The Enigma of Political Philosophies: “Unified Struggle for Democracy” and “Compromise- Give and Take”

The Enigma of Political Philosophies: “Unified Struggle for Democracy” and “Compromise- Give and Take” _____________________________________ The current hot political debate, which has recently showered assenna website, attracts a lot of citizens to throw more gentle, constructive and disciplined

The Enigma of Political Philosophies:

“Unified Struggle for Democracy” and “Compromise- Give and Take”

_____________________________________

The current hot political debate, which has recently showered assenna website, attracts a lot of citizens to throw more gentle, constructive and disciplined comments on the flowing political philosophies generated mainly by Mr. Festum Abraham and Mr. Petros Haile. More or less both writers have brought us elegant, instructive, rational and convincing ideas that enable to understand our history and current politics from different angles. This civilized political discussion motivates such responsible and rational commentators to raise potential national questions and feedback with intention to tackle the existing problems in Eritrea though Mr. Salim usually engages in defamation. And he must be thanked because he is doing what he can do to his level at least to provoke more discussion.

In this forum I would like to concentrate specifically on Mr. Petros’ comment which has been prepared in more scholastic manner raising good historical substance to substantiate his current and previous arguments that he has raised. Thus, I am interested in throwing some light to certain particular issues brought as comments to which I have diverged to certain degree; and optimistically, it can help us for further discussion to explore the political trend of the nation.

Petros: “Today’s crisis it is a little more complicated, for one thing it is a host of issues that requires heavy emphasis with the civil rights, and how to manage diverse conflicting local interest within the confines of Eritrean sovereignty … a simplistic formula of lets love each other, would not do it … This does not mean Ato Woldeab & Shek Ibrahim were not a wise leaders, indeed they were exceptional leaders for their time , however the current dilemma requires a different strategy since it encompasses the rights of the citizens interest from all angels …and there is no forign element to blame!”

Me: Mr. Petros emphasized on how to manage the diverse conflicting local interests within the circle of sovereignty of the state. It is a good idea to entertain with such challenges, but I do not agree with you to reject the “simplistic formula of let love each other”, suggested by Mr. Festum, as unworkable approach.

In my opinion, that formula could serve a benchmark for healthy political transformation in Eritrea, because if the citizens, no matter of their differences, should respect and love each other, it will create a ground for synchronized cooperation which can pave way for mutual growth and common happiness; and such scenario can significantly consider diversities of ethnicity, interest, vision, mission, religion, culture, history and other elements as an asset, not a menace, which collectively secure the national interest. But, hatred the other face of the coin, if you do not accept or undermine the simplistic formula of love, that brings disrespect, division, intolerance, tension, mistrust, conspiracy and unhealthy competition, can be dangerous for co-existence of diversified societies. Consequently, the existing political character of the opposition forces has paralyzed the struggle for justice and democratization.

In spite of the fact that involvement or at least the impact of external forces needs deeper research studies, and cannot be used as apology to disguise the internal weaknesses, I do believe that there are foreign elements we need to blame to certain level or at least required vigilance accounting the degree of their interaction with the political affairs of Eritrea. For instance the current ethnic politics in Eritrea is more promoted, politicized and financed by Ethiopia, though it has historical roots and problems. Sometimes the Government of Ethiopia invites experts to consult and train the opposition parties to foster more sectarian politics. Other challenges that Eritrea has faced a growing tendency of “Islamic extremism” more impacted by foreign elements flowing from Sudan and other Arab countries though at this moment it seems silent or possibly get hibernated as the country is in tension with “Icon of Christianity”, Ethiopia; and in progressive diplomatic relationship with the Sudanese government. Jihad has been a serious problem in Eritrea especially in lowland until 2005; and the rhetoric and grievances are still there.

Petros: “Brother Fistum, please don’t forget we were given a highly conditional deal, when our constitution was drafted by U.N representative; to accommodate the diverse cultural setting of Eritrea, and the heavy emphasis of the Tigringna, christian , and highlanders of Ethiopia, in which they found sympathetic ear from the Eritrean highlanders as well … our flag was given by the U.N, and our official language was considered to include both Tigringna and Arabic , The federal arrangement was a go between Ethiopia’s and Eritrea’s wishes and demands, including the U.S strategic interest , not to mention the Eritrean assembly, it was a compromised and conditional offer after carefully studied the interest of the various factions … by the way the independece blocks were composed of many parties, and the liberal party, led by Ato Woldeab, and the Islamic league by Ibrahim Sultan were among the five or six that constitute the block …. here the process was conditional, the application was a give and take, and the composition were very diverse … as you assume it was not a sham and unconditional unity…1940′s and 50′s … it has the art of inclusion, and process of coalition making on all fronts … Imagine if there was an armed insurgents movement exists at that time, it would have complicated the whole process….”

Me: Mr. Petros, frankly speaking your argument is meaningful, bold and convincing through which our politicians can get some essential lessons. But, it is very important to investigate the particularities of time, space and context whenever we want to apply or at least to enshrine the past experiences or tactics into current political developments. Those elements in Independence Block had their own challenges or possibly circumstances to involve in compromise; and successfully appeared as pillars of independence. Some of the conditions that speeded up the compromise were the ideas of partition as you mentioned, violent action of those Unionists group against pro-independence group, consistent involvement of Ethiopia in the internal affairs of Eritrea, strong impact of the Orthodox Church with unionism agenda, the image of Ethiopia as black independent country, the ethnic, historical and cultural linkage of Ethiopia with those Highlanders etc. Having those challenging equations, the Muslim and Christian had to do a fundamental compromise to exist as roots of independence.

Mr. Pertros, obviously, now, we are in different stage with different political realities and scenario possessing an independent sovereign state, but failed to achieve its dream. The basic national question is: what do we do to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous state? Compromise with tactics of give and take? Unconditional union forming a transitional government or a unified struggle for democracy as Mr. Festum voiced?

Even though there is a dilemma of reaching in best decision to involve in compromise before or post autocratic government either. In my opinion, if the opposition parties are capable and mature enough to hold a constructive compromise, it can be a turning point in political development of Eritrea, but what we can do if the political elites fail to engage in. There are a lot of catalyst factors or elements that motivate and determine Eritreans to establish at least to stand up for unconditional unity to get rid of autocracy that could bear a fertile environment to saw a civilized seeds of compromise in the near future:

  1.      i.        Wanting to respect for freedom of worship for both Christians and Muslims;
  2.     ii.        Confronting linear oppression affecting all classes of citizens;
  3.    iii.        Having acknowledged oppositions coming from all sides- intellectuals, farmers, soldiers, business community and any other ordinary citizen as it remains violent for each segment or class of the society;
  4.    iv.        gaining growing support from both young and old generation though there is a gradual change in the political perception of elders;
  5.     v.        aspiration to bring both economic and political transformation which affects each household;
  6.    vi.        desiring to combat a militant, hostile, oppressive and aggressive to everyone no matter the origin, ethnicity, religion or region of the person;
  7.  vii.        endorsing all the fundamental rights such as right to live independently; right for free movement; right for free worship; right for further education; right to speak freely; right to have assemblage or association, right to participate in the political affairs of the country etc;
  8. wishing to establish a peaceful coexistence with all neighboring countries which destroys our economy and throws our brothers and sister into meaningless war; and
  9.    ix.        strong aspiration to form a peaceful, united, prosperous and democratic state.

 

Petros: “Dear Fistum … Who opposes democracy or for that matter Unity, I am just saying the unconditional part is misplaced, and it seems you are using it for a very populist propaganda to woo the unenlightened segment, and for the purpose of public consumptions, normally a public speaker uses such a language to impress upon its constituents, hoping to vote for him/her … but when it comes to the real deal, it requires a great deal of compromising and give and takes, even a coalition makings …. I am having a very difficult time distinguishing the slogan’s you guys often use from that of PFDJ, in fact I can go further , as DERG used to declare “Enat Hager woy Mot”, or the Emperor ‘s “Ethiopia woy Mot”, and yours as well “Unity or Fragmentation”, I sincerely believe we should see things beyond the untimely and superficially designed catchy slogans…”

Me: Mr. Petros, I am not pretty sure how you conceptualize the idea of unconditional unity or the senses of struggling with “Unity or Fragmentation”. You stated that it was done for the purpose of public consumption. I do not think so this is a right political analysis that you came with. Since inception of independence, whether it is well or less organized, we have opposition groups opposed EPLF and later PFDJ. Currently, because of bad political chemistry and brutality of PFDJ, the number of opposition groups gets skyrocketed, but sick, for the last the last 10 years.

The process of incubation is still continuous and quickly reached more than 30 political parties, but remained ineffective and unproductive while our people are getting harassed, tortured, detained and murdered.  No practical force has emerged within the consistent process of incubation and fragmented struggle to bring either political transformation or significant mass mobilization to heal pain of Eritrans. Rather the process of incubation has brought hatred, power struggle, mistrust, and despair among the public which fail to involve in compromise as Mr. Petros argues.

The human dignity of Eritreans is totally crushed; and our fellow citizens get auctioned in the hands of criminal human traffickers either for ransom or body organ harvest. The disastrous political journey of the opposition, failed to compromise, motivates Mr. Festum to develop the idea of “unconditional unity” to remove the autocracy and save the life our citizens during this national emergency. It is time for salvation, not for compromise. Therefore, Mr. Petros has taken the wrong truck to compare Mr. Festums’s approach with that of hypocrite PFDJ and the deceased military junta, Derg.

Petros: “This Black and White approach can easily slide into rigidity, and eventually to a highly antagonistic conflicts, not to mention, it is too simplistic, even for scholarly debate … Just like you painted a rosy picture towards democratic concepts, the same is with “Unity”, in fact the favorite slogan for pfdj til recently was “One Nation, One heart & One destiny”, isn’t this the same as “unconditional unity”, and look where it takes our beloved nation, unless you come up with a clearly distinguished definition and characterization of these over used and demagogic sound bites, no one would take you seriously, just like I mentioned it above , in the name of Unity many crimes were committed, specially as you are proposing “the unconditional Unity”, which is vague in theory, very scary in applications … God save us from the advocates of the unknown!!! …is the language diplomats use to put their conditions out of the unconditional talk offers … but your preoccupation with unconditional unity is unheard off …. Please direct me which science is addressing this issue … its not even valid for romance fiction!”

Me: One of the greatest failures of social media is very hard to identify someone’s identity, background, expertise, personal interest or ego, political position, philosophy and approach, and the forces behind the bar. Now, it is very hard for me to reach in such reasonable conclusion. Previously, I have asked certain questions to Mr. Petros that enable me to digest the discussion more deeply, but he could not answer them. I should raise some potential questions that enable us to understand the issue from different dimension.

If I am not wrong, I usually find your comment that significantly advocates more about Ethnic or possibly sectarian politics. I solemnly request an answer for the following questions:

  1. Does Eritrea have a serious ethnic, religious or regional discrimination or segregation in Eritrea?
  2. Do you think it is a national problem or more provoked by political elites?
  3. Who are the oppressed people?
  4. Who are the oppressors?
  5. If you believe that there is a discrimination, who is discriminated?
  6. Who are the discriminators?
  7. Have you done any independent and objective research on these matters?
  8. If not, can you bring us a well documented statistical figure from any credible and well researched sources which can substantiate the above stated problems?
  9. How do you see the trend of social justice in Eritrea (specifically, the tendency of distribution of infrastructure, school, clinics, electricity, and water supplies to meet the physiological needs of the society)?
  10. Do you think that Eritrea has an ethnic, religious or region based system or government?
  11. Do you believe that individual rights in particular or rights of minority at large can be managed and guaranteed by “overnight compromises” with principle of give and take while the country sinks in emergency situation?

Mr. Petros in your comment, you said, “‘the unconditional Unity’… is vague in theory, very scary in applications … God save us from the advocates of the unknown!!!” I do not agree with such kind of conceptualization or political analaysis without understanding the scientific procedure of problem solving approach. Previously, Mr. Festum has defined unconditional unity in simple, plane and objective way if you read it with open mind:

“Unconditional unity is only to form the transitional government not the elected Eritrean government through democracy. They unite today with all their differences intact only and work under a united front that would be the transitional or temporary government in post Afwerki Eritrea and then they separate to their individual parties during the transitional period (2-4 years) and then they compete for power through election period.”

Equally, I do not accept your analysis to equate “unconditional unity” with that of PFDJ’s political rhetoric claiming “One Nation, One heart & One destiny”. The difference is visibly between white and black, because “unconditional unity” respects political differences and civil rights designed temporarily to get rid of autocracy whereas “One Nation, One heart & One destiny” does not totally allow political pluralism, diversity and civil rights instilled permanently and coercively with intention of power grip and oppression. The idea of “unified struggle for democracy” seems a workable and reasonable political strategy to address our problems if the opposition forces are incapable to compromise with each other.

In fact I found Mr. Petros’ philosophy/approach/strategy/principle, “Compromising Through Give and Take”, more ambiguous, confusing and impractical accounting the realistic situation in Eritrea. Because, have we done an objective and extensive research on ethnic politics? Have we discovered our problems? If your answer is yes, what kind of compromise we need to do? On what basis? What gives or takes? How to do? Where to do? Who decides? The mass or political elites? Are there established institutions, organizational charter, legal framework, efficient human power and material resources etc to implement in this critical time? Brother Petros, if you are capable to answer all these questions, your political strategy may be perfect which can bring sustainable peace and healthy democracy in Eritrea?

I need to summarize the whole forum by stating a very instructive analogy that can clearly describe the situation of our county.

One a resilient pregnant mother has an irresponsible husband, and fails to be a good model and successful head of family. The mother has nine children who have different background, identity, attitude, interest and vision. Their father is very arrogant, aggressive and coercive; and never accounts the differences of his children, because he conceives himself as perfect and always right in unifying them by any means. Consequently, the children become rebellious, but have failed to establish a collective struggle or at least common understanding or harmmony to liberate their home. The tolerant pregnant mother is still suffering from malnutrition, despair, stress and domestic violence which increasingly complicate her pregnancy. She goes to hospital, and admits to emergency room. The doctors warn that the mother reaches in serious condition as she has continuous pain and bleeding. She could not get any external support from her relatives or friends as her naughty husband has isolated her for long time. The medical doctors are in intensive discussion to decide which type of surgery is best to save the life of the mother and child, but the emergency room needs quick blood transfusion, and moral support for her as her husband is not a kind, caring, loving and sympathetic type of person. The mother is crying; the children get divided into two sections claiming:

  1. “Unconditional unity” to donate al necessary blood and hope to their suffering mother primarily and swiftly turn to remove the rude father who has devastated the harmony of the family. Then after saving the life of their mother, and controlling their home, they will discuss deeply on how to address their differences, setting legal frameworks, and sharing the power tightly controlled by their autocratic father, and
  2.  “compromise through give and take”  sitting seriously on table to settle and mange their conflicting interests what time it takes or what risks their mother face to avoid any future disorder or misunderstanding before they do collective efforts to save the bleeding pregnant mother, and to remove the nasty husband regardless the emergency needs.

Therefore, I can say that it is the choice of the Eritrean people to pursue the right strategy to determine the destiny of their country though I give priority to salvation of my people and my nation.

I would like to acknowledge both Mr. Petros and Mr. Festum for your commitment to enlighten our people!

 

May God Bless our Country!!

 

Adhanom Tewelde

adhanomtewelde@gmail.com

May 25, 2013

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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32 COMMENTS
  • Kalighe May 27, 2013

    “ብረት ተሓኒቓ, ቃዕ… ቃዕ ጥራይ በለት
    ወያነ ሓዝዋ….ሓንቲ ጥይት ከይተኮሰት
    ኣብ ቀይዲ ኣእተውዋ ብጣልያንኛ እናተጻረፈት !!!”

    Aya Gherehawariat … zban wube kitblu aribukum …

  • Kabbire May 27, 2013

    ገጥሚ Eritrean Hope በለ ፤

    ደቂ ዓደይ ንዑ ንወለደይ ኣራግሙኒ
    ብገንዘቦም እንዳሽወደን ዘምሃሩኒ
    ኣውራጃን ሃይማኖትን ኣጽንዕ ክንዲ ዝብሉኒ
    ገጽ ሰብ እናተዓዘብካ ከዝብ ኢሎም ከይመኽሩኒ
    ቅንዕናን ሓሶትን ፈልዮም ዘረድኡኒ
    ሓቅነት ክኽተል ዋላ ሰብ ይጽልኣኒ
    ዘይረብሕ ምኽሮም መሊሱ ጎዲኡኒ
    ኤርትራዊ ዓርኪ ዘይብለይ ኣትሪፉኒ።

  • Kabbire May 27, 2013

    ገጣሚ New Hope Eritrea በለ ፤

    ገለ ሰባት ግጥሚ ክጽሕፉ ኸለዉ ቃላት ምስኳዕ ዝመስሎም ኣሎ። ናትካ ተውህቦ ግን ቃላት ምግጥጣም ጥራይ ዝይኮነስ ሓሳባትን እዋናዊ ኩነትን ብዝቐለለ ምግላጽ እዩ። ከምዚ ናትካ እቶም ዝነፍዑ መማህራን ጥራይ እዮም ዝኽልዎ።

    “ሽፍትነት መረጽኩ በረኻ ምሕካል
    ውጽኢቱ እንሆለ፣ኮንዶም ግብጺ ኴንካ ምውካል
    ኩሊተይ ይሽየጥ ኣብ ካይሮ ሆስፒታል
    እዚ እዩ ትርፉ፣ኣእምሮ ዘይምዕዳል።”

  • Kabbire May 27, 2013

    gidewon on May 24, 2013 said:

    “ዘይበልዎ ዝገብር ወዲ ማይቅነጣል ዓድዋ
    ዝምርቕ ኣምሲሉ ብፌርማ ረጊሙዋ
    ካንሰር ምዃና ፈሊጡ ቀልጢፉ ቀንጢብዋ
    ካብ ሕቝፊ ኣዲኣ መንዚዑ ንሸፋቱ ሂብዋ
    ክኸሶ እየ__ ምስ ከድኩ ኣብታ ንሱ ዘለዋ።”

    Pure talent!

  • Ghenet May 27, 2013

    Dear Adhanom,
    Thank you for the interesting perspective. I like the idea of give and take because it is the only way human beings can exist peacefully. However, I do not get your idea of sitting together and settling conflicting interests. In our case we are talking about opposition parties. Well, they are different parties with different interest and different programs (I hope each has one). Logically if they had the same interest they would not be different parties. As you rightly mentioned, we should get our priorities straight –our people. We want the parties to work together because we all have a common goal. They do not have to sit and give and take because their job is to work on freeing the people not on ironing out their differences. If I understood Fitsum correctly, he was talking about unconditional unity on working to free the eritrean people. They can get together and work out on their differences and create coalition or some may decide to dissolve theirs if they find out of tune with the people LATER. Working out on their interests I think should come after the people get the chance to breathe some air of peace and security and are ready to decide on their own.
    All we need now is for the opposition groups to do is to keep their differences (if they wish to) and work on how to achieve their common point- free Eritrean and create a provisional Government. I do not think this is asking too much. But I think our parties and their leaders/members are not matured or seasoned politicians who are ready for democracy themselves and some may lack skills on communication strategies. At the moment it feels like they are focusing on their differences only.
    If they are not accommodating and democratic by principle and action, how do we expect them to bring democracy to the Eritrean people?
    I hope I did not misunderstand your points.

    • Adhanom May 28, 2013

      Dear Ghenet,

      You have perfectly understood me. And thanks for your meaningful and shiny summary you have done.

      Let us learn how to climb the ladder of democracy and respecting human rights values. Together we can move forward though differences are indispensable.

      Regards,

      Mebrahtu

  • Petros Haile May 28, 2013

    Selam Adhanom,
    I meant to respond right away, but the memorial weekend kept me busy, not to mention that I ate a lot and it affected my thinking ability … but I tried to respond to some of your questions, but not all, I left what I consider sensitive question to later days, in fact, I want others with authoritative knowledge to engage … This process may need to upgrade the forum structure a bit, for the purpose of including experts and scholars with out loosing the grass root flavor … Again, I tried to answer even the one I consider sensitive, but through give and take we may collectively find a satisfactory answer to all of us …
    (Adhanom) … Mr. Petros emphasized on how to manage the diverse conflicting local interests within the circle of sovereignty of the state. It is a good idea to entertain with such challenges, but I do not agree with you to reject the “simplistic formula of let love each other”, suggested by Mr. Festum, as unworkable approach.In my opinion, that formula could serve a benchmark for healthy political transformation in Eritrea, because if the citizens, no matter of their differences, should respect and love each other, it will create a ground for synchronized cooperation which can pave way for mutual growth and common happiness; and such scenario can significantly consider diversities of ethnicity, interest, vision, mission, religion, culture, history and other elements as an asset, not a menace, which collectively secure the national interest. But, hatred the other face of the coin, if you do not accept or undermine the simplistic formula of love, that brings disrespect, division, intolerance, tension, mistrust, conspiracy and unhealthy competition, can be dangerous for co-existence of diversified societies. Consequently, the existing political character of the opposition forces has paralyzed the struggle for justice and democratization.
    (Petros) … Dear Adhanom, It is important to define the positive and negative approaches in any type of discussion, however, what I was trying to address is the strategic and principled positions that has clearly distinguished differences, not on how to approach the differences. … again I emphasis on a concrete and practical solutions … In short, all the feel good, or tactical mechanisms you detailed out are necessary to create an environment of a healthy and productive discussions, and one would hope it will create a friendly environment between the conflicting parties … but to get to the root cause of the problem and seeking a fundamental solutions, even to lay down the foundation for conditional transitional government, it will require a principled and direct to the point approach, that takes putting your agendas on the table, not your smile or your happy face, or for that matter the Kuda and The Guoila’s, often mistaken as the most important part of the conflict resolution mechanisms … to me it is purely ceremonial, often to break the ice, so to speak … So, for you to pick the simple word of “Love and Hate” and try to dissect it to exhaustion would not help any of the parties who are engaged to find a common platform … When you prioritize in seeking a concrete solutions on round table discussion … from its original intents, its agendas, and its actual outcome requires a give and take, and on most cases the ability to compromise on issues, and to see the greater good will be part of the process … As it stands today, and by your own admission as well, there are countless political parties , some were able to form a loose alliance on a common ground , while others don’t …. But those who found a common ground has spent years of their precious time and energy to forge some sort of coalition, and still, when a sensitive issues arise, they tend to split again … while many more groups stands on the side line and continue to struggle for a united front with out compromising their principle positions. .. the sanction issue alone can create a major rift , not only between the PFDJ and the opposition groups, but also with in the opposition groups as well, I can go on siting, the methods of struggle, On Ethnic issues and other host of issues, in which the author of “Unconditional Unity” posted on his countless articles … In short, the emphasis on unconditional unity has no place in real political issues, specially on trying to unify the heavily divided opposition …
    Mr. Adhanom: … The basic national question is: what do we do to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous state?
    (Petros) … First we have to outline what is the oppositions assets and liabilities are, Itemize what they have in common and their differences as well, before you even reach to the transitional government formation, You and I already identified some of the major obstacles, be it the armed struggle, peaceful resistance, The issue of Sanctions, sectarian or ideological forms of struggle are among them … and one can discuss this issues not in the circle of the authors, who often resort deception and false declarations, but in a genuine forums designed to create a common national platform … As you clearly described the current reality of the opposition groups, and your proposals for civic societies to develop their call for justice, and hopefully held forums to bring the opposition to discuss the visions and aspiration to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Eritrea … But we need to be very careful not to repeat the mistakes that some of the Civic based organizations indulged in the past … Such as becoming the advocate of one group or the other, or as some organized their civic forums to serve the particular ideological or sectarian interest , it happened before, and its damages were felt by many … even some of the emerging youth leaders are becoming the victim of such violations …. This is where the third force (The Civic forum) can come in handy, at the same time one has to make sure these popular demands to form transitional government will gain momentum … In short an all inclusive group should come up with a national charter after intense debate and resolve the potential conflicts of their organizational and national interest … After successfully complete this basic and fundamental stage of collective development, then we can pursue the following stage of transitional government and the rest …
    (Adhanom) … Even though there is a dilemma of reaching in best decision to involve in compromise before or post autocratic government either. In my opinion, if the opposition parties are capable and mature enough to hold a constructive compromise, it can be a turning point in political development of Eritrea, but what we can do if the political elites fail to engage in. There are a lot of catalyst factors or elements that motivate and determine Eritreans to establish at least to stand up for unconditional unity to get rid of autocracy that could bear a fertile environment to saw a civilized seeds of compromise in the near future:
    (Petros) … If the political forces fail to achieve a compromising positions, and became irrelevant, then you push towards the popular movements inside Eritrea, in fact, this stated option should be part of the fists phase of development as well … while the diaspora civic groups efforts continues for conditional unity, the utmost importance should be given to the direct victims of the system in side Eritrea … This option is an ongoing project. Again the effort to expose the tyrant ought to be multifaceted, and the internal factor is absolutely decisive … However when the Eritrean popular movement becomes a reality, no outside force should be allowed to pollute or divert the movement towards their narrow organizational or sectarian interest. and this the stage where the movement organizers develop their own conditional demands to the status qua … and hopes the diaspora will have a ready made charter that will help the local resistance to incorporated with their own, and not to be caught off guarded …. and I hope we can learn a lesson from the “Arab Spring” … If you ask me it is safer and secure to learn from the Arab spring, than the armed oppositions, that often brings chaos and anarchy, case in point Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan …

    (Adhanom , assumed as Peros said) … The process of incubation is still continuous and quickly reached more than 30 political parties, but remained ineffective and unproductive while our people are getting harassed, tortured, detained and murdered. No practical force has emerged within the consistent process of incubation and fragmented struggle to bring either political transformation or significant mass mobilization to heal pain of Eritrans. Rather the process of incubation has brought hatred, power struggle, mistrust, and despair among the public which fail to involve in compromise as Mr. Petros argues.
    (Petros) … I did not say that, I am not sure where you get that information, in fact, I keep saying I don’t have a problem with the number of the political groups that exists today, my main concerns was on their declared methods of struggle, which some of them are armed on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or ideological leniency , not to mention their dependent status of their host country … Again me or you have no right to tell these movements not to organize on the basis of their ethnicity , religion or ideological positions, but I have a major reservation when they try to enforce their right to implement their God given right through a violent means … I don’t want to see another Lebanon, Somalia, Congo, and now Syria in Eritrea …
    (Adhanom) … The human dignity of Eritreans is totally crushed; and our fellow citizens get auctioned in the hands of criminal human traffickers either for ransom or body organ harvest. The disastrous political journey of the opposition, failed to compromise, motivates Mr. Festum to develop the idea of “unconditional unity” to remove the autocracy and save the life our citizens during this national emergency. It is time for salvation, not for compromise. Therefore, Mr. Petros has taken the wrong truck to compare Mr. Festums’s approach with that of hypocrite PFDJ and the deceased military junta, Derg. One of the greatest failures of social media is very hard to identify someone’s identity, background, expertise, personal interest or ego, political position, philosophy and approach, and the forces behind the bar. Now, it is very hard for me to reach in such reasonable conclusion. Previously, I have asked certain questions to Mr. Petros that enable me to digest the discussion more deeply, but he could not answer them. I should raise some potential questions that enable us to understand the issue from different dimension.
    (Petros) … Two things here, The first one is by simply outlining emotional appeals you don’t get to reach to a conclusion or draft a major political proposals, or declarations, you mentioned how Mr. Fistum reached to his proposal “Unconditional Unity”, in fact I wish he told us his reasoning, rather that you interpret for him, however, all the injustices you mentioned above are acknowledged facts, but by the same talk en not the anger or frustration of the opposition that determines the policy, but a sober analysis and sound strategy based on the overall Eritrea reality … in fact, anger and frustration based decisions, can be self defeating, that often resort to unconditional and sham unity, in which the only focus becomes on how to overthrow the dictator with no consideration to the aftermath…and the inevitable results often is a replacement of one dictator by another … On the other hand, for the last twenty two years we witnessed all kind of cruelty in Eritrea, … These exhibited cruelty did not produce a miraculous unity. Given the hardships and the time and energy spent as dissent groups, It should have awakened or pressured the opposition to consider their extremist and irrational behavior , but it did not change their position in a fundamental ways, the division exists, the bickering exists, and they have not flinched a bit, in fact some are accused of profiting from the misery … In other words, Some of the organization who are harbored in Ethiopia, ,for the last twenty years preached and talked about forming a united front against the PFDJ, and often their slogan is “Kulu Neger Dehre Hager”, yet they become the most divided and exclusive organization ever, let alone to be the salvation for Eritrea, to the contrary their methods of struggle is becoming the major threat to our nation, as we know it … at the end of the day who is standing for justice, the existing tyrant or the divided oppositions … as the itemized questions asked by Brother Adhanom, again I feel like it is a court room questions, but I gave you a researched documents to refer … As the social media issue is concerned, why do you need to know about the personal profile, just stick to the issues you are familiar with, I think that is good enough for now, just for your info, I don’t believe hiding my beliefs or my personality ….
    Mr. Festum has defined unconditional unity in simple, plane and objective way if you read it with open mind:(Adhanom) … “Unconditional unity is only to form the transitional government not the elected Eritrean government through democracy. They unite today with all their differences intact only and work under a united front that would be the transitional or temporary government in post Afwerki Eritrea and then they separate to their individual parties during the transitional period (2-4 years) and then they compete for power through election period.”
    (Petros) … I think I have said enough on this subject, refer to the above comments …
    (Adhanom) …Equally, I do not accept your analysis to equate “unconditional unity” with that of PFDJ’s political rhetoric claiming “One Nation, One heart & One destiny”. The difference is visibly between white and black, because “unconditional unity” respects political differences and civil rights designed temporarily to get rid of autocracy whereas “One Nation, One heart & One destiny” does not totally allow political pluralism, diversity and civil rights instilled permanently and coercively with intention of power grip and oppression. The idea of “unified struggle for democracy” seems a workable and reasonable political strategy to address our problems if the opposition forces are incapable to compromise with each other.
    (Petros) … How did you know “Unconditional Unity” respects all the values you just mentioned , It is just a vague concept, tell me a nation who uphold that principle and achieved results … again don’t confuse “Unconditional Unity” with that of ” Unified struggle for democracy”, please stick with the subject matter ….

    (Adhanom) …In fact I found Mr. Petros’ philosophy/approach/strategy/principle, “Compromising Through Give and Take”, more ambiguous, confusing and impractical accounting the realistic situation in Eritrea. Because, have we done an objective and extensive research on ethnic politics? Have we discovered our problems? If your answer is yes, what kind of compromise we need to do? On what basis? What gives or takes? How to do? Where to do? Who decides? The mass or political elites? Are there established institutions, organizational charter, legal framework, efficient human power and material resources etc to implement in this critical time? Brother Petros, if you are capable to answer all these questions, your political strategy may be perfect which can bring sustainable peace and healthy democracy in Eritrea?
    (Petros) … To give you a short answer, during the constitutional debates, many articles were written, mainly by Professor Asmerom Leggesse, and others, on the importance of institutionalizing “Culture & Customs” of the indigenous population, for the purpose of management and social cohesion, If my memory serves me right, Professor Leggesse, and if I am not mistaken, due to Dr. Bereket’s insistence on the social contract nature of the constitutionality, and other related issues was the reason the commission established the advisory board for “Higi Enda Aba”, “Sharia Law” and other traditional and customary law’s … and I referred to you to read a couple of historical and researched documents by Ahmed Ragi “The lost rainbow” series. and Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar’s “The Eritrean Covenant ” , These documents could be a good place to start … We can also refer to the political movements, and Civic advocacy groups … we can revisit their findings, We can even include these discussions to our Forum …
    Thanks again for a challenging and honest perspectives,
    Petros Haile,

  • ማሊሻ May 28, 2013

    This part makes more sense than the many pages written; Petros wrote,
    “If the political forces fail to achieve a compromising positions, and became irrelevant, then you push towards the popular movements inside Eritrea, in fact, this stated option should be part of the fists phase of development as well … while the diaspora civic groups efforts continues for conditional unity, the utmost importance should be given to the direct victims of the system in side Eritrea … This option is an ongoing project. Again the effort to expose the tyrant ought to be multifaceted, and the internal factor is absolutely decisive … However when the Eritrean popular movement becomes a reality, no outside force should be allowed to pollute or divert the movement towards their narrow organizational or sectarian interest. and this the stage where the movement organizers develop their own conditional demands to the status qua … and hopes the diaspora will have a ready made charter that will help the local resistance to incorporated with their own, and not to be caught off guarded …. and I hope we can learn a lesson from the “Arab Spring” … If you ask me it is safer and secure to learn from the Arab spring, than the armed oppositions, that often brings chaos and anarchy, case in point Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan …”

    • Adhanom May 29, 2013

      Dear Petros,

      PETROS: “… but I tried to respond to some of your questions, but not all, I left what I consider sensitive question to later days, in fact, I want others with authoritative knowledge to engage.”

      ME: Can you state the questions that you consider sensitive? Why are they sensitive? If you have that kind of perception, how do we start the” COMPROMISE OF GIVE AND TAKE” that you are forwarding?

      PETROS: “…but to get to the root cause of the problem and seeking a fundamental solutions, even to lay down the foundation for conditional transitional government, it will require a principled and direct to the point approach, that takes putting your agendas on the table, not your smile or your happy face, or for that matter the Kuda and The Guoila’s, often mistaken as the most important part of the conflict resolution mechanisms … to me it is purely ceremonial, often to break the ice, so to speak … So, for you to pick the simple word of “Love and Hate” and try to dissect it to exhaustion would not help any of the parties who are engaged to find a common platform … When you prioritize in seeking a concrete solutions on round table discussion … from its original intents, its agendas, and its actual outcome requires a give and take, and on most cases the ability to compromise on issues, and to see the greater good will be part of the process … As it stands today, and by your own admission as well, there are countless political parties , some were able to form a loose alliance on a common ground , while others don’t …. But those who found a common ground has spent years of their precious time and energy to forge some sort of coalition, and still, when a sensitive issues arise, they tend to split again … while many more groups stands on the side line and continue to struggle for a united front without compromising their principle positions. ..”

      ME: I concord with you to get a fundamental solution of our problem putting our agenda on the table; it is beautiful idea. But, political desire or ambition without true determination and integrity is fruitless, fuzzy, and squashy. Our people have got suffered more than a decade, the opposition groups have never done any comprehensive “compromise on the basis of give and take” of what you advocated for. You do know very well in what circumstances that our country is found – miserable life with horrible system. What emergency action can be taken until popular movement comes, because the silence of public during January military movement in Ministry of Information was disappointing? Please check the analogy that I have provided previously indicated in what critical situation we are in; and what action has to be taken:

      “One a resilient pregnant mother has an irresponsible husband, and fails to be a good model and successful head of family. The mother has nine children who have different background, identity, attitude, interest and vision. Their father is very arrogant, aggressive and coercive; and never accounts the differences of his children, because he conceives himself as perfect and always right in unifying them by any means. Consequently, the children become rebellious, but have failed to establish a collective struggle or at least common understanding or harmony to liberate their home. The tolerant pregnant mother is still suffering from malnutrition, despair, stress and domestic violence which increasingly complicate her pregnancy. She goes to hospital, and admits to emergency room. The doctors warn that the mother reaches in serious condition as she has continuous pain and bleeding. She could not get any external support from her relatives or friends as her naughty husband has isolated her for long time. The medical doctors are in intensive discussion to decide which type of surgery is best to save the life of the mother and child, but the emergency room needs quick blood transfusion, and moral support for her as her husband is not a kind, caring, loving and sympathetic type of person. The mother is crying; the children get divided into two sections claiming:

      1. “Unconditional unity” to donate al necessary blood and hope to their suffering mother primarily and swiftly turn to remove the rude father who has devastated the harmony of the family. Then after saving the life of their mother, and controlling their home, they will discuss deeply on how to address their differences, setting legal frameworks, and sharing the power tightly controlled by their autocratic father, and

      2. “compromise through give and take” sitting seriously on table to settle and mange their conflicting interests what time it takes or what risks their mother face to avoid any future disorder or misunderstanding before they do collective efforts to save the bleeding pregnant mother, and to remove the nasty husband regardless the emergency needs.
      Therefore, I can say that it is the choice of the Eritrean people to pursue the right strategy to determine the destiny of their country though I give priority to salvation of my people and my nation.”

      I have never experienced any form of smile or happy face or for that matter the “Kuda” and the “Guoila” as the most important part of the conflict resolution mechanisms in Eritrea. Rather we have gentle traditional laws that regulate the behavior of the people; and to resolve conflicts, though the government has not been able to enhance them. Besides, art, whatever it is, was an integrated tool that Eritreans used to express their opposition in 1950’s and 1960’s; and later used to mobilize and inspire the mass to be part of the struggle for independence. Now, art whether it is in “Kuda” or “Guoila” or in other forms, it helps the dissected political parties or possibly entities to share history, culture and experiences which brings more harmony and tolerance among them, but it does not mean a concrete solution.

      PETROS “… How did you know “Unconditional Unity” respects all the values you just mentioned , It is just a vague concept, tell me a nation who uphold that principle and achieved results … again don’t confuse “Unconditional Unity” with that of ” Unified struggle for democracy”, please stick with the subject matter ….”

      Me: … I can stick to the subject as you wish- “Unconditional Unity” is a prerequisite as the opposition groups have failed to do compromise taking a brave action to discuss their agenda on the table. In spite of the fact that Compromise based on GIVE and TAKE can bring a fundamental solution to the existing problem, it demands time, wisdom, tolerance, optimism, integrity, resource and determination. I do not think so our opposition groups are capable enough to take such a tough homework. But, if they can, I am happy to see it.

      Mr. Festum said that “Unconditional Unity” is temporary aimed at eradicating autocracy. It allows technical relationship, not strategic, because the united elements have different interests; and later they will sit for compromise. What it makes them to be united is only because of the common enemy, and specifically PFDJ.

      Gedafi of Libya was removed by different political entities or groups which had different political interests or agendas – establishing Islamic or Secular State or regional autonomy; and other interested in power or liberation or or ethnic rights or organized revenge etc. They did have divergent political outlooks, but they succeeded to remove the tyranny regime though they are in process to form a solid government. I do not want to copy and paste Libyan strategies in my country, because we are different in many respects. But, we can take a good lesson out of it on how divergent political entities can remove a common enemy establish a technical unity.

      PETORS: “To give you a short answer, during the constitutional debates, many articles were written, mainly by Professor Asmerom Leggesse, and others, on the importance of institutionalizing “Culture & Customs” of the indigenous population, for the purpose of management and social cohesion, If my memory serves me right, Professor Leggesse, and if I am not mistaken, due to Dr. Bereket’s insistence on the social contract nature of the constitutionality, and other related issues was the reason the commission established the advisory board for “Higi Enda Aba”, “Sharia Law” and other traditional and customary law’s … and I referred to you to read a couple of historical and researched documents by Ahmed Ragi “The lost rainbow” series. and Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar’s “The Eritrean Covenant ” , These documents could be a good place to start … We can also refer to the political movements, and Civic advocacy groups … we can revisit their findings, We can even include these discussions to our…”

      Me: Brother Petro, I do respect our distinguished Professors such as Asmerom Leggesse, Berekhet Habteselassie and others who are capable to do a more credible research which can help to develop a good policy or program. Historically speaking, we do not have any problem to deal with the customary laws which have gone for centuries. To greater or lesser extent the customary laws which developed by different ethnic groups or possibly regions, are still in practice; we are proud of it though the existing regime causes a lot of damage over it.

      Dear brother Petros, Eritrean is a land of Muslims and Christians; and they are supposed to co-exist peacefully with a sense of respect and tolerance. On my side I strongly support the formulation of secular state which respects individual faiths. If they need to pursue “Sharia Law” at individual level, it is their choice. But, I robustly reject any imposition of “Sharia Law “ over the state.

      Mr. Petros stated, “I referred to you to read a couple of historical and researched documents by Ahmed Ragi “The lost rainbow” series and Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar’s “The Eritrean Covenant” , These documents could be a good place to start …” Brother Petros, what I believe: a political motivated research, which usually loses objectivity, validity and reliability, cannot bring us a healthy information or analysis that enables us to reach in more reasonable, concrete and productive decision in order to solve our problems. Let me attach you the source analysis given to “The Eritrean Convenant” by Stephanos on August 2010.

      Thanks for your insightful comment!!

      Hawika Adhanom

  • Bahta Hagos May 28, 2013

    Monkey is trying to invest political capital on the youths!!!!

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