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A Time to Love and a Time to Hate

My favorite book in the bible says: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Eccles 3:1-8).

What time is it?

 It is a time to love; and a time for peace. It is a time to settle disputes; and turn swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks so none will take up sword against the other nor train for war anymore. Whatever conviction, faith, and principles people have, they have to be marinated in love; otherwise they will be dead. A Facebook friend has lately posted an apt quote on his wall that is attributed to Mrs. Parnell: “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”  Surely, the two must go hand-in-hand, and should not be divorced.

The journey of bringing people together starts with a genuine attempt to understand people, and to creating an environment that is conducive to mutual respect and tolerance. The truth, as the Bible commands, must be spoken in love; for anything, as the Quran says, is beautified by kindness and marred by its lack. A culture of empathy that puts people in their brothers/sisters’ shoes is necessary. There is nothing more important to victims than the acknowledgement of their suffering.

The older I get, the less interested I’m in proving or disproving anything. This does not mean I don’t care about the truth for it is the foundation of every worthwhile human endeavor; but to underscore the importance of understanding. It is what people should aspire and work for. It is understanding that will bring them together; it is what brought ato Kidane Alemayehu and me closer; and work for a noble and lofty goal of ushering in a new age of peace and development in the Horn of Africa.

 If my father was alive; he would have been a little older than ato Kidane Alemayehu, but the prevailing political circumstances between Ethiopia and Eritrea would have made it almost impossible for the two to have any sort of relationship. I know my father was an honorable man and so is ato Kidane Alemayehu, and perhaps their understanding of virtue and faith might have enabled them to transcend their difference and become friends.

My father and so many of Eritrea’s best men and women died and gave the best years of their lives to the liberation struggle so many Eritreans like me can have a normal life; and their sacrifice could only be meaningful if Eritreans live a life of normalcy that they were deprived off—a life dedicated to mending fences and not destroying them; a life that lifts people up and not put them down; one that fosters comity and not enmity.

I’m the poster-child of Eritrea; and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to safeguards its hard-earned independence, and honor the enormous sacrifices made during the long liberation struggle. It is the fate of my generation to be entrusted with this huge responsibility. We were taught by selfless Tegadeliti, some dead and others alive. Their only wish was that the younger generation of Eritreans be educated so they can be the ones to live their dreams. The least I should do is try to live up to that legacy, and I’ve every intention to continue doing so.

 I was born in the year the ELF was celebrating its 9th anniversary, and the EPLF was just being formed; the two organizations that effectively rallied Eritreans to rise up in arms and fight for their independence. I had the unenviable fate to experience, first-hand, the hardship and suffering Eritreans went through. In 1975, when I was at the tender age of five, Ethiopian soldiers came into my village and committed horrendous atrocities that came to be known as the Wekidiba Massacre. (Please read Fr. Athanasius’s/ Dr. Habtu’s Gebreab’s book, Massacre at Wekidiba, and my review of it at my column http://awate.com/massacre-at-wekidiba-a-survivors-review/).  

My family and I were among the few lucky ones who survived the massacre and were able to flee their hometown to seek refuge in neighboring villages. Internally displaced, we spent the next two years in SeHarti where we had to seek shelter in the mountains of Alla every time the Ethiopian military convoys pass through the village. The convoys were notorious for destroying and looting properties, and even worse, killing and abusing people. The expression “Amhara ymetsu alewu: hdemu” (Run away, the Amhara are coming) is deeply embedded in my memory. It was our negarit, our Tornado and Hurricane Warning, that cautioned us of the impending and inevitable carnage and looting.

When the ELF liberated Mendefera, my father, an ELF Tegadelai, known by his younger comrades, as Ayay, made the necessary arrangements for us to come and settle there. It was in Mendefera where I was able to continue my first-grade education, and it is the city that gave me one of my fondest memories of Eritrea. The Ethiopian air-force subjected this small and beautiful provincial city to a daily bombardment; people were forced to change day into night. During the day time, we sought shelter, in hastily and poorly built shelter-bombs, bridges, and the dense trees of Mai-Tekhela where St. George School is located; tried to do other life’s necessities at night.

I vividly recall an incident that brought us close to death. My late brother, Dawit, was taking us to the forest of Mai-Tekhela when we were caught off-guard by the Ethiopian planes which did not hesitate to shoot at us. We got off the road quickly and took shelter under a small tunnel, and my brother hurriedly shoved all of us inside and was the last one to get in after shrapnel hit his leg. He carried that small scar to his grave; it was a constant reminder of how close we came to being annihilated.

We stayed at the Azenda neighborhood, but my school, Islamiya, was at the other end of town, the bloko Asmera. Imagine a child going to school from 7 pm to 11 pm. The surreal abnormality was only mitigated by the fact that Eritrea was a place where “it took a village to raise a child.” Every Eritrean was our protector, and we never felt insecure. My first-grade friend, Ibrahim, who taught me few Saho words, was my nocturnal companion. Our sojourn in Mendefera came to an end when the Ethiopians, with the help of the Soviets, Cubans, and many others, drove the ELF and the EPLF out of the liberated towns; and that was when my family and I finally fled Eritrea for good.

The story of modern Eritrea is my story and I’ve all scars to show for it. Like all Eritreans of my generation, I know many great Tegadelti, young and barely out of high-school, who took the time to play with us, their younger siblings, and inculcate in us the love of country and help us understand the importance of the noble ideas that they were ready to die for. In fact many of them have heroically fallen in action; some are living with amputated limbs, and even worse, some are living with amputated souls to see their country being betrayed by the very comrades they fought alongside with.

 This is the history and this is the reality of our being, and I’m deeply rooted in it. But it should not constrain me from deciding where I should go and how big I can dream. The destiny of Eritrea and the destiny of my people are closely interlinked with the region and its people, and it is this realization that I believe should inspire all of us to work towards regional integration. Rectifying the situation in Eritrea should be Eritreans’ top priority; and working towards regional integration reinforces and compliments this important undertaking.

Let me quote here a short passage from my forthcoming book, on the Tewahdo Church:

“To a degree, understanding the history of the Red Sea, and its commercial and political importance is at the heart of the perceived threats and conflicts in the region. One way to amicably resolve this lingering conflict is to develop a comprehensive regional strategy that will eventually lead to regional integration. The people of the Horn of Africa have more in common than any other region in sub-Saharan Africa, and these transcendental linkages of history, commerce, and culture should be the linchpin of a future regional integration. The trust deficit, among the nations of the Horn of Africa, has made any kind of meaningful collaboration as elusive as a mirage in the Danakil Deserts.

A new chapter based on comity, mutual respect, and most of all, enlightened self-interest must be written by a new breed of leaders determined to change the status quo. More importantly, the new leaders must be imbued with big and inclusive ideas, which envision a limitless world beyond the artificial boundaries of a bygone colonial era. Nations and boundaries are tools designed to help so people can work on the perennial concerns of peace, justice, development and human dignity. There is a need for all concerned parties to recognize the Biblical exhortation, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Eph 2:3-4).

The transition from conflict to cooperation, from bullets to ballots, and from disintegration to integration is possible and realistic. Knowledge and wisdom must guide the ships of statecrafts.”

All of these are possible if people will only muster the courage to see their past and current demons eye-to-eye. The truth is that no war in human history has been fought without the demonization of the other side. It is not the universally used tactic of war and mobilization that should be our primary concern, but the causes that give rise to it and the justifications that sustain it. The Ethiopians have demonized Eritrea’s just and heroic struggle, and Eritreans have done the same, but it is preposterous to give them moral equivalency. No Eritrean has gone to Ethiopia to conquer or subjugate Ethiopians or deprive them of their linguistic and cultural heritage. The best way to sanitize the ugly past is to ensure it never happens again, but this cannot be accomplished by denying it. Acknowledging it is half the victory. It is time we catalogue all the wrongs committed so they can serve as cautionary tales.  

I remember when the “border war” broke out in 1998, and the former Eritrean Ambassador to the US, Mr. Semere Russom, a man who can spit words beyond the legal speed, came to Dallas for fundraising; I objected to his language that demonized the Tgirayans, and I was subjected to some ridicule. I didn’t support the war and my rationale was simple: it was a war of choice. Besides, Weyanai meyto, Warsay meyto: iti Hazen dey natey iyu. Whether a Weyanay or Warsay die, I will be the one to mourn them.) As an Eritrean who is very proud of his Habesha, Hamasenay, and Tewahdo heritage, I’m incapable of not loving myself; and therefore I love the Tigrayans. To reiterate what I’ve always said: if I want to understand a Tigrayan, all I need to do is look at myself in the mirror. I love, respect, and cherish my three thousand years of Habesha history, its legends, myth, fables, and folktales and I refuse to apologize for it. I am a Habesha whose home is Eritrea and that identity is as sacrosanct as it can be.  

Some of you might have rightly criticized me for not showing the same unequivocal love towards the Amhara that I’ve for the Tigrayans. First, the Tigrayans have not done us wrong; in fact they were Eritrea’s best ally in the struggle, and the wrong detour that was taken by Isaias and Meles during the “border war” will be easily corrected when we start empowering people.  The Amhara are Habesha too and that is why, as children, we also used to sing: iti qedem si Tlyan ygezana nay lomi gedede Habesha kemana. (In the old, we were ruled by the Italians but what is even worse now is that we are being ruled by Habesha like us.) This was to lament the right of self-rule that eluded us.

Forgiveness and reconciliation is an evolutionary process; and people must be allowed to take baby-steps. Perhaps, my friend, ato Kidane Alemayehu, was right when he described me as a “work-in-progress” in our early meetings. But, I’ve to say this: acknowledgement of suffering at the hands of Amhara, the Amhara monarchy or the regime, would greatly expedite the journey of reconciliation. There are even some Amhara Ethiopians who have the audacity to portray Haile Selassie as a benevolent elder statesman who did no wrong in Eritrea. Insult over injury! Tell it to the thousands of Muslim Eritreans who had to flee their home even before yours truly was born. I understand that someone’s hero is someone else villain; but have some sensitivity to those Eritreans who experienced his oppression and cruelty first-hand.

 For starters, I would encourage all Amhara Ethiopians to ask themselves who the Tigrayans, the Ormoas, and the Ogadenis were fighting against? The Eritreans, Tigrayans, Oromos, and Ogadenis are not that stupid to blame the poor peasants of Gondar, Gojam, Wallo or Shewa, but they had to identify an enemy that was the cause of their real and perceived suffering. Being Amhara was the gold-standard of Ethiopianness, and speaking Amharic, with its evident glass-ceiling, was the only ticket to be part of the system. None-Amhara Ethiopians could no longer tolerate their relegation to a second-class status in their own country. The Tigrayans were even prohibited to spell the name of their region as Tigray; a phenomenon that was rightly characterized as “Politics of Y” by the historian Alemseged Abbay.

 Demonizing a whole group of people is certainly wrong, but history shows how effective it is to mobilize the masses. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Casting the enemy as Amhara might have been wrong but certainly not the grievances and the struggle that emanated from them.

Truth and reconciliation go hand-in-hand and this is where the rubber meets the road. History matters; and that is why we need responsible and thoughtful people to come to the forefront and lead. But, when everything else fails, enlightened self-interest should guide regional cooperation. The Horn of Africa is one of the least developed and most conflict-ridden regions in Africa. No one benefits from the continuance of the status quo, and we need to change and think differently.

A final word to those who are quick to judge and defame others, I say a bit of self-restraint and giving people the benefit of the doubt is a good thing. Even if you think I am a “hater of Amhara” and a “bigot,” which I am not, you should not look a gift horse in the mouth. With an enemy like me, you don’t need friends. I wish the many Eritrea-hating and bigoted Ethiopians would have the wisdom to support Eritrea’s cause. And to those who have expressed outrage at non-existent bigotry; although misplaced, I encourage you to hold on to it.

To set the record straight, when Aya Kidane Alemayehu and I call each other, I reciprocate the courtesy and say, “indemen allu.” I’ve learned to enjoy Amharic dancing, but not necessarily the music, although I could see myself enjoying traditional Amharic music. Don’t read too much into it, the only music I listen to when I am exercising is Eritrean and Tigrayan; I barely listen to even American music. Amharic is one of the closest two languages to Tigrinya; but, narrowly defined, it is not mine, and as such I’m not obligated to love or cherish it. The best I can do at this time is remaining neutral as I do with Swahili or German. If there is a need for me to learn Amharic or Somali, I will. Languages are tools of communication and they are inherently good; but the danger lies in the politics of language. It is the politics of the Amharic language that Eritreans revolted and fought against and for that no self-respecting Eritrean will ever apologize.

Nothing animates me more than justice and I am always supportive of any legal and peaceful means that serves it. I don’t think there is any statute of limitation that nullifies any desire on the part of victims to seek due compensation for their suffering.

Semere T Habtemariam is the current chairman of the Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center, and the author of “Hearts Like Birds” and the forthcoming book on the History and Faith of the Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Eritrea and Ethiopia. He can be reached: weriz@yahoo.com

About Semere T Habtemariam

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  • amhara

    In away I feel sorry for Semere and his likes. They were raised to hate people not to stand for a cause. The worst child abuse is when adults teach children to hate. By his own confession he admits he was trained at an early age to demonize the Amhara. Hate is a heavy baggage to carry. As difficult as it is for most of us to shake off the baggage we carry since childhood, it must be done. Imagine a whole generation of Eritreans trained to hate Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Nationalism by its nature is self centered and selfish. It is based on otherness. Nationalism builds very vain superiority complex. Nationalism also advocates hate as a political currency. Imagine what a hyper nationalism such as Eritrean nationalism creates.

    All the effects of Nationalism but exaggerated several times over. Thus Semere and his likes are victims of hyper nationalism.

    The problem with Semere is he is not able or willing to cast the baggage. Either the baggage serves as security blanket to ones identity or questioning this may lead to questioning the sacrosanct issue of the Eritrean cause for which a huge sacrifice was paid. Or simply he is comfortable with it.

    Many talk of reconciliation between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is a noble idea. When the facilitators of this reconciliation are people like Semere – we know we have a very bumpy road ahead.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Amhara,

      Very very very very….a whole lot of verys well said. True. Raising a child to be a bigot is the greatest child abuse, ever. The child that is injected with that poison spreads the the ‘hate virus’ wider and faster than the parents, who passed the virus on the child….

  • Hayat Adem

    Bad advisor: Meron advises Hale not flinch from the rail track line come what may…a philosophy of rigidness!
    Bad advisee: Haile heeds. He said, “I am sleeping like a log on the rail road, don’t disturb”…a philosophy of naivety!
    Good advice: Hayat cares enough to wake up Haile from his sleep of wrong time, wrong geography: You don’t sit on a busy traffic line just because you thought you were on the right track unless you don’t mind being run over…a philosophy of pragmatism!

  • “We cannot deny that we have an ugly history where we killed each other for decades, and an acknowledgement of wrong-doing is the first step towards accountability and responsibility that lays the ground-work for forgiveness and justice.” Semere T Habtemariam

    you don’t get it sir, our problem is not with acknowledging what we ourselves went through, our problem is with your racist attitude towards the people of Amhara who were equally victims of the past…sorry “racist” is the only word I could find to fulfill the burning desire you have for being considered a unique race, even though you are (I am being genuinely generous here) anthropologically as Agame as every Agame, a title I am certainly confident you or your children will one day fight to regain. I might be too wrong if you are Hamasien and you have to trace your roots in Gonder, “the brutal Amhara”….
    To go back to you superficial plight for reconciliation, what makes you think you deserve our acknowledgment first is beyond me..why should Ethiopians apologize for the crime Feseha desta(Eritrean origin) did to Ethiopians and Eritreans? I don’t think you understand the fact that it takes two to tango, Or perhaps you are just as naive as Isais Afeweque who often misjudges Ethiopian nationalism and demands more than his share. In your case, I don’t think you understand the strong grunges Ethiopians have towards Eritreans just because most are too modest to express it the way you people do. Perhaps you could argue that we are culturally different, but my theory is it may be because we missed all the lessons you got in nastiness from you colonial masters..

  • Semere Habtemariam

    Selam Amde and Tamarat or as my friend Beyan Negash calls you Double T (I get the feeling that T might represent trouble). Joking aside, let me express my appreciation for Amde and let me also encourage you Tamarat to read my two articles written many winters ago that address your questions and you will see a principled person who is always a friend of justice and the truth.

    http://awate.com/not-in-our-name/

    http://awate.com/eritrea-is-our-black-stone/

    Semere

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    All the enemies of Ethiopia use the ambigious term amhara to attack ethiopia. One can be from moyale but if he stands for Ethiopia then he is amhara. People like Semere uses him as a target and tells us that when they say amhara they dont mean gondere, gojame, wolloye, Shewa. So the nightmare for People like Semere are those who unite ethiopia. It doesnt matter which ethnic Groups you belong.

    It is not the Method of how ethiopia is using to organize itself in the different governmental system ethiopia has went through. If they mention the oromo, the Wolayita’s etc oppresion then that is only corocodile tears because they never mention Afar (it is taboo). The New government (22 years old) came up With federal system and they were more scared than ever. If they were one ethnic Group they could have enjoyed the ethiopian federal system. But They said no no no. We are created as an eritreans, With same calture and value which can not be separetd by earthly jambo mambo, they say. There is no way dividing eritreans as if God creats Eritrea and Devil creats Ethiopia. They even activly participated in usnig the federal system of Ethiiopia to dismantel ehtiopia while they shifted to mengistu’s one ethiopia or Death in the name of hade libi hade hizbi.

    So dear Semere i encourage you for your ‘heart felt’ support of oromo, wolayta, even gojame and do the same thing for Kunama, Bilen, Afar etc then before you know it you are far away from isayas and you joine the mass. Your pfdj sparated afar People in to two. Try to understand it from the afar People point of view. I remind you the ethio-eri afar divided since 1998. The war which affected you so disasterously when you were kid, has happened to the mentioned People. I assure you there is nothing better for afars to be With their families than afar to be With tigrinya People.

  • amde

    I am not sure this thread has resolved itself or if it ever will. But, i would say to my Ethiopian brothers, “yalteneka giligil yawqal”. Semere is expressing a view which may not be politically correct, or intellectually acceptable, but one that is a psychologically potent reality. Most people live their lives living out the logical outcomes of a few core childhood traumas or other, and we must never forget that at least two whole generations of rural Eritreans grew up surviving in or fleeing from a war-zone. We can debate the reasons why it all started, its legitimacy etc… but those are intellectual exercises. In the end, people do what they do out of what they feel emotionally. Semere is expressing a point of view that is very much alive and well among many young/middle aged Eritreans who lived through the ghedli times. There were some that were victimized early on (the Eritrean Muslim lowlanders for sure), but most were simply victims of the horrible logic of war and terribly executed counter-insurgency.

    At least Semere is honest about how he feels and why. There are some that say there is no problem between the Tigrinya speaking Ethiopians and Tigrinya speaking Eritreas – oh yes there definitely is. For generations, Tigrayans from poor Tigray proper went to Eritrea to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the relatively more modern colonial and post-colonial Eritrean economy. Because they did not own land and were content to start off doing menial jobs, they were tagged and treated as second class people. To add insult to injury, the TPLF made Eritrean independence possible, but Tigrayans were rewarded with deportations and bombings. Many Eritreans consider Tigrayans untrustworthy and worse.

    Some that want to say there is no problem between the Ethiopian people and Eritrean people – oh there definitely is. From the point of view of most Ethiopians in Ethiopia proper, Eritreans were generally part of the privileged elite – the administrative faces of the Ethiopian state (Tigray was for the most part administered by Shoans or Eritreans), teachers or private entrepreneurs. So it is mystifying for the average poor Ethiopian that these “privileged” people would revolt. From the point of view of Eritrea proper, most Ethiopians they met were part of the government bureaucracy and increasingly co-ercive structure. The sheer anarchy and terror of the Derg era did not help the situation.

    Others rant about the “amhara” and then throw in a little quibble about “of course that does not mean the poor amhara xyz”, when it is perfectly clear that it is politically and intellectually acceptable to demonize the “Amhara” and make him the source of all the ills in the Horn – yes let’s not be dishonest about that. As Semere himself stated “Demonizing a whole group of people is certainly wrong, but history shows how effective it is to mobilize the masses. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Casting the enemy as Amhara might have been wrong but certainly not the grievances and the struggle that emanated from them.” This is something that has to work itself out – it would be a shame if it were to remain a cartoonish reality and just gets repeated by swapping “Agame” (…sorry “Weyane”) in place of Amhara.

    The political culture of the region is still a martial one. We went through a century of Pax-Shoa. We are currently going through the period of Pax-Tigrinya on either side of the Mereb. These are militarily imposed regimes with a tight inner core. Resentment by those excluded will occur as naturally as night follows day. And just as naturally, the “cultural/linguistic” group the ruling elite is identified with will be made the source of all misfortune. How is Ali Selim’s critique of the Tigrinya regime different from the mantra of “Amhara regime”? Why is it not natural that the Afar and Kunama want the right to opt out of the Eritrea project? Will they have stories of Tigrinya resentment similar to Semere’s?

    What we all need really are armies of shrinks, not battalions of guerillas. There are tangled webs of resentments and oversimplified interpretations that are obscenely exploited by the politically ambitious. Unfortunately, this is a process that will take time to resolve. I think in general the younger Ethiopian generation has moved on. From the Eritrean point of view, putting Ethiopia at the center of either Eritrean meaning or Eritrean misfortune still has potent psychological power. As a commenter said – that dog may not hunt, but that camel for sure still trudges along. Who gets hurt, and who benefits from it?

  • Elenta

    Eyob said
    “He(Sal) knows our ancestors went to Ethiopia, because they did not want to be ascaris, but proud Habesha and left where all Habeshas live as they were, in stead of Italian or some Arab wanna be tell them or dictate them, who the were and who they should be”

    It would have been better for you to name another city than shashemene to make your family journey to habesha land. My Ethiopian friend from Arusi informed me that Shashemene was land of oromia not Abyssinia(May be Eyob has Rastafarian in his mind??)

    Like your family,we don’t want any one to dictate who we are!(the strange thing is you are the one who always trash Eritrea and Eritreans)

    Any way,how do you define Habesha?
    In one of Amharic-English dictionary it is defined as:

    ሐበሻ ~ Ethiopian (adj.)
    ሐበሻ ~ Abyssinian (n.)

    You see this is the main problem ;you guys are saying my way or…
    I think YG also defines Habesha as above.
    According to YG and his admirers:
    1.You can’t be both habesha and Eritrean.
    The two Saleh always said they are habesha and proudly Eritrean,but the YG camp doesn’t buy that because they need to hear the word- the strugle to make Eritrea independent from Ethiopia was wrong
    In another word If you are not Ethiopian you are not Habesha.I see Neo Andenet Groups using the pretext of Habesha to Advance their “Andenet” Agenda.

    2.All habeshas are Christians.
    If you are a muslim and try to follow your religion and also start naming your kids like Hashim, Aysha…., you are hater of Habesha culture and are Arab wan-able.Ethiopians can name their kids whatever they want and cannot be called Habesha haters.

    3.Religion was the only factor to start independence struggle
    According to them the Eritrean Independent Struggle was started predominantly by Eritrean Muslims and these people(like Abdela and Kebire) want independence of Eritrea from Ethiopia because the Ethiopians regime was christian.since they are also educated in Arab universities they came with Islamist Agenda and fought with Ethiopians(Christians) a Jihad kind of war.

    So to be Habesh :you need to give up the idea of Eritrean-ism,alway talk bad things about Arabs and Islams;never ever mentioned names of eritrean Heros who fought against Ethiopian Regime:never ever talk about the crimes done on Eritreans by the Ethiopian regime:nevere ever talk/mention about how the people of oromo, Sidama ,worji and Somali are treated by Ethiopian regimes.

    Please don’t be surprised , If YG and the other guy comes with the idea that Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi has an influence on Kebire and others.

  • Semere T Habtemariam

    Selam all,

    If our vision is to establish an open society in the Horn of Africa, then, we should be encouraged by what is happening here at Awate. I am very pleased that people are participating from all over the region, and with time, I am optimistic all the rough edges of intolerance and incivility will be smoothed out.

    It should be expected that some hotheads would try to degenerate this important discourse into temper tantrums. They would parse every sentence and reduce it to their simplistic world-view of black and white; and accuse people of despicable hatred and bigotry, and completely lose sight of what the big picture is. Some would even reject the idea as untimely and frivelous and out of touch with reality. I can tell it is not rapprochement and reconciliation that is being scorned here; but one that is based on truth and its feasiblity. It is always the truth that makes people uncomfortable; and that is why courage is its first prerequiste. If one possess all the virtues and no courage, it means nothing. And to those who could not suppress their pessimism, I say: show me a pessimist who has accomplished anything worthwile and I’ll rest my case.

    We cannot deny that we have an ugly history where we killed each other for decades, and an acknowledgement of wrong-doing is the first step towards accountability and responsibility that lays the ground-work for forgiveness and justice. No sane person thinks acknowledgement of wrong-doing is a one-way street and at the same time not all crimes are created equal.

    I’m not aware of any Eritrean who celebrated the killing of Ethiopians, and yes of Amhara, by the brute Menghitu Hailemariam. I also don’t know many Eritreans who do not appreciate the little progress Ethiopia has made in the last few years. It is childish and sadistic to gleefully parade the fact that Eritrea was named one of the ten poorest countries in the world.

    Like many Eritreans I know, if there is any injustice perpetrated against the Amhara, I will be at the forefront to fight it and the Amhara can count on my support and solidarity. It is the right thing to do and it is what any justice oriented person would do. I don’t need to hug like David Jonathon(would be great if we can) with the Amhara in particular and Ethiopians in general, but I will be stupid not to recognize that we all have interlinked future—what ails one ails all. And for that I am ready to do my part in building a bridge that will bring us together.The past should guide us but not constrain us for where we are going is more important than where we have been.

    Semere Habtemariam

    If there is any out there who wants to learn more about our organization, pleae visit us at http://www.hafrica.org

  • asmara

    The Eritrean people never hate any of our neighboring people NEVER- be it Ethiopians, Djiboutian, Sudanese. They never hate any people of any county in the whole world, for that matter. We are loving people.

    Now, there are two sets of groups who want people to believe that there is hatred or animosity between the Eritrean and the Ethiopian people.

    1. Woyanie,
    To cover up the illegal occupation of Eritrean sovereign land and not to abide by the ruling, Woyanie and its supporters try to make the whole thing look like animosity between the two people .Of course there still are some people on the Ethiopian side who would like the border dispute to stretch beyond what it is and bring back that sea access – and they would make any excuses to comer up their covet.
    2. Some Woyanie subordinates –
    In their quest to destroy the Eritrean government, there are some Eritrean elements, who are also trying to benefit from the border issue, at the expense of the Eritrean people and also at the Expense of the Ethiopian people as well.
    Now, these people pretend to be some advocates of peace, and would pretend to act as diffusers of the “NONE EXISTING HATRED” between those NEIGHBORING (NOTHING MORE!) people.
    It is also a way of justifying the treason they are committing by sleeping with the enemy who is violating the sovereignty of their nation. What they are saying is – Woyanie is not craping on our land and on our dignity – it is just that there is animosity between the Eritrean and Ethiopian people that we have to defuse.
    There are also some naïve Ethiopians who are falling for the above and are translating legitimate requests and stand as hate.

    a) Before the independence, we said we are Eritreans and not Ethiopians – that never mean we hate Ethiopians or any other people. We were just saying we are nothing more than neighbors. “I don’t want to marry you” never means “I hate you”
    Ethiopia wouldn’t accept our legitimate request; therefore we were forced to go the jungle and bit to death those who were trying to hold us by force. To make our decision legal and to be heard loudly by Ethiopians and beyond, we did a referendum and re-affirmed that we are Eritreans. THAT CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE TRANSLATED INTO HATE.

    b) Right now, we are asking Ethiopia to abide by law and leave our sovereign land. We are not asking for any favor; we are not asking for something which is not ours; we are not saying that to deprive or cheat the Ethiopian people from what is rightfully theirs. Above all we are guided by the ruling and are on the right side of justice.

    WE ARE ASKING ETHIOPIANS TO ABIDE BY THE BORDER RULING AND LEAVE OUR SOVERIGN LAND .HOW IS THAT CONFUSED WITH HATE?

    • asmara

      Corrections

      1. “..cover up their covet…”and not “..comer up their covet..”
      2. “…were forced to go to the jungle and beat to death..” and not “….were forced to go the jungle and bit to death… “

    • TES

      Asmera
      If you want to know how much SOME Eritreans hate ethiopians, you only have to visit dehai.org website their message board . there is one amharic saying that sums up the dishonesty in your comment ” LE MAYAWQISH TATEGNI”

  • Hi Semere,

    Please stop lecturing the Suffering people of Eritrea about you luxurious preposterous thinking concerning your new love for people who have no love other than killing and stealing the proprieties of 80 thousand Eritreans (including my self and my family) and try to help Eritreans and their dying country out of the deepest misery this would have ever known. Let us all get rid of the Diablos in Eritrea first and we will think about everything else…

  • seyoum Tesfaye

    Semere,

    Thank you fora thoughtful and very non-generic article. One of a kind and very educational. You have chosen the path of wisdom- stay on it.The toxic Ethio-Eritrean political discourse needs a healing and affirming article like yours.

    More power to you Sir!

  • Hayat Adem

    Mr So and So,
    The contrast can not come any clearer. Yours is nothing but caring more for a tree, less for the forest. This is even an understatement considering how much time and energy this simple issue of common sense of building a relationship is taking. What bothers me to death is when so and so downplay the importance of rebuilding relationships between the entire sets and subsets of the two countries and societies, and getting more interested in piece meals. When we want to speak of bringing the two peoples together so that they have a powerful development synergy to grow fast and have a better tool to answer to most of the problems emanating from the deeply rooted poverty, so and so talk of a priority of going anti-climax to finish the project of separation between the two countries to the last remaining thread (demarcation). When we prefer to focus on moving on to saving the future, so and so insist on clearing the victimology balance sheet of the past first and even suggest there should be rightful claims of compensation to be pushed against the inheritors of the other side. When we advocate for the jump-start of the relationships now, so and so advocate for the in-house harmony first as if that can be attained with certainty. They are fully aware of the ERR curse I talked about the day. They Know very well how ELF and EPLF halted their offensive at the doorsteps of Asmara to turn guns against each other, till the last breath and the winner takes it all. When Ethiopia is mentioned they mention Sudan. When Amharic is mentioned, the talk of Swahli. When we long for the fraternity of the peoples in entirety, they chase one individual (Eyob) evoking ancestry. This is what I called chasing a tree. Have a look: “Much] of the reason that Eritreans put up with your hateful crap is because we think of u as one of our own: lost, but one of our own.” We can own the mountain. We don’t have to transport it away stone by stone. How is that our thoughts are becoming grudge-driven and past pointers? Many of the Ethiopians might have bad feelings about what EPLF/ELf did to Ethiopians late and early, as well. But from what I gather, they are not as bitter. Most Tigreans don’t want even to remember the elementary school bombing in Mekele. Most of them are ready to move on to the next good thing. What does it take for Eritreans to follow suit?

    • zegeremo

      What does it take for Eritreans to follow suit? Good question, and the answer is very simple you Ethiopians need to Respect Eritrean Sovereignty: withdraw from the Occupied territory, Stop meddling in Eritrean’s internal affairs,Stop sabotaging the Eritrean Unity, and apologize for the 30 years of brutal occupation. And please enough with lectures, ugh. Your 3000 years old of civilization still hooked on enormous Aid despite 20% annual economic growth- how about working on that instead?

      regards

      • Hayat Adem

        Zigeremo, how did you pick that name? Do you want stay with it? Do you want stay puzzled and confused or you want to solve problems?
        You and I have one big problem we own, and together lets try to solve it. That is, we have independent Eritrea but not an Eritrea enjoying peace, growth and tranquility. Let’s oversimplify the issue so that we can see the problem in UPPER CASE.
        Our Eritrea feels in siege and suffocated due to overwhelming security threat from its bigger and stronger neighbors, right? PIA’s regime has a solution for that: keep the entire nation and its young militarized and walled. Until when? Could be indefinitely; could be until the neighbors change their hostile policy on their own terms or fearing a hostile reaction from Eritrea; or could be until the neighbors cross the border line into a crisis zone of their own and consequently disintegrate or utterly weakened and become susceptible to Eritrea’s manipulation.
        Well, these are not all feasible options. Because, during all this and as we speak, even worse than the level of security suffocation Eritrea is suffering, Eritreans are suffering from the excessive suffocation coming from the control their government over every bit of their lives. This is more so on the Eritrean youth.
        The way things are now, the Eritrean youth do not hope there will be a quick fix to the problem at hand. In stead, they seem to lose hope and opt for dangerous choices that cost them dearly- their precious lives and organs.
        Lets go back to our problem. Given a choice, I refuse to believe you would be that insensitive to prefer to see this dreadful situation continue further and say ‘stay the course come what may’. If my assumption about your choices is fair, the solution is clear: change the situation and bring hope and normalcy to the Eritrean youth lives.
        The one million dollar question is: “How do we do it?”. You proposed your solution by listing preconditions the Ethiopians need to do and you qualify it “simple”. Let’s go the Zigeremo way: “…withdraw from the Occupied territory, Stop meddling in Eritrean’s internal affairs,Stop sabotaging the Eritrean Unity, and apologize for the 30 years of brutal occupation.” If they heed your preconditions,BINGO! My stupidity that I didn’t figure it out. You hit the solution. What if they say, “Hell, NO!”, what is your plan B to make it happen, Zigeremo? Remember: we already said “stay the course” is not an option because it hurts Eritrea way bigger. What is left in your magic hat: Can you evict them by force? Can you shame and game them into it by way of diplomacy? Dead End, Dead End my friend!!! You can remained puzzled for the rest of your life or for a couple of more years while pondering, but Eritrea can’t afford to stay beyond this. It is not about them, it is about Eritreans and Eritrea, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Are you ready, now to listen to what others suggest for a solution, or you will remain walled and sealed? Let me know if you want me to continue…

        • Zegeremo

          Dear Hayat,

          you asked a good question and I gave my fair reply. The rest is NOISE: Non sequitur of the day. The IFs, We, stay the course…

          As for the name, it is a very simple name; obviously, it is not as twisted as yours.

          • Hayat Adem

            Zegeremo,
            Have ever heard of an expression called “a birds decree”? You can look up for more but I will give you the gist for now if in case this is the first time you are hearing it. Long time a ago, Toronto’s residents had taken their bitter complaints to their mayor. Their issue was about the city’s birds singing too early and waking up residents from their deep sleep. The duty-mined mayor had felt doing something about it. Then, he came up with an idea and issued a decree criminalizing birds that sing before sunrise, immediately effective. Well, of course, the decree was of no-effect to the birds and their way of life, and they continue singing as they should and as they used to. The mayor kept on saying “well, we issued a decree, the birds wouldn’t heed. what else could we do?”. Now you can’t miss what “birds decree” means, can you? It means a mere cheap talk and nothing more.
            Your reply states that the Ethiopians must leave and must apologize. Do you want to see your words honored with action or you just think barking them out is an end by itself. Let’s even forget for now the fairness and optimality of your position: how do you make the Ethiopians do that? Answer it! You can’t! You are simply borrowing a cliche phrase from PIA. You will remain so until the song changes from the source. That is why you always fail short of answering every follow-up question. You are not free. Free souls have always answers for anything. They can be wrong, but they have something to justify their position all the way to the end. And when they see what is lacking in their positions, they have no qualms to think deeper in trying to find the answer or switch to the more sensible line of thinking. With higedefites, you go some distance and get stuck- and continue repeating a scratchy mantra like a broken player. This is all about justifying the practicality of your ideas, how ever of little significance it is. We’re not even talking yet about the more civilized approach that will be unfolding the growth dynamics of the two nations in the context of collaboration and integration.

  • A small correction for Eyob, Foreign minster Tewdros Adhanom was born and raised in Asmara, but is of Ethiopian heritage who along side his family was in fact a victim of Shabia’s 1991 eviction of Ethiopians who was temporarily sheltered in Tiqur Ambesa gibii…

  • Saal, I just noticed your cheap attempt to score a point by mixing Eritreanism with a person of Eritrean Heritage. Berket Simon is a proud Ethiopian whom you might never quot claiming Eritreanism till his death! He can if he wants though. it is as simple as that, I know you want to make much out of Eritreanism but unfortunately it is nothing more than a choice some 3 million out of 70 million made for better or worse?.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Ethiopian,

      Thank you..What Sal did is a black mailing (Shaming and naming) method. Gash Saleh tried it the other day. Usually, it helps to shoot you down, if you happen to not to be “in line”. It is a softer and kinder version of character assassination. Many falsely believe that, if te black mail you or shame and name you that way you’d lose credidablity. That is what Sal tried. Yesterday. He knows very well that I or my family have very little to wit his Ghedli or Eritreanism. He knows what Shashemene or Yirgalem Eritreans are were and still are. We had a long discussion about that. He knows our ancestors went to Ethiopia, because they did not want to be ascaris, but proud Habesha and left where all Habeshas live as they were, in stead of Italian or some Arab wanna be tell them or dictate them, who the were and who they should be. He knows per that they also they raised their children, grand children, great grand children and great great grand children whch is my generaion never thought hate of Amhara or any other ethnic group. Hate of self, heritage and culture. Hate of own language. They never thought any of that. Sal knows that. I told him so. But, He does not care. What he cares is to have what I said lose credibility, so he “soft” blackmailing trick. Few months ago, Gash Saleh was hitting the roof on me, for mentioning Woizero Tsion Andom’s Eritrean heritage. He was with exclamation he was declaring, “She is Ethiopian!!” Now, had she called some bigot that Sal and Gash Saleh like a bigot, she would have gotten a treatment I got…

      P.S..Thank you so much you told me about Tedros Adhanom….. I did not know about that. He actually a great example to those, who cry deportation from Ethiopia, as if that never happened to Ethiopians in Eritrea. The hypocrisy?! Wow!

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Lej Eyob,
        Whatever you say, I can not hide the fact that I am fond of you. But you know that you like to insult Eritreans on every occasion, Arab Wannabe, Habesha haters, Ascaris, Hate of self, heritage and culture. Hate of own language. Do you really believe that?

        I am a Habesha (I am afraid if you might not accept me there) I am not an Arab, never been, never would be. The language issue is totally different and I have written about it tons, no need to repeat here. Habesha haters, how could I hate my mother, father and ancestors who are Habesha? Ascarais? We had our own Ascaris, but you might be interested to know of Ethiopian Ascaris and Ballilas–if you agree, I would provide you with some interesting proof. Hate the self? It is hyberbole, doesn’t need a rely. Heritage and culture? We struggle because Isaias and his clique are destroying our culture and heritage. But that would never be anything but Eritreans culture, anything below it is just a component of Eritrean culture. Not all Eritrea is Habesha and not all Ethiopia is Habesha. Emphasizing on the Habesha cultural strain of Eritrea and Ethiopia (while ignoring the rest of Eritreans and Ethiopians) is pure chauvinism; that is what I oppose because all the miseries of the region was just that, inter-Habesha squabbles. Importantly, does Semere hate Habesha? He is more vocal about defending his heritage than you or anyone I know in the Internet. Did Ethiopians grow up hating the fascists? Yes, true. Did Eritreans of grow up hating the oppression of the Amhara elite? You bet we all did because they did to us what many fold what the fascists did to Ethiopia. Do we hate Ethiopians, no we don’t. But we do not appreciate people telling us to forget our wounds when they are not trying to help heal, instead they poke the wounds day in and day out.

        When I reminded you of your heritage, first it was you who told us, I didn’t go on a witch hunting to find out. Then, I was just reminding you when you insult Eritreans, you are insulting yourself since you have Eritrean blood. In short, I was trying to tell you to stop your generalization and vilification of Eritreans in general. If you are debating someone, debate them, say whatever you want to say to them, specifically to them. Don’t lambast all Eritreans (dead and alive) whenever an Eritrean annoys you. Now how is that blackmailing Lej Eyob?

        Now, have I ever insulted you Eyob? Have I ever insulted Ethiopian without qualifiers? None. Why am I insulted as an Eritrean on every post you put here? That is my objection to your debating style. And if you do not listen to me, lb aareg, Eregmehalahu 🙂

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          Good point, but has your writer here qualified his hate, when he generalize Amharas? No he did not. That is the reason that he deserves to be called a ‘typical bigot’. (Though he may take that as a badge of honor)Yes. I told you that I have an Eritrean blood. I have never hidden that and I never will. But I also have told you ow this came about, and specifically about Shashemenne and Yirgalem Ethiopians with Eritrean ancestry. In fact, in this very website, sometime ago, there was a writer,(I forgot his name, bu you can search it in your data base) who disparage those Ethiopians of Eritreans ancestry for being too Ethiopians. Yet, this time, I see both you and Sal (I know he has it for me from the get go :-)try to some what tame me by invoking my blood line. That is what I am talking about….

          P.S. Please atirgemegn. As a good abesha, yetalaq irgiman iferalehu… 🙂

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Ok, gudayu wede mrrqt teqeyrewal.

            I am sure you see the diverse writers and readers… and commentators on this forum which we try very hard to make it accommodating to all sorts of viewpoints. And I know you can imagine the type of work and time keeping that pledge of accommodating all requires. Some commentators are way too extreme in their behavior, disrespecting others for no reason. Those we do not worry a lot about; we just hope this forum offers them enough room to vent whatever bothers them inside their chest. We get insulted, ridiculed and defamed, yet we are so-tolerant we spend our time and energy serving them when the easy trash-button would do the job. We get disappointed when those we think should know better (and help is maintain civil discourse) go the wrong way.

            Of all the things that annoy me is generalization and belittling Eritreans on an Eritrean website; yet, you see to what extent we go to accommodate that. We hope for a civil discourse where people would abide by liberal thinking and self-restraint when they feel the urge to go haywire. You will not get any bigoted remark from the Awate Team for who you are or for who you chose to be. But if it was tit-for-tat, believe me Eritreans and Ethiopians have enough armory to lash at each other.

            Now, my testimony in defense of Semere was so easy: I would testify under oath that Semere is not what you made him look. Not at all. I say that because I know him. If someone would say anything which you are not, I will do the same from what I know of you. That is when I play my individual role and not a member of the moderating team here. Having said that, please refrain from lashing at us (including myself who has a weak point when it comes to you) whenever you read something you don’t like. If we acted the way you do, many posts here would go to the trash, and many would be banned. But we do not operate based on our emotions, we are providing a public service, and we aspire to elevate the debate. See Haile’s quality of debate! That kind of input is what we aspire for. Then we had Serray (whose views I have a problem with) whose debates I miss a lot. Then you have people who just come to vomit, ungrateful people who abuse us and this forum every time they come.

            But for the record, we are Eritreans, we believe in the unity of Eritrea and its independence. The worst commentators can do is gloat over our misery because we have a curse named PFDJ and its boss ruling and humiliating our people. As for Ethiopia, it is a major neighbor to our country and we aspire for a good relations with its people. However, asking us to forget our sufferings and wounds, instead pocking them, is not helpful. We did suffer from the your ruling classes and that is part of our history. Most Eritreans I know do not dwell on it, (I am not ruling out there are some who dwell on it), Semere doesn’t dwell on it and that is why he is working with one Alemayehu. In short (I know it was not short) please help us elevate the debate here. atasqotagn, alebeleziya, ergmanu qrb n’w yallow 🙂

      • saay

        Selamat Eyobai:

        “The lady* doth protest too much, methinks” – Hamlet.

        black.mail (verb): to force or coerce into a particular action, statement, etc.

        Who is blackmailing you into doing what, Eyob? You wondered aloud, geez, why do you people think I am Eritrean? And to help you, I gave you a link to your own posting where you express your pride in your Eritrean heritage. (not “so called Eritrea”, not “Northern Ethiopia” but Eritrea.) It would be unfair if I quoted you out of context, or if I chopped the piece you wrote. I presented the readers with a link so they see the context. The context is you chastising Serray (a ghedli deromantic) and it includes this great nugget (that will get your Ghedli Defamer Certificate revoked by Chancellor YG from the YG Academy):

        About me escaping the “hell hole, called Eritrean struggle”, I’d just say not everyone was born to fight. I however have a great deal of respect to those, who did. They have contributed a great deal to remove a heinous regime like Mengistu Hailemariam’s. Though I do not agree with the outcome of their struggle, I honestly believe that we owe them huge debt.

        If by “blackmail”, you are thinking I have postings by posters saved up for later use, please don’t (Life is too short for that). If by “blackmail” you are thinking here at awate we demand conformity or everybody playing their assigned rule, we don’t: and the content here is testimony to that. I will make you a confession: this is the ONLY reason I remember your post from February 2012: it made a great impact on me because it was different: here’s a fair Ethiopian, a man who loves his country, but doesn’t think that requires him to blindly hate Eritreans and mock their history including their Ghedli. I guess it must be his Eritrean heritage… This is because the only Ethiopians who supported the Eritrean cause were those with Eritrean ancestry and the great Weyanay.** Since then, you have continued to embrace the Dark Side and use every occasion to mock, ridicule, defame Eritrea and Eritreans. I would say about half of your posts are that. That is your choice really; but don’t be surprised when people are surprised: because the first impression you gave was different.

        saay

        * not calling you a lady, although in Asmarino’s affectionate lingo, we do say things like “anta iza wedi intay tbl ala”?
        *”Great Weyanay” said with no irony but total admiration for their unflinching stand with Eritrea when times were tough.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Sal,

          Two things…

          1) I said only few days ago EXACTLY the same thing, which is though I DISAGREE with their goals, I appreciate your tedelti’s contribution for the downfall of Mengistu. I have said on a quote you provided, I said it just couple of days ago and I will say it again. Other than that, if you pull out some other post of mine, actually it was to you, it says that your heroes were my shiftas, despite their contribution of the downfall of Mengistu. Go ahead. Look it up. It say says just that.

          2) When was born. Eritrea was just a ‘kifle hager’ of Ethiopia. It’s name was not Northern Ethiopia, but Eritrea. Hence, if I had a heritage of Oromo, I would not have said ‘South Ethiopia’, but Oromo. Get the point?

          P.S…Blackmail. Still, that is what you are doing. You are trying to ‘Coerce’ me to be a bit tamed by giving impression that I am not truly Ethiopian, because I have said that I have ‘Eritrean heritage’, and try to have hat I am saying on behalf of Ethiopia lose credibility. However, any of the quotes you have provided never say or indicate that. That is why I said you are trying to ‘blackmailing’ me…Your turn…

          • saay

            Hey Eyobai:

            Nah, Eyobai, I am going to take your word for it: I am not looking up anything (honestly, your writing is not always that compelling:) Nobody’s writing is.

            I regret that you get the impression that I am trying to coerce/tame you into giving the impression that you are “not truly Ethiopian.” I don’t even know what “truly Ethiopian” or “truly Eritrean” is because, to me, you either are Ethiopian or you are not; you either are Eritrean or you are not, and it is not up to some outside entity to define people’s identity. You are NOT required to give an alibi or a blood-line count. The job of a State is to define the MINIMUM requirements for citizenship and; after that, it is up to the individual to choose his/her identity and to create a hierarchy of identities.

            Actually, in this regard, it is your side and the PFDJ that are on the same thinking. (I know, I know, not a kind thing to say.) You see, your side says that Ethiopian and Habesha identity are so glorious, only the most confused would choose a clearly inferior identity–Eritrean–created by confused Arab wannabes, Islamists, and people suffering from other colonialism-induced afflictions. (about half of your posts, I would say, have that theme.) Meanwhile, the PFDJ has divided Eritreans into “true Eritreans” and I guess “untrue Eritreans” based on how loudly they cheer its policies. (Remember the ” You Are Not Eritrean If…” list provided by the Isaiasist Amanuel Biedemariam).

            I don’t say what I say to you in anger, or in threatening tone, but disappointment. I thought by virtue of your identity, you could help bridge the divide between Eritreans and Ethiopians–to help us see things from different perspectives–but it is not your gig, and my assumptions were wrong. (I mean, no offense to them, but there are Ethiopians (and Ethiophiles) in this forum whom I barely read and think that their contribution is same-o same-o.) At AT, we are idealist enough to believe in the power of ideas and we think that if we provide people the right forum–and we can guarantee civility–then we will attract intelligent, insightful people (doesn’t matter if it is Eritreans, Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese) and help us make a breakthrough. I call this (in my moments of immodesty): “awate’s civilizing influence.” Hush, don’t tell anybody :). And when I see Nitricc debating Haile; Meron debating Haile; T.Kifle debating me, etc; I feel proud of what we are trying to do here. I have a huge expectation on you (based on what I have seen so far), but I think you have chosen the path most traveled.

            See you on the other side:)

            saay

        • Serray

          Selamat Sal,

          I am here, always reading the articles AND the comments; it is that I just I didn’t come across a discussion I can add value…what I want to say either you, hayat, haile or others say it for me.

          About this guy eyob, he started as self-hating eritrean – my least favorite kind of people – and then he made up a bunch of stories and ended up a confusedly proud ethiopian who crawls eritrean websites searching for occasions to cyber-defend the honor of his adopted country twice removed. In that pointless search, he finds semere trying to reconcile his past to his present and now he is painting him as a racist hitlerite.

          As far as reconciliation between our two people is concerned, we have nothing that needs reconciliation; we are both victims of the same systems. The hostility one side feels against the other is based on either misunderstanding or purposely twisting of facts…as people like eyob and the pfdj cheerleaders do. To tell you the truth, for those of us in the opposition to talk about reconciliation with the ethiopian people is a tabloid like issue; it just gives the cheerleaders of both regimes a chance to lower the standard of discussion.

          But I have to say, it took you a long time to figure out this imposter; he was an impostor when he pretended to be eritrea and he still is.

          • saay

            Yay, welcome back Serray:

            Its good to see you back with your sharp pen.

            I don’t think Eyob is an impostor and I don’t think he is a self-hating Eritrean because he never claimed to be Eritrean: just that his heritage (technically speaking ) is Eritrean. But he does love and admire the self-hating Eritreans, the ones who think the path to the “universal citizen” and the “regional citizen” is to trash Eritrea and its history.

            Anyway welcome back.

            saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Serray, my dear: How refreshing to see you back engaging! Don’t be that harsh on Eyob. I think, Sal was playing the meanest part of him on Eyob.

          • Serray

            Thanks Hayat and Sal,

            Hayal, I like your bird decree example. That is exactly what these people always do. For over a decade now, all they did is adjust the volume on how high or low they yell “demarcation”. They have nothing to threaten the ethiopians with; they have nothing to withhold. What makes our eternally shocked broken disks pitiful is, the germ that make them repeat this crap over and over again is distracting them from truly appreciating what he is doing to their brothers and sisters.

            Talking about distraction…

            Sal, you wrote, “…he [eyob] does love and admire the self-hating Eritreans, the ones who think the path to the “universal citizen” and the “regional citizen” is to trash Eritrea and its history”. Well, Sal, this guy loves and admires you, what does that make you? There are is a lot more of self-hate among people who purposely poke, like you do, like the pfdjs do, than those who put ghedli under microscope. Think about it, you give this guy an open and unlimited access to insult eritrea, eritreans and ghedli any time he wants to, and yet you don’t even believe we need to reconcile with ethiopians before we reconcile with ourselves. Don’t think there is an element of self-hate involved in that setup?

  • “So, Ethiopian, I appreciate you expressing lucidly in how you feel, but sympathizing with the plight of Semere’s past is the first step to reconciling. The way South Africans began to reconcile was to acknowledge past grievances of injustice,”

    dear beyan neegash, I don’t think you understood my point, I was not even attempting to either justify or deny past misdeeds be it towards Eritreans or Ethiopians, but even you just like Semere seem to forget that you are on daily base celebrating independence which you saw as an ultimate solution for your past suffering, and you are no longer part of the “brutal Ethiopians”..We all remember from the the way you conducted your struggle and the way you behaved afterwards, it all seemed the last thing you people should be thinking is Ethiopians. My point is, even if one has to for argument sake accept the one sided story of victim-hood, which happened during a civil war to all sector of society, I just don’t understand how my sympathy towards Semeres bias feeling is going to help the reconciliation process. The truth is Sir, people like Semere are hiding behind the past in order to hide the shame they have brought to their country in the name of independence from “Brutal Ethiopians”. But having said that I don’t mean the past should not be mentioned altogether but if it has to, it has to mean something to today’s reality or contribute something to the present and future. The reality is no matter how Semere tries to exaggerate the past, the present is NO better than the past and hiding behind Ethiophobia isn’t going to add anything positive to his people’s current plight..If people like Semere have some moral responsibility, they should try and analyze how “Amhara brutality” during active war is different from Tigrigna brutality in the absence of active war.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Ato Semere, Your acupunturing helps only few awatainas who suffer from the chronic dissease inflicted upon them by higdef. Othewise the whold discussion is about how come ethiopia has had a common Language called amharic.

    Ato Semere i repeat again that Ethiopia is made of many ethnic Groups. What you see in Ethiopia now is the result of millions struggel result. Many elf and eplf People try to take credit how ehtiopia still remains as a nation despite their destructive contribution. The true color was seen in 1998-2000.

    Lesson that you have to take from Ethiopia. We never accepted derg from day one utill it dissappeared. We have chalenged tplf for allowing eplf to do its distruction. Look the demonstration which have been perfomed the last few weeks and the one we had in 1993. This has been achieved not in the blaming game. In active participation. Maybe you dont understand what i am saying. But try to a Picture of demonstrators in Asmara and many other Eritrea cities eritreans opposting their government. (you see that Picture!). But in Ethiopia it has not been only imginary Pictures. I hope you have heard about ehtiopia the last 22 years.

    If i’m too generous then Eritrea is in derg time now minus the ethiopians how to mobilize themselves against derg style government. What we got from elf eplf is ethnic poisen the one now you try to spread.

  • Horizon

    This is the second time Mr. Semere has throwing his bombshell against the Amhara ethnic group within the last two weeks. This time he is quoting the scriptures from the Old Testament to arm himself with more firing power. It seems that he has taken the words literary and he is enjoying the quotes, a mosaic law of love going hand in hand with hate, war with peace, killing with healing etc., or an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
    As we know Jesus taught of love (of a limitless love); like loving thy neighbors and even your enemies, forgiveness and empathy. He added also, what is so great about loving your friends; even the gentiles do it. He came, if not to abolish the Mosaic Law, at least to improve it. I do not think that we should live by the laws of the Old Testament, especially that which are not part of the Ten Commandments.
    At the same time, the author talks of noble ideas like, this is the time to love and the time for peace, people should be marinated in love, and he even quoted “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”. He spoke of mutual respect and tolerance, a culture of empathy, understanding each other by being in each other’s shoes, and acknowledgement of sufferings of others. Truth and the importance of understanding, the destiny of his people that is closely interlinked with the region and its people and the importance of regional integration, and enlightened self-interest etc are important to him. On top of these, he said that the people of the Horn of Africa have more in common than any other region in sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, he is lamenting that the trust deficit among the nations of the horn is the main obstacle to move forward. I cannot help but appreciate all these.
    Nevertheless, I fail to understand how he sees the horn of Africa and what his true vision is for the region. When he says the nations of the horn, does it include the Amharas as well? Hateful as he is towards the Amhara ethnic group, can he defend their interest from within his organization? He should known that he cannot serve two masters, hate and love.
    It is his right to hate Amharas as much as he wants, as long as he wants till kingdom comes; nevertheless, he has no right to speak of peace in the name of the peoples of the horn, when it does not exist in his soul. He better change the name of his organization from Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center to Horn of Africa Peace and Development Center for Tigrinya speaking people, because deep in his heart he do not care for others.
    Look at what he said. Although 100% of Ethiopians and Eritreans took part in the 1998 war, despite the fact that he is championing in peace of the horn of Africa he had tears and grief only for Woyanes and Eritrean, even then questionable if it included all Eritreans. In addition, he says that a person from Tigray is a carbon copy of himself, a proud Habesha as he is, spoiled only by Amharas who might be Habeshas as well. He has forgotten one important fact; the people of Tigray do not hesitate not even for a second to declare unequivocally their Ethiopiawinet. They have nothing to be envious of Eritrea and Eritreans. They are proud of their international airports, new roads that connect the different parts of the state of Tigray, Axum is becoming a tourism hub for international tourists, Tigray produces more than 400MW of electricity and on top of these, the train from Tajoura and Addis will soon be at Mekelle train station. Tell us please just one reason why they should feel less Ethiopian than all Ethiopians, especially today.
    The psychological trauma that war causes to a five-year old is unfortunately permanent and horrible to say the least. This is one of the many misfortunes of life. It is one of the many curses of the region. Any rational person should have compassion for the suffering of children in a war zone or elsewhere.
    Nevertheless, if the author cannot free himself from this trauma after forty years or so, he should be true to himself and have the courage and say bluntly that he hates everything Amhara, the people, the language and even the land, instead of hypocritically beating around the bush, like I enjoy Amhara dance and yet I hate the music, the Amharic language is one of the closest languages to Tigrinya, but with clear borders between the two, which makes Amharic no different to him from Swahili etc. This is the sign of extremely narrow nationalism, which unfortunately taint the character of many Eritreans. Amharic is a tool, human beings are political animals and they use language to carry out their political goals, and as much as the author is concerned, any self-respecting Eritrean should never apologize for hating Amharic and Amharas.
    Truth and reconciliation are not empty words. They saved South Africa. If we indeed believe in peace and reconciliation, they could save Eritreans and Ethiopians as well, and of course not only the chosen few according to the author.
    What I see in the author is a person trying to absolve himself of the hate he has for Amharas without ceasing to hate them. It is like a person who does everything under the sun and unfailingly goes every Sunday to the church for his redemption. We should all be reborn. We cannot serve both hate and love at the same time. I would like to set free the author if I could. He should throw away his peace mantle, and wear his Amhara hatred badge with pride. It will free a tormented soul.
    Nothing is far from the truth when one says that Amhara hegemony was the only reason for Gedli. In Ethiopia, there was class hegemony with many ethnic groups participating or being part of that class (of course the Amhara ruling class being the majority and at the head of this hegemony); a good example being Eritreans themselves that occupied many important positions especially in HS’s administration. The truth is that there were internal and external reasons for the Eritrean revolt.
    It is also true that the ruling Amhara elites tried to Amharanize Ethiopia, and not only Eritreans were against it. That is why ethnic federalism became necessary in Ethiopia, even if some are still against it for their own particular reasons. Today, each Ethiopian ethnic group has self-rule, the right to develop their language and culture, and nevertheless they use Amharic as their lingua franca, the language the author abhors so much. According to his views any self respecting Ethiopian ethnic group should be ashamed for implementing the Amharic language as its bridge language that ties them with other ethnic groups.
    “Forgiveness and reconciliation is an evolutionary process; and people must be allowed to take baby-steps.” Ato Semere has taken over twenty years to make the first step, that of reconciling with the only Amhara, Ato Kidane. At this speed, Godot may never be around in this or the coming generations, and one would be forced to say, to hell with it all, let forgiveness and reconciliation come whenever it may. Let the no war and the no peace situation continue forever and let us see who loses the most. Long live the law of the jungle, everybody against everybody, and every country strictly for its own self-interest. Dump peace, cooperation, coexistence and everything that exists in the civilized world. Is this the author’s real aspiration and the thing he dreams for his Eritrea?
    For the sake peace, prosperity and peaceful human co-existence, Jews have forgiven the children and the grand children of the Nazis, Ethiopians have come to terms with the atrocities of fascist Italy, so did the Vietnamese, South Africans and many others.
    The ordinary Amhara has been him/herself the victim of the Amhara ruling class, and Amhara elites have been condemned and paid for their transgressions. Therefore, demanding for accountability from their children and grand children is illogical.
    There are no losers but winners when any painful past history is put to rest. This is what Mr. Semere should do for his own sake and for the sake of his people.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Horizon, right between the eyes!

      Semere woke up suddenly and remembered the good old time 1991-1998. That Train had gone With commrade meles zenawi.

    • welde

      Horizon
      I agree wholehartedly with your point!!!

      I hope ato semere and others will someday write the atrocities committed by the Italian colonial Apartheid system on Eritreans with the same enthusiasm as they do to Ethiopia. The irony is Eritreans, especially the elite, speak of the Italian colony apartheid system as the best thing that ever happened in the history of Eritrea.
      PIA went to Italy to salute the man who was running the Apartheid system in Eritrea.
      What amazes other Africans is this: Eritrean depict Italian colony with fondness.
      What was amazing is, the majority of the residences of Asmara during the Apartheid system, never have been to the city-centre in Asmara until 1952.
      This defies human logic,how come people, remember those who humiliated them and their families and their country, with a happy memory.
      I have no idea, why?.

    • Nitricc

      You must be historian too.
      You are writing too long articles about nothing.
      Don’t give me wrong I hate history but why can’t you people just take easy and talk something we all can learn from. What can possibly any one learn from Semere and your totally waste time garbage?
      Who cares about Amara Oromo or Tigray?
      I am just trying to figure it out what the exact point is? What is the point?
      People, the chapter has been closed and done with Please get a life and write something usefull.

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        The Chapter is closed but not the border! Dont concider Eritrea is one ethnic Group. Eritrea is a mini Version of Ethipia which is still in derg time according to ethipians revolution era. The derg era is too slow in Eritrea so we want have to lend some hands for Kunama, Saho, Bilen and Afar. Tigrinya People can take a good time to evaluate the situation. Our hands is open if you renaunce isayas the way we did to mengistu. No more suffering for the sake of great ethiopia or the mini-ethipia.

  • Hagos

    Dear semere,
    There are people who may describe you as smart and I agree.
    Today you wrote:
    “It is the politics of the Amharic language that Eritreans revolted and fought against and for that no self-respecting Eritrean will ever apologize.”
    If this is what you believe, what would you say to ELF burning Tigre language and banning others from being used in Eritrea, to promote Arabic?

  • Eyob and Amhara
    Once said that a thin line divides madness from ingenuity; here madness is synonymous with “Alienation,” deviation from the streamline mindset, conventional wisdom and the rational fulcrum, conventional premise for inference and deduction.
    Unfortunately, some appear to insist on allegations throwing accusations at Semere questioning his affiliations and loyalties that are WITHOUT foundation.
    Somehow again you seem to reinforce Semere point subject of the “Thought “ and despite many occasions of presenting article and theses on ERA –ETHO (let’s hope the both country can pullout from the sharp division among itself let alone with its neighbouring countries ). I do not understand why you continue to reduce Semere argument on the issue from the respect of universal concepts of observing justice, peace, reconciliation and forward a democratic process in its absolute definition to that of supporting the new way at looking thing. Semere DO NOT SUPPORT fascist regime of the past and present regime that dominated by one ethnic grope or another. He is only, and as past and current events appear to testify, concerned about the polarization of the ERA –ETHO society and failure to bring to the fold, into the political process, the democratic process, a none negligible constituency of the of both People.
    He is NOT calling for the Habisha to be restored to power; the horn of Africa need freely elected member of parliament and President to be decided at the Ballot Box since Eritrea have not decided to go the route of Democracy. All for the sake of an Eritrean belonging to all its constituencies: secular; Christian; Muslims; the rich, the Poor, etc., etc. Chapeau to the old school Crowd if they can achieve this as they already the very first enshrined principle in a democracy:

    • amhara

      Oh yes – Semere’s article is nothing but recycling of the hate and divisiveness that we have seen for the past 50 years. I fail to see any merit in his piece. I do not know about how Semere’s view are taken in Eritrea but I can tell you as I an Ethiopian I find it very disturbing.

      You said:
      “… Somehow again you seem to reinforce Semere point subject of the “Thought “ and despite many occasions of presenting article and theses on ERA –ETHO (let’s hope the both country can pullout from the sharp division among itself let alone with its neighbouring countries ).”

      I fail to understand what you meant by that. I fail to see where I reinforced any of Semere’s thoughts.

      You said:
      “… I do not understand why you continue to reduce Semere argument on the issue from the respect of universal concepts of observing justice, peace, reconciliation and forward a democratic process in its absolute definition to that of supporting the new way at looking thing.”

      There is nothing just, peace loving, even a hint of reconciliation in Semere. He is sectarian and his loyalty is not to the truth but to his ethnic identity defined in the narrowest scope. Unless you agree with his style of gross condemnation of people which anyone with good conscious should find offensive, I do not know how you can interpret his article in the way you did.

      You said:

      “He is only, and as past and current events appear to testify, concerned about the polarization of the ERA –ETHO society and failure to bring to the fold, into the political process, the democratic process, a none negligible constituency of the of both People.”

      People like Semere are not concerned about reconciliation or polarization. On the contrary he is contributing to the polarization of these two nations. They use any forum to promote their hate and divisiveness. I do not want Semere to worry about me. In his own statement he said with friends like him who needs enemies. His concern about democratic process in Ethiopia is nothing more than crocodiles tear. He wants to disfranchise a third of the Ethiopian population. Some democracy that is.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Question,

    Who is “…Supposedly Eritrean…”?

    I have a suspicion that the above has been said about me. I just would like to say to those, who may be confused or blinded by bigotry or hate of their own. I have NEVER been Eritrean nor will I EVER be one. I have NEVER claimed to be one in the past, now or wish to be in the future. Hence, everything I said is not about loving others more than my own, but it is rather loving my own and some more… That’s what we call not growing up consumed with hate to people….. About my stupidity, I would just move on by quoting Forest Gump, and say “..Stupid is Stupid does…”

    • saay

      Selamat Eyob:

      This is what Eyob Medhane (maybe you know him) wrote in response to Serray (the sorely missed Serray):

      “You said you have a problem of placing me. What do you need to do that for? Who I am shouldn’t matter than what I say in this forum. But since you really would like to know, I am very much proud of my Eritrean heritage, because I you perfectly pointed it out for me that my grandfather refused to be an ascari (I hate to use the word, but you forced me to). You see, my family are a kind of Eritrean family who DID NOT teach me to be nostalgic of a colonial master that would never let them pass 4th grade. Or they never encouraged me to be excessively proud of a city that they have very little to do in building it. Therefore, No. I am not ashamed of my heritage. Rather I am very proud of it. Immensely! If we are talking about the country, Eritrea. I am only human. I cannot be attached to a place where I was never born and raised. I however talk about Eritrea and come here to Awate to read about Eritrea, because I am related to those, who actually are Eritreans. (Surprise!)”

      http://awate.com/the-ethiopian-roar-and-the-weary-eyes-of-eritrean-mothers-p-ii/comment-page-1/#comment-9473

      Surprise indeed. This is where awatistas got the idea about your Eritrean heritage. Now you have to decide “men kebdey regixuni” (translation available upon request.)

      saay

      PS: much of the reason that Eritreans put up with your hateful crap is because we think of u as one of our own: lost, but one of our own. Otherwise, if you don’t have the heritage u claim to have, not to disappoint or deflate your ego, but we have heard that Zeraf!Zeraf!akkkkkkkkkekkk stuff (the denigration, the dismissal, the mockery, the ridicule) for 50 years and we have built an effective immunization system against it 🙂

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        You lately miss points on purpose.

        In the old post that you pulled out. I quote “… If we are talking about the country, Eritrea. I am only human. I cannot be attached to a place where I was never born and raised…”. In today’s post “… I have NEVER been Eritrean nor will I EVER be one. I have NEVER claimed to be one in the past, now or wish to be in the future…” See the consistancy? Having relatives in Eritrea and being Eritrean are two different things.

        I also provided you with quotes of the why I think this article we are commenting on is bigoted earlier, in case you missed it…

        One more thing, please make sure you pass the message, that I am not one of ‘their own’. Please..make sure the do it in caps, so they would hear it loudly. 🙂 They wouldn’t have to put up with me, because I am out. I wish not to be in company with those, who ONLY put up with who they think “just their own”

        Peace out!

        • saay

          Take a chill pill Eyobai:

          You asked for my help in the article you are going to write in Ethiopian websites to rebut Semere’s article. Since this will be your first article and people won’t know who “Eyob Medhane” is, I think it is only fair that your signature piece should be: “Eyob Medhane is an Ethiopian who is “very much proud of his Eritrean heritage.”

          You know what they say, Eyobai. You play with the big boys…

          saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Oh Sal,

            Come on. If my signature piece would be that, I think I would get a whole lot of fans! Believe me on that.. 🙂

            Speaking of Ethiopians, who are proud of their Eritrean heritage, look at this one. This is how we Ethiopians, who are proud of our Eritrean heritage do it. We are relaxed, and kickin’ it 🙂 I love the way he does it. The other day BBC tweeted him singing to his staff… Pretty good, ah…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWDU2fWHfjI

          • saay

            Eyobai Wedi Adey neber:)

            It’s perfectly within your right to downplay your Eritrean heritage because I really believe in INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. (This is why I don’t like ancestry politics:) Two things (a) don’t be all shocked when people say this guy is Eritrean because you said you are proud of your Eritrean heritage (b) don’t be all shocked when people you think should take pride in identities you identify with (Habesha, Ethiopia) choose (just like you did) an identity with which they more strongly identify with (Eritrean) and it makes you seem petty and intolerant when you trash and ridicule (“artificial country”) and cheerlead those who denigrate Eritrean identity. Just like you chose to downplay your Eritrean heritage identity (and you feel very strongly about it) in favor of something that seems more authentic to you, there are those of us to whom the “Ethiopian heritages/common history” is something that is of academic interest because we love our Eritrean identity. Live and let live, brother.

            saay

        • Eyob Medhane

          Oh…clarification,

          I meant out of this discussion. Not out of awate….Awate is cute. I will be back, when a better topic shows up…. 😉

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            you don’t get it, do you?

            If you pull up between what I said long time ago, which you did and now about myself, it tells you that I am not a kind of person, who would down play or play up any part of who I am. I would quote, what I said to Gash Saleh the other day “… no matter where my ancestors come from. I don’t have that ‘my blood and my ancestors are better and special than anyone else’ kind of arrogance in me…….” That is me.

  • Dear Eyob Medhane;

    I encourage you to write the response BUT as a wounded Amhara and not on behalf of other “Ethiopians.”

    Whatever you do, don’t do it on our name: Oromos, Ogaden Somalis, Benshanguls, Gambellas, Afars, and the rest of us chained by this imposed geographical location called Ethiopia. Not in our name!

    For Samere,

    Well done. We’re experiencing right now, in Ogaden, what you – and other Eritreans – went through in Mendefera back then.

    As I understand from your writing, I think you seem to have forgiven the atrocities commited against your nation, but not forgotten them. And there is where the difference lies but you – Eritreans – and those who deny the wrongs they’ve inflicted on you in the name of Ethiopia.

    But don’t worry; you were right and just then as you’re now. And that is what matters.

  • Semere Habtemariam

    Selam Sal,

    I appreciate it my friend and thank you for your defense.

    Personally, I’ve made a conscious decision to focus on what I believe is important. As they say: bzeben wbe zAwere’s wbe kbel Hage: one who was blinded during the time of Wbe, always thinks in terms of Wbe. Here is a guy, supposedly Eritrean, who thinks Eritreans are consumed by the hatred of Amhara and no logic or gospel of love would ever change him. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of and he can’t help it. I’m always suspicious and leery of people who love others more than themselves. It is great that he loves the Amarha and other Ethiopians–I can respect him for that–but he has not said anything positive about Eritreans since he started to disgrace our website with his mumbo-jumbo and diatribe. I could tolerate his hatred because I know it is based on ignorance but I’ve a thing against stupidity and this guy is plane stupid who is imperious to logic and reason. zeytseHaflu zenbb.

    His stupidity is only surpassed by his indecency and insensitivity.

    With that, I ask you my friend not to bring my name whenever you engage with this guy.

    I had to make an exception and write this for the sake of our friendship and the respect I’ve for you.

    For those who are commenting with civility, regardless of your stand, you will have my respect and appreciation. Keep them coming!

    To my Comboni baby brother and in the motto of our alma mater, indeed, “Always more, always better.” Unfortuantley, that afro no longer exists.

    Thanks to all my friends who have said kind words about me. And finally, Haile, my position on the border has been clear and consistent from day one and I’ve written about it decade before you made your online appearance. Please read my column and see where you and I differ. I’ve singled you out Haile because I’ve been impressed by your keen insights and observations and didn’t understand why you posed those questions to me.

    hawkum
    Semere

    • haile

      Selam Haw Semere

      I know your stand about you stand on the border, no doubt on that. My questions earlier were meant to engage the direction that is taken on the above article and the one before too. No issues with it either, except to bounce off some of my perspective on the best order to line up the ducks 🙂

      Short of that, thanks again for sharing your story. All is good.

      Regards
      H

    • TES

      Hi Semere
      hats up for your article my habesha brother. I always get entertained by your articles. I don’t miss a single article of yours since I have come to know you on awate.com , and I read them again and again. After reading this article of yours I believe even the most hater individual would be compelled to flinch to have a second thought. It is my hope that many haters from the north- and south of the mereb would come to their senses and stop hating each other. I look forward of buying your upcoming book.
      thanx a lot.

  • Selamat
    Semere’s writings are always honest and bold. He writes clearly and unambiguously; they are so clear it is really very hard for anyone to try and spin them into anything. I am saying this because I am wondering if some people here have really read this article or they have read something else and they are commenting here by mistake. I see some people here so addicted to attention from big guns like saay that when they do not get it from other writers they behave like babies with infant colic. Saay is to blame…

  • Eyob Medhane

    Sal,

    No. There is no hyperbole here. I actually will have an appropriate response I think it’s due to this man in one of Ethiopian websites in the form of article, soon. That is something, which I have never done. (A task I may be seeking your assistance :-)) The goal of my article will be to make Ethiopians aware of his poison. Not to introduce him, but his poison.

    But for now, I will be telling you with quotes of his own words why I thought what he is spewing is ‘hitlerite’ and very much appropriate to associate what he said so far with a wish of ‘gas chamber’ for 26 million Ethiopians.

    “…..“Amhara ymetsu alewu: hdemu” (Run away, the Amhara are coming) is deeply embedded in my memory. It was our negarit, our Tornado and Hurricane Warning, that cautioned us of the impending and inevitable carnage and looting….”

    “….(In the old, we were ruled by the Italians but what is even worse now is that we are being ruled by Habesha like us.) This was to lament the right of self-rule that eluded us…..”

    This is of course to whip up emotion inspired gang ho support against a specific group of people. That is what Hitler used to do, before he came to power. Demonizing Jews and tell his people that is what their ‘enemies’ is.

    He continues..

    “….I would encourage all Amhara Ethiopians to ask themselves who the Tigrayans, the Ormoas, and the Ogadenis were fighting against? ….”

    “…. The Eritreans, Tigrayans, Oromos, and Ogadenis are not that stupid to blame the poor peasants of Gondar, Gojam, Wallo or Shewa, but they had to identify an enemy that was the cause of their real and perceived suffering…..”

    Sal,

    Aren’t you the one, who tells us, so loudly that EPLF and your Ghedli, “never identify people, as enemies, but the ruling class?” So what happened? In which era of Ghedli this man grew up that taught him that “It’s the Amhara that we are fighting. Not only us, but the Tigryans, Oromos,and Somalis also are fighting the Amharas”. It also amazingly dishonest and willful ignorance to say that ‘Tigrians, Oromos, Somalis are living fighting Amharas’. If that is the case, if Ethiopian people had his kind of ‘mein kampf’ mentality, no matter how they lived under unjust rule, they would have killed eachother, ala Somalia. As he said, even though Oromos and Tigrians don’t blame the Amhara farmers, yet they ‘identify’ them as the causes of their suffering. Doesn’t logic dictates that, if one ‘identify’ a group, as his enemy, then he fights it. But that has not happened in Ethiopia, and despite his despicable wish, it will NEVER happen.

    “…Demonizing a whole group of people is certainly wrong, but history shows how effective it is to mobilize the masses. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Casting the enemy as Amhara might have been wrong but certainly not the grievances and the struggle that emanated from them….”

    Ahhhhhh….

    Now here the goal. Here is the purpose of his hate drivel. He of course knows that demonizing a whole group of people is wrong, but he is doing it, as “history showed him”, it is effective to “mobilize the masses”. Understandable. He needs the masses. He wants a whole bunch of people to hate Amhara. He wants to “hail Semere” him. He wants to whip up their emotions no matter how much he knows, it’s wrong to ‘demonize a whole group of people’. He knows that is where it starts to the long journey of exterminating those group of people he hates..

    “…I don’t think there is any statute of limitation that nullifies any desire on the part of victims to seek due compensation for their suffering….”

    Now here is the jest. His strong hate and bigotry does not have a ‘statute of limitation’, as he views himself as a victim. He seeks ‘compensation’. Of course, he didn’t spell out what his ‘compensation’ should be, as time will reveals it. But I don’t think it’s material. I think he wants to be paid with blood….

  • Abdu

    Ato Semere and co.
    Nobody in Ethiopia knows the massacres that you suffered the lose of loved ones in your home villages until one comes and visits awate; and I feel sorry for the suffering most of you carry around with. However,you have to come out of your childhood experiences and see the atrocities in line with the nature and characteristics of the regimes you suffered from.
    The fact that the then Ethiopian military was an Amharic speaking one or the leadership was from Amhara ethnic background can not make the atrocities as ethnically motivated and thus blame the ‘Amharas’ or ‘the Amhara ruling elite’; as both have this ethnic labeling.Rather both the Imperial feudal regime and the military junta have a characteristic of a feudal and military dictatorial systems that it merits to be seen as different form the ethnic labeling. If we have to move on we have to stop pointing fingers at one another over the crimes committed by rulers who had their own motive than anyone, so that this hate that gripped some of you may not pass on to the next generation and peace can sustainably be restored once and for all.
    I call up on all of you to study and reflect on the regimes that you suffered from free of this ethnic bias and rather focus on the Habesha historical predisposition to solve differences through fighting, i.e Ethiopian history. And the same is true of the sufferings we all face in the recent border war.
    God bless you all!

  • saay

    Selamat Awate Team, awatistas and all our Ethiopian guests:

    On days like today, I want to quit the damn Internet: it is a world where people are persuaded more by the commentary than the actual content of the article people are commenting on. A lot like talk radio shows, another dreadful creation. (this is one of the reasons I directed this post to the Awate Team.)

    Now, now, Eyob. You have used two “Hitlerite” and one “gas chamber” adjectives to describe the writings of our friend Semere, a fellow “Habesha” (a traditional, religious person who has been smitten by the “Habesha” mystique to the extent he is writing a whole book about it, one I intent to read.) Really, Eyob? “Hitlerite” and “gas chamber”? I have one question: are you doing that because that is the message you are getting from Semere’s articles or are you doing that because you know most people don’t read the articles and you are spinning so that people, who will never read his articles, make some vague connection between Semere and “hitlerite” and “gas chambers.” If it is the former, you need to do it by quoting, in context, what he wrote, so he (and his friends) can defend him. If it is the latter, isn’t that incredibly dishonest and UNFAIR? What in Semere’s articles deserves the “hitlerites” and “gas chamber” overreach? Is there no limit to your hyperbole? Are the only good Eritreans those who regret the journey taken to make Eritrea an independent country and everybody else is a “hitlerite”?

    Disappointed.

    saay

    • T.Kifle

      Selamat Sal,

      I am surprised by Eyob’s obsession with Semeres exposition of events. I admit, he seemed careless in framing few sensitive issues in his first article. But, as I see it, this is one of the best articles I came across at Awate and couldn’t make head or tail from the “bigotry” claims of Eyob much worse evoking the Hitler and gas chambers recite. Probably he is oblivion to the effect of perennial lamentations of marginalization (perceived or real) felt to the north side not to mention the despicable memories engrained in our memories given the fact that many of us were born and lived through in a war zone. We, as children, used to chant something similar to the songs Semere explained. Those songs were ways of venting frustrations, anger and hopelessness on one side and send a message of reckoning to fight injustice and imposed deprivation of rights on the other. Ask any next guy brought up in rural Tigray to share with you his childhood memories and his response most likely would be similar to that of Semere’s on way or another. That’s how I remember I grew as a child. Yes, it was painful and at times tempting to let it go and one can fully grasp what those dark times mean only when they actually live through them.

  • Asmerom

    Dear Michael Solomon,

    True that! Semere’s mom needs to take him to Mariam Daarit so he can be cured of whatever is ailing him. Or just Massawa would do. Once he goes to Massawa and sees the still bombed out buildings (courtesy of the Ethiopian Air Force) or goes down to one of the veterans hospitals in Eritrea to meet the paraplegic Warsays (courtersy of Weyane Tigray) he will feel a little differently about singing the tunes of “Weyane Tigray are my brothers” crap.

    It’s easy for him to call a Weyane Tigray my brother since he doesn’t have a younger brother or sister that needlessly lost a limb or is paralyzed for life as a result of the senseless, greedy war Weyane launched in its dream of “Greater Tigray.”

    Yeah, easy for you Semere. Because you weren’t affected.

  • amhara

    Dear Said,

    Thank you for attempting to tell me what Semere is saying is good for me. I was not born yesterday and I know the likes of Semere. I know all about them. He is spewing hate for Amharas and it is plain to see. I know Amharas are the favorite whipping boys for Eritrean nationalists as such you have over looked what he said and just read what you like. May be you agree with his views of Amharas.

    The gist of Semeres article is playing the victim card. Eritrean nationalists have been playing this like a broken record for the past fifty years. It is nothing new. I am a bit surprised that this kind of thinking is still prevalent among Eritreans.

    You call Semeres writings neutral observations. Well I can not disagree more. This is not the first time often Eritrean nationalists present their one sided stories, lies and partisanship as neutral.

    You also say –
    ” I am surprised how the central themes of his writings, thought for long as the acceptable premise for logical reasoning, remained worlds apart with the socio-political observations and near ideological conclusions of ERA –ETHO commenter’s that are considered smart and intellectuals equal or surpassing writers, they have not being reformed ”

    Wow Who in his/her right mind accepted Semere’s permise as logical and acceptable. That is mind boggling. It will be hard to find any neutral observer who accepts Semeres points as logical or reasonable. As an Ethiopian I find his writings offensive and anti Ethiopian.
    It is amazing how Eritrean nationalists are blind. They take their extreme partisanship and one sided positions as neutral. We have seen this throughout the so called libration war.

    When I see Semeres writings and people cheering him on – I loose hope that these two nations will become sisterly nations as they should in the near future. May be the best thing is the status-quo that is forgetting each other.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Amhara,

      The thing is people like this writer will be consumed, burn and melt away with their own hate. They are behind times (way behind times)In fact, his latest writing shows his frustration that how come his burning bigotry against the Amhara has not rubbed off a larger group of people and “hail Semere” him. I am sure, he would have his ‘gas chamber’ ready for Amharas, if he had the power and the ability. እባብ የልቡን አይቶ እግር ነሳው:: ይባላል:: The good thing is other than making himself think big and important by claiming to be chairing a fake, but impressive sounding organization, and spewing his bigoted views ‘gas chambers’ for Amharas, as he probably wishes to have are way far far far away of his reach…

      • amhara

        Thank you Eyob,

        As the late Martin Luther King Jr said – let us judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. Each person should be judged for what he or she is responsible for. This is rudimentary liberal thinking. That is not what Semere is doing. He is demonizing a whole group of people unjustly and even offers a kind of justification why demonizing a whole group of people is useful.
        I offer the people of Eritrea all my best wishes – but when I see the likes of Semere and his groupies that cheer him on – I say wow the time for reconciliation between these two nations is yet to come. Judging by the fan mail for Semere It seems the hatred for Ethiopia and Ethiopians among some groups in Eritrea is too deep.

    • Dear Amhara
      Semere writing, the core theme and issue, is about peace and reconciliation and appeal from convinced heart for absolute human justice, equality and peace, He is offering a hopeful way, forward from past war and conflict based unequivocally on equality and respect. The colonization of Eritrea by brute force and Militarism and the recourse to old ugly violent and oppressive military means to deny and subjugate are of the past predatory, fascist hegemonic instincts that fuel none ending relentless massive machine killing violence, is a failed of past examples of the perpetuation of old ways in new circumstances in creating a peaceful world.
      The trouble for these Old school Ethiopian warmongers and some hate-filled psychopath intellectual and failed politicians and that we now live in a world of instant global communications where you and me and many ordinary people can hear the words of others without them being brainwashed, lied, warped and poisoned. From disreputable ERA-ETHO agents of disinformation. In old days when the public could easily be misled by hateful, racist and warmongering self appointed elite are rapidly waning and dying.
      To those with access to alternative out let, People can see through easily the self-serving propaganda, utter lies and are intolerant and fabrications of this obnoxious mindset.
      Anyone with an iota of open mind and heart had to be impressed by Semere cogent writing appeal for justices, prosperity, peace and a better Horn of Africa, free of ravaging war and conflict.
      Eritrea People in particular and Ethiopian people are tired of long taxing war, violence. Hope for much better and changing the failed and existing status quo no peace and no war.
      Eritrea is not an enemy or imaginary enemies. Eritrean People and the horn African people in particular, are dead tired and really fed up with baseless war and aggression.
      Many Eritrean People are realizing that their personal suffering is directly related to the way the rest of the regions of horn African are suffering.
      The people want change and transformation .new aspect in a new era, totally new arrangement and direction of doing things, peace, prosperity and progress to overturn an economy based on exploitation and oppression and war must stop, to be replaced by a more human, moral and material ethical, inclusive, efficient and equitable system, one that rights are fully respected and to put an open elected democratic system, not directorship and despotic.

  • haile

    Dear Semere, Awatistas (& all ya lovers n haters out there:)

    “The journey of bringing people together starts with a genuine attempt to understand people, and to creating an environment that is conducive to mutual respect and tolerance.”

    Quick fire questions:

    1 – What qualifies for “genuine attempt” and what doesn’t?

    2 – Where should one begin to “understand people”?

    3 – What is that which is needed to be “respected” by the “mutual” parties?

    I do respect Semere’s input to the discussion, and hope we would mutually respect and tolerate each other’s position:) My take on the matter is that such overtures to peace, reconciliation and loving the hell out of each other must begin by addressing the bone of contentions that is leading to the perpetuity of the divisions. The success would undoubtedly depend on gaining legitimacy in the eyes of the REAL stake holders.

    As we speak:

    1 – There are hundreds of thousands of Eritrean and Ethiopians standing in the line of fire to pay the ultimate price.

    2 – There are hundreds of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians displaced by the conflict between both countries and awaiting resettlement.

    3 – There are millions and millions of people in the region of East Africa whose daily life is directly affected by the conflict.

    4 – There exist legal and political instrument that was hammered by third parties and accepted by both protagonists as Final and Binding.

    Now then, it goes without saying that anyone can set up an organization of any size to reconcile, build understanding, overcome the divisions… The point is that if it lacks representation of the REAL stakeholders, then it lacks legitimacy, and hence has no fuel for mileage.

    Candid, bold and imaginative solutions are the most helpful. It is not so much as what your preferred solution/s is/are, rather more about being candid and forthcoming about it. In such a spirit and without much further a do, let me call for the immediate and unconditional implementation of the border between both fraternal peoples. Haqi tezaribka ab mengedi babur deqs (Ewnet tenagro babur hadid lay metegnat yshalal, tell the truth and have no fear to sleep on a rail road :-))

    Regards

    • Solomon T.

      Hello Haile,

      I have been lately reading some of your comments on this webpage and you sound to be a well-informed person who believes in reason. But it looks like some of your opinions about the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia don’t seem to be as well thought out and free of crude emotions as your ideas on the domestic issues. So I just wanted to ask you a few questions in case that motivates you to think beyond your emotions when it comes to the relationship between the two nations.

      1.You seem to have a firm stand that Ethiopia should withdraw from all the land that the five old men on the arbitration commission in the Hague said belongs to Eritrea. What comes to the forefront whenever we discuss the border issue is the small town of Badime but do you know that there is much more involved in the border issue than that? For example, let me tell you about the village where I’m from. I was born in home literally a few hundred meters on the Ethiopian side of the current border between Ethiopia and Eritrea in a district called Eda Algeda which lies 10 kilometers to the South of Senafe. There are approximately 15,000 people who live in Eda Algeda which is part of a larger region called Irob . However the whole district of Eda Algeda is arbitrarily put on the Eritrean side of the border by the five old men in the Hague with no justification what so ever except that Eritrea claimed the region and the incompetent Ethiopian government did not produce enough evidence to demonstrate that the region has never been part of Eritrea and no single resident of the region believes or wants to be part of Eritrea. You can ask any Eritrean from the neighboring Eritrean villages of Shimezana, Emba Siora, and Monoxeito and they tell you that Eda Algeda has never been administered under Eritrea and no Eritrean has ever lived there. And there are several other villages that are arbitrarily put on either side of the border both from Eritrean side (like a vast area in the Tsorona and Bada regions) and Ethiopian side. Now, the question for you is what will Eritrea achieve if Ethiopia packs and hands over these people and their land where they lived for millennia) to Eritrea without their consent? Do you think asking people to involuntarily change their citizenship or leave their homeland where they lived for generations is just and will bring lasting peace between the two brotherly people? Is it right for the thousands of people in the border areas to be deprived of this freedom of choice of citizenship, just because the elites like you and the two Salihs want to be vindicated in your beliefs that Isayas’ invasion of those districts was for a legitimate cause because they belong to Eritrea anyway (while some of them clearly do not)? I am asking these questions because your rather rigid stand on the border issue seems to be in stark contrast to the otherwise reasonable person I see in you.

      2.The other issue that you guys often mention as the stumbling block for the normalization of relations between the two countries is the lack of acknowledgment of the suffering Eritreans went through under the Haile Selassie and the Military regimes. Now my question for you (and perhaps others) is that who on the Ethiopian side today do you want to apologize on behalf of those regimes? As far as TPLF is concerned, they have not only acknowledged your suffering under those regimes but they paid a hefty price to assist you gain your freedom from those regimes and still have unwavering support for Eritrea’s independence. So, is it the Ethiopian people (who suffered the same atrocities under those regimes) that you want to collectively apologize for the crimes committed by the unelected regimes or is it the living individuals who participated in those regimes that you want to hear from?

      You brother from the other side of the border!

      • haile

        Selamat Brother Solomon

        You thought my position on the border is emotion, but ended up making rather emotional statements, especially in #2. Let me give my views on the points you raised in order of high emotion to low emotion 🙂

        2 – At NO point did I ever sought for Ethiopian apology. I don’t think it is practical nor do I think it serves the purpose of building understanding. I can speak about how things are in Eritrea. In there, I have rarely come across people who have Ethiopia or TPLF as a main talking staple. People I meet tend to be most concerned about their lives and their aspirations for the future. My experience of Ethiopia and Eritrea being discussed in the same sentence with “gas chamber” is only here in the diaspora. That is why I think this discussion is going off the rails without the Real stakeholders. I am painfully aware of the fact that many Tigrayans, under the TPLF, have paid the ultimate price in collaboration with our cause, likewise Eritreans in the flip side. Therefore, you made a sweeping assumptions as to my views of the relationship between both peoples.

        1 – Here you made a credible case. You are affected by the conflict in the way it resulted in your community to be negatively impacted. Another commenter welde was here last time and expressed the other side of your argument since he is from Tsorona and is Eritrean. I am not from either of these places and I am affected by the problem in the way it is used to stifle the future of our country by an oppressive regime. So, here are three people, affected in three different ways and believe in three different forms of settlement (2 if you combine yours and welde’s).

        My point in the comment that you responded was that regardless of the solution we envision, we need to be candid.

        Now, imagine that the Ethiopian government candidly announces that “we wish to demarcate the border on the bases that locations xyz be given to us and we are willing to return locations abc.” That is candid to me. On the other hand if it says “We accept the ruling unconditionally “in principle”, we wish to ensure there is durable peace afterwards and hence need to normalization dialog first.” That is not candid and doesn’t help anybody’s case. Not yours, not mine, not welde’s.

        Yours and welde’s points of views are valid and merit to be heard. My views are born from the notion that both countries need to end the conflict using the solution already proposed since it is accepted by both sides. However, if there are imaginative and assured ways of resolving your’s and welde’s concerns, it doesn’t really undermine my interest to see the state of Eritrea’s territorial endowments, for which I am the rightful title holder is legally defined and recognized. My solution is more about the end than the means taken. Because the means is, in the end, at the hands of the groups holding state powers in both countries and those organized to oppose them. As a citizen of Eritrea, I have a vested interest in the assurances of potential territorial disputes are neutralized. Internal matters of our respective countries are of course the responsibility of their respective citizens.

        What we need is honest people with a true sense of responsibility. Now the question to you is, Solomon, would you publicly criticize the Ethiopian government for taking confusing subterfuges and call on it to clearly outline the concerns they have within the bounds of work of defining the boundary? Throwing in things as regime change, durable peace, degrade capabilities… are dishonest evasion of the issue, which is only about finalizing the boundary one way or the other and calling it a day. May be then, the real stakeholders on the matter (Ethiopians in Ethiopia and Eritreans in Eritrea) may breath a sigh of relieve and deal with internal situation the best way the could. In stead, and most sadly, their diaspora spillovers are playing merry go round telling atrocious stories and irresponsibly polarizing exchanges to ignite fires that they are far away to face the burnt first hand.

        Your brother from Zoba Ma’Ekel Eritrea 🙂

        • Haile,

          ‘Your brother from Zoba Wexa’e’ could be more appropriate with your case…. k.kkk

          • haile

            Meron nebsi:)

            lol…@ “from wexa’e”

            I said FROM zoba Mae’kel NOT IN zoba Ma’ekel!

            So, I am not FROM wexa’e BUT IN wexa’e!

            So here goes, your brother from zoba ma’ekel
            verrry long to say
            your brother from wexa’e! Is that how you see yourself? and hence can’t associate with the problems of those IN that place You’re FROM? … huh ma’ah gerimuni moytu 🙂

          • Hailat Aba Tireg,

            What do you use the word ‘from’ to indicate? Is it intended to inform the recipient where you are posting from, or where your country or village of origin is located? Please help me to clear my confusion (to others also may be) then I (maybe we) could understand what you really mean in the future…
            What is that mention of “problems” at the home and my “association” to is meant? Don’t you know that the difference between you and me is mainly rests on that. Hailat nebsi… we two are in diaspora or ‘from Zobo Wexa’e’… ah that is too long ‘from wexa’e’ but one is totally ‘gave up’ and may be disassociated and the other is totally resisting for any kind of give up and keenly engaged with matters at home – yet we two are diaspora and our contribution for good or bad is marginal.

            Hailat I am really enjoying you. I hope Solomon would not bend you on your border stance with his illegal position as far as the applied jurisdiction is concerned. By the way I am wondered to see you legitimize his case easily without giving a look to what EEBC arbitration or the Algiers agreement has to say or other proved experience are in place in case of such occurrences. I am taking homework to redescover those documents and learn more on this particular issue.

            Nevertherless don’t you his mockery on those 5 judges is a mockery on Justice? Those judges have nothing to do with the case but the justice process brought them to that position. Those good guys are the products of Eri-Ethiopia circular route to justice. They just came to action after the two sisterly countries found themselves in small skirmish after the failure of their leader to solve the case peacefully though discussed it through delegates and their formal letter communications (which later became public), escalation of the war by Ethio parliament’s resolution (which is formally is valid to date), Algiers negotiation and agreement upon the negotiation (that’s where they laid what kind of legal preceding should they follow and how they should deal to what the jurors had to say), and then the formation of EEBC on the mutual consent of both parties and the decision upon their evidences and deliberation. According to EEBC delimitation was not even that difficult, because it was meant to be done as per the successive meetings of both parties alongside the body (EEBC) for which Ethiopia had refrained to send delegation in between.

            Hailat You may not need to mention Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministers’ declaration of success on that matter, E TV’s congratulations messages and ululation programmes and the wide range of celebrations held in Addis and other major cities. Ajoka ata wedi… bounce back, facts are on Eritrea’s side and can help you to lecture Hayat on her ‘Mr. So So’ attack to you and your likes… hah.

            Babur mestet ilka kabta megedi keytihadim haderaka… haha

            Your Brother from Zoba Wexa’e… haha

          • asmara

            Hey Meron,

            I was about to write a reply to you on the other post, mostly in favor to what you said there – but realized things have moved on. But I saw you were at it with those usual suspects the weekend through!

            On this post, again I see some otherwise very loud Eritreans when it comes to defaming the Eritrean government, projecting their weakness and also notice, in dismay, the fear gripping such people not to be firm on what they stand for and not to freely say, what is right regarding the border issue – and go just round the bush, saying silly things, and worst of all apologizing for their stand. It so pathetic!

          • haile

            Meron kief zelewa joke @ “Babur mestet ilka kabta megedi keytihadim haderaka”

            Well, ab mengedi babur deqs ember, babur entemetset teregets aytebahlen 🙂 Don’t extend my commitments, it is tall order as it is.

            In honesty, I might have confused you with “From”. You see, Solomon was saying “from the other side of the border” which I took to mean his origin rather than physical location. My response was intended to be read in an equivalent frame of context. Well, I see how it can be misleading, be assured however, I wasn’t intending to complete a sender entry in a mail envelop 🙂

            Ah…the border! I don’t know if you followed the multitude of exchanges I went through with awatistas on that. Many links, many analysis, many tsnah kerEyeka eye…has been gone through on the topic by me. That was until an elderly Eritrean gentleman by the name Salih Gadi have come along and said “anta wedi, it is a sin to keep beating the dead, gdefena nbleka alona :-)). Well, that served me a marching order onto picking a fight with IA 🙂 (Just pulling your legs on the last thing).

            Here is my perception or formulation of my concept about the issue. The matter is actually complex, far complex than some try to make it appear.

            The border was delimited following the Algiers agreement. We have a lot of information on who did what during the proceedings and afterwards, it is a public record. The body tasked to finalize that aspect of the peace treaty has long declared that their task has been discharged as per the specific clauses of the treaty that set out their mandate. They produced a virtually mapped demarcation and validated it as an acceptable product, citing the same undertaking in Kuwait- Iraq? boundary. The UN accepted it. It recognized it and is now officially deposited with records office of the UN Cartographic center.

            There is no harm in understanding and sympathizing with those affected by the outcome. It is human to do so, it is natural to do so. But, lets set out the priority of jurisdictional hierarchy in a nation state here for your viewing pleasures:

            1 – the highest: the state powers, citizens, land, territorial jurisdiction

            2 – the governing structures, the group/s in charge of these governing structures, thus also assume [constitutionally delineated] state powers, international, regional and other transnational treaties and agreements.

            3 – Non-governmental organizations, associations,institutions, think-tanks, lobby groups…

            4 – Plain old you, me, Solomon…citizens

            Now then, the issue, i.e. territorial dispute is pitched on priority #1 [highest order]. Above, pretty much, everything else. The state of Eritrea has entered into a Final and Binding treaty, for which it is held to account, under priority #2. The same with the Federal State of Ethiopia.

            It would make every sense for citizens, who are in #4, to understand and sympathize with each others situation as it pertains to this problem. However, the matter has been elevated to an internationally recognized and legally operable treaty obligation that defines the boundary between both fraternal peoples.

            It is not confined to a particular group that has convinced or forced its way to hold state power at any given point in time. It is a State level issue. Meron and PFDJista seem to look at it as the acid test of loyalty to a regime. Some in the opposition seem to wash their hands off and hope it would facilitate change of governance (that is coming veeery soon 🙂 ) Well, it ain’t. It would be a problem of a complex nature. Hence, my decision to stick with the safe and straight forward resolution (especially when some are discussing “gas chambers”). If a responsive and responsible opposition has other idea, it needs to come to the table, if Ethiopia has a way to square the circle, it needs to state it candidly.

            Other than that, I am sleeping like a log on the rail road, don’t disturb 🙂

            Regards

          • saay

            Selamat Hailat:

            That was until an elderly Eritrean gentleman by the name Salih Gadi have come along and said “anta wedi, it is a sin to keep beating the dead, gdefena nbleka alona 🙂 )

            Ha! Saleh Gadi is in his 50s. I know “elderly” is a relative term, but is it now used for people in their 50s? Just curious. It must be because SG is threatening Eyob he is going to curse him, something old people do back in Eritrea. “aregit diKha zbelka? bel, kemay ayt’ireg ileka alekhu!”

            Anyway, the man who wrote just when he was 20 years old the lyrics “I hope I die before I get old” (Pete Townsend of the legendary band “The Who”) is 68. Time, notwithstanding Einstein, has a weird way of marching in a linear way.

            saay

            PS: Nitricc is back (from re-calibrating the Drones for The Man) and eway yHasbelka zelo!

          • haile

            Selamat Saay

            I think SG is ab brku zestenfis menEsey (seriously!). I was actually latching on his “mergemu qrb new yale” to Eyob 🙂

            Nothing is terrifying as a joke is denied the status of a joke and instead it is down graded to habereta 🙂 I call that “a joke going the German bear”:) Germans are reputed to giving you blind stare after you tell them a really funny joke. There is nothing wrong with the joke, they just want time to process it. It is common to observe a German bursting into laughter suddenly, of a course, about a joke told to him/her 5 minutes ago 🙂

            Cheers

            PS: ah…my friend Nitricc, he is now after JEBENA itself…watch out 🙂

        • Solomon T.

          Selam Haile,

          Thanks for clarifying your position on the issue of ‘apology’! I might have mixed up the opinion I read from others with yours but the question still stands to those Eritreans who appear to dwell on the issue while I don’t really see who they are pointing their fingers at.

          Regarding the border issue, if you think that I’m making a credible case when I say it is not as simple as Ethiopia just packing and leaving those areas, isn’t the Ethiopian government making the same case when they say ‘we accept the ruling but let’s negotiate’ how to handle situations like the one I described above? Now, you can have your own suspicions (which I understand) as to whether the Ethiopian government is willing to negotiate in good faith or just using the delaying tactics to further weaken Eritrea as a nation. But the only way to find out would for the Eritrean side to take the offer and start talking. The Eritrean government’s stubborn position that there will be no negotiation before Ethiopian withdrawal (which many of you appear to support)while you acknowledge that there are ‘credible’ cases of mistakes in the arbitration commission’s decision is giving the Ethiopian government an opportunity to further weaken the state of Eritrea. Ethiopia is under no pressure to resolve the issue quickly while Eritrea is clearly suffering under the status quo.

          You said, Ethiopia should be specific about what it is willing to give in exchange for what but that can only happen when there is a partner willing to negotiate on the other side. The reason why the world community is not pressuring Ethiopia to move on the border issue it seems is because of the ‘credible’ case it is making combined with the belligerence of Eritrea.

          I would disagree with your statement that “… it doesn’t really undermine my interest to see the state of Eritrea’s territorial endowments, for which I am the rightful title holder is legally defined and recognized.” I believe the land belongs to the local communities that have lived in the area for centuries and nobody should force them to leave their land or change citizenship without their consent because of arbitrary actions by those who have power.
          Your brother!

  • beyan neegash

    Dear Semere,

    I forget who was it that said, paraphrasing here, “brain is inherited and the mind is developed.” I have knowing you since mid-nineties, the evolution I see in you as a person is absolutely phenomenal. Please keep on evolving those who want to hate will continue to do so; but then, don’t mind them because they may not have the totality by which to judge; and those of us who have been lucky enough to have known Semere the person in person, we will keep on appreciating when we see the blooming taking place right in front of our eyes. So, thank you little brother – keep on nurturing and developing that mind, Eritrea needs such indispensable brain power.

  • Since we have some skilled Ethiopians(the likes of Eyob and Horizon), skilled enough to handle the diplomatic front, I would personally prefer the more common approach when it comes to dealing with such a repetitive Eritrea foul-cry that doesn’t seem to have an end despite the fact that they have been beating independence drum for over 2 decades. My question to the likes of Semere is, you often write about your feeling towards others, but don’t you think you have given your feelings too much weight that you are failing to see the real issue that matters to your country today? As an Ethiopian, I know it helps if you people choose reconciliation over animosity, but I don’t understand why some you still act as though we are just finding-out how Eritreans rightly or wrongly feel about ethiopians. For the better or worse we are now separate entities and Ethiopians have their own interest to protect with the last thing in their mind being your feelings. But It is just mind boggling what you are trying to achieve in every practical sense by constantly moaning about the past? From what I understand, it seems you have come to the realization that the worst you can do by belittling Ethiopia has come to an end, hence you probably feel the need to keep the hate momentum in order to redress pr-independence lies..you like many Eritreans seem too insecure about your independence Sir!

    • beyan neegash

      Dear Ethiopian,

      I have never been this hopeful about the Ethio-Eritrean matters than this time around, at least in the virtual world. I, too, love the fact that the likes of Eyob and Horizon (I didn’t know Horizon was Ethiopian, the more the merrier) have crossed to this side of the border, virtually speaking, to engage their brethren from the North.

      That is how dialogue is nurtured and sustained. The fact that you are making your feelings be known in how you perceive Semere’s note, which was inadvertently expressing your feelings in how you feel about an entire nation; that erroneous generalization notwithstanding, I totally agree with you that one person’s feelings is not how nations gauge the mood of a nation. What it illustrates however is that the scars and the imprints of Ethiopia’s atrocities under Haile Selassie and Mengistu are not easily erasable.

      The comparison may not be precise or apt, but it is like asking an African American who is being discriminated, however subtle the discrimination, to ask him/her to stop whining and complaining just move on and do something about it without any kind of constructive alternative.

      Semere is not representing any entity or organization, at least, that is my understanding when I read his articles; he is expressing his worldview and the schemata from which that experience emanates gives the reader a window to that very personal world in which he was reared. It is out of such personal world as shared by an individual we begin to see the emergence of patterns. For every feelings expressed in the manner of Semere’s there are thousands who can relate at personal level to such sentiments.

      Now, it becomes incumbent upon us as readers to begin to see beyond the personal, broadening our horizon, thereby, hopefully to notice the commonalities that emerge. I am a firm believer in Eritreans and Ethiopians having far more commonalities than differences. In fact, this may sound absurd or naïve to many, but I was an advocate in the mid-nineties for young Eritreans to learn the language of our former brotherly people now our neighbors if Eritrea was going to equip its citizens in becoming productive entrepreneurs. Of course, I knew no one was going to listen to such sentiment or feelings but I wanted it to be known how I perceived Eritrea’s future.

      Dear Ethiopian, you state, “But It is just mind boggling what you[Semere]are trying to achieve in every practical sense by constantly moaning about the past?” I did not see any moaning in Semere’s part; all I saw was an individual Eritrean expressing and telling his personal journey into this world and how delicately entwined, for better or for worse his life is, with Ethiopia of his formative years in the helm, and untangling it would require a delicate language of diplomacy, language of reconciliation to reach to higher level of understanding and mutual brotherhood.

      Otherwise, the first instinct as always is with those who happened to be in power is no different than what we see here in the U.S.’s some mainstream culture: utter lack of sympathy to how the country betrayed blacks and failing to see the connection between past atrocities and present day social ills amongst black Americans is to fail them again and again.

      So, Ethiopian, I appreciate you expressing lucidly in how you feel, but sympathizing with the plight of Semere’s past is the first step to reconciling. The way South Africans began to reconcile was to acknowledge past grievances of injustice, thereafter, begins the work of cooperation to co-exist as people who have long historical and heritage ties we have commonalities that can nurture and sustain us from here to eternity – let us focus on that.

      • beyan neegash

        Dear eastafrican,

        I am not so sure what the “wowing” is all about. EPLFites will be the first ones in line to think such ideas as reconciliation with Ethiopia a nonstarter and they will quickly add that my likes are “tigray wannabes; amhara appeasers” and any variations thereof that you can think about. I am seeing the seeds of people to people talk being incepted and wish that such trajectory continues and gains momentum.

        Throwing labels such as EPLFites, Weyanians, Amharawyan, etc. does not help foster brotherly talks. As the very choice of your namesake suggests (East African), you are one who is beyond awrajja and teklaigzat identifications, therefore, let us aim with a long range goal of East African assignation; but every lofty ideas such as your penname must start with the baby step that must be nurtured and handled with kids gloves so we may reach to that ultimate goal of United East African (Horn of African) states. Now, I don’t know about you eastafrican, that is music to my ears.

        Sincerely,
        Beyan

        • eastafrican

          You stated that Ethiopians need to apologize to Eritreans as a pre condition for reconciliation. As an Ethiopian there is nothing we Ethiopians have to apologize for. What I see in this forum regarding Ethiopians does not encourage reconciliation. It is demonizing Amharas, talking about Ethiopia as prison of ethnic groups etc. We have seen this for the past 50 years spearheaded by the philosophy of EPLF. As somebody here said it, it is always playing the victim. I see much hate and ill will for Ethiopia coming from some corners of Eritrean society.

          As to the brotherly talks – Semere’s article here demonizing Amharas makes me loose all hope. The young generation of Ethiopia does not want to be reminded of Eritrea. The legacy is that of hatred and divisiveness – Semeres rant is a throw back to the old days of EPLF. When you see people like Semere and all his supporters and admirers on this forum – which includes you – what can I say – it is not a hopeful sign for reconciliation.

          As to your advice on labeling people, it is more useful to Semere. He demonized a third of the Ethiopian population.
          Finally – I like your optimism

  • Amhara
    With tons of writings explaining Semere points of view on the political events ravaging the horn of Africa foremost the last two decade Eritrean and Ethiopian political developments since early 90th, Semere writing is more in the spirit of a neutral observer judging events from the broad optic of the universal. I am surprised how the central themes of his writings, thought for long as the acceptable premise for logical reasoning, remained worlds apart with the socio-political observations and near ideological conclusions of ERA –ETHO commenter’s that are considered smart and intellectuals equal or surpassing writers, they have not being reformed .

    Amhara ,I am surprise and struck, and without sounding condescending, that the gists and central themes of Mr. Semere writings never sank into the minds of you and others so called educated, intellectual counterparts bringing up arguments in support of your point of view that for long Semere figured he had visited in those writings made available in a timely manner to these friends of awate site readers.

    True that for long many of good will people of both side have been greatly suffering the barreness of intellectual and cultural life as people are taken by mostly old socio-political clichés summarizing attitudes in moulded patterns in lieu of learned objective research in keeping with changing times and epistemologies, nevertheless, the good common doers at time many feel sense of alienation and frustration trying to relate only got compounded. That’s the true suffering as physical health remains, Grace a Dieu, intact. Bravo Semere

  • Asmerom

    I agree with the dude that said Eritreans need to stop being sheep. This has been a problem throughout our history.

    What happens to sheep? They get slaughtered.

    And that’s been what’s happening to Eritreans because they keep getting fooled by the Ethiopian jackals, only to end up forgiving them and seeing it happen all over again.

    History repeats itself.

    Those who never learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Stop being sheep Eritreans.

  • Dear Semere –

    I read your writing in sadness!! the writing appears to be direct infusion from “the western plan for the horn” I believe doctor Berket Habtesellassie has been working for his entire life – aka Eritrea’s re-unification project with Ethiopia. Most people of his type are organized as “chairman of some civil society ” Weygud!!

    I suggest my dear friend killete shewate to any debrie in Eritrea might do it if not Mariam Daarit in Keren will do it for sure….

    Respectfully ,
    Michael

  • gebreamlak

    I am a young Tgraian Ethiopian. In the past 5 years, I have met many Eritreans and discussed politics and history with them. I have once in a while visited Eritrean websites to gauge Eritrea’s public sentiment. Sadly, most of my encounters with Eritreans, in person or virtually in the cyber world, have not been helpful and inspiring. I came to understand that Eritreans have a great sense of victim-hood +superiority-complex which is puzzling. There is a great misunderstanding, consuming hatred, and scaring contempt for Tgrains in particular and Ethiopians in general. I saw Eritreans go extra miles to show that they are different from Tgraians. I am afraid the evils of demonizing the Tgrain peoplethat you have mentioned in your article has taken root in Eritreans.

    I sometimes give up hope on the idea of normalization, integration. Sometimes, scared by the toxic speeches, I happen to think that maybe our tight separation is not that bad at all, at least it gives some relative peace. I have to say that this article has a lot of sense, substance. It is written with a serious attempt at understanding and reflection, soul-searching. Thank you so much , Semere, for an article like this. Thank you for restoring a scant hope in sanity of Eritreans and future Integration/cooperation.

    • “I sometimes give up hope on the idea of normalization, integration”

      Rightly so Gebreamlak! I also have similar experience to that of yours and I have come to a realization that I should have thanked PM Meles Zenawi for everything I have accused him of in regards to Eritrea’s secession. The man just took a tumor out of Ethiopia once and for all and it took me a good few years to understand that.
      Adding to the point you made about normalization, early normalization is like early-releasing a patient from a psychiatric ward..It is a generational issue that needs generations to heel and the only thing that can change most Eritreans is a proper reality check for a good 50 or so years without giving them any chance of normalization. only time will achieve a sober generation…otherwise it will be like tatbo chiqa..

  • amhara

    Ato Semere is relaxing his hate circle a little bit. He excludes the Tigrayans from his circle of hate and concentrate on the Amhara. Nationalists like Semere refuse to see Ethiopia as a nation but a collection of groups at each others throat. As an Ethiopian and as an Amhara he wants me to ask forgiveness from him. My father was jailed by Haileselassie. When the Derge came my father was imprisoned for counter revolutionary ideas. His only crime was being a liberal thinker who rejected totalitarian systems. As a family we lost everything we had and survived with great difficulty. My older brother was killed by the Derge after a long imprisonment. We were hoping he was going to be pardoned. Several members of my extended family fell victims to the Derge regime. In spite of all this I never doubted my Ethiopian identity nor did I hate anyone.

    People like Semere are fond of playing the victim card. He wants me to apologize to him. If Ethio-Eritrean friendship is going to be based on the conditions Semere laid out, there is going to be little progress in this direction. I owe Semere nothing. Ethiopians owe Semere and people like him nothing. If Semere represents the typical Eritrean thinking then Ethiopians beware. We should wait until people like him get over their hate of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Let us give forgetting each other a chance. I am afraid this may take another generation.

    Ato Kidane must be a naive man to strike a friendship with Semere. A person who hates him – not for his personal qualities but for his ethnic background.

    • Kokhob Selam

      amhara,

      papillon said “I admire your courage for digging your heels deep and standing firmly ….” when i saw her comment found it to be the same as mine. she didn’t put that way except when she saw the wisdom the guys owns. yet you are saying “We should wait until people like him get over their hate of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.” I don’t think he was not aware that he will face such type of risk but even the opposite type of risk from others. yet as papillon put it his courage should be admired.

      His commitment for love and peace has lift him above all what you are saying. I hope you will also go beyound the revange world and work for peace.

      Semere, I can see your strength as the man who is strong always challanges his own self first and lead others. I love your way.

      • amhara

        Kokhob,

        May be your thinking is along the same lines as Semere. He denigrates a whole people and nation rather than seeing each individual as a person ascribes blame to all Amharas and yet you admire him and accuse me of revenge. To you regurgitating the same old hate of Amharas is a value to admire. For me it is amazing that a person who claims to be educated thinks like this.

        I do not see any love or peace making in his writing. Again I am amazed you find merit in his confessions. For the record I do not much care what people like him think about me or anybody else.

        Eritrean nationalism is always seeking a scapegoat for all catastrophe they find themselves in. Often times their own making.

        There is much talk about rapprochement between eritrea and Ethiopia. If Semere is the best Eritrea has to offer on the menu then – it is a bad omen for the relationship of the two nations.

        Semere’s rant is the same old EPLF hate propaganda warmed over and served with garnish. That dog does not hunt in Ethiopia anymore.

        • Kokhob Selam

          amhara,

          I am trying to see but I couldn’t find.

    • rahwa

      Amhara, you need to read YG articles. He explain the gedli illnesses very well.

  • kahsay

    “Defining oneself by hating others loses its meaning”

    I also salute for your correct expression of the root cause of the problem in new Eritrea, attempting to build identity by undermining others on the bases of baseless illusions.

    The Tegadlo and other Eritreans who were struggling to regain their freedom could have claim freedom on the bases political justifications with out blending it with false fabrications,and baseless sense of superiority based on false values and so called civilization which their fathers and forefathers didn’t claim rather ashamed of it,specially the latter.

  • Petros Haile

    Truth and reconciliation go hand-in-hand and this is where the rubber meets the road. History matters; and that is why we need responsible and thoughtful people to come to the forefront and lead. But, when everything else fails, enlightened self-interest should guide regional cooperation. The Horn of Africa is one of the least developed and most conflict-ridden regions in Africa. No one benefits from the continuance of the status quo, and we need to change and think differently.

    Keep up the good work !

  • GM

    Dear Semere,

    Nice article.
    I agree with you on the concept of our common (Eritrea-Ethiopia) HABESHANNET.

    Then why befriend with individuals as SG and SY, PROMOTERS of alien arab language and culture in our Eritrea???

  • Senay

    Dear Semere,

    The tigrinia saying goes “kab saEsaEkas teqotsatse” . Since you started shading some light on your back ground and your childhood adventures, allow me to share with you a snap shot of a brief moment from my childhood memory.

    When I was in elementary school in Khartoum Sudan, our mini-bus stopped by a huge building to pick up other students. I stepped out of the car and went inside the compound to look for the others. What I saw then, remained ingrained in my mind until this day.

    It was a High-school graduation ceremony. The rich, the spoiled, and brat Sudanese boys were running wildly around the school compound in groups. They stole/brought to school their mothers jewelries and formed several groups. They were dancing, singing, clapping wearing the jewelry and were enjoying their graduation ceremony with their classmates. Among the group, there was a skinny young man of medium height, with an afro wearing a white shirt and blue pants celebrating his high school graduation. That young man was Semere and it was at Comboni School Khartoum, “Always More, Always Better”.

    One thing I admire about you is, you are open and honest. You present yourself with all honesty and lay it out there who you are, what you believe, and where you are from. Your are not pretentious, judgmental or seeking attention. Simply, You are just an open book. That is an admirable quality.

    I always believed that, to know and respect others, one has to know himself first. He has to feel comfortable in his own skin and his roots. He has to embrace who he is and be proud of it. Once he does that, he approaches others with frankness and the barriers of mistrust and suspicion are removed. As the result, honesty, openness, respect, collaboration fosters. And that is what seems to be missing from our society nowadays.

    I wish you the best of luck with your peace endeavors.

    Senay,

  • Eyob Medhane

    Damn it,

    There is a hate feast here in awate. All it took was one racist to bring them out from the wood work…

    Isaac was mad about 19000 ‘warsay’ who died on a battle, not over a middle school children his ‘warsay’ commanders have bombed. This is what bigots do. For them, any human is equivalent with flies other than the ones that are related to them. Very Hetlerisc……Woche guuuuuuuuuuud….

    • Isaac

      Eyob,

      You killed our precious Warsays with your Fenj Regachoch in order to achieve your impossible dream of Greater Tigray. Yes we remember those human waves. They weren’t done with Tigrayans. They were done with welaita, sidama, oromo and whatever else kind you got.

      Apparently you were correct in calculating that some of us are sheep.

      But most of us are not.

  • Isaac

    Semere,

    Man you are a [moderator: careful with your words] xxxx! That is exactly what the Tigrayans were counting on when they did what they did in 1998 – brutally expelling Eritreans, confiscating their property and killing 19,000 Warsays for their impossible dream of Greater Tigray. They did it because they see you as a sheep and they were convinced that in due time, the sheep that you are, you would come around to forgive them.

    19,000 precious Warsays later and Weyane Tigray still illegally occupying sovereign Eritrean land in defiance of international law, and you have forgiven them.

    You couldn’t even wait until they vacated your land to forgive them.

    Man you are a sheep, Semere! And that’s how they see you by the way!

  • kahsay

    haqui,

    i am an Ethiopian ,tigraway,who witnesses the reality during the deportation of “innocent” and innocent Eritreans by the wrong policy of meles,not tegaru.the people i mean.come to Addis and else where in Ethiopia to know as the majority of Eritreans are representing tegaru legally to look afte their propertyr,collect rent fee,send it to them.Most of the tegaru are poor financially but rich morally ,who kept their moral values ,words,honesty and respect the right of their principals.

    Come and see the reality in Addis ababa,where thousands of Eritreans are enjoying peaceful life.It is the tegaru who are helping ,guiding them what and how to do things, translating(specially to the youngsters who don’t even try to speak a single word in amharic)…in their daily life

    It is the tegaru,who are helping, caring the young Eritrean crossing the border to enter to Ethiopia.

    so haqui,romay….it is your choice to live in your illusion,the source of all problems Eritreans are facing these days, and suffer from luck of peace in mind.

    so face the reality,come out of herd mentality,…stand on your foot,honest for yourself,make peace with your self.

    i believe, and i am 110% sure, a powerful Habesha will be the one who will save the turmoil east africa !!!, on the demise of those who failed to alongside reality, just like Haqui,romay….meles and essaiyas sprites.

    Time ,not far ,will come.

    Thank you semere,my hero !!!!

  • dawit

    Mr. SEMERE, your favorite book also has a verse in case you have missed it in Matthew 5:43-48

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. I hope and pray that the tine will cone for you and others who are blinded by hate of PIA and work day and night Eritrea that so many gave their lives to create it. Use your talent to bring peace to the region. Destroying Isaias is not the answer as the case for Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Somalia. Is it Time for Love or Time for Hate? I hope the Time for Peace is not too long for our region.

  • Papillon

    Dear Semere,

    “Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” Those are a reflection of a character at its finest. Those are the words of Richard Nixon at the lowest point of his life. You’ve presented your case eloquently and brilliantly. And I say, it is an intellectual tour de force to say the least.

    I admire your courage for digging your heels deep and standing firmly on the things you believe in. Moreover, I admire you for debunking the secular religion (read: PFDJ) as it is armed to the teeth to reinvent the Eritrean people by disowning their true heritage. To be more precise, Eritreans fought heroically to determine and own their destiny but in the mean time they stubbornly refused to deny their proud Habesha heritage and you’re an epitome to that effect. I salute you for that. As I see it, you’re a new reality, a reality to be reckoned with in a time when Eritrea is about to embark on a new horizon where defining oneself by hating others loses its meaning.

    Haft’kha.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hey Sal,

    Where is my ‘friend’ Admas? His clownish style of hate is much cuter and more entertaining. It is not as poisonous and Hitlerisc. Please bring him back…

  • look who is writing peace and love and yet spreading hate. you are a confused person Mr.Semere!

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Ato Semere!

    If isaias were asked to be a member of ‘Your organizaiton’, he could have said the same thing minus the qutoation of the bible or ‘let’s tigray-tigrinya use Our orthodox religion some use of it’ of Your soon new book.

    If you want to serve Peace first and for most what has been done is done so you take a very long distance from elf and eplf contribution of the misery, the poverity they put the horn of africa in. If it were not for elf and eplf at least People would have a better material life than now.

    Your Method and isayas is the same, except you dont enjoy the power and the Resource isaias has. He has used Your old attack amhara to attack Ethiopia in 1998 ie attack tigray to attack Ethiopia. His evil deed prooved for all ethiopians once and for all what pfdj is capable of doing to put ethiopia in havoc.

    Ato Sembere, some times it is hard to understand how nations work when we are not in them. But i strongly advise you to come back to Eritrea and ‘enjoy’ Your golden lable just because you speak tigrinya. The Ethiopia you hate is now created in a small sacle called Eritrea. Then you would tell us why afar, kunama etc fight against the pfdj, Eritrea, tigrinya, etc. I pick one for you when the time is matured.

    • dawit

      Well AtoAto Semere there is nothing new that you have written that was not spoken or written about the Horn of Africa people cooperation that President Isaias didn’t. I would say it is a plagiarized idea, but I don’t think PIA has a copy right to all his speeches that every leader in the world borrow and present as original idea. Spend some tine reading from the president interviews. You might discover some goodness in PIA than the picture you try to portray him. But in general I enjoyed reading your article, and good luck in your effort to bring peace to the region.

      Tamrat Tamrat, I would say people of your thinking are a course for the region. You need to learn elementary history lesson before you open your ignorance. You pile all problems in our region caused by Eritreans or Isasia. “If it were not for elf and eplf at least People would have a better material life than now”. ELF, EPLF and Isaias are product of Haile Selassie’s policy in the region. If he had the honesty and decency as a respected leader, he should have supported the desire of the majority of the Eritrean People, instead of hiring bandits to intimidate the population by force to vote for his Andenet party. Then there wouldn’t have been the need to the liberation fronts or their leaders. The original sin rests in Addis Ababa palaces.

      “His evil deed proved for all ethiopians once and for all what pfdj is capable of doing to put ethiopia in havoc”. Ethiopian recurrent problems are created by Ethiopian leaders who have been serving the interest of those who hired them. The people who manufacture terror to the region reside in Addis Ababa, and Isaias happened the leader to confront them. haile Sellasie, mengistu and meles are the ones to be blamed and not Isaias or PFDJ.

    • Abdu

      That is a real assignment for the likes of Ato Semere to ponder on!

  • romay

    WoW ” I love, respect, and cherish my three thousand years of Habesha history, its legends, myth, fables, and folktales and I refuse to apologize for it. I am a Habesha whose home is Eritrea and that identity is as sacrosanct as it can be.”
    ኣይተ ሰመረ ኣብዚ እኒኦ ላይ 3000 ዓመት ጽውጽዋይ፡ ኩሉ ናይና

    • Semere,

      Now again you throw your self in to trush

      – Can you give us please the sociological or ethnographic or historical lineage of Habesha. What 3000 years are you talking about? Do you think the people in the horn or the culture exist across the borders in horn are started to count just from 3000 years a go? Please take us on this subject beyond the ‘xiwixiway’ and do not forget that our history and culture (no matter how it evolved) is as old as humanity itself.

      I recommend you to read this piece:-

      http://eastafro.com/Post/2013/09/18/eritreas-history-is-as-old-as-humanity-tsegai-medin/

      And what is Hamessenai means? Do we have a country called Hamassien. Yes there was an administrative name for the region mainly constituted by colonizers for administrative reason called Hamassien. However, with the revision and restructuring of the administrative regions that name and its immaginary lines constituted by the colonizers is replaced bu another one. what we have now is zobatat: Ma’ekel, Debub, Anseba, Gash Barka, Semiyenawi and debubawi keyih Bahri.. that’s all. Even these zobatat are nothing but administrative organisations and can easily be reorganized and restructured for good if needed. So abey ika enkilil tibil zeleka…Do you want us to retain the colonial legacy and its negative spillover effects.

  • haqi

    semere
    I might not agree on everything you stand but I respect you for loving our old, historic province names. we shouldn’t allow the mafia regime to define and terminate our historic names.
    on a different note, how did you forgetthe crimes of tigrians against innocent eritreans who were deported, jailed in the most inhuman way. perhaps you would feel different if you were the family member of the thousands innocent eritreans who lost their property, who were humiliated, jailed for being Eritrean or they didn’t like their eye color.