2000 January MESSAGE To ADOLAY KORNELIOS OSMAN and ALI JAKOB
Dear Ali Jakob.(Gash-Mena= the Voice of Gash),
Dear Kornelios Osman, (Erkukodisu-DMLEK),
this letter we are sending you both, contains a summary of the idea, suggestions and proposals that had been collected from your Kunama compatriots living all over the world.
It took us quite sometimes to consult the Kunama residing in the following continents and countries:
Africa: Ethiopia and Sudan
Asia: Saudi Arabia
America: Canada and U.S.A
Australia and Europe: Germany, Italy, Holland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Our aims was to find out what kinds of activities we, as Kunama, should be involved in and what means should we be using to carry out our activities on behalf of our fellow-Kunama at home.
As we had already informed you on the minutes of our last meeting held August 1999, we are working on two very critical realities the Kunama people are confronted with today
1.- Lack of RECOGNITION and PROTECTION (on the part of the present government) of our CULTURAL IDENTITY and
2.- continuous attempts (on the part of the highland population) to invade our KUNAMA LAND PROPERTY RIGHTS.
Coming to the questions of the methods we should be adopting to achieve these goals, we thought it was vital to consult as many Kunama as we could and the ideas collected from fellow-Kunama suggest tht.
YOU ALI JAKOB and the other by:- YOU KORNELIOS OSMAN, has left everyone of us Kunama abroad speechless and deeply concerned.
You both well know what has happened to the Kunama people in the last 20 to 25 years, due to division brought about by the external forces like, the different Eritrean armed factions on one side and the Ethiopian government on the other.
The internal divisions among Kunama themselves were, unfortunately, brought about by some Kunama individuals nd groups who were seeking only their own interest.
There is no need, here, to enumerate the big damages, done to the entire Kunama people, by such individuals and groups.
We have intention of finding out the reasons that had brought you both to such a drastic decision, but we would like to remind you that , conflicts and divisions among Kunama by Kunama themselves, mean a great victory to all those external forces that have always tried, and are still trying , to destroy us Kunama.
Remember too, that you both are dealing with the very young generation of Kunama who, we hope, will be the future leaders of a united and not of a torn-apart Kunama society.
We absolutely, do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past and hope that, you both too, would like to, sincerely co-operate to heal those wounds.
Causing new divisions among Kunama once more would mean carrying on writing that dark history of our past.
The clean Kunama history, infact, has taught us that, whenever their existence was threatened, the Kunama had always reacted in UNITY, fought together and saved their race from extinction.
Why then, would we like to co-operate in “extinguishing our own race?“
As you know, starting in September 1999, we had taken part in several meetings held by the new Eritrean Alliance and we are continuing working with them.
In each of those meetings, the main stress was always ALLIANCE, UNITY and TOGETHERNESS“ of the different Eritrean ethnic groups and we are trying to keep that momentum.
For us Kunama,it would be very illogical to talk of “unity, togetherness and joint work“ with others if, among ourselves, there exist factions, divisions and on-going conflicts because of personal and other ambitions.
OUR SUGGESTION, therefore is:
Dear Ali Jakob and Dear Kornelios Osman, that, you two put aside your conflicting points and misunderstandings, go back to the reasons that had motivated you, in the first place, to stand up and fight for Kunama rights, respect each other´s aims and activities and avoid undermining the whole purpose of working on behalf of your own Kunama people.
Remember too, that you are not the only ones involved in this struggle, but every Kunama that feels proud of his or her ethic-group.
We therefore, need respect for each individual or groups of Kunama, that seriously and honestly, strive for the survival and well-being of our people.
It is a very big responsibility we all have assumed and will be accountable for each single Kunama who might have suffered because of our own deficiencies and “ego-centric goals“.
Please, ponder over these reactions, coming to you both from your Kunama brothers and sisters.
We wish you both and each one of you, a good health, a safe life and a very successful end in your, hopefully, united efforts for the welfare and well-being of our people.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
From your fellow-Kunama abroad (January 2000)