Monday, December 20, 2010

The unaccountable Husbands of the Horn Getachew Reda
Have you heard the Horn of East Africa Conference and its outcome? Such conference was coordinated by Eritrean rich man by the name Paulos Tesfagiorgis (Wedi Biatay). This conference was held in Atlanta in the name of the people of the HORN to bring PEACE (or invent peace from their peace making company.) Who are the participants of such conference? Boy! This is a long list of elite not poor peasants who are first hand victims of elite politics but handpicked (By Paulos and his BIG backers behind him) stretched from Sudan, Djibouti, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Eritrea (in number majority of the conference participants many of them from their Diaspora high towers (PALASO the Italian proper word), some Ethiopian elites such as Gelawdewos Araya (Tigrayan elite) one of the myth makers since his Ethiopian Commentator writing records , who else ( I am not going to tell you!!!) you guessed it .. “Dan Connell”. Boy, o Boy! Dan the one time admirer of Isyas Afeworki and EPLF’s cadre of the department of foreign affairs and known as CIA and an agent infiltrator in Ethiopia and Eritrea affairs currently also hand to hand working with Paulos Tesfagergis to bring peace to their wife called “The Horn” and more. This lady by the name Horn of Africa” is not so lucky seeing all these uncountable husbands all with MA or PhD promising her so much PEACE and DEVELOPMENT and DEMOCRACY sprinkle a little aroma of such perfume/clone to seduced her. To my understanding, the Horn of Africa Peace Conference, is nothing more than a social entertainment to these elites as well as a door to infiltrate foreign agents to play their secretive agenda of destruction as usual (check Dan Connell’s record).The Horn of Africa Peace Conference is (according to the participants report) initiated and sponsored by [Eritrean] Citizens for Peace, took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta between the 9th of December and the 11th of December 2010. According to Dr. Gelwadewos Araya’s report posted on media all over “On Thursday December 9 (day one), delegates from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia arrived at the conference venue. All members of respective delegation, however, did not originate from Horn of Africa; except for Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the Eritrean and Somali delegations were entirely from the Diaspora. Even among the Ethiopian delegation, some came from the home country and others were from the Diaspora. During the reception, a ‘welcome to Atlanta’ by Seyoum Tesfaye and ‘brief introductions’ by Selam Kidane were presented; and then on Friday December 10 (day two), following the Program, Gaim Kibreab opened the conference with a welcome speech. Under the theme of ‘New Approach to Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Sustainable Peace Building,’ which was also discussed by other groups, Group I discussed conflicts linked to ethnicity and lack of resources; the promotion of tolerance for the sake of peaceful coexistence; the promotion of positive ideas in the form of slogan, ‘accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative’; creating conflict resolution training institutions; five keys that need to be considered in conflict prevention and resolution include citizenship, borders, regional proxy wars, external influences, and resources. Group I also emphasized the need of the interconnectedness of the conflicts and the systematic approach to the conflicts in the context of clarity, structure, and organizational culture. In order to further prevent and resolve conflicts, two examples were suggested: 1) the Southern African Game Parks that are viable economic entities where people on the border can move freely, i.e. borders that can provide a common interest; 2) Badme as a neutral zone recognized by both Ethiopia and Eritrea.”….” After all four brainstorming groups reported their discussions and resolutions, part II discussion of Day Three continued and so many interesting themes relevant to the spirit of the conference were raised; some were repetitive and others were characterized by heated debates but overall the discussion went very well and, I might add, the conferees were civil for the most part. Afternoon session of Day Three was presided over by Anghesom Atsbeha, and the two speakers who delivered speeches on ‘Reflections on Peace from Regional Perspective’ and ‘Eritrean Peace Charter (an example of a peace movement)’ were Assefaw Tekeste and Dawit Mesfin respectively. The speech of the former was seasoned and the presentation of the latter was poetic and mesmerizing. The participants in the conference were energetic and enthused and I for one was delighted to see people from the Horn discuss sensitive political issues with the highest degree of tolerance. In admiration of the quality of dialogue forged during the course of the conference, I suggested that our best bet is to talk to one another and chart the peaceful path to the next generation in the Horn and I also recommended the book authored by Fischer and Ury entitled Getting to Say Yes: Negotiating Agreements Without Giving In (first published in 1981). On top of this, I reminded conference participants that we need to digress a little bit from the major framework of thinking (conflict prevention and resolution) that dominated the conference and revisit our history and explore conflict resolution mechanisms, and I offered some examples from the Continent of Africa such as the pebble (tiny piece of stone) swallowing ritual by young boys and girls in Tigray (northern Ethiopia) and Eritrea in an effort to cement their friendship forever; the pivotal role of the Guurti (respected elders) in Somalia who were known for resolving conflicts; the Shimagle (elders) in the rest of Ethiopia who also played a crucial role in settling disputes; the council of elders who played the same roles throughout the continent of Africa; and finally I demonstrated to the conferees the ‘Blood Brothers’ of the Zande of southern Sudan and northern Congo where individuals in pair mutually scratch their hands to deliberately bleed them and then swallow each others blood to signify and symbolize permanent peaceful coexistence. To my pleasant surprise, when I was talking about the Zande, one member of the conference said, “we have one Zande here” and interestingly the one and only one Zande, who was part of the South Sudan delegation, endorsed my story to the delight of the conferees. At the end of the conference, Action Planning in two parts was presided over by Mirjam van Reisen and free discussions were entertained in regards to what the outcome of the conference should be, the endorsement of what has been discussed, the formation of new committee that will ran the affairs of the peace project, and what the name of the project was going to be. After exhaustive discussion, the conferees endorsed the minutes of the two-day conference; they voted in new names from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Djibouti and along with the already existing Eritrean committee a new Horn of Africa Committee has been established. With respect to the name of the peace project, Paulos Tesfagirogis came up with ‘Make Peace Possible’; other members of the conference suggested several names including Horn Peace Initiative, A New Awakening etc. I, for one, suggested Horn of Africa Peace Engagement or simply Horn Peace Engagement (HOPE),”and despite couple of objections the majority of the conferees supported my proposal. However ‘Make Peace Possible’ also was endorsed as a secondary name of the peace project.”……………. So in this hoopla what do you think the lady called Horn of Africa” gain? This kind of conference was not the first time, according to my knowledge, it was also held ten years back, even before that by different elites. In ten years- was “Miss Horn” lived in peace or with more violence? I live that for you to answer it. How could a conference of such elite hoopla full of foreigners as solution stake holders while scholars and popular personalities like Professor Tesfatsion Medhanie from Germany who fought all his life to bring peace in Eritrea and in Ethiopia be ignored from participating? can such cliquish elites and including CIA agents like Dan Connell (the most enemy of the Horn) gatherings be a solution even close to think? The majority elites were Eritreans and some handpicked Ethiopians (perhaps invited by Eritreans to the conference a friendship created with the Eritreans who hate Ethiopia from their gut with their sickening ego during the war of the separation). What Gelawdewos is saying and Paulos the crocked fellow from Eritrea are saying to us is “What matters is the translation of the peace project minutes into action; real engagement will speak lauder than the name and I hope that the momentum of Atlanta will continue to make a difference in the near future.” But, it is been Ten years! What does such elite gathering brought in to action in TEN years except an entertainment in the name and house of “Miss Horn” as Gelwdewos said in his words which was exactly the final result of the conference that can’t go beyond what he said “The Horn of Africa Peace Conference was highly educational, constructive, and enjoyable in terms of social interaction.” Indeed! Gelawdewos didn’t hide his emotion the exact result of such elite gatherings that exclude the public and popular elements such as Professor Tesfatsion, Danile and many, many more. Here is what exactly what Gelwadewos is telling us in his personal note that was held on our behalf or on behalf of a lady called Miss Horn” whose husbands are too many. Gelwadeows said “ On a personal note, I enjoyed the conference because I met very nice, humble, and down to earth people from all over the Horn; I enjoyed the company and conversation of many conference participants, but that of Abdulkadir M Dawod and Berhan Ahmed stands out. Five individuals that impressed me with their ability to listen and absorb ideas were Surafiel Yohannes, Seyoum Tesfaye, Eden G. Fesshazion, Michael Andegeorgis, and Samuel Gebrehiwet, not to mention the born-leader Selam Kidane. Of all the presenters, one solid scholar that impressed me most was Mohammed Haji Mukhtar, interim chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Savannah State in Georgia. Another equally dynamic scholar and activist is Andre Zaaiman of South Africa. Two women that were very pleasant, with very kind personality that can easily be detected from their foreheads, were Kay Orsborn and Fawzia Hassen. Other interesting people that I have had brief conversations with are Abdillahi Jama, Berouk Mesfin, and the very candid and down-to-earth Anghesom Atsbeha. It was also a delight to meet old friends like Hailu Habtu, with whom I had intellectual exchanges and discourse in New York; Gaim Kibreab, the dynamo and energetic professional and scholar, who compelled me to become sentimental after I met him in three decades although I have had “debates” with him several times on the VOA Tigrigna program. But of all the people that knocked me off with delight was Mehret Ghebreyesus (of CVT Global), a beautiful person that I know since my elementary school days, and it was a pleasure to see her once again in a decade and half.” The Horn of Africa Peace Conference was at once an intellectual discourse and a social gathering in which Horn of Africa Africans and non-Africans alike were able to networking and exchanging ideas and experiences that I personally have enjoyed. The Horn of Africa Peace Conference was unique because this is the first time that I have witnessed Africans gather for the sole purpose of finding solutions to the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa region. Otherwise, annual Horn of Africa conferences, scholarly in nature and in which I participated several times as a panel and floor discussant, were held for an entire decade from 1982 to 1993 at the New School and mostly at the City College of the City University of New York. “ Frankly speaking are not these HABESHA of ours could been more service to us if they could have hold a conference (if at all with such personality alone will peace come to..) about how to bring a stable and last solution to the Erityrean and Ethiopian conflict rather than jabbering from Darur to Kenya to Somalia Djibouti Eritrea, Asmara, Uganda what else…? Are you sick of these sick elites who think a myth beyond their ability than to think of only their own conflict? Which one is better to deal Two country of the same similar culture and close blood related people or trying to solve five different countries each of them of a very complex issue one from the other? Levee that to Dan Connell, Cohen, Paul Henze and their likes. They know how to deal with the five countries better than the elites from Eritrea and Ethiopia who simply are acting and speaking beyond their brain to solve the issue of five countries instead of their own conflict. Are you tired of the screwed up elites like me? Will not that better to spend the money that they spend to the Ethiopians, Eritreans, Somali and Sudanese immigrants who are hold hostages in Sinai Desert tortured, murdered, women and young children being raped, hold and sold as slaves? These are over thousands and hundreds (unknown numbers) still captive in Sahara and Sinai deserts and some held still in Egyptian prisons with disposable human treatment. Wouldn’t that be the easiest and primary and urgent issue to solve and help them free from their captives than spending thousand s and thousands of Dollars for elite entertainment? Where is your brain focusing Mr. /Miss Elite? These slaves from Eritrea and Ethiopia are screaming for someone to help them. Does these elites care even give coverage during their brainstorm group discussion (BULSHIT BRAIN DISCUSSION) on the floor on that conference the ordeal of these slaves? I invite you all to listen the audio posted on interviewed obtained from Eritrean young mother who was captivated and held hostage by the Bedouin of the Sinai (and Sahara) and the Rashaida (fanatic Islamic nomads ethnic group populating Eritrea and north-east Sudan) telling the story of her and hundreds of Eritreans, Ethiopian, immigrants’ ordeal. Did you elite talk as a matter of urgency to help them at least financially from your extravagance lunch and dinner that they urgently are requesting to pay the Egyptian jailers or pay Ethiopian Airline some $300.00 for each person? Let the Eritrean Paulos Tefagergis and his likes respond to my question and inquiry since he is the front host to such myth conference that is trying to solve five countries problem through Microphone inside a luxurious Hotel somewhere in the heaven of Atlanta. . Getachew-Reda editor Ethiopian Semay