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A Call To The Moderates of The Horn Of Africa

This editorial first appeared on October 22, 2003, we think it is still relevant to our current situation and debates. For the responses we received for our call, check here.


There is an old Eritreans saying: when the leg is hurt, the eye weeps. A similar proverb exists in Ethiopia. What is true for individuals is true for neighboring nations. When Somalia is hurting, our region is crying. When Sudan catches a cold, Ethiopia gets a fever. When Djibouti is stabbed, Eritrea bleeds. When Yemen is choked, the Red Sea dries up. Sometimes we take turns, some times we do it simultaneously: our region has been crying and bleeding for too long. Our governments have failed us. This is our call, ordinary Eritreans, to like-minded citizens of the horn in general and Ethiopians, specifically, to come together with us to help improve the situation in our region.

And what exactly is the “situation in our region”? In Somalia, we have chaos and social strife; in Sudan, we have seen a civil war rage for four decades; in Ethiopia, we have yet to see a peaceful transition of power; and in Eritrea, we have a “transitional government” that has been in power for 12 years and gives every indication that it wants to rule forever. Since the 1960s, at least two (and as many as four) of these nations have been in one kind of war or another. Though our common psyche is built around irrelevant feel-good myths (pride in being born-fighters with a heritage of a civilization thousands of years old, etc), we are among the most underdeveloped regions of the world. We seem to despise life; our favorite pastime is killing each other. Our region has become a perfect example of failure. Rarely is it mentioned apart from headline news related to famine, drought, wars and now HIV disease. We have become boastful people with nothing to show for our boasting. We have become a nuisance to the world community that we think is responsible to fix anything we break. We have become professional beggar-nations: beggars who do not know gratitude. Thankless beggars who dream and plan on how to waste the resources of charities. We have become nations whose youth are hopeless and hapless and could only dream on fleeing their countries. We are suffering from a high rise in child prostitution.  In short, our mirror reflects a very bad image. We have to come to terms with this reality.

On virtually every social misery index—disease, malnutrition, mortality, poverty, illiteracy—we continue to record, year after year, depressing ranks.  And, year after year, the governments that preside over this misery refuse to take responsibility and place the blame on everybody else but themselves. They blame the weather, they blame history, they blame the neighboring government, they blame the white man.  But they never take responsibility for their failure.  On the rare occasions when they take responsibility for their actions, there is no corresponding accountability: a minister is shuffled, another one arrested, but the head of the government remains untouched—until he is overthrown by another strongman.  And the cycle is repeated.

Purpose: To Create A New Reality 

Our citizen-to-citizen initiative is not meant to contradict or support the government-to-government relationship between these nations.  Why?  Because for years, these governments have made it abundantly clear that they care not a whit about what their citizens have to say.   They have told the people that they are irrelevant.  They have rejected their people’s cries for peace; they have rejected their people’s appeal to be heard and to be respected; they have turned a deaf ear to their citizens’ demands to exercise their freedom.  The governments have made it abundantly clear that their only purpose is to retain power at all costs.  The only time they change course is not when they are swayed by public opinion but when they face a power even stronger than them.  Even then, they change course only if they perceive that they will lose power if they don’t—and not because they believe it is in the national interest to change.  And if they move in the right direction, it is often because a more powerful force—the American government for example—gives them a credible threat that if they don’t, they risk losing power.  The governments have repeatedly redefined a citizen to mean someone who agrees with them.  A full citizen is someone who agrees with them fully (or chooses to remain silent when he doesn’t agree); a half-citizen is someone who agrees with them half-the-time; a non-citizen is someone who disagrees with them all the time.

With respect to the current dispute about the border dispute, it is following a path we feared and expressed a scenario for in our last editorial (The Pencil October 5, 03): Eritrea is saying the deal is “final and binding” and will have no dialogue; and the Ethiopian government is saying the deal is “null and void” and wants dialogue.  Once again, neither government will do anything to gauge what the public opinion is; they will pursue a path that they consider will elongate their power and will not change it, unless an even stronger force compels them to do so.  Both governments understand this which is why their appeal is always directed to the strong powers.  If no credible threat of force is forthcoming, both governments will be content to live with the status quo—even it this means considerable pain and suffering to the people—for years and even decades as long as this advances their sole interest: to stay in power.  It is inconceivable that either government would give up power even if it was certain that doing so would be in the long-term interest of the nation.

This is our reality and it will not be changed by petitions and counter-petitions; by pronouncements and resolutions.   What we need to do is to create a new reality.  We know the formula for failure; what we want to do is to take baby steps–a citizen-to-citizen initiative—which will, at the very least, add an unknown variable to the formula.  We are taking a jump; we are hoping our brothers in Ethiopia will provide the net.

A Modest Proposal

We are hereby offering this forum, awate.com, to serve our region in that respect. What we have in mind is an effort to mobilize the voices of freedom and democracy for the sole purpose of alleviating the miserable conditions in our region, as well as to promote prosperous and dignified living conditions for our people. This is a dream worth living for; it is a noble cause worth the risk. What we envision is a simple proposal, with humble beginnings but a great potential: our premise is that there is absolutely no reason why forums for information exchange should be monologues; we need to expose one another to each other’s dreams, hopes, fears, and concerns. The dialogue we have in mind can begin with sharing ideas in the form of articles, debates and researches.   This will inevitably lead us to organizing workshops and seminars, developing joint declarations and, ultimately, an action plan and task forces to execute our vision.   We invite the moderate citizens of the whole region of the Horn of Africa to help us build an initial bridge that can be an example for the rest of the region. In this effort, we will break taboos, shun hypocrisy and promote civility. We will expose ourselves, from the perspective of outsiders, as naked as they see us, and we will refrain from self-centered, egoist and narcissist appraisal of ourselves.

Our Fears, Our Hopes

Even during the era of the liberation struggle while fighting Ethiopian armies, Eritreans never hated Ethiopians. Our struggle was focused and concentrated on the unjust Ethiopian regimes. We never promoted anti-people propaganda and we never instilled the psychology of mass-hate against any people. It is an irony that, after liberation, the PFDJ introduced the politics of hate: we now hate Amhara, Tigray, Sudan, Eskimos etc. It is during the last ten years that Sudan-bashing, Ethiopia-bashing and Tigray-bashing was introduced in our political culture. We are certain this hate will be eradicated once the tree that is carrying it, the PFDJ tree, is uprooted.

Though the PFDJ official hate-meter doesn’t allow people to express it, Eritreans have a special affection for many things Ethiopian: the lush landscape; the beautiful and rich water resources; the dignified manners and social etiquette; the cuisine; the romantic songs; the dance. We were proud of Abebe Bekila; we are proud of Haile Gebreselasse, Derartu Tulu, Fatuma Roba.  As Africans, only the most narrow-minded and the history revisionists amongst us don’t take pride in Ethiopia’s resistance of colonizing forces. We take pride in Adwa. We take pride in a people who refused to be subjugated and stayed free for thousands of years.

But there are many things we don’t like about some Ethiopians.

We do not like your obsession of talking about Eritrea as if it were a piece of real estate without people who decide their own fate. We are insulted by your belittling of the struggle that we as a people waged.   We are stunned by your inability to understand our right to self-determination and your revision of our yearning to be an independent country. We are apprehensive of Ethiopians when they equate Eritrea to (and define it by) the extremists among us. We are saddened when we see supposedly enlightened intellectuals preaching hate and violence. We hate the Ethiopian obsession with an outlet to the sea even if it means throwing the region into yet another endless war and pushing it to the abyss.   We do not understand why Ethiopians, who have a strong need to be united and fear fragmentation, cannot understand that we Eritreans see ourselves as one unit with diverse population.

We are apprehensive that they don’t recognize that the Eritrean struggle, among other reasons, was a result of a betrayal by Ethiopia. It is a result of Ethiopia always wanting to protect its interest by sowing seeds of discord among Eritrean social forces. Its relentless efforts to ally and pacify itself to one Eritrean segment while isolating and ostracizing the other.  This is a tactic perfected by Haile Sellasie and currently being pursued by the EPRDF. It is our deep scars when successive Ethiopian governments dehumanized us.   We do not understand how Ethiopians who have vivid memories of the injustices and atrocities of Fascist Italians cannot understand the Eritrean pain suffered in the hands of Ethiopian forces in in Ad Ibrahim, Ona, Besekdira, Hergigo, Massawa, Weki Debba, etc.  We do not understand how Ethiopians, who jealously guard their sovereignty, cannot appreciate that we Eritreans, like them, have a need to jealously guard the sovereignty of such a young nation, for which we gave so much to achieve.  We, a small nation, fear a big country, Ethiopia, but not another big country, Sudan, because only Ethiopia seems to have territorial ambitions towards us.   

Moderating Influences

Are the views expressed by our governments the views of the common Eritrean and Ethiopian? The tools used to measure that—public opinion polls, free and fair elections—are not available to us and thus, we cannot be sure. From anecdotes, what we know is that Ethiopians have strongly held views about Eritrea’s 1993 referendum, about the Port of Assab, about the dual-citizenship and other “privileges” Eritreans enjoyed in Ethiopia post-1993; about Badme; about currency exchanges, about the 98-00 war and, now, about the decision of the border commission. Eritreans have strongly held views about Eritrea’s 1993 referendum, about their sovereignty which includes all of Eritrea’s territories; about deportations; about reparations for the 30 year war; about the 98-00 war; about the Ethiopian opposition’s declarations and, now, Ethiopia’s decision to nullify the Boundary Commission.

Whether the governments are perfectly in sync with the sentiments of the people or not does not matter because, in the end, being illegitimate governments, they will only pursue policies not on the basis of public opinion (which is coincidental at best) but on the basis on what will elongate their grip on power.  If that means pursuing highly polarized and extremist views, they will do so.  And, when they do, they will utilize their monopoly on the media and their skillful ability to stroke people’s fears, to pursue their goals.

What Eritrea and Ethiopia (and for matter, the entire Horn) need is a moderating influence and agents of change. As ordinary citizens, we can formulate solutions to the problems that bedevil our countries, through dialogue and in an environment of mutual respect, without being encumbered with the game of politics—which is all about getting power and keeping power. We can discuss the thorny issues and present our people not just another list of problems, but actual solutions to their problems.

Future Eritrea & Future Ethiopia: Eritrea’s armed struggle to liberate Eritrea became synonymous with a struggle to secede from Ethiopia. In point of fact, the struggle was to return power to the people so they can exercise their right to self-determination. It so happened that we determined to secede. We did so, through a free and fair election in a referendum, in 1993. As long as we all recognize that the people of the two nations are the sovereign powers and ultimate power rests with them, it is entirely possible that the Eritrean people can enter into all sorts of long-term relationship arrangements with their Ethiopian brothers and sisters. Our goal should not be to wage a propaganda or actual war to guarantee the precise location of a border marker; our goal should be to design a political and economic system that renders the border marker, just like European borders, economically irrelevant. The goal should not be an obsession with Asab; our goal should be on how to transform Asab to a prospering port where the national flag will be secondary to the insignias and logos of the merchants.  Our goal should be to exchange ideas on how to maximize our two nations’ economies of scale; how to develop our garment industry, our fisheries, our salt mines, our hydroelectric power, our art and culture.

We will have opposition. There are Eritreans and Ethiopians whose self-worth is elevated only when they are able to mock and ridicule the other.  There are Eritreans who look at the miserable status of our country and then console themselves by comparing themselves with Ethiopia’s marginally worse stats.  And vice versa. There are Eritreans with so much damaged self-esteem that they only feel better after watching Eritrean war documentaries and counting dead bodies and mangled steel.  There are Ethiopians who believe that Ethiopia was great when it was ruled by warriors and that to regain its greatness, it must adopt the warrior cult hood. We must treat these people as aberrations, and not the norm. They are as representative of the general populace as a mental patient would be.

Right now, on both sides, the loudest voices are the citizen’s equivalent of a mental patient: they are loud, they are incoherent, they are foul and they are prone to violence.  The voices of moderation need to reclaim back our land and bring relief to our people. We need partners who would work for peace; we know you are out there…will you join us?

Related reading:

For responses we received for our call, check here.
A Call For Sober Dialogue (The Pencil October 5, 2003)

 

 

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Araya

    The TPLF thugs are in shoot out in DC.
    I am telling you the Ethiopians are coming after the Weyane.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPwtp1f_5jI

  • dawit

    Selam to all,
    Since everyone is putting his/her five cents idea, allow me to put my two cent idea on Ethiopian and Eritrean relationship. Based on my own observation, Ethiopians and Eritreans of this generation like to inflate their ego and that drive them crazy to a point of madness. For those who like to distort the history of the region, let me state clearly that Eritrea was separated not in 1991 but 100 years before in 1890s by none other than the great and wise king Menelik II who facilitated the colonization of Eritrea by Italy. For his service Italians colonizers paid him in cash and ammunitions. When Menelik signed the treaty of Wuchale he was tricked to sell, not only Eritrea but the whole Ethiopia that lead to Aduwa battle when Italians tried to claim their territory which they believed had purchased it legally. The disagreement between a buyer and seller lead to the battle of Aduwa. Menelik gathered his army from all over Abyssinia including from his new territories of Southern and Western Ethiopia to defeat the Italian army that
    crossed the Mereb River. Menelik had the chance to reclaim Eritrea after he defeated Italy had he thought Eritrea and its people were part of his land and people. Instead he agreed and signed a new treaty again with Italians that confirmed, blessed and approved the
    colonization of Eritrea. Menelik made Ethiopia without Eritrea, without the Asab or Massawa ports or access to the Red Sea. Italians in return for his goodwill built him the Menelik Palace, a statue of him riding a horse and St. George Church in his new capital Addis Ababa. So
    Menelik won the battle of Aduwa but lost the war for Eritrea. For those naives Ethiopians who boast about having the oldest national palace in Africa, should also be reminded that it was built by Eritreans blood money and a generation that was forced to hand over his fertile agricultural and grazing land to Italian settlers and forcefully drafted to join the Italian colonial army to die in foreign lands of Libya and Somalia including Ethiopia.

    Italians never forgot what they purchased from Menelik, they came back to reclaim it under Mussolini 40 years after they lost the battle at Aduwa in 1935. This time they were much prepared to win by building armament that included aircrafts and poison gases. The Ethiopian mass army equipped with antiquated rifles, spears and swards was not match with the modern Italian army. Hundreds of thousands perished at Maichew and the king and his family fled the country and was granted refuge in England. France and Britain accepted the victory of Italy
    over the Ethiopian territory as the expanded Italy’s colonial power in the horn of Africa, joining it with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. With that victory Italy colonized Ethiopia for five years until Mussolini made a mistake, aligned himself with Hitler Germany to ignite war in Europe and threatened the Britain and France territories in Europe and their colonies in Africa. Throughout the five years Eritrean patriot joined Ethiopian patriots to lead a resistance to their common enemy the Italian occupation of their region. Finally the British who were destine to lose their colonies to Italy and Germany in Africa assembled Allied forces from their colonies empire, including India, East and West Africa to confront the Italian army in Eritrea and Ethiopia. In
    their bid to defeat their former European friend Italy but now declared enemy, they dropped leaflets appealing to Eritreans soldiers serving Italy to abandon their support to Italy and they sugarcoated their appeal with a promise to help them to gain freedom from Italian colonialism and to claim their independence. Most Eritrean colonial soldiers accepted their promise and abandoned the Italian army that resulted to the defeat of the largest Italian army assembled at the battle of Keren. The victory of Keren paved the road to total defeat of Italy in the region and finally in Europe against the Italian and German alliance, because they were able to control the Red Sea and Ethiopia became the first country to be liberated from being Italian colony. (My
    apology for those young Ethiopians who were lead to believe that Ethiopia was never colonized in Africa, After independence Miazia 27, 1933 EC or May 5, 1941 which Ethiopia celebrated as an Independence Day with Fireworks till 1974 under Haile Selassie and he was
    celebrated as the liberator of Ethiopia).

    Ethiopia joined Liberia and Egypt as the only three independent nations in Africa along with white South Africa. The British renegade their promise and decided to rule Eritrea as their new colony. After World War II ended, the UN was established by the victories powers and the new organization promised Independence to all colonies in Africa, Asia and Caribbean countries.

    Eritreans were first on line to claim their independence. Albeit, Eritreans helped Britain to win their battle over Italy, the British wanted to rule Eritrea as their new colony and Italy was struggling to regain its lost colony Eritrea, to defraud the Eritreans in their volleyball game of
    colonization. It was at this battle of black people straggling against two Europeans powers, Italy and Britain, Ethiopia under Haile Selassie interjected itself as third power to claim Eritrea as its ‘lost territory’ occupied by Italy by force for over 50 years. It was this lie of Haile Selassie that planted the seed of disaster that consumed Eritreans, Ethiopians and the rest of Africa for the
    next 60 years. Even though Eritrea was sold to Italy by Ethiopia, which was the plain truth Haile Selassie lied in front of the whole world to swallow a small nation which was struggling to free itself from yolk of colonialism.

    Imagine if Ethiopia under Haile Selassie stood up and supported Eritrean independence at the UN when Eritreans stood for independence against their white colonizers. I would imagine
    generations of Eritreans would have been indebted to Haile Selassie and Ethiopia forever for standing for their independence against European colonial forces. Such action by Ethiopia would have made Eritrea to be the first country in Africa to get its independence ahead of Ghana by at least a decade. The two countries would have pulled the Horn of Africa, to brighter future, and today we would not have been at the tail of the world. Economically at least we could have been as strong as the Asian Tigers if not ahead of them, since the region is endowed with abundant natural resources and strategic location. The 40 years of war would not have been needed to prove that Eritrea was part of Ethiopia, all the military hardware burned and the manpower wasted would have been directed to economic development of the people. At UN and other international forums we would have two votes instead of one vote for Ethiopia for the region. The Nile dam would have been constructed in 1950s and not 2015!

    Now for those Ethiopians and Eritreans who like to brag about their countries independence and development, you must be blind to think that way. The fact of the matter we all do not know how to make a needle from the scratch. A needle which is the smallest item, but an important tool in our daily life, cannot be made in our countries. We are totally dependent for everything
    for our survival from a needle to anything large you name it on outsiders. As my mother’s says time does not wait for any one. Italy left our region 70 years ago, and in all these years, there is
    nothing tangible we can show to the coming generations, except a history of distraction. Can we imagine how Italy was able to build roads from North to South, from East to West of the region bridges tunnels in just five years in the middle of battles!

    Let me end my two cent contribution by stating that trying to integrate politically or economically Eritrea and Ethiopia is like trying to mix oil and water. The two people were physically and emotionally separated 100 years ago and all attempts of force to join them has failed, because they have separate history. An Eritrean can never celebrate Aduwa Victory as his victory; he can only remember it as the day of subjugation to Italian colonialism with the help of Ethiopia. He will never see Haile Selassie as a liberator but as someone that betrayed his country for his selfish pride, the sooner we recognize that fact the better for both nations. The call of Awate.com for moderates is fine, but unfortunately, the people from both sides who are arguing are not moderate but the extremes of the two nations. Awte.com itself is not a moderate website, by definition, it is the mouthpiece of those opposed to Eritrean government and therefore the people who are attracted to it are gathered mostly by a common hatred to Isaias Afewerki, who was once celebrated as a hero and now they see him as villain. As extremist they cannot contribute to the betterment of the two people, because their arguments are based mostly on fabricated lies and not the truth, but history that was deliberately distorted. Each society should clean its house and strive for a peaceful coexistence that could lead to peaceful economic integration. The economists say ‘Trade is a win- win situation’ as long as the two trading partners do it voluntarily.

    The Good Book says only the Truth will make you Free!

    Peace!
    dawit

    dawit

    • Abebe

      Ethiopia was not colonized by Italians. It was an occupation for short period of time in which its sons fought the occupier. There is a big difference between occupation and colonization. Definition?

      • dawit

        Dear Abebe,
        you are entitled to believe what ever you want, but you can not change history. Italian colonization of Ethiopia is stamped everywhere in the country. The extensive roads that run from North to South, from East to West, 1000s of bridges, tunnels that crisscross the country can not be hidden by empty slogans. Italy built the Merkatos, Piasas, Casnchis and Popolares in every town in the country and Addis Ababa the capital. From 1936-41, the name of Ethiopia was wiped out and the country became part of the Italian colony of East Africa, ruled by Italian king Victor Emanuel III. Here is some thing to read from the encyclopedia of Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/297206/Italian-East-Africa There is nothing to be ashamed of being colonized, great nations today were colonized at some times of history, eg. USA was once a colony of Britain, China was a colony of Japan, European colonization was not restricted to Africa, it was extended throughout the world, Asia, America North and South, Caribbean, Australia etc, What is important today is where are they and where is Ethiopia. Those countries established peace within themselves and their neighbors and progressing socially, economically, politically while Ethiopia is regressing, fighting within itself and its neighbors. Can we change that? Yes we can, but only standing on truth. All the conflicts in our region is based on lies, including our history. The reason I wrote what you read above is not to shame Ethiopians of our proud history of struggle for freedom. Ethiopia was the last country to be colonized in Africa and the first to be liberated. What irritates me is the fact when people write articles to shame and look down Eritreans and other African countries who were victims of European Colonization, while hiding our history that so many Ethiopians perished under Italian colonization. Let us not split hair, with definitions of colonization or occupation or something else.
        Peace
        dawit

    • The Observer

      FACTS
      Before Eritrea and Ethiopia were liberated by the Allied forces
      at the end of WWII,
      Ethiopian political system was feudo- peasantry with some slavery
      relationship of government under an agent Reagent Tafari while
      Eritrean political system was republican capitalism under european
      occupation.
      It was only in 1936 that slavery was constitutionally abolished in
      Abyssinia due to the EFFORTS AND PRESSURE OF THE LEAGUE
      OF NATIONS as as a precondition for recognition as sovereign state.

      • dawit

        Observer you are right, in fact Haile Selassie is credited for declaring officially to abolish slavery in Ethiopia in 1920s, to Join the League of Nations. It is ironic while France and Britain opposed the membership of Ethiopia, Italy supported it, but after Italy invaded Ethiopia, one of her justification for colonizing Ethiopia was the ongoing slavery in the country. Even though Slavery was abolished officially, it was practice as late as 1960s especially in border between Gojam and Welega provinces region known as Gindeberet, bordering Sudan.

  • Hope

    Yes,I have some Gonderie Kimant origin…

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Salamat Awatistas:

    I have followed the debate on Ethio-Eritrean relations. I have noticed sensible individuals from both sides promulgating similar reasonable opinions. I follow the debate through disqus, I may miss some; as you may have noticed, disqus features comments of folks you follow, it is only possible if you press the “see comment” that it will take you to the comment the person you follow is replying to, hence, the view of the other person. As citizens it’s normal of us to demand normalization. But we should not act like executive entities. some of the opinions appear to have been arranged in a “good cop/ bad cop” style arrangements. Fetima and the rest “bad cop” Ethiopians made TK and Hayat Adem appear more sensible and reasonable ( I found Hayat’s reply to Fetima an eye opening to her world, it was just educational- It’s my personal quirk to give credits where they are due. SJG, Aman H, HTG, TK, Hayat ( I expected Horizon, but I haven’t read his comment) appear to have formed a joint task force of “good cop” band, while the usual suspects have been stuck on national pride and open hostility. I have also noticed that great minds are somehow not being exploited to the maximum because of the tasks these great people are faced with to answer disruptive comments made by some spoilers who display utter ignorance, either due to lack of knowledge or done deliberately to make others look “good cops.” My thoughts on the topic:

    a/ why normalization:Because it’s unusual or abnormal of you to think of a perpetually abnormal relations with your neighbor and yet choose to live next to them.There is an abnormal state of neighborliness between these two countries, it must change. The question should be: why do we have to be persuaded by politicians to hate each other? Can’t we think of a future in which war is a thing of the past? Can’t we think of a future in which war and destruction is not synonymous with our region? The 18th century economist, Adam Smith, would laugh at Fetima and those who agree with her views. The quest for a normalized state of affairs is not a business plan. Both countries economic relations and the scope of ties will be driven by economic necessities and not by empty national pride.Ethiopia’s use of Eritrean ports and other services should not be tied to the necessity of peace. Our priority should be peace and the avoidance of another devastating war. The rest of issues will take their natural course. In a normalized situation, it will be up to Eritrea to lure Ethiopian business and get itself competitive in Ethiopian huge market, likewise, it will be up to Ethiopia to make Eritrean security issues noted. As an Eritrean, I would do everything possible, less than jeopardizing national security, to convince Ethiopia that making business with Eritrea is more advantageous, I would do everything possible to stay competitive with the regions ports and services to make Eritrean ports and services make sense to Ethiopian business community; I would encourage them to feel at home (Hayat said it better, anyway). Once there is a state of normal existence, relations take economic nature ( dollar and sense); if there is an Eritrean who thinks we will live in a state of arms race with Ethiopia and do well, I will just tell him/her to think twice. The Life Expentancy in Eritrea is 61.3, Ethiopia, 60.4 (http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/life-expectancy-africa). I’m in my early 50s, therefore, it’s incumbent upon me to think as an elder man. I may visit that region once or twice in my life; I don’t have a plan to live there; so, all what I say is bound by human considerations and the proximity of that region and the people to my history and roots; I hope to see a bright future opening up for the next generation. I don’t want to see this and the next generations going through what I went through. Therefore, peace is badly needed. Think of positive things that could come with positive attitudes; could you think of a peaceful coexistence where the countries of the region have joined security arrangements and integrated economic sectors ( if Eritrea feels secure why not use Ethiopian power grid which is expected to benefit the region, why should Ethiopia feel landlocked if there are Eritrean ports open for business?) In today’s world of economic interdependence, cooperation is the norm. There are regional trade blocks in Africa,SADC, EAC COMESA..and the African Free Trade Zone signed in 2008,etc. These blocks may be having difficulties in jump-starting their ailing economies, but they are still there. They lack experience and infrastructure, but overall African countries are still stuck in their post colonial national prides and traditional way of thinking. The newly emerging and business oriented generation is expected to take advantage of new opportunities coming with the opening of Africa for foreign investments. World wide, we have NAFTA, ASEAN, EU, Mercosur ( of Argentina, Brazil and other countries). If America and Vietnam could put their past behind and forge a new relationship, there is no reason why Eritrea and Ethiopia shouldn’t do that.

    b/ What’s challenging us is our history.

    (i) No need to repeat regarding the political history of the region. I think we just need to accept the realities and let’s not make empty promises. Both countries will have to respect each others borders. The relation we talk about should be similar to normal relations each of them has with other neighbors. Both peoples had an opportunity to put years of misery behind with the demise of Derg but we squandered it. Let history take care of it. So, what’s needed now is a normal way of neighborliness.
    (ii) I don’t really get the idea that we are somehow closer to each other because of our culture. What culture are we talking about here? I know it meant the Habesha thing ( Tigrigna/Amara), if it’s because of shared cross-border cultural aspects and historical ties, doesn’t Ethiopia has similar extensions with other nations? Would not the Somlian ethnic group make Ethiopia sisterly with somalia? How about other ethnic groups that tie it with South Sudan, The Sudan, and Kenya? And then, sisterly nations don’t bleed each other, do they?. Therefore, the intimate and preferential relations will need to wait until such time it’s naturally and normally formed between adjacent regions and peoples. For the time being though, we will need visionaries who could penetrate the hatred entrenched in both Tigrignas who are supposed to glue the two nations. The rivalry between TPLF and EPLF leaders and what exacerbated the border disagreements have roots in this ancient rivalry of these two ” Habesha” people. We should not beat around the bush. Ignoring this fact will liken us to the proverbial ostrich. So, to me it doesn’t make sense to exaggerate the brotherliness of the two people. I would challenge any one to show me a window of history in which our recent relations have been brotherly. I am ready to correct myself. So, let’s think of ourselves as two neighbors; we don’t need to have a more preferential treatments of each other to have a normal relations. Because preferential relation isn’t a normal relation, it’s the next step to normal relation. But first thing first.

    • Kokhob Selam

      I am unable to write new poems due to this topic. reading each comment and analyzing it in it self is time consuming. and then filtering it and categorize, mixing it and com out with new idea again bring it back to it’s written form etc. is really a job. Lol I was somehow mad of thinking. Love it. nice my brother your contribution was one of the most interesting once. seldom I see people with such wonderful mind from the same experience you went through. I wish I see more of your type who advance toward truth every single day.

  • Fetima Dechasa

    Dearest Haile,

    Thanks again for your continuous response and dialogue.

    Here is the thing… In my honest opinion, there is no greater atrocity in debates/discussion than that of intellectual dishonesty. There are a few things that I have witnessed even from you that I find rather disingenuous and irksome; the attempt to appeal/speak ‘only’ to a specific demographic of Ethiopians emotion (divide and concur), trying to separate and perpetrate ethnic politics as a concerned “friend” (your attempt to convey as more concerned to my fellow Ethiopians than I in your earlier statement), deflecting from main issues by stating, “you do it too”, etc. I find these sort of aureate “concerns” somewhat insulting to our intelligence.

    Also, you keep mentioning that many of the negative attitudes and mistrust are shared equally by both sides, but I fail to see how Ethiopia/Ethiopians can be accused of such when in fact Eritreans are allowed to live, travel, conduct businesses, and even take refuge in Ethiopia currently. Are there any Ethiopians who live in Eritrea reaping such benefits? In addition, from every single responses I’ve gotten from my initial question, almost every single one of them have reeked of the never ending entitlement of “ኤርትራ ለግል፣ ኢትዮጵያ ለጋራ።” or must accommodate based on Eritrea’s needs. Not a single person has had the humility to say “It is true, Ethiopia is essential to Eritrea’s prosperity”, instead, people seem to play semantics to appease their own egos by going on about how the benefits are shared and that Eritrea has other options. It’s true, no one can deny the endless possibilities of cooperative efforts for both nations when and if circumstances permit, but as it’s proven within the last 12 plus years, Ethiopia does not need Eritrea to succeed. Let us first recognize the difference between essential and beneficial. As this is the 21st century, I am all for benefits :).

    In addition, relationships are based on trust and common interest but how can we begin to rebuild trust when simple ownership of wrong doing and humility are completely removed? As diplomatic as you are, I have seen previous encounters with others where you simply refuse to acknowledge certain things like the fact that Eritrea invaded Ethiopia which ignited the border conflict.

    In any case, let’s try to be as genuine and transparent as possible.

    Thank you,

    • I am responding because I am allergic to deception. And I don’t give a foot what you think.
      Fatuma; why don’t you start practicing what you are preaching to Haile? Did you say Honesty? You told us you have no knowledge to this side of the region and you could careless and now, all of a sudden; you not only care but are an expert. You even know who ignited the war. and The other day you said before any normalizing the emotional would must heal, why would you be emotional about something you don’t belong and care to?
      You don’t need to hide behind Kenyans, Weytans and the Fatuma’s. If you were, you wouldn’t give a flying hoot about who invaded who and about who ignited the war, You will be much concern when the Kenyans will show up and take your cattle and livestock as they stick it to you.
      So, Dejesa, if you wanna the truth who started the war, ask your uncles Gebru the Gojjame and Siye temben. Here you have it. read Gebru’s book and if you have a shred of integrity, then tell us.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      1. “..Eritreans are allowed to live, travel, conduct businesses, and even take refuge in Ethiopia currently. Are there any Ethiopians who live in Eritrea reaping such benefits?” If there are Eritreans living in Ethiopia who are reaping benefits beyond services international laws compel countries to render to refugees, if Ethiopia is providing special treatment to Eritreans beyond what other hosts like the Sudan, Norway…USA… furnish to refugee Ethiopians….name them. By the way, host countries also benefit from refugees, it’s not a one way flow. You asked if there are Ethiopian refugees in Eritrea who are hosted warmly. I don’t know if there are any; I hope Ethiopians do not experience similar situation; but if they happen to cross the border, I am not going to brag about giving them shelter, I will advocate for their well being. The refugees you are talking about are UN registered and your government gets funds for their hosting.

      2. ” I’ve gotten from my initial question, almost every single one of them have reeked of the never ending entitlement of “ኤርትራ ለግል፣ ኢትዮጵያ ለጋራ።” or must accommodate based on Eritrea’s needs.”
      This is just too weak, but support your allegation. After the war Ethiopian government exaggerated Eritrean aggressive business practice inside Ethiopia. Have you asked where your government was prior to the war. Businesses will exploit any loopholes, their goal is profit. It’s up to governments to draw regulatory laws and curb unlawful business practice. This is not to say Eritrea had the capacity to monopolize Ethiopian market. So, please get over these residual sentiments. Probably you don’t know Eritrea’s business capacity of that time, you are talking about a capital not exceeding 50 million dollar, what is 50 million dollar in Ethiopia?

      3. “…Eritrea invaded Ethiopia which ignited the border conflict.” Read the court final ruling. I said this before but here it is again: Eritrea never invaded Ethiopia; it can’t contemplate of invading it. Eritrea had been badly provoked, but because it didn’t follow ABC of international norms, I opposed its attempt to retake areas it believed belonged to it using force before doing its ABC steps ( trying to resolve it bilaterally, if not possible to complain to international bodies, to tell its people and their representatives, to allow deliberations…etc); it was right in asserting its rightful ownership on its territory, but it was wrong on its strategy to take that territory back the way it did. Eritrea can never invade Ethiopia, it doesn’t have to, and it can’t do it. Ethiopians are as patriotic as Eritreans are when it comes to the defense of their country, we know it. I believe it’s not beneficial to go farther, since we won’t get anywhere. The issue has been sealed, and the rest is the business of governments. What you and me can do is applying pressure on our respective governments to settle the issue in a way that ensures lasting peace. What we can do is enlightening our citizens regarding peace. I call upon you to be an example of peacemaking.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Mahmoud,

        I don’t know exactly how many rounds and recycled arguments we have done for almost three years. But the issue is well digested by the awatistas forum within the limits of citizenary authority. I don’t think we can proceed like this for infinite to make recycled argumentation. I might be wrong, but my reading is, there is no objective reality for the issue of “economic cooperation” to talk and debate at this juncture. What we Eritreans can do now is to focus on our internal issues. Once our domestic political issues are resolved, it will change the leverage of our argument on the issue of cooperation. It is only when we regain our economic prowess that changes the nature of the current debate. Let us bring back the industrious Eritrean mind to the fore, and change our reality. To do that we have to make the necessary house cleaning in our political house. And I don’t think there are other common issue than “economic and security cooperation” we can talk with our Ethiopian brothers at least from my prospective. Therefore we have to adjourn this topic until we change our domestic reality. Surely I felt that they are trying to exploit our reality and dictate us by their own term. This isn’t healthy and worthwhile to expend our energy. I hope I am not discouraging the well meaning individuals who stands for the noble ideas ( the likes of Horizon, Haile-TG, SGJ, Hayat and yourself to mention some), But I have concluded that there is no objective reality to talk on the subject. Let us change our objective reality….and that change will open the door to the issue of peace and cooperation.

      • Abugida

        “If there are Eritreans living in Ethiopia who are reaping benefits
        beyond services international laws compel countries to render to
        refugees, if Ethiopia is providing special treatment to Eritreans beyond
        what other hosts like the Sudan, Norway…USA… furnish to refugee
        Ethiopians”
        You have the audacity to compare Ethiopia with USA and Sweden.wow.But anyways what about the hundreds of Eritreans allowed to join govt universities? I know an Eritrean who is hired in a big govt

        hospital with having medical degree or student copy.Can you tell me w/h country allows you to work as

        a doctor without evidence?

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Salam Abugida;

          How old are you Abugida? Why do you put yourself in trouble? You see in Ethiopian and my country’s cultures, falsifying is immoral, and it’s misleading. Now, if you stick to your gun and reassert what you have put above (about the unlicensed doctor given a chance to practice in an Ethiopian hospital)- an example you brought to demonstrate that Ethiopia is giving Eritreans beyond and above what international conventions on refugees compels it to do, then you have an obligation to report that hospital to authorities. (This is indeed beyond legal practice). But here are the facts (http://www.fmhaca.gov.et/). As you can see Ethiopia has regulations which determine the scope of practice of health professionals, and has been known to have one of the best medical school and a long tradition of licensing health workers in the region. Now, if you still stick to your gun, we have a problem: if Ethiopia could allow foreigners to practice medicine without license, imagine what percentage of its national doctors are lunicensed (almost all?) Abugida, if you don’t have a thing to say, just read comments and save your emotions until such a moment you get a chance to vent them.

          • Abugida

            Mahmud Saleh,
            I am not falsifying anything.In fact I myself is a physician and I can testify that that Eritrean is a good and competent doctor.But he himself told me that he has only a letter implying he was a practicing physician from the hospital he used to work.He did not finish his obligation in Eritrea therefore he was not given his degree.As far as i know no country would hire you as a doctor based on only a letter.BTW,he is legally hired by Ministry of Health and everybody knows he is Eritrean.So I don’t have to report him.
            And please keep your condescending attitude to yourself.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Abugida

            1- “Can you tell me w/h country allows you to work as a doctor without evidence?”

            2- “….he has only a letter implying he was a practicing physician from the hospital he used to work.He did not finish his obligation in Eritrea therefore he was not given his degree.”

            *** OK, again, you are putting yourself in trouble to defend the indefensible. Clearly, numbers 1and 2 from your previous and current replies respectively depict a person practicing medicine without following proper standard competence licensing. If it’s true, indeed, no where in the world ( or may be, again, may be, in few places like your hospital) you could find such a corrupted practice which puts the public at danger. You said you’re a physician, as a physician you would be expected to demand from that hospital it should adhere to Ethiopian medical practice regulations. This does not show Ethiopia’s good will, but a corrupted practice. You said he had told you that he ” did not finish his obligation in Eritrea therefore he was not given his degree.” What does “did not finish his obligation” mean” ? May be he didn’t complete his residence? Anyway, I am not behaving condescending, your words are putting you in trouble Dr. Abugida. And then, this should be a new phenomenon, a physician going banana like a seasoned political cadre! Hmmmmmmm!

        • Hope

          Dr Abugida,
          if you are a Physician indeed,which I cannot and would not question by all means,I would expect you to broaden your mind and analysis.
          While appreciating the Government of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people for whatever they are doing,here are my questions/concerns:
          1)Why did your Government allow him to practise Medicne without proper credentialing?
          a)Due to shortage of MDs?
          b)On a Humanitarian Ground?
          c)PR Consumption?
          2)The Ethiopian Government gets paid in USD for alllowing Eritreans to study in the Ethiopian Colleges; but still we appreciate it;but again,is the GoEth doing it on Humanitarian Ground or for a financial gain?
          If it is either way or both ways,why is it doing it in a selective manner?Is it coz the UNHCR has limited Funds or something else?
          -Why are the majority of the Refugees,mostly active and productive Youth, restricted to the Shift Camps and are becoming the victims of rape,HIV,TB,destituttion,Human Trafficking?
          -Why can’t major Eritrean Opp Orgs have an access to those active and productiveYouth so as to evaluate their need and over all situation and to help them somehow?
          a)For resettlement
          b)to Improve their situation by giving them educational and job opportunities
          c)screen and allow them to have an opportunity to go to Addis and try to help themselves to resettle themselves through the help of their families,which in turn will provide Ethiopia with some Hard Currency from the Eri-Diaspora.
          -etc–etc—
          Final words:
          The best thing Ethiopia and the Ethiopian can do for Eritreans is:
          -To respect the Internationla Law
          -To back off from the evil intended sanctions
          Then Ethiopia will have some break from “Helping the Eritrean Refugees” and do her “Top Priorities”
          is that too much to ask for?
          But,unfortunately,the whole motivation is to strangulate Eritrea and Eritreans further and expose us to further suffering as your Goveremnent’s Policy clearly indicates on a day light by threatening Eritrea and Eritreans and begging your masters for more sanctions and for more tightening of the existing sanctions.
          -Or is it a revenge for the past grudges you are still holding up?
          May the Lord of the lords enlighten you and bless you!

    • haileTG

      Dear Fetima,

      No problem at all, time permitting, pleasure is mine:-)

      – Dividing Ethiopians: that would be wishful thinking for anyone. The current political leaders go far back to the intractable historical problems of the region. They waged war with running battles of tens of thousands of armed youngsters to chase out the brute and evil Mengistu, They will be hard sell for me to lecture them new narrative that isn’t there with intention of dividing them. They probably know the real problem more than I could ever do. I believe in speaking my mind and what I stated is what considered to be true. No worries, Ethiopia is in steady hands.

      – Eritreans taking advantage of Ethiopia: well the Eritreans that were there were old citizens who made fortunes with their bare hands. Your association with PFDJ back fired, well my heart bleeds but PFDJ also had association with terrorists, arms and human smugglers, armed groups…so, the Eritreans you have labeled with mid-conflict “Ethiopia legarachn…” have lived all their lives there. Thank God the Ethiopian people didn’t engage in acts of genocide against the defenseless Eritreans there. Actually they helped them instead and could see right through the rotten incitement there. All the wealthy men and women were self made during the previous decades and not a dime’s worth of investment has been made in Eritrea from the alleged stuff you are saying. Eritreans are hard workers and they do that all over the world, and it is not unheard of that such incitement against a group and their properties are carried out. In the end, the good has regained territory and that cheap incitement catch phrase is left to the back allies of online chit chat.

      – You asked if Ethiopians have been facilitated in Eritrea. Well, well well, does it have to be Ethiopian as per your definition or are you prepared to recognize Ethiopians even if they don’t agree with you? If so, yes Ethiopians do get facilitated in Eritrea and I can mention names. During the years in the lead to the conflict, the PFDJ Eritreans were facilitated in the then Ethiopia and the rest (opposition Eritrean) were gathered, blindfolded and are handed over to PFDJ never to be heard of. So, Fetima, I understand you’re from the remote tip of Southern Ethiopia and may not be aware of Ethio-Eritrean realities within the context of the armed struggle politics. But to suggest things against proud and hard working people you have little knowledge of using malicious rumors spread to sensitize public mind to acts of crime against civilian populations is out of due consideration to the letter in spirit of the issue at hand 🙂

      Regards

  • When we are talking of Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement, reconciliation and economic cooperation, we are not saying this with the present dictatorial regime in mind. That is true at least as much as I am concerned, and I believe that most Ethiopians have in mind the new government of tomorrow’s Eritrea, the New Eritrea, than the PFDJ regime. As long as DIA and the PFDJ are in power, nothing is going to happen, not only because Ethiopia is against it, but because the Eritrean regime is also opposed to any sort of rapprochement.

    As much as Ethiopia is concerned, it is equivalent to giving a lifeline to the
    dying regime. The difference between the two is irreconcilable and the divide unbridgeable, and diachronically so, as long as the regime in Asmara remains in power. These are the people who poisoned the whole lake, so that nobody cannot drink a drop out of it. We expect that the coming Eritrean government will be the exact opposite of the evil regime we have in Eritrea today.

    When we say, let us have economic cooperation and trade with Eritrea, some Ethiopians have the notion that Ethiopia is going to surrender her national interest, and Ethiopians are ready to open the door for Eritreans to reap all the advantages at the expense of Ethiopia. Many Ethiopians are afraid the sins committed against Ethiopia during the years 1991-1997 might be repeated. (I am not well informed to bring an example, and I brought it here because many seem to think that those were sinful years). That is not going to happen again. International laws and the
    laws of give and take are going to be implemented. I hopethat the Ethiopian government would defend the national interest of the country.

    We should not close our doors, because we are afraid of Eritreans in any way imaginable. Eritrean economy is not going to swallow Ethiopia’s economy. On the contrary, the fear is on the Eritrean side, that Ethiopia’s larger economy, bigger market, workforce and raw material might attract Eritrean capital to Ethiopia rather than to Eritrea, if Eritrean capital is going to compete with that of Ethiopia. These are not the years, when Mellotti beer was chosen over Saint George, plastic and other products were coming from Asmara. This is not the age an Ethiopian woman was sitting at home and rearing children, but when she is laying
    cobblestones, carrying concrete to the tenth floor etc. It is the age when Ethiopians are learning the principle of Kaizen and 24hrs/day work. Therefore, Ethiopia is not only the airplane that is on the tarmac ready for takeoff, on the contrary, it has become an airplane that is already flying (a phrase taken from saay and used here in Ethiopia’s case). We are talking of a different Ethiopia that is galloping at full speed to the future. Nevertheless, still, if Eritreans can outdo Ethiopians, then I give up and I say again, to some people’s disappointment, “let it be so”.

    Solution of the political difference before economic cooperation, the cart and the horse. I do not really know which one is which. The US and the USSR were trading between themselves during the cold war. We are aware of the US/China ping-pong diplomacy etc. Politics and the economy come in one package, and they are usually put on the table for negotiations. If the future Eritrean government is not going to be a cloned PFDJ government with a different hat, it should sit and negotiate with Ethiopia on different issue, and reach a win-win solution that would work diachronically, and bring permanent peace and prosperity for both countries.

    • Hope

      Bingo Horizon,
      No ONE,I repat,NO ONE,should,can and will beat up your eloquent,rational,reasonable,balanced,constructive,etc—suggestion an dapproach.
      Just one thing though:
      PFDJ may give up its manipulation and may sit down for peace with its own people; or even with neighbors,specially if Ethiopia gives up her preconditions and leave aside her ambitions-and –respect the International Law and BindingTreaties since you brought up International Law.
      This is only my reservation about your approach.
      Irrespective of the size of nations and weakness of other nations,the Law should be respected.
      “Facts on grounds should dictate” approach of Mr T Kifle should not be applied if we are really honest about Peace.

      • Dear Hope,

        My humble opinion is that I would not bet a dime on the PFDJ
        that it would ever change. As much as the PFDJ and the Eritrean society are concerned, I do not expect that a serpent would ever mutate to a dove or the lion lie down in peace with the sheep. Eritrea is not south Africa, and the Eritrean society is not made up of white supremacists and the black underdogs, but a single society, on whose sacrifice a monster was born, a monster in its own image, nevertheless survives on the blood and flesh of the Eritrean society. Both have become incompatible to each other. Therefore, do not put up for a renovated Eritrea under the same landlord, but work for a new home and a New Eritrea, its neighbors and the world community can accept with open arms. Do not try to force
        the victims and the perpetrators to continue to live under the same roof. It is a mistake.

        Let me tell you the naked truth as I see it. Many Eritreans
        are stuck with the PFDJ+- DIA phenomenon, not because they love these entities, but because they hate to have to do anything with Ethiopia. They see as a defeat and a lost sacrifice without the desired goal, any rapprochement with Ethiopia outside their terms. They hate to play any sort of a gambit, sacrifice a little by retracting on some of their decisions, in order to gain more in the end. Their ego is above their heads. Especially for those who bled to separate Eritrea from Ethiopia, it is a poison they cannot easily swallow.

        In the opposite camp, we have some Ethiopians who are
        complacent that Ethiopia has proved that it does not need Eritrea anymore. This could be true for the time being, but might not be true in the long run. These are the two opposite poles of the Ethio-Eritrean Odyssey.

        We should not forget that from both sides, there are people who see Ethio-Eritrean friendship as a nightmare. Peaceful or belligerent, they believe that both are equally dangerous to each other, and Ethiopia and Eritrea should be kept separated. Nevertheless, is this the way to the future?

        The relationship of Ethiopia and Eritrea is like that of a couple who cannot live together, and at the same cannot live separated. Weird, isn’t it? Therefore, I also believe that the independence and statehood of Eritrea should be respected, at least for the sake of those who bled for it, but Eritreans and Ethiopians cannot be eternal enemies, and they should reach
        some sort of compromise for the sake of peace and the prosperity of their people.

        Hope, Ethiopians and Eritreans should not be naïve. As
        long as Ethiopia has not packed up and left Badme in 2004, she will not do it today or in the future, unless some sort of negotiations and compromises are made. It is not necessary to discuss the appropriateness of this Ethiopian decision,
        or whether she has signed or not to accept the final decision, as long as nobody can force her to do so. It is politics, and politics is about national interest, right or wrong. It will go on until one of the two blink. International laws and binding treaties do not have any usefulness unless both parties are ready to implement them, because they do not come packaged with an enforcing body. In addition, instead of trying to convince the world on the issue, DIA tried to bully the US on Somalia and lost all the support. I am not sure, but I think that I have heard that, at one point, the US was even entertaining the withdrawal of the border decision or something to that effect, because of the behavior of DIA. (Please correct me on this if I am wrong. I am not sure if it was a rumor or a
        reality).

        Finally, we should do what is right for the people and not what is right for our ego.

        Regards.

        • Saleh Johar

          Dear Horizon,
          What you mentioned above, the overwhelming majority of Eritreans are not fearful of Ethiopian relations, but the ten years ond campaign spearheaded by the PFDJ has brought the worst in us (like any other people), hate towards Weyane, by extension against Tigray has reached the highest level… but it not like it used to be ten years ago. At this moment it is benign and what you see is the burps of the last few years.

          But there is something that I feel a lot of Ethiopians do not understand, pobably the Weyane in particular and Tigrai people in general are more knowledgeable with what we went through than the rest. That is simply because they were not saved the atrocities. Take me for example, I never visited Ethiopia until 1991. But my fear of Ethiopia is deep rooted, I carry a history of oppression, uprooting, subjugation and all the evil deeds that can befall any people courtesy of Abyssinian worlords and feudal lords. Nothing was even acknowledged as if Abyssinia was ruled by the most enlightened kings when they were monsters of the worst kind. That being the history, I went to jail when I was roughly fourteen years during the last days of the emperor and saw hell. I was exposed to hanging and brutality, akin to what we see committed by modern terrorists since I was five. I was exposed to a mass murder of Ona (600 people) and Besekdira (250 people) when I was a ninth grader. I have seen all the religious discrimination by the emperor’s forces. That has never changed for five centuries in my family history. If some wish us to erase it so easily, that wish is worse than the deed itself. I believe we need closure and that can only be initiated by whoever inherited the structure of the monsters.

          In recent history, the Ethiopian government was in cahoots with the PFDJ to our dismay. As Haile mentioned, I witnessed PFDJ operatives killing, kidnapping and jailing desidents from the streets of Ethiopia. I have seen Ethiopian collaborators with the PFDJ in its smuggling and racketeering operations in Ethiopia. I have see loads of electronics ushered beyond the customs line and be delivered to PDFJ consulate operatives in Bole. Whenever I wanted to exchange dolars for Birr, I knew a few money changer and they first check with the Eritrean embassy for the rates before they tell me the rate.Obviously, the currency was ending in the Eritrean embassy. My fiend, we are victims all the same, a large number of us have nothing to do with enabling the PFDJ to become the monster it is. About two-dozen agreements your government signed with the PFDJ behind the back of Eritreans people, the stakeholders. So, please save us the lecture of who enabled the PFDJ, it is more complex that it appears. We cried, we protested to no avail; the PFDJ was also ruling in Ethiopia. Eritreans were blackmailed (as is happening in the Middle East at this moment) with passport renewals and other processes that required the approval of the PFDJ.

          Fetima mentioned the thousands of soldiers who died and wants to hold Eritreans responsible. Honesty requires identifying what the root causes were, it was His Majesty Haile Sellassie First, King of Kings, Lion of Judah and the looter of Eritrea and killer of Eritreans. Who wanted war? Not Eritreans if they were left alone even after they reluctantly settled for federation to avoid violence and bloodshed. So Eritreans are to be held responsible for the waves and waves of soldiers who came to subjugate and break our resolve for self-determination? By the way, the EPRDF was our ally in finishing off the oppressive machine of Derg as well. No one is responsible for blood shed in pursuit of freedom. This is true to all experiences of humanity, we are no different.

          Having said that, some of us recognize that not every affair requires violent confrontation. What I mentioned is better left for historians, universities, and scholars while the citizens drive for peace and reconciliation. And reconciliation is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of maurity, humility and practicality. We do not want to live in a neighberhood awash with blood. Centuries of violence is enough already. And this conviction should not be counted against us.

          When we made the call, 11 years ago and now, we are not counting on the bloodthirsty among us, but the parents who had enough, the children who are dreaming of a better future, the peasants who want nothing but to be left alone to cope with life. We are counting on mature and sane people like you.

          NB: I used your comment as a springboard not because I take you for granted, but because I trust you. It is important to me that people like you are knowledgeable about the way we think. Please take this seriously because I take everything you say seriously, to understand, not to make it a wedge issue.

          Thank you

          • Dear Mr. Saleh Johar,

            Your comment is extremely enlightening. I have already read it twice, and I will read it again many times more.
            You have made it vividly clear the dividing line between the victims and those who ill-treated them, the culprit and the innocent and the brutal rulers and their powerless subjects. Thank you very much.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Horizon, do you note how much you mean to peace lovers? that is you so far. you must keep it up. one day soon we may all see each other God willing. this massage is just to say – take everything serious. keep going in the same direction -peace – if your core aim is peace as we have witnessed you will never fail. we are all with you.

          • Hope

            Your excellency,
            God bless you man!
            Dima demay Huka we naika/ Kudan,
            Hope

        • Woldai

          Horizon

          Do you think Badme is the cause of the border war? If so , how? I’m just curious.

          • Hope

            Pls,Woldai,
            This is an obsolete topic—Let us move forward.

          • Rahwa T

            Hope,
            Sometimes you talk sensible. Then why are you repeating Adi Murug, Adi Murug,? How do you see the above great point to that of your same-comment-as-usual?

          • Hope

            Rahwa,
            Refer to my latest response to you—Unfortunately,you are obssessed with asking the same question over an dover which is the defininition of xxxxxxxx,which I do not believe you are.
            I brought that issue as a historical fact that should have been addressed publically,eventhough the intention of PIA seems to be to avoid escalation,which I am not in a position to judge it either way after things happened and that was my point with Semere H….no need to brag about after things happenned eventhough his intention seems to be positive and an FYI–thing,at least to be optimistic and positive.
            Do NOT forget that it was you and T Kifle who are still obssessed with–“Remorse,Apology,Mekelle School bombing…”–yada,yada……
            Good luck to you.
            N.B You seem that the AT has given you a new job of checking and scrutinizing on us..huh…just kidding.

        • Hope

          Thanks the Amabssador of Peace.
          Baduma:
          In my opinion,Non-issue any more-and -let it be the Golan Heights of Eritrea
          Compromise:
          Yes indeed but should be mutual and should be reciprocated—
          Eritreans’ Fear:
          None at all,NADA…
          Trust:
          Yes—that is a legitimate issue and we should work on it but it will take me.
          Haile spoke of “Guarantees” and those “Guarantees” should be mutual and should be reciprocated by both Nations and both Peoples.
          As a starter:
          -I would invite Teddy Afro and Helen Meles and /or Berekt Menghiste’Ab to Washington,D.C.Atlanta,Seattle,LA,Chicago,Boston,Dallas/Houston;London,Stockholm,Bolgna,Oslo,Melbourne ,Frankfurt,etc..,and invite all interested Ethiopians and Eritreans and you will notice the real fact-Love/Peace—
          -I would invite the Religious Leaders of both sides as a gesture of Good Will—-and let us invite the Faithful of both Nations–and you will see the real fact/Love/Peace.
          I tried and experienced both case scenarios—-I loved and enjoyed it.
          I share mostly the same Sunday Mass with Ethiopians and we sing both Amharic and Tigrigna Spiritual Songs–and I feel —blessed,happy–no fear,what-so-ever!
          Am I a Hepocrit then exchanging words with the Ethiopians here?May be and I have learned a hard lesson in a hard way.But that is the side my Human Nature but no excuse though….I might change though my nick—a warning to the Moderator
          I attend or go to Ethiopian Parties and I enjoy it—-and I see lots of Eritreans/Amiches included and I see the love and Peace–NO fear.
          Did you see or heard about Teddy Afro’s Concert in Amsterdam,Holland?
          Eyob can chop us a bit.
          Believe it or not,by a gross estimate,I was told,taht more than 50- 70% of the Attendees/Partiers were Eritreans….
          My point:
          It is so easy for both peoples to have peace in nano-seconds.
          Of egos,ambitions,jealosy,etc–yes indeed,you are right—-These are Satanic aprameters or qualifiers and they should be banned and dropped off.
          unfortunately,we know the reason behind the curtain blocking both of us,which seems to be beyond the real people.

          • “It is so easy for both peoples to have peace in nano-seconds.” AMEN to that, Hope.

            For a second I had a picture of you in my mind carrying a banner with these famous words written on it, “Let us give peace a chance”. With time, I wish we could even call you “Hope, the Peace Maker”.

            TRUST is the key word. No amount of guarantees, verbal or written, will drive away the ages old suspicion between the two people. Let us therefore invest on TRUST.
            Thank you.

          • Hope

            Love you Bro/Sis…my apology, as I did not want to offend you by calling U with a wrong gender.
            God bless you and :
            Good Night

          • Hope, for your information, I am a male. Do you remember Shum’s 10-point questions? He forgot to ask me my
            gender.

            By the way, where is Shum? We miss him. I was expecting that he would use the 10-point questions to tell us few
            things about himself. Then, we could go on like that. Just kidding. This way there is a danger that we would turn Awate.com strictly to a Social Network Site.

          • Shum

            Hey Horizon,

            I’m on vacation but i will return soon. I see I took it at the wrong time. I’m missing out on some great things on Awate. Anyway, I knew you were male from the beginning. I can pretty much tell someone’s gender by their posts even the ones that are not truthful about their gender. Anyway, I thought you were going to follow up and ask someone else those questions or come up with your own. When I return, I’ll answer them for sure.

          • Selam Shum,
            Have a great vacation. Enjoy yourself.
            Horizon.

          • Shum since I enjoyed your 10 questions to Horizon; I am not going let you have a vacation. So here tell me this……I am sure you agree that…
            “We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.”
            I.E. “A COUNTRY is controlled by LAWS
            LAWS are controlled by POLITICIANS
            POLITICIANS are controlled by VOTERS
            VOTERS are controlled by PUBLIC OPINION
            PUBLIC OPINION is controlled by the MEDIA & EDUCATION
            SO; who controls MEDIA & EDUCATION?”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Nitrihkay,

            You surprised me this time. This is the first sensible question to see from you. Good one, except you have to re-frame the quoted statement. It should be framed as: “we need good laws to restrain bad people; and we need good people to protect us from bad laws.” The rest are logical the way you put it. Since the question is for “Shum” I will not attempt to answer your question. Thumbs up this time for you.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Horizon:
            When we remove the dictator, then we have a huge task of cleaning the mess to bring Eritrea to a stable country with the rudimentary pillars of democracy in place just like Ethiopia. This is the challenge ahead. The peace between the two people is the easiest one, look after 30 years war we did not take our guns and knifes and murder each other, the credit partly goes to Ghedli for teaching the people our enemy is dergi and not the Ethiopian people who are under the same brutal dictator went the line when talking about our enemies and friends. Also look at the situation in after carnage of 1998, Eritrean flocked to Ethiopia without fear of been cleansed, Ethiopia was safer for them than their own country. The reach out the Ethiopian government has showed coupled with the opposition’s work on differentiating between our brutal dictator and our people helped quell some of the simmering hatred. You cannot completely get rid of bigots from both sides, but are people blood brothers with intermarriages since time immoral. You will hear all the smarmy putdowns for the rest of your life from both sides and if the leaders are not bigots like what we have in Eritrea now, a pedestrian bigot’s comments will not matter if not bolstered by the powers that be. If visionaries come to power we can draw free trade agreements for free movement of goods and ideas, complementing each other to create the economic power house in our region with our unique experience. The 50 years were a wasted opportunity cost that should not be repeated, even the last 16 years were a waste for Eritrea as it fights for its very survival

        • Hope

          To Presid Obama:
          -“—–the US was even entertaining the withdrawal of the border decision or something to that effect, because of the behavior of DIA.”
          That means the USA is against the Interest of Eritre as a Nation and Eritreans as people,which has been the case any way since 1950s.
          And that has been the de facto stand of the USA as well.
          The then newly assigned Mediator by “Amb” Jendayi Frazor and herself,said the same thing indirectly by requesting to change some Latitudes,Longitudes and few Degrees of the Badum Border area.Didn ‘t they?

    • Wildai

      It’s all from Eritrea’s leaders! Your leaders failed you , nevertheless, I don’t know why you add ethiopia into your failure! Ethiopia have done everything it can to help you achieve your indeoendence! Instead of solving your problems now, you guys are talking about the past! You are officially indeoendent, what is the benefit of bringing the past? Instead of discussing the present you are failing again by going back to history which no one can change! You’re trying to put Ethiopia into two faces of one coin! Nobody thought Eritrea to be where it is now & you don’t know what Isaias is cooking for the future Eritrea! I listen to your discussions everywhere in the cyber space, nevertheless , I didn’t hear anything that can free Eritrea from its mess! What I fear is, You seem that you are failing Eritrea again! Instead of Minilik, Haileselassie…& shit, discuss on how to free Eritrea now! The country is in a dire situation!

  • haileTG

    Hello Awatistas,

    I think the emphasis of the meeting of Obama and Ethiopian PM was security, pure speculation. What is your take?

    http://www.soderetube.com/watch.php?vid=36872d7a8

    • Eyob Medhane

      Haile,

      The security thing was mentioned as an after thought. Obama talked about a whole bunch of things, let PMHD talk and then said “two more points” and then talked about somalia and elections….May be at the actual meeting, there as emphasis on security, but their photo op and press conference did not give that impression…

  • TPLF is anti peace. They are corrupted to the core. Some times AT come down at me for not differentiating between TPLF and the people of Tigray. But in my heart when I say Tigrayn; all I am saying and I meant is TPLF. The people Tigray benefited nothing from this TPLF gangs. The TPLF thieves used the people of Tigray to prolong their power and their corrupted way of life.
    Here is where Abadi Zemo lives. What does he do for living? How much is his monthly salary? What is his main income? You can not ask those questions then you be charged with terrorism and no one will hear from you. any peace attempt between Eritrea and the people of Tigray is impossible as long as the TPLF exists. They have to be eradicated. There are not even good to their people. I will present to evidences and you will be the judge.
    Zemo’s house

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bnk5ywJIAAAp7Iq.jpg:large

    • And now here are the ordinary people of Tigray. They don’t even have a clean water to drink. So, how exactly are the people to say benefited from the TPLF gangsters? Again for real peace TPLF has to go.

      http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2009/10/14/2292184/DeepEthiopianwell.jpg

      • Hayat Adem

        Nitricc, shishish!…some serious people are discussing serious stuff. Don’t disturb, please!!!

        • You know how you keep telling us that your country Tigray how well-off they are under the TPLF gangs. Now, can you tell me why they can’t even put one toothless generator so, the poor people they don’t have to lose their life to get the dirty water that will kill them anyways? What kind of health care do they have out there? You can not cure anyone medically when this people are drinking that kind water. Did you see the difference between Eritrea and your booming economy? Did you see where the TPLF gang Zemo lives and the poor people. Compare it and come back to me. Where is the seasoned TPLF cadre, TK. He got to answer this if he has any testicles.
          SAD!

        • Kokhob Selam

          ብኡነት !! ኣርኪቡ ‘ዚ ድማ :: ወዮ ዝበሃል ዘሎ ኩሉ ኣብ ዓቢ መጽናዕቲ ኣእትዩና ኣሎ : ንሱ ድማ ኣብ ሞንጎ ሃለውለው ይብል ::

          • Abdelaziz stop kissing up. it is not good for your soul. what exactly new is discused in here that so important to make you say that? you are nothing but weakest link and hypocrite.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Oh! it seems you remember our old days. I learn a lot from that time to dated. you said “you are nothing but weakest link and hypocrite.” if searching and working for peace of my two beloved people describes me so let me be. It is love of people my friend and it takes a lot of effort to reach.

            Now, Nitricc, the level of debate going on is people to people. creating harmony among the to nations people, what makes you against it?

          • Hope

            tekalitika kokheb selam!—arkibulka bel Acetto.
            But he has points though as he is responding to the bluff/Gurra of our neighbors are preaching us about Ethiopia being doing well.
            Plus,”sew ende betu enji ende ghorebetu aynorim”,which goes for both Eritea and Ethiopia,btw.

          • Kokhob Selam

            “”sew ende betu enji ende ghorebetu aynorim”,which goes for both Eritea and Ethiopia,btw.” that works perfect for both. the question is you don’t have to fight with your neighbor at that your relative neighbor. peace is possible when you want it. it is just ready for you when you keep respecting others. when you follow your God given software in your brain that says ” don’t hurt others….” peace and love between brotherly people will be materialized if we are willing to clean our internal problems like having illegal management who don’t know where he is heading (PFDJ).

          • Hope

            —come on Kokheb Selam..who is for peace and who is not for peace?
            This forum can answer the question easily.
            Our priority is:
            To make peace within oursleves and creat a United and Strong Eritrea and Eritreans–while attempting to make peace with our neighbors.
            Look at what they are telling us to our face—-it is literally saying like:
            “Go to HELL,we do NOT need you and we do not need dealing with your dying regime; and relationship with Eritrea is NOT our priority now.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hope, it seems you didn’t see the latest post of SAAY7 and Amuni. and even you didn’t read my last poem. I am not blinded by love and peace that I dream. I know how relation ship in politics works. I know there are people with narrow mind over there and here on our side. and I know there are steps to reach to the Highest stage of love. cleaning the past of both is one thing but making peace within self is the first priority. you can do that only by admitting we have our homework. here, Saay7 is saying something that let me stop temporally about the region. even he put clearly why PFDJ is saying “we don’t have opposition “loudly.

            forget about the past debates we had, come and say what we should do first in solving our internal problems. do it honestly.

          • Hope

            Kokhobay,did U read me saying:
            Our priority is:
            To make peace within oursleves and creat a United and Strong Eritrea and Eritreans–while attempting to make peace with our neighbors.
            There is NO need of honesty here–it is straight forward.

          • Kokhob Selam

            my question is not in what you are saying today. that is already yours and mine (common ground ). now what is to be done to solve our diff fences. PFDJ didn’t give any peace space to solve the problem simply there is no system. there is nothing to talk about it for me. if you have any let me here it now.

            but there is wide space solving differences between opposition just because none said I will lead Eritrean with out system. so, can we make our opposition united and come to the common grund (having democratic nation) ? that is my question Hope.

          • Hope

            Well,that has been my question big Bro.
            The answer is simple but complex.
            That should be the topic of the day–
            -Rapproachemnt
            -Reconcilaition and Unity among the Eritreans:
            1) Among us as a People,
            2)Among Intellectuals/individuals/Families/communities
            3)Among Media People
            4)Activists
            5)Among parties/organizations
            How and in what way?That is the most difficult and intricate one.
            Reconciliation -with whom and how?
            That should have been the Priority of the priorities rather than begging our neighbors for this and that.
            I am afraid that : “We have agreed not to agree”—Harbegna WeldeAb W/Mariam??
            But still that should NOT be the excuse.
            -The old and past grudges should be elimnated
            -There should be compromise
            -get rid of obsolete egos,self-grandiosity,ambitions
            -Create common ground principles
            -ehim mihim—should be the modus oerandi
            -Listen to each other
            -Create common working guidelines
            -Respect each other

          • Hope

            Read “oerandi” as ” operandus”

        • saba

          ….still here? I guess you dont get it!

          BTW upvotes from guests have been increasing dramatically.

          Regards

      • Woldai

        Nitric

        With out a doubt, TPLF was there & will be there! No one can touch it!

        And also, when you are talking about Tigrian , make sure whether you are talking about Ethiopian Tigrian or Eritrean Tigrian, you know what I’m talking about?

        So many wasted their time saying “TPLF must go” nevertheless , they themselves are gone forever!

    • House of Staark

      Hi Nitricc
      He get his money from human smuggling and organ harvestting

    • Hope

      -Come on,this is a quite affordable Villa/mansion that any Middle ClassTigreyan/Ethiopian can build in Tigray for less than $150K.
      Let the Ethiopians audit him as it has nothing to do with us.

  • Gebrekirstos

    A daring call and a logical end:
    Dear
    HaileTG, Amanuel, Horizon and the people who have called on the people of greater Horn Africa, I have one call to all of you !

    As I have tried to indicate in my previous posts, the normalization of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea will be marred by many calculations, miscalculations and realpolitik. As long as Eritrea is an independent and sovereign country, it will be treated by Ethiopia as such at best, like any other neighboring countries Kenya, Sudan, etc. The belief and view that the Ethio-Eritrea normalization will usher in unleashing of economic benefits is either an exaggeration or an assumption that Ethio-Eritrean relations will enjoy pre-1998 type of relations. The later, I think, is wrong for there is no reason why Eritrea should be treated differently from Kenya, Somalia. The pre-1998 type of relations is gone and somethings do not return once they are gone. Even if Ethiopia thinks it can have special relationship with Eritrea, it is not possible in current reality of Ethiopia.

    I have another proposal: an audacious one ! To get the maximum benefit, strength, and above all to make a great history of our generation, why not summon up courage, take what you guys have started to its logical end and propose a union, a federal arrangement? This will be a great history and great rallying point for both Ethiopians and Eritreans. If German unification could happen, why not Ethio-Eritrea? And I can not think of a greater cause and a greater history for this generation of Eritreans and Ethiopians than this !

    • Dude don’t get carried away. Just get your begging culture and get the hell out of Eritrean land. We did not pay the best and the brightest just to join your way of living. We are paying the price so to rip the rewards and why will we join you in to the way of no exit? That is what it is. You will never able to get out of begging and aid. I suggest you pay attention to paying the price of freedom; freedom has price and Eritrea is paying it. So, thanks but No, thanks. All you have to do is leave the land and no more.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Nitricc,
        .
        How is the new family? You said all you do now is drink bears and save the lid ornaments. I beg you, not to drink too much and post.
        .
        K.H

    • haileTG

      Gere

      Nothing daring about this. When both countries make peace and normalize. Their business, manufacturing, power and transport sectors would interact so much that investors from both country would push for harmonization of many regulations, do away with red tape and single taxation. They might even wish to push for easier currency transactions and making border crossings virtually open and unregulated. These would be business driven developments and would feel natural to both peoples at the right time. But the seeds of trust and good will need to be planted today for it to give fruit in few decades. Are you Gebrekiristos doing your part for such or you just want swallow us alive 🙂

      • Gebrekirstos

        Hi HaileTG,
        I find the assumption that normalization of relations followed by business relations would lead to a union (something close). No matter how close they get, it remains a different type of relationship, not union. Why is a union scary (“swallow us alive”) for Eritreans? In a union, both people feel a sense of ownership of everything and that is totally different from close relationship.

        • haileTG

          Gere,

          “Why is a union scary (“swallow us alive”) for Eritreans?” Is an excellent question. Let’s now investigate the answer, yes together…why is a Union scary to Eritreans… good question, and I have every faith that the answer isn’t far, if we look…:-)

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Gebrekirstos,

      Let me appreciate your goodwill to mend the relationship of both countries whatever shape and form it might take and evolve. My answer will dwell on two critical things (a) on the historical background (b) on the role of my generation. Let me factorize these two points.

      (a) There is no “historical parallel” on the East-West-Germany historical context and the Ethio-Eritrean historical context. I will try to give a little historical background to differentiate the historical context of the two realities. When Germany was defeated by the allied army in World War-II, it was partitioned into four zones of occupation notably by Russia, America, France, and British. Later on the three zones became West Germany and the Eastern zone became East Germany. As we know the partition of Germany became the origin of the well known “cold war” that lasted in 1989. Germany was divided by external powers and wasn’t the desire of the German people. So it was natural that the Germans will be united at one point of their history. In 1989, the fall of the Soviet Union had galvanized the unification of the two Germany which sealed the union on October 3. 1990. Therefore, there wasn’t any historical contest the two Germany to remain divided. In the Ethio-Eritrean case, there was historical contest that divided the two countries. Eritrea was colonized for 60 years by the Italians, followed for 10 years under the British Protectorate. In 1952 the UN officially granted Federation. In 1962 The Ethiopian government abrogated the federal arrangement and annexed Eritrea to be one of the 14 Ethiopian provinces. The rest is the 30 years bloody war which ended in 1991. All this historical implications will not bring us to unity at least in my generation. There are many alternative to unity. For instance, though it might ask us a long journey to build trust, “the confederation of the regional states” is possible and doable. That is my realistic dream.

      (b) The role of my generation at this point is to pass the torch to our young generation and make them to take the stock of our nation in their hands. In the process my generation could offer help to build good relationship with our neighbors in particular and with region in general to cultivate the confederate states of the horn of Africa at least as a long project. With the passage of my generation, the generation that follows us will go by the dynamics of their time and will adjudicate the politics that benefit them as well as to the region. Gebre, if you are from my generation from the opposite side of the river is to cultivate this noble idea and foresee beyond Ethio-Eritrean relationship. Join us and let us contribute towards that effect.

      • Gebrekirstos

        Hi Amanuel,
        Thank you for your reply. I am not from your generation (like I said before I am a young generation Ethiopian ,late 20s and early 30s).

        To your points:
        on b) I do not understand the feasibility and the need for the confederation of the horn states. I think the Ethio-Eritrea case is more feasible and has the potential and necessary links. Even If we should consider the confederation of the states, we should start small such as Ethiopia and Eritrea and expand to include more. We (Ethiopians) think we have an excellent relationship with all our neighbours (minus Eritrea) and we do not see the need (at this time) to take it to confederation.

        on a) If we discount the 30 years independence struggle, it becomes more or less the same story as the German case. It is also not necessary for Ethiopia and Eritrea to have a German-type experience to achieve a union. But more importantly, since the root of the problem can be traced to colonialism, we (Ethiopians and Eritreans) can refuse to be defined by it forever. We can refuse to be hostages and chart a new future for ourselves. This way we show the world that we are people who own their destiny and make history that others can refer for inspiration.

    • Hope

      Dear Gherenchiel hawina,
      We are here to debate on realand serious issues,not for “hashewiye or for some kind of western style prescriptions.
      Plus:
      Any kind of Confederation or integration should be preceeded by some kind of relationship.
      Remember as to what happenned when you tried to rush into invadingus or incorportaing chunks of Eritrean Lands and to the extent of attempting to capture Aseb.
      Keep dreaming—–
      One thing is true:
      Eritrea NOT only can survivie and do well but will even out shine in a matter of a-short-term plan of 5yrs provided we are left alone and the bad system is gone for good and after we reclaim what belongs to us.
      We do NOT need any preferential treatment of any kind but we are only asking for a peaceful co-existence like you are doing with the Sudan and kenya.Nothing more,NOTHING less.Meaning,just Peace with real or perceived threat so as to move forward and use our resources for peaceful end.
      In the event,if you still believe and you are tsuck in and obssessed with weakening Eritrea;and believe that the status quo of No Peace and No War or even a worse new Policy will hurt Eritrea,well,go for it.
      Eritrea have million options—provided that you pack up and stay away from us and be yourself.
      Poor Hailat–why would you even waste your time debating with this kind of people,who knowingly are here to confuse and create chaos.
      Peace is simple provided that there is a good will from both sides,which I do not see.

      • Hope

        Pls read:”Eritrea have million options” as Eritrea has a trillion options.
        And :” Read as” Peace without real or perceived threat”.
        Hailat:
        Do u believe U can convince T Kifleyesus ,Gherenchiel and Fetima ?
        Do u believe Fetima is from the South Etiopia?
        Check aigsfor and walta info Ctr as to how the tiger yams abuse Oromo names .
        It is just futile as U might have proven now to deal with the tigreyans.
        Reason:Jealousy,Hassadinet,inferiority complex and fear with paranoia thinking that they will be isolated miserably if Eritreans make enduring peace with the Amharas and the Oromos…
        This is an opinion based on history and from their open comments here and at tigraionline and aigaforum.
        Good luck to u.

        • sholla

          hey dud hahahaha!!
          if you are not good to your immidiate kins/tigrians, how could one seriously expect you to be a friend of amara, oromo, or a werji, you are nothing but a hater and toothless shabya gang ahhhh!!!!!! some times reading or listning is better than writing or talking for people like you and me. for your information our national unity is stronger than ever since you left the union, for that if you hate one you hate us all, at the end of the day you have no much to offer to the debate any way. g.kirstos and fetima are fully capable of defending themselves, but i chose to show a solidarity with my people no matter what.

          • hope

            Hey Dude,
            We know well how to deal with other Ethiopians as they are not jealous, hassadat,fearful and paranoid

          • Eyob Medhane

            Hope,

            No you don’t. The biggest hole in many Eritreans view of Ethiopia is not knowing and unable to understand of “other” Ethiopians. If you think that any Ethiopian would fall in love with you because you called the entire people of of Tigray “.. jealous, hassadat,fearful and paranoid…” You are very much mistaken. Just by doing that you fired a signaling shot that you are not to be trusted. As Sholla said if you had many of the nasty things that I quoted and you said about people of Tigray, who by any definition your immediate and closest kin, what would you say to those that are not related to you in language, culture and traditions? In Amharic it is said ወዳጅህ ሲታማ : ለኔ ብለህ ስማ:: (Have it translated)

            Awate Team…

            I see a trend of a wholesale insulting of the people of Tigray lately. I would have thought that violates your policy. It would have been nice, if you enforced it, or let us know, if the policy has been changed…

          • haileTG

            Hey Eyob, let me beat the Jebenasists to translation of ወዳጅህ ሲታማ : ለኔ ብለህ ስማ::

            ትግርኛ፡ ዓርክኻ ጭሕሙ ክልጸ፡ ጭሕምኻ ማይ ልኸ…
            English: When your lover is being gossiped about, you’re probably in it too…haha

          • Hope

            ….Keep begging the tigreyans to give U peace while they are doing their best to destroy U underground and even openly on a day light.
            Good luck.

          • Hope

            –add ? to my question at the end.

          • Hope

            Swallow the bitter truth that it is what it is.
            Review each and every comment by most Tigreyans here in this forum and on tigraionline.
            And who said that this forum gave a green light to the other side to say and to do whatever they want to do so.

          • Rahwa T

            Hope,
            From what you told us in your earlier comments, you are about 50 years old, but still with childish brain. Get matured man. You are talking nonsense.

    • Fetima Dechasa

      Absolutely not! No no no under no circumstances should this be allowed, Ethiopia is finally at peace with self and trying to take a breeze fresh air.

      I know you mean well but this is a BIG no no.

      • Abugida

        I completely agree with you.Any attempt to unite Eritrea with Ethiopia in any form ( be it union,federation,confederation) is an “act of treason” for me.It is detrimental for Ethiopia’s national interest.Eritrea must be seen like any other neighboring country-No favoritism .No special relationship.period

        • dawit

          Dear Abugida;
          who want or desire ‘Special relation’? Ethiopia or Eritrea? Who want to take Asab by force? Who is occupying Bademe against world legal opinion? Who want to overthrow Eritrean government by force? If you answer those simple questions, then you would pass to Melkte Yohanis and you will be on your way to read dawit. Otherwise with your kind of thinking, you are going to repeat Abugida for the rest of your life?
          Peace
          dawit

      • haileTG

        Hey, Fetima,

        Quid pro quo: You said “Ethiopia is finally at peace with self”, however, you seem not to feel any priority or urgency about those Ethiopians closer to the border with Eritrea and how it is adversely affecting their fortunes to be paying higher price than those closer to Kenya or Somalia. Take for example, many towns in Tigray, they house historic artifacts of the region from thousands of years, its citizens paid the highest price in Ethiopia today in life and limb to make the current situation in Ethiopia possible, God has endowed them with the most easily and securely accessible location to and fro the rest of the world by being a mere 3hr from the Red Sea Coasts (like Adi Grat and Axum). Is it not fair that these people be helped to get their due from realization of peace and what is essentially their God given? How can we say Ethiopia is at peace with it self, if the misfortunes of one Ethiopian isn’t the same to the other Ethiopian?

        Regards

        • Fetima Dechasa

          Dear Haile,

          While I appreciate your concern for the people of Tigrai region, who in my opinion are doing better than ever, I am not one to discuss my household matters (Ethiopia) with my neighbors. I am only here to discuss topics involving the regional issues.

          Thank you.

          • hahahahaha lol She told you Haile. lol
            Fatuma Dechasa, huh?. fine you can name your self Fatuma but why Dechasa? funny.
            there is always the first.

          • haileTG

            hey Fetima, my response will appear soon 🙂 disqus did it again!

          • Kim Hanna

            selam Fetima Dechasa,
            .
            I was delighted to read your comments in a clear, concise and respectful way. I hope you will continue to contribute to the future discussions. I look forward to reading your perspective.
            .
            K.H

          • Hope

            —But the topic now is about Ethio-Eri relationship though.Am not sure why you are debating here then.
            Anta Hailat,
            Lementi ember amsilkana abzi in our own house.
            Let us ,rather,work hard to bring real change in our own Eritrea…buddy—.

          • gecho

            I am an Ethiopian who lived in Asmara in the 80s and had the opportunity to visit several times in the 90s. I have experienced many delightful occasions of Eritrean hospitality and friendships. I also experienced what made me feel alienated and sad on many occasions. But I choose to dwell on the positive for my own sake. I wish to see a prosperous, peaceful, and friendly Eritrea.

            I feel there is a great deal of benefit such Eritrea can bring to the horn in general and to Ethiopia in particular. What is uncertain is the cost associated with these benefits. I gather the majority of the comments from Ethiopians here indicate that they somehow feel the cost may most likely outweigh the benefits. These suspicions are mainly based on the belief that, over the years, not much has changed on the part of “some”/”many” Eritreans in their perceptions of Ethiopia. If you listen to the details of these perceptions you hear a description of Ethiopia that any normal human being will not like. I acknowledge these “descriptions” are results of years of “conditioning” that are way complex for any one to analyse and rationalize. But in time, with the right attitudes, these perceptions can be deconstructed and a truer perception takes its place. How much time it takes is up to us.

            I feel this platform for open dialogues is one of the many ways we can reduce the real and perceived “costs” of our relationships and maximize the benefits.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam gecho,
            .
            You took the idea right out of my head. I was trying to say just that for a long long long time but went here and there without ever nailing it. I was one frustrated man.
            .
            You did in one go and painted the picture perfectly, thank you.
            .
            K.H

      • Hope

        —-what if the real people choose it or vote for it?
        You see how blind and deaf you are when it comes to your mindset?
        And you are allowed here to debate about Peace and Integration!
        What a hypocrisy!!
        You got some kind virulent virus in your head,man,even worse than that of HIV or Herpes Type II

      • dawit

        Dear Decasa,
        You must be hallucinating or smoking something to think that way. ‘Ethiopia is finally at peace’. Of course one can think that way, if he or she considers, Ethiopia that excludes, the people of Ogaden, the Gambela, the Sidama, the Afar, the G-7, TPDM, OLF and Arbegnoch Ginbar etc. By your definition of peace, Ethiopia was also at peace during Haile Selassie and DERG periods!
        Peace
        dawit

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Here is a riddle for all those who say the Ethio-Eritrea relationship issue is a back burner matter in our interests:-)

    – Look at all the recent articles at awate.com

    1) the three articles that deal with regional issue and their level of participation:

    – Eritrea hands over Djibouti officer and Ethiopia gives assurances to the latter (151 comments)

    – Call to moderates in the horn (147 comments)

    – IA visit to Egypt (324 comments)

    2) Every other issue that deals with matters of Eritrean politics or victims didn’t attract a mere 25 comments and 50 at most (none did that high anyway)

    So, what does the above say about the interest of participants? And if we thought it was a back burner issue, then why does it motivate so much participation?

    The question might be that if our mouth is where our heart is? I think the normalization of the relationship between both peoples is one of the most dominant issue of our times. We know it, we just need courage to come to terms with it. It is an issue that saddens most people and promotes an outpouring of opinions whenever it is raised as a subject.

    Regards

    • Kokhob Selam

      Yep Hailat, reading all those comments, and the articles on the top, it is an era where we see our minds are ready and willing to act for peace.

      • Hope

        Neday nay Libu yihalim

        • Kokhob Selam

          Hope, that is true. I had a lot of dreams and they use to tell me ” Naday Nay Libu yihalem” but Naday has two meanings. I have seen most of my dreams in real and the remaining are few. the best one is to see PFDJ exposed which use to seem impossible when most of the people were converted to that side. I am satisfied and I am enjoying my life. if that is already a reality why not HORN PEACE ? sure it will be materialized in near future.

          • Hope

            Vet arkey,U need a partner to make peace,not an enemy—keep dreaming though.
            Our priority is –refer to my response :
            -Build a United and strong Eritrea and Eritreans first….as that is the precondition to seek for peace as the Ethiopians are trying to tell U to your face:
            “You are weak and dead,why should we care making a relationship or peace with you with weak and dead and nation and people”.
            Reda T Kifle and Ms Fetima and “Ghebrekristos”

    • Gebrekirstos

      I wonder why the participants interest can be considred a proof for the need for normalizations of relations. Mind you, I am not saying there is no need for normalization of relations, but just the amount of reaction to regional news does not seem one by which you measure. Maybe there is a need from Eritrea (I do not know how many Ethiopians and people from other countries participate in awate); maybe the fact that Ethiopians watch Eritrea’s engagement with Egypt with suspicion and keep an eye; maybe Ethiopians want to keep Eritrea at where it is now, etc. The point: by no means does the amount of comments show an interest, for example, from Ethiopians for normalization. However, from other anecdotal evidences, I can also sense that there are many people from Ethiopia who would like normalization of relations. Your conclusion and premises do not concur.
      Gebre

      • haileTG

        Selam Gebre,

        When something is unnatural, it disturbs the conscience and makes the soul restless. Please, be the guest and tell us why would it dominate everything else by leaps and bounds then. As they say “love is blind” 🙂

  • Gebrekirstos

    selamat,
    Thank you HaileTG for pointing to me one sane example of people-to-people relationship, Hope for pointing out Horizon (I read carefully his comments to Fetima where he has provided some answers for the questions I asked). Above-all, thank you Horizon for attempting to answer my questions.

    I have no disagreement with Horizon’s ideas. I already mentioned (in my post) that it is in the benefit of both countries to build and maintain a good relationship. Both countries would gain socially, economically, etc. Ethiopians and Eritreans have many commonalities, as you rightly said it and it makes no sense not to build on those commonalities. People in Ethiopia see Eritreans as their brothers and sisters; not sure on the Eritrean side where every little difference there is is dug out to prove that Eritreans are different, civilized, etc. I quote you “if one can have a friend there is no reason whatsoever why one should create an enemy out of a potential friend”. This is indeed how things should be, but in reality that is not how things are.

    If we think of ourselves, we do not befriend every person. we have a select few friends whom we trust and for whom we give and from whom we take. It is important that we do not feel we are giving too much in a friendship without receiving a proportional amount from the other. It becomes even hard if you feel the friend whom you give much is not grateful, betrays you, backbites you, wishes you ill and hates you. In short, we stay in a friendship if we feel it is safe, trustworthy, dependable, wishes us good luck, and we do feel we gain something from the friendship.

    Now, countries are not like persons in many ways. But since the actors are people, we can anthropomorphize the countries and it wont be hard to see that the things that apply for friendship will also apply at the inter-country relationship and friendship level. In fact, countries are competitive and they will always try to maximize their benefit. Accordingly, countries have closer relations with some than with others.

    I think that quantifying (if possible), or describing the benefits of healthy relationship between our countries comes before talk of building the relationship. Understanding that there is a benefit for each respective countries creates a sense of urgency with which each country works to build the relationship seriously. We act to the degree we believe; if we believe the relationship brings huge benefits, we exert a proportional effort to achieve it. If Ethiopia (Ethiopians) are not convinced that there is big gain in a good relationship with Eritrea, they wont do much to have one.

    Further, Ethiopians must be convinced that the gains from the relationship must outweigh the potential damages. This must be seen in light of current hostilities, egos, mistrust, competitions, a desire to topple one another, historical events and attitude of the Eritrean elite and people and above all other alternative options Ethiopia has at hand. In the case Ethiopia believes that Eritrea is a potential threat , it is in the interest of Ethiopia that Eritrea remains weak. This is basically the choice of a lesser evil. The mistrust is so big that there are people who think resuming Ethio-Eritrea relationship might be a bad idea because Eritrea will gain more capacity which it can use to create more problems in Ethiopia. Afterall, many Ethiopians do think that the current state of Eritrea and Eritreans is a necessary evil to teach Eritreans a lesson one or two: getting off the high horse they have been riding and to do some soul-searching.

    In short, reality is much more complex and the calculations we make to achieve our goals and benefits are layered. I see that Hayat Ahmed has called i questioning the mutual benefit from a healthy relationship unsophostication. Further, she thinks that even if Ethiopia does not gain as much as Eritrea from the relationship, so be it and Ethiopians should embrace that. I find that simplistic in that it does not take Realpolitik into account.

    Gebre

    • Selam Gebrekristos,

      If we examine Ethio-Eritrean relations strictly from the point of view of cost-benefit analysis, then there would be no relationship at all between the two countries. Many Ethiopians still believe that Eritreans would always pose a security problem. I think that this is no more the case. Eritrea can approach Ethiopia only as a friend and not anymore as an enemy, because she has a lot to lose. In addition, many say that she is going to benefit more from the big Ethiopian market compared to what Ethiopia can gain from Eritrea. May be that is true. Nevertheless, if Ethiopia’s much bigger economy cannot compete against Eritrea’s small economy, then the fault is ours. When we compare the two economies, logically trade deficit should burden Eritrea. Despite this, if Eritrea is to gain more, even if it is simplistic, I would say like Hayat Adem, “let it be so”.

      If Eritreans have competitive advantage compared to
      Ethiopians, the only thing we can do is to to work harder and excel them, and not avoid them. If Eritreans can produce a product more efficiently, cheaply and of a better quality compared to Ethiopians, the solution is not to close
      our market, but again to try to become more productive and competitive. If Eritrea can produce more factory products, compared to Ethiopia, which has more workforce, raw materials and energy, then shame on us. If we are afraid of the entrepreneurship of Eritreans, then something is wrong with us, and this should be corrected immediately.

      The economy of the two countries can supplement each
      other. Eritrea can provide the Ethiopian market with products Ethiopia cannot produce, for example, abundant cheap and fresh fish, and Ethiopia would invest less to develop fish farming. On the other hand, Eritrea can import cheap
      electricity and other items from Ethiopia, and it would not be necessary for Eritrea to invest in fossil energy to run her factories, etc.

      Finally, we should know that we cannot weaken a neighbor
      without weakening ourselves, and we cannot punish another country without injuring ourselves too. That is why cooperation between Ethiopia and Eritrea on all fields is important.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Horizon,

        This is the take away quote of the day: “we cannot weaken a neighbor without weakening ourselves, and we cannot punish another country without injuring ourselves too.” Actually I will consider it as “marker for peace” in the effort of mending relationship between the two brotherly people. You are really the ambassador of peace and development. Please keep your effort, it is really worthwhile and noble idea. It is not only rationale but wisdom of humanity.

      • Fetima Dechasa

        Hello Horizon,

        I would like to ask you a few questions and others are also welcome to answer as well.

        1. Why the urgent need for the Ethio-Eri trade collaboration?

        2. What can Eritrea offer Ethiopia that Djibouti and Somaliland from the North, Sudan from the North West, and Kenya from the South cannot offer in a trade competitive market?

        3. I see many mentioning the much cheaper pricing of food and services from Eritrea in comparison with the likes of Djibouti, if so, can you please give me a stat or number that determines this?

        4. What is the demand for “fish” in Ethiopia? Is there a short of supply currently for the demand?

        5. What other goods or services can Eritrea offer Ethiopia?

        6. Are there goods and services Eritrea offers to others in the region such as Sudan, Djibouti, Egypt, and Yemen?

        7. Which countries are economic partners to Eritrea in the region?

        I have a few more, I’ll add them later as I get a better understanding.

        Thank you in advance.

        • haileTG

          Hello Fatima,

          If Horizon doesn’t mind me chipping in a bit here, it is loss due to the absence of peace and cooperation that can be quantified for practical reasons, not the benefits of peace and cooperation. For the latter, the sky is the limit and it is up the demand and creative approaches that determine what Ethiopia can benefit from peace and cooperation in all fields and domains, to different degrees for different rgions and parts. Do you know that you can get up nice and early in Mekelle city, have breakfast and set off at 7 AM and drive to the sea resort Massawa in about 5hrs and you can have lunch at 12:30 PM sharp by the Read Sea. Mekelle, the scene of tremendous historic relics and then the pristine and beautiful sea side resort of Massawa would blow away a traveler. Let’s not reduce the dividends of peace to onions, oranges, one and half kilo of butter and the likes. Peace is an essence, whose possibilities are full of wonders to those blessed with it. 🙂

          Regards

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Dear Haile,

            That sounds lovely for those in the North and Eritrean local businesses but Eritrea is rather far away for some of us, of course there is Kenya if we desire a beach :).

          • haileTG

            Dear Fatima,

            haha..OK Addis Ababa to Massawa is 15 hours and to Mombasa is 25 hours. The road to Massawa is mostly inside Ethiopia, except for the last 2.5 hours drive. To Kenya, you are out of Ethiopia for almost half the drive. By plane, to Massawa is 1hr 24 min and to Mombasa is 2hrs 25min. Can you see the huge economic sense peace makes, even in this minor case?

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Dear Haile,

            I see what you mean. Although I mostly work in Addis Abeba while in Ethiopia, I am not from the city. I’m from far South near Kenya. I’m also very familiar with Kenya and travel there often both for business and pleasure.

          • haileTG

            ah…I am sorry for mis-spelling your first name as Fatima when it in fact is Fetima!! Just noted it with T Kifle’s entry. (Is it different? SGJ also said “gentleman”…hmmm explain it to me please, if you don’t mind that is …I am lost) haha

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Haile,

            The misspelling of my username is of no issue to me and not sure where the gentleman came about because I am in fact a woman.

          • T. Kifle

            Hey Fetima,

            This comment seems to indicate the only acceptable distance you would travel anywhere starts from the point where you stand. When We talk of Kenya it doesn’t mean it conveniently covers the whole of Ethiopia but ideal to server southern Ethiopia , Djibouti and Assab, eastern and central Ethiopia, port Sudan western and north western Ethiopia and the natural outlet for north Ethiopia is Massawa or somewhere between Assab and Massawa. So the question “what Eritrea provides that Kenya or Djibouti couldn’t” is a political rhetoric. Let all outlets be open. Those who opt to avail them would have a choice based on purely business drive. what is the problem if Masawa is to serve people in the north? If nothing else, Eritrea introduces competition to port services in the region thereby reducing the cost of transit expenses.

            But the peace initiative cannot be reduced only to economic dividends that come from that particular country. The internal policy of a country is very much shaped by its environment. A hostile Eritrea keeps the neighbourhood in alert leading to higher defence spending, affecting perceptions of international investors, hence less FDI, tourist inflows, vitiates goodwill in the bigger family of humanity. So there is no point in defending hostility persist. The most stable state of humanity(from the point of energy concept) is the-no-tension-state-of-mind: which is peace. Peace is a state where the least amount of energy sustains the soul. All higher energy states of humanity are inherently destructive. So peace making with Eritrea is not unique. It’s the natural want of the soul for the minimum energy state i.e peaceful life. The rest follows this fundamental axiom.

          • Saleh Johar

            T. Kifle,
            Thank you for explaining it to the gentleman who wants to buy his fish from Mombasa–certainly at the cost of Caviar, just to avoid eating Eritrean fish. It’s disappointing when civilians act like military commanders or diplomats on a negotiating table. And what? Shallow analysis that is driven by hate and ignorance.

            In short, such a call needs positive attitude, no belittling of others, and no changing of hats, but remaining a citizen concerned about the wellbeing of the people. If such an attitude and feelings are not there, one should abstain from making destructive comments and from singing spoiler tunes.

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Sir Saleh,

            Firstly, I am a women as it’s evident from my username and profile. Secondly, shouldn’t it be my prerogative to purchase my fish (which I chose to consume) from wherever my heart desires as well as from where my pocket allows? How is this hate and ignorance?

            As a moderator, can you please quote a previous statement made by me to prove the allegation of hate and ignorance?

            Just because my views don’t aline with yours and those who have similar views as you doesn’t mean I am ignorant or hateful.

          • Saleh Johar

            Apologies Fetima (shall I address you are Miss or Mrs?) I think I will go with madam.

            I didn’t know if Fetima was male or female, so I had to guess, and I guessed male. I was wrong, no big deal since you didn’t introduce yourself. I am familiar with Fatima but not with Fetima. I hope we are fine there.

            I commented as Saleh, not as a moderator. You assumed wrong just like I assumed wrong. We are even.

            The hate and ignorance part is a general observation. In case you missed it, we are discussing country to country relations, not village to village. And we are not reading a restaurant menu, but resources of two neighboring countries. Your bringing Mombasa is disingenuous because it doesn’t’ make sense in the economics of trade between the two countries. The topic is not your shopping preference madam, you can import your fish from Brazil and no one has the right to fault your decision. But a person from Mekkele and or Humera (not to mention Addis Ababa) might have a different view. Besides, we want to sell our fish dear, why deny us that opportunity 🙂

            As I mentioned to T.Kifle, the more we cling to our citizen role, the better. That is the only thing I can say to you,madam.

            Apologies again

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            Small, but interesting trivia…

            In some (not all) Oromo communities, some Islamic names pronounced with a little twist…

            Idris – Idrisa

            Ahmed – Amede (Amedo)

            Halima – Khalima

            Sorry. These are the only ones that could come up from the top my head…..

            P.S Drop by, jebena sometimes, don’t be shy. There are some good stuff there….. 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Thanks Lij Eyob,
            Sometimes we act impulsively and instantly interpret what we read in our mind. I know a few names change as they are adopted in different cultures. For example, Ismael, becomes IsmaleEeel in the surroundings of Keren. Idris becomes Indris and Abubaker becomes Abeker. Just like Gebre Michael becomes Grenchial. Abdul Kerim becomes Abkerim.

            When I first read Fetima’s comments, I immediately assumed it was a Habesha male without giving it a second though. But after the reaction, I looked again and found it is a female Oromo name, (maybe not Oromo, but close). See! We make mistakes, I mistook an Oromo lady for a Habesha man. It was a scandal.

            Tell me Eyob, if I posted using a nick, say Abebech Wendafrash, would you recognize my gender and ethnicity from the tone of my comment, my demeanor and the topic of interest, etc? Of course, an Oromo woman passionately debating soccer with Rodab would be too obvious, an extremely rare incident. Can you guess if a nick and the person behind it match or not?

            But thank you for the extra lesson

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            I can’t believe you went straight for ‘Wondafrash’ 🙂 I suspect there are some Amharic names that amuse you, and Wondafrash must be one.. 🙂

            (Self note) Gash Saleh just gave me an idea to start a fun discussion about naming in the horn of Africa at jebena. 🙂

          • Hope

            Eyobai,
            I was trying to throw similar tips based on my experience with Oromo language and culture though a limited one.
            I was tempted to exchange few words with Ms Fetima in Oromugna/ from Diredawa and Asella..

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Hello again Saleh,

            I accept your apology.

            I am still wondering about your general observation of hate and ignorance so I would like for you to challenge the hate and enlighten my ignorance. To the contrary, it is quite evident as to whom seem to be spreading hatred in the discussion of reconciliation here but I don’t see you calling them out. Biased much?

            Nonetheless, the topic of fish was brought up by Horizon when asked what Eritrea can offer Ethiopian market and I quote,

            “4. It is unfortunate that Ethiopians do not have access
            to fish protein. Providing fish to Ethiopians would improve their protein intake, and good quality protein for that.”

            To which I responded,

            “I am not sure when you were in Ethiopia last, especially in the urbanizing areas but fresh fish are available from Lake Tana, Ziway, Langano, Awassa, Chamo, Abaya, Baro, Omo, etc but you can also now purchase frozen and pre-packaged fish from urbanized markets. There is no reason to travel all the way to the Red Sea.”

            This is fact, Ethiopia has plenty of fresh water rivers and lakes, especially from where I come from so no hate here. But if you offer competitive prices for fish in the near future, I’ll consider buying.

            Haile brought up the sea side resort of Massawa and the distance between Mekelle and Addis to which I responded by saying that sounds lovely for those closer to it but some of us are far away. Is this hatred or disdain toward Eritrea? No, this is fact. In all actuality, my sentiments towards Eritrea is far from hate or resentment, I simply don’t know it, never been there and never thought about traveling there. As the Amarigna saying goes የማያቁት አግር አይናፍቅም።

            I realize that you commented as Saleh but you are still the moderator. As someone who enforces the rules of engagement on this site, you should try to be as objective as possible and restrain from petty, passive aggressive, unwarranted monikers. Your stance or level of aggression shouldn’t differ on whether or not you decide to comment as Saleh or Saleh the moderator, If anything, this sounds like a complete cop out of accountability.

            Additionally, whether you agree or not, every single persons views and opinion are shaped by individual experiences and environment; I am no exception, evidently. However, my stance on the Eritrean issue is not solely influenced by the “village” I happen to come out of rather as a citizen of my beloved country. If anything your “village to village” statement is demeaning, perhaps my views would have been better received by you if I were from bigger towns such as Addis, Mekelle or Jima?

            In moving forward, since you are knowledgable and possess a superior level of comprehension of the situation, please answer my initial question of what it is that Eritrea offers Ethiopia that Djibouti, Sudan, Somaliland, and Kenya cannot for the time being? And please abstain from hypothetical answers such as cheaper prices and high level of productivity without providing factual evidence. Also, distance is will not a be a factor since we are talking competitive trade market.

            Finally, I’d like to say that if things turned out differently and Ethiopia received the short end of the stick, I highly doubt that the sentiments given would be peace and cooperation. Never mind that… many still are roaring false war victories, as palpable even in this very thread. The truth is, every single time an Eritrean proudly rejoices over the spilling of my innocent, unsuspecting brothers and sisters and their children’s blood, another knife goes thru an already opened wound, but I digress. Sovereign Eritrea is in charge of her destiny as is Sovereign Ethiopia. Any reconciliation of sort should be based on mutual benefit, convenience, and understand, not what is dire for one of the parties involved at the moment. As an individual citizen, I support the resolution of the border matter permanently but I don’t believe economic partnership with Eritrea should be a priority of my country right now. This is my stance and it does not represent anyone but ME. In all honesty, my position is often reassured and feel vindicated when I witness a lack of humility by some, smearing of my history, and utter disrespect to my country/people. It also doesn’t help to read statements such as, “If Ethiopia doesn’t benefit as much as Eritrea from the deal, so be it.” (paraphrasing here).

            ዶሮ ታማ በግ ታረደላት፣ አለ የአግሬ ሰው።

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Fatima,

            I don’t want to repeat it again, but Hayat Adem gave you a long and well elaborated explanation as to why economic relation is important between the two countries. As I see it, you can only learn when things are on the ground and you can’t learn from logical explanations for any alternative or complementary solutions. In other words your argument sounds “if I don’t see it I won’t believe it”. You have all the right to argue against cooperation but the natural process of the global and regional cooperation will make you to be seen as irrational and resistant to change and development.

            Dear Fatima, Whether we like it or not, and whether we try to delay it or not, the direction of history regarding this issue is clear and vivid. The complementary economic development of the two countries will create the conditions of cooperation followed by security arrangements to promote and protect the flow of goods and services in our region. Ethiopia and Eritrea will have a great role to change the dynamics of our region.

          • sholla

            oh ato salih.
            are you serious?? what you just written will serve the purpose of the article you wrote. “ye sew neger yigermal” abo selam kefelegachuh mejemeria rasachuhn fetishu. do what is right by your side and leave what is ours to us. demo le assa yihe hula gura, assa baltefa.

          • Saleh Johar

            Oh Sholla,
            Don’t be uptight, borrow some sense of humor. Do you really think I am a fish saleman dying to close a deal with you? I don’t even like fish and I do not come from a place that has fish. Relax, don’t look for a specific sand grain in the desert. In Tigrinya, aytuqmel. If you do not get it, ask Fanti Ghana 🙂

          • sholla

            ere sewyew,
            i thought you are desprate to sale us your fish before it gets rotten, how i get it wrong,!!! any way fish is good for you, this days you can even buy them in a capsule, tablet or syrup form, from a pharmacy,please do not miss out, also try tire siga, for your protine intake.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Saleh GJ,

            I agree!!

          • Hope

            Your Excellency,
            I have to admit that we have to respect any opinion including ” hate” based opinions as long as they do not cross a line.
            I apologize to those I have offended due to my emotional over-reaction and tit-for-tat approach, through you officially.
            But I have to express my disappointment for the pessimistic responses by most of the Ethiopian debaters,who have considered our call for a peaceful coexistence as a sign of desperation and weakness.
            But ,make NO mistake, that Eritrea will prevail and the status quo will be reversed..

          • Fetima Dechasa

            T. Kifle,

            I’m not sure what you are correcting or seem to be bothered by from my response to Haile. He explained the distance between Northern Ethiopia and Addis Abeba from the Eritrean shores and I explained that for some of us Southern Ethiopians, Kenya is closer in proximity than Eritrea. What exactly is that you seem to misunderstand from my above statement?

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Fetima,

            My view is just a view not aimed to correct anything or any body. But I sensed something incoherent when you say “…some of us Southern Ethiopians, Kenya is closer in proximity than Eritrea”. There are also some of us who are closer to Eritrea than to Kenya and I expect this should have worried you too.

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Dearest T. Kifle,

            Why should my northern Ethiopian brothers and sisters proximity and travels to sea side Massawa resort if desired and peace permit worry me? If circumstances allow it, this is indeed a lovely idea to unwind, But I don’t agree with the idea that it is a reason to resume economic partnership. How about we first sincerely and once and for all address existing political and emotional issues thru introspectively and objectively examining both national and public concerns? Then we can travel and do business with Eritrea and vis versa accordingly.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Fetima,

            The concerns you mentioned have been discussed for years and I don’t think we have much difference on the primaries. The preconditions should be laid out in their right perspective so that lasting and meaningful relationship can be forged in the future. The call in this editorial doesn’t assume inappropriate relationships should be the rule. The call is intended to reach out people with similar disposition to kick-start a people-to-people relationship promoting peace and stability in the greater horn region. This, as initiative is noble. I found no reason to protest against it though I am known in this house of Awate by being an ardent protester on many issues. The thing is if there are two guys(one for each side) benefiting from the good relationship of the two countries while making sure no one is harmed in the process , it is good enough reason to work our way out for peace.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Fetima Dechasa,

          Since you welcome others to participate and answer your questions, let me try. I will not go to answer your questions numerically, because we are not talking the relationship to start with the current regime of Eritrea at least from my understanding on the Eritrean side. What we are trying to do at this time is to build the good will of both people and make it ready for the idea of peace and fraternity as a precursor to economic development and security arrangement. So the debate assumes when the political atmosphere in Eritrea is changed. With the current Eritrean status, there is no answers to your questions. So your questions should be framed from the prospect of a new regime in Eritrea that is ready to bring peace and stability by ushering new domestic and regional policies.

          Now when you argue, look it in the near horizon – when the objective reality is changed in the Eritrean proper. Don’t argue with the current reality of abnormality of the regime we have. I am sure the Ethiopian government will not have the topic we are talking with the current regime. So the answer to all your questions are (a) When peace reigned between the two countries, that peace in itself will influence a remarkable economic development to Ethiopia (consider the budget allocation or appropriation to the Ethiopian Defense) (b) Establishing security arrangement with Eritrea will creative a stable flow of goods and services in our region (c) If the industrial Eritrean mind find a space to exercise their know how, Ethiopia will benefit from the product of it as we continue along the road of cooperation. We can’t measure the benefit at this point, but we can tell the positive prospect and the impact of cooperation to the national economy of both countries.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Thank you for your response Amanuel!

            As someone who is not as familiar with what is happening or what’s ahead for Eritrea in the near future, I am only trying to convey that Ethiopia and Eritrea should/will cross that bridge of collaboration when they get there. At this moment, I don’t believe or support any Ethiopian involvement with Eritrea unless it’s to resolve the border issue once and for all.

        • Selam Fetima Dechasa,

          1) Bringing Peace and developing cooperation and trade between countries that are at odds with each other is always urgent.

          2) We cannot say that Eritrea has nothing to offer and therefore we should not opt to trade with her. No country is self-sufficient, and no country is irrelevant.

          3) Sorry, I have no idea about prices of food and
          services in Eritrea, nor do I know which goods and services Eritrea can offer to others, and who are its economic partners. An Eritrean can enlighten you on
          these better than I.

          4) It is unfortunate that Ethiopians do not have access
          to fish protein. Providing fish to Ethiopians would improve their protein intake, and good quality protein for that.

          5) Dear Fetima, the main point is not what each country has and does not have, but what they can achieve together, and I am optimistic for that, as much as Ethiopia and Eritrea are concerned. Who would have believed twenty years ago that Ethiopia would achieve the things she has achieved today? Things change, and nothing is stationary. That is the dialectics of nature and society.

          P.S. Thank you Haile TG for the input.

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Akkam or Selam Horizon,

            Thank you for your response. I think you misunderstood one thing from my list of questions above which must have been interpreted as Eritrea has nothing to offer Ethiopia, I do not believe that and the question of what Eritrea has to offer is asked in no way to imply that. I sincerely wanted to know what Eritrea has to offer that we are unable to obtain from others whom we have a well established partnership with currently.

            Bringing peace and development in the region is a must but does this same sentiment apply to Somalia and South Sudan in relation to Ethiopia? Is Ethiopia as equally responsible or benefit from a stabilized and normalized Somalia just as much? How does Ethiopia go about prioritizing the relationship with her neighbors? Has Ethiopia achieved a level of economic and internal stability to even consider the next door neighbors?

            Also, I am not sure where in Ethiopia you live(d) but growing up in Southern Ethiopia, we had plenty of fish and other proteins in our diet.

            Lastly, I strongly support making ways for peace but I just don’t understand the urgency of economic collaboration between the two nations not others which whom we are at odds.

          • Selam Fetima Dechasa,

            Ethiopia is becoming a regional military, economic and
            political power. She is mobilizing the region and it includes Somalia, Kenya, SS and N. Sudan. Road, railway and air transport connections, and power export to these countries are among Ethiopia’s main priorities.
            The aim is to enhance trade and cooperation, and we hope that Eritrea will soon be on the bandwagon.

            It is true that lakes and rivers in Ethiopia provide
            some fish to the local population, and even then, there is not enough amount to go around for everybody. I remember a shop in Addis that sold fish from the red
            sea. Most probably, it was the only fish shop in Addis. Very few people really ate fish even in urban centers, due to shortage, high price and luck of
            information about the high quality of fish protein.

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Horizon,

            It is true that Ethiopia is working hard to enhance trade and cooperation with neighbors and economic partners. Ethiopia currently has mobilizing projects with all countries mentioned except Eritrea for obvious reasons, we simply aren’t at that stage with regards to Eritrea. We have political issues to resolve before we can worry about economic partnership.

            I disagree that fish isn’t in many Ethiopian diet due to shortage. From my experience, fish isn’t and hasn’t been in many Ethiopian cultural diet.

            I am not sure when you were in Ethiopia last, especially in the urbanizing areas but fresh fish are available from Lake Tana, Ziway, Langano, Awassa, Chamo, Abaya, Baro, Omo, etc but you can also now purchase frozen and pre-packaged fish from urbanized markets. There is no reason to travel all the way to the Red Sea.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Horizon,
            .
            I was browsing through and read yours and Fetima Dechasa exchange. Fetima brought out a lot of that suspicion and mistrust Haile T.G is trying to understand. She is not alone and I hope Haile T.G sees it all.
            .
            I think there is an assumption on the part of some, particularly new visitors to Awate, that when we talk about our future relationship, there is some kind of a proposal for next year. Heck, we are not even talking to each other in a normal fashion yet. Maybe we have to ask what they see 25 years from now for Ethiopia and all its neighbors, including Eritrea.
            .
            I think I read it somewhere that PMMZ criticized citizens of Moyale town. They were not happy electricity was or was going to be made available to the Kenyan side too. His remark was funny and illustrative. I hope someone in the news business might have the quote.
            .
            K.H

          • Selam Kim Hanna,

            Many of us were suspicious and full of mistrust when we first came to Awate.com, until we started to understand that Ethiopians and Eritreans were after all like all human beings with aspirations, worries, worldviews, merits, weaknesses, illusions, realities etc. Time and a lot of interaction has changed many of us. The fog that surrounded us is gradually dissipating, we are seeing more clearly, and I believe that we are more aware of the reality on the ground and we are becoming more convinced of the course we should take for the sake of our people.

            It is nice that the young are discussing their minds with fervor. We should not be worried about this, for in this way Ethiopians and Eritreans will come to understand each other better. Those who read the comments and do not write themselves are also on the right truck. Nevertheless, I am worried about those who do not
            want to read, write, see or listen, and remain with their decaying mindset about Ethiopia and Eritrea. Therefore, I am happy that Fetima is speaking her mind, and reading the product of our thoughts. Congratulations, to Awate.com too, for providing a free venue, where everybody can express his or her opinion.

            Nobody is going to escape the globalized world that is bringing people together. In the future, the economic well-being of people will be more important than anything else. Ethnicity, nationality, identity etc will play a secondary role. Be sure, it would not be long before we all understand that the way of suspicion and mistrust has brought Ethiopians and Eritreans to a quagmire, and they should change course.

            What we are trying to do here is to change the mindset of both Ethiopians and Eritreans to be more rational, and not to solve the Ethio-Eritrean problems, because it
            is not in our power to do so. Unfortunately, both governments, which are responsible to solve the Ethio-Eritrean quagmire, are not saying a word, and we would be forced to wait long before there is a sign of rapprochement. Therefore, Awatistas should understand that there is no reason to be unpleasant, hotheaded or militant about anybody else’s opinion or theirs.

            Regards.

  • Guest

    test on a test

  • Hayat Adem

    This is great effort from two great people- HaileTg and T.Kifle. We must have been waiting for this kind of discourse. I would have liked it more if the entire exchange progresses with limited participants, namely HaileTG, T. Kifle, Horizon and one from the authors of the Call, until it matures to its natural conclusion and the rest of us hold the temptation of spoiling it. All the things HaileTG and T. Kifle are itemizing can serve as our stepping stones to build a renewed future. Remember, this problem is not without a solution. It is only because we have enough number of spoilers complicating it.

    I personally think, the problem can be solved by building the economic future of the two countries first. Economic cooperation doesn’t involve much emotionality to start it and you can always start it with less controversial package. You don’t even have to be friends or cousins to partner in economic cooperation. You don’t need the past (history) to do that. All you need is a rational and pragmatic thinking. So we need to bring trade and mobility of businesses to their default level of mirroring the natural interdependence of the two economies. For those of you doubting whether there is much for Ethiopia to gain from cooperating with Eritrea, I don’t know how to show your unsophistication without being disrespectful, but it is not hard to show the exponentially greater multiple benefits. And even if one thinks such a situation helps Ethiopia to do better than what it is doing now, and such a situation helps Eritrea more than it does to Ethiopia in relative proportionality, so be it and Ethiopians should embrace it.
    Thanks Haile TG and T. Kifle, and I call up on you to lead the way.
    Hayat

    • Fetima Dechasa

      Hello Hayat,

      You said, “For those of you doubting whether there is much for Ethiopia to gain from cooperating with Eritrea, I don’t know how to show your unsophistication without being disrespectful, but it is not hard to show the exponentially greater multiple benefits.”

      I would like to be enlightened so can you please elaborate on the unsophistication? I will not be offended with the collateral disrespect.

      “And even if one thinks such a situation helps Ethiopia to do better than what it is doing now, and such a situation helps Eritrea more than it does to Ethiopia in relative proportionality, so be it and Ethiopians should embrace it.”

      Wait, so Ethiopia has to embrace better outcome for Eritrea but Eritrea shouldn’t embrace the status quo which seem to be favorable to Ethiopia? Isn’t this rather hypocritical??

      Thank you.

      • Hope

        Fetima,
        As much as you sound articulate,intellectual,please do so equally to sound receptive,open,pragmatic,rational,etc—.
        This is Hayat Adem,who has been labelled as “Under-Cover Ethiopian” and YG’s Student” :”
        By reading what she said above,guess what,I give her Five Stars.
        “And even if one thinks such a situation helps Ethiopia to do better than what it is doing now, and such a situation helps Eritrea more than it does to Ethiopia in relative proportionality, so be it and Ethiopians should embrace it.”
        She took it forgranted that the embracing is mutual as it iscrystal clear that it is so.
        The hypocrisy is the way you read her and your mentality or mind set albeit deliberately,in my opinion, based on my observation of what you have been saying as of recently.
        The Quote of the day.
        Courtesy of Hayat Adem.
        Kudos to you Hayatina!–Oops,Nittric–calm down and take it easy.

      • Hayat Adem

        Thanks Fetima, it is very visible that you are quite an added value here. I can feel of an intelligent and energetic person of a sensible rejoinder. I also sense you tend to endorse the status quo. Your reasons could be from the thoughts that Ethiopia is relatively doing okay and it is Eritrea on a slippery road to a vast chasm. That may be true but the attitude is not healthy. You should find more ways Ethiopia can do better. And if Eritrea growth is not meant at a bad expense to Ethiopia, you should prefer to choose arrangements that help Eritrea get out of that chasm rather than shrugging your shoulders off indifference. And that is where I find you erring. But I can make a sensible argument on how Ethiopia and Eritrea can both benefit when both join resources and efforts synergistically. I’ll try to address a lot of issues from purely economic and business perspective. Please bear with me as I might go a bit long. I’m not only addressing you alone, I have the entire suspicious and ambivalent citizens of both in mind. Like I said, I’m leaving all other equally important justification (the security aspect, culture aspect, geopolitical aspect and trying to remain within the economic realm.

        1) Weak and chaotic Eritrea is always bad for Ethiopia. And the weaker and the more chaotic Eritrea is the worse. This is from the rule of the interdependence curse. More on this, follow me.

        2) I’ve never seen more mutually complementary economies of other two neighboring countries than those of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Look:

        a) because these were once one country, there were some shared infrastructures and working cooperation lines in place. You may need to spend more on adding new and upgrading the old ones, but you are not going to start from zero.

        b) There are none or very few language and cultural barriers.

        c) Eritrea owns very strategic coast and ports. Ethiopia is safer geopolitical speaking when the neighbor by the Red Sea is a strategic friend than a foe. Eritrea will be always clouded to make bad geopolitical and security decision when it it in bad terms with Ethiopia. Eritrea will never be settled and at peace whenever tension or indifference is the mood of the day in south of its border. That will force Eritrea to wander around for friendship shopping from far and near. Such friends will never a genuine interest in the region and they will be gaming and influencing the region for their own interests that may have nothing good or even bad things for the region, Ethiopia and Eritrea included.

        d) And look at the Eritrean ports: they are natural outlets for Ethiopia and naturally infinite revenue resources for Eritrea. C’mon Fetima. what more perfect interdependence and complementarity do you see than this one? As I said a year or so back in one of my comments, the worst mistake any country can make is turning its infinite resources to something that is not one. It is weird, at least when you see it from Eritrea perspective. When resources are limited and you didn’t make use of them because of your own stupidity or for reason beyond control, you may still regret it but you may also say Ma’Elesh because they will stay there and you will come back to them when conditions allow. But look, Eritrea was getting 90million dollar per year from its ports before the war. Multiply that by 17yrs of fallowing. You may include some extra millions because port services have been hiking and Ethiopia’s volume and traffic have been increasing with growth of its import-export economy tremendously. The loss must exceed 4 or 5 billion dollars for Eritrea. This was big enough to make Eritrea inundated with a huge cash flow to use it for any transformational miracles. Even Singapore was not the limit. This is only in absolute terms. Because money creates money and then economy, when you think, the amount of economy that could been built if such amount of money was invested and injected into the Eritrea economy, you will see the loss is of insanely huge. This money and the corresponding economic opportunities are gone forever, some to Djibouti, some to Somalia, some to Kenya etc. We can not save what is already lost but we can start work not to lose the future as well. We should start it not tomorrow but yesterday. That tells us we only have today and the future in our hands though shadowed by our mistakes of the past. Shadowed why? Djibouti would have found it difficult to take away our lunch from the ports if there were no war with Ethiopia. Even if we come to terms with the Ethiopians, it would not be easy to take back the entire share we used to get from Djibouti. The trust is not yet there and dependable; Djibouti has invested a lot on her ports while Eritrean ports went derelict in those 17yrs. The other deduction will come because Ethiopia made some effort to minimize its port dependency and has been shifting in terns getting some of its supplies through land traffic and also shifting its export destinations to some Africa countries. But still we can get enough bite of the pie if we act sooner than later.

        e) Ethiopians are growing and that is undeniable. But they could have even grown faster if the problem with Eritrea was solved, and relations were normalized and even revitalized. As Ethiopians and Eritreans our actions must be led and governed by business interests and principles only for now. The ideal ports for Ethiopia are Messawa, Asseb and Djibouti. Somali ports are underdeveloped and insecure but the can be good options for some parts of Ethiopia in the south eastern region. Kenya’s to some parts in the south and south western. Sudan port is too far to any part of Ethiopia when Massawa is available. It is not that Ethiopia was not paying prices. Ethiopia too was losing a lot of money due to its inability to access the Eritrean port services and the loss may amount billions of dollars. And the uneasiness of depending too much on the Djibouti port has far reaching implications than is even about more incurred cost.

        f) The urgency of desired actions towards this must be superseded by nothing else. Go back and join your proverbial ostrich and massage your fake wounds and egos, Or eat your very penny-worth pride and wake up and do a positively real business like serious people. We will have the real pride if we can only defeat poverty and backwardness. I despise people when they superficially act as if they are standing for any national pride while what they are doing condemning every Eritrean generation to live and die poor and ignorant. I feel the same when Ethiopians show off the same petty weaknesses of character.

        3) Global investors are no more interested in country-by-country assessments anymore. They scan the entire region as one single field. If Ethiopia is good and Eritrea is not, then they shy away from investing where the region is bedded by both good opportunities and bad conditions, and tend to opt to invest where regional conditions are much more perfect. No country now-a-days believes to grow fast and sustainably without enough flow of FDIs. No FDI comes to troubled region even if some member countries in the region are okay at individual level.

        4) That is also true with the reality of tourist flow. Tourists used to consider Ethiopia and Eritrea as one package destination rather than separate destinations before the war. A tourist may think of enjoying the landscape beauties of Eritrea and Ethiopia, the many human and cultural heritage sites, the Red-sea escarpments and beaches, all the way to Axum civilization and the many rock-hewn churches in both countries, and the fauna and flora in deep hinterland of Ethiopia,..as one package. What chance does a tourist interested in both countries have to do that now? Almost none. S/he can’t make a direct drive-travel, no direct flight, and s/he must go to a third country before s/he gets to her/his planed destination. And because tourists are convenience and safety conscious, they will certainly postponed their plans of coming and go somewhere else where they can enjoy friendly mobility and access. That is how Kenya-Uganda-Rwanda-Tanzania are eating our lunch.

        5) And because I love you, I want to do business with you. Isn’t that good enough, Fetima?

        Yours, Hayat with love.

        • Hayat Adem

          I think I voted up myself by accident.
          Hayat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            You can remove your vote by clicking on up-vote again.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Hayat,
            You have every right to vote for yourself. And I tell you deserve that.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Hayat,
            .
            I not only second that but acknowledge that you must be the unpaid spokesperson of the Eritrean Chamber of Commerce.
            .
            Thank you also for encouraging Fetima to visit us more often.
            .
            K.H

          • haileTG

            Hey Kim

            This is what mesmerized me about Hayat’s unbelievably merciless prowess of articulation:

            ” …4) … Tourists used to consider Ethiopia and Eritrea as one package destination rather than separate destinations before the war. A tourist may think of enjoying the landscape beauties of Eritrea and Ethiopia, the many human and cultural heritage sites, the Red-sea escarpments and beaches, all the way to Axum civilization and the many rock-hewn churches in both countries, and the fauna and flora in deep hinterland of Ethiopia,..as one package….”

            She is pulling us by the ears and showing us right where the money is!!….way to go Hayat u r the greatest 🙂

          • Araya

            Haile, ሚስኪናይ. ደድሕሪ ሃያት ን ኺፍለን ዞክ ዞክ ኪትቢለ ግዘ ከይዱካ. ጉድ ረኪብካ. ሎሚስ ብ እዝኒካ ተወቲትካ.

            Alla Haile the great. are the Tourists going to see this one too? I mean is it included in “one stop”

            http://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3643/3387519044_63c091c936_b.jpg

          • Estifanos

            Hi Araya,
            Why are u so obsessed with Haile TG?. Is he identified as a threat
            by your masters?

          • haileTG

            ኣርኣያ፣ ንሶም እኮ’ዮም ኣዕቢዮምኻ????

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hailat,
            Don’t waste your time with individuals who bites their hand that feeds them. Araya is not here to debate on issues. You should know that.

        • Fetima Dechasa

          Dearest Hayat,

          Thank you for taking the time to educate me in such a way that I am able to have a clear understanding. This is precisely why I asked my very first question at Awate earlier in this thread. Also, I apologize for my delayed response, it’s a work day :). I am still short on time but I wanted to express my gratitude.

          Let me further clarify a few things here before I go on to my never ending questions. I am in no way suggesting that Ethiopia and Eritrea remain at odds. I honestly wish the dispute between the two can be resolved tomorrow. I am also not opposed to Ethiopia’s economic cooperation with Eritrea, eventually. I am only opposing to Ethiopia getting involved with current Eritrea considering Eritrean internal matters. I will expand on this further when I have time.

          Now let me ask you this, how would you go about making your proposal a reality?

          Thanks again!

  • haileTG

    Hello Ghebre

    If you weren’t to tell us you are young, based on your views, I would have thought you were Shimagle 🙂

    Because, we like it or not, there is huge mingling going on between Ethiopians and Eritreans right now and the desperate voices of separation and animosity are getting squeezed out more and more.

    Here are the real young and clean minded Ethio-Eri students of Ohio State Uni having good time… Enjoy. Our strategy of closing the gap between the fraternal people will win in the end of the day, beating everyone else hands down…mark the word 🙂

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=640205886045163&fref=nf

    • Saleh Johar

      Haile TG, please check your mail…

  • Dear Gebrekirstos,

    Your points are true when the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is seen superficially from the point of view of the
    current military, economic and political situation. Nevertheless, that is not everything. You have also forgotten the people and concentrated on Eritrean and Ethiopian elites only. You seem to have been disappointed by the ultra-nationalistic rant of
    Eritrean elites, who you should know do not represent the ordinary Eritrean citizen anymore.

    Ethiopians and Eritreans have many common traits; and
    there are even those who say, “We are all Ethiopians”. It is very difficult to categorize Ethio-Eritrean relations into tight compartments and say here is the border. About a hundred thousand Eritreans live as refugees in Ethiopia. Nobody
    runs to a country one believes is an enemy, unless one doubts it deep in his/her heart. You cannot listen to the music of your enemy unless there is something that ties you to him. Our languages, culture, alphabets etc bind us together more than Eritrean elites would like to accept. It is possible to bring more examples.

    Therefore, it is impossible to build a tall wall between the two people. Eritrean and Ethiopian elites could be at each other’s
    throats, but as much as ordinary Ethiopians and Eritreans are concerned, there is no animosity between them. Do you know that there were Eritrean women with the name “Ethiopia”, before EPLF poisoned their blood? In addition, over the fifty years of cohabitation, there are many thousands of Ethio-Eritreans, born to Ethiopian and Eritrean parents. These are also the chains that bind together Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    In conclusion, we need each other. It is a mistake to see Ethiopia as the giant that does not need little Eritrea. It is a big mistake, because if one can have a friend there is no reason whatsoever why one should create an enemy out of a potential friend, and if animosity and antagonism continue to be the thing that characterize Ethio-Eritrean relations, then at the end, both will come out losers.

    • Hope

      Gherie,
      Did you consult Horizon?Even Abi endorsed him to be the next Ethiopian Amb to Eritrea.

      • Hope,

        When was the endorsement by Abi? I am not aware of it. It is like winning a lottery and not being aware that one is richer.

        No kidding. No, Hope. In real life, I do not think that
        I will ever accept such an endorsement for any political post. It has never been my wish, it is not in my nature, and I have never seen politics as a means to an end, because politics is most of the time a means to an end.

        If one is immersed completely in politics, one loses
        sight of the reality. It is equivalent to making a contract with the devil, unless one is very very careful. Therefore, it is much better to look at politics from the outside. That brings you nearer to the truth.

        That is why even democracy is not perfect, and W.
        Churchill had said that democracy is the worst type of government, if there were not dictatorship, fascism and Nazism. As long as we have these, democracy
        remains the best choice we have. Of course, he said it in a slightly different context.

        Nevertheless, Hope, if what you said is true, then I thank Abi for his kindness .

        • Hope

          Horizon,
          It is an Honorary assignment by me.
          Abi endorsed what you said by saying:” I agree with what you said fully and there is nothing i can add”.
          Your innocent and deep-hearted but rational and pragmatic statements besides your “Diplomatic Wording”,will definitely make you more than an Ambassador.
          After all,your articulation and mastery of the language says a lot,if you have to add Intellectuality to your qualifications.
          “Ke fitfitu fitu aydele yemitilut?”
          No matter what,God bless you man.
          I sense some “Supernatural” or “Spiritual” nature in you.
          A sorty of “Feriha Egzi-Abiher”——quality–a compliment but I take it back if “perceived as an offense”.

        • Hope

          BTW,Amb Horizon,Mr Amanuel Hidrat named endorsed/you as an” Ambassador of Peace” as well,which will perfectly define you as you “hate” politics but love peace.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Abugida,

    I prefer to strain away in commenting on the Eritrea-Ethiopia matters. The reason is very simple: once peace prevails, the fate will determine it. Hence, I am not fun of cross-border politics. But, but, when I read such comments coming from people like you, I simply wonder that can’t these people see behind the wall? Forget the 70 years politics, the whole world need each other and so are Eritrea and Ethiopia. More than that, it is just trying to drag into the old 20thC feudal politics.

    tes

  • tafla

    YES! Do that please! 😀

  • What the Tigryans don’t want you to know and they rather stick to their DNA rooted denial and deceit is keep reading. If anyone think there will be peace with this people you are sadly mistaken!
    Now read this research from a major US University. I quote

    “The War – 1998 – 2001
    The battles between Ethiopia and Eritrea were thought to be over for nearly a decade when things took a turn for the worse. In May of 1998 Ethiopians moved into the Badme region on the border and evicted thousands of Eritreans from their settled lands. Eritrea responded by sending a small contingent of military officers to the region, unarmed, in order to discuss the situation. These soldiers were summarily shot and the war had begun. This conflict was much more severe and deadly than any of the previous conflict. This was due to many factors.
    Eritrea and Ethiopia both had large capacity to wage war due to the buildup of military assets over their previous conflicts and they brought all these assets to bear over the next two years. Military assets were not limited to military ground vehicles or shoulder fired missiles, but also included airforces on both sides. Even with some advanced material to wage the war, the conflict had a strong resemblance to WWI warfare. Trenches were dug for defensible positions and numerous regions along the 800 kilometer front experienced brutal conflict. There were approximately 300,000 troops involved in total and there was a huge displacement of civilians as the conflict raged. Hundred of thousands of Eritreans were displaced due to the insurgent movements of Ethiopia and many suffered death. It is estimated that over 100,000 Ethiopians and approximately 30,000 Eritreans died during this conlict. Due to the well trained forces of Eritrea from the previous conflicts, and familiarity with the territory, Ethiopia suffered a much higher rate of fatalities. Population displacement numbered in the hundreds of thousands and many are still displaced today. A peace agreement was reached in 2000 and the boundary commission completed a plan by 2002. Unfortunately, Ethiopia was not willing to abide by the boundary commission decisions.”

    Now is there any doubt who started the war and who refused to accept the UN verdict? It them, the inferior complexity ridden.

    • House of Stark

      Hi Nitricc
      why don’t you proved the link, or name the author, university and date published.

      • Hey hahaha would you please give the tplf gangs a chance to make a fool out of themselves? Tk is on full swing making One BS after the other. They have no problem to lie so, let’s wait.

        • sholla

          just answer his question, he have a valid question, unless you are here to steer havoke between ethio-erits on behalf of shabya gangsters. ato t.kifle is trying to reach people with a better common sense than that of your kind, he is not your batch leave him to the others with better understanding. do not answer me by saying “hey hahahahh would you please” kind of childish notion,

          i want to help you though, could you please print the below and read it three times a day with full tamy. by the way this is a cure for a deblitating arogance. prescribed to you by his highness ato t.kifle
          የኤርትራ ምሁራን ሆይ: የኢሳያስን ድክመት ከጦርነቱ ውጤት ለማግኘት የምታደርጉት ጥረት ከንቱ ልፋት ነው እላቸዋለሁ። ምክንያቱም የጦርነቱ ውጤት ይብስ እንደሆነ እንጂ ከዚሁ የተሻለ ሊሆን የሚችልበት እድል አልነበረም፣ የለም፣ ለወደፊትም አይኖርም። ይልቁንስ ለሃገራችሁ ጠቃሚ የሚሆነው ኤርትራ ምን ቢያቀብጣት ጦርነቱን ልትጀመር እንደበቃች ብትመረምሩ ነው። ምክንያቶቹና ያስከተሉትን ክፉ ውጤቶችም ለሃገራችሁ በሚጠቅም መንገድ ተንትኑ። መፍትሔውም ከጉያችሁ ስር እንደሆነ ያኔ ትረዳላችሁ።የማሕመድ ሳልሕ ወታደራዊ ውጊያ ተንታኝነት ፣የታላቁ ሃይለ የህግ ቴክኒካዊነት፣ የሳልሕ የኑስ ብልጣብልጥነት፣ የሳልሕ ጆሃር ለዘብተኝነት ወይም የአማኑኤል ሕድራት ውል አልባ የትግል ቅድሚያነት ኡሮሮ ችግሩን ኣይፈታውም። ሰራይንና ሐያትን የተጓዙበት መንገድ ለመጓዝ ያልመረጠ ግለሰብም ሆነ የፖለቲካ ሃይል በሁለቱ ሃገራት መንግስታትና ህዝቦች መካከል ሰላም ለማውረድ እየሰራ እንደሆነ ቢገልፅ ተራ መመፃደቅ ነው። ሻዕቢያ ጦርነቱን ያወጀበት ምክንያት ምንም ሊሆን ይችላል ። መፍትሔው ግን የኤርትራን ወራሪነት ከመቀበል ይጀምራል።ይህ ሲሆን ነው ከኢትይጵያውያን ወንድም እህቶቻችሁ መግባባት የምትችሉት። ይህንን ስታደርጉ ነው ኤርትራንና ህዝቧን መታደግ የምትችሉት። ይህ ስታደርጉ ባየን ጊዜ ግማሽ መንገድ ድርስ ተጉዘን እንቀበላቸዋለን። ያኔ ቁስላችን ሽሮ ሰላም ይወርዳል። ያኔ ባድመም ሆኑ ዛላምበሳ ወዲህና ወዲያ የምንመላለስባቸው የሰላምና የልማት ቦዮች ይሆናሉ። wow what an advice, i believe if you heed the centre of his message you will walk all the way to your grand parents grave to apologise, but what is the use that you being you is the problem.

      • House of Stark follow the link and see for your self.
        http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/images4/Timeline%20Eritrea-Ethiopia-bckgrnd.jpg

    • Rahwa T

      “…Due to the well trained forces of Eritrea from the previous conflicts, and familiarity with the territory, Ethiopia suffered a much higher rate of fatalities.”
      Wait…wait. If this was true, then what is Your reason for the well-trained to vacate its land from the poorly-trained enemy? Why is she begging the US and UN to press Ethiopia to leave the area it occupied illegaly?

      • Hope

        Hello All,
        I thought the topic and the debate are about regional reconciliation.What the hec has 15 yrs old war has to do now?
        With all due respect,my man and Nittric hawina,shut it off,my man.
        It is an obsolete business.
        Swallow the BiTTER Pill that PIA destroyed the ever-seemingly untouchable Eri pride.
        Let us work hard to reclaim and maintatin that status quo of pride–but for good.
        PIA had two better options in 1998/9:
        Either to withdraw and demarcate the border peacefully or–push hard and over-run Mekelle and even Addis as the EDF had the will,morale and the Military capability in 1998-1999 and the EDF, in fact,requested to run all the way to the main heart-land of Ethiopia and repeat the 1991 history of walkng into Addis and to the Menelik Palace and place the Amharas and the Oromos to their legitimate position.
        The EDF requested in 1997 to chase the invadors out from Adi Murug /Aseb and run all the way–to Addis—- but your own PIA refused, and rather,told the EDF to stay away form the Sovereign Eri Land.
        Are you proud of this man?
        Please consult your own “buddy” Vet Mahmouday and he will tell you the truth to your face.
        Talk about building peace within ourselves/within Eri as you said it clearly by saying:”A Nation without peace within itself cannot make peace with its neighbors”:Courtesy of Nittric(Source: Awate Jebenna section–Peace Club Department)

    • You know how the Ethiopians brag that they never been colonized hahahah.( house of stark here is the real link)
      “The aggressive scramble for influence and territory with which to acquire natural resources on the continent of Africa through the process of Colonialism is a well known fact of African history. The Abyssinian Empire of the 18th century was no exception to these encroachments and the Eritrean lands quickly fell victim to the European invasion. The region known as Ethiopia today, however, was one of the only regions of Africa that did not fall prey to colonialism, although it was partially occupied by Italy from 1936-1941”

      http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/eritrea-ethiopia.htm#ah29

      • Hayat Adem

        Nitricc, may i try please?

        It is good you’ve started talking based on written references but what sense are getting from this material that you want us to know? That according to this blog….

        1-more ethiopians were killed than eritreans in that war?
        2-that eritrea had better trained military?

        3-that the war was caused by the tigray map of 1997 on a paper or on the birr note?
        4-that ethiopia started moving into badume 1st and started shooting at unarmed ere-military unit

        5-that it was occupied for 5yrs by italy during the world war?
        on1- let’s say it is true the causality was 30k:100k*. how is that good for ere? would it be better for ere to save 30ks of its own sons (and saving the 100k ethios) and stayed focused on doing business with ethi and pocket a lot of money through the exports and port service and many more.
        on2- yes it had and probably it is not necessarily bad to have a well trained army as such. it is how you use it. in this case eritrea had a superior army and it made our foolish leaders think they can bring down ethiopia and went to war, and the result? we didn’t bring ethiopia down (we made it stronger) and we didn’t have the better trained army to speak of any more. we wanted to get badume and may be we thought it worth of sacrificing the 30k, but we lost those lives, we lost badume and militarily speaking now, the ethiopians have proven more than ones that they can come in to the ere hinterland at will and get out unscratched. what do you get from all that? nothing. britain tried to appease hitler first by yielding to germany endless claims just to avoid the war. churchill later said, britain had a choice: to embrace shame as a price of peace or protect its right and pride and face the war. it picked the first but it got the shame coupled with the war. ere is getting it both now, the shame and the defeat and unlike britain, with no capability to reverse the course using force. but it doesn’t have to be with a force. ere can reverse the course with love and peace.
        on3- the tigray expansionist map as demonstrated in the birr makes my laugh when i always hear it. i don’t know if it is my illiteracy of cartography, but can any of tell really by looking at it if a small chunk of territory is included in this or that side in microscopic scaled map as in the a currency note? and if if it is the books tigray published, don’t you want to discuss the matter instead of moving in with your armed units and tanks? but Nitricc, what would you do now if the ethios include much larger area to their books? would you send armed troops to make change it? well, you can’t because, let alone for a paper map, the ethios are booting on the land itself, and you can’t do anything because we played bad and we lost the game. you don’t want that to happpen again, do you? so, ground yourself to the reality and work foe bettering ere’s chances through other means.
        on4- read eecc.
        on5- i don’t know what to make of it. it is true the ethiopians were over run by the italian army and stayed occupied until they got their country back. you are not saying they were colonized for that period, are you? almost the entire africa was colonized so there is nothing to be ashamed of for eritrea about that and we don’t need the company of ethiopia on that colony camp while we have others if that brings you any comfort.
        hayat

      • House of Stark

        Hi Nitricc

        thanks for the link. let me read and find out, who this Jon Stephenson is then i will give you my opinion.
        Thanks again.

  • Hope

    menghidi cherki yigberelkum—-Get lost.The Topic is reserved for those who believe in Peaceful Co-existence.

    • Fetima Dechasa

      But resolving the border issues and closing it once and for all; respecting the sovereignty of both nations is peaceful co-existence. What more do you suggest should be done? Or better yet, what is your definition of peaceful coexistence considering the fact that by definition:

      Peaceful = free from disturbance; tranquil.
      Coexistence = a policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc., despite fundamental disagreements.

      • Hope

        Dear Fetima,
        I got what I wanted.
        Thank you and God bless you!
        I rest my case.

  • Fetima Dechasa

    I’m often just a reader, never a commenter here but I must ask… Ethiopia has managed to make lemonade out of the lemons she has been dealt with so why is rebuilding relationship with Eritrea necessary for Ethiopia at this time or vis versa?

    This isn’t to sound ignorant, I’m asking a sincere question.

    • haileTG

      Selam Fatima Dechasa,

      Welcome and make yourself feel at home to lead away.

      Ethio-Eritrea relationship isn’t about one side’s ability to survive without the other. Ethiopia has shown that conclusively. We can equally also have Eritreans who would reason (albeit short shortsightedly in my view) that since Eritrea managed to survive alone even under the most repressive systems, anything after this regime can only be better by comparison and hence why do we need any of these rebuilding of relationships.

      The fact is that Ethio-Eritrea peace and close cooperation has FAR FAR too great strategic and long term significance. Such significance isn’t limited to the obvious potential in mutual economic advantages, rather spans a whole host of regional, global, Geo-strategic and historic significance. Although, our recent experiences narrowed the space for such peaceful and close cooperation platform, there are constituencies from both sides of the border struggling to not only try to salvage what is left of the space of that platform but also grow it. Whenever the initiative is taken by those of us committed to grow that space, a roaring voices are heard from those who would wish to dig up the past and wallow in it.

      As I said however, the issue is far more significant and strategically fundamental pillar of for attaining far more goals of long-term security and development in a natural environment without being beholden to self serving outsiders from out of the region. Those of us on the side of growing the space of the the peaceful and close cooperation platform come from both sides of the border as you see in the discussions here. Equally, the voices that roar against it also come from both sides of the border too. Hence, in these battles of will fought in attrition, the forces are aligned between those who are fighting to grow the space and those opposed to that and wish the space to narrow. As described in the first paragraph, the forces against the widening of the space (from both sides) only have current fortunes or predicaments, as the case may be, in their arsenal. And the forces fighting for widening the space (in both sides) have a far more significant and fundamental advantages for the long term benefits, security and development of both peoples.

      The forces for widening the gap are pioneers of a new dawn of resurgent East Africa and voices opposed to it are those resisting change, because change by definition can cause anxiety and flashbacks from difficult emotions of the past.

      I hope you reflect on it and join our side in the near future.

      Regards

      • Fetima Dechasa

        Thank you for the warm welcome as well as your insightful response. I have learned a lot through the years from your contribution here, thank you.

        I am indeed a support of peaceful coexistence for all. My stance on the Ethio-Eri issue is that both are sovereign nations with on priorities, hence, I personally do not feel that the relationship between the two nation should be a top priority for Ethiopia at this very moment. There are other more important issues that is/should be of focus for Ethiopia currently and in the near future and once these important issues are addressed, Ethiopia then could move on to rebuilding relationships with neighbors such as Eritrea and Somalia.

        • Hope

          Dear Fetima Dechasa,
          The way I have read you,contextually,it is similar to that of Mr.T Kifle’s view.
          Mr T Kifle said:”Why deal with a dying regime any way?”And this was in response to a “Peace Intiative” by some US Diplomats.
          Mr T Kifle is stuck in and obssessed with Bbaduma war and remorses and apologies.Some one here showed him a clip Mr Haile Drue’ apologizing officially for the bombing of the School but he did not buy it.
          Now, you rare telling us that:” since we Ethiopians have managed it the way we want it and since we are “Powerful”,why should we care for Peace Talks or even Peaceful Co-existence at this time?
          It sounded as if you are saying that “Building Peaceful Relationship with Eritrea at this time is NOT necessary or essential as we have other priorities”.It sounds as if Eritrea is begging you for building a relationship,which ,in fact,the fact has been the other way round,that Ethiopia has been asking for that.
          If your motivation behind not seeking for peaceful relationship is to further weaken Eritrea and believing that the Building Peaceful Relationship with Eritrea might benefit Eritrea more,and if you believe that “asking for a Peaceful Co-existence Now or “asking for building a mutual relationship” is a sign of weakness,then may God bless you all,and “menghdi cherki yigberelkum”
          But,and YES,I believe that building a peaceful relationship with Ethiopia and other neighbors will help Eritrea.
          But here is my understanding though:
          “Building a Peaceful relationship with one’s neighbors” is the first priority and a prerequisite for Development,which Eritrea has failed for some reason—-(Consult haile TG)

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Hello,

            I must admit that I am not a fan of your views so I often opt out from reading your comments here at Awate.

            I honestly don’t know enough about Eritrean recent affaires to speak on the country. As for my comment above, I did not say that I don’t agree with peaceful coexistence, rather prioritizing. It’s my personal opinion that it is neither beneficial or necessary for Ethiopia to focus on the relationship with Eritrea at this moment, I would rather see Ethiopia’s continued focus on the fruitful economic partnerships with Djibouti, Somaliland, and other EAC members. It is my opinion that when both countries are at peace with themselves first then they can then proceed with rebuilding the severely damaged relationship.

          • Hope

            Hello,
            I do not comment so that others will have fan of my views.
            But why should I either be fan of your anti-peace comments?

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Dearest Hope :),

            Firstly, I understand that your comments aren’t up for others liking, however, the reason I point that out in the first place is to simply make you aware of it in order to avoid unnecessary back and fourth. Additionally, just because I am not a fan doesn’t mean I don’t respect it.

            Second, by definition antipeace: Opposed to peace; belligerent, warlike.
            I am by no means opposed to peace nor do I advocate for war or aggression anywhere in the world let alone in my own neighborhood. But calling my brief statement above as anti-peace is a complete and utter mischaracterization of my stance on the Ethio-Eri issue. Peaceful coexistence =/= economic partnership/working together. You interpreted my stance as you wished to interpret it. As the saying goes, “You only see what you want your eyes to see.”

            Lastly, I do hope the two countries could resolve the boarder issues once and for all so that we all can move on as two sovereign nations pursuing own political and economical ambitions.

    • Dear Fatima Dechasa,

      If I may add to Haile TG’s views on Ethio-Eritrean relationship, I think that there are many reasons why Ethiopia should rebuild her relationship with Eritrea. If I can enumerate some of the advantages, I have the following to say, which of course is far from being a complete list. I invite others to add to the list if they want to.

      1) It is much better to have a good and peaceful neighbor. People say it is possible to choose a neighbor, but not one’s family member.
      It is not always true. Ethiopians and Eritreans are stuck together by fate to live side by side forever, and there is nothing they can do about it. Therefore, they had better be nice to each other.

      2) Ethiopia’s economic success will not be secure as long as there is a nation that can easily spoil it for her, either by starting
      an adventurous war itself, or by facilitating the condition for an enemy to attack Ethiopia.

      3) Ethiopia is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars every year to arm and sustain tens of thousands of soldiers at the Ethio-Eritrean
      border. If there is peace and good relationship, the money could be diverted to development. In addition, the soldiers are young people, who could enter the productive force, instead of wasting their days in trenches doing nothing.

      4) The economy of Ethiopia and Eritrea can supplement each
      other to benefit both countries,

      5) The issue of sea-outlet, if solved positively will serve Ethiopia’s interest. Do not believe those who say that landlocked Ethiopia
      can sustain her growth for long. The economic hemorrhage is great and unsustainable on a permanent basis. We should not forget that Ethiopia’s development is accompanied by the accumulation of debt at the same time. The debt would be paid, and decreasing expenditure is important.

      6) A failed Eritrea will affect Ethiopia negatively because of regional instability that could ensue, possible domination of the country by terrorists as in Somalia due to its proximity to the Middle East, and the flow of more refugees into Ethiopia that would be a burden to Ethiopia’s meager economy. if there is good relations, Ethiopia can help Eritrea to avoid all these, for her own good.

      7) People wise, we are more or less the same people (take
      the two main religions, culture, language, ethnic groups that live on both sides of the border, etc). A divided family can never be able to survive and prosper.

      8) Together we could be a significant force of peace and development in the region. In today’s world where extreme/ militaristic Islam is becoming a destabilizing force, the security of Ethiopia and Eritrea lies in their Christian and Muslim populations (the second are by default moderate Muslims). With the combined effort of both people, they would be able to survive in tomorrow’s world of terrorism, strife and uncertainty.

      9) The present status quo is unsustainable. The world is laughing at us for our foolishness. Two poor countries who cannot yet feed their
      people are at each other’s throat. This is a perfect example of utter
      foolishness and it should end ASAP.

      10) If we are at peace with each other and develop good relationship, concentrate on economic development and think more of the wellbeing of our people, then we would be laying the foundations for a thousand years of Ethio-Eritrean peaceful coexistence. In reality, this is the guarantee everybody is asking for. If we really care for the wellbeing of our people and work hard to improve our nations, peace becomes a necessity, we would not have the time and the mind for conflict brewing, and we will understand the drawbacks of war and all forms of antagonism.

      • Abinet

        Selam horizon
        I agree in everything you said .nothing to add to it . But ,I need a little explanation to #5. What is the difference which port we use as long as we pay for it ? Do you expect eritrean ports to be a little cheaper? Or are they convenient? I don’t expect them to be too cheap.
        And also don’t forget Djibouti ,Kenya ,and Sudan compete to provide the same port service.
        Thanks

        • Dear Abinet,

          You had asked me a similar question in the past, and I
          had given you my opinion. It is a pity I do not usually write the date on my comments, and I can not give you the exact date. May be you can find it on your
          disqus account.

          In few words, it is my opinion that Eritreans and
          Ethiopians should do serious negotiations on Badme and Ethiopia’s guaranteed and unimpeded access to the sea, and reach a win-win situation that would bring permanent peace and economic cooperation between the two countries.

          Assab cannot serve only a 60 km of hinterland, while
          another 1000 km of hinterland remains landlocked. Simply, I find it difficult to believe that Ethiopia will accept its landlocked status forever.

          I cannot agree when people say that there is no
          problem with Ethiopia’s landlocked status, while at the same time they hold on to a piece of barren land like Badme. Nevertheless, Assab should NEVER be the
          cause for any sort of conflict with Eritrea.

          I have been accused for this in the past; but this is
          how I see it, if peace is to come to the region. I am not here to sing a song that is sweat to Eritrean ears, while at the same time Ethiopians find it tasteless. As we are trying to solve the issue of the Nile with Egypt, we should try to solve the issue of Assab with Eritrea, if we are to bring peace, economic prosperity and harmony for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

      • Fetima Dechasa

        Hello Horizon and thank you for your thorough response.

        Below are my answers to your points:

        1. Yes you are right, it is true that Ethiopia and Eritrea should coexist peacefully by resolving the border issues once and for all.

        2. Why would Eritrea want to start unprovoked war (again) with Ethiopia? If facilitating war for other external enemies, Ethiopia and it’s allies should deal with the external enemy and said accomplice by any mean necessary.

        3. Considering the fact that Ethiopia is located in conflict ridden region surrounded by Eritrea, Somalia, and South Sudan, Ethiopia should continue to strengthen it’s military forces. And with continued hard work and advancement said young soldiers should be provided education while serving their country just like that of other countries, which they are able to utilize after service.

        4. Yes they can but I don’t believe economic partnership between the two is feasible at this point due to the fact that there are many layers to the existing issues.

        5. With continued partnership with Djibouti, Somaliland, and Kenya, landlocked Ethiopia will continue to do what we have to do to accomplish our ambitions. I think the last 12 plus years have debunked the myth that landlocked Ethiopia has to have Eritrea. Ethiopia is not the only country in the world that is landlocked, we have adopted and make ways for our short comings.

        6. Why would Eritrea fail?

        7. I am a believer that at the peoples level things are better; casing point: Eritreans in Ethiopia working and taking advantage of the economic developments. I am not sure if this is reciprocated by the other side.

        8. That sounds promising in the long run, however, for todays Ethiopia, the development partnership focus shouldn’t be with Eritrea rather to other nations in which the country have invested greatly in infrastructure such as developing roads, railways, and other means of connection for fruitful trade partnership outlets the likes of Kenya, South Sudan, and Djibouti.

        9. Yes, I agree. I am hopeful that the border issue can be settled in the near future in order to move forward and pursue our ambitions within our own respective borders.

        10. At this moment… my opinion is that def YES to peaceful co-existence and border resolution but a big NO to economic partnership. I don’t believe that perusing economic partnership with Eritrea is a good move for Ethiopia. Both nations should do what is in their best interest and I believe it is in Ethiopia’s best interest to continue her alliance following the 2015 development plan and beyond, which does not include Eritrea.

        • haileTG

          Dear Fatima

          Nice to see you progressing this debate. As I said earlier, this discussion (Ethio-Eritrea close collaboration:) is fraught with the obvious roaring voices from both sides and that its proponents come from both sides. Mind you, you did not say war, or wished anything untenable. Your position, in my mind, is carefully worded to say just what is needed to convey. As a matter of fact, any position is supposed to serve its underlining strategic objectives, which in turn would advance certain interests. And whenever there is interest, there exists power conflict between those who are favored and those disadvantaged by such an “interest”. So, Ethio-Eritrea close collaboration is a position that serves certain strategic objectives, by which there exist constituencies whose interests be safeguarded. This is true in both sides of the border. The question is whether such interest cover the widest possible segment of each country’s citizens. Hence, I am going to adopt quid pro quo approach in our discussion and only limit myself to questions related to what you actually said (rather than what it can be interpreted as). My question here is therefore, since you said Ethio-Eritrea close collaboration isn’t a priority for Ethiopia, do you mean that for all segments and geographic and political polity of Ethiopia or you have a specific segment of Ethiopians, whose interests you excluded at best or limit in the worst case scenario?

          Regards

          PS: one’s you break your vows of silence and start to write in this place, be warned, it can get addictive 🙂 (kidding ya)

          • Don’t get too excited. The person is a veteran on awate forum and already addicted to awate forum. Just a new nick. Just you know.

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Hello again Haile,

            I can see how it can be addictive 🙂

            When I express my opinion on the Ethio-Eri issue, I have no specific demographics or segment of Ethiopia that I personally represent or speak of. I am simply expressing my views as an individual citizen who happen to live and work in Ethiopia 6 months out of the year, hence, I often use; “in my opinion”, “I believe”, “my understand”, etc in my statements. Does my opinion cover the widest possible segment of my country? I do not know. The only think that I can speak on from observation is that there is a certain distrust amongst Ethiopians towards Eritreans currently residing in Ethiopia, but that’s sort of understandable in retrospective of the recent past.

            While I agree with you that the collaboration of the two countries may very well benefit both sides, my stance is that I do not believe it should be a priority at this moment, if anything Ethiopia should stay far away from Eritrean issues. In the meantime, I have no ill will towards the people of Eritrea or it’s sovereignty. To me Eritrea is no different from South Sudan or Somalia, therefore, I don’t approach the Ethio-Eri matter any different than that of Ethio-Somalia. If in the next 5-10 years the two sides resolve the border issues and Eritrea enters the trade partner competitive market bid with the likes of Kenya and Sudan, so be it.

          • haileTG

            Hi Fatima, thanks, I get it now.

            In fact, as far as views go, yours seems to be good one too (of the many different once put forth on the topic). Please correct me if I am wrong but you seem to be of the view that:

            1) Resolve any outstanding issue (border)

            2) Let each country focus in its internal priorities

            3) If situation permits, they can trade and cooperate within the context of the broader Eastern Africa trade markets

            4) And, if in time down the road, they both see the need to form closer ties, so be it.

            If I am reading you right, then even if I am of the closer ties guy, I still respect yours too and think that it is also one of a good offer, had it been on the table.

            In my view, two issues work against things resolving as you tend to prefer:

            1) Actually the issue of #1 is proving complicated and spirit of closer ties could be one way to break the deadlock.

            2) The Eritrean political situation highly volatile at the moment and change can happen any time. For some years now intl. pressure has been building on the regime, there is no sign now that it would be reversed, half a decade has passed with the regime under severe isolation and punitive measures. If the pattern remains the same with similar cases in other places, the Eritrean regime will definitely be brought down. The new set up and arrangements may be of interest to Ethiopian leaders, because it would determine the way things would start to shape up. Most likely the regime would be overthrown, and in such case scenario, may consider it strategic to make conditional offers to help/assist stabilize the situation (not through military intervention but there are many other ways). I am sure there are parties vying for influence too. The early days would pretty much seal the pattern for the following few decades (by African dicator’s time zone 😉

            So, you clean, indifferent and lawful approach to cooling off for a while to focus on internal priorities and let natural course take the driving seat, is indeed a fair and respectable one. But … hmmm we got to curse realpolitik 🙂

            Regards

          • Fetima Dechasa

            Dearest Haile,

            Precisely, you get the jest 🙂

            I know almost nothing about politics let alone African complex politics so bear with me here 🙂 you said, “may consider it strategic to make conditional offers to help/assist stabilize the situation (not through military intervention but there are many other ways).” What other intervention will you suggest if not military?

            “I am sure there are other external parties vying for influence too.” Yes I’m sure, however, from my standpoint, Eritrea cannot be influenced negatively towards Ethiopia any further than it has in the past so I think this should be of Eritrea/Eritrean concern (I know this may sound rather naive from a “political strategic” stance).

            Furthermore, I would like to share with you a short story amongst quite few personal experiences that shaped my views and forever removed the emotional investment I once held towards our northern neighbor.

            I moved to the US, Northern Cali in the early 2000s to attend a university. While at school there were a group of Eritreans who attended the university at the same time including a girl whose name I will not mention here. She was a graduate student at the time while I was a freshman. At any rate, I remember she was extremely aggressive, a proud supporter of Eritrean government, absolutely hated Ethiopia/Ethiopians and she was not afraid to say or show it, granted this was in the wake of the Ethio-Eri border war. An American born Ethiopian girl and her got in to a verbal exchange once because the Eritrea girl called her a word often used by Eritreans to insult Ethiopians of Tigrai origin and the venomous words she used to belittle Ethiopia and Ethiopians are forever imbedded in my head. After that encounter I saw her at school and in the Oakland area organizing and participating in political and social gatherings, etc. but never spoke to each other.

            Well, you can only imagine my surprise when I saw the same Eritrean woman in the heart of Addis Abeba conducting business in fluent Amarigna last year :). I had to do a double take to be sure that I wasn’t mistaking. Even more ironic… she actually came over and said hello to me and asked how I’m doing and attempted to carry on as if we were school buddies from back in the days :). I didn’t want to be impolite so I said hello and asked what brought her to Ethiopia, she stated that she works for an American company that has offices in Ethiopia and as a multilingual person (English, Amarigna, and Tigrigna speaker) they are paying her a boat load to work in Addis Abeba office. At that very moment, I didn’t know how to feel about it but I learned to accept certain things. Sadly, I know for a fact that she is still an active supporter of her government and for all I know she may even be a spy hiding behind her American passport. Anyway, these sort of experiences have shaped my views permanently. But the question remains, why would a person choose to live or deal with a nation of people they hate so much? Does this mean there is a price for everything even for ones dignity? I don’t know if I could feel that strongly about a place and people and do as she has done.

          • haileTG

            Dear Fatima,

            It is understandable that such types of individuals (and they make up a big portion of our two peoples) can make thinking other than the way you do rather daunting. In fact, your position isn’t even anything against Eritrea at all. You are simply acknowledging the magnitude of the challenge and pondering if that energy and resource be better applied in addressing priority issue for both countries and let natural course determine how they fare.

            With your latest example, I would also urge you to look at the mirror image in the positive side also. The many outreaches by peoples of both sides to overcome the divide, those so many inter-marriages that survived the barrage of haters over the decades and succeeded in raising families with one parent from each side, the people working at the citizen-citizen initiatives, those so many Ethiopians who looked after the properties of Eritreans in Ethiopia over the difficult years of the recent wars, the common work being done by members and leaders of faith groups from both sides… If those difficult experiences that you described in you situation above didn’t exist, then all the positive endeavors that I have outlined here wouldn’t have been needed.

            What gives me the staying will power in these discussions is because (I believe) it is that I am not attempting to be the voice of the men and women from our both countries who have access to everything modern life provides, yet wish to use that opportunity to divide people and undermine common interests (like the lady in your example). I am attempting to be the voice of those whose fundamental interests are at stake but have no recourse to argue they side of the story, the man who spent decades in a wedlock, had a farm raised many children and yet doesn’t know why his produce are not procured, his children are no where to be seen, his hut is dark and desolate and suffers in silence, knowing not why all this to him. This man can be in any side of the border, his community could belong to any one of our countries, but sadly solutions are imposed at his expense and on considerations that don’t reflect his fundamental interests.

            We heard of those unimaginative and uncreative, wall builders. Any one can pile rocks for a wall, their expertise isn’t needed in any case. But, I would take their wall building supplies and build highways, railways and airports to connect the peoples. When the lives of people in Senafe, Adi qeyih, Deqemhare, Adigrat, Axum and Mekelle is transformed by better supplies, disconnectedness and buying, selling and transporting capabilities, cheaper commodity, easy access to electricity, cheap gasoline… Then I would like to see the wall builder show his/her face and tell the people that they still wish to have that wall up.

            In the end, are there priorities for Ethiopians (whatever demography) that would benefit from normalization and close ties with Eritrea? Think all Ethiopians 🙂

            regards

          • Fetima Dechasa

            I am hopeful that peace and prosperity will be granted to both nations soon. I’m cautiously optimistic about economic collaboration within the next 10 years or so.

    • here comes the same thing. I don’t think you understood the situation. You are the one begging for relationship and normalization. All Eritrea saying is, vacate the land that the EEBC decided on and respect the verdict. Why are you reading something isn’t written or said?
      Lemonade? Lemonade my foot! I don’t think I have seen people so proud of begging and being addicted to aid? No offence. Again, all we are saying is get out and you can shove it any relationship or normalization you know where.

  • Kokhob Selam

    hailat, just to say something about the guarantee. I know you are asking to warm us so to go for next level as you mentioned.

    What about if I say our guarantee within us. What is the guarantee any way? The question always comes to mind. Although it is important question but it should not make the parties doubtful. There is no such thing as guarantee I think , there is only self trust. Trusting your program and letting others believe you is also a kind of creating joined interest. There is of course steps That should be followed.

    Let us set a group for peace that can include all parts of our nations. Even we can ask both governments to send their representatives if they are willing to see solutions although, we know who will react and to which level of degree. But this will put in corner to the side that is not willing to see peace in two brotherly people which in turn will expose our “governments” to our people. This in turn is part of guarantee as this will bring trust to those who want to see peace. to that level I am sure that citizen to citizen will solve all problems – (even both governments send their representatives).

    Seminars through this modern technology – and even face to face get-together programs will take us long step toward trusting each other. This in itself is part of creating trust – guarantee. interconnected peaceful horn is possible by giving examples like going back history of Ecuador and Peru, Argentina and Chile, and Brazil and Argentina, all those wars are either one dictator against democratic or both dictatorial regimes. Seldom history registered wars between two democratic nations. It is because people are interested in peace and development. You can’t find people who want war and drought in their nations. Showing each nation’s people what their interest , can be one part of the guarantee.

    The guarantee is on people. If each citizen is in peace with himself and with his nation, it is likely the same with other nations. Example The War between Argentina and Britain took place when Argentina was a dictatorship and we have seen how the
    dictatorial military group was thrown. And this is the evidence how democracy (people –citizens care for peace) even in its
    lowest stage.

    People before us have done it and we have got lesson how Greece and Turkey came to peace. They have fought three wars, but in none of those wars were democratic. They were both in dictatorship era. The reason is simple dictators even if there
    is constitution; they don’t have to worry as there is no accountability. Constitutions are always created to serve the government and if the government is not democratic (chosen by people) there will never be any mechanism to ask them why.

    Ethiopian and Eritrean as people are peaceful and it guaranteed simply as none want war. In fact no nations experience can guarantee us more than this two nations I think as the things that make us one are more than the things that make us
    two. so let us go for joined effort

  • haileTG

    Selam Awatistas,

    I think the merry-go-around in the arguments pertaining the Ethio-Eritrea conflict could have been redirected into workable path of reconciliation and normalization, if demands were to be made more clearer and tangible.

    For example, lets look at the persistent views aired by the Ethiopian debators here:

    – A guarantee that Eritrea wouldn’t attack Ethiopia is needed

    – A guarantee that the Eritrean mind set that they believe is at the root of the conflict be changed

    – A guarantee that Eritreans would no longer “take advantage” of Ethiopia

    – A guarantee of “durable peace”

    – A guarantee that nothing ever goes wrong in the relationship of both countries

    ….

    Now, how is any of the above guarantees expected to be rendered? By whom would such guarantee be expected to be given? What prove can there ever be to show that the guarantee is genuine? Who verify that and how? Who is mandated to be the credible party to make the offer?….

    Surely, the demands are undeliverable under the terms outlines. These are demands that can never have mechanisms of facilitation. They are prescribed in a manner that would make the removed from any means of practical interface by their very nature of open wording. In essence, such guarantees can only be met when the party, of whom such are demanded, ceases to exist. The end of Eritrea as a nation neighboring Ethiopia is THE only possible way such a demand can be met. There is no way a neighbor asks you that they need 100% guarantee that they will never be in conflict with you and that can be accommodated without one of you moving out. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the real coded message entailed in these demands is the end of Eritrea’s statehood.

    Now, I don’t want to go to the next level before checking with Ethiopian debators that if they see the ducks are properly lined up as far as the above theory is concerned or they think there are issues I overlooked here. So, let me invite their take on it without further ado.

    Cheers

    • T. Kifle

      Selamat haile TG,

      First of all I am afraid there is a single convergent view of Ethiopians here or elsewhere with regard to Ethio-Eri relationships. Having said this, let me throw my five cents vis-a-vis your summary
      1. No one, with average understanding of international politics, would be duped by such kind of “guarantees” indeed guarantee that the past is not to visit us in the future. Speaking of myself, I know the only way that guarantees peace in the neighborhood is having a deterring capability within self. So Ethiopia expects neither “guarantee” nor it would buy it if it comes in any form from anywhere. The problem today is under the bridge. We have learned our lessons. The situation of 1998 is not going to come again;it’s gone for good.
      2. If (1) is true, then, what do I expect Eritrea should do to normalize the embittered relations it have with my country? Show a sign of remorse for invading a sovereign nation unprovoked. No amount of legal arbitration or diplomatic maneuvers would change the facts on the ground. You can mount myriads of evidences from people that never taste a slight of the conflagrations the people on the ground have endured. But the problem remains deep in the hearts of the people who carry the scars as a result of such grave miscalculation of the Eritrean leadership. This is not something the next government cannot deal with. I think it’s simple demand and doable, costs Eritrea almost nothing except facilitating goodwill from the wider populace concerned. These messages are not supposed to be conveyed by words of mouth or in any other written format but be demonstrable through successive decisions and actions of the government with the other party reciprocating in kind in good faith Once Eritrea does that, the excesses of the war would be addressed holding each party accountable for the respective damage they caused to the common people of both sides not in manner to mount blames on each other but in a way that enable them understand how emotionally fed engagement devoid of the logic of conventional war elevated the tolls of carnage while complicating matters further.
      3. There are political parties in Ethiopia which are bent to bring back Assab which could match your conclusion of “questioning the Eritrean statehood”. To my humble understanding, this is a kind of perpetuating the same insanity reigned in the second half of the 20th century and I don’t think they will find as many buyers. Nevertheless, they still have the potential that can derail us from the road we have paved out in the past 23 years if we fail to act in a fitting manner. Though benign, many Ertreans have befriended these strange politicians who tend to drive in a reverse gear a surreal which gravely affects Eritrea.

      To sum up: no “guarantee” is indeed a guarantee and the Eritrean statehood is not discussable. For me and I can safely say for the vast majority of Ethiopians, Eritrea is a neighbor: a bad neighbor at that until come better days.

      • haileTG

        Merhaba T Kifle,

        Thanks for starting flesh out the basics of the matter. There are still many issues not clarified in your reply above, I will list them below so you can further clarify them:

        1 – Things that need to be done for normalization, as you put it, includes:

        a) Show a sign of remorse for invading a sovereign nation unprovoked.

        Please clarify, in what form you do expect such “sign of a remorse be expressed”? Based on your entry in (1) you made it clear that “Ethiopia expects neither “guarantee” nor it would buy it if it comes in any form from anywhere.” And you only see counter threat of violence or “deterrent Capability”** as the only means.

        b) No amount of legal arbitration or diplomatic maneuvers would change the facts on the ground.

        It is true that courtroom proceedings are no exact replication of the reality as it transpired. However, is the above belief of yours in effect ruling out recourse to peaceful and legal means to resolve the conflict portion of the problem and either impose your way or develop “deterrent capability” to force your way?

        c) The following is the closest you’ve gotten to saying what is indeed sought, but somewhat you then held off. I am going to paste it here so that you would tell me what those “series of successive decisions” are. Really, what are they, you really described them very passionately, without saying what they are. As you described them, your earlier “hostile” and “dismissive” (relying in force and dismissing legal resolution) suddenly melted off. You spoke with consideration of the other, long term interests of both and the rest. I would really like to know what are these “series of successive decisions”. Seriously, re-read the tone in your first few lines and your views have then completely calmed into rational and well meaning concepts.

        “This is not something the next government cannot deal with. I think it’s simple demand and doable, costs Eritrea almost nothing except facilitating goodwill from the wider populace concerned. These messages are not supposed to be conveyed by words of mouth or in any other written format but be demonstrable through successive decisions and actions of the government with the other party reciprocating in kind in good faith Once Eritrea does that, the excesses of the war would be addressed holding each party accountable for the respective damage they caused to the common people of both sides not in manner to mount blames on each other but in a way that enable them understand how emotionally fed engagement devoid of the logic of conventional war elevated the tolls of carnage while complicating matters further.”

        So, T Kifle, what are these things that can be done, they have obviously shown their power of touch on you, would you like to state them so we can have the same blessing 🙂

        2 – On the third paragraph (or #3), you wen’t back to the same frame of mind as in #1 and went on to say:

        a) Some Eritreans befriend those Ethiopian opposition still after Assab.

        To my mind, NO opposition or justice seeking Eritrean has ties with Ethiopian opposition. Do you mean the regime?

        b) The “bad neighbor” part is true (albeit can be said bad leadership on both sides), but your point that “no “guarantee” is indeed a guarantee and the Eritrean statehood is not discussable” brings us back to the same question that “then how can a durable peace be established without recourse to treaties and agreements?”.

        Regards

        ** Deterrent capability isn’t only attained by strengthening Ethiopia but more so in this case, by weakening Eritrea. Conventional war tools don’t do the job here because overwhelming Eritreans are opposed to Ethiopian domination. So, the obvious deterrent is having weak Eritrea, which is what IA has been engaged in since the end of the war and the purging of Eritrean patriots.

        • T. Kifle

          Dear haile TG,

          1. (a)Deterrence is the strategic element Ethiopia is currently pursuing. Ethiopia, by virtue of neglecting its defence forces, had contributed a lot to IA’s miscalculations. IA initiated the war because he was sure Ethiopia would surrender. It would be prudent we shouldn’t allow some lunatics from somewhere take the same advantage this time around. (b) “forcing” my way? Not at all. I am for a negotiated settlement taking the desire of the people residing over the contested areas at the head of everything else. (c) (1) admitting responsibility for the start of the war. Though, understandably, the coming government would likely be formed excluding PFDJ, the state is still responsible for all the sins and blessings transpired since independence. (2)close down all offices of the terrorists and any other armed opposition (3) immediately ending being a proxy of Egypt and other Arab states that strategically think Ethiopia is an enemy etc
          2. (a) Right, I don’t mean opposition but some learned men who should know better as individuals and/or part of the government’s spin club. (b) I hope that “better day would come”. The “bad neighbour” phrase is not a permanent attribute but describes the status quo as is.

          haile,
          The most interesting part of your reply is succinctly put in your PS. You see, that’s where the problem lies. The deterring capability of Ethiopia doesn’t need weakening of Eritrea. Eritrea can have all the feeling of strength it wants but in reality, under normal circumstances, it cannot possibly outfox Ethiopia. Eritrea is a small country. It cannot invest much on its military without significantly harming its economic well-being. That’s why, I subtly keep reminding people in this forum that they shun the appeal for war and military strength as a defining virtue. Eritrea will benefit from a lean military establishment while finding its niche in port services, tourism and other services. I understand the feeling of being threaten from the neighbourhood but when people comes to the stable state of their thinking mind, Ethiopia has all the potential to be a reliable friend of Eritrea as it had been in the years 1991-1998.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam T. Kifle,
            .
            Thank you, T. Kifle, for your contributions. I hope individuals like Amde, Horizon, Abinet, Kaddis and Eyob put in their nickels too.
            Their opinions and points of view is immense and I believe will give Haile TG more or less a comprehensive mixture for him to address and synthesize.
            .
            I think, Johar, Serray, Pappilion, Semere and Mohamud should throw in their dimes too. As much as I like Haile TG, as you know he is not the only Eritrean we have to listen to. Their input is solicited.
            .
            I hope Haile TG wait for a day or two for his final post. I almost missed this important topic, others might be in the same predicament.
            .
            K.H

          • haileTG

            hey K.H.

            I hope I answered some of your security related take on this issue in my response to T kifle. I will hold off till more views come forth (Abi did so far). Obviously with T Kifle we share a lot of common out looks and the current exchanges are helping in that sense.

            regards

          • Kaddis

            I think Ethiopians, specially the urbanities, sent a clear message to EPRDF in the 97 (2005) election that they messed up big time in the border issue. It was one of the reasons they lost huge number of votes. People were disgusted to say the least to go back to a war after 7 years of again messed up arrangement with Eritrea. Everybody new its was an unsustainable arrangement. Although I kind of share T.Kfle’s reasons; Woyane knew Shabia too well to fall for the Sheraro war. And there were enough evidence and advise to be cautious. BTW – common name for the war in Addis is Sheraro war – don’t know why.

            So, I think the awate team got it wrong if they are still expecting Ethiopians to come out and speak against the war. They did. If you follow the election debates, EPRDF always get a bloody nose for the war and for not keeping Ethiopian sovereignty. Its awate’s and vocal Eritreans turn to convince again the vocal Ethiopians – regardless of Ethiopians sleeping on the border – Eritrea made a huge mistake for starting the war.

          • Hmmmmm you To Kaddis?
            Okay if the cause war is Badime and if Eritrea started the war; and when the international court rendered its verdicts that Badime belonged to Eritrea. Does this mean Eritrea started the war by attacking her land? How do you start a war on your own land to uninhibited from your own? Does it make sense to you? I can’t ask the likes of T-K because they will never give you a straight answer but I am trying my luck with you.
            Now, would you please answer my question?

          • T. Kifle

            Hi Kaddis,

            you said, “Woyane knew Shabia too well to fall for the Sheraro war.”. You are right and that’s part of the problem. Many explanations have been around following the attack mainly revolving around the mischievous economic relationships Shaebia chose pursuing. Some from the Eritrean side also argued IA ignited the war as an excuse for shelving the constitution. Irrespective all the explanations why IA ventured to a debilitating war, one thing remains constant: The Ethiopian defence was totally unprepared for such an interstate war. This is a fact. Then, what do you think is the reason? All the indications were there. Even it had been rumoured that it was tabled for discussion at the executive level. The outcome? They voted against the motion and in fact against the visible realities in Eritrea. So if you are for the argument that they knew and believed Eritrea would attack us, then the consequence is that the EPRDF leadership conspired with the enemy and should have been tried for treason. I tend to believe otherwise: the Eritrean invasion had been a surprise attack.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Kifle,
            You are a man of peace; that I can attest to that. You are also on the left end of the Ethio political spectrum, which is to be admired and respected. The point however is that; to say the Ethio defense was totally unprepared for a war is quite not right, irregardless of whether and why IA started and inavded. May be financially but material-wise and personnel-wise the Ethio defense force was, is, and will be a formidable weapon. I know these facts from very close quarters!! The fact is that EPRDF never thought, for a moment, that EPLF would even consider of attacking. The talk was that of tantamount to “let them try.” Everybody could have seen and told war was coming in both Zalambessa and Rama boarders; the two borders I had frequented and spent some time between 1991-96.

            One thing I noticed then was that of decision making processes…. It was quite complicated and messy.

            Listen,…. and if you find this comment time wasting, please ignore it.

          • T. Kifle

            Dear Dis,

            How closer can you be when you say “Ethio defense force was, is, and will be a formidable weapon. I know these facts from very close quarters!!”? One thing though we are discussing the past not the current standing of EDF.

          • Saleh Johar

            T. Kifle,

            I hope you are noticing that extremism plagues both nations. This initiative is supposed to be a call for reconciliation, civil debate that might lead somewhere or not. Please help me communicate this to those hard headed elements who were are still are the impediment to any peace efforts.

            1. If one doesn’t accept Eritrea’s or Ethiopia’s existence as a nation, then this kind of initiative is not for them.
            2. If one thinks this is a forum for passing empty rulings, it is better they keep away.
            3. If some are not living in the region, and any fire they ignite will not touch them, please save your bravado and don’t be troublemakers and sponsors of disarray.
            4. Everyone should know their limit and not act as if they have power beyond their weak, individual self. They can promote hate, but cannot stand peace even if they pretend. Humility is the secret.

            This list can be expanded with other DO’s and DON”Ts. Can you help!

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Kifle,
            Very close. I was once attached to the wedi Ma’aro group in Holeta military academy during the tahadisso time. After that I left for Addis and then left for study. Dicho eso, I am only trying to bring to your attention the question of the extremely radicalized deported amiches and the reversely deported Tegaru between 1993-97. But, no matter!! Sin embargo, gracias for induldging me before I keep quite; as I mentioned earlier I am not a citizen of neither parties anymore.

          • Abinet

            Selam Ato Kifle
            I don’t think you are looking for the situation back in the years 1991-1997. That will make all Ethiopians angry and reject it outright . It is dead on arrival.
            We don’t need that kind of arrangement . We rather have no relationship than that kind of relationship .
            Thanks

          • T. Kifle

            Selamat Abinet,

            The pre-1998 situation happened the way it did because we were a single nation. There was inherent problem in both sides. Ethiopia wanted the divorce be less damaging both politically and economically. It wanted prove the ports were there to serve Ethiopia only then minus the 30 years old war. The port-frenzy political class mounted undue pressure on EPRDF that the country would melt before our eyes as they couldn’t think Ethiopia without ports. EPRDF succumbed to the same tune, started appeasing the Eritrean leadership and turned a blind eye on many issues against public mood. EPLF, Knowing that very Achills’ heel of EPRDF perfected all kind of machinations, blackmailing, illegal trade and what have you. Then, when EPRDF said enough, IA reacted in the manner he thought he knew best: getting his ways through the guns. Do you think that I was overlooking all these issues? Do you think the well-meaning Eritreans will appreciate that bad relationship and covet for its repeat? I personally don’t think so. Now, we are two nations. Every relationship would be governed by appropriate international laws and interstate agreemnets ratified by both sides. But amidst all of that, there was still a trust among each other over the bigger scheme of things. Ethiopia never thought even for a fraction of second that it would be invaded by Eritrea. What I am trying to say is given that a genuine popular government is installed in post PFDJ Eritrea, Ethiopia would reciprocate favourably, will remain trustworthy and respectful.

          • Abinet

            Selam Ato Kifle
            Thank you for the detailed reply . The last thing I want to see is an embassy turned to a black market site as has been the case before . I just can’t believe how low can one go as a representative of his country.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Kifle,
            It is nice seeing you coming out of the woods faster than anyone else. Although, the Ethiopians’ political view, at least those that are here in awate, ranges from the Tchaikovski’s waltz via the blue Danube thru Rachmaninov’s vocalise. That said, some of their view doesn’t even last Eine Kleine Nacht. I say this because the Eri’eans political view, here in awate as well as PFDJ, varies in a wide spectrum of classical music; from the Wagner’s Bayreuth Rienzi to Parsifal via Tannhäuser and Ludwig’s Emperor to the Eroica via Neptune. Very few Eri’eans have a melody of the Blue Danube.

            One thing though; you sure Ethiopia was invaded by surprise? You mean to tell me that they were not aware of it and gotten prepared for it? Not only I heard it from the horse’s mouth himself, those Eri’eans who were working in the palace were warned about it. Also, some of Ethios military schools and campuses were reopened back by the end of 1993. Former foes were being recalled for …. So, I find it a bit puzzling that you repeatedly keep on mentioning that Eri invaded Ethio by completely being caught off guard. Sure this won’t mean much in anyone’s war vocabulary but it may help in twicking your approach, twick being the emphasise.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear TK,
            Please for Gods sake don’t waste your precious time responding for such a boring old question from this nameless person. You better teach your students and help them build their country. It will be another round of running along the same circle. It has been told over and over again. May be exchanging ideas with few people the likes Haile TG would bring a lasting solution in the distant future. Otherwise, this and others will drags you back and I don’t think the problem will get solutions discussing with the likes of Disc.

          • Hope

            Come on Rahwit,
            Irrespective of his ID,the debator has brought some possible facts to T Kifle’s attention,i.e.,he/she is responding to what Mr.T Kifle said or has bragged about thinking that it is only he/ T Kifle who knows about the ins and outs of the Ethio-Eri politics or internal business.
            I would respond to him in an approrpriate way,i.e.,–just challenge the idea rather than attacking the persona.
            If Ethiopia was not preped for the war,why then Ethiopia invaded Adi Murug with a well armed Brigade?
            Or why would Ethiopia confidently incorporated huge Eritrean land to the new Abay Tigray Map?
            Practtically speaking,Ethiopia was more preped than Ethiopia as Erittrea’s Army was only ill preped with max of 50K soldiers despite it was engaged with Yemen,legitimately.
            BTW,you think the other debators are street people with no jobs?

          • haileTG

            Dear T Kifle,

            In my opinion, you now outlined some points that I have strong agreement with. Before I go to delve into those, let me offer brief clarification in the way my remark in the “PS” section wasn’t as clear that I should have made it. I take the blame for that. By weak Eritrea, I was thinking of the socially broken, economically bankrupt and politically at loggerheads within itself and outsiders Eritrea. I didn’t mean solely defensive capabilities, although a small, well run and accountable defense capability is really enough for us, because with the Ethio-Eritrea tension resolved, I don’t see any need for undue militarization. IA’s role in weakening Eritrea is more pronounced in all the other sectors, including dispersing the youth and closing off Eritreans from any form of REAL participation in building their country. Once he is done reducing the whole country into a ravaged, impoverish and deserted venue in the horn, any form of “threat” that Ethiopia would feel (as proposed earlier in this discussions) would be neutralized, albeit in an unsustainable and least effective way. So, I was not intending to give the idea that strong Eritrea is one based on militarized state.

            Now my take in each of your numbered entries:

            1) The start of the clashes in Badme was so determined independently (by examining the events of May 6) to be unlawful by court of law. That decision stands in as far as recognizing our fault in that specific occasion. That can’t be hushed under the carpet and it is a determination that we would consider a point of “good will” to own up to.

            2) In order to promote peaceful and close relationship with Ethiopia and the rest of the region, Eritrea MUST must not be used as a staging ground for any hostile act outside of its territory. This should even be provided for in the new Eritrean Constitution. The current opposition groups, without prejudice to their specific grievances, need to be clear that they can’t use Eritrea for any such activities. Should they request the assistance of the good offices of the future government of the sate of Eritrea to facilitate rapprochement and peaceful resolution of their issues, provided it is welcomed by all concerned parties, we shall facilitate that. Beyond that they would be requested to cease their activities in the country linked to hostile acts immediately.

            3) Our strategic interest is a peaceful Ethiopia and Eritrea that would turn their focus on working to eradicate poverty and backwardness. Our foreign and diplomatic activities ought to foster such fundamental ideals of peaceful and harmonious coexistence, in that spirit our country need to closely work and cooperate with Ethiopia to further the sustenance of peace and development in the region.

            Over period of time, many social conflict would resolve themselves.

            Regards

          • Hope

            —-and I hope Ethiopia shall do the same..

          • T. Kifle

            Dear haile TG,
            I completely agree with you here. I socially broken and destitute Eritrea is the last thing I wish to see. The benefits for Ethiopia from a vibrant Eritrea are abound. Peace cannot be maintained in a socially broken state. We should come out of the mundane vanities and unwarranted prides that perpetuate conflict and instability. I don’t see the slightest of problems as far as people to people relationships is concerned and normalization can start any moment the political class signals the goodwill. At government to government levels, sustainable relationships would be maintained when the countries take the strategic interest of one another at heart. Honestly, I don’t see any strategic crossing between the two countries. All indicators show that we are almost a single thread that can complement each other in every sphere one can think of. Simply put, there is no inherent basis for conflicting values and interest be it social, economical if our policies are driven by interests of the majority. If such trust and confidence building is don amicably the two nations can set another example of win-win relationships in the horn. We are just wasting opportunities for nothing. Of course how to remove PFDJ is the million dollar question.

            regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mr. Kifle,
            Allow me to interject questions to your debate with Haile-TG on “policy and relationship” matters between Eritrean and Ethiopia, and your view on the subject matter.

            In the argument above on your point (c) 1, 2, 3, I see them as sets of preconditions laid down by you to have any meaningful relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia. So my question to you will be (a) Aren’t you telling us, Eritrea as sovereign nation hasn’t the right to build its own diplomatic relationship, however it deems and whatever the scope and magnitude that relationship might evolve? (b) Aren’t you imposing your policy to Eritrea, if you are one of the policy makers? (c) Is this what mutual relationship mean in you political vocabulary? (d) Should the current Ethiopian government take the responsibilities for everything the Haileselassie and the Derg regime has done the atrocities to our people? (e) If your preconditions are not met, do you think that there will be no meaningful relationship between the two people? I think Mr. Kifle you shouldn’t forget that similar questions could also come from our side.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidret,
            .
            “…..similar questions could also come from our side.” I wish you raise them explicitly, hopefully all of them. He is responding to Haile TG’s inquiry.
            .
            From my point of view, on one issue you implied in passing, I look at it this way. As an example, If Egypt continues its enmity into the future as it did for a millennia, we expect Eritrea to be on our side. For whatever legitimate reason if that is not possible, at least be absolute neutral. However, you make a choice to side with Egypt, then you should not be surprised we will always look at you with suspicion ,mistrust and everything it entails.
            .
            I am sure you will feel the same if you have some real disagreement with Yemen and you see our leaders having breakfast, lunch and dinner at Sana Hilton.
            .
            K.H

          • Hope

            Kim,
            As I told before,read history–as recent as 1993-1997.Who has betrayed who?
            Siding with Egypt.the Sudan,or Yemen is the last option for us.At best,we will stay neutral(EPLF Policy),at worst,we will side with Russia or China or Egypt,when we need it for our National Security Interest and only and only if we are threatened more than we are now by the same Ethiopia you worried about being “threatened” by Eritrea,which is “ab semay zello demena”.
            As Haile TG said,how can Eritrea threaten Ethiopia when you believe that it is the samllest and the weakest Nation in your mind.?
            As to Sana,please read history.It was the EPLF/Eritrea,which created a UNITED Yemen but due to Hannish Kibir Islands,they will remain our enemie since they know that we will appeal in the right time for the Islands.
            The same applies to Ethiopia: It was the same EPLF,which you are blaming now ,which stood firm for a United Ethiopia by taking a risk of isolating the OLF and the ONLF

          • Abinet

            Hope
            Could you please tell me more how Eritrea help create a united Yemen . I thought Yemen was united before Eritrea became independent .
            I also want to know what was the selling point to create a united Yemen while you were fighting to create an independent country. I hope you didn’t say ” unity is strength “

          • Hope

            Mr Abi,
            We are serious here.Read history and I hope Eyob Medhanie will google and help you out.
            PIA personally, not only mediated but also helped both Yemenis to be United.
            U remember N and South Yemen?

          • Abinet

            Hope
            I need your help badly. Forget Eyob what does he know?
            The two Yemen were united in 1990 . IA became president in 1991 . I am confused.
            Are we talking about the same IA ? Don’t tell me he has cloned himself . In that case we are in trouble since we don’t exactly know how many IAs there are out there waiting to be the next peace makers or dictators . God help us !

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abi,

            Come on… Don’t you know Isayas Afeworki can walk on water, raise the dead, heal those fallen sick, smite those, who disobey him with lightning fire and glide to the heaven with his six wings? So how dare you doubt that he had nothing to do with reunification of Yemen? Don’t you believe? Don’t you have faith? Tsk Tsk Tsk….

          • Abinet

            Eyobe
            All I say is ” egzio mahrene isayas”

          • Hope

            —ohh,come on,you did not know that PIA is a ghost where he can be in ten places at one time?

          • Rodab

            Hello Hope,
            You didn’t meet the minimum requirement of addressing Abinet’s logical question. When you write something and you are asked about it, you should try to provide explanation, or clarification.

          • Abinet

            Rahwa nefse
            Lemin taschenqiwalesh ?

          • Abinet

            Sorry I meant to say Rodab. With apologies .Rodab, sometimes we lower the bar.

          • Hope

            Rodab,
            Are you denying that Eritrea has contributed for the peaceful Unification of the Yemens?

          • Abinet

            Hope
            I give you two facts
            1. May ,1990—- unification of the two Yemen
            2. May 1991 —–independence of Eritrea
            Now you can do anything you want with these facts. You can deny it,reverse it,modify it ,accept it …. It’s all upto you.
            Enjoy

          • Hope

            Eng rodab,
            I was responding to Eyob for saying:
            “Come on… Don’t you know Isayas Afeworki can walk on water, raise the dead, heal those fallen sick, smite those, who disobey him with lightning fire and glide to the heavens with his six wings? So how dare you doubt that he had nothing to do with reunification of Yemen? Don’t you believe? Don’t you have faith? Tsk Tsk Tsk…”
            Courtesy of Eyob Medhanie..
            And you expect me to give him a reasonable clarification?
            Why don’t you give him one Rodab?

          • Rahwa T

            Abinet,

            It is weird to read that Iasaias reconciled leaders of the two Yemenis long before he became a leader of the the new born nation and yet he was a rebel leader who fought for the secession of his nation from an African ‘colonizer’. Your question is deliberately skipped. ebakihn yemayTeyeQ TiyaQie eyeTeyeQk sew ataschegir.

          • Hope

            Dear Rahwa,
            Lleaving aside your obssession with PIA and politicizing issues,swallow the BITTER truth that,irrespective of what ,why,how and for what purpose, it was Eritrea,which:
            -drafted or contributed immensely for the self determintaion of the S Sudan People,the most oppressed people in the world.
            -helped for Darfur Peace Negotiation
            -Resolution of East Sudan Issue with the Central Gov
            -Eritrea has welcomed the peaceful resolution of the Ethio-Eri Border based on the Court and the EEBC Verdict
            -Eritrea accepted the Qatari Mediation for its “border issues” with Djbouti-Eritrea respected the Court verdict albeit painfully, the Hannish islands dispute with Yemen.
            But your Ethiopia is being rewarded for Invading Neighbors like Somalia and occupying Sovereign Eritrean Land illegally–with fuill blessing of her masters.But you have th egut to curse Eritrea,which has remained the victim—the Hypocrisy of Hypocrisies.

          • Abinet

            Hope
            Please join me in nominating IA for noble peace prize. According to you he deserves it. No wonder you are proud of him. I would be if he accomplished half you mentioned for the peaceful existence of the region.

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Hope,
            bante bet meliseh motehal. Just focus on the main issue and bring the evidence (as your President always says).

          • Hope

            —–and yet,Wed memhir,if I may add,it was us Eritreans ,who made T Kifle and his leadership to open their eyes and to have this chance—
            As to the 40yrs of Degue and Janhoy incurred human and material damages,PMMZ(RIP) said it all that we deserve compnesation for all the damages but PMMZ,Ethiopia will never be able to compensate even the tip of the iceberg let alone the trillion $ worth of compensation.
            to me, this is a typo defense mechansim and a cover-up arguiement.
            As to T Kifl,let him bark for now until he comes back and begs Eritrea and Eritreans in a matter of few yrs when Eritrea and Eritreans will have NO Limit but the sky as to where they will reach–when the current system is gone for good.
            He seems to have a selective “dimentia” about the Eritrean History and Eri Achievement.
            These are people who are ill-wishing us to be like Somalia so that their” Peace-keeping Mission Forces” will be relocated to Eritrea…..as the debator above by the name Crocus(crooked) is predicitng.
            For God’s sake,how can these people be Peace Partners?

          • Crocus

            “… as the debator above by the name Crocus(crooked) is predicitng.”

            If this is your first scoop on why the Task Force was organized, then it will serve you well to find out more on your own. What I related in my comments is information. It was not my assessment, although I have no reason to doubt the validity of the assessment itself. (Work on your reading comprehension before you mouth off. Go back and read the statement.) But you seem to resist information that rattles you.

            And I am not crooked. That just defines you juvenile and immature. And do not mistake what is being said here for a debate. If you are expecting winners and losers, which is what a debate implies, we are wasting time. I like to think it is a discussion aimed at brainstorming a potential solution to a complex problem. It is for grown ups, not for simpletons. If I did not think this was a genuine call for a discussion, I might just as easily heed the saying “good fences make good neighbors,” and do something else worthwhile than squander my time here.

          • Hope

            Dear Crocus,
            My apology if I misread you but the following statements bothered me:
            -Your wish for con-federation without mentioning or considering the Eritrean people’s wish or consent or feeling and emotions….wrong comment at the wrong time and at the wrong place or site!
            -Your speculation that Eritrea might end up like Somalia and ,hence,the The Task Force from Somalia might be relocated to Eritrea.
            -The precondition you put forward.
            N.B. The Topic is about People-to-people reconciliation but you jumped into unconstructive inputs and topics we are trying to avoid for now–
            If you are genuine about peace,you do not jump into those issues that might be considered or perceived as anti-peace comments.
            -We do not need “Peace Keepers” in Asmera as we have bad experince besides being the Agents of Rape,Chaos, instability,Spying,Human Trafficking….
            What we need is to be left alone so that we can do our business.
            You are just aggravating the Trust issue.

          • Crocus

            I suggested confederation simply because for the greater benefit of full economic integration, I do not see how else it can be practical. This is why I called on people to identify their “goals”. For me, it is full economic integration. If full economic integration is not the goal, there is no need for a confederation.

            Reading through comments, I got the impression that for some commentators the goal is simply peace, and for others being good neighbors. These are easy goals to achieve, specially for individuals already determined or predisposed to make peace or foster neighborliness. However, that can hardly be the ultimate goal. If peace is the only destination, it suffices not to throw stones at each other, to respect each other, and to live in harmony. If neighborliness is the final goal it can be arrived at by creating peace, or, as I indicated in my sarcastic comment above, by erecting fences. Good fences make good neighbors.

            So everyone has to define the ultimate goal. For me, it must lead to economic integration, and there is no such thing as half integration. Full economic integration just does not work without a central authority, simply because the two nations will start from imbalanced economies, or imbalance will inevitably occur. Moreover currency manipulation will be rampant, and outsiders will do their best to play the field for their own advantage and saw conflict. All these would lead to certain failure. These are practical issues which are solved by plugging the holes that will create these problems in the first place. This is the reason for suggesting con-federation to centralize a few areas of operation, defense, foreign affairs, currency (including monetary [supply of money, rate of interest] and fiscal [taxation] policies). The business of government requires that.

            You may have looked at my suggestion from the political perspective, as a question of power. It is not. I see it from business and economic perspective. You can read about it from the history of many nations. More recently, the prime minister of UK warned Scottish nationalists that they cannot use the Pound if they break away from the United Kingdom. He was not being mean. He just knows well it would destabilize the currency.

            Now, people can choose living in peace and being good neighbors without economic integration. I have no problem with that. But, how can it help Eritrea?

          • Hope

            —–on the same token, Ethiopia should apologize formally and officially for:
            1)the 40 plus yrs of devastation—-and try to compensate for the 40 plus yrs of human and material damages
            2)For unilaterally annexing the Sovereign Eritrean Lands
            3)For Invading Adi Murug unprovoked
            4)For torturing and deporting the poor peasants at the borders
            5)For deporting bare-feet 80K plus Ethiopians of Eritrean origin

        • Hope

          Haile TG:
          I appreciate your genuine debate but I feel bad for you for NOT having a matching partner as it takes two to tango.
          .As to your assertion saying: “So, the obvious deterrent is having weak Eritrea, which is what IA has been engaged in since the end of the war and the purging of Eritrean patriots”,I have found it to be quite a bit amusing eventhough not new for you.
          We have agreed that PIA has contributed his share but while knowing fully on a day light that Ethiopia and Ethiopians including those in this forum,have practised an open policy of all kinds under the SUN to weaken and destroy Eritrea and while they are openly telling you :” Why should we talk peace with a dying regime or bad neighbor’?”—–you are still pointing the finger exclusively at Eritrea/PIA?
          Good luck to you.

      • tafla

        Kab zete delina mbal’si, aHxir abilka, aghidka SEYOUM belu mbal mHashe :-).

      • Hope

        Mr T Kifle,
        You said:”….Show a sign of remorse for invading a sovereign nation unprovoked”:
        Here are the FACTS for those who might read you at face value:
        That statement actually defines Ethiopia for what it did :
        -Invading Adi Mururg in 1997,a land unequivocally belonging to a Sovereign Eritrea unprovoked
        -Incorporating a huge chunk of a Sovereign Eritrean land to Tigray Map
        -harrassing,torturing,etc… and deporting in an organized manner Eritreans living in a Sovereign Land in 1990s.

    • Haile WM

      hi Haile TG,

      the perception of many ethios in the forum (maybe the perception of the ethios in general? ) that eritrea is a danger to Ethiopia for is laughable to say the least. They keep telling us we are a small nation etc.. I wonder what is their fear then.
      As for the guarantee they keep asking, in my opinion, is like a man asking the creator for a guarantee that he will be a happy man, guarantee he will be successful in his professional an private life and finally, a guarantee that finally he will enter the paradise, all guaranteed 😉 after all he might not need to work for his aspirations he need only written and oral guarantees.

      my perception as an eritrean is that they give us the guarantee that they don’t ask guarantees in first place 😉
      and to put it as they try to sell reality to us, we would like if they admit their mistakes and we will happily live ever after as good neighbors.

      on a serious note, some ethios in this forum are really annoying me with their comments stating that they gave us our freedom. You should remind them sometimes it’s not their will and they should read history as I get too sarcastic in interacting with them lately.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Haile TG,
      .
      Thanks for the invitation and forward looking discussions. On the list you itemized I prefer the operative word to be “demonstrate” over a period of time instead of guarantee. I think it will work better.
      .
      I want to add another item to your list that is deep rooted concern of Ethiopia, in my opinion. That is …Demonstrate that you will not be used as a staging platform for Ethiopian real or perceived enemies.
      .
      The “Eritrean mind set” you mentioned on your list is problematic to me . It is hard to separate it from Ethiopian mind set and other issues for discussion separately, unless one wants to talk about it for ever. Time and enlightened leaders in all fields will solve or deal with it.
      .
      Overall we want Eritrea to be strong enough to defend itself.
      We will watch Eritrea’s back if you watch out for our back. This may not be accomplished in a year or a decade but if we start now it will incrementally grow and in less than 23 years, it will be an illustration of excellent national relationship for the world to see.
      .
      K.H

      • Hope

        Dear Kim Hana,
        That was the pre-1998 agreement,Wasn’t? And who violated it and why and under what circumstance?I will leave these issues for Historians to avoid un-necessary confusion.
        What did PIA say at the meeting in Addis?
        Didn’t he dare to say that there will be a sorty of co-federation in a decade or two—by will though.
        That has been my wish and prediction if things have gone and will go naturally,even in the future provided things are left to but to the people.
        Let us be fare.
        As to the list of the “Guarantees”, I would list more than that but –they should be MUTUAL by any standard.
        As to regional Alliance,our first pick was Ethiopian and will be Ethiopia provided that there are “Guarantees”,trust and MUTUALISM,NOT Commensalism though.
        On ething clear:
        As long as Eritrea and Eritreans are respected in a mutual way and are considered and treated as good neighbors,and recognized officially and seriously as an Independent and Sovereign Nation and people by Ethiopia and Ethiopians,Eritrea will never be a threat of any kind to Ethiopia.
        Eritrea and Eritreans will seek Alliance with any Country, Region, Bloc or Power if,and only, if thretatened by Ethiopia and Ethiopians,which has been the case since 1997.
        Remember again the pre-1997/8 status.
        Eritreans took risks to the extent of damaging the ONLF and OLF strong-holds for the sake of Allianace with Ethiopia and for the sake of keeping Ethiopian Unity INTACT.
        Therefore,it is bogus to argue otherwise based on factual history that Eritrea has been a threat to Ethiopia by any std or criterion..

        • Hope

          Dear kim Hana,
          Please read “fare” as ” fair”—What you said was exactly the pre-1998 agreement.Wasn’t it,Kim Hana?

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Hope,
          .
          Not quite the pre 98 status. See Abinet’s comment below, I am with him on that.
          .
          The past is the past, we have to move on the new realty now. One realty I picked up at Awate University is that on your side their is a significant real fear and suspicion of too much closeness. Talk of confederation, Habeshaness and the like fans that smoldering suspicion. I think that adds to the trust deficit of each other to work together as a unit. It is not good for you or us.
          .
          I think for the next 100 years or so we need to learn to be good brotherly neighbors for the benefits of all our people.
          .
          K.H

          • hope

            Kim,
            Insh’llah—Let it be God willing.
            We are open—
            Rest assured that Eritreans are NOT fearful for being”too Close” to Ethiopians.
            Are you old enough to remember the 193-1997 closeness we have had?I was there,have been and have done that.
            I will rather enjoy it for being too close to/with Ethiopians–of course with some space as do the most loving friends do(girl-boy friend thing,if U wish).
            You know the compassionate heart of the Eritreans and we never bite unless someone bites us ,as people; but/and even if some ones bites us,we forgive and we forget.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Kim Hanna,

            Do you know what the other reality is? The venue for Conflict resolutions and diplomatic relationship is sitting in a round table. The virtual world isn’t. Awate.com can only be the source of education for the general public at large and if possible to cultivate the good will. That’s all.

  • Hope eri @yahoo.com

    Where did you borrow the name. Abel from?

  • Hope eri @yahoo.com

    If you stay away from our business, we can show you the money and the talent.
    If we have developed Ethiopia,why can’t we develop Eritrean with untapped wealth unheard of?

  • Mekelle Adey

    The reason Ethiopians talk about Eritrea is because of its outcome. Ethiopians supported its independence, let it go and watched it burn itself. Even after giving Eritrea freedom, Eritrea still has the nerve to attack Ethiopia over land, without peaceful talks. Badme war could have been avoided had Isaias had a discussion. It isnt like the people of badme just appeared one day. Ethiopia does all it can to help modernize the horn and bring it into the 21 century. Eritrea on the other hand is no different than North Korea. Both beautiful land with beautful people. Just ugly ugly government, military, police, citizen police. Its like Nazi

    • Hope

      Stay at mekelle and mind your business. ya hassad,and jealous wahid.
      The topic here is about Reconcilaition and Regional Economic Integration.

    • tafla

      ቀደም ብደምን ርሃጽን ኤርትራውያን ፣ ሎሚ ድማ ከም ቀደምና። ናጽነትና ብርህራሀ ኢትዮጵያ ዝረኸብናዮ ኣይኮነን ፣ መጻኢና ከኣ ባዕልና ኢና ንውስኖ ።

    • Peace!

      Hi Mekelle,

      I think you missed the point. It is not about the current Ethiopia that is ruled by the despised minority dictatorship; it is about the genuine Republic of Ethiopia where Asmara is more welcome than Mekele.

      regards

  • senai

    tesfabrhan, i am sure means ray of hope something to that effect.. why then are you always having this gloomy interpretation of any thing from home.common tesfa..

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear senai,

      If religious leaders are receiving commands and lectured on societal values by the police commander and if this is a ray of hope for you, I will just say, you are the worshiper of a MAN. In fact, I will not be surprised by your response because everything that comes from the dictatorial mouth-piece is your doctrine.

      You said, “why then are you always having this gloomy interpretation of any thing from home.common tesfa..” Did I interprate the news on unfounded reasoning? I am not a worshiper of dictators, just remember this. To expose PFDJites lines so that the voice of the voiceless to be heard is at least what I can do at this moment.

      Do you remember 18/09? What is meant for you senai? Is there any hope that is aired from Asmara?

      Look, the engineer who is in the news supervising the maintenance of the dam is my former student. He is in a mission to avoid the failure of the dam because of heavy cracking and for doing this 500 man-power is participating on daily bases. Where are the machineries then? The dam is heavy damaged and is at risk of collapsing. The people could not get help from the PFDJ companies, even a single machinery, to maintain the dam. My former student and now an engineer in the sub-zone is trying his best. Within this 12 minutes TV news, if you can tell me there is at least one hope coming from Asmara, I will be happy to hear you.

      Do not fool yourself about the good summer. Even during the best summer rain, Eritrea can only secure 60% of its cereal demand. 40% will be imported through black-market, you know it very well dear senai, how PFDJ trades.

      The rest, read what saay7 wrote in an excellent way. PFDJites are there to give commands, a typical working system of dictators.

      My hope is on the letter (Where is your brother?) and if you have a good heart, to respond and say he is everywhere even inside a closed container that is crossing to UK and without care.

      read this: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/19/eritreans-lorry-dover-migrants-calais-uk

      hawka
      tes

      • haileTG

        Dear Tess,

        “If religious leaders are receiving commands and lectured on societal values by the police commander…” is an observant reflection that highlights the poignant reality that they’ve created with denial and false hopes. If they could, they would take shelter in that sand castle home of their convoluted moral bankruptcy till the house falls from its roof above their heads to the depth of its foundations, instantly burying them under. If they are smart enough to build this grave, how do they miss it that it is intended for them? PFDJ supporters would have made the comedy of the century, if it wasn’t for the tragic consequences of their dim heartedness. The following video has no ray of hope in it, pure abomination…

        https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152646540006211

        [NB: graphic and disturbing content]

        regards

      • Hope

        Prof Tesfalidet W.Redie’,
        Ahlen Yidanday Hayis we Faris wed farsotat,
        You are on the spot but at times,it might be helpful to be “Optimistic”.That is the message of sara we senay?same person,and if so–change the IPs/computers?Just kidding…Moderator
        Here is how I see it:
        -That the letter of Catholic Bishops might have started working
        -That the PFDJ might be admitting its mistakes and is kind of indirectly trying to correct something(guilty feeling thing),eventhough it has tried to act like more Catholic than the Pope.
        -The Religious Leaders might use this “lecture” as an opportunity to push more about their own way of teaching Values.

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear yidan Hope,

          As my name indicates, I am full of hope from my birth, even my family gave me these wonderful name. But to be optimistic…? From what and what? Are you kiding me, to be an optimistic from PFDJ? gosh!

          Just read your own comments. You could have been an advocate of justice and hope but you are num,ber one to diffuse FEAR of the future. Come-out from your trauma and rename your real name. Naming Hope as your nick-name is just destroying you. A man should live on reality and if he can not read what is really coming, he must have a gut to listen from wise people and you are endowed here at awate with future readers (prophets of Eritrean politics, even far to the whole region). Benefit from this and drop your fear based hope. Nick-names deceive the mind! Mind your mind.

          • hope

            Come on Prof—typo of you.
            U read me wrong.
            I know people with a name like jesus and does that mean they are jesus.?It is a good wish by parents as your parents wished for you .
            Yes I am traumatized but still hopeful.I do not believe in extreme opinions and stands but kind of Midway approach.
            That is my firm stand.
            We have seen worse parties and Systems than the PFDJ but most of them ended up repenting.
            Where there is Hope,there is Faith and where there are both Hope and Faith,there is Love and I am working on the latter—-If you are hopeful,then you have to be optimistic.
            Fear?
            I hate it ,even the term itself….but when you experienced serious trauma—–fear will control you at times–

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Where is your brother?

    Started to shake the dictatorial regime in Asmara and a police commander is ordering 150 religious leaders to teach societal values. According to shabait’s quoted words, ”The Commander of the Eritrean Police Force, Col. Mehari Tsegai, has called on religious leaders to play active role in nurturing and keeping intact the nation’s cultural values.”

    http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/17887-col-mehari-calls-on-religious-leaders-to-nurture-and-keep-intact-nations-cultural-values-

    This is a joke, a real joke. After the 4 Catholic bishops wrote a religious letter, the totalitarian regime who has no shame to put a patriarch under house arrest and replace him by PFDJ religious messiah, the fate of PFDJ is coming to an end. Calling 150 religious leaders ,ight be one of its first in its kind to be a gathering moment in Asmara. Worse is, they did not gather to speak on the deteriorating religious values under PFDJ system but to receive a command from a police offcer so as to respect nation’s cultural values. Religious leaders are meant as guardians of belief and feeders of the human spirit tozards inner peace.

    The primary mouth piece of the regime in Asmara wrote, “The Commander further urged communities to step up collaboration with the Police Force regarding crime prevention.” Yes, the commander who is commanding religious leaders to be an extension of his office and work in spying the people. This is a clear sign of complete authorian system. Religion is a tool of PFDJ and religious freedom is totally absent.

    Imagine, once a marxist-Leninst guarilla fighter, who denounced God as a simple matter, calling religious people, whose prime mission is teach about God, be receivers of order from a commander in chief of the Eritrean police officer. Just imagine!

    This is a moment where the letter wrote by the Catholic Church is showing its significant influence to the regime.

    Another shameful statement which was written in the page was, ” …meeting is aimed at nurturing a law-abiding society and the supremacy of the rule of law.” Who has to respect rule of law? The regime or the society? And where is Rule of Law in the PFDJ system? Society respects rule of law when the state respects that first. But what we have at the top is regime that rules the state by “rule of the jungle” even no shame to sit infront of 150 religious leaders and command them to respect rule of law while there are 10,000 political and religious prisoners are living under ground. WHo knows the that they are gathering has a cave where 100s are living in darkness and are listening what the commander is speaking.

    “Where is your brother” is a message that can be drained from the shelf easily. Thanks to the courageous religious leaders who changed the orbit of PFDJ political state.

    Advocasy of the letter!
    tes

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Another shameful hearing is, Eri-TV said, ” because of the constant teachings on regulations, public awareness is increasing from time to time.” Does Eri-TV knows that 800 years before and some 1000s years before the society who was living in today’s Eritrea had their own system of rule and is still well documented by the society? Not only this, the religious leaders have a regulation that is well respected by its followers.

      http://vimeo.com/106684329

    • Rodab

      Great analysis, Tes nebsi.
      He said, ” …meeting is aimed at nurturing a law-abiding society and the supremacy of the rule of law.” What a mockery!!

      Some family members of the victims of September 2001 were on Radio Erena yesterday. One of the things that was said was while in prison, Dawit Issak had fainted and fell to the ground. It was because he accidentally saw his dad’s eulogy on the news paper he was reading. Imagine that! Seyoum Tsehaye’s mom said out of all previous regimes that ruled Eritrea, it is the current one that doesn’t allow family visitation. His sister said speaking up meant she no longer has the right to visit Eritrea…

      As the tyrannical regime’s heinous crimes of September 2001 are being commemorated for the 13th time, it is extremely upseting to hear such most hypocrite so called “supremacy of law” lecture by a regime that has absolutely no business in lecturing on the subject. What a contempt, what a joke!!!

      • haileTG

        Selam Tes and Rodab,

        If the regime wasn’t lead by ignorant $#$$ we would have had it. The regime a true and unyielding enemy of the Eritrean people. Within that context, I would imagine the task of exposing this cardinal truth in whatever ways possible is like saving life. There really isn’t two way about it other than (sooner or later) physically dealing with the nutcase. Can you think of “one single” right or privilege that was taken away from the people, under any pretext, being ever restored by the regime? No, because what is implemented is a deliberate act of controlled demolishing of Eritreans. That is why I don’t question the regime on the specific roles it plays as an avowed enemy, just go on attacking it. Unless Eritreans some what see the urgency (they know the sufferings), it would be too late. I would liken it to the strange case that if throw a frog into hot water, it would jump out, but if you place it in a cold water and then turn on the heat, as the water boils, it would sit there till it gets fried to death. Our people must re-evaluate and taking a physical measure against the nutter is way past due.

        cheers and thanks brother Tess (you’re the real great 🙂

        • saay7

          Haile TG, Tes and Rodab:

          The core problem of the regime was summarized by Wedi Tkabo in his interview with Assenna after he disassociated himself from them: something like: “if I am going to listen to you 100 times, you have to listen to me at least once.” Let me illustrate here from the broadcast that Tes shared with us:

          (1) Governor goes on agricultural inspection tour and then, here are the verbs used to explain his communication with the people.

          (a) What he did:

          ጸዊዑ: called on
          ኣዘኻኺሩ: reminded
          ኣቕሪቡ: presented
          ኣመስጊኑ: thanked
          ተላቢዩ: appealed
          ምዒዱ: advised

          (b) What the people did:

          (no verbs used)

          (2) the Chief of police assembled 250 religious leaders to discuss law and morality and here are the verbs associated with…

          (a) What he did:

          ኣዘኻኺሩ: reminded
          ጸዊዑ: called on
          ተላቢዩ: appealed
          ነጺሩ: clarified

          (b) ቃል ኣትዮም: promised

          Isn’t it clear from the verbs used where the balance of power is? When the Millenials (those born between 1979 and 1994–the equivalent of our Agelglot age kids) were entering the workforce in the United States, there were dozens of books on how to communicate with them. Do you think the regime spends a single energy trying to communicate with the people in a way to make them valued and respected or does it talk down to them like they are children?

          Now, sometimes, in rare occasions for reasons not entirely clear at all (most likely intra-regime politics of destroying one another’s careers), the people are allowed to speak candidly and the regime takes a listening role. And when that happens, well…here is a video we have all seen: Keren residents giving the regime a piece of their mind:

          saay

          http://youtu.be/764QHqwlwts

  • Crocus

    “And what exactly is the “situation in our region”? In Somalia, we have chaos and social strife; in Sudan, we have seen a civil war rage for four decades; in Ethiopia, we have yet to see a peaceful transition of power; and in Eritrea, we have a “transitional government” that has been in power for 12 years and gives every indication that it wants to rule forever. Since the 1960s, at least two (and as many as four) of these nations have been in one kind of war or another.”

    Since this article was first published in 2003, things have changed drastically for almost all the nations shown on the map. South Sudan is independent. Somalia has managed to claw back on to a long-awaited stability and gain traction towards a promising future. The Ethiopian economy has been roaring like it had never done before. Tiny Djibouti has, as usual, beenchugging along fine into the foreseeable future, thanks to its position as a dependable primary outlet for the Ethiopian economy. It plays its hands wisely to reap handsome rewards in port fees. Also, for its goodwill, Djibouti has secured rights to tap into Ethiopia’s aquifer free of charge for 30 years lest it go thirsty.

    Unfortunately, the situation in Eritrea has not been encouraging. Eritrea has jumped from the frying pan into the fire with no end in sight to the plight of its citizens.

    The call this article has made to the people of the Horn is commendable. However, the task at hand is formidable. It requires an unwavering commitment from all to pull it. Let’s kiss and make up alone will not do it. Events in the world’s arena turn according to circumstances. The ground dictates the outcome. As I ponder the map, I see one country that holds tremendous sway in shaping the future progress of the region. That is the ground to focus on. If you read my mind I am talking of Ethiopia. It is the only country that shares borders with every other country on the map. It is the most populous nation. It has resources that increasingly have become more valuable, and necessary for the region. With 12 river basins, vast agricultural fields, comfortable and conducive climate, and enviable renewable energy it is in a position to set the agenda for the economic development and integration of the entire region like no other country can. It is a critical ground.

    Now, for the region as a whole to prosper, some things must occur, primarily Peace. Peace makes trade among nations possible. It facilitates regional cohesion, and fosters an unhindered economic progress for the betterment of the region. South Sudan has temporarily taken a step back. But it is hoped the leaders will soon solve their problems. IGAD is doing its share negotiating a workable deal. Contrary to a commentary below, IGAD is hardly inactive. Indeed, it has just commissioned the first permanent Task Force of 5,000 soldiers for the region, one intended to be deployed right away to contain regional fires before they get out of hand and become a conflagration. (Some predict that this force might probably experience its first mission in Eritrea, considering the shaky nature of the Eritrean state.)

    As you read through this, ask yourself what goal each of you, as individuals, desire to achieve, and what you, as individuals, can bring to the table? Mere talk of peace is not sufficient, although it is an indispensable beginning. To me, the prize is economic development. That is the prize. If you are like me, you want to keep your eyes on the prize. That is what I ought to bring to the table. The moment you scatter your eyes to nationalism, egos, pride, vain glory, and what have you, rest assured you have failed. The objective demands a Single Eye, nothing less. (This website recently carried an article on “ambivalence,” which is simply the lack of a Single Undivided Eye.) If you are conflicted, or lack a clear destination and a plan to get there, you have failed.

    Last, ask what each nation in the region can bring to the table. Sudan is eyeing to irrigate the vast region bordering Ethiopia and become an agricultural powerhouse. South Sudan has rich resources, notably oil, which makes it a vital partner. Djibouti offers its ports as an outlet to Ethiopia’s economy. To a lesser extent Sudan and Somalia are doing that as well.

    I have no clear idea of what Eritrea will bring to the table. Yes, it has port facilities that can be useful to Ethiopia. But that is contingent on how genuine Eritreans will prove themselves to be as partners. The Badme experience – where the government simply jumped the boarder and invaded its neighbor over the slightest provocation – gives no assurance to the Ethiopians. Djibouti has a similar experience with the Eritrean regime. Most of all, the Eritrean regime has been running around Arab countries, from Qatar to Cairo, scheming and conniving to destabilize the region. It exists to play a spoiler. No one as yet can begin to trust what Eritreans are up to. (I am mindful that the people and the regime may not think the same way. Yet, things still need to be clearly sorted out.) Eritreans will need to choose between their neighbors and Cairo. They cannot choose both. It is a No Starter. Be clear in your head. No sane Ethiopian government will accommodate Eritrea under these circumstances. That is just real politik.

    Identify your goal, build trust and peace, and keep your eyes on the prize if you genuinely want to see a prosperous Horn of Africa.

    • haileTG

      Hi Crocus,

      Few observations/self-question-reflections:

      1 – Eritrea spent 60 years under Italian colonialism. How easy is it for an individual, organization or government to completely wipe out the historical legacy of Italian influence in parts of Eritrea most associated with the then colonial power? Now flip to its parallel and note that Eritrea has spent 60 years (and continuing) in one form or another in hostility with Ethiopia. Can you see the task of undoing the historic legacy of the influences from such continuous hostility requires more than rhetorical posturing? Why do some argue that 60 years of Italian colonialism had a defining role in the make up of Eritrean persona and yet are unable to grasp their argument is naturally extended to to explain the complexity of the Ethio-Eritrea relationship?

      2 – Is it reasonable to conclude that the epicenter of the Ethio-Eritrea hostility is limited within the habesha (or habeshanized:) peoples’ geographical borders? Can the Ethiopian Oromo or Somali…. or the Eritrean Rashaida or Nara…peoples be considered equally affected? If not, can we say this is internal feud among the Habesha peoples and betrays their self destructive tendencies?

      3 – By looking at the past events as the Somali invasion of Ethiopia, can we say that it provoked the same level of almost inhuman and insane levels rejectionism towards each other among the protagonists?

      4 – In the bigger scheme of things, and considering the issue is rendered intractable due to the people with the closest proximity being the furthest apart in their desire to reconcile, can the arbitrary demands you listed and the extreme measures proposed be considered self preserving or self destructive?

      Regards

      • Crocus

        Dear HaileTG:

        “… can the arbitrary demands you listed and the extreme measures proposed be considered self preserving or self destructive?”

        1. What you called “my demands” are neither demands nor
        arbitrary. That is just the way I read
        the political landscape. Deep in my
        heart, I believe that there is no better arrangement for the people of Eritrea
        and Ethiopia than to live harmoniously.
        The hostility that is plaguing the two nations was no more historical
        than the hostility the Gonderes may have shown their Shewan brothers in the 19th
        century. The Ethiopian-Eritrean
        hostility is hostility to the extent it has been fabricated to be one during
        the gedli years. Until then, and even
        now, Eritreans and Ethiopians coexisted just fine. (Hundreds of thousands of Eritreans reside
        peacefully in Ethiopia at the present time.) It is unfortunate but a fact
        nonetheless that the question of Eritrean independence was conceived in Arab
        lands (also Pakistan), nurtured by Arabs, and directed by Arabs. UN archives disclose just as much. That said,
        if Ethiopians are leery to accommodate Eritrea with its funky attitude, it is
        not because they wish ill will towards their Eritrean kin, rather it is because
        60 years of conflict, as you put it, has left them with a sour taste in their mouth.
        It is a lesson learned painfully. For Ethiopians, their own wellbeing comes
        first. Do you think they want to re-live this bitter experience by warming up
        to Eritrea without some kind of assurances?
        If you have been burned once before, you would think twice before you
        stick your finger in the fire again. For Ethiopia, Eritrea is a security issue
        first. The economic potential to be had
        by working together is secondary.

        2. The hostility between Eritreans and Ethiopia may have
        begun with the Habeshas. But it is hardly
        a Habesha issue. It is simplistic to see it that way. When the house catches fire, everyone under
        the roof is at risk. I do not know if
        the Rashaida or Nara took part in the senseless border war 15 years ago. But, make no mistake, thousands of Oromos and
        Somalis fought in the frontlines and gave their precious lives in the defense of
        their country. Defense is a national
        duty and a national enterprise.

        3. I am very leery to share what arrangement I think would
        work best to pull the two countries together into a harmonious unit. I will go on a limb and suggest one anyway. I am no politician, so what I state here is
        only my individual view. The best
        solution would be a sort of a confederation where areas of defense, foreign
        affairs, and currency would be centralized.
        Obviously, that would mean Eritrea will have to limit its
        sovereignty. I am not naïve to believe
        that such an idea would hold appeal among all Eritreans. But I have no doubt it will be an effective
        solution. That solution would assuage the Ethiopian need for security, and the
        Eritrean need for economic prosperity.
        Just my thoughts.

      • Hope

        Haile TG:
        You see now what we have been concenred about?This is a typo Tigreyan,NOT Ethiopian,view and approach,which, in other words,is the same as saying: ” No, we are NOT interested in Peaceful Co-existence with you unless you buy or bow to our DEMANDS”,knowing that Eritreans will never bow to and/ or kneel down to any thing or any POWER under the SUN-based on history,excpet when “praying to God and/or Shooting at the Enemy(Courtesy of Minster Ali Abdu).And the whole provocation,sanction along with “No Peace No War Policy” has been but to kneel down Eritrea and/ or break the back bone of the EDF..
        That is why I referred you to the Wikileaks,Aiga Forum,Tigraionline,and Walta Information, since you stil lbelieve these few views do not represent the majority of Ethiopians(read: Tigreyans).
        Check this out:
        “No need to deal with a Dying Regime”: Courtesy of T Kifle–Source : tigraionline.
        “No War ,No Peace” Policy has expired and Ethiopia has changed its Policy and we will take any measure against Eritrea–if—–”
        “We will change the Eritrean Regime by any means possible”: Courtesy of PMMZ(RIP)
        ” As heads up,we will execute a 4-step- plan to remove the Regime in Eritrea by utilizing the Arab Spring Style Movement by:
        -Strengthening the Eri Armed Opposition
        -By coordinating our agents within Eritrea/Asmera
        -By creating some confusion/choas within Asmera
        -By making our Agents to call us for help
        -Finally,we will intervene and place a “new Government”
        Courtesy of Wikileaks-modifed.
        Courtesy of PMHD.Source: Tsinat Radio ,Atlanta”;Aiga Forum,Walta Information Center.
        “The best Solution is: “Confederation of Eritrea with Ethiopia:Courtesy of Crocu(crooked?)
        .”My is way is the ONLY High Way” and BULLYING approach cannot, and will never bring peace but more wars,enemity,mistrust,,etc…,.
        But:
        -Mutual Compromise and Respect
        -Trust Building and Forgivng and “Forgetting to some extent”
        -Mutual Respect of Respective(each Country’s) Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity
        -Respect of the International Law

  • AMEN

    The only way forward for Eritrea and Ethiopia to live in peace together
    in today and in the future is if and only if justice prevails first and all the
    political parties show respect to justice and rule of law and show loyality
    and patriotism to the country.
    AND THIS JUSTICE IS
    FOR ERITREA JUST LIKE SHEWA AND TIGRAY IN THE PAST, TO HOLD
    STATE POLITICAL POWER EXCLUSIVELY ENTIRELY FOR A TRANSITION
    PERIOD OF MINIMUM FIVE YEARS.
    This is a win win situation for both fighting parties and both countries peoples.
    And it is the minimum required to give fo the sake of unity and integrity of your
    country for everyone involved.
    But anything , short of this will only lead to friction and duture disintegration and
    return to the vicious cycle of the past.

  • AT well thought out and peaceful call. i command you for your vsion but i don’t think you understood the world we are living in general and the region we are in particular. if you ask me this world should end? right Prince?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itvnQ2QB4yc

    • saay7

      Nitricc Aba Tereg:

      I hate it when young people are pessimistic about life. All the “world-is-coming-to-an-end” pushed by environmentalists is a timely alarm bell but the elite of the world respond. So it is not that the world will end, that should frighten you, but that it will be divided into two parts: the habitable and the inhabitable. Here’s a Ted Talk presentation on studying cities scientifically: (its about 20 minutes)

      https://www.ted.com/playlists/189/math_talks_to_blow_your_mind

      And here’s a video (by Penn State) on how technology (geospatial revolution) is perfecting the science of planned cities. (to the point that high rise buildings cannot block view of the mountains of Portland.)

      http://geospatialrevolution.psu.edu/episode2/complete

      When I tire of the useless Eritrea-Ethiopia polemic, this is where I seek refuge:) You once made the mistake of calling me your mentor. Well, me mentee, the most pervasive, most dangerous disease is skepticism and pessimism. Whatever you do, never be a pessimist or a cynic.

      saay

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear AT,

    [I am commenting as a guest. The crazy Disqus failed to identify me and threw me to awate.com to do the identification process. I tried and I couldn’t avail]

    I salute you for re-posting this timeless article until things settled and veer us to the right direction. In fact it becomes more important at this time than before. Because I believe the objective reality is more suited and the driving forces are more matured than in 2003. Second, what makes it more important also at this particular time, it could help us to shift our gears from guilty finding mission, a subject pushed by the spoilers, to cultivating peace and cooperation between the two brotherly people and beyond. The spoilers have no shame to asked us to apologize on behalf of the regime, as if they are ready to reciprocate to do that on behalf of what Haileselassie and Derg has done to our people.

    I believe there are enough people on both sides to drive the issue of peace and cooperation. Since there is no other option, sooner or later will come the state of normalization will happen. If (TK) is T. Kifle one of the positive respondent to your call, as quoted below what the heck did happen to him to drag us in to the past history, which is beyond this forum to give a studied report, who did what and take the responsibilities of the burden to prove. If TK is not T.Kifle then pass it as speculation given by me. But here is what TK respond to the call:

    “(TK) To the Awate Team and All: Your October 22 Editorial under the above cited heading is indeed a daring and refreshing departure from the ordinary political exchanges that have for far too long gained wide currency among the elites in Eritrean and Ethiopia. As an Ethiopian saddened by the suffering of the peoples at both sides of the divide, I find such a call for self-examination one timely and long-awaited step in the right direction. Dare to take similar further steps and I am reasonably certain that you would find a number of reliable Ethiopian partners joining you sooner than later.”

  • sara

    interesting proposal ,it reminds me about the original ideals of the so called IGAD organization. where is this org now,is it still functioning?

    • Hope

      hey,hey ,sara,
      The IGAD could have functioned better had Eritrea remained within it—-
      Yes,IGAD does NOT exist but its name.

      • sara

        hope.. how about we send copy of this to the IGAD secretariat in djibouti and ask them present it as a paper for discussion to the next secretariats meeting. if all got ok.. maybe present it to the IGAD summit meeting.
        oh… oh.. do we need approval from the writer, the awate team or who ever penned it.

    • Hope

      sara,
      The “Polic Commander of the Horn” will block it though.

  • feven1

    Despite the fact that the writer tries to reach out for peace and reconciliation he still insists, “Its(Ethiopia’) relentless efforts to ally and pacify itself to one Eritrean segment while isolating and ostracizing the other. This is a tactic perfected by Haile Sellasie and currently being pursued by the EPRDF”.

    but my question is, How are you any different from Isais when you are still using Ethiopia’s perceived ambition for all your miseries and what do you want Ethiopians who have already blessed your independence to do so that you don’t feel insecure?

    and secondly, why do Eritreans who throughout their history knowingly or unknowingly aided Egypt’s ambition over Abay judge Ethiopians for having a desire to own a sea out-let that is under their nose? don’t we have the right to desire just as much as you have the right to defend it? so stop crying and continue living in Sawa for as long as your paranoia lasts…

    Just check this “We, a small nation, fear a big country, Ethiopia, but not another big country, Sudan, because only Ethiopia seems to have territorial ambitions towards us.”….

    Ironically not only you are accusing the very people (ethiopians) who over 3 decades sacrificed lives and resources so that you don’t become small, but it also shows how you rushed to Cairo for your secessionist training without checking Eritrea’s size….

    • Haile WM

      hilarious ! i didn’t know i was aiding unconsciously Egypt’s ambition over Abay, unless the river flows trough Assab to spill in the red sea 🙂 you should entertain us more frequently with your fanta-politics and fairy tales but i would advise you to remain in your kilil-level politics, as you don’t have the tools to extend over to international geo-politics.
      ajoki Febu ab godniki alena 🙂

  • Kokhob Selam

    yes awatistas, I think we are in the stage of moving toward peace.

    The first enemies of citizen to citizen initiative movement are the fundamentalists from all political lines. Those are badly programmed to a version of one side to the end dogmatic outlook. And an ordinary human is easily attracted by those lines without knowing even he is against his own interest. To let a citizen know what the real current situation of our nations is the first step and base of our work which will prepare people understand what the aim of the citizen to citizen initiative moment is. The extreme political leaders and their followers will always play mostly by scratching the old historical wounds and this is where we should be careful as this may even let the best peace lovers down remembering their old sufferings. So creating trust among the initiative movement group and the mass needs a complete plan and program which will take great effort, I think although there is no choice except doing it.

    Yes, we Eritrean and Ethiopian people have to solve our problems united. It is time for everyone to see things from other dimensions and feel the other side’s problems.

  • This is a refreshing shower of wisdom and possibly hope, after the recent polemics that added gasoline to the ostensibly everlasting animosity between the two people. Anything that mitigates the bitterness of both Eritreans and Ethiopians should be supported all the time, and the opposite condemned. No amount of polemics will make anybody more patriotic than the rest. On the contrary, it gives a narrow nationalistic dimension to it, with all its drawbacks.

    • Kokhob Selam

      what you were doing in your level is going higher Horizon. your dreams are out there to be practiced. this is the only way to make it real -citizen to citizen. years back awate.com has proposed it and now they are inviting us. open minded, peace lovers like you will have wider space.

    • Kokhob Selam

      …….. ይህ ነው ዘመኑ :- …….. ቡናው ፈላ : ወደ ጀበና ገጽ ተጋብዘዋል ::

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Relationships are by default complex and more complicating factors make them even more so. The Ethio-Eritrea relationship doesn’t only suffer competent management but is filled with complicating factors that span decades (if not centuries), wars, poverty, mistrust and many other residue pollutants. The cultural, psychological and linguistic make up of both peoples are the strong pull factors that form the ever resilient affinity towards each other. On the other side, the historical, political and conflict aspects of their relationships are responsible for the push factors that is proving intractable to coherently address and hence tackle.

    In my limited capacity to think through such enormous challenge, I believe that the starting place ought to be due appreciation of what the limiting factors are and what the intended outcome is. Every relationship is so defined and identified by its boundaries. What do Eritreans think to be the boundaries of their relationship with Ethiopia and what do Ethiopians think the boundary of their relationship with Eritrea is? Are we capable of resolving each other’s expectations of the other based on such boundary? Is the other’s boundary acceptable to us (Ethiopians or Eritreans)? Do we know them what they are? Are they arbitrary boundaries or the product of complex historical legacy? The proof is in the pudding, and hence does our approach and dealing with the other fall within such mutually respected boundary of that party?

    Again, the limiting factors are complex in themselves and have a bearing on what we can offer based each side’s objective situation. So, what would be the ideal starting point? Above all, why are the awatistas who established the Peace Club made a quite retreat, leaving us, the war lords (haha..), sweat it out ? OK you are fired …(haha..just kidding…Fanti Ghana come out the masses are are not going home unless you show your face 🙂

    Regards

    • haileTG

      oops…can’t edit the above (for a reason)

      please correct: “suffer competent management” to read as ” suffer from lack of competent management” ===> and anything else at your convenience 🙂

    • Fanti Ghana

      Brother Haile TG,
      Soon, very soon. September is tricky for me, but things should start to relax starting next weekend. May I swindle my way out by saying “no peace lords without war lords, grasshopper” for now?

    • Hope

      Haile TG,
      As far as the Eritreans are concerned,I believe,at least in my opinion,they are ready for Reconciliation and Peaceful Co-existence eventhough you have exaggerated the Eritrean Ego or ambition ,leaving aside the Trust issue,which might take time.
      The only thing Eritreans need from the Ethiopians is:
      -To respect our Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity
      -To respect us as good neighbors.
      I ask you kindly to balance things since you are exclusively pointing the finger at ” Eritreans” and rewarding the Ethiopians.
      I did my best to counter-argue your one-sided approach based on Facts on the ground but ,for some reason,besides “diplomacy and humility”,you seem to be obssessed only with the PIA/DIA thing while knowing fully the historical and chronological events that have brought us to this end.
      I would rather apply the Golden Principle of:
      ” All have sinned”—-and therefore,”All shall repent and Reconcile”

  • Hope

    AT:
    Thank you for the Courage.
    This has been what most of us have been waiting and calling for.I guess I will start packing up my stuff to look for and visit my Soul from Kimant Ze Gonder..soon.
    Long way to go but if THE PEOPLE lead the lead,I think it is easy.
    In my opinion,during this debate on this issue,the AT/Moderators should enforce on the Posting Guidlines so that the Forum members:
    -should refrain from any name calling
    -provocation of any kind
    -Avoid the “US and THEM”Arrogance
    -Respect the Sovereignty of both Nations–irrespective of who is in Power
    =etc

    • Saleh Johar

      Hope, you have been waiting for this? It has been there for eleven years 🙂
      Seriously though, some initiatives are forgotten shortly after they are posted. Years later, you find people debating similar issues. Maybe this time it can fly. Who knows.

      • Hope

        Your Excellency,
        Thank you for your response.I have followed the awate web since its inception but was not involved on the debate but the Gedeb News mainly.
        I was talking about -as of recently when people have been debating on non-essential issues.
        BTW,that is typical of the opposition/us,where the PFDJ is the expert—–preseverance…
        I hoe the Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea will not be forgotten.

    • dawit

      Dears Brothers Hope and Andom,
      both of you have brought good points, and I will add “Only the truth shall make you Free”. In my opinion most of the misunderstandings and war in the region are driven by big and small lies. Fabricating lies to support our ideas only lead to more lies. Only the bitter truth will lead us to peace, sweet lies lead to misunderstandings.
      Peace
      dawit

  • G. Gebru

    11 years is not a short period, but thanks for raising this issue again.

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