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Monday, July 22, 2024

We Need to Re-Calibrate: A Call for De-Escalation and National Reconciliation in Eritrea

Since late 2022, there has been a rise in physical violence within the Eritrean community by a movement called Brigade n Hamedu. The movement’s self-proclaimed goal is to put an end to the leadership in Eritrea. However, what we have witnessed is the relentless ambushing of Eritrean community events, the arson of vehicles and property, and the stoning and physical assault of Eritreans within their respective communities. Regardless of our feelings towards the government, this is not the right approach to addressing the issues pertaining to the leadership in Eritrea.

The rise in physical violence against Eritrean communities has prompted further fragmentation within the Eritrean opposition. Some fierce critics of the government have joined the self-proclaimed “Blue Revolution,” while others have stood in solidarity with the affected communities. We have even seen some change their political views to align more with the government. This has led to the creation of 4G, also known as 4 Gimbar or the 4th front, which acts as a response to the Brigade Nhamedu group to shield the Eritrean community from further attacks. Brigade n’Hamedu is known to have pro TPLF and TDF sentiments, as there is mounting evidence of that.

Considering all this, we must think about how we arrived at this point and how we can work towards de-escalation and national reconciliation. Here are my thoughts on how Eritrean politics has reached its current state:

  1. Name-Calling: Name-calling has been a significant issue in Eritrean politics. To challenge an individual’s idea is healthy, as it can create new ways of thinking. However, criticizing someone based on their political views has become all too frequent. For example, anyone bringing up internal issues in the country, such as the economy or political prisoners, is often labeled “Agames, Tigrayans, Traitors (K’deat), TPLF agents.” This dismisses Eritrean concerns and silences them, leading to frustration that can manifest in violence, or push them to an extremist group such as Brigade n’Hamedu. However, do not this misinterpret this as a defense to their actions. It’s not.
  2. Disregard of National Security: Eritrea’s national security is paramount, especially given its hostile neighbor to the south and the tense geopolitical arena. However, parts of the opposition have been infiltrated or involved with Eritrea’s adversaries. This causes further fragmentation and suspicion among Eritreans. It is not a secret that despite Brigade N’Hamedu consists of disgruntled Eritreans, there have been infiltration by the opposition, with the leaders openly being in cahoots with the TPLF/TDF.

To de-escalate tensions, both the reasonable-minded Eritrean opposition and the government should work together to:

  1. Unconditionally Release all Eritrean Political Prisoners: This demand has been made for over 20 years and, if fulfilled, can ease tension in the diaspora. From Bitweded to the G-15 to Ciham and Berhane Abrehe, all must be released or their families informed of their fate. The government has a moral obligation to do this.
  2. Hold an Emergency Congress/National Assembly: Since 2002, the size of the Central Committee has dwindled, with the former members dying from sickness or old age, or being imprisoned (potentially died in prison), or currently in exile. There should be new blood in the committee and the National Assembly to decide on succession and institutional reforms.
  3. Promote Unity over Division: The Eritrean diaspora should never be divided regardless of what one’s political or policy views may be. Unity can only thrive if there is a healthy space for debate and disagreement without reprimand.

The path to reconciliation and unity in Eritrea will be challenging, but it is imperative for the future of the country and its people. Both the government and the opposition must be willing to engage in meaningful dialogue, compromise on key issues, and prioritize the well-being of all Eritreans. By working together, we can overcome the divisions that have plagued our community and build a brighter, more united future for Eritrea.


The views and opinions titled "We Need to Re-Calibrate: A Call for De-Escalation and National Reconciliation in Eritrea", are those of Daniel Mulugeta and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Setit Media. ኣብዚ "We Need to Re-Calibrate: A Call for De-Escalation and National Reconciliation in Eritrea", ዘርእስቱ ጽሑፍ ተገሊጹ ዘሎ ርእይቶን ሓሳብን ናይ Daniel Mulugeta እምበር መትከላትን መርገጽን ሰቲት ሚዲያ ዘንጸባርቕ ኣይኮነን።

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