The most shocking feature, in the interview with Eyob Bahta Habtemariam, EraEro prison guard, is the story of his colleagues and himself being open air detainees. This double sided situation is not created from void; it is the offspring of the regime’s relation with its cohorts. The EraEro issue, beside its portrayal of how zealots turn into victims, illustrates the way the ethnocratic regime manipulates citizens who have ardent sectarian inclination. This unjustified excessive sectarian emotion emboldened the dictator to establish his destructive project; likewise, it is the juncture where mafia intermarried with sectarianism and labored the tragedy of the Eritrean people.
Reiteration of catastrophes is the symptom of the presence of undisclosed ailment. The adversity of EraEro guards is a good example that demonstrates the complaint – the interminglement of mafia with sectarianism. This intertwinement has produced a virus that repeatedly infects the people of Eritrea. It is regrettable to recognize potential victims defending ferociously the virus that the mafia utilizes to destroy all without discrimination. Sectarians create a calamity and awake too late to begin generating a new journey of disaster; sworn never to reconsider their mistakes. This groundless stand has exacerbated the Eritrean problem to the stage that threatens its sovereignty. To realize co-existence, peace, stability and development, Eritreans should unmask and dismantle the fatal sectarian practices – unvaccinated frenetic sectarianism.
The dictator carries out continual changes in his cabinet to embarrass his subjects and ensure the security of his regime. He is well-known for freezing and reshuffling his ministers, ambassadors, regional authorities, farmers and teenagers. This policy of reallocation completely halted when it reached the EraEro guards to relate the hidden story of the regime.
The policy the regime applied on EraEro guards is a typical mafia conduct. The guards remained in the same post for nine years without moving a single man from them. This issue requires to pause upon, so as to explore the reality from which Eritrea is suffering. The subject doesn’t just narrate the story of guards, but conceals the psychological stress the regime exerts upon its subjects. A rational question poses itself here; what is the purpose of keeping the EraEro guards in the same post without promotion in their military ranks, skills and financial status? Why do they request them to hide their workplace? Why do they deny them regular vacation? Where are the human resources development programs which the regime propagates, from the EraEro guards?
The EraEro guards are not picked out randomly from the Eritrean defense forces. They are chosen from zealots who support the regime. The issue is gravely sensitive and top secret, thus selection usually occurs from those with avid tendency to sectarianism – without doubt, the EraEro guards are from one ethnic group. They brainwash them to perpetrate crimes willingly against guiltless citizens. Some of the fanatics might be stunned by this attitude, but no way to escape from the grips of the mafia.
The regime is an expert in the art of disguising. The EraEro guards are top confidential walking files. The dictator’s security requirements demand their confinement. The task is forbidden to circulate to unlimited number of guards. The files are under intense control, because they ensue serious impeachment. It is trouble-free to get rid of a specified number of guards – it is a well premeditated procedure of crime.
In the eyes of the mafia regime, zealots are not different from those deprived of all their rights. The moment the mission is accomplished, the regime meditates about their extermination. The dictator dreads the people of Eritrea, because they threaten his authority, and he fears his associates, for they might infiltrate information of crimes executed against innocent citizens and patriots.
Someone might despise the idea of supporters transformed to victims, but this notion is unsurprising to those who comprehend the nature of mafias. The EraEro guards instance substantiates the turning of fanatics to victims. The guards and prisoners of EraEro are a typical example of how the regime betrays its followers. At some point, the supporters of the regime were diehard extremists until they were caught in the snares of the regime. The more the fanatics adore the regime the more they are prone to entanglement in its traps that will result into their annihilation.
Numbers at EraEro has a rare story to tell. In that remote area prison, the regime decided to replace the names of prisoners with digits. Though the number of prisoners does not exceed the members of three or four families, the regime preferred to digitize them. The coding of the detainees with figures expresses more about the regime’s nature than the prisoners. This is a further proof that unveils the criminal traits of the regime and similarly reveals the degree of secrecy the regime deals with.
Eyob Bahta enumerated the inhuman conditions of the prisoners. At that heavily guarded remote place, and inside locked containers, the prisoners have both their hands and legs chained around the clock. This indicates the cruelty of the regime and the level of timidity of its leader. It is impossible for an honest leader to be terrified to this extent. Such an acute horror is the behavior of a bloody villain who is hunted by the ghosts of his victims.
Eyob Bahta also spoke bitterly in detail about the maltreatment of Lt. Colonel EsHak Araya (Wadi Hakim), EraEro prison leader. Wadi Hakim exploits his authority to obtain illegal benefits. He has turned the prison guards into his personal servants and favors the soldiers who assent to work in his private businesses. He runs the prison without accountability; of course, this is not absent from the calculations of the dictator. Wadi Hakim is left to stall-feed like a cow for slaughter. Lt. Colonel EsHak Araya, Eyob Bahta and the other EraEro guards are all equal in the eyes of the dictator; they are files for eradication at the end of their mission. The suspension of Lt. Colonel EsHak in the same rank and position for nine years without promotion proves his extermination at any time in the future.
In the past decades, thousands of walking files were exterminated without instigating any dread to the regime; they never deprived the dictator sleep like the EraEro prisoners issue. He understands that the files of associates in abductions, assassinations and looting could easily be destroyed without causing him distress. This confirms being an obedient and privileged associate could never make a fanatic secure from the mafias that currently spread throughout the country. The collaborators of the regime are apt to elimination by their immediate seniors or direct orders from the dictator and his generals – each criminal entombs the files that worry him.
The shutting out of crucial files has already commenced. Within the past months, as the Eritrean cyber-news media publicized, there were obscure deaths of Brigadier General TekeA Habtom, Brigadier General TekhleMariam Haleqa, Capt. Robel Kahsai and Capt. Wadi Mana Gergis. On 28 June 2010, General Rezene Siyum (Wadi Hafti) – who is very close to the dictator and head of security forces in Dankalia – died suddenly following a directive of transferring him to Gash from Dankalia. Indisputably, these are operations of burning sensitive files. News might leak about the liquidation of highly sensitive files, but regarding the destruction of minor files, which take place on daily basis, no one hears about them.
The most difficult problem the dictator faces in decades is the issue of EraEro prison detainees. Most of them were famous leaders of Shabia and the transitional government. The conflict raised between them, concerning the war with Ethiopia, forced him to imprison them openly. He usually arrests at the dead of night, but the conflict situation imposed upon him to change his tactics. This alternation has caused him a great damage. He is incapable to reverse this challenge, which circumstance has dictated, into the dead of night abduction and obscure deaths, a condition that normally permits him to deny without hesitation the whereabouts of the kidnapped citizens.
The brutality of the regime is crystal clear to the people of Eritrea and the international community. This sound knowledge doesn’t affect radically the source of supply of agents for the regime, because accomplices shun expressing their experience with the regime. They deem talking about their personal political history unveil them to the public, thus feel ashamed to declare their sectarian inclination which the mafia regime exploited to clutch power. When high rank leaders, cadres, and security agents escape, they usually speak about the crimes of the regime, but refrain to talk about their past history. This excessiveness in secrecy has made Eritreans to bleed continually and to encourage the regime and opportunists to mislead citizens incessantly with the same outdated boring methods. Eritreans should conceive that the only way to cure from rusts of the past and build a healthy nation is to approach our ailments blatantly and professionally.
The picture of the regime is composed of two parts. Eyob Bahta’s testimony was about the prominent part of the picture – the crimes of the regime. The second part of the picture, which exposes the tactics applied to recruit agents, is equally important in order to wipe out the regime. This part also requires witnesses so as to bar the regime from vital mechanism of survival. The people of Eritrea aspire from Eyob Bahta and others who have found themselves unexpectedly in the ploys of the regime to tell their story truthfully and without fear. Why did the regime choose Eyob Bahta to be in the unit of EraEro prison guards? How did the regime recruit him? Revealing their political history will dehydrate the regime from fresh recruits and protect many Eritreans from enmeshing in its snares.
The leaders who were part of the regime and later fled to join the opposition camp should break their silence and speak about the group they were part of. It is stark opportunism to aspire for leadership in the opposition camp, at the time debarring the Eritrean people from their knowledge about the regime. Ex-shabia leaders and cadres testimony is a valuable instrument that will disassemble the composition of the regime and terminate its existence. This should be the responsibility and principal mission of all the cadres who were once advocating for the regime. They should compensate the people of Eritrea with the exposure of what they were hatching together. The silence of these leaders about their past experiences is an indication of glaring betrayal to the people of Eritrea.
The opposition camp should persuade the leaders, cadres and security forces who deserted the regime to divulge their personal political history. It is crucial to hear from Eyob Bahta and others about the hatching machine of the regime in order to strip and deter it from getting cohorts. The disclosure of mobilization system that takes place in the inner circles of the regime will contribute in sheltering citizens from the dictator and embryonic mafias that fabricate distorted justifications to inherit the disgrace of the regime.
Isaias is not the end of tyranny. In the Eritrean political arena could appear over and over again groups of opportunists. They don’t declare their tyranny openly, but come into view masked with different ideologies. They are distinguished by their fleeing from attending brothers’ assembly, negate the consensus of the majority and recoil to groupings. They adore everything to be under their command, and desire to be the only voice that our people should listen and applaud for. If our people in the opposition camp are doomed to embrace lies and bow for tyranny, they would prefer Isaias the successful liar and tyrant. No need to waste time and efforts in the incubation of failed leaders who might develop into potential tyrants.
The EraEro prisoners and guards dilemma depicts how opportunism and sectarianism interwoven to poison co-existence in Eritrea. Occupiers, the regime and its ilks have found in frenzied sectarianism a fertile medium for their growth and reproduction of the Eritrean tragedy. It is time to break this vicious circle by shelving hypocrites – socialists and democrats in front of the public and sectarians behind closed doors, a typical attitude of the number one hypocrite.
Nothing makes Eritreans live in peace and prosperity except openness, truth and justice. Our people in the opposition camp should keep an eye on double-dealing leaders and cadres. B’ewanu znqqou zib’ee neyehdereni (A hyena that howls before sunset is dangerous). Nothing prevents a cheats from cheating his friends and colleagues. What do those who attempt to fool some of our people today have in store for tomorrow? Certainly, today’s deceit is a scenario for tomorrow’s doomsday.