Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VIII)
Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VIII) The dictator’s betrayal may have disgraced him to the point of indirectly encouraging few sick Amharas to include Eritrea in the map of their country. That is as dirty
Fetsum: My experience in Denver Festival (VIII)
The dictator’s betrayal may have disgraced him to the point of indirectly encouraging few sick Amharas to include Eritrea in the map of their country. That is as dirty as he can be and as low as he can drop! But they can stick the map with his picture in their butt if they want to; it means nothing to us Eritreans who only have to wedge a proper struggle and dispose the disease out of the way! You may feel uncertain, afraid or suspicious about the situation but we need to face it with relaxed state of mind. Everything will be over soon; the disgusting dictator in the verge of mortality cannot change the passion of Eritreawinet whether he flips up side down, somersaults inside out or licks another butt in the hood. Of course, he is too desperate to misuse the development for his personal security instead of using it for reconciliation with the people. But this fear and self betrayal can only walk a short distance before they turn against him sooner or later: and there is no doubt that TIME will show us this reality. As for me, I don’t care what he does with Abiy because it has nothing to do with my sovereignty in view of the universe. I don’t expect anything from the Ethiopians but wish things were different with the weak opposition camp so the people would not be kept hostage for that bad man’s apprehension. We could have taken care of the filth long time ago had we used wisdom in this struggle for freedom, needless saying that is the only remedy to the problem whether we procrastinate it or not.
It was in Mid July, 2018 when we were getting closer to the festivities in Denver and the committee was trying to conclude its manifesto before the deadline (July 6-7). In June 17, 2018, Sengal sent us the following message: “Hi Guys: I acknowledge the receipt of your proposals regarding the above subject matter. Thank you all for your active participation. In order to narrow down our differences, as a chairperson (assisted to some extend by Dr Gebre), I have tried to the best of my capacity to consolidate the different versions I got and bring up one draft proposal for our discussion. I hope this will help to expedite the process and be able us to finalize our assignment before the deadline. Therefore, our discussion of today will base on this draft proposal. Please read it carefully before coming to the meeting, as much as possible. Last but not least, please make a note that I am sending it as an attachment with this e-mail message. I had a plan to finalize it before Friday but I couldn’t. My apology. Looking forward meeting you soon, I remain. Yours; Sengal Woldetensae”
Here is the main attraction of said attached document.
“ቀዳማይ መድረኽ: PHASE I (ቃልሲ: ንምምጻእ ኣወንታዊ ለውጢ)::
- ሃገራዊስኒት: – ንህዝባዊ ሓድነት:: Generate National Harmony- for Peoples’ Unity
- ምምርግጋጽ: -ለውጢ ዝጠልቦ “ንቅሓትን ውዳበን”:: Guarantee the required “consciousness & organization” for change.
- ምስዓር:ምልካዊ/ ዲክታተርያዊ ስርዓት: Obliterate the “Dictatorial System”.
PHASE II (እዋን መሰጋገሪ መድረኽ) Establish All-inclusive “Transitional Government”.
- ምጽዳቅ: – “ንመሰጋጋሪ መንግስቲ ዝገዝእ ሃገራዊ ቻርተር ወይ ሕጊ”:: Ratify an Interim-Constitution- for the transitional period.
- ምቛም: -ሱታፌ ኩሉ ዘረጋግጽ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ:
- ምኽያድ: “መሰረታዊዳግመ-ስርርዕ (fundamental change): ኣብ ምኽልካል ሰራዊት
ኤርትራን: ትካላት ስለያን ቅንጸላን: “Fundamental restructuring on “EDF & the Security Apparatus”.
- ምጽዳቅ:ንህዝባውን ዲሞክራሲያውን ስርዓት ንምምስራት ዘገልግል “ቅዋም”::
Ratify a Constitution for the establishment of a “Democratic System”
- ምርግጋጽ: -ነጻን ርትዓውን ምርጫ: Ensure free & fair election.
- ምምስራት: – ህዝባውን ቅዋማውን መንግስቲ:Establish “Constitutional Government”.
- ምርግጋጽ:ቀጻሊ ቁጠባዊ ዕብየትን ሰብኣዊን ልምዓት “Enhance sustainable “Economic & Human Development”
- ምርግጋጽ:ማዕርነት ህዝቢ (Enhance equality)
- ምርግጋጽ: – ቁጠባውን ማሕበራውን ፍትሒ:Foster Economic & Social Justice
- ምርግጋጽ: ቀጻልነቱ ውሑስ ዝኮነ ኣከባብያዊ ምሕደራ: Sustainable Eco-system Management.”
Comment: This final document was Sengal’s original proposal that he submitted to the committee as discussed in my last article but it had pages of explanations that I can only partially discuss here based on criticality to the Eritrean society. To me, items 6, 8-13 do not matter a bit; they remain to be immaterial in terms of priority because their effective application in the society strictly depends on the efficiency of their prerequisites. I, thus eliminate them from this discussion because I cannot talk about an outcome without its practical input unless in wishful thinking state of mind. I thought the final document would include few of the things the rest of us discussed and proposed through the process but nothing here. The brother did not narrow our differences as he said in the message but rather disposed his own mind on us and called it “one draft proposal”. Yet, I have no problem with the material in the condition we clearly specify the challenges and chronologically start working to achieve the goals (1-13) based on criticality. It was different here, however, far below my expectation! Let me try to diffuse my opinion on the most important parts of the material as a matter of priority.
“Goal One: National harmony for achieving “national unity”.
ንምንታይ ኣድለዬ? ደንበ ተቓውሞ ሰሚርና: ጸጋታትናን ዓቕምታትናን ኣወሃሂዱና ጸላኢና ንምስዓር ኣብ ክንዲ ንቓለስ ኣብ ሕድሕዳዊ ህልኽ ፍረ-ኣልቦ ውድድርን ምድካምን ንርከብ:: ወገነይ ወገንካ: ውድበይ ውድብካ ዝፈጠሮ ጸቢብ ኣተሓሳስባ: ንወገንካን ውድብካን ከም ብሉጽን ብጹእን ገይርካ ምርኣይ ዝመበገሲኡ: ናይ ምዕብላልን ምግባትን ባህሊ ከምኡውን:ጌጋታትካ ዘይምእማንን ካብኡ ተማሂርካ ክትእርም ዘይምፍታን ሕጽረት እጥሪና ንርከብ:: እዚ ከኣ ንጸብራቅ ናይ ፍልልያትና ብግቡእ ከነማሓድር ዘይምኽኣልና ኢዩ::ስለዚ ዕላማታት ህዝብን ሃገርን ብኣድማዕነት ንምውቃዕን: ዜጋታቱ ብዘይ ኣፈላላይ ወገን: ቀቢላ: ቛንቛ: ጾታ: ማህበራዊ ቦታ: ወዘተ ሃገራዊ ስኒት ኣማቢዕልና: ኣብ ዜግነት ዝሰረተ ዝለዓለ ደረጃ ድልዱልውህደት ንምርግጋጽ : የድሊ ::
ብከመይ ይትግበር? በኲሩ ዘሎ ሕድሕድ ምትእምማን ናብ ንቡር ክምለስ: ሓቢርካ ምስራሕ ክተኣታቶን ክምዕብልን ከም ውጺኢቱ ከኣ መኸተ ኣንጻር ምልኻዊ ስርዓት ኢሰያስ ክጎሃሃር: ህዝባዊ ሓድነት ንምድልዳል ዝካየድ ኩሉ ዓይነት ዘተን ክትዕን (ኣተሓሳስባታት) ንጥፈታትን: ምትብባዕ: ሓቢርናን ተሳኒናን ብምስራሕ: ስቓይ ህዝብና ዘብቓዓሉ ኩነታት: ንምስሳይዝሕግዝ: ኣድማዒ ጥርናፈን ውደባን ምፍጣር:: ወዘተ.”
Comment: Very good contents indeed that anybody in the resistance cannot help accepting. What is missing is specifying the challenges and scientifically facing them together for common solutions with our respective rights in place. Working together requires common management and guideline, and equal opportunity needless to say topics for dialogue as well. We need to specify the agendas that need resolution through dialogue. We should then first practice democracy by accommodating different ideas within the committee to role model the words into the rest of our communities in the trap. I could not see any action related projections in these phrasings that would open the door for dialogue executable under a higher order or leadership.
“Goal Two: ምምርግጋጽ: – ለውጢ ዝጠልቦ “ንቅሓትን ውዳበን”:: Guarantee the required “consciousness and organization” for change.
ብከመይ ይትግበር? እቲ ዝድለ ለውጢ ንምርግጋጽ ከም ህዝብን ሃገርን ንቅሓትና ክብ ምባል ይሓትት:: ኣድማድ ኣተሓሳስባን ኣጠማምታን ህዝቢ ብዓቐን ንምስፉሑን ብብቅዓት ክብ ንምባሉን: ተወዳደርቲ ሓሳባት ብነጻ ዝንቐሳቀስሉ ምቹእ ኩነታት ምፍጣር: ኣብ ጭቡጥን ዝተማለኤን ሓበሬታ መሰረት ብምግባር: ራእና ምንጻርን ናይ ቀረባን ርሑቅን መደባትናብምስራዕን: ቃልሲ ንለውጢ ዘጐሃህር ኩነታት ምፍጣር የድሊ::ሓያልን ውዳቤ ምምስራት:: ኣድማዕነት ቃልሲ ንምርግጋጽ ቅኑዕን ሓያልን ውዳቤ ይሓትት ነዚ ከየረጋገጽና ዓወት ክጭበት ይኸኣል’ዩ ኢልካ ምሕሳብ ዝከኣል ኣይኮነን::”
Comment: Excellent phrasing indeed but success in this regard requires correctly identifying the society’s immediate and future challenges, designing tasks and communicating them with the people for common solutions. First of all, we the members of the Denver Conceptual Committee should have considered all the proposals, filter them out and organize issues for further discussions ahead. Unfortunately, the opposite took place and we came out of the deal without any specific goal to this end. The material at this point does not specify the areas or tasks it forecasts to assure said ምምርግጋጽ: – ለውጢ ዝጠልቦ “ንቅሓትን ውዳበን”. We, thus did not create the foundation for continuous engaging ahead.
ኣብ ጭቡጥን ዝተማለኤን ሓበሬታ መሰረት ብምግባር: ራእና ምንጻርን ናይ ቀረባን ርሑቅን መደባትና ብምስራዕን: ቃልሲ ንለውጢ ዘጐሃህር ኩነታት ምፍጣር የድሊ: The pledge implies verifying ideas or challenges pertaining the problem and its solution with open mindedness, creativity and research. We cannot solve the challenges without precisely identifying them and the committee should have taken the responsibility of collectively pin pointing tasks, actions, plans or etc. to justify its commitment for hard work in advance. It provided a goal to be achieved without any strategy to process it at this stage of the fight. I, therefore, found this pledge impractical and indefinite in this regard.
ኣድማዕነት ቃልሲ ንምርግጋጽ ቅኑዕን ሓያልን ውዳቤ ይሓትት ነዚ ከየረጋገጽና ዓወት ክጭበት ይኸኣል’ዩ ኢልካ ምሕሳብ ዝከኣል ኣይኮነን:: The people’s ውዳቤ is more important than group affiliated ውዳቤ to the struggle for democracy in any society. The question is, do we honestly believe in that? We have to balance both dimensions of the society (the people and the political parties) to succeed. Both are interdependent, thus should work in tandem throughcrystalized conceptual unity and by the law respecting their exclusive organizational and political rights. We cannot only focus on empowering the organized political parties, although we should support them because we want qualified leaders to lead the country. They on the flip should support the people to locally and globally organize in order to own their political destiny as the supreme power of the society. The whole equation revolves in this fundamental foundation without which the Eritrean people can hardly achieve freedom and democracy beyond lip service. In light of this, I believe we should have spelled the supreme status of the people and the criticality of their ውዳቤ on the paper without hesitation. I, thus found this pledge too dangerous and obscure to bet on because it fails to clearly define “ውዳቤ” in relation to the people or the political parties.
Goal Three: ምስዓር: ምልካዊ/ ዲክታተርያዊ ስርዓት : “ብከመይ ይትግበር? ኩሉ ዝተጠነፈን ዘይተጠርነፈን ሓይሊ ውጽኢታዊ ኢዩ ኢሉ ብዝኣመኖ ሜላን ኣገባብን ተቓሊሱ ለውጢ የረጋግጽ::”
Comment: Another beautiful pledge indeed! Clearly, we have been resisting in different groups based on what we think without success. It was necessary for us to change our focus from its anarchic composure to centralized frame of struggle. This was the festival organizers’ intention to begin with; to use us for elevating the struggle to the next level of effectivity by introducing something new that ignites the dormant opposition camp into collective productivity. But no suggestion to this effect in this statement. It dwells on the old failed form of ineffective resistance instead of suggesting to fight under a common guideline that is terribly missing in the opposition. Although, the resistance will eventually dispose the dictator with the help of TIME, there is no guaranteed democracy for the fittest will take over political power in its current configuration. This pledge fails to propose specific strategies that can change the fragmented resistance by empowering the people. I, thus could only accept it as affirmative statement without creative objective.
PHASE II: Transitional Period
Goal four: Develop and implement an interim (Constitutional Charter) that governs the provisional interim government.
“ንመሰጋጋሪ መንግስቲ ዝገዝእ “ጊዝያዊ ቅዋም” ወይ “ሃገራዊ ቻርተር/ሕጊ”
ንምንታይ ኣድለዬ? ኣብ ኤርትራ ሱር በተካዊ ለውጢ ዝሓትት ኩነታት ስለዘሎ: ብመንገዲ መሰጋገሪ መድረኽ ክንሓልፍ ናይ ግድን ይኸውን::ስለዝኮነ ከኣ ንዑኡ ዝገዝእ ቀያዲ ሃገራዊ ቻርተር ወይ ሕጊ ክህልወና የድሊ::
ብከመይ ይትግበር? ብመንገዲ ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ: ኩሉ ብማዕረ ዝሳቶፎን ዝዋሰኣሉን: ባይታ ተፈጢሩ ብናይ ሓባር ምርድ ዳእ ተዳልዩ ይጸድቅ::
GOAL Five: Establish All-inclusive “Provisional interim government”: ምቛም: ሱታፌ ኩሉ ዘረጋግጽ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ ንምንታይ ኣድለዬ? መሰጋገሪ መድረኽ ሰላማውን ውሑስ ኮይኑ ንክወጽእ: ሐደ ጥርኑፍ ውሁድን ምሕደራ ይጠልብ: ስለዚ: ምቛም መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ ናይ ግድን ይከውን:
ብከመይ ይትግበር? ነዚ ብሓይሉ ኣብ ኮረሻ ስልጣን ተወጢሑ ዘሎ ጉጅለ ዓመጽ ሲዒርካ: ኣብ ቦትኡ ብመገዲ መሰጋገሪ መድረኽ ህዝባዊ ስርዓት ምትካል: ኢዩ:: ነዚ መስርሕዚ ዝገዝእ ሕጊ ወይ ቻርተር :ነዞም ኣብ ላዕሊ ተዘርዚሮም ዘለዉ ረቋሒታት ምሉእ ብምሉእ ኣብ ኣብ ግምት ከእቱ ይግባእ::
Comment: Sorry for avoiding the ረቋሒታት here for practical reasons but I had mixed feelings with ብመንገዲ ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ: ኩሉ ብማዕረ ዝሳቶፎን ዝዋሰኣሉን: ባይታ ተፈጢሩ ብናይ ሓባር ምርድ ዳእ ተዳልዩ ይጸድቅ procedurally speaking. The pledge is another beautiful input because we will have to form the transitional government through ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ anyway but we should achieve mutual understanding today for the pledge to be smoothly processed in the transitional period. The procedural problem will, otherwise render the situation vulnerable for anyone to steal because the ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ will be dominated by the most organized groups in the opposition camp with the executive branch of the government falling at their mercy. This type of ጉባኤ can only empower the political parties at the expense of the society. The government cannot be NEUTRAL in this situation and we will necessarily face the same problem we faced with Bayto (over 40% from the the political parties and significant percentage from their sympathizing civic groups). This means the democratic process can be hijacked for another dictatorship. Nor can I understand why we don’t get this straight and immediately go to work on the Charter (transitional constitution)! I, thus had a fundamental difference on this subject with my brothers in the committee, the difference being procedural or chronological rather than methodological.
Goal Seven: Ratify a constitution for the establishment of a “Democratic System”. ምጽዳቅ: ንህዝባውን ዲሞክራሲያውን ስርዓት ንምምስራት ዘገልግል “ቅዋም”::
ንምንታይ ኣድለዬ? ቅድምን ልዕሊ ኩሉን እቲ ናይ መወዳእታ ዕላማን ሸቶን ቅዋማውን ዲሞክራሲያውን ስርዓት ምትካል ኢዩ:: ኣብዚ እዋንዚ መሰልን ክብረትን ደቂ ሰብ ኣብ ምኽባርን ቀጻልነቱ ዘውሓሰ ቁጠባዊ ልምዓትን ግስጋሴን ንምርግ ጋጽ ብተዛማዲ ዝ ሓሽ ኣማራጺ ስለዝኮነ:”
Comment: This is procedurally correct in my opinion but I seriously doubt we can make a constitution that fully defends the people from a transitional government managed by the political parties. The reason is simple: they can do whatever they want with the open ended opportunity including adapting dictatorship as experienced by Bayto in few regrettable occasions. We are talking about a situation without checking and balancing mechanism here and I have no idea how this contemplation can involve the people beyond pretentious makeup. I, thus could not optimistically flirt with this prophecy without agreement to academically resolve the many fundamental questions around it.
Goal Eight: ምርግጋጽ: – ነጻን ርትዓውን ምርጫ: Ensure free & fair election. ምርግጋጽ ነጻን ርትዓውን ምርጫ ንምንታይ ኣድለዬ? ኣብ ዲሞህራስያዊ ስርዓት: ኣብ ስልጣን ምውጻእ ዝከኣል እንኮ ኣማራጺ ብመንገዲ ምርጫ ጥራይ ኢዩ::ስለዚ: ምርጫ ሐደ መርኣያ ናይ ዲሞክራሲ ስለ ዝኮነ: ግሉጽነትን ተሓታትነትን ብዘለዎ ኣገባብ ክፍጸምኣሎዎ:ብከመይ ይትግበር? ብመሰረት ሃገራዊ ቅ ዋም ብመንገዲ ነጻን ርትዓውን ምርጫ፥ ዓብላሊ ድምጺ ዝረከበ ፖለቲካዊ ሰልፊ ወይ ውልቀሰብ መንግስቲ ይምስርት
ብከመይ ይትግበር? እቲ ዝካየድ ምርጫ ነዚኦም ዝስዕቡ ኣገደስቲ ረቛሒታት ከማልእ ትጽቢት ይግበረሉ: እዚ ምርጫ ዝመርሕን ዘማሓድርን: ናይ ምርጫ ኮሚሽንን ኣባላቱን: ካብ መንግስትን ካብ ዝኾነ ፖለቲካዊ ሰልፍታትን ነጻን ጽልዋን ዘይብሎምን ክኾኑ ኣለዎም::እዚ ምርጫ ነጻን ርትዓውን ክኸውን ኣሎዎ::እዚ ምርጫ: ነጻ ናይ ውሽጥን ግዳምን ተዓዘብቲ: ዝሳተፍዎክኸውን ኣሎዎ:
Comment: Once the foundation is shaky, the rest falls apart. You can tell me you will produce the best democracy in Eritrea but I will listen without reaction unless you substantiate your pledge with good preparation ahead of time. You may say “trust me, I will get it together then and let us just cooperate now” but I will look you in the eyes and walk away smiling unless you chronologically specify your challenges and their associated project management specifications at minimum. We simply cannot forecast the future without good knowledge of today. I don’t see this taking place for the same reasons discussed above. How is it possible to guarantee this promise without a neutral transitional authority? How can a transitional government run by the political parties headed with ambitious politicians looking for political power create a free and unbiased election against their interest? Remember the ELECTORAL COMMISSION works in tandem with and under the transitional government. I cannot see how the politicians in such dysfunctional power structure can deliver the promised pledge while competing for power themselves from the highest political ranks of the society. Has it ever been done elsewhere? I just cannot expect a judge to fairly pass a neutral verdict on his case as a defendant or plaintiff. Impurity cannot produce purity and one cannot be scared of neutrality and expected to produce a free and neutral election from the highest hierarchy of political power. I found this contradiction a mockery to my commonsense but only in the failure of rearranging the priorities and historical events through rational engagement based on independent mind, which I hoped to see forward within the committee.
In my opinion, the following cumulative points should have been registered at minimum for future discussions and openly communicated with the people at the festival and far beyond.
1) The relationship between politics, and Religion and Ethnicity: should we isolate politics from religion and ethnicity? Why and how?
2) Developing awareness about the different types of democracy and settling for the most applicable type through dialogue. There were already two suggestions on the table (Dr. Mohammed’s LIBERAL Vs. my SECULAR) that could have motivated us to start researching on the matter towards conceptual agreement with other elements of the society.
3) Our political problem in relation to universal school of thought. Should we approach our problems from universal or instinctual points of view?
4) Studding Bayto inside out and learning from its weaknesses and strengths. Bayto vs other alternatives could have been a productive topic for open discussion because the house was clearly divided on it. This could probably have given the opposition a chance to amend Bayto’s constitution, investigate its power structure and help produce an acceptable neutral charter and organization from global school of thought.
5) Most importantly, how many types of transitional governments exist and which one fits our society the best? Do we need a hybrid type (political parties and people’s representatives in the executive branch), a neutral type(the people’s representatives in the executive branch) or an international type (international forces run the country until fair election is done? Without going to details, all of us had a clear lack of knowledge and conceptual difference on this issue that could have provoked an opportunity to academically crystalize the matter at this phase of the struggle before it gets late.
6) What are the specific roles of the people and the political groups in the making of the transitional government of Eritrea and its final composition as a system? Where do they meet and split? We have not studied this area (all of us) to have a solid academic control on as witnessed in the meetings. Our poor knowledge on the nature of NEUTRAL GOVERNMENT as in (5) is bound to naturally affect our understanding of this subject matter jeopardizing the entire political future of the society. We cannot let this go now and suffer the consequence tomorrow!
7) Serious dialogue about our national languages in relation to our native languages and the legitimacy of Arabic in the Eritrean society in this regard.
8) Working hard towards producing the Charter of the transitional government through collective intellectual effort based on other societies’ experiences.
9) Discussing the opposition camp’s failure to penetrate the international community and finding a solution to the problem.
10) How to globally organize the people on common conceptual direction so that they can navigate their future with ultimate power in the society.
In conclusion, I thank brothers Sengal and Dr. Gebre for their contribution! While I accepted the outcome in general, I could not justify my trip to Denver and facing the people with only the first portion and this package in the pocket. My resistance on its lack of substance was obvious enough for the difference to be democratically resolved based on our initial agreement. This was something to be seen ahead. On the positive side, we still had few meetings to do before facing the people with the manifesto. Therefore, there was a chance to compromise and I was working hard to that end. What could I give in to gain a minimum piece as a portion of the people? It was with totally ignored points as such in the backdrop and believing that the final proposal was full of TITLES and ADVICES with no specified actions to do, that I wrote Report Number 5 of the activities pertaining our meeting on 6/17/2018 that will be presented in detail in the next engagement. To be continued!