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Bologna Speech: Do Your Principles Benefit Eritrean Victims?

(Note: The following speech was delivered in Tigrinya)

Last wednesday I was in the middle of writing this speech when an excited  friend called and urged me to listen to a discussion in a Paltalk room. “They are discussing Bologna and someone is talking about you!” I told him I was busy and he reluctantly gave me a hint  about the topic. Surely,  I was not interested. Besides, I was excited about the event and the trip to Italy; I haven’t been there since we spent part of our honeymoon in Parma, one-hundred kilometers north of Bologna. But that Paltalk hint was helpful in shaping my speech…

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am elated to be here with you today…meeting so many of you, most for the first time, though some I know but never met in person …I cannot help but reflect and realize we have come a long way. It’s a long way from the days when the opposition camp to the PFDJ regime was so lonely except for a few hardened activists who were mocked, belittled and defamed by the regime and its supporters. I want you to remember this: what irritates some of you today was our daily stable for a long time. I am pleased we came this far.

Ten years ago, I was invited to New York to deliver a speech; my topic was Peaceful Struggle and it was written in Tigrinya. I will try to locate it—it might help us remember that we always allow ourselves to be preoccupied with trivial issues. Back then, the conflicting views of Peaceful Struggle versus Armed Struggle (whose opponents misnamed Violent Struggle) inflicted untold damages on the opposition camp—the debate over that is alive to this day.

In New York, I told my audience that I do not need to declare that I support a specific mode of struggle simply because it is obvious: I don’t carry a Klashnikov in this struggle! My tool of struggle was, and still is, the same; it has nothing to do with an armed outfit. It is based on challenging the regime and its supporters intellectually and at the same time inform, inspire and embolden my fellow Eritreans. Residing in a country 25 hours flight away from Eritrea, there is no type of struggle one can wage except a peaceful struggle…I still believe discussing the topic among activists is an over indulgence, and it has remained a cause of countless squabbles and splits. The so many fissures created among the opposition camp because of that are still crippling our collective ability to be effective.

When EYSC started as a facebook movement, I had reservations, which I explained to some regarding the way many of you tried to distance yourselves from others based on age. I was worried that a horizontal fragmentation would be added to the vertical fragmentation that we were already suffering from. I believe compartmentalization weakens  the struggle and damages our unity. Some phases of the struggle that started over sixty-years ago have yet to be completed. Our struggle has always been one long chain, all segments, all regions, and all age groups who, over time, naturally, cross generational stages. If that chain is divided into its constituent parts, then we no more have a chain, but disconnected, unlinked rings, that cannot achieve anything on their own.

For years, we have been struggling to get everybody on board; unfortunately, once new activists joined in, most of them preferred to create islands of their own. And some sleek politicians saw this as an opportunity and campaigned to disconnect the young more so that they can use them as a constituency, as foot-soldiers. That is why all those who worked behind the scene are anything but young—unless being 50 and 60 is considered young. And you might have seen the reaction when I wrote against the interference in Awassa and the convening of Debre Zeit meetings.

I can confidently say that those mistakes led to the widening of the political and generational gap and negatively contributed to more fragmentation of the new movements. The Debrezeit problem is a result of three factors: lack of experience of many participants; political ambitions of a few; and the zeal of some Ethiopian officials for creating more blocks. And we are still suffering from it for the last two years.

A few months ago, when the issue of maintaining the Eritrean pride was raised at awate.com, it was in recognition of the risks facing our national identity and how we can reverse the trend of what we have begun to lose as a nation. We recognized that we have become lenient in dealing with Eritrean history, our legacy, what makes us what we are, our foundation as a nation, our resistance to all sorts of un-Eritrean designs—partition, occupation, surrender, etc. We are proud that we stood tall as a people and and accomplished our first goal AGAINST ALL ODDS. Yes, we liberated our country; the fact that our independence was thwarted by a tyrant doesn’t change that. It doesn’t change the reason for which we spilled blood, our independence. It doesn’t negate the sacrifice of the thousands of maimed and killed, orphaned and widowed. It doesn’t change the pain of parents for the loss of their loved ones. Yes, we achieved our independence and, as a nation, we are determined to keep it at any cost.

Lately, we have been noticing an orchestrated attack on our independence, on our nation, and an assault on our legacy and pride. It began with what we consider our cornerstone, we were pressured to disown our glorious Ghedli legacy, the same Ghedli we invested heavily on. No. We will not disassociate ourselves from our love for our freedom simply because Isaias and his clique thwarted it! We would not be coerced into giving up the task of taking care of the affairs of our country on our own. That is really what made many of us feel the Eritrean pride was under attack when our resolve as activists was perceived as weak.  But what brought us to that?

saleh_bologna1I believe we lack diplomatic skills. We lack skilled leaders who could forge clearly defined alliances. Leaders who would inspire and embolden us… visionary leaders who could articulate what we want, and lay out unambiguous Eritreans terms when dealing with anyone, anyone at all. However, it is prudent to recognize that it is our collective failure; it shouldn’t be thrown at some helpless veterans who never swayed from their principles and love for their country. Resource wise, they might be weak, but that weakness was caused by all of us. No mother would send her child to buy something empty handed! We never provided resources and assistance to the leaders we sent to achieve our goals. That collective weakness is now manifesting itself in what we observe around us.

The Ghedli-era veterans are very patriotic; they have more experiences than what many are willing to recognize. Ghedli-era veterans cannot be defined by Isaias and his minions… who are an anomaly, an exception, not the rule.

So, what is wrong with campaigning for a goal of “Eritrean Solution For Eritrean Problems”?

If that is a principle, then no one should have a problem with it. However, we have to remember that political statements are not taken at face value. In politics, not only words, but attitudes and the way the words are uttered also carry a lot of meaning. They create different perceptions in the minds of different people. And we should learn from past mistakes. When delivered to the public (as opposed to specific individual spoilers) it should not be delivered in a veiled insult. The mistakes we committed when dealing with the meaningless Peaceful Vs. Armed Struggle debate should not be repeated. And here are my views on how you should deal with it.

  1.  Eritrean solution remains an empty statement unless it is explained and described. We need to explain and describe the problems. I urge you to think what those problems that we want to solve are.
  2. All activists in the opposition camp declare their commitment to uphold Eritrean diversity, yet, our political groupings are anything but diverse… do not feel bad, it is not a new phenomenon, it’s been with us for a long time—let’s find an Eritrean solution for it, diligently.
  3. No single segment of our population can bring comprehensive Eritrean solutions unless we identify all the problems and then look for solutions in tandem: aim for  a lasting solution.
  4. We can only contribute to a solution if we are able to create an effective global movement, clusters cannot achieve much…it has been tried for decades and failed…. but to do that, first we need to…

Recognize the following:

  • During the Ghedli era, so-many atrocities were committed against Eritreans, so many sad incidents, but the struggle media never missed its focus on defeating the enemy. All Ghedli literature was focused on an optimistic image of Eritrea. For example, everyone knew how many kilometers long our Red Sea shores are; the minerals that we have; how rich our country was, how resolute and brave our people were; how just our cause was—an optimist image that the Gehdli drew for an inspiration.The Ghedli image of Eritrea was not built on fear and revenge, but determination and hope of what Eritrea could be with a minimal administration, by tapping into the work ethic, ingenuity and learning-will of our people, our huge potential. Every Ghedli literature advertised Eritrea. It didn’t advertise a nation in crisis, it never highlighted crisis at the expense of the main goal; crisis do not inspire people… and we can learn from that when we are tempted to act like firefighters, overwhelmed by single issues that don’t bring comprehensive solution. Take the refugees issue as an example—it has been seven years (for now, leave the forty-year refugees in Sudan alone) and most were, and still are, preoccupied and focusing on the Mediterranean Sea refugees, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sinai, etc. As important as those issues are, solving them will not solve the Eritrean root question because these are manifestations of what ails our country, not the main problem. Our activism should not be focused on those issues at the expense of the main fight. There are many ways we can address those issues instead of stopping everything and focusing on the manifestations. By the way, that is what I tried to do by writing Miriam Was Here, I tried to address the main reason for the suffering of our people. The presence of tens of thousands of refugees in Sudan didn’t hinder us from focusing on the Ethiopian occupiers, the refugees of today should not hinder us from focusing on the PFDJ—a few efficient, specialized human rights activists among us can manage the incidents.
  • The PFDJ campaign is based on Zura nHagerka…. It encourages people to know the mountains, the valleys and of course the Sahel trenches. That is good, but our message should be better, something the PFDJ failed to pay attention to: know your people, “Fleto nHazbkha.” In a speech entitled “Eritrea: The Challenges Of Today And The Prospects Of Tomorrow,” that I delivered in Australia last December, I suggested eight points to improve our situation. Here I will mention suggestion number 1 only:
    “…Our 2013 resolution should include:  Get to know 4 Eritreans this year who are not from your tribe, ethnicity, region, or religion but are in the Eritrean resistance movement.  Preferably in person, and if you can’t, have conversations with them through social media, by phone, by skype, Paltalk, by whatever. I am talking about one-on-one personal conversations where you LEARN what their grievances are. Call It Campaign 4.  Then ask each one you talked to, to reach out to 4 more and so on and so on.”
    If you know your people, all fears and suspicions can be eliminated. Not knowing your people makes one prone to all sorts of damaging influences. If one doesn’t know Eritreans outside his region or religion, one would be receptive to any negative connotations or messages concerning those one doesn’t  know. If you don’t know your people, any message: Ezom kebessa..or Ezom Aslam…ezom Akelguzai, Ezom Hammsen, etc. would influence you. But knowing a few casual names is not enough. You have to know their culture, value system, their fears and their aspiration…maybe even their language…that makes one a good Eritrean, fully equipped Eritrean and not compartmentalized citizen.
  • Compartmentalization is the enemy of unity. Our major problem (something that needs an Eritrean Solution) has been our tendency to split instead of merging. We love creating small kiosks and then contently declare: “I am struggling!” Unless we build a formidable movement, unless we bring our resources together, we cannot succeed —we do not have the numbers of China, India…or even Ethiopia or Sudan…we have no choice but to stay together. Once we do that, we have to pledge allegiance to the whole of Eritrea, not to one of its constituent parts only. We should remain true to the goals that benefit the Eritrean people—peace, freedom and stability—by keeping and respecting our diversity.
  • The Ghedli era had promoted all of that and more; what it didn’t promote and exercise was diversity of political views. Having nominal representation of people in political positions, or cultural troupes, limited to songs and dances, is not a solution; it is a veil that hides hegemonic aspirations and exclusionary tendencies. Struggling for political pluralism was our experience, and today it is considered treason by the PFDJ which foolishly practices destructive policies, coupled with vilification of dissenting voices. If we display any of the manners that we blame the PFDJ for, we will scare the people who are already scared of our scattered nature. Many express their fear of the opposition and say, “Unless they work together, they will not inspire us; how can they be an alternative?” Sadly, the only time our opposition makes the news is when it fights. Though some of the fights are natural, and at times necessary, they give the impression that if the rivals carried arms, the fighting would have deteriorated to extreme violent and wouldn’t stop unless the adversary is exterminated. And that is not an exaggerated fear.
  • The gist of the slogan, Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems, is a confirmation that the Eritrean movement is not beholden to anyone: it is not about money and personal gain or ego, it is not about funding—the usual real corruption, only exaggerated by the usual Third World paranoia! The slogan should mean a confirmation that we do not have bosses other than our people. It simply addresses those fears. In short, it means, Negus nebsey Eye.” But there is a problem in not saying it in the right tone and attitude because unknowingly, we could be echoing Isaias’ empty slogan of self-reliance. We have to be careful not to be perceived as isolationists. Our message to the people should be “Only you are our bosses; our struggle is not a puppet show.” But if we are confrontational, we might sound like Isaias…particularly if we keep accusing others of treason, selling out, and of being unpatriotic—that produces instant enemies. Branding people that way is not wise. No one wants his patriotism to be questioned. I encourage all of you to study the tone of two articles that were lately written on awate.com by both Daniel and Miriam. No one should imply that those with different views are unpatriotic, they just have different views.
  • If a segment of our population imposes a solution, alone, the excluded segments will not own that solution. Instead, they will consider it as one imposed on them. In that case, they will not see the difference between a solution imposed by an internal force and one imposed by any external power.

I repeat, we should be careful not to echo the tone of Isaias when he mentions his exclusionary and isolationist self-reliance mantra. We have seen how that policy has damaged our country, our economy, and how it has hindered our development. That cruel, confrontational, arrogant, dismissive tone of Isaias and his regime has stripped us of our dignity that we preserved throughout the struggle era.

Twenty years ago, one inflated his chest and proudly said I am from Eritrea. We were proud people, self-confident when many Eritreans rushed back home to start a new life; those who remained there hoped for a bright future of no wars, no exiles and no squabbles—just a normal country and motivated people. We believed we could launch a new era and lift our country up to the sky, and develop it in no time. Eritreans carried their skills, their accumulated savings and flew home. In a short time, all hope evaporated and Isaias embarked on making Eritrea another basket case, another banana republic… not even a republic, but a banana state with little bananas.

On the same context, the Eritrean Solution for Eritrean Problems slogan might sound as if we want to be isolated from Ethiopia or the world. Let me remind you that the alliance between the EPRDF and the PFDJ in the nineties didn’t go well with many people who thought they were excluded: power and wealth sharing, commercial opportunities and the right to return to their home. But when the border war broke between the previous allies, the people who supported that alliance at the expenses of the other Eritreans became more bitter militants against Ethiopia; those who didn’t bless that exclusive two-party alliance were victimized again—this time they were called Weyane lackeys… but  we have come this far, a long way….

I think we need to sober up and evaluate our performance during the last sixty years or so…I know some of you think history is a boring topic; I assure you it is not.

Three years ago when the youth movements started to pop up, most perceptions and attitudes  were as if divisions and disharmony was the making of the older generation. It didn’t take us long to confirm it is a social problem. In a Paltalk session, when I said that our divisions are social and not generational in nature, that they are a result of unresolved issues and not newly manufactured, a few listeners seemed to chuckle, “We young people know nothing but Eritrea, all the divisions are not ours, it belongs to the Ghedli generation!” Well, since then, I am sure many have discovered the bitter truth: one cannot run away from unresolved Eritrean social problems. Never.

And that is when the issue of Eritrea’s relations with Ethiopia becomes interesting. How about relations with Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, EU, and other Scandinavian countries? How about the political NGO’s? Are they dictating their solutions for Eritrean problems or not?

We need a sober diplomacy.

To be at war with your neighbors for trivial issues is a foolish policy. To be against NGOs like Amnesty and HRW, and a few rare others, is insanity—the rest of the political NGO’s are a disaster and I do not apologize for despising them. In principle, giving away the driver’s seat of the Eritrean opposition’s vehicle to others is beyond insanity. And since some have erroneously equated the slogan of Eritrean Solution for Eritrean Problems with anti-Ethiopia vitriol (maybe some people state and others understand it that way, which shouldn’t be the case) I would like to say a few words about it.

No one can deny that we need normal and stable relations with Ethiopia, Sudan and other neighbors. But since the Sudanese regime has chosen to ally itself with Isaias against the Eritrean people, I consider it an enemy regime, though I would not force that view on anyone even if I had the power to do so. Present Ethiopia is not an enemy; it is a friendly country, though some activists would be tempted to see it as an aggressive friend.

Firstly, as an activist, the main problem I see is that Ethiopia deals with the Eritrean opposition through its intelligence apparatus… and we all know that intelligence people see everyone as a potential spy and treat them like one. I have aired my suggestions repeatedly for Ethiopia to transfer the Eritrean opposition portfolio to a political office, such as the ministry of Foreign affairs. Unfortunately I do not have any clout to affect that transfer; I can only advocate for it hoping someday someone listens to my advice.

Secondly, I wish the opposition closes (and Ethiopia cooperates) all the offices of the Eritrean opposition in Addis Ababa allowing a small representative office to remain behind—a single united delegation, not every kiosk that calls itself an organization leaving a diplomatic delegation, though I fear the Ethiopian officials would be tempted to leave behind forty-something diplomatic delegations representing the opposition camp in line with their formula that involves a quota system—one for every ethnic, linguistic (and accent!), and age group—something they are fond of doing.

Third, all opposition groups should relocate in North Ethiopia, close to the Eritrean border. But once they do, they should be given full access to the refugees and defectors (understandably this is Ethiopian territory but I hope they would give enough leeway. At present, the opposition has no access to intelligence—and they are not satisfied with the goodwill tips and second-hand information, like the type of information a hair-braider in a refugee camp has.

Fourth, though the Eritrean opposition has been in Addis Ababa for almost two-decades, the Ethiopians have not provided it with any diplomatic assistance worth mentioning. This is despite the fact that Addis Ababa is the diplomatic capital of Africa boasting dozens of embassies, international and regional organizations, etc.

Fifth, Ethiopia has enough resources, though not a wealthy country—something Ethiopian officials are fond of reminding the opposition on every opportunity. But however big and resourceful a country, I don’t believe Eritreans lack the necessary media skills for the Ethiopians to take full control of opposition broadcasting targeted to our country by masquerading as Eritreans.

Sixth, a message to the Eritrean opposition: unite your activities or perish! Ethiopia should stop dealing with dozens of three-person organizations (credibility issue), some of them the Ethiopian intelligence hastily formed, others with members not exceeding the fingers of two hands. Instead, they should leave the task to Eritreans and limit their role to pressuring them to improve performance and produce, not encourage fragmentation—which unfortunately is a well-documented practice. To date, no one knows what is the criteria for an organization—and this has nothing to do with freedom of association but efficiency and effective struggle—not chaos and confusion. (for today I will stop here.)

What if they cannot do the above? The worst that can happen is the EPRDF follows the Sudanese regime’s example and expels every opposition element out from Ethiopia. What would that change on the status of the opposition? What would we lose? Fine, we might risk losing what we achieved over the last two-decades. But what did we achieve over that period by being in Ethiopia? NOTHING. There, we would lose nothing.

Unfortunately, I am sure this speech will irk some of my friends. They will mention the scholarships, the hosting of refugees, etc. My speech is focusing on the political aspect of the relations; humanitarian and charitable deeds are an obligation of a neighbor and a measure of a country’s humanity—that should not be a stumbling block that prevents us from airing our views. If that is the case, blackmailing those who criticize Ethiopia by bringing the issue of refugees and scholarships doesn’t help in creating a robust opposition to the tyranny in Eritrea. It will be empty appeasement, dishonesty that produces nothing for Ethiopia or for Eritrea. And that also applies to Sudan, and I am calling the Sudanese regime, with its fugitive president, an enemy.

My irked friends might remind me for the umpteenth time that Ethiopia pursues its national interest. My answer would be: let the Ethiopians worry about their interest, you worry about Eritrean interest. Ethiopia doesn’t need amateur Eritrean diplomats to advance its cause, it is able to do so on its own; it is upon the eighty-something million Ethiopians to advance its interests. I love Ethiopia and Ethiopians (less the chauvinists among them) and I recognize we are stuck being neighbors. Many of us wish for a relation that works… one based on respect and mutual benefits. Since I feel our alliance with the Ethiopians advances our interests, I like to deal with it in total honesty. Apart from that, we shouldn’t tolerate indignity from the Eritrean tyrant, and naturally, we shouldn’t take it from anyone else.

The last time I met the late PM Meles Zenawi, he told me the following:

“…For example we are beginning to develop the potassium resources in the Afar region of Ethiopia—that is millions of tons per year that needs to be transported. Technically, the closest port to this is not even Asseb, it is Tio. You could develop it into a big port. So under normal situation, Eritrea could regain most of these businesses and develop new businesses as well…”

Indeed, Ethiopia needs a causeway that would run approximately 40Kms to access the red Sea through Tio. We have to realize that the no-war-no-peace situation is hurting Eritrea as much as it’s hurting Ethiopia; normalcy would benefit both countries. There are many benefits that both can reap from a normal relation serving their mutual interest. We have a lot to give in our relations with Ethiopia, we shouldn’t see our hand as the lower one.

I wish to see beneficial arrangement with Ethiopia—beginning with Tio port access, where our Afferi compatriots would run the project and economically benefit from it before the rest of Eritrea. I hope that someday, Assab would be alive again feeding the Ethiopian highway arteries. I wish someday Massawa would be busy, feeding Tigrai and Western Ethiopian highway arteries. I wish someday, the Assab refinery would be rehabilitated for the benefit of the region. I wish to see a vibrant, thriving cultural and commercial relation between the two countries. I wish a large university would be established in badimme to graduate young people from the region. I wish prosperity for Ethiopia and the rest of the region so that we can all benefit from it. See! I am saying all of that from an Eritrean perspective, with no malice towards Ethiopia, driven by Eritrean interest, within the context of Eritreans living in Eritrea. To me the stakeholders are not in Bologna or Sweden, Canada or USA; they are inside Eritrea and across its immediate borders. Any egocentric bickering among Diaspora Eritreans is just laughable.

Finally, I hope that our principles would be formulated with the idea of salvaging our people and our country. If whatever we do doesn’t affect our people, we need to revise it—we have to stop spinning our wheels for nothing. The places where we reside are not Eritrean zobas—they are foreign places; whether London wins over Stockholm, or the other way around, in some purposeless rivalry, is insignificant. It doesn’t have any effect on our people; it is just a waste of time. Let’s firmly cement our views on the interest of our people and country. To reinforce that, let’s reclaim our pride and self-confidence. And let’s maintain the Eritrean resolve, that thing we call Habo, Mrwet. Importantly, if we keep forgetting who our real enemy is, I suggest we stick the picture of the tyrant to our breast pockets lest we forget. Let’s stop bickering and extinguish the fires of our petty squabbles. I am Eritrean; and I say it with pride. The way it should be said!

Thank you

 Miriam Was Here
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Website: Miriam Was Here

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Haydet Berhane

    The speech was very long and tedious. As articulate as you are, you may want to be positive in the way you present the grievances so people will not say : “here is another angry …….”. For example you notice that the government cannot proviide the basic needs, such as water, electricity, food, internet access, and most of all national security. It may be useful to give a positive spin for every shortcoming that you want to present. Since most of your readers are aware of the situation, the best presentation would be to present every shortcoming as a statement of fact so peopple can absorb the reality and defend your presentations as a grievance that the victims in the regimes control could not lodge against because of the obvious supression they suffer. Such a process can make you a mouthpiece of the oppressed without looking as if you have an ax to grind against Higdef. In short keep up the good work as a reporter who would like to represent the suppressed and the voiceless.


  • wedi hama

    Hi Abou Salih,
    I am very happy to read your article and I usually enjoy reading it,…but nowadays I am feeling different.. towards you…..I feel you are intensively inclined to wards hatred of Christians… I love you for being religious person with respecting other religions or others…why is your website wishing good wishes on muslim holidays only…..I never saw any good wish towards christian holidays like today…and I feel your struggle is very biased…and I questioned it intellectually….

    • Dibe Kulu

      Dear Wedi Hama,

      You said that Salih is “intensively iclined towards hatred of christians”. You continued,”I never saw any good wish towards christian holidays like today…and I feel your struggle is very biased…”

      This is the kind of nonsensical & irresponsible diatribe that crowds our electronic mediums nowadays. Can you give one concrete example to support your ludicrous accusation that Salih exhibits this “inclination of hatred towards christians?” If you were enjoying his articles before, which recent artcle of his made you change your mind? One of the many problems with e-media is that, we throw all kinds of mud at people hoping some of it will stick. If you really have been reading articles in this medium, then you must have seen the good wishes too. It is just irresponsble to do what you did and I really don’t understand your real motive for this?

  • T. Kifle

    Dear SAAY

    Here is the link, where the late PM MZ presented his engagement strategies vis-a-vis Eritrea.

    To save your time, you may start at 25:56.

    This was the stated policy of the government as to the best of my knowledge. As to the PMHD’s pledge to unconditionally travel to Asmara and negotiate with Isias, it is unacceptable to my conscience. Here is a link for my response to his declaration at the time.


    Ethiopia’s regime change policy is a simple twist from passive defence to proportional attack like it did in Afar and north western Tigray. So, in essence, this “regime change” has to do more with deterrence to tame the behaviour of the belligerent regime in Asmara. Meles expounded his adopted three-pronged strategies with regard to the new policy

    1. diplomatically expose the regime for its grave actions in supporting international terrorism (hence, the sanction)

    2. Take appropriate military interventions proportional to the extent of the provocation(hence, the attacks made in places mentioned above)
    3. undertake efforts to deny the regime hard currency inflows be it from the Eritean diaspora or international aids( I have no clue in what way this could be executed).

    So, SAAY, if Isaias volunteers to wash his dirty hands and come clean to negotiation, in principle, that could be a possibility. We like it or otherwise is another matter.


    • Salyounis

      Selamat T. Kifle:

      Thank you so much. What u have shown is that u are a principled man–not that your government is so.

      I say this because PM Hailemariam Desalign was, at the time the “regime change”policy was announced, Ethiopias Foreign Minister. At the time he emphatically said that Ethiopia would support armed Eritrean opposition groups to topple the Eritrean regime (Reuters Dawit MaAsho is a good journalist and he began his piece with “Ethiopia declared openly on Thursday that it will support Eritrean rebel groups fighting to overthrow President Isaias Afewerki.” That was Aprl 2011. Exactly a year later, this happened.


      And the Eritrean opposition, then in a full state of guya-guya, expanded from 12 organizations to 38 (at last count)

      And a year and half later, the reversal happened:


      One more thing: one trick governments use to paint their political opponents as beyond redemption is to describe foreign entities they are allied with as enemies of the State. I think that whole regime change was also a way to take any and every measure against Ethiopian opposition groups. I believe first on the list were OLF and ONLF, the usual suspects. But a new entrant to the hit list was Medrek. Mission accomplished.


      • T. Kifle

        Dear SAAY

        First Correction: Medrek is not so far in the list. But Medrek’s penchant to extra-constitutional manurers could make it a potential candidate.

        As to the other two, you really need to know their track-record. Any disgruntled party could exercise a conventional armed struggle without being labelled as a terrorist.

        SAAY, believe me, if you were heading Ethiopia, most favourably, you would have made similar decisions. It is perfectly rational.Ethiopia is a country with immense potential and future. It also has to cover long miles in creating a cohesive social, political and economic society. So the democracy and right to dissent as you know it in the west is a luxury to us at the moment. But in the end that is our aspiration.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat T. Kifle:

          This was the context:


          Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, on Tuesday call for regime change in Eritrea and accused an opposition party, Medrek, of planning and instigating violence in Ethiopia. Zenawi has also accused Egypt of backing Eritrea’s effort to destabilize in that country.
          “Ethiopia would not tolerate Eritrean government’s destructive policy anymore and the country is forced to change its policy from “passive defiance” to directly help Eritrean people topple the regime,” Zenawi said while presenting an eight-month government’s performance report to parliament.


          So you are Medrek and you are lumped with Egypt and Eritrea in “planning and instigating violence.” You don’t think that’s putting an opposition organization on notice?

          Nobody is calling for a western-style freedom. So that is a red herring, I am afraid. But governments should not cynically use the law as a bat to beat up their opposition. That has nothing to do with national security; it has everything to do with political party ambition.


  • sara

    i asked my etiobian friend what is the meaning of gered , she told me it is a girl or a maid something to that effect, i read above several times this word is mentioned and i am wondering what has a girl/maid has to do with the article etc

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      Sara, it is GERD, initials of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, not the Amharic Gered.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Sara!
      Your etobian friend answered you correctly for the quesiton you have asked. And the Word you asked Your friend was not mentioned here.

  • Crocus

    I may have missed it before. But here is a person who can see clearly that Eritrea’s economic future is twined to Ethiopia’s. This is a basic reality which must be appreciated and promoted. There are no other alternatives we know of. If there were options, we would have seen them by now, and the Eritrean dictatorship would not have had to resort to shaking down diaspora Eritreans in a mafia-style practice. Those Eritreans who cannot grasp this reality are doing just as much damage to the people as the dictatorship.

    This brings me to the main point I wanted to comment upon. The writer mentioned, “The PFDJ campaign is based on Zura nHagerka..” In its place he advocated “know your people, “Fleto nHazbkha.” It is all dandy and good. But,in my humble opinion,the greater mantra for Eritreans should be,”know yourself”. All my experience tells me that people need to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. I cannot speak for everybody, and I do not like to paint with a wide brush. But I must admit I see common traits among a large number of Eritreans, each blind to the his/her contribution to the malaise. And a serious malaise it is. I paint by way of an example: a self-styled, Eritrea-loving diaspora Eritrean i know of. The geography of his mind has clearly demarcated terrains. It looks as follows. 25% Big Ego! 20% arrogance; 20% willful ignorance; 20% nauseating selfishness, 15% false bravado. Nothing empirical, mind you, but that is what hits me of him. You can demarcate your own terrains.

    The fact is, the mother of all battles is the battle against oneself. If people are not willing to sincerely bring themselves to work towards a meaningful, realistic solution, I am afraid nothing will change. Do not forget DIA is cut from the same yard of cloth. (Imagine the terrain of his psyche!)

    Bad enough, most of us do not know our strengths. And we are undone by our weaknesses. Know yourselves!

    • Hayat Adem

      I love this piece. It carries the mostly needed ingredients of reality and wisdom fitting Eritrea’s situation in shorter than half a page.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Hi Crocus!

      It is a very short and to point summerize of some of the diaspora opposition Groups. If Peace and Cooperation between Eritrea and ethiopia were one of the fundamental cornor store of bringing Development and Democracy etc for both lands then the elf sympatizer of diaspora opposition have contributed equally as the pfdj concerning in creating havoc between the two lands.

      After 22 years campagin of haterade, war mongering it is not sudan, or Egypt or Yemen a Close partner to Eritrea if we are not allowed the term ‘Family’ relationship between the two lands bearing in mind Kunama, saho, afar under the gun and the large tigrinya can say as to what their contribution in both ways. But i know one thing for sure which ever ethnic Group one bleongs any eritrean who Works for ‘normalizing’ the relationship between the two lands has suffered a lot. Even opposting isayas from the land of Ethiopia is a taboo and must be scurtnize to a lavel of perfection.

  • Abu Saleh (Saay)

    I don’t know whether I should come with a piece(article) or throw some hints to enable you to deduct from it and have your take from that what ever it might be. Actually I am not dismissing SGJ’s question, rather I am cautious not to affect the opposition camp by what I will say beyond indicating the failure and ineptness of the leadership of the political organization (that includes those in EDA, non-EDA, and those PO’s outside the umbrellas). I am sure that I have first hand info than SGJ as to what ails these organizations. Hence we differ in our assessment as to their reality and the role of Ethiopia towards them if there is any.

    Let me give you a hint what SGJ might have not clue about it. I have been a participant in two meeting/Gubae’s . In both instances it is the leaders of the political organizations (POs) who went and asked them to resolve their differences. The Ethiopian authority didn’t come and gave them direction on those instances. Here are the two scenarios:

    (a) On the Awassa front – When the seats appropriated between the political organizations and civic organizations on the ratio agreed upon, the civic organizations allocated their seats right away without up and down. The POs failed to do so and Gubae was dismissed leaving the organizations to resolve the allocation of their seats. SGJ left Awassa right at this time. Those counscil who were elected from the civic organizations had not option but to wait for two days in Awassa until the POs goes to the Ethiopian officials to help them in allocating their seats. SG wasn’t there in the final hours. If he knows it, will be second hand info.

    (b)In the second regular council meeting, we were stuck on the issue of Kunama for four days. We can’t resolve the issue – indeed I saw Eritrea divided along our social cleavage – a scenario I haven’t seen clear open division in Eritrean politics (Please I assure you, I saw it vivedly though it was a scaring scenario).In fact the chairman rightly characterized the division as “Eritrea ab klete kitmkel re-iyeya” when he was asked in a Paltalk room.

    What did the POs do after the dead lock? They went to the Ethiopian officials to help them. This time the Ethiopian official refuse to act, instead they told them to go and resolve themselves. Emphatically they told them it was our issue and not their issue. But also advice them they should no go without solving it. It is at this the chairman opted to act illegally and freeze the membership of kunama seats (seven seats = 4 of the PO and 3 of the Civic) in the council until the coming Gubae.

    For me this doesn’t show any heavy hand of Ethiopian authority on the political organizations, rather it clearly indicates the ineptness of the political organizations that indeed couldn’t administer their political differences.

    Now back to you and all like you (our intellectuals in the diaspora): remember that you have a big burden to give guidance to the POs in particular and to the Eritrean politics in general. We are spending our time analyzing their failures without contributing solutions to their weaknesses.

    Let me add sal to your worry (if I have rightly read you): Seeing the limits of the POs, we were told to go back home and organize our intellectuals to chart a plan be it for five or ten years to save our nation. And here is now in this forum the goodwill of Ethiopian authority became the escape goat of our failures. Sad..sad…sad.

    • Zegeremo


      My apologies for the interjection…I think the question is what has the opposition achieved in the last decade and half? And of course it is politically acceptable for the Ethiopian government to look out for its interest, but the question is to what extent? Do you think there is such a goodwill in politics?


      • Merhaba Zegeremo,

        To give you a straight answer….none at all. Our intellectuals have failed our nation….big time. As to the Goodwill in my book is, aside the tangible help they are rendering to our refugees and our young, they look and thrive for our two nations to live side by side peacefully and work for mutual economic development. One thing they understood better than us the dividend of peace. While we are talking about the past they talking about the future big difference. Just to make it more clear – that to think and work for “mutual interest” is a “goodwill” in my book compared to the evil man we have, who doesn’t sleep without inducing conflicts in the region.

        Amanuel Hidrat

        • We all have to admit our past mistakes and come to correct ourselves.You those called intelectuals either way in the government side or in the opposition you field to organazed your selfves with a clear agendas and goals.Not only that you don’t want to join either or support to the the better oppsitionin so many way than others. They couldn’t be perfect, but at different stage we saw so many walk-outs. Could you check what was your respond for the Addis meetin in 2001?

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Pagume is the last month in Old and New Ethiopia. In this month the old year would be assesed and the New one would be planed. So isayas timing is not that bad. After all he had been using this calender. If he has to wish Peace for ethiopians old or New then pagumen is the best Choice. If any ethiopians were sleepless by isayas miltias then this year would be exceptional.

    Ali Abdu’s dissapearance, the coup, the Awate.com uptodate info on the coup, the political unrest etc shows that the awatenians had sheked Eritrea but couldnt make it. isayas and his Close one have witenssed a horrible night mare since then and they choose the ‘colonizers’ than the awatenians.

  • Horizon

    If indeed DIA has a changed attitude towards Ethiopia, then he seems to be too clever for many of us. He ruled more than 20 years with his anti-Ethiopia agenda, and now when the opposition is still walking in the thick fog of its anti-Ethiopia agenda, and has failed to find a practical political direction and is still emerged to the neck in its outdated cold war politics, DIA is about to shake hands with the Ethiopian PM, and ready to govern another twenty years, this time with Ethiopia-the-sisterly country and Ethiopians-the-brotherly/sisterly-people ticket.
    Those who invest on the past and forget the present and the future are condemned to belong to history. This seems to be the fate of the opposition, whose politics is founded mainly on anti-Ethiopia agenda and partially on an anti-DIA agenda, reminiscent of a person who is trying to stand on two boats simultaneously in the middle of the ocean.
    DIA seems to have come to the conclusion that his anti-Ethiopia, anti-West, so called self-reliance and North Korea type isolation, would not help him anymore, and he is playing the Ethiopia-a-sister-country card the opposition has failed to play rightly and genuinely, thus making the opposition irrelevant.
    Just imagine IA being received by PM HMD at Bole airport. Many in the opposition would have fainting spells, while the PFDJ would be beating the kebero in jubilation at the great political success of the great leader, because in politics everything is possible. Those who fail are those who cannot make a timely decision and change of direction, and the opposition has failed to do so, because they are serving too many masters. Their only guiding star should have been the interest of the Eritrean people. Unfortunately, the people of Eritrea seem to have a secondary fate in the eyes of many Eritrean elites compared to power politics, and this is the main reason why the opposition has failed miserably.
    Who would remember the crimes of DIA as long as there is electricity in every Eritrean home, people can buy Teff, coffee and other items at half their current price, they are engaged in business, education etc and Eritreans regain their self-respect and dignity. Do not be surprised, people have short memories. Long memories belong to those who have a personal agenda, either for power or for economic gains. To the ordinary Eritrean what matters most is not alien identity, Eritrean chauvinism or an imaginary line that separates people who have lived together for centuries, but their daily existential fulfillment, regaining their dignity and seeing their children grow in happiness and not being snatched from them and dumped and forgotten at the borders, etc.
    It seems that while the opposition is applauding or fighting each other at paltalks, conferences etc, DIA most probably is trying to outsmart them. As much as Ethiopia is concerned, she must be ready to work with the Eritrean people for a better future of the two countries. Of course, old habits have no place in today’s Ethiopia and Eritreans should come without their old baggage, with a new spirit, ready to work with all the peoples of the horn in order to make the region a different place, free from ethnic and religious bigotry.

    • Eyob Medhane


      What you say makes very much sense.

      With a bit relaxed cross border trade, less hateful rehtoric, low key ministrial level meetings to facilitate to provide electricity and water to Asmara and surroundings, and hush hush on Bademe, he totally will be able to make a lot of people, who are sour with him and reverse some discotent. Who’d remember what he did for 22 years, if he a bit relieves them? You are right. Once again, he will be able to manuplate and manuever them all over again. If that is the plan, you can’t help admire his devilishnness….

      • Asmerome

        Hope Ethiopia is not going to buy it so easily

        • Eyob Medhane


          What many Eritreans don’t know and understand is Ethiopia and Ethiopians have given up on Eritreans and Eritrea. After so many hurtful and hateful insults that were beyond political rehtoric of tit for tat, these days Ethiopians from top to down don’t really concern themselves about what happened in Eritrea and about Eritrea. Leaving the older generation, the under 35 don’t view Eritrea any different than Sudan or Kenya. Even large number of the over 35 sort of got over and let go the insistance of unity and moved on. There may be very few sentimentals, who largely live in Europe and America. They mostly in the acadamia, and don’t have much influence in Ethiopian government. There fore, if Isayas comes with a good proposal, and especially if he promises and keep those promises to stop aiding and abetting rebel group that would attempt to distabilize the country, why not? It is unfortunate that a great large number of influential and non influential, government supporters and opponent Eritreans pickered, insulted, hated and degreaded Ethiopia and Ethiopians, so many good will has been lost for Ethiopia to see the ‘big picture’. Hence, if Isayas comes up with a workable solution, I don’t see why not, Ethiopia shouldn’t agree. Isayas also has showed his staying power and a large influence and command he has over his people. That shows his power is stable. So from a shrewed minded politician, he’s not a risk to deal with. I am just telling you the prevailing conventional wisdom, not what should happen. It mind sound unfair, but it is what it is.

      • Salyounis


        If that were to happen…I love how you would absolve the Ethiopian regime: it wouldn’t surprise me because you are a proud Ethiopian who, for the most part, supports the EPRDF. It’s some Eritreans’ willingness to absorb all the blame that I find disturbing.

        Objectively seen, if a government makes an official statement from its most senior officials that regime change is its policy, then does an about face, it is unprincipled.

        In any event, all this tells me is all the crocodile tears that were being shed for the great Pan habesha cause is all bogus if all that requires is for Isaias to visit Bole. Thank you for confirming it. I don’t think anything will come out from Isaias’s interview but its instructive to see how some Ethiopians and pro-Ethiopia Eritreans are reacting to it (we already know the higdefites will applaud anything Isaias does.). I think this is an “I told u so” moment for “Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems” (ESEP) movement.


        • Eyob Medhane


          Please see my response to Asmerom.

          I know you know better than anyone that politics is basically unprincipled.
          I know a country, that was attacked by terrorists and promise to eliminate terrorists from the face of the earth, decided to be and fought war on the side of the same type of terrorists that killed its people in the land of the Levant. Get it. 😉 We both live in it. That is politics. It’s nature is unprincipled.

          P.S… I don’t know what ‘pan Habesha’ you are talking about and I don’t know, who called for it. I just want ‘Habeshannet’ to be preserved and withstand the strong influence that is coming against it, and demolish it’s long standing existance in favor of the culture and language of you know who. That is all. I want both Eritrean and Ethiopian Habeshas to fight the attempt of making them extinct, like what happened to Egyptian copts. Had there been Habeshas in Kenya, I’d say the same… Melkam ‘Geez’ Addis Amet… 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Eyob:

            True…although not precise metaphor. But the liberal democrats in Levant or Egypt or South America or Southeast Asia don’t blame themselves if the US, after all the noise its leaders make about supporting freedom and democracy, ends up supporting ugly dictators, do they?

            The big hoopla from the grand promoters of Pan Habesha (from Ethiopia and Eritrea) was that Isaias and his Ghedli are enemies of Habesha. Good to know that all that was tickling the erogenous zones of gullible people because all it takes is the vision of Isaias in Bole for the Pan Habesha Ethiopians to dump that thing and embrace the enemy of Habesha.


          • Eyob Medhane

            Oh Sal,

            I really believe that Isayas is anti habesha. I really do. I really believe that Ghedli has is responsible for a huge part of habesha culture to be weaken and dismembered. You don’t get any disagreement from me on that. So Issu showing up at Bole doesn’t change a thing on that front. What we were talking about is the unprincipled nature of politics. The only one that has a power and need to have the will is the people of Eritrea. At this point, noticing a kind of command Isayas has with a very large number of Eritreans, he may have more years to come to be govern. As unprincipled as politics is, unless someone better comes in and that is all they have for Ethiopia to deal with, what could one do?

        • T. Kifle

          Dearest SAAY

          Agreeing on your concluding statement, I urge you revisit your resources regarding the position of Ethiopian government on “regime change” as this has always been said and discussed on certain conditionality. The conditions were that Eritrea should stop its role of regional spoiler, that stop planning and executing terrorists directed against Ethiopia and that stop train, help and providing logistics to Al Shabab. Even, then the government still made it clear that it wouldn’t involve itself directly unless and otherwise Eritrea opt for a full scale war. Its public statement is Eritreans themselves should do the job with Ethiopia creating an enabling condition commensurate to regime change.

          Now, if IA agrees to abandon his old habits wrt the Ethiopian demands, it could respond favourably. I don’t see any unprincipled move here. But I am of the opinion that it wouldn’t be a wise decision because IA could turn corners any time he feels he is at ease so wouldn’t bring any lasting solution to the problem.

          Before you conclude the “politics is unprincipled” thing, revisit the your resources.


          • Salyounis

            Selamat T. Kifle:

            No, sir, that’s not how it works: since YOU have said Ethiopias call for regime change was conditional (Claim), then YOU have the burden of proof (supporting document, link) instead of assigning us to check our resources.

            The whole “we support regime change” was a farce: the energy the Ethiopian regime spent to help overthrow the Eritrean regime ranges between diddley and squat. I don’t think it had any purpose other than psychologically terrorizing the Eritrean regime which immediately labeled it as a declaration of war. It was entirely unconcerned by the collateral damage this would have on Eritrean opposition in Ethiopia.

            And because the whole thing was a farce, the new sworn in Prime Minister of Ethiopia had no conditionally to traveling “tomorrow” to Asmara to meet with Isaias Afwerki. (This undermines your claim that it was a conditional threat to be removed when the conditions changed.) And it’s why at the faintest, vaguest suggestion that Isaias might perhaps could be who knows land at Bole Airport, you had Eyob and Tamrat all excited: ( Isaias does fit the profile of the authoritarian ruler–Teodros,Yohannes, Menelik–that Ethiopians sing praises to)

            None of this surprises me. Its realpolitik. What I still can’t get over is the reaction of the “blame Eritrean opposition first” Eritreans who would somehow find a way to blame themselves for the knife on their back.


  • Hayat Adem

    On the Bologna Speech:
    It touched on many issues: protecting the ghedli heritage, prioritizing actions, caring for unity, reaching-out to each other, and watching out for bad & alien hands. SG, advising us to carefully order our priorities spends a good part of his speech in encouraging Eritreans to defend the past while so many Eritrean deaths and dislocations are happening right now. Do people facing existential risk try to defend their present and future first or their past?
    I always find it mind-boggling that SG himself coming strong to warn people against Ethiopia’s influence. Why? Because he is an acute observer and he has been one of the few who have been engaging top Ethiopian leaders for years, I have never witnessed anything in his writings and interviews then and there reflecting on the “Ethiopian influence” he seems to be relentlessly pushing these days. Why? Is Ethiopia really intensifying its influences on the Eritrean opposition more explicitly or otherwise these days than it used to do predating the Hawassa and Debrezeyt conferences? If Ethiopia changed its policy in handling Eritrean oppostion to more actively involved in Eritrean affairs undermining the independence pursuit of choices by Eritreans, SG had to describe the actions he recorded to show that shift and possibly explain the reason for that shift. Until that comes clearly, I remain puzzled as to why SG sees any use in pushing this agenda while working on mending damaged relationships and confidence building with Ethiopians sounds to be more important and urgently needed.
    I really hate to see few activists and some in the opposition inching away from caring and catering to re-build the social and political relationship that will eventually serve as a basis for tremendous future economic collaboration between the two countries. We’ve been leaving the Eritrean ground to be dominated by PIA and now we are ready to give a second chance to mend his relationships with Ethiopia, as he clearly hinted in his latest interview?
    On PIA’s IVW and Ethiopia:
    Two points make me tend to believe that PIA is in fact changing his attitude and tone on Ethiopia. First, he mentioned Ethiopia as ready economic and market partner. He didn’t put it with any precondition like he used to. He just mentioned whether there is enabling infrastructures to do that or not. The way he said that is in the same stress of tone he mentioned Sudan and Djibouti. It’s the first time we didn’t notice any implicit or explicit enemty with Ethiopia. Asseb as a natural port service with Ethiopia and power supply from Ethiopia were itemized as possible partnering areas. The 2nd point was the way he trivialized the demarcation issue as non-issue. You couldn’t have missed the way he dismissed that, could you? That has never been the case in his previous interviews.
    Well, if I’m guessing right that there is a shift of policy lane from PIA, what it means is there were a lot of activities and contacts going unofficially in the preceding months. What it also means is that there could a similar change of heart in the Ethiopian leadership, and we might also hear some indicative talks from the Ethiopian officials soon.
    If that is what is happening, I don’t like it. PIA should not be given any chance for another round of political dance. That’s why, I insist on the opposition to proactively influence the Ethiopian policy towards Eritrea in their favor. Scary bells and protectionism, will never spare from perceived or real bad hands. But engagement does. That’s why, I thought SG’s speech of “watch the Ethiopians” is very untimely and unwise.
    PIA and Sal:
    It was Koffi Annan who said this a while ago. His professor came to the class with a new big writing board (black). The teacher went straight to the board with his hand holding a piece of chalk and made a clearly visible mark at the center of the board. Then, he turned his face to the class and asked his students (Annan was one): “What do you see now?” Many hands were up just to answer and a chance was given to one: “A small point-like mark.” The prof asked, “what else?” Now there was no hand raised. The prof gave them the lesson of the day which Annan remembers and shares at his old age. “Kids, you did see my small white mark but you didn’t say the big blackboard I brought, right? That’s what we call missing the big picture!”
    Sal’s has started admiring PIA for his linguistic abilities and for his abilities to inflate the Eritrean pride. That is to say that he is grading him on abilities of off-job “talents”. The president has never been hired to show his Tigrigna fluency. We want him to use straight language to speak clearly to us. He is not leading a language academy and he should never get credit or no-credit for that. He is neither hired to feed our pride ego. He is there to solve problems and lead the nation to peace, freedom and prosperity. On all those counts that matter, he is a failure beyond any doubt. We clearly see the big picture and it is hard to comprehend when Sal wants to focus on the inconsequential and microscopic issues.

    • amde

      Spot on!!

      It is quite possible the opposition has just run out of time.

      Issayas could have taken this position (if true) ten years ago, i.e. shelf the details of the border decision implementation as a continuing issue to be resolved with Ethiopia. There are a lot of countries with disputed borders in the world, yet they manage to continue more or less normally.

      He could have explained the issue to Eritreans, stated that continuing war with Ethiopia is not fruitful, and that Eritrea can proceed with normalcy avoiding the trap of perfection. People might grumble for a while, but they would ultimately choose to be back with their families earning a living, than be perpetually stationed along front-lines.

      Instead, he chose to continue his project of hegemony of the horn – with the enthusiastic/tacit support of many Eritreans within and outside of Eritrea. Now the country is destitute, and it is being dangerously depopulated.

      My guess is that EPRDF is willing to work with Issayas as long as he gets off his hegemony high horse and learns to live with the reality that Eritrea has to live beside Ethiopia. The opposition has promised much, but there has been no vision to demonstrate there is a “there” there, nor a credible way to get “there”.

      This is no time for the opposition to turn its back on the Ethiopia “elephant in the room.” as Daniel put it.

      It is actually horrifyingly sad to see how some viscerally implanted hatred of anything remotely “ethiopia” leads otherwise intelligent people to take stands that cannot be rationally supported.

      • haile

        Merhaba Amde

        Two quick points:

        1 – on “People might grumble for a while…”, these “people” who would complain or grumble are only the few foolhardy regime supporters. I can assure you that Eritreans in Eritrea would welcome normalization any time. Also, rational minds in the diaspora would welcome that too. One correction/addition that I would make is that it is not only the opposition that has run out of time, the regime has run out of time too. This would be clearer soon enough.

        2 – Hayat has asked some pertinent and sharp questions. I was holding my breath hoping that she wouldn’t spoil some things (remember IA reads this pages too and I wouldn’t like to inform his part 3 in any way:) I am glad she didn’t. The same with saay. So, I am fairly content that things are being discussed here the way they are. Trust me we are confusing IA too 🙂


    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hayat:

      Your post gives me an opportunity to comment on Saleh G’s speech. I didn’t want to get in the middle of the Saleh G-Amanuel H “debate” (Zeryu keytbluni) but maybe by replying to you I can avoid that verdict.

      But, before that, a brief rejoinder to your criticism of my focus on “inconsequential and microscopic issues.” The ability to communicate is one of the most important assets a leader can bring to the table. In fact, if he or she has that, it can compensate for a slew of deficiencies. (See also: Reagan, Ronald W) Since “Nehnan Elamanan”, Isaias Afwerki had an ability to connect with his constituency at a visceral level. He has also had an ability to expand and shrink his constituency depending on what serves his purpose at any given time. The first speaks to his leadership potential; the second to his strategizing. If we, as opposition, are unable to assess the strength and weaknesses of our opponent, and knowing that to poke holes on the strength (that it is borrowed and scavenged language) we will keep getting the same thing we have been getting for the last 20 years: failure.

      This is a good segue to Saleh G’s speech. Sometimes, honestly, when I read people’s reactions to what people write, I ask: are we reading the same paper? Saleh begins with the premise that the Eritrean opposition has not much to show for itself for the decade and half of active opposition it had. This is a point that can be debated (God knows by whom.) Saleh says that this is primarily due to the weakness of the opposition (no debate), the weakness of those of us who should materially support the opposition (debatable) and the weakness of Ethiopia (cue: nervous breakdown.)

      Saleh G’s specific criticism against Ethiopia is that it tends to approach the Eritrean issue from a national security issue; that it encourages Eritrean fragmentation by legitimizing even groups organized not just on language but a specific accent associated with the language (he is talking about the kuthther(?), a group who speak Tigre with a unique accent); that it doesn’t spend any of its capital to help them take advantage of the fact that Addis is the diplomatic capital of Africa; that it runs Eritrean opposition radio (Ethiopians masquerading as Eritreans.) All these are specific criticisms that can be rebutted.

      I don’t see that. When Saleh G asked Emma if he can list anything the Ethiopians have done wrong in the past decade and half, Emma replied “I haven’t seen evil on Ethiopia.” But the question was not please choose A or B: Is Ethiopia good or evil?

      I see the same kind of subject avoidance from you, Hayat. It is all the same conspiratorial “why now” (focusing on the timing of the address as opposed to its content so Saleh can be sent on a wild goose chase retrieving his articles where he complained about Hubur, General Mesfin, etc) and the same fear-mongering (Isaias is about to reconcile with Ethiopia “as he clearly hinted in his latest interview”). Let me guess: if the EPRDF reconcile with the PFDJ it will not be evidence of their duplicity and confused thinking but them advancing their “national interest” right? It will be “entay’mo khgebru: mesarHti indyom sienom!”


      • Ghezae Hagos

        Hi Sal,

        I will skip SG speech. I would like to comment on Issayas and Tigrigna. Frankly speaking, you are one of the few Eritreans who always look for and dwell on his Tigrigna whenever the tyrant does his ‘interviews.’ May be it you find it fascinating, or I put it on the account that you are a writer, very good one at that, hence lover of words.

        Most Eritreans are not writers, and they don’t care about his Tigrigna or the way he communicates himself. It is not an issue anymore. After the interview, just yesterday a few of friends, mostly hidmona members were chatting, dissecting it, to my memory, his use of Tigrigna never came up. Whenever I talk to family members, fathers or mothers, the leader’ language proficiency doesn’t interest them.

        Trending were ‘water doesn’t come to you…’ electricity’ ‘possible use of Ethiopian energy’ ‘like Israel we will arm professional and reserve army..’etc…

        I know it fancies you, Sal and few others to look for the use of his Tinglish. You come to mind whenever I think of them too. Anyways, let us take that as our assignment and observe how the general public sees this fascination of yours.


        • Salyounis

          Selamat Ghezae:

          I am not really a huge fan of the “i was talking to all my friends who think exactly like me” type of surveys. So let’s you and I go through a little exercise:

          1. Based on the grave crimes Isaias Afwerki has committed on the people of Eritrea, he should have a popularity rate of 0.001%. (Can’t say zero percent; gotta give voice to sadists.)

          2. However, Isaias Afwerki still retains a popularity rate of _______ %. (Fill in any number: 10%, 20%, 30%)

          3. When pressed, in a secret survey, his supporters give the following reasons for their support:
          a. I admire his long service/devotion to Eritrea. ______%
          b. He is one of my own. _______ %
          c. I am afraid of what will happen to Eritrea without him.____ %
          d. Other reasons ________ %

          4. Now, here’s the kicker. The percentages you give to a, b, c, d don’t matter. What matters is all those people were persuaded to believe what they believe by his communication skills. It is not the party platform; it is not ideology: it is devotion to one man. That is: PFDJism is Isaisism.

          5. Therefore, analyzing his communication skills is not some weird obsession or fixation. It is understanding what makes the clock tick. Please note that his communication skills are not on his ability to give moving or uplifting speeches (nobody ever remembers what he says.) It is his ability to impress upon those who still follow him–in a long wided way–that they should stick with him. And part of what I and others do is to try to shine a light on this skill and say it is all borrowed or stolen: there is no originality to it.


  • Adiam Haile Rufael

    Dear Mr. Johar,

    As a young woman who is an activist fighting for CHANGE, for Eritrea I am deeply grateful for what you have written. What you have written, for me, was honest and much needed in our current movement. It is rare to see such a clear and honest vision that is written without such an egocentric point of view; regardless of where one stands pro-justice or pro-government; it seems lately, to me, that is, many people are so caught up on their own agenda that Eritrea has been forgotten. Thank you for writing a reminder to those of us fighting for Change the 4 W’s and How; and for those who are still undecided or pro-government an awareness statement that may shed light for them, in due time; and understanding. Thank you again.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Eritrea stretches her hands unto Ethiopia!

    Now is the time to see the difference what YG has been telling us for years and what isayas and Gadi have been doing.

    What kind of freedom and equality when part of Our Brothers not free and Equal?

    Since the beginning Eritrea is streaching hands to ethiopia but isayas and his types have used the hand for Egypt betterment than Eritrea well being. Was isayas the only one who supported egyptians for stoppping the dam on Nile?

  • haile

    Selamat Welde, Sabri, Saay and awatista

    saay & sabri

    Saay is right that interviews are meant to serve entirely different ball games in IA’s book of tricks. If we go back to the time of the border conflict, after the “disputed” start of the conflict the cabinet of ministers met up and decided to call for demilitarization of the disputed area and IA was at the meeting and had no objection. Later in that day he appeared on TV to make his now infamous “even if the sun wouldn’t rise again” speech. Members of the cabinet of ministers at the time were dumbfounded and horrified to learn it through the media barely hours after he had a meeting with them and never uttered any thing remotely resembling of such closed door approach to the war.

    Selam Welde

    It may be that you only began to read my writings recently. Awatistas had almost were about to include “demarcation” as my middle name when I dealt with the issue here. So, I do have clear stand on the matter.

    Your point about Tserona vs Badime is a difficult national issue, and not possible to give a verdict as an individual.

    My position is that:

    1: respect of the law is paramount in all our dealings.

    2: I believe that IA is way too powerless and isolated to deal with the matter and the opposition could have done better to try to check him on that.

    As long as you have the people on your side, that is the most important part in my view.

    Regards all

  • Sabri

    Selamat Emma,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I understand your concern about the mistrust existed among the opposition. Your suggestion to find an alternative venue far away from Ethiopia sounds good. However, the most important thing is when the opposition meets first of all they have to have common national agenda and try to solve the different issues within the context of national agenda. Without resolving this fundamental issue the opposition will continue to stuck in their problem. If they insist to move to Ethiopia in their fragile condition it is easy to be exploited. Moreover, nobody will take them as a credible opposition.


    • Sabri

      Moderator: I post the above comment wrongly. It is already posted before. Please delete it.

  • Selam Saleh (SGJ),

    I just finished your book “Miriam is here”. I am not a novel book reader by my nature… but this one, I was almost glued to it until the end and took me three days in between my work to finish it. It is an extra-ordinary book of must read by every Eritrean. It touches the bottom of your heart even if your are a dry wit – the horrific graphic-story of our youth in general and our sisters in particular make you insane for a brief moment. You are a fantastic story teller. “Miriam Was Here” explains the darkness of our spirit and the unimaginable neglect to the fate of our youth…..seeing the complacent attitudes of the Eritreans people in Diaspora. In fact here is the area where the invocation of patriotism is warranted to save our people, rather to our neighbor countries…..I hope you see my drift.

    As to my appraisal to Ethiopia you asked me. I haven’t seen evil on Ethiopia. In fact I appreciate the help they are giving to our refugee, higher education to our young, giving a venue to the opposition camp to wage their struggle against the despot who become the source of carnage the nation and people we dearly love. All your complains must be directed to the incompetence of our leaders. I still believe that Ethiopia shouldn’t be discouraged by the ill wishers who works day and night against peace and stability of the region.

    • corection:

      please add “to” and read it as “to the nation and people we dearly love.”

      • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

        ego( KoLe in tigryna )
        When the Ethiopian especially the Tigrayan nice to us, involve in real help to few Eritrean their Ego elevates that is called (MwChan>tigryna). to them the tigryan are inferior – it is all sourced from stereotyping and prejudice. Empty pride does not help besides it is false believe and Ego addiction. these type of people are trying to look authentic Eritrean. In this planet who is god sent MaNa from Heaven?
        Clearly Eritrea and Eritrean need to work with Ethiopian especially with the border tigran and the weyane. the weyane is stronger than Hgdef.

  • Akile-Mille

    The master-puppeteer never ceases to amaze me. He still commands an incredible influence even on those who profess to be opposition blocks. Saleh Younis reads the “Eritrean stupidity” as the “Eritrean pride” when the master-puppeteer remotely alludes the utilization of the Millinium-Dam in an alleged exchange for something in the offing. Instead of staying the course of holding the master-puppetteer responsible for the tremendous havoc he caused in every life line of the state of Eritrea, the most notable personalities in this forum are acting like a perked up kid with a candy on sight. If the master-puppeteer drops all the border issue say tonight, the same personalities in this forum will go around and delve on his mastery of the Tigrigna language where the macabre reality he forcibly and calously brought forth is rendered moot instantly.

    • Yodita


      Your post is to deep for me to fathom. But my gut feeling is drawn to it. To find anything at all praiseworthy of our monster at home leaves me dead cold. It is good to see your nick at awate.com as you may knock some sense to the hilarity that some want to derive out of it all. I must say the seriousness of Haile has been the most welcome surprise as he refuses to be a comedian and is doing a lot to keep all of us alert and awake about our predicament. I regret to say that for some, it is plain ‘fun and entertainment’ and/or how they are way up the ladder when compared to the everyday people.

      Akile-Mille, please write and write to make us see that bright minds is not necessarily bright selflessness.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Akle-Mille:

      I don’t know what is more fascinating: that you are so wrong or that you are convinced you are so right when you are so wrong.

      You could have asked “what do you mean by Eritrean pride?” but that would have been too obvious and simple. In Eritrea, it is fairly common for a kid who is starving to go to a relative’s house and, when offered food, to say, “No, thank you, I just ate.” You may call this stupid, but I choose to call it “proud.” Isaias Afwerki’s sandwiching of Ethiopian hydro-electric power between Sudan’s (improbable) and Djibouti’s (unlikely) source of energy was quintessentially Eritrean. Stubborn and proud as hell. This is one of the cerebral and emotional connections he has with ordinary Eritreans (most of whom know that the elevator doesn’t go all the way up.) Whoever ends up being Eritrea’s second president better not be some “Ishi Getaye” wimp (like the ones Ethiopians, Ethiophiles, Weyanists want us to have.) He/she must be humbler and saner than Isaias, but s/he cannot be a wimp. (See also: Mohammed Al Baradei.)

      Another deep cerebral and emotional connection he has with Eritreans, particularly Tigrinya speakers, is how he helped create a whole linguistic universe that instills pride. This is not a trivial thing particularly for people who were made to feel their were junior partners to Amara Ethiopians. The people who had been brainwashed to think they are inferior to the ruling class of Ethiopia and had chosen names like Tirunesh, Alganesh, Mantegbesh, Kassahun, Ethiopia, Abbay, etc, etc, for their children (note to self: include that in rebuttal to YG’s silly argument: some names went away because they are null and void now) are being reminded, subtly, that they have a glorious language. The subtle message is: unlike the Tigrayans who have succumbed to the Amara as second stringers, he will be the guardian of Tigrinya. (In fact, Sabri and Haile, I think this was the only reason for the interview: to remind people what he has helped to do with the Tigrinya language.)

      One must have a realistic appraisal of the strength and weakness of one’s political opponent if one is serious about bringing about change.

      Your other halewlew (speculation) about what we would do if Isaias Afwerki suddenly drops the border issue is ill-informed. This website has frequently commented on how, when cornered, Isaias Afwerki has no qualms about reversing himself 180 (Frontline African States, Coalition of the willing, Reconciliation With Sudan) are all examples. Interestingly, every single one of them applies to Weyane, too, for whatever it is worth.


      PS: If you want to understand the power of language, and how the Ethiopian decision to burn Tigrinya books contributed to Eritreans joining the Ghedli, here’s Dr. Asefaw Tekeste’s story: (5:00 minute audio interview)


      • Eyob Medhane


        Akaassi, (That is Oromiffa for ‘Yichin yiwedal!’ 🙂

        Calm down. What’s gotten to you, man?! Actually, Akle-Mille is absolutely right. What is pride?! Any pride? Eritrean or any other one? Denying reality? As you yourself said speaking of the ‘improbable’ and the ‘unlikely’ as if they are fact? That is not pride, but arrogance, in fact, amounts to lying. You think that is Eritrean? If it is, it is very disappointing, and it may need a serious cultural reform. What is that got to do with having ‘Amhara name’? You think, those who may need electricity would wait the improbable and the unlikely, until kingdom come, because their ‘pride’ requires them? See the Amhara (actually, the Abissinyan culture, you sort of seem to disdain) says ‘Kurat erat new’, which means, eventually, you’ll get what you deserve at the end of the day. It does not require you to believe and accept the improbable and the unlikely, forever. I don’t believe Eritrean, particularly Eritrean Habesha (if you believe exists) is different that. This one seems a new kind of ‘pride’ that is getting cooked up to be installed on Eritrean Habeshas, just like the Arabic language and other so many Ghedli inspired fabricated and imported cultural traits… I am just saying… 😉

        • Salyounis


          Barcho Ebakeh! (Amharic for negro please!)

          Looks like somebody’s sugar level is high and needs his medication 🙂

          The one adjective the Weyanists have overused is “arrogant”, “chauvinist” in their campaign to get Eritreans to wear shoes their size. (Remember “we will teach them a lesson they will never forget” from the dearly departed.)

          I am telling you (and others) while that sounds all logical, the average Eritrean is not ready for that. And Isaias speaks to their aspirations to be bigger, better. In the great contest between the Ethiopiaphile agenda of reducing Eritreans down to size, and the Isaias agenda of inflating Eritreans to feel exceptional, bigger, better, your side is losing. (although you may not think so because you read YG and all the comments of “good job”, “there is nobody like you”)

          Izi kemzi ilu khelo, our (my side of the opposition) grievance is that Isaias Afwerki is not up to the task. He can’t deliver. He is not a good executive. He is all talk and no action. He is a predator who doesn’t respect basic human rights of Eritreans. He chases away Eritrean talent. He is a terrible CEO who doesn’t want to be accountable for his disastrous policies. In short, he has all the terrible manners associated with Ethiopian rulers. But there is nothing wrong with his dream of having an Eritrea that is assertive and ambitious and aspires to have a large role in the politics of the Horn of Africa.

          No comment on your obsession with and bigotry of Arabs. Your bigotry and hate is so casual you wear it like a glove. Incomprehensible since the Amharic edition of the Bible was written by an Arab (Abu Rumi) and the Kebre Negest was translated from Arabic.


          • Eyob Medhane


            It was not my blood sugar this time, I just wrote that in excitement right after the walya’s victory this after noon ( I remember you made fun of them last time for forgetting yellow card, and guess what, Sal. The joke is on you. 🙂 )

            Now. Please my friend. Please. I beg you. A man of your caliber, which I think very very high up, should not confuse utter arrogance for pride. I know pride. Trust me. I am a very ‘kuru’ Habesha. And believe me. I also know how proud people Eritreans are. One of the ways of pride is making sure that others wouldn’t perceive you fool, weirdo or stupid. I very much know that Eritreans care to preserve a kind of image that shows their pride. Yet, this guy by saying such moronic stuff and let his ‘Eritreannes’ to be perceived, as such, he actually assaulted Eritrean pride, instead of asserting it. That is my point. And another thing, every time I say a word ‘Arab’ you automatically think that I am (I wouldn’t say bigoted, but biased against them). Well you are wrong. I am very consistent, in terms of speaking against certain imposition of Arabic culture. Other than that, I am cool with Arabs. Come on, some of my fiends are Arabs. 🙂


            Great observation. I also noticed a pint of admiration of Issu from Kibur Em Kiburan Sal. A bit strange, isn’t it?

          • Salyounis

            Oh come on Eyob,

            I am a great promoter of Ethiopian athletes and congratulat all Ethiopians for making it to the finals. I will be rooting for Ethiopia even over Egypt and Algeria, two other finalists. Ymezgebeley!

            Hmmm. What you and Yigermal find objectionable is simply this. In the animal kingdom, a young lion chases off the old lion and owns the pride. I am expressing my wish that we would stop sending lambs and minced meat to replace the lion. If u think me equating Isaias with an old confused and demented lion just waiting for a young lion to replace is a compliment, well then we have a difference of opinion.


      • yegermal

        “Isaias Afwerki’s sandwiching of Ethiopian hydro-electric power between Sudan’s (improbable) and Djibouti’s (unlikely) source of energy was quintessentially Eritrean. Stubborn and proud as hell.”

        I personally did not read it as pride. His sandwiching the “meat” ( the most important news he set out to announce in his two hour monologue) was pure deception and he went to great length to literally “sandwich it” with lettuce , tomatoes, mayonnaise and all, and it worked wonders! We are still talking about peripheral points of his speech and

        I also detect a tad of adoration on your part for the monster many of us think is undeserving to be called “human” let alone “proud” or “gutsy” (non-wimp), unless of course you’re equating arrogance to pride, and cowardice to courage.

        And to this “This is one of the cerebral and emotional connections he has with ordinary Eritreans (most of whom know that the elevator doesn’t go all the way up.) Whoever ends up being Eritrea’s second president better not be some “Ishi as of Getaye” wimp (like the ones Ethiopians, Ethiophiles, Weyanists want us to have.)”

        I can only say WOW! Pfdjitis is truly contagious…..got to get your immunization before you hang out with hard core PFDJs …. Just saying!

      • Sabri


        Since I sensed IA must have some important messages to deliver in his interview I decided to listen the entire interview.

        Sal, I don’t agree that he gave this interview just because of the tigringa language inorder to strength people’s connection to him emotionally. Out of the whole interview I found two messages which I think is the purpose of the interview. The first is about the newly proclaimed housing plan and the second is about his opening to deal with Ethiopia. In the first case it is for the first time that they declared the project is pilot for their bigger housing project. This information is important because it is expected to calm people’s reaction in Eritrea the government is building house only for people who have hard currency. In his second message he was talking in length about the country’s short of energy and his solution is to buy from Ethiopia. He mentioned the Renascence dam for the first time in a positive tone. Moreover, he was careful to talk bad about woyane in the entire interview. This indicates he probably is planning to improve his relationship with Ethiopia. That he mentioned Sudan and Djibouti is just simply to cover up. So, with this message he seems to be trying to prepare people for coming new relationship with Ethiopia. As i see it these are the two messages IA wants to send in this interview. We will see if he has something new in the third part which will be sending tomorrow. At the end of part 2 when the journalist say we will continue tomorrow IA replied tomorrow is Sunday nay irefti gize, I will try if I can. He is funny.


        • Selam Sabri,

          I think you have analyzed it correctly. I for one, that is how I understood. This guy was informing his followers that the self-reliance system was indeed a disaster or simply it failed to function.
          Second, he openly admitted that he could immediately have a market relationship with all neighbors that of course includes Ethiopia; underneath this may contain a hidden agenda or an alibi for Badme. The other country which was not mentioned by name was Qua-tor. We all know how Qua-tor is important to his survival.
          Anyways, I also understood his message was well targeted to his diaspora supporters of the regime rather the than ones who are suffering under his administration .

          • Sabri

            Hi Meretse, (nice name)
            that you observe about self reliance is interesting. From his past record Issayas unless he has some important message he doesn’t give interview unexpectedly.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Sabri:

          A man who averages 3 address a year and 2 interviews a year for 20 years has a record. A pattern. And one of the patterns is that he doesn’t conduct television interviews to change a policy or announce a policy. He uses television interviews only to rile up people AGAINST an enemy (US, UN, “corrupt” Eritrean bureaucrats, “incompetent” minsters.) He uses the television interviews to impress Chegwar Danga that he is a man who has thought about it all. He uses the interviews to relay a message to the West “I am on to you.”

          After this interview (as he did 2 years ago when he threatened rearrangement of the ministries) there will be nervous ministers, Director Generals. That was the purpose: to get them off their footing.

          Do you remember how long Ali Saids position was vacant? That’s the Foreign Minstry. Do u know why? Because there was a candidate to fill the position and he wanted to send the message that he doesn’t care about conventional wisdom: only he makes the decision. Do you know how long Ali Abdus position has been open? The point is: he doesn’t operate on the bases of pitching ideas to the people because that would make him predictable. A weakness, in his thinking.

          The fact he discussed the possibility of the Millenium Dam tells me that he is not going to do it at all. If he was going to do that kind of reversal, he would do it abruptly and we would all hear about it in BBC and this would be followed by EriTV interview.

          This was an interview to let Eritreans know he is fully in charge, he knows everything that is going on and “mesarihti sieinu.” Deflect all blame on government officials. The person who should be nervous is whoever is causing him to pay hard currency to import cement.


          • Sabri


            You are analyzing his interview from the point of view of his past record. But Issayas is unpredictable. There is no consistency. Moreover, he gave this interview unexpected. That is why I decided to listen him. If you listen him intently there is new things which he never used before. For instance, it is for the first time that he question his self-reliance principle when he was talking about the port.

            The point that he mentioned the renaissance dam is not to inform that he will buy electricity from Ethiopia. He will or he will not. That is not the issue. The issue is if you see his mentioning of renaissance dam with other points he mentioned like regional development, careful usage of the catch word woyane, the necessary of Assab to Ethiopia this all indicates that he may think to improve his relationship with Ethiopia.

            From his past record it is not for the first time that he gave interview unexpected. In 1998 just a month before the eruption of Badme conflict he gave televised interview totally unexpected. I was in Asmara at that time. He was talking about Wofri limaat and he was telling people we must work minimum 15 hrs per day if we want to develop. With this sudden interview he had one important message: the conflict with Ethiopia is inevitable and everybody must be ready to defend the country. Remember although that was his real message he never mentioned the tense relationship with Ethiopia. You see Sal, Wofri limaat was a camouflage for war. By the same token mentioning renaissance dam can be a camouflage word for improving relationship with Ethiopia. Time will tell.


          • Salyounis

            Selamat Sabri:

            You and I agree that Isaias Afwerki is unpredictable. (That Isaias Afwerki would be unpredictable is predictable because all dictators are.)

            While Isaias Afwerki enjoys being unpredictable–even going to the extent of having different hair styles, facial hair (latest one, the Abu Sheneb style covers his entire upper lip)–even dictators have behavior patterns that become habits or things that they cannot control despite their efforts. One, for example, is the fact that he gives very, very long answers to questions. Another is body language.

            You are saying that his mentioning of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is a clue that he wants to reconsider his stance with Ethiopia. You are basing this conclusion based on your observation that the clues he gives are indirect: when he wants to wage war he talks about development. Well, using this rationale, anything he does can be explained by previous interview: all we have to do is make the connection.

            I really don’t think that’s how he formulates policy: develop, prepare public opinion, launch. This would take away from what he prizes most: being unpredictable and being independent of public opinion. Unless he is entirely indifferent about a subject, to him, public opinion is something that should be whipped into shape, not something to feed off. In fact, if many of his followers are dazed or shocked and have been seeking clarification, it may be presented as by-the-way kind of question (hzbi bzaEba Renaissance Dam yHatt alo…) then the opinion will be shaped 🙂 In short, it wouldn’t shock me if a week from today we hear that Eritrea and Ethiopia have signed agreements on energy. It would also not shock me if a week from today he gives an interview to Reuter where he resorts to norm and goes on a rampage.

            As for his language re Weyane, well, I am sure you have noticed that that is entirely related to the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea. It has been a long time since the shrill language is gone, the various Ethiopian opposition groups with their various TV programs and the daily announcements of Ethiopian soldiers surrendering…

            To those of you who think we spend too much analyzing an interview, consider that there are no institutions or policy makers in Eritrea. This, tea leaf reading and staring at the bottom of the Finjal is the best source we have and, even that, is–if past is prologue–a means to (a) let Eritreans know that Big Brother is a hands-on manager and knows everything that is going on in the country (including how villagers were smuggling dough to Asmara when grain transport was disallowed); what it takes to build a house, a road; what a port needs; how many energy sources there are; etc, etc (b) Big Brother does things that they may not understand because he is All-Wise and sees the Big Picture (your urban-dwellers complain about water? There are Eritreans who can’t even get a drop of water and they are citizens just like you) (c) let his functionaries and flunkies know that they are entirely disposable. That is, the interview was what it always about: build up Isaias Afwerki (a and b above: the LONG answers provided in Tinglish), tear down everybody else (including the citizen.)


        • sara

          sabri, as they say in sudan al sebr’ tayeb!
          why rush in to a such conclusion, why don’t you wait for the final interview, besides it seems to me you only focused on the two points you mentioned simply because that was what you were waiting to hear.

          • Sabri


            That is not my conclusion. It is only my observation from part 1 and part 2 of his interview. We will see what he will say in the final part. Those two points I mentioned are not the things I want to hear. I picked up after I listened. If you want to know what I want to hear from him is Resignation 🙂


        • Ya Sabri!!

          Good observation so far. If all the indications are towards your reading…you will see his puppets will repeat in full swing what the Puppeteer will say good thing about Ethiopia. And yes the many demeaning adjective vocabularies toward Ethiopia will eventually vanish in the thin air. If the despot change his view about Ethiopia the Eritrean will follow suit. Sad as it may be that is how the Eritrean political psychic works.

      • bukretsion

        sal, u r more like ceo and president of hatemongers then pinnacle college

        • Hello Mr bukre,bukresion,bukray

          Please don’t waist the space if you don’t have value to add these is about targeting idea not people.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Hi Sal and all,

        Since, two of previous comments didn’t go through (my errors entirely), I will be brief.

        1. “I choose to call it “proud.” Isaias Afwerki’s sandwiching of Ethiopian hydro-electric power between Sudan’s (improbable) and Djibouti’s (unlikely) source of energy was quintessentially Eritrean.”

        This is not pride, dear Sal. He wants to stay the course because it is politically safer. The moment other, different or even completely opposite opportunity presents itself, he will not hesitate to jettison the ‘pride’…let us say in the dam called, “Millennium.”

        2. This trait doesn’t resonate with Eritreans either. The loud supporters, you love to remind them (to remind you, dear Sal) have no principle or pride. The moment Issayas decides to rekindle relationship with Ethiopia, they will outdo themselves by proclaiming ‘a new-new-new era of prosperity with Ahwatna Ethiopiyawyan’..and chid us too, ‘entay d’o xeliee neyruna iyu..’ Badme..what Badme! kab Hizbina aytieab’n iya!…pride, my foot.

        3. “..it is fairly common for a kid who is starving to go to a relative’s house and, when offered food, to say, “No, thank you, I just ate.”

        Sal, this is not merely Eritrean. Just recently, a very good writer at Awate.com, who studied in Gondor was telling me and others the ‘Gondorie’ and his ‘Megderder.’ If you compare us with the ‘Gonderie’, you would have taken us for ‘wimps’, if that is what ‘pride’ means. I am sure this trait is very common in East Africans. Sal, ‘zuro’ma Zoba’ka…tem’t teazeba’…Zoba, East Africa! 🙂

        4. Finally, you know our mission is to inform everyone that Eritrea is not defined and should not be defined by Ghedli’s bad infusions into our culture or Issayas’s personal traits. Haughtiness, extreme vanity, rudeness, stupid pride, are sad legacies that pervading not just Issayas’s ‘hikiya’ that pass for televised interviews with the head of State but sadly our discourse, especially in ‘youth’ groups of the opposition. Many a time, we forget we belong to humble, well-mannered, courteous and civilised people. It just that, decades of indoctrination, enslavement and DIA ‘hypnotism’ has disfigured and re-programmed us to take the image and liking of the…the ‘god’ of “Eritrea.” It is not unnatural to mistake which is which sometimes.

        Or as one summed it up for me (you can use it and hope to love it)..”entay Emo Software endyu abalashiyuwa!..” our Ere being PC.


        • Salyounis

          Selamat Ghezae:

          I think there is a difference between a people (traits they admire in the common person) and what they expect of, and admire in, their leaders. Ahmed Mohammed Nasser, who was on the losing end of that interpretation as the last chairman of the Eritrean Liberation Front, once said in an interview with awate.com:

          “I call upon all Eritreans to get rid, once and forever, of such adjectives as `Qorratz’, [resolute] ‘Fellat’ [wise], ‘Sheitan’ [satan], ‘Gigna’ [brave] etc`, since they have become devoid of their appropriate meanings and have ended up in the glorification and legitimization of despotism in our country.”

          I have a working theory on that…part of my long-standing promise to Serray to discuss it at greater length perhaps in a book 🙂

          Thanks for the education on our Zoba…I am ashamed to say I don’t have a working knowledge of Ugandan, Kenyan, Djibouti culture. Eyob, my cultural attache to Ethiopia, only sends me music videos–which is the only thing he sent me from a Gondere 🙂

          For what it is worth, consider this: all marathoners have some thing that is their specialty. Do you know what Eritrean marathoner Meb Keflezghi’s is? To run the entire marathon without taking a single energy gel for 26.2 miles, forcing his body to use the stored fat for energy. That is called the Meb way. Coincidence? 🙂


  • rodab

    Our thread maxed-out Sal.
    Anyway here is a newly introduced English-to-Tigrinya word, in case you missed it yesterday:
    – nabyot = maintenance.
    (Who would’ve thought that :-))

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Rodab:

      Yeah, I heard that, as well as the Tinglish for spare parts: it was in relationship to the collapse of the Hirgigo power plant.

      There is a gentleman scheduled for an interview with one of the Paltalk rooms who knows the entire history of how the presidents office overruled Eritrean experts advice and ran Hirgigo power to the ground. I hope he is allowed to discuss that and not the sensational soap opera stuff people seem to be addicted to.


  • A. Benstar

    Selam all,

    When people keep putting their fate at the hands of those who have been bent to destroy them as a people of a nation in the making, they are possessed and that which possess them decides their destiny! Nobody can make you except yourself and if you are bent on being dependent on the foreign instead of the demostic, on somebody else instead on your own, to foot your bill for working on behalf of the demostic whose interest you claim to represent and fight for while you are disconnected from it, you are living on a world of promises which are not always horses that you can ride wherever you dream to go:-) If people remain attached and dependent on their former enemy and abuser now come garbed as an enemy of your enemy that is abusing your people while you remain disconnected from your demostic host, then, one way or another, your foreign host which is an enemy of the demostic, decides the outcome of your strife to bring about not what you seek but what he thinks you seek as one who is encabable of running your national affairs on your own, there is nothing that people can expect from you but wait for your desteny to decide how your life will retire and hot its peace or expire altogether and depart from here to the hereafter to reap what you saw here:-)

    • A. Benstar

      Greetings everyone,

      As usual, I wrote this note in assenna.com earlier and it has failed to post so far. Thus, I am ijectting it here for one or anyone to make what they will of it and here it goes:

      Amanuel has finally took off the mask of a journalist and turned out to be one of the Weyane stooges and whimpering mouthpiece, ass-kissers, and cowardly opportunistic creep serving the enemy of the very people he claims to care and struggle to free from DIA’s diabolical rule aftert he served him like a god till his old hero came after his behind! Anyone who talks and walks like a Wenaye duck is that duck as are the likes of Weyane mothpieceot who is crying wolf on those who don’t bend over to serve a foreign enemy like the retarded and beggar Weyane. These people have evenb the gusts to pretend that they care about the Eritrean people more than those who are trying to stop the lies that DIA, the Weyane, and white their bosses have been telling the Eritrean people that what they do is for their own good!

      These type of flip-flopping souls can run but can’t after they have served Esaias to ruin the lives of the Eritrean people and deserted him when he came after their slavish behind as they can’t be trusted with the future of our betrayed and oppressed people inside Eritrea and not those who take picnics to Ethiopia as Weyane babies playing their useless political merry-go-round year in and year out without going anywhere! Yes, these pathetic and hypocritical creatures are on the second of half of their lives to earn their sale-out wages by serving a beggar that kills, steals, and turns around to lie about it using his stooges like this Amanuel guy for a little pay and fame!

      Yes, the first half of the lives of these Amanuel type Johny-come-lately Weyane sale-outs was spent on nothing but making Esaias the retard and blood thirsty idiot their hero and master while the other half of their time is likely to be spent on bending over to and in making DIA’s retarded Weyane cousins who bend over to their white masters to earn their beggar wages: And all these, the Weyane does at the expense of the millions people on whose behalf it lies, steals, and kills while destroying everything Eritrean on its way to the bottom of doom and gloom like its brother DIA till all the servants of the devil like them are gotten rid off by the Lord of lords and King of kings Himself! Keep shooting on your stupid foot and that ought to teach you a thing or two one day till you wake up and clean your shame of running here and there in the name of the Eritrean people to make living out of their misery!

      In closing, I would like to append my last note here with slight editorial changes as follows:

      When people keep putting their fate at the hands of those who have been bent to destroy them as a people of a nation in the making, they are possessed and that which possess them decides their destiny! Nobody can make you except yourself and if you are bent on being dependent on the foreign instead of the demostic, on somebody else instead on your own, to foot your bill for working on behalf of the demostic whose interest you claim to represent and fight for while you are disconnected from it, you are living on a world of promises which are not always horses that you can ride wherever you dream to go:-) If people remain attached and dependent on their former enemy and abuser now come garbed as an enemy of their enemy that is abusing their people while they remain disconnected from their demostic host, then, one way or another, their foreign host which is an enemy of the demostic, decides the outcome of your strife to bring about not what you seek but what he thinks you seek as one who is encabable of running their national affairs on their own, there is nothing that people can expect from them but wait for their desteny to decide how their lives will retire and hold their peace or expire altogether and depart from here to reap what they sow in the hereafter:-)

  • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

    Three things from Esayas interview
    1. Gal Zereba ( vogue – unable to connect main point and sub point )
    2. MeNgeDi TsaTse ( no beginning and no ending, zigzag all over, all directions )
    3. flavor/inspiring ( he used more old Hagereseb words but not important because he could not deliver concise point – it is like reading from dictionary )

    When the journalist asked him about water shortage in asmera he could not answer clearly. His lengthy answer were Gal Zereba and MenGeDi TsaTse.the proper answer was he can do it or can’t.
    In newyork there is no shortage of water but the law says do not waste water, use wisely and also rule 1.5L per toilet flash. And people in asmera are not wasting water, they are asking average amount of water to do their work.

  • M.Ali

    Great speech Saleh. Your presence and speech were an asset to the conference. It is with this kind of steps that we can move forward. I really admire the three key messages and the way you articulated and explained them the idea of knowing at least 5 Eritreans outside of our tribe/ the Ghedli area and our relations with Ethiopia. Well said and what a great speech again to learn valuable lessons

  • Sabri


    Like haile i was surprised when I heard IA will give interview. It is unusual that he gave interview at this time of the year. One exception is when he used to hear people’s question at Mazegaga bet in the 1990s.

    I started to listen but i became exhausted after five minutes. It is the same old mantra. Sal said the president sounds like a consultant. A good consultant identify and solve the problem. The president is far away from it. He is like an outsider observer. It is the usual way to not take responsibility. He deliberately forget what his role as president is when he give interview. One thing irritating me every time he gave interview is the word he repeatedly use: Kigber aleewo. Who is going to do it? and how ? he has no answer and nobody is dare to ask him either. He sounds as if he is talking about somebody’s problem. That he said so infront of the eritrean people who are in a state of crisis is an insult by itself. I would not call his interview journalistic interview. It is another form of giving speech in a question and answer form. I know two of the journalists who are asking, Solomon Berhe and Petros Netabay. Solomon is the author of Wofri Siger dob published right after independence. It is a well written and an eye witness book. Now he has high position at the ministry of information. Petros has been working at dimtsi hafash in tigre and now he is the head of one department at the ministry of information. They are simply facilitator to what the president want to speak in a question and answer form. Very far away from journalistic interview. This has to be underlined because I know many expects journalistic interview.


  • belay

    Kebur Mr Isayas Afeworki,was +ve about. Ethiopia,and realised best way forward.
    1.He,even under played the boarder issue and said “Wala ”
    He used this issue (boarder) for a while,now it is not.
    2.He mentioned foreign currency scarcity.
    Port of Assem will solve that,ie Ethiopia use Assem Port
    For exchange of Electric,sorted.
    I think Mr Isayas,slowly but surely is realised we need each other to stay strong and untochable by our foriegn invaders,and there is no viable bussinse to exploit against Ethiopia.The Nile is tamed by Ethiopia,that was the root of all evils in east Africa.
    There is hope,Lets Pray.

    • bukretsion

      he PIA didn’t say a word in Arabic,
      he PIA and the journalists also wished happy Habesha new year, too bad for

    • haile

      Selamat Belay,

      Well, you may be understandably positive because IA appears to have joined the pro-Ethiopia camp. The problem is you guys aren’t giving us, the Eritrea for Eritreans bunch, a chance. One of our plan was to lease the port of Assab to Ethiopia without Qatar, the middle man. In exchange we would ask you to build us a smaller version of the GERD dam on our side of Badime (Eritrean solution to Eritrean problems) 🙂

      IA has outsmarted us by saying that as long us the price is fair, he would have no problems buying the energy needs from Ethiopia. Of course, what this means is that the switch for the lights in Eritrean households will be given to Ethiopia (who needs border guards when you can simply switch the lights off on us:)

      I see that, save for eastafro.com and meskerem.net, all other pro regime websites have not yet reported the interview almost 24 hrs later. They may start soon:) I checked (tesfanews, alenalki, dehai…haven’t heard of it yet). Shabait re-iterated that a “contract” has been signed (no clue with whom on what…take a guess)

      Well, I always knew IA would crawl back pro-Ethiopia eventually, it happened.


      • welde

        Mr Haile,
        I think Mr. Haile, Isayas is a man who knows Eritrea and Eritreans very well and inside out than all the opposition put together, that’s why he can say and do anything and come out a hero. He has a credential-he sacrificed his life for Eritrea.
        My question to you and all the opposition is, which do you prefer to be part of Eritrea, Badme or Tsorona? The choice is yours.
        Have you thought about the people of Tsorona? Isayas knows what to do with them, what about you? Do you really prefer GERD to your people? You see unless you state clearly your position on the border issue, no one will take your essay seriously.
        If you want to be taken seriously you should articulate your position on the border issue.
        Which one do you prefer, Badme or Tsorona? The people of Tsorona or the people of Badme?
        When you ponder the response, remember the people of Tsorona have fought in the Gedli struggle for independent, and further more they have voted 99.9% in the 1993 referendum to be part of Eritrea. They have fought and died for Eritrea and they have voted to belong to Eritrea. Are you going to abandon them? Are you going to exchange them to an alien people who do not want to be part of Eritrea? On the contrary, the people of Badme did not participate in the fight for independent and more than that they haven’t participated in the 1993 referendum, and do not want to be part of Eritrea.
        The choice is very clear, what say are you? Badme or Tsorona? The people of Tsorona would like to know your position. Because deep down they know Isayas is not going to abandon them. However they don’t have confidence in the position of the opposition, their view is not clear, so they want to know your say.
        The Ethiopian’s position has been all along clear –let’s discuss to demarcate. The GERD issue you mentioned in your thread is secondary, because the benefit is sky high for both people and countries.
        Good Luck

      • yegermal

        Been waiting for the proverbial “circle” we knew DIA would reach at some point. Unfortunately, the Eritrean people the so called “jeganu hizbi” won’t know what hit us until we will “all” become refugees or IDP. DIA was an envoy from the get go and has executed the “grand mission” while we were sleeping on the wheel and clapping like a bunch of robots when we should’ve reacted immediately when we were being taken to the slaughter house step-by-step. Yeah, so much for “pride” and “Jegnenet”. Jeganu are those that react by any means necessary the instance their rights are violated…Jeganu are the “arab springers”!

        • yegermal

          Pls read “full circle”

      • belay

        Dear Haile,
        We all know by now that IA is unpredictable some times and does things as he wish and feel like and he can change things round with out any warning.(Gedli Style) if you know what I mean.
        Ofcourse I don’t trust IA for a second for obvious reasons.But I am also desperate to normality between the two countries.As you always say,The opposition of Eritrea are taking their time or warring with each and IA doing Cuda or Telhit in the middle and they can’t even see him.Look the comments,it is becoming entertainment for some.
        Any way,if I can’t get it from the opposition,I have no choice,I might as well accept it from IA,that is in theory.Believe me,IA is only saying this to hear,what the nation and diaspora says.
        Definitely I rather buy it from you Haile.About turning off the switch by our side,you can’t do that to your customers,it is suicides,Haile,Eritrea is a neighbour and Family member country,that is how I see it.
        Thanks for your sober response,and thanks for being a very good teacher for us all,definitely to me.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    One of the big favour isayas has done to Ethiopia is the war 1998 despite the sacrifice of hundred strong and best children of eri-ethiopia and the immidiate consquences.

    Already in 1997 cellebration of Adwa victory the contribution of King Minilik was started to be broadcasted like befroe by Ethiopian national radio and tv With ethiopian flag. From calling the flag of ethiopia as a piece of clothe and plan of demolishing the minilik monument and shift to unite ethiopia under the same flag was not difficult to notice the negative surprise at least for the secratary of the then Amahra state president. I have no idea how amhara state had cellebrated the frist 5 adwa victory since tplf and eplf took Power. But that day i was in bahir dar an not only addis Ababa but Bahir Dar also was covered by ethopian flag from head t toa and tv and radio honoring the King. The secratry said opnely and loud enough ‘I tought we have done With this nonsens’ and her irritation was Crystal Clear to be noticed. isayas when he declared the war he was more commitited on People like her than his own militray. Only the thinking of what he was upto is shivering me even now after 15 years. Then came and went 1998 and the rest was history. Since then ethiopoians wheather they are satified With tplf or not they dwell on their unity more to tackel a devil like isayas.

    Now Eritrea has a Power houses of pfdj, the oppostion in Ethiopia and the Bologna Groups. There is no doubt ethiopias frist Choice would be the one already cooperates and Works With ethiopia. But that doesnt exclude the others. If pfdj Connects its Electric grids, let the ethiopian banks roam eritra, open the boarder and let People do their daily rutines like they used to, penetrate the real state market of Eritrea, import and export People use the potential of the two counries, etc then God knows what Bologna or any eritrean oppostion are going to do but the ethiioipan government hand shakes iayas and life continues. The only regrate would be the eritreans in Eritrea hand cuffed while their Brothers in South have accumulated experience in all aspects of life. isayas prefers this than to be humuliated by his ‘own’ People like Gadi. Who knows he could surprise us by saying it was his idea in the first Place except that meles betrayed him.

  • Asmerome

    Selam Saleh J
    Anybody can air his view and criticize Ethiopia as much as one wants too and one can give all kind of fancy speeches to satisfy his audience The question is by doing this was the needed result achieved ??
    Do we really have identified what our problem is ? Do we have a workable solution to our problem??
    To be honest unless we identify our problem how on earth are we going to find a solution .
    Just blaming others is not going to be a solution , have we organized ourselves with a minimum goal and where we hindered from achieving it
    We should focus on solving our problem while targeting the ruthless dictator back home . Each opposition group has its own demand expecting the Ethiopians to fulfill it and each opposition criticize Ethiopia according to his interest and this is what sounds unrealistic why not clean our house first and blame others later . Let us assume the Ethiopians take your view you think that will be the end of blaming them even from other opposition groups ?? I will leave it for you
    We have a long way to go we must be mature enough first to identify our problem which is mistrust ,suspicion and disrespect toward each other and be bold enough to find a solution or at least minimize it to the lowest manageable way . You know it as we all do our opposition let alone to have a one voice they can’t even sit on a meeting without tearing each other ,so how do you expect them to be trusted
    By a foreign nation No Ethiopian official drugged our opposition to Ethiopia and nobody is making them stay in Ethiopia if you have a better avenue why don’t you air your view

    • Chef

      Well said. Seven days now since the culmination of the gathering, which was proudly advertised via this website. Yet, we are still kept in the dark. What was the consensus that SG helped to build at Bologna, if at all there was any? I would have liked SGJ to tell us more about the contribution of each panellist. What is the meaning of silence, for so long?

  • Dibe Kulu

    Mr. Gadi always demonstrates a special skill of connecting to & capturing the attention of his intended audiences! This masterfully written speech was not an exception but rather the rule. In my opinion, it is a timely and candid observation of a concerned citizen regarding the situation we find ourselves.

    It is like a prophecy becoming true, to note the divergent reactions his beautifully constructed and respectfully presented advice has generated. It shows how much farther away from his(our)envisioned goal we as a people are! May God/Allah help us overcome our difficulties…whatever they may be.

  • haile


    Most of you must be recovering from the dizzying long nonsense answers of IA in his latest interview. I would have ignored it, if it was one of the regular annual sermon on how there is nothing worth talking about in Eritrea and how the “inhabitants” are being too spoiled. Well, this one was sudden and out of calendar, so I thought I’d listen in.

    I wouldn’t wish that type of treatment on any one of the Awatistas, hence here is a summary:

    Slow rains and related agricultural issues:

    The nation doesn’t produce to met its needs, there is infrastructure that can be considered worth mentioning. Also, instead of selling raw products consider of making processed one’s that can increase revenue. The country doesn’t and can’t meet its energy needs to do so however.

    On Construction

    The cement factory is paralyzed, again due to lack of energy. The recent announcement is a mere pilot project. Not intended to meet national needs of housing, who buys them is irrelevant. The project depends on the 24hr work of the cement factory, which in turn depends on separate power source that could be made exclusively dedicated to it.

    On lack of electricity

    There is no capacity to invest hard currency to buy kwh electricity the usage of which may not generate profit. My clarification here: if you gonna use x kwh of electricity while using the washroom, that is pathetic business sense:]

    On lack of drinking water

    People should go to where the water is, they shouldn’t just expect to for the water to come to them. You can’t just swim in a ‘Birmil’ (water barrel) of water in Asmara when someone somewhere may be going thirsty for months on end.

    On private sectors and those who invested but later revoked their licenses

    [On this section IA acts really agitated and seeming to be to slap the journalist for asking it]

    Private sector is word game. He allowed it before but found that everyone was a thief and crook (he cited that all sector ministries can attest to that, which he appeared to encourage the journalists to go and verify with other ministries and not just take his word!]

    On free zone:

    This is just a theory and not too bad as such. In practice we are no where near providing the other things needed to run it.

    Use of ports

    The ports are old and dilapidated, no energy is available to drive their development.

    On Fisheries

    We don’t have fishery capacity.

    Second part of this unprovoked abuse will continue tomorrow.


    [From moderator: and after the abuse, we will combine the two and it will be a front page article. It would be abusive to ask readers to dig through the Bologna comments to find it. ]

    • haile

      correct: there is “NO” infrastructure that can be considered worth mentioning.


      The recent “constructions” announcement is a mere pilot project.

    • haile

      Ok ok… moderator, I will edit and provide the full shortened content of the abuse and make it easy on you 🙂

      • Salyounis

        Hey Haile:

        I will save the rest after your article is published but for now:

        1. I love kbur presidents Tigrinya word for “inter-connected”
        2. I also love “resnawi” ( aytrsen indo)
        3. When he was asked about importing energy, he couldn’t talk directly about Ethiopias Millenium dam directly. First he talked about Sudans energy source, then Ethiopias, then Djiboutis “geo thermal” (there was another awesome Tigrinya word for that but I forget it now). That’s absolute stubborn Eritrean pride. Before u mention the most logical(Ethiopias hydro power) you talk about Sudans improbable and end it with Djibouti’s highly unlikely.

        Issu is like the consultant you hire who gives brilliant answers for all the things wrong with the country. He just doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) that the natural conclusion to this is: fire the CEO because he is good at analysis but he can’t execute!

        Do your thang Haile:)


        • yegermal

          How about “kilwulaw mihdera” …crisis management? Can’t stand DIA’s literal translation from English , ededdd. The tsilul prez comes on TV every year to tell us that Eritrean economic model for the past 22 years has been nothing but “crisis management” . But why did he not blame the man in the moon for such a predicament this time around? Susa alata…stay tuned!

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Yegermal:

            Dammit, nogodai serik-kaya! You stole my thunder. I had a whole bit about “kiluwlaw mihdrera alena”, but I have to forget it now:)

            The only reason to listen to the interviews of Isaias Afwerki is to figure out what new Tinglish words he has invented. This is fun–as long as you forget that the man telling us about all the things that are wrong with the country has one duty: to fix all that’s wrong with the country. All we get now is colorful and detailed descriptions of the problems, and why they can’t be solved. But nothing that says: here’s the problem and this is how I solved it. Can you imagine what a political opponent would do to him if there was a contested campaign for the presidency of the State of Eritrea?


          • rodab

            Yegermal & Sal,
            It’s not kiliwlaw mihdera, it’s mihdera kiliwlaw. Two completely different meaning just like crisis management and management crisis. You guys are the ones messing Tigrinya up, not PIA.

          • Salyounis


            The part I remember is “klwlaw nemeHader alena”. (we are managing crisis.)
            The point, though, whether it is “kiliwlaw mihdera” or “mihdera kilwlaw”: they are both direct translations from English. And this, unfortunately, is what some (including me) listen to the interviews for: not because they expect any answers to Eritrea’s crisis, but new translated words he will use to describe them.


        • haile

          selam Saay

          Geo-thermal – I think he said it “Tihte bayta’Awi memenchewi tseAt” 🙂 and Mai-ku’o was something repeatedly used, I assumed it meant sprinklers in agro-infrastructures?

          Regards possible jobs for IA, initially I was thinking of “a Think-tank/analyst” but then started to think of “a civil engineer” (that was after he started to detail the floor plans of houses and possible nay shiqaq, nay meskot, nay naHsi accessories). Later on, I thought of “an electrician” because he was able (at least in theory) to build several regional/zonal power grids (I was worried that he would end up suggesting that he was also planning to export to the rest of Africa and the middle east). Finally, I suspected that he might be an opposition, because if you really listen in and connect what he was complaining about, it was the grievances of PFDJ owned companies. He said the biggest victim of the power shortage is the Cement factory! and not the citizens that you now meet at night time walking around with their mobile phone flash lights. If some one is walking without turning their head lights on (mobile flash lights) at night, you need to quickly cross the street, as you risk getting showered by some drunk walking while peeing straight ahead 🙂 (seriously, it happened).


          • Salyounis

            Haha, Haile:

            Those of us who have taught a class or two know the student. That student. You ask an essay question, open ended, no timing, like “Discuss what contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire” and the student writes a 50 page essay of “throw everything to the mud and see what sticks!” That’s our Issu and the question is “Discuss why Eritrea is such a basketcase” and he goes on and on like a student aiming for an A, forgetting the whole time that he is the President of the Republic of Eritrea.”



          • Abe z minewale

            Are you attending a wedding (the 3rd day) you should start the sentence with SAme saMe

        • selam Sal,

          When Shabians started using the word ‘Dihre Bayta’ I thought they were saying the “butt” in sophisticated (polite) Tigrinya . Later on, I found out it was a direct translation of the English word “Background”. Every week, there is a new and ajeeb Tigrinya if you have the patience to watch festival, and interview videos.


        • Sabri

          I also like his usage of tigringa language. I used to take note to every word I don’t know while he speaks. There are many who can tigringa language. The problem is until now we don’t have language institution who create language standard. Our language experts don’t have a forum where they can discuss language. Now every expert assert his/her way of expression is right. In lack of common institution our tigringa experts are quarreling with each other. One of our experts is Tekie Tesfay. He is living in Eritrea and is open to criticize the usage of tigringa by Hadas Eritrea. Could be interesting to hear his opinion about Issayas tigringa. Another giant is Amanuel Sahle. He is now in Sweden. It is sad to see giant like Amanuel are in diaspora. In VOA interview recently he is saying he will move to Tigray to teach.


    • yegermal

      IMO the most important revelation of all was “Wala kab Ethiopia eti Millenium Dam zibehal delo wala nay dob shiger enda halewe kabu electricity kieghezie tedelye zikilkileni yelen”….. and this after the journo asked him the predictable “are you willing to buy electricity from neighboring countries?”…….Nahhh

      Translation: DIA sent all his well paid emissaries to diaspora the saw the seed,i.e., the news that Ethiopia might use Assab by proxy (via Qatar) and Eritrea gets electricity from Ethiopia in exchange. The seed has been watered and fertilized over the past few months and DIA is now harvesting the fruit. My suggestion is to skip Part 1a and go to Part 1b and listen repeatedly. DIA is almost announcing that he will buy Electricity from Ethiopia but falls short from disclosing what is in it for Ethiopia….. Eritrea is being sold in open market to the highest bidder, including Ethiopia, and the opposition is discussing silly slogan-oriented topics….grrrrrrrrrr. As Amaniel Eyasu correctly stated ” Eritrea, a country with no government and no opposition”… a country sans raison d’être

      • haile


        Negoda Saay kab sereqkaya let me throw in mine quickly natey’wn keylekemkaya 🙂

        1 – As you said he announced that he has no qualms to purchase electricity from Ethiopia.

        2 – He also said that the importance of the port of Assab goes beyond national and regional importance, it must be developed.

        3 – He also said “nezi nmgbar zedly sened wElat abd edna atyu alo” an agreements document to that effect is in our hand/possession.

        Well, I say that you are justified to raise the question 🙂

    • yegermal

      BTW, did you notice that his monologue is not announced (as shabait announced)of what his gov is planning to breathe life into the moribund economy, but rather an open live discussion with self (DIA)… while four stupefied journos pretend to take notes.

    • Sabri


      After you wrote the summary of IA interview would you please add your analysis?

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Bologna is a turning point in the Eritrean ghedil sympathizers history. Now after almsot 23 years it is Crystal Clear that derg was demolished not only by eritreans teghadali but by all eri-ethiopians With the help of the international community who have had enough of the derg system. 23 years of lie and deminishing the ethiopian contribution of the derg has got a fullstop by the very tagadali sympatiazers.

    Now how to cooperate and use the victory to its primary goal to the Peoples of the horn ignoring the empty noise. Those who doubt the oppositon who are active in ethiopia dont take over pfdj get prepare for a New toothless oppostion and enjoy the contingent as usuall.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      ‘the ethiopian contribution of the derg ‘ shall be read ‘the ethiopian contribution of the removal of derg’

  • Tesfabirhan Weldegabir Redie

    Great speech and very factual to the point as usual and I appreciate your point of mentioning other ports and not just stuck with the old ports we have. Eritrea needs more than 10 ports and hence the people can have access from where ever they are.

  • True eritrean at this time should only care about how everyone’s dignity in Eritrea restored.
    If it is going to take Ethiopia, America, Russia or shatan himself don’t matter.
    Enough is enough.

  • Akile Mille

    Saleh Gadi,

    Hands down! Really. Not so much for what you’ve posted on the above but for you’re a clever businessman. I am sure it was a rather ripe opportunity for you to sell your books in the event as you tap on the hyped-up albeit transient emotions of the young and unassuming participants. I really don’t want say much about the rather confused theme of the event but if I have to, I would say, Deng Xiaoping (the late premier of China) once famously said, “Weather it is black or white, as long as it catches a mouse, it is a good cat). Hope you got my drift but if you didn’t, Ethiopia is a means to an end. Nothing more nothing less. The Bologna motto remains anachronistic in terms as it is confusing its “working theme” with the Eritrean reality of the 1950s.

    • A. Benstar


      Sometimes, if it speaks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck:-) Somethings don’t change and if they do, all nations would be nothing from the foundation up:-) It doesn’t take an Eritrean to know who is a Weyane or its stooge as it doesn’t a rocket scientist to figure out a fool from the camp of Nsu or, was it, Esu:-). What ails people if Eritreans gather together under the most ut slongan of our Eritrean Time: Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems : Eritrea for Eritreans : Eritrea for the Eritrean people, fromt the Eritrean peopple, and by the Eritrean people is the way or the highway:-) Peace!

  • Mr. Gadi,
    When you stated,

    “Fine, we might risk losing what we achieved over the last two-decades. But what did we achieve over the last fifteen years by being in Ethiopia? NOTHING. There, we would lose nothing.”

    Are you suggesting that it is insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result,and thus the opposition should pack up and leave Ethiopia.

    Or, are you suggesting that the opposition has to use a different strategy to leverage Ethiopia given its proximity to Eritrea, and given the fact that Ethiopia shares common goals (cultures/language)with the opposition, and given the tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees who are directly affected by PFDJ.

    I agree with you if it is the later. Because, I don’t think failure to achieve a desired goal in the past is an indication that any future attempts are also doomed to fail.

    Let’s not forget that when it comes to fighting (with gun) against PFDJ it’s these refuges who would perhaps be the tip of an arrow and fight tooth and nail to keep their dignity. Who would like to spend his/her life in a refugee (in a third world country) for years? You and I and other Diaspora Eritreans would most likely be reluctant to go and fight. Let’s be honest.

    The past is prologue.

    • Common shared interest (the removal of the brutal dictator)

      (Culture/language ) is wrongly placed iin the above statmet although they are important elements.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      In Your dream that the poor fight for the sake of Your benefit. Instead they do all possible thing to come to where you are. I dont thing you need a degree to come to the west. And did not we see this before? When the vitctory comes you are the one to jump With Your drum!

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    ‘Compartmentalization is the enemy of unity’ said Gady. Is it the same as saying one Eritrea or Death. Is it bad to be the enemy of unity? To unite Eritrea must be Accept the compartmentalization of afar, kunama etc? In the world of Kunama, Afar etc it doesnt make sens at all these ethnic Groups must disected to fit the ‘needs’ of Eritrea or ethiopia for that matter. If isayas marched to take his kunama or afar teritory in 1998 how much respect he could have gotten instead he ended up his evil ‘endavour’ that is living in the blood of war. If he were successful, he could have been the leader of the United havoc states of civil war and hunger and Bologna could have been the center for coordinating the aid Food. Thanks God he was not successful.

  • Sabri

    Hi Emma and SG,

    I see two problems here. The issue Emma mentioned about the mistrust among the opposition is one and the second problem is Ethiopia. It is obvious the opposition have massive problem. Moving to Ethiopia doesn’t help settling their problem. Actually involving another country can deteriorate the already bad condition of the opposition. They have to be well organized and in a good shape before they approach Ethiopia or any other country for that matter. Regarding the second problem as you know many Eritreans are sceptic about the involvement of Ethiopia in the Eritrean issue. Not because of PFDJ’s propaganda. They are genuinely concerned. That is one of the reason why many are choosing silence. The atrocities committed by Ethiopia in the recent war, their failed attempt to take Assab by force and their unwillingness to accept the border verdict and implement accordingly concerns many Eritreans. This is a serious matter and the opposition has to respect people’s concern if they want to be taken as an alternative way in the eyes of the people. As I see it the nexus between Ethiopia and the eritrean opposition doesn’t bear fruit unless the above mentioned problems resolved amicably.

    Best regards,

    • Tesfamariam

      I think you are overwhelmed by PFDJ’s propoganda

    • A. Benstar

      Selam Sabri,

      Kidose and hatts off for your well articulated, clear, clean, forthright, and bold note! Peace and keep the good job of calling a spade a spade up and upholding not “my way” but “the right way” or the highway:-)

    • Abrham

      Dear Sabri,
      “Their failed attempt to take Assab by force”, Really? Do you have any evidence they want to take Assab from Eritrea? Amed afash do belu amharu!!!.

      • Unless one was dead for the last 20+ years there is nothing Woyane did not try to retake Assab!! They were about to declare their Abai tigrai manifesto or redeem their names in their so called federal Ethiopian audience…Party was aborted in every Woyane embassy world wide when their troops with the massive fenji regatch Oromo / Amhare fighters were stopped at Bure…!!! Their western masters were stunned when the mission they invested so heavily failed!!! So was crime minister Legesse Zenawi….

        I have no use or respect for the Woyane of Asmara (a.k.a PFDJ) either so do not think I have any biased opinion – I just love my Eritrea!!


        • A. Benstar


          Nice one:-)

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      I might not agree with the reasons you presented but what I know is that we should not have a relation where we are treated like beggars and our partners as alms givers. Unfortunately, some people are fine with that, walking on all fours to a meeting with our partners, they do it willingly and it doesn’t bother them.

    • Merhaba Sabri,

      What I hear so far is voice of confusion and cacophony played to divide our people. Why? because those who oppose to our “vicinity location” to the struggle couldn’t give us alternative venue except opposing without tangible proof. Let me reiterate again, that in our Diaspora be it in the opposition camp or in the over all of our community that eats our social fabric is the deadly disease called “Mistrust” – you may also characterize it as “social mutual mistrust.” Everyone is escaping from recognizing this deadly politics that crippled us from doing something to save our people.

      Dear Sabri, in all the meeting or conferences I have participated, I have seen them grouping in their “representative identity” arguing and defending their interest from suspicion and mistrust each other – to the extent sometimes we look each other as strangers form alien people.

      Interestingly enough, these all conferences or sitting together in a table do not posses the spirit of sincerity and honesty in their political heart. It is a political show that doesn’t attempt to tackle their mistrust ingrained in their politics for so long. Sabri, count my words like all the conferences and meeting seen in the past, the Bologna will pass a way without contributing a a sharp axe that bleeds the despot. Bologna reassured the comfort zone of certain groups, and as such we will also hear similar events eventually by other groups – as usual in a circular cascade motions to secure their comfort zones.

      But I will suggest a venue – some where in the far east countries very secluded area, who by the way do not know Eritrea and the politics of Eritrea – in order to avoid the perception of interference and neighbor nemesis that is stained in our mind.

      So Sabri, Join me to call for building trust. Believe me, nothing could be done without doing that. All the political speeches are only a political shows that reflects the state of being flat. In other words they are political platitudes that doesn’t address the real problem. Meheret Yewredelna.

      • T. Kifle

        Mr. Hidrat

        Is “mistrust” a symptom or an ailment? why is such deep mistrust among Eritreans to the point of non-speaking terms forgetting the noble idea of gathering around the same cause?

        As to me, mistrust is an effect not the cause. When everything seems failing to work, the aspirations of “proud” Eritreans will always have a reason or two to remain on spot, rationalizing why they are where they are. If Essias could not lend them a fighting stick Ethiopia can, hence, the blame. There is no doubt Ethiopia would like to influence on the making of Eritrea but not to the extent of the fears and misgivings of SGJ and others want us have believe. It’s a simple demand that the new Eritrea should remain harmless to the Ethiopian state. It has nothing to do with downgrading the “Eritrean pride”. The current leaders of Ethiopia understands, at least to the extent of SGJ, that dictating others is unprincipled, unproductive and brings about embarrassment in the end. So blame the polarization and compartmentalization within the socio-political space of Eritrea.

        The difference between you and Gadi, I think,seems to lie in the desires to be a politician and/or an activist. political leadership wrt interstate dealings is characterized by indirect, measured opinions,giving-in for some demands of the other party without jeopardizing the cardinal own objectives. But activists are bent in fighting for their declared “principles” and causes regardless of the consequences. SG wants to walk his head high by stirring the “pride” in Eritreans which is proved to be much intense when directed against Ethiopia than is being utilized in its absolute merits.

        with regards

      • Sabri

        Selamat Emma,

        Thank you for sharing your experience. I understand your concern about the mistrust existed among the opposition. Your suggestion to find an alternative venue far away from Ethiopia sounds good. However, the most important thing is when the opposition meets first of all they have to have common national agenda and try to solve the different issues within the context of national agenda. Without resolving this fundamental issue the opposition will continue to stuck in their problem. If they insist to move to Ethiopia in their fragile condition it is easy to be exploited. Moreover, nobody will take them as a credible opposition.


        • Kuburat Mr.Kifle & Sabri,

          Mr Kifle, I recognize “mistrust” is the effect and the cause is the “disfranchisement.” The problem is either they couldn’t feel the feverish mistrust expressed from disfranchisement or they don’t want to deal with it. So if they couldn’t feel or disregard the symptom how could I deal with cause? That is the dilemma I am in. All the hoopla and dishonest argument Of Saleh and many others are trying to camouflage the cause & symptoms that ails the current struggle by invoking nationalism and patriotism as if were not part of 30 years of struggle of nationalistic liberation and patriotism.Frankly speaking Nationalism and patriotism is not new to Eritreans.

          The other very important thing you touched in your comment was the difference of “activist and political leadership”. Activist advocate for his/her principled belief without taking into consideration the belief of others. While on the other hand political leaders must engage into dealing and wheeling or horse-trading with their counterpart to drive into a mutual benefits without comprimising the core interest of his/her nation. Therefore the whole problem with the opposition camp is they can’t go beyond activism even the so called political organizations.

          So Mr. Kifle it is not to far away that these two brotherly people will live side by side peacefully and advancing economically to overcome poverty and ignorance. These two people will be the center of economic development and commerce in the region.It has the strategic importance for the region and beyond. We have the burden to prove it make it realty.


          I still believe that there is no other alternative to our struggle than launching it from the vicinity of our people and that is “Ethiopia”. The venue I suggested is just to show them how poor our politics is to interact with the international world…..and to challenge if they are capable of devicing alternative venues. Bologna will not be the venue nor will it bring our people who reside in Ethiopia and middle eastern countries….it is all political bluffs. We have heard the participation was low that doesn’t match to all the advertisement aired and campaigned.

    • Sabri – I agree with you no sane Eritrean dead or alive will ever believe that Ethiopia had or will ever have any good intentions for Eritrea!! – this is not PFDJ brain washing – the Eritrean people are a lot wiser than the opposition think – Eritrean are caught between three rocks 1) corrupt and dysfunctional opposition, 2) Woyane of Mekele with the unflinching desire to implement their abay Tigrai manifesto and 3) the Woyanes of Asmara (aka PFDJ). If not mistaken awate and Ghedi are in the pockets of the Melkle woyane who have frequent flier miles to their moma Ethiopia….they have attended every negdet thrown by Woyane so far…


  • haile

    Selamat Comrade Saleh “Gadi” Johar

    Benvenuti! I hope you didn’t miss to venture to the Renaissance city of Florence. Its magnificence was, to great extent, the exploits of a feud that existed between two wealthy Florentine (Tuscan) families. The Uffizi Gallery which houses the earliest paintings of Michael Angelo [and many others] is only few minutes walk past Ponte Vecchio, with some of the world’s oldest and expensive jewelry shops lined on a bridge. The Ponte Vecchio is said to be the place where the practice of ‘Bankruptcy’ was invented. The Italian words ‘il banco’ meaning sellable goods were combined with the word ‘rotto’ meaning broken. Combined they are: banco-rotto (bankrupt). In practice merchants used to have their tables broken into pieces if they could not pay their debts. No table = not able to sell anything, so no money.

    Now, let me thank you first for a deep and thoughtful observations you made in your speech that you shared above. You made many powerful observations that it would mean to copy n paste a large portion of your text here to try to highlight them in my comments box. Hence, let me just say what an impressive speech.

    At a higher level, however, what is heralding right now amounts to clearly distinctive formations in the Eritrean opposition landscape. We can now see a trio-polar configuration, finally taking shape: the opposition inside Eritrea that is yet to be fully discovered (but surely exists), the Ethiopia linked opposition and the Bologna opposition that is framed to reflect the core sentiments of the majority of the Eritrean diaspora. There are, indeed, fundamental distinctions among these three groups and it would make great service to humility and truthfulness, to candidly acknowledge the arms length nature of the underlining relationships.

    There is no point one side trying to convince the other that they really aren’t differing in as much, and vice versa. Yes, the difference is fundamental. Let’s affirm and acknowledge it. And free everyone to think on how they can collaborate for a common objectives, with the differences recognized and respected. Ultimately, the citizens of Eritrea shall have the final say. As it should, really!


    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar


      Unfortunately, this was a working trip, hence, not much time to visit the beautiful places you mentioned. However, I would like to think that maturity is inevitable and I agree with you that soon there would be a real connection with the inside (as opposed to the make believe boasting that many bought into for years). However, unless we acknowledge the real differences that are crippling the nation and the opposition, we will still be in the gam-mann mode. As for the blocks, I think it is very fluid; and those who are in Ethiopia are not all driven by Ethiopia, many are just pragmatic, not the few Made In Medeber. At the end, I hope that we would all regain our sanity and not be so arrogant as to ignore the millions of stakeholders. The important things is that we are no the underdogs anymore.


  • M Aman

    Salam Gadi
    You stated ‘’ let the Ethiopians worry about their interest, you worry about Eritrean interest. Ethiopia doesn’t need amateur Eritrean diplomats to advance its cause, it is able to do so on its own; it is upon the eighty-something million Ethiopians to advance its interests’’ and yet you are lecturing them (1.Transfer the Eritrean opposition portfolio from the intelligence people to a political office, such as the ministry of Foreign affairs 2.Close all the oppositions office allowing small representatives. 3. Reallocate the opposition in North Ethiopia .4. Provide them with diplomatic assistance and facilitate channels to the diplomatic missions located in Addis.5.Stop dealing with dozens of three- person organizations .6.Provide the opposition with broadcast.
    Dear Gadi, if you claims Ethiopia in No need of amateur Eritrean diplomats, why you reckon they are in much needs of amateur Eritrean political advisor to give them such suggestion (can be read orders) Yegermana alow!!!

    • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

      M. Aman,
      I am airing my views as an Eritrean, defending Eritrean interest, not advising them or talking on their behalf. I hope now you do not need ktgrrem 🙂

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    When do people say a trivial thing like ‘Germany for germans’? And the same goes for ‘eritreans problmes by eritrean solutions’.

    But when few die hard nazi Germany people say that millions mixed races of Germany children shiver to Death because they get the Clear Message under the trvial slogan.

    Leave alone the sudanese, ethiopians and many involve in helping eritreans even eritreans discussing what is this sudden urge for the trivial.

    Is the opposition has decided the pfdj eritrean self Reliance, as one eritrean scholar put it?

    Do the Bologna excutive comitte decide to dectate ethiopia?

    It is a heart breaking for people like Gadi or isaias once in a while accepting ethiopia as a friendly/Family state for eritreans what ever their heart means other wise.

    What surprises me more is the contrast between the monster Picture they have for Ethiopia and their expectaion from Ethiopipa. Their expectation from Ethiopia is like a son who abandon his devoted mother just becasue she is poor and still expect love and tenderness when he needs it.

    What these types of eritreans need is a crule ethiopia which Close her border in disguise of Security problem due to terrorists send by isayas, deport all non-ethiopian-eritreans, use its force to demark the boarder where ethiopias interest is respected both by ethiopians and the international community and show the ungreatfull eritreans the ethiopia they Draw in thire minds. That way the Whole world know what eritrean solution for eritreans problem.

    • asgedom

      [Moderator: this your last warning. Your nick, is asgedom, not “serak mobaE baElu Ylafalef”. If you do not use asghedom next time, you will be banned]

      Eritrea does not lease its arable land to foreign exploiters for 2 dollars a hectar. even the former(dictator of Nigeria) Olusegun Abasanjo just to name one bought a land as big as Switzerland for throw away price.

  • All those Eritreans, who are counting on the help of ” Ethiopia, ” are, wittingly/unwittingly, falling into the trap of the ugly past, which we rectified twenty two years ago through tremendous agony of the Thirty Years War of Liberation.

    As in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, there was no genuinely called Ethiopian Government but Amhara supermacists, and also today, there is no Ethiopian Government to speak of but woyane tyranny. This is a fact unless one does not want to see the obvious.

    It is a fact that for some Eritreans pinpointing Isaias Afewerqi as Tigrawai has been a taboo. Why? Probably because of possible backlash from woyane, who I firmly believe, has been secretly working with Isaias Afewerqi to undermin Eritrea as means to their sinister end.

    Are there plausable evidences to support my claim? There are plenty. To mention but a few:

    His witch-hunts on Eritrean intellectuals during the Liberation War,

    The unncessary and illegal War of 1998 he launched,

    The fact that he still lies that the war he launched was in self-defense against woyane invasion which never happenned as confirmed by the Claim Commission, which he duly accepted and signed.

    It is crystal clear that what the oppression the supermajority of Ethiopians and all Eritreans are going through emmanates from the same people,Tegaru, as proxy of foreign powers. Any one who does not see this is doomed for rude awakening.

    Then the question becomes: Can woyane, the opressive ruler of Ethiopia, help the Eritrean Opposition against its own nature and interest?

    Only the naive and born-yesterday would say, yes.

    Those of us who are well versed on the treachery of Haile Selase and woyane say otherwise. Thanks God, our people at home are with us on this point.

    • Yodita

      Dawit M (ZeyHlel!!!)

      Is it really sinister that the Weyane are stimulating and positively driving Ethiopia towards a constructive transformation visible for all to see. Is it sinister that there sprung up, in the last decade, some 25 universities which are in the process of doubling up in the next few years? These higher learning institutions, are brewing an educated youth that will fight tooth and nail to ensure that there is liberty and justice and equitable distribution without using firearms. They will not waste their energy and time on dying concepts like one is Tigraway or Amhara, or Oromogna or Moslem or Christian; concepts that were vital factors for divide and rule bzemen Eni Eni – colonizers (unfortunately lingering still in our times thanks to obsessive persons who see the world only in that manner thus allowing for tyrants to thrive).

      I just read and re-read an article by Selam Kidane at Asmarino on the Bologna meeting and why we find ourselves in the predicament we do. If I were you, I would read and re-read it until I get the gist of what it is all about and also to realize that it is totally different from your relentless judgemental stand that the culprit of everything wrong in Eritrea and Ethiopia is none other than Tegaru.

      Nai bHaKi meHret yewrd!!!!!

      • Yodita,

        You are absolutely right, I never give up, but again, if I do, then my Eritrawinet becomes questionable because no genuine Eriterean submits to any form of injustices, no matter what.

        As you alleged, Woyane might have constructed a number of Universities in Ethiopia. I do not doubt your assertion at all, and in my attempt to accentuate your point, let me add the following facts woyane also did:

        1. It authored the current Ethiopian Constitution that allows nationalities for self-determination up to Cessation.

        2. It signed to abide by the EEBC decision as Final and Binding

        Did woyane honor any of the above?


        The people of Oromo and Ogaden opted to avail themselves of their Constitution Right, but woyane, instead of honoring its commitment, rained them with incarcerations and bullets….

        Eritrea, honoring its prior commitment, accepted the decision of the EEBC and expressed its readiness to implement it but woyane reneged, despite its earlier flamboyant posturing as proponent of International Law while painting Eritrea as aherent of the Law of the jungle.

        Why then woyane built so many Universities?

        If woyane did not honor the provisions of its Constutions, did not honor the Final and Binding contract it signed with Eritrea to abide by the EEBC decision, the Universities it has built too can only be empty concrete without the essentials.

        Remember, who exterminated EPRP in Asimba in 1977, Tigrai, and why? Woyane was who.

        The reason: Because they were Ethipians. long before it conviniently flipped to appear like an Ethiopian, it was fighting the Ethiopian army to liberate its country, Tigrai, a

        It exterminated EPRP( Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party)
        because they were Ethiopians in Tigrai.

        No one should trust woyane!!!!

  • A. Benstar

    Hello all,

    I would like to inject the relevant points to what is being discussed here from a note I posted elsewhere in this site earlier with slight and hasty editorial changes following below:

    Today, Eritrea is liberated but its people are being ruled by one of the most barbaric regimes the world has ever seen, the so called PFDJ with an insane and despotic man called Esaias at the helm. Meanwhile, Eritrea’s arch-enemy in the form of the so called TPLF/EPRDF , aka Weyane, is still playing its old and ugly tricks by creating discord and disunity in the Eritrean body-polity while at the same time undermining Eritrea’s territorial sovereignty by refusing to let the Ethiopian-Eritrean border be demarcated on the ground according to the rule of international law that he and all concerned agreed to abide and live by! In this connection, it is important for Eritreans and others concerned to always keep in mind that Eritrea was and is a stated created by Italian colonization, a colonial construct like other entities in its class, and deserves to get what is legally, historically, militarily, politically, diplomatically, and morally hers as a nation in the making.

    Having said the foregoing statements, suffice it to add the fact that Eritreans liberated their land with world acclaim but have lost their freedom to the whims of one evil man whom many considered as their savior and hero. However, reality struck hard and most of those who served, support, and followed Esaias in his singular drive to absolute power have belatedly come find out that he was a vicious wolf come garbed in sheep’s clothing at the helm of a national plague that is now known as the “PFDJ”. The EPLF, aka Shaebia, was a possessed organization right from the get go and it said and did what its master Esaias wanted said and done without ifs and or buts of any significance from any quarter of his organization whatever! The old EPLF or Shaebia now named the “People’s Front for Democracy and Justice” has brought neither democracy nor justice but has turned the lives of the Eritrean people into a living hell on Earth and rules them like hated slaves and beggars in their own country for which they paid dearly!

    Proceeding in tandem with what is said above, Esaias’s Shaebia or EPLF and its TPLF or Weyane sister organization conspired to eject the ELF out of the Eritrean battlefield with the support of regional and international powers and both soon defeated the Derg who was ruling and ruining both Eritrea and Ethiopia and took power in their respective countries! Now, 32 years later, some of the former adherents of old Shaebia want to destroy its new self by siding with its Weyane old friends and the remnants of their old enemy or the old ELF that both destroyed as foreign and dangerous to the realization of Eritrean unity and independence or so said the liars from both sides of the Mereb River! Now, Shaebia babies, be they young or old, generals or journalists, doctors or janitors, or simple fools that were used as tools are the last ones to raise an accusing finger at those who have been and are still airing the simple truth that has been out there for all that cared to see right from the outset of DIA’s march of death and destruction on his way to absolute power in Eritrea! The bitter truth is that a large part of the Eritrean people without regard to their religion, region, ethnicity, and the like served, supported, and followed Esaias and his Shaebia till the ugly reality started unfolding and clubbing anyone who dared to stand on DIA’s march of death and destruction to his eventually doom! The old beast called Shaebia has now been baptized as the PFDJ and still keeps devouring anyone that voices a word against the cult master as it did devour those who tried to stop Esaias and his Shaebia from their singular march to absolute power which brought the Eritrean people to the miserable and hellish lives they are leading today!

    It is said that people make their own governments and what people deserve is what they make, be it a government or otherwise! Reality is hard to swallow when it finds you on the wrong side of history and those who in some way or another served Esaias to gain absolute power in deciding the fate of the Eritrean people have to first recognize that they have helped and served Esaias the demoniac to build a plague of an organization called the EPLF or Shaebia that is now destroying the people of Old Eritrea in order to build the people of DIA and his New Eritrea on the graves of the Old! Many of Esaias former servants, supporters, and followers have now abandoned the sinking ship and plague after they saw that the fate of those whom Esaias and his Shaebia or PFDJ eradicated was coming home to roost and what went around started coming around to visit them! Some of these have either bowed down to the boss in repentance for their sins, many got thrown in jail to rot or die for finding the gusts to question their former hero and boss, and many took to flight and are making self-serving and gutless noises from their places of refuge and safety as if they have not much to do with bringing about the problems that are bedeviling the Eritrean people like never before! Now, it is too late to cry foul on others and pretend that one is clean from being party to what brought about the tragedy that has been and is still befalling the Eritrean people without let up!

    In closing, suffice it to say that the state of the Eritrean opposition to PFDJ’s despotic rule in Eritrea is, to say the least, on the talking stage where everybody seems to sing the same song but don’t know or don’t want to know how to go about dancing to their tunes on the ground in order to bring about the changes they seek by themselves as civic Eritrean citizens in the making. The Eritrean opposition to Esaias’s diabolical rule in Eritrea have yet to learn how to make its talk grow hearts that feel right and legs that walk straight before God and their own kind according to the principles of the rule of law that they seek to establish in order to govern their collective national lives instead of living in a delusional world of their own myopic creation where their politics mostly goes around circles of trivial and sectarian group or personal interests for decades on end. Democracy is to freedom as law is to justice and the dictator and the law-breaker are one and the same: What is good for the goose is goose is, also, good for the gander as what is good for DIA his Shaebia must also be good for Weyane and their Ethiopia, if you will:-)

  • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

    To anyone who might have missed this part of my speech:

    “….My answer would be: let the Ethiopians worry about their interest, you worry about Eritrean interest. Ethiopia doesn’t need amateur Eritrean diplomats to advance its cause, it is able to do so on its own; it is upon the eighty-something million Ethiopians to advance its interests. I love Ethiopia and Ethiopians (less the chauvinists among them) and I recognize we are stuck being neighbors. Many of us wish for a relation that works… one based on respect and mutual benefits. Since I feel our alliance with the Ethiopians advances our interests, I like to deal with it in total honesty. Apart from that, we shouldn’t tolerate indignity from the Eritrean tyrant, and naturally, we shouldn’t take it from anyone else….”

    • Eyob Medhane

      “…. I recognize we are stuck being neighbors….”

      Gash Saleh.

      You are “stuck” being my neighbor? Come on, What do you mean ‘stuck’ ?! I am totally adorable. Being my neighbor is fun…. I’ll even let your kids play with mine, let your wife borrow stuff, have coffee till the third cup with my wife and conspire together against our other neighbors. ( those neighbors who don’t mow their lawns) don’t you want that? 🙂

      • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

        > Gadi is trying to say the two faces of dime. two faces of dime – if they hate each other and no talks, no mutual works both will be hurt. Reason – they can not split and can not move away and can not do their separate business. therefore rather than fuel differences and MtuKuTaK on a daily basis that could produce bruises and loss of opportunity, mutual work and understanding is the best for both nations.
        > for the last 52 years of war the Hagerseb and the uneducated classes(included Kebesa and MeTaHt people ) paid the highest price. Please help the few surviving family stand again.
        > Esayas Afewerki become president at the expense of 70,000 young people deaths. the president has intact family – none of his sibling or his own children died in war. Overall he is shameless, greedy dictator.

      • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

        Deal Eyob, provided you don’t ask me to mow your lawn. But conspire against the other neighbors is enticing–I am sure you have Switzerland in your mind. And no Tre Sga between neighbors, the only thing that might spoil the envisioned alliance 🙂

        On stuck? I mean similar as in “I am stuck being my father’s son” I cannot change him even if I wanted, not that I want that. Similarly, not that I want to replace Ethiopia with_____ (fill the blank)

    • bukretsion

      what happen in Sinai is indignity.
      more then 80 thousands eritrean refuge in ethiopia is also indignity.
      i don’t understand what they mean by indignity.

    • Araya

      “I recognize we are stuck being neighbors”
      Gadi; that is all I hear while I am in Addis Abeba. Almost all Tigryans would tell me we are stuck as neighbors. You know what, No! True, we are neighbors and we can exist as such. The problem is you have some bums who claim themselves as Eritrean opposition and who are busy kissing Tigryans behind.
      The Tigryans respect PIA more than any so called oppositions. We are not stuck, let us do our Eritrean thing and let them do their things.
      The problem is they suffer from inferior complex and they will try to make themselves relevant in Eritrean case as long as they find that dead opposition. No wonder they respect and fear PIA beyond anything.
      Trust me.
      as they say
      “Ye Semenu Jegna” …. when mentioning PIA

      • Eyob Medhane

        “Ye Semenu Jegna”

        Really? They say that? In Amharic? Why? They don’t speak Tigrinya? 🙂

        • L.T

          Hi hi Iyob..””Ye Semenu Jigna”..do you mean Dubalii?I read his “I see Nakfa”story in 80s.When we had said “God”they always meant”Satan”

      • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

        There are people who think and believe Esayas is Hero, Jegna. Infact he journeyed in the course of the armed struggle as any Tegadalay. we need to scrutinize all of his works, saying, his characters, his disagreements with his comrades. the conclusion is he was the top rank tegadalay in addition he was MenDeLay Temen.
        1. His contribution is 0%
        2. He was poor in solving disputes the only he knew was kill. Do you know that ToF was founded by him – Esayas Afewerki.
        What is ToF? – Organizing new sudden force about 5-10. one fighter from each department or division. No one know who’s order and for what and where. when the picked fighters ask where and why it is illegal and no answer. trying to know the mission of ToF is punishable by death. It is best to shut up. These picked for ToF never return to their division. One example – Abrahim Affa was the victim of ToF.
        Teklay Aden the time he dare to talk back Esayas he narrowly escaped death by ToF. Teklay Aden girlfriend quickly taken from KfLtat and killed in the hot frontlines. Who killed her whether enemy bullet or ToF unknown but known is she died a few weeks after Teklay escaped.

  • Genet

    Dear Salah,
    You said, “Residing in a country 25 hours flight away from Eritrea, there is no type of struggle one can wage except a peaceful struggle..” . My brother was here in the USA in early 1970s and joined the Eritrean fighters. I am sure you can join the Eritrean fighters too.Do not make excuses.

    Haftka Genet

    • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

      Eritrean had enough of war and loss. No one likes this to happen again. Getting help from Ethiopia may not as it is for war. When there is real confrontational force against Esayas regime these army officials, high rank officials overall the majority of the hostage may turn against esayas and the loss could minimized. Including there will be compromise. Begin small move but real. KaH ZbL TiYt AyKhLun Eyu BseLam KwDa’E Eyu.

    • Semret

      to fight who? To kill our and sisters and brothers who are forced in military by isias?

    • Zegeremo

      lol…to fight whom?


  • Hailat,

    Is that the report you were expecting from SGJ? Well…well..well, I don’t agree on his report – on the conspiracy theory and so called heavy hand of Ethiopia on the oppositions. The “real problem” is our “social mistrust” that reflected from the marginalization of our social groups. Sal took him long to finally understand that we are dragged by our mutual mistrust (something he mentioned toward the end of his report and in fact he offered to us RX – for solutions). Instead focusing on that issue (which is our social problem) he indirectly offered an escape-goat excuses to the incompetent organizations. They aren’t the problem but Ethiopia is, is in itself an absurd argument without substantiated by tangible fact as to what exactly Ethiopia did to weaken the opposition.

    To those who believe on this conspiracy theory, here I am, will ask you to find another venue other than Ethiopia to unite us. Probably that might help you to read the actual problem (our internal problem) and to eventually find whether Ethiopia was the problem to us or not. To SGJ – The Ethiopian interference will continue to be his belief to our malaise as far as they are in Ethiopia. But the truth of the matter is our “socio-mutual mistrust” that weakened our struggle.

    Sal,you want “Ethiopia to transfer the Eritrean opposition portfolio to a political office, such as the ministry of Foreign affair.” Remember sal both offices work for the Ethiopian interest so it doesn’t matter which office is responsible to deal with our oppositions. Let me give you an example: During our armed struggle I was assigned to work in Sudan for sometime. Everything we dealt was with the ministry of Interior (the security and intelligence dept.). You don’t want me to tell you why. But, any foreign organization’s activities inside any country must be handled by the security and intelligence dept to watch and avoid anything that harms their nation. How about if they give them from the security of the foreign office dept? Isn’t it all the same. What we need is where ever we are we must advocate for the interest of our country. There is no arm twisting , it is all negotiation. That is also part of the struggle to convert everything to mutual benefits. There is no country that will help us without looking their interest in the process of politico-diplomacy, be it in the near future or in the long over whole mutual interest in the long run. There is no politico-diplomacy that end only for one’s self-interest.Period.

    These all hoopla sensational publicity to look more nationalist and patriotic than others by creating a slogan “Eritrean solution to Eritrean problem” was devised to divide the opposition camp and to keep Ethiopia as permanent enemy in the mind of Eritreans. Who asked a solution from foreign entity for Eritrean problem, Except a supplementary help to expedite the struggle and emancipate our people from the grip of Tyranny? As we stand, the Eritrean politics has a long way to mature and know the dynamics of nations and international relationships. Meheret Yewredelna!!!

    • Kokhob Selam

      Amen, Amanuel Hawey.
      And again when I read I notice Mr.Saleh is trying it in more diplomatic way. He has said it directly and indirectly. But I strongly ask our brother Saleh to be frank with those who play the game.
      Yes, I don’t have to use to much diplomacy with who know the truth because they are purposely repealing the story. And by the way I don’t think those who are moving always to return us back again and again will get results because Eritrean case will be solved by people who work on the ground practically.
      And the truth is just there open and clear. Who the hell is and was against the stand of “Eritrean problem Eritrean solution”. Wasn’t when our few but real fighters were unable to move in Sudan (a country without clear stand always), when Ethiopian government start to think win-win solution under leader Meles (rest in peace), we start to communicate with Ethiopians and after long desiccations we decide to open our office there?
      Did they think Ethiopian are working to solve their problems without their participation? Dreaming? They (Ethiopians) only give their helping hand to let us work united but we fail. Ethiopians are much matured than our useless politicians who change their stand like chameleon or those like bat who stand here and there ( I am a rat because I am mammal and I am a bird because I fly) and when things go wrong (I am not…)
      The enemy is there in Asmara and is telling us come and challenge me. Whoever is ready to bring back our dignity can start from any corner suitable and from any type of political stand to free Eritrean.
      PFDJ is just blowing some smelly chemicals and confusing those weak politicians.
      Meheret Yewredelna!!!, a lot of job is waiting for us.
      When are we going to think that it is we who will dismiss PFDJ? Yes Eritrean problem is our baby and needs real sacrifice. No one should expect to get democratic free nations without paying what should be paid.
      Mr.Saleh has given very good speech and good lessons to be learnt but I feel he is too soft to those gamblers which should not be at this very moment. we need to be tough and say it directly. over.

      • Merhaba Kokhob Selam,

        You have said “They (Ethiopians) only give their helping hand to let us work united but we fail. Ethiopians are much matured than our useless politicians who change their stand like chameleon or those like bat who stand here and there ( I am a rat because I am mammal and I am a bird because I fly) and when things go wrong (I am not…).” My friend that is the absolute fact on the ground and you are right on the mark..

        In my view Saleh’s position is double stand. He want the opposition to be out from Ethiopia without giving them alternative venue, at the same time he want Ethiopia to help our refugees, give our young the chance to go to colleges, and open offices for the political organizations for the specifics operation he mentioned in his report. How could you characterize such positioning in politico-diplomacy and international relations? I will leave for the readers to have their own answers. At this time I am waiting (if it is not a bluff) to those who see evils on Ethiopia, to give us an alternative venue if they are really committed to save our people.

        • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

          My dear Amanuel,
          Please don’t make me come back with pieces here 🙂

          This what you might have missed in the article: “Fine, we might risk losing what we achieved over the last two-decades. But what did we achieve over the last fifteen years by being in Ethiopia? NOTHING. There, we would lose nothing.”

          Forget the alternative venue, just tell me what was achieved in that venue during the last decade and half! If there was nothing worth mentioning, then we do not need a venue. If there was something significant achieved, I am willing to learn, please educate me. But kindly stay away from sharp edges, let’s make this a clean debate. Take care.

          • Selam Saleh,

            Come on please spill all the beans you have…. I want to see with how many escape goating you will come. Then I will filter it to give it’s the exact political characterization and the politico-psychology playing in your mind.

            You see Saleh you want to be only an arm chair judge and critic by deflecting my question regarding the alternative venues.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Amanuel, now you will psycho-analyze me? Dear Amanuel, I kindly ask you to stop using rough edges, but you insist and I am concerned: if you cannot handle the few beans I dropped, how would you handle it if I spilled all my beans? I worry about you Amanuel because you are fine with me except when I criticize Ethiopia. Why the knee-jerk? Are they angels with wings? Why do you imply they have halo over their head? Out of the entire nine-page speech, you are objecting to the part that concerns Ethiopian officials. Do you really feel you need to go head on with me in their defense? Really! Please stop this confrontational attitude… honestly, your tone doesn’t encourage me to continue debating with you—I value your friendship and I do not like where you are taking this…stay good.

          • Dear Saleh,

            If you want to make it personal be it and go. If you want to make it real political argument also be it and go. But also remember I am not defending the policy of Ethiopia whatever it is. what I am saying is don’t drop the ball (our failure, which includes me, you and others BTW) to Ethiopia. You have seen by your eye the atmosphere of our politics in Awassa – all the tensions created from the mistrust within our social groups. Before we complain to any foreign forces we have to clean our houses my friend. If you don’t believe on what I am saying, I will also welcome to bring us anywhere with the needed “mil’ate Akeba – that reflect our society.” Can we go to the far east where the Eritrean politics does not have traction or exposition to avoid the perception of interference. Come on tell us where is the venue that heals our social fabric which is affected by deep mistrust? I am looking for solutions, and I will not oppose any venue you try device and organize as far as the Eritrean people are happy to assemble to resolve their political quagmire. Ezi wedehanka.

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar

            Now we are talking Amanuel…(I will pretend I didn’t read your two-sentence of “Be it.” It is unwarranted.)

            But here is my question to you.

            1. When did I deny our internal weaknesses and failures? I probably wrote, expressed and agonized over it more than the average Eritrean. So, presenting my views as if I deny that is not correct.

            2. When did I rule out the value of the Ethiopian venue? Never. I just said the opposition’s relations with the Ethiopian government is skewed–you can agree or disagree with that. I criticized the heavy handedness of the Ethiopian officials–agree or disagree but airing such views is not a sin, it is not a taboo to me. So why are you so angry with me?

            3. I said enough about Awassa and the other veiled mechanization meetings that go on in Ethiopia, and I consider it destructive….and I believe you uphold my right to air such views. So where is your objection directed to?

            4. The mistrust among our society and opposition groups is very clear to a new comer to our open debates, I have been at it for years and I know it just like you. So why are you telling me as if it is a new information to me? Did I ever deny it? Never.

            See, I would have been elated if you challenged me on the criticisms I leveled and I would have explained more if I saw need for that. What I feel you are saying is the following: since the opposition is in Ethiopia, and that is an important venue, you shouldn’t criticism our hosts! If that is not your objection, tell me why your tone becomes confrontational whenever you raise this issue with me… it is on the record Amanuel, you do that a lot though I am very careful in dealing with you for obvious reasons, good old days for one. I can’t understand why your attitude shifts when you communicate with me on that specific issue: the Ethiopians. For any relation to be fruitful, there should be honesty and appraisal, I did my part on appraising that. For a relation to work, both sides must be held accountable. I agree with you on all weaknesses and failures of Eritreans; I am waiting for you to tell me your appraisal of the Ethiopian side. I don’t think they are infallible and I write what I write for two reasons: 1) to help identify the weaknesses in the relations 2) to make sure that Eritreans are not foreigners, it is our country that is the topic and we should have a say–and the driver seat. We can’t be passive partners in this Ethiopian-Opposition relations. As for my criticisms, I have more than what I already presented…. and that is by no means denying the opposition a venue. For God’s sake, I paid dearly for my stand encouraging people to work from Ethiopia…I can’t accept anyone lecturing me on the importance of the Ethiopian venue. You know the story very well Amanuel. I can’t accept lectures and hints from people I worked hard to to convince to travel to Ethiopia… just a few years ago. Rest assured, I know the importance of the venue, but that is not the issue here. Now I agree with you, Eritreans are guilty as charged on what you mentioned many times; please tell me your appraisal of the Ethiopian side.

            Thank you

    • Tesfamariam


      Well they have to find a scapegoat to cover our weakness and find someone to blame and of course as always it’s Ethiopias fault.
      It is not that SJG doesn’t no the truth that collectively its our mistrust to each other that is holding us from any meaningful progress he just wants to be part of the confusion in playing the blame game to ride with others.

  • zerai

    Gadi – you have confused the article. You want to write diplomatically look genuine but your true self is betraying you. You better behave as usual, anti Ethiopia, and face head on whatever the consequence. You are islamist and anti Ethiopia or please admit you were wrong.

    • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

      Aslamay NhawU Aslamay EnteHaleYe is not Islamist Zerai please learn the variety of Gedi’s stances. Clean your plagues. There are many people who support Gedi at the same time there are few like you who disapprove Gedi. Infact Gedi and his coworkers are not Islamist.they will be elected for president or top officials in the coming years. NsKa Ke MeN Eka?

      • belay

        A true Muslim loves Muslims and Christian(humanity) and viseveral.The one who wants to live his children and humanity in troubled world is insane.
        so loving a Muslim from heart doesn’t make you a hater of non Muslims because love comes from clear mind and clear mind can’t go wrong. just a thought.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear brothers,

          We don’t have problem on our religions. In fact we are lucky people when comes to that. And our brother Saleh don’t have that problem at all. In fact some has tried to label him “weyane-kedami”
          This energetic and brave man only try to show his love and kindness to his people and in doing so I feel he has given chance to those who try to blame others for their faults. As for me I strongly believe those who come back to zero always and drag us down don’t deserve so much sympathy and I have decided my stand. Just for simple reason, we all agree and furnish the common ground and they jump from the ground given and became part of the garbage far from the clean given space, Some with propaganda of PFDJ but some due to their own weakness. I know how PFDJ play it because I have seen some among those who join us came back to their very narrow tendencies.
          Amanuel said the main cause is mistrust and that is very true but still he wants to build trust he didn’t give up hope.
          As for me I don’t except much from those who are contaminated by PFDJ propaganda and those still who enjoy chatting and repeating stories and I close my page. I believe few trustful and practical people are enough to start the job and I am looking the chance to be part.
          The speech given by Saleh is wonderful and I don’t objection. And I am sure those two bright starts will join their hands.

  • L.T

    I was in Bologna for the first time it was 1987.Modena,Emilia,Romagna,Forli and Ravenna are close nearly than Parma.When I was begin to read this articel topic on modern Bologna I sak to my self to tell me what is the solution to situation?
    Bologna is a good place to honeymoon:There is is sun,spaghetti,pizza and mafia:the catiholic church,political chaos,strikes,high inflation,fine art,astronomical defict and gusto for life.Bologna…Eritrea is for Eritreans are bella figura
    Ethiopia, the work of her artists one can witness the whole spectrum of mans creativity in the last 3000 years.It is true that Eritreans from Asmera love espresso coffee and want eat pasta al dente.
    In Eritrea we have deep political cultutral differnce but “one Eritrea”.Giovine Eritra,what happened with organized,political parties…AENF,ALF,ANLM,EDA,EDP,EIRM,EIPJD,ELF,ELF-UO.ENA,ENSF,??One Amharic saying”Yewega biresa,Yetewega Ayresam means the coffender may forget but not the offended.
    The Awasa Student organizations are in line with Ethiopian Weyane student practice and their full professor/Professori ordinari/are Bereket Simon and their pope are Sibhat Nega.
    “Fate bene fratelli”—–“Do good brothers”Eritrea question belong to only Eritrean.”Pacem in Eritrea”
    I do not hope You are a classic mamma pampers her boy keeps telling him he is bello and bravo.Nonno and nonna-grandpa and grandma-are expcted to stay in an apartment of their own.Gioventu……

    • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

      you are trying to save faces while the majority people are looking exit. you are Advocate of esayas’s town people( NfaS MenTeLen ).

  • Tes

    Wow after 23 years ” Eritrea problem Eritrean solution”. Empty slogan. Again back to square one. Bolegna conference is nothing but another gathering mainly by those who care about their own interest at the expense of the pain of our people back home. Who is in the right mine give significance to the fanefire of those detached from Eritrea and Eritreans many many years ago. What good can come out off this gathering…I guess nothing! the only and only hope is from EYSNS who are real to face the problem head on.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Even Gadi’s Version of Eritreans problems Eritreans solution has been too poluted by Ethiopia once again. The majority Ethiopians know what tplf-eplf has had in theri menu for Ethiopia. The fruits of that tested in the period of the hony moon of pfdj-tplf between 1991-1978 where the non tigre people both in North and South. That wont be rpeated as long as there are non tigre people alive in both regions. As Gadi mentioned it the ghedil had no time and Place for the ethnic problmes of ‘eritrea’ and we ethiopins are ahed of Our eritreans Brothers and siters in addressing the non-tigre ethnic problems. That includes the ‘kiosks’ of Our ethnic representative political organization. If we dont do that then 1991-1998 would repeat itself. There are many Things which can be decided by Democracy but no majority can decide the Death of innocents peopel just becasue the majority rules in democracy.

    • L.T

      Mr Tamrat or Muligeta Lole or Tsegay Gebremdihn Araya;
      Stop your knas per capita-trubble florer.There evening in Bolonga for me it’s norm,it is not I can reflect over.It one lead in their work shop.Rightpatos.Clean up your closet for to leverer little good for..I see to that you to care in your own

  • Adal

    ethiopia no way we dont care about you it is your problem wala kitiwagiu intedelikum gin 20 km atikum dilaykum giberu indabelus
    nezi reiytotaka kemey kemey kikewin iyyu

  • TiETiE( Shiro bubble)

    Eritrean inside are very clever – they no longer fooled. they hate esayas, his group, and his leadership.
    People inside Eritrea are seeking quick food, work, business, education, peace of mind. everyone is in the mood of HwTeTa – it like bees with out the queen they are clueless and all die.
    Globalization is pacing fast – you have to duck with it to achieve food, stable life and boost opportunity. It is like you go school and you boost your skills and increase your income. If Eritrean don’t deal or look business(TO REMOVE ESAYAS) then no one would do it.
    Eritrean opposition should not shy to have some agreement with the weyane or Ethiopian government to remove esayas from power. think like the Iraqis worked with the American and the Afgan worked with the American and the Libyan worked with the French, Arab nation, with british and American nothing to shame it is how today’s business run. AbLaAni KebLaaKA – finally = or HaBaYb.
    Firm nationalism as Abolishing the family of EnDa Gebray BlaTa is outdated.

    • L.T

      Shiro Addis or Burtukan;
      Kentementi Hokus-pokus

      • bukretsion

        eritrea’s issues turned out to be restoring the vision instead of achieving the vision, amazing.

    • Agedom

      [Moderator: please use nicks, nor proverbs for a nick. We have changed your nick “seraq mobae baElu Yelefalef” to Asgedom]

      you are true Shuro.hatew ketew.

  • bukretsion

    it looks like eritreans give eritrea homework for 100 years, it takes a large amount of time and effort to restore the vision