Sunday, 23 September 2018

Articles on Self-Determination and Secessionism in Africa

SELF-DETERMINATION AND SECESSION A 21st Century Challenge to the Post-colonial State in Africa by Redie Bereketeab

Self-Determination and Secessionism in Somaliland and South Sudan CHALLENGES TO POSTCOLONIAL STATE-BUILDING

Determinants of Successful Secessions in Post-colonial Africa: Analyzing the Cases of Eritrea and South Sudan, a 2014 MA Thesis, by By Albano Agostinho Troco, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Self-Determination and Multi-Ethnic Societies in Africa

How students in Eritrea and Norway make sense of literature, PhD Thesis

How students in Eritrea and Norway  make sense of literature, a 2010 PhD Thesis, Oslo University by Juliet Munden


This study is about how people make sense of literature. More specifically, it explores how Eritrean literature in English is read by students at two institutions of teacher education, one in Norway and one in Eritrea. It is therefore a comparison of two interpretive communities. One underlying assumption is that culture, especially how national identity is constructed, maintained and challenged, influences the discoursal positions and interpretive strategies available to readers. The students‟ responses are analysed in the light of their national cultures and the social, educational and institutional contexts that they share. A second assumption is that each individual response cannot be completely accounted for by these factors. Readers, then, give meaning to texts, and texts achieve meaning first when they are read. But a text limits the coherent interpretations available to a reader.    There are few qualitative comparative studies about how people make sense of literature, and this in itself is a rationale for this study. What comparative studies there are typically organise respondents by nationality, but refer only briefly to their culture and context. An important component of this study is therefore a methodological discussion of what a comparative study of nationally defined groups of readers entails. A further motivation is that there is currently virtually no research in the humanities in Eritrea.         

The bulk of the material is provided by twelve Eritrean and ten Norwegian students of English, who wrote about three Eritrean literary texts: a fable, a short prose narrative and a play. They also answered a questionnaire about their experience and expectations of literature. To contextualise the literary texts I review the political and aesthetic space of literature in Eritrea, and provide an overview of Eritrean literature in English. Both groups of students reported finding fiction useful because it expanded their horizons and gave them an opportunity to learn about other cultures. Unlike the Norwegian students, most of the students in Eritrea looked to literature first and foremost with the expectation that it should contribute to upholding a moral society and their own moral integrity.      The students in Eritrea were fairly consistent in being assertive in response to all three texts. Unlike the students in Norway, they were confident of having found the meaning of the texts they read, using strategies apparently developed through encounters with oral literature, the literature of which they had had most experience prior to their studies. The students in Norway were more likely to point out the individuality of their responses, with the possibility of there being other interpretations. The responses of the two groups were most similar in regard to a previously unfamiliar literary text about young people, where both were concerned with the importance of friendship and the innocence of childhood. They responded most differently to the nationalist play The Other War. The students in Eritrea consistently reproduced a national narrative template which was not available to the students in Norway, whose preferred interpretive strategy was to offer an understanding in terms of the characters‟ interaction, emotions and earlier experiences. This strategy, which they brought to all three texts, did not necessitate an understanding of social and political contexts, nor a moral standpoint. Student texts provided a rich material and they were well-suited to a research situation where transparency was an important consideration. A broader understanding of context than is found in most earlier studies of reading has proved conceptually valuable in accounting for the strategies and discoursal positions of the two interpretive communities.

Not All Liberation Movements Lead to Democracy: A Comparative case Study of Uganda and Eritrea

Not All Liberation Movements Lead to Democracy: A Comparative case Study of Uganda and Eritrea, a 2015 MA Thesis, University of Colorado. By OMUNU ABALU

Diaspora tourism and the negotiation of belonging: journeys of young second-generation Eritreans to Eritrea

Diaspora tourism and the negotiation of belonging: journeys of young second-generation Eritreans to Eritrea, a 2017 article by Graf, Samuel

Published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(15):2710-2727.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The United Nations and the Independence of Eritrea

The United Nations and the Independence of Eritrea, a 286 page book, published by the UN in 1996

"The military conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea was one of Africa's longest struggles for independence and one of the world's most protracted campaigns for self-determination since the founding of the United Nations."

"On 27 April 1993, the Referendum Commission announced the official provisional results. Of those who had cast their votes, 1,098,015 had voted "yes" and 1,825 had voted "no"; 323 votes were invalid and 53,838 were tendered ballots, cast at a polling-station at which the voter was not registered. This meant that 99.805 per cent of those participating in the referendum had voted for independence, and only 0.17 per cent had voted against. Eritreans voting in Ethiopia, the Sudan and other countries, as well as members of the EPLA, had voted "yes", again with nearly total unanimity. "


Thanks to Habesah AGreat for sharing

Friday, 24 August 2018

Highlights from the report of the UN Commission to Eritrea 1950

Highlights from the report of the UN Commission to Eritrea 1950

Resolution 289 (a) (IV) consisting of three parts, each dealing with one of the ex-Italian colonies. Section (C), relating to Eritrea, was adopted by the plenary session of the general assembly on 21 November 1949, which established the United Nations Commission for Eritrea to ascertain more fully the wishes of the inhabitants of Eritrea and the means of promoting their future welfare. 
The five-power-commission consisting of representatives from Norway, the Union of South Africa, Burma, Pakistan and Guatemala was established to ascertain the wishes of the Eritrean people and to solicit the views of interested governments. The commission established its head- quarters in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, and held some seventy public and private meetings between 15 February and the end of April 1950.                                                                                             

Members of the commission with Haile Sellasie and the British Ambassador

During the same period, it visited various parts of Eritrea and travelled to the capitals of Ethiopia, Egypt and, Italy to consult with these governments. At the end of April, the commission retired to Geneva to prepare its report and recommendation for submission to the interim committee for its meeting on 15 June.

The commission members were too pressed for time to prepare a joint proposal and, instead, they agreed, on 8 June, to submit some selected  documents along with their individual recommendations. The Norwegian member (Erling Qvale) proposed that Eritrea be united with Ethiopia; the South African (F.H. Theron) and Burmese (Aung Khine) that Eritrea be federated with Ethiopia; and the Pakistani (Mia Ziaud-Din) and Guatemalan (Carlos Garcia Bauer) commissioners that Eritrea be an independent state. The reports of the commission was presented to the Secretary General (Trygve Lie)of the UN on June 9, 1950.

This report is in French, but easier to read the tables about the population breakdown by language and religion, the names of the members of the political parties they met and other relevant info.

Summary of AG-048 United Nations Commission for Eritrea (1950), files

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The Future of Ethiopia: Developmental State or Political Marketplace?

The Future of Ethiopia: Developmental State or Political Marketplace? by Alex de Waal


" In my case, one prism through which I interpret Ethiopian developments is the analysis derived from numerous discussions that I had with Meles Zenawi between 1988 and 2012. I initially developed the framework of the ‘political marketplace’ as a critique of Meles’s theory of the ‘democratic developmental state’. In particular, I saw monetized or marketized politics as a threat to the stateled developmental order that Meles envisioned: I argued that as well as the two scenarios he envisaged, namely economic transformation versus a relapse into poverty and chaos, there was a third: a political marketplace. The rationale for this paper is that these two frameworks, the developmental state and the political marketplace, offer analytical insights that are important for understanding Ethiopia today.

This paper has two parts. The first is based on those conversations with Meles. I have notes from many of them (especially from the period 2007- 2012) and recollections of others. I have organized them into the themes of the developmental state, democracy and nationalism, and foreign policy and security strategy. In each case what I present are amalgams of notes, verbatim transcripts, and a few inferences. They are rearranged for coherence. "