“Hade Libi – Hade Hzbi” slogan is the imaginative conception of the Eritrean people, the first movement of our revolution, and the cultural and political expression of our experience that brings peace and harmony.” – Mabrhatu Asfaha
By Mebrahtu Asfaha,
Ethiopian’s Head of Government Communication Office Mr. Bereket Simon, in his recent paltalk discussion with Eritrean opposition, and Semrr Youth group characterized the linguistic and practical significance of the Eritrean notion of ‘Hade Libi – Hade Hzbi’ as “Shaebia’s propaganda”.
In the spirit of fairness, before him, incomparably better and more thorough is the attempt by former United States ambassador to Eritrea, Ambassador Ronald K. McMullen, to write the political culture of Eritrea embodied in the Wikileaks documents.
Thus, the stirring opening lines of the Wikileaks – “Engaging Eritrean Diaspora” – came into being. The ambassador described the Eritrean mobilization process in the most beautiful prose anyone had ever heard that transcends poetry. He stated that:
“Eritreans tend to form tight-knit communities abroad. … Many ex-fighters believe Eritrea to be a shining example of heroism and accomplishment. … Political exiles have either lost credibility by being associated with Ethiopia or have faded into the background. … The youth are the most vocal group. They dominate discussions on social media networking sites; they build websites, establish magazines, and form student groups at universities. While many diaspora youth see themselves as American, British, German, Australian, and so forth, they also don an “ultra Eritrean” persona when necessary. Diaspora youth are very protective of Eritrea and, while they are only in Eritrea for a few weeks at a time, will vehemently defend the country against criticism. . As this is the case, it is diaspora youth that are the best hope for outreach efforts geared towards promoting dialogue on Eritrean politics and society. Whether for or against the GSE, diaspora youth across the board are ready to speak their minds and should be a top priority when funding NGOs and programs focused on engaging the diaspora. End Summary.” 1
Scarcely 5 years have elapsed (most of Wikileaks about Eritrea is written in 2007-2010) since Ambassador McMullen’s pronouncement of engaging and smuggling Eritrean youth than Bereket Simon’s desperate attempt to engaging the Eritrean Youth. Thus, it is a continuation of, and a fulfillment for the detailed instruction given by the Ambassador of dividing the cohesive Eritrean community.
Bereket Simon thus works into McMullen’s plan, a quantity of material drawn from the Wikileaks evil design of dividing the people, enticing violence, and reorganizing the youth. Bereket Simon’s strategy is simple – follow Ambassador McMullen’s instruction as follows:
“Post recommends three ways for NGOs applying for DRL or other USG funds to successfully engage the diaspora and encourage critical analysis of the GSE: –
1) Focus on non-political groups. Direct engagement with Eritrean opposition groups, such as the EDA, will likely be dismissed by moderate diaspora Eritreans as an attempt to overthrow a peaceful government. Working with non-political groups, such as Eritrean student associations, will provide credibility and will not immediately be dismissed as having a political motive.
2) Let Eritreans lead the discussion. A panel discussion on religious freedom in Eritrea should be led by Eritreans and not by outside analysts. While it is difficult to find Eritreans willing to talk about these issues, it is well worth the search. A discussion devoid of Eritreans will, again, be dismissed by the diaspora.
3) Give the youth an alternate voice. As of now, the YPFDJ is the primary outlet for young Eritreans in the diaspora to express pride in their culture. Currently, there is no non-EDA aligned counter to the YPFDJ. Encouraging young Eritreans to create their own group and providing them opportunities to promote Eritrean culture and dialogue will ultimately increase the space for discussion”. 2
THEY FAILED TO ENGAGE THE ERITREAN YOUTH:
Although they failed to engage the Eritrean youth, for now, however, the question which has so much exercised the minds of men is why Eritrean political opponents (whether internal or external) are so powerfully, and incomprehensibly terrified by the manifestation of the “Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi” in the Eritrean polity?
The simple answer, the concept of Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi, is the highest idea conceived and actually realized in the Eritrean political cultural. Moreover, Hade Hizbi – Hade Libi, is not only a slogan, it conceals a penetrating insight. It is not only a direct outcome of the preaching and political instruction of Shaebia as they want us to believe; not merely a teaching put into practice, but more, much more, no one has apprehended so powerfully its mystic idea than the Eritrean enemies themselves.
WHAT IS IT THEN?
The slogan is the imaginative conception of Eritrea’s cultural expression that brings peace and harmony. The slogan is also a sword that shreds into pieces the evil Woyane’s design of divide et impera. Furthermore, the slogan is also a magnificent political tool to foil political intrigues, to repel illegal sanctions, and overcome economic underdevelopment.
The slogan is nothing, but simple political strategy that Eritreans use all over the world to restore the country’s dignity, not through food aid or other forms of western alms, but through their own thoughts and strengths. The slogan is a dream conceived not laid on the shores of the Red sea in sleep (although that is our inalienable right that we have earned through our struggle), but awake in the mountains of Sahel by our own sweat and blood.
In short, the formation of such a slogan and the arising of the idea that Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi as a political strategy to defend our country are not two different things. They are one and the same thing, they coincide and synchronize; the slogan is the imaginative conception of the Eritrean people, the first movement of our revolution, and the cultural expression of our experience.
Bereket Simon and Ambassador McMullen exhausting work would have led one to expect a success in their intrigue, but they failed miserably. Consequently, Ambassador McMullen complained:
“Eritrean youth as being an “ultra Eritrean”, that the “diaspora youth are very protective of Eritrea”, and “their unwavering dedication likely stems … from the ever-present hand of the Young People´s Front for Democracy and Justice (YPFDJ) to enforce a “proudly Eritrean” identity. The YPFDJ bills itself as a movement to build “strong, conscious, and patriotic Eritrean youth.” The sub-goal is to strengthen support abroad for the PFDJ and the GSE. The YPFDJ website, www.youngpfdj.org, is littered with editorials aligned with GSE viewpoints, such as “NGOs and the Victim Industry.” Social networking sites abound with YPFDJ groups (37 groups on Facebook and a newly formed Twitter account as of October). Although many YPFDJ gatherings are merely cultural exhibitions or parties, the youth involved are indoctrinated early on in pro-GSE propaganda, thus further fueling many diaspora youth´s overt infatuation with Eritrea and vehement defense of the GSE”. 3
Therefore, It must be extremely disappointing for the political novices such as Bereket Simon and Ambassador McMullen (in comparison to Eritrean experience) to observe their attempt to engage the Eritrean youth fail miserably through this simple political strategy of ‘Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi‘. The shaft, which they have driven into Eritrea people as a psychological war, broke down in front of them, and destroyed their dream for, and the possibility of influencing Eritrean politics and dividing the most cohesive Eritrean people.
No sooner is a great idea of destruction and division dead by the sword of this slogan than Eritrean enemies busy conceiving another idea. Although Eritrean enemies could occupy themselves in perpetuity in designing new strategy to undermine the country, Eritrea has only one simple tool – Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi.
The failure of their evil design is due to intense hatred and the shallowness with which they grasp Eritrean political culture, and that they have become blind to history by examining it too microscopically. Thus, for Eritreans these individuals are mere ignorant about the Eritrean political culture. Remember when Ambassador McMullen was talking about high officials not attending President Isaias Afewerki’s birthday. Similarly, Bereket Simon gives advice to Eritrean youth to die honorably fighting than dying crossing the Sinai Desert. This is exactly to what is referred as examining it too microscopically without understanding the socio-cultural environment, and political culture of the people. Eritreans will never fight their own people. Although, this kind of political analysis is common occurrence among political novices, however, it is less expected from seasoned politicians.
Nevertheless, the fits of failure to which they are subject, and the need to implement their grand evil design of dividing Eritrean people and fomenting conflict is so great that it has become an obsession for them to create and organise meetings and conferences everywhere. In the past, we have seen a meeting organized in Awasa for the youth, Addis Ababa for the intellectuals and Mekelle for civil societies and political parties; and flatter themselves that they have succeeded and found a solution to the Eritrean problem. Thus, Bereket Simon attempts to recruit at the refugee camp and his subsequent failure is similar to what Ambassador McMullen experienced when he complained,
“[Eritrean] Refugees wish to flee indefinite national service or GSE persecution, but are often unwilling to speak out against the GSE”. 4
In short, the response from the refugees is simple that they do not want to be recruited against their own country.
THE TIME IS PAST FOR PRONOUNCING JUDGMENT:
It is unfortunately that in this controversy the highly important political figure in Ethiopia have failed to discuss important issues of peace, and the implementation of border. The impulse in the direction of progress of peace, which might have been given top treatment, failed to take effect in his discussion. Instead Bereket emphasized support for political oppositions that the ambassador characterized as “political exiles that have either lost credibility by being associated with Ethiopia or have faded into the background”.
Now the time is past for pronouncing judgment upon the criticism of our slogan. For us the criticism of these men is irrelevant because Woyane’s political intrigue, and United States opposition and hostility naturally would have caused any country in the Horn of Africa to be fragmented, as is the case in Somalia and the Sudan, but not in Eritrea. The reason is the slogan is our creation. The formation of such a slogan and the arising of the idea that Hade Libi – Hade Hizbi as a political strategy and as modus vivendi are not two different things, they are the same thing, and they coincide and synchronize. The idea is the imaginative conception of the Eritrean people, the first movement of our revolution, and the cultural and political expression of our experience.
In addition, Eritreans will fling this slogan to the world as a gift as imaginative conception of our cultural and political expression that will bring peace and harmony to humanity.
1. Engaging Eritrean Diaspora. Classified By: Ambassador Ronald K. McMullen for reason 1.4(d). C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASMARA 000426
SIPDIS DEPT FOR AF/E AND AF/RSA DEPT FOR DRL, S/P, AND S/GPI LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2019 TAGS: PREL, PREF, PHUM, PGOV, SOCI, ERSUBJECT: ENGAGING THE ERITREAN DIASPORA
REF: ASMARA 267
2. Ibid. Engaging the Diaspora. 11 (C)
Ibid. The Youth. Section 9 (C)
Ibid. 1 (SBU)