Subject: The Ever-Elusive True Liberation that Eritrea Never Achieved — Part 4
Subject: The Ever-Elusive True Liberation that Eritrea Never Achieved -- Part 4 1. Preamble First and foremost, the following lengthy input is NOT meant to be an intellectual dissertation. To use Tramp’s insightful vocabular ingenuity, it is “very, very, very”
First and foremost, the following lengthy input is NOT meant to be an intellectual dissertation. To use Tramp’s insightful vocabular ingenuity, it is “very, very, very” far away from it. It is wonderful to live in a free liberated country where relatively speaking [but not perfect] the notions of democracy, freedom of expression, and justice are exercised for the benefit of the ordinary people. A far cry from the land where I was born and grew up nurturing my MIND, albeit in memorization and mimicking — just to get a passing grade. So, here I go.
I was born in Eritrea but grew up in the ‘rest’ of Ethiopia during a particular period of time when Eritrea was part and parcel of that ‘Empire’; hence, shocking as it may sound, I never really knew Eritrea, deeply! But It is not unusual phenomenon for Eritreans who seemingly have in-born knack to wander around the Globe. It is in our Nature. Consequently, I assume, there are countless Eritreans like me roaming around the Globe. I know of a person whose mother and father, at their age of perhaps 15 and 25 years old respectively, migrated to the far south of Ethiopia (way beyond Addis Ababa). They were the ONLY Eritreans in their final destination!!! Imagine, 15 and 25-years old couple, in a strange country, where they did not know the local language!!!! Nor did they encounter a single soul from their birth place – Eritrea. Unbelievable as it seems, it is TRUE. The common language of their new country was Oromo, followed by Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia). The young Eritrean adventurers survived and eventually became parents of three children who grew up as Oromo-speaking kids, to be followed by Amharic, and English but not Tigrigna, their parents’ language!!!!!! I was fascinated to hear the story from the elder ‘kid’ with admiration for the gallant and daring young husband and wife on expedition to an unknown land. Who said that “exploration” was restricted only to the White Race!!! Here we have young couple on expedition to a strange land where they could not speak the language of the society!!! Eritreans are indeed daring adventurers. It is in our Nature, with all its consequences.
Fast forward to many moons later, their eldest son, well educated and professional with multiple languages [except Tigrigna] visited Eritrea, determined to see his parent’s village. He was also contemplating of moving to ‘independent’ Eritrea. Everybody was contemplating ምስ ሃረርታ። To make the story short, after a few weeks of observation in Asmara and at his parents’ village, he abandoned the idea of moving to his ancestral land. In retrospect, with reference to the development in Eritrea, he ‘pat himself on the back’ for that decision. He is now enjoying Life, with his own family, away from Eritrea.
Let me also mention a short story of another interesting person – an Eritrean, born, raised and educated in Eritrea — truly ወዲ አስመራ He came to see the possibility of establishing good business [his profession] in Liberated Eritrea. In two week’s time he too made up his mind and silently rushed out of Eritrea, with no hope to see it again.
The above two personalities do not know each other. I know them very well, individually.
Back to myself. After having established myself on solid ‘ground’ in education and profession, I too had a chance to visit Eritrea with that itching desire for permanent residency. I remember the pride and sensation that I had upon Eritrea, though I didn’t know it quite well, to claim the label of ‘typical Asmarino.’ But, I had enthusiastic hope. Sadly, however, I too came down crashing without hope. My good friends, with insightful minds, DID NOT succumb to say “WE TOLD YOU SO” when they met me back in my adopted Country. What a TRAGEDY!!! Just to regress a little bit in memory, a colleague of mine from Gondar, Ethiopia, was so mesmerized by ‘ኮምቢሽታቶ’ that he simply declared, with amazement: “ይህ እኮ አውሮጳ ነው” (1) — though he had never been to Europe at that time (nor did I) Ahhh….
That was the Era of Eritrea, WITHOUT being an independent country!!! It was a mystery that Eritrea — being an advanced society (comparatively speaking) more than many African countries — was the last to achieve “independence status” among the fifty-four African Nations >>> as a member of the useless African Union. I stand to be corrected. Be that as it may, the ever-lasting nagging question is this: WHY DID ERITREA LAG BEHIND? As an answer, it is easy but mysterious to blame Issayas for the entire woes of Eritrea, bearing in mind that we ourselves anointed him as our hero >> our idol>> our saviour >> our father of the Liberation of Eritrea, ad nausea. But surely, we know better and know the answer!!! Yet, we are (psychologically speaking) frozen to face the answer i.e. the REALITY. In a sense, Eritrea is its own enemy and, it seems, will keep on being so for eternity i.e. if the past one hundred and thirty (130) years of experience is a barometer for our future. (2)
Dear Reader: Please be patient with my monologue. Eritrea was advanced in all sectors of socio-economic sphere as well as on the most beautiful sport on Earth: Football. Yes, football – my eternal favorite pass time. A particular story was narrated that the famous smart Ethiopian footballer, French-Educated, indefatigable Yidnekatchew Tessema, “USED” Eritreans as catalyst in the development of that sport in a country where football was looked-down by the local people as an equivalent of foolishly, laughably, running after an inflated “ፊኛ “’bladder!!! But Yidnekatchew Tessema was the most shrewd person and clear in his vision. He was absolutely convinced that the development of his vision was dependant upon the EMOTION of the people. Hence, first, he created his own team and named it Saint George with well selected players. Second, he goaded footballers to form their respective teams. And, in particular, here is when Yidnekatchew’s ingenuity [true to his name] came to be the turning point of Ethiopia in the world of soccer. How did he do it? Simple!!! He convinced Eritreans [YES, ERITREANS], that he deliberately forged friendship for a purpose, to form a team in Addis Ababa, Now, imagine, a game against Eritrean team!!! It would be a dynamite!!! It was a perfect catalyst for arousing uncontrollable EMOTION of the respective ‘tifoso’ for their respective Teams: Saint Giorgis vs Key Bahir (Mar Roso), for example. On the surface, it was a sport but in reality, it was subterranean POLITICAL maneuvering. Eritreans being Eritreans — with their legendary deeply emotional stance — the football game was never a sport but a challenge to prove their superiority. Unabashedly, that is what every Eritrean believed, accompanied by derogatory name-calling insults too!!! On the other side too, the emotion may not have been equivalent to that of Eritreans’ but, never the less, quazi intense. And so, football was created and developed in Ethiopia via [what I call] ‘Eritrean Avenue’ shrewdly constructed by the vision of Yidnekatchew Tessema i.e. the creator of football in Ethiopia thanks to the rivalry of a team fully composed of Eritreans!!! (3)
Let me ‘fast forward’ to the development of Eritrea. Over a long period of time, Eritreans were sliding back due to external forces as well as the legendary internal “friction” while Ethiopia – after Dergue — was heading upward in every endeavour of socio-economic venture. Needless to say, the 30-year war for INDEPENDENCE that was initiated by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was the ultimate force that Eritrea dearly paid in every socio-economic and educational institutions. But, alas, that was not the end of the Eritrean down fall. With the establishment of an Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) Eritreans were engaged in the liquidation of each other [ELF vs EPLF], resulting in the most destructive internal war that, in truth, Eritrea never recovered from the effect of that so-called “fraternal” war. We know the unspoken TRUTH, behind the ‘fraternal war”. There was a distinct diverse political ambition by those LEADERS who created their respective Forces for THEIR OWN agenda – never for the people at large. Thus, along the way, a distinct possibility mushroomed for the disintegration of Eritrea – by itself.
3. The status of Eritrea in the 21st Century
Eritrea is one of the 195 Member States of the UN Organization. It is an organization that was created by Western Powers for their own political/economic scheme. It was also a profitable occupation for representatives of the absolute Dictatorships of underdeveloped countries. In the naked parlance, it is called ‘scratch my back; I scratch yours. But I am digressing. In any case, when it comes to socio-economic development, Eritrea is at the lowest hierarchy in the UN Membership. It doesn’t matter; it is the charade that matters to the Head of States of the overwhelming majority – NOT for the benefit to their respective down trodden people at home. The obvious question is: WHY? Concentrating on Eritrea — and taking into account its historical background – one can’t help wondering why Eritrea regressed from its experience and knowledge in various fields of endeavour. It does not help us to blame others for the root cause of our down fall. Therefore, we must look at ourselves squarely and critically examine where we ‘goofed’. If we are honest to ourselves, we should accept the fact that the cancerous diseases of RELIGION, and followed by REGION, RACE, TRIBE, ETC as the root causes of our sliding down to oblivion. It serves no purpose to keep on insulting each other on the Internet, instead of accepting our REALITY and trying to find a solution to our internal problem.
4. The mushrooming of Eritrean opposition groups
It is now taken as a joke that there are over ninety opposition groups outside Eritrea. They all go through the motion of meetings ad nausea and write endless articles as groups and individuals – as I am doing now – pretending to save Eritrea from its own indigenous absolute dictator, not less than the historical ruthless dictators around the Globe. If it is commonly accepted that every Eritrean has a true deep desire to LIBERATE Eritrea from its own dictator. That being so, the mushrooming of so many different groups wouldn’t have been necessary. Consequently, if we are truly honest to ourselves, we must admit that we do not mean what we say; nor what we do for the sake of Eritrea. We appear to go through the motion of liberating Eritrea but in practical fact we are actually occupying ourselves being busy in our spare time. And it seems that no amount of Education and the gathering of Degrees would make much of a difference in the artificial struggle for the liberation of Eritrea from indigenous dictatorship.
Issayas Afewerki Abraha Miratch knew — to his diabolical credit — the weakness of Eritreans, a long time ago. If this assessment is not true, we have yet to see any practical motion that negates it. And, to repeat [hundred times], no amount of insulting each other on the Internet is going to stop the falling of Eritrea into pieces. In actual fact, our behaviour on the Internet is truly a sign of our incapability to do anything to save Eritrea. We camouflaged our weakness with insulting each other. The field is wide open to prove it wrong. By the way, Eritrea is now officially sealed by the closure of four gate way to our neighbours. In short, Eritreans are in a big-sealed PRISION. Will there be an effective outburst of Eritreans? NOT A CHANCE. Historical fact attests to that bold assertion. Proof? Yes, when eleven high ranking Eritrean freedom fighters were simultaneously arrested from their respective dwellings at exactly 03:00 hours – never to be seen again – the entire NATION of ERITREA was at a complete SILENCE, to the surprise of the World – except to Issayas who knows Eritreans, with a demeaning attitude, to their bones. In fifty-three years of maneuvering, cajoling, deceiving, etc Issayas has accomplished what he set out to do upon ERITREA from the beginning i.e. bringing Eritrea down flat to the level of his boots >>> laughing at the world renowned HEROISIM and GALANTRY of ERITREANS of YESTERYEARS. THE END
For what it is worth, I wish to express my appreciation to www.assenna.com for the provision of space for us to express our views >> emotions >> dreams >> and even hallucination!!! I wish its organizational structure is slightly modified to include ‘political’ structure [at least for a short specific period of time] and become a focal point for the Eritrean struggle to achieve TRUE Liberty for the Eritrean People who sacrificed so much for so long—but betrayed. What is being asked is a reflection of a universal desire to have a FREE COUNTRY in Eritrea that we are enjoying in foreign Land. Nothing more; nothing less. But in Eritrea, we are witnessing an upside-down world >>>> no wonder we are dizzy and cannot think rationally.
(1) “ይህ እኮ አውሮጳ ነው”: Translation: “This is really Europe” Yes, it shows the extent of the Colonizers’ [in this case, Italy] ambition and assumption that the conquered land would belong to them for eternity – NOT for the ‘savage locals’ who were permitted to reach only up to 4th grade schooling that would enable them to obey and full-fill simple instruction of the superior white race. In a sense, they succeeded by the psychological impact that left on the mentality of the victims. Let us admit it. We all know our attitudes toward our own people of blood and flesh who were not fortunate enough to go through the 4th grade schooling. Even the identifier name “Eritrea” was colonialist’s gift in an attempt to wash out the cultural and ancient way of Life and History of the local ‘servants’. I stand to be corrected and educated – without insulting, please.
(2) I just read that “ERITREA FOCUS” revealed the formation of a new Group [“UN Secretary General’s former Africa representative calls for democratic change in Eritrea”] composed with well known Eritrean personalities, with admirable qualifications and experience, to solve the problem of Eritrea and aligned Eritrea , at last, in the direction of Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Prosperity. They are apparently saying “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”. Needless to say, Eritreans would wish them good luck – and awaiting to see their fruition. Having said so, it is my firm belief that the FUTURE of ERITREA SQUARELY RESTS UPON A NEW YOUNG GENERATION OF ERITREANS. As a corollary to that opinion I must say that the time is well overdue for the OLD generation [regardless of their past education] to pass the baton to the new young generation, with new fresh idea and completely free from the yoke of past glory [as well as mistakes]. This is absolutely essential if – and this is a crucial “IF” – Eritrea is to be preserved as one entity.
(3) In one game, where an Eritrean by birth was a Referee, the Eritrean guest Team lost to the local Army Team by one free-kick penalty. We Eritreans didn’t believe it! It didn’t matter. I remember how Eritreans, OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE, were devastated. My friend and I couldn’t go to our school dormitory until late hours in the night where every student was ‘dead-asleep’. Yes, we Eritreans were/are/and will always be EMOTIONAL, in all our undertakings, for eternity. We can’t help it; it is in our NATURE.