Why is national dialogue important?

By Fesseha Nair


The transition in Eritrea is still at the stage of the liberation period where the political organizations in the opposition camp see each other as major and minor.  A fundamental challenge to this attitude is to transform from the perspective of  past to the present perspective, “including all Eritreans struggling for democracy.” regardless of their size.

The transition from dictator to democracy should be centred upon negotiations between all partners which eventually lead to democracy. Dialogue is not without conflict, it is a road with stumbling blocks. We need a strong commitment to discuss problems and to include and listen to many stakeholders. Without inclusiveness we cannot move in a direction that enhances peace and democracy in Eritrea.

National dialogue should be practiced at all levels. Such dialogues clear the prejudices and suspicions and promote joint efforts that lay a strong foundation for peace and economic development.

Let me take the opposition camp as a democratic project. Many political and civil society organizations are involved and given their professional roles and personal backgrounds. They have different ways of communication. All of them have the target- removal of the dictator and building democratic Eritrea. The opposition community is not homogenous, but consists of various political organizations and civil societies. In such national projects different kinds of problems arise but these problems can not be solved without a constructive dialogue between the different actors. Without constructive dialogue conflicts can erupt and become severe and difficult to solve. When leaders of both the civil society and political organizations are eager to communicate and work in a participatory manner then, there is a higher awareness of obstacles that must be overcome in order the project of democracy continue. This increases the chances of solving problems, compared to a situation where they are denied or not acknowledged.

An inclusive dialogue process might take a long time but prove to be more effective after all and the process becomes part of human development. The transitional project is not only removal of the dictator but laying foundation for democracy by increasing human capacity where all actors learn and acquire valuable experiences.

National dialogue can be seen as a way of exploring different actors’ perspectives and through this process increasing understanding of context and discover ways to proceed. New solutions and thoughts can be found, provided there is willingness to seek answers, rather than to present fixed solutions. In a fruitful dialogue there is both an acceptance and an appreciation of different approaches and experiences. There are many ways to interpret a situation and by reflecting on what has been said learning becomes an integral part of the dialogue. Serious differences may arise in a dialogue, but the challenge is not for everyone to agree on everything but to understand divergent positions. Dialogue is a process of learning and is not confined to a certain kind of leaders, it can be between all people and it can take place at all levels.

Summing up, dialogue is important for developing democratic culture. It broadens perspectives, increases learning and provides room for developing trust and mutual respect. Seeing from the democratic project of the opposition forces in Eritrea, dialogue is essential in developing cooperation. Through a constructive dialogue we can better understand each other and as a result spend more of our time in implementation rather than talking all the time on problems and misunderstandings.

Short URL: https://english.farajat.net/?p=2523

Posted by on Oct 14 2006 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

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in |2011 farajat.net