The Animal Farm/GOE
By Haben Zeray

George Orwell, the author of “The Animal Farm” wrote a satirical book in 1943, to show the deeds of the tyrants during his life time.  One day with the leadership of Napoleon, all the animals revolted.  They were upset at their mistreatment by humans.  Many said, it is cruel and unjust for humans to use and abuse us for the rest of our lives, and then once we are old and weak they slaughter us and consume us.  And many times, they said they love to kill us for meat, even when we are young too.  They revolted with a slogan, “Four legs good! Two legs bad” and drove the Jones’s out of the “Farm”.


At the beginning most things seem to go right. Napoleon, the king was a Pig.  The dogs were his generals and trusted soldiers. When the comrades say or do anything outside their “seven commandments” the dogs howl or bite!   The pigeons were the spies. They are even allowed to go outside the Farm.  Many of them have left the Farm and never returned. The horses were the workaholic of the society and had no time to be rational.  All they did was work long hours every day, and when Napoleon was pleased with them he would allow an extra ration of hays.  Whereas, the sheep were not so smart and were loyal followers, who were good at singing whatever was written for them.  You should hear them sing the song, all in unison, “Four legs goooood! Two legs Baaaad! . The donkeys, were the passive and uninformed part of the society.  Benjamin, the donkey was told to go to school.  It took him a few days to learn A, B,C, D.  Then he was asked to continue and started to learn E,F,G. He did it, but by the time he Learned the letter G, he forgot A,B,C,D!  The cats, were the comfort loving and knew how to live in peace and avoid work. The pigs, were the learned and the leaders of the society. They decide the food rations for the rest of their comrades.

Reflections and an example of Ghana:

Let’s cite an example of one country that understood  how a democratic process should be carried out.  While Eritrea was gaining its “independence”, Ghana was drafting its democratic constitutional referendum in 1991.  Ghana’s leader Mr. Rawlings seemed to have a better understanding of the world around him as compared to His Highness, Napoleon, the king of “Animal Farm”.  Mr. Rawlings understood that democracy and implementation of a constitution is a process.  It takes time to make it work and he understood it may never be perfect. But he started the democratic process with referendum of a constitution in 1991 and was ratified in 1992.   The 1992 constitution divides powers among a President, Parliament, Cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary.  Now, Ghana is one of the most democratic country with a constitution in Africa.  Yes, all political processes are done by votes and is a multiparty country.  Yes, Ghanaians vote for their leaders.  They vote every four years, they have been voting for all their leaders since 1992 successfully.   According to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), six of the fastest growing economies in 2012 are in Africa, namely Ghana, Niger, Rwanda, Libya, Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Additionally according to Transparency International , Ghana, South Africa, Namibia and Rwanda have the least corruption in Africa.  These countries have less corruption than Italy and Greece.  Napoleon, however was given the country in 1991, and he turned it into “An Animal Farm”.  The pigs rule! In 1991, 1993 and in 1997 (when the constitution was drafted) Eritreans were hopeful that they would have a democratic process similar to what the Ghanaians had achieved.  But pluralism and independent thinking is prohibited in Eritrea.

Unlike the disrespectful and arrogant belief of the “Animal Farm’s” leader, it is possible to have democracy in an any society.  If Ghanaians can vote and have a democratic process, we can have it in Eritrea as well.  No one deserves totalitarian military dictatorial leadership. The struggle for real freedom continues.

Democratic  questions are all simple, fair and just.  Why can’t every citizen vote for their leaders and hold them accountable?  Why can’t we have diversified, competing parties in Eritrea? Why do we have to settle with one man dictatorial rule in Eritrea? Why are people in jail for expressing themselves and exercising their basic rights as citizens in a country? The people had spoken via the draft of the constitution of 1997, how come we have not seen the beginning of the implementation of what the people at large wanted? If people voiced via the ratified constitution of 1997 and this is not implemented, wouldn’t those who were entrusted and failed make them illegal and rebel government? Why does Eritrea remain one of the poorest countries in the world?  The system we have in Eritrea at this time is broken, does not serve the people, is not governed by the rule of law and therefore, is not just and the leaders are not capable of leading the country to bring peace and workable diplomatic solutions.  The one party system led by PFDJ has programs and agendas that goes against the interests of the majority of Eritreans.  This party is a complete failure and politically and diplomatically inept. Many have called it a liability, and should be gutted out from its core in Eritrea.

Shame on those people in the Diaspora, who enjoy the democratic rights of many countries in the world, and yet who knowingly ignore the plight of Eritreans inside the country.  It is selfish and self serving not to want your own people in Eritrea also enjoy the same democratic rights that you enjoy daily.   You have sold your people for 30 vacation days.  You have intentionally  volunteered to be used by the government for a very short term personal gains.  You have completely forgotten the legacy of those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for the sake of freedom for all.  I urge you to side with your people who are waiting to hear from you.

I applaud those relentless activists who are fighting for their people.  Thank you for freeing those refugees who were trapped in many corners of the world.  And thanks to your efforts you have told the stories of those who cannot tell on their own.  We appreciate all those people who can clearly differentiate good from bad, constructive from destructive and are able verbalize them freely.  The freedom of expression in Eritrea is turned-off, and they need people like you to compensate for the lost freedom.   
The people of Eritrea are as intelligent as the rest of the world, and given the proper democratic environment they are able to govern themselves and bring peace with the neighbors and the rest of the world; they are able to bring economic, intellectual and political development that can compete with the rest of the world, just like Ghanaians are in the process of doing.  And the time will come.

Human rights shall flourish. The people of Eritrea will eventually rule. Dictatorship will soon be a thing of the past.
Concluding remark

Note to all those who continue to struggle for real freedom, the Eritrean government now knows that everything they do gets out in a very short time thanks to various social medias, internets  and eye-witness accounts.  There is nothing they can do about this.  Their main job now has turned into disrupting organized groups by propaganda and giving false labels via EriTV and their disciples.   Their biggest threat to them  are opposition groups, and PFDJ will do everything to weaken such groups.  We should not be fooled by their propaganda and please keep moving forward. And watch out for the “pigeons”.

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