The noise of debating Eritrea

It’s hard to find a decent discussion between pro-government and the opposition. Often their communication is degraded with off-topic ‘slogans’ and nasty insults.

A typical ‘discussion’  goes like this: it starts on the topic of Eritrean government, for no apparent reason goes to Ethiopian government, then to the U.S., and suddenly people are expressing impolite opinions about each other.

Two sides of a story?…

Wherever Eritreans meet in cyberspace it is a common sight that they engage in heated debate about their government. Of course such ‘sight’ only exists in the diaspora setting.

Apparently, Eritreans don’t disagree about their government when they are living inside the country. Dissident thoughts mysteriously cease to exist on that side of the border.

Those opposing the government would argue that dissidence or even disapproval of the government inside the country it is brutally oppressed. But then, they rarely have a good explanation why all of their proof comes from (as government supporters see it) the likes of “unreliable testimonies” of refugees and from “universally discredited” organizations such as the Red Cross, U.N., Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, etc.

For example, you will never hear the opposition quote the Eritrean newspaper to support their claim of government crackdown. Instead, they quote the non-Eritrea Al Jazeera or BBC or Reuters.

It is clear that the government has better access to the country, so if you should find any information conflicting (and you will) make the sane choice and trust the government media.

Eritrean Ambassador to Japan, Mr Estifanos Afeworki, gives his opinion of those who conflict his government’s account of Eritrea, to him they are “Scavengers of Eritrea’s blood”.

…Or just two stories?

I believe the reason why discussions of Eritrea are often hostile is because the debate starts without first agreeing on basic facts. For example, how can you debate whether or not the UN Sanctions against Eritrean government are good or bad when you have not agreed whether the Eritrean government is good or bad? How can UN Sanctions be just if there was no conflict with Djibouti to begin with?
Government supporters are talking about this Eritrea:

While those who disagree are talking about this Eritrea:
HRW
In a recent blog, I attempted to explain that the authorized version of Eritrea is nothing like the Eritrea most are talking about.

according to gov

 The noise.

No wonder the confrontation between the government supporters and dissidents is like the confrontation of two noisy street protesters. Both groups shout their respective slogans at the top of their lung and talk ‘over’ each other, not ‘to’ each other. Their objective is to make their message the loudest in the street and not so much to communicate, let alone to convince each other. Both sides have given up on each other. And they should.

[View story on Storify]

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