“Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope”

Ch.9 Resort to Force as a Default Mode

[L]et not your rage or malice destroy a life – for indeed,  he who does not value it,

does not himself deserve it. – Leonardo da Vinci


ቍጥዐኻ ወይ ክፍኣትካ ህይወት ንከሕልፍ ኣይተፍቅድ – ብርግጽ፡ እቲ ህይወት ዘየኽብር፡

ንርእሱ ኪነብር ኣይግብኦን ኢዩ። – ለዮናርዶ ዳ ቪንቺ

Chapter 9



Disagreements and disputes in the internal relations of an organisation are normal and should be treated as such through dialogue. That is the focus of Chapter 9: Resort to Force as a Default Mode. The chapter analyses the historical and structural causes of the resort to force as a default mode and the recurrent use of coercion, in the form of suspension, demotion, transfer, detention, torture or elimination, as an arbiter of internal discord during the armed struggle. It dissects the extension of the use of coercion in the form of arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, systematic torture and extrajudicial killings after independence as a persistent government practice. Against this backdrop, it describes the rise of dissent within the historical leadership of the EPLF, the ensuing confrontations, the arbitrary detention of senior government officials and journalists, and the banning of the private press to suppress dissent and independent opinion.


Further, the chapter deplores the regime’s suppression of internal criticism and elimination of political dissent, burying the victims alive in the desolate Irairo prison, to forestall resistance and intimidate the protagonists of Eritrea’s historic struggle for freedom into reluctant submission to dictatorship through the demonstrative effects of arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention and solitary confinement, with tragic consequences for the country. It sketches the accumulation of power in the Presidency, the marginalisation of key institutions and the consequent rise of ‘one man rule’, with its sequel of rampant political corruption and abuse. The chapter highlights the unrestrained use of coercion as an instrument of political repression afflicting Eritrea today.



 (PDF: Tigrinya ምዕራፍ 9)




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