Global Initiative of Eritreans to Empower Grassroots Movement GI – 2017 Progress Report and Plans for 2018
Global Initiative of Eritreans to Empower Grassroots Movement GI 2017 Progress Report and Plans for 2018 Introduction GI strongly believes that its mission of playing a facilitating role for the formation of grassroots-based people’s institutions and electing global representatives
Global Initiative of Eritreans to Empower Grassroots Movement
2017 Progress Report and Plans for 2018
GI strongly believes that its mission of playing a facilitating role for the formation of grassroots-based people’s institutions and electing global representatives can ideally be achieved by the full participation of all justice-seeking Eritreans in the Diaspora. To this end, with a view of maintaining an open and transparent communication with all the stakeholders whose support is critically important for the success of its mission, this GI report will: (a) clarify what GI’s mission is, (b) elaborate the expected role of global executive body, (c) highlight GI’s Documents, (d) discuss GI’s 2017 activities, (e) evaluate GI’s performance, (f) present GI Plans for 2018 and beyond and (g) offer concluding remarks.
- GI’s Mission
As has been repeatedly explained in our previous communications, GI’s sole mission is to facilitate the formation of all-inclusive trusted people’s institutions and electing grassroots-based unified global representative of justice-seeking Eritreans in the Diaspora, using the bottom-up approach. This process starts at the local/city level by establishing Baito-Adi/local assemblies of justice seeking Eritreans. The local assemblies elect their legitimate local representatives and representatives of all localities in a given country will elect country wide representatives who in turn will elect Global representatives of justice seeking Eritreans in the Diaspora. The Eritrean Global Assembly will draw grand strategy for the removal of the dictatorial regime and elect executive body with full powers of implementing the grand strategy in collaboration with all organized justice seeking organizations and elements of change from inside the country.
The only motivation of GI is to pave the way for all justice-seeking Eritreans to actively participate and contribute to end dictatorship in Eritrea and to transform our country to a constitutional democratic country where the Eritrean people become masters of their destiny.
- The Role of Eritrean Global Executive Body
As explained in GI’s previous communications, the legitimately elected global executive body will be expected to chart an effective strategy to remove the dictatorial regime and prepare the ground work for transitioning the country to democracy. The global representatives are expected to coordinate their activities with the opposition political organizations and elements of change inside the country. The level of frustration in the country is reaching a boiling point. Crossing the border fleeing indefinite conscription and suffering at the hands of the totalitarian regime is draining our beloved country. International migration observers express alarm at the rate of Eritreans leaving the country and express concern for a viable nation. It is therefore highly likely the time is soon approaching when the forces inside and outside the country will say “enough is enough” and do what they need to do to remove the dictatorial regime. It is, therefore very important to be prepared for what is inevitable to happen. The Tigrigna saying, “WuHij key Mexe, Meghedi WuHij Xeregh” is a pertinent advice to keep in mind.
- GI Documents Urgent Call, Action Plan and Others
Ever since its formation, GI has issued several documents in Arabic, Tigrigna and English explaining what its mission is and inviting Eritreans in the Diaspora to join it and to support its activities in their respective areas of expertise.
One of the tasks GI did less than four months after it was formed was to issue an Urgent Call to All Eritreans in the Diaspora. The Urgent Call was disseminated on the eve of the 25th anniversary of Eritrean Independence, on May 23, 2016. It was a call that was meant to remind all justice-seeking Eritreans of their moral and national duty to ensure that all the sacrifices that were made to gain our independence have not been in vain. It was a call for national salvation to end the Eritrean nightmare. It was a call that invited all sectors of the Eritrean society in the Diaspora including civic and political entities to collaborate in finding a solution to our country’s problems.
In July 2016, GI issued an Action Plan that explained the three-stage process for electing grassroots-based global representatives, starting at a local level, then at country-level and ultimately at a global level.
In the first week of August, 2016, GI sent a letter to 23 political party leaders explaining the mission of GI and requesting their fullest support and the support of their members. For those political leaders whose addresses GI could not find, an open letter was posted in three languages in many of the Eritrean websites. GI was encouraged to receive positive and supportive statements from some political party leaders and there was no political party leader that expressed any concerns or opposition to the mission and activities of GI.
In December 2016, GI issued a document, titled “Answers to Frequently Asked Question (FAQs).” This document was prepared for the benefit of those who needed to know more about GI. This document, and all other GI documents and videos are available at the following link.
- GI Activities of 2017
- Since its inception GI Task Force has been meeting regularly once a week, every Saturday lasting 2 to 3 hours, and often times more than once a week exploring ways on how to promote the success of the Global Initiative.
- GI Task Force members have given interviews on Eritrean Radio programs, Eritrean Websites, and Eritrean TV programs and Paltalk Rooms explaining the GI’s mission and urging Eritrean justice-seekers to form their local baitos and to elect their local representatives. We are deeply indebted to Radio Assenna, Radio Erena, Voice of Eritrea and TV Tempo Africa for giving GI the opportunity to disseminate its message. We are also equally indebted to Paltalk Administrators of Smerr Room 1, Smerr Room 2 and Hidri Jeganu for giving GI Task Force members the opportunity to have public discourse with Eritreans in different parts of the world. We also extend our appreciation to all the Eritrean websites, such as Snitna, Assenna.com, Asmarino.com, Togoruba, Geregr and other websites who have cooperated in posting GI’s documents. Most of GI’s presentations are videotaped and are available on UTube.
- GI Task Force provided seminars in several cities in the US, such as in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Indianapolis, New York, etc. as well as in other countries in Europe through GI Task Forces representatives in Sweden, Israel and other places.
- GI Task Force members have participated in several national and local symposiums, such as the Toronto Festival, Canada, in July 2017, the Yotobori Festival in Sweden, the public seminar in Germany in July 2017, and the Seminar that was organized by Medrek in Frankfurt, Germany in October 2017.
- GI Task Force members have also conducted meetings with GI signatories at GI’s Paltalk room. Unfortunately, these meetings with signatories were not well attended.
- GI Task Force has met a number of times with leaders of Eritrean Unity for Justice- UK (ሓድነት ኤርትራውያን ንፍትሒ – ዓባይ ብሪጣንያ) to exchange ideas on how best to achieve GI’s mission.
- In October 2017, with the aim of encouraging and acceleration the process of Baito formation, GI issued an urgent appeal, urging Eritrean justice-seekers to make November 15, 2017 the beginning of the end of dictatorship in Eritrea. To make this a reality, GI appealed to all Eritreans in every locality to form their respective Baitos and elect their leaders by November 15, 2017, as a target date. This appeal was posted in several websites. This was followed by a radio interview by GI Task Force members on Radio Assenna. GI Task Force members also appeared on several Paltalk programs with the same appeal. Given the positive responses GI has been receiving, it was GI’s earnest hope that Eritrean Baitos would be flourishing in every corner of the world.
- On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, GI has issued a statement of support, with an appeal for their support to the GI initiative.
- Evaluating GI’s Performance
GI has been making intensive mobilizing efforts in the last two years, with modest results. No doubt, the concept of the need to form grassroots-based global representatives, using the bottom-up approach has received wide acceptance among Eritrean justice-seekers in the Diaspora. In fact many, including some Eritrean political leaders have openly expressed their support to GI’s strategy as the most expedient, most inclusive and democratic approach to paving the way for Eritreans in the Diaspora to contribute to ending dictatorship in Eritrea.
Now that the message has been effectively disseminated, the next step should be practically organizing all-inclusive local institutions/Baitos of Eritreans worldwide. Apparently, our people must clearly understand that GI is a facilitating body with no interest in political power. The responsibility and ownership of establishing local Baitos/Assemblies and electing their representatives rests on the shoulder of the stakeholders – justice seeking Eritreans in their respective localities. It should be noted that GI is not creating its branches or chapters in each and every locality. Each locality/city is encouraged to establish its Baito/Assembly where GI plays the role of facilitating and empowering Eritreans to assume their rightful democratic rights and civic duties for the salvation of our country.
Although a lot of work is ahead of us, there is no doubt that we have accumulated important lessons during the last two years of GI’s existence that would help our performance for the better. In conclusion, GI is currently undertaking a thorough evaluation of its activities and assessing its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats/obstacles in order to accomplish its objectives during the year 2018 and beyond.
- Plan for 2018 and Beyond
One of the major activities GI has planned in 2018 is to intensify its ground mobilizing efforts with GI local teams. GI intends to reach out to signatories, activists and supports for their active involvement to further promote the success of its mission. GI signatories and supporters are expected to create active teams to reach out and encourage all justice seeking Eritreans in their localities. GI Outreach Team has also planned to reach out to all Eritrean justice-seeking civil societies, such the women’s association, youth association, association of musicians and artists, lawyers, professional associations, religious leaders, ethnic and religious associations to support the establishment of local Baitos/Assemblies and take part in the facilitation process.
The other important activity that GI undertaking is to intensify its Media and Research activities. The Media Team is tasked with disseminating GI Urgent Call, Action Plan and other timely information using all mediums of mass communication. The Research Team will approach Eritrean scholars who can serve as a Think Tank team. This team will be expected to identify the challenging transition issues and prepare studies, (White Papers) that will address these issues. To this end, GI will identify high caliber scholars and establish a strong Think Tank Group.
Apparently, GI believes nothing can be better effective and democratic than depending on the people. We can attempt to bring salvation and democracy to our country by political groups and parties, but universal experience teaches us that speedy salvation and genuine democracy cannot be achieved without active participation and engagement of the people. An active involvement and participation of the justice seeking citizens require creation of active citizen institutions/baitos at the local level. People’s institutions/baitos have the chance to elect their representatives and establish regional Baitos and all regions will establish Global Hizbawi Baito that can create an Executive Body with full powers to lead and coordinate the struggle for the salvation of our people and smooth transition to democratic governance.
GI is ready to learn from and cooperate with other alternatives from any portion of the civic and democratic society that can achieve democratic dream for Eritrea. To this end, we believe in open unconditional public dialog between the civic groups towards the salvation of our people. We, therefore once again call for open dialog between our civic groups as soon as possible. We also humbly request all civic groups to publicly provide the Eritrean people their respective experiences, successes, and the challenges they have faced so far and their future plans.
Freedom and Justice to our Eritrean People
Let the People’s Assemblies/Baitos Flourish
Let Democracy Shine in Eritrean Soon!
April 05, 2018