When Does YPFDJ Involve in Renaissance?
When Does YPFDJ Involve in Renaissance? _________________________________________________ As young citizen, I am always conscious about the futurity of my country. The patriotism of the old generation to bring national independence takes space in our national history though
When Does YPFDJ Involve in Renaissance?
As young citizen, I am always conscious about the futurity of my country. The patriotism of the old generation to bring national independence takes space in our national history though it has to be written or rewritten in more genuine way which accounts the merits and non-merits of the struggle to determine the journey for national independence. In most respect the dynamic and driving force in any nation is the young generation that turns dark into light, injustice into justice, instability into stability, poverty into prosperity, but it always matters what the nation invest in citizens.
The most coordinated youth organization which has close linkage to the existing government in Eritrea is Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ). The organization articulates that Eritrean youth have always played a critical and decisive role throughout the Eritrean history struggle; a struggle that has taken generations.
Nonetheless, currently, the position, efforts and character of the Eritrean youths can be liquidly categorized into five classes:
- Youths, die hard to support the government;
- Youths, die hard to support the opposition;
- Youths, opportunist, owned mobile mind, have not principle;
- Youths, potential, but hibernating to endow change at the expense of others; and
- Youths, passive and desperate, felt not certainty about their futurity.
On the side of YPFDJ, the existing Eritrean young generation is now sharing the burden of responsibility in both building prosperous Eritrea and challenging the threats to deny the Eritrean people from their endeavor to pursue complete national independence and the chance to live in peace and harmony. This political perception always mixes the internal weaknesses and external pressures that enable the Government of Eritrea to manipulate the situation to its advantage.
Indeed establishing a prosperous Eritrea is a dream of everyone who aspires to see the existence and viability of future Eritrea. According to YPFDJ the role of the organization is to play a leading role in organizing the young Eritreans and creating a platform where young Eritreans can play significant role to contribute towards building a viable state of Eritrea, and to ensure an effective organization exists where young Eritreans can agree on a common vision.
However, the practical situation in Eritrea questions the role that YPFDJ wants to play since most of the young citizens are found insignificant to involve in their nation affairs with a sense of leadership, ownership and responsibility. The young generation has no or least impact in national policy; what practically the youths are largely involved in forced military conscription and forced labor though YPFDJ describes the situation as form of “patriotism”. The real meaning of patriotism is jingoism and strong national feeling to love and dedicate to the country you belong, but the running system in Eritrea put the citizens in more frustration, angst and anxiety which results excessive migration, unnecessary identity crisis, and spoiled national image.
One of the major goals of YPFDJ is to build a strong, conscious and patriotic youth movement. This goal has never been attained for the last ten years with PFDJ leadership and practiced instable political system. Rather the new generation has failed to preserve the tradition and values of struggle or “Sewra”; and the Front remains unwilling and incompetent to transfer to young generation.
The other goal of YPFDJ is to ensure the continuity of all the values of the popular front that enabled to serve the interest of Eritrean people. Which values? If there is, is PFDJ willing to transfer? What seeds they are sawing?
For the last twenty years the “popular front” has failed either to preserve the positive values of struggle or to cope the more advanced governance system in Eritrea. The inherent weakness of most members of YPFDJ, they are not insiders. Like many other youths inside the country have not been well tested at the time of war and peace. They often have annual trip for certain purpose- mostly to hold meetings, to visit recreations or to see some undertaken developments; they are less likely to understand the actual behavior of the government, and the realistic living condition of the people; or at least they are reluctant to feel the pain of the ordinary people as their own pain. There is a very instructive proverb in Eritrean tradition: “Ab kebidi Tsughub Yelen Tumy” which means if someone is with full stomach, he/she does not sense emptiness of others. The implication of this proverb is that the growing custom of egoism among Eritrean societies which divides the people by greed and narrow self interest.
This diaspora based organization usually gets confused with the idealistic national policies and programme that the government systematically uses to politicize outsiders via media outlets. Nonetheless, theory is quite different from practice. For instance the government has opened schools, but filled with forced teachers and unwilling students; the government has built dams, but do not produce a piece of bread to feed children (i.e. Eritreans have lost the tradition of feeding from hand to mouth what we call subsistence farming that continues for centuries); the government has built roads, but do not allow free movement of people and business transactions; the government has stated human capital as “national asset” but marginalize the contribution of intellectuals and kills the spirit of free academic research; the government has produced thousands of cadre, but never preserve the historic patriotism of the Eritrean people. What does the YPFDJ need to ensure the continuity of all the values of the popular front that enabled to serve the interest of Eritrean people?
The whole internal challenges that Eritrea has faced are often justified by the unresolved border issue with Ethiopia, and “foreign conspiracy” that YPFDJ usually emphasizes in their political campaign. Nonetheless, having external challenges does not mean to destroy patriotism, justice, educational values, religious institutions, and business firms. I do believe that YPFDJ embraces influential and dynamic citizens, who are very successful in academics, can understand the trend of the nation if they approach with sincere heart and mind.
They should work to save the wounded citizens in order to save the nation. However, if YPFDJ is working as a tool to serve the autocracy which permanently torture, detain and murder innocent citizens, only because of their political difference or faith, it will open a black chapter in the national history. In fact there is no strong correlation between the name of the organization, Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, and its stated goals which focus to build a strong, conscious and patriotic youth movement and to ensure the continuity of all the values of the popular front (i.e. PFDJ). There is no any notion of democracy or justice in the organizational goals; it remains only as codification or identification of the organization.
Therefore, if the YPFDJ really endeavors to build a strong, conscious and patriotic youth movement, the organization should put primarily the nation as the center of the movement, not the interest of the Front which is momentary. Secondly, the organization should be courageous, capable and independent enough to accept good and constructive values of the PFDJ, if there is, and reject the wrong values that destitute the Red Sea nation for decades doing a credible research and independent policy analysis. Last but not least the organization should be engaged in more academic, cultured and civilized discussion and debate with any other youth movements that can generate different political and philosophical perspectives that enable to develop the culture of tolerance and to establish a peaceful, united and democratic Eritrea. National interest is first, organizational interest is secondary. Attempts of using PFDJ’s ladder to climb up is a bad mission. YPFDJ needs a swift renaissance to save the nation rather than serving a shield for wrong and destructive system.