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A Beautiful African Story From Burkina Faso

Over the last three days, we heard a beautiful African story from Burkina Faso; hopefully Eritrea and Sudan will take a lesson from it.

On October 28, 2014, protests erupted in Burkina Faso’s capital city, Ouagadougou, against President Blaise Compaoré who was awaiting a constitutional amendment by the parliament to be able to run for yet another term and extend his rule which began in 1987.

Two days later, Burkinabe protesters torched the parliament building, took over the television station and closed the airport. That action forced the parliamentarians to suspend voting.

The military forces, after dispersing in the streets to quell the protests, changed sides, dissolved the government and focused on the security of the country. A day later, on October 31, 2014, President Compaoré resigned and fled out of Ougadougou in an armored vehicle in a convoy ending his rule on the third day of the protests. General Honore Traore has taken over as president—Eritreans and Sudanese should pay attention.

Blaise Compaoré ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years; both Hassen Omer AlBashir of Sudan and Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea have been ruling their respective countries for over 20 years; both seem determined to stay in power indefinitely.

In 1989 Al Bashir became the chairman of the military council that deposed the elected government of Sadiq AlMahdi in a coup d’état. In 1994, the military council was disbanded and Al Bashir became the president of Sudan. His rule brought instability and unrest; violence engulfed Sudan affecting Darfur, Kurdufan, Eastern Sudan, and led to the cessation of Southern region. Despite his checkered record, recently he bared his intentions of running for president in 2015, to extend his 23 years rule. That would mean amending the constitution to allow him to run.

Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea is a little different; he doesn’t even believe he needs a constitution or a mandate from the people to rule. He seems to believe he has a divine right to rule indefinitely and thinks of elections and democracy as needless pretensions.

Here are four points that might help understand how he sees himself in relation to the country, its people, the presidency, or democracy:

  1. In an interview with AlJazeera’s Riz Khan in 2008, asked about elections in Eritrea, Isaias replied, “We will see what the elections in the US will bring about and we will wait for about three, four, decades until we see genuine, natural situation in Eritrea.” The surprised interviewer remarked, “You say Eritrea is going to wait for three or four decades to hold elections!”Isaias responded, “Maybe more, maybe more, who knows…
  1. In an interview in May 2009, Isaias told the Swedish journalist Donald Borstrom, “There will never be elections in Eritrea.
  2. In February 2010, he told AlJezeera journalist Jane Dutton, “There is no commodity called democracy…… that is promised by one person to the people.
  3. According to Wikileaks, “Isaias, 62, told a visiting German parliamentarian in late 2008 that he is healthy and expects to live another 40 or 50 years.”

Isaias is more like Bashar AlAsad who said, “I am not Bin Ali or Mubarek”, implying he doesn’t concedes to popular demands. Isaias doesn’t even think his arrogance and cruelty might end up taking Eritrea on the same disastrous path that has inflicted so much pain and suffering on Syrians.

Just like Bashar AlAsad, Isaias is well versed in the self-preservation game and knows that any concession from his part will certainly be escalated and lead to a downhill road that doesn’t stop. And that is why the Burkina Faso formula is the best and appropriate solution for Eritreans to end Isaias’ tyranny.

That is why Burkina Faso is an important reference for Eritreans who should learn everything about it: its swift success against a dictator, and even the trivial terminologies related to the Burkinabe people and their fresh and inspiring experience. Forcing out a power hungry man in two days, with only two lives lost, is something Eritrean skeptics and pessimist should ponder about: change doesn’t necessarily usher violence.

In 1984 under the presidency of the charismatic Captain Thomas Sankara, Upper Volta, the name given to the country by colonial France, was changed to Burkina Faso, a name that extols the people as upright and honest. Sankara was deposed and killed in a 1987 coup that was led by his then close friend and colleague, Blaise Compaore, the man whose rule ended yesterday.

Eritreans and Sudanese have seen popular protests in the Arab Spring to their North, an uprising that deposed Libya’s Muamar Gaddafi, Tunisia’s Zein AlAbdeen Bin Ali, and Egypt’s Husni Mubarek. They have seen it to their East when Ali Abdella Saleh wreaked havoc in Yemen which is still suffering from the repercussions of his rule. And now they see it to their West, in West Africa.

The Burkinabe bravery is a beautiful African story that all oppressed Africans should duplicate. Protests and demonstration are an inspiration and a right tool for the oppressed. The lack of response from the dictators to public demands is a clear sign that they do not give weight to the interest of the people but their individual ego. And that is why they have to be forced to concede and start the downhill road.

If they have a tiny bit of decency left in them, both Isaias Afwerki and Omar AlBashir should follow the route that the Burkinabe president took and abdicate before they take the people to destruction along with them. It is a must that the people and their opposition parties secure the initial concession and push them to the downhill road.

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  • dawit

    Dear Aregay,
    The Truth about Burkina Faso is already trickling down as you predicted France is the major player.
    “Francois Hollande, president of France, Burkina’s former coloniser, confirmed that his country had helped Compaore flee the country. “We did it … to avoid drama and other convulsions,” he told reporters at a press conference in Quebec City. France bases some of its special forces in the Burkina capital and is the country’s main bilateral donor”.

    Wester nations appoint the leaders of African countries through Coupdeta, Fake Elections and use them and they are no more use to them they dispose them any way they want, arrange their escape with their stolen wealth or kill them and cofisicate the stolen money they deposit in the foreign banks.

    • Aregay

      Brother It’s hardly rocket science!!!French’s crime on west Africa is chocking! They are committing more crimes now than when they were ruling those countries…. Because our puppets allowing it..

  • Nero

    According to your weak analogy – Libya is the equivalent to Eritrea. Burkina Faso’s situation is more relevant to Sudan than Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s situation is more akin to Nigeria’s but not driven by kick backs and corruption but intimidation and politicking.

  • Semere Andom

    Dear Awatistas:
    A prophet is born at Universty of Awate
    As all prophets this newly minted prophet is saying things contrary to the common and popular wisdom of our times. Although this prophet is a rookie he has under his belt years of studying with the uncontested prophet of our epoch Isaias Afwerki, you may remember IA from his accurate prophecy that the sun will never again rise in Badme , the prophesy not only did it happen actually IA was modest as his prophecy expanded to the whole country of Eritrea the sun has never risen since that the prophecy came to pass

    At a time when the nation of Eritrea is in the brink of disintegration because of the actions of the Pharo the new prophet from the UofA is predicting this: “Believe me the same seen part III is coming soon, translations: Ethiopia will suffer an other devastating and humiliating hunger in par with that of 1974 and 1984. After acquiring his bachelors in prophetic science from TesfaNews and Phd in the joint program of Hadas Eritrea and in Nano Prophetics and “Macro Lies”, our new prophet has with an insight and divine inspiration that he received from prophet Isaias Afewrki by obsessively quoting his words, his gestures, his debating skills has now matured and he has founded his own InProphetics Inc that is a spin off and an expanded version of his Phd dissertation that was supervised by quartet of IA, Yemane Moneky, Yemane Charlie and Amb. Girma Asmerom. He cannot go wrong. Sela Allah wo Allayhi wo Selam: Peace be upon Prophet dawit

    • dawit


      You don’t need a Devine intervention or be genius to know that rain is coming your way when you see cloud at a distant sky, unless the cloud you see is driven away by some strong wind to the opposite or another direction. We live in a place called Sahilian Zone which is prone to drought which is recorded since Biblical times, and experienced in our lifetime. My prophetic talent is not based on the sciences you listed, but simple observation. Pick a point and disprove my prophesy instead of coloring your arguments with false accusations and insults. Brother Sem, you could be a good advocate if you take Law as a profession. Study Law instead of wasting your time defending blindly everyone that dawit opposes .

      Prophet dawit

      • Semere Andom

        Hi dawit:
        I do not defend everyone you oppose. I defend Eritrea and Eritrean people. You have never defended Eritrea and its people. For sure you have something sacred and defended it passionately, you have defended DIA and PFDJ and you have done it illogically and untruthfully.
        Now back to your prophetic talents and knack for fictions:
        You said that Ethiopia is selling it land before. Well do you expect government to run it like PFDJ running hair dressing salons? Ethiopia did what every sassful free market country does, they leased the land to winning investor countries: they will collect royalty, create employment and make money by collecting taxes. In Canada, government does not run oil rings and refining companies, they do the same thing Ethiopia did. This is not a recipe for your predictions. Some times for strategic reasons free market governments run corporations like Canada did by creating Petro Canada during the oil crisis of the 70s, but that at one point they exited by selling their shares in the open market, making Pcanada a publicly owned company with no government say.
        Everyone, the USA embassy in WikiLeaks said that Eritrea is a bullet away from exploding, the Crisis Group and the UN all reported their findings on the lurking time bob that Eritrea is. While Eritrea is in the brink of collapse your prophetic talents does not tell you that
        Look every African country has some risk of disintegrating and this is published, this not my prophetic talents like your talking, but Ethiopia has better chances to succeed or to chug along for a while than Eritrea. But your divine inspirations does not whisper that to you about this
        Finally I said you have not defended Eritreans, you supported the disappearance of Eritreans by PFDJ as cost of sacrifice that must be paid to make Eritrea a nation that endures. Your silence on this issue, your unwavering support for dictatorship and to the point of canonization of IA, your hypocritical demand of the Eritrean youth to endure the suffering by supporting the slavery and humiliation under PFDJ makes you an enemy of the Eritrean people, and your impeccable knack to act comically in the face of glaring facts is why I oppose you. Nothing personal


        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Haw Semere A.,

          I think you misled dawit, the messenger of death. He is not a prophet but a carrier of killer’s message. His lentil brain is so squeezed that his true humanistic nature is totally absent. He does not care about people and such vocabularies are absent from him.

          Dear Sem, we need to know our audience. We are dealing with people who lost soul. Only a live soul is gifted with prophetic quality. dawit and likes are not and hence, lets pray for them to restore their lost soul and then after may be, may be, they can prophesize for good.


          • dawit

            Sem and tes,
            As I said it before, you two are cut from the same cloth. I did not pick the the phrase ‘Prophet dawit’. I just simply accepted. You two sort it out!. Sem what did you pick from writing from my response to Fatima Dechasa, anti Eritrea or its people that prompted you to oppose me?
            On Ethiopia selling land to ‘investor’, I could write a volume, but this is not the subject at hand. Look forward for my writing in the future. In the meantime give regards to your friend Dechasa, he seems shy to respond to my note.
            tes, my lentil size brain thinks more than your taff brain, just kidding Dotore!
            Peace to both of you, have a nice day

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear dawit,

            Let peace be upon us. But, let your lentil brain be changed into taff brain. I think you didnt understood when I call you lentil brain. I think lentil is the main food for PFDJites (Ades). You eat lentil and you think like lentil. Ya ades wahid. dear dawit, can you tell me why ades became your popular food?

            By the way, read this about teff :


          • dawit

            Dear tes,
            At first I thought you were comparing size of brains, not about nutrition of lentil. But talking about nutrition, I thought you went to an Agricultural School where they teach you on Plant Sciences, Animal Science, Animal and Human nutrition, besides tractors and implements? Obviously you were not taking attention during the lecture or you missed classes. Legumes families of which lentil is one of them are by far the greatest nutritional protein sources for both human and animal nutritious throughout the world. Compared to taff lentil is by far superior crop for nutritionally and soil fertility, by fixing nitrogen from the air. Talk to any agronomist or nutritionist and you will discover why PFDJites love Ades.
            What do you mean by “You eat lentil and you think like lentil”? Help me understand you statement? Do you mean that plants have ‘thinking abilities’? If that what you mean, I think you have discovered a new science called ‘Plant Intelligence’. I must congratulate you for the discovery!

          • Nitricc

            dawit, lol, leave food science out of this. I got that lol. OMG. Tes have this bad habit. He wants to sound so educated and knowledgeable; he ended up making a fool out of him self. If it is bad enough he was educated at the expense of the poor children of Eritrea, worst, he learned nothing. SAD!

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            dear Nitricc,

            I will transplant one DNA from a sunflower so that you eyes can be open. Before, they tried to transplant a single cell from Hayat (I think) and some how you are doing fine. yet, tidirbesh aleka. You need some plant DNA.


          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Dawit,

            Aha, good point. Plant Intelligence is not a new science by the way. Plants are the only living organisms who can can produce their own food from the elements they get from the soil and air as well as sun energy. plants are much more intelligent to use the resources available wisely. More than that, they expel oxygen to the atmosphere in exchange of oxygen. Is this process not an intelligence? More than that, they are smart enough to regulate exactly how they behave to an existing situation. More than that, they provide food for us.

            Think now dawit on your intelligence! Just think awhile on how you misbehave by ignoring the existing situation. Plants use elements and give us life. But, you and PFDJites drink blood of innocent people and create wars, commit crimes and even sell body organs for your survival. You use innocent human resources for your power thirsty survival. is that what intelligence is according to PFDJites and you?

            Ok, I agree with you that lentils are rich in nutritional content and I agree with you that they play great role in fixing nitrogen and hence enriching the soil fertility. good!

            PFDJ imports ades from India or in short from foreign countries. hence, lentil plant contribution is nil, zero. Second, they are importing it because it is cheap and providing cheap food, consequently eating it, makes you cheap.

            Above all, Ades was not our traditional and locally grown food. people are consuming it because there is no alternative. had Eritreans had a chance to use their own gifted natural resource, fish for example, then we could not have imported a single tone of Ades. had our youths got a chance to plough their land and harvest, then, we could have consumed much more diversified and nutritionally rich foods.

            Ok, for your eye opening, here I am giving you some reading materials on “plant Intelligence.”




            Dear dawit, do not be deceived by your ignorance. Open your mind. I told you, eating only ades has blocked you mind. PFDJ doesn’t like varieties, varieties in everything. Nature likes diversity: diversity of thinking, diversity of eating, diversity of administration, diversity of political views, etc. PFDJ is against this. He provides one doctrine and he provides same ration and hence the mind is closed.

            Wake-up dawit. Come and see the diversity. You are dying eating ADES only. Eritrea has much to offer to Eritreans and sure it will once the ades monded PFDJ is gone.

            Peace be up on us!


            @Nitricc, hmm.

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            hawna Dawit,

            By the way, there is no significant brain size difference in human being. I am saying significant size difference, take note carefully. I was talking on your way of thinking, Niasha derguhalu eko yu negeru!


          • Tesfabirhan WR

            I do not want to put this documentary film to be part of my long response. You know why obviously.

            Enjoy with this well documented plant intelligence film


  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Despite the many concerns, worries and anxieties vis-a-vis the future of our people, under the near dead regime of PFDJ, there are some positives happening, partly by good luck to Eritrea:

    1 – The fact that the regime is under UNSC HR investigations makes it particularly at a disadvantage to face the disobeying populace using force, without international censure under the already established mechanisms.

    2 – The formal documentation of the regime’s crimes under the new UN COI on Eritrea, wouldn’t only assure that our criminal leaders will go down in history identified by their proper names as murderers, but also, the findings could be used as a formal framework for reconciliation efforts after the collapse of PFDJ. Hence, everyone who has a case must register it with the COI now, or hold their peace forever.

    3 – Eritrea now has many opposition groups, that even an instant removal of the regime right now, would return more than enough candidates to fill the vacum. However, transitional arrangement and some period of power struggle may be essential to set up a functional leadership soon after elections.

    When we say EDF is corrupt, the answer is yes, and followed by the question, who then is not corrupted? Are the civil service not corrupted? Are the business not corrupted? are the youth not corrupted? are the diaspora not corrupted? Is the society as a whole not mired in deep corruption?

    The dismantling of PFDJ would cut off and castaway all PFDJ networks. The civil and military institutions however, need to be inherited and re-configured with a view to control corruption and cultivate appropriate work ethics. Hence, Eritrea is ready to enter a period of change now and all the gymnastics being performed by different sections and interests are quite normal.


    • SenaiErtrawi

      Haile nebsi,
      First, I want to tell you that I really like the way you put/write your ideas and please keep it up. Second, I have a question for you: when you take your reading of current situation and then try to go from there, how much of it is your objective prediction as opposed to your wish? In other words, are you telling us the best way the transition should go or what you think is likely to happen?


      • haileTG

        Hi Senai,

        I try to form my views by trying base it on the objective situation. Before I delve into issues (unless they’re external matters) I try to raise the issue with several people at home and some people here who are on the regime side. From there I try to to my best effort analysis and fair judgement about issues. somethings you just don’t discuss because as they say ab ertra zeytenegre ember zeytegebre yelen. But, the diparities in realizm and practicalities could be futher apart between diaspora and home front.


        • SenaiErtrawi

          Correct me if I have read you wrong but your objective prediction is that someone will start internal resistance because there is a limit as to how bad things can go wrong. That for me is questionable. We never imagined it could go this bad. May be he can take the entire country back to the Sahil days/life and not hit the limit.

          So, yes I HOPE what you say happens but it is very unlikely anyone will kick Isaias out of power. My prediction is that he will die of natural causes (only God knows when). Until then, it is a really good time to LEARN about each other and see if we really deserve to be a country. The worst thing that can happen is if we do not draw any meaningful lessons from this terrible experience we are going through.

          • haileTG

            Hi Senai,

            In fact, all the resistance has already happened in so many ways that the only thing that hasn’t happened yet is that those resisting individually aren’t joining forces to resist collectively. People are still fleeing individually, hiding individually, refusing to arm individually and heck even scale up Forto individually. All these these individual resisting is actually being done by hundreds of thousands if not millions. The moment of collective resisting occurs spontaneously and out of its pragmatic benefits to do the resisting at once own terms. In 13 short years, IA has been reduced to a desperate, cornered and bankrupt nobody. Any African dictator had done far better than him and to think IA has the staying power is simply a wild guess tainted by the obvious frustration of the slow process of change. But, I am of the view that the regime is now in a precarious situation and I wouldn’t bet on it lasting much longer. The best thing for us is to put personal power ambitions to the side and work to save the nation. However, I am afraid I am not optimistic on that front , just yet.


  • Rodab


    The current Eritrean ID card identifies the issueing body as the “Provisional Government of Eritrea”. As you know a declaration has been made to change the card. I don’t know what the new card will say, but it will unlikely say “provisional”. The writing is on the wall: our democratic provisional government has now made itself* formal, regular, standard, permanent or whatever is the opposite of provisional.
    You’ve been notified** on the legal status of your governmemt. aysema’ekun zbehal zereba yelen

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Rodab:

      Besides saying “Provisional Government of Eritrea” it also says EPLF. I remember debating when filling the form, I was this close to not have it, because besides asking your religion, the form wanted you to identify what kind of Christian you are, Pente, J. Witness Catholic, etc. I took the issue to the rep here objecting about the government asking about my faith. After dithering for a long time I submitted it reluctantly because I wanted to vote in favor of new state.

      Now they are issuing new IDs to raise money especially from the diaspora and also collect spying information. I will boycott it and I call on Eritreans in the diaspora to do so. PFDJ is illegally ruling Eritrea and we should not accept it when it doles us our own citizenship.

      • Rodab

        Hello iSem,
        Yes, getting money is one reason. The more sinister goal is to deny citizenship to those who oppose the regime. Most Eritreans have IDs that were issued in the 90’s. Now many of those folks are not in good terms with the regime. So they are not going to embassies to have their IDs fixed, thus essentially postponing their citizenship.
        Isaias has gotten sooo erratic that he dosn’t give a rat’s behind for any consequences or anyone’s opinion. He is ruling Eritrea by short statements through the windows of EriTv.
        My advise to you, Sem Arkey, is to stay warm where you are with your existing ID.

    • haileTG

      Hey Rodab, I know Eritrea’s case is sooo different, its problems sooo peculiar and their solutions necessarily dubious and illusive. Elsewhere in the nooormal planet, such would have been enough to burn down the mazagaja-biet and order yourself a new president. ኣንታ እዛ ናትና ባርነት ክብሉዋ’ኮ ሓቆም’ዮም።

  • Aregay

    The point I was trying to make was:-
    Democracy comes with education!!
    Democracy should be allowed to mature and should not be expected to reach western democracy level overnight!!
    Democracy should only come from within and by the concerned people!!
    Democracy should not be imposed on people by foreign powers who have vested interest!!
    Western democracy and African democracy should not be compared or measured using the same unite of measurement as there is a huge cultural difference!!
    Democracy is directly proportional to education and inversely proportional to tribal and old backward traditional habits. Catch my drift??? We have a long way to go!! We need to be left alone to develop it ourselves with out external imposition !!!

  • derbew

    It is sad that it comes to this but then, when we have long entrenched dictators that won’t budge, unless deposed or killed, this change is fresh and good. The Eritrean situation however is worrisome because we have two camps that have very strong views. Those who want the status quo and those who are struggling for change but fragmented. If those who are struggling for change were a little united, I would have been more optimistic that they could have applied enough pressure on PIA and his supporters and with the potential uprising that can come from the people the PFDJ could falter and collapse. If that happens the opposition would have had a chance to fill up the vacuum and fend off the diehard PFDJ tags and possible TPDM from raking havoc on the people and destabilizing the country. In the absence of an organized opposition the likely hood of the PFDJ falling becomes remote but the Eritrean government could become worse in its mafia like activity, that is harassing its own people and become more threat to its neighbours out of frustration and inadvertently invite invasion.
    Which ever way I see it, it is a sad state of affair unless the opposition come to their sense and shed of some of their ego and pride and give some take some and form some kind of unity for a greater nobel cause, which is saving Eritrea. This is my humble opinion and I could be seeing it from my vantage point with out to much emotion invested as I am a well meaning Ethiopian. Some times better advise is received from the less emotional and the one who has less to gain directly which ever way it goes.
    My only wish is to see Eritrea in peace with its people and neighbours and the people of the two brotherly countries Eritrea and Ethiopia enjoy free movement, exchange of trade and goods. I see myself going to the beaches of the red see in Eritrea and my Eritrean friends coming to Addis. We could all play our part to bring peace instead of promoting hate, war and destruction. Lets remember the departed, some too young had no say in the mater and for what?

    • Admas


      The only problem I have with your kind of well meaning Ethiopians is you are either deliberately avoiding the real issue which is, MOST if not all Eritreans desire to see a weak and divided Ethiopia so that they can easily manipulate it to their advantage. This may be understandable specially given the realization that they can not get anywhere without doing so, but it does not help pretending we don’t know anything about and it is not my chosen perception, rather a very very recent experience that has brought us to the current stalemate… by insisting you can achieve the kind of dream you have specially with the current generation Eritreans is nothing but a pipe dream that will only result in Ethiopia once again being drown back to the same old…….. I’m rather scared of some intentionally naive Ethiopians like yourself cos we had plenty of them in the past who for their own convenience allowed Ethiopia to be taken for a ride…sorry I have to rush to work, will continue..

      • derbew

        Yes my dear compatriot, I know a lot of people’s mind is warped by some big players in both countries who had and still dominate the media written, spoken and electronic.. and of course that has created more suspicion and hate among the two peoples.
        I still hold the opinion that it is misperception that is leading to the unnecessary, hateful and destructive antagonism between Eritreans and Ethiopians.
        It is a fact, not a fiction, if the two people were to work together for peace we would prosper and develop fast in all spheres. We have a lot that they can benefit from and they have a lot we can benefit from, if only we work peacefully and legally as two sovereign countries with proper trade and exchange laws.
        What happened in the past was a mistake some from lack of experience and some from hidden simmering resentment, self-aggrandizement, relationship built not on legal but traditional deal with out resolving real issues in the typical Habesha way of dealing in business…. that bubbled up and lead us to the evil and destructive war.
        Now two good examples of the misunderstanding of the two peoples is depicted with your comment above my Ethiopian brother and the comment below from my Eritrean cousin.

        I kindly disagree with you in one ore two issues I.E most Eritreans don’t want to see Ethiopia weakened and divided…….It is the PFDJ and some misguided followers of PFDJ that want a weak and fragmented Ethiopia. But then what is knew about that these are people who are not ashamed to destroy their own beloved country Eritrea and decimate it’s youth to force their system on the people and score a point. I don’t call these persons/ group Eritreans but enemy of Eritrea and as well Ethiopia. I agree it is not your chosen perception albeit warped thinking shaped of course by what happened and need rethinking.
        Yes it is frightening to think of peace after a traumatic and needless war in particular, when the people on both sides were made to believe they were stabbed in the back by a trusted friend.

        It is refreshing to see that my Eritrean friend below shares 90% of my view then digress into the suspicion and lose the truth on the way. My advise to this gentle person is yes we will find more than ample faults on both sides i.e. TPLF or EPLF/PFDJ but we should stick to the facts when we ague and more important what happened is water under the bridge we can not reverse it, sad as it may be. What happened in the last war will leave a black mark in the history of the two people but needless to say that we can not remain stuck in our old and uncivilized thinking of dividing people from harmonious, shared peace and happiness. We as educated people should stand for the people rather than our own ideology/dogma.
        He says that ‘the TPLF is the biggest threat because the TPLF refused to honour the Alger’s agreement” but even if that was true why is the abuse of the people in Eritrea horrendous and unbelievable? Of course you will say because of the fear of invasion of Eritrea by TPLF but you know it for fact that when countries are in fear of an outside force there is more cohesion inside and the people stand together and there is less abuse as the people them selves will rise to defend their country, as had happened in 1998-2000 in Eritrea and Ethiopia vis versa. Even though the war it self was an abuse by respective governments to their own people.

        By the way I think you mean to say the TPLF not honouring the Border Commission’s decision because it was Eritrea that breached the Alger’s agreement by dismissing UNMEE. (you can read SAAY’S article from a day or two ago to refresh your memory).
        Still even if the TPLF doesn’t honour the decision that is an issue we have to work on to resolve but not use it to promote hate and worse bring another destructive war on our people. You have to err on peace and avoid repeating old and tired excuses that are used to foment hate and war.
        When war breaks you and I will sit in our million dollar houses in front of 60″ TV and watch the gruesome pictures and films of mangled bodies and massacred kids from both sides. We will not participate in the real action but we are willing to send hundreds of thousands of poor kids to get what? And do you think there will be a time Eritrea will get what it wants be it Badme or another inch of land by war from this on. You know now the balance of power has tilted drastically and for ever, which I think is a moot issue if we think of peace and we all condemn war instead of seeing victory in war as the ultimate manhood and vindication. Power should not trump justice and we should work together to resolve the issues with commitment to peace. After all the powerful will decide for us if we don’t reign on them.
        My naiveté, I will admit may be that I may be in the wrong medium where most old guards who will never change their view are the main players but I do hope and pray a lot of people share my view for peace. I am confident we can work hard and bring a viable solution, which is peace if we all drop one grudge per month as the alternative is no alternative.
        Thanks for your gracious comments. .

        • Fetima Dechasa


          “I still hold the opinion that it is misperception that is leading to the unnecessary, hateful and destructive antagonism between Eritreans and Ethiopians.”

          Oh please! Ethiopians have never been hateful to Eritreans. If anything Ethiopians were blindsided by the well hidden hatred of the very people who lived amongst us which came roaring out in 1991 and beyond. See, silly naive Ethiopians were under the impression that Eritreans disdain was for Dergu like the rest of the country, little did they know, it was them. The saying, “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb. What a stupid stupid Lamb. What a sick masochistic Lion.” is how the situation unfolded. As for Ethiopians hate, for goodness sake, Eritreans are living and reaping the fruits of our country without batting eyelashes currently. Can you imagine an Ethiopian living in peace in Eritrea and being tolerated today? I understand what you are trying to do but I don’t agree or support your argument. If anything Ethiopians just don’t trust Eritreans and this has nothing to do with “some big players in both countries who had and still dominate the media written, spoken and electronic.” you mentioned rather from experience. What TV shows, written media or electronics in Ethiopia smear Eritrea? Can you give me a specific example of such propaganda machine in Ethiopian media? The average Ethiopian person is totally indifferent towards Eritrea whereas the average Eritrean person has hatred towards Ethiopia and Ethiopians. From my personal experience, Eritreansim is synonymous with hatred for Ethiopia. Yes, we all hope for peace but many of us will oppose any kind of economic cooperation. Ethiopia for Ethiopians and Eritrea for Eritreans.

          • Peace!

            Dear Fatima,

            Are you in a mission, my friend? Well, seating thousand miles away and making a general statement on behalf of Ninety-two million Ethiopians is not going to make your job easy. My advise to you is stop barging(tuta), adjust your tone, and come up with useful comments, so people here would dignify you with intellectual response.

            As for your country (assuming you are Ethiopian), it is not a secret to most Eritreans that Ethiopia is a one party government: the government that executed 300+ protesters and university students on a broad daylight, The government that treats journalists as terrorists, the government that oppresses and displaces internally its own people, the government that betrayed the Pan-Africanism by being a reliable puppet to its masters…the list goes on my friend. And it is not a brain surgery to maintain all of that it only takes keeping the white man happy:)


          • Fetima Dechasa


            In a mission for what exactly? This is the second accusation you’ve thrown my way in the last 24 hours. You not liking what you are reading from me isn’t my problem, it’s yours. You are welcome to skip my views on any matter.

            Not that I’ve to answer to your inquires but just because I can, I will.

            “Well, seating thousands miles away and making general statements on behalf of Ninety-two million Ethiopians is not going to make your job easy.”

            Answer: I live and work in my country 6 month out of the year so unlike some of you diaspora e-warriors, I kinda know what I’m talking about.

            “As for your country (assuming you are Ethiopian), it is not a secret to most Eritreans that Ethiopia is a one party government country: the government that executed 300+ protesters and university students on a broad daylight, The government that treats its journalists as terrorists, the government that oppresses and displaces internally its own people, the government that betrayed the Pan-Africanism by being a reliable puppet to its masters.”

            Answer: Woo… throwing rocks while living in a glass house again, aren’t we? Not to dignify your defeatist rhetoric but the short answer to this statement is that what Ethiopia/Ethiopians do with our country is none of your business. We don’t owe you or any one an explanation as to who, what, when, where, or why.

            “And the good thing is it is not even a brain surgery to maintain all of that it only takes keeping the white man happy:)”

            Answer: This is rather RICH coming from… This is nothing but a typical ‘when all else fails, blame the white man.’ western victim mentality. Although in many Eritreans case, it’s often goes ‘when all else fails, blame Ethiopia”.

            Furthermore, I don’t have to stop expressing my opinion because it doesn’t suit you. I haven’t insulted anyone, for goodness sake there are people on this very website calling us galla, agame, ebola and much more. Where was your moral ground mandate then? But you are telling me to stop it? As for intellect, all I have to say is that intellectual response =/= accusations or smoke and mirrors so I don’t have high hopes.

            Lastly, I’m not one for fruitless, accusatory back and fourths so peace to you and this denunciation exchange will end here. Good luck!

          • SenaiErtrawi

            Why do I feel like the Ghebru Asrats, the hateful bunch whose strategy to power is by making Eritreans and Ethiopians hate each other, are back with very southern nick names? And why is AT giving them a space? Why are they in internal Eritrean discussions and hijack every thread into an Eri-Ethio issues?

          • sholla

            i am sorry but i can not help it,,,,
            who is barging here mate? is it you or the other person? look up and down of the comments, if you can see the truth. ……..this is what i call a typical victim mentality, in your case your identity crises is so obvious and doing you irreparable harm. please do yourself a favor and take care of what matters to you before trying to tell others what to say or do.
            to you and your kind, yebelubet dist mesber kelal new,,, gn beseberkew dist melso meteqem gn keftegna tibebna tigist yiteyiqal, sadly enough you do not have that quality.

          • Peace!

            Hi Sholla,

            “yebelubet dist mesber kelal new,,, gn beseberkew dist melso meteqem gn keftegna tibebna tigist yiteyiqal,” I am a US tax payer, and that means, I am feeding some of your people. please be thankful.


          • dawit

            Dear Fetima Dechasa,

            Every word you wrote about Ethiopia and Eritrea is a lie. But then what can be expected from people who do not have the slightest idea about their past and present history of their country. You wrote “silly naive Ethiopians were under the impression that Eritreans disdain was for Dergu”. That tells me a lot what kind of person you are, For thirty years Eritreans were fighting the oppressive régimes in Addis Abeba and later they were joined by Tigrai and Oromo people, and you never heard why they were fighting! I know why? You were sold to Dergu war propaganda, you were singing with Mengistu and Haile ‘enashenifalen!, we have the largest army in Africa, we have the largest air force, we have the latest missiles, they are few wonbedes trying to sell Eritrea to Arabs etc”. And one day in May 1991, the gallant worriers showed up in your hiding place in Addis, and you were caught with your pants down! Ethiopian history is full of your kind of people. In 1972 Haile Sellasie was celebrating his birth day with fanfare and lavish parties, and guess what? a year later starving people of Wello horror movie Part I was all over the world televisions. The same seen Part IIwas repeated with the Dergu in 1980s where the world rushed to save Ethiopian starving people. Believe me the same seen part III is coming soon! because Ethiopian policy never changed, the same war mongering and empty pride is repeated again and again, never learn from experience.
            By the way, I see you are wearing Ethiopian flag. Since when did you know the colors of your flag? Did you know Eritrean wear that flag as a symbol of Independence during the Italian war of Abyssinia! They left that flag when Haile Sellasie turned it a symbol of oppression, by bombing their villages, killing their women and children, their cattle, sheep and goats,, burning their crops in the field, imprisoning their young. During his time and Dergu it was said Ethiopian prisons spoke Tigrigna, and today they speak Oromugna! I don’t think one could get any intelligent discussion with people who are pretending to sleep!

            If you want defend Ethiopia, defend her with truth and not with a bunch of lies you accumulated from war propagandas. Here in Awate we have seen many like you, there was TT who wrote fictions about Ethiopia and Eritrea, no wonder we have you now sawing discontent between the two people. Your are fooling yourself if you think you can defend Ethiopia with lies! Let this be a free lesson to you. ‘addis wot seri, gingible yabezal’ thinking his wot would taste better.
            You claimed that you live six months in Ethiopia and six months outside the country. Is that true? what kind of job do you do Charity?
            Have a nice dream!

        • Admas

          with all due respect Deribew, I’m now beginning to doubt your intention due to some totally untrue statements you made…in fact to add to Fatima’s argument about we Ethiopians and eritreans are different, until recently we see Eritreans celebrating “independence” day on “government” owned Eritrean TV with old footage from 1991 of Eritreans parading poor domestic animals(donkey’s) with Amhara written on them and the people chanting “Erirea for Eritreans” and so on….now that you can argue the past is in the past and the government does no represent the people and so on….but can you emagine anything as bigot-tic as that coming from Ethiopian side? or in fact is it not the opposite that there are even Ethiopian artists who promote love and friendship with Eritreans while you see nothing of that sort from let alone Shabians but the so called oppositions…is that because Eritrean oppositions don’t have a single capable person who can preach love and friendship if not through Music at least through poets? no my friend, the fact remains there is just NO mutual vision between us as people and the only thing that seems to work better is a complete separation and protection of self interest….I’m just a strong believer that Ethiopia has lost too many golden opportunities to move forward as a country in order to please ungrateful people and it is now her chance never to make the same stupid mistake and move on as she has proved she is capable of doing so without all things from Eritrea…be it their friendship or their ports…the people near the border for whom some Eritrean oppsitions are shedding a crocodile tear for would gain more by protecting their interest from Eritreans than trading with don’t have to go far back in history to prove your kind of thinking will never benefit Ethiopia, PMMZ(rest in peace) experience of being nice to Eritreans at a risk of his political life is evidence enough to why Eritreans will never have the kind of heart their identity will not allow them to have towards ethiopia…they were made of hating Ethiopia and they will remain so at least until a better new generation is born out of misery….and don’t expect that before 200 years when Eritrea is empty…just to leave u with something a little humorous, please google Kibebewu Geda’s recent comedy on how an Eritrean weather man presents a regional weather ‘forecast’..the Eritrean weather man begins with Djibouti and says Djibouti is dry and sunny, then comes Kenya also dry and sunny, then comes Somalia also dry and sunny, then comes Sudan also dry and sunny, then comes Ethiopia and the weather man didn’t say Ethiopia instead “ለዛች ሸርሙጣ ግን ይዘንብላታል”…that sums it up for you my friend…this is how an ordinary citizen(comedian) see the reality..and it is a sad REALITY..

  • Yoty Topy

    Just as an anecdot to this story, the man Campaore assasinated, Thomas Sankara ,had just returned from Ethiopia ,whom he was the distinguished invited guest when Mengeê introduced his constituition (EHIDRI). He gave him a checkers board as a present. It is believed that his friends used his absence in the country to plot his assassination.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Thank you AT for providing us this timely article. Good luck to Burkinabe and hopefully to see the same development in Eritrea;

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Who will be against this “wish” especially for those of us who are in the justice-seeking camp. For sure the PFDJ lot will. But I would like our wish to be on the reality inside Eritrea. Two factors that will make it different objective reality than the “Burkina Faso” are (a) the potential driving force of change, our “revo-youth” are away in the mountains and valleys outside of the cities and towns in a forced labor – the PFDJ projects (b) The party and the army (senior and middle rank officers) are well entrenched in the system they built in. Not easy as some tries to portray it.


  • Goytom

    absolutely, perfect title and sentiment of what happened in burkina faso. A Beautiful African Story!

  • Eyob Medhane

    Awate team,

    Correction. Blaise Compaore’s rule has started in October 1987 not 1984. Meanwhile, I invite everyone to listen to an excerpt of one of the greatest speeches that has ever made by an African leader. The speech was by Thomas Sankara, a man who was killed by the now deposed Blaise Compaore and his body was dismembered. this is the very last public speech that he made. It was in Addis Ababa, during OAU’s annual meeting. It was prophetic, brilliant and funny. This excerpt is only 7 minutes. Please watch, especially the part, where he predicted his death. Amazing…

  • dawit

    Selam to All
    Don’t count your chicks before they hatch, is an old English language adage. The history and situations of Eritrea is quite different, even if they both are located in the African continent. The government of Eritrea is similar to that of Cuba or China or Zimbabwe who came to power leading a popular revolutions against colonial powers, as opposed to Burkina Faso, or Yemen, that were setup with a coup of few selected individuals rise to power to enrich themselves. If God allows Isaias with long life like Fidel Castro, Mao or Mugabe he could last for another 40 years as he predicted. The Burkina Faso experience may be a beautiful inspirational experience of popular uprising against corrupted leaders, but it may not apply against popular leaders, especially when the opposition is lead by outside interest groups like that of Cuba, China and Zimbabwe.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam dawit,

      I agree with you on one point and that is: ” the government of Eritrea is similar to that of Cuba or China” and if I may add to these two list is Korea. The party is has entrenched in the institutions of EDF and the security apparatus. The party as an organization of a totalitarian regime it controls the entire life of our people. The Eritrean people are living on the handouts of the party. So you are right on the entrenchment of the party. All your other justifications are out of the mark.


      • dawit

        Dear Amanuel,
        It is good at least we agreed again on one point, that the government of Eritrea is similar to that of Cuba and China. But, I don’t agree with your characterization of Eritrea with ‘North Korea’. That is the political slogan or the fad many opposition to Eritreans adopted from a journalist who wanted to paint the Eritrean government with the darkest paint he could find in the planet. North Korea is a one family government like a feudal system in Saudi Arabia or England, where a leader has to trace his/her blood line to lead a nation. So now every opposition figure repeats like a parrot ‘North Korea of Africa’ to describe Eritrea which is ruled by a revolutionary leader.
        As to my other justifications, time will tell. Either we will end up as Cuba of Africa, where the oppositions sing for decades ‘Castro Dictator’ or in the case of Eritrea ‘Isaias Dictator’ from far places campaigning for economic strangulation of their country or praying and begging for regime change or the assassination of the leader by some mercenary group .

        • haquda

          dawit, you said ” North Korea is a one family government like a feudal system in Saudi Arabia or England, where a leader has to trace his/her blood line to lead a nation.”
          what is the difference between Cuba and North Korea? Yes, Cuba has been ruled the last 55 years by one family the Castro’s. I think you are confused there!!!

          • dawit

            Hi haquda and Amanuel,
            I am amazed how you compare apple and oranges and declare since they are both fruits therefore they are the same! Yes Raul and Fidel Castro are brothers. But they both fought in Cuban Revolutionary war and both were leaders of the revolution. It is not uncommon several brothers and sisters fought in Eritrean liberation struggle. Would you be surprised if two brothers became leaders in the Eritrean Revolution? I think you two are deliberately try to mislead or confuse the Eritrean people by associating Eritrea with North Korea, because that was what you were told to spread.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hey dawit,

          What makes Cuba different from N. Korea, if Cuba is ruled by the same family member “Raul Castro” (the brother of Fidel Castro)? When Fidel Castro become incapacitated he transfer the power to his brother. You try things to fit to your argument. However it doesn’t. North Korea and Cuba are of the same ideological replica of totalitarian regimes……so does the Eritrean regime. Therefore, if you embrace dictators, you have a problem my friend. Either you are playing a reverse psychology in order to see the decimation of our people, or you are doing it to appear as a “show case of hate” to the ruling party (EPRDF) in Ethiopia.

  • Rodab

    Hello Awatistas,

    The Burki Nafaso formula certainly is the way to go. But compared to our situation, there are some key differences (that make change in Eritrea more difficult):

    1) The Burkina youth may not have the greatest and latest education and carrier opportunities, but they are not held hostage in remote deserts to avoid mass opposition. They move freely from place to place in their country. Our dictator on the other hand, managed to turn Eritrea into a red zone where every able body is cordoned off in camps and barracks. That is how he survived, and I am afraid he will continue to survive for a longer time than we would like to.

    2) Unlike PIA, President Compaore was in good terms with much of the world, which meant he was, to an extent, responsive to his people and world opinion. Thus, he can’t take drastic brutal measures like abusing the youth generation, shuting down the entire press permanently, large scale killings, disappearance and imprisonment based on religion and political views and so on.

    3) So far, Burki Nafaso has managed to stage a smooth transition. This is mainly due to the presence of a recognized military leader who was able to take the helm based on their constitution. In our case this is a big problem. First off, we have no constitutional reference point to guide us as to who replaces the President when the need arises. And then there is the absence of a figure inside EDF. Who is the most powerful military man, is it Philipos or is it Haile China? Is it SibHat or is it Awliyay? Is it Manjus or is it..? Through constant purges and rotations, our dictator managed to eliminate the emergence of such leaders. The evil intention behind resisting a second man (a vice-president, for example) is to plunge Eritrea into chaos and confusion, should something happens to him. That is the reason he dismantled Mahmood Sherifo’s position and his Ministry. It is there now, nominally.

    4) I have no much details, but registered opposition groups are active and legally present in Burki Nafaso, something allien in Eritrea.

    I am sure there are many more differences between the political landscape of Eritrea and Burki Nafaso. That’s why I believe street mass protest in Eritrea may not come any time soon, and when it does come at its pace, no one can anticipate the direction we will be taking, although it is highly unlikely things will turn for the worse.

    Have a nice day!

    • Deogane

      Hold your horse. The situation in eritrea has its own dynamics. Besides the Burkina uprising just started, lets just watch and learn.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Yes, and if the change is change of personality it remains useless. it is the idea, all the ground that can hold dictator should be destroyed. I don’t think we are Eritreans are not doing our way. I think every day things are working fine although very slow. just count how many of PFDJ supporters have left the camp. how many among silent Eritreans have started talking and getting side. so change should be change not just for sake of change only that will let military personal fighting for power.

        • Deogane


  • Debarwotai

    Thanks God, Compaore is gone for good. He personally hated the nation and people of Eritrea. He took his infamous stand supporting Meles the frog when he chaired OAU efforts to arbitrate the Ethio-Eritrea border war of 1998. He was bribed by the US and the rest to harm our nation. But we survived their plot with courage, steadfastness and uncorrupted by their temptations to give up our sovereignty. To their surprise we won the war and Badme is Eritrean land as decided by the Haig Court ruling as a final and binding rule. We are the actual ‘Burkina Faso’ of the globe. Adios Compaore.

  • Kokhob Selam

    “If they have a tiny bit of decency left in them …” I don’t know of Bashir. He may try some way to step down, He is a bit cleaver. But our’s one ? The only thing we should be careful is, not to see any war within people. but the end of PFDJ will be bad experience as it is a collection of Devil and people will not leave a single bone left for this criminal group.