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Written by Herui T Bairu   
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 21:44
The Eritrean Congress Party Strategy Adi is a political vehicle whose main mission is to translate the principles of the Strategy Adi into an Eritrean reality. The name of our website is: "The Eritrean Congress Party Web Page" (ECPWP). The mission of our website is to spread and deepen the crucial message embodied in the Strategy Adi. The key historical concepts embedded in our Strategy Adi are: a) Adi, b) Highi Indaba, c) Baito, and d) Zega.


a. The Adi/Ad

The Tigrinya/Tigre term, by which the juridically chartered communes of Eritrea are known, is one of the central pillars of Eritrean identity. Eritrea is overwhelmingly organized in Adis that share the following characteristics:

The Adi is organized on a territorial and not on ethnic basis

  • The economic organization of the Adi is based on the principle of private property in its relations to the state, but is owned collectively by the inhabitants of the Adi community. The Adi structure denied the growth of a feudal system where land belonged to the king or the feudal lords.

b. Highi Indaba

The Adi is a territorially defined unit that enjoys an autonomous status within the framework of the Highi Indabas or ancestral constitutions.

c. The Baito

Public life in the Adis is organized around the democratic Baitos or assemblies; the Baito combined legislative, judicial, and administrative functions. In keeping with this tradition, the parliament of Eritrea is referred to as the ‘Baito of Eritrea'.

  • The Eritrean Baito is a unique institution in our region. In a region whose political history was based on the concept of the divine right of kings and feudalism, the Eritrean Baito was an elective institution.

d. Zega Adi

Zegnet or citizenship in the Mereb Melash (present Eritrea) is based on membership in the Adi community. Any person outside the Adi system is not treated as a Zega or a citizen. Citizenship, residential plots, and farming land rights, and all other rights and duties that ensue from it, are directly dependent upon certifiable membership in the Adi community. It is painful to point out that the draft constitution failed to tackle the central matter of citizenship. Two concepts of citizenship are left hanging; these are the historical Adi-derived citizenship, and the referendum related quasi-citizenship. In time the PFDJ obliterated the concept of the Zega Adi by the instrumentality of the referendum. The referendum was a right bestowed to all who resided in Eritrea, irrespective of origin, to cast their votes for or against independence. The referendum is not, however, the law of Eritrean citizenship. What we have today is not Eritrean citizenship but a kind of PFDJ ‘Eritrean identity' bought at 2% of our incomes.

The historical principles of the strategy Adi need to be internalized by Eritrea lovers because:

  • Out of the concept of Adi emerged our passion for a modern Eritrean nationhood
  • Out the concept of Baito our passion for constitutional democracy was born
  • Out the concept of Highi Indaba grew forth our commitment to the Rule of Law
  • Out of the concept Zega Adi emerged our modern concept of Eritrean citizenship

Propelled by these beliefs,

  • The ECPWP shall struggle for a constitution that defines Eritrean citizenship
  • It shall, likewise, struggle for a constitution based on popular autonomy, universal and equal rights, free elections, and the secret ballot.
  • The ECPWP shall fight for the establishment of an autonomous judiciary. Only when justice and the rule of law are uncontaminated by political and financial influence mongering can it be said that a vital and vibrant democracy has been planted in Eritrea.
  • The ECPWP shall struggle restore the historical regions of Eritrea.
  • The three level ‘baitos': that is to say, the Adi, provincial and national assemblies, shall be the basis of Eritrean parliamentary democracy and decentralization.
  • The ECPWP shall struggle to replace the stipulation that land belongs to the government by the principle of private property. Land shall be divided among the inhabitants of the Adis on the basis of residential and livelihood needs.
  • The ECPWP shall keep the memory of the monumental struggle of our people for independence alive and enshrine the saga of our martyrs.

The ECPWP differs from existing Eritrean websites in its ambition to promote national debate - in the context of expressing divergent views. The editors of the ECPWP shall demand strict adherence to courtesy and mutual respect. The material published in the ECPWP is protected by international laws of publishing.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 20:23
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