THE SHABIA REGIME, ERITREAN TIGRIANS, THE KUNAMA LAND & THE KUNAMA PEOPLE.
If we are to reflect upon the Eritrean independence struggle, we are to conclude that, it had been solely for the benefit of the Eritrean-Tigrian ethnic group.
We, however, have to consider that Eritrea is the nation of many ethnic and folk-groups; namely: the Afar, the Baria, the Beni-Amer, the Hadareb, the Bilen, the Jeberti, the Kunama, Saho, the Tigre and Eritrean-Tigrians; but, in the final analysis and practically, Eritrea, today, has been turned into the land, the nation, only, of the Eritrean-Tigrians, but why?
The present President, Isayas Afwerki, being himself a member of the Eritrean-Tigrian and his dictatorial regime's members who, somehow, seem to suffer from some kind of ethnic-identity complex, see the members of the other Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups, as the eliens in the Eritrean nation and society, and treat them somewhat differently. The President Isayas Afwerki himself seem to be considering them as foreigns, in the Eritrean nation and society, although they might be even more Eritrean than himself. He is even speaking and doing as if the Eritrean-nation were identified with his own-self and with the Eritrean-Tigrian population. Everything done and happens in Eritrea is today believed to have the blessing of the Eritrean-Tigrians, but what about the many other Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups? Are they there only as bystanders, although having a defined own homelands, own languages and own cultures? Was the struggle for Eritrea's independence conducted only by the Eritrean-Tigrian population? Is it not partly true to state instead, that the Eritrean-Tigrian-population was in fact, the late-comer, in the Eritrean independence issue? Let us not dig deep in the question of the Eritrean independence. Suffice to say that it was in fact conducted with the participation of the entire Eritrean population. How come that, today, Eritrea is considered to be the nation, only of the Eritrean-Tigrians?
Traditionally, among the three highland Eritrean-Tigrian regions of Akele-Guzai, Hamasien and Serae, there has always existed a very fierce competition in establishing an Eritrean-Tigrian regional supremacy, which they are now spreading among the homelands of the other Eritan ethnic and folk-groups, using the same force and arrogance, not only to impose their regional supremacy, but also to use their political force and arrogance to grab-the homelands of the other Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups. This is creating the same kind of conflicts existing among the Eritrean-Tigrian regions and populations of Akele-Guzai, Hamasien and Serae that has become the continuous point of conflict among themselves. Now the main question is:
how can the Eritrean-Tigrians populations of Akele-Guzai, Hamasien and Serae, agree to live in peace and harmony with the other Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups, if they are unable to agree to live in peace and harmony with their own Eritrean-Tigrian populations of the three Eritrean-Tigrian highland regions?
In conclution, it is fair to state that it is the Eritrean-Tigrian ethnic-group which is the present main problem of the Eritrean nation's and society.
There are certain diametrically, opposed principles which exist among the various Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups. There are many other principles which the various Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups, not only they do hold dear ones , but they are also completely different ones, that the regime should only respect, even if they do appear odd.ones out.
Let us consider only the problem of the Eritrean land distribution and administration.
Traditionally, the Kunama people believe and say that “land is God's property, because he is its Creator“ and therefore, “the land is neither sold nor bought “. As a matter of fact, the Kunama people do neither “sell nor buy their land“. They only administer it.
The Eritrean PFDJ's regime states it that “the Eritrean land is State's/Government's property“, as if it were its creator.
The Kunama people in fact, find very difficult to reconcile the two principles. Most of the Eritrean-Tigrian people who believe that PFDJ regime is their government do accept such principle and act accordingly, which is the reason why the Kunama people are in a contiuous conflict with the regime's local authorities. Who can one solve such enigma? The Kunama people believe that there is no authority greater than the creator, and only he has the might to create the land.
The Eritrean regime itself is a creature and not the creator and therefore it cannot be the creator of the land in order to claim to be the owner of the land.
The question of the land, as a property of the government, had first been introduced by the Italian colonial government, with the principle of “terreno demaniale“, meaning: “Government`s land“, but the Italian government had introduced such principle solely, to allow its “Italian agricoltori e minatori“, to own and administer only certain parts of the Kunama land, but it had never interfered or sequestrated any of the Kunama people's crop-fields which meant that the Italian government, used such principle, only to saveguard the territorial properties of its citizens, but never used force to grab the Kunama people's fields. The subsequent Ethiopian government too had never intemingled itself, in the affairs of the Kunama people's land. .
The Kunama people identify themselves with their ancestral Kunama homeland and this was one of the many reasons why, in 2000 Ethio-Erit war time the Kunama land was invaded by the Ethiopian military, after these had pulled back the Eitreans' regime's soldiers and were advancing towads the Eritrean highland, most of the Eritrean-Tigrians, who used to resettle in many parts of the Kunama land, abandoned those parts and retreated in their highlands homelands, whereas the Kunama, as well as many populations, neighbouring the Kunama people, remained in their homelands. Only afterwards did they, not only return again to the Kunama land, but they were still more determined to be still more involved, not only in grabbing the Kunama land, but even claiming to have the right to sharing the Kunama people's crop-fields, which is happening until now, with the Kunama people, slowly, being sidelined from their crop-fields and leaving only the Eritrean-Tigrians, imposing their supremacy upon the Kunama people to, as they are used to trying the same principle, upon their fellow Eritrean-Tigrians, in their homelands, in the highland of Eritrea. It is needless to affirm that such activity is sowing, a lot of resentments and anger, upon the Kunama people.
Would, either the PFDJ's regime or the Eritrean-Tigrians, be prepared to do the same and allow some Kunama to share the crop-fields together with the Eritrean-Tigrians in their homelands in their highland regions? Not even in dream!
It is also reported that something similar is happening, in many parts of Eritrea, among many different Eritrean ethnic and folk-groups' homelands. It in fact, seems that, both, the PFDJ's regime and its Ertrean-Tigrian people have the plan to change the whole of Eritrea, into the nation only of the Eritrean-Tigrians.
Many Eritrean-Tigrians, settled in the Kunama land, are said to be buying a lot of the Kunama land, building a lot of houses and selling or renting them to their kinds, as if they had paid God, for the land they had baught, or as if they themselves were the creators of the land they had occupied.
In the final analysis, let us conclude that the Eritrean-Tigrians, both those at home, in Eritrea, as well as those, only nominally, in the opposition-camp, are the ones maintaining the PFDJ dictatorial regime in power, in Eritrea.
The Kabit: February 22, 2018.