Monday, March 4, 2013

Are Eritreans still Hade Hzbi Hade Lbi, after 20 years of Independence?

Eritreans on Eritreans?

Hade Hzbi Hade Lbi (it means literally One Nation, One Heart in Tigrigna-a Hamitic language spoken both in Ethiopia and Eritrea) was/is a populist catch term used by the ruling Eritrean regime and many Eritreans to mobilize for "freedom" against "colonial" Ethiopia and still used by many PFDJ (People's Front for Democracy & Justice), Eritrea's single party to have unlimited and unfettered control on its people. But for an informed outsider or Eritreans themselves for that matter Hade Hzbi Hade Lbi is just myth which one can find it in the dictionary of PFDJ and its blind hardliner, brainwashed and die-hard supporters. A case in point is the recent triple arson attacks
on gathering places of Eritrean government supporters here in Stockholm in the early hours of Monday February 25th 2013. These incidents took place within hours of differences at the suburbs of Stockholm where the majority expat Eritreans reside. Two of these gathering places are located in Northern Stockholm which locally known as Solna/Hagalund & Husby respectively while the other which was not damaged as much as the former ones is situated in the south of Stockholm called Hogdalen. Different opposing groups blamed each other for this arson attack but no one took responsibilities so far. The Eritrean regime supporter who wants to be anonymous told local Swedish media TT that these acts were perpetrated by no-one but those he calls them traitors (i.e anti-regime opposition groups) while Swedish-Eritrean MP Arhe Hamednaca, who is critical of the authoritarian regime in Eritrea, told "It could be a group siding with the government that wants to drag the opposition through the mud; they're known for doing that." Police is doing its investigation to find out whether these fire accidents arson attack or not. Even though, no one was injured nor lost life, it doesn't sound these three fire accidents happened by coincidence; they were rather seem to be planned and coordinated by individuals or groups who took the law into their hands either out of desperation or to bring attention to actions the Eritreans regime and its hardcore supporters.

Tension is mounting high between opposing Eritrean expat groups here in Sweden. For example police had to fire a shot as trouble flares up between these groups when the pro-Eritrean regime youth group tried to stage an Eritrean gig last year in Stockholm's suburb. It is not rocket science that all these political tensions  and  frictions among Eritrean diaspora manifesting themselves in various forms and shapes recently in many European cities and North America, are the result of a repression which reached its peak back home. Eritreans are one of the largest immigrant communities who started to migrate in the 70s however their exodus (especially the young generation) is increasing at an alarming rate in recent years to escape either extended mandatory military conscription and/or poverty. 

"Freed" 20 years ago but being trafficked for ransom money?
Eritreans fought thirty years of bloody war to "free" themselves from colonial rule of Ethiopia and got their "independence" which took the lives of hundreds of thousands people, millions of Dollars worth property damages and distraction of socio-cultural fabrics on both sides ( i.e Ethiopia and Eritrea). It didn't take too long for two partners in crimes, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), to break their Father-son relationship and show their true colors during the 1998-2000 senseless WWI style war over a piece of dirt land which killed over hundred thousand young people and the expulsion of thousands of people from both countries. Even though the war was over decades ago, Eritrea has the largest military force per person in the whole of Africa and for those Eritreans between 18-45 years old unlimited military service is mandatory and as result many young people pay any price to leave the country. Knowing this fact, the very same people who claimed to have liberated Eritreans from Ethiopia are now engaged in trafficking their "freed" citizens for ransom money. The trafficking starts in Eritrea and continues in the refugee camps of Sudan and Egypt to extort money from hostages' family abroad. High ranking  Eritrean military officials and their collaborates everywhere in the world are part and parcel this horrendous crimes against their own "freed" compatriots which among other includes torture, rape, starvation, electrocution, and organ harvesting in the Sinai desert for no other reason than greed. After realizing and witnessing how the Eritrean regime's ruthless and heartless actions against its own "freed" citizens, many Eritreans start to think that the brutality of their government makes the dictatorial 
Dergue regime of Ethiopia look like a bunch of nuns lost in the woods. The regime in Asmara which promised its "freed" citizens back in early 90s to make their nation the Singapore of Africa, has now no option but to keep its survival by forcing the diaspora Eritreans to wire two percent their annual income back home. In the "freed" Eritrea, the jungle law which is still rife and striving is driving thousands of its people every month to flee at any cost from their beloved country which became "free" two decades ago. The question is how long Eritreans will tolerate such gross human rights abuses and repression by the very people who boast to bring independence to that country. Some speculate that the recent army mutiny on January 21/2013 in the capital Asmara, may  the Hade Hzbi Hade Lbi  notion to bring the oppressed Eritreans together to fight back and topple the two decades old tyranny; but it should be also noted that there are too much divisions based on ethnicity, religion, political views and not to mention the animosity and mistrust among Eritreans at home and abroad created by regime to stay in power.     


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