Sunday, 03 November 2019 21:50

Eritrea Liberty Magazine Issue No. 59

Written by

Eritrean mothers and children at clinic

Source: Independent Catholic News

A demonstration will take place in front of Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 2 November, from 2.30-5.30pm to draw attention to the repressive treatment of Christians in Eritrea.

After Catholic bishops in Eritrea protested over the regime’s indefinite military conscription of young people, government forcefully confiscated all the health centres and schools of faith groups, including 29 Catholic Church health centres and seven schools that have been serving people of all faiths in the country for over 60 years.

The Eritrean Catholic Bishops have written a letter strongly opposing the actions of the government and asked the authorities to stop persecuting the church and to return its properties.

The protest rally on Saturday supports the Bishops’ letters and condemns the government’s cruel actions and policies.

.The Catholic Church in Eritrea has now been limited to operating within the confines of its church buildings, denied of its rights to providing free health care and education. The confiscation of the health centres and the schools is having an adverse effect on the most disadvantaged sections of Eritrean society, especially on the vulnerable – children, pregnant women and the elderly who live in remote and difficult to reach areas of the country.

Sisters from the Comboni, Franciscan, Daughters of Charity and Filipino missionaries are among some of the institutions who have been stopped from offering their vocational services and evicted from their places of worship and residences. Eritrea is in a sad state of affairs.

Eritrean Catholics in London write: “A young country full of hope is now at a crossroads. The Eritrean government’s policy of indefinite military conscription and persistent human rights abuses are among some of the main causes of the sufferings and endless mass exodus of the youth, which is becoming an existential threat to the nation. The government does neither allow dissent nor voices that are critical to its policies. It has prohibited free press and imprisoned tens of thousands of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience and independent journalists without trial.

“A United Nations panel investigating Eritrea has found ‘very clear pattern’ of human rights violations and the absence of rule of law. We, who are lucky enough to become a voice of the voiceless from outside the country, are very disturbed by the actions of the Government of Eritrea and its policies.”

“We want to raise awareness among our Catholic brothers and sisters in the UK as well as the wider British public.

“We plead with our faith leaders in the UK and the Cardinal’s Office in Westminster to convey our concern to the faithful of the church, the UK government and the international community by highlighting the religious persecution and human rights violations in Eritrea, particularly, the confiscation of the religious institutions and properties.

“Faith groups in Eritrea are going through a difficult and testing time. They need the support of the international community to get justice, peace and the return of their institutions to resume their vital services to vulnerable people. The Eritrean people need and deserve a full service from its religious institutions. This protest rally is to witness and express solidarity with the Eritrean people and the Catholic Bishops who have courageously called for Truth, Reconciliation, Forgiveness, Justice and Peace for the people and the country.

ማእከላይ ባይቶ፡ ሰልፊ ዲሞክራሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ (ሰዲህኤ) ብ2 ሕዳር 2019 ብኣቦመንበሩ ብጻይ ተስፋይ ወልደሚካኤል (ደጊጋ) ዝመርሐ ፍሉይ ኣኼባኡ ኣካይዱ። ማእከላይ ባይቶ ኣብ ኣኼባኡ፡ ብፈጻሚ ሽማግለ ዝቐረበ ንድፊ ኣገዳሲ ሓሳባት ብምትእትታውን ምምሕያሻት ብምቕራብን ናይ ነፍሲ ወከፍ ፍጻሚ ቤት ጽሕፈት ዓመታዊ መደብ ዕዮ ኣጽዲቑ።  ኣባላት ማእከላይ ባይቶ ናይቲ ኣቐዲሙ ብፈጻሚ ሽማግለ  ዝተዳለወ ንድፊ ዓመታዊ መደብ ዕዮ ቅዳሓት ተዘርጊሕሎም ኣብ ልዕሊ ምጽንሑ፡ ኣብዚ ኣኼባ ብነፍሲ ወከፍ ሓላፊ ቤት ጽሕፈት መእተዊ እናተገብረሉን ኣብ መወዳእታ ብኣቦ-መንበር መጠቓለሊ ሓሳብ እናተዋህበሉን እዩ ፡ ሓደ ብሓደ ተመያይጡ ኣጽዲቕዎ።

ባይቶ ንትሕዝቶ እቲ ዓመታዊ መደብ ኣብያተ-ጽሕፈት ጥራይ ዘይኮነ ናይ ኣተገባብራኡ ስልትታትን ንነፍሲ ወከፍ  ቤት ጽሕፈት ዝተመደበሉ ዓቕሚ ሰብ እውን ብግቡእ ርእዩ ኣጽዲቕዎ። ሓለፍቲ ኣብያተ-ጽሕፈት ብወገኖም ኣብ ነናይ ቤት ጽሕፈቶም ዓመታዊ መደብ ንዝተሓተ ሕቶታት ኣብሪሆም፡ ብኣባላ ባይቶ ንዝቐረቡ ሃነጽቲ ርኢቶታትን ለበዋታትን ከኣ መዝጊቦም። ኣብቲ መደብ ዕዮታት፡ ምዕዛዝ ተሳትፎ መንእሰያትን ደቂ ኣንስትዮን፡ ቁጠባዊ ዓቕሚ ሰልፊ ምድንፋዕ፡ ስርርዓዊ ስረሓት ምስፋሕ፡ ዜናዊ ዓቕሚ ምምዕባል፡ ዲፕሎማሲታዊ ርክባት ምስፋሕን፡ ኣብ ደንበ ተቓውሞ ክልተኣውን ካብኡ ንላዕልን ሓባራዊ ስራሓት ንምሕያል ምቅላስን ካብቶም ዝያዳ ቆላሕታ ዝተገብረሎም እዮም።

ብዘይካዚ፡ ኣብዚ ፍሉይ ኣኼባዚ፡ ኣብ ቅዋም ዝተመርኮሰ ማእከላይ ባይቶ ኣብ መጻኢ ኣርባዕተ ዓመታት ዝምረሓሉ መሰልን ግቡእን ኣባል ባይቶ ዘነጽር፡ ውሽጣዊ ሕጊ ተመያይጡ ኣጽዲቑ። ኣብዚ ዛዕባዚ እውን ባይቶ ቤት ጽሕፈት ኣቦ-መንበር ነቲ ክሳብ 3ይን ሓድነታውን ጉባአ ክስረሓሉ ዝጸንሐ ውሽጣዊ ሕጊ ባይቶን ቅዋም ሰልፍን መሰረት ገይሩ ናብ ተሳተፍቲ ኣኼባ ዘርጊሕዎ ዝጸንሐ እሞ፡ ኣባላት ባይቶ ብርኢተኦም ከማዕብልዎ ዝጸንሑ ንድፊ  ድሕሪ ምምይያጥ እዩ ኣጽዲቕዎ።

ኣብ መወዳእታ ባይቶ ብድምር ነቲ ዓመታዊ መደባት ኣብያተ-ጽሕፈትን  ባይቶ ዝምረሓሉ ውሽጣዊ ሕግን ብዲሞክራስያዊ ኣገባብ ብድምጺ ብምጽዳቕ ኣኼባ ተደምዲሙ። ስሩዕ ኣኼባ ማእከላይ ባይቶ ሰዲህኤ ኣብ ዓመት ሓደ ግዜ እዩ ዝካየድ ክኸውን ከሎ፡ ከም ኣድላይነቱ ፍሉይ ኣኼባታት ድማ የካይድ።

Sunday, 03 November 2019 14:00

Radio Demtsi Harnnet Sweden 02.11.2019

Written by

ጉዳይ ኤርትራ ጉዳይ ህዝባ እዩ። ብዛዕባቲ ሎሚ ዘላቶ ሓደገኛ ኩነታት ምሉእ ብምሉእ ዝፈልጥ ከኣ ንሱ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እዩ። ኤርትራ ካብዚ ዘላቶ “ከምዚ እዩ” ኢልካ ምግላጹ ዘጸግም ጋሕማጥን ኣጨናቕን ኩነታት ከድሕና ዝኽእል’ውን ህዝባ ባዕሉ እዩ። እዚ ማለት ግና ኣብ ርእሲ እቲ ወሳኒ ጸዓቱን ቃልሱን ናይ ግዳም ፍትሓውያን ኣካላት ሓገዝን ምድግጋፍን ኣየድልዮን ማለት ኣይኮነን። ከምኡ ስለ ዝኾነ ኢና ከኣ ወትሩ ይምልከቶም ናብ እንብሎም ኣካላት ምሕጽንታ እነቕርብ።

ዝተፈላለዩ ወገናት ብዘለዎም ዝለዓለ ጽልዋ ተመኪሖም፡ ከባብያውን ዞናውን ረብሓኦም ንምሕላው፡ ነቲ ባዕልና እንፈልጦ ኩነታት ሃገርና ንዓኣቶም ብዝጥዕሞም ኣቐይንኖም ከቕርቡልና ክፍትኑ እንከለዉ፡ ንሳቶም ደኣ ኣብ ትዕዝብቲ ይወድቁ እምበር ፍጹም ተቐባልነት የብሉን። እዞም ወገናት ብዛዕባ ሃገርናን ህዝባን ክሓስቡ እንከለዉ፡ ሃገራዊ ድዩ ዞባዊ ረብሓኦም ኣብ ግምት ከእትዉ ንቡር እዩ። እዚ ብጋህዲ ብዋጋ ህዝብናን ሃገርናን ከኸውን እንከሎ ግና ኣዝዩ ዘተሓሳስብ እዩ። ኣብዚ ዝሓለፈ ሰሙን ምክትል ዋና ጸሓፊት ቤት ምኽሪ ጸጥታ ውድብ ሕቡራት ሃገራት፡ ወ/ሮ፡ ኣሚና መሓመድ ዝመርሐኦ ካብ ሕቡራት ሃገራትን ሕብረት ኣፍሪቃን ዝኣባላቱ ጉጅለ ኣብ ኤርትራ በጺሑ ነይሩ። እተን ነቲ ጉጅለ ዝመረሓ ምክትል ዋና ጸሓፊት ቤት ምኽሪ ጸጥታ፡ ኣብ መወዳእታ መገሸአን ብቐበጥበጥ ዝተዓብለለ  ልምዓት ኣብ ኤርትራ ኣብ ጽቡቕ ኩነታት ከምዘሎ ኣምሲሉ ዘቕርብ ምስክርነት ሂበን።

እዘን ወይዘሮ ነዚ መሻረዊ ምስክርነት ከም መወከሲ ረኺበን ዘዘራረበኦም ኣካላት ህግዲፍ፡ ዲክታቶር ኢሳይያስ ኣፈወርቂ፡ የማነ ገብረመስቀል፡ ልኡል ገብረኣብ፡ ሓጐስ ክሻ፡ ፎዝያ ሓሽም ተኽኣን ዝኣመሰሉ ምዃኖም ከኣ ነቲ ጉዳይ ዝያዳ ዘገርም ይገብሮ። እዚ ነቲ ወለድና “ወጠጦ ንወጠጦ ፍረዱ እንተበልዎምስ ከይንሕረድ በቃ”  ዝብልዎ ምስላ  የዘኻኽረካ። እዘን ምክትል ዋና ጸሓፊ፡ ኩሉ ገዲፍና ምስቲ ንዝያዳ ወርሒ፡ ርህይዎ እንተተባህለ ንሓደ ስድራቤት 2 በርሚል ማይ ጥራይ መቑነን ዝወሃቦ፡ ነባሪ ከተማ ኣስመራ እንተዝራኸባ ህልዊ ሓቀኛ ኩነታት ህዝብና ኣበየናይ ደረጃ ከም ዘሎ መተረደኣ። እንተኾነ ከምቲ “ዒራ ዘይኩርምትኻስ ሑጻ ቆርጥመሉ” ዝበሃል፡ እቲ ዘገድሰን ወዲስካ ወዳዲስካ እቲ ዲክታቶር ዝመርሖ ኣብዚ ዞባ ከዳምን ተላኣኣኽን ጉጅለ ምፍጣር እምበር፡ ጸገም ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ተረዲእካ መፍትሒ ንምርካብ ስለ ዘይኮነ እቲ ዝኸዳሉ መንገዲ መሪጸን።

ኣብ ኤርትራ ወይ ንመግቢ ናብ ዝኸውን ኣሕምልት ፍረታትን ወይ ንመብራህትን መብሰልን ናብ ዝኸውን ሓይሊ ዘይተቐየሩ፡ ብናጻ ጉልበት መንእሰያት ኤርትራ ዝተሃንጹ፡ ገርገራን ዓዲ ሃሎን ዝኣመሰሉ ዲጋታት ኣለዉ። እዚኣቶም ከም መግለጺ ባህታ ኢሳይያስን ንከም በዓል ወ/ሮ ኣሚና መሓመድ ዝኣመሰሉ ኣጋይሽ ካብ ምዕሻውን ሓሊፎም ምስ ጸገማት ህዝብና ዝዛመድ ኣበርክቶ የብሎምን። ስለዚ ማይ ምዕቋር ብጥሪኡ መርኣያ ልምዓታዊ ገስጋስ ክኸውን ኣይክእልን እዩ። እቶም ዝዓቖረ ማይ ርእዮም ዝንእዱ እውን ኪኖቲ ምዕቋር ማይ ክጥምቱ መተገበኦም።

ቀደም ኣብ ግዜ መግዛእቲ፡ ገዛእቲ “ኤርትራ መሬታ እምበር፡ ህዝባ ኣየድልየናን እዩ” ይብሉ ከኣም ዝነበሩ ይዝንተወልና እዩ። ብግብሪ እውን ኣብ ግዜ ቃልስና ምእንቲ ናጽነት ነዚ ኣበሃህላኦም ዘግህድ ግፍዕን ብርሰትን ኣብ ልዕሊ ኤርትራ ክፍጸም ተዓዚብና ኢና። ኣብዚ ዘለናዮ መድረኽ እውን ብዙሓት ንኤርትራ ኣብ ዞባናን ከባቢ ቀይሕ ባሕርን ዘለዋ ተበሃግነት ዘህርፎም ወገናት፡ ዋላ ኣፍ ኣውጺኦም ኣይዛረቡ “ኤርትራ፡ እቲ ከም ድላዩ ዘኳድዳ ዘሎ፡ ንዓና እውን ክለኣኸና ዝኽእል ጉጅለ እምበር፡ ህዝባ ኣየድልየናን እዩ” ዝብሉ ዘለዉ እዮም ዝመስሉ። ከምኡ እንተዘይከውን፡ ነዚ ብኢደወነኑ ኣብ ስልጣን ዝተኾደጨ ጉጅለ፡ ኣብራሲ ክነሱ ዳርጋ ናይ ልምዓትን ሓድነትን ጀግና ገይሮም ክገልጽዎ ኣይመሃቀኑን። ካብዚ ሓሊፉ፡ እዚ ምእንቲ ክለኣኾም ዘጸባብቕዎ ዘለዉ ዲክታቶር ኣብታ ናይ ቀደሙ ጸረ-ህዝቢ ትዕቢትን ብደዐን ኮይኑ፡ ብዘይ ናይ ኣተሓሳስባ ለውጢ፡ ንኤርትራ ብዘይሕገመንግስቲ፡ ብዘይተመርጸ መሪሕነት፡ ብዘይልዕልና ሕጊ፡ ብዘይምኽባር ሰብኣውን ዲሞክራስያውን መሰላት ይድህካ ከም ዘሎስ ኣይፈልጡን ማለት ኣይኮነን።

ላዕለዎት ሓለፍቲ ሕቡራት ሃገራት ቅድሚ ሕጂ ንኢሳይያስ ክሳብ ብማዕቀብ ዝቐጽዖ፡ ንዓቶም ስለ ዘይተኣዘዞም ጥራይ ምንባሩ ኣብቲ እዋኑ ብዙሕ ተዛሪብናሉ ኢና። ኣብ መንጎ ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ምስ ዝነበረ ሓላው ሰላም ሰራዊቶም ዘይምትሕብባሩ፡ ኣብ ጉዳይ ሶማልያ ንዞናዊ ረብሓኦም ኣንጻር ኣልሸባብ ዘይምውግኡ፡ ምናልባት እውን ምስ ኣልሸባብ ብምትሕብባሩ ክብሮም ከም ዝተንከፈ ስለ ዝቖጸርዎ እዮም ዝገሰጥዎን ዝቐጽዕዎን። ሎሚ ከኣ ብመንጽር ኤርትራን ህዝባን ክረአ እንከሎ እኳደኣ መሊሱ ናብ ዝኸፈአ ጫፍ እንዳኸደ፡ እንተኾነ ብርኮም ስዒሙ ክለኣኾም ስለ ዝረዓመ እዮም እገዳ ኣልዒሎም ከመላኽዕዎ ዝፍትኑ ዘለዉ። ናይተን ምክትል ዋና ጸሓፊት ርዝነት ዘየብሉ ዲፕሎማስያዊ ዘይኮነ ፕሮፓጋንዳዊ መልእኽቲ፡ ንኢሳያስ እውን ዘየደቅስ “ኣበ መጻኢ ንርእዮ ኣሎ” ዝብል መንፈስኳ እንተለዎ፡ ንህልዊ ኰነታት ህዝብና ኣብ ግምት ዘእተወ ዘይምዃኑ ግና ብሩህ እዩ። እዚ ዘረድኦ ከኣ ኣብ ኣካላት ሕቡራት ሃገራት እውን ንኩነታት ኤርትራ ዝምልከት ግቡእ ምንባብ ዘየለ ምዃኑ እዩ። ሓደ ኣካል ሕቡራት ሃገራት፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ስልታዊ ህዝቢ ናይ ምጽናት ገበን ከም ዘሎን፡ በዚ  ሰብኣዊ ግህሰት ዝጥርጠሩ ኣካላት መንግስቲ ኣብ ቅድሚ ፍትሒ ክቐርቡን ብተደጋጋሚ ክጽውዕ ጸኒሑ። ካልእ ኣካል ናይዚ ዓለም ለኻዊ ትካል ከኣ እነሆ ዳርጋ ናይ ውዳሰ መዝሙር የስምዓና። እዚ ኩሉ ተደሚሩ ዘመሓላልፎ መልእኽቲ እምበኣር፡ ጉዳይና፡ ናትና እምበር ጉዳይ ካለኦት ከምዘይኮነ እዩ።

እዚ ኩነታት ናብ ህግዲፍ ዘመሓላልፎ መልእኽቲ ኣለዎ። እቲ መልእኽቲ ኤርትራዊ ጉዳያት ዓብዒቡ ደገደገ ጥራይ ብምርኣይ ምስሉ ከዕሪ ከም ዝኽእል ኮይኑ ክስመዖ ዝገብር እዩ። ናባናን ናብ ህዝብናን ዘመሓላልፎ መልእኽቲ ከኣ፡ ካብ ኣበርክቶናን ቃልስናን እምበር ካብ ናይ ዝኾነ ናይ ግዳም ሓይሊ ዝመጽእ ለውጢ ከምዘየለ ዘዘኻኽር እዩ። ስለዚ ሃየ ሎሚ’ውን  ሓላፍነትና ንረከብ ።

Africa, Eritrea, Horn of Africa

Source: ACAPS  – an independent information provider – has just declared Eritrea to be a nation in which it is all but impossible for humanitarians to work.

Three nations are given the designation – “Extreme access constraints” – the other two are Syria and Yemen. Both are at war: Eritrea is not.

Full report here.

Gathering information is extremely difficult, but ACAPS’s assessment is that Eritrea’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, with

  • 4,955,000 People affected
  • 3,964,000 People in need

Eritrea retains its status as one of the countries with the highest access constraints. INGOs are prohibited in the country.

President Isaias Afwerki allows only a few UN agencies to operate, including UNICEF, FAO, and UNHCR, which has defined the operational environment as “challenging, but permissible for day-to-day activities”.

Incoming funds from the UN and other donor agencies are subject to strict limitations and must pass through the Government of Eritrea.

Information gaps are noticeable, for example on the obstacles encountered by Eritreans in accessing services or movement restrictions within the country.

Historically, Eritrea has not shared information about the level of humanitarian needs.

Overview

24/05/2019

The Eritrean government significantly restricts humanitarian access and there is very little information on humanitarian needs. The country is governed by a one-party state; elections have not been held since 1993.

Human rights violations including arbitrary detention, indefinite national/military service, and extrajudicial killings have been reported.https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/eritrea OHCHR 26/05/2018 https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23262&LangID=E" class="wysiwyg_source" style="border-bottom-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); outline-color: invert; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium; text-decoration: none; transition-delay: 0s; transition-duration: 0.1s; transition-property: all; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out;" href="https://www.acaps.org/country/eritrea/crisis/complex-crisis#">?

Following the signing of the “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” by the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2018, border crossings between the two countries were re-opened in September 2018 for the first time in 20 years. However, the last open border crossing was closed in April 2019, with no official reason given.https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cz4pr2gdgjyt/eritrea" class="wysiwyg_source" style="border-bottom-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); outline-color: invert; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium; text-decoration: none; transition-delay: 0s; transition-duration: 0.1s; transition-property: all; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out;" href="https://www.acaps.org/country/eritrea/crisis/complex-crisis#">?

Eritrea is subject to harsh climatic conditions, including cyclical drought and flooding during rainy seasons. These events heighten the vulnerability of communities, making it difficult for families to fully recover from the effects of one emergency before another strikes. In recent years, the country’s climatic conditions have tested the coping capacities of the population, which is largely dependent (80%) on subsistence agriculture.https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/2019-HAC-Eritrea%281%29.pdf" class="wysiwyg_source" style="border-bottom-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); outline-color: invert; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium; text-decoration: none; transition-delay: 0s; transition-duration: 0.1s; transition-property: all; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out;" href="https://www.acaps.org/country/eritrea/crisis/complex-crisis#">?Domestic food production is estimated to meet only between 60-70% of the population’s needs.https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNICEF%20Eritrea%20Humanitarian%20Situation%20Report%20-%20December%202018.pdf" class="wysiwyg_source" style="border-bottom-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); outline-color: invert; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium; text-decoration: none; transition-delay: 0s; transition-duration: 0.1s; transition-property: all; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out;" href="https://www.acaps.org/country/eritrea/crisis/complex-crisis#">?

INFORM measures Eritrea’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 5.2/10.http://www.inform-index.org/Portals/0/Inform/2019/country_profiles/ERI.pdf" class="wysiwyg_source" style="border-bottom-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2); border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); outline-color: invert; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium; text-decoration: none; transition-delay: 0s; transition-duration: 0.1s; transition-property: all; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out;" href="https://www.acaps.org/country/eritrea/crisis/complex-crisis#">?

Friday, 01 November 2019 12:41

Ethiopia: A flicker in the gloom

Written by

Africa, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, Uncategorized

By Rene Lefort

Source: Ethiopia Insight

A flicker in the gloom

If Abiy succeeds in transforming EPRDF into a single party, at least it will offer a possible—albeit still highly risky—way out of the morass by presenting two distinct political choices.

Ethiopia’s situation is incredibly complex and dangerous. Nevertheless, beyond the recent tragic events, perhaps the first signs of a light at the end of tunnel are emerging—weakly flickering in the gloom. The strong push by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to create a new party from the ashes of the ruling coalition could set in motion a process to exit the current crisis. Yet, it is highly unlikely to be a peaceful one.The current political context in Ethiopia is characterized by ineffectiveness at federal level and a gaping power vacuum at regional level, except in Tigray. Generally, authority at the grassroots is unsteady. It is either only nominally in the hands of powerless local officials, or in those of emerging informal local groups of influential personalities or new community groups, frequently armed. The two main symptoms are the persistence of insecurity and frequent occurrence of nominally ethnic-based clashes.

This vacuum starts from the top, and spreads through the EPRDF party-state’s chain of command. In Addis Ababa, the confusion inside the ruling circles is palpable, as demonstrated by conflicting official statements over the night-time drama at Jawar Mohamed’s residence that led to protests and deadly violence.

The EPRDF is a Front only in name. The opposition remains scattered and disorganized, although Oromo parties at least remain in discussion with each other. Elections are widely considered as a lifeline, but the schedule is overly ambitious, given the lack of conducive conditions for polls.

From this situation, two strategies present themselves for the political classes:

The first, to proceed to elections in May, come what may. This strategy is supported by a wide range of political forces, including the Prime Minister himself. The oft-stated reasoning behind it is that a postponement would only exacerbate tensions further. Following an election, it is argued, newly elected MPs will finally be legitimate enough to build a coalition which can set the course to resolve two key issues: the type of federalism to be adopted and the degree of economic liberalisation to be pursued.

The second, to defer elections and agree on something akin to a transition period towards orderly elections, or even constitutional reform. This strategy is supported by those who fear that the closer voting day gets, the more tensions will rise. Ultimately, far more important than adhering to the electoral schedule, they say, the survival of the Ethiopian state will be at stake. Therefore, holding premature polls is deemed too risky.

There are key obstacles for the first strategy:

Security problems are frequently mentioned as decisive. But elections cannot bring the crisis to an end if the political landscape is not clarified in advance. The voters should be offered clear electoral options, so that they can decide with at least a minimum degree of knowledge and confidence what the parties represent.

At the current conjuncture, however, the competing ideological positions are radically different not only between different political groupings—which is normal—but also within the EPRDF, and, furthermore, inside three of the four coalition’s parties, namely the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Currently, voting for any of this trio would not mean making a clear statement on Ethiopia’s future political settlement.

In addition, what legitimacy would MPs possess if it cannot be guaranteed that the elections will be reasonably fair and free? Particularly so, when the PM himself admitted that he cannot take this for granted. Abiy aims for “a relatively free and fair election as compared to the previous elections.” But this would be far from sufficient. Taking the long view, it is notable that previous elections lacked even the minimum requirements of freedom and fairness. What guarantees are in place to give the electorate confidence that the upcoming polls will be any different?

With regards to the second strategy:

The idea here is that elections should only be held after a minimum of consensual rules are set through a process of dialogue between a wide range of stakeholders. While this should restore some calm, even adherents to the plan agree that a pre-condition needs to be met for such a process to succeed. That is, a pivot of the political class towards compromises in order to establish basic rules to proceed lawfully, orderly, and peacefully towards elections. But why, amid the present toxic stalemate, would this turn out well in the next few months when the political class has been unable to reach a compromise—not only since the beginning of the crisis but throughout the last half century?

Towards bipolarity

Amid this deadlock emerges a third strategy:

This is an impulse from the top—from the Prime Minister himself. Abiy has noted that he cannot assert his authority and wield his influence over EPRDF. Thus, he seems to have decided to try and force into life a new organization, tentatively reported as the Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP).

This potential party will not merely be an EPRDF expanded to include affiliated parties, adopting representation proportionate to their regions’ size, population, etc. Instead, it would mean the creation of a new party. One which would turn its back on the past ideology and organisation of the EPRDF. Its unifying factor would be his person alone and his philosophy of Medemer. Abiy Ahmed wants to build EPP to cement his power, now and in the future.

The former Zone 9 blogger BefeQadu Haile recently stated that according to the PM’s recently released book, the main values of Medemer are “National Unity, Citizen’s Dignity and Prosperity”. Nothing substantive is mentioned about group rights, nothing about diversity. In short, nothing about ethnic federalism.

In addition, in his statement after the recent mayhem, Abiy focused on reconciliation at the grassroots level, mediated essentially by religious leaders and elders. He did not utter a word about politicians or parties. In a press release, he also sent a strong warning to the so called “enemies”, stating: “We won’t stop the journey we have begun. We will continue, uprooting the weed and taking care of the wheat”. And further, “we will pay whatever price it takes to make sure that the prosperity of Ethiopia and its people will be realized.”

As hostilities against Abiy rise in different circles, his journey to try to concentrate more power into his hands brings to mind Ethiopia’s age-old attachment to the teleq säw, the Big Man. Presently, this trend is fueling discontent.

But, above all, if the EPP comes to life, the development will likely lead to a political choice between an “Abiy pole” and an “ethnic federalist pole”.  The hope is that, thereafter, the currently diverse and divided multitude of political forces would then—more or less—gravitate to either of these two poles. This could be the beginning of a clearing-up of the political landscape:

On both sides, this rift would be based on sincerely held political beliefs and, in the long run, ethnicity should diminish in importance. Thirst for power and control over and access to resources—which go with in the present oligarchic system in Ethiopia—will undoubtedly also play a crucial, if not primary, role.

Obviously, TPLF, the Oromo opposition, and parts of ODP and SEPDM—possibly even the strong Amhara identity wings of ADP and the National Movement of Amhara—would gravitate towards this latter, “ethnic federalist pole”. While Abiy’s EPP would perhaps be more allied with one-nation, Ethiopianist political forces, such as the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party (Ezema) or movements like Eskinder Nega’s Baladeras Council.

Risky strategy

Nevertheless, it is highly probable that the rift over the EPP, which has already deepened the splits inside the EPRDF, will, in the short-term, only deepen the country’s ongoing crisis.

Moreover, it is not at all clear if the risks of further party splits have factored into Abiy and his advisor’s strategic calculations and contingency plans. Thus, in the meantime, I share the fears of commentators, such as Tsedale Lemma, Awol Allo, Birhanu Lenjiso and others who “ring the alarm bell” with convincing arguments that this (third) strategy of creating the Prosperity Party may, at first, breed further instability.

And, in addition to the risk of exacerbating deadly tensions, another question is if Abiy’s primary focus is really to move towards a democratic transition—or if it is to cement his power?

Jawar seems to share this concern. He has, since his return from exile, stood by the PM and his reform and reconciliation process. He only began criticizing Abiy openly once the latter proposed to create a unified party. Jawar then accused the PM of “taking Ethiopia back to ‘the old ways’ of authoritarian rule”. On this, Tsedale aptly noted: “Jawar Mohammed drops a bombshell when he not only outlined the dilemma of the new party, but set forth the possible scenarios, as a result of it, of a ‘constitutional crisis’ (quite frankly convincing), and which, he says, may culminate in snap elections regionally and nationally.

This is an indication that Abiy’s intention to push ahead with creating the EPP worries not only the EPRDF coalition and Abiy’s ODP, but also those political forces—outside the party-state apparatus—that helped bring him to power.

But what might be the actual impact of Abiy’s bold forward step? In every scenario, it would break the deadly day-to-day political routine of the highly fractured party-state and the opposition. The cards would be entirely reshuffled.

The PM’s move is, however, risky. Abiy could fail. ODP’s former leader and still popular figurehead, Lemma Megersa, has expressed in party meetings his opposition to the merger. Abiy may be obliged to backtrack if he cannot garner the full support of his closest allies, which is far from certain at this stage, or if opposition is too strong.

Nevertheless, if EPP sees the light of day, it could be that Abiy and his advisors have also overestimated the number of followers this new party might actually attract. Has not the recent stand-off with Jawar shown that—despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize—Abiymania seems to be on the wane?

In any case, such a miscalculation would mark a dramatic end of Abiy’s pre-eminence. He would be largely delegitimized as leader, or at least his privilege as a reconciliatory care-taker who can lead the transition would evaporate. Consequently, a wide space would open up for other parties to compete for power.

Becoming multi-ethnic

That said, and while all these concerns and caveats are valid, those who strongly oppose the creation of the new party should consider the following points:

A transition to democracy cannot occur without destroying or profoundly transforming the party-state structures of the EPRDF which were hitherto so centralised and consistent. Attempts to break down the old security apparatus have more or less already been undertaken. But this has not stabilised the security situation of country yet—on the contrary. Alongside disentangling the party from the state, should there not be a serious attempt—however risky, chaotic and full of ulterior motives—to reorder the currently fractured political landscape into distinct and coherent groupings? That is, clumped at two poles.

It is true that in order to allow a more constructive rationalising of the political landscape, both the “Abiy pole” and the “ethnic federalist pole”, would eventually need to become decidedly multi-ethnic. Only an embrace of ideology-based politics would allow this new polarisation to contribute to a shift away from politicizing ethnic divisions towards foregrounding political competition along policy divisions.

Pushing paroxysm

Some commentators have questioned the legal issues surrounding the creation of EPP and see the law book as the greatest obstacle to replacing the EPRDF. Taking into account precedents in Ethiopian politics, however, the reality is that legal checks and balances on the party-state are unreliable, as is the case within party organs. During the three main crises of TPLF and later the EPRDF, the rules have been systematically bypassed: during the hinfishfish (anarchy/weakening) phase at the end of the 70s; the dismissal of Aregawi Berhe and Giday Zeratsion in 1985; and by Meles and his followers in 2001 during the tehadso (renewal) phase.

Historically, in Ethiopian political culture, centralism has prevailed over democracy; the highest body can take decisions regardless of the positions expressed by the lower levels. The final winner is absolved of punishment for these infringements. I doubt Abiy will feel bound by party rules or the legislative. His rule so far has suggested he will governs by bypassing the laws if he feels it is necessary. He may well claim that the country’s de facto state of exception justifies whatever changes to the EPRDF he wants to make.

The ongoing turbulence across Ethiopia is getting unbearable. Almost all exits from the crisis seem blocked. The only option may be to slip through any remaining narrow gap. By trying to centralise power and further his authority around a clear-cut political position, premised primarily on his persona and philosophy, Abiy is set to push the crisis to its paroxysm.

Already, if Jawar’s claim is accurate, a group of high-ranking officials had decided—with or without the green light from Abiy—to try to at the very least to intimidate him. This could be part of a strategy to vigorously confront the ethno-nationalist opposition. The consequences, however, were fatal: around 80 people were killed, hundreds wounded. Thus, the widespread fears of worsening conflict are palpable.

Another consequence is that Oromia, the most populous regional state, is openly divided. This includes the top echelons of ODP, who are torn over the federation’s future. Meanwhile, Jawar has suggested that he may now stand as a candidate in the next elections. The positive effect of this is that it could give each pole—Abiy and the ethnic federalists—a hefty individual force for followers to gravitate around.

Amid the gathering gloom, and a possible descent into total darkness, let us hope that the words of one of the founders of the European project, Jean Monnet, prove prescient for Ethiopia under Abiy: “Humans see the necessity of change only when they face a crisis… then it can be a new birth”.

The alternative is almost too awful to contemplate.

Source=https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2019/11/01/ethiopia-a-flicker-in-the-gloom/

Africa, Eritrea, Horn of Africa

This interview – published by the Eritrean Ministry of Information – reveals the depths to which some UN officials have sunk.

How can Ms Mohamed say that: “We had an inspiring discussion with the President who reiterated what has been learned from a journey –through war and isolation into peace and the importance of keeping the peace not just for Eritrea but the regional integration for the Horn of Africa and the rest of Africa.”

Is she truly unaware of the evidence of Eritrean arming and training of rebel movements across the Horn of Africa, from Somalia to Ethiopia. Does she not know that Eritrea attempted to bomb the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in January 2011 – according to the UN’s own report?

The UN then reported that: “Whereas Eritrean support to foreign armed opposition groups has in the past been limited to conventional military operations, the plot to disrupt the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in January 2011, which envisaged mass casualty attacks against civilian targets and the strategic use of explosives to create a climate of fear, represents a qualitative shift in Eritrean tactics.”

Has Ms Mohamed not seen the UN’s own report saying that in Eritrea: “Much of the population is subject to forced conscription and labour, sometimes in slave-like conditions.

Martin


The world needs to share Eritrea’s recipe of “unity, equality and dividend of peace” according to UNDSG Amina J. Mohamed

ArticlesQ & A

“There are countries that have done none with more opportunities. But Eritrea with its own resources is doing a lot on development. I am excited because I’m witnessing the real Eritrea, not Eritrea on Social Media.”


A joint high-level UN-AU delegation, led by Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina Mohammed, made a two-day work visit as part of a series of visits to neighboring countries of the Horn.

During its stay the high-level delegation met with the President, the Ministers of Justice, National Development, Information, Labor and Social Welfare and the President of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW).

The delegation further held an interactive session with young Eritrean professionals. The delegation visited several projects including Mislam Dam, the Nefasit-Dekemhare-Serha road that is under construction and more. I spoke to both the heads of the UN and AU delegation.

Read today’s Q&A as we give you a glimpse of their stay and experience in Eritrea in their own words.

Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Amina Mohammed

  • Welcome to Eritrea. Your impressions and thoughts on your mission to Eritrea…

We arrived yesterday on a joint solidarity mission for peace, security and development. We went straight to the filed. We experienced the investments that Eritrea is making in infrastructure; we visited the road that connects to Ethiopia. We also saw a multi-purpose dam, which for us is really important to witness how Eritrea has focused on water and is actually putting its own investment in it. Most exciting about that was seeing young Eritreans involved: engineers from Eritrea, but also from the diaspora. We ended up in a dairy farm where we saw entrepreneurship of a woman and her family producing products equal to global standards.

  • You have also met with the Eritrean leadership. How was it to actually speak with the ministers and the President himself?

We met with the ministers and saw that they are very focused on the priorities of this country; a country that has come out of war into peace. And that is actually what we wanted to hear because that is what we need to support. We had an inspiring discussion with the President who reiterated what has been learned from a journey –through war and isolation into peace and the importance of keeping the peace not just for Eritrea but the regional integration for the Horn of Africa and the rest of Africa.

  • You’ve had a chance to meet the President of NUEW and had a round table discussion with young professionals over traditional Bun! How was it?

And what a better note to come and speak with young people and the Eritrean women who have been on the forefront in the struggle for freedom, and, now, in the fight for sustainable development! We realized the challenge of finding a seamless transition from one generation to another; having the young people at the front with their vision, energy and capacities and support them to strengthen their capacities and make sure that they are taught of what Eritrea has done and what it can do both for Africa and for the globe itself.

  • You are the second high level delegation of the UN visiting Eritrea within a time frame of a month. What is the reason behind this?

The fact that now Eritrea is engaging with the world is a big thing. It has been in isolation for a long time. We know that there are remaining challenges but if we want to see Eritrea proceed then we have to start understanding the country’s priorities. We need to know where the country is coming from and where it would like to go and together see how we can support that. The UN has been in Eritrea for a long time and intends to stay as long as it can. There are many different aspects of the UN that the government is speaking with now to see how we can consolidate that partnership. That is what we’re bringing in terms of the system, which is pretty big.

  • And if you may, Mrs. Deputy Secretary General, what will your role be in the process you just mentioned?

For me this is about advocacy for the things that Eritrea is doing well.

To amplify that so that people can see and feel encouraged by the stability that is being created in the political will to have peace as a future not just for Eritrea but the region as well.

Moreover, it will be also about addressing the challenges. What more challenges and gaps have we got? Whether it is in development or human rights, all of that needs to be addressed if one is to be an equal member of the global community. And so I see this as the first of many conversations and activities for the future. We are hearing from young people who tell us what they would like and how they’d like to be part of the networks that are regional and global… so we’ll need more, not us giving you prescriptions, but you telling us what you need. That will help us find solutions together.

  • Thank you for your time. Is there anything you’d like to put on an ending note?

Yes. I think there are three things that Eritrea should share with the world. The first is what we saw and felt as well, your unity. There aren’t many countries that are as unified as you are and I think that the next generation should share this value with young generations across the border. The second trait is how the government has approached equality. I think in many countries inequality is the root-cause of destructions that we see. And last, whatever Eritrea has gained as a dividend of its past must be carried on as a dividend for peace in the future; and that is based on gender equality. You have it in many places. Don’t take it for granted and you, the young people, must hold on to it tight as well.

Mrs. BENITA DIOP, AU special envoy on Women, peace and security

What we have said as women for peace, security and development from both the AU and the UN was listen to the women in Eritrea and the leadership.

And what we found is something that we need to echo because we need to change the narrative. I think here we have seen a country that has been resilient despite challenges.

A country that has been striving to show the world that it has been working to develop its own economy. A country that has put women as part of its undertakings for development. Speaking with the Head of State of Eritrea we realized that this is normal; Eritrean women fought for liberation and now are on the field working on agriculture and much more in the fight for development.

We at the AU have put in place, along with the UN, programs for young people to connect so that they share their experience and accelerate and innovate. So it will be important to involve young Eritreans as well.

I have been very happy about my visit to Eritrea. I will take the message to the AU but also to my sisters in the African Women’s movement. I have actually been to Eritrea during the border war. I, then, met with Mrs. Luul Ghebreab and visited the war field. We visited the displaced camps and young men and women fighting in the war. The disaster of war was heavy but we saw women who stood next to their brothers to defend their nation. We appreciated what the young women were selflessly doing back then; nevertheless, we really hoped for peace. And today, I comeback at a time when Eritrea and Ethiopia have made peace I am glad to have been here on this joint mission.

I have been in good contacts with several Eritrean women having had a chance to work with them in different contexts. The intergenerational cooperation of the youth and the old working together to build Eritrea is an example for us to learn from.

ኣብ ዋና ከተማ ሱዳን ካርቱም ብ30 ጥቅምቲ 2019 ንጉዳይ ስደተኛታት ዝምልከት ዓወደ-መጽናዕቲ ከም ዝተኻየደ ምንጭታትና ካብቲ ቦታ ሓቢሮም። ኣብዚ ዓውደ-መጽናዕቲ፡ ወከልቲ፡  ቤት-ጽሕፈት ላዕለዋይ ኮሚሽን ጉዳይ ስደተኛታት ኣብ ካርቱም፡  ቤት ጽሕፈት ስደተኛታት ሱዳን፡ ላዕለዋይ ባይቶ ንሰብኣዊ ዕብየት፡ ምኒስተር ዕዮን ማሕበራዊ ዕቤትን ተሳቲፎም።  ብዘይካዚ ኣብ ሰዳን ካብ ዘለዉ ስደተኛታት፡ ኤርትራ፡ ደቡብ ሱዳን፡ ኢትዮጵያ፡ ኮንጎ፡ የመንን ሱርያን ኣብዚ ዓውደ- መጽናዕቲ ነፍሲወከፎም ብሓደ ሰብ ከም ዝተወከሉን ጠቕላላ ተሳተፍቲ ናይቲ ዓውደ መጽናዕቲ 50  ከም ዝነበሩን እቲ ዝበጸሓና ሓበሬታ ጠቒሱ።

ኣብ መኽፈቲ’ዚ ዓውደ መጽናዕቲ፡ ሰለስተ ኣገደስቲ መጽናዕታዊ ጽሑፋት ከም ዝቐረቡን፡ ካብቶም ኣብቲ ወረቓቕቲ ዝተላዕሉ ዛዕባታት፡  መሰላትን ግቡኣትን ስደተኛታት ዘነጽር ብ2014 ዝጸደቐ ሕጊ ሱዳን ብሓላፊ ቤት-ጽሕፈት ስደተኛታት (COR) ዝቐረበ፡ ስደተኛታት ድራር ዕለቶም ክረኽብሉ ዝኽእሉ ሞያን ጥበባትን ንኽውንኑ ሞያዊ ስልጠናታት ምሃብን ኣብ ህይወቶም ከጋጥምዎም ካብ ዝኽእሉ ጸገማት ዝከላኸልሉ መንግድን ብወኪል ላዕለዋይ ኮሚሽን ስደተኛታት ዝቐርበ፡ ስደተኛታት ናይ ስራሕ ፍቓድ ወረቐት ከውጽእሉ ዝኽእሉ ሕጋዊ መንገድታት ዝምልከት ብወኪል ቤት-ጽሕፈት ዕዮ ዝቐረበ ይርከብዎም።

እዞም ኣብዚ ዓውደ-መጽናዕቲ ዝቐረቡ ሓሳባት ቅድሚ ሕጂ ብሓፈሻ ብኹሎም ኣብ ሱዳን ንዘለዉ ስደተኛታት ብፍላይ ከኣ ብኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ክለዓሉ ዝጸንሑ ምዃኖም እቶም ምንጭታት ሓቢሮም፡ እንተኾነ ንተግባራውነቶም ቃል ክእተወሎም’ኳ እንተጸንሐ ክሳብ ሕጂ ብግቡእ ከይተተግበሩ ከም ዝጸንሑን ብሰንክዚ ስደተኛታት ክጽገሙ ከም ዝጸንሑን ሓቢሮም። ኣብ መወዳእታ’ቲ ዓውደ መጽናዕቲ ተሳተፍቲ እቲ ቃል ዝተኣትወሉ መሰል ስደተኛ፡  ዘረባ ጥራይ ኮይኑ ከይተርፍ ለበዋታት ኣቕሪቦም።

Thursday, 31 October 2019 22:56

Radio Demtsi Harnnet Kassel 31.10.2019

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