Fetsum: Democracy or Hypocrisy? On Ambassador Andebrhan’s concept of dialogue and democracy!

I take full responsibility for this disclosure. It does not represent GI as I am doing it using my right to independently share information without distortion, although I remain a member of the movement since

I take full responsibility for this disclosure. It does not represent GI as I am doing it using my right to independently share information without distortion, although I remain a member of the movement since the time of its birth.

Frankly, I wish I could invest the rest of my time on my universal outlook of life from this point on and develop my pending book “SPIRITUAL ENGINEERING” using the Eritrean situation as the anchor of my spiritual journey. I feel like I am in cross-roads between Eritrean activism based on attachment with my roots and the universal condition of the human race based on detachment from anything. My spiritual journey would have been fantastic had we Eritreans been down to the point on the issue of unity and democracy; my objectives would, at least have blended well for me to produce more instead of seesawing between the two upshots that do not necessarily impact humanity with the same degree of potency. I don’t want to be in this situation. Life does not stick to the plan, however, and I am destined to live according to the flow without a better choice in sight.

But once upon a time in the GI diary, a representative communicated the following message with Ambassador Andebrhan with no feedback in response. He did it again hoping cooperation and support from the brother.

On 21 May 2016 at 05:00, Debessay, Araya wrote: “Dear Ambassador Andebrhan; we had sent you the message below on May 4, 2016. Unfortunately, we have not yet received your response. We are now writing again to urge you to give us your permission to put your name as a signatory of the “Urgent Letter to All Eritreans World-Wide.”  Your willingness to lend your name as a signatory, we believe, will contribute to the success of the Global Initiative to Empower Eritrean Grassroots Movement (GIEEGM).  We believe you are supportive of the Grassroots initiative whose objective is to contribute to the efforts you and your colleagues at Medrik are doing to end the suffering of the Eritrean people.  We are planning to make the “Urgent Call to All Eritreans World-wide” public on the eve of the 25th Anniversary of Eritrean independence.  By being a signatory you are only indicating your moral support to the GIEEGM. You are not obligated to actively participate in the various groups listed on pages 5 & 6 of the draft we sent you on May 4, 2016. Please let us know if we have your permission to list you as a signatory ASAP.  Thank you for your cooperation in advance. Hawka Araya on behalf of GIEEGM”

Ambassador Andebrhan: “Dear Prof. Araya; Thank you for your consecutive messages. I had anticipated your promised call prior to replying to your request. With all due respect, I am reluctant to grant your request in the firm belief that what is needed today is not the proliferation of initiatives, and the random radiation of negative energy, but the coalescence of effort based on a shared vision of the future of our country. Best regards, Andebrhan”

GI: “Dear Ambassador Andebrhan: Thank you for responding to my request albeit negatively.  Of course, I do not question your right to decline our request to support the Global Initiative to Empower Eritrean Grassroots Movement (Global Initiative).

In your response, you stated, “I am reluctant to grant your request in the firm belief that what is needed today is not the proliferation of initiatives, and the random radiation of negative energy, but the coalescence of effort based on a shared vision of the future of our country.”

Please allow us to clarify the objective of the Global Initiative. As you very well know there is no Eritrean who is not saddened by the dismal situation in our country. And yet most Eritreans are at a loss on how to contribute to ending the suffering of our people and how to transition the country from dictatorship to democracy. The Global Initiative is meant to pave the way to all Eritreans to play a part in saving our beloved nation. The goal of Global Initiative is to elect legitimate Global Leaders using the grassroots approach which will involve all Eritreans in the Diaspora.

Hence, we think it is wrong to view the Global Initiative as unnecessary “proliferation of initiative” or as a “random radiation of negative energy.” Quite to the contrary, the Global Initiative is meant to channel the tremendous energy of Eritreans in the Diaspora by electing legitimate Global Leaders who will be able to unleash the collective energy and resources that has been fragmented until now. Hence, contributing to “the coalescence of effort based on a shared vision of the future of our country” that you want to see. For your information, the Global Initiative is gaining momentum as many justice seekers are joining the initiative.

Respectfully, Hawka Araya Debessay on behalf of Global Initiative”.

Ambassador Andebrhan: Tim.

As you know, I say what I feel despite the opinion of people about me because I am aging fast and have no time for pretension and Skifta as long as I can respectfully back up my opinion with facts. I am a strong believer of being challenged on the merit, specially when deciding to teach the public about any subject matter! An advocate of democracy is expected to stick with the notion for one can not say something and contradict it in practice unless in strictly subjective circumstances.

In this situation, I release my opinion with sincere apology to GI for ‘leaking’ a “classified information” depending on how the movement approaches it, although I don’t feel that way at all. You can call me a loose-cannon, a whistle-blower or whatever you want but the public information disclosed here could have been accessed by any interested Eritrean willing to participate in the GI community through emails or open Paltalk sessions. It is, thus not a secret like how other groups do their business, needless saying I cannot see how we can communicate if we don’t take advantage of events to learn something from! How can we do it if we continue conforming to the culture of silence that has been hurting our society since the start of the independence struggle? What may then be the purpose of GI if not changing the destructive norms inherited from the culture and beyond?

In short GI claims to believe in transparency which makes it different from few groups in the resistance and the reason I joined it, yet it has to prove it in practice by informing the people about what is going on in the resistance without distortion and exaggeration!

Clear is that I was aware of the communication between GI and the Ambassador at the time of its actuality but did not bother sharing it with the people until something took place to agitate me in that direction. The question is what motivated me to disclose this material on my own without the consent of the GI community?

Motivation: Few days ago, Assenna posted the following advertisement in its Website:

“Public meeting with Ambassador Andebrhan Welde Giorgis: Dialogue on bringing Democratic change as we mark the 26thanniversary of the Eritrean Independence: Building a common knowledge of our history, a common understanding of our present and a shared vision of our future”

Comment: The Ambassador will visit few places in the US to conduct his speech on the advertised subject matter and here I am sharing my opinion with maximum respect to the brother, specifically based on criterion I consider extremely important for a rational mind to successfully transmit a message

in any situation across; CONSISTENCY based PRACTICALITY.

One has to be consistent with one’s message to make sense and publicly share objectives without a problem because the past haunts a person’s present unless the words are carefully chosen to consistently synchronize ideas with practical conviction. The effort becomes opportunistic, something for personal gain otherwise!

You cannot refuse dialogue with fellow Eritreans on common agenda and meet with the people on, ”Dialogue on bringing Democratic change” as the Ambassador advertised to do. Where is the practical reduction of the topics in line with the event? Would not it be better advertised as MONOLOGUE instead of DIALOGUING on the matter; considering the Ambassador’s rejection of dialogue with GI without adequate explanation and refusal to feedback on follow up appeal as witnessed in the communication? His action (refusal to dialogue with GI for common solution), thus terribly contradicts with what he claimed to do in his appearance with our people in different cities of the US.

Nor can you aim at “Building a common knowledge of our history, a common understanding of our present and a shared vision of our future” without willingness doing it with the people. How can this be practical if you refuse to do it with Eritrean groups that modestly approached you for it? How can common understanding of our history and the future be achieved by a group or an individual with strong tendency to navigate the Eritrean situation alone? What may the “random radiation of negative energy” be as the Ambassador responded to the modest GI initiative for working together with the group with his independence intact? How can the Ambassador prove that he was for “the coalescence of effort based on a shared vision of the future of our country” after arrogantly rejecting the GI’s appeal to share ideas for the future of the country? Can the concept of sharing be effectuated strictly in mono-directional communication from the speaker to the public?

One should not talk about “dialogue for democracy” after breaching the concept of democracy by rejecting other Eritreans ready to dialogue for the common cause, nor can there be a common agenda to be discussed from “I am the only solution; follow me or whatever” frame of mind except in monologous entertainment for democracy ambiance!

In conclusion, I wish the Ambassador success on what he claims to do without other Eritrean groups on the common agenda but the mouth can say anything and a person’s integrity depends on consistency reducing his/her words to action, which in this case appears off the wall, at least in my opinion. Things may change as a result of retrospective meditation but I don’t think the brother can impact the public on the subject matter (dialogue for common cause and democracy) from the angle of exclusiveness or practical negation. I have no idea how the appearance can help the resistance and what is expected from our people to be honest with all of you. Good luck Mr. Ambassador and I support you, but this was indeed the time for all of us to unify our resources and mobilize our people for global leadership with equal significance.

In so diffusing my opinion, I admire the GI community’s positive attitude to the Ambassador’s efforts and willingness to attend his speeches despite his negative reaction about the movement consistent to its positive and inclusive stand on the resistance over all, and I hope the brother will adjust his attitude to practically reflect his advertised upshot for dialogue and democratic Eritrea as soon as possible so we can together challenge the situation with down to earth relationship.


Review overview
  • Keshi Mars May 19, 2017

    Hello Fitsum, I understand your concern about the Ambassador. But you can’t blame him for not endorsing GI.There are too many Globals, in fact with younger and energetic members. What is expected from you and Prof. with due respect is to join them in finance and advice. The initiative for Global and local awakening started with Wedi Vacaro and we are required to identify persons who can lead these movements.

    • adhanom May 19, 2017

      Medrik is not one of them. Moreover, it has no followers but few elites who think are entitled to be leaders like their former coach, iseyas. U mentioned existence of many global organizations that is totally untrue. I can give a global name to my self but that does not mean i am global. Global is when every eritrean is invited to elect representatives. I love wedi vacaro and what he was trying to do but we are out of luck his life was cut short. U can have one who inspires and rally every body like wedi vacaro or u can elect them like what dr araya and fixum are trying to do. With medrik, i do not see any progress as they are just few individuals who are fighting using a radio which is positive but not effective.

      • adhanom May 20, 2017

        Medrik have not can not rally more than 100 people around them. They are using the most outdated tactic. Their radio program itself is not as effective as others let say esat of ethiopian opposition.

  • k.tewolde May 19, 2017

    I feel you brother Fitsum,that is exactly how my brave martyred mentor Mengstaab Tecle and I felt at the height of the HADHID QUINAT contemplating about the whole situation sitting under a boulder hanging precariously from a hill overlooking the ravines of Kerkebet, and we navigated through our spiritual freeways and asked,why!? Now can you imagine today,tens of thousands miles away from home,sitting in the comfort of our living room firing at each other e-mails instead of bullets with few dollars in the bank,one dismissing another one’s noble idea with lazy strokes on the a computer keypad.Yes Fitsum,I don’t blame you weighing in of rediscovering your spirituality and trying to make sense of this Eritrean human condition.

    • k.tewolde May 19, 2017

      In other words,nothing has changed ever since except the venue and the outfit and the decomposing social phenomena back home.

  • senkam May 19, 2017

    This article seems primarily to dig into the hypocrisy of the Ambassador. And, then iced it with positive notes like wishing the ambassador success in his discussion on the subject matter with Eritrean communities, with a tone of an underlying doubt or disagreement.

    Almost all groups active in the justice seeking camp understand the effect of negative energy on advancing their cause. What they find an uphill battle is though how to STOP it. They know it got to be stopped, but then they say I was attacked or my reputation was stained so I have to throw some stones to clean myself before I call it off. And the negative energy keep circulating. This negative atmosphere blows in todays social media and fogs the trust among the Eritrean community, which in turn erodes their alliance and association to these groups.

    If the author of the article has even the slightest of positive take on what the ambassador is going to do as he hinted, it would be much helpful to our grand objective if he had restrained from divulging all these conversations. Not because they were not facts but this culture has to stop. Lets start from our selves and make it part of our core principle. The ambassador may have more worse records while he was with the regime than those raised here. However, once we identified our objective we have to able to focus on the bigger picture and avoid being lost in some irrelevant details. Otherwise, our criticism should point to those ideas that we think will risk our unity.

  • Asmara Eritrea May 19, 2017

    It is truly tragic in the extreme to hear these squabbles between highly educated individuals about bringing Eritreans together for a common good i.e. preserving our country from its destruction by a thuggish beast. If a call for unity creates such disharmony what hope do we have to topple the dictator? He must be laughing uncontrollably with a bottle of whiskey in hand!

    God, if you exist, restore sanity to the Eritrean people.

    Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

  • TZ May 20, 2017

    Dear Fitsum,

    I honestly think every Eritrean should have the right to freely express his or her opinion. What is wrong if the Ambassador believes what we need today is not to proliferation of movements but the coalescence of effort based on shared vision. And we all know that this is a typical principle of Medrek group that the Ambassador is part of. What does his opinion has to do with him having public meetings? Please if we are working for Democracy let us behave maturely, tolerantly, respect each other and refrain from calling names like “arrogant” ext.

    • alem May 20, 2017

      U are right he has the right to fight for for democracy the way he chooses and he has been doing that since he was thrown out of hgdf camp by iseyas. What are his accomplishments in those 16 years? Should not he assess himself. All the young eritreans who reside where he resides, who bitterly oppose iseyas the beast are ripe fruits ready for harvest. How many of these know ambasador andebirhan. Almost none. The same blame goes to other opposition groups. they need to come and engage the ordinary peaple who are looking for an effective organization. Otherwise, as u said he has the right to believe that he can bring change by forming links to his former comrades who can conduct a coedeta from inside.

      • k.tewolde May 21, 2017

        Alem,I agree with everything you said except the coup d’etat, Remember this is the ex ambassador who kicked out a fellow Eritrean activist Gadi from participating in a meeting he was invited.This questionable individuals seem to be an exclusive party,you don’t want to flip the coin in its tail.The Eritrean people collectively should self determine their destiny by electing their leaders democratically and cement a solid checks and balance institutions to hold them accountable. Flipping a burger only gives you a burger not a filet mignon.

        • alem May 21, 2017

          I am not happy that he asked gadi be removed from the meeting that he was invited to attend. That is why i said he has the right to believe in tosing out iseyas who tosed him out. I can assure you that he can not do that. He can accomplish nothing with out rallying the youth and the people around him and i do not think he has any public trust to be able to do that. The liability is too big. He conspired with iseyas to fire some lecturers of asmara university for incompetency i think. These lecturers were senior instructors. To be honest it is good that he did not put his name endorsing the GI agenda.

  • Nahon May 21, 2017

    Former Ambassador Andebrhan and many like him who come from Stalinist background (Iseyas’ secret Party) are not used to let people take things in their own hands. It’s not in their culture to let people elect their leaders. That is why you see leaders of so the called Medrek still working behind closed doors.
    They want lead without being elected, without consulting the public to know what they want.

  • Lalimba May 23, 2017

    Crazy, crazy, crazy,

    Dear Mr. Fitsum. In your introductory remarks you mentioned that those were your views and have nothing to do with GI. But how, when you have posted the correspondence between GI chair and Mr. Andeberhan. You also referred yourself as a whistle blower. You managed to access to correspondences because of your membership to GI and you are not passing the info to a third party as whistle blowers often do.

    You have the right to accuse Mr. Andeberhan of double standard but not this way. By divulging official correspondence, you have put GI’s integrity in jeopardy..

  • Simon G. May 27, 2017

    Brother Fitsum,
    It is because Andebrehan’s intention is never good. It was never and will never be good. Once a criminal is always a criminal on this high level HGDF’s world.

  • B.Russom May 28, 2017

    I have been Medrek listener for a while now it is not working at the moment. was disappointed of its stoppage for whatever reason that I felt guilty for not doing my part.
    I believe that it was one of the most effective radio program in the internet to enhance the down fall of the dictator..
    . Dr Andebrhan is one of the main figures in Medrek if not only.. It should have been applauded for all his effort and time as Amanuel of Assenna…
    To request his permission to join a group is one thing but to criticize him because he recounted his reasoning is a bit to much. He is not a drop out from first year university but full fledged PHD and at that with excellence..
    I am sure if he said a short answer, “no”. It would sound even more disrespectful and unacceptable.
    Whatever the issue, right or wrong in our view, any opposition should not indeed aggravate situation or dwell in it but move forward.
    . Stop niggling minor issue when we are face with unmerciful enemy particularly those from whom our expectation is determinant..