10 June 2005

In this era of globalization we are living in a world of great socio-economic and political dynamics. While the notion and intent of all governments of the world have been geared towards strengthening and developing their economic and political integration, putting the required effort to prevent any possible wars between their peoples, promoting good governance, and strengthening their solidarity and cooperation for sustainable peace, democracy and development, the regime in Eritrea has uniformly been engaged, internally and externally, in acts of ultra-oppression and aggression. Internally the regime has become the prime actor in violating gross human and people’s rights, the root cause of massive brain drain, and socio-economic and political instability. And externally the regime has extensively been engaged in political discourses that bear and convey spirits of war and aggression with all our neighboring countries and has been known for its ill-foreign policy with the rest of the world. These practices have been manifested by the daily abhorrent propagandas that have been disseminated by the regime’s channels of communication, which have potential attachments of war and terror. This has been deliberately done to obsess and dictate the minds of the people of Eritrea in order not to think and raise questions for peace, democracy and development.  

Now more than ever the people of Eritrea finds it self in an extreme suffrage by its own government than it has ever seen from the previous regimes. Factors (variables) that constitute the excessive suffrage are innumerable. To single out some, the PFDJ is the sole ruling political party, which allows no other political parties in the country. The absolute inexistence of other political parties and civic movements has been the pertinent attribute for the regime to ride freely in the country without any crosschecking and/or cross pressuring. Boldly conceived the regime also had no sense of a democratic tradition from it very nature. Moreover, the regime has been void of any kind of governing legal and other functional institutions, and national macro-economic policy with a vision to transform the country. Viewed from this background, one can confidently suggest that the regime in Eritrea has been disruptive and dysfunctional when examined and evaluated against its performance ever since it has come to power. Especially, against the background that after almost 14 years of self-rule, one cannot say, with the help of statistics or otherwise, that the regime in Eritrea has managed to establish a constitutional government that values the democratic rights and freedom of its citizens. The complete absence of the above-mentioned, some from the many, scenarios have been the root cause for and inflicted the current political crises. As a consequence, Eritrea is now in a critical and alarming situation, which possibly might lead to a complete failure if not addressed promptly.

At the moment there are several Eritrean political opposition parties, civic movements, different organizations and individuals scattered all over the world who are struggling with the vision of bringing about sustainable peace, democracy and development in Eritrea and, most importantly to live together peacefully with our neighboring countries. Now it is not important to list the names and number of the present political parties or else to specify who did/does what or why. The important question is what has been achieved so far in the history of these fragmented opposition parties to bring about a sustainable solution to the Eritrean people???  

Although an adequate analysis to the achievements of each and every Eritrean opposition party – regardless of its age – cannot be fitted within the covers of this script, one can say it has been a discouraging prospect because almost nothing has been done to knock the ears of the people of Eritrea. The political tradition of the Eritrean opposition parties has viciously been circumscribed to gloss over differences, and making pretences that these differences do not exist. One common diagnosis of the difficulty in solving our problems lies in our unnecessary and continual fragmentation, i.e., proliferation of one party from time to time giving birth to new parties. Fake unity and then wait for the inevitable implosion. False positives and deceit!!! The regime also knows well this and it has been a potential opportunity and a positive reinforcement to keep its momentum of oppression. It is evident that such kind of fragmented struggle will get us no where because it has never been successful in a history of any revolution. Differences are natural and inevitable; and the way we handle our differences shows the level of our democratic maturity and how committed we are to democracy and pluralism.

Yet new form of struggle becomes compulsory because it is the only way through which we can fix our problems. To establish and strengthen our unity and solidarity, reconciling our minds with reality becomes a prime precondition. That is we must start to fight self. We should stop dying while living; we should start living while dying. We should not lust for power; we should lust for integrity and solidarity. Competition for power is fatal and disruptive in a process of any struggle and above all power is left to the general public at the end of the day. We should reform the nature of our struggle by putting the “people” and “its problems” at the core. Difference of opinion is tolerable; it is not tolerable when the intention is no more than defamation and belittling the works of others. We should not eager for criticisms. Criticisms are good as long as they do not negate the initiatives and motivations of the counter party. Criticizing others for their shortcomings and accepting criticisms in return strengthens the spirit of the struggle. Criticisms however become dysfunctional and worthless when they range broadly no more than an argument or a debate about the seniority or merit of a single party or its members. 

One might question about the practicality of this notion. Some may argue that this is easier said than done. But we can make it happen if we start making. What it asks is “paradigm shift towards new thinking”. We have to remold our thinking at least with a minimum programs – Peace and Democracy – at a principle level. On this ground, we record our genuine appreciation to all Eritrean opposition parties who have been working exhaustively to make true the objective of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance-KIDAN. 

The formation “Eritrean Democratic Alliance-KIDAN” is expected to be a transitional phase towards the formation of strong and promising coalition. Moreover the substance is that all the opposition camps commitment to work together with the minimum programs (peace and democracy) that are common interests of all is a prime-recharging factor to the hope of Eritrea people.

Last but not least, it is worth noting also that this struggle is not limited only to political opposition parties, civic movements. It concerns every Eritrean citizen all over the world. And particularly this struggle demands the over all amalgamated efforts of all Eritrean intellectuals all over the world who are not responding to the scary situation of Eritrea as required. Some may argue that this is being done. The problem is that it is not being done in a manner that overstates the gravity and urgency of the people’s suffering.





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