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Advocates of Civil War

Many readers have suggested that I say what I think I should say the way they want me to say it – flat with no sensations, no room for maneuvers and in black & white. Let us try if I come close to their expectations.

Housekeeping:

A few points to make sure that we actually engage in meaningful exchange:

(1) The assumption here is that you do not know how to bring political change in Eritrea. Of course, I do not know either and that is why I need your input.

(2) If you know how to “uproot the President and his PFDJ”, do not wait for a stamp of approval. We trust you, please go ahead, and show us some action.

(3) What I am promoting here is only one brand of the Third Way. There are a million other brands possible. Just employ your genius and come up with an alternative that satisfies two conditions and you are in the middle of the lane:

a. Any process of change that considers the possibility of a Civil War as an admissible means of political change is undesirable.

b. Any change that does not place the current Eritrean government as the object of change is unacceptable simply because all other alternatives on the plane must necessarily pass through a Civil War or its variants.

Good to Go?

The topic refers to all the regime-change advocates. I will not waste your time discussing what you already know. You are smart enough and it would be an insult to your intelligence for someone to explain to you that Regime-Change Agenda is nothing but a call for a Civil War. What the advocates of this approach are trying to shove into our heads is one core argument. According to them, the journey from our current state of “dictatorship” to democratic government must pass through a devastating civil war, as necessary evil. Here the PFDJ would be wiped out to give way for the alternative that if the opposition succeeds would be parachuted from Ethiopia and if it fails would come through a coup d’état, an armed rebellion and a bunch of assassinations. The Regime Change Agenda does guarantee to take us to the Civil War but it does not guarantee to take us out of it. The alternative of the Third Way holds that, whatever its justification, Civil War is straight evil and it cannot be necessary. Having seen what we have seen out of the civil wars of the armed struggle, it would be insane and irresponsible to wish for one more.

In A Nutshell

The Third Way starts from the admission that the current state of Eritrea is unsustainable and that change in the orientation of governance is imperative. The First Way (the PFDJ Way) is unsustainable because it follows an identical approach to governance as the Second Way (the Regime-Change way). They are both two faces of the same coin. Both of them rely on bankrupt politicians who have nothing to offer other than leading the nation to disasters. The Regime-Change Opposition counts on either regional proxy wars or some kind of coup d’état to remove the PFDJ government in a process that practically requires zero sacrifices and zero creativity on the part of the activists as individuals while they simply wait to be installed to political power through cheap and opportunistic mechanisms involving grave risks to the nation. The PFDJ counts on an endless tolerance and selfless obedience of the Eritrean people in serving abusive processes and opportunistic mechanisms requiring zero policy skills and zero creativity on the part of government officials as individuals in attending to pressing social welfare concerns within the national development agenda.

The Third Way (Our Way) attempts to recreate (not to create from scratch) the alternative that has at its core the imperative of saving the nation from the two brands of adventure, irresponsibility and risky politics. Drawing from previous experiences and operational flaws of original Eritrean civil and political activism, it targets the single most important pillar – the assumption of an endless pool of blind conscripts free of charge – upon which the two ways depend for their very existence. It proposes that we build new forms of alternative activism around two concrete causes. First, we should challenge the opposition to come up with solutions that involve sacrifice and creativity by the activists as individuals on the condition of outlawing the easy exits of Regime Change Agenda and any proposals that eventually lead to any forms of Civil Wars as solutions to the problems of governance in Eritrea. Second, we should challenge the PFDJ government to come up with a national development and defense program that eliminates (at least minimizes) the reliance on the free labor of citizens.

In the short run, as we go forward, we will focus on:

(1) Campaigning for the complete abolishment of the Compulsory National Service program in the long run

(2) Campaigning for outlawing programs such as the Warsay Yike’alo or other variants intended to give the government the license to extend compulsory national service to those that are entitled for demobilization

(3) Campaigning to support the Eritrean government in any efforts that may contribute to its capacity to phase out the reliance on free labor and to demobilize the national service program by joining its fight against all forms of economic & political sanctions that increase the need for reliance on free labor to execute development and defense projects

(4) Campaigning for building consensus against instruments (such as the National Service Proclamation and the 1997 Constitution), that intend to impose Compulsory Free Labor as unconditioned national duty on citizens

(5) Campaigning for accountability and transparency on the fate of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience

The call is to adopt a similar peaceful means of struggle for change to that adopted by the EPDP and other activists in the opposition camp a few years back. In their substance, the two methods are radically different in that, while the EPDP’s peaceful struggle aims at Regime Change by choking the government to death, the Third Way aims for a peaceful struggle that would transform the conflict environment where change would come by making the state of Eritrea better and the government stronger. While the Second Way rests on the politics of despair focused on dramatizing miseries, the Third Way builds on hope by proposing solutions to those miseries.

THE PIONEERS

This frightening situation, where we have come to glorify the civil war as the ultimate dream, and work very hard to make it into reality is a new development in the struggle for democratic change in post-independence Eritrea. It is a bastard of unfortunate events in our recent history. This does sound outlandish even to me after having bought for so long into what seems obvious – the opposition as it stands today is a quarter of century old. That may not be exactly true if we consider some of the examples below. The opposition movement that operates within the four limiting criteria (presented in the previous article) was the mainstream of what Eritreans might have legitimately recognized as meaningful opposition movement.

The following are some of them:

The Witnesses

The first was a movement of what may be considered an elite of the most cultured men and women that Eritrea could ever hope for, composed of well-educated diaspora Eritreans and established networks of families and friends in the Eritrean society who presented an unmatched challenge to the moral integrity of the nation. Most Eritreans including those who would advocate for extreme personal liberty, ordinary Eritreans and ironically the Eritrean Orthodox Church cheered the Eritrean government on the wrong side of the equation.

The substance of their message did not impress most people because they did not have the luxury to explain their side of the story first hand. Most Eritreans were stunned at the courage of such a tiny group of very sensible Eritreans who stood right on the monster’s nose, looked it in the eye and said they were not obeying any authority other than the Lord Himself. They refused to pay taxes and they refused to do military service. They called themselves the Jehovah Witnesses.

How did these immortals disappear from the victim-lists of those that are calling themselves civil society groups and advocates of human rights of today? When was the last time you heard about the stories of the Jehovah Witnesses in Eritrea – probably a couple of years ago when regrettably I bashed them in the heat of the land-grabber debate.

The Pentecostals

The second was the movement of Eritrean Pentecostals. This movement took the Eritrean government in general and the PFDJ (political party) in particular by surprise and essentially managed to neutralize the propaganda machine aiming to reconstruct Eritrean youth in the image of the warrior Yikealo. Within record time for any civic revolution, the Pentecostal movement played by the rules of the state of Eritrea to offer the profile of the highly disciplined, socially balanced and morally incorruptible model of the Eritrean personality as an alternative that almost aborted the premise upon which the PFDJ was to build the New Eritrea.

True to their word, all the thousands of young men and women who enlisted to take the Pentecostal vows obeyed every single law and policy of the State of Eritrea to the letter. They were among the first to volunteer for any services that would make a difference starting from minimal community level civic responsibilities to the highest forms of sacrifice and selflessness to serve the nation in its wars and development projects. Wherever they went, they presented the resume of a determination that never tires, a spirit that never dies and an alternative that would never be ignored.

The Brotherhood

The third came from a very unlikely source – the Eritrean Islamic fundamentalist movement – and was by far the most challenging form of political opposition to the PFDJ. Following the debate that Eritrean independence triggered in all the pre-independence liberation organizations, the most dramatic of these confrontations took place within the Islamic fundamentalist movement. As a result, a sizable number of these ex-liberation era fighters decided to continue the Jihadi armed struggle or to wage (unarmed) political struggle to pressure the PFDJ government towards some kind of negotiated change in Eritrea.

The core of the Eritrean Islamic fundamentalist movement, consisting of thousands of very educated young men and women primarily students in Sudanese schools, universities and institutes of higher learning decided to follow a different path. Many of them went back to Eritrea and enrolled in the national reconstruction efforts setting up private businesses, working as teachers and serving in the state bureaucracy. Others formed various civil society associations providing services to the needy in Eritrean refugee camps in Sudan. The most interesting of these associations was an Islamist students’ union with very close links to the organized Islamist opposition organizations that had in its membership the majority of Eritrean students in Sudanese universities.

Right in the most unlikely time, when the post-independence euphoria was at its peak and the Eritrean government had already declared Islamic Jihadism as public enemy number one and every bar in Eritrea was running the “Hamshay mesri’E” song, these guys approached the Eritrean government and demanded a space where they would do their part in the national reconstruction efforts. They loaded the needed supplies, headed to several Eritrean towns, and carried out amazing activities renovating schools, cleaning public places, helping the poor and running health clinics.

As far as I know, they have been doing the same year after year. For example, in early 2001, when the Eritrean embassy in Khartoum was inaugurated reopening after a long time of bitter relations, truckloads of these young men roamed the streets of Khartoum and around the embassy cheering the Eritrean delegation for what an improvement in Eritrea’s diplomatic relations with Sudan would mean for ordinary Eritrean refugees. They did it knowing that the improvement they were cheering would place enormous constraints on the political prospects of the opposition organizations in which many of them were also members. What astonished spectators was the political maturity of these youth, and the length that they had to go to make the statement that, in spite of their fundamental political differences with the PFDJ’s orientation and the practices and policies of the Eritrean government and the risks involved, they were there to be counted wherever Eritrea’s superior national interests were at stake.

The Veterans

The fourth was the example set by the movement in all the splinter groups and remnants of the ELF who congratulated one another for the dream come true and marked Eritrea’s independence in 1991 as the end of an era and the beginning of another.  With the exception of a few bigots, the majority of the leaders and members of these organizations wished for nothing more than a dignified closure of an important chapter in our history. The least that should have been done by the President and his men at the time was nothing more than a face-saving proposal to transition some of the most honorable icons of our history including among so many that have passed away Martyrs Abdella Idris, Seyoum Harestay and Ahmed Naser (May they rest in peace!) and so many that are to date stuck in limbo.

I cannot go into my understanding of where the bigotry that caused us so much suffering came from without taking you back to the land-grabber debate where I had said what I sincerely believe to be true and I have made a U-Turn, that as I explained in my first article is premised on the complete omission of those dark forces from consideration. The relevant point here is the fact that all those ex-freedom fighters and former opponents of the EPLF knew they were stuck in a fight motivated more by personal pride than by the political justifications of a just cause.

Heartbreaking as it was, an amazing move in this context was the one taken by a considerable number of these former freedom fighters and leaders of various opposition organizations, who swallowed their pride for the sake of the common good. They convinced themselves that the task of liberating Eritrea was over, and the new task of providing an alternative to Eritrea’s future had begun, and headed to Eritrea both as groups and as individuals to do their part. Wherever they were assigned to serve, these former adversaries of the EPLF during the armed struggle froze their differences and played a critical role in tempering the tendency of the ultra-orthodox in the PFDJ from institutionalizing more bigotry than we already have. The symbolic move of these former opposition icons motivated hundreds of highly educated professionals from all over the Middle East, who contributed enormously to the constitution of the civil service and staffing of the educational system in Eritrea.

The Nomads

The fifth was a transitional phenomenon that defied the rhetorical posturing predominant in the opposition camp. When the Eritrean-Ethiopian border war broke, every single Eritrean in the opposition camp, with the exception of handful nutcases, stood behind the Eritrean government in defending and reinforcing its PR and diplomatic activities. In the cyberspace, the leader of the “gwayla” cheering every Eritrean move right or wrong and making worried readers more than relieved and proud that Eritrea had such strong and vocal men was no other than your own SY, in hundreds of posts (Google them).

Ordinary Eritreans were all pleasantly impressed by the veracity and madness with which each Eritrean cheered the Eritrean Defense Forces during the war. Most (including the President ironically) did not seem surprised at an opposition waging an armed insurgency supporting the perceived opponent in its efforts to win the war: it was what they were – Eritreans first and opposition next. Opposition organizations, several of whom had armed wings, could have turned post-independence Eritrea into hell, but they did not because of the spirit that can never be better characterized than that described by Brother Tesfai Degiga of EPDP in his most touching eulogy to the Great Ahmed Naser.

The Reformers

The sixth was the reform movement of first the G13 and then the G15. While all the preceding five variants of the Third Way opposition movement aimed at a bottom-up struggle for change, these two groups were premised on the assumption that change was possible through the introduction of a shift in the government’s top-down policy and practice of governance. Both these groups introduced the culture of shortcuts promoting the idea of challenging authority at the top to effect change at the bottom into the tools of the struggle for change.

The G15 arguably had a much larger impact and was a turning point in Eritrean opposition politics. What made the G15 movement unique was the timing of its incidence and its coincidence with the moment that marked the end of active war between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the beginning of the Cold War between the two countries.

The end of the border war and the signing of the Algiers agreement transferred authority over all real issues at stake between the two countries to neutral international arbitration that would negotiate the details with no possibilities for either party to influence the final output of the negotiations by changing the military balance on the ground. The war ended and the national armies of the two countries took a break. Hostilities between the two countries, however, were far from ending and each side employed its genius in finding ways to destabilize the other. The intelligence establishments of the two countries went on a rampage to recruit dissidents of the other party who would enlist for the proxy-war that would soon start.

By the time the great men and women of the G15 reform movement came out in the open, the propaganda campaign to counter the new form of Ethiopian hostility had already taken off. War-torn ordinary Eritreans were probably more worried about exploitable cracks in the unity and integrity of the state that would serve as an excuse for yet another war than in institutionalizing what the official media and the President declared were dangerous tendencies and sensitive times. In spite of the noble cause and extremely valid concerns and brilliant proposals of the G15, bad timing deprived the reform movement from galvanizing popular support for the agenda of change. Contrary to what one would expect of a movement of high profile government officials and historic leaders with so much proximity to the core of political decision-making, the movement had minimal impact on ordinary life inside Eritrea.

The Believers in the Unseen

The seventh is the spontaneous movement of all Eritreans inside the country and in the diaspora trying every bit to challenge barriers and move our beloved country one bit closer to the ultimate dream. In Eritrea, for hundreds of thousands of young men and women, every day is a new day and a blend of pride in the achievements of the previous day, new challenges for the day and hopes for miracles in the next. Each has one eye on arms polished and ready for a bad neighbor who might jump the border at any moment, another eye on shovels and hoes digging holes in endless little projects, and a third eye asking: “why does it have to be this way?”

THE DIFFERENCE

The parasites in today’s Advocates of Civil War actually shamelessly claim the legacy of responsibility, decency, courage and sacrifice of these historic movements and citizens that are no more, to be their own. The mainstream opposition of today presents the above examples not as variants of creative activism that must be emulated but as proof that those who tried them were too naïve to understand the only language the PFDJ government would respond to (the use of force-by-force in a Civil War). The possibility that those, who paid dearly trying to propose alternatives for the nation, might have done so – the way they did it – within the parameters of the Third Way – was to avoid taking the shortcut of igniting a Civil War and torching the nation in the process, is an argument that does not sell in today’s opposition camp.

The Witnesses and Pentecostals were branded not as conscious activists who paid dearly to make a difference, but as docile and naïve fanatic “victims of violations”. Reformers and formerly dignified icons of the EPLF during the armed struggle were made to bow down and apologize “for not knowing it all along”, making those who were motivated by a vision to pay dearly to make a dream, into abandoned puppets of the President. ELF veterans who served post-independence Eritrea with nail and tooth to give the bigoted nation a different flavor were required to regret every moment away from the wrong crowd and kiss the boots for readmission. The cyber nomads went back to their normal “Qwazeima” waiting for another disaster to happen where they would as always come back for a temporary visit home. Young refugees adopted a brand new identity and enlisted to destroy the dream they had built from scratch.

The following are the naked facts that draw a stark contrast that invalidates the claim that the current Regime Change Opposition was a continuation of the brands of activism listed above:

1. Contrary to the claims of Civil War Advocates (that the PFDJ and the President were always irrationally evil), the activists in the movements listed above were either home grown or inspired by the diaspora under the full knowledge and blessing of the PFDJ government during the sweet dreams of post-independence Eritrea long before the border war.

2. Compared to the Civil War Advocates, that included very few real (already involved) activists that were specifically targeted for their opinion or for what they had done, the movements listed above involved activists who were personally and specifically targeted, persecuted and liquidated by the PFDJ government for what they said or did.

3. Unlike most Civil War Advocates (people who found themselves in the diaspora for reasons unrelated to their activism or simply stayed out for fear of persecution), activists of the movements listed above had made a conscious effort to carry out their activism inside Eritrea in spite of the risks involved (by repatriating to Eritrea or refusing to leave in spite of their ability to do so at will).

4. Unlike the Regime Change Activists who have left no stone unturned to materialize a Civil War, at least some activists in some of the movements listed above had refused to do so and rejected the option even when they had armies that they could command at will to do as they wished.

These and many more contrasts that you can draw from your own personal experiences will prove beyond doubt at least two things:

(a)  The Regime Change Agenda is a new development that came to dominate thinking in the Eritrean opposition after the end of the border war with Ethiopia and cannot be understood outside the toxic environment of proxy-wars between the two countries. Bluntly: the Regime Change Agenda and the associated Advocacy for Civil War is an Ethiopian agenda that has nothing to do with the Agenda for Democratic Change in Eritrea.

(b)  The degree of ruthlessness with which the PFDJ government has been reacting to the various movements that challenged its monopoly of wisdom in Eritrea has never been a flat line that can only be explained by inherent evil of maintaining a blind dictatorship at any cost. The variability in PFDJ government’s reaction towards movements for democratic change from time to time can be explained by the very valid perception that, where an effective institutional setup to control the behaviours and linkages of non-state actors is not fully developed, potential cracks in the home-front’s ability to withstand pressure from hostile neighbours should be taken seriously.

BE OUR GUEST

It is my hope that the above arguments be understood in the spirit and context for which they are intended. The Third Way as promoted here is a conscious effort to suppress some very real dark forces from our politics in an attempt to create the positive environment of honesty and good will required for realigning our opposition movement and hopefully government towards a shared struggle for change that serves the common good.

I am, hereby, appealing to every group of Eritrean opposition activists and all the honourable opposition organizations to sit back and review their experiences and arguments with what they are doing and find creative ways of getting back on track. The catastrophic end of the Eritrean dream is an eminent and real possibility. Given the alarming deterioration of the social and political conditions inside Eritrea; the circumstances of too many caught up in bad politics across borders; and the incidence of dirt-fishing in our region, all responsible Eritreans should have a historic responsibility to temper scary alternatives on both sides of the Eritrean equation to help evade an impending disaster.

I am specifically inviting the following groups to take immediate action:

(a)  All the good Eritreans who have so far managed to stay away from the messy and retarded politics of the opposition and their dubious connections to come up with things that do not replicate and reinforce the bankruptcy of the Regime Change Opposition. To those who are just starting, such as the Medrekh Group, I would like to say: “Please come back before it is too late! We already have enough of what you are proposing.”

(b)  To all my old friends in the EPDP: “Please take the initiative and lead the crowd out of the mess this time. You deserve credit for resisting without success the temptation to throw yourselves into Ethiopia’s dubious and adventurous proxy wars against Eritrea. You have what it takes to do it and we are counting on you.”

(c)  To all the people of faith in “The One God”: “Please come back and challenge the secularization of choice in the Eritrean society – as good Witnesses, Pentecostals and Islamic Fundamentalists. You have done it before and you can do it now. Eritreans are counting on you to hammer down the moral alternative to the messed-up de-cultured personality of the Eritrean profile.”

(d)  To all the very decent ethnic and Muslim rights advocates: “We know you are the last that would ever sell on us and we appreciate your needs for temporary honeymoon and accommodation – please enjoy. We trust you know the only reason Ethiopia requires your presence is to provide the camouflage for what is cooking underneath: the New Unionists hatching in dirty ethnic politics. Please, do not disappoint us and do the right thing!”

Is that too much to ask?

Good luck!

About Ali Salim

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  • Serray

    Selamat Semere,

    I am beginning to see a convergence between Ali salim and semere tesfai’s position. These days, if you speak to any regime supporter about the lack of running water, electricity and basic necessities, none denies it but the stupid among them try to spin it. Ali doesn’t spin it, semere tries to spin some of it by saying slavery is national service and that land comes before people (a disease that seams to affect more tegadelti than civilians…the reason why we are in this situation). The convergence is on how ali and semere dismiss the problem by basically saying , “Ya, ya, we know, we know” and then asking you to come up with a solution. But before you say anything, both equate regime change to woyanes agenda and civil war. Just like the isaiasists, semere and ali vastly underestimate the woyanes. I will forgive Ali but not semere.

    During the badme war from May 1998 to April 2000, eritrea lost 19,000 soldiers. That is about 790 soldiers a month. Eritrea is now losing at least three times that a month with more than eighty thousand of them heading to ethiopia, giving the ethiopians vital specimen about the bankrupt nature of EDF. One has to be arrogantly blind to think that the ethiopians will lift a finger to change their good fortune in the people semere has a “soft spot”. What was that Napoleon said “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”?

    In 1998, shaebia regime underestimated the woyanes and we all know how that ended for us. In 2014, a newly minted opposition personalities are painting the same picture of woyanes. I can almost hear ali and semere saying, “if the woyanes have no plans for regime change, why “support” the opposition?”. First, they are not supporting or sponsoring them; the are keeping them close to make sure they do not do stupid things to mess up their good fortune. The woyanes have shaebia regime exactly where they want it and they will do everything in their power that no one, be it the interned soldiers or the old men with grudges, do anything stupid to change that. Therefore, a point of view, a U-turn, premised on a regime change is ethiopia’s is agenda is fundamentally flawed.

    The other problem with ali and semere is what I call “an old playboy/girl syndrome”. The ethiopians not only have learned their lesson but they are enjoying the absence of our bloodstained presence in their daily lives. One of the myopic views of ghedli romantics is, they think the thirty years struggle was a ride in the park for ethiopians. Before medda came to asmera, shaebia and jebha were fond of telling us how many ethiopians they killed during this battle or that battle. The recklessness with which HS and dergi sent young and old (abat tor) soldiers was painful for those involved. In the last years, because the supply of soldiers from countryside was not enough, dergi started conscripting people from cities. Even if our narcissistic romantics forget the cost of forcefully uniting eritrea to the ethiopians; many ethiopians don’t. The isaiasists response to this is, “if that is case why do they hold our land?”. Simple, badme is a rope the woyanes dangle for shaebia regime to hung itself. And make no mistake, the woyanes will dangle the rope until shaebia kills itself. Woyanes don’t want civil war, it is against their bloodless strangulation of shaebia regime. Woyanes are a million times smarter than shaebia and opposition combined. The reason I am as much afraid of the romantic opposition as I am of shaebia regime is, they share the core defects of shaebia regime.

    Having said that, I do share semere and ali’s view that a regime change as a goal is stupid. I do for a different reason, though. I see shaebia regime as a combination of a parasite and a vampire; any light, any transparency will kill it instantly. I support implementing the 1997 constitution because it will kill the regime faster than the rope woyanes are dangling or the yelling of old men with grudges from thousands of kms.

    • hope

      To be honest with you,Badme has nothing to do with the current issues.The PFDJ and the weyanes are making it an issue for their perosnal interest,i.e.,PFDJ to manipulate Eritreans and to stay in power and to avoid the faster death due to the implementation of the Ratified Constitution.
      As to the weyanes,after meles,badme is nothing —but an excuse and just a partial continuation of the Meles policy—-to keep the Ethiopian majority quite as a tough question still will come as to why 120,000 people died for nothing.Moreover,the weyanes want the badme carte for further negotiation,which the PFDJ,is scared of—-kicking out the Demhit/OLF–etc–,besides the issues related to the Ports.
      For Eritreans,Badme—is nothing for now—other than a partial legal success and psychological satisfaction—.
      Let Badme stay with weyanes for now—

    • Semere Tesfai

      Serray

      You have a problem. Please re-read the comment you wrote above. I don’t know who you are, but you are speaking, as if you are the spokesmen of the Woyane regime. And that doesn’t make you look good as an Eritrean and as an Eritrean opposition to the PFDJ regime. And I don’t believe the Woyanes would appreciate you, when you put words in their mouth (of course I don’t want contemplate anything else).

      You said:

      “Eritrea is now losing at least three times (2,500 people) a month with more than
      eighty thousand of them heading to ethiopia, giving the ethiopians
      vital specimen about the bankrupt nature of EDF. One has to be
      arrogantly blind to think that the ethiopians will lift a finger to
      change their good fortune in the people semere has a “soft spot”. What
      was that Napoleon said “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a
      mistake”?”

      Serray: Eritreans and Ethiopians don’t have any animosity towards each other. It is only the Woyane regime that is blinded by hatred of Eritreans. Why do I think the Woyanes are blinded by hatred? Simple: if they would have cared about Eritrea and Eritreans, they wouldn’t have subjected Eritrea to the point of emptying of its people to get the PFDJ regime. And make no mistake, we will not forget that.

      You said”

      “Badme is a rope the woyanes dangle for shaebia regime to hung itself.
      And make no mistake, the woyanes will dangle the rope until shaebia
      kills itself. Woyanes are a million times
      smarter than shaebia and opposition combined. The reason I am as much
      afraid of the romantic opposition as I am of shaebia regime is, they
      share the core defects of shaebia regime.”

      Two points here:

      1. “The opposition share the same defects of Shaebia regime”. True, no matter how many colors we have, at the end of the day, rest assured, we all are Eritreans (PFDJ and opposition). We all have the same perception about Eritrea and Eritreans; and we all have the same perception about Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

      2. “Woyanes are a million times
      smarter than shaebia and opposition combined”. Well, your Woyanes are so smart they have torched a raging fire to the house to their east, to to the house to their west and to the house to their north – betting their house is not going catch fire and burn to the ground. I’m impressed by their ingenuity and competence as well.

  • Hope

    First,let’s agree that NO body is supporting the PFDJ ,Semere Tesfay and Younis included,but we are disagreeing on the modes of approaches for solutions.
    Having said that:
    -I would rather argue confidently that you,Sem Andom,are willfully blind by deliberately denying all the written facts.As much as we have agreed with you about the failures of PFDJ,you are expected to agree on the other factors contributing to the mess and, as such,we have to fight both factors while looking for a better solution but in the meantime though,realistically speaking,who is going to be responsible until we get to the ideal solution—to come to Semere Tesfay’s point?
    Emotions have NO role in such serious National Security issues.
    Please review:
    -Wikileaks/US Amb Notes: about encouraging the Youth to leave Eritrea,slotting 10K Visas for Eritreans via kenya-etc—-
    -The role of UNHCR
    As to the Brain Drain Drain:
    – It is the USA-law to drain young productive people—case in point:Lottery Visa.
    -It is one of the best means of destabilizing other Nations by the West and the case for Eritrtea is not new either and NOT suprising as it is the modus operandi of the Powers(Neo-Colonialism)

  • AMAN

    So while I understand the severity and brutality of the tyrranic rule
    of Eritrea and its people under DIA dictatorship…..it is also worth
    to consider the wisdom of the other choice of being under Ethiopian
    rule as a result of the oppresive rule of DIA which might give a temporary
    relief but will be a curse in the long run. Especially unity entered under
    such circumstances by forcing to yield or make concessions under brutal
    punishment and threat of war and blackmail.
    Things should return to normal pre-war status quo and reality first before
    going on making deals separately and individually with Ethiopia on behalf
    of the Eritrean people.
    Just like Ethiopian woyane made peace with opponents and even jailed
    Dergue/WPE party officials before going to war with Eritrea in 1998, the
    present Eritrean government must also do the same with opposition parties
    before dealing with Ethiopia for the sake of Eritrea and its people and their
    struggle and sacrifices of so many years.
    Anything else is illegitimate and doesn’t represent the Eritrean peoples wishes
    and thus not supported.
    Thus democracy in Eritrea first before any open or back door dealings with
    Ethiopia or Ethiopian adversaries which are glood and stuck with their priorities
    first with no room for dealing or discussion with the concerns of the Eritrean people.

    • Habtegiorgis Abraha

      Aman, the following assertion of yours: “… it is also worth to consider the wisdom of the other choice of being under Ethiopian rule” seems out of touch of the day; and let me borrow Abinet’s mockery… “is it still 1950 in Eritrea?”

      • AMAN

        Oh yes I said that
        Because there so many Eritreans who want to erase the fruits
        gained as a result of the struggle and heavy sacrifice our people
        paid to live in peace,freedom,liberty and dignity.
        Either due to fear to challenge or due to their evil wishes against
        Eritrea and the people they accept anything forcibly or cunnigly
        imposed on the people as a way out for their present predicament
        elluding or undercutting the true and sustainable solution.
        A lot of people are fighting for their own personal life and benefits
        these days in the name of the people.

  • Haile Zeru

    Very Good Semere Andom;
    AL-S’s the Third way is 1)Bad mouth opposition, 2)Lie about opposition ideas and policies so that it will be easier to black mail them. 3) Make look insormountable the problems PFDJ is facing. As if PFDJ itself did not create them. 4) mention Wayane and other global actors to make your case stronger, 5) Because of (3&4) excuse the abuses of the system. 6) associate the life of the country to the life of PFDJ, that is if we kill (so to speak) PFDJ the nation will die therefore let us go easy on them or even better cooperate with them to trush what ever is left of the country. 7) Condone the crimes of the regime and advertise the intention of violence of the people (opposition).
    Nowdays, saying I support PFDJ face blank has become laughable, akin to stupidity. That is why PFDJ supporters including AL-S are coming in many colours. They have to make twists and turns till they break. Yet, I do not know who is the one that said no hand is large enough to cover the skies. PFDJ crimes ar to large, too ugly, too inhuman for anyone to play deaf and blind.

  • AMAN

    There is also one sure fact we or our political leaders need to know.
    In war diplomacy or politics appeasing or bribing your adversary/enemy
    never works especially if the enemy country is backward that is not ruled
    by the rule of law and and not democratic as in the case of Ethiopia which
    is lead more by traditional ways than scientific ways. So whatever good
    offer you make it is to no avail other than lowering yourself and your status.
    The things you are discussing about sometimes refers to the USA or any
    other country not Ethiopia. Ethiopia whatever development undergoes in the
    recent two decades is very far from the economic,social and political ideals
    and concepts we are talking about now. Once they have gained what they are
    looking for outlet to the sea by cunning or threat…………it is bye bye and all
    things talked will be forgotten and a new reality (true reality ) will set in and
    everyone will wake up then………..and back to………….SOBER REALITY !
    Because all the things our expectations and dialogues are based upon now
    are inflated relities designed only to mislead us by giving a false sence of
    optimism and comfort.

    • Abinet

      You sound like you are still in 1950 . Yes we are backward, you are modern .what else is new? Please keep your precious port for your self . We have proved beyond any doubt that we don’t need it and we don’t need you . The only thing we need from you is peace . You don’t have to lower yourself to negotiate with us . We will rise up to your level soon . Just give us some time. May be you show us the scientific way of doing things so that we catch up quick.
      Btw, is it still 1950 in Eritrea?

  • Ali-S

    Sem,

    I feel bad now that after thinking you were such a funny guy, coming back with this. I had a very good friend who used to say “adekha mesHaq welida”. I just wrote a response to Haile and I don’t want to repeat it but please check and see what you think.

    The whole thing was that: we know the problem and we agree with you on everything including your claim that the 80,000 who are languishing in Ethiopia would have choses it even if Eritrea had a border with Italy. They haven’t chosen Ethiopia by the way they had no other way of making their way to Italy. If they had I am sure they would have jumped that dump. But let us assume you are right.

    Our question (Semere would agree on this) is how do we get out of the problem? Do you honestly believe that all the opposition as it is needs is more foot soldiers who would put into action what they have on their books? You don’t think some ideas would help?

    • Amanuel

      How do we get out of the problem? First rule is don’t do u-turn. Thos who called Woddogeba are people who did u-turn from their struggle.

  • Semere Andom

    Gadi:
    Nice to have you back. You spoke correctly and thanks
    Welcome back.
    Thanks
    Sem

  • Saleh Johar

    I don’t know about Semere Tesfai, but all the Semeres I know are weak in Amharic. Eyob, can you offer an Amharic course?

    Until Eyob takes over, here is a little correction for the three Semeres I know: Weldo means having a child, birth. Weddo means willingly. Weldogeba is, he surrendered after having a child. Weddogeba (the correct term) means, he willingly surrendered. Our guys who waved their white shirt to the Tor Serawit are called Weddogeba, not Weldogeba. I wish that was the case 🙂

  • Ali-S

    Saba,

    By the way I read you suggestions for the way ahead and I agree on turning on PFDJ. I also understand as you seem to agree with me that turning on PFDJ just to prove that we belong to the opposition that we are saying is non-opposition (empty set) is a waste of time. You are right on that we need to specify why we belong to opposition. That we will do as we go ahead. Feel free to suggest specifics.

    I can see your clinic is busy so I will not interrupt (:-) Actually with Dottore Hope in we may need more nurses very soon.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Semere Tesfay:
    When Sal heard such outrageous uttering he once asked,” I do not know whether to scream or lecture” and then he decided to do both.
    I am in the same predicament and should I scream or ask. I will do both too
    Let me first ask you the same question a British parliamentarian asked Rupert Murdoch:
    “Are you familiar with the expression of willful blindness Semere Tesfay?”
    During the Enron scandal Judge Lake applied the legal concept of willul blindness to both Lay and Skilling. And our PFDJ’s rule has been a scandal for the last 23 years, this willful blindness applies to you, sir. Let me reinforce and clarify your points from the misleading swaddle of Eritrea’s security is in danger.
    1.You deny that the 80,000 Eritreans languishing in Ethiopia did not prefer Ethiopia over Eritrea, they are just there to reach richer countries—you’re echoing the words of an YPFDJ of iPads and iPod.
    2.You are asserting the USA, a leading country in science and technology and western countries are conspiring to brain drain Eritrea, a country which does not have internationally, or regionally recognized higher learning institution. Someone help me here. You are echoing the dictator himself when he said, “Eritrea is the best in the world and everyone is going after our talent and our managers who graduated in Sahel are better than the Harvard MBAs since they cannot headhunt us they are conspiring against us

    3 You deny the slave labor that PFDJ established and you want studies that it is slavery about it This to me is like denying the holocaust and justifying the actions of the Nazis and in effect putting the undue burden on the victims to prove that crimes have been committed on them and not prosecute their tormentors

    4.You draw parallels to the weldogebas and the current youth influx, a willful blindness. If the tegadelti deserted in the same numbers the ghedli would not have been sustained. On the contrary the people who were joining from Sudan, Middle East, Russia and the west and from Eritrea outnumbered those weldogebas. Most tegadelties stayed, even those who came with giffa. You cannot cook numbers to win arguments. Deserting is common phenomena, but we are talking about the magnitude There are people who deserted just a few weeks before independence, so what? how many. Ethiopians leave the country, but how many and most importantly they do not go to Eritrea to reach richer places and they do not languish in our camps

    Mothers now worship the day their kids safely made it to Sudan and Europe during the ghedli era mothers will be ashamed that their son/daughter has deserted or became a wedogeba. Now they invited neighbors and friends and drink coffee are congratulated, before they used to mourn and people gave them their sympathies.

    The facts that Eritreans know and the world knows is that PFDJ has become dangerous to its own citizens and Eritreans are choosing the deserts and the high seas.

    I am against nation service as I believe that there are more effective ways to server the nation than a compulsory project. But Sal declared that he is willing to send his kids to a legally mandated national service that has an expiry date that no one can dodge because it is against his conscious to create privileged kids who can dodge it and underprivileged kids suffering endlessly. That deserves respect. You and your new friend can live with this moral dilemma, creating two tier systems to serve the nation.

    You are just one notch below to becoming an ardent PFDJ supporter, whose hallmark is the doubting/denying of the slavery project called national service in the name of nation security and whose evidence, proof utterance is for the victim to prove that he/she was victimized to absolve the criminal that 4 million people can identify in a court of law.

    PFDJ is dangours to the security of Eritrea, not Woyane, not CIA and you know what but if you are willfully blind nothing can be done
    Sem

    • Semere Tesfai

      Mokhsi

      Please cool down and articulate your argument so we all can learn from each other. To help you gape a big hole in my argument for all to see, let me summarize my argument for you:

      – Eritrea is located in a strategic location in the Red Sea Horn region. The West have vested interest in the region. As their trusted ally, the West wants Landlocked Ethiopia to be a regional power in the Red Sea Horn region (to help the West and to help itself). PFDJ Eritrea is standing in the way of Ethiopian and Western interest. And the West and Ethiopia are not going to sit idle without some sort of retaliation.That is a fact. And that makes the “brain drain” war and 300,000 Ethiopian troops threat real. Now tell me your alternative policy.

      – I don’t deny the presence of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia. I just don’t believe they left Eritrea, Ethiopia as their final destination. If you do, you have to explain to me why they are traveling/dieing beyond Ethiopian borders even after they arrived safely in Ethiopia.

      – The argument that, the cause of the exodus of our young is the PFDJ political repression or the mandatory National Service…. type arguments are not honest/persuasive arguments. There is no SINGLE EXPLANATION as to why people are leaving Eritrea; it is complex issue with many factors entangled to it. If you insist the cause of the exodus is the PFDJ repression, then you have to explain to us why the “victims” are ending-up being the backbone of their “tormentors” when in the West or any other “safe country”.

      – The only parallel I draw between the Revolution era Wedogebas/deserters of ELF/EPLF/Derg… and the current youth influx is, the unbearable life people were forced to endure and their re/action to coup with the stressful predicament they found themselves in. And when people are forced to go through (hell) such tough life, out of extreme stress (ዓቕሊ-ጽበት) they do things that they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. But once they reach their “place of comfort” they go back to their old held believe. Case in point: most former ELF fighters are still ELF at heart; most EPLF fighters are still EPLF at heart, Most TPLF fighters are still TPLF at heart and you can say the same about most Derg soldiers…..(I’m talking about those who deserted their units). The point: deserting of soldiers under extreme circumstance doesn’t help you much, to reach any conclusive conclusion.

      – National service: Ok you are against it, I respect that. But you’re not bringing any solution to the table. What do you do to the 300,000 Ethiopian troops that are pointing their gun at your face? Meles said publicly we are going to change the Eritrean regime or its policy by force. And the current government is continuing that same policy (which is Western sponsored policy). That is a fact. Now tell me, what do you do differently? Is denying the pressure that is applied to the PFDJ regime by Ethiopia and by its Western allies a wise move, to the Eritrean opposition? How are you going to lift that pressure if you get a chance to govern?

      – I’m not supporting the PFDJ regime as you allege, I just don’t want to see bloodshed, lawlessness, anarchy…. to reign in the country and people I love, all in the name of regime change. Any method of orderly change that doesn’t expose Eritrea to that predicament, I’m all for it. Tell me what you got.

  • Kaddis

    Ethiopia is cutting military spending …does this mean anything to Eritrea?
    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/82fcd8576966

    • T. Kifle

      Hi Kaddis,

      You see how this journalist fabricate his facts and reported the decline in military spending could be “misleading” as , according to him, Ethiopia receives military assistance from the USA. This is how the world feeds itself on hearsays while it’s beyond any doubt that the US never offer a single bullet let alone a hardware to our defence logistics.

  • Hope

    Absolutely Dottore!
    You may want to work very hard for the Rehab though as the relapse rate is very high.
    Good luck Sabina.
    Good night.

  • hope

    Edited-Apology for my Grammatic mess—I hate working nights as it messes me up!
    Dr Saba,please come and help me and take my shift over..
    Ermi,
    Cannot agree more.It is as simple as 2+2=4.
    Opportunism,if I may call it, besides Fear of Isolation,is the driving force behind the Diaspora indifference–even at home,the same logic works.
    The system perfectly has used it for its survivial,but as Hailat said it eloquently-as usual–there seem to be some hope—I see the signs of the time,albeit belatedly, but later better than—-though-,-as the saying goes on.
    Saba understood you well –she/he is just teasing you.
    The big question is:
    How can we get out of this ” Opportunism and Fear of isolation”,which have devastated the whole Eritrea and its people?
    This should be the topic of our “Cyper-Politics”.
    It is possible.
    Case in point: The recent succes story of our Sis,Ms Elas Chyrum.
    Mind you,we could not even address the issue of the 267 Eritreans,who have been suffering in the worst prison for 6yrs—what a SHAME!
    Look at the BiG picture of the Sinai and Mediteranean Sea/Israeli Victims.What did we do other than few letters and few visits?
    We could hire 2- 3 top International/Human Rights Lawyers for just less than $1 million and we could address the issue of our Bros and Sis in Israel,Libya, Djibouti and even in Ethiopia.
    We could have convinced the EU by the same few lawyers to make a safe path for our Sea victims until things get better.
    We did not even try to challenge/sue the Italian and the Libyan Govts and the EU; and even the Jewish State for that matter….The only thing we are able to do is pointing fingers at each other;-fighting via the Internet-,-betray our country and our people by doing what our enemies want us to do–for their interest.
    Hailat,
    Can you comment on this sponsorship of three Human Rights Lawyers?
    It will cost only few Dinner Parties and I am sure many Humanitarian NGOs-could help us some.
    I just “hate” this isolated and individual approaches for the sake of PR consumption and secodnary gains and nonsense talk.
    We need a better organized ” International Organization for the Eritrean Refugees”.I am not even sure where Dr Weldemariam and Ms Meron are now…..
    Hailat,use your brilliant brain and articulate language and convincing arguements and take the Lead for a realistic and practical organization.
    I would rather see people like you,Emma,Johar,Sal,and others(no intention of discrimnation) get organized and start the ” Marathon”.
    Try it–why not.
    Good luck….

  • Hope

    Thanks Aman.
    But unless I missed you badly,are you shying away from the most devastating miscalculation DIA made,which has led to the second round of devastation?
    Again,as I confessed before,the Weyanes have every right(which is in their genes,BTW)to do every evil thing under the Sun, not only for their interest, but to avenge/revenge on Eritreans,which they have achieved tremendously.
    We learned and we have to move forward….There are NO permanent friends but permanent Interests,a principle the Weyanes have utilized effectively.Again Kudos to them and SHAMEon us—as simple as that.

  • Hope

    Where do you live? In Mars/venus?

  • AMAN

    @Hope
    To be honest with your question;
    Fortunately, the ulterior motive of woyane is dissipated or aborted now.
    Thanks to the heroic struggle and sacrifice all Eritreans paid together
    in the last 20 years.
    (BUT IT WAS A POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS GAP OR POLITICAL VACUUM
    IN DEVELOPMENT BEFORE EVERY GENUINE ERITREAN REVERSED IT).
    But my lament is that Why these heavy sacrifice is needed or have to be paid
    by people who just came out of previous 30 years of sacrifice. Certainly this
    took me to conclude that lack of efficient and patriotic leadership who chose
    something cheap deal against what it has or already attained and not content
    with it. So it took the risk and came to loose everything.
    The second thing that I said some ulterior motive is the way it was making bussiness
    and the way it was reducing everything and “unity by subtraction” as YG termed it
    eliminating prominent people who have done a lot for the people and the country.
    That makes me suspicious and think something not normal is underway and going
    on.
    So both the additional sacrifice in human life lost after 1991 and the elomination of
    people like G-15 and others from other parties is not to the advantage of the people
    Hence the ulterior motive by some by woyane to reduce everything worthy achieved
    for something else.
    Other than that I agree with most of your points and was thinking to endorse you
    to represent my ideas and points if I didn’t have the chance to post all my points.
    IT LOOKED TO ME AS IF WOYANE WAS REPEATING DERGUE’S OR HSI POLICY
    OF FORCED SUBJUGATION BY SILENCING OR DUMPING ANY POLITICAL OPPOSITION
    AND LIBERITY AND FREEDOM BY ERITREANS WITH ANY METHOD AVAILABLE TO HIM.

  • Saba

    You sound like tifoso.
    If people do not agree with your cyber oppositon, you wish them jail? Then what are you fighting for?
    This website is for debating, exchanging ideas!
    If you still have “Kole isayas” in your head consider rehab.

  • Ermias

    Sabi, I am glad that you are now finally distinguishing between activism and cyber opposition.

    One of the most important reasons that the opposition groups have not attracted a large number of followers is the peoples fear of isolation.

    If you oppose the regime on the open, then you risk being isolated from your family, friends, and local organizations. PFDJ has used that tool almost to perfection. Instructions come from the office of the president.

    You know, so many Eritreans like guayla too much so a lot of them cannot afford that trade. Plus most people are always on standby to go back home so that ‘privilege’ has to remain alive.

    I can list many other reasons if you like.

    It doesn’t mean that the oppositions mandate is not in tune with Eritreans.

    • Saba

      Hi Ermias, i thought you are watching more soccer than politics:)
      Finally right:) I give credit to activists. It is very hard to be Eritrean activist.
      So the main reason is guayla then:) Alla Ermias.
      If the cyber opposition convince them, they will give up their guayla and convert their families and friends. But the cyber opposition main job should be to convince them up to the POINT OF NO RETURN.

      • Rodab

        Sabit,
        Could you please retire the phrase “cyber opposition”?
        You’ve used, re-used and over-used it. I plead with her Majesty!

      • Ermias

        Saba,

        Almost everything you said in this comment is disingenuous and perhaps lazy. I said fear of isolation from family, friends, and local orgs is the main reason. Guayla is a side effect or a subset of the isolation factor. Do some research and you will know for yourself. Why do you not disclose your full identity or everyone here for that matter except for half a dozen or so?

        I was beginning to take your comments seriously but when you refer to us as ‘tplf spokesperson’, ‘you have been watching soccer but not politics,’…that’s unbecoming of you and can only undermine your credibility.

        You still have to clearly differentiate between activism and organized opposition. Here is a Wikipedia definition of activism:

        “Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis. The term connotes a peaceful form of conflict. Various forms of activism range from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Research is beginning to explore how activist groups in the United States and Canada are using social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.”

        That puts almost everybody here in that category including yourself. How is it hard to be an Eritrean activist? I urge AT to take a simple poll asking participants: have you belonged to any organized Eritrean opposition in the last 10 years or however long?

        • Saba

          Sorry, may be lazy. I have started to write you about some events but decided not to continue.
          About soccer, i was just joking. Lately i saw few posts from you, that’s why i said “you have been watching soccer but not politics”,
          I understood your comment about the difficulty in opposing the regime. That is why i said also it is hard to be an Eritrean activist, for the same reason. Even though it is hard, at least some are successful like sister Azezet, Elsa Chyrum.
          There is some overlap between activism and organized opposition but i think there should be a distinction in principles, ideology. if you mix them, there will be a backlash. The wikipedia definition is good.
          Side by side to activism, i think the most effective solution is organized political opposition. Here is where we need to put more effort.

    • Hope

      Ermi,
      Cannot agree more—2+2=4.
      Opportunism,if I may call it besides Fear of Isolation–is the driving force behind the Diaspora indifference–even at home,the same logic works.
      The system perfectly has used it for its survivial,butas ,Hailat said it–there seem to be some hope—I see the signs of the time,albeit belatedly—later better than——–as the saying goes on.
      Saba understood you well –she/he is just teasing you.
      The big question is: How can we get out of this ” opportunism an dFear of isolation”,whihc have devastated the whole eritrea and its people?
      This should be our “Cyper-Politics”.
      It is possible.Case in point: The recent succes story of our Sis,Ms Elas Chyrum.
      Mind you—we could not even address the issue of the 267 Eritreans,who have been suffering in the worst prison for 6yrs—what a SHAME!
      Look at the BiG picture of the Sinai and Mediteranean Sea/israeli Victims.What did we do other than few letters and few visits.
      We could hire 3- top International/Human Rights lawyers for just less than $1 million and coul dhave addressed the issue of the issue of our Bros and Sis in Israel,in Djibouti and even in ethiopia.
      We could have convinced the EU by the same few lawyers to make a sfae path for our Sea victims—–We did not even try to challenge/sue the ItalianGov/the Libyan Gov and the EU and even the Jewish State for that matter….The only thing we are able is pointing fingers at each other—fight via the Internet—–betray pour country and our people by doing what our enemies want us to do–for their interest.

  • House of Stark

    Aman, Hope
    Could you please tell us what is the evil or ulterior agenda of weyane/ Ethiopia.

  • Saba

    Hi Haile,
    Some of your phrases:

    ……rejected by the Eritrean masses

    ———were totally castigated and distanced in the diaspora

    If everything you did for decades was rejected by the Eritrean masses, are you still gonna propose the same ideas for the next decades?

    • haile

      Saba, let’s talk straight, shall we. I am saying that

      – the Jehova never had the sympathy of the masses, are you saying they should give up being Jehova?
      – the Pente never had the sympathy of the masses, are you saying they should give up being pente?
      – the G-13 and G-15 had never been given the mass support, are you saying they shouldn’t have asked reform?
      – the Islamic teachers never had the sympathy of the masses, are you saying that they should give up their faith?
      – Wedi Ali is tramped up because he did what he did today, at the time of weakened PFDJ and emboldened opposition, if he did what he did in 2013 back in 2002 he might have had got the same treatment.

      Far from your logic, the opposition movement has sprang up in the current form only few years ago and has become a force to reckon with. Its activists are helping to kick out ambassadors, rescue refugees (in some places) and assist needy people. Its artists and media growing, its political organizations challenging HGDEF in every twist and turn, all these barely in few years. Lampedusa and Sinai also pulled the rug from under PFDJites by exposing the horrors that our people are going through. All these in very short time.

      To make it clear, I was talking about the challenges HGDEF quashed back in Eritrea and the reason it failed was due to public indifference rather than what Ali-S tried to fabricate it to be some sort of statement against use of force. Nobody said about the opposition outside Eritrea, all those were rendered Haram by the writer because they directly or indirectly try to change the regime of IA!!! I am surprised that you still haven’t got the basic distinction that an Eritrean discussion forum like this one is not that all there is to opposing PFDJ. There is more to it 🙂

      • Saba

        I get confused which haile is but now i know for sure you are Haile the gr8 and the cyber opposition, just from your fire:)
        The activism is way better than the political opposition. The opposition was weak and is weak and will be weak if it continues with the same path. You reading of the public reaction is wrong. Do you know why the major groups/parties of the cyber opposition are rejected in the diaspora? I hope you will answer this Q.

        • Haqi

          Saba
          cult worshipers such as your self are fascinating creatures. How about you go play geza geza with your pfdj goons instead of attempting to speak with a heavy weight champ haile.
          If isaias would throw your mother or mother away in jail, I am pretty sure you will cheer the sadist dictator against your parents.

          Pls go away to dehai or madote.

          Haile
          Hit them hard. Speak the truth. Ali is on a mission to confuse the opposition hence it our duty to expose his satanic mission. The man suffers from split personality; He is the biggest bigot ever yet he has the nerve to accuse others, antum sebat. Does he think we are stupid to buy his halewlow

      • hope

        I hope I misunderstood you about the statement saying:
        “the Jehova never had the sympathy of the masses… the Pente never had the sympathy of the masses….the Islamic teachers never had the sympathy of the masses”….
        The only religious Institution partially spared or supported by the PFDJ was the “Tewahdo Church–though her leadership was hit hard—even worse” …technically speaking.
        The Public has had no chance either to sympathize or ignore those Religious Factions.
        The Catholic Church was even hit hard—-
        It is not considerate to make such remarks publically.The only option the Public has is to remain” Indifferent” due to the brutal situation as all people have been scared to death about their safety.
        It is in, fact, safe to say that it has been the Diaspora’s indifference and dumbness and ineptness of the so called Opposition that has contributed to the mess by the PFDJ and to misery of the people at home..
        I do have reservations though abou the status of the jehovah Witnesses when it comes to National Security as every body tried to claim to be Jehov’s witness when “Kitet” was declared.
        so,let’s blame ourselves.

        • haile

          When I am saying “no sympathy” I am referring to their actual “cause” rather than the cases of ill treatment of people. Their cause hasn’t caught any sympathy. Again, the post independence Eritrean psych that has frozen over to simply be a spectator at home or in the diaspora will need to be researched and studied in the future. That is why many initiatives failed to ignite the trigger for catalyzing change. The main catalyst of the current opposition to PFDJ is ( IMO) the worsening life situation, news of insecurity and migrations and loss of hope. I don’t think it is to do with responsible realization of possible implications of situations and events to the future of the country. People are suffocated and simply screaming and kicking to get away. It is natural that the opposition benefited in membership due to such conditions. Otherwise, the PFDJ supporters have been frozen from political development for decades now and the opposition has long been divided by in fighting. Eritreans may be to blame but fairness dictate to acknowledge that the PFDJ had proved a devastating enemy within, hence our people stood no chance.

    • Hope

      Sorry,Dr Saba,I have to swallow the bitter truth Hailat just bombarded Younis with hard core facts,albeit with some disagreements.
      There is ONE fact Hailat should admit though:
      Every kind of trick–be religious,regional,ethnic etc–has been tried to subjugate Eritrea,which unfortunately the same victim,PFDJ,has used the same tricks to keep Eritrteans divided and weak.
      While I might sound “contradicting” my self,albeit deliberately,Hailat should be fully aware,rather admit,as he is fully aware about the Facts, that both Christian and Islamic Extremism have been used as a means of creating havoc in Eritrea,kind of the Arab Spring Style—
      This is not PFDJ propaganda,rather, a well documented fact and tactic used by the West all over the world—from the Latin American Pentecostal Extremism to Al Qeida style extremism–applied in Iraq, Afghanistan,and now Syria.
      Case in point, I lost a family member/an EPLF Vet, fighting against the Paksitani?/Saudi Arabia sponsored Jihadists/Wuhabists at the Eritro-Sudanese border in mid 90s.Mind you,this group was commanded by DIA best old friend,Dr Hassen Turabi, backed by Osama Bin Ladin,”RIP”.
      This has been a real threat that has faced Eritrea and PFDJ–without any doubt.
      These are few of serious threats against the National Security Interest of Eritrea.
      Hailat’s favorite,the Weyanes, have used,until this minute,the same tactics to create havoc in Eritrea.
      My point here is NOT to justify PFDJ misgovernance,but to remind ourselves,the real threats that Eritrea has faced in the last 2 decades.
      Again,this is NOt,a “weyanization’ of the Eritrean Politics—but to be able to call the other spade, a spade as well.
      My own classmate,who became a Pentecostal Pastor,was quoted as a very serious CIA agent in wikileakes,who provided each and every sensitive classified info—-I was shocked and I decided to be reserved to some extent about the so called religious persecution.
      My former classmate did NOT have any obligation to be in such a position as he has had enough credentials to make a living.

      • haile

        Selam Hope,

        Let’s say we agree on the aims of the struggle in as far as bringing democratic change. Beyond that, you have a certain view of “woyane”, “Ethiopia”… that I don’t share with. That is fine, you are entitled to your views and so is everybody else.

        So, let me map the basic layout of our differences and you tell me yours. My conception of Ethiopia or its ruling party is one of general. I have no ill feeling nor do I feel any sense of unhealthy emotions towards it. I believe in a strong, capable and dignified Eritrea. That can only be achieved by building Eritrea, working for Eritrea, harmonizing the interests of Eritrea with that of the outsiders, promoting justice in Eritrea, respecting Eritreans, expanding opportunities for Eritreans, motivating Eritreans to think better, higher and flexibly to chart a new era of cooperation, development and peace building.

        Your level of hate, suspicion and disagree-ability towards regional people, your fellow citizens who don’t share your views and so on would make for a dangerous and destructive times ahead. You may have personal experiences that has caused you to feel a strong sense of hate, suspicion and vengeance against our immediate neighbors. That is bad, unhealthy and unwanted for our nation’s well being. True there may be things Ethiopians want or come to want from us (all of them, Tigray included) and there are definitely many things our nation and people need from them. You think port facility is all there is. I beg to differ, there would be far far more things to make us want things from each other. On some we would readily agree, on others we may have to negotiate and still on others may have to settle legally.

        In a peaceful future for our peoples, I see that there would be complex ties in trade, education, manufacturing, labor movement, harmonized taxation, investment, finance and other cultural aspects. The issue of port facility or other cooperation fields are small matters. PFDJ is highly irresponsible and has squandered every bit of good will from everyone the world over. Nobody in Eritrea (unless they are immediate beneficiaries) has a darn thing positive to say about it. Do you know where the funds for paying Tegadelties 10.000 birr each in cash in the early 90s came from? The funds, 100 million birr, was loaned to Eritrea from Ethiopia (to cover that and also stabilize banking payments after independence). We can only work for peace and development by investing on trust. We know how sadistic PFDJ is. It is a regime that asks $150 a head from survivors of Lampedusa tragedy to a certain that they are not Ethiopians. We know our people are mostly poor and uneducated, the wretched and cursed that PFDJ is, it plays this handicap of our people sadistically. It manufactures lies, foments conflicts and exacerbates other people’s unfortunate situations.

        The group holding state power in Eritrea is full of dirty background and gruesome skeletons in its cupboard. Nothing worse can ever happen to Eritreans than what transpired under PFDJ and may continue to be fomented by it. We know how to look after our interest, how to work with others and how to build our nation. We don’t need the most sadistic, ignorant and parasitic entity as PFDJ to do any of that for us. PFDJ is broken beyond repair, it has no chance of recovering its lost glory and the good old heydays. Eritreans would never forget the miseries, tragedies and utter destruction wrought on them by a small group that they trust at a grave peril to themselves and the future of the nation. We have all helped the PFDJ to loot, destroy and bankrupt our country for generations to come. Call a spade a spade, be it woyane or anyone has no physical limitation to physically destroy PFDJ, they can’t do it because it is immoral, illegal and unsustainable thing to do over the head of the Eritrean people. Otherwise, if they were to go after PFDJ today, you’ll never hear of the latter come the weekend. There is no way that those condemned to waste away in national service would volunteer to take the ultimate sacrifice to assuage the ego of the diaspora PFDJ cheerleaders (tebelexti). Under PFDJ, Eritrea has no future, no prospect for peace nor any semblance of normality.

        Woyane/Ethiopia/TPLF/EPRDF… are strictly business, you or me don’t owe them a dime. If you believe they hate you and they are after you, well, get over it but please don’t make it appear Eritreans share your sentiments (most). Eritreans are not only going to Ethiopia from Eritrea (as refugees), but many are going from diaspora to do business and other activities. Eritreans don’t buy the whole PFDJ “hide me hide me” hate mongering. If you wish to be respected, offer it. If you wish kindness, give it. If you wish justice, act it. Hate begets hate while understanding and humility is the way to peaceful and fulfilling existence. No Eritrean would wish to see the current tragedies continue and even escalate, unfortunately, unless PFDJ is removed swiftly, that will happen. Eritreans have lived great acts of mistaken judgement as well as negligence and out right stupidity. No more. PFDJ can keep talking hate, yet it is too late. The righting is on the wall, it is time that we speak in one voice and work for democratic government, institutional accountability and the safety and dignity of our people as a first priority. Ethiopia is for Ethiopians by Ethiopians and so is Eritrea to us. This is not the time to make a mockery of our existence as a people and nation. You are not a beholden to fear that you don’t own. Trust yourself and the rest would follow.

        There is no point drawing knife against your fellow justice seekers, in the end the people would vote their rulers and the race is to reach that mark. PFDJ is a thing of the past, it has nothing new to offer to anyone. It has only past glory to live on. Talking hate, fear and suspicion isn’t leadership rather dereliction of moral duty in the face of severe danger that your people are faced with. Think Eritrea, and the Ethiopians would take care of themselves.

        Regards

        • Saba

          I think it is better to distinguish between tplf and Ethiopians. I feel more close to someone from tigray or amara than to someone from eritrean kunama even though i will be loyal to the fellow citizen. We were close and we are, we will be close to Ethiopians in all aspects and it is beautiful. So this is not about people to people. It is about Eritrean people and tplf. Remember they declared war in massive scale. Just because you hate pfdj you do not have to forget everything and try hard in sweetening tplf.
          Instead of talking more about pfdj, tplf, we should talk about how to remove pfdj. That is what i call a SOLUTION. Do you have a solution?

        • Hope

          Nice and sweet–easy to say—Yeah,that is what we are looking for but I cannot comprehend you at all when you keep ignoring the facts on ground—Can you help me understand as to why your weyanes keep dreaming and doing things that hurt Eritrea and Eritreans—?Forget about PFDG gang now–as we are clear about it.But the role the weyanes are playing is playing even more for my misery.
          If someone is doing everything possible to make me miserable,why wouldn’t I hate them? I wish I have the power to retaliate in the best way possible so as to live in peace.
          Your answer is going to be that the weyanes are trying to get DIA but at the expense of the Eritreans and Eritrea though?Right?
          You know—I careless about their existence let alone their business–as much as I careless about the existence of the PFDJ.
          You have the right to be the “Hawariya”or “Deciple/Evangelist” of the weyanes—-but —-

        • Abinet

          Amen! No wonder they call you ” THE GREAT “

        • Ali-S

          Haile Bro,

          I think you are missing the point of the debate all together. We know everything that you are saying and we may even add a lot more spices. The situation is horrible and the future as it is terrible.

          The question is what is the solution? That is not specific enough so let us assume that we agree on the solution that the only option for a better Eritrea is to take the President and the PFDJ “kab suru beqwuiqka” and out of the window.

          The specific question is how do we do it? Our suggestion is that we make it beyond question that when the PFDJ is gone we should be in a better place. That is worse off outcome is not acceptable.

          Because even this plane would have an infinite number of solutions, we need to add more conditions to make it more specific and doable. Our suggestion is that we rule out means that have a high probability of producing a worse off outcome. One way of doing it is by guaranteeing that the process will not involve a civil war as means of struggle.

          The question you should answer without beating around the bush is whether you support that we should consciously go to a civil war to bring change in Eritrea. This of course is nothing new in Eritrea. In the early 70s the ELF decided that it is either those guys or us and the only way to do it was to ignite a civil war. And latter the EPLF reached the same Zero-Sum conclusion and applied the same logic. In your opinion, was there anything that either of them could have eliminated the other without a civil war?

          On whether Ethiopia is an admissible means of political change in Eritrea (that the opposition may take as a ride), I think you and all those who are selling the idea know very well (with all due respect) that you are all talking nonsense. You can’t convince me that the whole Tigray nation that is bending down and kissing boots in the opposition to give anyone a ride to Asmara is just doing it for fun.

          This has nothing to do with you (now I know you are Eritrean). But if I were TPLF (toof belo), I would be embarrassed to practically beg people to accept them as an option worthy of consideration. I am not surprised I think they just want to remain relevant and useful to an old master and that is where the “complexity” is coming in. We want them to respect themselves and pick themselves up and deal with us as equals. They don’t have to prove anything. Do they?

        • Amanuel

          Haile

          Can you please revisit the “Do you know where the funds for paying Tegadelties 10.000 birr each in cash in the early 90s came from?” I think Tegadeities got only 500 each in cash in the early 90s.

          • haile

            Hi Aman,

            Correct me if I am wrong, but I understood the directive was to pay “UPTO” 10,000 birr for the time being then, while pending further measures to give opportunities for training, self-employment or higher education. In reality, the “UPTO” clause may have meant that not everyone took the same amount. It has been long time but I sure swear some had taken a lot more than 500 birr (now I will leave it open for you to tell us otherwise). There was also some provision of supplements in food (stable cereals as taff and sirnay), and all civilians were taken out of government residential premises to vacate it to tegadelties (because that is cheaper /next to nothing too). So, I am not sure how to generalize this but my point was that money was loaned to Eritrea by Ethiopia to off set those early resettlement packaged. Later on (around 2004) the regime had also borrowed a certain amount from world bank, in which it claimed that it demobilized 50, 000 where they were claimed to have received all sorts of packages including therapy 🙂

          • Amanuel

            Hi Haile
            I am sure that Tegadeities got only 500 birr each. This was around Jan 1992. This was for every Tegadalay. However, if you are talking about demobilisation payment, yes it was more ( some got up 10k). As the demobilisation process was in groups for example those who joined the front after 1990 and those before and the amount was accordingly. There was also payment for martyrs families so i have no problem with 100m birr loan. I was just to make clear that 10k was not for every Tegadalay.

      • Saba

        Lol, tihisho doctor:) and would you recommend political rehab to the so-called “cyber opposition”. @Rodab, i will use it until they come out to the field and until i rehabilitate them since i am now certified by Hope:)
        I remember that 1994-6 period. It is a complex issue. We should focus on how to bring democracy and basic right for everybody.
        Those guys from opposition are working hard in sweetening tplf.

  • Dawit

    The political players

    • Saba

      Dawit, that is nice. He is saying itch embley with that face:)

    • ALI-S

      Dawit: fantastic! how amazing to say so much with just a picture

    • Saba

      The Gemel=the opposition want to go so FAST even with the help of tplf
      The Gobye=pfdj:”akaydana akayda gobye iyu”, nikulukatkum kinerkubelkum ina

  • Hope

    Johar,I was waiting to respond to the “bigotry” above.
    No need to be humble in Politics eventhough just ignoring bigots works well.
    dine,
    FYI,Salih Johar is an ELF Veteran.I hinted my back ground to Haile and there is no need of “exposing” myself.
    There is ONE fact though:
    I was fighting neck to neck with your Tigreyan Esepa Assasins in Keren and Asmara—to the extent of losing one of the best Fedayeens by those Mercenary Assasins,which I will never forget–until I revenge to my best satisfaction.
    The tens of thousands dergue POW–were ,in fact treated,much better than the EPLF fighters having three meals a day and enjoying all kinds of Sports—
    The job they were doing was to make them to have mental satisfaction–rather than keeping them bored and depressed .
    You will never ,ever,find any major msichief against the Eritreans and their struggle–as every and any bit of their cause has been legitimate but have still remained the victims of all kinds of atrocities—But Eritrtea and Eritreans will prevail–as Truth and Justice will prevail–no matter what—History has proven it.
    They prevailed against the brutal regimes of Janhoy,Mengistu—and thus far–prevailed against the all evil acts of TPLF and PFDJ.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hailat,
    well done. Except you took some of my argument of my in coming article. Above all I like your resolve well pivoted against the evil system we have.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista,

    Here are some of the critical flaws in Ali-S arguments:

    – The claim that all the challenges against HGDEF that he listed could have used force but were smarter than the rest of the lot is really cooked up. Every single one of them were ignored, castigated, accused and dehumanized (including Ali-S himself when he was advocate of “Lowland crusade against the highland settlers”) as sellouts, weyane stooges, defeatists, CIA agents, unEritrean, Eritreans with Tigray ancestery…regionalists, jihadists, Quislings…by the Eritrean masses. Forget your claim that some “could have ordered the army” I boo that shame really, Mesfin Hagos was hit with chairs, slapped kicked and run for his safety from his first ever public meeting that he organized in UK back in 2001. Listen to tegadalay “wedi leya” and the techniques used to implicate the G-15. Many Eritreans (christians -orthodox) are never sympathetic to Jehova or Pente cause (may feel sorry for the people) but are dead against them. I heard people saying pente and HIV AIDS must be eliminated from Eritrea. Until very recently, it was taboo to attend opposition gatherings, opposition (including families of G-15) were totally castigated and distanced in the diaspora. You’re making up one big fat lala story to tell us that all those people were against civil war, no no no…that was the outcome of the public indifference due to the PFDJ’s high popularity (courtesy of EPLF) in post independence. So, we are to believe wedi ali took a taxi ride to Forto!!! In the flip side of your twisted and in-your-face type of re-writing history, you contradict yourself. On one hand you believe the PFDJ (what you dubbed “first way”) is dictatorship, which can only mean to be an entity ruling by the barrels of the gun. Then by supporting it, you are supporting civil war, only in the opposite direction that is. You are calling to work with an entity that relies on the use of force to hold on to power (call it “the first way civil war”) and condemning those who want to snatch their stolen right and destiny by use of all means necessary (call it “the second way civil war”). So, you’re just an advocate of one form of civil war (to effect repression) and oppose another type of civil war (to over throw the yoke of oppression).

    Peace

    PS: One thing still hard to believe is that you were an advocate of the worst form of conflict (could even escalate to genocide) by your arguments of land grab/highlander fascism/ settler theory. All the sudden, you want to side with a regime that falls into the primary target group that you worked a whole decade to agitate against!! Hard to believe your sincerity. Can you give us evidence that the Tigrigna dominance in power has become more diversified, the PFDJ removed settlers, the highlands became ethnic and religious melting pot than you previously thought? Why have you taken the strategic decision to support a side that you were hell bent o make a fascist settler out of. Nothing is stupid in Eritrean politics, just that you know.

  • Kaddis

    Gash Ali Salim

    The first two paragraphs – were fine – if you only substitute Eritrea with Ethiopia.
    Meaning – it gives good message for Ethiopian oppositions who consider EPRDF as
    illegitimate, an outsider with no mandate to rule the country, no hope to be
    reformed/ influenced and have no good intention towards Ethiopia ….regardless
    of its contribution to a progressive Ethiopia.

    The opposition in Eritrea and EPRDF – have made one identical mistake: they
    both underestimated the effect of Shabia’s and Dergue’s propaganda.
    Accordingly, Eritrean opposition could not defeat Shaiba’s mentality out of the
    Eritrean masses and the opposition itself and EPRDF lost the entire Dergue fed elite in the diaspora and
    in-country.

  • Kaddis

    Gash Ali Salim

    The first two paragraphs – were fine – if you only substitute Eritrea with Ethiopia.
    Meaning – it gives good message for Ethiopian oppositions who consider EPRDF as
    illegitimate, an outsider with no mandate to rule the country, no hope to be
    reformed/ influenced and have no good intention towards Ethiopia ….regardless
    of its contribution to a progressive Ethiopia.

    The opposition in Eritrea and EPRDF – have made one identical mistake: they
    both underestimated the effect of Shabia’s and Dergue’s propaganda.
    Accordingly, Eritrean opposition could not defeat Shaiba’s mentality out of the
    Eritrean masses and EPRDF lost the entire Dergue fed elite in the diaspora and
    in-country.

  • Hope

    Emma/Wedi Memhir Hidrat,
    I respect you positions but I do NOT buy your arguemnets about:
    1)The National Service in our current situation–Tell me what you would do if you were in PIA’s/PFDJ’s position–considering the current facts–with honesty.
    Current situation means:
    -No War No Peace Status
    -Total Economic and Miltary Sanction
    -Continous threat by the South–both perceived and real–up to an open invasion as recent as May of 2013 and a continous and ongoing effort to tighten the existing sanction and trying to create another one as recent as yesterday and today!!!.
    2)The GoE has the same position as you do now until 1998 and the size of the National Army was down to 50K per the CIA Fact Book
    3)Even after the Algiers Agreement,there was a huge attempt to rehab most of the conscripts—and most women conscripts were rehabed.
    Emma, get the facts and get real.Just try to read the other side of the coin.
    N.B. Pls,I am not trying to justify the PFDJ mishandling of the National Service but to address the other side of the challenge,for the sake of fairness,at least,if not from the National Security point of view.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam hope,

      First and foremost please open your mind. The fact you mentioned is your own fact only. Check other sources for your own benefit (we did the same argument for a decade). Let me correct your fact. And you ask me if I were in the position PIA what will I do?

      (1) if we are in no war no peace situation, the national service could only be run for a year service, focus on economic development, let the free market flourish, engage with Ethiopia and international community to end the stalemate of the border issue, bring normalization of the two brotherly people and work for mutual relationship on economic development to allow free flow of goods and services.

      (2) The military sanction of the UN is not based on the Ethio-Eritrean border conflict , but it is based on the engagement of the Eritrean regime with non-state actors (terrorist =Alshebab) and its insatiable of war provocation against DJibouti.

      (3) The GoE hadn’t the same position to my position. They don’t want to pull from Badme to pre-May 1998. The US/Ruwand proposal ask for withdrawal and the international community to address the cause of the conflict, for which I supported it.

      (4) the rest will fall within the frame of the above argument.

      • Hope

        Thanks.I hope people will NOT laugh at you.
        1)But,consider the Ethiopian side and position—please,are you that much naive?I don’t think so.Engage with Ethiopia–how and on what basis?How would you handle the preconditions the Weyanes put forward and their implications??
        2)Who do you think has been behind all these sanctions,the Djbouti provocation,etc—-
        The Al-Shebab thing?? Get it real Emma.Who do you think has been behind all the War Lords.
        Your facts vs my facts???
        If you needs the real facts:
        Read the South African Report as to who was arming Al Shebab.
        SEMG leader was fired for making up stories–if those were your facts.
        Read the Inner City report on the Djbouti provocation.The report/accusation was written 4-5 months before the incident.Again, get it real.
        3)US-Rwanda Proposal: This was ere–covered with honey proposal—have some idea about the so called International Law vs Colonial Treaties
        4)Tell us ,please, your version of the causes of the conflict—-
        Unless you are telling me that the Weyanes have been right,repeating the same Weyane Litany will not help me.
        Unfortunately,might is right,and size matters—Geo-poltical interest matters—we are losers at least for now.

      • Saba

        tplf’s spokesperson would not say it better.

  • AMAN

    No matter whether the Ethiopian rulers harbor some ulterior ageda against Eritrea
    or not ; Eritrea should always have its priorities right and defended at all times.
    And refering to their records and past actions it is not improbable or unconsevable
    they will make a u-turn suddenly against Eritrea.
    We have seen that HSI abolish and eliminate at a stroke and a minutes decision
    the Fedral arrangement as a result of his panic of the 1960 coup.
    We have also seen that the tplf/Eprdf turn against Eritrea at a minutes decision
    when it wants to accept the demands of chauvenists and dergue remnants with
    grudges of their defeat and against Eritrea without any repect to the treaties of
    1988-89 between EPLF and EPRDF.

  • Hope

    He is jsut forwarding his opinions and suggestions—Your job is to challenge his arguemenst/opinion and to come up with better opinions and solutions,NOT to call names.
    He has a right to make as much U-Turns as he would like, as he is entitled to his opinions,thanks to the AT and its forum.

  • T. Kifle

    Only Truth can save Eritrea: No size of military hardware does.

    You remember Haile Duru’e’s speech in his Frankfurt meeting with Eritreans just before he was thrown to his dungeons? He explained at length about the one-man-handling of the entire war period and tried to attribute the failure to mismanagement. He squarely blamed Ethiopia for starting the war while he was in the middle of initiating reform in his government.

    Ali-Salim and Semere Tesfay subscribe to the same falsehood and they labour to dramatize it with intellectual touch. Saleh Y. is somehow rehabilitated from his frenzy and reduced his causation from “war monger Ethiopia ignited senseless war” to “escalating a skirmish to an all out war” while training his new gun that Ethiopia is culpable for the sad state of affair the opposition fellas operating from Addis are in.

    YG made the true “U-Turn” from cheer-leading IA’s decisions and the Eritrean “might” and put the entire history of Eritrea (Ghedli) under microscope much to the chagrin of many.

    Saleh Johar stood clear as far as the war is concerned but couldn’t afford the discomfort he sustained as a result and resorted to a theory of “Eritrean pride” which somehow he thinks it would help him acquire some soft corners in Eritrean Hearts.

    Amanuel Hidrat, I believe, seems to have a positive view of the horn in general and Ethiopia in particular but as the witty Ermias has put it in his rejoinder to Eyob M., he should weigh his words in order to stay in cousre with the crowd and have meaningful conversation without being labled as a unionist like YG, Hayat, Papilion (probably Serray).

    The confusion starts in equating Ethiopia and Eritrea in terms of balance of power. If Ethiopia was as evil as IA’s Eritrea was, no amount of conscripts would save it from disintegration and subjugation. Luckily, Ethiopia have priorities better than fabricating wars, respects rules of engagements no matter how bad IA’s decisions and actions were/are.

    So Ali-Salim: you better know this at the earliest:
    Eritrea’s role should be cooperative and hope for the best that Ethiopia would treat her as equal-nothing more nothing less.

    • Ermias

      T. Kifke, thank you. I could never have possibly put it the way you did. I just can never come to terms when so many intelligent people get duped by ‘Ethiopia is using every means necessary to kill the Eritrean dream.’ Who can stop Ethiopia from exercising whatever it wishes? Even if we assume that the Ethiopian forces were stopped, can Eritrea sustain repeated offensives? Please people, just come to terms with it. I have said here before that my best hope is for Ethiopia to be apathetic. I am not advocating for kneeling down but simply be realistic. Eritrea needs Ethiopia more than the other way around. Just refer to the past 14 years. Given this, it is to our best interest to learn humility and be respectful of our giant and powerful neighbor. We can ask later any repatriations, apologies, or whatever and reciprocate the favor for anything we may have done wrong on behalf of IA because he will never do it. Trust me, Eritrea would be prosperous in no time because there would be a market 25 times more. Artists, merchants, growers, everybody would benefit from such a huge market, just to name one straightforward reality.

      • Abinet

        Ermias
        Every Eritrean specially the elites know these facts and the benefit of peace and cooperation with Ethiopia . However, they think cooperation as weakness and kneeling down to Ethiopia ,woyane,…
        A true Eritrean is that who hates Ethiopia , blames Ethiopia for everything under the sun,has extremely inflated ego….
        If you are humble, not a hater, need peace and cooperation for the benefit of both people , they call you a sellout , woyane,even worse, Ethiopian .
        So, Ermias, you are asking a lot of u- turns. Good luck.

    • Hope

      Why don’t you subscribe to the other truth though?I call this an intellectual and political bankruptsy.
      You cannot, by any means, erase hsitory let alone hard core facts.
      Just to refresh your memory:
      -Read Meles Zenawi’s interview with his Jewsih Master,in 1990
      -Review the Tigray Manifesto–with its map
      -Read the Abay Tigray Map of 1997/the new Birr Tender
      -Review the open unprovoked invasion of Adi Murug–and the official exchange of the letters between the two leaders
      -Review the pre-1998 war continous harrassement of the Eritreans in the border by theTigreyan Militia and the murder of the 7 Eritrean Innocent Officers in Badme by the same Tigreyan Militia who (the Officers)only went to calm down the unpleasant situation of the Eritreans in the border by the Local Tigreyan Militia.
      FYI–SAAY is only right when he said “escalating a skirmish to an all out war” .
      Eritreans never have believed in the size of the military hardware or the size of conscripts but has no choice other than defending themselves by any means possible.

    • Papillonn

      Dear T. Kifle,

      Isaias doesn’t have to hold his cards close to his chest in a bid to make them less conspicuous, simply because he has a license to beat the educated class at his own game. The educated class do not see in you a T.P.L.F or a Font with an acronym, rather they see in you a Tigrean. That is precisely where the anomaly is. An anomaly with a life of its own; an anomaly with a twisted history of its own. The elixir to it is not the truth D’ruE had echoed in the wilderness, it is the truth that is trying to break out from the unbearable weight of Gedli. Unless the educated class come to terms with it, the vicious cycle remains unrelenting.

      Haft’kha.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Selam All

    I’m not trying to clarify Ali Salim’s position here; and I’m not even sure if we both are at the same wavelength. But let me explain my position to the best of my understanding of the issue at hand (hopefully Ali Salim’s as well). And to make my point, let me start with my Tigrigna analogy.

    ሓደ ግዜ፡ ውላድ ዝባሃገት ጨካን ጐሬበት፡ ናይ ጐረቤታ ቆልዓ ትሰርቕ። እታ ውላዳ ዝተሰርቃ ኣደ፡ ወዳ ኣብ ሕቑፊ ጐሬቤታ ምስ ረኣየቶ፡ ወደይ… ወደይ… ወደይ….ኢላ፡ ወዳ መንጢላ ክትወስድ ጎያ ትመጽእ። እታ ጨካን ጐሬበት ግን፡ ወድኺ ዳኣ ድለይምበር፡ እዚስ ትሽዓተ ወርሒ ኣብ ከብደይ ጸይረ፡ ዒሕ ኢለ ዝወለድክዎ ወላደይ እዩ – ኢላ ምቕራብ ትኸልኣ።

    በዚ ተኻሲሰን ድማ ናብ ዳኛ ይኸዳ። ዳኛ ካኣ ፍታሕ ምስ ጨነቖ – እሞ ክልቴኽን ውላደይ ኢልክን ካብ መሓልክን፡ ክልቴኽን ካኣ ውላደይ ኣይህብን ኢልክን ካብ ነቐጽክን – ፍርደይ፡ ነቲ ህጻን ብማዕረ ኣብ ክልተ መቒልካ፡ ፈፍርቅኽን ምሃብ’ዩ በለን። እታ ጨካን ጐረቤት፡ ሕራይ ፍርቀይ ሃቡኒ በለት። እታ ወላዲት ኣደ ግን ኣይጨከነትን። ደሓን ትሰዶ፡ ወሲዳ ድማ ተዕብዮ። ምስ ዓበየ ካኣ፡ እንተኾነ ኣደይ ኢሉ ጐዩ ይመጸኒ፡ ከምኡ ተኾነ ድማ፡ መልክዑን ብጽሕነቱን እንዳረኣኹ ነዛ ዓይነይ ይሕጐስ – በለት ይበሃል።

    And this is the moral of the story. The whole objective of the Eritrean opposition is not power. The whole objective of the opposition is to see peaceful, prosperous and democratic Eritrea. And there is a requirement to have peaceful, prosperous democratic Eritrea: Eritrea must exist. Therefore:

    – Protecting the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Eritrea is job one

    – Violent regime change (civil war) is a wrong method of struggle; because it jeopardizes the very existence of Eritrea and it won’t bring us peace, stability, prosperity, democracy…. We have tried it many times; and all we are left with is deep scares. We don’t need more of the same.

    – Our struggle isn’t and shouldn’t be today or never; and our struggle isn’t and shouldn’t be by any means. As in any game, our method of regime change should have strict rules and strict discipline.

    – If we (the opposition) can’t get the job done in our lifetime, let Eritrea live, so our children can have the opportunity to get it done; and get it done right.

    True, Ahmed Nasser and many of the leaders of ELF-RC who made the right decision under his leadership may never have the chance to walk among their people in independent Eritrea. But that doesn’t mean they and the people of Eritrea are not proud of their decision. And if Ahmed Nasser and his comrades can see beyond their differences for the good of the greater cause (independent Eritrea), there is no reason why the rest of us – under similar circumstance couldn’t do the same.

    All I’m saying is, lets frame our political competition in a way that doesn’t jeopardizing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Eritrea, and the unity of the Eritrean people. That’s all.

    • Hope

      Good job our Veteran,cannot agree more and God bless you–but people are deliberately twisting your good intentions and arguements but who cares,let them fantasize .
      One thing is TRUE–Eritrea and Eritreans will prevail–sooner or late,r but we have to work hard and be VIGILANT as you clearly poitned out.

  • Ali Salim/Younis, you seem to depict again what we learned from the regime politics, the environment where you flourished. Yet the picture give no sign of your asserted u-turn is real. I sense and see that you’re still captive of your 1990th..
    Since you touch so many diverting and opposing topics it’s unclear regarding your underlying motives.
    But one thing is clear you oppose the oppositions and want to cover up the illegitimate government by claiming its leadership as legitimate for peoples dream. As the regim does, you invest more in fear, the phobi of Ethiopia and fear solutions other than ourselves. As the regime normaly alleges all problems either to USA or Ethiopia or/and both. You seem, your old guards EPLF veterans will once again save the sinking ship. Those who failed in their golden age would do in their fallen age, how it souds unrealistic!
    Believe me the regime has no U-turn, nor can any ship save it.
    I advise you to join properly with the oppositions hand in hand instead for those who want cosmetic change. Eritrea is paying high price for the wrong teachings from the inceptions of sahil mountains where every body was tought to keep secret, silent and obedient, docile. accepting whatever is said and told. Thus killed creativity, authensity, rights, free expression, justice and all these lead to curruption, indifference, ego and aggression in dealing with common matters and we see the pattern clear from those fleeing Eritrea including you.
    The regime will die by its own weaknesses and the democratic rule will be established by the youth and the veteran oppositions be part of it and discard the disease you inherited in those ten years.

    • ALI-S

      Wed Garza,

      I know what you are saying. Thanks for the advice. I still need to work on things.

      How about I give you one advice? When you read anything try to forget about the writer and focus on what is written. Try and read it again because you skipped the whole thing you didn’t even say if you are for a civil war to take PIA out. How old are you by the way? If you were born after 1998 I won’t blame you for your Ethiopia comment (:)

      • The long articles you write are almost all are recycled ones.However, You noted that I skipped civil war, which is a propaganda machine used by the regime for the last 17 years, not new nor is alarming as you portrayed it. What worse would come than this henious leader who depleted and degraded the nation? Fear project (civil war) in the peoples mind, that’s what kept him on, supported by phrases like; he’s alone, no one helps him…. and yet you repeat the same scrap, as if you learned nothing during those years.
        For me the solution is: take PIA out the sooner the better.
        civil war is a propaganda film orchestrated non other than the higdefites and their cyber generals just to cause fear and terror predicting the worst and urge people to accept the devil.
        I repeat there is nothing worse than this being in Eritrea, thus I welcome any real leader!!!!

  • Haqi

    Ali
    Who made you the Ref of Eritrean opposition? the same people you were bashing a few years ago now you are praising them. Who is to say you won’t make another u turn to bash them.

    I heard the same message you are preaching from diehard pfdj goons for years. Pls at least be original, instead of being copy cat. Reading your boring article is like sitting in pfdj mekete, way Tata

    Haile the great
    Thank you. you are rational brother and I agree with your post. Kan beka beal Ali ne hizbi Eritrea nieqomo.

  • Mussia

    Yet another long article followed up with yet more long comments. The problem with the opposition is we love to talk, some of us more than others.

  • Ermias

    Ali-S,

    There are only two options – regime change and PFDJ, so you will have to choose one or the other. Reforming PFDJ is not only a sufficient but also a necessary condition for your third way to come to realization.

    Reforming PFDJ – But how do you implement the third way if PFDJ refuses to reform as they have suggested it can happen in moon but not here? Even after IA goes to heaven for all his good deeds, we are left to assume that some of the high level officials and generals have already some ideas as to how to stir the ship with IA’s absence. But there is nothing that points to that assumption. It will be PFDJ II.

    Regime change – Honestly, I am not very worried about Ethiopian intentions. They have geopolitical interests in the area for sure but I hope I am not being naive to assume that they don’t want a failed Eritrean state. The Ethiopian regime is actually very busy building lots of things, for example, “ye kelal babur project ginbata” in the middle of Addis. I saw that on ETV and I couldn’t help but get really impressed with their efforts. And our own regime is busy beating the drum of fear mongering as always. But they are right, only Ethiopian intervention can weed them out (I get misunderstood when I say this all the time).

    Civil war – I doubt it. Don’t go by what you see in the diaspora. I don’t believe the regime has that proportion of support in Eritrea. So it will be the people against the regime, not the people against each other but if you believe the regime is the people, then we need to chat more.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Ermias,

      “….I am not being naive to assume that they don’t want a failed Eritrean state…”

      Sorry. You are not only being naive, but border line paranoid. No. Ethiopia does not want a ‘failed Eritrean State’ next door. Don’t you see? A failed state means another Somalia. Thousands more refugees, open field for foreign terrorists, possible civil conflict that definitely will spill over the border etc…. Tell me, why would Ethiopia need that? It costs us a whole lot more and disturb the peace that we are now able to enjoy after so many decades in that area. Unless it’s Isayas Afeworki, who would want not to keep that peace? Considering other so many important mega projects, the light train, though it’s important, it’s the least that Ethiopia is engaging now. There are mega multinationals like H&M and TESCO are setting a shop in Ethiopia bringing thousands of jobs, why would we want a failed and unstable state scare them off and lose kinds of opportunities that are falling on our laps? I just don’t get these irrational, but largely Shabia implanted fear and paranoia that is coming from even reasonable and sensible Eritreans like you….What I can tell you is, though such kind of paranoia is a very good tool for the regime to keep its tight grip, and that’s very sad…

      • Truth

        Why is it that the EU and West are scared about 40K Russian troops on the Ukraine border but yet you want us to believe the Ethiopian regime has no ill intentions given their 300K troops on our border? Get real. We know how you operate and unfortunately peace is not what you seek.

        • House of Stark

          Truth
          First off Ethiopia does not have 300k troops, it only have 180k, and they are not all stationed on the boarder with Eritrea.

      • Ermias

        Eyoba,

        I read almost everything you post on Awate.com, that how much I learn from you and that is how much I respect you. However, I have two problems with you:

        1. Sometimes, you take portions of what is said even in one sentence and you dwell on that and you incorrectly analyze the entire post. Here is an example. I said:

        “Honestly, I am not very worried about Ethiopian intentions. They have geopolitical interests in the area for sure but I hope I am not being naive to assume that they don’t want a failed Eritrean state. The Ethiopian regime is actually very busy building lots of things…”

        In my mind this means, the Ethiopian regime is looking at the bigger picture, just as you brilliantly described giving the Somalian example. Again, I never worry about Ethiopia killing the Eritrean dream. I will not believe it until I see it which leads me to…

        2. Please correct me if I am wrong Eyoba, but I suspect that, an educated person that you are, you probably only know highly educated Eritreans like yourself. I encourage you to meet just ordinary Eritreans, which on the average I would presume would be at the level of middle school, if that. So information flow is limited for most Eritreans which leads to the unfortunate fact that all they know is what Eri-TV and PFDJ operatives tell them. I know this is blunt but I am sorry, if I am wrong, I will stand corrected. So when I write, I try to be sympathetic to this large population. When I said “I hope I am not being naive to assume that they don’t want a failed Eritrean state” I can ascertain you that the average Eritrean will find that statement indeed naive. As you may have calculated by now, that is Ali-S’s main issue, insecurity about Ethiopia’s intentions but he is an elite Eritrean. I think it would really help you to put yourself in a ‘tera eritrean sew’ shoes when you read the posts here. Then you will know where we are coming from. I could have easily said, Ethiopia has no bad intentions although it has to protect its interests…that would put me in the sellout crowd. I am playing my cards wisely by choosing my words in a way that I can influence opinions without losing all my credibility.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Ermi,

          First of all, I think you are giving me too much credit. I am very humbled that you think of me very highly. I understood about the larger crowed that you are trying to appeal to. However, I believe (This is just my personal opinion) people, no matter what their education level is, they better be told the truth. Having said that, I also understand the good size of Eritrean psyche (the Eri TV viewers). In my opinion, however to wake them up from their sleep, sugar coating facts doesn’t help. Let me give you an example. In Ethiopia some 20 years ago, when EPRDF came up with the ethnic federation idea, the vast majority Ethiopians went severely against it. From the very highly educated elite to the very uneducated laymen, across the board were certain that ‘woyane’ was in a mission to disintegrate the country. EPRDF, starting from Meles Zenawi, kept explaining the details of what they envision without sugar coating it, no matter it had made them unpopular. I specifically remember, when Meles said “without what it stands for, a flag is just piece of cloth”, yet the large majority of the people heard and run away with was “..a flag is just a piece of cloth..” That incomplete sentence was used against him as the proof that his plan was only to disintegrate Ethiopia. Yet, instead of apologizing for it, he kept explaining what he meant, until his critics lost luster and his argument became understood with so many of his former detractors. He could have used the convenience of apologizing for the slip up, kiss and make up or could give some platitude BS to get away from the controversy. But that kind of dialog and way of explaining things would be just a ‘band aid’ solution. The problem will later comes back and force you explain yourself again. One of the reason that I admire YG is that he doesn’t give a hoot about what his critics say of him. He says it as he sees it. It may have taken of a lot of article to explain what he thinks, but he certainly has a whole lot more followers than he used to, and some of his now new admirers are his former critics. Why? Because he doesn’t sugar coat and he doesn’t say things to the comfort of his listeners. As a smart, witty and forward looking as you are, you would be making a great deal of contribution to both people if you speak your mind without sugar coating it. That is just my opinion, Ermuka…. 🙂

          • Saba

            Hi Eyob,
            For all your sweet talk, i wish it was true, i will remind you that tplf declared full scare war with eritrea. Can you explain for what reason?

          • Papillonn

            Saba,

            I thought Ali Salim was the only person who is confused. What a pity!

          • Saba

            May be by the standards of your cyber opposition but not by the standards of common sense and reality. You can protect your country and fight for democracy!

          • Abinet

            “Kecherqu gar t’eb yelenim .yefelege angbo mezor yichilal” meles zenawi (rip)

          • Ermias

            Eyoba, I have noted your points. Thank you sir!

          • Hope

            Your sugar coated policy is the only threat –and that is theTruth you are denying.You say this but you do that.
            As to YG,let him talk about the past and enjoy his fallacious logic.Let those less than 300 Asmarino visitors follow him and let them join their old mama ethiopia,which is the whole purpose of the propaganda.
            As to our internal affairs—we will take care of it and it is only a matter of time specially if you leave us alone.
            PIA failure does not mean the failure of the whole ghedli and the whole Eritrea and Eritreans.

        • Hope

          Ermi et all—Emma and Hailat Included,
          BTW–Hailat,this is not PFDJ propaganda but the TPLF Official Declarations—so please, “shut up your big mouth and do NOT Tell me about the weyanization of the Eritrean Politics)
          You already declared officially to be in the “Camp of sell outs”
          For God’s sake,please read what is written:
          -Review wikileakes
          -Go to Tigray online
          -Review the Walta Info Ctr of the MoFA of Ethiopia–The Horn on the Week/Aiga Forum.
          If you do NOT have time,Hailat and Emma included,let me refresh your memory(unless you have a selective dimentia).
          -“If we do NOT like the color of their eyes, we have every right to deport any body”–even if they were born in the center of Addis; and even if they earned every bit of what they owed with their sweat and blood and even if they contributed to the development of ethiopia–specially their contribution to the TPLF and Tigray people—from 1991-1997.
          -They officially declared as their modus operandi of “No War NO Peace” to subjugate and destroy Eritrea and Eritreans by any means possible—to this minute—still trying to tighten and even create another sanction–for the same pupose of destroying Eritrea and to create another Somalia
          -They openly invaded Eritrea many times as a provocation-as recent as last Spring–per their official declaration
          -They officialy declared that they will invade Eritrea to change the regime by any means possible with full support and knowledge of their masters(“Heads up”—“-Four -Step plan”—as to how to create havoc inside Eritrea with their agents then intervene–Arab Spring Style and the Somali War Lords style
          -They have tried every and any evil thing under the Sun to change the regime and to divide Eritreans based on Region,Religion,Ethnicity—etc—
          -They officialy, at the State level,–attempted successfullly to issue fake Eritrean IDs(thanks to God that we will have a secured Eri ID soon with Eri Finger prints) and placed Tigreyans to the West/Oceania/Middle East/Israel as Eritrean Asylees–
          -They intentionally expanded their Refugee Camps– in the name of Eritreans but without any exaggeration,they are flooding their own people to the Camps to take advantage of us besides making money form the UNHCR in the name of Eritrean Refugee Students—
          -Etc—

          • Kim Hanna

            Dear Hope,
            Don’t hate too much. When you hate too much your logic goes away. When your logic goes away all your points are lost. When your points are lost you hate everybody. SO don’t hate too much.
            K.H

          • Hope

            Yeah,Easy to say it.
            If you understand Amharic–as you declared to be an Ethiopian,here is what they say:
            “Yegodda biresa,yetegodda airesam”.
            If you are wishing me and my people and my Eritrea to be wiped out of the world map–you watch as to who will be wiped out.

          • Ermias

            Hope, if true, all of that happened under PFDJ and IA’s watch. If weyane is using all means necessary to cause all the bad deeds you listed, the IA regime should also use all means necessary to protect its citizens from external harm. Instead, the regime is exposing Eritreans to the worst situation in the history of the state. You may claim, we defeated weyane but just compare and contrast the Eritrean spirit with the Ethiopian spirit. For the first time in their history, they are telling us ‘please stay away, we don’t want you without even us asking…’

          • Hope

            Anta sebaay,use you brain and read what is written.
            PIA has done too mcuh to us and contributed to the suffering—we agreed on that.But I will never erase away his spositive contribution as well.At the sIame time Iwill fight him with my two hands until he gives up and leaves us alone for good.
            But if you are telling me that the Weyanes or Ethippians have been kind enough to me,to my people and my Eritrea despite all the documented facts of atrocities,then –stay away from me and I do n not need your condolence.I do not need antyEthiopian or TPLF or Tigreyan helping hand-I just want them to leave me alone and saty away from my business.

          • dine

            every country have a right to deport foreigner for national security threats with out pulling their gold teeth out (just like u did) .

          • Saleh Johar

            dine,so Eritreans pulled golden teeth from Ethiopians? Then, why are we still poor?
            But your allegation is not as outrageous as one I heard from a guy who used to work for the UN in Kuwait–“Eritreans took the panties of our women!” Yaak. I vomited my lunch right there. But some gullible were nodding their heads in sadness. Seriously though, your type are the main reason we still have bigotry and hate all over the place.

          • dine

            it is your type and shabia r the main reason we still have bigotry and hate with very few ethiopians and very few eritreans. for me i see highlander eritreans the way i see ethiopians. I LOVE THEM.

          • Hope

            Weyo natinsi ni endahamten.I thought it was the Janhoy and dergue torserawit who were pulling out our Mothers’ goldenteeth.

          • dine

            derg, taking in to consideration their atrocity in the middle of addis , i believe they did that too,

          • Hope

            Johar,
            It was meant for dine—as he/she is expressing exactly what the torserawit and even the Weyanes did lately in Barentu and Tesenei.

          • Olana

            Mr.
            Hope and Mr Johar

            Mr. Hope,
            you were either wedi Mama or living in the west like Mr. Johar

            It is
            a public secret that EPLF had been seriously abusing the POW in the freed
            territories by forcing them to build roads and barracks. And it continued after
            liberation. During May and June of 1991many unheard atrocities were made on the
            durgi POW soldiers who were in Eritrea. Most of them were forced to travel many
            Kms to the boarder on bare foot and naked as their shoes and clothes were
            robbed by the “freedom fighters” let alone their gold rings and watches. Right after they entered Asmara it was common
            to find in the kebele billboards announcements that forced Ethiopians (majority
            Tigreans) to be registered so that they can be reported to the Red Cross as
            volunteer returnees. It was a kind of ‘Don’t
            tell them to leave but make them leave’. When they were ready to leave they
            were told to sell their properties like houses, furniture and other valuable items
            in Eritrea. A few Eritreans were made to believe to pay less for all properties
            that belong to Ethiopians as all these fortunes were made in the Eritrean soil.
            The truth is the other way round. We did
            it with respect and dignity and imagine it was after the Badme war which was triggered
            by your mad leader. Let’s tell the truth so that we can heal the wound and live
            in peace.

            Mr.
            Johar there is no nation that prospered by looting personal belongings of POW.

          • Hope

            We only deported the criminal dergue members who were killing our brothers,sisters,families–friends,etc– for nothing.But we did it with respect and dignity though thru the Red Cross.I am proud of the way we did it and the only reason we did it was- for their safety,(mind you keeping these people among their direct victims) as there was no way for them to be a threat to the newly liberated zone by any means.Your master–Meles zenawi (RIP)answered it in the best honest possible way.
            We did NOT deport your pregnant and post-partum women, sick kids and sick elderly people thru the burning Dankalia desert on bare foot.rather we, sent them in very comfortable Red Cross buses with food and drinks—–Let the Red Cross testify.That is the Eritrean culture.

          • dine

            when i say ” just like u did ” i meant ”just like shabia did”.

          • ALI-S

            Hope,

            I have been reading all your inputs: very cool headed.

            A question for Ermias:

            Where are you guys meeting ‘tera eritrean sew’ who thinks TPLF is an angel from heaven? I have never met one. I think TPLF is straight evil as far as Eritrea is concerned and it is only here that I am meeting Eritreans who think otherwise. When I see that, I try to give myself excuses that may be they are TPLF friends of Eritrea.

            Why would an Eritrean who has seen nothing but horror out of Ethiopia, think of TPLF much better than an Ethiopian Amhara or Oromo would think. You would think they are talking about Switzerland not Tigray. Unbelievable – the way some people prostrate! Am I missing something?

          • haile

            Ali-S

            Yes you’re missing logic (the author/philosopher Amanuel Sahle would disprove your hypothesis – he left his Swedish home to go to Tigray :). But let’s limit to experience for now. You told us that your life journey included Khartoum-Asmara-Durban/Pretoria-Canada. We don’t see any Tigray or Ethiopia in the list!! Well, we still think you’re are not making sense. Come out and tell us the real deal 🙂

          • Ermias

            Ali-S,

            Let me start with the positives:

            1. I really appreciate how much time you take engaging with your readers and defending your positions (Emma and Haile will disagree) but I think with the exception of SGJ, SAAY, and Semere Tesfai to some extent, most authors dump it here on us and diasppear while we are trying to understand their ideas.

            2. No matter how correct or incorrect your assumptions and conclusions are, I like to commend you for all your efforts to help bring about change. Except for IA and his close allies, it is really hard for me to fathom that any Eritrean has ill-intentions. Just like most of us, you are in search of answers and I hope you help find those answers in the end.

            Now coming back to the question you asked me which reads:

            “Where are you guys meeting ‘tera eritrean sew’ who thinks TPLF is an angel from heaven? I have never met one. I think TPLF is straight evil as far as Eritrea is concerned and it is only here that I am meeting Eritreans who think otherwise. When I see that, I try to give myself excuses that may be they are TPLF friends of Eritrea.”
            That is exactly what I said the ‘tera Eritrean’ believes so I agree with you 100% that what I qouted above is the sentiment of the average Eritrean. In fact, I have said before that Ali-S has now joined the vast majority of Eritreans in his world views.

    • Hope

      Ermi,
      Get real.These are facts and we have to be vigilant.You seem to be very sweet and soft—I guess Nitricc was right when he talked about having real balls.
      Ali Salim is talking based on facts,NOT FEAR..That does not necessarily meana that we have to support PFDJ–we already agreed upon as to how to weed out PFDJ or its head.But at the same time we have to be vigilant about the South.
      You intentionally are shying away from mentioning the latest efforts by the Weynaes about tightening the sanctions and creating another sanction but openly declaring that the Ethiopians do NOT have bad intentions,when in fact, they are doing it right in front of your face…Who are you trying to deceive?
      The TPLF and the Tigreyans have chosen to be the worst and bloodiest enemies of Eritrea and Eritreans thinking that Eritrea and Eritreans will be wiped out of the Map.But ,hey, read history and you will have the right answer–mark my word and will see the facts in 3-5yrs from now.
      Again read history:
      “Those who tried to kill Eritrea and Eritreans have gone already before Eritrea and Eritreeans are gone”.(simplified-Yemane Ghebre’Ab)
      If they care about peace and about Eritreans,they should work for peace—You seem to be the same Eyob Medhanie or Abinet or Horizon ,albeit with a different name—huh—-We have had enough pseudos right and left.
      Good luck with your mamma esobia.

  • AMAN

    So those who are blaming it on the National Sevice program
    are only those who are afraid to criticize Issayas and his actions.
    So they like to misplace it to the NSP.
    May be Issayas and his supporters have started to put the blame
    for starting the war on NSP !
    Or may be those enemies and foxes who always wish to wipe out any resistance
    from Eritrea for their dream rule of the future are conspiring or preaching
    to us from inside their sheep skin .
    AGAIN NSP IS NOT WHAT TO BLAME BUT UN RESTRAINED DICTATORS
    AND OR EXPANSIONIST DREAMERS WHO DREAM COLLAPSE OF A NATION
    AND SOCIETY………………………………………………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AMAN

    According to me national service is necessary and is not bad at all.
    I see it as an extra-curricular activity where the youth of the country
    gets an opportunity to know the history,culture and geo-politics of
    his country and its different regions and people.
    It is a field where practical learning is acquired.
    WHAT IS UNWANTED AND UNNECESSARY RATHER IS TO USE
    IT AS DISPOSABLE CITIZENS AND USE THEM FOR UNJUST AND
    UNDECLARED WARS BY MONGERING DICTATORS FOR THEIR
    PERSONAL EGO SATISFACTION.
    Otherwise most countries have such programmes for their youth to build
    them phsically and mentally into a better and responsible successor citizen.
    Or some non-governmental institutions even churches have boy-scout and
    girl-scout programmes for their youth society.
    Also it good to see and take note that the greater majority of the Eritrean
    youth have liked it so much before they are told and knew that Issayas
    has used them to satisfy his personnal dictatorial ambition and experimenting
    with leading a war to bolster his image against Mesfin Hagos or other
    presidential contenders.
    Otherwise the youth has liked it before the war and certainly will love it if it
    is for its right purpose of learning and building the country.
    I said these because I have seen many youths hailing it and were learning all
    good things with enthusiasm and responsibility in a practical way which otherwise
    they could not get it from classrooms and cities and towns only.

  • Saba

    And another thing that is confusing to many people here and that is obfuscating them to see your proposals is the distinction between the first and the third way. I hope your next DETAILS of the third way will show that there is a clear distinction between the first and the third way. Using the existing pfdj laws against pfdj is one thing that can be used in the third way even though for some people it might seem that it is too close to pfdj.

  • Saba

    Hi Ali-S,
    Great article. I like the part dedicated to the activists. I think with this article you are setting the BOUNDARIES of the third way: The third way is different from the first and second way and also the TRANSITION from the first way(pfdj) to the third way will not include a civil war. You gave also EXAMPLES from which the third way can start and built. But what is missing so far in your articles is the “DETAILS of the third way’. As soon as you i read your article, i expected that Amanuel Hidrat will ask you to write another article before he give you his final judgement:)
    I see the DETAILS of the third way as the SOLUTION that will result in the TRANSITION from the first way to the third way. Many people here in the awate forum consider their solution as what should happen after pfdj. To me this is like discussing on how to DECORATE the kitchen before you discuss on how to build the HOUSE. So how to bring the transition? That is a tough question and i hope you will write about it in your next article. But i can give you here an outline:)
    A credible third way in the DIASPORA with a plan directed to all Eritrean people–> education to and inspiration of eritrean people INSIDE Eritrea–>Challenge to pfdj from Eripeople inside and outside–>Army will side with the people slowly–>pfdj will be forced to reform–>Use the newly reformed laws for further reform–>more democratic state
    National service and warsay-yikealo should be reduced because pfdj is using to divert the youth’s attention. If those youth get free time to think, they will be the first agents of change.
    Your politics has science:) Keep guiding and lecturing!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Hope,

    Three things to understand my stand in a nutshell:

    (1) To have national service for instance for a year is acceptable to me, unlike the endless service our young generation are enduring Unless you want to be dishonest we know why the the regime is doing now for indefinite period.
    (2) I don’t believe on the shelved constitutions for the reasons I have stated many times (refer to my articles). so why they are referencing to unimplemented constitution is mind boggling.
    (3) For me at this time Ethiopia is not the existential threat to our nation Eritrea. For me the shelved document will be the existential threat to Eritrean democracy , justice, and civil liberty. Keep my words if you are from the young generation. As we Eritreans feel freedom from foreign colonization, the Ethiopians are feeling free from the intractable war of liberation that comes from the Eritrean side. They found it , that it only brings bloodshed and poverty. So they better off from Eritrea being independent. Frankly those who argue otherwise, they need to make a sober study and understanding. Beating the drum of patriotism when we don’t need it doesn’t make them more patriotic. The call for of this time is wisdom and strategic thinking. I hope I made it clear my position.

    • Jo

      Hello Amanuel,

      I think it is dishonest when you dismiss the Ethiopian treat as non existential. If you think, “…the Ethiopians are feeling free from the intractable war of liberation that comes from the Eritrean side. They found it , that it only brings bloodshed and poverty.” then why don’t they vacate from Eritrean territories? If the violation of your sovereignty is not a treat, then what is? Since you seem to have done a sober study of the issue, I hope you don’t mind enlightening us, do you? All we are asking is for Ethiopia to withdraw its troops from our land. Ofcourse, that is if they are as content, with what they have, as you say they are. Remember as well, that particular issue (the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops) is the axis of so many arguments: treat, national service, implementation of the constitution (like it or not) and all its tentacles. But, again, since you think the shelved constitution will be an existential treat to Eritrea, you may be content (patriotic or not) with the violation of Eritrean sovereignty, hence the status quo.

      • haile

        Selam JO,

        Please don’t make it sound as if the Ethiopians are still holding on to Tessenay and Barentu. Yes we do have legal finding on our side when it comes to the EEBC and they have powerful backing, large diplomatic and military clout and the wherewithal to see the status quo continue for another 50 years if need be. Mind you, you are strictly talking about border frontier localities that have been deputed since the 80s. Read the India Pakistan, almost 60 year old dispute in Kashmir (India on legal and Pakistan on religious grounds). 1947, 1949, 1972 are some of the important event dates in terms of agreements and violations. The faild regime of IA is leading the nation into suicide due to failed statesmanship and equally guilty supporters that lauded the decimation of Eritrea and Eritreans. The Ethiopia card is simply used against Eritrean justice seekers, as our nation has long lost the moral or muscular strength to counter the Ethiopians. The choices are stark: Eritreans either submit to IA’s suicide plans or take all necessary measures to stop the mad man and his tutelage from myopic supporters.

        • Jo

          Selamat Haile,

          It wouldn’t be fair if I was to accuse you or dismiss your argument right of the but by assuming that you are a hired TPLF assassin simply because you opposed the EG, would it? Ofcourse it wouldn’t be. Then why do you have to reduce our situation to either you are with us or against us scenario? As an Eritrean you have the right to challenge, support and/or dismiss all together who should govern Eritrea. As a citizen you have the responsibility to defend the nation from enemies, internal or external. As diverse society we may have different approaches to the same problem, in this case, our predicament as people of one nation. I could not fathom what is driving you to be so absolute to the extent of having a binary solution to an otherwise analogues problem. I don’t agree with those who question the nationalism of people, simply, because of their views; as much as I don’t agree, with those who accuse others of complacency, simply, because they don’t subscribe to theirs. Having said that, you have a right to think stoping IA is the priority and it will solve all our problems, and I have the right to think that the treat to national security is the priority, resolving it will eliminate any uncertainty and pave a way for a lasting solution. Our identity, as Eritreans, affords us those rights, as long as we are ready to defend each others rights I think we are on the right truck and we will achieve the Eritrea we are longing for.

          • haile

            Jo, I agree that you are as entitled as anybody to have your own views and ideas. I don’t question that at all. Accepted.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Jo,
        If you have a good ear to listen and uncontaminated mind (contaminated I mean by dirty politics) to decipher the intrigues of politics, allow me to make a little effort to show what a government’s responsibilities is and a citizen’s responsibilities on the context of border issue.

        Remember, the border war was a senseless war even by the standard of the so called government we have. It was a just war before they call it a senseless war. What was your stand at that time? My stand was against the war before it start until it ends. You could check it in the log books of Eritrean government or in my writings which is all in the public domain.

        As a citizen when the verdict was given I was for it what ever land we lose (we lose more land than we gain including badme the region except badme the village by the way) for the sake of peace. Simply I did it as concerned citizen about the well being of my people that is in their record book also. I did it not on one and one talk but also in the government sponsored meeting. I told them that we have to withdraw to pre May 6,1998 and take the issue to the international court. Since border issues are everywhere and you don’t go for a full blown war .especially for something that will be settled at the end on the table. When they rejected my voice, again this what I told them: After losing thousands of innocent souls, which could be avoidable, you will come to the table . I did what conscious citizen do with that limited voice even in their regular public meeting. I was right and proudly vindicated. That is patriotism in my book to protect the lose of lives. When the nation asked patriotism during liberation I was there. These was a concealed war aimed to prolong power for those who are at the helm of power. I said it 23 years ago and now the Eritrean people are echoing the same voice but belatedly.

        You know what the Issayas regime did. He kicked out the international peace keeping, in order to creep our nation and hold our young to in indefinite hostage. You couldn’t install the pillars of demarcation without speaking with your counterpart. How do you want the forces of both side withdraw before it is demarcated in the presence of international community, if you kick out the peace keeping forces (the observers of the peace). Just go out without putting the pillars! isn’t it the undefined and un-demarcated border that lead us to this senseless war at least from their official words (though I don’t believe on it, which is beyond that).

        The Ethiopian government see the existing regime is not cooperative for peace and they don’t have any kind of appetite to deal with it on one hand and the Eritrean regime is not competent to deal on it on the other. As a citizen what could be our leverage to bring them to the table and settle their difference? At least on our side none. If you believe we can show us. Border is dealt by governments not by citizens. Understand your limits.

        • Jo

          Selamat Amanuel,

          My stand was against the war and it will always be against any war.

          Governments come and go, but the land belongs to the people. We should not let our guard down when it comes to our national security. For me, what the Ethiopian government thinks about EG (for political expediency or not) is secondary, It is “la cosa nostra”. If the Ethiopian government is as peace loving, as some try to elevate it to the state of sainthood, then it should abide by the international ruling and vacate its troops from what is Eritrean land. I doubt the sincerity of the Ethiopian government when it comes to a lasting peace between the two nations, hence it is a treat to our sovereignty. Our misgivings of the EG should not be translated into premature willingness to submit our territorial sovereignty. We should make it clear, as citizens, that Eritrean sovereignty is not a commodity you could haggle over internal Eritrean politics. Eritrean politics belongs to Eritreans and it should be conducted as such, internally, without compromising our national security. As an Eritrean I will defend any Eritreans right to question the government to any extent, and as a citizen I will challenge any external treat. Ofcourse, that is with the recognition of all my limitations as an individual citizen.

          Luwam Zelewo Leiti!!

  • tes

    Ali-S,

    your intentioned YES-people political cultivation has no market for moderate conscious Eritrean. Your last cry to call groups said it all. Your U-turn is nothing but to GIVE-UP and apologize by fulfilling your 2%.

    I will ask you just one question?

    Are you trying to broadcast your FEAR of the FUTURE waves to fellow Eritreans?

    My first comment on your first post was strong to warn you. I said, “you are not far from the heat of your PFDJ mantra to be with you by conduction process and of course, the convection and radiation heat tranfer (political influence, according to the context) have also big influece.”

    From engineering point of view, you are no-way free. Your YES-Sir approach is against the Eritrean values. And, i raise my hands to nulify your U-Turn for opt-out.

    I have never seen such a laud cry to call spiritual people to bow for dictatorship and be servants as your call suggests. All the religious groups you mentioned have their own line, and are not instrumental for such cries.

    Concerning the MEDREK group, yes we are enough with such kind of “mentality.” Here you got my thumbs UP, the rest, just you are painting a COLLAPSED MENTALITY.

  • haile

    Hope, “Ethiopian factor still remians a serious existential threat–if recent and old history is to be the witness.”

    As a nation and people can’t be enslaved on account of fear alone, the onus of proof rests with you. Also, I am all all for national service not for nationals wasting in service of party businesses and private housing enterprises.

  • As always, blame it on Ethiopia. If the PFDJ regime is a dictatorship, DIA a dictator, and if they kill and incarcerate tens of thousands of Eritreans, they make Eritreans slave laborers, drive them out of their country and force them to die by the shoot to kill order at the borders, or in the Sahara, or at the hands of human traffickers and organ harvesters in the Sinai, etc.., please understand that it is because of the evil Ethiopians and the Ethiopian government. Otherwise, if it were not for Ethiopia, the PFDJ is a government of angels, and DIA its archangel. This is a bedtime story for children.

    Using the civil war fear-factor, to cow the opposition and the people, at the time when a regime is at its deathbed, is nothing new, but an old and outdated recipe, a medicine given to a terminally ill regime. We have heard the same story in the past; like, if HIS is deposed, the sun will not rise again, if the Dergue is overthrown, there will be no more Ethiopia, etc. Be sure, if dictatorship is overthrown, Eritrea will not go to a civil war, or cease to exist, unless of course, there are people among the PFDJ supporters, who would purposely trigger a civil war, and then turn around and tell the people, we told you and you did not listen to us.

    Nothing can be far from the truth than presenting the whole armed forces and civilians as blind supporters, who would fight on behalf of the regime in Asmara, after so many years of injustice and utter cruelty that has destroyed the life of almost every Eritrean family. It will
    take just the right organization and the first spark to set in motion the whole armed forces and the whole population who would come out en mass, isolate the few criminals (senior military and government officials) and their enablers, which are not more than a few thousands. The diehard supporters are scared of the day of judgment, which will be at the same time the day of emancipation of the people, the day of unified and angry reaction by all Eritreans against the few that have brought misfortune, hopelessness, and destruction of their lives. They are doing their best to make sure that that day will never come.

    It is utter callousness to deny the right medicine (uprooting the PFDJ) that will cure the patient (the Eritrean nation). What the regime supporters prescribes, (U-turned or zigzagged) is a sugarcoated poison to cause amnesia in the people and absolve its nemesis. The aim is to perpetuate the subjugation and the plight of the Eritrean people, by presenting Ethiopia
    as the boogeyman, as if Eritreans are children that could be fooled so easily. Eritreans are invited to come and organize themselves around the PFDJ, if they want to be saved from the monster, Ethiopia, thus exonerating the PFDJ of all its crimes, and at the same time reviving the dying regime.

  • Hope

    Folks,
    His arguements by all standard make sense from realistic and practical point of view—His first two paragraphs said it all.
    The guy has a typical brilliant Eritean mind,kind of that SAAY/Semere Tesfay,albeit with some confusing stands—
    One of few thinsg that I give credit to DIA is the National Service despite its unexpected devastation due to the “Border war” and ill intention of the same DIA–to keep the Youth away from him.
    It was going well until 1997.
    It is a necessity and the life support and an existential guarantee for the Future Eritrea if done in the right way.
    Not sure why Ali Salim has an intention of abolishing it unless he is being misunderstood.
    Ali Salim ,please clarify on that confusing statement of “completely abolishing the compulasory National Service”.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Younis H.

    How far you will go with this new project of “u-turns”? If you are going for too long in this project, we will ask you the common question of our friend Saay “the executive summary’ before we make a rebuttal to your argument. So far I can’t pinpoint any kind of vision or strategy for success, except many “turns and twists” sometime to the left sometime to the right. I can’t even sense any kind of ideological taste on it. If you believe the current political struggle is socio-political in nature, you are unable to frame your argument as oppose to others that oppose you. Generally oppositions compose of various interest hence their grouping. There are no such argument you could make without framing it. My brother you failed to do that (framing) when you come with your angry grievances and you failed even now when you come with your “u-turns.” It is a common recurrent especially in our Eritrea to make accusation based on belabelw.

    As one of our educated elites your accusation should base on something you practically studied it by making field study or making contemporary studied narratives to relate your argument by giving references to your sources of argument and possible justifications. Your argument is not framed in a way the listeners or readers could see clear positions of the opposite side. You could spin where the end-arrow leads you as in your u- turn, but you couldn’t know where you will ended up your elusive journey. Eritrea need solutions not punditry. Showing your positions are not solutions, except it shows your political barracks.

  • haile

    Hello Ali-S

    Sorry, but you haven’t come close to “frank” discussions and getting off all that in your chest. Your idea of faking it with PFDJ is a bad joke to many (not least to the group of 22 intellectuals who attempted just what dandling here, well they were swiftly told where to stick it and possibly had to transfer their citizenship rights to the mirror Eritrea in the moon). Please get real, we are still patiently waiting to get the “frank” portion of the piece, don’t let us down. I know you know better than assuming anything is stupid in the Eritrean politics, please take that to heart and empty all your fears, apprehensions, worries that is rendering you be the proverbial ab agam ztexeg’e qotqat (ask for tinglish from saay, honestly can’t think of one). PFDJ has its hands cut off, so whatever you propose to give it, it is physically incapable of receiving it. I still await for the real deal, fighting and roaring Ali-S with courage to stop the crusaders of woyane evil empire (haha).

    Let me also add my disappointment in support of Semere Tesfay’s disappointment of you trying to stop our youth physically, mentally and spiritually get violated in the name of the National Service (aka Hagos KIsha PLC.) I propose that me and Semere get issued with standard xbox to defend our long borders (or boredom).

    Regards

  • Kokhob Selam

    Mr. Ali ,people are working for better future in different stages https://www.facebook.com/human.eritrea

    • Hope

      Well, act then and that is what he is telling/asking you to act besides being an expert on cyper-politics.
      Ghezae,Emma,Haile–etc–
      Can you tell us your version of National Service—if you are against the Constitution as well as the PFDJ style is a mess.
      As both Semere and Younis said it to the point, the Ethiopian factor still remians a serious existential threat–if recent and old history is to be the witness.

      • Abdu robo

        How do you know if the man is acting or not Mr.Hope, but here you guys are saying what ever you want and he is also saying what he wants. since you don’t know what Kokhob is doing or he don’t know what you are doing, you don’t have to ask him if he is acting or not. he is taking stand as you are on this site and that is it. you see, there are people who are challenging and it is difficult to say who is who till proper time, now give reasons and face him on this cyber world.

  • Semere Tesfai

    Ali Salim

    As always great article; very provocative. I agree with what you mostly said. But I’ve a problem with few of your political positions. And to mention one, you said:

    “In the short run, as we go forward, we will (the opposition) focus on:
    (1) Campaigning for the complete abolishment of the Compulsory National Service program in the long run”

    Even though the “in the long run” part of your position is very comforting, I don’t believe, “campaigning for the complete abolishment of the Compulsory National Service program” kind of political position is a winning argument for the Eritrean opposition. Because it ignores the presence of the “elephant in the room” – the Ethiopia factor. Also it ignores the consequence of demobilization of a large army without any meaningful contingent plan. Remember: we are talking about political position (today) of the opposition, to pressure the PFDJ regime or as an alternative governing to the PFDJ regime.

    We are as peaceful and as free to mind our own business as our powerful neighbor (Ethiopia) want us to be. Keep in mind – Ethiopia will actively pursue its “no war no peace” policy to punish Eritrea and Eritreans until we yield to its demand (unfettered access to the Red Sea) or until it couldn’t do it anymore. That is a reality we need to keep in mind. And your political position (abolishing National Service Program) is not compatible with that reality. Imagine a 900 kms Ethio-Eritrean border – let’s say with 50,000 (Eritrean troops) vs 300,000 + Ethiopia pampered Eritrean opposition groups that are hellbent to have regime change through civil war, on the other side of the border. I don’t think that is a political position the wider public would buy; and it shouldn’t.

    • ALI-S

      Semere,

      I think we are together on that issue. My goal is to get everyone to have the Eritrean government as the object of change as an alternative to totally ignoring Eritrea and everything that happens inside and talk about petty politics.

      Where I think the campaign to abolish the national service is critical is on the need to pressure the government to find additional ways of reinforcing the defence effort. These may include: following responsible diplomacy, the soft power of international law, beneficial alliances etc. I am of course not saying what many others are saying that the reason the government has done what it did was because of stupid people in power. I know better than to assume stupidity in Eritrea. But I believe we would minimize potential risks in the short run by doing more. Hence reducing the need for the national service.

      The other most critical issue is that if national service is intended to benefit the conscripts, it should be voluntary not compulsory. If it is intended to benefit the nation as most seem to believe, then its no-pay conditions should apply to all or be abolished.

      • Kokhob Selam

        The man and his group are simply telling you “we are here to lead you the way we want hence no rule or system, your life is under our hand and if you don’t agree come and challenge us” there was no and there will never be any solution with PFDJ at all except changing it and if you are far away enjoying your life just please continue there and don’t worry it is just a mater of time to see democratic Eritrea ready for you. My friend let’s stop blaming opposition as everybody is opposition and there are no more others turns except fighting the devil to death. what do you say “show us” I hear it and you will see it, it may be any type of system including another dictator with any type of system or any thing bad you imagine but not under PFDJ .

      • saay7

        Hala Ali:

        Here’s another angle. Refer to the articles dealing with exemption from National Service (that would be Articles 12, 13, 14, 15.) Guess what is NOT acceptable reason for exemption from National Service which applies to ALL citizens 17 to 40 years old? Living outside Eritrea is NOT acceptable reason for exemption. That is: National Service APPLIES to ALL Eritreans, 17-40 whether they live in the US, Canada or Europe. If you want all the YPFDJ to sign a petition restricting the scope of National Service, get the law to be interpreted the way it was intended.

        saay

        • haile

          Hey Saay,

          haha…does the same interpretation apply to hizbawi militia too? Anyway, it ain’t fun being outside either because the only way to be exempted from 2% is to stay put inside 🙂

          • saay7

            Haile (Zgr8):

            Is there a proclamation for hizbawi militia? Is it registered in the Eritrean Gazette? Or is it one of those oral laws?

            The Proclamation on National Service was proclaimed in October 1995 but the Beta (pre-legal) Versionof it had been running since 1994. People think I am joking about the spirit of the law: it is supposed to apply to everyone, including all the sniveling kids with an “I Heart Eritrea” tatoos.

            Semere Tesfai: I have a 16 year old boy. A National Service where I encourage my son to go serve his country is good for the country. One where I find all sorts of excuses to hide him and the other deqi Ayni ma’Ar while those without means serve for a year, 5 years, a decade is not just wrong: it is a broken system.

            saay

          • Semere Tesfai

            Saay:

            You said:
            “A National Service where I encourage my son to go serve his country is
            good for the country. One where I find all sorts of excuses to hide
            him and the other deqi Ayni ma’Ar while those without means serve for a
            year, 5 years, a decade is not just wrong: it is a broken system”.

            I agree with you a 100%. But there is a problem with your argument: you are trying to explain to me the unfairness of National Service. You are not providing a solution for the reality at hand. And this is the reality in your face: you have 300,000 Ethiopian troops pointing their gun at you for one and one reason: – not Badme, not reasons of border dispute, but for access to the Red Sea. What do you do differently? If you have a magic solution, I’m all ears.

            Saleh: this is what I believe, Nations (especially small ones like Eritrea) don’t have absolute freedom to set their domestic policies. They only dance to the tune of bigger/powerful nations. For how long? For as long as they can. But there is something that is called nationalism. And this is how it works – even you are small Georgia against mighty Russia, you send your troops to the border to defend your country. It is insanity, but that is what you do.

            Now, tell me, without Western protection, what would Djibouti do if Ethiopia decided to encircle it with 100,000 troops for decades?

          • haile

            hey saay can you tinglish hahaha… real quick please? 300 000 Ethiopians are pointing their guns at you…. Yes, for access to the RED freaking SEA, yes 300 000 – pointing it right at you…sorry can’t stop laughing. So, Eritreans minus wedi ayni Me’ar minus the runners minus YPFDJ are supposed to to get hanging by the #$# to stop these 300 000 Ethiopians pointing their guns RIGHT AT YOU 🙂 Sadly, as per AT’s last report, wedi ayni Me’ar better do it himself, because I am not sure what those 300 000 are staring at as we speak

          • Saba

            You are right tplf never been to Eritrea and civilians ayketelun-is that tinglish?. So why does Eritrea need an army?

          • haile

            I think you’d agree that PFDJ killed and uprooted FAR FAR FAR more Eritreans without any provocation at all than the TPLF ever did. Eritreans were taken as far as Congo to be killed by PFDJ’s adventure. Many tereshinom, many disappeared and many died trying to run away. TPLF caused combat and collateral (and some ugly one) causalities are probably far less. Mind you the PFDJ is still a fugitive from the intl. law, as there are UN mandated investigations still pending to be conducted. That would have showed you the kind of monster we dealing with here.

          • Saba

            I agree but that does not make tplf crimes sweet. Hagerka tekelakel and ni democracy tekales, is that tinglish clear?:) We can do both. If you do only one of them, you will fail.

          • Hope

            Sal,
            Can you respond to Semere and Hailat, and hit the facts to the point–with your honest and intellctual reasoning though???.
            As usual, we are all on the same page but the difference is as to how to manage the National Service issue.
            There is nothing perfect in the world.Wether for the sake of its existence or for good intention,PFDJ has kept our Youth at the Fronts,which in turn,led to a national devastation,one way or another.
            Our arguement and debate should be as to how to correct the mistakes and to look for a better and realistc solutions where we can keep our Youth safe and productive and keep our family values intact,where it has been broken into peieces to the level never seen before(our family values).
            Let’s honestly analyse the situation based on facts on the ground and based on the “NO War No Peace” status we are in and come up with better solutions.

          • saay7

            Selamat Semere:

            A State is under no obligation to protect itself and prepare for EVERY single threat that ANY citizen can conceive of. If I IMAGINE Ethiopia is stockpiling on chemical weapons, does Eritrea have to bankrupt itself seeking for defense against chemical attacks? No. Nor is it required to protect itself against every threat Semere Tesfai sees.

            As you know, in law there is such a thing called the “reasonableness test.” That is the measure of the rightness or wrongness, rules of evidence, etc are all based by asking a simple question: “what would a reasonable person think about this?” Would a reasonable person believe that Ethiopia has amassed its soldiers along its common border with Eritrea because it desires access to the Red Sea? Would a reaonable person believe that Eritrea has a conscript army to defend against this Ethiopian threat to overrun it and access the Red Sea?

            Let me prove to you that the State of Eritrea does NOT think the Agelglot are there to defend Eritrea against a Red-Sea craving Ethiopia:

            1. If they were there to defend the land against an Ethiopia that craves the Red Sea, they would not be deserting at such an alarming rate;
            2. If they were there to defend the land against an Ethiopia that craves the Red Sea, they would not be deserting TO Ethiopia;
            3. Once they desert their post and receive asylum in the West, the State of Eritrea would not so readily forgive desertion (no country in the world does.)

            Here’s what is really happening:

            1. The agelglot are there as free laborers. Some economist within Red Sea Trading Corporation has done an actuarial and calculated the Net Present Value of Eritrea’s kids. It is a “good deal” for the parastatatal and the regime;
            2. When the agelglot demonstrate that they have an option to generate more hard currency, they are sent to Qatar, etc, to be drivers, etc for the Gulf countries.
            3. When the agelglot leave their post, seek and receive asylum, they can be forgiven by the State by simply writing a letter of apology. Their new Net Present Value is calculated, and all their future cash flow, and all is well.

            The “threat to Red Sea” is bogus. Of the three demarcation pieces (West, Central, Eastern), the one that is the least controversial, the one that has the least amount of contest claims, is the East: the path to the Red Sea. The Ethiopians proposed that while we haggle about the West and Central zone we can demarcate the East: something that PFDJ said no to because it doesn’t want piecemeal demarcation.

            Semere, your proposal (of having Eritreans in indefinite conscription because Eritrea is neghbored by large Ethiopia) is unsustainable. I consider the Eritrean youths abandoning of their posts as the world’s most assertive civil disobedience. I don’t know why people refer to those who leave this indefinite conscription as “defection”. No, it is Eritrean youth taking the very assertive act of demobilizing themselves simply because their bosses have a total failure of imagination: they haven’t come up with a single useful policy in over 10 years.

            saay

          • Semere Tesfai

            Saay

            Let me respond to your argument line by line:
            You said “A State is under no obligation to protect itself and prepare for EVERY single threat that ANY citizen can conceive of.”

            I disagree. The current Ethiopian threat is not a type of threat that could be ignored. The threat is as real as a heart attack. I don’t think it is wise of you to deny it, when the Ethiopian government is bragging about it, and when there are casualties and prisoners to prove their claim.

            You said “… in law there is such a thing called the “reasonableness test.” That is: the measure of the rightness or wrongness, rules of evidence based….by asking a simple question: “what would a reasonable person think about this (Ethiopia’s intent)?” Would a reasonable person believe that Ethiopia has amassed its soldiers along its common border with Eritrea because it desires access to the Red Sea? Would a reasonable person believe that Eritrea has a conscript army to defend against this Ethiopian threat to overrun it and access the Red Sea?”

            And you claimed, you can prove me wrong, that is not the case. Saleh, if I were you, I wouldn’t even try; but if you insist, be my guest. But before I start my point by point rebuttal, let me tell you my position.

            If Eritrea was located in a dry desert between South Sudan Uganda and Ethiopia, not only Ethiopia wouldn’t have amassed 300,000 troops in the Ethio-Eritrean border but also we wouldn’t have had the 30 years revolutionary-war that made us go through hell. In a nutshell, Western powers on its side, Ethiopia was, is, and will always be a problem to Eritrea’s sovereignty with one and only one intent: to control the Red Sea. The reason: In order Ethiopia to be a powerful regional player in the Red Sea Horn region to help itself and to help global powers, it is a necessary must for Ethiopia to have unfettered access to the Red Sea. And don’t forget, there is no substitute for Christian Ethiopia in the Red Sea Horn region.

            Now to the rebuttal:

            “1. If the Agelglot were there to defend the land against an Ethiopia that craves the Red Sea, they would not be deserting at such an alarming rate”.

            I disagree. Deserting is a common phenomenon especially when Western powers are playing the politics of “Brain Drain”. Example: Cuba, Burma (Maymmar), Derg’s Ethiopia, Vietnam, Eastern European countries during the Cold War…. Of course, there is an exception to the “brain drain” game. Western powers didn’t play that game with the Chinese; because the Chinese would have laughed, and told them “do you need more?”

            “2. If they were there to defend the land against an Ethiopia that craves the Red Sea, they would not be deserting TO Ethiopia. You were a tegadalai: wasn’t the biggest taboo in your time for someone to desert to Ethiopia?”

            Again I disagree. Saleh you know better. They are not leaving Eritrea, Ethiopia in mind (no disrespect to Ethiopians). They are leaving Eritrea to pass through Ethiopia, to reach rich Western countries. And still they haven’t changed their mind about Ethiopia.

            One more thing, let me tell you story of Tegadeltis and Ethiopian soldiers. Soldiers were deserting from both sides right and left simply because life was unbearable. There were Tegadelties (Wedogebas) that went to Ethiopia, there were Tegadelties that went to Sudan, and there where Ethiopian (Derg) soldiers that went to Sudan. They did what they did for their own reasons, not because the didn’t believe the greater cause. And if you see those former Tegadelies and soldiers today, they haven’t changed their mind. The majority former ELF Tegadelties are still ELF at heart. The majority of former Derg soldiers are still with their old held belief and the former EPLF Tegadeltis haven’t changed a bit.

            “3. Once they desert their post and receive asylum in the West, the State of Eritrea would not so readily forgive desertion (no country in the world does.) Deserting is almost always punishable by death.”

            No you’re wrong. Those who deserted were the backbone of the Eritrean cause. I don’t know how you would reconcile it, but even today, the “victims of the PFDJ regime” are the backbone of the PFDJ regime. There is no SINGLE UNIFORM reason that could explain as to why they are leaving Eritrea.

            “1. The agelglot are there as free laborers. Some economist within Red Sea Trading Corporation has done an actuarial and calculated the Net Present Value of Eritrea’s kids. It is a “good deal” for the cashflow of the parastatatal and the regime”

            Well you have the burden to provide the study to the wider public.

            Saleh, sorry, its getting late; it is rush, rush comment. Talk to you tomorrow. I’ll do better next time.

          • saay7

            Selamat Semere:

            It is impossible to have a debate if people insist on using their own personal standards for objective truth instead of using an LCD of “reasonable person.”

            Semere, you and I (and the whole population of Eritrea) is late to the party. That is: when the Wefri Warsay Ye’kalo (WWY) was conceived in 2004, its not like MY representative and YOUR representative in the National Assembly debated its merits. One day it wasn’t there; the next day it was. Thus, we don’t know its size (the 300,000 is just a number that is thrown about); we don’t know its mission; we don’t know its burn rate, its attrition rate. There has been no white paper published on it. The only information we have is from those who used to be a part of it but have left it. WWY has been equated to the Marshall Plan (which is something that happens AFTER a war not during a war.) It has been equated to a State development plan. To a recovery plan. And, therefore, we can’t debate it based on reason: it will all be emotional.

            Ethiopia was, is, will always be a disproportionally large nation but that doesn’t mean there is a uniform policy when dealing with a large neighbor. Between 1991 to 1997, Ethiopia was still a large nation but BOTH Eritrea and Ethiopia had decided to demobilize their armed forces and maintain a small professional army of 65k, and to enter into a mutual defense agreement. That is one model. We also have the current model. There is any number of possible combinations in between. It requires an imaginative policy; a flexible policy; one that depends on citizens petitioning their governments, instead of being encouraged by their governments to petition every other government of the world except their own.

            saay

          • Ali-S

            SAAY,

            I personally agree 100% with what you said. But don’t you think that only tells us what the problem is (bad government) and what the solution is (good government). May be we need to fill the gap between the two and that is where the difference comes in.

            Any specific ideas plus marching orders and here you have a humble soldier!

          • saay7

            Sure, Ali:

            The Rise and Fall of the Third Way*

            Step 1: Create an opposition party with a very non-threatening name. How about Patriotic Eritreans for Loyal Opposition (PELO.) In the Arab media, you can call it BELO, B for Batriotic.

            Step 2: Write a preamble for PELO. The preamble should (a) salute the Eritrean armed struggle and the successful (nothing in the world like it revolution) UNDER the leadership of the EPLF (insert appropriate number of adjectives and adverbs) and (b) trashes the world, particularly the UN and the US and Ethiopia.

            Step 3: Write the charter of Pelo. I recommend taking the PFDJ National Charter and updating it by including specific language on political pluralism (with special emphasis on differentiating between loyal and treasonous opposition) and democracy (with special emphasis on its timing: that it must follow development.)

            Step 4: Invite every Eritrean to your founding congress which you should hold at Anywhere Except Ethiopia (AEE, Planet Earth.) Do not be disappointed when the only people who will show up will be those who are in the treasonous opposition. They will pretend that they didn’t read your insults, you calling them treasonous sell-outs: they will give you a big hug and congratulate you for your congress. The enda hgdef, who had run a 6 month campaign against your organization, will not show up. Not a single hgdefawi individual will show up. Do not take it personally: that’s how they roll. I mean it is nothing personal: how could they be 100% sure that YOU were not sent by the CIA or by Weyane for your Hinfishfishism? And some of your charters were written in Islamic (Arabic, Islamic, what’s the difference) anyway, so how can they be 100% sure you are not a Jihadist?

            Step 5: Now you are neither a planet, nor a moon. You are a falling comet. If you are lucky, you will be invited to give your “netsebraq” to VOA or that radio station hosted at meskerem. Maybe at one of the Baltalk rooms… But as far as relevance, not so much…

            saay

            * Last time I heard “the third way” (or was it Third Wave) was when Herui T Bairou coined it because he is just good at coining stuff:) Back then (2001), his Third Way was different from the First Way (PFDJ) and the Second Way (opposition) because only it was going to participate in the December 2001 elections.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Saay,
            Talking about Hirui , he is not only good at coining stuff. But he is also good on “political theory”. though he doesn’t know how to practice it. He is rich in world history. When you debate with him you will see the interplay of history and politics running in his argument. Very enjoyable, but in his political practice you will notice many u-turns that affected his political career.

          • dine

            i didn’t know until now EPLF used to praise weyane like this.

          • saay7

            Dine:

            You are confusing “Weyane” with “weyno”. If you want to hear EPLF tribute to harbeyna weyanay TPLF, listen to Wedi Tukul’s version (“ab dedebit teweliA shm’A”).

            http://youtu.be/jRYMi_zxNzY?t=22s

            Meanwhile, just to confuse you, here is Sami Berhane with “Weynaye Weynaye” (which has nothing to do with Weyane.) All the countryside Tigrinya purists were mad and generous with their corrections when this song and “Ma’azay” came out:)

            http://youtu.be/P1a-CtQdv-E

            saay

          • dine

            definitely i was confused and amazed by the crowd and thanks to sami’s song, it was popular in addis back in the old good days.

        • ghezaehagos

          Great angle for the vacation citizens, Sal. The ‘Tesewi’e-Kimles’ group.
          Ghezae

        • ALI-S

          SAAY,

          Actually that is almost where we are heading. But I think Haile has a brilliant solution.

          We either have to get the YPFDJ on national service so that they come close to opposition or (Haile’s brilliant motion) get the opposition to move to Eritrea and evade the 2%.

          • saay7

            Ali:

            That’s cheating. The National Proclamation is written to apply to ALL Eritreans 17-40 (regardless of their residence.) So all the YPFDJ with their “I Heart Eritrea” tatoos should get ready to go home and put in 18 months of service. Then the Eritrea-based youth can walk around and tell them, “we are VERY proud of you.”

            The 2% Tax proclamation (Proclamation 17/1991 as amended 67/1995) has the official name of “Income Tax on Eritreans Working Abroad.” Thus: it was designed for the Diaspora Eritreans only. Then, enda Isaias because they are a greedy bunch, redefined “working abroad” to mean “generating revenue” and now even welfare checks and pensions are considered “working abroad” for Diaspora Eritreans and therefore taxable.

            saay

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Haw Younis,

    Kemey Kenika..Sidra kulom! Welcome to Spring 2014.

    Thank you for article. I asked you last week about the link 1997 constitution has with national service/slavery. Adamantly, you forged ahead.

    “…(4) Campaigning for building consensus against instruments (such as the National Service Proclamation
    and the 1997 Constitution), that intend to impose Compulsory Free Labor as unconditioned national duty on citizens..”

    I have posted the constitution for your and reader’s benefit.

    Can you show me any reference to national service in the provisions of the said-instrument that warrants campaigns to abolish it.

    http://confinder.richmond.edu/admin/docs/Eritrea1997English.pdf

    Like I said it, hate it or criticize for other reasons; but not for what you picked.

    All the best,

    Ghezae Hagos

    • ALI-S

      Gezae,

      Always good to have your feedback. For your question: how about checking Article 25.

      Does that mean the rest is OK if we omit the constitution ref from the article?

      (:0)

      • ghezaehagos

        Exactly, Younis bro. How about arguing the 18 months are the ones reasonably expected? Any more, without legal justification is wrong and unacceptable. But to abolish for a reference is a tad too harsh, methinks…
        Ghezae

  • sas

    sas