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Salyounis

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.

Al-Diaa: No, It Wasn’t About The Curriculum

Writing for the pro-government website tesfanews.com, a certain Alamin Adam (“Wedi Hajji”) has written an article entitled “Al-Diaa School Incident and the Frenzies[sic] that Ensued” regarding the tension between community school in Asmara and government.  If you were hoping to get an insight  into details of the incident (never mind …

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To Nobody’s Surprise, Sanctions on Eritrea Renewed

(1) The Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) and to continue the sanctions on Eritrea for another year. (2) The vote was 11 in favor, 4 abstentions and 0 against.   The abstentions were Russia, China, Bolivia and Egypt. (3) This …

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Eritrea: Choosing Love, Hope Over Hate, Fear

The events at Aldia Islamic School, the address of its Chairman of the Board Mr. Mussa Mohammed Nur; his arrest on October 27, the October 31 demonstrations that followed it and the series of cellphone videos that were shared with the world (this, and this) the arrest of the demonstrators, …

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Alamin Abduletif: A Lover, A Poet, A Patriot

If Modern Eritrea is a story with a soundtrack, then surely Alamin Abduletif can compete for top billing of the artists who can take credit for its music. And among artists who sang in Tigrayt, none can come close to the title of the Great Popularizer because his art was …

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Dear YPFDJ: Understanding PFDJ: Doublethink

Chapter 1: Double Think I have seen your pictures and most of you appear to be the age of my daughter. Clearly, it is impossible for me to be angry at you. What I will try to do is share information with you–do what you will with it. The information …

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Sanctions on Eritrea: Will They Or Won’t They?

1. It’s sanctions season, and the question is “will they or won’t they?”  Will the UN Security Council (UNSC) extend sanctions on the State of Eritrea or will they lift it?  We will have more information in June when the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) publishes its report …

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Isaias Afwerki: We Were Not Chosen

The fiercest critic of the Government of Eritrea, a guy by the name of Isaias Afwerki, was at it again, mercilessly taking down its 25-year-record of utter failure. This is an annual ritual, presented as an “interview” with Eri-TV; and, if you are asking why would a state-owned TV that …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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) …

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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 …

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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 …

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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: …

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Eritrea And The Hood – 2015

JANUARY 1. Every year begins with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki’s “State of the Nation” interviews with his own media.  Although we have a draft constitution, he explained, a new constitution had to be drafted because “we are not naive and we refuse to allow them to weaken our capacity.” 2. …

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Eritrea’s King Isaias Afwerki Judges The World

Recall that in Part 1 of the interview with Eritrean state media (EriTV), President Isaias Afwerki addressed domestic issues and essentially said there is nothing wrong in Eritrea that a little more controlling and louder commanding couldn’t fix.  Alnahda’s commentary on that can be found here.  In part 2 of …

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