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Announcing Awate IGAD Forum

Dear friends,

Two days ago, we launched the 2018 fundraising entitled “Support” campaign which will continue for some time. The response during the last two days has been encouraging to the extent that it inspired us so much we have decided to announce one of our enhancement plans ahead of time–we believe we do not have to wait since this is the right time to launch it. was launched on September 1, 2000, to serve Eritrea since the situation needed a serious alternative voice, particularly after the Eritrean ruling party took complete control of the media by shutting the nascent free press, arrested its editors, journalists, and writers.

Currently, the times have changed and so has the nature of the challenges we face. The interdependent interests of the IGAD region and its surroundings, developments that we have been warning about and tried to address, have now become too evident to ignore. Sadly, the IGAD region is exposed to many dangerous risks that require the cooperation of its citizens that we believe is vital to its future. Unfortunately, the weakness of the region’s intellectual power and its absence has left a vacuum that our region is overwhelmed by political merchants who have been wreaking havoc in our general affairs. We believe it is pertinent that the stakeholders of the region take charge of their own future. They should also proudly celebrate their successes while courageously owning their failures and shortcomings.

Our vision requires only genuine friends, world citizens with a clean conscience, progressive views and be liberally inclined. Many world citizens have been exceptionally helpful to our region and they are great friends, and they are always welcome. We appreciate their noble stands with the people of the region.

It’s no secret that the Awate Team has no power and no resources to impose its vision, though it is in full command of its conscience. Importantly, it has the resolve to contribute to the regions’ wellbeing and the dignity of its people. Such ideas cannot be achieved by any number of narrow-minded ultranationalists who tend to build more fences between peoples. The destructive forces of isolationists and war-mongers should be fought with resilience and determination by enlightened forces of intellectual, activists, writers, and people of good will. However, we need to remember that such a soft power of peace and understanding cannot be built overnight, it requires hard work and dedication which should start immediately. And that is why we have decided to launch it now.

It is helpful to remember that big plans do not necessarily need to start big. Also, even if we wanted to start big, we do not have the capacity needed. However, just as we have started with a modest mission to “inform, inspire, embolden, and reconcile” in the context of Eritrea almost 18 years ago, we will now expand our mission to include all the people of the IGAD region. We believe peace and stability, human rights, and development in our region is indivisible and impacts the entire region and beyond.

Towards that end, we are launching our modest plan to get nearer to that grand goal of facilitating mature, enlightened, and informed dialogue with the aim of spreading awareness and understanding. And that we are confident will ultimately serve the overall wellbeing of the peoples of the IGAD region.

As a start, we have decided to hand over the Awate Forum (with a suggested transitional working project name is, Awate IGAD Forum (AIF)) that will operate as follows:

  1. A delegate from will overlook the process of transferring responsibilities,
  2. We kindly request the Awate Forum members to develop a way of appointing task forces that will manage and plan the development of AIF, to expand it further to the maximum possible limits, and to put guidelines for all activities related to AIF,
  3. We strongly recommend that the membership should be open to all citizens of the IGAD region, including friends from any other country, and be part of the AIF as full members with equal say, equal rights, and obligations,
  4. We are also suggesting that the administrators of AIF should have periodical, rotating mandate to run it by coordinating with the editors of through a delegate, to ensure that the entities work together smoothly without damaging the core values of and the Awate2020 project, and their general goals, until it stands independently on its own feet.

Evidently, we do not intend or expect to achieve our goals in one go. The above is just a suggestion to help us move forward; it is our view on how the project should proceed. Therefore, we are expecting serious, honest and insightful discussions where all should diligently participate. We are determined to make this plan a reality and we are confident you all are.

Finally, we would like to bring to your attention that the fundraising drive will continue until we reach our goal—we hope you understand the graveness of the issue. We also would like to express our appreciation for the enthusiasm and cooperation that all of you are showing in the fundraising campaign–nothing is impossible if driven by the kind of spirit we are witnessing.

Thank you all for sharing our vision and for striving to make it a success.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Saleh Johar

    Hello Hope

    You wrote: “It wasnt to “pick on U or the Awate Team”!”

    Every other comment you make is picking on someone, mainly your favorite punchbag, the AT.

    Using your own style, my comment is, “I am not picking on you or anyone else” but you are making this issue sound as if you are a judge trying IGAD. There is no court and IGAD is not on trial—at last in the current discussion though you are trying hard to make it seem so.

    You also wrote, “Thought it would have been a good idea for the AT to give us options or choices to pick up, at least as a Courtesy!”

    Would I be wrong f I said that is wrong if not dishonest? Read the AT message again, the forum has all the options and it was explained the IGAD thing was a sort of a placeholder until we discuss and decide on the final name. It was also explained by IGAD, the AT didn’t mean neither institutions of the region, not the institution itself. It was rather to define the region of our interest, as a guideline to come up with a name that will describe and define the region.

    Therefore, if you agree with the name, say so and try to convince other, if you don’t, say so and explain why it is not a good idea just like others have been doing. But to personalize others, and bully them to drop their opinion and agree with your explanation, is a hindrance to an otherwise serious discussion. So, you have the option to suggest a name without bullying others who are doing just that. No one is giving or denying credit to any entity, it’s all in your mind.

    Also, kindly refrain from pushing AT’s call towards your favorite partisan sloganeering contest. It’s just derailing the discussion.

    Before I go, let me throw this to help you reflect—it’s not a question and please do not attempt to answer it. Just take it at face value and think it over.

    If some parents decide to name his child “Isaias” would anyone have the temerity to lecture them what the real Isaias did to Eritrea and they should not use that name and if they do they are in love with Isais and… the endless argumentative posture!
    I beg you to stop personalizing this discussion because you are hampering the smooth discussion.

    Just state your views (which you have done already) and let others do the same. After all, this will be decided soon–you do not have to be on guard as if the name will usher the demise of something in your imagination.

    Thank you

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear all,

    I have taken note of objections voiced by Haile S., MS and others regarding possible use of the name/acronym “IGAD” in association with the new program/project proposed by Awate. And I would like to present my views in the same vein, but perhaps with a slightly differing focus.

    Not meaning to be hard on IGAD and with no intent on opening a whole new debate on a different (though related) subject, a few factual statements can be made about the regional organization:

    1. In its nearly two decades of existence, IGAD’s record of achievement has, to put it mildly, not been impressive. A convincing evidence for its fecklessness has been the greed-instigated civil war that South-Sudan’s rookie pseudo-politicians (Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar) ignited a mere two years after Africa’s youngest country gained its independence. For four long years, IGAD’s member-governments watched with “pretentious concern” as the war ravaged the country including decimation of 300,000 and displacement of 3.5 million of its betrayed population.

    2. It is an open secret that, in its policies and decisions, IGAD is heavily influenced and manipulated (if not totally controlled) by outside forces mainly Western powers, and

    3. IGAD represents nothing more than the disparate interests of its intrigue-prone, feuding constituent governments none of whom are truly accountable to their own people. Thus, the organization has rarely, if at all, acted based on the wishes and aspirations of the peoples of its member states.

    As such, the gap between the realities of IGAD and the ideals of the proposed program are so wide and so deep that it is obviously unbridgeable. It thus would be self-defeating to champion a vision of promoting regional reconciliation, peace and progress only to taint the effort by associating it with a name that symbolizes the antithesis of most tenets which that very vision stands for.

    True, Awate Team have indicated in their announcement – later echoed by some forumers – that the name “IGAD” was proposed as a ‘transitional working project name”. But one must be cognizant of the risk of damage that such name affiliation may potentially cause to the project. Once IGAD’s disrepute is linked to the proposed project by way of a shared name, the stigma of that disrepute will always be with the project.

    But more fundamentally, why should so much attention be given to “project name” at this early stage? The name of the program – whatever it may end up being – and the specific region it will be focused upon can be specified, defined, explained adequately and precisely when the project is developed and made ready for implementation. The focus right now ought to be on developing further and refining the vision & its underlying principles, organizing the program, defining a strategy for its implementation, assessing the intellectual and financial resources needed to sustain it, etc., etc.

    Thank you.

    • Peace!

      Hi YZ,

      You are correct if the purpose is for endorsement, but using a name that is in the mind of millions people for reaching out and communicate is whole different scenario. And the fact one needs to consider is that despite poor achievements the name remains, and will continue, to represent the people of the member countries as long as no other credible and widely known organization with positive image emerges, plus underachievement is a weakness, not illegal or bigotry even if the image of the name is to be taken into account. The organization itself could be free of dictatotors responsible for hijacking its idea and become successful. I think, unless tried and proven a great failure, successful IGAD forum would be an ideal platform for creating awareness of underachievement, for exploring and exchanging powerful ideas, and even for cultivating investigative reporters.


      • Yohannes Zerai

        Selam Peace and Berhe,

        I thank both of you for your respective responses to my earlier comment. At this stage when people are throwing in ideas to help build a broader perspective for advancing’s recent proposal, I prefer to think – as we all should – that all opinions/viewpoints expressed in the ongoing discussion are equally relevant and helpful. I view the opinions the two of you expressed in your comments in that light.

        By way of responding to your comments, let me push my earlier argument a little farther. If the proposed project becomes logical, robust and effective enough to be able to sway people’s political thinking – as we certainly wish and believe it will – then it would surely have no problem using those same qualities to build the needed name-recognition, popularity and reputation on its own. In other words, it can do so without having to accept parasitic dependency on (or name sharing with) a not-so-reputable organization!

        For the proposed project, the primary determinants of prospects for its success and of its ultimate fate will be: (i) the power of its ideas and (ii) the effectiveness with which it conveys those ideas to its readers/potential followers. After all, the name of a project/organization alone does not guarantee acceptance of the ideas and messages originating therefrom – regardless of how familiar that name may be. But good, relevant, logical and progressive messages do certainly lead to popularization of the source that disseminates them.

        Peace, in your comment you indicated that ‘IGAD’ is “… a name that is in the mind of millions people .. “ That statement is indeed true. However, the project will use English as medium of communication and the complex ideas/concepts/analyses that it promotes are bound to target a much smaller sub-population consisting of such sectors as intellectuals, politicians, etc. Therefore, the fact that “millions of people” are familiar with the acronym “IGAD” does not have a direct bearing on the question of choosing an appropriate name for the project being discussed here.

        Thank you.

        • Peace!

          Hi YZ,

          Thank you as always for your thoughtful reply, and point well taken. The main thing is we all agree on the proposed noble idea and the significance of a name. What me and others are saying using familiar name as a pipe or channel can’t hurt given establishing a new one might turn out far more demanding and even take time before the idea began to sinkin. It is not much of a big deal that the objection to using such name can easily be justified when practical alternative to reach out the intended audiences and contributors develops. Any suggestion?


          • Yohannes Zerai

            Dear Peace,

            Thank you again for your comment above. Needless to say, what we have been doing in the ongoing discussion on the current thread is laying the conceptual groundwork whereupon Awate Team could build up the project that they had proposed earlier. In other words, forumers collectively tried to look at the issue from as many angles as possible — a task that would be almost impossible for a handful of people to accomplish on their own. I think forumers have done a pretty good job in that regard: They have provided the Team with a wide range of suggestions, ideas and viewpoints for their consideration along with reasons and justifications in support of their respective inputs. I believe it is now up to the Team to utilize the totality of inputs they have received, and make appropriate decisions necessary for setting up the project and for getting it up to speed.

            Thank you.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear YZ,

      I agree to all the points you raised and they are valid like all others said. But when you read the objective of the forum that would serve IGAD countries, it’s a name that’s familiar with people who reside in that region.

      For example, if we say that the IGAD countries are become the interest of different powers and it’s become dangerous for the region and the people they reside, and those people who live in IGAD they should have their voice heard and they should come together etc…

      This is obvious for everyone and those who have the potential and the ability to participate would know what the reason and purpose is. It’s know at the international organization like the UN and others.

      Now substitute that with another acronym and call it ABC people, who exactly would know about this organization and the region it represents.

      Personally if we chose a new name (a perfect new name) let alone it will have an impact to the region, it would not even have impact to Eritreans and Ethiopians where AT is primary serving today. Other than ELF, EPLF, TPLF I have no idea and do not remember any other Eritrean opposition organization names.

      For good or bad, we can’t expect to come up with a name that would replace something that existed for 30 years…We would be spending a lot of time selling the name rather than selling the idea….but if we stick to the name, we start in the business of the core idea and discussions.


      • Peace!

        Hi BY,

        If reaching out is the purpose behind the proposed name, I think using familiar name would create a chance to focus more on executing the main objectives. In today’s full of mistrust world, Kab Zitefelto Melaak Tfelto Sheitan Yihaish 🙂


      • Hope

        With all due respect,sir,Haile,MS and Yohanes clarified things in a crystal clear way as to why the term IGAD would not be the best choice .

        On the contrary,your justification is not close to theirs.

        The term or the name “Horn or East Africa” is older than the 30 years old name ….and way better known than your fav IGAD to /by the International Community.

        Arguement for the sake of it without substance and convincing logic is not constructive.

        Now,for the sake of fairness and honesty,what has the IGAD done any thing positive for its member states other than causing destruction and creating animosity and beyond being a tool of a certain country?

        Please review what MS and Yohanes explained.
        Yohanes hit things bluntly on the negative role your fav IGAD caused to S Sudan,Somalia as well as Eritrea(which Yohanes omitted for some reason).

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Hope,

          IGAD is not my favourite or darling, just making my opinion like everyone else.

          In your world, Paulo Coelho saying upside down.
          “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

          We don’t have to make everything personal. The IGAD countries or people have no reason to conspire against us.


    • Hope

      Selam Yohaness:
      Love ur diplomatic but to the point vomment.
      A couple points on ur comment-
      -You should have been blunt and say it LOUD what the IGAD has done to Eritrea
      -U answered ur question as to why we should worry about the name IGAD by alluding the ” Political and Ideological” as well as its Psycholgical impact it will have on the Silent Eritrean Majority in general and the PFDJ Supportsers in particular,who are equally Eritreans like u and me and the Silent Eritrean Majority.

      • Yohannes Zerai

        Dear Hope,

        The main thrust of my earlier comment was that IGAD (as a regional organization) is too encumbered by serious problems of discord, narrow interests, foreign influence, etc. to serve as a model (or beacon) for an undertaking that is being proposed to advance regional harmony, peace, stability, integration and prosperity. I tried to make that point by using the South-Sudanese situation as illustration of IGAD’s troubles. Be that as it may, Awate’s proposal is predicated on genuine long-term interests of the peoples of the whole region; and it would be inappropriate for one to take a sectarian or partisan approach when analyzing the proposal.

        Thank you.

  • Nitricc

    Hi Alex: please for give him. I was surprised by Horizon inquiry. This is the first time he has been fair and to the point. Horizon gave Thomas to show his lights but the dumb just went south with it. Here best summarized points about the horn of Africa.

    ” When the GCC crisis erupted in June 2017, Sudan was in an uncomfortable situation. For the previous few years, it had tried to stay neutral during intra-GCC disputes, maintaining a close relationship with Qatar, but also sending troops to back the UAE and Saudi war effort in Yemen.
    Last year, Khartoum refused to cut relations with Doha and was pushed out of the UAE-Saudi camp. Bashir’s overarching objective out of this game of alliances is to survive in power and secure his chance to run in the 2020 elections. He realised that even though the US removed sanctions against Sudan, it is not interested in pushing for the International Criminal Court to drop the charges against him, nor does it support him to run in the 2020 elections. Hence, Bashir shifted towards Russia and Turkey. Sudan’s neighbours, Eritrea and Ethiopia, have also become party to the GCC crisis. Ethiopia, just like Sudan, has become closer to Qatar in its struggle to navigate the ongoing tensions in the Gulf. The Ethiopian government, which previously accused Egypt of supporting separatist movements on Ethiopian territory, understandably chose to place itself against Egypt in this conflict. Meanwhile, Eritrea, which is in the midst of a long-standing conflict with Ethiopia, has taken the side of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE, the latter having a military base on Eritrean territory. If Turkey actually establishes a military base on Sudan’s Suakin Island in the near future, it is reasonable to expect Eritrea to play a pivotal role on behalf of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in counter-balancing Turkish military presence in the region. President Isaias Afwerki may exploit Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s dependence on Eritrea on this issue to carry out hostile actions against both Ethiopia and Sudan. Whatever happens between Egypt and Sudan in the coming days, it is evident that the GCC crisis has already spread to the Nile basin and the Horn of Africa. Consequently, the region may be pushed into new proxy conflicts in the near future. Regional and sub-regional organisations such as the African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should intervene to de-escalate these tensions and negative developments.””

    • Thomas

      Hi Nitricc,
      Do I have to respond to your copy/paste above, absolutely not. Eritrea under your masters is a failed country so it simply is easy to evaluate the behavior of the insane DIA. In Eritrea’s case, every decision comes from one man, the mad dog DIA. No complicated analysis is needed to know the moves of this crazy isolated dictator.

  • Selamat folks,

    Read between the lines or extrapolate utilizing the five Ws.
    At times the awatistas are like lazy improvisation comedic entertainers.

    AT is packed with crem de la crem / upper echelon intellect. I suppose they do indeed Inform for those who want to be informed… Please be bold as in Embolden! and the RECONCILIATION follow naturally.

    IGAD is resurrected with Eritrea playing a major role. Part and parcel of IGAD is Eritrea. At the very least, the Government in Exile elects of the Eritrean Opposition.

    Hey. How about KenyataWatista. KAIF. Notice KAIF sounds like “How” in the Arabic language. Jambo KAIF😎


  • Selam All,

    I do not know if what i am doing is right, nevertheless, finally i have convinced myself to throw my two cents worth.

    From what i understood, the aim is to turn from a local to a broad regional forum.

    If so it is a great idea, nevertheless here are my reservations:
    1) If it has to go from local to regional, how is it possible in a way to blend together the terms “awate” and “igad” in Awate Igad Forum (AIF), as long as it is going to be the main forum.
    Putting awate, a local eritrean revolutionary symbol, with igad, a broad regional organization might not be appealing to some, from the point of view that the great majority of the peoples of the horn are not aware of who awate was. Even in the ethiopian context, the majorly have no idea about awate.

    2) The primary aim of the website was, i think, fighting dictatorship in eritrea and this should continue to be the main target until dictatorship is deposed.

    3) What about a preliminary trial period of retaining the old title and slightly change the motto to “inform, inspire, embolden, and reconcile the peoples of the horn for peace, stability and prosperity”, of course, this is not exactly a transitional working project name. It might not be a grand start, but it may protect from an unexpected failure.
    Depending on the success of the preliminary trial period, a bigger project that encompasses the whole region in its title could be undertaken. It is my opinion that should find itself at a crossroad not now, but may be by 2020. In between, it may invite articles and comments from the broader horn of africa region.

    • Beyan

      Selam Horizon,
      What you are doing Horizon is more than right – in a word, it is precisely what the AT wants forumers to engage in and inevitably the decision that gets made will be an informed one, one that had an input like yours, which is spot on. Not only are you saying erring on the side of caution, which seems to be the essence of your message during the transition phase, but you are also saying go in a risk averse way, because you’ve invested on this brand for the last seventeen years and you don’t want to lose everything you built by taking such drastic step. Well reasoned. Well thought out. Other forumers like Haile S. have also made insightful observations as did Mez, so on and so forth. This, will certainly be of monumental import for the AT. This kind of give and take can only help in arriving at an optimal outcome.


    • Selamat Horizon and all,

      Awate’s forum new strategy is merely lining up in order to be in sync with recent illuminations on the inevitable true shape of the entire HoA region for the near and far future. The distinct characteristics and roles of the individual Nation States along with their respective large and small nationalities and or regions, has been and continues to be painstakingly hammered out by numerous powerful forces.

      It is necessary and must shift for survival and continuity of the website awate brand. Whereas through overt and covert very tragic interstate as well as violent proxy wars, political and economic tug of wars, openly bold interferences of the other’s power politics by all, and of recent — diplomatic shuttles involving technocrats hammering out clandestine dealings and Wheeling’s with details of intricacies that are indeed fascinating, all products and byproducts of the group dynamics. The larger regional groupings from HoA, the Arabian Peninsula/GCC, North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe, the West and their dynamics.
      Fibonacci sequence in all of nature and parallelism.

      I am responding to you because of this haphazardly thought out statement of yours:

      “Putting awate, a local eritrean revolutionary symbol, with igad, a broad regional”

      1. 1930s, 1960s, 1990s and 2010s.

      A) In the 1930s, the stock market crash and the great depression gave us the New World Order (Roosevelt Social Security net, pensions…. Karl Marx, Socialist Republics in Europe and Lennin/Stalin Soviet Communism…)

      B) This new World Order surely a major catalyst or cause to World War 2. … 1960s! 1960s! 1960s! Rise of African Nationalism/self rule/Independence Revolutions the world over.
      And 1961 Hamid Idriss Awate’s Abbu Asshera Weapon X – Evolution is the single most significant of all. Why? …. …. ….
      ….. …..
      Mind you, the single most significant STAND for Liberty in the African Continent. (I suggest a review of Hamid Idriss Awate’s autobiography will shed some light. Nay, he was not and is not “just an Eritrean Revolutionary.” )

      Awate IGAD or AIF is very fitting. Excellent call by the AT for their brand. And the Imperative GLOBAL Narrative will dominate and dictate the websites and forums tone– I will confidently wager.

      C) 1990s, 1990s! 1991! Eritrea gains Independence (Ethiopia broken/split into Two… Ethnic Federalism… ….) Somalia broken into pieces..

      D) 2010s, 2010s! The Sudan split into Two thus far. Arab Sprin has thus far split apart Libya….

      Well…. for now just entertain the givens and recognize I∆ faint trends… Then think of Jerusalem King Solomon’s Temple, The KaEba, The Pyramids AND the River Nile and it’s sources–Sub Sahara Africa. (Bread Basket, Hydroelectric power, natural gasses(symmetrically evidentiary) +++ Mass Exodus Black African slave and or body parts trade…)

      Okay…let me end this seemingly and intentionally incoherent comment with a Roman Numeral: LII. Yes, Super Bowl LII.

      LII nd Parallel.

      Yep, ATs, uncharacteristically non rhythmic announcement, is confirmation of what every rational educated person, worth his salt, can and should extrapolate.
      The roles and characteristics of the individual Nation States of HoA has been defined, soon to be officially announced. Here is to wishing AT success in their inter-IGAD RECONCILIATION, embolden and informing all of HoA of the significance to Awate’s

      Abbu Asshera Weapon X – Evolution….

      And The Imperative GLOBAL Narrative 2018- “In the abundance of WATER, the fool is thirsty.” BMW

      AmEritrean GitSAtSE Azzilo40 Agnyeya40 Acres and A Mule

  • MS

    Selam AT
    [Edited after reading AT clarification, AT post appeared as I was ready to post a longer Hateta, I’m glad I read your clarification]
    1. I commend your initiative and the noble vision. I think an honest and independent people to people dialogue is a must in advancing peace and security in the region, and in pushing for positive changes. I’m all for it.
    2. Two days ago as events had moved fast in the region, I started drafting an article. The Title, for now, will be “The Horn on Fire”. I don’t know if it will mature into readable article or will face the fate of many others which were sent to the recycle bin. It all depends on my mood, energy, time and how things shape up. But it is clear that the region is on fire, and the arsonists are the same leaders who established IGAD for regional peace and security and economic cooperation and integration. Foreign fuel is pouring onto an already burning region- global and regional powers tag of war:
    -Global powers: USA, Russia, China, Japan, etc.
    – Arab versus the revival of Turkey’s old imperial ambitions
    -Reinvigorated Arab/Persian animosities
    – Intra-regional problems: Ethio-Eritrean border issues; Egypt Sudan territorial disputes, Ethiopia-Egypt disputes on GERD; Eritrean-Sudan, Eritrea Djibouti, Sudan-South Sudan uneasy relations; S.Sudan full-blown civil war; Kenyan tribal politics; Somalia’s civil war; Uganda’s dictator’s removing the constitutional limit on age of the president which will allow him to run until he drops dead; Uganda/S.Sudan unhealthy relation…..In face of this mess people to people dialogue is indispensable. Of course, any forum is prone to be hijacked and for that reason awatistas need to really think deeply and beyond political borders as there is no chance that any of these countries will prosper without regional stability.
    Recommendation: IGAD belongs to a failed past, awate forum should symbolize the future. I understand this is a transitional branding, but I wish AT used a different name. As the Tigrigna aptly put it “ሽም ይመርሕ፡ ጥዋፍ የብርህ” which is roughly translated to ” name leads as lamp lights [your path/surrounding]. The mission is noble and I’m excited for it. The name needs to reflect a New Greater Horn of Africa. I’m comfortable with the suggestion made by “mez”, AWatista Forum of the Greater Horn; or “Awatista Dialogue Forum- The Greater Horn” OR “AWate’s New Horizon: The Dialog Forum…I hope nitickay is going to come with a new word…ማይ ዘይጠዓመት…
    PS: Please keep up the fund-raising.

    • Beyan

      Kbur MS,

      “Please keep up the fund-raising” is timely, gentle reminder. In this fast moving cyber world, ongoing topics have a way of stopping dead on their tracks when a new piece appears. I trust we can walk and chew gum at the same time, as it were.

      Thanks for that gentle reminder.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Ahlen Mahmuday & Hailat,

      I think we are failing to distinguish between the lofty ideas/names and the actors who abuse the lofty ideas. The formation of IGAD is a lofty idea for economic development and cooperation of the Horn countries. Instead of being against the leaders who failed the organization and its purpose, we are becoming against the whole idea and its purpose.

      Unfortunately, in this case it means we will be against any lofty ideas and names as far as it is used by distortionists and dictators for their political fashioning and appearances. For instance, can we be against the name “PFDJ” for what it stand conceptually. I don’t think so. The problem is with the owners of the organization who failed to meet the purpose that signifies to its name. So when we are fighting against PFDJ, we are not fighting against what the name signifies, but we are fighting against the custodians of the organization who works against what the name stands for.
      At least, can we be clear on the difference between “lofty names” and their concepts and the custodians of the names who use them only for political consumption without deeds.


      • Haile S.

        Selamat Emma,
        What high impact positive result did IGAD showed to be celebrated for an ambitious regional forum that is intended to inform and reconcile the people of the region? IGAD is a political organization. It is not a geographical designation that primes over all other more appropriate geographical designations. By chosing it, I feel its failures are getting highlighting more than anything else. If it need to be reinvogorated, it needs to do it first by itself by centering on things than benefit all. Isn’t it high time for it now? Based on my readings of paragraphs in AT’s editorisl calling “Support” and the present announcement, I see why AT chose that acronym. But it would be better to remind and call IGAD for its responsibility directly in a separate editorial than ‘handling it a Podium’ that it doesn’t deserve at all.

        • Thomas

          Hi Haile S.
          Your question can be extended to what has the UN, the AU and other organization did to deserve credit for? Well, if trying to solve conflicts is the case, IGAD is trying to solve internal problem in South Sudan and also they have effectively taken the case of DIA to the UN and contributed to the isolation of DIA, the sanctions placed on. The most outcome from IGAD creation is the movement of people between the IGAD countries and that is they have successfully made the visa free movement to work. Like Berhe said, we need to be careful from the influence of the DIA breeds propaganda and attack on IGAD:)

          • Haile S.

            Selam Thomas,
            An obsession on PIA will not help when talking on ambitious program we are discussing on. If so the choice will be perceived as a statement against DIA that does not help at all for the implementation of the forum’s objectives. PIA presides over a country that deserves consideration from that organization.

          • Thomas

            Selam Haile S.,
            If that is not the case, from what stand point are you degrading this IGAD organization then? Isn’t the mission of the organization about peace and development in the IGAD regime? If a leader (example DIA) of one nations is against the mission of the organization, what would the organization do? I think there are a set of policies that the organization has to enforce and live on. I brought DIA as a subject because he fits to be an example not because of an obsession as you have stated.

          • MS

            Selam HaileS
            Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) was formed in 1986 right after the devastating drought of 1984. It was changed to Intergovernmental Authority on Development in 1996 with the inclusion of Eritrea. Imagine Mengustu Hailemariam as having lofty ideals of regional cooperation and developmental integration of the region!! I mean, mean leaders or politicians could launch any lofty and high sounding projects. What is important is their accomplishment on the ground.
            * IGAD has become an instrument of regional hegemony for Ethiopia as has become the the UN security council for the USA, period.
            ** We should not allow the forum to become an instrument of demonizing Eritrea. IA is not Eritrea.
            *** What did IGAD say about Ethiopia’s flagrant violation of its international commitment in honoring the Eritrean Ethiopian Border Commission?
            **** Yet, it has jumped on the bandwagon when Ethiopia summoned it to refer Eritrea to the UN security council for sanctions that had no basis at all. Again for those who want to make Eritrea a punching bag by equating it to IA, Eritrea is not IA.
            ****** I understand how geopolitics is played, and Ethiopia has been the muscular kid in the neighborhood that thugs want to recruit although its true strength, economic or otherwise is now being questioned in light of the ongoing massive unrest in the country. Let it pull itself out of the internal inferno it finds itself in before masquerading an image of ideal leadership.
            Last word: It is regrettable that some individuals continue to throw name-callings. If they keep accusing us of conveying PFDJ/IA accusations towards IGAD and as PFDJ propagandists, we certainly have the right to punch back by calling them Wayane/TPLF pamphleteers. But that won’t take us anywhere. Just a suggestion: The coming forum should be seen and felt as a neutral to any insinuations that associate it with the past mess of the region. It should not be akin to a jumping pad targeting Eritrea dressed up in IA demonizing garb. It has already become divisive among forumers. That’s not a good omen my friend.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear MS,

            You wrote:

            ” Imagine Mengustu Hailemariam as having lofty ideals of regional cooperation and developmental integration of the region!! I mean, mean leaders or politicians could launch any lofty and high sounding projects. What is important is their accomplishment on the ground.”

            As per below is how the organization is started.

            In 1983 and 1984, six countries in the Horn of Africa – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda – took action through the United Nations to establish an intergovernmental body for development and drought control in their region. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government met in Djibouti in January 1986 to sign the Agreement which officially launched IGADD with Headquarters in Djibouti. The State of Eritrea became the seventh member after attaining independence in 1993.

            Now why do you say it was created by Mengistu HM. Doesn’t the voice and intellect of all others countries and their representative mean anything? They are just baboons who just follow the order of one person?

            I don’t know if this comment is directed at me “It is regrettable that some individuals continue to throw name-callings. If they keep accusing us of conveying PFDJ/IA accusations towards IGAD and as PFDJ propagandists, we certainly have the right to punch back by calling them Wayane/TPLF pamphleteers. ” but I would like to comment anyway.

            I said, the argument the people who oppose IGAD are making is, because the position the organization took against the Eritrean government and leader. Now when you list all the failure of the organization, you are making based on how the organization treated Eritrea re: Sanctions.

            What I said is, I think it’s best if we use some objectivity are be critical of the organization for what it has done and not take the ONLY argument “how it treated Eritrean and IA”.

            Can you please list it’s achievements and it’s failures without including Eritrea? I am not saying the argument doesn’t count but if you do that, we should also consider the reason that led to that.

            Eritrean and IA were not an honest by standards in the Somalia and Djibouti conflict.

            If you make an argument that, the organization doesn’t deserve merit in the way it handled the conflict between Eritrean / Ethiopia, then that’s ok to make.

            But honestly speaking, Eritreans in those IGAD countries have benefited tremendously because of the organization and it’s policy, way better than in their own country. That for me is good enough reason for the organization to continue to exist.


          • MS

            Selam BerheY
            I actually missed your comment and I did not have you in mind when I made that statement. I read Thomas’ statement, just to be transparent.
            On IGAD, we can debate for days, but that is not the point. IGAD is not the talking point. The talking point is finding a unifying name for the forum. That there are dedicated awatistas who don’t like the acronym IGAD is enough to reconsider a better name. Mind you these are passionate awatistas who wish the forum a success. Since we are in the initial stage this is indeed a good opportunity for all of us to think of a unifying theme. If we keep debating on the merits and demerits of IGAD, we are going to veer of the track. Unless one takes IGAD as an exemplary organization and wants to emulate it, why would we get stuck at featuring its name?
            I completely understand your argument and the argument that Emma had made. They are valid and I don’t dismiss them. Indeed separating the ideal the organization was formed for and the organization’s achievement. The huge elephant standing in the room is Ethiopia’s refusal of its obligation to finalize the border conflict as ruled by the border court. The rest of Ethio-Eritrean security issues are all manifestations of the uncompleted peace deal. The next point is that we should never cover Ethiopia’s flagrant refusal of its obligation because we REALLY hate how things are going in Eritrea. Our domestic politics should be addressed as such. Lionizing Ethiopia and giving it high moral ground has not changed our domestic problems and it will not do any good at solving our own domestic challenges. But we are letting Ethiopia off the hook.I’m speaking in general, not that you have done so. If you take the sanctions, what have they done in ameliorating Eritrean domestic situation? Nothing. But in light of the fact that Eritrea is in “no war no peace” situation with Ethiopia, Ethiopia was the major beneficiary of the sanctions which target Eritrea’s defense capabilities.
            So, let’s disagree on sanctions and IGAD, the forum is supposed to narrow differences. There are Eritreans who oppose both PFDJ and Wayane and everything they stand for. Why should we ignore it? Why should I undermine your name and place in the struggle for justice just because you differ with me on sanctions? I think we need to widen our horizon. There are easy and better ways of staving off such heated debating: come up with unifying theme. It is available.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear MS,

            Without repeating all that has been said already, I think I understand what you are saying. And I can tell you it’s a valid argument.

            My point of argument is not to prove or disprove it’s achievent for suggesting to stick with the name. Rather, when we say people who reside in IGAD region, does it bring in people’s mind the countries in the region.

            If I am not mistaken, the name is well known in the international community as well as the people in the region.

            For example let assume the people from IGAD region has successfully conducted an peace initiative conference. Suppose say at the end of the conference issue a statement “people who are from IGAD region have conducted a peace initiative conference and they have passed the following what ever” and if this press release is covered by the international media, the countries etc…would there is any confusion who the people are and what the region referring too?

            Now if we pick a wonderful name that unite and agreed on by everyone, and if we say this ABC organization conducted a conference…would it has the same value and recognition outside the actual group?

            Let’s take some similar example, suppose the people of the Arab League countries conduct a successful conference and they pass a resolution. Let’s say the Arab League as an organization it may have failed some member states ……And the name was changed to another name that best represent the region with fresh start. Which organization would have an impact and will be known by the international community and the governments?

            This is the basis of my argument…and the organization is a simple way to call up (to organize the people of the region) as most of them know what it’s about.

            But honestly we are getting way ahead of our selves.

            Let’s hope some people from the region come here and say their mind.


          • MS

            Selam BerheY
            I think we have made our points. I understand your point and I think we don’t need to agree on IGAD, the organization. So, your honor, we may proceed with voting if we have the quorum.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Hailat,

          My point wasn’t whether or not to celebrate IGAD for what the have done or not. There is nothing to celebrate. My point was and is, that the formation of the organization and the intention of the purpose “for cooperation and economic development of the region” something we have to support, and if it difn’t Work so far, the people of the region must make it work. The problem is not with the name of the organization and for what it signifies, but it is from the leaders of the region. We do not need to fight with the name of the organization, but with the leaders of the region who failed to make it work. Hailat, really we have to fight to the name of the organization? I already gave you an example “PFDJ”. I don’t have with the name, I do have a problem with its leaders who are not worth for what the name signifies. If on this basic concept of “names and their significance” could not come to a common understanding, we will have a big problem on the big fighting in front of us. Mehret Yewridelna. By the way Whether we like the concept of IGAD or not, it will continue to exist by the countries who believe on the idea and their people will strive to make it work. If you listen to the inaguaration of the Kenyan President, that will give you a big hint that there are some countries of the region who will fight for the cause of IGAD. So let us leave it, time will resolve it.


        • Berhe Y

          Dear HaileS and MS,

          I think putting the blame to the organization where the failure is created and of the responsibility of the individual states and the arrogant leaders is not fair at all. Here I want to quote you

          Haile S.
          “What high impact positive result did IGAD showed to be celebrated for an ambitious regional forum that is intended to inform and reconcile the people of the region? ”

          Mahmood S.
          “The bottom line is that we don’t have to associate with an organization that has nothing to show but failures.”

          Unless you take the stand of the PFDJ regime and the leader IA actions, and the failures of Somalia leaders, what ground is there to blame IGAD for these failures which were primary the responsibility of the individual countries and their leaders.

          What’s needs to be celebrated…I don’t know the details of the inter working of the organization but there are other countries in the group who take the responsibility seriously and deliver.

          For example, Uganda and Kenya. If we take Eritrean and Somalian refugees in Uganda as an example, they are welcome to live in the country, to work in the country, to study in the country and to live in peace and the honor the deal and the sprit of IGAD.

          I think more can be said from the other countries..but blaming on the organization of the failure of individual state (e.g. Eritrea) then we are not being honest. Off course I understand the stand it took to help punish Eritrea at the security council but from their security point of view (weather they took the side of Ethiopia or not) who is to say that, that was the wrong decision. Yes as Eritreans it hurt us, but first and for most we need to realize that the problem is of our making, of our leader and his reckless decision in the first place.

          Just because the organization didn’t scumb to his demands does not make the organization as a failed organization.


          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,
            You nailed it, no one would have said it better.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe l, Emma and Thomas,
            Going forward, from everything that has been said, I don’t see the designation of this forum using this political geography a forward looking unifying force for bias-free discussion.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Haile S,

            My comment was from “why re-invent the wheel” with regards to the organization or as you call it (political geography) and what other alternative is available (existing) which can be used to unite these countries. Weather we call it political or not, it’s geographical region that we (are assuming) to unite the people who live in this political geography.

            If there is an alternative that already exist, that can have a significance not only at the people / geography but also at the government and political institution, then it will be ok to consider. But I am afraid there is NONE that exist today (that unite these countries) and it’s really a wasted opportunity if we spend our efforts in creating one.

            But more importantly, what ever the organization, it’s purpose will be to inform and the unit the people and influence the decision of the political organization / leaders who are in power. That’s how the people will be empowered and results can be achieved. Even if we agree on the political scene, I think there are a lot of different groups who will mushroom from this basic grouping….


          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,
            There are terms like Horn wz or wzout adding Africa. No chance of confusing it with cape horn; east africa is another. These are terms that could be more inclusive.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Haile,

            I did look into that, and there is horn of Africa (that refers Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibout and Somalia) and there are Easter African community which include (Brundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and S. Sudan) and there is Central and East Africa etc.

            I know you said without Africa but I am not sure there exist one.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            If I understood him correctly, Hailat wanted us to know the
            difference of the horn countries and the East African countries. The horn countries are the countries you have listed them. The East African countries are the horn plus Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and South Sudan. If I am wrong Hailat will correct me what he means it.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Berhe,
            There is no strict definition of countries in either names (horn or EA ). Without being ‘strictu senso’ the IGAD countries are included in the Horn countries or east african countries with one country less (Uganda) or eith one more (Tanzania). It is true some maps exclude Sudan, but some authors add greater Horn to include all. Please use google images to help you navigate through all these.

          • Thomas

            Hi Haile S.

            If we are not talking about IGAD countries, we can then talk about the countries immediately bordering our nation: the Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. I don’t want to bore with the acronym but the SEED (Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti) countries:)

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            Yes “it is really a wasted opportunity to spend our efforts in creating another one”. At any rate, since the other members will keep IGAD, there will be no reinventing the wheel by IGAD members because Eritrea will exit from it. The best way for us Eritrean is to stay in it and fight to transform it in to a pragmatic economic cooperation.


      • Peace!

        Hi Emma,

        What about the image the name represents? If the name represents bigotry, crime, or genocide, then the idea behind the name no longer matters till the image repaired and the trust restored.


  • Thomas

    Dear Awatistas,

    It is not official. Sudan has said, “Sudan officially announces potential security threats from Egypt, Eritrea on eastern borders”. Source: Xinhua

    • Selam Thomas,

      The discord between sudan and egypt is due to land occupied by egypt, sudan’s support for the muslim brotherhood, and sudan aligning herself with ethiopia on the gerd, because the regulated water flow gives her a huge stretch of farmlands that used to be flooded annually.

      Sudan has already agreed with a gulf country (probably qatar) for the development of a large farm, which is going to use fully the water allocated to her by the 1959 agreement between the two countries. Egypt most probably is not going to respect the agreement, because she is also using water given to her by sudan, because sudan was unable to consume all the 18bn cubic m3 of water.

      My point is, what seems to be the problem between sudan and eritrea that sudan accuses both egypt and eritrea?

      • Thomas

        Hi Horizon,
        DIA is siding with Egypt though he knows that there is nothing Egypt has to offer to Eritrea. I mean what benefit could Eritrea get from Egypt? He simply is ganging with Egypt to get to Ethiopia. Sudan has been hard pressed by DIA to maintain her relationship with him. That is it has been very difficult for Al Beshir to make both DIA and Ethiopia happy. Now, Beshir knows the insanity of DIA and I think he is worried to see the next move of DIA. Sudan is worried that DIA might bring Egypt Army to topple the Beshir government. DIA is so desperate and he will do anything to prolong his stay in power.

  • Mez

    Dear Awate Foundation team,

    Your blessed idea is really a 2018 New Year Gift for all concerned.

    Flawless, and an outstanding proposal.

    I hope the content will be down the earth with scientific approach, investigative reports, etc for all interested and concerned.

    If this idea comes to existance:

    1) I will pledge fifty USD quarterly (200 a year) for three years in row,
    2) I will produce one article a year of common concern , especially policy challenges

    • Nitricc

      Hey Mez: I like your idea. That way there will be continuity and smooth going. And I will encourage you to make your article twice a year. Ideally it will be cool to write an article quarterly as of your payment. Anyway, I disagree with that heinous name of IGAD. AT should run away in the speed of light from that toothless IGAD. Who symbolizes corruption?

      • Mez

        Dear Nitricc,

        I want to save some energy to challenge you and Gheteb, hence 1x year.

        Regarding the name, I offered a name responding to you (who else)!
        What I wrote was:

        “I think we have to come back to the basics of African style of life. I propose the name “Awate Greater Horn of Africa” with the picture attached; until we get a better one.


        • Hello Mez, Nitric and others,

          This is to remind all of two important points:

          1. Awate IGAD Forum is a working name and that is why we wrote:
          “(with a suggested transitional working project name is, Awate IGAD Forum (AIF))”
          Discussion on that is obviously open but it can only be carried out calmly, without provoking comments and with the right tone. Kindly resist the urge to say anything which might not be helpful to the discussion or inappropriate for the spirit with which we would like to see the discussion progress.

          2. Branching out of topic:
          This is one of the issues that need to be discussed if the forum is to conduct a focused discussion. Kindly resist the urge to discuss an unrelated issue in this page–we do not want to delete your comments, but if the branching out persists in this topic, we might do just that.

          There are other ideas we would like to put here for discussion but first, we need to walk on the same trail without going out of the lane. Please do not branch out.

  • Haile S.

    Dear Awate Team,
    Great vanguard idea that need to be supported. However, I think, the choice of IGAD, a name for a forum representing the east african people where its thinkers exchanges ideas doesn’t appear to be a good choice. A forum expected to go against narrow interest of governments that is detrimental to the people of the region should not use a terminology that is associated with an organization, be it in name only, whose policies has been influenced by dominant country’s vision.
    IGAD is an intergouvernmental organization whose achievements and failures reflected the interests of individual countries and whose political interventions used muliple balances. Whether what was done in the region in the name of IGAD was good or bad, whether we support or are against it, the organization has failed its mission in that it couldn’t bring harmony, for instance, by being unable in bringing-in its black-sheep into camp.
    My intention here is driven by a genuine support to the idea, but with reluctance to that name which comes with a baggage that the forum doesn’t need to carry.

    • Thomas

      Hi Haile S,
      Thank you for making me question the name, IGAD, if it is implying the governments. We should not be advertising or representing those governments representatives mission but question their deeds (applause if the people of the region would benefit or reject if not). I would focus on EESD (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti people more). Speaking of the name, I can say SEED (Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti). I will have to charge AT for the name choice though:)

      • Nitricc

        HI Thomas: I know you are slow but IGAD includes,
        Djibouti, Somalia,Eritrea,Sudan,Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. so keep your SEED to your self I am just trying to help you out.

        • Thomas

          Hi Nitricc,
          I am slow because you think I don’t know the IGAD countries:) I am glad you are learning this time. Let me help you out, I know the IGAD countries and I do also know Uganda and Kenya do not border Eritrea as such the need for the discussion among the SEED countries.

    • Berhe Y

      Dear Haile S.

      As usual your observation is valid. Without knowing why the name IGAD, I see the dilemma the AT team had.

      IGAD member state countries are : Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. I think AT team focus on these countries, which I think is the right focus, but there isn’t a name or organization that represents these countries as a group. IGAD for better or worse is already exist and I think it may be a good idea to use the existing name rather than create a new name that no body knows about.

      From Eritrean point of view, the organization and the name has been demeaned by the Eritrean government and the organization may have failed to break a statement but it doesn’t make the name or grouping is wrong.

      The advantage is that, it’s an already established name and most people from the region are familiar with. If I am not mistaken, the only people who would have a problem with IGAD are, the Eritrean people because of the actions taken by those government in supporting the sanctions against the Eritrean government.

      But honestly speaking, I don’t think those people (who support the Eritrean regime) are the reason why we shouldn’t use an organization that already exist and well knows by most people of the region.

      So I think it’s a good choice.

      Hi Thomas,
      Somalia, S. Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are equally important.


      • Thomas

        Hi Berhe,
        I know the IGAD countries and I also have seen people from these countries moving freely (without a visa) within IGAD region). I was only talking about the immediate neighbors of our nation. For example, it might be difficult for a person from Uganda and Kenya to talk about Eritrea. Some Kenyans or Ugandans might ask for the map of Eritrea:)

      • Haile S.

        Selam Berhe,
        I get your point. And it further underlines that the association of this acronym to the forum will be interpreted as a statement, not only by eritrean regime supporters, also by many who had high regards to that organization at its inception, but who think it was later used for advantagous alliances instead for its august initial mission.

    • Peace!

      Haile S.

      You made a compelling case, but IGAD seems more symbolic than a credible organization, and the sense of belonging among people, in particular scholars, seems still intact for engaging and contributing.


    • Hope

      U R spot on, Hailat.
      The term IGAD is/has been a sign of failure,weakness and lack of Independence.
      I would rather pick “Horn/East African.
      Since IGAD is under the TPLF Jurisdiction and control ,it might sound that,that nomination is. coming from the TPLF .

      Just a thought.

      But the idea of escalating the Awate University to a Post Grad School of Policy and Governance; Politic and Economics and International Relations and Conflict Resolution/Reconciliation.,etc..,is awesome and past due idea!

      As an Eritrean rooted website–the BEST of its nature compared to all African and even the corrupted
      Western “top” rated websites, will indeed succeed and shall lead the Lead.
      As Mez suggested,tons of essential topics on:
      -Economics and Finance
      -Public Health and Medicine
      -General Science and Knowledge
      -International Relations and Foreign Policy
      -Regional and National Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution,and Economic Integration ,etc..,among others could be discussed about and debated on .

      The good news is that this Univ and Fourm has all the Human Resources,Expertise and Genius required to contribute on the above topics!

      The Awate Univ should be open to all kinds of diversities and views including the PFDJ and its supporters as Eritreans along with their views and opinions should be welcomed and respected.

      If Ethiopian views and opinions are allowed,why not that of the PFDJ and its ” Apologists”?

      What is needed is Civility of debate and Respect of Opinions and Ideas.

      The Golden Rules Kibrom brought up should be applied and respected;and the toxic attitude towards ,the old and obsolete way of mistreating the likes of Hope,Semere Tesfay,Nittric and Gheteb et sl coz they are the PFDJ Apologists should be a bygone approach and they should,rather be respected as Independent Eritrean Citizens with diverse opinions and ideas,which is a healthy one to have such diverse opinions and ideas.

      One more thing:

      -Our Southern brothers and sisters should come clean and clear on the Eritrean Independence, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity including the Aseb Port issue .

      -The Sudanese,the Djiboutians,the Somalis ,the Ugandans,the Tanzanians ,the Rwandans,etc…,, should be invited and welcomed to post /contribute Articles and to join the Forum.

      • Haile S.

        Selamat Hope,
        I think you wrote the warmest accolade to the idea and to AT. Of course you didn’t forget to tighten the nails around a mound of skin here and there. I hope next time you will keep these nails far apart.

  • Nitricc

    Greetings AT. I have no idea what IGAD means. I am not sure if you are talking about the same dead “Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)” I am just confused. What is IGAD?

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Nitrickay,

      IGAD does not only represent to the governments that constitute the organization. It also refers to the people who lives within those countries that formed the organization. Take as an example this forum, Ethiopian and Eritrean people who are members of the IGAD countries are debating on the issues that matters them. The idea of the team is simply extending to the rest of IGAD people to meet the challenge of their region. What is difficult with you on the idea of the Team?

      • Nitricc

        Hey Aman-H; Thanks you sir! I was confused and I am glad you clarifying it. Now, I know what it means, I think they could have came up with fresh name than recycling the toothless and failed name, organization and symbol of corruption. Let’s come up with a better name. I love the idea but I don’t like the name.
        That is my take and thanks for your time, Aman-H.

        • Amanuel Hidrat


          It has nothing to do with the name. All the failures has to do with the governments of the region. All names and concepts are always abused including the concept of “democracy” when people say “democracy according our realities”, while the meaning of the concept “democracy” does not mean according the taste of individual countries. Therefore stand for concepts for what they “stand for” and fight for the abusers.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            Are you suggesting TPLF are abusing the word democracy? What happened to your visionary leader of ethnic politics in Ethiopia? Are not he the one who abused the aim of IGAD ? Sometimes you help us understand your views on the flip side.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Blink,

            Start with the abusers of “names” and “concepts” in the house of PFDJ you are comfortable with. You know for what PFDJ stands for. It stands for democracy and Justice. Are you giving democracy and Justice for our people? I know you are always hypocrit. You love to talk about wayane than the criminal regime in our country who suffocating their entire life. When Arabs saw like you they say Eyb. So I am saying to you Eyb aleyka.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat

            So why don’t we call the new and improved Awate website P F D J. It’s just a name. “All the failures we’re witnessing has to do with the tyrannical PFDJ government”, not the good people of Eritrea. And folks in the ShaEbya camp don’t own the concept of democracy and justice.

            What do you think?

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Haw Semere T,

   has already a historical name. It does not need to change its name. Leave PFDJ to any party that will be worth to the name.

          • Desbele

            Hi Semere,

            I voted you up for the most moronic question i ever saw on this forum

          • Nitricc

            Hi Desbele; there only moronic people like you but never moronic questions. there is no stupid question but stupid people.

          • Mez

            Hi Nitricc,

            The idea from team is a blessed one.
            I think we have to come back to the basics of African style of life.

            I propose the name “Awate Greater Horn” with the picture attached; until we get a better one.



          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            That’s right , PFDJ are using the word but they don’t live with its definition and they don’t intend to do , yet Meles used it more than in name. Hypocrisy is saying and doing to the opposite. You praised Meles as visionary and you protected them to the last time. You see I oppose PFDJ but I am not going to call for blood shed like you , second you protect weyane while looking to the sky. Hypocrisy is when someone is not doing what he advocates. Eyb

          • Teodros Alem

            Selam aman h
            Hypocrit means in other words double standard.
            The way i see it blink reject injustices of eplf and tplf .but u don’t.

      • Thomas

        Hi Amma,
        The Eritrean dictator brags about being the founder of the idea of IGAD though later he left the organization because of his intolerant tenancy. Like you said the deal signed by the members of IGAD is about the people of the region and one of the deals is a visa free movement among the people of the IGAD region. I also believe it will be instrumental to create people to people network. People can discuss/debate about peace and prosperity in the given region. It is always the people not governments who make things happen.

    • blink

      Dear Nitricc
      IGAD is the propaganda machine of TPLF , it has never represent any except their views. Eritreans has nothing to benefit from this group,ERITREA is better served by going with GCC than with this weyane propaganda machine.

  • Ezedin Osman

    A visionary idea . it sad that most IGAD members do not even know what is going on inside Eritrea. opposite media is partly responsible for that. Eritrean regime isolated Eritrea from its neighbors and the world through their media and actions. its time to have a strong counter media that expose the regime, so that the world knows the kind of the hell Eritreans living in .

  • Beyan

    Selam Awate Team,

    This is a mark of leadership, one with clear vision, at its best. You’re already few steps ahead of the curve on this one. Narrowly focused nationalism had run its course, Eritrea as a nation with geographical boundaries was born consequent that vision. Now, it is time we begin to see beyond that narrower horizon into something much larger, where each of the IGAD countries going it alone would run a risk of becoming the playground of countries with a lot of money and endless guns and ammunitions as their toys. If we work collectively with each of the IGAD country’s interest at heart, we will have a vibrant region that can become an oasis in the Horn of Africa.

    I am never short of amazed at the intelligence I see in Eritreans & Ethiopians at individual level in this forum alone vis-a-vis the knowledge base that they freely dispense related to our block and making lucid connections to the world at large. Now, magnify that by manifold region-wide, you will have massive power of intelligence that can move the region to the world stage as a powerhouse to reckon with.

    AT, I applaud you for not only leading the way, but for deciding to start this consequential project with hands off approach; hands off in a sense that wishing it to be run in accountable and transparent manner – This will be critically important to the success of the project. Kudos AT!!!