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Come And See (What We Want You To See)!

The good news is that the Eritrean opposition and the Eritrean government have started talking to one another. The bad news is that it is proxy talks: it is discussions by our favorite foreigners. Pro-oppo Foreigner Narrative: Eritrea is one of the worst violators of human rights and exporters of asylum-seekers; an outlaw regime that governs without constitution. Pro-Government Foreigner Narrative: The Eritrean government is obsessed with peace, social justice, development whose policies are working despite the strong forces rooting for its failure. In this corner in red trunks: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Transparency International. In the opposite corner in blue trunks: French documentary film-makers Petit OEil; Russian TV host of “Going Underground” program; the Asmara-based think tank “Africa Strategies”; the UNDP Resident Representative in Eritrea (Christine Umutoni), the South African Ambassador to Eritrea (Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay) and a new player: the Deputy Director, Africa Center for the Atlantic Council (Bronwyn Bruton.) Let’s have a clean fight!

I. Come And See: Brownyn Bruton

The supporters of the Eritrean government have been trying to recruit Ms Bruton since 2009, with the coming out-party memorialized on April 12, 2014 when she joined a panel with fire-breathing government supporter Dr. Ghidewon Abay-Asmerom and moderated by Dr. Asgede Hagos, boss of the badly-named Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA). So if we hope to persuade her to see things a bit differently, some investment is needed and that requires accurately summarizing what she said in an interview with Voice of America’s “Press Conference USA”, and then rebutting them. Here’s my attempt:

1. Size of Eritrean Exodus: Ms. Bruton argues that not all people who claim to be Eritrean refugees are Eritrean refugees. Some are Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopians representing themselves as Eritrean to take advantage of Europe’s treatment of Eritreans as automatic asylum recipients.

The problem here is with the word “some.” Is it 50% or 5% or 0.5%? Since the context here was the recent tragedy of yet-another-sank boat which claimed the lives of 350 Eritreans, Ms. Bruton’s answer sounded dangerously close to the talking points of the Eritrean government which is always disowning its own citizens. Those who have had first-hand experience in interacting with asylum-seekers and authors who have researched and written about this issue could clarify it by publishing surveys so we don’t have to rely on anecdotal information.

2. The Border War & Its Aftermath: Ms Burton states that the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict resulted in the death of 30,000 Eritreans. One of the causes of the war, she says, was Ethiopia’s refusal to accept Eritrean independence. Then she explains that despite the fact that the terms [of the Algiers Agreement] were “firm and final” and despite the fact that the United States is the guarantor of the Agreement, Ethiopians have refused to abide by its terms, because they can: the US won’t pressure them because it needs them in the war against terrorism.

The death-toll from the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict was officially announced at 20,000 so I am sure that’s an innocent mistake. I hadn’t heard that Ethiopia’s refusal to accept Eritrean independence was one of the causes of the war but she probably misspoke on that and she means Eritrean economic independence? Beyond that, it is really an exhausted issue: is the US a Guarantor or a Witness of the Algiers Agreement? This has been discussed ad nauseum and the US and the UN have said we are only witnesses and not guarantors. Yes, Ethiopia did accept in advance that the ruling of the boundary commission would be final and binding. Yes Ethiopia has refused to unconditionally implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruling. Yes, the United States (two administrations now) either can’t or won’t compel Ethiopia to abide by the ruling. Now what? It has been over a decade of stalemate.  As an Africa Expert, Ms Bruton is offering no breakthroughs, just taking us back to a decade-and-half long argument.

3. Sanctions and Censure: Eritrea is a shell-shocked nation. I saw the World War II type of trenches and photographs. Eritreans feel under siege due to the economic sanctions, the UN censure and Ethiopian strikes. I am a long-standing expert on Somalia. I have talked to a lot of Somalis. Nobody says Eritrea was a primary driver of the Somali conflict but almost every Somali will say Ethiopia was. There are no grounds for maintaining those sanctions in Eritrea. There is no evidence for maintaining those sanctions. The second reason Eritrea was sanctioned was for demanding 2% tax from its Diaspora. The Eritreans haven’t disowned their citizenship, when they leave they say they are oppressed to get asylum but they leave for economic reasons.

Ms. Bruton would have benefited from talking to exiled Eritreans to see who the guilty party is for Eritreans being shell-shocked. If she saw the World War II type of trenches and photographs, I am sure she saw the Tank Cemetery in Asmara. There are containers in the premises of the tank cemetery holding Eritrean prisoners. Prisoners in a container. That’s what’s shell-shocking us: holding Eritreans in containers. (video below, courtesy of the BBC.) Ms. Bruton believes that Al-Shabab evolved from an armed re-liberation group to a terrorist. If they had been engaged, perhaps they wouldn’t have been radicalized. While Ms. Bruton was expressing this viewpoint in writing, another person who held the same view, President Isaias Afwerki, was doing more than writing op-ed pieces. He became a conduit of arms for Somalia armed groups, AS DID MANY MANY other nations, including Ethiopia. The problem is that both Bruton and Isaias Afwerki are on the losing side of the argument: the rest of the world believed that the Djibouti Conference, which excluded Al-Shabab, was the path to peace and stability for Somalia. While Ms. Bruton can continue to write essays bemoaning this, Eritrea has been punished for holding a “spoiler”view. Unfortunately, that is how the world works, particularly if, as Eritrea did, you choose to isolate yourself by withdrawing from IGAD and then your head of state uses his State media to insult the world.  It is another in a series of miscalculations by the Isaias Afwerki administration and it is Eritreans who are paying for it.

Eritrea was sanctioned the first time not just for its role in Somalia but because it, astonishingly, repeatedly refused to acknowledge and deal with its conflict with Djibouti. (It did, but only AFTER the sanctions.) The sanctions weren’t imposed by the United States strong-arming the UN Security Council. The vote was 13 votes in favor, 1 against (Libya) and 1 abstention (China.) Russia voted for it. Moreover, the sanctions were mostly targeted: arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze on political/military leaders who would be named later: they haven’t been named to this date; no asset has been frozen. The second sanction was for Eritrea’s refusal to comply with the first sanction which had, among other things, demanded that it stop hosting armed agitators in the region and release Djibouti prisoners of war.  During that period, Eritrean state media was essentially an expo of armed Ethiopian opposition groups training and declaring phantom victories against Ethiopia. Isaias Afwerki was essentially daring the Security Council to sanction him, and it did. The resolution for the second sanction was passed with 13 votes in favor and 2 abstentions (China and Russia) and without any no-votes.

The point is that after the first sanction, rather than moderating its behavior, the Eritrean government went full-retard and got an even more draconian sanction. So who is responsible? Ms. Bruton is also out of her element when discussing the 2% tax when she compares it with the US expatriate tax. An American who doesn’t pay expatriate tax is a tax dodger and, after due process, receives penalties, which may include jail term. A Diaspora Eritrean who doesn’t pay 2% “rehabilitation” tax for a country that continues to need rehabilitation for policies pursued by a government we didn’t elect, may lose his/her Eritrean identification card and will, just like any foreigner, ask for a tourist visa to travel to his/her country. And since, unlike Ms. Bruton, there is little chance that s/he will come back to his/her adapted country to sing the praises of his/her native country, the embassy may deny him/her a visa. Such an Eritrean can’t even fly the remains of his dead family members to be buried back home and cannot deal with simple matters–inheritance, power-of-attorney designation, school transcripts, birth certificate issuance–that are fee-based and/or dealt with a family court here in the United States (whether you are a tax-dodger or not.) So, it is apples and oranges.

4. They Deserve A Lot Of Credit: I am calling for lifting the sanctions and re-engaging…because there is such lack of opportunity in the country. Nobody has jobs: there is nothing but the national project. If there is one thing Eritreans are terrified of is non-conformity. Despite this, Eritrea has managed to move forward. If you look at the education system, healthcare system, welfare system, they have accepted their isolation. It is amazing. I have to say I was astonished. And they have done it, they really have done it. They deserve a lot of credit.

The argument here is that the Eritrean government is doing well despite the fact that it is severely handicapped. This is like saying, “I saw a man with one leg finish a race” without considering why he has one leg to begin with. Would you reconsider your viewpoint if you learned he amputated his leg? The reason some of us are reluctant to give them credit is because, unlike Ms Bruton, Professor Jhazbhay, Ms Umutoni, we are not comparing Eritrea with its amputated version, but with the one that had a massive outpouring of goodwill from every Eritrean citizen and how the government squandered and continues to squander this goodwill by demanding that everybody kiss its ring and agree with its vision for the country.

The reason for the lack of opportunity is not the sanctions but because the government has pursued totalitarian policies that have robbed and emptied out the country of entrepreneurs and job-creators who are now busy creating jobs in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The reason there are no jobs is not because Eritrea doesn’t have a good relationship with the US—it has excellent relationship with China, the most relevant country in Africa—it is because the government insists on dominating the market and has the worst record in the world for encouraging private businesses.

5. Change Is Coming: There is a process of change. Eritrean officials say they have stopped indefinite conscription. They have quietly demobilized 100,000 in the last year, without anyone knowing it. Only 5% of the National Service have been there for more than 18 months, at this point. They have re-started the re-writing of the constitution. The president has appointed a chairperson to take on that task. In his interview with me, the president affirmed his commitment to equality and human rights and said those are the foundations he uses to govern. And Eritrea did spontaneously release six journalists in January [2015.]
Years ago, in the middle of the Eritrea-Ethiopia war, I had a flame war with a Western NGO worker then stationed in Mekele, Ethiopia who told me that I should take Ethiopia’s version of events because he had “information advantage.” He, by virtue of his position, knew things I didn’t know and therefore I should yield to him.  This is what Ms Bruton is saying.

This part of the interview of Ms Bruton was the cringe-worthy, “peace in our times” Chamberlain like moment for me. First of all, none of what Ms Bruton is claiming are publicized in any of the government press. True, the Eritrean government sometimes finds it more useful to share information at the “seminars” it conducts (seminars now attended only by true believers) and via its wahyo (cells.) But the reason it does this is so it can deny them. If you announce news “quietly” you can disown it “quietly.”  It is not, as Ms. Burton suggests, a case of people who don’t like to publicize their work, but a case of a government that wants no accountability and wants the flexibility to reverse in the afternoon decisions made in the morning.  Even if it is true, if it announces it, people will ask: why now? why not 10 years ago.

Listening to this part of Ms Bruton’s representation brought to mind two words: Linda Loman. In The Death of A Salesman, everybody except Linda Loman knew that her husband Willy was a compulsive liar. “Senior government officials told me”, “the president told me…”  Ms Bruton, that and $2 may get you a tall coffee at Starbucks: they are notorious for their empty promises, all of which are communicated privately and verbally. Does she even know what the president means by “human rights”?  It is not what she thinks it means.  If only she knew what else happened in January 2015 when the government “spontaneously” released six journalists (were they sentenced? Were they given a verdict? Did they have visitation rights? Was there due process? Ms. Bruton either didn’t ask or didn’t get an answer.) If she only knew multiples of six were arrested, tortured, disappeared or, having given up hope, exiled, she would see how ridiculous her assertion sounds. Did she ask why the Eritrean constitution, which took two years to write and was ratified in 1997, was dropped and by what authority since a head of state can’t unilaterally write, re-write, adopt, orphan constitutions? Did she ask what is the name of the “chairman” who was appointed—because the State media forgot to mention that too. Ms Bruton would be well advised to listen to the BBC interview linked below (I know, I know, they provide the “conventional narrative”) but it would give her an insight how the Eritrean government has made deception its currency.

6. Change Is Coming to Eritrea With or Without the United States. I believe firmly in bringing ‘Eritrea in from the cold.’ Eritreans anger at the US is justified. I am frustrated I don’t see any change on our side [American.] There is stubbornness on both sides. I don’t expect change because there are senior people in the [American] government like our National Security Advisor [Susan Rice] who are bottlenecks. The real actors here are the Europeans: that is who is engaging Eritrea.

So, in the end, for Ms Bruton, this is not about Eritrea but the United States and her personal role in it. It is not a coincidence that a long Africa-hand, Herman Cohen, had also called for “bringing Eritrea in from the cold” (to which Isaias Afwerki replied: what cold?) Ms. Bruton, an American patriot, is agonizing about American loss of influence in Africa. What Ms Bruton is doing is perfectly acceptable, legal, moral, ethical in the United States: polishing your resume to navigate better between think tanks, NGOs and government. These have their own convention and Ms. Bruton is following them. Consider: Ms. Bruton is an Africa expert working for a think tank. Said think tank (Atlantic Council) has a very busy revolving door to and from the government–Jon Huntsman, Scrowcroft, Chuck Hagel, James L Jones, Richard Holbrook, General Shineski, Ann-Marie Slaughter and, yes, Susan Rice, just to name a few all have revolved in and out of the Atlantic Council and the government. Her immediate supervisor, the ubiquitous J Peter Pham, was a consultant to the doomed presidential candidacy of John McCain. Not that there is anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say, but context is important.

For an Africa Expert, there is a formula. If the US has a bad relationship with an African country, you advise that the US reconsider its position; if the US has a good relationship with an African country, you also advise that the US reconsider its position.

For example, the US has a bad relationship with Somalia. So Ms Bruton wrote an essay entitled: “Somalia: A New Approach.” The keywords used in new approaches are “reboot”, “reset”, “rethink”, “reconsider.” For example, the US relationship with Kenya was deteriorating after Kenya’s election. J. Peter Pham just described Kerry’s visit to Kenya as “reset of the relationship.” In contrast, the US has a good relationship with Ethiopia. Following the formula,  Ms Bruton wrote an essay entitled: “US Policy Shift Needed In Ethiopia.” (The one that made the Eritrean government officials her fans.) In “US Policy Shift Needed In Ethiopia”, Bruton argued that the US should not be supporting a government that imprisons journalists and provides no political space to its opposition and does not have an independent civil society. Sounds good to me. But in its Eritrea equivalent (let’s call it: US Policy Shift Needed in Eritrea), she is recommending that the US engage Eritrea DESPITE the fact that its treatment of journalists and opposition is much worse than that of Ethiopia and there is no civil society period in Eritrea and elections, as she said knowingly after she was so charmed by the intelligence of Isaias Afwerki, “won’t happen any time soon.”

So it is all a game. The same week that the supporters of the Eritrean government were giddy about Bruton’s endorsement of their government, the supporters of the Ethiopian government bagged a bigger fish: Wendy Sherman, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs which described Ethiopia as a democracy. (Bruton was chortling at that.)

So, to me, this is an American-experts feud that has little to do with us. It is likely that Bruton and Rice will trade places: Rice, after the end of the Obama term, will be back to think tanks and Bruton may become an “adviser” to Hillary Clinton or whoever runs against her.  And the band marches on. And, in the end, Ms Susan Rice and Ms Bruton and Ms Sherman are likely to meet at some cocktail function and have a pleasant conversation about us Africans. Unlike us foolish Eritreans who are good at marginalizing our tiny population and would never mingle.

II. Come And See (BBC)

“Come and see!” is a common refrain from the Eritrean government and its supporters. Every government supporter who tours Eritrea and comes back challenges any assertion with “go and see for yourself!” In his interview with Petit OEil, French-documentarians, President Isaias Afwerki invites the viewers, “come and see!” Another documentary by Petit OEil is entitled “Come and See.” Meanwhile, in the documentary by African Strategies (Africa: The Other Narrative), the Dean of Halhale College, Dr. Estifanos Hailemariam, says “Come and see: seeing is believing!”

What shall we see if we come? We will see, according to “Eritrea: The Other Narrative”, a country which believes in resolving conflicts through dialog (tell that to the G-15); a country which has shown impressive improvement in health, literacy, education, agriculture, environment, water conservation, roads, telecommunications and construction. A country where education is free from elementary to post-secondary and, sometimes, even post-graduate studies. A country that has replaced one university with 7 colleges. A country which is focused on long-term sustainable development based on its pillars of self-reliance, social justice and ethnic/religious harmony. A country that has, despite externally driven political and economic challenges, built four major dams and is well on its way to guaranteeing food security; a country built brick-by-brick by its youth; a country where citizenship is not defined by birth but contribution to country; a country where National Service is multi-purposed: productive use of youth labor; socialization process for a multicultural society. A country which has registered tangible progress in the living standards and quality of life of all its citizens, particularly those in remote areas. Add a nice island-music to this, as African Strategies does, and it is “where is the Eritrean embassy and how do I get a visa?”

But.

Isn’t it odd that a government, which so wants to showcase its success, is so limiting of access? Why does a government, which is so proud of its accomplishments, expel journalists and/or admit them conditionally, as it did with the BBC a few weeks ago? Why are embassies in Eritrea restricted to Asmara and require special permits to travel outside Asmara? The answer really is that the “come and see” is “come and see what we want you to see.”

“Development, Heroism, Blah Blah Blah”

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) put this to the test. It was invited conditionally: we want you to come in and celebrate our achievements in Millennium Development Goals 4, 5, 6 (those dealing with healthcare.) In other words, its was the standard “Come and See What We Want You To See” invitation ten years after the Eritrean government had expelled the BBC correspondent who was there to see what he wanted to see and had the nerve to report it. The BBC agreed and visited clinics and hospitals spread throughout Eritrea.  The UNDP Resident representative played host to some of them (Does she pay 2% rehabilitation tax, by the way?)

But the BBC is also concerned about things like journalistic integrity so it kept telling its viewers that throughout the visit it had Eritrean “minders” who controlled its every move including who it talked to or didn’t talk to. For example: the Eritrean members of National Service who are seen building a house. Are they, as Eritrean asylum-seekers assert, building houses for Eritrean colonels and generals and doing it against their will? Or are they, as the Eritrean “minder” asserts, individuals who “volunteered” to help build a neighborhood house? The BBC tells us: it can’t help us because it was not allowed to interview the youth. In fact, the BBC tell us its producer evaded his minders and attempted to interview Eritreans without their minders and that 37 out of 37 Eritreans refused to be interviewed. Is this because Eritreans are “shell-shocked” by Ethiopia or by their arrest-disappear-torture happy government? That’s what the BBC reporter saw and that’s what she reported.

In fact, one of the most stunning pieces of the BBC interview is a visit to the “tank cemetery” in Asmara. This is a historic place where all the war instruments the Ethiopians used in the 30-year long revolution are stacked as a museum piece. But somewhere within the wreckage are shipping containers. The BBC reporter who had heard from asylum-seekers and human rights organizations say that these shipping containers are used as jails, asks her minder to approach a group of Eritrean men guarding the containers to ask questions. The guards tell the BBC reporter that they have work to do and that she shoot her documentary elsewhere. Unbeknownst to them, the BBC keeps filming and, if you understand Tigriniya, and if you have family members who are arrested (and who doesn’t in Eritrea?) what they say may send shivers down your spine if you consider that the container in the background may house tortured prisoners. Here’s what they say at the 7:27 mark:

እንታይ ኢልና መስለኪ: ኮንተይነራት ኣይትስኣሉ ኢና ኢልናያ። ብዙሕ ‘ውን ብዛዕብኡ ክሓቱና ኣይንደልዮምን ኢና:: ጥራሕ እቲ ናይ ዕብየት ናይ ጀግንነት ናይ ገለ ናይ ገለ ፤ እዚስ ናይ ስራሕ እዩ ናይ ገለ ኢልኪ ዕጸውዮ::

Translation: “What we told her is: don’t videograph containers. And we don’t want them to ask questions about it. Just [focus on] development, heroism, blah blah. Just close the issue by telling them that this is related to work [operational issues.] blah blah.”

The minder follows the instructions of her minders and in a transparent and comical attempt at quickly-changing-the-subject, literally says, “look, over there, there is an old train!”

III. Development vs Cost

Actually “look, over there, an old train” is not just figurative but literal. In the 1990s, the government turned down a loan from the Italian government to reconstruct and modernize the Asmara-Massawa train tracks that the Italians had built in 1932.  It brought back retired old men (this was before the National Service) to lay-down the tracks which had been dismantled and used for setting up war bunkers for decades.  The tracks are now good for tiny steam-engine trains.  This now has two narratives: for the government and its supporters, it exemplifies self-reliance. For the opposition, it is an example of lost opportunity because a modernized railroad, with the right government policies, could have made Eritrea a mecca for tourists.

We in the opposition focus on the cost being paid for “development”—a country without laws, due process, verdict, constitution, accountable government—and the government and its supporters focus on the development— health, literacy, education, agriculture, environment, water conservation, roads, telecommunications and construction and national defense. On balance, I think, we in the opposition have the moral high ground. This is because a country can develop without torturing, disappearing and killing its citizens. A country can develop while taking measured, guided, baby steps towards democracy. A country can develop while having an independent press.

For the Eritrean government, the “Look! Over there! An Old train” used to be the Human Development Index (HDI), a metric developed by a Pakistani and Indian economist who argued that the key performance indices (KPI) used by the West were inapplicable to developing country. The HDI completely did away with any concern of what type a government a country had—democracy or tyranny—and what matters is whether a country is developing. Consequently, according to HDI, Cuba (a police state), is considered “Very High Human Development” state, ranked higher than Croatia, Latvia and Russia. Cuba is a model state for Eritrea, apprently. The HDI morphed into Millennium Development Goals (MDG), quantifiable targets to be met by the developing world between 1990 and 2015.

Now, whenever the Eritrean government points to MDG 4,5,6 (the healthcare related performance), the healthy response is, “it is good for our people and good on you!” In fact, the avatar I use in Disqus is the image that is on the cover of UNDP’s “Health Millenium Development Goals Report Abridged Version: Innovations Driving Health MDGs in Eritrea.” But this should always be followed by (a) what about MDG 1,2,3,7, 8?  Particularly MDG 1? Isn’t that crucial? (b) Is MDG really an adequate standard to measure a country’s performance since it doesn’t address issues like governance: the only place “parliament” is mentioned in the MDG is when asking about gender parity: how many parliamentarians are male, how many female?  Well, we are at parity: we have 0 men and 0 women in parliament. Yay.) (c) Doesn’t MDG favor small countries like Eritrea since, statistically, it is easier to to meet its goals (reduce by half, by 2/3, by 3/4) when dealing with small population? (d) Is Eritrea’s case truly unique or is this success shared by other African countries? And if it is shared by other African countries, is the price that Eritreans are paying for this outcome—no constitution, no justice, no due process, no voice in choosing the national government—a price too steep? What percentage of the population is not benefiting because they are exiled or in jail?

These and other issues are what Eritreans, pro-government and opposition should be discussing and debating among ourselves just as the Brutons, Rices and Shermans are discussing what is in the best interest of the United States.  Why do we need proxies?

About Salyounis

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

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  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    With greater interest on the whereabouts and what abouts of the Eri opposition groups, here is a latest list as compiled by [K Tronvoll and A.S. Mohammed, Jan 2015; Eritrean Opposition Parties and Civic Organizations]. The list identified 16 including Human Rights Concern Eritrea (else 15). Can we identify the other supposed 20+ that are assumed to exist???

    Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO) on Facebook:

    • Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean

    Kunama (DMLEK) website:

    • Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) websites:

    ,

    • Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) website:

    • Eritrean National Salvation Front (Islah/ENSF), website:

    • Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP)/formerly

    Eritrean People’s Party (EPP) website:

    • Eritrean Nahda Party website:

    • Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement (EFDM) website:

    • Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change

    (ENCDC) website:

    • Eritrean Global Solidarity website:

    • Eritrean Community in Australia on Facebook:

    • Human Rights Concern Eritrea website:

    • Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change website:

    • Arbi Harnet (Freedom Friday) on Facebook:

    • Eritrean Forum for National Dialogue (EFND/Medrekh)

    radio programme website:

    • Eritrean Lowlanders’ League (ELL) website:

    • saay7

      Hailat:

      While we wait for the definitive list from SGJ (we have separation of duties: I get tortured by EriTV and he gets tortured by keeping track of the FinTiH-ZirgiH of our oppo), Just from memory:

      1. I don’t see any of the three Islamist organizations. He merged one, Islah, with Salvation (Inqaz in Arabic). So seleste beleley
      2. I don’t see EMDJ. ArbaEte beleley.
      3. I don’t see the Saho and Blin liberation fronts. Shudushte beleley.

      The other two dozen will show up when Haile The Great Inc (HTGI) makes an all-points bulletin announcement that he is hosting a meeting:)

      saay

      • haileTG

        Selam saay,

        HTGI…haha, wouldn’t “The HTG & Sons Inc.” has “the one you can trust” tone to it? Hmmm… unless people mistake it for having something to do with ሞኖፖል in Asmara:) Seriously though, for the frequency with which the notion of 33+ organizations gets beaten to whack the opposition, it is strange no one can name them…where is dawit? Our myth buster in da house 🙂 Secondly, those organized by ethnicity or religion are by far in the minority (by # of organizations count rather than membership). Thirdly, only one (yes just 1) seeks federalist arrangement as per its stated objective discernibly placed in its organizational name, i.e the liberation of… may/may not call for that kind of state configuration beyond their own questions. Hence they’re not counted. Do you think it is about time to put records straight vis a vis the opposition and their real problems (habaE quslu’si HabaE fewsu:)

        cheers

        • saay7

          Hey HTG:

          HTG & Sons works for me because I liked Stanford & Son:) Now, about the proliferation of our oppo,ኣንታ ሰብኣይ ምስ ብጻይ ሳልሕ ከይተባእሰኒ! If you give me 1 day, I can list them all:) Here’s the issue: what is a “political organization” and what is a “civil society” when we are dealing with exiled groups? One holds congress and election and the other doesn’t? One has dues-paying members and the other doesn’t? One has broad interest and the other is single-issue focused? One has physical (three-dimensional presence and a bet-tsiHfet) and the other doesn’t? They tend to overlap. And they tend to have a boilerplate declaration: paragraph one, “hzbi ertra diHri 30 Amet bretawi Qalsi…” Paragrah two: Describe how awful the PFDJ is. Paragraph Three: we call on the Eritrean people to rise up and resist the PFDJ.

          On ethnic-based organizations. Well, Hailat, we have a problem there. If an organization has national agenda (say, ELF or EPDP or Nahda) and it manages to attract only one, ummm, “social group” to use Emma’s phrase, and then spends all its time negating that reality and saying, oh no, we are a rainbow, how do you describe that organization? I think it is an organization that hasn’t managed to broaden its base in years, sometimes decades.

          On Federalism, again it is not as simple as you describe it. Yes, EFDM is the only one that has federalism in its name and program EXPLICITLY. But implicitly, if one is calling for the right to full autonomy up to secession (as DMLEK and RSADO) as well as De.Me.Ha.E/Se.De.Ge.E (were they even on your list) and that organization which essentially copy/pasted the TPLF program (I can’t think of its name, but challenge me and I will come up with it:) do, doesn’t that train travel past the Federal station first? If an Islamist organization is saying it has the right to excercise Islamism in Muslim-majority Eritreas, doesn’t that train also travel past Federal arrangement?

          Have you ever seen the sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”? In the movie, a scientist creates reptilians with super-human skills and, because he is afraid they will rise up against him, he gives them a 5-year life span. So, you know, I have a pledge with my bad cousin iSem and I won’t say more:)

          saay

          • haileTG

            Hey Saay, the “&Sons” may bring a good omen of longevity over generations (where the heart’s eye is usually set) 🙂

            I do concur that your projection is reasonable. However, I tend to expect that no sale has been made until money is rang into the till. Unless we assume that the nature of ethnic and religious organization is one that ONLY leads to federal arrangement, then we are still betting on a likely scenario. In other words, did all such like movements eventually ended up in a federal arrangement? Nonetheless, there is no doubt that such is one of the options, hence a valid projection. But wouldn’t that make it that much further from being a direct dictate by a dominating other?

            On the religious side, I see it as a long term characteristic of Eritrean politics that both predates and likely outlast the current realities. IMO, both Islam and Christianity faiths will continue to push and pull for long after we are no more until some comfortable middle is finally defined for both to take a breather and really feel at ease with their fair share of mother Eritrea has to offer.

            As you know, changing the political outlook of an organization is one of the hardest. In fact, it often leads to confrontation and fall out. The EPLF/TPLF history, the current fall out of some Eritrean opposition with the Ethiopian hosts and the rest are ample illustrations. A similar question was asked of IA by the Ethiopian journalists about their opposition. My point, and hence hypothesis, is that the real stumbling block is combination of factors that are similarly identical to those faced by their “outside Ethiopia” counterparts. May be we need to take closer look at how they work to connect with the people at practical level. My heart/mind analysis recently charges the current failing as being that of not being identified as “Caring”. Even the rescue scenario you explained shows as lacking in that area. The real score is much worse in that aspect. And giving them excuse to bypass responsibility audit may be less warranted.

            Regards

    • Tzigereda

      Dear HaileTG,
      I saw late that you qouted the same article (after I posted my comment…), sorry. The authors state that the EDA consists 13 parties.
      Welcome back!

      • haileTG

        Dear Tzigereda,

        Thank you. You’re right and I might input something to your discussion topic above a little later today (not much just what is in mind). The EDA itself lists 11 as signatories on its political charter document:

        ዲሞክራሲያዊ ውድብ ዓፈር ቀይሕ ባሕሪ Iብራሂም ሃሩን
        2 ግንባር ሃገራዊ ድሕነት ኤርትራ ኣሕመድ መሓመድ ናስር
        3 ተጋድሎ ሓርነት ኤርትራ ሑሴን መሓመድ ዓሊ ከሊፋ
        4 ደሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር ሓድነት ኤርትራ ተወልደ ገ/ስላሴ
        5 ዲሞክራሲያዊ ምንቅስቓስ ሓርነት ኩናማ ኤርትራ ቀርነልዮስ Uስማን ኣጋር
        6 ፈደራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ምንቕስቓስ ኤርትራ በሺር Iስሓቕ ዓብደላ
        7 Eስላማዊ ሰልፊ ኤርትራ ንልምዓትን ፍትሕን ከሊል መሓመድ ዓምር
        8 ሰልፊ ዲሞክራሲ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ሓጅ ዓብደልኑር ሓጅ
        9 ሰልፊ ናህዳ ኤርትራ ኑር መሓመድ Eድሪስ
        10 Eስላማዊ ጉባኤ ኤርትራ ሓሰን መሓመድ ሰልማን
        11 ህዝባዊ ጉባኤ ኤርትራ

        As you see, all of them are already listed individually and the overall numbers is still the same.

        Thanks

        • Saleh Johar

          HaileTG and Fanti Ghana,

          I agree with the moderator who deleted your link Fanti. My biggest criticism of people who just post anything they find, without even trying to verify is not helpful. It adds to the confusion. HaileTG and Fanti, I didn’t expect you to fall into that error. Both of you have extraordinary skills, if you just spent a few minutes before posting it, I would have prayed you get more wisdom. I have the list, yet I wanted to update it and verify a few things and I am still waiting for some info before I post what I have. If I posted what I have, it would contribute to the confusion–hanatsy neqefeta for both of you 🙂

          To illustrate,let me point out a few obvious errors in your comment which could have been avoided.

          1. Haj Abdenur is not the leader of EPM, it is Dr. Tesfai Sebhatu. Haj Abdenur and Adhanom are members of that party. At the same time, since a few months, Haj Abdenur is the leader of ENCDC that was formed in Awassa.

          2. Nahda’s leader is Abdulrahman Taha, Idris Nur was replaced a while ago.
          3. Congress party’s ;eader is Heroui T. bairu
          3. Islamic Congress party was split in two a few years ago and they reunited last year and have a new leader, not Dr. Hassen Salman.
          4. Khelil Mohammed Amer was replaced over a year ago by Saleh Mohammed Osman
          5. Tewelde Gebresellassie is replaced by Jemal Saleh
          6. Ahmed Nasser died last year, but he had already resigned when he died. There was a split in the Salvation Front. Its leader is Dr. Habte Tesfamariam
          7. Your score 35% 🙂

          I am sure someone is already running with this and confusing more people–and then Saleh Younis says the ELF are naive—his score on that statement is 20% because if we were to segregate the opposition of today based on ELF-EPLF background, the ELF will have a share of 20% 🙂

          I criticize AT (including myself) for not providing such information when we know the confusion it is creating. Not that we didn’t provide it at all, but we should have updated the information on a timely based–I will skip dinner and I have already slapped my hands ten times, my share of the punishment for failing our readers. 🙂

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir,
            Even I was glad when I saw it removed. You are right I failed to check it for accuracy, but also it looked so skinny and too long when I posted it bkhindey gae-megae I didn’t like it at all. I had to laugh when I saw Haile TG posted it again.

          • haileTG

            Thanks SGJ, sorry for the mix up! Come to think of it, I should have listed the organization names in one column and list of the persons on a separate column and stated there is a one-to-one mapping between both columns and left it at that…haha it is hard to keep track Sal. I doubt a mid May report would have got it right neither 🙂

    • Fanti Ghana

      Welcome back Brother Haile TG,

      You have no idea that you just put AT in a difficult position by listing these links. I did the same thing last week, and it was looking an eye sore even to me, but I was glad when moderator removed the links. But now, the combined interest of you, Tzigereda, and me to the same article will put AT in a tight rope. If they remove these links they will be denying “the people’s” interest, and if they don’t Mr. Fanti Ghana will complain of discrimination. No win!

      https://disqus.com/home/discussion/awate/rallying_eritreans_around_one_cause/#comment-2001571568

  • AZM

    Hello AZM
    The missing spare part according AZM
    Fail to show differences between what ordinary Eritreans want see Border issue, justice, internal issue .external issue, rule of law, hit the drum which owns by your competitor who is laughing at you
    The good thing about BB visit is that she did buy a package of MasTiKa from a poor Sister who was supposed goes to school but no money no food does any body care???
    Eritrea needs more like BB
    I will never talk about power
    people deserve to have money no matter what the obstacles

  • saay7

    Selamat Hailat:

    Some clarifications first. When I said “people have the right to be confused” I wasn’t talking about you but about those who were mystified of my position shortly after the war. It only appears a radical 90 degree turn if one doesn’t know my position vis-a-vis the government prior to the outbreak of the war. When I am referencing that I always wrote using my name, it is to indicate that this is verifiable information. It won’t be, “oh, that was me, back then I was using ____ as a pen name.” No offense intended to those who choose to use a pen name as I recognize that there are very valid reasons for some people to use them. Finally, the part that is annoying you is this sentence: “It only works on the segment of Eritrea that is so bullied, so terrified, so anything-goes-so-long-as-PFDJ-is-gone, so full of self-hatred.” I should have put it as “so terrified OR so anything-goes-so-long-as-PFDJ-is-gone OR so full of self-hatred.”

    Now then, this “betrayal” you talk about (strong word, no, Hailat): let’s take it one at a time. I didn’t break with EPLF in June 2000; to me, it was “I resumed the stance I had that was suspended during the two year war.” There was nothing remarkable about that: in addition to me, the G-13 and the G-15 (both EPLF-reformers) called for what I was calling for: EPLF reform. I wrote my piece in June 2000, the G-13 in Sept 2000, and the G-15 in May 2001. The difference in timing between the three of us had to do with the fact that I was an individual and they were a group and it takes time to coalesce ideas. I said that I had used the “twgaHmo” metaphor: let at least the guns go silent before we talk reform. When was, in your mind, the right time to call for reform?

    Now I am asking for us in the Opposition to reform. Again, when was the best time to do it? When they were 8 organizations, 16 organizations, 32 organizatons or should I wait until we are 64? I think you are the only one I know who actually thinks that the opposition is at the peak of its strength.

    The other word that is bothering you is “toxicity.” In your prolonged absence, we discussed it here. There was a time that I believed, as Ghezae Hagos does, that let every organization do its thing–a form of political entrepreneurship. My view is that one opposition organization behaving very badly, tarnishes the others; 8 opposition organizations behaving badly, tarnish the others. At some point, the behavior of the opposition organization becomes toxic: it destroys the other opposition organizations because, and this is important, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of programmatic differences among them. It is political jockeying.

    You asked about my view of Ghezae and Elsa Chyrum. I think I respect them even more than when I first praised them. Remember recently you were clarifying what you meant by “opposition”: that you mean the “organized opposition.” Same here. I no longer think that the organized opposition is well-meaning-but-incompetent. I consider them an obstacle, a bottle-neck and the unattractive alternative for people who want to give up on the Isaias Afwerki administration.

    saay

  • ‘Gheteb

    The Idle Causistry Behind The Sanctioning Of Eritrea

    Some a decade and half ago and at the height of The Ethio-Eritrean war, those with a keen sense of hearing could easily detect the susurrations of taking punitive actions against Eritrea or imposing penalties on Eritrea. Well, that was precisely what Susan Rice, Anthony Lake and Gayle Smith were contemplating on those years as was bruited by the redoubtable New York Times of May 22, 2000 .

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/22/world/us-did-little-to-deter-buildup-as-ethiopia-and-eritrea-prepared-for-war.html

    Long after the EEBC decision and after the lengthy saga of reneging, prevaricating and literally backing out of the perfidious Weyane’s commitment from the FINAL and BINDING of the EEBC verdict, the U.S Eritrean relations was getting more strained by the day as the U.S was showing reluctance in the beginning and later more of a resistance in the implementation of the EEBC verdict.

    Even Officials from The State Department during their appearances before a hearing in the US Congress continued to render the usual boilerplate about the Ethio-Eritrean conflict in that they have been working hard to achieve peace between the two countries. I remember in one of those hearings Secretary Condi Rice, never referred to Eritrea as a separate country, but as Eritrea/Ethiopia. Similarly, Secretary M Albright, in a PBS interview with Jim Lehrer, when asked about the Eritrean revolution and armed Struggle, she said the Eritrean fighters were ‘Mujahidin’ as if the Eritrean Revolution was an Islamic insurgency.
    One could also notice all the concerted and coordinated efforts that were waged to lay the groundwork or foundation for the imposition of sanctions against Eritrea by way of dissemination of misinformation and other campaigns earlier before such issues were raised before the UN Security Council. We must remember that the sanction was imposed on December 23, 2009, but all these ‘activities’ has been going on for over a year and a half.

    Sometimes in 2008, Meles Zenawi, during his meeting with Jendayi Frazer, Meles suggested to Jendayi that the most effective way to deal with Eritrea was to cut off remittance from the Eritrean Diaspora coupled with a UN sanction.

    Jendayi’s boss, Condi Rice was of the opinion that targeted sanctions should be imposed on Eritrea that may include, inter alia, asset freeze, travel ban, trade and investment and an arms embargo.

    Here is Meles Zenawi telling it plainly how much he wants to see Eritrea sanctioned to Susan Rice as per WikiLeaks. https://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09ADDISABABA1201.html

    Begin Quote:

    Isaias has become vilified within his own country for
    the hardships he has brought upon his people. Despite his
    rogue actions supporting extremists in Somalia and
    destabilizing Sudan, Isaias has calculated that the U.S. and
    other countries would consider Isaias more of a headache than
    a threat. Meles suggested the Isaias’ calculations would be
    shattered, if the U.S. and others imposed financial sanctions
    on him and particularly cut off Isaias’ funding from Qatar
    and other countries and the important funding from the
    Diaspora in the U.S. Isaias still imposes a mandatory 2
    percent of salary tax on all Eritreans living overseas. Non
    payment results in family members in Eritrea being denied
    food ration cards. Meles suggested the U.S. could approach
    Isaias privately to try to change his behavior, armed with
    the threat of sanctions, and determine his response. Any
    public statement or public threat would not work with Isaias.
    These sanctions could be important to press Isaias on his
    responsibilities to the international community, and to
    indicate that his actions would not be tolerated.

    End Quote

    Ethiopia kept pressing for sanctions to be imposed on Eritrea as the following Wikileak cable indicates

    https://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09ADDISABABA1450.html#

    Begin Quote

    Summary. Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Dr. Tekeda Alemu called in the P-5 Ambassadors on June 18 to
    review the recent InterGovernmental Authority on Development
    (IGAD) trip to the UN to press for the African Union
    (AU)/IGAD agreed sanctions on Eritrean activities in Somalia,
    and other measures to stem extremist actions in Somalia.
    Tekeda termed the discussions positive, but required further
    work before the UNSC would consider taking action. Tekeda
    asked for P-5 support to press for UNSC sanctions on Eritrea,
    underscoring that Eritrea was the main destabilizing outside
    force in Somalia. Pointing to the tragic death of Somalia
    Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Minister of Security
    Omar Hashi, Tekeda said he spoke with UN Special
    Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould Abdullah, and they
    both thought that the Eritreans could be behind the attack
    because of Hashi,s tough condemnation of Eritrean meddling
    in Somalia. IGAD will consider another AU statement at the
    upcoming AU Summit in Sirte, Libya as a means to reaffirm
    Africa’s unified position against Eritrea in Somalia. End
    Summary.

    End Quote

    Again, Ethiopian officials working feverishly in advancing the sanctioning of Eritrea

    ##

    Begin Quote

    Summary. Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs
    Seyoum Mesfin and State Minister Dr. Tekeda Alemu on July 7
    called in the Ambassadors to the P-5 countries to urge them
    to convey to their respective capitals the need to support
    the July African Union (AU) resolution calling on the UNSC to
    levy sanctions on Eritrea for its destabilizing activities in
    Somalia. Seyoum said Uganda, which will chair the UNSC this
    month, will be spearheading the AU efforts in New York.
    Seyoum underscored the importance of UNSC support for
    Somalia, stating that the survival of the Transitional
    Federal Government (TFG) was at stake. The TFG’s future, and
    the stability of Somalia, depended on the actions and support
    of the UNSC in the coming weeks, he insisted. End Summary.

    End Quote

    Meles’s meeting with Jonnie Carson on July 6, 2009

    ##

    Begin Quote

    ¶1. (C) In a three hour July 6 meeting with Assistant
    Secretary Johnnie Carson, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles
    praised U.S. support of cash and arms to the Somali
    Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as essential for the
    survival of the TFG. Meles urged the U.S. to strengthen
    Somaliland and Puntland as critical to fight extremism in
    Somalia. Meles added that Ethiopia would not participate in
    any regional stabilization force in Somalia, but would
    consider helping the African Union Mission in Somalia
    (AMISOM) should their evacuation from Somalia become
    necessary.

    ¶2. (C) On Eritrea, the Prime Minister urged the U.S. to
    support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
    and African Union (AU) call for a selective travel ban on
    senior Eritrean officials and a cutoff of remittances from
    the U.S. to Eritrea as an effective means to curtail Eritrean
    regional destabilizing activities. Meles raised alarm that
    Eritrea was recruiting and training Afari rebels to undermine
    Djibouti’s security which would contribute to destabilizing
    the region and increase Ethiopia’s insecurity. End Summary.

    End Quote

    August 13th, Susan Rice meets with Fessha Tesema

    Begin Quote

    1.(SBU) SUMMARY. During an August 13 meeting with Ambassador
    Rice, Ethiopian Charge Tessema discussed plans to work with
    IGAD this month to agree on the components of a new draft
    resolution sanctioning Eritrea for its actions in Somalia and
    Djibouti. Tessema does not view either China or Libya as
    obstacles to a new sanctions regime, stating that Libya would
    follow the rest of the Council if the resolution is based on
    the AU’s declaration made in Sirte. Ambassador Rice urged
    Ethiopia to forge a new border demarcation plan, without
    preconditions on prior dialogue with Eritrea, stating that
    some Security Council members may wish to reference the
    dispute in a new sanctions resolution. Tessema initially
    protested this idea, stating that progress will be impossible
    without Eritrean buy-in, but warmed up to the plan after
    Ambassador Rice proposed that a third party could offer some
    legitimacy to the demarcation project. END SUMMARY.

    Ethiopia Eyes New Sanctions Regime for Eritrea
    ——————————————— –

    ¶2. (SBU) In an August 13 meeting with Ambassador Rice,
    Ethiopian Charge d’Affairs Ambassador Fesseha Tessema said he
    was encouraged by the African Union’s recent call to sanction
    Eritrea for its support of armed opposition groups in Somalia
    and asked for U.S. “help and encouragement” in the creation
    of a new UNSC sanctions resolution. Tessema said that he
    expects Ugandan Permanent Representative Rugunda to take
    action on a new resolution in August or September after
    Djiboutian Permanent Representative Olhaye returns from his
    visit to the region. Ambassador Rice emphasized that any new
    sanctions resolution should be an Inter Governmental
    Authority on Development (IGAD) initiative led by Uganda in
    the Security Council. She recalled IGAD’s prior lack of
    consensus on a sanctions framework for Eritrea during its
    June visit to New York, and stated that any new resolution
    should reflect the common ground between Ethiopia, Djibouti
    and Somalia. Tessema assured Ambassador Rice that IGAD’s
    product will be a joint effort, and noted that he expects
    negotiating instructions from his capital shortly.

    ¶3. (C) In response to Ambassador Rice’s question about the
    position of China and Libya vis–vis sanctioning Eritrea,
    Tessema stated that China would not oppose the African
    Union’s recommendation for new sanctions and that he also
    does not expect Libya to stand against a consolidated
    Security Council stance. On upcoming designations by the
    Somalia Sanctions Committee, Tessema stated that it is not
    the number of people, but rather the stature of the
    individual that is critical in making an impression with
    Eritrea. He assured Ambassador Rice that Libya would not
    oppose the listing of Eritrean Chief of Political Affairs
    Yemane Gebreab.

    Ambassador Rice Urges Border Demarcation
    —————————————-

    ¶4. (SBU) Ambassador Rice lamented the lack of progress over
    the last nine years on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute
    while pressing Ethiopia to regain the “moral high ground” by
    presenting a new demarcation plan, stating that some Security
    Council members may wish to reference the dispute in a new
    sanctions resolution. Ambassador Rice said that by making
    progress on the border issue, Ethiopia would underscore its
    commitment to peaceful neighborly relations, placing the onus
    on Eritrea to take the next step. Tessema urged Ambassador
    Rice to avoid drawing a parallel between sanctioning Eritrea
    and resolving the border dispute, stating that Ethiopia has
    always been ready to engage, but Eritrea has refused
    dialogue. Tessema explained that without participation from
    Eritrea, complete border demarcation is impossible due to
    ambiguities created by the Border Commission’s 2000 decision
    that must be jointly addressed.

    ¶5. (SBU) Ambassador Rice explained that Ethiopia’s strategy
    of engaging Eritrea in dialogue is now dated due to its
    entrenched isolationist position. She emphasized that
    Ethiopia should instead create a new demarcation plan to
    address the border anomalies that does not require engagement
    with Eritrea. Tessema protested this plan, explaining that
    Ethiopia cannot legally move forward without, at a minimum,
    buy-in from a third party. Ambassador Rice suggested that
    the United Nations or another body could offer third party
    legitimacy to the project and could assist with the plan’s
    mechanics. She noted that approximately ninety percent of
    the Border Commission’s 2000 delimitation decision is
    uncontroversial with only ten percent, mainly in populated
    areas, more difficult to finalize. Ambassador Rice urged
    Ethiopia to address the border dispute without preconditions
    and think creatively on how they could move forward without
    an Eritrean partner in dialogue. Tessema promised to take
    this proposal back to Addis Ababa while reiterating that it
    would be best to separate the border dispute from the issue
    of sanctioning Eritrea.

    End Quote

    Meles meets Wycoff November 2009

    Begin Quote

    ¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles told visiting
    AF/DAS Wycoff and CDA on November 19 that he wanted to give
    the USG a “heads up” that Ethiopia was considering actively
    supporting armed Eritrean opposition groups if the
    international community fails to take action to isolate
    Asmara. Wycoff questioned providing such support, noting the
    USG,s interest in regional stability. On Somalia, Meles said
    the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has recently informed Kenya
    of its support in principle for Kenya’s Jubaland initiative
    and has agreed to share relevant intelligence. On Ethiopia’s
    forthcoming elections, Meles pledged that the rule-of-law
    would be the bedrock that both assures free and fair
    elections and deals with any groups that seek to undermined
    the process. He complained that Diaspora money has too much
    influence in determining the relative strengths of opposition
    parties, although he added that implementation of a law
    restricting foreign funding of NGOs would allow for
    exceptions on a case-by-case basis. When asked, he justified
    the continued imprisonment of opposition leader Bertukan
    Midekessa as necessary to demonstrate that Ethiopia has no
    “twilight zone” between the legal and the illegal. After
    expressing understanding for the ramifications of further
    inaction, Meles said he would look into apparent GoE-imposed
    obstacles to delivery of U.S. military equipment and supplies
    as well as re-examine the GoE,s stance on Leahy vetting
    requirements.

    ¶2. (C) SUMMARY CONTINUED. Wycoff agreed that Eritrea has
    shown no signs of changing its behavior but suggested that
    the broadening discussion of sanctions, including Ambassador
    Rice’s personal involvement at USUN, has caught the attention
    of Eritrean President Isaias. Wycoff added that the USG has
    worked to undercut support for Eritrea, including his own
    visits to Gulf countries to enlist their support in such
    activities as well as their active support for Somalia’s
    Transitional Federal Government (TFG). He said the U.S. is
    opposed to Kenya’s so-called Jubaland initiative, given the
    complexities of Somalia. Our concern is that efforts to
    implement such an initiative would backfire causing even
    greater instability. On the elections, he said the USG
    recognizes the signing of a preamble to an electoral code of
    Conduct as a valuable step and would be looking now to the
    orderly registration of political parties and individual
    candidates. He also advocated that all parties, including
    the government, should work to create an environment that was
    conducive to the participation in the elections process by
    all other parties. He said the U.S. views the role of civil
    society as crucial to democracy and that it was natural for
    the USG to promote the role of non-governmental organizations
    in Ethiopia. The Charge noted that DAS Wycoff,s visit was
    intended as a signal of USG intent to follow up substantively
    on the November 5 bilateral talks in Washington to intensify
    U.S.-Ethiopia relations on several fronts. He also told
    Meles of his forthcoming departure from Post. Wycoff held an
    on-the-record press conference with domestic and
    international press, where he highlighted the comprehensive
    nature of the bilateral agenda and USG concerns about the
    reduction of political space and the importance of a free and
    fair elections process in Ethiopia. END SUMMARY.

    ¶3. (SBU) Visiting AF/DAS Karl Wycoff and CDA Meece met with
    Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for 90 minutes on
    November 19. Meles was joined by Chief of Cabinet Birhanu
    Adelu. The USG was also represented by pol/econ counselor
    and deputy counselor.

    Ethiopia Looking at More Pro-Active Options on Eritrea
    ——————————————— ———

    ¶4. (C) Prime Minister Meles raised Eritrean misbehavior
    several times. He said Ethiopia is convinced that Eritrea
    realizes it cannot destabilize Ethiopia before the latter’s
    May 2010 elections and so has decided to target its
    destabilization efforts for the period just after the
    elections. (NOTE: The 2005 Ethiopian elections themselves
    were relatively calm, but post-election tensions stemming
    from vote-counting disputes triggered violence and widespread
    government reprisals. END NOTE.) He said Ethiopia’s response
    to Asmara’s efforts to destabilize Ethiopia, Somalia and,
    more recently, Djibouti and Yemen has been almost exclusively
    passive but added that he wanted to give us a “heads up that
    we are looking at options.” He said, “We would be happy to
    stand down if developments outside the area obviate the need
    to become more pro-active.”

    ¶5. (C) Making clear what international community actions
    would persuade Ethiopia to stand down, Meles expressed
    particular disappointment that the United Nations Security
    Council (UNSC) has not taken action to impose a sanctions
    regime on Eritrea. He urged the U.S. to redouble sanctions
    efforts and especially to reconsider targeting remittances as
    what he called a “key instrument” for pressuring Asmara.
    Citing as examples his own Amcit, ethnic-Eritrean cousins, he
    said, “If the U.S. were to insist that paying taxes to Asmara
    is a felony, it would be easier for them to resist the tax.
    The Diaspora could say, ‘We can’t pay you.'”

    ¶6. (C) DAS Wycoff questioned providing support to Eritrean
    anti-government armed groups, noting the USG,s interest in
    regional stability. Wycoff agreed there is no evidence that
    Eritrea has showed improvement in its behavior, although he
    added that President Isaias had recently undertaken something
    of a charm offensive targeted at European diplomats, a
    possible indication that he may be considering options.
    Wycoff assured Meles that the U.S. remains committed to
    achieving a UNSC sanctions regime against Asmara and
    continues to broaden the discussion beyond the P3 and Uganda
    with a hard push by USUN. He said the USG was also expanding
    efforts to undercut support for Asmara, noting for example he
    been sent on a trip to Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities
    both to promote efforts to undercut flows of support to
    Asmara but also to seek concrete support for Somalia’s TFG.
    He said he has observed that some EU member states, formerly
    more supportive of Eritrea, have come to accept that Eritrea
    is playing a seriously negative role in the region and that
    the UK now believes that Eritrea has become a significant
    threat to its own domestic security.

    ¶7. (C) Pressed by Wycoff to describe the “pro-active”
    measures being considered, Meles said one option would be to
    directly support opposition groups that are capable of
    sending “armed propaganda units” into Eritrea Meles said
    that the groups with the most capability to operate inside
    Eritrea are those “that you don’t like from the lowlands,
    like the Keru” who he said would be “much better able to
    survive in Eritrea.” (NOTE. The Keru are a primarily Muslim
    ethnic group most of whose members live in Eritrea, although
    a minority live in Ethiopia. END NOTE.)

    End Quote

    Susan Rice working diligently to make sanctioning Eritrea a reality as shown below in a meeting that was held in December of 2009.

    Begin Quote

    ERITREA SANCTIONS

    ¶4. (C) Ambassador Rice urged Kouchner to support U.S. efforts
    to impose Security Council sanctions on Eritrean officials
    who are undermining the Djibouti agreement and giving active
    support to the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia. Rice
    pointed out that it had been a year since the Security
    Council had threatened sanctions against Eritrean officials
    if they did not comply with their international obligations,
    and it was time for the Council to make good on its promise.
    Kouchner stated that Eritrea served as the only conduit to
    Somali extremists regarding the final humanitarian worker
    held hostage. Rice said she understood that France did not
    want to drive the sanctions process. Somali rebels connected
    with al-Shabaab, but that Russia and China were hiding behind
    French reluctance to move ahead with sanctions. African
    members of the Security Council wanted to get the sanctions
    in place during December, and had toned down the draft
    resolution considerably in order to attract wider support.
    Kouchner said he could join a consensus to impose sanctions,
    but “additional days” to work toward release of the French
    hostage “would help us so much.”
    Given all the background information that was gleaned from WikiLeaks and coupling these with my own readings of the Horn region, I have to say the following regarding the sanctioning of Eritrea.
    (1) The idea of sanctioning Eritrea is of the Weyane’s emanations. I mean, the Weyane deviously thought to achieve what is their REAL heartfelt desire of achieving regime change in Eritrea through the economic strangulation and diplomatic isolation of Eritrea by way of a UN imposed sanction in Eritrea. In short, the idea of sanction on Eritrea was conceived in Weyane-land and incubated in the Weyane’s coop.
    (2) All the propitious milieu that were necessary to hatch the idea of sanction and the incubation that was necessary to give ‘it’ life was readily rendered by the Government of The United States Of America specially by The State Department. From Madeline Albright to Condi Rice and from Hilary Clinton to John Kerry and all their deputies and undersecretaries have mightily worked to make the sanctioning of Eritrea a reality.
    (3) The Somalia factor and the Djibouti issue are nothing more than a pretexts used by the Weyanes and their handlers, read US, to give the sanctioning of Eritrea the veneer of legitimacy. Had destabilization of the Horn was the real reason and had occupying sovereign territories of other countries the main reason for sanctions, then no other country fits the bill than the Weyane-led Ethiopia. I mean, one has to be honest to accept this logical conclusion.
    (4) However, if you are a self-seeking vulgar pragmatist where anything and everything goes in so far as it is going to weaken Isaias and the PFDJ, then you will happily sing the anthems of sanctioning Eritrea. And, if you job descriptions is to carry water for the Weyanes, then you are duty bound to vociferate and wholeheartedly support the sanctions imposed in Eritrea.
    (5) Since all the sanctions that were imposed on Eritrea were based on mere casuistries and speciously unsound reasons, I firmly oppose the sanctions imposed on Eritrea and I call for their lifting forthwith.

    • Hope

      Ahlen Wo Sahlen Ya Habibi:
      Dehaika elibde’ minna’ Faris Nai farsotat!
      Abshirka!
      Berad Shahi Wo Shenaful are ready and fresh!
      Cousin SAAY promised me that you will come back with over-loaded BM-44 and Up-graded Stalin Organ!
      Here we go!
      Well,I hope to come back further with S-500 Air Defense System for our Eritrea,buddy!
      But,seriously,this counter-arguement should be modified into a Serious Follow up Article to that of Prof SAAy.
      and I expect the AT members to do so…as they have done it before for Mahmouday….unless they stick to their stubborn Policy.
      No further comments but Thanks!

    • ‘Gheteb

      You may want also want to check this as it relates to the sanctions on Eritrea http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/19800-eritrea-participates-in-anti-sanctions-conference-

    • saay7

      Selamat Cuz Gheteb:

      Me thinks we should have the Battle of Cousins, officiated by cousins Hope and Semere. (Yes, Hope, I have the guts AND the courage:) But seriously, here are the problems with your narrative:

      1. The May 2000 New York Times article was inserted gratuitously. It says nothing about sanctions: it bemoans how Lake, Rice and Smith were not up to the task because they were too soft on Meles AND Isaias. An old Africa-hand, Crocker, says that he would have made the two blink. But the Clinton administration was vested in its “renaissance leaders” investments and it applied soft diplomacy when a little superpower weight-throwing was needed. So, cuz, why did you provide the link? To provide the impression that the sanction campaign dates back to 2000 when it really doesn’t?

      2. Now, the wikileaks you presented as evidence are all from 2009. The earliest is from May 2009 and the last is from December 2009. We cannot have a complete picture unless we know that in full partnership with Meles Zenawi to apply the sanctions on Eritrea was none other than Isaias Afwerki himself. Via his brutish diplomacy, his actions and inactions, he made what is a VERY, VERY, VERY unpopular move in Africa–sanctioning an African state–an inevitability. In fact, as the wikileaks you shared show, it was only due to African diplomacy (NOT Eritrean diplomacy) that the sanctions were significantly watered down–regardless what the US and the

      I wil just give you 3 videos, two IA interviews with Aljazeera and one with Le Monde/Reuters. In these interviews, Isaias Afwerki dismisses any threat against Eritrea as bluffing and psychological warfare. He specifically tells a Le Monde interviewer who asks him (on May 13, 2008, a month after Djibouti’s public accusation that Eritrean soldiers have cross to its border) that Eritrea is still studying what its position is on the matter. When the Arab League invited it for mediation, it declined: Eritrea was still studying its position on the matter. It was only AFTER Eritrea was sanctioned, that Eritrea had apparently stopped studying the issue and asked Qatar to mediate.

      Remember Isaias Afwerki is not just the commander-in-chief of Eritrea but also the diplomat-in-chief.

      saay

      https://youtu.be/UAXKsZ8OsWo – Al Jazeera, Ritz Khan program
      https://youtu.be/O0uQwODNkTA – Al Jazeera, Jane Dutton
      http://eastafro.com/2008/05/15/eritrea-president-isaias-afwerkis-interview-with-reuters-may-13-2008/

      • Hope

        OK Cousins,
        I read both of you and both IA,the UN/USA and PMMZ.
        Here is the issue:
        -The substance/the burden/gravity of the matter/sanction should be wieghed.vs its outcome on the Innocent Nation and her People.
        I do not believe that the PFDJ and its supporters(“me included” I guess)deny the mistakes and the miscalculations.
        The issue is NOT about wether IA made a mistake or NOT but ,besides his personal issues(Personality,stubborness,prob Psychological issues among other considered),the historical facts and the chronolgy of the events you beautiflly put in the past.
        Cousin Gheteb has tried to almost exclusively and factually present beautifully and excellently the deadly intentions and contributions of the outsiders way better and more convincingly than any one else here.
        You attempted to exclusively blame IA,by default,Eritrea,which is unfair and unplausable.
        I am not in a position to credit IA here but his mistakes and unchecked decisions were, and are and were NOT as grave as that of the outsiders,who have been deliberately involved for some kind of evil intention on Eritrea….
        In my understanding,the purpose of Cousin Gheteb does not appear to be ,at least to me , interested about the genesis and etiology of the Sanctions,which is the modus operandi of the West for their own interest.
        Ratrher,to me, it sounds like his intention is to say:
        Enough is enough and the Sanctions should be lifted as they have destroyed Eritrea as a Nation and the Eritreans as a People.
        The big burden though lies on US,Eritreans..as you said it eloquently in your conclusion.
        Few of ou resposnibiities, as Citizens should have been:
        -To counter check as to why and how IA has done this and that–to the extent of putting the existence of Eritrea in a big question mark
        -to mobilize our People so as to stand united and challenge him ina UNITED WAY as to what has gone wrong and why
        In my opinioon,that should have been the PRIORITY of all priorities.
        And since we have NOT done our minimum obligation as Citizens and brothers,sons,daugheters,fathers and mothers of those more than 100,000 Martyrs,we are equally and even more responsible and accountable for the mess we have gone through.

  • haileTG

    Selamat saay, my response is pending on disqus. I will check it tomorrow.

  • saay7

    Selamat Olana:

    When did I say “TPLF should be eliminated”?

    I said that the ideal relationship that people want, between Eritrea and Ethiopia, is unlikely to happen so long as the TPLF (best exemplified by T.Kifle and many bright new stars churned out by Aboy Sebhat’s think tank) holds a view that Eritrean elite are psychologically defected and as long as Arena is led by Gebru Asrat who also analyzes Eritrea psychologically.

    We could have an ideal relationship even with EPRDF (without TPLF) and Medrek (without Arena) because their differences with us are very sound: they are political, economic, social, but not psychological. Even one of Medrek’s biggest platform (that TPLF gave away Asab to Eritrea without a legal fight) is perfectly fine with me because that is an economic/security argument: NOT psychological.

    On Semayawi Party I was giving you a hypothetical: “IF I had said that Semayawi is a trojan horse for Dimsachn ysema and dmsachn ysemma is a terrorist organization and it should be banned” I would have been described an Ethiopia-lover. But because I criticized one party (TPLF, Arena) and not the others, all of a sudden I am an Ethiopia-hater. It is the same trick that Jewish-Americans play: if you don’t agree with Likud, then you hate Israel. If I refuse to bow-down to PFDJ’s demand that PFDJ=Eritrea (at significant cost to me), why in the world would I ever accept that TPLF = Ethiopia? Because some people with pen names will call me Ethiopia-hater? Abesha, Please!

    If you want to know, Semayawi Party was asked where it got its 92 million birr campaign coffer and it had no clear answers. In Africa (and Ethiopia is still in Africa, right?), it is not a stretch for the “independent election board” (wink wink) to ban the eligibility of Semayawi Party. (Similar question is not asked of where TPLF/Arena got their money.) Semayawi party was denied the right to demonstrate because it was accused of being an Islamist organization. Sources available upon request (unless you continue to be a bore.)

    saay

    • አዲስ

      Hi Saay,

      I agree with Olana’s initial remark in that TPLF particularly has a policy that was in favor of Eritrea in its independence(one can argue even before that) and the times leading up to the war. And it payed a price for it with its split. From Eritrea’s point of view the group that lost in the split of TPLF might be the one considered as a threat to Eritrea( mind you from Eritrea’s point of view, not my point of view). So that group that remains in power and heavily influenced by Meles and Aboy Sebhat are considered pro-eritrean or atleast not a threat to Eritrea by many Ethiopians and Eritreans and Aboy Sebhat goes as far as giing some interviews to that effect. So Saay are you saying these group now is “toxic” to Ethio-Eritrea relationship? Are you saying their mindset have changed?

      • አዲስ

        Saay,
        One more thing, the issue with Semayawi party and its 92 mil bir is yet to be properly examined. I don’t think you are in a position to say that they aren’t giving a clear answer. They simply said the audit will reveal where the money came from.

      • saay7

        Hi Addis:

        Again? The TPLF had an enlighten policy towards Eritrea, compared to all the Ethiopian opposition of its time. This endeared it to the Eritrean people but alienated it from Ethiopia who saw it as an advocate of Eritrea and not Ethiopia. Then we had the border war and the TPLF saw this as an opportunity to endear itself to the Ethiopian population and get the “Abi vote*” and it waged an unnecessary war EVEN after it had gotten everything it wanted by August 1999. A deal that even Dagmawi** considered acceptable to Ethiopia.

        What Aboy Sebhat and company consider “pro-Eritrea” and what I consider “pro-Eritrea” are two different things. From Aboy Sebhat’s perspective, Eritrea is unfortunate enough to have an elite that doesn’t know what is good for Eritrea but he does because “he cares more for Eritrea than EPLF” and, of course, “Meles cared more for Eritrea than Eritreans themselves.”*** This is a very patronizing care, the kind that PFDJ is offering us right now, that we rejected, remember?

        Someway Party leadership was interviewed about where it got its funds and its leader said its not EPRDF’s business where it got its 92 million birr; it is only that of the election board and, he said, unfortunately, the election board is packed by EPRDF. From this, and from past behavior of EPRDF during elections, I speculate that it will find a way to disqualify Semayawi Party if it is seen as an electoral threat. Speculate. That Semayawi Party has been accused of being a front for the scarily-organized Dimtsachn Yisemma, and that its organizational prowess scares the EPRDF and therefore makes it eligible for a violation of the Anti Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) is something I can present an argument for, if I didn’t think only 2 Eritreans are following the discussion:)

        saay

        * Abi Vote: Awatista Abi(net) said that he was very skeptical about TPLF until it bloodied Eritrea. Eritrean blood was what TPLF baptized its Ethiopian Bonafides in.

        ** Dagmawi: a relentless critic of EPLF/PFDJ/Eritrea who defended Ethiopia’s position in 1998-2000 war, better than the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry. He called on his government to accept the Consolidated Peace Agreement of August 99. TPLF said no (for reasons not clear other than the baptism mentioned above) and now wants to know why are Eritreans so ungrateful to us?

        *** Refer to VOA interview of Aboy Sebhat, in response to Gebru Asrat’s book.

        • አዲስ

          Hi Saay,

          “Again?” what was that for ? 🙂 What I am getting into is let’s put the ego of Eritrean elites aside as you seem to be hurt by his remark somehow. Is TPLF in its core policy at this time “toxic” toward Eritrea as you put it? The main players of what can be considered that are out of the power circle. As for TPLF getting some political points with Ethiopia, that’s a major war and there are consequence to it. If that consequence gives TPLF good standing in the eyes of rest of Ethiopians by defeating a foreign force, how is that the fault of TPLF? It’s the consequence of the war. At the end of the day for the relationship we have b/n Ethiopia and Eritrea right NOW the one thing TPLF is responsible for is the no-war-no-peace policy. You can’t fault them for saying we don’t want no peace and no war.
          In another hand you can consider parties with that have policies like the question about Asab a threat.
          For me these psyological analysis that you are refering to by some TPLFites will only reslut in a hurt of the elites ego like yours. Nothing more substantial can come out of them.

          • saay7

            Selam Addis:

            It’s not about ego at all, Addis. It is about problem solving. When there is a dispute between nations, Its difficult but not impossible to solve problems that are political, economic, social in nature. But if you introduce a psychological element to it, it becomes nearly impossible.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Haha Saay, selam:

            So, your designation of “segment of Eritreans” as “Full of Self Hatred” is meant to introduce a psychological element to it so as to render the problem “nearly impossible to resolve”? Is it not?

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam haile TG,
            .
            I know I read saay in the past of what he thought of psychology. I think he said it was just this side of astrology. (have you ever dealt with someone who is really a dedicated practitioner of it like I did, she… forget it.)
            I also believe like he does, in fact I go further and say that if you take out statistics and philosophy out of it, psychology is worse than astrology.
            .
            Therefore, I make the motion to table psychology indefinitely to be studied in the field and engage only on things that we can sink our teeth into like social, political and economic issues. Aren’t these hard enough in our neighborhood.
            .
            K.H
            .
            P.S
            An old neighborhood bully, who dropped out of a 3rd or 4th grade said the following a long, long time ago in Addis when describing us Ethiopians and Africans in general, in these exact terms.
            .
            “Nature yegodaw sew” (let abi translate)
            .
            I sometimes do wonder about it half a century later.

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            I think you argued that the bad blood between TPLF and EPLF gets in the way of solving our problems. I am arguing that when TPLF and EPLF introduce psychological terms to define the problem, it makes it an unsolvable problem. The psychological terms introduced by the “chegwar darga” elements of the EPLF are that the TPLF suffers from an inferiority complex, that it suffers from envy. The psychological terms introduced by the CADRES (actually, borrowed from the “Neftegna Ethiopians) of the TPLF are that it is not just the EPLF but the entire Eritrean elite that suffers from identity crisis and that they have opted to rejected their true identity in favor of fake identity. I think we on our side have gone a long way to discourage and even sometimes ban the membership of Eritreans who push that point of view. In contrast, within TPLF, that is the ascendant view. If the brain trust of the TPLF is Aboy Sebhat’s “Ethiopian Internal Institute for Peace and Development” and if those who are either the cadres and its affiliates are the future of TPLF, then the psychological profiling of Eritreans will continue. And that’s not good at all for a healthy relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

            WedaHanka
            saay

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay,

            It goes without question that you are as much entitled as the next person to your opinion (which should be given the same respect as any other). However, to reduce such critical problem to a mere “unsolvable” problem is rather baffling. Ethiopia is the ONLY natural gateway to local economic and cross border activities of the entire highland Eritreans. This represents almost half of the population (although I am mindful of your typical doubt on the claim without census:). The same goes to the Sudan for our lowland and Yemen and others to the coastal. It would defy logic for a rational mind to promote permanent hostility until “the dominant political forces in Ethiopia are cleansed of their toxicity and such like strains”. This doesn’t make me regional or narrow minded but rational about the well being and stability of Eritrea as a whole and give space to natural development of new realities as time goes by. There is noway you can push your dangerous proposal based on loose cannon calculations without taking responsibility to what it is you are prepared to do to change the situation. You still need the balls to categorically come clean whether your sole intent is to weaken Eritrea’s center or not. You are admiring sections of Ethiopia who wish to invade us for economic reasons as “perfectly normal”. Well that is freaking abnormal to me because I don’t have an oil rich paternalist kingdom to hope on to bail me out. But at the very least, why don’t be like your “perfectly normal” Ethiopian counter parts and put “perfectly normal” conditions for peace, rather than taking us to WWII throwback of “toxic strains needing to cleanse”.

            Any old HGDEF criticizes the regime for human rights, that is a fashion nowadays.

            wedhanka

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            Thanks for giving me the opportunity: Omar Al Bashir’s government is as bad as the TPLF and if I saw an Eritrean opposition all cozying up to it, I would make the exact same argument. In your absence, I said that I am fine with a strong, unified, coherent Eritrean opposition making a deal with the devil–but a very weak Eritrean opposition combined with a very haughty TPLF is a dangerous combination.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Thank you saay,

            I will accept your stated belief as such. As far as I can see, Eritrea is weakened as a whole; the regime is weak, the opposition is weak and the people are lacking the organization to to marshal their strength in unison. Your leadership would be best placed to give reprieve the cycle of mutual recriminations and enable Eritreans to trust one another and talk to each other. Eritreans in Ethiopia may be weak and an attack is the least recommended route to embolden them, the same to Eritreans in Eritrea, Eritreans in diaspora…you name it. And this was what prompted me to go heavy on you. My apology if I hurt some feelings. You know haile 🙂

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Dear SAAY and Haile,
            Haile wise response. Am really impressed.
            Saay, you are right but you also have to come with an alternative. Where do you think the opposition should base itself? Sudan will feed them to the shark, Saudi is unthinkable.We do not trust Ethiopia. What alternative do we have than to deal with our own issues of trust and confidence. The so called opposition is a kind of ghost as it is now when it comes to really connecting to people (grassroots). Do you think we can demand a conference outside Ethiopia to confront them on their motives and plans; challenge them on thier failures and weaknesses and pressure them to get real, practical and action oriented united front that focuses on people? I say outside Ethiopia because many people in the justice seekers camp are very sceptical about Ethiopia’s motive. One side has to give in. Do you think this is doable and may yield some fruit? We need to start moving towards alternatives and solutions.
            Gentlemen, When you answer please go easy on politic for I am not well versed as you are.

          • haileTG

            ሰላም ሳራ፡

            ኣብዚ ሓታትን፡ ተሓታትን ምፍላይ ኣጸጊሙ ዘሎ እዋን፡ ኤርትራ ካብ ጸገም ናብ ጸገም ምንቁልቋላ ኣየቋረጸትን። ሎሚ ሽግር ኤርትራ ብዊንታ ዘይኮነ፡ ብሰንኪ ርኡይ ሃገራዊ ፍሽለት፡ ኣብ ኢድ ሳልሳይ ኣካል ኣትዩ’ዩ። ዝሕለፍ ዘሎ ሽግርን መከራን ጥራይ ዘይኮነ፡ እንኮላይ እቲ ኣንጸላልዩ ዘሎ ከቢድ ሓደጋ ዘይርዳእ ኤርትራዊ ኣሎ ክንብል ከቶ ዘይከኣል እዩ። ኮይኑ ግን፡ እቲ ህዝብና ሓድሕድ ስለ ዝተጎራርሔ፡ ክሳርኡ ከም ዘይናቱ ርእዩ፡ ኣብ ዘይተሓዝን፡ ዘይጭበጥን ሕልማዊ ኣንፈታት ሃሰስ ኣብ ምባል፡ ተጸሚዱ፡ ዕድሉን፡ ዕድል መጻእቲ ወለዶኡን፡ ኣብ ዋጋ ዕዳጋ እቲዩ ይርከብ። ሕጂ እውን ተጎራሪሑ ዝረኽቦ ፋይዳ የለን። እቲ ስርዓት ካብ ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያ ወጽዩ ክምጉት ዝኾነ ይኹን ባይታ የብሉን። ንሳ እታ እንኮ መጣልዒት ኣርእስቱ’ያ። ውዱባት ባእታታት ተቋውሞ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብቐንዱ፡ ካብዚ ዝንቡዕ ስነ-ሞጎት ክፋናተት ክሳብ ዘይበቕዔ፡ ውሽጣዊ ፍልልያቱ፡ ንዘዕሙቕን፡ ዘስፍሕን፡ ተወሳኺ ሓደጋታት ተቓሊዑ፡ ነብሱ ኣብ ዘይከላኸለሉን፡ ዕድሉ ዘይውስነሉን፡ ትሑት ደረጃ ካብ ምውራድ ክድሕን ዘሎ ተኽእሎ ንእሽቶይ እዩ። ሎሚ ንህዝቢ ከሕብር፡ ከተኣማምንን፡ ከስምርን ዝኽእል ሙያ እዩ ዘድሊ ዘሎ። ስነ-ሞጎት “ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያ” ብደረጃ እስትራተጂ ክንጸግ ክኽእል ኣለዎ። ምኽንያቱ ዝሓበረን፡ ዝሰመረን ሃገራዊ ህላወ’ዩ ሰረት ብቑዕ ርእሰ ምክልኻል። ሽግር ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ካብ ውሽጢ ንግዳም እምበር ካብ ግዳም ንውሽጢ ተንቲንካ ዝእለ ኣይኮነን። ኣብዚ ነጥቢ ድማ ግሁድ ምዝንባላት ይርኤ ኣሎ። እቶም ዓቃባውያን ውሽጣዊ ዓቕሚ ኢና ኢሎም ዝምድሩ፡ ኣብ ግዳማዊ ሽግራት (ሕልማዊ ወይ ህልዊ ብዘገድሽ) እዮም ተሰሊቦም ዘለዉ። ዘይምዕሩይን፡ ሱር-ኣልቦን ስነ-ሞጎት፡ ወግሔ ጸብሔ እናፈተሉ ድማ መንጸፍ ፍልልይን፡ ሕድሕድ ምትፍናንን ካብ ምእላም (ብፍላጥ ድዩ ብዘይፍላጥ) ኣየዕረፉን። እዚ ድማ ነቲ ህዝቢ ሓድሕድ ተጎራሪሑን ተፈራሪሑን፡ ከም ጓና ክረሓሓቕ ይደፋፍእ ኣሎ። ቅድሚ ዝኣገረ፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ክረኣኤ ክኽእል መታን፡ እዋናዊ ጸገሙ፡ ማእከላይ ስፍራ ክወሃቦ ይግባእ። እዚ ድማ ናብቲ ዝገለጽክዮ መድርኽ ኢሂን፡ ሚሂን ብዝቐለለ ከብጽሕ ይኽእል ዝብል ርእይቶ’ዩ ዘሎኒ።

            Thanks for your input too!

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Selam Haile hawey.
            First, thank you for the prompt reply. Secondly,I apologize for responding in English as I don’t have the tigrigna word thing.
            I do agree with you on many points but I sense some differences: when we talk about Eritrean people are we talking about those in the justice-seekers camp or are we talking about the organised groups. Because from what we the justice seekers camp is looking for leadership from the organised parties. Yes, many ‘individuals’ have a problem with Ethiopia being the base for many opposition groups. Some organised groups also seem to have this opinion or seem to manipulate it to their advantage. I think ‘hzbi eritra kem begie tegotitu eyu zkeyd zelo wei dew ilu nteqawemti wdbat ytsbe alo’. We are all over the world and we do not have face to face meetings to help us talk heart and mind. One thing is for sure; people are looking for unity while few individuals (maybe sent by PFDJ) are dividing the people along the fault line of awraja, bher. Some even raise language issues.
            As for the argument ‘change from inside or change from outside’, I do not believe any sound change can come from inside. The poor people inside (whatever is left of them) are just like the ones who are coming out (processed through all sorts of violence); without confidence, harassed to the point of accepting any blame, misinformed’. It is not morally acceptable and fair to expect much from them. Few PFDJites may have the power, the money and maybe the confidence. Can we trust these few TEBELETSTI?
            Of course we need to include the people inside but for us to expect them to bring about change is just not fair. I am not underestimating them; I am just asking us to think ‘reality’. In the first place we run to safety because we could not do it ourselves. Now we know what freedom feels like. After all we are talking about change by Eritrean from outside the country.
            My theory about this is that the idea that it should come from inside comes from PFDJ so that from inside it would have the control of the opposition and the opportunity to kill forever it slowly.
            Ethiopia- the issue of Ethiopia has been a sticky one for some years. It is a country that, whether we like it or not, will always be our next door neighbor that we have a lot on common with. We also do have our differences, some profound. But it is up to us to use our relationship with Ethiopia to our interest just like Ethiopia will understandably try to manipulate it to their interest. We are the ones in trouble now, a big one! We are the ones who should be very careful as well are currently vulnerable. I think the leaders (I am laughing at myself calling them leaders) of the Eritrean opposition groups should include the grassroots demands and wishes. And we the grassroots should encourage them when they feel weak and advise them when we think they are drifting away. They need a support group made of wise people like you, amanuel, saay etc.
            There are things we should let go for the sake of our people and our existence. We are bleeding hard and may not have much time.

            Haile hawey dehan hder yakhleka nlomi.

          • haileTG

            Dear Sarah thanks and no worries about the language:) I just use Tigrinya whenever my English needs to nap for a quick rest;)

            Just few clarifications:

            – Part of what I said is referring to the Eritrean people. It is worrisome that speaking about the daily problems and tragedies in homes and social occasions has become taboo. Although, then the people are ready to give you an earful in private phone conversations. Some brainstorming on how to understand this phenomenon better is timely.

            – When I say looking at a problem inside-outside, I am saying that our understanding/processing of issues need to follow that pattern.

            e.g. Eritrea is sanctioned – problem

            outside-inside perspective: external powers as US, Ethiopia … have conspired to get us. Eritreans in those places helped them. We ended up sanctioned. We need to stand with the regime on this.

            Inside – Outside perspective: what conditions in Eritrea allowed for sanctions? why did Eritreans in Eritrea had no say. How is it being affected. How can it has a say. How is it going to affect our standing externally. We need to rally against the regime to hold it accountable to the blunder.

            You can see that the current view that is advanced by the two sides are along those lines. And my point is that those who say they are cynical of outsiders, needed to center their arguments around amplifying the expression of Eritrean people’s predicament because their stated claim is to focus on inside. But some of their arguments tend to run counter to that. My take wasn’t about the change from inside/outside debate that was going on sometime back but seems to have lost steam now:)

            Regards

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Good morning Haile,
            Thank you for clarifying the important question. Yes it is important to coordinate the inside- outside maneuver in the effort to bring about change. But the inside can only be activated if the outside is strong and united otherwise it would cause more and and punishment on the inside. we have to be careful keynegdYom. So For now please let us all do something to embolden the outside force and mould it to unison.

          • saay7

            Selamat Hailat:

            Yeah, I know Haile:) You never have to worry about hurting my feelings because (a) In that heart-over-mind thing I am lopsidedly mind-over-heart (sorry:) and (b) There is so much goodwill towards Haile The Great (emphasis on The Great) that it is a virtual impossibility to be hurt by Haile le magnifique:)

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I think you haven’t yet showed how those psychological analysis result in concrete policy or engagement that’s negative towards Eritrea. I could care less about the ego of the elites. For me if PFDJ thinks of Ethiopia as riddled with inferiority complex, I will just brush it off. Who cares about their useless thinking. What I care about is if they start to implement them in action, like trying to wage a war, loot the country, not just talking about “milking 90 mil people” but put a policy and action towards that. That’s where I would have a problem. And I believe that’s part of the reason we are where we are today. Not because some psychological analysis. So as I see it you are making a big fuss out of this.

            Focus on the important things. Stop the talk of “cleansing” the “toxic” out of your neighbors. Do your homework. You know who the main problem for Eritrea and its people. Once you solved that then you may have the luxury to dwell on what a certain group in a neighboring country’s government think of you. You can sit on the beautiful beaches of Massawa with a cold beer and friends and be like f*** those TPLFites who thinks less of us, look at us sitting and enjoying these beautiful view in our country. But hopefully just a beer talk only. Wouldn’t that be nice? I truly wish that for all peace lover Eritreans. I truly do.

            Thanks.

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            Well, you got a little quandary here.

            (1) In both Eritrea and Ethiopia, it is the elite that govern. Well, this is true also for the rest of the world but in some parts of the world, the elite at least pretend to get the consent of the governed. In Eritrea and Ethiopia, it is actually the worst kind of elite in power–not the moneyed elite, not the credentialed elite, but the military elite. Yes, Ethiopia, compared to Eritrea, has gone much further in distance in trading its military elite for the technocratic elite but real power is still held by its national security apparatus.

            (2) You are telling me to disregard the elite.

            It doesn’t compute for me. “Cleansing the toxic” may appear to be a strong language, so let me use a neutral language and one that you can relate to. It is conventional wisdom that Ethiopia will not get total peace until PFDJ is completely removed from power. This wisdom was so accepted that the late Ethiopian PM made regime change in Eritrea part of its foreign policy and it is Ethiopia’s foreign policy (officially, confirmed by PM Hailemariam Desalegn that any future provocation from Eritrea an Ethiopia will go after the Eritrean regime an not the Ethiopian agitators. Thus, it is the policy of the Ethiopian government, shared by many Ethiopians (and some Eritreans) that there can never be sustainable peace in the neighborhood until PFDJ is gone.

            Now, I believe that the kind of relationship that Eritreans and Ethiopians crave, one that restores it to two peoples that transcend the “bad blood between EPLF and TPLF” (to use Haile TG’s phrase) cannot happen until the TPLF mind set–that it knows what is good for Eritreans better than Eritreans–is gone and gone for good.

            PS: I am not a big beer guy, cold or warm:)

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Not a beer guy ? How dare you ? 🙂

            There really is no quandary. But let’s see the points you raised.

            1. Agree. What I said before is in no term contrary to this. And I think this is more like a starting point for your 2nd point so I will just pass it.

            2. I never said to disregard the elite. I said disregard the ego of the elite. The empty ego. The bravado. The hurt feeling of the elite which has no basis for a mature communication. I clearly tried to show you what would bother me. But somehow it seems to pass by you. So let me try again: Eritrea or PFDJ’s mind-set that thinks Ethiopia suffers from inferiority complex, I would say who cares what you just think. If PFDJ tries to implement that thinking I be like bad PFDJ bad bad boy and smack it to its place 🙂

            To your other points. Yes Ethiopia will not be at total peace until PFDJ is removed. Do you disagree? And a foreign policy that states if a neighboring country tries to destabilize or spoil my peace I would crush it is surprising to you? Isn’t that the main role of a government? to secure its country and its people? Another point I do believe PFDJ is (I will use your word here) toxic to the region. Do you disagree? I hope not. But do you believe the position of Ethiopia with regard to removing PFDJ comes from the thinking that it knows better for Eritreans than Eritreans? I don’t’ believe so. It’s simply because of PFDJ’s dangerous and destabilizing behavior in the region. So the stated foreign policy should rightfully work to weaken such a destabilizing force by sanctioning and isolating short of full out war to remove it. Unless of course PFDJ tries the unthinkable.

            It’s quite astonishing to me that the CONSENSUS or the mind set of Ethiopia that PFDJ is toxic or spoiler of the region which you somehow translate to “knows what’s good for Eritreans better than Eritreans”, is what you believe the problem for the two countries peaceful relationships.

            Again to reiterate, in an effort to blame TPLF you lost focus so much so that you pin the problems with the relationship between the two countries on TPLF mind set and seems to defend PFDJ which is the root cause.

            You really need a cold beer my friend 🙂

            Thanks.

          • saay7

            Hey Addis:

            We are talking past each other.

            1. You keep using the word ego (another psychological term:-) and I keep telling you about behavior of the TPLF elite. Belief guides behavior and they believe terrible things about Eritrean thought leaders. So it’s behavior and not ego I care about.

            2. I think a PFDJ led by Isaias is a menace. A PFDJ sans Isaias is another military-political complex. That is: just an average African government.

            3. Ethiopian foreign policy of Colin Powellesque (disproportionate response) says that if an Ethiopian opposition conducts military attack, we will go after their host. If you don’t think this is excessive, well, you have bought too much into GWBs “we will fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” For your (Ethiopian) own sake I hope u don’t encourage that. Many countries that do that end up regretting their decision.

            4. You apparently believe that TPLF was and is entirely blameless in the difficulty Eritrea finds itself with. I particularly like your outrage that I actually believe it contributed more than its share.

            5. The PFDJ mindset which believes (and therefore acts upon such belief) that Tigrayans suffer from inferiority complex is dangerous and makes finding peace difficult. Similarly, the TPLF belief (and therefore the behavior that acts on such belief) that Eritreans are incapable of solving the problems associated with nation building is dangerous and makes finding sustainable peace difficult. We in Eritrea are working really hard to cleanse Eritrea of any superiority complex; unfortunately, I don’t see a single reciprocal move from the supporters of the TPLF. Except for Fanti Ghana but he is super special. And when he does something as ordinary as deviate from the straitjacket of Ethiopian mainstream thought, he is lassoed by Ethiopians: come back, don’t go native on us.

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            Let me start by the point where see eye to eye. The PFDJ mindset which resulted in war between the two countries rather than solving any question with dialogue is the main culprit here. I never say TPLF is blameless. I see TPLF’s fault in current Eritrean problems from the point of view that may be just MAY BE it could avoid the war. But that’s debatable. And once the war broke everything was consequential.

            The point PFDJ is better once IA is removed, I believe it’s an internal matter to Eritreans. If Eritreans believe that then good for them. As long as it’s not hell bent in destabilizing its great neighbor, I think we Ethiopians are fine with it(at least I am).

            About the disproportionate response you mentioned, as I have repeatedly said in this forum, I am opposed to an all out war where we march to remove someone else’s regime. I support targeted sanctions. keeping our borders secure. But I said if they (TPLF) believe in removing PFDJ for any provocation, I understand that thinking not coming from “know better for Eritreans than Eritreans” psych that you repeatedly mentioned. And that’s what I try to repeatedly show you. You really need to differentiate between the foreign policy of a country that acts in what it perceive a regional spoiler as a threat to its security with a paternalistic approach one takes that comes from I know better for you than you. The points you’ve mentioned haven’t convinced me it emanates from the later line of thinking. For me it comes from the earlier line of thinking be it disproportionate or not.

            We Ethiopians are working also in seeing a better Ethiopia. Fighting for human rights, rule of law, freedom of press, justice, inclusiveness, poverty….many many issues. All these in a political space which is almost non existence to an opposition. I don’t believe we in Ethiopia focus on the issue of Eritrea as much as you give emphasis to TPLF here but may be the influence of the two on each other isn’t and can’t be equal.

            Good for Fanti Ghana for fighting the good fight. You believe Ethiopians lassoed as you put it a voice that deviates from TPLF thoughts? 🙂 come on. May be supporters of the government but not the majority Ethiopians. If TPLF supporters aren’t working on the cleansing of the psychs you mentioned, may be they don’t believe it exists? I can only speculate as I am not a TPLF supporter.

            Thanks.

          • saay7

            Merhaba Addis:

            The “we know what’s good for Eritreans better than Eritreans themselves” doesn’t manifest itself in Ethiopias Colin Poweleque foreign policy. That’s just an outcome of a (dangerous, to my mind) development fed by the U.S. and the late PM Meles Zenawis internalizing of the moral righteousness of preemtive war (which is how you got to Somalia which is how you may find yourself in Eritrea.) No, that’s a different kind of hubris. The hubris I am talking about manifests itself in the TPLF (and the rest of the EPRDF is entirely blameless on this) attempt to create opposition coalitions and destroy them when it’s not happy when it’s guys are not elected to positions. Get me now?

            saay

          • አዲስ

            Hi Saay,

            I got you. TPLF is attempting to create a puppet government in Eritrea and you believe that comes from “we know what’s good for Eritreans better than Eritreans themselves” line of thinking. Well I guess the solution for that is may be owning your own destiny? This is where “Self reliance ” should be applied. I make it look all easy 🙂 keyboard warrior style. But I do believe in owning your own destiny.

            Thanks.

          • Abi

            Saay
            Sew Tiru,sew Tiru
            Tirulign and sew
            Kemianebew hulu kemimeleketew.
            Ande sayadisn, huwalam adisnsay
            Fanti temereTe tilqu gelagay.

          • Yoty Topy

            Dearest Saay,

            lol:

            “We in Eritrea are working really hard to cleanse Eritrea of any superiority complex; unfortunately, I don’t see a single reciprocal move from the supporters of the TPLF…”

            If I may ask Sir, what are some of the things you are doing to get rid off your “superior complexity?’

        • Olana

          Hi Saay7

          You have not exactly used the word eliminated but your comments have not yet conveyed otherwise. My argument is: how could you establish a good relationship with groups who are not happy with an independent Eritrea or who still claiming Aseb while rejecting a group who respects your choice. I could not understand that. I believe Addis has challenged you on that aspect.

          You are pretending to know everything about what is going on in Ethiopian politics when you ask about Semayawi party’s 92 million sources. From your comments I can see you have no detail knowledge of the political affairs in Ethiopia or you are twisting facts deliberately. To give you some
          highlights, Semayawi party was formed 2 or 3 year ago and it does not have many members like the other parties who has been struggling financially to survive despite better number of memberships. EPRDF(or TPLF for the sake of argument) has millions in membership who regularly contribute from their income in addition to the contribution made by wealthy business people. Other parties including Semayawi party do the same. It is unusual for a new and relatively small party
          to rise that amount of money for election. FYI it is not only the Election board and the government that are suspicious of sources, other party members and many people are eager to know the source because it is a national security issue if incase the money comes from the proponents of color revolution or form Egypt who still want to destabilize the country or from the terrorist groups
          you have mentioned (BTW you can include Isaias and his elites)

          The party has been staging demonstrations in many cities of the country and you can see for yourself their clips on YouTube. To your surprise you will see many Muslims in the party’s rallies as it tries to use the agenda of our Muslim brothers to its political advantage. By the way I am surprised to see you passionately arguing on behalf of an Ethiopian party and talk about an independent election board of Ethiopia! Tsemam Hade derfu zibahal kemzi Natika eyu.
          Thank you

  • tes

    Dear Haile TG,

    This is the best refutal to the Sal’s School of Thought ever. Well done. Chauvinists are are always chauvinists no matter how smart they can be.

    These time, you are with serious agendas on table. I commend you for bringing them to the forefront. Keep knocking the mind and take care of the different schools that exist déjà.

    tes

  • saay7

    Selamat Hailat the great:

    Haha, the people have a right to remember but the people also have a right to be informed 🙂 Dont be like Hayat who thinks the world began on May 12,1998. I had a public life before, during and after the war. Those who know my writing between 1994-1998 know I was critical of PFDJ on human rights, due process issues (using my first middle and last name) and won’t be confused by my position now. Those who don’t know or don’t care or find it inconvenient or too nuanced, well, people have the right to be confused:)

    Saay

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Haw Mahmud and all,

    1. The reason I am addressing you with I feel you could be one of the few anti-Sanction that could be persuaded with facts. Sanction has been a big interest of mine; chiefly because THAT IS THE BEST WE CAN do as Diaspora ‘deleyti fithi’ to abate the adventurist policies of the tyrant in Eritrea. I take my lessons from other diaspora-based activists from tyrannical regimes. To my knowledge, diaspora-based opposition and activists ALWAYS call the international community to put pressure, disengage and sanction the tyrants. And their tyrants are angels compared to our ogre. It is that we Eritreans have developed this knack for complicating simple things and do things half-heartedly, while the tyrant is working overtime to simply destroy our nation. If we call ours a totalitarian system and an existential threat to Eritrean nationhood, why do we at the same time feel sympathy for the devil? When the tyrant leaves no stones unturned to fight, no, to kill, no, to mutilate us, even to the extent of denying a burial for the long-expired body, we still nurse some Stockholm-syndrome for him. At the root of our problem in my considered opinion is the mismatch that exists between those who want change vs. the tyrant. We tend to wishy-washy, hesitant in normal course of action (such as sanctioning the regime, for me so normal should have started in 2001 at least). While Isaias doesn’t seem to give a hoot about Eritreans and he has nothing but hate, unbridled grudge against us, Eritreans. We are not even close to him.
    2. About facts on Eritrea and Somalia. I invite and even beg of you to take your time and read the first SEMG reports and judge it for yourself. Time and attention, permitting I would do an expose on them. Suffice to say, Eritrean leader was deeply involved by recruiting and arming Somalis who happen to be on losing side and we paid for his sins.
    3. Of course, Ethiopia is more than happy to use the opportunity Isaias gave them to alienate Eritrea. I have said the only way we can get our way back to the international community is to abide by the rules. Call it a game; international diplomacy and whatnot. Let us learn the way Ethiopians use their power and we can save our nation. We can’t afford to fight when there is little national interest is at stake except Isaias’s insatiable ego. We can save the reputation of our military and secure our future. It is possible. First, we have to acknowledge the faults are in the leader of our nation. He has one of the worst records in foreign policy. He lies profusely. Gambles recklessly and we end up paying for his debts; through our lives, our resources, and the reputation of such peace loving people. I can bring Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, Somalia, the West. In few years, he made us a jock of nations. He dragged the country to wars, to sanctions. And the sooner we say no to him, the better. That is why opposing sanctions is barking at the wrong tree; when it is the leader of us who initiated them.
    4. I am glad we can see eye to eye in the most important area; that is possible sanctions on the regime based on human rights ground. That is where my heart is.
    Yours,
    Ghezae Hagos

    • Millennium

      Hi Ghezae

      you started off by saying that you are trying to address Mahmud because you feel “he is one of those who can be persuaded.” By way of presenting facts, you went on to beg of him to read a report that you had read and promised that you would write an expose on that document. Please read what you wrote back and try to see if you wrote any facts that can possibly persuade anyone about the validity of the sanction that you say is dear to your heart.
      What you wrote is an emotional polemic that presented no facts at all.

    • tes

      Dear Gezae Hagos,

      Eritrea is not sanctioned but PFDJ.

      PFDJ was just recently sanctioned because of his mischieves first in 2009 and then renewed in 2012. And this is just because of his his involvement in other countries afrairs. And this was passed through vote.

      On the other hand, Eritrean people were sanctioned in 1994 first and the sanction was enforced under total militarization in 2001 and further sanction with military defence embargo in 2013. PFDJ passed all these sanctions without vote. No single Eritrean presented his case against.

      Then, which one to end?

      Sanctions imposed to the people in 1994? 2001? or 2013?

      Or

      Sanction imposed to the regime?

      Do you think, PFDJ is able to remove the sanctions put on Eritrean people?

      tes

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Gezae
      Thank you for the reply. I’m following the debate on disqus, and unfortunately, I failed yo get your reply on time. You are therefore added to my “followed” list; but come on as often as possible. I like inputs and bitter “fights” of rivals as long as those fights stay clean, like those fights the Great Ted and Semere Stage up. That’s by way of saying Seni halieka, the Tigre people drawn-out greetings.
      On the genesis of the sanctions, I’m afraid we may not agree. I laid out what i thought were the important points of my position in my previous reply (and I’m happy to read the expose you promised writing), that’s pertaining to number 2 of your reply. I see not that much of a difference between us on numbers 3&4 either. I urge you to show more of an understanding and tolerating readiness, and a will to nurture diverse opinions as far as the beholders of those opinions make it public that they oppose pfdj, and Eritreans deserve a better government. You are more loaded than me in issues concerning the right of individuals to express their views without the expectations that they might be labeled unpleasant names and characterizations
      . You are a lawyer, and a veteran opposition figure, therefore, you have a responsibility in calming up nerves when slightly divergent opinions appear on contentious issues that no body could claim possessing the truth that would drive them to their natural conclusion. I was dismayed to read your overreaction to a trend you thought was an orchestrated pfdj campaign. It is confusing when this type of attitude comes from a person who is fighting so that Eritreans could not be censured. The opposition, particularly leading figures, need to show, through their actions, that they are better than pfdj in processing diverse opinions. I also want to alert you that I don’t suffer from the Stockholm syndrome, I have no captor – captive mentality. I hold no physical or emotional attachment to pfdj, simply, I’m among the first who disassociate themselves from it. So, no, you are wrong. I’m honest here. But I fear our opposition, if it doesn’t do a serious reform, may end up being another disappointment. Therefore, I take my opinions seriously. Wanting to see a dynamic opposition should not be misconstrued as having a soft spot for pfdj, or suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
      would you please answer my last question to you: that’s, do you believe Ethiopia should have been sanctioned because of its refusal?

      • Mizaan1

        Dear Mahmud,

        I gravitate to your comments because in my opinion you are no doubt a very sincere man and very concerned about the sanctions on the Eritrean people as a collateral. Although I really doubt the sanctions can harm the tera ertrawi, I sympathize with your position and I trust you when you say your position is not as a result of a soft spot for PFDJ. If you haven’t done so already I urge you to read the SMEG report as I will do as well per Ghezae’s recommendation. But in general terms sanctions result in a lot of unwanted harm as we saw in so many countries in the Middle East and Libya etc. it would be helpful to your case if you provide specific examples in the case of Eritrea as to the adverse effects of the sanctions on the ordinary citizens.

        • Passerby

          Howdy Mizzan,
          Just out of curiosity, what is your answer to Mahmud’s question (last sentence)?

          • Mizaan1

            Selam Passerby, as you well know sanctions are imposed by the UNSC voting members and members will vote based on what is at stake for their national interest. Members will usually share the same political reasons for imposing sanctions. Sanctions are imposed to deter or change unwanted behavior of a regime or a country or bring a regime into compliance with international law.

            What did the Eritrean regime do in the eyes of the world? It supported Al-Shabab, fought with Djibouti but would not come to the table to acknowledge there is a problem, and it was seen as a destabilizing regime in the horn. Those are the main allegations. There is no more convincing reasons for UNSC than this list to impose sanctions. What we have is also a very narrow and not comprehensive sanction. It was designed to force the Eritrean regime to change its behavior rather than punish the Eritrean people. The worst part of this is that, as Saay elaborated in his article, there were many opportunities for these sanctions to be avoided but IA being IA, he brought it on to his regime. Please refer back to Saay’s article.

            To come back to your question, what did Ethiopia do to be considered for sanctions? Ethiopia asked for (you can find this on the EEBC, the Hague Justice Portal):

            “On 13 May 2002 the Commission received from the Government of Ethiopia a submission entitled
            “Request for Interpretation, Correction and Consultation”. On May 21 2002, the request was sent
            to the Government of Eritrea for its observations. These were received on 14 June 2002.”

            The commission lists a all of Ethiopia’s concerns and lists specific reasons for not accepting those concerns and concludes with:

            “Accordingly, the Commission concludes that the Ethiopian request is inadmissible and no further action
            will be taken upon it. It will, however, remain on the record of the Commission as a statement of
            Ethiopia’s views on the matters therein mentioned; and the Response of Eritrea of 14 June 2002 will
            also remain on the record as a statement of Eritrea’s views on the matters raised in the Ethiopian
            request. To the extent that the Commission may deem appropriate, some of these matters may be
            considered further during the demarcation, pursuant to the Decision of 13 April 2002.”

            Now in the eyes of the UNSC, does this present a unanimous reason for sanctions? It is all relative and with the status of Ethiopia in the international community and that of Eritrea to the contrary, having these reasons as grounds for sanctions is at best naive.

        • Hope

          Dear Mizaan,

          You said that you have never been to Eritrea but Kenya and you are “Testifying’ by saying :

          “Although I really doubt the sanctions can harm the tera ertrawi……”.

          You also said:

          “,But since ours is narrowly targeted, it would be helpful to your case if you could provide specific examples as to the adverse effects of the sanctions on the ordinary citizens of Eritrea.”
          Then, either you are a super naiveand ill informed Eritrea or a ‘Hypocrit” by choice.
          I will let Mahmoud give you “examples”.
          But few FACTS to consider though:
          -That Eritrea cannot even buy a single piece of spare part for the the old Tnaks and Mig 20s
          -That there has been a serious direct propaganda to totally block the Investment Business
          -That the diaspora income has been literally cut off …

          • Mizaan1

            Hope, unlike the kind of sanctions on Libya which included total ban on import and export trade and commercial contracts among other things, the sanctions on Eritea are very inconsequential to the poor citizens. Arms embargo, travel ban and frozen assets on ‘some’ officials. Give me a break. You are the naive one here falling for PFDJ’s lies and excuses for their utter failure. What do we need repaired tanks for? To fight with Ethiopia? They can eat us alive in one day even if we had the most sophisticated weaponry. All it takes is repeated offensives as they have close to 100 million people now compared to our 3 or 4 million. Because of this, I have no strong take on the sanctions because they are not effective. I would support strongly an economic sanction instead because how much worse can it get on our people, maybe a small percentage more but it would suck the life out of IA and PFDJ.

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Haw Mahmud,

        I am pressing for time (events coming up this weekend, candle vigil; and independence day weekend; so I would take up this conversation sometime in future.)

        I would like to say this though: Every Eritrean who believes we need change (democratic change) have to step up to the plate. There are myriad things one can do: on refugees, on human rights, international diplomacy, sponsorship of refugees, protection of refugees…The current state of opposition is too weak and too ineffective to carry out the task of saving the nation…There are hundreds of thousands of Eritreans in the continents we live in. Our focus SHOULD BE ON them to find like-minded compatriots. I am saying this with all honesty that focusing on opposition would yield little or no results. They would tell you, ‘akmey yigebr aleku…entekieelka hagzeni; entezeyoke natka giber kihgizeka’ which is very fair statement. The homework is for all of us; and we should individually and collectively do the homework…nay 5te million hizbi iyu geza n’wuhudat asheHAt tiray aygidefin iyu….People have issues with those in Ethiopia? Fine. Then why not join those who are not in Ethiopia or start new ones…That would solve the Ethiopian connection issue.

        I know I repeated this point too many times; because I mean it from the bottom of my heart. The way I see things, it is that we talk too much; do too little. We focus on non-important issues or give them too much weight; instead of finding solutions from ourselves. One criticise the opposition fairly; fine. But isn’t better to do a better or complimentary job? Few people can start groups and they can attract people if they are doing the right things by the people. SO always, eneho mieda, eneho feres…

        Fair is fair; On Ethiopia and border verdict…I would ask if it had any chance. You see, for the first few years during and after the war, we at Canada, had a vibrant rally group called CPR (Peace Rally). The great Semere Andom knows of this. We were writing letters to Canadian government to put pressure on Ethiopian government to implement the border verdict. Of course, nobody listens as you know. I brought this up to prove you it is not for lack of trying. As the events of the last 15 years, and the last 13 years (since April 2002) prove, no matter what we try, we will not be able to get Badme back through the implementation of the border verdict. As international law student (title to territory), I learned it is a fuzzy area, heavy on politics, light on the law. I argued instead of dying to get Badme, it is way prudent and safer for this nation for us reconsider our focus on this town. Do you know dear Mahmud, the border is not ONE KM from Badima? who knows that we are kept hostage for the sake of 700 meters (ISN’T THIS CRAZY, 700 METERS?), while we know many villages were given to Ethiopia in the southern Eritrea? Even if all Eritreans call for the implementation which we did at some point, it is clearly out of our hand. It may satisfy our principled stand; but it is killing the nation by keeping it hostage for something that conceivably can’t happen. I have read too much history and I have too much sense to understand nations live and die not for lack of principles on land disputes but not focusing on real threat to their existence. The LTTE of Tamils, the Chechens may have principled stand; but you know what happens to them.
        All the best,
        Ghezae

        • ghezaehagos

          Selam Mahumd,

          I mentioned 700 meters; the distance of the border from Baduma according to EEBC’s verdict. I was thinking about this. 700 meters is what Sal Younis jogs using one of his legs, ‘btely teley’:)

          700 meters should be sung for; lamented for by five million Eritrean people as it is the burial place of our dreams of the nation. Like ‘gypsies’*, the Romas, exorcizing their pain through songs. I am not good at poems…

          Atishewate meeti/ Ati shewate meeti

          MeQbersebeAy Sebyti/ Meqber NeAshtu Abeyti

          Aymelieeki Ktkoni Hanti kilometer Mleeti

          Ayhadiu ktwerdi nab bado gurdi

          Bsenki eba telekemet meskenyti adi

          Bsenki Baduma

          Hager BAdima

          Bsneki 700 meeti

          Hagery d’o Tmoti?
          Ghezae
          * Ras Tesseman in paltalk warns Isaias would make us like the Romas; ‘adom ztezemte..’ only left with songs. His observation follows this curious fact about us. ‘akeba ilkayo deymexee seb’ would pack halls if ‘guayla’ is the event.

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello ghezaehagos,

          “Then why not join those who are not in Ethiopia or start new ones…That
          would solve the Ethiopian connection issue.”

          I saw this a while ago. I exclaimed, good take! But my conscience wouldn’t let me go in peace without saying “I owe you a latte.” There you have it.

    • Tewelde G/mariam

      The issue of the Eritrean opposition is credibility, of which you perfectly embody. An Eritrean who admires woyane, as you do, ought not complain of other Eritreans who are tolerating the tyrant isaias afewerki; both of you are equally damaging the Eritrean cause by supporting the twin enemies of Eritrea.

      Woyane is occupying our land in flagrant violation of the EEBC decision and the excuses it professes is isaias afewerki. And isaias afeweeerki is rationalizing his tyranny on woyane.

      I think it is about time time that we ask ourselves whether woyane and isaias afewerki are real enemies, or are they deceiving us?

      For me, I am convinced that they are not enemies. There are evidences to support my claim, among which their alliance on decimation of ELF in 1981 and the transfer of Badme to the possession of woyane just before independence can be mentioned.

      Badme was the alleged cause of the 1998 eritrean-ethiopian war, in which Eritrea was found to be the aggressor. The question we must ask now is, why would isaias afewerki voluntarily hand over Badme to woyane and then turned around to take it back by force? It does not make sense, does it?

    • Nitricc

      Hi Gezae; so you are saying the quotes below are lies? Gezae; never compromise your credibility at the expense of your political stand. You can oppose and fight if you will but never deny the facts. Forget the 2000 Eritrean solders in Somalia bull crap. Forget the loads of arms that were shipped by plain from Eritrea to Somalia the one the Kenyans conformed. Forget the disgraceful action of the monitoring groups; forget everything. Do you believe the following quotes to be true or lies?

      “Isaias’ calculations would be shattered, if the U.S. and others imposed financial sanctions on him and particularly cut off Isaias’ funding from Qatar and other countries and the important funding from the Diaspora in the U.S.”
      Melles Zenawi

      “US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto advised the Prime Minister and his senior leadership … any case against Eritrea should be raised by other countries. Any charges levied by Ethiopia would be viewed only in the context of their border conflict.”

      Wikileaked cables

      “the Security Council was not presented with convincing proof of Eritrea’s involvement in that incident. We have not seen the results of any investigation of that incident, if indeed there was one.”

      Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia

      “Those of us who know Eritrea well, understand that the Eritrean leadership fears Islamic militancy as much as any other country in the Horn of Africa region. … In view of the absence of any intelligence, real or fabricated, linking Eritrea with Shabaab for over four years, the UN Security Council should terminate sanctions imposed in 2009 by UNSC resolution 1907.”
      Herman Cohen

      • Ted

        Dear Nitricc, this advocating for sanction is business for some at the expense of Eritreans. Gezae now is asking for funding for his new retail shop called Human right for Eritreans. ” I am glad we can see eye to eye in the most important area; that is possible sanctions on the regime based on human rights ground. That is where my heart is.”

        • Nitricc

          Hi Ted what is even worst is the likes of Gezae are not only they are benefiting at the expense of Eritrean’s suffering but they do it depending their political stand. To fool their white masters they named their business as human right activists and defending the rights of the refugees who enters the countries they are reside. But looking deeper; they only help you; if any; you to be with their political standing.
          If the asylum seekers are in the opoosit side of political liking; they will do whatever it takes to run you out of their master’s land. So, the so called human right activists all depending your political stands.
          For example; Gezae has chased away Eritrean elders; who spend all their life fighting to free their country who were seeking for asylum in Canada; they were deported based on their political standings; throwing all the human right crap that was used to fool his masters. Even you dumb friend told you that he spends his days harassing Eritreans who hold different political stands that his in Toronto.
          What they are forgetting is that there is tomorrow and a judgment day is upon us.

          • Semere Andom

            Nitricc Mr. Self crowned Truth teller;

            Do you have any evidence that Ghezae benefits from Human Right, you deserve to go to Era-Ero for these lies. And what did I tell you before,; do not to lie, brains cells do not like lies

            But let met tell you about Ghezae because he is too modest to tell you that even though I told him to tell you and your one celled brain friends about how he came to Canada.

            He came to Canada on Scholarship not paid by PFDJ, not by 2% but by international NGO. He went to McGill University, the world’s top university, where a breakthrough was actually discovered that your kind of guys act as operators now. So you do not cofuse the with Mainefhi, McGillis where Sir Ernest Rutherford once did work on a Noble Prize winning discovery

            So Ghezae is not some ghetto kid who has grown up with food stamps.

            And you have no originality even in your lies, you are repeating what the disgraced consul and murdered said when he celebrated his dismissal

          • Nitricc

            Semere Nay Toronto Ambessa.
            No one; I mean no one will deny that he is very smart person. Read what he writes and the substances he argues with. There is a reason he owns a business and you don’t.
            In the world of business there are two realties; it grows or else it dies. So since Gezae’s business is up and kicking; I don’t need any evidence to tell you it is flourishing. How many Eritreans did you harass today? Lol I know you are very slow and out right stupid but at least get paid for it. Have your own business; just call it “Refuges matters” write a proposal; hand it to your masters; the native Canadians and boom here you have it; you own your own business. If you need any help ask Gezae or Elsa Churum.

          • Semere Andom

            Nitricc
            wow! you actually uttered tigirniay, nay and ambessa.
            how do you know I do own business. I have one called helping people grow brain cells, I can do it pro bono for you cus you come recommended from Mahmuday and Sal

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, Meshirefet Aytikune. We the uneducated,unrefined may not know how the world works but sure know when people lying to us be the intellectuals from elite collages or gangstas from Toronto.
            Sanctions don’t work. Do you know any regime fail because of sanction, i don’t think so but rather it help the regime keep tight grip on its people. We are paying a price for your kind vindictive ambitions and egos.
            There is nothing wrong growing on food stamp, it is not the kid’s fault, what you make of yourself is what matters whether you come from wealthy family or poor. How is the prayer coming IA dies of lightning strike.
            People can use your tenasity to be part of grass root movement but first you need to undergo intense detoxification. You may not make it alive but it worth a try.

          • Semere Andom

            Ted:
            I know you did not grow on food stamp, you have sober thinking, albeit misguided cus it is well fed from the milk you drank 😉
            I agree it is what the kid make out of it, can u tell me what this guys made out of his life/
            Do not mock prayers, it can actually kill, but I have not mustered it

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, Milk mmmm! please think about the offer working for the people, it will make up the blunder you made half of your life.
            Prayer won’t work for people with tainted hearts.-:)

          • Semere Andom

            Ted:
            to late Tewdros. I work for the people already You also work the people but part-time, part-time is fine but you need to stop moonlighting for PFDJ, then we are good, what u are doing has a name, I will not say it, I do not want to be banned, I need to work for the people here:-)

        • ghezaehagos

          Hi Ted,

          ” Gezae now is asking for funding for his new retail shop called Human right for Eritreans…”
          Your first reference to me is a lie…! I would have asked you why do you have to lie. I know you can’t help it…
          Ghezae

          • Ted

            Dear Gezae, if there is going to be a sanction on human right issue in Eritrea, the declaration and money( for you) is already in place at the Gov level.I You don’t have the deep pocket to pull it off. They only need a potsy like you who would not mind advancing their cause at the expense of our suffering. If you are educated person as Semere praised you, you should have known sanction don’t work.Even in the weakest state like Eritrea external pressure is more likely to enhance the nationalist legitimacy of IA than to undermine it. Everyone one hardly conceal the fact that sanctions have bolstered support for the oppressive regimes while the people carry the brunt of sanction and has to go through extreme hardships to survive. You know what happened in the last two sanctions that Eritreans willing to endure considerable punishment rather than abandon their national interests.Sanctions only made them more defiant, understandably so knowing its malicious intentions. Now you want to add another sanction for one reason or another knowing it well how Eritreans feel about sanctions is out right reckless. I am not lying, you are lying to yourself.

            “Dont Lie” is reserved only for Semere who don’t allow interpretation of things insisting direct quote”;-)

          • ghezaehagos

            Hi Ted,

            “Gezae now is asking for funding for his new retail shop called Human right for Eritreans…” Is a lie. Accept it. Don’t repeat it.
            Now, instead of haranguing about what the people of Eritrea think about sanctions (please spare me your lies); just state your position and we can debate.
            You don’t support sanctions on human rights grounds. I do. Just to be clear; the sanctions if they come would put pressure on the Isais regime to request it ‘to either release the thousands of prisoners in Eritrea or give them a chance to fair hearing.’ So you wouldn’t support such initiatives?..Hmmmm!
            Ghezae

          • Ted

            Dear Gezae,”So you wouldn’t support such initiatives?..Hmmmm!” Yes, not through sanction. your assumption the west Sanction can pressure to release prisoners is noble but you are missing the point, Does it work.
            Why it didn’t work in the past to make IA sit on the table with MZ for dialogue. It is not realistic and most importantly why you run to somebody else’s kitchen to cook your food while you have every ingredient for change at your finger tip: the angry, equipped and distraught people who are tired of of the stat quo.
            “what the people of Eritrea think about sanctions” Again you are deceiving yourself. We don’t want another sanction. If any thing Eritreans are wishing all the sanctions are lifted so the Gov won’t legitimize its lawless actions on people.
            The sanction you advocating is very divisive among people and hamper the unity of the struggle. You can convince your close circles but not Eritreans because they know how devastating sanction could be to the livelihood of all Eritreans. Mobilizing the people under one cause is not as attractive as the possibility fame and fortune, that is what i think..

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Ted,
            You see, if you are a prisoner in Aderser, you wouldn’t say sanctions don’t work. And our hearts is with those who languishing in the general’s tehadso prisoners.
            I want to emphasize that we are not relying on sanctions only. We shouldn’t. Sanctions may have limited advantage; but we don’t want to miss out on them too. That is all. Exposing to the world is kind of regime you have; Raising the issue of political prisoners who can’t speak for themselves. Are we saying they are the only solution? of course not. The change we want can only be done when we part of it. Sanctions have complimentary role to the greater cause of democratic change.
            Now it is up to you (if you want real change in Eritrea) to do your part to effect change in Eritrea.
            Ghezae

          • Ted

            Dear Gezae, i don’t trivialize the suffering of people in prison, it is real and awful. But also you need to see all Eritreans who are prisoners with out being in jail, who die fleeing the country. Sanction has more immediate and devastating effect on those helpless people than the Gov and won’t do much to those in jail. I am hoping you are not one of those who think pushing the suffering of the people to the limit through sanctions and what not so they revolt against the Gov. Reckless at its best.
            “Sanctions have complimentary role to the greater cause of democratic change.” again your assertion is contradictory to what is the primary force for change, the people lead movement. Your kind of groups tossing sanction in to the mix, creates nothing but division with those who don’t support sanction on their country. We are not few as you may want to think. Besides what has the opposition gotten who supported sanction in the past, rejection. It make think you are not doing it for the prisoners….i mean if you don’t care what happens to the Eritreans at large.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ghezae:
            Here is Ted 101 for you;
            He believes PFDJ to succumb to pressure from the people and reform itself, mend it ways
            Then we all say “ab laeli zelo nfas abtahti zelo dima wuhij ywsedo” and we make up, move on, build our lives. And those who perished by PFDJ and are in prison are just the cost of doing the retail business of reforming, the revenge is for us to live happily ever after

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, i will do my part so you don’t go off the wagon what Saay ask you to pledge. I am rooting for you;-) Revenge has no room in Eritrean culture remember the good professor. Besides those who you claim to cause you harms are going to be dead in no time, again i am with you praying IA die of heat stroke in Massawa-:) Reform that is.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted, let me update you about Semere. First he is the one who lies. He told Mahmuday that he witnessed EPLF women fighters being slaved and abused by EPLF Men fighters when he was in Sahil at age of 14. Then he forgot that lies and told to the same Mahmuday that he was in Sudan from age 13 to 19. Semere told us how getting out of Eritrea was impossible due to evil EPLF but only through TPLF; totally contradictory and blunt lie. By the way he never went to high school. He is so smart; he went straight to University; you figure that out Ted; lol. And just yesterday he told us that McGill is the best university while the truth is McGill is ranked 21st. If you ask me, there is something wrong with that dude. He is so proud for volunteering as security guard at mental hospital lol. I see though; he got to do something with his time.

          • Semere Andom

            Nitricc:
            you are lying. you cannot help it. McGill and higher education place of limits to you. Jus go do your cleaning in the army and slave away and pump the iron to compensate for the inadequacy and lack of self esteem.
            I feel so sorry for your sibling and loved ones. There is a saying in my country of Eritrea and it goes” “mai konka ente tkewin”. Ted can translate, Rahwa T can help. But ask before they tell u , please throw away your guns, I do not want u to use it on yourself

          • Ted

            Dear Nitricc, we got a project reforming individually, working strategy restoring the most damaged ones first:-) The motto, No one is left behind the “Hingugu” front line (we don’t say no names). For the translation he want me to do “We can’t have enough of you”.

    • hope

      Mr Ghezae,
      I am re-posting my comment that is missing.
      Nothing personal here:
      -Rather than wasting your time on the FAKE, made up and fabricated SEMG-for the most part,to be fair,please spare your time to:
      -Define for us what Sanction means
      -The historical FACTS about the purpose,motivation and its consequences on the target Nations,specially to the innocent people.
      Hint: Case in point:
      Libya,Syria,Iraq,Cuba.
      Note;
      – about 1 Million Iraqis died,300K were kids
      -more than 2 Million Syrians are displaced and more than 120K Syrians died thus far
      -Libya and Libyans are ” messed up” worse than ever in their history..in the name sanctioing Dictator Mu’amer Ghedafi.
      Sanction is not the only or better modality of bringing down Dictatorships,which moslt does NOT affect the Dictators but the innocent vicitims.
      eritrea and Eritreans cannothave a different fate as they are NOT special…in fact,will be mistreated and affected worse.
      So,get rid of that naive mentality that Sanctiosn help to bring change and Peace but chaos and destruction based on the Historical Facts.

  • Fenomeno

    Nice rebuttal, any response yet?

    Whether true or not, these MDG goals in the case of Eritrea are highly overated, is everyone forgetting that Eritrea was a battlefield for 30years? For me these accomplishments are just the natural result of “not having war” (i.e. untill 1998), and not because of some kind of government master plan. It is easier to improve from 0 or even -50.

    Do not get me wrong, if one Eritrean has a better life today than yesterday, then that is a reason to celebrate. And EPLF has a nice resume on those issues, but still these goals should have been acomplished alongside economic and political development.

    • Hope

      Dear Fenomeno,
      If it is that much easy,then why didn’t those 60yrs old Indepent African Nations achieve some of them?
      There one thing you have to admit:
      Figures and Numbers do not lie -unless made up like the 10-15% Growth Rate of Ethiopia,but what is more important is that,Eritrea and Eritreans have achieved those goals,NOT the PFDJ,hence,give credit to where it belongs.

  • Dear All,
    If politics is coming to power and staying in power, then the dictatorial regime in Asmara has accomplished both almost to perfection. In Eritrea, a country ruled by a dictatorial regime, where there is no constitution, or opposition parties, who can question the actions of the regime and aspire to ascend to power, or an armed groups that can put in danger the power of the ruling junta, and where the fear of the people to talk, complain and react is taken as political stability, acceptance of the status quo and harmony among citizens, politics within the country becomes stagnant. Eritrean citizens are told even today that they are of hadi libi and are hadi hizbi, and ethnic, religious and regional differences are supposed to be nonexistent or curtailed, and grievances are not manifested due to fear of repercussions, which again make Eritrean internal politics very predictable and lukewarm. Internal politics therefore becomes an easy business for the regime, and external politics attains major importance. As S. Korea is for N. Korea, Ethiopia is for Eritrea. Therefore, Eritrean politics revolves around Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the enemy on which they can heap all the blames, it is their nemesis who is lurking to annul Eritrean independence and sovereignty, and the monster that does not give peace and tranquility to Eritreans. This way the regime diverts its failures and responsibilities and justifies its criminal acts, and regime supporters echo this same policy of outsourcing to Ethiopia the responsibilities and failures of the regime. This is the nature of Eritrean politics. Therefore, Eritrean politics cannot be free of Ethiopia. It will always revolve around Ethiopia today and even tomorrow if change comes. Ethiopians and Eritreans should know one thing. That is, the two countries are Siamese sisters that had been separated violently, first by Italy and then by EPLF, to bring us to this pitiable situation. It is geography, history, culture, religion, etc that refute our absurd notion that we are enemies, and we are so different.

    Anti-Ethiopian politics will have a negative effect on opposition politics, if they are sucked into it, and they fail to concentrate exclusively on the regime. In addition, it is my opinion that unless a positive political viewpoint towards Ethiopia and the whole region characterize the day
    after DIA, it will be sustaining the same situation that has become so detrimental to the people of Eritrea.

  • saay7

    Hi Olana:

    So I am an ELF sympathizer now? Well, if that were the case, since (a) the ELF has a presence in Ethiopia and (b) the first leader of the Alliance (then known as AENF) when it was established in Addis Abeba in 1999 was the leader of ELF, Abdella Idris, why would “good relationship of the two countries in which TPLF is an element scares [me] like hell”? After all, both Amanuel Hidrat and Saleh Gadi Johar are ELF veterans: are they scared like hell from a “good relationship of the two countries in which TPLF is an element”? You might want to read Amanuel’s frequent odes to Meles Zenawi and then you will reconsider your decision.

    Now, let’s run some experiments and see what you (or the average Ethiopian at this forum from the two extremes–Abi to Fnote Selam–would say. We need to run this experiment to help you with your clever attempt at equating TPLF with Ethiopia and Ethiopia with TPLF.

    Supposing I say:

    “ONLF is a terrorist organization and it is bad for Ethiopia. Anything bad for Ethiopia is bad for Eritrea.”
    “Ginbot 7 is a terrorist organization and it is bad for Ethiopia. Anything bad for Ethiopia is bad for Eritrea.”
    “Semayawi Party is just a front for Dimtsachin Yisema, which is a terrorist organization which is bad for Ethiopia. Anything bad for Ethiopia is bad for Eritrea.”

    Then I would get accolades for my love and concern for the people of Ethiopia. From Abi to Fnote Selam. From the open Ethiopians to the closeted Ethiopians to the Ethiophile Eritreans.

    But, if I say the following:

    “The EPRDF is made up of four parties including TPLF; and Medrek is made of four parties, including Arena. And, excepting for TPLF and Arena, I have yet to hear from the other 6 parties making anything but sound political, economic, security arguments in their dispute with Eritrea; but I hear from TPLF and Arena (and only them) psycho-babble arguments in their dispute with Eritrea and therefore the long-term sustained healthy relationship between Eritrea an Ethiopia will come about only when the TPLF-Arena strain is gone from Ethiopian politics.”

    Then all the hate-accusations come about.

    This is very familiar to me…as it relates to Israel. In the United States, some Jewish-Americans have made criticism of the Likud party as indicative of anti-semitism. That’s what you are doing with TPLF and, sorry, but that dog won’t hunt. It only works on the segment of Eritrea that is so bullied, so terrified, so full of self-hatred::)

    saay

    • Rahwa T

      Sal,

      Fnote Selam is Eritrean, not Ethiopian

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Ayeyyy Saay!!

      Aha, Amanuel’s frequent odes to Meles Zenawi. Let me tell you this if it can help you my dear Saay. There was an odd but innocent traditional saying I heard in the area I grew up. And that is “Nehimam RiEsi Steyelo, Nihman Kirtset Bile’Alu, Hadi-uh kefletelu.” Therefore, Saay Hawey if appreciating for PM Meles Zenawi keeps on cringing your stomach, let me add to it, Hadi-Uh kefletelka: ” I envy to have like PM Meles Zenawi” who focus on the problem of his people rather on war and rumors of war like the “psychopath leader” of ours (to use your own word from the speech) if it worked for you like the odd traditional saying I have quoted.

      You also said “The ELF is the ultimate test case of Eritrean-naievete” . Your judgement will be overturned when the fights of ELFites absolved by historians in due time contrary to the misguided judgement by Saay the dieherd of EPLF.

      Senay Mishet
      Amanuel Hidrat”

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Olana,
    What you see in Saay is what Albert Camus told us long ago- absurdity and more absurdity.
    1) Did Eritreans struggle for self-determination and independence paying a heavy price? Who helped in not just supporting but in sharing the dearest price itself?
    2) Do Eritreans want a shared future of economic integration and cooperation for the future? Who can be the best partner for such a vision and possibility?
    3) Do Eritrean want to be even part of a deeper and broader political integration with Ethiopians? Who can be the best entry and portal to advance such a grand vision?
    yigermena’lo. amel mismegnez yibehal emo ezis tSilee misMegnez koynu!
    Hayat

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Olena,
    Due you think they care about the predicament of our people? No. They are here to resuscitate and give new life to the despot. Their argument is nothing about the people. It is about military might and send our youth to every concievable conflict in the continent…..like what they did in south Sudan, congo even far from our neighbours. Nothing about peace and development is in their mind. It is really a culture that requires a long span of time and energy to change it.
    Look Mahmuday what he said to saay in response to him, he has nostalgia about Borobetae and he counted me as one of his casualies in the current borombetae fight in his mind. He has nostalgia of the civil war of the 70s and 80s. he is calling for that if not in actual real world at least in his dream. Sad..sad….sad.
    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Friends,
    This is a quote from Saay: “If enough Eritreans believe that the TPLF’s bad blood exends past EPLF all the way to the Eritrean elite, nay, to the Eritrean Ghedli, nay, to Eritrean history, then the people have a right to say we will wait for Ethiopian politics to slowly cleanse itself from the TPLF toxicity. No other Ethiopian political party (besides TPLF and the Asab-port-craving Medrek (Arena, etc) has so far advanced the argument that there is just something wrong with Eritreans and it is because of Italian colonialism.”
    Below, I will give a long quote extracted from an interview published in 2000 during the height of the war. If the quote is too long, go to the last two paragraphs. It is translated to English and it may not be the best translation due to source-language challenge but the message is there clear and loud.

    BEGIN:
    Since the Eritrean aggression, what has puzzled me greatly is as to why Eritrea invaded us. Whenever I had a chance to meet foreign diplomats here, I ask them why it has been hard for them to call for withdrawal of the invading country. I always asked this because I wanted to know if our government had done any provocation unknown to us. The answer I got shows that there was none. So that was clear that it was Eritrea that invaded us in the month of May. This shows that the war is imposed on us.

    Now the question is how can the Ethiopian government overcome this war with an intact economy? There was something I said on that point earlier. The expense will be a burden if only the war takes longer time. Then, I had proposed 6 options: What I called the worst option was if we are defeated by Eritrea in the war. That would be very bad. The next costly option would be if we agree to a peace under Eritrea’s terms. The other very expensive option would be doing nothing and waiting in the standoff. The best option is concluding the war as shortly as possible. But it has taken one and half years after I proposed these options. And in the meanwhile we’ve witnessed three developments. We’ve come to learn the lesson that expecting foreigners to help us bring peace is futile. Especially now, we’ve known that Foreigners can take them forever appeasing Eritrea if they think doing so would be to their own interest. The 2nd lesson we learned is how gravely costly can be to wait in a condition of no-war-no-peace for a long time. Our hard currency reserve has been eroded and that has greatly affected our trade. Waiting without fighting doesn’t mean saving as we haven’t stopped spending and financing the war. That has weakened our hard currency holding and it has been now a requirement to advance 100% LC payment. That was damaging our external trade. The 3rd observation was that investors and tourists have stopped coming because we were at war. This all has incurred tremendous loss. The Ethiopian government decided to launch the offensive war because it felt the more it waits in such a stalemate, the more it damages the economy.

    In my opinion, this war had to be supported fully. It is a just war. The point I want to stress here as a citizen is that Ethiopians are good when it comes to defending their country. When the nation is in a war for whatever reason, the people in the army fighting for us are our brothers and sisters and supporting them is the right thing to do. As we’ve seen it, now we are winning the war, we’re advancing decisively; we have been scoring victory after victory. The resistance we expected is nowhere close, not even half way. The Ethiopian army has shown that it is a force that can never be pushed around by unruly and bully forces of whatever.

    Now, after all this, what are the final goals and strategies of this war? This is not clarified and explained by the government. Is it to liberate Zalanbessa and station a strong army there and wait for another 10 years until we are invaded again? Or we’ve to fix a lasting solution now? As to me, I said it before and now it is even my strongest feeling that we’ve to make sure this is the last war we have to fight and we should not refight it again in the future, and for that assurance all sacrifices have to be made now. To that end, the Shaebia army has to be destroyed beyond revival once and for all.

    The 2nd issue that we need to reopen for discussion is the question of a port. Can we sustain a situation of a growing 60 million people and economy without an access to the sea? This has to be reconsidered by the leadership. How and in what ways, is something that can be looked into by relevant government officials. But it has been an established fact that countries without sea access are growing slower economically than the ones with access. There are landlocked about 20 countries in Africa that register weak economic growth. So we need to reconsider the need for sea access for our long term economic growth. There can be international legal ways. There was one initiative started along this angle. The law allows us to claim this. If we’ve done something to damage this standing up to now, all we’ve to say to correct it is to say “sorry” and reset the button. The government’s responsibility is to give priority to national interests ahead of ideological interests. The US and Britain are doing what they are doing not based on principles of justice and ideology but to secure their national interests. We can’t have a nation without a secured national interest. When I say this, I don’t mean we should pay any price regardless but we can act in best of our national interest weighing the cost and the benefit.
    Quote ends.

    I want you to guess as to said the quote above.
    Hayat

    • Passerby

      Hello Hayat,
      I know who said that, it is an old quote. Two things to observe:
      1) The Doctor is an opportunist without a shred of integrity. Otherwise he couldn’t have ended befriending the army and government he once desired be destroyed.
      2) As pointed out by many compatriots many times, our government is also led by a short-sighted, vendetta-driven President who sees no problem palling around with anti-Eritrean elements so long he believes it serves him in getting back at his adversaries.
      so, what you have here is two opportunist individuals working for their personal opportunities. kilte gorahat hamukshti drarom.

      • Hayat Adem

        hamukshti kedrirukha yiftinu’emebr ninebsoms meHeshelom!

    • Mizaan1

      Hayat, help me here and correct me if I am wrong. Mesiliki entay amtsaki? In my mind, what you have in the quote agrees with Saay’s quote so are you saying then that this person who doesn’t belong to TPLF also has the same belief as TPLF unlike saay’s claim that only TPLF sees there is something wrong with Eritreans? You may have proven saay wrong but you made the situation that much worse because then the problem is more expansive and not restrained in TPLF only which makes it hopeless for any resolution any time soon if all Ethiopians espouse those beliefs.

      • Hayat Adem

        Dear Mizaan
        Please revisit Saay’s quote.
        1) “No other Ethiopian political party has so far advanced the argument that there is just something wrong with Eritreans and it is because of Italian colonialism.” This guy reprents the other party.

        2) That same quote says TPLF and Arena are the only parties that crave about Assab and who believe that there is something wrong with Eritreans. TPLF never said there is something wrong with Eritreans. It never craved for Assab. It is always the opposite side of this views. The guy I quote was blasting the EPRDF/TPLF led government for not craving for port, blocking that door and clearly asking them to apologize and revise their position.
        3) That guy is now dancing with Isaias. Not this guy nor Isaias are called toxic but that adjective is tagged to TPLF who paid a price for Eritrean independence, who was wronged by EPLF and championed for that wrong by Saay, who still hold its principle of respecting Eritrean independence its coast even at point where Eritrea is at its weakest militarily and diplomatically.

        • Mizaan1

          Dear Hayat, it’s not easy to look up who said what in Eritrea or Ethiopia specially that far back and also not in English. So if you had stated who the quote was from, I would likely have understood your point in one attempt.

          I still have to say though that if this person had a good relationship with TPLF, he would not be flirting with IA hence he would still have had those views from the year 2000 probably all the more now with bragging rights of ‘I told you so.’ Just my educated guess.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Mizaan,
            I took that for granted. I thought you already knew him. That was of course, non other than Dr. Birhanu Nega of G7. He spoke of the two things; completely destroying the Eritrean army and reclaiming Assab. He was just asking Weyane not to get back from Zalanbessa and to apologize for making it difficult for Ethiopians to reclaim Assab. There is nothing he can say “I told you so” on both accounts unless he put it this way: “you know 15yrs ago, i encouraged the Weyane to destroy you and reclaim Assab. They didn’t do it. So, now I came to you to punish them for that”. That too might be acceptable in PFDJ’s bizarrely absurd world.
            http://www.assimba.org/Articles/DrBerhanu_interview.pdf
            Protecting PFDJ is becoming a default necessity for Saay because he wants to defend his past at the expense of the futureof a nation. He still thinks he has not lost the war and he has a chance to win it. But it is not a one-man issue This is also very costly for the struggle for freedom, against tyranny. People like you should feel it for what it is worth. It is from this point of view Saay and his group (Ted, Gheteb)are still speaking of hate about Ethiopia. It is from this point of view They write against the opposition using every bit of resource and opportunity including the spaces and offices in Ethiopia to build their capacity to win the struggle. It is from this point of view he is talking about losing Susan Rice to Meles Zenawi and not doing the same mistake about Bruton while he is losing the entire youth and the future of a nation due to mistakes he happened to be part of. It is from this point of view he is saying “people have a right to be wrong” while that wrong is also something worked out with his help.
            Now than later, we can shape our chances to build our future from a strong partnering position. Later, we’ll be weaker and weaker to impact any reasonable partnership. The nationalist pride and ego people like Saay are talking are nothing but hate products and will be nothing but an empty bravado. Djibouti has already been eating our lunch. She is talking of integration with Ethiopia. They are building a new port and revitalizing the old. Sudan gave this week a free cost that is connected to Ethiopia through a free corridor of a dry land. We’ll be left behind and our ports will be losing edges to compete for revenue-driven services. Our markets and infrastructures will be obsolete and noncompetitive for a long time to come. Then will be asking on our kneels to be accepted.
            Hayat.

    • Hope

      Ms Hayot:
      And your point?
      Just to get SAAY by misquoting him??.Mr Mizaan,the Detective, caught you with your pants down!!

      • Hayat Adem

        Lo Hope,
        You are misspelling my name.
        I didn’t misquote Saay.
        I’m quite okay with Mizaan’s questions.

        • Hope

          Apolgy–,Hayot is my Niece’s name…I tak eit back!

  • haileTG

    Dear Olana,

    I totally understand that brother saay’s choice of words for depiction; such as “toxicity” and “cleansing” are sure to boil the blood and invite the wrath of the receiver. I can assure you that even if the TPLF/EPLF bad blood has penetrated deep into our politics, that is not representative of Eritrean mentality. True, Eritreans criticize Ethiopia for not upholding the border ruling, but also yearn to peaceful and collaborative future ahead. Such extreme right wing positions are really not reflective of the everyday common Eritrean. The Eritrean people are one of the most magnanimous, kind and good spirited people. At this time in their history, they are dangerously exposed and an easy pick to be taken advantage of. We know we benefit nothing by hoping some group or their idea to be “cleansed”, but the people are in dangerous crossroads at this time and it is going to take concerted effort from all sides of the equation in order to prevent such a menace doesn’t grow to see the light of day.

    BTW: my view is that saay is ardent EPLF fan not ELF? Because the ELF/EPLF bad blood had run its course and Eritreans paid hefty price for it. Now it is round II and TPLF/EPLF bad blood is in. Unless this problem is understood, given our situation, Eritreans will end up paying even far greater price. If any clue, when ever outsiders discuss Ethio/Eritrea, they often mention that they were “once comrades in arms”, that is to alert the reader that the problem may indeed end up being nasty and irrational.

    Thanks

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Rahwa T,
    my book is ready since some time back. in both Amharic and Tigrigna. It is difficult to be free of politics. I have temporarily Separated my poems with my political stand. there is one situation
    that has caused the delay of publishing it. for sure that will pass too. thank you for your interest and for encouraging me.

  • Dear All,

    There are some Ethiopians, especially the diaspora opposition, who are fellow travelers with DIA, and nevertheless, oppose Eritrean independence. It helps them score a point against EPRDF, and they believe that it has an appeal to some Ethiopians who have a
    similar mindset. On the opposite side, there are many more Ethiopians, especially those who are within the country, who are ready to fight to keep Eritrea far from Ethiopia.

    What worries Ethiopia about Eritrea is that there is a danger Eritrea could end up being a failed state like Somalia, where chaos and international terrorists reign, and from where they could destabilize the whole region. If Eritreans were worried for their independence and the sovereignty of their country, they would have remained in the country and defend it, and would not have left their country in their hundreds of thousands. No Eritrean except the regime and regime supporters would buy anymore, Ethiopia the monster that is ready to swallow little Eritrea. It is a propaganda outcry of the regime and its supporters for internal consumption, a scare tactic that is now falling on deaf ears. I have said in the past and I would like to repeat, if Eritrea withdraws the hundreds of thousands of young people who are wasting their productive life in trenches, Ethiopia would be more than happy to pack and leave the border the next day. Ethiopia will not indulge in an Eritrean affair even if asked to do so.

    The real danger comes from the regime and its supporters who live in the darkness of denial and distorted ego, trading with an unachievable wild dream of becoming a hegemonic power of the horn, a concept no Eritrean believes anymore. These are people who never quench their thirst for the sacrifice of others, especially the young, like an ancient god. That is why they continue to antagonize the regional giant and the only world power, at the expense of the wellbeing of its people. Just look at the opportunities lost to the people of Eritrea for the sake of staying in power and of trying to prove the hegemonic pipedream of the would be small david of the horn. The callousness and stubbornness of these people has no limits. They are not moved a bit with the so many Eritrean lives that are lost in the Med. Sea and elsewhere. They call refugees who run away from slavery, electronic gadget hunters, traitors and not worthy to be called Eritreans, and they are quick to find justifications and explanations by denying and distorting facts, to cover the crimes, faults and incompetence of the regime in Asmara. Their tactic of denial and short-sightedness has made them incapable of seeing where they are taking the people and the country. They rejoice with the minute achievements of the regime and they portray them as colossal works of development, and they bring out the war cries of yesteryears, to mobilize the exhausted population, that have no use in today’s world .

    Nevertheless, one can say that they are not really fools after all, because they have an exit plan for themselves and their families, out of the quagmire they have created. That is disingenuousness at its greatest. The best thing to do for these people is to come to terms with the reality and accept their failures and leave Ethiopia alone, and stop heaping all the blame on poor old Ethiopia. There is only one common road Ethiopians and Eritreans can walk in the future; and that is the road of peace, reconciliation and cooperation. This is the only thing that will save the day; not antagonism, hate or war, the regime and its apologists are obsessed with.

    • Hope

      Dear Horizaon:

      Let me quote you for clarity:

      “—–What worries Ethiopia about Eritrea is that there is a danger Eritrea could end up being a failed state like Somalia…”
      Then you said:

      “Nevertheless, one can say that they are not really fools after all, because they have an exit plan for themselves and their families, out of the quagmire they have created. That is disingenuousness at its greatest. The best thing to do for these people is to come to terms with the reality and accept their failures and leave Ethiopia alone, and stop heaping all the blame on poor old Ethiopia. There is only one common road Ethiopians and Eritreans can walk in the future; and that is the road of peace, reconciliation and cooperation. This is the only thing that will save the day; not antagonism, hate or war, the regime and its apologists are obsessed with.”.

      You are an Angel covered with the Devil’s Dress Coat!
      -A third grader Eritrean could challenge about the facts.
      But here is the FACT though:
      “First thing first”!
      -Let Ethiopia respect Peace and International Law
      -Let Ethiopia leave alone Eritrea and Eritreans to deal with their problems
      -Let Ethiopia worry about the ISIS/Al Shebab not to be a direct victim of such terrorists rather than via Eritrea as that will never happen.Ethiopia is the one harboring Terrorists against Eritrea with the intention to make Eritrea another Somalia,based on the facts on the ground.
      FYI:
      -Eritrea has proven to be the Champion of Anti-Terrorism since—what now??
      -Eritrea has created an Alliance with Qatar,Egypt,UAE and Saudi Arabia–both Security and military Agreements….Are you worried about this?
      -eritrea also reactivated its relationship with the EU with a bonus of $400 Million to help her improve the Exodus through development and Education Programs
      -The EU will stop and turn back every boat that smuggles Refugees from Libya and all the eritreans and Pseudo-Eritreans will not have a chanace to go through the hell,but ,rather,will be forced to join the Warsay Development Campaign…
      My point,contrary to your hateful prophecy and ill wishes against Eritrea,there seem to be a better Hope for Eritrea and Eritreans and no one will buy your old -styled and obsolete Psycho-warfare against Eritreans.

      • Dear Hope,
        Let me help you here, I think you wanted to say that I am a devil covered with the Angele’s dress coat. At least that is
        how I understood, and I have no problem with that.
        Who is harboring terrorists? I think that you have forgotten the armed groups that were sent by the regime who killed five foreign tourists in the Afar region, and kidnapped others, which they took back into Eritrea in 2012. One of the reasons the regime got sanctions was for sending armed groups to cause massacre at the AU conference, who were caught before they succeeded in their malicious mission. Somali terrorist leaders were staying in Asmara at one time. Now you can see who is really harboring terrorists.
        If we are worried with alliances you are forming? Why should we be? Wherever there is crisis, DIA has this obsession of being the first to pay a visit. He was in Cairo to confirm their hegemony over the Nile, during the Ethio-Egyptian crisis, he sent his officials to Crimea from the first days of the Ukrainian crisis, and lastly, he was quick to visit Saudi Arabia, soon after the Yemen crisis and the involvement of Saudis. On the
        contrary, you should worry that he might send Eritrean troops to a war that does not concern them in any way imaginable. Ethiopia is mending fences with her former enemies, while DIA is creating new enemies.
        Let us hope that he creates jobs with the millions he will receive from the EU, and he does not transfer part of
        the money to secret accounts or squander it for his destabilizing politics. Money is not the only thing needed to keep the young in Eritrea. They need a normal life more than anything else, and the regime is not going to give them.

        • Sarah Ogbay

          Horizon,
          Well said and points well articulated.
          ‘Let us hope that he creates jobs with the millions he will receive from the EU, and he does not transfer part of the money to secret accounts or squander it for his destabilizing politics. Money is not the only thing needed to keep the young in Eritrea. They need a normal life more than anything else, and the regime is not going to give them.’
          But we should not only hope but work and campaign that if the EU money goes to Eritrea it does what it should do. Keep our young safe!

          • Hope

            Dr Sarah O.

            I lkie this:

            “But we should not only hope but work and campaign that if the EU money goes to Eritrea it does what it should do. Keep our young safe!”
            Challenge:
            How and in what way?
            Why have we failed thus far?

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Hi hope,
            I hope you are not asking me how we can make the money does the job of keeping our young safe. Campaign that dictatorship does not get rewarded. knock every politicians door around you. Show them the contradictions between the COI’s reports and the EU decisions Most of all rally behind this who already have started doing it. We should tighten the noose on PFDJ. There is a saying in Amharic ‘dir biabr anbesa yasr’ something like that. We should not sit back when others do it.
            Oh our failure! it can’t be explained in a comment. I think it can only be summarized as ‘we have been made to fail and we have allowed it this to happen to us.’ We turned to be our own enemy. We need to heal some of the nerves among the people that have been made numb. We need to heal and sensitize them. A lot of hard work my dear!

        • Hope

          Dear Horizon:
          Time will tell and let us wait and see,rather than putting the Horse before the Cart.
          As to who said and did what,you seem to be very naive,aaaaalbeit deliberately.
          the Afar Movemnet/ARDUF,the OLF,the ONLF,etc–were not created by Eritrea.
          -Who do you think created the more than 37 “NGO” aginst Eritrea in Addis–not to mention the Al Islah Al Islamia was ,the Islamic Jihad,the RSADO and the DMEK,etc—-?
          Who set up the AU attempted bombing with “dead” Oromo sons?

          • Hope

            -Read as :”–putting the Cart before the Horse!”

          • Abi

            Hope Nefse
            Hope yegna tesfa yegna gerager
            Edersalehu bilo keAdmas bashager
            KemiwTew belay tiliq bemeguresu
            SiT bila qerech yachi qechin nefsu.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    It is nice to see heated debate, I can sense the hearts are holding back a little but the minds are racing to the finish line of the most plausible argument for or against. There was a time the Eritrean people’s problem was a legalistic one in nature, then there was a time that it was a political problem in nature and today my opinion is that our people’s problem is a moral one? What is the most moral position to take at this time vis-a-vis our people’s plight and misery? Are the UN sanctions subject to our individual preference? If it so turns out that the regime falls before the lifting of the sanctions, what will be the implication? What about if the sanctions are lifted while it is still in power? If the sanctions were the work of external powers, have those powers changed their mode or intent that led them to do so for the better? Or if they are the making of the regime itself, have the ground that led it to do the blunders changed? Can realistically speaking Eritreans see eye to eye on this? Is there ever been an organized opposition that didn’t support the sanctions? Many, many questions…

    But, what about the moral challenge posed by the catastrophic situation the Eritrean youth are going through? Are they important enough to take center stage or they would be considered secondary to the positions taken within this intractable political quagmire? In reality, the sanctions are firmly in the hands of the regime* and third parties involved (true it may allow for opposition gains in a day to day chasing PFDJ around but the movement as it relates to their imposition is not in their hands) and not the opposition. The plight of the youth and the general population is however in the latter’s hand. And this level of enthusiasm on real issues that matter would have been much helpful to helping everybody’s cause.

    Regards

    * Most of the damning information for the sanctions came from the regime’s past insiders themselves and not the opposition.

    • Mizaan1

      Dear HaileTG,

      Yes it’s moral dilemma that we are facing as Eritreans. We all see the same things but as Saay raised the issue, what we need now is to have higher moral high ground as individuals or opposition organizations. Here is a list of day to day activities Eritreans face.

      Moral or immoral:

      Going to Eritrea and hanging out there, coming back show pictures of your new place. Acting as if all is well.

      Being orthodox and not condemning the arrest of abune Antonios.

      Dancing at PFDJ sponsored parties.

      Blaming the victims of human trafficking themselves.

      Subsidizing the migration of your relatives while being a PFDJ supporter.

      Still referring to the brute affectionately as Wedi Afwerki.

      Denying the systematic driving out of Eritrean youth lest they wander around cities and create havoc after deep frustration due to lack of any opportunities.

      Simply saying gele gerom yikonu at the Eritreans languishing in prison throughout the country.

      These are question by which anyone’s morality and character could be weighed.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Emma

    Take it easy. ትሮፖ ትውዒ ኣለኻ።
    “Your problem (I also take responsibility on this) you have accepted TPLF wholeheartedly because you think they will reverse history back to 1981.”
    Don’t you see me taking responsibility too.

  • Hope

    Thank you COUSIN for –:

    “So, in all conditions, I oppose an arms embargo: it is the people and only the people of Eritrea who should decide whether to put 0% of their meager resources on arms or 100% of it.”
    You see,U annot ,you will never and NO one else can take away our Cousiinship,no matter what and under any CONDITION!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hello Ahwat Awatawian,

    I always ponder about the Eritrean politics debate specifically in this forum. There is one an unsettling weird thing, and that is, our political debate always revolve around Ethiopian politics. Every Eritrean domestic political issue that has nothing to do with the Ethiopian politics, somehow, someone has to contextualized it with the Ethiopian politics (a) in order to compare and contrast in the contest of everything (b) Inadvertently we are making Ethiopian politics as point of reference for any progress or regression in our political discourse and other things. If some one indicate the the failure of our regime and how repressive regime it is, someone on the opposite side has to jump to neutralize it by citing the failure and shortcoming nature of the Ethiopian government. Did someone notice that, or is it me?Can someone explain why our political debate either intentionally or unintentionally framed that way? Should our domestic politics be entangled with interstate-politics? My believe is, though intrastate-politics can be influenced by interstate to some extent, our domestic-politics should always be dictated by internal variables and is driven by the social forces of change. Can we untangle our domestic politics from the Ethiopian politics?

    regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Emma,
      I have no doubt, no doubt at all that there is a deliberate, concerted campaign by pro-Isaias regime writers in this forum to ALWAYS, ALWAYS sway any topic towards the failures of the opposition; if that fails towards Ethiopia or drag these terms interchangeably. If ever they are forced to make a comment or two about domestic situation, it has to be in passing, in generalities, either in obfuscation or in downplaying issues or along the lines, ‘the silent majority will rise…’
      You can deliberately start counting their comments and NOTICE how many are about the opposition or Ethiopia. It is not even a contest. It is so lopsided. If you start to them in this prism, you will find it truly tragic.
      This is classic PR game and they are playing it expertly in this forum especially. It is so ingrained now, it is like an addict gets his high from bashing the opposition or Ethiopia, though 90% of the discussion should to the root cause of Eritrean plight, the one and only the Isaias regime….think of it, emo! we are Eritreans and we have a big problem in our country; how hard is it to openly discuss because it is affecting all of us and if more bad things happen to our nation in the future, it will be our common loss? So what gives constantly bringing up Ethiopia or opposition who have least to do with our domestic malaise?
      It is a game; not a debate for many. And you will understand them better if you know they are just playing games, not actually debating real issues.
      Yours,
      Ghezae

      • Mizaan1

        Ghezae and Amanu, worse yet, the distorters are organized. I don’t want to name them but they are coherent and congruent with each other. They come with talking points of the day. I have criticized this forum for not resembling an opposition forum. There has been a pattern as well from owners of this website expressing personal opinion without implicating the official organization. I will stop here for that part. But yes one day I did a search and there were much more ‘Ethiopia’ and ‘TPLF’ words than Eritrea and PFDJ. Some of the forumers cannot even speak Tigrinya but they are experts in Amharic. Some of them dig out dirty laundary from the deep pile of Ethiopian closet. There is some video about Ethiopian problem very frequently here that even Ethiopians wouldn’t even know such things exist there. This is a smart tactic because Eritreans are still largely erroneously adamant that Ethiopia is the real enemy and its tantamount to see it disintegrate per PFDJ daily prayer.

        • Ted

          Hi Mizan, “you mean to tell me that Ethiopia and the USA are not working day in and day out to reverse out independence and that our sovereignty would not be compromised if it wasn’t for IA and PFDJ?” Entay elka timeleselom nezi kehatuka kelewu.

          • Mizaan1

            Ted, teddy bear. I tell them ኣብ ዓይንኻ ዘሎ ጉንዲ ቅድም ኣውጽእ። ብኢድካ መን ሒዙካ፧ ወላ ነቲ ጉንዲ ኣብ ዓይንኻ ወያነ እንተ ኣእተዎ፤ ዓይንኻ ከየንቍሕካ ከመይ ገርኪ ንጸላኢኻ ክትምክቶ ትኽእል፧ እዚኣ እያ እታ መልሲ ቴዲ ንእሽተይ ህግደፍ፤

          • Ted

            Mizan 1, i thought you would respond like ” who are you to ask me, you illiterate, uneducated kebero junky”;) even if you respond like you did; How is it working for you in advancing your case against PFDJ. No good, i reckon. I can say for sure you don’t trust TPLF as much as the next Eritrean but your hate for PFDJ is so intense left you with no option but to hop on a wrong wagon. You are extending PFDJ’s life by default, stay clear from the likes of Amanuel and Semere to fight the people’s fight.

          • Semere Andom

            Ted the greatista:
            Mizaan is a man of his own with his own ideas and he does not follow anyone, his comments are testament to that and so are the two dudes you mention in vain

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Mizaan:
            Ok, let me mention some and you figure out the rest. The people like Nitricc and dawit are easy to deal with they are “aqetot”, they say stupid things like EriTV is the epitome of truth and I am an Ethiopian before the Ethiopains knew they were Ethiopains. But the dangerous are those who mix and mingle and cry reform, this trick is similar to the “zban swuat”, we all need change, what Sbhat told Wedi Ali. This is time honored trick works.
            There is lack of clarity in the reconciliation debate. This will require meeting half way and PFDJ in any version has never done before, never. It will only do that when its arm is twisted. The likelihood of PFDJ doing this is almost zero. Reconciliation must aim for future peace and justice, accountability and teaching moments for our posterity. PFDJ can lose power, but after it has successfully realigned the nation for the dark ages. Solely removing PFDJ from power should not be the only goal and after this is accomplished, we should not rest on our laurels as PFDJ will continue as a crime group. It is this legacy that must be weeded out. PFDJ has created more prisons than schools, more criminals than professionals who can build the nation. The dark ages I anticipate are not intractable, with the tenacity that we exuded during the armed struggle, with new real intellectuals we can overcome them. But to be delusional about the dark epoch ahead and only see the green scenery and profits from the gold mine is akin to what we accomplished with Ghedli, removing a group of criminals from power.
            PFDJ will not reform itself, and the opposition is in no position to twits PFDJ’s arm to make it capitulate as our Ted mendaciously asserts and the Spring will never materialize in Eritrea for cultural and demographic reasons, I articulated before. The Forto like incident will take very long time to emerge as the higher echelons will never do that and most of the wedi-Ali peers are powerless, they hate PFDJ but they do not have the wherewithal and means to ascend to Asmara easily, most of them are outside Asmara lending their expertise to PFDJ and then sipping their beer in their clubs, agonizing, soliloquising muttering curses on wedi Medhin and grudgingly greasing the wheels of PFDJ at different capacity.
            The most likely scenario is for IA die when his transplanted liver explodes or someone shoots him without an organized coup. This will obviously catalyse power vacuum and those waiting in the wings will fight each other, the bottled up anger will erupt in the immediate after math and Eritrea is lurched to chaos, the deliberate lack of transition planning taking its toll on the poor country and people. The emerging regional super power is forced to intervene to prevent the spill over to its borders
            My friend Ghezae rhapsodisingly says Eritreans will defeat IA and his regime, I like to extend that optimism to also include the detonation of the booby traps the PFDJ has in store of us. Those who think PFDJ like the opposition have good intentions for Eritrea and so goes for their supports will be disappointed. Understanding the risk that PFDJ poses is not shunning reconciliation, but it pays to understand your enemy to negotiate the best terms

          • Ted

            Semere, you acting like mad scientist: if transplanted liver exploded( when did he get transplant), if some one shoot him, if people like wedi Ali come……………, what is you saying.”PFDJ will not reform itself, and the opposition is in no position to twits PFDJ’s arm ” If opposition can’t do it, who would. PLEASE NOT BE WHAT I AM THINKING. I am praying that you regained your faith on the power of the PEOPLE.I hope.
            From your long hateta, you never mention the people who need peaceful end to their misery. You are blinded by absolute hate of PFDJ failed to acknowledge the desire of us. We can twist PFDJ’s arm to get what we want.You can take this idea to your meeting and come out as hero:)

          • Semere Andom

            Ted:
            the last time I checked, people is generic name and the name of our people is Eritreans. Can your immortalize your idea of reform, you have not done so
            The people are either supports, or opposition or silent. For demography and culture reasons I do not anticipate Eritrean spring, Demography PFDJ have made slaves of the youth and put them in containers and the made them dwellers of the mountains, and cultural, historically Eritreans are know for secret clandestine opposition or out right armed struggle.
            I have faith in the people, but reality is reality and cannot and do not expect mothers to march in godena Harnet, they will be mowed.

          • Ted

            Semere, you didn’t answer my question, who would twist PFDJ’s arms if opposition and disfranchised Eritreans at large can’t..
            BTW, People are not support, they are a force to reckon with if you are able mobilize them in a genuine and true HEART felt mission. What you call “reality is reality” is only to serves your ambition to wipe out PFDJ.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Mizaan1,

            I think this is the best way of explaining that it is the internal problem that should be solved. I hope it is clear to everybody by now unless someone is not willing to solve our problems.

        • ghezaehagos

          Selam Mizaan,
          Don’t worry kubur haw. They have nothing to offer, I repeat nothing to offer, aside their spectator politics..kusto kemzi gebere; kusto kemzi degeme. Their m.o is simple: keep the opposition busy discussing about you guess it the opposition and Ethiopia; deflect any attention from the regime’s dismal records. For them it is a game; and don’t be surprised to see every single topic in this forum about opposition and Ethiopia for foreseeable future. Even as everyone is alerted about their intentions, they won’t even change it…kalee sirah eko yeblomon….unless they pack and go somewhere else..They don’t want to discuss the regime’s records because it embarrasses them enormously; so they would rather point the fingers somewhere else…gutum aregit shitara iyu…
          If you want to fun, just count and count how many times they will repeat opposition and Ethiopia in each and every article posted in this website.
          Yours,
          Ghezae

        • dawit

          Dear Mizaan,

          Do you want a proof that Ethiopia is not the real enemy of Eritreans?

          19th Century:

          1. Menelik sold Eritreans for Italian lire .

          20th Century:

          2. Haile Selassie derailed Eritrean people right for self determination for independence after the end of WII.

          3. Ethiopia destroyed Federation and started 30 years of war, carpet bombing every village, town and city in Eritrea

          21st. Century:

          4. Woyane of Ethiopia started a border war with Eritrea.

          5. Ethiopia occupy Eritrean territory by force.

          6. Ethiopia push UN sanctions against Eritrea with fabricated lies.
          Yes Ethiopia is the historical enemy of Eritrean people. PIA and PFDJ stands against all enemies of Eritrean people. They know how to organize and defend Eritrea.

    • Abel

      Dear Amanuel Hidrat,
      “Can we untangle our domestic politics from the Ethiopian politics?” The answer is NO.
      Why? Because Ethiopia and Eritrea are one and the same.

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Abe:
        You said: “Because Ethiopia and Eritrea are one and the same”
        The UN has to separate countries called Eritrea and Ethiopia. Both countries were created by European colonization Yes, I know, I know Ethiopia was not colonized, but the carving of Eritrea indirectly created Ethiopia and the borders between these two countries was shall we say demarcated more than once.
        Because Eritreans were ambivalent about their destiny Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia until the Eritreans figure out what they want. HS annexed the Federation to squash the jelling Eritrean nationalism. It took 30 years of bloody and stupid war to recreate what was already created and Eritrea separated. So Eritrea and Ethiopia are not the same and one.
        Our destinies maybe irrevocably intertwined, we maybe our destiny is to be one and the same, who knows, a new leader may bury that Mereb river and future generation may laugh at us for waging the war that squander lives, resources and opportunity cost. But as it stands now, we are two separate countries. Our job should be to create civilized society that respects itself, celebrates its diversity, harnessing the beauty that these two separate nations now.
        I think Emma was talking about the deliberate attempt to derail the discussions from the urgent issue the is bedeviling Eritreans and directing it to the secondary issue of where the opposition is station, and if Ethiopia is developing or is doomed to disintegrate.

        • Abi

          Hi Sem
          sometime ago I asked Hayat if there is any possibility for some kind of unity between the two countries. A person by the name Meron came swinging and knocked me out. I learned a good lesson. I was naive to ask that kind of stupid question. We live to learn.

          • Hope

            Dear Abi or Abel?
            That certain Meron could be a jealous Tigreayan,who is paranoid about Eritreans taking over his corrupted Ethiopian business….and believing that the deported eris might claim back the busineses stolen by the same Tigreyans.
            Lol!

          • Rahwa T

            Selam Hope,
            Most of the time you are a great patriot who never want to see back again to the darkest days of the 60s, 70s and 80s with the backward Ethiopia and its people. And yet again, you seem to support the idea of unity with Ethiopia with a precondition of sidelining the corrupted Tigreans from economic and political affairs of the country. I am reading some kind of contradiction in your stand? I am surprised to see you sharing some ideas with Semere.

            On a separate point: Do you have copy of the document on the Qiment people? I was confident that it was only who could have that important document.

          • Hope

            Selamat Weizerit Rahwa!
            I am part of the Ongoing Research about the Kimant since my stay at the GCMS Yrs and will send U a Copy!
            There is a reason why I sneak into Gonder and Gojam!
            I published a Public Health Article yrs back on my Kimant and Gojam area Agew! People!
            As to my love for Ethiopia and Ethiopians,no words can express it and this is based on facts , not on Gurra like that of Guad Abinet !

          • Abel

            Dear Hope,
            All I could read in you is hopelessness,despair and a vivid identity crises.What is your point?

          • Hope

            Dear Abel:
            ID crisis?
            -First of, U should know who u r dealing with!
            -then know thyself
            – then mind your business!
            May I ask who u r
            so that I can debate U seriously?
            If u happen to be an Ethiopian specially Generation X Tigreyans,stop there and fimtil aitibel!
            Arden!

          • Abel

            Dear Hope,
            Thanks for reaffirming my assumption.

          • Hope

            Congra Abel for your Psychic Reading ability and being a “Unique Detective”!.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Abi:
            I am not sure what you mean by this comment. Meron, I remember him, he is PFDJ anti-unity, for your info PFDJ has bad record on the U word.
            But am sure that, one day new generations will think it was all in vain, we could have done better. Remember, Ab Licoln, remember King. who would have thought there will a monument fro the later not farm from the first, human being learn the hard way

          • Ted

            Dear semere, The big U might happen or won’t at all. It is a process people decide in due time. The problem we have is people like you try to shove it in our throat when we are not ready. I begin to think what Nitricc suggested you being YG’s attendant but for sake of the Great MS i wouldn’t go that far. You didn’t answer my earlier question that you said no one(the opposition or Eritrean people) is capable of twisting PFDJ’s hand, can you tell me who can.

          • Semere Andom

            Ted:
            Stop your Ls. Will you. Or prove that I am shoving it down your throat.
            I was talking about Unity about everything not only with Ethiopia, about unity with Ethiopia actually PFDJ will not mind if it saves their lives. I was talking about unity in general, harmony and peace. EPLF/PFDJ has never being a champion or even follower uniting Eritreans, but you would not know this, your were busy drinking the milk then 😉

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, i edited the post to add more questions still you are dogging number 2 question.
            Abi may have change of heart that he wanted us back to milk his country;)

          • Hayat Adem

            Ted,
            You should have some level of shame and apologize right away for saying about the smartness of milking 90 million cows. You are bringing it again to provoke the Ethiopians. What do you get from that?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Hayat Adem,
            Thank you for trying and for the lesson Hayatey, but I wouldn’t worry about Ted. God with his infinite wisdom created Ted and Abi in the same century. If we lock Abi, Ted, and a cow in the same room they would still find ways to blame each other about why the cow regurgitate left to right.

          • Ted

            Dear Fanti,
            It is pass a red line when people insult my hero Peter Pan and my sweet home Never-land. Other than that i don’t care if cows regurgitating from to left to right ,of course if Abi lets me near his cow to start with:-)

          • Abi

            Hi Hayat
            Yiqirta yegobezoch nat. Tintim endih neber , ahunim tefeTro higuwan alqeyerechim.
            Senef yiqirta kemiTeyiq bere biyalb yiqelewal.

          • Hayat Adem

            Ted,
            What is your interest really? Is the status quo your comfort zone? Do you like Eritrea to continue isolated, and sanctioned? Do you like Eritrea shedding off its youth and becoming a place deforested of humanity? Do you prefer PFDJ over the Eritrean people? What do you see into the future? What bothers you if Eritreans cooperate and get integrated economically, and possibly politically with Ethiopians and beyond? What is wrong with wishing for that as long as it is based on a free choice of the people? Why can’t you allow people to make positive choices for integration and rapprochement as opposed to separation and isolation? Don’t you think people have a right to be right at least as equally as you think they have a right to be wrong? do you always want them to be wrong? Do you always work to make them wrong?

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Ted;
            I told you many times that the Arab spring cannot happen for the reason I mentioned, Eritrea under PFDJ is not a normal country, Libya was more normal, with all the crimes of the regime, the friend of IA, young people can still roam their cities and villages, they were not mountain dwellers to break them as is in our case
            The opposition , well they have nothing to show for in terms of twisting PFGDJ’s arm, the only weapon that PFDJ responds to and internally I gave you the scenario . The young are hazarding the journey to Europe at a rate of 4000/month, the CIA is milking Eritrea of its youth as you guys would say.
            Ultimately the Eritrean people must decide what to do, but the Eritrean people is not imaginary, it is made up of all these groups.
            So likely scenario IMO is IA dies or is killed and we are lurched in chaos and that chaos awakens us the people from our slumber and use the opportunity to come from the mountains to throw the shacks and enslavement to stop the fighting between the sharks of the PFDJ to assert out will

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, IA will to die sooner or later, give and take 10 yrs working age(considering he looks 50;-) . We can’t fold our cards for that long, as you said the longer he stayed with out Reform(R, my addition), the harder it will be to reconstruct our country back what left of it. The other and only option, to galvanize the people under one mission(as liberation struggle) to demand change in the system. It is the time Eritreans from all walk of life has realized change need to happen immediately and we need to take advantage of this simmering energy to accelerate the struggle otherwise was hampered by self serving opposition/activist groups. It never tried in Eritrean post independent history and it is foolproof(i think).

            If we did nothing, I don’t think even Ethiopians will be willing to take us back considering what a mess we would become;-) (they would gladly;-).

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Ted;
            Good. Now do you have recipes/ideas on how to galvanize the people under one mission in the manner we did during the liberations struggle. If you have write it and share it

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, I thought you would know, having tried many avenues and failed:-) No,
            The diaspora population can be used as a spark the people need back home. If we agreed people need change in any form or shape for better Eritrea, the other issues are simpler than you think. Of course we need organization to spearhead the mobilization process. This organization also need to be free of out side influences and sole functions being to facilitating and organizing Eritreans to solve their problem by their own. Creating organization is the first step. We have many good people who can lead the organization, just need to find them.
            i am sure you know some who gave you a cold shoulder in the past;-)

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ted:
            You are the one preaching PFDJ can be reformed. I have not tried and failed to reform PFDJ, it is a candidate for weeding out, so I still ask you how do you want to repeat liberation era mission?
            I am not sure, I follow you about called shoulders, I got my freedom way before you so?

          • Ted

            Dear Semere, what you have in mind is i think different than mine. Liberation era mission in a sense means to rally under one cause, not to mean every one to carry a gun. You should know our collective thinking is more powerful than a gun. When i said other venue you tried means you will get in to the one you didn’t try this time, Reform. First and foremost we need to believe we can do what we want if every one participated under one umbrella, no string attached, BETTER ERITREA. Better Governing system is our ultimate goal to end the suffering. “Cold shoulder” was a joke, ignore it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Ted,
            Wether we argree or disagree (I disagree with him), YG is a great asset of Eritrean mind and we should be proud of him. If there is no a provacative mind like him we can’t talk all the tough subjects we are talking today and for the generation to come. You don’t agree always with bright mind all the time because there is no human being without flaws. When bright minds debate they are sources of impaccable knowledge. If there are not different ” version of realities” on the making, people wouldn’t have choices to make. Bright minds help us to know those versions of realities, and YG as one of them on the opposite of the convensional thoughts, could help us to scrutinize the convensional thoughts whether to continue on them or to bring an alternative. If you dispise the great minds that are opposite of your comprehension, you have a problem of learning. Great minds do sharpen our minds even if we disagree with them. They mimic and stimulate our minds to dig out all possible knowledge around us. You might not notice it, but they have stimulated you in to the debate….and YG has played a great roll in that sense. Just to remind you as you are a student of the great mind I am talking about. In short great minds are opnion makers.
            Senay MeAlti,
            Amanuel Hidrat.

          • Ted

            Dear Amanuel, YG may be a great mind, i don’t know. i take your word for it. The issue i raised was the UNION matter with Semere which i disagree. Other than that from what i read by YG i can’t say i learned much other than the justification for Union agenda. I will be glad to be enlightened if you can guide me to his articles/publishing/books which might help me understand his thinking process.
            Semere said one crucial truth that “the opposition is not in a position to twist PFDJ’s arms”. This assertion tells a lot how the opposition is disconnected from the people if you take in to account the urgent need for change by Eritreans. It is time to harness the sentiment of the people at this critical time to advance the movement for change with new organization and blood.

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            Sorry for the delayed response. I was in the back room making coffee and gossiping .
            You said “one day the new generations will think it all in vain, we could have done better.”
            You must be talking only about eritreans. We have said it for a loooong time and died for it. As you said it some learn the hard way. Believe me I meet more and more eritreans who tell they want to come back. I mean the ordinary eritreans, not elites who still think they are better and unique.

            Hayat, the smoke screen is lingering for far too long. By the time it clears , Djibouti will be done eating your dinner not just your lunch.
            When I think about it even the rest of the neighborhood don’t want us to be in peace .
            I was watching a documentary about the GERD. There is one power line dedicated just for Sudan. In return they are giving us port. Djibouti is eating you alive. Once Ato Saleh was talking about the bustling Djibouti port and how he was furious and frustrated when it is not eritreans benefiting. When you love your country unconditionally, you don’t let anyone to eat your lunch.
            SAAY and all reformers and supporters, I have only one thing to say,
            ” lam esat weledech. Endatlisew fejat, endatitewew lij honebat ”
            Now you know why I stay in the back room doing what I do best. Coffee?

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Abi:
            Do not lie , you were clearing ‘kumra”
            You getting bad these days, now you playing with “coffee” 😉
            We have exactly the same saying about the cow;-)

          • Abi

            Hi Sem
            Am I getting bad this days? You know why?
            ” keAhya gar yewalech yeLam lij ( Tija) fes temra timeTalech”

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sem,

            Back in 2001 when I was in Asmara, I was really shocked to learn the joke that was going around the leaders and in particular of PFDJ.

            There is nothing of real significance happened at the time, free press was booming, people were talking. One particular that I still remember was “azgineni/ is riddle mean the same?”.

            azgineni
            bimntay
            bTaEwa
            entay aleka beAl Tawla
            eske eza referendum digemuwa

            I don’t know how to translate this but I couldn’t believe that people were thinking in that frame of thought back in 2001.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Berhe: Yea I remember that:-)
            Easy to translate
            Give me an “R”
            Give me an “F”
            Give me an “E”
            Give me an “R ”
            Give me and “E”
            Give me an “N”
            Give me a “D”
            Give me a “U
            Give me an “M”
            You just create a REFERENDUM
            I bet you a bull you cannot do it again
            I will show you after demarcation

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Dear Berhe,
            Yea, you reminded me of Wedi Gebeya, a young man who hated the system and made so many jokes about it. His joke were all smart and subtle. He was imprisoned many times and was warned not to make joke related to politics. But he only made the more subtle. It is said that this riddle is one of them. He died misteriosly. He is said to have committed suicide. How can someone whose life depended on jokes commit suicide is unbelievable.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Sarah,

            I think you are correct, I don’t remember but there few jokes went around that attributed to him. I heard he use to be on the bus and tell all those jokes.

            There was a picture all over Asmara with strong arm feast and he said…you know this is Isayas Arm and he is saying..”wala TiChebiTeni, nezen Sawa ayefanewin Eye, elu eyu zmHl zelo”. How prolific one could have been..

            You know there is nothing mysterious that happen in Eritrea. I think, and I believe there is the involvement of Isayas and his security for all the mysterious events that happen.

            The death of Isayas Afework brother, Amanuel. This guy had so much to say about his brother, and apparently he use to tell people, you people do not know this guy. Actually I heard his mental issue “Tslale” was faking it, so he can say what he wanted”…then died mysteriously.

            The death of Abreham Afeworki…people actually came out and defend his death as an accident but one you add one plus one, there is something mysterious about it, specially when you see the video of the concert he had in Sawa. A girl who was there told me,he was singing ‘Semay” but all 10,000 of them them singing “Gezay”….

            I hope one day, all will come out…

          • Passerby

            Berhe and Dr Sara,

            Although nothing can be said with certainty, I believe Abreham Afewrki’s death was an accident. Abraham was a guy far away from politics, so I don’t know of any motive for a foul play against him. But again nothing is impossible.

            But there was another death that is highly suspecious. In one of Isaias’ town hall meetings in the 90s, a university student asked Isaias about the law (I think it was about the special court). There was a youtube clip. Isaias was clearly upset about the question. He attacked the student and said “Higi temahirna ena elkin…” He said something like that.
            Not too long after that, the student was killed by car accident.

          • Hope

            Berhe and Passerby:

            Are you that naive?

            -I asked dawit about the mysterious death of more than 2-3K innocent fighters along with their top Leaders and Commanders,not to mention most of the Eri Elites–MDs,Professionlas,Lawyers,Post-Grad Students,etc,,who left the AAU,USA and Russian Universities…..and their only cirme was–being true Eritreans standing for Truth.

            -Why do you go that far knowing the sad fate of G-15 and some Journalists,and their only crime being–standing for Truth–except some issues that we might not know…the details about.

            -Did you read the Controversial Book by Alenna(Redie Mehari)?What about the latest book by Dr Andemariam W?The interview by Temnewo and others incluidng the Secret Party Member by Assenna.

            -Did you read the huge file compiled by Negash of Amsterdam?

            Back to Abreham Afewerki:

            -He might not be into Politics but,hey, the EPRP Security Apparatus has its own way of doing business, screening and criteria.

            -Abreham Afewerki had been very influential when it comes to agitating the Youth.Weren’t you aware about this?

            -And what would it mean when the EPRP(PFDJ Secret Party)sees the Youth being influenced by some unique and penetrating Songs like the Revolution era songs–those of 1960s and 70s by Berekhet ,Alamin Abdeletif,Osman Abdelrehim,etc…?

            -What about the death of the Omo Factory owner–dumped into the Cliff of Edagha Arbi(the X-Minister Ali Abdu,mentioned about his death)

            -The death of Ali Said Abdela,Andemcihael Kahsay,the death of the Arabic Language Section Director of the Min of Info,that of Mr Abdela Dawid in the streets of Asmera,etc…

            -The worst,the mysterious death of the top General and Colonels–about 35 of them within 2-3 yrs only –per the AT File and that of Prof Tes….Some thing should be WRONG!And are that much blind and deaf NOT to notice that gross thing?

            -The Adi Abeito Incident

            -The -Aseb /Tio? incident

            -What about the Exodus of the Youth?You think it is a spontaneous saga or incident/phenomena?-

            I might sound like a Hypocrit for allegedly supporting the PFDJ ,but you get what you see.

            You may not have hard core evidence as you cannot not ,but you have horrific amount of circumstantial evidence…

            The question is NOT about Evidence but it is about
            -the DUMBNESS,

            -The IGNORANCE,

            -The INEPTNESS,

            -the IRRESPONSIBLE silence

            Of/by all Eritreans,the EDF included—…

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Hope,
            nay daHan do? I am reading the other Hope. never expected this from you. Waw ! Sorry, abzey menTebiyey atye. It is just because I something unusable.

          • Hope

            Rahwit:
            My baptized nick here is:Hypocrit,, Flip-flopper and confused, hence, no surprise.
            But here is the FACT:
            -I call a spade, a spade.
            -I am an Independent Democrat/Voter here in the USA and as such,I go with the flow.–with who ever does the best for the Nation and the Poor People, even though I am “RICH”, thanks be to God, materially,educationally and spiritually!. Oh yeah,..what else can I ask for?.
            My argument in the past is based on some personal Issues and believing that I have to differentiate the Ruling Party form Eritrea and I am against any thing that might affect Eritrea and her National Security interest from outside while believing that the regime has been a real threat to Eritrean National Security and if I deny that,I am a real Hypocrit….as I am a witness of .all what is being “Litanized” daily here…
            I am suspicious and do NOT trust outsiders based on the historical facts and experience we have gone through; and I partially believe in
            -the saying:” Kab zeitifelto mela’khsi, tifelto Seitan”.
            -Eritrean Solutions for Eri Problems
            -Genuine National and Regional Reconciliation-along with Peaceful Co-existence and Economic Integration

          • Berhe

            Hope,

            Don’t get me wrong, I gave up on IA and the PFDJ in 2000. When they arrested the university students and caused the death of two students and showed no remorse and regrets.

            It’s not that I had doubts for all the crime that happened before, but I had no knowledge

            But I have a big problem with people who do and kept silent. For example, Dr andebrehan was president of UoA. He made unanimous decision to make the president a chancellor, where he never attended a single graduating ceremony. He fired lots of teachers without a cause, he even shutdown the university. We can go on and on, but the Eritrean elite enabled and in some cases even supported the president (like Dr Bereket and his half cooked constitution), as I have been learning lately, for the relentless defence of the system (EPLF/PFDJ), where it WAS, it IS, and continues to be under total and full control of IA, but yet they still sell us the idea that there exist a system, a government or an institution that actually existed or will continue to exist.
            To me it becameclear that it’s all farce, IA had his own plan, I still do not know what that is, but the freedom and independence of the Eritrean people is NOT one of them, he used the people as a means to his end goal or continues to be.

            Berhe

          • Semere Andom

            Dear Hope:
            Please do me a big favor for “berad shahi” in Kern after independence, will you? Can you say it gain, please 😉

          • Hope

            Sem,
            When you are serious,I will be serious….
            I would rather invite you for a bigger one!

          • Semere Andom

            Hope
            I am serious. I do not have to frown to be serious. Can you say that again

          • Mizaan1

            Hope (tesfu), I knew if you like, you could be a great justice seeker but you get ticked of by the Ethiopians and Ethiopia lovers so you regress often. But if you focus on this message only and forget anything that has to do with the ‘annoying’ ethios, then you can bring down IA single handedly. You have a potential to be that good.

          • Hope

            Thanks Mizaan,
            I will do that–from now on…take my word!
            I love Ethiopia and Ethios but i “hate”

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Hi Passerby,
            Yes I remember he was a brilliant student. He asked Issayas a question. That is when DIA’s ugly side started to rear out. Shortly after that he and his friend were said to have died in a car accident in a very quiet road with least traffic. But Wedi Gebeya is another young man from Maitemenai area. I think he breaks the record for creating jokes about the regeme. People used to miss their stops in buses to hear him tell them. But he is said to have committed suicide. He was found hanging. His tuneral though has marked what people think of him vis a vas the regime -a huge, huge crowd.

          • Mizaan1

            Berhe, actually I heard that joke in Asmara in 2006 but it was azgineni b mnatay, b sawa….very befitting.

          • Hayat Adem

            Abi,
            It is not upto the Merons and Saays to decide on that possibility. These people are so weird that they say people have the right to be wrong but people have no right to be right. All these smokes and dusts you are witnessing are to put a big smoke screen to blur such seeds of grand visions.

        • Abel

          Dear Semere Andom,
          Thank you for the free history 101 lesson. I was not denying the fact that we had bloody nonsensical 30 year war and Eritrea and Ethiopia become free from one another and formed separate governments,I was emphasizing the inseparable natural bond between the people .I still believe that is the reason why we couldn’t untangle Eritrean domestic issues from that of Ethiopia.Why?b/c it is one and the same,the rest is hair splitting.

    • SenaiErtrawi

      Selam Amanuel,
      My answer to your question is that there are many Ethiopian participants in this forum (I can even imagine this forum closely followed/participated by TPLFs cyber task force).

      Plus, don’t forget the big-x/criss-cross in the square cornered by PFDJ (1)-TPLF(2)-PFDJ opposition(3)-TPLF opposition(4).

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Sal,

    Thanks for your reply.

    “..So, in all conditions, I oppose an arms embargo: it is the people and only the people of Eritrea who should decide whether to put 0% of their meager resources on arms or 100% of it…”

    That is easy, Sal.

    Well, you know as well as me that the people of Eritrea CAN’T decide on such matters. Even if they can, or even if the representative any nation can, apparently, there is ANOTHER authority that decides the allocation of resources of a nation to its military, IF its government, ” is a threat to international peace and security.” It is the called the UNSC and the basis of its authority is called the Charter of UN..specifically, “CHAPTER VII: ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION.”

    I completely understand the spill-over effect of sanctions you mentioned but they don’t supersede the law itself. We can disagree with the law; but we have to abide by them is what I say. When I say the we can’t cherry pick, I meant we can’t simply dissect international sanction’s regime; as law they are imposed together (armed embargo; asset freeze, travel ban) . The only way to avoid them to comply in with the terms. In Eritrea’s case, stop supporting armed militants and come to terms with Djibouti. Which I believe we both agree Eritrean regime should do since 2006.
    I am still curious dear Sal with these two points I mentioned.
    A. How can you reconcile the fact that you believe the sanctions are self-inflicted and warranted because Isaias involved in Somalia and Djibouti in military manner; but at the same time you reject sanctions on military?
    B. Would you oppose armed embargo on Eritrea on COIE’s human rights grounds if they come to materialize?

    • saay7

      Selamat Ghezae:

      Let’s begin with B. I thought I had answered so we don’t create other hypotheticals by saying that I opposed arms embargo “in all conditions.” National sovereignty either means something or it doesn’t. And nothing is more sovereign than a nation’s right to self-defense and how to prioritize it.

      Moving on to A: sanctions, as you know, come incrementally. They are the levers the UN uses to moderate the behavior of its member states and, ideally, they should be targeted at the guilty party–the regime–with as little or no spillover on the innocent people. The travel ban/asset freeze on political/economic leaders of the PFDJ was such targeted measure. To this date, as you, they haven’t named anyone whose travel is banned or whose asset is frozen. An arms embargo–given the history of the UN when it comes to its reluctance to lift them–punishes future Eritrean government’s and, with it, its primary responsibility: to provide security to its people.

      Finally, whether we Eritreans can or can’t decide on such matters is not the world’s problem. It is our problem. And we can’t go to the world and ask it to solve our problem. The world’s concern begins and ends with whether a country is a menace to the neighborhood. Such internalism, applied selectively, encourages a form of “civil disobedience” by nations. You need look no further than Africa’s refusal to co-operate with the World Court when it comes to, for example, targeting Omar Al-Bashir.

      saay

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Sal,

        Bzuh Keyhizeka ember…

        “..The world’s concern begins and ends with whether a country is a menace to the neighborhood..” which the Isaias regime was one and hence slapped with sanctions twice.

        I guess our bone of contention here is basically limited to the armed embargo part. I reiterate one can’t ask for selective implementation of the elements of the sanction’s regime? Says Who? Says the law. UNSC charter and its resulting sanctions.

        Methinks you are veering away from the conventional wisdom of activism. A regime that poses danger not only to its neighborhood but also to its own innocent citizens can be sanctioned; for us, it should be sanctioned. To me it sounds inconsistent to call for sanctioning the regime (putting pressure) as you did so eloquently in New York in October 2013, but at the same to add, ‘but wait a minute, but don’t sanction its military…’ I believe your presentation which was very clear and forceful calling for disengagement from the regime also calls for its sanctioning. The very regimes you equated the regime with, Gaddafi, Assad and Saddam were also sanctioned militarily.*

        The international community has the duty to protect its world citizens from crimes against humanity, genocide and other grave offenses. I stress that if such sanctions happens, it is bound to include one on armed embargo because it comes with the territory; the rationale being coercive state apparatus, such as the military are the primary tools of oppression and subjugation of the citizens; hence can’t be immune from being subjects of the sanction. Moreover, military might or lack of it is one of the few areas the world can have a say, some say. At any rate, it is again it’s the law; one can’t fight the law; but change the behaviour.

        It really, really puzzles me when learned people say we don’t support sanctions or part of the sanctions. How can one says, I don’t support the law, really? The crudest answer is who cares whether you support it or not. It is the law. The reasonable answer is you can’t change the law for now; all you can do is change the behaviour of the root reason for the application of the law. Hence, deal with the mad-man of the region, i.e, the Isaias regime and its disastrous foreign adventurism that passes for foreign policy.

        All the best,

        Ghezae

        For those who have never watched this clip, I urge you to watch this clip. Here is Sal Younis speaking on the arrest of his family members and the way to deal with Isaias. I liked the uncompromising manner Sal depicted the Isaias regime…

        “A mad man is in charge of a country. A paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic man with schizophrenic tendencies, including excessive grandiosity. How do you deal with a mad man?…..He is beyond reform: you can’t reform a mad man; you can only institutionalize him….All your well-intentioned campaigns of engagement and seeking reform have yielded you nothing, but you keep on persisting: it is your ego attempting the impossible. You need to reach a long over due decision: the same one that was reached about Saddam Hussein, Moammer Kaddaffi, and Bashar Assad: this man happens to be head of state but he is mentally unbalanced and we need to recognize and legitimize alternatives to his sadistic rule.

        http://awate.com/younis-disengage-from-isaias-afwerki-engage-alternative-voices/

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMvJz5cWiwM

        • Shum

          Hello Ghezae,

          You said ” To me it sounds inconsistent to call for sanctioning the regime (putting pressure) as you did so eloquently in New York in October 2013, but at the same to add, ‘but wait a minute, but don’t sanction its military…'” The part that stuck out to me is when you said “…don’t sanction its (referring to the regime) military”. I think that line illustrates the difference on how you see this sanction versus what saay7 sees with this sanction. You see the military as belonging to the regime whereas he sees it, for better or worse, as an institution that belongs to Eritrea and he wants it to remain as a formidable force (with or without Isaias) because we don’t live in a nice neighborhood where we can leave the doors unlocked.

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Shum,
            Probably the least heralded but one of the extremely grave crimes of Isaias what he did to the Eritrean military. It takes a lot for larger and resourceful nations to build a military. It took Eritrea generations to build a formidable military force. In the 1990s We said we don’t have to lament, ‘weyza gumaye mexee iloma bmerb…’ of 1962; we said now we know how to defend our nation. Yet, within less than a decade, our military turned into the ghost of its past. Years of mismanagement, warsay-yikealo divide, systemic destruction, Isias claimed another of his victims; Eritrean military.
            The point I am driving is yes the military as all the other institutions of the State belong to the people of Eritrea. Intrinsically, true.
            But in international politics, the military is part of the government in power and that is why whether we like it or not the Eritrean defence forces is viewed as one of the institution of the Eritrean regime. It was on the receiving end of the sanctions. It is like ‘bsenki niquts yinded ruhus.’
            I think we both agree with Sal; the solution is for the regime to stop meddling in other’s affairs. The best to keep our national interests and military strong is to stop supporting regional militants. Stop antagonizing the West to the extent of endangering their vital national interests.
            Yours,
            Ghezae

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Good morning Ghezae,
            Ideally the army is supposed to protect the people and land (country) from any harm, natural or man- made, external or internal. One of the reasons people pay tax for is this service. But in Eritrea things are up side down. The army meddles in things that have nothing with the protection of the people or the country. It is in the adminstration, the economy, politics and what not. You see military officers doing the job of a civilian, adminstering all sorts of offices even in the busuness of vegetables. It looks like the army doesn’t know its primary job and is ‘protecting the government from the people. Therefore, it would be wrong to compare it with conventional army.
            Who are the people in the army is a different question deserving some research. Superficially though we thing of the young on national service and may sympathise with it (the army). I beieve it is an institution if you want to call it one; but to me they are armed bodguards protecting issayas and his interest. They do not lift a finger to protect the people. What bothers me is how they terrorise the poor people in Eritrea and how much respect and attention they get from the people in the diaspora especially the opposition. Eritrea needs confident and strong people not strong army.

          • Hope

            Selam Dr Sarah,

            I second you on:

            ” Eritrea needs confident and strong people not strong army”.
            But the challenge and dilemma are :
            -How and in what way?
            -How can we rally and mobilize the Public to that effect?
            PFDJ is compsed of a bunch of few Officers and Mercenaries but with a dangerous Security Apparatus backed up by Fear and Mistrust based Governance.
            The Opposition could not and I do not believe it will decode that dangerous trick soon.

          • Sarah Ogbay

            Hi Hope,
            Honestly I don’t know how we can do it. But I think change starts from self, then our immediate friends and family, our community etc. Our strength and identity as Eritreans have been dismantled bit by bit and we can restore it only in the same way. We have become very intolerant and unaccommodating as well as very fast to retaliate etc. We lack magnanimity. It shows very well here on this forum. We have to accept each other for who we are and what we think and what we believe in. I know it is not easy. Many times I read some comments here that infuriate me and I want to respond but I try my best not to. For me it is a step forward.
            We have to learn to draw on the strengths of each other and not feed on each others weakness. Our strengths together, we Eritreans are amazing people.
            The opposition? which opposition? I don’t consider those competitors for PIA’s chair opposition. We the people though we can try to make changes.

    • Fnote Selam

      Hi Ghezae,

      Besides points Saay raised, don’t you think the numerous inconsistencies the UNSC shows (including Eri-Eth border conflict) makes its less than honest authority? And given past history of injustice by UN on Eritrea, do you think many Eritreans would buy the UN sanctions as legitimate?

      Thanks,

      FS.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Fnote Selam,

        My answer is, anything that kills or paralyze a tyrant is a legitimate action in my book. Solid position.

        • Hope

          Ahlen Usta Aman,
          —-evn at the expense of reversing the Eritrean Independence besides crippling Eritrea and Eritreans-in the name of destorying the Tyrant!
          But I thought there is a short cut???
          You do NOT believe in a surgical removal or a “Demcoratic Coup’ but you believe solidly in the destruction of Eritrea at the expense of removing a single Dictator!!!
          Amanuel Hidrat’s Politics 101!
          The Aawssa,the Addis,the Nazreth,the Mekele,etc–meetings failed,hence,anything but anything—!
          Enie kemotkugn serdo aibkel!
          Ane kabmotku,sa’eri aibkola meiet diy zibehal?
          Wey gud lom zeben!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Hope,

            There is no any indication what so ever that reverse the Eritrean independence. It is fear of the unknown. Amanuel and like me we don’t allow ourselves and activity to the fear of unknowns. Please, please don’t equate the demise of the tyrant to the demise of Eritreans or our nation. I wish the environment of our reality is conducive and the consciousness of our EDF is up to the challenge to bring the “democratic coup” which remained stained in your mind since Saay threw that idea for for a debate. So Hope, it isn’t a matter of believing on “democratic coup” or not. It is a matter whether there is objective reality for that or not. Understand my argument before you throw criticizm.

            If “the Aawssa,the Addis,the Nazreth,the Mekele,etc–meetings failed” we can’t let ourselves into unrealistic dream. Others should be the alternative of the failed. If they failed, at least they have tried. You don’t condemn them because they failed. If you understand the nature of politics and the rule of engagement you wouldn’t say what you are saying.

        • Fnote Selam

          Dear Amanuel,

          The reason I raised those questions is because many Eritreans (non-PFDJ supporting Eritreans have those concerns) and I believe discussing and answering those questions could only strengthen our fight against PFDJ since PFDJ could easily hijack those sentiments.

          FYI, my take regarding sanctions is that IA picked up a fight in Somalia (against Eth, UN, AU, USA, All east african countries) and end up losing terribly (with the sanctions being the final results). Due to IA’s blenders the country will be hurt in some ways and unfortunately we (Eritreans) have to live with it.

          But, I do see some weaknesses the way Gezae is defending the sanctions (and I think that could alienate many honest Eritreans).

          First, he APPEARS to argue UN/international bodies are absolutely honest organizations which is demonstrably not true simply because the inconsistent ways UN/international bodies apply and enforce their rules ans charters. And I can see why using that line of argument would particularly not convince Eritreans as to he legitimacy of the sanctions.

          Second, he also seems to imply that we can’t possibly support some sanctions but not others. I think that is quite naive, simply because there is a reason why UN has different forms of sanctions. And yes, one can support sanctions that specifically target the regime and not support those one believes harm the country more than the regime.

          As to your position, you are entitled to your opinions, but to reiterate, the reason I raised those questions is because many Eritreans have those concerns and addressing the concerns could only be good for Eri.

          Thank you!

          FS.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fnote Selam,

            As far as there is no “economic sanction” I am for it. Other sanctions (arms embargo, travel barring..etc) do affect solely to the regime and really makes its activity at check. The Eritrean people are under economic sanction by the regime, not by the international community. The sanctions are clear and specific unless they want to sympathize the regime. You and your likes might not be convinced by his argument, but for those who want to understand nothing is ambiguous about Ghezae’s clarity and position.

            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Amanuel,

            Trust me, I have not sympathy what so ever towards IA regime regarding sanctions. The regime brought it unto itself and as long as their are leading the country, we, as a nation, have to live with the consequences of their misadventure.

            But, I also understand and have come across many Eritreans (again non-PFDJ Eritreans) that have a spectrum of views when it comes to sanctions. And I dont think those two line of arguments I mentioned that Gezae used in his reply to Saay are quite convincing. Gezae;s argument might be enough for you, but is not for many other Eritreans. And bringing them to common understanding could be helpful.

            Thank you,

            FS.

          • Mizaan1

            Dear FS, ghezae is stating facts as he understands them and he does as well as anyone. So why should he tweak his positions on the sanctions? Just so wishy washy Eritreans can understand the basis of the sanctions?

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Mizaan,

            First of all, although he clarified his position subsequently, his initial statement where he appears to describe UN as righteous organization thus can rightfully sanction Eritrea and also where he said that one can’t support some but not other sanctions are simply wrong. And you dont have to be wishy washy to figure that out.

            Second, Gezae is one of our prominent leaders (and very respected one). As such he has obligation to answer to all kind of Eritreans (as much as possible). And I believe he has the capacity and if we can help him here and there I think he would be a better leader and would convince and galvanize more Eritreans.

            Finally, just because people have different point of view than yours doesnt mean they are wishy washy.

            Best,

            FS.

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Fnote Selam,

            It is better to pick up the points of divergences from your reply to Emma.

            1. “, he APPEARS to argue UN/international bodies are absolutely honest organizations…” Of course, the UN has many of its faults and no one can deny the political considerations heavily weigh on the legal activities.
            Let us focus for now I guess on the sanctions on Eritrea. The sanctions were result of Eritrea’s involvement in Somalia, and war with Djibouti. When Djbouti informed the world of the war of Summer 2008, ours kept mum…” No lesson learnt” Mish d’o? Worse it kept on denying there were no armed conflict. In reality, it was a military confrontation where we also sustained deaths and injuries close to hundred (from the sources I got; my close family member was stationed there). At any rate, Isaias denied the incident and in roundabout way invited the Qataris to mediate; while he IS still refusing to release the prisoners. My guess is may be most or all of them or some of them are dead…
            Somalia was deadlier affair. The year 2007, Isais spoke more of Somali than Eritrea we thought we were Somalis, really. He invited the Islamic courts leaders and others and threw a party at Chaw hotel. Somalis were trained mostly in area near Assab. The problem is unlike Eritreans they speak and switch sides. Hence it was easy to get information from them. Worse, the leaders, such as Sheik Sheriff, he was vetting switched sides with obviously wealth of information, of course. When the monitors were investigating, they did everything to evade, hide and obstruct; while Sheik Dahir Awyes lounges in Asmara…gud eka eyu… Finally the sanctions were put on Eritrea. Isais had it coming and it was no surprise if you read the reports.
            2. The issue of support for me is really very secondary. Whether we support them or not, they are there and the only way to get rid of them is asking the leader of Eritrea to comply with international norms.
            Yours,
            Ghezae

          • Fnote Selam

            Dear Ghezae,

            I agree with you on #1 (not completely but to great extent). #2, I think it is important to discuss why we support or not support it. The question is raised by Eritreans all the the time and we have obligations to discuss it and explain our position.

            Thank you!

            FS.

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Fnote Selam.
        With all its inadequacies, warts and all, the UN is still the only legitimate governing body humanity has come up so far. So legitimate, we have to ask membership of the body in Spring 1993.
        On Somali affair, dear Fnote Selam, you will be surprised how much the UN was willing to accommodate the Isaias regime? If you read the first UN SEMG report (especially the correspondence of UN monitors and the President’s office), you will feel ashamed to be led by the gangs that call themselves the leaders of Eritrea. They basically tried to play cat-mouse game, with no diplomatic decorum trying to hoodwink the monitors in such a transparent manner. They made so easy, so deserving to be slapped with sanctions. The report is chockfull of facts and as Eritrean you would tear up in disbelief to see that beloved nation of martyrs is transformed into land of gang leaders and his cohorts.
        You see dear Fnote Selam, the leader that is now in power in Eritrea is very incompetent and doesn’t seem to know how to play international politics. Even the Somali warlords double crossed him. The people who are around him won’t gainsay or try to correct him for they know the wrath would land them in one of the detention centers. In Eritrea in the morning you are minister, in the evening you are a prisoner. Hence they would quietly go about doing their chores; telling us the “UN did this in 1952…” We who as you said have history of wrongs can easily be persuaded to make an enemy of anyone, be it African, Arab or the West. It works for many, as sad as it sounds.
        I bet you many of the forum members and those who don’t support sanctions didn’t even read the reports of SEMG. Without these factual evidences, who can you debate with?
        In my opinion, Isaias was saved from stricter sanction and possibly more punitive measures in 2009 because in the eyes of the West he happened to be ‘a Christian’ ‘leading a Christian nation?’; Otherwise; see this scenario: A Sunni Muslim leader chumming with Al-Shabab, in the Horn of Africa, in the foremost international concern called ‘international terrorism, in this post 9-11 world, could have been easily a target of more punitive measures…that is my considered opinion.
        All the best,
        Ghezae

        • Fnote Selam

          Dear Gezae,

          Thanks for your generous reply.

          Regarding UN, I think admitting that UN has shortcomings and directing people to consider whether UN’s actions on Eritrea (following IA misadventure on Somalia) is fair or not would be the best strategy when it comes convincing Eritreans.

          On the Somali issue that got Eritrea sanctioned, I agree with 100%, UN was very willing to accommodate IA. Museveni literally begged IA to stay out, for God’s sake. And I suspect that is why, at least in part, Saay said the sanctions are self-inflicted.

          regarding the wrongs UN did to Eritreans, I am not saying it is reasonable to bring those up whenever we feel like we are mistreated (I actually despise that mentally which I believe costed us dearly as I see PFDJ hijack it again and again). I just think creating separation between the current issue and historical injustice (perceived or real) would be more helpful.

          Regarding SEGM report, I dont want us to veer from topic, but there are questions about the report and the mandate of the report and we can still argue in favor of its role without blanket approval of its report and mandate.

          Same thing with type of sanctions, we dont have to say all or none….

          i want to reiterate that I am debating these things not because I need you yo convince me, but I have come across many Eritreans that have a range of views when it comes to issue of sanction (and I really dont think you should be surprised by this). And some of the arguments lines you used in reply to Saay are not quite convincing (could be counter productive actually), IMO. I believe tweaking your argument here and there would be more effective.

          Finally, just want to say, I am a big of fan of yours, the way you conduct yourself and interact here is exemplary. I understand things could be frustrating at time, but hang in there, your patience and approach will pay off.

          Best wishes!

          FS.

      • Ted

        Dear, FS, We know there is outrageous inconsistencies in UNSC actions making it look like their private organization. What make you think IA flaws made the sanction happen not UNSC calculated measure to punish the regime.

    • Hope

      Attorney Ghezae,

      I feel bad for your “Clients” if that is the way you make your Legal /Court arguements.

      And who said that:
      “CHAPTER VII: ACTION WITH RESPECT TO THREATS TO THE PEACE, BREACHES OF THE PEACE, AND ACTS OF AGGRESSION” applies only to Eritrea?

      “B. Would you oppose armed embargo on Eritrea on COIE’s human rights grounds if they come to materialize?”
      Sir,
      The Arms Embargo issue is form National Defense point of view.PFDJ does NOT need Air Force or Air Defense System to abuse Eritreans.
      There is ONLY and inko solution:
      Have the gut and courage to RALLY the Eritrean Silent Majority and if you succeed on that,you do need to waste your time and Energy on the other investemnets.

  • tes

    Dear Awatistas,

    Figuring PFDJites for their loss a background in France, the humiliated ambassader Hanna Simon is trying to recruite yes sayers in very remote areas and small cities of France. And to her disappointment, every time she conducts such secret meetings, less than a dozen attendants are present. And she is always bomarded with questions that ends, we are all not happy.

    http://shabait.com/news/local-news/19790-eritrean-citizens-residing-in-nantes-and-environs-assert-readiness-to-step-up-participation-in-state-affairs-

    They tried to establish PFDJ community center in some cities and they were kicked on shame. Now, they are conducting meetings near the Atlantic ocean, where there are some puppets

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_nMOHGCx98

    tes

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Tes,

      Isn’t this lady the same lady “Hanna Simon”, a journalist, who was detained or jailed by PFDJ in the 90s? If she is, is she really defending the regime that put her into a jail?

      • Shum

        Hello Amanuel,

        You’re thinking of Ruth Simon.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear shum & Saleh,
          Thank you for the info. I was baffling.

      • Saleh Johar

        Amanuel,
        It is her sister. Ruth lives around your neck of the woods, a journalist in total silence!

        • ghezaehagos

          Hi Saleh,
          Let me help a bit more….
          Ruth is a member of the committee that ranks Eritrean movies (Tigrigna) and accords them stars (xirura..)
          Ghezae

    • dawit

      Dear tes,
      Thanks tes for the post which shows a single Eritrean heroine against a dozen recruits of Journalists Without Border. That must be PIA’s proof of the multiplier effect of Eritreans in defense of their country! One brave Eritrawit against so many. She is the granddaughter of Zerai Deress in Paris! Yes PFDJ knows how to organize the people while the disorganized opposition dream to disorganize Eritrea.

      • tes

        Dear dawit,

        You could rather ask yourself why she was alone among the crowds? At least, she could have invited Eritreans whi could sit with her. Rather, just like her boss, she went in secret there and got humiliation.

        Is this what you call patriotism?

        tes

  • saay7

    Selamat Awatistas:

    Thanks for all your feedback, critical and complimentary. To save time I will consolidate the answers; I am sorry that will make it harder to follow the thread but you understand.

    Thanks to all, especially SenaiErtrawi, Fanti Ghana, Sarah, Ayneta, Tzigereda, and the omelette-denied HayaT1…

    1. Why Bruton and Why So Much

    Because you never know where people like Bruton will end up: she may be in charge of the Africa Desk at the State Department a few years from now. Those of us who antagonized Gayle Smith now have to just take it as she is named in charge of USAID. When Meles Zenawi died, only one country had two spokespersons eulogizing him: Gayle Smith and Susan Rice. So that is what happens when you piss off people: when all is said and done, it is not about policies, it is about personalities. Sad but true.

    2. Why Not Susan Rice

    When she is no longer the National Security Advisor, she will write her memoirs and we can try to set the record straight. But now, the size of the chip on her shoulder is boulder-sized and, as with the case of her boss (Obama) and her antagonist (Isaias Afwerki), Ms Rice is not exactly a person who suffers from bouts of self-doubt so that is a lost cause. Unlike Bruton who, I think, is still in her moldable stage.

    3. Who Reconciles With Whom

    Bad Cousin Semere and some other Awatistas apparently have concluded that one can reconcile with anyone except with outlaws. And the PFDJ has concluded that one can dialogue with anyone except with “traitors.” Where does that leave us? Same place: each waiting for the other to become extinct. Each going for the illusive “total victory.” To repeat: our goal is to try to win over the “silent majority” (those who agree with us on the civil liberties issues and agree with the PFDJ on the national sovereignty issue) and also win over the soft-supporters of the PFDJ: like those in Atlanta who asked Yemane Gebreab where is our constitution and those in New York who asked Isaias Afwerki when is political reform coming.

    Haile The Great says that there is no way out of our dilemma until we cleanse our lenses from the bad blood between EPLF-TPLF (and look at Ethiopia as part of our solution and not our problem?) Therefore the debate is not development vs cost but TPLF/shaebia obsession vs cost. I think even if this is true, it has to be followed by, and not precede, an Eritrea-Eritrea reconciliation. A principle predicate of democracy is: people have the right to be wrong:) If enough Eritreans believe that the TPLF’s bad blood exends past EPLF all the way to the Eritrean elite, nay, to the Eritrean Ghedli, nay, to Eritrean history, then the people have a right to say we will wait for Ethiopian politics to slowly cleanse itself from the TPLF toxicity. No other Ethiopian political party (besides TPLF and the Asab-port-craving Medrek (Arena, etc) has so far advanced the argument that there is just something wrong with Eritreans and it is because of Italian colonialism.

    4. Things from the Bruton Interview Not Mentioned

    Dayphi, it was not Bruton but the other guest, journalist Peter Heinlein, who said Eritrean population is 3 million. Mizaan, the issue of “Isaias looks like he is 50” was just something she said in response to a direct question by Heinlein of whether Isaias Afwerki is in good health. Isaias Afwerki’s looks are like his mood: they change dramatically. This is a nothing-burger as those of us over 50 know:) Sometimes I look like I am 36 (shut up mirror!) and sometimes I look like I am 70.

    5. Sanctions

    There are no “economic sanctions” on Eritrea. Yes, as Ms. Bruton accurately described, there is a “due diligence” requirement on companies to ensure that the money doesn’t end up somewhere it is not supposed to and that, may, in theory dissuade companies from investing in Eritrea. But really, Mahmuday, is that the reason companies are not investing in Eritrea or is it because, as Freedom House Index shows, it is ranked # 174/178 worldwide and 45/46 regionally, better only than Zimbabwe? http://www.heritage.org/index/country/eritrea. The sanction is a self-inflicted penalty: From 2006 to 2009, the UN, which has limited tools in its tool-kit, begged, cajoled, pleaded with the Isaias Afwerki administration to stop. If it was just Susan Rice throwing her weight around, she would have been checkmated by China and Russia. She wasn’t. Russia voted for the sanctions and China didn’t vote “no”, it abstained (please refer to its rationale.) If the first sanction was a stupid self-inflicted wound (targeted narrowly at the regime, with the exception of the arms embargo which I didn’t and don’t support, just like I didn’t support naming Eritrea “state sponsor of terror”), the second sanction was really a case of Isaias Afwerki mounting his Don Quixote horse and tilting at windmills. The trigger for all this was not Somalia: it was that Isaias Afwerki was so furious that in the 2005 Ethiopian elections the wrong guys won, and that they won with US State Department help and he was going to avenge the oppressed Ethiopians by opening a new front for them in Somalia. My guess is that the sanctions will be lifted not because they were unjustly implemented and the Security Council has seen the error of its ways, but because Isaias Afwerki is doing now what he should have done in 2008: he hasn’t spoken one word about Somalia in years much less arm it; he has a “peace process” with Djibouti that Qatar is giving him coverage on and Djibouti is too inconsequential in African politics to raise hell; his TV station is not dominated by Ethiopian opposition groups as it used to be; there are no more Ethiopian opposition “military communiques” about phantom victories. So, the Monitoring Group is likely to say that Eritrea has not violated the terms of the sanctions and they will be lifted–except those deals with arms embargo because those, once imposed, are never lifted. Ask Ethiopia, which has a found a workaround by creating an arms-manufacturing industry and buying weapons from North Korea.

    6. The UN Revolving Door and the MDG

    Sahle, you are absolutely right. If you look at the MDG Eritrea report, particularly one of the most important, MDG 1, the data is frozen in 2010. http://www.er.undp.org/content/eritrea/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg1/. No African country will meet MDG1 goals: the ones dealing with extreme poverty. It is China and East Asia that will cover the world’s claim that the global goals have been met. The Isaias Afwerki administration has successfully bullied the UNDP and the UNDP Resident Coordinator, like Eritreans, really does not have many good options. She can speak up, and get exiled (evicted.) Or she can grin-and-bear it and count her years to retirement while getting paid in hard currency. It is a good gig. What would you do? She has chosen the latter: she, and the South African ambassador to Eritrea, are the character-references for the PFDJ:)

    7. The Hope Files

    Cousin Hope has dumped “word debris”, as our friend Eyob Medhane used to call long-winded j’accuse. Eyob is too busy listening to Ben (EthiopiaFirst) “exclusive, breaking news” or “Eritreans are fighting on behalf of their Arab masters” seber zena postings to pay any attention now:) Cousin Hope, I am not ignoring you: I am predicting that our Cousin Gheteb will come to unload his Kebid Bret on me so you will be happy then:) Until then, you down with MDG? Yeah, you know me:)

    saay

    • Eyob Medhane

      Sal,

      Oh I am paying attention to you railroading everything… -:)

      1) Suzan Rice and Ms. Smith were the only two representative that spoke at PM from one country for no other reason than US do A is a dear dear friend of Ethiopia… 🙂 Stop your conspiracy theory… 🙂

      2) On a serious note, elite Eritreans need to stop on focusing on Tigray, Tigray people and Tigray politics. You implied to assign the same charge that many Eritrean elites and a very large number of Eritreans against EPRDF, on oppositions of EPRDF, when you mention Medrek and put Arena in parenthesis, as if, Medrek is a cover name for Arena. That is wrong. As much as EPRDF is a coalition of four parties, Medrek is also a coalition of four parties. Which means EPRDF is not only TPLF and Medrek is not only TPLF. Intentionally (as you did) or unintentionally (as many Eritreans do) misunderstanding this fact does not bear any fruitful conversation between Eritreans and Ethiopians. It’s very annoying, when Eritreans elites do that… When Meles Zenawi died, many Eritrean opposition organizations released a “Condolence” message in Tigrigna, as if a President of Tigray passed away, and Meles Zenawi has nothing to do with the rest of Ethiopians, who do not speak speak Tigrigna. You did not want to do it in Amharic? Fine. Communicate in English like the people and government of Rwanda does, addressing the Ethiopian people. The same thing happened, when martyrs have been martyred in Libya, as if no one from other ethnic group among them has died, there was a “condolence” message to the Ethiopian people in Tigrigna, which so far only two of the family members would be able to understand. That kind of behavior does not inspire cooperation. Sorry to say it, but it is snotty and meaningless…….I am just dropping my dime about one of the reasons why communication goes wrong between the two peoples….

      • Saleh Johar

        Eyob,

        Did you consider the working languages of Eritrea? Why would an Eritrean be required to write condolences in Amharic?

        Eritreans use Tigrinya not to communicate with Tigrayans only (as you seem to suggest), but because it’s their language.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          Then, when you communicate with a foreign country like Ethiopia, if you would like to address us, use an international language that is suitable to get your message across to the intended audience. Not your working language. You can use your working language to communicate amongst yourselves. When you send an official condolence message to a foreign country, the norm is English or also French can be an acceptable option.. 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            And Arabic Eyob 🙂 That is not me, it is the UN 🙂 And it is not like Tigrinya is alien to Ethiopia…. then no foreigner is obliged to follow your language preference. If you don’t understand the message, I am sure there are official government translators–if not, there are a few translation offices–I can give you their address, or, just go to the courthouse fence, you will find them in dozens. There, you can even translate Inca message and hieroglyphics. Do you really have to create an issue our of trivial matters, Eyobay ?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Gash Saleh,

            I just used that to make a point why there is a communication breakdown…it’s not the only reason but one of the reasons. Communicating with someone you want to communicate with politely and in a manner that conveniences your audience create a good will. Shows caring. It’s actually not a trivial matter. Other than that, I was annoyed with Sal implying that Medrek is a cover of Arena. This is the same mistake many of you all make about EPRDF that is EPRDF is TPLF only. That is also wrong…That was the point. I wanted to make…

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Mr. Saleh Johar,
            .
            “And Arabic Eyob” is not an endearing and a disarming salutation, just a little house cleaning, first.
            .
            I think Eyob’s response is more of a legalistic and proper protocol diplomatic approach. Mine is down right practical, emotional with a put everything on the table approach. I would have the same exact feeling if the Mogadishu Somalia folks start sending congratulatory or condolences messages in Somaligna. I would say hmm..hmm HMM, whay would they do that? Is there a semina/work operating here?
            .
            How would you feel as Tigr…man, if we congratulate or express all our communications with Eritrea in Afarigna. Please don’t say that it is not our working or national language. I will consider that a fig leaf.
            .
            I think, I speak, not for all but for a lot of non-Tigray Ethiopians when I say, we just don’t want you to single them out for ill treatment, as is happening too often here or specialized kissy kissy treatment. Don’t separate them out from us. Address us all as Ethiopians as we will address all of you as Eritreans. There is no issue. That is all.
            .
            K.H

          • Eyob Medhane

            Kim,

            Ayeeeeeeee yene Bathon yiqochegn neber… 🙂

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Eyob,
            .
            I know you said the above to my post in response to Mr. Johar and not the one to Amanuel Hidrat. I just don’t want to lose you friends on erroneous technicality.
            Having said that, the feeling is mutual.
            .
            K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Kim, Eyob, Saleh,

            If languages lose their purposes as a “tool of communication” and become as source of our conflict, that in itself shows something about us…..you name it. I thought our politics is evolved beyond the politics of “religion and language.” If we are yet still there, then it is incomprehensible to tackle big issues such as issue of justice, governance, economic development..etc. Just a thought.

            regards,

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Special Envoy, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Diaspora Eritrea, Amanuel Hidrat,
            .
            No, we are still working it, as it rears its ugly head in different forms, we are not out of it yet.
            .
            K.H

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Ammanuel,

            Sometimes you have to learn to ignore stuff you do not approve off. I am sure many people do just that. We don’t have to be alerted by any trivial issue that is commented about. Some are just human reactions, you can’t expect people to stick to topics of your choice. Give room to people and don’t reprimand them because you think they went astray from an imaginary straight-jacket. It is not the end of the world if someone veers out of the topic to vent out something. Take it easy Emma, I like the way you keep reminding us of the significant issues when we go too far, I don’t want you to sound like a chaperon, but a friendly minder when we make foolish comments. Sparingly!

            With lots of excuse and respect dear Emma

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saleh,

            Our respect to each other is mutual always. I wish I have the Tigrigna microsoft. I envy your communication with Fanti Ghana.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear KH,

            Point #1 well taken. Well, until you reach the end of this comment.

            Frankly, I do not care in what language people communicate as long as it is not done maliciously. I am sure (let me rephrase it, I am a million times sure) whoever wrote the condolences was not thinking the way Eyob does. It was something that came natural to someone who uses a cranky old computer and printer that just run out of ink and the typist forgot the password and when they solved all that, the electricity went off… 🙂

            Kim, you can say the opposition parties that authored the letter should have been careful to avoid the wrath of nitpickers and I will agree with you. I have experience with Lij Eyob on the subject, and that is why you read too much into #1 by the way. It is not because I was angry at him. He is fond of raising such trivial issues–maybe he did that a million times, it is all there–even before the creation of this forum. In its embryonic state 🙂

            Now help me formulate an answer to this:

            we get messages of people who are turned down by the excessive Amharic use in this forum, courtesy of Mergheta Abi and Memhir Kokheb Selam 🙂 What do you think we tell the complainers? We reply: NO NITPICKING, PLEASE! If you were in our shoes, what else would you tell them?

            That is exactly what I wanted to tell Eyob because he expressed a similar complaint.

            Take it easy

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir SGJ,
            የዕብለይ ከይብለካ ዓቢኻ
            የቐንየለይ ከይብል ገዛኻ
            ከማኻንዶ ኣብዝሓለይ በጃኻ
            በቲ ቕኑዕ ልቢ ገፊሕ ኣእምሮኻ፤

          • Saleh Johar

            ክቡር መምህር ፋንቲ፡

            ዓቢ ከኽብረካ፡ ከቢሩ ዘኽብር
            ሕነ ናይቶም ሕማም ደሓር
            ክብረት ይሃበለይ ኣመስጊነ ‘ሎኹ።

            ጥዑም ዘኣፍካ ከም ወለላ መዓር
            ተቐቢለ እየ ጠባይካ ይስዓር
            ሰሚዐ ንሰማዒ ኣሕሊፋ ‘ሎኹ።

      • saay7

        Hey Eyob:

        1. What conspiracy theory? Gayle Smith (the horse-whisperer of Susan Rice dating back to the days they were selling US-Rwanda Plan) and S Rice gave the eulogy at PM Meles Zenawi’s funeral. It is not a conspiracy; it is just extraordinary.

        2. EPRDF is TPLF plus 3 other parties. Medrek is Arena plus 3 other parties. But EPRDF minus TPLF does not speak about how there is something wrong with the mindset of the Eritrean elite and then speculate that that is due to Italian colonization. Only TPLF does. Similarly it is only the ex-TPLF leadership of Arena and not the rest of Medrek who has Gebru Asrat and, if I give you the truth serum, you would admit he was the personification of the bad-blood between TPLF and EPLF and ELF and Eritreans in general.

        The condolences messages were written in Tigrinya? All of them? You sure?:)

        http://www.durame.com/2012/08/eritrea-extends-its-condolences-to.html

        saay

    • haileTG

      Hello saay,

      You have a point when you say:

      “I think even if this is true, it has to be followed by, and not precede, an Eritrea-Eritrea reconciliation. A principle predicate of democracy is: people have the right to be wrong:) If enough Eritreans believe that the TPLF’s bad blood exends past EPLF all the way to the Eritrean elite, nay, to the Eritrean Ghedli, nay, to Eritrean history, then the people have a right to say we will wait for Ethiopian politics to slowly cleanse itself from the TPLF toxicity. No other Ethiopian political party (besides TPLF and the Asab-port-craving Medrek (Arena, etc) has so far advanced the argument that there is just something wrong with Eritreans and it is because of Italian colonialism.”

      I would’ve countered with longer reply, if I didn’t appreciate the prevalence, complexity and depth of that reality ( TPLF/Shaebia obsession). It is a very REAL hindrance that can only seem to be capable of resolving by neutralizing and rendering ineffective one of the parties. Else, we’ll be dealing with intractable problem that circles around the same point ad nauseam. And naturally becomes logical to let the “people have the right to be wrong” as a working principle. Cost aside, it would have been right and prudent for people to own the meaning of what is important to them than judge it by how it is perceived by those they wish to score points against. Because, that transfers too much decision and control of the the former’s fate to the latter. But, this in my view is very real and rooted deeply and I would shudder to think of its final net result. Still, yours is more conservative and solution friendly as it compares from what I hear first hand, out there, from my other sources. And needless to say, I am lately erring to the notion you summed up as People have the right to be wrong. There has a feel of sense of relief to it whenever I say it 🙂

      Cheers

      • Ted

        Hi HTG, i hope the Gov of Eritrea gets “people has the right to be wrong” too. For those us who think TPLF has ill feeling towards Eritrea, the opposition has to let us to be wrong and work that in mind, besides who are they to tell us we are wrong. In my opinion those who insist people are wrong are who suffer the most, may be ” a weird feel of sense of relief” accepting it;)

        • haileTG

          Hi Ted, in the end answers will only come from with in. Trouble, it sure makes people poorer, nonetheless it is also bound to make them wiser too! A lot wiser 🙂

      • Hayat Adem

        HTG,
        “People have the right to be wrong” is a very sexy line and he is using very deceptively. Saay in this context is saying “People have the right to be wrong if that is what I want them to do”. Who does the naming that TPLF is a bad blood? If people are not counting the bad blood of TPLF by running away from the namer to the named choosing to be protected by the named from the excesses of the namer, that should be counted as a right, too.
        Hayat

        • haileTG

          Hello Hayat,

          (I have just went over some of the exchanges you guys (you and saay) had been having…oh my…, it seemed heavy:)

          I guess people do have the right to be wrong, so long as they don’t mind to foot the bill too. I don’t invoke that rule when I am passing speed cameras, ouch…costs an arm and a leg to do so!! IMO (humble), there is no moral, logical or responsible grounds to oppose the regime of IA, if one signs up to the TPLF/EPLF bad blood mambo jumbo. That is sure to kill off any possibility of mounting a resistance to the current repression, hence many people seem stay clear of it and continue to interact normally with Ethiopia. There is NOTHING that can’t be justified by national security.

          Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Yep Hailat,

            Simply ” to kill off any possibility of mounting a resistance to the current repression.” Isn’t their efforts to tie our “domestic politics” with that of Ethiopian politics. Yegermal.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Haw Emma

            ቅድሚ መልሲ ምሃብ ኣስተውዕል። ኣቶ ሃይለ ” IMO (humble), there is no moral, logical or responsible grounds to oppose the regime of IA, if one signs up to the TPLF/EPLF bad blood based mambo jumbo” ይብሉ ኣለዉ።

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Mahmuday,

            ቅድሚ መልሲ ምሃብ ኣስተውዕል። ኣቶ ሃይለ ” IMO (humble)”, gave you a concluding line “that is sure to kill off any possibility of mounting a resistance to the current repression”. Your bullet deflected like an infracted ray and hits you back.

          • Ted

            Dear Amanuel, If only you know how many Eritreans signed up for TPLF/EPLF bad blood based mambo jambo. Of course, it kills off resistance if you don’t make effort to understand us. It weird you complain people bring up Ethiopia in our politics. Should i remind you that you are the one who submersed to your neck in Ethiopian politics apparently to save us.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ted,

            Don’t be a pathological lair . Did I call an Ethiopian invasion against Eritrea? Absolutely not. Check your master’s PFDJ office. In fact they have accused me for not sharing my hand to the senseless war effort of 1998-2000 which took your brothers and my brothers lives. I stood tall and told them the irrationality of the war. And further I told them, we can’t resolve border conflict by war, but rather by sitting on a table to find a political resolution or taking US/Ruwanda proposal might help. And if we chose war than a table, then surely we will come to the table after whatever we pay for the war. I vindicated. So in principle I am against war.

            With the current predicament of our youth, we can’t leave them to perish in deserts, high seas, or in every kind of tragedy for the sake of principle “against any war.” Principles sometimes are situational. Principles should secure the lives of your people, if not they are not real principle. I don’t do for the sake of consistent if it doesn’t have value. Right now if war becomes the logic to save our youth, let it be. And that war effort should be well studied and synchronized with regional and international effort to expedite the freedom of our youth and the return of Eritrean refugees everywhere to build their nation and prosper with economic development. If you want to interpret this argument to your liking and for your political tariffs it will be foiled with the success of our youth.

          • Ted

            Amanuel, why you call me liar when you have all things planned out, even if it is only in your head.”synchronized with regional and international effort……..” knowing you have no single gun carrying Eritrean on your side.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Emma
            I have many witnesses from TPLF who will testify in my favor that I am very careful on this matter, including Hayat Gual Adem. I never discard the mutual sacrifices, I long for that time when both Ethiopian and Eritrean people put their difference aside and move on. The reason is simple:
            a/ I lived to see what cooperation can produce.
            b/ I am out of the long-standing Tigrignas rivalry.
            I see their relations interms of Eritrean and Ethiopian not in terms of Tigrgna Tigrayvis-a-vis Tigrigna Ertra. I know you are the honest soul on this matter, so I don’t blame you on dwelling on such backward squabbles; I appreciate your grasp on what it takes for a peaceful country to move forward- that’s to accommodate the demands of all its social groups (including Hayat Adem), make peace with and within itself. That’s the thread that ties me with you, and it won’t be broken. Your problem (I also take responsibility on this) you have accepted TPLF wholeheartedly because you think they will reverse history back to 1981. Emma tsaEda, Haw Haile is actually making bold moves. What he’s saying is interesting and let’s embrace it. It reminds me my complain that an opposition that mainly makes 80s problems as its cause of existence cannot be expected to solve today’s problems.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Mahmud Saleh,
            .
            Oops, I think you inadvertently fell in another hole. I am providing a friendly advice for you to correct it before she sees it.
            .
            “I have many witnesses from TPLF……….including Hayat Gual Adem”
            .
            There is very small chance of interpreting it any other creative way other than what it said.
            .
            I am assuming it is a Freudian slip and not a conviction arrived at through Nittricc council and persuasion.
            .
            K.H

          • haileTG

            እዋእ ኣንቱም ዓቢ ሰብ፡ ትሕሽዎ ትሕሽዎ… ሃይለ’ዳኣ ንእሽቶ እንደኣሉ። 🙂 Hey Mahmuday, The way I figured this point is at its very fundamental level. To tell you the truth, it isn’t even suitable to be discussed outside the circle of people who have been physically present in the armed struggle with EPLF (as that is the side that concerns my interest). Unfortunately, I understand the sensitivities of matter and I am not inclined to push it further. But for those of us who haven’t been shaped by that particular experience, it is best that we understand what we are toying with avoid playing the issue for political expediency. I see it as a very serious matter.

            Regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam HTG
            I really appreciate you have isolated this problem, and totally agree with you.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam Hayat

            HaileTG said, ” IMO (humble), there is no moral, logical or responsible grounds to oppose the regime of IA, if one signs up to the TPLF/EPLF bad blood based mambo jumbo.”
            And guess who up voted him? Well, a promise is a promise.

    • Ted

      Hi saay, i think you are trying to make sense out of sanction fiasco. But there is nothing to investigate or point fingers at.
      The sanction in modern days is used mainly to overthrow unfriendly regime of Super powers(NATO)in the name of promotion of democracy, and in our case, in the name of so called fight against terrorism.
      You blamed IA in part for the sanction, it is over simplification of things but in truth, Eritrea couldn’t avoid being sanctioned in any way or form. Yes, of coarse we could had avoided it if Eritrea had sent troops to Somalia and abide by rule of the darling boy of Suzan Rice, MZ.
      The UN Security Council has become monopoly of western powers which can impose sanction on any country according to their own perception and calculation ignoring large voice of international community. The idea China and Russia could had stopped Eritrea sanction is not remotely true.Chinese or Russian voice is more or less ignored. The dumb founded and powerless Russian ambassador to UN comment about Eritrea’s sanction says enough. Their hands were tied, further more the wiki leak “The role Eritrea plays in Somalia, for instance is probably insignificant.” has nothing to do with what you claim, IA screwed up.
      Why is the Bisha Mining company in Eritrea is considered as miracle, because Eritrea is painted by Western medias as non-friendly country to do business, just to show you the sanction goes beyond its agreed intensions.When a sanction is applied to a particular country,then it is not the punishment for any particular regime but it is a punishment and purge to that entire citizens of that particular nation.It threatens and destroys their livelihood,business,education,healthcare,infrastructure and all other important aspects related to existence. That is what MZ wanted and Suzan Rice obliged.

      • saay7

        Hi Ted:

        All the “that is what MZ wanted and Susan Rice obliged” implies that the Security Council is just a playground for the US, and I disagree:)

        saay

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Sal,

      1. ‘…exception of the arms embargo which I didn’t and don’t support..”
      We can’t cherrypick items of the sanction’s regime. Either we have to accept them all or reject them all. It is a package deal that is imposed on rogue regimes of the world. Besides, one wonders how can you appreciate the need of armed embargo on Isaias regime when you fully accept the regime’s CHIEF fault are MILTITARY IN NATURE: that is in involving in Somalia and Djibouti primarily in militaristic manner, the sanctions are bound to be first and foremost about its military. The asset freeze, travel ban etc are secondary; meant to complement the main deal, the real McCoy, of the sanction’s regime.
      Besides, I wonder (as I asked haw Mahmud previously) if COIE mandate succeeds in putting pressure on the regime, would YOU oppose it if it includes armed embargo because in all likelihood if such kind of sanction would come to pass, it would look like the EU-imposed sanction on Burma (which includes armed embargo, which is still effective), the rationale being undermining a regime’s military capacity to do harm to its citizens? Of course, discussions how effective is another ballgame.
      2. ‘My guess is that the sanctions will be lifted…’ I believe you are understating the obvious counter arguments that sanctions won’t be lifted…. The continued presence of armed regional groups in Eritrea spells continued sanctions on the regime. Few moths ago, DEMHIT has being shown dominating airwaves and along with Ginbot-7. ESAT journalists manage to get more attention that the poor domestic ‘journalists’. ONLF who according to SEMG keeps alliance with Al-Shabab group has military presence in Eritrea. Isaias has still refused to release POWs of Djibouti; most probably none of them are alive anymore. Moreover, the non-compliance with the mandate of UN SEMG at large remains.
      Hence, it is to early to make an educated guess on whether the UNSC sanctions will be lifted.
      3. To add my point of view, if they are lifted for this or that reason, it is all good. As far as we in the opposition are concerned, our primary objective is the human rights situation inside Eritrea. Our ‘struggle’ can be helped by regional developments but it shouldn’t depend on them.
      The right to be free from tyranny, the right to be free from a tyranny of Isaias as that is deeply ingrained in the soul of Eritreans and we will continue to fight for that, notwithstanding the existence of sanctions or not.
      Yours,
      Ghezae

    • Hope

      Prof Saleh,

      Lol!

      Nice Executive Summary.I am ok with dumping ” word debris”….thing!

      I am satisfied with spitting up my gut feeling,irrespective of my incoherence or disorganization.I appreciate for allowing me to do that.

      No matter what though,you cannot refute or forfeit the hard-core facts and history about the role of the Western Agents, their puppets and their mercenaries.

      We know it is the Modus Operandi of the New World Order…but ….

      If PIA is or has been the culprit,let them deal with him directly,rather than victmizing the Innocent!But they do not want to do that but rather,they wantto target the Nation called Erittrea and the people called Eritreans…and you are telling me that you do not understand that.?

      Well, I guess you will understand that after you rewind and review the fate of Iraq,Libya and Syria.

      And that has been the point of my Arguement.If we witnessed the fate of Iraq,Syria and Libya and their people in the name of sanctioning Regimes and we are still justifying the unjustifiable in the name of targeting PIA,then we are naive,to say the least.

      The major Project you have to pursue is:

      How to rally Eritreans to pressuer PIA and to bring him down to his knees for a Dialogue and National Reconciliation and/or to kick him out…for G O O D!

      Please,practise what you PREACH:

      Quote:

      “These and other issues are what Eritreans, pro-government and opposition should be discussing and debating among ourselves just as the Brutons, Rices and Shermans are discussing what is in the best interest of the United States. Why do we need proxies?”
      End of Quote.
      Courtesy of SAAY!
      That is what we need,nothing more,nothing less!
      You can write the best and inspring Articles in volumes but—–unless you walk the talk,the talk will will be in the non-cycleable trash can!

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Kboor ato SaleH
      I agree and have agreed with you on the evolution of the process running up to the sanction. I do agree that PFDJ bears the brunt of responsibility. But here is what I see:
      a/ it was a political slap devoid of factual weight that would make Eritrea the sole spoiler. As you said, there were many spoilers among them Ethiopia (the chief spoiler of the horn, and considering Ethio-Somali historical animosity, its heavy-handedness approach towards Somalia, it was predicted that the emergence of elements like Alshabab was a matter of time. It was predictable that US had to side with Ethiopia in the event Eritrea and Ethiopia fellout with each other and competed for regional influence. Also we know PFDJ miscalculated, or as you would like to say, behaved stupidly, in handling the matter (trying to extract US pressure on Ethiopia by resorting to annoying games against US interests!). The chief architect was Ethiopia, the chief data gatherer was Ethiopia, the chief data analyzer was Ethiopia and the chief benefactor was Ethiopia. People like Susan Rice and Jendayi Frazer, who had personal problems with IA, also found the right moment to come avenging.
      b/ Our opposition, knowing fully that the sanction had nothing to do with Eritrea’s internal politics (Issues of human rights), and knowing fully US was advancing Ethiopia’s interest at the expense of the state of Eritrea, and that the sanction won’t change the behavior of PFDJ in addressing the foremost demands of Eritreans- justice and democracy, or creating a situation where divergent political views could be facilitated leading to a political system that they own, Why would they (those opposition elements/organizations which supported and beat drums for its sanctioning) get involved in it, considering that Eritreans saw the sanctions as bullying and unjust acts of superpowers? I am saying those sanctions were not meant to address our problems. They were designed to address the interests of forces which wanted to see Eritrea crippled, and the opposition should have stayed out of the mess if not stand up for what was right, which was to supplant PFDJ role and advocate that those reasons listed for the sanctions were either false or manipulated. Because that would show the Eritrean people the opposition was more responsible than PFDJ when it comes to the interest of Eritrea; and it would show Eritreans that the Eritrean opposition is not what PFDJ calls it- a sellout.
      Sadly, some even condemned Eritrea more than the architects of the sanctions; I remember news coming from “opposition” websites that Eritrea was fighting in Somalia supporting the Union of Islamic Courts. Even the size of its involvement was reported- 2000 Eritrean soldiers, all false. Some Opposition officials circulated information that Eritrean coastal lines/islands were turned into Iranian bases…Thanks to Ustaz Saleh Johar, the latter was addressed adequately in his latest interview. So, the point is, some groups/elements (I don’t know if there were groups that stood against it) of the opposition*jumped into the sanction bandwagon, and rationalized it. Unfortunately, that was a plus victory for PFDJ.
      * I understand your position, I am trying to point out how, in the eyes of Eritreans, the sanction severely sanctioned the opposition than it did sanction the intended target.

      • saay7

        Selam Mahmuday:

        I understand you perfectly. Here’s the thing: I believe that Isaias Afwerki left the UN with no option but to sanction him (a self-inflicted injury or, since it is basketball season, a flagrant foul) and therefore, and this is why this subject came up, there won’t be an “I was wrong…” article on that from me. But I welcome an article from you making your case. I also believe that if I were to discuss this with 20 representative sample of Eritreans at a coffee shop (see, I apply my prescription to myself, Emma Arkey), my view would be in the minority. The prevailing view would always begin with ክላ ግደፈና በጃኻ 🙂

        Even as we stand our ground that, given the circumstances, the man forced the hand of the UN. (Just read why China abstained and didn’t vote NO on Resolution 1907)I think what the people expect from us in the opposition would be to at least convey the right tone: to be sad (not gloating) that Eritrea is sanctioned, This is because we are in a political contest to win over people to our side. In the circumstances, given the UN’s checkered history with Eritrea that every Eritrean schoolchild knows (1940s-50s ), given the ‘against all odds’ milieu of the Eritrean revolution (1961-1991); given the UN’s hands-off approach to the Algiers Agreement, a document it witnessed (2004-present), and given the UN’s weird one-nation-one-vote-except-if-you-are-one-of-five-nations arrangement, this was an easy one for the PFDJ to manipulate. And it did, and it still does. But to me, blaming Eritrea’s sanction on the UN is as outrageous as blaming the G-15 for the way the war was conducted in 1998-2000. People find it so hard to face reality that somebody or something else is to blame.

        saay

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Ahlan SAAY,
          This is my last berembeTaE rocket, and you know berembetaE, it was so named because of its tahdid (the frightening roar, and Pink Floyd type stage lighting show), a not so smart WW II multi-rocket launcher). Emma has become its first victim today. I think I understood you, and I appreciate your stress on the defense side of it. As far as the article is considered, maElesh, your clarification is enough. ( Did I get my coffee today?) I don’t demy PFDJ takes the responsibility and I have said it in the past whenever I could say something related to this issue. The UN? Saleh, it’s the most manipulated, dictatorial and inept regime in present day’s international arena. But what can small and poor countries do? Learn the games; unfortunately, PFDJ!?

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam Haw Mahmud,

        I would like to start when I started today’s flurry of entries, you were the one in my mind. I posited you some questions for clarity purposes because I feel this topic won’t go away in the future; especially on grounds of human rights. You didn’t answer yet; but this response to Sal is quite telling though you are still jumbling the issues in my view. Hence, here are the questions again if you want to entertain them..

        1. You don’t support the USNC-1907 and 2012 resolutions because you believe the Isaias regime doesn’t deserve to be sanctioned (meaning lack of legitimate grounds)? You said we don’t have to support them “because PFDJ played the game stupidly and stayed on the losing side…”

        2. You don’t support the UNSC sanctions against the regime because they have nothing to do with the internal situation in Eritrea? implying you may support them if they were justified on internal, i.e., human rights record on the regime? Incidentally, Insha-Allah, if the the COIE mandate finally leads to sanctions, would you support them (I am asking as I don’t want to put words in your mouth) You said, “we should not support sanctions that have nothing to do with Eritrean domestic political climate…”

        3. You don’t support the sanctions at all on principle; or because they are always useless/ineffective ….” Going back all the way in history, sanctions have always helped dictatorial regimes strengthen their grip on their population. They never managed force regimes to succumb under the demands for justice and democracy….” In that case, what is the point of brining up ‘domestic political climate’ anyways. Or just for curiosity in this scenario, would you support sanctions against Ethiopia for ‘its refusal to abide by EEBC decision unconditionally?’
        I am asking these questions to flesh out the different issues revolving around the sanctions.
        Thanks,
        Ghezae
        Addendum;-Dear haw, your take on the opposition and the sanctions far more nuanced than you described. And Please stop acting as if you know what the Eritrean people’s position on the sanctions are. Nobody asked them and we can’t conclusively say. The ordinary people I met say, ‘hiray geberwo’ (meaning Isaias) and the PFDJ groupie decried it. Untill we have a tally of polls, let us leave what the people think and only focus on what we think.

    • Mizaan1

      Saay, the issue about IA looks 50 was for simple humor. I thought you were going to make so hilarious joke out of it. Maybe next time.

    • teweldino

      Hi Sal,

      You said: “If enough Eritreans believe that the TPLF’s bad blood exends past EPLF all the way to the Eritrean elite, nay, to the Eritrean Ghedli, nay, to
      Eritrean history, then the people have a right to say we will wait for
      Ethiopian politics to slowly cleanse itself from the TPLF toxicity.” I have a couple questions if you don’t mind. How do you measure if “enough Eritreans” believe what you stated above? Are you going to take remaining under the yoke of the mafias as a sign of their belief in the above quote? I believe if it was up to the people of Eritrea, we could have reconciled and and made peace with TPLF year ago! I guess it the elite who are playing IA’s game of waiting for TPLF to falter one day and then get them. We’ve been waiting for 17/18 years , but they are getting stronger and stronger than 17 years ago. What if they don’t falter for the next 17/18 years? Can the Eritreans in Eritrea afford to just wait and wait? It is sounding like ዘይ ስንኻ ሑጻ ቆርጥመሉ

      • saay7

        Hey Teweldino:

        First of all, where are the weekly takedowns of Awatistas you had started. You really are quite talented in picking up our excesses and inconsistencies. Come on, fulfill your awatista obligation or pay your 2% in the donate box in the homepage.

        In case you haven’t gotten it by now, I am a reformist. When Isaias Afwerki (in one of his many useless predictions) said that TPLF is over and the clock is showing two minutes to midnight 10 years ago (after the 2005 election), I actually thought of having a Weyane Doomsday Clock just to ridicule his useless prediction. I am also quite sure that if, tomorrow morning, Isaias Afwerki were to reconcile with the TPLF, not only would the PFDJ supporters find some rationale to support it but would actually compliment him for his brilliant move.

        TPLF is here to stay in Ethiopia. I am for reforming the TPLF. I am for showing them that the path they are pursuing–that they know what is best for Eritrea–is untenable. The TPLF comes from one of the most homogenous states in Ethiopia (95% Orthodox Christian, 95% Tigrinya-speakers) and it found a formula to govern a large multi-ethnic, multi-religious country (federation and coalitioning/satelliting.) Its interactions with the Eritrean opposition in the last 15 years indicate that this “perfect formula” it has created for Ethopia should work perfectly in Eritrea. This begins from the way Eritrean refguees are organized in Shimelba (by ethnicity) all the way to the way the 30 something organizations in Ethiopia are organize (mostly by ethnicity.)

        None of us have done a survey of what “the Eritrean people” want but we have anecdotal data which is, again, the silent majority. Those who have given up on the Isaias Afwerki administration but have not embraced the opposition. There are 100,000 Eritreans in the vicinity of Addis Abeba: how many of them have found a home in the 30+ Eritrean organizations? It is in the dozens, not even the hundreds. Why? Conduct your own survey, Teweldino.

        saay

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear saay,

          It really bothers to many of us when a highly educated like you speaks about statistics without real statistics. Can you stop this make up ststistical percentage and talk on reality at hands only? If you have real figures show us how those percentage figures are calculated and how those figures are collected and tabulated. Otherwise stop this bogus percentages in your argument. At least most in this forum know what statistics mean and what the rules of mathematical calculation in statestics. People in this forum and your readers are capable to scrutinize your argument and your figures.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • haileTG

            Selamat saay and Emma,

            I was once listening to an Ethiopia based armed group speaker making a speech in an event organized in one of the refugee camps in Tigray. A point he made was that there are only 17 Eritrean organizations registered in Ethiopia. And he said that the oft repeated claim of 30 something was PFDJ propaganda. Well, I had to think hard about that complex mathematical riddle and found the solution! Actually, the claimed number may be true (no one ever provided a list, except http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Eritrea – + Saho), but the other 13 something must be located in the diaspora !! 🙂

            Now, that poses a problem. More than a million Eritreans outside Ethiopia found no use to make these others home either!!! There exist regionally or religiously organized groups outside Ethiopia too (at least accused to be so:).

            So, the question is that just how many groups are there and where are the majority based and percentage wise, where is the participation higher? An all together complex mathematics!!!

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            HaileTG,
            The person is correct. The Eritrean opposition groups are not dozens, in reality. The issue is with the way the Awassa congress was handled. Anyone with a hundred dollar bill was given a license by the commission. That resulted in infiltration, civic association competing for political position, other “civic” members used that opportunity and have now become the worst spoiler politicians. In reality, the number of opposition organizations with leadership and followers (and potential) are very few. I am writing about the same subject and it will be up soon. Saleh

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            Which statistics are you questioning? That Tigray is 95% tewahdo Christian and 95% Tigrinya speakers but has been lecturing Eritreans hoe to manage their diversity since 1985? That there are 100,000 Eritreans in Addis Abeba? The first is available courtesy to your neighborhood encyclopedia. The second is available courtesy of minimal due diligence in talking to Ethio-based Eritrean opposition. Which exactly are you disputing? The first the second or both?

            saay

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            This place is boring tonight. Ato Amanuel is disputing the 2% donation. May be he paid 20%. Check your facts first. I can’t do this for you. It is all there for everyone to see.

          • saay7

            Hi Abi.net

            We absolutely can’t have Abi bored at all. Here’s something to keep you entertained and I expect a proverb out of it.

            Saay

            http://youtu.be/UGZbh9o9m7M

          • Abi

            Thanks Saay
            Qidm ayatochachin teret sitertu
            Erqanuwan yemtzor mech temeleketu
            Sewoch teTenqequ lijtwan kayachihu
            BeSaay yederese endaydersbachihu
            Enem endenesu endeAbew yemlew
            Balehibet qomeh “atruT angaT” new.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Ayatotachn did many things but I am sure not one of them deals with erqanuwan yemtzor. Their idea of erqanuwan was hemlines above the heel. Unlike some people whose initials are Abi, when saay is driving, it’s hands-on-wheel, eyes-on-windshield. At least that’s what I do when I am not texting.

            saay

          • Abi

            Hey Saay
            You are not multitasking. Too old for that.
            Regarding driving I have a story.
            When I was 15/16 I made it a habit to steal my fathers car and drive in the neighborhood. I honk on everything that moves to get attention.
            One day my father was so mad at me and said to my mother” yihenin ahya and neger kalaregsh afer new yemasgiTew” My mother said ” bequwanquwachihu tenegageru, lije bene new yeweTaw til yele?”

          • Semere Andom

            Cousin Sal:
            Are you attributing the “tezamadi” success of TPLF merely to their homogenous make up? With the risk of being named TPLF lover, I believe that they made a different decision in Dedbit than we made in Nacfa. Take one example, the menkae liquidation, almost all of them were highlanders and Christian and peers and friends of IA. I am saying almost cus we can never know about the Hagos and Berhea and Yhdegos 🙂
            But they were killed, you can think of IA’s group like TPLF: homogenous . Also when the young guys like Meles came Sbhat Negga abdicated so to speak in fav of Meles. I think Eritreans need to give that credit to TPLF, the conscious decision to use killing as the last resort vs. in our case to err in the side of killing. MS also has told me that the TPLF were peers, friends and started TPLF on equal footing and there was no need to have a strong leader like IA, Same logic as your are saying,
            Although a different leader would have made Eri better after May 24, under IA the Eritrea we have today was by design, on the ayni yebley sni ybeli liquidation in our history. You can compare every stage and find that TPLF took higher road and their success is not accident. Like u do with lifting their ppl from century poverty in this area they deserve credit to.
            On how they lecture us, I say they are wrong, but it is fair we do pontificate on how their federalism is doomed to fail, so this is no issue to me
            on how they treat us, u got a point, they toy with our ethnicity, dangerous game for us and for them too, But they are less hypocrite than us because as the nucleus of EPDRF they have managed to manage their diversity so far, we have not, I mean they have experimented with federalism and kept Ethiopia together, while we said Ethiopia may not make it post our independence.
            The fact that they smelled the coffee early and created EPRDF instead of being intoxicated by their victory, they made sober and dispassionate decision that they cannot manage Ethipia alone and they partnered. If we did the same, we would not have the Kunam, the Afar movement that TPLF toys with now and gain post dergi comparison, they shined
            I remember a book by a Northen Sudanse writing about the South called “La Haqqu lenna en lem nequlah” I forgot the name. And say that to you. Gadi ot Gheteb can help
            When they do things as I told you 3 years ago they do it for themselves and they can lecture us, pontificate, it is just is pounding their chest for building MIT instead of dismantling UofA and 3 election under their belt, one peaceful transition after MZ passed on.
            I know you know all these, I am just venting and please do not tell cousin Gheteb until I bring my Latin up to speed:-)

          • saay7

            Hey Cousin iSem:

            Let’s make a New Year Resolution today (it’s a new year in at least one of the 40 calendars in the world, or close enough) to discuss only Eritrea, without mentioning TPLF, Ethiopia, Sudan for the rest of the month. Extra credit if we also don’t drudge up history and talk only about today and tomorrow. If u violate this pledge, you have to sing the Eritrean national anthem–in Tigrayit. If I violate it, yep, O, Canada. Deal? Or, as Cousin Hope would say, do you have the gut and the courage to accept this deal question mark exclamation point.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            Before you and Sem agree to stop the argument about arguably the most argued country, ethiopia, and your agreement reached the desk of Ato Saleh, I want you to read a book titled
            A Year Without ” Made in China ”
            Very interesting book.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abi,
            A good metaphor “A year without made in China” to that “a debate of Eritrean politics without entangling to the Ethiopian politics”. That is a good one. But Saay can’t talk politics without Ethiopia in to a mix. It might be a temporary halt to satisfy Semere. I don’t think Saay could be free from Ethiopian politics until we sent him as a diplomat to Ethiopia to understand first hand the change of Ethiopian politics on the ground. Until then Saay’s political song will be the same.
            Dear Saay,
            Come on Saay smile. Am I not talking what is in your mind. Aren’t you that if you don’t experience first hand, you don’t trust what people tried to tell you. If wisdom prevails and If we form a “united opposition force” I will try my best lobbying to the leadership to send you as the first diplomat of goodwill to Ethiopia. How about that haw Saay?
            regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Olana

            Dear Amanuel
            What about considering him for a position in Adigrat University (I wish they call it Agame University) as head of the department of political studies and International relations.
            Olana

          • Hayat Adem

            Dear Emma, also Saay,
            Once there was a Tigrigna guy who was badly and urgently needed to study French for a purpose. So his every single day was full of intense French crush course stuff. After a while assessments showed that the investment was high, the progress was low and slow. The key obstacle was identified to be his natural temptations of abandoning it for Tigrigna as a matter of habit when he was supposed to practice it routinely and mercilessly. Then his linguist trainer came up with a great kill idea to speed it up dramatically. He literally locked the student with an attractive young french-native girl for two months. The result? No one was ready for the unexpected. A regress was even noticed let alone to see improvements in his French. BUT, as a matter of unintended consequence, the french native girl became fluent in Tigrigna.
            (Sarcasm on) Hard-nosed guys are hard-nosed for life. Saay might change the minds of some Eritrean parties working from there to pack and leave the abyss Addis more likely than he comes back with a different heart from Ethiopia.
            Hayat

          • asmerom

            Dear Hayat
            That’s is true well said
            Asmerom

          • Saleh Johar

            Aha Hayat,
            This was told long time ago here at awate, I wish I could find it. The story was about the late Ali Said Abdella who went to England to study English and was put with a family in the rural area. When someone called, the English lady replied “Ali yehalanni, faggr hala.”

          • Saleh Johar

            Abi,
            I like the title of the book, can someone plagiarize it, “a week at the forum without mentioning TPLF.”

          • Abi

            Selam Ato Saleh
            The book discuss as to how life if becoming DIFFICULT without using things in China. It is , however, IMPOSSIBLE to live at awate land without mentioning tplf for a week. It is absolutely impossible to live without a joke.
            Here is one related to the topic.
            A husband was watching his wife suffering during delivery. She was screaming due to pain. After watching a little bit he said” yezaren bicha yimarlign enji huletegna aTegebwa aldersim.” When the wife heard this she shouted ” ere atmalu beluwachew, himemun echlewalehu!”
            Saay
            ” esti enayalen ! Ale ayne swur.”
            We shall see, said the blind man.

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            I noticed one thing in all your jokes: the women are smarter than the men and they always have the last word. Completely dominated by the men, their survival skill they developed is to make the man think he is smarter. You always have your proverbs so here is one from Tigrinya-speakers that I, unlike you, will translate: “ሓምሊን ጡጥን ንሰብኣይ ኣይታርእዮ”: “never show a man spinach leaves and cotton.” The question is why? Fanti Ghana do not help Abi.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            You are write about the women. I have one at home. I have one here at awate( Haya). My mother, the smartest and the funniest woman on the face of the earth( don’t tell to my wife).
            The spinach and cotton? Easy! They both look a lot before you cook it or make gabi out of it .
            Saay : yihen Hulu gomen min litadergiw new?
            Wife : echi min alat?
            I loved gone with the wind.
            ” even if you are the last chicken in Atlanta….” ( from the movie)
            Growing up I loved Sydney Sheldon. I read all of his books. All about women heroines!
            ” windmill of the gods” is the best and the funniest.
            This is mengistu at farmers association.
            mengistu : yalesetoch tesatfo gibun aymetam abyotu!!!
            Gebere: enkuwan abyotu aynegam lelitu!!

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            I love your fearlessness in admitting your love for Sydney Sheldon books. They are basically soft porn with Indian-movie plots. The “heroism” of the women in Sheldons book is in their discovery that men will do anything for sex. At least I had an excuse: Sheldon, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Mickey Spillane were what the British Council library had in Asmara when I was growing up. What’s your excuse? 🙂

            If I find Scarlettes rant on GWTW, I will share.

            saay

          • Abi

            Hey Saay
            I didn’t mention Jackie Collins and Harold Robins yet. Stay put.
            Agatha Christie? I remember only ” death on the line”
            You have to admit when you are young you like Sheldon. Who cares about plots back then ?
            You want plot? Read Scott Turow. Presumed innocent. What a book! And also shadow of a doubt.
            You need a better plot? Read ” the day after tomorrow ” by Allan Folsom.RIP. Read also “Day of confession ”
            You read Sheldon while watching soccer, Folsom, Turow, Clancy, a different story. I hope you agree with at least this time.
            Passerby, I’m glad you agree with me . Sememen is a very good book. I loved it . It is my life at AAU . Try to find Konjowochu . May be the best Amharic novel ever! It is like a movie.
            I find my books at a local library 0.50 cents each. I read them and put them back.
            I just finished The Appeal by John Gresham for the second time . May be his best.
            Don’t you think it is better to talk about books and movies than politics? We have to recruit Dr Sarah as chairwoman for our book club at awate light. What do you think?

          • saay7

            Hey Abi:

            Out here in the U.S., if u order Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins books, they come in a brown bag. I think they use them for sex ed in schools, said nobody.

            When Grisham was huge and the best sellers were all legal thrillers I read The Firm. Then when the movie came out I said you know the film is better than the book.

            I have a question about Oromay. Remind me to ask u on June 13.

            saay

          • Abi

            Saay
            How did you know all these? You still have the brown bag? Which book you ordered? ” Chances” or ” Lucky ”
            Ted is reading ” chances” for the tenth time.

          • Saleh Johar

            Abi,
            My first book big book I read was Harold Robbins’ The Carpet Baggers. Boy, did it confuse me, looking at the dictionary ten times on every page. I was fourteen. To this day, I haven’t been able to read more than ten pages on Grisham, I pick one and then forget about it. Agatha is my favorite, I was not as Saleh, the stingy British consulate din’t open a library in Keren. But when I was in the field, we came into an old clinic in Hakota that was run by Swedish nuns and found a million books by Agatha. I played sick and stayed there for three weeks, reading Agatha under Arkokabay tree, almost from sun up to sun down.

          • Abi

            Ato Saleh
            Are you kidding me? John Gresham is a Law School. You learn a lot . Saay mentioned a good one. I prefer “The Appeal ” his books are all family friendly unlike the other authors Saay mentioned. I have to tell you a joke from ” windmills of the gods” by Sheldon . I read it when derg was still alive and kicking. So I tell you the Amharic version.
            People were in a very long line waiting for hours to buy bread . one of the people who was frustrated by the whole situation said ” I will go and kill mengistu ” and left. When he came back after couple of hours , the people were eager to know what their hero did and asked him if he killed Mengistu. He said NO! They asked why? He said ” the line is longer over there.”
            The story was based on Rumania. I changed to ETHIOPIA, you can apply it wherever there is a dictator and poverty.
            Another joke for Saay.
            People were waiting for hours to buy bread. After three hours of waiting, a person came out and said ” since we don’t have enough bread for all of you, those who are Jewish can leave.” They left. The rest kept waiting. After three hours he came back again and said ” since we don’t have enough bread, those who are not party members can leave. They left. The party members kept waiting. After three hours he came back again and said “since we don’t have bread , all of you can leave.” They left.
            I read both the English and the Amharic translation ( keEsat yeweTach nefs) You don’t find any of the things that remotely criticized communism.
            Ato Saleh, are you still reading Oromay? Last year you were on page 15. Are you translating the book into Tigrigna?

          • Passerby

            Abi,
            I love Sydney Sheldon too. Matter of fact I just finished reading two of his books few days ago. Got’em at the thrift store for a couple of bucks. Yep, grew up reading him too.
            I also read Amharic books while in high school. I am a big fun of Sisay Nugusu’s ‘Sememen’ and ‘Guzow’.
            I have to say Agatha is the best of all.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear george,

    I once said -I wish there is an instrument that counts the love we have to our nation. we could have seen who loves more than the other. –

    what you are doing is showing the hope you have that our beautiful will nation will shine but at the same time taking here to the darkest era by imagining your boss will continue and your enemies are outsiders like USA. don’t you think that method of defending PFDJ is already expired? you don’t have to accuse others for the problems you face in our nation. dictators are the once who open the door to be destroyed by others. outsiders never go against the wave. unless the dictator is found to be against his people, no one can touch him. outsiders use the dictator to the time needed and throw them. PIA was the spy who work for imperialism and he was found to be guilty, by USA. who cares my friend if they are against him. who even chose him to be representative of our people? what we care is first on how he is managing in administrating and his legality to be a leader. so, ask today 10 Eritreans and you will find all confirming you what I am saying, unless they don’t trust you.

  • Semere Andom

    Ethiopia, A Country Where The Cream of Eritreans Flock To
    Dear Readers:
    It is the irony of our life time. In the tail end of 1989 when the Eritrean revolution was in its final push to make it to Asmara, many were not afraid of their Ghedli to be hijacked by the so called freedom fighters. This does not mean there was not tale-tell signs of this envitability, but years of brainwashing and intoxication made the people focus on the destination rather than the journey. The destination was destined to be arrived, but the journey was to be irrelevant and it seemed that despite the enshrined ideals of Ghedli, in practice its goal was to rich Asmara only. And reach it, it did. In earnest, the freedom fighters started cleaning the crime scene: the journey to Asmara. The no ‘hashewiye’ speech was one of these endeavours. The systematic sacking of veteran fighters and dismantling of the old guard and replacing it with personalities of no “brand” in the guise of new blood was the ultimate catalyst that made it a walk on the park for the dictator to easily disappear the founding fathers like Haile DeruE, who was imprisoned for the sake of Eritrea 3 times in his life. He was able to escape the first two, but it seems that he will not make it this time. The irony is that he, IA and Mussie Tesfamichael had tattooed their shoulders with each others blood in oath to never betray each other and Eritrea.
    When I heard M. Idris Jawij’s speech on why he left the PFDJ after 35 years of association, my mind wondered. Dusk was falling as I and some friends joined a group of student leaders from the Middle East to ascend the truck that was heading to Sahel. I met old friends and among them was Jawij.The rocky trip was memorable, a gifted young man from Gedarrif, who hailed from Blen, sang in all 8 Eritrean languages, but he could not sing in his own mother tongue and when Jawij challenged him to sing in Blen, he created the following lines in a fly:
    Ma teguley kain enta berak kain
    Mintezirak bukra fi mewgef almekayin
    Ma teguley kain etna berak kain
    Mintezirak fangoh fi mewgef almekain
    Everyone laughed and this song became a hit for the entire trip as those who understood the lyrics sang it loud and those who did not know the words, the boys whistled it the girls and hummed it.
    The long, physically trying trip was enjoyable, as the exuberance of many teenagers, the optimism of a freedom looming in the horizon— both the Eritrean sun and Eritrean star were rising, what more can you ask for.
    The trip was to attend the first Congress of the national Union of Eritrean Youth that was founded two years earlier when IA twisted the hands of the leaders like Shengeb and Amin Hassan, Saleh Shakuki to change the Student Union to the Youth Union to accommodate the ever bourgeoning youth in the liberated areas.
    I had the pleasure to meet Jawij first thing in Girmayka when we boarded heading to Sahel and during the trip we bonded and I learned a lot from him. We talked about his education in Libya and his opinion of dismantling the Student Union, a move that was highly divisive in favour of Youth. Union. He was soft spoken and I envied his effortless switching from Tigryait to Arabic and then back to Tigrinya.

    I complained a lot to him about how they, the student leaders rubber stamped the organization’s demands to eliminate the Student Union, instead of creating a union for the youth. He replied they voted for it democratically to which I replied, yea after all the youth, who did not even understand the language sof the congress, Tigrinya and Arabic waited for one of their leaders, Saleh Shakuki to raise his hand and then followed in mass to vote down the idea of Student movement.
    I was truck my his clarity and his prophetic words on the implications of the wrong move on dismantling the Student Union, he intimated that in the future, if we continue without the Student Union we will lose our “neqqba”, the civic and union right to fight for our right. And instead of complaining about it he chastised me to be in the central committee of the union and change things instead of complaining from the sideline. I said I am underage, to which he laughed and replied, here the cut off is 12 years for underage.

    The congress was held after a long delay, the debacle that happened in that congress and the one that founded the Youth Union in 1987 is fit for a book, today its suffices to jsut say that there were no proper nomination, the leadership talked to people it liked between sessions and recruited them and the list of nominees was floated. We were allowed to oppose nominees. The problems started when the secretariat of the congress was made up members of the leadership that basically was on trail for performance.
    The congress rubber stamped everything and elected its leaders, and many of them “tegadality”, the civil union that was there to support the Ghedli and cement the future thinkers was hijacked in the valleys of Hishkib. I left with a bad taste in my mouth, pinning my hopes on the visionaries like Jawij and a few others from the Middle East who were elected. The union reps from Europe were the worst in rubber stamping, those from the USA were very articulate and full of clarity, maybe the long and painful experience/history of ENASA helped them.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Semere,
      Yep, we don’t want to repeat the same history. Those who leave PFDJ should know there is no more chance of hijacking and leave their old history there in PFDJ camp.

    • Abi

      Hi Sem
      You forgot one important thing.
      Ethiopia, a Country where the Creams of Eritrea were Born and Educated.

      • Semere Andom

        Abi:
        Come one now, that was not the purpose of the comment. It is a topical comment. Jawij was neither born nor educated in Ethiopia

      • Kokhob Selam

        Abodbiye,
        ሰላም ነበረች ያልጻፍከውን በማንበብዋ ባንተም በኔም የተቀጣች :: ዝም ብላ ኣለፈችን :: መስኪንዋ የደረሰባት ቅጣት ዛሬም ላንተ ደረሰ :- እንግዲህ እኔም ልጠንቀቅ ! “ለሁሊም ግዝየውን ይጠብቅለታል ኣለ ጠቢቡ ሰሎምን” ኣለ ማህሙድ ::

  • hope

    A follow up Addenda:
    Prof SAAY:
    One of the rebutal you made in discrediting the MDG Achievement was Eritrea being a small Nation but the simple thing you can do is:
    -Compare and contrast it with her “mesatu’a”—with small Nations at a similar level.
    -Rebutal on Gender Issue:
    Again,things are relative and the fair way is to compare and contrast with other Nations.Mentioning about Parliamentary Portofolio alone is NOT enough as few Females in the Portofolio do not represent the general population.
    -Rebutal on Education:
    -For sure there is a mismangement on that aspect,but again,comopare and contrast with her mesatu’a–
    There was a nice graph/table tabulated by the UN,which compares and contrasts Eritrea with other Nations in Africa but you did not want to show us.
    There was an objective analysis of those issues made by you few months ago–in this Forum/web,where you were accused for being “Balanced” and for calling a spade,a spade.
    Etc—-
    My point is that it is healthy to refute and oppose objectively but at times,it is fair to be FAIR coz by making unfair and unbalanced rebuttals and refuting for the sake of doing so,it might imply,by default,that you are refuting and discrediting the hard work and sacrifice made by the innocent Eritreans and Eritrea.
    That was my whole piont.,not supporting the regime.

  • Abel

    Yet another sad news,
    Like father like son,the founders and chief financiers of ISIS publicly beheading the poor.
    “Saudi Arabia beheaded an Eritrean and 4 other foreigners – Newsweek – ”
    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/05/04/409422/Saudi-execution-foreigners-beheading

    • Hayat Adem

      Abel,
      Really sad. A clothed barbaric backwardness and a chosen inability to grow to civilization:(.

  • geroge

    Dear Hayat Adam, First off I say good riddance. I can tell you he is a weak person. No self respecting Eritrean will defect to an enemy when he could have run to other country. Second One monkey can’t stop the show, I am sure you have heard it before. We have 3 million leaders ready, at a monument notice to take his place. With all due respect Eritrea is full of brave and brilliant leaders. I consider myself a patriotic Eritrean and I never heard of this guy. So my advice to you tame your excitement for it is just an insignificant story.

    • Hayat Adem

      george,
      1) I agree with you, he probably is a small fish. It could be an isolated event or a pointer to a growing truth. The only news value in it could be probably the fact that he is the first active government official defecting to Ethiopia. As you are aware, there are many ordinary Eritreans crossing over to Ethiopia but I never heard of a pfdj official.
      2) Why to the “enemy” Ethiopia? Well, that is the news. He now got your attention.
      3) “One monkey can’t stop the show”. Lower your voice: the other monkey who is running the show might hear you saying that.
      4) “I consider myself a patriotic Eritrean”. Well, we are in a different time now. Patriotism and PFDJism are considered mutually incompatible.
      5) “my advice to you tame your excitement for it is just an insignificant story.” I was not that excited but your advice is well taken’ I need to save it for future bigger events.

      Hayat

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Geroge:
        Obviously, you as a worshiper of PFDJ have your heart and priority somewhere else and not the Eritrea people. Ethiopia is the best place for PFDJ member to defect, it is where most Eritreans flee, defect from the grip of PFDJ. Jawij is a veteran of the student union, the armed struggle, educated, multi-lingual that reflects Eritrea’s diversity and what it needs to straddle the challenges of multi-ethnic politics.
        If you never heard of this guy, you did not study the history of student movement and you were not part of the student union, he is the peer of Shengeb and Amin Hassan and Yousif Saeq with the brain of the three if them combined. Have you heard of these three?

      • Abi

        Dearest Hayat
        You beat me on #3.
        I would say “monkey see monkey do “

  • Hope

    Dear Michael:

    Please:First thing first and make sure you differentiate Eritrea/Eritreans from the PFDJ!

    1)The Border war:

    -If SAAY is an honest broker, like he seems to be,I ask him to re-post the Chronology of the Ethio-Eritrean War Events,which he posted here while debating(with) ,I believe,Mr T Kfle et al and he will embarrass you.

    -Tell us why the TPLF invaded Adi Murug in 1997 and as to why the TPLF made up an Abay Tigray map that included Sovereign Eritrean Land.

    -Tell us as to why your TPLF had been harrassing and torturing the Eritreans on the Border.

    -Tell us as to why you are deliberately “protecting ” PIA for not declaring war against the TPLF aggression in 1997,when he tried to be restrained from the TPLF provocation by trying to peacefully resolve the issue

    -Tell us also as to why PIA stopped the EDF from marching to Mekele in 1999,when he had the UPPER hand

    -Tell us also as to why your TPLF refused to respect the ceasefire accepted by PIA/Eritrea

    -Tell us,please, wether PIA/Eritrea had a right to ask for clarification on the US-Rwanda peace proposal

    -Please tell us as to why Dr Susan Rice hectically,prematurely and unilaterally declared against Eritrea in 1999 in the OAU meeting in West Africa

    -Tell us also as to why your TPLF dragged its feet in Algiers from signing the Ceasefire and chose to push towards Aseb

    -Ref to SAAY’s previous Articles and Reports for details on this issue.

    2)Refugees:

    Yes indeed,she is well informed way better and more than you are/do:

    a)Ethiopians and other Africans have abused the Asylum process in the name of Eritrea and Eritreans,a fact that you cannot refute by any means.Shame on you,as you are jsutifying that ID Theft of Eritrean ID!

    b) It has been a Public Secret that the Tigreyan specifically have taken advantage of this ID Theft with full support of their TPLF Gov–well documented fact,indeed!

    3)Sanctions:

    Do not even try to insult the Iinteligence.The Sanctions have been politically motivated and cooked up with out enough evidence and merit.You know exactly who has been behinnd them and how they have been executed.

    FYI,the SEMG Report was found to be fake and fradulant.Refer also to the South African Neutral Report.

    As to the Persona and Mission of Ms BB:

    -She did her job in exposing the other side of the Truth but she never denied the “crimes” of the PFDJ but she recommended that Eritrea is being demonized unfairly….and the isolationist approach and the sanctions should be reconsidered so as to help relieve the agony of the Eritreans due to the collateral damages incurred by the Unfair Sanctions and unfair treatment by the USA…Isn’t it fair?

    Now,if you care about Eritrea and Eritreans,why didn’t you demonize the demons like Drs Susan Rice and Jendayi Frazer for their DEMONIC actions against the State of Eritrea and the Eritrean People,the real target of the Isolationist Policy and the Sanctions?

    Do you want to see Eritrea and Eritreans to be like Iraq and Iraqis;like Syria and Syrians;like Libya and Libyans,just simply coz you hate PIA/the PFDJ??

    That was Ms BB’s brilliant Mission and MESSAGE-to save Eritrea and Eritteans from the fate of Libya,Iraq and Syria,before it is too late,NOT coz she supports PIA or the PFDJ or she is ignorant about the atrocities by the PFDJ Junta.

    But here is the BIG DEAL:

    PIA/the PFDJ is doing its best to survive and selling itself….but are we doing anything to change the game the PFDJ playing other than cursing and gossiping?The blame game has never worked and will never work!

    Here is the MESSAGE form the Authority:
    Quote:
    “….These and other issues are what Eritreans, pro-government and opposition should be discussing and debating among ourselves just as the Brutons, Rices and Shermans are discussing what is in the best interest of the United States. Why do we need proxies?”..End of Quote.

    Courtesy of SAAY.

    Another Great Message:

    Quote:

    “Your next article: “I was wrong, dismantle the unjust sanction.” Just because PFDJ played the game stupidly and stayed on the losing side, we should not support sanctions that have nothing to do with Eritrean domestic political climate. It never worked in other cases, it won’t work except weaken the state. Going back all the way in history, sanctions have always helped dictatorial regimes strengthen their grip on their population. They never managed force regimes to succumb under the demands for justice and democracy. Justice and democracy will dawn only when Eritreans rally under that cause and under a united leadership”!

    Courtesy of Vet Mahmousd Saleh.

    Is that too much to ask?

    Let us deal with the main substance rather than chasing a certain Western Journalist,who is doing her job,be it right or wrong,for whatever reason…

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Awate team,
    Someone reported a PFDJ diplomat named Mohamed Idris to Ethiopia had jumped off the sinking ship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=auHTgCePFbk

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Hayat,

      we need to create a rescue group to save the life of PFDJ leaders. Lol, Italians are saving the poor refuges from sinking in oceans and we? Look, he is old but still shining….በላዕቲ ጣዕዋ !

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Dr. Kokhob,

        I am beginning to realize that I am forgetting my Tigriyna slowly but surely. The other day SGJ said “Hungugu,” which I haven’t heard since childhood, and now you: በላዕቲ ጣዕዋ:: My surprise to both words is a clue to my beginning to forget. ባዕሉ ይሸፍነና’ምበር እንታይ ክበሃል ኮይኑ!

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Fanti Ghana,

          ጣዕዋ = ሓደ ዓመት ዝገበረ ምራኽ::
          ምራኽ = ውላድ ላሕሚ ::
          ላሕሚ = ኣንስተይቲ ከብቲ or ላም ::

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Kokhebay,

            I am glad you brought these words and to know that word “ላሕሚ” (not only ላም) is also used in your country. I was always wondering why it is ላም. Because the influence from amharic is minimal in Eritrea (contrary to Tigray). Saying, I think ምራኽ is a bit older than ውላድ ላሕሚ (where we use the word ብተይ). I don’t know if you know this word.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Rahwa T,

            yes I know this word. it is very famous in both Tigrigna speakers (Ethiopia and Eritrea) ብተይ =ሳዕሪ ምብላዕ ዘይጀመረ ገና ዝጠብው :: younger than ጣዕዋ :: and what about the following words,

            ኣርሒ = ዘይተቦከረት ላሕሚ ንደርሆ ውን እንቆቆሖ ምውላድ እንተዘይጀሚራ

            ኣርሓ = ዘርኢ ንኽህብ እተመርጸ ዝራብዕ ብዕራይ እዚ ንዝኾነ እንሰሳ ካብ ጉጅል ኣኡ ጸብለል ዝበለ ሓይሊ ዘለዎ ንጥቀመሉ ኢና ኣርሓ ገመል ኣርሓ ደርሆ ይበሃል እዩ ግን ተባዕታይ ክኸውን ኣለዎ::
            ዝራብዕ = ክልተ ዓመት ዝዕድሚኡ ብዕራይ ::

          • Rahwa T

            Dear KH,

            Yes, these are common words in Tigray, too. But I am not sure if ኣርሒ mean እንቆቆሖ ምውላድ ዘይጀመት ደርሆ :: At least it is not common (or rather I don’t remember) in my locality. I know you are so rich in Tigrigna words as I saw from many of your poems. Hope they are all pure Tigrigna.

          • Rahwa T

            Sorry, Kokheb selam (not KH),

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Rahwa, long time no talk. kemei QeniKhi Embeytey?

            Sorry I don’t have Ge’ez on this computer, but I am copying and pasting from your and Dr. KS’s posts above as much as I can.

            “ኣርሓ ደርሆ ” yebihal’ba Rahwani. In fact, it was used in a sentence against me not long ago.
            “ኣርሓ ደርሆይ Haride nalgabezKhu…” by one of my female best friends: After I declined the invitation unless she makes shiro instead. (It is an inside joke)

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Fanti Girma Adi.,

            Yes, it has been ages. ButI am following you guys. I am enjoying the discussion especially after the arrival of HTG. I could not find the interview about Qimant from Addis Admas. Felt ashamed and kept quite. May be we will ask Mr Hope. Ask him why we should ask him. Thanks for the info on ኣርሓ ደርሆ and the story behind.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Asadi,
            Qimant from Addis Admas? I was so busy with so many things lately I didn’t even think about that at all. May be Addis Admas is not aware of that interview is missing from their site. Or may be they dropped it out for their own reason. Anyway, if it is there I will find it when I get to it. I had to tell you I couldn’t find it that time in case you had it saved or something. Let Addis Admas be ashamed for their unprofessionalism embeyti Aynei.
            Speaking of ashamed, I reviewed TK’s meticulous review of Gebru Asrat’s recent book and I was impressed by his analysis, and when I tried to post my response, that website wouldn’t let me login with any email account (they don’t use discus). To rule out any security blocks on my email addresses I created a new one just for that purpose to no avail. So, I am waiting for TK to show up so I can tell him what happened or the website will fix their bag and I will be able to respond before then. So, I have been wondering if TK is wondering whether I read his reviews or not ever since. The point? you may ask; it happens to all of us, and I am very sure it is not our fault! ናፊቐኪ ቐኒየ ግዲ፤ ሃተፍተፍ ኣቢሉኒ፤፤

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Rahwa T,
            When comes to my poems, I never write a poem unless I have a reason. in fact I am emotional during writing (you will see me crying or laughing depending on the equation). so in first stage I use any word that comes to my mind. My wife don’t allow me to make it public in first stage. at times my poems are simple words to make it easy to everyone – the massage is important and urgent in this case. but there are times when I use difficult words to let people watch and ask about it – and that is to expand the use of our original words. some time I use words which are not originally Tigrigna but are commonly used. for me that is an art, an art that I love most.

          • Passerby

            Selamat Kokob and Rahwa,
            I like your topic. Here are some names so people like Nitricc can learn:
            ንውላዳት ብዝምልከት:
            ወዲ ሰብ ዕንዱ ወይ ሕንጢት ይበሃሉ; ኣብ ግዜ ንእስነት እታ ጓል ጎርዞ ትብሃል፤ ናይቲ ወዲ ግን ረሲዐዮ
            ወዲ ላሕሚ ብተይ ይብሃል: ደሓር ዝራብዕ ይኸውን
            ወዲ ኣድጊ ዒሉ ይብሃል; ደሓር….
            ወዲ ደርሆ ጫቝት ይብሃል: ደሓር ዓንዳፍ ኸውን
            ወዲ ጤል ማሕስእ ይበሃል: ደሓር ወጠጦ ይኸውን
            ወዲ በጊዕ ዕየት ይበሃል; ደሓር ድዑል ይኸውን

          • Rahwa T

            Dear Passerby,

            Thanks for adding some more words into my vocabularies. ዕንዱ, and ዓንዳፍ are new to my ears.

          • Saleh Johar

            Passerby,
            Thanks, d’oul is new to me.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Hayat Adem,
      I wonder all the recent increase in refugees, “come and see,” trip to SA, quiet return or no return, Burton, rumor of IA’s son leaving or not, and now this are signs of internal disturbance within PFDJ.

      I don’t know if I am thinking of Derg’s last few weeks, but all this charade sounds familiar.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear george,

    you remind me the last years of Mengstu,Gaddafi, and all dictators who are forgotten. the same they use to say. Bashar of Syria and his followers are saying it today. even Abdula Saleh said it today – when his residential area was hit by KSA. “Nothing that you write or list would change the fact Eritrea is marching forward. The nefarious plan to crush Eritrea have failed. The fact that Eritrea is still standing is testimony to the steadfastness of its people and leaders” so still we have people who think Eritrea is advancing, strange!

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz SaleH
    Happy Mother’s Day. Excellent article, although I feel you have overkilled the subject of Miss. Burton. I wish this brilliant essay and similar Eritrean productions were read in Eritrea by Eritreans, without the fear of going to jail. The shellacking of Miss. Burton has taken almost 75% of the article. But I think the last part, number III should have been given more space, because that’s what’s important to Eritreans at this time. I will have to listen to her entire interview, and reread this very data/facts thick article. I have read it with divided attention, sorry. Your next article: “I was wrong, dismantle the unjust sanction.” Just because PFDJ played the game stupidly and stayed on the losing side, we should not support sanctions that have nothing to do with Eritrean domestic political climate. It never worked in other cases, it won’t work except weaken the state. Going back all the way in history, sanctions have always helped dictatorial regimes strengthen their grip on their population. They never managed force regimes to succumb under the demands for justice and democracy. Justice and democracy will dawn only when Eritreans rally under that cause and under a united leadership. Meanwhile, Miss. Burton and Sherman will keep polishing their resume.
    Thanks.

    • Fnote Selam

      Mahmud,

      I think Saay made a very good decision in not dwelling on number 3. The article is a rebuttal to Ms Burton and he did it cleanly without digressing to other (though important but could be distracting from the objective of the article) topics.

      FS.

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Haw Mahmud Saleh,

      I find your take on sanctions on Isaias regime lacking. If you don’t mind, can you clear these distinctly different scenarios/issues which appear to be jumbled together in your position?

      1. You don’t support the USNC-1907 and 2012 resolutions because you believe the Isaias regime doesn’t deserve to be sanctioned (meaning lack of legitimate grounds)? You said we don’t have to support them “because PFDJ played the game stupidly and stayed on the losing side…”

      2. You don’t support the UNSC sanctions against the regime because they have nothing to do with the internal situation in Eritrea? implying you may support them if they were justified on internal, i.e., human rights record on the regime? Incidentally, Insha-Allah, if the the COIE mandate finally leads to sanctions, would you support them (I am asking as I don’t want to put words in your mouth) You said, “we should not support sanctions that have nothing to do with Eritrean domestic political climate…”

      3. You don’t support the sanctions at all on principle; or because they are always useless/ineffective ….” Going back all the way in history, sanctions have always helped dictatorial regimes strengthen their grip on their population. They never managed force regimes to succumb under the demands for justice and democracy….” In that case, what is the point of brining up ‘domestic political climate’ anyways. Or just for curiosity in this scenario, would you support sanctions against Ethiopia for ‘its refusal to abide by EEBC decision unconditionally?’
      I am asking these questions to flesh out the different issues revolving around the sanctions.
      Thanks,
      Ghezae

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dearest Haw Gezae and Fnote Selam
        Haw Gezae:
        1. I generally don’t see sanctions as remedies; they are abused by bullying superpowers and never bring about the results anticipated of them; women and children pay the price.
        I also want to emphasize that it’s the country that’s sanctioned not the regime. Haw Gezae, you know the fact that the regime doesn’t need tanks and modern fighter planes to oppress the masses, but the country needs them to defend itself. And considering the reality that Ethiopia is the central player (please see my reply to SAAY) in engineering and pushing it through, one cannot miss what’s in stake here. So, I don’t speak for the parts who pushed it through the toothless UN, but as an Eritrean, I oppose it because:
        a/ lacked evidences that would warrant a sanction except that PFDJ was throwing tantrums and “advocating” for the reconstitution of Somalia more than it spoke for the reconstitution of internally displaced people in Eritrea and a society traumatized by the effects of war.
        b/ it had nothing to do with changing either the regime or the behavior of the regime in a manner that would pave the way for the interrupted democratization process to resume. Therefore, the opposition had nothing to gain from supporting the sanction, nothing. It did not earn it international support (the USA still favors the regime to the opposition, their Ambassador is on the go once the Eritrean government gives it diplomatic grants), and the opposition also appeared as a sellout in the eyes of Eritreans. You don’t disagree with me that while Eritreans blame the government for venturing recklessly, they also see the sanction was unjust.
        2. My view on sanctions is as explained above, but this particular version carries implications close to every Eritrean heart- all the human rights abuses perpetrated against Eritreans. At least it holds obvious reasons and also carries moral inducements/incentives to consider it. Again, I would be open for it, but not because it will force the regime to change its behavior but because it would be a direct consequence of its human rights violations; in this sense, whatever retribution taken against the regime, it would be directly related to its violations and would make sense. However, Haw Gezae, the panacea to solving the crisis would be working towards unifying efforts and creating a popular pressure from within and without. In countries with primitive democratic institution, sanctions can force a regime to change its behavior, because there is a political space (however small it may be) for opposition groups/parties, unions, intellectual circles… to rally citizens to put pressure on the sanctioned regime. In totalitarian systems, sanctions and more isolation is considered as a gift from manna for the regimes, because they can blame everything to the sanctions. Since they control the society with an iron-fist, there is no room for citizens to assemble, write, rally against the regimes and their policies which made their country the victim of sanctions.
        3. The first part is answered in #2, that’s although I don’t see sanctions as tools to change regimes or their behavior, they could at least be understood and even considered depending on how they are tailored (there is a clear cause and effect relation, there is a direct relationship between a move to sanction the regime and the action that triggered that move which is the flagrant violations of human rights.
        On the second part: would I support a sanction on Ethiopia? The same reasoning in number two applies. Yes, since Ethiopia violated an internationally constituted court’s ruling. I see a direct relationship between Ethiopia’s refusal to abide by an agreement that it signed and the sanction that would be triggered because of that violation. Do I believe it would change Ethiopian behavior? No. Actually, US diplomatic and economic pressures would sway Ethiopia, particularly 15 years ago. Today, the game is different. Ethiopia diversified its dependence. Economically, it’s more inclined towards Asia, and has frankly stood up on its feet. It was more vulnerable 15 years ago.
        Just curious, what do you think? Don’t you think Ethiopia should have been censured, pressured or sanctioned?
        Fnote selam, thank you for the hint you gave me.

        • Fnote Selam

          Mahmud and Gezae,

          I would say that the arms sanction has actually helped tame the IA regime. If it were not for the sanction, I can imagine IA buying all kind of military toys from the meager mining $$ and use to arm rebel groups around the region and possibly try its chance by responding to the occasional incursions by Eth. So, in come ways, the sanctions actually worked. One concern is that would UN act swiftly to lift those sanctions once there are changes in the country or would members within the UN exploit the slow nature of the organization to weaken the country (even after things change in Eritrea)?

          Best,

          FS.

  • Abel

    Eritrean Diplomat Abandoned the Dying Regime: Asks Asylum in Ethiopia!

    https://youtu.be/auHTgCePFbk

    • Semere Andom

      Thanks Abel:
      Jawij is veteran of the student Union for, ironically he was educated in Libya. I hope the rest of his friends among them Amin, who was the chairman of the student union, a lawyer who is serving in the president’s office follows suit. And I hope Jawij does not follow Shengeb in silence.
      Now let us hear dawit, the Ethiopian, a country that does not allow dual citizenship have to say about Jawij for defecting to Ethiopia

      • Fnote Selam

        Semere,

        is he kidnapped or defected?

        FS.

        • Semere Andom

          Hi FS:
          the news says he defected, unless I was wrong on the Amahric, where Nitricc, dawit and Ted to translate 🙂

          • Ted

            Hi Semere, he is in better place now, if you know what i mean:)

          • Fnote Selam

            Semere,

            Was just joking around…you know like how we were told the Eth pilot who recently defected to Eri was kidnapped…..

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Abel, the man is lucky to stay for so much. do we still have people who have hope for change inside PFDJ? we may see more coming out. ህግደፍ ክትሓቅቕ እያ ወይልኡ ሓቂ ዘይሓዘ እምበር ::

    • Fanti Ghana

      Hello Abel,
      I just came in, saw Hayat Adem’s post up top, replied to it, and scrolled down to only see that you had Ben’s breaking news posted even earlier too. I am sure Hayat didn’t see your post. Please consider my reply to her as a reply to you too.
      Thanks.

      • Hayat Adem

        Yes Fanti,
        I only saw Abel’s now. So I’ll remove mine to avoid double-posting.
        Hayat

      • Abel

        Dear Fanti Ghana,

        It surely has a lot in common with the dying days of the DERG regime,in fact some of the HIGDEF apologists(hope,geoge,..) reminds me of Saddam Hussein’s information minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf dubbed as “Comical Ali ”

        Let’s hope there will be orderly transfer of power.

        • Hope

          Dear Abel,Hayat and Dr Fanti(well conneted and related buddies?):
          We have to differentiate day dreaming and wishes from the REALITY on the ground.
          Facts on the ground:
          -Due to the ineptiness of our Opposition ,the PFDJ is standing TALL,and by default,Eritrea is even standing TALLER,despite all the evil actions and ODDs against her…and irrespective of the PFDJ failures.
          Note:This does NOT mean that Hope and his likes are PFDJ Apologists(eventhough I do not know who you and Ms Hayat are and your motivation,other than having some common Eri names(nick).
          -Blame ourselves for allowng the PFDJ to stand TALL!
          Here are the signs of the Time:
          -PFDJ effectively has succeeded in its Diplomatic Campaign in renewing its relationship with its old Friends–Egypt,Saudis,S Sudan,UAE,and Qatar—with some bonus as well besides the Security and Military Agreement!(Is that why you are scratching your head?Keep crying,buddy!)
          -PFDJ succeeded in bringing back the EU with a big Bonus/benefits
          -The Migration saga might be nearing to its closure and the EU Army will turn back every boat to Libya and all the Pseudo-Eritreans will lose the benfit of being Pseudo-Eritrea
          -All the Real Eris will join the Warsay Campaign
          N.B.
          Until a better PFDJ or a better alternative one shows up,Hope will support ,not only the PFDJ but even /also the Devil,when it comes to the Natrional Security Interest of Eritrea.
          So,you can call names and keep barking and day dreaming…but Eritrea and Eritreans will prevail!

          • Hayat Adem

            Lo Hope,
            Do you know that you own one best tool that drives your opponents crazy and then yielding: the power of disorganizedness. I think I might have already told you this story of the Italian General giving his testimony about the great defeat at Adewa* in the hands of Ethiopians.
            Journalist: How come! Peasants in black Africa could defeat one of the best trained professional army of Europe?
            Italian General: They used the quality difference between them and us to their advantage. They were so disorganized and they confused us. That was how you “defeated the Hon. Gadi. i could be next.
            Hayat
            —————–
            +My Ethiopian friends, please take the humorous side of it as I didn’t mean to belittle that great African victory that could have only been achieved through meticulous military planning and outplaying the enemy.

          • Hope

            Ms Hayot,
            Keep barking…..and Hope will keep confusing you to the last minute until you give like up like –…..ops,I am not allowed to mention his name.

          • Hayat Adem

            Lo Hope,
            That’s if you haven’t confused me enough already.

          • tes

            Hi Hope,

            The only awatista who can beat you severely is tes. The reason is simply because I know your tactic.

            tes

          • Hayat Adem

            Tes,
            I’m pleased you are intervening to fix hope before every awatista is hoplessly knocked out of the ring.

          • tes

            Hi Hayat Adem,

            Let’s remember this when we meet people like Hope: A country has good and bad people. The success is then how you can still survive together. If there are ugly and toxic people like Hope, there are people who nurture the soul, like haile TG and Fanti Ghana.

            Hence, nature (and hence awate.com) has provided us everything. On which to meditiate, it is upto us.

            Hi, for Hope, I know his language, his propaganda and his confusing tactics. For me Hope is a crap, just like that of the hypocrite lady from Asmara and you know how that crap gets mad when I deal with her via proxy comments. They are both ugly. Hope, he will try not to reply me. Then, I will knock him until he gets mad and start to pour his flattered words.

            Therefore, deal with your discussions.

            tes

          • Abi

            Dear Hayat
            You should have said
            “Eshohn beEshoh”
            Hopen beTesfa or
            Tesfan beTesfa

          • Hayat Adem

            Abi,
            Such a beauty in playing well with words while passing the message unnoticed and noiseless.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hayat,
            it was in one equation he become such a wonderful player. ask him how he start it. I am collecting his words. Lol. everyday he is becoming stronger on this field. he is no more burning his heart, he throw the gold and was words and sleep. only few notice what he is talking about.

          • Hayat Adem

            He is something! (Moderator, please, allow some positive emotional licence ocassionally. I suspect if Emma is at times being scheduled to take turns in that hat:)

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Hayat,
            Amuni is too much serous of everything and he seldom loves to see such funny things. but I notice he also notice the ability of Abi. He wondered how Abi play it. you can imagine if such gentle man watch the ability of Abi, the words are not just for jock sake and it is more than that. I want Abi to continue and come always with new.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hayat &Kokhob Selam,

            Just to assure you, I am really enjoying Abi’s skill on his choice of words and how he assembles his chosen words to convey his message. He is a gifted person. Good for the forum. The only problem is the young Eritrean generation might have language barrier (Amharic). Hayatom, I am good at identifying people’s strength, but I will not be good at what Abi is doing even if I try. Abi is an extraordinary gifted individual in that category.

          • Abi

            Ato Amanuel
            That was a very kind of you . You deserve a joke. Actually, it is a real story.
            One day I was with my parents in a car. I was driving, my father was sitting next to me ,my mother at the back seat.
            We were standing on a traffic light next to a construction site where there was a pile of sand and other construction materials.
            There was this beautiful girl with a ” big behind ” crossing the road. I couldn’t stop watching her after she crossed and the light changed to green.
            I was still watching her when people start honking.
            My father : min eyayeh new?
            Ene : kimirun ( as if I was watching the pile of sand, actually I was watching the pile behind her)
            Father: qiT sitay qiT honeh endatiqer !
            Mother: ende abatu lihon?
            I laughed.

          • Amde

            Lij Abi,

            Busted…With parents like these, is it even possible to grow up not being funny?

            Amde

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Amde,
            We’re so lucky to have Awate that lest us being truly ourselves. Awate is lucky to have us here to crown it with human beauty. Look at the variety and the depth in the forum except for a few organized excesses. I don’t know what people like Abi are attracted for to be here but I know it is so lovely that they are here. Let me broaden it a bit because i want you to say a word or two on “humor and leadership” if you will so that we can see the chnace of Abi stepping up himself to a role of leadership. Usually, it seems to me, humor presence proportionally points to humanity presence. I’ve never known a funny person or someone who values humor highly to be ugly and/or evil. People with a sense of humor are also better communicators of serious content. And yes they are also more likely than not better achievers. All those qualities come naturally with humorousness. Even in leaders, humor gives an excelling edge. Not all successful leaders have a sense of humor but most of them do. No all leaders with good sense of humor are always successful but most of them are. Look at the dullness we are suffering from the interviews and speeches of PIA everytime he does it and compare it with the occasional wittiness and humor of Meles, and tell me if that doesn’t matter. There might have been times when strict stiffness was taken for a toughness in leaders and humors left for the over-civilized art society. But I think trends are changing and that seems no more.
            Hayat

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Hayat:
            But IA has humor, it is just you have not and will not acquire the taste of that kind of humor;-)
            To give you an example, have you watched the video of IA in 1989 when one Eritea told him he has missed to answer a previous question and IA kept saying “miss gereya” when answering questions after that and the “pigs” almost died with laughter. He has that kind of humor.
            Also way before independence, I think it was early to mid eighties he went to Sweden and some one challenged him how is that you say in your program that you will establish a currency that is not influenced by foreign events, will Eritrea not be part of the world to which IA replied , “have you seen the British currency that has the queen’s image, that is what we mean by currency” and crowd almost died with laughter.
            So Ms Hayot, we cannot blame IA for not having sense of humor. He has. It is your democratic right to be ignorant 😉

          • Abi

            Sem
            I can’t believe this!
            Are you saying hasot to hayot? Woy qilet!

          • Semere Andom

            Abi:
            Hayat know what I am talking about:-)

          • teweldino

            Hi Abi,

            Tesfan beTesfa – brilliant wordplay!

          • Abi

            Hi Teweldino
            Hulet gira egroch tesfa yemiyasqorTu
            Ere keyet amba keyet ager meTu
            Huletum keKeren chewata aqorfajoch
            Tinish enqTachew tebaberu sewoch.
            Yetesfawoch bizat keto min yadergal
            Qum neger kesera andu yibeqanal.
            Hulet Tesfa tikel. Andu biqoreT bandu TenTelTel.
            Sibal yeneberew beqedmut sewoch
            Begna lay derresse betesfaqorachoch, beTesfa tesfegnoch.

          • sara

            Dear Hope,
            few days ago we met with friends over a social gathering, and as usual we started talking about home, and one of them started arguing with an elder x-vet, about the situation ,about all what she reads/sees in the media. he said two things, yes there are so many things to be corrected, but this
            people “anfetom aysehatun”
            so no need to sound apologetic, as long as you have the good heart and mind for eritrea, let those who are for emama ethiobia and ehee getaye be apologetic.
            didn’t they said once eritrea for eritreans, khalas those who don’t , as yasir arafat said, khaliyom yeshrebu moya mn al bahr.

          • Hope

            Wo shukren ghezillion Habibti,sara!..

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Sara,
            Did you say,”anfetom ayseHatun”! Psst! Is (qinuE) anfet defined as wherever you happen to be heading to or every anfet is good enough for Eritrea?

          • haileTG

            Dear Sara,

            What was the “anfet” or direction? You may be correct, if only we knew what it was. For example, how could one decree a Law that is neither based on a working constitution or even ratified by a parliament?

            http://shabait.com/news/local-news/19792-goe-puts-into-effect-civil-and-penal-codes-and-associated-procedures

            Isn’t this anfet mishat big time??? Or is anfetom, anfet keshitu eyu neyru? As yasir arafat said, khaliyom yeshrebu moya mn al bahr. 🙂

            Regards

        • Hope

          Dear Abel,
          The EPRDF Gov could have died by now considering the number of Junior and Senior Officials,who defected it.
          What about the number of top Air Force Officers and Pilots,who defected the same TPLF Gov?
          You are a lost soul for trying to re-activate the old and obsolete and failed psyco-warfare against Eritrea and Eritreans.
          What is the big deal if one Junior Official defects.? I thought a top Minister defected but the GoE is still alvive and even stronger!
          I would agree with you if you are talking about the 300K Eris,who fled the Nation being more than serious national Security issue….more than any thing else,in fact!
          I feel that pain even if I am a PFDJ “Apologist”…and the struggle should be to reverse that Exodus,by any means possible,including suing the CIA ,the UNHCR, the EU and the TPLF for trickingand giving a false promise and a deadly “Hope” those Young people,besides facilitatng the Exodus..

  • Mizaan1

    Dear Saay, a brilliant analysis and by far more comprehensive than any I have read thus far in this matter of Ms. BB’s visit to Eritrea and her subsequent revelation.

    I only have a slight issue. You said we in the opposition have a higher moral ground. How we can we do such a comparison? You listed our issues and the claimed PFDJ success stories but perhaps for infant and birth improvements, the rest are inconsequential to Eritreans in terms of life improvements.

    The one other thing – you didn’t take Ms. BB on her claim that IA looks 50.

    Needless to say, you are going to be at odds with a couple of your cousins her. Tes the contrarian was surprisingly positive with this article.

    • tes

      Dear Mizaan1,

      First of all read my lines carefully. “Epoch-making”, is a coded positive comment.

      Ok, When I evaluate an article, I have some evaluation criterias and some of them are:

      1. Respect of Eritrean people’s value
      2. Its impact for future political discourse
      3. Morality of the writer
      4. Consistency
      5. Over-all message
      6. Reconcilation power within the opposition group. (Note: I don’t have any card of reconcilatory approach with PFDJ system hence I don’t give any point for this)

      There are more (of minimum 12) but today these are enough. And when ever I de-value an article there must be something wrong according to my evaluation criterias.

      tes

  • haileTG

    Selamat Saay and awatista,

    It goes without saying that saay is gifted with presenting a critique that firmly and rigorously cross-examine the subject matter. He does that with a touch that is sure to engage his audience and want to come back looking for more. We’re indeed blessed to have him.

    The above article lived up to that cherished standard and save for the part “Development vs Cost”, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. But when it came to the part mentioned, I felt it may not adequately reflect the “what is a miss in the way the opposition is opposing” part. In fact, I didn’t think they were a perfect match. Eritreans are not paying the costs stated there (no constitution, no justice, no due process, no voice in choosing the national government) as a perquisite for development. At least, I don’t think that is how they understand the reasons for needing to pay the steep price that they are paying. In other words, Eritreans are not talking about an imminent developmental milestone to be attained as a result of the way their lives, their country’s future and the dispersal of the youth cost being paid. They are actually worried of the ultimate disaster that could potentially unfold if the current dire situation continues unchecked. Hence, I would have liked if the final section was —– vs Cost instead. But what is —–? Because in the end one has to face —– in order to do something about the cost. Before explaining ——, let’s take a brief digression, and take a reflection of the last decade and a half.

    If you look in the way the opposition movement was bogged down in the last decade and more, one factor was glaringly reported as being a major stumbling block. That factor was the bad blood between ELF and EPLF. It has been talked much about and written much about, but the final cost was a fractured opposition that was incapable of dealing with the challenges of the time. As the regime went unchecked, the nation hit with devastating blows of repression, mismanagement and chronic migration crisis, the Eritrean people’s capacity to respond fell flat in the face, unable to react appropriately, divided, silent and everyone scrambling to save its own immediate families and interests. The opportunity to organize effective opposition in the first leg was missed in the 90s because opposition was associated with a throwback from divisions created during the armed struggle. Therefore, as there was no opposition formed at the time, we were not capable to respond to the issues of the early 2000s. Every opposition voice was sunk into the Bermuda of Jebha/Shaebia bad blood and animosity.

    Today the Jebha/Shaebia bad blood isn’t effective and may only be rearing its divisive head far in the background, much faded and much degraded. The bad blood politics however is still with us and threatens to derail the nation for good. This time however, the bad blood isn’t that of Jebha/Shaebia, rather TPLF/Shaebia. So, the final section of saay’s article might have given way to real heart to heart talk if it were TPLF/Shaebia obsession vs the cost.

    Exhibit – I

    Please scan all of the regime affiliated websites and bloggers, it is a mind numbing mountain of Ethiopia this and Ethiopia that. perhaps 90%+ their topical issue is Ethiopia. So much so, we were told come two weeks from now (Ethiopian election) was the day we were supposed to see the TPLF finally defeated and exiting Ethiopian political scene for good!

    Exhibit – II

    The very topic BB that was publicized recently appeals to such bad blood politics. In fact, there is no response given by the regime or its supporters that doesn’t seek to capitalize on that bad blood politics. Hence —– above is the TPLF/Shaebia bad blood politics.

    Postulate: So long as we genuinely seek to deal with how to dissociate Eritrean issues from Ethiopia, Eritrean fate will be decided at much later date and with much higher stakes to lives and limbs. Are we ready to think about Eritrea, Eritreans and what they are both going through humanly, with a heart and and genuinely or see it through blood tainted lenses of TPLF/Shaebia bad blood? That will make or break our fate as things stand now. If you underestimate the seriousness of this bad blood, well you only need to look back at how the Jebha/Shaebia played out in our recent past and expect much worse.

    The TPLF and EPLF, once comrades in arms are steeped in animosity and our nation’s well being will be subject to how that will play out. Those who were in the armed struggle (especially EPLF) I can understand how strong the feeling can get, let’s face it, it is real, it is there and we either face it or ignore it. But to hope that you will doge it with peripheral issues is delaying the inevitable. So long us we can’t turn our face to each other and see what is happening to us and what will become of us, and so long us the view through the blood tainted lenses are guiding and ushering us forward, it would be hard to see there is realistic question you can ask the regime to hope it to address it in any rational manner or form.

    My position here is intentionally made without making any point as it pertains to the substance influencing the bad blood. And the purpose is obvious, to avoid sinking in to the bad Bermuda of out contemporary political alignments.

    Regards

    • Mizaan1

      HaileTG, excuse my interjection but I think saay’s intention on part III is to basically refute and spoil the bragging rights for the regime and its supporters by simply doing a cost benefit analysis. He was not looking at cause and effect but he will get back to you so you can disregard my take here on his behalf. My issue was part III was that saay was too modest and took the claimed success stories by PFDJ at face value, more or less.

      • haileTG

        Thanks Mizaan1, but suppose saay makes very strong case against at regime’s success and dismiss all its claim as “mostly inconsequential to the general Eritrean public.” Now, how do you sell that if the regime says he is doing “TPLF” bidding? Is there a way to register your point of view without crossing the Bermuda???

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Saay7,
    Excellent !!! Thank you!

  • tes

    Dear Saay7,

    Indeed an apoch-making article. Simply brilliant and thank you.

    tes

  • Hayat Adem

    Thanks Saay,
    This is a great take. I wish you hadn’t implied she was doing it for her country. I think she was doing it for herself. It appears as a continuation from where Cohen left it a year ago. You remember your title then: We Engage for Money?”
    The “come and see” mantra is funny. It is as if there are not people inside Eritrea living it. And if that gives us the clue, they don’t like what they see and they are leaving it in masses.
    Hayat

  • HayaT1

    Now I am really mad at the prolific writer Saleh Younis for causing me to forget my omelet I put at the stove and burn it while reading his yet another beautifully written article. Who is at fault here, and who is to blame, Saleh Younis, the writer or me?
    I cannot say enough how I enjoyed reading the piece! Instead of wasting time by appraising boring tutelages printed
    here and there by the so called “African-experts”, this narrative is educational both to the novice and experts, including Ms. Burton. Inarguably, the article prudently and decorously devours some of the “African expert” foreign writers that have the temerity to say just anything because they had majored “African focus studies” in college. African is too big and diverse, multifarious and intricate, with long history and varied civilizations, political history, art, religion and economic interests to say a few. In today’s world reality, it is a serious academic disservice to jumble all African related genera under the title of “African Expert,” and claim authority to heal socio-political woes.
    Thank you, Mr. Saleh Younis for using your beautiful mind for the right cause. Now, let me start cleaning the stove.

  • Hope

    Dear Prof Dr Saay,

    Epic!

    Am I surprised about your Super Article?Absolutely NO!

    But here is my only Comment,unless you are going to come up with a Follow Up Article:

    –As much as you attacked Ms BB,you have a MORAL and even a National(Hagherawi Ghidetta) and Legal Obligation to ” attack” Ms Susan Rice ,Djbouti,Ethiopia,the CIA,the British,etc—for what they have done to Eritrea and for their contribution to the MESS we are in.

    -You have also a Moral and National Oblgation,as an Eritrean,not as an Opposition Party,to analyse in the exact way you have done to attack Ms BB as to how the Sanctions were cooked up by Dijbouti,the Weyanes,Uganda,Dr Jendayi Frazer and her Boss,Dr Susan Rice.

    -You have a Moral and National Obligation to analyse and to, even REFUTE,as an Eritrean Citizen,as to why the State of Eritrea has been denied to defend herself,to the extent of being harrassed,bombarded and invaded on a day light(the whole saga of Sanction so as to bring down Eritrea to that level of being defenseless),rather than conveniently focusing on the “Targeted but sugar -coated sanctions”!
    Guess what though?Ms BB did a Superb Job on that aspect and I applaud and give her credit for exposing that unrestrained culture of selective demonization of Eritrea.
    -Why should/would she waste her time on the issues others spent tons of energy and time?
    -Why in world would you ask her to tell you about things that you know better than her?
    -Do you believe that she is uninfromed and naive about it?You know better!
    Per my understanding,she has attempted to expose it officially that Eritrea as a Nation has been unfairly targeted and Eritreans have become victims of the collateral damages of those unfair targeting of Eritrea as a Country,in the name of targeting the Regime,which is a modus operandi of the Western Intelligence Services,CC/carbon-copied by the Weyanes..
    Can’t you grasp this simple fact a Third Grader can understand/clarify?
    Do you need me to mention Iraq,Libya or Syria so that you can understand what Ms BB has tried to do or to say?
    – I am afraid that,as you said it before,YES,” You Are Wrong” on this,at least partially,besides being a biased analysis!Or at least you sounded WRONG on this,in my opinion,unless I missed soemthing!

    -You have a Moral and Hagerawi Ghidetta to deeply, honestly and comprehnsively analyse the negative impact of the Sanctions,threats,conspiracies,etc–by the Weyanes and their masters–based on the facts you have at hand,which/ but you conveniently put aside.

    -Rather than conveniently blaming Eritrea or the PFDJ about the armed Groups and so ,so forth,you have a Moral obligation to compare and contrast about the role of Ethiopia in doing even worse than that of Eritrea,as it will sound that you are acting like more TPLF and more Ethiopian than the TPLF and Ethiopians, the way you have done it.

    Opps,BTW,I forgot that you are an Opposition Party but am saying this considering Prof Dr.SAAY as a Patriotic Eritrean Citizen/Nationalist,when it comes to Eritrea!
    My point:
    While we know all the weaknesses , mischieves,wrong-doings,etc,..of the PFDJ,as a Courtesy at least,we have to give it the benefit of doubt as to why the PFDJ has ended up to be in this situation,and more importantly,as to why Eritrea and Eritreans have remained to be a perpetual VICTIM(s) of such conspiracies,which you,in fact,testified in the past objectively about the role and the genesis of the Ethio-Eritrea war,the Sanctions and the conspiracies,which makes it to appear or sound that you migh be contradicting some what,in my opinion at least.
    I trust the Inner City Journalist/Reports more than any Reporter,when it comes to such kind of sensitive issues!

    Having said that,I agree absolutely with your last Statement,which I have found to be SECOND to NONE,besides endorsing it other than the above concerns I put forward.
    I ask you the same questions I asked Haile TG and would like to have some answers irrespective of my naivity and ignorance!

    Quote of the year,2015:
    “These and other issues are what Eritreans, pro-government and opposition should be discussing and debating among ourselves just as the Brutons, Rices and Shermans are discussing what is in the best interest of the United States. Why do we need proxies?”!
    Courtesy of Prof Dr Saleh A.A Younis!
    Big question:
    How,and why have we failed thus far?
    Next Article?Hope so.

    • hope

      Addendum:
      You mentioned Amnesty International,which plotted a Coup against the GoE.You ignored such things .
      The amusing part:
      Even tigraionline condemned that Act!

      • Abel

        Dear Hope,
        The only thing you and Tigrayonline have in common is another 10+years of Issayas rule.

        • Hope

          Abel,
          Weyo neti natensi ni-endahamten!
          I thought you are a member of the Tigraionline,who believes in the Regime Change by invading Eritrea or by proxy to replace it with TPLF Puppet Gov!!!
          Get the substance….

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Merhaba Saay,

    Excellent rebut against Ms. Burton. Good job. I found new info in your account that both – the government and the opposition are talking through proxies. I don’t know how true is this. Is it shareable information with the forum? If it is, can you enlighten us about the proxies talks that are going behind the scene?

    Regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

    • Passerby

      Selam Amanuel,
      There is no new info. He is talking about the fact that foreign individuals and groups are talking about Eritrea and that some of the views represent that of the regime and some the opposition’s. But this has always been the case, may be since 1991, not sure why Saleh found it to be a new phenomenon.
      It also puzzles me as to why Miss Bruton, is getting extra scrutiny. She is not Wendy Sherman, she is not representing any government. She is just a private citizen, a single individual sharing her single views. What’s the big deal?

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Passerby,

        The big deal is her lies that makes her “a useful idiot” as Seyoum Tesfay has rightly characterized her. Nothing else haw passerby. One question to you though. You are an active participator in this forum, but why you opted “passerby” as your nickname? At least those who uses pen-names must chose something related to the “value” you intend to advocate. Just a thought.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ammanuel,
      I don’t think Saay said there are proxy talks going on–he just described the way foreigners justify or oppose the regime’s actions. He didn’t mention any proxy talks going on behind the scene.

      • Peace!

        Hi SJ,

        I don’t think that’s the case; I think the notion that “the government and the opposition have started talking to one another” ruins his super Sunday. Eh..Da..Saay Entay Kitrekib -:)

        regards

    • Peace!

      Hi Emma

      Happy Sunday! I know you are honest and straight shooter, but I am afraid your above comment turned out to be quiet the opposite, you asked: ” I don’t know how true is this. Is it shareable information with the forum? If it is, can you enlighten us about the proxies talks that are going behind the scene?” I know your position on the government, but don’t you think it is a good news when the government and oppositions start talking to one another given the fact that in negotiation both sides should be winners? Or, why not reject the notion and stick to your position that the government doesn’t represent the people instead of asking funny questions?

      regards

    • Hope

      Ustaz Emma:

      Re-read this:
      “The bad news is that it is proxy talks: it is discussions by our favorite foreigners. Pro-oppo Foreigner Narrative: Eritrea is one of the worst violators of human rights and exporters of asylum-seekers; an outlaw regime that governs without constitution. Pro-Government Foreigner Narrative: The Eritrean government is obsessed with peace, social justice, development whose policies are working despite the strong forces rooting for its failure. In this corner in red trunks: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, Transparency International”.
      Courtesy of SAAY…the satirist!

      • Peace!

        Hi Hope,

        Despite the article is obviously a one-sided argument, which by the way fails to live up to its introduction, the Weed-Out team members are always suspicious even when things are in their favor. I can wait for the part II of the article: rebut against Susan Rice.

        regards

        • Ted

          Dear peace, Does it matter what what we say about Suzan Rice. I don’t think it matters any more. The tiger does’t change its strips, she is what she is. The good news is Eritreans have enough of GOV/opposition bickering. The tide has changed, the opposition can not take the high ground of Eritrean politics anymore, are as guilty as the Gov. Who are adamant about the need for negotiation ? not the silent majority.

          • Peace!

            Hi Ted,

            Agreed, it doesn’t really mater. I thought it is interesting to hear their reaction on that given Susan Rice is a mastermind of the sanction they fully support.

            regards

          • tes

            Dear Ted,

            Reading every line you put, I see how much dictatorial system the reformers are going to formulate?

            You wrote, “…the opposition can not take the high ground of Eritrean politics anymore, are as guilty as the Gov. ” Well, I will save this comment for another day.

            For the sake of the article on table, I will keep silent.

            tes

  • Sarah Ogbay

    SAAY hawey,
    Good job! I don’t know how far you live from where she works, but it would have been interesting if you meet her (surprise meeting) in a starbucks during her coffee or lunch break and see what she has to say for herself. She needs to know Eritrea also has think tank and eloquent people like you (alewuna!) who talk justice. I hope she won’t say ‘Look! Over there! An old train!’ and disappear as she may not have a credible response to your points.
    Thank you for talking justice in a diplomatic manner.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Dr. Saay,

    What an amazing clarity! This article should be categorized as “the ultimate user’s guide to politics.”

    I don’t think Ms. Burton’s “I didn’t like Ethiopia, therefore Eritrea liked me” type statement helps her be taken seriously. She should also have explaining why Eritreans are migrating in relatively higher numbers than their neighbors instead of minimizing its intensity with statements like “there are Somalis and Ethiopians among them too.” The most lopsided and damaging of her undertaking is perhaps her previous criticism of Ethiopia for lack of “human rights” and etcetera while ignoring any achievements, and yet, she does exactly the opposite regarding Eritrea. She would have been better off reporting “I wanted to see for myself, and they have accomplished a lot with a meager resource and lots of hurdles” and stop there instead of getting involved in regional innuendos that made her look like an Eritrean government mouthpiece than an independent thinker. Her immaturity in politics is obvious, however, it is better to separate the wheat from the chaff out of her report and appreciate the good news instead.

    Regarding your last “let’s talk” sentence, obviously, it fits very well with Haile TG’s heart/mind discussion a few days ago, so to help you both test it indoors, and after taking experience and complexity into account, I recommend the following 10 Eritreans to experiment on and to make them responsible on its success at the same time.

    1. Amanuel Hidrat
    2. dawit
    3. Gheteb
    4. Haile TG
    5. Hayat Adem
    6. Mahmud Selah
    7. Saay7
    8. Saleh G. Johar
    9. sara
    10. Sarah Ogbay

    Now, this group’s mission should be to discuss among your selves, and then to
    1. Identify what is needed today
    2. Describe processes of achievement

    PS:
    I believe AT can create private pages for you for private discussion.
    Chao!

    • Hope

      Dr Fanti Ghana,
      I thought that has been what the AT and the Opposition have been “doing”.for the last 15 yrs.
      The hard question you have to ask should be,in my opinion:
      Why have you guys failed in grasping this simple fact in bringing change?
      Why can’t you rally the silent majority for ONE cause?
      Why can’t you act as ONE people against ONE man rule or one Party?

      • Fanti Ghana

        Hello Brother Hope,
        One possible way to change that is to first stop and ask each other what to do about this stagnation. What has been done so far is one group trying to convince another why their ways are “the right way.” Some or most of these oppositions organizing inside Ethiopia is not helping either. I am also sensing that everyone seems to be waiting for somebody else to do something instead of spearheading “something” no matter how small. I know I am making it sound like a walk in the park, but imagine for instance if Saay, Haile, Gheteb, and Hayat could combine their efforts to agree on a few specific points and challenge some of the so called opposition organizations to organize better and start “talking to the Eritrean people,” or pull the rug from under their feet if they refuse, I believe they could be a formidable force on their own. What I have observed from the number of friends I talk to day in day out is that many Eritreans are waiting for someone honest and possibly fresh to lead them instead of for someone famous.

        • Hope

          Absolutely,my Dear Doc!
          You nailed it–but—there might be something you have forgotten about Eritrean political culture,which needs to be weeded out for GOOD!
          That will take time.
          As you nailed it,the inko solution is:
          -Keeping our egos-aside
          -narrowen our difference
          -Dialogue-round table discussion
          -Follow commnon sense Principles/Guidelines
          etc..
          But ,Hey,Doc,these have been attempted but there are still som eobstacles that we cannot resolve….
          There are major issues of:
          -External Interference
          -Interest Groups
          -Power Hunger
          -Trust issue
          -Ethno-Relgious and Regional Politics

  • Ted

    Hi Saay, it looks like only Americans know how the revolving door works. Rice and Bruton wait their turns to get in and out. We Eritreans jammed the door Dawit and Semere pushing it on opposite side to get in at the same time while the distressed queue of Eritreans watching it in dismay. There are no saints and winners in this tug of war, except to talk it out.

  • Dayphi

    Merhaba Saay and All..” 2. The Border War & Its Aftermath: Ms Burton states that the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict resulted in death of 30,000 Eritreans. ”
    Did she also state that Eritrean population was only 3 million? Could the regime indeed had provided her with figures closer to the REAL casualties and populations, and her mistake was to utter the numbers in public when it was given to her off records, just for her personal info?

  • Semere Andom

    Dear Saleh:
    Excellent article!
    If it was not for the last paragraph I would not have the vocabulary wherewithal to describe this piece:-)
    You said we should be discussing and debating like what the Brutons, Rices and Shermans are doing: debating what is best for USA
    The short answer is because we are not in talking terms, the opposition and pro- government. The Americans you mention may have different visions for their countries, they believe that their side, whether a different party or individual has the best ideas for the interest of USA. Some times, they may integrate ideas, some times they wait for their turn. All of them are the subservient of the law, no one is an outlaw. If they want to indulge into stupid things, they find a gunea pings that is to say things that they will not be able to say when they are in the company of their adversaries, their fellow citizens.
    In our case, it is the opposite, not only in vision but one is an outlaw and the other want the outlaw to be shackled. How can these two be debating what is best for Eritrea? I know you do not believe that even the pro government do not wakeup every morning to screw Eritrea and that they have the best interest of Eritrea. I disagree. They may not articulate it, they many not even believe that they are there to screw Eritrea, but if they believe that the political prisoners deserve it, if the journalists deserve it, if they want the opposition to die in exile and not be able to be buried in their homeland, then I do believe that they do not have the best interest of Eritrea. Your other wish, no Eritrean left behind is different. Yes even criminals must be integrated into society, must be given second chances and justice must be rendered not vengeance and revenge. The outlaw must be helped to be law abiding

  • Ayneta

    SAAY:
    My hat off….brilliant analysis….. your ability to connect the dots and make sense is amazing… I think I will start liking you again after I remained disappointed for so long because of the way you mishandled Ali Abdu’s case…..This one, one of its kind!

  • SenaiErtrawi

    SAAY,
    You are the greatest, thank you! !

    “So, to me, this is an American-experts feud that has little to do with us. It is likely that Bruton and Rice will trade places: Rice, after the end of the Obama term, will be back to think tanks and Bruton may become an “adviser” to Hillary Clinton or whoever runs against her. And the band marches on. And, in the end, Ms Susan Rice and Ms Bruton and Ms Sherman are likely to meet at some cocktail function and have a pleasant conversation about us Africans. Unlike us foolish Eritreans who are good at marginalizing our tiny population and would never mingle.”