Engaging the potential for democratic change instead engaging a failing state ?

By Fesseha Nair

Engagement with the failing dictators is an exercise doomed to fail before it begins”

The International Crisis Group report on Eritrea recently published in the media under the title, “ Eritrea may become failed state. “ warned the international community to engage with the dictatorship that is uncooperative. The report has defined and categorized the situation in Eritrea as a result of authoritarian political system the country will face the fate of Somalia.

The report is a wake- up call to the Eritrean opposition forces to strive and convince the international community that there is a potential for democratic change and this potential is the Eritrean opposition forces who organized national conference in this summer in Addis/ Ethiopia where 400 delegates assembled and appointed, “ A National Commission for Democratic Change. “ Therefore it is essential that the international community locate and assess this existing potential in Eritrea and explore possible entry points for supporting democratic development in Eritrea. Engaging with the dictatorship not to fail the state of the dictator is just helping the dictator to elongate the suffering of the Eritrean people and destabilization in the region. The process of engagement with the falling dictatorship in Eritrea will never bear fruit but fail because the dictator in Eritrea at this time has lost all confidence of the people and is just depending on a few security men.

Bearing in mind that engagement with the dictator in Eritrea will never save Eritrea state from failing, the international community must instead engage with potential for democratic change that is already working for democratization in Eritrea.

The Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change is committed to democratization in Eritrea with the assignment of transition to democracy in Eritrea in cooperation with the Eritrean Democratic Alliance member political organizations and non member political organizations. The commission is composed of 53 delegates representing the Eritrean Democratic Alliance, non- EDA political organizations, civic society organizations, youth and women associations, and elder veterans.

The Commission founded in 2010 after the conference held in Addis enjoys the support of the Eritrean people inside and outside, It promotes and facilitates national and international dialogue to enhance and strengthen democratization in Eritrea.

The commission is committed to making contributions to the public mobilization to the ongoing struggle against the dictatorship and advance the democratic principles and practices inside the opposition camp. The commission is a tool of the partnership between the political and civil organizations bridging the divide between “ them “ and “ us” assuring the process of democratization through inclusivity and participation which are the common challenges for advancing democratic principles, promoting respect for human rights, consolidating unity in diversity.

The warning by the international crisis group to the international community is also a call to the Eritrean opposition forces to come together at the national and international levels to discuss opportunities and constraints for democratic development in Eritrea and develop strategies to address the issue in a way that ensures peaceful transition to democracy in Eritrea.

The Eritrean National Commission for democratic change must contribute to the consolidation of the democratic forces by,

–         helping to assess the pace of democratization,

–         enabling the identification of priority areas for intervention and,

–          articulating of adequate cooperation programmes and.

–          drawing  the attention of the international community towards the Eritrean democratization process.

I think the commission is the product of the Addis conference that should be used for the benefit of the performance of the resolutions adopted at the conference.

The main objective of the commission is to discuss the advancement of democracy and the priority areas are building a strong resistance inside Eritrea and work hard to get international support. The Eritrean national commission must approach the international community to engage and this engagement must not be only with the government in Eritrea it must also include the opposition represented by its delegates.

The Eritrean national conference for democratic change has already resolved and come out with clear programmes of transition to democracy. The first priority is to organize a congress inside one year where it will declare its transitional political charter and elect its transitional assembly.

The commissions’ joint project is to succeed this coming congress. The commission need work hard to prepare an all-inclusive platform for developing an agenda for long term democratic development in Eritrea. An important part of this congress will be the articulation of the needs of the Eritrean people. The process of consultation and participation is the prerequisite to work efficiently.

The commission must utilize the already existing networks in all resident countries for assisting the process of democratization. Facilities of neighbouring countries should be encouraged and international assistance in facilitating this process must be approached.

The Addis conference has forged consensus and established a common priorities aimed to strengthen the democratic forces. It is now the responsibility of all the stakeholders who participated in the conference to elaborate and inform the international community that there is a democratic potential that needs engagement with you in order to save the Eritrean people from the dictatorship and replace it with democratic and constitutional state guaranteeing the safety of its citizens with peace and stability.

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Posted by on Sep 28 2010 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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