From “Independence” to “freedom and democracy”

Quote of the moment: A parked mindset on independence and a stubborn mind cannot rectify the current Eritrean question of freedom and democracy for they are 25 years behind the clock.   In my understanding, the human

Quote of the moment: A parked mindset on independence and a stubborn mind cannot rectify the current Eritrean question of freedom and democracy for they are 25 years behind the clock.
In my understanding, the human race can do anything for society but only with proper mindset. Nothing will change otherwise no matter how many problems the regime faces and how much ammunition the opposition camp can download on the dictatorship. Many Eritreans including myself were passive for many years because of the long honeymoon we enjoyed as a result of the independence and Afwerki’s cult that achieved him maximum trust of the people. The honeymoon is over now and his popularity severely diminished, yet we are still disorganized because of our difficult mentality.
I feel like there are different types of mentalities in our Diaspora community. The one that entertains a problem without solution, the stubborn and emotional that keeps on revolving only around its empty view of solution, the static or immobile mind that only entertains history and dead issues instead of current realities, the confused that suggests a progressive idea without basic framework, the fool that believe the world is against the Eritreans, the suspicious, and the realistic and creative that advocates mental resilience and new approach to the situation based on the concrete realities of the people.
Allow me to demonstrate few of the mindsets in the classification from commentators in my forum without personalizing my view: it is about love after all and nothing to personalize on needless saying that you should feel free to analyze me in whatever way you want!
The obvious rhetoric without a solution
Alganesh Asgedom: Genet has expressed it well. The fact is: Dictator Isayas is the weakest link to our people and our country. Again, Isayas is always looking for something or someone to crush the will of our people. In reality, Eritrea has been continually bleeding, the youth leaving into exile and by extension experiencing hardship.
Comment: Yes my dear and thanks for sharing but what should we do to disconnect that weak link in between? We need to concentrate on the solution from now on. I rather see us brainstorming ideas on solution to our problems than revolving on our situation without exit.
A beautiful mind in a tipsy mood:
Simon/G በዛ ንኡሾቶ ሓንጎለይ: ትፍታሕ: ከምዚ ኮይኑ ይስመዓኒ:
ሓንቲ ኣማራጺት ተሪፋ ዘላ ሕጂ ናይ መሃንዲሳት’ያ (Electrical, mechanical and software Engineers)። ሓንቲ ምዕብልቲመሳርሒ ሰሪሕካ: ምስ ምሉኣት ካቢነኡ ከሎ: ሕምሽሽ ምባል ጥራይ ‘ዩ!ዝ ኣመነ ኣሜን ይበል! ምስ ገበነኛ ሰብ ብዘረባ ክትፈትሕ ምፍታንኣበደን። ክንደይ መሃንዲሳት ኣለውና? ሓንሳብን ንሓዋሩን ሓንቲፕሮጀክት ሓንጺጽካ: ዓነው ምባል ጥራይ’ዩ። ሃየ! ኣለኹምዶ?
Comment: I loved the idea so much, I enjoyed laughing on it. Thank you brother for this special gift but do you think we should place that ምዕብልቲመሳርሒ on his chair or remotely blow his behind from the west?
The stubborn and emotional that rejects ideas without offering anything
Weygud: How do you maintain total independence (purity) [in the committees] in a society where there are different attitude, deep rooted mistrust and fear? The other thing that doesn’t seem palatable is Liberian model cannot fit to our social fabric and dynamics. We need a systematic, sustained and well organized cultural propaganda by a group with ethos, pathos and logos to induce a change in biased beliefs, negative attitude and fear at grass root level. At the same time, OUR VOICE should foul any infiltration into the Movement from real enemies. Strong leadership, cultural and political propaganda are cornerstone for mass mobilization. Warning:Membership shouldn’t be open to anyone like get together party!
Comment: First propaganda is deceiving the people, telling them something that is not true in order to accomplish political gain. We don’t need this at all. We want to address our issues without distortion and lying to the people. Second, you are rejecting the experience of a society that transited to democracy from dictatorship without any specific suggestion of your own, typical attitude of a stubborn mind. You seem to be against infiltration but still suggest that “Membership shouldn’t be open to anyone like get together party” including the regime and the political parties that have been the cause of many problems in the resistance. You are contradictory and totally lost my brother and good luck.
The confused
Wedizemo baalgrma: Now that we have shifted from denigrating our freedom fighters to calling for the release of those who have been incarcerated for demanding the implementation of the Constitution and democratic governance, we must also distinguish between real friends of our cause and the flatterers with hidden agenda.
Comment: It all depends on us as a unit to do what you suggest we should do through honest unity. We clearly know our friends and our flatterers, my brother! The flatterers in my opinion are all Eritreans in Diaspora that condemned themselves to keeping on talking instead of acting. The mind is scattered wondering everywhere without direction. You cannot distinguish your enemies before you distinguish yourself, before soul searching and fixing your own division and collecting your anarchic mind through focus. The whole world is a friend with proper political navigation except the Eritrean regime and our destructive approach of life. The world loves us and has nothing to do with our condition, we do! The regime is the only enemy with hidden agenda and we are our own flatterers with very thin understanding of our society; while our innocent people are the resultant sufferers of the consequence. It would not have taken us this long and beyond to unify had we been honest and loving to each other.
The mental radiation beyond my intelligence
Teclay: when will the elite speak out the truth without fear and intimidation?? ካብ ሓቂ ተሓቢኣ ፣ኣብሓሶት ቦቒላ ፣ማይ ሓሶት እናስተየት እትነበር ፣ማይ ሓቂ እንተሰትያግን እትሓርር ፣ሓድነትና ዝስማ ኦምስ ፣ኣገራሚት ፍልይቲ ናይዚዓለምና ተኽሊ እያ።
 Comment: Brother, truth is relative and there is no absolute truth in this life. We only have to compromise in order to coexist peacefully by accommodating our differences without prejudice and personification. I, however, could not understand the Tigrigna text that sounds very deep in meaning to my satisfaction.
The static or immobile mind
Hiney: I always wonder the way most Eritrean think, they always way off from reality. Their biggest problem is, they do not know their real history, who they are? They always talk about the war with Derg and weyane. That is Bad!!!
Comment: I agree and respectfully disagree. Eritreans have indeed been out of reality so far when it comes to the concept of UNITY and STRATEGIC journey to Democratic Government in Eritrea. We have blown too many opportunities in this regard. I don’t know what they will do with the latest offer from OUR VOICE given our intellectuals stick with their plan. We will see what will take place then and how Eritreans may take advantage of their idea to practically carry out their responsibility of rectifying their problems this time.
Eritreans, however, have never been out of reality concerning who they were and where they came from. They know they are people of East Africa having significant relationship with all societies in the neighborhood (Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, The Middle East, etc). They also know they brought independence with proportionally equal magnitude of sacrifice.
What they don’t know is how to unite and solve their problems, and how to liberate themselves from gravitating to the past and personifying social matters. Eritreans are prisoners of ego that exceptionally relate to their ethnicities and religions at the expense of self and social destruction. They are sufferers of their shallow and stubborn mentality and that is what has to change.
The realistic mind
Mohamed: Why do not we respect each other?
I think most of us should change ourselves first.
thank you all my brothers and sisters
Allah bless and save Eritrea and Eritreans deki Erea
behabera hemak zereba Eritrea teakelena nekhulena mesinit meselam wedahankum
k.tewolde: No matter what and how we try to explain relationships, similarities, differences, and characters of organizations that have direct or indirect influence in our current dismal situation, one thing remains glaringly true. We are our worst enemy. We are responsible. I order to change our situation for the better, we have to change the way we think, act, our demeanor, the way we relate to each other, we have to reach the unreachable, we have to love the unlovable, we have to be proactive not react to events. In short, let’s be doers instead of talkers. Let’s carve our destiny!
Semere2: K.Tewolde I agree 100%. We have to regain new consciousness, redefine our goals and redirect our strategies. We smell oldish and rusty. And that is why “we are our worst enemies”, as you rightly say.
Wedi Hagher: You are right brother, we are our worst enemy, not because we don’t understand what is happening to us, but because we are failing to work with the ‘other’ and accept the fact that they too belong to this country even when we disagree with them on certain issues.
Testimony: Activist-Artist Kiros Asfaha believes that the tyrant is too mentally impaired to carry out his socio-political responsibilities and I believe it. Kiros spent 20 years in Agelglot visiting jails back and forth under microscopic surveillance till they released him for two weeks to perform in their concert/s and return to the jail then after. He worked that slack time using his intelligence escaping from the country at life risk “leaving in flesh” the people he passionately loves behind.
As you know family is the fundamental foundation of any society because it constitutes the values by which its collective integrity, decency and normalcy are measured based on cultural values, education, technology, safety, equality, freedom and rule of law. ‘Afwerki destroyed the Eritrean people at the roots or family level of their configuration’, says the Artists!
Kiros substantiated the severe family destruction in the country testifying that he did not know his younger siblings nor did they know him beyond a flush of moments for they did not grow up together like normal families elsewhere.
Postulate: There is no foundation of any social order that works without its associated history but the value of history is inversely proportional to time and the realities of new generations in a given society. History may die in terms of time but may not in terms of consciousness; it must, however, phase away for new history to germinate according to concrete realities of a society in question. My parents’ experience with Italian Colonialism had to be replaced by my generation’s experience under the influence of Ethiopian Colonialism and the struggle for independence. So should our current historical experience after independence die in favor of the momentous question of freedom in the motherland from this dictatorship because the current generation legitimately owns today’s history.
Clearly, every Eritrean family has emotionally and materially contributed to the struggle for independence through ELF and EPLF factorial in terms of blood and beyond for the history of our struggle for independence under ELF and EPLF to remain active for generations to come because it is equally personal to all Eritreans. But its causes and effects are historical accounts that have no purpose in today’s Eritrean quest for freedom because the Eritrean question of independence is replaced by the people’s question of freedom to anymore materialize in the current and future lives of the Eritrean people.
As you know our people’s expectation of freedom from the groups that secured the independence has been proven to be illusive through tangible experience where our liberators lost the opportunity to impact our society collectively or individually in this aspect. Whether the people were procedurally wrong or the nature of the dynamics itself was to be like that, freedom has been denied to the Eritrean people for 25 years after their territorial independence. The fact remains, nevertheless, that the immediate result of liberation struggle is dictatorship but the next parking spot has to be SECULAR DEMOCRACY!
Let us use this history for paving a new way of life instead of revolving around the past! The mentality of the people must then shift from the framework of independence to that of freedom with clear understanding that we cannot re-live our history; only can we use it as reference into the future: I declare that the concept of ELF and EPLF does not materialize any longer to the Eritrean people beyond sentimental attachment needless saying that the current generation neither has connection with nor interest in independence as much as it has with and in its freedom from the dilemma of dictatorship. Like my generation had to deal with its history without entertaining Italian Colonialism beyond superficial contact the current generation deserves to navigate its sensation of freedom at the frontline spot of the resistance without necessarily entertaining the society’s history of independence. Independence after all is dead in view of its actuality and the current quest of the people for freedom!
ELF and EPLF are as well history for the same reason! In so sharing my opinion, we Eritreans can only accommodate the difference between ELF and EPLF residues of the struggle through RECONCILIATION process with progressive Affirmative Action privileges (for our betrayed and injured fighters from both fronts and their families) based on the dynamic capacity of the national economy. The era of representing the Eritrean people upon having been an active member of the struggle is, nevertheless, over by virtue of the fact that the common objective of the struggle (ELF’s and EPLF’s) for independence has already been achieved by the people’s cumulative input. The reality that the mother’s (ELF’s) objective of liberating Eritrea was effectuated by the child (EPLF’s) nullifies the concept of the two fronts importance in today’s Eritrean dynamics that paid the bitter consequence of liberation in terms of 25 years of destruction under this brutal dictatorship that conceptually represents the two fronts. Reality says that the concept of ELF failed to rescue the Eritrean people from this mess because it was as messed up as the concept of EPLF had been. Had this not been true, our ELF family in the resistance would have resurrected us from our graveyard depending on its “different outlook and experience”. We the people, thus have no liberation era grudge to politically accommodate anymore for we bitterly lived it through to the fullest, needless saying the difference between ELF and EPLF is none of the youth’s business that only wants to live freely and peacefully in the motherland.
So is over, the era of claiming representing a community without mandate only by virtue of being from that community. The two dysfunctional concepts of representation must be replaced by the best available criterion called conceptual democratic representation. Neutrality and universality should be the new mind’s most significant prerequisites for any group to claim representing the Eritrean people’s fight for freedom, equality and justice.
Our brothers and sisters in this category must understand that we are not in the era of independence where every snake had a chance to sneak into the good will of our fighters and spoil the cause of their martyrdom for personal advantage. We tolerated the ELF and the EPLF because we were desperately looking for independence. This struggle is however for freedom and equality denied by the resultant output of the two liberation fronts that has no time and space for living in the past. It is about transforming the people’s mentality from the old culture of grudge, arrogance, exclusion, obstinacy, division and failure acquired from the liberation struggle to cooperation, assertive humility, compromise, inclusion, unity and development based on the objective realities of the interconnected world and our authentic cultural values all inclusive.
We have learned lessons from our terrible experience with this ridiculous dictatorship and our problematic mentality to trash the bug and better identify our immediate question of freedom and means of achieving it with a brand new mentality. We need to know that we are suffering from SECULAR DICTATORSHIP that equally hurts the people irrespective of religion and ethnicity and that the only solution is SECULAR DEMOCRACY that treats our ethnic groups and religions with absolute equality. We have wasted resources and time endangering our people to this extent of damage because of refusal to accept this fundamental minimum common of our society; we should no more not!
Despite the wasted precious resources in the past, we have certainly reached a stage of open confrontation with our ethnically and religiously polluted political orientation of the past. We find ourselves in head to head collusion with our backward and divisive mentality after dying again and again. This may be a step backward for all of us in terms of time and energy but there is no doubt that it is also two steps forward for our resistance to freedom and peaceful life in the motherland. Because we are now tired of the vicious cycle of self-deception and we know that our old ways did not produce anything except misery. We also know that we cannot go lower than where we are.
In conclusion, any corrupt politician can make money by promoting the socio-political scopes of the master at the expense of people. We have experienced this since the start of our independence struggle like many other societies did in the past. Opportunism being the defining term for such an individual, any Eritrean politician that serves the interest of external forces for money has ridiculed oneself to the point of prostitution, is thus apolitical prostitute as well. Our society has been a chronic sufferer of this form of prostitution since the onset of the struggle for independence, the reason it took us 30 long years of massive destruction and civil war to achieve our nationhood. Our current experience in relation to the self appointed leaders is therefore an extension of the past that should be challenged by civilized or up to date means of confrontation.
We Eritreans cannot support our political prostitutes destined to destroy the society for the interest of others. We have no other alternative to entertain except DEMOCRACY after this much suffering under this dictatorship. We should not aim at replacing the regime by sold-out dictators that have a problem with the basic concept of secularism for the sake of little handouts from their fundamentalist masters. Our interest is not only to change the regime but to democratize the society once and for all. We cannot replace the regime with undemocratic elements of the society no matter how difficult our situation has been under. We have to fight for our freedom and democracy with absolutely independent mind to integrate the diversified society based on genuine democratic values. Any Eritrean political group navigated by external forces beyond moral support should therefore get out of the way one way or another.
Eritrea is a heterogeneous society that cannot accommodate ethnic and religious politics and its people cannot accept destructive objectives that can hardly work in homogeneous societies. Secularism is a universal expression that addresses the democratic principle of societies including ours that we Eritreans neither have a problem using nor help accepting. Our political parties must clearly understand this basic and momentous request of the society and get ready to lead us upon election leaving the process of transiting the society to democracy to the people. They must change their biased ways through inclusive political programs to have the chance of leading the society in this democratic journey. This is the right time for them to reconfigure their narrow ways of socio-political outlooks while the mass is about to practically translate the bottom-up unification strategy based on SECULAR DEMOCRACY as the most common denominator of our society without which no political party shall be allowed to run for the executive office  in the country. Let us work this problem as clean as we can be. Let the political parties reorganize themselves with new mentality and let us make the incoming election of committees under OUR VOICE’s guideline successful via active participation. Then will be the time for Eritreans to confidently say they are no more their own enemies, but only if they make it!

Review overview
  • ogbai September 29, 2015

    Mr.Fetsum thank you for the long and exciting details and explanation. It seems to me on my poor observation, that after the annexation to Eth illegally. We had lost our institution of any sort, and our Ghedli era came in with a dominate idea at gun point. There were no free press except the the official bulletin of the their respective organizations. Then the civil society never got a chance to say any thing except to join the revolution. Into this condition the dictator sneak to power that without any accountability. That is why he is able to bring any one to his jail cell with out any voice heard. If anyone came on his way that he became a victim to die or jail with no court hearing. Our country fall to the hand of the Dictator. The only institution is jail cells and its agencies. Then, here we are living by fear and no right for anything. We have to establish all sort of institution in order to control the government. A government should be hired to serve the people, not to be served as a dictator like we had at hand. What do you think Sir? God bless for your hard work!

  • Mohamed September 29, 2015

    Dear Hawey Fetsum
    Thank you for your Abi lebi
    yes we kan brothers and systers we are Eritreans for ever.
    ajokhum ajona after night cames sun shine uppon Eritrea.
    God bless all Eritreans

  • k.tewolde September 29, 2015

    God bless you brother fitsum, let your message shine through the receptive minds.Yes indeed,the Eritrean political struggle has embarked a new stage, it’s called ‘CLASS STRUGGLE’,a struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed, between the privileged few and the poor masses,between THE ONE who can speak his mind and muzzled majority……that era of liberation struggle is over, whatever highlight or stain it left behind.Time to adjust our seats, and attitude for proper takeoff.Thank you for clearing the fog for those who are still living in DIRFO OR TOGORUBA, we will never forget their contribution.Thank you for making a clear distinction between the monster we are facing today, and the glory days of yesteryear.Love you Bro.

  • dehab October 7, 2015

    Brother Fistum the only way out of this mess is if we believed this nation and government was created by the people of Eritrea but got hijacked by phsycopetic PIA so we should say in one united voice STEP DOWN PIA NOW!!!!! HIJI WOORED HIJI!!! if we believe on our self our voice will be a power for ever and no body will stop us from implementing our staled constitution. we should remember brother Fistum at this moment in Eritrea only very few people are benefited from PIA. the rest of the people from cabinet minsters to the lowest of the state are facing unbearable hardship in there everyday life no body is happy in this land forget the name HIGDEF that was just a name to cover the this evil man . Lets focus on him STEP DOWN PIA NOW!!!!1