The Punches Of Ali Salim: Partners Needed! Print E-mail
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By Hamid Salman - Jul 04, 2009   

Determined leaders could change the course of history, they could create drastic events and destroy nations as well, and we have had undeniable evidence in hand—the arrogant and reckless gang ruling over the nation has flanged us all down. More or less, the ruling shifta has degraded the viability of Eritrea to stand as a united nation, they slaughtered the lamb by the very dawn of delivery. lending a hand to the ancient skeptics revive a sigh and question the very existence of the nation. It is not unusual for a nation in such a state of despair to wander left and right, searching for a new leadership, a rescuer. And it is not unusual  too that genius leaders would be nowhere when they are needed the most—the vicious ones are abundant. That is why some nations experience decades-long walks in dark tunnels with no beacon of hope at the end, waiting for a leader who would make history to come into view.

The Republic of Lebanon, a small and diverse nation that once upon a history was considered the most prosperous nation in the Middle East, a nation that cradled and produced  one of the region's most notable contemporary art movements, an intellectual haven for various trends, a comfortable living standard higher than any other Arab country. At the time, when the external image of Lebanon was all-bright and fascinating, the inside story of the nation was revealing a totally different tale. he rivalry between the Druze and the Maronites made each of them form its own militia independent of the national Lebanese army. They undermined the National Pact’s balance while external and regional powers, mainly Syria, Iran and Israel, were more than delighted to support the rivals in order to secure their own safe footing in Lebanon, weapons overwhelmed the country and the rival factions mustered the games of proxy wars.  

Fifteen years of civil war (1975-1989) toppled the Lebanese nation from  the prosperous and promising era to the ashes of poverty, insecurity and an all out mess. Finally they were forced to sign the Ta'if Accord which brought a formal end to the devastating Lebanese Civil War that claimed above 200,000 souls and provoked massive destruction in the entire structures of the nation. Since then, the Lebanese are living in constant fear worrying from a sudden eruption of a civil war.

One of my high-school classmates in Khartoum in 1994 was a Somali student. We often used to discuss the ever-burning issues of the Horn; “al-furn al-ifriqi” the African furnace as he calls it . “What is wrong with Somalia” I asked him once. His answer was simple but intelligent and touching: “Ruling over the Somalis is like herding a pack of cats.”  We laughed a lot and went on discussing other matters. Eritreans are decent and flexible people, but destiny gave them a sort of leadership that is only qualified to be a gang, shifta criminals and NOT to lead a diverse nation.

The collective state of mind of the Lowlanders had unanimously laid a hand on this reality as the uprooted lowlanders are just calmly watching the lately heightened campaign of systematic and ill-advised demographic shifting. Their ancestral fertile “lands are being allocated to strangers,” as they would say, before their eyes. The perception that the lowlanders are unaware of what is befalling them is not actually true. For example, Kerenites are not likely to put out of their minds the day when the land that they endowed (long before the EPLF was created) for the would-be-Keren-Grand-mosque was simply confiscated and given to the regional administration. Those of you who are planning to pay a visit to Keren are kindly invited (tour guide available upon request) to see the huge buildings where the Anseba Regional Administration’s Head Quarters is located. Just imagine a marvelous view of the would-be-temple standing opposite to the new grand church beyond the TOTAL Petrol Station and the small roundabout. Kerenite families will also never, ever, forget the black-nights during the time when the “nation” was in euphoric state of mind after independence day. It was then that Zuwar El-layl squads invaded their homes and kidnapped teachers, social figures and dignified elders with no option for the victims to properly dress themselves—no traces were left to of their route. These are not fictional tales, they are real and man-made systematic quandary aimed to eradicate the risk of any future voices rising to call the spade spade, ”menkor!”  Lowlanders have kept pretty calm despite all sorts of off-putting tactics applied on them, one is just afraid that the situation might be a calm before the storm of the big show (of A.Salim).

“Uprooting” thousands of families from their beloved highlands and relocating them in the lowlands: we should not lower our national spirit and boost up the sectarian and regional sensitivity, we shouldn’t forget the over-all principle of the legitimate right of any citizen to move and live wherever he/she might choose within the boarders of the nation. Good? But (a bold but) the way in which the current approach is being handled by the ruling gang is more than suspicious, and deserves close and wise scrutiny. Evidences of war crime and crime against humanity might be found (the Kirkuk style), however, this crime is double-edged, with both edges serving the sick-minded sectarian gang leadership. How double edged is this crime?

Well, we have families being forcefully dragged to leave their own homes against their will and relocated in various regions of the country, mainly the Gash-Setit region. If the victims are lowlanders uprooted from their homes in the Northern Red Sea Region such as Massawa Ghinda or the Anseba Region such as Keren and its environs, these cursed sort of citizens are being placed in marginal corners where they could well-sniff the aroma of the Sudanese villages and cities that naturally lures them stealing their children to slip to Sudan for good. Tens of families were in their homes in Keren and Massawa last May 2009; now, they have already joined the ranks of their folks in the refugee camps of Eastern Sudan . In the contrary, those citizens whom the whole project is endowed to serve are put in fertile farmlands where they could establish residencies and prevail with the basic tools of surviving and coping. Judging from past experience, they might be trained and empowered to play a vital role as human social shields to protect the “nation” from its enemies!       

Putting this developments in their historical context, lowlanders shouldn’t shy away from nagging: “where is our share?” They didn’t pay a heavy price of blood and sweat just to end up being denied their basic dignity and normal life in their land. Worse, they are victimized and doomed to languish in refugee camps indefinitely. Truthfully, they could not afford further false hopes, they have been deprived the right to live and die on their native soil. Don’t blame them please! Just remember the over half a million (probably far more by now) Eritreans waiting impatiently in a make shift camps for over 40 years. The recent demographic shifts and their repercussion have been well understood by the people of lowlands. The law of the jungle, where merciless fierce hyenas abuse a weak sheep should be resisted. The new objective of Eritrean lowlanders, is what Al-Tadamun is demanding to control, reform and lead. And we might not be able to stop or divert the course of the upcoming fierce waves if we are reluctant to bring about a solution. How could we eat and sleep with those dreadful weapons surrounding the nation. How?

The last few weeks, Ali Salim turned us out with his abrupt punches and spat on our nasty faces. The horror of it for Ali is that he understood the entire story, he (along with a few established writers) could read both sides of the coin, those of us who couldn’t read or wouldn’t like to see the bloody storm approaching the nation might blame Ali Salim, and scream “who allowed this sharp-tongued guy to run his mouth on” They might never ask themselves whether he is telling the truth or just lying. I would quote a Tigrigna proverb I recieved a few month months ago: “Haba’E  Quslu Haba’E  Fowsu.” How true!

As far as remedy is concerned, wounds should be unveiled and disclosed for the medic to prescribe the accurate method of treatment.

The way forward (again and again) before the nightfall.

Those at the head of affairs of our opposition camps should live up to the challenges and recognize the perils of the moment. I would like to name and encourage (not shame) and call upon the breeds of Hamid Idris Awate, Ibrahim Sultan and WelWel. I would name Basheer Ishaq, Weldeyesus Ammar, Hussein Khelifa, Mesfin Hagos, Abu Suhiel, Herui Tedla, Khalil Amer, Abdella Mahmoud and all those who could do some thing to save the nation: You are NOT facing the truth heroically, you are reluctant, you are hiding behind your trenches when the nation is calling upon you to slowly awake and listen, respond to the call of “Mother of all reconciliations,” and have your sip out of the jug of reconciliation. The drink is extremely tart, but I assure you all, you will not die of toxicity.

Call the ruling regime by its true name: sectarian, dictatorial, chauvinist, and irresponsible. It is a group of a handful of bandits. Swear unanimously to uproot the norms of the law of the jungle, slavery and exclusion, destroy it and let the innocent and kind Eritreans dance over its ashes. Then, and only then, you would deserve the honor of having your names enter the books of the Eritrean history as proud nationals and real heroes.

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