Eritrea’s political Ambiance
by Berhane Woldu
Multi-party systems introduced by Western countries have created incurably defective system. In Africa “Democracy” has brought about massive death, population displacement and poverty. Political parties based on ethnic groups and religions have formed, tribalism is stronger than nationalism. In Africa today tribal loyalties are strong; national and state loyalties weak. There are no political institutions that can govern hence; civil war and mass killings result Case in point; Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, South Sudan, and Central African Republic. South Sudan, Mail, CAR all have no legitimate public order they luck authority and yet the end result being political instability and civil war. Political development in the Northern African countries toppling of governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya had brought changes in the governing body; but no real changes in governance has been brought about rather the Arab spring has brought disaster. After three years these countries have seen more death and political instability. Libya has become ungovernable the State apparatus has less power than the Islamic militia. The instabilities and disarray after regime change clearly indicate that these countries were not ready for Multi-party system.
Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) and people of Eritrea on the other hand have worked hard for over half a century in averting chaos and instability. Eritrea by all measures is a stable country due to its self-determination, knowing its historical and social background, thinking and deciding on its own understanding Eritrea’s realities rather than adopting Western imposed multi-party system. Eritrea achieved its independence through an armed struggled defeating two super powers and a nation ten times its size with a much larger population. Ethiopia was supported by the world greatest powers Soviet, Cuba, East Germany and associates. The EPLF was able to defeat the colonizers due to three main reasons first; it’s politically and militarily well developed highly disciplined political organization. Second; it had developed a political community where the social forces were interrelated to its political institutions. Third; it had effective, efficient and genuine leadership with high administrative skills. After independence Eritrea enhanced traditional mode of governs by modernization of political institutions rationalization of authority, differentiation of structure and expansion of political participation Eritrea was able to reinforce stabilization
Eritrean has a long tradition of self administration. During the armed struggle the liberated and semi-liberated areas were self administered, locals elected their administrators. Today in Eritrea the villagers elect their administrators and judicial bodies. The country has a legitimate public order and a large segment of its population is politically organized, coherent, disciplined and stable. Political institutions are functional capable in serving to the public interest.
Political modernization was achieved through the years of armed struggle for independence. Traditional ethnic and religious authorities were replaced by secular national political authority in conjunction with introduction of specialized structures to perform military and administrative functions. In Eritrea, a sense of political community exists, leaders, individuals, groups don’t pursues their immediate short-run material goals instead consideration is given for broader public interest such as Social Justice. In Eritrea Economic inequality are not noticeable, wealth, income and land are evenly distributed as the economy develops. The economic equalities increases these factors produce political stability. Corruption of public officials to serve private ends is not a major concern in Eritrea. In order to attain national integration the urban and rural area are being developed simultaneously. The government has made sure that the rural area is not neglected and has all the social and infrastructural build up. Health, education, clean water and roads are all in place. Eritrea is now marching forward towards creating a modern nation to attain urbanization, industrialization, democratization and social mobilization. The nation is replacing old social, economic and psychological way of life to new patterns of socialization. These developments are the direct result of public policies put in place to promote social mobilization and economic development.
Democracy in its pure form offers good things such as civil society and respect for human rights. As a public policy it only focuses on election disregarding the historical and on the ground conditions of the country. Before Democracy (a prescription imposed on Africa by the Colonial masters) a nation has to have authority and legitimate public order. Political participation has to be accompanied by the development of strong, complex, and autonomous political institution. In some of the African countries economic prosperity is at a lower end, the population is peasantry, infrastructure is poor, and social services are dis-functional. There is a dual-economic system where the urban elite in conjunction with foreign companies and settlers had control of the economy while the vast majority of their population lives in dire poverty. The end result being civil war and ruled by UN peace keepers, or former colonial masters like France.
In the case of Eritrea; security is more important than liberty in time of no war no peace. “Good Government” is one which defends the nation’s borders, free from corruption, respects social contracts, respects private properties and free from bureaucratic inefficiency. Eritrea as a nation has long understood that democracy is a means to an end and not an end by itself. Presently, the Eritrean government and people are working in transforming the economy and strengthen political institutions in order to achieve the divine obligation of the heroines and heroes who gave their lives for its liberation.