Fetsum: Direct appeal to Professor Araya Debessai

Back in the days during the struggle, a group of fighters broke up from ELF to form another front that ended up being EPLF at the end of the day. The splinters used to be

Back in the days during the struggle, a group of fighters broke up from ELF to form another front that ended up being EPLF at the end of the day. The splinters used to be called HIZBAWI HAILITAT until they integrate their forces to a single front called HIZBAWI GINBAR that finally liberated Eritrea after 30 years of scuffle with the Ethiopians. Our success was impossible without a united front of the HAILITAT exclusively focused on independence and the current struggle for justice is impossible without converging all pieces of the resistance to a single structure with clear political strategy focused on secular democracy that we are trying to eventually achieve in our country one way or another.
As you know, we grew worshipping EPLF with clear intention of doing whatever it took to make it successful. We gave everything including our lives and futures for this. Unfortunately, the regime refused to co-operate choosing to destroy us instead without any provocation. It chose to deny the people their peaceful survival in their country putting itself at the edge of the cliff isolated from them and the international community, as we witnessed since the last few years of experience. It chose death instead of life and God willing we shall deliver its wish with the same determination and passion for our independence.
In this historical confrontation with the Higdefites where they have become a minority group in the Diaspora, one can safely conclude that the fight for freedom and justice in our country is in a relatively better shape than ever in the past. The destructive elements of the society are breaking apart while the forces of freedom are mushrooming clearly predicting the inevitable death of the dictatorship sooner than we think; still depending on how we navigate the opportunity at hand. His shameful supporters are nowhere to be seen today compared to their arrogant and intimidating presence of the past. They are hiding from the people; cannot even confidently look us in the eyes for the tide has shifted against for good! Some of them are shrinking confused about what to do with their unconditional conformism while some others silently detaching from the humiliating dictator or slowly dissolving to the resistance a piece at a time. It is no more the dictator’s illusive popularity, divisive and deceptive foundation that keep him alive but our failure to patch the scattered pieces of the struggle under a common strategy to Asmara. Interest to change the situation and illusive unity are not enough to cut it without strategic unity because we saw it and have been suffering the consequence dearly.
Things have, however, changed at last. It might have taken a long time to discover said practical strategy to our democratic future but thank God we have it now and we should never hesitate to nurture it into a potent means of freedom for our society. Is this what is taking place?
Dear Professor Araya;
You know how valuable you have been to the Eritrean people since the era of struggle as a young man till this point in time as full professor in one of the best Universities of America. Your outstanding academic capacity and passion for democratic Eritrea were national assets that should have been utilized for the benefit of our society had not the crazy dictator rendered you and your likes irrelevant for his demonic curse on our society in terms of ignorance and modern slavery of the youth. You are tirelessly working hard to change our depressing situation and God bless you for the effort but please allow me to share my view on what we should do from now on to upgrade the struggle to the next level of consciousness based on my observation of our communal activities in different cities of the US.
There is no doubt that quite a few Eritrean organizations and individual activists are attracted to the Bottom-Up strategy as the best we have on the table and it will work but only if most of us understand what it is about. I feel like our people in Diaspora are ready for change but ideologically lost in the process despite the emergence of different groups in favor of the grassroots movement. I don’t think the relentless effort of our intellectuals and writers in transmitting the message through the Websites is working as well as we expected it to work mainly because of the uneducated youth programmed to stay still through deliberate ignorance and of course the vindictive, static and oversensitive older generation that lacks resilience to accommodate creative ideas outside its psychological fixation. The immobile mind is not free yet to fearlessly accept ideas needless saying that we don’t have the culture of reading to improve the situation for a better result.
In testifying my observation in different communities of the US (Baltimore, DC, Dallas, etc), many Eritreans appear interested in doing something about our destiny and I hear them saying that we have to do it together to succeed. There are weakly bonded committees everywhere separately trying to help out but with no clear picture about the strategy the intellectual class is talking about. They don’t seem to follow a concrete ideology beyond condemning the regime and wishing the people good luck. There is undeniable conceptual gap between the advocates of Bottom-Up strategy and the communities or between what we are trying to do and what they are doing reflecting the unpleasant reality in probably most community groups elsewhere as well. I hope I am wrong but I don’t think most of our communities clearly know what the grassroots/Bottom-Up strategy is about let alone understanding how to use it for our eventual success. The current information gap is bound to create problems to the grassroots movement unless modulated otherwise.
Lack of strategic unity has definitely forced our communities to work separately with minimal impact to the dictatorship. We must upgrade our means of communication repeatedly spelling out the details of the strategy to create strong bond between our communities. Everything we do from now on should focus on putting our communities in the same page of understanding the Bottom-Up concept of democratizing the country. We should focus on closing the conceptual gap between them in more efficient approach. We have to expedite the process of creating a situation where the strategy is well understood by the people through direct contact anywhere in the world in order to succeed achieving a network of Eritrean communities on conceptual level of the dynamics. OUR VOICE in Europe, their affiliates in Australia, here in the States and other regions of the world should then prioritize this mission by directly transmitting the philosophy to our respective communities. We need to recruit people that can accelerate the knowhow by directly contacting the people in their respective geographic locations. I believe this is the best way of directly transferring the knowledge to the communities and we should start it immediately by assigning dedicated individual activists in the major cities where Eritreans live in hundreds. Through this approach, I believe our communities can better learn the strategy with minimum cost and elect their committees accordingly. They can then expand the mission to comprise unity based on States or countries that would eventually converge to the global leadership responsible for inducing political change in Eritrea. I think this is within your capacity, Mr. Professor and I hope you will do it as soon as possible. It may be too much to ask but I also encourage Brother Amanuel Iyassu to enhance the effort through direct contact with the communities around the world and strongly remind our people to contribute money to this effect so that we can achieve something before the international court passes a verdict on our question of humanity against the dictator in the very near future. God bless the grassroots movement and thank you!


Review overview
  • Araya Debessay April 2, 2016

    Dear Brother Futsum
    As you have pointed out, what is hurting us is the lack of democratically elected legitimate leadership that will represent all Eritreans in the Diaspora. To elect Global Leadership, the process should start in every city, every country, and every continent wherever there are Eritreans. But for this to happen we need a group who will play a facilitating process. Our Voice have been advocating and promoting the grassroots movement so also Brother Amanuel Eyassu. The button-up/grassroots movement is an idea whose time has come. Let’s hit the iron while it is hot. Our country is at “Aferkubu” stage. We cannot afford to waste time. This process must start soon.