For Immediate Release

Since the imposition of the UNSC smart sanction on the Eritrean regime the internationally isolated and resoundingly condemned “government’s” leadership has increased the volume and intensity of its undiplomatic diatribe while shamelessly posturing to come across like a victim of an unjust decision by the collective Security Council.

Instead of honestly and purposefully reviewing and putting an end to the very irresponsible behavior and illegal actions that has lead the United Nation to take a very drastic decision, the dictatorial regime keeps further exasperating the circumstances and factors that were the very core reasons for imposition of the Smart Sanction.

A four tier strategy launched by the PFDJ clique in power to mitigate the full impact of the sanction has been unfolding since the UNSC decision. Let us review the strategy.

The Showmanship stage: This stage was inaugurated by Isaias Afeworki’s 8 hours of incoherent, stall, monotonous and prepackaged interview. Nothing new was presented in the monologue except a deeper exposure as to how convoluted the leadership has become. The purpose of the bravado rhetoric was simply intended to divert the minds and hearts of the Eritrean people from asking how and why we got to this mess. The intention was to rally the people and the nation around the defunct leadership. The effort was to reassert leadership and legitimacy in the eyes of the people. This did not work as it was intended.

The Blame stage: This stage began by making an all out effort to link the UN decision with previous unfair historical decisions thus trying to shift from the sanction’s precise and narrow focus –targeted sanctions essence- away from the corrupt and adventurist authoritarian leadership to the whole nation. With the hope of utilizing the legitimate nationalism of the Eritrean people as means of covering its failure to address the legitimate demands of the UN the regime through its media and agents tried to blame old adversaries and revive old ghosts.

The Confuse stage: This stage has been focused by intentional misinterpretation of the meaning and implication of UNSC Smart Sanction. The sanction does not target the Eritrean people who are already suffering under the brutal tyranny and suffocating PFDJ comprehensive internal political, economic and social sanction. Sanction 1970 is aimed at the power holders and the higher echelon support machinery of the unelected Eritrean “government”. The intensive disinformation being disseminated through the official regime media and unofficial global PFDJ network is intended to confuse the people of Eritrea both at home and in the Diaspora. This is the strategy of “if you cannot convince them confuse them”.

As the details of the sanction are sorted out by the UN Sanction Committee more Eritreans will come to understand the true essence of the Smart Sanction. That is why the regime is in a hurry to confuse and rally whatever meager level of support it can get before the euphoria settles down and the hard truth becomes the dominant understanding. This is a rush against time. It will not alter the truth permanently.

The Implicate Stage: This stage has started by the call for international demonstration against the sanction on February 22, 2010. The regime has been stunned by the turn of events at the UN. It might have hoped for one of the two of its godfathers- by- default- China or the Soviet Union- to come to its rescue and veto the sanction. Fortunately the two members of the Security Council believed the evidence presented to them and chose not to stretch their hands to save the reputation of a reckless tyrant who refuses to respect basic diplomatic principles and protocols. The frenzy and the hyperventilation of the regime is fear based and out of desperation. This underlines the new reality. The UNSC decision, in principle, has to be implemented by every country that is a member of the UN even Libya that voted against it.

The fourth aspect of the regime’s agenda will have dangerous implication for those Eritreans in Diaspora who will be unwise enough to buy into it at face value. It is our duty to try to inform and extend a measured advice to the individuals who will entertain the idea of attending this unholy demonstration, thus the need for the urgent statement.

Who initiated this demonstration? What is the real purpose of the demonstration? What is the relationship of the demonstration with the so called Mekete? Who will benefit from this demonstration? Have demonstrations ever reversed a sanction before? These and other vital questions have to be addressed properly so that it will give the individual Eritreans targeted by the regime and its official and unofficial overseas agents to take part in this “Save the Regime” demonstration to think wisely and understand the full implication of what it means to take part in the demonstration.

The irony is that the regime is crying out loud for last minute desperate support from Eritreans who are citizens or residents of democratic nations to organize a demonstration by utilizing the democratic right bestowed to them through the democratic governments of their new countries while the doctor and his state owned media lecture the world about the absence of democracy in Europe, America, or the rest of the world.

The Eritrean people at home aren’t allowed to organize a nation-wide demonstration inside Eritrea on this subject because the demonstration could get out of the governments control and turn against itself as it did in other totalitarian nations before. Yet the regime is willing to use Eritreans in democratic country to come out and support its undemocratic nature through democratic demonstration.

Those who decide to attend this unholy demonstration must see the contradiction in their posture. While we recognize and fully appreciate the right of all people to hold a peaceful demonstration without reservation we deplore, in the strongest term possible, the use of democracy to advance the oppression of people 10,000 miles away by defending and excusing the actions of a brutal regime that the world has decisively repudiated through the December 23, 2009 UNSC sanction.

The effort to use this sanction as a means of shoring up its declining financial revenue and political support from the Diaspora community, even if it means that there might be a possibility of bringing the activities of some of the organizers and coordinators of this kind of demonstration and the so-called Mekete fundraising activities around the demonstration into the attention of US Homeland Security and Department of Commerce, the regime is so desperate that it would not give a damn about the possible negative consequence to the Eritrean individuals.

As long as it serves its temporary agenda the regime will use any means to keep support at any cost. That is why we feel the regime is now working to implicate some Eritreans with its poisonous agenda. We do not feel this should happen to any Eritrean who might not agree with our evaluation or characterization of the regime. We have a duty to forewarn those who are risking everything to support a defunct authoritarian regime that is approaching its final days.

No demonstration has ever reversed a United Nation’s sanction. There is only one way to incrementally reverse the sanction: The regime has to comply without any precondition.

This effort (demonstration) should have been undertaken by those who are thinking of marching way before the sanction was voted on and demanding that the regime curtail all its illegal activities as requested by the UN. They should have clearly understood that supporting Eritrea starts by demanding the regime bring its unlawful control of political power to an end and stop endangering the future of Eritrea with its adventurous foreign policy. Closing the barren after the cows have left is a misguided approach to resolving our national crisis. The UN had made its intentions known way early and had given ample time for the regime to address the concerns of the African Union, IGAD and Security council in due time. The regime’s hubris will keep deepening the crisis. We say to our fellow Eritreans: Blame the cause and stop fighting the effect.

The best way to defend Eritrea and its people is to honestly come to grip with the reality that the regime that is isolated and condemned by the international community does not represent the true interest of the people of Eritrea. This regime is unsalvageable. Our unified effort has to be focused not on marching to sanitize a repugnant regime but to bring peace and democracy to our people by demanding and working for lasting true change.

The showmanship and the rhetoric have not worked. Blaming has gotten the regime nowhere. The confusion is slowly being exposed by the truth. The effort to implicate the Diaspora in its diabolical agenda has now to be derailed in order to save our community.

Let us, as one people, do away with indifference because it is the greatest crime of all. Let us rise together from the ashes of our historical mistakes and save our beloved country from the grips of tyrannical darkness and bring it forth to the daylight of freedom and justice.

We appeal to you not to attend or support the February 22, 2010 demonstration. History will be unforgiving. Stand with the people of Eritrea. Abandon your support for the authoritarian regime.

Eritrean Global Solidarity

January 28, 2010.