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Currency Change: An Absurd Tipping Point For Disobedience

It is absurd to expect the currency change to be a tipping point for disobedience.

In keeping with its founding principles of inflicting the utmost suffering on our people, the PFDJ once again sent shock waves in Eritrea by announcing the currency change. Both the clueless and those in the know offered their conjectures, but there was nothing enlightening about both as they all stated the obvious, yet they were both wrong on one thing: that the undue hardship imposed on the people will rally them to action, that this currency change will be the tipping point that will lift the slapdash and wobbly resistance of the people to embolden and unleash the bottled up anger to finally break the shackles. But lest we be fooled; all shackles were not created equal as some of are “golden shackles”.

But the silliest one and the most thoughtless of all was the call from a former PFDJ technocrat. He called on the Eritrean people to disobey, “embely bel hizbey”. He advised the people to safe-keep their “hard-earned money” instead of bequeazing it to thieves of Isaias Afwerki’s government.

“Thieves”, I agree that much!

“It is yours to keep and since you have earned it, one day when you erect your own government on the rubbles of Isaias’s regime you can exchange your money. No one will deny you that. “

He invoked the time when property and real-estate were returned to their rightful owners after independence, so he continued, “except for some spending money, keep your money safely tucked where it is until dawn arrives, which is soon as the PFDJ and its tentacles are on their death bed, on the verge of breathing the last atom of their oxygen.

He sounded that he did not even believe his own advice.

The people of Eritrea, who have memorized and heeded Isaias’s theorem of water does not travel to where people are, people travel to where water is,  will not have problem meeting the deadline and the limit that the regime has imposed. The change that they have saved by selling their cow, their camel or produce will be burned before the deadline expires and soon they will be using the new currency. It is conceivable that the technocrat is privy to billions of Nakfa tucked away by a few, if so, is he advising these people to stay put with their “hard” earned money?

Under PFDJ the “black” economy blossomed, it was nurtured by PFDJ. PFDJ’s illegal economy predates PFDJ itself. The precursor of PFDJ, the EPLF perfected the illegal activity in the Sudan and Middle East and when it entered Asmara, it was a seasoned underground economy expert. This mentality leaked into the country and many people made their wealth by latching to it and collaborating with PFDJ. PFDJ would act as the protector in many cases, not only for physical security but provided protection from the tax man. So they both flourished. In The last fifteen years as the human and organ trafficking flourished, many made millions both protected and encouraged by PFDJ. This is the economy that functions outside the banking system, so the money was kept in safety boxes in the shops and private houses. There is nothing “hard earned” about the wealth that was accumulated by human trafficking, organ harvesting and tax evasion. These people should be punished not be consulted for free to keep their money and to exchange it after PFDJ collapses.

There is some sort of dementia about any leader, a technocrat who has served the PFDJ and along the way gotten beaten by its venom. First they wait until the last minute, until they have exhausted all their chances of ascending Isaisa’s greasy pole, or until they are told by Isaias to report to an Indian coolie who has come to Eritrea scouring for opportunity. They get disgusted by: “If you cannot make in India, immigrate to Eritrea.” With their hopes dashed, they leave to a conference blessed by the same person who denied them ascent. And they have well-rehearsed excuses, we were trying to diplomatically swaying Isaias. For example, our technocrat in question in one of his informative, astute interviews with Assenna said that his predecessor had a different style. He would hound Isaias in some public functions and whispers to him his funding needs, ‘tsiggiE illu….”. This is code for begging Isaias, who controls the coffers of the country, the treasurer of Eritrea who writes checks to triumphant athletes.  The interviews of the technocrat in question were informative, informative of his skills to run successful enterprise, informative of his skills as an astute business manager, who have earned his stripes. No doubt about that, not even a shred. He sounded it, he articulated it and he was loquacious about it.But also it was informative at least for this writer of the dementia of the elites that served the PFDJ in some capacity. This includes the humiliation of a famous artist, who dangled from the roofs of Isaias’s residence to hang his own paintings. After toiling for fee, unrewarded for his hard work and talents, demoralized he fled to the West.

Now our technocrat who severed his ties with the dictator after he was disgusted by the notion of reporting to a coolie is advising those who stashed some dough to disobey the dictator by not showing in the bank to exchange their old currency. “The dawn is arriving, keep it safe compatriots, it is your money.” To these wealthy people their dawn has already arrived with PFDJ, many of them are organ traffickers, human sellers, tax evaders and they should be brought to justice not hailed as genius who worked hard for their money.

The timely call is, has been for the last twenty five years and will be the timely call until PFDJ’s collapse is this: those guarding the gates of Ela-Ero and all the prisons erected by PFDJ to open the gates to free all prisoners, your sins will be washed away by the blood that oozed from the bodies of the prisoners. The call is for the mothers and fathers to rebel when their daughter is raped or impregnated by unscrupulous PFDJ functionary or general, to raise their axes and swords, if they have none of these tools, raise and throw the stones and rocks that dot your front yard and fight the tools of PFDJ. Forget organizing and collective disobedience, defend your house, your honor and your family. That is the timely call, not disobedience that revolves around a currency exchange of a few who have amassed it with illegal means and or outright crime. These people, their counsel is the PFDJ and they have been taken care of.  When Bahta Hagos was charmed by the Whiteman, his brother, Sengal reportedly told him: “Bahta hawey embaza attiAshu, tsaeda temen entenekisu, dellalka ayrekeben eyu fewsu”, (brother Bahta do not be too naïve, when the white snake bites, you cannot find the antidote). Replace the white snake with PFDJ that is what happening with the technocrats who severed and dallied PFDJ.

It is unbecoming to lump together all those who amassed sizable wealth to mere corruption, human trafficking as we can be sure there are some who earned it legally by toiling and moiling but the majority who in the last few years have saved millions are crooks and criminals who are has amassed not only wealth but also muscle to intimidate and disappear people by wielding the power of their “golden” handcuffs that both shackles and lends them unfettered power.

About Semere Andom

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  • AMAN

    Thank you for your compliment.
    But I think pfdj’s DRD is to elementary .
    I do not think it does research out of that black box
    let a lone on a wider and greater scale like we did.
    Thanks to US universities and research centers
    like UCLA, UW , COLUMBIA , JOHNS HOPKINS and others though
    they are blessed with lots of knowledge and research materials from
    the world………..and do not give the credit to PFDJ or AFRICA.
    It is a gross misplacement, theft and betrayal.
    How come an org. asking help on the street from anyone/passerby
    be a giver and helper to others. You remind me the needy Ma. Re. T / REST
    of Tigray who is at the mercy of donors & never helped a Tigrayan but calling itself so.

  • Ayneta

    Thank you for expressing your views without your signature bashing:)

    I see the point you are trying to make. But if they stay put, how does it act as a pressure point against the government, just their mere presence? Dont you think that may lead to a military coup ? If they stay put and stand up, everything is possible including arming up to topple the government which you dont recommend. So I dont say you have contracted yourself, but your assessment is inconclusive because it leaves a room for remove by force and you are against the latter. When I say remove by force, I dont necessarily mean weeding out. It could simply mean restoration to normal state of affairs.

  • AMAN

    Dear Awates and readers
    Greetings to all
    “Putting History in its right perspective
    solves half part of existing problems
    that come from confusion or ignorance”! ………..Anonymouse
    What is confusing many people is that the way they understand history
    in its normal and right perspective AND the propagandized version of it
    deliberately promoted by regimes to consolidate their fiefdoms/kingdoms.
    If we return to the history of our region; the present day land and people
    called Eritrea with its center in the Anseba region with its capital in Asmara
    is the one had been known for centuries as Ethiopia by the world kingdoms.
    The people and land south of the Nile river ( Abay) has never been part of
    Ethiopia until recently; and the region south of the Mereb was the pperiphery
    zone of Ethiopia. But the Land and people of that ancient and true Ethiopia is
    later called ERITRIA as a modern name for Ethiopia; which Ethiopia itself was
    a modern name for ancient Abyssinia. As the people moved south more and
    more they took the names Abyssinia and/or Ethiopia with them to the south.
    No wonder that in these days the woyanes pretend as if more Ethiopian than
    Eritrea similar to the Dergue days when the souther Sidama peoples consider
    themselves more Ethiopians than the rest ( wello , Gondar and Tigray provinces)
    and were punishing them to silence them from their rebellion before the revolution
    from the ancient Ethiopia called Eritrea reached out for them and saved them from
    slavery by southern kings of HSI and Mengistu. The people of Amhara were already
    Oromized and the Tigray already lost their Tigrigna language and adopted Amhara
    as their lingua franca. Only Eritrea, the true origin of Ethiopian civilization and culture
    survived all this onslaught of culture and identity due to its ……(will continue)

    • AMAN

      There are many reasons why Eritrea as the nucleus and origin
      of Ethiopian kingdom and Ethiopian culture is always indestructable
      center (core) and always remains so despite all the wrath of war and
      injustice by outside colonial warriors and/or inside rebels against it and
      its identity.
      To mention few
      1. Due to its Geo-political setting and proximity to the outside world
      and its civilizations, it was always blessed to share and be part of
      this socio-cultural civilization taking place in the Mediterannean world.
      That is why the European warrior kingdoms always found it unique
      and incompatible with their understanding of Africa, African peoples
      and their cultures when they make first contacts with them. Thus the
      social consciousness and thinking and culture was in line and par with
      those who were dreaming of would be colonizers and who finally only
      settled confined to some urban corners and quarters of the country
      without been able to implement colonialism like in Kenya or South Africa.
      The Eritrean culture and people confined them only to find survival in city
      quarters like a besieged protected community.
      But all these survival and eventually reaching out to those citizens who
      moved south and settled there from been lost in the traditions of the cultures
      of the newly acquired land and people didn’t come easy or free but at a great
      cost of material and human life as sacrifice to rise the country up again. For
      Example those settled in the new provinces of Wello ,Tigray, and Gondar were
      already falling to the cultures and languages of the original Cushitic peoples
      due to their less and lesser connection to their original Ethiopian culture and
      identity and due to the errors and mistakes they were making in the new lands
      and becoming victims of the divide and rule agenda of foreign missionary advisors
      in hope of engineering a new nation building and a new Ethiopia that replaces the
      original Ethiopia( now Eritrea) modeled after catholic kingdoms of Europe and make
      a new colony of Ethiopia if not by war but by coercion and use of soft method. That
      is the reason why from the ancient days till this period of time Eritrea ( Land and people)
      reflects the true original history , identity and culture of the land known and had been
      called Ethiopia more than any other part of the region.
      The political culture the Mesafints and their derivatives had been embarking for nation
      building until 1991 or this time is only a misplaced, distorted carbon copy of the true
      history and culture and identity of the people deliberately done so to create a colonia
      kingdom that can be ruled easily by any catholic king of Europe.
      And the results of it can be seen from the easy collapse of a much propped regime
      at minimum push or revolt like it happened to the much feared HSI in 1974 and to the
      equally much feared dergue in 1991. ( Ruling regimes without any social base, historical
      foundations and legitimacy ?!)

  • tes

    Dear Nitricc,

    I think you are fooling yourself. The youth stayed and started to build their nation until the power hungry junta started to eat them. When this started to happen, they had two options:

    1. To turn their gun against the eater and turn the country into chaos

    2. To leave peacefully so that Eritrean people couldn’t witness again another civil war.

    They did both. But now they are realizing that their decision was not right. The only solution to remove PFDJ was using the guns that they had carried before. For the people, it is almost a relief to see their kids dying in their land than in the Sahara and the sea.

    This is a paradox of Eritrean tragedy.

    You don’t have a mind to understand these things. Instead you uplauded for their tragedy as it is a punishment they deserve when they die in the Lampedusa. It is another paradox for Nitricc to call for reform while he enjoys youth dying.


  • tes

    Dear AOsman

    If I was for reform, for sure I could have used my PFDJ cadre school package to defend for its right to exist. Unfortunately I am not.

    Regarding Nitricc, leave him to wonder. His head is trapping him somewhere.


  • Abraham Hanibal

    Dear Mahmuday,

    As always, it is a pleasure to read your contributions here; I agree with all of your points, except that I’wd like to comment on these ones:

    1) The issue of secrecy of the recent Medrek conference. As you’ve listened to the interview they gave, the organisers had sent invitations to the various political groups and individuals beforehand including the agenda of their meeting. The only parts they chose to keep secret until the last days was the timing and venue of the meeting. Of course if one thinks about the schedules of the potential participants not knowing these essential aspects beforehand could create inconveniences and clashes with other duties. And this might be one of the reasons that only 11 out of the totally 18 previously invited parties attended the conference. But the reason they gave for the secrecy of venue and timing was to deny the PFDJ and its stooges the chance of sabotaging the conference, which I believe to be sound assessment. It could be that the organizers (just like any pro-change and justice) had placed a huge significance to the holding and success of the long-awaited conference to streamline and co-ordinate the haphazard efforts against the tyranny both inside and outside the country. However as a first effort, this conference has revived the prospects of more robust resistance against the dictatorship, and has to be encouraged.

    2) Regarding the nature of Medrek; as you noted Dr. Asefaw said, without giving the details, that they are not a political party, in a way that they would struggle for position, however, Amb. Andebrehan did clarify it and said this doesn’t mean they don’t have a political mission. According to their view, which I agree with, it is meaningless to compete for power at this stage; in Tigrigna I’wd put this as ከይሓረዱ ሓዊ ኣጎዱ. Medrek’s agenda is to create the space (that is an Eritrea free of dictatorship) for free competition the natural priority, and their mission is to bring all forces of change together for this primary common goal.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam Abraham, Hope and Semere

      Abraham: I understand your feed and thanks. I was driving when I originally listened to the interview. Your reply made me to listen to it again, I also listened to the VOA interview (Nowadays, I’m getting a bit tighter time wise). I do believe it is a positive step (may be even a historical one) because the gathering of these organizations show us that the behind the cyber attacks we are used to, people are working hard to narrow down differences. Look at this:
      List of participating organisations:

      1. Eritrean Liberation Front

      2. Eritrean National Salvation Front

      3. Eritrean Peoples’ Democratic Party

      4. Eritrean Democratic Party

      5. Eritrean Nahda Party

      6. Democratic Front for Eritrean Unity

      7. Eritrean Congress Party

      8. Eritrean Islamic Islah Movement

      9. Eritrean Islamic Congress

      10. Eritrean Islamic Party for Justic & Development

      11. Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement

      12. National Forum for Dialogue
      You can see organizations you would not think of reaching to each other having attending the conference. Considering the fact that Medrek, a group that has constantly been tarnished as an extension of PFDJ (or a reformist of PFDJ), preparing and coordinating this conference which hosted organizations that would normally shy away of everything that has fragments of DNA that connects a group to EPLF…I think that was remarkable. That’s why I believe that between the two extreme flanks (PFDJIsts diehards and the TPLF enchanted folks) there exists a fluid mass that is waiting for a leadership that propels it to the right direction. Some call it the silent majority.

  • Mesfin

    Dear Stefano!

    Mr Kubrom Dafla is not better than my father or my uncle. There is no need to know this person. This person was with Biteweded Abraha before 1992. What did he do when he heard/knew about the arrest of his comrade? . If I could be selected to be the state attorney, I would collect all the necessary evidence to prove that this person is guilty to some extent. And, I did not say that Mr. KD is foolish. Read my comments again.

    Anyway, Mahmuday is advising us the way forward to bring better change to the suffering of our people.


  • Mesfin

    Hi Ayneta!

    I was following your comments. You were doing well but lost it at the end. Was it necessary to play this veteran and non veteran. Nitricc has been the lefties. But I think what he is saying makes sense, not to the insults he added to his comments. And don’t mind him. He can’t write full sentence without adding those insulting words.


  • Ted

    Ayeneta, Again, ” Kubrom’s … down-to-earth and non-defensive…… a fitting example exchanges we need here at Awate.” VS “you never lived in Eritrea and your pompous-self is taking advantage of you ” You passed the decency theory with flying colors: in practice, we all have work to do.Trust your first instinct and stick with it.

    I read his response ” there would be many who will argue the same way. I clearly don’t” it seems he is still advocating for the same thing even after more than half people exchanged their money. I categorically object to misleading people just to get back at PFDJ when one don’t have the means and prospective to pick up the pieces.

    • Ayneta

      Please see my response to Mesfin.

      It seems I failed to heed to my own advice 🙂

      But honestly, now that I have failed your decency theory, let me say few words about Nitricc. Nitricc is a die hard spoiler. I have the feeling he doesn’t even read articles posted at Awate in their entirety. I think he needs to revise his civility skills and he should do it fast before he spoils this forum for all of us. We all participate under the disguises of pen names at Awate’s discretion, we should give each other due respect and tolerance we all deserve.

      I have no problem with his ideas and principles as long as he presents himself with civility and treat others with respect. We are all here to learn and possibly inspire each other. Call-naming, shaming, thrash-talking, character assassination are absolutely counterproductive.

      • Nitricc

        Hi Ayneta. Please take it easy. You are no body and the tactic you are using; long tried and failed. I have been accused with every thing in a book and I am kind of immune to your nonsense. I tried to engage you and you have chosen to character assination. In here the my stand and my character are crystal clear. It is low of you to resort to that cheap tactic.
        Have a good one sir.
        Once more moved on don’t bother.

        • Ayneta

          Your nickname should have been Nitirik 🙂 Relax Tsubuk wedi. You may be a bully in you mind, but I bet your heart is benign. Unfortunately, you set your mind in the ”bully mode” when you come to Awate and you think you can bash everyone that touches on your insecurity. Remember bullies are the weakest and most insecure people and your free riding behavour cant be tolerated. Someone will stalk you every time. In the meantime, relax, take a deep breath and let your good heart take charge for a change.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Selam Ted
      I think you are a bit overreacting here. I wish Kibrom joined this forum and explained his rationale. We would all be grateful to that. I think he should directly communicate with the author of the article and other commentators or commenters (aka watista the greatista), instead of sending his response through Saleh where Saleh’s automated CEO machine has chewed out the cream of the message ( yeah…the niceties…in our culture, that’s where things cool off before heading to the main message). Anyway, and despite the point that many consider incorrect, I think you have to judge the man in his totality.
      – I have not worked with him, but the man, Kibrom Dafla, is a well respected person.
      – People who worked with him (tegadelti and civil describe him as a decent, sympathetic and empathetic boss, someone who tried his best to do the right thing under difficult situation of PFDJ rule where institutions have been encroached upon and rules violated at will….
      – He has been active in exposing PFDJ rule, and the mindset of its boss through numerous interviews; and to my observation, he has been generous and forthcoming.
      To conclude: If indeed, as I suspect, this was an erroneous advice (something I went in detail about in my long Hateta), I think it was not a deliberate misleading but an honest and passionate call albeit a wrong one. That’s why I called upon him to directly reply to the author and the forum. I hope he clarifies it in any form he sees suits him.

      • Nitricc

        Mahmuday; long time no talk. What is going on? I hope everything is just find. You know, you and I have this ritual, mostly I replay to your post only if I disagree with your take.
        Now, you think “Ted overacted” I disagree and I will say Ted did not say enough.
        Now, let me explain; what Kubrom have to say it may not be a big of a deal if that was said let’s say by Semere Andom; I say Semere because this is his thread and he is my Fev-Punching-bag; do you think most of will react and feel this way did? Not at all! Because if Semere had to say the exact same thing we all would have said OH-well, once again Semere being Semere and that is the end of it. Because the only fight Semere put up is a fight in getting visa to Canada. He doesn’t know and he doesn’t understand what the veteran Tegadelti went through; fought for. So, he can say what ever he wants and no one cares. However; when people like Kubrom, who witnessed, participated and bled for the nation what we call Eritrea made that kind of statement; simply put irresponsible!!.
        You guys gave up your life, your youth and everything you have so we don’t have to; you can not be that careless. I don’t want to go what you guys went through; in fact no human should. But if people who paid dearly going to be that reckless; everything you paid for will be lost and we will be forced to do it allover what you have done and what you went through. Think about it!

        • Semere Andom

          Some corrections:
          The easiet thinkg for me in life so far has been to get the visa to Canada. Burn that in your vast reservoir of your brian
          On the sacrrices that Mahmud and Kibrom and other nameless Eritread paid, suffice is to say teh following:
          1. That you are clueless, it all is academic for you, i is “digmti”
          2. Their sacrifices has been already squandered,thanks to PFDJ and you

          • Nitricc

            Hi Semere; again you got it wrong. There is a big difference between lost and delayed.
            You could say lost if there was constitution implemented and shredded to pieces by the ruling party like most African country.
            You could say lost if there was an election and rigged to the bone and the ruling party won 100%.
            You could say lost, if there was one specific ethic controls the majority nation’s resources at the expense of the other eight.
            The lists goes on, what Eritrea fought and stand for is just delayed due to unseen obstacles and foreign sabotages. I know people like you will say that Eritrea had 24 years to get things done but an honest person will remind Eritrea only lived from 1992 to 1998 in peace. The rest was spent fighting for her existence; and the amazing thing is, she well and kicking. I know I am wasting my time. But think for next time.

          • Semere Andom

            and yes
            there is a shredded const in Ertirea, yes there rigged elections and un-rigged non-election, where the entire nations revolves around the whims of one lunatic man with lunatic supporters and enablers
            and yes there is specific ethic group the squanders majority of the nation, but in Eritrea case it is not the minority
            And with all your hallucinations where does your ethos of self crowned teller come in when there is no mention of the suffering of Eritreans of 15 years?
            Your are enabler of the crimes, an accessory to murders and rapes and organ traffickig

        • Ted

          Hi Nitricc, Greatest MS
          Hi GMS, it has been said opposition do what they supposed to do , oppose. True, Opposition make democracy work and it is all dandy in the West where a party has its core constituent to please. When D.Trump say stupid things about Mexicans, he doesn’t have qualm whatsoever what liberals think that he knows he is addressing to his kind of people what they need to hear. Here in Eritrea, it is a wild wild west. We toss everything we got hoping something to stick. Nothing has stuck rather was somehow objectionable. Who is counting what off-putting things “Eritrean opposition” has said in the name of change and democracy. It became more like a competition who hates PFDJ most than what people think to be a plausible route to attain change. The constant theme and modus operandi of opposition, anything one said and done can not be worse than what PFDJ is doing to its people ( wrong in so many levels) need to be revised. If you think i am overreacting to Mr Dafla’s comment, let the desensitization of our people to opposition’s call continue.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Selam Gen.Nit
          What’s up young man? Well, for one Kibrom Dafla is a respected veteran. There is no question in that. We have pounded him on the point he made about asking Eritreans to say “No” to the currency change. That should be enough. I opposed it because I thought it was impractical and technically implausible (read my comments in this regard).
          Now, both Kibrom and my bad, really bad friend Semere Andom, advised Eritreans to say “No” ALBEIT in different ways. I think such calls are easy said than done. Once I was asked why I don’t support an armed solution. My answer was simple. a/ I don’t believe armed conflicts necessarily lead nations to a better position (examples are abundant).
          b/ I don’t call for something that I am not prepared to take part in.
          Therefore, I think we have to be realistic when we make calls or when we demand of Eritreans inside the country to do something we would not do. Semere called for revolt to protect your property, liberty, daughter… son….basically he called Eritreans to pick up stones and start an Intifada. Now, my rule is this: Would Semere, if he was living in Adi Qonxi, pick up a stone and throw to advancing police who are looking for his son who overstayed his leave? If Semere says “yes” then I will pay his ticket, I will arrange inserting him to any village he chooses, and good luck. Another silly complaint I hear is why are people working in the government? Well, they need to support their families. Just because you have got a way to the west doesn’t mean everyone has that option. Of course, my good friend Tesfankiel Gherahtu has that option, and that’s why I made that call to him. But not all have that option. Even if they have that option, look at what happened to families of those who chose to do so. Therefore, we should not expect of Eritreans of something that we would not be prepared to do. Making calls that are expected to result in undue burden to the subjects we target is not realistic, therefore, it’s not practical.
          Kibrom Dafla made that comment, but how is Adey GuEuSh and Adey Halima who receive small remirance from their relatives, or meager salaries from their employers will be asked to keep those meager funds aside until PFDJ is gone? How is it that a legit millionaire is asked to stash his Nakfas until PFDJ is gone? On what technicality?
          The above are examples to say that we should not make calls that a similarly rational person would not do, anyway.
          On my comment to Ted: Read what I said. I told him to see the man in his totality. That’s all. I also made the same criticism that Ted made but in a different tone. Another aspect that you have to see is this: Is this a consequential call? No. Not at all. Any rational person will not heed that call. So, move on from Kibrom. It was unfortunate for Semere to kill many paragraphs on the man, but the main point was the fact that such calls will not tip the balance; and the mass people have nothing to do with it.
          Simply answer this question: if you were in Eritrea or anywhere holding Nakfas, would you heed Kibrom’s advice? If not, that is what Eritreans seem to be doing and that’s why I sAID IT WAS INCISEQUENTIAL.

          • tes

            Dear Mahmud Saleh,

            I agree with you on Kibrom Dafla. He is among the few who stood tall for justice in an exemplary way. I saw him marching among the justice seekers in Bologna and in Geneva. I heard his professional expertise analysis on the financial system of PFDJ. He is modest, true to his words and a man who speaks and acts.

            He is a million plus worth veteran. I have a very deep respect for him. Unlike others, he is not on personal attacks. His focus in on the operation system of PFDJ. He is unique.

            And I salute you expressing your honest views on him.


            Plus: Nitricc and Ted, they oppose anyone who left the PFDJ camp. Nothing new if they bluff pages after pages. It is a typical PFDJ cult followers personal attack.

  • Hope

    Good read, Ustaz Mahmud!
    I thought this comment of yours should be modified to/for an Article!

    My naive opinion :
    1)On Vet Kibrom:
    -He should be respected as a Concerned Citizen and Vet ,who have enough knowledge and experience on the PFDJ and its business and the subject Matter on question!
    And as such,his opinion should be respected but should also be analysed,criticized constructively and then ,he should also respond back and correct things and people with wrong perception and attitude!

    Hope he will do that,rather than a ” nice and diplomatic gesture” as he is being criticized negatively including character assassination of his persona by some hypocrites,who might not know him well’

    My opinion on his opinion to save the money under the mattress and his advice to protest is but emotional short-sighted and not well thought of !

    Here is,why in my opinion:
    1)The environment to do so is not conducive and unrealistic!
    If the Eritreans and the EDF have not yet protested despite the destruction of the Eritrean Socio-Economico-Educational System and the destruction of Eritrean Social Fabric and Family values!

    2)If the Eritreans have not yet protested against the root causes of the Youth Exodus and against kidnapping,arresting and killing of their own loved ones!

    3)If Eritreans have not yet protested for not being allowed to have a basic earning to live,etc…,how in the world could they protest against this Currency thing!

    The Victims of the Decision:

    It is not only the few criminals and Corrupted Generals but mainly the innocent people,who mostly depend on the Nacfa exchanged in the black market ,which is sent by their families abroad !
    This Nacfa mostly is kept under their mattresses as the Eritreans live in fear including fear to put their Nacfa in the Bank!
    I just checked a sample of 20 Eritreans that I know here in the West,who claimed that their families are still hiding an average of 500k Nacfa each under their mattresses and imagine what will happen to it if they are afraid of putting that money back to the bank for the new currency!

    As to The Author of the Article:

    As clearly witnessed here in the forum,the Article is biased as it did not investigate to gather basic info so as to write an Article!
    He just expressed his usual hatred towards the EPLF/PFDJ !
    I hope he learned to refrain from belittling,insulting and making unwarranted defamatory campaign against people that he might have no clue about !

    The Editors should take note of this for future reference !
    Here is why:
    As much as some of us are sensitive to and about ” Defamation”, some sensitive people might feel that this website is against them!
    Let us learn from the so called Ali Salim Saga!

    But here is the main issue to be discussed:
    The negative impact of the abuse of Nacfa from National Security Interest point of view
    Vis-a-vis or versus the negative impact on the few criminals and the innocent people!
    I.e.,the over all Pros and cons of the Decision for /to Eritrea as a Nation and for/to the affected people !
    There is no doubt that the System messed up things from day ONE for nurturing the ground for such an uncontrollable corruption, in the first place!
    -The system confiscated the USD Accounts of the Innocent Citizens!
    -Banned Private Sector of the Economy and the PFDJ monopolized it exclusively
    -the above discouraged Eritreans of all walks of life specially the business people and encouraged those business people to run away to other countries to do a better business ;but only to lose even worse due to the Criminal TPLF Gang!

    Bottom line:
    The PFDJ Gang knew exactly what it was doing from day one:
    To create a corrupted State and to make the Backbone of the State,the Youth,to be depleted in one way or another!
    So,where were those people now telling the Eritrean People to do this or that after the damage is done beyond REPAIR??
    Good luck Eritrea and Eritreans

    • Semere Andom

      Dear Hope;
      The author of the article did not question Mr. Kibrom’s veteran status, his skill, his qualification.
      The critisim was about the call was non urgent and it will not rally the people. The people would work around it and survive it, the crooks will lose if they are not connected, but mostly they are connected, that is how they made the millions, the nation also can survive this Nacfa change regardless of PFDJ’s motives. There are other issues that are still timely and the nation and people may not survive it.
      In keeping with what our author is know for: that PFDJ technocrats, artists, higher echelons more of often than not seem to abandon it when it is too late for them and for us. The author is also is cognizant they have to take care of stuff, the security of their friends, families and associates before they leave, that is understandable , but they wait to the last minute, hoping that the dictator will mend his ways ( mending ways was borrowed from brother Ismail Omar Ali when he wrote about dictators in 2001)
      The author is know for his anti Ghedli “sermons”, but he is fond of its veterans and path finders that is why he wrote about Bitweded and Haile DruE. Contradiction? Sal will give me and you a quote about contradiction being the epitome sanity and love;-)

  • Ted

    Hi, Ayneta’ Why you need me when you have the answer “seems out-of-touch and does not hold water” It is because this out of touch ideas can get people hurt or killed. Opinions matter depending who said them. Serious plunder; true, treason ;( try again)

    • Ayneta

      I see your concern there about people being killed or hurt, but that is not particularly only true with Kubrom’s comment. Every change we envision for Eritrea has some price tag and people will definitely be killed or hurt, unless IS abdicates his throne and let someone take charge, which is a very remote possibility.That is my reservation with your response to Kubrom’s comment. While his comment is sounds naive, it is not more dangerous than any other form of initiative that we would like to see our people take against the regime. No need to go ballistic from you side.

      • Ted

        Hi, Ayneta, it is encouraging 😉 if i understand what you mean by dangerous initiative exactly. danger is not my concern, it is part of our past. But, all harm-no gain is not the way to go( when you say “sounds naive” you are right, i don’t know why i feel to explain back to you what you said beautifully:-))

        • Ayneta

          Hi Ted:
          It is all good bro. Got you.

  • Semere Andom

    Good Morning dear Mahmuday:
    Nice to hear from you and nice comment, I was worried after you did not show up for 3 days
    But miti smette melhey semere Andom SirE wedekaha:-)

  • Rule of Law

    Greetings Awate and all
    The subject matter against which the author is highly critical of is easier said than done which goes without saying that the Eritrean populace at this juncture is not well anchored to withstand waves of retaliatory measure by the dictator in case of widespread insubordination as recommended by the anonymous technocrat. History is a reminder that nothing can stop dictators from using deadly force irrespective of its catastrophic outcome in a bid to restrain any resistance and retain power – instead of trying to remedy those type of popular events with de-escalation by caving in to the people’s demand. Hafez Al Assad of Syria for instance, killed more than 20 thousand people in the Hama massacre in 1982 and he got away with it. Numerous citations could be recalled in this regard such as the genocide at the hands of Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania so on and so forth. Unfortunately PFDJ is nothing different than the baathist regime of Syria and Iraq. The only hope up on which fellow Eritreans should pin is; the emergence of spontaneous armed mutiny somewhere in the garrisons – similar to the one we heard of recently but this time around, with deadly determination.

  • tes

    Dear Mahmud Saleh,

    Tirelessly talking about the reformers. Well, do you think a PFDJ brainwashed mindset will be for a democratic change? There is no cream left for consumption from a whey dispatched by an expert cheese maker.


    • Ayneta

      Merhaba tes:
      This reforming vs weeding out has been getting your attention as of late. I personally think they have more similarity than difference when it comes to substance. Correct me if I am wrong, but Mahmuday doesn’t impress me as a reformist. If you dont mind, why dont you educate us about their differences when it comes to details? This umbrella characterization of the two views doesn’t help at all. That will help us understand the two views better.

      • tes

        Dear Ayneta,

        May be it is for you. As for me I have discussed and debated on this issue more than anything here in this forum. If you are interested on my take, please refer articles which are one or more years old.


      • Nitricc

        Hi Ayneta, forget Tes, I tried and he has no explanation but to scream weed-out. I don’t know what his level of his education is but whatever it is he should donate it to charity. He has absolutely zero vision. If you are from Africa and leaved in Africa, why is it so hard to observe the main problem of your continent? The real problem of many African is they come to power with the gun and they leave the power by the gun. In other words, when you weed-out a system, expect be weeded out by the next one. Let’s not go too far and see Ethiopia. Hailesilse was in power and Derg came weeded out every one in Haileslise’s system; losing incredibly educated citizens in a process. Derg was in power and the Weyane came and weeded out everyone in Derg’s system. Weyane are in power and who ever comes, god knows what they are going to do.
        So, when we say the best way out is reform, it does not mean we are siding the current government or we are satisfied with its polices, what we are saying is, it is the best option to break the viscous circle of weeding out that we are witnessing in Ethiopia and many other countries of Africa. We are saying, let’s set exemplary presence to give our future generation a peaceful, productive and harmonies life to live. The way we started is the way it goes. If we started by weeding out, then weed out is set to continue for generations but if we reform with peace, reconciliation and forgiveness, then we have set our country and people to peaceful coexistence.
        Let’s do the right thing and the right thing to do is setting up a peaceful country for your kids and grand kids. Being rigid and grudge driven attitude gets you nowhere.

        • AOsman

          Dear Nitric,

          Once Tes weeds out the weed, guarateed toothless Nitric will not weed him out as compliance is his nature and he is on mission to be exemplary for the future generations and the whole of backward Africa.

          You know you were contradicting yourself when you alluded Weyane’s eventual fate while forgetting that EPLF/PFDJ have come to power by the burrel of the gun.

          I personally don’t care how it is done as long as change comes and our people get relief from the soffocating environment.


          • Nitricc

            Hey Aosman, I just watched the clip you shared with me about the fake story of thanksgiving and the black Friday. I was really amazed by the black Friday seen. Personally I hate shopping and never bought in to black Friday, if I Shoppe; I am more on to cyber-Monday or the few day after X-mass. Anyway, I think it is all hype and drama. Thanks for sharing.
            Back to your take; shame on you when you say you don’t care how change comes as long as it comes. So, you like it how the change came in to Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria the list goes on. Let’s be responsible here. And EPLF didn’t come to power through a barrel of gun. They were freedom fighters and the one they weeded out was a foreign entity, a colonizer. How on earth can you compare TPLF and EPLF? If Tigray was separated from Ethiopia then you can make the argument that you are making but since it is all between Ethiopians, your point is toothless and pointless.
            Again the point is Eritrea have the chance to make it through, not with people like Tes, but with people who have vision, patience, perseverance and persistence. Tes does not belong to 21st century politics at all, especially in Eritrean politics. lack him in one of the universty and let him teach.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ya hala AbuAfaan
            I don’t think Nitrickay has ever rejected the occurrence of change. His argument if in the type of the change and cost-benefit analysis. I think you will agree with me that at the core of his argument, which, incidentally, has also been my argument, is the need to laydown groundwork of ensuring that the change is owned and controlled by the people. It hinges on the question of legitimacy. Change can come at any moment by any force: by an implosion of the regime due to self-inflicted and cumulating weight of blunders (foreign and domestic), by an officer from the EDF, by an uprising from within or BY a foreign factors (interventions with or without Eritrean input, or an outright invasion…). The question is: What type of change, is it a change that will take us to a better place or a change that will result in negative net worth of a situation? The idea of any change is good is not good. This is one of legitimacy. The reason why civil wars occur, and why they get protracted is because neither side is able to win legitimacy. That’s neither of the warring wins the majority of the people, and the countries bleed slowly to death. That’s what you see in the majority of cases (you may find few in history in which a clearly illegitimate side is propped up by foreign forces and continue the fight despite having no legitimacy). Therefore, the weed-out…dismantle is a natural reaction to any injustice. I don’t blame for the people who promote it. However, such prescriptions are valued at giving a short-lived relief, without tackling the question of “what then?”
            I think the current consultation should be encouraged. Because it leads at proposing and preparing a clearly leading front which then will definitely win the question of legitimacy, and this, in turn, will give us hope and genuine involvement of Eritreans in areas of participation and deliberations of what it is that we want to do after the demise of PFDJ. In short this type of works recognize the role of the people, hence, puts focus on rallying our people inside (even if not physically able to lead them, nevertheless, through activism and media the people are following events that affect their future). In addition, these types of efforts aim at presenting a unified program or a vision as to what type of change we aspire to take place. Up to this points tens of organizations are running on their own programs, sometimes those programs could have conflicting portions which cause conflicts in Eritreans’ feelings towards the opposition in general. And that steals the legitimacy issue from the opposition. People get cynical. Therefore, I think what people are concerned about is the fact that in an attempt to wake up from our bad dreams we may end up in nightmarish situations unless we are openly discussing about the change we are talking about. The focus of the opposition seems to have anchored on the need of weeding out of PFDJ. I that’s been the connecting thread of the numerous organizations. They all agree on that for different reasons:
            – Those that want a genuine change, a change that is aimed at establishing a people’s political system agree on that.
            – Those that promote regional and ethnic interests agree on that.
            -those that promote cultural and religious issues agree on that
            -those that promote Ethiopian geo and economic interest agree on that.
            -those that promote silly we-are-the-same-people (Habashanism) agree on it.
            -those that are grudge driven, whose little world does not extend beyond punishment and retribution…agree on that, etc.
            Everyone of them want PFDJ gone. If there is no broad based political front in the scene, all these factions will have competing interests. Some of them have a longstanding use of arms. With no political front that has a clear political mandate, things can go out of hands; the process could be prone to foreign intrusions. When you have organizations that have longstanding relations and dependence on Ethiopia, you bet, they will be privileged in influencing the process. That may result in a negative reaction from other sectors…and so on.
            Therefore, this concern deserves a look and which should be able to see what should happen after the day PFDJ influence leaves the scene. That’s very important. The reason why countries of the region, starting with Somalia and going all the way to Syria, are immersed in devastating civil war and the loss of law and order is because none of the competing factions including the recognized governments wield a popular legitimacy.

          • AOsman

            Dear Mahmud,

            Personally I have no issue with reformist and weed out group, let each do their task and move on. I believe in the multi-pronged approach that just hasten the removal of DIA. The opposition have been talking to each other for long that I don’t expect any change on that.

            Reformist change, let it come….if the turn out PFDJ2, the fight will go on with a more emboldened citizens. Otherwise I do not fear civil war like Somalia, we are not as tribal as them. The reformist are not envisioning DIA at the helm, so I don’t see a Syria situation in Eritrea. Libya, it depends how Ethiopia and Sudan react to change, I believe it is an unlikely scenario.

            So let change come, it will be better than what we have.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Selam Ustaz
            My contention is not that tribal configuration by itself results in civil war. But when you have factions running on competing interests, those fault lines (tribal, regional or what have you) surface. Factionalism thrive on them. I do believe we are in a better position to mitigate the fallout. But remembering that societies that have lived for centuries in a relative peace being torn out by zealots is a matter of concern. There is no reformist movement I am aware of at this time. This is just a politics of manifestation: it manifest how far people could go to de-legitimize parties they perceive as competing.

          • Hope

            Ahlen Ya Ustazna,AOsman!
            All of us are on the same page when it comes the urgency of Change but since we are blessed enough to have learned enough from the Midfle East Spring Revolution,we need to be careful as to how bring the Safer and the relatively Safer Change!
            U amused me by your rhetoric of ” I do not care how change will come as long as the change comes or the PFDJ is weeded out by all means possible!”
            Guess what might happen if change comes overnight by any means possible but with out preparing the ground for the next morning?
            I believe still that we are in a better situation relatively speaking,compared to the victims of the “Arab Spring”‘!
            The Medrekh approach along with some kind of underground coordination at home in a cautious way seems to be the Way to go for now !
            If Medrekh and others convince the Diaspora in a coordinated and united way in a transparent and accountable way and in a ” PURELY” Eritrean way with Genuine Support from Neutral Parties,it might work!
            Remember always the Ethiopian Factor!
            Look at what at the habbal Leader said in ref to Eri-Saudi-UAE relationship!
            Refer to or to aigaforum if you care les about the Enda-Siwa webs!
            Not to mention the 4-Step plan PMMZ and its Security mapped out per the wiki leaks ,confirmed by ex-Miinster of Ethiopia on top of the Open TPLF Policy towards Eritrea!
            The concer of Vet Mahmud et al and the Medrekh is GENUINE and when you say :” I do not care as long as CHANGE COMES BY ALL MEANS POSSIBLE”!
            The young Gen Nitric said it all,not that he knows better than you but is a genuine concern and approach what the Gen and his Mentor,Field Marshall Mahmud said!
            Menghedi SELAM No Amet kiddo!
            But it is our problems as to why it has taken Amettat!

          • AOsman

            Dear Hope,

            OK, I will pray tonight that change does not come suddenly tomorrow :).

            By the way I am not allergic to Medrek, since you mentioned their approach, what makes them special? Only focus on them, on the merit of their approach, forget the failure of others or the conspiracy by outsiders for now.

            Please enlighten me, am all ears……this should help others too.


          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear AOsman,

            Let me try to answer your question to Hope as to what makes Medrek “special”. From our observations the opposition to the PFDJ-rule has so far been marred by lack of co-ordination, destructive interferences by the Ethiopian gov, infightings between the various groups, and lack of clarity of the primary objectives. There were various attempts to remedy all the ailments, but unfortunately, they didn’t bear fruit until now. This situation has left the PFDJ unchallenged for decades, while at the same time causing Eritreans to lose hope.
            Medrek is trying to identify the shortcommings and try to find a solution by narrowing the gap between the groups, and uniting them for the common first goal of removal of dictatorship. They are trying to minimize the negative influence of the Ethiopian gov in the affairs of Eritreans by independently organizing conference and letting the groups discuss for the common goal without outside pressures and manipulations. In addition to this they are trying to co-ordinate and streamline the efforts of the diaspora opposition with the clandestine resistance inside Eritrea, thus undermining the regime from within. All these efforts would, hopefully and ultimately, culminate in a situation where Eritreans come together, identify the priorities and work in better organiized fashion for the removal of dictatorship.

          • tes

            Dear Abraham Hanibal,

            Ok, I am not basically opposing on how funds are channeled to Medrek. In my proposal for change, at least the opposition camp needs about 200 million US dollars(minimum) fund to come to the surface and build a sound force and transitional period. These funds could be obtained from international fund sources, banks or a donner. If Medrek secured that and is using it to bring the opposition camp on table, it is a good start. However nothing is clear so far on how Medrek is funded. We are not naive to believe Medrek members are financially rich to cover all the expenses.

            Hence, there must be an invisible hand. Who? Only time will expose it.

            Let me then come to your point:

            Ok, you are saying, “They are trying to minimize the negative influence of the Ethiopian gov in the affairs of Eritreans by independently organizing conference and letting the groups discuss for the common goal without outside pressures and manipulations.”

            How sure are you when you say that?

            I believe that there is a leverage on Medrek’s activities. It is ok as far as they manage it in an effective way. What Medrek missing is: it is only a good will of the opposition organizations that is binding them together to attend such meetings as far as the financial burden is removed.

            Hence Medrek should not be reluctant on this issue.

            Any organization that is established on avoiding one will end up avoiding everything.


          • Abraham Hanibal

            Selam Tes,

            At this point in time we are not talking about transition time; now the priority is the removal of dictatorship; so let’s not worry about funding during transition period, as this is an issue to be handled by ALL Eritreans in the coming Eritrea. However, even now the opposition
            obviously needs funds to conduct their meetings and organizational affairs. As to how the Medrek is getting the funds, I’m not privy to it; what matters to me, in my view, is that they make good use of eventual funds and that they do not jeopardize the greater interests of the Eritrean people.
            You asked me how sure I’m; well I’m not member of Medrek, so the only evidence I’ve so far is what they have said in the media. The one thing I’m sure of is the efforts so far that were centered on the facilitation and funding by the Ethiopian gov has not borne fruit; the
            track record so far has been abysmal. Therefore, there is a need to try something else.
            As to the current efforts by Medrek, time will show how they progress; we’ve to avoid pessimistic attitudes, rather we’ve contribute for the betterment of the current state of affairs of the opposition.
            I don’t understand exactly what you want to say by this one:
            “What Medrek missing is: it is only a good will of the opposition organizations that is binding them together to attend
            such meetings as far as the financial burden is removed.”
            And this one:
            “Hence Medrek should not be reluctant on this issue”
            At last you wrote:
            “Any organization that is established on avoiding one will end up avoiding everything.” In my opinion, during their recent conference, the Medrek have done a commendable effort to include as many of the opposition groups, civic organizations, and individuals in the consultations. This was in fact the essence of their arranging the recent conference; so I don’t understand why they would be criticized on this issue. Let’s also remember that this is only the first such meeting, so we’ve to be patient and give them a chance, but most importantly let’s not engage in a fruitless fight of legitimacy, by
            remembering the basic fact that it is the Eritrean people that would ultimately decide the fate of their country.

          • tes

            Dear Abraham H.,


            You wrote, “…remembering the basic fact that it is the Eritrean people that would ultimately decide the fate of their country.” Please remember that I am part of the Eritrean people in question. I am not talking on behalf but as a concerned citizen of the country called Eritrea. Therefore I am not a foreigner.


            You are talking on the lets see give a chance. Aha, there is no chance in politics but a sound argument. If they have a sound argument, they will come to the surface. Opposing them is good. If they have any room to entertain opposition, let them be wise though I am afraid after learning for what happened to SGJ. They are not welcome to anyone who criticize them.

            On my thoughtful hasty analysis let me say this:

            After lots of here and there political struggle among the opposition camp, now the Eritrean political landscape has somehow getting into maturity. As we can see we have three well distinguished clusters.

            1. Those who base their struggle by allying with Ethiopia. When I say allying, it could be for strategic place to fight a proxy war or strategic ally and seeking the support of Ethiopia. All in all these camp falls those opposition affiliated with Ethiopian blessings.

            2. Those who are skeptical of Ethiopian ally and looking for alternative approach. Those who are in favor of Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems.

            3. Civic and Humanitarian Organizations. After messing with politics, finally majority of the people within the opposition camp is clear on the separation of these organs from the political organs. These organs have messed the political landscape for such long time. Thanks now they are almost filtered. People now almost knows what Humanitarian organization is and what a political organization is. Some still are creating a mess by trying to involve their dirty ambitions and trying to act as political forces. They should be further filtered to have a clear separation. If these civic and humanitarian organizations work on the level of their missions, they can be very effective to install justice and democracy in Eritrea by monitoring the political organization forces.

            All in all, I am happy to see such developments. Now, we have two political parties camps: they can both compete and build a responsible political environment. And the civic and humanitarian organizations can work hard to force and shape these political parties to bring a desired change.

            To conclude I am not simply opposing Medrek for a political exhaustion. I am all for political perfection. I am too naive but my objective is to build a PERFECT POLITICAL ORGANIZATION. I have this principle: “The strongest we are the less will be outside interference”.


          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Tes,

            The text that you quoted is not directed at you personally but as a general reminder to all of us that it is, ultimately, the Eritrean people as a whole who would determine the future direction of our country; and that no single entity or groups of entities should feel to own the fate of the entire people. The struggle now is to pave a way for the people to decide on their issues by remvong dictatorship.
            Whether Medrek are open to opposition or not, well, I do not have ample evidence to claim otherwise; on the contrary, I notice their efforts to reach out to various groups and narrow the gaps so that the struggle could be more effective. Regarding what could have happened between them and SGJ, I prefer not to conclude before we see all sides of the story. Besdies, what happens between individuals should not be used to derail the wider purpose of the collective mission-that is removal of dictatoship and installing rule of law.
            In fact I do not want to classify the opposition camps as pro Ethiopian involvement or anti Ethiopian involvement. In principle, there is no problem with Ethiopian gov support; but our experiences so far are not positive on this issue; the interference has so far proven to be a setback to the Eritrean opposition. In that case it is natural to seek other alternatives as the situation in Eritrea deteriorates for each day and the opposition couldn’t do any meanigful effort to counter it.
            At last, your objective of a “perfect political organization” is not only “too naive” by your own admission but also impossible, as there is no such as a perfect organization. Every thing that is done by human endeavour cannot be perfect, as human himself is not perfect. I would suggest that you better seek for a more realistic and practical solution that is based on wider consensus between the various groups for the minimum prior objective of doing away with dictatorship.

          • Ayneta

            Hi Abraham Hanibal:

            I am with the opinion that we should remain patient to see how far Medrek can go in terms of delivering their pledges. I dont think it will serve anyone to dismiss it as another ‘failed project’. Allow me to pinpoint what I think are the early positive signs and challenges.

            Positive Signs:

            1. They have sent a signal that they dont want to associate with Ethiopia from the get go, which in my view is a good starting point. Not that I have any beef with Ethiopia, but at this point in time it is better to move away from anything Ethiopia to win over the silent majority. In the current set of affair, it is self-defeating try to to win the silent majority while we proclaim allegiance with Ethiopia.

            2. They have clearly articulated in their charter that they are for the integrity of Eritrea which should appease those who think most opposition groups work to undermine the country.

            1. The distinction between Medrek as ‘plat form for national dialogue’ and political entity is quite fluid and hard to demarcate. It will be interesting how Medrek will manage this challenge.

            2. The composition of the people who are spearheading its activities as all ex-fighters sends the wrong impression that Medrek is trying to sell EPLF in another package. It is hard for me to accept Mehedin Shengeb who has not said a word after falling off PFDJ’s grace is now back as a facilitator for change. It smells an opportunistic rat roaming around.

            3. The fund issue should be made public slowly. Cornering Medrek to disclose their fund source now is counterproductive. But Medrek in the meantime should come clean with time about its fund source so that people will perceive it as credible.

          • Hope

            Tnx Ustaz AOsman!

            Please refer to Dr Abreham Hannibal’s short and sweet but to the point response!

            Let us be optimistic
            and hopeful!
            Giving up and desperation was not or may be still is NOT an Eritrean culture to my best recall and knowledge!

            After 10 yrs of initial Political Struggle along with 30 yrs of brutal armed struggle,Eritreans WON against ALL ODDS!
            Why can’t we win now ?
            It is a matter of few years probably ,hence,Me’antta shett abilka habbon’ nihhin wesikhka,:
            ” Kalsinna Zi’nnewhe ente Newhe Ab Meweda’ita ghin awetna nay ghiddin Eyyu'”!
            Courtesy of PIA’!

            Let me correct you:
            I did not say that you are allergic to Medrekh but, as much as you believe in change by any means possible,on the same token,any positive approach and Dialogue are welcome ,specially considering things from Reconciliation and Rapprochment point of view,which seems to be the case of the Medrekh’
            If others and previous attempts failed,that does not necessarily mean that the others and present and future attempts will fail!!
            My only hiccup is the gossip about the inclusiveness or exclusiveness of Medrekh,which I do not believe that the rumor about exclusionism is true,which in turn,will make Medrekh valueless,if at all ,it excludes other Eritreans!
            Not sure about the story of Ustaz Saleh and as to why people like Bohashim,an Expert in Conflict Resolution,were not in the meeting!

            We should not give any chance for exclusion of any Eritrean,no matter what and under any circumstance!
            But will not go beyond speculation on this issue as I have no clue or info as of yet!
            Stay Optimistic and Positive!

          • AOsman

            Dear Hope,

            Since you quoting DIA, here is my gift to you, a poem dedicated to the Lion of Nacfa…you will enjoy it.



  • PTS

    How long (T) before another currency giffa?
    This can be answered thru mathematics. I will need the following values:
    – how many 100 nakfa (100X) bills are in circulation
    – what is the rate of disappearance of the 100 bills (Y/X), where Y is time and X is qty
    – what is the maximum quantity of the 100 (100Q) bills’ disappearance at which the State says enough is enough
    So, half of the formula can be initiated as T= (100X)(Y/X)…..this will give you the number of years. Now you have to develop a parallel formula for the 100Q. After that combine the two formulas in a way that makes sense and that will give you a tentative* schedule of the next one..
    * tentative because Isaias can pull in or push out the date for no mathematical reason.

  • Ted

    Hi Semere Andom, for the time i have known you here, you never things right in politics. This is quite good and unexpected by any stretch of imagination. Who knew bad grape can dispense good wine;-) I didn’t know the guy Kibrome and his credentials, regardless of his intentions, what he said was dumb, irresponsible border line insane for all reasons you mentioned; the poor(majority) get the brunt of his call, assuming people comply with his call. This takes “Oppositions come in many flavours” to the next level.

    • PTS

      I believe you. You have no idea who Kibrom Dafla is. He is one of the best and fair-minded political and economic analysts of our nation. Do you follow Radio Erena, by any chance?
      Anyway, he was head of the Treasury, head of the Eritrean Airlines.
      Find his interviews in youtube and you will be in for surprises.

      • Nitricc

        Hi PTS, I am sorry to hear such irresponsible person is the best Eritrea has to offer. I am truly sorry. I have no idea who hell he is but some body needs to tell him the country and the well being of the people comes first. How exactly is a smart person will be as dumbest as a rock? Listen I don’t give a flying you know what but every one needs to know the country must come first and for most.

      • Ted

        Hi PST, Thanks, I believe you too him to be fair minded looking at his resume. Just wished he hadn’t said that comment. It is my thinking, he went all out nuts as if has something to prove to be “the opposition” of everything PFDJ/IA. As you can see in the article, he didn’t escape the wrath from ” veteran oppositions” for what he was; PFDJ. Other than his comment ‘ keep your money”, what is written by Semere about him (a technocrat who has served the PFDJ and along the way gotten beaten by its venom) is unfair and unconstructive.

        • PTS

          I reserve the judgement until Kibrom tells us the reasoning behind that. He hasn’t done that yet.
          As for once being PFDJ, that will be a sin for life in the eyes of some ppl. It is what it is.
          Btw, I recommend you to listen to Kibrom’s interview on the fall of the many projects on establishing Eritrean Airlines. It is an eye opener.

          • Ted

            Hi PST, ” It is what it is” doesn’t cut it especially when we badly need people from inside(PFDJ) to change. Secondly, “Kibrom tells us the reasoning behind that” don’t you see the problem that to instruct people to do something and not explain why, how or the way it ENDS.
            Now you mentioned it; the failure of the Eritrean Air line , i remember the conversation, just didn’t know it was him. Thanks.

    • Nitricc

      Hi Ted, you know “a broken o’clock is right twice a day” lol, but I am trying to figure out the motive for Semere’s article. Obviously, it is not out of principal or conviction for what is right and good for Eritrea. Semere cares more about Tigray and TPLF than Eritrea. so, what is his motive? Is the point!

  • saay7

    Hey Semere:

    Here’s a message from the un-named “technocrat” of your article.

    Selam Sal

    [niceties deleted.]

    On Semere’s comment, I am of the opinion that it was not at all a negative article, Not at all. He was only arguing that my call wouldn’t work. His argument was very strong, namely,

    a) that most of the people who will lose from the swapping of the old for the new nakfa will be the swindlers, and not the poor and the honest.

    b) that this issue is too weak to provoke a mass protest and cant be expected to be a tipping force.

    Both his arguments deserve our serious consideration. I assume he is not alone; there would be many who will argue the same way. I clearly don’t, but that does not make any of us less of earnest solution seekers. For want of hard facts and figures to base our arguments on, we, activists of change, the Semere’s and the Kubrom’s included, have to seek for every possible strategy against the regime – it is not either/or, it is rather and/or.

    Finally, regarding the many adjectives he used against my person, I think they were a bit more passionate than i would have liked them to be. But i think he may have his reasons for thinking that way about me. At least, he was frank about it. And I respect him for it. Viva! to people like Semere, who dare to say their mind openly.

    I hope I will have the opportunity sometime, to exchange my ideas with him.

    You can quote me, of course.

    Kubrom Dafla Hosabay


    • Nitricc

      Hey SAAY some times I wonder about the entire concept of oppositions to the government of Eritrea. How Irresponsible can one be to call the one he just made? When I see people like him making bone head moves; I really wonder about the Eritrean opposition all togather.
      The is hope though, at least, fianaly an Eritrean opposition or what ever used to name MEDREK, they have the sense to hold a confit conference out side of Eithiopia. This is huge step in getting the attention of the silent majority.

    • Ayneta

      Dear Kubrom Dafla:
      Thank you for your mature response to Semer’s criticism of you in his article. I am impressed with the way you carried yourself in your response. We need this kind of civil exchanges here at awate. Hope it will serve a learning point for some forumers.

    • Semere Andom

      Thanks Saleh
      Thanks Mr, Kiborm Dafla for your positive massage. I also like your message for embracing diametrically divergent views when tackling what bedevils Eritrea now.
      It has been said great minds think alike, but I do not like that, great minds should think different and the result of opposing ideas is advancment when the integrated ideas are implemented.Ultimately it is our ability in integrative thinking that will propel us forward. God save us from emracing one idea that is billed as the silver bullet to our problems.
      I, too look forward to read you more and learn from you

  • Mesfin

    Good day Stefanos!
    There is a problem in this case. At Kubrom made a mistake by making such statement or command. By the way, who will take him seriously. First thing that he needs to do is apologize to the Eritrean people by stating that he hasn’t done wrong to his people or the other way and inform us that he is ready to go for trial if some of us (the people) has concrete evidence to prove that he committed crime. He could be tried at the ICC or a court that he wants his case to be heard. This person was not an ordinal person. He was among the PFDJ circle. Anyway, in the open air, we people should treat him as an innocent Eritrean. Even his foolish statement does not automatically give us the right to call him criminal. The opposition, the reformers, and others should come foreword with information about this man. This will help people that are in a situation where he was. It will help them prepare for their future. This will help us Eritrean to be fighters from the front. Some of the them are trapped and they don’t know what to do. But some are enjoying sucking blood of their people.


  • SenaiErtrawi

    Selam Stefanos,
    You misunderstood me completely! I am calling for quality so that the article and awate website carry more weight.

    Let me help. The words in quote are not mine, they are the author’s words and I am asking him or Awate editors to give reference as for who the former PFDJ technocrat is and where can we go to read what he said exactly. When one puts “someone said something” in an article, he/she needs to give reference if the article is to be taken seriously.

    Qdm tsibuq gierka awahlil, dahray timils!

  • Semere Andom

    Hi Sam:
    This article was not about the crimes of the technocrat, show me evidence as you want me to do.
    It was about my thinking that for the most part the Eritrean people who are living hand to mouth, struggleing to feed thei families, squeezed by PFDJ’s policies will not be impacted by the deadline or by the limitations of the amount they can receive cash: 20,000Nacfa. Only a few will be affected it, this is from comomon sense determined emprically. So if Mr. Dafla was targtting the few who have millions stashed away by his call, I was saying it was an absurd because:
    a) They are few
    b) These few do not have incenstive to rebell, they wil take care of themselves as they did by plugging themselves into the corruption that made them millions to begin with. Why kill the goose that lays golden eggs
    c) Most of the insane wealth collected would not have been legally amassed in amatter of few years. Either it is by evading taxation like PFDJ does for its own corporations or by running illegal and criminal business like border crossing and those must be punished
    I think Mr. Dafla is a competent administrator that Eritrea would have benefited from his skills had we had a normal government, and by normal I mean like any african government
    So It was not about accusing hims of any crimes, rathere it was about the absurdity of the call, he picked non-urgent, trivial issue in the scheme of the issues the people have to deal with with PFDJ
    And also it was a take on all the former PFDJ big shots like him that wakeup too late after serving PFDJ and they all leave after PFDJ come after them or after their promostions. Then they call “OHHH Hzbi Eritrea”

    • Sam

      Dear Semere,

      After reading your reply, I had to go back to your article to read it again; and having read it within the context of the points in your comment, I would say that what I wrote earlier is not a fair characterization of your article. All I can say is that you made excellent points. I agree the ordinary citizens have neither the money to spare to engage in a game of hide and seek with the regime nor the luxury to wait it out with the hope that the regime will collapse anytime soon.

    • saay7

      Hi Cousin iSem:

      Supposing ato Semere Andom sends his mom in Asmara money. $1,000 dollars. To fix eta stansa enda abaHagokha. That’s 40,000 Nakfa. Then she says anta Semere wedey, etom Rashaida wesidoma gwal Hatneka ma’Arka. Then you sent $2,000 dolalrs. That is 80,000 Nakfa. She has, this poor woman with no job and no income, 120,000 nakfa. That is who would also be impacted by the currency change, not just the high-flying contrabandists.

      Orindary people hoard cash when they have no confidence in banks. Or, I should say, Gov of Eritrea-run banks. Ordinary people hoard cash when they don’t want to be interrogated by the gov as to the source of their income and when they don’t have the power to tell the government: of course it is my child in Canada: it is not like you have created a vibrant economy here, jackass, what with your sanctions-inviting behavior, and suspicion of the merchant class.

      Back to the un-named technocrat. I think it is fair to criticize him for making a call whose efficacy is questionable. I don’t think it is fair to criticize him for the timing of his decision to disassociate himself from the regime. Just remember: every time we do that, those who are on the verge of doing so reconsider: if I bail, I can look forward to being ostracized by former comrades and I can look forward to being mocked by the opposition.

      Aygddn. Stop playing animal football.


      • Semere Andom

        Merhababo hallo:, ryming? we are all LT:-)
        I hope Gadi and Mahmuday our Tigryat experts do not read this ryhm of mine
        A comment to you “deteriorated” to this article, so who wrote this article, 🙂
        I agree with you about the discoraging effect of such comments that cousin iSem is known for, as cousin Saleh AA Younis would describe it, but while I commend our technocat and others who leave the regime at anytime for whatever reason I cannot help but notice the pattern of many Eritreans lay or famoust to dissociate themselves when the axe hits them, well I can give you a comeback line, “even people joined gheldi because their dad was killed their cousin was imprisoned, but you know where I am going with this
        “They came after the jews, we were silent, they came after th catholics we were silenct, something along the line”
        But Seriously cousin I am so “ayfalkin girhentey” with you:-)

  • Mesfin

    Good day Semere and the AT!

    Semere! I enjoyed reading your article as usual. But the currency change issue is a disease in us. First I thought that it will only affect the PFDJ members and the collaborators. But then I found out that the collaborators are my neighbours and most of the time, we eat food together. And one of the commentators is saying that the money amassed may not necessarily be blood – money. I don’t know what to say to people of those nature. Can a teacher whose salary is below Nacfa 5000 a month accumulate Nacfa 1 million in his house? If it is possible, the evil I know will give him mercy.

    And I want to read from the reformist.


  • Abrehet Yosief

    Selam Semere, Excellent article. I had found the call to disobey the currency change law quite puzzling. I wonder if you contacted the Ato Kubrom to seek clarification. Thank you.

  • SenaiErtrawi

    Selamat Semere and Awate Editors,
    I don’t know if I am missing something but the quality of articles needs to be kept high no matter what.

    “But the silliest one and the most thoughtless of all was the call from a
    former PFDJ technocrat. He called on the Eritrean people to disobey . . . ”


  • Efrem Bayarea

    I guess you wouldn’t accept a street vendor sparked the Arab spring. Many Eritreans who have stored their money are not crooks. In the end even crooks can also be the catalyst for change.
    Way to go technocrat! Everyone doing what they can could result in the incremental bush fire that may engulf the kingdom. btw, only who do or try to do may get it wrong. But the talkers are ready to say I told you so.

  • dawit

    Dear Cousin SEM,
    Your cousin Sophia T/M has coined a new terminology FUDists. Do you fit any of the three group?