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Epic Fail: Isias Afwerki Tries To Diminish “Forto 2013”

The news that members of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) took over the Ministry of Information building (located at Forto, Asmara) on January 21; announced on air their demand for constitutional government and release of political prisoners, and occupied it for nearly 8 hours was so huge that, within days, there were no fewer than 300 news articles written about it.  News sources as big as New York Times, BBC and Al Jazeera, wire services such as Reuters and AP, and political analysts throughout the world wrote or commented about the news.  The myth that Isaias Afwerki had built around his regime for 21 years, a continuation of the myth that originated from his days as a guerrilla leader 40 years ago–that he was the beloved leader and chief commanding officer; that there was no opposition nor dissent to his one-man rule; that Eritreans are too cowed to rise up–had dissipated in one day in “Operation Forto 2013”: the call for rule of law to replace rule by man.

The Possum Act Fails

Whenever faced with an unexpected challenge, the tendency of the Isaias Afwerki regime is to circle the wagons: to clam shut.  Its primary self-defense mechanism is that of the possum: to play dead.  However, in this instance, the news was so huge and amplified, some of the second and third-tier officials began to speak.  On January 21, Eritrea’s ambassador to the UN, Araya Desta, acknowledged that something had happened when he said that “everything is going to be solved”; on January 22, Eritrea’s ambassador to South Africa, Saleh Omer, who discovered the magic of twitter and hasn’t stopped talking yet, tried the total denial approach.  This was followed by the chief of staff of the President’s Office, Yemane “Charlie” Gebremeskel; the camera hog and always auditioning for Foreign Minister title but now Eritrean ambassador to the African Union, Girma Asmerom had his moment in the sun;  as did the Eritrean ambassador to the UK, Tesfamicael Gerahtu.

“Operation Forto 2013” was supposed to be a one day story, but the world media and Eritreans in Diaspora would not co-operate.  The story was kept alive by the following factors:

(a) The history of the EPLF has been the story of Isaias Afwerki taking credit for everything and reducing all revolutionary fighters to anonymous nobodies.  Forto 2013 turned that upside down.  It showed that the Eritrean Defense Force did not just have a group of corrupt generals and terrified lackeys and conscripted soldiers.  It also has heroes with unique achievements, too.  Names such as Saleh Osman and “wedi Ali” were suddenly household names and their brief biographies narrated.  People finally had something to rally around: leaders who stand up to an emperor.  Yes, said the people, not only was change possible, it is the best kind of change: one that is organic and homegrown.

(b) The names of the individuals and, more importantly, their call (constitutionalism and the freeing of political prisoners) were enough for people in the diaspora to rally around them.  No longer would Eritreans simply demonstrate and chant “Down With Isaias”; they would go to the extent of occupying an embassy (UK), delivering petitions for change to an embassy (Germany) or getting arrested while attempting to do both (Washington, DC).  Forto 2013 had emboldened Eritreans in a way that nothing before had in the 21 year rule of Isaias Afwerki.  The fear had dissipated; and the belief that change can come from within was strengthened.  The demonstrations were different in kind: they were attended by young Eritreans who had personally been victimized by the policies of the Isaias Afwerki regime

(c) The Isaias regime’s typically ham-handed approach to problem-solving–round up and arrest people–were also a factor.  Among the arrested are two long-time loyalists of the regime: Abdella Jaber, the director of organizational affairs for the ruling party; and, Mustopha Nurhussein, the governor of the South Zone.   Because Abdella Jaber was instrumental in the development of the comprehensive peace agreement that Khartoum signed with the Eastern Front, and because Isaias Afwerki is one of the few allies he has, Sudan’s Omar Albashir (as well as his defense minister and chief of intelligence) met with Isaias Afwerki in Asmara on February 2 to inquire on the true nature of “Operation Forto 2013.”   Omar Albashir was told, according to our sources, that it was a simple case of a colonel who was disgruntled because he had been reassigned to a different post.

The Isaias Afwerki regime had a dilemma.  On the one hand, Isaias Afwerki has created a system where he is the alpha and omega, the sole indispensable unit that only a word from him could reassure his nervous fans–and he had to speak.  On the other hand, if he addressed their nervousness then he would be admitting that Forto 2013 was significant enough to warrant a presidential address.  On February 8, the regime offered a lollipop to calm the nerves of its fans: a brief statement by the dictator that the “21 January incidents” were nothing to be apprehensive about.  But that was not enough: the fans wanted to see and hear the man.   This is what happened on February 14, 2013: an “interview” with Eri-TV.  We have already summarized the interview here; what follows is our analysis.

The Isaias Afwerki Eri-TV Interview

Watching Eri-TV employees interview Isaias Afwerki is a lot like watching Fox News employees interviewing Rupert Murdoch.  The difference being that whereas the worst thing Murdoch can do to his employees is to fire them, the kindest thing Isaias can do to Eri-TV employees is to fire them.  It is important that we keep that in mind when we watch Eri-TV “interviews” with Isaias Afwerki.  The interviews are mostly monologues/lectures interrupted by polite intermissions for the tyrant to rest his mouth and his flared nostrils.

Isaias Afwerki had several messages to get across: (1) the “incidents of January 21 are so insignificant that we shouldn’t spend any time discussing them”; (2) “it is not me against the army; it is actually us (including me) against a handful of confused soldiers”; (3) the “incident” is over; (4) the people should not be apprehensive about such developments; (5) there is nothing more to the story and, if you don’t believe me, those who were present on January 21 can tell the story.  Let’s see how he did in each category.

1. The “January 21 Is Insignificant” Argument:  A man who is too busy and too important to attend the annual “Operation Fenkil” anniversary held in Massawa February 8-10 can’t possibly be bothered to discuss an insignificant incident that lasted minutes.  Therefore, a  subterfuge was required: conduct an ordinary Ministerial Cabinet meeting which would be followed, on the margins of the meeting, by an oh-by-the-way-while-you-are-here interview with state television, Eri-TV.   Since the “Ministerial Cabinet” meeting is, by nature, a farce (it is mostly Isaias Afwerki talking and the “cabinet” listening like school children) it was called to a meeting to “approve” (as if it has the power to disapprove) the 2013 budget (Eritrea is apparently on March – February budget year).  This is a people’s budget which, for 21 years, has been a state secret.   The “Cabinet” is such a joke in Eritrea that the only reason people watch it on TV is to learn who is present and who is absent and presumably defected or arrested or frozen. So, instead of highlighting the insignificance of January 21, all Isaias Afwerki managed to do is showcase the insignificance of the Cabinet.  And when he says that this incident of January 21 was so insignificant that “kof ilna baHansab ina kene’elilu wiElna mlue meAlti” (we sat around and talked about it all day), well, that appears to be a significant event if it keeps him and all his ministers busy, doesn’t it?

2. The “I Still Have A Loyal Government” Argument:  No fewer than three times in the interview, Isaias mentioned that throughout the Forto occupation episode, he was with his cabinet discussing the issue. Ane nyere.   Ministerat nyerom [I was here, ministers were here], Abzi nyerom zbezHu ministerat [they were here, most of the ministers]… Which cabinet members were there and which ones weren’t?  Well, that was Isaias at his trickiest since quantification, whether talking about macroeconomics or people killed in wars he ignites, is not his favorite activity.  At one point in the interview, he said “beHabar ina nyerna kulom ministerat nyerom, zbezhu, darga.”  [We were all together, all the ministers, most of them, almost.]  If “all ministers” are 15, and “most of them” are 8, and “almost most of them” would be, what, 5?  In any event, nobody said Isaias doesn’t have loyal ministers; the whole premise of Forto 2013 was that Isaias Afwerki, the chief commanding officer, does not inspire confidence in the soldiers. They hate his leadership.

3. The “Incident Is Over” Argument:   Isaias Afwerki was eager to send one other message: the incident is over.  He used dismissive terms like “film”, “fable”, etc to show that whatever it was, it is over.  But elsewhere in the interview, when asked if there was the hand of foreigners, he said that it is something he doesn’t know yet.  Why didn’t he disclose information earlier?  Because he didn’t have enough information about the sudden event.  When he was asked how is the stability and security of Eritrea after the incident, he got rhapsodic talking about the dignity of “this country” and “this people” (apparently, it is dignified to take abuse quietly) but he had no answer as to who has been arrested.  He hesitated in calling those who were presumably arrested after the Forto operation as the leaders of the movement (“isatom Kendi kblom ayk’ilin iye.”)  He is still blocking Al Jazeera TV.  He is still jamming Erena and other radio stations which broadcast to Eritrea.  He is still rounding up people.   Considering all of the above–he doesn’t know if foreigners were involved, he doesn’t know its impact on the country’s stability, he is not sure those whom he arrested are the leaders, and he doesn’t have enough confidence to allow foreign-based media to broadcast in the country–he did not give a convincing claim that the “the incident is over.”

4. The Future Shock Argument:  The entire purpose of the interview was to reassure the Diaspora Eritreans–particularly the “adetat” [mothers]–and their purses, and necklaces, and earrings, mostly–to stop worrying about him. It is really never about “this country”, but him in person.  In this regard, he did not say that whatever is causing these incidents that are causing you stress will be addressed.  No, he told  his supporters in the Diaspora that they will continue to become anxious every time there was an expression of dissatisfaction with his rule but that is ok because, since it is skfta Halyot (your worry is based on genuine concern) worrying is a form of patriotic expression.  Now, for good measure, just to show his supporters that he is the same “badass” they love, he did the pumped chest, head shaking scornful act and threw in some choice words for his enemies: senef,  znedeye, zTefeshe, wduQ, Harich ab nfas, etc.  (It is not by accident that Isaias Afwerki always uses kitchen metaphors: he always has a specific audience in mind.)   This is music to the ears of his cult who will, no doubt, start hurling these insults beginning now.  However, what he could not do is assure them that there won’t be a repeat performance tomorrow.  Thus, he cannot give any warranties that the whole edifice of “my people love me” won’t come crumbling down, as it did in Libya.

5. The “If You Don’t Believe Me, Ask The Witnesses” Argument:  Now, everything above could be subject to debate.  Those who support Isaias Afwerki can give rebuttals to it, point-by-point, if they choose to.  But there is one that they cannot debate and it is this:  when Isaias Afwerki said that there are witnesses to the Forto 2013 and that they can tell the story (“ab’u z’weAlu kgeltSuwo yikiulu iyom’, as he put it), well, of course that is a lie.  The Ministry of Information is staffed by hundreds of employees.  And all of them have friends and family members and connections.  And they were talking on January 21: and that was the source for most of what was published in the independent media.  But they can’t talk now.  Because, whenever a “hostage situation” like that happens, what a media outlet does is ask the what, when, where, how and most importantly WHY?   Why were the soldiers at the Ministry of Information?  What was their demand? What did they want?  These are not things that Isaias dare mention; it is not something that Eri-TV dare say; and it most certainly is not something that those “ab’u z’weAlu” can speak about freely without being hauled to jail.


There was a time when Isaias Afwerki’s long tales would have convinced, or even charmed, the audience.  Now people are either disgusted by, or dismissive of, his lies.  21 years is a long time for one man to rule a country. When a “leader” brags about how he and his regime have been challenged over the last ten years, and describes the outcome of the challenge as if it is something to be proud of–a country emptying out its youth, a country rationing essential food, a country without electricity or even water, a country that is on the Worst of the Worst list of every list compiler, a country which has been sanctioned by the UN twice, a country whose youth are being brutalized by human traffickers, a country that 21 years after its statehood does not have a constitution or a mechanism for peaceful power transfer… when this is what you have to showcase and you consider that success, what is failure?

The fact is that in the traditional culture of Eritrea, Isaias has been “tedefiru”: it has been demonstrated that his regime is vulnerable and it can be pricked and it can bleed.  The invincibility armor is gone.  People in Eritrea now very openly talk about what a colossal failure Isaias Afwerki has been as president.  This is why we said that “January 21” is a prologue and not an epilogue.  And, we believe, time will prove us right.
inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • Issac

    Why have American president have the same goal for decades now no matter how many time a man has been changed as president ? Out eyes might see it as a new president to lead but if all are working on the same goal wich shows u the same person has been in power for years and destroying other countries by taking there rights to lead there own countries and getting involved in other people’s issues not there’s sure if he handed the Gvt of America his country like ethiopean or the rest of Africa we will start getting HIV aids genetic modified foods cancer ect but the media will start saying nice things about our country now cause its not really our country honestly knowledge is power it’s said that a president has to look like this and work so hard to help his people and keep eritrea out of the wrong hands god bless isias afwerki and all the American/ Eritrean this don’t concern u people destroying eritrea u did not shed blood for ur country stay in America look at history and all these other countries that are fucked up the people of Iraq have been saying it was better when we had saddam Hussaine in power but its to late they can’t go back now u for fornighers controlling and running ur country for there intrest let’s be wise and learn and see all angles of this situation lets keep McDonald alcohol drugs and ect out of eritrea don turn it into a New York

  • Kaddis

    Serray –

    I agree with you – like in the case of Eskinder Nega, a jailed blogger here in Addis. His case was on the front page of the week end papers raised by UK’s deputy Prime Minister. I can imagine how frustrating it would be for the Eth officials. I am sure they are doing their best to keep him alive and healthy for not be blamed for any circumstances. BTW – the Dawit Isaac case at the AU will be a big blow to the Eri gov since it may lead to losing its only venting platform. Suspension from the AU would be tough.

  • belay

    Instead of looking for heroic leaders so save us, each of us needs to be a hero or heroine. The call today asks for courageous and authentic people to connect with one another, to convene others and … to bring form to the creative potential of the times in which we live. by Tom Heuerman 

  • haile


    To be on the fair side of things, here is the alternative reading from the other side regarding Jan.21:

    My two critique points of the above doc is:

    -The writer didn’t prove the insinuation made that the story had sprung up out of the blue. 6:06 Eastern Standard is 14:06 Asmara time (Eastern is UTC -5 and Asmara is UTC +3), there is ample time (about 4hrs for the story to have originated in Eritrea).

    – The writer didn’t conclusively prove that the sets of tweets and news items were the only one’s that were progressing at the time pertaining the incident of Jan 21.

    Beyond that,

    I learned that ArbiHarnet pay $3.00 per 10 robocalls, that is huge,,,I know a place that does it @9cents per call or 4.5cents per text robocalling…

    Interesting meaning of coup d’etat…

    That you can parallel tweet…

    What is your take?

  • araya

    This is an excellent evidence of the confused state of the so-called opposition. The article that is posted by awate-team meant to shade a light on the state mind of PIA and to keep the one day story of Forto alive and worthy of any starting point to end the PIA rule. Nop, one woman, Wiqato, she is so gossip addicted WEREGNA, now everyone is talking about Ali Abdu. What does Ali Abdu got to do with any of this? Why does SAAY have to connivance, encourage or even advice Ali in talking to worthless and directionless and confused so-called oppositions? Why?
    Ali Abdu is a person of dignity, who served his country at the time you all of you lying for your asylum case to your teeth? Get this to your hypocritical mind, Ali Abdu owes you nothing, he did his thing with dignity. Wiqato, stick to the title and point of the article, I know you are obsessed with Ali Abdu but the man is a smart as any one there so, don’t expect him to come out and talk to a bunch of you and your likes. The man is better than that.

  • belay

    I think, if, Mr Ali Abdu wants to come forward and expose himself and the regime he was a member of,no body is going to stop. I bet Awate team want him to come forward and speak.
    If I was Ali Abdu,and if my daughter is in prison in Eritrea,how on Earth am I going to forget my daughter and expose Issaias on her cost.
    Eritreans who live abroad use pen names to write, to protect their identity and family members at home.

  • wede’smera

    A superb analysis!
    You are right to say that ‘Forto’ is whistle blowing the importance , need and possibility of organic and home grown change.
    Thank you Awate.

  • Papillon

    Dearest Sal,

    Talk to the hand is what the girls in the hood say. Throwing me into the ignore list is humbling to say the least. Even though it is an expression, it is rather crude on your part to equate my appeal to your good conscience (for lack of a better word) with barking and of course you’re not a tree either. The people who abandoned the sadist regime-Weizero H’bret Berhe and others lose significance when Ali Abdu appears in the picture. Simply because, he had always been privy to the otherwise insulated world of Isaias’ processing machine. He is a trophy if he could talk that is. He is a jewel if he could be unearthed that is. He can shatter the Isaias regime if he could talk that is. I am grateful to you for posting this comment even though you’ve opted not to reply to it.


    • Yodita

      Dearest Papillon,

      On this one issue, i.e. the reaction of SAAY to his brother’s defection, I am more with him than anybody else! It is the detention his beloved dad (a very beloved figure of all those who know him in Asmara) and his niece (a mere 15 year old) and a brother and cousins. I do not know how I would react to their predicament if my immediate family was under the conditions that his are today (in the clutches of the merciless system). SAAY is an elite and the cream of the cream of our intellectuals, but he is also a human being with burning love for his immediate family. With all that I believe ‘a principle is a principle and superior to any personal considerations’, I respect SAAY’s decision on this issue and refrain from passing any judgement. Let it be him and his brother Ali to decide what should be done.


      • yegermal


        Well articulated and convincing point. As they say, blood is thicker than “shahi”, excuse my embellishment of the saying. SAAY must follow the “Manslow hierarchy of needs” when dealing with this matter. Perhaps, in our eagerness to dismantle DIA’s reign of terror, we are neglecting the human factor in this issue. Still,my hunch tells me that awate is probably ensuring Ali Abdu safety before asking him to spill his guts. Wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

      • Kokhob Selam

        yes yodita, you are right.

        I have been told last week that my best friend pushed his doughtier ruining from distance to save her from speedy car but his leg was crashed and totally broken. i just call him now and in our telephone conversation he told me that according to him he was lucky that he didn’t die as the car was fast and he was ready to pay his life. from my experience i notice a hero is the one who controls his own self but when time comes who save beloved once. in here Ali’s words only will affect the life of those in prison and is not worth if that doesn’t add any value to our revolution. heroism comes from kindness and most coward people are found to be criminals. now, let’s leave the man in peace and let him decide how to go out of this difficult time.

        by the way, I don’t blame ministers of PFDJ for what is happening to us now. the root cause is not from them. we should open a way to let them out like Ali Abdu and we should not spread unconfirmed news like what some are doing. let’s minimize the trouble on all PFDJ main actors, let’s show them love. let them feel free and confident. I have been tough to Ali Abdu. I am sure he know and remembers my massages but i learn now every one had his own way of thinking. it is just the other way not the wrong way. may be those ministers had plans which didn’t come to reality. we even didn’t know still if this country is sill a nation due to some few ministers who are challenging to the sides who want to make a failed state. Let’s not even touch by mentioning their names.

        Let us do what we can but practically is my advice.

      • Serray


        Let me brake the chain and say I disagree with you; not on SAAY but on Ali Abdu. I don’t think it is Sal’s call, it is and always has been Ali’s call. Ali is using the regime’s classical tactic, if we pretend it is, it will be it.

        The regime strives in darkness and spotlight always bothers it. Take Dawit Isaak, he has the best chance of all the prisoners in his position. I am sure he gets better medical care than the rest because the regime knows his death will bring unneeded attention. And now the AU agreed to hear his case; all this is good for dawit.

        Ali Abdu has two choices: he can go public and enrage the regime further or keep quite. Keeping quite seems deceptively safe but it is not; it is actually riskier. He has already enraged the regime by defecting (that is why isaias has gone after his family) and if he keeps quite, he cedes the upper hand to isaias to do what he wants with his family without any repercussion. By keeping quite, he turns his family into private victims totally at the mercy of the dictator. Going public gives them a fighting chance. Putting a spotlight on them as innocent victims, stressing that they committed no crime whatsoever, puts uncomfortable spotlight on isaias.

        The human rights bodies of the UN, EU and AU are already looking at the regime’s record; innocent 15 year-old and an elder father in prison drives the inhuman record of isaias home. Ali has absolutely no control over what isaias chooses to do but he can hold him personally responsible. When Ali goes public, he should make isaias personally responsible for his family’s safety and freedom. The problem with the sanctions and all other measures to date is, they don’t make isaias personally responsible; Ali could change that. Given his former position he can make a compelling argument that isaias is personally responsible for the decision to punish his
        family….and many others. The risk that he might enrage isaias to do something brutal is redundant, he has already done that.

        The problem with our society is, nobody draws a line. If Ali is keeping quite to protect his family, he should know that he is responsible for what happened to them not when he defected, but when he accepted a position to serve isaias. Here is the idiocy of his position, keeping quite to protect his family is binding as long as both him and isaias are alive. Meaning, Ali has accepted to have his family held hostage as long as he lives. Since the risk of him breaking his silence stays until he died, his deal with the devil turns the very people he wants to protect into prisoners for life…his life and then they are a fair game like the rest of the eritrean people.

        Ali Abdu needs to speak up if he wants to repair the damage he did as a mouthpiece of the regime. He should speak up if he wants to give his family a fighting chance. There is only one reason to keep quite: to protect himself at the expense of his family and the nation he helped muzzle.

      • GM

        “SAAY is an elite and the cream of the cream of our intellectuals”

        Maybe for you,.. to raise a former PFDJ toy to a rank of wise Eritrean intellectuals, my sister you are exagerating a bit here.

        For me it ‘s just an actor who likes to do the star, the intellectual on the pages of awate, but insensitive to the immense suffering of the Eritrean people. (Sinay / Egypt desert)

    • araya

      “The people who abandoned the sadist regime-Weizero H’bret Berhe and others lose significance when Ali Abdu appears in the picture”

      I did not know there was a contest of popularity; what are you talking Wqato?

  • Altumbukti

    I seldom find professional articles written by Eritreans. Excellent analysis and well written.

    The size of comments here and critics, especially by PIA’s lovers show just how much they are in pain when they see such enlightening articles that they wish if they could discredit or make it go away by any cost.

    Please continue your professional work because we got tired from the dogmatic, sectarian, and partisan way of writing.

    This is my best part (“January 21″ is a prologue and not an epilogue.)

    Way to go!

  • zeronine

    I have to say in an army number….let’s conservatively estimate 250,000… with dozens if not hundreds of lt. col, colonels, captians, lt. major generals etc, if the rank and file were that dissatisfied, that demoralized and supposedly scheming to topple PIA…but yet only less then one hundred soldiers and barely a handful of higher ranking army leaders were involved??

    ….and from conclude that the emperor “has almost” been stripped naked?

    Come one guys…are you reaching or does this smack of desperation?

    How about the fact that according to everyone…the supposed 100 soldiers were able to march right back into the quarters? This doesn’t seem like the MO of regime that supposedly throws anyone and everyone into prison “for no reason”.

    I mean, really…the “biggest open challenge” to shaebia’s rule…and they were all given a free pass. Even in the US or other western armies, these soldiers would have been court-marshaled for dereliction of duty…disorderly conduct. Here, in one of the “world’s worst regime”…they simply walked back home.

    The reality is, the most important aspect of this incident is not what has been printed(by western media, “analysts” or Eritrean opposition media”)…but what has been completely left

    • samuel

      In what plant do u live man. Those soldiers aren’t free they in secret prisoners already. Dictatorship don’t allow people who opposed them to walk free. Wake up from your day dream.

      • ata wodi

        Thoose that try to defend this regime are now out to do damage control. Not to convince the opposition, but to convince their few remaining supporters that everything is okay.

        In one of the most closed armies, where informants and spies are everywhere, this action must have been taken with a very clear risk of being killed. They knew this and still went ahead. These demands where reasonable and that is the biggest dilemma, because they resonate even with supporters of the regime. What is wrong with reinstating the constitution and give political prisoners a fair trial, how can any decent minded Eritrean be against this.

        By refusing to listen or take the warning to heart, it has shortened its lifespan.
        And you say they were allowed back. Perhaps they were, but they are not forgotten. They were not let back cause they were forgiven, they were let back because an attack on them would have unpredictable consequences. An attack on the soldiers openly would have created a rift inside the army and in extension an opposition inside the country against the regime and this could open pandora´s box. We know the people are disatisfied and with sizeable part of the army behind it, this could be the end of the regime.

        Thats why the regime are saying, they were mislead, everything was a misunderstanding etc. The regime has only one choice that may save them, listen to the demands and make gradual changes. Or wait for the next outburst which will be much more confrontational.

  • Combishtato

    I love how the Awate team pretends like they have the inside scoop or know what is going on. They don’t! When they asked their brother Ali Abdu about the whereabouts of Dawit the Swedish journalist, what did Ali Abdu tell them? He didn’t know anything. No one asked any questions. They just did their jobs and if it didn’t concern them they didn’t ask. SO he couldn’t tell them anything because he didn’t know anything. He just did his job.

    By the way, I think ali abdu is going to be in the mode of Mesfin Hagos. He is not going to rat out his former comrades. He will not tattle tale.

  • Papillon,
    in your comment of “Papillon on February 18, 2013 at 10:54 am said:” you hit the nail in the head perfectly. What you asked doesn’t require educated, politicized minds. What you inquire is inquired from a mind that possess natural inclination. Your intuitive is on the mark and am sure must have felt it as though it felt like that laser that was about to slice James 007 in half in one of his movies.

    And the answer to your comment? Quietness by the Awatestaff. And their Quietness!? ala, PFDJ mode of operandi, when cornered ‘keeping quiet’ knowing the inquirer/s will eventually, inevitably, dissipate like thin air.

    On top of that the duo are good in hatching a method to methodologically saturate readers with floods of useless Gedab news, one more articles, after another…. just the way Ali Abdu had perfected in his yesteryear heydays as a “MOI” – saturinting our people with gasha weHij flow of information.

    Is this Awate’s dooms for good? When seen from all angles, it appears Ali Abdu turned out to be a cherry on the cake that exposed the duo, in particular Saleh AA Younis. As time exponentially goes to infinity, we will only find out where the often involved educated elites (its tifozos) now stand. Already quietness is showing its ugly ass to them.

    What is interesting is how Awate site stayed down for more than a week and when it came back, it selectively recovered articles. None you find those articles, Gedab written about Ali Abdu. Hmmm… how so when the articles were only written in Dec 2012. If Articles before that were being recovered, why casting those Record away?

    Now in these days of highly tech era, for those who provide IT services, BC (business continuity) of their customer is not only key but also part of thei SLA (Service Level Agreement with their customers) and what that means is that DR (Disaster Recovery) is part of the SLA (Service level Agreement) between the customer and the IT service providers.

    To ensure BC, the Systems that host webs, wmware, file/data systems, databases are to be brought up within 4 hours of window. And in today’s DR era, It takes less than 24hours to recover a complex systems as DR is already in place due to the SLA. For instance recovering a size of TB (TeraBytes) using backup products such as the Veritas, IBM’s Tivoli, and NetApps integrated backup systems .. that have made the DR process seamless.
    he Awate team needs to awaken, rudely, their politicized, deceitful minds that they are actually lagging behind
    even in the art of deception. It doesn’t take more than a week to bring a site this size up. The truth of the matter was something else. And the beans are spilled for anyone to see if the eyes have been wide open…

    crying Selective Justice only exposes matter.

    • haile


      You say that:

      “…And their Quietness!? ala, PFDJ mode of operandi, when cornered ‘keeping quiet’ knowing the inquirer/s will eventually, inevitably, dissipate like thin air.”

      how twisted can a logic get???

      Here you are frowning upon people for what you purport to possess holier than thou tendency of being above the reach of your showcase yardstick, PFDJ.

      Here you are taunting family members to shoulder concern for affairs of their sibling, who is of adult age. I wonder how your showcase, ala PFDJ, yardstick would measure you out to be as you harass innocent family members??

      Culture 101:

      Eritrean culture scoffs at such crude immorality of putting a relative for hanging on account of their relations affairs. IA’s family relations are all over the world, and have a normal life with their fellow Eritreans in their localities.

      Now culture – Advanced

      Given that you find it plausible to hold saay responsible for anything that you are looking for from his sibling, is hard to surmise, albeit at the level of the higher intellect, you would be on the wrong side of the Rwanda genocide. It is true, if you get wrap head around it, the moral equivalence is obvious.

  • Ambassador

    I find it hard to accept the possibility that Isaias can be that much sophisticated, whereon, his hogwash would warrant an analysis of this sort. If there is any undertone or subtext in that interview- other than him being apparently seen as frightened- it might as well be the implicit treatment of his intended audiences as immature contingents, which, we sadly reaffirm through our meritless reading into his words.

    However, the kitchen metaphor is a killer. Can his overuse of these sorts of metaphors, somehow, indicates his cowardice as in a desire to hide in wushaTe adi’u?

    • hizbawi

      “I find it hard to accept the possibility that Isaias can be that much sophisticated”

      I actually find it hard that you are that sensible to tell that Issaias is not that sophisticated. Dude, because you know how to write don’t mean you know jack, as the youth would say. Issaias the most sophisticated person I have ever known. Just saying it.

  • Selam

    One thing I can conclude from your series of articles is that you are as in dark as any Eritrean diaspora about the incident. At the begining , you were trying to portray the image that you are one of the insiders and you were mentioning that key buildings are surrounded and…this and that…Now your analysis is same as any other analysis being discussed in coffee shops across north America except your analysis is decorated with selected english words:-) I have to give you credit that you craft amazing stories. As far as , your analsyis about the FORTo incident is 90 “kemzi do yekwen” …you are two busy dicering Issaise’ words line by line which you unknowingly spreading the notion the guy is mystical…why would he say this and that if the incident was not that big….your twist on Beshire’s visit was funny one:-) anywas, the more you write the more you exposing yourself as you are as much in dark as any diaspora eritrean about the inner workings of PIA’s kingdom:-)

  • Kokhob Selam

    [Moderator: Dear Kokhob Selam, we like your poems but please limit your imput to short comments on the subject matter, the article on which you are commenting]

    • rodab

      Dear Mod,
      You closed down Jebena. What alernative is there then…let the man post his enjoyable poems.

  • samuel

    Tanks awate for your professional articles well said. As for the dictator in asmara he looks more desperate he reminded of Gedafi of Libya in his last days.

  • Papillon

    Dear Awate Team,

    Wouldn’t you say we are at the point of beyond analyzing events including Isaias’ as you put it tired monologues? I say this respectfully but you have more work to do. Crossing the oceans and conducting seminars, conferences and work shops doesn’t mean much. Penning editorials doesn’t mean much. What you have at your own disposal and effective leverage is indispensable. It can speed up the downfall of the dictator before we know it. You have Ali Abdu with in your own reach. Make an effort to have him come forward and speak up. Speak up against injustice, speak up all the dark secrets and lies of Isaias. You may probably say that, we know all Isaias’ deceits and lies but the fact that Ali Abdu had been the most recognizable face of PFDJ and Isaias as far as we can remember, he could deliver a blow to the Isaias regime where Pilot, Tesfay Tem’newo to mention but a few are relegated onto the back seat. To be more precise, Ali Abdu holds a critical factor to expose Isaias for what he is and trust me people including the tyrant’s supporters will tremble then later listen. That is what is of an at most importance in this juncture of our time as opposed to again analyzing what ever comes out of the tyrant’s disgusting words. I say this respectfully.


    • yegermal

      Wholeheartedly agree! Ali Abdu is a gold mine that must be explored pronto!

    • A Iyasu

      I couldn’t agree more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • samuel

        I totally agree

    • hizbawi

      I will take to my graves that Eritrean oppositions are selfish and ignorant but let me add this to the list that they are stupid and clueless too. There is a reason why the supporters of the government will always win. They know their limits, while the so-called oppositions are selfish and stupid. Sure Ali Abdu come and open your mouth? You have no idea how Issaias works.

      • yegermal

        Now translate to English!

    • Awate Staff

      Haftna Papillon: Let me make sure I am getting this correctly: if we cannot get Ali Abdu to speak, we pull the shutters down and stop everything we are doing? Is that really what you are suggesting?
      Well, we are sure you can do better:-)

      • yegermal

        What would awate have done if the defector were Sebhat Ephrem, instead of Ali Abdu? Would you keep his whereabout secret? Would you extract an interview from him? Didn’t awate interview previous defectors? Ali Abdu was one of the most valued DIA’s protege (at least from vantage point of the public)but awate has so far handled his defection with kids gloves. It’s only natural that your fans are expecting a little more from you and we’re hoping it is a matter of time before we get our wish.

      • Papillon

        Haw’na Awate Staff,

        I am sure you’re not trying to put me on the defensive and of course I am far from suggesting that your series of articles including Gedab News are a naught. Should I read in your line “If we can not get Ali Abdu to speak…” that you’ve already exhausted every possibly way to have him speak up? Again, what is needed the most at this point in time is to be practical where your access to the otherwise elusive Ali Abdu is a key factor in exposing Isaias for what he is as opposed to patting your back for an article well written week-in and week-out. It is the least you can do for the Eritrean people when a brave heart takes his own life as a lesson for all of us that the Isaias regime can be taken on where we had been cowed in by its bravado for decades.

    • haile


      There is a “street cred” (how much you’re respected) that goes with holding out consistency in what you say. You confuse your readers when you make these contradictory assertions as regards Sal’s recent trip to Australia.

      “Papillon on February 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm said:

      Dear Saleh Gadi,

      You’re an invaluable asset to our endearing Eritrea. I envy your energy and sense of commitment to the ideals you believe in. I won’t be surprised to see you in a leadership in a free and democratic Eritrea. Welcome back hawey.”

      “Papillon on February 18, 2013 at 10:54 am said:

      …Crossing the oceans and conducting seminars, conferences and work shops doesn’t mean much. Penning editorials doesn’t mean much.”

  • Bereket

    Hi Haile. It is good to think that way but Isaias has never ever understand the market issue. If he had had a basic understanding of how volatile markets work he would have done the interview on the day of the incident. 25 days are one century in the current vaibrant and hugely volatile market. Try not to fool yourself. Isaias’ primary concern is his supporters in diaspora.

    • haile

      Hello Bereket,

      Few things to consider for you. The interview may or may not have been intended as you claim. Very hard to be so sure with a blind stab at it. Second, it could be for domestic (as in Eritrean) consumption, a reaction to the market performance of Nevsun, a message intended for regional adversaries… or virtually many other reasons. My point was that the analysis was good but limited to a single aspect of possible messages that could have equally been analysed. I would have enriched it, so to speak. I guess that is what the writer expects by way of feedback and critique from readers.

      On a separate note, market trends are analysed from intra-day (hourly) to weekly, monthly, yearly historical performances. So, it really depends the intended market correction that you seek to induce (if it is related to the annual trend, a statement in three or four weeks time isn’t really late in coming). Here is a link for a set of charts for Friday’s closing of NSU @$3.79 ($3.72 after hours – Feb. 15 after 4pm)

      If you look at the Apr12-Feb13 aggregate, post Jan. 21 to now is the first time that Nevsun has dived below the $3.90 red line (the line in chart one is for the weighted average of the historical period, note meaning red in financial terms).

      Don’t fool yourself with your argument that IA doesn’t care about the market. That is it seems hard to swallow especially with 40% shares and having earned over $440,000,000 in the last couple of years from the proceeds of Bisha, and with having to pay for Sunridge’s 1/3 costs until production commences (would roughly require $230,000,000 minimum upfront

      • haile

        correction: read “not to mean red in financial terms” as opposed to “note meaning…”

  • !Hatati

    So, you are saying the incident was “big” because false information from clearly unreliable sources and people who call themselves journalists convinced media outlets that a coup was afoot in Eritrea and decided to make a news item out of it for a day or two? A celebrity shows her crotch while disembarking from her car and this news shows up in a thousand media outlets and articles and when 21 school children are gunned down in their school which is given the same coverage makes these two incidents equally big “big”? According to your logic, that is.

    What makes the incident small and insignificant is that the city in which it occurred, which according to you and others like you is located in the “biggest open air prison that is Eritrea”, the nation that you and others keep harping is ripe for another “arab spring”, and its residents didn’t not only didn’t notice it but were annoyed by by incessant inquiries made on them to confirm the calmness of their beloved city!

    The Eritrean army, which according to you and your likes, is full of “deeply dissatisfied conscript privates” (hence the initial attempt by your ilks to show this was the rise of these privates) hardly flinched let alone to move a muscle of any kind against the government. This renders the incident as quite insignificant, inconsequential and something that would never happen again. [TPLF attempt to create pressure by flexing its aid injected muscles around Badme unfortunately also plays against your prediction. Eritrea’s army has not taken its eye off TPLF’s.

    False reports of “more of the conspirators making their way to Sudan”, was just that. Another rumor that was meant to portray this incident as some kind of wide spread mutiny. This false rumor now also inadvertently exposed that there were no more people but the five men in a jeep (non of them a private). Another confirmation that this was indeed nothing!

    One might ask if it was so insignificant why were some “big” men arrested? That has more to do with their roles playing the loyal official when it suits them and come out on the “wrong side” after wrongly reading what was happening – all righteous and full of bravado. They were incidental to the little incident, so to speak. They were small men playing big men.

    Time is not on the side of your “big incident theory” either. A month after the incident, not even a follow up sneeze has taken place. If we are to take past events as a yardstick to measure and predict any possible other “attempts”, the last major attempt by the G15 (the most significant attempt) was in 2000-2001. That didn’t end well for them and it has been almost 13 years. After this non-attempt, one can safely predict the next one would be – never. If Issayas is as Machiavellian as you guys make him out to be, then this prediction of mine will hold quite easily.

    You probably noticed the incident ended without him ordering any shooting ( although he asserts it would have been a few minutes job). He didn’t even have to order the shooting of the man who fired the only shots of the incident. That is major points for him and another evidence this incident was small and insignificant.

    • yegermal

      Put it this way. The news is big enough that it compelled you to write 7 paragraphs when you could have exhausted your point in a couple of sentences such as “this is joke , this is a lie” , if you get my drift. Now you can extrapolate to DIA’s impetus for doing the interview when he could have well done what he has done in the past,deny the entire incident in a couple of sentences “this is a joke, this is a lie, did you like Fenkil party that never was?”. In reality, you are frightened to death that the Forto’s “small incident” is the beginning of the end of the deranged man you call “president”.

      • dawit

        It is a Great rebuttal by Hatati. He proved the Forto incident as ‘insignificant event’ with only seven paragraphs against Awate Team sixteen paragraphs trying to paint the incidence as ‘significant event’.

      • yegermal


        Focus. Will ya? Awate considered it significant, hence it spent time to expand on it. Those of you (including your psychopath cult leader)who deem the event “insignificant” all you have to do is ignore it as in “make no mention of it” since it will have no consequence on the power balance in Eritrea. Right? But you know it ain’t so. Ergo, you’re forced to spend time and energy to dispel its significance.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Exclamation mark Hatati:)

      You are slipping, man. The last time you addressed this topic, you gave us a classic:

      “In fact, when he ordered them to shoot, the alleged famous line from one of them was, “ktukus entekoyne nAka’ye r’esika zbtineka”

      Nice! What we have here is two versions of a story as told by two groups with admittedly vested interests. We in the opposition have a vested interest in seeing the demolishing of the Isaias regime, and Isaias (and all you Isaiasists) have a vested interest to show that it is “business as usual.” What we should have is the testimony of those who witnessed the event themselves to be able to speak freely about what they saw and heard. Of course, at the rate of Eritrea’s migration rate, it is only a matter of time before you will hear/read their testimony at the websites that broke the news about the “January 21 incident” but, by then, Eritrea will have moved to yet another crisis and you are betting the story will be forgotten, no?

      Can you tell us more about the “five men in a jeep”? Their names, titles, units they serve in? (tip: it was probably a Landrover; not many jeeps in Eritrea since the Kagnew Station days.)

      While you are at it, who are the “small men playing big men”? Got any names? Got any information of what contributed to their shrinking? Do you have any evidence for what is it they are accused of doing other than the same sources who told you “ktukus entekoyne nAka’ye r’eskia zbtineka’ belo ybahal?

      And who are the “you guys” who are making out Isaias to be Machiavelian? Brute, yes. Crude, yes. But Machiavelian? Don’t flatter yourself, Hatati.


      Not trying to ignore you, but you are barking up the wrong tree. gets ferocious when an opposition member crosses to the dark side (witness our declaration of war on meskerem ( and Abdulkader Hamdan (now heading the pretentiously named “Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies”, and whose only goal seems to be to compete with as to who publishes more words and pictures of Isaias in his front page:) But when somebody crosses the dark side and comes into the light, we allow them ample space to decide the time and place when and how they will side with the people. You have never read a single article at asking “where is Hibret?”, “Where is Dinish?”, “Where is Chegae?” “where is Abdella Adem”, “where is Shengeb”, “where is Menkorios.” It is not what we do, and there is no double standard at work here. We would be showing our age if we referred you to our guiding principle: it is what the ELF resolved to do with the Commandis in its first congress (1971). It is also what it resolved to with the wedogeba. Kind with the former; ferocious with the latter. It was wise then, it is wise now. We simply have a disagreement with you, and others, on this. You can keep saying it, but don’t feel ignored when we ignore you.

      Dear paranoid:

      I forgot your name, no disrespect. You are seriously suggesting that to fulfill whatever conspiracy theory you are peddling, we wiped out our data from April 2012 to January 2013. Precious data including all our exclusive Gedab News, our favorite articles (including the classic by Aklilu Zere!) and other assets we labored mightily for for 8 months (including our Jebena/Merhaba page!)? Whatever you are smoking, we are sure it is not legal. That is your business; but when you put on your clown outfit at our forum, that is our business.


      • !Hatati

        I have a classic quote for you from gedab aka “when its our fancy” news’. This is such a gem:

        “There has always been tension between the “civilians” and the “military” hierarchy of the ruling party—a tension which Isaias Afwerki stroked expertly. The “civilians”—Yemane Gebreab (“monkey,” the presidential adviser/political director of the ruling party), Yemane Gebremeskel (“Charlie,” the Chief of Staff of the President’s Office), Hagos Gebrehiwot (“Kisha,” the economic director of the ruling party), Abraha Kassa, (the National Security Chief), Ali Abdu (Minister of Information) along with Sebhat Ephrem (the Defense Minister), have formed an emergency committee (now derisively referred to in Asmara as a junta or a Derg), to deal with any emergency from the corrupt and autonomous generals and colonels. Some of their pre-emptive strikes include confiscation of cell phones from officers and re-assignments.”

        You probably notice your brothers name in the mix. Of course, you do! Doh! Your wrote this stuff.

        I will always cherish that quote. In fact, I cherish it more than ever before as it kind of touches on this other quote I have of you in the article you wrote trying to explain your little dirty deed with Expressen, which goes like this:

        “My message to Kassem Hamade was this: if a special plane–let’s call it Scandinavian Airlines–somehow managed to transfer the entire Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers to the corporate office of Expressen, and if the entire journalistic staff of Expressen was to interview them for days, weeks, months; if they were to water-board them, they would not be able to get a single useful information on the whereabouts of Dawit Isaac or any of the thousands of Eritreans who have been made to disappear.”

        Stop making stuff up dude!

        • saay

          Selamat exclamation point hatati:

          Nah, I yield to the master of invention. The difference between my quote and yours is that mine is subject to review because it is expressing an opinion. Somebody can say, “yep, there is tension between the civilians and the military” or “nope there isn’t one.” Or, somebody can say, “yep, the Cabinet of Ministers are a rubber stamp body who know less than nothing” or, “nope, they know plenty.” Actually, quite boring.

          But yours, I love it: “In fact, when he ordered them to shoot, the alleged famous line from one of them was, “ktukus entekoyne nAka’ye r’esika zbtineka.” You made a line that nobody said, nobody heard, and can never be verified either way into an “alleged famous line.” You even put quotation marks around what “one of them” told the anonymous man who gave the order to shoot to give it the illusion of credibility. Now that is creative.

          My hat remains off to your masterpiece. Do come up with more, please.


          PS: this kind of stuff worked way, way back in the era of 03 and Dimtsi Hafash as the sole source of information. But now in the era of yahoo chat rooms, skype chat rooms, Paltalk, and dozens of websites, all it deserves is ridicule and mockery so it is nothing personal against you:) Just trying to suggest you should upgrade your archaic system.

      • !Hatati

        Oy Oy! You are a little more sophisticated than I thought. Archaic me! From the classic lie that threw at you, you somehow managed to skip what I think is the meat of the you epic lie, which is “[They] have formed an emergency committee (now derisively referred to in Asmara as a junta or a Derg), to deal with any emergency from the corrupt and autonomous generals and colonels. Some of their pre-emptive strikes include confiscation of cell phones from officers and re-assignments.”

        You think in “the days of chat rooms and pal talks” you can actually make up a thing like that and have the audacity to expect to be taken seriously? I am archaic because I called you out on it? Who the hell does one talk to verify your obviously made up story? You? Oh, I see, let me take another guess! A member of the “derg”, oh I don’t know, like Ali Abdu, for instance? So, in your world may be Issayas Afewerki is dead! Because, there is no way that happened as Issayas wasn’t even sick. Did you guess how I knew that? Yes, the “dead” President showed up on TV to give an interview, which was transmitted live on this thing called the internet, on a little website known as the Guess what? He wasn’t even on a hospital bed!

        Try one of the older technologies around and talk to people inside Eritrea before letting you imaginary tanks and personnel carriers roam Asmara’s streets. People still live in Asmara, you know! I guess that would be too 03ish for you. You Startrekk traveller you!

        P.S. you need to click your toungue before you say Hatati. I thought I should explain the exclamation mark:)

        • saay


          Come on, baldongaka wedi’eka diKa?:)

          You know what all this reminds me of? It reminds me of the time some guy ordered some other people to shoot and “the alleged famous line from one of them” which was, “ktukus entekoyne nAka’ye r’esika zbtineka.

          Now that is some fine storytelling. It is not just a famous line, but an alleged famous line. And this poor soldier who, according to legend, was just a misguided guy who was taken to Forto under false premises, suddenly found the strength to stand up to his boss and threaten to shoot him. Not just shoot him, but shoot him on the head.

          Good times, good times. You gotta come up with something just as good. It is hard to top that one, for sure, but, hey, you already have the creative mind so go for it:)


      • !Hatati

        ኩሉ ባልዶንጓይ ዓሊ ሒዝዎ ጠፊኡ:) መስቲ ናቱ ሓዋዊሱ! ካብቲ ናቱስኪ ቁሩብ ፈይ ፈይ ኣብለልና :- ዋላ ጥረ: ዝበሰለ: ዘይበሰለ: ዝተጣሕነ ዋላ ዘይተጣሕነ:)

        እዛ ናይ “ደርጊ” ነገር ምትንካፍ ኣቢኻያ! ዓሊ ምስላ ኣቦታትና ክደግም ከሎ እንታይ በለ: “ደርሆ እንተሓለመትሲ ጥረምረ”:: ሽዑ ግዜ ንዓኻትኩም ዝሃቦ መልሲ እዩ ኔሩ:: ኣብ ሕልምኻ ዝጸሓፍካዮ “ዜና” ሰብ ከምዘምበቦ ኩሉ ግዜ ከዘኻኽረካ’የ:: ነዚ ዘይተገብረ ጥራሕ ዘይኮነ ዘይተሓሰበ ነገር ምሂዝካ ክትሓናጥጥ ዘይሓፈርካስ ያኢ ኣነ ዝጸሓፍክዎ እቶም ኣብኡ ዝነበሩ ሰባት ዝደግምዎ ነገር ኣስደሚሙካ:: ተኩስ ኣይትኩስን ከምዘዋጠጦምን ከምዝነበረ እሞ ብቀሊሉ ዝፍለጥ ነገር’ዩ:: ንስኻ ንባዕልኻ ክልተሚእቲ ዝኾኑ ዝተሳተፎ ዝበልካዮ ኣብያ ድኣሞ ከመይ ኢሉ ብተኹሲ ካብ ናይ ሓደሰብ ብረት ጥራሕ ተወዲኡ? ታንኪ ዘወጣወጠ ድኣ ናበይ ኣበለ?

        እዛ ናይ “ደርጊ” ዜና ዝሓዘት ጽሕፍትኻ እኮ “ተወሳኺ ዜና ክስዕብ’ዩ” ኢላ ምስ ወደአት ካልእ ተወሳኺ ዜና ናይታ “ደርጊ” ቡጩቕ ኣየበልካን:: እታ ደርጊ ስርሓ ንኢሰይያስ ስለዘረከብት ድዩ? እቶም ኣብ ልዕሊኦም ስጉምቲ ዝተወስደሎም “ብልሹዋት ጀነራላትን ኮረኔላትን” ከ እንተይ ኮኑ? ሰልፎናቶም ተመሊሰናሎም ዶ?

        ባጃኻ ልብና ጠልጠል ኣቢልካ ኣይትግደፈና:)

        ድሕሪ ሳልስቲ ፎርቶ ባልዶንግኻ ዝወዳእካስ ንስኻ ድኣ!

  • Mahamuda Danaba

    I like it more than any thing..thanks 4 great effort and convince able analysis..God always b wz all of u guys..

  • Kokhob Selam

    awate, i don’t have words any more to say anything. you are my school
    i wish all people are reading your posts. now here everyone is important we are one family not only small Eritrea but small world.

    shall i say something under this article?

    here it is,

    …….ልደት እታ ርግቢት………

    ልደት ‘ታ ርግቢት ክለተ እዩ ኢሎሞ:-
    ሓደን እንቛቆሖ ገዛ ትስለሞ:-
    ካል ኣይ ግን ምጭጫሕ ግዜ ምስጠዓሞ:-
    ይመስገን ፈጣሪ ሓንቲ ነይጽግሞ::

    እምበ ኣር ,
    ቅድሚ ርግቢት ምዃን ኣሎ እዩ መስርሕ:-
    ግዜኻ ምጽባይ ተዓጊስካ ምጽናሕ:-
    ስነ ህይውት ኣካል ክእከብ ክጭራሕ:-
    ንተፈጥሮ ክገጥማ ብሕጊ ክምራሕ::

    ግን ኩለን ድየን ተወልዳ ዝጭጨሓ:-
    ደርጃ እነስሳነት ዘምርሓ ዝበጽሓ:-
    ወይስ ኣሎ እዩ ምብልሻው ምእጓል:-
    ምብርዓን ምሟት ህይውት ምስንኻል:?

    እንታይ እዩ ጥበበን ኣብ ዓለም ክነብራ:-
    ሓራ ኮይነን ኣብ ሰማይ ዝነፍራ :
    ወይስ ኣሎ እዩ ዝሕለፍ መከራ:?

    ኢልካ መስትሓት ምስ ትዕዘብ:-
    ስረሐይ ኢልካ ምስትግንዘብ:
    ጉዕዞ እዩ ዘለዎ ዘርጠብጠብ:
    ሕጊ ባህርይ ህልውና ምዕቃብ:
    ገለ ግን ይስዋእ ይኸውን ቀለብ:
    ኣሻራ ይገድፍ ኣብ ተፈጥሮ ይምዝገብ::

    ዝገርም ግን,

    መስዋእቲ ፍጡራት በጃ ምሕላፍ:-
    መእንቲ ካለኦት ህይወት ክተርፍ:-
    ምዃኑ ይገርም የደንቅ ግን ከኣ የሰክፍ:-
    ሓላፍነት ህያው የኽብድ ይድፍድፍ::

    ከምኡ እዩ :- ምንባር ሓደራ እንድኣሉ:-
    በለጽ ኣይኮነን ስጋ ወገንካ ትበልዓሉ:-

    ንሱ ዝወደቐሉ ንስኻ ክትቅጽለሉ:
    ንወለዶ ራህዋ ክትፍጥረሉ::

    ተመንሲ እንቛቆሖ እንድኣሉ ዝፍልፈል:-
    እታ ርግቢት ጌጋ ከይትውዕል:-
    የድሊ እዩ ኣርሒቅካ ምስትውዓል:-
    ትምህርቲ ይኹና ደልዲልካ እዩ ምትካል::

  • gidewon

    Awate is my screensaver. Amazing analysis.

  • A Iyasu

    A very well framed,analysis of PIA’s interview. I think his interview gave him away….the more he does that the more he reveals himself as: senef, znedeye, zTefeshe, wduQ, Harich ab nfas, etc.

  • DemMelash Eritrawi

    Awate Team,

    Please keep up the good job. Together we will destroy PFDJ, Isaias and Enemies of our People and Count5ry.

  • samuel

    I just got one question to his diehard followers, U can’t say u didn’t know anymore because the truth is know as bright as the sun of massawa. If u decide to ignore the suffering of your people and keep supporting a dictator that’s your choice but u can’t pretend u don’t know. Even yesterdsy born child knows this tyrant lies. The day he started the war with ethopia to kill our constitution was the day he lost all credibility.

  • samuel

    Poor tyrant even his own diehard fans won’t believe him anymore. All u see in his monster face is lies he is a deadan waking.

  • eriman

    Excellent, logical and professional article. Hats is up to Awate Team.

  • Tzigereda

    Excellent analysis Awate Team!

    It is as simple as that a person who lacks the Basics of leadership in all aspects , is an abuser of human rights , and a criminalst, should be fired and be brought to Justice. Forto is our booster in our fight against this tyrant. Isayas has shown us his fear,his disrespect, his fate is already determined.

    • fareon

      i think we know what the situation with HGDEF is we hat them b/c they are bad govenance but we love them b/c they are a good secterian creaters of militants for that reason we need them to damlation the greater ertrean people enemy Ethiopia for ever so we are on their side.

    • sara

      i asked one of my friends what denotes the word or name tzegereda and i was appalled when i heard what it means, wow! lady why don’t you get a nick name which reflects your way of thinking ala arewe or pappila etc.that way we could easily understand you ad take you seriously, otherwise repeating those …..words are boring, to say the least.

  • T..T.

    Well Analyzed. Thanks Awate.

    We all know how inflammatory the word “constitution” to Isayas is. And, the worst is that it happened at his MOI, the ministry that brings Isayas’s propaganda and promises to his diaspora funs and injects some life into his failing governance. In person, this guy lambasts his well-wishers when his is sick and denies having been hospitalized to a hospital after miraculously recovering from cerebral malaria or liver problems. He is always an embarrassment to those who pay him a visit because he puts them on ‘Have you seen any? No. Have you heard any? No,’ – if there is choice, it is better know him no, see him no.

    After the hammer fell on his head, the Jan 21 operation, Isayas is wide awake. He is loose on his domineering and unpredictable behavior. He wants to be predictable and communicating with his close friends. But this time his so-called friends know close to him is away from the people. It is him versus the whole population.

    Isayas’s overzealous officials are not practicing their past attitudes towards the people. Phone-calls from Asmara confirmed that the officials are now friendly and appreciative. It appears like they gave a stop to a forced conscription of youngsters into national service. So far, since Jan 21, there is no any report of forcibly taking children from their homes or forcing sick people into labor to die later at the worksite. The phone conversations further confirmed that some officials, at first, targeted some groups but now those officials are the target of the people. Isayas power is wincing out of fear from people’s anger and reaction.

  • haile

    Dear Awate Team,

    As far as your detailed analysis goes, it appears well thought through arguments that are put forth with persuasive reasoning. In my view, the main weakness seems to be the fact that you have taken too limited a scope in your assumptions as to the very reason the interview was conducted.

    Your analysis’ premise only spans domestic factors, hence is limited to addressing the issue from that angle alone. Could there have been other factors that necessitated the interview to be conducted? Since, by your own attestations, you know that the issue had been discussed on various forums by different organs of the government, including the IA himself on Feb. 8, why was it necessary to give additional high level briefings on Feb. 14th?

    It seems that you have left out of consideration other target audience of the ‘interview’ and the message that it intended to give out.

    Consider the following situation:

    Following the HRW report that mentioned the Bisha mine operators, Nevsun, in its annual assessment, Nevsun’s stock prices dipped few cents down to $4.52 and bounced back up again to $4.57 (or something close)

    Following the January 21 events, Nevsun’s stock prices started going down again. However, this time they haven’t recovered. On last Friday the TSX has closed at NSU $3.79 and and trading is expected to reopen on Monday at $3.72!

    A presidential interview that would project a sense of being in control and gives the impression that the events were insignificant may or may not help to reverse the trend. However, as far as analysis is concerned, it it one of the influential factors worth studying.

    In my opinion, the interview was not conducted for domestic consumption, rather a well calculated message meant to reassure nervousness in the markets.

    • Awate Team


      If Isaias’s audience included foreign governments and institutions, would he have conducted the interview in Tigrinya?


      • haile

        Awate team,

        My view is as good as a view is likely to be. Don’t forget I said “well calculated”. When people have to translate and work to obtain the information, somehow they think it is more valid (because they now intercepted domestic chitchat :_)) The info. is put out to be found, rather than delivered in a convenient format. Just a view, you can’t be tooo sure this days, and the business of planting facts on the ground,so to speak, has been around for as long as politics itself.

      • Tedros

        Major investors (like Nevsun) and embassies in Asmara follow the local media (radio and paper/s) through their translators.