Simple Truths of the Brussels Conference

By Fesseha Nair

I have just read an article entitled, “Not in My Name, Mr. Tewolde Fesseha NairGebreslassie

By Gebreab G/kirstos in the Nharnet November 11, 2009. The contents of the article diatribe of character assassination and vilification against the open letter submitted by Tewolde Gebreselasie to the president of EU Commissioner- Jose Manuel Barroso.

Gerbreab G/kristos’s  rant does not merit discussion here. Tewolde’s leadership competence  objectivity and his broad- sightedness are well known by all member organizations of the EDA and need no defence against this type of intemperate, personal attack. However, the piece aroused me reflect upon the events of the Bruseel Conference.

Mr. Tewolde has a mandate and responsibility to speak on behalf of the EDA and is accountable to the EDA member organisations and no other. Tewolde was elected by the EDA constituents in its regular congress and it is the congress of EDA that draws confidence but not your internet articles. Tewolde is not living like you and me in the western countries but sacrificing his whole life for his people’s rights and freedoms. You have dehumanized Tewolde personally and attacked him without no reason because he the letter was signed by Tewolde but it was decided unanimously by the Executive Body of the EDA.

Mr. Gebreab G/ kristos article entitled, ” Not in My name, …… ” and its character assasination is not constructive but destructive. I don’t know if Gebreab is pen name or real name. If he/ she is a member in one of the EDA organizations he/ she must first declare which organization he belongs, then we can discuss the issue face to face. If it is a pen name, I take it as destructive and deserve no discussion.

I am not against any one and any organization whether it is a political or civil society. I was the first who wrote an article on the Brussels Conference entitled , ” Commentary.”   I have written my critics on the conference’s process and participation. I believe every organization either it is ”CDRIE” or ”Task Force” has the right to organize conferences but depends on the issues to be raised. Conferences and seminars were organized in Diaspora many times but were not kept secret, we used to announce them and get feed back.

What makes this Brussel conference different from the previous is its secrecy and putting the whole opposition forces behind closed doors. One of the wonderer’s of this behind door actions were me. I know the members of the CDRIE some of them were members in our organizations and I know the so called , Task Force” some of them live in the same country I live, I don’t mention the names but if time allows I will be the first to expose them , Why don’t you join us in the activities in Sweden since you are the , Task force” ? They have no contact with the grass-roots in Sweden. When asked to join us fight agianst the PFDJ activities,  they hide but when the Swedish media comes out they appear with them, Why is this?May be,  Because , they suffer of status syndrom? What has ones educational background to do with human rights activities. Do they want us to show them our BA, MA and PHD papers for them so that they will join us.

As Mr. Abdurahman said in his interview with Assena, the criteria the conference set is the capacity of individuals and organizations. We have invited Wolde Ammar because he is the only competent in the opposition political organization who can present the EU and US policy makers.

Mr. Abdurahman analysis is the same like the children in TVERE when asked about the leadership of Essayas, they replied WOW! Our president can many all languages of the world while Bush can only English, therefore he is the best leader.

Don’t you know Abdurahman, that the Chinese experts participate in international conferences even though they can’ t speak English. What matters is not the English language but the skills you have to pass your to any meeting by the language you can.

It is crystal clear, the participants of the Brussels conference were from one segment of the Eritrean people. What would this segment said if the other segment has organized a big conference in Jeddah under in cooperation with the Saudi kingdom, Wa! Lomi ke Aslam teakibom!

My young brother Abdurahman! your ambitions and intentions are not strategic and sustainable but rushing here and there.  Do you remember, Abdurahman, when you were in the Executive Committee of the Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement and responsible for the information office, published en editorial about Commondos in Eritrea while J and Mr. Beshir told you that don’t publish such editorial because it will arouse sentiments and contaminate the opposition camp and now you U change and infiltrate our process of unity under the umbrella of EDA.

Historically, Who are the CDRIE and the Task Force? What are the differences between CDRIE/NECS the former civil society organizations in Europe?

CDRIE is a civil society organization built by selected and highly educated Eritreans around the diaspora Eritrea. They were members of the former civil society but left them because they considerd them they were not at their social level and are backword people.

CDRIE has declared in its founding congress that the former opposition is failed and we are the best alternative that can bring change in Eritrea through peaceful methods and negotiations with our president Essayas  in cooperation with EEPA and inside mother Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen’s  maxi-shirt.

Indeed, when CDRIE was formed, it began visiting mother Mirjam and others in Brussels. EEPA is  non governmantal organization facilitating conferences and  seminars. It is a little organization led of Dr. Mirjam. We all have such NGOs in Sweden and building relation with such NGO’s cannot make you that you are skillful in diplomacy as our brother Gebreab stressed in his boasting argument.

The Task Force is a collection of individuals some who were members of the NECS and most of them CDRIE members. How come CDRIE and the Task Force organize this conference was kept secret as a new invention but thanks to our inner sources all daily activities of CDRIE in Brussels were known before they were exposed by

EDA and NEC have a good relationship with EU and has contact with political corridors of EU in Brussels. The letter of Tewolde Gebreselassie was addressed to the president of the EU commissioner- ……. In order to know what the Brussels Conference is, and has got a reply that the Brussel Conference is nothing but information conference organized by EEPA that is non- political organization or nothing to do with the policy of EU on Eritrea. The letter has exposed that the conference was information conference and has no effect except boasting propagnada of some who appointed themselves experts and creators of theEritrean politics.

Mr. Abdurahman Assayed my former scholar in federalism when he was cornered by Amanuel Assena Editor, he couldn’t answer, when asked , why secre, aren’ the issues national issues? Abdurhaman replied we have the right to keep secret and this is routine in all organizations. Poor Abdurahman! He couldn’t know the difference between a firm and state. In our social science , we are tought on the common goods and private goods. National issues are common to all. Politcis is a common good and affects all. When one deals with foreign policy in relation to Eritrea one should not deal in closed doors but be open. Mr. Abdurhaman and his Co must realize that they are now in the Eritreanpolitics  and should know all the mental map of it and every action when it is a national issues affecting any citizen must be public.

It is indeed ironic, and rather confusing, that the architects of  Brussel’s Conference be now the first  who contacted the EU and USA,  what about the long 8 years joint appeals, demonstrations, organizinfg conferences and contacts done by the other broadwide civil society organizations and EDA branches in the whole USA and EU. How can CDRIE and Task Force claim that they are the first is nothing but escaping from the realities in the ground. Ask your CDRIE and Tas Force members in each residence country, they never dare to go out and say a word against the Essya’s lackeyes who openly deny the aggression of the tyranny against our people at home.

How dis the Task Forces selected its invitees in the conference was replied by Abdurahman Assayed, I have no contradiction to his criteria but the selection was done segregating the EDA members by calling the three organizations chairman- Woldejesus Ammar. It was not because by their capabilities but based on relationships made by CDRIE board members when they were invited by the Frankfurt Festival as lecturers. It was based on tempoarary relations. When Mr. Abdurahman Left our organization, he went directly to EPP and asked them for membership. First, he was invited as guest lecturer later he mad intimate relations with them and started to propagate about his fanatical ajewjew. Abdurhman is a wondering person to discover new organizations and leave them after sometime. He touches one organization today and leaves it and go later to the next. What a grasshopper? A man with such character can never gain the confidence of the people.

Now back to the conference ’s results. Reading the papers and concluding statements of the Brussels Conference has no new topics but are the usual topics of every day in the opposition camp.

Those topics presented by the Eritrans either they are academics or politicians were not papers but short speeches repeated litanies all cursing the regime in Eritrea but have no new alternative accommodating all forces for democracy,  or ideas that can help us understand each other and the world communities. It was the Eritrean Shouting/Chawchaw without drawing no attention from the audience.

The topic presented by the foreign lecturers like that of Dan Connel and would like to quote from his paper,

“The first requirement for a modest move towards a future democratic transition is to map the existing opposition.

“This starts with the Eritrean Democratic Alliance, a loosely defined umbrella organization for groups of widely varying ideological orientation, size and internal coherence, some favoring violence, some renouncing it. Members range from secular democrats organized into unarmed political parties,like the Eritrean Democratic Party and the Eritrean People’s Party—now in merger talks—to armed religious and ethnic movements such as the Islamic Party for Justice and Development and the Kunama-based Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea, with a full spectrum between them. However distasteful one or another may be to you, they all need to be included in a new dispensation or they will act as spoilers on the outside. But there are many Eritreans who distrust these parties, most of which are led by people who have fought among themselves to dominate the national movement since the 1960s and 1970s.The younger generation, many of whom have spent time outside Eritrea and experienced democratic societies at first hand, has declined to join EDA affiliates in significant numbers,focusing instead on building human rightsorganizations and NGOs. This trend too needs to be mapped and treated as an integral part of the emerging alternative.”

Dan connels paper calls all the opposition regards their profiles to come together and build a viable democratic opposition.

While , Wolde Ammars paper concludes like this,

“The parties I directly represent at this conference (i.e. EDP, EPM and EPP), support a peaceful

and democratic struggle to remove the regime by people-power. We are of the strong conviction

that enhancing a party or parties that Eritreans trust and consider as democratic alternative/s to

the regime in Eritrea will hasten democratic change in our country. So far, little outside attention

has been given to the paramount importance of building a democratic force or forces in the

Eritrean opposition camp to guarantee that Eritrea will not become another failed state because

the Horn of Africa and the world at large cannot afford to have another Somalia”

In his last point, Wolde asked so,

“Being aware of this urgent need, we have initiated the task of preparing a Transitional Plan. For sure,we need help in developing it further on top of the support needed for capacity

building and resources to help us educate our people on democratic values.”

Compare the call from Wolde and Dan Connel.

The parties I represent support peaceful and democratic struggle to remove the regime…………parties Eritreans trust………………. What do you mean Wolde! If the others have peoples trust, then why do you join them in the EDA. This is a very divisive words and it smells Essayas tone in 1970th.

In his second point, he mentioned on , “Transitional Plan” what is this transitional plan? What kind of Transitional plan has the EPP. EDP and EPM that the EDA not know? The EDA ask Wolde about this transitional plan and capacity building on democratic values?

Dan Connel has integrity and courage to accommodate all forces in the opposition camp but Wolde! I was very sad to hear from you such words in front of foreigners. Wolde” what happened with you, are you Wolde that I know in 1967  distributing pamphlets of the Eritrean Revoultion before the Eritrean polis in Asmara.

In general, Brussel Conference has no tangible results but propaganda for the CDRIE and Task Force, to boast that they were the first who influenced the policy of EU and US on Eritrea. The policy of EU and US can only be influenced when the Eritrean people unite together and build an alliance built in the rock not in sands.

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