political elites. It is on this website that I learned there is some power that can not be challenged easily. In 2017, I came to conclude that liberal democracy is the best ideology (according to my understanding) to my political thinking and possibly to solve Eritrean problems.

The time I declared my ideology, I distanced myself from Awate Forum. I started to campaign via my own facebook private profile and my personal blog(from which you are reading this material) what I believe in while reading and contemplating about world affairs in general and Eritrean politics in particular. It is at this time of contemplation that something revealed to me about “Fighters of Jihad of the Pen”

Jihad of the Pen is an acceptable form of jihad by all religious groups. If it is mishandled and went abnormally from what is it actually ought to promote for, it can be a cause for violence. Otherwise, all about for a greater cause. Jihad of the Pen is what any “able” religious person is called to do for his/her own religious beliefs.

The complexity of Jihad of the pen mainly arises when the practitioners interfere in political matters and compete with world politicians who are much interested in world affairs apart from the greater cause. Not only this, when the practitioners of jihad of the pen are not transparent and get rigged into political affairs without full consciousness of the people with whom they are dealing with, it can have unprecedented collateral damage to the society. It is with this premise that I wanted to share my opinion about Eritrean fighters of Jihad of the Pen whom I have sensed their presence during my active engagement.

Contextualizing The notion of Jihad According to Eritrean Politics

The notion “Jihad” is the most sensitive subject in Eritrean politics. This is not without a reason. First, right after independence(1991), the ruling regime of Asmara (PFDJ) campaigned jihad to be perceived as killing innocent people By doing so an Eritreans jihad is associated with terrorism.

This kind of misconception is hindering meaningful and trustworthy discussions and cooperation among Eritreans. In fact, it has been a dividing wall among different social groups by putting the true meaning of Jihad at jeopardy among Eritreans. This has created a passive state of mistrust which is quite observable in every political debate and social gatherings.

It is true that Eritreans are predominantly Christians, Muslims with few Traditionalists or Animists. Their religious affiliations are expected to have a negative impact on the way they live and think politically. However, their common ancestral background and history for thousands of years have a positive contribution for being together. The major changes within the religious demography and political thinking came after the 19thC when Eritrea became the victim of geopolitics.

The rise of the new Ethiopian empire and arrival of western colonizers created a political schism by expanding their own interest. To accomplish their mission, religion was used as a playing card. Nevertheless, the strategy followed had a nonsignificant contribution on the way Eritreans think politically. This is because the outsiders were an equal threat for their existence. This led them to unity by keeping their religious difference aside.

It is true that every religion has its own system of beliefs and practices. This affects the way people lead their private and social life. When there are challenges, what they believe can contribute the way they overcome these challenges. This basic means to survive leads them to jihad.

Every religious person or community performs jihad (struggle) in different forms. By performing jihad, one fulfills the missing elements of a spiritual journey or safeguarding security of the religious community.

For centuries, both Christians and Muslims applied jihad for their spiritual growth and protection. Although jihad is now becoming anything about Islam and terrorism, n its original form, Jihad is the basic theological concept and practice among these two Abrahamic religions(also called People of the Book), the notion of Jihad has evolved to as a connotation which is only related to Islam practiced by Muslims only. This is not true. In fact, medieval period Christians have applied the concept of Jihad in its extreme form but with a different terminology, Crusade”.

In the mindset of Eritrean political context, any person who utters Jihad in any form is considered either as a terrorist, or a religious fanatic. This is not without a reason. The PFDJ regime brainwashed Eritreans since its birth (1994) to control the mind of Eritreans and crush any opposition that may challenge its power.

The truth is, Jihad, جهادjihād is an Arabic word which means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim. Broadly speaking, Jihad is classified into two: (i) Inner (“greater”) jihad and (ii) external (“lesser”) jihad. External Jihad is subdivided into jihad of the pen/tongue (debate or persuasion) and jihad of the sword. From this classification, what we can understand is Jihad is part of the belief system. Accordingly, any believer performers Jihad in different forms.

Not forgetting the existence of all kinds of Jihad around the world in general and in Eritrea in particular and the disinformation campaign about Jihad coming from the ruling regime and some movement within the opposition camp, my focus for this article will be one of the acceptable forms of JIhad – “Jihad of the Pen” and its application in Eritrean politics.

Eritreans for Fighters of Jihad of the Pen

Eritrean fighters of Jihad of the Pen use friendly, non-violent and apply a sophisticated approach to accomplish their pre-defined mission. They work in parallel with those who are fighting against the oppressive regime in Asmara. However, their mission is quite clear to differentiate by observing critically what they actually glorify while demonizing the other. The demonization campaign is mainly targeting the Tigrigna speaking social groups of Eritrea under the cover of historical incidences.

To accomplish their mission, they are exploiting Eritrean politics of the 1940s by focusing on the Unionist Party. Although the Unionist Party were against Eritrean full independence. Although the Unionist Party were predominantly Christians, there were also Muslims who stood firm in favor of the Union with Ethiopia. Not only this, the Unionist camp had members from all social groups. Therefore, it is misleading and wrong to conclude the Unionist Party were Tigrigna speaking Christians. However, revisionists are using selective approach to attack a certain group of people and individuals coming from certain geographical location to attain their mission.

unipart

Campaign Against Tigrigna, aka Christians

Since 2008, the smear campaign has become intense. At first, it was started at an elite level. These elites started writing which targets core Eritrean values. They introduced revisionism approach to re-define Eritrean history through reflective interpretations to fit into an ideological tool to serve a specific agenda. These sophisticated articles generated debates that later expanded into bitter arguments. As a result, Eritrean elites were mainly divided into different camps.

These days Eritrean political atmosphere is full of chaotic smear campaigns and labeling is in the course of intensification which specifically targets the so-called Tigrigna speaking communities of Eritrea(the Highlanders) on one side, and the Muslim Eritreans on the other side. The use of “Tigrigna” is a carefully chosen metaphor which targets a specific group of people who are accused of being the rulers of today’s Eritrea since the independence(1991).

Though my understanding of Eritrean politics is progressing, depending on the nature of the these debates and arguments, generally I categorize them into five camps: (1) Pro – Eritrean Struggle for Independence, (2) Bashers of the Armed Struggle(Revolution) and (3) Guardians of Revolutionary legacies and defenders of Eritrean core values (4) Pro – Unionism with Ethiopia (5) Opportunists. Among these leading thinkers and writers, we have Saleh Younis (Camp 1) and Yosief Ghebrehiwet from Asmarino website (camp 3). These two great writers were the leading figures in these early debates. In between, there were opportunists who exploited the ideas generated to suit their crooked agenda. As a result relational transgression started to develop among Eritrean communities.

These relational transgressions developed when the Ghedli bashers started to undermine the history of Eritrean struggle for independence and demonize prominent Eritreans who played leading role during the early days of Eritrean struggle. The writers went far to attack individuals which are highly regarded by Eritreans. This race of demonization led to exposing the history of the 1940s, 1950s and revolution era to scholarly critics. This led political schism among the elites. It is during these chaotic debates that some opportunists tried to exploit it for their cause.

these opportunities camouflaged their true motive as it was a counter-reaction. However, after careful analysis, their objective is much deeper. It is combined with revenge and hatred towards a specific group of communities.

Jelal Yassin Abera: The Opportunist

Opportunists are politicians who exploit an existing situation for their own advantage by camouflaging themselves within the existing political environment. Since my presence in the political atmosphere of Eritrea, I have observed many opportunities. They have played the card of the victims but works on their own greater agenda. Some of the typical opportunists I encountered during my five years stay include Unionists, Religious terrorists, sectarian, regionalists, ethnic nationalists, religious nationalists, etc.

Jelal Yassin Aberra an ardent ethnic nationalist for the cause of Jeberti Ethnic Rights movement comes in the forefront. Jelal Yassin Abera, born in 1957, educated in Information Technology (BSc) and Social Anthropology, is living in Norway as a refugee since 1984. He was a former EPLF member(1975 – 1983), trained to be a Political Cadre, is one of the leading Jeberti Ethnic Rights advocators.

His advocacy work is deeply rooted in his family. His late father, Dr. Abera Yassin, who was Professor of Economic at the Asmara University (Eritrea) was killed by EPLF in January 1991 for his activities for the cause of Jeberti ethnic rights during Ethiopian annexation(1961 – 1991).

Dr. Yassin Abera was one of the leading delegates in the struggle for the recognition of Jeberti Ethnic Group by the Ethiopian ruling regime before Eritrean independence. He was calling all the Jeberti to be united and call for their rights as a separate ethnic group. A Committee of delegates from the Derg ruling regime came to Asmara to discuss with Jeberti representatives. Unfortunately, the Committee rejected their demand by passing several recommendations that need to be considered at great care.

I think EPLF was not happy with Dr. Yassin Abera’s activities. Before his assassination, he was receiving warning messages to stop his activities. Dr. Yassin Abera was fully aware that EPLF will not respect the rights of Jeberti to be recognized as a separate ethnic group. Derg started to fail as a ruling regime in Ethiopia and just four months before independence, Dr. Yassin Abera was killed by EPLF in front of his house. This is a painful experience that will definitely have a never lasting impact on Jelal Yassin Abera.

Derg rejected Jeberti People to be recognized as a separate ethnic group. The reason given was the ethnic classification system introduced in Ethiopia(including Eritrea) was not based on religion but on common language and cultures. The special delegation Committee wrote a serious recommendation not to fully ignore the case(see the link provided below).

Some of the arguments presented and the response given Committee for the case of Jeberti Ethnic Rights during Ethiopian occupation in Eritrea include:

  1. The Rise of Islam: The Negashi Eritrean Jeberti by MOHAMMED NUR SAID WAGNEW, INTRODUCTION BY DR. YASSIN M. ABERRA
  2. Ahmed Negashi: The Father of Jeberti
  3. Ethiopian Note for the case the Jeberti Ethnic Rights Case – Amharic
  4. Ethiopian Note for the case the Jeberti Ethnic Rights Case – English

After independence, the case of Jeberti Ethnic Rights was brought to the then transitional government of Eritrea, EPLF. Unlike the Derg regime, EPLF categorically rejected without any hearing. This led to a new era to the Jeberti Ethnic Rights movement.

As a grown up and well-educated person, after the killing of his father, there is no doubt for Jelal Yassin Abera to take two responsibilities. First, as a Jeberti, a son of Jeberti he is supposed to fight for his right. Second, to continue the struggle his father started by representing the Jeberti Ethnic Rights.

This dual responsibility can have a contribution to his thinking and determination for the struggle that could lead him to be a radical ethnic-nationalists. This radical sentiment can be observed in many of his works.

Missionary Mission or Subjugating the Horn of Africa through Scholars

For a long time now, maleducated Scholars of Africa have proved repeatedly to show that they have no interest in the freedom and Rights of Africans but to subjugate their people under the control of powerful empires of the world. They have accustomed to being mercenaries rather than saviors. And, in this modern era, their activity is increasing at a faster rate.

On the other hand, Africa is endowed with scholars whose primary job is a missionary. These highly educated missionaries are financed by religious centers to expand religion and religious activities. Through these activities, the local wisdom is ignored while promoting the imported knowledge.

Now Africa is entering into a new phase. Africa is transferring from the old-fashioned colonization process into modern occupational expansion for economic exploitation. To do this, history is playing a great role. Though the history of Africa is not properly written, there are loopholes that can be exploited for the advancement of a new expansion. In this regard, the Horn of Africa is the best area where anyone with expansion agenda can work on without much challenge to scrutiny.

In this modern era (21thC), powerful countries are in the race of scrambling the Horn of Africa into their economic zone. This economic zone scrambling project is happening through different strategies. For example, USA has the highest military presence in Africa, while China has expanded into the entire continent through investment. Other former colonial powers are also re-inventing their colonization process to step into their former colonies. To accomplish this, history needs to be revised. This revision is aimed to glorify major works that give positive images about the past while erasing the negative side. To accomplish these educated people are trained to accomplish the pre-defined mission.

These educated people are invited by exploiting the political situation of their country. This creates a favorable condition for a win-win process. It is in this regard that the horn of Africa is now getting the attention of Turkey.

In recent years, Turkey is muscling its presence. Somalia and Ethiopia have become some of the largest areas for Turkish investors. This expansion is through the global ambition of the revival of Ottoman Empire era. For this, religious scholars and revisionist historians are needed.

The concept of modern Turkish global ambition is a mixture of religion and liberalism. To make this mission successful, Turkey is in the process of hiring well-educated scholars who are able to control the minds of the people in the target. Among these educated people, Sufi Scholars of Africa are the best messengers of the Turkish model of a modern concept of religious views.

It is a shame to observe some Eritreans openly advocating for the revival of Ottoman Empire in the horn of Africa in general and in particular in Eritrea and Somalia.

Tigray Region of Ethiopia is already a victim. Turkish investors have already controlled main economic sectors.

And, Eritrean opposition camp has been in the process of hijacking by these Sufi Scholars. I hope we will open our eyes and be able to see the extent of their activities and say, enough is enough. And to succeed in our mission to get rid of the dictatorial regime in Asmara, we need to differentiate what type of mission we are working on.

In the beginning, the Ottoman Empire started to emerge in the 14thC. Then gradually, it expanded to areas across the Middle East and North East Africa. And in the 16thC it expanded deep into the hearts of East of Africa which then continued to remain one of the strongest world empires until 20thC.

In Eritrea, Ottoman Empire started to expand through the Red Sea Coast. The Kingdom of Bahre Negassi the Debarwa defeated it by destroying the then modern and well-equipped military of 1500. They controlled Debarwa for short time. Shortly after the king of Bahre Negassi organized his people and defeated them.

As a result, the Ottoman expansionists were forced to sign a treaty that let them stay in Hirgigo(near Massawa) without interfering into local affairs.

The Ottomans formed a Deputy(Naibs in Arabic) from the local people(of Belew Descendants) that Represent Ottomans in the Red Sea. It was mostly Controlling Trade Activity, mainly slave Trade. The Abyssinians benefitted immensely by trading slaves caught during military raids and by forcing those powerless people into slavery(the Nilotic people).

More than Million East Africans were sold as Slaves to the Middle East and Turkey through the port of Massawa and other small ports in the Red Sea.

This dark history of the Ottoman Empire in East Africa is purposefully deleted from history books primarily written by scholars who are better educated in this last 100 years. And, for the last 50 years, these scholars are predominantly those who were fighting against the Ethiopian Empire. And, to claim their legitimate struggle, they followed Selective Approach of blackmailing Ethiopian oppression while Romanticizing the era of the Ottoman empire. This approach gave a cover to the worst history of Ottoman Empire.

These better-educated scholars of the horn of Africa who started to fight against Ethiopian domination are predominantly educated in Egypt and other Middle East countries. Their mission became to glorify Islamic Civilization and expansion in the Horn of Africa. Therefore, the true history of the horn of Africa is distorted for a purpose. This brought generation who knows less about the negative side of Ottoman Empire in the horn of Africa.

Now, it is quite visible to observe Ottoman Empire romanticizers in the Horn of Africa by magnifying its ao called Social – justice. These days, social justice is becoming the best alternative to expand missionary activities through political means. As sane as it seems, social justice is a socialist ideology driven from religious institutions to serve the purpose of a controlled economy.

These Ottoman empire romanticizers are mercenaries for the new ambition launched by Turkey under the semi-secret project for the revival of Ottoman Civilization in the horn of Africa, including Eritrea.

Eritrea is under a tyranny. This is the best opportunity to be exploited for the re-introduction of Ottoman empire dreams. As result, some opportunists could exploit Turkish ambitions in the horn of Africa to finance their political activities. Some Eritrean scholars are conducting conferences in Turkish land. Though it is for a religious purpose, its purpose should be made clear to the public. Otherwise, it can be turned out to be a means to subjugate the country.

Turkey is advancing its ambitious project by all means possible. Formal diplomatic relationship with East African countries is growing fast and Turkish investment is increasingly expanding. In addition, it is not a secret that Turkey does not hesitate to hire mercenaries in its payroll to have a stronger influence within the powerful decision makers of any target state.