The week in review

By Fetsum Abraham I salute the organizers who worked hard to effectuate the events that took place in DC during the Independence Day celebration. I congratulate all genuine Eritreans in the resistance for taking it to

By Fetsum Abraham

I salute the organizers who worked hard to effectuate the events that took place in DC during the Independence Day celebration. I congratulate all genuine Eritreans in the resistance for taking it to a higher level of common understanding on the importance of unity to the Eritrean question of freedom and democracy. I salute all the individuals who traveled long distances to attend the bliss at their expense for the sake of their people.
Please allow me to share my opinion as to what was going on and what we should do in the future based on this experience with positive and optimistic state of mind.
The demonstration: It went very well here in DC though the weather was cold and unfriendly. The forces of oppression and that of freedom confronted each other at the site of the Eritrean Embassy where posters with tragic images of our people under the hands of the Sinai gangs was on the face of the Afwerkists who tried to neutralize the unforgiving moralistic reality through highly amplified GUAILA to the disgust of the observers in the vicinity. It takes Satanic gut and denial to dance on QUAILA with the terrible pictures on display; they did it, however without any shame and compassion.
The ratio between the forces of oppression and that of freedom was about one to ten and it was clear that the situation has changed for the first, from the time of intimidation to this time of shame: they no longer can look us in the eyes and they are now bowing down with confusion and hopelessness.

The political activities

I do believe that the organizers did a great job bringing people like Dan Connell and Tesfay Temnewo to the podium, although there was something unhealthy going on between some individuals in the hall when Tesfay was on the show. I did not understand the problem but it appeared emotional.
I also thank the organizers for making Dr. Alganesh, a dedicated activist who saved many Eritrean victims of the Sinai gangsters available. It was wonderful to see her in person and to learn about her humanist activities all over the place.
There were many people from all ages and professions at the site where the activities were held for the rest of it. It seems like people are now more focused on unity and want to do something about it. There was also no doubt that the Eritrean participants belonged to different groups and schools of thought addressing the common problems of our society irrespective of their political affiliations collectively. The common caustic denominator here being the emergency situation of our people under the suffocating dictatorship, the upshot was a united solution by the Diaspora community.
This being the general understanding of the participants, the group that organized the activities, however, appeared to dictate the show through the following individualistic approach/s, in my opinion. Please take this as constructive criticism from a concerned citizen who does not belong to any organized group in the resistance, nor does posses any material interest from the fight.
a)     The issue being common to all of us, the organizers did not consult other groups and individuals interested in participating in the event as to how to have made it all-inclusive in general.
b)    There were about eight Panelists in two separate groups invited for the event out of which one of them comprised a veteran Eritrean ELF fighter and two PhDs, and one or two more “invited PhDs” who did not show up. The other group comprised bright individuals from the community including brother Emanuel Eyasu. The panelists were effective in affirming the need for changing the situation through a unified resistance. The selection process was, however, privately and exclusively done by the organizing group without any sort of involvement from other groups and independent activists. It appears like the organizers tried to promote their agenda through privately picked Panelists as if the event was made only for their issues. Any group can do this to communicate its agendas with the people but not in this situation where the event was about all interested groups and individuals for the common issue of unity. I don’t think this is democratic at all because no single group should completely dictate on common issues that concern all of us as Eritreans and we need explanation from the organizers as to why things were privately and exclusively decided to be so, if they may (this is not mandatory).
The consequence
We had the strongest resistance for unity to date here in DC but we ended up doing nothing practical to the end of our goal, UNITY at the tail end of it. Although the invited Pannelists did well in teaching us all about the need for a united resistance, they left without any tangible result towards the intellectual debate initiative we have been working together. I don’t blame them for this and neither do I appreciate the missed opportunity to start the foundation towards the culture of intellectual debate internationally but it was a very hard pill for me to swallow helplessly watching from distance thinking about what we should have done: how we should have ceased the opportunity to expedite the remedy for the suffering of our people.

What we should have done

At minimum, the organizers should have focused on pressurizing the Pannelists to form a Committee for the foundation of the INTELLECTUAL DEBATE INITIATIVE we have been honesty writing on with tremendous dedication and hard work before they were released. This is what I would have done had I been invited to be part of the Panel (my qualification immaterial) although I think the organizers did what they could, hopefully, with keen interest to resolve the Eritrean question for freedom and democracy. I just wish I was a qualified individual in view of the organizers for the panel, unfortunately the fittest survived and my wish did not go through this time to express it with excruciating resentment.
The fact that we left without accomplishing anything tangible in this regard translates to delaying the society’s journey towards freedom and democracy by at least a year in my opinion (till we get another chance to meet in mass as such next year and only in the condition the events are organized with collective input and participation of all forces in the resistance).
In the mean time, the fight for honest democratic zeal and unconditional unity of all opposition forces continues and I seriously warn our brothers and sisters in the struggle not to commit this mistake anymore.

Long live the Eritrean struggle for freedom and democracy

Review overview
  • Petros Haile May 30, 2013

    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.”
    Adhanom: 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?
    Dear Adhanom,
    To a extent, I agree on your assertions, but don’t forget I am an advocate of conditional unity, I will put precondition to what i consider the appropriate time and place, when we transform this informal forum to a formal one, then I will have a lot to say , trust me I do ! Although I gave you enough information on my opinion of self determination, and some reference on a scholarly and historical debates, and I just want you to know that I have no problem people asserting their rights through the self determination path, in fact, this issue of ethnic and religious based resistance grew in number and became very visible under the PFDJ rule, and we all know the reason, …. I mentioned this just to bring you back to our original discussions on the question of self determination … during the constitutional debates all sorts of issues were raised, including PFDJ’s insistence to insert an “economic emphasis” on the body the Constitution, and of course others insist on the social contract nature of constitution, however at the end those in power (PFDJ), with the advantage they posses as the ruling elite, determined to impose their “Unitary System” , and the rest is history …. Dear Adhanom, as you can witness the Unitary system has failed , many Eritreans who oppose the government dictatorial way defined their differences as they see fit, some call it dictatorial rule who has no regard to ethnic, religious or ideological basis, simply brutal and determined to destroy the nation and its people to stay in power , others see it from their own local experience, which according to them the dictatorial system destroyed their way of life in all its forms … however they don’t deny that the cruel behavior of the dictator is across the board … but I want you to see, as much as Afar’s, The Kunama’s, The Muslim, or some of the christian sects wishes to see the broader perspectives, but their immediate reality seems more convincing to them, local injustices has a much more impact than to those who suffers from a distant villages … and don’t forget people tend to measure and gage injustice from their local experience, and once the the villagers began to feel the pinch don’t expect the villages to suddenly sing the international chorus of solidarity … no, no, no, it doesn’t work like that, they may be willing to forge a coalition of the oppressed, but primarily their principle concerns are local in nature, so is the possible solution they will propose … but if you design a system to cure the illness and bring about a local comfort to their local problems, then you may have a chance not only to preserve the nation, but to prosper collectively as well … The other perspective is to see things from the eye’s of the oppositions groups, … as Fistum is telling us on his latest article, he himself witnessed in Washington DC symposiums, and it may be a shocking experience for him, but it is nothing new for those of us who followed the history of division and exclusion with in the opposition camps … In all fairness on your convictions s on the merits of “Secular” form of government that centers democracy and human dignity, in fact I was a strong advocate for it, I know it sounds like a confession, but it is true, Prior independence, and few years after independence, I insist, just like you do, I even bought the idea of Eritreas resistance for the last thirty years, not only eradicate the ethnic and religious sentiments, but the harmonious relations among the stated groups could be a model for others, who suffers under the sectarian divisions … but as time goes by , you learn, and you became more pragmatic in your approach and outlooks ….
    I intend to clearly address my conditional unity in the near future, please bear with me ,