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The Challenges of Fair Representation in Eritrean Politics

In early 2019, two Eritrean political events took place within a short period of time. The first was a London conference jointly organized by an NGO group, Eritrea Focus, and Institute of Commonwealth Studies. The second was the national congress of the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC), held in Sweden. A common criticism was directed at both. The London conference was criticized for being predominantly Christian. The ENCDC congress was criticized for electing an Executive Committee of seven, with only one Christian as a member.

The underlying theme of these criticisms is the lack of fair representation. This issue has been a simmering issue in Eritrean politics since the early days of national discourse. Concerns of unfair representation based on religion, region, language and ethnicity has been a recurring and never-ending concern. The causes varied; some were circumstantial and unintended, others were purposely manufactured and malignly orchestrated.

Historical preview

In the early fifties, the UN envoy to Eritrea, Enzo Matenzo, was in the process of forming his transitional bureaucracy. One of the issues he had to deal with was fair representation of Muslims and Christians in his bureaucracy. He notes in his report that he made every attempt to ensure equal Muslim and Christian representation, but he failed. As a result, his bureaucracy was noticeably overrepresented by Christians. Mr. Matenzo attributes his failure to his inability to find enough competent Eritrean Muslims with administrative skills. Matenzo’s claim, if correct, could be explained in terms of location and the effect of missionary schools. Residents of Asmara and its surrounding naturally had better opportunities of education relative to those living in villages or rural areas. Further, those who went to missionary schools, such as the Swedish Evangelical Mission, had better opportunities of modern education in English or Italian. In both cases, Christian Eritreans were better situated than Muslims, which might explain the competency gap observed by Matenzo.

The newly established Eritrean government of Tedla Bairu, a protestant who studied at the Swedish missionary school and abroad, was made up of fair number of Christian and Muslim ministers. Similarly, the government of Asfha Weldemicael, a catholic who was well versed in Italian language and administrative systems, was reasonably represented. However, in both governments, the key positions were maintained by Christian highlanders and Muslims mostly held secondary ministries, such as justice, social services and governmental properties. As mentioned by Alem Seged, Tedla Bairu, was further accused by others of over representing the minority protestants (Kenisha) he belonged to in the government bureaucracy.

The issue of equal representation was not religion based only, but it was also regional and tribal. According to oral stories of the death of the Chief of Eritrean police, general Tedla Oqbit, part of his grievance towards the Emperor was the underrepresentation of his region, “Serai’, in the newly established government after annexation. He felt that the ‘Hamasein” and “Akeleguzai” regions were given greater share and “Serai” region was neglected.

The issue of underrepresentation prior to the rule of Haile Selassie, could have been partly circumstantial, but during Haile Selassie’s rule it was systematic and orchestrated to undermine Muslims, who happened to be mostly anti-union. As observed by E. Haggai and J. Venosa, Ethiopian authorities favored Tigrinya speaking unionist, who happen to be mostly Christian highlanders. This widened the competency gap, noted by Mr. Matenzo, further. The unionist found opportunities to serve in government bureaucracy, serve in diplomatic missions and study at the university of Addis Ababa and abroad.

This widening gap was observed by the late Mufti of Eritrea, Sh. Ibrahim Al-Mukhtar, and noted in letter # 12363, dated October 26, 1963 and directed to the deputy General Governor of Eritrea, Tesfa Yohanese Berhe. The Mufti noted that out of the 848 students accepted in high school in that year, only 68 (8%) were Muslims. The Mufti expressed his deep concern over Muslim underrepresentation and urged the government to address it promptly.

The challenges of fair representation during the armed struggle

The armed struggle that begun in 1961 was driven by Eritreans residing in Cairo, Sudan and within Eritrea, mainly in the Western low lands of Eritrea. Given the unfortunate political divide of the 1950s, the leadership and the rank and file of the armed struggle were predominantly Muslims. As the number of Eritrean Christians joining the armed struggle kept on increasing, the sense of marginalization and underrepresentation kept on the rise among some of them. This sense of marginalization was one of the factors leading to the publishing of the controversial document known as “Nehnan Elamanan” and the emergence of a splinter Christian dominated faction. The document highlights what it views as the discrimination and the exclusion of Christians. It accuses the leadership of “Jebha”- ELF – of purposely trying to Arabize and Islamize the struggle and exclude Christians. The document tries to justify the group’s apparent religious nature by stating:

“The nature of our separation might give the impression that we gathered on the basis of religion. But what alternative did we have? In fact, what saddens us is not the fact that we have gathered together and separated, but the harsh causes that forced us to do so, for we uphold the primacy of our country and our people over religion. We are freedom fighters and not preachers of the gospel. What led us to take the stand we have taken is revolutionary conviction and not spiritual preaching”.

As noted earlier, the sense of underrepresentation was not limited to religion only, but it was also regional. Along with Christian highlanders, the “Massawan” Eritrean Muslims within ELF were becoming alienated and feeling underrepresented by the West Eritrean lowlanders. The “Massawans” and the highland Christians found a common cause and accordingly created their own splinter organization, EPLF. A later split within the organization, led to the creation of two bodies, to which most of the two groups gravitated. The introduction of ideological component in the mix changed the nature of the discourse, but the sensitivities around underrepresentation on religious and regional basis continued. As elaborated by the author Mahmoud Elos, the five region (manatiq) system introduced at the early stage of the struggle, was an ill-conceived system that only worsened the regional and religious sense of alienation within these regions.

The emergence of EPLF as the most powerful body and its eventual success in becoming the government of Eritrea posed a new challenge. Given its historical beginnings, the EPLF remained predominantly highland Christian. According to the “Eritrean Covenant” document, published by a group calling itself “The Majlis”, that historical legacy of Christian overrepresentation in EPLF continued even in post-independence Eritrea in the apparatuses of the Eritrean government and its party, the PFDJ. The document provides statistical data on what it perceives as Muslim underrepresentation at various levels of government structure in Eritrea. Specifically, it notes:

Christians from the highlands make up the overwhelming majority, often in the high 90 percentile, of Eritreans awarded access to post elementary education, scholarship to study and train abroad, admission to local colleges, government employment, political assignment, governorship, assignment in diplomatic missions, management of state-owned enterprises, military and civilian leadership, national and local administration. Basically, the whole state apparatus is exclusively ethnic based, it neither reflects a national characteristic nor the diversity of the Eritrean people.” 

Deceptive representations

Typically, representation is measured in terms of the number of positions held by members of a certain segment of society in a given power structure. But this could be misleading representation in many ways. Sometimes a segment of society might appear to be overrepresented given its large presence in the power structure, but those who represent it might turn into an elite that represents its own interest more than the segment it is associated with. This would possibly be the case with PFDJ today, as asserted by many Christian opposition leaders. As asserted by the “Eritrean Covenant” document, PFDJ is predominantly Christian, but increasing number of Eritrean Christians, as well Muslims, see the PFDJ as an elite that doesn’t represent their aspirations.

Further, nominal representation is a commonly used form of deceptive representation. Putting certain figure heads who are easily manipulated and controlled behind the scene by powerful deputies has been a recurring deceptive method in Eritrean politics. Moreover, delegating non key positions to others and maintaining key positions by the dominant sect has also been a common method used in Eritrean politics to circumvent equal and fair representation.

The typical justification for overrepresentation is competency; namely, claiming others lacked competency and accordingly they are naturally underrepresented. On the face of it, this sounds justifiable in the interim, if a concerted effort is made to bridge the competency gap. However, maintaining the competency gap and not taking any measures to address it is a cynical form of deceptive justification for unfair representation.


The late Osman Sabbe discusses the issue of fair representation and he refers to the Lebanese model, which he flatly rejects as being unsuitable for Eritrea. Lebanon, with its complicated sectarian conflict history has constitutionally mandated power sharing structure. The position of the president is reserved for Maronite Christians, the Prime Minister’s position is reserved for Sunni Muslims and the position of the speaker of parliament is reserved for Shia’ Muslims. This model, might serve Lebanon well, given its history of sectarian conflict and certainly it is a lesser evil than an overrepresented one group dominated system. As rightly observed by the late Osman Sabbe, ideally for Eritrea, representation should come naturally and not be artificially imposed. To achieve that, the following steps become necessary:

  1. Values of inclusion: Good citizenship is the foundations of a healthy and equitable society. Such a society must be firmly grounded on the values of tolerance, acceptance of diversity, respect of the right of others, inclusivity and fairness to all. Further, members of the society must have unshakable mutual trust and a deep sense of social justice. These values need to be deeply ingrained in the social conscience of society from early childhood and reinforced through all mediums of social influence, such as education, media, civic and governmental institutions. A society built on these values will be ethnicity and sect blind. In such a society positions will not be entitlements nor affiliation based, but primarily based on merit, competence and integrity. Those who can do the job better will be selected and natural representation will take place. Eritreans need to embark on cultivating and enhancing these foundational values at every level of their collective life. Decades of internal frictions, lack of fair representation and domineering governing structures have seriously undermined these core values.
  2. Equal opportunities: The competency and merit criteria will only work if they are based on equal opportunities for all. If a certain segment of society, for whatever reasons, has greater opportunities in terms of education, businesses and employment, the competence criteria fails to establish fair representation. It becomes a tool for perpetuating the privileged position of the dominant group. Once everyone has equal opportunity, competence will be a fair game, but beyond that it will remain deceptive. The legacy of Haile Selassie and the legacy of sectarian factionalism during the era of armed struggle continues to create imbalances in opportunities among Eritreans today. Erasing those legacies and paving the way towards a new, genuine and equal opportunity based social order is key and overdue.
  3. Affirmative action: Some segments in Eritrean society have been for various reason at a disadvantage in terms of educational and business opportunities. They were disproportionately victimized by the occupation. These segments will continue to linger behind unless an extra effort is made to bridge the historical disadvantage they were subjected to. Perhaps, some sort of affirmative action will be a necessary measure, at least in the interim, to address this historical gap.

Change is in the interest of all

Often, those who are overrepresented feel comfortable with the status quo and resist change. They attempt to defend their special status and maintain it at any cost. But what they fail to realize is that in the short term, they might be beneficiary, but in the long term they end up becoming losers. The resentment within the alienated segments of society keeps on building and eventually it explodes. It is in the interest of all Eritrean, Christians and Muslims; all Eritrean ethnicities to work together to ensure fair representation for all and actively seek to embody it in every aspect of life. No society will have long lasting stability without fair representation.

As it stands, Eritrea has a long way to go to shake off the historical prejudices and exclusions and establish a fair and equitable system. There is unmistakable resentment within the ranks and growing lack of mistrust. It is wise and clever to work earnestly to genuinely promote values of inclusion and fairness. Values are not established by decrees but need to be seeded and nurtured. They need to be promoted not only by the state, but also by opposition forces and Eritrean communities in diaspora.

Some of the authors of “Nehnan Elamanan”, who in the sixties saw themselves as discriminated and underrepresented, today they are believed to be in leadership positions in Eritrea. In the “Nehnan Elmanan” document they state:

“In Eritrea, when Eritrean Muslims are oppressed, it is the oppression of the Eritrean people: and when Eritrean Christians are oppressed, it is also the oppression of the Eritrean people”.

These words are beautiful, and every socially conscious Eritrean would agree to them. Perhaps, this is a historic opportunity for the authors of these words to lead by example and give meaning to these words by fostering a social reality in Eritrea where equal opportunity, fair representation and justice for all prevail


  • Venosa, Joseph, Path towards the nation
  • Haggai Erlich, The Struggle over Eritrea, 1962-1978 : War and Revolution in the Horn of Africa
  • جذور الخلافات الارترية وطرق معالجتها ،عثمان سبى
  • ارتريا : مشكلة الوحدة الوطنية في حقبة الكفاح المسلح ، محمود عثمان أليوس
  • ኣለም ሰገድ ተስፉይ፣ ፈደረሸን ኤርትራ ምስ ኢትዬጲያ
  • Nehnan Elamana, 1971
  • The Eritrean Covenant, 2010

About Ismael Ibraheem Al-Mukhtar

Ismael Al-Mukhtar is a scholar, a mentor, and and Eritrean writer. He lives in Canada

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  • ሰላማት

    ሰንበት ሰዓት 9፥43 ድሕሪ ቀትሪ ካብ ሃዋይ ሕ.መ.እሜርካ። ናይ ሰለስተ መዓልታት ነዊሕ ዊክ አንድ፡ ብምኽንያት ክብረት መዓልቲ ጻዕረኛታት ሪሂጸ በላዕ ናይቲ ሰራሕተኛ አትብዓል ክብርቲ መዕልቲ ኢያ አሞ፡ ክምቲ ኣበሃህላ ኣብ ኣሜርካ ንብለኩም፡ ሃፒ ለይቦር ደይ! ሃፒ ሎንግ ዊክ አንድ። ንሕና ግን ኣንብዛ መዓልቲ ዕረፍቲ ነቲ ዝዓይ ዋላ አኳ አንተኾነት፡ ብዙሕ ዕዮን ጉዕዞን ንምምካት አዋን ተበግሶ ስለ ስኾነ ደው ከይበለ አዛ ነዋሕ ዊክ አንድ ናህራ ክትቅጽል ኢያ፡፡

    ከም ሰገን ረአስኻን ክሳድካን ተፋሕር ጉድጓድ ደቕዲቕካ ሓቢአካ ዝደሓንካ መሲሉካ ክሳብ መዓስ አሞ አቲ ቀንዲ ኣካላትካን ሰውነትካን ዝኸድኖ ጽላል ክትከልኦ፡ ድራር ኣራዊት ክኸውን። ኣንታ ዓሻ ኣካላትካ ምስ ተብልዐ ንስኻ ራአሳን ትድሕን ዶ ይመስለካ? በል ስራሕካ ጀምር ኣጽንዕ ነዊሕ ዊክ አንድ ክተሳፍሕ ኣይኮንካን። አዛ ቪድዮ ጽቡቕ ጌርካ ኣድሂብካ ኣጽነዓያ!

    As well as this video that exposes some pertinent statistics and analysis

    Happy Long Weekend! Happy Labor Day…so lets begin the hard and effective labor.

    ወይ ኣፍካ ከትስቅጥ ኢኻ ኣንታ ዘይትግደስ ወይ ክንመራመር ኢና ክንመያየጥ ኣምቚዕና ክንሓስብ ክንላዘብ አወ ኣጸቢቕና ክንምርምር……። ክነትሕዞ አቲ ከንቕንዖ ናብቲ ቁኑዕ መስመር ክንጉሕፎ ኩሉ ኢቲ ተንኮለኛ ኢቲ ህዝቢ ዘደናግር። በዘን ክልተ ቪድዮ ቁዱስ ጉዕዞኻ በል ጀምር! ጽዓር! ንግበር ናትና ሓዳር!

    ስራሕ ስርሕዋ ኣሳልጥዋ

    ‘ብለኩም ኣሎ


  • said

    The old rule that “might makes right”
    Certainly, Eritrean diversity can be a strength if ends are held in common and mutually respected ; certainly, Eritrean diversity is a strength if the rules of the game and proper means are respected. Diversity is not a strength when Eritrean population at large does not hold to common ends and does not agree to play by common set of rules (the means). In such a case, Eritrean diversity is doomed to fail and can be hell.
    What do you expect from PFDJ,its origins are one people one heart , its origin is from far leftist communist wing ideologue in the age of dictatorships back in the 1930s. a kind of primitive savagery. The states treated their citizens with brutality and oppression , in its extreme level of viciousness reminiscent of the Middle Ages in the interest of preventing political dissent, IA and his cohort believe that any sign of weakness would raise questions about their own mighty power. They are frozen Marxist, and Maoist posture with intersectional themes and in an old-fashioned Communist. Violence alone is the mediator. Lenin said the same and he and Stalin practiced this doctrine as did chairman Mao and the bloody Derge (Mengistu ), The present Eritrean regime is continuation of the same ideology and similarity of the right of Ahmar to rule Ethiopia, which feudal Ethiopian kings and emperors have expanded and subjected and conquered lands to south and enslaved many diverse ethnic groups. Eritrean Unionist who helped The feudal King Haile Selassie to annex Eritrea , who ruled iron fist Ethiopia from early 1930 to 1974,
    and PFDJ are of same communist school . That resulting deaths were enormous in their short history . the most dangerous ideological phenomenon in the history of mankind. It glorifies dire poverty, the complete and total state control , and mass death. The PFDJ wants to destroy Eritrean civilization, based on Christianity and Islam , the deep rooted traditional family, and equal citizenship and the freedom and liberty. The Massive and gigantic atrocities in the Lenin-Stalin Soviet Union, and Mao’s China. It is a fact that various Communists killed more than 100 million people, not including their wars. its despicable offspring IA , since EPLF dictatorship had its origins in communism and socialism ideology. idea of EPLF a proletarian revolution proved very ridiculous and impossible to put to work. This vey horrific battle that confronts us today.
    There is no space in for IA and stooge king Haile Selassie the scientific and cultural achievements of medieval Islam. IA his anti-Islam statements of his Nehan and Alamanh only shore up his political base, regardless of historical reality.
    PFDJ now exists is rather different from the older Communist Left .The view of Eritrean history as the story of social and moral and political Progress is nil ,it is simply simplistic and one-sided. Everything Eritrean are taught about history is a lie. Not a little lie. Fact and Truth is losing its connection to objectivity and is becoming PFDJ agenda based. If it serves the PFDJ agenda, and agendas are increasingly empty slogan and twisted emotion based,IA invented Nehan and Alamanh in order to denigrate and demonize segment of Eritrean society .IA article does have value. It demonstrates the programmed hatred of segment of our people and the use of hate language against them. This was widespread in some of EPLF/PFDG culture. It has destroyed social cohesion. The very narrow sectarian Identity politics is the ruling ideology of the IA regime and today who victimize everyone else. For now the Eritrean world is lost.
    Eritrean aware of expressions of hatred toward part of Eritrean society by manufactured by regime. They have never contributed anything positive to Eritreans .They only murder, exploit and oppress our people. IA is a known sectarian leader. His hard core supporters—most of the them—are by definition sectarian supporters.. And this ugly evil, scourge .and this ideology must be eradicated from our tolerant society. Eritrean who are demonized must preaching reconciliation and tolerance and not hate.
    To make few quotation in regard remedy .The Quran praises those who always act “in the light of truth” and tells us: “Perfected are the words of your Lord in truth and justice”. It tells us also: “Behold, God enjoins justice and good actions and generosity to our fellows…”, and it commands us never to let hatred lead us into deviating from justice: “Be just! That is closest to God consciousness”. This, of course, applies to all believers who must fear divine justice if subjective factors or personal emotions lead them to deviate from the path of justice
    In the Christian tradition St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that, among all human pursuits, “the pursuit of wisdom is more perfect, more noble, more full of joy” than any other human enterprise. the Quran itself recognizes the reality of human weakness. Those who are injured are permitted to take retaliation but they are reminded at every turn that it is better to forgive and to seek reconciliation. Muslims are commanded to return good for evil, thus breaking the vicious circle of animosity; “to do good to those who have injured us” in the words of one of the classical commentators on the Quran,
    PFDJ ignores the grave social and political problems that Eritrean face at the present time and which are rooted in our past history . While IA ’s view of the Eritrean past is hopelessly flawed and profoundly malicious, the regime is just like Stalin Russia’s brutal totalitarian and Chairman Mao Communist mass murder ,PFDJ is willing to kill and die for evil purposes.

    • Selamat Said,

      On the issue you are highlighting about Eritrean diversity being our strength. On the first video of Sawa25 there is a glaring statistical anomaly that I interpret it to be clear picture of the disparity of fair representation. The non Tigrigna are significantly under represented when the top 50 declared as high achievers out of tens of thousands of young Eritreans, only five or 10 percent are non Tigrigna or non Christian names. A statistical impossibility or a highly improbable outcome that the cause I suspect highly which is favoritism or nepotism.
      I agree fully with the highest priority the issue of fair representation we all should consider and commence.a very sober and wide discussion. On another video depicting the Eritrean youth national service on duty constructing the Dekemhare Barka new interstate, we get a glimpse of equally represented two Eritrean societies namely the Tigrai and the Tigrigna. And we should also consider Gunter Schroeder’s report of the very high migration and displacements of the Tigrigna that we can conclude reduces the Tigrigna opportunities and of course in the vacuum as a result of the abandoned spaces the opportunities for the the Tigrait/Tigre and or all other Eritrean nationalities is increased. As important and of the highest priorities fair representation and justifiable action the advocating for the less represented, critical analysis of all the data, circumstances, trends and phenomena should also be openly scrutinized and discussed – Responsibly is also key.
      In short we all Eritreans should scrutinize our Eritreas current position, all of its current components with a very broad camera angle, if you will. Responsibly without giving the impression that the situation is a free for all, each one or each group for itself and utter disregard for the consequences of our actions, statements and declarations that could render a total loss for all, if we inadvertently divide and subdivide the very pertinent components natural blending lines along nationalities and faith… I would not necessarily call them the fault lines because I am highly confident and very certain there will not occur a crack or an earth quake though the very sinister amongst us are betting, banking and implementing their influences for such end.

      The filtration systems of every and all signals with regards to Eritrea at this juncture or critical state I assure you, due to it’s dire necessities is and will be very sophisticated and brutally HONEST. Distracters, especially the very stealthy amongst us will be exposed and disregarded as garbage noise immediately. Of course I am not implying anything about you Sir, Said. I am only inviting you to become even more diligent as we embark on this sacred mission for our nation Eritrea TOGETHER as one PEOPLE until our victory we wholeheartedly believe is CERTAIN. Our BASE is our proven Eritrean History always victorious against all odds! Including our internal adversities we strive to better methodically going forward.

      you are here by exposed of your very intricate designs and programs
      be it the source Harrar, Gambiela, Ethiopian Somali land Shiwa or
      more than likely the sinister minded Agame land and Adwa..

      Recognize once and for all Eritrea liberated by



      • said

        Greeting GitSAtSE
        I totally agree with you . You are a person with high dignity ,insightful compassionate , empathetic, merciful, decent, just and Justice is the Essence or Form of every particular individual instance of justice.
        you advocate equality for all, virtue, intelligence, friendship, hope, and love, the latter is the greatest. And loving is self-giving, this a rare quality to have which I believe you embody , .some people in our community lack empathy, mercy, decency, justice, and dealing with selfish, the indecent, the merciless, the unjust, the hateful, and the indifferent is NOT easy to engage . Yet you make your position clear crestal and many of us benefit from your in-depth and detailed written . Plato was a rationalist: Knowledge, as opposed to belief or opinion, is rooted in reason; sense-experience could never supply genuine knowledge. You are unique individual. We are ar at the time of brute force, and policy decided by brute force. There is a reason why Eritrea has earned the reputation of being “Africa’s North Korea.” This being said,

        John S. Mill, the famous 19th century philosopher :
        the capacity of human beings to enjoy the uniquely human, “higher” pleasures of the intellect, imagination, and character is necessarily inseparable from that person’s capacity to suffer proportionate pain. The capacity for great pleasure is one and the same as the capacity for great pain.

  • SeattleSlew206

    Hey everyone

    ELF had majority Tigrinya fighters

    EPLF had majority Tigrinya fighters

    PFDJ is majority Tigrinya

    What’s so hard to understand? You get what you put in. You didn’t put in when it mattered so why are you whining now?

    And to be honest, Tigrinya people should start to consider independence from Eritrea. We don’t want Arabic. Islam is not our heritage and will never be our religion. For the last half a century, Tigrinya people have been carrying around dead weight. Its time the Kebessa + Semhar declare Independence. A new country in which Tigrinya is the national language and Islam and Arabic have no place outside of the mosque. A country in which democracy and secularism rules.

  • Ayneta

    Dear Awate:
    Minister Fozia’s interaction with the attendees in the recent meeting was the saddest thing to watch. It was physically cringing and portrays a bogus minister who was trying ooze out a false authority underneath a palpably tormented self. She had no real sense of what she was talking about , and one cant miss her soul quavering in shame while responding to the questions. Like every minister in the country, she doesn’t have a clue about how the country is being managed and policies ( if at all) pursued, yet she tried to command authority in a way that exposed her sheer ignorance. In a way, I felt sorry for her. Like many ex-tegadelti, She is torn between her true self and her obedience to her master (IA). What a life. Eritrea must be one of the rare countries in the world where a minister assumes a traumatic life of trying to keep a balance between blind obedience to the president and allegiance to true consciousness. One can see the latter slowly chiming on her soul. Sad !

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

    Selamat Awate!
    My last on Fozia…..

    ዝገርም ‘ዩ
    ንምዃኑ: ሰብ ድያ?
    ዘብል ‘ዩ
    ኣነ ጸላእኩ
    ክሰምዕ ከለኹ

    ክምለስ ‘ዩ
    ግዜኡ ሓልዩ

    ግዜኡ ሓልዩ ትብል “ዘይምልእቲ ሓረግ” [incomplete ማለተይ ‘ዩ: ኣይተስተዋሕድዋ]
    መን ኣሎ ምስኣ ዝዳረግ
    ንምድንጋር ዝተፈጥረት
    ዘይብላ ምሕረት

    ኣነኳ ምመረጽኩላ ኔረ ካልእ ሽም
    ዋላ ደሓን ፈዝያ
    ፍልጠት ዶ ደኣ ከየጥርያ
    ዕሽነት ዋላ ስሰዐ ነዘን ዘይጠቕማ መሃያ

    ናይ ሕጊ ሚንስተር ድያ ዝተባህለት
    እሞ: ‘ንታይ ደኣያ ዘየጥረየት ኣሰር “ምሕረት”

    ይኹነላ ስከ

    ሕጂ ድማ ፎዝያ ሚንስተር ‘የ ካብ በለት
    ‘ቲ ሕቶ ንዳርጋ ሰላሳ ዓመት እንታይ ገበረት?
    ኤእ! ከይትምልሱለይ በዛ ቃል “ኣሰረት”
    ካብኡ ዝተረፈ
    ፎዝያ ኣይብቕዕትን: የብላን ናይ ሕጊ መሰረት

    ንሳ ጥራይ ኣይኮነትን
    ህግደፍ ሓደ ኢላ ክልተ ኣይበለትን
    ኣብ ሓደ ነቒጻ
    ነዚ ጋኔን ጥራይ መሪጻ
    ነዛ ኩላ ወዲ መሬት ክምዝበልጻ
    ካልኦት ከይትውስኽ ኣቕቢጻ

    ኣብ ኤርትራ
    ብቑዕ ሚኒስተር የለን
    ክኢላ ጀነራል? ኣበይ ዝተማህረ ኣበደን
    ክኢላ መራሒ
    ንታይ ኢልካ ኣብዚ ዘመን?
    ሓደ ገበል ‘ቶም ካልኦት ተመን
    ኢምፖርተድ ካብ ተምቤን (no offense here)
    ዶ ዋላስ ኤክስፐልድ ካብ ተምቤን
    ባዶ ተደመሮ ባዶ ምኢቲ ዝመስለን
    ባንዴራ ተጠምጢመን ከም ወዲ ኣፎም መን
    ዝብላ የን በዚሐን

    ኣነ ይኣክል ክብል
    ዓርከይ ድማ ህግደፍ ‘ኳ መቐጸልታ ናይ ሳሕል

    ኢሉ ክማጎተኒ
    ኣይኮነን ተበልኩዎ ዘይሰምዓኒ
    ትፈልጡዶ ‘ንታይ ከም ዝስመዓኒ
    ከመይ ደኣ ሓዘን ይኾነኒ

    ተስፋ ግን ኣይቆርጽን
    ናይ ፎዝያ ምስብጾታ ሓድሽ ውጥን
    ከም ቀደሙ ናብ ጠፈር ይበንን

    • ብጸይቲ ኔራትኪ
      ኣብ ሓንቲ ቶንኮበት
      ናይ ብሓቂ መጋድልትኪ
      ትኽ ትንፋስኪ
      አስከ ቁሩብ ዘክሪ

      አስከ ቁሩብ ኣብታ መምበርኪ
      ስራሕ ኣዝዩ ስለ ዝወሓደኪ
      ናይ ቀድም ዘኪርኪ
      ካብታ ሰድያኺ
      ብድድ ኢልኪ
      ሓፍ በልኪ ዶ ብድድ ጥር
      ከፊትክዮ ኩሉ ብዝርዝር
      ኣንቢብኪዮ ፋያላ ናይ ኣስቴር?

      ኩስትር ዶ ሞ በልኪ ኩስትር
      ከብድኺ ኩምትር
      ኣብራኽኪ ኢለን ስብር
      ኢልኪ ዶ ትፈልጢ
      ሎምስ ዝገበረ ይግበር
      ዎላ ዝሓየራ ክስብር
      ምተዓቢይተይ ስል ዝጠልምኩ
      ስለ ዝፈራሕኩ
      ማሕላ ክልቴና ብጸይተይ ዝጠልምኩ
      ኣግዲዐያ ስለ ዝኸዳዕኩ
      ኢልኪ ዶ ንበንኺ ብዘይ ምስክር
      ዷጊነያ ዘለኹ ጎዳጙድ ከናዲያ ክርክብ ኣሰር
      ኢልኪ ፎዚያ ዋላ ሓንቲ ደቒቕ
      ዘኪርኪያ ን ኣስቴር?

      ክብርቲ እኽባሪት ሕጊ ፈራዲት
      ዶ ኽንብለኪ ወይስ ፈራሚት
      ፈጻሚት ስራሕ ናይ ኣራዊት?

      ቀዳሞት ክልተ ሓተትክዋ አህህም
      አወ ክልተ ንሕጂ ሓተትክዋ
      ኣሽሓት ኣሽሓት ክብደቱ ገባናት
      ተዳሚሩ ከም ናይ



  • One more thing,

    You must see it before the PFDJ edits out the top honorees presentation for it is a glaring contradiction to the over all theme they intended. i.e. the lyrics of the soundtrack declared proudly and gave the impression of unity and diversity… You know the “Aslamai Chistanay” hook to several songs. The sample data I mentioned on full display the PFDJ overlooked… well… lets just say will more than likely be edited out…. so hurry and go and witness the oversight before they pull it…. oh yeah I am certain that there are a few goons are spying on every letter in every sentence I type these days…. such a huge investment… wow what a waste… so that the majority is miserable? Go figure

    Brawa brawa



  • lve Sssshhhhshshhhhh Hey you,

    Where did they go? I think they have finally felt.they are wayyy wayyy out in the periphery. They have been hypnotized by the newly fully released Sawa. The cyber warriors have finally decided they will fulfill their national service in person by joining Sawa. The Nitrics, Blinks and maybe even Hope are packing and on their way to Sawa. You don’t believe me? Then where are they. Have you ever experienced such tranquil peace in the forum nearly four consecutive days. An Awate forum absent of far out irrational arguments and stubborn argumentation from the Higderfites?
    On a serious note, I myself patiently watched and was dazzled and wowed by the extravaganza. Say what you will, that Sawa military camp did put out some show. One gets the impression that a mean lean and very disciplined military machine Eritrea does possess. There is a new standard and I may add a high and very entertaining standard. As far as sending the message that Sawa is indeed to recon with. I am eager to hear someone else’s opinion on if they have seen its entirety. Hold a sec:
    Calling the Admiral. I wonder if he had the patience to see it’s entirety and come and rescue me from the spell they put on me. If I who sees absolutely no reconciliation with the regime and criminal dictatorship, I who will only show admiration for Eritrea if and only if Eritrea indicts the criminal and render its guilty verdict and the highest guilty sentence and punishment for every count charged, if I am this vulnerable to the hypnotic presentation then … oh I hate to imagine it … Calling Admiral SaaY to set me free from the hypnotic grip these Sawa cadets or what ever you call them have sucked me into. If you haven’t seen it not only you must but you must also share your opinion of it with the forum. I mean I felt that this military parade puts to shame the military parades of most tyrants from Hitler to Mengistu Hailemariam.

    Then I happen to stumble on a small but possibly very telling statistical data. This came during the presentation of notable top graduates in various fields. The first nearly top fifteen or so honorees make up consisted of nearly all highlanders with christian name with the exception of only one Idriss Mohammed Ali. I figured the next set will reflect my presumed one to one ratio of highlanders to lowlanders pool of Sawa officers trainees. But no no no, the set was about 14 to 1 highlanders achievers in their respective fields to only one name that we can consider or assume to be a low lander. And the next two sets by my count were nearly identical. All in all of the top nearly fifty high achievers and honorees from their graduation class, only about five names can be presumed to be Eritreans from the lowlands. So if my math is correct, only a tenth of Eritrean Lowlanders are high achievers as compared to their counter parts. All sort of conclusions can be drawn from this exposed small sample data. I will leave it to those interested in listing the various causes for this anomaly in statistical data sample. This certainly puts a twist on my already commenced narrative earlier with Ayya Ismael AA. But I haven’t given up on the earlier argument I put forth. It still stands until we or I by my lonesome study the issue fully and with more data I happen to also stumble upon.
    To the pro regime fanatic supporters who have towed the line for so very long, yes I understand you are now fully taking advantage of the very well deserved rest of being propaganda machines and zombies and were near empty on ammunitions for your relentless head on attacks. The PFDJ production has released its very orchastrated and nearly flawless Sawa25 exhibition to serve as a very effective propaganda tool as well as a recruitment video for recruits and their parents maybe.
    Another piece of statistical data I happen to catch was that the same top fifty achievers and honorees consisted of more than fifty percent of the female gender. And shame on the editing and camera personal. It seemed as if nearly all of Sawa is the female gender. The camera angle struggled to capture sultry angles and very suggestive posses and backs of the female officers. May be a lure for impressionable young men. Seeing raws and raws of tough lean and beautiful young girls will indeed pull any young adolescent man going through puberty buzzing with hormones.

    Okay… how do they compare with military show cases around the globe. Maybe that will give me a better perspective. And it should be your google search too. i.e. “Military parades around the globe” googIe and youtube. I hate to say it for I have said it very loudly End Sawa! and still say End Sawa… but putting my strong opposition bias to the side a strong B+ if not an A will be the grade I give the show…. At the very least for it’s entertainment value.

    Admiral SaaY, if you are reading this I know you would have the patience to view and analyze the Sawa25 extravaganza. And if I know you at all, either Awate or EritreanDigest is in for a wonderful treat — and I for sure and everyone is eagerly awaiting your sober perspective. Rescue your boyyyyy hurry.

    well the word to end the rhyme will have to be this word here then:




  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    I am hoping Gedab News or Awate Team will shed some light on Minister Fozia Hashim and her interaction with the Y’akil movement in Dallas. Much obliged.

    • Peace!

      Hi Paulosay,

      የርኩቡሉዶ ትብል ከም ብዓል ኣማኒኤል ሳህለ ብድሕሪት ዳዴሺ እንዳእተውሎም! ሰብ ናብ ህግደፍ ትጥምት ካልኣ ካኣ ብዲሕሪት ስራሓ ትገብር ጉድ እዩ ተረኺቡ ዘሎ ፓውስ ሓወይ I just finished listening to Salih’s immaculate response to Amanuel Sahle. ኣዳትኡ ሂብዎ ኢልካ ስቕ ምባል ይሓይሽ.

      ናይዞም ተጋሩ ኣሕዋትና ወዳእታ ዘይብሉ ሸብዳዕዳዕ distraction እኮ ንህግደፍ ትንፍስ ይኾኖ ኣሎ …ንመዋእል ክውዒ ብማንካ ክዝሕል ብኢድካ. Ridiculous!!!


      • Paulos

        ሰላም ዓቢ ሰብ,

        ተጋሩ ሕልኮ ይገብራልና’ለዋ ንሕና’ኻኣ እታ ንዕርፋ ቴስታ ጌርና ምስ መሬት ከነፋልጠን ኢና፣ ራስበራስ ‘እንተይለን ባዕለይ ክኣትወን’የ ሓውኻ፣ ተደሪበን ተመጺአን ግን፣ ኣይትዘንግዕ’ኢኻ።

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Peace,

        What does “ኣዳትኡ“ mean? Is it ሕውስዋስ ቋንቋ አስመሪኖ or Tigranized foreign word?

        • Peace!

          Hi Emma,

          I think “ኣዳቶ” ጥልያን እዩ መስለኒ ትርጉሙ ካኣ ልክዕ ማለት እዩ in a sense ንሓደ ነገር ጸሪብካ ኣብ (desired) ቦታ ክተግጥሞ ከለኻ::


          • Thomas

            Peace Arkina,

            Azom tigaru mechem kezerutuka mi’at e’yom:) We’re entai e’yom geremuka? I remember the time when the Weyane fighters were marching towards Addis; and at the same time fortifying their trenches at some towers in Addis, the Addis people did not expect to see real people (I don’t know may be they were expecting to see monkey people humans). I think most of these people were very surprised to find out that the weyanes were actually humans. Peace arkey – please realize that Tigrayans are also humans:)

          • Peace!

            Hi Thomas,

            ኣዝማሪኖ ዘይተጻሕፈ ኣየንብብን እዩ ንብል ዘለና ብቕድሚት ህግደፍ ብድሕሪት ከም ብዓል ኣማኒኤል ሳህለ ኣሸጊሮምና እንታይ ምግባር ይሓይሽ እዩ ዘሎ ትነገር:: እዛ ዝበላዕካላ ጻሕሊ ምስባር ልምድቲ እንዳኾነት ትመጽእ ኣላ:: እንተኺእልካ ዓገብ ህግደፍ እዩ ጸላኢና በሎም ተዘይኮይኑ ሰብ ምውንጃል ሓጥያት እዩ::

            እዛ ኣጋዚ ነሽን ከምዛ ናይ ቢልያርዶ ኩዋትሮ ኦቶ (48) እያ ትመስሎም ዘላ ድሓር ካኣ ድሓን ይእቶው ምምሕዳር ናይ ክልል ትግራይ ዜግነት ንኢትራዊያን ክንህብ ፉቑዳት ኢና እንዳበሉ ንዝ ተረፈ ሸቶብራሾ ሒዝናዮም እንተዘይከድና ኢልካ ዝኹሉ ላዕልን ታሕትን…kkkk….ኪዱ ድሓን ናህና ባዕልና ለናዮ!!


          • Thomas

            Hi Peace,

            Sorry if I misunderstood your previous comment. However, you seem to ignore the home grown Tigrayan who would rather eliminate you and your raise than the other tigrayans you seem to worry about? If we think Issayas and his click are not for the Agazian group, then we will be total lost. Let alone for the tigrayans who are situated next to our nation, he even said the Oromos are our brothers to:)

            Like I always said have been saying here, anyone who is worried about external assumed enemy is actually prolonging the life of the dictator and his group. That I is what I like to call the diversion strategy of the Isayasists. Remember, the Issayas & the Fozias are trying very hard to tell us that everything about external conspiracy. Here you go, brother peace. How can I see your stand different from theirs. Listen, there was never Agazian nation and there will never be. If such things were easy executed and doable, the Somali Land, the Puntun land and others who wish to create new nations would have been successful. So as for a separatist to create a nation of their own, the United Nation is the main entity that has to approve their request. Again, it is not like opening a small grocery store or whatever, it is not that easy. So, why do you have to lose your from the obvious enemy and go on hunting your imaginary enemy?

          • Peace!

            Hi Thomas,

            Diversion, distraction ፍርክሽን ድላይካ በላ ኣብ ዕዳጋ ዘላ እሳ እያ ኣነ ክጠውን ክእዝዝን ዓቕሚ የብለይን እቲ ንእሰያስ ደጊፉ ገጥ ኣቢሉ ሒዝዎ ዘሎ ትዝንግዖ ኣይመስለንን ነቐፌታኻ ናብኡ እንተቐነዐ ኣውንታዊ ምኾነ ምበልኩ::


          • Thomas

            Hi Peace,

            Hahahaha “ነቐፌታኻ ናብኡ እንተቐነዐ ኣውንታዊ ምኾነ ምበልኩ” I see you are starting to talk like DIA. Talking in passive voice:) When did they get into your head my beloved brother:) Anes e’ba etom kilite egri alena elom ab kilite Om ki’hekru zefitnu ayashu e’yom mbeku ne’re:) By the way, have you listened to the way Fozia talks? She has become the exact copy of DIA. WOW, I felt like he is within her as I saw her twisting topics of discussion to Africans and all. She must have taken DIA’s talk to DEEP the her heart! Toba dihri degim:) , heger tefi’a mis’bial ezis:!

          • Paulos

            Selam Thomisco,

            Hope Moderator will let this pass. The similarity and demeanor are striking to say the least. And you see the Fozias, Monkeys and Kishas. History more often repeats itself.


          • Berhe Y

            Hi Paulo,

            Do you remember watching the tv series home land. I have listened the follow up video of Fozia meeting in Dallas, and I must say, it’s by far the best moment of any PFDJ official. I think she broke the cycle what we are used too abd expect from PFDJ and gave it, what looks like genuine reply as much as she could in her power.

            I am sure she didn’t answer everything truthfully, but considering her situation I think she has her best.

            Is this really scripted and planned or she diverged totally and went her own way?

            If it’s scripted, IA and PFDJ are too dumb and too stupid to try to win the hearts and minds of the people by showing good will and love to ERITREAN people.

            Like the guy in homeland, I think she is turned, I think she has reached a point of no return and is willing to face the consequences. Why would she socialize, and giving high and shaking hands with people who were wearing yiakle shirt right in front of and being filmed and photographed?

            And may be it’s part of the yiakle movement strategy that, the way to win over the dictatorship is to try to “turn” the power circle against him which seems exactly what just happened.

            Just my wild guess


          • Paulos

            Selam Berhino,

            Home Land was my fav and I remember the first episode starting with a tense dialogue with the prisoner as the main character put it, “….He turned..”

            I am convinced that is not the case with Fozia. As you have suspected, it is all staged and scripted coming from the cruel old man himself. If she had, she would have gone the whole nine yards without the agony inflicting and conflicting herself as Ayneta put it in his recent comment.

            We have to keep in mind that, Yia’kil’s demands are measured walking along the lines of diplomatic finesse of you will. In a true sense, it doesn’t push for the cruel old man to step aside and hand power to the people and face justice. Again, instead, it is asking for Constitutionalism, political prisoners and ending Sawa indefinite conscription.

            The new strategy is to test the waters first in an Eritrea community on the periphery before the Eritrean community in DC. Sort of a pilot project if you will. To its credit however, Yiakil is owning the narrative but the crucial question is, can it deliver or will it end up like the prodigal son who ultimately returns to his father? Time as they say is the hidden factor and we will see.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Paulos,

            Fozia Hashim’s message reminds me of Abdallah Jabir’s role. Isias was sending Abdallah Jabir with the same message that carried Fozia. We are working hard to rectify things that have gone wrong. Everything will be ok in Eritrea. The rule of law will prevail. She gives hope where there is no hope. She tries to sell water at the water suppliers quarter. تبيع الماء في حارة السقايين.

            Secondly, It is a message of intimidation to highlanders if you do not continue supporting me, I will shift to lowland and empower them. Isaias used this ploy since the field. It is an old used attempt, but will not work. I tell him what the Huthis of Yemen said to Ali Abdallah Salih before killing him, “This is your last chance to dance on the heads of serpents.”


          • Thomas

            Selam Paulos,

            I think Issayas “Tebib Hizwa a’lo”. Her body gesture and imitating Issayas’s exact argument ( with his exact wording). I was thinking whether Issayas somehow was within her or she was talking from inside Issayas only wearing her masks:)

          • Desbele

            Hi Thomas,
            I was in Addis at the time. Individual EPRDF fighters used to engage/debate with the public especially about Eritrea. They were impressive. Never, wavered to respond that Eritreans have the right for self-determination. They carried the label “ኣስገንጣይ” to this day.
            Unlike Shaebia fighters, they didnt enjoy a cheering crowd. But , i would say they managed to fare well in relative to our own monsters.

      • Brhan

        Hi Paulosay,

        She messed up with significant analogies in a raw!

        When she was asked about Eritrean refugees in Libya she used the pronoun “we”, by we meaning that all Eritreans ( pro and against the regime) have to share the responsibility.

        And when she was asked about the G-15 , she was divisive: she said that the regime is more related to them than the rest of Eritreans.

        ኢሳያስ ከየደስከላ አይተርፍን ኢዩ!Because one can’t submit his or her resignation to the regime.

        • Paulos

          Selam Brhan,

          It seems to me, she is a pilot project so to speak where I think she will unlikely be sidelined or frozen. The real test is if the new policy or approach still holds in the coming public seminar when the barking Cadres as in Sofia and Birhane overshadow Fozia.

    • Desbele

      Hi Paulos,
      Additional records are released in Assenna. Question and call for resignation of pfdj by Daniel T. is the most satisfying. The pfdj junta who execute the war disabled and threw their own comrades to dungeons are too soaked in blood to reform .
      Good job YIAKL Dallas!

      • Paulos

        Selam Desbele,

        Will check it out. Thanks for the info.

        Here is the deal though, without a Green light from the higher up, Fozia could never have deviated from the modus operandi. What gives?

        In my opinion, the strategy is to engage the Opposition then when the right time arrives to create a wedge between those who elect to work with a reformed PFDJ [as in implementation of the Constitution, releasing of prisoners, demarcating the border– short of Isaias leaving power] and those who demand for dismantling PFDJ and removal of Isaias from power with a subsequent facing justice. This stark division will give Isaias a breathing space and a case to argue for as the sole figure who can hold the nation together. As such, the Opposition should focus and stay ahead of the game by sticking to a single and vital demand–Isaias should step down and face justice! Any short of that is a bait.

        • Desbele

          Hi Paulos,
          Very plausible .The only doubt i have about your analysis is that , given the tyrant’s stubbornness, I just dont think he is pressured enough to engage with Opposition. It always take a huge resource wasted and personal danger looming over him before he act sensibly. Calling the UN to accept withdrawal from disputed land during the war is one example.
          Otherwise, I agree , there is no way to think of reform while this murderer is in power.

      • Berhe Y

        Hi Desbele,

        I think the Dallas yiAkl have done wonderful job. I think the planned this very well and they raised all the questions that needed to be asked. It’s a small victory, and all such victory is what will add up to create a momentum.

        I agree with IA is not pressured enough to make a concession and opt for negotiations. He doesn’t even need to make an negotiation, he had the opportunity after the peace deal with Ethiopia and get out of the mess he created, such as, now we have peace and weyane is no longer a threat to our sovereignty, we should start on our mission of peace, forgiveness blah, blah…release political prisoners, end endless national service etc..

        But that chance has gone and gone for good, instead he come out and told us, nothing will change and it will be business a usual. And recently, he come back and told us, Sawa will never end and nothing will change.

        If there is anyone in the opposition who thinks can negotiation with IA on behalf of the Eritrean people, is just another dictator wanna be…there is nothing to negotiate with IA.

        I feel sorry for Fozia Hashim, I don’t know what her faith will be after this.


  • now, we are talking….blog check….

  • Selamat Ismail Ibraheem Al-MuKhtar and All,

    Some time back several years ago, there was a pull and push tug of war due to the formation of ELL, the Eritrean Lowlands League. This website registered its strong opposition for such a formation sighting disadvantages and dangers explicitly (which amounted to nothing more than the usual rhetoric) but may have perhaps camouflaged the real reason behind its rejection of the ELL. ELL today is barely audible for it may have melded or blended with the system to quietly achieve its goals towards the balancing of fair representation and access to resources for the Lowlander Eritrean in and within the only system of administration that is available to him/her.

    If any organized organization or social group embarks on raising the level of participation from near zero to 100% equitable levels and then attains it, it does not necessarily dissolve itself declaring mission accomplished. Recognizing the maintaining of one hundred percent equitable distributions of national resources for all, it is natural for such an organization or said social group mobilization to remain intact and as diligent.

    There are numerous observations and proofs by induction that could be presented for the theory that the Eritrean Lowlanders, through their initiatives and efforts as well as necessary compromises they have made, have indeed maid tremendous gains with regards to having access and equal representation in Eritrean society. The statistics are far more greater and favorable today than the historical basis and justifications sited in the above article. The theory further claims that the Eritrean Lowlander is far more supportive and solid backbone than his counter part the Eritrean Highlander. Perhaps the secret or vailed ingredient behind the strength of the Eritrean regime today is this.

    For the past several years the absence felt from this very impactful portion of the Eritrean body politics could be pointed at for the above line of thought. And absent of feedback to rational questions and invitation for a healthy debate leaves one to form his or her own conclusions or further theories.

    Here below I quote from the section of prescribed solutions in the above article. I emphasize by bold font parts of the declaration for this reason. It conspicuously resembles the philosophy and measures taker or driven by the PFDJ and the Eritrean regime. Namely the Sawa philosophy in Eritrea.

    ” These values need to be deeply ingrained in the social conscience of society from early childhood and reinforced through all mediums of social influence, such as education, media, civic and governmental institutions. A society built on these values will be ethnicity and sect blind. In such a society positions will not be entitlements nor affiliation based, but primarily based on merit, competence and integrity.”

    Does this not give justification to the culture of Sawa?


    (suffering from Mondaynitis.)

    • Ismail AA

      Selam tSAtSE,

      Your take in this current entry made my mind reflect back to the exchanges we had in the aftermath of the Eritrea Focus event in London. This was about events that you had anticipated to unfold inside Eritrea, which at that time drew my attention in a sort of ‘benefit of doubt’ way and had meticulously read ant took truck of the long commentaries you had graced us with. Of course, in retrospect, nothing came out and the matter dissipated as does the hot Summer morning fog.

      This time around, too, I took good notice of your take on ELL (and the Lowland Eritreans by and large) that much of the imbalances regarding sharing of power and resources are being rectified to such a satisfactory degree that the lowland Eritreans have over taken their counterpart Eritrean highlanders in becoming power base of the dictatorship. You had summed it up that Sawa and all that it constitutes has turn a boon rather than bein a scourge to the Eritrean lowlanders. Now, here is a question to you: Is a benevolent dictator’s revolution in process that we are not aware of?

      • Selamat Ayya Ismail AA,

        No Sir, I do not consider the dictator a benevolent one at all. Irreconcilable with the dictatorship is my opposition, that I am resigned to live out the rest of my life in exile. Short of full justice for the barbaric crimes that were committed in day light in Eritrea no matter how fair, equitable and prosperous it becomes, I would not ever settle and accept it as source of pride. I am stating this at the outset to reassure you of my firm stance that I consider the dictator polar opposite and extremely barbaric monster. The dictator is nothing but a hustler who is hoarding and amassing tremendous personal wealth by robbing Eritrea’s national resources unhindered. He and his network, which amounts to a band of thieves, are a tight nit and very well organized to the extent those of us who show our defiance with our full names on display do feel the touch of its very long tentacles. But we must do what we must for the sake of justice and the absolute truth.

        Let me just say that it is not only the aftermath of the Eritrea Focus group that concerns me nor is it the only event that I put under consideration or contemplate about. The Stockholm Congress which occurred at the same time as the London’s gathering brought to light a lot of issues that I as an Eritrean have not been clear about. It is the reason why I was glad to see Ishmael Ibrahim Al=Mukhtar illustrate the disparity of fair representation by providing the events and contents of the London and Stockholm as the current examples of diversity amongst Eritreans.

        I did not exactly characterized Sawa “a boon rather than a being a scourge to the Eritrean lowlanders.” I have a sound basis for putting forth a theory that can very well be disproved and confirmed to be false or we all may find it to be partially true and of great service towards achieving the noble cause of fair representation in Eritrea. Along the way, I will state some of my observations that are certainly vivid to all. Or it could be the case that I do have a tremendous blind side and as a result of my inquisitive nature I will be directed to the proper information by the proper people. In which case the long commentaries I plan to put forth will be redirected as I am one hundred percent for the construction of the ideal equitable distribution and access of national resources to all Eritreans which would be manifested with the fair representation sought after.

        I will maintain my stated take or theory with regards to the Eritrean Lowlander and in particular the ELL (By the way, if I were pressed to put myself in one of the two categories I assure you I believe strongly it would be a Lowlander, but that is besides the point.) Now that I have, perhaps on purpose because you will “read meticulously”, to the first of my long commentaries, I will state the basis form the claim.

        1) The genesis of the existence of unfair representation in favor of the highlander necessitates for the low lander to organize and take action to remedy the disparity. Surely the Eritrean Lowlander would submit and accept his fait and position in his own society without doing something about it. As the privileged Eritrean Lowlander would find justifications in order to maintain his status quo and advantages, the Eritrean Lowlander would certainly organize and devise strategies and commence a struggle to lay claim of his deserving fair share. I focus on the Eritrean Lowlands League because I believe it is based on this irrefutable rational gave its rise. It has been my observation, that since the announcement and the formation of the ELL, this very website which was a lot more vibrant with prolific writers (Muslim names indicating they are more than likely from the Lowlands) of poignant articles unmistakably mounting a formidable resistance to the Eritrean regime. The forum which is now mainly dominated by names like Solomon, Abraham(Nitric), Semere Tesfay, Paulos, Tomas, George, Hope, Haile S, Muhandis MiEbale, Amanuel Hidrat, Berhe Y etc.. as I remember it very well was a lot more diverse. The very loud and angry voice of Ali Salim went very silent suddenly. Legendary forum participants from TripleA to Zaki (notice literally A to Z) and Wedi-Ere, Kolel, OsmanA, Fareed, and of course the prolific Beyan Neggash. The majority of these folk’s disappearance from lending their voice of resistance to this pioneering leader voice of defiance coincides at about the time the formation of ELL. In a complete turn around names like Gheteb (Ibrahim Berhan) and Mahmud Saleh are very articulate Eritrean voices defending and supporting the Eritrean regime. Sara with her infrequent appearances is an Eritrean Lowlander is a perfect example who seems to be content with the Eritrean regime’s gradual rate of progress.
        Perhaps the Eritrean Lowlanders have organized a clandestine and more effective resistance against the political imbalances else where and I am merely asking for a progress report.

        2) Let us agree Sawa as being “a scourge to the Eritrean Lowlander.” It is a scourge to the Eritrean highlander equally. Unless there are significantly a lot less high schools in the Lowlands and a lot less Eritrean Lowlanders than the Highlanders are reaching the 11th grade, then it would be safe to say as high of a percentage of Eritrean Lowlanders are being snatched to Sawa as the Highlanders. Due to the earlier advantages of having privileged positions, the Eritrean Highlander utilizes kin folks in higher positions to exit legally or otherwise, creating a vacuum to be filled by the lowlanders. A major contention for rejecting Sawa and the national service by the highlanders is due to the fact that the center of activities and development by the regime has been far away from the center/highlands of Eritrea. And the displacement vector from Eritrea for the highlander is factually a lot larger than the lowlanders. Furthermore the Lowlander only several digits in longitude and latitude displaced from his home land is forced to comply and remain engaged with Eritrea due to passport and tight control.

        3) The gravitation of the Eritrean highlander towards the north of Ethiopia and the rise of Tigrai=Tigrigni and the Agazians could very well be due to some gains in narrowing the representation gap of today’s Eritrea and it’s regime. The regime does not put effort to tilt the balance for benevolent reasons. Rather it is because he is a tactician for his own power’s sake with the only concerns to amass wealth. It matters not much who is at his service. The initial make up of his administration are undoubtedly been eroded somewhat.

        4) The strongest argument I will present is the following. It is a must for a very well organized organization which embarked on achieving a balanced and fair representation to have scored significant victories towards this august goal in the past five or six decades – a time period which it has been very aware of the pertinent Eritrean dilemma.

        There are numerous questions I have with Ishmail Ibrahim Al-Mukhtar’s thesis above. Areas which he glossed over to make what he is advocating for stronger. As well as other trends or phenomena I believe we are all witnessing to support my theory. My theory is undoubtedly unscientific and very short on data. The challenge is for the Eritrean Lowlander to provide the data and nip this narrative in the bud and explain the whereabouts of the Lowlander voices or lack thereof at least from this litmus test that is

        If it wasn’t for you Ayya Ismail AA, Berhan and Kokheb Selam… well don’t know the make up of AT and I consider Keren neither high or low since it’s the plateau and SJG is a Habesha:)

        My answer is that the dictator is not a benevolent dictator. His is a sadist as far as I am concerned.

        Question for you Ayya Ismael AA: Do you believe the disappearance from this website and the fading of its original very diverse look is due to only to the obnoxious folks and distracters? How do you explain the all of sudden very meek and silent voice of Ali Salim, after his U-Turn followed by yet another U-Turn etc..?

        I claim upon closer look the above thesis did not raise a single negative against the Eritrean regime. Odd, don’t you think?

        With sincere apology for the very long commentary and I warn further there will be more but only for the purposes to be proven wrong.

        Any how I am perhaps merely missing

        FaTma, Kedija and Hawwa



        • said

          I fully agree with you for in-depth detailed and great analysis and thank you.
          The social and psychological rejection of Otherness constitutes a clear attack on the imaginal intelligence of the soul…one’s identity is split: divided into insider and outsider, worthy and worthless, above and below. That which is above we adore and aspire to [emulate], that which is beneath us we disdain and hold in contempt. This deeming quality of superior/inferior is the core of civilization’s method (i.e., conquest, oppression, and exploitation).- Daniel Deardorff, The Other Within

  • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


    ንምንታይ ምምርቓሕ?
    ናይ ኩሉ ዕድል ንምስፋሕ
    ዝጎደለ ንኽራባሕ
    እሞ ካብ ንዳመን ክንልቃሕ?

    ዶ ዋላስ
    ናትና ሜላ ንፍጠር
    ጥጡሕ ባይታ ንኹሉ ወዲ ሃገር
    ዘእንግድ ዘሳትፍ ዝጠምር ዘሕብር

    እቲ ዘድሊ ንጽህና
    ናይ ቀደም ቅንዕና
    እንተ ኣታኣታቲና
    ምምርቓሕ ድርግም ኣብ ሃገርና

    ዕበጦ-ዝለሎ ዝበሃሉ ቃላት
    ነርሕቆም ካብ ሰነዳት
    ንልመዶ ክንሽከም ቅሉዕ ፋይላት

    ኣይምልከተካን ትበሃል ቃል ነጥፈኣያ
    ተጥፈኣና ዘላ ንሳ ‘ያ
    ብሽሕ ግዜ ሓሊፋታ ንዳስ ዓዲ-ሓውያ

    ጸረ ምምርቓሕ ከይኮኑና
    ሕማቕ ቃላት ኣወጊድና
    ቅኑዕ ቅዋም ኣብ ሞንኩብና
    መፍትሕ ቅዋም ኣብ ጁባና
    ብዱልዱል ሻርኔራ ገጥ ኣቢልና
    ትኾርምየኒ ‘ለ ተመራቒሕና

    • Paulos

      ሰላም መሃንድስ ምዕባለ,

      ሃመማ ተራኣኹ ክዓብጦ
      ሓዊ ‘ተዓገተኒ ክዘሎ
      ንሕሜት ኣይምልከተንን ክብሎ

      እተን ዝበልካየን ቃላት ህላዌ ተጥፊኤን
      ከመይ’ልና ክንነብር ብዘይብአን

      ከምቲ ፈረንጂ ዝብልዎ
      ንኹሉ ኮንተክስት ኣለዎ
      ኣብ እንዳ ህግደፍ’ግን ኩሉ ከፊእዎ
      ቃል ከይተረፈ ሶሎሎ ኣትይዎ

      ኣብ ናጻ ኤርትራ
      ቃላት በብታራ
      መስርዕም ክሕዙ ከም ኮኾብ ጽሩራ
      ቀሪቡ’ዩ ክሓልፍ ሓሳረ-መከራ
      ምሩጻት ቃላትና’ውን ክወጹ ሓራ!

      • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

        Nice poem, Paul!
        I knew I will get some objection to the elimination of some words but didn’t expect to get in a poetic way 🙂

        • Haile S.


          Word-world ዶ’ይበልኩን ግደፎ
          ዘለካ ቃል ዓለም በጃኻ ኣራግፎ

          መሃንድስ ዝኣክል ተሰኪምካ ትምህርቲ
          መሃንዲስ ሃናጺ መሰረት ዘውጽእ ካብ ብዓቲ
          ጳውሎስ ቀማሚ ዘምጽእ መድሃኒት ካብ ኩዕንቲ
          እንኮ ክእለተይ ምምርማር ኣካል ሕምምቲ
          እንተገጠምኩ ዘይ ኣኻኺበ ቄንጠ-መንጢ
          እንተመሎቖኒ ቁምነገር ብኣጋጣሚ ሓንቲ

          • ምምርማር ኣካል ሕምምቲ ክአለተይ ካብ በልካያ
            አንታይ ዘኽይድ ኣሎኒ ን ፎሮቢያ
            ክውስኽ ‘ኦፒንዮን’ ኣብ ኣኽርያ
            ን ርአይቶ ዶቶረ አቲ ካልኣይ
            ያኢ ተረኺቡለይ ‘ኢስፕሻሊስት’ መርማራይ
            ድሓን ሕጂ አንኳዕ ፈለጥኩ ሕራይ።

            ከምዘሎኻኒ ኣብዛ ጥቓይ
            ዘይሰርዓካ ቀዳማይ
            ደው ከተብለለይ ዘለኒ ስቓይ
            በል ክገልጸልካ አታ ዘላ ሕማም ምሳይ
            ዱብ ኢላ ዝወረደትኒ ፍሮም ዘ ስካይ
            ካብ ሰማይ።

            ከምዛ ኸማይ
            ንዑኡ ውን አቲ መሓዛይ
            ክንደይ ኣልሕሊሓቶ
            አንተ ኣላጊበሉ ኣነ ዱብ ኢላ ተሰቕለቶ
            መሊሳ ተጠምጠመቶ ኣድከመቶ
            ከምዛ ዝጓቶተትኒ ኣላሽ ኣበለቶ
            ንድሕሪት ሰሓበቶ።

            ዑምቆታ ኣይትሓልፍን ካብ ቆርበት
            አንተ ብፉሑኽ ኣንዳኸደት
            ካብ ሓደ ናብ ሓደ ኣንዳዘለለት
            ኢያ ኣዝያ ንቡዙሓት ዘጥቀዐት
            ስረ ጂግና ካብ ጽኑዑን ጥሙርን

            ብሰንካ ዛ ሕማም
            ጥንቃ ከዛምም
            ከድኩልካ ናብ ዑደት
            ናይ ስራሕ ኣምሲለ ሓውሲ ዙረት
            አታ በራሪት ጠፈር ኣንሳፈፈት
            ደመና ጨደደት ብናህሪ
            ፍሓስከወን አተን ጾግሪ
            ክቖጽረን ኩለን ዘለዋኒ ዲግሪ።

            ዲግሪ ዳኣ ሚአትን ክልተን
            ካብ ምዕራብ ንምብራቕ
            ሹዱሽተ ደቓይቕ ሓዊሰን
            ዕስራ ዲግሪታት ን ሰሜን
            ደቓይቕ ሰላሳን ሹዱሽተን
            ነበረ ቲ ቨክቶር ናይ ‘ዲስፕለስመንት”
            ን ብራስልስ ካብ ቴክሳስ ኦስቲን።

            ኣብ ሱሳ ደቒቕ ሓደ ድግሪ
            ክልተ ሱሳ ኣርቢሕካ ክንዲ ተጥሪ
            ሰለስተ ሚአትን ሱሳን ዲግሪ
            ተስተማስል ከም ዝበደለካ ፈጣሪ
            ከም ዝዓንቀፈ አግሪ

            አምበር ዙሪክ ዳርምስታድት
            ክራካው ቨለንሲያ ሎንዶን
            ከም ኣይዛክ ኑትን
            ብ ፕሪንሲባል ናይ ማተማቲካል ኢንዳክሽን
            ፈሊጥና ነፍልጥ ዋጋ ነጻ (ፍሪ) ኤዱከሽን።

            ከመልስካ አምበኣር
            ናብቲ ዘሳቕየኒ ነገር
            ክትሐክመኒ ኣንታ ዶክተር
            ከም ዘይተማዓድኩ ቆርበተይ ከትርር
            ኢነሄኹልካ ይስምብድ ይብሕርር።

            ክሰምዕ ኢለ ምስ ኣተኹልካ ካፊተርያ
            ክዋዘ ከጻወት ክሰምዕ ሕካያ
            ስታፍ ኢንፈክሽን ሓዘኒ ብለካ
            ጠንቁ ስታፊሎካስ ባክተርያ
            ፎሲ ለግሰለይ ‘ባ ኣንታ በዓል ዓቢ ሞያ።

            በሉ ሰብ ሞያ
            ኣርክብዎ ቀድምዎ
            ኣርክብዋ ከድምዋ



          • Haile S.

            Selamat Xaxe,

            ግጥሚት ወይ ክኣ Poematitis እትብሃል ሓደገኛ ዘይኮነት ተለፋልፍ epidemic እያ ለቢዳትካ ዘላ። መድሃኒታ ምግጣም ጥራይ እዩ። ንጳውሎስ ክተስዕሎ ኣምስያ። ንኤማን ንሳልሕን ለኺፋቶም ሓግያ። Kokhob, Geometra and myself are chronically infected. It re-occurs like malaria on Peace & Consolation. IA is completely immune. His only problems are ሽርሒtitis & ብድሆtitis!

          • ሰላማት ሃይለ ኤስ፡

            የቐንየለይ ዶክቶር። አተን ብጽሒትካ ክልተ ድረውህ ሓንቲ ጤል ኣብታ ኣፍደገ ማዕጾኻ ዘላ ቀጣን ገረብ ኣሲረልካ ኣለኸ። [በዛ ማንደይናይቲስ ካኣ ትጎዳዳኣኒ ትጂምር ኣላ። ቆጸራ ዶ ክገብረላ ክትርኤኒ ዳሕራይ?]

            ተመስጋን አምባኣር ካብ ሕጂ ክብል።

            አንቋዕ ኮንኩ ክም ስበይ
            ሓቢረ ከነብር ኣብ ስቓይ
            ኡንቛዕ ኣይኮንኮ በይነይ
            ፎሳ ኸኣ ካነ ምቕጻል ቀሊል ግጥመይ
            ሕራይ ቁቡል ዩ ትአዛዝካ ሓኪመይ።

            ስሚዕካ ዶ? ርኢኻ ዶ? በል ሓኪመይ ፈዊስዋ



      • Haile S.

        ሰላም ገጠምቲ

        ወይ ግጥሚ! ይበል ደስ ዘብል ዘሕጉስ
        መሃንድስ ድዩ ጳውሎስ ወይስ ጳውሎስ’ዩ መሃንድስ
        ፍልጠት ዘይፈልየኩም ክልቴኹም ሰብ ሳይንስ
        ምልላይኩም ጠፊኡኒ እንተበልኩ ሃሰስ-መሰስ
        ንዑ ኣብ ኑዛዜ እተዉ ንገሩና ብዘየገድስ
        Identical twins ፍልጠትኩም ውቅያኖስ

        • Paulos

          ሰላም ሃይላት,

          ሃይላት ዝስምካ ዘይብልካ መሰታ
          ንዓና ኣይትሃበና እቲ ኺሉ ናትካ
          ፈለጥና ተበልና ርሑቕ ተራኣና
          ኣብ መንኮብካ ኢና ተሰቒልና
          ከምቲ Newton* ዝበሎ ምግቢ’ኸሎ ማና!

          *If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.

        • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

          ኣንታ ሃይላት!

          ሎምስ ከኣ ክትሰርዓኒ ምስ ሊቃውንቲ
          ጌርካ ውሰዶ
          ንስኻትኩም ቪላ ገዛ ኣነ ድማ ደሓን ዝኾነት በዓቲ
          እንቋዕ ት ሰምዕ ኣይኮነት ሞኽባዕቲ

          ምዓበጠትኒ ኔራ
          ሚዛንካ ኣይኮነን ኢላ

          ኣብ ዓዋተ ተሓንጠጥኩስ ምስ ዘይዓቕመይ ክትመዝነኒ
          ‘ዚ ጽዕነት ‘ንካ ከበደኒ

          ሎምስ ድማ ምሳኻትኩም?
          ምስቶም ዝጸዓንኩም

          ንዓ ደኣ ‘ቲ ጽዕነት ኣጐድሎ
          ኣነ ቅንዕ ክብል ሚዛን ናይ ፈሊጣን ድማ ክሕሎ

          ኣነኳ የ ማትሪክ ዘንገርገረትኒ
          ስጋዕ ሎሚ ሕቖይ ይሕመኒ
          ሎምስ ከኣ ምሳና ተሰሪዕካ ክትብለኒ

          በየናይ ዓቕመይ?
          ኣይፋል! ኣነስ ኣብኡ ኣይበጻሕኩን ሕሩመይ

          • Paulos

            Caro Geometra,

            You should see me laughing.

            በይንኻ ኣይኮንካን ንዓይ’ከማን ማትሪክ ዝገደፈትለይ የብላን፣ ፈፈው አቢላትኒ’ያ። ስምባደ ናይ ማትሪክ ክስብሎሚ ኣይወጻለይን ዘሎ።

            ክልተ “F” ሓሙሽተ “D”
            ተጻዒነ ከም’ኣድጊ
            ንገዛይ ኣምራሕኩ ኣብታ ተካል ማዓልቲ

            ኩሉ ሓመየኒ ማትሪክ ምስተረፍኩ
            ገጽሰብ ከይርኢ ወረትግ ሓፈርኩ
            ወጋሕ ትበል ለይቲ ክበኪ ሓደርኩ
            በረኪና ገዚኤ ገመድ’ውን ቀረብኩ
            ግን ንሱ መፍትሒ ከምዘይኮነ
            ሽዕዑ ተረዳእኩ

            ጻጸ ሽዱሽተ ግዜ ፈተነ
            ኣብ መበል ሻብዓይ ሰሰነ
            ከባሃል ሰማዕኩ
            ኣነውን ሰለይ እንዳበልኩ
            ሞራለይ መለስኩ

            ዘይሕለፍ የለን ብኽንደይ ቀይቀይ
            ብ “C” ኣቨረጅ ተነግረኒ ምሕላፈይ
            ሽዕዑ መሰሰምበደኒ ናይ ትምረቲ ነገር
            ሕሩመይ’ለ ሚሒለ ከይርኢ ደብተር

            ኩሉ ተቐየረ ኣብ እንዳ ዓዋተ
            ክማሃር ጀመርኩ እንዳበልኩ ታተ
            ክብረት ይሃቦም ነቶም ሊቃውንቲ
            ዝምህሩና ዘለው ምዕልቲ ምዕልቲ

          • Haile S.

            Sublime poem!
            ብቕድሚት ቀዳማይ፡ ብድሕሪት ቀዳማይ ኩሉ ሓደ
            ምዃኑ ኣመስኪርካ ኣብ መወዳእታ እንተውሓደ!

          • Paulos

            Thank you Hailat.

          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ይበል! ይበል! ግጥሚ
            ማዘር ሰይንት-መሪ, ነጥበይ ክንገር ከለኹ ምሳይ ኔርካ ከይትኸውን ተጠራጢረ።
            I have always suspected that if one F weighs more than 5As or so

            ወዲ ማሕበረይ ‘ዩ ኢለ ሕጉስ ኢለ ኔረ ንውሑዳት ደቓይቕ: ደሓር ግን ደሓን ኣይእተዉ ሃይላት: ኤማን: ካልኦትን “ዶተረ” ከምዝብሉኻ ዝክር ኣቢለ: ተስፋ ቑርጽ።

            ኣይገርመካን? እዋይ ሕስድና ክኸፍእ። ምሳይ ባይታ ክትዘብጥ ደሌካ ማለት ‘ኳ ‘ዩ።

            BTW, speaking of doctors, ኤርትራ መስጋገሪ ከይንስእን ዝበሃል ስክፍታ ጠሪስና ከነቋርጾ ኣለና።
            ኤርትራ ክመርሑ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ ኣብ ምዕብልትን ሰላምን ሃገር ክቕይሩ ዝኽእሉን ዓዲ ፍትሕን ዝገብሩ ዜጋታትን ኣብ ዓዋተ ኣለዉና።

          • Paulos


            You’re killing me here. 😂😂😂.

            True, Awate, the fertile site is the parent of the brains who will one day put Eritrea on a pedestal and you are one of them. God bless!

  • Brhan

    Salam Alikum Shiekh Ismail,

    I have to thank for well written article and I will simply add some points which I think worth to the disscusions”

    1) The issue of fare representation relates to many issues and one of the issues is the issue of Repatriation of Eritrean refugees of the 1960s . The PF(JD) policy to this issue is ambiguous. An anecdote that I can recall in this regard is the following. A friend of mine who visited Massawa recently asked a veteran who is also in charge of a government position about the whereabouts of Massawaians and this official’s only answer was ” እንድዒ! ንጉስ ሃ.ስላሴን ደርግን ኣጥፊኦሞም“. This veteran’s answer reflects the regime’s policy: carelessness to the people

    2) Getting rid of of stereotyping, which at many times can take one form of discrimination. It is can of warms of tribalism and regionalism among many Eritrean Muslims and Eritrean Christians, respectively. We can do that through knowing each other and I like SGJ example : check your contacts in you cellphone: is it diverse? If I know you then I will be glad to give you my vote to represent me.

    3) The article also missed the challenges of making Diaspora Eritreans who were born or/and raised in the Middle East, particularly Sudan and Saudi Arabia to show good attendances in national events. For people to have fair share in representation, they have to come to the events, meetings and leadership. As a writer , our role will be not only reminding them that but also also finding solutions to the challenges of why they are passive with regard to the events.

    Again thank you Sheikh Ismail Ibrahim

  • Paulos

    Selam Ayana, Abona Sheikh Ismael Al-Mukhtar,

    Many thanks for the vivid and yet lamenting exposé of our not so proud history. One feels terribly helpless and resigned for the past is beyond our reach to be rectified but becomes a lesson so that the future pans out better and much better. How do we make it better is a timely and crucial question we need to address.

    In Ta-Nahisi Coates’ brilliant book titled, “Between The World And Me”, an African-American father narrates to his in a series of letters, the centuries old assault on the Black people where the letters take a quasy intellectual density as they delve in sociology, economics, psychology where the academic disciplenes are centered in violence. When the father passes on to his son the dark history with a sense of honesty, it eventually depends on the son if he is going to see the world precisely the same like his father. Or if he is going to conjure up a different understanding as he tries to fit in in a world that had betrayed his own father. In the end, some sons became disciples of MLK and other sons opted to be disciples of Malcolm X instead. And the sons of the former seem to have won the day where Obama comes to mind among notable others.

    I belong to the generation of the 80s, was born in 1970 to be exact. And I grew up learning about our unfair and prejudiced history. My elders opted to right the wrong through violence and certainly that path attested to the fact that it was a wrong path.

    The reason it was wrong not only because they used violence but also because they were too wired in viewing an Eritrean not as an Eritrean but as a hyphenated Eritrean–Eritrean from the Highlands or Eritrean from the Lowlands. The compartmentalization blurred the rational and intelligent mind. Here, the challenge right in front us is, what do we pass on to the generation coming of age? One and one Eritrea or a divided and compartmentalized Eritrea? If we elect for the latter, not only we condemn them to be prisoners of the past but we find ourselves as guilty us those whom we perennially cause of doing us wrong. The choice is clear with a clear consequence.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Ismail I. Al-Mukhtar,

    Thank you for bringing the issue of “representation” in to the Eritrean body politics. Despite the issue has been raised frequently by many concerned citizens, the resistance to it, is so adamant that we are still unable to bring it on the front burner. Second, even those who are advocating for it do not have the same prescription as to how to address the issue.

    While I am on agreement on the of lack of fair representation in the sociopolitics of our society, I beg to differ on the nature of the remedies to it. I don’t believe framing the “issue of representation” by religion. Because it does not address the grievances of our “social groups” the building blocks of our society, in a real sense irrespective of their religion. The example you brought of the Semharin Muslim grievances against the western lowland Muslims in ELF during the 60s is a testament in itself that the grievances was not a “religious one” but rather on regional and ethnic ( social groups). You can’t represent the social groups by framing with religion. All our social groups could either have similar or different specific issues of grievances that could not be related to religion. For instance, the issue of the Saho social group is not necessarily the same with issue of the Tigre social group, the Issue of the Dankalia social group is not necessarily the same with the issue of the Bilen social group…and so on, to address their grievances by putting them in one religious basket. Instead the fair representation should reflect to our “social groups” if we want to have real representation in sociopolitics and socioeconomics lives of our society.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Aman H and Dr. Paulos,

      Sheikh Ismael Al-Mukhtar came with cogent and over duly relevant discussion platform. It is my hope worthy participants who might have chosen to stay away in order to avoid rough elements who stay in ambush to de-rail genuine debate on worth matters would take notice and return. This well-written and well-thought contribution that touches on almost all elements that have been encumbering the body politics of our evolving nation-state in the past decades deserves attention.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Ismailo,

        I wish the author of the piece could engage the forumers to respond and defend his argument. But I don’t think he will, because he did not show up to defend on his previous articles.

        • Paulos

          Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

          I wonder why that is the case. It would be great for courtesy to the very least.

          • Haile S.

            Selam Paul, Emma & all

            There are few authors in Awate that don’t or rarely respond to reactions from readers. I do like to believe they have valid reasons to do so, but I would like to remind everyone that our condemnation of the one-way PFDJ-style of conversation need to be followed by an opposite action on our part.

            BTW, did you see Minister Fozia Hashim’s “dialogue of the deaf” responding to Asmerom Asmelash & Fesseha Hagos’s poignant questions (diffused by Assenna)
            Thumbs up to both men!

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            The authors probably have valid reasons not to engage the reader but of course there are exceptions where Ismael [Point-Blank] comes to mind.

            I watched Minister Fozia’s Q and A. I would say, the winner was Fozia or PFDJ hands down. It was a well laid out strategy to check the waters where it gives a sense of reform in the making when she invited the Opposition to participate in an otherwise off-limits turf. If we notice, the two men [Asmerom and Fisseha] tacitly endorsed the legitimacy of the regime when they failed to say unequivocally that Isaias needs to resign, instead they went on expressing their grievances only. It was a great day for Isaias.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Sir,

            Now go to Jebena page and see what I have said in poem form and what Haile S, had replied to me on the same poem form..Enjoy it..


          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ


            ናይ ፎዝያ ሓሶት ምስበዘሐ
            ኣባ ጅጎ ከይወርድ ፈሪሐ

            ክንድዚ ሎ ቦኾኽ ቦኾኽ
            ብሓሶት ህግደፍ ክንዕብሎኽ

            ዓለም ከይትረስን ተጠራጢረ ሎምስ
            ክንድዚ ሓሲኻ ከመይልካ ትድቅስ

            ሕፍረቶም ዝቐንጠጡ
            ናይ ኤርትር ጣንጡ
            በዝን በትን ዝገላበጡ

            ንዳ ህግደፍ ሸፋቱ
            በዚ ተበልካ ፎዝያ
            በቲ ተበልካ ሶፍያ
            ከይተርደ አና ድርግም ናብ ኢትዮጵያ

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ ,

            it was nice መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ:- what a very interesting Poem ?

            “ንዳ ህግደፍ ሸፋቱ
            በዚ ተበልካ ፎዝያ
            በቲ ተበልካ ሶፍያ
            ከይተርደ አና ድርግም ናብ ኢትዮጵያ

            KS ,,

          • Haile S.

            Selam Paul,

            On the ruse, you may be right. In fact in line with what you said (the insidious reforms) the recent movies produced by the PFDJ cultural affaires have started to include talks about the difficulties of life, prolonged services and exile of the young. But no one will be convinced by these ruses other than those already convinced. For me፡m, Fozia failed miserably in addressing any of the questions, exposing herself the PFDJ way.
            You said “…when they failed to say unequivocally that Isaias needs to resign…” ኩናት ዘይውዓለ በሉሕ ! ምስ እኩባት ህግደፋውያን ኣካል ብኣካል ብሓሳብ ዝተጋጠምካ ኣይትመስልን:-) 🙂 እእምም!

          • Paulos

            Selam Hailat,

            Why Fozia and why not Yemane Gebreab the smooth talker who can allegedly sell snow to the Eskimos? It was a carefully orchestrated strategy and it worked. The question should have been an assertion instead, along the lines Isaias should leave! It was a let out pent up anger.

            Yes I have engaged noisy PFDJ in many occasions and I know the feel but again, the message to one if his lieutenants should have been the most important and relevant message.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Paulos,

            In Tigrayit they say, “እደ ጉሉል ጨፈዕ ጽበጥ እባ.” roughly, it means, catch dirtiness with the hand of a fool. Isaias gave Fozia Hashim the ministry of justice so as to be responsible of all his crimes. A typical example we have it with Al-Bashir when questioned who killed demonstrators he replied ask Salah Gosh.

            Fozia Hashim faced difficult question. However, as usual she was not outside the line of Isaias. They ask her about the G15 trial she escapes to the jungles of world politics. Who elected her to represent the people of Eritrea? Why is she there for about twenty years? Fozia doesn’t represent the people of Eritrea. She is an ally of a robber, and the ally of a robber is a robber.


          • Paulos

            Selam Hameed,

            In my opinion, Fozia is not relevant. The most important question is, how does the Opposition respond to the new rising PFDJ’s strategy. ግደፍዎም ይውጻኣሎም፣ ይንፈሰሎም seems the new strategy. Isaias should leave must be the persistent demand!

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Paulos,

            You are right. The question could be how we should welcome the new awakening and vigilance. Of course, they have made a grave mistake; however, we should forgive them except those who performed crimes against the people of Eritrea. Every brick taken from the edifice of Isaias is a brick added for building a civilized Eritrea that respects the rights of all her constituents. Eritrea that first builds the minds, before bridges and palaces.


          • Thomas

            Hi Paulos,

            I think the opposition confronting PFDJ/Fozia in this case is not a bad idea. However, I think people need make sure the wording of their questions. It is just the regime has been committing all kinds of crimes and the way to go is for them to resign and leave the nation or get ready to receive justice for the crimes they have committed. Questions like asking the were about of Sebhat Efrem and the confiscation of the catholic church clinics to was irrelevant questions. What is the purpose of a pfdj member walking from his bed every morning: 1) to rather sleep in his/her office 2) To create ghostly environment or increase the level of hopelessness within the society 3) Enhance fear level through propaganda/torture/arrest and killings. 4) facilitate mass migration again through fear and increasing crimes 5) Steal, destroy public/private property or the means of their level. 6) Break up families to increase the level of anxiety or making sure no one becomes a threat to the regimes survival. …………

          • Paulos

            Allora Thomisco,

            PFDJ is testing the waters where the final analysis is to make it look like as if the people’s demand is a reform as opposed to a revolutionary change al’a Sudan or Al-Bashir. More over, how do the people who asked questions expect Fozia to give an answer skewed from the playbook? Instead, they have to use the platform to send a clear message to Isaias when they stick to the crucial and vital demand—Isaias should leave power and face justice.

            Isaias the political animal with a remarkable survival instinct that he is, he is trying to set the rule of the game in a bid to beat us in it. We have to make sure that, we stay ahead of the game. Again, stick to the most important and vital demand–he should transfer power to the people and he should face justice. The rest is irrelevant.

          • Thomas

            Hi Paulos,

            Totally agreed with all points you made above. There is nothing to expect from a guy who publically said, “Those who wish to see democracy in this country need to go to Mars”. They seem to have forgotten that they are a bunch of mafias. To begin with NO ONE has elected them to be there. They are there because they managed to control the guns and seem to have stolen the country from her legit people.

    • Paulos

      Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

      That certainly is a compelling argument when you said, the bone of contention couldn’t have been religious, if it was, why would the splinter group otherwise known as PLF-1 who were predominantly Muslims opted to part ways. My question to you is, what was the exact reason then? And on what grounds did they mingle with Selfi-Nats’net in the end? Much obliged.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Dr. Paulos,

        I can only give you my assessment. They formed united front because of the policy of ELF on ELF-PF to remove it by force from the field, though that policy does not include the Selfi-Natsenet. Issayas and his group were afraid that ELFites will come after them and sided with the Sodeh-Ila group. If the policy of ELF would have been a political diplomatic approach, the two organizations (ELF-PF and Selfi-Natsenet) wouldn’t form a united front.

        The power ambition of Sabe and Issayas could not make them coexist together in one organization. It was a temporary marriage of convenience. Therefore, they would have tried to thrive and survive separately. That is why Sabe and Issayas went their own way to dissolve the united front and declare to form their own organizations in 1977. Sabe hold took the custodian of “Hizbawi Hailetat” and Issayas renamed his organization as EPLF. I my answer will satisfy your inquisitive mind.


        • Paulos

          Makes sense. Again, much obliged Sir!

  • Ismail AA

    Hayak Allah Sheikh Ismael Al-Mukhtar,

    As usual, lucid in style and impeccable integrity of authorship. This carefully composed contribution credibly constitutes fair representation in delivering diagnosis and remedy of a distorted socio-political set up in an evolving nation-state.

    The crisis in Eritrea is about the failure of the elites to find the median from where the nation can embark on a mission along the thoughtful recommendations you have articulated. Attempts to find the median has so far proven futile because no credible and sufficient segment of the societal elites could be established.

    Chained by shackles of real or apparent mistrust, the elites have remained trapped inside the hard shells of their peculiar socio-religious enclaves. They have fallen for the short-term benefits you have mentioned, which power in state can provide while effectively impairing the polity from evolving in a nation building process that can open ways to involve the diversity of that constitute the nation. To be brief, I agree with Senay Zer’s point regarding crafting of a “political and governance structure” if the recommendations in this contribution would be set in truck.

  • sara

    Dear Mr. ismail,
    the best read of 2019 i think is your thesis, and all your recommendations applies to those inside and outside the country. thank you sir.

  • ሰላማት ኢስማዒል ኢብራሂም ኣልሙኽታር፥

    ቅድሚ ዝተዃለፈት ዘረብይ ምቕጻል፥ አዘን ዝጠቕስካየን ክልተ መጻሕፍቲ ኣብ ዝኾነ ካልአ ቋንቃታት ተቶጊመን ኣለዋ ዶ?

    ሀ)ጀዝወር ኣልኽላፋት ኣል ኣርትርያ ወ ጠርቕ መዓለጀትሃ፡ ዑስማን ሳበ።
    ለ) እርትርያ፥ መሽከለት ኣል ዋሕዳ ኣል ወጠኒያ ፊ ሓቕባ ኣል ኩፋሕ ኣል መስለሕ፡ ማሕሙድ ዑስማን ኣልዩስ።

    ከም ናይ ሊባኖስ ዐይነት ሙዕሩይ ወከልቲ ህዝቦም ምሕደራ ማዕዶ ዕስማን ሳልሕ ሳበ ዝበልካዮ፡ መራሕቲ ሰውራ ኣብቲ አዋን አቲ ቀንዲ ቃልሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ሎሚ ኣቐዲሞም ከምዘስተብሃሉሉን ሓሰቡሉን ጀመርዎን ይገልጽ።

    ኣብታ ዘረባይ ክምለስ…. ተወዲቡ ካብ ዝጅምርን ዘሎ አቲ ዝቃለስ፡ አንተወሓደ ሓደ ክልተ ውለዶ አዋን ኣሕሊፉ። መዕባሌታትን ዓወታትን ምምሕያሻትን ውን ስለ ተቓለሰ ዓቲሩ ኣብ መዝገባቱ ኣስፊርዎ ክህሉ ናይ ግድን ኢዩ፡፡

    ስለዚ ኩቡር ሓው ኣልሙኽታር አተን ብዙሓት ናይ ኤርትራ ተቓወምቲ ሕይልታትን፥ ናይ “ዘ መጅልስ” ዝበሃሉ ኣብ “ዘ ካቨናንት” ዝበሉዎ ቅቡል ዘየካትዕ ትዕዝብቲ ኢልና ወሱድና፥ ኢቲ ዘይሙዕሩይ ውክልና ሕብረትሰብ ኤርትራ መሊሱ ዶ ገኒኑ፡ መዝ ዝነበሮ ኣይተመሓየሸን፡ ወይስ ብቡዙሕ ጸቕጥታት ሳላ አቶም ተገዲሶም ቀጻሊ ዝጽዕርሉ ካብ ውሑድ ስጋብ ዘተባብዕ መጠንን ኣኽሂዱኡን ኣብዝሓጸረ አዋን ተማሕይሹ ኢዩ ኢልካ ትግመቶ?

    ከም አተን ዝጠቕስካየን ኣብዚ ቐረባ አዋን “ዘ ሎንዶን ኮንፈረንስ”ን “ዘ ስቶልክሆም ኮንግረስ” ዝኣመሰላ ጥርናፌታት፡ ኣብዚ ሰፊሕ አዋን ታሪኽ ኤርትራ ነዚ ፍትሓውን ቅዱስ ዕላማ ቃልሲ ማዕርነት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ሓላፍነት ተስኪመን ረጥ ኢለን ከም ዘይ ድቅሳ ርግጸኛ ስለ ዝኾንኩ፥ ዝተሰላሰለ ንጥፈታት መኽስብ ከምዝረኸባሉ ስልትታትን ክህሉ ናይ ግድን ይኸውን። ስልዚ አቲ ዝሓቶ ዘለኹ ብፍልይ ዝበለ ኣንግል ዓይኒ ኣቀናኒዕካ፥ አንታይ ዓይነት ምምሕያሻት ኣብዝ ኣርአስቲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ኣጎናጺፉ ዝርዝሩ ቁሩብ ክትገልጸልና ዶ ምኸኣልካ?

    ካልአ አንተ ሃሊዩኒ፥ ብዙሕ ምስ ኢዚ ዘሎ ስርዓት ኣብ ኤርትራ ዝመሳሰል ነጥብታት ዝረኸብክውን ስለ ዘለዋ፥ አቲ ትህበኒ መልሲ ተሞርኪሰ ወይ ኣንጸባሪቐ መረዳአታይ ክህበሉ ኢየ። አንተ ንሕማቕ አንተ ንጽቡቕ ስጉምትታትን መምርሕታትን ኣብ ጽሑፉን ናይ ፕሮፖጋንዳታት ጭርሖታቱ ንነዊሕ ግዜ ቀጻሊ ዘተሓሳስቦን ዝጸቕጦን ጉዳይ ስለ ዝኾነ፥ ኣወንታውነቱ ንምትካል ማዕርነት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዋላ ቁንጣሮ ኣበርክቶ ኣለዎ።

    አንተ ኣለዎ ማዕረ ማዕሪኡ ይሃልዋ
    ሓቀይ ዶ?



  • ሰላማት ኢስማዒል ኢብራሂም ኣልሙኽታር፥

    ንጹር እሕጽር ኣቢልካ ታሪኻዊ ጠንቅታቱን ናዕቢ ሕጽረት ምድላው ዘይብሉ ውክልነት (The issue of fair representation) ን ዝዝውተሩ ወይ ዝቕጽሉ ናይ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ርአይቶታትን ኣካይዳን ስጉምትታን ሓደ ምሰረታዊ መረዳአታ ንዓይ ክህበኒ ክኢሉ። ብጣዕሚ ጽቡቕ ጌርካ ሰሪዕካ ስለ ዘቕረብካዮ ምስጋና ይግበኣካ።

    ኣብቲ ዝሃብካዮ ለበዋታትን ጥቕምታት አቲ ናይ መጨርሽታ ሽቶ ውክልነት ብዘይ ምድላው ወይ ሻርነት ብወገነይ ሙሉአ ብ ሙሉ ቅቡል ኢዩ። ኣብዚ ዘቕረብካልና ዝለዓላ ሕርኽርኽ ዝብላኒ ዘይበረሃለይ ነጥብታት ኣለዋ። ክለተ ወይ ካብ ክልተ ዝበዝሑ ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ ስለ ማዕርነታዊ ውክልናኡ ኣብ ኩሉ መዳያት ናብራኡ ኣብታ ትድለ ኤርትራ ስለ ዝኾነ፥ ሙዕሩይ ውክልነት የለን ኢልካ ኣሚንካ፥ ከተማዕረሪ ንዘጸንሕ ብግሶትካን ጻዕርታትካን መቐጸልታ ዓወታት ክትውስኸሉ ከም ዝኾነ መርግጺኻ ብሩህ ኢዩ። አቲ አኹል ወከልተይ ተሓሪሙኒ፥ ንዕብየተይን ምዕባለይን ምዕባሌ ሃገረይ ኣዝዩ ጎዳአን ኣብ ተባራዒ ሃንደበታዊ ሕማቕ ኩነታት ከውድቐና ስለ ዝኽአል ዘለናዮ ኣካይዳናን ስርሓትናን ኢሉ፥ ነቶም ተሃሰይቲ ኣካል ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ ወዲቡ….. ይቕጽል…Challenge!




  • Senay Zer

    Dear Ismael — Thanks for taking the time to write this article with composure (devoid of combustive rhetoric), well balanced background and finally, practical recommendations (via Sabbe – the most underrated Eritrean Hero!). I like all your recommendations, I feel like #2 and #3 are relative easily doable. Hands down, #1 should be our primary core-value. Not only for us but all of Africa too. We are endowed with such a rich diversity, however, the only way to make that work for us instead of against us to endorse and practice inclusion, tolerance, mutual respect and understanding – basically, we have to convince ourselves and our children that it is absolutely fine to live, work and interact with someone different than us. This is also relatively easily achievable although it may take significant time, effort and commitment. Having said that, I think there is a fourth step you didn’t mention, one that has the potential to cause most friction. And that is structure – political and governance structure. The obvious starting point is decentralization but there are some trickier aspects to it too. Thanks again!