Navigating polarization, foreign influence, and a lack of clarity to bring about change
The Eritrean opposition has long been waiting for change to happen in their country, but has failed to take action themselves. Instead, they have become polarized on issues that should not divide them, and have even been accused of acting as foreign agents at times. One of the main focus of the opposition has been their hatred towards President Isayas Afwerki, but many agree that merely hating him will not bring about change.
In the past two years, since the civil war began in Ethiopia’s Northern Tigray region, the Eritrean opposition has been hoping that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) would topple the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) for them. As a result, they have been disseminating propaganda that supports the TPLF’s agenda, which could cause damage to Eritrea in the long run.
Some opposition groups seem to copy the TPLF’s programs, and have started to advocate for the implementation of ethnic federalism in Eritrea for a long time. This has caused mistrust among the opposition and the Eritrean people, as many scholars and politicians believe it is unrealistic to just copy the Ethiopian federalism that was implemented by the TPLF. Furthermore, there are suspicions that the TPLF has infiltrated the opposition and created satellite organizations within the opposition camp, such as Bruh Mexai, Agazian, Yiakl, and more recently Felsi.
In the past two years, many opposition members have sided with the TPLF due to the Eritrean government’s support of the Ethiopian federal government against the TPLF. However, now that the Eritrean Army has begun to withdraw from Tigray, the opposition seems to have become muted. Their hatred towards Isayas Afwerki is still alive, but there is no clear path forward for bringing about democratic change in Eritrea.
It is unfortunate that some members of the Eritrean opposition expect that Abi Ahmed and Isayas Afwerki will disagree, and then Ethiopia will invade Eritrea. Some also hope that the TPLF will rejoin the federal government and help to invade Eritrea. Overall, there is a lack of clarity in the Eritrean opposition, and it is important for them to come together and focus on a clear path forward for bringing about democratic change in their country.
One question that arises is what should the Eritrean opposition focus on next? How can they come together and form a united front against the current regime? How can they create a clear path forward for bringing about democratic change in Eritrea without causing more harm than good? These are important questions that the Eritrean opposition must seriously consider and work towards finding answers, if they hope to bring about a positive change in their country.
One potential solution could be for the opposition to focus on building a strong, united front that can effectively challenge the current regime. This would involve putting aside their differences and working towards a common goal, rather than allowing themselves to be divided by issues that should not polarize them. Additionally, the opposition could focus on building a clear and realistic plan for bringing about democratic change in Eritrea, rather than simply relying on the actions of other countries or groups.
Another important step for the opposition would be to gain the support and trust of the Eritrean people. This could involve working to address the concerns and needs of the population, rather than solely focusing on their hatred towards the current regime. Additionally, the opposition could work to dispel any suspicions that they may be acting as foreign agents, and make it clear that their goal is to bring about positive change for the people of Eritrea.
In conclusion, the Eritrean opposition groups face many challenges in their efforts to bring about democratic change in their country. However, by working towards a united front, building a clear and realistic plan, and gaining the support and trust of the Eritrean people, they can work to overcome these challenges and bring about positive change in their country. The Eritrean opposition must also be realistic about the fact that copy pasting models from other countries may not work for Eritrea. They must come up with a plan that is tailored to the Eritrean context and needs of the people. They must also be aware of the fact that their actions may have serious consequences and must think twice before supporting any external actors or groups that may not have Eritrea’s best interests at heart.
Another important consideration for the Eritrean opposition is to focus on building a diverse coalition of groups and individuals that represent the different regions, ethnicities and religious groups within Eritrea. This will help to ensure that the concerns and needs of all Eritreans are taken into account and that the opposition is not seen as dominated by any one group.
The Eritrean opposition must also be willing to engage in dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to find a peaceful and sustainable solution for the country. This can include working towards a national reconciliation process that addresses past human rights abuses, and promotes justice and healing for the Eritrean people.
Additionally, the Eritrean opposition must also focus on building a robust media presence that can provide reliable and accurate information to the Eritrean people, as well as the international community. This can include establishing an independent media platform that can counter the government’s propaganda and provide a voice for the opposition. The opposition must also work on building a strong online presence and using social media as a tool for communication and mobilization.
Lastly, the opposition must be ready to work with the government and other stakeholders if and when change comes. They must be ready to participate in any transitional process that might occur, and to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Lastly , bringing about democratic change in Eritrea will not be easy, but it is not impossible. The Eritrean opposition must focus on developing a clear and realistic plan, building a united front, creating a diverse coalition, engaging in dialogue, and being ready for change when it comes. They must put the needs and well-being of the Eritrean people at the forefront of their efforts, and be aware that their actions may have serious consequences. The Eritrean opposition must be realistic about their goals, and not put their hopes on external actors but take their fate into their own hands.
In summary, the Eritrean opposition faces many challenges, but with a clear and realistic plan, a united front, a diverse coalition and a willingness to engage in dialogue, they can work towards bringing about democratic change in Eritrea. The opposition must also put the needs and well-being of the Eritrean people at the forefront of their efforts and be aware that their actions may have serious consequences. The opposition must be realistic about their goals and not put their hopes on external actors, but rather take their fate into their own hands.
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The views and opinions expressed in " The Eritrean Opposition: A Lack of Clarity and a Need for a Clear Path Forward " are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Setit Media.
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