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Eritrean Opposition Officials Touring the USA

In a meeting described by some attendees “as one of its kind”, yesterday, the chairman of the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC) Mr. Tseggai Yohannes and his deputy Ms. Freweini Habtemariam concluded a meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Since they arrived in San Francisco, California on April 3, 2014, the two officials held public meeting in Oakland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Indiana, Las Vegas, and Dallas. They have plans to hold more meetings in Boston, Washington DC, and Toronto, Canada.

The ENCD was established November 2011 in a congress held in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Over five-hundred Eritreans from all parts of the world attended the founding congress. However, the ENCDC was born a weak institution due to lack of funding, inexperience of most of its members, and ambitions of a few to control the affairs of the council in dubious ways.
In their meetings, Mr. Tseggai and Ms. Freweieni have been giving a thorough analysis of the structural, cultural, legal, political and financial factors that have contributed to the weakness of their organization.

ENCDC’s strength and appeal emanates from the fact, the officials contend, that it is the only organization that reflects Eritrea’s rich diversity.

The officials said the ENCDC has debarred all civic organizations from direct involvement because it believes the role of civic societies is to influence decision-making through lobbying and exerting pressure not through voting and office-holding.

The youth and ethnic meetings held in the aftermath of the founding of ENCDC were understood by the leaders as a direct attack on their organization. Inadvertently or not, Ethiopia has played a negative role in undermining ENCDC.

The ENCDC leaders stated that Ethiopian officials repeatedly refuse to communicate with the ENCDC though formal channels and ignored request to communicate in writing.

The current visit of the officials to the USA and Canada has pumped some life into the body of the ENCDC which has suffered acute weaknesses mainly due to attacks by its partisan members.

The officials appealed to the public to bear the responsibilities of funding and supporting the ENCDC to enable it do its work.

To learn more about ENCDC, visit its website at: www.encdc.net/

 

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  • WEDI JOMO

    TORONTONIANS ARE INVITED TO THIS IMPORTANT MEETING

  • Kokhob Selam

    dawit, well that is only one and there are other meanings too. I don’t know how you become so strong artist if you can’t see things from different directions. first of all we are experiencing our free view that we don’t find in in PFDJ camp. 2nd I am learning how to put things that I think about in this type of art. again this might be even about opposition not about PFDJ at all. it depends on how you see it. do you think I am appreciating your stand when I see your drownings? no, not at all. I was wondering and appreciating how you manage to put in such simple way your ideas. and that is what I am doing now following your system. but when comes our view, swallow it – that is me that will never change my principle even if you put me in honey as I was not against PFDJ when I lost something personal, it is just a mater of principle . now, I may also come with an art that supports PFDJ but don’t take it as my stand.

  • Hope

    OK Johar and Emma,
    My apology—–and good luck with your Oppositons.I am at loss now and I do not see any benefit even visiting this website any more.
    Infested with—–and turned into Cyber Psycholgical War Fare against Eritreans in the name of targeting PFDJ.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Mr. Hope,

      why should you do that? It is your home, a home where you could interact and say your view as you see it. what you need though is the common sense politics, you don’t need to be sophisticated. Actually, if there is sincerity in our politics the solution is at hand. Don’t be frustrated.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        ሓው ኣማንኤል፡ ከማኻ ይብዝሑ። ዓቢ ሰብ፡ ጽቡቕ ምኽሪ።

      • Hope

        Thanks for your brotherly and mature advice.

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Dear Hope,
      Take a look at my last comment to you on the other article “Omaro” where I said that we were not too far apart when it comes to the nation. Actually, you should stay on to face head on the “psychological war fare.” That’s what patriots should do. ኢድካ ምሃብ ኣይባህልናን እዩ። With that short debate with you, I was encouraged to check some of my statements. So, stay on.

      • Hope

        Advice taken seriously with great appreciation.

        See you in Keren soon–and Allah willing,will have a sip of that UNIQUE ” ‘Wahid berad shahi” with shehanful

    • tes

      brother Hope,

      I would kindly request you to stay with awatists. They have a lot a lot and lot to gain from.

      With apology though, don’t come only to teach people, but to learn and share what you have. Debate with what is coming, challenge ideas and build your library of consciousness. I said recently to you, “toblok lok …”kind of feedback to you. We are not giving you our feedback, or you are not giving us same for the sake of giving. We are doing it because that is the way we are developing. Knowledge gathering and learning process is usual at slow pace. No need to hurry to have that. Live within it, not without it.

      May be, you may understand that you are giving too much about the Eritrean history, as I have gone through many of your hardline comments, but we are here because there are people like you and people who can rebuff your only giving oriented mind (I don’t mean that 100% true, but let it be you are like that for the sake of your call). It is a spice here. If you are absent, we will only be disadvantaged. I don’t know about you, but we need you.

      Don’t give-up man!!

      hawka tes

      • Hope

        Thanks…Let Peace be with us and among us all!

        But I am also learning some hatred , divisiveness and polarization here.

        • tes

          You are welcome brother,

          thing to say; If there is any divisiveness and polarization, and you are not happy with, do your part not to happen. If you escape, it will continue. If you have rational approach, such things could be halted.

          As for me, I don’t see such things. May be the way we see could differ. What so ever it is, we need you, either to tell us that we not doing good or shaping our views.

          Hawka and t

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Two weeks ago we have debated on the role of individual and the role of a system as “system”. My argument was the individual can have a big role in building a system with its institutions. But once the institution is built, for good or bad, the institutions are the functions of the system and hence the leaders (appointee) who are enforcers of the policy are the infra-structure of the political system. As part of the argument then, in such political circumstance, if the people felt an oppression of all sorts, should they focus be to the one who had a big role in building the system or to the system he built and that becomes the source of their oppression, indeed in fact become the focal point of the debate.

    On similar subject but in a different approach, Taddese Kidane addressed the issue in a cogent and persuasive way in Tigrigna, which I felt will supplement my argument. Tadesse using Wedi Gerahtu as an example defined the design of the pillars of oppression. in fact he calls them “ንህግደፍ ኣቝሞምዎ ዘለዉ መሓውር”. My question is now, if the the builder is eliminated, doesn’t the house and its pillars remain intact? and the only they need is to bring one at the helm to run the state machine. Please read the link below, a well written article in a smooth tigrigna language.

    http://togoruba.org/togoruba1964/mainTogorubamap/mainMap/headingMap/2014A/0505TK4-03AT.pdf

    • tes

      I will be with you dear Amanuel,

      your words has power spreading in spirit from and within them.

      hawka tes

  • Hope

    Hello All,

    Let us be fair and honest:

    Are these ” Real Opposition Figures” or “Paid Enemy Agents?

    If these Opposition Figures are :

    -Created, instructed, managed, manipulated, financed, re-shuffled, tutored, directed, advised, and get orders,directives,etc…directly by the Sworn Enemies of Eritrea ,withal due respect,Mr Saleh Ghadi “Johar” et al,how in the world are you labeling them as “Real Opposition Figures”?

    You even dared confidently to say:”ENCDC’s strength and appeal emanates from the fact, the officials contend, that it is the only organization that reflects Eritrea’s rich diversity”, which implies that others are just trash.
    How in the world would you dare to insult the Intelligence,sir?

    • Hope

      Correction:Read as “With all due respect”; I missed the clause”the officials contend”, which initially I thought that it was your opinion and I take it back with apology!

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Mr. Hope,

      Please don’t be problem stirrer. Try to be a sound politician who sniffs for the truth from all sides of the spectrum and use them to formulate solutions. Do not allow your “patriotism” to lose the foundation of your rationality and common sense politics. I am just following you to see a kind of change on how you approach politics as an art of governing of opposite views. There is no sworn enemy in politics, and to understand the nature of politics go to the basics and review how your interaction is with your own people and the countries around us with in the frame work of geopolitics of the horn.

      • hope

        My Apology–Emma—I am being emotional based on my experience with this kind of Opposition.

    • Semere Andom

      Hope:
      All your allegations are symptomatic of PFDJ disease: charging, convicting and incarcerating, disappearing and eventually murdering people. You cannot prove a single of your allegations against the opposition. In the name of protecting Eritrea (read apologizing and sanitizing PFDJ) you level all this accusations against the opposition, whose only crime is been incompetent and taking refuge in the Woyane land, a group that your PFDJ groomed and nurtured and used it to kill Eritreans. I am not sure how old you are, but many of us are old enough to remember the crimes of PFDJ against innocent Eritreans. And the longer this cancer stays in Eritrea the harder it will be to salvage what remains of Eritrea.
      Get real and do not accuse Eritreans. You most likely will live with the opposition than with PFDJ because the “skunis” will leave you dry and sell your to the dirtiest river

      Sem

      • Hope

        Farighenaa bi’lahi.Wed keren anna tiblena wehiga tigrayit tithaghe haleki lakin nay wed keren—adeb alebkani kulu re’asu.
        Allah yirhamka huye.

        • Hope

          The approach we-Adeb kella SAAY,Mahmoud Salih we Johar tir’eyo haleka.?
          Hasebka—follow them.

        • Semere Andom

          Hope
          I do not take adeb lessons from a denier of the crimes of PFDJ: tobe price from ppl like you.
          And about adeb your dragotary comments about the refuges and the kids who perished escaping from pfdj is here for all to see.
          I never said I am from Keren or even from the low lands. I just speak the laguage, do you have problem with that?. If you want you can comment on my comment and not what language I speak or where from Eri I am. Or stop and keep attacking the victims

      • Hope

        Sem,
        The approach we-Adeb kella SAAY,Mahmoud Salih we Johar tir’eyo haleka.?
        Hasebka—follow them

  • Rodab

    Selam Pappii & anyone interested,
    (That other blog is overloaded, thus the need to moving here)

    The article [of the link you sent] is a year+ old but the topic is still current and a very crucial one at that. I believe this is something everyone wonders about.
    The author, Mr Andy Ryan, listed three possible scenarios to ending the President’s reign. These are:
    1 – coup, which Mr Ryan listed as the most likely scenario,
    2 – limited reform. The author is reluctant on this, and
    3 – popular uprising. The likelyhood of this is too hard to guess, for the author.

    What say you, can you think of other posibilities?

    I think Mr Ryan missed one other major possibility. Potentially likely. And that is, as the President’s health deteriorates, it is possible the PFDJ, more importantly Eritrea, can witness a Woyane-style transfer of power (I appreciate the way they managed that. No less than Excellent!). Will it be that smooth in our case? I hope so but I don’t know. It is hard to forecast what the seb-bret generals will do. One thing comforting is there are no alerting tensions amongst the various segments of the Eritrean people. The only tension has always been that of the public vs the government. And that is one positive aspect that will help in brightening the future. Peace!

    • Pappillon

      Dear Rodab,

      Many thanks for the succinct summary. I didn’t know that the article was a year old. But as you have aptly pointed it out, it is more relevant than ever. Often times people tell me that I am unrealistic optimist when ever I say something of a positive outcome in the aftermath of the tyrant. But my sense of optimism is not unfounded, that is, it finds its instinct in the spirit that defines ናይ ህዝብና character. If anything, YG may have erroneously attributed self-sacrifice to an unwarranted cruel indoctrination of the elites on the people but self-sacrifice finds its roots in the age old kindness and generosity embedded in the nature of the people. As such, it is rather difficult to foresee not only a complete civil war break-out hardly a semblance to it either. In the aftermath of the tyrant, the people who can play a smooth transition are what remained of the G-15. To be more precise, if the immediate action is the release of the G-15 and if they tone down their language bereft of resentment and revenge, they will play a critical role where the military personnel and the people will find a common-ground in them.

      Haft’kha.

      • Rodab

        Hi Pappi,
        I suppose G-15, if alive and well, could play SOME role, perhaps as advisory committee. I am not sure they will be in a stable state of mind to assume leadership role. Ideally, what Eritrea urgently needs is fresh-blooded, diplomacy-oriented leaders who are as far away from the bad habit of PFDJ way of governance. There is no doubt seasoned leaders will emerge at some point. The transition period between now and then is what’s extremely tricky. I have commented before that a reformed PFDJ (without the very few at the top) is our best choice, from a nearly blank menu. I suspect you and me will go on our separate ways on this, and that’s ok. Hailat and me did just that but we managed to keep our meAlka-Haderka intact:)

        • haile

          ሮዳብ፡ ከምኡ ኣይትበል ህግደፍ ከይሰምዑኻ። ደቂ ዓዲ’ዮም ከይብሉና….:-)

  • Dawit

    ..

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dawitom, so simple but strong massage. how do you do it? yet, you left me with a lot of questions. who is who? I don’t know. investigation job is going on in my mind and if I get the answer oh!!! I am going to have another art with poem. thank you.

      • Dawit

        Selam Kokhobay,

        If you have read YG’s latest article at Asmarino, he talks about Eritreans who call themselves “xuruyat Eritrawian”. The sketch makes fun of the aforementioned people. However, readers can take many more messages from the sketch.

        • Kokhob Selam

          that is the advantage of sketch. let the mind work and at times it makes fan of own stand. it is another world I start to learn Dawitom.

    • dawit

      Dawit, why are your picture lately depicts a crucifixion is that because we are still Tsom Arbaa. Now to be fare the ‘Tsruy and zetsruy’ Ertrawi, goes both directions. I have read some opposition comments labeling Isaias, Hagos Kisha and Yemanes as not ‘pure’ or deki Arbaa’ by those who claimed to be ‘Dekebat’. While of course many regim supporters labeling some opposition members as ‘woyane, Agame etc’ with some defects on their true Eritreaness. This is a gray area where many of us to clean our thoughts of one another. Moqsi, you can illustrate you can send your message without crucifixion pictures, we are pass Easter!
      Peace
      dawit..

    • Mahmud Saleh

      salam Dawit:
      እታ ምሕጻብ ዝይኮነስ ዝያዳ እታ ምእሳር መልእኽቲ ኣለዋ። Indoctrinating forcibly!!! Awatistas call it forced social engineering, too. ግን እቲ ጽሩይ ሓደ ኮይኑ፡ እቶም ዘይጽሩያት ብዙሓት ጭቕጭቕ ዝበሉ እንተትገብራ ናይ ውሑዳት ኣተሓሳስባ ናብ ብዙሓት ይስግደድ ከምዘሎ መርኣየ። Can we consider it as some sort of psychological torture? ጽቡቕ ስራሕ። Where can I see other political cartoons of yours?

      • Dawit

        Dear Mahmud,

        Great point. Your point is well taken. I will see if I can modify and post it to indicate the “forcible indoctrination” of what PFDJ calls “kedaAat, hademti” wezete.

        Double click on my name (Dawit). It will take you to disqus where you will find all my sketches along readers comments of the sketches. While in disqus you need to scroll down and click on where it says “x number of days” again to see the sketch.

        Again thank you for your constructive comment. Just like yours, I have also received helpful critique, as well as encouragement from many readers among whom is Saleh Gadi.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Salam Dawit: Thank you for the information. I will do that.

  • tes

    sorry

  • Mahmud Saleh

    What’s missing is a genuine opposition; one that trusts Eritreans’ capabilities more than a foreign power in sorting out their complex predicament; an opposition that is proud of its people’s proud history, which means, owning the gallantry of the revolution and particularly that of the EPLA; not making disparaging propoganda against Eritrea, its ghedli, the pioneers of our just struggle, its heroes, and its present defense forces; someone that does not confuse selling out core national interest with ushering in democratic change. Any change that puts us in a worse situation than the one we are in isn’t going to get a popular welcome. We can smell it. Regretfully; for newcomers like me; the opposition is too chaotic and lacks a national anchor and a rallying charismatic leader, yes, like Issayas of the seventies and eighties.
    I welcome ENCDC coming to people and discussing the challenges it faces. Hey, I urge them to follow the fierce yet civilized discussions raging on Awate.com. I could c of essential I found it very interesting, not so scary, too.

  • Selamawi

    I have always wondered why all these little so called ‘political parties’ feel Eritrea needs them at present. Bayto would succeed if it were democratically elected. It would succeed if we did not have so many groupings and, unashamedly, multiplying like an amoeba.

    In my view the existence of these groupings is counter productive to the much needed urgent solution. We are in an emergency situation; and we have limited resources. These groups seem to think as if we are in peaceful times. We are not!: It is emergency situation which needs urgent solution. If your house is on fire you rush to control the fire or minimize the damage as a matter of urgency – you do not discuss were to put your fridge or TV …

    All resources need to be unified. So far the best formula has been that of Dr Tewelde Tesfamariam (Wedi Vaccaro)
    ‘s movement. This movement is like a fresh air in a desert. It seems that finally the Moses that we have been waiting for has arrived.

    Dear compatriots: the only formula that works is UNITY of all Eritreans and all their resources under one structure. Peace time discussions and peace time demands should be stopped immediately. All genuinely concerned Eritreans should be measured against UNITY.

    God save Eritreans from the biggest beast pfdj at home and abroad. God save all Eritreans suffering in Sinai, in Israel, in the Sahara desert, in other Middle Eastern countries, in the Sudan, in Ethiopia and in other African countries. God save Eritrea .

    • saay7

      Selamat Salamawi & Awatistas:

      A Modest Proposal

      We in the Eritrean opposition should take a page from the British Military Administration (BMA):

      When the BMA was trying to create power structures in the Western Lowlands of Eritrea (what they called the Western Province), they went back to a simple formula: rebuilding the tribes based on kinship. Historically, the Shmagelle (aristocrats) were kins, but the
      Tigre (serfs) were not closely-knit. This policy, which favored the serfs over the Shmagelle*, was initiated by the Italians.**

      Sensing an opportunity, every tiny group in the Western Lowlands said they were a unique tribe, increasing the number to an extremely unmanageable set. The BMA said that the minimum numerical requirement for recognizing a tribe is that it has to have 2,000 members. Some met the threshold and some didn’t–but those who didn’t, still demanded tribal recognition. The BMA had an ingenious plan: they told the smaller tribes that they would recognize them but THEY (The Brits) would elect a Wekil Hkuma (government representative) for them. That got the tribes to reconsider their decision (nobody wants to be represented by a foreigner) and…let’s have the BMA narrate it using typical British understatement:

      “several groups… [were] reminded of kinship with others and the numbers originally subject to the Wakil Hakuma… sensibly reduced.”

      All we have to do now is replace the word “kinship” with “political programme”; replace 2,000 with 20,000 and replace the word “Wekil Khuma” with “Ethiopian guardianship” and we can make it work.

      1. If you don’t have 20,000 members, then form an alliance/amalgamation and reach the threshold;
      2. The alliance/amalgamation should be based on similarity of your political programme;
      3. If you don’t have the numbers, and insist on being a separate political entity, then you can place yourself under Ethiopian guardianship and have their “Wakil Hakum” (a Weyane version of Ende Rassye) and we will treat you as such.

      saay

      * The Shmagelle, says the BMA, were bystanders in this because of a “widespread and naive hope that with the coming of an Ethiopian or Italian Government the tables will be turned.” It wasn’t that naive: that’s exactly what happened after Janhoy and that’s how the Unity Party said it had the support of Muslim and Christian Eritreans.

      ** Those who accuse Eritreans of romanticizing the Italians skip this part of our history, at least in the Western lowlands. The Western lowlanders were friendly to the Italians because it was the Italians who initiated the process of breaking the back of the Shmagelle aristocrats, a parasitic rent-seeking abusive class which had abused the Tigre serfs for centuries. The emancipation of Tigre was a process continued by the Brits and consolidated by Ibrahim Sultan.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Salamat SAAY 7: concise yet amazingly informative. Thanks

      • dawit

        Selam saay,
        with simple calculation of 20,000 Eritrean for a party, assuming we have an average 4,000,000 Eritrean population count from the various guestimate of 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 ranges, we will have 200 parties! Why not have one Eritrean Democratic party, whose platform would be 1. to establish democratic government in Eritrea and 2. to stand against any foreign interference on Eritrean affairs i.e protect Eritrean independence from internal or external enemies 3. Establish mutual peaceful coexistence and friendships with all nations. The party competes against Isaias’s the Wokil Hakuma party PFDJ?. Just a thought
        dawit

        • saay7

          Selamat dawit:

          My threshold of 20,000 membership was directed at the Diaspora opposition where the base is signficantly and membership (dues-paying) is in the dozens or hundreds (at most.) Beyond that, the PFDJ is the Hakuma (government) and Isaias is the Wekil (representative.) My problem, as you know, is with the Wekil and not with the Hakuma:)

          saay

  • Kokhob Selam

    Ok, that is fine what else do we have except fighting for legally accepted administration. it is none stop job for us till we make sure not only Eritrea is independent but democratic too. I am coming back with art that show what I am talking about but for now,

    ካብቲ ኮኾብ ብርሃን ተወንጨፈ :-
    ተስፋ ክህቦ ሰላም ንዝሃረፈ :-
    ነቲ ውጹዕ መሰሉ ተገፈ :-
    ብጥምየት ሓለንጊ ዝተገርፈ ::

    ግዳ ዕጭ ኢሉ ምእማን ምስ ኣበየ :-
    ጸረ ጥቅሙ ብዙሕ ምስ ጎየየ :-
    ብርሃን ስውእ እምብዛ ጎሃየ :-
    ተስፋ ከይቆረጸ ናብ እዝጊ ጸለየ

    ሻቡ በለ :-
    ተስፋታትካ እቲ ዘጠውለገ :-
    ንድኽነት ሰደት ዝዳረገ:-
    ተመልከቶ ሓፋሽ ኣይትጋገ :-
    ሞቁሑ ስንኩፍ እዩ ዝዘዓገ::

    ኮኾብ ሰላም
    05/05/2014

    • tes

      Bro. Kokob,

      I just want to thank you for such skillful pen you have. All are in your words. keep going, I am enjoying your artistic articulation and dawit’s cartoon.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Thank you Bro.tes. thank you for being the fist person to comment in my first ” accompanied by a poem “art.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Final one. thank you all

          • dawit

            Sorry to say it same negative story in words and pictures, trying to paint Eritrea the hell of this world. Eritreans should pass through so many blood sacrifices for their independence, fighting their feudal lords the Shimagles, the Italian, British and Ethiopian colonizers ‘Wokil Hakumas’ for generations. Now my question to all opposition figures, do we have to go to bloody civil wars to get ‘Democracy’? Can we accept a local ‘dictatorship’ as stepping stone to democracy. Even the Greeks who invented the system thousands years ago have to go through several dictatorships from Alexander the Great to.Georgios Papadopoulos 1967-74.

          • Kokhob Selam

            dear Dawit, why even only think that way. there are stories inside this sketch. What you thought is only one simple and easy one. think about it once again and you will find more than three information. Shall I give you one now so you can search others? ok think about the article above and think about it. and see the finger behind the wall, do you notice how weak it is. that is the back ground/ the old story although simple that had make nonfunctional arrested. their narrow tendencies has make them poor all the way from economy, social acceptance. and here comes the star who shines and try to take them from the dark they are in. the half body shows there is no legal head to lead, and no kindness -no heart, the lung all those are not in the picture. etc. now try to find more. thank you. and by the way my other drawings might come against opposition while supporting PFDJ and but should not be taken as my personal stand. I am experiencing sometime as confused,sometime PFDJ etc. you should take it easy as I am experiencing my freedom in that art world.

    • Dawit

      What makes your sketch better than mine is that it is accompanied by a poem. I hope this won’t be the first and the last. Keep it up , Kokhobay. I hope many more would also come forward and impress us with their special talents.

      • Kokhob Selam

        thank you. and let me assure you this is the first but will continue as far as I am alive. remember you are my teacher so I will need your support in criticizing for the art. Let’s teach the people that we may have different views but we have the same destination.I love you.

    • Kokhob Selam

      the above will be deleted as there is a little change within next hour.