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Assessing the Eritrean struggle from dictatorship to Democracy - Gash Barka infomation Center

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Editorial

Assessing the Eritrean struggle from dictatorship to Democracy

By Fesseha Nair 

Assessing  DemocracyOver the past 13 years of uniting the opposition political and civic society under a common framework has not shown the crucial advance throughout the Eritrean diaspora and inside Eritrea. There are many reasons for this. Most important has been the lack of mutual respect and being incapable to get popular confidence and international recognition. The totalitarian regime in Eritrea has lost all opportunities from both national and the international community.

People from the democratic countries are exerting pressure to support those forces who struggle for democratic change but democratic governments in the west countries have not yet found reliable alternative to the dictator in Eritrea.

In this article, I will deal that we need an assessment that could lead us to action, in other words, a way of assessing the struggle from dictatorship to democracy that would be relevant to the Eritrean people. The assessment needs a methodology that the forces in the democratic transition can use themselves, both for assessing the quality of their struggle and for raising the popular consciousness.

What makes an assessment realistic and objective depends on how to create a new and strong methodology which measures the whole range of concerns and issues related with the struggle from dictatorship to democracy in case of Eritrea.

For example:

What were the concerns and issues raised by the EPDP not to participate in the National Dialogue held at Akaki in 2010 and later in the Awasa Congress for Democratic Change?

The Eritrean forces for democratic change those who are in the ENCDC and the others outside of ENCDC give an assignment to a certain academic assessors, who work in agreement with all political and civic organizations.

The team carries its own assessment and present it in a workshop. The assessment should be worked inside six months. I, therefore, suggest that carrying out a realistic and principled assessment of the past 13 years is of urgent necessity.

The framework of assessment depends on:

  1. What kind of assessment,
  2. Who carries it out,
  3. What it covers, purpose, geographical coverage,
  4. Methodology and selected examples.

Assessment Examples of the Eritrean Opposition political organizations.

  1. What is the key problem that political organizations not work under the joint framework?
  2. What are the difficulties that they cannot develop a constructive role in the struggle against the dictatorship?
  3. How are they organized? Are they centred round personalities rather than programmes? Have they regionally based support? Do they have cross ethnic and religious cooperation?
  4. How much confidence do people have on these political organizations to win the dictatorship and build a democratic society?
  5. How were conflicts resolved in the opposition camp?

Assessment Examples of the Eritrean Civic organizations for democratic change:

  1. What is the key problem that hinders civil society organizations not to work under a joint framework?
  2. How far do women participate in the struggle against oppressive regime?
  3. How free is the media investigating political leadership and how free are journalists in their investigative and reporting activities? 

The objective of this assessment is to identify the problems and find ways to remedy them.

If all the political organizations and civil society and media personal agree to survey this assessment in each country of the diaspora, then, next will be an national and international workshop where all will attend including academics, lawyers and representatives of political and civic organizations.

The workshop will be sponsored by own financial contributions and by applying fund applications from sponsoring institutions.

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