What is ” Eritrean Solution for Eritrean Problems”?

By Fesseha Nair

There have been hot discussions in the Eritrean social media about this topic. I have read an article in BBC similar with this topic, ”An Afghan solution for Afghan problems” Why and when this is said is because the case of Aghanistan is full of international intervention. Is the Eritrean opposition case and that of Afganistan similar? Why did some of the Eritrean opposition groups use this as their point of difference within themselves must be assessed.

In this article , I will try to explain what are these problems and solutions, what are the methods and strategies of those who claim Eritrean solutions for Eritrean problems and why did the raised this claim at this time.


Identifying the problmes

What are the problmes to be identified?

There are no case studies and findings of the Eritrean internal and external conflicts. There are no genuine stuides that offer insights both for the internal and external conflicts to succeed  in transiting from dictatorship to democracy in Eritrea. As we see struggling from dictatorship to democracy in Eritrea by the forces for democratic change is becoming extremely difficult. Bu all seems that return to civil wars is a lose- lose strategy.

The aim of this short article is to search tools that help us get our internal and external conflict identified and find out a means of handling of our internal conflicts through inclusive, just and accountable framework

The Eritrean internal conflict originates from two potential elements:

–         ’identity based factors based on differences in race, religion, culture, language and region….etc

–         Unjust distribution policies on political, economic , cultural and social resources.

We have experienced these from early Eritrean nationhood from political struggle, armed liberation struggle and later after the post- independent Eritrea. The Eritrean opposition need to identify that the main obstacle for our struggle against the dictatorship is the lack of openly clarifying our internal conflict beyond the theory of one heart one people diagnosed by the PFDJ.

The major armed conflict during the liberation period  was because of deep rooted identity characterized by two elements mentioned above.( Identity and Unjust policies) In the past during the armed struggle for liberation we lost thousands in the internal conflict due to wrong way of conflict management.

Before solutions,  those who claim the theme, ” Eritrean Solutions For Eritrean Problems” must make clear what they mean by this theme. Do they have access to all information necessary to make informed decisions that best suits their theme? This article will involve academicians and politicians to engage in solving the internal and external problems of the Eritrean conflict that is now creating obstacles in fighting the totalitarian dictatorship.

The Eritrean opposition who struggle against the dictatorship should sit and analyse the intra-state conflict and identify the problems before putting words and slogans that does not fit the gap between the various political groups. Eritrean politics is dominated by opportunistic leaders who have no national programmes but clientelistic personal interests manipulating both the identity and distributive policies and it is this approach that is potential for conflict.

The writer of this article have read all the opposition political and civic organization programmes and see non of these organizations ask for external intervention in their domestic problmes except ask for regional and international support for the salvation of the Eritrean people under totalitarian regime.

Why the Eritrean Medrek have raised this theme is not clear. If they have Eritrean opposition  studied case and data that there are opposition political organizations who ask for external intervention they must come with their evidences that support their thesis so that we all sit and discuss how to solve it.


Methods for internal conflict management inside the opposition froces

The post- Independent Eritrea led by EPLF has frozen the identity-driven deep –rooted conflict because of arrogance and dominance but this ignorance has resulted to the situation we are now experiencing. The Eritrean opposition must be open and focus on the internal conflict and search for new tools for managing this internal conflict before focusing the inter-state conflict. ( border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia) What the opposition need is not a short term stability but long term sustainabality. What the opposition need  now is a new range of flexible and adaptable instruments that can take account the Ertrean diversity and its claims of human and democratic rights.

Democracy  itself is not a solution but gives you the opportunity to develop the institutions, resources and flexibility to peacfully manage both internal and external conflicts.

Up to now the Eritrean opposition could not find the proper and most appropriate negotiation process for conflict managment most suited to their situation and their futur peaceful co-existence.

What makes the Eritrean conflict inside the opposition is the way how the issues of conflict were emotionaly conducted. The discussion going in the Eritrean paltalks cannot lead towards proper and appropriate solutions but to more disputes and confrontations.

The question that concerns us now is to get to a common agreement at the negotiations table. I don’t know what the so called” Medrek” Almenteda” mean by negotiations or national dialogues for national unity. Do they mean national dialogues for the opposition forces for democratic change or de they mean negotiation with the brutal dictator in Eritrea. If the national dialogue is build a powerful democratic opposition, it is ok.

But this time it is not negotiations with dictator that is important but building strong resistance that can drive the dictatot out of power. Eritrean Democratic opposition couldn’t build a strong resistance except wasting their time in blame games and following the same trend that was used during the armed liberation period.  Solutions can not be reached by slogans but by structuring methodological frameworks which adress the real needs and interests of the Eritrean people. What the Eritrean people need is fundamanetal change not reform that cannot be repaired.


Planning for Grand Strategy and Eritrean Solutions

There are clarifications what Eritrean solutions mean by those who claim this theme. All the opposition believe that they own their case and it is they who responsible for solving their internal problems. Being in Ethiopia or Sudan doesnot mean that you are not owing or have no solutions of  yourself but dependent on others. The Resistance forces does not ask permission from  the brutal dictator  in Eritrea  to use neighbouring countries as the convenient entry strategies to acheive their goals. It is not the first time to have good relations with neighbouring countries like Ethiopia and Sudan. The Ethio-Eritrean border conflict is not the Eritrean people’s conflict but the war-mongering  dictator to divert the attention of the people from demanding their fundamental and legal rights.

The resistance force must agree on a grand streategy against the brutal dictatorship and the objective of the grand strategy is not only to topple the dictatorship but install a democratic system and make the rise of new dictators impossible. The democratic opposition must reach  a common understanding that their struggle is not on to remove the dictatorshi but simulltaneously plan for democracy.

Yes, the ressitance movements need external support. The Eritrean Democratic opposition lacks skills and knowledge to gain international assistance.

In the preparation of the grand strategy it is necessary to assess what will be the relative roles of internal resistance and external pressures. In thsi article I have clarified that the struggle is owned by Eritreans but regiona and international assistance that prmotes the resistance is welcome.

The resistance movements must make efforts to gain public opinion against the dictatorship on humanitarian, moral, and religious grounds. Efforts can be taken to obtain diplomatic political and economic sanctions by governments and international organizations against the dictatorship in Eritrea. The opposition must work hard  to ban any economic assistance and prohibit investments in the dictatorial country of Eritrea, expulsion of the dictatorial government agencies from international organizations and from United Nations bodies and urge the international community provide financial and communication support directly to the Eritrean Democratic Forces.

There is no single blueprint solutions to bring down dictatorship but requires planners of grand strategy with profound understanding the Eritrean case and its chosen mehtod of struggle against the dictatorship of Eritrea. Eritrean solutions are those focusing on the internal conflict management and reaching a sustainable stability for the long run not for the short run.

The Comming Bologna Festival of the forces of Resistance

Having read the public announcement of the Bologna Festival of the democratic forces and following the discussions on social media-Smer paltalks recently, issues at stake were on defining the theme of the festival  entitled,  ”Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems.” The arguments of the invited organizers of the Festival  couldn’t convince the audience what they mean by this theme at this crucial time of struggle from dictatorship to democracy while the counter –arguments by some discussants were  emotionally reacting without convincing analysis. I think there is lack of trust between the Bologna group and the others. Both of them are directed by short term advantages rather than conflict resolution. I think if the Bologna Festival will be successfull if it focuses on four points:

–         Developing trust and common understanding between the various forces for democratic change.

–         If Medrek group stand neutral and be only facilitators.

–         Be an opportunity in building  momentum for support for negotiated settlement among the diverse groups of the opposition.

–         If The festival focuses on process rather than outcomes.

The theme of the Bologna Festival, ” Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems” must come with more evidences why they have chosen this theme for their coming festival. If it is simply a blame game then is just advantage for the dictaroship and disadvantage for the forces struggling for fundamantal changes.

The writer of this article will come with more analysis on the Eritrean deep-rooted conflict and its management with more lessons learned. (1942-2014)


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Posted by on Aug 11 2014 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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