Thank You Our African Brothers and Sisters

Thank You Our African Brothers and Sisters The Open Letter our African brothers and sisters wrote to Eritrea’s Head of State, Isaias Afwerki, is a breath of fresh air in the stale atmosphere of African politics

Thank You Our African Brothers and Sisters

The Open Letter our African brothers and sisters wrote to Eritrea’s Head of State, Isaias Afwerki, is a breath of fresh air in the stale atmosphere of African politics and diplomacy. It came on the 55th Anniversary of the establishment of the OAU (the predecessor of the African Union), which falls one day after Eritrea’s Independence Day, and it thus carries a poignant symbolic significance. It signifies a Pan-Africanist spirit as well as reflecting a spirit of liberation that had given birth to a new African nation, following a long and arduous struggle. It is a simple message, simply expressing a wish to visit Eritrea and requesting the President to allow such a visit, which includes visits to meet with government Ministers as well as prisoners, including journalists, who had been locked up without any legal process for over seventeen years, just for daring to exercise their civil and constitutional rights.

Speaking for myself, having been privileged to have known some of the people who wrote the letter, including Professor Wole Soyinka, whom I consider a good friend, I was not surprised when news of the letter hit the headlines; but I was thrilled and most grateful that Africa had come to the rescue, that the Pan-Africanist spirit was invoked in defense of our people’s rights. I was also pleased that the letter was couched in polite, diplomatic language, avoiding preaching and any hint of high-mindedness. The letter even made reference to problems some of their own nations were facing, but that Eritrea’s predicament of total denial of elementary human rights, and deadly isolation, is beyond the pale. Hence the timely and welcome intervention of our African brothers and sisters whose conscience has been pricked and who had waited long to see changes that did not come. And, after years of hope for change, they decided to intervene in a desperate effort to induce change of behavior from Eritrea’s leader.

The dominant sentiment of the letter is a deep-rooted concern for the plight of the Eritrean people, and a Pan-Africanist spirit of solidarity with a people that the writers of the letter considered (and called) heroic. The writers expressed their ardent desire to see them and their country emerge form isolation and join the family of fellow African peoples.

Will Mr. Isaias Afwerki respond positively to the requests of the writers of the letter? Judging by the desoerate comments of the propaganda machine that appeared in the government website, which reflects a knee-jerk reaction by the regime’s Department of Information, it would be unwise to expect anything better. Having been a member of the G-13, and knowing him as I do, I have no illusion that Isaias will respond positively. The G-13, a group of Eritrean scholars and other professionals, had pleaded with him to make peace with his colleagues in the government and erstwhile comrades-in-arms (during the armed struggle) and agree to implement the ratified constitution that he had suppressed. He refused and when they persisted by calling for the convening the Congress of the governing party, he proceeded to arrest and detain them. They have been in detention and incommunicado ever since, and many have either died or suffered bodily and mental harm.

The important point is that all of Africa, has turned its gaze on Eritrea, through the eloquent pens of its men of letters, and democracy and human right s activists. In other words, Africa’s needed awareness of Eritrea’s tragic plight has been expressed by its voices of conscience. We cannot have wished for more.

So, we say:

THANK YOU OUR AFRICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS FOR GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS!  AND GOD BLESS YOU AUNDANTLY!!

 

Bereket Habte Selassie

Emeritus Distinguished Professor of African Studies and Professor of Law

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fellow, African Academy of Sciences

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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20 COMMENTS
  • mekonen semere June 15, 2019

    Thank you Abonna Professor, NebABOY Ezgi Edmen Tienan Zehabekka bism Kullom Eritrauan Kemesgnno Efetu, Kezile Nhauarru Kithilwelnna (ZEYKEWN)TIMINITEY DEREt Yebulun.

    Dear African comrades, thank you for your solidarity and humanity. Praise be to the lion hero Soyinka, this is not the first time he has tried to help. I remember as if it has happened yesterday, when he tried to meditate between the young leaders of our Ganin (eseyas) and the other Guy who said, if he does not like the colour of a man’s eye, he has the right to expel or do anything he wants with that person forgetting , half of that colour of his own eye is eritrean like those he was brutally deporting from their home. I am talking about the hundreds of thousands put in concentration camps and deported to Eritrea.
    Eseyas and Meles drunk in fascist chauvinism ignoring advise by WOLE SOYINKA went on to slaughter 100000 innocent children of the poor farmers children of both nations. (NEHNNA AY KESSERNNAN KEA ZESDEMeMM SEMENNA!!!!!)

    Why would our now significantly demented and defeated Idiot listen?
    The nihilist fascist ISEYAS understands only one language and we know well by now what that is.
    My beloved people rise up to eradicate the monster.

  • Gezae June 15, 2019

    .I reassure the response has already given by the MOI is bellyful for you and the so called African author or journalists. Thus and so, regardless you write rewrite in any language and style you can not make even a dent to the Eritrean and genuine Eritrean people. The Eritrean people is fed up with you and your conductor

    • Asmara Eritrea June 15, 2019

      Thank you Professor for the eloquently worded note to our African brothers and sisters. Their support comes at a crucial time and it is much appreciated.

      The trouble, however, is that the Eritrean problem emanating from the mad dictator in Asmara cannot be solved by words alone. We need blood on the floor to liberate our country from Isaias’s brutality as our martyrs did to free our country from Ethiopian oppression. We can talk and write until cows come home but that is not going to solve the Eritrean problem. One brave member of the Eritrean Defence Force is what we need to s… the devil out. Time for EDF to remember you are there to defend your mother land from external and internal enemy. Isaias is our internal enemy. What the f….. are you doing then when he is destroying your country for which your own people’s blood was shed to liberate? What is the point in using those tools as bed pillows when they can be used to liberate your own people? EDF – it is time to wake up and we desperately need you before Isaias sells our beloved country to his people in Ethiopia.

      Let’s hope Isaias is no more before the year is out and only EDF can see to that. Our martyrs expect no less of EDF and you should f.. use your tools before it is too late.

      Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

  • Gezae June 15, 2019

    I reassure the response has already given by the MOI is bellyful for you and the so called African author or journalists. Thus and so, regardless you write rewrite in any language and style you can not make even a dent to the Eritrean government and genuine Eritrean people. The Eritrean people is fed up with you and your conductor

  • tewelde gebremariam June 15, 2019

    Gezae means a ruler but you are a slave of the impostor isaiasa afewerk. It does not fit you. You better change it to Slave. Your parents had a wish for you to be a ruler as all parents do but you failed them. You could at least become your own master fighting for justice for mankind but instead you chose to be a foot-soldiers of the heinous criminal of the century. You are complete failure. But remember, the demise of the impostor isaias afewerk and cabals is coming by leaps and bounds. I will see you soon in Eritrean prison to spit on your faces.

    • Gezae June 15, 2019

      That is your politics “REVENGE & AVENGE”

      • Amine June 15, 2019

        Gezae H, I know you from FB and I am your friend. I know how you write and move. I will spit in your ugly face, too.. lekbat hasawi

  • tewelde gebremariam June 15, 2019

    Hi Professor Bereket,

    You have credentials of the highest order. As in the past, lend the people of Eritrea your intellectual caliber in their fight against the impostor isaias afewerk and his cabals. My hope is that you establish a group of Eritrean intellectuals whose primary mission is to completely disable the impostor diplomatically at the USA, UN, UNHRC, EU, AU and other major countries such as China, Russia etc. Time is ticking. The impostor is racing to bring his hidden agenda to fruition. We must foil him and foil him well and soon.

    N.B. Ethiopia and Woyane may not be trustworthy crew with regard to an Eritrean interest. It may not be unimaginable to say that, behind the scene, they may be collaborating with the impostor.

  • mekonen semere June 16, 2019

    Thank you

  • mekonen semere June 16, 2019

    why can I not participate here ?

  • mekonen semere June 16, 2019

    Sorry for the in between unnecessary remark above.

  • mekonen semere June 16, 2019

    Thank you professor and thank you Dear african sisters and brothers in particular the heroic and undeniable WOLE SOYINKA the lion of africa. Unfortunately even in this web site freedom of speech is not allowed. Dictatorship dictates dictatorial mind. I can not believe or understand why my response was not published then published for minutes and then removed again a fascinating phenomenon I would like to explore it origin. I came with big and generous ideas after a tragedy in my family. And yet nothing has changed there is even no explanation.

  • Kalighe June 16, 2019

    ሰሚዕኩም’ዶ እንታይ ይባሃል ኣሎ ?
    “ኣብ ኣስመራ ክሽየጥ ዝጸንሐ ዕሹግ ማይ ተኸልኪሉ”።
    ማይ ምኽልካል ጀሚሮም ።
    ሕጂኽ እንታይ ተሪፍ ?
    “ኣይትሺኑ” ምባል እያ ተሪፋ ዘላ።

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