To Remove an Evil Regime, It’s Legitimate for a People To Use All Means Possible!!

The ELF-RC Information and Culture Office

Removal and replacement of one regime by another requires the use of power – people’s power. Use of power does not necessarily mean the use of raw force. In whatever way, it means the support of the majority of the concerned people because no change can be effected without people’s support. That is why it ends being a sheer naiveté to assume that a peaceful or an armed struggle can be won and maintained without the support of the people.


Our world repeatedly witnessed changes taking place through either armed or peaceful struggle. Examples for peaceful change of regime were the dramatic events that resulted in the removal of the Shah of Iran, the communist regimes of  Eastern Europe, and the recent changes in Georgia, Ukraine and Lebanon. On the other hand, use of arms brought about changes in Eritrea, Rwanda, Congo, the Sudan, Burundi and many other places. Even those so-called advocates of peaceful and democratic change in the west have accepted use of  force as instrument of change in Afghanistan and Iraq. The major powers were in full agreement on the use of force for change in Iraq, their only difference being technical – i.e. some like the USA insisting on unilateral use of force and others calling for multilateral use of force. We also have the recent coup d’etat in Mauritania which was initially condemned by the African Union and the western powers but eventually supported when that military coup gained the support of the majority of Mauritanians.


It is very clear that the means used to change an evil regime like a dictatorship are conditioned and influenced by many factors including time, place, tradition and calculations like political, economic, social, diplomatic and security matters. Therefore,  it is not enough to conclude in a simplistic way and say you chose ONLY one form of struggle – armed or peaceful – before carefully weighing as a people and taking into consideration all the factors that matter in your own given situation. For instance, it cannot be correct to say that peaceful means of struggle will succeed in Eritrea because it succeeded in Iran in 1979. Eritrea is not Iran, and 1979 is not 2005.  Way back in 1979, the world was under the influence of two blocs. Ayatollah Khomeini, a leader of an Islamic Revolution, was sheltered in the west simply because the time was 1979 and the Shah was gradually seen as a spent force in the face of a growing Iranian people’s support to their new revolution. It was the prevailing factors that made peaceful struggle acceptable and feasible in Iran. On the other hand, the success of use of force in bringing about change in Eritrea, the Sudan or Rwanda in the past cannot lead to the conclusion that using force today in these same places will ensure success. Today is not yesterday: the situations in Eritrea, the Sudan and Rwanda  are not what they were before.


In other words, it is impossible to equate the overall situation in today’s Eritrea with what it was 30 years back. The prolonged armed struggle sapped the energies of our people: citizens died in their thousands and people’s property was wantonly destroyed. In the end, our people did not win the peace, the democracy and the justice for which they paid so much  price. The failure of independent Eritrea to deliver what it had to deliver adversely affected the feelings and the morale of our nation. In short, Eritreans lost confidence in their leaderships.


We all know that the dictatorial regime in Eritrea is averse to any opinion other than its own. It does not even make pretensions in that sphere. Any individual or a group or an organization that dares to voice out its differences with the dictatorial regime faces outright rejection,   imprisonment and even liquidation.  Therefore, to us in the ELF-RC as well as the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), using all means possible – peaceful and force – to confront and remove the dictatorial regime in Eritrea are legitimate. In order to bring about change in Eritrea, the forces opposed to the regime must be present within and among Eritreans inside Eritrea  – peacefully or otherwise. Change of regime in Eritrea will not occur through  ‘remote control’. And it is the right of the opposition forces to protect by any means feasible  their right to be present amongst their own people inside Eritrea. However, the question is whether one has the capacity to use force and whether the people are ready for such action. Otherwise, there cannot be any justification whatsoever to stop Eritreans opposed to the evil regime from using any means at their disposal to remove it. Another pertinent question would arise if the regime collapses from within and its top military officers divide the army into their own warring factions vying for power. In such a possible scenario, are the “peaceful” opposition forces to keep standing-by begging the “generals” and their militias to make peace for Eritrea?


The ELF-RC believes that presence of multiple armed wings in the Eritrean arena can have negative consequences and for this reason it strives for the formation of one national army. We also fully acknowledge the fact that no change of regime can be effected by the small armed units in possession of the opposition forces as they now exist. It is for this reason that our organization has been insistent on the principle of forming one national army. The ELF-RC therefore salutes and congratulates the Central Council of the EDA for its adoption of this principle in its recent second meeting. We in the ELF-RC also see that the opposition forces will not be able to bring about change – peacefully or through force of arms – as long as they remain in the state of fragmentation they are in. Change of regime can come only when those organizations with related viewpoints and political programmes agree to unite and form one or more viable organizations that can restore confidence in our people and gain their trust.


To conclude, the majority of our people are not supportive of the regime,  nor a great majority supports the opposition organizations variously claiming peaceful and/or armed means of struggle. What is needed at this hour is to unite available energies and come out with a well studied political platform that can easily mobilize our people for success. And when our people start to give massive support to the opposition camp, it then comes the time for us to choose which particular means of struggle to use in removing the regime, taking into account the then prevailing domestic, regional and international political, diplomatic and security issues and opportunities.


ELF-RC Information Office


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Posted by on Oct 4 2005 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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