Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

Atlantic Council: Leaving Eritreans In The Cold

On December 8, the Atlantic Council, an American think-tank, organized a panel discussion on Eritrea. Entitled “Rethinking Eritrea”, the event was moderated by Bronwyn Bruton,the deputy director of the think tank’s Africa Center; and the panelists were Seth Kaplan, a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University; Anthony Carroll, senior associate at the Center for Strategic…

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Eritrea: Of Pressure Valves And Self-Inflicted Wounds

Last month, this column offered suggestions to journalists on how to do their job in Eritrea when they are given that “rare” access.  There is a reason why the access the Government of Eritrea grants journalists is inversely proportional to their knowledge and/or skepticism of the actions of the Government of Eritrea over the last 25 years:…

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It’s Late, But Not That Late For Bronwyn Bruton

Bronwyn Bruton was one of the three individuals who provided their personal testimonies at the US Congress’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Subcommittee on Africa) on September 14, 2016.  This fact alone is an incredible feat for Ms. Bruton: a person who would have struggled to find Eritrea on a map 5 years ago is now an expert witness…

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The Eritrean “System” is a Monocracy

And in this case, the monocracy is a manocracy. Welcome to the long-running debate between Awatista columnist Amanuel Hidrat and Al-Nahda on whether the regime lording over Eritrea is “a system” (his position) or a One-Man-Show (my position.)  In the past, each side presented arguments to make his case not as an intellectual excercise but…

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A Reporter’s Guide To (Gov of) Eritrea

Dear Western reporter: You are in Eritrea for a “rare visit.”  Actually, it is not so rare anymore but your editor will insist that he put that phrase because it gets viewers/readers/listeners. That or “exclusive.”  Almost all you knew about Eritrea before your visit was that it was the “North Korea of Africa.” You were…

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Did Gov of Eritrea Really Dodge UN Accountability?

Since June 8, when the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Human Rights in Eritrea filed a report concluding that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity” have been committed and are still being committed in Eritrea, there have been questions on how the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) would deal with the report.…

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In Geneva, Eritreans Give Voice To Voiceless Compatriots

Last year in June, after Eritreans held the largest rally in the history of Eritrea’s opposition forces, there were questions if it was a one-time incident that could not be repeated and what would happen in June 2016.  On June 23rd, Eritreans calling for end to impunity in Eritrea gave a resounding answer: it will…

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Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea: Report Summary

On June 8, 2016, the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea issued a 94-page report of its findings to the UN’s Human Rights Council.  The Commission was mandated last year by the UN’s Human Rights Council (Resolution A/HRC/29/L.23) to investigate if the crimes perpetrated by senior officials of the Government of Eritrea, and…

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June in Geneva: The Next Political Battle

Mike Smith, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, previewed his case against members of the Government of Eritrea by reading a statement supporting the Commission’s case that Eritrean officials are guilty of crimes against humanity. This was followed by a rebuttal from Yemane Gebreab, Director of Political Affairs of Eritrea’s…

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Just Don’t Call It A War: People May Get Ideas

This article originally appeared at awate on June 27, 2008.  It is being republished in light of recent news that Eritrea has, after 7 years, released Djibouti prisoners of war. I. The Djibouti “Fabrication”? Djibouti. We have seen this movie before.  Twice.  In 1995 and 1998. The atmospherics is the same: it has an eerie, haunting…

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Christine Umutoni In Eritrea: Another Abuser of UNDP…

26 Dec 2016 Tesfabirhan Weldegabir Redie Comments (113)

The global mission of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is poverty reduction, fighting HIV/AIDS, promoting democratic governance, energy and…

Soulmates: Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Isaias of Eritrea

25 Dec 2016 awatestaff Comments (101)

[Apologies: apparently the video that was linked to here seems to have been pirated. The full version is now not…

Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding passions and the…

22 Dec 2016 Semere T Habtemariam Comments (110)

Book Review Title: Deliverance: A Tale of Colliding passions and the Muse of Forgiveness Author: Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie Genre: Historical Novel Pages: 330 Publisher:…

The Dardanelles, The Nile, And The Red Sea

20 Dec 2016 Awate Team Comments (96)

In December of 2010, Bouazizi, a frustrated Tunisian street vendor, set himself ablaze and soon died of his injuries. The…

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