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Eritrea Digest: Betrayal and Loyalty


Betrayal and Loyalty

One man, who happens to be head of state, told another man, who happens to be head of a foreign government, that effective immediately he has given him full authority to represent his country on all matters. There is a videotape of him saying that. And lest you think he was just being polite or hyperbolic, he said, “no, I am not being just polite or hyperbolic: I mean it.” And there is a videotape of that too.

Now this man, who happens to be head of state, was not elected to the position. Why? Because he outlawed elections. He didn’t just outlaw elections, he enforced the disappearance of the man who was tasked with chairing a committee to draft electoral and party formation laws. And why wouldn’t the national parliament have a say on that? Because he shut it down. This man cannot say the constitution allows him to do all of that. Why? Because he declared the constitution dead.

This man was the Secretary General of a political party that told tens of thousands of Eritreans who died for the cause of independence that the post-independent Eritrea will have democracy, political pluralism, and free press. Now he is saying I made no such promises and nobody promises anyone anything in this country.

Meanwhile, a core membership of the ruling party and the government, the journalists who gave them a platform to speak have been in enforced disappearance since September 18, 2001. On the orders of the head of state. Many more who said enforcing the disappearance of people, and veteran fighters to boot, is wrong have also been ordered to disappear.

fter they ordered their disappearance, the National Assembly was convened just one time (Jan-Feb 2002) to provide a convenient cover for the head of state to declare their disappearance legal. (The National Assembly hasn’t met since then: with that one act, not only did it order the disappearance of patriots, it unwittingly ordered its own dissolution.)

Many of these Eritreans whose disappearance was enforced are presumed to be dead or suffering from various illnesses. This, according to an escaped prison guard. Before their disappearance, they had penned an open letter demanding the convening of a meeting where they intended to ask questions as to how Eritrea stumbled itself into a disastrous war with Ethiopia. They were also going to demand the implementation of the frozen constition and the transfer of power from the monopoly of the ruling party to the people

Since they are not in a position to defend themselves, and since the head of state controls all media, all institutions, they have been declared as traitors who colluded with the enemy and are responsible for the death of twenty thousand Eritreans.

So. Who stands for betrayal? And who stands for loyalty to the cause? Watch the video: