What our world fell short of making the grade over the past two mil¬lennia is but ensuring global harmony. On the contrary, national harmo¬ny—which, beyond belief to many, Eritrea is blessed with and yet other nations throughout the world are bereft of—remains one of the key se¬crets of the Eritrean people. The Eritrean people managed to fulfill popu¬lar participation and aspiration of the entire nation, thereby paying huge sacrifices in the protracted liberation struggle for achieving a common sovereign state and national harmony.
Needless to say, the Eritrean society did not come into existence with intact sainthood; but rather, as is the case with all other societies, it got through historic contretemps of differences. It is on record in the an¬nals of this country that Eritrea’s revolution had in mid 1940s, and later on, during the aristocratic leadership and organization of the ELF, been doomed to defeat its noble goal of nationhood. Had the EPLF not rid well itself of all divisive subnational sentiments and practices, had the Front not committed itself to a united Eritrea, had the EPLF not forged ahead by keeping the ranks of the entire population intact for the same common cause, Eritrea would not have achieved independence.
Even within the EPLF, there had been some minor incidents taken too far from reality. Having prevailed over all odds self-assured and objectively, the EPLF concentrated much of its political endeavors on uncared-for sectors and boldly promoted that the Front was meant for national organization, whose members would align themselves with the common national cause in place of endorsing different ethnic groups. The Front also made every effort to realize a viable national harmony through genuine popular participation, as well as sternly rectified inad¬equacies.
In the wake of independence, a cross-sectional Government that gives priority to national interests was set up in order for this national founda¬tion to fare well and become consolidated in an institutionalized manner. Subsequently, the Government of Eritrea instituted a mechanism that firmly dispenses with all subnational political platitudes and practices. Social fabric of the Eritrean people is constituted of multiple languages, religions and ethnic nationalities. Unlike other nations, however, the Eri¬trean people have by no means confounded the aesthetics of such diver¬sity with threat and curse. This is so in light of the persuasive conviction stated hereunder:
Religion is an individual freedom of faith. Travelers heading towards the same destination may well prefer to sojourn at a place of their con¬venience. The choices we make, however, require conducive ground for completion: a nation. Nationhood has a common characteristic, which is not subject to individual preference. A nation is the focal point by which we make our choices. The Eritrean people, who underwent the two phases of existence and nonexistence of a nation, does not count on a wandering minstrel to witness that nationhood is invariably an essential factor for survival. In other words, peaceful coexistence is conceivable only when the nonbeliever exercises the right to hold faith in the favored way and only when this individual freedom is shielded by national unity. It is not unnatural to witness differences in a population of millions, let alone in a family belonging to the same biological mother. There exists a fair analogy between the said mother and nationhood. Continued ex-istence of a nation is the prerequisite for accommodating differences. In fact, nationhood takes precedence over individual wishes.
Having lost hope on the firepower and brute force, colonial forces left no stone unturned to slacken its harmony, values, peaceful coexistence, tolerance and the broad-based composition and unity, as well as to sow discord among the people through a number of divisive subnational sentiments. As religious and national consciousness of the Eritrean people was beyond such acrimonious polarization, a plethora of divisive at¬tempts made by successive colonizers were rendered null and void. As a result of the decades long experience and the huge sacrifices paid, Eri¬trea now takes due pride in national harmony. Since all things may well assume reverse gears, however, this salient factor deserves to flourish preserved. It is imperative to bear in mind nations, irrespective of their heroic feats, that failed to surmount subnational sentiments through na¬tional harmony.
Unless peace is cherished with vigilance, it has proven time and again a treasure with poignant effect. Drawing the veil over the hard times experienced collectively, all attempts made to conceal yourself under parochial masquerade of subnational sentiments at a time when you meet your Waterloo is tantamount to impiety towards the noble cause to which our martyrs paid dear lives. Eritrea is a nation of our martyrs; and hence, such subnational congregations, which take precedence over the lofty goals of Eritrea due to light-mindedness or lack of sobriety, ought to be curtailed uncompromisingly and with zero tolerance.