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Past and Present, Eritrea's Leadership is to blame. Does Eritrea really learn?
Negaritt-Gazette 89E (NG89E) , December 28 2002

"Eritrea needs us and we need Eritrea" (NG89E).


NG89E was founded on February 15 2001. Its first version appeared on the internet on April 6 2002. This is now its second version to publicise. Its motto is: 'free information to a free generation in a freed mind'.

NG89E represents the voice of the 8 states and 9 ethnic communities in Eritrea. One of its focuses is to expose Eritrea's current or past history of any kind of political, social, cultural and so on, activities that had or have been performed but manipulated by an individual, an organisation, a government or a community. It functions as a 'watch dog' with a philosophical theory as its background principle. Its philosophical theory is that 'learning is building up and moving forward to make a difference'. It recognises the concept of living in difference. It rejects suffering in silence for good reason - give and take information. To share its information with the people of Eritrea, for Eritrea is its ethical and moral obligation. NG89E declares to have no political affiliation to EPLF / PFDJ or ELF Parties. NG89E draws the line not to take sides but it firmly believes in unity of all Eritreans for peace and justice under the practice of the right democracy.


What is leadership? Leadership is a complex subject that cannot be explained in a single statement. But for the purpose of this article, NG89E, attempts to make an explanation of leadership and its importance briefly by making it referable, visible and connectable to the message of its writing by presenting two versions as follows:

1. "Leadership can be understood as a pattern of behaviour, as a personal quality and as a political value. As a pattern of behaviour, leadership is the influence exerted by an individual or group over a larger body to organise or direct its efforts towards the achievement of desired goals. As a personal attribute, leadership refers to the character traits which enable the leader to exert influence over others. Leadership in this sense is effectively equated with charisma, charm or personal power. As a political value, leadership refers to guidance and inspiration, the capacity to mobilise others through moral authority or ideological insight" (R1, 2000).

2. "Leadership is not only about character, skills and situations, but also about relationships and the use of power. Here, there is an emphasis on the categories of power when we look at an effective leadership on the account of the power of the person, the power of knowledge and the power of personality" (R2, 1988).

Position Power: Position power, as its name implies, stems from one's place, or rank, in the hierarchy and sometimes from the job title. It also includes access to resources. Resources are people, equipment and money. This is the power of the boss who can hire or fire someone with a good or bad reference and structure the hierarchy. Hierarchy has, also a negative journey. Because hierarchial position always confers a certain degree of power, and the steeper the hierarchy, the more powerful each layer is perceived to be, until one gets to the top. For example, someone with a position of power in the lower or upper layer could say: I could do so much more if I were the manager, director, minister, prime-minister, president etc. The trouble is that the hierarchial positions entail just as many frustrations and barriers in the layers of the hierarchy system. If progress is to be made one needs more than 'position power' to become an effective leader. On the contrary, a reliance on 'position power' makes it difficult to be accepted as an effective leader. Because people do things out of fear rather than they are inspired by a vision, principle and ideology. Therefore, 'position power' can help a leader, but it needs to be matched with other power resources.

Knowledge Power: If someone knows what they are talking about, generally speaking, people will listen. 'Knowledge power' is the stuff of credibility. Credibility will earn respect, respect can give authority, and authority helps by enhancing one's chances of leadership effectiveness. As you progress in your career, you will come across quite a few people who are in so-called leadership positions who, sadly, have no credibility. They have no insight into the issues and concerns of the people they are supposed to be leading, and they have no real knowledge of their activities: they have no knowledge of power. They can only make things happen through their position power, and this is negative and ultimately weak. This is not what effective leadership needs to be about. Knowing the business is one of the most important sources of power. Influencing through knowledge is a strong type of power.

Personality Power and Charisma: 'Charisma' is referred to as 'born leaders'. This is because the politicians are motivational speakers, who are out in front telling you what they believe in and what you should believe in. They touch you because they share your experiences and seem to know just how you are feeling. They inspire you to greater determination and self-help. Individuals with 'personality power' can be a long way ahead in the leadership stakes. But 'personality power' is easy to abuse. It is easy to become fond of the sound of one's own voice and forget to keep knowledge up to date. It is easy to be seduced by professional media attention and become all personality with no position and precious little knowledge of the real world as do today the newspaper Haddas Eritrea and Radio - Dimtzi Hafash (Radio Voice of the Masses) in the case of President of Issaias Afeworki. This shows personality power can be abused if it is used only to serve the interests of the powerful rather than to meet the needs of the followers. In this case, credibility will disappear eventually. That is to say that 'charisma and personality power' are not always effective indicators for leadership. But a charismatic personality can be turned into powerful leadership when there is evidence of the following characteristics:

  • "being able to communicate positive self-esteem

  • focusing on people

  • having a clear vision

  • promoting the vision to others

  • implementing the vision" (R3, 1993).

Possessing the above skills is a sign of good leadership. In other words, leaders who use charisma feel good about themselves and about other people. They are interested in people and encourage the group, organisation, party and so on to accomplish the task, rather than focusing on the task itself. They know where they are going and where they want to take others. They are able to articulate the future, in a way that motivates and encourages others, and they are able to get the job done together. This is workable and useful for leaders who want to motivate through positive relationships rather than by utilising controlling or authoritarian-type approaches as we see it obviously to day in Eritrea.

In conclusion of this introductory part, questions arise in regard with Eritrea's leadership in the past and present. Does Eritrea really learn from its past? Does Eritrea learn from its present? Does Eritrea have leaders who can demonstrate the above leadership qualities? Why does Eritrea fail to put the lessons learned into practice?

Now put these questions at the centre of discussion and the following report may help to make the questions assertive in comprehending Eritrea's past and contemporary history. It starts with the development of the Eritrean National Alliance and goes to the Eritrean Government during Federation between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

On the 21st of October 2002 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the new Eritrean National Alliance (ENA) of the ELF (Eritrea's Mother Organisation, i.e. The Grand Jebha [Front] ) was celebrating while its split sister, the ELF-RC walked out without 'splitting the difference'. This celebration of the majority was marked as the end of their split of what was, by common agreement, their most successful Political Party Conference for years. As it is known, the ELF lost its armed struggle in the 1980s under the attack of EPLF and TPLF. Its destruction was a plan of conspiracy coalition of the EPLF and TPLF. Both EPLF and TPLF underwent an illogic periodical relationship, ill-planned political game and gain, ill-defined profit and loss, and an ill-defined strategy end. Most notably, the relationship was based on a false personal friendship rather than the nations' interest. The outcome of that masked, shelved, illogic and unscientific strategy of political, economical, social and cultural agreements between EPLF and TPLF, came to an end with the outbreak of war between the two, under the cover of boundary conflict in May 1998. For Eritrea, the result was multi-facetted negative. To mention a few:

  • a bitter loss of our 19 thousands martyrs, i.e. a loss of valuable manpower. But why?
  • the scale of physical and mental disability of our fighters in thousands. Why?
  • a financial loss of millions of dollars to run war. Why? That money could have saved lives of our people dying of poverty and AIDS.
  • a bitter loss of territory with the consequence of disintegration and confusion of our people especially those living on the boundaries between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Why?
  • the plight of many thousands of Eritreans those displaced and repatriated from inside Ethiopia to an unknown fate in Eritrea, leaving their properties behind them. Why?
  • and generally, a bitter disappointment, torment, grievance of all our people that the Government of Eritrea (GoE) has caused. These include the ban of private presses; the jailing of ministers, journalists and uncountable and unknown others; the captivity of our youth in the military trenches in the name of the Sawa Project and the National Service; the endless service of our 'Tegadelti' (fighters) in the name of the national Defence Force etc. All these have led our people to be in the state of redundancy. Our country is politically isolated, economically paralysed and educationally back-driven to its lowest stage even below the standard of the Dergue period. As a result, our people are politically divided in their views, opinion expression, assessment and make up of judgement of all the consequences caused by the present Government. This unnecessary division is creating a wall of 'pro' and 'contra' Government. It is taking shape, particularly, on the issue of government change if Eritrea is to survive. This unnecessary division is contributing to lengthen the period of PIA for a while although the GoE is practically already at its dead end. The emphasis on the need to change a government is at the heart of the masses whereas the few blind followers of PIA behave against the masses, but tomorrow they will regret their behaviour.

For all these tragic avoidable mistakes in the past and present, in the first place, it is President Issaias Afeworki (PIA) to blame. PIA has been fooling every one for years. Violation was the whole mark of his life. His irresponsibility in the political, economical and social management, with all that power invested into him, has brought chaos throughout Eritrean - people, land, sea and sky. Behind him comes the whole leadership of the EPLF, today PFDJ from the lowest rank to the highest cabinet as irresponsible. An irresponsible person does things without considering the consequences. The irreparable damage of PIA, the PFDJ and the voiceless Eritrean Parliament is so bad that it cannot be put right again, despite the fact that only political correctness of the GoE can save the unknown fate of Eritrea and of the GoE itself. But this is unlikely to happen. On the contrary, it is preparing its grave.

However, that is not all the history in Eritrea. The Eritrean leadership during the Federation was also blundering. The blunder, first, came from the first Chief Executive of Eritrea, Dej. Tedla Bairu himself. Dej. Tedla Bairu came to power of the Eritrean Presidency, even though elected by the newly elected Eritrean Assembly in a secret ballot by the overwhelming majority vote of 49 to 11 on September 15, 1952, supported by Ethiopia. He clung to the rope of power making Ethiopia as a backbone of his politics in the interest of Ethiopia. But, finally, that power bestowed to Dej. Tedla Bairu was again dismantled by Ethiopia. The question that needs to be asked is: how did Dej. Tedla Bairu come to power? There are a range of facts that speak for themselves. In order to answer and elaborate this question, therefore, it is first advisable to follow and examine the facts of what are narrated and written in the national and international literature of Eritrea's events.

Fact One

Ethiopia managed to establish an instrumental political party in Eritrea by exploiting our people's differences and lack of a functional leadership. This is attestable from two different sources.

One is the Ethiopian literature itself in which some Ethiopian scholars raise the issue in their attempt to describe how 'Federation' was constructed and dealt. Their admittance is that:

"The Unionists constituted the single largest political group in Eritrea. … The Unionists were understandably supported by the Ethiopian Government" (R4, 1991).

Second, Europeans like Lloyd Ellingson made an account of this history in their writing.

"In 1946, it became the Unionist Party which stood for the unconditional union of Eritrea and Ethiopia; its most active member was Secretary General Tedla Bairu. Most Eritreans, however, were against unconditional union with Ethiopia" (R5, 1977).

Dej. Tedla Bairu lived in a double standard character and played a political game. His two games in one coin are explainable. One side of his political coin was that initially, he was pro-Ethiopian and proved his service to Ethiopia by taking the leadership as the President of the Unionist Party (). His direct and indirect involvement in and advocacy for Ethiopia's interest was remarkable in many ways. He was recruiting and organising Eritreans for Ethiopia's political mission against the will of the Eritrean masses. In reality, the Eritrean people (especially the Lowlanders) were against Ethiopia, but for Eritrea's separation and total independence. Our people opposed any kind of Ethiopia's involvement in Eritrea. The second side of his one coin was that his sticks were beating the empty drum of the politics of the 'Federation Act' with Ethiopia preaching 'Autonomy' his people as a political cover. But that political cover was in truth without the consideration of any kind of concrete content and vision of Eritrea's future. The point was that Dej. Tedla Bairu lacked farsightedness and boldness in his leadership. His Government was presenting wrong statistics of the Eritrean people to the UN as evidence to support his political aim, to assemble Eritrea with Ethiopia. For this tragedy, the witness is not only a written literature but also a widespread belief of many Eritreans in their narration. One example of similar behaviour, is the given Table of Statistics of Opinion Expression of Representatives on page 25, that the numbers do not match between the Membership Claims of one Party and its Representatives Claim at the UN Hearings with the population's totality. The Four Power Investigating Body made notes in its record that there were disputes regarding the numbers of people claimed by Representatives and that some minority views were not represented. Such a mistake is acknowledged by Dej. Tedla Bairu himself but highlighted by the United Nations in its own phrase as follows:

"The Secretary-General of the Unionist Party, Mr. Tedla Bairu, admitted that the figures which he had supplied relating to the supporters of his party were inaccurate and that the Muslim population of the Western Lowlands had ceased to support Union with Ethiopia. With regard to the Eastern Lowlands, he preferred not to give a categorical reply until the question had been studied by his Party."

(Untied Nations General Assembly, Official Records Supplement 8, 1950, p. 31)

In spite of the unworthy intention of the Chief Executive, Dej.Tedla Bairu tried to accommodate himself and his Party. This was by gaining support of those Eritreans who were voting for federation whom they trusted and thought the agreement under the 'Federation Act' would be honoured and implemented in practice. But the supporters' dream for and realisation of the Federal Act, faded and buried with time. Here the crucial point starts with the question: what went wrong during his Presidency in Eritrea? The literature research comes to the point that Dej. Tedla Bairu was more interested in holding of his personal power rather than the realisation and implementation of the interest and power of his Eritrean people. It came to be clearer for his supporters and many other Eritreans as Federation diminished. This was a result of Dej. Tedla Bairu's drawbacks of personal qualities: in his leadership, political attitude and intellectuality. It is these setbacks of Dej. Tedla Bairu that the Eritrean literature again brings the next contexts (Facts Two - Twelve) to light as follows. Undoubtedly, history is made for man to learn and that man makes history. The core question is, do we Eritreans learn?

Fact Two

The 'pseudo-politic of federation' was part of Dej. Tedla Bairu's activities, exercised in a two-faced card. Of course, Dej. Tedla Bairu's election was legal and democratic. With the election of the first Chief Executive of Eritrea in 1952, the majority of the Eritrean Parliament Members were Unionists. This created a condition for strong Unionists' political influence and decision-making on government matters. The main opposition party, the Moslem League and others, each representing its own Assembly members, were dominated by the Unionists. The Unionists targeted the Moslem League Assembly members to persuade them to be on their (Unionists) side. The main content of their convincing message to win the Moslem League is displayed as following:

'that the Unionists were determined that Eritrea's interests in the Federation would not be subordinated to Ethiopia's' (R6, 1960).

At this point, it is important to note that the Moslem League was a strong opponent of the Unionist Party's politic in Eritrea and in the Eritrean Parliament as highlighted earlier. Based on the above drive but an erroneous belief, the Moslem League put its trust on the shoulder of the Chief Executive, Dej. Tedla Bairu. Both their belief and trust were the maintenance of 'Federation' in tact. What happened was that in return, as part of political bargain, the Moslem League was rewarded by the Unionists with the post of Parliament Presidency. To make the point clear, the reward was that the Leader of the Moslem League, Sheik Ali Mohammad Mussa Radai was declared as the first Eritrean Parliament President, endorsed by the Unionists on the 15th of September 1952, the same day where the Chief Executive was elected. But it must be stated that the Assembly President's election was also formal in a secret ballot by which an overwhelming vote 48 to 17, with one abstention, was documented. Dej. Tedla Bairu's Unionist Party political which promised to maintain Eritrea's Federal Act that was embedded on a legal Constitution and Autonomy remained hollow and failed to materialise. Analytically, by then is to understand that the 'Federation Act' was already flat.

Anyway, by contrast, the hollow promise was only to win the Moslem League so that to obtain a co-player to achieve the goal of the Unionist Party. That goal was to scratch off the 'Concept of Federal Act' and the 'Concept of Autonomy' completely from their existence as political contexts in the history of Eritrea, as President Issaias Afework did the same by putting the new -1997 ratified Eritrean Constitution in his drawer. History is simply repeating itself.

(R29A, 1953, XXXVII)

Similarly, if not exactly, this historical Eritrea's political scenario is again currently reflecting in the words of the new Secretary-General of the Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF), Herui Tedla Bairu (delivered in an interview with Saleh AA Younis). Herui said:

"Strategy and tactic are like Chinese chopsticks, one stays in place while the other moves constantly" (Herui T. Bairu, October 28 2002).

NG89E reads between the lines and this was what happened in the past. If we are determined to learn, let us ask ourselves whether the above Herui's statement contains a positive lesson in our time. For NG89E, the interpretation is as simple as that Dej. Tedla Bairu, was always dreaming to get a pass and promotion on the cost of the others and the others not. This political proposition of Herui exposes Herui himself to be in a more dangerous political dilemma and more than the double standard of his father's behaviour. The reaction and objection against the above view is again both simple and multiple. Someone can use a tactic to win an enemy, but one cannot and must not use a tactic to win his/her own people for the sake of personal convenience and objectives of achievement. Herui's proposition can be interpreted a lot both negatively and positively, but the negativity is stronger than its positive sense. His statement is not applicable, because our purpose is not to fight Sudan, Yemen, Djibouti, or Ethiopia but our own Government. In Tigrigna's traditional expression, it could be understood as

With this concept in mind, it is not the right direction and proper thinking to apply such a strategy amid the current Eritrea's problem. At present, Eritrea needs another political view, solution and ideology. At the heart of the matter, there must be a consideration of certain fundamental characteristics like believing in 'inclusion instead of exclusion', 'openness instead of secrecy', 'accountability and transparency instead of negligence and irresponsibility', 'ruling with unity in diversity instead of divide and rule system' and so on.

Furthermore, a word is enough for a wise man to understand that the above Herui's statement describes his personality. Politics can be a scholarship field to learn but not a travelling journey to serve opportunists as in the case of Herui moving, originally, from the ELF to EPLF and then from the EPLF to ELF. The questions are: Where and what is the guiding principle? What is the belief? What is the philosophy? What is the final standpoint? When is the move to end?

Fact Three

Going back to the root of the story of his father's and putting Herui's thinking aside for a while, there is a revealation to make of the Eritrean federal history in context with Dej. Tedla Bairu. This was that, the then members of the Eritrean Parliament were openly opposing and criticising the administration of Dej. Tedla Bairu. They had many reasons to do so. They were not like the so-called Parliament members of today's Eritrea those who have proved themselves not to know and understand their own rights. Then it is not an issue for these present so-called 'Parliamentarians' to talk about the rights of their people. But why are they called 'Parliament members'? This is again another story. Therefore, it is better to stick to the continuity of the writing in regard with old Eritrea's Parliament and its members with their right to criticise each other. One example of their critics against the Chief Executive was that the issue of handling of the registration of foreigners in Eritrea. This was made public by the anti-Unionist Parliament Members. They demanded Dej. Tedla Bairu the regulation of the Government Administrative System by the avoidance of corruption. As a response to the Eritrean Parliament, he prepared a message of negativity. His comments are recorded in the protocol as:

the Chief Executive, Tedla Bairu "rejected the appeal on the remarkable ground that, in invoking the name of the Emperor's Representative, the Assembly was guilty of irreverence" (R7-FO, 03.01.53).

For the Chief Executive, 'irreverence' is considered as disobedience for the Ethiopian Emperor, because by definition it means 'not showing any respect'. With such clear response, it is not hard to say that the Eritrean Chief Executive, Dej. Tedla Bairu, laid down a demonstration of self-evidence that he was not a man of politics and leadership neither for himself nor for Eritrea. On the contrary, his response (proposition) remarked Dej. Tedla Bairu's credibility as an Ethiopian agent, and proved his obedience to the Ethiopian political will and drive, in theory and practice. He was neither willing to listen to his people nor his parliamentary opponents, in order to make changes by correcting the wrongs using the rights given to him, as a Chief Executive. Instead, he preferred to respect the Emperor of Ethiopia. This is what is to understand and conclude the above given revealing example.

Fact Four

The revealing evidence of the Eritrean literature goes further. This was about the then President of the Eritrian Parliament, Sheik Ali Mohammad Mussa Redai. President Sheik Ali Mohammad Mussa Radai presented his alarming concerns about Ethiopia to Dej. Tedla Bairu. The President, Sheik Ali Mohammad Mussa Radai observed and weighed the Ethiopian political attitude and Dej. Tedla Bairu's weakness of leadership. But the Chief Executive Dej. Tedla Bairu failed him to understand and recognise the concerns of Sheik Ali Redai, the President of the Eritrean Parliament. By all means and comparatively speaking, Ali Redai, even though he also, as the leader of the Moslem League Political Party, was not free from making a mistake in disintegrating Eritrean provinces, proved his intellectuality and vision by his unmistakable comment saying

"that a hyena had been put with a goat and the result was obvious".

Well, this comment was not hard to understand to someone who is a real politician and to someone who understands politics with a commonsense. The concept of 'hyena' represented the behaviour of Ethiopia or the then Emperor Haile Sellasie, and the concept of 'a goat' represented the behaviour of Eritrea or the then Dej. Tedla Bairu. That is to say that the hyena (Ethiopia) will swallow the goat (Eritrea) by any means. Exactly, this point was realised in practice and theory as Ethiopia put the Federal Act and the Eritrean Constitution in a drawer and illegally declared Eritrea as part of the Mother Land - Ethiopia already in 1958 and the Eritrean flag stepped down from its same mast position of an Ethiopian flag. The outcome is to argue that the leadership deceived the Eritrean people.

Fact Five

Concern had focused on the roles of the Eritrean Government when looking at the shortcoming of the political and managerial administration of Dej. Tedla Bairu. It is essential to notice what Mr. E.J. Howes, the then British Consulate-General evidently revealed and identified with regard to the Chief Executive. The British Consulate-General raised his concerns about Eritrea's facing problems and highlighted in his report to his Government of Great Britain. The following is the extract of Mr. Howes report (R8, 1953):

"As far as the Government's relation with the Federal Authorities were concerned, the opinion of the British Consulate-General was that the Eritrean Government led by Tedla Bairu did not stand firm and demand the strict application of the Federal Act as embodied in the Constitution. Tedla Bairu preferred to function as the errand boy of the Emperor's Representative rather than as an Executive of the Eritrean Cabinet and of the Assembly that elected him. The judgement of the British Consulate-General strongly emphasised that "Tedla Bairu was not up to the heavy responsibilities placed on him".

What is an errand boy? An errand is a short trip that someone makes to do a job for someone. What is to be drawn from this British report extract? Obviously, the answer is that Dej. Tedla Bairu was not in the position to follow the formal rule, law and power given to him from the Head (Central) Office of the Government of Eritrea including Parliament. Dej. Tedla Bairu misused and misplaced the Eritrean power and laid down a stone of a beginning end of the Federation Act. He contributed and prepared a solid-rock political atmosphere in favour of Ethiopia against his own nation and people's desire. Narrative reports and literature reveal that Dej. Tedla Bairu was counter-productive in many ways as indicated earlier. Many Eritrean civilians and members of Eritrean Parliament from the Moslem Communities, especially the Moslem League, were strongly campaigning to keep, at least, the Eritrean autonomy intact to be able to ensure the practice of their rights given to them by the resolution of the UN. Dej. Tedla Bairu created anger and disappointment in the Eritrean Parliament and the Eritrean society as a whole instead. As noted earlier, it is a considerable argument that he was more concerned with his personal power and the privileges that emanated from it opposing his accountability and responsibility.

Fact Six

Not only was that, the accusations against the Chief Executive's political career, but his lack of seriousness in seeking consultation and involvement in the matters of his Cabinet and Assembly advice, argument and debate with his Eritreans. As a country leader, he did not show an interest in resolving Eritrea's internal issues of conflict or discontent, instead, he made the way free for Ethiopia's involvement in the Eritrean internal affairs. For this episode, more vividly, British documents give evidence of their observation that the Chief Executive, Dej. Tedla Bairu lost popularity of his people and the support of the Eritrean police, whose great majority favoured the 'federalist position' through their membership. Because Dej. Tedla Bairu as Chief Executive did fail to demonstrate a clear policy vis a vis the Federal Authorities (R9, British Head of the Police, 1954).

Fact Seven

Stung by condemnation, the Government of Deg. Tedla Bairu abused the Eritrean workforces and lost its sense of ethical auditing for its own benefits in its strategy of strengthening a sectarian power. This was a political and administrative corruption that was engulfed to its highest peak in the reign of Dej. Tedla Bairu. This corruption was highlighted by the British documentary protocol made by Cracknell (1954) in his interview with the Chief Executive, Dej. Tedla Bairu and emphasised that

"the Chief Executive, Dej. Tedla Bairu, was reminded that his extensive private transactions, and the appointment of old political associates and people from his district to senior posts in the civil service had made the people lose so much confidence that if he (Dej. Tedla Bairu) so desired he would have to reassure people by deeds" (A Report written by R10 - to Wardle-Smith, the then British Consul).

At this stage, it is no more argumentative but seems more obvious that such a political or administrative corruption was serious. This renders a further evidence of failing to reason and/or failing to understand the leadership by putting the Chief Executive in a question in his time.

Fact Eight

The literature makes it evidently to explain a ploy of political relationship between Eritrea's Dej. Tedla Bairu and Ethiopia. The ploy was that his determination to abolish the Federation much sooner than the Ehiopian Authorities thought. With that design, Dej. Tedla Bairu made a breach to the Eritrean Federal Contract. The British Government asserted in its follow-up reports, that the most threat to the Federation was the Chief Executive's desire for more power to be granted from Ethiopia. Not only was that the case of Dej. Tedla Bairu. The British Consul produced the following report:

"It would be disastrous to allow the Chief Executive to get his way. With a controlled judiciary in the hands of the Chief Executive, who is giving every indication of being a megalomaniac, there is no knowing what may happen here. Certainly foreigners and foreign interests would receive rough treatment and political opponents would be annihilated. Surely we should make every effort to prevent such a state of affairs coming about. The United Nations representative tells me he has reported to the Secretary General in much the same terms (03.04.1954)".

The British Consul witnessed that Tedla Bairu made it clear that, if everything depended on him, he would favour complete union with Ethiopia (17.09.54).

This shows that Eritrea's Federation right formed by Constitution accomplished by the United Nations and given to our people was stamped out, for Ethiopia's good by Dej. Tedla Bairu and his Unionist Party: the main body of the Government.

Fact Nine

A literature search makes explicit that the Unionist Party in Eritrea contributed to the plight of the Eritreans by taking advantage of the money flowing from Ethiopia. Historians and British Officials give the following report as evidence (R11, 1983 and R12, 1977).

"In Eritrea, much the same position was taken by the 'Patriotic Association for the Union of Eritrea and Ethiopia' led by Dej. Beyene Beraki and Ato (later Dej.) Tedla Bairu. Its members called for the unconditional integration of the colony into the 'motherland', totally opposing partition or trusteeship. The party was headquartered in Asmara, where Col. Nega Haile Sellasie, Ethiopia's liaison officer to the British Military Administration, also advised and subsidized the Unionists out of monies collected in Addis Ababa by the "Society for the Unification of Ethiopia and Eritrea".

Since the above extract provides a clear message, it seems reasonable at this moment to discuss the terms 'partition' and 'trusteeship'. What is partition? Partition is the division of a country into independent areas. This option was rejected by the great majority of Eritreans and was politically unwise.

What is trusteeship? By definition, a trustee is someone who is allowed by law to control money or property they are keeping or investing for another person. But the context of 'trustee' was more than its definition in the case of Eritrea. The concept of 'trusteeship' was one of Eritrea's options for political solution expressed by some Representatives of the main Eritrean Political and Social Parties. Such views and other options were heard by the United Nations of the Four Powers (France, Great Britain, Soviet Union, United States) through their Investigating Commission Body of 5-member nations (Burma, Guatemala, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa) in the 1940s and 1950s during their investigation in Eritrea. The Trustee Powers for Eritrea were the United Kingdom (UK), Italy and the United Nations. In general, the main expressed options of preferences of our people (the Eritrean Representatives) were:

  1. Independence for Eritrea

  2. Union with Ethiopia

  3. Trusteeship under the UK, or Italy, Four Powers, or the UN

  4. Partition of the territory and annexation of the Eastern part to Ethiopia and the Western Province to the Sudan.

The Commission held hearings at different times and various areas in Eritrea to gather information and to ensure the desires and wishes of our people and country's future. However, our people failed on leadership disunity directed and influenced by political and religious divisions in Eritrea. As a result, they could not reach an agreement on a common ground. The Coptic Church and the Islamic Religion heavily steered and influenced the political field of Eritrea. Further, organisations held for hearings were also strongly influenced by members and Representatives of the Unionist Party, as the single largest party compared to the other available parties, reported the Four Power Commission. But, the Four Power Commission got an insight of the internal and external problems and allegations for its own consideration.

Out of the different hearings, a conclusion was drawn to keep the integrity of the whole Eritrea as its national entity and identity. Because two different positions were crystallised that emerged out of the different views in solving the Eritrean colonial question. The one side was that the disagreement among the Eritreans themselves as noted above. The second side of the crystal was that the Four Commission Investigating Body came out also with different conclusive views and suggestions about Eritrea that could neither satisfy our people. This division and disagreement of the Eritrean people on the one hand and the UN - Four Power Commission in their differing decision on the other hand, came to be the main cause for creating the final verdict of the United Nations Resolution to suggest that the only neutral notion of solution of that time might be, was that the 'Federation' with Ethiopia. This resolution took place in September 1952 under the Crown of the Emperor. Of course, the decision of the UN was not to the fullest satisfaction of either side: Eritrea or Ethiopia. To some extent compared to the past, it was a kind of relief and rehabilitation of Eritrea from the suffering of the long run of European colonial rule including periodical invasions of the Turks and Egyptians in Eritrea. That decision of the UN in today's eyes and generation could be different. Nevertheless, it was a hard inheritance of pain that took us again another 30 years to reverse the case until the re-birth of Eritrea's colony-de-facto-state in May 1991. Its official and formal recognition by the International Community (UN) was marked on May 24 1993 being a sovereign and an independent state: The State of Eritrea, a new colony-born state. For this achievement, the EPLF gets credit irrespective of the present state of misery and its internal history of conflict. There is only one truth at a time to be told but with out colouring and manipulating it. Whatever ending story as it may be, it is still necessary to link the message of the writing by going back to the root of the body.

Thus, thanks to the effort of an Eritrean scholar, Professor Habtu Ghebre-ab (PhD), who gave an account of a documentary study of the United Nations (Four Power Commission Investigation for the Former Italian Colonies - Vol. I: Report on Eritrea 1948) summarised as follows, and this will help to weigh and make up the mind on who carried the torch for a nation's generation burden with a high cost but valuable resources: materials, animals and human lives:

  1. "Hamasien Division: 95.8% of its inhabitants expressed for unconditional union with Ethiopia

  2. Akel-Guzai Division: 70% of its inhabitants expressed their views for unconditional union with Ethiopia

  3. Seraye Division: 77.6% of its inhabitants expressed their views for unconditional union with Ethiopia.

  4. Western Province (mainly Senhit, Barka including Settit (Barentu): 74.9% of their inhabitants expressed their views for the 'British Trusteeship' for a period of ten years to be followed by 'independence'.

  5. Massawa Division (Red Sea) including Dankalia: 86% of their inhabitants expressed their views in favour of an 'Italian Trusteeship' as first and a 'British Trusteeship' as second". (Report on Eritrea 1948, cited in R13, 1993)

The Four Power Commission documented the above result of view expressions heard from the Representatives of the main five parties. These main parities were:

  1. The Patriotic Association for the Union of Eritrea with Ethiopia known as Unionist Party:

    Its political aims were: a) the unconditional union of Eritrea with Ethiopia; b) opposing the return of Italian domination; c) rejecting the institution of foreign trusteeship.

    Most of its members were partly Europeanised urban Christians and a number of Moslem aristocrats from the Western Plains of Eritrea expressing a special desire for them. This was expecting Ethiopia to be in their favour in maintaining their feudal privileges. Ethiopia provided the finance of this Party. The Orthodox Church of Eritrea took an active role in becoming an instrument of this Party's manoeuvring system in Eritrea.

  2. The Moslem League:

    Its political aims were: a) against union with Ethiopia or annexation to Ethiopia or any other country; b) the independence of Eritrea, if this was not immediately achievable, then 'internal independence' under the 'trusteeship' of the United Nations represented by Great Britain, or directly by the United Nations; c) the reservation of territorial unity of Eritrea in its boundaries known before 1935 including Dankalia, and certain areas of the Sudan.

    Other Aims: a) conservation and defence of Moslem rights; b) strengthening the relations among the Moslem communities; c) establishing an organisation of communication in favour of the Moslems' economical, political, social and educational developments. The Moslem League was led mainly by religious leaders. It was co-operative with the Liberal Progressive Party on common political issues concerning Eritrea's future.

  3. The Liberal Progressive Party:

    Its political aims were: a) the independence of Eritrea as a separate entity including Tigrai and certain areas of the Sudan; b) rejecting the annexation of Eritrea to Ethiopia; c) advocating for the progressive independence of Eritrea under the control of the United Nations.

  4. The New Eritrean Pro-Italy Party termed Pro-Italy Party for short:

    Its political aim was: Italian trusteeship to lead Eritrea for independence.

  5. The Moslem National Party of Massawa:

    Its political aim: British administration for ten years under the control of the United Nations followed by complete independence.

Fact Ten

It is worth discussing the evidence of political trouble connected with an ethical, a legal and responsibility dilemma. There is no better expression than to say it is the misconduct of Dej. Tedla Bairu. This misconduct was noticed publicly when he forced in vain, the then Chief Justice and President of the Eritrean Supreme Court to resign on the decision of Dej. Tedla Bairu, as President Issaias Afeworki did in 2001 with Mr. Teame Beyene, the Chief of the Supreme Court. Dej. Tedla Bairu's attempt was beyond the legal power of the Chief Executive. The literature further reveals that the Ethiopian representative once conceded to the British Consul that Tedla Bairu could be impeached for his unconstitutional action in regard with the Supreme Judges' request for resignation. This was the failure of the Chief Executive to respect the independence of the judiciary so as PIA doing today in the 21st Century. This produced a political foe that both the British Administration in Eritrea and Ethiopia took a stance against him. It was at this stage that Dej. Tedla Bairu came to realise that he was at the dead end of power given to him. This discontent with Ethiopia and Great Britain was one of the reasons that caused Dej. Tedla Bairu to resign.

Fact Eleven

The revealation of failing to reason and failing to understand was the Chief Executive's breach with the Eritrean Assembly. Some of the examples were: a) Dej. Tedla Bairu's frequent absence from Asmara, b) less-bread-winning performance from Ethiopia, c) and dissatisfaction from his own Unionist Party, were all factors that contributed to his downfall further. One typical example of an accusation was an embarrassing despatch that was hard for the Chief Executive to see, read and to be told of it. This was quoted as:

"Despatch No. 25. American Consulate, Asmara, to the Department of State, Washington D.C. September 3, 1952. Tedla Bairu also received an American car from the Emperor. See Despatch No. 57. To ordinary citizens, grain bribes were being given. See Telegram No. 1011030Z, October 10, 1949. American Legation, Addis Ababa, to the Secretary of State, Washington D.C. The Ethiopian Liaison Officer, Negga Haile Selassie, was also successful in bribing some anti-Unionist leaders such as Seyoum Me'asho. See Telegram from the American Legation, Addis Ababa, to the Secretary, Washington D.C. No. 202. September 26, 1949".

Therefore, his administrative and political corruption, his accommodation in making of suitable conditions for the divisions among politicians, disappointments and resentments among Eritreans initiated by the Chief Executive, came to hit back at himself by his own people to close down his political era forever. It was a high price to pay. That episode was easy to interpret and understand in Tigrigna's saying in three examples:

Because that was not the case of positivity and comfort for the people of Eritrea during Dej. Tedla Bairu, a new phase developed out of it, in favour of Bet'Weded (shortened Bet.) Asfaha Woldemichael, known as 'merah menghisti ', literally means 'Government Leader'.

It was this leadership situation that favoured the welcome greeting of Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael. The welcome came from among many Eritrean lowlanders and highlanders in protest against the rule of Dej. Tedla Bairu's in Eritrea. Here, at the same time, it is extraordinarily important that one must note that our people made political correctness' by changing the Chief Executive for Eritrea as their choice, but done mistake by mistake. In today's view, critics could say that decision was wrong, but in their time it was another for many reasons. Educational level, political awareness, infra-structure, poverty, culture, life experience and so on, all these play a role in meeting a decision and making a choice.

Fact Twelve

In general terms, the literature search has looked, with interest, at the political vision and administration skills of Dej. Tedla Bairu. The result is to confirm that these two were negative from different aspects and evaluation sources. These two weak points of the Chief Executive were reflective. These were also witnessed and portrayed by the political opinion analysis of Dej. Haregot Abbay. Dej. Haregot Abbay served in the Government of Dej. Tedla Bairu as a Director of the Interior. Analysing and observing the political twist, Dej. Haregot Abbay came to the conclusion that 'the Federal Act would only work on the condition that the Eritreans themselves held together and did not remain divided'. However, Dej. Tedla Bairu did not take the opinion of Dej. Haregot Abbay to his heart seriously. By contrast, it seems clear to argue that Dej. Tedla Bairu and his double standard in the Eritrean politics failed his people and his country Eritrea. Consequently, that caused his total resignation from power.

In addition, there was a significant contribution to his resignation. That contribution came from Ethiopia's insisting force to see Dej. Tedla Bairu resign his position of Chief Executive. Because the Chief Executive had expressed his disquiet over Ethiopia's policy of depriving Eritreans of the human rights promised them in the Constitution. He should have done this a long time ago to show the legal power of Eritrea in its own right, but late. He did neither try to keep the balance of power between the two separate entities nor resist the Ethiopian political developments in Eritrea while he was in power. His resignation just happened on July 29 1955.

Dej. Tedla Bairu, one of the chief architects of union, finally, lost all his dreams of power in the light of his background. When resigned, he went to Ethiopia and resided there first. After nine months of stay in Ethiopia, he was then appointed by the Emperor as an Ethiopian Ambassador to Sweden on May 9 1956 (R14, 2000, p.459). For Dej. Tedla Bairu, this post was not more than a moral support. When returned from Sweden, his last post in the Ethiopian political and administrative ruling hierarchy, was his appointment as a member of the Ethiopian House of Senate. Dej. Tedla Bairu felt and understood that he was not treated by Ethiopia with fairness, after his post of the Chief Executive in Eritrea. All the appeasement did not satisfy Dej. Tedla Bairu.

NG89E, in its attempt to present this analysis, has collected some narrated valuable information from some close friends and observers of the Chief Executive who still hold the view of his personal dissatisfaction and frustration that resulted from his discharge from all powers in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Dej. Tedla Bairu began to rethink his past against Ethiopia when he was completely disappointed with Ethiopia. Hence, he completed his political pilgrimage by defecting to the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1967 (R15, 1990, p. 68). But, first, Dej. Tedla Bairu left for Sweden, where he lived from Head of State to a refugee status engineered by self-mistake, until the last moment of his life. However, his re-think to criticise Ethiopia and his final understanding and recognition of his people's suffering and his determination to join the ELF, could now be credited, even though it was too late to save Eritrea. He started to play a role in Europe with regard to Eritrean politics, in particular, in the Middle East between Cairo (Egypt) and Damascus (Syria) after his contact with his Eritrean colleagues, like Sheik Idris Mohammad Adum (the then President of the Eritrean Assembly) in Cairo.

But as indicated earlier, all these in turn, gave an opportunity to Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael to replace Dej. Tedla Bairu. The power replacement was done through the process of democratic election mandated by the people and Parliament of Eritrea. Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael's election as Chief Executive of Eritrea was on the 8th of August 1955. A secret ballot took place and 48 Parliament Members (Constituents) voted in his favour and 17 against his election. Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael's political position as pro-Ethiopian, even though he was not the right man for Eritrea, was clearly visible in all his politics from the very beginning to his friends, relatives and his counterpart Eritrean politicians. It was not a secret. His belief and policy towards Ethiopia remained unchanged from its pregnancy to its delivery and its life span. Before his election to Chief Executive of Eritrea, Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was serving in Eritrea as a Vice-Representative of Ethiopia. This post in itself was a clear evidence of who he was and for what he was.

Again, it is worth discussing the question: what made Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael credible in entering a political arena as a career? The answer is and was his clear policy line to Ethiopia throughout his life with having no character, symptom or sign of double standard compared to Dej. Tedla Bairu. Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was an Eritrean so as Dej. Tedla Bairu. Their main difference was that Bet. Asfaha Woldemeichael devoted his life to Ethiopia governed by a straight political principle and ideology more than the life of Dej. Tedla Bairu did. Bet. Asfaha Woldemeichael worked wholeheartedly for Ethiopia and his mission in Eritrea was Ethiopia, as said before. Initially, both had the same view of Unionist Party in Eritrea towards Ethiopia, and each of them was educated in different European Mission Schools in Eritrea as well as abroad, having different religious beliefs within Christianity. Dej. Tedla Bairu was an Evangelic, and Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was a Catholic. Then, what drove Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael to think for Ethiopia rather than his homeland? There is a considerable explanation for this political stand of Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael. The next is a brief answer to the question.

(R16, 2000, p. 533)

Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael assessed and weighed Eritrea's problems and consequences of the 1940s and 1950s of his time. In his analysis, the problems were: a) the Eritrean internal political disarray, b) the cultural differences, especially religion - Moslem and Christian, as a main factor of discontent, c) economical concerns due to the 'shifta (outlaw) crisis' in Eritrea that caused insecurity and the demolishing of Eritrean resources and infrastructure installed by the Italians under the British rule by the British themselves, that caused unemployment and poverty, and d) the least but not the last, in particular, the consideration of the influence of the Eritrean surrounding on the Eritrean communal culture. For example, the interests of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia in Eritrea for three main reasons were not exaggerated. This was firstly as a result of the influence of British rule in Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt. Secondly, due to the religious relation of the people in Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt based on Islam. This point can be more highlighted on the account of Egypt's claim to Eritrea. Egypt brought its case to the UN-Political and Territorial Committee of the Paris Peace Conference in 1946, raising three main perspectives. These are that: i) Eritrea's geographical importance for its sea service as natural geographical extension to the Eastern Sudan, ii) Eritrea is ethnologically an Arab community, and iii) economically, Eritrea forms with the Eastern Sudan as out and inlet of trade and commerce. Thirdly and similarly, the Ethiopian influence in Eritrea based on the Christian culture in addition to Ethiopia's economy-based interest to gain access to the Eritrean Red Sea mainly on the advice of the United States of America and Great Britain for their own political and economical advantages.

Having observed the above Eritrea's collective crisis, Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael pointed out in his political argument and analysis in Eritrean meetings in Asmara as following:

"A workload that a camel carries out, cannot be carried out by a donkey".

What does this expression mean? It can widely be interpreted. But the main point of it, as seems to NG89E, lies within the attribution of descriptive terms of someone's behaviour / character when describing the functions seen in the long term like, skills / ability, stability, durability, effectiveness, productivity, continuity, ageing (long life and life span), peace, pleasure and so on. These attributions can be effectively materialised and differentiated only on the ground of its physiological and biological nature in its function. It would be quite wrong to suppose that both the donkey and the camel do their jobs according to their ability. This is clear. According to ability, is a universal truth. But this is not the point of the above message. The camel is efficient to accomplish the job of its owner even at times of hardship more than the donkey can. This does not mean that Eritrea was not sufficient to rule itself. But due to the fact, the terrible conditions those days outweighed, Eritrea was not in the position to take its life into its own hands. There was a chance for Eritrea to stay under the 'trusteeship' of either the United Kingdom, Italy, Four Powers, or the United Nations, but our people did not agree. In the case of Ethiopia, our people were again divided. The option left was 'federation' as explained earlier. Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was analytically the results of the crisis of that period of political, economical, social and cultural environment in Eritrea that was almost chronic for more than five decades. These results were again in summary: firstly, the Eritrean internal political differences; secondly, culture and value differences; thirdly, Eritrea's surrounding world political views and influences on Eritrea. All these made up the judgement that the Eritrean economy and politics could hardly be stable. Politics is a means of stability. If politics is not stable, it influences and governs the economy of one's nation and vice versa as we see it today in Eritrea in reality without the need to refer to Somalia as an example.

Another significant factor that influenced many Eritreans to intend to Ethiopia was their life experience during the foreign rules in Eritrea. Throughout the history of Eritrea, it wasn't entirely trouble free, but more troublesome. In particular the harsh colonial rule of Italy and Great Britain such as, the white supremacy, discrimination, slavery and so on, was the most unforgettable and unforgivable part of the Eritrean memories. Based on their life experiences, Eritreans did not want to see any Europeans anymore on their soil, but wanted their liberation to see their 'black society' in peace and freedom. To explain this, consider the following three examples expressed by British reports and many Eritrean patriots that have telling words.

Example 1

A British report stated:

They (Eritreans) complain we (British) have maintained the prestige of the whites and that things are no better than before. They (Eritreans) claim we have cheated them with our promises and have apparently forgotten how courageously they fought against the Italians at Keren and elsewhere when we (British) came to liberate them" (R17, British Memorandum, June 28, 1941).

Example 2:

Eritreans' report ('a' and 'b') stated:

a) "The Italians say that Ethiopia is a country without history, a country of slaves, and that it is not known from whom they descend; yet they went out of their way to destroy the convents and burn the Holy books".

b) "Italy invaded Ethiopia not to bring civilisation, but to make the people slaves and call their children heathens. Italy was from the first the disorganiser of the Ethiopian people. It did not give 'peace, work, bread and justice,' it did not wish to see the tribes unite. Italy sought decade by decade to destroy Ethiopia, to plunge her in poverty without goods, without land to cultivate, without commerce, without even sandals to walk with. How can we be mistaken, we Eritreans who for 50 years have been deprived of everything?" (R18, a and b: A Document addressed to the British Authorities, December 12, 1941).

Example 3

"This criminality in Eritrea is of a political nature; the cause of these murders is most probably that the Italians are helping the Blocco di Independenzia (translated into English it means an 'Independence Bloc'). Why is Italy so much interested in the fate of our country? We do not desire the return of Italy, even the new masquerade of the 'Blocco'. We declare that we are fed up with carrying the yoke of slavery; we have decided to unload the yoke. It is our fervent desire to be incorporated within our Motherland, Ethiopia" (Eritrean Patriots' Compliant presented to the British Administration, cited in R19, 1953, p. 182).

The hatred was at its peak. This was one of the reasons why Eritreans were not for 'trusteeship' of Great Britain or Italy with a majority voice. Again, this was one reason, why many Eritreans were heading to Ethiopia seeking safety and race equality opposing the colonial 'divide and rule system' and 'white supremacy'. That movement partly contributed a ground to flourish the establishment of an 'Association for Love of a Country' in Ethiopia that had a root link to the Unionist Party in Eritrea. Furthermore, the following Extracts 1-7 will demonstrate the past life experience of our people under colonial yoke. These were taken from the collection of Eritrean literature and from the corresponding documents between London and Asmara under the British Administration in Asmara. These situations and others led the Eritrean heart to be hardened against the Europeans and soften their heart to the Black world. On the latter account, Prof. B. Habte Sellasie (R20, 1980, p. 45) agrees with the idea that our people needed the alliance of the southern neighbours (Ethiopia) when analysing the history of Eritrea. In his own words, he puts it (Extract 1) as following:

Extract 1

"Historically, the strategic factor has impinged on Eritrean politics, imposing constraints on the struggle to maintain or regain independence. In that long struggle some form of inter-dependence has alternated with autonomy and isolation. When Turko / Egyptian hegemony or European colonisation was the main threat, Eritreans sought alliance (and in some cases refuge) with their southern neighbours. When Ethiopian expansion was the threat, succour, and/or alliance was sought elsewhere" (R20, 1980).

Extract 2

A pledge that none of the former Colonies of Italy would be restored to her was specifically given to the British Parliament by Mr. Eden, on October 4th, 1944, as follows:

Mr. Barstow asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the Ministry of Information pamphlet, "The First to be Freed," recording that slavery was practised by the Italian Government in their Colony of Somaliland, and the neglect of sanitation, public health, water supply and education in Eritrea and Somalia, the imprisonment for years, without trial and under bad conditions, persons guilty of no crime known to the laws of civilised countries, he will assure the House that His Majesty's Government is opposed to the return of the Colonies to Italy, and that their declaration that the Italian Empire in Africa is irrevocably lost will be strictly adhered to?" (R21, British Foreign Minister, 1944, quoted in R22, 1952, pp. 10-11)

Extract 3

"It is therefore evident that the British Administration of Eritrea had the duty of acting purely as a caretaker, and, as such, was responsible for the care and maintenance of the territory and its installations, without any right to undertake the vast dismantling and dispersal which in fact have been effected, and are even now continuing" (R23, 1952, p. 11).

Extract 4

"….. The former Colonies having been placed under the jurisdiction of the United Nations pending a decision concerning their future, it is clear that neither Britain nor the United States had any right to dismantle or remove any of the installations found in these territories at the time of Italy's defeat. Nevertheless, dismantling and destruction has been carried out on a vast scale" (R24, 1952, p. 12).

Extract 5 - Eyewitness: First Hand Report

During my (Sylvia Pankhurst) visit to Eritrea early in 1952, I motored from Asmara, the capital of the territory, to the port of Massawa. I was accompanied by an Ethiopian familiar with Eritrea, and by Mr. Mohammad Omar Khadi, an Eritrean Moslem, a gentle merchant, who surprised me by his familiarity with European political literature, ranging from the works of John Locke and the Social Contract of Jean Jacques Rousseau to Bernard Shaw's "Everybody's Political What's What."

I (Sylvia Pankhurst in Massawa) was extremely distressed by the sight of this callous and senseless vandalism. "It is a disgrace to British civilisations," said Mohammad Omar Kadi; his words affected me painfully, like blows, so just they were my opinion. I was grieved and down hearted" (R25, 1952, p. 14).

Extract 6 - Attempts to Stop Demolitions; Fallacious British Government Reply

"I had not been prepared for this enormous destruction, though early 1951 I had been informed by an Eritrean student in London that the British Administration was demolishing and removing from Eritrea installations the loss of which was considered harmful to the Eritrean people. I had mentioned the matter at the time to Mr. Peter Freeman, M.P., the Chairman of the International Council for Study and Report, who had written to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on January 17th and on February 13th, 1951, to ascertain the facts, and in the hope of preventing further demolitions" (Mr. Younger's Reply of behalf of the Foreign Secretary, cited in R26, 1952, p. 17).

Extract 7

"….. when the initial victory over Italy had been won the future of Eritrea was held in suspense; the territory was governed by Italian fascist law and fascist officials under a British Military Administration" (R27, 1953, P. 12).

All the above descriptive factors together as a bone of political content drove Eritrea into the hands of Ethiopia from which Eritrea must learn today to resolve its problems of culture and to start to live together in unity as it is seen during the thirty years of war for independence so that to be able to fight and win the external factors for the next generations.

What is to be learnt from the past? Where do we, Eritreans go from here? This is a new challenge in our time in search for peace that we, Eritreans need to understand and think in a modern way or third way of compromise. Human development changes from time to time for different factors so as our human thinking power. One example is that it was in no-man's expectation that Socialist Soviet Union Republic would be divided. Therefore, Eritrea must be prepared and have a new expectation and dimension that brings a profit of a common good for all its people and avoid a division but work for unity. We must accept to live in differences but at the same time we must also accept to have a common ground in which our differences are able to survive.

The point of conclusion is that if Dej. Tedla Bairu was correct and self-committed to the Eritrean purpose, strong and honest in his politics for Eritrea, and if Dej. Tedla Bairu was capable of holding the Eritrean people together, and if Dej. Tedla Bairu was strongly responding and opposing the Ethiopian interference in the Eritrean internal affairs, it could be argued that there was a chance that the Eritrean Federation Act would survive, at least, for the then ten years as it was regulated by the UN until its right to separation for independence probably in a peaceful way.

(R28, 1953, IX)

Consequently, there is a strong reason to argue the probability that Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael could have a chance to come to power for the benefit of Ethiopia, would be practically non. Hence, it is hard to blame the straight forward political line of Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael. Openly speaking, Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael must not be the sole
individual person for Eritreas failed politics in the past but all those in the Eritrean leadeship including Dej. Tedla Bairu, General Tedla Ogbit (Eritrean Police Commissioner, Federal Attorney General and Unionist), Keshi Demetros Ghebremariam (Vice-President of the Eritrean Assembly in 1955, Unionist and Spiritual Leader of the Unionist Party), Bishop / Abbuna Marcus (the Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Eritrea), Blatta Ephrem Medhen (by birth Eritrean but as a youth grown in Ethiopia), the then Ethiopian Minister for Agriculture as well as a Representative of the Ethiopian Government at the United Nations), Dawit Ogbazghie (Unionist), Tewolde Tedla (one of the earliest unofficial organisers of the Eritrean Patriotic Movement), Sheik Kekkia Pasha (Massawa), Arraya Wassie, Secretary of the Interior and Acting Chief Executive of Eritrea and so on. Those who were at different levels of leading positions (mostly the highlanders) be political party, religion, school, or local chief, with the exception of few opponent Eritreans, who contributed as individuals to strengthen the politics of Ethiopia against the will of the Eritrean masses, must be accountable for their actions.

(R29, 1953, XXII)

In one word, Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was an open man in his action whereas the others were acting for Ethiopia behind the doors. It is not novel to criticise someone without ground. Therefore, the consideration of the next example (see Table below) will provide the information why Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael was not alone a single player.

The following table is a summary result of the Commission's Analysis of Hearings of Representatives of the People of Eritrea.

Numbers claimed By Representative at Hearings
Membership claimed by

Moslem League
Unionist Party
Liberal Progressives
Total Population

(R30, Four Power Report, Volume I, 1948, taken from R31, 1993)

The above table gives a clear picture of our people's past failure of their total ambition to be united with Ethiopia instead of their separation for total independence. This inclination was there already before Bet. Asfaha Woldemeichael came to power. If we understand the politics of the past in depth, then the question that comes to be asked is: how could Bet. Asfaha Woldemichael be a scapegoat for all? The answer is left for every Eritrean with conscience by understanding the whole context to the end.

Similarly, from the viewpoint of a leadership role, this is exactly what is happening today in current Eritrea. Today, the Government of Eritrea and its people are suffering under the dictatorial leadership of President Issaias Afeworki since 1991. But President Issaias Afowerki has been making very grave political mistakes since decades being unexposed to the public. Of course, the majority of the grass-root Tegadelti know and understand the problems of their EPLF/PFDJ's problems of leadership, but they cannot escape from it. This is because the leadership of Issaias Afeworki was blindly supported and followed by his comrades, including those who are known today as G15 - the Reformers, again for decades. But since our natural and social world is in a continuous change (although we may not always be aware of any change), the Reformers finally realised their obligation and came determined to go for a change by calling on the Government of President Issaias to stop his show of shame and game. For this action, NG89E credits the Reformers with positive as well.

However, in a free democracy, individuals, groups, communities, parties have different beliefs and political views as well as reflections and analysis. No one should or must have the same opinion since we are environmentally different. Hence it is improper to come to say: how can being an Eritrean be of the view of an Ethiopian or vice versa. Such views or understanding is not right. Someone must ask a question to himself / herself: Why is the person so? Where is the person grown up? What is the education of the person? What is the experience of the person? What is the culture of the person? What is the attitude of the person and so on? Right today, we have a number of evidences to say so. For example, if we take the mentality of the Eritreans born and grown up in Europe, America and so on. we find that it is quite different from those inside Eritrea. For those outside Eritrea, Eritrea is more or less like a tale story or cinema entertainment. That means there is no guarantee that these Eritreans born and grown up somewhere else outside Eritrea would advocate for Eritrea. For us, this is the bottom line that we need to understand today.

On the account of the above different scenarios of leadership and its links to many issues as already discussed, it seems now important to consider the view of Herui Tedla Bairu followed by the question: how Herui Tedla Bairu dare to say that his Father is his model? Herui Tedla Bairu answered this as one of many other questions when asked in an interview. Awate conducted that interview in the Box as following:

Awate: Question: Who is your hero? Who did you look up to as a young person? Why?

Herui Tedla: Response: "Hmmm. Am I allowed to name my father as a hero? I consider my father my hero. Then my hero is my father. Absolutely.

(An extract taken from the Awate Web Site: Interview with Herui T. Bairu 1/1/2001, Part 1, by Saleh AA Younis, October 28 2002).

NG89E assesses the above extract out of Herui's interview with Awate to investigate and analyse what it may mean in its connection to his father Dej. Tedla Bairu. Out of the study of his father's personality and leadership, NG89E has a reservation of whether Herui T. Bairu's expression taking his father as a hero model is right. For NG89E, it is far from the point to see a role model. NG89E believes that Herui is mistaken to give that view because he fails to realise his father's open ambition to grab Eritrea for the love of power. Herui, a highly respected person and experienced politician can now hardly gain a political profit from his subjective expression. With such perception of world - view and especially of his Eritrea's world, still Herui does not seem to be mature in scoring a political quality. This does neither reflect a true and honest politician's personality nor represent a scholarly or an educationalist view.

The question is: does Herui really know the history of his own father and Eritrean politics when he claimed to be a politician? This leads to a doubt of his personality for those Eritreans who know the history and leadership of Dej. Tedla Bairu in Eritrea. However, there is one scientific version that needs consideration. And this is the case of heredity and the case of logic, the science of reasoning. Hereditary, the intention of mental thinking and mental make up is a biological process that Herui could be his father, Dej. Tedla Bairu. However, from the standpoint of environmental factors, Herui can be moulded differently. Consequently, from the viewpoint of logic alone, it is not always right to prove and describe someone's behaviour and to discredit a person's qualifications. With this it is meant, Herui Tedla may or may not be like his father to favour Ethiopia, but this remains to be seen with the next development of the new Eritrean Alliance activities of his leadership. But one fact must be kept on hold. That is to put him in the spotlight including all his partners involved in the Alliance Leading Body for their past and present history under the scrutiny:

  1. Abdella Idris (Chairman)
  2. Mohammad Saleh Shengeb (Vice General Secretary)
  3. Mohammad Osman Abubaker (Foreign Relation)
  4. Querenius Osman (Military Chief)
  5. Abdela Mahmud (Secretary)
  6. Hassan Ali Assad (Propaganda Chief)
  7. Nebil Ibrahim Ferej (Finance)
  8. Hamid Saleh Turki (Political Affairs).

One last point to make, in this part, is that about our traditional mentality (the way we think is the way we behave). This remarkable attitude is not only realised by our- selves as our weak point, but also observed and documented by a variety of foreign literature and foreign observers of our society. One example is that what Gerald K.N. Trevaskis', an acting Chief Secretary in British Administration for Eritrea, has to say in portraying the Eritrean behaviour during the 1940s and 1950s.

"Throughout the Italian regime the Eritrean remained content, docile and obedient to his rulers" (R32, 1960).

Even though this assertion is true and still pains our heart, it must be stressed that such traditional thinking is today dying out radically. Having said that it is the strongest view of the NG89E that we Eritreans are no more bound by the old instinct of subservience to the leader under the belief of 'no matter whatever the sun is, is our sun; whoever the king is, is our king'. In Tigrigna: . Currently, there are four indicators of proof for this statement. Firstly, the creation of EPLF-DP and its building up as an opposition power against the GoE, despite the fact it is a split-sister of the EPLF by its nature. This split-sister has a long way to prove its immunity and sincerity to Eritrea since we know what the EPLF/PFDJ was and is. Secondly, the formation of different Eritrean human organisations throughout the world demonstrating a network of co-operation, is a progressive movement. Thirdly, the unity of the ELF fractions as an opposition political party, is again a sign of development. It is hoped that this development of the ELF will be the beginning to bear unity after more than two decades of disintegration. Fourthly, the appearance of many individual independent democrats, those who devote their times and interest in contributing constructive views for the sake of Eritrea, is a significant remark of breaking the chain of silence in Eritrea.

But on the contrary to all the above given examples of developing phenomena, there is yet another assertion that needs recognition of our setback even today in our modern time. This assertion is to witness that we Eritreans are still bound by the unforgettable contribution of wisdom of Atto (Abbona: ) Welde-Ab Woldemariam: "we agree to disagree" . This old statement can be demonstrated with two examples out of the many.

Example One

Let us take the current conflict between the new Alliance and ELF-RC into account. Of course, their conflict is not without anything but political strategy. It cannot be underestimated or overestimated. One of the key reasons of the conflict is the nature of the leadership of the ENA and its impact on power. The issue of power and leadership is the core content of this writing as clearly stated at the beginning and throughout the writing. There is no need to raise it here, because the issue of leadership quality is well addressed. But in one word, the leadership quality of both leaders of the Alliance and the ELF-RC, in the view of NG89E, is still a concern of their eligibility for the people of Eritrea. As to the ELF-RC claim, the new Alliance (ENA) headed by Herui Tedla Bairu and Abdella Idris is not clean in its organisation. This mistake of the new Alliance has become already evident in its decision of excluding its sister ELF-RC on October 25 2002 (R33, 2002 and R34, 27.10.2002), instead of taking an initiative for democratic table negotiation to be able to look at the root of their problems. If the claim is true, then the ELF-RC is in the right position, when it shares its warning to all Eritreans and when it declares its stand that it is firmly against any kind of foreign influence and interference in the politics of Eritrea. To this end, it is wise to count our old sayings in Tigrigna:

In the light of these, NG89E, on its part, accepts such an early warning as reasonable, because the decision-maker must be the Eritrean people themselves. NG89E believes that any political party in Eritrea must have the full support and recognition of its own people as it was evidently seen during the 30-year war for independence. Neither Herui Tedla Bairu (ENA) nor Seyoum Ogbamichael (ELF-RC) has got this security and approval from the Eritrean public. There is no single sign of this importance that can be presented to the public from either side. Without this, the result is only a cycle of failure, and a reason and a means of self-invitation for the germination of another and/or the same foreign invaders. This will be a fight again against a forced occupation for the next generation. A precipitate marriage can end with self-destruction. That is why the above Tigrigna sayings are trying to explain to avoid problems.

Example Two

The second example is about the behaviour of the minority remnants of President Issaias Afeworki, those who are poised with lies such as Germa Asmerom (Eritrea's Ambassador to America), Yemane Ghebremeskel (Eritrea's Government Advisor), Yemane Ghebreab (Presidential spokesman) and their alike those who are mostly found in the diaspora. Their stand is versus the need of the Eritrean masses, the majority. Their contribution is two-fold. On the one hand, it is damage for the unity of our people, and death for themselves on the other hand. Nevertheless and whatsoever, they do, the tempo to accelerate the course of change for the better can only be delayed but not hindered from its success of achieving the highest and desirable stage of common pleasure.

However, this way or another, it must be clearly admitted that it is a natural process to live in contradiction. But the difference is that, it is not like the case of difference in Eritrea. Eritrea's case of agreement and disagreement has been playing for generations. This play seems to be far from nature's reality. There is no evidence of concrete scientific foundation presented to our people to draw a line of difference to set a nation apart. The above 'Example Two' can again be well considered. The supporters of President Issaias Afeworki are, in fact, themselves part of the suppressed society. Their today's deliberate action against their people will tomorrow be their own burden. But they don't seem to weigh this. It is all a matter of analytical understanding and self-awareness of a situation.

As a consequence, NG89E is the opinion that we Eritreans (particularly, the present generation) are loaded by the state of 'emotion culture' rather than governed by 'intelligence' and 'critical thinking' in our ability to understand our own world and to make a future plan when encountered to solving a problem.

Now, it seems that the time is ripe and that it has come to resolve the barriers of our unity. Therefore, it is to predict that Eritrea's issues of development and prosperity, war and peace, agreement or disagreement on common national subjects and interests, will totally hinge on what and how the different political and social bodies function and happen to each other as well as on their development of new modes of thinking. The expectation is that ENA, EPLF-DP, Eritrean Human Organisations, Religious Institutions, Independent Democrats, and other concerned individuals regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, must work together to prove the opposite of Abbona's older asserted view. As a result, it is wise to note the golden meaning of the British philosopher, John Ruskin impressive speech: "When we think, let us think we build the future".

In considering Eritrea's multi-problems and coming to closure of this writing, the historian Eritrean scholar, Tekeste Negash (PhD) came out with the conclusion of a remarkable and reflective argument when he investigated the case of Federation in his study as following:

" …… As regards the federation the author (Tekeste Negash) argues that it was abolished by Eritrean social and political forces rather than by Ethiopia. The UN imposed federation and its accompanying constitution were doomed to fail, as these were foreign to Eritrean and Ethiopian conceptions of political power. The attempts of the Eritrean Moslem League to defend and maintain the federation were frustrated by internal contradictions, by the Unionist Party and by misconstrued perceptions of the division of powers between Eritrea and Ethiopia" (R35, 1997).

After careful consideration of all the available literature and narrative reports, NG89E comes to the same view, even though NG89E does not ignore the intention of the Four Powers on Eritrea when considering the following statement as their driving and influencing motive to the disadvantage of Eritrea:

"The future disposal of Eritrea and of the other Colonies was many times discussed by the Council of Foreign Ministers of Britain, France, Russia and the United States. Unfortunately, the ministers were unwilling to consider the future of the former Colonies solely in relation to the welfare of their inhabitants, without regard to the supposed interests of European powers" (R36, 1952, p. 11).

However, it is worth to remember the declaration of the position of the U.S.S.R. as a member of the UN - Four Power in relation to the situation in Eritrea in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. Mr. Arutiunian, of the U.S.S.R., rejected the idea of 'Federation' observing that Eritrea had been "the object of colonial exploitation and bore the yoke of colonial slavery". Further, "the Soviet Union proposed the immediate independence of the territory and the withdrawal of British forces" (R37, November 13, 1950).

What does the Charter of the United Nations contain with regard to the Resolution on Eritrea? It is worth to follow and look at it as summarised and quoted in R38, 1953, pp. 253-254 and R39, 1980, p. 39 as following:

"Taking into consideration (a) the wishes and welfare of the inhabitants of Eritrea, including the views of the various racial, religious and political groups of the provinces of the territory and the capacity of the people for self-government; (b) the interests of peace and security in East Africa; (c) the rights and claims of Ethiopia based on geographical, historical, ethnic or economic reasons, including in particular Ethiopia's legitimate need for adequate access to the sea ….. Desiring that this association (of Eritrea with Ethiopia) assures to the inhabitants of Eritrea the fullest respect and safeguards for their institutions, traditions, religions and languages, as well as the widest possible measure of self-government ……" (U.N.O. Resolution for Ethiopian-Eritrean Federal Union).

"Any failure to settle the Eritrean question on lines other than those demanded by its inhabitants, would demonstrate that the elements of disinterestedness and objectivity, as well as determination to lay the basis for peace and security in East Africa, which were the reasons for sending the question to the General Assembly…." (R40, Ethiopia's Foreign Minister, Ato Aklilu Habte Wold, November 3, 1950).

The above exploiting argument was Ethiopia's position delivered to the Interim Committee of the United Nations. Ethiopia tried to take the decision in its hand by manoeuvring the Eritrean single largest Unionist Party, and by exploiting the other different political and social parties to its own advantage.

It is also notable to stress that "the Four Great Powers could only make recommendations as a solution and had no continuing jurisdiction over Eritrea, since the U.N. Resolution required that both parties (Eritrea and Ethiopia) must give their assent, the principle of self-determination was accepted. But to assert that these parties might not, by agreement, effect any necessary amendment to the Federal Act or the Eritrean Constitution, but must accept at all times the veto of the United Nations, would be a violation of that same principle. No settlement or adjustment of a settlement could have any moral or legal values unless freely arrived at by the people directly concerned " (R41, Preparing the Draft Resolution by the UN General Assembly).

This above entailing UN-Charter message openly demonstrates that our people had their moral and legal right to defend their case against the Ethiopia's desire, but failed to exploit and use our right 'Right'. On the contrary, the leadership of Eritrea did not use its given power and right to think for the future but contributed to create conditions for their own loss by satisfying Ethiopia's need. This was highlighted by the message addressed by Dej. Tedla Bairu, Chief Executive to the public on the occasion of the Charter of the Untied Nations Resolution on the Federal Act and on the ratification of the Eritrean Constitution by both parties. That 50-year old message of the Chief Executive for us today is certainly painful but for our people those days different as discussed before. And here is the message cited in R42, 1953, p. 283.

Ato Tedla Bairou, the Unionist leader now Chief Executive of Eritrea, declared:

"Today we see the happy conclusion of the 67th year of our struggle. The re-birth of Eritrea testifies to the glory and greatness of Ethiopia. It is not necessary to elaborate the fact that Your Majesty and the Ethiopian Government struggled effectively to bring about this end. This I will leave to the pages of history. It is my duty to inform Your Majesty of the will of the Eritrean people to accept the Federal Act proposed by the United nations" (Speech of Dej. Tedla Bairu, September 11, 1952).

Eritrea's ups and downs are further explained with the British documentary protocols of 1955. Two examples of the Foreign Office are presented as follows:

Example 1

"The fall of Tedla Bairu, and his succession by Asfaha Woldemichael, was due to a combination of arrogance and over-confidence on the part of Tedla, slowness by the members of the Assembly to grasp a situation which they themselves had created, and a not unexpected quickness on the part of the local Ethiopian Representatives to take advantage of the changed circumstances. Since his election as Chief Executive in September, 1952, Tedla Bairu had treated the Assembly with increasing off-handedness; he seldom appeared at its meetings, and the Secretaries of the Executive Departments frequently failed to turn when important bills regarding their Departments were being discussed. In addition, ugly rumours of nepotism and personal corruption on the part of Tedla himself had gained wide currency. The Deputies chose to attack the Chief Executive through Ali Radai, the President of the Assembly and in June, in face of an attempt by his opponents to pass a vote of "no confidence" in the President, Tedla Bairu suspended the Assembly for 20 days, an action which, in certain circumstances, is permitted by the Eritrean Constitution. At the end of this period Tedla ordered a further 20 days suspension; suddenly realising that a real danger to his position existed, Tedla now began a feverish campaign of self-justification, including newspaper interviews, personal visits to provincial towns and a published speech in one of Asmara's largest cinemas. But by this time, it was too late. His opponents had appealed to the Emperor, through his Imperial Majesty's Representative in Asmara, against the Chief Executive's actions and the Emperor let it be known that he considered the suspension illegal. While it appears that under the Constitution this action, however, unwise, was in fact permissible, it was now clear that the highest Ethiopian Authorities were no longer prepared to give Tedla bairu their Support. Tedal accordingly resigned, and left for Addis Ababa, where he now lives in a villa outside the town, reputedly financially assisted by the Emperor himself" (R43, British Foreign Office: Eritrea Annual Review 1955).

Example 2

"It would be a mistake to regard Tedla Bairu as a martyr on behalf of Eritrean independence. He had himself long been identified with the Unionist Party and, although he may since have attempted to justify himself with the Federalist, in order to strengthen his internal position within Eritrea itself, it does not appear that this was the cause of his rejection by the Ethiopians. Rather, the latter seem to have come to the conclusion that because of his growing local unpopularity, Tedla's usefulness to them was now ended. They, therefore, seized the opportunity offered to them by the disarray of Tedla's opponents - who, once the cause of their animosity had actually been displaced, seemed to have no clear ideas as to whom they wanted to replace him - to install as Chief Executive a man even more closely bound to Unionist interests. Asfaha Woldemichael, the former Vice-Representative of the Emperor in Eritrea, has been careful to avoid his predecessor's mistakes, and has treated the Assembly with some show of outward deference. While undoubtedly working for Union in the long run, he is unlikely to make any rash or ill-considered moves in that direction. As expected the Jubilee, (25 years since the Emperor ascended the throne) passed off without any substantiation of the rumours that Union might be proclaimed to mark the occasion" (R44, British Foreign Office: Eritrea Annual Report 1955).

At this point, it is necessary to take into account the argument and words of Abraha Tessema (the son of Ras Tessema Asberom, Ma'eE-reba that were more than vindicated. The one who read and knew the future of Eritrea as a prophet and who once ran as candidate but failed for the Chief Executive against Dej. Tedla Bairu, won the argument. Abraha Tessema's prophecy was realised nine years later (when the uprising started in 1962), when he said:

"After annexation, the Eritrean people will realise that they were doomed and would rise against their masters, and civil war would ensue". Further, he said:

"The Eritreans were hopelessly divided by religion and racial divisions. ….. Having succumbed to Ethiopian annexation at some future time they will realise that they are once more an occupied territory, and concluded that this might unite the Eritrean people against the Ethiopians" (R45, Abraha Tessema, Documented as 'Confidential' by the British Consulate Asmara to Foreign Office, London, 24.12. 1953).

(R46, 2000, p. 419)

Therefore, in conclusion, by weighing the importance of the affecting causes and matters from A to Z, it is we, ourselves the primary cause for the consequences, who acted to happen on behalf, to be blamed more than Ethiopia did to us so as Great Britain and the USA. NG89E has never been for Ethiopia and never shall to be, when 'a State seeks to enslave another State'. But NG89E understands why Ethiopia is interested in Eritrea for its economy and political strategy of Ethiopia. Therefore, for all evil measures Ethiopia has undertaken against Eritrea is understandable but also regrettable and condemning. Having stressed this, in the final analysis, our people influenced by our own Eritrean leaders must have taken a collective responsibility for their total failure in the past and present, despite the fact of the leadership role is the primary. Where there is unity, there is strength. Where there is strength and unity, there is one voice. In considering this, NG89E provides three further Eritrean proverbs in Tigrina, for they have a close meaning to each other, to describe the causal relationship of our politics and behaviour in its conclusion of today's writing. :: At this point, it is important to criticise the ELF and EPLF/PDFJ for their poor political analysis in the past and present. This is because both have failed to tell the truth in their lessons. But for their public political gain, they were sharp to tell us about the West and East to put us in their possession. All their stories of the West and East were secondary to the Eritrean main cause of failure.

This is all more or less a dead story but a lesson. Following and understanding the whole context together from the beginning to the end, it is the strongest advice of NG89E to the Eritrean people, not to hasten to judge but to reflect. In our judgement, we must not only look at the end of the means but also at the means to the end to see the context of its cause and effect so that to understand all the problems associated with the leadership, leader and the led. Otherwise, we will not have a real future until we know that we have a real past. Eritrea needs us and we need Eritrea.

Wishing Merry Christmas - Year 2002 and Happy New Year 2003

Victory to the Eritrean Masses

Negaritt-Gazette 89E

Rora Habab, contributed and has sole responsibility for the content on this page. For comments you can contact the writer by e-mail: Rora Habab

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