Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Eritrean Opposition Figures Missing In Sudan

In mid-February, an Eritrean opposition figure, Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a senior member of the Eritrean Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), disappeared after he left his house in Kessala, Sudan. His whereabouts are not known yet.

A few weeks before that, another opposition figure, Mahmoud Jibril, a senior member of the Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement (EFDM), disappeared from Eastern Sudan and no news was heard about him until recently, when he was discovered in a Sudanese security jail.

A few days ago, yet another opposition figure, Adem Haj Mussa, Secretary General of the newly formed organization, Eritrean Front for Change, disappeared after arriving in Khartoum, flying in from Cairo at around mid-night.

Mohammed Ali Ibrahim and Mahmoud Jibril are veterans of the armed struggle for the liberation of Eritrea and continued their struggle against the Eritrean regime until they disappeared.

Adem Haj Mussa had been a member of the ruling party until  he abandoned it about five years ago.  Since then, he has been a vocal opponent of the Eritrean regime in Egypt, where he is exiled.

Since the overthrow of the Mubarek regime, Adem had taken advantage of the change in Egypt and escalated his struggle. He has secured several interviews with Egyptian media and has been exposing the human rights violations of the Eritrean regime.

Eastern Sudan has become a free roaming ground for the Eritrean regime’s security operatives to intimidate and harass Eritrean exiles and refugee who are presumed to be members of, or sympathetic to, the opposition.

Additionally, some Sudanese officials collaborate with Eritrean regime military officials in the lucrative business of human trafficking and contraband trade. This was documented by the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea in a report it filed with the United Nations on July 18, 2011.

The Eritrean regime has a history of assassinating opposition figures, particularly those with military command backgrounds. For decades, to discourage dissent, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), now renamed the PFDJ–the ruling party in Eritrea–boasted openly about possessing “the long whip of the revolution,” an adaptation of the notorious “revolutionary justice” popularized by Fidel Castro.

In the 1980s, many ELF veterans incuding  Said Saleh, Idris Hangala, Weldedawit Temesgen and Mahmoud Hassab were assassinated in Eastern Sudan. Shortly after the independence of Eritrea, Teweldeberhan Gebretsadek (“Wedi Bashay”) was kidnapped from Kassala and he hasn’t been heard of since. His younger sister, Freweini Gebretsadek, waged a lone campaign for decades to no avail. Just one sample of her posting which appeared at the pro-Eritrean regime website, dehai.org, can be found here.

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  • wedi adem

    Eventhough I do not have problem with religious groups since they stand on progressive ideas acceptable to our society in general , my question is about their political campaigns. Is their movement is under supervision of the opposition leadership or solely to strengthen their influence or agenda to preserve their party’s interest. Just for curiosity to avoid on wrong conclusion from misunderstanding because it is like new staff in our politics. All the confusion to this subject should be addressed in civility to save others from panic.

  • haile

    Girmay

    You have claimed that I do not have my facts ‘straight’. Further, you have stated that my motives are ‘hatred’ and ‘ignorance’. Well, here is the deal: I stand by my claim that the PFDJ has not made a statement regarding these attacks. The statements and letters you refer to merely state Ethiopian claims with in quotation marks. As of yet, the PFDJ has not accepted or rejected the actuality of the attacks. Dear girmay, the well informed, the wise and the loving and patriotic son of our motherland we call Eritrea, would you kindly forward a link or a location of a document where the PFDJ has actually validated the Ethiopian claims and categorically stated that an attack has actually took place? I await your reply. My ‘ignorant’ and ‘hateful’ self has failed me to find a single statement from the PFDJ confirming or rejecting the validity of the claim. Even the letter to the UN refers to the statement, inside quotation mark, given by the Ethiopian woyane. You see, I am not sure if your perception of my ‘hatred’ to what you stand for is clouding your reasoning but PFDJ has pulled a wool from your eyes and you still couldn’t figure it out , as if some one had snatched the shirt you are wearing from inside your the coat you have over it.

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tatoo).

    Girmai,

    Let me quiz you on an important event. What happens every year with in the week of May 24? Do I hear you saying, people come out to the streets to celebrate? True but try hard. Do I hear you saying, Isaias gives a speech? True but try harder. Let me help you out. Every year with in the week of May 24, every Eritrean of an Ethiopian origin is not allowed to roam in the streets of Asmara. They are told to stay home (read: house arrest). If anybody (An Eritrean of an Ethiopian origin) is caught roaming in the streets of Asmara, they would be thrown into prison and would be liable to pay six hundred Naqfa to be released if not they would need somebody with an Eritrean ID to ‘bail’ them out. If truth be told, that is not happening in Eritrea rather that is happening in Isaias’ Eritrea. It is imperative to keep the distinction in a perspective.

    You talk with passion about looting, rampaging and violation perpetrated on the Eritrean people by successive Ethiopian leaders. That is absolutely true but as much as it took place with in a span of circa thirty years (60s through out the late 80s), your apparent delirium seems to get the best out of you where your tantrum is anachronistic in terms. In here and now however, what you have laid out is a mirror image of Isaias’ Eritrea. Violation of human dignity is not only confined to those who are taken for the children of the lesser gods, rather, Eritreans with a full blown Eritrean blood line as well are under the cruel wrath of Isaias the terrible.

    It is a recent memory that, it is Isaias’ Eritrea that has instigated conflicts with all its neighbors as if picking a fight was an Olympic event. The ramifications of his reckless action is self evident. Eritrea is dubbed North Korea of Africa. Eritrea is isolated and insulated as if it is a “leper colony”.

    The sad thing is however, pathetic people like you dare to mobilize people under the pretext of “Hager twrer alla”, when you remain mute when Isaias is waging war against the Eritrean people as they are leaving the country in droves as they lose hope on people like you who opted to live on a Faustian deal. Again, if it is going to be a skirmish to be blown out into a full scale war as SAAY put it when he was not at his best, it will still be Isaias’ war.

    • rodab

      Could you change ur nick to something shorter, simpler?

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        What do you suggest?

    • girmai

      b’Alti W’qatto Arwe

      The fairy tale that is your 1st paragraph was amusing. I have to say that I enjoyed it. But thats it…its a fairy tale. As in fiction, as in not true. I don’t know if you like making facts up or you are misinformed, but either way it is advisable to refrain from labeling it as fact. I don’t know when the last time you been to Eritrea was or if you have been there at all, but what you said is faaaaaaaarr from the truth. I’ve been here every independence day since 2002. I know how it is here. Eritreans of ethiopian origin are not treated that way. In fact they consider themselves Eritrean not ethiopian. They go to sawa like every other eritrean. And thats the truth!

      And no I did not say it happened within 30 years. I said centuries. As in 100+. And Isaias didnt instigate anything with anyone. Ethiopia invaded eritrea and killed some officials…that started the border war. Sudan was training jihadist (bin laden to name one) and attacking eritrea in order to impose islamic laws on it. Yemen was warned to stop builiding on the hanish island which where part of eritrea since the ottomans, and gave the yemeni government an ample time to stop but they didnt. Djibouti no one can say for sure as details of the matter is unclear. There are just speculations. Your beloved Ethiopia on the other hand, has instigated every single war it has waged. Has fought against every single country in the region and stolen territory from every country in the region. Need I remind you why Eritrea was put together with the far less developed, far more poor, far less educated, and backwards country that is Ethiopia back in 1952? How about the illegal annexation in 62 where the international community ‘looked the other way’? Policies dont change they just get modified. Eritrea is only being forcefully isolated by the US through Ethiopia. And for anyone to not be able to see that or understand why is nothing short of an idiot. I don’t need to explain the reasons, you should be smart enough to know

      • Hameed

        Dear Girmai,

        Without intention you have insulted your boss, you told us that all the dirty things are committed by Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemeni, Kenya, Uganda, UNSC, AU, the committee that ruled the Eritrean and Ethiopian war, International human rights organizations, CIA etc. then mop it up on the fool, that is your boss.

        I wonder why you spin from stating the intimate friendship that your boss had with Weyane. If you are honest say it all, don’t try to give us half the story. Man, you are not lecturing to kindergarten.

        Vising Eritrea doesn’t make you more Eritrean or you know more about Eritrea than the others. I am sure when you go to Eritrea you just meet a limited people and many will not share with you their opinions openly, because they consider one of the spies of Nisu. I am sure you spend all your vacation in bars drinking. You may count for us the names of the bars and who works there, but I don’t think you know about the Eritrean people.

  • Serray

    Balti weqqtto,

    The “Eritrea will not retaliate part….” is a ruse not an assessment. It will becomes an assessment of capacity only if the dictator didn’t respond. Strange, though, it shows a higher level of confidence on the ethiopian side.

    Girmay,

    You people forget we have reached a new level of understanding. You guys are supposed to throw temper tantrum when a neighbor or a foreign entity does something to the regime and we are to stand up when the regime does something to our people.

    Most of the people here have come to regret cheering the regime and its wars in the past and they are not going to fall for your used car salesmanship…so sell your obsession with ethiopia somewhere else. This is not dehai. But when and if you decide to be outraged by those who perish in eritrean prisons withou justice, those who perish in the sahara desert and Mediteranian sea to escape slavery, you will have a respectful audience here.

    • girmai

      Those who have perished in the sea and the desert…their blood is on your hands. The government didnt brainwash them to leave the country for search of a better economic situation…you did! The government didnt fail to mention to them the dangers that awaits them along the way…you did. Their blood is in your hands! You cant light a match and blame someone else for the fire

      • Serray

        Girmai,

        So you live outside the country because we brainwashed you and not because life is better and dignified for you outside the hellhole we call eritrea?

        You are confusing cause and effect. The dictatorship made life hell for them as slaves so they risk death trying to live as human beings. Their blood still remains in the hands of the brutes and their cheerleaders who made life hell. You are a warmonger but you will never go there and face the woyanes. At least have some respect for those who refuse to do your dirty and bloody work.

        Having said that, tell us how the brainwashing worked on you so we can apply it more effectively on others. How about those in prison, did the opposition made them do it?

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      Serray,

      I still think it is a statement. Did you listen to what Ali Abdu had to say when he was asked what the regime’s reaction is? He sure sounded like a wounded animal who is in search of a white piece of cloth to wave over the trenches. That is far from a toned down diplomatic maneuver in a bid to garner a sympathy from the international community.

      It shouldn’t be a brainer the fact that a buck of the Eritreans who are crossing either to Sudan or Ethiopia practically every month are soldiers who obviously are willing to give up on the regime before even a major war started. Moreover, Isaias seems to be inflicted with paralysis when his erstwhile handlers are either fighting for a life on a ventilator (Mubarek) or six feet under (Gaddafi). The picture evidently tells Ethiopian leaders that Isaias is not in any position to retaliate unless he goes rogue where he is good at (read: by proxy).

  • haile

    girmai

    It is strange that you find it possible to blame Eritreans here for not condemning Ethiopia for its self admitted illegal act of encroaching into our territory. Why would you expect us to condemn it when PFDJ itself hasn’t? All that PFDJ said was ‘harimuni’si bekhiyu’. The emphasis was on ‘bekhiyu’ than the ‘harimuni’ part. In a normal situation, Osman Salih, not Ali Abdu would invite all resident diplomats in his boardroom and condemn the act, call for international condemnation. Then Army personel would move to reassure the populace that the area of the incident has been now secured and issue a warning in regards to any further breach. Eritrean diplomats in AU and UN would make similar statements and the head of state makes televised address to the nation. All we had was a silence while the world media were going in full swing, then a bleated qunqugnia’U zeyredeaka hateftef at the end of the day that amounted to ‘harimuni’si bekhiyu’. Kab tsaba zey terekhbe’s kab mai cheba. And here you have the temerity to slight us for not falling over each other draped in the army flag while all along the PFDJ is only complaining that the Ethiopian government ‘bekhiyu’ wedaje zereba!

    • girmai

      Uhhhmmm the government did condemn it. Both Osman Saleh and Ali Abdu have spoken with multiple news media worldwide about the incident. The government has issued a statement to the UN urging it to take appropriate action and they have also sent them a letter. I don’t know what world you are living in but there is no silence. This isn’t the first time Ethiopia has crossed over to Eritrea and done things like this. It happens all the time. This is just the first time the Ethiopians have admitted it. Check your facts and do your homework before you make silly assumptions based on your hatred and ignorance.

  • tecle

    As much as I admire many of your journalistic works, I oftentimes tend to be bewildered by your intention to neglect events of major to Eritrea. A case in point, the breaking news on Ethiopian offensive on Eritrea reported by many major news outlets is apparently not newsworthy when it comes to Awate. The same can be the said of your silence on the plight of Eritrean refuges in the Sinai. Something doesn’t sound right here!

    • Tareqe

      I don’t expect Awate to report the news after BBC, Reuters and many other media. But awate should have given a space to “Have Your say” where people can discuses about the hottest event.
      For example right now people are discussing about the Ethiopia attack under unrelated article, “Eritrean Opposition Figures Missing In Sudan “:)

    • girmai

      Its not news worthy because Isaias didn’t do the attack, and because of these peoples’ sympathetic attitude towards Ethiopian aggression on Eritrea. They are quick to jump with criticism when the government is silent about sinai but when it comes to Ethiopian attacks on Eritrea they are silent. Its called hypocrisy…and it runs rampant here! Or it could be that this site isn’t actually a news site but rather an opinion site…

  • girmai

    Very sad. Not one person here at awate condemned the attack on eritrean territory. The bulk of you are just criticizing the news reporter for his choice of words in the report regarding this issue. This just shows how much you care about Eritrea. I dont care if you love the President or hate him, the fact that you guys are quick to jump to criticism instead of condemning the invasion and attack in eritrea, shows how much you care for Eritrea. You guys say Isaias this Isaias that, Isaias thinks he is Eritrea, Isaias controls everything, Isaias is a menace…bla bla bla. YOU guys are the ones making boosting Isaias. Isaias is not boosting himself. You guys put his name in your mouth every single article, even when its not about him. Why cant you get that? Its not rocket science! Some guy is missing in sudan…ISAIAS DID IT…..oh wait a few days later that was proven wrong because he was in a security jail. But then again Isaias forced the sudanese government to arrest him right? Isaias aint Eritrea! Get that through your heads. For this site to be legitimate it NEEDS to tell both sides of the story. It needs to tell the good and the bad. Never has this site published something positive about Eritrea. Whens the last time the writers been to Eritrea? Whens the last time you’ve assisted in the development of Eritrea? You need to understand that opinion is not news. You make yourselves look like opportunists. Talking bout the g-11….THOSE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE YOU HATED BEFORE THEY GOT LOCKED UP. THOSE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE IN PFDJ THAT YOU SAY COMMITTED CRIMES AND ATROCITIES DURING THE STRUGGLE AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE! NAIZGHI KIFLU IS THE SAME PERSON WHO YOU’VE HATED FOR A LONG TIME AND “COMMITED” THOSE SAME CRIMES!!! Please dont speak for them, you’ve held them as your enemies and now are extorting them for your benefit. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ali abdu and sebhat got arrested, you guys would start lobbying for them. That aside, I still find it AMAZING how none of you are blaming Ethiopia and condemning the attack in Eritrea! No one mentions Ethiopia’s illegal occupation if Eritrean land. How come? You guys care about Isaias not Eritrea…..

    “In other words, Ethiopia is saying that, it has assessed Eritrea’s capacity long enough, where it has found a perfect timing to teach Eritrea a lesson”…..no genius! Illegal sanctions where imposed on the country. By doing so Eritrea is not allowed to purchase tanks, fighter planes, guns, etc….to defend itself while its beggar neighbor to the south is stocking up on new weapons and tanks from the 6 billion in aid it receives annually. There is no assessment here, its plain common sense.

    oh and FYI there was a statement issued to the public through VOA…so…yea…check your info…

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      Girmai,

      You seem to have lost in translation. There are fundamental facts that you need to be fed on. It is Isaias’ war. It is not Eritrea’s war. Isaias has a-must-have external enemies. The Eritrean people have an internal enemy. Those are fundamental distinctions that you need to know and internalize before you over-sell your hager twirer alla tooth-less-mouth-in-need-of-a-tooth-brush clap trap. If I need to remind you, you sure are taking the grand palace of Awate.com for any given hall of Hizbawi Mekhete. It ain’t.

      Naizgi the tegadalay. Naizgi the person. Naizgi the dead. Naizgi the tegadaly is a historical figure and history will put him on trial where he will be immortalized either on the victors’ side or the vanquished. Naizgi the person is a private citizen with kids and a wife. Naizgi the dead is what we are empathizing and sympathizing with. Simply because, if Isaias was to honour Naizgi’s remains with a state funeral we wouldn’t have criticized him for it is embedded in our culture to respect the dead.

      • girmai

        WRONG! Here’s a fundamental fact you need to be fed on..in case you have been missing for the last couple of hundred years “ETHIOPIA IS ERITREA’S ENEMY”. Like it or not it always has been for centuries and I have no doubt it will continue. It is the only african country to colonize and it is the only african country to extend all its borders through wars and conflict. Every single generation of leaders it has ever had has suppressed, killed, looted and raped all people of the region, bowed down to external powers and interests, and used external powers to stay in power. Every single government/leaders they have ever had has invaded went to war with Eritrea from before Risi Woldemichael Solomon all the way til the present day. That country may have changed leaders, and external leaders to bow down to throughout history but one policy has stay consistent….the destroy and try to conquer Eritrea policy. Its not hard to see I don’t know whats wrong with you people. Ethiopia has had multiple full blown wars with Somalia, a war wit Sudan, multiple wars with Eritrea. Somalia has only fought a war with Ethiopia. Sudan fought a war with Ethiopia. Eritrea fought a war with Ethiopia. Every war in the region involves Ethiopia. The country you people seem to look the other way for, at the expense of your own country. So dont you dare say that Eritrea’s enemy is Isaias, when the OBVIOUS and CLEAR enemy is right there in front of you. I dont give a shit if you like him or not that’s your prerogative. Eritrea should come first. Its the lies and opportunistic policies of the opposition that is fueling Ethiopias/USAs campaign of tarnishing Eritreas image…so you are knowingly or unknowingly their agents. Many of you dont care and continue pursuing you anti-Isaias (which becomes anti-eritrea when you support sanctions, and lie about eritrea, and allow anti eritrean propoganda/attacks) or you are just oblivious to the the results of your actions. You guys urge and brainwash eritrean youth to flee the country then blame the government for the repercussions. You have your base in ETHIOPIA out of approx 200 countries worldwide! HAHA are you serious? And you think the Eritrean public will support that? Wow i guess here is fun and games in politics after all! Once again If you dont support a man and trash him while he is alive, keep his name out your mouth when he is dead. If you “feel” you should respect the dead, the best way to do that in this situation is keep his name out of your mouth. Stop this whole “out of convenience” thing you guys got going it. It hurts your credibility (assuming you have any). If 1+1= 2 a thousand years ago, and it =2 yesterday…it will surely =2 tomorrow and a thousand years from now. Some things cannot be changed i.e. Ethiopias historical policy towards Eritrea. Not rocket science folks….

        • Hameed

          girmai,

          It is Isaias’s war, if he concerns you go and fight for him, the people of Eritrea will watch you. Yesterday, you were intimate brothers of Meles, Why didn’t you remember at that time that Ethiopia is for thousand years your enemy? Hahaha, you think all the people have short memory, upgrade your memory with some chips to think properly. Your deity is in danger, he is in an urgent need for your assistance. It is time for action go to rescue your deity. Searching solution in awate.com and the people of Eritrea will not work this time, the people of Eritrea heard such appeals of cry from your deity a lot of time. Your deity remembers the people of Eritrea when he faces challenges and when there is no challenges the people of Eritrea are his servants and subjects of his mock.

          When we raise the issue of Naizgi, it doesn’t spring from love of him, but we raise it to expose how far your deity is cruel even to his servants. And secondly we sympathize with the family of Naizgi for the sufferance they are under going.

          • Hameed

            girmai,

            The family of Naizqi Kiflu has no pie in the crimes that perpetrated by Naizqi Kiflu, they are innocents and should not be punished for what their father has committed. Is it humane to punish innocents? Your deity is a savage who doesn’t differentiate between his rivals and innocents. The law of jungle is more better than the world you have created in Eritrea. The deity and his cult are really savages.

        • kaddis

          Girmai –
          I like the only african country to colonize other african country part. Get a patent to it.
          If ask me – I am for Eritreans should claim the victory of Adwa, the Ethiopian churchs in Jerusalem and many wisdoms which Ethiopians are claiming thiers only. Becasue Eritreans died and made what Ethiopia is today. But you rather want to believe your home made history. – Eritrea became a country 20 years ago – denying that might makes you feel dizzy. By the way Slovenia is Eri’s age mate. What a 20 year for them.

      • Alem Habte Nega

        I doubt if you are telling the truth and i doubt if you are sincerely advocating for Naizghi Kiflu and caring and thinking for his family’s grievances. i am not supporting the person commenting or blaming you of responding to the very Ghirmay. I am just expressing my own personal opinion. And all what i amsying is that Our websites, be it Awate, meskerem,Asena or what ever, you are all into the current market which can be manipulated for the sake of pointing at Issayas. i personally get confused sometimes, are we really safeguarding that poor soil and thinking for the future of our society or we are swimming in, an unsual pool for the sake of our internal relief. Who is going to advocate for that poor soil whose fate is uncertain?

        • Hameed

          Dear Alem Habte Nega,

          God has created the soil for people and not the people for soil. People are first, as far as our youth are voting by their feet, death in the deserts and high seas and the criminal is Isaias and his cults, then we are against the savages who kill and torture innocents.

          We defend our soil not under the banner of Isaias and his cults. If you want the people of Eritrea to defend their soil then let us first take away those who kill and torture our people.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Girmai,
          you are wondering when we stand for those arrested,killed and all victims but actually this is the difference between the original culture and the modified one. What you are watching from the people who are defending the victim is the inherited and uncontaminated one. we see things first as human beings then only we talk of politics. the crime done over all supporters and followers of PFDJ is against humanity. I don’t care what story of the man is when I see him suffering. if found to be guilty there is a legal system that should judge him. PFDJ is not legal group to kill and arrest any single man including Ali Abdu and believe it or not even PIA. only the legally accepted representative can be allowed to take action. Why do you think the world condemn the way Gadafi was killed? if so happen today PIA will fail under my hand I am not allowed to do anything except to hand him over to people. but when you are still in war with mafia group and the group still controlling the land you are legally allowed to fight till the end. the fighters in Libya were correct in fighting Gaddafi till the end the mistake was when they go for revenge. the people who go for revenge will get peace. Naizgi once upon a time against me but now poor guy he is not alive to defend for him self and it pains me a lot as he is human. And i should be kind to human beings all because Christ was kind Mohammad was kind. god is kind. I have been beloved and I should love everybody.

          I notice you are more concerned about soil. imagine you have got a villa but you are not allowing to let your children live on this villa, what is the present of that villa that you don’t let your families enjoy it?

          I don’t worry much of the land as no body will take it from where it is. I care about the people of Eritrea. knowledge tells us that we should pay everything to get something. wisdom tells us we should not pay for something less than the price we pay. We don’t have to see all our people dead just for the heaven one group promising us, And even PFDJ a group who don’t know what he is doing.

          • Kokhob Selam

            please read above “he people who go for revenge will get peace.” as he people who go for revenge will not get peace.

            tks

    • gez

      do you really with your sense ? I doubt. I respect your opinion and position to defend your lord. but why you need to use the word as they are the one that give our families every thing they need including access to higher education. so pls. be with your true sense.

  • rodab

    When some of the news media started to say that so far there was no response from Eritrea, I said ‘no kidding, have you been following the case of Nayzgi Kflu lately?’. I am glad i didn’t put money on it because response came from the goverment. Surprise! PIA must have realized tight-lipness could cause trouble for him. Expect PIA’s statement tomorrow using nick-names such as ‘Ministry of information’ or ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs’. What a joke. How did we end up from a normal government in the 90’s (cofirmation of ministers, the presence of National Assembly, regular meeting of the parlama and party, presence of press, talks of constitution and election…) to a totally one-person government with absolute power to make and break the entire nation?

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    I just finished listening to the press release on Eri-TV. Instead of beating around the bush with a hatew-qetew, it would have been easier if they read a terse line: “We are not sure what to do next”.

    • Saleh AA Younis

      b’Alti W’qatto:

      But if they do that, how will we know how the PFDJ brain works?

      * All the news agencies that covered the news (Reuters, BBC, New York Times, Independent Online, Wall Street Journal, Aljazeera, Financial Times, etc) are the second half of the phrase “Weyanen meQaliHtun”. They just echo what Ethiopia says, and it is entirely their fault that Girma Asmerom went mute again.

      * The motivation for the Ethiopian attack was “hdma nQdmit”, or escape forward, which is a phrase of German origin (google tells us: ‘die flucht nach vorne’). The principle is: attack when you are trapped. So, according to the PFDJ, the Weyane are trapped. “Weyane abqiU iyu::”

      *In Eri-TV land, the attack coincided with the 10th year anniversary of the EEBC ruling. Since that was April 13, 2002, it must be April 13, 2012 in Eritrea. But what is a month among friends.

      * For Ethiopia, ARDUF’s kidnapping of European tourists was “gulbub mrQa” (blessing in disguise.) Everything is, apparently, “gulbub mrQa.” That Ethiopia attacked will soon be explained as gulbub mrQa because it strengthened the bond between thePeopleandtheGovernment.

      If you assemble 10 children and you tell them to randomly type a statement using the words “Weyane”, “zerai”, “meQalHtu”, “gulbub mrQa”, “hdma nQdmit”, “wshTawi chinqet”, “mehewtati me’adi”, they can come up with the same statement that the Foreign Ministry allegedly did. There is no reference to international law, there is no protest, or all the normal things normal governments do. Just the usual testosterone puffery.

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        Sal,

        Of course, it would be too naive of us to expect the head of “Cosa Nostra” to invoke international edicts and regulations either to rebuff or denounce Ethiopia’s action where the violation revolves not on the attack on a certain subversive group rather the crossing into Eritrean territories. Simply because, any violation of a sovereign territory is a clear cut act of war. In principle that is.

        But again if the Eritrean Constitution was implemented and if Eritrea had a functioning body of government (read: Parliament) and if Eritrea had a division of power in place, the presumed sophistry of the Tigrigna language would have been too redundant in the said hypothetical Eritrea.

        The other most important political statement one could take home is, the measured press release given by the Ethiopian spokes-person. He said, “Eritrea would not retaliate because it is not in a position to launch a counter attack.” In other words, Ethiopia is saying that, it has assessed Eritrea’s capacity long enough, where it has found a perfect timing to teach Eritrea a lesson where Eri-TV seems to confuse the timing with the “tenth anniversary of the EEBC ruling”.

  • haile

    ERiTv has broadcast a press release regarding the incident at the border in southeastern regions of Eritrea. As to the content, well it is not easy to translate it, it sounded some kind of gobbledygook tigrignia. Harimuni si qedimuni bekhiyu (he hit me and cried before me) then abzi mehawteti ayatun eye (I am not going to enter into thi mehatetiko?)….couldn’t make head or tail…

    • Saleh Gadi

      It is hilarious Haile. I heard it an hour ago and I am still laughing. The qedimuni, bekhyu stuff is a word-for-word translation of an Arabic saying: ‘derebni webeka, sebeqni weshtaka.’ Forget the message or intention, Shaebia obssession with direct translation of non-Tigrinya words and termas is very corny. The virus has attacked many people, even Tewelde of VoA couldn’t resist an attempt to be percieved as a Tigrinya language master. He translated YOUR REFLECTION as Netsebraqka! I blame it on Younis, before he made me aware of such goofs I never took notice. Now I have to listen carfully for such nuggets in Shaebia-talk.

      • haile

        Dear Saleh Gadi

        Hilarious indeed. After I finished listening to it, it tried to recollect what I just heard and guess what, I felt I was visited by some deqi hidrtina (a dream that one can’t recall kind of stuff) and I had to walk away with the traditional Be’sme Be’ab Be’wold W’e menfes qidus – wegid diablos. How strange that a whole Ministry of Information can’t come up with something ordinary people can understand!

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    Dear Haile,

    I tend to have an aversion to conspiracy theory but this time around I will step on it for it could as well be any relevant to the “news item” under scrutiny. In fact, the DSM-IV (read: Bible of Psychiatry) is on a serious study to designate conspiracy theory as a psychological aberration.

    Here is the deal: the fact that the fluffy and fuzzy (neither here nor there) websites “broke” the news says volumes about the content of the news. That is, the intent could as well be designed to put the nagging issue of Naizghi Kiflu in the back burner or in the back seat as people would be more attuned to any kind of news that would not only divert their attention but would put them on cloud nine as if they are on something. I wouldn’t be surprised if the news item was disseminated by a PFDJ operative. It ain’t going to fly well though at least here in Awate.com audience.

    • Hameed

      I am unable to digest that Arwe is outside the satellite coverage. A spokesman for the government of Ethiopia stated in a press conference that Ethiopia destroyed three training locations for rebels inside Eritrea. This is a news declared in press conference to international news agencies establishments. Are you kidding sister Arwe or you mean it?

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        Hameed,

        I was responding to Haile about the news that alluded about a possible talk between Isaias and Weyanes. The news item appeared yesterday. Sal to his credit commented to clear the confusion where you can find it as you scroll down.

    • haile

      totaly agree sister.

  • Tazabi

    I wonder why awate did not carry the news that Ethiopian defense forces entered Eritrea and destroyed three camps. The claim is these are terrorist training camps. Apparently this is in retaliation to the killing and kidnapping of foreign tourists in the Afar region. These tit for tat incidents have the potential to escalate to full blown war. We were promised the secession of Eritrea will bring lasting peace. Still waiting for the fulfillment of this promise.

    [From moderator: Refer to Gedab News from March 4, 2012: http://awate.com/low-intensity-conflict-in-the-eritrea-ethiopia-border/

    • haile

      Mr Tazabi

      Have you heard of the saying “qes Be’qes enqulal Be’egru yi’hedal” (slowly an egg would start to walk on its feet!). The news hasn’t even been around a mere 24hrs, and clearly state that no damage or casualty was disclosed. Yet, you seem to have additional facts as:

      1- three camps were destroyed
      2- the targets were terrorist training camp
      3- this is tit-fot-tat since (you give the impression that) Eritrea has killed and kidnapped tourists and now Ethiopia is targeting one of Eritrea’s ‘terrorist training assets’

      The strange thing is that given you appear to know all there is needed to know about the case and more, yet you want awate.com to source you god knows what!

      As a matter of guarded estimation, it is likely that this incident is nothing more than a rattle and shaking of some old furniture to inject some life into the deadlocked situation of Ethio-Eritrea daredevil cat and mice games. Ethiopia is in a terrible shape to go to war, so is Eritrea. Propaganda and razzmatazz is the order of the day.

      • Tazabi

        Haile,
        I do not know how the saying about the egg applies to me. The incident was reported on this forum by wedieri before me. May be he also have the same inside track that I have. The news was reported by BBC and all the major news sources hours before I posted my comment. I do not know what you see objectionable about my statement. I have a saying of my own here it goes – Ye yeju debtera kenewe beyalkebet Kererto mulabte. Simply put when people run of arguments they resort to name calling. Believe what you want it does not change the fact and I do not care

  • Saleh AA Younis

    Selamat:

    Rodab must have deleted his post so now, to the casual reader, b’Alti w’Qatto, Haile and Saleh G’s responses are incomplete and out of context. Rodab had referenced a news piece published by Ruba Anseba and asked if Gedab News can confirm the news. According to Ruba Anseba, “Israel and Qatar mediate between Eritrean [sic] and Ethiopia.”

    http://rubansaba.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=306%3Aisrael-and-qatar-mediate-between-eritrean-and-ethiopia&catid=42%3Ageneral-news&Itemid=113

    If you ventured beyond the headline because you refused to ask yourself questions as to why a country which is barely on talking terms with Ethiopia (Qatar) and another country which barely shows any interest in Africa (Israel) would play mediator between Eritrea and Ethiopia, then you were given these bullet points:

    “1. Qatar will lease the Eritrean port of “Assab” for 20 years and Ethiopia will use the port. 2. Ethiopia will be committed to demarcate the border, restore “Bademe” to Eritrea, and withdraw its troops. 3. Both countries work to normalize the social relations between them. 4.Both countries work on normalizing diplomatic and political relations. 5.People affected by the 1998-2000 war to be compensated with the help of donors. At this time, the Eritrean ruling party “PFDJ” is clearing the way for the negotiation by reshuffling its ministers, administrators, diplomats and military leaders, which is believed to enable the government to get rid of any official who may potentially oppose the above negotiation.”

    The last point is particularly touching because we all know how fearful and concerned Isaias is of officials who “potentially oppose” his negotiations since, what is it, oh yes, they can organize demonstrations, hold high-profile interviews with the media, and rally a movement against him .

    So the short answer to Rodab’s question is: “No, Gedab News cannot confirm Ruba Anseba’s report.”

    The long answer is: hell-to-the-no. My friend and colleague Saleh G Johar is too generous when it comes to any Eritrean journalist and does not want to embarrass them, no matter how ridiculous their reports might be, whereas I tend to believe that as with every field, journalism also attracts..um…a broad spectrum of humanity who should be treated appropriately.

    In news gathering, the options are: (a) your source is a participant in the news he is providing; (b) your source is a first-hand witness to the news she is providing; (c) your source knows somebody who is a witness/participant… (d) and so on. In closed societies like Eritrea, you can guess how close or far the source is from the news being reported by the nature of the news being reported.

    The sad fact is that in Eritrea, as in our entire neighborhood where news is tightly controlled by the governments, the people are forced to speculate, and the more colorful the speculation, the more paranoid it is, the more likely it is to be believed. The biggest fear that the Eritrean opposition has is that the Ethiopian government will reverse course, and shut out the Eritrean opposition. And every couple of years, the Ethiopian government finds it necessary to address this paranoia and say, “not true.” This news is from the same department of fear-peddling. The pro-PFDJ Eritreans will dismiss it as nonsense, the pro-opposition will talk about it for weeks, until the next paranoia inducing news alert comes.

    btw, wild speculations are not the exclusive domain of closed societies. Even in free societies where the people do not trust the media at all, they come up with their own wild speculations. [Check this: Forty-five percent of Republican voters in Alabama think Obama is a Muslim, while 41 percent are “unsure.” Only 14 percent believe he is Christian. In Mississippi, belief in the president’s supposed Muslim faith is even stronger. Fifty-two percent of Republicans there think Obama is Muslim, while 36 percent are unsure and only 12 percent believe he is Christian.” – Public Policy Polling, http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2012/03/12/most-alabama-mississippi-republicans-think-obama-is-muslim.html

    Ever since we started Gedab News, we have had “wise men” approach us to say that news need not be accurate, it just has to advance a narrative. There was one “wise man” who we always hear trotted out as an Eritrea expert who used to tell us even if news is not accurate, we should have a “ybahal alo” segment where we just spew whatever rumor is being uttered in the street.

    So, from my standpoint, the Ruba Anseba news was a typical “ybahal alo”.

    saay

    PS: Since we are not talking about the thread (“Eritrean Opposition Figures Missing In Sudan”), here’s my chance to bring it back. In the news, we mention the case of “Wedi Basahi” who was kidnapped by the PFDJ (technically EPLF then) in 1992. His young sister Freweini Gebretsadek has been talking about his case, to my knowledge, since at least 1995. (Wedi Bashai was one of three of her brothers who joined the Ghedli.) And the pain that the family of Freweini endured and still endure is not the exception in Eritrea. If she has a ticking clock with her that counted how many days it has been since her brother disappeared, it would read 7,300 days. Just to keep things in perspective.

    • http://myawate.awate.com/members/wediere/ Wediere

      Saleh,

      As a late reader, it was difficult to follows the discussion with reference to rodab’s comment. Thanks for the clarification.

      Another point, I thought his comment was deleted by a moderator as the tools to our disposal are bare minimum, I don’t see a delete button.

      Third point, there is news of Ethiopia carrying out attacks inside or against Eritrea. If some kind of negotiation is underway, the last thing you would expect is one of the two states taking such a step that would compromise a potential deal, especially Ethiopia (since DIA is unpredictable).

      http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20179649

      Wediere

      • Saleh AA Younis

        Wediere:

        Bingo. That is the risk with publishing “ybahal alo” news. It comes with a built-in expiration date. In this case, the Ruba Anseba news expired within one day.

        saay

      • rodab

        “I thought his comment was deleted by a moderator as the tools to our disposal are bare minimum, I don’t see a delete button.” – Wediere.
        lol. Good oberservation buddy. I myself was wonderng where my message went to.

  • wedi berhe

    It is gray …if not black…kkkk!

  • Kokhob Selam

    Back during our national struggle a lot of people were lost or killed in Sudan and no action was taken against all crimes. I personally blame those whom I think were democratic elements as they are supposed to take similar action and burn the group. I ask and give my suggestion to organize a group which will protect people and hunt the killers and take action over them. let me say thank you for my comrades who support me and who challenged that killers group in Kesela and Khartoum. just this small collection of group without any organized support of any one, they have let EPLF pay a lot which Shaebia never forget. I still strongly request the opposition to start taking action instead of blaming. PFDJ group is a collection of coward men sending some guys with bad history. PFDJ. who plays on the life of helpless is but never bold to face to those who stand in front them. Opposition has to organize a group now and start to clean from all Sudan . first diplomatically by with Sudanese government and second by kidnapping and killing the PFDJ main elements. we should be a bit cruel if we want real peace. we should not be kind to devil.

    today opposition is gaining military wise in borders of Ethiopia and PFDJ is in lose. But we must reach the same stage from Sudan too. I know Sudan has (Since I knew them back in 70’s) militay men who can be easily used if they get ladies and money (PFDJ don’t have problem to do so) but Opposition can do it without changing our great culture. for example we can let the world keep security of refuge camps in Sudan. this way or the other PFDJ era has to end by any means possible.

    • Hameed

      Dear Kokhob Selam,

      I agree, we should not be kind to devils.

  • rodab

    Wondering if Gedab News has any information the below news I came across:

    Rubansaba 03-13-2102 : Different sources this week have confirmed that the Eritrean government and the Ethiopian government are going to have preliminary meeting in Germany on March the 20th, already some representatives of both countries arrived in Germany.
    The mediating that is Israel and Qatar shuffled to both Eritrea and Ethiopia a five point plan:

    1. Qatar will lease the Eritrean port of “Assab” for 20 years and Ethiopia will use the port.
    2. Ethiopia will be committed to demarcate the border, restore “Bademe” to Eritrea, and withdraw its troops.
    3. Both countries work to normalize the social relations between them.
    4. Both countries work on normalizing diplomatic and political relations.
    5. People affected by the 1998-2000 war to be compensated with the help of donors.

    At this time, the Eritrean ruling party “PFDJ” is clearing the way for the negotiation by reshuffling its ministers, administrators, diplomats and military leaders, which is believed to enable the government to get rid of any official who may potentially oppose the above negotiation.

    • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

      rodab,

      So what?

      • Boku

        It is important because soon ethiopia will be out of reach and will do what Sudan is doing now

      • Saleh Gadi

        Rodab, we know where this came from. Some research is underway to know the details and nature of the Qatari-Eritrean relations. Some would be tempted to present the theories as news–Gedab will only publish stuff after doing due deligence. But we have a bonus for you the awate.com family including commentators and readers. Part of the investigation follows:

        …… Building a new Djiboutian port at Tagura, specifically for the use of Ethiopian traffic, is well underway. A Railway line that connects Tagura to Ethiopia, that is being built by the Chinese, will replace the 19th century French build 800 km railway line bwteen Djibouti and Addis Ababat. The port of Djibouti is run by Dubai port authority and it has become an international shipping lines transit hub in the region. Considereing the closeness of Djibouti to the bab El Mendeb gateway between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, and considering its being the Southern doorway of the Red Sea (the northern being the Suez cal), Djibouti has become the capital of geopolitical/marine interest in the area. This is why Djibouti is populated with American, French and other western forces. Djibouti is also the station of Western counter piracy operations as well as counter terrorism task forces.
        This strategic position could have been the share of Eritrea, which is far better equipped for the role than Djibouti; but for the last twenty years, the Eritrean regime has pulled itself out of the international community and chose blackmailing and playing the role of a cheap broker in the region. It tied all its fame to military conflicts and positioned itself as firefighter, and when there is no fire to extinguish, it ignites one. This has proven to be damaging for the country and its people and it has depreciated the strategic importance of the country—the regime ended up becoming a liability to the people of the region and worse liability to its own people.
        Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE have formed a multi-million dollar holding company presided by a Qatari “citizen.” ….[we will stop here]

        Rodab, notice Qatar, Saudi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, etc–that is how the thread runs.We hope you get te route of the story and the extensiveness of the excercise. But sometimes work in process might be mishandles, leaked, mutilated, fattened (notice the vain inclusion of Israel) only to appear as cheap gossip somewhere. This is to show you that we respect our readers and Gedab sells only lean meat, no fats:-)

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        First of all, the news item is a boloney simply because the regime in Asmara is incapable of re-inventing itself in a ‘kick start’ way of doing things. It has gotten rotten from inside where it is beyond repair. Most of all, for all practical purposes, why would the Weyanes trust him after he has proven to them beyond doubt that he is is a loose cannon in every sense of the term. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

        • haile

          b’Alti W’qatto Arwe

          I think boloney is the best way to describe it. Firstly, if PFDJ was to lease out the port of Assab to the Qatar, which would in turn let Ethiopia to use it, that doesn’t smell half as greedy as PFDJ. What PFDJ would have done is: it would lease it to one of its parastatal economic arms (a.k.a kubaniatat hitsa) and this entity would let Ethiopia use it (with the bonus of 1000’s of free labour from sawa kids) and would get all the booty to its party coffers. Secondly, what the news seem to allude to is that the Ethiopians have dropped their earlier demand to re-demarcate (lawta – read exchange) as a basis of give and take face saving strategy. Now, they would proceed with demarcation in exchange for 20 year use of the port of Assab – boloney indeed. If anything, it is saying that the Ethiopians are giving up on their position — normalization then demarcation, in favour of the Eritro-Qatari position — demarcation then normalization (with Assab as a bargaining chip). Hard to believe. What exactly would bring about such a majore shift of strategy on the Ethiopian side? Nothing. So, my bet is that this news item is a ruse deliberatly dessiminated to confuse and send into disarray the gathering momentum of what you once described as “unified opposition”

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