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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:New Challenges in Postwar Eritrea
Author:Connell, Dan
Periodical:Eritrean Studies Review (ISSN 1086-9174)
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Northeast Africa
Subjects:People's Front for Democracy and Justice
Politics and Government
Military, Defense and Arms
Women's Issues
Development and Technology
Political development
gender discrimination
Institution building
capacity building
Abstract:While Eritrean women played a central role in the war, making up more than a third of the 95,000-strong Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), soon after the shooting stopped in May 1991, men in many villages and towns formed secret committees to try to block women from participating in peace-time distributions of land. This was only one of many instances of regressive forces reemerging to challenge the social content of the revolution. The author examines the challenges encountered by armed political movements in the transition from resistance to governance, with particular focus on Eritrea. Too often liberation means detachment and a steady erosion of contact with ordinary people, and in the worst cases it develops into indifference. The most difficult challenge Eritreans face is nation-building. Other matters of concern are freedom of the press, the right to self-organization, the impact of foreign funding, and, especially, the position of women. The author discusses the development of the EPLF into the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). The organization is still a powerful player in postwar Eritrean politics and economy, but the author remains optimistic about the future development of a democracy.