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Eritrean Embassy In Saudi Arabia: Nightclubs Unincorporated

It is a well-known fact that the Eritrean ruling party monopolizes the entire Eritrean economy, including the smuggling business. Hundreds of containers arrive at Massawa and they are declared transit goods destined for the Sudan. But somehow, the goods find their way to Eritrean retail outlets, mainly distributed from Tessenei, through the wholesale trade which is primarily controlled by affiliated operators of the ruling party.

The regime killed private enterprise and suffocated business people only to replace them with its own front-men in everything they did, except entrepreneurship. And this is a long established behavior of the regime.

In the nineties of the last century, it was common to witness passengers heading to Asmara via Addis Ababa arriving at Bole Airport with over a dozen large cartons and bags. Eritrean Embassy personnel would be waiting for the “mules” at the airport accompanied by individuals who apparently were there to usher the goods out. Then you observe a number of coolies pushing a caravan of trolley past the customs line, unquestioned. Once the trolleys reach the parking lot, the cartons and bags are loaded into a waiting truck. The following day, maybe the electronic and perfume market, would be awash with Korean or Japanese goods that arrived via Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

In Addis Ababa, if visitors wished to exchange their dollar bills for Ethiopian Birr, they approached one of several innocent-looking exchange agents who masquerade as booksellers or cigarette vendors sitting in a tiny kiosk. They ask, “How much currency do you have?’ Then they immediately call the Eritrean embassy and utter a few unintelligible code words, “snt ale” [How much is it?] Then they drop the phone and in sotto-voce spell the buying price.

A few Eritreans living in Ethiopia considered the nineties an open season to loot; they lent their name to the PFDJ in a fake ownership declaration of business establishments and become a facade for investing the ruling party’s funds. After the honeymoon that extended for a few years ended, it blew on their faces; the storm didn’t settle before it swept numerous innocent, hardworking Eritreans in its wake. And that behavior of the ruling regime is a major contributor to the situation that led to the Badme war; Eritreans suffered gravely and the repercussions of that adventure are still sucking their blood.

Many diaspora Eritreans don’t seem to notice that behavior is being replayed in the West. A few are too young and too fresh to remember, they left Eritrea only recently. While others are stakeholders in the racket and beneficiaries of the proceeds of the PFDJ’s illegal and clandestine enterprises. For example, independent diaspora Eritreans cannot compete against the PFDJ in the nightclub and entertainment business!

In Saudi Arabia, where men and women are segregated, and where liquor and gambling is supposedly banned, the Eritrean embassy provides an alternative, with impunity. It is the only entity in that country that offers parties and gambling services in its premises: Bingo and card games. A casual visit to the embassy managed compounds in Riyadh and Jeddah explains what goes in there. The moment a zealot person discovers that, it will be ‘1998 Ethiopia’ all over again.  However, so far,the diplomatic immunity the embassy enjoys has been an excellent excuse.

While the young, overwhelmingly single, flock to the embassy to party and listen to the “Objective Situation In Our Country“, the elderly frequent the embassy grounds to spend their evenings playing bingo and card games—and in the process they contribute to inflating the PFDJ pockets.

About ten years ago, a diplomat left Jeddah in a rush when the Saudi’s apprehended one of his distributors with Jhonnie Walker bottles in his car boot. When the security officers searched his residence, it yielded crates of liquor bottles, and tens of thousands of Saudi and US currency.

In the West, where party-goers have convinced themselves dancing all night is an act of rebuilding Eritrea, the provider is the Eritrean ruling party through its front men. The hall of every party they organize would be mistaken for a national day parade with flags covering the color of the walls and the ceiling. Some party-goers act as if they are heading to a battle ground to defend Eritreans from “an invasion” by partying in cities tens of miles away. Others wrap themselves in flags and engage in binge, drinking to demonstrate their love of their country and government—the people come distant third, if they are ever remembered. In the wee hours of the morning, intoxicated party-goers disperse walking in zigzag, elated they did their share in defending their country.

Each party is preceded by a ruling party official opening the event (festivals are improvised on the go) and delivers a speech regarding the “Objective situation in our country.”

A day or two later, the media outlets of the Eritrean regime would carry headlines:

Eritrean community members in Israel express readiness to enhance role in State affairs.
Or,
Festival of Eritrean community members in Jeddah concludes.”

Or,
Eritrean community members in Switzerland assert readiness to step up participation in development endeavors.

The titles on the regime media reports consistently read, “The [put a name of a festival that crosses your mind here] was celebrated by Eritreans in [put a name of a city here] with Zeal.”

This time in Saudi Arabia, Fozia Hashim, the lady babysitting the orphaned Ministry of Justice for the ruling regime, “stressed the need for active participation of citizens towards the realization of national development goals with a view to building a nation in which social justice prevails.”

Every official echoes that mouthful sentence, occasionally a little longer. And clips of such events is what the regime broadcasts in television, radio and print for the consumption of its captive audience in Eritrea.

How about those in Israel?

The ruling regime’s website reported that, “Eritrean community members in the Israeli cities … expressed readiness to enhance role in State affairs through enhanced organizational capacity.

Feel free to contact the PFDJ for an explanation of that since not many understand what it means. However, Tesfamariam Tekeste, the ruling party’s ambassador to Israel, seems to be the “enhancer.”

To have an insight, our reporter talked to several of those who recently escaped from slave labor and oppression in Eritrea, went through the horrors of Sinai and paid ransom to reach Israel, but never missed a chance to attend a PFDJ function!

Very few Eritreans left their country before the seventies. Until then, they either suffered silently in their country, or, were pushed to exile in Sudan as refugees, or, carried guns and fought the Ethiopian occupation. Eritrean diaspora is a relatively new phenomenon. That is why in the mid seventies, people who left for the Arab Gulf, mainly Saudi Arabia, made sure to return to Sudan the minute they saved enough for the trip. Every Eritrean remembers how those who left a short time earlier returned looking as fresh as a bride with makeup, gold chains adorning their neck, and carrying a handbag known as “Kezaba” where they stash their papers, passport and money. They impressed those they left behind by telling them how much they were earning in Saudi Arabia and what type of cars they own.

If you thought human needs to boast is dead, realize you are wrong. If you thought that need could not be contemplated in this era, you are wrong.

The first few years after one leaves his country are extremely nostalgic. Assimilation is veritably difficult and if one could break that nostalgic agony by returning home for a month, to show off and ameliorate the nostalgia, that is what anyone would do.

Frequenting the regime sponsored parties puts your name in the safe list of the regime and provides the security you need when you visit home. The ruling party has devised a system to exploit this human need: it offers “Regret Papers” for those who escaped Eritrea to fill up and sign. Subsequently, they pay the fees, pay for a passport and transfer their money through the PFDJ system. Once they arrive in Eritrea they assign half of their time to visit their family, friends and roam the streets of their childhood. The other half of the time is allocated to showing off and entertaining themselves and their friends. How much does a bottle of beer cost? Seven Nakfa. How much is that in Dollars? Twenty-five cents. What? Okay, fetch us 50 bottles!

See! Nothing comforts the ego than being able to spend in front of your peers, particularly for a nostalgic person. And that is the reason why a considerable chunk of the newly arrived escapees from Eritrea are party-goers. Those who fill out asylum application papers with heart-wrenching narrative of their ordeal, return to PFDJ ruled Eritrea to visit in a year or so. But this time, they are cash cows for the regime and they do not bother them or round them up with the local youth who cannot be milked of anything but their sweat—and their sweat and blood production has already been confiscated by the ruling party since a long time!

For a young Eritrean stuck in the “national service” projects for countless years and prefers to stay in his country, unfortunately the only way out for him is to cross the border, reach to place where they pay in hard-currency, submit a “Regret Paper” at the nearest Eritrean embassy, and in about a year, return home a relatively free person. And that is the push and pull factors forcing the youth to leave their country. And that explains why a considerable chunk of the newly arrived are regular customers of the parties organized by the PFDJ Nightclubs Unincorporated.

About Awate Team

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

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  • Shum

    Selam Awatistas,

    I’m starting to see a pattern on this discussion board. Several articles go up about many topics having nothing to do with Ethiopia or very little, as in the case of saay’s last article. Somehow, the topic turns to Ethiopia or a discussion occurs between Eritreans and Ethiopians about nonsense. There will be the usual Eritrean ostriches who see an Ethiopian conspiracy behind everything. Then we are treated to multiple barrages from the usual Ethiopian posters who carry one or more of this type of message:

    1. The young Ethiopians don’t know you. The older ones don’t care about you. You’re insignificant. Now, remember some of this is coming from some of the top posters on Awate, an Eritrean site. Who knows why they do this, bitterness, personal issue, ax grinding. The point is who cares. If they don’t know us or they don’t care about us, why are they here? What meaningful discussion can we have with people who don’t want to engage you?

    2. Here’s one that I like best for its utter stupidity: You have an identity complex from Italians. Oh by the way, since you’ve become your own country, please return our Ethiopian culture (food, clothing, language). The stupidity is that they can’t both be true. And politics and culture are two different things.

    3. Here’s a negative encounter I had with some Eritreans. Ergo, most or all Eritreans are like this. It is so UnHabesha-like. We, Ethiopians, behave in much better ways, blah, blah, blah.

    4. Mengistu and Haile Selassie were good to us above all Ethiopians. All of our stories of hardship, oppression and desire to be our own nation is just made up or exaggerated. We’re just ungrateful, that’s all.

    5. You Eritreans are hate filled with empty pride. The only thing that brings you together is your hate for Ethiopia. Never mind, we occasionally get together for weddings, places of worship,

    funerals, coffee shops, community activities, holidays, hanging out. You know, things that normal people do. Things that no one questions except bigots who stereotype people as exceptions to the human race. The point is why are we wasting time engaging with people who hold these points of view. Yeah, it’s weird that they keep coming back but tell us we’re not relevant to them. But that’s what trolls do. There are plenty of Ethiopians who favor rapprochement. Look at the postings by Horizon, Crocus, derbew, Amde and others. You don’t have to agree with their point of view, but they are presenting their proposals and ideas respectfully and again they favor rapprochement. Plus, they’re not a**holes. That’s a big plus. That matters when holding discussion on the web. So, please ignore the others.

    Awate Team,

    Since we’ll have these folks who can’t make up their mind if they’ve forgotten about us or not, I have a proposal that I’ve made before. Create a page for them. It’ll be sort of a virtual room with rubber walls where they can tell us 24/7 how much they don’t want to engage us or have any sort of relationship between our two countries. Give them a nice logo. They can have a feedback page where innocent Ethiopians can submit stories of terrifying encounters they’ve had with Eritreans. We can throw Nitricc in there to keep them company from time to time when he has the itch. It’ll help them build group cohesion which is important for these fragile individuals.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Hi Abinet;
    That was better; Ethiopia’s good is also Eritrea’s good. No party benefits from no-war-no-peace-no trade situation. I hope Ethiopians like you would put the pressure on their government to abide by the agreement it signed, and withdraw its forces from undisputed Eritrean territories. The fact that Ethiopia is holding on these territories is economically harmful to the country, as you mention it, but even more damaging to the Eritreans. As you know, we’ve a tyranny in our country that is using this deadlock on the border issue as an excuse to reject rule of law and respect of our human rights.
    If Ethiopia withdraws from these areas, it would be a win-win situation. Ethiopia would concentrate more on its development; while the displaced Eritreans may return to their land and rebuild their lives. At the same time; the PFDJ would lose its lame excuse to continue on its oppressive policies towards the Eritrean People.
    I think the reason why Ethiopia woudn’t like to withdraw is politically motivated. The Ethiopian government wishes to create a failed state in Eritrea, resulting from the lengthy status-quo of no-peace-no-war. But in the meantime, the Ethiopian government seems to have forgotten that it is the Eritrean People which is paying the largest price, not the PFDJ tyrants.

    • Abinet

      This has been my stand from day one . I always ask why fight for a piece of land after we lost the whole eritrea. I know the sacrifice paid for it . But, I do not want it to hold us back. I like to move forward not to look back. The future is more promising . I like to forget about eritrea . That is why I strongly oppose the use of Assab port or any kind of cooperation . I also believe time heals.
      Now that I made my stand clear one more time , I like to tell you a very timely but very old Amharic proverb.
      “KeAbro adegih gar atsaded”
      If your Amharic is so so, get help from dawit.

      • dawit

        Now Abnet, you are talking sensible point, Ethiopia does not need Assab to develop its economy and Eritrea does not need to integrate its economy to develop itself. No blood sucking dramas. Both can exist as two independent neighboring countries. What the two countries need is peace so that each concentrate in their respective economies. As you said why cry over a piece of dry land, when you have lost the whole? That is the puzzle that I don’t understand either. Please share your wisdom to the rest Ethiopians who are masquerading her at AT for regaining Assab and keeping that dry land at Bademe That will reduce the ugly exchanges of insults here at AT. It is written in the bible ‘Only the Truth make us Free’. Lies will only lead us into confusion and disagreements..

        • Abinet

          Dawit
          I know you are talking about Horizon . I have the highest respect for him. You and I belong to the same boat . You and I have convinced ourselves there is no relationship left to salvage. You think the umbilical cord is damaged for good in 1998 , I say in 1991. Horizon is looking for any reason to keep the umbilical cord attached . He thinks our r/p is salvageable . As he said, he wants Assab as an umbilical cord. He also urges to do it now before it is a little bit too late. You see how he wants the r/p to contiue?
          As to me , it is a different story.
          Let me tell you how I got into trouble because of Badme.
          It was just at the end of the stupid war, I was with friends in one of the bars in Piazza taking about the war . Actually that was the main topic almost everyday . One of my friends was so animated about the “victory” . He was telling how the army tought a good lesson to eritrea and so on. When he finished I said , ” now we should give it back to them as a punishment for losing the war. And we force them to develop this arid land so it will consume all their time and resources .they will never bother us again. ” I was called kehadi, banda and more. The worst thing my ex-friends don’t talk to me to this day.

          • dawit

            Abnet, Yes we are in the same boat, it is good for both countries at this stage of their history, and who knows what future generation will think, they may want to join as one country or separate countries. We Africans dream to create a united Africa some time in the future. That was a dream created 50+ years ago when our leaders launched OAU. I was small boy but I vividly remember it first time Television came to our country. Now Abnet how do we imagine to create an African Union with people in East, West, South or North Africa, if Ethiopia and Eritrea are at peace? I am not against union of Ethiopian and Eritrean people coming together willingly, I oppose unity by force of territories land or sea. Such kind of unity is a disaster I have seen it all my life. That is why I bitterly oppose such people from both sides. I oppose also anyone who try to distort the noble history of both people, that can create enmity. Here is an Amharic proverb for you to contemplate.

            እውነት ተናግሮ ከማጣላት ዋሽቶ ማስታረቅ ይብልጣል
            Thank you for your correct stand

            dawit

  • saay7

    Selamat Dawit:

    First, I hope you don’t let being the “odd guy here at awate forum”, as you put it, discourage you from contributing because I for one always look forward to what you have to say even as I often (;) disagree with your conclusion. There is always something irreverent about your approach whether boldly embracing “Znegese Negusna Zbereqe XeHaina” (God knows why) or your unique take of double nationality, sorta like “I was Ethiopian before you were” approach to our aggressive brethren from across the Mereb whose double digit economic growth has given them a very unHabesha trait of extreme puffery:)

    Now, then. The comparison between Africa and South Korea is made often, and rightfully so, in my opinion, as South Korea was the last of the Asian Tigers to leap frog the turtles (sorry for mixing all my animals.) Your take on how long it will take us to catch up is probably realistic–depressing, but realistic. But that is if we pursue the same path we have been pursuing. But what if there is a different path–and what if is very different from the approach the enda Isaias are taking? Would you then be persuaded to take a risk and break from the regime?

    Consider: The African Governance and Development Institute issued a working paper authored by economist Simplice A. Asongu. The paper is entitled “Knowledge Economy Gaps, Policy Syndromes and Catch-up Strategies: Fresh South Korean Lessons to Africa.” The paper is available at:

    papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…

    Using The World Bank’s knowledge economy components–1. education, 2. innovation, 3. information and communication technology, 4. economic incentives and institutional regime– it argues that catch up is possible within 34.64 years. i would love to hear your take on it.

    Last Nov-December, the director of the President’s Office, Yemane Gebremeskel (Charlie) tweeted a whole bunch of happy news about how 2014 is going to be the year Eritrea achieves economic growth, overcomes its electric shortage, etc. This was all dutifully and uncritically copied down by “his” website, tesfanews.com, filling up the PFDJ Christmas tree with trinkets because back then 2014 was in the future and no accountability is made of prophesies: just issue new ones. What’s that Haile TG and Sem A? Oh, yes, there WILL be an Alnahda article about it:)

    saay

    PS: by the way, what ever happened to Sabri? He was our “developmental state” proponent and a defender of the economic policy of PFDJ. Hope our chaw-chaw didn’t chase him off.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Sal:
      Fifty years ago South Korea was just rubble. I am not sure if you have been there, but it is a miracle and it is doable in Africa now even with less time with the advent of the transfer of knowledge with information technology. Lots of missed opportunities in Africa, take Nigeria in the early eighties the oil revenue was mind boggling and people eat from the garbage now, Institutional governance in the list is important and with that comes the freedom of ownership of ideas and property and even the promising countries are doomed if they do not embrace and follow the examples that worked with open heart
      There is lots of sadness in SK for the spilt and they are so optimistic for an ultimate unification and when you travel to the DMZ, they are ready to unite with NK, they have unification island, unification train station, unification lake, depicting what the united Korea will look like. The state of the art train station is ready to commence the moment unification happens or relations are mended. NK has one thing to show for though: the tallest and largest flag in the world.
      A Canadian colleague who was stopped in transit to SK in USA not like what the SA comedian Trevor Noah experienced commented that he now knows where really the third word is 🙂

      PS: whatever happened to Jeff Sacks, he was supposed to solve all Africa’s problems 🙂

      • saay7

        iSemere:

        I like how economist take data and try to see if a pattern emerges. One of the things the author of the article I linked notes is that African countries who were colonized by UK fare better than those who were colonized by France. Now, in our case, neither Eritrea nor Ethiopia were colonized by US or France but it so happens that the Haile Selasse Constitution and the penal code (and, thus, modern Ethiopia and Eritrea’s) is based on the French school of thought–and the French emphasize the power of the State, whereas the Brits emphasize the importance of private property. Hmmmmm 🙂

        Jeff Sacks handed his baton to Paul David Hewson (better known as Bono), now in the running for knighthood or sainthood:)

        saay

        • Semere Andom

          Thanks Sal:

          Can you decrypt this for me ** Since Jebena is cracked, “you ask me to enter, but then you make me crawl, and I can’t keep holding on to what you got, when all you got is hope.” processor is “abagobiye today around here 😉

          • saay7

            iSem:

            It’s alright, it happens to AgdaE nas as the Egyptians say:)

            Since Jebena is cracked = since I can’t share videos where they belong

            The rest are lyrics from U2’s Bono from their song One. It just came to mind because a lot of the discussion on this thread–Assab, Badme–boils down to “We Are One, But We Are Not The Same.” And it is a lot of hurt feelings so, here is the long version, in context:

            Have you come here for forgiveness
            Have you come to raise the dead
            Have you come here to play Jesus
            To the lepers in your head

            Did I ask too much
            More than a lot
            You gave me nothing
            Now it’s all I got
            We’re one
            But we’re not the same
            Well we
            Hurt each other
            Then we do it again
            You say
            Love is a temple
            Love a higher law
            Love is a temple
            Love the higher law
            You ask me to enter
            But then you make me crawl
            And I can’t be holding on
            To what you got
            When all you got is hurt

            And here is the video for it:

            http://youtu.be/BgZ4ammawyI
            saay

          • Semere Andom

            Thanks Abu Salah.

    • dawit

      Selamat Saay,
      Thank you for responding to ‘odd man’s’ crazy ideas’ !. Likewise I always look forward to read your wide ranging articles from politics, economics, music etc. No I will not stop my contribution at AT even though sometimes I feel discourage when some people attack you with names just
      because you idea does not coincided with their ideas. But I have developed a thick skin to overcome it. On my double nationality, think of it like a bird sitting on top of a fence dividing two adjacent gardens and looking for warms. That bird can see warms on both sides of the garden, unlike other two birds sitting on a bush on each side of the gardens. Both of those birds will not be
      able to see all the worms on the opposite side of the gardens. Their views will be obstructed by the fence posts, dividing the two gardens. So you see my friend Saleh. I am like the bird sitting on the top of the fence line, looking for the worms on both gardens. The worms on both side of the garden don’t like that bird, but the gardens will have less worms on both garden

      Now about South Korean economy in comparison to Africa. The 35 years to catch up is a scenario if Africa growth rate of 10% to reach where South Korea is today. But for the next 35 years South Kore is not going to close or their shops and weight for Africa to catch up and my calculation
      indicated where SK will be if it grows at 1% or 2% growth. Now it may not be faire or accurate to compare the SK with Africa, because SK is 99% homogenous society unlike African countries where a multiple tribes live and compete each other for scarce resources and sometimes drugging themselves in to ugly civil wars..The purpose of my analysis and writing was to show the people of Horn Africa how far they have lagged over the last 60 years, because of wars that was sustained
      by lies. South Korea for most of it’s growth year for 40 years was under Military dictatorship. It was in 1992 they had election for the first time. It is amazing to listen to Al-jesira interview when PIA was asked when he will alow election in Eritrea, and he answered “40 years may be more”! I think 40
      years very generous in light of the divisions that existed in Eritrea, regional, religious, political divisions. Look we are still talking ‘Aslamay-Kistanay wedi kola dega’ Metahit Kebesa, ‘Crusaders” “Islamists”! Songs our people sang 1940s ! That is where my “Znegese Negusna Zbereqe XeHaina” comes fits in.

      “Using The World Bank’s knowledge economy components–1. education, 2. innovation, 3.
      information and communication technology, 4. economic incentives and institutional regime– it argues that catch up is possible within 34.64 years. I would love to hear your take on it.”

      This is completely unrealistic scenario taking African’s current objective situation when every child that finishes elementary or secondary or college graduate leave the continent and end up in the developed countries. I believe currently poor Africa is subsidizing the economic growth
      of the developed countries by providing free trained manpower in exchange for few remittances flowing back to Africa. I would be an interesting economic analysis to compare the real flow of education, inovation, information and communication technologies, which the writers of the report assumed to close to foster the catch-up and close the gap., If the present trend of manpower
      movement continues Africa will never catch-up. I may be wrong but history will uncover it.. (Watch out SEM this another prophesy from the Prophet dawit !).

      “Your take on how long it will take us to catch up is probably realistic–depressing, but realistic. But that is if we pursue the same path we have been pursuing. But what if there is a different path–and
      what if is very different from the approach the enda Isaias are taking? Would you then be persuaded to take a risk and break from the regime?”

      That is an interesting question! Saay and I beg all AT Forumers, please help me to hate Isaias and his government his party PFDJ considering the objective reality of Eritrea and its surroundings. I have said it before I am not a card holding member of PFDJ and even don’t pay the 2% Diaspora tax. But I am 100% supporter of Isaias as a leader and his policies, and the Eritrean government policies in development and national security. Please don’t assume everyone that support the present Eritrean governments is member of PFDJ or he or she has a villa in Eritrea that she/he want to protect. (This is a significant group of Eritrean society that currently that opposition leaders don’t want to reconcile with, they think of them “koboro junkies”, simply because they support the present Eritrean leadership and government.

      Don’t tell me he drinks alcohol, don’t tell me he is a dictator he has imprisoned some of his close friends, I know that, but they are his friends with whom he break bread and slept for decades. He said it was done for national security reason or power struggle I don’t know, but that does not
      bother me as simple citizen, who has no clue how you lead a nation let his conscious
      bother him .

      Don’t tell me he is a threat to regional stability, he is a serpent, he planned to bomb AU building, he started and armed Al- Shebab, he started the Bademe war, war with Dijibouti, with Sudan with Yemen or Sir Lanka, or he gave refuge to Somali or Ethiopian political leaders. All this don’t bother me. Many of these are war propagandas against Eritrea as a nation. There were times Eritrean freedom fighters were accused trying to sell a piece of Ethiopian territory for Arabs! And “Eritrea atshetim atlewetim” Demonizing Osman Saleh Sabe for years, trying to isolate him from Eritrean Struggle Leadership. I didn’t believe such propagandas then and I am not starting to believe them now, like the recent war propagandas how Eritrea became Africa’s largest Coffee exporter!

      If you have a real reason other than those I listed that can convince me to abandon this old donkey who proved itself through thick and thin of recent history help me to hate it and I will be in the forefront to condemn him double you are doing and look for the mysterious flying white
      horse Pegasus .
      Finally let me also say this, there are many areas that I disagree with his political, diplomatic and economics, but at this time they are not important to me I will write about those at the appropriate
      time.
      Peace to all
      dawit

      • saay7

        Selamat Dawit:

        I think you are saying that you are not going to abandon the Isaias Afwerki regime on national security grounds (even if proven that he is a hazard to our national security) because he has gained your trust; you are not going to abandon him on foreign policy blunders (even if he has blundered the country to a pariah state) because those who bestow friend or foe labels are not trustworthy. You are not going to abandon him on human rights issues because those claiming to have their human rights violated were either in a power struggle or endangering national security and either way you are indifferent to it. What you suggest is that if there were OTHER reasons….

        Ok, here’s one. Exodus. Now, I know that there is a lot of pull-factor to that and those in the opposition who minimize pull factors will have a lot of explaining to do when they have to explain to Eritreans why Eritreans are still leaving the country by the thousands under their watch (when they assume power.) The difference is that of degrees: the push factor is too strong in Eritrea now. The vacuum created, consequently, is (a) a threat to national security; (b) massive human rights violation. But since you have decided to give the regime a pass on both, lets talk (c) a massive drain on Eritrea’s economy, its GDP and, related to our subject, our inability to climb out of the quicksand we are in. Let’s talk education.

        Professor Ravinder Rena (now with University of Western Cape, South Africa) has written a dozen of papers on Education in Eritrea. Some are free downloads and some are part of expensive books. You can find a link to all his papers here:

        https://ideas.repec.org/e/pre190.html

        In any event, he is the most informed writer writing on Eritrea’s education system now and he is very sympathetic to the regime. Some of his quotes:

        “There are nearly one million students in the primary, middle, secondary and tertiary education levels. The country spends about 2 percent of its GDP on education.”

        “Over the last 22 years, there has been a phenomenal increase in enrollment….With the opening of these colleges [Mai Nefihi, Orotta School of Medicine, Marine Technology College, College of Business and Economics, College of Artis and Social Sciences] dietary education in Eritrea has increased to 45 percent.”

        Then:

        “More than 50 percent of faculty members are expatriates, to whom the country needs to pay almost 8 to 10 times more than its own manpower. For a young and small nation like Eritrea, it would be a heavy burden.”

        “If Eritrea wants to develop its own manpower, it needs to restart the University of Asmara wit the master’s and other research programs that are imperative for fostering the country’s manpower and economic development.”

        Now add this to the most conservative estimates of human exodus from Eritrea to neighboring Sudan and Ethiopia and from there to all over the world.

        Add to this an insane policy writing off half your population from returning to their country because of maniacal insistence on absolute power domination.

        You get:

        (a) expensive foreign teachers, because you won’t welcome your own citizens; (expensive)
        (b) a low GDP, no foreign relationship, no partnership, thus we carry all the burden (expensive)
        (c) high exodus, so all that money spent on education was to students plotting to get out of the country (expensive)

        Is this any way to catch up to South Korea?

        saay

        • dawit

          Selam say,
          No saay, that is why I said we will never catch-up with the present trend going right now without political stability in the country and the region. To bring that stability it is not Eritrea’s government alone responsible. It rest on all actors who are responsible for the turmoil. The Eritrean government primary objection at this moment is survival. All others oppositions leaders, neighboring countries, regional and international organization should examine their policies and help Eritrea to create stable condition in the country. Without such stable conditions there is no hope for economic or peace conditions. In my opinion, changing PFDJ or Isaias is not going to improve the situation. The Eritrean government is just one piece of the puzzle, and many of those I mentioned above are responsible for what we observe in the country or the region. The Eritrean government is doing what ever little it could functioning within the constrains it is allowed to function.
          dawit

          • saay7

            Ah Dawitom:

            You and me are ordinary citizens. It is perfectly alright for us to bemoan our fate, to curse the stars, to blame Langley, to shake our head and say, እንታይሞ እንታይሞ እዛ ዓለም እዚኣሞ! But that’s not the role of a Leader. A leader assess present conditions, a leader adjusts, leader leads. And that’s where the Isias regime has failed the Eritrean people. Isaias is great at እንታይሞ እንታይሞ እዛ ዓለም እዚኣሞ! He so enjoys playing Citizen Eritrean he forgets that he it is leader. That’s way he is never around when Eritreans are going through a turmoil (why he, for example, made Haile DeruE be the face of Eritrea’s defeat in the frigging Badme wars, for example.) That’s why he talks of the Eritrean government as if he is not its leader. That’s why he always talks as if he is an opposition out of power. He. Doesn’t. Lead. He bullies, he intimidates, but he never leads. He never inspires. He just catalogs Eritreans fears.

            And consequently, those who still have faith in him, those who still have a gigantic blind spot about his ginormous weaknesses, speak like him, talk like him: as a helpless victim who is doing his best. The report card is never on his accomplishments but “his efforts despite all the enemies arrayed against him.” It is a poor standard for excellence and he continuously meets this poor standard.

            saay

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Saay,

            Your lamentation of “Isaias is great at እንታይሞ እንታይሞ እዛ ዓለም እዚኣሞ!” making me pull a practical joke at kbur President. Since I am tipped that he is one of our silent awatista, let me share the following with him.

            Kbur President ኣብዚኣ ግዳ ጠውቕ ብኽብረትካ

            ሓቁ’ዩ እኮ ሳልሕ፡ መዓስ እሞ “እንታይሞ እንታይሞ እዛ ዓለም እዚኣሞ!” ዘየብል ኣሎካ!! Especially now that you are so low that they wouldn’t even invite you to regular African leaders summit or even acknowledge you in diplomatic messages of happy independence day!!!

            regards

      • Semere Andom

        Hi dawit

        Some points and questions for your. The SK vs Africa debate is excellent, but the homogenous nature of the society can go only so far in changing a third word, rubble nation that SK was to a first world, vibrant nation that it is now, civilized in every aspect, although they say economics and society are not hard sciences, there are theorems and distilled formulas that really work in this arena, not unlike the law of mechanics.

        Do not underestimate the power of that people have to unleash their innate, different ingenuity to innovate and create when left alone to harness the power of their mysterious mind. The famous chapter in the Bible: Gen, God first create the heavens, in Hebrew it is something like : “Barat Bereishit Elohim”. Some scholars say that the word “barat” that is translated as “create” is not correct, “barat” means to create something from nothing. I believe that humans are endowed to create miracles from nothing, with no much resources if allowed to think. All the Gold and sea and security that you are trying to protect at the expense of what does not bother you is really squandering the resources of the nation

        I believe that we as Eritreans have squandered a life time opportunity in the last 23 and our predicament was not due to the war of 1998, although it hastened the demise of our nation. Not withstanding the colossal damage EPLF did during their 21 years adventure in education, culture, redesigning and fragmenting Eritreans for their narrow interests as they instituted the culture of murder just for heck of it, there was a redemption immediately after independence to reverse that damage before it was deepened.

        EPLF could have done the following:

        1. created a true national coalition to close the cleavage of the armed struggle by calling on all frons and the unity that the people yearned for 3 decades could have been accomplished post independence

        2. Could have started the drafting of the constitution immediately and could have focused on establishing on the rule of law instead the rule of survival and trying to rewrite history, reinvent themselves from rebel thugs to government thugs and reconfigure society
        . You implored this forum to help you hate IA, no one is going to do that for you, only you can do that, if you look in the mirror every morning and see an honest family man with integrity, who will tell his stand to his kids and grand kids then by all means stay put. But get a second opinion first.

        As to be insulted for differing, that is too bad, but as we both know life is seldom black and white, but to support PFDJ and to oppose them is one of the rare incidents where life is black and white. Whether you hold PFDJ card or not is irrelevant, your an equivocal and unwavering support of PFDJ sanitizes their crimes. And to top your already disturbing stand you added this; the fact that IA has disappeared his friend who he broke bread with them for national security does not bother you, what in life bothers you if this does not bother you? This is not merely that of a thick skinned hardened “goblele” Eritrean, I have not decide what to name it as I am not in rush because you have already nominated me for the Noble Prize;-)

        • dawit

          Hi Semere,
          Well in SK and Japan having a homogenous population educes to argue which language to use as a national language, a source of conflict, Amharic, Tigrigna, Arabic ets.
          On the Theology part what can I say? Yes it is written God created the Universe out of nothing and He created man in his own image. I wonder how got his evil thoughts? I wonder.
          On Eritrean politics? I wished Eritrea got its independence without going through the armed struggle or civil wars. Was that a choice presented to the Eritrean people? I don’t think so, but may be God wanted that way. Yes Eritrean leaders could have done a lot better if they were angels, but they are humans who commit a lost of mistakes every day.
          About my support for Eritrean government there is no secret. You see the government painted black and I see it White. Bay be I am color blind. But Semere we have to respect the position of the other person if we want a civilized discussions. Please avoid using the unnecessary adjunctives of murderers, rapist , killers etc from your language. I don’t have to see a mirror every morning to check my stand. I made a conscious decision to support the government, we all shape our respective position based on our individual experience. You see a bad government and I see good government end of story.
          dawit.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi dawit:
            It does not bother me to call the culprit of the crime, murders, rapist and killers, what does this bother you. We need to respect the things that do not bother other people to paraphrase you. I prophesize that you will ask me for evidence, I can provide that but I am a gentleman, so I will say a supporter first by asking you provide me evidence that the things that does not bother you were done for the sake of national security. Do you have video, audio that the political prisoners compromised national security? if you do that I will second sal ‘s irreverent description of your nonchalant stand.
            We do not take stand based on or experience we do that based our deeply rooted valued instilled irrovocably

  • saay7

    Selamat Dawit:

    First, I hope you don’t let being the “odd guy here at awate forum”, as you put it, discourage you from contributing because I for one always look forward to what you have to say even as I often (;) disagree with your conclusion. There is always something irreverent about your approach whether boldly embracing “Znegese Negusna Zbereqe XeHaina” (God knows why) or your unique take of double nationality, sorta like “I was Ethiopian before you were” approach to our aggressive brethren from across the Mereb whose double digit economic growth has given them a very unHabesha trait of extreme puffery:)

    Now, then. The comparison between Africa and South Korea is made often, and rightfully so, in my opinion, as South Korea was the last of the Asian Tigers to leap frog the turtles (sorry for mixing all my animals.) Your take on how long it will take us to catch up is probably realistic–depressing, but realistic. But that is if we pursue the same path we have been pursuing. But what if there is a different path–and what if is very different from the approach the enda Isaias are taking? Would you then be persuaded to take a risk and break from the regime?

    Consider: The African Governance and Development Institute issued a working paper authored by economist Simplice A. Asongu. The paper is entitled “Knowledge Economy Gaps, Policy Syndromes and Catch-up Strategies: Fresh South Korean Lessons to Africa.” The paper is available at:

    papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2493458

    Using The World Bank’s knowledge economy components–1. education, 2. innovation, 3. information and communication technology, 4. economic incentives and institutional regime– it argues that catch up is possible within 34.64 years. i would love to hear your take on it.

    saay

    by the way, what ever happened to Sabri? He was our “developmental state” proponent and a defender of the economic policy of PFDJ. Hope our chaw-chaw didn’t chase him off.

  • haileTG

    You want me to speak with Horizon about your whorish problems, tell that to your dog friends. Your brain is shenkolel. That is why you are looking for Badem here from Horizon when it is right on Ethio-Eritrea border.

  • Dear all,

    Trading Badme for Assab is nobody’s idea. It is an alarm call used by
    PFDJ supporters to make a point. The idea of a sea outlet for Ethiopia with a corridor of land in exchange for Badme, economic integration, and electricity is not my idea either, but that of think tanks, who study future Ethio-Eritrean relations. Of course, as everybody can see, the supporters of the regime distorted the whole issue and presented it as that of “exchanging Badme for Assab”.

    If regime supporters suffer from tunnel vision, and cannot see far in to
    the future or their surrounding, that is not unusual. There are many things in the pipeline, which will be reality in the immediate future, and will change the economic-political landscape of the horn; things we should be aware of. These are: the Addis to Djibouti railway, the railway link between Awash and Mekelle, the port of Tajoura, which is under construction to serve northern Ethiopia, the construction of the port of Lamu in Kenya, to serve southern Ethiopia, and the road and in the future railway connections between Addis and Nairobi.

    Within few years, all these are going to be completed. Movement of goods, trade and people is going to be improved, become efficient and economic, to the extent never seen before in the whole region. After five or more years, no Ethiopian is going to mention or care about Assab, because it will be out of the picture of the horn’s economy. The already ailing port of Assab will go into oblivion, and the only umbilical cord that connects Ethiopia and Eritrea will be severed permanently.

    There will be no reason at all to talk about economic cooperation, good
    neighborliness and other things, because with the blessing of the Eritrean regime and its supporters, Eritrea will have lost all relevance in the region,
    economically and politically. Unfortunately, this will be to the detrimental of its people, as it has already become, whose fate, as much as the regime and its supporters are concerned, is less important compared to the land.

    The shortsightedness of the regime in Asmara and its supporters has no
    comparison. To protect the land they turned a once respectable people to refugees and left them at the mercy of Bedouin human traffickers and organ harvesters, exposed them to horrific death in the Sinai, the Sahara, the Med, sea, and made Eritrea a pariah state. All this is done to protect the sacred cow, DIA, and the holy grail, the land, while Eritreans as human beings lost their humanity in the hands of those who worship the land and the landlord.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Mr. Horizon;
      “Trading Badme for Assab is nobody’s idea…”. I can, just like anybody in this room see that is exactly what you’ve said in one of your comments. If you’ve a problem of remembering what you said I can quote it for you here: “… Assab is given to Ethiopia, Badme
      to Eritrea, economic integration is implemented, and electricity is given to Eritrea from Ethiopia’s abundant production in the future? I believe that landlocked Ethiopia will never be at peace with Eritrea (for landlocking Ethiopia was the biggest mistake), and also Ethiopia and Eritrea cannot be eternal enemies. It is better for Eritrea to lose Assab, which will never serve her economy unless leased by Ethiopia, which she will never do, than losing may be everything”. You’re implying here that a landlocked Ethiopia can never co-exist peacefully With Eritrea. At the same time, with all the ongoing projects you’ve mentioned, you’re concluding that Assab or any Eritrean ports would not be of any significance to Ethiopia. I’ve a problem which parts of your conflicting messages to consider.
      From your comments, I understand it that you’re claiming Ethiopia would never use or lease Assab, unless Eritrea trades it for Badme, and other economic co-operation with Ethiopia This is nothing more than a mafia diplomacy.
      One thing is true in Eritrea: we’ve a dictatorship that doesn’t represent the interests of Our People. The first step for Development would be for us Eritreans to rid ourselves from this rouge regime. After that we can engage in all aspects of co-operation With all Our neighbors and the international community. I believe that we’ve the resources and the capacity to build a prosperous nation for our 6 million People. When try to build a strong economy, co-operation With Ethiopia, just like other neighbors is important. But if you think that Eritrea can never make it without Ethiopian economic co-operation, I think you are wrong. It is 21st century, and today, just like before trade has no borders, Eritrea has plenty of trading partners should Ethiopia prefer not to trade with it. Furthermore, the longrun development programe for our ports would be that they would give services to international trade routes, even the Sudan, South Sudan can have a good use of our ports considering the great distances from Port Sudan to the southen parts of the Sudan and South Sudan.

    • dawit

      Selam Horizon:
      Our friends Horizon’s
      hand was caught was in the cocky jar and now want to pass the blame to PFDJ
      supporter for distorting his idea, which he borrowed from a think tanks study
      group which suggested. “The idea of a sea outlet for Ethiopia with a corridor of
      land in exchange for Badme, economic integration, and electricity is not my
      idea either, but that of think tanks, who study future Ethio-Eritrean
      relations”. My question who are those Think Tank group member? Where are they
      located? Was Eritrean part of this group? How is this corridor is going to
      setup on space or on Eritrean land? Why connect this corridor land with Bademe
      which is an Eritrean land legally, but still occupied by force by Ethiopia?
      Look Horizon my friend in Amharic we have a proverb ‘ኣልሸሹም ዞር ኣሉ”.
      Your new modified stand “Badme for Corridor for Asab’ does not change your
      original concept of “Bademe for Assab”. There is no distortion here blaming
      Isaias and PFDJ supporter is a futile attempt to gain your popularity among
      opponents of the Eritrean regime but firm stand on their the illegal occupation
      of their land. There is no umbilical chord remaining between Ethiopia and
      Eritrea, you cut it in 1998 when Ethiopia ignited the Border war, and deported
      Eritreans from its land, to “teach them a lesson”. The people that Ethiopia
      forcibly removed from its land were the umbilical cords and a port or a dry
      land. Don’t preach to Eritrean that they are hurting, they know it and
      experiencing it every single day since Ethiopia ignited that war. Of course
      some foolish Ethiopian are gloating with satisfaction when their victims are
      suffering everywhere including residing in a refugee camps. Yes the children of
      former business men, educators are begging in the street of Addis, because of
      the policy of Ethiopian government to refusal to vacate the illegally Eritrean
      land by force. Isaias is there because of Ethiopian policy. If you Horizon want
      the real friendship and economic cooperation with Eritrea, then you have openly
      condemn the illegal occupation and support the Eritrean government and its
      people. This sugar coated messages to appease the opposition is tactical and
      not geuine support to the Ethiopians and Eritrean people interest. All other
      efforts is ኣልሸሹም ዞር ኣሉ !
      Peace
      dawit

    • Abinet

      Selam Horizon
      Everybody knows it is a win win situation if ethiopia use Assab . However, for most Eritreans this is not satisfactory enough . What they call win is only when Ethiopia lose. I don’t know why you bother about cooperation , integration , etc. You and haile are preaching the love that doesn’t exist between us. They thought they would choke us to death . Honestly, we thought that way since we were brainwashed by derg . Most of us thought it was the end of the world when we lost the ports . We have proved time and again that Assab is not important any more. I tell them to get lost with it.
      If you think Assab is the last amblical cord that connect us , you are wrong. It has been cut in 1991.
      The good thing is we have better neighbors that stood with us in dark times. I like you to spend your energy and time to advance our r/p with the others than think about eritrea. We have got nothing to gain or lose with them.

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Hi Abinet;
        Why all these insults and trading lies? Of course, it is a win-win situation if Ethiopia uses Eritrean ports, and Eritrea makes use of your future energy resources. Why would Eritreans wish for Ethiopia’s failure? This is absurd, at least you cannot claim that MOST Eritreans would like to see a failed Ethiopia, something you never can substantiate by facts.
        You write “They thought they would choke us to Death”, how and when did Eritreans seek to choke you to death? Regarding the ports, you were using them with advantage after the Independence of Eritrea, until you yourself chose not to use them.
        Your comment is full of hatred and vendetta towards the Eritrean People. But why such hatred and ill-wish? If Ethiopia chooses not to make use of Eritrea’s ports, it is not the end of the game for Eritrea. It has lots of other possibilities of generating revenues from its sea-ports. Futhermore, the Eritrean economy would not merely depend on sea-ports. Just like other economies, it would depend on agriculture, fisheries, industry, finances, tourism, mining, etc.
        The Eritrean People doesn’t demand anything from Ethiopia other than, Ethiopia respects its promises from the Algiers Agreement of withdrawing from those Eritrean territories that have been ruled to Eritrea. Both governments should sit down together and solve the border issue through dialogue and based on the border ruling. Every other thing like economic cooperation and trade development would then follow naturally, by the very facts that the peoples are going to be neighbors for ever, and it would be impossible to imagine that they wouldn’t trade with each other.

  • Gud

    Haile TG, Johar, Rodsb, Tes and et all- guys if you have to hook, please please don’t do it in the name of Eritrea & Eritreans. It is so pathetic to see you displaying your inferiority and your begging for Ethiopian affection is simply unbearable.

    Now, why on Earth are you people focusing on Abnet & Fatima and not on the hideous Horizon? How can you let this idiot get away with l”Badme for Asab” , and pretend as if you are pained by what ABIET said, as if there was any love lost between Eritrea and Ethiopia? Haven’t we been at war since forever?

    I always say, if you want to understand Woyanie and its twisted agenda, pay a close attention not to TK, Eyob, or those tiny bits Abnet or Fatima. Horizon is the main representative of you want to understand all the woyanie stand regarding the border issue.

    He always tells you in your face that:

    – We are taking badme by force, so what are you going to do about it- in your face
    – He is clearly stating what the “let us negotiate first” or melese’s “give and take of villages” stand for (ABRHAM hanibal, pay close attention here) . He is telling you, the aim we are not abiding by the border ruling and our policy of no war no peace – is to stretch you to the limit, enaugh for ERITREA to give us Asab.

    – Badme for Asab? Both Eritrean , and this fool with out any shame, in an Eritrean forum, full of people who pretend to stand for ERITREA, can dictate that insult and get away with it?

    And you think you will get credit by pretending to be the wiser ones to Aninet and Fatima?

    Shame

    • Hope

      Hmm,I guess I might be right then questioning his motivation….
      Ab suk zello mensequasik???

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Gud,

      Actually you missed the whole thread. Personally, I do not buy the politics of Eri-Ethio. Read my recent response to Nitricc. there is no bargain about Eritrean territory. If someone does it, yes, it is because of fear or opportunistic approach. Eritrea is Eritrea, take note on this. You may be reading from your own perspective and it is fine as far as you understood our stand in that way though you are wrong.

      Worst side of your comment is that you started to name Eritreans who have a strong stand on the Eritrean sovereignty. Oh man, read all comments of Saleh and his noble articles, Haile TG since his pop-up as haile the great and Rodab. All these people are straight forward, PFDJ is the only enemy of Eritreans. Ethiopia, oh, yah, let the history counts it. But, since 1991, PFDJ is worst than ever.

      Read Nitriccay’s comment for example, he puts Assab bargain to get a fertile land in Ethiopia. It is impossible but I wonder why he entertains such ideas? Go to PFDJ in Asmara and you will see Ethiopian extremists being hatched, even those who do not believe a free and independent Eritrea (Ginbot-7).

      For the Ethiopians here, I don’t know why they are here actually. If they want to stay, let them stay. But, the mission of this website is not for Eri-Ethio politics but for Eritrean politics. If Horizon barks (as you are saying), let him do that. We Eritreans should stand strong to fight against the dictatorial regime in Eritrea.

      Hawka
      tes

      • Gud

        To tell you the truth and quite frankly the problem with you is your ignorance. And the reason I added you with the other lost souls is because, with out understanding what is being said or written, you just dive in spewing your PFDJ name calling halewlew

        Regarding this specific issue, instead of replying to Horizon and showing your stand, you just lounge at Dawit, who is replying tonHorizon, hence proving once again your useless self

        That is all

        • Tesfabirhan WR

          Dear Gud,

          Why you wait someone to respond while you see that it deserved? Why you don’t express your views when ever you feel it is necessary? Come and challenge who ever he is and rebuff him/her. Your useless barking is here at a glance.

          As for my ignorance, thank you for showing me how much ignorant I am. Ignorance is blessing.

          Come and rebuff your extra-terrestrial political conspiracy. It is you and like you who are keeping the Eritreans ignorant because you are ignorant. An ignorant leader produces ignorant follower though. My be I could be the victim of such leaders.

          Hawka
          tes

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Hi Gud;

      I’m really not sure in what context you’re referring to my name here. But my position regarding Eritrea’s territorial integrity is crystal clear, and I don’t have the need to repeat time and again. May be I didn’ t reply to Horizon’s meaningless idea of swapping Assab for Badme,and other nonsense. I’m pretty much content with the reply Mr. Dawit gave to Horizon regarding the issue which, by the way, I endorsed through my up-vote to Dawit ( except Dawit’s idea of giving Lake Tana to Eritrea). There is no need and legality for swapping sovereign Eritrean or Ethiopian territories, Peace can be achieved through lots of other legal means if there is the political will between the two sides.

      Have a nice day!

      • Gud

        At one time you stated that Ethiopia accepted the border ruling and is just asking for practical way of demarcating, by give and take. And you seem to have bought that Cover up of village swapping. So I am telling you to pay attention to what Horizon said. By give and take, village swapping, what woyanie meant is – to take Asab for Badme or any area there. To justify their intent they tell you two things:

        1. they dare you to take badme back by force, believing they are strong now, with US on their side, and can do whatever they want. Actually they don’t outsourced this to some lost soul Eritreans, who day and night preach about how weak ERITREA is and beleive the only way to go is bend for WOYANIE and hook, like what most people here are doing, preaching about non existing love between Eritrea and Ethiopia

        2. What they call “Lasting peace” They say, all this injustice they are commiting on ERITREA is out of love for ERITREA and the whole horn.

        Your comment pertinent to the border issue and your approval of Ethiopia’s stand is some where on the other thread, if you want we can go looking for it, got it?

        The other thing is you told us what you will do if Ethiopia invaded ERITREA. But, you simply missed out the very fact that Ethiopia has already invaded Eritrea, and still is. And a messenger of Ethiopia, by the name of horizon is telling you ” what are you going to do about it? & “Yes I invaded your nation, and I am not leaving untill you give me ASSAB”

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Hi again;
          Yes, I state again that Ethiopia has said it accepts the border ruling in principle, but would like a dialogue to solve any autstanding practical issues during the actual demarcation on the ground. How far Ethipia’s claim is thrustworthy needs to be seen when the process is started. But Eritrea should give diplomacy a chance. Dialogue doesn’t mean giving up on the final and binding nature of the ruling. I’ve never supported land-swap of sovereign and undisputed territory. By this I, mean all territory that lies on the Eritrean side of the border according to the ruling is non-negotiable. Negotiation would only be used to address practical issues of demarcation, when, for example, a given village is cut into two by the demarcation line. Under such tricky circumstances the two countries need to reach a consensus by taking to each other, including considering village-swap. The fact that Ethiopia continues to hold areas like Badme that have been ruled to lie on the Eritrean side is, of course, regrettable. But at the end of the day, we’ve to ask what is the solution? The PFDJ has persisted on the demarcation without any pre-condition for thirteen years, nothing has happened. The People in the affected areas of the border continue to be displaced and their lives shattered.
          The no-peace-no war situation has almost no negative side-effect to Ethiopia; the suffering side is the Eritrean side. In fact the ruling entity in Eritrea doesn’t want the border issue to be resolved. They’ve used the deadlock to preside over and enslave the Eritrean people without limit. They’re simply using the issue as an excuse to sit in power for unlimited time, and to illegally justify their criminal acts against the Eritrean People.

      • dawit

        Hi Abraham,
        I was not suggesting that Ethiopia give ‘Lake Tana’ to Eritrea. Since Horizon brought an absurd idea we exchange Bademe for Assab, I was suggesting people trade what they have plenty for what they have scarce, I was taking as example, since Ethiopia has many lakes and Eritrea has abundant sea outlet, such exchange might motivate both, parties for trade. That was a hypothetical example not a practical suggestion to Horizon’s idea of Exchange Bademe for Assab..
        Peace
        dawit

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Aha; I misunderstood you; we’re in the same boat regarding the territorial integrity of Eritrea!-))

    • haileTG

      Hey Gud,

      As they say there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. The right of people to ask any question they please is a natural and inalienable entitlement. You’re entitled to decide how to answer it but not entitled to dictated what questions to be asked. Such truth is the very first starting point of normal interaction with others. In your case, you chose to accuse, belittle, name call (idiot) and the rest. Another approach could have been that to assure Horizon that you understood him well (ask clarification), state your position, justify and (if you are smart) help him to see how your position would also be a better deal for him too. Unfortunately, our nation has leaders with your type of mentality and are now isolated by the world over as abnormal and unhinged.

      Since you implied that you also wish to hear my view on it, well I believe that Badem, Assab, Massawa, restoration of normal relationships… need to be dealt individually, with due care each one deserve to be dealt with. The issue of Assab can be studied and worked out in ways that maximize Ethiopian interests and portray Eritrea’s capability to meet regional needs with the very highest standard, efficiency and good value for money (with highly competitive rock bottom prices) and secure as well as reliable service. We wouldn’t won’t to encumber the issue by bundling it up with remote and insignificant issues of disputed villages dotted along the no man’s lands. PFDJ made it center stage to facilitate Eritrean destruction, but the Ethiopian developments are witness to you that the issue is really insignificant.

      The other problems can also be settled amicably and individually. BTW there isn’t legal instruments, or precedents thereof, to conclude that type of swap of two unrelated areas (geographically and historically).

      So, please recognize the rights of others to ask anything they wish and your rights stops in as far as deciding what answer to give. Of course, good or bad, you’ll live with its consequences.

      No shame

      • Gud

        You are hooking again.

        Go back to Horizons comment, and reply to his “Badme for Asab” directly with out shenkolel and with out trying to hide your weakness. Don’t go around raising other Eritrean places and issues just to cover your weakness and fear. You know, that guy can smell your pathetic fear, that is why he is insulting you ( as an Eritrean, who wastes his time writing long nonsense comments all day long)

        Just address that simple fact that he is telling you he will trade Badme (Eritrean) for Asab (Eritrean)

        No shenkolel, no name calling of PFDJ will cover your pathetic sand. This is not a PFDJ forum, this is your house and he is b***h slapping you and you are taking it with “ishi goitay”

        Shame

        • haileTG

          haha…have they started internet connection in xexerat mental asylum now??

          • Semere Andom

            Hi HTG:
            I do not doubt it if there is high speed Internet in the “tsetserat” mental institution because that will be the final home for most in the PFDJ. You remember the joke about Mengisitu: He allowed TV, library and very comfortable living conditions for the “Alem beqan” prison and the joke goes, the Uof Addis Abeba complained to him that by telling him we are the future scientists, engineers and the lynch pin of the future of enat hager, Ethiopia, but we do not receive such amenities. Mengistu replied: my destiny is not the university, but “Alem beqan”

          • dawit

            Hi HTG and SEM
            Gud wanted ATs stand on simple question based on remarks made by one active AT commentators Horizon representing the views of EPRDF, who suggested to exchange “Bademe for Assab”. Haile wrote a long comment without answering the question and lashed on Gud, that he must be crazy to raise such question at AT. SEM picked the ball and tells a jock about Mengistu and “Alem beqan” prison in Addis. What is going on here. Why people go beyond for not answering a simple question by Gud? I am wondering.
            dawit

          • Semere Andom

            Hi dawit:
            I did not follow that comment/thread. But if you are wondering. exchanging Badme for Assab is ridiculous and if happens, it will most likely happene when PFDJ is shepherding Eritrean and I consider it a crime and future government should not allow it to happen. You cannot exchange what is yours to redeem what is stolen from you. That is my stand, it is an equivocal. But having said that, PFDJ can go for what Horizon is suggesting when they are facing the wall

          • dawit

            Good SEM, now go ahead and tell Horizon your stand. The PFDJ staff you wrote was not necessary to the question at hand.
            dawit

          • Semere Andom

            Hi dawit:
            come on now. Horizon can read it, it was a response to him as well. Yes the PFDJ stuff is very very important
            You just want me to get my fingers tired so I do not respond to you again: By the way this is a joke, ok:-)

          • haileTG

            That is funny dawit. Wouldn’t it be easy for you to tell PFDJ to go and get Badme? Your back and fro with Sem and Horizon has nothing to do with the question of Badme that the Ethiopians are holding and you lack balls to do jackall about. Does this make you guys feel manly? That is the reals shame that one needs to hide their face from:-)

          • haileTG

            Sem

            Badem had been exchanged in the 1980s under shoddy deals. Don’t buy seyTan nAmelu mexhaf yTeqE. hgdef is a university of thieving and lying.

          • Semere Andom

            HTG:
            That is true, but PFDJ can sell it again and again 🙂

          • haileTG

            Hi dawit

            1 – You say Gud wanted ATs stand on simple question Could you please re-state that “simple question”. I don’t see it for the life of me. I can only see xexerat getting fast internet written all over:-)

            2 – You say Haile wrote a long comment without answering the question Could you please tell me what “The question” was, I still don’t see it. Assuming his drooling might be implying a question to know my views, I wrote:

            Since you implied that you also wish to hear my view on it, well I
            believe that Badem, Assab, Massawa, restoration of normal
            relationships… need to be dealt individually, with due care each one
            deserve to be dealt with. The issue of Assab can be studied and worked
            out in ways that maximize Ethiopian interests and portray Eritrea’s
            capability to meet regional needs with the very highest standard,
            efficiency and good value for money (with highly competitive rock bottom
            prices) and secure as well as reliable service. We wouldn’t want to
            encumber the issue by bundling it up with remote and insignificant
            issues of disputed villages dotted along the no man’s lands.
            Do you have to blame me if this illiterate guy failed to read it?

            3 – You say Why people go beyond for not answering a simple question by Gud? May be one has to be a resident or ex -xexerat mental asylum to see a “question” that is not there and a barrage of insults as “inferior” “idiot” “b***h slap” “pathetic”…

            Again, if you support a regime that traffick Eritreans, lock its leaders under ground, and shoe shines for al shabab, I would say you wouldn’t be able to take the right stand here either.

            Regards

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear dawitom,

    I never criticized you on your criticism on Ethiopian policy and its leadership. If I did, let you remind me. What I criticize you on your gospelic propaganda of PFDJ policies. What I criticize you is on your failure not to differentiate between Eritrean government and PFDJ regime. Both are the same for you. yes, both are the same for you and it is the work of PFDJ ideology to merge state and the front. PFDJ injected a doctrine called PFDJ and government are identical.

    I say NO, NO and NO!

    PFDJ is a ruling power but a government is supposed to be a rule of law, constitution. No power can be above rule of law and no one can equalize with it too. If it does, then, it is dictatorship. And, constitution means the people. Within a constitution whatever we call it, it can exist. Rule of law should be the universe but in today’s Eritrea, we are within PFDJ. PFDJ is a political force and someone didn’t chose it, he has the right to reject it while still obeying the rule of law, the constitution. If you are living in America, you know better than me on what I am talking.

    My knowledge on Ethiopian matters is very limited (thanks now it is growing fast) and to talk about at this elementary level of knowledge I will be a bogus. Hence, I abstain myself from indulging or engaging into. Gosh, you may be saying a lot, at least whispering unto yourself for my ignorance about Ethiopia.According to PFDJ, every individual should know everything (I am right on your doctrine?). Com’on dawitom, there must be work division, professionalism. To tell you actually, I like to discuss on PFDJ system. This is my area.

    hawka
    tes

  • Abinet

    dawit
    I like to say only two things and leave the rest for hitorians
    1. You are absolutely right there was no war b/n us in those years . However, we were still dying because eritrea was sucking our blood . Those years 91-98 were the causes of everything .
    2. The mothers you mentioned carrying Fire wood, I like to remind them that the better and brighter days are ahead of us . Soon there will be enough electric power for everyone . No need to use fire wood except for the fire place . I tell them soon there will be a train station nearby , a university for the children, a factory for them to employ them, a hospital very close, their children can dream big, full of hope .
    Can you tell me what you are telling the eritrean mother ?You can confidently tell her that her children will join SAWA boot camp. Or you can tell the children that they will be in the military camp until they get old.
    Can you tell the eritrean father the good days have gone in 91-98?
    The only satisfaction you get is by comparing the two countries using WB reports. We are working hard to change it . It is happening fast.

    • Tesfabirhan WR

      Dear Abinet,

      Thank you for bringing the wood fetching point. Let me tell you the truth. I used to sell wood almost for 7 consecutive years (1991-1998) to help my family and to cover my stationary materials. Then, I left to technical school. My younger brothers and sister continued to do till 2002 when we finally got AID from international donners because of the war. Starting from 2003, we were grown up and almost the family was able to generate money from other activities. fetching wood continued though for our own consumption and still is continuing.

      Worse now, no one is in the house to bring wood. And no electricity, no solar and no Kerosine. Andd to buy bread, sometimes it is absent. My mother told recently that she got a solution. She buys pasta and tomato paste. In that way she is able to economize wood consumption. But thanks to “Adhanet Project”, a smokeless oven, that needs small amounts of wood for making Injera.

      I am bringing this reality because dawit is far away from the fact. Worst is, “those who are in the military need to fetch wood in order to prepare their own food. Ok, fetching could be accepted, but how about the deforestation? Is dawit aware about this? I did a rough estimation before and no need to repeat.

      This was me in 2012 with Keren boys around Tinkulihas, center of the city and with Awlad Keren in Dearit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plauWarag0c&feature=youtube_gdata

      Thank you for exposing the ignorance.

      • Abinet

        Tes
        Your story is a story of millions of Ethiopians. I am fortunate enough to be born from a middle class family . Your story and my fathers story is almost identical . He had to fetch water from the river and milk 3 cows before he goes to school in the morning until he joined the university . When the university closes for summer , and over the weekend , he used to tutor rich children for a little money . He was a top student like you . Tes, wether you are from eritrea or ethiopia we share the same story .

      • dawit

        Tes, Who said fetching firewood is some thing bad. Why do you read what is not written. I am not running her at AT for popularity contest. I express my idea freely and people respond what ever way they felt, I am not seeking their approval or disapproval. I don’t join the heard because an idea is popular at a particular period. I stand with what I believe..
        Now about Soil conservation and deforestation topic and my ignorance? Dear Tes, I do not to brag my knowledge her, but perhaps I know more about the topic than you do. My first profession was agriculture and I have a passion for the subject. I admire the Eritrean government on this extremely admirable. Of course you call that a ‘Slave Labor’. I have followed the summer student tree planting and terracing programs. What a better gift there is for the next generations.
        dawit

    • dawit

      Good for you.’ ላም ኣለኝ በሰማይ ወተትዋንም ኣላይ’ የላል ያገር ልጅ your fast speed is not good enough for Ethiopian children. ውሃ ቅዳ ውሃ መልስ is not progress. Actually Ethiopia is on
      ‘ባለህበት እርገጥ ነው ነገሩ. The electricity you are taking about is for export to Sudan, Egypt Kenya etc. Not for Ethiopian poor people. Right now there are people live in darkness right next door to Koka Electric dam after nearly 60 years of its construction. Tell that story for a stranger. I have told you I know Ethiopia like the palm of my hand. I visit it every other year, may be you go once in a decade and visit Addis and you see a couple of buildings and you jump how Ethiopia is progressing.

      • Abinet

        We are talking the same thing . I didn’t say now . I said sooooon. I know you know ethiopia very well . You were an ethiopian too until you forfiet it. Your problem is you don’t know eritrea. For you eritrea is heaven. Check tes’s comment . He has a message for you. I was expecting you to comment on eritrea too . It seems you are more interested in Ethiopia and its problems.
        ” Abba bebelu emahoyn agesachew” hone negeru

    • dawit

      Dear Abnet,
      you wrote ‘The only satisfaction you get is by comparing the two countries using WB reports”. You are dead wrong I was not comparing between them. Read it again. There is nothing to compare two poor backward countries. I was comparing them with South Korea, which was in a much worst situation than them and was able to lift itself up from under development to development. ከዝንጆሮ ኮንጆ ምን ይመራርጡ ኣሉ. It is you Abnet who keep comparing the two day in day out. Every little bad news about Eritrea give you satisfaction and you open you mouth to look down on them, as if you are and your Ethiopia up in the sky. Go and check all your comment just for this week alone if you posted any positive message. Open your mind and learn how you can live with your neighbors in peace.
      dawit

      • Crocus

        Dear Dawit:

        You are not very helpful to the conversation. It seems to me that all your effort is to put Ethiopia in bad light or to espouse the cause of PFDJ. Where is the vision in that? There are reliable and dependable metrics to help us decide whether nations are moving forward or backward. If you cannot be objective, why do you trouble yourself to write comments that readers are only going disagree with? You are only poisoning the well.

        I must also ask, If you are so negatively disposed towards Ethiopia, why do you go there every other year?

        • dawit

          Dear Crocus,
          Which well are you talking about? The well which is poisoned by EPRDF policies? Mengistu was also an Ethiopian who burned Ethiopia to the ground, I go to Ethiopia, because I was born there and I have friends and families? I am the son of ‘sime tiru Hamasien’ who fought and died for Ethiopian Independence during the Italian invasion. Yes I support PFDJ, the organization that liberated the whole Ethiopia and Eritrea and who are still standing on the side oppressed people in the region!

          • Crocus

            Dear Dawit:

            You need to be true to yourself. Your comments betray you a conflicted person. You may be a son of an Ethiopian patriot, that is what sime thiru Hamasen were, but you have to stand on your own merit. You can not shelter behind your father’s laurels. You do not pass any opportunity to tar Ethiopia in your comments, which are full of recriminations and glaring animosity. And you have a penchant for dredging up muck from decades ago. I find it puzzling why you would even bother stepping foot on a land that you poo poo so much. (I do know others who do the same, and some of them are candid about it.) By the way, when was the last time you visited Eritrea? I am sure you have family and friends there too.

            I see many in this website who effuse the better angels of their nature and strive to be bridge makers. I hope I am wrong, but I could not envision you among them. Please understand, my remarks are not intended to disparage you in any way, just wishing you make progress in your mind. If you are not part of the solution you risk being part of the problem.

          • Amde

            dawit,

            Well this looks like the classic divide between perception and reality. 1991-1998 were bad years as far as most Ethiopians were concerned, and logically speaking 1998 would not have happened if things were a bed of roses in the preceding few years. I think history will judge leaders on both sides as having been dishonest to themselves, dishonest to their people and dishonest to each other. If Ethiopians who were there at the time tell you things were not good, then I think it is important to accept it and understand why.

            I am just curious. Do you mind if I ask if you or your immediate family were among the deported?

            I like that your are providing important context on where we are socio-economically as a region. As you say, I agree much of the reason lies in the lack of peace and political stability. I just don’t think it is something we can blame exclusively on the vanty/ignorance/mendacity of individual leaders.

            I just think that as people we have not figured out how to put in place political systems that are best accommodating of the religious and cultural diversity within our community. Haile Sellasie’s abrogation of the federation is understandable to me in the context of the feudal culture he grew up in, and his experiences during the fascist invasion. One can argue that as a modernizing prince of the early 20th century, he felt a more centralized state was a way to bring modernization in a country run by conservative regional Rases. I am sure readers of this forum will agree with me that the rebellion against the abrogation of the federation was mostly shouldered by the Muslim who generally had understandable misgivings to being joined in a Christain Monarchy state, while the Christians were for the most part content without the federation until the revolution came about. It is telling that the Christians joined the rebellion in large numbers only after the revolution. Saleh Jowhar’s latest posting on Crusaders and Islamists is an indication that this problem of not being able to innovate politically to accommodate diversity has survived Haile Sellasie’s supposed one-man mendacity and is alive and well in the second decade of the 21st century.

            dawit, I have to say I cannot understand how you can take a position of being pro-PFDJ at this time. You are of course free to think whatever you like, but 1998 is 16 years ago. A boy born then is almost at an age where he can be sent out as a soldier to kill on the state’s behalf, as well as have his own child. However you may have perceived 1991-98 was, you must ask yourself if what PFDJ is doing in the here and now makes sense, or if it is sustainable.

            amde

      • Abinet

        Eritrea is not the only neighbor we got . We are in peace with the others . That is good enough for the time being . It is your country fighting with everyone including itself. Check my comments again . I will summarize it for you if you want and I stand by it .
        1 we don’t need your port
        2 we don’t have any trust left to do any kind of business
        3 I am proud and satisfied with the relative peace and progress and I do not want to complicate it by dealing with eritrea
        4. Your government is untrustworthy
        5 The new generation of ethiopians don’t know you , the old forgot you
        6 eritrea is not important or priority any more
        I am saying this because i am convinced and others too , that this government of yours is good for nothing and practically impossible to deal with it .
        To keep or change your government is your business . If you change it , I may have a different attitude depends on what kind of government replaces it. Mind you , I’m not talking about democratic government since we don’t have one ourselves . All I’m saying is a peaceful one and trustworthy.

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Hi Abinet;
          The regime in Eritrea doesn’t represent the Eritrean People. I see it, therefore, as very unfair from your side to trade all these insults and negative comments to us Eritreans, when the fact is that we ourselves are suffering from the wrong policies of the PFDJ. And by your own convictioon even you don’t have a democratic government, and hence not trustworthy. I think both Eritreans and Ethiopians should rather focus their efforts to bring REAL democratic systems in their respective countries. In doing this, they could ultimately concentrate their efforts to rebuilding and developing their economies and building a healthy co-operation between each other and the region in general.

    • dawit

      Dear Abnet,,

      It is me again dawit, you also wrote.

      1. “You are absolutely right there was no war b/n us in those years . However, we were still dying because eritrea was sucking our blood . Those years 91-98 were the
      causes of everything .”

      Don’t you fell ashamed a bit to write such words ‘Sucking our blood”. Now be honest what ‘blood’ was in Ethiopia in those days when Megistu have dried her to the bones? Do you remember lifting your left hand when Mengistu was shouting “ሁሉም ነገር ወደ ጦር ግንባር፡ እናሸንፋለን!”. He squandered every penny he had gambling against Shabia and whatever change left he run away with it to Zimbabwe. What blood was left in Ethiopia that an Eritrean was sucking. It is true there were impoverished
      Eritreans like any other Ethiopians who owned, taxi, run small businesses
      running a tea house, bar, garage etc. Others were working as teachers, office
      clerks, dressers etc and few may be employed in government offices as civil
      servants. Others came with their life saving from exile thinking Ethiopia their
      country. One you leader did not like their color of their eyes and rob those
      poor souls what ever little left from Mengisu and were deported in the middle
      of the night with their underwear, children, women, men young and old. Is this
      the story you are proud of and repeating here in public. You should be ashamed.
      Look Abinet, you may be hurting inside, may that crazy wore have robbed you, a
      father, a brother or an uncle, who was forced to go to Eritrea to fight. I had
      several friends people with whom I grew up some went to school with me, who
      died in that war. Do we have to hold Eritreans responsible for that. Abnet let
      it go, make peace with yourself and fellow Eritreans who are really suffering
      because of Ethiopia’s leaders crazy policies. Revenge is not good for anyone.
      Make peace with yourself and your Eritrean neighbor.

      On onother thread you wrote that I forfeit my Ethiopian nationality. That was a wild speculation, I am an Ethiopian have my Ethiopian ID that I paid $500 and my Eritrean ID that I got for free. So I am dual citizen, I may run for office may be with Ginbot-7. About my knowledge about Eritrea, I know it as much as those born there, and I am a staunch supporter of Shabia., don’t forget they were one country until 1993 and I visit there too every other year. I used to travel to both countries every year, but now because logistics I travel alternatively. Remember I was also a supporter of EPRDF until they ignited the war between the two countries and this exchange between us started when I wrote about my support to PMZ. I believe the Bademe war was started with pure fabricated lies and Meles was responsible for it. Read again what I wrote if that make sense, Ethiopia does not have better friends than Eritreans and it is true vice versa. We just need to sort out our difference.and make peace among us..

      Peace!

      dawit..

      • Abinet

        As far as I know there is no dual citizenship in Ethiopia .
        ” and sew yelela ager zegnet kewesede etyopyawinetun yitewal” ethiopian citizenship law. I don’t know how you go around it to be a dual citizen. You can buy an ID . Citizenship is way more than ID.
        Why do you have to support EFRDF if you are eritrean? You should remain neutral . I know Eritreans voted for EFRDF in Ethiopia election . This is what makes me always suspicious about Eritreans . You see by being divisive , you lose both the respect and trust of the ethiopian population . Now I see Eritreans try to be friendly to other ethiopians and badmouthing people from Tigray .the same old divisive strategy.
        “Tengalew bitefu temelso bafu” yilal yagere sew

        • dawit

          You see Abnet, how far behind you are, you don’t even know you countries laws. Any Ethiopian Diaspora can have equal benefit and right like a citizen to buy land or do business in the country. I am a US citizen and use US passport for travel. ‘Eyebedahot Tankelafalech”. In those days EPRDF and EPLF policies were same and I supported both, and when EPRDF changed their policy I dropped them. Any problem.
          Egziabher ymarh

        • Saleh Johar

          Abinet, I am beginning to think that you consider every walking Eritrean represents the entire nation! If that is so, people may consider you a representative of the entire Ethiopian population but you do not represent but yourself. You hate and judgement is only yours, don’t involve millions of others in it–you do not represent them. That is why I cannot be angry on Ethiopians because of what you say or believe. Would you extend us the same courtesy and recognize we are fighting a regime because it doesn’t represent us and you want us to represented by a single (or a dozen) Eritreans! If you insist, I will consider a man I saw in Ammanuel Hospital as your representative… Cheer up, man.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Dawit,

    This is a very reasonable analysis. Thank you for doing such hypothetical but based on available facts. I like this kind of analysis.

    But, your conclusions are based on the current scenarios. Scenarios that are working based on the PFDJ policies (I will not comment on the Ethiopian side, as always).

    In my opinion, my belief is different. Eritrea has a huge potential to quadruple its GDP every five years if the current PFDJ economic policies are completely changed. The macro-policy of the transitional government of the 1990s was some how fine to a degree that had it served for its intended transitional period. Now, PFDJ is using pure guerrilla policies (listen kindly the recent x-EPLFinterview at assenna.com). They are using the same method. Let’s not be fooled by the economic conferences held recently by PFDJ. Eritreans are investing in Uganda, Angola, South Sudan for example and they are leading investors there. Even PFDJ companies are investing there though their guiding principle is similar to their old trading system.

    Economy today is moving fast. We need to cope with it only. Let’s open our ports, let’s open our trade activities. If we do so, I am quite sure 35 years are more than enough to have 33,000$ GDP

    First 5 years: $1,195*4 = 4,780,
    Second 5 years: $ 9,560
    third five year = $14,340
    4th five year = 19,120
    5th five year = $ 23,900
    6th five year = $ 28,680
    7th five year =$ 33,460

    Calculations are done based on quadrupling every five years of current GDP, Formula:
    (Current GDP * 4)N, Where N is the nth five year.

    To get to that level, join us to dismantle your current system (economical, social, political and military system). the system you have was not our martyrs vision. It is a dictatorial vision and should be “weeded-out”

    Hawka
    tes

    • dawit

      Dear Tes
      Your calculation is acurate like mine which is 10% annual growth. That is good if you have stability and peace in your country. But if you are singing “Weed-out”, forget it @5% growth it will take you 114 years! Look tes, how fast is Iraq or Libya is growing this days with all their oil resources? How fast is Somalia is growing with its charcoal economy? South Korea did not had a democratic government till 1992. Most of their economic came under Military dictatorships for forty years. That was PIA estimated for Eritrea in one of his interview with Al-jezira! few years ago.
      Me confused? waw tes lomis ‘bkurmtai atshikani!
      Hawka
      dawit

      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Dear Dawit,

        Somalia and Libyan case is too much different. Somalia because of different interest groups, the tribal problem, and Libya, almost like ours but of different kind as the interest is who controls the oil.

        Eritreans might face a similar problem if PFDJ continues its rule. One, interest groups will rise (as a factional groups of the ruling regime thinking that they are privatization is implemented though dividing the public property to individuals), or a kind of ethnic appraisal (like that of Afar and Kunama-in defense of their rights as a people to live)). Else, if PFDJ’s system is dismantled, sure peace will prevail.

        You said, “South Korea did not had a democratic government till 1992” Yes you are right, even China is still having controlled economy. But, but, they didn’t stop developing their human resources from all dimensions, be it domestic or international.

        Let me tell share what Mao said when 100s of those students who were sent to study abroad disappeared (like me, ah, I am still a student though and now trying to establish a better working environment and soon I after I finish, I can go back and use my knowledge to help our people). When they reported to him that sending more students is useless, Mao said, let you send 1000s. And your PIA (DIA of course), on the other hand on similar situation but 10s of students (those of South Africa), decided to close sending any single 1s student abroad for 10 years.

        Look for your president(s decision. dawit, I appreciate that you want to have a strong government and you are protecting from this perspective. I agree with you but I believe that our supposed government is hijacked by PFDJ government. And, when I say, DIA, I say it because I didn’t elect my president, at least, no public body elected him, the parliament. In socialist countries, there is a strong presence of parliament and we could even accept because the parliament comes from the wide public domain. Therefore, I am opposing the PFDJ system. I am not opposing an Eritrean government because it does not exist.

        To come back to the South Korean system, yes, South Koreans worked hard to educate their people. They didn’t close their gate to international trade. They didn’t postponed constitution even when North Korea was and is threating them. North Korea continued to build their muscles while South Korea did in all dimensions.

        Dear Dawitom, come and see the reality. Help your people to build a government. Your “Zinegese Nigusna” slogan is not helpful. It is destructive. Build a responsable government.

        Hawka
        tes

  • dawit

    OOPS, Sorry AT Team, after posting I waited for few hours, and when I did not see it, I thought, it was lost in the cyber space or went to Disque’s Black box. So I posted it again with few changes on the second edition. I didn’t know the delay was due the traffic jam on the cyber space! If you have to delete, then delete the first edition. I am practicing say’s advice, “Writing is Rewriting”!,

  • Abinet

    Deribew
    I found ” what we saw today is what we harvest tommoriw ” to be very true. What Eritreans are harvesting today is what they saw fifty years ago . You see the hate they saw is back to haunt them .
    What more do you expect from us other than dying in hundreds of thousands just to keep them . They shoot their way out . If they say now ” we are brothers and sisters” , sorry, I do not trust them anymore . The free labor movement you are preaching about , in eritrea they call it ” colonization ” . They don’t need that any longer .

  • Fetima Dechasa

    derebew,

    Ironically, while you are being so ‘sympathetic’ to his plight, Abraham Hanibal is dreaming of dismantling Ethiopia. 🙂 Wey Gud some of my fellow Ethiopians will never learn SMH.

    • derebew

      Fatima
      What does hate and vengeance bring to people except mutual distraction and woe?
      You see, it is good to be smart and protect your interest but different to be hateful and wish harm to once own brother however misguided the brother may be. Love will reign supreme than hate.
      We should all give it a try. When I say that I am not saying we give free ride to anyone but legally recognized, properly controlled and well managed, respectful relationship between the two peoples.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      Why are you lying? I’m never dreaming of dismantling Ethiopia. I suppose you understand English. I’ve several times stated that my response was a reaction to a scenario should Ethiopia try to re-occupy Eritrea. Here is my question to you: Do you welcome any foreign invader with buckets of roses in case a given country invades your country?

  • Crocus

    A peaceful, yet tepid, relationship with Eritrea may be what Ethiopians prefer, considering the prevailing attitude of Ethiopians at the present time. But this is only slightly better than indifference. I am aware that Ethiopians have come around to the conclusion that there is nothing much Eritrea can bring to a relationship.

    In my view the argument for a warmer relationship with Eritrea is not economic, but considerations of security. Many Eritreans still cling to the mistaken belief that Eritrean ports are vital to Ethiopia. Some comments in this website insinuate that Eritrean ports posses especial advantage for world commerce from which Ethiopia might benefit. This belief is largely baseless, not to say condescending. Red Sea ports in general are destination ports. They are not crucial thoroughfares for world commerce, comparable to, say, ports on South China Sea, Western Europe, the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. For a continent blessed with a long coastline, Africa is woefully deficient in deep water harbors for ships to shelter from the ravages of the open sea. The Red Sea is no exception. In any case, the Red Sea boasts 19 ports, none of which have proven to be crucial to world commerce in the larger scheme of things. Among the bigger ones are ports of Aden (Yemen), Aqaba (Jordan), Eilat (Israel), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Port Sudan, and Djibouti.

    Needless to say, Ethiopia has grown accustomed to carrying out maritime commerce worldwide without Eritrea’s ports. With the $22 billion regional port development of Lamu (Kenya) in full gear at the moment, Eritrean ports will continue to be less and less important to Ethiopia.

    But, Eritrea is potentially a security issue for Ethiopia, especially if a rogue regime allows the territory as a staging ground for incursions into Ethiopia, in the manner Egypt and Italy sought to use the land, or did. This issue argues for strengthening the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    On the other hand, out of pride or misguided patriotism, some supporters of the Eritrean regime seem to be rooting for as little relationship with Ethiopia as possible. Little do they know that this is a fatal position for Eritrea. Economic integration is more important for Eritrea than for Ethiopia. There is not much Eritrea can sell to Ethiopia, so that talking about trade alone is rather not saying much. The real benefit for Eritrea, one that can only come from economic integration, is “labor mobility” where Eritreans would be free to live and work in Ethiopia as it used be. This may not be feasible in the near future. But it is important to realize that labor mobility will not materialize without economic integration, and no integration will be palatable to Ethiopia without centralizing vital institutions (foreign affairs, defense, and currency, including taxation, and monetary policy). That was the basis for my suggestion in my original comment.It may take a minimum of 25 years, may be 50, but I do not see a real way out for Eritrea without economic integration with Ethiopia. Advantages to be had from economy of scale alone demand it.

    • Dear Crocus,

      Your comment is indeed interesting. If I try to put your last paragraph into a sort of algorithm, it looks like this (that is if you agree).

      Eritrea needs economic integration with Ethiopia (mainly labor mobility and less for the sake of the big market, because Eritrea has not much to sell in Ethiopia), and economic integration can occur only after centralizing vital institutions, i.e. foreign affairs, defense, and currency (which in other words mean Federation or Confederation).

      Now, if on top of this I state my side of the story, what would you say, if Eritrea remains separated and independent, Assab is given to Ethiopia, Badme
      to Eritrea, economic integration is implemented, and electricity is given to Eritrea from Ethiopia’s abundant production in the future? I believe that landlocked Ethiopia will never be at peace with Eritrea (for landlocking Ethiopia was the biggest mistake), and also Ethiopia and Eritrea cannot be eternal enemies. It is better for Eritrea to lose Assab, which will never serve her economy unless leased by Ethiopia, which she will never do, than losing may be everything. In addition, we Ethiopians had better not underestimate the long-term effect on the economy, of paying foreign port services, which can also open or close according to the whims of politicians in different countries, especially during crisis. This will put in danger Ethiopia’s economy and security, for there are no permanent friends and permanent enemies.

      • Crocus

        Dear Horizon:

        I am glad to see the conversation turn to economic matters than daft politics and nationalism. The ultimate welfare of a nation is measured by its economic potential and the vigor of its performance. Having said that, I want to make a few points on some of the concerns you raised above.

        I often catch comments on this website from ill-informed, strident uber-nationalists who seem to think that being land-locked is a disastrous situation. To them, ports are a bragging right. The true picture of whether being land-locked spells disaster or not lies in the particulars.

        Ideally, each nation is better served if it has its own ports. However, being landlocked is not the dark cloud on an economy that some make it out to be. (.) There is a silver-lining to being land-locked, which I will get back to below. First some basic observations.

        The true burden that being land-locked imposes is not so much on nations that do not have ports, rather on nations that are situated so far inland that the cost of freight by the mile becomes horrendously expensive. There are 42 land-locked nations in the world, and 2 of them are so far inland that they are doubly landlocked, which means that getting to the nearest port requires passing through two sovereign nations. In addition to increased transportation cost, distance from the sea entails massive expenses. For example, when freight is unloaded from ships, it is often warehoused before it is moved to its destination. Warehousing piles up more cost on top of port fees for a landlocked nation. Fortunately, this is not as big a problem for Ethiopia. The port of Dijbouti is only about 60 miles away from the Ethiopian border. And this is a good thing. To reduce warehousing and associated cost, all that nations like Ethiopia must do is build the warehousing facilities within their own borders, effectively eliminating or greatly reducing the warehousing fees they must pay to the foreign port authority. Transportation cost for nations like Ethiopia is likewise not too much of a burden, especially now as the nation is getting closer to moving freight by rail. This is just one example.

        Also, some costs are offset. While it is preferable to have one’s own port, the cost of building a navy and patrolling a 1000 km. long coastline is no small change. I doubt that Ethiopia now spends money on a fighting navy. Not having to finance a navy offsets some of the port fees the nation’s merchants incur. (There is always a need for a merchant navy, however. Ethiopia has greatly increased its shipping fleet, which is man-powered by graduates from the Maritime Academy in Bahir Dar.)

        The best silver-lining for being landlocked, however, is its tendency to force government planners to focus on expanding manufacturing capacity domestically, so that importing an immense quantity of consumer goods would be unnecessary. In this regard, Ethiopia’s focus on power generation and the manufacturing sector is a wise decision. The enterprise is sure to be greatly expanded in years to come. That way, there is no need to import millions of bags of cement, sugar, tonnes of iron works etc…, and pay hefty port fees, and to some extent additional transportation fees.

        By the way, there are many land-locked nations that do very well, because their distance from the sea is not much of a burden. Switzerland is a land-locked nation that has thrived very well. And there are many nations that have excellent harbors that are not doing well at all.

        Smart planning can reduce the financial burden of being-landlocked by up to 80%.

        • Dear Crocus,

          I know that Ethiopia is trying to do all the above you mentioned to ameliorate the damage done by being landlocked. Indeed, many countries are landlocked. Its effect in industrialized European countries is not the same as in a third world country, like Ethiopia. Most landlocked countries in the third world are the poorest, economically,

          The point is that in our case, there is a redundant seaport that used to serve Ethiopia, and is serving nobody now. Assab is keeping us apart more
          than Badme, while it could have joined the two countries, if there is the good will of give and take on both sides, targeting the future and the long-term
          interest of both people.

          Ethiopia can compensate for the loss of Assab for the time being, and in a way she is saying let us see who will succumb first, Eritrea or Ethiopia. However, this is a roundabout and an expensive way to achieve our development.

          Is it sophistication or naivety when some Ethiopians support their stay in Badme, a thousand times less important to Ethiopia than Assab, and at the same time ignore the importance of a seaport? As much as I can understand, Assab is the peacemaker, not Badme, and an Eritrea that feels persecuted, lives with a siege mentality and has a battered economy, can never be a good neighbor. Of course, if we are to say that the means justifies the end; that is another matter.

          When people talk of a sea-outlet, they mean sea-outlet with a corridor of land, and not the 1000km of Eritrean coastline. Nobody is talking of revising Eritrea’s independence. This should be clear.

          Manufacturing consumer goods instead of importing it ready-made is good economically, but it is not everything if the raw material is to be imported. The government is speaking of export-oriented manufacturing, which can indeed catapult the economy.

          • Crocus

            Dear Horizon:

            I am certain it will not continue this way for too long. It is a matter of time, but common sense will prevail. Perhaps the generation of Eritreans who could not think twice before mucking it up, even to their own detriment, must pass. But, the port of Assab will be back in service. It’s location is such that it is of no use to anyone else than to Ethiopia. And only a callous and stubborn generation will want to keep it idle and useless. Sooner or later economics will triumph. It is unheard of for a precious resource to remain unused when it can be put to its most beneficial use.

            There are economic models that can be used for managing the future of the port of Assab. As you pointed out earlier, all or part of the deal can be negotiated around Eritrea’s need for electricity, which Ethiopia can supply in return for a long lease of the port. This is only one of many options. The doubt that surrounds the fate of that port springs from the unreliability of Eritrea’s present regime. No one can take comfort and commit scarce funds to develop the port under circumstances where an unhinged dictator can foul it up in a heart beat. Eritrea must first come under the rule of law and an elected parliament, and put in place all other necessary levers of a genuine government (especially a judiciary for adjudicating contract disputes) before anyone can decide to engage in any enterprise such as developing a port. Nations enter into agreements with nations, not with individuals. Eritrea at the present time is a modern day fiefdom of a deranged leader. That, in a nutshell is the road block with Eritrea at the present time.

            Even the Badme impasse is not really about the value of that land, as about keeping a dictator in check. I have no doubt that the Badme impasse will be solved in no time once Eritrea embraces a government of laws and institutions. That is the pressing task for Eritreans. I do not think it is that far away for things to change in Eritrea.

          • haileTG

            Selamat Horizon, Crocus and dawit,

            When Ethiopia’s benefits to Eritrea and vice verse is considered, it may be worth while to try to tie the debate, as closely as possible, to the current as well as emerging realities of both countries. Considering the potential relationship between both countries merely from point of view of sea outlet and general economic indicators (such as big market or commodities), it may be rather outdated.

            When a reasonable state of rule of law returns to Eritrea, its political, economic and social realities will drastically change. In fact, any agreeable arrangement to guarantee sea access to Ethiopia would happen without much fanfare. As I sea it, there are two layers to the Ethio-Eritrea cooperation:

            – At the outer layer, it is the obvious collaboration in economic field. In this case, my self as an Eritrean, see many diverse opportunities for Eritrea in the fields of Education (where Ethiopia has now a hugely expanded higher education sector), civil aviation, building and construction works, financial services, modernizing the agricultural sector, power supply, tourism, communication, and many other sectors. Of course, I would limit my list to what Eritrea needs and leave it to the Ethiopians as to what they need. The point is however, for Eritrea, once there is a constitutional government of the people, to draw up a comprehensive marshal plan for economic mobilization and development and clearly outline what it is we think Ethiopia can play a part in. Following that presentation from the Eritrean side, Ethiopia would also analyze the plan from point of view of its vital interests, market expansion, trade opportunity, job creation and long term development plans. With some negotiation and trade offs, things would start to take shape and be implemented gradually. Unfortunately, the current situation in Eritrea is worrisome and there are tall uncertainties all around. Hence, it would not be practical to form realistic concept of the possible scenarios until that situation from our side is normalized somewhat.

            – At a deeper lever or inner layer of the collaboration aspect is the security component. This of course, would only be within the purview of the highest echelon in the decision making process. The issue would also be as daunting, multifaceted and complex and would take many domestic, regional and international issues into consideration. The matter would almost always remain classified and hence not a debate friendly material, but it suffice to underscore that it is an altogether different layer with its own set of long term goals and objectives.

            In conclusion, the notion that reduces the Ethio-Eritrea cooperation to a mere port services or primary/stable commodities or economic composition, without assessing current realities and potentially emerging once, may not reflect the direction of things on the ground. Not only such, but the approach may also be unlikely to prevent it debates quickly devolving into purely an academic discourse.

            Regards

          • Dear Haile TG,

            The aim of bringing the subject for discussion is for Ethiopians and Eritreans to contemplate and examine points we think could help in peacemaking in the
            future, for peace is security, prosperity and social revival. It does not mean that the points we mentioned are all the problems we face, but important part of the agenda for future discussion between future governments.

            You see Haile TG, we the ordinary people feel free to discuss issues that both governments try to hide. Do not they discuss these topics each one of them, behind closed doors? Of course, they do. What sort of government would they be if they did not? Therefore, citizens of both countries should also discuss
            them, to help future governments to see where public opinion lies on these matters. The danger in Eritrea is not only the existence of a dictatorial regime that hates negotiations, but also a repetition of the same type of government in post DIA Eritrea.

            The present regime in Asmara has shown time again that it does not want to be part of any negotiations. Therefore, one should aim future Ethiopian and Eritrean
            governments, and make sure that they know not only the opinion of the diehard supporters, but also the free public opinion, of people who can say “yes” today and “no” tomorrow.

            Therefore, right or wrong, we all put our opinion on the table, for scrutiny, either to be approved or condemned, accordingly. The most important thing is not to desist from saying our opinion.

            Regards.

          • Abinet

            Selam Horizon
            “Miqegna leraru kemiyagegn lelaw biyata yishalewal ” . Trust me eritrea rather see the ports rust than ethiopia use them . They thought we would die off because we lost the ports . Many thanks for Djibouti they stood with us in hard times. As to the economic cooperation , don’t even go there . There is no trust between us . No amount of signing agreements bring back the trust lost even to individual levels. We have seen them , as individuals and as a nation , involved in illegal activities .
            “Yemaytemamen balinjera beyewenzu yimamalal”

          • Selam Abinet,

            Let us all hope that the future generation of Ethiopians and Eritreans will be different. We expect them to be peace loving, friendly and people who appreciate cooperation.

            By the way, Abinet, I like your proverbs. I have learnt many Amharic proverbs on Awate.com. Amharic is indeed a rich language. I believe Tigrigna too, because both came from the same mother language, which is Geez.

          • Rodab

            Abinet,
            I hope you, Fetima, Admas and the likes will never ever run for any political office in Ethiopia (and if you run, it is my sincere hope you get rejected by voters for the sake of good of both nations). I say this becsuse I believe your deep hate to see any fruitful relations between the two countries would create a toxic environment in any adminstration you would be members of.
            If you refer to history, it is Ethiopia that afflicted heavy damages on Eritrea by commiting gross atrocities such as burning down entire villages and systemic cluster bombardment of civilians. In their history, Eritreans never ever did such things to Ethiopia (I would be unfair if I didn’t take exception on the Mekelle school tragedy). Yet, in a reverse logic, it is you guys playing victims ALL the time. It is a travesty!!

          • haileTG

            Hi Rodab,

            I would address your take on Fetima’s position separately. First this goes for the A-Team (Abi & Admas:)

            People with such bizarre and extreme views never get to hold center stage politics in democratic countries. In such freer systems, they are considered to represent fringe opinions with freaky tendencies. Such people raise to power in distressed societies or those under the grip of ideological influence. Their viewpoints are counter intuitive to normal human tendency to maximize chances of survival. They would rather expose their fellow man who could benefit from peace, in some corner of their country, to a dire straits, poverty and meager living, in order to serve their urges to act out some deeply held conflicted emotions. Take the far right parties in the west for example, they only raise in popularity in troubled times. Some of them not only object to non-whites living among them but also urge to send them back in body bags if they wouldn’t vacate willingly. Ordinary people listen to them when they are in times of high crisis and feelings of threat is higher. The current Ethiopian policy towards Eritreans fly in the face of our A-team’s prognosis of doom and gloom. The fact that they profess ambitions to prosper and develop as a nation is no less typical than Mengistu, IA, Id Amin’s and others aims to do the same too. The latter failed because their policies were based on a counter intuitive discourse of preaching war and expecting peace. The fact that they are inclined this way in times of relative peace shows you that they have fundamental problems in grasping the concepts peace, justice, rights and development. The People are intelligent as far as their interests are concerned and that is why we see the actual actions of Ethiopians as people and country at sharp variance to the duo’s take on matters.

            Fetima’s case is different. Yes, she does do “liking” of some wacky viewpoints such as the one’s minted by the A-team duo, but in fairness, if you judge her by what she actually states as a position (don’t be harsh on her light comments about Eritrean nose sizes…ehm ehm it is her ploy to sabotage our cordial relationship with our West African brothers:) she is rather neutral and indifferent to the issue of normalization, or more like she sets her priorities close to her domestic matters. That can’t possibly put her on par to the A-team who are getting intoxicated headless and sh!tless with pure hate (yah, EXTREME 95% HATE CONTENT label bottles:)

            Regards

          • Rodab

            He Hailat,
            Just on Fetima.
            I must confess that I might not have read enough of her comments, but she started off by saying why should Ethiopia be in a relationship with Eritrea, or something like that. The implication being Eritrea has nothing much to offer. Then few days ago, she said the average Eritrean is hateful of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I took a mental note and conducted some mental review of people I know that included members of my family, relatves, friends and acquaintances. I wasn’t able to find a single one that gave me the impression (forget remarks) that s/he hated Ethiopia or Ethiopians. God knows where Fetima’s views originate from. Of cource she might have a different experience than mine, she might have come accross inconsiderate individuals. But still to claim “the average…” is irresponsible.
            Anyway, its all good, we all know the cyber world is not reflective of the real world. And that is good reason enough to overlook what gets to be said here.

          • haileTG

            hey Rodab,

            I agree with your observation that even most people (Eritrean) in my real life circle don’t hold such views (although there is entrenched political differences). But since we are aiming on fairness, let’s also acknowledge a lot of “irresponsible” and hurtful comments are also being hurled towards Ethiopians in this threads too. She is only human and it would defy my conscience to expect her not to react to provocative and ill considered remarks about her country and people. She debated with me for stretch of dozen or so exchanges on a single topic (normalization), and she didn’t slight me or even made a single “irresponsible” remark whatsoever. Not even a single word. We can only build peace by being peaceful ourselves and earn respect by being respectful ourselves. The people in our side who generate the same (even sometimes worse) threads as the A-Team duo above are also responsible to bringing shame and dishonor to Eritrea and Eritreans.

          • Saleh Johar

            HaileTG, your last sentence is not very clear, at least to me. If it is a criticizm, I would like to understand it. Can you please elaborate, the part that concerns me 🙂

          • haileTG

            haha..I am very sorry (poor naming procedure!!!) Elaboration: please replace the A-Team to the – A fifty five- Team (better use numeric where efficient 😉

          • Rodab

            Hailat.
            Agreed. I mentioned that yesterday saying both sides have bad apples.
            Peace!

          • Hope

            Attorney Haile TG and Eng Rodab,-
            -Per my observation thus far,I do NOT remember an Eritrean overtly and unprovokedly expressing any kind of hate towards Ethiopians other than related to what Eng Rodab lamented above–to Abi et al….
            Huh,do you expect me to be nice when I witnessed my own 2 yrs old kid being burnt up and my own pregnant Cousin being stabbed to death with a Bayonette in front of my face in the Plains of Barka besides my Ona we Besikdira being destroyed into ashes or my Muslim Cousins being burnt up inside a Mosque(God’s House)?

            I know Ms Rahwa counter-challenged me quoting about the unfortunate Mekelle School bombing,and literally told me that we are “Habba Habba”.
            But I admire Haile TG’s reconciliatory gesture and tone.
            As to Ms Fetima’s source of “hate”,well, if she is a real Oromo(btw speaking Oromigna does NOT necessarily make one Oromo as I do speak Oromigna with “super pure and orginal Eri origin/blood,May be she is retaliating to what the EPLF did to the OLF in favor of the Untrustworthy TPLF,a major Tactical or Strategic Mistake by the EPLF.
            But she should also consider the role of the Oromo Soldiers in Eritrea,who were the major game players—for /in the suffering of the Innocent Eri people during the Derg and Janhoy Era.
            Be that or this,we are out of the topic and wasting our time.
            I wonder why the AT has allowed this kind of plunder of hate.
            Bottom line:”All have sinned and all shall repent”.
            The past is history and we should only learn from history to make a better today and tomorrow,which we have failed to do so ,so far.
            I am an eye account witness that we Eris have forgotten and forgiven the “sins” of the Ethiopians and tried to move on–but—here we are again the victims being considered as “Criminals”,as Eng Rodab said it above.
            As to Abi’s unwarranted claim about us being “paraistes and untrustworthy people and doing “Illegal” activities”,he is either a Neonate and have no clue about the uncalculabel damages his Leaders incurred upon Eritrea and her Innocent peopleand/or he is playing games and expressing his drunkenness with hate against Eris-and may God bless him and have mercy on him.

          • Abinet

            Haile
            Today in your response to Horizon , you were talking about how you want to see a good relationship with ethiopia in education , airlines, construction and more . Good points .
            At the beginning of this year you were preaching about how you want to see a relationship between Tigray university and eritrea university, eritrean airlines and Tigray airline ( yes Tigray airline ) , eritrean construction companies with Tigray construction companies . Which haile shall I believe ?
            As far as I am concerned, you are calculative , manipulative, decisive , and dangerously opportunist in this forum . This is why I do not trust you and whoever appear to be innocent
            and conciliatory but decisive .
            “Yeqebero bahtawi ” fits you perfectly.
            You talk about hate? Eritreans perfected the art of hating in their struggle to independence .you even hate each other to biblical proportion .
            “Yosefn wendmochu sheTut”
            The only thing that brings Eritreans together is their hate towards ethiopia . Dr Sara Equbay once asked”are we only ethiopia haters?” Haile, answer her .

          • Abinet

            Read decisive as divisive

          • haileTG

            ጓድ ኣብነት፡ ረጋ በሉ እንጂ፡ (እረ የእዮባ ያለህ፡ ና ገላግል እባክህ፡ ሰውየው ለቋል ዛሬ፡-)

            BTW I have never believed nor ever advocated for that type of relationship. In fact, I have never heard of Tigray Airlines, this is the first time I am learning that such thing exist at all. Since, you are the most soft, unassuming, embracing, safely opportunist in this forum, would you kindly prove that I said that I want to see a relationship between Tigray university and eritrea university, eritrean airlines and Tigray airline ( yes Tigray airline ) , eritrean construction companies with Tigray construction companies . I wish you do well with it because your reputation is at stakes here:-)

          • Abinet

            Haile find it yourself . Someone challenged you on this and you replied. ” yes there will be Tigray regional airline in the future” . Find it haile . I know you can find anything .

          • haileTG

            Abi ቀልድ ተው ባክህ፡ እኔ ያልጻፍኩት፡ ነገር ፍለጋ ኣልሄድም። ራስህ ፈልጋት ብያለሁ። እንደሱ ከሆነ’ማ ኣንተም ከኤርትራዊ ሰው በላይ የምወደው ህዝብ በዚህ ኣለም የለም ብለሃል። ኮሜንትዋን ሂድህ ፈልጋትና፡ ታገኛታለህ….ይቺ ውሃ ያልተነከረች ኣዲስ ጨዋታ ትባላለች ባስመራ ከተማ፡-) ቢሆንም የትግራይ ኣየር መንገድ ኣለመኖሩ ብቻ ኣይደል፡ ኤርትራም የላትም። ዩኒቨርሲትም እንደሱ።

          • dawit

            Abinet if you watch the following Video of your dead PM you will learn to whom your proverb applies! “Miqegna leraru kemiyagegn lelaw biyata yishalewal ” It is Ethiopia that decided not to use Asab, because it didn’t want Eritrea to get Foreign Currency!
            “Abesha Miqegna, Miqegna yerasu Megagna”. I am sure you heard that proverb too.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRWsjhXo7Zg&feature=player_embedded

          • haileTG

            Selamat Dear Horizon,

            oh gosh, I might have given you the impression of trying to limit the debate to be had. That isn’t my intention, I think it is probably down to lack of better elaboration on my part. Actually, I am looking for expanding the debate and taking it farther and higher than where it is at now.

            Ethiopia is in relatively peaceful times and hence it has laid out all the potential areas of collaboration that can be fostered. For example, we can look at Ethiopia’s recent experience in expanded and modernized agricultural projects, we can look into its successful aviation services, we can look into its experiences in the nascent large scale construction of roads, dams and railways project, we can look into its expanded higher education provisions, we can look into its tourist attraction and hospitality industry and many other things. This gives us a better overview as to what areas we can study as Eritreans in planning economic partnership. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian side doesn’t have that advantage to analyze the business and development potentials from the Eritrean side. The reason being that Eritrea is going through difficult times where its leadership has imploded and the nation is blockaded even to its citizens let alone neighbors, the region or the international community at large. Hence, the discussion seems to center on a narrow sector of outlet to the sea. In the practical sense, you may argue that the Ethiopian side has no option but to focus on what is there since it can’t be expected to formulate based on potential scenarios. I understand that and true that it boils down to the fact that Eritreans are responsible for creating the platform they wish to engage in.

            The above is where my argument center, i.e. why don’t we theorize as realistically as possible on the totality of the issue of collaboration and thereby expand and develop the debate. After all, we both agree that the topic itself can’t be moved forward with the current regime in Eritrea in place.

            For example, Hayat Adem had recently made a stunningly insightful comment on how the tourism sector in the north could have been developed in a packaged model. Imagine Hayat’s brain then zooms through every other sector of the economy blow by blow. Clearly, the sky would be the limit. Suppose another example that with normalcy restored in Eritrea, travel and air transportation picks up. Since Eritrean aviation has to be reorganized and reformulated, suppose all existing contracts be awarded to EAL. This would serve Eritrea with being 45min flight from the home of EAL and would serve EAL in market expansion and giving it additional competitive edge in its global reach. Suppose again, a new government in Eritrea would raise hundreds of millions of dollars for civil construction work, I would be more inclined to award the contract (where the logistics exist in Ethiopia and Eritrea would be required to import labor) to Ethiopian civil engineering companies than Chinese or Korean competitors. Nothing against the latter, but having the advantage of social capital where we can easily share skill and expertise with Ethiopians than the Chinese. This makes sense to both sides. We can go sector-by-sector to unlock all potentials and possibilities that would be mutually beneficial to both peoples and cement their age old relationship than draw them apart.

            So, my point is that our debate can be made more fruitful by trying to accommodate, at least theoretically, Eritrea’s contribution to the multifaceted areas of cooperation and engagement by trying to widen the discussion than limiting it port services. In my view, the total volume of wealth that can be created by trade and cooperation by both countries would dwarf the benefits of port services to either side by leaps and bounds.

            Again, I understand it is not easy to discuss money that is not actually presented on the table. And, hence it may require us to stretch the scope of the debate to include Eritrea’s potential and the opportunities it presents to Ethiopian interests in various spheres in a the two-layer model I presented earlier and the foregoing discussions here.

            Regards

          • dawit

            Selamat, Haile TG, Horizon and Crocos

            Dear Haile and Horizon’, Let me be the
            Devil’s Advocate since the two Bishops her at AT Bishop SEM and Bishop TES have baptized me the ‘Devil’ I will argue the premises on which this discussion is
            centered on Eritrean need of Economic integration and cheap energy and Ethiopian
            need for sea outlet and security. Both assumptions are wrong.

            Eritrea does not need economic integration with Ethiopia. It has already integrated its economy with Sudan, be it through contraband or legal trades. Historically speaking one of the primary reasons why UN rejected Eritrean independence was the argument that Eritrea cannot support economically, therefore it has to be divided between the British colony of Sudan and Feudal Ethiopia. After the Border war every western expert fro Chatham House, The Economist predicted the Eritrean economy would collapse in months if not weeks. But guess what, it is still standing even with under UN draconian economic sanctions and Eritrea prove the false meyth that it can support without Ethiopia..

            The Security issue a myth. Eritreans never used themselves to hurt their neighboring country Ethiopia by allying with foreign power. That
            part is Ethiopian history, aligning themselves, with Italian colonial powers,
            with USSR, Cuba, Libyans you name it. Even as recent history during border war Ethiopia created alliance with Sudan and Yemen to isolate Eritrean economy, but that alliance was broken and it is Sudan and Yemen that fell into turmoil in the last ten 14 years. It is Ethiopia which is knocking ever regional and international doors to isolate Eritrea, militarily and economically.

            Eritrean port may be idle, but that was not the choice of
            Eritreans, but it is the choice of Ethiopia. Yes Assab Port was useful for
            Ethiopia if it desire to use it. It can be used to ship the huge Potash
            Resource Ethiopia has at Dalulu. If they prefer to use the rail and ship it
            through Djibouti, good for them. They could even transport it with air plane if
            that is profitable for them. A port is not needed only for shipping or hauling
            cargo. Many ports are used as Military bases. Eritrea could lease its Asab port
            for such purposes and collect rent same way Ethiopia is leasing its fertile
            lands to foreigners..

            What Eritrea need to trade with Ethiopia is peace and good neighborliness,
            not electric power and teff, and Ethiopia can offer that in a minute without paying
            a red cent. Yes Eritrea is hurting economically but so does Ethiopia. The
            people of Tigrai are hurting badly for empty pride, cut and isolated from their
            natural and historical neighbors ties with Eritrea.
            Regards
            dawit

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Dawit,

            Could you elaborate more what you mean by ” peace and good neighborliness”? I see your rational thinking. Because of that you are here at Awate.

            Oh yah, your doctrine will not work here actually. You are in the state of confession these days. I can read this from every post you have. Be sure on one thing: We are here because we want something good to our people. If we were caring about ourselves, it could have been the other way. You may ask me some people have another agenda. Ok dear dawit I can read your frustration and the reason for your psyche is “you are not accustomed to open discussion” If one discusses even his devilic message like yours, well and good, we can at least pray for it as we know what message is coming. But if it kept as secret like your doctrinator, then, the effect is much bigger to handle. Consequently, only devils will play with that.

            Hope you are not (hmm).

            Hawka
            tes

          • dawit

            Dear tes,
            I mean Ethiopia completely evacuate from the occupied Eritrean territories without if or but. Then establish normal diplomatic relationship before trade or economic discussions. Believe me I am also here for the welfare of our people, but I don’t subscribe to you disastrous method for change, I prefer the safe way
            Hawka
            dawit

          • Dear dawit,

            You said you want to be the “devil’s advocate”, the dictionary definition of which is, “a person who upholds what is regarded as the wrong side or an indefensible cause, perversely or for argument’s sake”.

            Then, do you really believe all the things you write, like “Eritrea does not need economic integration with Ethiopia, it has already integrated its economy with Sudan, be it through contraband or legal trades. Eritreans never used themselves to hurt their neighboring country Ethiopia by allying with foreign power. Many ports are used as Military bases, Eritrea could lease its Asab port
            for such purposes……”? Why do you continue to invest on a losing cause DIA and the PFDJ by supporting their
            policy, and not on Eritrea and Eritreans, who will no doubt be the winners in the end? Why stand for confrontation while you could stand for cooperation,
            normality and peace? What do you plan to achieve in the end? Have you ever pondered on these questions; could be many more for that matter?

            If I am not mistaken, I think that you said, when the time comes, you will tell us why you continue to support
            DIA and the PFDJ. Please, do so as soon as possible, for it will help everybody to understand you. I am forced to think that your support may not be completely due to your unwavering conviction in the rightness of the policy of the regime, but due to other things as well.

          • dawit

            Dear Horizon
            You asked Then, do you really believe all the things you write, like “Eritrea does not need economic integration with Ethiopia?
            ,
            Yes I believe on every word I wrote, Eritrea does not need to integrate its economy as long as Ethiopia want to benefit at the expense of Eritrea. Remember the two economies were integrated and Ethiopia deliberately destroyed it by creating a war between the two countries. The demolished the bridges by confiscating all businesses of Eritreans in Ethiopia. Ok some individuals in Ethiopia may have benefited from Eritrean owned and confiscated businesses when they get them for free using the border war created purely with fabricated lies blaming Eritrea as a cover. Look what you suggested exchanging Assab for Bademe? and your reasoning, Assab port is idle, we are strong militarily, we have large population therefore we can raise an army 20 times you can, just surrender you post for the benefit us and in the process we may let you have a piece of bread. It is this same policy that lasted the 30 years war. And you want to repeat I again.

            Why do you continue to invest on a losing cause DIA and the PFDJ by supporting their policy, and not on Eritrea and Eritreans, who will no doubt be the winners in the end? Why stand for confrontation while you could stand for cooperation,
            normality and peace?

            Who determined PIA and PFDJ do not represent Eritrea and Eritreans? As far as PIA and PFDJ believe they represent Eritrea and Eritreans, and many people like me believe them. We don’t think EPRDF represent us. What kind of cooperation are you proposing, give me Asab and I will let you Bademe a lose-lose for Eritrea and win-win for Ethiopia an asymmetrical relation, Might is Right. No Horizon this will never bring the two nations closer, for cooperation, normality and peace, but the opposite. You better examine your stand.

            Yes I was proud to support Tegadali Isaias and EPLF and I am to support PIA and PFDJ, just because there is temporary problem that was imposed on them by their neighbors. Yes God willing I will write why I took a stand supporting Eritrea and its leadership.

          • Crocus

            Dear HaileTG:

            Your point is well taken. There are multiple layers to the business of nations. Once relations improve and move from a solid foundation, there is no telling how broad and deep they can flourish. We often tend to talk about relationships between governments. Relationships between nations are more than relationships between governments. There are cross country relationships between individuals, communities, interest groups, social movements, and cultural groups, among others. The “us and them” is so arcane and backward. What is clear is that all these entities impact and shape the larger relationship.

            The practical problem we encounter in this dialogue is trying to gauge the right portion that readers can chew upon and digest without choking, something rather tricky to do. Too big a portion provides spoilers an opportunity to indulge in endless diatribe, recrimination, and scoring cheap points. There sole existence revolves around erecting walls and barriers or flattering their own vanities. It is in the nature of stale minds. Some of it stems from ignorance.

            So we settle for baby steps, trying to appeal to personal interests. The focus on ports and economic activities plays to that interest. As we infer from comments, there are many who are keen on seeing the relationship between the two neighbors get back to normal to the benefit of all. But,
            it is not lost to me that what we are trying to do now is putting broken pieces back together. It is unfortunate it got to this point, a child’s play, if you ask me. All this because of misguided passions. Oh, well.

          • haileTG

            Dear Crocus,

            How very true! I don’t know if it could be said any better dear crocus. Let’s hope the power compassion help us to soften our rigid hearts, for we’re all one other’s keepers.

            Regards

      • dawit

        Dear Horizon
        You wrote
        “I believe that landlocked Ethiopia will never be at peace with Eritrea (for landlocking Ethiopia was the biggest mistake)”
        Who made that mistake and when? Was it not the Wuchale Treaty by Menelik and Italy that created Eritrea, making Ethiopia a landlocked country? Don’t you think the 30 years war on Eritrea by HS and Derg was to restore that sea outlet for Ethiopia?
        You also suggested that Assab to be given to Ethiopia and Bademe given to Eritrea. What kind of trade or bargain is that when Bademe and Assab belong legally to Eritrea? What about giving Lake Tana since Eritrea does not have a natural lake for Assab? I think that might motivate Eritreans! Remember for trade to occur there must be mutual advantage. Your suggestion is trying a hostage exchange for ransom? Bademe for Assab.

        ,

        • Dear dawit,

          As a mutual advantage for the two countries, Eritrea will get Badme, economic integration, bigger market, electricity and the chance to demobilize her army. As both Badme and Assab being Eritrean, at least for the time being Badme is not in Eritrean hands, and Assab has become almost a ghost seaport.

          As you said, Ethiopia lost Assab to a stronger power (Italy) at the treaty of Wuchale, in the age of the strongest takes all. If you see, Assab was an Adal/Afar port taken by Italy, and given to Eritrea. Ethiopia became the
          owner of the port for about 50 yrs, and finally Assab again returns to Eritrea. The common denominator in all of these is power.

          Now Assab has become almost a ghost seaport, bringing not a penny for Eritrea, and Badme is in Ethiopian hands. No international power could force Ethiopia to hand it over, and some sort of negotiation should take place between the two countries. Negotiation incorporates the essence of give-and-take.

          When the small and insignificant Badme is not going to be in Eritrea’s hands for the foreseeable future, and as long as Assab is going to remain redundant by Ethiopia’s decision, and Eritrea needs badly economic integration,
          a bigger market, electricity and demobilization to revitalize her economy and bring peace and relief to its people, then reaching an agreement of the sort I have
          suggested might not be perfect, but it is a sort of a “solomonic” decision that can nevertheless serve peace. As you see, it is not as simple as exchanging Badme
          and Assab.

          There are times when some sort of agreement is better than no agreement at all, especially if the current belligerency is going to lead to a catastrophe. Negotiating and reaching some sort of agreement is not weakness,
          nor betrayal, but a sign of being realistic.

          • Nitricc

            Horizon, how about a little truth?
            No, there is no give and take in here. that was good idea back then when no blood was shade, no proporties was destroyed and no court has spoken. but now after all that blood and the rule law spoken, Ethiopians have no choice but to hand the land and get out. if the two countries to live in peace then the ruling must be up hold. as far as Assab, from start, the ethiopins who refused to use Assab, no one told them they can’t use it and now, all Eritrea have to do is lease Assab to Dubai and let the Ethiopians deal with Dubai and let Eritrea sit back and collect the fee.
            so, the two issues have nothing to do with each other. the Ethiopians have no choice but to leave Badime. if the matter has to pass to the next generation then let it be.
            the fact is if the USA to tell the TPLF they have to leave Badime, the TPLF will leave badime in 72 hours. so, don’t act like the Ethiopians have political independence. they don’t eat their lunch with out the greet light of state department, let alone to hold Badime against the rule of law.

          • Nitricc,

            Ethiopia and Eritrea sign a binding agreement,
            EEBC awarded the flash point Badme to Eritrea,
            Ethiopia does not abide by the agreement,
            No guarantor to force its implementation,
            You accuse the USA for not pressuring Ethiopia,
            You cannot take Badme by force,
            You waited more than ten years and still going,

            At last Nitricc, What are your plans for Badme for the future?
            a) Wait for Ethiopia’s goodwill to
            pack up and get out of Badme, which is not coming?

            b) Wait for change of heart by the
            USA, which you are not trying to achieve in any way imaginable? On the
            contrary, you are doing the exact opposite.

            c) Wait till kingdom come?

            Don’t you see that Badme has become the albatross tied around DIA’s neck,
            for starting the border war of 1998-2000?

          • Hope

            Horizon,
            Are the Horizon I knew before in this forum?If so,did you change your peaceful approach?
            I am kind of afraid of,that you are declaring an opne war on eritrea and Eritreans by saying t and repeating what the discredit Ghberu Asrat has been vomiting up.
            Did I hear you that you are looking for Aseb in exchange of Baduma?
            R U in your right mind,Sir?I hope you are joking.
            But your cousin ,Abi, told us to get lost with our Aseb Port though?
            Few fcats:
            -Eritrea and Eritreans will never be a threat to Ethiopia and Ethiopians–as long as Ethiopia will not be a threat to eritrea and Eritreans!
            -Since we are in the era of Globulization,Eritrea can survive like any other Nation and eritrea can exist and can do better without Ethiopia
            -Aseb can be and will be ,for that matter,the hub of the International Shiping Lane due to its Natural and Strategic Location—so,never mind about Aseb
            -Just simply coz of her untapped natural resources,Eritrea can do well,even better tha most world nations,let alone in the Horn.
            -As to the Ethio-Eri relationship,time and nature will dictate things—even if you do your best to avoid it–
            Ni Aseb kem tub adekha kibetsa…(check with your Cousins,Rahwa and T kifle for details)

          • Dear Hope,

            If Ethiopians and Eritreans choose to stand their ground, and do not want to budge from their positions, then they will be like two mountains that stand for eternity looking at each other, and never approaching.

            If the mountain does not go to the prophet, because the prophet commands the mountain to move, then the prophet must go to the mountain. The aim of our discussion should be to bring a win-win situation for both people, as Ethiopia and Egypt are doing. You see, both countries have moved from a state of confrontation to the state of cooperation. Eritreans should envy this, because no problem is insurmountable.

          • Hope

            –a win-win situation at the expense of giving up ASEB for Baduma?
            Since Egypt gave up its rhetoric about Nile,then Eritrea should give up Aseb to avoid the Ethiopian subjugation and threat???
            I heard recently that a US delegation made a secret trip to Eritrea and asked PIA saying:
            “We will secure your power as long as you do us a favor and do what we are going to tell you if you say YES to our request”.
            Then as usual,PIA/DIA said:” What is that secret that you are going to tell me after I say ok to your request”.
            Then the US delegation answers by saying: “We won’t tell you now but only after you say “OK” to our request”.
            DIA said ” Go to hell”.
            Apparently,it has to do with the 5-point-plan PMMZ and his Assembly engineered–for sure with the help of his masters at the US State Dept.
            -Here are few of the ” secret points” per a US Diplomat’s assertion:
            -That Eritrea shall lease Aseb Port to Ethiopia for 30yrs and then—to be decided in 30yrs about the fate of Aseb
            -That Eritrea will kick out all the Ethio Opposition Groups
            -That the USA shall secure Naval Bases and to have a share in Mining and Petro-Gas exploration in the Red Sea Basin of Eritrea
            —and if DIA agrees to the above, he will have his power “secured for ever”
            This approach is similar to what the USA has done for the Saudi Royal Family.
            Believe me,DIA might be exploring and considering these ideas…as he is serious pressure from all directions..
            Hint:
            The Military Threat by the TPLF Gang;the Ongoing Sanction threat,etc–are signs to pressure DIA to give up and surrender to the US requests.
            Moreover,the recent Eri-Russian diplomacy is giving some headache to the USA and if DIA does NOT accept the US conditions,one way or another,the US will interfer for their Interest since they do NOT want China and Russia in the Red Sea Basin—No more Arab issue but the super_powers issue.
            N.B:
            The Russians have already secured a Gold Mining Lic in Eritrea and the Oil and Gas exploration issue is popping up.– as we speak…and Russia and China are said to be the top share-holders….

    • debew

      I agree with most of your analysis that is probably because we see it from Ethiopian prism and yes we have come to see that we can prosper with out utilizing the Eritrean ports and with the new fast and heavy capacity rail connecting Djibouti to the centre, north and west Ethiopia coupled with the Lamu port being developed and connected by rail to Ethiopia, the importance of Eritrean ports to Ethiopia will be marginal at best.
      First of it will be expensive to build and refurbish the neglected port of Assab to bring it to the levels of the other ports that are available to Ethiopia, I don’t think Ethiopia will want to spend money on it and Eritrea will feel that it shouldn’t spend billions for the port to be utilized by Ethiopia and after all that kind of money is not easily available in particular when there are alternative ports. Even if it is slightly slightly more expensive for Ethiopia to use other ports, the upfront cost of refurbishing the port of Assab will be more discouraging while there are alternatives.
      What is being missed here is who is gaining and who is losing?
      It seems the longer the no peace no war, goes on there will be more separation in economy, personal relationship and familiarity and brotherhood will be lost, that the blood ties and common history is thrown out for economic benefit and expediency that the harm that comes from these actions will only be realized in the future.

      As to Eritrea becoming a gate way for other enemies to Ethiopia is unlikely because some of the traditional “enemies” of Ethiopia are some what weakened and Ethiopia has a robust defence that they know this things don’t work any more. Ethiopia has also created better relationship with former enemies and some have been subdued with many tactics including but not limited to diplomatic manoeuvres and most important internal strength.

      The bottom line is that a peaceful Eritrea is good for Ethiopia as is a peaceful Ethiopia good for Eritrea. We need to come to our senses and realize we have many things that unite us than divide us and try to narrow the gap than create obstacles that impede good brotherhood. Time is not on our side and we shouldn’t sit idea when the world around us is changing. For example, It amazing to see the wonderful relationship Ethiopia and the Sudan forged and many Sudanese are doing business in Ethiopia and vacation in Baher Dar and many Ethiopians travel to the Sudan for business and other activities. Sudan use to be a shelter for Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees fleeing the Derg and Sudan was considered one of the enemies of Ethiopia by the past governments of Ethiopia, what a difference time brings.
      Eritreans are our keen wether we like it or not we have to look for each others benefit we should remove ourselves from harmful activity to each other. This is my humble opinion.

      • Crocus

        Dear Derbew:

        I totally agree with you that the real casualty of the senseless acrimony that prevails between the two peoples is the kinship, the culture, the long history, and the good will. It is unfortunate that bad apples have poisoned the well. However, I do not see it as a lost cause. I still hope that the extreme elements that drive the relationship to the brink will see the light and come to their senses.

        I also agree with you that the potential security threat to Ethiopia from nations that may want to use Eritrea as a staging ground is not as strong as it may have been. Egypt, which was the architect behind every effort to destabilize Ethiopia, no longer maintains an aggressive and belligerent posture towards Ethiopia, thanks to the decision by Ethiopians to control the Nile. The diplomatic and political clout has shifted in favor of Ethiopia. Egypt is now in a position where it seems to be convinced that it cannot afford to jeopardize the good will Ethiopians have shown them. Water and Energy are the 2 most important and scarce resources in the world now.

        And how times have changed! This week, Egypt signed some 20 economic agreements in Addis Ababa, a mutual gesture that has largely been interpreted as a cessation of the simmering conflict between the two nations.

        In spite of these developments, Eritrean will continue to be a security concern for Ethiopia for a foreseeable future. There are so many bad actors in the world that nations have no choice but to keep a vigilant eye.

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Mr.Debew ;
        I agree with most part of your comment here. But there is one thing I’ve noticed from the Ethiopian commenters here: you’re looking at future economic co-operation between Eritrea and Ethiopia mainly from the point of view of the Eritrean sea ports. But I think, it is important to see it from the overall point of view of economic co-operation: trade, finances, tourism, fisheries, industry, power services, etc. I don’t think that in the future Eritrea would only depend on Ethiopia to secure revenues from its sea ports, though Ethiopia might be the main custommer, at least in the beginning. But the strategic location of the country means that Eritrea has the potential of developing its ports, so that they could be more competitive enough to give services to international actors.

    • Amde

      Crocus

      You read my mind to the tee. That is how i see it… a confederation in everything but name only. driven by Ethiopian security needs and Eritrean economic needs.

      Amde

      • Abraham Hanibal

        I think if in the future we manage to form real democratic systems in both countries, we can even go further to form a common defense alliance, not only between our two countries, but also between all countries in the region. This would solve any regional or other outside threats to the peace and security of all the countries.

        • Amde

          Hi Abraham

          One thing i would like to see that we all become a little realistic on is this constant allusion to the arrival of this “democracy” solving our problems.

          It is not a dead end by any means, but I feel more often than not that it is a case of us choosing to make the perfect the enemy of the good. In my more cynical moments I think the average person on the street in Addis or Asmara is quite willing to legitimize those in power as having the mandate of heaven as the Chinese say. It is quite common to hear people in Addis who dont like EPRDF say things like… “Egziabher beqachihu silachew yihedalu”. To our westernized mind this is superstition but I understand it as a political philosophy that gives legitimacy not as a result of the people’s consent, but as the will of almighty God. …In other words..”syume Egziabher” is alive and well.

          As leaders go, many without any popular legitimacy can be quite competent stewards of the State. I Myself think Haile Selasie managed to do quite a bit within the challenges and constraints he had. Even the Eritrean war involved nothing like the combatants, resources and casualties that were poured in during the Derg years.

          It will be much easier to arrive at a solution if we just look at the current situation as the result of the actions taken by the leadership of two states. I do not see why a genuine certified democracy needs to be there for at least a non-belligerent accommodation to be put in place between the two states. I believe the core cause of the current Eritrean predicament to be its engagement in belligerent contest of hegemony with Ethiopia most definitely by choice whatever the original reasons and causes. I honestly sometimes picture Isdayas and his group and I am reminded of the saying “Don’t mudwrestle with a pig – you will hate the mus but he is enjoying it”. Eritreans might be leaving the land in droves but as far as Issayas and cronies are concerned, they are playing the megalomaniacal power and hegemony game . And they love it – they literally – literally – can’t imagine playing a different kind of game. Because any other rational group would choose a different game.

          Now a democratic government might resolve it or not, but the point is that taking this action does not require an election outcome. It just requires someone in Asmara choosing to do so.

          The kind of relationship Ethiopia and a normal Eritrea will have are functions of Geography and economics, driven by more or less natural laws and they will happen. Perhaps a generation from now as right now there are too many raw feelings and unsettled questions.

          Amde

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Selam Derbew;

    Thank you for your compassion towards the Eritrean People in the darkest time in their history at the hands of the Isayas-led PFDJ tyranny. I’ve to say you’re one of the very few Ethiopians in this forum with a civilised and mature standpoint regarding how the relationships between Eritreans and Ethiopians should be. As you put it clearly, the Peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia have endless gains and nothing to lose from a good neighborly relationship that would be based on mutual respect for self-determination and rule of law. After all we are Peoples with similar languages, culture, and traditions This is, not to mention, the long historical connection we had between each other,for better or worse.
    Leaders of both countries have so far failed to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect between our two countries. In the process, lots of golden opportunities of co-operation and development have been wasted, not only between Ethiopia and Eritrea, but also between the Peoples of the Horn of Africa in general.
    Your Eritrean Brother Abraham H.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Thanks Awate Team for a timely and to the point discussion. If we Eritreans really believe that the PFDJ’s policies and the rule of the jungle is the main reason for our predicament; then we’ve to take the steps necessary to shorten the life of these criminal gangs. Our problems are multifaceted, the most pressing of them being the question of survival economically. It is in the obvious nature of human beings to try and find a hasty solution to their economic problems. To come out of this misery, the Eritrean youth are defying all sorts of evil just to come somewhere in the world where they can enjoy freedom and the possibility of feeding themselves and their families. I don’t think the current young generation is politically mature enough to see that there exists a better alternative to the current impasse and lawlessness under the PFDJ. The Eritrean youth and the people in general, esp. those living abroad need to see beyond an emergency solution to their current needs. We’ve to have a farsighted approaach as to how we can free ourselves from the hardships of the PFDJ-rule. This approach necessisates that we’ve to be prepared to pay some sacrifices in order to achieve a much better life. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t seek to help our families and our people but we’ve to try and find ways of how we can help without having to do it through the channels of the PFDJ.
    It is, therefore, very decisive how we handle our relationship with the PFDJ. We should not be the victims and part of their mafia way of life. We need to boycott and alienate them, all their businesses, their pubs and restaurants, their festivals and parties, and their money transfer institutions. If we do this, we would weaken them economically and incapacitate them in persuing their oppressive policies, which in turn would facilitate their downfall.
    The key to our freedom is in our hands, eitherr we cut all relations with the PFDJ mafias and facilitate their downfall or we continue to adapt to their way of life and risk having to suffer under their tyranny for ever.
    I think the Eritrean opposition groups have first to strengthen their organisational capabilities and then play a role in elavating the political awareness of the youth. It is now almost nearing a generation since the PFDJ took a strangling control on the Eritrean People. And the youth today, never know other leaders than the corrupt and criminal gangs. They’ve been brainwashed to such an extent that they even couldn’t distance themselves completely from the tyranny and primary enemy. This is the great tragedy of our time.
    May God/ Allah be with the Eritrean People and give them the courage and wisdom to face their enemy #1-the PFDJ-rulers!

  • ኣሎራ

    THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!!!!!

  • Crocus

    The prime lesson of the revelations made in this article relates to the manner the Eritrean Government conducts itself domestically and internationally. The regime respects no laws. It conforms to no norms expected of a government entity. Its dictionary lacks the word decency. It is the way of hoodlums. Some call it the mafia way. Someone I know calls it the agamedo way.

    For those of you who yearn that someday there will be trade relations with Ethiopia and the neighbors in general, it behooves you to root out this government-sponsored hooliganism first before you hope to do business with neighbors. It is a cancer that spreads infection. Many Ethiopians have a vivid memory of the parasite economy that the Meles regime allowed Eritreans to perpetrate in the early 1990s at the expense of Ethiopia. That is a lesson learned the hard way.

    The bitter truth now is that no economic integration will ever happen between Ethiopia and Eritrea without centralizing foreign affairs, currency, and defense under a single common regime. For Ethiopians, anything less would be playing Russian roulette.

    • Abraham Hanibal

      If in the future a real democratic system is established in both Eritrea and Ethiopia, then I think there is no need for centralising defense, and foreign policies in order to have economic co-operation. In fact, doing so, I see it as Eritrea having to give up part of its sovereignty because it is the smaller part. But in the longer future, the neigbours of Horn of Africa region could estabilish a regional defense organisation that would guarantee the peace and stability of the countries, and that would work together to tackle outside threats to peace of the region.
      The core issue here is any future relationship and co-operation should be based on the principle of mutual respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

  • haileTG

    Guest,

    They are not political refugees, they are victims of severe human rights violations. These are people denied their basic rights and freedoms to live normal life in Eritrea. Political refugees are often few and they normally travel out of the country through work or other external assignment. You can think many ex-regime officials to fall on that category. These are civilians subjected to cruel and degrading ways of life and leaving the country in droves. Here is a quick chop (about 1min) of an ex soccer player:

    http://www.tubechop.com/watch/3901482

    BTW, the reason their human rights are violated is motivated politically to keep an old and degenerate dictator in power to maintain the interests of few thieves.

  • lost-generation

    “To have an insight, our reporter talked to several of those who recently escaped from slave labor and oppression in Eritrea, went through the horrors of Sinai and paid ransom to reach Israel, but never missed a chance to attend a PFDJ function!” This is not unique to those who are in Israel but also in north America. This is so true and yet so frustrating. Talk about a coward and confused generation, talk about a generation known for its contradictions. I have seen many youths who came to Canada very recently with many heart wrenching stories yet they are not willing to use their stories to emancipate others. It’s not exaggeration if I say that these are dead people still walking. Their head is going one way and their feet quite to the opposite. I don’t see an end in sight!

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Please don’t give up. Fight to bring them to the fold of Justice-seekers. It needs a lot of work to change their ambivalent mind. See it that way.
      Amanuel H.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Welahi Welahi, I want n say it, I want to wright the above article since long time but I couldn’t. May be you have seen 2 years back trying to expose PFDJ’ s charactor and how they move their illegal groups. Thank you AT. thank you very much. i was always optimistic that our people will not and PFDJ will be exposed. but I was sure and more optimistic when one day I notice there is a team called AT. I love you.

  • Semere Andom

    PFDj wins both ways. If you stay put as prophet dawit wants you to, they milk your free labour until the last atom of your cell dies, If you are a woman and you have been lukcy to be demobilized they sell you to the Arabs for contract and earn hard currency from your sweat, maybe who know they pimp you too.
    If you escape, they make you cash cow. PFDJ and the government of Eritrea are an alliance of a network of organized criminals. It is disturbing to see the youth fall for that regret paper for their selfish needs, an insult to those freedom fighters and wedi-Alis. If PFDJ and their prophets were not dummy they would have enslaved us for eternity, but lucky for us we will win not due to our ingenuity and tenacity but due to the stupidity of PFDJ and their supporters
    Sem ceo of Outrage manufaturing inc 😉

  • Ambassador

    Thank you AT. I laughed my a–off reading this article. You are right. PFDJ has perfected the crafts of entertaining hedonists by hiding the ensuing guilt with a utilitarian cause. PFDJphiles are like addicts with an absurdly deluded excuses. They are like I- do-drugs-to-be-fun-to-friends-around-me kind of people who always forget the many times drugs have caused them public embarrassment.

    “In the West, where party goers have convinced themselves dancing all night is an act of rebuilding Eritrea,…” that there is a killer. lol

  • L.T

    Stop your confusion,slurred and your swateing vomit here,you came out of nowhere just talk bad about Eritrea and Eritreans all the the time even Weyane is not fun about this.And I know one of you were first in Addis Abeba in 1992 and why was he there?to pick up women,to drink alcohol or to watch Amelmal Abets concert?I was in Addis fisrt in 1982 and I was little and later in 1986 to get to abroad and then was there in 1994 to get married:-)and nopw you never know when I will go there.are you happy or delirious now?

  • Asmerom

    The truth the whole truth great article thank you AT