Role of Diaspora in Economic Development in Eritrea PDF Print E-mail
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Role of Diaspora in Economic Development in Eritrea

Foreign Financed Special Investments

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea Profile, vol.14, No.46, 15 August 2007

 

Introduction

The Eritrean Diaspora community involves right from the beginning of the liberation struggle in different parts of world and united today for the development of independent Eritrea. Today, the Eritrean Diaspora leaves much scope for economic, social, cultural, family and political transnational networks. The driving force in the emergence of this Diaspora has been civilization identification and cultural linkage. The National Charter reminds Diaspora Community and says, “Recalling the substantive contribution of our mass organizations in the liberated and enemy occupied areas and the Diaspora to our liberation struggle. It further point out:

The Congress:

1. 1. “Commends the role of the mass organizations (including Diaspora Community) in the victory of our liberation struggle and urges them to play an enhance role in the new phase,

2. 2. “Affirms that priority must be accorded in economic opportunities to all those livelihoods had deteriorated on account of this participation” (NCE: 56).

 

The government policy of development leads to the majority people belonging to peasantry. The year 2006 development indicator highlights the development of agrarian sector, irrigation, water channels, dams construction, infrastructure, tele-communication and other. A ‘poverty focused’ economic development policy has best chance of success if it is agricultural-led, or if it is based on increasing agricultural productivity that result in food security and the reduction in absolute poverty’ that includes Land Reform Programme, Development of Agriculture Sector and Development of Agro-Industrial Sector.

“In matters of democracy and development, we must chart our own programs which work for our conditions. ---Although we need outside expertise and experts, we have to rely on our own abilities and experts, and give priority to developing our own capabilities and expertise, self-reliance-economically, to rely on internal capabilities and develop internal capacities. Self-reliance does not mean to isolate oneself from the international community. It only means being as independent and self-confident player as possible in the international community” (A National Charter for Eritrea, For a Democratic, Just and Prosperous Future, Approved by the Third Congress of The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) Nacfa, February 1994: 16-17).

The changing nature of Diaspora elaborates their political and socio-economic contribution that is seriously considered by the Government of Eritrea. “Because Eritrea cannot reconstruct and develop its economy with national investment alone, it is also essential that the country establish economic policies that encourage and attract foreign investment (NCE: 28). Recently, the government announced new economic investment policy that is known as Foreign Financed Special Investments (FFSI) Proclamation.

The Diaspora tends to dominate because of the influence of its members in their adopted lands and their access to capital for investment. This community comprises mainly first-generation migrants, who live in the developed economies and still maintain close connections with their homeland. Though Eritrean looks up to overseas Eritrean for foreign investment, which cannot be the main reason for engaging the Diaspora community. The Diaspora gives Eritrean a wide reach in the international arena, through engagement with a wide range of countries.

Eritrea has a natural link with people of Eritrean origin and their strong desire to remain connected with their Eritrean heritage. Today, the agriculture sector is in the priority of the government to attain self-reliance and sustainable development, which will declare Food Security in Eritrea by implementing such programmes. Overseas Eritrean is mainly professionals and hence their investment has been in portfolio management. However, the presence of a large overseas Eritrean community will open up new markets for Eritrean goods. Eritrean communities in different African countries have provided the means to access the African market. The government persuades Diaspora communities to attract foreign investments. Investment is a decision dependent on the kind of facilities available, rather than on sentiment. The number of Eritrean Diaspora visit is increasing and appreciated the development of infrastructure, road, agriculture, industries and gold mining.

Diaspora and Foreign Financed Special Investments (FFSI) Proclamation

The Government of Eritrea announced new economic investment policy that is known as Proclamation No.159/2007 regarding Foreign Financed Special Investments (FFSI) Proclamation. It applies to all FFSI of more than Twenty Million US Dollars (20,000,000 USD) or its equivalent in other convertible currency. The features of this FFSI mentions under Article 4 as Objectives like:

“Without in any limiting the broad purposes of this Proclamation, this Proclamation has the following objectives:

1. 1. to achieve self-sustaining economic growth and thereby to ensure steady improvement in the standard of living of the population of Eritrea.

2. 2. to facilitate the rapid expansion of Eritrea’s potential and acceleration of social development;

3. 3. to create and expand employment opportunities; and

4. 4. to promote, encourage, safeguard and protect Foreign Financed Special Investments” (Gazette of Eritrean Laws, Vol. 16/2007 No.2 Asmara, 12th April 2007).

The 20 million USD is not an attractive opportunity for the individuals investing in Eritrea caring the investment return under consideration. But keeping the FFSI objective in mind, there is a possibility of partnership investment in their (Eritrean government) priority sectors. The Diaspora community may either form a joint- group of people belonging to diasporic community or invite their residence companies (from Europe, USA, Canada, Middle East, Pacific etc.) along with them or form a joint company. This is the way to introduce the avenues for investment jointly in the FFSI, which will give a chance to foreign companies to know more and more about investment in Eritrea collaboration with Eritrean Diaspora. Article 11 of FFSI says that temporary admission for inward processing Relief option and an investor for desiring to exercise the privilege under this Article shall first submit a written request and obtain Government approval.

The Eritrean government policies give priority to agriculture sector, a sign towards attaining food security. The year 2006 development indicator highlights the progress in irrigation, water channels, dam’s construction, water reservoir, infrastructure, tele-communication and other.

The mixture of FFSI objectives, government priority sector and investor/investors amount of USD 20 million, following suggestions may consider as investment in Agro-industry.

1. Food Industry

This sector deals with different divisions as per the investor’s priorities and trusting the local interests in livestock production. This sector attracts the agro industries and other sector directly or indirectly relates to food industry. Poultry and Dairy Farm houses links with the food industry and cater the needs of the local people accordingly.

A) A) Poultry Farm

This sector deals with the egg and Chicken meat production. Four Diaspora investors or collaboration with their residence company may divide the total amount as per their work and reward. This project proposal maintains the common amount to each investor such as:

· · Investment in Livestock, poultry houses, feed & other living conditions with Veterinary doctors (and invest 5 million USD).

· · Investment in Collection of Eggs and Chicken meat to its wholesale distribution under Article 5 (2) of FFSI may waive by the government. It needs hatchery and refrigeration facilities for meat as (and invests 5 million USD).

· · Investment in Opening Egg, chicken meat temperature controlled shops for retail markets (and invest 5 million USD).

· · Investment in transportation (through Trucks, mini trucks and other), which will carry eggs and chicken meat from Poultry farms to wholesale distributors and supply further to retail markets under Article 5 (2) of FFSI may waive by the government (and invest 5 million USD).

· · Training to Eritrean youth in the different fields of poultry, dairy, horticulture, floriculture and other agro-food industries that will help them to work as skilled worker (and invest 1million USD).

Following example through diagram explains this process to set up a series of Poultry farms (Figure-1).

This model will work for the other sector such as dairy farms and other agro industries. The Eritrea Diaspora food company is group partnership having four Diaspora investors or joint company with specified work. The major investments divide into different sectors and the number is given to them from 1 to 4 under Figure-1.

B. Dairy Industry

It consists of livestock such as sheep, goat and cow. The Dairy industry produces milk & other related items and meat. Along with it, the other benefits of Diary Industry relates to Cow Dung for Bio-gas plant and its distribution in the area and Dung as manure for agriculture fields. The Figure-1 may use for Dairy industry as well to understand the process of investment, setting up the market and relations with the consumers.

 

· · Investment in Livestock, farmhouses, feed & other living conditions with Veterinary doctors (5 million USD).

· · Investment in Collection of milk, storage and milk processing unit. It will prepare milk packets, cream, curd, Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other products (5 million USD).

· · Beef meat to its wholesale distribution. It needs hatchery and refrigeration facilities for meat (5 million USD).

· · Investment in Opening milk distribution outlets and selling milk cream, curd, Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other products. Beef meat temperature controlled shops for retail markets (5 million USD)

· · Investment in transportation (through Trucks, mini trucks and other), which will carry milk containers, and other items. The Beef meat from dairy farms to wholesale distributors and supply further to retail markets (5 million USD).

 

 

Figure-1

 

Eritrea Diaspora Food Company

Four Investors

 

Investor No. 1

 

Poultry Farm House 1-15 number

Investor No. 2

Collection of Eggs and Processing

 

Hatchery of Chicken meat and its processing

 

 

Investor No. 3

Transportation and Work shop

 

Investor No. 4

Wholesale Counters

 

 

 

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

1S

Shops or Outlets of Eritrea Diaspora Food Company in different Zoba areas

Customers Customers Customers

C. Pig Farm House

This farmhouse is used for the pork meat production and it is a viable source of food. The indigenous production will encourage the investors as per the market demands on the one hand and customer will get benefit in procuring the meat in fewer prices on the other hand. Figure-1 applies to this sector as well.

 

D. Other Agro-Food Industries

This industry will work together and are interrelated to each other. Four Diaspora investors along with some company may invest in this sector. There are possibilities of group partnership in the inter-related agro-food industries such as:

 

1. 1. Honey Bee Production

2. 2. Horticulture Production

3. 3. Floriculture Production

4. 4. Mushroom Production

5. 5. Belles Production at industrial scale (Fruit of Cactus plant)

The Horticulture and Floriculture industries will support the Honey Bee production for the nectar and work together in the market. This is a viable source of export to Europe and Middle East countries. The horticulture production directly relates to cash crops such as mushroom plantation, tomato, garlic, green chilly (for sauces industry), and potato (For chips, wafers, etc. industry) at industrial scale. It uses to develop agro-industrial sector and benefits to agrarian community directly.

The demands of flowers are increasingly rapidly in the cities during the marriage, festival, conference and other purposes. Eritrea climate suits for floriculture and it will generate a big market through export to neighboring countries, Europe and Middle East region.

The Cacti fruit known as Belles largely produce in Eritrea. There is a need to use scientific method to increase its production, which will strengthen export market. The Belles fruit uses for eating and preparing juice and rarely fund in the world. Eritrea is known for its production as the land and weather favors it.

2. 2. Agriculture Sector and Agro Industry

The Gash Barka region predominantly agriculture one attract more development. The priority of the Diaspora community in this sector refers to:

1. 1. Better seed

2. 2. Advance land Cultivation technique through (Harrow, Thrasher, Seed-drill, Cutter, etc.)

3. 3. Tractor for multipurpose

4. 4. Agro-Engineering Techniques and implementation

There is a need to fetch this area with the help of Ministry of Agriculture, Eritrea and Research Centers.

The agriculture sector, food industry and agro-industry is another step to ensure steady improvement in the standard of living of the Eritrean people, offer employment opportunities to local people and accelerate their social development. The employees will get training and use the different method in their field. This industry will get opportunity to waive of sale and custom taxes [under Article 10(1) of FFSI] as it come under the essential items. Moreover, this sector needs a long term planning and the return will come accordingly. There is a good hope of return in this sector as it directly touches the needs of the people, making them health conscious and introduces the option of food varieties with in their habits of tastes.

It will attract the cooperative societies related to milk collection centers in the villages, which will help the villagers to earn more and generate growth of livestock. They will learn the alternative techniques of cooking via biogas, solar energy and other.

The Eritrean Free Zones (EFZ) Proclamation No. 115/2001 interpret the meaning of Free Zone under Article 2 that says, “means any part of the national territory of Eritrea, including any part of the territorial waters of the state and/or building thereon that is declared to be a free zone under Article 5 of this Proclamation”. Article 5 (1) EFZ says, “The Minister of Finance may, by a public notice in a national newspaper declare that, on or after a specified date, the land, territorial waters and/or building within the limits defined in the public notice, shall be a free zone for the proposes of this Proclamation”. It will not affect the investments made under FFSI. One may say that the most part of Eritrea will be covered under the scheme of FFSI.

Conclusion

Overall, through sheer perseverance, labor, and thrift, and most significantly by a calculated withdrawal into their culture, in which they found forces of sustenance, Diaspora Eritrean successfully labored to give their children and grandchildren better economic futures, and they in time made their presence in the trade and commerce of their new homelands. This was just as true about Eritrea Diaspora in Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Uganda. Article 3 (9) of FFSI mention Investors means any physical person or any juridical person registered outside Eritrea who or which, respectively, has invested foreign capital and goods and equipments in Eritrea. Along with it, Article 3 (7) of FFSI explains about, Foreign Capital means investment of foreign origin which shall include foreign convertible currency, negotiable instruments, plant machinery, equipment, buildings, spare parts, raw materials and other business assets brought into Eritrea and includes profit converted into capital.

To conclude, this is the step forwarding the idea of today investment and tomorrow prosperity on the one hand and strengthening the mutual relations between the Eritrea economic sector and Eritrean Diaspora friendly countries on the other hand. Eritrean Diaspora is facing bureaucratic hurdles. They spoke of the insecurity of their investments and assets in Eritrea. But this investment scheme of government gives economic incentives to this community may lead to security and confidence at home. It may strengthen the agro-industrial sector and investors export, catering the demands of common people and move for sustainable development.

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Need of Scientific Agriculture Technology for Sustainable Development in Eritrea

Today’s Investment: Tomorrow’s Prosperity

Strategic Plan of Agriculture 2007-2009

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea Profile, vol.14, No.40, 25 July 2007

Part-I

Rural Development means Development that involves every aspect of government and social activities. Education must be directed towards meeting the basic needs of all. - Julius K. Neyerere

Introduction

The land in general and agriculture land particularly is under the control of national government. Recently, the Joint Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers and Regional Administrators reiterated that Land Proclamation No.58/1994 stipulates, “Land belongs to the Government” which means that the land belongs to the people with the government bearing the responsibility of preserving it for future generations”(Eritrea Profile, Vol14, No. 37, 14 July 2007). “Some 50% of the population is Tigringna ethnic group, which has mainly inhabited the central highlands and are settled agriculturalists. Tigre, the second largest group (31%) inhabits the northern part of the country and is engaged in agro-pastoralism” (Rehabilitation of Degraded lands, 1998:2). At the time of independence, it was observed, “the population of Eritrea would reach 7 million by the year 2019. The implications on land and land resources, social services (health, education, employment, etc.) and infrastructure are serious. Moreover, estimates suggested that the population is young with high consumption needs and considerable dependency rate” (UNICEF, 1994). All the different communities are working together and sharing their workload together in all agriculture land. The agriculture method starts from leveling of land, ploughing of land, seed distribution on land through traditional bullock-plough system. Along with it, the irrigation method is depended upon natural rain. The final crop is taken through the community system using traditional tools and collected their final harvest.

Soil erosion is one of the serious problems in Eritrea. Drought, rainfall, low soil organic matter, nature of the soil and poor land management systems are the main nature of the soil and poor land management systems are the main contributors to the soil erosion in Eritrea. Historically, it was the result of Italian and British concessionaires charcoal production during colonialism, traditional house (h’dmo) construction, match production and affects of Ethiopia-Eritrea war. As a result, the agricultural land is vulnerable to severe soil erosion by water and wind. The topsoil is removed and subsoil provides poor conditions for seed germination. The scare vegetation cover is pro-grazed by animals; leaving little chance to reproduce vegetation resulted in loss of soil fertility. The soil is more exposed to scorching sun heat, destroying the soil structure. Thus, ground cover plays an important role in environmental restoration and helps in promoting crop production.

Agriculture is the economic mainstay of Eritrea coupled with the existing semi-arid climate, needs a careful analysis of problems and associated risks. The appropriate techniques and institutional arrangements related to the natural resource base conservation and technical knowledge for effective production need to be researched. This will help to adopt right-kind policies, strategic and its implementation with in existing environment. The National Agriculture Research System (NARS) started in post independent Eritrea. Later on, under the direction of Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the research and Extension was merged to form the Division of Agriculture Research and Extension in 1995. Recently, Ministries of Agriculture, Eritrea and India signed on joint agreement with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to work in Agriculture Research and Extension in Eritrea and strengthen scientific Agriculture technology in this regard (Foreign Affairs Report, September 2006). Along with it, Farm Systems Research (FSR) as distinct from Mainstream Agriculture Research (MAR) is demand driven because FSR will solve immediate short-term problems and MAR focuses on long-term professional research results. It is suggested that the basic research develops new technology based on knowledge generated from strategic researches and adaptive research effects changes in the technologies of the specific region and producer groups.

Table-1 presents the post independent Eritrea position of actual and potential land uses at national level. The large area of land depends on the rain but there is potential for irrigation to use agriculture land for production. In addition to it, the dry land agriculture system will reduce the area available

 

Table-1 land Categories in Eritrea

 

Land Type

App. Area (Hectors)

% of total

 

 

Current

 

 

 

 

 

Potential

Cultivated land (rain fed)

417,000*

3.42

Irrigated land

22,000

0.18

Disturbed land

53,000

0.43

Plantations

10,000

0.08

Woodland & Scrub land

673,000

5.52

Browsing and Grazing

6,967,000

57.16

Barren Land

4,047,000

33.21

Total Rain fed land

1,050,000

8.61

Total irrigated land

600,000

4.92

Source: FAO, Agricultural Sector Review, 1994.

* 1993 cultivated area plus 12.5% for bare fallow.

 

now for livestock grazing. There is a need of scientific agriculture to further explore this potential area (Table-1), connects it with roads and railway network from village to market, will contribute its significant role in food production. Most of the expected expansion of rain fed agricultural land is located in southwest of the country particularly Gash-Barka region.

The need of scientific technology requires changing the old pattern of agriculture, which will promote the idea of self-reliant in this sector. But it should be clear here that use of scientific methodology does not mean to use of chemicals and other sources to increase the production sector. The scientific methodology here meant to develop the agriculture pattern by incorporating proper water management and its distribution through canal channels, use and distribution of proper power system for agriculture and industrial sector, pest resistant & high yield producing seeds and minimum time requirement for the final yield. This knowledge requires the understanding of scientific temper and development of agriculture education in Eritrea keeping the physical geography in mind.

Initiating the Scientific temper of agriculture in Eritrea, ‘this year the Ministry of Agriculture central region branch provided 12 tractors and with the current task eight were added. And 65 private tractors participated on the agricultural activities. Adding to this, the traditional method of ploughing was vital especially in the Serejela sub zone, where most of the farms are located among hills and mountains. The Ministry has been giving ploughing services to the farmers with a small amount of fee. The farmers were able to rent a tractor (160 Nfa for and hour) from the Ministry and plough their land’ (Eritrea Profile, 11 July 2007). The sprinkling and drip irrigation method particularly for the mountainous region is the viable alternative as it works successfully in Russia, China and India.

The Ministry of Agriculture central region branch yearly prepares special crops for cultivation. This year the Ministry has reserved 800 tons, which now is ready to be given to the farmers on a loan. In addition to this, with the last year’s good harvest the farmers also have reserved enough then the ministry has (Eritrea Profile, 11 July 2007). Along with it, the Central region built macro and micro dams of about Nfa 12,000,000 cost, which will serve villages of Adi Arada, Tselot, Adi Kontsi, Adi Keiyh, Zgib and Adi Yakob (Eritrea Profile, 11 July 2007).

 

Strategic Plan for Modern Eritrean Agriculture

This plan for the year 2007-2009 was discussed in the joint meeting of the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers and Regional Administrators on 10th July 2007.This plan draws national plan for developing agricultural output aims at transforming the traditional agricultural system step by step into modern one, while the immediate aim is to enhance the production of strategic seeds, develop the production of quality produce for export purposes, create wide employment opportunities in the sector, and ensure expertise and work experience as well as effective administration in the agricultural sector. This plan point out that the production capacity of agricultural lands in all parts of the country should be directed by the national plan an d that ensuring joint administration of national resources is needed so as to reach the set targets. Moreover, this plan focuses on guaranteed produce both in quantity and quality with the help of constructing additional water storage infrastructure, upgrading irrigation farming facilities, finding ways to coordinate and boost produce of strategic seed and animal resources, upgrading the skills of farmers and experts in these areas and storage system is decisive in streamlining the production and selling of agricultural produce. It will bring together the potential and expected produce of the strategic food crops like wheat, cotton, sugar, sesame and grains along with necessary procedure and facilities (Eritrea Profile, 14 July 2007). This research paper discusses the scientific agriculture technology for sustainable development keeping this strategic plan in mind.

Physical Geography and Land Tenure System

According to FAO (1994:4) Eritrea is divided into six agro-ecological zones, namely the Central Highland Zones (Northern midlands, highlands and southern midlands), the coastal Plain Zone, Western Escarpment Zone and South Western Lowland Zone, North Western Lowland Zone and the Green Belt Zone”. Debubawi Anseba represents major central highland agro-ecological Zone of interrupted flat lands having 18* C temperature and mean annual rainfall is about 400 mm/year and good for horticultural crops. Egelahatzin in Southern Zone represents midland of mixture lands (Steep, sloppy and flat) having average temperature of 27*C temperature and average annual rainfall is about 250-300 mm/year and good for variety of crops. Gahtelay in Red Sea Zone represents low land of coastal plains having average temperature of 35*C temperature and average rainfall is 200 mm per year from November to March (Rehabilitation of Degraded lands, 1998:5). The highest and the most reliable rainfall regime make it one of the most favourable areas for perennial crops in the country. The major crops in three divisions are Barley, Wheat, Maize, Sorghum, Taff, Pearl Millet and Finger Millet, Linseed, Chick Peas, Pepper, Tomato, Groundnuts, Watermelon, Potato, Pears, Beans, etc.

“Climatic data from some of the weather recording station in Eritrea indicate that inadequate rainfall and high evapo-transpiration remains the major obstacles for crop production. Most of the country is drought prone, suffering form inadequacy and high variability of rains. During the last four decades, Eritrea faced serious shortage of rains. During the last four decades, Eritrea faced serious shortage of rains. In general, even if the rains do come, they are erratic and short-lived. Between the extremes of hot arid and cool semi-arid, a hot semi-arid climate prevails where the rainfall ranges from 400-700mm. This climatic zone offers the best potential for the expansion of rain fed crop production. This area includes, in general, the Southern Plains and the plains bordering the Gash and Setit rivers (Rehabilitation of Degraded lands, 1998:6). There is almost no information available on the morphological study of the Eritrean soils except some study of the FAO classification system like

1. 1. Sandy texture of Highlands and Midlands Soil,

2. 2. Stony Soils of Lowlands with Hills and Mountains

3. 3. Arid or Desert Soils of Coastal Plains

4. 4. Deeper Soils of Western Plain.

There are major three types of land holding system in Eritrea that is known as Diesa (Village Ownership), Risti (Individual Household or enda ownership) and Demaniale (State Ownership).

1. 1. Diesa land Tenure System

It relates to village-wide communal ownership of land that comes under common/collective property of the village people. The system of gibri means a full share of crop field, or firki gibri means half a share of crop field, and a household of that village is entitled to anyone of the title.

2. 2. Risti land Tenure System

It introduces the concept of private property. The owner of land is individual, church or enda. But an individual holder cannot gift or sell any portion of land without consent of enda that shows an individual does not authorize absolute rights on land. An individual can cultivate or lease the land on sharecropping basis.

3. 3. Demaniale land Tenure System

It refers to state-owned land and is found in most parts of Eritrea particularly in the lowlands. This land is easily accessible to village peasants for farming as well as grazing purpose.

Today, it is important to note that unlike the demaniale land system, other two systems are regulated. The community agriculture and need of scientific methodology will develop and strengthen the household in diesa system and promotes individuals in risti system.

Scientific Agriculture and Eritrea

Eritrea adopts traditional farming in harmony with Nature that can provide their people the minimum requirement of food. Eritrea indeed is having a fertile soil, natural water rain and sunshine, green belts in terms of forests, a wealth of bio-diversity, ... And cultured, peace-loving people with a vast store of traditional farming knowledge and wisdom.

The nature of land in Eritrea shows its limitations vis-a-vis dry land are concerned. Thompson observed that millions of people in dry lands put pressure on land through over cultivation and over grazing (Thompson, 1992). The similar result is visible in case of land in Eritrea. The post independent Eritrea faced frequent droughts, declaring its land fertility and found more soil erosion. The land has declined its productivity in terms of crop yield per unit area. Consequently, it affects the livestock’s and migration of agriculture community from rural to urban areas.

Bojo and Cassells (1995) discussed land degradation as “a process that lowers the productivity of the land, assuming other factors such as technology, management and weather are held constant”. But one may control this process of land degradation as it is seen in Libya, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries. The scientific agricultural methods and its implementation can check the process of land degradation in Eritrea. The government policies favour rehabilitation (Eritrea, Macro, 1994) and the Cabinet meeting in Massawa from September 5-7, 2006 concluded its deliberations after mapping out a quarterly work plan and action programs for 2007 in agriculture and construction of various infrastructures. Along with it, “it discussed the ongoing efforts on a priority basis towards achieving food security through coordinating existing resources on short and long-term basis. It focused on major projects for 2006 aimed at boosting agricultural production as regards to infrastructure in this sector, as well as quality and quantity of seeds that would make significant contribution to export and domestic consumption, agriculture infrastructure, soil and water conservation, building agro-industrial Centre and ensuring conservation of natural resources (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.52, 6th September 2006). Moreover, it underlined the need to step up vigorous efforts to implement agricultural development programs in all the administrative regions on the basis of coordinated approach. The agricultural and building programs during the period 2003-2007 analyses with the help of its implementation.

Today, “the Southern region utilizes 1070,000 cubic meters water through the construction of dams and Gash Barka utilizes 223,000 cubic meter water dams and water reservoirs. Similarly, Eight water diversion schemes have been constructed which are expected to facilitate irrigation farming on 11,000 hectares, a new water reservoir with a capacity of holding 70,000 cubic meters under construction in Adebarussom, Adi-Quala sub-zone, the construction of a water supply project in Shilalo includes a water tanker with a capacity of holding 50,000 liters of water and the Sheshebit project includes a water tanker with a capacity of 50,000 liters of water that solved the problems of water’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.9, 7 April 2007). There are more than 10 micro dams and 08 water reservoirs are constructed or under construction and this scheme continues for the year 2007. ‘This year a promising rainfall started as expected time and is continuing generously covering wide area at a time. In the central region 28,000 hectares can be cultivated. This year the Ministry of Agriculture has made 24,000 hectares ready for cultivation’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.36, 11 July 2007).

Eritrea is developing Agriculture College, Hamelmalo in Karen and planning to develop an agricultural university to utilize huge land-holdings of thousands of acres. The agriculture college student spends all the six-seven years they spend for B.Sc. and M. Sc. in agriculture and learning the scientific way of agriculture processes and production. They are learning different techniques regarding infrastructure, equipment, scientific upgraded seeds, use of minerals and pesticides to produce more for the Eritreans needs.

 

Part-II

Eritrea Profile, vol.14, No.41, 28 July 2007

Use of Scientific Methodology in Agriculture

1. 1. Horticulture

The Agriculture diversification with use of scientific methodology in this sector will promote income generation activities. Horticulture is one such activity that is producing a limited range of crops at present. It will promote the use of land as per the need and diversification will maintain fertility of soil and help in lower local prices of different products. The Government Development Plan of 2003-2007 enshrines infrastructure building as one of the top priority that will help the farmers (Produces) and society (Users) in economic terms in long term. Scientific methodology will promote mushroom cultivation, having controlled temperature in glass houses and others along with variety of vegetable production, which will generate employment at rural level, challenge poverty, ill-health and promote sustainable development. The Strategic Plan for Modern Eritrean Agriculture for the year 2007-2009 needs to taken care of this aspect to cater the demand and supply of rural and urban areas on the one hand and provide the vegetables and other essential food items in the cheaper rates.

2. 2. Floriculture

The use of urbanization develops demand of flowers on the different occasion like marriage, felicitation, cultural functions, number of festivals, etc. The production of flowers and its market in the cities are co-terminus. This production will cater the domestic market as well as foreign market. Here, the scientific methodology plays an important role particularly in Eritrea because of weather diversification.

3. 3. Dairy, Poultry and Livestock Production

The fodder is used in diary and poultry farms for the growth of live stock production. That’s why, agriculture and livestock are integrated part of each other. The cow and buffalo milk, poultry for eggs and meat production caters the need of urban areas, strengthening economic position of rural sector and use the agriculture waste land for fodder production. The local connectivity will help diary and poultry farms to supply milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, cream and other items to Asmara, Massawa, Keren and other cities that help in supplying food production and ensure economic returns.

4. 4. Fisheries, Prawn, Shrimp and Oyster Cultivation

The uncultivable land or barren land or stony layer land may be used for alternative production despite the availability of sufficient water. Fisheries, Prawn, Shrimp and Oyster cultivation are the best substitute for alternative production on land, which will fulfill the needs of food production, employment opportunities and economic generation. Fish cultivation and other cultivation can be produced in water ponds, canals and rivers through fish seeds. The proper scientific techniques and its implementation give a good support to generate surplus food production.

5. 5. Scientific Aforestation, Production of Bio-Diesel and Promotion of Green Environment

The uncultivable land can be used to produce plants and turn the barren land to forest area is the vibrant example of our neighboring country Libya. This scheme will start once the collection of weather information, availability of water and nature of soil is composed together. It will generate establishment of woodlots, direct involvement of village participation to change barren land to forest. This scheme will generate surplus economy with the introduction of Jatropha Curcas plantation. This plant is alternative to fossil oil and a rich source to produce bio-diesel. Eritrea barren land is good source for this plantation in different weather conditions and this plant is drought resistant. Jatropha plantation needs two years for its growth and get ready for production of seeds for bio-diesel that continues up to 40 years. This plant produces seeds through out the year, which help in continue production of bio-diesel.

Moreover, the use of barren land with Jatropha plantation will fulfill the slogan of Grow Plants, Save Environment. This plant production is already started in Latin America, Asia, Africa and European countries. This will strengthen Eritrea’s environment and curtail the process of land degradation, erosion of soil and invite more rain in the changing environment.

6. 6. Agro-Processing with Diversification

The cash crops like sunflower and sesame (for oil), Potato, Tomato (for chips and other products, tomato sauce and juice), Garlic (for sauce), Cotton, Basmati Rice, Sugarcane, Grams, Black Gram, Cashew nuts, Jute, Ragi and other are part of agro-processing industries that could generate more income and employment opportunities. Agro-processing units can target both the local market as well as export market. The coordinal relations between industries and agriculture producers through government scheme will give there due share of profit through national market and export.

The Agriculture Ministry and Implementation of Scientific Methodology

All land belongs to government and the farmers possess cultivation rights (Usufructus). The village council is playing its role in allotment of land for cultivation on a seven-year basis. The structure of landlordism and feudal society does not exist in Eritrea. But land owning for agriculture purpose is a status symbol in the society. The idea of land holding stratification is redundant as the government is the real owner. There is a rapid population growth in Eritrea. The UNDP estimates 2600 calories of food everyday for a growing human being to keep healthy. Eritrea supplies 1900 calories of food per day. The food requirements today at the rate of 370lb or 170 kilograms per capita per year to 4 million (approximate) populations is

Food Requirements 4000000x170 = 680000 tons

1000

The agriculture production as per Ministry of Agriculture data is 360,000 tons and one calculates the deficit of 320,000 tons. The agro-industries are the source to reduce the population pressure on land on the one hand and provide employment to rural people as alternate source of living on the other hand. Agro-industry development is a part of Government 2003-2007 plan to strengthen sustainable economic development in the country.

Ministry of Agriculture has planned to develop the scientific agriculture system and establish Extension Organization (Figure-1). This organization is directly connected to rural peasantry in a systematic way because the senior Subject Matter Specialists (SMS) handles the Zoba and taking initiatives in strengthening the pattern of different crop production and the methods to protect the crops from insects, and weeds. Along with it, they suggest farmers as per the weather, land position, social need and market value implementing Horticulture, Marketing & Credit, Home Economics, animal production and animal health. Junior SMS are straightforwardly discussing these issues of development with farmers of different zobas as per their needs and implementing it. Both Director and Director General are looking after the Research and Extension Division. Director is taking care of Crop Production, Animal Production and Animal Health Protection and schemes of Marketing Credit.

Figure-1

Extension Organization in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eritrea

 

Minister of Agriculture

Director General

 

 

 

 

 

Research and Extension Division Animal Resource Division

 

 

Director

 

 

 

 

 

Research Extension, Crop Production, Animal Production and

Animal Health

Senior SMS*

 

 

Protection, Marketing Credit

 

 

Animal Production

Crop Production (Head), Crop Protection, & Animal Health

Horticulture, Marketing & Credit, Home Economics

Junior SMS*

 

 

 

 

Crop Production Animal Production

Crop Protection Animal Protection

Home Economics

Marketing & Credit

LOCAL FARMERS IN ERITREA

 

 

 

 

- National Level - Zoba Level - Sub-Zoba Level

* SMS- Subject matter Specialists

 

The Ministry of Agriculture built a store that can hold more than 250 tons in Tsade Krstian. The store was built to store potatoes. The farmers should use the store and make ready themselves for their next season. They should produce crops for foundation seed and production seed. There are also other stores for the farmers who want to reserve crops in Halhale, Mendefera asdn in Serjeka that can hold 60 tons (Eritrea Profile, 11 July 2007).

Advantages of Scientific Agriculture in Eritrea

1. 1. The result of population growth as mentioned above needs to introduce more agriculture land, having irrigation facilities and build scientific technology generated in the Agriculture Research Stations of Eritrea. The applications of Science and technology (S&T) care the Eritrea physical conditions in mind will bear positive results. The S&T methods like better seeds, dwarf plantations, demand of less water, crop rotation pattern minimum period to produce crops, use of insecticides and other to avoid attacks of germicides will help Eritrean agriculture system.

2. 2. The need of community farming under “Collective Land System” should be promoted, which will help in using scientific instruments like Plougher, Leveler, Harvester, Seed Sower, Tractors, Harrow, Seed-drill, Cutter, Carbines, Sprinkling and drip irrigation System, Pumping Irrigation System and Thrashers. It will help in increasing crops production, diverting human resource into related sectors like agro-industry and increase in per capita income.

3. 3. The scientific agriculture system will persuade and promote the farmers to join agriculture education, literacy programmes and other awareness programmes related to agriculture. The government should focus on water wells, check dams and teach the people to collect and storage rainwater for their daily use.

4. 4. Different programmes like Diary Farms, Poultry, Piggery, Aquaculture, Sericulture, Horticulture, Floriculture and Shrimp & Prawn cultivations. These related programmes would improve their production system and market technology under agriculture extension. The extension system will introduce market economy to agriculture majority population and connects a link between urban and rural areas, which fulfills the mutual needs and mutual cooperation among themselves.

5. 5. The mutual needs and cooperation will develop more and more scientific awareness among rural people that will persuade the younger and future generation to get educated. Moreover, agriculture extension is an important component of agriculture universities throughout the world, which will help Eritrea Agriculture Education System to strengthen it in rural areas.

6. 6. The scientific agriculture & extension program will develop the importance of nutritious crops (Like Mushroom, Soybeans, Green Beans, Green Vegetables, etc.) and its food value among the rural society and economic development through these crops market value in urban areas. With the introduction of scientific agriculture methods and processes, Eritrea needs more agriculture scientist and practitioners in this field, which will help Eritrean educated youth in agriculture subject wishes to indulge in more scientific invasion as per local needs (As Self-Employed) and government will produce employment in the field of research & teaching in Agriculture Colleges and University.

7. 7. To strengthen modernizing scientific farming methods, government should initiate the process of Rural (village) Cooperatives Bank. This bank may provides different loan schemes for modern mechanical support like tractors and other implements, credit to farmers (to buy good seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, etc) insurance schemes on crops and subsidized technical guidance and other financial assistance (building concrete houses, potable water pipes, electricity, cooking gas stoves and kerosene oil stove, etc) for the upliftment of rural society. The alternate source of domestic energy (to avoid firewood) like Bio-gas plants, energy saving stoves, solar pressure cookers and stoves and wind energy system needs to introduce among people and motivate them to use alternate source of energy and plant private trees in their fields or surroundings for better environment.

8. 8. The availability of alternative fuel should be introduced and strengthened. The alternate source of domestic energy (to avoid firewood) like Bio-gas plants, kerosene availability, energy saving stoves, solar pressure cookers and stoves and wind energy system needs to introduce among people and motivate them to use alternate source of energy and plant private trees in their fields or surroundings for better environment.

9. 9. Importance of growing trees/plants needs to communicate to the people that help them aware of soil erosion, land protection and promoting Green Environment. Along with it, the alternative source of constructing houses like galvanized iron sheets, cement and relevant wood materials at reduced prices/government subsidies. The permission to cut trees made stringent to save plants.

10. 10. There is a need to build Veterinary Hospitals, introduce Commercial feed to save grazing areas and share information’s regarding Poultry, Fisheries, Floriculture, Horticulture, Mushroom culture, Prawn culture and Dairy farms. The scientific pattern of cropping, crop rotation and cash crop should introduce to farmers. The new yield varieties of seeds in terms of early maturing seeds, drought resistant hybrid seeds and proper fertilizer. Along with it, agro-industry as well as agro-forestry needs to share their information’s and dependency on local farmers that persuade them to produce more crop yield.

11. 11. Finally, the scientific innovations will persuade farmers to receive agricultural training courses, awareness of information technology in agriculture sector, use of animal husbandry and building scientific civic society. The soil conservation awareness programme should broadcast in the national Eri TV and all channels of Radio including FM stations that give orientation, training and practice to farmers in their respective areas. The incentives should be given farmers that adopt scientific methods of cultivation.

12. 12. The government provides food for work and cash for work programmes in the agriculture and related sector. The related sector involves road building network, dam construction, boring wells, small channels from river for irrigation purposes, installation of power projects (Electricity), thermal units, etc. Infrastructure development, credit schemes to farmers, proper storage system, abolish the role of middle man, direct government approach to farmers and market will strengthen the use of scientific methodology in a systematic way that helps in maintaining balance between demand and supply. The demand and supply needs a vigil eye of government, otherwise the negative effect of agriculture revolution will affect rural society as in case of increasing rate of suicide among Indian farmers. The balanced scientific methodology, relationship between government and farmer, farmer and market, etc. will give a right direction to agriculture sector and fulfills the need of Eritrean society.

13. 13. Overall, scientific agriculture system motivates people to practice themselves, building their capacity to use as functional leaders, enjoy more responsibility and produce scientific educated younger and future generations. Along with it, the modern agriculture system breaks the tendency of “Living for Bread Only” and aware them for having balanced diet and this will build them healthy, wealthy and wise on the one side and lead them in the market economy avoiding middle man on the other side, leading the country towards Self-Reliance in food industry having sustainable development.

References

1. 1. Bojo, J Cassells, David (1995), Land Degradation and Rehabilitation in Ethiopia: A Reassessment. AFTES Working Paper No.17.

2. 2. Eritrea Macro Policy (1994), Government Document, Government of State of Eritrea, Asmara.

3. 3. FAO and Ministry of Agriculture (1994), Agricultural Sector Review and Project Identification, FAO, Rome.

4. 4. State of Eritrea, Rehabilitation of Degraded lands, Eritrea, Ministry of Agriculture, June 1998, Second Edition.

5. 5. Thompson, C (1994), Lessons Learned from IDRC-Supported Projects on Desertification and Degradation, IDRC, Ottawa, Canada.

6. 6. UNICEF (1994), Children and Women in Eritrea, UN Publications.

International Terrorism & its Consequences in Horn.

Interference, No Regional Peace & IGAD

Dr. Suresh Kumar

www.shabait.com

Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No. 35, 7 July 2007

Part-I

Introduction

The word Terrorism means the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear for bringing about political change. All terrorist acts involve violence or—equally important—the threat of violence. United States federal statute defines terrorism as “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that . . . appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; ---”. This definition appears in United States Code, Title 18, Section 2331 (18 USC 2331). The end of cold war period witnesses the state terrorism on the name of war against terrorism. But today, it is clear that the term war against terrorism uses to gain political, economic and military superiority in the world.

“To call it a war against terrorism however, is simply more propaganda, unless the war really does target terrorism. But that is plainly not contemplated because Western powers could never abide by their official definition of the term, as in the code” (Interview 9-11, Naom Chomsky, Sp. Issue 4 No. 37, April 2006:16) mentioned above. Michael Stoll, leading political scientist observes, “we must recognize that by convention-and it must be emphasized only by convention-great power use and the threat of the use of force is normally described as coercive diplomacy and not as a form of terrorism”, though it commonly involves “threat and often the use of violence for what would be described as terroristic purposes were it not great powers who were pursuing the same tactic”, in accord with the literal meaning of the term” (Interview: 16). US Hippocratic policy and its use on the name of terrorism turned into violence and destruction. The Glasgow Airport and London city Car Bombs incidents on June 30, 2007 are the latest example of it. The Peace-loving countries and the people never support such kind of violence anywhere in the world.

Despite that, “The US has been muted in its criticism, partly because it sees Mr. Meles as an ally in its “War on Terrorism” and a counter weight to the unrest in Somalia. The British government cut direct aid last year in protest at a clampdown, but the reaction of the international community, taking its lead from Washington, has been low-key” (The Guardian, November 9, 2006, London).

International Terrorism

It is the right time to remember the UN General Assembly resolution on international terrorism in December 1987. The resolution condemned this plague of international terrorism in the strongest terms and calling on all nations to act forcefully to overcome it. The resolution passed 153-2 (US and Israel) alone abstained. The offending passage states, “that nothing in the present resolution could in any way prejudice the right to self-determination, freedom and independence, as derived from the charter of the United Nations, of peoples forcibly deprived of that right---, particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes and foreign occupation or other forms of colonial domination, nor---the right of these peoples to struggle to this end and to seek and receive support (in accordance with the charter and other principles of international law)”. ‘These rights are not accepted by the US and Israel, or at the time, their apartheid leaders South Africa ally. For Washington, the African National Congress was a terrorist organization during their liberation movement against apartheid regime, but South Africa was not joins Cuba and others as a terrorist state during cold war period. The American interpretation of terrorism of course prevails, in practice with human consequences that have been severe.

Today, World community condemns terrorism, but one needs to ask what it means. The history of US supported international terrorism through CIA clearly visible right from the days of cold war such as Indonesia in 1965, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Bosnia, countries in North Africa, Iraq, Pakistani intelligentsia, Afghanistan and others. For that reason, US is the only country condemned by World Court for international terrorism and ordering US to terminate these crimes and key substantial reparations. US rejected it and escalated the attacks on the name of terrorism in Nicaragua and the same case with El Salvador.

 

“We should recognize that is much of the world the US is regarded as a leading terrorist state, and with good reason. We might bear in mind, for example, that in 1986 the US was condemned by the World Court for “unlawful use of force in Nicaragua (as part of international terrorism) and then vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on all states (meaning the US) to adhere to international law is only one of the Countless example” (Interview: 23). Today, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia and other are facing the brutal attempts of this international terrorism.

International Terrorism and Horn

Today, the Horn of Africa is suffering from this imperial terrorism and its brutality on the one hand and the political adventurism of Ethiopia-USA aligns on the other hand. The Ethiopia and US terrorism (popularly known as Weyane Regime) includes governmental supported groups and machinery of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)—that invaded Somalia on the name of war against terrorism and get excuse of using their military forces, intelligence services and media. By that way, this terrorism mean to frighten and thereby intimidate a wider audience, misguide rival ethnic or religious groups, throw out political leadership & set up their choice puppet ruler and prove war of terror in the international community in general and Horn in particular.

The attempt of Weyane clique is not only to show panic but also to undermine confidence in the government and political leadership of their target country. Weyane Terrorism is therefore designed to have psychological effects that reach far beyond its impact on the immediate victims or object of an attack. Today, US is acting on the name of counter insurgency and destroying Somalia. Infect, the counter-terrorism is not countering any militancy but silently actively involve in genocide to homeless Somali people. This counter-terrorism is a real terror that is visible in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.

 

Political Instability & Terrorism in Horn

The Weyane terrorism is by nature political as it dictates the acquisition and use of power for the purpose of forcing others to submit, or agree, to their demands. The Weyane attack, by generating publicity and focusing attention on the organization behind the attack, is designed to create instability. It also fosters an environment of fear and intimidation that manipulates its political terrorism. As a result, Weyane terrorism’s success is best measured by its ability through TPLF cause and their psychological impact that exerts over a nation and its citizenry. It differs in this respect from conventional warfare, where success is measured by the amount of military assets destroyed, the amount of territory seized, and the number of enemy dead.

The Weyane typically attempt to justify their use of violence by arguing that they have been excluded from, or frustrated by, the accepted processes of bringing about political change. Weyane believes the domestic change not through electoral process (as mentioned under Article 38 of Ethiopian Constitution of 8 December 1994) but have faith in creating division in the society. This regime is vocally enough to mention Article 39 that says, “Every nation, Nationality and people in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession”. That’s how; Weyane implements its philosophy of divide and rule in society as part of their expansionist political agenda that nurture environment of political instability in Horn region to support international terrorism as well. They maintain that war on terrorism is the only option available to them, although their choice is a reluctant one. Whether someone agrees with this argument or not, often depends on whether the person sympathizes with the Weyane cause or with the victims of the Weyane attack. They invaded Somalia with the pretext of Islamic Court Union (ICU) and labeled them as a terrorist organization.

Now, ICU works for peaceful reconciliation through Eritrea. Violence deliberately directed against innocent civilians is considered a crime during the time of war. Similarly, violence that spreads beyond an acknowledged geographical theater of war to violate the territory of neutral or noncombatant states is also deemed a war crime. Weyane needs to check them selves over this issue of war crime.

The US history repeats today with the reference to TPLF, a terrorist organization. This Weyane-US clique broadcasted that TPLF is not a militant group but the ICU, the exile government of Somalia (working for Peaceful Reconciliation) and the government of Eritrea that opposed to this clique, propagated their links with militants. The TPLF surrogate supports US hegemony in the Horn of Africa neither on the name of Tigre nor on the idea of secession but to woo more and more dollars. This dollar gives unlimited power to TPLF, which crushes the different Ethiopian communities such as Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somalia, Benshangul/Gumuz, Gambela peoples, Harar peoples and Southern nationalities. TPLF defends this human brutality through the Preamble of Ethiopian Constitution, which says, “We, the Nations, nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia: Strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination; (Ethiopia Constitution: 1). Further, Article 47 says, “Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are the following:

1. 1. The State of Tigray

2. 2. The State of Afar

3. 3. The State of Amhara

4. 4. The State of Oromia

5. 5. The State of Somalia

6. 6. The State of Benshangal/Gumuz

7. 7. The State of the Southern nations, Nationalities and Peoples

8. 8. The State of the Gambela People

9. 9. The State of the Harar Peoples

Nations, nationalities and Peoples within the States enumerated in Sub-Article 1 of this article have the right to establish, at any time, their own states”.

It is the time to remember the result of this article, which was written in erstwhile Soviet Union constitution. The US imperialism played its role successfully in the fragmentation of USSR into multi countries. This historical episode needs not further explanation. But Eritrea political stand right from the beginning does not believe in secessionism and maintain Unity in Diversity in clear terms. The regional unity observes during President Isaias interview, “Under any circumstances we do not have any intention or agenda to divide and destroy the Ethiopian people and that we are proud of our entire political life. ---There couldn’t be any reason that there wouldn’t be peace in Ethiopia while all neighbouring countries Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan live peacefully” (Eritrea Profile, 20 June 2007).

The idea of Tigre independent State hides the political unrest among the people. President Isaias mentioned during his interview, “The TPLF regime’s initial mentality--- have no faith in the Ethiopian people as a whole, they divided them into the Amhara people, Oromo people, Tigray people and many other” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.29, 16 June 2007). This is the extreme step of militant organization that wants to survive by dividing their own people on the name of communities. Not only that, “Why did the TPLF choose Eritrea as a victim? The regime had brought on such loss of life and almost ten years of destruction by instigating a border conflict just so that it can prolong its stay in power. I don’t think there could be any bigger mistake than this”, President Isaias claimed (Eritrea Profile, 16 June 2007).

The Bush administration earlier presented the nations of the world with a choice: “join us, or face destruction” (New York Times, September 14, 2001). Today, the continuous US air attack in Somalia and economic sanction regarding Darfur proves transparently the implementation of his saying. Along with it, US dictate Sudan to accept UN Peacekeepers role with Africa Union (AU) in Darfur under UN Army Commander. But Sudan proposes that UN peacekeepers will work in Darfur under the commandership of AU. The destruction of Iraq on the name of internal insecurity is well known and Sudan government does not want to repeat the same Iraq experiment in Darfur, which will lead to chaos and division in the society. This regime Wanton killing of innocent civilians is a part of international terrorism with a different label (Such as instability, no democratic government, regime change, religious rights, war on terrorism, etc) on the one hand and spreading political chaos in Horn of Africa on the other hand.

Part II

Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No. 36, 11 July 2007

 

Interference, No Regional Peace & IGAD

The international terrorism is destroying the different parts of world on the one hand and trying to de-recognize the authority of international organization such as UNO on the other hand. The lack of UN reforms and Security Council Veto control mystifies its existence in front of the world community. The UN and US looks most of the time two sides of the same dollar. The same technique is experimented with regards to regional organizations with particular reference to Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

IGAD consists of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, but the illegitimate domination restricts the functioning of this organization. Following are the points of order:

· · Somalia does not represented in IGAD, as there is no people’s elected central government. The pick & choose policy of US established transitional structure or so-called government in Somalia.

· · The same principle position is of Ethiopia, where the existing government representative rejected by majority Ethiopian people but they forcefully controls the political power. The constitution of Ethiopia under Article 8 Sovereignty of the People mentions in sub-part (3), “Their sovereignty shall be expressed through their representatives elected in accordance with this constitution and through their directly democratic participation”. But it is not respected and Weyane controls political power and working through minority government.

· · Today, both these countries are threat to deterrent for IGAD member states and pass resolutions as per their wishes. This is a sheer joke on the preamble of IGAD, which mentions, “Considering the well established ties of brotherhood and fruitful cooperation existing among our people and governments” (IGAD: 1).

Moreover, Ethiopia brotherhood exists in terms of Somalia invasion under the direction of US-Weyane set. Article 6A says, “The Member States solemnly reaffirm their commitment to (b) Non-interference in the internal affairs of Member-States” (IGAD: 1) but the whole world witnesses this clique genocide in Somalia. Is it a meaning of non-interference? It shows an Ethiopian alignment and ties with the international terrorism. The internal conditions of Ethiopia represents lop-sided development focuses on Tigrayan land and as a result the rich –poor gap is widening enormously. President Isaias mentions, “In Addis Ababa and its environs alone, there are more than 50,000 police and security officers. In the various urban areas where public disobedience is feared to arise, thousand of security officers were deployed” (Eritrea Profile, 16 June 2007). Mr. Aberra, who was a judge for 12 years, said, “The Meles government was criticized last year after police alleged massacred 193 people involved in anti-government demonstrations. He said about 80,000 people were arrested in the subsequent round up. Mr. Aberra, who was President of the Oromia Supreme Court said that the prisons overflowing, those arrested had been held in the military and police academies and torture was commonplace. There is a massive killing all over. There is a systematic massacre”(The Guardian, Nov. 9, 2006) and disrespect to constitution. Article 19 of Ethiopia constitution says, “Persons arrested have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of their arrest” (Ethiopia Constitution).

Moreover, President Isaias says, “In many places, especially in the Oromia region, though not officially declared, it is in a state of emergency. Nationalities are decimating each other. The Amhara against the Oromo, Oromo against the Somalis---etc., it is simply endless. ---Except very few, the people of Tigray are not benefiting from this Divide and Rule policy” (Eritrea Profile, 16 June 2007). “Mr. Aberra, further said, ‘Between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been killed in the Oromia region, which is one of the biggest provinces in the country and includes the capital, Addis Ababa. Others had been killed elsewhere in the country, many of them student protestors. He cited various incident with which he was familiar, including two students killed by a policeman last year in what he described as cold blood” ”(The Guardian, Nov. 9, 2006).

Under these conditions, how Ethiopia can reaffirm its commitment to wards non-interference and respect IGAD. It is the time to have Ethiopia House in order first and then IGAD objectives may be respected. IGAD constitution further mentions under Article 6A(d), “The Member States solemnly reaffirm their commitment to maintenance of regional peace, stability and security”. But the last IGAD Secretariat meeting in April 2007 under the bogus representation of Ethiopia and Somalia divided Horn of Africa and supported regional terror as synonym of peace, instability and insecurity.

Article 18A of IGAD refers to conflict resolution that says, “Member States shall act collectively to preserve peace, security and stability which are essential prerequisites for economic development and social progress. Accordingly Member States shall:

1. 1. “Take effective collective measures to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, peace and stability;

2. 2. “Establish an defective mechanism of consultation and cooperation for the pacific settlement of differences and disputes;

3. 3. “Accept to deal with disputes between Member States within its sub-regional mechanism before they are referred to other regional or international organizations” (IGAD: 15).

This resolution did not respect Article 18 A and spoiled the essence of it. As a result, Eritrea has pulled pout its IGAD membership temporarily under Article 22 (a) of IGAD Charter. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Because irresponsible resolutions that jeopardize peace and stability of the region has been repeatedly taken in the name of organization that lack legal and moral stands” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.13, 21 April 2007). The US-Weyane achieved it’s target to make IGAD redundant and defunct in Horn of Africa.

Article 28 Crimes against Humanity, “Criminal liability of persons who commit crimes against humanity, so defined by international agreements ratified by Ethiopian and by other laws of Ethiopia, such as genocide, summary executions forcible disappearances or torture shall not be barred by statute of limitation. Such offences may not be commuted by amnesty or pardons of the legislature or any other state organ” (Ethiopia Constitution: 5). Even MacAskill diplomatic editor reported, “The Ethiopian government is responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of students and other critics over the past 15 years, one of the country’s most senior judges, who has defected to Britain, said yesterday. The judge Teshale Aberra claimed that the government of Meles Zenawi is as bad or worse than that of his predecessor, Mengistu Haile Mariam, which was widely condemned for human rights abuses. The Mengistu government killed and boasted about it. The Meles government kills and asks, “Who killed them? And then sets up an Inquiry Commission”, Mr. Aberra said, “This government may be more deadly”.

Further, “Mr. Aberra decided to leave because of pressure on the judicial system from the government and threats from senior figures in the Oromia regional government. “They warned me to comply with demands to suppress certain judges, to detain people who had been released, and release the people who detained but the government wanted out”(The Guardian, November 9, 2006, London). It violates Article 24 that says, “Everyone has the right to respect for his human dignity, reputation and honor” (Ethiopia Constitution: 5).

President Isaias rightly pointed out, “TPLF had been afraid of the Ethiopian people and thus resorted to the simple Machiavellian principle of maintaining control through inciting conflict and division--- And because the desire to divide and rule had to have a legal and constitutional cover up, it was christened a federal administration. Ethiopia was thus exposed to a never seen before ethnic polarization” (Eritrea Profile, 16 June 2007).

Eritrea respects the Article 7 of IGAD refers to The Aims & Objectives of the Authority shall to be: (b) “Harmonize policies with regard to trade, customs, transport, communications, agriculture and natural resources, and promote free movement of goods, services, and people and the establishments of residence”. Regarding this, President Isaias observes, “In 1991 the expectation had been for the Eritrean and Ethiopian people to live in harmony through nurturing exemplary neighborly relations and putting the past behind them. But this expectation had been greatly hampered as a result of the TPLF regime’s conspiracies” (Eritrea Profile, 16 June 2007). The border conflict between them and non-implementation of Algiers Agreement 2002 as a peaceful settlement shows the real nature of TPLF regime, which never bothers them to live within the state constitutional framework or IGAD or even Africa Union and UN.

Moreover, the Ethiopia constitution under Article 51 Powers and Functions of the federal Government It shall be responsible for the development, administration and regulation of air, rail, waterways and sea transport and major roads linking two or more States, as well as for postal and telecommunication services. ---It shall regulate inter-state and foreign commerce”. The Powers and Functions of the House of Peoples Representatives under Article 55 (2c) says, “Air, rail, water, and sea transport, major roads linking two or more States, postal and telecommunication services”. But Ethiopia Constitution nowhere use the word invasion on any neighborhood country to seek air, water and road commercial interests.

Conclusion

Throughout the world, terrorism reinvents itself in new and more dangerous forms. As older groups are defeated or exhausted, more radical and more violent successors often take their place and the same position prevails today within the TPLF organization. The majority group came forward with the idea of Ethiopian unity and integrity and rectifies their understanding with regards to secessionism and opposed TPLF terrorism. Today, Ethiopian community fed up with the TPLF movement because of pathetic social and economic conditions of the country.

The demise of erstwhile Soviet Union in post 1990 and role of USA needs to remind once again. Soviet Republic fragmented into 17 states on the name of self-determination including the right to secession mainly on two reasons:

1. 1. The internal conditions of USSR become hostile to the system because of lack of basic amenities, employment, health and social security.

2. 2. US took it as an opportunity and throw billions of dollars for the successful secession, which leads US to announce single hegemonic power in the world.

The political, social and economic condition of newly emerged states is a challenging one and most of them accept US economic dominance. The same position may be repeated in Ethiopia depending merely upon US interests. The US neocolonial expansion will get strengthened in the divided Ethiopia in general and opportunity for internal interference in Horn of Africa in particular. The Ethiopian community needs to understand US-Weyane clique keeping the recent past experience of USSR, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc. in mind and work for unity and people’s government. President Isaias rightly mentions, “We have really learnt a lesson in the past 16 years that we even did not expect or thought about. But there couldn’t be any power existing that would hinder the development of relations between Ethiopians and us. ---I just want to substantiate that the people and Government of Eritrea stand along side the Ethiopian people” (Eritrea Profile, 20 June 2007). The people choice for the government will stop hostile environment of international terrorism on the one hand and strengthen non-interference, regional peace in IGAD countries on the other hand. Chapter two refers to Fundamental Principles of the Constitution and Article 9 highlights Supremacy of the Constitution says,

1. 1. “All sovereign power resides in the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia.

2. 2. “This Constitution is an expression of their sovereignty.

3. 3. “Their sovereignty shall be expressed through their representatives elected in accordance with this constitution and through their direct democratic participation” (Ethiopia Constitution: 2).

There is a need to respect the land of law that will only help people’s development. The implementation of the constitution will usher a new path of socio-economic and political development for the Ethiopia community in general and peaceful Horn of Africa will strengthen mutual trade cooperation in particular.

 

Political Nationalism: From Independence Movement to Today in Eritrea.

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.24, 30 May 2007

Part-I

 

Introduction

The modernization of Asia and African today differs for the sequences experienced by western Europe-because of the near simultaneity of the structural changes, which in Western Europe, were spread over 500 years or more; the coming of nation-state, national market integration, widespread agricultural improvement, the growth of literacy, education and cities, and the beginning of industrialization (Dalton: 411-16).

Eritrea independently sees as primitive agrarian society. The influence of sea contact and a way to outside world seeks to understand the general historical trend in Africa and introduction of other modes of production to Eritrean peasantry. This sea border helped colonial power to dominate the coastal area of Eritrea from 16th century to 1880. This was the first phase of colonialism, which influenced low and high lands social structure in Eritrea.

The scramble of Africa re-draws the territorial boundaries of African states. The shape of territorial boundary of Eritrea as nation-state was the result of Italian colonialism from 1880 to 1941, which considered as second phase of colonialism in history.

The third phase started at the end of World War-II under British colonialism and Ethiopia colonized Eritrea in 1952 until 1991.It came to an end with the independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1991. The systematic landmarks of Eritrean armed struggle mentioned underTable-1.

Ethiopia did a futile attempt in invading Eritrea to woo its colonial mindset in 1998. However, Eritrean political nationalistic forces shot back at the arrow’s head. This brutal attempt finally quashed by Algiers Agreement in May 2001 and it known as Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC). The neo-colonial forces are trying to undo the international jury decision to implement EEBC and demarcation of border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Eritrea respects this international EEBC Agreement and stand behind it for its true implementation.

This article divides Eritrean political nationalism into three parts. The first part deals with the struggle against Italian colonialism, the second part deals with and British and Ethiopian Colonialism and third part strengthens the post independent political nationalism of Eritrea. That’s why, the title reflects from independence movement to today and highlights the features of Eritrean political nationalistic vision.

 

Origin of Political Nationalism

The peasantry nationalism was the central base for the emergence of political nationalism. On 14th December 1894, Bahta Hagos poised his 2000 man army of Eritrean peasantry and revolt against Italian policy (Okbazghi: 9). By 19 December 1894, Italians crushed this Eritrean uprising and Bahta Hagos was killed. This was the first Resistance Movement against colonialism and political consciousness among Eritrean masses enlightened for independence. This was the beginning of Eritrean nationalism.

It is clear that resistance movement cannot change into armed revolution within a day. It is a process that needs clarifications, and understanding of political nationalism form time to time. The anti-colonial struggle initiated in most of the countries from the resistance and turn towards as mass movement. That’s why, Eritrean political nationalism initiated with the resistance movement, anti-colonial struggle to independence.

Political Nationalism during the Phase of 1941-50

The political nationalism of Eritrea faced the changed international scenario of post second world war period of 1941. The victory of British led Allied forces in 1941 delayed the process for independence. The British communal politics tried to divide Eritrea into different parts and Eritrean community political nationalism into two parts of Muslim and Christianity. “The resulting image was a distortion of the Eritrean conflict as a Muslim-Christian rivalry, publicized by Ethiopia as the modern enactment of Islamic attempts to encircle the Christian kingdom” (Ruth: 57).

Eritrean opposed this colonial policy. El Rabita El Islamiya (Muslim League) rejected any partition of Eritrea, opposed any form of union with Ethiopia, and demanded Eritrean independence. It was willing to accept a ten-year trusteeship under the British or another international power (Trevaskis: 73).

Another development during this phase is the birth of political party (in 1941) namely Party of Love of Country (PLC) with the aim of self-determination and assert self-rule. Jordan writes, “Permeated by the Coptic Great Tradition and unable to comprehend the material factor that had given birth to Eritrean nationalism, this group vacillated between the contradictory poles of Greater Ethiopian unity and anti-feudal, autonomous, democratic Eritrean nationalism” (Jordan: 80-1). The PLC failed to generate the idea of self-rule in Eritrea because of inner party division. But five political parties emerged at the national level with the idea of the independence of Eritrea.

Two major changes observed in Eritrea during this phase. One, the Coptic Church made every effort to take back their land from the Crown land and formed a Unionist Party. Ethiopian government promised this party that after Eritrea-Ethiopia union, the land and other privileges restored. Similarly, Muslim League formed in 1946 and criticized the government for neglecting the people’s welfare. Ethiopian government took it as another opportunity and planned to divide political nationalism into Christian and Muslim to achieve their ulterior motives. But five political parties emerged at the national level with the sole purpose of Eritrea’s independence. Muslim League, the first among them came to existence in December 1946 and become the most powerful anti-Ethiopian colonialism party. “By 1948 Ethiopia was well aware of the accelerated erosion of its hold on Eritrea and its diminishing support in the United Nations. Locally isolated and internationally ignored, the Ethiopian state was grasping for its own survival, which the crown perceived to be dependent on securing an outlet to the sea. In 1949 the wholesale defection of people from the Unionist Party to the Independent Bloc threatened the imminent and sudden collapse of the Unionist Party” (Jordan: 107).

The Foreign Minister of Italy, Mr. Count C Sforza addressed the UN General Assembly in 1949 regarding ex-Italian colonies and made two important proposals that Eritrea had never been part of Ethiopia, and recommended total independence for the country (Foreign Office). The rise of political nationalism evidenced through different sources during this period. “The British Military Administration estimated the strength of the independence movement to be 75% of Eritrean population, while the US estimated it at 65% and the Italian at 85%” (Merrill: 2).

By the end of November 1949, nineteen Italians and two Eritreans, all supporting Eritrea independence, had been murdered (Drew: 5). But the nationalistic struggle forced the British Army, Count di Gropello (Italian representative), Colonel Negal Haile Selassie (Ethiopian representative) and number of journalists, attended the inauguration of Independence Bloc on July 25, 1949. Following was the message:

Resolution for Independence

“The Following Political Organizations:

· · Rabita el-Islamiya (Muslim League)

· · Mahber Natznet’n Limaat’n Ertra (Liberal Progressive Party)

· · Mahber Haddas Ertra (New Eritrean Party)

· · MahberJeganu Wetahader (Eritrean War Veterans Association)

· · Mahber Italo-Eritrei (Italo-Eritrean Association)

· · Mahber Hezbi el-Watan (National Muslim Party of Massawa)

a) a) Understanding that the political aspirations of the Eritrean people is for immediate independence;

b) b) Observing the United Nation’s principle of the right to self-determination of a people;

c) c) Knowing that the people of Eritrea, without distinctive of race, religion and political affiliation,

unanimously rejected the partition of Africa;

d) d) Taking into consideration the decision of the executive bodies of the above mentioned organizations

which met on June 22-26, 1949 in Dekhimehare and on July 24, 1949 in Asmara;

Have established ‘Selfi natznet’ Independence Bloc and the goals are:

1. 1. Immediate independence for Eritrea;

2. 2. Establishment of a democratic government;

3. 3. Maintenance of Eritrea’s territorial integrity;

4. 4. Prevention of partition outlined by the Bevin-Sforza plan intended to incorporate Eritrea

with either Ethiopia, the Sudan, or any other country.”

Source: Me’merekta Selfi Natznet Ertra, Nai Ertra Semunawi Gazeta, no.308 (July 28, 1949).

Along with it, the Guatemalan and other members of the UN Commission raised the importance of Geo-strategic location of Eritrea that mentioned, “The annexation of Eritrea, in part or in whole, to Ethiopia, or the annexation of a part of Eritrea to the Sudan against the will of a large portion of the Eritrean population would create constant internal friction, giving rise, inter-alia, to political measures of repression and to political persecutions which jeopardize the internal tranquility of Ethiopian and peace and securing in that part of the world” (UN:35).

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry in Eritrea arrived in February 9, 1950. The political nationalism strengthened together for the independence of Eritrea. As a result, there was a new wave of defection with in Unionist Party for the cause of independence. “The Massawa branch of the Unionist Party led, by unanimous vote, defected and joined the Independence Bloc coalition” that mentioned in a telegram from the US embassy in Ethiopia to the Secretary of State, #174, August 25, 1949, 2606302. The US motive needs to highlight here supporting Ethiopia against liberation of Eritrea. “Washington increasingly came to appropriate that only Ethiopia- - -would guarantee US control of what was becoming a strategically important signed facility in Asmara (Kagnew Station) and a convenient supply and oil depot in Massawa” (Spencer: 238). Today, the same US interest indulges itself supporting Ethiopian expansionist policy in Somalia and acting as barrier for non-implementation of EEBC agreement.

This phase of 1941-50 witnessed a cold war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Shifta sponsored by Ethiopian government meant only to destabilize peasants and political leadership and killed number of them to crush the political nationalism of Eritrea. Reuters quoted the UN Commissioner in Eritrea as stating, “it is impossible to transfer power to Eritreans as long as pro-Ethiopian Shiftas were not eliminated” (Ethiopian Herald, April 21, 1951).

Part-II

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.24, 2June 2007

Political Nationalism during the Phase of 1951-60

The Italian colonialism led to tremendous growth in the urban-cities and infrastructure development that helped to exploit Eritrean raw material up to maximum extent. The industrialization proceeded rapid urbanization that followed the rise of working class in Eritrea. This was the structural change in society. During the mid 1950s, the exact date or year not yet known, a secret society called Mahber Shewate (Union of Seven) began to coordinate the various sectors of Eritrean struggles in the urban areas of Eritrea as well as Ethiopia (Jordan: 171). The Eritrean student movement also came of age after 1954. Between 1954 and 1956 sporadic student strikes were common, especially in Asmara (Political Developmentrs: 6.1357).

This period witnessed the rise of political nationalism and formation of workers syndicate of Eritrea, a trade Union organization in late 1952. Aldo Mafess, veteran Italo-Eritrean railroad worker and agitator and Carlo Bregaro member of the Italian Communist Party, played important role in the formation of the Syndacato (Eritrea: 1-3). Later on, teachers and intellectuals helped Syndacato to usher leadership role. The Syndacato for extra-economic ends used workers strikes and boycotts and they helped to frustrate Ethiopia’s ambition in Eritrea (Jordan: 171). During this period the self-employed tailors also formed an underground organization and informed the people regularly (as their customer) on different political issues. The Student movement in Eritrea right form 1954 to 1956 started in the form of strikes especially in Asmara (Political Developments). The Harekat Tahrir Eritrea or ELM was formed in Sudan under the influence of Sudanese Communist Party (SCP). The Charter of ELM emphasized on “Muslims and Christians were brothers, and that their unity was what made Eritrea a nation (John: 55). “Among the Tigrigna speakers in the highlands this movement was called Mahber Shew’ate (Association of Seven) and it quickly become a Pan-Eritrean organization emphasizing a common Eritrean identity and discouraging confessional rivalry. The establishment of ELM 8 months after the brutal suppression of the general worker’s strike on March 10, 1958 provided a propitious outlet for unemployed workers, alienated civil servants and students in urban areas (Ruth: 101-87). The workers, students and self-employed people continued their strike more than two-weeks (1958) and Ethio-Eritrean rulers crushed the movement with heavy hands.

Eritrean Armed Struggle Landmarks

Sept.1, 1961 Launching of armed struggle

Oct. 1963 Operation Haikota

Mar.15, 1964 Major ELF offensive against enemy forces.

Feb.1, 1975 Large-scale offensive against enemy forces around Asmara, Freeing of political prisoners from Adi Quala prison by the ELF.

May 21, 1976 Enemy offensive under so-called Raza Project, which involved a peasant force comprising 30-40 men repulsed.

Jan 7, 1977 Liberation of Karora

Mar.23, 1977 liberation of Nakfa

July 15, 1977 Operation Sembel, Freeing by the EPLF of 800 political prisoners.

Sept. 1977 Capture, for the first time, of 100mm T-55 enemy artillery around Ademzemat.

July-Aug.1978 Battle of Adi Yakob, Strategic retreat from Northern Front.

Nov. 1978 Second enemy offensive.

Jan-Feb. 1979 Third enemy offensive.

Apr. 1, 1979 Fourth enemy offensive.

July 14-26, 1979 Fifth enemy offensive.

Dec. 2-16, 1979 First Counter-offensive in Nacfa.

Feb. 15-June, 1982 Sixth enemy offensive (Red Star Campaign) that last 95 days.

Mar. 26, 1983 Seventh enemy offensive. (Selahta).

Jan. 15, 1984 EPLF Counter-offensive in Tessenei.

Mar. 19-21, 1984 Demolisihing of enemy Wikaw Command, i.e. the enemy’s front in north-eastern Sahel.

Apr. 27, 1984 Tank battle against enemy forces along Nacfa front.

May21, 1984 First Commando operation in Sembel, Asmara, in which a total of 33 enemy aircraft. 16 of them MIG fighters were destroyed.

July 6, 1985 Liberation of Barentu, Strategic retreat from the town after heavy enemy troop reinforcement.

Oct. 10, 1985 Eight enemy offensive (Bahri Negash).

Mar. 17-19, 1988 Demolishing of Naddow IZ and liberation of Afabet.

Feb.17, 1989 Joint operation of EPLF Commandoes and Afar liberation front revolutionary in Dubti along the Assab-Addis Ababa road.

Feb. 10, 1990 Operation Fenkil, libeatrion of Massawa.

May 19-21, 1991 Demolishing of enemy front around Dekemhare (Dekemhare town was initially liberated on July 6, 1977).

May 24, 1991 Total liberation of Eritrea.

Source: Eritrea Profile, Vol.3, No.11, 25 May 1996.

Similarly, the Mahbar Teatre Asmara (MTA), a cultural association, was established in 1961 by singers, composers, poets and university students returning form the Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa (Stefano: 88). The cultural activities spread the message of political nationalism and strengthened liberation movement. One folk song delivered the message of brotherhood:

Aslamai Kistanar

Wedi Kola Dega Muslim and Christian

N’ Mikhri Tsela’ee Lowlanders and highlanders

Ayt’habo Waga To the enemy’s counsel

Ayt’habo Waga Do not listen

Do not give it value

Key’t khon Edaga or you may find yourself

Being sold in the market.

This period witnessed the emergence of communal politics between Muslim and Christianity. The Ethiopian government pursued the British policy of divide and rule in Eritrea and number of riots, killing and property burning was propagated between these two communities. But the communal division tactics realized and understood in Eritrea and the emphasis on secular nationalism was highlighted in the late 1950s.

Political Nationalism during the Phase of 1961-1970

The Muslim-Christian combination witnessed strong-armed liberation struggle during the 1960-70 period. The nationalist symbols engendered during this brief period were later integrated into the EPLF’s internal and external nationalist mobilization for a cultural renaissance.

Sheik Mohamed Adum with Ato Wolde-Ab formed the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in Cairo in 1961. Ideis Awate’s forces became the Eritrean Liberation Army (ELA), designated as military wing of the ELF. Starting in 1962 students, intellectuals and workers from other sections of Eritrea began to join the ELA (Jordan: 163-71). The working force, which started their movement in 1958, now joined the ELA. The ELF leadership failed to get the real conditions on the ground and did not assess the exploitation of peasantry, which represented the majority population in the country. Along with the working class unity, the May 1962 student’s demonstration expressed in the words of American Consul, “It was a surprising and courageous move in this police state. Symptomatic of general discontent- - -this incident was apparently triggered off by a widespread rumor that the Eritrean Assembly was about to vote for full union with Ethiopia” (Foreign: 6-562).

Hence ELF has avoided mobilizing, politicizing and organizing the Eritrean peasants and workers under political nationalism. As A result, the ELF gradually forfeited its workers-peasants support and a defection from ELF to EPLF has become increasingly common since 1976.

Eritrea People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) divided peasantry class into four sub-divisions: the feudal landlord class, the rich peasant, the middle peasant and the poor peasant. The feudal landlord class and Coptic Church in Eritrea linked directly to colonial rule and considered primary enemy of working class. The elimination of both of this class and of Ethiopian rule is essential for the liberation of the peasantry (EPLF: 71). The peasantry nationalism is viewed as Eritrean nationalism during this period.

The EPLF viewed the mixed role of rich peasants during the struggle. According to an interview with Sebhat Ephrem, member of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the EPLF and chairman of the Department of Mass Administration mentioned, “Special attention is given to poor and middle peasants by the front. For example, in the liberated areas, 63% of the peasants have joined the people’s militia. The class breakdown of this militia is 72% poor peasants, 25% middle peasants and 3% rich peasants” (EPLF Interview: 26-32). Dan Connell shared his experienced while staying in liberated years during his three years residence, said, “The peasant association is subdivided along class lines, with 14 cells of poor peasants, eight of middle peasants and five of rich peasants (Connell: 16).

Moreover, the EPLF political nationalism endorsed two stages of revolution, One National Democratic Revolution and Two Socialist Revolution. The first stage is dialectically related to the success of the socialist mode of production and socioeconomic relations (EPLF: national: 24-25). This task was difficult but the goal of the EPLF is to create a modern, new and strong Eritrea, where exploitation will be a thing of the past. This phase of political nationalism attach to self-identification of the Eritrean masses. As a result, the armed movement with the association of Eritrean people strengthened political nationalism as well as the process of nation building. Pateman argued that despite pre-colonial linkages and a shared geographical habitat, Eritrea’s formation and existence as a nation were validated not only by its historic past but also through its struggle for national self-determination against Ethiopian rule (Roy: 22-23).

‘In 1968, the Eritrean fighter who completed training in Syria and China returned to Eritrea and began to mobilize for reforms under political nationalism. Along these were two young men, Isaias Afwerki and Ramadan Mohamed Nur, who were to have a lasting impact on the future of Eritrean politics. Isaias Afwerki returned from China to become the political commissioner for zone 5’ (Poscia: 98-99).

Political Nationalism during the Phase of 1971-1980

The ideological differences in the ELF reflected in the beginning of this period. The disagreement over organizational unity and distribution of war material, People’s Liberation Front (PLF) formed and PLF-2 led by Isaias Afwerki. PLF-2 initiated its own programme Neh’nan Elamaa’nan (We and Our Objectives) that explained the reason for its secession form EPLF in November 1971. The PLF-1 and PLF-2 merged together and formed EPLF in September 1973. EPLF priority to introduce Land Reform System in co-ordination with community leaders, established learning centers, and held pubic sessions to inform the population about the EPLF’s goals and intentions (Scott Jones, Africa Today; 38:2, 1991: 33-60) that distinguished EPLF form ELF. But the rivalry between EPLF and ELF erupted into civil war first in the periods 1972-74 and 1978-81. Between 1961 and 1981, the endemic fragmentation of Eritrean political nationalism underwent continuous trnasfe0ormation, finally coalescing under the radical movement of EPLF that subsided all parochial division and narrow agendas.

The EPLF armed liberation struggle influenced by Uruguay, Cuba, Vietnam, Lenin model of Bolshevik revolution and Mao Zedong’s strategy (revolution initiated from one village ultimately spread to whole country). The EPLF liberation movement was the combination of political nationalism and Marxism that signified the merits of democratic centralism in the organization. The EPLF political strategy raised the awareness among people’s rights and their philosophy during its first phase of 1969 to 1975. The EPLF political ideology of armed revolution, secular and democratic nationalism (Dominated by Marxian philosophy) galvanized the Eritrean masses during 1976-81.

Political Nationalism during the Phase of 1981-1991

The final task of EPLF started from 1982-1991, which was the period of mass liberation movement to control and strengthen its position from Massawa to Asmara, implementing political ideology cum nationalism and usher diplomatic approach to garner support from the international communities and organization. ‘The reformulation of its diplomatic strategies after 1980 was also accompanied by a shift from a military to a juridical sanctioned political solution, such as the demand for a UN-sponsored referendum’ (EPLF, Referendum: 3-6).

The end of cold war and the changing international relations supported Eritrea’s political nationalism, right to self-determination and recognized EPLF armed liberation struggle as independence movement. The Dergue regime in Ethiopia loosened its legitimacy and major opposition parties of Ethiopia recognized EPLF leadership and Eritrea nationalism for Eritreans.

The Eritrean Referendum Commission under UN Observer Mission declared that 99.8 percent people voted for independence announced on April 27, 1993. The independent Eritrea’s new flag was hoisted on May 24, 1993 and declared as sovereign state. All different communities of Eritrea, amalgamated into a single Eritrean nationality after thirty years of armed war shows unified political nationalism.

Part-III and Final

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.24, 6 June 2007

Political Nationalism Today

The nature of the society embedded in Unity in Diversity. President Isaias mentions, “Eritrea is home to different faiths. Through the centuries since the two religions came to Eritrea, their communities have lived together in harmony as a cohesive community. ---Social cohesion in multicultural societies is simply a function of political governance” (Eritrea Profile, Vol. 3, No.37, 23 November 1996).

Eritrea on the eve of independence, determined to nourish strong nation building. The constitution firmly assures the wholistic development of the people and Article 7 says, “It is a fundamental principle of the State of Eritrea to guarantee its citizens broad and active participation in all political, economic, social and cultural life of the country” (Constitution: 6). President Isaias firmly said, “I have always maintained that self-reliance is essentially a matter of attitude and approach rather than a measure of external input into the economy. ---There must be a purposeful and steady effort to live within one’s means, to shed tendencies or habits of dependence that may be nurtured by extraordinary circumstances. We are living off food aid at the moment, but the government is making strenuous efforts to enhance food security in the broadest sense: Whether by increasing food production through extensive programmes of soil and water conservation as well as irrigation” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.3, No.16, 29 June 1996).

The independent Eritrea started from zero base to inter-link people to people contact through infrastructure development, telecommunication and postal services. The government priority to provide essential requirement of Bread, Cloth, Housing, along with the health facilities, potable water, education, employment and social security to the Eritrea masses. The land reform program was the utmost requirement catering the majority (80%) agrarian population to build a strong nationalism. The Right to Equality is further emphasized in the constitution and Article 23 (2) says, “All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State. The interests citizens shall have in land shall be determined by law” (Constitution: 20).

There is a need to strengthen the process of nation building. The Preamble of Constitution of Eritrea says, “Nothing the fact that the Eritrean women’s heroic participation in the struggle for independence, human rights and solidarity, based on equality and mutual respect, generated by such struggle will serve as an unshakable foundation of our commitment to crate a society in which women and men shall interact on the bases of mutual respect, solidarity and equality” (Constitution: III). Mr. Yemane Gebreab, Head of the political Affairs, PFDJ said, “The independence of Eritrea was and is being obtained through high sacrifices and that efforts are being stepped up to ensure civil rights, secure living standards and endorse Eritrea’s identity and culture towards ensuring the future of the country” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.23, 26 May 2007). The process of nation building will be discussed under economic nationalism in details separately.

The Ministry of Education organized elementary school children painting exhibition form different corners of the country with the aim of perceiving the light of independence from the eyes of infants also featured on 18-19 May 2007 on the occasion of 16th independence celebrations. This competition shares the real nature of nation-building process. The children highlight education as one of the development issue in their paintings. Education for All is the priority of Eritrean government that helps the people understanding the country’s current political conditions & strengthens their ability for home, economy and societal affairs further reinforcing political nationalism. The President himself along with the different ministers and officials started education in the University of Asmara and carried forward the task of spreading education for the masses. (Eritrea Profile, Vol.3, No.16, 29 June 1996). Along with it, the growing children idea relates to development activities such as hut surrounded by water well, livestock, flowers, mountains, trees, etc. The peasant with the plough in one hand and rifle on the other hand, armed forces working in the agriculture field, road construction, rising sun with infrastructure activities, dam for power generation and water distribution through channels, map of Eritrea with full of fisheries, crops like maize, sorghum, multi-story buildings, laughing and playing children and war memorials showing bravery of soldiers, etc.

The growing children themes show the real nature of State development policies. In addition to it, the soldier carries weapon on the one hand and Pigeon on the other hand with Eritrea flag shows the international solidarity and commitment to the peaceful reconciliation in the region. One Para shoot having all different communities are landing in Eritrea shows the Unity in Diversity that reflects Article 6(1) that says, “As the people and government strive to establish a united and advanced country, within the context of the diversity of Eritrea, they shall be guided by the basic principle “Unity in diversity” (Constitution: 5). Other paintings were depicting construction sites and on going work in the different parts of Eritrea. This painting competition reflects the young mind-set up and an impression about nation building programs. This is the real force of political nationalism involves in nation building.

Challenges to Political Nationalism

Eritrea faces internal and external pressure. The internal threat means with in the Africa and external relates to neocolonial forces. Ethiopia challenged the Eritrean nationalism and made a foiled attempt of invading Eritrea’s glorious past in 1998. More than 18,000 Eritrean armed forces sacrificed their lives to uphold their tradition. The Eritrean political nationalism crushed Ethiopian expansionist dream of occupying the Assab Sea Port. “The fact that the 10th anniversary of the nation’s independence were observed in the wake of the decisive victory scored by the Eritrean people over the invading forces of the TPLF- dominated administration in Ethiopia added special dimension to the great event” (Eritrea Profile, Vol. 8, No.12, 26 May 2001).

Today, the TPLF continuously are propagating against either in the form of print media or trying to befool the international communities with their illogical illustrations, which shows their sheer frustration. One needs to understand that Why Ethiopia adamantly tries to invade either Eritrea or Somalia time to time? It is a fact that Ethiopia is a land locked country and need a sea contact for its economic development. It is also a fact that more than 17 African countries are land locked and most of them do not disturb other’s sovereign territory. But the mutual cooperation of all the seacoast countries with their land locked neighbours under the international law and tariffs is clearly observable. But the Ethiopian adamant fascistic attitude is one of the rare examples in the history of African politics. This approach disturbs whole of Horn of Africa and as a result the regional organizations failed to perform accordingly. Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi said in his inaugural address to the fourth COMESA summit mentions, “Many conflicts raging in Africa have underlined the fact that, if it does not address political issues properly, COMESA cannot achieve economic growth. We cannot achieve our [economic] objective when there is no peace in the region, and when brother is rising against brother in wars that destroy the productive capacity of our countries” (Al-Ahram Weekly, 27 May - 2 June 1999, Issue No. 431). The Point of Order here is that it is the time to implement the EEBC report in true spirit and respect the political nationalism of Eritrea.

There are number of external factors, challenging Eritrean political nationalism. This external factor includes the propagandist policies against Eritrea, TPLF terrorist movement and non-implementation of EEBC declaration.

1. The TPLF Terrorist Movement

The TPLF under Woyane regime with the support of US army de-stabilizes the governance in the Somalia to control and strengthen its secessionist movement in the Horn region. President Isaias firmly said, “To insinuate that the TPLF regime, which has been allowed to violate the Peace Agreement, obstruct demarcation, and occupy sovereign Eritrean territory, has equal rights in the TSZ as the people and government of Eritrea, and to peddle perfidious accusations against Eritrea, is an illegal and perverse scheme that erodes the stature of the UN Security Council and that cannot deceive anyone” (Eritrea Profile, vol.14, No.23, 26 May 2007).

Along with it, the government of Italy criticized the move of Ethiopian government against Somalia and appeals them to withdraw its army from Somalia without any conditions (BBC News, 21 May 2007). The UNHCR and other NGO’s place over 300,000 of displaced Somali population due to Ethiopian annexation while the transitional government put this number to 30,000. Italy criticized the Transitional government of Somalia on presenting the contradictory number of displaced Somali people from Mogadishu to the surrounding areas.

The people of Ethiopia strongly believes in democratic system and did not appreciate Tigre People Liberation Front (TPLF) role and its activities on the border. The Ethiopian people boycotted TPLF activities and it is one of the reasons for TPLF to shift their army base to Somalia. An Ethiopian feels that TPLF will lead to fragmentation and rise of sub-national politics in the country, which will leave behind the economic development agenda of the country on the one side and build a continuous tension with the peaceful neighbourers like Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia on the other side. The migration from the Ethiopia and taking asylum in other countries shows their real political and democratic protest against the government. Similarly, Kenyan government is facing the more or less the same ethnic tensions particularly in the northern parts of Kenya (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.52, 6 September, 2006).

Today, “According to information obtained in Addis Ababa by the Indian Ocean Newsletter, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has written a 22 page document entitled Tigray in the new Millennium calling for a strengthening of the construction of a Tigray Regional State which is in a position to “Survive on its own means if necessary”. This text was approved by Seyoum Mesfin, Abay Tsehaye and Sebhat Nega and is now circulating in the executive circles of the TPLF, as a confidential document. According to our sources, it lists the various infrastructure projects already completed in Tigray, laying special emphasis on the Tekezie hydroelectric dam for its role in the electrification of the country, calls for the expansion of other sectors of activity in this region in the North of Ethiopia. This text also considers that the Tigrayan Diaspora abroad should be “educated and mobilized to invest” in this regional state” (www.indiaoceannewsletter.com). Along with it, TPLF printed material is creating a Pseudo-propaganda against the sovereignty of Eritrea discusses separately.

2. Propagandist Politics against Eritrea Nationalism

The Pseudo-propagandist politics maneuvered with a new title “Khidet Be Dem Meret” by Dawit Wolde Giorgis in Amharic language in 2006. Mr. Dawit as high ranked army personnel of Derg administration was responsible for bloodshed of Eritrean patriots during liberation struggle, re-phrased his colonial mindset through this book. This book published by Aesop Publishers and Distributors in USA shows where the control room of this propaganda politics is. The English version of the title refers to Betrayal of the land of blood and cover page mentions the map of Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt and Red Sea but did not mention Eritrea shows the Law Graduate mentality (of Mr. Dawit) on the one hand and to carry forward the ideology of TPLF terrorism on the other hand. This book tempers with the historical sources and tries to validate the pseudo-theory of expansionism. There are historical evidences that fascist ideology use to temper the historical facts and propagate it with pomp & show. By this way, Woyane regime misguides the common masses and proves its own style of myth into real history. Eritrean masses fought armed liberation struggle for thirty years and witness their glorious past traditions and culture, which cannot be temper with these kinds of literature, propaganda and ideas based on fallacy.

The latest book plea for the Union of Ethiopia and Eritrea and tries to overlook the EEBC international jury judgment. This is the utter frustration of Ethiopian expansionist politics. One needs to understand that Why Ethiopia adamantly tries to invade either Eritrea or Somalia time to time? It is a fact that Ethiopia is a land locked country and need a sea contact for its economic development. It is also a fact that more than 17 African countries are land locked and most of them do not disturb other’s sovereign territory. But the mutual cooperation of all the seacoast countries with their land locked neighbours under the international law and tariffs is clearly observable. But the Ethiopian adamant fascistic attitude is one of the rare examples in the history of African politics.

This approach disturbs whole of Horn of Africa and as a result the regional organizations failed to perform strongly in cultivating economic relations. Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi said in his inaugural address to the fourth COMESA summit mentions, “Many conflicts raging in Africa have underlined the fact that, if it does not address political issues properly, COMESA cannot achieve economic growth. We cannot achieve our [economic] objective when there is no peace in the region, and when brother is rising against brother in wars that destroy the productive capacity of our countries” (Al-Ahram Weekly, 27 May - 2 June 1999, Issue No. 431). The Point of Order here is that it is the time to implement the EEBC report in true spirit and respect the political nationalism of Eritrea.

3. Non-implementation of EEBC

The Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) Declaration, 12th April 2002 and the war liability on Ethiopia is evidence against their philosophy of Pseudo-propaganda. Not only that, Ambassador Shu Zhan of China said, “The Chinese government is actually very concerned about this issue. We believe that if this dispute is not resolved soon then it will continue to harm the peoples on both sides. We support and advocate that the EEBC’s ruling should be implemented as soon as possible so that the people on both sides can be relieved of their burden” (Eritrea Profile, vol.13, No.68, November 1st, 2006).

Prior to it, UNMEE News, October 2005 illustrated the Security Council Resolution extending the UNMEE Mission while expressing deep concern with the continued lack of progress in the implementation of the final and binding decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), “Calls upon Ethiopia to accept fully the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and to enable, without preconditions, the commission to demarcate the border completely and promptly” (p.4). The dichotomy of Ethiopian views is reflected and criticized in the UNMEE News clearly. President Isaias remarks during his 16th Independence Day speech: “Indeed, five years have elapsed since the ruling of the Boundary Commission---and reduce Eritrea into a subservient appendage. ---US administration officials who have rejected the “final and binding” Award to flout the rule of law. ---How can normalization or regional peace possibly prevails when Agreements are violated, its sovereign territory is doomed to dereliction deprived from any development work” (Eritrea Profile, vol.14, No.23, 26 May 2007).

It is illogical to suggest further once the EEBC has signed by both the countries and members of international communities. Ethiopia made contempt of international law to EEBC does not fit to live in the international system.

Conclusion

Today, the political nationalism mentions, “Politically, it means to follow an independent line and give priority to internal conditions” (NCE: 16). The internal condition gives priority to nation building for the common masses and refers to political equality. Along with it, the nationalization of resources and its distribution programme come under political nationalism. As a result, the Land Reform programme is building agriculture sector as the top priority of this government. The goal of political nationalism refers to “all men and women are equal in society” and state provides free and compulsory education to achieve its goal. Eritrea Institute of Technology, Mai Nefhi provides free education, boarding and food facility to more than 15,000 students to strengthen political nationalism. The one-year compulsory military training along with the free education, lodging and boarding in 12th grade in SAWA is a part and parcel of political nationalism.

Overall, “all our leadership and cadres at all levels, and the activities of the government and the political movement must spread to all corners of the country, including those distant areas which until recently served as our base areas and headquarters” (NCE: 18) will reinforce Eritrea political nationalism in true spirit. That’s why; the government opened Agriculture College in Hamalmalo, College of Social Sciences, Adikei (under construction), College of Business Studies, Halhale and Massawa (under construction) to strengthen education awareness of people living in these regions.

Further, the constitutional political system guarantees unity and balanced development for our people and ensures national independence and security (NCE: 20). The people and armed forces of Eritrea proved to guarantee Eritrea’s sovereignty during the Ethiopian invasion in 1998. “We must ensure that the political system is based on the principle of complete and developing nationalism” (NCE: 24). Eritrea endeavors to promote peace and stability in the region is bearing positive outcome. East Sudan agreement prevails stability in the country and Eritrea is continuously making tired less effort towards resolving the Darfur issue and its clear position on the Somali issue aimed at reinforcing peace in the region. The practice of peaceful and brotherhood camaraderie in the region reflects Eritrea’s nationalism in real sense.

References

Connell Dan, Social Struggle in Eritrean Villages”, Guardian (New York), December 6, 1978.

Dalton George, “Peasantries in Anthropology and History”, Current Anthropology 13: 1972.

Drew F.G, British Military Administration, Eritrea: Annual Report for 1949, Asmara, December 31, 1949.

EPLF, General Political Education for Fighters, 1975, Eritrea: EPLF.

EPLF Interview: Sabhat Efrem, Member of EPLF Political Bureau”, Vanguard 3 (6): 1978.

EPLF: National Democratic Revolution Progress, Eritrea: EPLF, 1977.

EPLF:Refrendum: Enko Agebab n’ Nebari Fetah, Segem, 2:6, June 1990.

Eritrea: Annual Review for 1954, prepared by British Military Administration, FO 371/11375.

Foreign Service Dispatch, Thomas R. Byrne, Charge d Affairs and interim, American Embassy, Dar es Salaam, no. 7559, June 5, 1962.

Foreign Office Administration of African Territories, London, FO 1015/600, 1608638542, Eritrea: Annual Report for 1949: 2-4.

John Markakis, The Nationalist Revolution in Eritrea, Journal of Modern African Studies, 26: 1, March 1998.

Jordan Gabre-Medhin, Peasants & Nationalism in Eritrea: A Critique of Ethiopian Studies, The Red Sea Press, INC, 1989, New Jersey.

Merrill’s letter to Secretary of State, No. 174, August 25, 1949, 260630:2.

NCE: A National Charter for Eritrea, For a Democratic: Just and Prosperous Future, Approved by the Third Congress of The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), Nakfa, February 1994.

Political Developments, US consulate, Asmara to Department of State, June 13, 1957, 775.00.

Ruth Iyob, The Eritrean Struggle for Independence, Cambridge University Press, UK, 1997.

Roy Pateman, Eritrea: Even the Stones are Burning, tenton, NJ: Red Sea Press, Inc; 1990.

Spencer, John H, Ethiopia At Bay. Reference Publications, Inc, Alogonec, Michingan, 1984.

Stefano Poscia, Eritrea: Colonia Tradita, Edizioni Associate, Rome, 1989.

The Constitution of Eritrea, Ratified by the Constituent Assembly, on May 23, 1997.

Trevaskis G.K.N, Eritrea: A Colony in Transition, 1941-52, Oxford Unvieristy Press, London, 1960.

UN Report, 1950: 35.

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Origin of Society & Rise of Nationalities in Eritrea

A Movement towards Eritrean Nationalism

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.18, 9 May 2007

Part-I

www.shabait.com

Origin of Society

The introduction of agriculture system persuaded nomadic people to live settled life. Further, this stage progressed and people started living together in the form of groups, shifted gradually from community or communes to society. The agriculture system initiated the process of exchange as per their needs in the society and it referred to barter trade system. The barter trade gradually shifted to market and the coin system introduced. This currency system developed the market and a concept of living together, which expanded from city-states to states. Historically, the individual started living together and shaped a family life, the family joined the tribal system formed a group; different groups started living together and turned to community. Further, different communities started living together and form a society. Different societies learnt to live together and kingdoms, nations, nation-state, and state came into existence.

The historical development persuaded all ethno-linguistic groups settled in Eritrea in a different time period, searching alternate source of living. Peter M. Slowe writes, ‘It was part of that great change described by Homer and Aristotle, when several villages united into one community with some common interests to form the early city-state of ancient Greece and the river communities along the Nile and Indus and in Mesopotamia. Particularly in these later cases, the need for territorial organization was made more pressing by a drying climate and the need to control limited resources1. The demand of social and economic materialism persuaded the societies to live together. This integration needs political security that carried the idea of emerging nations having assimilation of their territories together. With the time, this process shifted from simple assimilation to cohesiveness.

Origin of Society in Eritrea

Historically, the earliest inhabitants of present day Eritrea were the Nilotic peoples (people from Nile River). It is widely believed that these inhabitants of the region were composed of Nara and Kunama, which are believed to have had moved from South-eastern Sudan into the Gash-Setit area of present day Eritrea2.

The Nilotic peoples subsequently intermingled with invading Hamitic peoples from North Africa. They were pastoral Hamitic tribes who migrated from Northern Sudan (Mainly) and spread along the Coastal regions to the Dankalia area. The Hamitic (cushitic) linguistic family is composed of four groups, the Beja, the Saho, the Bilian and the Afar.

Between 1000 and 400 BC, Semitic peoples crossed the Red Sea and settled in the Eritrean highlands bringing with them a more advanced civilization’3. The Semitic group is composed of the Tigrinya- and Tigre speaking groups. They have had a substantial social, economic and cultural impact, settled in the highland, which they found climatically suitable4. This group was more highly developed than the previous two groups, and presumably brought with them their social institutions and knowledge of political organization, agricultural techniques and commercial experience5. In addition, they brought with them the camel, the horse, sheep, new plants and cultivation techniques, and introduced them to the communities already inhabiting in the region. Further, they brought with them the art of writing, tools of war, the embryo of a ruling elite, and the tradition of group life6. This means that they were already practicing a sedentary mode of life and brought with them to the region7. A small Arabic-speaking community is known as Rasheida, a part of Semitic group is living in Eritrea.

Geographically, Eritrea is one of the countries that possess the point of Dennakil Depression that means the altitude of earth lays below sea level. The historical nationalities of Eritrea signify the oldest civilization that examine through its ancient archeology from Buhya, a northern part of Dennkalia to Nakfa, northern part of Eritrea started from 4000 B.C. One finds the traces of human civilization in Eritrea Buhya and this is the beginning of city-state and rise of Eritrean nationalities. There are many traces of artistic works in caves like painting and curved from stone, which are clear examples of ancient civilizations in Eritrea. Likewise, these traces show the different stages of the civilization of man and it becomes more interesting because we find these traces of ancient man on the land of Eritrea.

The ancient part of Adulis port and Kohato town show that they were part of ancient civilizations. Kohato is one of the biggest ancient historical sites in Africa and it is believed that this civilization had strong ties of trade in this region. The painting work in Emba Chelai , the pillars in Kohato, the decorated grave-yard of the Derbush in Massawa and other are traces of ancient civilizations. The traces of mammals that have been found in Denkalia represents the part of this ancient civilization.

By going to ancient civilization, we find the traces of human civilization in Buya. This place (Buya) needs more scientific study, research and excavations, which helps us to understand the great civilization of ancient man and growth of city-state belonging to that period. Moreover, there are number of traditional sites found in historical monasteries, where one find ancient human skeletons reserve in a good conditions. This is a scientific methodology that how those people were able to keep their dead for such a long time through the process called “Mummies” that shows the type of scientific civilizations those people had. Along with it, the well decorated caves, which shows the rich art and culture of ancient civilization, which is a part of cultural nationalism (discussed later on). The caves are self-explanatory historical sites for the modern generation.

Richard Greenfield supported the well-settled agricultural community of the past Eritrea and writes, ‘the discoveries of incontrovertible evidence of settled pastoral and agricultural communities dating back to 800 B.C. or earlier in the plateau of Eritrea and documented by Professor Peter Schmidt8. This shows how joint research undertaken by the members of the Department of Archeology at the University of Asmara and their colleagues at the university of Florida in 1998 revealed that the ‘precursors of urbanism in Eritrea were indigenous’9. This archeological evidence signifies the bases of nation and the Eritrean people during that period (on the basis of political economy and advancement of science and technology) were living together with the concept of nation hood. These evidences push forward the idea of nationalism connecting right from this period.

Excavations of the sites in the Greater Asmara region (i.e. in Maitemeney by Yosief Libseqal in 1995 and the Sembel and Sembel-II sites by Peter Schimdt in 1998-99), and other sites in the greater Asmara by Matt Curtis demonstrate the rise of indigenous complex societies in 800-400 BC in Eritrea’ (Daniel: 31).

This period (800-400 BC) witnesses two major types of ceramics in Greater Asmara sites. These are finally executed and highly polished or burnished ware on which a red slip was painted and the other made up of large vessels with a course fabric that appear to have been used to brew beer (Daniel: 37). This tradition continues till today and it is known as local beer (Suwa). It explained the scientific use of technology during that period that emphasized the scientific temperament of ancient civilization of Eritrean people. ‘From the material culture and the geographical position where the site if located as well as the architectural building it seems an elite residence area that controls all the trade waddi (valley) that comes from Adulis and goes to Kohaito (Daniel: 39).

. This reflects the economic development and trade activities in that society. One of the burial (1 m wide and 1.5 m deep) contained glassy colored pearls, bronze rings and big schist monolith having more than one hundred bronze bracelets that proves the richness of the society (For Details, See Daniel).

‘The Keskese (a multi-component site) lithics mentioned that a large number of Scrapers may have been used in wood working, for scraping hides, and for removing meat from bones. Most thumbnail scrapers might have been hafted on bones or wooden handles to form a composite tool, which the Uni-marginal retouched flakes could have discarded fragments used for cutting purposes or slimy. Bi-marginal retouched flakes might also have been used for cutting and slicing’ (Daniel: 43). It is observed that these tools were used in domestic purposes as well in the trade. The trade (By using these tools) related to wood working, wood architecture and designing, hide working, meat-pieces, and slicing and used for composite tools. It indicates that long distance trade network with eastern low lands commonly called ‘Denkel’, which may base either on barter trade or coins. The currency did not input any archeological source and is one assumption that coin may be used for trade.

The archeological survey of Eritrea proved that the ancient civilization of Eritrea belonged to agriculture community as the evidence of different grains like rice, millet, sorghum, etc. was part and parcel of this society. This agriculture community worshipped sun, tree, water, and other natural deities and may be called as animist. The agriculture started the barter system in the society. The adventure in search of agricultural land and water persuaded agricultural community to disperse from one place to another maintaining its social and cultural milieu intact. The settlement of this community to different places, the need of agricultural implements and the daily basic needs divided this community into different professions like milk maid, iron-smith, jeweler, etc. This took the shape of city life and developed as urban civilization. The introduction of coin and currency further divided the society into urban, semi-urban, small cities, and villages, having their inter-connectivity from one area to another like: invasion

Urban ® ¬Semi-Urban ®City-State ¬Collection of Villages ® ¬ Village Peoples

 

· · · · The Axumite kingdom, a trading empire set up at the end of 4th century BC in northern Tigrai, the and the southern highlands of Eritrea with its center at Axum and a port of Adulis.

· · · · The Nera community presence in southwestern Eritrea was first mentioned in King Ezana’a inscription of the 4th century AD. Although the scholarly assumption is that they might have migrated from the Sudan to Eritrea under pressure of invaders, their own tradition suggest that they once lived near Keren (Okbazghi: 8). ---Even though both the Kunama and Nera are Nilo-Saharan origin, they speak different languages, which are not mutually intelligible.

· · · · With the rise of Arab during the 6th and 7th centuries, the Axum kingdom declined and the new developments were seen in North Africa, Middle East and Red Sea. There is little information available on developments in this region for the period from the fall of Axum to the 15th centuries’ (Association: 32).

· · · · The Kingdom of Madri Bahri (land of the Sea) comprised about most part of today Eritrea in the 15th century. It came to an end with the advent of Italian colonialism.

 

One classifies the origin of society (Graph-1), rise and growth of nationalities that motivated the people worked for Eritrean nationalism in this way:

Graph-1

(Natio) ®Nation ® the people of a country/ a community of origin

Rise of Nilotic, Hamitic and Semitic Nationalities in Eritrea

Rise of Nationalism and First Resistance Struggle (Bahta movement 1894).

Nation-state regarded nationalism in modern history movement as paramount for the realization of social, economic, and cultural aspiration of people. Nationalism in Europe is characterized principally by common feeling of people, based on common descent, language, and religion. Historically, various political, economic and, cultural aspects of society fostered the tendency toward nationalism. Improvement in communications extended the knowledge of people beyond their village or province. The spread of education in vernacular tongues gave them the feeling of participation in a common cultural heritage. Through education, people learned of their common background and tradition and began to identify themselves with the historical continuity of the nation. The introduction of national constitutions and the struggle for political rights gave peoples the senses of helping to determine their fate as a nation and of sharing responsibility for the future well-being of that nation. At the same time the growth of trade and industry laid the basis for economic units larger than the traditional cities or provinces.

Eritrea “nationhood is long, complicated historical process with political, economic, social and cultural aspects to it as in other third world countries. This process is not yet concluded, as we should consider the development and strengthening of Eritrean nationalism and the unity of its people as the major tasks we must undertake” 10.

The beginning of Feudalism may be traced back to the disintegration (at the end of the Middle Ages) of the social order in Europe and of the cultural unity of the various European states. The breakup of rich feudal lords, the prevailing social and economic system, was accompanied by the development of larger communities, wider social interrelations, and dynasties that fostered feelings of nationality in order to win support for their rule. The French Revolution 1789 and the revolution of 1848 in central Europe, World War-I and World War-II marked the awakening and strengthening of national consciousness in different parts of Asia, Africa and Latin American countries. African nationalism rose to reclaim Africa for Africans and it strengthened their independence struggle.

‘The colonial economic system to a certain degree created as centralized economic structure through which the various sections of the territory were interconnected. - - -Hence, the economic integration and administration effected by colonialism laid the basic foundation for the rise of territorially based civic nations (Redie: 44) and within that classification, the term nationalism used and Eritrean nationalism is a part of it.

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.19, 12 May 2007

Part-II and Final

Nationalism, Land and Peasantry of Eritrea

The land of Eritrea independently is seen as primitive agrarian society. The Greater Ethiopia and Abyssinian Great tradition thesis cannot ignore the influence of sea contact (and influence of other world societies) on the land of Eritrea. This contact seeks to understand the general historical trend in the transformation of peasantry into other modes of production. The surplus agrarian production influenced the city-life and marked their presence in the power relations. The exchange of surplus that exists in such a society has in essence social solidarity in mind, and Wolf calls this surplus the ‘Ceremonial funds.’10 (Wolf:49).

The peasantry class (In terms of social, economic and cultural) of pre-capitalist and pre-industrialization in Eritrea was the central base for emergence of political nationalism in the post II world War era. Engel’s summarized this view as follows: ‘Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of human history; the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art and even the ideas on religion of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must therefore be explained, evolved, and in the light of which they must therefore be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case11 (Engel’s: 30).

Overall, the mode of production from agricultural to commercial system strengthened the pattern of life mentioned above and the major responsibility of agricultural production was on the shoulders of village people. “With the emergence of city, differentiation of society into rural cultivators and urban administrators was possible. City life and its culture were made possible through the surplus food produced in the rural areas. This is the materialist basis for the origin of civilization12 (Jordon: 3) in Eritrea.

There is more than enough evidence to prove that in primitive society the production of surplus over subsistence is not economically motivated but directly tied to the needs and society” (Jordon: 5) in Eritrea. Historically, the Eritrean nationalism enshrines a concrete shape to the social structure and explains social transformation in peasant society.

The Nature of Liberation Struggle in Eritrea

The pre-colonial history of Eritrea is a history of four fragmented regions, each with its own unique experience. The plateau region of Eritrea developed into a distinct political entity beginning in the 15th century. In the 17th century Portuguese visitors identified this entity as Medri-Behri and its rulers as Bahre-Nagassi. In 1770 the Scottish traveler James Bruce also reported that Medri Bahri and Abyssinia were two distinctly separate political entities constantly at war with each other13 (Ogbazki: 31 and Sherman: 31). By the year 1517, the Turks had occupied the whole northeastern part of modern day Eritrea extending from Massawa to Swakin in the Sudan---. Nevertheless, the Turks were in firm control of the coastal areas for three hundred years until the advent of Italian colonialism (Ogbazki: 32 and Sherman: 7-8). The important historical wars and other are systematically given under Table-1.

Table-1 Brief of Historical Events

· · · · 1852- Egyptian army erected a fort at Kufit, midway between Asmara and Kassala.

· · · · 1865- Turkey handed over the administration of Massawa and other tributaries enclaves to Egyptian.

· · · · 1872- Munzinger led an Egyptian expedition from Massawa and occupied the Bogos. He built a strategic bridgehead between Massawa and the Egyptian Sudan (Ogbazki: 35).

· · · · 1875- Egyptian-Abyssinian war and Egypt lost it.

· · · · 1876- Egyptian-Abyssinian war and Egypt lost it.

· · · · 1879- Peace Treaty efforts of British (part of colonialism) failed between Egypt and Abyssinia.

· · · · 1884- Peace Treaty ended Ethio-Egyptian scramble for Eritrea.

· · · · 1884- Anglo-French rivalry increased.

· · · · 1887- Menelik-Italian treaty.

· · · · 1889- Mahdists killed Yohannes.

· · · · 2 May 1889- Menelik recognized Italian sovereignty over Eritrea and Italy accepted him as sole emperor of Ethiopia.

Italian occupied Asmara in 1889 and used Massawa as their base. Italy signed treaty (‘Wichale Treaty’) with Emperor Menelik-II. Finally, on January 1, 1890, Italy declared the birth of its first colony, naming it Eritrea after the Greek name of the Red Sea.

The foreign aggression (Abyssinians, Egyptians and Mahdishts) resisted by Degiat Behta Hagos in the Akkele Guzai region, Kentabai Hamid Hassen from the Haba tribes and Rasi Woldenkeal in the Hamasen region. It is important to note here that these were not the personal battle to save them i.e. the resistance in self-Defence. This resistance involved socio-economic interests of the people and they fought against it collectively despite different religion or language. This march led a movement towards nationalism. The poems and songs explained the Eritrean nationalism under Table-2. This poem explained that the different communities living surrounding Asmara fought together (this site situated near Oromma Hospital presently), killed the enemy and enjoyed the victory (like fox) showed their love towards Eritrean nationalism.

Table-2 Liberation Struggle in Practice

Wekharya Adi Segdo tzegibki do Fox of Adi Segdo are you satisfied

---Hakhaele ghedife brindo --- Not only of bone meat but also of red meat

 

This poem criticized the King when he trapped by Yohannes. The people said that they are ready to sacrifice for his king and there is no need to get any recognition from King of King (Yohannes) because people respect and accepted him as a king. The lines are:

girazmatch do iluka aime witern Who told you Girazmatch does not die

---Intaia iteweka nab senselet ---Why should you end up in prison?

 

The rise of national movement started with the Bahta peasantry armed movement. On 14 December 1894, Bahta poised his 2000 man army of Eritrea peasantry and revolt against Italian policy (Okbazghi: 9). By 19 December 1894 the Eritrean uprising was crushed (by Italian) and Bahta Hagos was killed. This was the first armed struggle of peasants against Italian colonialism in the history of liberation movements in Eritrea. The independence struggle characterized Eritrean nationalism as an entity in the rise of the State of Eritrea.

The Industrial development and Growth of National Movement

The 1930s saw tremendous growth and flourishing of urban centers during Italian colonialism. The port of Massawa was enlarged to a daily capacity of 1500 tons. Further more, the port was linked to Asmara by one of the world’s largest cableways, with a daily capacity of 500 tons. A railway was built linking Massawa on the east coast, Asmara at the center, Keren in the northern plateau, and Agordat in the west, serving about two-thirds of Eritrea (Ogbazki: 12). In addition, 1176 Km of new asphalt roads were built connecting the various centers of Asmara (Trevaskis: 36). The airports of Asmara and Guraa were rebuilt and modernized14 (Leonard Richard: 68).

By 1939, there were 25 post offices and 57 telegraph lines, and 17 localities were set up with the capacity of reaching 15 million Kilowatt-hours (Leonard: 68). The 20% of total population was urbanized by 1941. The city of Asmara had only 15,000 native before 1935 but by 1941 it housed 120,000 Eritrean (Trevaskis: 46). The infrastructure development led to industrial development in Eritrea.

The Eritrean nationalism and the growth of national movement were benefited indirectly with these developments. It is for the colonial benefit primarily but it gave more opportunity for people to people contact. As a result, ‘Mahber Fekri Hager’ was formed in 1940 to fight against Italian colonialism. The British colonialism oppression stirred the Eritrean masses (Peasants, proletariat, petty-bourgeoisie) to struggle.

The industrialization of Eritrea proceeded on the eve of Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1930. Before 1930, there had been only 56 industrial firms in Eritrea (Ogbazki: 13). Consequently, in 1939,there were 2,198 industrial firms with operating capital close to 2,200 million lire (Leonard: 68). The industrial firms produced a wide variety of consumer goods, including leather goods, cement, boots and shoes, fish oil, pickles, hand tools, seed oil, tomato sauce, pottery, paints, alcoholic beverages, sodas and refractory bricks15 (AESNA: 41). This industrialization was continued in the 1940s by the British occupation in Eritrea. The whole of Middle east was cut off from Europe because of World War-II and by December 1943 industrial exhibition in which 400 industrial firms participated to display their products to attract the Middle Eastern market (AESNA: 41).

As a result, a strong Eritrean working class emerged in Eritrea. These were the landless peasantries who migrated to urban areas for their livelihood and turned to industrial working class. The landless peasantry belonging to different ethnic origin, now living together as working class was the structural change in the society. The structural change in terms of worker’s unity took new shape in 1952 and formed the General Union of Eritrean Labour Syndicates under the leadership of Wolde- ab Woldemariam. This working class had directly or indirectly connected to their villages, that worked as messenger in the changing environment of city and emergence of Eritrean nationalism.

Further, the industrial development led to the Italian-Eritrean marriages that gave a new impetus in the society. ‘This segment, which numbered 25,000 in 1950, was allowed to obtain higher education and skill by attending Italian schools. The group becomes politically conscious, economically well off, and technically advanced commensurate with its commitment to the cause of capitalist development (Ogbazki: 15). Between 1894 and 1948, about 20,000 Eritrean received western education in primary schools in native languages (Ogbazki: 16). The British Military Administration gave a push to the educational process and 59 primary schools, 01 middle school and one teacher’s training college was set up (Leonard: 81-81). Text books in Tigrinya training and Arabic began to be published (Ogbazki: 16). This educated class joined the national struggle and understand the importance of nationalism. But it did not suit to the British colonialists and tried to peruse the communal division to break this nationalistic movement. Along with it, the worker unity and set up of labour organization was a real threat to British colonialist.

Colonial Policy of Communalism & Divide and Rule

The colonial powers (particularly British) tried and successfully diverted the path of national struggle in number of Afro-Asian countries. Sudan got independence but British colonial tried to divide it into North and South Sudan as separate states on the basis of religion but they failed in the changing international situations and ‘issue of nationalization of Suez-canal became important and Sudan left undivided. But British colonial power successfully divided India into two parts of India and Pakistan on the name of religion in1947. Israel and Palestine divided on the communal basis in 1948.

Similarly, British colonialism tried to divide Christian and Muslim communities on the name of Christian communities and Muslim communities but failed to divide Eritrea. Even, the country faced communal riots but the history of Eritrean nationalism strengthened its roots and the British communal politics failed to brew any seeds of divide and rule here. Further the British attempted even in the UN with the proposal to divide Eritrea into two parts: one for Sudan and other for Ethiopia. It is very clear that Christian, Muslim and others refer to parts of communities and this unity in diversity reflects as nationalistic forces or nationalism. Eritrean nationalism includes Christian, Muslim, animist and others.

Moreover, In Ethiopia, the Coptic Church had the status of a state church and was a big landowner (owing over 30% of the land). -- - The Ethiopian rich peasants regime promised the Coptic church the return of all of its estates and more and more once Eritrea was ‘united with Ethiopia’ (AESNA: 47). This was the nature of Eritrean Coptic Church, which associated petty-bourgeoisie (served high position during Italian colonialism), and rich peasantries (landed aristocrats of western lowlands) and formed unionist Party to save their own interests.

The national movement cannot fight with the support of linguistic or religious identities and sectarian approach. This is one reason that anti colonial struggle faced this religious, communal division among masses and killings on the name of it including Eritrea. Overall, Nationalism is often believed to transcend forms of identification in society based on religion, race, language, class, and gender and to encompass them in a larger identity.

Today, the liberation movement is the glorious past history of The State of Eritrea. Expounding this theory, Chairman Mao explained in ‘On New Democracy’, “In this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, i.e., against the international bourgeoisies or international capitalism, no longer comes within the old category of the bourgeoisie democratic world revolution, but within the new category. It is - - - part of the proletarian socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary front of world capitalism; they have became allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism.’ 16 (Mao: 343-344).

Analysis of Eritrea Historical Nationalism and Liberation Struggle

There is a need to make a correct analysis of allies on the basis of their economic status and their political attitudes towards the revolution that time. Eritrea’s revolution consisted of different alliances such as the alliance of the peasant and working class, the alliances of non- laboring people such as national bourgeoisie, the upper section of the petty-bourgeoisie as well as others (urban educated section and office employees and it referred to middle class in other countries but not in Eritrea during that period). The Eritrean revolution fought against colonialism and imperialism by the proletariat, the peasantry, and the urban petty-bourgeoisie and other patriotic groups.

1. 1. 1. 1. The Church and most of the Eritrean rich peasants dominated the bigger share of agriculture land, which was the major source of material interest (to safeguard their own personal interests) in supporting Ethiopian colonialism. The rich peasants (landlord), the social base of foreign aggression in Eritrea, are the arch army of the Eritrean people and their revolution’. The big bourgeoisie of Eritrea (Comprador and bureaucrats) involved in import-export industry, financial institutions and big industrial and agricultural enterprises, which fulfilled their masters (imperialist) interests. The bureaucrats misused the government’s funds and involved in corruption. Both their imperial masters time to time rewarded these categories and they worked for each other as sine-a-die.

2. 2. 2. 2. The national bourgeoisies (marginal numbers) of Eritrea either acted as neutral or supported the national liberation struggle. The urban petty-bourgeoisie consists of small manufactures, teachers and students, office-clerk, army and police officers, petty traders, etc. The intellectual or educated section of society spread the ethos of nationalism among the masses and mobilized the other sections of society. The petty-traders and small manufacturers provided good amount of money for revolutionaries. Out of the total population, 20 percent come under urban petty-bourgeoisie.

3. 3. 3. 3. The peasantry comprises 80 % of the total population. The peasants rendered the backbone of armed struggle. EPLF mentioned, ‘The peasantry which constitutes the overwhelming majority of the Eritrean people and which leads a wretched life is the main force of the Eritrean revolution’17 (EPLF: 7). The peasantry included the nomadic and semi-nomadic people exploited by the rich peasants and colonial government belonging to low land areas of the country. Eritrean working class involved in manufacturing industry (alcohol, beverages, cement, food, leather and shoes, soap, salt, textiles, etc.), construction, communications, catering and other services industries and most of them come from peasant families. The working class/proletariat was the vanguard of the Eritrean revolution.

 

Overall, the character and nature of any revolution is determined by the objective socio-economic and political realities that prevail in a given country. Eritrea was a colonial and semi-rich peasant’s country. The enemies of the Eritrean people are colonials, imperialism and rich peasantries. Hence, Eritrea had the main task of the revolution is to destroy colonialism, imperialism and rich peasantries. Today, the Eritrean nationalism encompasses all sections of society (Rich, middle and poor) and enrich with the experience of its historical nationalism. Based on the history of struggle, the Eritrean State and Society is moving towards the path of Equality to All and its practice.

References

  1. Pollera, Alberto, The Native People of Eritrea, 1996.
  2. AESNA, In Defence of the Eritrean Revolution, New York, 1978: 31.
  3. Machine, R, Eritrea: The Struggle for Independence, 1987, the Red Sea Press, Trenton: 5.
  4. Trevaskis, G. Kendy N, Eritrea: A colony in transition 1941-52, Oxford University Press, New York, 1960: 4.
  5. Sherman, Richard, Eritrea: the Unfinished Revolution, 1980, Prager, New York: 5.
  6. Redie Berketeeb, Eritrea: the Making of a Nation 1890-1961, Upasala University, 2000: 64.
  7. Richard Greenfield, New Discoveries in Africa Change the Face of History, New African, November 2001: 42.
  8. Denial Habtemichael, The Sabean Man’s Burden: Questing the Dominant Historical Paradigm with New Archeological Findings at Keskese Valley, Journal of Eritrean Studies, Vol.iii, No.2, December 2004: 26.
  9. NCE: A National Charter for Eritrea, For a Democratic: Just and Prosperous Future, Approved by the Third Congress of The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), Nakfa, February 1994: 13.
  10. Wolf, Eric, Peasants, Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Prentice Hall, 1966.
  11. Engel’s, Frederick, Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx In Howard Selsam & Others (ed), Dynamics of Social Change: From the Writings of Marx, Engel’s and Lenin, 1970, New York: International Publishers.
  12. Jordan Gabre-Medhin, Peasents & Nationalism in Eritrea: A Critique of Ethiopian Studies (The Red Sea Press, INC, 1989, New Jersey).
  13. Okbazghi Yohannes, Eritrea, A Pawn in World Politics, University of Florida Press, 1991.
  14. Leonard Richard, European Colonization ad the Socio-Economic Integration of Eritrea, the Eritrean Case: Proceeding of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal of the international League for the rights and Liberations of Peoples, Session on Eritrea, Milan, Itlay, 24-26 may 1980.
  15. Association of Eritrean Students in North America & Association of Eritrean Women in North America, In Defence of the Eritrean Revolution (AESNA, New York, 1978).
  16. Mao Tse tung, Selected Works, Vol. II, Peking, Foreign Language Press, 1967.
  17. EPLF, Spark, Vol.1, No.9, January 1976.

Growth of Political Economy- An Assessment to Self-Reliant Movement in Eritrea

Appraisal of Five-Year Plan (2003-2007)

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.7, 31 March 2007

Part-I

www.shabait.com

Introduction

The political economy studies about politics and history that could be explained only in terms of the economic development of society. The past experience of war when Ethiopia attacked on Eritrea in 1998 was a real break to Eritrean political economy. This war damaged the ongoing Self-Reliance programmes of the country and derailed the economic development. Eritrea Human Resource Development (HRD) was engaged completely in the war that continued up to the year 2000. This war damaged the socio-economic development sector such as agriculture, education & dissemination of knowledge, affected health services, infrastructure, telecommunication, etc. and Eritrea arranged additional expenditure of millions of dollars to revive Self-Reliant Programme.

Today, there is a pertinent question how does Eritrea advance towards Self-Reliance in the era of globalization. Eritrea economy is based on the Self-Reliance and the state is working accordingly. The concept of Self-Reliant is not introduced in the post-independent Eritrea. This very concept initiated right from the liberation struggle is the basic structure of political, economic, social, cultural and foreign affairs development keeping the interests of majority agrarian based population.

It is Eritrean need to critically examine the sustainability of capitalist globalization or open market experience of 20th century, present self-reliant and future task accordingly. There is a need to understand what exactly the market means. Eritrea ancient civilization was well connected to sea trade and had markets. Market is the place where goods that are produced get exchanged (is known as barter trade in ancient period in Eritrea and it exists even today in village markets). As long as there is commodity production there has to be a market where these goods go for exchange. So whether it is under feudalism, capitalism or self-reliant people’s democracy, if commodities are produced, the market exists. It is not a market versus a non-market or state situation. It is a fact because market exists. The issue of globalization is recognizing the limitations of the market in terms of social objectives in Eritrea under self-reliance programme.

The major player in every single country (including Eritrea) in the world for the building of infrastructure is the State. The State (Even Eritrea) cannot, therefore, abdicate this responsibility and where the State intervention comes with the mix, there is the question: what is the right mix? And particularly right mix in the Self-Reliance economy? The right mix arises out of a concrete analysis of the real conditions in which Eritrea exist. A stronger and a firmer State intervention to ensure the distributive aspect of growth are required in Self-Reliance.

History of Self-Reliant Movement

“The line of the 1st Congress of Eritrea People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) is the line of national democratic revolution of people’s war, of total reliance on the masses, of self-reliance, of proletarian in internationalism. The revolutionary experience of the oppressed peoples of the world has confirmed that this line is correct and invincible (Association of Eritrean Students in North America & Association of Eritrean Women in North America, In Defence of the Eritrean Revolution, AESNA, New York, 1978: 107.) the idea of self-reliance marched the national liberation and proletarian revolution to end and establish dictatorship of proletariat and national independence. Self-reliance is based on independent development of political economy connected o material and human resources of a country. Enver Hoxha writes, “Self-reliance is not a temporary policy imposed by circumstances, but an objective necessity for every country, big or small, developed or underdeveloped, a principle applying both in liberation wars and the proletarian revolution, and in the construction of socialism and defenses of the homeland (Enver Hoxha, report Submitted to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, Tirana, 8 Nenton Publishing House, 1976: 71). ASENA mentions, “Self-reliance, however, does not mean opposition to internationalist aid and solidarity. It does not signify national seclusion and narrow-mindedness. What it means is that relying on one’s own efforts is primary and decisive, while outside aid is secondary-important but not decisive. Outside aid can complement the self-reliant efforts of the people, but should never substitute for it. If it does the consequences are disastrous (Association: 119). EPLF believes in philosophy and practices of self-reliance and explains, “- - -Self-reliance in all fields is the solid guarantee for the continuation of our struggle and the ultimate victory of our revolution” (EPLF, Vanguard, vol.1, No.13, January 1976: 25).

Moreover, the basis of self-reliance interlinked with political, social, cultural and independent foreign policy of a country. EPLF practiced self-reliant (during the liberation struggle) and redistributed agriculture land to landless, poor and middle peasants. The peasantry encouraged forming cooperatives, livestock breeding and working on scientific agriculture pattern. The schools of the EPLF established under the shades of trees, in underground shelters, in the liberated villages, are centers for the dissemination of the political line of the front. The importance of the revolutionary principle of self-reliance is particularly stressed. Students participate in production; for example, the ‘Revolutionary School’ – a boarding school for the children of martyrs, fighters in the people’s army and the displaced- is self-sufficient in vegetables. The students are so imbued with the spirit of self-reliance that they carefully collect the paper covers of used tin cans and make note-books out of them” (Association: 126).

The EPLF has set up a number of workshops and small factories in the liberated areas- - - include: small arms and spare parts, metal works, electronic repairs, carpentry, cloth, and hide sewing- - - communication equipments, chairs and desk’s for the EPLF’s schools, beds and operating tables for its hospitals pots, pans, knives and oil for lamps for the masses, artificial limbs for wounded fighters and hundreds of other necessities and spare parts are manufactures (Association: 124). In the field of infrastructure, EPLF - - - have constructed a 1500 Km long road called the Liberation Road - - - connects all the liberated areas, form the Sudanese borders through the hearth o the country to the Ethiopian border (Association: 124--25). Implementing the principles of self-reliance in the field of health, EPLF established four hospitals, twenty clinics and hundreds of mobile medical teams. ‘In the first half of 1976 alone, it treated 487,000 patients, - - - vaccination of 100,000 peasants against BCG” (Association: 125). The emphasis on a Self-Reliant economy was put into practice by innovative use of limited resources and growing constituents (For More, EPLF economic, health and educational policies, (See Friebrace and Holland, Never Kneel Down: Drought, Development and Liberation in Eritrea (Nottingham, England: Bertrand Russell House, 1984:29-41.)

“The policy of res’kha me’khaal (Self-Reliance) was implemented in the liberated zones (of Eritrea) supplying the population with necessary provisions. The EPLF continued to expand its power base by mobilizing the population in the newly liberated areas” (Ruth Iyob, The Eritrean Struggle for Independence, Cambridge University Press, UK, 1997:119). “It inherited and adapted to its own use most of the Ethiopian government’s military arsenals and transformed its guerilla units into a conventional army” (Roy Pateman, The Eritrean War, Armed forces and Society 17:1, Transaction Periodicals Consortium, Fall 1990:87-90.) Along with it, the National Democratic Programme (NDP) of Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) announced in 1977 clarified the doubts in the international community with regard to EPLF vision of independent Eritrea State and Society. The eleven objectives were:

1. 1. “Establish a people’s democratic state.

2. 2. Build an independent, self-reliant and planned national economy.

3. 3. Develop culture, education, technology, and public health.

4. 4. Safeguard social rights (emphasizing workers and women rights).

5. 5. Ensure the equality and consolidate the unity of nationalities.

6. 6. Build a strong people’s army.

7. 7. Respect of freedom of religion and faith.

8. 8. Provide humane treatment to prisoners of war and encourage the desertion of Eritrean soldiers serving the enemy.

9. 9. Protect the rights of Eritrean residing in Eritrea.

10. 10. Pursue a foreign policy of peace and non-alignment.”

(EPLF, Kedamay Wudbawi Guba’e nai Hizbawi Hailtat Harnet Ertra (First EPLF Orgsnizational Ocngress) January 31, 1977:1-5. For the English version see Sherman, Unfinished Revolution: 166-174 and Ruth: 129).

 

The EPLF Congress emphasized the need for economic self-reliance and a planned economy, culture and education as vehicles for mobilization and construction of a pluralist Eritrean national Identities were stressed. A new educational program was envisioned to provide “proper dissemination of, respect for, and development of the history of Eritrea and its people” (EPLF, Objectives of the National Democratic Programme: First Organizational Congress (Eritrea, January 31, 1977).

“Unperturbed by the counter-revolutionary and brutal violence of the Ethiopian aggressors and their vicious campaign of isolation and encirclements, the Eritrean masses, relying primarily in their own resources, are willing one magnificent victory after another. The heroic masses and their leader and organizer, the EPLF, put Self-Reliance in the forefront”- - - (Association of Eritrean Students in North America & Association of Eritrean Women in North America, In Defence of the Eritrean Revolution (AESNA, New York, 1978). EPLF Secretary-general Issaias Afwerki also invoked the victory at Afabet in his Chatham House address of October 27, 1988 said, “The policy of Self-reliance that had served the liberation front so well during the war years continued to enable the Eritrean nationalists to determine the priorities of post-war reconstruction without being dependent on external forces” (reprinted in the EPLF Adulis, November 1988) continued till today.

Further, President Issaias Afwerki stressed the need for a convergence of interests between donors and recipients: “Our government believes that all assistance granted to disbursed must include inbuilt mechanisms of the funds for other development projects - -(United Naitons, “Address by H.E. Issaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea to the 1993 Regular Session of the Economic and Social Council”, Geneva (July3, 1993). Today, the government is practicing the idea of self-reliance keeping this historical background in mind. The government emphasizes that national development strategy cover agriculture, construction of various infrastructure, provision and scope of energy resources, exploration of mining, utilization of maritime resources and tourism potentials, development of small and larger scale industrial capacity and trade activities, expansion of social services, education and health, provision of water, transport and communication services, ensuring social security and justice, as well as economic cooperation at the international level, fiscal budget, and activities in media and cultural spheres (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.52, 6 September 2006).

Part-II

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.8, 4 April 2007

Agriculture Sector Development and Self-Reliant

‘The vast potentials of the agriculture sector in Eritrea require infrastructure development, agro-industry and the food security system including buffer stock. Infrastructure should be a priority to connect rural and urban areas through road, railway, telephone, electricity, potable water, education and health services that help in achieving self-reliant in real terms. It is the time to re-strengthen the old train routes and introduce new routes to connect different zones to capital city, which will help to strengthen agriculture activities, animal husbandry, commercial and social activities in this zone. This will be a move to strengthen regional trade activities between Eritrea and neighbouring countries on the one hand and facilitate economic self-reliant to indigenous people living in different zones on the other hand. The critical need for moving agriculture forward in Eritrea is underlined by the need to increase food supply to feed a rapidly growing population, to provide employment, income growth to reduce absolute poverty and food insecurity for a predominantly rural-based population. Since Eritrea has a large pool of unskilled labor, agricultural development can relieve the growing unemployment problem on the one hand and increase in agricultural income on the other hand. A ‘poverty focused’ economic development policy has best chance of success if it is agricultural-led, or if it is based on increasing agricultural productivity that result in food security and the reduction in absolute poverty’. (Eritrea Profile, vol.13, No. 27, 10 June 2006).

“Studies have shown that there exists over 10,000 hectares of cultivable land in Logo-Anseba sub-zone, Gash Barka region, according to Mr. Ahmed Osman Feuj, Administrator of the sub-zone. Noting that only some 5,265 hectares was put under cultivation in 2006, and various activities to develop all land suitable for farming would make major contribution to the nationwide program regarding soil and water conservation as well as ensuring food security. Moreover, dirt roads linking Adi Werhi Seb to Melezanay, Mekherka to Adi-Na’mn, Adi N’amn to Derseney, and Derseney to Anseba River have been renovated through popular campaign, in addition to the finalization of the construction of Debri and Mekherka micro-dams, as well as the cementing of Deki-Zeru micro dam. As regards social services, a kindergarten and a health center have been constructed in Laban and a 24-hour electricity supply has begun in Adi-N’amn and Adi-Werhi Seb. The land for residential purposes would be allocated to 700 nationals in Mekherka, Deki-Dashim and Adi-Werhi Seb. There are also plans to distribute electricity supply to the remaining villages. Logo-Anseba sub-zone worth a population of over 33,000 comprises 13 administrative areas” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 97, 10 February 2007).

The central region branch office of the Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that there was a 5.5% increase in agricultural input in 2006 in an effort to ensure food security as compared t o 2005. As regards soil and water conservation activities, over 11 million Nakfa has been disbursed for the construction of micro-dams and embankments. Moreover, 3,000 quintals of barley seed were distributed to 500 needy farmers. The Administrator of the central region, Mr. Semere Russom, said that a budget of some 300 million Nakfa has been earmarked for potable water supply project, the installation of water pipelines, asphalting of the Kehawta-Merhano-Adi Guadad road, the construction of the Asmara-Gilie new road as well as renovating the Beleza-Dirfo road” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 96, 7 February 2007).

“In an effort to introduce vegetable farming in Central Denkalia sub-zone, the inhabitants of 5 administrative areas are actively engaged on 30 hectares, thus enabling the local inhabitants to become beneficiaries. About 1300 tree seedlings have also been planted in the sub-zone, the reports added”. “The Araeta sub-zone task is to put a modern green house to step up vegetable farming and plans have been made to undertake soil and water activities in 2007. Three new bridges have been constructed and two others renovated along the Asmara-Massawa road at a cost of 88 million Nakfa in collaboration with the governments of Eritrea and Japan. The newly constructed bridges are on River Ade kemom in ginda, the second in Gahtelai and the third on River Hamasat, while the renovated ones are Emkulu and Dogoli bridges that were constructed in the 1930s. Mr. Satoru Miyamura of Japan Ambassador to Kenya commended Eritrea’s endeavors in the nation-building process on the basis of self-reliance and asserted Japan’s readiness to cooperate in infrastructure activities, particularly in the domains of health, education and potable water supply” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 95, 3 February 2007).

“The Warsay-Yikaalo development campaign in Hagaz town announced that over 25 Km long terraces have been put in place and more than 1000 cubic meters of embankments constructed in addition to the planting of 4000 tree seedlings. The installation of 2 transformers and additional electricity links at a cost of around 1 million Nakfa benefited the town people” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 91, 20 January 2007). The Administration of the Central region declared that 4 dams were repaired at a cost of Nakfa 1.9 million and a pond was constructed at a cost of over Nakfa 167,000 and other were repaired in 2006” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 94, 31 January2007).

The Ministry of Agriculture sources stated “Different agricultural activities worth about 47 million Nakfa have been carried out in Northern Red Sea region in 2006. The activities relates to construction and renovation of water diversion schemes, catchments and controlling erosion” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 91, 20 January2007).

Members of the Warsey-Yikaalo National Development Campaign dispatched in La’elay Gash area harvested over 49 hectares of Sorghum fields belonging to 162 families heroes and disadvantaged farmers of Hadish-Adi, Derseneyt, Mai-Koquah, Tselim-Rusu, Milezay, Girate Mariam and its environs”. “Similarly, a joint work campaign that included over 1400 inhabitants and administration staff of Senafe sub-zone with the offices of the PFDJ harvested agriculture fields belonging to 241 families of fallen heroes and disadvantaged farmers”. “Over 300 IDP’s of Ambesete-Geleba camp also harvested agricultural fields belonging to 45 martyr families” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 72, 15 November2006).

Fisheries Production and Food Security

The 1200 Km of Eritrea coastline includes three distinct biological zones of Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It contains 17 % of the 1400 known fish species in the sea and 20 % of the 250 Coral species. Therefore, it is home to globally important Coral reefs, Mangroves, Sea grass, etc. Along with it, the globally endangered species like marine turtles, Dugong, Sea birds, Dolphins and Whales.

The untapped fish resources are one way of providing food security in the country. The amount of fish that was caught during the past year amounted to 11 thousand tons and 90% of this was exported to foreign markets and national revenues amounted to 3.4 million dollars and 2.3 million Nakfa respectively. The Ministry of Fisheries has permitted 452 traditional fisherman, 75 industrial boats, and 2800 Eritrean and foreign fishermen. The Ministry of Fisheries has established an integrated coastline administration, in its effort to preserve the marine ecosystem and natural resource found along the coastlines and islands of Eritrea and ways to developing them efficiently.

My recent visit to India (23 January-23 February 2007) gave opportunity to discuss this issue with Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Dr. Jai Gopal Sharma, Scientist-C, expert in Marine Sciences in Ministry explained that Eritrea in collaboration with Ministry would initiate marine cultivation in the field of Shrimp, Prawn, Mollusks and other varieties. Along with it, the deep sea fishing in the Red Sea will not only supply enormous food security to Eritrea but it will be one of asset in the foreign market. This will raise their foreign currency reserve as well”. The Eritrean Ambassador in New Delhi, India shared with me telephonically about the scope of marine sciences in Eritrea particularly in the Massawa region.

‘The Ministry of Fisheries, Eritrea offered a practical and theoretical training to 20 traditional fishermen in Ingel, Diluh and Menka’elil administrative areas of Gelalo sub zone on modern fishing techniques including handling and packing operational methods. Earlier, the same training offered to fishermen in Massawa in first half of 2006. The cabinet meeting in Massawa agreed that the fisheries sector plays a significant role in reinforcing efforts to ensure food security, and that intense endeavors are needed to utilize fishery resources and strengthen the sector. It further indicated to learn from neighboring countries engaged in this line of activity, as the task of fisheries development requires a well equipped and technologically advanced infrastructure’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.53, 9 September 2006).

President Issaias Afwerki noted that the task of ensuring food security is given top priority as part of the overall national development strategy. He underlined the paramount importance of promoting modern farming methods, technology of proper use of water and energy resources and other necessary facilities for modern agriculture so as to attain the desired target” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.51, 2 September 2006).

Overall, the structure of cooperative farming in Eritrea has the potential to reduce food insecurity, absolute poverty and environmental degradation. Eritrea should play a key role in supporting the development of a properly functioning national integrated agricultural production and marketing system. Apart from the current practice, Eritrea peasant requirements to be given the necessary support and advice to produce crops suitable to those geographical areas and generate demand for the produce in the local or export market. Developing Eritrea institutions that promote the four prime movers of agricultural development can meet this challenge:

1. Production of appropriate technologies and investments in agricultural research;

2. Human capital investments and vocational skills of poor people by investment in schools, training programs, on-the-job experience and health;

3. 3. Investment in infrastructure like dams, irrigation facilities, telecommunications, railways and roads; and

4. 4. Investments in farmer support institutions such as marketing, credit, fertilizer, and seed distribution systems. (Eritrea Profile, vol.13, No. 27, 10 June 2006).

5. 5. Establishment of national network of marine, planning and management of coastal marine areas.

 

Part-III

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.9, 7 April 2007

Infrastructure Development and Self-Reliant Movement

The agriculture sector primarily depends on the water distribution in this region. The infrastructure planning relates to water channels, water dam and reservoir and the government is primarily focusing on this area. ‘The Fanka and Gerset micro-dams in the Gash Barka region, Molober and Afhimbol plantations and other project completed. Along with it, the Primacantry Bridge along Tessenei road and Adi-Keshi and Haikota bridges, as well as the new bridge is under construction on Gash River. This bridge will link Fanko, Gerenfit anf Tebeldiya and onwards to Kachero to (Table-1) facilitate development programs. The water diversion scheme in connection with Fanko Micro-dam for putting under cultivation (Table-1) contains more than 5000 hectares and the water reservoir schemes of Balkai, Hashenkit and Asheda and Gerset Micro-dam are used for the plantation of wheat and sorghum in this area.

Similarly, ‘A micro dam with a capacity of holding 70,000 cubic meters of water at a cost of 1.6 million Nakfa has been reconstructed in Ruba-Netsa administrative area, Senafe sub-zone. It is expected to supply to five villages namely Hadish-Adi, Barkeneha, Embagom and Embahegoda in addition to facilitating irrigation farming below dam on 7 hectares. Meanwhile, Maitera and Enda-Dashim elementary schools in Senafe sub-zone, which were destroyed during the TPLF regime’s invasion, have now been rebuilt at a cost of 1.4 million Nakfa. The schools are now equipped with new toilets, 60-cubic meter water tankers and water distribution station (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.43, 5 August 2006).

Table-1 Infrastructure Development (Water Dams and Reservoir)

No. Type Place Nakfa Water Purpose

(Million) Capacity

1

Micro-Dams

Adi-Keyih sub zone

Southern Region

6.8

200,000

Irrigation, potable Supply

2

-do-

Adi-Keyih sub zone

Southern Region

1.6

150,000

Potable supply

3

-do-

Dubarwa sub zone

Southern Region

7

570,000

Irrigation, potable Supply

4

-do-

Fanka & Gerset

Gash Barka Region

NA

NA

Irrigation, potable Supply

5

-do-

Ruba-Netsa Admn. Area

Senafe sub zone

1.6

70,000

Connected to 5 villages

6

-do-

Embakhokwat,

Adi-keih sub zone

NA

150,000

Potable, cultivation

7

Water Reservoir

Fithi Admn. Area

Barentu sub zone

NA

40,000

Multi purpose

8

2 -do-

Sosona and Fithi Admn

Barentu sub zone

NA

25,000

Multi purpose

9

-do-

Enrekebet

Halhale sub zone

NA

18,000

Multi purpose

10

-do-

Adebarussom

Adi-Quala sub zone

1.4

70,000

Irrigation, potable Supply

Source: Various Issues of Eritrea Profile, 2006-2007.

Major Areas of Water Distribution Plan in 2006-2007

· · ‘The 2.2 million Nakfa potable water supply project includes digging of a well, installation of 2.7 Km long water pipelines, 2 distribution centers, a pond and a water tanker, as well ad a generator is set up in Himbol, Kerkebet sub-zone (Table-1). 9 villages of the sub-zone have now access to clean drinking water. Earlier, the people use to travel 7 Km long to fetch unclean water’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.37, 15July 2006).

· · ‘A new dam with a capacity of over 150,000 cubic meters of water provides potable water both to inhabitants, livestock and cultivation of 30 hectares of land beneath it in administrative district of Embakhokhwat in the Adi-Keih sub-zone.

· · ‘A potable water supply project has been finalized in semi-urban Asneda, Asmet sub-zone, at a cost of 6 million Nakfa. It includes the digging of 2 new wells, installation of 6 Km long pipelines, a large water tanker with a capacity of holding 750 barrels of water, 9 distribution centers and 2 animal feeding spots (Table-1).

· · ‘Six large bridges constructed along the Barentu-Tessenei road, Gash-Barka region. The bridges built at a huge cost could solve transportation problems encountered during the rainy season and play a major role in socio-economic development of the area (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.40, 26 July 2006).

· · ‘A Water supply of 750,000 Nakfa projects have been implemented in Zula administrative area, Foro, Sub-zone. Now, the problem of potable water supply in the locality has now access to drinking water.

· · ‘A Water reservoir with a capacity of holding 40,000 cubic meters of water has been constructed in Fithi administrative area, Barentu sub-zone, supplying water to the people and their livestock. Earlier, two water reservoirs of 25,000 cubic meter constructed in Sosona and Fithi administrative areas (Table-1) are playing vital role in easing water supply problems in the sub-zone.

· · ‘The inhabitants of Enrekebet, Halhale sub-zone along with Anseba regional administration constructed a water reservoir of 18,000 cubic meter of water, which solved long distance travel to fetch water problem in this region (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.41, 29 July 2006).

· · The construction of three new major bridges and renovation of another two along the Asmara-Massawa road completed with collaboration of Eritrean and Japanese governments at a cost of 38 million Nakfa. A 900-meter long road running form River Hamsat to Massawa has been constructed where a new bridge has been constructed so as to ease traffic accidents and render efficient transport services (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.47, 19 August2006).

· · The construction of water diversion schemes in Gash-Barka region at a cost of 35 million Nakfa has been accomplished that facilitates irrigation farming on about 10,000 hectares (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.53, 9 September 2006).

· · The inhabitants of Agordat sub-zone have repaired 850 meters long water canals and 86 meters of embankments in the Forto area (Table-1). Similarly, the inhabitants of Sel’a sub-zone, Anseba region, are actively engaged in different development activities focusing on soil and water conservation, as well as construction of embankments and terraces. Mean while, efforts are underway in semi-urban Forto, Gash Barka region, to ease the potable water supply problem that involves the distribution of pipelines and construction of canals from a water reservoir located 4.5 Km from the town (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.55, 16 September 2006).

· · ‘A potable water supply project worth more than 19 million Nakfa have been constructed in Dubarwa sub-zone, southern region. More over, a micro-dam with a total capacity of holding 570,000 cubic meters of water (Table-1) have been built in six villages of the sub-zone and are playing a major role in facilitating irrigation farming (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.57, 23 September 2006).

· · ‘The 50% of a potable water supply project worth 35 million Nakfa has been completed in Adi-Keyih sub-zone, southern region (Table-1).

· · ‘Moreover, the construction of two micro-dams with a capacity of holding 200,000 cubic meters worth 1.6 million Nakfa ahs been finalized. Along with it, a kindergarten has been constructed at a cost of 750,000 Nakfa and the construction of a new road that links Karibosa with Demhina is underway. Various development and agricultural activities have been carried out through the active participation of the population at a cost of 1.3 million Nakfa.

· · ‘Eight water diversion schemes have been constructed which are expected to facilitate irrigation farming on 11,000 hectares (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.86, 3 January 2007).

· · A new water reservoir is under construction in Adebarussom, Adi-Quala sub-zone at a cost of 1.4 million Nakfa. The water reservoir with a capacity of holding 70,000 cubic meters that provides potable water (earlier used to travel 10 Km to fetch water) and agriculture (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.2, 14 March 2007).

· · The construction of two large bridges along the Serejeka-Shebah road are on Filfil having 30 Km long, 10 meter wide and 5 meter deep and Solouna river having 60 Km long, 12.5 meter wide and 6 meter deep (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.3, 17 March 2007).

· · ‘ The construction of a water supply project in Shialo and Shehebit, Gash Barka region, at a cost of 9 million Nakfa has been finalized. The 5 million Nakfa project in Shilalo incudes a water tanker with a capacity of holding 50,000 liters of water, 30 horsepower generator, and 6 distribution centers, as well as 5Km long pipelines

· · ‘The Sheshebit project includes a water tanker with a capacity of 50,000 liters of water, 30 horsepower generator, and 4 Km long water pipelines and 4 distribution centers that solved (Earlier, the inhabitants of this area used to travel for 3 hours to fetch water) the problems of water’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.6, 28 March 2007).

 

To strengthen the infrastructure programme, President Isaias himself carried out tour of inspection in the Southern region from 15 to 17 September 2006 and observed Ghadien dam in the Dekemhare sub-zone, Seled dam in the Segheneiti sub-zone, water diversion schemes in the Sheron and Chealo stream, Dirko dam that has been renovated in the Emni Haili sub-zones and Ziban Seb’o dam (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.56, 20 September 2006). It shows that the infrastructure programmes is checked and the President himself is receiving the first hand information’s about the details of the programmes, which motivated the construction companies to maintained the required quality on the one hand and it keeps a check on them to avoid any illegitimate activities (such as corruption) on the companies and officials concerned on the other hand.

Part-IV

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.10, 11 April 2007

Education Development and Self-Reliant Movement

The universal primary education is the primary task of the Ministry of Education that will develop the society based on equality. The Girl education is the real weapon to establish equality in society in real sense. The national Gender Policy addresses guidelines and directives for the planning, resources allocation and implementation of proper interventions. All Zobas in collaboration with the national Union of Eritrean Women and the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students are actively working in community awareness and sensitization activities on girl’s education. Mr. Osman Salih, explained policy matters concerning education, the introduction of new curriculum and the establishment of higher institutions of learning. He also elaborated on the steps being taken to combat illiteracy and enhance female population in education, among others (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007).

The first National Teachers Conference under the theme of ‘Teacher-Pivot of values and pillar of development’ held in Massawa form 6-8 February 2007 is a part of sustainable development of Eritrea. Mr. Osamn Saleh, Minister of Education explained that the main focal point of Eritrean education policy is ensuring access of equitable education to all parts of the country, provide qualified education, avoid wastage and drop out and nurturing dedicate youth. The technological advancement will improve the professional capacity of education system (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.98, 14 February 2007). President Isaias Afwerki pointed out that the power of knowledge, professionalism and work ethics are major factors that guaranteed the competence and existence of people for generations’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.98, 14 February 2007). Mr. Alamin Mohammed, PFDJ Secretary, emphasized that education is the cornerstone for sustainable national development. The Front has been working in developing the education sector parallel to the ongoing national development programs. The challenge to rehabilitate the education sector is equal with the national development campaign and thus the front will exert its utmost efforts to develop the sector (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.98, 14 February 2007). Mr. Mussa Hussein, Director General of General Education in Ministry of Education focused on the newly introduced curriculum programs scheduled and underway in the development of the education system, analytical data of the programme already accomplished. As a result, a radical change has been achieved in pre-school enrollment rate that increased by 305% from the earlier educational system in the last three years. The introduction of information technology, special educational, vocational & technical training along with literacy campaign shared its contribution in sustainable development (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.98, 14 February 2007).

The government is working to meet the millennium goals ‘Education for all’ in the five year plans of 2003-2007. Mr. Al-Amin Mohammed Seid, Secretary of PFDJ elaborated that man occupies center stage in Eritrea’s development a nation building strategy. He pointed out that it is clearly spelt out in the documents which constitute the guiding principles of our action programs, namely the National Charter, Macro Policy and others, that education is the basis for development, that providing educational opportunities means opening up vistas of development, and that access to education is the right of all nationals. President Isaias said that ‘the greatest challenge in such a huge plan is however the availability of skilled human resources. ---Until, it is resolved ultimately on a domestic basis, recruiting has minimized this arduous problem has been minimized by recruiting teachers from abroad’. --- Commendable efforts have been done and encouraging results were registered. However, the task has not even reached half of the way’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.97, 10 February 2007).

Only 10% of all the countries in the world are cited as being exemplary in allocating 3.7% of their national incomes for education; yet the Government of Eritrea’s allocation of over 4% of its national income for education and providing free access to all nationals attests to how much focus it attached to education for all. Accordingly, it is normal to see schools in Eritrea from primary level all the way to all the way to junior and high schools in remote villages. Ministry of Education shows that the number of students that stood at 168,000 in the beginning of independence has presently grown to 584,762 thus making a 345% boost. The number of teachers has also increased from 4505 back than to 11,159 currently, which is 247% growth (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.94, 31 January 2007).

 

Assessment of Five-Year Plan in Education

The National Development Strategy (NDS) offers priority to the formation of all-round human capital, which is pre-requisite for effective socio-economic and political growth. The Macro Policy document 1994 explained the target areas in NDS. The NDS highlighted the need of infrastructure, social services, human resource development and agriculture sector. But the goals of NDS close down during the Ethiopia-Eritrea border war from 1998-2000.

The forty years war against Ethiopian colonialism and its expansionist policy (resulted into war of 1998-2000) forced independent Eritrea to involve Human Resource Development (HRD) into this war, which delayed, persecuted and displaced people’s welfare for another four years. That’s why, though the country got independence in May 1993 but the national development strategy initiated only in the year 2000. This is primarily the reason to analyze the first five year development plan (of 2003-2007) and suggest further to strengthen this plan in this concluding year. The NDS Macro Policy document mentions vast areas to development but this focuses on agriculture sector, infrastructure, education and health.

The NDS highlighted education as primary sector of development and mentions ‘free and compulsory education to every child’. The food and medical facilities are taken care in the school and all the colleges provide food, medical and accommodation facilities to their students. The National Education Policy 2003, a part of NDS is having following features:

1. 1. Revitalizing citizens with relevant education and training is the only mean by which the overall socio-economic development of the country can be achieved;

2. 2. Education in Eritrea is a fundamental human right and life long process, therefore all individuals are entitled to get opportunities to education;

3. 3. Promote equal opportunities in terms of access, equity, relevance and continuity of education to all school-aged children;

4. 4. Steadily increase enrolments in secondary, technical and vocational schools to meet skilled manpower requirements with emphasis on equipping students with different necessary skills;

5. 5. Provide elementary education in respective mother tongue languages;

6. 6. Provide middle and secondary level education in English;

7. 7. Provide Adult and Continuing education through formal and non-formal channels and produce a more literate and skilled population;

8. 8. Make serious efforts in the sharing of the costs of education between government, communities and parents;

9. 9. Encourage the provision of education by the private sector.

 

The NDS divides education sector at different levels and focuses on the pre-primary level and targets the rural and urban children of early age.

1. The Kindergarten and Rural Community Children Center

This is the beginning of a child that introduces education and attracts the rural-urban children at their right age of three to five. These centers facilitates early childhood care and offer them physically and mental attraction under the programme Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). These centers explain about the importance of education to the parents and motivated them to enroll their children. As a result, there are 157 kindergarten and 202 Rural Community Children’s Centers are established that further strengthens the number of Pre-Primary schools particularly in the rural areas that increased form 22 to 238 in the year 2004-05.

2. 2. Elementary and Middle School Education

The eight-year education up to middle follows free and compulsory criteria with the target to achieve minimum 80% pass out of the total students in Eritrea. The ESDP document ((Framework for Integration of ICT, National Curriculum of Eritrea, Ministry of Education, Eritrea, July 2005) mentions that the Ministry of Education intends to achieve gross enrolment rates of 90% and 58%, for Elementary and Middle Education respectively by the year 2009’. This strategy is a move towards achieving the goals of Education for All and Millennium Development Goals by the year 015’. The Ministry of Education sources indicated that ‘Enrolment in elementary & middle education has increased by 26.4% from 2000/01 to 2004/05. The female student enrolment and promotion in grades are noted a positive advancement in the last five years (2000-2005) that enrolment increased from 25.1% (2001) to 60.9% (in 2005).

3. 3. Secondary School Education

The response of majority population belonging to rural areas towards education is enthusiastic. Both male and female children are keen to continue their education and as a result, the number of schools in rural areas increases more than 50% in 2005 as compared to 2000 (7 schools in 2000 and now 18 schools are present in 2005). Today, the total secondary school number is 58 in 2005 as compare to 43 schools in 2001.

 

ICT in Schools

The Concept Paper for a Rapid Transformation of the Eritrean Educational System (July 2002) on education clearly reflects this motto and writes, “ Education must be employment oriented such that at the end of any level of education any person can find employment commensurate with the person’s level of education or training”. The education system is encouraged to connect with agriculture sector, small, medium and large industries, agro-industry, health sector, technical institutions and industrial training institute. The Education Development Program (ESDP) is the beginning in the series of education reforms. ESDP mentions, “ All doors and opportunities must be open to Eritrean of all ages to develop to their full potential both professionally and personally.” The entire eight technical schools enrollment is increasing every year. Out of that, the enrollment for the year 2004/2005 is highest in Asmara Technical School having 479 students, followed by Mai-Haber Technical School 343, Hagaz Agro-Technical School 282 and the lowest is in Asmara Music School having 46 students enrollment and the total enrollment in all technical school are 2018 (PRO, Ministry of Education, June 13, 2006). The total graduates of 2004/05 are 542.

TVET Department graduates studies different programmes such as Agro-Mechanics, Animal Science, Auto-Mechanics, Building Construction, Drafting, Electricity, Electronics, Horticulture, Machine Shop, Metal, Plant Science, Surveying, Veterinary, Wood Work and 657 passed their graduation in the year 2006.The total TVET intermediate school enrollment right from 1991 to 2005 is 32,764 and female student is 7510 and TVET advanced student enrollment from 1996 to 2005 is 3928 and female student is 856 (Ministry of Education, 2006). The technical skill and training is given with the consultation of local industries, to build employment opportunities in their respective fields.

Education for Physically Challenged

Along with it, the government provides education to the physically challenge children. At present, there is one government school for the blind (Abraha Bahta Primary School) and two non--government school for the deaf . The Ministry of Education provides support to the non- government schools in providing the curriculum, capacity building and other technical matters.

The Literacy Programme

The Department of Adult and Media Education provides literacy and post-literacy programmes in mother tongue (8 local languages are used). This programme through adult education targets 85-90% of the total population by the year 2015. The literacy programme involves all the section of society including adults, ex-school drop out youth, shop keepers, house wives, farmer, etc. and generating awareness in scientific agriculture, health, environment protection and civic education. The television and radio programs are broadcasting in this respect. Along with it, this programme will raise scientific temperament among masses.

Suggestions

 

1. 1. There is a need to strengthen education colleges in Science, Social Science and Arts that will provide a complete training to students and building school teachers with Bachelor in Education. The education colleges will provide a degree in education, which helps in getting well-trained school teachers in different faculties.

2. 2. Along with the education, the school should provide sports facilities with ground facility, promoting cultural activities such as singing, dancing, debate, speech competition, folk dance, painting, rock art, etc. which will help youngster to understand the real education and its importance in life.

3. 3. There is a requirement to set up Career Advancement Unit in the schools, which will help students to decide their future in medical, engineering, agriculture, veterinary, home science, computer science, science, commerce, arts, social science, education, and other discipline. Some of the interested teachers as per their subjects should get training to guide students under carrier advancement unit. Along with it, the summer work programme in the schools may attach to carrier building and advancement.

4. 4. The science department in the schools and colleges need proper facilities in terms of laboratories, equipments for different experiments and other necessary items. There is a need to strengthen the practical science courses right form the middle school education to colleges.

5. 5. There is a need to regularize proper uniform to students, monthly scholarship schemes to meritorious students, provide reading and writing material to the needy students and arrange special teaching and learning aids to physically challenged students.

6. 6. There is a need to build up middle school and high school Board of school education. This Board will prepare a common curriculum for the students in Eritrea and conduct annual examination. The Board will provide common Question-Paper to all schools and the examination will be start at particular date in Eritrea and finish simultaneously. The Board result will prepare a combined result and announce the first 20 toppers of middle and high school students and scholarship will be given accordingly. This system will usher equality in all school curriculum, providing an atmosphere of competition among students and get the required result accordingly.

Part-V and Final

Eritrea profile, Vol.14, No.11, 14 April 2007

Health Sector Development and Self Reliant Movement

Health is always considered an important aspect right from the liberation movement. The liberated area under EPLF in Eritrea covered with the basic medical and health facilities and same tempo may be felt today under the national development programme. Mr. Saleh Meki, Minister of Health gave a detailed account of the activities carried out and their outcome vis-à-vis ensuring public health. He stated that 70% of the Eritrean population is now having access to health services. He added that the referral hospitals opened in the country at huge cost are effectively operating in full capacity and that there are plans to construct additional major and middle level hospitals in different parts of the country (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007).

Gash Barka, the largest region in the country, is the center for the socio-economic development of the country. The growth of 69 health facilities centers in the region are able to control Malaria and engaged in controlling the vaccine preventable diseases like T.B., Polio and Tetanus. Diarrhea is controlled through the potable water delivery system and 70 % of regions population of rural areas is benefited. The newly built Barentu Regional Referral hospital has 198 beds having eye-clinic, medicine, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics departments. Over all, this region having three hospitals, 15 health centers, 51-health stations ad more importantly recruiting 412 health personnel will surely be on asset (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.72, 15 November 2006).

The 2 million-health centers would include 5 rooms, staff quarters and premises in Himbol, Kerkebet sub-zone. It provides equitable social service in remote areas and local inhabitants to make good use of the available facilities (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.37, 15 July 2006). Similarly, the Mendefera Referral Hospital of the Southern region carried out surgeries on over 60 women with Fistula complications and will carry every six-month under health generation programme (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.78, 6 December 2006).

Other Developments and Self-Reliant Movement

1. 1. Mr. Amna Nurhussein, Minister of Tourism, highlighted policy-related issues and tourism law. She pointed out that the Ministry’s main objective is that of making Eritrea a tourist destination. Ms. Amna further explained that striving to conserve the nation’s tourism resources and making the sector a continued source of income, as well as promoting domestic tourism and popularizing our tourism potentials constitute some f the long-term programmes of the ministry (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007). The strategically important historical sits exist potential areas of tourism in Mendefera sub-zone. The Mendefera Hotel and Recreation Center is built for tourism sector that could make significant contribution to national economic development. The tourism potential is identified in the southern region particularly in Filfil Selomuna, Dahlak Islands and port city of Massawa (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.90, 17 January 2007). ‘The Millennium Beach Hotel is under construction along the Massawa sea shore at a cost of Nakfa 120 million, would comprise 86 bed rooms, different entertainment facilities and swimming pool, a hall that could accommodate about 325 people and a restaurant with a capacity of hosting 350 people at a given time. The construction will expect to be finalized by 2008 (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.37, 15 July 2006).

2. 2. The inhabitants of Begesa administrative area in Adi-Tekelezan sub-zone are clearing up 6 Km long road linking Begesa with Era-Laelai through popular campaign. This link would play a vital role in alleviating transportation problems that the local inhabitants have been facing (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.43, 5 August 2006). ‘The inhabitants of Adi Yakine, Adi-Shelemun and Adi Haisn administarctiove areas in Emni Haili sub-zone renovated 7 Km long road and render efficient transport service to 10 villages in the sub-zone. (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.41, 29 July 2006). The inhabitants of 10 villages in Fenshenbeker administrative areas, Halhale sub-zone, have constructed a 12 Km long road that links Keren-Halhale road with Mearki. The undertaking involves the construction to Bosdoba and renovation of another 4 Km connecting the Keren-Halhale road with Feshenbeku, which was out of function for the past 2 years (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.57, 23 September 2006). Along with it, 115.2 Km long terracing, 3375 cubic meters of embankments and renovation of a 20 Km long road linking Gerger-Gerso and Tahre has been put in place (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.55, 16 September 2006). President Issaias himself toured road construction projects in the Kohaito-Demhina areas of the Adi Keih sub-zones as well as various lanes that connect small villages with the main roads (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.56, 20 September 2006). ‘The 3-phased construction of Masawa-Asab road built 101 Large and small brides so far. The previous 58 Km long Massawa-Foro road has been reduced to 46 Km and the travel has been shortened to half an hour’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.72, 15 November 2006).

3. 3. Projects worth 7 million Nakfa including a library and youth hall were inaugurated on March 22 in Dubarwa. The building complexes are equipped with cafeterias, basket ad volleyball fields and shopping areas and cinema (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.6, 28 March 2007). The branch office of the Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare in the Southern Red Sea region has extended school materials assistance to 300 needy students of worth 67,000 Nakfa includes school fee money and buying uniforms. The office is also extending different assistance to improve the living standard of needy and disabled citizens in the area (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.72, 15 November 2006). Recently, the Sawa National Center for Vocational Training offers courses on Information Technology, management, metal and wood works, heavy machinery, surveying, commerce, computer technology and other under human resource development programme. Over 4000 national service students of 2006 who did not secure passing grades in the school leaving certificates exam have enrolled in the center. The 900 youths have received different vocational training in 2006 graduated on January 13 that included first aid, video-graphy, journalism, metal and wood works and karate (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007). A public library is Asmara, Central region, was renovated at the expense exceedingly Nakfa 3.5 million in 2006. The Administration has given permission for construction of the community library of Edaga-Hamuse, Asmara, and also donated about 150,000 Nakfa to the community library of Algen library in 2006 (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.94, 31 January 2007).

4. 4. Housing is one of the priority issues for the Eritrean. Keeping that in mind, the government has allocated Land to 181 nationals in Segeneiti town for construction of a semi-villa, 40 for-villa, 32 for a nationals and 6for G+1 with each beneficiary having 250 to 500 meter square plots’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.43, 5 August 2006). ‘In continuation of the Government’s efforts to alleviate housing problems and construct new building complexes for business purposes, a large portion of this year’s construction tasks would focus on building residential houses’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.87, 6 January2007).

5. 5. A telecommunication office building at a cost of 13 million Nakfa have been constructed in Dubarwa sub-zone, southern region. The construction of public library at a cost of 6 million Nakfa and youth recreation Center has been finalized. In addition, 15 Km long road linking different villages in the sub-zone have been renovated (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.84, 27 December 2006). A telecommunication building in Hagaz town, Anseba region having 9 rooms that include offices for telephone services, customers waiting hall, store and other facilities (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.51, 2 September 2006). ‘An information system unit has been set up in Gash-Barka region to help draft and implement future programs. It will establish a coordinated information system centers in all the administrative regions, which provide information regarding age, gender, level of education, occupation, ethnic origin, religion, monthly income and the l9ke of every individual’ (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.87, 6 January 2007).

6. 6. Electricity lines are being installed in Idi, Southern Red Sea region in line with the plans outlined to distribute electricity in the villages and semi urban centers of the region. A similar task of installation is to continue in Barasole and Tio of this region (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.43, 5 August 2006). The government of China donated different electricity equipments to Eritrea worth over 600,000 dollars for backing up the nation’s ongoing efforts to distributing power lines in the rural areas (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.48, 23 August 2006).

7. 7. The task of distributing electricity supply to 10 villages of Segeneiti sub zone is underway that includes villages such as Hebo, Digsa, Maiha, Berakit Abay, Akrur, Degralbae, Adi-Hadid, Birkito, Adi-Khuta, and Ewanet(Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.7, 31 March 2007).

 

8. 8. The Wasay-Yikeallo campaign endeavors to infrastructure development and two cement factories and Asphalt Production are established south of Asmara. The building of Truck Terminals at Bet-Ghergish, Asmara will start service in 2007 (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.94, 31 January 2007). Similarly, the Tomato paste and Banana factory propound Alebu as part of agro-industrial developments. Mr. Tesfai Gebreselasie, Minister of Energy and Mines, outlined work accomplishment in mining, the current situation in energy and mines, and investment opportunities in the sector. The primary at4tention is being given to ensure the contribution of mining in efforts to achieve sustainable development (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007).

 

9. 9. The inhabitants of Karora and Nakfa participated in development programs to ensure food security. Along wit h it, regarding infrastructure, 90 Km long feeder roads, 5 new kindergartens, 1 health station, 4 water distribution centers have been constructed. The water diversion schemes and similar undertakings would be undertaken at a cost of 15 million Nakfa in 2007, including re-forestation activities carried out to avoid erosion. More over, 8 new health centers would be constructed and 21 health stations renovated, in addition to constructing 267 extra classrooms to the elementary, junior and high schools (Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.7, 31 March 2007).

10. 10. The micro-loan and saving scheme in Tessenai sub-zone has extended loan amounting to over 11 million Nakfa in the past 9 months to 690 nationals engaged in commercial and agricultural activities. The 90 % of the loan was extended to rehabilitated citizens and over 5 million Nakfa has been provided in loan to 600 citizens in the area for agricultural activities (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.72, 15November 2006).

Assessment of Implementation of Development Programme 2006 and Conclusion

“The joint meeting of Cabinet Ministers, regional administration and operation Commanders discussed the ongoing development programmes in Massawa on August 30. 2006. Various issues such as step-by-step shifting from traditional farming to modern agriculture, construction of agricultural infrastructure (dam, fold diversions and irrigation) were discussed.

1. 1. The Structural and organizational efficiency of the agricultural activities of all the regional administrations, the coordination of work among farmers and agricultural experts and its developments were raised.

2. 2. The major national task of soil and water conservation and the programs underway to combat desertification and restore terrestrial features.

3. 3. Discussions also went on with regards to vital economic development programs such as the construction of roads, provision of potable water supply, expansion and intensification of educational services, health and communications vis-à-vis development and economic strategy o the coming year and efforts to ensure food security.

4. 4. The availability of an efficient and reliable information system on population and land demography along with its methodology and through analysis data that plays a decisive role in the formulation of strategic national policies and development programs were discussed.

5. 5. The importance of Geographic Information System (GIS) convinced for smooth map out development programs and effectively implementation of policies.

 

The Cabinet equitable distribution of social services, allocate nation’s human and material resources and ensure fair distribution of national resources. The land allotment and ensuring equitable distribution in this domain, the effective implementation of progress to rehabilitate displaced nationals were discussed and finalized (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.51, 2 September 2006). President Issaias Afwerki held an assessment meeting on 26 October 2006 in Agordat and inspected food security and infrastructure develop in gash-Barka region in 2006. He himself checked water diversion schemes, bridges, micro dams and roads of this region. President Issaias elaborated that the leveling of farmlands, availability of selected seeds, irrigation farming, fertilizers and pesticides, agro-industrial programs, livestock development and reforestation are of great significance (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.68, 1 November2006). Earlier President Issaias conducted a three days tour of inspection in the Gash Barka region, sub-zones of Golij, Tesseney, Haikota, Shambuko and Molki to observe the overall agricultural progress and infrastructure development programmes. He visited tomato paste and banana-packaging factory; private owned sorghum farmland and sorghum fields and observed results of development programme (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.62, 11 Ocotber2006).

Overall, Eritrea’s basic economic policy is to build a strong economy characterized by social justice, improving the people’s standard of living and ensuring national sovereignty. Vigorous efforts have been executed to ensure active role of the Government and the private sector in economic development. But the self-reliance movement is a real challenge in the development of political economy of the country. There is a need to check malpractices such as corruption, big donations, exchange of expensive gifts and lavish goods to get contracts and other services. The stringent law is required to combat it on the one hand and to provide the maximum facilities to the people through this movement on the other hand. Mr. Berhane Abreha, Minister of Finance said that the government resolutely combating different manifestation that undermines the country’s economic potential such as corruption and other malpractices. He stated that they should make due contribution in promoting trade and investment as well as the transfer of expertise to be implemented on the basis of partnership (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007).

It is the right step towards the peoples’ development and self-reliant economy. The corrupt-free system may strengthen political, social, economic and foreign affairs- a real self-reliance in practice.

Origin and Rise of Nationalism and its Relevance in Eritrea

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.104, 7 March 2007

Part-I

http://www.shabait.com

Introduction

Nation-state is regarded nationalism in modern history movement as paramount for the realization of social, economic, and cultural aspiration of people. Nationalism is characterized principally by a feeling of community among people, based on common descent, language, and religion. Historically, the tendency toward nationalism was fostered by various political, economic, cultural, and technological advances. Improvement in communications extended the knowledge of people beyond their village or province. The spread of education in vernacular tongues gave them the feeling of participation in a common cultural heritage. Through education, people learned of their common background and tradition and began to identify themselves with the historical continuity of the nation. The introduction of national constitutions and the struggle for political rights gave peoples the senses of helping to determine their fate as a nation and of sharing responsibility for the future well-being of that nation. At the same time the growth of trade and industry laid the basis for economic units larger than the traditional cities or provinces.

Eritrea “nationhood is long, complicated historical process with political, economic, social and cultural aspects to it, as in other Third World Countries, this process is not yet concluded, as we should consider the development and strengthening of Eritrean nationalism and the unity of its people as the major tasks we must undertake”. (NCE: 13)

The beginning of origin of modern nationalism may be traced back to the disintegration, at the end of the middle Ages, of the social order in Europe and of the cultural unity of the various European states. The breakup of feudalism, the prevailing social and economic system, was accompanied by the development of larger communities, wider social interrelations, and dynasties that fostered feelings of nationality in order to win support for their rule. The French Revolution 1789, The revolution of 1848 in central Europe, World War-I and World War-II marked the awakening of various peoples to national consciousness. African nationalism rose to reclaim Africa for Africans and it strengthened their independence struggle.

Origin of Nationalism in Eritrea

Eritrea nationalism signifies the oldest civilization that examine through its ancient archeology from Buhya to Nakfa started from 4000 B.C. Eritrean history of Political Nationalism starts from the earliest sight of Buhya in the south west to the most recent site of Nakfa in the North. Like wise, these traces show the different stages of the civilization of man and it becomes more interesting because we find these traces of ancient man on the land of Eritrea. Traces of one million year old man and other mammals have been found in Denkalia represent themselves the part of this ancient civilization. Eritrea political nationalism was a part of the Aksumite kingdom during the 4th century AD and expanded into Ottaman Empire during the 16th century. The history of political nationalism during 4000 BC is further divided into social, cultural and economic nationalism equipped with advanced Science and Technology belonging to the period.

One finds the traces of human civilization in Eritrea Buhya (located in Denakil Depression) and this is the beginning of Eritrean nationalism started by going one million year back. This place (Buhya) needs more scientific study, research and excavations, which helps us to understand the great civilization of ancient man belonging to Eritrean nationalism. Moreover, there are number of traditional sites found in historical monasteries, where one find ancient human skeleton reserved in a good condition. This is a lesson for us and an issue of scientific methodology that how those people were able to keep their dead for such a long time (With the help of Science and Technology of that period) through the process called “Mummies” that showed the type of advance scientific nationalism those people had.

There are many traces of Cultural Nationalism in form of artistic works in caves like painting and curved from stone, which are clear examples of ancient civilization in Eritrea. The cultural nationalism is explained through the well-decorated caves that shows the rich art and culture of that civilization and people. The caves are self-explanatory historical sites for the modern generation to understand rich cultural nationalism. The painting work in Emba Chelai, the pillars in Kohaito, the decorated grave-yard of the Derbush in Massawa and other are traces of ancient period in Eritrea. Moreover, Eritrea Social Nationalism is seen from the Red Sea coast stretches more than 1,000 km, and it is from this body water that the country derived its name (Erythraea, Greek for “red”). The earliest food-producing inhabitants of Eritrea nationality are thought to have moved from the Nile valley into the Mereb-Setit lowlands in about 4000 BC.

Over the next several thousand years, Eritrea experienced migrations of Nilotic, Cushitic, and Semitic-speaking peoples into what became one of the earliest regions of crop and livestock domestication in Africa. Today, the majority (estimated 81 percent) of Eritrean nationalities is living in the villages having agriculture and livestock as major occupations. One can say that Eritrean nationalities are predominated as agricultural communities. The agricultural relations traces back to this period that proves Eritrean community cultural affinities that strengthens cultural nationalism as such. It proves the ideology of son of the soil that shines Eritrean nationalism.

The ancient part of Adulis port and Kohaito town show that they were part of ancient civilizations. Kohaito is one of the biggest ancient historical sites in Africa and it is believed that this civilization had strong ties of trade and agriculture in this region. From as early as 3000 BC, Eritrea was involved in trade on the Red Sea. Our different archeological site witnessed that Eritreans were aware of precious stone, gold and other metals. Even today, Eritrea is having valuable potash deposits, gold, iron, and petroleum (but exploration and exploitation of its mineral resources were severely hindered by three decades of war). This proves Eritrea brotherhood relations with the other parts of the world during this period and recognized Economic Nationalism. All the Colonizers (Italian, British and Ethiopia) attempted to destroy Eritrea historical nationalism through Divide and Rule policy and Religious Communalism, which failed to work in the land of Eritrea. Ethiopia launched the war against independent Eritrea in 1998-2000 to snatch the trade route but this economic nationalism trade route right from the 3000 BC is further justified by the Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission judgment. The historical continuity of this route with Middle East, Asia and other African countries flourished Eritrea economic nationalism till today and need no justifications. The Bunkers and other under ground buildings, which were built during the liberation struggle, are examples of some of the most wonderful traces of Eritrea’s modern history.

Rise of Nationalism and Liberation Movement

This cultural unity produced a kind of unique political nationalism that started its journey at the time of Italian colonialism (1890) that lasted over fifty years. This was the beginning of modernization in terms of rise of new cities and ports, highways and rail roads, factories and modern farms. Eritrean society started visiting the other parts of country, meeting the people and shared common experience. This people-to-people movement initiated the rise of nationalism during the period of Italian colonialism. “The extent of colonial influence may have varied from place to place (some might not have been touched), but the ever-expanding interaction among Eritreans, combined with their reaction to increasing Italian oppression, and sowed the seed of Eritrean national consciousness. The establishment of the fist modern Eritrean political association, Mahber Fikri Hager (Love of One’s Country), at the conclusion of the Italian colonial era and the coming of the British, is a clear testimony to national consciousness”(NCE:4). British colonial policy of Divide and Rule ( that worked in most of the Afro-Asian countries) failed to work in Eritrea. It is important to mention here that the apartheid policy in South Africa, and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 was the result of Divide and Rule policy. Eritrean society understood their tactics after sometime. Moreover, British short term colonial policy did not affect Eritrean society much like other Afro-Asian countries.

The issue of nationalization of ‘Suez Canal’ forced British colonialists to change their tactics which gave Ethiopia an opportunity to intervene in Eritrea. This was the period of 1952 that Ethiopia (under the pretext of United Nations Resolution on Federation) started interference in Eritrea’s internal independence. Eritrea’s resistance movement took another shape to fight against this kind of colonialism and the slogan of nationalism got strengthened. “One of the significant accomplishments of this period was the visible expansion Eritrean national struggle which had started in the forties: the emergence of workers and students movements, and specially the establishment and expansion of the Eritrean Liberation Movement i.e. Mahber Showate’ (NCE: 5). The economic nationalism ( particularly the Red Sea Trade) and Eritrea’s relations with the other parts of world was destroyed during Ethiopian colonialism on the one hand and introduced bribery, cheating, laziness and crime in our society on the other hand. This continued for forty years only with the support of USA and later on the USSR. “The Eritrean revolution with the support of its resources and people encouraged inventiveness and ingenuity in all fields” (NCE: 6) contributed to Eritrean nationalism and national reconstruction. The armed struggle of Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) started in 1961. “However, the ELF’s outlook and approach were not conducive to the unity of Eritrean people, nor were they helpful to nation-building and to the success of the struggle” (NCE: 6). ELF launched sub-ethnic movements based on ethnic, religious and regional lines benefited Ethiopian colonialism. But it was not a correct political line of ELF for national struggle. Ethiopian rulers took opportunity of these sub-ethnic movements and worked tirelessly to divide the society. “In the sixties, they burnt mosques while sparing churches. Later, they tried to appear to be advocates for lowlanders. They relentlessly practiced their divisive politics even at the lowest level, creating conflicts between villages, and even among people within a village” (NCE: 6-7). ELF tried to change the stream of 4000BC nationalism ultimately disappeared from Eritrean politics.

The Ideological Differences on the Issue of Nationalism

The organizational and ideological differences to understand the nature of society produced division within the ELF, culminating in the late 1970s with the emergence of the Eritrean people’s Liberation Front (EPLF). EPLF believed in Unity in Diversity and concretized Eritrean nationalism and challenged the Ethiopian government. “The EPLF created a forum of struggle in which all Eritrean who opposed colonial rule, and were desirous of independence, could participate regardless of their religion, language, ethnicity, class and gender. It enhanced Eritrean nationalism, and prepared the ground for national unity, overriding all divisive and narrow-minded attitudes. It taught and practiced equality of all citizens. In all its policies and actions, the EPLF cultivated nationalism and unity of the people of Eritrea” (NCE: 7). Following the Ethiopian revolution of 1974, its new regime continued attempts to defeat the EPLF militarily. Nevertheless, Ethiopian forces controlled only the main urban centers, and from 1980 the EPLF increasingly gained upper hand and finally liberated the whole Eritrean soil in May 1991, and established provisional government. The referendum in April 1993 provided a virtually unanimous vote in favor of independence and showed political nationalism intact to the world. On May 28, 1993, the United Nations formally admitted Eritrea to its membership.

 

The Post Independent Nationalism in Eritrea

Today, Eritrean nationalism is a mixture of the Red Sea coastal plain, the south central plateau highland, the hill country of the north and Midwest; and the broad western plains having different rivers like Barka, Setit, The Mereb (or Gash), the Anseba, Falkat, Laba, and Alighede having a mixture of multi-languages, cultural and religions. Eritrea is having half the population are Tigrinya-speaking Christians and half the population are Muslims, which is further divided into several ethnic linguistic groups such as Tigre, Saho, Bilen, Afar or Denakil, Hedareb, Baria and Kunama. The cultural nationalism right from the ancient civilization of Eritrea shaped secular society that stood together during all the crisis period right from the Scramble of Africa (1889) till today. Eritrea is having a combination of multi ethnic-linguistic-religious society. The process of nation-building that started during the Italian colonialism needs to flourish with in the parameters of our political, economic, social and cultural nationalism decided during the independence movement. The focal inspiration of nationalism enshrines in Unity in Diversity. Along with it, political, economic and cultural self-reliance is the coherent part of independent Eritrea. “Politically, it means to follow an independent line and give priority to internal conditions; economically, to rely on internal capabilities and develop internal capacities; and culturally, to have self-confidence and develop one’s own cultural heritage” (NCE: 16). Self-Reliant helped in building Eritrea own political models, economic planning and foreign policy to deal international relations successfully. One may drive the broader parameters of nationalism into four sub-parts.

Eritrea Profile, Vol.14, No.1, 10 March 2007

Part-II

1. 1. Political Nationalism

The post independent Eritrea integral with the national unity and developed its idea on nationalism accordingly. Following the liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1991, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) took over control of administration but agrees to hold a referendum on independence. The electorate approved independence in April 1993, and Mr. Isaias Afewerki, the then secretary General of the EPLF, was formally elected President by the National Assembly in June 1993. A new constitution was approved in 1997. The main political party exist in Eritrea is the former EPLF that is renamed and known as People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) in 1994. The political democracy meant “The People of Eritrea, to be active participants and become decision makers in the administration and conduct of their lives and of their country, with their rights guaranteed by law and in practice” and we “become a respected member of the international community, by coexisting harmony and cooperation with its neighbors; and by contributing, to the extent of its capability, to regional and global peace, security and development” (NCE: 11).

The political nationalism respects unity in diversity and equality of Eritrean people. The political equality means equal right of representation and rejected all sectarian tendencies (based on region, language, religion, ethnicity, etc.) to determine equality. The political national system should be secular, separate from religion, yet respectful of the equality of religions. Our ancient civilization (4000 BC) and post revolution independent Eritrean nationhood is the only basis of all political institutions and policies. One may say that renaissance of political nationalism will curb all the colonial legacies from the society and come forward with it, on which all Eritrean feel proud to say himself or herself ‘Pure Eritrean’. The pure Eritrean never means that we include the Eritreans living in the country and will discriminate with ‘Eritrean Living Abroad.’ The pure Eritrean defines as, “It is the collective force, which fought liberation movement and contributed in it either on the land of Eritrea or from abroad as per the capacity and respect the land and constitution of our independent country”. The EPLF nationalistic slogan during the freedom struggle (Politicized, Organize and Arm the Masses) is re-shaped in the renaissance today and it is Unity in Diversity, Equality and Social Justice.

Overall, “all our leadership and cadres at all levels, and the activities of the government and the political movement must spread to all corners of the country, including those distant areas which until recently served as our base areas and headquarters” (NCE: 18) will reinforce Eritrea political nationalism in true spirit. Further, “the constitutional political system guarantees unity and balanced development for our people and ensures national independence and security” (NCE: 20). “We must ensure that the political system is based on the principle of complete and developing nationalism” (NCE: 24).

2. 2. Economic Nationalism

It is the foundation of Eritrea political nationalism. The economic development From the Above or From the Below in society will decide the economic nationalism How Eritrea want to develop. Today, economic nationalism may be divided into two forms, which will help us to understand the meaning and explanation of it.

A. A. Market Nationalism

This concept leads the country’s interest towards market economy, what is known today the liberalization or globalization. The market mercantilism ignores the prerequisite requirements of the society and gets attracted towards the masters and money-suppliers. Eritrea nationalism explains this philosophy by saying that, “In building an economy too, the most decisive factor is human resources, not natural or capital resources, or foreign aid and investments. There are countries with limited natural resourced which have reached high level of development. By contrast, there are several countries with abundant natural endowments, which have remained backward and still cannot even feed their people” (NCE: 14). Moreover, there is a need to create conductive environment to economic nationalism in terms of development. Economic development needs appropriate strategies and policies to develop human resources and proper utilization of natural resources and develop market regulations, which can be progressively relaxed as the market becomes strong and mature enough. Eritrea economic nationalism rejects the philosophy of market nationalism or mercantilism and adopted indigenous nationalism.

B. B. Indigenous Nationalism

Eritrea economic development is based on social justice. The human factor, “strong will, diligence, efficiency, the work ethnic, discipline, ability and skills, and inventiveness” (NCE: 14) is the basis of indigenous nationalism. The ancient civilization represented an agricultural dominated society having education, trade health and used science and technology effectively. Today, “we must strive to build a people-oriented society in which every Eritreans can develop his/her capacity, free from oppression, fear, poverty and ignorance” (NCE: 15). There is a need to strengthen cooperativeness and community development organization for enhancing public participation and development of a people based economy.

Agriculture and growing livestock is the central premise of economic nationalism right from ancient period depending on the rainfall (the plateau region and in the north and west) and drier (coastal plain and the arid regions) physical conditions. Eritrean government compliments ancient economic nationalism and working tirelessly in the development of infrastructure, distribution of water through micro channels and introducing science and technology in the agriculture sector. The need of scientific technology requires changing the old pattern of agriculture, which will promote the idea of self- reliant in this sector. The economic nationalism will strengthen with the introduction of Horticulture, Floriculture, Dairy, Poultry and Livestock Production, Fisheries, Prawn, Shrimp and Oyster Cultivation; Forest i.e. generation and Production of Bio-Diesel and Promotion of Green Environment.

Along with it, Agro-Processing with Diversification will strengthen the individual income on the one hand and improve Eritrea economic nationalism on the hand. The cash crops like sunflower and sesame (for oil), Potato, Tomato (for chips and other products, tomato sauce and juice), Garlic (for sauce), Cotton, Basmati Rice, Sugarcane, Gram, Cashew nuts, Jute, Ragi and other are part of agro-processing industries that could generate more income and employment opportunities. Agro-processing units can target both the local market as well as export market. The coordinal relations between industries and agriculture producers through government scheme will give their due share of profit through national market and export. The growing livestock needs more Veterinary Hospitals, Commercial feed to save grazing areas and more information’s regarding Poultry, Fisheries, Prawn culture and Dairy farms. The scientific innovations will persuade farmers to receive agricultural training courses, awareness of information technology in agriculture sector, use of animal husbandry and scientific civic society.

This is the beginning of Eritrea economic nationalism, which is known as Warsay Yikaalo. Agriculture and livestock production will strengthen the agro-industrial sector like textile, food processing, leather production and others. The agriculture sector will strengthen Eritrea urban economy and give a way to the growth of industrial sector in the field of mining, oil excavation and defense. The war ravaged economy needs a strategy to coordinate between public and private sectors and encourage people’s participation to improve agriculture, industry, commerce and social services.

3. 3. Social Nationalism

The social and economic development meant to progress socially and economically in the areas of education, technology and the standard of living” (NCE: 11). “The population of Eritrea, whose unity is rooted in a long tradition of peaceful and harmonious coexistence, and as reinforced by the long struggle, is one of the most unified population among societies with similar social structures. Because of this unity, victory was achieved, and peace and stability now prevail in the independent Eritrea. And the establishment of Eritrea’s government reflects and reinforces this broad based unity” (NCE: 7). The sacrifice during liberation struggle debars Eritrean society under inequality of distribution. The concept of equality in Eritrea will be fulfilled with the development of education. There is a need to build schools in all the villages with Free and Compulsory Education will lead to equality in political, social and economic terms. The basic necessities like portable water, bread, cloth, shelter, health, sanitation, and communication services should be part of Eritrea core social services that will lead to equality and justices in real terms. Here the social equality is not isolated from economic equality and the working class will work peacefully having secured rights like employment rights, vacation, education and minimum standards.

The people of Eritrea live in harmony, peace and stability and there is no discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, linguistic, religion and gender. Moreover, the social nationalism gets strengthen with the implementation of social justice to the downtrodden. Social justice includes economic and social democracy and “Equitable distribution of wealth, services and opportunities and special attention to be paid to the most disadvantaged sections of society” (NCE: 11). It needs People’s Participation at all levels in the society whether it is the agenda of education, health, development projects, expansion of social services, fight for women’s equality and awakening of rural population in all these activities.

Eritrea social justice signifies importance towards have-nots and social nationalism fights to narrowing the gap between have and have-nots and establish the real equality in the society. Social justice ensures “all people have their share of the national wealth, and can participate in the political, social and cultural life of the country, to creating balanced development, respecting human rights and advancing democracy” (NCE: 16).

4. 4. Cultural Nationalism

A national culture is the foundation of a developed political economy and a modern political system. It will help Eritreans to participate in the development of international culture. Eritrea ancient cultural heritage (right from 4000 BC) of music, literature, visual are, folk dances, etc. will usher in building the required changes in the modern culture. “Caution should be exercised so that aspects of our heritage such as love of family and people, and community care and cooperation, are not eroded by individualism and selfishness in the name of modernization” (NCE: 31).

The annual festival in the Expo, Asmara is the part of the cultural nationalism. The cultural renaissance is felt in the post independent Eritrea. Ethiopia colonialism introduced the evils like corruption, laziness, crime and cheating in the society, which is never been a part of Eritrea since ancient period. Eritrea cultural practices, Eritrean ethics and moral values have a rich cultural heritage. The cultural renaissance will reaffirm Eritrean past traditions and values to strengthen their cultural nationalism today. “Drawing on our rich cultural heritage and on the progressive values we developed during the liberation struggle, to develop an Eritrean culture characterized by love of country, respect for humanity, solidarity between men and women, love of truth and justice, respect for law, hard work, self-confidence, self-reliance, open mindedness and inventiveness” (NCE: 11).

Conclusion

The liberation movement endorsed Eritrean self-reliance, patriotism, love of people and truth, gender equality, determination, desire for justice, work dedication as part of cultural nationalism. Along with it all our martyrs and freedom fighters respect as national heroes as part of cultural traditions and practices. Along with it, Eritrea cultural nationalism will be know as internationally because of peaceful co-existence, non-alignment, mutual interest and mutual cooperation.

Overall, the political, social, economic and cultural nationalism believe in victory to the masses and build Eritrean nationalism accordingly. Eritrea nationalism reinforces their efforts under nationalization of land and its distribution, reintegration and rehabilitation of combatants and families of Martyrs and affirms National Service Program (Warsay-Yikaalo Program) in the reconstruction of Eritrea.

Reference

NCE: A National Charter for Eritrea, For a Democratic: Just and Prosperous Future, Approved by the Third Congress of The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), Nakfa, February 1994.

Failure of Dollar Democracy and TPLF Expansionist Policy in Somalia

STOP Woyane Fascism in Horn of Africa

Dr. Suresh Kumar

Eritrea Profile,Vol.13, No.92, 24 January 2007

The USA and Tigre People Liberation Front (TPLF) of Woyane failed to challenge the people’s power in Somalia and starting retreat safely under the cover of US Marine Commandos from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. One needs to know the reality behind this attack. The Islamic Court Union (ICU) was on the way to establish peace and stability through persuasion (With other groups) in the country. The ICU opened air and sea routes for the people to people contact, revival of economic set up and enhancing friendly ties with neighborhood countries. The changing domestic and international environment in Somalia is one of the biggest shocks to Ethiopian Woyane adventurous policies. Along with it, the peace and stability is direct threat to US oil and weapon industries as the ICU will put a check on exploration of oil free of cost from its sea coast and arms weapon smuggling. One of the objective of the US and Ethiopia is to destabilize Somalia and deny the country a comprehensive peace by perpetrating civil war so as to fragment it further. ‘Recently, peace has dawned in Mogadishu and it is witnessed even by the UNO’ (Alahram, Daily Newspaper, Egypt, January 10, 2007).

Historically, Ethiopian expansionist policies in this region are known right from the beginning of cold war period. The Ethiopia-Somalia three wars right from 1964 proved Ethiopian expansionism on the one hand and resulted into animosity between the two countries on the other hand. Despite this animosity, TPLF tried to show its muscle power in Somalia having millions of Dollar-pool-bath working in this background and imposed puppet government of Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf against Somali people. The US being an aide to Ethiopia channeled their strategy and creating problem in Eritrea, Somalia and the rest of the region. Mr. Meles Zenawi government of Ethiopia is trying to implement its brutal design on the name of Implementation of Democracy and Peace Process in Somalia. USA being an ally always forgets the result of free and fair election 2005 in Ethiopia, which went against Mr. Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles ignored the majority people’s opinion and is running a minority government with the support of Woyane and this brutal design is known as Implementation of Democracy. Moreover, the recent election in USA held in October 2006 proved that 67.34% of people of America have rejected Bush foreign policy. President Isaias remarked, “Therefore, if democracy has a meaning, and if the voice of the majority is to be taken seriously, Bush should have resigned by now- - - must be an example to others by exercising the said virtues” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.91, 20 January 2007). Even then, USA as producer of this brutal design is believing arbitrarily to establish Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf under its neocolonial policies of Implementation of Dollar Democracy. Similarly, Iraq and Afghanistan are carrying this brutal type of democracy under the shelter of US armaments on the name of war against terrorism. These are the models of dollar democracy is seen in Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and trying to establish in Somalia.

The Ethiopian government tried to implement the same brutal design through transitional government in Somalia. The producer (USA) of this design failed to establish this evil through bombardments and air-attacks in Somalia. The producer named this brutal design as Introduction of Democracy. The research article on TPLF (Bay of Pigs): Threat to Peace and Stability in Horn of Africa, vol.13, No.52, 6th September 2006 already explained the nature of TPLF and its interference in this region but the US dollar democracy adamant to hear about its cruel face and attacked through TPLF, the mercenary clique of Mr. Meles in Somalia.

Reasons of Failure of Dollar Democracy in Somalia

The US introduces this brutal design of democratic governance, peace process and clubbed it with War against Terrorism in different parts of world is severely criticized in all democratic forums, institutions and society. Everybody knows that “It is open secret today that Osama is genuine product of US during the cold ware period--- and US army now fighting against its own Stringer Missiles or Taliban Militia” (Eritrea Profile, vol.13, No.88, 10 January 2007). This is failure of US Dollar democracy in the world and as a result US changes its definition on democratic ideas and its implementation depending upon the country to country. US is not worried about Ethioian peoples human rights and genocide but can go to any extent in Iraq on the name of democracy. The Somali understands US vandalism since 1992 (US army retreated from Somalia) and reacting sharply against expansionist policies of Woyane having label of US Introduction of Democracy. “Is it fair to see Somalia being invaded be neighboring country? --- Was international intervention necessary? What is the nature and goal of this operation? ---All this actions can’t solve anything. The stand of Eritrea and Egypt is similar here”(Alahram, Daily Newspaper, Egypt, January 10, 2007). Following reasons are the cause of failure of dollar democracy such as:

· Can US $ and its weapon industries stand against the Somali unity with the collaboration of Woyane (having TPLF) regime?

· US Bay of Pigs (CIA) failed in Cuba in 1961. Today, TPLF (acts like Bay of Pigs) is retreating from Ethiopia under the cover of US Commandos. Can US $ control any part of world against the people’s sentiment successfully on the name of this brutal democracy and war against terrorism?

· Can US bullet cum dollar proof shield protect TPLF militants in Somalia (having million $ sponsorship to TPLF and Mr. Abdullahi)?

· Does US $ has Magic Stick (like fairy-tale comic books) that declare any human being a Super-Man (Mr. Abdullahi) and imposed as Prime Minister in Somalia)?

· Does US $ propagates the anti-people democracy in Africa? The Ethiopian government acts as puppet under the hands of Woyane and the same formulation is going to push in Somalia (through Mr. Abdullahi).

· This democratic set-up suits the US imperialistic design and Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and efforts for Somalia are vigilant examples of this design. Is it the meaning of real democracy---Really---?

· Does the manufacturers of US $ (Weapon and oil industries) provide any bread on humanitarian ground rather then bullets in any parts of world? (Nobody seen this till today).

· US $ democracy needs to remember what Lincoln foundation says about democracy:

Democracy of the people, by the people and for the people.

And never

Democracy off the people, bye the people and forgets the people.

 

Today, Somali community posed two options: either of Woyane bullet and $ or indigenous bread and they chose second option keeping their future in mind. That’s why, TPLF failed to face the people sentiment in Somalia and cannot sustain against Somali protest and guerilla tactics.

Alternative to Woyane Fascism and Conclusion

The US continuous air attack in support of TPLF militants on Somali-Kenya border having dense forest failed to crush the resistance of Somali people. President Isaias Afwerki, The State of Eritrea rightly pointed out, “The turmoil being created the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia by the US administration through its mercenary agent, the TPLF regime, would incur dangerous consequences” (Eritrea Profile, No. 89, 13 January 2007).

The air-attack of US destroyed the major part of dense forest on the name of peaceful democratic puppet mechanism (of Mr. Abdullahi) and war against terrorism. The number of Science Reports already mentioned that US cities vehicular air pollution is the real threat to global warming and this naked and brutal act of bombing has capacity of thousand tones on name of brutal democracy and war against terrorism is another threat to existence of humanity including global environment. The US bombing in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and continuous threat to Iran is the part of neocolonial imperialism, which will help its puppet like Mr. Meles and other to carry forward their expansionist policies. That’s why, US does not hesitate to kill hundreds of innocent people and their livestock (like camel, goat, donkey, cow and other) in the forest of Somalia to fulfill its annexation policies. The US aggression in Somalia reminded the people in Horn of Africa such as:

1. The Somali people belonging to Northern Frontier Districts, British Somaliland, French Somaliland, Italian Somaliland and Ogden Somaliland are fighting unitedly against the dreams of Woyane expansion through TPLF. One needs to remember that Somali unity is unique in the history of Africa. Somalia is one of the rarest countries in Africa having common clan, language, religion and culture. The Somali unity and uniqueness will bring Peace, Solidarity and Prosperity among the people. The Peace Agreement between national Government of Sudan and East Sudan Front on 14th October 2006, State Palace, Asmara, Eritrea is the vigilant example towards unity and brotherhood in this region. One may suggest bringing peace thorough negotiation and initiating the process of People’s Democracy and kicking out Brutal Design of Democracy and any attempt of TPLF Bay of Pigs.

2. The common people in this region of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somali and Kenya are in need to stand unitedly against the expansionist policies (of Woyane), and propagate division among people on the name of different ethnic, culture, language and religion. The indigenous solution to indigenous problems will trench political, social progress and sustainable development in this region.

3. The common masses should force their governments to respect international law and implement its decision in pure spirit in Horn of Africa. The judgment of Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) and its implementation is the Step towards peace and prosperity. “If there is anything remaining, it is the implementation of the verdict. The US is doing everything to bar the verdict from implementation” (Eritrea Profile, No.91, 20 January 2007). It is the time to recall Ethiopian people to raise its voice for the implementation of EEBC report and work for peace and prosperity in this region.

4. The common man of Ethiopia already invalidates and rejects the government mercenaries’ clique as part of national and international policies. The failure attempt of Woyane fascism in collaboration of dollar democracy in Somalia urgently needs an approval or disapproval of Ethiopian people, which will initiate through the process of national election. This process will strengthen human rights in general and people rights in particular in Ethiopia.

To conclude, the Horn of Africa occupies its Geo-Strategic position on globe. There is a need to build its Geopolitics existence to cater the people day to day requirements in this region. The three regional organizations like Inter Governmental Authority Development (IGAD), East Africa Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) need to work for Bread, Cloth and Shelter and build infrastructure, education, employment, health, mutual trade relations through road and railway network for the people. It will accelerate the process of regional integration, people to people contact and develop natural and human resources for the mutual benefit in Horn of Africa, ultimately a move towards free trade zone. It is always remembered that one cannot achieve economic objective when there is no peace, which destroys the productive capacity in the region. Prior to it, the maintenance of Peace and Security is a critical ingredient for overall human and manufacture development in this region. This will put a check on all mercenaries activities on the name of dollar democracy on the one hand and build NO Tolerance Zone against Woyane expansionist policies on the other hand in Horn of Africa.

Stop Real Terrorism and Proxy War in Horn of Africa
No More TPLF Surrogate is Allowed

Dr. Suresh Kumar

The author interviewed on “Current Somalia-Ethiopia War in Africa and its Consequences” in BBC World Service under BBC/Asia/Urdu/
Program on 26 th December 2006, 3 rd January, 8 th and 9 th January 2007. This article is the extension of his interview.

Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.88, 10 January 2007
Part-I

Introduction

Abraham Lincoln popular saying is always remembered and respected, “Democracy is the rule of people, by the people and for the people”. The Common people of America valued Lincoln viewpoint and gave verdict against Bush anti-people policies during the last September 2006 elections and his Republican Party lost majority in House of Representatives His Defense Secretary resigned from this post and the Speaker of the House elected from the opposition party. Democratic Party opined that they will put pressure on US president Bush to begin a phased withdrawal from Iraq . On Iraq , Ms. Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the House of Representatives said the American public had voted for a change of direction. The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end” (Eritrea Profile, Vol. 13, No.87, 6 th January 2007 ).
What is the USA ulterior motive to keep Real Terrorism and Proxy War in different parts of world? The people of this world need to know the real cause of it. The US weapon manufacture industries and oil industries are the major source of income in the US economy. Both these industries crave President Bush to condemn terrorism verbally on the one side and support terrorism through CIA to run their business on the other side. This is only political economy of these manufacturers to run their industries and ready to destroy any country or region like Horn of Africa, Iraq or Afghanistan . The weapon industrialists and heroes of War against terrorism used the stockpiles of armaments of cold war period costing billions of dollars ( Using the stockpiles is the real business for US industrialist ). President Isaias Afwerki observes, “The few individuals ---are using the US power to get what they want. Their methods may vary in kind but the result is always the same, world domination and exploitation. If you have set out to dominate and exploit, then first you would have to control the major resource centers of the world. Oil rich places for instance, should be under your control. And there should be no one to challenge your military strength and military hardware technology (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.86, 3 rd January 2007 ). Not only that, the US political economy keeps the interest of Oil and Natural Gas industrialists like Concoco, Phillips, Amoco and Chavron. Now Conoco and Amoco are known as BP (Las Angeles, Times, January 1993). These US oil companies are extracting raw oil and gas from Iraq and Somalia region and S&T research team is working in Afghanistan in search of oil.
Today, US domestic as well as foreign policy failed to maintain minimum political co-ordination in Horn of Africa particularly with Sudan , Somalia , Eritrea , Kenya and Djibouti except Ethiopia . This failure in US foreign policy in Horn forced him to kneel down in front of Ethiopia and adopt suppressive policies. The US slogan War against Terrorism put a serious question against its intention and the slogan is ultimately turned into Stop USA Real Terrorism and Proxy War. ‘To call it a War against Terrorism, however, is simply more propaganda, unless the War really does target terrorism.--- Great power use and the threat of the use of force is normally described as coercive diplomacy and not as a form of terrorism, though it commonly involves the threat and often the use of violence for what would be described as terroristic purposes were it not great powers who were pursuing the very same tactics, in accord with the literal meaning of the term' (Interview Noam Chomsky 9-11, Special Issue 4, April 2006, Asmara, Eritrea:16).
Despite all, the Joint Venture of US and Ethiopian Tigre Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) are forcing Somalia to involve into a proxy civil war. There is no issue against Somalia but to create TPLF as surrogate to the transitional government of Baidoa is the hidden agenda of US broader politics as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan . The Security Council resolution stated that the African Union will have to protect the transitional legitimate government (of Baidoa) and covers all the hidden agenda of US, which will excuse the joint venture entire misdeed against the people of Somalia . President Isaias rightly mentioned, “Since Somalia is already divided --- the TPLF had all the encouragement they needed” (Eritrea Profile, 3 rd January 2007 ). More over, the control of transitional government of Baidoa to Mogadishu with the help of Ethiopian army cum TPLF motivated the Deputy Prime Minister of this transitional government and he offered (on 2 nd January 2007) the common Passport and currency between Ethiopia and Somalia. The author replied during his BBC interview, “It looks a pleasant dream that is not fulfilled till today either by Organization of African Unity or African Union. But it clearly reflects the US dollar diplomacy to woo this government. This war leads Somalia for another civil war, which favors the neo-colonial forces to exploit its oil and mineral resources” ( http://www.bbcurdu.com/). The ICU spokesperson put forwarded a Peace proposal to transition government of Somalia from Yemen and it is a good proposal and should be welcomed (observed during my interview on 8 th January 2007 ). But the air attack of US army on January 9, 2007 to the surrounding areas of Mogadishu demonstrated its real intention to move towards neo-colonialism (Interview on 9 th January 07 with BBC world Service).
History of Terrorism

The history of cold war refreshes past incidents into new form today and de-mystifies the slogan of war against terrorism . “One of the jihadists who come from Saudi Arabia was Osama bin Laden, a millionaire He came to Afghanistan in the early 1980s when he was in the mid twenties. He fought for a while as a guerilla fighter against USSR troops--- and Mikhail Gorbachev decided to pull out Soviet troops from Afghanistan” (Overthrow: American's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Special Issue 5, No.40, 2006, Asmara, Eritrea: 89-91). It is open secret today that Osama is genuine product of US during the cold war period against USSR . Despite all the developments (End of cold war), US continued to maintain cordial relations with Osama and Taliban and continued armament supply to them via Pakistan . President Isaias pointed put, “After the Cold War, due to some parties in the US , non conceivable aspirations and inclinations began to surface. The reason may be due to expiration of Cold War or the amalgamation of the polarized competition that used to be antagonistic” (Eritrea Profile, 3 rd January 2007 ). The neo-colonial expansion of weapon manufacturing sector is a clear reason to support Osama and Taliban till September 9/11. “An American oil company, Unocal, wanted to build a $2 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and perhaps on to India through Afghanistan”(Overthrow: 273). The collapse of Afghanistan right from 1980 to 2006 is the result of US sponsorship to Taliban and the paradoxy here is that US army now fighting against its own Stringer Missiles or Taliban militia. Similarly, the Iraq-Iran war prepared Saddam Hussein against USSR and today on the name of Terrorism and chemical/biological weapon, the sponsored destroyed Iraq but failed to find its own weapon of mass destruction in Iraq and gave death sentence to his ally is another example of US paradoxy.
Real Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The militant organization of TPLF is working under the direction of Ethiopia Prime Minister Mr. Meles Zenawi sponsored by USA is the open secret in Horn of Africa. President Isaias said, “From a global point of view, in this 21 st century a number of dangerous inclinations have been evolving in the US administrations ---(Eritrea Profile, 3 rd January 2007).One question is pertinent among the people of Horn is

•  Why US and Ethiopia are working as YES MAN to each other?

•  Why US is crying Genocide in Darfur despite all affirmative developments?

•  Why US alleges Eritrea supporting Terrorism?

•  Why US is not recognizing Islamic Court Union (ICU) in Somalia ?

It is the right time to intervene vis-à-vis these questions and need to deal them systematically.

1 USA as Yes Man

“The Ethiopian government is responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of students and other critics over the past 15 years, one of the country's most senior judges, who has defected to Britain , said yesterday. The judge Teshale Aberra claimed that the government of Meles Zenawi is as bad or worse than that of his predecessor, Mengistu Haile Mariam, which was widely condemned for human rights abuses. The Mengistu government killed and boasted about it. The Meles government kills and asks, “Who killed them?” (The Guardian, November 9, 2006, London).
The minority leadership of Ethiopia particularly Mr. Meles Zenawi and his team need external support to run their show in the country on the one hand and to crush civil as well as armed forces unrest on the other hand. Along with it, the decision of Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) is not respected by the government and wants to continue its position on the one side and continue armed and financial support to TPLF to keep tension on Eritrea border on the other side.
The neo-colonial expansion of US understood its need in Horn and found Ethiopia as a scapegoat to fulfill his expansion in this region. The three major oil companies of US is working in Somalia and cannot continue their free exploration of natural gas and oil with the change of government in Mogadishu (Islamic Court Union).
US found the TPLF as an opportunity to save its oil companies interests. The Super Power US bow down in front of Ethiopia to serve its neo-colonial interest of oil in this region and maintain de-stabilization through TPLF. Moreover, US declared Transitional National Government (TNG) in Jowhar and Baidoa as real government and provided armed security through TPLF and declared ICU as Extremist/ Jihadist. Both US and Ethiopia are posing as YES MAN to each other and serving their anti-people interests.
Historically, US never maintain his friendly gesture (Like late Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Osama in Afghanistan ) with anyone in past and even today and never compromise with its neo-colonial agenda. Being a part of Horn, Ethiopia needs to remember US history all the time and choose one of the option mentioned below.
•  Ethiopia government should approach the people and conduct national election under the supervision of International observers and respect the people's decision for the better future of the country.
•  TPLF should stop acting like Bay of Pigs immediately and the future elected government in Ethiopia after national election need to curtail its relations with this terrorist organization and give the terrorists a chance to adopt civil life.
•  Once the above mentioned two points are not respected by the government, Mr. Meles Zenawi, should take political asylum in US and live his future life peacefully keeping the US ally late Saddam Hussein (Death Sentence) position in mind. Late Saddam Hussein was convicted of human rights abuses in relation to the killings of the 148 Shias in Dujail, north of Baghdad and Mr. Meles Zenawi is responsible for the killing of innocent students. It is a true fact that once the hidden agenda of US in Horn will be achieved, US will take U-turn and talk about human rights, genocide and atrocities in Ethiopia and Woyane will propose action against Ethiopia .
This is the one part of US terrorism in practice vis-à-vis Ethiopia . One may leave the judgment for the common people living in Horn of Africa, African Diaspora in USA and Americans to give their own judgment and deicide the future of their political rights being the member of civil society.

Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.89, 13 January 2007
Part-II and Final

2. USA Cry of Genocide in Darfur

The US cry for Darfur reminded me the destruction of the Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Plant in Sudan in 1998. “I mentioned that the toll of the horrendous crime of 9-11 committed with wickedness an awesome cruelty, may be comparable to the consequences of Clinton's bombing of the Al-Shifa plant in August 1998 (Interview:45-46). What would be the reaction have been if the Bin Laden network had blown up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the US and the facilities for relishing them? Sudan sought UN inquiry into the justifications for the bombing, but even that was blocked by Washington , and few seem to have tried to investigate beyond. Dr. Idris Elfayeb, Chairman of the board of Al-Shifa said, “Just as much an act of terrorism as at the Twin Towers -the only difference is we know who did it. I feel very sad about the loss of life (in New York and Washington) but in terms of numbers, and the relative cost to poor country, the bombing in Sudan was worse” (Interview:54).
Today, Peace Accord 2005 does not suit neo-colonial forces and USA and European Union members once again raised the issue of Darfur in the Security Council in third week of September 2006 and tried to implement their agenda through the UN Peace Keepers in this region. Last time, USA and European Union proposed the UN General Assembly resolution A/C3/59/L40, dated November 24, 2004, titled “Situation of Human Rights in Sudan” got defeated and the UN member states vote in favour of this no action motion that allowed the peace process in Sudan to focus on their mandates unhindered and without outside pressures. It was a blow to US-led efforts.
Recently, Sudan received 40 million $ aid from African Union for the development of people in Darfur region. The Peace Accord, 14 October 2006 is in continuation of sustainable peace and development in East Sudan . “ Eritrea expressed readiness to mediate between the Sudanese government and Darfur opposition factions that did not sign the Abuja Agreement. Me. Yemane Gabreab, Political Advisor to Government of Eritrea received positive response from both the Government of National Unity, Sudan and Jebhat Al- Khalas” (Eritrea Profile, No.70, 8 November 2006).
Dr. Mukesh Kapila, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of Sudan was asked during his interview on 12 December 2006 that what is the current status of humanitarian access in Sudan, he replied, “The reopening of the Nile corridor has also significantly improved acess. Since 12 May 2006 , 1000 tonnes of food have been transported to Sudan on barges. The humanitarian activities that have been there under the framework of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) will continue to be a significant part of our effort. --- Sooner or later, peace will come to Sudan . When this will happen, I don't know, but when it does, we will be there to sustain it. Let us not forget that a large part of Sudan is a already at peace. --- In substantive terms, this year, the UN system has appealed for around $270 million for its programmes in Sudan . --- We have received around 30 percent. Delays in funds disbursement can undermine any fragile peace that has been achieved”(www.irinnews.org).
At present, the leaders of East Sudan Front and the officials of Sudanese government discussed the modalities regarding security and military structure between them in the Eritrean town of Tessenei . H.E. Osman Mohammed El-Bashir, Second Secretary, The Embassy of Sudan in Eritrea during his personal discussion with me affirmatively opined, “The military wing of East Sudan Front should be given option either to serve in the army or to lead civil life in future. It provides a chance to live their peaceful life with the family as part of community and lead family to strengthen civil society in Sudan ”.

3. No Recognition to Islamic Court Union Somalia
It is a well-known fact that ICU is the national government at Mogadishu , capital of Somalia . The ICU government is doing its efforts to unite the Somali land, Punt land, Juba land and Nazer land, the different factions of Somalia . Moreover, Somalia air and seaports reopened under the ICU government. But US supports the Transitional Government working from Baidoa. The US and Ethiopia only recognize this government and providing arms and finance to it. One may remember US past that did not recognize Mao Se Tung Government in China and support Transitional Government of Chang Kei Shek in Taiwan till 1970's. Finally, China proved its worth and US changed its policy in international politics. Ethiopia supported this Baidoa government and declared ICU as Taliban government in Somalia to get money and muscle power from US. US does not want direct intervention in Somalia because of its defeat in 1995. TPLF is the right choice for CIA and provide armaments to it to intact position in Baidoa on the one side and TPLF as Bay of Pigs against ICU on the other hand. The US special Africa correspondent Charlene Haunter Gault expressed that the Islamists who are trying to impose Islamic rule in the country against the elected government, the possibility now of a war that will engulf the entire Horn of Africa which includes Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea that possibility looms very large”--- (National Public Radio, USA, 30 November 2006).
This is clear and direct threat of US to Kenya , Somalia and Eritrea . The TPLF interventions in the northern parts of Kenya is facing the more or less the same ethnic tensions on the border, the presence of 6000-8000 TPLF and Ethiopian army troops in Somalia and continuous interventions on Eritrean border is the result of US real terrorism and proxy war. When BBC reported on 25 September 2006 that ‘Somalia's interim Prime Minister (Ali Mohamed Ghedi) has asked for international help against the Al-Qaeda and terrorist expansion in the country'--- is responded back by saying that “there is no significant difference in religiosity between moderates and radicals Muslims”--- (Foreign Policy Issue, USA, November 2006). On the name of Islam , US through TPLF wants to prevent the continued expansion of ICU in Somalia by sidelining the majority people's sentiments is the real terrorism.
Along with it, the US propagandas against Eritrea shipping arms into Somalia is another excuse to support TPLF activities on Eritrean border. The Somali justified and defend their territory in 1995 and oust US armed forces from their Somalia land and the same will be repeated incase of Ethiopian army presence in Mogadishu , the capital of Somalia . This time a common American showed their resentment against President Bush and his foreign policy of Real Terrorism in the recent elections and given the opportunity to Ethiopian people, the resentment and anger will come out against Mr. Meles Zenawi. Today, the US and Ethiopia proxy war against Eritrea is not justified either in IGAD, AU or in 11 th COMESA Summit, Djibouti, 2006.


4. US Alleges Eritrea Supports Terrorism

It is time to recall the historical judgment of Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) in April 2002 under the Section 7 of the UNO Charter. Eritrea respects this decision and still waiting for implementation of EEBC decision. But Ethiopia being a signatory to EEBC did not pay respect to international law and started TPLF proxy war against Eritrea continued till today. But Eritrea being a supporter of terrorism always emphasizes on the implementation of EEBC judgment. The people will decide that who supports real terrorism.
The 14 th October 2006 Peace Accord is signed in Asmara with the brotherhood gesture of Eritrea that solved more than a decade problem in East Sudan . Is it a support to terrorism?
Eritrea took the initiative of Free Trade Zone in COMESA region and President Isaias Afwerki, who traveled from Asmara to Mulhai, a town of Djibouti by road and covered 1000 KM to attend 11 th COMESA summit and came back after COMESA Summit by sea, reached at Assab Port on 17 th and arrived in Massawa on 18 th November traveling by road. Is it fishy for the US and its ally Ethiopia or imagine some argument to support terrorism?

Eritrea offer to solve Darfur Crisis and with the consent of Sudanese government is working to persuade one of the group called Jebhat Al- Khalas for mutual discussion. This brotherly attitude shows any sign of supporting terrorism . If no, why US is crying and alleges Eritrea supporting terrorism unnecessarily and singing a chorus song with Ethiopia .
This is the part of US foreign policy to malign the image of Eritrean Brotherhood and stop increasing Eritrean legitimacy on the one side and use TPLF without restriction either in Somalia , Kenya and Eritrea to cater the needs of Real Terrorism on the other side. Mr. Teshale Aberra, judge from Ethiopia remarked, “The US has been muted is in its criticism, partly because it sees Mr. Meles as an ally in its War on Terrorism and a counter-weight to the unrest in Somalia ” (The Guardian). One may ask question that who is creating Real Terrorism? Let's compare the political activities of Horn region pointedly that will decide Who is Who?

•  The internal political conditions in Ethiopia as reflected by international press and media are that “Between 15,000 and 20,000 people have been killed in the Oromia region. About 80,000 people were arrested in the subsequent round up. The prisons overflowing, those arrested had been held in the military and police academies and torture was commonplace. There is a massive killing all over. There is a systematic massacre” (The Guardian, 9 November 2006).

•  Along with civilian torture, the high army officials along with thousand soldiers fled from Ethiopia and took political asylum in Horn of Africa against the atrocities of TPLF. It is well known that TPLF occupied the border area of Somalia in Baidoa and tried to capture Mogadishu, capital of Somalia.

•  The National Government of Sudan is working tirelessly to implement the Peace Accord 2005 (North and South Sudan) and Peace Accord 2006 (east Sudan and National government). It is the direct approach to establish peace in the region as part of internal political development process.

•  The Eritrean government is working to achieve the target of Self-reliant Economy as part of internal political development. Along with it, the government supports the idea of Peace and Prosperity in the Horn and adopted the method of indigenous problem and indigenous solution for Sudan , Somalia , Ethiopia and other countries. The Government provides its Good Offices and acting as mediator to solve the problems of neighboring countries in Horn.

•  Djibouti , one of the smallest countries of Horn, successfully conducted 11 th COMESA Summit on 15-16 November 2006 and gave the idea of Peace, Security and Free Trade Zone in the region. Kenya always supported peaceful activities and strengthening its ties with neighborhood countries. President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of the Republic of Sudan reaffirmed on this historical occasion (Peace Agreement 2006) and said, “This is the last step in the journey of Peace since Naivasha and Abuja agreements and the process of Peace is completed in Asmara . This is the new fingerprint in the history of our continent, which witnesses the good news about renaissance, civilization and appraisal of Africa . The civil war caused too much destruction and we lost every dear soul to achieve peace”. Today, Somalia is not isolated from Africa land and mutual discussion ad consensus will bring peace in Somali land and never through war.
These are the political developments of individual countries in the Horn region. More or less, all the countries are suffering either from Ethiopian TPLF militancy or the pseudo-political propaganda of Ethiopia and US as mentioned above. All the Horn countries (Except Ethiopia) condemned militant activities and keep a vigil eye on international terrorism. But the super power of the world himself supports terrorism since four decades and produced Osama and Taliban in Afghanistan , Hizbul Mujaheedeen and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Pakistan and Liberation Tamil Tiger Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.

Conclusion
The geo-strategic position of Horn particularly Somalia coastline ranges from Kenya to Djibouti connects Sea lanes of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, key corridors between the Middle East and Africa. The changed political situation (Under ICU) is a challenge for four US oil companies to extract oil free of cost. As a result, US administration likes to intervene either through TPLF ( Bay of Pigs ) or as UN Peace keepers. Osama is crying on US activities because US sole purpose is to safeguard their oil and weapon industrialist's interests at any cost on the one hand and on the name of Osama terrorism fighting against Somalia and different parts of world on the other hand. People will decide that Who is the Real Terrorist today?
The US-Ethiopia-TPLF joint venture has its own interests in the Horn. According to credible Ethiopian opposition sources, the Woyane regime or certain individuals within its leadership sold a vast quantity of arms to some Somali warlords when the Bin Laden group was relatively active in the region during the early 90's. Now, the same are being demonized as “elements with terrorist links” (Eritrea Profile, 23 rd August 2006 ). The only hidden agenda of Ethiopia is looking forward to Assab Sea Port through Somalia to break its land-locked position and serving its master ( USA ) economic and defence dictates. Ethiopia and Eritrea people wishes to implement EEBC judgment, which will help them to re-build their political, social, economic and cultural interests and ties. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asmara reaffirmed on December 22, 2006 , “The provisions of the Algiers Agreement are indeed explicit, unequivocal and crystal in this regard. Enforcement of the final and binding ruling of the Boundary Commission decision lies squarely and solely on the Security Council in accordance with Article 14 of the Agreement . This is in addition to the statutory authority of the Security Council on the maintenance of regional peace and stability” (Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No.83, 23 rd December 2006). But this joint venture spreading Real Terrorism in Horn and wants to keep their interests intact.

US cry for Darfur is not for the common people but only for the oil interests. That's why, US is trying its best either to enter into this part of Sudan or on the name of it put pressure on Sudan not to support ICU in Somalia.

Everyone condemns terrorism but one has to ask what they mean. Perhaps the most apt description was given by the wonderful and courageous Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy, referring to Operation Infinite Justice proclaimed by the Bush administration: “Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they‘re waiting to be killed (Guardian, 29 September, 2005).

Overall, one may observe that Osama will never be traceable on the earth by US and its allies otherwise the Woyane policies will become redundant on the one hand and Woyane dreams to capture Horn of Africa and other oil rich countries through TERROR will shatter on the other hand. Ms. Pelosi has published a manifesto for the Democrats and promise to stamp out corruption--- and end subsidies for large oil companies (Eritrea Profile, No.87, 6 th January 2007). This is the way forward to respect Lincoln 's democracy. It is the time for the people belonging to Horn to recognize the real Terrorist and put into Fax Paus and work for Peace, Solidarity and Prosperity in this region.

Role of Information & Communication Technology and H.R.D Efforts in Eritrea

A Movement to Strengthen Self Reliance
Dr. Suresh Kumar & Ms. Jayshree, Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan, India

Eritrea Profile, Vol.13, No. 86, 3 rd January 2007
Part-IV and Final

http://www.shabait.com
Suggestions and Conclusion

Eritrea is in a good position to pursue existing opportunities, and work to successfully overcome constraints, to effectively introduce and sustain ICT in education. Two important community organizations in Eritrea are the National Union of Eritrean Youth & Students (NUEYS) and National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW), enshrines ICT as a strong component in all its programs. The community resources of NUEYS & NUEW will be important for capacity building locally, especially for enhancing equity in the community through ICT. ESDP bring international donor funds to increase access, quality, equity and capacity to the sector of education in Eritrea . ESDP is a five-year donor funded phased program for improving the sector of education in Eritrea, spans form 2005-2009. The national Policy for ICT in Education for Eritrea calls for a MoE Network Use Policy (NUP). The NUP helps to enrich a culture of ICT sustainability, and is thus an important sustainability strategy for the sector ads a whole. (National Feasibility: 67-81).

Ministry of Education restates the needs to leverage the benefits of ICTs for achieving universal education and pro-poor growth, particularly in the rural areas. The ICT Unit, Ministry of Education (During personal discussion with me on 3 rd October 2006 ), states, “As part of the educational transformation process, ICT education has been introduced in the new education system. This is intended to improve the quality of education by supplementing the student-centered interactive pedagogy with technology. Majority of the secondary schools are now teaching ICT as a subject. The ultimate goal of introducing ICT in the education system is to use ICT as a tool in the teaching and learning process across all subject areas of the national curriculum. This is to say that all teachers will use ICT to facilitate their teaching and learning in their respective subject areas. Similarly, students will have access to ICT facilities, including Internet, to enhance their learning through wider access to rich sources of knowledge and information. The process will expand to all levels of the school system”.

The launch of educational satellites can boost Eritrea 's efforts towards universalizing quality education for the rural and remote corners of the country particularly. There is a need to reform the traditional education system, by introducing the scientific temper among the pupil. ICTs can be used to facilitate education in the majority rural poor of Eritrea , who often does not have access to education and Women and Child Development. In this context, distance learning based education part of ESDP can fill the gap created by the lack of formal education. Technology can be a very useful tool, as it is able to facilitating distance learning and this method may be used by EIT to reach children and women in rural areas mentioned above. The transfer of great deal of information across various geographies to different types of people at the same time is a very distinct advantage. The crucial factor would be whether rural people have access to these technologies and can afford them. Education reforms presently being implemented emphasize on the importance of school libraries and also on inculcating information skills among school children. Rural electrification schemes enable new technology to reach all parts of the country. ICT suggests reorienting education in Eritrea , would have major goals:

•  Improving the quality of education through ICT enhanced instruction,

•  Increasing access to knowledge for public benefit,

•  Nurturing knowledge concepts in EIT and TVET,

•  Knowledge creation in S&T laboratories,

•  Promoting application of knowledge in our business and industry,

•  Using knowledge to improve service delivery in Government.

 

Creation of a Science and Technology (S&T) culture is another important role that education ministry should take necessary initiatives. Programs can be started at both school level and EIT level. ESDP program, media (television, radio and newspapers) publication (books, journal and web) is some of the means, which can be used to create the S&T culture here. Technology development is mainly influenced by the country's education and industry. The various administrative bodies govern these subjects and thus continuous dialogue at the ministerial level is essential for proper progression of technology. There are four major ways of getting human resources for S&T that are a) Technical Institutes, b) EIT, Medical Colleges and TVET, c) Migration of qualified people to the country, and d) Use of foreign technical personnel (from India as Silicon Valley) and consultancy services.
To sum up, today, the evidence is at best inconclusive on whether technology transfer contributes to growth and poverty reduction. Poverty continues to be the experience of men and women who are excluded from old and new technologies alike. There is a need to conglomerate the technology and majority of people need of safe forms of energy supply, shelter, safe water, sanitation and nourishment. The MoE recognizes the importance of technology and initiated at grass-root level right from the secondary school system, which will analyze the specific needs of communities, the level of acceptability on the part of the community to use technology and by targeting it specifically towards the pro-poor population in order to eliminate poverty through education. Along with it, feedback such as e-mail ( in their regional languages ) is essential in order to gauge the impact of poverty reduction strategies on the poor. Along with it, the increased political and social consciousness in the region had highlighted the issues of elimination of gender-disparity and empowerment of women that are essential for their socio-economic development. Government underlined the urgency of addressing these issues through further affirmative action in this field.
Eritrea should develop broadband policy, can largely enhance the internet connectivity, giving the rural areas an opportunity to employ e-health, e-education, e-governance applications under Pan Africa Network, which will bridge the digital divide existing between rural and urban areas. Visual classroom and video resource centers should set up either by different education institutes or by education ministry should be adopted by every school in the village. ICT can be a very effective tool for propagation of knowledge to a large number of people.
Overall, ICT should cover connectivity issues and access, information programmes in educational institutions, distance education and e-learning initiative, and their reach and success in the rural Eritrea . It should offer more opportunities to women to advance their cause through the creation of employment and greater awareness that will be a step for gender equality and empowerment of women. It can be harnessed for development of a regional partnership for sustainable development including good governance, development and poverty reduction.

 

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