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A Citizen’s Letter to Isaias Afwerki

[The following is a letter penned by a person who lives in Eritrea. His name is withheld for his safety]
……

To Isaias Afwerki
Eritrea, March 13, 2018

Dear Isaias,

You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor and the anger with which I harbor it!!!

I was taught to respect my elders from a young age. So, I will address you by your name out of the deference I have for our tradition, culture, and heritage that was bestowed upon me from a young age. Besides, those who suffer untold harms under those who wield the ultimate power know a thing or two about names. In “Poetry Is Not a Luxury”, Audre Lorde’s (1985) part of the first stanza reads thus, “…it is through poetry that we give a name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which true poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births…understanding.” Unless I call you by your name, I cannot have a picture of you in my mind’s eye. Besides, my hope is to touch that hardened heart of yours because I know the power of pen can be mightier than the sword. Everyone knows now that you know a thing or two about both. The latter is my reason for penning my open letter because you are the cause of my biggest scar in this life and the former is because when you were young, mighty young, you wrote nHnan Elamanan (ንሕናን ዕላማናን) that changed the course of Eritrea’s revolutionary trajectory. You didn’t wield the power of the sword, then as you do now, but you understood how mighty the power of the pen can be. And, it worked.

You may not recognize me, you do not know me yet, but you are the cause of my biggest scar, the scar I harbor with plenty of anger!! I have never met you, yet, you managed to sow hatred in my heart. Growing up I heard stories of how a lot of the kids who meet you were impressed by your arrestingly likable character. The facade shows, of the grotesque, impressed them so much so they automatically began calling you ‘baba Isaias’. Without a fail, it enhanced your public profile who considered you a national hero as you fought for 30 years to bring peace and independence to our nation – So they thought.

I ask myself this rhetorical question: ‘How is it possible for a leader who sacrificed his youth and his adult life to turn into someone who ends up causing irreparable harm to children like me?’ I spend a lot of sleepless nights on what my life would’ve been like living with my family because I tasted the deep love, that unconditional love that a parent is capable of dispensing. I still find it unfathomable how power can change a human being into acting like a demigod.

You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with heated anger!!!

I was surprised to learn that your political power has changed your love for Eritrea into a hatred of its peole. How is it possible that one can love one’s nation, yet, do hateful stuff to its people. I was ashamed to call you my president when your media called about 360 Eritrean citizens who perished in one fell swoop in the coast of Lampedusa as “African migrants” as if they have no origin, as if they have no country, simply put, as though they have had no names. You understood Lorde’s poem so deeply, by not naming them you wanted people to stop thinking of them because to name one is to think of one. Lorde (1985) states in that very first stanza quoted above, “the quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has a direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes we hope to bring about those lives. It is in this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized.” It is my ardent hope that Eritreans will continue to bring that quality of light by which they will scrutinize the hell that you brought to endless numbers of Eritreans. And, when that change comes those bright lights of hope will shine on those whose lives you’ve darkened prematurely. And their loved ones will forever be grateful to the unassailable Eritrean spirit that would bring change for the better.

I was even more shocked to hear that you imprisoned many of your fellow warriors, freedom fighters, and comrades-in-arms, who toiled for the country and its people just like you did, maybe even more. Believe you me, Isaias, I have tried vigorously to understand the motivation behind your cruelty and inhumane actions. However, I was never able to justify your continuous violation of basic human rights.

Oh, pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself. I am one of the many enemies you have created for yourself. I am the child of Abune Antonios. I am the son of Haile Woldetensae (DuruE). I am the daughter of Haj Musaa Mohamed Nur. I am the sister of Betweded Abraha. I am the father of all those who are suffering in the underground dungeons. I am Mahmoud Sherifo’s sister. I am the mother of all the young women who have been abused sexually or otherwise. I am Dawit’s friend. I am Jashua’s neighbor. I am an embodiment of all those who found their immature deaths. You see, I have decided to write you this letter hoping to change your mind and awaken your conscience because I cannot accept the predicament of Eritrea as it exists today.

You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with intense anger!!!

I was torn between making this a eulogy of the recent tragedies that have been visited upon the victims of the excess of a regime gone amok, on the one hand, and that of those who served the nation with valor on the other. It so happened I know the two whom we just lost, who would never be comfortable being eulogized nor lionized, hence for opting to share it as an open letter. Knowing Aboy’s Musa’s life, being one of serving the public, doing good to those who were less fortunate, I would like to dedicate this open letter to honor my two fathers Haile and Haj Mussa.I would like to start reminding you of your friend and comrade Haile. Do you remember when he left his dream of becoming an engineer to fight for his motherland? you may think that you are the only person who have made sacrifices to serve our nation. Eritrea’s sovereignty came with the collective efforts and struggles of all Eritreans, spare those of us who were too young to understand or thought we were lucky to be born in the aftermath of independence of the nation-state called Eritrea. You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with fierce anger!!!

Isaias, have you ever asked yourself the difference between you and those who killed innocent Eritreans before the Eritrean independence? How about the 93-year-old, innocent man who you threw in your inhumane prison in October 2017? His only request was to give his “children” freedom of religion and education. As you already know, Haj Mussa has dedicated his entire life to serving his country and his fellow compatriots. He also fought to bring independence for Eritrea and its people, but most importantly, he had a significant role in the Eritrean social life. He dedicated his effort and wealth to the needy, people in jail, and orphans. You surely remember this: Holding both of Haj Mussa’s hands and thanking him for the food aid he provided during Eritrea’s period of starvation? Do you recall that day? How about the great deal of food he brought to Eritrean prisons during Ramadan days? How did you forget about all his contribution to his people? How did your heart allow you to have him die away from his beloved ones? You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with vigorous anger!!!

I am sure that you are aware of all the services that Haile and Haj Mussa gave to their beloved nation. Keep in mind that we have buried only their bodies. Their souls are still with us; they will fight with us to end your authoritarian regime. Yes, do not think that the passing of our dear fathers and courageous leaders will silence us. Have a look at the dignified burial procession bestowed upon Haj Musa. That’s what loving human being looks like. Look at the people who defied your orders and are burying Haj Musa. Hear their wailing, that wailing, in due course, will turn into vicious anger, an anger that will become an end to your rule, and you will be buried in a rat hole with nobody wailing but your immediate family or the few puppets, if that. Wake up and acknowledge the fact that your reign is coming to a violent END. The anger is brewing from within, and when the masses’ anger fuels from within, watch out! You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with fervent anger!!!

If nothing else remember my parting words: I would like to remind you that we are all destined to die one day or the other. However, dying a martyr is way better than dying a dictator. Do not let your temporary power deceive you, Isaias. Haj Musa has closed his eyes forever, but he opened the eyes of thousands and thousands of Eritreans. You have made a martyr out a man who had very few years left to live. Little do you realize, the best weapon that you could’ve armed Eritreans is by making a martyr out of Haj Musa, because, now more than ever, Eritreans are ready to end their miseries, thanks to you for hastening your shelf life in power. Seeing the burial procession on a video clip today was one of the best scenes that will remain etched in my memory because Eritreans the world over are seeing that his loved ones needed not be there. The entire of Eritrea is his family, you saw it with your own naked eyes.

You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars and anger I zealously harbor!!!

A victim of your cruelty

Proud Eritrean I am!

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  • Selam Bilien Giorgis,

    What all ethiopians want today is to make sure that history is not repeat by other actors, and the old system is gone once forever. What we see today in ethiopia, especially at this very moment is that there are groups who are fighting tooth and nail, so that the new status quo they have created stays as it is, because their political power and economic interests are at stake.

    Nobody wants to be dominated by others, politically and economically. That is what ethiopians said in the past, that is what they are saying today, and will say tomorrow.

    Therefore, one should see in its entirety the history of the country and what is exactly happening in ethiopia today and happened in the past, and not dwell only on old sins and crimes forgetful of the present era.

    Nobody is against the demise of the old system, nevertheless ethiopians should be vigilant that a new system of domination is not created, while proclaiming at the same time democracy, equality and human rights .

  • Teodros Alem

    Selam Amde
    R u talking about people the likes Lydia, listen to their words. The images and their motives . they r the same with andm by extension tplf. Thier motives is to confuse. Black paint, divert, distorted and so the amara and the struggle against tplf and also to send a message to others ethnic based political party of ethiopians. There r a lot of them organized groups including journalist.
    Genocide, a lot of min genocide has been going on in ethiopia by direct and indirect participation of tplf for the last 26+ years.

  • Natom Habom

    SELAM ACRIA
    we have been brain brush by bad narrative propaganda about eritrea
    any way you have to be open to look the other side also and try to understand eritrea situation ,you can t get ride of all eritrean that are proud of their country unless they have to be ashamed of eritrea like you ,

    • Acria

      Selam Natom Habom,
      Trust me Mr. Natom, I’m not a person to be easily brainwashed. I’m frustrated to see Eritrea to go this way. There was hope after 1991 liberation. Nevertheless, instead of inclusion and economic development, the ruling party ( the only one) decided to adopt a defensive and militaristic option. That strategy was no way out for small and poor country with about 5 million people. The EPLF, now PFDJ, should have transferred the power to the civilian society. A country should not be ruled by military personnel. All they know is how to fight, and that what has been happening in Eritrea: fighting with its own people and fighting within its own party ( don’t forget the fate of the G15 and other members of EPLF).

      A leadership that imprisons a 93-old man and let him die in prison should never exist at all! The only way to support this kind of leadership is if you are either don’t care about Eritrea, or if you are benefiting from the misery of Eritreans, or you are ruled by fear. We have a combination of all of these kinds of Eritreans with the majority of them ruled by fear.

      The PFDJ recently released a letter to the Geneva convention on human rights by its Foreign Affairs officer. I don’t want to argue about how many students were protesting or if they were throwing stones. I wasn’t there. I can’t testify to its truth or falsehood. What makes me doubt the whole letter’s truthfulness is that the lie about the name of the infamous school in Akhria. I’m one of the pupil who went to the pre-kindergarten in 1975, Inda Sheik Hassen, as it was know then, and graduated from the then elementary school, Berhan Moslem School, or in Arabic “Madrastul Di’a Al’Islamia”in 1982 during the Mengistu regime. I don’t know why the letter lies about a fact that can be proven false? The name of the school has ‘Islam’ it . It was also open to serve the Muslim communities of Akhria. I don’t think any Christian family will send their children to learn Arabic and Islam to the school. I personally don’t mind Christian children attending the school if they want to.

      So, Mr. Natom, I hope you understand my frustration with this ruling party that lies about basic facts to justify its encroachment in a private and religious school. Religious freedom should be respected in Eritrea. The government, non-elected at that, don’t have the right to take over religious institutions, whether is is Islamic, Catholic, Orthodox, and etc. The question that comes in the mind of the lay person is why such encroachment in religious freedoms? I believe any freedom for any other group is a threat for their existence. Because this is how they are wired, the only solution for Eritreans is to get rid of these morally corrupted individuals. It has been 27 years since Eritrea has been know as a country. Eritreans have a country but they were never independent.
      Country without freedom of human rights is not a country at all. Eritreans have paid their lives to get this country. They don’t deserve this. Eritreans back at home, stand up for you own rights because nobody else will. Let’s remember the people who died in the last 30-plus years of war, let’s remember the people who died since independence at the hands of this brutal regime, let’s remember the prisoners of conscience, and let’s remember the people who are dying to escape this unhinged brutal regime. Let’s stand up for justice and freedom for all. If we don’t now, then when? If we continue the way it is now, shame on us!

  • Selam Bilien Giorgis,

    In my view and most probably of others as well, the unity of ethiopia depends on a uniting ethiopian nationalism. Narrow ethnic nationalism, which says each ethnic group for its own ethnic interest, by its nature does not have as its priority ethiopian unity and integrity.

    Because in a way amharas were pioneers in the creation of the state of ethiopia, starting with tewodros ii, who brought under his rule the fighting landlords of the time, followed by menelik ii who completed the job, and amharas had been ruling the land for centuries, their identity and nationalism had been mainly an ethiopian identity and nationalism. This does not mean that other ethnic group did not participate in this nation building or did not adapt ethiopian nationalism, because there are many historic facts that attest to this. I am not insinuating that amharas are the only guarantors of ethiopian unity. Only that, they spearheaded this movement.

    The new phenomenon is that the uniting ethiopian nationalism is demonized and undermined and amharas are told to dump it and develop a narrow and exclusively an amhara-centered identity, forgetful of ethiopia, to protect themselves, because they are in danger of even a genocide.

    This of course means that any uniting force should disappear and the country exposed to its enemies and the danger of disintegration. This advice comes from all direction and it is not only the brainchild of some amharas.

    Some people try to show that ostensibly they are more amhara than others, or try to act that they are friends of amharas by exploiting certain past rhetorics, such as those who said that “their movement was anti-amhara, and they have broken the backbone of amharas”, and amharas have been evicted forcefully from other ethnic states and some even killed, tplf has annexed amhara land, etc, and they are questioning the sagacity of ethiopian nationalism and the error of not developing a strong amhara ethnic-group-centered nationalism, to be able to defend their ethnic group.

    Most say that this scenario of a narrow amhara ethnic nationalism could be aggressive, may breakup the country and it is another way of inviting civil conflict among our social groups.

    Let us have more people and not less, who say that they aspire for the common ethiopian nationalism that encompasses every ethiopian, and ethiopian nationalism should not be a diminishing phenomenon but a growing one, because the other road of narrow ethnic nationalism in the absence of a uniting ethiopian nationalism, is towards chaos and disintegration. That is the kernel, i think, of the budding exclusively amhara ethnic nationalism devoid of ethiopian nationalism.

  • halafi me(n)gedi

    Horizon,

    You are veering off again. Fanti gave the quotes to show that ‘Eritrea’ is a topic of interest to Ethiopians, not as discussion topics per se.

    Good to see you point of view though!

    hm

  • blink

    Dear Alex
    I feel sorry for you that you didn’t know his answer yet . The man is calling for a bloodshed while wishing to see his gran daughters in the west jumping from corner to corner while his TV screen play the slaughterhouse of Eritreans killing each other. One excellent lazy way intelligent man of this site called suck people “ WAR MONGERERS”

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Alex,

    I believe my message was clear. Just to say it again: The regime and its system we have can not be changed/removed by civil disobedience only. We need a “mighty force” as additional vector to create a “resultant force” that dislodge the despot and dismantle the institutions of oppression, be it from inside or outside. If the productive force, “our young generation” left the country in droves or kept in the endless modern slavery, without any hope for their future, the birth of the nation will be questionable, unless they fight back by all means, to regain the essence for what we fought for.

    • Alex

      Hi Emma,
      So your answer is we need to fight them with a barrel of a gun. Good luck on that if you get a lot of following.

  • Natom Habom

    selam awate
    forgive me but is the writer mad because those individual are in prison ?
    what are they to him ?what a jock , please go school if you are young and do something for your futour
    i dont think issayas wedi afom care even for himself beyond his country unity
    our desire is a unified eritrea stong ,independant ,resilient where everyone can live in harmony
    if anyone try to distrupt this cohesion we all know the consequence,
    you are lamenting about yourself and some individual while endengering the coexistence
    of the entire population also by shouting in the street of asmara thinking that all muslim will stand in your side, forgive me but show how ignorant you are .all eritrean have strong feeling for their country
    let s be clear you guys have stong feeling for ethiopian it s well known we can understand that
    i will never forget my root but i will never endenger my people in the country while sitting in the confortable life in the west

    • blink

      Dear Nahom
      I think Issaias also never forget his roots.

      • Natom Habom

        selam blink
        at least he work for his country

        • blink

          Nahom
          I would wrote Tselot and Tselot is more near to Asmara where everyone can claim home even if he come from Ethiopia, you know it was so easy , so they say. I will not debate on the work he is doing for Eritrea.

          • Natom Habom

            selam blink
            solot is more closer to asmara you maybe right ,just hear family of me going for nigdet long time ago while i was visiting,they were going by foot tought must be close by the way this where is i heard the history of some of our people and why you feel concern anyway ???
            my remarque wasn t to you . don t judge me my with writing ,M no good at it I admit .

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear All,

    How is the human rights ,,in Ertirea since 1991..sorry to watch this..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgpJHe1DCQQ

    KS,,

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam suleman A,
    .
    You might have a point. suleman A Tillerson.
    .
    kim j. un

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Awatistas,
    .
    It was months ago, it could be a year or 2 ago. The topic of discussion was somewhere in Ambo area where hotel/business were destroyed and a political statement of Addis expansion into Oromia farmland was reported as being the cause.
    .
    At the time the Ethiopian Government response to that crime of burning hotels and businesses in broad daylight was astounding to me. The Ethiopian Government by agreeing that the planned expansion of Addis was a mistake and agreed to scrap it. They went further in the following months that there should be a dialogue of Oromia’s special relationship to Addis or something vague like that.
    .
    I was responding, I believe to Mr. saay, at the time, that the criminal acts of the destruction should be addressed in a criminal investigations and arrests instead of the political game the central government engaged in.
    My argument was it only encourages the planners and executives for more of the same. Mr. saay, I remember admonishing me that security officers should use only “rubber bullets” etc. Mind you I was not advocating for “live Bullets” but for a strong police court approach. My advocacy was for a stronger response to apprehend the culprits and conduct a thorough investigation to know where it all was coming from.
    That project of the burning and destruction of hotels and businesses in defiance of the authorities cannot be read as a spontaneous eruption. It had organization and it had plans. The mechanism and execution of the plan looked smooth and got the desired result.
    .
    Our many friends here at Awate always supported any and all disobedience to the Government. Some of them were more Amharas than the Amharas and more Oromos that the Oromos to make their points. The few Eritreans who applaud every difficulty Ethiopia faces thinking it might benefit them should be careful what they wish for. It can get worse for them too.
    I have no qualms about the various segments of Ethiopia getting their voices heard and demanding their rights and taking their rightful places.
    .
    We also need to be reminded by those of us who have lived long lives that there are occasions and sensitive times to be on the alert that something can turn into unexpected direction and destination from which it may not be easy to correct.
    Who among us old folks thought that it was possible, low level operative like Mengistu Hailemariam, would quickly rise to the top and managed to take the country to where it ended up, on the brink of disintegration. Admittedly, it led to a different changed nation of today.
    .
    We are now marching, picking up from where we ended up, and making progress with a spring in our steps. We also see some political dialogue couched in violence or threat of violence being conducted.
    Of course times have changed but we must be careful not to repeat history. I am not predicting a Mengistu Gemetchu taking us to into yet another direction. No one can tell me it is out of the realm of possibilities.
    We don’t need a Government that responds only to violence and threat of violence, because it will invite more and it will be end up lurching into an undesirable place.
    .
    I am hopeful that weather it is Dr Abiy or Lemma Megerssa, the whole leadership will usher a peaceful forward marching Ethiopia. We are now in a much better place than we were in the 1970s to be sure.
    But our enemies are many and the Mengistu Hailemariams are still changing their colors to get to their goals under their garb of “more Democracy”, whatever that means.
    .
    Mr. K.H

    • halafi me(n)gedi

      Kim,

      I am not going to pretend to have full understanding of Ethiopia’s current problem or any solution to it. As I said in my reply to Fanti, all I can say is that, TPLF/EPRDF need to given some of kind of symbolic and material concessions to others (Oromo in particular), while the others need to do the same to calm down the anxiousness among Tigrayans. But in general, I think, Ethiopia will be fine. Good luck!

      On the topic of some Eritreans keen on weakened TPLF/EPRDF or even hoping state failure, you are correct, they really need to be careful what they wish for.

      I think, most older generation Ethiopians who has experienced Derg and Hailesilasie, kind of get it, i.e., Eritrea’s independence, even if most don’t agree with it. My impression of the younger generation regarding Eritrea’s independence (based on a few interactions I had with 20 something years old Ethiopians and social media posts) is rather scary to me as an Eritrean. I fear they have no idea how bad Derg and Hailesilasie were (at least from our perspective) and they seem to have been exposed to excessive ‘it is the arabs fault’ literature.

      If I were Eritrean gov, I would start an Amharic and Oromo propaganda campaign targeting the younger Ethiopian generation, basically telling our side of the story.

      I think there is a good chance that Eritreans will have rude awakening if Dr. Abiy becomes PM and has his way regarding Eritrea.
      hm

      • Selam Halafi Mengedi,

        In my opinion, what Dr. Abiy would most probably say in his foreign policy declaration (if he becomes the pm), would be that his government has no reason to meddle in eritrean affairs, and if there are unsolved issues, they will have a solution through a common stand by all parties, and the approval of the ethiopian parliament.

        Oromos never had hegemonic tendencies, and they are not going to have one now, by intervening in eritrea. Only that the two countries will enter a period of more irrelevance to each other.

        • halafi me(n)gedi

          Horizon,
          That is one possibility, a highly likely one. Actually, all issue with Eritrea will mostly be deferred to military/security and given it directly affects tigray, tplf.

          But the scenario I am imaging is where he (or any oromo pm for that matter), for one reason or the other, is compelled to demonstrate his patriotism or he feels the need for a cause to get the country behind him, issue with Eritrea might present itself as a perfect opportunity. I think some Eritreans are underestimating the chances of this happening with an oromo pm when they wildly cheer diminishing power of tplf.
          hm

          • Halafi Mengedi,
            The only reason ethiopia will be compelled to react is if the regime in asmara imposes itself on ethiopia, again by its miscalculation. More than 70% of ethiopians have very few things to remember about eritrea, the emperor or the derg era, and Dr. Abiy is more or less in this age group. Moreover, the fact that he holds a doctorate degree in peace and security may help him understand the relation between countries more than those who thought that they were the Davids of the region soon after they came to power, and opened a series of conflicts with all their neighbors.

            Ethiopians measure their patriotism through how much they hate eritrea is far from the truth. Nor is saying he may use any issue against eritrea to get ethiopians behind him is valid. I would rather say that the opposite is much more true, that it is the eritrean regime that has brainwashed eritreans to believe that ethiopia is their eternal enemy.

            Most ethiopians do not want to have anything to do with eritrea. It is easy to see that eritrea takes the least space in Ethiopian politics. There are even those ethiopians who are afraid that the eritrean regime might force Ethiopia in to a conflict that would derail her economic development and the role she plays in africa, as the political capital of africa.

            .

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Horizon,

            I think you are totally missing my point. All I was trying to say is that those Eritreans celebrating diminished power of tplf/tigrayans may get surprised by the replacement, i.e., a set of Ethiopians that may not understand that backdrop of Eritrea’s independence ( under 30 years olds) or those who may take very hawkish position regarding Eritrea for one reason or the other including to unite their country men behind them (btw, having phd in security will not prevent one from those tactics, these tactics are in fact widely used and perfected by security experts). But, remember I am just speculating scenarios that may help some eritreans understand that tplf/tigrayans may not be the ultimate Eritrea hater as these people tend to think. Things can change in a moment. For example, IA’s rule was in tatters just a few years ago, and then, just like that and thru another seemingly irrelevant (to Eritrea and Ethiopia) war in yemen, Saudi and UAE came in and gave him a life-line and is now in a much stable position. In light of this, I don’t think my speculation is that wild.

            But since you brought it up, i would like to mention two things:

            1) I don’t think you assertion that Ethiopians don’t care about Eritrea is true. Exhibit 1, go look at the biggest Ethiopians facebook group. They had a map of old Ethiopia which include Eritrea as their profile pic for the longest time..and then read the comments under that picture. That is enough for now.

            2) correct me if I mam wrong ( I apologize in advance if I misunderstood you), but you seem think that discussing Eritrea is underneath most Ethiopians. I don’t agree with that. I think citizens of both countries should actually care and follows each other’s history and current situation. Civil, citizen to citizen engagement (as this forum strives to achieve) is, i believe, imperative in order for good relation to exist between the two countries. True, whether brainwashed by politicians or God know why, a lot of people on both sides have hateful tendencies and only look for animosity. I don’t think we should let these people dominate.

            hm

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello halafi me(n)gedi and Horizon,

            Although this topic has been exhausted several times before, the following may spice up your discussion should you choose to continue.

            Just before the May 2015 election, worldbulletin.net had news headline titled “Ethiopia opposition vows better Eritrea ties.”

            In that news, the leaders of Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), Semayawi Party, and Unity for Democracy and Justice Party were quoted on what they would do to improve relation between the two countries.

            EDP leader, Channe Kebede Mamaye:
            1. “Bringing relations between his country and Eritrea back on track would be a top priority for his party if it won the elections.”
            2. “We want the two countries to return to their historical unity.”
            3. “We want a policy that brings the two peoples together.”
            4. “The decision passed by the international boundary commission should be replaced by a whole new international arbitration process.”

            Yonatan Tesfaye, spokesman for the opposition Semayawi Party:
            1. “The no-peace-no-war situation…is very dangerous…the party is keen on seeing a confederation-type association between Ethiopia and Eritrea.”
            2. “The actual disagreement is between the incumbent governments of the two countries, not between their peoples”
            3. “The peoples of both countries have close historical and cultural ties.”

            Leader of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, Tigstu Awelu:
            1. “Potential border disputes would force the two countries to increase their military spending.”
            2. “This situation would certainly hurt poor Ethiopia”
            3. “We will diligently work to restore peaceful relations with Eritrea and end problems brought about by the cold war.”

            As you can see, the tone and substance in these leaders’ responses is substantially watered down from what we use to hear during the first 10 or so years from 1991.

            However, except for the neutral sounding Tigstu Awelu, and if EDP and Semayawi Party are any representative, Eritrea may not be as “forgotten” as we think.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam fanti
            That is a good one, but i get a question for u, if democratically elected gov come to power what do u think the future of tigrai? Do u think they will remain as part of ethiopia ? If yes how ?
            And what do u think will be eritrea gov role and influence after eprdf in ethiopia? Considering the contribution eri gov plays in changing eprdf?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Teodros Alem,

            Here is the link to the news I quoted from;
            http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/159290/ethiopia-opposition-vows-better-eritrea-ties

            The question “if democratically elected gov come to power .. Do u think they will remain as part of ethiopia?”

            I don’t think Tigrayans are allergic to democracy.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam fanti
            Thank u. Non of the three guys shows hostility to eritrea according to the link. All of them talked about peace with eri and ethio.but u still didn’t answer my question about after eprdf tigrai and eri gov role in ethio after tplf.

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Fanti,

            Digressing a bit, but in relation to Teodros’s Q above and below, help me understand why most pro-pfdj Eritreans are fixated (not in a good way) with Tigrayans and TPFL when (although not monolithic themselves and especially excluding the Arena party) they seem to me less antagonistic to Eritrea’s independence and even generally seem enthusiastic about good relation with Eritrea.

            hm

          • Alex

            Hi Halafi Mengedi,
            I am not sure if you are an Eritrean or not, but you do not have to be a Pro PFDJ to believe it will be a Good day when TPLF is toppled from Power in Ethiopia soon. So speak for yourself and we believe for good reason Ethiopia without TPLF will be better for Eritrea. We seen the back stabbers TPLF what they did to Eritrea. Our forefathers already stated libi tigray tweyway.

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Alex,

            Ironic how you are trying to tell me to speak for my self when I am specifically using phrases like ‘i think’, ‘in my opinion’ etc , hence speaking for my self and you, on the other hand, are using ‘we believe’ clearly indicating you are speaking on behalf of yourself and bunch of others…(your right of course, but….).

            Anyway, on a serious note, please enlighten me how tplf and/or tigrayans are bad for Eritrea compared to, for example, Amharas that don’t even recognize Eritrea’s independence and look like they wouldn’t hesitate re-annexing Eritrea or part of it.

            (looking for more of technical analysis, and please no whining about back stabbing (Qatar says ‘ahem, ahem’) or we are victims of conspiracy between woyane and US hatew ketew…)

            Thank you in advance.

            hm

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat halafi me(n)gedi and Teodros,

            Why pro-pfdj Eritreans want TPLF gone is a mystery and not quite a mystery my friend. Mind you, it is not the policy but the organization and sometimes even the people that are targeted.

            As it is the case with all dictators, one of the methods PFDJ uses to control Eritreans is by ensuring their isolation. Dictators not only keep their nations isolated and create an atmosphere of suspicion among the people but also they keep them in constant fear and busy with innuendos hopping to create a docile society.

            Although some PFDJites attack TPLF, and in some cases all Tigrayans intensly, some Tigrayans, always assumed TPLFites, do also respond in kind. In either case it is a temporary and an artificial one. It will disappear along with its creators, a handful of politicians; because the relationship between the two peoples is written literally in the bones and they are interdependent.

            However, it is not PFDJ alone that should be blamed for all of our regional ills. EPRDF is not a saint either. Although there are many aspects I support it for, some of its policies are shortsighted, egotistical, and vindictive especially toward Eritrea.

            To go back to one of your points, it is true that except for a number of hardliners, who for most part are no longer members of TPLF, the great majority TPLFites and in general most Ethiopians, don’t have any ill will toward Eritreans as far as I know.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam fanti
            Halafi me(n) gedi stupid q is amazing, r u guys forget tplf and eritrea have been at war since 1998? In one hand u guys said u accepted eri independence and in other side u guys talk about eritrea’s internal poltics more than ur own tigrai. I mean after u solve the problem( evacuate from occupied territories) and after than u can talk about the relation between eri and tigrai , that is the normal way to coexist in peace with ur neighbor. The twisted way put u and the whole region in a mess.

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            Two things:
            1) the 98-00 war and subsequent cold war was/is between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Early on the gov of Eritrea tried to frame it as was between Tigray and Eritrea (and they repeated to much, they start believing it ever since) to wedge division in Ethiopia and prevent most Ethiopians from supporting the war. It failed, of course, as the other Ethiopians were actually more enthusiastic to fight against Eritrea (ex, the war to capture assab, which of course was miserable failure, was pushed on by hardliners in ANDM, OPDP and the likes of gebru asrat from tplf). Also, before the 3rd phase, Eritrea had accepted practically all peace proposals, but Ethiopian gov forced by the hardliners in ANDM, OPDP and TPFL decided to go for escalation, again probably with capturing assab in mind.

            one of the less talked about things about the war was how that propaganda was believed by everyone in Eritrea and how it affected the war-preparation (thinking you were fighting Tigray only while in really it was all of Ethiopia which is like 10x in capacity, pop etc).

            Also, my reading from social media is that, amharas are in general the ones that are more against any concession when it comes to badme (again possibly as bargaining chip for assab or sea access) than tigrayans.

            My point is that unlike the ridiculous claim by gov of Eritrea, the war was decisively between Ethiopia (practically all of it) and Eritrea, and same goes for the current stalemate.

            2) agree with you, Ethiopia should have moved out of all occupied Eritrean territory, although hard not see how the gov of Eritrea messed up the leverage it had….

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam
            When u want to make a point u gave andm and opdo the power which never had/have.
            Bu the time of the war(1998-2000) ethiopians used to have the previous ethiopiawenet in thier mind which people didn’t know tplf is by far the most enemy of ethiopia. And tplf used the old ethiopiwenet for it’s advantages. Remember the tplf media’s used to write and broadcast 3-4 month ago before the war. The reporters used to tell how eritrea become no. 1 exporter of coffee and bla bla.
            Try to read the reporter amharic news paper of that time(3-4 month before the badema war break out.
            Any way it is clearly tplf vs eritrea war and this time the ethiopian people’s will side with the victims .

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            I didn’t say andm and opdo are powerful, but it seems to me their support for the war was much robust than what most people assume. Not only andm and opdo, but most Ethiopians too. And after the war, a lot of Ethiopians of different ethnic groups have more hawkish attitude towards Eritrean than the current position of the government of Ethiopia. Even now, to me it looks like, it is some tigrayans that want the Ethiopian gov to do more to resolve the situation more than other ethnic groups in Ethiopia. This is not based on scientific survey or some detain analysis, just my observation based on some social media and some in person conversations.

            To get back to my original question, it is not clear to me why many eritreans especially pfdj ppl are so fixated tplf and see tplf more dangerous to eeritrea than other groups in Ethiopia. This is not to say tplf is friendly to Eritrea, but other groups are as dangerous as (if not more dangerous than) tplf, and diminished power of tplf in Ethiopia won’t solve our problems.

            hm

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Fanti,

            I get what you are saying and definitely I can point to more than a few things tplf did to sour relation between the two nations.

            what I don’t get it that in comparison to other groups in Ethiopia (‘key bahrachin’ as saay sometimes calls them), tplf or tigrayans seem very reasonable when it comes to Eritrea. And it just don’t get why pfdj people wants diminished power of tplf in Ethiopia?

            hm

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Halaf(i) Me(n)gedi

            Please allow me to interject here……

            “what I don’t get it that in comparison to other groups in Ethiopia (‘key bahrachin’ as saay sometimes calls them), tplf or tigrayans seem very reasonable when it comes to Eritrea. And it just don’t get why pfdj people wants diminished power of tplf in Ethiopia?”

            Let me explain why Eritreans – to put a qualifier, like me, hate Woyane (not Tigreans).

            1. – Good Ethio-Eritrean relation is INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL to the distance between Asmara and the dominating ethnic in Addis. Meaning, the further the dominant (politically) Ethiopian ethnic from Asmara, the better the Ethio-Eritrean relation would be.

            2. – Woyanes never truly believed on Eritrean independence. For them, befriending with EPLF and accepting Eritrean independence was just a stepping stone to get to MeneliK Palace.

            3. – From their inception, the Woyanes never believed in Eritrean Territorial integrity based on 1900, 1902 and 1908 colonial boundaries. THey always has their own definition of Eritrean independence and their own definition of Eritrean Territorial Integrity.

            4. – The Woyanes can’t have good relations with Ethiopian elite (specially Oromo and Amara) and fall in love with Eritrea and Eritreans all at the same time. Because close relation of the two ቲግረዎች (Tigreans) is an impediment to the Amara and Oromo ambition to get to the helm. Therefore it is a no brainer for them to chose one at any given time.

            5. – We Eritreans have our own definition of Ethio-Eritrean relation. And the Woyanes have their own definition of Ethio-Eritrean relation.
            Ours (Eritrean): irrespective who is at the helm of power in Addis, freely, confidently and independently, Eritrean interest at heart, our government to negotiate and make deals with Ethiopia.

            Theirs (Woyanes): they always want Eritrea that is smaller in size, economically and militarily weak, dependent, fragile Eritrea – Eritrea that is a satellite of Meqele – Eritrea that the Tigreans use as a bargaining tool and a pressure point, to maximize their Tigray’s interest when dealing with their central government in Addis.

            6. – Remember: In Ethiopia, the POWER the Tigreans possess is not on their state’s military/economic/human resource…. power. The power of Tigreans is only POTENTIAL POWER – all due to their geographical location and all due to the potential destabilizing role they can play when unhappy with the powerful in Adds. Imagine if the 6% Tigreans were in Gojam or Arusi, how their political clout would’ve been different. The point: whenever the Tigreans are threatened from their South, they will always play their የሕዋት ኢና card.

            Semere Tesfai

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Semere,

            Thanks for interjecting…below is my response, point by point (i hope the outline won’t be messed up once i hit post):

            1. – Good Ethio-Eritrean relation is INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL to the distance between Asmara and the dominant ethnic in Addis. Meaning, the further the dominant (politically) Ethiopian ethnic from Asmara, the better the Ethio-Eritrean relation would be.

            – What is this assertion based on? Any empirical examples or solid assumptions or mechanism?

            2. – Woyanes never truly believed on Eritrean independence. For them, befriending with EPLF and accepting Eritrean independence was just a stepping stone to get to Menelik Palace.

            – Does it really matter if they believe it or not as long as they respect and accept it? Also, how do you explain that tplf in general argue in favor eritrea’s independence (even if you think it is kab kisad nialeli) at what seems like a huge political cost to them especially with respect to many amharas and other ethiopians?

            3. – Starting from their inception, the Woyanes never believed in Eritrean Territorial integrity based on 1900, 1902 and 1908 agreed colonial boundaries (treaties). They always had their own definition of Eritrean independence and their own definition of Eritrean Territorial Integrity.

            – I am not sure what you mean here, elaborate please.

            4. – The Woyanes can’t have good relations with Ethiopian elite (specially Oromo and Amara) and fall in love with Eritrea and Eritreans all at the same time. Because close relation of the two ትግሬዎች (Tigreans) is an impediment to the Amara and Oromo ambition to get to the helm. Therefore it is a no brainer – they will chose one friend at any given time – Ethiopian elite when they are strong and Eritreans when they are weak/threatened.

            – This is interesting point, I’m not sure how true it is, but interesting nevertheless. Also, I don’t think the answer is always one or the other. There is plenty of room in the middle. Even if assume this is true, how does it make you hate woyane more than others? You can be cognizant of their dilemma when you have to deal with them, but hate them just because they are in a difficult position????

            5. – We Eritreans have our own definition of Ethio-Eritrean relation. And the Woyanes have their own definition of Ethio-Eritrean relation.
            Ours (Eritrean): irrespective who is at the helm of power in Addis, irrespective how the leaders of the state (Killil) of Tigray feel – we want freely, confidently and independently, Eritrean interest at heart, our government to negotiate and make deals with Ethiopia.

            – obviously!!

            Theirs (Woyanes): they always want Eritrea, that is smaller in size, economically and militarily weak, dependent, fragile – Eritrea that is a satellite of Meqele policy and an extension of Tigray – Eritrea that the Tigreans use as a bargaining tool and a pressure point, to maximize their Tigray’s interest when dealing with their central government in Addis.

            – sure, no question some woyanes think like that, but not all (unfortunately with not survey data or something like that, can’t put %tages on this). On the other hand, how may non-woyane Ethiopians do you think want ‘weak’ Eritrea?

            – On the other other other hand, many eritreans also want poor, fragmented and weak Ethiopia. It is kind of sad, but surely hisidina is plenty on both sides. We have our fair share of hasadat when it comes to the wishing evil things happen to not only Ethiopia but other countries in the horn as well.

            – The onus is on both sides to cultivate good will for each other.

            6. – Remember: In Ethiopia, the POWER the Tigreans possess is not dependent on their state’s military/economic/human and material resources…. power. The power of Tigreans is only POTENTIAL POWER – all due to their geographical location and all due to the potential destabilizing role they can play when unhappy with the powerful in Adds. Imagine if the 6% Tigreans were in Gojam or Arusi, how their political clout would’ve been different.
            The point: whenever the Tigreans are threatened from their South, they will always play the የሕዋት ኢና card.

            – Again my response to this is similar to #4. I kind of get where you are coming, but really can’t say whether this is entirely true. Even if this is true, again how does it make you hate woyane more than others? Again, you can be cognizant of their leverage points when you have to deal with them, but hate them for what is basically internal Ethiopian political dynamic????
            Also, a minor point, you started by clearly distinguishing woyane from tigreans, but you ended lumping them together….you could have finished as you started….

            I guess, over all, you made some fair points why TPLF may be bad for Eritrea. You are within your rights to have such opinion but notably, you failed to mention even a single point why they might be not bad (i.e., neutral) or even good.

            But, most importantly, my whole argument was not that tplf is good for Eritrea by themselves, but that relative the alternatives (which is realistically is either amhara or oromo) tplf may be not as bad as you imagine. With regards to amhara, sorry to harp so much on this, but a significant portion of their elites and population openly say they want to annex Eritrea or part of it….i mean, they are telling you to your face. And with regards to Oromos, correct me if I am wrong, but we really don’t know much about what the oromo elites think of Eritrea’s independence, Ethiopia’s access to sea, E-E relation etc…(at least not as much as tigrayans or amhara). A couple of speculations. First, if Oromos were to come to have significant power in Addis or if they end having a strong autonomic state, it would be naïve to think that they wouldn’t want at the very least sea access that can affect their views on Eritrea. Second, if an Oromo pm (ex dr, abiy) comes to power, as I said in my reply to horizon, it wouldn’t be hard to image him using issue with Eritrea as a way to get people behind him.

            In conclusion, still not clear to me if those of you who think tplf is the worst for Eritrea have closely looked at the alternatives.

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam
            If amara’s have a chance to vote on behalf of tigray to secession from ethiopia. Am 110% sure that they will vote yes and will be so happy about it.am talking about the right now amara attitude.so how can they going to annex eritrea while they want part of ethiopia(tigray) to break up?
            The ideology of the previous gov and the people of ethiopia at the time was so different than the tplf/eprdf time. The previous ideology was 3000 years history which say not even eritrea but also all the way to Madagascar and all the way to nabia was part of ethiopia and not only eritrea considered part of ethiopia but also one of the king makers of ethiopia . today’s ideology is nation and nationality . we r not people but people’s so don’t compare todays reality with the old time one.

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            1. Thankfully, amde has addressed the first part of your question (the 11% thingy) because i am sure i know the answer to that.

            2. I am very surprised by how you are trying to justify what derg and hailesilassie did in Eritrea. I don’t think even that ‘i only know strawman logic’ YG has gone that far.

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam
            I wasn’t trying to justify anything. I was simply saying the narration of ethiopiawenet they created by the previous rulers of ethiopia at the time people bought it.(people used to believe in it).
            My turn, when u gonna stop twisting things up? I mean when it will end twisting culture?

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            My apology to you if you fill I twisted your comments. When you brought up previous Ethiopian regimes (i.e., derg and hs) in context of comparing it to tplf, i assumed you meant that why and how derg and hs did to and in Eritrea were somewhat ‘justifiable or reasonable or understandable or less severe’. If that is not what you meant, I am sorry. But, would care to elaborate why you brought derg and hs in comparison to tplf?

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam
            I was trying to show why the people at the time don’t like the separation of eritrea from ethiopoa. Why don’t u re-read what i say in the content of the discussion.

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            I did re-read it multiple times…still not clear, but it is ok, you don’t have to explain yourself every time…Let’s leave this here.

            Best,

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam
            The previous ideology, once ethiopia rules from yemen oman to Madagascar all the way nubia and 3000 years history bla bla . that narrative people of ethiopia buy it at the time with out analyze it. That was why we think it was wronge for eritrea to break up from ethiopia and most of the ethiopian people didn’t know the narration of the eritrean side.
            2, nation and nationality. People’s .there is no ethiopiawenet .ethiopia is just a collections of different people bla bla is the norm of the day and the people mentality changed so let alone to annex eritrea people want secession of the mess from ethiopia.(u can see that when people say our border it tekeze and Keck out the mess from their villages.)
            Thank u .

          • halafi me(n)gedi

            Teodros,

            I think I got what you saying now.
            1. I am not really that knowledgeable to comment on Ethiopiawinet, then v now.
            2. When it comes to Eritrea, my observation is that it transcendent kililnet and i can see that most Ethiopians are very interested, one way or the other.
            3. I have read so many articles and social media posts from Ethiopians of all kind alluding to, at the very least, annexing part of denkalia.
            4. And if ethnic federalism is suppressing ethiopiawnet to the level that Eritrea becomes relevant and that most Ethiopians don’t care about sea access by annexing part of Eritrea, well, don’t you think pfdj should give tacit approval to the engineer of the ethnic federalism?

            These are just random thoughts that came to mind….

            Thanks,

            hm

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam now u talking but u should ask those question for pfdj.but but eritrea is our’s will not come back either from the non tigrai ethiopians too Because like i told u the ideology is gone.

          • Teodros Alem

            Sorry i forgot salutaion. It wasn’t intentional.

          • Paulos

            Dude,

            Don’t you have anything fresh thing to say except the same stale stuff Amara this or Oromo that. Do you have any idea how boring that could be? Damn!

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam p
            Quote and vocabulary selam again .don’t read what i said. Just ignore me.

          • Alem

            Let’s be honest Teodros, Pual’s comments are beyond your scope. That’s way you find them boring. Why do you think then people like Amde, Amanuel H, beyan, etc. are always on the look out for his commenters? Do you know when I get bored? when Paul and the likes are out and you and your cohorts are in. So, on a count of three: Balegwoch wede witch, chiwawoch wede wist.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam alem
            U didn’t say anything. U just trying to insult and that is all. Reread what i said to p and u do same thing.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dr Paulos,

            Is “quote and vocabulary” an insult? I am laughing. Is he trying to give you a nickname? If he is, it an’t reflect you.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam aman h
            I can’t believe u r a fighter also a pimp too.it doesn’t sound right .u r too old for that.

          • Amde

            Selam halafi mengedi,

            A completely non-empirical point.

            An old man who has since passed on but briefly served in HaileSellasie’s cabinet once told me.

            “ታያልህ የጊዜ ገዳይ ነው እንጂ፣ ሸዋ እና ሐማሴን መልሰው ይገጥማሉ።”

            “ይገጥማሉ” as in they will become political allies. Make what you will of that.

            Not saying that would be how it would self-identify, but the Ginbot7 group is probably the most “Shewan” of the armed opposition. It’s Shewan-ness is probably an important reason why it is being attacked from the right by the new Amara nationalist groups, and older Gonderine guerilla movements.

            Other than that, Semere’s hypothesis/postulate is a re-articulation of Gash SalehG’s thesis of Abyssinian political competition. Hence not an Eritrea/Ethiopia thing per se, but more of a continuation of the centuries long fixture of political competition among power centers inhabiting the northern half of the western Ethiopian highlands.

            Amde

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Amde
            Do u believe the new amara nationalist group that attacked g7 is a real group? My man i know u know better than that Because u r the insider . they r all of them a fake organization , organized by andm by extension tplf.u know it.

          • Amde

            Selam Teodros,

            You just claimed that if given the chance the Amara of today would vote 110% for Tigray to split.

            Why would you then believe there are no organic Amara nationalist organizations? Doesn’t make sense.

            I believe some most likely do have TPLF’s hand behind them. But the big picture here is that there has not been an Amara version of TPLF or OLF yet.. I would say the Amara nationalist groups are at about where the Tigrayan and Oromo nationalist were in the early 70s. Many small/regionalist/personality-based groups who are just now starting their journeys.

            The Amara are at a cross-roads. The narrative is that this system has made them systemically and collectively responsible for whatever ails the country. You have no idea how many arguments I get into with well-educated and well-travelled Amaras who are convinced there is a covert campaign of genocide against the Amara (forget political rights). It’s rather astounding the Weyane has managed to have this start to become an accepted narrative among the population it is otherwise closest to.

            So no. I believe many of these groups are quite organic.

            If you know otherwise, please say so.

            Amde

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Amde
            First of all when i said amara i was talking about what halaf me gadi’s perception of amara. Because he was the one started the conversation.
            And how do i know that? Because 1, am amharic speaking ethiopian which means i know the psychology of the people enough.
            2, thier dressings, the pic , music and so on remind me andm by extension tplf
            3,their aim is to distract, confuse and divert the struggle against tplf. By pretending oppositions.
            4,…..5,…
            The vast majority of amharic speakers ethiopians believe there is a convert campaign of genocide against the amara by tplf in collaboration with andm .and the confusing thing is economically that is a different story.

          • Amde

            Selam Teodros,

            Every population has some percent within a continuum of political thought. Whether the adherents of what I am now calling Amara nationalism are 0.1%, 1% or 10% is immaterial for this particular discussion. I am just saying there is a new and very recent phenomena of Amara nationalism. They are starting to have some inroads among the elite. Some of them believe that those whose politics are defined within Ethiopianism are actually disempowering Amaras and thus exposing the Amara to systemic neglect, abuse and worse. It makes little sense to dismiss them as a small fringe on-line group. At least from my perspective, they are starting to coalesce and mature.

            We won’t know how much actual political influence/power they will have on the ground, but the trend in Ethiopia is quite favorable for them. So unless there are substantial changes, we will see the movement grow over the next few years.

            Are they creatures of ANDM or TPLF? I guess an argument can be made why either one of them would feel they would benefit from the existence of such groups. In any case, a new generation after 25 years of formal ethnic politics makes for a more receptive pool of potential followers.

            I would like you to expand on ” i believe that [i.e…Amara genocide…] too and the confusing thing is economically that is a different story.
            By the way , expect unexpected after the slow down of economic activity. ” Because, one of the driving forces behind the Amara nationalism movement is the perceived lack of infrastructural investment and economic growth. If your perception is different it would be interesting to hear.

            Amde

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam Amde
            I know there was amara group lead by professor asrat but am talking about the new so called fake amara groups .
            Economy , yes i believe there is a systemic isolation from the federal gov. ( that is why i don’t believe the tax game)
            The genocide, i mean if u notice the hate tplf and it’s supporters have towards the amara u will know the danger and every policy of the gov. R against the interest of the people tells me also tplf deep motives.

          • blink

            Dear Amde
            The genocide against Amhara talk is starting to go in to deep Amhara society as we speak and this campaign to shake up and wake Amhara will continue for the next 10 years in different ways . This game is just starting and is getting help from deep pockets as well as personalities that no one thought about.The Amhara elite are upping their game by 10 folds . They are shaping it from churches in Ethiopia deep to diaspora The plan is more vigorous and the first step is just starting to get implemented in a place you could be surprised.

          • Selam Amde,

            “there has not been an Amara version of TPLF or OLF yet..”
            In my opinion amhara nationalism can not be any thing else but ethiopian nationalism first and foremost, unless things come to the extreme and it becomes a matter of survival.

            When the history of the amhara ethnic group is tied to and existed at the center of what we call ethiopia, when its language is spoken by the majority of ethiopians and is accepted as the official language of the country, its culture and religion are widely spread, it’s nationalism can not be anything else but ethiopian.

            This of course does not mean that other nationalisms are opposed to ethiopian nationalism. The crux of the matter is that ethiopian ethnic groups are opposed to domination by one ethnic group. Power sharing was, is and will always be the biggest problem in ethiopian politics, and naturally it will fan the fire of ethnic nationalism. Empowering all social groups is therefore crucial.

            Amhara nationalism must be a recent phenomenon, a survival reaction to the anti-amhara onslaught we saw post-1991, spearheaded by tplf.

            “there is a covert campaign of genocide against the Amara “ may have been true when the newcomers were full of hate and furry. Nevertheless, this must have ebbed now, because the new lords of the land made exactly the same mistake over the last quarter century, and they are in a defensive mode today trying to justify their actions.

            The most important thing is that power is getting out of the control of the so called “Abyssinian political competition” groups, amharas and tigrayans, and going to other ethnic groups as well, which will finally make both groups an equal partner with others, whether they like it or not. This is the silver lining in the ethiopian politics, which i hope will give a dynamic push forward in creating a people ready to live and work together for their common good. Whoever tries to break of from the whole will face existential problem, and there is no doubt about that.

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam horizon
            21. Somthing % of people who said “they r amara” r Muslims. So don’t confuse language with religion.

          • Amde

            Selam Horizon,

            The short answer is that Amara nationalism is a recent phenomenon. I would almost say five years or so. They vehemently attack Ethiopian nationalism adherents as being fools whose naivete is exposing the Amara to existential problems. My guess is their views will remain as some fraction of the population and thus of the political scene going forward. They will wax and wane depending on events on the ground.

            Amde

          • blink

            Dear Fanti
            Interdependence means once the one goes off the second starts to sink but how is the relationship interdependent? I mean what can Eritreans possibly lose if tomorrow TPLF goes off and what could the Eritreans lose if the Tigrians lose power in Ethiopia completely ?just be like the relationship of the southern Ethiopians with Kenya . We can live independently without looking at each other . There is zero reason that we should be killing each other than just leaving each to do their own business. I personally don’t buy the brother thing. I mean there many Eritreans who are married with Sudanese and zero war for centuries. What’s special is TPLF use Eritreans to get power in Ethiopia while Eritreans benefits zero. I think a clean sheet divorce must happen now in this generation. Temporary you said , 20 years is enough, we bleeded enough and we have to call this a divorce payment.

          • Saleh Johar

            Blink,
            If we try to go beyond our present rivalry and look strategically, alienating TPLF (and by extension Tigray) from the hinterland of Ethiopia forces them to look to the North. You empower the gezaE-mezaE chauvinist groupies. Thus, you create more confusion in Eritrea and you make it the center of Ethiopian inter-ethnic politics. I would say, it is wise to let them solve their internal problems so that we can be left alone to solve ours. Our cause has always been kept as a joker card in Ethiopian politics to be used whenever it is needed. I think we need to distance ourselves from getting entangled in such play. Tkink about it.

          • blink

            Dear SG
            You are right sir, I never thought that to be a reality check but may be you are right about these Bahr virus ,sir please throw one more opener to me as an advice and a lesson just once , why are we again being dragged as “brothers “ while killing each other for centuries ?don’t we have very nice people across Tessenei ,who has been kind to us for centuries?who helped us at our needs , who sheltered us when the world wanted us dead , who spoke when our mothers and fathers were hunted like dear . How is the relationship with our brothers in Sudan being overshadowed by some people who has been killing us for centuries. I believe the day we have a clean divorce from Ethiopia is the day Eritreans recognize who is our friend. We can not just be brothers just for the sake of zuria ( excuse me that I am not a fun of the connection). We need brothers who respect as people and as a country and we have them but not in Ethiopia. I personally are sick and tired of this fake love while killing each other. Despite the Sudan government wrong move at this time ,we as people have been granted a great deal of a helping hand from the Sudanese people and yet here we have people who wanted to down play the helping hand while promoting the killing hand. I think we should just call spade for a spade. I am not calling for a wired border with Tigrians but i think it can have an effect that we draw a line .

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam blink
            The war between feudals or the war between political party don’t necessary means the war between the people’s of the region. And once u were enemy means don’t mean u always remain enemy. And it doesn’t matter how much u r sick and tired but the truth is people’s of eritrea and ethiopia may have same poltical difference but i don’t believe we hate each other , am talking about the ordinary people.
            Zuria what do u know about it? Just enjoy it. White dress is sing of victory in eastern orthodox and the tilet or tilfe , u know …..

          • blink

            Dear teodrose
            My understanding is sir we Eritreans have been like a smothering tree for all Ethiopian leaders. We are like a tree that animals use to scratch their body once they have something itchy on their skin. I do not hate zuria if it is being used for love but we don’t have any positive out come .

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam blink
            U don’t understand what am talking about zuria , i meant any eastern orthodox can claim it as his/her own.
            And what do u mean when u say we eritreans?
            And again like u said stop itchy ur scratch on the tree and respect the rule of law that is the only way to live peacefully with ur neighbor.

          • Saleh Johar

            Okay Blink,
            Blink,

            Now we can talk.

            I agree our relations with the south has been historically painful. But we can not dwell on it forever. And we cannot slice Eritrea and move it elsewhere, say, the Pacific Ocean. We are doomed if we do not learn to live as neighbors. So, we should always find a way and not criticise the violent relationship, to turn around and replay the violent relationship perpetually.
            Emotions should be thrown away, and cool-mindedness, diplomacy, and politics should be welcomed.

            Then, what Sudan did historically is no different than what Ethiopia is doing now with the refugees. That is just what you do when you are neighbors. Of course, Sudan’s gesture was not as rosy as you depict it. Aboud’s Sudan hunted fighters and handed them over to Haile Selassie as a tit-for-tat favor. Numeiri’s strategy was to use the Eritrean liberation forces as a buffer to ward off the direct threat of Mengistu’s red revolution. Turabi used our Islamists as a disposable card to build his relations with Isaias. Sudan was instrumental in watching the onslaught on the ELF because the Saudi believed it to be a bigger threat to their regional influences. They perceived it as a worse RED threat and Bahabri (Saudi Intelligence chief) was in cahoots with Numeiri to disarm the ELF–all in their own grand design and has nothing to do with the nobility that we are led to believe.

            Do you think the feeling that some Eritreans have towards Sudan while others have a similar feeling towards Ethiopia comes out of thin air? My friend, we have to be aware of our reality–we had enough emotional thinking and it didn’t get us anywhere, and it will not.

            See! Everyone thinks of the wellbeing of their own country and e should do the same, smartly. Not gang politics loaded with disposable, changeable emotions that get u nowhere–and the evidence is the last eighteen years. What did we get from all the dirty populist politics that the PFDJ has been spreading? Nothing but more fragmentation and loss of self-confidence.

          • blink

            Dear SG
            Thanks for the lesson, I meant it . I will take that as a reminder .I believe if we bring a balance and weigh both I think the Sudanese will come up on top with a more smiling face. Again you know I am not fun of the Habesha and brotherhood thing ,I hope you and many others excuse me for that. My main thing is for Ethiopians to see us as a proud independent nation just like their other neighbors. I am not a populist activist not do I entertain animosity between people but if you think the past centuries are not good examples to be depend on. With due respect sir , I completely understand if you just don’t like my views, may be I need to live near senafe ,adi keyhe , tsorena and enda getgish ( near adi quala) ,after the Dictator I will spend enough money to know more so that I can understand the weight of the brotherhood that so many people are dying to create. I don’t hate Tigrians and not do I think bad for them for a second. Thanks for posting a reminder for me to consider .

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Fanti Ghana,

            Referring to the war of words between Eritreans and tigrians, you viewed it as temporary benign episode, and you conclude it as: “It will disappear along with its creators, a handful of politicians; because the relationship between the two peoples is written literally in the bones and they are interdependent. Well, I concur to your view and its prospect.

            Regard

  • Selam All,

    The assertive quero (oromo movement of the young and the bachelor), and the dormant ethiopian government that seems to have been bogged down in its controversies and cannot move forward to give a solution to the crisis, are still facing each other.

    The qerros have declared a ban on fuel trucks from operating in the region for a week, in protest to the killings. The last killings in moyale was characterized by the government simply as insignificant, “sorry, one of the common mistakes that happen in ethiopia, forget it”. This seems to have infuriated the qerros, and they are bringing the whole region to a standstill by making it known to fuel truck operators that the trucks will be attacked, if they do not abide by their demand. Long queues are forming at gas stations in the capital and elsewhere.

    Who are really the minds behind this movement, which is said to be elusive, but extremely effective? This seems to be a form of peaceful revolution by assertive oromo youths, and most probably to draw others too in to a similar movement in the future. It seems more effective than guns and fire. It is the responsibility of the government not to force it become aggressive.

    They are saying, we are young and bachelors, not tied up by family responsibilities, and we are here to fight for our future life, which we want it to be a decent and a respectable one. Can the ethiopian government control this tsunami of resent, because of its bad governance and the absence of democracy? The only solution available to the ethiopian government is “more democracy”, as other people reminded it.

    Ethiopians can understand that eprdf/tplf is trying to cook power according to its recipe, and that is why it is taking them so long to reach an agreement. Ethiopians hope that the other participants would stand up against any bullying, anywhere it might come from, for the sake of peace and stability of the country.

    Excuse me for this last paragraph. It is important to write a letter of anger and condemnation to the dictator, which unfortunately is not going to sway him from his position, not a mm. Whatever the final outcome, is there a lesson eritreans can draw from the qerro movement? Can they have their own qerro, may be not in side eritrea, but anywhere else they are in the world, by boycotting anything that has to do with the regime, such as its propaganda and source of income, through meetings, dance nights, the 2% taxation, etc. Inactivity, whether that of the body, mind and even politics, always end up in degeneration, and the absence of change for the better.

    • saay7

      Horizon:

      Imagine if the Qerro movement had no political party that backs it and protects it and acts as its spokesperson against the government even as it is part of the government?

      Imagine if the Qerro movement of Ethiopia faced one single fact: that it doesn’t know of any prisoner who was pardoned or released;

      Imagine if, the whole time fellow Qerro members were in prison, not a single pressure group (no US embassy, no European embassy, no GO no NGO) was pressuring the government to release them;

      Imagine if this movement doesn’t know of a single adult prisoner whose family knows their abouts?

      Oh no sir. The Eritrean youth who were rounded up, some as young as 13, number around 1,000. And they defied the government when, unlike the Ethiopian Qerro, they know there is no mercy, no pressure group, no law, no court, and certainly not a single member within the government that will speak for them. 1,000 in a country of 4 million would be the equivalent of 25,000 in a nation of 100,000. That’s who is in prison now.

      Based on your last post, where you accused those of us who see things differently from you, of not caring about Ethiopia, I had decided to hold fire. But this made me write: the reason the Qerro movement is still standing is because it has a party that has power within government and is using them as leverage to get more power in the government. And if it means giving the Federal government wrong intelligence so more martyrs can be created it will. (Today it’s Moyale tomorrow it could be Addis, is the message of this Black Flag Op in my view.) And this will empower the Amhara edition of Qerro (Fano) will rise then, I guarantee you, the long silent Weyin youth will.

      So when I tell you all the OPDO conmen are leading the party and their people the wrong path (no it’s not Qerro leading it’s OPDO Plus leading it) it is because I care about your country. And I think they could be more inspired by the Eritrean youth who are demanding rights and civil liberties and not an ever escalating demand that can spiral down to ethnic cleansing.

      saay

      • Selam saay,

        There are many movements that are not supported by a party or any other organisation, although, usually, the vacuum of leadership is filled very quickly by someone, and politics is one of the places where vacuum is not allowed to exist for a long time.

        Now. if it is the opdo that is filling the void, it may not be so horrible. What is most important is what they stand for (equality, good governance, democracy), how they do it (in a non-violent way), and if they can be different from the authoritarianism we see in the land today. The status quo will be deadly, more deadly than the unknown.

        Does it mean that the young in ethiopia should accept intimidation by the government, call it a fate they cannot control and serve the ethiopian government, although they know that it is undemocratic, aggressive, incarcerates dissidents by calling them terrorists, shoots innocent people in broad daylight, allows the continuation of corruption, nepotism, the domination of political power and the economy by one group, etc?

        What i am trying to say is not that there is no danger to a qerro movement within eritrea, but what would be the result, if a flicker of hope (as the eritrean young who were rounded up recently) is not helped to continue to shine, especially by those who are not in any danger and are living all over the world.

        The IA regime will be gone one day, but nobody knows when and if it will be followed by a cloned regime that is no different, and one should also ask in what condition eritrea will be at that time. The point is that the lifetime of the regime should be shortened before it does irreparable damage to the country and the people.

        “And if it means giving the Federal government wrong intelligence so more martyrs can be created, it will.” C’mon saay, i hope you really do not believe that, that opdo wanted martyrs to galvanize the qerro movement.

        The eritrean youth, who are instead demanding for rights and civil liberties, as you said, from a regime that is never going to give them, instead of demanding a radical change towards good governance and democracy, being an inspirational force for young oromos and other ethiopians, may make one to scratch the head. These young eritreans may end up old people, before they get what they want, if they ever get it, under a totalitarian regime that does not respect the living and the dead, and in a situation where many eritreans are not yet sure, if they should stand united against the regime, which means that the regime most probably will be around for a long time.

        • blink

          Dear Horizon
          I just wanted to tell you one truth and that’s all the 1000 men Muslim plus kids will probably end up end a long period of prison time say like 2 to 3 year after that some of them will go to military training and lucky once who have families in Australia,Sweden and America will escape to Sudan , some of them will end up in military and that’s if they are lucky . After 1 or 2 month no one cares about them really, just watch no one really cares except the families and that has been the case for Eritreans for almost 17 years .all this about the history of Akria , the poems and all the articles we read here are just a conversation between few people because the majority of Eritreans are not like the Qero guys , far from it because you can still see some people saying this is has nothing to do with them and they have been through such horrible things due to Issaias and that is how it ends . The man knows no one is going to shake his rule and he knows our opposition elite are only good at complaining while celebrating their kids marriage day and photos and so on. You said politics vacuum is not allowed to exist , please I beg to differ from Eritreans perspective, we have vacuum in the opposition for 20 years . You know our opposition doesn’t care about governance or justice for that matter, what we have are long hand complaining in chiefs. That is what we have .

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            You do not disappoint. Your purpose and your message is clear and on target, always.

            1) Isayas is the smartest person in the plant and he is always ahead of everyone.

            2) those who oppose him inside the country, do not know what they are doing and they come figure it out soon.

            3) All the problem originate in Eritrea can be blamed in the weak sellout of the opposition.

            4) In doing, everything one needs to enjoy (called life), which is not possible in Eritrea thanks to IA, you make it sound as Haram and build your case of guilt. What the hell is wrong if parents enjoy and cellebrate the wedding of their children.

            Let me ask you for a change. What would you advices those “1000 Muslim men” (hey you say this for purpose to alienate them, and we notice) who attended the funeral of Aboy Hajji Musa.

            Berhe

          • blink

            Dear Berhe
            You keep putting words on my mouth and I keep throwing them back to you ,what’s wrong with you ? When did I say Issaias is the smartest person on the planet ? Why don’t you pack your lies in your pocket away from your children?

            Let’s come to the Akria kids ? Do you think all Eritreans will go on strike until the dictator set them free ? No they will not and if you want prove the past 17 years was like that .Asmara is over 600,000 in population and how many were in the protest? Second who will ask about these kids next week ? Only the families that is the truth.

            Issaias is a smart gangster street manager and he has records to show it . Now stop your zeraf zeraf as you slipped on other comments.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            What I read for your comments, and you don’t miss the opportunity:

            1) discourage people from doing something to the regime (e.g. During the Akria demonstrations and now you are repeating what happened during the funeral. How do you know the rest of Asmara would not join? HOW???

            2) blame the opposition for doing nothing for a problem that they have nothing to do to create it in the first place.

            3) you are so “mild” in your criticism and I read that you are telling us, it’s fact of life with Isayas and his cruelty so live with it.

            4) one more thing..you are going to label me weyane or what ever other form you use…

            Berhe

          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,

            The problem is that the supporters of the regime/DIA has long stopped to show their support openly. The reason is because the regime has been exposed beyond repairable or is with a wide cracks that can be covered. Those entertainers (musicians or actors) who were covering the regime under the pretext of national security have almost the regime and slowly are joining the opposition or siding with the oppressed Eritreans. Furthermore, the regime is under constant pressure by:
            1) Sanction that the regime has been trying to get it lifted.
            2) Extreme human right violations – identified for committing crimes against humanity. I am sure you have read and following the recent SR human rights interactive video/report. The Akria upraising and the usual evil acts of the regime is well documented.
            3) The pressure on the diaspora enablers of the regime (London, Netherlands and other places in Europe) , pressure on the embassies and the effective disruptive action on the meetings of the likes of Yemane Monkey or the “Mekete” group. Obviously, the regime have lost grounds in the U.S. and 2% is illegal in your country/Canada.
            4) more and more.

            So, all the likes of Blink has to do is play it safe. Like you stated, belittle the opposition and make the DIA regime look bigger than what it is.

          • blink

            Dear Thomas
            Long time ago you told us Ethiopian youth are making money and do what ever they wish under the democratic leadership of your TPLF , now they are killing people and said they were shooted by mistake .so what are you saying again ? Issaias will fall but not by the pressure you are claiming.

          • Desbele

            Thomas,
            ነዞም ክልተ ወይጦታት ንምምሃር ዝጠፍእ ግዜ የሕዝነኒ።
            I wish Awate add a garbage icon so that we dump their litter and read on.

          • blink

            Dear Berhe
            Good that you didn’t use your motto zeraf zeraf , now , what I know about any thing that has to do about anything is the thing we are debating, you tried to put words on my mouth and I told you set them in your pocket. You see the difference, you are being able to say anything on your dictionary but not from my side . If not of your bodies horrible failures, we could have been talking about other good things in Eritrea. PFDJ failed 10000 times yet the leadership you die to protect did not take the given chance to them. We are counting people like Kerienlos and other mini state afar state in Canada die , what is your favorite team , if you wanted to destroy Issaias you have to clean your house then the people will support you and even die like the Qero . You see how it is done , follow the lead .

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            You want me to add Aqaqi Zeraf, Zeraf,….

            Here is your prediction ” The Akria kids will not even scratch his grip to power , not also the sanction , not even the UNHCR.”

            You see how sure you are on the power of Isayas.

            Berhe

          • blink

            Dear Berhe
            I am not sure on his power but I am 100% sure on the photo show up opposition leadership you love to protect from criticism. If infact Eritreans get any one who can be trusted in the opposition I believe PFDJ has no power or what so ever but to the dismay of all justice seekers Eritreans the opposition leadership are worthless, cowards , idiots , regionalists , narrow minded idiots and some religiously sick men, I can go on but I am not good at insulting English words sir , really you can blame PFDJ for the crime but you just can’t leave the opposition from criticism too, 17 years infact some of the wise in sofa even have been there from 1980 , what good is a worthless full of words ? None .

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            You can criticize them and insult them all day long and to the night if you want for not doing the job you think they should.

            My only problem with you is why you blame them for crimes committed by PFDJ and they have no power. You do this on creative way because you are serving a purpose to divert the crimes committed by IA and pass it on to the opposition.

            Telgibelom for something they have no hand or control.

            Berhe

        • Ismail AA

          Selam horizon and saay7,

          Interesting exchange highlighting two contrasting scenes: Ethiopia under the EPRDF with medicum of space for dissent and Eritrea under thoroughly authoritarina regime under a ruthless despot.

          The price tag for the Eritrean side would be far higher than the counterpart in Ethiopia for reasons that saay7 has enumerated. The choice before Eritrea’s youth is whether they shall opt to pay the price for their freedom.

          Moreover, fairness dictates that the onus is on the segment that is increasingly populating the Eritrean Diaspora. They will have to take the first step to escalate pressure for emergence of credible leadership, or perhaps create their own, and become source of emulation and hope for the wing back home.

      • Amde

        Selam saay,

        If there is one thing I have learned it is to trust your instinct. But still, I think it is important to say this (at least from my perspective)

        The qerro movement and the OPDO are not the same thing. OPDO Plus is a tactical marriage if you will. It is not clear who the qerro leaders are, and how decisions are made, and actions operationalized – so in that there is a huge danger to the country.

        But “qerro” is not simply a marketing term. When Horizon says “the young and the unmarried”, that is not flowery phrasing either. It is the definition of the qerro within the Oromo Geda system. Which tells you that something of that system still lives in Oromo communities. And of that, today the Abba Geda institution, something akin to a local elder (chief), still lives, and in fact appears to have significant moral authority.

        One important detail of Lemma Megersa’s trip to Bahr Dar and his speech to the ANDM was that while he flew over to Bahr Dar, a very large delegation of Abba Gedas were bussed in across the Nile. They were received and feted at various way-points as soon as they hit the Amara border all the way to Bahr Dar.

        What does that tell you? Lemma is not a political idiot. The content of his speech, and the sheer symbolism of an Oromo leader flying into the heart of Amara country to forego the era of grievances and focus on a common country would be considered a stupendously politically suicidal act within the framework of the last 40 years of Oromo movement. No – he did his homework with the elders of the Oromo community. The Abba Gedas were there for political cover and moral support.

        In most of the small town and villages, they are the ones who actually “administer” the community. It is funny how when I ask people about Lemma, invariably i am told how the community elders and leaders have enormous respect for him.

        So, roughly speaking, Qerro has the energy. Abba Gedas have the moral authority. OPDO has the political power. There is a unity of purpose right now, to maximize OPDO power because OPDO is carrying the community demands into government. What that means is, when it comes to the point where Qerro destructiveness exceeds is usefulness for the cause, the Abba Gedas as local people and as institutions will work to snuff it out. If events were simply per the Qerro rhetoric, I’d say we would have been in a looot worse situation. It has been years since people have been telling me of seething Oromo youth around Addis, waiting to jump into the city and “claim it”, but who have not done so because community leaders have been holding them back. As a personal anecdote, I remember a shoe-shine boy in Addis, who turned out to be a farmer from Shashemene, who was in the city shining shoes to make a quick buck while waiting for the crop to grow. He said it was good money – which based on farmers’ high threshold for physical labor I can imagine can be pretty good. In any case, he asked me if I spoke Oromigna. I said unfortunately not. He gave a small nod and said “Gid yellem – yimarutal” (Don’t worry – you will learn). It was the very self-assured matter of act tone he took that was surprising.

        In general, Oromia and Oromos are much better prepared to weather the transition. If OPDO fails, there s a well organized OFC. Qerro excess can be checked by Abba Geda. So, the risk of Qerro spiraling out of control is high, but there are institutional limits.

        To be honest, I am more worried about the Amara regon. My feeling is Fanno is really just a marketing term. It is very different from Qerro. Amara activists iike to use the term “ye gobez aleqa” as the organizational node or maybe as the equivalent of an Abba Geda type community leader. Say what you will, the Qerro movement can be considered a small town movement – where stopping traffic is easy, communication channels are accessible, people know each other, The gobez-aleqa is really a farming village concept and no such thing exists in towns. That is one of a myriad reasons the opposition in the Amara region is not as visible, and will be more destructive. It used to be moral authority could be found within clergy and elders etc.. I am not so sure now. In short, the Amara region is a mess, and the Amara are more in danger of a bad spiraling out of control. I don’t see institutional backups in case the worst happens.

        The situation is different in Tigray of course – there would be a TPLF retrenchment, so in this, I do not see what a Tigrayan qerro would be. Qerro or Fanno is right now about opposing the powers that be. In a Tigray where TPLF is supreme, who are the Tigrayan Qerros supposed to resist? Under normal circumstances, it should be TPLF authoritarianism of course, but not in the current environment.

        Amde

        • saay7

          Amde:

          My instinct now is to stop talking about it as it angers some of our Ethiopians friends here( they are not sure we have same goal) and our Eritrean friends (don’t talk about your neighbors backyard while your house is on fire.) I will leave you with this: (a) compare the statement of the Federales and the local (OPDO) after the Moyale incident; (b) notice how that incident occured in the middle of the EPRDF meeting to elect a PM and how that decision has now been extended for a staring contest ; (c) notice how far things how gone when (read Horizon) burning down vehicles is considered “peaceful” demonstration. I will stick to my original point: the youth movement in Eritrea, if it ever takes root is about rights that can be clearly itemized and met. Not sure that can be done with the Qerro.

          saay

          • Paulos

            Selam Sal,

            Awate is banned in Eritrea? That is swell. PFDJ is shifting from offence to defence and that is the sign of losing momentum. No wonder I don’t see that many Nhna-Nsu pathetics in the forum for there is no point if Monkey doesn’t read their lame comments.

          • saay7

            Paulos:

            The ban is the usual cat-and-mouse: I don’t want to say more.

            Let’s just say it’s classic PFDJ ineptness to ban websites when there is a proliferation of end-to-end encrypted technology (whatsapp, IMO, Telegram, etc) that the Akhria rebels used to (a) share the speech of Haj Musa (b) audio of the meeting at the mosque (c) the demonstration that followed (d) the funeral procession.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            Please keep the information confidential and don’t give them any hint. I am not saying you are exposing anything..but it’s better to keep quite.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            Have no fear Berhe the great: This is something awate and EriTel have been engaged in since, oh, 2001:) Last December, to assure their followers that they are winning in every mekete, they had one of their flunkies (@allpolitico) announce that EriTel has blocked robocalls and all “undesirable websites”. I think this is around the same time some of the fawning media they invite (Bruton, Harper) was telling us the government doesn’t block anything and every home has a satellite dish.

            I think awate.com should add a tagline which says “brought to you in cooperation with EriTel.” But then some of our oppo is so humorless they would think awate is working with EriTel.

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hi Saay & Berhe Y,

            I was able to chat all sorts of sins with a friend in Asmara for months about 7-8 years ago via yahoo messenger, which was nerve racking for me, but the friend arrived here through Kenya soon after safe and sound.

          • ሰላማት ደንማርኪኖ ፕሮፈሶር ጳውሎስ ዓርከይ፡

            ብትግሪኛ ሃው ዱ ዩ ስፐል ሲሥስ (thesis)?

            Nay momentum point equillebrium ab zero gravity thesis n temeharo enda’makherku iye. Immagine the bulls and the bears market bebull.

            GitSEtSE ‘zbee

          • Paulos

            Selamat Tsatse arkey,

            Zero gravity sucks! It is better to be grounded.

        • ሰላማት ፒላር ዓምደ፡

          “…system still lives in Oromo communities. And of that, today the Abba Geda institution, something akin to a local elder (chief), still lives, and in fact appears to have significant moral authority.”

          ዱ ዘይ ግሪት ዘ ቺፍ ዊዝ “ኣውው ቺፍ!”?

          ኣኪን ቱ ማይ ኪን ኦሮሚኛ ካዛንችስ! ስተይ ቱንድ ፎር ፒናት ባተር ክሪም። PB CREAM-Cash Rules Everything Arround Me;)
          ኣላሁ ካሪም።

          ጻጸ ‘ዝቢ

          • Amde

            ሰላማት ጻጸ

            የስ ዜይ ዱ በት አክችዋሊ ሞር ኦፍ

            ….ዋዛዛዛፕ አባ ገዳ….

            ኤ ቼንጅ ቱ

            .. ዋዛዛዛዝፕ ብሮ ገዳ ….

            ወዝ ፕሮፖዝድ በት ኢዝ ዌይቲንግ ፎር ኢህአዴግ ዲስፖዚሽን

            As thou were…

            አምደ

        • Kbrom

          Dear Amde and saay7

          It seems clear that lately Qerro has a shadow structure and a centralised command. With the fuel blockade protests, it has become clear now that they can do what they say will do. I do believe the energy of Qerro is the result of the elders wisdom, OPDO’s leverage, the diaspora network and the OLF ( which we wrongly are overlooking their contribution).

          The battle is not going to finish in Oromia, I think, if it happens, it will be finished in Addis. Addis might be under the EPRDF’s control but the suburbs in all four directions are under the Oromo people who live as an ordinary people but can be mobilised at anytime – all are armed. thus, the Oromo’s potential and power to jump into the city of Addis is real and ready to be implemented, if the Oromia’s moral compass (the elders) feel it is time to do so – they can do it any time; sources say it was planned to happen weeks before PMHD resigned.(Note: this has happened during the Mengstu Neway’s coup detat attempt against the Imperor)

          The alliance of OPDM and ANDM is another less talked about topic. It seems ANDM has accepted the OPDM’s position in many terms. I am not sure how far true it is but the ongoing EPRDF executive committee meeting is said to be dominated by Bereket Simon’s pre prepared ideas and the unexpected proposal of EPRDixt and evolving it to a political party comprising those who agree on the same ideology and political program, is floating there.

          We Eritreans should have our Qerro long time before the Ethiopian one because we have the ‘advantage’ of being oppressed under some international vocabulary: that is to say our problem is related to constitution, human rights, women’s abuse, modern slavery. This should have given us the strength of bringing to our side the international institutions and make pressure on the regime.

          One point that Eritreans should learn from the Ethiopian Qerro is you do not start the movement in the strongest area of the regime where it has the concentration of its security and police apparatus, you should start in the remote areas and create a space and momentum where the regime can not administer and subjugate, then you advance step by step to the centre.

          Needless to say that we need the Eritrean youth to have the courage and political will that the Qerro have demonstrates. If you see the videos of the October rally in Asmara, many youth were standing by and watching when the young girls were demonstrating; some of the men were even sitting in the bars and saying ኣንታ እዘን ኣዋልድ ክፉእ ከርእያና ኢየን. Sad!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Kbrom; at the risk of attack from the likes of Amde, not only who never uttered a word of solidarity with massacred of Oromos for the last three years but he was bragging how wonderful job the Weyane were doing but i get that they got to go with what is trending. Having said that i don’t believe there is Qerro. Were was the so called qerro when OLF was wagging armed struggle for the last 40 years? where was Qerro when TPLF wiped out the Oromo army in 1991? one known signature of OLF and the Oromo struggle is disorganization and disarray. How is it possible all of a sudden so much discipline and organization in a short period of time? Qerro = Johawr Mohamed + Lemma megrsa + Aby Ahmed and the rest of OPDO. If in doubt refer to the last OPDO press statement of the Moyle case. it is an inside job played on TPLF. Nothing is new, Gedda was there, the struggle was there but one thing is new is the Lemmas and Aby gangs inside 4-killo.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Kbrom,

            As I noted in one of my comments (I believe it was yesterday) the two political set ups in Eritrea and Ethiopia are very much contrasting. The youth (Qeeroo) in the latter do enjoy modicum of political space under the working constitution, while the former ጎምበለ of Eritrea have none at all. Under such an impossible conditions the “gombelle” in Eritrea could not even agree on the cause and the need to organize and struggle. They are as divided as the rest of the social and political set up is.

            The dread some of them voiced by stating “ኣንታ እዘን ኣዋልድ ክፉእ ከርእያና ኢየን” is a statement that speaks volumes. It eloquently expresses fear that is deeply buried in nation killing indifference. After all, they simply aware that they live under a regime that shot handicapped veterans on wheel chairs. Thus, under such circumstances there could hardly be a place relatively less dangerous in a small country like ours in which the regime’s visible or invisible agents are not ubiquitous.

            Thus, launching a movement from any place in Eritrea would require courage and determination to the level Martyr Hamed Idris Awate and his 13-man unite had mustered to start from remote country side. In humble opinion, therefore, I think the right place for our ጎምበለ to start a movement is the diaspora. This could play double role in denying the regime of much needed funds as well as serving as incentive and source of inspiration and emboldening to their counterpart back home to start highly secretive cells and build on them – the same way the ELM and later the ELF did to penetrate the urban areas where the security control was as tight as today.

            The most formidable challenge for the ጎምበለ inside the homeland is how to break the fear and indifference in family household circles who are afflicted by fear of the unknown in addition to regime atrocities. The ኣዋልድ of Akhria demonstrated extreme courage and determination to break that fear and angst, but it could not (so far) shake the ጎምበለ of Asmara and answer their call.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            To begin with, do we have the “ጎምበለ”? ጎምበለ ማለት “ጎበዝ” ማለት’ዩ:: ከምቲ ኣቦታት ዝብልዎ “ልቢ ጎበዝ ኣብ ደረቱ” ጎምበለ ወይውን ጎበዝ ኣይፈርሕን እዩ:: ብሓጺሩ ንንእስነትና ምልስ ኢልና እንተተወከስናውን ከምኡ እዩ ዝሕብረና:: መንእሰይ እምቢ በሃሊ: መንእሰይ ተቃላስን ክዋደቅ ድልውን ከምዝኾነን እዩ እቲ ባህልና ዝምህረና:: እዚ ዘኹርዕ ባህሊ’ዚ ዝጠፈኤ ኾይኑ እዩ ዝስመዓኒ ዘሎ ኢስማዒሎ:: መንእሰይ ዓዲ ገዲፋ እንዳሃደመ ካብ ጸላኢኡ: መንእሰይ ንለውጢ ዝቃለስ ካበይ ኢና ክመጽእ እንደልዮ ዘለና? እስከ ቁሩብ ንሕሰበሉ:: ሃልሃል ዝብል ልቢ መንእሰይ: ጎሚዳየ ጎሚዳ እንዳበለ ምስ ጸላኢ ዝዋደቅ እዩ ተሳኢኑ ዘሎ ኣብዚ መድረኽ::

            Regards

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            Well said! I absolutely agree.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Ismail,
            Let me say first that I agree with all what you said. Sorry if my sentences appear disjoint. I am putting them as they come. But, the period of Hamid Awate, your period have significantly changed or are over. Add to that Eritrean independence was prematurely attacked both from outside and paradoxally and importantly from inside. Eritreans in their developmentally barren land have developed more eyes and antennas than ever, but are using them to look, listen and run than to stay. Obviously the slippery slope prepared by the regime is for something!
            A movement from inside would be best, but as you well put it “I think the right place for our ጎምበለ to start a movement is the diaspora”. Fully agree, not only to deprive the regime of financial means, but as you furthered your argument saying, more importantly to show the people inside the country and make them feel the diaspora is not lost forever and its potential is huge and ready to rebuild the country. Let me share my observation of 10 years back when I went back to Eritrea briefly. I met an old friend and university comrade and he sharply criticised the diaspora (and me ንስኻትኩም) not voicing a word against all the wrong that is happening. I didn’t have a satisfying answer other than the usual excuses. He himself didn’t stay long there, he went out and he is still quite in his own corner unless hidden in awate with a nick name (:-). Understandably he has remaining family to protect. By the time they follow him he will probably be in that killing lethargy. I am not accusing him, just to show you how the cycle goes. The diaspora is lost in the sense that it runs principally for its narrow individual/familial advantage and if at all there is national interest and national ‘debate’ within this diaspora, it is inside those sharply divided camps in the absence of any listening to one another. Those who appear to give a glance at their country bend 100% to the regime’s political and economic (for obvious reasons) rules, thus getting ensnared in the regime’s open prison. The other camp, those of us who think we are out of that prison are still there hanging and watching over its walls (prisoners outside the prison) and waiting instead of thinking and planning strategies on how to unchain this prison. This brings me to direction our debate should point, i.e. to the kind of debate that started by Gogo and echoed by Berhe then Beyan calling for the ‘oath of Horatii’ (google it pls). I am not literaly speaking to carry the swords like the 3 Horatii brothers of whom 2 didn’t survive, but to (we the diaspora) get determined like them into defending the weeping people and the country by showing our presence and handing a handkerchief, at the minimum.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile S, Aman H, Kbrom, Paulos and fellow forumers,

            ኣቱም ኣሕዋት፥ ንብሎኮ ጠፊኣኡና። We have turned to helpless witnesses of a nation in process of degeneration. That is what we are watching when it’s being depleted of its young who have lost direction and succumbed to suffocating indifference with preference to flee and face external nature and man-made calamities rather than facing internal ordeals . Putting this phenomenon in perspective has indeed become real challenge to our social scientists.

            This said, I must raise thumps up to my good brother Haile for adding more flesh and meaning to what I tried to say in my rejoinder to my another brother, Kbrom. As articulate he is, Haile has illuminated my comments better than I did. And, on the point of comparing Martyr Awate’s time to present, I completely agree the times and goals have changed. My allusion to that episode was just for emphasis, and nothing more.

            Moreover, I agree with your point on the assault on our independence and its essence had suffered on two fronts. In addition, I must add that what my brother Aman said about the desperate set up that depict our youth and their attitudes is real with an allowance that they do exist. The dilemma is at point of in time and space shall their energy explode and do what they are capable of doing.

            When I say this though, I am aware of the history of our national struggle in both its peaceful and violent phases though the former under the banner of the ELM was a bit better than the latter under the ELF. Both of them faced difficulties in mobilizing the young, especially among the highland communities though the ELM had more successes than the ELF. Here, we take the demonstration students (later workers joined them) in 1958 that began in Keren and expanded to Asmara and Assab.

            After the ELF launched the armed struggle recruiting youth in the Kebessa regions was extremely slow and frustrating. It was after nearly a decades that the youth hailing from those regions began to join the ELF in numbers, and many of them were from high schools plus a few from college levels. The en masse trekking to the fronts had to wait the ground breaking changes in Ethiopia from end of 1974 to 1975 and 76. Mention should be made here of the liquidation of General Aman Andom, and Derg’s January-February military escalation in the environs of Asmara etc.

            Then with the Derg’s violent actions came the situation closed circle when its agents committed piano wire killings in Asmara. Those were events that turned the page. Parents became initiative takers, and encouraged their loved ones to go and join their brothers in the fronts. Mothers sent their sons and daughters with a day’s lunch saying ንዓ(ዒ) ናብዞም ኣሕዋትካ(ኪ) ኪድ(ዲ) ኣብ ቅድሚ ዓይነይ ከይትሞተኒ(ትኒ). I am saying this to state that there is a watershed that alter the mood of people be it compulsive or voluntary.

            The matters that has been haunting significant segment of our communities has been captured in a nutshell by Fanti when he mentioned the “‘they are our own”‘ attitude. This is indeed something real which the regime and its leaders had worked on since long time ago from the time of their appearance on the political scene of the armed struggle. Demonizing opponents such as the late Abdalla Idris and others fell in this realm. When this is understood in the background of the traditional mood of ካብ ዘይትፈልጦ መልኣኽ ትፈልጦ ሰይጣን, indifference to who ever reigns and whatever the burden is simply tolerated. It could only break down when the burden of the devil one knows becomes option between life or death. The risk of betting on the angel one does not becomes inevitable choice. That was the murders by piano string of young Eritreans in Asmara drove home to transform the indifference to action with willingness to pay the cost, which Eritrea’s nationhood and life of people in it will deserve.

          • blink

            Dear Kibrom
            Where is remote Eritrea in Eritrea that PFDJ could not control? I mean if you think about Gash barka , don’t even think about it , it will never happen even after 10 years , where in Eritrea, I can’t see it . The communication barrier in Eritrea is enormous and the circle of Issaias cronies are everywhere. I think colleges can be the best place but still you need a very big scale organizers to do it secretly. I think schools are the hope .

      • Selamat Saay7,

        ናይ አዚ ዓምደ ሑቖ፡ ጌና ኢማጂን አንዳ ገበርኩ ኢየ። ክምለሰካ ኢየ። ስጋዕ ሽዑ (in the meanwhile) ቢትልስ ኢማጂን ኢንሰክትስ ኤንድ ቢቡል (immagine all the Beebull.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        Ere behig amlak..We’re done inspired. Qerro and Fano took things so far now people are saying to them “Abo tewuna”. I think calling on boycotts, work stoppages and sit-ins have run their courses. Both Qerro and Fano need to move on to their next phase, before their tactics are completely ran out of steam and proved to be purposeless. They have accomplished a lot of change so far. I think their next phase should be to start nurturing the changes and start to work with in the system to get more change and protect their movement from being hijacked by sinisters. It is now your turn. Over to you, Eritreans. Take it away…

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam eyob
          Qerro or fano ( what ever u called them) the movement is just started .i don’t know what blinded u guys to see what is going on in ethiopia . the government specially tplf hated by almost everybody and there is no guarantee the military( the foot soldiers) will switch side. I don’t think u guys will get it until u see thousands of supporters slaughters in the middle of addis .

          • blink

            Dear Teodrose
            You forgot Eyob is happy to see the moyale kids down and he is still confident enough his TPLF is going to win this game of killing and protesting , he is waiting to see this to play out its day far away from Tigray, people like Eyob are happy to see everyone beg weyane. They have been bombarding us by 10% economic growth for 20 years and yet begging 1.4 billion dollars for 8 million people. What kind of economic growth do such ? Never heard of .

        • saay7

          Eyobai:

          Thanks for the encouragement. Eritreans are doing their best but unlike their brothers and sisters in Oromiya, Ireland, Palestine, they don’t have dual presence ( Sinn Féin/IRA ; Hamas/al qassam brigade) or representation inside the government (Qerro/OPDO) they are trying to induence. Nor do they have an American embassy protesting (the consulate is busy posting pictures of herself drinking swa and baboons crossing the road) or an EU representative registering complaints (the EU guy was last heard giving a speech about Europe day) or a university professor emboldening them (no universities) or a diaspora based satellite TV magnifying their grievance.

          It’s a lonely David vs Goliath fight and they have embarked on and when they succeed Dan’Connells Against All Odds will seem distant and quaint.

          saay

          • Paulos

            Selam Sal,

            Salina reports that this month alone around 500 hundred soldiers crossed the border to Ethiopia. What does it even mean really? I don’t see your scenario David vs. Goliath being played out, insted I see a phase transition from being a soldier to a world-citizen anywhere but in Eritrea. A collective déclaration of submissiveness or resignation as opposed to defiance where one gets terribly worried if it is going to take roots as a national character.

          • saay7

            Paulos:

            I actually consider it a form of civil disobedience for conscription age Eritreans to leave the country. Here are the choices:

            1. Stand your ground and fight back.
            2. Keep your head down, your mouth shut and do as told
            3. Enlist in the service of the regime and spy on your comrades, family and be a mekhete breath
            4. Leave

            You are a very literate person and you know that Albert Camus says these are always the same choices for humanity.

            The civil disobedience of the youth has already achieved one goal: humble the IA foreign policy of random muscle flexing. If/when the Akhria defiance is continued by others* then the D vs G

            Saay

            * by the way, just because the Akhria uprising was broadcast doesn’t make it the first one. There were many others and who is to say there weren’t a LOT more others?

          • Paulos

            Selam Sal,

            The debate still rages on. Is it a sign of defiance or collective hopelessness where the motto is the future is brighter anywhere but in Eritrea. How are the people who are fleeing responding to the push factor? Consider the number of Eritreans in Israel for instance. Their number is close to 50,000. As you well know there is an intense campaign to have them sent back to a third country and their response to the campaign is not “help us remove the regime by any means possible”, rather it is a plea not to be sent back for what is awaiting them is the very reason that had pushed them of Eritrea in the first place. Again, the mind set is not “fight back” but rooted in a survival instinct. And a huge chunk of the refugees in Israel are ex-soldiers.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Dr. Paulos and Saay,

            Eritreans, Tigrayans, and to a lesser extent Amharas were/are in their “calm” stage following their euphoric “mission accomplished” celebration of 1991.

            Not long ago, Eritreans and Tigrayans defying EPLF/PFDJ and TPLF respectively would have been unthinkable.

            I am not sure how long it takes from surprised to angry to outraged but I would imagine Eritreans to be nearing outraged as Tigrayans are perhaps getting into their version of “surprised” stage.

            One other rational I can think of why the agonizingly slow reaction, from at least Eritrean youngsters, is the “they are ours” folly.

            The youth needs to be organized and provided a clear purpose. They need to be taught that anyone who stands for the people, for fairness, and for justice is who ought to be “theirs” and not necessarily those who happened to speak their language or un-follow their religion.

            This “they are ours” mentality that has slowed the Eritrean youth was apparent in parts of Amhara yesterday it is apparent now in Tigray, and it will become apparent tomorrow in Oromiya.

            Whether we realized it or not, Eritreans are screaming for a unifying organizer.

          • saay7

            Paulos:

            I think it is very unrealistic to ask the youth in Israel to do anymore than we asked of ourselves when we asked for asylum in our host countries: HELP! I have no place to go because I am not welcome at my home. The forum they are using is the Israeli legal system and international law and not the Israeli intelligence service.

            As for the criticism that many of these kids revert to PFDJ gwaylas within years if not months, that’s the fault of me, you and everyone reading this: we did not create vibrant community centers that would be good alternatives to the PFDJ community centers. Whenever we try to set one up and the PFDJ fights back tooth and nail to control it, few are willing to fight back: throw in the towel. As a result there is a PFDJ-controlled community center all over the Diaspora. Before we criticize the Eritrean youth for not standing up to the Isaias regime in Eritrea (facing death and torture), we need to criticize ourselves for not fighting it effectively in the Diaspora and for not building safe shelters for them.

            saay

          • Paulos

            Selam Sal,

            I agree, you got a point there. PFDJ has been squarely ahead of the game where it was able to capitalize on the cultural-shock. But again no one is asking the youth to fight back on someone else’s behalf, we are asking fundamental question instead: Why are they choosing the short way out when the regime is denying them to live a normal life in their home country? The regime insists that it is a global phenomenon where the pull-factor is at play when in fact the Eritrean case is an excepetion to the norm and for a rather weird reason, the youth’s rather indifférence seems to lend credence to the regime’s rationale. In the mean time, we get back to square one till one dares to break the vicious cycle.

          • saay7

            Paulos:

            I am not trying to be argumentative but I really don’t understand why you are marveling at a basic fact applicable to all societies at all times: when a predator attacks, most run, and few fight. The dynamic might change when there is an alternative already established—an organized armed group with an inspiring leadership. Meanwhile, I feel you are asking, “why aren’t ordinary people extraordinary?”

            saay

          • Selam Paulos and Saay,
            To twist the biblical saying about the harvest being plentiful and the labourers few, what we have in our case is the harvest being meagre and the labourers few and to the surprise of no body but themselves the labourers or those who should have assumed the role complain about the scarcity of the harvest. That does not look logical for me. I would not want to talk about myself but as illustrative example let me tell you this anecdote. One day while I was in Asmara, in a feat of youthful naivety I decided to contact any of the opposition parties. For reasons that I can not fathom now EPDP looked cool to me. So I went to their official website , got their contact email and wrote them my readiness to be their member. They could have thought of me as regime operative but it would not kill them from the safety of wherever they live they could have at least sent me their party programmes and manifestos. I do not want to name names but there are many opposition luminaries to whom contacts were made. Their first instinct was to be err on the side of caution.

            That said, the current Eritrean youth are not especially inept or politically disengaged. They are like other normal people. Even the College students many of you are condescending to are not less intelligent than their contemporaries elsewhere. The least the opposition can do is reach them out , establish contacts, believe in them. After that you can tongue-lash them to your heart’s content.

          • Nitricc

            HI P; you asked a good question. ” Why are they choosing the short way out when the regime is denying them to live a normal life in their home country?” My take is, Because they have observed how the X-tegadelti and the Gedli itself treated. No one wanted to sacrifice his/her life and get insulted and degraded.

          • Paulos

            Nitrikay,

            I actually agree. Good point.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat General,

            I will let you have this one. It is wrong in a beautiful way. You even managed to fool Dr. Paulos.

          • iSem

            Hi Sal and Paul:
            Of course we are at fault for not building that elusive vibrant community, not so much to cuddle the youth that go back to Tekeste Bashai’s community in Israel, but to help the mostly women who were tortured in the way to Israel and now are mentally unstable due to the heinous crimes inflicted on them, We know that these women victims live in a charity supported churches/centers and do not want to see people especially Eritreans
            But the youth who choose to go the entity that made them go through hell, no cajoling or nqhat will help them oppose the enemy. Israel cannot be blamed, because many of them indicate in their interviews that the came for work,maybe ill advised by pfdj lackey interpreters during their interviews and the Israel officials go to PFDJ dancing events and see full house and they use that as an reason not to accept them as asylum seekers, can we blame Israel for this. I am not saying said so, I am musing
            Even if we have vibrant community independent of PFDJ, they will come to it and once they get their papers, they will dream of building that house that PFDJ will demolish, or buy that track that PFDJ will confiscate or to get married to that high school sweet heart that PFDJ will kidnap all the way to Sawa, some humans are just like that and we have to just work around them
            So I think it is the disarray among us and between youth groups are creating their problem in Israel, and those who want to oppose the PFDJ are victims and Israel has no way of differentiating between them and this explains the very limited success rate and the impending deportation. I hope they learn from their experience in Israel: how to use the legal system and use that in their struggle
            Sal, when that sweeping, captivating prose of the great Eritrean novel is written by Burhan Ali, Ghezae or Semere Habtemariam or Saleh Gadi or some unknown talents will be set in Sinnai and Israel when its villain and heroes duked it in the desert but I hope, the hero will win and villain defeated, unlike in 1991.And when that happens I have a request and that is that the Nefasit book store all features best sellers:-)

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Saay,

            There is no alternative to # 1 to fight to the beast. You fight tooth and nail against this cruel despot. The more you call only for civil disobedience, the more lives we lose without any impact against his government. In the last 27 years of civil disobedience, we lost our youth and our elders without any “ስምብራት” on the regime. Civil disobedience can only be an additional tool to the needed mighty force. So far we are losers by giving our bests without anything in return.

            Regards

    • Olana

      Dear Horizon

      Whoever informed you about this “Long queues are forming at gas stations in the capital and elsewhere” are totally wrong.

      • blink

        Dear Olana
        Elsewhere? Are you this match for such blind defending of weyane ? Where exactly have you been ? In Tigray? You are right about Mekele .

        • Olana

          Dear Blink
          There has been threats of burning fuel carrying vehicles the last few days but nothing happened so far and there are no queues as claimed by Horizon. I live in Addis and today I just came back from some parts of Oromiya region and I did not see anything unusual.

          • blink

            Dear Olana
            I will post a video in the weekend just stay on line to see it .why do you imagine the all your eyes are everywhere? Come on just google and you will find you are the only person to say about what you saw but not for everyone.

          • Olana

            Dear Blink
            Any video you post will make happy only people like you who want to see chaos in Ethiopia. Your hatred of Ethiopia blinded you so much that you could not able to differentiate between what is true and what is fake. My friend, there are so many things that are happening in Ethiopia that you do not know and beyond your imagination. Worry about the plight of your people who does not even have the right to live their God given life.

    • sara

      Ato horizon…hello!!!
      Eritrean young have done their part in the last patriotic war against weyane … they are called “WARSAY.””.. just to relive you of your curiosity….

      • Selam Weizero/Weizerit Sara,

        Thank you for the info, that young eritreans have accomplished their patriotic duty in the last war against the woyane, and that is all that is required of them. This could mean that now they are enjoying the fruits of their patriotism and their great sacrifice. Case closed.

        Yes, one can see it this way. Only that the reality on the ground is far from that. Many are in refugee camps in continuous fear of imminent deportation, after they braved deserts, treacherous sea, and the unhuman human factor at every stage of their journey.

        Don’t you think that change in the policy of the eritrean regime concerning military service, free economic enterprise without regime control, incentives to help people stay on their farms and in their villages, etc, are necessary? What do you think?

        • sara

          selamat Ato Horizon,
          the young had so much pressure in their life and have to leave for betterment of their life.. the pressure was and is too much from all side thus they braved deserts..seas.and a lot more… by the way this also applies to our southern neighbors despite all the fuss things are better than in Eritrea.
          change is on the horizon, Eritrea has paid dearly to see this coming,
          and rest assured the dividend will be shared with all the peace loving people in our immediate neighborhood.

          • Selam Weizero/Weizerit Sara,

            There is a major difference between ethiopia and eritrea in why the young leave their respective countries.

            In ethiopia, there are two explanations, 1. The bogus anti-terrorism law, which forces political dissenters to flee the country, because they do not want to end up in prison, and 2. The majority are economic immigrants who try to find greener pastures in some other corner of the world.

            In eritrea on the other hand, the young flee their country and are forced to become refugees, because they cannot live peacefully and productively in their towns and villages, because of regime policy. That is why they are called refugees.

            Therefore, we can not put both in the same basket.

  • Michael Tesfamariam

    Dear Hiwot
    Good question, but is there any Eritrean citizen with the right mind or any other individual who is familiar to IA’s mentality actually believe begging or crying would change his mind? No hel! IA is someone who has never apologise or say the word sorry in his entire life and he will continue to do whatever it takes him to stay in power no matter what. We should rather remind ourself that we have badly failed the men and women who are being tortured to death in cages. It is time to act not cry.

  • Abraham H.

    ሰላም እንዳ ዓዋተ
    ከመይ ቀኒኹም፥ ኣንቱም ሰባት ንዓይ እኳ ገሪሙኒ ዘሎስ ክሳዕ መዓስ ኢና ኢሳያስ ኢሳያስ ኢሳያስ እና በልና ክንነብር፣ ካብ ሱሳታት ሰብዓታት ናይ ዝሓለፈ ዘመን ጀሚርካ በቃ ልዕሊ ፍርቂ ዘመን ኮይኑ ኢሳይስ ኣፍወርቂ ንጉዳይ ሃገርና ካብ ዝብሕቶ። ከምዚ ናትና ሓሳረ መከራን ውርደትን ንክንድዚ ዝኣክል ነዊሕ ግዜ ኣብ ትሕቲ ምልካውነት ናይ ሓደ ሰብ፣ ኣብ ዘመናዊ ታሪኽ እዛ ዓለምና መወዳድርቲ የብሉን።
    ምወዳትኡ ደኣ የጸብቆ ኢዩ ዝበሃል

  • said

    Greetings,
    Dear letter writer,
    Seeing Reality from a Different Optic, Eritrea under IA is fast veering to becoming the worst kind Fascist Dictatorship under the near Absolute Rule . with IA playing the Trojan Horse, is now in full control of Eritrean political life; Eritrean destiny .
    We know that for IA, everything is all about IA, all the time. That IA’s guiding principle is whatever’s best for IA right now and then . IA in sick mind. That IA is never to blame, nor to be held responsible, for anything went wrong or bad. IA has used his dictatorial powers to commit all kind of crimes against humanity, extermination, and inhumane acts. some of the IA crime and atrocities could have being prevented long time ago. Eritreans collectively, does not need to meekly allow IA to slaughter our populations like sheep and stand by watching . We have more than enough of IA long list of crime ,it high time to stop now him ,before he is able and he can fully carry out the crimes that will make these killings much more ,it is unavoidable. IA hardcore policies are very cruel, inhumane and his criminal attack on large populations of our people throughout Eritrea is well documented and known. Who can not escape his long hand ,none, they are trapped in horrendous conditions due to his on going killing, displacing and subjugation . The vast majority of our populations are being trapped and facing in conditions of hunger, thirst, disease and misery, without any means of escape. IA is guilty of act ,and ordering and participating in crimes against humanity.

    Dear writer you are not the president of Eritrea or Prime Minister of any state—you are not a Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of interior, or any other such grand names and ridiculous and criminal titles these PFDJ murderer and thieves keep giving to themselves — YOU ARE honorable ,respected and caring citizen of Eritrea not nefarious idiot with no power to your name — IA have all earthly power to his name — IA does have a murderous army at his disposal to unleash on innocent Eritreans— sadly the present Eritrean army of cowards who can only fight defenseless women and children with sophisticated weaponry collocated during struggle period are used on them.
    IA is at the head of Eritrean coward force maiming murdering and incarcerating thousands of Eritreans in their own country—IA is coward and buffoon— he cannot and should never be able to harm any Eritreans — we let it happen . sadly but he has committed the incremental genocide of our people, what Ethiopian have done during the long road to freedom they committed unspeakable crime. and IA continue to do much worst to Eritreans.
    On these awful and triable time we live, IA do not consider Eritreans as human beings with full rights.

    • Michael Tesfamariam

      Dear brother,
      Let alone a letter from this irrelevant citizen, even his beloved daughter wouldn’t influence Issais to change his mind from being the most brutal dictator.

  • blink

    Dear writer
    Beautifully written missed out on many points because PFDJ doesn’t listen and the bad side of this is that , something horrible people are begging the young Eritreans to kill each other. If you watch PFDJ they have been doing everything in a wrong way and so do the western pensioners too. Your readers are very diverse but few stand out in their plea begging weyane to bomb Asmara. Some of them are against the history of Eritrea and some are just hopeless can do nothing. So how do we go from here ? Gallery showing the failures is all over. Complaining endlessly about things they heard is the art professionalism.

  • T .G.Hiwot

    Is this letter intended to remind IA of the consequences of his actions or is it a plea to ask him to change his ways.Considering where we find ourselves at this moment of time a letter of this kind is only serving to magnify our desperation and helplessness.Does the guy deserve the honor of such a polite letter even though the writer claims that his parents broght him up to be polite to elders?Assuming the letter to be genuine from someone inside Eritrea one can conclude not only the naivity of the innocent writer but a letter that would have made sense twenty or more years ago.

    • blink

      Dear T.G.Hiwot
      I think putting words of wisdom in your letter is always better than filling words of hate because the intent was to get a break from the problem we are in. 21 years? I mean come on , every one was jumping after him . Wise but hesitant prison guard are always going to get fired from their job early.

  • Haile S.

    Dear writer and all,
    ካብ መዓሙቕ ስቓይ ዝመንጨወ ደብዳበኻ/ኺ ዋላእኳ ተቐባሊ ደብዳበኻ እንተዘይኣንበባ፡ ማዕጾ ብዙሓት ከምትኩኩሕ ኣይጠራጠርን።
    ነቶም ኣብዛ ደብዳበ ነናህና ኣራኣእያ ዘለና፡ ከምዚ ክብል እፈቱ፣

    እቲ ዘይዓጠቐ እቲ ዘይተወደበ
    ዝናር ኣብ መዓንጥኡ ዘይሰርዐ ዘይኣከበ
    ብስእነት ኮነ ብርሕቀት እምኒ ደርብዩ ዘይኣርከበ
    እንታይ ኣለዎ ብጽሑፍ እንተ ረገመ እንተ ደባደበ?

    ዘይዓጠቐ፡ ኣሎዎ ጥይት ነናይ ባዕሉ
    ሸሊሕ ከም ጥይት ድልየቱ ዝጽሕፈሉ
    ኣንጸርጺሩ ወረቐት ሓሊፉ ጣውላ ዝቐደሉ
    ወይ ከምዚ ጸሓፋይ ኣድላዪ ቃላት ዝሰዀዓሉ
    እዝኑ ንዝጸመመ ‘ርአ እሞ ዝገበርካዮ’ ዝንውንወሉ
    ስቕታ እውን እኮ ኣሎ መንፈሱ ኣዕንዩ ሃገር ዘዕንወሉ

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yes Haile S,

      “ዘይዓጠቐ፡ ኣሎዎ ጥይት ነናይ ባዕሉ
      ሸሊሕ ከም ጥይት ድልየቱ ዝጽሕፈሉ
      ኣንጸርጺሩ ወረቐት ሓሊፉ ጣውላ ዝቐደሉ
      ወይ ከምዚ ጸሓፋይ ኣድላዪ ቃላት ዝሰዀዓሉ::”

      How true!!

      KS,,

    • Kbrom

      Dear Haile

      ገርገር ዝብል ደም ሒዙ
      ዓዲ ኣብ ኣብ’ንግድዕኡ ሙኻና ዘንጊዑ
      ምስ ዓዲውዒል ተዓንዚዙ
      ብርኩ ዓጺፉ እንተቖዘመ
      ክንዲ ዝምንዝዕ ነቲ ዝተጠልመ
      ሃቡኒ ኢሉ እንተለመነ
      መዓስ የምሕረሉ
      መሊሱ ከንዕቖ እንደኣሉ

      ከምዚ ዘለዎ ተቐጺሉ መንእሰይና
      ክደርፋሉ ኢየን ከምዚ ኢለን ኣዋልድ ዓድና

      ደቂ 90 ተጸሚዶም ኣብ ምርብራብ
      ንስኻ ጸሓይካ ካብ ትዓርብ
      ወዲ 10 ከለኻ ስግር ከብትስደድ
      ወዲ 30 ኮንካ ካብ ወለድኻ ካብ ትምገብ
      ወዲ 40 ከለኻ ኢድካ ካብ ትህብ
      ቀትሪ ከሎ ካብ በለካ ገብገብ
      ሙት እምበር ዓለምዶ ትጽገብ

      • Kokhob Selam

        Wow Kbrom,

        “ከምዚ ዘለዎ ተቐጺሉ መንእሰይና
        ክደርፋሉ ኢየን ከምዚ ኢለን ኣዋልድ ዓድና ”

        what a wonderful poem man !! why you are not able to post in Jebena page..

        KS,,

      • Haile S.

        Selam Kbrom,

        ይበል! ግጥሚ ዝወጻ የብላን።

        እዛ ደብዳበ ንምንታይ እዝኒ ገለና ኣጽሚማ

        ኣነ ብዝመስለኒ ካብ ዓቐን ንላዕሊ’ያ ተተርጒማ
        ጸሓፊ የበስር እዩ ዘሎ ምብቕዑ ናይ ንሱ ዕላማ
        ክሲ እዩ ዝጸብጸበ ወጽዓኡ፣ ዓድና ሕማማ
        ክፍወስ ከም ጭሩ ብዓቕሙ ብብርዒ ማሕጎማ

        ኩሉ ከከም ዓቕሙ ጾሩ የፍኩሶ
        ገሊኡ ኮፍ ኢሉ ንብዓቱ የፍስሶ
        ገሊኡ ማህረምቱ ስቕ ኢሉ ይኹልሶ
        ገሌና ብጽሑፍና ብግጥምና ንድምስሶ
        ሓፍትና/ሓውና እንሆ ስኢና/ኑ ካብ ሓሳብ ዘጣይሶ
        ውጽዕኡ ጸብጺባ/ቡ ንንሱ ት/ይኸሶ
        ኣነስ ኢድ ይባርኽ ኢለ መኾለስኩ ቦሶ።

  • Yman M Omar

    Issias doesnt need a letter, he needs a bullet between his eyes!

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Yman M Omar.

      So what do you think,what about you are you ready? will you do the same?

      KS,,

      • Nitricc

        Hi KS; only the cowards say things like killing others. They just want some body to do it for them. I bet you this person never fried a bullet in his life. Amazing! people in Diaspora educating their children while begging other children to die for them. How about a little morality?

        • Yman M Omar

          A decade here, you have not improved. You still regurgitating your saliva.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Yman; it is not crime for being slow and dumb? what crime is what you are preaching. Killing is not the solution. Do you want Isaias? take him to the public court. Only coward like yourself preaches killing. Just chill and get your life in order, leave Issaias to those with some kahunas. You sound very angry old man.

          • Yman M Omar

            HI Nitric. Public court ? hehe. You sound a toddler playing with a keyboard. That is why people should quit on the country and its people. There is no hope for a future Eritrea with slow and dumb 😀

          • Nitricc

            Hi Yman; when I said slow and dumb I was talking about you. O my you are even dumber that I thought. lol. Like I have said you sound very agree person but always talk about yourself. If everything life was right and orderly, it will be very boring like yourself. Sometimes try to solve and to challenge things in life.

          • Paulos

            Nitrikay,

            How many forumers have you taken on so far? The list keeps adding on where Yman is hoping on the ring. You’re a unique champ in the sense that no heavy-weight, middle-weight or welter-weight can defeat you. Here the punches are not based on logic though but on bashing instead as in toothless. You should see me laughing.

          • Nitricc

            Hey P; for real I wasn’t even talking to him. I was talking to KS and showed up armed with insults. You know P I have never started a fight with any one with my own starting. I always respond to attacks. I know why I get attacks though, “because greatness is measured by the number of your enemy” If I was fezaz like Thomas, everyone will be my friend. 🙂 lol

          • Yman M Omar

            Hi nitric, I can see you have been bullied around here. What amazes me more is the fact that the awate forum promotes peaceful struggle as if they were supporters or some of them engaged in armed struggle. There is no peaceful transition as we would like it to be in Lala land 😀

          • Nitricc

            Hi Yman; here is the thing, we have to change that narrative! when you solve a problem with a gun, in due time you must know you will be solved with a gun. It is our gift to future generation to set and be an example of peaceful transition of power. This viscous circle of violence and lose of life got to end. That is all i am saying.

          • Yman M Omar

            Hi nitric, What would peaceful transition entails to ? Maybe i am expecting alot from you :). I am surprised tho to see u getting younger as a sun sets…

          • Nitricc

            Hi Yman; hahahaha: sunshine, i know it is hard to comprehend for a person like you who is eager to but a bullet in two someone’s head but there is something called, organize, educate, inform and act. if we had an opposition displineed enough to to organize and mobilize the people, in one year you can unseat PIA and change the system peacefully. Unfortunately your oppositions are not interested in change, they are out for revenge, settling old grudges and power. The major reason the system standing in Eritrea is that PIA knows his people and the so-called opposition while the oppositions know natheir the the people nor PIA. have you ever asked your self why the system is standing this long this far despite all the resentment it faces? easy, don’t hurt yourself trying to figure it out. easy!

          • Yman M Omar

            HI nitric, I have expected none other than simplistic replay. If it was simple as such,why have not you done it ? what and who are you waiting ? I am assuming here you want change knowingly even tho i am beating the same old drum on you 😀 my hope is that you would be faster and brighter as the sun shines….

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Nitric,

            So by the same token, Issayas and his enablers are cowards for letting his former colleagues to die in fox holes without bringing them to the court of law. Is it Nitrickay?

          • Nitricc

            Hi Aman-Absolutely!!! A cavitation of a country is measured at the handling and treatment of its prisoners. Yes, you can arrest me but let me have a day in court to defend myself.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Nitrickay,

            So why are you defending the cowards and their leader, who are killing inhumanly to their colleagues who contribute no less than them in liberating the country? Why do not call them bluntly cowards for not bringing them to the court of law, as you did to others to avoid hypocrisy then?

          • Nitricc

            Hey Aman-H; I did call the PFDJ out. I thought i have made my stand known on this issue. I mean, for anyone with shred of thinking cell, it is wrong what is happening to the G-15 and the rest of the political prisoners. you can accuse me why can’t I side with opposition all together? How can I? show me one opposition with clear poletical program that is better than PFDJ. the story goes like this….
            Opposition= Nitricc; you know you are wrong for siding with PFDJ and despite committing all the injustice to the political prisoners. you should stand against PFDJ.
            Nitricc; i know about the injustices and and i opposed the handling of G-15 and the rest of the political prisoners, i do, but the country is in a very peculiar and dangerous situation, what do you offer? what is your exit strategy? what is your national program?
            Opposition; trust us and you know he is a dictator and merciless killer.
            Nitricc; fine what is your plan, what is your national program?
            Opposition: trust us, we have a plan. Isaias is a killer and he killed many people. he is not good for our country.
            Nitricc: fine, what is your plan? how is it you are better than him when you get the power. again what is your national program?
            Opposition: you are cold hearted and you don’t care about our people. our people are dying and out youth is dying but you chose to stick with the dictator.
            Nitricc; All i ask is what is your program? what the plan? can you please share what your vision for the country is?
            Opposition: You know Isaias killed hundreds of people. he killed Ibrahim Affa, he killed many people while he was in Sahil and still killing our people.
            Nitricc: Fine, tell me what your plan and your national program is and i am happy to do my part.
            Opposition: you are just like him cold and heartless. Our people are suffering and our youth are dying, you are just like him.
            Nitricc: I understand that but what is your plan. the next day after PFDJ is ousted, the next month and the next year, what happens, what is your plan? what is the road map?
            Opposition; You don’t even know Eritrea you have never been in Eritrea, you are just PFDJ stooge and heartless loser.
            Nitricc: okay we are getting no where here. can you tell me how you solve the Badime issue? did you ask your masters, the Weyne how we can settle this issue?
            Opposition: you must attended those alcoholic gathering od YPFDJ. Badime is a piece of land worth nothing, why do you worry about that? our people are suffering.
            Nitiricc: But we paid 20K LIVES for that couse and the rule of law said it is our land. and you never had the balls to ask the weyane about the verdict? Yet, you wanted me to worry about 15 people over 20 thousand young people who paid with their life?
            Opposition: you are hopeless PFDJistes, you are lost Nitricc.
            Nitricc: again what is your plan, program and notional road map?
            Opposition: you are lost and heartless person, no more discussion with you, go to hell, Nitricc.
            Nitricc; i rest my case! before you try to convince someone, you need to believe you have program better than PFDJ.
            i can go on but you get my drift.

      • Yman M Omar

        I didnt write the letter. I hope you are not expecting to remove issais by a stroke a pen 😉 You should probably be discouraged by the strides you made in nitric’s archaic mind.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Yep, Sir

          Yes keep coming please..

          KS,,

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear writer,
    Your message of anger! They are well written but it appears your letter has exprienced a long delay before it reached the Awate desk. It seems you wrote it in 2001 and some how, it made it to Awate 17yrs later.

    The right message to IA right now would be bullets of anger, not words of anger.

    Time to get angry is way over. It is now time to act your anger.
    Hayat

    • Beyan

      Dear and kbrti Hayat,

      Well said! Of course, there is a but part to this and here it is: What if this is a young man/woman who is barely a teenager, who could conceivably have had no acumen nor the capacity to understand his/her anger, much less the wrath that had befallen in 2001. Would it be justified anger being portrayed in the open letter then?

      Beyan

      • Hayat Adem

        Of course, Dr. Bryan. I am only elevating the anger to the next level and where it should be, and not contradicting the writer thoughts.

        • Beyan

          Ah, now we are talking!!! If these kinds of anger begin to be displayed in the open the way that the funeral procession of Aboy Musa’s or the demonstration in the aftermath of his jailing were; and the defiance they showed to the regime by going through the path unchartered for them during the burial procession, I think anger is reaching its boiling point. Someone is bound to use not words, but other means of expressing that anger – soon – where it would be the end of this man’s reign forever.

          Regards,
          Beyan

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Beyan ..

            But that will be the end of the game..

            KS,,

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Qeen

      If the letter will be written by … are right and you sure ,,,but if this is by someone ordinary that is more than anger,,

      “you may think that you are the only person who have made sacrifices to serve our nation. Eritrea’s sovereignty came with the collective efforts and struggles of all Eritreans, spare those of us who were too young to understand or thought we were lucky to be born in the aftermath of independence of the nation-state called Eritrea. You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with fierce anger!!!”

      KS,,

    • Thomas

      Hi Hayat,

      Yes, indeed. “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth” -Albert
      Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (14 Mar 1879-1955). It is anger time as the truth will regenerate the emotion in anger.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Awatestaff,

    Though I like the way you penned down your view, I hate to beg to “power authority.” Power never listen to grievances, never feel the pain of others. Power dictates and jails it’s subjects. All the years I heard begging by individuals or groups to Issayas, it cringes my stomach. Power scares from power. We should only speak from power stand, if we are for changes to our society.

    Regards

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Emma,
      Tgushtetey bel!.

      This is what is written on top of the article:

      [The following is a letter penned by a person who lives in Eritrea. His name is withheld for his safety]

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Abu Salah,

        Be it from inside or outside, I hate to see a begging letter to Issayas. Power politics does not work that way. That me and my principles. I am not asking for the name.

        • Beyan

          Ya Amm Amanuel,
          Are you putting yourself in place of the writer or just saying as a matter of rhetorical devise. The man at the helm of power has absolute power. The open letter starts with a reconciliatory tone, but in the process, can’t you see the writer is feeling empowered as the funeral procession was being invoked. As numerous individuals were being called out as the victims of the man that the writer is saying is not only speaking in behalf of, but that is inhabiting them for his own. The writer is not only appropriating their victimization to find power from within but is close to saying I am coming to get you bastard! It is okay to have principles but without due consideration to the context in which such powers need to be counter claimed and reclaimed, it is really hollow at best.

          Beyan

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Beyanom,

            There is no “power strength” that can generate from this letter. From my point of view, It only elicit internal hate and sheepishly mourning on the plight of our people, which is different from your interpretation. Such kind of plea strengthens the despot and affirms indirectly the security of his power. So let us agree to disagree.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Aman

          Safety first and accept this one..

          KS,,

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokhobay,

            It is about safety. It is about the content of the letter. I did not ask for the name.

          • Kbrom

            Dear all

            ሓው ኣማኑኤል ዝብሎ ዘሎስ እዋኑ እዋን ምሕጽንታ ኣይኮነን፡ ንሓደ እንዳፈለጠ ምሉእ ህዝቢ ዝሓረደን ዝቐተለን መራሒ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ናይ ምምሽኻንን ስዩምነትን ደብዳበ የሻድኖ እምበር ኣየዐርዮን ኢዩ።

            ጸሓፊ ካብ ውሽጢ ሃገርን መንእሰይን ብሙኻኑ እቲ ጽሑፉ ብርታዐ ብርታዐ ዝሽትት ኪኸውን ነይርዎ። ንዓመጽ ክስዕር ሙኻኑ ዝነግር ቃና ዘለዎ ኪኸውን ምተገበአ ኢዩ ዝብል ዘሎ ኤማ።

            ዕርቅን ልመናን መፍትሒ ዝንተዝኸውን ኣቦና ሓጂ ሙሳ ምገበርዎ፡ የግዳስ ዘይሰምዕ ስርዓት ሙኻኑ ስለዝፈለጥዎ ኣቦይ ሓጂ ሙሳ ብህይወትና እንዳሃለና ዘይፍትሓዊ ትእዛዛቱ ዘስገድደልና ስርዓት ንጹግ ኢዩ ንሕና ድማ ክሳብ እንመውት ክንቃለሶ ኢና ኢሎምሲ ብኽብሪ ሓሊፎም ከምኡ ኢዩ ዝድለ ዘሎ።

            ወዲ 93 ዓመት ከምዚ እንዳበሉ ሓደ ውዑይ ደም፡ ምሕጽንታ’ባ ስምዓና’ባ ዝብለሉ ምኽንያት የልቦን። እቲ ናይ ልመና መድረኽ እቲ ተሓሊፉ ኢዩ እዚ መንእሰይ እዚ ቅድመይ ዝነበሩ ክልተ ወለዶ ኣጥፊእካስ ናተይ ውለዶ ከተጥፍእ ኣይከፍቅደልካን ኢየ ዝብል ቁጠዐን ነድሪን ዘለዎ ምብጋስ ከርኢ ነይርዎ። ንሓደ ሓራዲ በሰላኻ ኣርኢኻዮን ኣዘኻኺርካዮን እንታይ ይጠቅም ሳዲስት ስለዝኽነ ካልእ በሰላ ኪፈጥር ኢዩ ዝደፋፋእ።

            ንሲምቦሊዝም መልእኽቲ ንምምሕልላፍ ተባሂሉ ብእንግሊዝ ጽሒፍካ ህዝቢ እንታይ ይስመዖ ኣሎ ንማሕበረሰብ ዓለም ንምንጋር ዝነቐለ ኢዩ ዝበሃል ተኾይኑ ድማ፡ እቲ ዘሕልፎ ዘሎ ትሕዝቶ ናይቲ መልእኽቲ ጌጋ ኢዩ ዘሎ። ማሕበረ ሰብ ዓለም ህዝቢ ጨግ ኢልዎ ከምዘሎ ኪግንዘብ ኣለዎ። ናብ መራሒ ኤርትራ ዝቐንዐ ተኾይኑ ግን ብቛንቛታት ሃገሩ ተለሚኑ ዘይሰምዐስ፡ ብናይ ባዕዲ ቛንቛ ኪሰምዓካ ምጽባይ ናብ ዘይሰምዓካ ደብሪ ምምህላል ኢዩ።

            ህዝቢ እዚ ናይ ምሕጽንታ እዋን ከምዝሓለፈ ተገንዚብዎ ኢዩ። ኣብ ኤርትራ ዘሎ ‘መራሒ’ ዝያዳ እንኸተኽብሮ ዝያዳ ዝንዕቀካ ሙኻኑ ተሞኪርዎ ስለዘሎ ከምዚኦም ዝኣመሰሉ ኣስቆርቆርቲ ናይ ምሕጽንታ ጻውዒታት ጉድኣቶም ይበዝሕ። ኣብ ኤርትራ ዘሎ መራሒ ዝኣስርን ዝቐትልን ኣእዳው እምበር ዝሰምዕን ዘዳምጽን ኣእዛን የብሉን። ኣእዛኑ ጸገማት ህዝቢ ንምስማዕ ዘይኮነስ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊ ህዝቢ ንምጽንጻንን ንምስላይን ጥራይ ኢዩ ዝጥቀመለን።

            እዞም መንእሰያት ዝጽሕፉ ተኾይኖም ክቡራት ወለደይ ነጸላይን ጫማይን ሂብኩም ሓርነትኩም ክመልስ ኣፋንዉኒ፡ ኣነ እንዳሃለኹ ክብረትኩም ኪቕንጠጥ ሕልናይ ኣየፍቅደለይን ኢዩ ክብሉ ይግባእ። ነቲ ዓማጺ ድማ ኣንታ ህዝቢ ትገፍዕ ዘሎኻ ዕጫኻ ከምቶም ህዝቢ ዝገፍዑ ኢዩ ኪኸውን፡ ኣነ ብህይወተይ እንዳሃለኹ ሓርነት ህዝበይ ኪምንዛዕ፡ ሕድሪ ኣቦታተይ ኪጥለም ፍቓደኛ ኣይኮንኩን ክብልዎ ይግባእ።

            ብምስክንክን፡ ብምሕጽንታ፡ ክንደይ በሰላ ከምዘሎካ ምቁርምራም ሓርነት ኣየምጽእን።
            ብሰንኪ ከምዚኦም ዝኣመሰሉ ናይ ጉልዕጽዕጽ ቃናታት ኢዩ ንሶም ኪገብርዎ ዝግባእ ደቂ 93 ዓመት ዝገብርዎ ዘለዉ።

            እዞም ሕጂ ኤርትራዊ ሓማስ ዘርእዩ ዘለዉ መንእሰያት ድማ ክምስገኑ ይግባእ። እቲ ፍታሕ ኤርትራዊ ኢንቲፋዳ ምፍጣር ጥራይ ኢዩ፡ ብብጣስ ወረቐት ዝረጋገጽ ሓርነት የሎን።

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            መርሓባ ክብሮማይ,

            አብ ርሑቅ ኮይንካ: ነቲ ኣብ ልበይ ዘሎን ዝነበረን: ሓሳባት አንቢብካ: ብግሉጽ መንገዲ ንአንበብቲ ስለዘቅረብካዮ ምስጋናይ ይብጻሕካ:: ክብሮም እንደልበይ እንተበልኩኻውን ካብ ሓቂ ዝረሓቀ አይኮነን:: ዝኾነ ኾይኑ ዘሎናዮ ኹነታት ሓሞት አንበሳ ዝሐትት እምበር: መልእኽታዊ መተሓሳሰቢ ንመላኺ መራሒ መንግስቲ ዝስደዶ ጊዝያት ኣይኮነን:: እቲ ካብ ኩሉ ዘተሓሳስብ ነገር ከአ ኣብ ክንዲ ስረ ዘዕጥቁን ዘተባብዑን: ስረ ዘፍትሑን ሕልና ዘዳኹሙን እንዳተባዝሑ ምኻዶም እዩ:: ስለዚ ኸምኡ ኽትዕዘብ ኮለኻ ዓገብ ካብ ምባል ዓዲ አይትውዓል ዝሐወይ ሃብሮም::

            ሰሰናዩ ንዓኻ ይኹን

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Kbrom, Amanuel and others,

            I read the letter again to make that I miss something that you both are able to read in the content of the letter.

            Please I am asking genuinely, can you please quote some sentence that is “begging” or sending “mHSNti” to Isayas.

            The only thing I can find is perhaps the title, other than that I see nothing wrong in the letter that enables the dictator. If you say it’s a lost cause is one thing, but to actually characterize as pleading with him, I don’t see it how.

            Berhe

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Berhe Y,

            As it is the case with all good writings, it is possible for several people to be affected by or understand this letter differently.

            The author reminds the reader the dignity, decency, respectfulness, generosity, and compassion Eritreans has always been known for while politely telling the president how he has become devoid of them all.

            Technically, the letter implies that there is nothing Eritrean left in Isaias Afewerki. He kills the young, the old, and his comrades, with zero empathy. It also indicates how IA was mistaken for a hero for a long time but he is now exposed.

            It is a good riddance letter to a mad man with a gun who has guaranteed a miserable end for himself with his lifelong lack of empathy, blatant killings, and lawless arrests all in the guise of nation building.

            I found the letter to be very powerful, and far from saying “በጃኻንዶ ግደፍ.”

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            Along the line of your last quote, this is what the father of “Power-Politics” Otto von Bismarck famously had to say, “The problems of the day can not be solved by speech or majority vote but by blood and iron.”

        • Saleh Johar

          No Emma,
          You can addres “dear author” and not awatestaff that oublushes everything, even your articles. If some one is enraged at what you write, he cannot address the facilitator. And I corrected you—your views are not in question. And I know your views. At any rate, publishers are not responsible for individual views and that is standard disclaimer that applies to all.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saleh,

            Your point is well taken. Thank you.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear SJ.

        Yes “Tgushtetey “That is really true..

        KS,,

    • Beyan

      Selam Haw Amanuel,

      Perhaps you didn’t notice it wasn’t written by AT, my addressing the AT as my addressee could’ve given you that erroneous understanding. Be that as it may for now, considering the piece is coming out from within the belly of the beast, the notion of power changes its meaning, doesn’t it? The anonymous writer is slowly asserting him/herself as the open letter progresses. Consider, for example, how the writer gradually appropriates that potential power through the hatred that brews from within. Notice how the words begin change after several paragraphs: The first one: “You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor and the anger with which I harbor it!!!” [underline “the anger with which I harbor it!!!”
      By the next one that anger is building and changing its intensity: “You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars I harbor with heated anger!!!” [underline “the heated anger!!!”]. The next one becomes “intense anger!!!”. Next one turns to “fierce anger!!!” You can feel the intensity of the anger as it becomes “vigorous, fervent,” and finally, “zealous anger!!!”

      The writer is empowering him/herself. By the end, the reader senses, were the writer to see the source of the anger, a dagger or a bullet would be the fate of such a monster with a “demigod” like power he thinks he possesses.

      Beyan

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Haw Beyan,

        The origin of the letter is highlighted, that it is from inside and the name is withheld for safety. So there is no confusion by my side. I just do not like such kind of letter to power authority the shows your hopelessness, specially in real world of subjugation.

    • iSem

      hi Emma:
      This letter is not like the open letters some wrote to IA to release their loved ones, to implement the cont. to release the political and religious prisoners. To me this is a work of literature, a therapeutic one at that. The write is not asking, he/she is telling IA, despite your inflictes suffering and scars we carry, “Alnenn”

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Sem,

        I think I can understand English. Wether it is for “work of literature” or real begging, when people are subjugated to a cruel dictator, to see such kind of incapcitated message, only it illustrates our weakness and hopelessness.

        • iSem

          Hi Emma:
          What I meant by work of literature is that, i tis not your typical open letter to president IA, I meant it in a way that is is an expression, not begging him to heal him/her, to let go etc, that was my take. I am also critical of open letters to IA, please, dear freedom fighter IA release prisoners etc

          • blink

            Dear Isem
            I wrote one waiting reply from him , shall I wait ? What do you think?

          • iSem

            hi Blink:
            Do not wait, I can answer it for him, not hat I have clarvoyance powers but he is so predictable ,I have given your letter great deal of consideration and I tell you are making a big mistake

          • blink

            Dear isem
            Do you think he did not receive a plea letters from wifes of his prisoned ex- comrades? He has thousands of letters of plea but he doesn’t have the decency to read them and even if he reads all , his emotions are no were to found.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Emma,

          Ok, let’s look at this way.

          Say you are in charge of Awate and you receive this letter and asking you to publish it.

          What would have done?

          Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Berhe (Abi Seb),

            No I am not saying they should not publish it. They should publish it. What I am saying is, in the face of the brutal enemy, I do not like such kind of letter to the despot. That is all. People misunderstood my comment. It has nothing to do with the decision of the publisher, nor do I miss it that the letter was written from inside Eritrea.

            Regards

          • Berhe Y

            Selam Emma,

            TiHsho dea.

            I don’t know how you read, but how do you think IA feeling right now reading this

            “Look at the people who defied your orders and are burying Haj Musa. Hear their wailing, that wailing, in due course, will turn into vicious anger, an anger that will become an end to your rule, and you will be buried in a rat hole with nobody wailing but your immediate family or the few puppets, if that. Wake up and acknowledge the fact that your reign is coming to a violent END. The anger is brewing from within, and when the masses’ anger fuels from within, watch out!”

            The way I read it, specially coming from Eritrea, it does not sound someone begging but instead someone warning. It’s a promise and it’s Fekera, Zeraf, Zeraf, we are coming for you..we are NO longer afraid of you…..ready to go to do what ever it takes to end this rule.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            Do you really need warning for a dictator who killed and disappeared many innocent Eritreans not only after independence but also during our ghedli? It is not Feketa brother. It is only bitterness.

          • Paulos

            Selam Berhino,

            Do you think the guy cares much less would be interested to read what people are saying about him? He has over the years internalized how far the people can go even if they shout at the top of their lungs. This is the guy with no qualms or compunction what so ever about an elderly citizen and who declared the death of the Constitution in a broad day light and nothing happens!!! He is solid sure that people opt to leave his turf instead of fighting back. That is the cruel reality on the ground.

          • iSem

            Hi Paul:
            I always disliked open letter, even my friend Sal who is always see the lighter and positive side of things disagreed about open letters to DIA in an article cerca 2001/2002. We know that. I made fun of open letters to DIA, I even made fun of the letter teh G-13 intellectuals wrote to DIA and was leaked. But this one, I took it to be an expression of mood, a somber, melanchonic mood

          • Paulos

            Selam Semerile,

            Isaias is not delusional. He knows perfectly well that he is hated by the Eritrean people. The thing is though he doesn’t care. A psychopath is someone with no feelings for others what so ever. And lack of sympathy or empathy is across the board where the plea on be half of her son (elderly mother of Bitweded) and the plea of the young daughter of Naizghi Kflu are historical testaments to that effect. There was an interesting article recently on The-Atlantic where extensive profile of psychopathes detailed including an MRI where it shows the difference in the brain between psychopathes and the general population.

          • blink

            Dear berhe
            You know Eritreans don’t say zeraf zeraf, right? I mean seriously though, is this even more fun. Issaias is not like PMH , I am sure you know that . The man does not care and he knows we say worse than this . Akria thing is simply not going to destroy the man , what the collective people can do is always the better one . He knows the people who talk military action are most probably in Addis Abeba dancing with girls , as papi did last month.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            It depends which part of Eritrea. I know there is part of Eritrea who do… All things come to an end..and there will be a day that will come to him as well…

            It’s not a letter of begging but a letter of warning. Off course he will not listen to the warning but he is anchiwa so who knows ….And Akria is a collective, it started there it just needs others to follow suit …

            ….but you get the point.
            Berhe

  • Beyan

    selam AT,

    ወይለይ ዓዋተ ዓይንኹም ሠም አይተብሉ ድዩ ኾይኑ ለንቅነ፡ ግደፉና’ባ ቅሩብ ነዚ keboard ምቕጥቃጥ:: ሕጂስ ንኻልኦት ዕድል ክህብ ደሐን፡ I came back wanting to respond to Haile S. and Dr. Paulos on the discussion they were having about the koyo shoes and shoe shiners, etc. The last two times, each time I came to engage in the master lit work that Burhan Ali had given us, you keep pulling me away from it, because you come with some more compelling pieces, time sensitive ones, I understand. Gratitude will have to suffice for now. This is yet another sign, as far as I am concerned, the regime is on its last throes. How gratifying to see when people cut that fear off for good. The man is now going to be afraid of his own shadow. When young people are angry, there is nothing left until the elimination and the demise of the source of that anger. And, ain’t nobody going to miss that source of that anger, who the writer from the belly of beast is directing it at. Let the ending resonate in your mind’s eye for a second, if awate doesn’t come with another fast one on us: You can feel the anger building in the writer as you read on and it ends with this: “You may not recognize me yet, but you are the cause of the scars and anger I zealously harbor!!!” Nothing more can be said after that.
    Beyan