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A Fish Rots From The Head

Games of Financial Choke-hold: Prima facie, there may not appear to be direct connections to the new tender note that the regime in Eritrea is to duly institute.  It is, nonetheless, worth noting that the PFDJ brass has had a very bad year. With UN’s CoIE incriminatory report coming out earlier this summer, things appear to be coming down like a ton of bricks on the regime’s back. Remember the Geneva’s 26 June 2015 demonstration that was followed by another show of moral force, a force we all saw in awe last month in New York, 29 October 2015 to be exact. Of course, who could forget the saga that we all saw when the ten Eritrea’s national soccer team defected in Botswana just this month past.

Internally, of course, we have seen the disastrous outcome of 2013 Forto military and political shakeup. But these are signs of brave souls challenging PFDJ’s political iron grip of almost a quarter of century long. This internal political crack was one indication that the regime was losing its stronghold. And two years later, we are seeing dramatic move on the regime’s part, one that is yet another sign the regime is bruised, cornered, boxed in foxhole out of which it is trying to dig itself out. Enter to the games of financial choke-hold. This chokehold is prominently pronounced when it is told by someone who had seen the financial mess taking place first hand from inside the country.

The Rags-to-Riches

Therefore, the action of the Eritrean regime to the financial mess is predictable to anyone who visited Eritrea recently and took the time to observe the market.  It was an open secret that the country was out of circulation of its large denominations particularly the 50 and 100 nakfa bills.   Commercial banks, housing banks, big and small businesses were operating in 20s, 10s bills for everyday transactions.  A black plastic bag or old newspaper wrapped around in the shape of bricks is an indication of money being hauled in various market sectors for the purpose of exchanging goods and services.

It is presumed that most if not all of the large bills are hoarded by the new rags-to- riches, who are very active in a very lucrative clandestine market. One can easily see the kinds of houses they lease, apartment flats they frequently rent, and the entertainment establishments they frequent.  What is characteristically striking about these rags-to-riches, besides exclusively being males, is that they are young and very well connected with the elites.  They have people in high positions inside government offices that protect and instruct them.  On weekends they are seen flashing their new found wealth in lounges of high end places, such as The Green Pub of Asmara Palace, Keren Hotel, and Savana Hotel, or bars such us Zara, and Crispy, to finish the evening they hang out at the clubs of Expo… clubs such as Shamrock, Molober, Benifer etc.  And the preferred drink for these newly found affluencies is JW Whisky, Black Label.

The most extravagant and most dangerous pastime is reserved for Sunday after noon:  A daring motor cycle race between Durfo, and Nefasit: a mountainous region of the highland, a road that leads to Massawa.  Between the mountains and valleys they disappear into the sharp curves and turns- leaving behind powerful roar of the 1,441cc four cylinder engine, Ninja 14R ABS Kawasaki, motor cycles: echoing through the hills and valleys of these otherwise very sleepy little villages.  It is irreconcilable by any measure in Eritrea the way these people live, and behave. Not even Diaspora Eritreans who come to visit loaded with Dollars and Euros can afford such glitz and blitz.

It is said, by those who pay close attention that these are the new young rags-to-riches that live at the peripheries, engaged in all kinds of shady and illegal business activities of the underworld. They are involved in aiding and abetting border crossing, money transferring of human and organ trafficking, and importing contraband goods by way of Sudan, Tesseney only to be sold in Asmara in the open market.

The Godfathers

However, these new rags-to-riches are nothing more than the decoy in the front line meant to give appearances that they are the face and the product of an economic system that is vibrantly functioning, one that allows room for the new generation to thrive and make it big, ones who are dancing to their new found waltz and have the pizzazz and the glitz to play the part. They are young, effervescent, and possess all what young women would love to moon over, day and night. Behind the scene, however, these young-rags-to-riches have other Godfathers who protect and guide and in the end reap most of the net profits that are made through shady underworld monetary gains. They are high level government officials and military personnel.  They have amassed hundreds of millions in Nakfa that cannot legally be deposited at the bank, who effectively possess most of the 50 and 100 bills of the country, thereby placing a chokehold on the entire banking system which is effectively forcing the regime to bring forward the new tender note being concocted in the last ditch effort to regain control, control that it lost for many years now, alas, putting these highly connected individuals in high places out of business will prove to be easier said than done.  (Watch the interview of G.M. Bank of Eritrea, Mr. Kibraab Weldemariam, making references about these people who have stashed away hundreds of millions of Nakfa in Asmara, or outside the country i.e. Sudan  towards the end 13:30/19:58 of the clip.

The question remains, whether they will go quietly, and watch their hundreds of million disappear into the thin air, or will they find access to the impending, newly-minted and not so tender note that will be issued six weeks from now, or would this be the straw that would break the camel’s back for the regime in Eritrea? Would this become the pivot that will undo a system that has run amok? Obviously, all these will remain to be seen.

Greed for Power vs Power with Greed

PFDJ is at cross roads for its own survival.  The battle between greed for power and the power with greed has just begun.  To out maneuver the hoarders, PFDJ is abruptly now in the process of replacing its currency under the pretext of modernizing its financial instruments.  A government that cannot keep the lights on or provide drinking water to the citizens is now telling us that it wants to make credit/ debit card and checks be an instrument of exchange for goods and services of everyday life.  If this is not ghoulishness of the highest order, I don’t know what is.  The unwitting admission by the Bank of Eritrea, G.M Mr. Kibraab Weldemariam, in itself puts to rest the question that inquires reason behind changing the Eritrean currency at this time. The question of “why” is seldom PFDJ’s strong currency. The “what”, the “how”, and the “when” are what it tries to communicate.  No explanations, no rhyme or reason, just a simple sweeping order of changing the face of its money. So now, this is leaving a void that must be filled by something, that something is going to be full of conjectures, innuendos, and rumor mills of confusing order. In the game of this financial choke-hold, the government came up with these rigid guide lines of deposit and exchange of the old currency to strip the wealth from its criminal elements, and then become a hoarder itself.

The showdown has begun.  It is not a matter of when, but of who will be nipped in the bud. If PFDJ attempts to face these criminal elements head-on, well, one would suppose that these new Mafiossos will not go down without giving a fight for their new-found power through shady and illegal trading of all sorts, one that runs the gamut. And in the next few months, we will see some heads rolling, some heads cut from such glitz, else the regime will have boxed and dug a foxhole to which it might be the one that will dive, nose first. After all, this is going to be an epic fight between an illegal regime that stinks at the head, and criminal syndicate that made obscene amount of money, so much so that it has become a threat to the regime that is supposed to be in the business of running a nation. What might come out of this, one hopes, will be one in which Eritrean people will become the rightful owners of a nation for which they have sacrificed a great deal and had gotten nothing good in return.

About Berhan Nuredin

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  • haileTG

    Dear Saba,

    I read your comment briefly and it isn’t there anymore by the time I am writing this. So, let me reply here. You seem to think awate is good for its analysis but not news (even compared to assenna). No doubt assenna has his strengths, but awate isn’t a breaking news portal. Awate is a news analysis web resource as it relates to Eritrea. In other words, you need not verify awate news because it only pulls a verified news and provides thorough analysis by presenting well researched background reviews. Check the latest AT The Pencil edition and I challenge you to bring me anything similarly comprehensive analysis made on the currency issue anywhere else in Eritrean cyber platform. Nowhere! That is what awate is, it is the difference between your morning newspaper or the Economist magazine. They serve different purposes and audiences. So, people who come to awate looking breaking news, I would say they’re in a wrong place and might miss the news altogether 🙂

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    The discussion seems to be drifting off from the mighty nakfa, soon to be changed, to literally ናይ ኣንጎሎ ዕላል (ኩሮቾ፡ እንዳ ፍንጃል..) 🙂 haha…not to worry, that is all good….

    Any how, I wish to bring your attention to something equally boring, the Nakfa:) BTW I was talking to someone who had recent dealing with the bankers in Eritrea and she told me that the news of the currency change was a surprise to the banking staff themselves. That got me thinking how that could be? Really, I am not talking motives here, rather practicality. How could an impeding nationwide undertaking that would put the Bank right in the middle of it all be held away from its privy?

    Doesn’t it mean that new currency equivalent to 1 billion or more (Eritrea’s GDP in USD) had to be ordered? Doesn’t it mean that the newly minted money must have been transported, stored and distributed to centers? Doesn’t it mean that teams were organized and chain of command established for the undertaking? Doesn’t it mean that forms and other diligence were set up, distributed and personnel trained? Doesn’t it mean that storage places for the old notes were prepared? How could all that process take place with the bank oblivious to it? ዶ’ምበር ኣላ እያ እዛ ሰልዲ? 🙂

    • Eyob Medhane

      Hailachin,

      May be it is a diversionary tactic. Illusion….Giving people something to worry about..

    • saay7

      Hailat TG:

      I think you should have begun your question with “Dear Amanuel H” because he is the one always telling us that the PFDJ is a system:) I am not trying ከባእሰኩም but isn’t the process you described the rule and not the exception?

      There were a lot of containers with the new currency, brought from Sudan but everybody thought the containers contained prisoners. Sad, isn’t it?

      saay

      • haileTG

        hey saay,

        ምስ SGJ ከባእሰኩም ኢለ ኣይኮንኩን፡ but why didn’t this “value added” info about the “mysterious containers” appear in Gedab News? Did’t SGJ tell us the comments were better and hence the news item was shelved until “value added” reporting is developed? እዛ system ትበሃል ነገር፡ ምሓዛ ጸገም ኮይኑ ከይከውን?? haha..good point though.

        • saay7

          Selamat Haile TG:

          Gedab was pre-empted by Awate Forum and Berhan Nuredin. You guys are way tooooo fast. Not complaining: that is the very definition of Web 2.0: where reader-generated content supersedes that of the publisher. Leaving publishers to do long-form writing: stay tuned for The Pencil…it is being sharpened:)

          saay

        • saay7

          Hey Haile,

          I forgot. Remember this video, of the BBC going to Eritrea and interviewing and the “minders” waving them away from containers (“just talk about heroism, history”, they tell the interpreter.) What are they guarding? Prisoners? New Nakfa? Both?

          Less than a minute… “old train, yeah.”

          http://www.tubechop.com/watch/7181424

          saay

        • Saba

          Hello Hailuwa,
          Gedab News has never got it right. For all their mistakes Assena has got at least one right, the case of dejen. Can you list or show any Gedab news that was cited by other reputed media outlets? Awate . com is excellent for analysis but not for breaking news.

    • Semere Andom

      HTG:
      The secrecy does not surprise me, I mean if the bankers were not told officially but by rumors. The banking system, if you can call is that is under the control of PFDJ, the monetary policy and fiscal policy is separate, the central bank can change the interest rate, inject more money as it sees fit without the intervention of the executive. If you have listed to Andebrhan’s interview with Mesfin Russom he had a yelling match with IA over the future of the banking system, even if IA decides to federate Eritrea with Ethiopia one day because the universe told him so, Sal years ago told Eritrean will hear about it in a Sudanse or Ethiopian media, even gthe information minster and dawita will hear about it in some foreign media, they will deny it first, then they will lick they wounds and explain it away

      But PFDJ will tell you “mistirna meseret awetna”

      • saay7

        Hey Sem:

        Yep. And Petros Solomon heard about Eritrea’s clash with Yemen over Hanish Islands (1995) and its first semi-clash with Djibouti (April 1996) from the international media. And he was the Foreign Minister at the time. French journalist Peninou wrote about the latter…and it is shocking that we repeated the exact same thing (Ras Domeira, Badme II) twelve years later.

        saay

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Hi Saay,

          Please don’t say “we”, because at least you and me are convinced that such an erratic behaviour arises from a single mad man. Even during Badme I, a time when we had a relatively working national assembly and central council; do you think these bodies were in the know when our tanks rolled in Badme?

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ab:
            Well, am delighted about the Salian slip:-)
            Yes, the war was IA was our collective failure was our intoxication, all of us,the artist canonized, the intellectual suspended his “finding the truth” and serenaded, we all become sophomoric

    • Mahmud Saleh

      selam HTG
      Can you comment on the ramifications of this move on the immediate lives of families who live on remittances coming from the diaspora, plus the draught situation where purchases of food will be necessary for those who could afford it. I would expect the least interventions at this time because you would not want to disrupt market functions and familiar connections of customers and suppliers….But then I guess I will have to remember IA’s reply to a question that went something like this:
      Reporter: Kbur president, don’t you think calling farmers for military training duty when they are most needed at home to cultivate their fields?
      IA: We know that, but the defense of the nation comes first.
      Any comment Kbur HTG?

      • haileTG

        Hey Mahmuday,

        I will have my two cents on that very topic over at the new article. I think what you’re saying is also related to a point made there, i.e. floating the currency (the other option) would squeeze out the black market. There is the issue of what would happen to living costs, i.e. whichever of the two; floating the nakfa or what is being attempted now, happens. I will expand on it with my comment there.

        cheers

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Hi David Smith,

    How reliable is this news, the website you linked has the motto “information you can trust” and that they take this seriously. However, how can we be sure that this is not a mere slogan like that of the PFDJ website, Shabaitdotcom, that has a bogus motto of “seving the truth”. Anyway, I personally hope that whatever illness the tyrant is suffering from, it would finish him off; this is a man who have caused the burial of the dreams and aspirations of a once proud and hopeful people. Let’s also hope from his ashes rises a new Eritrea that lives in peace with itself and the outside world.

    • David Smith

      Dear Abraham,

      Stratthink says it resolutely believes this news is true otherwise it would not want to risk its credibility to publish it. I share in your hope that “from his ashes rises a new Eritrea.” I believe that the Eritrean people deserve so much more than they are getting from their government. Thank you for your comment.

      David

      • Semere Andom

        Hi David Smith and Abraham:
        These news outlet is a new one maybe a year old and it looks like it an Ethiopian owned as can be gleaned from the write up on mr.Tsige, the G7 leader in Ethiopian prison.
        One of the most important debates that Eritreans should have is how will the impending collapse of PFDJ affect the nation. Will Eritrea collapse with PFDJ, will a prolonged strife and in fight render it a Somalia, what will Ethiopia’s role would or should be? Yes we all want (save a few PFDJ supporters) PFDJ gone tomorrow, that is done deal, IA will die but the jury is still out if PFDJ will die with him. Yes, PFDJ a central command where the power is concentrated on the top and central commands usually collapse with when the head is severed so to speak.
        The legacy as a freedom fighter whose vision lead Eritrea to be independent is important for IA and to that end he has been rewriting Eritrea’s history to make himself the Alfa and Omega, the freedom fighter, the founding father of both the nation the Ghedli and to keep that legacy he is more likely to lord over this legacy from his grave by appointing someone to keep that legacy and keep rewriting the history until Eritrea’s true history, history of its painful struggle, history of suffering is made totally irretrievable . So we should not keep our hopes high that change, the change we want, the change that has been in motion for the last 60 years, the change to be free people will rise from IA’ ashes, unless the ashes are materialized by an organized coup that spills some blood in the PFDJ trusted circles to dismantle the configurations that are in place to continue the legacy.

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Selamat Semere,

          Isayas has no second in command; neither in the government nor in the PFDJ. It is hard to imagine how post DIA phase will play out. In Eritrea today, the only organised instituition is the army; but yet this institution doesn’t have a visible top commander that would serve as a central figure. As far as I know, right now there isn’t even a defense ministe after Gen. Sebhat was transfered to the Ministry of mines. The most likely scenario is that the generals are going to engage in serious showdown to fill the void after the dictator. Unfortunately, the Eritrean society seems to be ill-prepared to take the post DIA phase under its control. Our hope is that some reform friendly elements within the army and the government would join forces with the diaspora opposition groups to hammer out a peaceful transition of power to the people.

          • kazanchis

            Abraham, that seem horrendous to imagine. I know IA is a totalitarian but you seldom see totalitarians lay foundation to the next heir. I hope power will go straight to where it belongs: to Eritrean people!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi kazanchis,

            yes there are totalitarian that passes their throne to their next familial take over. One that comes to my mind is North Korea. But passing over power is not limited to family members only, it could be also to any of their cliques.

            Regards

          • Dear Abraham Hanibal,

            What I think would happen when DIA dies without leaving a successor:

            – The stakes are high (the security of those in power, chaos, bloodshed and the “enemy
            lurking to make its deadly move – that easy explanation for all the problems of Eritrea”)
            and the fact that nobody is going to come out a winner.
            – The strongmen of the pfdj regime will be forced to come together, declare national emergency, form a government which they will call a government of national unity and a national assembly. Forget the participation of the opposition.
            – They will come to an agreement on how to share power.
            – Civilian rule promised after a year or two.
            – Multi-party system declared, but will not be allowed to grow strong.
            – A constitution tailored to their taste is implimented, sham elections in which they will come out winners as a party, fake parliament and they remain in power (business as usual with some face lifting). Nothing unusual; many African governments do it. Not bad at all compared to the chaos that haunts the country.
            – Democratic coup, weed-out and dismantle to bring democracy; they seem to me remote
            possibilities at this stage and in this situation, bacause there is not a force that can do it.
            – Leave out Ethiopia, it is not a good idea, things will get complicated.

            I leave it to the giants at this point. They will give us a better forecast.

          • Berhe Y

            Selam All,

            In the event that evil man dies, I don’t think the situation in our country will be dire. I think the transition will NOT be as complicated as we think it will be. Sure there will be power vacuum and there are a lot of people who wanted to keep power to them selves but I think for the most part, the fact that there will NOT be a clear winner may be a blessing.

            The reason for my optimism is that, in Eritrea there is NOT any specific group, be it religious, regional, region that, people belong too and who will be willing to pay their live to defend their interest by killing others. So for example when we look at Somalia, I think the clan system they have will make it impossible for each clan wanting and willing to die and protect their interest. If we look at Egypt for example, the Muslim brotherhood are willing to die for the cause they believe it. In Eritrea, I don’t think there is such organized. The closest that I can think of are, the Kunama and the Afar..other than that I think we are all in this together.

            I can’t see there will be any Eritrea who will be willing to die for General Philipos or for Keshi Simon, for example or what have, and willing to kill others to hold on to power.

            So I think as Horizon said, the existing group (PFDJ) will probably come to consensus and organize them selves and hold on to power with some symbolic change. But if that happens I think, it’s probably the best option for us moving forward and I can’t imagine there will be any one who will be more devious, more Evil than the current regime we have.

            I mean this guy, he was planning and executing his plans for the past 50 years..and I can’t see there will anyone who will come out and organize to that degree to execute the evil plan.

            And thanks to Awate and the other Eritrean websites, for exposing and peeling layers of Isayas power structure, and making him naked by arming the people by informing, empowering and hopefully embolden.

            Berhe

          • Berhe Y

            Hi,

            one more thing, I forgot about those “Nhna Nsu, Nsu Nhna” lot but they are insignificant, mostly in Diaspora…they will not sacrifice a penny let alone their life.

            BY

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Berhe,
            I agree with you for what you put here. Let me also assure that if ISIS was able to enter Eritrea, the only time they could was during DIA and even that before one year back from today. they don’t have any hope to reach Eritrea or Ethiopia any more.

            I wish and hope IA will stay alive and healthy till the change emerges and also even wish every PFDJ leadership to be there and see when my nation progressing witnessing them selves how much they have been killing the nation. But if so happen IA dies, we should not and think things will go worst. the maximum problem we will face is reformers will join the successor and confuse people for some time. nothing bad will be there worst than the present leadership.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Horizon:

            As it has been said, only fools prophesize, no one has a crystal ball, we can only surmise from the past and DIA mentality.

            We cannot assume DIA has no successor. He may not have official successor that will take the baton to usher smooth change by skillfully convincing the people, the opposition to coalesce around him, by diplomatically persuading the world that Eritrea will transition to a new era of slow but smooth and steady rule of law. But do not make about it that his legacy and the desire to lord over the nation from his permanent repose matters to him.

            Why do you think he erased the contribution of Eritreans to the armed struggle, why do you think he believes that the Ghedli stared in 1970 and that the likes of Idris Geldadios, Seyom Harestay, all giants of the nation of Eritrea had no contribution?

            In 1993 when he was forced by the fighters he was heard whining repeatedly, “as if I have not fought by your side, as if I did not suffer from the bitter cold and heat with you”, when someone told him that he had it good while they toiled for free.

            So to that end, I am sure that he have entrusted someone and gave him access to money and security, two things that you need to consolidate power besides cruelty and given these two there are plenty around him with the cruelty attribute. We make big deal of the successor thing because he did not tell us so and so is VP, but I think that there is someone who will have access to the tools that DIA has in the event DIA dies naturally. We know that top military men like Wuchu used to chase Kissha for access to funds, granted these guys generate money from the different enterprises and have access to millions but not billions to run the military and consolidate their power. We do not know who it is but someone with the same cruelty as DIA, it could be his son, his brother, and it could even be Kisha for all we know.

            Natural death will not bring us the desired change, an organized, planned coup from inside can. Ethiopia will only intervene if Eritrea disintegrates and there is a risk that ISIS and other Jihadist make their way to Eritrea because Ethiopia know once these groups get inside Eritrea, it will be a problem to them, the geography makes it easy to slip to Sudan by its vast open borders and to cross to middle east with boats to regroup and get supplies

          • Dear Semere Andom,

            ISIS in Eritrea is indeed a reason for Ethiopian intervention. I am afraid that there could be sympathizers in Sudan. If ISIS sets foot in Eritrea, the plan is to create the Habeshaland caliphate as envisioned by this criminal group. In this case, the horn will be at the
            center of the raging fire and part of the Middle East and the Gulf tragedy. Nevertheless,
            it should not be left to Ethiopia alone without an Eritrean force participating, and moreover, it may even be a regional endeavor coordinated and organized by an anti-terror coalition.

        • David Smith

          Dear Semere,

          These are all excellent points. As you know, this is not just a debate of semantics. This is real life and we can all agree that we want the best to happen for the people of Eritrea. Thank you for your insight and keeping the debate civil and productive.

          Best,
          Dave

  • saay7

    Hey Addis:

    I think you linked it just to torture me with the word-for-word translation of mass media to “megeNaNa bzuhan”, as if its Tigrinya version wasn’t terrible enough.

    Thanks for the link. I kept torturing one Ethiopian yesterday to explain why the Ethiopian Sports Minister had nothing to say and speculated that that is what happens when you demote people from ministries with consequences to Sports. It appears that the Sports Minister is still on strike:)

    Here are two guys having fun with it yesterday:

    https://twitter.com/saayounis/status/664094953279123457

    saay

    • አዲስ

      Hahaha Saay,

      Good banter between you two. Speaking of the demoted(assigned to other post? 🙂 ) Redwan, Here’s what one EPRDFite feel about his demotion.

      “ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማሪያም ደሳለኝ የካቢኒያቸው ሹመት በሕዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት በቅርቡ ሲያቀርቡ እጅግ ካስደሰቱኝ እና ካስፈነደቁኝ አንዱ የኮምዩኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ፅ/ቤት ሚኒስትር አቶ ሬድዋን ሁሴን ከቦታቸው መነሳታቸው አንዱ ነው። አቶ ሬድዋን በፅ/ቤቱ የተሾሙት በቅርብ ጊዜ ከመሆኑ አኳያ ከቦታቸው ይነሳሉ የሚል ግምትም ሆነ ሀሳብ አልነበረንም። ይልቁንስ በፅሕፈት ቤቱ የተንሰራፋውን የዘር፣ የጥቅምና የቡዱንተኝነት አመለካከት እና ድርጊት በተጠናከረ መንገድ ለረጅም ጊዜ መርተው ወደአልተፈለገ አቅጣጫ ይወስዱታል የሚል ሥጋቱ ነበረን። “…..

      “… አቶ ሬድዋን በቢሆንስ ዓለም አዙሪት ውስጥ ገብተው የተጨበጠ ነገር ለማውራት የሚችሉ አልነበሩም። ብዙ ማውራትና የተጨበጠ፣ ግልፅና አሳማኝ ነገር ማውራት ይለያያሉ። እንደ አመራር ቁርጥ ያለ ነገር ከመናገር ይልቅ በቢሆንስ ዓለም ላይ በማተኮር መካከለኛ አመራሩም ሠራተኛውም ንግግራቸው በየራሱ እየተረጎመና የተለያየ አመለካከት እየያዘ ሲዳክር ከርሟል።”

      lmao as the saying goes “yewedeke zaf misar yibezawal” …I can provide the link if you want to read more.

      Thanks,
      Addis

      • Eyob Medhane

        Addis,

        Honestly, I also was happy with Redwan’s removal. He is smart and articulate. But not a good PR person. When Ethiopians were martyred in Libya, his careless wording of “We are verifying, if they are Ethiopians” as opposed to “We are verifying the authenticity of the video” and on Afar pastoralists “The pastoralists did not take their cattle to the water on time, and that is why their cattle died”, on the drought shows his unfitness to be a face and a mouth of the government. He is combative, when he speaks to journalists. I don’t know how he led the government media entities. But, he really was not a good public face. I hope the Sport “ministry” now would be led better, as he is mostly behind the scenes…

        • አዲስ

          Eyob,

          I despise that guy. But it looks like it’s EPRDF’s style to put combative people on that post. The current Minister Getachew Reda is super combative, disrespectful, and sounds like the people are there to serve him not the other way around. One become like that when one legitimize his/her power by force.

          Thanks,
          Addis

          • Eyob Medhane

            Addis,

            Now you and I need to be in a caging match.. 🙂 Getachew is super smart and knows what he is talking about…believe me. A much much much better choice. Give him time. You’ll like him…

          • አዲስ

            Eyob,

            Haha no need for a cage match but being smart is actually more destructive if you’re using it for all the wrong reasons. Give him(or EPRDF) some time? as if I have a choice lol but I assure you there won’t be any liking of him from my side. I hope for better days.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob:

            Isn’t Getachew the dude who accused the oppo as “የግንዛቤ ችግር ያለባቸው”?

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Yes he is. Former chief of staff for PMHD..A great guy. Really worth his post. Leave him alone, or I am coming after you… 🙂

          • saay7

            Hey Eyob:

            Fine, grumpy. I am just stating the obvious: while, for sure, it’s a way to reinforce support from the converted, it’s not the language of winning converts. Please refer to Addis’s reply for exhibit. I will send you an invoice for this political consulting:)

            saay

  • Pass the salt

    Hello all,
    French President had sharp criticizim for Eritrean leaders
    “Hollande noted that a lot of the migrants are from Eritrea and Sudan. He said that in the case of Eritrea “maximum pressure” has to be applied to the country’s leaders to mend a serious situation. “Nobody is talking about it. It is a country that is becoming empty of its own population with unscrupulous leaders who let their people go.”
    Outch! If I were DIA, what would I think if one of the biggest world leaders had to say such unflattering remark about me? I know I couldn’t trick my mind it is America and Woyane fault.

    • Nitricc

      Hi post traumatic sindrom AKA PTS:
      If you were not a westerner junky; you should have known the mother of all problems is the unjust pressure on Eritrea put on by the west is the real problem. As much us I disagree with government of Eritrea; I support them to the EMF digree how they handle everything when it comes to your blood suckers, the west.
      Screw France and the horse they are riding on; but With Eritrea what works is, dialogue; tell Ethiopia to feed its people before occupation and war mongoring. If Eritrea was a matter of maxim pressure; then the French prez is Stupid. Obviously he is not paying attention. Simply put, pressure, intimidation and harassment will not work in Eritrea. I am proud to be part of the people with mentality.

      • Pass the salt

        Acido,
        Francois has a point. PFDJ lacks heart, lacks sensitivity to the liitle kids you see on refuge camps. It is heart breaking. I am sure you seen the bbc videos Amde shared with us yesterday. How do you feel about that?

      • betri_weyn

        Dear nitric
        This week your keyboard is busy for writing @feed,feed …if you are full of stomach & well feed people? why these el-Nino-hungry victim people hold you hostages why not try to recapture your occupied territories. these is the Good opportunity to attack the el-Nino hungry country and hostages you the last 2 decades. Please send your well feed militia,warsay and military.

        • Guest

          dearest Betri-Weyn

          Good point, but the thing is would Ethiopia accept Aid from Eritrea? I mean people are dying.

          thank you

          • Abi

            SELAMta Aqerbalehu
            We accept aid from anyone.
            Thanks

        • Abi

          Hi betri
          You have not been paying attention. The well fed and armed to the teeth DEMHIT is back defending the motherland after a long vacation.
          I think it is a great idea to send some of the army to eritrea for vacation on a regularl basis .Beautiful masawa beach, Asmara tsbuqti, black label scotch,cuccineta race and more. Paid vacation! All Expenses covered by His Excellency except for a chopper.
          Time to send the next round. Get the chopper ready!
          General Nitricc,
          Thank you for your unreserved kindness.

        • Nitricc

          Hi Betri_weyn
          Why would I shad more blood for an issue legally concluded? I it is Africa; you know like bragging your economy is fastest growing the world, mongering war and you turn around and you beg the world to feed your people. If that is not the deepest shame, I don’t know what is. I can understand to supplicate when there unseen disaster but telling your economy is number one and at the same time threaten to go to war is just to much. If your stupid leaders have a single thinking molecules; then the least and the worst government’s responsible is to feed your people. It is amazing! Feed your people then and then you can talk about your western subsidized budget and charity driven economy.
          Say what you want to say but look to your north and learn from.
          Your country is an embarrassment to human and humanity.

          • betri_weyn

            Dear nitric
            Let’s leave the el-Nino and the climate problem for those who knows… But what is your country strategy to overcome your problem. Where is your military expert,
            intelligence,defence analyst & ministry-of-attack. What they are doing to overcome their country problems. I assume They are just doing nothing but feeding their stomachs properly what a lucky army eating+digging=defecting What a shame yo* a*e. What a brave and trenches converter hungry country make you a hostages.

          • Nitricc

            Hahahah Betri_weyn; you are funny. Do you know what amazes me most? You guys think you have all the political freedom and deiced for yourselves, NO! You don’t. If the USA ordered you to jump; your only question is “how high master”. Let alone to decide national issues; your leaders can’t eat their lunch with out the consent of the USA and the west. The absolute truth! So, it is not you occupying our land, rather it is your masters.
            Do you want know what my brave country will tell if the west asks her to jump; she will tell them go jump to the lake yourself.
            Besides; the drought is not only in your country; so do Eritrea but there is a government who believes in political freedom; no aid and feed yourself. Oh, we don’t have 11% economic growth either. Lol 11% my foot.

    • haileTG

      Selam PTS

      Let’s think of the regime enterprise as a soccer team. IA’s security and intelligence team are the goalies. His presidential advisers and information ministers are the defense. The diaspora rag tag Mekete bunch are the mid-fielders and his diplomats are the strikers. Incidences like the one you shared show that IA is good for goalies, his defense are stressed out, his mid-fielders are disorientated and his strikers are a bunch of losers. Now, who is cheering for team IA? 🙂

  • Nitricc

    Hi All, I can not help but observe some people are created just to complain and complain and complain endlessly. No matter what it is, all the government do is the wrong thing and to hurt the people and the country.
    Tewelde declared falsely ““This very act introduced into the country apartheid system, where one group are over the other”
    I challenged him to buck up his claim and he never did. Becouse he can’t answer it, it is a lie.
    Then I read the following by Abraham Hanibal

    “ In a normal society the pending robbery of the people by the ruling clique could potentially create an atmosphere of popular uprising and a great challenge to the regime”

    How is it a pending robbery of the people? If any, this is good for the average people. Can any one explain to me why this is bad for the average poor people? How?
    The entire article of Berhan Nuredin can simply be put on to this sentence.
    “Greed for Power vs Power with Greed The battle between greed for power and the power with greed has just begun”
    So, if this is true; how is this bad for the average people of Eritrea? if anything it is a good thing for the people and country.
    Can anyone tell me with a straight face why this is bad for the poor people of Eritrea? at least rationalize your un fair whining and moaning.

    • tes

      Dear Nitricc,

      You seem to be knocked today loudly. This is a good progress.

      Well the apartheid system introduced by PFDJ started with the notion of “Yikealo-Warsay” Master-Servant relationship. You know nothing about it and it is very hard to make you conscious easily. I think Tewelde did something good for you today.

      tes

      • Nitricc

        Hahahaha Dear Tes, you have no answer too. Lol
        Trust me, you should have avoided the in your face inquiery like the other people on this forum. Just be warned; any false claim will be challenged.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Hi Nitricc,

      Remember we are talking about a regime that in the first place has robbed the people of their freedom in all aspects of life. Remember also that the regime was at the forefront when it came to the black market exchange business and cross-border contraband trade. All these in addition to the fact that the regime has monopolised the economic life of the country, has led to the economic hardship of the people. Now consider some people have saved a few tens of thousands of Nakfas from remittances they got from abroad, which they have exchanged at the PFDJ owned black market, or through their affiliates. Now these people would find it difficult, if not directly dangerous for their safety, should they try to convert their money to the new nakfa. Put youself in their position and try to think about it. Why didn’t they save their money in the banks in the first place? Well, this has to do with the general absence of trust towards the regime, that works without laws and regulations, and that often comes with surprise proclamations. It has also to do with the restrictions the regime has put on withdrawals from the banks. Also think about a situation where you’ve to leave your hard earned millions of nakfas in the premisses of a corrupt and illegal regime where you’re told your money would be counted after six weeks? In short this would not solve the economic problems of the people; the regime is just pressing the reset button to start anew, because the high level of corruption and mismangement has rendered it incapable of continuing its own lucrative black market.

  • AOsman

    Awatista,

    The following is in Asmara, the next sport that Eritrea will be #1 on…..Dawit you can join the race.

    https://www.facebook.com/wina.tesfamariam/videos/10153604443539017/

    Regards
    AOsman

    • Ted

      Thanks Aosman.
      i worry for spectators as for racers with out safety cage. Then again, why matter we are # 1. It would be fun to watch in a right circumstances.

      • saay7

        Hi Ted and AOsman:

        Hope nobody was hurt, beyond their pride.

        Did you catch the voice of female spectator saying “ኣብዚሕዎ እንዶ!” Hahaha! Classic asmarina. She was cheering him and the minute he made a mistake…. is there even an English translation for ኣብዚሕዎ እንዶ?

        Ok, what Asmara neighborhood is that? I am stumped.

        saay

        • Fnote Selam

          Saay,

          It is monopolio (reverse side), now godena marsateklay. The cars are coming from bahti meskerem and driving toward cinema krochorosa (as amarinos call it, lols)…

          FS

          • saay7

            Thanks Fnote Selam:

            You should call it Croce Rossa so SGJ doesn’t yell at us:)

            But Croce Rossa has a slope, a grade, it is not flat. And this looks flat. I am going to confirm with my super-authority on all things Eritrean. And if you are right, I will write like L.T all week.

            saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Saay,

            You know, I had him in mind when I wrote it…lols

            Here are the coordinates to the exact spot.

            15.3305°N, 38.9389°E

            FS.

          • tes

            Dear FS,

            No google map please.

            tes

          • Gogo

            Hey Sal,
            Fnote Selam is right. ክሮቾ ሮሳ ከይበጻሕካ ዘላ ኣንጎሎ። ግልባጥ እንዳ ወዲ ቫካሮ! ከባቢ ሳንታ ፋሚልያ አንዳ ፓስታ!

            ጎጎ

          • saay7

            Selamat all:

            From my Human Asamarpedia source:

            “This is the ‘Indafinjal’ Junction road – the racers are coming from Maijahjah and turning towards Bar Torino.”

            saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Saay,
            It looks someone is going to do LT all week long. Really looking forward to this.

          • saay7

            Hey FS:

            I sent the coordinates you shared with my Asmarapedia friend. Here were his answers to 3 repeated requests:

            1. No that was the Fabricated coordinate issued at Langely-Virginia authored by that Fezaw-Jandiye Fraser

            2. Whose coordinates do those number refer to….I am from the old-school who deals with marking by Tsilalot TseHai and detret-defiekaley -ayfalin ….kind

            3. LOL…..I thought you sent me the coordinates where General Mola crossed the border at
            or the spot where “the Lion of NaKfa” (in 2012) was seen Jogging to show us he is healthy and Kicking…….” breathing through his knee-caps”…

            That’s it. So for a week, I am LT. The good news is that LT writes only once a week. You knew there would be a catch, right?

            saay

          • Fnote Selam

            Hi Saay,

            Very well done. Very funny and LTisque…

            FS.

        • AOsman

          Hi Saay,

          If you don’t know that place, you are in trouble with Habtom. You lost your claim to monopolio, the border will be demarcated at the old train line above mai-jah-jah.

          Changing topic, there has been a debate/discussion on Eritrea in the House of common and a news focus on Eritrea by BBC (have they smelled something).

          http://eastafro.com/2015/11/10/video-eritrea-human-rights-uk-parliamentary-debate/

          Regards
          AOsman

          • saay7

            Haha, AOsman:

            It so happens I have been talking to habtom yohannes and he admits the area is an “un-demarcated border between Radio Marinayo and Croce Rossa.” He also says that the house that the driver crashed into is that of Abona Weldeab Weldemariam. But he is from Idaga Arbi and he gets things half-right and I wouldn’t take his word for it. I am waiting for my super-authority on All Things Asmarino. Stay tuned:)

            saay

          • AOsman
      • Nitricc

        Hey Ted, now days I see cycling is up and running in Mekelle, of corse you know the main source of that is. Now,when do you think you see the Indy 500 what you are seeing in Asmara in Mekelle? You know they have to copy cat everything Eritreans do. Hahaha. I will say in 2020. I don’t see them sacrificing a well running car for fun, do you? Besides, they will look bad begging for food to feed their people and displaying that kind of expensive entreatment show down. At last we find a degree of saparetion lol.

        • Ted

          Hi Nitricc, When our bad friends from the West come to Asmara expecting to see misery, slum or tacky glass buildings of Africa , Asmara shikore dazzles them with her charm, neatness and sophistication. Some of them referred Asmara as a “movie set”, is it a bad thing?

        • Abi

          Hi Nitricc,Ted
          What race are you talking about ? I’m sure you are not talking about the cuccineta race AOsman posted.
          Do these cars have engine or somebody was running in inside them?

          • Ted

            Hi Abi, i wish it is true there was no one inside driving them, unfortunately people are not always awesome .It was a bad crash, people must had been hurt. I don’t need to tell you how much it hurt even falling off a mule;-)

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            Beqlo yemekuwanint new. I remember how you took care of my mule. You were a good lole/ ashker.

            Melkamu ashkere beqlo yemisblign
            Tedye nebere hedachihu amTulign
            Besegar beqloye tewbe bekaba
            Ted beqlo gotach wanaw jandereba

  • sara

    Dear all
    after new york-where next? Valletta
    you know what,it is strange this guys are meeting to kick Africans from coming, very interesting part of
    the chattering going around those congregating is, those moving to Europe from Africa have no jobs
    prospect nor “REAL LOYALTY TO THEIR STATE” —-is that so?
    what do we say to this refered from the recent reprt of ICG

  • L.T

    Okey to blame all the world’s peroblems you have on Profit Isaias,always,right?wait,Why is it okey to you who do not plan your life well enough take it out on Isaiash,when he was only trying to do his job in the best way like Obama,Che,Meles,Che,Olof Palme..Mao do?
    He tries as best he can for his people and nation even to Weyane Tigria and Ethiopia…he work in a business and dangerous area that counts seconds,he is a good driver but he is not a robot,he does not look at you down but he welcome you that you should go on his train,he tries to smile at you when he can.
    The real question I want to ask here is:Sometimes to irritated him,you call him Ali Baba just bcs he cut himself his hair due to the shortage of electricity and hairdressers and you call him he is a goat just that he forget to cutting his Mustash ?Why is it okey for you to give him your bad day,but nevery our good?Why is it ok that you like fighting with your partner/living apart together/friend/therapist(though we do not apply therapy)think it is ok to yell att Isaiash that he was mentally ill and stupid and various other dirty word?Why is it okey for you to spit on his pic when you come in to Weyane?
    And it is not just that it is an envious of you,but anger towards your selfishness for his work as a nanny/student assistant,tailoring,home services,lawyers,It reporter,General Manager,Transport manager,Traffic engineers,specialists in medical.finance and payroll administrator in the health care and social care and hairdressing!
    Spoofing other can not hurt anyone especiall with our President.

    • Semere Andom

      dear moderator and moderators.
      Fine,you want me to say haderatkum deqi abeytti, everytime I touch the keyboardi. I will do it if that makes you happy and daddy,the miserable life, not managed and Alibaba jokes for nebi Isiaiah.
      you advocate for democracy so I have right to not say haderatkum or ke meAlkum. the way you envy Isaiah for becoming everything you blame me for exercising my right not to say hi,hello because just like my Nakfa goes to smokes, I do not want my words to go to smokes, Smoke and “tiki” is no bad, it finds it ways in the darkest highway .
      so my right, my reem not so salute like Isaiah salutes his men and women and children and hafash, I will but remember your taketh my right from me like the tegaru took my Badma and house and farma
      L.T

    • saay7

      Dear Awate Colleagues:

      We had an understanding that the posting guidelines do not apply to L.T. If you recall, at our meeting, we raised the issue that we cannot have different posting guidelines. The compromise position we reached, if you remember, is that the posting guidelines will be waived for all Awatistas who can come up with something as philosophical as LT’s “Stop your animal tests football and don’t clash with me.”

      Please also remember that we had made a second exception for AMAN that we particularly enjoy his monologues about nothing (Senfeldian) addressing nobody in particular.

      Don’t make me whip out my “deqaiq akheba.”

      iSem, you can’t have a satire of LT unless you misspell Tigray as Tigria.

      saay

      • Nitricc

        hahahahahahaha SAAY; I will never forgive you ,lolllllll. I am with some people going over some stuff and I couldn’t stop laughing. They are looking at me, like I am crazy.
        LT should be awate moda. He got my vote.
        lol
        “”Stop your animal tests football and don’t clash with me.”
        simply clasic!!!!

      • Saleh Johar

        Saay,
        You are mistaken on AMAN. It’s not a monologue, he said “I and my party…” And once he was annoyed because someone stole his ideas, or something like that. I think he is a leader of a political party I just hope he will share his party manfesto

        • saay7

          SGJ:

          (Shuffling my minutes of the meeting):

          It says here we have extra-special Posting Guideline waiver for people who write constitutions (like our old friend in Canada) and those who wear a suit, declare themselves President of the State of Eritrea and post their youtube video with an address to the Eritrean people. Leaders of imaginary organizations with random announcements, which always appear to be sequel to a conversation you were never a part of, definitely fit the bill: Awate University’s Performance Art school must have its enrollments.

          saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            selam SAAY
            Haha…እቲ ቀደም ብቋንቛ ሰውሪኖ (እንታይ ደኣ “ኣዝማሪኖ” ካብ ብሓትኩማ፡ ንሕና ድማ “ሰውሪኖ/ገድሊኖ” ንፈጥር) “ኣረኣእያ ኣባ ግበረልና ይዓኺ” ይበሃል ነይሩ። ጋዲ፡ ሕጂ እውን ጸቕጢ ደሙ ክዓርግ እዩ። ነታ “ያ ኣኺ” ወይ “ኣንታ ሓወይ” እትብል ቃል ዓረብኛ፡ ብዓል ሃይላትን ንስኻን (ኣዝማሪኖ” ናብ “ያ ዓኺ” ቀዪርርኩማ። ዓላ ኩል ሓል፡
            Now, I see you using ኣረኣእያ ወይም በጓድ ኣቢ ቋንቋ፡ኣስተያየት
            Since treating every soul roaming the campus of Awate University is a cardinal principle holding the University above all other similar institutions, I have a proposal that makes things easier and keeps our forum as it is: vibrant, productive and livable. Strike down the salutation requirement. And here is why: Salutation is part of a person’s personality and life experience. Sure, at times, we may forget it because we usually respond rushing for something more important. But the salutation part is not going to make it or break it. People may be nice in putting the salutation line but then start the first line of their message full of curses or name-callings. Some may forget it but embody consistently civilized manners of communications…etc.
            Even in life, we meet people who look scornful and miserable, but when we pass the torture of the first impression, we find them interesting and humble. On the other hand, you may find people who are easy to approach and fast to depart…etc.
            Recommendation: Let people start the way they want to start. What should be of concern should be the content of what we write and not if want to say “hello” or forget saying it. Of course, saying hello is like knocking on the door, it is a courtesy, it makes the author of a comment more approachable. It’s a sign of respect. For instance, both AMAN and L.T. are among the well mannered folks. But, at times,all of us run into some level of absent mindedness, and I think we will be forgiven. The focus should better be on those who follow the salutation requirement only to post curses and belittlements.

        • Nitricc

          Hey SJ; at times AMAN claims he has being attacked and I never read anyone attacking him. Do you have any idea what AMAN is implying? I tried to figure it out but to no avail. Having said that LT and AMAN should be allowed to post not only with out salutations but what ever they want. They bring the essence of real life and reality. The real world!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam ALL
    SAAY, Semere, anmde, et. al.

    amde, I got your point and it seems to me a valid one or a reasonable guess/suspicion, I think. The only clarification is (and this, I hope, marries the assessments we all have made) that the binding factor of this extremely small top level kitchen cabinet is not the norms of doing the usual business of a government (legal, ethical, professional codes and relations) but the fear towards and the loyalty to him. Because per SAAY’s Issayasism 101, the man handpicks who will sit with him (who will have the honor of talking to him or reporting to him by walking into his receptionist and asking ምስቲ ሰብኣይ እንድየ ክዛረብ ደልየ/ነቲ ሰብኣይ እንድየ ክረክብ ደልየ በጃኺ. Then the IA(ism) theory gets exciting and more intact by taking it a bit further, down the road. Now, referring to that same IA(ism)101, chapter xx, we will see that he has perfected walling or wrapping himself with layers of loyal functionaries, politica and/or security personnel. Then it is logical to conclude that the top most layer is formed by the few cream who have garnered the most attention/consideration of IA. But the question is: does this kitchen cabinet function without his presence? Or, does its function stay constant while IA grip to power declines? If we say “yes” to these questions, then we must admit that the kitchen cabinet is professionally bound, hence, we are saying that there is a system in place. However, I contend that the only collective factor that would bind them after IA is that they are deep in all the miseries they caused upon our people, and there are thousands who are sharpening their knives in case they get a bit of their skin. Therefore, it is a matter of life and death for them to stick together. However, coalitions that are founded on this sort of premises are easy to crack. All you need to do is separating most of the political functionaries from the security and military functionaries who are at the center of the abuses. Therefore, yes, there could be that top most loyal layer closer to him, but I suspect without him it will draw daggers on each other the moment IA leaves the scene. That top layer has no public support, or a legal framework protecting it.

    Continuation of IA (ism)101): a. According to people who worked closely with him, IA abhors the emergence of signs of mobility, or anything that sends the perception that change is happening or is imminent. He tries not to hint that there is change, or there will be the possibility of mobility and change. That scares him to death (sources withheld). The reason is that once you hint about changing something, the percept of change will ring in the minds of dormant minds, and then you will have floods of questions and pressures. That’s what happened in 2001. Suddenly, the elite started talking about change, private papers took the lead, G-15 became the talk of town, people abandoned the government information channels (radio, TV and Hadas Ertra); instead the stalls of private papers were emptied in no time. Then IA, after purging his opponents, announced “back to our tradition,” meaning, the ghedli ways of doing business which had secured his grip on power.

    b. IA has mastered the theory of reward perfectly. He will let Generals get away with abuses, let those who performed to his liking be seen on TV sitting next to him, accompanying him on trips and receiving foreign dignitaries…paying them a visit, playing with them cards….and on the contrary, when he thinks they are becoming extremely unresponsive to his tactics or behaving a little confidently and comfortably, may be, talking to him while scratching their heads (like a shy kid), he may suspect they are building confidence (ydaferu alewu). The next step is to withdraw the rewards, if not responding, he freezes them, if they realize their act and behave positively, he withdraws the negative rewards, but if they still are not responding, he sends them away To Eila Ero. And for those who perform to his expectation, he keeps rewarding them, or keep silent when they are embezzling the wealth of the nation, running their turfs…

    b. The degree of ruthlessness is related indirectly to the degree of a dictator’s popularity. If a dictator is popular, he acts leniently towards his close colleagues because he has the mass backing him. However, when he starts losing the popular supports he gets more ruthless; and the pattern continues reaching a point where the dictator gets secluded and totally wrapped by few mini ruthless functionaries who have been groomed to be his copycat image-in-action. However, even here, since the alliance is not founded on sound public legitimacy and constitutional guard, he will always stay suspicious. The few close to him live on high alert not to cross a millimeter, because a cornered animal is dangerous (you know what Sadam did to his son-in-law. As this beleaguered state of affairs continues, the crimes get worse and these functionaries are implicated in them; therefore, their fate aligns with his fate. In this sense amde’s kitchen cabinet makes sense.

    c. I strongly suspect the current quick and secretive move to change old Nakfa bills with new Nakfas is related to this scenario. The kitchen cabinet has failed to bring the situation under control using the usual tactics, and the situation reached a point where the very existence of that top layer and the boss it encapsulates is threatened (refer to my previous posts regarding the causes and the reasons behind the financial meltdown).

    d. As far as amde’s and others speculation of whether IA is becoming irrelevant due to health conditions, we don’t yet have clinical insiders. All that we have is speculations. Judging from how things are running inside the country, we don’t yet have signs of his incapacitation or closer to that. To the contrary, all signs point to the fact that he is consolidating his power.
    This concludes today’s Hateta.

    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      In every hateta, you became more and more close to your reformation agenda. As I caan see you have no qualms with the system but with DIA. Well, now you are on a move to talk on IA 101. Drop this course. It is irrelevant and no one is buying it anymore. Thanks to Berhan Nuredin, DIA is a rotten fish. And who cares about the rotten fish except the fisher. Eritreans were never fishers of such ugly minded people except the rotten worshipers who cared less for the people.

      Now, it is shame some to see them openly advocating to care about the rotten fish from the head while they are already possess rotten body.

      tes

    • saay7

      Selamat MaHmuday:

      And it’s a fine, fine Hateta it is. If you can start chain-smoking and wear oversized coats and have that “I haven’t slept in days” look, you could give Asmelash real competition on Awate TV. (Aw-TV, as in loud:)

      I think the term “kitchen cabinet” is appropriate to contrast it with the real cabinet, which is of limited utility.

      I think what we have here is an ideology but not a system. The ideology, Isaiasism, standard “Afrjcan Socialism” which harkened back to the African Big Men era. How can one have an ideology without a system. Let’s see if this metaphor works: consider those gigantic estates and manors of medieval lords. They were staffed with cooks and valets and stable boys, all with a division of labor who had only one master. He could go on a business trip, or a war for weeks and months, and the manor would function—nobody would doubt who was still in charge though.

      To go back to the comparison with Africa’s Big Men (the first generation leaders of post-independent Africa), many of them found running a country to be completely boring and they would try to find ways to involve themselves in regional and international affairs. This, I believe, is something Isaias Afwerki also suffers from: he is bored by the intellectually unchallenging task of running a small country and wishes for more. He is, in that regard, like a mid level employee at a large company who is burned out and feels he is long overdue for a raise. And da man is keeping him down, man.

      During Ghedli, at least there was the challenge of liberating and losing land. In the 90s, there was the euphoria of independence and national consolidation. In the 2000s, there was Gaddafi and a procession of Americans visiting in Asmara and Massawa, there were Somalis Sudanese trekking to Asmara, giving it a temporary feel as hub for internationalism. Even the journalists who would interview him had heft and knew him during Ghedli. But now? What is there? Just a bunch of auditors demanding to see the books: SEMG, CoI. For example, ILO is in Asmara this week. Kids completely out of their element asking for interviews. It’s enough to make a man go to seclusion and watch the construction of a dam.

      He may instill holy terror and fear and loathing among Eritreans but outside his borders, he has become a tragic figure. When I see him with Sudans Omar Al Bashir, holding hands, I am reminded of an old Billy Joel song:

      Yes, they are drinking a drink they call loneliness,
      But it’s better than drinking alone.

      Saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        A governing ideology without a system really? I think we understand the relationship of ideology and a system please. We are not naive to understand the inseparable relationship between the two.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • saay7

          Emma:

          My fault: we had a truce, a cease-fire on this. I will make it up to you: read “Comparative Political Systems” by Gabriel A. Almond, published in “The Journal of Politics.” It is old, but it stays true to Max Weber, the Godfather of politics. I think we agree at least on that, right Emma?

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            Except on two issues ( system and democratic transition) we see eye to eye on the Eritrean politics. So I will assume one is down now. Also, as the end of the current regime is on the horizon, as it looks from distant reading, I will try to write an article on “democratic transition and how our politics gets soft landing” to narrow our take on it, which possibly and hopefully will make us to march on the same page, to build a new system that satisfy the Eritrean people at large.

            Second, I will promise you to read “comparative political system” by Gabriel A. Almond and will see if his views will bridge our differences. I will get back to you when I read it.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            As promised, I read Almond’s essay on “comparative political System”. From his classifications, ours falls into a “Totalitarian political system” where its political culture appears as synthetically homogeneous, its political communications is controlled from the center, assuring an absolute power monopoly with specialized apparatus of oppression. If you agree on that, our case will be closed affirming the existence of “a system with its ideology” currently running our nation. Thank you for referring me to read Almond’s essay.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

      • Amde

        Saay,

        Well written but I am with Amanuel on the ideology vs system. Consider the Means-Motive-Opportunity triangle famously used to solve crimes. I find that framework helps in clarifying a lot of issues.

        In crime novels, Opportunity (“alibi”) is given the majority of exposure. In international especially military affairs, it is the Means that is given most attention. , and rightly so. Iran says its Motive for nuclear power is peaceful, but the world chose to work on controlling its Means, since its Motive can be changed overnight. In other words, the switching cost of Motive is negligible but the switching cost of Means is make-or-break.

        I think the organization is the true Means, and not the ideology. There is a reason the faces in kitchen cabinet haven’t changed – the switching cost is high. I really do not know what the ideology is here. For all intents and purposes Isayyas at this point in his life is probably a monarchist and believes his position is his by “divine right” and it is his to pass to whoever it pleases him by divine right. It helps there are claques og misty eyed sycophants like dawit professing his quasi-divinity.

        I was also drawn to your statement “he is bored by the intellectually unchallenging task of running a small country and wishes for more.” I guess I only take exception to your use of the word “intellectually”, because solving the issue of poverty is an African nation has got to be one of the most intellectually challenging things out there. He is just a born agitator and manipulator, and he can’t get a higher high with Eritrea. I bet you he would sign a Union deal with Ethiopia in an instant if they promised him the top spot. There is a lot more mischief and fun to be had.

        Amde

        • saay7

          Selamat Amde:

          I should have stayed away from Amanuel’s specialty–We Have A System, Admit It, Dammit!–and still made my points. (Close your eyes, Emma:) All African systems have a hybrid of the Western and traditional systems where political parties, bureaucracies, armies, charismatic figures, religious/traditional power centers have overlapping authority. When I say “no system”, I mean in Eritrea, the entire power structure is Isaias-centric. (Open your eyes, Emma.)

          The boredom Isaias Afwerki is experiencing is, as I tried to explained, not unique: it was one shared by his African predecessors*: Senghor, Houphouet-Boigny, Kaunda all were more comfortable dealing with regional/international challenges. Kaunda was particularly notorious on that. Solving the issue of poverty is a particularly wonky activity and it is something, that appeals to the wonkish nature of Isaias. He just believes (please stop laughing) that he has placed Eritrea on a trajectory and if it executes, the issue will be solved. In 2011, I think, he said that Eritrea will never, ever have food shortages that will require it asking for aid and, to his mind, that is solved.

          No, I do not think he would have signed a union deal with Ethiopia simply because he believes (as people of his generations do: Eyob, please take your diabetes pill as you won’t like what will follow) that “Ethiopia is too backward to be ruled, much less to rule you.” What he would have preferred is that COMESA, AU, IGAD recognize his natural intellectual superiority and allow him to be the go-to person. But you guys just refuse to co-operate. So it is your fault:)

          saay

          * reading Herman Cohen’s “The Mind of the African Strongman” where he shares his conclusions based on his observation of Senghor, Babangia, Houphouet-Boigny, Kabila, Bongo, Gaddafi, Arap Moi, Siad Barre, Kaunda, Savimbi, Mugabe, Taylor, Mobutu, Doe, Mandela and DeKlerk.

          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            I read your note twice.. pre and post edit haha… I think you would have been better off without the edit.

            You draw a good picture of a former glamorous leader shining in the milieu of resistance and agitation, now sadly handcuffed by the dark arts of mealy mouthed nickel and diming pursuit of an hambasha in every tukul, and a toilet for every a-hole. Yes, indeed, he must have been thinking to himself “how the might have fallen” when listening to experts tell him he needs to spend so much for this, tax so much for that etc etc…

            The thing is though, Kaunda survived to be voted out of office and then run again. Many of the strongmen left behind functioning government. Can we not consider the kitchen cabinet a sustainable institutional continuation? Say what you will, they are competent at what they do. If another aspiring dictator wanted a dictatorship-in-a-box, that is a team with the history and connections to have seen and experienced it all. In the learning business, there is this saying that expertise requires 10,000 hours of practice. They have many multiples of that individually – and crucially – as a team.

            I think they are loyal enough to Isayyas that he wont be threatened.. (plus he is too useful for them now) but I think they have what it takes to continue as a team post Isayyas. The thing is, I dont know how much younger than Isayyas they are, so we may see a series of short term heads after him. Remember after Brezhnev died, it looked like every octogenarian on the politburo had to take his seat at the helm before being walked out on his back to his spot on the Kremlin wall. Andropov, Chernenko, etc etc until Gorbachev came up.. a completely different generation.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Ha Amde!

            I don’t disagree with you about the “10,000 of hours of practice” required for proficiency, made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in “Outliers” although new research shows that it is all bunk:)

            This is why I once said that in post-Isaias Eritrea we need to keep all those experienced in statcraft which made my friend Emma lose more hair and curse at me.

            The thing I am not doing a good job explaining is that all the “10,000 hours” experts have a very, very, very narrow area they are allowed to practice in. For example, the Education Minister, Semere Russom, has years of experience in diplomacy but he is not allowed to share his accumulated knowledge on that until his off-switch is turned on by Isaias. The Foreign Minister, Osman Saleh, has years of experience in education: it must hibernate until Isaias activates it. Etc, etc. People are rotated and they have to learn new skills all over–and they all have steep learning curves.

            Speaking of which, your country made the former Govt Spokesperson, Redwan, its Sports Commissioner. All sorts of rumors will be floated by AP–including that host Ethiopia has blocked Eritrea from participating in Cecafa–before he wakes up from his slumber and says, no, that is not true.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Do you think Eritrea will send a football team to Ethiopia for the Cecafa tournament? BTW I don’t see what Ethiopia gains by blocking their participation. I doubt that rumor.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Well, it is not a rumor; it was reported by AP yesterday and syndicated all over the world and reported even by DireTube:)

            http://www.idahostatesman.com/sports/article43963431.html

            Still waiting for Ethiopia’s Sports Commissioner Minister to wake up from his coma and deny it.

            Would Ethiopia block it? It is not a bi-lateral deal; Ethiopia is representing 12 nations so, no, I don’t think so. But then Ethiopia blocked Eritrea’s return to IGAD, so who knows?

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Saay,

            Well if true then it’s idiotic. You haven’t answered my first question. Do you think Eritrea will send a football team to Ethiopia?(ofcouse if not blocked as reported)

            Thanksk,
            Addis

          • saay7

            Hi Addis:

            No, it won’t:) And you can use any sentence that you can assemble the following words in any order to explain that boneheaded decision:

            Badme, casus belli, flashpoint, EEBC, sovereignty, occupation, final and binding.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Saay,

            I rather understand why PFDJ wouldn’t want to send a team to Ethiopia because of the team’s past history of absconding.

            I just posted this p.s on my previous comment(Edited). Here it’s if you haven’t seen it

            p.s. I just saw the draw for the group stage and Eritrea isn’t in it. One positive thing from Ethiopian side, the tournament will be held in three venues. A.A, Awassa, Bahirdar.

            http://soccerethiopia.net/?page_id=4426

          • Eyob Medhane

            Addis,

            Ethiopia did not block anybody. Eritrea missed the entry deadline ON PURPOSE. They know the drill, they hosted CECAFA (under17) before. By the way let me make you laugh by telling you what they did, when they hosted CECAFA Juniors in Asmara. They had a song ready for all cecafa countries completed with duetes singing about all CECAFA countries, and against the law of Geography, they skipped Ethiopia and went down to Kenya and Tanzania.. 🙂 I would have linked the video hear, but the moderator yiqotalu.Too much video blewal.. 🙂

          • አዲስ

            Eyob,

            Hahah…the animosity between the two countries sometimes has no bound. Hoping for better days.

            Btw, Is Hawassa Stadium ready to host competitions? I thought it was still under construction.

            Thank,
            Addis

          • Eyob Medhane

            Addis,

            You know that’s interesting. Awassa stadium is not ready. (I don’t think) but the city hall (Awassa Kenema) has a fantastic field, which even Addis does not have..Awassa University also has a decent stadium albeit small…

          • አዲስ

            Eyob,

            I saw some pictures of the University’s stadium but it would be awesome if the competition is held at the big stadium. We shall see.

            Thanks,
            Addis

          • Nitricc

            Hi Addis; don’t buy what the cheap liers are telling you. Your country hit bottom when they block Eritrean Athletes. That alone should tell you how stupid your leaders are.
            “Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of the Council for East and Central African Football Associations, says the regional soccer body ”must respect” Ethiopia’s position not to allow the Eritrea team into the country to play at the CECAFA Cup from Nov. 21-Dec. 6.”

          • Ted

            Hi saay,
            It is proactive and considerate move by Ethiopia to ask Eritreans to stay put considering their resources are stretched feeding refugees of E. Africa. It would been nice though to have a couple of them in ETV complementing PMHD’s recent BBC interview.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            There isn’t much that you said, which makes my blood sugar hike more than usual.

            It’s actually vindicating to see that the ego meniac to the point of insanity Isayas Afeworki has been woefully ignored and out bested by people he considers beneath him. A character, which he seems to be successful to instill on much of the highland Eritreans. I always wonder how Eritrean authorities would react, if they take part on NEPAD ( New African Partnership for Africa’s Development) An AU mechanism, which African leaders evaluate one another. Eritrea would have declared war on every single African country, who dared criticize it through NEPAD. As Tilahun Gessese would say, ምኞት የህልመኛ ነው። ትምክህት የምንደኛ ነው። እብሪት የጉረኛ ነው። ድል ግን የታጋዮች ነው። 🙂 One of the most profound things that I heard on Kiros Asfah’s interview was, when he said “..they (the regime) says “we are rich. We are powerful. We are this. We are that. They went and fought with all of it’s neighbors. And then. They showed them how they are not powerful. They put in their place..” (Paraphrased by me) See Menelik or Tedros or Yohannes did not not do that. They protected themselves from those, who want to swarm them be it Italians in Menelik’s case or Egyptians in Yohannes’ case. They didn’t just talk the talk. They walked the walk. They did not allow someone to come and demolish their heritage and language with sword. In stead, they gave their head to the sword to maintain their people’s heritage and identity. That resembles nothing like ኢሱ ጭሱ ጉራ በኪሱ። That actually makes the Atses men of action, while he is just full of gura and overgrown mustache.. 🙂

          • saay7

            Haha Eyobai:

            Here’s Isaias Afwerki expressing his amazement about Eritrean combatants/artists expressing their appreciation of Tilahun Gesese. Yeah, me, too, Isaias: why are so many Eritreans in love with this drama queen, Ethiopian version of Patti Labelle? I can’t stand the guy for more than 20 seconds:)

            https://youtu.be/v8daMihStA4

            On NEPAD, AU, UN, I told you: just like you’ve had years (decades) of conditioning that Arabs are bad, we Eritreans have had decades of conditioning that GOs, NGOs are never, ever to be trusted:)

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Oh Sal,

            Based on the video clip you have provided to me, Isayas, and Ghedli may have failed in their “conditioning” to make combatants hate everything Ethiopia and Ethiopians. What a waste.. 🙂

            Anyway, that was not my point. I was trying to make a point that your comparison of Isayas and Ethiopian Atses does not hold any water. They walked their talk, but he is left with his baby hair cut and weird mustach. That is what I am saying….

  • said

    Salam Berhan

    What a beautifully article. The subject is of great interest to many Eritrean, it touches their life hood and the way it is presented is brilliant.A smooth pleasant logical article. A much needed writing at this time.

    There was a time not too long ago when one depicts Eritrea with the market as a voluntary means of production and exchange, leading to the creation of material abundance and the thriving of populations. In city, region after region, hardworking people engage in small agriculture and animal husbandry, industry and trade. It becomes almost monotonous to hear continuously of inhabitants who live by their sweat and make a living by trade and small cottage industry. Towns and thriving commercial and industrial city like Asmara and plenty of fruitful gardens and fields, commerce was the kind of traditional spontaneous order that only a market system can provide. The Country thronged with cities and towns and rich in merchandise, yielding a great revenue. Merchandise imported by sea, the products of fruit and animal husbandry exported. Are now by gone era and distance memory.

    Present Eritrea is not normal country than it used to be and not better place to live, at least for the young. Faced with the repressive, corrupt systems in which they are forced to live, with little prospect for change, many people make the only rational choice they have: get the h– out .But when you think of Eritrea’s, the country is exhausted, emotionally and economically and impact on the people is dire. You think of IA and the entourage of Eritrean oligarchs will let people make their small business activity, not a chance. Now the country stands for grasping power and ill-gotten money. While the country is on its knees and when opportunities for work become very scarce? Lots of the traditional jobs for our people are disappearing and low wages for remaining workers are pretty stagnant.

    Today’s Eritrea looks like the discerption of 18thCentury arch-reactionary Joseph de Maistre in the opening lines of his essay Considerations on France. “The most wonderful aspect of the universal scheme of things is the action of free beings under divine guidance. Freely slaves, they act at once of their own will and under necessity: they actually do what they wish without being able to disrupt general plans.

    In this scheme, each “slave” is found “at the center of a sphere of activity whose diameter varies according to the decision of the eternal geometry, which can extend, restrict, check, or direct the will without altering its nature,” Maistre pontificates. But that flexibility is enjoyed only by those enlightened few who understand the “eternal geometry,” and have been appointed thereby to preside over the rest of us.

    On occasion, of course, one who is “freely” enslaved decides not to remain within the compass of his or her assigned role in the “eternal geometry.” It is at that point that the “flexible chain” becomes the “chain of command” as the expression was defined by Jayne Cobb – a scourge employed to beat the uppity slave into compliant submission. This is when the “flexible” nature of that chain is made apparent: While the chains that bind the common run of humanity are unyielding, those who are supposedly nearer to “the throne of the Supreme Being” find their restraints sufficiently supple to accommodate any act of violence necessary to enforce conformity.

  • aklilu zere

    Good day and good season to citizens of Awate Nation. First thing first: Good job and thanks Berhan Nuredin!!

    Who is behind this financial game? I don’t know about you but I see fingerprints of Nsu all over this game. This is not his first and will not be his last as long as he is allowed to live ( a life of the living dead) and linger.

    How does Nsu makes such decisions? To answer this question in an uncomplicated manner ( for lack of originality on my part), I shall borrow a wisdom from George Eliot in Silas Marner ( a marvelous little book) when she described an old Squire who overlords peasants who live in his land.

    You the reader can substitute Nsu in place of the old Squire and you will not be far from the truth!

    This is what George Eliot wrote:

    “…The old Squire was an implacable man: he made resolutions in violent anger, but he was not to be moved from them after his anger had subsided- as fiery volcanic matters cool and harden into rock. Like many violent and implacable men, he allowed evils to grow under favor of his own heedlessness, till they pressed upon him with exasperating force, and then he turned around with fierce severity and became unrelentingly hard. This was his system with his tenants: he allowed them to get into arrears, neglect their fences, reduce their stock, sell their straw, and otherwise go the wrong way- and then, when he became short of money in consequence of this indulgence, he took the hardest measures and would listen to no appeal.”

    Sound familiar?

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Selamat all,

    In a normal society the pending robbery of the people by the ruling clique could potentially create an atmosphere of popular uprising and a great challenge to the regime. But in our case; a society devoid of its youth (they are held out of town in trenches; while thousands of them have left the country),; a society degraded and traumatised by decades of abuse; it is highly unlikely we would witness any meaningful uprising. And there is nothing so painful than witnessing a defenseless people at the mercy of few criminals.

    • haileTG

      Hello Abraham,

      For the great numbers that the justice camp is mobilizing in the streets and in many other facets of activism, the most paralized section is the leaderships of the opposition, because the people are more than ready. The leaderships are horribly dead beat to say the least.

      Regards

  • saay7

    Selamat Berhan:

    I agree; this is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite threads:) Some notes in no particular order including your response to General Nitricc:

    1. When Gemal Abdel Nasser died, everyone was expecting that such an absolutely powerful man would have a lot of money stashed. But he died broke and his family lived in a modest house. To some powerful people, money is boring; political power is all. I think Isaias fits that mold. (If you ever watched House of Cards, Frank Underwood has contempt for people who choose money over political power:)

    2. I think all the clever hustlers are right now stocking up on cash-substitutes and cash-equivalents. Calling cards, for example. Or electronics. These are just the clever hustlers. The super-clever saw this coming and converted their Nakfa to hard currency or its equivalent months ago.

    3. Oh, Berhan! You are forgetting the “honor system” that is expected. Much like a military officer can pick up a citizen, take him to a prison and tell the prison warden to “hold him for me”, that is what will happen with the cash. For large amounts, you go to the bank and you declare (like a person flying to a foreign land) how much cash you are bringing in on those long and narrow declaration forms, and then you turn in the form and you leave the plane, I mean the bank. Or, whatever is going to work as a bank. According to the announcement, ministries, departments, army can function as “banks” in much the same way that the army was acting as a bank receiving payments from parents whose children had disappeared.

    4. You know, this, Berhan: some businesses live on a float–the number of days between the time you write the check and the day it clears. There will be no “insufficient funds” or overdraft on personal checks written by patriots. The checks all come with “Awet nHafash” watermark and “zikri n semaetatna” footer and, therefore, have the “full faith and credit” of the State. Please stop being AdHarHari. The Negadai will be responsible for giving the customer receipts in triplicate, thereby allowing the State to collect what most African states lose: income tax. Where is Dawit: Eritrea is # 1!.

    5. The bank will be open 8:00 – 11:00 and 2:00 to 4:00. The three hour break in between is not just for siesta and happy hour but for counting currency.

    This will be, like the Eritrean referendum, one of those things that goes off without a hitch: it is what the PFDJ is born to do:)

    saay

    • dawit

      Dear Cousin

      Thanks for asking about me. Well dawit is busy counting his nakfa ready to exchange on Nov. 18 to be the # 1 on line at 8:00 AM when the bank open for business.

      Now you and others here at AT, making the exchange process too complicated. I think it is going to be very simple. If people have more than 5 million to exchange, they are required to put them in a box, separated by denomination, 1,5, 10…100s. Then all is needed for the bank to weigh the box and record the weight subtract the weight of the box and multiply by the weight of 1 currency, Bingo! the bank determine how many nakfas are on that box. If the weight exceed the normal weight, then you know it must be dirty money attacked by mold growing over it adding to its weight where ever it was hidden, may be across the border to the south, which lead to an investigation. And if the weight is below the normal weight for the box, that currency have lost weight, faded its color reducing its normal weight. Then you know that currency must have passed through the ‘Super Wash Cycle’, sending a warning flag of ‘dirty money’ which need to be investigated. That currency might may be coming from across the border north and west of the country, where they used Nile water to do the super cleaning process. If the weight is right every thing is fine, that must be the ‘patriot currency ‘ which never left the country but used in circulation to build the country, not heavier or lighter but the right weight. you get you currency converted to the new currency immediately. So you see cousin, every thing is going to be fine in the # 1 country in Africa , converting its currency smoothly within six weeks. On January 1st. 2016 Eritrea is going to start a clean economy with a clean currency stamped with “Awet nHafash” watermark !

      Cheers!

      dawit

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Cousin daiwt:
        Mahmud have earned the cousisship too, have you noticed:-)
        Yes, I agree with your simplistic way of explaining the currency exchange
        Also can you enlighten us if the 5 million us smeared with some blood did you guys have enough detergent to clean it?

        • dawit

          Cousin SEM,

          Do you want advise how to exchange your “the 5 million us smeared with some blood”? Sorry cousin I only know how to exchange clean patriotic currency old Nakfa with a new Patriot Nakfa. If you have us currency smeared with blood, you have to contact the Fed, the institution authorized to exchange us currency.
          Don’t touch Cousin Mahmud, his not in the laundry business, he is only interested in the truth and not interested with your innuendo towards the Eritrean government.

      • saay7

        Hey Cousin dawit:

        What do you mean waiting in line. Has the Treasury deputized US embassies as banks to allow the Diaspora to exchange currency that was stuck in their 15-zipper leather jackets too?

        This orderly process you are describing sounds very familiar: on a gov-specific date, between specific times, you go to a gov-specified place. You leave something of value, which is then validated by gov-appointed officials transparently and then you get something of equal value back. All adults are eligible for this excercise.

        Sounds a lot like voting.

        When is that happening? Never mind: on a gov-specified future date, right?

        saay

  • Nitricc

    Hahahah Brhan; I saw somewhere you shout-out at me and I didn’t respond in time and let me shout-out back. My disagreement with your take is that when you dabbed the toothless demonstration as “a show of a moral force” I have a serious problem with definition. If anything, it was a show of immoral, coward and ultimate dishonor. I don’t know if you are following what is going on at the University of Missouri. The percentage of the blacks at that University is 8 % while the whites are near 80 % ; guess what the 8% held their ground and they brought the whole administration down to the ground. They did what they had to do. They didn’t scream on the streets of their city. They ask for the white man to solve their problem. They stood up head on.
    And shame on you for calling the demonstration “a show of a moral force”
    On the same token, I agreed with your take because; to tell you the truth all this what we are witnessing is PIA’s doing.
    I don’t believe he is corrupted and I don’t believe he has stashed millions of dollars like other African country leaders do. I believe none of that; however, PIA will look the other way while the act of corruption is committed. PIA will let you to be corrupt and embezzle right and left, then, then try to disobey or challenge his supremacy; then he will get you for good. I was digging in to the case of G-15 and I notice; when General Eqube tried to advice PIA, PIA took it as if the General was disobeying and PIA threaten the General with corruption while the General was serving as a head of Nakfa corporation. Not that General Eqube was corrupted; but it shows the methods PIA uses to protect his power.
    It worked for a while but this time around, it got out of hand. PIA has no choice but to role the dice and see what happens. I am sure there will be serious fallouts to follow. In any case, PIA is the creator of this situation. If it makes sense he is not corrupted but a corrupter.

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Hi Nitricc
      I sent the shout out on the things we agreed. I will leave our disagreement for the next topic.
      However, when the bank account of PIA is finally found, I guarantee you, it will not be in any fo Eritrean banks…the commercial or the housing. It will be in Zurich. I hope he puts in his will. lol.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Berhan:
        Forget his bank account, Nitricc’s and many toothy supporters definition is solely money. There is no more corruption than killing people, no more corruption than disappearing people for years. Corruption is simply using the power, power gained legitimately or illegitimately like that IA to do something that inflicts suffering to others: economic, emotional or whatever.
        Nitricc split his hairs to call IA corrupter, ok, lets play his new found semantics, but if you use power to corrupt others is corruption

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Nitrickay,

      Let me bring two things to your attention:

      1- You alluded the method of struggle taken by the black student at the University of Missouri as a viable example inside Eritrea. You know what happened to the UoA students in 2001. Sometimes when you bring examples you bring it just for the sake of nothing.

      2- You said DIA is not “corrupted but a corrupter”. One who allows corruption (as per your statement ), he is a corrupted by the mare facts he likes to live as a leader in a corrupt environment. A simple logic.

      regards,
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Nitricc

        Hi Aman –H real quick; Socrates was accused and sentenced to death for corrupting the youth; was he corrupted? There is a fine line difference between the two; the corrupt and the corrupter. Think about it. I will be back for the rest of you.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Nitrickay,

          Let me debunk your argument by setting the case as cooked against socrates in perspective:

          (a) First, because Socrates was disdaining poets and politicians, It is not a surprise that his accusers will be from this Athenian social stratus. In “socratic dialogues” composed by his student Plato, he cited socrates’s elenctic examinations was the reason for resentment to the influential figures of Athenians whose reputation for wisdom and virtue were debunked by his questions.

          (b) Second, Socrates elenctic method of argument was widely imitated by the young generation of Athenians that create a divide between the young and old generations – and hence the accusation of corruption was filed against him.

          (c) Third, there were a resentment on the political views that socrates and his associates had embraced during the period “the thirty tyrants” – the ruthless oligarchic regimes of Athens.

          Therefore, if the fallacious discourse and immoral practical doctrines of the ruling Athenian was challenged by his elenctic examinations, it was obvious the state to cook a case of “corruptions” and other things to take him down and eliminate from scene. Actually in the “Meno”, Plato (his student) reports that socrates’s argument – “the great statesmen of Athenian history have nothing to offer in terms understanding the virtue” enrages Anytus one of his accusers. And Antyus didn’t stop from warning him not “to speak evil of men.”

          Regards,
          Amanuel Hidrat

    • Ted

      Hi, Nitricc, I tell you little i know. Eritrea GOv has its own Oligarchy working its dirty work. These people are the go between, in short leash, where the corrupted and Generals stash their money. A few yrs ago ,a couple of them resented hard when they were told to chanal/invest some of their money to Mining and Construction with or else order coming from the top. They are up in arms in this and had their money already deposited before it started. IA knowingly looking away to please his Generals. He is all about staying in power by controlling the flow of money. Those who tell you he has money of his own, don’t know how he works.

      • tes

        Dear Ted,

        The tiny reformer. Do not get disappointed because of your friend Nitricc. He is the lost cult worshiper. Thee truth is Nitricc has many qualities that he possess compared to yours.

        tes

        • Ted

          Hi tes, i am working on it to be like Nitricc. In no time i will be calling you “toothless”. You can’t hear it enough before it sink in.

  • Berhan Nuredin

    Selam SS,
    If I left you with the impression that the winner in this debacle are the hoarders, then that was not my intention. I said ‘it will remain to be seen’ whether they fight back for just simply vanish into the thin air.
    However, I agree that changing currency in itself will not address the long term fundamental monetary and economic policies this government has imposed on the Eritrean people, and nor will it it ever address the current crises. At this moment, the one thing we have is time, and it will tell the direction this country will be traveling, yet again.

    Regards;
    Berhan

  • Tazabi

    And the bank’s GM also said that any amount greater than 5MM will be placed in a bolt and will be counted and converted to new currency after the six weeks alloted time is elapsed……questions to ponder about this instruction:
    -why is the cutoff 5MM naqfa?
    -will business man be requested that they provide government with their income tax receipt?
    -those who have ammassed few hundreds of millions of naqfa will be requested prove of income! And if they claim it was remittance from family members abroad then they will be asked to provide a prove that the hard currency was exchanged in eritrean banks
    -those nouveau riche…well they better make their naqfa rain in de clubs in three coming six weeks because it will be rendered valueless soon..

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam Berhan

    An excellent and an insightful article. I’m not an economist but a former student of economics. Your article discusses the problem in simple and relative simplicity of language without being carried away by wild assumptions and conspiracy theories. You have made the forum regain its sanity. Thanks.

    I think the government has created the situation and now the situation has gone out of control into creating its own sustaining system which does not respond to PFDJ control-freak tools and attitudes. That’s to say the shadowy economic community has grown into showing signs of organized parallel political interest group. And hence your brilliant summary that they (…have amassed hundreds of millions in Nakfa that cannot legally be deposited at the bank, who effectively possess most of the 50 and 100 bills of the country, thereby placing a chokehold on the entire banking system which is effectively forcing the regime to bring forward the new tender note being concocted in the last ditch effort to regain control, control that it lost for many years now, alas, putting these highly connected individuals in high places out of business will prove to be easier said than done,” seems to me accurate.
    If it is a matter of controlling inflation and stabilizing the market the government can take certain conservative measures, again this becomes fruitful assuming citizens have trust in the system. When that trust exists less draconian interventions such as selling bond at low prices r increasing the interest on bonds (basically the government is pulling money out of circulation or borrowing money from citizens, therefore less circulating money, hence less money for the goods and services which makes the money stronger since there is less money for exactly the same amount of goods and services, this could again create less production of those goods and services which means economic slow down, which healthier when warranted) , taxations, raising interest rates (so that people opt to save than to spend because the rate of borrowing money becomes expensive, it is the ration thing: which one is more rational to save at high rate so that you gain high return or buy high priced goods/borrow at high interest rates…); since economists think people are rational and overtime the market would reach equilibrium where supply meets demand without severe interventions, they usually leave it to the elements of market. But at times governments intervene. The reason this news becomes contentious is because of the nature of the government. There is no trust in the government, therefore, all the interventions mentioned above have failed. People who bought the first bonds to mitigate war-caused offsets have stories to tell us about the whereabouts of their bonds. The government tried to lure people into saving, it seems it did not work. The whole economy is abnormal and abnormal situation people create their own abnormal channels since they are rational. The government tried to control it through its culture of running parallels, its has its Ted Sea…Housing Bank, Foreign Exchange branches where most of the Hawalla you and me send ends up. People are rational, and with time, they upend the ante reaching a stage where the ruling clique feels what it has thought controllable might have reached a point where its own survival is challenged. Therefore, the usual interventions government make to control the fiscal situation and market are not going to work because there is no trust in the system; there is no effective financial institutions that could oversee those typical measures; and there is an economy that the government controls anyway. When governments do those traditional interventions they know approximately exactly the size and activities of their economy. At this time taking either or all of the above traditional measures would amount to lobbying dumb missiles into unidentified targets. Therefore, it is time for showdown, as you aptly put it, the secrecy of the matter and the extremely narrow window given tell us this measure has been taken as an attempt of erasing everything and starting from a clean slate. The problem is: since the cause roots such as rampant corruption and the culture of black market and black dealings, a financial sector that has purposely been reduced to a political figured (Hagos Kisha) are not going to be able to safe guard the fresh start do miracles.

    • saay7

      Hala MaHmuday:

      I have made the point that people are rational beings—something taught in all Econ classes. But we need to marry economics with psychology because human beings are complex.

      Suppose Haile TG gives me $10 and tells me to share it with anyone. Here his condition: if the other person accepts your offer, you get to keep the money; if the other person doesn’t, you don’t get to keep the money. I can divide up the money anyway I want.

      Economically, any money I give you, you, a rational human being, should accept because it’s money you didn’t have. But the research shows that if I give you $2 or less, you will tell me that you don’t want it. All that complexity that makes you human–dignity, fair play, anger, pride–will kick in and you will tell me to go fly a kite.

      This is what I am hoping the Isaias government will know about human psychology before it makes rash decisions. Maybe what they will decide to do is to give people so little of their money that they will say “you can have it all.” Because people are rational—but only to a point.

      saay

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Hello SAAY
        I think your observation is accurate. You also tried in your forum comments and your articles that people are rational, and they will look for the best choice available even in deciding with whom to side in times of crisis. Economists are, of course, try to study human behavior as robots, but as you said, human beings are more complex than the models economists study, and you are right with your example. Normally, people opt for maximum gain, but at times, things get complex, and our human nuances such as pride, dignity…all take the from seat. Therefore, although we are expected to think rationally (strictly in its economic sense) other human behaviors affect us greatly.
        Having said that, I think the little guys have nothing to lose, but they could be victims of the in fights between the big fish by the effects of total chaos, or stalling of the small services they were getting, or by the disruptions the market could suffer since they don’t have the means of cushioning it. Another concern is what if the Bank insists on transactions via checks and other traditional bank tools without preparing and making a thorough effects on the whole people. Say, if they insist on this, the poor will be poorer, and the marginalized will be more marginalized. Because:
        1. There are no wide spread of bank service (imagine you will have to travel to Nakfa from SalAa, or Emahmimet, Arareb, Arag for a small service. The cost of that trip could be bigger than the benefit you get, there for you choose not to do it and hence get marginalized.
        2. What is the literacy rate? What are the languages that will be used? Are we going to have bankers who attend to the needs of Arabic and Tigrigna and some other Languages. What are going the language people communicate with through the checks?

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Mahmuday:
      You have captured the “Filfilaconomics” well. But there will not be a show down. One cannot have a show down with himself. The connected, the corrupt and that includes top echelons of PFDJ will launder their dirty money, but some will be scapegoated and purged, the sacrificial lambs, the towels to cleanse the dirty hand. Then PFDJ will tell us through daiwt’s favorite channel, the antdot for everything that ails Sal, Eri-TV that they have successfully crackeddown corruption, then the new criminals will be minted and we will be in the same vicious cycle that Eri has been accustomed to for the last 25 years.
      As you said the people do not trust the system to use it to trade legally and as you know trade with each other and with the outside world is important, Sal and you can correct me but the American, Paul Krugrman won a noble prize for his work on trade.But you need a sound banking and monetary system that is not influenced by the politics.
      Pay attention Sal,hell will freeze: I was HAPPY when Amb. Andebrhan said that his showdown with IA was about the independence of banking system when he tried to divorce it from PFDJ as the governor of the bank.
      I remember in 1994 you could exchange the USD in the commercial bank for 550 birr but if you go to the PFDJ banking systems,loated just behind the bank you would get 720 birr, 20 birr less than the black market, that is the economy that has taken over the nation and like a dandelion in your garden needs to be weeded out

      I am having headache cus cousin Sal denied me my stipend for Tims coffee 🙂

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam cousin
        You are forgetting that showdown does not always occur between good and evil, sometimes evil forces do a showdown among themselves too. Make no mistake, it appears to be a political measure. If it was an economic one, they should have done it long time before things get out of hands.

      • Saleh Johar

        Semere,
        This morning a funny friend called and told me: much ado about nothing, the old thrives are retiring and they train new thrives. What do you want them to do, work until they die?”

        • Semere Andom

          Hi Saleh:
          PFDJ does illegal things but they do the illegal things right, methodically. So your friend maybe right.
          People like Papayo are in prison for knowing too much he used to verbally report by phone millions to IA according to Papayo’s wife and according to Petros Solomon Papayo paid 30 to 50 thousands for IA entertainment with the Gishas in Taiwan and Japan and he was purged This currency conversion is in search of new blood, so in a way purging is retiring in PFDJ’s mantra of doing wrong things “right”

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Dear Mahmud,
      Forgive me for not responding in a timely fashion.
      I totally agree with you, and I couldn’t have said it any better.

      Regards,
      Berhan

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Good reading and a nice elaboration of surprising facts about the mafia boss and his notorious agents, “rags-to-riches.” Soon more detailed presentations to follow. I am convinced that those who are the closest to the area of investigation are the best witness and are well positioned to divulge what has gone wrong to compel Isayas to strangle his generals and the “rags-to-riches.” For sure, the change of heart was propelled by power greed as well as the unethical practice of the generals is to be constrained by fear.

    Never a day Isayas has commanded the support of the people. If Isayas is shaking off the generals, who is to protect him? The “rags-to-riches,” who share the vision of Isayas don’t also appear to have the support of the people. The only qualification of the “rags-to-riches” is that they are mafias, who can arrogantly protect the interest of the boss (mafia). Can they, therefore, stand up to the revolting generals? After all, Isayas has a kind of tendency to associate with those who cannot live without breaking laws, be it locally or internationally. Accordingly, Isayas’s choice will be whoever is more into breaking laws, be it the generals or the “rags-to-riches.”

  • Shabbash Kerenite

    Thank you Berhan for the nice article, After watching the interview of the banker, my worries goes to the public rather than the corrupt government generals and officials. One important issue that need to be highlighted is that most Eritrean Muslim businessmen, never use banks for religious reason, they prefer to lock their large-cash in their storage rooms. They will be subject of more looting by regime.

  • Amde

    Selam Mengesha,

    Completely off-topic, but I really like your name. It just strikes me that with the passage of a monarchic system, names like yours (Mengesha, Negussie, Le’oul, Mesfin, Mekonnen, Mekwanent etc…) all quite elegant – may be a dying breed. I don’t know of any small young child named as such. As you were.

    Amde

    • dawit

      Guad A mde,
      Where were you in 1974, when Guad Mengistu destroyed Feudalism from Ethiopia. If there was any positive contribution to Guad Mengisu to Ethiopian society, it is the dismantling of Ethiopian feudal system. I am sure history will remember him for that. Speaking of naming could you do some thing to make your name easy to write in English. Every time I tried to write your the way you spell it I get it wrong because the automatic spell check of the word processing mechanism.
      dawit.

      • Amde

        Ato dawit,

        Let’s say I was alive, but not much older than a toddler. So feudalism was a historical abstraction for me, not withstanding the occasional qeNazmach or balambaras in the family tree who would come to visit.

        I am not defending Feudalism. And I am not sure guad Mengistu could take credit for it. With the in-built class hatred he carried for them and the fact that he was a soldier, his solution would have been physical liquidation like Stalin did to the Kulaks. Those who really broke that system were the ones responsible for the land proclamation law and its implementation. As far as I know, MeISON claims primary responsibility for it. To me that was the real revolution. The rest of it was left-wing anarchist stupidity.

        Perhaps the Derg as a whole could be credited with embracing something so revolutionary as a cause. Now that I am older and have read up on a few coups in the world, the default end result of coups is the strengthening of conservative political orders even if personalities change. By all accounts most of the Derg were practically nothing more than a committee on grievances. Somehow, this group morphed into something that accomplished a truly revolutionary work. Once the urban and rural land proclamations were done, to my mind the Derg ceased being a revolutionary force and reverted to what one would expect from a group of military people – analyzing and resolving issues through the gun as opposed through politics. Perhaps that is the legacy of Mengistu.

        In any case, this was just a commentary on names. I just happen to like those names.

        Now why would I change my name? It is two syllables – imagine if I used the rest of them. haha.. You just have to teach your spellcheck to know me well enough. But I thank you for taking the time to correct it.

        Amde

      • Amde

        Guad dawit,

        Look what these damn refugee ingrates are doing to Wedi Afom
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34781298
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34774133
        Such terrible people.

        • dawit

          Dear Guad-Amde

          It is sad when a country uses children to beg money from donors. But, Guad, why are you worried about the children of Eritrea at a time when millions of Ethiopians children die because of starvation right now. Why do you want to talk about Eritrean problem? As the video showed this is only the beginning. I am sure you have read my warning what was coming unless Ethiopia changed its policy wars in Eritrea, unfortunately that terrible time is fast approaching and it is too late for Brtukan Ali and her child Abdu Mohamed. The reporter said two babies every day in one village. Don’t you think Guad, your time is better spent minding the problem of Ethiopia instead of meddling in Eritreans affairs?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji0DVltsNLg&feature=player_embedded

          • Amde

            Guad dawit,

            Brtukan bitirab – beAgerua
            Brtukan btlemin – bemengistua

            Amde

          • dawit

            GuadAmde;
            Isaias biyaguara, bishelil, bifoker beAgeru
            yemigermegne Guad selesu zina mekebateru,
            Birtukan eyrabat woha sitemat, sitmot behagerua,
            ayasaznehim wey, le-tiyt shemata silemin mengstua,
            Ye Ertran mengist behail blo lemegelbet
            Aygermim yeEthiopia hizb berhab alenga silat
            dawit

  • Sahle

    Do you know there are stylish cars in Asmara nick-branded “KULIT”, for they are assumed to be acquired by organ(Kulit) trafficking? The owners are exactly as described by Berhan. Young and connected. Connected to the likes of MANJUS.
    Thanks for insightful article.

  • Saleh Johar

    Hello Berhan and All,

    This time, I have to admit this forum is indeed a university where the ratio of teachers to students is extremely high–maybe two or three teachers for every student 🙂

    When the announcement about the Nakfa currency was made, we had opened the file in which we put all tidbits of related information; we are going to publish a report. Then we missed our planned date and immediately the forum was buzzing with mind-boggling comments. We were not able to come up with a more insightful report than the rich comments that were already here. On top of that, there comes Berhan’s article, almost an eye-witness report. We shelved our report to work on it more and provide a content with some added value in it.

    I am sure my colleagues agree, but I believe that was our feeling. I am awe-stricken by the quality of the content provided by the awate forum commentators and writers. This would have been more exciting and worthy of celebrating in a different occasion–if not for the sad and worrisome incident that warranted such a discussion.

    Thank you all

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Merhaba Ustaz Saleh,
      I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you do, and for giving me this opportunity, this forum to share my two cents. I’m grateful!

      Regards,

      Berhan

  • Ossares Haftom

    theose criminals group hgdef on the last rope to hanging themselves

  • Berhan Nuredin

    Hello everyone!
    Let me just say thank you first to all of you, for taking the time to read the article and give
    your opinion about it. I fill like listing the names of those who touched me deeply, with their gracious remarks, and kind words, particularly persons such as Beyan Negash, kokob Selam, Amanuel
    Hidrat, Farnello and Semere…etc. You are my inspirations and the reason why I wrote the piece. Having said that, I want to send a special shout out to Nirticc, for finding at least a single point of agreement with what I wrote in the piece. He being Nirticc, however immediately fell back to the old Nirticc. There is still some hope.

    Well Hope I didn’t leave out anyone. And if I did, It is because he is still washing off the smell of the
    rotten fish he is been praising. Where are you Dawit?

    • dawit

      Berhan,
      I am far away from the smelly fish article right at my rose garden PFDJ!

      • Abi

        Hi dawit
        Is ” Asmara Rose” your favorite of all your roses?

        • Berhan Nuredin

          Yes! Asmara is Rose.
          I despise the current occupant of the office in Asmara, but I love Asmara.

          • Abi

            Hi Berhan
            Your response is as fast as a light. ( berhanawi fiTnett)
            Don’t forget to start with a rosy salutation.
            Finally, your article is top notch. Very informative.
            PS
            Next time we will talk about ” lost in translation.”
            thanks.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi all,
    It seems to me the article is attempting to legitimize the isaias afewerki’s false rational, which is nothing but veneer to lull the public to sleep while they are being rounded to the slaughter house.

    The author of the currently raging corruption and lawlessness in the country is isaias afewerki, of which, among many others, his willful abolition of the Constitution and Congress of the country bear testimony.

    The usual practice of isaias afewerki is to sugarcoat whatever poison he wants to push down the throat of the eritrean people. And this malicious part of his practice is what the article seems to miss.

    It is over fifteen years since he decimated any semblance of institutional practice in the country. This very act introduced into the country apartheid system, where one group are over the other. But we must not view this kind of apartheid to be identical with that of South Africa. It is more sophisticated. For example, one person from the degraded people can be brought to be a minister but not to work but only to appear , and sometimes , to be observed closely.

    The Black Market operatives and human traffickers were all created by isaias afewerki. The plan was to impoversih the people of Eritrea at home and abroad. Remember, the exchange rate in the Black Market is at least one hundred fifty times the normal and the price of local commodties escalates to that level. Consequently, the local consumers either live on his handouts, his coupens, or escape to neighbouring countries in search of food.

    For the people to leave the country is his heart felt desire, so he can realize his evil dream easily but even as they escape, he has laid traps for them, the human traffickers. Once the human traffickers caught them, either their relatives in diaspora pay tens of thousands of dollars for their release, or they pay with their body organs. Either way isaias afewerki bolsters his secret foreign account with blood money.

    If he is the author and beneficiary of the Black Market and Human Trafficking, of course, no doubt he is, it is paradoxical to say that he is introducing new Naqfa to bankrupt himself. His tsrgets are the local people, who, concerned with uncertain future, , withdrew their money from his bank and hidiing them in rat-holes. No doubt that he took this as a rebellion and betrayal and he is punishing them for that.

    • negash

      Tewelde, you make a lot more sense than anyone here.

    • Ali

      Well said.

      • Tewelde gebremariam

        Hi Ali and Negash,
        Thanks!

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Hi Tewelde G.,

      Very insightful comment, a small correction though. The formal exchange rate is/was at 15nkf to $1; while one could get 50/60nkf for their dollar at the black market, meaning that it was max.4 times than the formal rate, not hundred fifty times.

      • Tewelde gebremariam

        Hi Abraham,
        Thank-you for the correction..

    • Nitricc

      Hi Tewelde; Berhan gave you very convincing and very detailed account and all you can do to encounter his article is by absolutely saying nothing but garbage.
      You said;
      “This very act introduced into the country apartheid system, where one group are over the other”
      What ethnic group in today’s Eritrea is one over the other? Who? I know it is your to have an opinion but please don’t present as a fact; it is not. If not, tell me which ethnic is superior to the other ethnic. Say it!
      Again you said;
      “The Black Market operatives and human traffickers were all created by isaias afewerki”
      How do you know that? What are your evidence for this magnitude of accusation? Please present your evidence so we can judge for our selves.

      You said
      “His tsrgets are the local people, who, concerned with uncertain future”
      I thought the local people are poor, hungry and destitute; meaning have no money; how are they targets of this very well planed financial transaction. Again, you can’t claim people are suffering then you turn around they are targets. They are not! If anything it is good for the local people.

      • Tewelde gebremariam

        Hi Nitricc,
        The truth is bitter, isn’t it, Nitricc? Live with it.

  • saay7

    Selamat Berhan:

    Excellent piece: extremely readable, informative and insightful.

    It appears that the two crocodiles have opted for co-existence instead of a showdown, Berhan. It boils down to: you get to keep your criminally-earned money; we get to keep our missing 100 Nakfa and 50 Nakfa and look like we are doing something to foil something. And here is the escape clause as described by shabait.com:

    All government Ministries and institutions, the Army, and PFDJ bodies will carry out redemption functions on behalf of the Banks for their respective members. Administrative Regions are also empowered to carry out these functions to their members and to rural residents where there is no Bank presence. All these redemptions will be for cash amounts that do not exceed 20,000 Nakfa.

    I would re-write this as follows: “Hey Fox! Fox! Yeah, over here! Ok, could you do me a favor and guard the hen house?”

    A mafia gang that has perfected crime for 15 years will definitely use this loophole–getting a license to be a banker–to create all sorts of ghost members of the army, the ministries to bypass the 20,000 nakfa limit. A corrupt group who learned Crime 101 by cashing the paycheck of their long-departed (dead, deserted) soldiers will certainly have the creativity to find a way to launder its money.

    But I did enjoy your piece Berhan!

    saay

    • Music Novice

      Greetings saay,

      “cashing the paycheck of their long-departed (dead, deserted) soldiers …”

      In this case, the similarity with what Derg officers were doing is striking.

      • Amde

        Selam Music Novice,

        I think this is what happens when militarism has no end, irrespective of the place. There were Derg generals who were running hot businesses in Addis (during a socialist era mind you), and there were common soldiery described to me as walking around in the front with their butt showing due to having worn out the seats of the pants.

        Wars should be short sharp things that people and societies make a special and unusual effort to get through. A long war breeds a special kind of person, one who has figured out how to thrive in the awful misery that is war. And having learned how to thrive, it is in his interest that a system he has learned to maximize to his benefit should proceed as long as possible.

        In the west we know this syndrome of course as the Military-Industrial Complex. In poor countries like ours, where the “industry” part is rather a joke, the equivalent is yet to be named.

        In any case, the “war with weyane” is a hot brand, without which, many a General and Colonel would probably be a civilian or just another salaried bureaucrat. The average patriot may think it is meaningful, but the guys running the rackets know otherwise. But they need the patriot to keep singing that tune, marked with the jingle of a cash register to set the rhythm.

        Amde

    • AOsman

      Dear Saay,

      La partita e finita.

      What you have highlighted may be the bait, if the government can manage to make the generals to feel safe, then they can implement this change with ease.

      Don’t forget at the end of the day, the bank will have a database of current accounts and deposits that will be the baseline for checking and future investigations. All they need to control at this stage is the issue of the new currency…….then with most of the money in their control, they can deal with any threat afterwards.

      That’s if we assume there is genuine desire to catch any criminal entity.

      Regards
      AOsman

      • saay7

        Selamat AOsman:

        You make a great point “that’s if we assume there is genuine desire to catch any criminal entity.” The “if” is conditional here, isn’t it.

        Most good guys don’t wake up one fine Sunday morning and say, “you know, as of Monday, I will decide to be a bad guy.” It is a result of 1,001 small steps, increments that get them there. You send me the payroll of 12,000 soldiers and I cound 11,500 and I say, “I will hold the payroll for the 500 to see if anybody asks.” Nobody asks, so I cash it. Then, you sent me payroll for 12,000 soliders, and I count 10,000, and I cash the checks of 2,000. This goes on to the point that I have 2,000 soldiers and you send me a check for 12,000 and I cash the check of 10,000. It happens incrementally, slowly.

        You validate my decision. I tell you that I have lined up and shot 10 of my “members.” And you tell their parents that they are martyrs. Then, you know, words no longer matter. They have no meaning. Nothing matters. All I know is there is a good life, and a tough life. I spent a lifetime having a tough life and I sure as hell want to know what a good life looks like. I am not very religous, in fact, I am an atheist: I don’t believe in the after life. There is life, it can be good, it can be bad, and I prefer the good because it fulfills all my perverted fantasies. And I look up and all i see is corruption: womanizing, gambling, drinking and spending money like a drunk sailor all the while I just mouth fealty and loyalty to “the masses.” All it takes for me to say is “Awet nHafash” and I can do anything.

        Catching “criminal entity.” Well, you know, back in the day, Isaias Afwerki could mount a moral crusade against the “three privileges”–womanizing, drinking, materialism. But, that dog won’t hunt anymore.

        saay

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Hi Saay,
      I don’t think the government wants to get back the money that easily. it wants the money and the people who hoarded the money. Otherwise if that was the case all PFDJ has to do is just open a new bank account to these people and the money returns to back to circulation- and everyone will be happy. But what PFDJ is counting on however, in this draconian decree, that bring your money withing the next two weeks, and we will contact to you later on is really stupid. This will not fly at all. Haile TG, has a good joke bellow that makes more sense and a,good sense of humor than this serious matter of millions.
      However The new law assumes that, in the event these people did not bring and register their monies by the deadline, then they will lose the value of their currency and that in itself is punishment enough.
      What I’m looking at this time, who is going to be first in line on the first day at central bank with more than 5 million nakfa, and what kind of form will he/she be filling out? especially if you never had a legitimate bank account before?

      • saay7

        Hey Berhan:

        Welcome to awate.com. You are now galloping at the speed of Hamed Idris Awate’s horse:)

        Believe it or not, I am agreeing with you. You see, you say that there is a conflict between those who have political power and financial power. It so happens that those with the financial power also have gunpower. So all we have to look at is precedent:

        Let me take you back to 2007. There was a drama involving General Wuchu; young businessman (I think you would call him rags-to-riches) Samson, known in Eritrea as “the Civilian General” (although a civilian, he had the power of a general); and the deputy National Security Advisor Simon Gebredengel. It was a turf war.

        There was an assassination attempt on Simon Gebredengel. Eri-TV told our friend Dawit that there would a full investigation which would be disclosed (he is still waiting:) Samson was chased to a monastery where there was a shoot-out and he was killed. There were massive rumors that his “Godfather” (to use your words), General Wuchu, would be frozen or arrested. He never was. Matter of fact, he died peacefully and, posthumously, he was made Eritrea’s Chief of Staff.

        That is what I meant when I said the stand-off will remain. The only ones that will be caught in the crossfire will be the brokers, the businessmen and those who had expressed zero confidence in Eritrea’s banking system and decided to keep their money in their mattresses. With the rest–the very connected–it will be business as usual because the delicate scratch-my-back-I-will-scratch-yours game will be maintained.

        saay

        • Amde

          Selam Saay,

          I think you laid out the realistic scenario of an immediate post-Isayyas era. There will likely be a figurehead to front the system of those economically benefiting from the current arrangement. Isayyas’ long goodbye via his regular health scares etc has given the cabal time to work through the plans for the contingencies. The system is too lucrative to just stop or change. Isayyas will be made into a Saint, and there will be calls to continue his legacy, while the various elements will try to overpower each other. That is like Russia of the 90s – a formerly controlled economy that devolved into an open oligarchy. Until another strongman emerges to stabilize the system

          Amde

          • saay7

            Selamat Amde:

            Well, actually, I respectfully disagree. The arrangement we have in Eritrea now–a tension between entitled military officers proud of their achievements during Ghedli and empowered civilians of modest contribution during Ghedli–works only to the extent that there is someone who is considered an authority on all things civilian/military, and someone that both are equally terrified of: Isaias Afwerki.

            Apres le président, that balance doesn’t hold at all. It can’t. The civilians consider the military officers illiterate bumpkins and the military officers consider the civilians pampered/untested.

            And that, my friend, is one of the things that keeps the silent majority very, very silent:)

            saay

          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            Let me push on that string a little bit more then. Go from digital to analog if you will. The big question is not whether Isayyas is dead or alive, but the actual quality of his control now. Has that diminished? Has it been diminishing?

            There really hasn’t been much change to the inner circle military and PFDJ wise for a decade now. How much is he in control if he has been relying on the same team for so long, when robust dictatorship is characterized by frequent changes? IF I am right, at this point he is more reliant on those around him than vice versa. Which suggests they have worked out a modus vivendi among themselves.

            Pure speculation admittedly.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Hey Amde:

            The prez is in MORE control than ever. Let me explain.

            In Eritrea, as in most of Africa, power is derived from traditional configurations or revolutionary ethos. Isaias and partners destroyed the traditional authority (church, state, customs). Then Isaias monopolize revolutionary legitimacy by arresting, exiling, disappearing, killing anyone who had equal or more legitimacy as/than him.

            Well, no, those around him are completely dependent on him because of the nature of the relationship. I had this example given to me by one of my fave people. He said, “I am bigger, more muscular than my father: I can win any physical fight, I can out-arm-wrestle him. But the reality of it is because I spent my formative years terrified of him, to this day, when I am smoking and I see him, I put out the cigarette. I do not make eye contact with him. My body language says that he is superior and I am inferior.”

            That is the relationship of Isaias’s subordinates–civilians and military–to Isaias Afwerki. They live in holy terror that they are one phone call away from disappearance and jail. Proof, you ask. Ok. A person who had been frozen, humiliated for over a decade, will readily accept any assignment by Isaias Afwerki if he, on a whim, chooses to activate him.

            I say this to everyone so I will say it to you: read Aklilu Zere’s “Birth of A Despot.”

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam amde
            I agree with what saleh said, and I can tell you very few understand I A and his PFDJ the way SAAY understands them. At any rate, the man has always worked from a position where he is able to handpick those close to him. They must be, as SAAY put it, timid and terrorized to look up to him. They must know the rule: they can retain their position as long as they make loyalty to him number one of their duties. Promotions depend on how much they outperform their peers in maintaining the “agreed upon” balance I.e. obeying and pleasing his excellency. Most of the people who had the leverage they possessed by being the founders and leaders of EPLF are now out of the scene, thanks to their late awakening in breaking that tacitly ” agreed upon ” rule that kept them in their positions for decades. Therefore, in short, the answer to your question is: There is no indication that IA has lost any level of control. On the contrary, it appears he has consolidated power, and as long as he is alive and mentally able to do so, I don’t expect him to lose that control.

          • saay7

            Thanks Mahmuday:

            There is one video from Washington, DC, 1993. It is famous for something else–how Isaias and his followers terrorized this Muslim female questioner: it has been covered, analyzed, inspected, synthesized ad nauseum. I say this not to put down the analysis: a magazine I edited then, broke down her question and Isaias (and his mob’s) bullying of the woman.

            But that completely overshadows something else. There was a speaker who addresses Isaias Afwerki and he lists the Washington DC community’s long litany of complaints against Hagos “Kisha” Gebrehiwet, who is seated on the dais (along with Mahmoud Sheriffo, now in Ela Eiro and presumed dead.) Isaias Afwerki has this bemused look, and says, “this Hagos…?” as if to say, “Whoa, little people, this guy is golden to me.” Soon after, (the establishment of PFDJ in February 1994), Hagos “Kisha” Gebrehiwet is transferred from Washington, DC to Asmara where he has been Eritrea’s de-facto Finance Minister and treasurer to the mob.

            In all the up/down, frozen/defrosted moves of IA since 1994, what is a constant is that Hagos Kisha, Yemane Gebreab, Yemane Gebremeskel (three people that you veteran tegadleti considered people of marginal contribution to our epic Ghedli) along with Wedi Kassa have been Isaias’ permanent kitchen cabinet. And, by saying this, I am hoping I am not putting a jinx on these poor functionaries.

            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Hi sal:
            And also there was a video from 1989 when an Eriitrean asked prophetically to the effect of’ now you are cozying up with the Woyane, how about if they betray you down the road to which IA replied, “betray betrka, sireay sreka and the mob clapped.
            The biggest lie of PFDJ after their claim that they single handed liberate Eritersa is their new blood thing, the new blood are jaded blood so the longevity of Yemanes ad Kisha is relative, if IA survives long enough you can bet that Kisha will be killed in some suspicious circumstances and both Yemane’s sent to karchelli. Papayo was once in Kisha’s seat and beloved confidant of IA.

          • Amde

            Selam Mahmud,

            I understand where Saay is coming from. What I am challenging is the last phrase you stated.. “…as long as he is alive and mentally able to do so..”. He may be alive, and still have some competence in him, but is it unreasonable to assume that these mental abilities are not what they were? He is human after all.

            HaileSellasie had formidable skills. I heard a story where he supposedly survived an attempted drowning by Lij Eyassu when he was a child. And that was only because he was an orphan being raised in Menelik’s palace just because Menelik loved his father Ras Mekonnen, which would make him some potential competitor in the future. And yet, he managed to outfox all his powerful rivals and survive into the 1970s as sole Negus AND NeguseNegest (I am only adding this to note that he had inherited a system of quasi monarchic federalism, but he ended all the other Neguses) But by the time of the revolution he was or close to being senile. During his last year or so, his “reign” was really through the “kitchen cabinet” headed by his daughter Princess TenagneWerq.

            I bet there is a “kitchen cabinet” and they have worked together for years to mastermind many things. They would know each others’ secrets, strengths and weaknesses. And that for the most part is a function of the time they have spent together. How long have the two Yemanes been in their posts? The generals? Hagos Kisha? I would imagine their immediate staff below them have been more or less stable too. They have been there long enough to know Isayyas’ weaknesses and secrets. It is more likely Isayyas is dependent on them than the other way round. Is he going to replace them and bring someone new? That by itself would be very destructive.

            I accept of course mine is simply conjecture on my part.. Saay would have a heck of a lot more detail on the internal workings of the regime that would not be so obvious to those of us on the outside.

            Still, my main point was that, even if we accept they are bound by fear to him, they are also bound to each other with the collective experiences they have AND the more or less competent execution of whatever was willed as PFDJ policy. The big glue is, if this collective experience is being rewarded by lucrative financial niceties. All indications are that there is a system underneath this team that has managed to be extremely wealthy, and I bet they will choose to laissez les bon temps roulet (let the good times roll) as they say.

            Amde

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Amde:
            I understand what you are saying, but I do agree with Sal and Mahmud. Sal toip ld us the difference between how PFDJ doles power and how the rest of dictatorship Africa does it. In the first unfettered loyalty is required in the later, tribal balance and family connections are considered and that is why it was impossible to see coup attempts in Eritrea much less conducting successful coups in the last 25 years even when PFDJ pushed with crimes to the highest level

            And to tighten the grip there is regular purging and recruiting new ambitions loyal people, these have expiry date, they will toil in service of the dictator until their expiry date comes and so the cycle continues. Add to that mix, the regional card, IA will go to Wuchu and tell him how the AkelGuzay will screw him and that he needs to watch out for them, he will go to Kassa and wisper to him how the Hamassien and Jeberti will screw him and to watch them like a hawk and he will go to the so called “agames” and tell them this country is for those who worked for it and no one should tell you that you are second class citizens. This was his MO since the beginning of time, in 1973 when the Menkae emerged to democratize his budding despotism, he went to the Moslems, the Semhars and told them these highlanders are there to destroy you and since he went to school with some of them in China they mistook him as a reformer and reformer and they Moslems in EPLF sided with hm and together murdered the Menkae, now yester alliace are one by one purged, no one is in the inner circle of they are alive

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Amde,

            Yes indeed you are right, that “they have (already) worked out a modus vivendi among themselves.” You speculation makes sense than Saay’s speculation.

            Dear Saay,

            We are talking at different time and space. The explanation given by our own Aklilu of 1976-” the birth of the despot” was just before the maturation of dictatorship to its current stage. Take the following facts into accounts:
            (a) the composition of the current leadership and that of 1976 are different. Almost all his colleagues in the leadership in the 1976 are gone.
            (b) The nature of the desire of the leadership in the 70s and the nature of desire of the current leadership is different. The personal financial desire was not part of the power equations during the ghedli era.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

    • haileTG

      Hey saay,

      Now you’re forcing my hand and pushing me to speak about the mafia in Eritrea in some detail 🙂

      Your idea is very insightful, but raises more questions at the same time. It is true that there is the mafia entity and government entity in Eritrea. It is also true that there are those belonging to both groups. Let me divide them into “the mafia” vs “the government” distinction based on roles assumed at a given time rather than who is assuming those roles.

      Now, it is true that the mafia has large quantities of the currency and the government wants to use these currency to carry out its day to day running of the country. It is also true that the mafia wishes to legitimize its dealing by taking over the bank and the government will be in trouble to allow that. The mafia’s priority isn’t the same as a government’s priority.

      Let’s assume that the government had reached a deal with the mafia, for the latter to let the Banks handle its money and the former would ask no questions. But that would be a one off and not the best of deals for the mafia. The mafia needs to move large amounts of cash constantly. For example, if a random 100 people in diaspora want to send $1000 each to family for Christmas today, the mafia needs half a million nakfa to disburse right away. On top of that the mafia needs to settle payment for containers after containers of contraband merchandise, large volumes of fuel for street distribution, payments for go betweens, and the rest on a regular bases including today when it has to pay out half a million.

      All the above are critical, time sensitive schedules for the mafia. Hence, if the bank opts to hold the mafia’s money, that means it will need to be willing to work with the mafia around the clock hence the formal banking presence in Eritrea will be a thing of the past. If however, the bank/government are only willing to do it for one time only (i.e. the coming six weeks), that is no good or not much use to the mafia.

      In which case, the mafia will only be bailing out the government for this one time and legitimizing its old money but not new or future money.

      So, saay, what is in it for the mafia??

      Regards

      • saay7

        Good point Hailat:

        But we need to further divide the mafia into two: The Big Mafia (Cosa Nostra ) and the Little Mafia (insert appropriate Italian description.:)

        The Cosa Nostra, is extremely well-connected. It saw this coming 16 weeks ago and dumped all its Nakfa and is holding shiny currencies. It brought the black market to a halt. (Refer to your contacts:)

        The Cosa Nostra navigates between the government and the Little Mafia. It’s Eritrea’s version of “Too Big To Fail.” Think of all the service I described–with the government outsourcing banking to the Cosa Nostra!–a way of telling it “take care of your little Mafia but not all of them.” A new blood of little Mafia must be recruited. That would be Berhans Weekend Biking Warriors.

        And this time next year, the government will be in the same pickle. Sometimes all you can hope for is to slow down and not stop the Folo Economy:)

        saay

    • SenaiErtrawi

      Selamat SAAY,
      Exactly what I have been thinking about this redemption! Just to add one item, the poor friendless money holders will be forced to create a new connection to the syndicate at a high price, like 50% of their money. At the end of the day, all the Nakfa will be at “enda aboy fliPos WeldeYohannes” 🙂

  • Music Novice

    Greetings all,

    I suspect the author was meant to say, rags to riches and not rugs-to-riches.

    • saay7

      Hey MN:

      Good catch! The editor-in-chief was, again, asleep at the switch. It has been corrected.

      saay

  • Berhe Y

    Dear Berhan and all,

    Thank you Berhan for the insight to this show down. I personally this will not amount to much and I don’t think any thing will come out off that is significant to the people daily living condition. I believe in all those examples given but it will just be business as usual when dust settles down (few people will be arrested and few will use their connection to find a way to exchange the Nacfa, where the government will have the ability to say it has accounted). For example if the said limit is 20,000, I think those criminals will be able to recruit hundreds of thousands people who are willing to take the 20K to the bank, get it exchanged and take the cut. So I think it will be business as usual…just like what happened when they changed the passport, just like what is happening when they changed the ID card…etc..

    What I would like to bring to the attention of AT forum members is….what’s that we need to do NOW, assuming the government will fall down sometimes down the road (Isayas will be gone by God or Man)….

    Long, long time ago when I was young I use to read science fiction (i don’t know how may I have read and finished but I like Isaak Asimov Foundation Series.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_(Isaac_Asimov_novel)

    Basically the series is about, how a mathematician and psychologist developed a theory called psychohistory, where he will be able to predict the future. Based on this theory he discovered the declining nature of the Empire and predicted it’s collapse in 300 years and it will enter 30,000 year of dark age. So he goes to create a human knowledge Encyclopedia Galactica, which would not avert the collapse but would reduce the dark age to one millennium”

    I sense that a lot of us, here AT are predicating the collapse of the system. What we are not doing (I feel we haven’t is) what’s that we need to do in order to minimize the damage that follows the regime. I think AT University is probably one of the best place where such Encyclopedia with our in house phycohistorian, as in Saay. Jocks aside, few months ago I met this elder (probably in his late 60’s who was very well educated and worked in the UN and other high government offices of both Eritrea/ Ethiopia). One thing he told me about that I have never put much attention to was, how life was when the first government of Eritrea was sworn in.

    He said, it feels really sad, when people talk about the first Eritrean government established in 1991 but they never mention the first government of Eritrean in 1952. That government with it’s economic policy, it’s trade policy, and other many advanced policy made investment and working in Eritrea so attractive that many, foreign investors flocked to Eritrea to establish business, Greeks, Arabs, Israeli, Italians and many others.

    I think we have been looking so hard to find an alternative, a compromise, a solution to our predicament, some to Ethiopia, some to the west, some to the Arabs, some to our religion, some to our culture, some to our language etc..but we have actually forgot / or failed to see that we did have our own developed system that served and worked well for our people. The problem was that we never had an honest partner, who used everything at it’s power to crash and destroy our system of government.

    We had Zaki, at AT forum long time ago who had knowledge and resource of sharing his knowledge and documents from that era but I haven’t seen much from him for a long time.

    Saay made a very good comment the other day, when he said about “Aynifelale” that made me to go back and read my book (which I never finished the first time) and start to appreciate the leadership and sacrifice they went through. A

    Berhe

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Dear Berhe,
      Maybe nothing worth discussing may result after all is said and done. The only difference in this case is that the enablers of this mechanism that is called PFDJ is literally at each others throat.
      Greed for power supersedes patriotism, camaraderie, and country. I believe however; Greed for money supersedes greed itself.
      regards,

  • haileTG

    Dear Berhan,

    That is an excellent read from start to finish. Thank you. It would be a disservice to your otherwise meticulous analysis to add anything. Hence, let me tell you a funny thing that was said by a friend of mine while we were discussing the issue. I was telling him that if one has over 5 million Nakfa to convert, it will need to be left at the bank until after the six week period and the bank will then contact them to arrange counting and exchange date. My friend broke out in laughter. I was confused and asked if I said something funny. Well, he said “what will happen if you leave 10 million and when you come back and count it, some one had already took out 1 million and you find that you have 9 million now?” That was true! I laughed too 🙂

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Dear Haile TG,
      I’m still laughing… it is out of this world.
      By the way this withdrawal of 20,000 nakfa, is not new. As we speak, that is what people with legitimate bank account are allowed to withdraw from their bank…, and guess what only ONCE a week. The new law left that blank, it only says you can withdraw 20,000 nkf but does’t tell you how often. If you are a business person, you too have an incentive to hoard money…but at least your money gets to go back into the circulation on the need basis based on your business needs… what is left out of the loop is the bank.

  • AOsman

    Dear Guess,

    Has he used up his 7 lives already?

    I though we were on No 4, he will die when we give up 🙂

    Regards
    AOsman

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Berhan:

    Whatever PFDJ is trying to solve with this currency change is not about curbing crime. The criminals, the bikers, the human traffickers and every illegal act in the county has been blessed by PFDJ and they are the beneficiaries. so they are not going to punish themselves.

    This is a renewal process, to hire new blood for the crime scenes of PFDJ. So many criminal will be purged, they know too much so they will be purged. Some will use the same crime process they have used to collect the money to renew themselves for PFDJ’s next epic crime until their day comes and to be purged like others before them.

    Private Citizens who hoarded cash and were dealing in the black market will lose money but many smart ones have already converted their money to USD through the black market and if some still own millions of NaKfa under their mattress, they will be apprehensive to take it to the bank for fear of imprisonment.

    This is not about controlling crimes, it is about consolidating control and rejuvenating PFDJ’s crimes and staffing it with new ambitious criminals who are eager to please and in the process make a bundle

    The illegal activity of PFDJ like anything it does is not new, it is not something that sprung in Asmara after independence. PFDJs’ precursor had always had their fingers to the pulses of illegal activities in the Sudan. Some EPLF functionaries lived in Khartoum and were called “business” they would send young girls to Saudi and other Middle East countries for a fee and then they would go every year and collect their cut like a placement agency. They have continued that tradition after independence by acting like a placement agency to the Middle East.

    If they succeed in the transition of the conversation, they will strengthen their crime network beyond the human and organ trafficking. Who knows maybe the new venture will include pimps in brothels of PFDJ’s Eritrea.

  • Nitricc

    Hi All; good read: I disagree when the author claims the demonstration “a show moral”. Quit frankly it is the opposite. However; I do agree with author that the show down is on between “The battle between greed for power and the power with greed has just begun”
    From reading the article and simple commonsense; the people will side with greed for power over power with greed. I heard something I have never heard before when PIA was giving speech on the past Independence Day speech. When he warn the corrupted people and action is on the way; the crowd went roaring in agreement with PIA; that led me to believe that there might be a problem and the people are sick of it.
    In anyway you cut it; it is very bold and dangerous move by PIA. I guess let’s chill and watch “MaEre” the Eritrean movie in action.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Teddy,
    Where are you? Are you smelling the rotten fish? The author has identified from where the smell is originated – It is coming from thousand miles away. I will expect you to come with “smell extinguisher” to tell us that DIA will still outlive us and there is no other than him to defend our sovereignty. Am I right Teddy? Please read and re-read this piece and make something out of it.

    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Ted

      Hi AH, “Teddy”, don’t waste ink “Ted” will do.
      I read the article. It is well written but i seen better from Gual Adem. Many things can be said about “Eritrean opposition” but their biggest and consistent sin is praying for a wrong GODS. The exchange is about tackling loan sharks, corrupt officials and thugs. Where do you see the problem here if it possibly protect the majority of rug thug from exploitation even it were to extend( your fear, really) the life of the Gov by one extra week doing “Good” things for the people for a change. This thing won’t make the Gov popular with the rich and corrupt officials ; more people for the opposition of your kind.
      Speaking of “smelling the rotten fish”, you smell nothing, IA wear sandals for no reason?.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Ted,
        You said “Ted will do .” can you elaborate it and share with us, if we can walk your walk with you? we will do except shaking hand with the despot and his enablers. I think you will lead us to the promise land.

        Regards,

        • Ted

          Hi AH, when SA calls me Teddy, Tewodros, i put on my hard hat, sure thing it goes down hill from there. If you insist to know how to get to “the promised land”, i will tell you this; don’t look for your heroes in Ethiopia’s weyane, CIO, UN or( ELF, being personal;-(), the buck stops with Eritrean people. If it serves the interest of the people, don’t be hesitant to shake hands with ” the despot and his enablers”.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Ted,

            I thought you have a judicious mind, albeit you are the defender of the despot and his party. You can’t even identify him as DIA. Keep praying for long live of DIA. Praying for DIA is praying the destruction of our young generation. The Eritrean people along the international community will surely prevail against the despot at the end of the day. Your hero DIA either by the wrath of the public or by the natural process which is ticking fast, will disappear soon. The so called TBS will officially anointed with FBS crown (Mahmuday please close your eyes for now).

          • Ted

            Hi AH, “You can’t even identify him as DIA” Yes, because that will limit my options to Zero; between you and DIA( oops IA). Thank God there is TBS. Let’s not fight, you have been pounding me ever since i got here.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Light,

    ኣድናቆተይ ዝሓወይ::

    ክሳብ ሕጂ ካብ ዝቀረቡ ጽሑፋት ብቅዲ ጥራይ ዘይኮነስ ኣብ ልክዕ ሰዓት ብምቅራባ ናይ ‘ዚ ዓመት ብልጽቲ ዓንቀጽ ኮይና እያ ክትቀርብ ይመስለኒ :: እዚ ግን እቲ ዓመት ገለ ውርሕን ፈረቓን ተሪፍዎ ስለ ዘሎን ሓያላት ስብ ሰነ ጽሑፍ ስለ ዘለውን – ምናልባት ኣብ ቀረባ እዋን ኣብ ውሽጢ ህግደፍ ኣብ ዝፍጠር ዘይምጽውዋርን ወጥርን ክቀርቡ ዝኽእሉ ሓደስቲ ዓንቀጻት ገና ክንዕዘብ ኢና ::

    the new information that I didn’t record and learn from you”It is presumed that most if not all of the large bills are hoarded by the new rugs-to- riches, who are very active in a very lucrative clandestine market, one can easily see the kinds of houses they lease, apartment flats they frequently rent, and the entertainment establishments they frequent. What is characteristically striking about these rugs-to-riches, besides exclusively being males, is that they are young and very well connected with the elites. They have people in high positions inside government offices that protect and instruct them. ”

    ኣብ ካብ ጽሑፍካ ኣብ ኣእሙሮይ ተቀሪጻ ፊደል ብፊድል ዝተረፈት ብሂል “After all, this is going to be an epic fight between an illegal regime that stinks at the head, and criminal syndicate that made obscene amount of money,..” to the end.

    ‹‹የዓሳ ግማቱ ከአናቱ፤›› ይብሉ ኣምሓሩ:: Thanks.

    • Berhan Nuredin

      Dear Kokhob Selam,
      You are very kind!

      There are more deserving soles who can write much better than I could ever imagine.
      Sal Younis, Salih G. Johar, Beyan Negash to mention a few.

      Regards,

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Berhan,

    Excellent. The take away from your piece is the phrase you coined “young-rugs-to-riches” that you aptly put it to explain the modus operande, a class in itself, set to profit the big fishes in the government circles.

    Regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam Berhan Nuredin (What a befitting name!)

    You not only bring an insider insight but you bring light (berhan) to an otherwise dark and gloomy state of affairs that this nascent nation finds itself in, because of the few rotten apples an entire nation is bleeding and screaming for help. Lightening has struck the entire nation, whose mindless leaders couldn’t even think of putting a lightening rod to protect its structure. Everything is now coming apart at the seams, once the head is hit, alas, there ain’t no correction anywhere in the body – kharbana, kharbana. Well crafted piece – thank you sir! Please keep the light on with your bright analysis.

  • farnelo

    Selam Nuredin – Brilliant and entertaining article. Interesting info about the 50 and 100 nakfas. I had no clue about the “rugs-to-riches” class. I was thinking everyone is equally dirty poor with the exception of the corrupt souls in power.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear fernelo,
      I am among the people who says I am fallowing closely our nation but really I don’t know about that also. isn’t that strange!

  • dawit

    Selam Berhan Nuredin’

    What a great title “A Fish rot from its Head”. for an article that rots from its bottom. I had to hold my nose while reading the article. It does not matter where the rotting starts it still smells stinky and in my frank opinion, there is nothing worth to comment on this article, except to say it is smells as bad as the opposition to PFDJ..

    Take it easy cousin.

    dawit

    • farnelo

      Selam Dawit,
      I had to hold my nose with both hands while reading your comment too. I used voice-to-text synthesizer to reply.

      • dawit

        Selam farnelo,
        Waw!, Even the comments to this article smell! Do you think AT need to add some air refresher to help its reader to this article?

      • dawit

        Selam farnelo,
        Just for your entertainment. How big is your nose Farnelo that you needed two hands to hold you nose? You must be real nosy Pinocchio!

      • Abi

        Hi farnelo
        Is it possible for the synthesizer to recognize your voice while you hold your big nose?
        May be what you wanted to say and what is actually synthesized is totally different.
        Take it easy.

        • farnelo

          ኣቢ፡ ዳዊት ወዲ መርስዕካ ዲዩ ወይስ ወዲ ጋንታኻ? Sniff sniff snif … my big nose is telling me that you smell like another PFDJ holigan ብጻይካ ዳዊት።

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Hi farnelo;

            There is an unholly partnership between Ethiopians like Abi who’re perfectly content with the suffering of the Eritrean people under the Isayas-rule and those PFDJ thugs like dawit, who also are perfectly content with the dire situation of the Eritrean people by virtue of their blind support to the regime.

          • dawit

            Hi Abraham,
            To which group do you belong to the Nosey or the Pinocchio or both like farnelo?
            Just curious.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Hi Abo,

          this time you lost the delicious lake Tana fish.
          please come again.”ዓሳ ጎርጓሪ ዘንዶ ኣወጣ – የሰው ፈላጊ ራሱን ኣጣ :” ሲባል ሰምተሃል?

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear dawitom,

      እንታይ ዝገበረ መንግስቲ እዩ ወደይ መዓት ዝወርዶ ዘሎ ? ሕጂ ድማ ብዓሳ!! ዓሳ ክብሉ እንከለው እንታይ ዓይነት ዓሳ ማለቶም እዩ ? ሳንቡእ ዘልዎ ድዮ ዘይብሉ ?ድሓር እቲ ዓሳ ካልኦት ዓሳታት ውሒጡ ገዚፉ ስለ ዝነበረ ድዩ ምስ እርጋኑ ኣሽሓት ክ.ሜ. ዝጨኑ ዘሎ ወይስ ብተፈጥሮኡ ጨናዊ ስለዝኾነ እዩ፥ ? ዳሕራይ ዓሳ ክሳብ ዝብስብስ ክንዲ ምጽባይ ኣብ እዋኑ ኣብ ዘይቲ ቆሊኻ ክብላዕ ነይርዎ :: ብዓቢኡ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ ኣብ መሸጣ ስምምዕ እንተተበጺሑ እቲ ዓሳ ከመይ ገይሩ ክነብር እዩ ?ዝብሉ ኣገደስቲ ሕቶታት ምምላስ ኣገዳሲ እዩ :: ንምዃኑ ዋጋ እዚ ዝበስበሰ ዓሳ ኣብ ሓዲሽ ባጤራን ሰደድ ዘለዎ ጽልዋ እንታይ ክመስል ይኽእል:- ኢልካ ውን ምስ ስነ ቁጠባ ምሁራት ምምርማር ከድሊ እዩ ::

      እቲ ዝዓበየ ኣገዳሲ ሕቶ ግን እዚ ዝበስበሰ ዓሳ ህይወት ክተክል እንታይ ዓይነት ጽገና የድልዮ ? – መቀያየሪ ኣቁሑ ካብ ገጠር ውይ ባሕሬን ወይ ሱዑድያ ምምጻእ ዝከ ኣለሉ መገጊ እንታይ እዩ ? በቲ ናይቲ ዓሳ እሾኽ ንሑጢ ምውጋእ ዶ ምናልባት መፍትሒ ይኸውን ? ብሓቂ ሰፊሕ መጽናዕቲ ምክያድ ከድሊ እዩ::

      • dawit

        My Dear Kokhobi,

        You are really nosey, you ask too many questions about the stinky fish. This is beyond my paygrade, so I have referred all you question to the relevant institutions of the Eritrean government and institutions. The Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, and College of Marine Sciences and Technology. I am sure among them they will answer all your stinky fishy questions.

        Regards

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear dawit,
          you have done good job but none of hem will answer you question without consulting IA.