ASMARA (HAN) May 20.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Zahra Ahmed Baduri. We always talk about the struggle for independence, the hard times our gallant vitrines went through to make Eritrea a free land, where everyone can prosper and enjoy the clear skies of freedom. The task of these valiant freedom fighters after independence was therefore, to bequest the price of freedom and the value of gallantry to the then young generation, who later become the guarantors of Eritrea’s sovereignty and prosperity. For the 25th independence anniversary, I give this article as a tribute to every youth who are participating in protecting and developing Eritrea. Those who are in different military forces and in every corner of their country dedicating their youth hood for the sake of guaranteeing the nation’s sovereignty and industriously engaged in nation building.
Since the declaration of national service in 1994, which saw to the fervent flow of the first round of thousands of young Eritreans until the latest 28th round, the mass youth have been carrying the responsibility of defending and developing Eritrea through fulfilling nationals obligations, working in various fields to make an advantageous difference in infrastructure, construction, education, health and others.
After the referendum in 1993, the youth of Eritrea further strengthened their feeling of nationalism and maintained their devotion to carry the obligation in keeping the nation free of any external intrusion and thwart any expansionist vibe entertained by an aggressor to reverse our hard won independence that definitely isn’t an issue easy to swallow.
Ethiopia’s rubber stamp parliament declared its war of aggression against Eritrea in May 1998, hence the first offensive, following the replacement of the Ethiopian currency, ‘Birr’ here in the free nation in 1997 with ‘Nakfa’, Eritrea’s permanent legal tender that made sure that Eritrea was finally ready to embark upon a brand new economic system. Unfortunately, Eritrea was compelled to protect itself again after conclusively winning the long wars of colonialism against, Emperor Hailesilasie feudalist system and the Derg military junta and the latter aggression of the minority TPLF clique. Here, the youth of Eritrea took the responsibility of standing up for their nation and was worldwide proven to be after the referendum that Eritrea is indeed for Eritreans, and the world couldn’t bare but to accept the outcome they never expected. When the war of invasion erupted in May 1998, the young national service members, at that time tagged as Warsay and their mentors, Yikealo, participated in the war and picked up the rifles to again claim what is rightfully theirs and consider themselves the heirs of an obligation bequeathed on to them from the martyrs.
As the war went on in three different offensives until the year 2000, the 3rd and final offensive, the unity of the general public and the unparalleled fortitude and heroism the youth demonstrated, thrashed the flood of TPLF soldiers, which intended to use the vastness of its military to its advantage, but lacked motive. Since their attempt was not successful, Eritrea had not only again proven its point of being a sovereign nation, but also of being immune of any annexation afterwards. In that sense, the youth generation at that time played a vital role in making that a realty.
Although the war ended and Eritrea was maintaining the peace it had long been striving for, it was the time for a new journey, a journey where construction, nation building and sustainability of domestic need where of prior care for the nation. Again, the youth played yet another great role by standing alongside of the government through tough economic, and political situations and hurdles imposed through ‘sanctions’. For Eritrea’s youth and the youth generation of that time participated in all aspects of building Eritrea’s infrastructure, enhancing literacy programs by increasing student rates through Educational awareness and programs of eliminating illiteracy which is a continues progress until today.
Regarding to which, On March 11, 2012, a five year work assessment meeting that was conducted at Warsay Yikealo secondary school in sawa showed, since the past 10 years, the school accommodated about 120,000 students, in which the previous last five years the school took an initiative in peer education programs and school based programs where youth became prime actives in helping each other for a better result in their Educational status, the status of the coming generations afterwards and prepare one another in making a positive difference in our nation building by taking educational consumption as a huge factor in that matter.
To state one of the main achievement among many made by our youth, thus the ‘Warsay Yikealo, when it comes to nation building, the Gerset agricultural project can set an excellent example. Various infrastructural facilities, including dams, road networks and water pipelines were built in the Gash Barka region to boost agricultural productivity, our country’s main source of production. The participation of our youth in this aspect registered some of the many impressive achievements of the Warsay Yikealo development campaign and that those engaged in the project worked with dedication, and that dedication of the youth is what brought a permanent agricultural development in Gerset in the year of 2010, reports made by Erina on March 2010 indicated that the results came to show that 6 big dynamos had been installed in the dam where by each one had the capacity of pumping 270 cubic meters of water per hour, now imagine with further developments made by our governments hard work in the overall improvements ever since, how far it has been enhanced to date?.
The walk of a sustainable developmental journey depends on us the youth of Eritrea, it for long had been a legacy for the young generations before us and now it’s our obligation to continue that oath as a responsibility in each of our lives. Eritrea has always been full of faith on its young population and their commitment to its multifaceted growth and overall stability, for this wasn’t an issue to easily miss for past generations whom strived to make Eritrea a peaceful state and a home of endless serenity to its people, consequently it should be the same and even more greater on our perspective, thus my generation.
The practice and the desire to work together always made the Eritrean people step up their strength for a common goal, our differences are a few or even negative of existence and the points we agree on are many, here the roles played by young generations in the past and us the new raising generation of Eritrea is by a great measure important to attain this stage of development we observe today and work further and more stronger to see Eritrea in a far greater stage in the future.
A quarter of a century is only the beginning and the road to our great future may seem tiring and long but it really is shorter than imagined when it comes to the ability and valiant commitment with in us the Warsay Yikealo, in making what is a passionate dream a tangible realty. Just like our history and the history of our pre and post independent. In spite of the unshakable gallant history made by our vitrines both martyred and alive, I chose to dedicate the 25th independence anniversary to all generations of the Warsay Yikealo until now whom inherited the bravery and firm commitment in both developing and protecting Eritrea after independence with great dedication of time and their unrepeated youth-hood. For Eritreans, starting from the ancestors until now are full of strong pride, determination and resilience in making the triumph permanent once and for all as a strong nation. All the appreciations goes back to the generations that fought and defeated the aggressors, to the once of ‘afros and Shidas’, and now to perfect heirs the generation of Warsay Yikealo whom are in every corner of Eritrea remain committed to answering the call of national duty and feel strange to sleep assured of freedom so that our future would be far brighter than it is today. Long live Eritrea free, prosperous, and wealthy of its loving people.