Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Eritrea: The Constitution

Here is a follow-up on “gual mengedi” – the constitution. I will stick to word limit and make it short. Maybe I should just have posted it as comment. Anyway, for some reason people seem interested in revisiting the subject. I tried to read as much of the discussion on the subject as possible. Things were a little too fast to follow but too emotional to ignore. Here I will aim for a snapshot of what I think the 1997 constitution says.

Before I start I would like to apologize to Dr. Berekhet HS who wrote a long and beautiful piece as a review to Dawit’s book. The article was written and submitted a few days before the review and I had no idea that would be an unfortunate coincidence. When I saw the doctor’s name I must tell you “ab tsifrey ki’atu delye”. This should also not be taken personal to the good man whose name we implicitly keep dragging into the dirt.

On to the muddy part! The comments revealed two brands of discussants: those whose comprehension is limited to the text and those who tend to see meaning in the context. The intent is identical: we all want a constitution that works. The first want a constitution, any constitution, as a starting point. The second including myself believe that a mess with no constitution is much easier to resolve than one with a constitution because the latter legitimizes the mess.

I will not say much on the key part of the argument that I share with the amazing Hayat and others that the constitution is the preamble and in our case, it establishes a spooky nation ruled by the dead who run the living through proxies called “tegadelti”. What I would like to add to this line is the key concern that many of the ELF guys had about the legitimacy of the constitution, based on the claim of restrictive participation that Ismael and Emma hammered enough. Even under best case scenarios where participation would be based of fair representation of the organized opposition, the only [or may be the most important] thing that such an opposition would have changed would have been the wording of the preamble. What would have changed here, I think is our understanding what we mean by martyrs and who the presumed proxies would have turned out to be.

That is not our subject today. Let us get into the articles section and this is specially to drag my friend SAAY into the subject a little deeper. I know people had long discussed these things to boredom but I think every cycle of discussion is different since we are discussing the subject with a different framework in mind. There are fresh players in the game now that we know we can’t ignore.

Chicken-Egg Argument

Just to explain why there is no ethnic politics on this one: The 1997 does not recognize ethnicity the way you think it is, i.e. a stamp of identity and a mold of politics. The only factor upon which the definition of Eritrean ethnicity is premised, i.e. ethnic language, is approached as a national symbol along with the flag and the national anthem. Where you see the mention of ethnic languages elsewhere, it is mentioned more as archeological revival and an effort to keep the symbols alive.

National unity is our subject today. This is probably where the whole idea of the constitution gets lost in a chicken and egg argument. I know I said those guys were on pot when they wrote the constitution. Now you need a joint to figure this out. National Unity (article 6) is presented as the first of the national objectives – the most central of them all – as it is the only objective that keeps popping on almost every article. All other objectives (Articles 7 to 13) must first serve the national unity objective before they can turn around and use national unity as the springboard of the ‘prosperous nation”. The preamble starts with “We the people … united in … common destiny.” Of course, presenting national unity as the top national objective defies the claim of “we [are] – united – in destiny”. But that is not the issue: the constitution whose primary objective is to achieve national unity cannot be implemented unless national unity is first achieved. Pass me the lighter please!

Of course, someone will argue that is not the case. In all fairness, the 1997 constitution does not approach national unity as a milestone or goal that will be achieved by a specific date. It treats it as a process that will be achieved gradually by “encouraging democratic dialogue and national consensus … and by laying … foundation of … harmony.” If you think a little more and suck on the joint a little harder you will discover that this – national unity as a process of harmonization – is the whammy itself. Allow me to borrow a concept that I read in a comment by “GitSAtSE”, my favorite guy of all times and I think the most brilliant amongst us. Looking back at how the EPLF approached innovation during the armed struggle, he argues that it was ‘group innovation’ (ganging up) that was taboo as opposed to individual initiatives of heroism in the battlefield, music, medicine or technology which were highly revered.

This very experience is reflected in the way the 1997 constitution conceptualizes ‘democracy’ and distinguishes it from ‘development’. The democracy that the constitution intends to establish is very different from the liberal democracy whose backbone is individual liberty that you have in mind. Remember, the constitution commission that many tend to drum and “waTa” today was composed of two groups. You are thinking ‘Christians and Muslims’. The answer is no. It was composed of crusaders of the Orthodox church and Wahabies of the Saudi school.

What these two groups have in common is the Hobbesian conviction that in the absence of an iron fist, Eritrean Christians and Muslims will end up ravaging one another and life in the country that we paid so much to achieve will be “nasty, brutish and short”. Maybe they are right. I don’t know. What do you think? The bottom line is: unless explicitly stated, this assumption ends up contaminating every aspect of good will in the text. The impact in our case can be seen in the fact that what the 1997 constitution views are ‘democracy’ is a framework that regulates competition between two and only two legal entities called Christians and Muslims. The constitution, through excessive emphasis on ‘national unity’ defines and institutionalizes the relative political jurisdictions of those legal entities. An Eritrean is not an individual – he/she is either a Christian or a Muslim and only Christians and Muslims are Eritrean citizens.

The unassociated liberal individual – the civic citizen – is nowhere on the map. Any mention of individual liberty within this context is either outright hypocrisy or pure naivete. The very spirit of liberal democracy is to disintegrate the ganging of preferences along primordial lines in favor of new grouping of preferences around ideas and values. This in turn makes the pursuit of national unity premised on a religiously qualified caste system the number one enemy of democratic ideals.

The Iron Fist

Let us play with the flashy stuff that the proponents present as proof of intent in the constitution.

Part One: Freedoms

Draw a four-quadrant cross on your table – say ‘besme’amm’ – and spread articles 14 to 29 on the table. Give the quadrants names for ease of reference: (a) ‘absolute’ is for the quadrant that will contain ‘fundamental rights if and only if everything else turns out as designed – here you have life-liberty, and freedoms’ [articles 15, 16, 18, 22] that are supposed to be non-negotiable and you will have them no matter what dignity, privacy and family. (b) ‘relative’ is the one that contains things you may have [articles 19, 20, 21, 23] if circumstances allow and include freedoms, voting, economic opportunities and the right to property. (c) ‘guarantees’ are the things [articles 14, 17, 24, 28] that will hopefully ensure that the things in Quad-A, given the circumstances in Quad-B are allowed. (d) ‘conditions’ are the things [articles 25, 26, 27, 29] that may allow the suspension of the whole thing if not satisfied.

The most obvious of these conditions is ‘emergencies’. Would you demand rights when Eritrea is under an emergency? Shame on you! Would you expect any emergencies in a country that is explicitly founded on the fear of a Hobbesian disintegration of warring sects and situated in a region that is taking Eritrea as a role model to teach them the ABCs of harmony? I think the rule rather than the exception would be perpetual emergency.

Part Two: The Executive

I hope you still have your holly cross in front of you. Now do the same with the articles of the executive. The president has absolute protection in the form of privileges while he/she is current and more privileges as an ex-president [arts 43 and 44]. He will work as expected depending on the extent to which he/she can exercise his powers and have control over his cabinet [arts 42 and 46]. As far as we are concerned, rest assured because he will act as president and will be qualified for the job [arts 39 and 40]. We need to trust the system because the president will serve a specified term (hopefully), swear the oath (on “sema’etat”) and promise to be accountable (to the Lord) [arts 41, 45, 47].

Clarification

I probably need to explain the reason I said the so called national objectives in the constitution are designed to serve the mother of all objectives: national unity. I will mention one such example to elaborate:

Not only is ‘unity and harmony’ the dream of Eritreans, but the 1997 constitution presumes that we are not alone. The plague of disunity, it claims, is even worse on others in our region and launches an activist foreign policy where it will be the job of the Eritrean government to spread peace and harmony across borders.

It is clear from the context that in ascribing this paternal role to Eritrea, it essentially lifts the restriction of non-interference in the affairs of others for the Eritrean government to tell others how to handle their affairs. Of course, you know who they had in mind: Weyane who in the backs of their minds would eventually end up with “zeragito” in Ethiopia; “Gelfafat” in Sudan who had it all wrong and the savages of Somalia who keep filing their teeth.

Maybe I should not exaggerate. The constitution after all was born in the peak of “African renaissance” where the president had one “medb-Eyo” for every nation on earth. The point I am trying to make is that according to the 1997 constitution, Eritreans rejoice in the welfare of others. There is no mention of Eritrean national interest factored into the foreign policy recommendation other than the scary scenario that we would end up paying more martyrs for the welfare of other nations.

Do you still blame the president for dumping the kindergarten constitution?

Pinterest
  • saay7

    Hey TsaTse:

    Somewhere in the Lotus 1-2-3 program, either in the row or the column, can you enter “number of times someone denies they are high is an exponent to the potency of their high.” Refer also to Queen Gertrude and her famous “the lady doth protest too much, me thinks”, uttered when she was watching a play and a character playing her says she will never ever marry if her husband dies.

    After removing the cow dung you threw at me I wish to thank you for the parts I understood. I don’t hate Ali Salim at all. If I hated everyone who was smarter than me (that’s half the world population) I would be paralyzed. There are people I am angry at, and most of the time I have forgotten why I am angry, but I don’t hate anyone because I love myself too much to hate anyone (hate is a self-induced punishment.) I only mildly dislike Amde because he refuses to translate for us what you are saying since he is the only one who understood you.

    Lema kflema Kifle liqqi…pick it up Haile S.

    saay

  • Selamat Yoonis,

    October 31st, after Thirty and One Years, this year I think I will go out Trick or Treating. Perhaps I will design a costume to look like Mr. Henry Fonda in one of those classic Westerns. Here is a story, I heard in the movie “Nobody”, one grandpa told:

    A wingLESS bird perched high on a tree tweeeded and Tweeeted and TWEETED insisting to fly prematurely, long before his wings were strong to do so. He spread his featherless wing, roared –err, TWEETED strongly off his nest, splat onto the ground. After impact he recomenced his TWEET, even more ferociously, spreading his bold limbs insisting to fly. The sun went down, he grew tired, his tweeting meeker cries now, drew a sympathetic barn cow. The cow, centered on the target cold shivering baby chick bird, and dumped a very warm cow dung splat on the tweeter in order to provide heat for the bird. Rejouvinated, the roaring TWEETING recommenced, this time drawing the attention of a cayote. The cayote picked up the TWEETING bird, wiped off the cow dung, dangled the baby bird high above his wide open mouth and haw and releases his grip. One gulp, TWEETER disapears into the cayote’s distive track. Burp!
    Moral of the story:
    Not all who dump dung/garbage on you are not necessarily trying to hurt you. And not all who pull you out from deep excrement are trying to help or assist you.
    This borrowed story I am sharing is a prelude of sorts for our “Gual Mengedi”, i.e. The 1997 Eritrean Constitution. Thank you for the pickup. It has served yours truly in many ways. Very valuable indeed. I must insist you do less of your selective….. but if you insist on your honed and second to none trademarks, then by all means, please keep dumping your very warm slushy bull shhhi , okay cow dung on GitSAtSE.
    Speaking of second to none, I recommend that Yoonis and Younis watch the classic Western movie titled “No Body” perhaps on a lazy Sunday or even on a Manic Monday. The wise hippo Fanti G. and all will find viewing “No Body” entertaining and pleasant “methinks” /mebelieves.

    Art and on the dynamic duo perspectives jabs and thennnn…onto the “new playas” out of the cow deep doodoo dung by this certain coyote GitSAtSE.
    Dear AS, please Seliso seliso nAmlakh. Increase your couple to several. Your third could overlook the Street Girl, gual mengedi, and perhaps just focus on THE MENGEDI. I will dump more dung on the Captain THE ROAD. Yes, he possesses the one and only one imperative MENGEDI! Ewe, mengedi ms wedi Adi.
    Eske Aya Haile S. beAl qlat nab ebda jebena kenebriro EnwA astenfisu Awel finjal bunnu kestemaQirr.
    “tSibaH tSibaH…” dammmdarrumm.
    AmErigitSAtSE onto a not so tepid and very enthusiastic look at Professor BeyannN’s ART.
    (Yes Captain Ayya Emma very WRONG with his aytQozimu mQuzzammm.)
    TiseAAte, klte TishiAAte
    TishiAAte klte Hade
    TishiAAte AAserte Shemonte.
    Trick or Treating early, I suppose.
    tSAtSE
    n.b. comment subject to editing. Please check again.

  • Nitricc

    Greetings; I think you guys are overdoing it when it comes about the Eritrean constitution that never implemented. if the ELF crowed is not going to like a constitution that is written by EPLF and the EPLF is not going to like a constitution that is written by ELF, then, I say, PIA have a good reason not to implement the drafted Eritrean constitution. Reading all the hoopla, I wonder if PIA is exonerated by not implement the Eritrean constitution. Instead of wasting your time over a dead constitution, why not debate and hammer it out what the new and future Eritrean constitution should be. so, we all can learn and we can apply the good idea that comes out of your debate. for instance, I am going to ask this to all of you constitution guru, is there any African country constitution will fit with Eritrean society and culture that you wish to see for Eritrea? if so, who? I tried to look around and Ghana constitution is something it can be modified. what is your take? forget the past let’s talk the future and educate us.

  • Berhan Beyan

    Does it matter to you if the PFDJits say “ዘይዋዓልናሉ ዋዕላ: ኣይንታይናን ዩ” to your perfect constitution?

    Selam Semere Tesfai
    Yes it matters. The PFDJITS should say “ዘይዋዓልናሉ ዋዕላ: ኣይንታይናን ዩ”

    well the oppostions can not prevent anyone from participating in the constitution making process, if they do they are following the footstep of EPLF/PFDJ, in this case the struggle will continue.

    I do not support both the process and outcome of the 1997 constitution.
    Actually, process is more important than the out come. Because, people can agree on defective constitution for some reason.

  • said

    Greetings,
    The Millennial Generation: Vanity, Misplaced Pride and a lack in Wisdom.
    When one thinks of Eritrean youth (born on 1991 Millennials) and lost generation and lost opportunity, it is inconceivable and an acceptable situation they are in and irremediable generation, Eritrean Millennials lost academic opportunity and bleak future they will face, enslaved by their own state, what an irony. This in comparison with western or global Millennials that will lead their nation for brighter future. but facing stressful situation.
    The term Millennials refers to The Millennial Generation as coined by Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069,” 1991. Millennials usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.
    Possibly, – stated at the cost of oversimplification, sweeping oversimplification – the current generation gap that separates the Millennials from the older generation, mainly former guardians and parental authorities, never had been that acute as is currently been experienced in the relationships between the Millennials and their former parental guardians. No manner of exaggeration to term this fact as a near virtual break in communication between the elderly and the off spring of the Millennials generation.
    Understandably, the incredible revolution, huge leaps in technological revolutions and huge leaps in scientific discoveries, mainly in the internet and social media, contributed hugely in the inflow and instant access to information that tended to compound, to unprecedented levels, the generation gap, a rather euphemistic term to a near generational break in communication.
    The new era of technological breakthroughs and the powers of the internet and social media, caused and are causing an upheaval, a havoc in the functioning and the expectations from the traditional institutions, foremost familial cohesion and parental authority. This is made more complex coinciding with pervasive liberal culture that’s touching on nearly every aspect of individuals and society’s life. This invariably impacts, foremost, the generally long-observed moral traditions and reverence of the existing moral authorities. The lines that for long defined the limitations in Parental-Offspring behavioral relations are being casually and obliviously crossed, overstepped and increasingly disregarded.
    The Educational Institutions, increasingly privatized and administered as a business enterprise, are churning fresh graduates in the metaphor of human robots readily programed according to the curricula structures, to coopt with the immediate corporate need. This with the commercially intended purpose to minimize the orientation requirements for a corporate employer forever driven to enhance productivity to maximize return on investments translating into higher stock prices.
    Most disconcerting, the Millennials are demonstrating disturbing signs of distorted characters of inflated egos; exaggerated pursuit, rather obsessions with achieving material gains closely geared to corporate goals. Millennials are demonstrating high individuality and increasing ruthlessness in striving to meet corporate set goals dictated by an increasingly frenzied competitive market.

    Individuals of inflated ego that the system is producing, is dehumanizing the Millennials; heightening stressful social relations, foremost Parental-Offspring relations; thus, in consequence causing continuous heightened tensions in family and in human relations.
    Millennials, as conditioned by an increasingly demanding corporate culture, forever feel a sense of inadequacy. This is causing the Millennials to readily turn against parental guardians placing the blame and pointing the fingers of having proven derelict in their parental duties and responsibilities.
    Consequently, beside dehumanizing the Millennials, the system is producing ingrate offspring blaming and pointing the fingers all the time at guardian parents blamed for inadequately preparing the offspring to face the new fast transforming world.
    In Conclusion, the end result is a catch-22 conundrum rendering the Millennials very stressful and perennially insecure humans.

  • Selam A.H. and Saay,

    As the discussion on constitution rages on for so long, we the ordinary people who do not have special knowledge on laws, constitutions, etc, are getting more confused than ever.
    From the little I know, the two main types of governments, ‘unitary’ and ‘federal’ have somehow clear-cut borders.

    A ‘unitary’ government is characterized by the fact that all powers for everything big or small lies in the hands of the central government. All decisions are taken at the center, the peripheral or local subsidiaries could be delegated with a certain amount of authority to implement the decisions taken by the central government, the rights that devolve to them do not mean much, and they could be withdrawn anytime by the central government, and the local entities are permanently under the control of the center.

    On the other hand, in the ‘federal system’, power is is shared between the central and peripheral (regional) governments, and this is clearly put in the constitution without ambiguity, as to which power belongs to whom. In this case the regional government may have more say in certain things, like the language of primary education, culture, the courts, the local police force, local civil organizations, etc, and the central government has no power to intervene.

    We have reached a stage where this dividing line between unitary government and the federal systems are blurred to the extent that, especially federal governments and decentralized unitary governments are portrayed as if they are almost the same thing.

    I hope you two will excuse me if I ask you to define for me (us) in very simple terms, what each one of you have in mind, when you say unitary government (centralized and decentralized) and a federal system of government. Some may think that these are basic known facts. That was what I thought myself until now. Our take home message should not be confusion as to what these terms really mean, but clear and simple, and not shrouded by a veil of innuendos .

    Finally, I hope A.H. will not tell us to refer to his previous article on the subject, because i have read it, i think twice. Even then i would like to hear from him again, what he means in few simple terms, as concisely as possible, so that this topic is put to rest.
    Thanks, both of you.

    • saay7

      Selam Horizon:

      That’s the funny thing: there are 4 possible ways of structuring a state but only one is being discussed. Here are the 4 known to the world:

      1. Unitary, centralized state (China)
      2. Unitary, decentralized state (France)
      3. Federal, centralized state (Ethiopia)
      4. Federal, decentralized state (US)

      The reason you are confused is because people hate the 1997 Constitution so much that they are proposing a new field called Eritrean political science. They are saying we want a decentralized unitary state but we want the constitution to not mention the word “unitary” and then for the constitution to “guarantee” that the State will be decentralized. Something like “Power and authority in Eritrea is divided between the central government and the provinces as follows” and then enumerate the power of each in the constitution. I am saying power of each to be generous although all I haven’t mention that they are willing to give the center any power (maybe have a building with a flag:)

      Well, you will say, I have never heard of such a thing when it comes to unitary states: an enumeration of the power of the regions/provinces in the constition itself. And the answer is: will you stop calling it a unitary state? It’s very insensitive of you.

      saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        There is no “centralized Federalism” as such. We can’t make or create one, for the sake of argument. Federalism by definition is “decentralized government.” The only difference from “decentralized unitary governments” because it is highly decentralized. By that it means it devolved more power to the periphery or the administrative units, commonly called the “states”. You are giving a wrong lesson. Ethiopia has Federalism, specifically ethnic Federalism. The power is decentralized to the Kelil or ethnic states. So Ethiopia has structurally Federal and decentralized powers of governments.

        Regards

        • Peace!

          Hi Emma,

          Isn’t the US a centralized federation?

          Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Peace,

            If it helps you, I will give you a quote from a scholar. “Federation constitute non-centralized structure emphasizing how they differ from decentralized state structures (decentralized unitary states). According him in it original form as well as in its normative definition, Federalism is characterized by non-centralization.” [ Daniel Elazar, 1987]. This will give an answer to your question.

            Regards

          • Peace!

            Hi Emma,

            Thank you. I am a CPA (accountant) and my knowledge of constitution and form of government is very limited, for give me if I sound off. My understanding of federalism is simply the relationship between state and national government. Now, based on the definition you provided, is it correct to say all federal governments are the same regardless of power balance or extent of relationship between sate and national government?

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            If you studied accounting, which is a dead subject, you must be “Dedeb” and stone head.

          • Thomas

            Hi SK,
            You are displaying your weirdo character again😀😀 I like you when you are able to write a sentence here & there in this forum. You know it is a step forward for you.
            Hi Peace,
            Please try to use SK when greeting this loser as we have an honorable man, Kokob Selam (with initials SK to). I am sure you will agree with me there is a huge personality differences…..

          • Peace!

            Hi Thomas,

            I just edited it, thank you for point that out.

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Thomas,

            The cartoon character. Do you have a time line for the removal of the Eritrean government? Tell us your plans. All talk and hot air.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Hi Thomas: Are you also an accountant?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Kalihari,

            No, Thomas the cartoon character is the Glorified Book Keeper’s (accountant) bag handler.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Simon,

            I suppose you are the rocket scientist from Eritrea.

            Berhe

          • Simon Kaleab

            Berhe,

            You are too slow. By the time you manage to grasp an idea, the train has already departed.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            DIA’s bootlicker and master of the ad hominem fallacy is out to do his usual job, spoil and distract.

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            The dim wit and glorified book keeper.

            Go back and check your own posts. You will ‘discover’ that it is you who started throwing around insults.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            “Glorified bookkeeper” lol good one…,but do you know only broke people hate accountants 🙂

            Seriously though I read my previous replies and found no insults I only asked you to justify your blind support to the blood sucking PFDJ. If you find the truth disrespectful, sorry I suggest some serious introspection on your part.

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            When are going to overthrow “blood sucking” PFDJ?

            Can you give a straight answer to a simple question or do find this difficult?

            I strongly suspect that you are the type who pays money to both the ‘opposition’ and the PFDJ.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            haha …do you do drugs? Perhaps your decision to blind support the brutal regime is not conscious.

            Peace!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Peace; think this. Weed is legal in state of Colorado, yet it is still illegal federally. now, is federally centralized or federally decentralized. Go fishing!

          • Peace!

            Hi Nitric,

            I mean what else the federal government does other than printing money, collect taxes, conduct foreign relation, conduct election, and building a national Army?

            Peace!

        • saay7

          Selam Emma:

          Shenkolel part 72 🙂

          Ethiopia is federal state but due to capacity, politics, and the fact that federalism is new, the balance of power is with the center and not the killils (regions.) Thus, it is a centralized Federal system.

          Peace, the US is a Union of Federal States (thus, the United States) and this is to indicate that the states voluntarily joined (what is called a “coming together federation”) as opposed to, say, India which is also a federal system but more centralized (for example, no mechanism for its provinces) and a form of staying together federalism (the provinces didn’t voluntarily join: they were patched together by the Brits.). So although India and the US are both Federal, India is more centralized than the US.

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            It is always the case, that the central government has more power that the states in any Federalism. It is not only in Ethiopia, but even in the long lived US Federalism. So Federalism is decentralized government. There is no centralized Federalism. The concept Federalism implies decentralization period. Please read the answer I gave to Peace by a scholar as such US scholar. You believe on US scholars. Isn’t it Saay?

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            I think you should carry a Mission Statement that reads: my single purpose in life is to have heads explode. Has yours exploded yet?”

            No. When you have federalism as a system, you can have arrangements where power is evenly divided between the two governments (Federal and Regional), you can have one where the balance of power is with the center, or you can have an arrangement where the balance of power is with the regions/peripheries.

            The federalism of United Arab Emirates is different from that of a India and that of the US. The US constitution specifically says that powers not enumerated to the Fed belong, by default, to the State. There is no such language in, say, the federal constitution of Nigeria.

            Ethiopia can write all sorts of things in its constitution but if it calculates that the state governments do not have the capacity, the resources, the know-how to administer their state, the center will. In fact, in most poor and large countries like Ethiopia having a strong central government that centralizes some of the governance functions is a necessity.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Aha Saay,

            Again there in no “centralized Federalism” what ever defense you try to exercise. The easiest thing you could do is to show us a literature about centralized Federalism. That will do everything to your defense. Long hateta will will not answer the question, it only confuses for those who are following our exchanges.

            With respect

          • saay7

            Emma:

            I will, this weekend. But since most people have this little invention called the Internet, they won’t wait: they will find it and they will be shaking their head at you 😀

            Saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Saay,

            I will be glad. Because, I am from those who are always thirsty of knowledge. I am not like who says, I don’t accept if it isn’t from US scholar. I am open to any scholar. Saay, I can’t stop from laughing when you told me that. So in short I am ready to learn new things.

            With respect

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            I know I know. If there is one thing that defines Emma it is flexibility, openness to new ideas and shelel mbal.

            😂

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Saay Aya AdiU,

            There is nothing that I could claim my own concept or theory. I argue using other scholars work though you don’t agree with them. Your disagreement with scholars can only be challenged with your own scholarly work. I don’t agree is not enough argument to the hardwork they put on it.

            With respect

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Emma and Saay,

            I don’t really understand the point of disagreement with Saay example as given in the US, India or Nigeria. He is saying, some federal arrangement the centre has more power (eg Nigeria and India) Abdul another federal arragement, the centre has less power ( e.g. US, Canada).

            If you do not like the word central associated with Federal “central federalism” I am not sure Saay said that term specifically then I understand what what your disagreement is.

            Let me ask you, can you give some example in federal arrangement where the power is controlled in the centre than the region. In Canada for example, finiances, security (airport, boarder entry, passport etc),avaition are in the hands of the federal governments, where as Healthcare, education, transportation are in the regional governments.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe (Abi Seb),

            Saay came with two kinds of Federalism, namely centralize and decentralized. My argument is, because all Federal governments are decentralized, there is no such centralized Federalism. He is still saying there are. If there are, I am open to learn, so the class is upto Saay. I told him to read a remark I quoted from one scholar in my comment I gave to peace. But if he want to make his own study to the subject, that is another story and it takes different venue through the academia circles. So if it is already studied, let us know, is my question to him. Otherwise we can not throw it like that for confusion. By nature I am good student. That is all.

            On your question. So far what I know, that in Federal government, still the central government has more power than the states, like the examples you mentioned(Canada and the US). Other Federal states are the same including the Federal state of Ethiopia. Anyone who could come otherwise, I will wait to read with a literature backing their argument. Ready to learn.

            Regards

          • Captain,

            Hence incremental. Those pro penning an ideal constitution from scratch, are perhaps arguing to disregard not only the ’97 Doc but also all events prior to and subsequent. The conundrum, cyclic to say the least.
            Sound like …..
            Ahhh, almost there just hold on…..
            tSAtSE

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,
            .
            I am reading your posts and the debate about Federalism and Unitary State, trying to pick a point here and there. Even though, the subject is interesting, I am not really into it.
            However, what attracted me to this particular post of yours was your utilization of those “zinger” words.
            Remember, I was pointing out to saay, of using these types of “zinger” one or two words against you, a kind of verbal “testa” to make a point. Shake things up, so to speak.
            .
            Well, I noticed today for the 1st time you are using the same tool of “zingers” words. In this case there was a two word followed by a one word “zinger”.
            “Gebito?”, for example is one of those “zinger” words that elicits and escalates a response of an article size with a lot “zingers” in them derailing the discussion to some where else.
            Just in case you didn’t notice it, I thought you should know.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Mr Kim,

            I wasn’t aware the word I used is a Zinger. It wasn’t my intention. If it sounds like that, I apologize to Saay. If I don’t like them why should I use them? Mr Kim you watch our languages and make us aware about them. You are thankful for that,

            Regards

          • Haile S.

            Hi Saay7,
            Your new year wish is a month early. Today is the first day of Pagume, the 13th month. Remember “Eth the country of 13 months of sunshine”, ETO’s and Eth-airlines best advertisment? You are excused, you were not subjected to the 5 days cold morning shower.
            ትሕጸባ’ዶ ኣብ ማይ ጳጉመ
            ንሕጸብ እወ…… I forgot, where is Abrehet?
            Best

          • saay7

            Hahaha Haile:

            But Uncle Google tells me the New Year is 9/11? Has google lied to me?

            I was minding my own business trying to see what fine concerts are coming for Ethiopias new year in my area and this year appears to be a lame one: I don’t recognize anyone. Abnet Agonafer? Who?

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Saay,

            It is amazing you are still functioning at all after extensively arguing constitution with Ali Salim, Haile Zeru, and Mr. Amanuel simultaneously. So, I decided to do my share of the leg work and explain what Haile S. and Uncle Google tried to tell you about our New Year.

            We, the proud celebrants of “Geez New Year,” do have 5 days (6 days during leap year) left overs after successfully consuming 12 months of 30 days each. These left over 5 days are called ጳጉመ (ጳጉሜ in Amharic), aka the month of ጳጉመ, aka the 13th month, hence, the famous “13 months of sunshine” slogan of Ethiopian Airlines.

            To followers of Orthodox Christianity, this 13th month is a Holy Month. In the wee hours during these 5 (6) days of the month of Pagume, many people (almost all residents of small towns and villages), march to a near by river (preferably a stream) and take a “Holy Bath” as though to cleanse the self from the sins of the year and begin the new year squeaky clean of sins. Therefore, the “ትሕጸባ’ዶ ኣብ ማይ ጳጉመ” song Haile S. is waiting for Abrehet to finish. Neat, yes?

            This is then the background story of how 1/1 of the found equaled 9/11 of the lost.

          • saay7

            His Fantiness:

            Thanks for the tutorial on the Geez Calendar 😀 I was familiar with every piece of the story (including the EAL slogan) except:

            1. We called it bagumen (or Baqmen) and not Pagume because you know, exactly, I knew you would understand
            2. I didn’t know it was premature to wish people Happy New Year 5 days before the event.

            And also how did you guys end up having a month which cannot be written with Geez alphabets? The “p” was added in your lifetime I think. It’s like the UAE building the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi (which they just did) when Arabs don’t have a v sound. I think they added the “v” alphabet in Arabic in my lifetime too. So now they will call it the Luber.

            saay

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Saay

            According to my small village community that I grew-in, it is not ጳጉሜ, it is not ጳጉሜን, it is not ባጉመ or ባቑመን. It is ጓቑመ or if you want to be a little disrespectful ጸያቕ ኣዋርሕ. The rest, Fanti The Great is spot on.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Captain,

            Does enqutatash, UnquiTaTTash, Uonqui iyu TaTTakhi mean this in english:
            Pearl is your crisis? Or Pearl is your strife?
            Ahh, the precious pearl of the sea.
            Deep sea diving for Unqui. Unqui TaTTash. If not, then what does enqitatsh mean? Anyone like to refute my meaning and provide a translation for this nonsensical sound “enqutatash.”

            tSAtSE

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam GitSAtSE,

            The correct word is ‘Enqu Letatsh’.

          • Selamat Simon Kaleab,

            What does it translate to in english.

            And can you spell it out with ግአዝ ፊደላት so for better pronounciation. Thanks.

            ጻጸ

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam GitSAtSE,

            A simple translation is: Gems (gemstones) to pay for your needs.

        • Abraham H.

          Dear Amman, it is not absolute; there are some dcentralised unitary states that are more decentralised than federal states. Please refer to one of your articles dealing about this issue where you posted a graphic from one Swedish study paper.

        • Selamat Ayya Amanuel,

          Could some of us be viewing it as Ethiopia being ahead with regards to progressing towards the “incremental gains” which is the inevitable decentralized federalism OR as you prefer it “Ethnic Federalism.”
          Here is where I thing both you and Saay7 have it wrong.
          It is a good thing you are always willing and ready to learn new things.
          I can’t say the same about the Captain’s “sheleltinet” or mtiEitSisaf. ማኑቨር።

          ጻጸ

        • Ayya,

          There is centralized federalism.

          An excellent example to follow.

          ጻጸ

        • Mez

          Dear Amanuel,

          Please don’t be so generous about the ongoing Ethiopian Ethnic-Federalism experiment. There are things you may not understand well–since your interaction with contemporary Ethiopia/ Ethiopian may not be up to date; such an approach may curtail your persuasive capability. I don’t know how consistently you visit and interact with the apolitical people living there.
          Thanks

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Mez,

            I am not defending the Ethiopian government. Not at all. My effort is just to show the difference belonging to the nations and nationalities as oppose belonging to the central federal government. That is all. The Ethiopian people know what kind of government they need with their realities is always my position. The problem of my country is more than enough to me. I hope I make clear to you.

            Regards

  • said

    Greeting Blink and alike
    In of defense Haile Zeru
    When life is not worth living, everything becomes a pretext for ridding ourselves of it … ,” Durkheim wrote.
    Plato wrote that the moral character of a society is determined by its members. When the society abandons the common good it unleashes amoral lusts—violence, greed and exploitation.

    Let me tell I dislike you and I despise, you are arrogant and aggressive person, what you characterize and you said about Hail Zeru , he is above you , he is man of integrity and honor and highly respected at AWATA form ,he embodies the best of Eritrean people that I know and he is a good man. You embody decayed soul of PFDJ and the ugly side, you embodied the pathologies of small part of diseased of our society and failed society. This sickness found its expression in the PFDJ often , you are willing to do anything and abuse anyone to advance your foolish, silly, demented mind, you come with idiotic and irrational argument, you are truly demagogue and irrationally ignorant person, you have no moral character nor integrity to insult H Zeru. This insult mirrors that carried out is similarly by cruel and corrupt ruling elites of PFDJ, it is their way of insulting. you are an uneducated mediocrity compared to him. You are morally degenerated person. cunning, manipulative, deceitful persona. I am lacking the language for appropriately characterizing of you.
    The Greek philosopher Heraclitus called those who severed themselves from the moral and reality-based universe idiotes. When these ideates, whose worldview is often the product of relentless indoctrination, form a majority or a powerful minority, the demagogue rises from the morass. You fit this discerption like a pair of glove. Do not insult and try to respect your fellow Eritrean.

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi Said,

      Do not worry about the likes of blink. They are just a nuisance.

      • said

        Selam Haile,

        I Wrote brief comment in your defence and you able to so. He hate when some say you lie.
        We will not bring those who have fled a reality-based Eritrea back into our fold through opinion and rational argument. We will not convince them , coerce them into truth . We will not find salvation for them , by supporting the future Democratic Eritrea . A good segments of Eritrea society are in self denial and bent on self-immolation. They despise Eritrean situation and what it has done to them and yet they defend the regime they fled from. For long time their personal and misguided political behavior is willfully suicidal. They seek to destroy, even if destruction leads to death. We must organize our communities to create a new Democratic Eritrea We must create the possibility a better future and for a life of dignity, purpose and advancement . If we do not, the Asmara regime and cohort idiotes will ensure our slow death and obliteration.

      • said

        Hi Haile,

        I Wrote briefly my comment in your defence and you able to so much. I meant to say, I hate when some say you lied. There is no civility. I wrote it very fast with out editing and tile should say in defense of Haile Zeru

    • blink

      Dear said
      Today is may be a bad day for you , You dislike , despise me and I am laughing like you never have .
      I am not a sociology student and i never was , i mean i have no clue what Durkheim wrote but i believe you any way . You may like haile.Z, AND I dislike him because he love to make history from his own head by a click, This guy thinks way way out the reality , he breath and talk like Gebru , I am not blaming him for the lies he is making , I am blaming him for not coming clean of himself . He just like to lie , when he got confronted he run by the name of deflecting . If i suddenly describe you and make a structure of said , imagine how i will put you then. I do not disrespect any one , none but I do question their views and that is not disrespect.

  • MS

    Greeting All
    Strictly for entertainment, don’t tax your heart
    Let us see who is who.
    A: First those who joined IA’s Fechew party in dumping the 1997 constitution.
    1. Amanuel Hidrat
    2. Ismail AA
    3. Haie Zeru
    4. SalehG
    5. Kokhebay
    6.Hayat Adem
    7. Ali Salim
    Note: All but Hayat Adem ex-ELF tegadelti; and Hayat Adem is a well known incinerating machine of everything Eritrean. Ali Salim has tasted all the plates available (very difficult to pigeonhole him, God bless you ya MuAlimna). What seems to be the point of convergence for these unlikely friends? I have my observation and I’m sure you do have yours. But it should be clear why some say the mission of the gallant EPLF was hijacked.
    B. Those who said that the 1997 constitution should have been implemented, and its suspension and subsequent unceremonious dumping was a disregard to the will of the people
    EPLF lots
    1. Mahmud Saleh (openly and proudly EPLFite)
    C. Awatistas who crossed the isle
    1. The magnanimous and maverick Tzigereda (bless your heart)
    D. Deqi Ere* who have no affiliations to EPLF or ELF but who said the 1997 constitution was good enough to begin with. I’m listing from memory and I’m sure I’m going to miss some, I apologize in advance, which should apply to all categories.
    1. Gezae Hagos (The only known person with law training, thanks for the clarifications you offered to the forum)
    2. SAAY (The sharp minded, strategist, realist, pragmatists and some more adjectives, bless you for your independent voice)
    3. AbrahamH
    4. Blink
    5. berheY
    6. GiSAtSE
    7. Saba
    8. sara
    9. Peace
    10. nitricc
    11. Mez
    12.Yoseph tekest
    I left out Semere tesfai (a heck of a giant awatista) purposely because I’m not sure where he falls after his latest comments that stipulated that without a big man with a big stick we can’t really make it. But I assume he is closer to group “D” (Tzigereda) than to group A.
    ***************************
    Analysis
    One self-exposed EPLF person, one who crossed the isle, and almost all Eritrean awatista who have no declared EPLF/ELF affiliation have said the constitution was good enough and its unceremonious dumping was a mockery of democracy. It is self-evident why Group A happens to be opposing the 1997 constitution. If this were to be taken as microcosm of Eritrea (I know it’s not a scientific sample), what would group A say? If group A thinks otherwise, what is its evidence? What do they mean by constituencies? I hear some individuals from group A mentioning constituencies repeatedly. What constituencies are they talking about? After 1981, the EPLF was everywhere including in refugee camps. EPLF was providing social services such as education and health services in all refugee camps, and in cities such as Kassalla, Portsudan and Khartoum. EPLF was in every pocket of Eritrean society, from Eila Ababu to Dankalia, frrom QOla SEraye to ZUla and from Zalambassa to Qrora. What constituencies are you talking about? I would like to know.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear MS,
      Sorry it’s a bit late here and want to go to bed. But I would like to throw a reverse question and will log in tomorrow first thing to see your honesty answer. If as EPLF member the picture you have described was the direct opposite the ELF would be in place of EPLF after 1981, would you in all honestly accept unconditionally the current conditions under an ELF affiliated ruling party?

      • MS

        Hayak Allah Ya Ustazna almukhadram
        First thing, I don’t appreciate the evasion of my questions (this is number two, and I’m counting, hahaha….)
        Second thing, I thank you for the engagement and I really enjoy it. My only problem is that I don’t quite understand your question (use Tinglish ya ustazna). If you are asking me what I would have done had the ELF was in place of EPLF, meaning if EPLF was defeated in 1981 and ELF dominated Eritrean politics, would I accept the current status quo? If that is the question:
        1. I don’t accept the current status quo, even under EPLF/PFDJ, and I have no magical means of getting this across to some friends. I’m just tired IsmailAA.
        2. Would I be so militant to dismiss everything ELF has done? No, absolutely not. I would accept the fact that ELF had liberated Eritrea, I would take it a natural thing that it would be the facilitator of the transition, I would demand that the commission of constitution should note my organization’s inputs, and once the process has culminated in its implementation, I would accept the decision of the adopting assembly. This is as honest as I could get. I would not dismiss it simply because ELF facilitated it; I would expect that since ELF was the organization that had led the people to liberation and since it was the ONLY organization in the field for the last ten crucial years.
        With respect, yours, ato Mahmud

        • Ismail AA

          Hayak Allah Ustaz Mahmoud,
          Thanks for answering my question as honestly as you could. Now, what else are we saying and writing except what you have written apart from the fact that I do not dismiss the constitution for the mere fact tha it was facilitated by the EPLF regime. That is really wrong. I appraise the constitution in terms of whether or not it mended existing cleavages and divisions or ignored them to linger on as burden of the society. I question it whether or not the process was flawed as procedure by the fact it was commissioned by an authority that was, and still is, part of the problem and not part of the solution. A duly elected constituent body could have saved the day.

    • Haile Zeru

      MS, you sound a member of HALEWA SEWRA.
      TSILWA AMMA ALEWOM ILKA MEHQEKANA NERKA

      • MS

        Ahlan Haile
        Haha… you know what Halewa Sawra was called in the ELF? Jahaz Amn, or kifli xeT’ta (Department of security), and it said that it was not a joke, it was as notorious as Halewa Sewra…
        That being said, I love you and no one of you, including Gual Adem the great, would be thrown into those places. The point is: suq knbl merixna ember zbehal ayse’anan.

        • Berhe Y

          Dear MS,

          I know what you wrote is for entertainment but I think, in all honesty there was NO Need for the creation / split of EPLF and what ever former affiliates are.

          All EPLF did was eliminate ELF with the support of TPLF and continued in exactly the same manner the struggle ELF was conducting.

          The only difference is it made IA the leader / president of the liberation and the country.

          speaking for someone who was never being part of the liberation, I think ELF would have delivered a much better government and democratic institutions compared to Chinese style Maoist government we have today.

          Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, how do you know that ELF could have delivered much better government? I am asking you thins knowing how your exception is so low. Once you said you Ethiopian constitution is better than no constitution at all tells a lot about your state of mind and down to the ground expectancy. Now how do you exactly know the disarray And disorganized ELF could have been better?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Nitric,

            I don’t remember saying Ethiopian constitution is better than no constitution. ezi emo entay Hto adliwo, nHmto do Hto. But if I says that, it’s so obvious what is there to challenge.

            The only mistake the ELF did dealing with EPLF (selfi NaSnet) in the hopes of avoiding civil war (between Muslim / Christians / lowlands / highlands) it tolerated IA and his distructive divisive plans to get to power. Instead of eliminating him and his group, it decided to appease him and eventually paid the ultimate price.

            Basically it sacrificed it self for the sake of ERITREAN Unity.

            That’s how I know it would delivered better democratic institutions. Because ELF cared for the country and the people, while Isayas and his group cared only for their power, even at the expense of the people sometimes.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, I don’t know if you are that naïve or that clueless but a fake constitution is a very dangerous. Just follow what is happening to the great Teddy Afro in the land of TPLF. His rights has been taken right and left thanks to your weyanay constitution. the purpose of constitution is to protect the people from their government but if your constitution is the fake one, you do something thinking that is your right but if the government it doesn’t like it, you are in trouble. Ask Teddy Afro, he will tell you. When you don’t have fake or no at all constitution, it is better. You know you don’t have right and you are safe. I have never understood people like you don’t think they deserve better and the real one instead of bending for the fake one. I will never understand it.
            ELF it can’t even organize and unite itself let alone to unite the Eritrean people. you are too confused and driven by hate to PIA.

          • MS

            Selam BerheY
            Once upon a time, it all looked OK to me.
            Background: I come from different experiences, and it gives me opportunities to adjust my views on certain subjects, among them the ELF/EPLF chasm. IN 1979, right after Radio Demxi Hafash had begun broadcasting, the ELF sent a couple of fine writers to the radio station )owned by EPLF). The objective was to broadcast joint information materials based on an agreement both organizations reached in October 1977. The agreement espoused narrowing differences and laying the ground for unity. But as was the trend, that agreement was going through hiccups. Anyway, I had to spend a month at the radio station, and I saw those fine men (I can’t remember their names). There were also new arrivals from the TPLF. I believe the joint program’s name (EPLF/ELF)) was SOUt ATHAWRA or THE VOICE OF THE REVOLUTION. Wayane had their own program. The environment was full of intellectuals, and right about midnight folks would surround a bone fire. There was a small generator and it was reserved for the radio, once studio and broadcasting assignment completed they would turn it off. Ramadan M/Noor and Issayas HQ down the ravine; for the folks who happened to be around that area and time, this is in Upper Arrag .
            Coming to the vibe of those nights, the EPLF department was filled with well known smart talkers and writers, Ahmed AlQaysi (who was the head), Mahmoud Sherifo would also drop by once a while (who was a member of Politburo; Ahmed Taher Badoori (prolific writer and broadcaster, who at one time was Eritrea’s representative at the UN); Yemane Gebreab (you know him well); Girma Asmerom, Asmerom Gerezghiher (poet and broadcaster)… and many…many many others. I was not in the league in terms of intellectual maturity, but I was a good listener.
            Stage one: Here is the point: Believe me or not, the discussion was not about what parliamentary style or how liberal should we get in Eritrea, but about who is more Marxist. TPLF lots were critical of both Eritrean organizations because they said they did not believe in the right of the Tigray region to form its own republic; the ELF was criticizing the EPLF of siding with Maoist teachings, which was considered by some as an offshoot from the mainstream Leninist ideology (details are left for Emma), the EPLF was criticizing the TPLF for not Eritreanizing its leftist pedagogy (labor party leanings versus Baath, versus Pan Africanism). But all was done in a cordial manner, most of them were acquaints from school years, and may be from the same cities….
            Through the eighties, the EPLF matured to a nationalist organization, and by the mid-eighties, it was preparing for its second congress which in 1987 came up with a very mild revolutionary program that recognized mixed economy and political pluralism. The rest you know. So it is inaccurate to just use a broad brush painting EPLF as a Maoist. Like any other political organizations, it toyed with Maoism, but one can see it was evolving.
            Now then. would ELF fare better? You might be right. Give it 0.5 chance. But we can’t really talk about it. ELF was non-existent by 1991, there were factions that carried its name which had been battling the EPLF from the rear. It would be unthinkable to suddenly forget everything and sit with them when they were still armed and hostile. But there was an opportunity to let the Patriots who suspended armed clashes and changed their struggle to peaceful means once they entered the Sudan. They were part of the drive for national independence, and they should have been allowed to contribute. I don’t know if approaches and Organization based on ELF/EPLF would be sustainable in the absence of laws that governed political parties, but it would have been good to give it a try to first talk on modalities (how should they engage each other and the Eritrean people at large, and many more protocols. Would they affect the course? You just have to go back to 1991 to 1997 (the time of the constitution writing and a time of rapid changes).
            Now, the question is this: what caused them to split, and split and split to the point of nonrecognition? Why did not they serve as an alternative body? Some will come up with Qomesh Adey Hankiluni (not you), they will tell you “Oh, it is the elements joining the opposition from PFDJ that are creating the havoc. Really? My friend the splitting actually started right after the second congress of 1975, a big chunk of them split and joined the EPLF, some surrendered to Derg, then came to the campaign against ELF_PLF and “islmists”, then came to the grand show in corokon and Rasai where ELF was practically blown up to groups Tayar group (Ahmed Nasser, Abdalla Idris group, Sagem that joined EPLF and Sagem Qexl that went to TPLF (all these within months-1981-), and the division continued to a degree where it is impossible to know how many parts of ELF exist. Democracy was supposed to be a tool of managing differences. Where is the democracy people talk about? Why did not it save the grand ELF, save Eritrea? It is all about logic my friend.
            I’m not happy about how EPLF blew many chances. It had a popular support and it blew it. No question about that. There are many theories about this, and I hope one-day unbiased Eritrean historians will put things in their perspective. It is true the war pressure it had to burden made it be more inclined in giving military readiness and discipline priority than thinking about the future of the country. But that is just “I think”.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear MS,

            Thank you for taking the time to write an elaborated history of EPLF and the time before the eventual civil war. Even though I do not have deep knowledge, I do believe in your description of those brilliant thinkers.

            My comments were (referring to Maoist organization) was going back to the start of the organization and how it handled differences (the secretary general / president). In my day job, one of the things we are required to explain when an issue occur is, what’s the root cause. My comments were, what was the root cause of the split, the civil war, the elimination, and finally the total control.

            IA was treated like a spoiled brat, ELF gave him, send him for training to China and he come to the ranks quickly without contributing anything deserving, except because he was one of the first Christian to join the organization.

            The document he authored “Nihnan Elamana” was a document for civil war. He basically setup the Christian from Kebesa from that of Muslim / Metahit. ELF leaders were wise to see the danger he posed and they decided to appease him and gave him more time and they wanted to reason with him.

            I really do not know what the reason for Romedan and his group decided to split from ELF, may be regional thing, but Isayas had no reason and it was based on pure fabrication and exaggerated dangerous propaganda.

            There is no doubt EPLF had big thinkers and democratic aspiring leaders in its ranks. But the fact is, IA is very calculating and he sings to the tune until it’s a point where he needs to strike and he does it mercilessly. For example the Menkae movement, he liquidated them all (along who ever was his collaborators).

            How EPLF/IA the way the way the dealt with Menkae is different than what Moa use to do to his opponents?

            All the conferences, all the meetings and the policy that they were setting (those thinkers) were just fine as long as they will not threat his power and they are a means to the end he was aspiring.

            If you way, had IA died in 1994 when he got infected with Malaria, I think those EPLF thinkers would have implemented the constitution and set the country in the right direction (I would even believe they would have reconciled with whomever). But the fact is, there was those people, the tegadelti, the hafash etc..but then there is IA who had total control of everything.

            IA have no history of resolving conflicts peacefully, be it before or after congress of 1987.

            What happened to the G15 is not different to what happened to the Menkae group, in my opinion.

            I agree blaming the faults of IA and make it responsiblity of EPLF is not correct perhaps. But he was the leader and what ever wrong / good, he is responsible fully and thus the organization.

            Berhe

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear MS..

            I understand now you have more experience than I thought. Then were you convince TPLF to join EPLF an fight against our multiparty type ELF ? ..

            KS

        • Haile Zeru

          Hi MS
          You know what? this are provocations that bring, sometime, the real character, nature, of the person. As smooth talker as you are I was expecting an answer along the lines: sorry, that something like that was going on. But if we implement the Constitution, even the lame one, at least things like that will not happen.
          But, unfortunately, you are difensive. You are not even dissociating yourself, as a person, from that ugly past.
          How could I say you have the best of your mind/heart for your fellow humans?

          • MS

            Ahlan Haile Zeru
            Am I wrong Haile Zeru? Are you telling me that there was no security department that was equivalent to Halewa sawra, are you telling me there were abuses and excesses in ELF? Please, don;t be easily irritated while you accuse me of becoming defensive. AS far as where one’s heart is, I don’t judge you Haile as to whether your heart is with out fellow humans. I also don’t judge you for passing a terrible judgement on me.
            Stay safe.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi MS,
            You are difensive, yes.
            Did I judge you? Yes, subjective judgement, based on the specific scope.
            Did you judge me and you are wrong. Wrong judgement. I was never an a.k. or card carrying member of jebha.
            Did jebha have HALEWA sawra? May be. Was it as notorious as EPLF. I doubt it very much. The horrors of EPLF HALEWA SEWRA are all over.

          • MS

            Ahlan HaileZ
            Got it, and thank you; I hope you feel better now. EPLF is more than Halewa Sawra, as ELF was more than its notorious security department, as Derg was more than its Alem Beqagn, but who am I talking to?
            My initial engagement was meant to be a humor, but you did not get it. I’m comfortable within my skin Haile Z. Have a nice night.

          • Haile Zeru

            You see you are not saying HALEWA Sawra was wrong. Our people do not deserved that and we should never have anything that resembles that.
            You are simply beating around the bush.
            You sound in the business of diffending every ugly aspect of EPLF. Now for a second forget jebha, forget Derg and come clean with your conscience. Admit that EPLF HALEWA SEWRA was/is wrong. Unless you have clear pronouncement on ugly events like this what is point of arguing about the Constitution and human rights?

          • MS

            Selam Haile Zeru
            What is this “telefalef” stuff my friend? Can I tell you something? According to stories I heard about those places, your behavior fits the folks who worked there. God save us from the wrath of folks like you my friend. Please slow down you are racing to no where. And please practice those “telefalef” acts somewhere else. I’m well grounded in terms of my moral compass. Come on Haile, you expect me to answer your question? What for? If you think of me the way you have pictured me, there is no harm my friend. I know I’m safe and I know you are a toothless guy. So, chI’ll out. No need to examine each other’s conscience.
            Peace and love.

          • blink

            Dear Haile.Z
            You are up voted by Ismael which was and is still ELF in his heart ,I understand defeat is hard but to come and make lies about EPLF security system and doubt about ELF is a diseases of the 80th.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear HZ, in my view, the EPLF being an organization that emerged from the ELF had inherited some of the bad practices of the ELF, but it managed to have a disciplined leadership that put a focus on bringing Eritreans of all walks of life under its umbrella. That is why the EPLF survived the decade long war of attrition with the Derg following the exit of the ELF from the field, and eventually changed the balance of power to its advantage leading to the entire liberation of Eritrea.
            Vet tegadalay Mahmuday Saleh represents all the positive ideals of the EPLF, which, unfortunately, have been hijacked by the chaff of the organization with Isayas Afwerqi at the helm.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            It is not because it united the entire Eritrean population it succeeded. It is because it utilized successfully a united front with foreign forces to defeat their common enemy. This was fact of life until they become enemy to each other. A dirty politics at its best.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, come on, if the eplf did not rally the Eritrean people both inside the country and outside, behind its struggle for national liberation, it won’t have defeated an enemy many folds bigger. This is a simple fact even a schoolkid could grasp.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            Come on Abraham, you want to minimize a blazing civil war from three fronts; Denkelia from the east; Sahel from the North; Gash from the south, for two solid years by joint forces of EPLF and TPLF against ELF, which took thousands and thousands Eritrean lives. It is shame for you to say ELF is ejected from the field from its weakness. There was many an off and on civil wars between EPLF and ELF before it. Why doesn’t it happen in the wars without the presence of TPLF. The worst thing you are denying the lives of Eritreans that are lost in this damn wars.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Unfortunately some of our compatriots generally look at those events through narrow internal lenses heavily tainted by propaganda campaign and do not know or care to know how much roles geopolitics and regional actors have played to ignite and fuel the internal conflict. I am sure their children shall be in much better position to learn and draw lessons from that part of our sad history. It can be difficult for mindsets conditioned by partisan politics to comprehend the events of those times.

          • MS

            Dear Emma
            You said, “It is not because it united the entire Eritrean population it succeeded.It is because it utilized successfully a united front with foreign forces to defeat their common enemy.”
            Sentence # 1 is false, i mean Falso. Sentence number 2 does not tell the whole story.
            Do you have to go that far in order to discredit EPLF and Eritreans who rallied around it? Where were you after 1991 Emma, ten bloody years?
            Your accounts on civil war is the same: Falso.
            So, according to you, ELF was defeated because of TPLF
            Eritrea was liberated not because of Eritreans unity and steadfastness but because of “foreign” contribution, i.e., TPLF…ygermena alo, yegermena alo….rebi hibwom TPLF, they seem to have secured generous admirers. And then you accuse AbrahamH of “denying the lives of Eritreans that are lost in this damn wars” somehting he has not done? While you downplay the lives of tens of thousands of gallant Eritreans who perished to liberate Eritrea? Wey goooooode!!
            Anyway, Falso+ Falso= Falso

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Mahmuday,

            Do not try to put your words in to my mouth. What I said and what I mean is, it is because of added force of TPLF to EPLF was ELF was ejected from the Eritrean field. It is simple physics, when there is additional force to something the resultant force of the victor will be different and hence the EPLF/TPLF joint force brought the defeat of ELF. Simple logic.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Comrade Amanuel,

            ብመሰረቱ ካብ ኣዝዩ ዘሕዝን ጉዳይ ፍልልያት መሰረታዊ ንዘይፍታሕ ጎንጺ ዝመርሕ ስነ- ምኽኑይ መግለጺ ዝወሃቦ ዘይምዃኑ – ደርባዊ ወይ ክለሳ ሓሳባዊ ፍልልያት ዘይብሉ ፍልልያት ከኣ ንብዙህ ዘይተደላይ ሓጎጽጎጽ ተቃሊዕና ዘሕለፍናዮም ዓመታት ዘባኸናዮ ሓይሊ ሰብን ምዝካሩ ባህ ዘብል ኣይኮነን ::

            ኣብ ተጋድሎ ሓርነት ኤርትራ ቅድሚ ሰሚናር ራሳይ ኣብ ዘካየድናዮ ንኡስ ሰሚናራት :- ሰውራ ኤርትራ መሰረታዊ ዝኾነ ደማዊ ፍልልያት ኣብ ዘይብሉ ኣብ ውልቃዊ ድልየት ውሑዳት ዘተመስረተ ዘይተደላይ ኩናት ከም ተጸመድናን ህግሓኤ ምስ ወያኔ ተላፊኖም ናይ ዘባርዕዎ ኩናት ዋጋ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ደጊሙ ደጋጊሙ ክህሰ ምዃኑን ኢና ተረዲእና :: ብርግጽ ሓቂ እዩ ድሕሪ ናጽነት ውን እቲ ሰፍ ዘይብል ዋጋ ክሳብ ዝኸፍሉ ሓቂ ኮይኑ ዘይተራእዮም ዝበዝሑ እዮም :: ሕማቕ ዕድል ኮይኑ ውሑዳት ውሓሉ ኢና ኢሎም ዝኣምኑ ውልቀ ሰባት ኣብ ስልጣን ተኾጪኦም ብግዝያዊ ዓወታት ሓደ ውድብ ከም ፍጹምን ናይ መጨረሻን ምርኣዮም ጥራይ ዘይኮነስ ንሕና ‘ውን እቶም ሓፋሽ ከንስተብህል ዘይምኽኣልና እዩ :: ኣብ ታህዳይን ኮሮኮንን ብረት ዘይብልካን ጉልቡት መሪሕነት ዘይብልካን ነጻ ኮይንካ ናይ ልብኻ እትዛረብሉ ክውንነት ምንባሩ ድማ ዘመሓላልፎ ሓደ ዓቢ ሓቂ ኣሎ ንሱ ድማ :- ዘተን ምርድዳእን ኩሉኻ በትሪ ዘይብልካ ምስ እትኸውን እዩ ውጽኢት ዝህብ : እዚ ግን ኣብ ራሳይ ኣብ ትሕቲ ብረት ሒዞም ዝነበሩ ተጋደልቲ ምስ በጻሕና ተዘሪጉ እዩ ::

            ከም ተረድኦይ ጌጋታት ናይ ዘይምእማን ባህሊ ኣብ ሰውራና ሳዕሪሩ እዩ ጸኒሑ :: እቲ ነቐፌታን ነብሰ ነቐፌታን ዝብል ኣብ ጋንታትን ሓይልታትን ኣብ ሞንጎ ተጋደልቲ ዝረአ ዝነበረ ባህሊ ሰውራና ንይምሰል ድኣ እምበር በቲ ልክዕ ትርጉሙ ይሰርሓሉ ኣይነበረን :: እቲ ሓያል ማእከልነት ህግሓኤ ካብ ዝሃሰዮም ዓበይቲ ኣገደስቲ ክነብሩ ዝነበሮም ባህልታት ድማ እዩ ብጌጋኻ ምእማን :: እዚ ‘ውን እምበኣር ንጉዕዞ ደለይቲ ፍትሒ ካብ ዘሰናኽልዎም ዘለው ሮሒታት ሓደ እዩ : ኣብ ምፍጣር ቅዋማዊ ዕርቂ ዘሎ ከይዲ ገና ከይተጀመረ ድማ ከቢድ ብደሆታት ክገጥሞ ምዃኑ ምፍላጥን መፍትሒ ምንድይን ኣገዳሲ ዘይተጠቅሰ ነጥቢ እዩ :: ብፍስ .. ደቂ ሰብ ዝቀትሉ ዝነበሩ ገለ ኣብ ስልጣን ዝነበሩ ተጋደልቲ ነበር ንህግደፍ ክጽግኑ ናይ ምፍታኖም ቀንዲ ምኽንያት ድማ ካብ ቁጽጽሮም ወጻእ ዝኾነ ቅዋማዊ ዕርቂ ከቅርቦ ንዝኽእል ሕቶን ገልታዕታዕን ንምልጋስ እዩ ::

            KS ..

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Kokhob Selam,
            .
            Hey, I didn’t understand a word of what you are saying. No matter, it sounded eloquent. (excuse me I noticed a couple of words)
            .
            I am glad you are doing well and making great progress. On occasion, you have to jump in to corral the troops when they veer off in the wrong direction.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi KM ,

            I am doing fine except ..I forgot a lot things –that also I am recovering fast..

            I got the idea from my old post written back by my self under Mr. Aman’s article of similar to this one..Let us Waite to our beloved participants to put the same ..

            KS

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Kokhobay,

            I can’t agree more. I am glad to see a lot of change in your health. Take care of yourself buddy, there is no end with the Eritrean politics.

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            .We are conducting this conversation in broad day light. I quoted you; I’m not putting my words into your mouth. Those are sentences that came out of you. To use your technical language, those two sentences I quoted are the resultant vector of your thought process. Own up to them, just read the thread.
            AbrahamH (paraphrase): Eplf focussed on organizational discipline and rallied Eritreans of all walks of life resulting in the liberation of Eritrea.
            Emma’s reply to the above (exact quote): “It is not because it united the entire Eritrean population it succeeded.It is because it utilized successfully a united front with foreign forces to defeat their common enemy.”
            Abraham and blink are talking about Eritrean struggle against Ethiopian occupation, and you divert things to civil war, in which case you are totally wrong. I don’t believe you are doing it out of problem in comprehension because I know you are a voracious and a smart reader. But giving more credit to TPLF has than admitting the reality that EPLF was able to wage an effective war, concluding the liberation era dramatically, has become a learned behavior rooted in festering old grudges. And we have to find a magical calculator in to find out what percentage of the talk on “change and dismantlement” is out of love for justice and democracy and what portion is out of hate and grudge. Checking on Amazon.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Mahmuday,

            Even in the context of Derg, are you telling me there were not a joint strategy with TPLF against Derg? Didn’t both forces fought the Derg army together inside Eritrea as well as inside Ethiopia? My friend there is no wrong with that strategy. In fact it is a smart strategy. I wish that kind of strategy had done between ELF and EPLF. Eritrea would have been free in 1977 and we wouldn’t have paid the sacrifice we did in the last decade of our struggle. Again the united strategy is history on the book. And in fact it is a good strategy and it is a history in my opinion. Speaking to the truth is more than any thing and it doesn’t undermine to the heroic struggle of EPLF forces. Have a good one and good night.

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            let me pose it to you just one more time. There are two issues here. AbrahamH was talking about EPLF’s ability to rally Eritreans to liberation. He did not deny the cooperation between EPLF and Ethiopian rebel forces, primarily TPLF, he did not even mention it because his theme was EPLF’s efforts in uniting Eritreans against their enemy. HIJkeni’do aleka? Now, you come in and negate that by saying, “”It is not because it united the entire Eritrean population it succeeded.It is because it utilized successfully a united front with foreign forces to defeat their common enemy.”
            Hiji Ke Hizkeni’Do Aleka?
            So, in essence you are saying Eritrea was liberated because of the “united front” EPLF made with “foreign forces” Not because of Eritrean efforts and unity.
            NsemamaE’Do alena?
            Question: would you admit that Eritreans were united for their independence and that they were the prime actors in liberating Eritrea? Don’t worry, i will deal with gual megedi you are bringing every time we talk about Eritrean unity. I don’t know why you introduce TPLF when the crux of the thread is EPLF’s role in rallying Eritreans.
            The second point which is not related to Abraham’s comment but you choose to drag us to is that of EPLF and TPLF cooperation- you call it united front.
            Here let me say it for the umpteenth time: To my knowledge, EPLF arts and political literature are full of recognizing the contribution of the TIgray people. I never denied that. And I don’t accept exaggerating it to the point of echoing today’s neo-TPLFites that Eritrea was liberated because of them. I do recognize the contribution of the gallant fighters of TPLF who endured the sixth offensive with me. In some cases, our martyrs are buried together.
            I also hope that the Tigray people, and Ethiopians at large, recognize the sacrifices of Eritreans in Ethiopia. We should use that experience for good cause not for partisan gains.
            The relation between EPLF and TPLF went through ups and downs and sometimes through total silences. If you are to speak on who did what you would have to look at the deployment of Ethiopian army, how many divisions were assigned to Eritrea and how many through Ethiopia, how many Generals, what percent of its military capabilities were deployed where…etc? Then you would ask yourself, how many times did TPLF enter Eritrean soil to help out EPLF, what was the size it sent, its capabilities, etc. In addition, EPLF’s cooperation was not limited to TPLF, it had trained and armed more than a dozen Ethiopian rebel forces, and continued working with them.
            Conclusion: both peoples waged a just war, they cooperated where they could. Both EPLF and TPLF based their struggle on their own people and resources; both had an independent political line- one did not lord over the other; and as far as I could remember, both peoples had developed closeness; and they wished good luck for each other.
            NB: Col. Tewolde G/Mariam (wedi-Lette) has passed away a couple of days ago. He was the man who commanded EPLF mechanized units to Addis Abeba; Wedi-Ali served under his command.
            So now, the question is not if there were cooperations between Ethiopian rebel forces and the EPLF, but if you admit that the EPLF was able to use Eritrean resources effectively to lead Eritreans to independence. Or if you are saying Eritreans would achieve independence without foreign assistance, spell it that way.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam MS,
            .
            Live and learn, they say, you are realizing the complexity of this very recent history, where the actors are above the ground and still talking.
            As a foot soldier, or a captain, you were told and believed the narrative that said this:
            .
            A) EPLF, defeated the largest Army in Black Africa that was armed to the teeth. Not only the brutal massive Ethiopian Army, EPLF, defeated the two super powers that were arming and training them namely the Soviet Union and the United States of America. (throw in Cuba for emphasis)
            .
            B) Abi, Mr. Kim and Co. were saying, no that was not what happened.
            We said, it was the Arabs who concocted, financed, trained and provided sanctuary to do the evil deeds.
            We also said, Ethiopian socialists ,TPLF and Mengistu HaileMariam (who was executing Generals in the middle of the war) contributed heavily to the demise of the Army and the nation.
            .
            I think Amanuel Hidrat is saying, the historical truth is somewhere in between A and B, your narrative and ours. Is it possible he might be closer to the truth than either of us?
            Historians who write based on facts will write their books in the future, at that time whenever it might be few will be marginally interested because the relevant issues of that time will be different.
            .
            Mr. K. H

          • blink

            Dear K.M
            EPLF destroyed its enemies where ever they sited .Especially after 1982 EPLF was the best military that stood in East Africa , Not dergi not TPLF was near its military capability. Mr.Amanuel is just not quite what to say about it so he jumped to TPLF help , do you think ELF does not wish a killing machine , it wished but it lacked leadership on the center of its core leaders. they wanted to lead from out side Eritrea .You can google even song that explicitly stated that kind of move . one of the song was like this sik elna aynireen …….keneeniwa ena ni halalit shaebia kemuu wun ni chifra weyane , i can post the song on holidays if you wanted , so the cry is simply just not honesty but a deep agony of the past.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam blink,
            .
            I can safely assume that you are a member of the A group. In fact, you might be an A ++ member.
            The proof: you only need a patriotic song to validate your belief. This is happening in 2017. Sad.
            End of discussion.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • blink

            Dear K.M
            I can undertasnad your view too but do not be surprised if i do not see the Teddy afro new song picture with Jebena on top ,while sailing over red sea . Now what is is this all about A ? we can also see this relationship thing which is like a song to some from different perspective , like the April 14, 1984, where TPLF had signed an agreement on co-operation with the Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF, which was fighting to free the Ogaden region from Ethiopian control ,aiming to establish a common training ground and combat tactics, and ultimately to bring together all the liberation movements and others opposed to the Mengistu regime , you see on this side of Ethiopia the force of dergi was very very few infact worthy of nothing when comparing to the dergi forces in Eritrea , yet the WSLF could claim the same .

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Kim Hanna

            “Abi, Mr. Kim and Co. were saying, no that was not what happened. We said, it was the Arabs who concocted, financed, trained and provided sanctuary to do the evil deeds.”

            Let me think…………..

            It was the collective support of Western powers and the Jewish state….. “that concocted, financed, trained and provided support to the corrupted imperial regime of Ethiopia to do the evil deeds it did, against Eritrea and Eritreans.”

            And It was the Soviets Union, the Germans, the Cubans (Warsaw Pact), the Arabs (Libyans and Yemenis), the corrupted good for nothing OAU(AU) and its member nations……. “that concocted, financed, trained and provided support to the brutal Derg regime to do the evil deeds, against Eritrea and Eritreans.”

            Now: would I be wrong if I say – if it wasn’t for all the outside support Addis regimes were getting, it wouldn’t have taken thirty years, for the Eritrean Revolution to defeat Ethiopia.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Paulos

            Selam Semere T.

            The flip side of the argument digs into—the Eritrean revolution probably would have been in a perpetual motion with no end if Soviet Union didn’t collapse and if the Weyanes did not come into the picture.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Paulos

            “Eritrean revolution probably would have been in a perpetual motion with no end if Soviet Union didn’t collapse and if the Weyanes did not come into the picture.”

            1. – You don’t get it! In war, success is not measured by how many battles you win. Success is not measured by how many soldiers you kill or capture. You could win 100% of the battles and still lose the war. That is military science. If I’ve to guess, in the thirty year war for Eritrean independence, probably Ethiopia won over 90% of the battles.

            The strategy of the Eritrean Revolution to achieve independence, was never predicated upon killing all Ethiopian soldiers, nor was it predicated upon winning every battle. Warsaw Pact or no Warsaw Pact our objective was……….

            TO DEFEAT ETHIOPIA BY DENYING IT THE ABILITY TO FIGHT – BY TANKING ITS ECONOMY

            Our strategy was, for any Ethiopian regime (Derg or not Derg) to airlift everything from Addis to Asmara – No vehicle no donkey transport. And we did it. And that was not sustainable for any Addis regime.

            2. – The Woyanes could’ve said ‘No’ to Eritrean independence at any time in their life (1975-1991). Many Ethiopian organizations did say no to the idea of ‘independent Erirea’ – the EPRP did, the EDU did. And had the Woyanes refused to support Eritrean independence, we would have pulled the plug on them. And nesting between the Derg and the Eritrean revolution, they would’ve faced the fate of EPRP and EDU. We knew it, and they knew they wouldn’t have a fighting chance if they did. After 1991…………

            3. – Eritreans were – not only partners in defeating the Derg Military Junta, but also, were very important players in stabilizing Ethiopia after the fall of the Derg regime in 1991. And the Woyanes did what they did, because they knew the reality on the ground, and they knew full well, how Eritreans could affect the existing situation negatively or positively.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Bitsay Semere,

            Bitsay is in memory to our “old camaraderie”. Coming to your point of argument, in your assumption, if wayane didn’t support the Eritrean independence in the ghedli era, your answer is, they would have faced the fate of EPRP and EDU. May be and may be not. Now see it on the flip side of it. If wayane didn’t support our independence, there would have not been EPLF/TPLF alliance to push out ELF and there would have not been EPLF/TPLF allaince to throw Mengstu Hailemariam’s regime. The political dynamics would have been different. May be the ELF/EPLF’s Khartoum agreement of 1977 and 1979 would have been reinstated to fulfill the long awaiting desire of our people for unity of purpose not only theoretically but also practically. Therefore, Samray, the dynamo would have affect to both sides of the fronts (TPLF and EPLF) and both in Ethiopia and in Eritrea. More importantly the demise of ELF couldn’t happen. So when you make hypothetical question and hypothetical answer, know that any change of position of TPLF, it affect both EPLF and TPLF in their strategy how to fight Mengstu Hailemariam. It doesn’t affect one side only. A change on one will bring a change to the other. This is politics 101, Bitsay Semere Tesfay.

            Senay Ne-Aka Yekun.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat

            Yes you’re right, it is hard to predict the final outcome considering all the political dynamics in the Eritrean Field and beyond – with so many factors and so many variable in play. And Isaias or EPLF in the 1991 form, may not have been the winners. That I agree with you.

            Again TIME and PLAYERS could change, but the Eritrean revolution wouldn’t have remained in PERPETUAL MOTION forever. And that was the point I was trying to make.

            If there is any consistency in the thirty-year Eritrean Revolution, it is (a) The Eritrean Revolution was consistently growing and gaining ground (b) The Addis regimes were consistently loosing control over Eritrea – both in territories and public support.

            Meaning it was unsustainable for Ethiopia to remain in Eritrea – at best (for Ethiopia) probably we (Eritreans and Ethiopians) would’ve reached some kind of negotiated agreement (deal) through mediators that would satisfy both nations.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Kokhob Selam

            Merhaba Bitsay Amanuel ..

            Exactly! Some time you say things,that are also in my mind ..

            KS,,

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Semere Tesfai,
            .
            In regard to the abundant outside interference on either side, we will never know, do we?
            .
            In terms of what you alluded to about my belonging to group B, I mentioned in the previous post, I have modified my stand based on information and valid arguments.
            Yes, Arabs and others were in the background of the picture but Eritreans themselves are the ones who utilized all useful instruments available in the field to achieve the goal of independence. That is a fact.
            .
            You don’t need to be defensive about it. Being defensive and making exagurated claims subtracts from it.
            .
            Mr. K. H

          • Selam Semere T.,

            Nobody denies that the derg was evil, as the pfdj is evil. It was evil to the eritrean people and it was equally evil to the people of ethiopia, and that was the main reason it lost the war.

            It had lost the support of the whole ethiopian nation, except its cadres, it was attacked on all sides, somalia, eplf, tplf, eprp, edu, and you name it, there was no ethiopian family that was not affected negatively by the brutal derg, and there was almost no family that did not lose a son, daughter or a father, as it is the case in today’s eritrea under the pfdj. Nevertheless, the derg had the naivety and the audacity to demand from the ethiopian people to fight and die for it, to keep it in power. The derg by large defeated itself, before you defeated the derg (not ethiopia), which after all was the result of the collaboration of so many forces, with no exception, not even the ordinary ethiopian.

            Now, this obsession (myth) that you defeated ethiopia, the myth of invincibility and exceptionalism, have done a big disservice to the eritrean people. It brought the self reliance myth, which in turn brought the stagnation of the eritrean economy, and the phenomenon of militarisation of a small and a poor country, which ended up in the 1998-2000 catastrophe, from which eritrea has yet to recover.

            Eritrea will never ever again find an ally like the tplf government of the 1991-1998, and the arrogance of those who ruled eritrea (dia/pfdj), and the superiority complex inculcated into the eritrean psyche blew it to pieces. Fortunately for ethiopia, when the eritrean regime circulated the eritrean currency, the nakfa, which was worth not more than the piece of paper on which it was printed and wanted to flood the ethiopian market, and it invaded badme to intimidate tplf and the people of tigray, that was the day tplf’s ethiopiawinet was reborn. Until then the woyanes were saying “ኢትዮጵያ በአፍንቻዋ ብትደፋ ግድ የለንም”, and they proved this not only in words, but also in actions, by standing with eritrea.

            The regime and its supporters deny everything tplf had done for eplf/pfdj in the fields and from the center. Despite the fact that the regime was armed with fighter jets, tanks and what not, and even though, thanks to tplf, ethiopia was caught in her sleep with no armed forces although eplf/pfdj was preparing for this confrontation since 1995 when it started the military service, still eritrea could not win the last war and it proved catastrophic for her.

            In conclusion, you defeated the derg army which saw no moral ground to fight and die for the monstrous derg, and not ethiopia. If ethiopia can win a war or not if she wants to, she has shown many times, and the last war was an other proof.

            In addition, living in myth not only destroyed eritrea that could have been a different place now, it may also put in danger the very existence of the country in the future. The real world is a different place, a dangerous place too, unless one knows how to navigate through the tempest of the days to come, and feeding on myths has no dividend. Let us hope that the future generation of eritreans will be free of this toxic myth, and they are more realistic than the generation that brought this horrendous predicament to the people of eritrea.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Horizon

            1. – “This obsession (myth) that you defeated Ethiopia”

            Eritrea is a sovereign UN member state today – not because of successive Addis regimes good will, not because of some sort of negotiated deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia……. but because brave Eritrean men and women pierced through Ethiopian defense lines, rolled their tanks and armoured vehicles all the way to Menelik Palace, and changed the course of history forever.

            And as a result of that decisive victory, today, Eritrea is a sovereign independent nation with 1200 kms pristine coastal waters and 354 islands, and Ethiopia is, country bound by the 1902 WUCHALE colonial border treaty. That is not a myth. That is a fact! And if that is not decisive victory I don’t know what is.

            2. – “Living in myth not only destroyed Eritrea that could have been a different place now, it may also put in danger the very existence of the country in the future.”

            When you said “Eritrea that could have been a different place now”, I suppose your’e trying to tell us, had we been close to Ethiopia, Eritrea would’ve been more prosperous, more peaceful, and more secured. That is a myth at best – if not outright dishonest or lie. And this is the fact.

            From the days of Shbagadish, Wube, Alulla, Menelik, Haileselassie, Derg to the days of Woyane, Eritreans have shaded tears and blood, lost lives of young and old, lost incalculable property loss by successive Ethiopian regimes, more than any government that laid foot on Eritrea – all by getting close to Ethiopia.

            Now tell me: what do we have to lose by distancing ourselves from Ethiopia? What has changed in your attitude (for the better) towards Eritrea and Eritreans that we’ve never seen for the past 150+ years?

            Semere Tesfai

          • Selam Semere T.,

            You gave us the picture of the things that happened in 2000 at the eritrean trenches at the badme and other fronts, which were overrun by the ethiopian armed forces. If you came all the way to menelik palace, you did it with the help of tplf and due to the foolishness of the derg. Just do not try it again. Ethiopia has many other things to be proud of, and her war front achievements are not the only ones.

            Again you have to thank tplf who helped you landlock ethiopia and you are now proud of of your 1200 km coastline. The point is how long will you keep it. Things do change, and do not expect the african cake the imperialists shared in european capitals during the african scramble and carved out lands as they wished without even knowing where the lands they were talking about were, or if they landlocked countries or divided the same people into different countries, may not remain as they are today. The odd shapes of the maps of african countries that landlocked giant countries and divided the same people into different countries (in our case the afars into three countries), testify to the imperialists crimes that lead to the many african wars, and may lead to more in the future. Colonial treaties may not remain the same for ever in this changing world, because they were imposed upon african countries by force without their wish.

            You fail to understand that no ethiopian really wants eritrea in one shape or other having anything to do with ethiopia. Remember what Abi said, you are independent from us, and we are independent from you. What I was trying to say is that if you have not chosen the way of militarization and conflict with all your neighbors, and if you have chosen the way of peace, and you have not condemned eritreans into bondage, yes, eritrea would have been a different place today, without having to do anything with ethiopia. Ethiopia does not need eritrea, and eritrea should not need ethiopia either. Period. Separate development is the way of the future.

            It is nice you are distancing eritrea from ethiopia. Simply take your soldiers from the border and ethiopia will be happy to take hers and she can’t wait to send them back to their farms and small businesses. Last time you were talking of approaching and cooperating with arab countries. I hope you succeed.

            Your independence was meant to close this chapter of tears, blood and lost lives. But, what did you do instead, you opened another chapter, that of more tears, blood and deaths through militarization and by making eritrea an unlivable place for her young, who are forced to flee their country in droves exposing themselves to so many dangers.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Semere T., at least one thing is clear: the occupying Ethiopian army would have been driven out of Eritrea in 1977, had the Derg not enlisted a massive military support from the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact.

          • blink

            Dear K.H
            There is no historical truth or what so ever ,the historical facts is clear , EPLF crushed dergi once for all from the face of East Africa. Even You can read TIMES shelves reporting from start to end .

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            You don’t need this long hateta to respond to the participation of TPLF in the pushing out of ELF and defeating the army of Derg. Yes or no response was more than enough. We don’t need the human and material resources deployed for that strategy. I am sure on the TPLF side is done (there are books available written by Former tegadelti) and on our side it will be done in due time.

            Your question as to whether EPLF could defeat the Derg without TPLF alliance, really I don’t know with the “divided Eritrean patriotism”. After all was set and done, I realized that the leadership of EPLF understood the necessity of TPLF forces as an additional force to kick out ELF from the field and to defeat the Derg army. On both instances they became successful militarily. That is the fact I know and both sides of the river will take it as part of their history. Thank you for admitting your alliances with TPLF. The leadership of EPLF are still on denial to this matter and it is for the obvious reason we know. So I hope with this will rest our case.

            Senay MeAlti

          • MS

            Dear AbrahamH
            I have a reason when I say reasonable Eritreans should invest inside Eritrea in order to effectuate a domestically grown and directed change; the rest is just Hashewye. You can tell how much of what our friends say is for the search of justice and democracy and how much is driven by grudges. And this kind of attitude can never serve the change Eritreans need. On civil war, you got the gist, ELF was not a toothless angel; it was provoking skirmishes, and a war is a war. there is no gentle way of warring. When you are in it, you fight like there is no tomorrow. EPLF was in a precarious situation. It would not want to open a second front. From the end of 1978, the Derg put almost all of its weight on EPLF. Barka was the easiest one if it wanted it because of its topography and Derg’s newly purchased tanks with their yemeni operators, instead it focused on the EPLF. By the time the civil war began, Nakfa and Sahel fronts were stabilized, EPLF had foiled five major offensives, and conducted about four major counter offensives, overrunning both fronts more than once; it accumulated captured military hardware, gained combat experience, and by the time it decided to go to war with ELF, it was not a war by EPLF standard. Less than two brigades were assigned to ELF, that is all. This does not mean ELF combat readiness was low. it does not mean ELF tegadelti were less soldierly than the EPLF counter parts. It just means that, as Semere Tesfai said, ELF leadership wrecked with internal frictions. We know from his testimonies Semere was in combat force, I would like to know where Amanuel Hidrat and Ismael were.
            Conclusion: The civil war temperature has been rising and ebbing since ELF declared it in early 70s. Up to 1974, it was the ELF which was on the offensive. Even though it was stopped in 1974, there were skirmishes but nothing of strategic confrontation. many attemts were made to mend the relation but it did not lead to lasting peace. The final confrontation was meant to be a strategic offensive and one would have to lose the war. It was a tragedy that was caused by our leaders, we lost so many lives, and it is a shameful episode of our history.
            It is not something I like remembering but it is part of our history. Sorry I have to go.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            I thought you are out of the woods but you are not , EPLF crushed their enemies where ever they found them and this all has nothing to do with their external relationships .The Eritrean people own EPLF , ELF .EPLF victory is the product of the Eritrean people as the defeat of ELF is Eritrean , it has nothing to do with TPLF forces , none of it. The thing you guys scream about such thing even after 40 years is not a secret but to assume and give the whole to external relationship is unbelievable.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Blink,

            You are young and you don’t know it. It is fact against ELF and it is fact against Derg. For EPLF, Derg and ELF were equally their political enemy. Once they categorized them enemy, it is smartness to make a strategy of united front with foreign force to defeat your enemy. And they did successfully. It is the history of EPLF and TPLF. It is the history of Eritreans and Ethippians. Generation after grnetations will learn this historical fact. Be a student to learn the history of your people whether it is good or bad, Once history are made, however it is made, however it is lost or won it can not be changed it will remain history. The history we were part of it, you can not try to tell us it was otherwise. As young generation without taking side you should try to find and learn the facts. Don’t let yourself to be a brainwashed generation. Have a free mind to dig out the truth especially when you reside in the free world outside your native land. This is a brotherly advice.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Hi Amanuel Hidrat: History (HIS-story) can be changed at it is often rewritten. Is that not what most commenters are trying to do here? To rewrite history to make pre-1991 Shabia look entirely bad and evil? At the same time, you wish to cuddle with, or at best remain silent about the TPLF, at least during the time you at trying to entirely replace the Government now in Eritrea so you can leave it gutted and supine to anarchy.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            what is the thing you think i have to learn from your view about the victory of EPLF over dergi ????? pls say much as you can because i am ready to learn but not with out menfit. The hate of EPLF is killing your pure agenda of justice , you are giving the sheer determination of the Eritrean people to some body else who contributed a tiny share .whether you bring new thing or not the reality is open for every one , there was no force that could challenge EPLF not dergi not any one in our region , this is written by people from Eritrea and the west yet you are disputing it . I have to ask why ? why a person of your caliber go such a long road . Is not the hundreds of thousands of Eritreans who believed on their own hard work a thing any more ? How could a person who committed a big share of his time reach at this kind of conclusion ,this shocks me sir. I have no party affiliation nor do i have direct ownership of both parties . I am not being tilted to EPLF than ELF but in order to move beyond this 40 years sickness , i believe we need a new stage with a new goal . I know both parties were not perfect , who could imagine that in 1970th to be perfect, our world was in a shaky ground ideologically almost all African liberators were left wing if not 100 communists and i think we need to judge both parties according to the time frame , I read long time ago that ELF was giving more weight to internationalizing Eritreans plight than believing to its own people , I mean most of its leaders were not in Eritreas land , i mean the heavy weight were not to be seen in Eritrea but were way way out side making deals with like Afro-Asia solidarity organizations and even soviets .

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam blink,

            Don’t give these Dad’s army of octogenarians, septuagenarians, sexagenarians too much attention.

            They are not going to break the Olympic record for 100 meters any time soon on their way to effect regime change in Eritrea. They are just letting off steam.

      • blink

        Dear Haile .Z
        and you sound like the smerr1 room wedi amiche the guy in the dark room full of lies ,

    • Thomas

      Hi MS,
      If ELF were allowed to decide in the affairs of their their country, we would not be in the mess we are right now. There was never check & balance of the gaverning & political roadmap as such what we see is a bleak future of the nation. If what you have in group A were in particippation of the 97′ constituestion, we would not have this discussion now. Do we always have to blockmouth anyone who disagree with our views, think about this brother? I know you are way better than this.

    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Mahoud Saleh

      Mahmud: when people oppose the 1997 constitution, they are not just opposing the 1997 constitution per se. And that begs the question, then………..

      1. – Who Opposes The 1997 Constitution And Why

      To be blunt, those who are opposing the 1997 constitution are (almost all) ELF Tegadeltis and their supporters – those who contributed greatly during our Ghedli years as ELF Tegadeltis, ELF mass organizations, ELFite (Jebhajis) families, and ELF communities – all those who fought and sacrificed everything they had under the ELF leadership – but are defeated, humiliated, sidelined, silenced today, simply because they served outside the EPLF command structure during Ghedli years. As a result, these non-EPLF members are angry, they are bitter, they are resentful……. so bitter angry resentful, they feel like Eritrea never won independence.

      2. – For How Long Will This Bitterness Last?

      If I’ve to guess for many, many, many, generations to come – or for more than hundred years. Why for that long? Because our differences are not just about ELF EPLF organizations or former ELF EPLF Tegadeltis thing. It is about resisting to a humiliating defeat that has regional, ethnic, and religious flavor to it. The USA civil war ended in 1865, but its North/South aftertaste sensation is still lingering today in many segments of American communities, that is150 years after the civil-war has ended.

      3. – Again, people here at Awate are not really arguing about the content of the 1997 constitution. The topic may be the 1997 constitution, but in reality, the heated at times emotion debate/discussion is about how each and everyone in this forum interprets our past history, our current predicament, and how we should move forward.

      Just imagine: In 1998, had the Eritrean opposition ended-up at the helm riding Ethiopian tanks, no matter how many things they did right, how many of those who invested in EPLF all their life, would’ve supported the Woyane installed former ELF Tegadeltis dominated new government in Asmara? I think, not too many. And that is the point about the 1997 constitution.

      Semere Tesfai

      • Berhan Beyan

        what is wrong with being ELF and oppose the constitution. There is nothing wrong with that. Former ELF are Eritrean citizens and have a right to participate in the constitution making process, and have no obligation to accept the constitution that was drafted and ratified without full participation of Eritrean people. I am not ELF and i don’t accept the constitution that was ratified by EPLF created National Assembly that doesn’t represent the Eritrean people. The Eritrean National Assembly doesn’t represent the eritrean people, because eritrean people did not have a hand in creating it.

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Berhan Beyan

          “what is wrong with being ELF and oppose the constitution. There is nothing wrong with that.”

          Nothing! Nothing really! If that is how any Eritrean really feel about the CONTENT of the 1997 Eritrean constitution. But for so many forumers here, it is “ዘይዋዓልናሉ ዋዕላ: ኣይንታይናን ዩ” type thing.

          Again, their opposition is not because of the content of the finished product (1997 Constitution), but because of the way the process was handled to reach the finished product.

          And if I understood them correctly, while SAAY, Mahmud Saleh and others – are trying to laser focus on the substance of the 1977 constitution, others seem not interested discussing the content, being defensive, trying to make them feel guilty, trying to label them defenders/closeted EPLF/PFDJ…….. And that is not the way you make a civilized argument for/against something. That is my point.

          Semere

          • Berhan Beyan

            Selam Semere Tesfai,
            ዘይዋዓልናሉ ዋዕላ: ኣይንታይናን ዩ” actually, the expression you brought is a valid and legitimate reason to not accept even a good constitution. Participatory constitution making process is the only solution to the ዘይዋዓልናሉ ዋዕላ: ኣይንታይናን ዩ” When people are excluded they oppose the product not because the product is bad but an expression to demand of of equal citizenship. they luck sense of ownership to that important document, legally they were excluded.
            I personally do not support both the process and the outcome. The final product was ratified by unrepresentative Eritrean National Assembly. I will only mention the articles that I don’t accept, the amendment formula is very wrong, it subjects the life of Eritreans on political party. The way president comes to power. The constitution doesn’t recognize the behavior of political(how they operate).

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Semere T, as you explained the main reasons for the failure of the ELF as a liberation organization mainly arose from its internal wear and tear. The military defeat of the ELF through the EPLF/TPLF joint action was only the last blow that gave ELF the final ‘kiss of death’.

        • blink

          Dear Mr.Berhan Beyan
          who are these people you are calling not participated ? where were they ? I believe the 1997 constitution was drafted by the full participation of the Eritrean people from any religion , region and Ethnic .Educate me about these people who were not participated .

          • Berhan Beyan

            selam blink
            who ratified the constitution? if you honestly could answer that, there is need for me to repeat that those who ratified the constitution do not represent the Eritrean people.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Berhan
            That is unfair question sir , i was ready to get new info not a question .

          • Berhan Beyan

            Selam blink
            Do the people who now you calling them constituent Assembly elected by Eritrean people?
            Why the 75 you know who took part in ratifying the constitution? who do they represent?
            yes, the constitutional commission made efforts for public participation and later on handed the drafted constitution to un-elected National Assembly.

          • blink

            Dear berhan
            It will happen even in the next process that is the reality, you know for a fact these people or any one from now will do the same. But the value of the Constitution of 1997 should not be covered by the 75 and the man at the helm.

      • MS

        Selam Semere Tesfai
        I just got tired making majamala (compromise) or the Tigrigna put as “menti mogogo thlef Enchewa” saying “aha” every time one talks about how EPLF attacked ELF and how TPLF did this or that. I met very few courageous ELF tegadelti who accept that ELF was not walking backward, muzzles down. when I get time, I go meetings of deleyti fitHi, when they invite speakers. I go through repetitive and ill-prepared lectures, and then the bulk of the time is wasted on complaining why EPLF members were granted membership; the EPLF/TPLF joint attack on ELF how ELF was democratic, and the grievances go on for hours. Nothing concrete about concrete issues that matter today, none. I come home cursing myself. It really sickens me. I think I will stop it.
        I have long concluded that political organizations and programs that run along the ELF/EPLF dichotomy are just futile. If the opposition could take a suggestion, they should leave the work to a new generation. We have many able and patriot people who could do better.
        Just a minor correction: the Eritrean civil war does not really fit the definition of civil war as known elsewhere, for instance in America. The American Civil war deployed North against South, people to people war. The Eritrean civil war was limited to combatants only. There was no war between the people. Once ELF was pushed outside, EPLF filled the vacuum and the people of Seraye, Barka, Senhit…continued their struggle un der the leadership of the EPLF. By 1991, EPLF had rallied almost all Eritreans. But we will have holdouts.
        Thanks again.

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Mahmud

          Yes it is not all EPLF fault. And It couldn’t possibly be? It is not the EPLF TPLF alliance that ended the era of ELF dominance in the Eritrean Field. Because ELF was never a dominant organization in 1980/1. Let me explain:

          From 1991 -1970 ELF was the sole political organization that dominated the Eritrean Field. Due to ELF’s internal squabbles, in 1970 ELF split into multiple organizations – no one to blame but ELF leaders for that.

          From 1970 -1973/4 the Eritrean Field had four different organizations (of different sizes)

          From 1976 – 1981 I think there were three organizations in the Eritrean Field – and ELF has already lost its dominance in the Eritrean field after June 1977

          So, the question that comes to mind would be: ELF started as a lone power in the Eritrean field. In 1981 when it was driven from the Eritrean Field, it was a second-tier organization in the Eritrean Field. Who do you blame for that?

          The point: For so many reasons, ELF was an organization that was on constant decline.

          Semere Tesfai

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Semere T, as you explained the main reasons for the failure of the ELF as a liberation organization mainly arose from its internal wear and tear. The military defeat of the ELF through the EPLF/TPLF joint action was only the last blow that gave ELF the final ‘kiss of death’.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Ustaz Mahmoud,

          I think it’s often comfortable looking at matters from atop one’s own experiences and perceptions. What disgusted you during the encounters or meetings would apply to those of us who attended EPLF related events. Every one of us come to those venues with open wounds and first thing that comes to mind is something that calm the pain but the owners of those events come with totally different agendas and worries.

          Now, what I am saying here is that it is part of human nature. The best way to deal with them is having warm hearts and considerate mental attitudes. Otherwise we are set for Semere Tesfai’s prediction that many of us would not live to witness an end.

          Thus, at the risk of repeating myself and boring you and others, the way is to craft a new national threshold anchored on streamlining of the problems and enabling us to frame unifying schemes without burdening ourselves with accepting or rejecting projects that have failed to unite us.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Semere Tesfai,
        “… we should move forward” you have asked. The ailment needs no further diagnosis. The healing medicine is unconditional reconciliation. This has been past, current and future standing offer. The sooner people sober down the better before unforeseen events terminate it. Then, all will be on board sinking vessel in the center of inclement and unsparing tempest.

    • Selamat Mahmiudai “The Best” SaliH,

      I am stating that I rather not be classified as neither pro nor against the 1997 ንድፊ ቅዋም ሃገረ ኤርትራ። And for the record I have never viewed myself as EPLF or ELF.
      Yes, my abstractions in all the writing that I do, I know, has not exactly been clear.

      No, worries…it shall be soon enough.

      ጻጸ

      • MS

        Selam xaxe-giEritros
        An apology is hereby granted, sir. Anyway, the whole business of the category was waza ms qumneger, but it was not needed.
        As far as ELF/EPLF is concerned, they were meant to be a mechanism to enable us to achieve a certain objective. That objective was achieved in 1991. Today, we should have been talking about education, economics, and technology policies. Today, the talks of ghedli should have been taking the back burner. Eritrean political landscape should have been populated by the new generation. Sadly, we are stuck in the past. And what makes the whole situation even more bizarre is the fact that the folks who created the splits and civil wars on both sides are still calling the shots, be it in the opposition or PFDJ camps. Some may be leaving the scene involuntarily, by the act of their creator, but still, there are enough of them in both camps. And we the little guys who had no roles in making the decisions that had made Eritrean history what it is today are lobbying cannon balls at each other. After having drunk my triple shot latte, I figured this out. So, no guarantee but I’m through with this ELF/EPLF thing. Hji Hmamey aytel’Eleley….haha….

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam MS,
          .
          Hallelujah, finally.
          Wait a minute, what do you mean by that weasel clause “no guarantee but…”
          As a side note, I hope it is a triple shot latte you are talking about. I am going to accept it under advisement.
          .
          If the promise is made in earnest, you wont break it no matter what the provocations comes your way.
          (Tongue in cheek) In the event you delve into it with the slightest push, I will come back with this triple latte business topic, you have given me.
          .
          Mr. K.H

  • saay7

    Selamat all:

    Ali Salim has said that part of the reason he wrote this article is “to drag my friend SAAY into the subject a little deeper” and since, in our culture, when invited the polite thing to do is to give an answer ( ny enda’bo nmen nhabo etc) I will say a few things, none of which will be original because–and this was a shock to me given Ali Salim’s long paper trail–there is nothing original in what he wrote.

    Ali Salim says that (a) the preamble draws a vision for ‘a spooky nation ruled by the dead who run the living through proxies called “tegadelti”’ (b) nation unity is the most central objectives that litters the constitution and since the constitution assumes national unity for its success there is a built-in Catch-22; (c) democracy it has in mind is different from liberal democracy; (d) the unit of citizenship is not an individual but some component of a Christian or a Muslim; (e) that the rights enumerated are not absolute but conditional on absence of emergencies; (f) it envisions a muscular foreign policy.

    After exaggerating and making stuff up of whole cloth (like characterizing the constitution drafters as religious zealots), Ali Salim says “Maybe I should not exaggerate.” You think?

    A. Preamble : Notwithstanding what Hayat said, as Ghezae Hagos demonstrated, there is nothing weird or unusual about the Eritrean preamble. It is a reiteration of an ethos and the fact that Ali Salim did not quote it or summarize it but caricatured it is your clue. The premable is made up of 9 short paragraphs: (1) gratitude for the martyred (now known as the dead because, hey, it is the irreverent thing to do), (2) outlining that a vision for the Eritrea we all want must be based on freedom, unity, peace, stability and security (notice that unity is only one of four values); (3)further outlining the foundation as “traditional community-based assistance and fraternity, love for family, respect for elders, mutual respect and consideration” (role of traditional values); (4) FURTHER recognizes more values as critical: recognition and protection of the rights of citizens, human dignity, equality, balanced development and the satisfaction of the material and spiritual needs of citizens; (5) singles out the rights of a “social group”–WOMEN–that may have been ill-served by the traditional family and serves notice that this will change; : WOMEN; (6) defines the relationship between the governed and governors as a bond whose goal is “justice and peace, founded on democracy, national unity and the rule of
    law.”

    Now, can any sober reading of this preamble (free of the influence of ganja: not that there is anything wrong with that as the constitution guarantees right of worship) outline a zombie nation?

    B. National Unity is, yes, a means towards an end and there is nothing remotely unusual about this. If you don’t set national unity as a goal, then you cannot achieve any of the many, many, many enumerated goals outlined above. And, if you don’t achieve many of the enumerated goals outlined above–balanced development, justice, human dignity, equality, security, stability, mutual respect and consideration–you are unlikely to achieve national unity. This is such a given and prima facie obvious, it would be insulting to the reader to spend more ink on it.

    C. Democracy : Part of the problem here is that some people want the constitution to be a laundry list of everything. The constitution of the United States does not mention political parties, electoral law, but it has enough on its blue print–freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience–that political parties would be inevitable EVEN IF the first president of the US was against them. There is no mention of judicial review, but that is an inevitable outcome of the constitution. Similarly, with the Eritrean constitution, there is enough to create a liberal democracy. I would say that a faithful interpretation of the constitution can ONLY yield a liberal democracy.

    D. Unit of Citizenship : This has to be the weirdest stuff that Ali Salim just simply made up; there is just no basis for it. In all areas where the citizen is described–citizenship, voting rights, social justice, economic development, cultural rights, civil liberties, social services, right to property, duty owed to State–the reference is to an individual (living, breathing and 18 and older) irrespective of his or her identity as a Muslim or Christian. In fact, the only time the constitution qualifies a citizen is by referring to extra duty the State owes disadvantaged citizens which is consistent with a State that targets social justice as a goal.

    E. Liberty and State of Emergencies: Let’s start with the easiest to disprove. Are all the bill of rights enumerated conditional on absence of national emergencies? A good source to refer here would be the constitution itself: Article 27.5

    A declaration of a state of emergency or any measures undertaken or laws enacted pursuant to it shall not: a. suspend Articles 14(1) and (2); 16; 17(2); and 19(1) of the Constitution;

    And what are articles 14.1, 14.2, 16, 17.2 and 19.1? 14.1. All persons are equal under the law.
    14.2. No person may be discriminated against on account of race, ethnic origin, language, colour, gender, religion, disability, age, political view, or social or economic status or any other improper factors; Article 16 – Right to Human Dignity
    16.1. The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. 16.2. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
    degrading treatment or punishment. 16.3. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude nor shall any person be required to perform forced labour not authorised by law.17.2. No person shall be tried or convicted for any act or omission
    which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time when it was committed. 19.1. Every person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief.

    So, yes, Ali Salim, maybe you shouldn’t exaggerate.

    Even the reference to a muscular foreign policy doesn’t exist in the constitution as this is all it says: “The foreign policy of Eritrea is based on respect for state sovereignty and independence and on promoting the interest of regional and international peace, cooperation, stability and development.” In fact, this is a win for the drafters of the constitution in tempering the ambition of the PFDJ as outlined in the National Charter where it does say “In order to preserve the peace and harmony we acquired after a long struggle, it is essential that we strive for peace and stability at both regional and global levels, notwithstanding our limited capabilities.. And guess is the governing document as people are celebrating the death of the very tempered and very civilized language of the constitution? The same one that will replace the constitution of PFDJ2: The National Charter.

    saay

    • Aron

      Hi saay,
      Tseba ste.
      Aron

    • AliSalim

      Hey SAAY,

      I agree with most of the details. But I think you are falling on the same picture that you once painted of the Atlantic Council. Please read the article where you mock the AC for selective amnesia. I think your main argument was that they analysis sounds as if Eritrea was in 1991. Your question I believe was how would considering the post independence experience if considered affect the recommendations.

      One question for you: what in the constitution would change if you consider the experience of the missing 26 year horrors in your analysis. Your analysis is excellent if we used your time machine to the early ’90s.

      Solve these two concerns:

      1. The caste system of the army and civil service with tegadelti on top. By the way you skipped my claim that the constitution legitimizes tegadalay rule. A martyr only becomes a zombie if he can effect action after death.

      2. There are Eritrean communities who think they were blundered by the unitary state whose concerns were not reflected in 1997. Today some are a little stronger than they used to be. What would you change in the constitution to persuade them to look for solutions within?

      • saay7

        Selamat Ali Salim:

        What in the constitution would I change given our recent history? Same thing that it’s chief drafter wished he had done in several interviews including with this website in 2001: invoke a hard deadline for its implementation.

        The two concerns:

        1. Can you point to a single article in the constitution that confers extra rights and privileges on the ruling class made up of former tegadelti? You can’t. Thus, what we have in Eritrea now is not because of the 1997 Constitution but because it’s not implemented. It’s not implemented not only because an absolutist dictator saw it is in his interest to do so, but those the constition was relying to defend it (the entire population of Eritrea) refuse to do so.

        2. The communities who were blundered by the unitary state can use its mechanism to demand extreme decentralization–and then negotiate with other communities who don’t quite think extreme decentralization serves their interest. That’s how things ought to work. There is nothing in the constitution that forbids decentralization. The only difference is that it’s not a constitutional guarantee but a statutory guarantee. This is a difference without a distinction in countries where constitutions are nominally functional (most of Africa) and in many advanced countries (including your adopted countries) what guides are laws (Acts) and not constitutions.

        Finally, the constitution can only legitimize the PFDJ if they win an election fair and square and for that to happen, (a) the state of those organized against them must be even worse or (b) they steal the election as is very common in many developing states. No constitution no matter how perfect (including the ideal you want to create can mitigate against that as a nation is more than it’s constitution.

        saay

        • AliSalim

          Hello Hello,

          I can’t sleep that’s why I want to keep you awake as much as possible.

          This one may make you feel like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKgzoZSrKEE) but since I am safely away:

          I say: I rest my case! Dr. Berekhet said it all. If I understood you right he said he could actually have “invoked a hard deadline for its implementation” but chose not to do so. Can you send him a follow up question: Why didn’t he do it when the only thing that mattered was its implementation? If that is actually true: we lost a quarter century of horrors because of an omission error? Can you link the interview if still available?

          I will tell you why: because it was in trustworthy hands. Who else could he have trusted other that tegadaly in Hdri-semaetat. That’s why I am saying you are missing the head of the constitution argument and beating its tale.

          I am going to bed now. Don’t put up another comment or I will send you Korchach alive.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ali Salim:

            Dr Bereket is not responsible for you not knowing what he explained over and over for 16 years. 🙂

            I will try to post the whole interview next weekend. If you can’t wait read the gazillion articles books he wrote on the subject.

            And this new YG thingie you have about Tegadalai sounds so off coming from you. As a social group nobody has been more victimized by IA and flunkies that tegadelti and their families. And they would benefit greatly from implementation of the constitution; some of them may even come out of the dungeons they have been buried under.

            saay

        • Haile Zeru

          Hi SAAY,

          On #2,
          I do not know why you cannot get it? Is it to diffend your position (in this argument) at any cost?
          A minority will not achieve anything that remotely affects anybody else in a democratic system based on majority rule. That’s why minorities need Constitutional protection. And that’s why they are called minorities. A majority can take away even a constitutionally guaranteed minority right. It simply can change the Constitution. So advocating for the majority is redundant. While advocating for some guaranties for minorities is a heck of a hard work. I am afraid it is not visible to you.
          I am afraid the lessons you learned from the 500 years of South and North America is to flatten everything on your way. I guess this a diversion. Pls disregard.

          • saay7

            Selam Haile Z:

            Does that mean you agree with me on all the other points besides # 2 above?

            Where to begin here:

            1. In the Eritrean context, the only way to create majority-minority mix that you fear is by advocating organizing Eritrea by its language groups. You don’t create majority minority but pluralities if you organize Eritrea by province, by religion. You can’t insist on the single way that the rules of democracy disadvantage you and then complain about the disadvantage;

            2. Even if you blow up the 1997 constitution and start from scratch, you will still have to persuade the majority;

            3. You make it sound that this has been tried and failed when it hasn’t been tried;

            4. If you are expecting all the voting blocks to vote as a block, you have forgotten your history of how the last time this was tried it didn’t work out the way it’s political scientists thought it would: I refer you to how the Muslim League split, how Fiqri Hager split, how ELF split, how PLF split. I would encourage the art of coalition building and persuasion rather than the current practice of “I don’t like the game and I will invent my own game and by the way I am taking the ball wii me.
            saay

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,
            We cannot disagree on everything. I do not worry about the things that we agree on.

            On #1,
            Eritreans are, as all people, strongly influenced by their familial, linguistic, ethinic lineage. Ignoring these is a disaster. Because you are ignoring the main variable of an equation and trying to work on insignificant noise.
            However you set the rules the determining factors are those exact things you are trying to cast (dispel) away.
            My argument is just recognize them. There is no way around them. And try your solution based on factoring in those elements.
            Ethnicity in Eritrea is as live as ever. And your EPLF/PFDJ made them much stronger. On the surface they blabber as if they are in post ethnic Eritrea. But everybody knows that is a lie.
            So, you the mind, that is cleansed from ethnic tendencies try reasoning with the mind of people that still have their ethnic baggage with them, which is the 100 per cent of Eritreans. Based on that try to set the governing rules.
            I am sure in their writing everybody sounds clean of every ethnic trace. Fact is, everybody is becoming a professional lier.
            Now back to the main issue. If you set the rules to avoid an Ethinic majority, the rule will be law only if the Ethnic majority votes for it and if the law puts them in relative disadvantage they will just squash it.
            So, no body is stupid. Get the objective facts put them up front. Tell the actual ethnic majority, if you want a country this are your limits, and the same to the minorities. And work your way thru that. If not, sooner or later the centrifugal force will be lesser than the centripetal. We are almost there.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile Z:

            “we cannot disagree on everything”? Lol. This reminds me of a lawyer I know that when I tell him something, instead of saying “you are right” he says “you are not wrong.” Lawyers.

            Of course ethnic, regional and religious identity are huge factors in politics and Eritrea is not an exception. I asked that you to up your game a bit and pursue a winning strategy. You have expressed your preference for kamikaze politics. You clearly are not persuaded and you have decided to cast me away to the PFDJ (“your PFDJ…) Since I have more grey than black hair you won’t have to worry about losing me but that strategy u are pursuing will live you a political shell.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Haile Zeru and saay7,

            I think the point both of you are discussing has been, and continues to be, the core of politics since Eritrea emerged as colonial entity. Ethnicity and confessional alignments impacted politics in one way or the other, which even the colonial authorities (in both Italian and Ethiopian version) did not fail to recognize and use to their advantage. I am afraid they exist to stay for long time to come until the fault lines that delineate them thin out under heavy dose of sustained and prolonged development generated material progress. That is to say when necessities of life such jobs and amenities would suppress ethnic and confessional affiliations and render them redundant to the level of personal and aesthetic value systems.

            But this necessitate a beginning in a framework of collective national project. It is at this point Haile’s argument that the components on the ground should be recognized becomes relevant in my opinion. It takes intellectual honesty and prowess to assert that the claim of liberation from ethnic and confessional propensities in Eritrea is not real. To the contrary ethnic and confessional underpinnings of politics have been reinforced during the liberation era. This had gained significant momentum especially when the EPLF adopted the nationalities preposition whose purpose was more of political than hardcore ideological nature. Ever since, the weak suppress it the strong denounced it to shield their margin of advantage until their dominance cracked and expose their nakedness and resorted to rallying their ethno-confessional bases. This have been witnessed various junctures and episodes during post colonial and now independence eras. If you look hard, the public relation of the current ruling party runs porous enough to notice the ethnic and socio confessional underpinnings especially under pressure.

            Thus, in order to launch gradual and development guided transformation of the country there should be a mechanism of engaging in purposeful dialogue to create realistic transitional framework that could unite the diversities that make up the nation to free themselves from the current dictatorship, clean up the mess it has created and launch the nation building process. The system of political relations the EPLF leadership has installed in Eritrea cannot be mended without addressing the concrete realities on the ground in the context of unifying legal system that provide space to all stakeholders.

          • saay7

            Hala Ismaelom:

            When Ali Salim is interesting he is really penetrating and one of the things he broached (and quickly abandoned for sexier subjects) was this whole 9-bherat arrangement that we have been told is the most revolutionary way to organize Eritrean society. ELF organized Eritrean society by the languages they speak (ignoring Rashaida for God knows what reason and adding elit) and EPLf told us, yep, there are 9 language groups (adding Rashaida, dropping Elit and renaming Baza.). Now I am sure this is very conventional and social-science accepted way of grouping people but it’s not the only one.

            Before that, since you introduced the Brits and Italians, people were not grouped by the language they speak but by the land they are anchored in, by their customs, laws, ancestry, faith, and affiliation. And when the Brits (for purely administrative reasons) decided that they should group people into tribal affiliations, they forced their hand and told them either you create affiliations or ur affairs will be run by us. (read: Social Engineering in the Western Lowlands carried out by the British Military Administration: 1941-1952 which you can find in Mohammed Kheir Omer’s blogspot, “Hedgait.”)

            The genius of Nehnan Elamanan (and by “genius” I mean it’s effectiveness as a political tool Emma: I can see you all misunderstanding it and haranguing me already) was that it razed the system it found (organized by region) and grouped it by language and then conducted a dual approach: the ambibka aHlef (read-and-pass-it-on) to select groups (Tigrinya speakers) and revolutionary chic to select groups (all others.). At the same time, the ELF was splintering its base constituency (Western lowlands) and making its natural allies feel unwelcome (northern Red Sea) The rest is history.

            Saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,
            The mention of Italians and Ethiopia (British) in my earlier comments was just to stress the fact that the Eritrean politics were in one way or the other impacted by ethno-confessional underpinnings. I did not go to details in the way you have done. However, the fact we trace in the history of those times is those powers did take keen note of the social, cultural and confessional realities and did not disrupt save administrative arrangements of the regions as you have correctly pointed.
            Regarding the question of nationalities (if one could refer to the matter that way), the actors during the liberation struggle era had dealt with it in the contex of what was conventional (standard) left leaning cultures nearly all liberation movements and strategic allies adopted. For the ELF the issue rose to the stage with drafting of the National Democratic Program that was discussed at the congress of 1977. The debate faced the need of reading the set up in Eritrea within the context of classical theory which was found very much lacking in fulfilling analytical definition. Thus, the best conclusion found was defining the components populating the Eritrean entity as linguistic social groups (mujtama’at luqawia in Arabic). This saved them from the trap of expanding the matter to ideological realm that had to embrace the question of self-determination and its meaning and ramifications. The components were not recognized as nationalities or Beherat, and the ELF never arranged its administration on linguistic premise. It adopted regions (mantiq – first 5 and later 13)) as areas of military and civilian operations.
            But the EPLF approach was different. It had adopted the components as nationalities, and points you have mentioned were true. I have not seen formal social and economic analysis done (I stand to be corrected here) that led it to recognizing them as nationalities apart from the single element which was the language. From experience, it could be noted that EPLF leadership was more interested in the political expediency than ideological commitment. It is consideration was framed with demographic distribution as well as tool for negating Arabic language as one of the official languages of the country in perspective. You can comfortably pick the logic in the background of how the 9 beherat politics came to play to give us the current realities.

          • saay7

            Selamat Sir Ismael:

            Thank you so much for this information particularly as it relates to why the ELF as early as 1971, chose to categorize Eritreans along language groups. While I do not discount your explanation that this was on the basis of some ideological underpinning, I would be surprised if it also didn’t have political calculations. By definition, the act of inclusion is an act of exclusion and politics is always about who can one antagonize and not pay a price for it.

            Given that, just like the EPLF, the ELF found categorizing people by the language they speak a politically rational move, and given that the EPLF and now the PFDJ has perfected this into a huge mobilization tool (for the masses, ethnic identity is to be used as nothing than a color on a rainbow (look! There’s my color!) whereas for political cadres it’s one more pressure point for divide and conquer), why would the opposition play in this game perfected by EPLF/PFDJ for 40 years?

            saay

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe:

            Was I there?*

            Remember your biblical verse “for we walk by faith, not by sight”? Emma could see with his two eyes how two systems who are, on paper, have the same label (federalism) and but in practice are vastly different (centralized and decentralized) and he will say I believe the book more than my eyes. I think this is a holdover from the communist days when people were conditioned to accept what the textbook said (proletarian prosperity) than what reality described (starvation and destitution.)

            Even worse, if you believe not reality but only textbooks, there are so very many textbooks on this particular issue it is some kind of “walk by faith not by sight.” Very perplexing.

            saay

            * niere diye? for benefit of iSem 🙂

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,
            Thanks for gracing me with an honor of knighthood, hoping Queen Hayat has been properly consulted and Her Majesty’s approval it.

            While I understood why you took the 1971 ELF congress resolution’s ideological rationale with a grain of salt, I couldn’t get the sense of how an “act of inclusion [becomes] an act of exclusion” in the context of the point were conversing on. Perhaps a few more words could have helped me to get the point. Regarding the political calculations part of your statement, you would be laughing at my naiveté if I were to deny it because there a poor calculator cannot make a good politician. But the oil that lubricated the calculating machine of the politicians and ideologues who wrote the ELF national democratic program for the 1971 congress was not extract from Adam Smith’s laissez faire liberal democratic oil field; it was extracted from Marxist-Leninist fields. Thus, the issue of socio-linguistic set up was not taken as relevant trajectory to the future governance in Eritrea. Perhaps I need not go to details here.

            The ELF vision was enshrined in the substance and spirit of the guiding National Democratic program. Whereas the national part of it encompassed the rallying of the population without bothering about classification of the society, the democratic part of the program dealt with organizing the people on cross the board social and economic formations defined as mass organizations; students, youth, workers, peasants, women etc. The endgame was gradual thinking out the fault lines that separated the linguistic social groups in the span of the national liberation phase of the struggle and prepare them to play the relevant roles in building the nation and its socialist economy. The EPLF orientation on this point was different from the ELF’s. It did not believe in mass organization apart from their function as material support base, and this was one of the many points of difference between the two fronts.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi Ismail AA,

            My hut is up for you man.

          • saay7

            Selamat Sir Ismail:

            Here’s what I mean by “the act of inclusion is, by definition, an act of exclusion.” When the ELF categorized people by the languages they spoke (an act of inclusion to encompass all Eritreans), it had to make exclusions of two types. One, it excluded the Rashaida who speak Arabic: the only ones who do, so we can’t say that they were a subset of another group and it is covered. Two, it grouped people into the language they spoke even if they considered that their other identity is more important: example, Asawrta, Jeberti, MensaE, etc. And this was a conscious political decision based on political calculation.

            Then the EPLF put this categorization on steroids and, I argue, that it has perfected the game so that at the High Politics Level, it is just an extra identifier (like height, complexion, that people take pride in) labeling those who want to politicize the issue as tribalists and regionalists and at the Low Politics Level, it is a way to pit people against each other so they never unite to challenge its unlawful power grab. You can see how this became evident during the G-15 break-up where everyone was magically transformed into being from Akele Guzay.

            Now, my question is: why would one attempt to challenge an opponent on something that it has perfected for 40 years when there are other ways of organizing people? Why not, to return it to its original argument, use its Achille’s heel: its wanton violation of law and civil liberties (1997 Constitution)?

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Salihom,

            Glad that my new honor still stands and not one protested.

            To be candid you, I suspected you might have had the Jeberti in mind for the status the issue had acquired in the post liberation politics. But the other two never came to my imagination since they belong to the bigger linguistic and social groups. For the Mensae and Jeberti faith could factor in while the Asawurta clans and sub-clans are authentic fifth major branch of the Saho linguistic component and they share the language, traditions, folklore and style and way of life in general, beside the customary laws with the other Saho tribes ( here you can log to all-saho.com and read an introductory article on 1943 Saho customary law in Arab and English versions). I must, moreover, mention in passing that perhaps the Irob who also speak Saho can add faith as defining marker.

            Now, he bottom line in regard to 1971 ELF congress and its program was that the issue was not seen as part of the bedrock ideological concern as I tried to briefly explain in the paragraphs of my earlier rejoinder. There was no in-depth analysis of etho-social components in the framework of the theory pertaining to the question of nationalities.

          • saay7

            Sir Ismailom:

            I think this is one of those areas of when we say “the opposition” people go to their mental image of who the opposition is. If I hear you correctly, you are saying that the reason that the opposition is organized the way it is is not due to active campaign by the opposition to do so but that, due to lack of an organizing principle, the people drifted back to their atavistic allegiances and organized themselves on that principle.

            But this doesn’t answer the following questions:

            1. Why is it that when nationalist, secular organizations (at least those to strive for that identity) often (always?) fracture along ethnic/nationality/regional basis?

            2. Why is it that those who use ethnicity as an organizing principle (RSADO, DMLEK) are unable to form functional coalitions with each other and with others organized along the same principle?

            Isn’t is possible that after decades of the two fronts making ethnic-based affiliation as taboos that will sabotage the success of the holy mission (Ghedli) that the people actually have internalized this belief and are not quick to embrace it openly while rooting for their team secretly? And isn’t this what contributes to the standstill we have been? And…and…and. Melealey

            Saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Salihom,

            No, you didn’t for the first time hear me well. What I was trying to tell your (forgive my poor skill in transmitting what I meant) is the ethno-segmental polarization is much of post regime or even constitution phenomena (as organized demand-oriented) formations on the Eritrean political scene. The trend the regime governance and organization has pursued has been understood not transient political power calculations driven trend but methodically engineered long term scheme to swallow the marginalized cultures. What evidence could they wait more than the abandonment of everything that the EPLF promised (charters and programs) before and after liberation to dumping of its own own constitution with the minimum personal rights it came with and entrenching a regime set to continue indefinitely. Now,no one can argue that regimes of such nature are emerge and sustain in vacuum: they have base support they serve and be served in return.
            The failure of the ethnic organizations to former working coalitions has in my opinion more to do with subjective reasons than lack of will to do so. It is fair to take note of the environments they have been operating. They have been hosted in foreign land that has a lot of own considerations and aspirations on the one hand, and representing dispersed and impoverished refugee populations that have been pushed out from their natural habitats.

            In the case of the nationalist and secular oriented organizations, the problems that face the ethnic organization also apply to them, besides the role ethno-confessional- regional affiliation play. I think we have discussed these matters extensively under other threads. Even those who came from the much spoken about EPLF political cultural experience could not escape the impact. It’s is just due to the social and cultural nature of our society that had yet to develop national awareness capable of relegating the old to the past.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismael:

            If I am misunderstanding you, it’s not due to inarticulation on your part but probably because the subject has morphed and we may be discussing different issues. My interest in this subject is not to indulge love of history but to see if its review can help us create a viable path forward to bringing positive, dramatic and sustainable change in Eritrea.

            I think you agree with me that part of the reason that the exiled opposition has not made as much progress as desired is because there is no barrier to entry when it comes to creating an org. If an organization does not have to meet a numerical threshhold, doesn’t have to be diverse, doesn’t have to exist in the physical plane but can live in cyberspace, can be a 5-person crew, can be all from the same nationality (or even family), and there is no means to enforce discipline then, there can only be one path forward: creating a movement. This movement can have 5 or 500 organizations (it doesn’t matter) because once inside the movement, self-interest will force them to merge and coalesce. (This is what was beginning to happen with the EDA, a natural alignment.) What should occupy our minds, most of our time, is how to create this movement. And those who have experience in politics and mobilization owe it to the Eritrean people to make that and only that their first priority: how to create a movement that can bring about positive and lasting change in Eritrea. If they (you?) do that, we the amateurs promise to cheer you on.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,

            Allah yarda aleik ya sheik. Kab guyiy muwa’al kisad meHaz. I think I would vote blind folded for the lines but which sum up volumes The essence and purpose of reviewing history for politicians is learning the wisdom of gearing to doing what is possible. In our own case, that should be the means and end of it because studying history has its purpose and tools which we as activist for change do not possess.

            Your take on why the opposition lacked criteria for credentials or requirements for endorsing opposition organizations is true. If we the age of internet and cyper information age as culprit our the government of the main host country has lion’s share contribution to that source of the mess. The only criterium was a few paragraph long statement on one of the web sites and travel to the Addis Ababa and do a few public relations encounters. The other requirement was to just split yourself from existing organization or civic society group.

            When you mentioned EDA (and I add its predecessor -ENA) you touched my still festering wound. The beginning though very rough and arduous in my judgement was promising to develop into a viable umbrella that could have led us to a kind of broad national movement as you have mentioned. We had come not a small distance when organization that would share a table for a meal come around and agreed on a charter that was viable for improvement down the road.

            The event that led to the crisis and split in the RC was unforeseen, unjustified and disastrous. It was its impact of the ENA and thereby the national cause that pushed people like my self to go as far as taking stand in favor of mending RC’s breach with the ENA regardless of other reasons. In the debacle we suffer terrible collateral damages such us losing life long friends and comrades.

            I unequivocally agree with you the way is creating a national movement that can qualify to swallow the groups and reduce them to their real size. But our dilemma is finding the threshold from which this movement could be launched. The previous attempts starting from AENF to ENA to EDA and ENCDC did not succeed to produce the required movement the abnormal political condition that lacked the criteria you mentioned. A small fringe groups that could project inflated size on the internet could play interrupting role as we have been witnessing. Thus, our dilemma is demanding men and women of foresight, energy and skill like many of the gentlemen and ladies in this forum. There is no harm in discussing and taking position on what to adopt as tools to bring us to what we want. Proposing the previous constitutions and charters is legitimate. What is illegitimate is playing dogmatic and insisting on imposing one of them. We will have to be more forthcoming and searching what is possible and do-able. As you might have followed some of us have started to float alternatives without being able to consummate the discussion.

            I can cite the discussion we with Yohannes Zerai on the importance of classifying the population that crowd the opposition arena and sorting our forward looking progressive trends that could find common ground for an equilibrium resting on stable national task program. This could become a kind of nutshell that embody the good and useful in the constitutions and the opposition charters. It such a program can rally a cross section of the stakeholders it would have by and large served its purpose.

            Any way, I have gone a bit far from what your useful lines required me to respond. And thank you for summarizing and giving meaning to what we have exchange in the past few days.

            BTW, you did not tell why you have retracted my honor of knighthood. I hope Queen Hayat has not censured you.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay (Aya AdiU),

            Am I reading you saying that you are a political amateurish and a cheerleader. I beg to disagree. You are a potent political gun and a big defender to what you believe. What does a politician do than what you are doing? My friend you have proved your political potency during the bloody boarder war and during the exclusive transitional government in consolidating the power of PFDJ and their political program. Who defended the charter of PFDJ better than you? Not even the drafters and owners of that charter. So brother, You are as good as an experienced politician who has a great influence on the discourse of Eritrean politics. That is why my eyes are always fixed at your political move (not in a bad way) but to hear and listen to what you could say, and engage you if I see something to challenge you.

            Senay MeAlti

          • saay7

            Happy Saturday Emma:

            You know, better than most, that there is a difference between mobilizing to organize people and cheerleading. And if you forget, it’s only because Abi is not here crying about it 40 years later 😂 What you did in Ethiopia (I hope Leul Ras Abi had his Heineken and his European soccer team won before he reads this) is to mobilize and organize Eritreans and teach them the meaning of organizational discipline.

            That, my friend, I don’t have. And the good news is I know it. And actually, many of our pretend organizers don’t have it either although they may go through the motions. It’s fake mobilization; It’s mobifaking*. All I was saying is that those of you who can should or should others how to so they don’t give up after they encounter the first hurdle.

            saay

            Amche Eritrean Simret Zeru once described the weird accent that Eritrea and Ethiopian gangsters-wanna-be use in the US, as Jafaking (fake Jamaican.) With everyone shocked by his premature death, I have been replaying the video where he does a brilliant dissection of the lost Habesha tribes in the US. Here is the short video of this man whom I wish I knew better beyond tweets and retweets:

            https://youtu.be/oItXLt_HQ9w

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            I get a breathing room these from his daily crying foul and cursing on me. I hope he is doing well. After all Eritreans and Ethiopians will remain brotherly people.

            Senay Ne-Aka

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Amuni yes,

            I miss Abi ..I wish he is reading now and he will hopefully come ..

            KS,,

          • blink

            Dear Saay
            You are a great teacher sir , I really mean it . The success of the HOLY MISSION of GHEDLI ,how do you come with such line ???, some people will cry out loud if they ever read that line.

          • blink

            Dear Haile .Z
            First you have to come clean , second you have to make your statements supported by historical facts , now which events was that EPLF made ethnicity stronger ? You have said many times that EPLF lied and i wanted you to state them so some kessela guys will add some to your lists

        • Berhan Beyan

          “There is nothing in the constitution that forbids decentralization. The only difference is that it’s not a constitutional guarantee but a statutory guarantee.

          The fact that the constitution mentions Unitary state can mean that decentralization is not allowed. otherwise, why the constitution mentions unitary state, if it is not constitutionally guarantee that means depending on who is in power Eritrea could have centralized system lets for 5 years, then a new power who fevers decentralized system comes to power then change the system. In other wards our life depends not on constitution but on who is in power. That is similar to what the amendment formula in the constitution of 1997. Because the amendment formula gives the legislative monopoly of amending any article.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhan Began,

            Let me make two things on perspective: (a) Governmental structures are constitutional in nature, they are not decided by statuary laws . They could be either “centralized unitary government” or “decentralized unitary government” or “decentralized Federalism.” (b) statuary laws are “changed” by statuary laws and are passed by simple majority vote. Constitutional laws are “amended” by constitutional laws and are passed by super majority vote. If governmental structures are to be decided by statuary laws as the proponent of the document says, like what you have said, it will be decided by after every election whichever party wins the majority seats b/c statuary laws are easy to change them.

            Now ask yourself why did the drafters have left out the constitutional words “centralized” or “decentralized” from the “unitary”? What does “unitary state” means? Let me start with the later question. Unitary state means it is a state with centralized unitary government or with decentralized unitary government. Remember “government” is one pillar of the three pillars that made the state. The pillars of the states and the pillars of governments are determined by constitutions not by statuary laws. These are basic politico-legalese concepts. The answer to the first question will be simply that the constitution is drafted for a single party government. The banning of political organizations other the EPLF from the constitutional process has a meaning to the outcome of the product – the document in question.

            Regard

          • Berhan Beyan

            Selam Brother Amanuel,
            Thanks, A point well taken,
            Amanual, yes statuary laws easy to change, that means instability if matters such as we are discussing is not clearly defined in the constitution. I think those who advocate for the constitution of 1997 always bring ELF members as the only members of our eritrean community did not participate or oppose the constitution of 1997. As if all the rest of eritrean community are members of EPLF (EPLF means Eritrean People, and Eritrean People means EPLF).

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Berhan Beyan Thank yolu..

            That is the problem just only ..EPLF matters….

            KS..

          • MS

            Selam Berhane
            Wrong. No one said only ELF members are the ones objecting the 1997 constitution. No one. There were many ELF members who participated on the processteering, in the commission or in punlic debates. And no one said those who supported it are/were all EPLF. Please be honest with your assertions. Incidentally, most exELF members of this forum oppose it (refer to my tabulation). I don’t know if we can establish a correlation but it is up there for everyone to see. Also, incidentally, almost all those who support it have no organizational affiliations per their comments. Wo deHanka.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear MS,

            How many percent were they?

            KS..

          • MS

            Selam Kokhebay
            You have no idea how much I love and respect your passion for peace and brotherly love. Please stay away from politics until you get well. I wish you a robust health. Please meet me on facebook and I could discuss with you anything to your desire.
            Regards.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Selam Brother,

            “You have no idea how much I love and respect your passion for peace and brotherly love”

            Then, why do you categorize me and label ….above ? Now Apologize..well I am ready to go far long distance …because everybody is telling me the same and I think you are all right …Thank you..

            KS,,

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhan:

            Where did you come up with the idea that constitutional definition of a State automatically means it can’t be decentralized? The second half of the article in the constitution that defines Eritrea as a unitary state (which practically every opposition also did until they got hit by the federalism bug) also tells you that future legislators will decide how much power to devolve to the sub national governments.

            This attempt to make unitary govts alien things is amusing considering most states in the world–including democratic bastions like France and the U.K.–are centralized states whose parliaments decide how much power to give provinces.

            In all this discussion, a group of Eritreans who beloved that Eritrea should be unitary AND highly centralized have not even been heard from. We have created our own twilight zone without a theme song.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Please, Don’t make us to repeat ourself as you are repeating yourself with everyone who oppose it. The pillars of states and pillars of governmrnts are constitutional in nature and are determined by constitutional clauses. Hence they are only amended by constitutional laws if needed. If France and other countries changed their structures, it is only through amendments. Please we are not niave we know what are talking.

            Regards

          • Berhan Beyan

            Selam Salh,

            Where did you come up with the idea that constitutional definition of a State as unitary automatically means it can’t be decentralized?

            My understanding is the constitution defines the Eritrean system of government as unitary and there is no reference that the central government to give up some of its power to local governments if they wish so. Assuming the central government could create legally binding power local governments it create through the legislation, it can easily revoke the power it give to local governments when the local governments don’t listen to the legislators wish, status is very easy to replace.
            Salh, I am against power concentration in one body.

            When Dr Bereket was asked by Professor Magnet about the inclusion of unitary state, his response was that they were influenced by the communist mentality of centralism which in my opinion the way to lead to totalitarian.

            Salh, lets assume we all agree to draft a new constitution and finally we came up with the same outcome of 1997 constitution and with some negligible changes. then this will be considered as wasting of resource where it can be used somewhere else.

            In my opinion, looking at the process and most importantly the outcome of constitution 1997, demand a new constitution.

          • Berhan Beyan

            And we are going to have a totally different constitution that makes us all happy

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhan:

            Anta goytana, it is right there in Article 1.5:

            Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.

            Two short sentences made up of 3 premises:

            (1) The State is unitary,
            (2) The State has units of local government (provinces, regions, zones, whatever we decide to call them)
            (3) The powers and duties of these units (provinces, regions, zones, whatever we decide to call them) shall be determined by law (by some future government.)

            Just like the number of provinces will be decided by future government, so will their power.

            Eritrea is too small to opt for federalism, and too diverse to opt for total centralization, and too committed to national unity to go for ethnic politics. You add all of that and you will end up with a 1997 Constitution. The only question is whether we will accept the 1997 Constitution or its twins the 2027 or 2037.

            Emma, I almost forgot, I promised that this weekend I would send you some paper on Centralized Federalism. How about a review of a book called “The Case for Centralized Federalism”? Will that do?

            https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dominic_Heinz/publication/254255261_The_Case_for_Centralized_Federalism/links/58061a8408aeb85ac85f1479.pdf

            saay

          • Selam Saay,

            You said “ eritrea is too committed to national unity to go for ethnic politics”.
            Ethiopia which is an ethnically federated country does not seem to have the problem of national unity, nor do the large majority of countries under different sorts of governments.

            Which eritrean government or coalition of political parties is (are) going to give this national unity? Do you believe that the present government with the constitution under discussion, which it does not recognize in the first place, or a government of the future, which nobody really knows what sort of government it is going to be, are going to be guarantors of this national unity?

            If eritrea is supposed to be still in a state of war, in a state of emergency, or in a state of political instability, because different political parties are aspiring to rule, and no political party comes out the majority in an election, a ‘government of national unity’ may be entertained, which of course is not what you are discussing.

            If an afar or a kunama ethnic group, etc, are given the right to self-rule, and their individual and group rights are respected, will that make them less eritreans? What does a human being want more than his freedom and equality with others? Why does it care if it is with this or the other country provided that it is satisfied with the rights it is given by the state? Deny them these rights, that is when they want to be where that right exists.

            Therefore, ethnic politics should not be an anathema, because whatever one does to deny it, it will always be there. What brought ethiopia to the brink of collapse was this denial that ethiopians are of diverse ethnic groups and therefore have different aspirations, like ruling themselves, developing their cultures and traditions, educating their children, etc, and that they should not be told by somebody else, a representative of the central government, who could be anybody, what to do and not to do, because either he or she does not understand their dreams, or is obliged to serve the political and economic interests of the government officials of the central government, which by definition the majority of them come from the bigger ethnic group. The local small fishes can be handled by the community. The problem is the big fishes with a strong power that come from the center.

            Finally, ethiopia is much different from eritrea. In ethiopia no one ethnic group can claim that it is the majority and could rule by itself, and any government coming to ethiopia will always be a coalition government of one sort or other. On the other hand, in eritrea ethnic percentages are such that one ethnic group will be able to rule for ever. That is why ethnic groups should have a safety valve by being able to rule and care for themselves, more than the central government could ever care for them.

          • saay7

            Selam Horizon and Emma:

            I hope you don’t mind a combo address; it may not answer most of your questions, but it is Sunday.

            Horizon, If you take a look at all of Africa’s federalist states–South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia–they have these in common:

            1. They are very large
            2. Very diverse
            3. Have a strong center
            4. they went through civil war in large part due unequal distribution of power and wealth.

            The formula each came up with was: federalism. In Ethiopia’s constitution, no where is it described as “ethnic federalism”–it is actually regional federalism–but because TPLF talked up ethnicity as the most important and most permanent identifier of an individual for such a long time, and because it went to some length to re-draw borders on the basis of the predominant language spoken, it came to be described as ethnic federation. If it can re-brand itself as a regional federation, Ethiopia is going about it the right way: centralized federalism, gradually, incrementally, devolving power to the regions.

            Eritrea (the independent state) came about precisely for the opposite reason according to our collective narrative Horizon (which you don’t have to agree with): a people divided by religion and ethnicity had made a terrible mistake and now we are going to undo their mistake by doing everything the exact opposite of what they did. Whereas they (1940s politicians) were divided by religion and ethnicity and region, we won’t. Whereas, this struggle (Ghedli) we will wage can never succeed if we allow the enemy to divide us by ethnicity and religion, we will make organizing on that principle a taboo.

            Post Ghedli, there were attempts to organize people on the basis of religion (the Islamist groups.) And over the last 15 years, there have been attempts to legitimize ethnic and regional mobilization. They have been a flop, I argue, primarily because this ethos–that organizing on the basis of religion, ethnicity, region is wrong–has been largely internalized by the people and acts as a strong deterrent. Mathematically, it is impossible for 7 of Eritrea’s 9 language-groups to bring about change democratically if they are organized on that basis. Democracy being a game of numbers, the only way to do that is to get out of the confines of Eritrea’s political map and seek alliances outside. Beyond that, what one can hope for is to be a pressure group–which can happen two ways: if we are lucky, it will be civil society that the large groups have to win. If we are unlucky, it will be–and it is now–armed confrontation.

            If you accept my assumptions (and that’s all this is: an assumption, an opinion) all you are left with is something that looks like a 1997 Constitution: one that recognizes the essence of the country as a unitary state but one that must devolve power to the regions on the basis of reality on the ground (law, not constitution.)

            Emma Arkey:

            Well, ok. The problem with the Swedish guy–at least your summary of his work–was that he was (at least you were representing him as saying) that “federalism is a form of a unitary state.” Since everything ever written about federalism describes it as the opposite of unitary, and everything written about unitary as the opposite of federalism, when someone wants (or you represent his work as wanting) to re-write the political dictionary to describe the two not as opposites, but one as a subset of the other, it’s normal to ask “who else shares his view? Is it peer reviewed?” If everybody says the moon revolves around Earth, and one guy comes and says, actually, the moon is a continent of Planet Earth, there will be a follow up question. That is normal in academia, don’t you think?

            There fact that many of the so-called “federalist” states are highly centralized and give only token power to the regions is something that is common sense when you consider that many of them have no capacity and the primary goal of any government is to ensure safety, security and prosperity. Norway is a unitary state and Malaysis is a federal state, you know (should know) that these labels means nothing when it comes to decentralization and empowering the municipalities and regions: Norway, by law (not constitution) allocates a huge amount of its budget to the municipalities/regions, and Malaysia, supposedly a Federal State, has bankrupt states who export all their youth to the capital city.

            Beyond that, my appeal was to supplement your textbook knowledge with what common sense and your own observation of the world tell you. If I read a summary of Eritrea’s political system written by one of the Mzungus, I will be told that Eritrea has the highest number of female parliamentarians and is making large progress towards gender equality. But since I know that the parliament is dead and has been since 2002, I will ignore such Mzungu contribution. Does your common sense tell you that the federalism practiced in Ethiopia is exactly the same as that of the United States when it comes to centralization of power?

            saay

          • Selam Saay,

            From the last discussion we had, I gathered the following points. I hope I have understood well all your points.
            1) Federalism in ethiopia is actually regional and not ethnic,
            2) Political groups that organize themselves on religious, ethnic and regional grounds are detested by the eritrean people, and they are a taboo in eritrean politics,
            3) In the eritrean ‘language groups’ (i do not understand why not ‘ethnic groups’), either the large groups should win, or otherwise, it will be civil confrontation
            4) Eritrea should adopt the 1997 constitution and there should be a unitary government, and power will devolve to the regions by law and not by the constitution, on the basis of the reality on the ground.

            I do not know what the oromo people would say about #1, which is a topic that is near to their heart, and that of others as well. In addition, you seem to use more the term ‘language groups’ rather than ‘ethnic groups’, if I am not mistaken.
            It is said that the thing that characterize people group is their ethnolinguistic uniqueness. Language of course is a prominent ethnic identity, but not the only one. We also read that ethnic groups are identified by shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin, myth, history, homeland and language.
            I believe that these identities characterize the uniqueness of the oromo, amhara, tigray, afar, somali, etc people groups as ethnic groups, and the fact that they inhabit the same region is simply one of the factors, and does not defy the fact that they are an ethnic group. I do not think that region alone could explain the political makeup of ethiopia, and this could also hold true for eritrea’s people groups as well.

            In addition, you seem to support that the larger group should win, or more or less, the stronger wins all, otherwise, things are going to end up in civil confrontations.
            I was thinking, the fact that the one takes all and the rest go empty handed, and their fate is at the mercy of the stronger and its goodwill of devolving some rights, which it can afford to dispense with, could be the cause for confrontation rather than that of peace and harmony among people groups (ethnic, linguistic, or however we want to categorize them).

          • saay7

            Selam Horizon:

            I can take or leave some of the points you made but some things need correction:

            1. you know more about the subject. . If it is ethnic, what are we call the debub Southern people nations and nationalities: Uber-ethnic?

            2. I never used the word “detested.” Feared is probably a more accurate description; fear of what will follow. Ethnic grouping legitimizes and solidifies ethnic fissures, as your country is experiencing.

            3. I use language groups for convenience because there is no consensus if they are ethnie (if they fit the qualification for one) or tribes or clans. And NO I did not say either the large groups should win or civil war will ensue. What I said democracy is a numbers game and if each language group votes as a block, there will be no suspense in Eritrean politics. Given this then the minority groups have two choices to change the dynamic: become a pressure group, a civil society and be king-makers OR declare the game rigged and raise arms.

            4. My argument is that Eritrea will adopt a unitary, decentralized system after all the stakeholders haggle. The stakeholders include those calling for unitary centralized, unitary decentralized, and Federalism. The unitary decentralized will be the middle position. So we can get there the very long way or the quickest way.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay (Aya AdiU),

            Thank you for the link. Though there is nothing we can learn and argue without reading the two books, from reading the short excerpts from the debaters (scholars), it sound a new introduction to a new concept, like the Swedish scholar had introduced (though you undermined his work). Also it is similar to the new concept introduced by the Harvard scholar about the democratic coup me and you we debated with full passion but on opposite sides.

            What I understand from the gist of the excerpts, the books are primarily addressing to the Canadian realities on the impact of devolution on social policy (like welfare) and not on the political and administrative structural centralization of power. With this info without reading the two contesting books, though it is not on the central concept of the term Federalism, we can not make an educated evaluation to the subject. But thank you for making aware the existence of the books and the new idea floating in world of academia. Remember, this does not settle to issue me and you are debating. I will try to find out the books.

            Regards

          • Berhan Beyan

            selam Salh,
            I was wrong to not refer to the whole article of 1.5. now I stand to be corrected that there is a reference made that authorize the legislators to make law in regard to unite of local government.

            The point is that the constitution gives power only to central government, the local government is under the mercy of central government, and nothing to talk about decentralization constitutionally.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,
            1.5:Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.

            Article 23 – Right to Property
            2. All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State.

            …what is left for the administrative regions of your article 1.5 is, MIMIHIDAR DIQUAN HIDRI, or YEDABO WEREFA.
            I think you are guilty of all the things you are accusing Amman of. It seems none of what we said is crossing your mind. Amman, Ismail, Myself, Bayan and others are telling you the Constitution is missing important items. The process was not fair
            It was not allowing free participation of the people organized or individual.
            Those who have different and in some cases conflicting opinions about various articles should have had free access inside the country to air their views so that Eritreans would make an informed decision.
            And now Berhan Beyan came with another very important factor. Al the members of the constituent Assembly should have been elected freely from the people. And not 50 per cent EPLF.
            Is the Constitution for EPLF or for Eritreans inclusive EPLF?
            If you think the process was fair then there is no need to argue.You have bigger problem. If you are saying the Constitution is good enough, my answer is it should be left for the people to decide freely.
            -Another point is even if we start anew we will end up with the same Constitution.
            As long as the Eritrean people like it and can live with it, it is ok. Obviously it should not be determined under the previous conditions. The Constitution must be discussed between peers and freely.
            -Further more, if for some unforseen fate another opposition group manage to take power by guns and calls for similar theatrics, we will oppose it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat (HZ),

            Do not forget he is arguing on behalf EPLF’ s position. He doesn’t care about the grievances of ELF and their bases or any individual citizen who has concern on the document for that matter. To the credit of those who debate against his argument, not only they criticize on the process, but also on its flaws in many counts. Saay is always on the winners takes all. unfortunately we will pay prices to correct all the abnormal things to the lives of our people, including the abnormal and divisive document. The good thing is, it will not serve and unite them as we watch the division between PFDJites and former EPLFites on the document. A document should be criticized on what it is and what will be on the future for no one know the future, and you don’t defend it on what future assembly may or may not do on it. He can not tell us the future assembly will legislate to decentralized the government, to legislate land to belong to the owners and other things. How will he know what will be the constituents of the assembly? and how they will act on the legislating process? Really, he thinks that we are naive to that extent? What is this, they will do this and they will do that, as if he will be one of the MPs with super vote determinant to the outcome.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile Z:

            I think the problem here might be definitions. Do you agree with me on the following definitions, which are universally accepted even, I think, by Emma’s Swedish professor:

            1. A State is a political unit that has sovereignty over an area of territory and the people within it.
            2. A nation consists of a distinct population of people that are bound together by a common culture, history, and tradition who are typically concentrated within a specific geographic region.
            3. Government: Group of people with authority of a political unit for a given time.

            Now, when you express your outrage at an article in the constitution which says that “All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State”:

            1. a province can fit the description of the State (excercising sovereignty given to it by law). In which case, your argument will have to be with your local government;
            2. the State owning land is not a unique description for unitary states. Ethiopia is a federal state whose constitution says:

            The right to ownership of rural and urban land, as well as of all natural resources, is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia. Land is a common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange.

            The rest of the issues you raised have been discussed over and over and I can’t add anything new to what I have already said.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            “Land is a common property to the ‘nations’, ‘nationalities’, and people of Ethiopia” means it does not belong to the “central government”. Correct? If you say yes that is my point. The issue of land and the authority of power to manage it, is constitutionally given to the nation’s, and nationalities. Don’t you see any difference on the clause from saying the common propriety of the central federal government? I do.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            The Eritrean constitution doesn’t mention the government either. It says land belongs to the State. So does the Ethiopian governments, which you conveniently left out of the quote (anta Emma if you want to misquote either you have to blind us all and wait until we are dead. ) In Eritrea, the government is the agent of the State and in Ethiopia, I guess it is the Nations and Nationalities to whom you should address a letter if you seek a plot of land as I am sure all the millionaires from Gulf Arabs do. In fact I recently saw a copy:

            Dear Nations, peoples and Nationalities:

            Blease consider this my request for a blot of land.

            Sincerely,

            Rich Sheik

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Who is the state Saay? May be we have different view what a state means. What are the pillars of the state? Who run the state affairs?

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Are u even reading what I am writing? Didn’t I just give a generally accepted definition of State, nation and government?

            Saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            This is too funny. I just couldn’t resist. By the way, in Ethiopia, even though the government federal and regional governments own the land, one can transfer the plot, as inheritance or a gift to family members. I don’t know how it works in Eritrea…Now, let me go back under the rock I have been hiding. 🙂

          • Kokhob Selam

            Welcome Back Eyob Medhane

            Where is Abi? Now ,,keep on line man !!!

            KS,,

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            Where have you been buddy? Well, before you disappear, I want to wish you Happy New Year. I can’t send you a present because you have already taken it. And by that I mean an Ethiopian artist totally completely stole a song entitled “Hadnetna” by Wedi Tkabo and renamed it “Hanna” and told us that it was composed by Teddy Afro.

            As Bugs Bunny used to say, “of course, you know: this means war.”

            This is the song Eritrea gave you for the New Year. You are welcome 🙂 and ylmedbeh…

            https://youtu.be/rSkGZ_T_0aI

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,
            Enkuan abro aderesen 🙂

            Here is the thing about this song. It seems that there are too many Eritrean singers have the same melody and it has become impossible to find out who copied from who. There are at least two other artists named Tesfaye Mengesha and Biniam Tekle, who played the exact same tune. So, I don’t believe that Temesgen Gebregzibher, Tedy Afro, Hope production or AbuGida Band should be held responsible for stealing. The song however is breaking the Internet. In less than 2 days it already has 250K views. Which means it will hit a million mark by the end of the weak easily. Where as the Wedi Takabo tune, which you allaged it was stolen from has barely over 500K views in over 2 years. What gives Sal… 🙂

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            You asked a good question why Wedi Tkabos exquisite “Hadnetna” only has half a million hits in 3 years whereas your guy is well on his way to a million in a month.

            1. This was the first song Wedi Tkabo sang after he disassociated from PFDJ. And you know how that party’s slogan is live and let live, I don’t have to agree with someone to enjoy his music.
            2. He was the voice of PFDJ-Eritrea for so long, some in the opposition just couldn’t handle it when the song came out.
            3. Some in the opposition are very suspicious of the word “Hadnetna” because the PFDJ used that word to bludgeon people for so very long.
            4. There is no video to accompany the music: it’s just a still image. Unlike your guy who is backed by the biggest production company (Teddy Afro) in Ethiopia;
            5. Duh Alert: there are more Ethiopians than Eritreans
            6. Let’s see what Korchach does with his new song that is 100% Amharic beat.

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Your points are so weak, I thought it was someone else responding to me.. 🙂

            1) I don’t know why try to connect this with politics, because so many singers who left PFDJ but used to be with PFDJ have never had any trouble to amess a million viewrs in a week.
            So your 1-2-3 execuses don’t make sense.

            2) Your number 4 and 5 execuses are just easily disprovable. How? Well qorchach song is with still image and has been out only for a week. Guess what? It’s almost 900K. And no. It was not produced by Teddy Afros companies. Temesgen’s song is not going to reach a million by the end of the month. It will surpass a million by the end of the week. So, please have Wedi Yekabo sing better rather than excuses.. 🙂

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Eyob Medhane,
            .
            Happy New Year!
            It is so great to hear from you. I am glad you seem to be doing good. I did miss your comments and informative posts.
            Recently Ras Abi abandoned me and I was at a loss of what to make of it.
            .
            I don’t know what saay is talking about on your first day. It is a Tigray song and that is it.
            He just reminded me of what a high school friend of mine used to tell me all the time. We were neighbors.
            Anytime he saw a nice building going up, a house or anything nice, he told me it was copied from Asmara.
            I had enough. One day sarcastically, I asked him pointing to Jubilee Palace, was that copied too?
            He got the message.
            .
            It was really nice to hear from you. I wish you the best.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Eyob Medhane

            Kim,

            I missed you, too. I have taken sabatical from awate university. 🙂

            Great to hear you welcoming me back.. 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Kim,
            Give credit where it is due. Even the slums of Addis were copied from Asmara. If you look closely at the corrugated metal roofs (and walls) you see an imprint: Made in Asmara–that’s before the Chinese copied it and made a fortune exporting it. You can’t deny that! If you do, I will lust all the intellectual property that was copied from Asmara. Did you hear the gavel go down?

          • saay7

            Hey Eyobai:

            You are comparing a guy most famous for wearing a white suit and singing romantic songs (Robel Michael) with a guy who sang that the PFDJ has betrayed the goals of Gedli geyshala mber entetihilu ghedli… (wedi Tkabo) and not giving the latter a break?

            Tsk tsk.

            Qorchach’s forte has always been love songs Now he is (a) inching his way to amharicizing Tigrinya songs and (b) now in his megahit just did random lists of towns so exiled Eritreans and Ethiopians can say “oh! My town was mentioned.”

            Tsk tsk again.

            I don’t know the rest of the points I made other than your country is hige 🙂

            saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Ah! You never give up, do you? 🙂 Robel started out as Original PFDJ singer. Straight up. He was in Eritrea’s foreign minister personal band. From that now he is moved on to plaster a Moa Anbessa on his concert posters. What a change.. 🙂 By yhe way I demand that you watch the new Teddy Afro mini movie version of fiqir eske meqabir called mar eske twaf. It is amazing and it’s breaking the Internet. In less than 24 hours he snapped quarter of a million (mostly Eritrean) 😉 viewers..
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2inQ1WeaFs

          • saay7

            Hey Eyobai:

            How many people exactly are breaking the internet? And can someone break something already broken ?:)

            On this Teddy Afro thing….I try not to encourage nepotism so I have to pass 😀

            Saay

          • Berhan Beyan

            Selam Salh,

            why the constitution allows the president to be elected from National Assembly? Assume you are a leader of Political party A, and I am of political party B. Are you going to vote for me to be a president?
            If you do, why you vote for me knowing that I don’t share your opinion?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Below is always a song I sing “ayrisaekin adey “Ziteweldkula ziteqaleskula meryety”. I will not forget the country I born and fought for, even if I am excluded in the process you are proud of and proud defending it. The struggle continues. Enjoy the song.

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DVyyvzpcK04

          • Haile Zeru

            OK SAAY

            Actually the whole thing is a repetition.
            We departed roads on your second number 1. I have already said, The power vested on the local government by the Central government by law is too weak. It is based on the government of the day. It can be revoked any time. Any majority government will govern as it sees fit according to its policies and ideologies. The provinces will not negotiate their rights on equal footing etc…

        • Berhan Beyan

          A Constitutional lawyer would argue that decentralized system of government is unconstitutional because there is no reference at all in the constitution, on the contrary the constitution refers to unitary system of government, unitary system of government means there is only one body that is constitutionally recognized, it the responsibility of the government how to administer the country and there is no reference in the constitution that allows to distribute power or create power through through statuary law, if that was the intent of our founding fathers, why they did not make reference and why they mentioned unitary system. it is a misleading or our fathers though independent Eritrea like the armed struggle where the power is concentrated in one body. It might worked during the struggle and it is not going to work now, because it is against the constitution of 1997.

          For example, the constitution clearly give power to legislation to draft law in regard to the election. but the constitution doesn’t give power to legislation to make law against the constitution which is against unitary system

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam all,

      Me’Melaeta!
      Let me switch gears a bit to augment Saay’s spirited and touching defence for const.-1997

      1. This is 2017 and we have a history of opposition politics going into ‘mainstream’ for a decade ‘meMelaEta!’ If any, our record of bringing stake-holders together and come up with a roadmap (basis of constitutional life of a nation) has not been that promising. Arguably the biggest project to this end, ‘ECNDC’ which is purported to be alternative to the mainland statuesque didn’t for lack of better word, succeed. We can bring compelling reasons and justifiable excuses six years later; but the fact that we failed to resurrect the mission of ECNDC by itself is indictment to all of us; and exposes the limits of our politics. With this TRACK-RECORD, shouldn’t we assess our limitations and possibilities. I feel uncomfortable when some of us so hammering about the process and result of Const-1997 while our Addis-Awasa record brought us acrimonious result; and that is from ideally groups who share common vision of alternate result. If that is harbinger of post-PFDJ Eritrea, I think Saay is pretty much right whatever we are going to draft in the transitional years, won’t be much better or much inclusive than Const-1997. The art of possible; they say. Well dear compatriots:

      Shouldn’t the image we see in the mirror instill in us a bit of modesty; a bit of introspection; and dose of apprehension?

      Methinks: we have also used up SOME of our leverage and goodwill (though our moral core will always dwarf the Isaias’s) in failing to come up with the record of the past ten and “MemeLaeta’. This applies to all of us in the opposition to PFDJ.

      2. I seriously had another argument; but I can’t remember it now…Probably will come later.

      Thanks,
      Ghezae Hagos

      • Berhan Beyan

        I think Saay is pretty much right whatever we are going to draft in the transitional years, won’t be much better or much inclusive than Const-1997. The art of possible; they say. Well dear compatriots:
        Selam Ghezae Hagos
        An all inclusive does’t mean the participation will increase, what it really mean is that we should not prevent Eritreans from participating in the constitution making process like what EPLF did.

  • Mez

    Dear Ali,

    I understand your focus for this writer up is the core concept of “national unity” in Eritrean context.

    To my understanding the dual word “national unity” is mentioned in the document FIVE TIMES only; including the one in the preamble; i have to say it is not littered every where contrary to your way of narration. On a closer look, the following four points may substantiate your point of view:

    1) Article 7 Democratic Principles (7.6. The organisation and operation of all political, public associations and movements shall be guided by the principles of national unity and democracy); here the emphasis is what we mean by National Unity.
    2) Regarding the economy, it seems that the constitution took all relevant principles from the old communism book by stating: (Article 8.3–In the interest of present and future generations, the State shall be responsible for managing all land, water, air and natural resources and for ensuring their management in a balanced and sustainable manner; and for creating the right conditions to secure the participation of the people in safeguarding the environment); thereby inherently depriving a substantial portion of wealth creation opportunities from its citizens.
    3) The other fuzzy-type concept is what one may understand under “National Culture”, article 9 (specifically 9.1 The State shall be responsible for creating and promoting conditions conducive for developing a national culture capable of expressing national identity, unity and progress of the Eritrean people); will this national culture include music, language, religion, style of dressing, eating….?? who will coordinate the mix…
    4) you can also observe an exaggerated state role, every now and then in the document.

    On the strong side of the constitution I want to mention a) the overall spirit and documentation of Eritrea as a nation and its people as the owner of it. b) the term limit of a president to two election cycles, c) the indirect election of the president of the nation (German experience). d) the strong emphasis on institution building is also another part of the document to appreciate. e) the proper compensation of peoples effort, time-invested and work.

    looking all the good aspects and the shortcoming of this document, I still argue that its implementation is more advantages to the nation than its suspension; pending constitutional amendment by future elected officials, and occasional referendum to rectify the one or the other article on the go. Also even-if the government would go ahead with a new constitution drafting, as suggested by the president, a lot of articles from this document are going to be transferred to the new one. Probably they may exclude the presidential term limit and forced labor use prohibition from the new one.

    PS: Dear Mr. Ali, with all due respect “…..the constitution commission….was composed of crusaders of the Orthodox church and Wahabies of the Saudi school…..” is a disrespect to those who worked on it and delivered it; and unprofessional name calling from your side–to say the least. very bad to see such way of thinking pops up.

    thanks,

    • MS

      Selam Mez
      Thanks and well said. just to add a couple of points:
      1. On number two: I don’t need to tell you that countries assign the management and ownership of some assets, you know UK and the story of the railway, you know American Federal government owns a vast swath of land and resources therein; the postal service, railroad (AM-track), etc. Almost all countries assign the management of land and natural resources for the central governments. The thing is that what is normal elsewhere becomes an anomaly when it comes to Eritrea. So this has nothing to do with communism.
      Eritrea was embarking for mixed economy, and I challenge anyone to come up with a proposition other than mixed economy fitting Eritrea of that time, Eritrea of today, and Eritrea of the immediate future ( 50 years or more in the future). Surely, laws could be changed depending on who controls the legislative and executive branches and how well they get along, for instance, land use.
      2. I think the most sensitive is number 3. What do we mean by national culture?
      3. In general, the document struggles to hit a balance between national unity which implies devising a blue print that keeps the periphery to the center and democratic principles which encourages the peripheries to seek to gain more autonomy ( territories, groups, individuals, etc). And I think that was brilliant. Expecting a hands-off type of structure in countries such as Eritrea is just a sign of misreading the reality on the ground. Some may argue it was not liberal enough granting self-governing units (federal or otherwise), but that is not a panacea. We find many countries in the world which are federally decentralized which are not more democratic than unitary governments operating on the principles of check and balances, universal bill of rights, and secularism. What would be the difference of an Afar oppressed by an Afari government than if he was oppressed by a central government? That is the cry of the time from our neighbors. Somali Ethiopians, Oromos and others are complaining of repressions they are experiencing from their local governments. Mind you, I’m not passing judgement on Ethiopian affairs, but I’m pointing at the fact that decentralization by itself is not a panacea. The bottom line is that one may find democratic practices taking roots in a democratic unitary government more than in a decentralized one. It is not what the constitution says, it is how the constitution is practiced. Today, we see many decentralized countries suffering from the curse of ethnically divided “federations”. On the contrary, we find minorities thriving in democratically governed unitary states. And you know this is not for you, I’m just using the opportunity to say more. Thanks.
      Again, good points and God bless you.
      Regards

      • Selam MS,

        If i am allowed to paraphrase you, you said that federally decentralized countries could be less democratic than centralized unitary governments, and an afari oppressed by an afar government is no different from an afari oppressed by a centralized unitary eritrean government, and similar cases are happening today in ethiopian oromia and somali states, where their own regional governments are oppressing them.
        The point is that in an eritrean context, from what we have seen up to now, the possibility of a democratic centralized unitary government coming to eritrea in the future is a very remote possibility.
        Can i ask then, why did eritreans raise the banner of “abrogation of the federation by the emperor’’ and not only that of “injustice”, that holds true for all ethiopians when eritreans started gedli, as long as their fate would have been the same either under a federation or under a centralized unitary government? Why do you seem to accept injustice when it concerns others, and you are not against injustice from whichever direction it may come from, and whoever may be affected by the injustice?

        • MS

          Selam Horizon.
          Thanks for the reply. I will just clarify your first para: I did not say decentralized governance is less democratic than centralized ones. Did I? I’m simply making the argument that decentralization by itself is not a panacea. If you are irritated with what I said in regard to Ethiopia, it’s based on what those communities say. I’m not in Ethiopia. I went last Sunday to a friend from the Oromo Community who was having a party for the closing purchase of a nice house. Many Eritreans and Ethiopian friends joined him and we did have a quite happy time. So, there was this sober discussion among friends. What I surmised from the discussions was that Ethiopians are becoming less militant, and that is a good sign. I also follow up events in Ethiopia. The federal government also seems to be worried about the abuses, corruptions and mismanagement on regional level and I hear that it is taking steps. Many officials have been removed from their seats, some are being investigated, etc.
          Therefore, when read in context, I’m simply saying that decentralization or not, constitutions should be viewed on what practically they deliver to the average citizen.
          I will skip the second paragraph because it will take us to unnecessary arguments which we have exhausted in the past years. And regarding your view on my position on justice, that also remains to be your view, and you are entitled to see me the way I appear to you.
          Regards.

    • AliSalim

      Selam Mez and All,

      Let us agree on one of my superstitions is that two people exposed to an identical information about a looming danger cannot have opposing motivations for their respective ideas on how to react. They can only have explanation for why they prefer this idea over the other. It might not be the best case scenario for one but under this superstition either idea is good enough. In other words Mez, I am saying exactly what you and all are saying. The only difference is that I think my idea is a short cut to a constitution that can work and last. Let me explain:

      In my opinion, the 1997 constitution has two fatal mistakes and that’s why it is non-reformable. I read SAAY’s strong argument that every constitution can be reformed. That I think is true with all the articles of the constitution including those dealing with land and languages. MS and others have also referred to the fact witnessed by all of us that discussions organized by the commission were exhaustive.

      What we need to understand is that unlike the discussions organized by the commission in the 1990s, which was inspired by the positive energy of pre-independence EPLF, our current discussion is motivated by the horrors caused by the PFDJ in the last quarter century and a determination never to repeat the experience again. I am sure if Dr. Berekhet himself had known that this is what will come out of the PFDJ 26 years later, he would have pushed for a very different document.

      The two fatal flaws (given what we know of the PFDJ and the tegadalay blunder today) are:

      (1) Abuse of the name of Martyrs:

      I probably tend to dramatize the subject but the bottom line is that we need to agree that martyrs should not be politicized and their name should not be used to push a political agenda or promote any particular individuals. We need to find a way to get the tegadaly entitlement to power out of our lives. If you accept the argument that a tegadaly is more entitled (than the average Eritrean) to rule and wreck today, then you must be subscribing to YG’s argument that what happened during the armed struggle was never martyrdom but genocide by the current beneficiaries.

      Unless we beat down the idea of tegadaly as the anchor of national values and a model that we need to emulate we are would essentially be legitimizing the PFDJ as valid experience that will seep into the next constitution if any. The only thing that legitimizes tegadaly is martyr.

      (2) Obsession with National Unity:

      National unity as an aspiration is not controversial. Who would even try to argue against uniting? The difference is on what people think is or is not national unity. Take the debate of whether Eritrea should be unitary or federal – where we will eventually end up with any thread of debate on national unity. Considerations that go into the conclusions have very little to do with the administrative efficiencies of either system. The underlying assumption of those debating is that those calling for federal arrangements are promoting it only as a starting point for secession.

      I think you agree with me that nations do not split because the right the split is in the constitution but for other dynamics. Ethiopia did not split because of self-determination, Scotland did not split from the UK or Quebec from Canada. Where it succeeded was in astronomical levels of injustice such as Eritrea, South Sudan, East Timor and others. Why would anyone want to stop a situation that has reached the level of South Sudanese horrors want to stop them from splitting?

      What guaranteeing some kind of options for peoples who might find themselves in south Sudanese shoes does is to take hyper nationalism around national unity out of the picture. It will of course also guarantee that if things go crazy people have options.

  • said

    Greeting
    The English regard and practice their religion only insofar as it relates to their duty as subjects of the king. They live as he lives and believe as he believes; indeed, they do everything he commands. … Giovanni Micheli, Venetian ambassador to England during the reign of Henry VIII

    Eritrean live in harmony. As acknowledged by both Eritrean Muslims and Christians, there are a number of differences between Islam and Christianity. But in spite of these religious differences, Muslims and Christians can still peacefully coexist and it is PFDJ atheist socialism have brought about the present state of confusion and misery in the Eritrea.
    A remarkable irony of contemporary Eritrean life, is that those who have is been in charge with the task of deciding who is PFDJ supporters and who is of sound mind and who venerable and who is mentally ill, are not only utterly insane themselves but are quite possibly the greatest IA is psychopaths in all of Eritrean history.
    For PFDJ to give an example. Home to the illiterate, the mindless, and the mentally disturbed, the mases of PFDJ followers are in peculiar politics, like fringe religiosity’s sect, PFDJ rooted in vitriolic anti-intellectualism and a love of unfettered Eritrean communism and devoting love of NUSO . Listening to a fundamentalist from the fringe religion vomit up their gibberish and crab, is eerily reminiscent of listening to nonsense Guru Hare Krishna preaching, as saying go, it pays to be happy. Happy people live longer or Like priest Joel Osteen, the prosperity ministry they preaching prosperity that will richer life’s and lead happier lives. They make better decisions and have more fulfilling relationships. They also make more money, being as much a consequence of happiness as a cause. these con artists, like so many in the evangelical world, like PFDJ who are all about ‘send me and give me your money, IA had blessed you and PFDJ Godless will bless you. When they talk about themselves, it’s ‘ NUSO had blessed you .’ Like the prosperity ministry and Osteen and these people, in terms of the old time evangelical gospel, are truly heretics, nothing to do with Christianity.
    Blessed are those who loot and crush over others and get rich as PFDJ does , PFDJ do not say blessed are the poor and the meek Eritrean. This relentless attempt to blame Eritrean, the victim is a key tenet of the PFDJ, and it plays a critical role in how they seek to manipulate, brainwash, and recruit new Hafash members. The PFDJ is a cancer in academia, and actively promotes a deep-seated hostility to Eritrean intellectual and to all things intellectual and have obliterated any sense of community? PFDJ ruling establishment now seeks to profit off of the brainwashed, alienated, atomized, and broken people left in its wake – as Eritrean ’s lost souls can be charged a fee simply to attend festival celebration and spicily those in diaspora, they happy to meet and mingle and someone from PFDJ talk to them. and PFDJ hard core members feel empowered to determine whose political views are reasonable and rational and whose are not. making rational political discourse all but impossible. And as facts mean very little to Hafash members. PFDJ demagoguery, and anti-intellectualism. And it is PFDJ who dismiss any attempt at meaningfully addressing what is alienating Eritrea and PFDJ created a catastrophic political problem, which in all cases they actually helped to create catastrophic in the first place. The dire need for profound political and economical change in this failed nation and very troubled nation, felt so acutely by millions of suffering alienating Eritreans, is anathema to devout followers of the PFDJ demagogue. the result and end game of NUSOU dogma is to manipulate and brainwash Eritreans citizen into surrendering oneself their intelligence mind, body, and spiritual soul to the most dictator power, Eritreans has ever known. Sadly, and unfortunately, that they and they alone are to blame for their sorrows predicament. and which will eventually will condemn them to a slow suffering and torturous death of self, mindlessness, purposeless, soullessness, and sadly the basest and abject dehumanization.
    like any extremist be it Muslim or Christian fundamentalist regurgitate their cult-like end of time dogma. This lamentable and base dogma serves a profoundly reactionary purpose. And while Islam have Quran and a prophet, Christianity has the bible, the father, the son, and the holy ghost, the PFDJ offers a and their hatred of the Eritrean, PFDJ want only total submission to the PFDJ,the Mass (Hafash)and their whim ERA media and the whims of the PFDJ ruling establishment, and a deeply irrational political manifesto and belief that therapy alone can act as a panacea and an elixir for all of Eritrean misery and suffering. PFDJ preach to their lost soul flock that happiness bears no relationship to Eritrean political and socio-economic factors. PFDJ offer nothing to the mind and suppress the soul. PFDJ maintain their identity only by rejecting everything foreign. Their political literature, and their by gone era philosophies continue to repeat the old Marxist ideas and do not penetrate beyond the circle of dead ideology . PFDJ Marxist ideology is not combatable with Eritrean society for Muslims and Christians, it Is compatible with PFDJ evil? clearly stated in the New Testament say about the moral life of a Christian Eritrean?
    Eritrean , Christians should be marked by their love (John 13:35; 1. Christians are admonished to “abhor that which is evil” (Romans 12:9), “bless them” that persecute them (Romans 12:14), “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18), “avenge not” themselves (Romans 12:19), “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21), “follow after the things which make for peace” (Romans 14:19), to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and to “seek peace, and ensue it” (1 Peter 3:11).
    Indeed, the PFDJ ruling establishment, like illiterate and misguided mullah or a priests, the PFDJ serve a similar function as reactionary priests of the prosperity ministry and other extreme right wing religious leaders have done throughout recent history. As PFDJ ruling establishment, they serve themselves no other purpose than to turn the masses (Hafash) into mindless and illiterate sheep that cannot reflect and think for their interest only themselves to blame, and who they lead down a path of ignorance, foolishness, and self-loathing. One difference between the PFDJ and the traditional religions of the world, is that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, their holy books and truly captivating and are actually based on beautifully written texts, whereas the PFDJ, is communism ideology is rooted in such a hideous Machiavellian Orwellian jargon put together that it would make Machiavelli and George Orwell themselves blush to look at it.

  • MS

    Selam All
    Do we have to repeat or republish every comment we have so far made on this subject? I’m boycotting Ali Salim article (or have I?) simply because we sweated on it while he was enjoying the fray from his hiding. neza selam’qua…Besides what is the likelihood that we will get some folks to know that, as they debate in this forum, there are documents, agreements, programs, and constitutional matters that are being discussed behind doors, in our name, by individuals very few Eritreans recognize? Let’s get this straight: the first constitution was written by founders of Eritrea (like it or not), they were experts, gentlemen and women, of the greatest generation whose only object was to come up with a realistically workable constitution. Was it flawless? depends on how you look at it. I see many flaws. But constitutions are meant to be a bit flawed because they are the products of man who happens to be somewhat biased at the time of writing (revolutionary fervor, ideological, political, etc). It is naive to expect that the next constitutional document will ever be a flawless one. Surely, some folks will object it. I guess the only untouchable and all-perfect is only God’s constitution. That one also continues to be assailed by science; hence, the works of reforming, re-interpreting the Holly Scriptures continues to make their pronouncements concur with scientific findings. Constitutions are written with the assumption that sociopolitical settings and their fluid status are so complex that there is no way one can come up with a document that carries a lasting perfection. Constitutions grow with the growth of society, through legal and political challenges. That is why we have courts, and armies of lawyers. The final interpretation of a legal or constitutional issue is left for the courts. It is absurd to think that a project that employed so many constitutional experts, a project that has gone through stages of deliberations could be dismissed by few lines. IsamilAA, Emma, Ali and the rest are hereby invited to list links of legal articles, books, references…that condemn the 1997 constitution to death (I mean condemn to death, not criticize it for we all do criticize it) . Of course, I’m jotting these lines while enjoying my triple shot late, and I will not take myself as an authority on the matter. Those who feel you have valid points (apart from qomish adey hankiluni) Eneho feres eneho golgol. Give us expertly works that condemns it to death. “Here is the horse and there you have the vast field….Gallop, bring the evidence. You bring that , I will bring links of works that give the document positive feedback… KOys?
    For all practical matters the 1997 constitution is debunked. RIP. However, I should thank all those gentlemen and women of the constitutional Commission who hailed from all of our ethnic groups, religions, regions and political backgrounds, patriots who had no ulterior motive other than to create a point of common departure for all of us, and a basic referential document for our political life. Anarchists don’t like talking about national unity; idealists don’t have a realistic anchor and reference (that’s why they are called idealists); they do generate random bursts of ideas, depending on their mood, and the books and movies they have finished. I’m confident my kids are safe with me, and the last check shows that their ears are safe from biting (Haha..Abu Ulwa, on personal level, nothing but love and respect, but your politics is driving me nuts. I will pass the dead versus martyr. Let us accept the fact that there will be individuals who mock them. I wish those individuals mocked people like me, who are alive and could have done better. Having said that:
    The constitution tried to strike a balance between national unity and individual/local/group rights. The USA constitution struck that issue by its Senate/House chambers and relevant electoral laws and the ever-changing of congressional districts (not perfect but still works). Eritrean constitution of 1997 was written with the fact that relative national unity had been achieved and it only espoused to design means that would nurture that unity. Ali Salim, we will always have individuals and pockets who will complain. The fact, however, is that Eritreans were united in their desire to have a common destiny as shown during the armed struggle, and in the referendum that ensued where 99.83% voted to have their own nation- that means 99.83% agreed to live together. Without their unity we would not have May 24, 1991, without their unity we would not have 99.83% result of “yes for independence”, and without the sense of belonging Eritreans feel towards each other and their desire to keep their social harmony, Eritrea would have been in ashes considering the sectarian provocations that have been directed to its people for the last 26 years.
    Did I miss to tell you that I’m mad at you? I think have already told you that.
    Regards.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Ustaz MS,

      Good that you stated tha we are debating a “debunked” document. Thanks to Awate forum that every one of us is having his or her day scribbling views on writings that hit the front page. The issue of the constitution is no different. About death verdict of the matter, well the very person who had allowed its making has already condemned it to deat and the execution had already taken place because he said he intended to write a new one. Thus, neither its fans nor its critics would breath life into it. What we are doing is simply appraising its merits and de-merits for sake of the future.

      On the challenge to come up with condemnation to death list of publications, you have already preempted the issue by imposing unlikely condition. You seem to have preempted the views of the critics with the assumption that all of them were unanimous on keeping the document alive. I mean criticism can range from extreme to another.

  • blink

    Dear all
    It’s is simply irrelevant what kind of music you play to people in comma , it doesn’t matter if you play cotton -eye Joe ( if it hadn’t been for cotton-joe , I would been married along time ago) thing or the 1996 jebha abay thing a guy with Kirar talking the bravery of brave people who has done their job while he was in some where , I hate chira wata , I mean I don’t think it is a musical instrument , I don’t have the taste for such music , I mean I am too young for such music, it is simply irrelevant and some times I feel Chira wata is played by sick people and loved bystanders, sorry that is how I understand it . , it doesn’t matter , for what ever reason it seems they are up in arms to paint the document with PFDJ Hade libi Hade Hizbi thing , if we are one hearted people, why would we need a constitution?? Does that surprise me or any one , no . What I want to tell is the few people who has been feeling the heat will again feel cornered because the Eritrea people’s resolve do pass them all , I mean All dictator, regionalists , religionists, part affiliates all. We are for a very long night and we will see who wakes up on the morning. Again I used to dance cotton joe , caw boy Ready to go . Mr. Ismael , that he or she thing is – HE .

    • Peace!

      Hi blink,

      Everyone is entitled to his opinion just like you recently painted all muslims in the opposition as jihadists. I think we should be grateful for diverse opinions and solid efforts by all conscious individuals here in this forum.

      Peace!

      • blink

        Dear peace
        That all ?? Come you can copy Paste the comment, I think I was referring to Bayto members, all Muslims in the opposition as jihadists ?? I must apologies for that , if I ever said such. I don’t drink sir and if I ever drink I can not pass out to say such.

    • Haile S.

      Dear Blink,
      Please listen to masinko No2 (D.J Arik Tomer). Google it. I hope it will persuade you to like chera wata.
      Regards

      • Legacy

        Hi Haile,

        I don’t understand, why wound they banish this affliction i.e sax in Tigrigna . Chira Watta is capable of replacing sax in Tigrigna. The worst of all crimes is even when they double feature both Sax and Chira Wata.

        Cardinal sin #2 is Synthesized Kerberos.This , for the love of me I don’t get it. It is irritatingly monotonous and lacks character. The Ghanaians have Kerberos the size of a grown adult that are pushed by four strong men while a drummer in the middle cranks it which is quiet a riveting experience.

        A great Tigrigna toppings : Mascular Bass Guitar accompanied by a timid Lead Guitar; Robust Chira Watta and Kerberos( I am not sure if manual Kerbero is plausible but I will settle for a drum kebro).

        • Haile S.

          Thank you, Legasy. You sound analytical and knowlegeable. One of the things I use to enjoy is listening to WaTa of the old times (ዋጣ አንዳ ስዋ ኣብ እግሪ ኣባ ሻውል), but couldn’t easily find a good tigrigna oldie, ኣንቲ ሓዳር ጌርኪ ሰሚዔ ብወረ kind.

  • Thomas

    Hi awatista,
    For a change, I invite you to listen to one the most talented musician we have Abrar Osman & Fitsum Beraki single album. It is titled as”bahgi Leni”. Enjoy!!

  • saay7

    Hi Ismailom:

    The reason your post keeps appearing and disappearing is because (a) it includes a word that awates disqus doesn’t like and (b) you keep editing it.

    The word is he/she and it must be some old editorial bias awate has against it that strikes it. And every time it is approved, you edited it, which puts it on cue again.

    Will have more to say on Ali salims post later. It is a first: it’s the first derivative and retread article I have ever read from Ali Salim so maybe he does require those long sabbaticals to come up with his unique perspective.

    And unless we invented a time machine (why not), I don’t see how the Hade hzbi Hade lbi slogan which was adopted during the Badme wars (1998-2000) incluenced the constitution (1994-1997.). But I will have more to say on this and Ali Salims weak tea later on.

    saay

    • Ismail AA

      Dear saay7,

      Thank you for you lesson on disqus’ disciplinary measures. You know what, I am one of those who is addicted to editing. I think it is from days at publishing unit of the ELF foreign information. But nowadays, the situation has worsened due to the new gadgets (smartphones we use) and sluggish typing skills some of us suffer from. I try to correct things at every gaze. I will try to learn though or do the typing on home pc.

      I regard to Ali’s “weak tea” type, the guys is very smart and he has warned us that his piece was just good enough for the comments page and not front page but decided to post it. I must, moreover, mention in passing, while awaiting your take, which is always anticipated to add new perspectives to our discussions, my exposure that “Hade hzbi Hade lbi” stuff goes back to the days of hectic public relations campaigns during the liberation euphoria days. Where I was staying then (Khartoum) we had frequent visits by ranking schoolmate friends from the EPLF to persuade us that the people have become united in liberated Eritrea and repeatedly stressed that “hizbi hade libi koynu iyu zekone neger ab dega ayqbelin iyu”. In fact, I had no clue the slogan has been adopted during the war. But, the cliche was alive and kicking well before the border war. It could have been given currency and highlight as war slogan.

      • saay7

        Hala Ismailom:

        In the movie, Thank You For Smoking, a cigarette salesman and a movie producer are talking about something of mutual benefit to them: product placement. The cigarette manufacturer (Nick Taylor) will pay a lot of money to the movie production company (Jeff Megall) to display their product on screen, woven as part of the story. Here’s how it goes:

        Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they’re looking to make. Message From Sector Six. All takes place in a space station. They’re actively looking for some co-financing.
        Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
        Jeff Megall: It’s the final frontier, Nick.
        Nick Naylor: But wouldn’t they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
        Jeff Megall: Probably. But it’s an easy fix. One line of dialogue. ‘Thank God we invented the… you know, whatever device.’ [beat] Brad Pitt. Catherine Zeta-Jones. They’ve just finished ravishing each other’s bodies for the first time. They lie naked, suspended in air underneath the heavens. Pitt lights up. He starts blowing smoke rings all around Catherine’s naked, flawless body, as the galaxies go whizzing by over the glass-domed ceiling. Now, tell me that doesn’t work for you.
        Nick Naylor: I’d see that movie.
        Jeff Megall: I’d buy the goddamn DVD. [beat] You know, if the Academy didn’t send them to me for free. [beat] You know, you guys ought to think about designing a cigarette to be released simultaneously with the movie.
        Nick Naylor: Sector Sixes.
        Jeff Megall: Nobody’s ever done it with a cigarette.
        Nick Naylor: Wow.

        +++
        On the constitution, there is an easy fix for everything that you raise: amendment. There is a fix for everything, if one approaches the issue with the attitude of fixing it rather than blowing it up. I mean, for God’s sake, even the US constitution which didn’t recognize African Americans as fully human was fixed with an amendment. Even the Canadian constitution which didn’t have a Bill of Rights was fixed with an amendment, although, its preamble still doesn’t recognize agnostics and atheists as full citizens:) And all this talk about preamble: you do know that in some cases, the preamble is, like a Table of Contents, written AFTER the articles are written, right? Paging Dr. Bereket: Was the preamble that everybody seems to be so hang up on written before or after the articles of the constitution…

        I will be back:)

        saay

        • Ismail AA

          Dear saay7,

          Do you know why I anticipate your take on any piece that appears on the front page? It’s because I know your resourcefulness would come with a bonus or two. This time, too, you didn’t let down. Thanks for the sum up of the movie I didn’t see before.

          Now let be begin this brief rejoinder with ” If one doesn’t hold a grudge that they didn’t receive an invitation card with a bow on it.”. First hand, it is an assumption to the say the least because it calls for substantiation. If I am allowed to speak for the organization I belonged to when the constitution was planed and entered drafting process, I can be unequivocal and assert that we never entertained any grudge not alone for the so called invitation “with a bow on it” but also the EPLF-TPLF concerted aggression and the blood that was spilt. I think this needs no further detailing since you know how politics had been unfolding ever since save adding that my organization handed over its heavy weapons to the ELPF when it needed them against the enemy forces as well as agreeing to sent one third of the highest echelon of our leadership to Asmara knowing all the risk an erratic behavior of the EPLF and its strong man. I am sure you won’t read anything near “grudge” in all this. Thus, assuming people like me who express views on the constitution that its owners have discarded is not fair at all.

          All we are saying is that the process that was flawed and excluded significant sectors of the people including thousands of refugees in Sudan and elsewhere had produced flaw and divisive document. Such a proces should be mercilessly appraised to avoid whimsical replay of it by current or even any faulty representation in future.

          • saay7

            Hala Ismailom:

            In an ideal world, the Eritrean political parties of 1994, ELF and ELF-RC would have been invited as political parties to negotiate with the CCE. I believe at the time the ELF-RC offered to give its input to the CCE.

            Now let me fast forward to 2004 when your organization, ELF-NC (formerly part of the ELF-RC) wrote its political programme to include 1 Eritrea is a unitary state as its foundational principle. That’s 7 years after the constitution was ratified and 13 years after one party rule. What is there to tell us (in any of the documents of ELF and ELF-RC) that they would have made material change to the constitution that they are now collectively condemning? And if there is little or none, is it unreasonable to assume that it’s all “I was disrespected?” And is that enough to set us back to rewriting things and to dismiss the contribution of hundreds of thousands of Eritreans who, in earnest, worked on a constitution to be the supreme law of the land?

            With all respect!

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,
            Thank you. “disrespected” is more compassionate than “grudge”. But the issue has nothing to do with both. It had much to do with domination and exclusion not merely of the political leadership per se but whole constituencies. We are talking about politics here. Since we were equal in advocating ideas and aspiration enshrined in programs, military advantage should not rule out the right of possessors and advocators of those aspirations, especially when know very well how that military upper hand had been attained. You would not dispute the source of that military edge was not entirely domestic. Your, moreover, realize it happened with the referendum and continued through the transition and the constitution making.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailom:

            This is not my favorite part of Eritrean history specially when one substitutes anecdotal and personal knowledge for scientific data. My assessment is:

            1. Whatever anger the people had towards EPLF for the civil war and eviction of ELF from the field, they more than forgave it for evicting the Derg and bringing about the conclusion of the armed struggle;

            2. Whatever justifications the ELF-RC had for its position on the referendum, it had placed itself on the fringes of public opinion and showed itself as rigid (that was not the hill to die protecting);

            3. And so, just a year later when the constitutional drafting process started, there wasn’t a groundswell calling for ELF and ELF-RC to be treated right.

            This was of course later on repeated with the Badme War where its position was perceived as being against public opinion.

            It is entirely possible that at every stage I mentioned public opinion was wrong and the ELF and ELF-RC were right, but like you said, this is politics and in politics, public opinion is always right.

            You may say well the same thing can be said about the various position since then–sanctions, commission of inquiry–and I would say the new opposition is better at public relations than the ELFs ever were and at least they split public opinion.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,

            1. I do understand your reluctance to engage in events that are burdened more by politics than proper tools of historical assessment. Actually that is what my school training taught me. But in our situation as Eritreans we cannot escape the trap of politics.

            2. Regarding the contention that the EPLF leadership had been handsomely absolved of its share of mistakes in the civil by the mere fact it happened to lead the end phase of the liberation war does not do justice to those whose rights were ignored to participate in the groundwork of their country. The truism is that there is no end without beginning. Those who led during the hardest phase of the struggle were still alive and waiting in exile.

            3. On the ELF-RC and its positions on the referendum and drafting of the constitution, is it fair to speak about the verdict of public opinion? Is it fair to substitute liberation euphoria backed propaganda of the regime for public opinion measured by standard tools of influencing citizens’ views such as free press etc.? Furthermore, it is just normal that the later opposition to have fared better in public relations than the ELF. But does not the time factor be considered? I think the old oppositions should get credit for the mere fact they had correctly assessed and warned which way the ELPF inner leaderhip was heading.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            Our brother Saay is telling us that it doesn’t matter whether you are right or wrong as long as the political public opinion is against you. Now let us check what this statement means to the one who said it and to those of us at the receiving end of his message. Let me start with what he mean our Saay:

            (a) For Saay himself the winner is winner no matter the win it and no matter what will ensue from this wining.

            (b) For Saay the winner takes is a practical realities of life. So let us be practical and accept it.

            (c) Saay is telling us that the Eritrean public love winning no matter what it cost and no matter how oppressive regime they could have.

            (d) For Saay and his likes, they believe on incremental change by keeping the status quo, no matter how small it is, and no matter how bad the public are suffocating and dying from the consequence of the behavior of the status quo.

            Now let me come for those who are right despite the public is against them:

            (a) The first fight is with yourself , and that is to be always right. History will absolve you as righteous on the issue of your people and your nation. Public opinion will change when realities in turn hunted them by the fact of adoring the winner always.

            (b) Be winners of goodness for the public than winners by “might is right.” Be winners of values of sharing than winners for yourself only.

            (c) Be proponent of unity by equitable sharing than winners of unity by force and coercion.

            (d) Be sympathetic to the agony of the marginalized and fight with them side by side to create an Eritrea for all.

            (e) finally there is no more gratifying than to fight for the weak and disenfranchised section of your society. All of us will die but let us leave to the new generation a principled fight and a noble fight that our people could live in harmony and peaceful coexistence caring to each other

            Regard

          • saay7

            Dear Emma:

            I hope someday I get meet this SAAY you just mentioned and his views you summarized.

            Saay

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY; hahahahahaha, now that is funny. lol One thing they failed to understand is that there is a big difference between fantasy and practicality. You are trying to be realistic.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            I am more eager than you to meet him, to have a cup of coffee or tea (not beers), and chat with him. I believe prof Saay lives in the Los Angels area.

            Regards

  • Aron

    Hi Salim,
    I have stopped reading your articles because your bias towards tigrigna, Christianity and the habesha identity in genreal and eritrean unity in particular is sickening and disgusting. I was following the discussion on the constitution however with high interest in the last tread and here you come writing an insult calling suwuat as spooky dead ruling the grave.

    The eritrea you want to break up so badly wouldn’t be without their sacrifices. if a tribute to them pains you so much, well tough… our suwuat going going to be mentioned forever even in bejastan if it ever makes it.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Ismailo,

    Well put and well argued. But still there are individuals who will still distort our views. The problem with this individual is, they don’t see our views as views of individual citizens who have great concern on the nature of the document. They always try to attach to our backgrounds. Not that we are not proud on our background, but b/c it is an already sealed history. We don’t criticize only on the process how they get to produce the document as Younis Hussein characteterize us. We also exposed the flaws of the document in its content and spirit. Flaws on its governmental strucure it depicts, flaws on handling the issues of language and land, and flaws on addressing the concerns of our diversity.

    Our argument is written on the wall in a crystal clear. But they are telling us that we are rejecting it because of our ELF background. On the flip side would it be fair to tell them that they are supporting it b/c it was drafted by EPLF. No, it has never been our intention and will never be our intention. We criticized and objected not only on its process but on its demerits and its consequence if we go for it. How can this be difficult to see it that is already in the public domain. The problem with the supporters of the document is, they can not challenge our arguments with substances and disprove our argument on all accounts of its flaws. Let us go with it and amend it in the process, for a document had never seen on the ground its implementation is not an argument at all. They have to face the realities of the document, not only it is divisive but it will create an authoritarian regime a continuation of the current evil regime.

    Regards

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Amanuel H.,

      It seems to me that you are disconnected from the reality of Eritrea. By this, I do not mean to say that there is no dictatorship in Eritrea. What I am saying is that, in Eritrea, What is, is and what will be, will be. This is not fatalism, but realism.

      I urge you to ponder and keep in touch with the concrete facts in Eritrea [which I have repeatedly referred to], and remember the binding contract you entered by supporting and joining a guerrilla movement, which is different from a Scandinavian Social Democratic party.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam SK,

        Simon, dictatorship is always dictatorship no matter what. But you are hinting that there are reversible and irreversible dictatorship. Leaving your classification aside for now, what kind of dictatorship do we have in Eritrea? is it reversible or irreversible? Second what is your position on the constitution? Are you with those who defend the 1997 document? or are you from the PFDJites who will draft a new document on behalf of the Eritrean people?

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Amanuel H.,

          Some dictatorships are irreversible; they will not be satisfied with controlling your wealth, but they will also make sure to control your mind, erase your culture, history and identity.

          The 1997 Constitution is a good starting point, what Eritrea can afford at this point in its history. But, I will stiffen it in some places, such as banning ethnic, regional and religious parties [if it does do that already]. I will also make a specific emphasis on the secular Eritrean Military being the protector of the secular constitution.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            You didn’t answer my first question. What kind of dictatorship is ours?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            Obviously, it is reformable and reversible.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            what are the behaviors of reformable or reversible dictators? how did dictator Issayas exhibits those behaviors to understand him that he is reformable and that he will reverse his dictatorship? Convince me with tangible examples.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            You see, you are concentrating on individual traits of a ruler, which is an erroneous approach.

            Individual traits have a role in determining policy, but on the main, individuals themselves are products of society.

            Dictatorships are reformable. Outcomes of reforms are not always ideal, but they will improve life for the individual and society in a step-wise manner. My prime example for reform is the former Soviet bloc. Individuals who were pillars of the system managed to reform the system from within.

            In Eritrea, the G15, themselves products of a guerrilla movement, were well placed to refine and reform the system, but they blew it because they lacked a fine touch by not following their organisation’s traditions.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            Could you just answer his question without “you see…You are”? And perhaps there are also readers who are interested to learn about the nature of dictatorship, and whether PFDJ is reversible or irreversible?

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Peace,

            Refer to my reply above.

          • Peace!

            HI SK,

            I just did, and unfortunately you failed to answer a question about something you tried to lecture, funny ha! Nonetheless, what is ironic about you is, of course not personal, that your attitude toward justice lacks moral ground, and perhaps that’s the reason why your frequent two line comment/joke goes straight to bin.

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            You are a lost and confused soul.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            See you just proved me right: a card carrying PFDJite saying “You are a confused and lost soul.” because the dictator he worships is reversible so his soul, morals, ethics, and integrity are all in tact. Defar do yesheka wey xefar?

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            You are dazed and confused. Clearly, you do not have any meaningful thing to say.

            I suggest you crawl back to your cave.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            Lol…As a blind PFDJ supporter (nehna nsu essu nihna), you are not qualified to say “You are dazed and confused” leave that to morally conscious people, and what meaningful thing have you said lately other than trying to fool us with your pathetic lesson: dictatorship abklite Y’mkel reversible and irreversible? My guess is you are cheating on you psychiatrist 🙂

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            Do not blow hot air here. If you have got the guts, pack your bags and go to Eritrea to bring about regime change. But, I am certain you will not do this because you are a coward.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            I simply could copy and past my previous replies, but since you are in denial, it won’t make any difference. My humble advice to you is take a deep breath and ask yourself why I am supporting DIA, the most brutal dictator on earth, who is killing, torturing, starving, imprisoning his own people, and taking the hard earned country downhill? And see where it goes, I am more than happy to help 🙂

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            It seems that your thick skull is having problems in comprehending what I said.

            Do not be all talk and no action. Be a man, pack your bags, go back to Eritrea to fight for regime change. This does not depend on who I support.

          • Peace!

            Sk

            Lol…We are not talking about regime change here rather we are trying to figure out what goes wrong in your head every time you try to defend the most brutal dictator in modern history? Guess who needs your advice,YPFDJ?

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            You are a coward. All talk, no action.

          • Peace!

            SK,

            Haha…I keep thinking what else could be because PFDJ is too broke to pay you to do the dirty job you are doing shamelessly? help me out here, and yes, I am aware of your boring “talk talk no action” joke 🙂

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            What are you? Are you a supporter of the ‘opposition’ or the PFDJ?

            During Ghedli, there were some Eritreans who were contributing money to the Derg and the EPLF at the same time. Are you one of those? Tell us more, this is not a laughing matter.

            Peace, also prove to me that you are not a windbag and coward.

          • Peace!

            KS,

            Haha…that’s easy one, but first, answer my question: how would you justify your conscious support of the monster, one of the top10 worst dictators? money, land, bond, or bigotry…

            Peace!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            You proved that you are a coward, skirting past my questions.

            Elsewhere, you mentioned you are an accountant. Accounting is a dead subject that has no prospect of intellectual growth. You must be thick headed “dedeb” to study this subject.

            Your epitaph reads: Peace the spread betting specialist, a glorified bookkeeper and a coward.

          • Peace!

            KS

            Haha… your vocabulary is very impressive, except that You have nothing good to do with it other than to display your bigotry and glorify PFDJ. Isn’t that sad?

            Just curious though when was the last time you visited Eritrea? Are you one of the ዘይተነግሩ ስውኣት? ኢህ ዳኣ ህግደፍሲ 🙁

            Peace?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Peace,

            The glorified book keeper, spread betting specialist and windbag.

            Why don’t you share your plans with us on how to effect regime change?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Peace Hello,

            Why are you typing KS to type SK ,,,is that by mistake? SK is the abbreviation to mention — Simon Kaleab ..

            KS , (KOKHOB SELAM)

          • Peace!

            Hala KS,

            I just edited it, thank you for point that out. It was a kind of moment… when you argue with a pig you both get dirty, but the pig likes it.

            Peace!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hala Peace.

            Watch your words “when you argue with a pig you both get dirty, but the pig likes it.”
            KS,,

          • Peace!

            Hala KS,

            Will do, thank you!

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Simon,

            You failed to answer my question. You brought the classification, and you told me that ours is from the reversible ones. I asked you what are the behaviors of reversible dictators and how does our dictator exhibits them to understand him whether he is a reformable dictator. You couldn’t answer it, I guess for obvious reason you don’t want to talk about him. If you would have been answered satisfactorily my questions, I would have proceeded to argue with you as to whether your classification are valid or not. You failed to meet my expectation, sorry.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            This is not a school test on the subjects of Mathematics or Physics or any other exact science. I do not want to get bogged down by dwelling on opinion based topics. I answered your questions in a meaningful and in a way that is convenient to me.

            Let us also be reminded that, all of us who post here have no influence on what happens in Eritrea whatsoever. We are just venting our frustrations, raving and ranting at times.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Sir,

    ” ..I will not say much on the key part of the argument that I share with the amazing Hayat and others that the constitution is the preamble and in our case, it establishes a spooky nation ruled by the dead who run the living through proxies called “tegadelti”.

    I try to complete your above article.But I could not complete it, because of what in my mind is the “constitution is dead long back”

    KS..

  • g. michael Tzerai

    HI Mr. Ali Salim,

    Your article on the constitution of 1997 made me go back and re-read it to see if I can follow
    your argument. As always, i find this article enlightening. On the question your posed, ‘Do you still blame the president for dumping the kindergarten constitution?’ you seem to insinuate that he damped the constitution because it is a ‘kindergarten constitution’ and not because the rule of law would limit his power. I am at lose if you apologize on behalf of issayas in disregarding the constitution.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Moderator,
    I tried to be first to comment on Ali’s follow up piece. But I think I am quarantined as Pending. Would you like to release me?.
    Regards

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