“Unity in diversity”

Eritrean Unity

“Unity in diversity” is the symbol of Eritrean unity. It refers to the highly valued tolerance among Eritrean diversities, and is the main reason that makes peace the most prevalent national asset in Eritrea. This treasurable asset as it is glowing, is attracting global attention, since; it is so rare to find peace within the region, [Horn of Africa] that is widely highlighted by natural disasters and conflicts. Such a peace was not a free price; it cost heavy sacrifices of generations.

For Eritreans, “Unity in diversity” is a wisdom that brought our multi-linguistic and multi-ethnic beauties together. The genesis of this wisdom goes back centuries, when our forefathers devoted their life to combat all dimensional challenges and build a peaceful and prosperous society. Thus, we Eritreans regardless of our religious, ethnic and linguistic differences, identify ourselves simply as Eritreans, wholeheartedly believing and sacrificing our life for national identity as the only secured path towards peace and prosperity. The potential power of such an attitude was practically demonstrated in our war for independence and in the shining out of our post-independence challenges.

“Unity in diversity” as a principle that constitutes Eritrean national identity, embodies all of the other national values and norms. Resilience, voluntarism, patriotism, equality, and self-reliance are some of the core national values and norms in which “Unity in diversity” holds.

Other states which lack the respect among diversities, are much prone to foreign interventions and internal conflicts. Division, as it opens a door to foreign interventions and other consequential crises, increases the potential of the insecurity to spread far from its origin. For such parasitic flame of instability, the only available solution is to work for “Unity in diversity” rather than “Unity in similarity”, as accentuated by the famous Russian politician Mikhail Gorbachev.

Diversity is not a curse, it’s a beauty and a wealth, all it needs is a constructive attitude and sustainable care. According to the famous Irish politician John Hume, “Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: “respect for diversity.”

“Unity in diversity” is not miraculous; it is the fruit of sacrifice our people have being paying for centuries. Eritrea, due to its strategic significance in the Red Sea, has made it victim of various hostilities from regional and global powers for centuries. To resist back and be independent, sacrifice was the only option available. For Eritreans, sacrifice is a culture of expressing the love of a nation. It impedes the national norms and values deep in to the Eritrean heart to glue the diversities together.


Colonizing forces worked hard to create a fault line among Eritrean diversities and purse their exploiting agendas, following their “divide and rule policies”. However, it was a nightmare, none of their strategies was competent to uproot the Eritrean unity, in reverse, it strengthened it giving some lessons. During the armed struggle, Eritrean unity was with challenges, so as to resolve the challenges, the EPLF “became a melting pot for hundreds and thousands of Eritreans who came from rural and urban areas, from highland and lowland regions, and from the most marginalized localities. It enhanced Eritrean nationalism, and prepared the ground for national unity, overriding all divisive and narrow-minded attitudes”. (PFDJ National Charter)

In the post-independence, “Unity in diversity” as a principle played a crucial role in preserving our national sovereignty along with the promising achievement in the national development, while our globe and our neighboring states are in a deep transitional chaos.

To sum up, “Unity in diversity” is the only secured path towards national peace and prosperity. And it recommends a special attention of governments to realize their national vision. For such a recommendation, Eritrea is one of the best examples, as it is one of the few sovereign African states able to march towards a much optimistic tomorrow, standing firm with free political will in the world of domination.

Written by: Kidane – Shimendi

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