There are plenty who celebrates the lifting of arms-embargo, asset freeze and targeted sanctions on Asmara and the Eritrean Government, that is happening as the second triparte meeting happened over the weekend. The Peace Agreement with Addis Ababa and Mogadishu is a giant step in peaceful interaction and a better Horn of Africa. However, the Eritrean government is still the same one as before.
It is not like the Eritrean government has stopped their long military subscriptions, using military to do slave labor for the generals and so on. The Presidency of Isias Afwerki is still more of the same. Not like there are openness and trust in the good values. Not like there are any coming elections or any sort of civic enterprise coming to the homes of Eritreans. Therefore, lifting sanctions only gives the Afwerki Administration more leeway and more fiscal funding for their embezzling ways.
The Eritrean military is known for indefinite conscription of their military personnel. That why many has fled and even done what they could to seek refuge elsewhere. On the African Continent, the Eritrean government is the one with the highest amount of political prisoners.
There is most likely no change in the structures of Asmara or the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which is a one-party state. A state where Afwerki has his fiefdom. With the 15-0 United Nations Security Council voting on the 14th November 2018 to end the sanctions. Will most likely give him more power to continue his rule. The leverage and the bargain chips the UNSC had over Eritrea is now lost. These was put because of interference with Djibouti and Somalia. The arms trading to terrorist groups there. Therefore, the peaceful transition of the latest month has been positive.
Still, the reality in Asmara is more of the same. Not like the PFDJ will be transparent, hold elections or even care for a free press. Not like the Afwerki regime will stop the enslavement, torture, imprisonment and enforced disappearance of political adversaries, these acts will continue. We know that elections will not happen, as the latest one was happening in May 2004. If it was held, it would most likely be a one-party charade to facilitate an official second term for the President and nothing else. As he has been the President without question since independence in 1994.
So, the legitimacy and the recognition from the world has come the way of Eritrea. They are not a piraya or a dangerous dictatorship anymore. They are just a dictatorship with an iron-fist. Who doesn’t deserve sanctions anymore, because of their diplomatic relationship with Somalia and Ethiopia. The peace has served them well. Clearly the Asmara has gotten well off with this.
They are not changing or even testing the leadership, but letting the external relationship help the internal problems vanish. However, the same structures, the same military and sole dictatorship is still there. Not like that has changed over the last few months. No, it is more of the same. Therefore, the ones who voted for this, should consider the ramification and the elites earning on the sanctions. As they will benefit from this.
Afwerki might have waited long, but he is off the hook. Even if he still makes his suffer and take away their freedom. The International Community isn’t hurting the state anymore, not in the way it used too. Let see what the consequences of this is, but certainly it will only do the administration good. Not the public, as they are the same one used by PFDJ, when they need it. Peace.
I know, the title is ironic, but someone has to say it. The leaders, His Excellency and other titles are outrages, as their reach and extent of power are not reaching us. We are seeing wars prolonged, we are seeing oppressive regimes continues for decades and we are seeing fleeing refugees starve; even drown on their way to safety. In addition, with the knowledge of all that, we don’t let the value of life sink in ourselves. It is more important to have the Nespresso or even try out a new type of Coca-Cola, because why not?
We are at a point in time. Where our leadership is more self-serving, where the leadership is all about having a career and being wise as PR person, not showing ethical regard or even moral backbone, not showing consistency. However, as long as you are in the lime-light and showing yourself as useful you have a place in the places of power, but not because you’re doing the commons or the world any good.
We are at this stage, because we all have made it this way, we have accepted these men and woman, these stars and golden booted leaders whose sole justification for ruling, is that they have climbed to the pedestal and now just can bounce around to different positions. Without really delivering any significant change or care for that matter. They are just changing hats and titles, than at the next junction moving on from the sorry souls it was supposed to take care off! Whom minds about them right? Only poor schmucks like me, right?
Moreover, I hold no power, none. I get less power, than a single AA battery at this point. My hands cannot even light a lamp; even I wished I had half of Hulks power within my veins. However, that is not the case; I am just an ordinary man in flesh and blood.
That is why we have to care, because next time, we could be the victims of oppression, of thieving public officials and of people who uses the security to hunt us down; who knows when it is our turn to be under-fire. No one knows this, but it could be.
That is why we have to aspire to something great, to overcome these obstacles and search for the higher purpose, to help our brothers and sisters. Not just await the next cup of coffee or coke and hope that fate just pops by, cheerio, right?
We have to get our leaders not to be just con men, leaders who pose as public officials, but are there just to eat. We needs leaders who actually works against the stoppage of wars, the ones that will stop selling arms to oppressive regimes and brutal dictatorships. We have to inspire people to transcribe to the facts, that the world will only get better if the elected leadership actually works for humanity and not for a golden booted career. That is what we have to install and prescribe too, if not these leaders will guide people like blind sheep and laugh in chambers. Because they are paid in gold, while we are taxed to our necks. In addition, for what? Therefore, they can afford Vitamin Water, while most cannot even get clean water in their tap.
Let us get serious. We got too; we cannot hold on to this and accept this token. The injustice and impunity, there is time for retribution and results, not played around like Donkey of the Day, but become men and woman who charge the leadership and expect delivery. That is justice, as these people are supposed to represent us. Peace.
“President Museveni will only go when you stop voting him not shouting. Nobody will shout Museveni out of office. The only way that you can remove Museveni from office is when you stop voting him” says Maj.Gen. Kahinda Otafiire in Ibanda” (Daily Monitor, 31.08.2018).
This is not a positive message, because there are really no narrative in this manner and with the times that can be like this. If President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had shown any signs of giving way or even planning succession, the words of an election would have sounded real. However, for someone saying that knows perfectly well how the President is, Otafiire knows his words isn’t true.
Otafiire says Museveni will only leave if he voted out of office! How is that even possible? The Presidential Elections are filled with intimidation, rigging and securing the President by any means. There are no math, no possibility that Museveni will ever run a free and fair election. He will not let the people decide, he has already made his decision and the result is well-known, year in advance. Museveni has run the Republic since 1986.
He lost an election in 1980 and have never lost one since, the first one in 1996 and since then had total control. There haven’t been much change or significant changes since Multi-Party Elections happened in 2006. Which was something Museveni was against, he wanted everything in-house and under his umbrella. That is something he still wants and therefore, wants everyone to get people who will follow his guidelines and his vision from the State House. That is why he is saying people are misguided and wrong, when they pick leaders that he cannot order directly around.
Otafiire knows all this and has to change the narrative, because any government who meets to much internal pressure will fall. You are able to detain people, but not have the power to arrest the whole population. You might have the ability to torture the leaders and key activists, but you cannot torture all people. You cannot kill all opposition or everyone standing in the way of the King, but you can take out the chosen few who challenge the leadership. That is all well-known things for Otafiire. That is what the NRM has done since inception in the 1980s. One-by-One as it has been needed. The difference, is that now the news isn’t only in print, but the words and reactions from the oppression hits the web in minutes.
NO ELECTION will ever change the throne. That is not how to dismantle the rule of Museveni, if so, then there would have been a possibility in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. Neither of them, there was any chances for anyone else to win. Even as the decades has gone and the time of liberation has shown to be the same as the tyrants before. Museveni was supposed to bring progress, but bringing more regress.
Otafiire knows, this the people should know too, as the military and army are in the streets. Because Museveni and NRM doesn’t have the love of the people, if they did, why do they need to guard the streets? They should secure the sovereign state’s borders and not occupy their own territory. That is what Museveni does and Otafiire knows that too.
Otafiire might have a blurred vision or is so loyal, that he have to spin it. Since he wouldn’t be relevant or even have Cabinet Post. If it wasn’t for the brownie points he has already scored with the President, he wouldn’t be there today.
The NRM apologists can lie to the public, but some of us has to address it, because we knows better. Peace.
Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.
The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.
The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.
This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.
This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?
That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.
I wonder if our leaders of our time is considering their legacy and the aftermath of their decisions. Its like the constant breaking news, the steady flow of information and the reactions are more damage control, than actually policies for a sustainable future. Where the actions of today either creates more hostile environment or more fragile institutions for the next generation to gaze upon. Its like we should wonder, what we have to do. To be sure the kids of today, will have states and institutions that are considered good.
We can wonder if the states are built more for corporations and multi-national financial institutions and their needs over what the citizens need. We can wonder if the linear move of financial services is built for the multi-national corporation and their sophisticated tax evasions, which is legal, but still questionable by all parts of society. Because of citizens does so, they will be punished by late-taxes, while a corporation can create a shell-company and move the money like a saint.
We can really wonder what will be left behind, as the states are fragile, the military powers are extended and more countries are affected of violence and senseless killings. By both militants and by state sponsored armies. All of this are creating havoc and making the states weaker, while the injustice roam. Citizens are fleeing injustice and insecurity, trying to find shelter and a new home. While the riches nations are putting up higher walls, making it more dangerous to pass and making agreements on the borders. To stop them and even send them home into violence and possible death by association. This is all happening, day to day.
In many countries it is dangerous to be opposition. If you oppose the ruling regime, you will be arbitrary arrested, your family will be monitored and you might be assassinated. Your business will be taken over or destroyed. The elections are rigged and the appointments made by the elected officials are obnoxious. They are made for facilitating the parties and their cronies. Not to build institutions or departments to deliver services to the citizens, but instead its used for cronies of the leadership of the day.
So it seems like tomorrow is forgotten, because the latest burning fire is more important that thinking about the future. If we could avoid it or even try to find solutions to avoid fires. Stop the dry forests, find out why the temperatures are arising and all the other issues for the running fires. It has to be stopped. The reasons for the businesses has the ability to take out profits where they initially earn it and put it into accounts in Tax Havens. That takes away needed funds and state reserves to secure delivery of needed functions of the state. Which all costs from planning to delivering, from salaries to procurement. Everything has to be covered by the taxes and the revenue made within the state, therefore, when the corporations are allowed to move profits without taxes. They are initially using the state and citizens, while also shelving the needed costs of actually doing business in the state. Even if it is profitable today, it might be more costly tomorrow. As the bankrupt states, the initial degree of defaulting on loans and the interests pay by the state. Take away even more services and possible development of the needed ministries and departments by the state. It is an evil circle, which in the end, make it impossible for the businesses to do business, since the public cannot afford and the state cannot afford either. Since they are all paying down loans, instead of growing the economy with need for the products these businesses make.
If the leadership of today had cared and had thought it through. They would have had more mechanisms, would have had more secured definitions and actually built institutions with protocols to fix possibly tomorrows problems. Instead, we are trying to configure and find solutions again and again. We are trying again to fix similar problems, with lacking funds and times. We are having meager responses and lack luster performances. Where we are building up personality cults and armed generals as leaders, while forgetting why we have governments. The governments that are there as representatives and providers for our day to day lives.
Still, that vision is far fetched and also seems like pipe-dream. Where the states are more and more complying to multi-national corporations and their interests over the needs of the citizens. If not they are complying to the leadership or one single leader who control the state itself. The democratic values are dying, the benefit of representation is dwindling and the face-value of the government. The government is losing value, while the ones leading them is enriching themselves instead of serving the citizens. They are doing this, this way since they are obliging the corporations and cronies instead of serving them.
Is this the legacy we want to leave to the next generation? Is this the state of affairs, we want to be remembered for? That we let them take us and use us for our time and when we lived. That we didn’t build a better tomorrow for us the citizens, but to make sure the leaders and the corporations earned on our hard work and dedication. Its clearly somebody is compensated, while the rest is bleeding.
While we’re wounded and taken for granted. Should we react, should we question and should find ways to demonstrate our discontent with the current affair. As our state mind cannot accept being taken for granted and being used in the favors of people we don’t know and doesn’t represent us anyway.
We should about this and wonder, how can we recover and make they do? What can we do as citizens to get this back? Get them to represent us instead of them. Be for us and work for us and not work for them. Neither work for the corporations or the cronies, but work for us. That is not to much to ask for, but it wouldn’t be easy.
We have to work together and dismantle this. Because the governments cannot be traded-off and we be used only to vote before every term and then left astray. We cannot accept that the illegitimacy of the current state. With leaders disrespecting both their citizens and the state institutions to stay in power. That is how it is, but not how it should be.
I don’t have any solutions, but we have to start discussions and consider our ways. Think and find ways out of this mess. So we can leave a better world for the next generation. Not leave a world with leaders and states, where the citizens are disenfranchised and lost with few options. Where the corporations together with multi-national organizations are taken control, instead of the governments. That is not how its supposed to be with the civil service and the ministries/departments of our states.
We need change, we need something else. We shall not and should not accept to deliver this mess to the next generation. They never asked for this and should not have to work against it. We should deliver are better world to them and not leave a battlefield and a turmoil, while hoping we have given them the work ethic and the skills overcome it. Peace.
After Zimbabwe, people have started to blaze the horns and expecting other dictators to fall. Well, I am humbly saying, I hope so, but don’t expect so. Unless, there are vital changes, unless they lose their support and their weapons behind them. If the support and armies are not behind them, than the Robert Mugabe story can be repeated elsewhere. But it will be different from state to state, from president to president. As each President has built around a stronger or weaker system of orders, strength of institutions and also personal cult around themselves. We also know they are using their myths and their state media to serve their interests.
President’s that I will honor with a mention are Joseph Kabila, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Pierre Nkurunziza, Faure Gnassingbe, Hailemariam Desalegn, Isias Afwerki, Omar Al-Bashir, Idriss Deby, Paul Biya, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasango, Mahamadou Issoufou, Paul Kagame and Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. These are a list of honorable mentions, there several more that could be put on a list, but these was the first to mention, if feel someone is left behind. Please leave that in the comments down below(I know that sounds like a Youtuber, but I had to take inspiration from somewhere).
All of these men in their republics knows that they use power and security organizations to quell, silence and oppress their opposition. They are keeping control of the state reserves and has their party as filled of loyalists and cronies. All of this states are militarized, there is state controlled media and has various of different rules. They are strict and controlling from the state houses and the freedom in these states are limited. The state and business are usually connected with the President and his family. If not there are cronies who also have business and fortunes. So the dictators are for the moment having control and making sure the people is not uprising.
What we can know is that if these dictators take it to far and the fear for the repercussion from the state. So as long as the public and opposition are detained for arbitrary arrests and citizens hurt after demonstrations. While the state reserves and donor funds are eaten by the elite, while the countries are kept poor. As long as the republic’s are poor, than they still need more foreign donors and supply. So it is good for the dictators to keep their nations poor, as the Western and Multi-National Organization can continue to supply them with non-binding funds. That they are free to use on military and one themselves, instead of building institutions and good governance, it is all controlled by the one man on top and his loyal subjects around.
This is well known and for different reasons, these men should always worry about their decisions and their capacity to rule. Nothing last for ever. There will be some who might want to take their place and replace them. Someone will always be opposition and fight for democratic values, but sooner or later they will succeed. It is just a matter of how and how long it takes.
They are all based on strong military control, even minor specialized groups who are like Presidential Guards/Republican Guards or Special Forces. These are controlled usually by either relations or trusted generals, who are loyal not to turn against the President. The Presidents promotes and demotes leaders inside their armies often, the same in the police force/service to compensate and also to make sure the old guard of warrior and soldiers who fought for the President. Will not be seen as a threat or have power to ever topple him. That is why they are trying to distance themselves from the ones who brought them to power, because they will know their inner-tactics; that is why the stalwarts and historicals are more public personas, but not people of power. Even if they did have so in past.
That is done to secure the role and secure the commander-in-chief, even the President always need the historical battles and origin story to keep himself relevant and prove his place. He don’t needs ones who fought with him and his cause. They will just ask for checks- and balances on the promises made in liberation and in the battles against previous oppressors. That is why they are not entangled with these, unless they give them phony medals and grant money, to hopefully silence them.
Still, with all the protocol and strength of the army, they are still vulnerable as they know this too. That why they are calculating and trying to find out the next person who wants their role and their positions. Which is why there are changes in their cabinets, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers. Until they find persons and people they trust to not ambitions to overpower them. Also, they want to stop other MPs and other voices to install hope in the population and to create popularity that is bigger then their personal cult and their teachings.
However, there are ways to bring them down by actually not fearing the state security organizations, waiting for the President to act swiftly without feeling the tensions within his own party. Like President Robert Mugabe did recently. If not actually know you have lost all legitimacy in recent elections, but not willing to step down like Yayha Jammeh. That was ECOWAS and Senegal who intervened on behalf of the newly elected President. Which was the reason for the dictator ending in Exile recently.
Therefore, we have to hope for leaders who have capacity to capture the pulse of the people who are oppressed, of the ones who are marginalized and the ones who are captured by the state. Since the dictatorships doesn’t give up easy, unless there is no escape. History has learned us that and therefore, the lesson needs to be learned. We in our time cannot give in and accept that the liberty, freedom and government are taken by one elite and one ruler.
Certainly, it will not be easy, the fight against oppressors will cost and take time. That is proven time in and time out. The same will happen here, but with their aging and their lack of control. Their trust in family members and trying to create family dynasties. They might fall like Mugabe. Even if some are sons of former presidents. Doesn’t mean they can continue owning the title and running the state. It is proven that is not accepted and that is all within reason. This is what happen in Zimbabwe and we understand if similar events transpire elsewhere.
In the end it is all up to the public for change, the public reactions and their demonstrations, boycotts and their inner works to dismantle the oppressive dictatorship. Often the international community and international counterparts will not intervene as they wants mineral resources and other commodities for cheap; and as long one partner can be bribed, the workers and resources don’t need to paid-in-full or proper. This prospers foreign investments and multi-national companies. This is not well-spoken of, but should be revealed, as it is so often shady dealings with resources sold or land to investors from these dictators. They are funding the state and military, that together with aid are keeping these regimes afloat.
With all this in mind, we have to continue the struggle against these men that are keeping people hostage and taking away freedom and liberty, freedom to assembly and to be activists. They are licensing and authorizing businesses and if people are allowed to have parties and civil society organizations. This are all in different ways, the same with the media and other public ways of sharing information. These are often controlled like all else are in society and in the republic.
We can just wonder if we let this repeat itself, let them continue to oppress and letting these multi-national corporations earn on this forms of government. If we can accept that aid and multi-national organizations keeping budgets and keeping them as leaders, because if these leaders would struggle more economically, more loyalists and more cronies would actually deflect quicker. Also, that if the economy struggle and the security organizations are not paid-off. They could instead of turning their weapons against the public, they could turn against the government/regime. So there are many ways together with public uprising that is needed to topple these dictatorships. Peace.