Home / Gedab News / Eritrea Stops Hauling Businesses Over Black Market Diesel

Eritrea Stops Hauling Businesses Over Black Market Diesel

Last week, the government of Eritrea closed its main garage in Asmara and stopped all transport trucks that hauled ore from Bisha to Massawa.

Bisha Mining is a company jointly owned by the Eritrean government and Nevsun Resources of Canada.

The trucks were stopped pending what the government called “an investigation of diesel allocations for the truckers who sold it in the black market.” At the same time, the government closed the garage until the investigation of the “stolen diesel is concluded.”

The ruling party owns and operates the car and truck repair garage, which also sells spare parts, vehicles, tires and other related items.

The vehicle repair and maintenance business is almost a monopoly. All public vehicles are not allowed to be repaired in privately owned garages who face difficulty in getting spare parts, unlike the ruling party owned garage where civilians are also forced to have their cars repaired.

A businessman told Gedab News, “the PFDJ garage is always well stocked while private retailers face difficulty in importing spare parts, mainly from Dubai and Jeddah.”

The personnel of the garage are implicated in what the government has called “diesel swindle.” Apparently they have a role in rationing of diesel to hauling sub-contractors. Several people were arrested in connection with the “diesel swindle.”

Ore is transported over land for about 300 kms. from the Bisha mining concessions to the Red Sea port of Massawa for export.

Our sources reported, “the security forces discovered diesel being distributed on the black market, and they traced it to a hauling track sub-contractor.” Subsequent audits found huge discrepancies between the diesel the sub-contractor received and what his truck could have actually consumed in the trips it made from Bisha to Massawa.

Trucking is the favorite business of Eritreans who have excelled in that business since the fifties of the last century. At one time, particularly during the struggle era, Eritreans almost controlled the transportation business in Sudan and Ethiopia. It was one of the few business that the ruling party didn’t fully control. Eritreans business people expect the ruling party to restructure the transport business and finally monopolize it.

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    As far as we know some four years back Wedi gerahitu has brought about 17/18 trucks of PFDJ to Kampala and a notice was posted to get drivers. The secret is well known, but there are agents who do not want it to be openly opposed and reaction taken by the government concerned. The trucks were used to transport commodities from Mombasa to Rwanda and Port Sudan. Now, that would be Isaias gebray has become the true agent of the system while the so called Ambassador is always invisible. We have no idea how the concerned Government and UNHCR kept quiet. Indeed, we know that “EPLF/PFDJH’s use of money is practiced everywhere and the said locality is no exception in one way or another. This is something that was mentioned earlier but people didn’t take the necessary attention. Thanks for your info and we hope we will get the other versions somehow from other directions. Hmmmmmmmmmm NEVSUN, is still running against time to amass gold before it is too late.

  • Eyob Medhane


    What you said is very profound, yet sad and depressing at the same time… This usually doesn’t happen to me, but you got me to lose words…

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Breaking News!

    The Eritrean rider Daniel Teklehaimanot becomes the first ever African to win the “King of the Mountains” polka dot jersey in stage 7 of Tour de France. Congrats Daniel and team MTN Qhubeka!))

    • Berhe Y

      Yes in deed. stage 6 though

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Thanks Berhe Y for correction; it was indeed stage 6.))

  • Ali

    Same here. It irritate me everytime I hear the term for Eritrea “government” or “president”.

  • Abi

    If your dad was a friend of my Gashe , I’m sure your father is a very good person. He is still a very good family friend. His wife Etye —- is a mother for everyone. So humble you can’t tell they are extremely rich.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    The Chinese representative concluding remarks at Commission of Inquiry this month in Geneva was right that Eritrea’s incompetence was the reason for its confrontational arrogance. The Chinese representative said it all that never a nation boasts of disintegrating a nation in the name of self-reliance.

    Rejection of all proposed solutions is just a clear explanation of Eritrea’s leadership incompetence. If the cause of standoffs and confrontations with the UN is Isayas’s incompetence, then he has to immediately resign or abdicate his duties until such time (not later than a month) he is replaced. When the Chinese mission told the truth about Eritrea’s problems, they didn’t mean to reward Isayas with protection of his negligence, irresponsibility and corruption. The pin pointing of Eritrea’s root cause was a suggestion for immediate removal of the cause and finding a solution.

    Indeed, COI should include in its report investigations as to why Isayas closed down many UN and NGOs funded and newly built factors and industries. There was no reason but only to ensure that his government is the only employer in the country.

  • tes

    Dear Gedab News,

    I think there is also another important news coming from shabait.

    The Ministry of justice, aka, Ministry of Silence has handed over his fake and recently set Penal and Civil Codes of PFDJ junta. The news outlet reported:

    “Brig. General Abraha Kassa, Head of the National Security Agency, emphasized for his part, the need to make all the necessary preparations to put the new legal provisions into effect.”

    Well done Foziya Hashim. Brig. General Abraha has abused Eritreans without any law before and now has received a Penal Code to punish Eritreans further.

    In a normal world, Civil and Penal Codes originate from Constitution. Since the Constitution is of the people, laws are handed to no one but the people.

    In countries like Eritrea, where the people has no say, two or three MSc holding lecturers are qualified enough to prepare a hand-out which is supposed to be for Diploma graduates, and fix is as Country Law. Worse, country law becomes worst enemy when National Security owns it. http://shabait.com/news/local-news/20130-ministry-of-justice-organizes-seminars-

    This move has full exposed that Eritrea is ruled by FEAR not by law. the National Security office is number who who created FEAR to be the king in Eritrea.

    Bravo W/ro Fozya, you have good college lecturers who can prepare a hand-out and a good fear creating cheer leader to use his abusive power by the name of prepared hand-out.

    justice in PFDJ’s era is FEAR of Justice!

    This news reminded my debate with my workmates back Eritrea on “Positive” Vs “Negative” Peace. Though the debate was held in negative peaceful environment, we were able to prove that Eritrea was under “Negative Peace”; Today, COI came with a conclusion that says, “Eritrea is ruled by FEAR not by law” which is equivalent to “Negative Peace”.


  • Abi

    Hi Jimmy
    I’m impressed !!
    Asgedom also saying the same except that he said the eritreans were not educated. I disagree with him . What do you think ?
    What was their involvement in other sectors of the economy?
    Tell me more.

  • NoDrama


    I second your thoughts. It’s important to coin a name evoking enough to depict the regime and stick to it. I read some where DIAG ( Dictator Issayas Afewrki’s Government) which I find fitting. Besides, the word starts and ends like DERG which actually is the finality of the DIAG.

  • Abi

    Hello Gedab News
    You are saying eritreans almost controlled the transportation business in Sudan and Ethiopia during the struggle times. This can’t be true since it is a huge industry to be dominated by eritreans . It can be true in Sudan . Not in ethiopia. Where is the evidence?

    • Asghedom

      the evidence was there may be these time is not .
      do you know in Ethiopia during and before the struggle Eritreans was controlling almost 80% of Ethiopian transport and various businesses . I can say Ethiopia was completely controlled by them after the Ethiopian lords.
      the difficulty the Eritreans was ignorant, therefore they were not able to administrate their wealth. Having all the opportunities to control economically the region they destroyed it.
      what was the reason of the Eritreans to fall down in this misfortune, the answer is because most Eritreans was not educated and most of them was not able to write and read for these reason for others they lost each and everything to create a country which makes them more poor and ignorant ,

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Abi,
      We can verufy that in two ways:
      1. Ask any Ethiopian what his five immediate neighbors did for a living and they will tell you two had “yechinet mekina.” 🙂

      2. Most of the export and import business for the entire Ethiopia (including Eritrea at the time) were in Eritrea or had access through it. Humere, Massawa, and Asseb. The two others were the Djibouti route–which was served by train and, ehm, Eritrean owned trucks. And the South, Jimma, which again, were served by “yechinet mekina”

      Seriously though, maybe the entire Ethiopian transport business seems an exaggeration, but when you see it in context, it is actually the long distance haul business. And that, Eritreans had the lion’s share of. In Eritrea, people measured wealth by owning long distance hauling trucks. Every young person dreamed of owning one. And they toiled for it beginning from “Aitante” (assistant) who sat on top of the load for days exposed to the elements–all with the dream of someday owning their own truck. And many did realize their dream. Most owners passed through “Aitante”, driver, and finally owner. That is why you had the proportional number of Eritrean garage owner, mechanic, panel-beater, painter, gomista–anything that had something to do with trucks and cars.

      The above is true to the Highland Eritreans who shunned trade and commerce. You will hardly find them engaged in commerce except a few. The Eritrean Transportation Association boasted more than a thousand trucks in the sixties. That is a huge number compared to the size of the economy, the general business, and the poor roads.

      Abi, we beat you (used to beat you) on that hands down. Accept that 🙂

      • selam

        Dear SGJ
        We will certainly beat them in any trade just wait until DIA goes to cemetry. Go to Angola zebra company which is owned by 3 Eritreans is worth of a 1 dollar only on trade. And how many companies are there like zebra. Go to congo a trading company in contract to supply all basic consumer goods is owned by Eritreans. Go to nigeria a biscuit company started in 1985 now a share holder in Dangote trading from sugar to cement , I can go on and on , we just need to kill the devil on his sleep after that , we Eritreans are not just track owners , all Ethiopian traders know this.

        • Casey Jon

          You don’t need to bring down your neighbor for you to rise. You both can grow together . Don’t be a hasad. Your arrogance got you DIA

        • አዲስ

          lmao enjoying this

      • Abi

        Selam Ato Saleh
        You beat me? NO! I beat you big time. You just said what I have been saying for years that eritreans did better under mama nefs neger.
        Look, I know many successful eritreans. Just to give you an example, I will mention Gashe——
        From my neighbors. We lived together for years.
        Gashe —– was the sole importer of SCANIA motors and Bridgestone tires for the whole country.
        He is the most humble person you want to meet.
        It is an honor to call him Gashe.
        Ato Saleh, I know a lot of people. I just mentioned the “Big Kahuna.”
        You got the point.

        Selam asmara tsbuqti
        You don’t know wela hanti.

        • Eyob Medhane


          You know that’s so innocent about Gash Saleh? He is totally lost in your sarcasm. 🙂 Eritreans, who are the most “oppressed” in Ethiopia, in fact, so oppressed they were allowed to control a trucking business, the bakery business (Gebretinsae Tedla, nefsachewun aymarew) Ethiopian Airlines top management business, Ethiopian Commercial Bank top management business, import export business…damn these people were so “oppressed”. They really needed their “independence” don’t you agree? 🙂

          • Abi

            I agree . Some do better under colonization.
            Honestly, I did not expect Ato Saleh to fall for the sarcasm. I was expecting others like Selam or hope( whatever his nick is for today) to jump over it. What is funny is he was so serious in explaining.
            When I see him in Masawa I will buy him a pack of Marlboro.
            Do you know eritreans own FIAT N3 and Gurages own FIAT 110 ?
            “Meto asir (110)
            YeGurage dem sir
            Shuferu Zeberga
            Awtantiw mudesir.”

          • Saleh Johar

            You lost again. I didn’t miss your sarcasm, I just snatche the occasion to boast a little: I don’t do it very often, and I don’t want to be left behind when you and Eyob make it sound that when people die, they either go to hell or to Ethiopia 🙂

          • Rahwa T

            Hi Abi,

            I like your expression “whatever his nick is for today”. You are the real funny guy.

          • Abi

            Kemey Rahwa sistu
            Emntay Tefiki?
            Hope hopelessly tried to disguise himself. He managed to disgust himself in the process.

          • Rahwa T

            ayTefa’ekun Abi, I am here almost every day and reading yours and others’ comments and articles. Recently, most of the points being discussed are focusing on Eritrean issues. I was tempted to respond to a certain Tewolde Gebremariam’s logic of how DIA has been working with woyane, but stop after I saw Addis’s and your reply to him.

            I am happy to see Papi back to her house and that guy I most (Geteb) is disappeared or keeping low profile after the arrival of Haile The Great. I hope he will not use this comment as a call to come back. Abi, so you think brother “Hope” changes nick names every day? I think it is impossible to change that unique “writing skill” of him?

          • Abi

            Rahwa sistu
            Hope changes his nicks and cousins twice a day.
            His unique “writing skill” Sem calls it grocery list. Somebody else calls it a recipe. I call it a honey todo list before Mother’s Day..

          • Saleh Johar


            Some topics are just not suitable for jokes. For example, the fact that Eritrea had house niggers and field niggers! Besides, the referendum was to decide whether to keep our bakeries in Addis or bring them back to Asmara. If only we brought them back dries back, we wouldn’t have today’s problems. And of course a few other things which Abi will staunchly reject. Now be nice before Isaias orders Obama to cancel the trip. Where you demonstrating in DC? Yetabatu Obama, couldn’t he wait for approval from the shadow Ethiopian government in DC or at least the one under Isaias!

        • Hayat Adem

          That humble Gashe is now in the US. He is still humble but not the successful businessman you used to know. The long bad hand of PFDJ took him down from a tower of success and turned him to a senior person in exile without a purpose. I’m saying this for him but he is too positive to think of himself as a victim. Still generous, still humble and never complaining.

          • Abi

            Hi Hayat
            Yes he lives in the US. I’ve been to his house . The same generous perdon. Some people are just amazing !

      • Casey Jon

        I agree. Most if the Eritreans I went to school with in Addis,their family were either bale garage or owned trucks or dd was autista. I think the Amhara regimes were mainly anti Muslim Eritrea. Haileselassie and Mengistu had a couple of Hamasen Generals but not a single Tigraway had a high ranking post in their military,
        Haileselassie hated Muslims and the low landers were too educated and too conscious to be ruled by his midevial Christian monarchy .

  • Amanuel

    Hi Gedab News
    Who do you think the hauling track subcontractor is? Obvious, it must be one of those companies who are fully or partly owned by PFDJ. Those are the only companies ( individuals) allowed to do business in Eritrea.