ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ALTERNATIVE ERITREAN GOVERNMENT IN EXILE*
The paramount and urgent task of the Eritrean people!
A Joint statement of Our Voice-Eritrea and the New Eritrea Movement
Eritrea has turned out to be a complete disaster given its potential! There is no other way of putting it. The old pride, can-do-attitude, inventiveness, hard work, steadfastness, defiance against tyranny and renowned heroism of the Eritrean is almost gone. Eritrea is now largely in lockdown, and people hardly have enough to eat, and they are not allowed to speak. The country has amazingly become like a prison camp. Eritrea and Eritreans are now a shadow of their old selves. Eritreans have been deprived of their manliness. The only thing that is covering their shame is their exaggerated contrived moustache. It is hardly a source of pride now to call oneself an Eritrean. The long costly “liberation struggle” now looks to have been fought under a false prospectus. We only have independence but not liberation, and there is not much to celebrate for that independence under the present regime which has brought us only extreme oppression, misery and loss-of-self.
Yet, Eritrea is a very rich country in terms of natural resources, and recent international research shows that it is among the top five countries in Africa with people of the highest intelligence (IQ). Eritrea has plenty of natural gas, gold, coper, oil, zinc and potash. It is located in one of the most strategic locations in the world between Asia, Europe and Africa. In fact, it can be seen as a gateway to Africa. Almost 70% of the country is in the green zone belt with a natural environment conducive to tourism and the maintenance of sustainable tourist industry. The land stretches up to 1,800 meters to 3,000 meters above sea level, and travelling from Asmara to Massawa allows one to experience three climatic zones.
Eritrea has a cost line of 2,350 kilometers and about 350 islands. The waters of the Red Sea have one of the richest planktons in the world, 1,000 species of fish, 180 species of coral, giant tortoises, etc. On land, Eritrea has ostriches, elephants, kudus, gazelles, leopards, monkeys and other animals and varieties of local and migrating birds. It also has plants like oil trees, palm, gum trees, etc. Coffee could also be grown there. In fact, Eritrea was a coffee producer and exporter during the time of the Italians. The Semienawi Bahri north-eastern green belt has 100,000 hectares of green are
Eritrea has also got the second highest concentration of archaeological remains in Africa, second only to Egypt. Just 59 kilometers south of Massawa is Adulis, the 3rd century Axumite port, one of the biggest in the world at the time linking Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations with Africa, Arabia, India and China. The potential for tourism is clear. In fact, Eritreans could make good living out of tourism alone – if properly managed
This suffices to make the point that Eritrea has sufficient human and natural resources to be one of the most prosperous and sustainable countries in the word. Some people may now smile when we remind them that Eritrea had the dream of becoming like Singapore. In fact, there are still some similarities between the two. One of the biggest differences is that Eritrea is much richer than Singapore in terms of natural resources. This gives Eritrea an edge over its competitors.
Despite all this, how are the mighty fallen, as it is said in the Bible about lost empires? Eritrea has been trashed to the dust despite its promise? Does it have the chance to rise up again like phoenix of ancient Greek mythology? Our answer is a definitive YES! There is no other choice.
We shall now quickly come to our main point. Make no mistake, and please do not listen to the naysayers. Eritrea has everything to become one of the richest and loveliest countries in the world – with high life expectancy, we should add. The only obstacle on our way is the imposition on our people one of the worst dictatorships in world history comparable to that of Nero of Ancient Rome that has remained in power through unimaginable deception, corruption and cruelty. Our opposition to it is not just that the regime is dictatorial – for sometimes a benevolent dictatorship could benefit a country for some time. What we have in Eritrea is a regime which has no vision, no strategy, no public morale or commitment, no idea! Actually, the personality disorder of one man has been transformed into a national calamity of extraordinary magnitude and tragedy. We have tried to analyze this in detail in our earlier article on the damaged personality traits of this man characterize by Malignant Narcissism.
What are we to do now? Some months ago, we published an article requesting Mr Isaias Afeworki to resign and leave the Eritrean people alone. We, in fact, made him and his family a generous offer. We did not anyway expect him to take up the offer. We were trying to test what was possible and what was not. We, the Eritrean people, should now do the job ourselves without expecting for mana to come from heaven.
After considering a number of scenarios, we as a group of concerned Eritreans have decided to present for discussion a strategy which has been raised by a number of people before. One of the most advanced was that proposed by Prof, Araya Debessay and his team ie, the Global Initiative (GI) to empower the Eritrean Grassroots Movement. That is the bottom-up grassroots movementthat would see the establishment of local baitos constituting the basis of forming a national assembly of Eritreans. The said assembly would in turn appoint an executive body forming a Global Representative Group that can speak for all justice seeking Eritreans – equivalent to an ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT OF ERITREA IN EXILE.
We did a lot of work towards that end. However, there were many obstacles on the way. We can say a lot on this, but this is not the time for acrimony. On the basis of our not so successful experience, we would still like to float a similar idea that may work with new blood. We are now looking for short routes to remove the present undeserving and disastrous incumbents of the Asmara Palace.
Instead of taking time to establish local Eritrean baitos internationallywhich will prove very difficult for now as a basis of Eritrean democracy, it may be easier but not perhaps ideal to call for a national congress of all existing political parties, prominent Eritrean personalities and representatives of the various sectors of the Eritrean society across regional, ethnic, religious and linguistic lines, etc. The primary task of the congress would be to appoint an executive body that could speak on behalf of the Eritrean people. The secretariat would have the presidency and various portfolios: diplomacy, communication, economic affairs, etc. The very establishment of such a secretariat, we believe, will be a game changer!! This is a matter of great significance and should not be missed by any chance.
In fact, we think that this is the elephant in the room of crucial importance we have not been acting upon although many have been speaking about it or tried and abandoned it after some attempt because of power rivalry – but mainly, we believe, due to the work of paid agents of the regime who have been using every trick in the book to prevent us from moving forward. One of such tricks is perhaps obscuring the issues and diverting our attention away from the most crucial and timely issues of the day into tangential and secondary issues. Alas, we have our priorities wrong. – and we are needlessly losing vital time, energy and opportunities that could have otherwise shortened out journey to freedom and salvation. In short, our primary problem now is how to remove the regime not to endlessly talk about what we shall do in the post-Isaias Eritrea. We are not saying that we should not think about it – just that we should get our priorities in order. For instance, why should we spend so much time now discussing the draft constitution, etc. We should instead focus like a laser beam on the establishment of an Alternative Government of Eritrea in Exile and use that as a leverage to oust the regime. That is our main problem, and we should not deceive ourselves into feeling that we are doing something important by touching issues on the margins.
But, who can take this enormous, honorable and historic task of organizing the congress (however imperfect) that can appoint a national executive and presidency of able Eritreans in exile? We think it proper to invite especially young Eritreans and those not so young who are willing and able to come forward and claim this crucial task This, we expect, to be a collegiate effort in which individuals and groups will come together to finally manifest an alternative government of Eritrea in exile.
There is an Eritrean proverb: “Kab kitgoyi miw’al, kisad mihaz!” In our opinion, it is fine to demonstrate against the regime, to vent one’s anger in pal talk, write articles analyzing how bad the regime is, organizing small opposition groups, or even presenting oneself as a candidate to replace Isaias Afwerki, as one Eritrean politician has been doing recently however absurd. It will take time for all such moves to have noticeable effects. We have waited for too long for change, and many of us now fear that we may not have decent burial in our own country. How about the multitudes of voiceless and priceless Eritrean lives young and old being needlessly lost on daily basis because of the rogue regime which is sustained in power by our disunity, futile jostling for power, ignorance and lack of vision – especially among some of those who consider themselves party leaders in the opposition!
Please, think! Let us not waste any more time blaming Isaias Afwerki or his regime. Enough has been said about that for years, even decades without any change. Let us now change our strategy immediately and focus our attention on our own weaknesses and how to overcome them. All this should be fast tracked to result in the establishment of a National Assembly in exile (however defective) and a secretariat and chief executive.
*Mimisrat Metekaita Mengisti Eritra ab Sidet”
“Why and How We as a Collective Should Now Ask President Isaias to Resign” by New Eritrea Movement in www.assenna.com, www.google.com
“10 Countries in Africa with the Most intelligent People” iqresearch.info