An urgent call for unity of all forces for democratic change in Eritrea

By Fesseha Nair


The unity of the opposition forces living inside and outside Eritrea irrespective of their political affiliation are now to come together and save the Eritrean people from the never endless sufferings under the rogue regime in Asmara. The regime is in desperation and in odds with the world community in general and in conflict with the sole super power –USA. The pronouncements of USA’s  assistant secretary of state for African affairs have had realised that  destabilization in the region of the Horn of Africa by the government in Eritrea has reached its zenith and its removal is the prerequisite for establishing peace and democracy internally and externally.


It is now realized that the dictator in Eritrea is in crisis and being isolated from the world community. While the dictator in Eritrea is isolated, the opposition forces should escalate their activities. It is time to create, build and expand resistance capacities. During this time campaigns of selective and joint actions should be launched with clear political objectives. The combination of these campaigns and building of coalitions and united broad fronts can produce widespread international attention favourable to the democratic forces.


What the opposition need to know is shift of strategies and assessing how these strategies be implemented, in this case, what is required is to calculate what are the shifts, what can be done to strengthen and regain the initiative of uniting these forces?


The Eritrean opposition is divided not in issues but personalities, in such situation, it is necessary to identify the problems/ hinders for joint works, make a strategic reassessment, shift struggle responsibilities, mobilize additional sources of power and develop alternative courses of action.


As the dictatorship is collapsing, how can the opposition forces capitalize on these regional and international opportunities and move towards paralyzing the dictatorship?


This time is not for theory but practical implementation. I propose a shift of strategy as follows:


                                    Road Map of Unity for the Eritrean Opposition Forces


  1. Concept
  2. Process
  3. Objectives
  4. Implementation



  1. Concept: The Eritrean definition of the unity irrespective of their political affiliations who are willing to contribute to the change of the system and democratization in Eritrea is now urgent under these opportune regional and international politics. Inviting and encouraging the full participation of the Eritrean Diaspora needs first the coming together of the all political opposition organization regardless their size in building democratic Eritrea.


The Eritrean Democratic Alliance of the Seven organizations has declared its commitment to unity of the Eritrean Forces based on this resolution, it is important to convene a conference dialogue with the diaspora Eritrea starting the unity and integrating process. A shared vision for sustainable development to address common challenges is now urgent before these opportunities disappear.


The Awate .com interview responses from the interviewed/ Adhanom Gebremariam, Tewolde Gebreselassie, Mesfin Hagos, Abdalla Adem, Abushakir and others have the same opinion on the Eritrean government and have made clear their stand with the policy of the USA.


  1. Process:The unity process can be divided in phases.


Phase 1. Reconciling the political leaders of the opposition organizations to work on common issues/ values removing the destabilzer/ dictator and evade Eritrea from the list of terrorism

–          Democracy/ Values

–          Human rights

–          Rule of law

–          Good governance


Phase 2. Reconciling the civil society with political organization.


In order to strengthen the relationship of the political and civil society we should work on :

–          Building confidence and trust between political organizations and civil society.

–          Supporting political organizations so that they can get legitimacy.

–          Engaging in real dialogue, consultations and information exchange between political organizations and civil society

–          Strengthening of organic linkages existing between political and civil organizations.


Collaborative exchanges are the way to go among political organizations, civil society organizations. Democracy means people’s sovereignty, but sovereignty cannot be effectively exercised without channels to encourage the exchange of ideas and convey people’s choices. After all democracy is a collective enterprise for building a better future for all citizens. Without a reasonable degree of dialogue and interaction between political organizations and civil society the values of pluralism and mutual respect cannot thrive. Joint activities of discussion, debate, celebration and commemoration thus ought to be encouraged between political and civil organizations.

3. Objectives:  The objective of the road map of unity is to bring together all forces for democracy in Eritrea against the dictator. The aim of this road map is to identify the obstacles and opportunities to unify the forces. It is to develop and establish a sustainable partnership between and amongst members of the political and civil society organizations. It is to develop sustainable dialogue between members of the political and civil society organizations to contribute to the downfall of the dictator and build democratic Eritrea.

 It is to outline how to work together, identify what projects and process will facilitate this establishment and what the civil society can do to promote the agenda of downfall of the dictator and building democracy in Eritrea.




  1. Implementation:


–          Organizing regional consultative conferences

–          Organizing workshops on issues of contest

–          Organizing Unity  and Reconciliation conferences

–          Organizing Symposium  on  cooperation and development

After successful dialogues and conferences, all the opposition forces either political or civic convene a comprehensive national conference on issues that can help us lay down ground for democratic transition.



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Posted by on Sep 19 2007 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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