By Fesseha Nair
Eritrea and the Eritrean people under the brutal rule of Essayas are in a critical situation to exist or not to exist. What makes that the opposition must assemble and come as alternate is the urgent demand of the Eritrean people and the world community.
Some questions to those who are against organizing conference
The author of this article would like to ask directly the EPDP leaders and constituents why they are they against the conference:
Let us assume the regime in Eritrea suddenly fall by itself this time,
What do you think the scenarios that can happen?
Why do want delay the conference, isn’t that denying the opposition to get support?
Why are the issues of preparation and appropriateness be the splitting issues of the EDA that has been a symbol of unity since its foundation?
Weren’t you symbols of unity when you emerged and united in one party and what makes you now work against your principles?
You would have good examples for the other organizations if you have openly discussed the main issues that differ you from others in organizing the conference now, weren’t you active participants in the past in all activities regarding the preparations?
On personal attacks
Why all these campaigns against one person- Beshir Isaak?
Beshir is not an individual but represents an organization, you have been against this organization since its foundation because it has come with a perfect solution to the internal Eritrean deep rooted conflict based on identity and its unjust policies against what you usually call minority.
It is not Beshir that makes you irritated but the federal idea. You like it or not the federal idea today is universally and nationally accepted and proved as the best system of governance in a nation with diverse nationalities.
You have been calling yourselves as the majority and those who have the capacities, skills and expertise, why don’t show us by these capacities speeding the fall of the dictator instead of attacking a small organization born 8 years ago while you are as old as my grandfather since you started fighting for democracy. If your the measurement of your greatness is by writing appeals, memoranda and many letters to the western world or reporting daily refuges in Sudan and Ethiopia. Do you think such letters will be decisive to remove Essayas or influence the world? Have you assessed the results of these method ?
On Democracy and election
Weren’t you been the teachers and philosophers of democracy in Eritrea? What kind of democracy is that denying others to air their views on Eritrea? What is the difference between your democracy and the democracy of Essayas, so called participatory democracy?
What would have done if today we have national election in Eritrea and the Eritrean people vote for their representatives, If Goitiom Kifolm was elected representing the resident in Halibmentel, would you stop him because you don’t like his political view and warn the residents of Halibmental to revote another person you like?
What do you think if you have the power in Eritrea today, in the democracy we know , in election there is a rule that says, “ One man one vote” but in your democracy it is not the same the votes are according your academic background and region, for example the highlanders are more civilised and more educated and are majority they have have 5 votes each while the lowlanders are uncivilised and uneducated they have one vote. It is we who decide because it is we who offered for liberating Eritrea is undemocratic behaviour and will never lead the Eritrean people to live together. First and foremost the EPDP never represents the Eritrean Highlanders but only their constituents. The majority and minority politics is not because that your ethnic is more than the others but by voting. The issue of minority and majority is the hidden agenda that makes EPDP delay or not organize national conference at this time. Leave us alone those who believe in negotiation will participate those who will not are free not to participate, because politics is the will to pave the way for the benefit of your people not for power.
On dialogue and conferences
I myself belief in dialogue and conferences/ Walas because they are the democratic methods to come together and manage conflicts. This time” Dialogue” is the mechanism to discuss the strategy to remove dictatorship and clarify the obstacles and unify the scattered forces together in order to get legitimacy and recognition from your citizens and international community.
Assuming democracy as a method
Democracy is by definitions a method of resolving societal conflicts in a non-violent manner, the route to it is or democratizations is both revolutionary and conflict generating because it involves dramatic changes. These changes include political power sharing, new methods of exercising power. Democratic changes must be reflecting the deeper political culture of the Eritrean people and fulfil their wishes and interests.
The attitude of hegemony and majoritarian policies are the main source of our conflicts, therefore all genuine democrats in the opposition camp must work hard that we liberate ourselves to be open and liberal to be accommodative and tolerant to our differences.
A process of democratizations should begin now creating a “broad national cohesion” around the rules of the political game. How can the country be run? How should power be exercised? How should decisions about issues be made? How should the transitional justice versus reconciliation be dealt with? How can we defuse the tensions between the regime, military and the opposition?
It will take time to establish a political structure that changes the old system full of suspicion and fears to culture of tolerance and mutual respect. We need national conferences, broad based reconciliation forums, constitution making conferences and “ Great Walas”. These are the appropriate vehicles and must be exercised from today