|Elections under PFDJ dictatorship
The Speaker of ELF-RC, Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, Urges Eritrean Politicians
To Admit Past Mistakes, Excesses
In a long and highly constructive article in Arabic language now posted on this website, Ibrahim Mohammed Ali made a personal call on every Eritrean political figure “ to admit past mistakes and excesses in a straightforward manner and openly condemn those crimes and excesses committed [by him or] in his name against the Nation or against individuals.”
(Nharnet.com is pleased to present to its English readers highlights of the article whose full translation would, hopefully, be made available soon.)
In his concluding remarks in the 18-page article entitled “Eritrean National Unity: Then and Now”, Ibrahim Mohammed Ali, sometimes referred as IMA in internal ELF-RC correspondence of which he is the RC Chairman (Afebaito), listed key points that summarized his writing and stated : “I am of absolute conviction that we Eritreans, who possess common bonds in history and in struggle, are far better positioned than others to live harmoniously as one, respectable and proud nation.” But he did not conceal his fear that this conviction will be realizable only on condition that we as a nation of diverse traditions, cultures and religions, do acquire the knowledge and reach the understanding that we resolve all our problems, including disunity, through:
· constructive dialogue;
· accepting democratic model as our guide, and
· asking Eritrean political figures to admit now their past mistakes and excesses against the nation and citizens.
IMA’s article, which reviewed Eritrean history of the past 60 years, referred many times to the fact that religion and ethnicity have been exploited as artificial factors of disunity, mainly by the enemies of our people, and that even today Eritrea’s future is facing danger “unless the patriotic and democratic forces take up their national responsibilities with wisdom backed by lessons learned from the past and save the nation from slipping into a possible quagmire”.
In an apparent reference to historical distortions in Eritrea by all sides in the past and in the present, IMA stated with emphasis: “Facts in Eritrean history and the reality we live in today amply demonstrate that Eritrean Moslems and Christians have been equally patriotic in their devotion and contribution to Eritrea’s nationhood and no one side can claim to have contributed more or to have been more patriotic than the other.”
Referring to the early period in the history of the Eritrean struggle, peaceful and armed, IMA wrote: “If the Eritrean Moslems take pride in being the first to call for independence [in the 1940s] and the first in initiating the armed struggle in September 1961, the Eritrean Christians also have full right to be equally proud in their rejection early on [during the federal period and after] of Ethiopia’s privileges and benefits, including power-sharing, given to them at the expense of their Moslem brothers.” IMA mentioned the March 1958 mass uprising in Asmara and the rest of Eritrean cities as a manifest demonstration of the ever existent Eritrean patriotism in highland Eritrea. He also wrote about the massive support to Haraka (MaHber Shewate) in highland Eritrea and the full support of Christians to the Eritrean Liberation Front, especially after the adoption of a national democratic programme in November 1971. (IMA’s article also alludes to present an interesting critique to Haraka/MaHber Shewaate or Eritrean Liberation Movement and its leader, Saeed Nawd, for having exposed to danger many youth in Asmara while pursuing ELM’s coup d’etat project with the police and security apparatus in Asmara.)
Writing on recent developments, IMA singled out Isayas Afeworki’s long extended negative role in sowing seeds of suspicion and mistrust among Eritreans and his criminal acts that give to the Eritrean Moslems the impression that they were the targets of his dictatorial rule more than their Christian brothers and sisters. These policies and practices, including the marginalization of the Arabic language and the inexplicable distancing of Eritrea from the Arab world, came as direct provocations to the Eritrean Moslems. Those provocations, in addition to many other gross mistakes, encouraged some Eritreans to call for the formation of “an Islamic state” in Eritrea, while others found pretexts to resort to ethnic mobilization for possible secession.
The author believed that Eritreans will not accept any formula that fragments the society or prevents them to existence as one people. The article referred to the old partition plan and its rejection by all Eritreans. IMA described our people’s stand in the late 1940s as “a real referendum through which the Eritrean people have expressed their being truly bound by destiny to live together [Moslems and Christians, be it union with Ethiopia or as an independent state”.
IMA repeated in several sections of the article his emphatic message stating that small cliques of Christian Eritreans in the past (under Ethiopian rule) and the criminal thugs working under the present one-man PFDJ dictatorship do not by any measure represent the Eritrean Christians and that every Eritrean patriot would have to fully understand this fact.
(Those who can are encouraged to read the entire article in Arabic – Nharnet.com)
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