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Eritrea’s Dismal Human Development Report

The United Nations has published its 2013 Human Development Report (HDR) and Eritrea ranks number 181 in the world, that is, 7th from the bottom.

With a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.351, Eritrea is ahead of only 6 mostly war-torn African nations: Niger, Congo, Mozambique, Chad, Burkino Faso and Mali.

The HDI is a composite index which uses three metrics; i.e., mortality, education and income.  The HDI, according to the UN, measures “achievement in three basic dimensions of human development – a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.”

Recognizing the disparity in global development, the UN classifies nations as belonging to one of the following four human development groups: very high, high, medium, low.  Eritrea’s human development index is dismal even by the standards of the low human development countries.

You can find the UN report here.   What follows is our summary.

HDR  Digest

1. Life Expectancy at Birth
a. Definition:  “Number of years a newborn infant could expect to live if prevailing patterns of age-specific mortality rates at the time of birth stay the same throughout the infant’s life.”
b. Eritrea: 62
c. Low Human Development Country Average: 59.1

2. Mean (Average) Years of Schooling
a. Definition: “Average number of years of education received by people ages 25 and older, converted from education attainment levels using official durations of each level.”
b. Eritrea: 3.4
c. Low Human Development Country Average: 4.2

3. Expected Years of Schooling:
a. Definition: “Number of years of schooling that a child of school entrance age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrollment rates persist throughout the child’s life.”
b. Eritrea: 4.6
c.  Low Human Development Country Average: 8.5

4.  Gross National Income (GNI) Per Capita
a. Definition: “Aggregate income of an economy generated by its production and its ownership of factors of production, less the incomes paid for the use of factors of production owned by the rest of the world, converted to international dollars using PPP rates divided by midyear population.”

b.  Eritrea: 531
c.  Low Human Development Country Average: 1,633

5. Human Development Index
a. Definition: The Human Development Index is a composite of three indices: life expectancy index, education index, and Gross National Income per capita index.   Since this is a comparative report, the goal posts of the UN for its indices are between 0 and 1.  The indices are arrived by first calculating each index and then taking a composite.  For example, to establish the life expectancy index, the formula used is the following: Life expectancy index =  (actual value – minimum value) / (maximum value – minimum value) For life expectancy the maximum value is that of Japan (at 80) and the minimum value is set at 20.  Thus, Eritrea’s life expectancy index would be (62-20)/(80-20) or 42/60 or 0.7. The same process is repeated for the education (knowledge) index and the income (standard of living) index.  The composite of the three indices is arrived at by taking the cube root of the products of the indices.
b. Eritrea:  0.351
c. Low Human Development Country Average:  0.466

Trend Analysis

The UN has been publishing the HDR since 1990 and Eritrea has been a UN-recognized state since 1993; however, the data available on Eritrea is spotty and year-to-year comparisons are difficult.  The UN has published HDI for Eritrea for only three years: 2011, 2012, 2013.

A year-to-year comparison for the three years would show that Eritrea’s HDI has been:

0.342 in 2011
0.346 in 2012
0.351 in 2013

While this analysis may appear to show progress for Eritrea, the information is incomplete unless one also adds the average HDR for the least developed countries for the same years:

0.461 in 2011
0.464 in 2012
0.466 in 2013

If one then calculates a deviation from the mean for the three years, it shows that Eritrea is, at best, stuck and making no progress or, at worst (based on its country-rank compared to, say, 2011) regressing.  For example, in 2011 Eritrea was ranked #177 (ahead of Guinea, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Burkino Faso, Liberia, Chad, Mozambique, Burundi, Niger and Congo). In 2013 it is ranked # 181 having been overtaken by  Guinea, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Conclusion

Every organization that provides reports on the civil liberties enjoyed by citizens has ranked Eritrea at or near the bottom.  Whether issued by the State Department, the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders,  Transparency International or Freedom House, their annual reports have all said that the administration of Isaias Afwerki is a wanton violator of Eritreans civil liberties and human rights.

The Eritrean regime has dismissed these reports and said that it is focused on improving Eritrea’s quality of life.  But the most reliable report on Eritreans quality of life is the UN’s Human Development Report and Eritreans quality of life is either stuck or regressing.  So, Eritreans now find themselves in the unenviable situation where they have no human rights, no civil liberties and no improvement in their quality of life to use as a consolation prize.

awateteam@awate.com

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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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  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Hi Edris

    Eritrea is a New country born out of the desier to controll the red sea where the west neither wanted the facism (italian) nor quranic (biblical) old arabic system to controll the crucial blood line of the world blood vessel of transport for fuel and all basic needs of billion pepoples surgically cut out With no regard to the People who live above or udner the Sharp cutting line.

    The only person who managed to rule Ethiopia including Eritrea With this great responsiblity by his enginious political system without sacrificing millions of both Ethiopians and eritreans briliantly by balancing the Power exerted up on Ethiopia from the East Block led by Russia, Arrabs by Anwar Sadat and off course the west led by USA; was the great king of Kings Haile Silassie (the afar had their own king until the king of kings died thus king of kings).

    What happened to Ethiopians and eritreans during mengistu communism was not forgotten. What happened in mengistu time showed how an incompitent leader or party brings so much grifs to his own prople by the Limited or null knowladge of leading such great People/Peoples With great chalenges.

    So Eritrea is off course a New country at least in the creation of this hostile atmosphere between the majority of Eritreans and ethiopians. If it were for equality and Democracy we couldnt lost so many millions of Our beloved Peoples or People. Forginers could do any thing to controll Our Resource or stragetic Places even to the extent of slavery or colonization so why would be surprised by the coopration of Arabs and the west in helping shabia and woyane in the hope of cotrolling the read sea. Even enemies becom friends for their dirty politics.

    So Eritrea With leadership of eplf couldn enjoy the Power it has instead it has been punished severly just by being near to read sea. The near future is not promissing either. The old elf is rising up due to eplf barbaric leadership by choosing the Arabs while the rest turn their face to the west. This is the worst cause it brings the war to horn again and many suffering to my People, Peoples.

    The solution is not easy after 22 years delussion. But controling the red sea in this difficult time need a strong realationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea. 5 million People has not been enough, so we need to mobilize at least the 90 million of Ethiopians. If we dont learn how the international world is brutal in the last 39 years then we learn nothing, thus we deserve the consquence.

    Denying Ethiopia Assab or ports must not be the final goal of Eritrea.

  • idris

    To those of you who claim that Ethiopia being 3000 years old while eritrea 20 years only. Do not fool yourself. eritrea is as old as ethiopia is. The land the people were there since that old times. The two were under one administration until eritrea was occupied by italy. Imagine (as you always claim) the fact that eritrea was exposed to modernization through colonizers-. This should have helped eritrea to perform better in the human development ranking. Then eritrea was occupied by britrain (another advantage in terms of modernization).
    then eritrea confederated with ethiopia but with more awarness of modernization and democracy. then the rest of eritrea’s life is the same as that of Ethiopia.
    The difference comes after the separation of eritrea from ethiopia. The base line human develpment record of eritrea in 1991 (separation period) was by far higher than that of Ethiopia and continued for about 15 years. It is only since the last 3-5 years that the situation has been reversed. The reason is the fast economic (health, education, infrstracture, etc) development in Ethiopia which is registered as a result of its leaders. while the reverse is true in eritrea due to the dictatorial regime in the country. In addition to this the potential of ethiopia for growth is tremedeous, it is irrevrsible. eritrea will never catch up Ethiopia in terms of HDI or what ever. Ethiopians can say bye bye …..

    • Tell them as it is, these delusional bunch will never get it till the cow comes home and the cow might never come….deluded by superficial colonial makeup, they believed “Eritrea is greener than Ethiopia” nonsense!

      • Zegeremo

        Green in what? In aid?!

  • rodab

    With Al-Bashir announcing his resignation in a couple of years, and with the Woyanes holding their hugely important congress and talking about members replacement by new blood, PIA & his yes-sir aides couldn’t have missed to notice how things are rolling in neighboring countries compared to the stubbornly stagnant situation in Eritrea.
    Right after the referendum, GazeTa Hadas Etra displayed on its front page an image of five men under the heading ‘East African leaders held discussions here in Asmara’ or something to that effect. The men were Isaias, Meles, Bashir, Arap Moi, and Gulleh. Today, two of them are deceased, one has been long retired, another one just announced he will be retiring. That makes our Isaias the ‘outlaster’. He placed himself in such a mess, in such a predicament, it is impossible for him to make even minor changes let alone contemplate retirement. I can only feel his pains.

    • Papillon

      Dear Rodab,

      That is a great point. Isaias probably is suffocated as he feels like he is a big fish in a small pond (read: Eritrea). One would never know, his ambition may had been to rule over both countries (Eritrea and Ethiopia) but got stuck in the illusion as the others moved on one way or another.

  • haile

    Selam saay,

    Just continuing from the last post…

    I am of the view that you are some one with unparalleled knack for bright ideas. If it wasn’t for the fact that your hands were tied due to the untenable ground you forced yourself to stand on. For that reason, I take my apparent upper hand on this particular issue with a heavy heart rather than a sense of elation. It really shouldn’t have happened…wy..wy..wy eza E’dley tekalit…:-)

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Haile:

      Honestly, there was such pleasure in the joust I don’t know what the outcome was. If you won, you deserved it. If you didnt… well, a proposal:

      Join me at Fessehaye’s column (Perspective, awate front page.) It already promises to reflect the sentiments of my favorite Eritreans: the ones who are ill-informed and take pride in the fact that they are ill-informed. (ane’ko gzye yebleyn Internet: gna entay semiE mesleka….)

      So, I haven’t read the column carefully (wink wink), but so far Fessehaye’s Perspective is criticizing Ismail Omar Ali for supposedly criticizing a Yosief article that was written after Ismail’s article (making Ismail a superman with future vision: an error that could have been fixed with a cursory look at the byline); and it is telling us it doesn’t like Mohammed Ahmed’s article (no reason given: presumably it doesn’t like any praise of Eritrean character and celebrating their valor); and admires Yosief Gebrehiwet’s article (again no perspective given, no summary of the article, no quotation, but presumably because anything that trashes Eritreans is “truth” and admirable from that particular perspective:-)

      Oh, yes, there is the uncle that is used the way American screenwriters use taxi drivers in movies–to say things that they want to say but can’t quite fit it into the storyline:) In this case, the uncle is trashing the Eritrean character so he must be quite insightful. If he had said something in praise of the Eritrean character, he would have been a jingoist.

      see you there, Haile, and sharpen your pencil. It won’t be a debate, we will just have an awlo.

      saay

      • Sal,
        It will not be a debate, it will just be Awlo. This is “good characterization” for what we are doing by the way, moving from the center of gravity of the issue….the Eritrean people. Is there any way to change our course from playing awlo?

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Haile:

      Funny stuff! Well, in that case, I would like you to meet my twin sisters who have been asking me to meet you: their names are tidelio’mo and yzinga’Akin. Say hi! 🙂

      saay

      • haile

        hey saay;

        weyyy guddd! arkibka dma? (…quick watch…has Aman left? …where do the sisters live?) 🙂

      • Yes Sal, Nidelyomo yzingeana indyu koinu negeru. But we will fight to bring you in line with issues of highly important and pertinent to salvage our people. Save us from playing awlo.

  • Betri Haqi Tiketin ember Aytsiberin

    The conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase “Bush-Derangement Syndrome” which refers to the fact that liberals hated Bush so much that even when he proposes things that they like they reject them.

    May I say that brother SAAY is suffering from something similar: “PIA-Derangement Syndrome.” I would just like to tell him that some things are true even if PIA says them.
    Let’s look at the facts: Eritrea has accepted the EEBC ruling in its entirety. The whole enchilada. Even the parts that don’t favor it. Eritrea allowed the temporary security zone to be set-up entirely in Eritrean territory for the sake of peace so that the two countries can get beyond the border issue and try to solve their problems. But guess who stopped it demarcation from proceeding and only talked about accepting the decision “in principle.” Whatever that means!!! You either accept something or you don’t.

    So I hate to say this but the opposition folks are suffering from “PIA derangement syndrome” because it makes absolutely no sense to blame Eritrea as the intransigent party. Weyane is the intransigent party.

    Then again, there ain’t much that Weyane can do because its Western masters (goitotu) have it by the balls (testicles) and they can just squeeze them anytime they want. So Weyane has to play the useful idiot and do whatever its masters say.
    I would hope that the deranged opposition at least look at the facts as they are. They are entitled to their opinion but they are not entitled to their own facts.

    • Serray

      Betri,

      You said, “Eritrea allowed the temporary security zone to be set-up entirely in Eritrean territory for the sake of peace…”. Allowed, really? Isaias was saying he is not going to leave badme even if the sun never set and you make him a man of peace for a treaty he signed when he was wetting his pants. You know the war he ignited (per EECC decision) allowed the woyanes to occupy one third of the country, displace one third of the population and tenth of thousands to be killed.

      You guys know he ignited the war, don’t you? Or your abiding is limited to EEBC, not EECC decision. When it comes to the border, isaias is always and 100 percent wrong; it is not a syndrome, it is a fact. Nothing forbids him from having a dialog with the ethiopians, he should crawl and meet his puppet masters. He has hidden from the people who burst his ego and showed the world his incompetence long enough. Time for this dummy to meet the people who pull his strings.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Betri Haqi*

      You left out the second half of Charles Krauthammer’s “Bush-Derangement Syndrome.” And that is: those who disagree with Obama (including irony alert! Krauhammer himself) were accused of suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome and, my favorite, those who disagreed with Romney (including Obama) were accused of “early onset Romney Derangement Syndrome.” It is a label and, as labels tend to be, it is often mis-applied.

      I think this is the part where I list all the things I agree with Isaias just to prove myself I don’t suffer from this no-cure malady, right? I will pass, I am not playing today: maybe some other time? The point is this, Betri: the job of heads of states is NOT to be right about issues but to win (deliver results) or to minimize the country’s losses (avoid massive pain.) It is called submission to the will of the people, not your ego. That’s what many of you are missing. Nobody hated Saddam Hussein more than Ayatollah Alkhomeini but, in 1988, Khomeini, who had vowed to fight Saddam Hussein to the end, had to take a decision which was “more deadly than taking poison.”

      saay
      * Sometimes, betri haqi becomes so skinny, so slender, it is good for nothing but toothpicks. You can’t use it as a cane, as a guide for your livestock, or in a fight 🙂

      • Betri Haqi Tiketin ember Aytsiberin

        Brother SAAY:

        The job of a president is to provide strong leadership and vision. PIA has done that. He has been the “rock” that we have come to count on in times of storms. He has provided strength and vision for a feisty little country he founded in his image. Countries often take on the character of their founders.

        • Salyounis

          ma brother Betri:

          I was going along with you, but you lost me at the second sentence. The president has many jobs, ranging from the symbolic (be a role model, a comforter to the grieving) to that proscribed by law (uphold the constitution.) The people of the country where the president presides (reluctant to call them citizens since they have no rights: I will borrow from shabait and call them “inhabitants”:) are willing to cut presidents, specially first presidents, a lot of slack, specially a president as ambitious as one who said he wants to make Eritrea the Singapore of Eritrea (Source: Saudi Gazette, June 7, 1997) and if they stick with him he will. But after 21+ years of presiding, a president who is unable to deliver the most elementary, the most basic necessities to his people is a failure and he shouldn’t just live off of the people’s reluctance to admit: “whaddaya know, a revolutionary leader doesn’t always make a good president.” After 21+ years, Eritrea’s Gross National Income per capita is 1/3 that of the average of the poorest countries in the world.

          saay

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      People who compare isayas with the west presidants who sit in power with a totaly Complete termes make only boost the moral of the delusional president for life of Eritrea. Those empty propaganda of winning Usa and Russia which use Ethiopia as a Proxy to destroy Eritrea helped the dictator live in his virtual world forgetting the reality of people of Eritrea and the neighbouring countries by the consquence of the arrogant president’s irrisponsible endevours (popular phrase of shabia leadrs). The presidant who was carried away with his imaginary success came to a climax when he announced by his consecutive interviews around 2008-2009 that he would liberate the world from the west and cia. He was the super star of all redicules presidents the world witnessed by hosting Al Shaba leadrs to establish islamist Kingdom of Somalia with his help because all somalians are muslims. His alternative New world rule shows that even sweedish people suffer the brutality of social democrats ruling but the sweedish them selves do not know yet that they suffer.

  • Dear All Awate forum,

    First let there be cheers for Haile for changing his style of argument. Second Amen for the rest to follow suit saving the virtue of human decency. As respect always gives its fruit in kinds such as “trust and unity of purpose” its antithesis arrogance kills humility, modesty, self-consciousness, and collective purpose. Let us evaluate our communications to make the necessary change and understanding in handling the issue of our people.

    Now, I am vexed by our inability to see the urgency to save our young generations, devouring by the regime, the “inconvenient product” of our revolution. The border issue is not an issue comparing with the reality of our people who are tittering between life and death. The culprit of our people is not Ethiopia but the regime of Asmara is. For those of us who where in the revolution surely will be accountable for bringing such kind of government, a government that devours its own people. History will judge us retrospectively about our struggle and its outcome that disintegrate the entire social fabric of our society.Liberating the land called “Eritrea” didn’t bring liberation of our people. Think about it in the context of Badme…that liberation of badme will not also bring liberation our people. They are different unrelated issues that has its own method and mechanism of struggle and we ought to know how to prioritized them.

    Again, what a waste of time and energy debating on the border issue, while the nation is emptying its sons and daughters. And the sad part of all of this is instead of accepting and owning our failure…it is all because Ethiopia is holding a scratch of land, as if Issayas was not working towards a borderless mutual relationship in early 90s. Is this really patriotism? Is patriotism only to show your national zeal how to fight no matter what will be the yield of that fight? Patriotic is one who knows how to win in this complex world, owning the knowledge of all the factors that amounts to winning (diplomatically, politically). Now think and see all the activities we are engaged in and weigh them if they could amount to the possible outcome – salvation of our people. In my view none at all. Either we are limited by the knowledge of the current dynamics or by a mere fact of the culture of arrogance imbibed or absorbed for generations into our psychic.I don’t know yet. Otherwise help me to understand what makes us not to understand between saving people and fighting for the piece of land, which BTW is a settled issue waiting for implementation. Isn’t it better to struggle to weave again the already teared down social fabric of our society?…all the mistrust that hold us from moving forward.

    Brothers and Sisters, we have many problems to tackle before even to raise the border issue. Let us not waste our mind and energy to things that has nothing to do with the life of our people. Rethink for small wonder allowing ourselves to see from different vantage point with an act of love and empathy, our people deserve at this crucial time.

    • haile

      Dear Aman,

      Let me see your very agreeable message in layers. Actually three layers.

      The top layer appeals to decency. Very true and timely let me add. One of the main killer by-products of dictatorship is that it induces its subject to despise each other. Very fatal indeed. Every person here is as valuable as the next one. And hence, self knowledge is the basis of starting out on a transformational journey.

      The middle layer calls for unity in purpose to effect meaningful change. Again, couldn’t agree more. It is shown time and again that united we stand, divided we fall. Change by its very nature is traumatic. However, without it you risk achieving nothing beyond the perpetuation of the agents of stress. Lets have the decency to acknowledge each other’s entitlement to a view without the sense of ‘arrogance’ you stated or what I call the misconception of being more equal among equals.

      The third and final layer presents your view on the discussion at hand (not the final say if we go by the middle layer above!). This layer is bound to be the scene of heated exchanges. There are those of us who believe that with the settlement of the border issue, Eritrean’s would be in far stronger position to free themselves from bondages of destructive dictatorship. There are those who believe it can be ignored all together until opportune time and the way forward is to continue down the beaten track. They fail however to explain how else can you convince all those leaving Eritrea but not joining the ranks of the vocal opposition, that they mean business. There are those who are already signed up to the status quo and wouldn’t be their interest to entertain change. And there are those who are reading this comments but not joining in the discussion.

      All in all, I respect your position on the matter. My view is that would just augur for a military take over as an only alternative. Because, the entity that would assume power can dispense without taking any responsibility of past mistakes and assuming stronger hand to kick start negotiated settlement of the border, release of prisoners, opening the constitutional debate (there is a second one out there I heard), taking practical steps to curb migration and encourage repatriation, demobilization…

      As far as the vocal opposition is concerned, it needs to come out of ambivalence and indecisiveness on critical matters.

    • ””continuation
      I just read this letter written by a wounded veteran US soldier in the war of Iraqu which has a semblance to the “badme war” ignited by Issayas and I am visualizing to the wounded Veteran Eritrean soldiers lamenting to Issayas why he sent them to that senseless war of Badme based on lies to quench his insatiable desire for regional power. Read below and visualize how our young are murmuring similar words in their trenches.

      “I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney,” Young wrote in the letter published on Truthdig.com. “I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”

  • Hayat Adem

    Haile,CC Semere, Bcc Sal
    Try it this way: if you think PIA and his PFDJ are sleepless about the border, you cannot be farther from the truth. Do you think they would attack Badime when joint consultation about the border was taking place in Addis? Do you think they would refuse Ruwanda-US proposal that says pull back your army from Badime and settle border? Do you think they would agree to terms of TCZ and Unmee inside the border? They wouldn’t. Do you think they still would be deafening us with the mantra of “demarcation”, without dialogue while knowing that all enforcing cards of that demand are all gone off their hands? They wouldn’t. Why they flash the “demarcation” cards all the time is because they don’t want to return to normalcy. They know they will be finished the minute they enter normalcy. If this observation makes sense, you should understand that they would make everything in their power not to make it happen. And if all demarcation excuses wear off, they will come with something else. Many folks naively believe that if only the Weyanes allow this border excuse to clear, then PFDJ would run out of any diversionary delays and therefore would be forced to reform. But I’m sure any sensible mind would conclude that the PFDJ vehicle has crossed too many bridges to consider any reform. For example, how would they answer about our high profile leaders and editors who perished incommunicado in prison without any process of law- even a superficial one? My point is you should be able to see they have no choice but stay the course. They are not that stupid either. Unlike, the Eritrean opposition and the people at large, they have not lost their survival instinct. You see, YG got it right, he always does, does not he?
    And the other reason, you should stop this fixation of demarcation is the Ethiopians know exactly what PIA is up to. They will not give a gram of political face saving at this stage. They know PIA struck Badime not because he had a justification but because he felt then he had a relative advantage of military strength. They know now why is not trying to retake territories he claims is not because he lacks justification but because he is in short supply of acting capacities, be it frontally or by proxy. Both will not do it for different reasons: Weyane think they can drag as long as they need and outlive the odds of the stalemate effects. PFDJ wants it not because it is better but it is the only choice. PIA put its eggs, all of them, in one basket: the basket being weakening Ethiopia and pushing Weyane off the cliff. That did not go far but if it did, it was an idiot-proof strategy and it would surely give PIA a breezing space and the look of victorious. But Weyane shook off these PIA tactics and play along so focused and brilliantly to deny PIA any leeway.
    The only guy who is caught between a hard rock and a huge stone is none-other than our Eritrea. I don’t think Ethiopians are profiting from this either. But this sense of urgency of normalization is much fierce for Eritrea and Eritreans than for the other side. Semere was squarely wrong when he said that Tigray and Tigreans got weakened a great deal much worse than Eritrea and Eritreans during this stand-off. And what surprised me was the way Semere said it more than the validity of his claim. Recall that he said in a tone of some kind of inner satisfaction not in a tone analytical reporting. He was trying to punch some Tigrean nerves as hard as he can while they were mourning the death of Meles. But, what else is new? How many times have Semere erred and erred sometimes naïvely, sometimes lazily which doesn’t make any difference. Semere, too, like you Haile, thinks too much about the border as if it is a must-solve-problem urgently. OK, but both players are not willing to do it the way the other side wants it to be done. Then, we have a choice to delay it until the state of normalcy comes and helps us do it.
    Please, Sal and our other brilliant writers, I appeal to you to work hard not for a demarcation which is doable in any normal time but for a normalization that gives space and time to solve all other problems, including our fall-off with the international community. But I can’t pretend and hope we can achieve normalization while Eritrea is being run by PIA. That you, Sal, already said it: it is either PIA or normal Eritrea. You can’t hybrid both in any level of mix.

    • haile

      Dear Hayat,

      The “who is hurting more” aspect of your argument may be open to the danger of selective reading of the reality on the ground. Granted, it is a topic in itself.

      Those arguing from the point of view that the border issue is of least relevance are as naive as a man who discovered that his electricity power supplier has cut him off (he didn’t pay his bills!) and is now sitting in a dark. The problem is that he believes that his problem is the “darkness” irrespective of his electricity supply or his bill payment. Therefore calls upon his friends, not to help him raise some money, but denounce the evils of darkness and how bad they are. He is even smart at collecting data to show that “darkness” if extended can cause SSD (seasonal stress disorder) and many present many other smart findings about “darkness”.

      The root cause of many of the ills and suffering of our people is the border issue. But, since it his hard to take that on board from a safe distance, let’s just focuse on the fact that the root cause of the Eritrean people, diaspora, are distrusting and not joining the vocal opposition is the border issue. I doubt that it because they support the violation of human rights and stripping of them basic dignity. However, the vocal opposition is like that guy in “darkness” and about “darkness” and hard to be taken seriously.

      Let’s first be clear whether you, as an opposition, have tied your perceived gains to the status quo or not. Then we can focus on substantive matters. Problems are there to be solved!

      cheers

      • Salyounis

        Hey Haile:

        I am beginning to think you don’t have a problem with analogies and metaphors–as long as they are yours:)

        Here what we have is the head of the household (president, self declared): he is irresponsible, tears off every bill he gets (including the electric bill), blames the electric company and the post office for not delivering the mail on time. So the phone company, the post office, his neighbors, all gathered and said: if u sign this final (and binding) contract that says you will pay your bills, we will give you back your electricity. He did, and they didn’t. Now, his household is in the dark (and leaving it one at a time for a better lit room) and he is ranting and raving waving his contract. But not much sympathy for him because the minute they turn on the light, they (including his household) know he will revert back to norm and stop paying. (He is already theowing rocks at the neighborhood street lamps.)

        I could go on with that metaphor to illuminate the point further and shed more light on the subject… But I already feel light-headed.

        saay

      • haile

        Merhab Saay,

        I said I was cautious with analogies, you think I am fool or something, man! 🙂

        Truth be told, I am a “good man”! It troubles me to hand over uncomfortable truths. Put it this way, honesty is something everyone believes in, the problem is no one likes to hear the truth!

        If you have regained your sober mind, here comes the next wheeler:

        Could it be that the head of the household been aided and abated by many self serving saints when he did those things at the time. What was everyone’s role in that regard?

        Remember that when the index finger is pointing away, the thump, the middle, the ring and the pinky fingers usually towards the accuser.

        cheers

        • Salyounis

          Selam Haile:

          Oh, yes, indeed. The “head of the household” was helped, cheered, funded, ululated, blessed every step of the way (except by those in the opposition whom u now want to “say something” when we didn’t hear them when they did.) But it is perfectly alright for “the people” to change their mind: the Brits did it with Churchill, the French with de Gaulle, and so have Eritreans with Isaias. That’s what it means when we say “the people are sovereign.” They have ultimate power including the power to change their minds and fire a CEO they once considered indispensable.

          Incidentally, to carry on with your analogy, Isaias has a fight with not just the electric company but the gas company too (Djibouti.) There are now as we speak Qatari peacekeepers on the Eritrea-Djibouti border. The guy is a deadbeat: he simply must go: as long as he is in charge, Eritrea will just change the name of the crisis but crisis shall remain.

          Saay

      • Serray

        Selamat,

        Until Sal recovers. Haile, you are not saying the opposition joining the chorus of demarcation will solve the border problem. To continue your analogy, the opposition getting into the demarcation bandwagon does not equate to paying the bills and turning on the electricity…the opposition simply has no ability to pay the bills ( zero influence on the erhiopians). Yours is about making the opposition relevant to the masses by appearing to be in lockstep with the regime. Well, that will defeat the purpose why they are in the opposition in the first place. Joining the dictator on that is tantamount to folding the principal reason for their existence. Like everything else in eritrea, the border IS CAUSED by isaias; to join him on that is to join him on shutting down the free press, arresting people without due process or killing the constitution. He has, right now, the ability to start the road to normalcy…he chose not to. To make the border central is to acknowledge his bogus claim that the war he ignited is the cause of our problem when, in fact, he is.

        The opposition’s relevance depends on how much they weaken him while empowering the eritrea, not how much they parrot him.

  • Alash Abelnayom

    haile:

    As our fearless president likes to tell the would-be mediators, “Aytdkemu.”

    What you don’t seem to realize is that everything that you could possibly think of has already been proposed. Unfortunately, Weyane being the “kedemti” that they are, they can’t say yes unless they clear it with their masters and essentially get the ”green light” to go ahead and allow demarcation. Weyane’s masters do not want the border to be demarcated. They want a perpetual crisis between the two countries so that it offers them some kind of a permanent role to play in the region. Got it? Now stop wasting your time proposing solutions.

    • haile

      Dear Alash,

      I hear ya:)

      “As you yourself have said, what other explanation can there be?’

      ‘That is what I ask myself,’

      ‘That is what I never cease to ask myself.”

      From: Agatha Christie’s, Murder on the Orient Express

      cheers

    • Yodita

      Alash

      Why does your fearless president go around asking for mediation if it is “Aytdkemu”?

      As regards your sentence “… They want a perpetual crisis between the two countries so that it offers them some kind of a permanent role to play in the region.”, I dread to think that you may be 100% right (I am not your fan!!). If that is the case, it is really scary because whatever changes happen in that area will necessarily have to revolve around that central theme and we are doomed to be at the mercy of a powerful whim, much greate than that of the failed IA.

      • araya

        [From moderator: Araya, you make very good points, but they all had to visit the trash bin because you just can’t resist it. Refer to the commenters by their given name. It is Amanuel, Papillon, etc. When you address people by their names, it is respect 101.]

  • haile

    Dear Serray, Saay, Aman, Semere,,,(and many others)

    Let me share what I observed driving one day. A shopping cart was free rolling from a corner grocery store on to an adjacent high street and halts in the middle of the traffic. Few drivers C drove around it. Then came another one, stopped their car, walked up the strayed cart, and placed it outside the corner shop and went back to their car. While this was happening there were some horns blown by other impatient drivers who, presumably, not aware why a car was blocking them. The fear of this type of disapproval/hassle my partly explain why the others drove by. But what this demonstrates is the fact that problem solving involves both initiative and sense of ownership.

    Now lets build this argument further. Many years back there were young Eritrean men and women who saw a problem with Ethiopia’s gobbling up of Eritrea following Federation. Equally there were young Tigrayan men and women who saw a problem with the abject poverty and discrimination that their fellow Tigrayans were living through.

    At the same time those youngsters were noticing this problem, there were powerful national, regional and international players with vested interests. There were divisive issues the Tigrayans had to work with, such as the Eritrean independence issue, and other sectarian and ideological issues for the Eritreans to work with.

    The point is that they owned the problems. They laid down their visions and ultimately paid the necessary price. Fast forward to now, and look around you! Boy, it sure is different!!! Forget today’s ‘megaphones’ these young had to trek long distances, at grave risk to their lives, to purchase/procure pen and paper to write down their vision and communicate it to their people and the world. Owning a problem is not for the faint hearted or delusional. It requires an awakened, clear and mature thinking.

    The Eritrea-Ethiopia border war, and what cascaded down from that needs to be put in that perspective Does it effect you and your people? i.e. be Ethiopian or Eritrean. If you were to own it, what expectation would you put on yourself as to the limits of your reach? Can you propose a settlement avenue, and advocate for it with your might? that is using all available megaphones (see Saay for a list). It all depends on how you align your self perception as regards your situation.

    I am not in a position, as an individual, to issue a a proposal, however, here is a possible idea:

    -Ethiopia and Eritrea enter a normalization dialogue, on issues outside of the border demarcation matters and both acknowledge unconditional acceptance of EEBC’s decision.
    -Once the dialogue is completed and bind agreements made, the said agreements become effective and binding following the completion of the physical demarcation of the border.

    What this means is:

    a) Ethiopia gets normalization dialogue before demarcation
    b) Eritrea gets demarcation according to the EEBC decision on the ground.

    Now, let’s have a possible alternative, or more of the same, with a humane considerations of the people whose daily lives are affected by this.

    Regards

    • Sibhat

      What a useless analysis. Ethiopia is not interested in normalization or non-normalization. It has forgotten about Eritrea and its war and is already taking care of its business. Eritrea is no more in the mind of Ethiopia. I think you and Eritrea should also look into something different than doodling on Ethiopia day and night.
      Cheers!

      • haile

        Sibhat,

        Eritreans are used of that kind of talk from CERTAIN Ethiopians, every time they relieve a shipment of new arms consignment from their regime sponsors. Will all know how/where all that ended up with. Think again, the only thing that you really achieve is the death of so many your country men as canon fodders. Or general internal crisis. Sorry to spoil your ill founded sense….you know what

        Regards

    • Papillon

      Dear Haile,

      I am not sure if my synapses are dying on me but you need to help me out. The cart, the drivers, the guy who came out of his car to bring the cart back to its rightful place and the shopping mall you utilized to make a point as you pressed on with your argument seems to have fallen though. If any, I see a faint connection to it.

      My understanding is that, the Ethiopian government is not having problems with the demarcation per se rather it is calling for a dialogue on how to respond to the people who had been Ethiopian nationals for eons and are rendered otherwise because of the EBBC ruling. If we are going to argue that that is not Isaias’ problem, that would be not only irresponsible but neglecting people’s wishes and desires as well.

      The political aspect of it revlovs on the issue of assurance. What assurance or guaranty does the Ethiopian government have from Isaias that he will not venture into attacking them again? The reason for their concern is not only emanating from their own assessment on Isaias’ character but the fact that there is no a Constitutional statutes and democratic establishment or a shadow government that checks on the working and decisions of the ruling party, they will be subjected to the whims of a man who is precarious of a kind.

      Haft’kha.

      • haile

        Dear Papillon,

        The story of the guy was meant to show that when there is a “problem” some one needs to “own it” as in the man who took it upon himself, and also needs “initiative” deciding what your action be in that regards.

        Now your assertions in your second paragraph is the official line. You are right on that. But on an informal channels are given amounts to many other explanations, ranging from security (as in your Paragraph 3 entry), port usage, support of opposition, cross border trade and others. If we look at the idea I stated, it presumes the latter to be the case (you can even include talk about re-settling of those that may get displaced as part of the dialogue phase).

        What the key point includes dialogue and binding agreements phase, implementation as per EEBC ruling phase, followed by effectiveness of agreements entered to in the dialogue phase. The key is that there is an Ethiopian man who may die for this in the future, yes a death that means nothing to the likes of Sibhat above “who has long forgotten about it” (who wouldn’t with bewildering amount of aid! But it would be a death to his family i.e, children, wife, siblings, parents… a death that matters, but sibhat has long forgot about. The same goes for Eritrea.

        As I said, my comment was more about we can problem solve if we own the problem and take initiative. It is not about proposing a solution and asking people to support it, I would rather you come with either an alternative or justify the status qou.

        Regards

      • Kaddis

        Haile –

        You are tricked with this border issue. You are using it out of proportion like Shabia.

        The normalization which needs to happen should happen inside Eritrea. Not in Ethiopia . You see Haile – your proposal assumes – the border issue is the cause of all the abnormal state of Eritrea. Tell me which ones of your abnormal conditions will get better – if there is a normalization dialogue with Ethiopia? If you ask me these abnormal conditions should not have occurred in the first place for a border issue.

        You can reassess your position by counting how many times you used the word ‘binding’.

        Dialogue with Shabia, like Pappilon said, doesn’t bring much as well. They are Shifta like to their core.

  • T..T.

    Hi there, Semere
    I wouldn’t say the opposition erred on Isayas and EDF. Time is changing; the opposition is getting more listeners and followers. As a result, the Forto operation repealed Isayas’s self-declared No-Peace No-War status of Eritrea and called for immediate implementation of the pigeonholed (put aside and ignored) constitution.

    The pro-Forto outcries still are going on with increasing intensity and momentum against the oppressor and his supporters. The world has taken note of the bygone Isayasists’ politics of fear and intimidation through taking pictures and videos of those who participate in anti-Isayas demonstrations. The world has taken note of neutralizing forces on the stateless party of Isayas (HIGDEF) assuming different names in different countries. Shrinkage into zero of the Isayasists, internally and externally, now appears certain.

    You might have had perceptions of what the opposition represented in pre-Forto days, and you may be noticing now the influencing opposition changes within the regime.

    • Semere Tesfai

      T. T.

      For million reasons, change is going to come and it is going to come from inside Eritrea, by the military to be exact (violent or non violent). But change that comes by the military is acceptable only to some (few) in the opposition camp.

      When change comes, Ethiopia’s position is very clear. Addis policymakers will follow Western lead. The Western position is also very clear vis-a-vis the new government; don’t stand in the way of Western regional policy. Be a team-player under Ethiopian regional leadership or the screws in your head will be more tighten than they have ever been. And the new government is going to do the obvious.

      The minute the new government yields to Western pressure, all the Islamic and ethnic organizations will move to their traditional habitat: the Arab Region. And they will be welcomed.

      Anyone who believes, Ethiopia has independent policy towards Eritrea is naive. Ethiopia has one and only one policy towards Eritrea: to be loyal ally of the West. Eritrea is not sanctioned by Ethiopia. Badme is not held hostage by Ethiopia. Now that being the reality, how do you envision post Isaias Eritrea? What should the opposition do in this case?

      • yegermal

        And what is wrong with “all the Islamic and ethnic organizations moving to their traditional habitat”? Shouldn’t every one live in his/her traditional “habitat”..,…… It is for the environment Eko, for those who inherit their ancestors’ “habitat” are more likely to preserve its beauty and worth for future generations. And then you conclude…”since the west has a different plan for post_DIA Eritrea,” we should keep DIA in power ad vitam æternam, right? When I read you I am tempted to become YG’s convert!

      • yegermal

        read ” it is good for the environment”

      • T..T.

        Since Isayas is obscure you cannot logically define Eritrea of Today. Only after defining Isayas correctly you can determine the true intentions of Ethiopia towards Eritrea of today and/or tomorrow. If Somalia was sent to hell in order to preserve Ethiopian unity. And, if Sudanese opposition were fragmented in order to give birth to South Sudan, what was the role of Isayas and who is Isayas?

        To identify Isayas through puzzle games, we may either put together the pieces logically or by comparison. Using foreign policy games, Isayas lies with the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Qataris. Simple and clear, using the foreign policy you may trail Isayas to the West by his association to Arab Gulf countries. Any other evidences to prove the foreign policy trail? Is he disfavored or hammered really hard by the West as an enemy? To answer this question, we may compare his situations to those of Beshir of Sudan or North Korea as real enemy or favored nations by the West. Here, we may say not real hard hit. VOA is not supportive of Isayas’s opposition. North Koreans nor Sudanese can openly support their governments in the West. What, then??? Should we now piece together the pieces of the puzzle or nail hammer them together to, at least, near solve the problem. As to Ethiopia, it can be trailed to China rather than the West. Even though, we may overlap some gray areas.

  • Semere Tesfai

    The opposition deserve to be where they are. They earned it. They are wrong on every issue. To name a few:

    a) Advocating violent regime change inspired by Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen….
    b) Labeling those who are defending Eritrea “Isaias Army” and promising us to destroy them.
    b) Spearheading to sanction Eritrea (to starve Eritrea and deny Eritrea to defend itself)
    c) Denigrating Ghedli and those who gave their precious lives to make us and them? Eritreans
    c) Worshiping Meles more than the Ethiopians themselves
    d) Encouraging the young to leave their country and blaming the government for the mass-exodus
    e) Siding with Ethiopia on the border issue and blaming Eritrea for starting the 1998 war
    f) Inviting Ethiopia to bring them to power
    g) Trusting Ethiopia to honor the EEBC decision after they assume power (by the help of MAMA Ethiopia)
    f) Accusing half of the population by association
    g) dreaming future Eritrea with erected walls between its communities

    How inspiring is this for a change?

    • Zegeremo

      Semere,

      Well said!! Where have you been??

      Thank you!

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Semere Tesfai,

        if i will go on listing what our (Eritrean) mistakes are i can conclude it by saying we Eritreans deserve it. nature is perfect and don’t care if you do it intentionally or not but you get what you give. Why do you people think we paid so much price? didn’t people among us go for unity without choice of some others? didn’t people sing and dance when people among them were crying? don’t let me say it all as the truth is painful. for me I don’t shoulder all the crimes done for one person or party. even pfdj as that is only the result of our thinking.we are all responsible but PFDJ is on power. if removing PFDJ is a must but that is not the end solution and we had and have good chance in the past and now to destroy the ground that created it. that is in you and me my friend and lets help each other in cleaning that from our mind.

        Opposition? they are own people and the are not diffident. in fact most of them should be appreciated. some are still Tegadelty.

    • Alash Abelnayom

      Dear Semere:

      I so agree with your analysis brother. You are right on! You hit the nail on the head!

  • Serray

    Selamat Sal and Haile,

    I was about to interject when Sal graciously invited me. We all agree the opposition needs a game changer. Getting involved in the border crossfire is not a game changer. Haile’s point is well taken but the only way it will works is if the ethiopians gave a press conference telling the world that they have, after negotiating with opposition, decided to allow demarcation and end the no war no peace stalemate. Anything less is a big yawn for people dying for action.

    The border war is personal (again, its effect is not) and for the ethiopians, anything that even remotely helps isaias is unacceptable. Haile, don’t forget that all you are saying is the opposition will look engaged, interested, concerned, if they get into the border business. The built up lethargy will take more than that to dissipate ; it needs action. Plus the ethiopians are not on board and why should they? Isaias’s stupidity is making them look dignified and statesmanlike. Why mess that up by allowing him to claim a victory. As you mentioned, their response to Forto is telling.

    The ethiopian feign not to notice the damage done to the opposition by being associated with them. They treat them the way isaias treats eritrea in his new year speech, as Sal puts it, like an outside consultant. They complained about division but they invited eritrean intellectuals to discuss the nature of isaias’s regime when they can help the ones based there with other things to rattle the regime.

    Here is an idea, if we make our base in the no man’s land of sinai and go after the smugglers, that will bring a lot of fresh support to the opposition; support that matters, not the kind who think the border is eritrea’s number one problem when isaias is. Forto was deeply flawed but it injected life to the broad opposition. Now we have a blueprint, now we know what it takes to agitate the lethargy in diaspora. Todays armed slaves and tomorrow’s sinai victims will be grateful if the opposition has presence in sinai.

    Haile, if you were not old enough not remember the first sheabia woyane pact, here is another one from that era. Both jebha and shaebia broke into the same prison and set prisoners free (some day we have to talk about what the ethiopians were doing). In 1977 and 1978, when both hold a big chunk of the country, they found it necessary to show their muscle to the residents of the biggest city not under their control. Compare that to what you are asking them to do. In a nutshell, “we strongly ask ethiopia to abide by the EEBC decision”. Nothing more. For a country that spent thirty years counting villages occupied, retreated and occupied again, give us back badme is as exciting as watching one add sugar to a coffee. Badme is badme, we have to bring this pos to the ground not revolve around it. It is bad enough the regime and its pions are obsessed with it, we shouldn’t imitate them.

  • araya

    I don’t want to spoil your newly found fake, dear, dearest and regards crap but how can a real Eritrean will put up with people like Amanial, popolin and Yodita. Those three are worst hypocrites I have ever seen in a long time. They don’t have to defend Eritrea, Eritrea have millions sons and daughters who willingly defend and die for her, but those three disgraced people, they don’t even have the guts to state the truth. I don’t mind and I don’t care if you to criticize and rain on Issaias, he is a fair game and he deserves every scrutiny, but how in the hell would you defend the weyane and attack Eritrea?
    When the master of beggary; Melles Zenawi, Amanial told us he couldn’t sleep for days. Yodita told us, couldn’t stop crying for days and popline, and had to stay home for few days at home to mourn.
    I ask you who is Melles? If you ask me this world is much better place without Melles and Issaias. In fact if you want my opinion Melles is worse than Issaias. Issaias may make you disappear but never killed 300 people in a broad day light.

    • yegermal

      “Issaias may make you disappear but never killed 300 people in a broad day light.” Revelation of a demented mind … as long as the killing is done in secret and it is is only “disappearance” , it is better than “killing in broad day light”. Imagine a parent living in limbo when his child has disappeared and compare this parent to another one that has found out his child was slain…Let your mind wander a little and you will feel the difference.

    • Papillon

      The bankruptcy of Isaias is squarely manifested in you. Pathetic.

      • Zegeremo

        Papillon,

        What’s really pathetic is when you worship Meles more than the Erhiopians themselves.

        Regards

  • haile

    Saay,

    I just found a comment, asking my stand, that I didn’t catch earlier. I will give comprehensive answer soon.

    Regards

  • belay

    Dear Haile,
    This is Awate Eritrean website which I greatly admire.I think it is two years now, since I found this website by luck,by accident.Ever since i visit the site everyday and drop a line or two, as you said maybe, stupid comments.
    I must admit I admire you and you a great asset for Eritrea.
    Now to come to my point,when I read your reply to Yodita,I felt you are referring to me too.I understand,and I do not want to spoil it for you any more and I wish you the best of luck for you all.
    Thanks Awate team.

    • Saleh Gadi

      Dear Belay, I do not think anyone is introducing a visa requirement for entry to this forum, awate.com does not ask for passports or “menqesaqesi wereqet.” We know there are some self-appointed people who do not stand anything Ethiopian (or non-Eritreans and Eritreans who hold different views). We also know there are people who would like to take over this website if only they can. You are welcome my dear, nay, more than welcome here. An isolated Eritrea is bad enough, we do not want to replicate the suffocating environment created by the regime in our country.

    • haile

      Dear Belay,

      Please, please don’t misunderstand! I know it would have been easy to avoid saying that some how, however some times it would make a great interesting input if an Ethiopian is to add value from his (Ethiopia’s legitimate interest point of view) where I would really be more than happy to engage them. My problem is when the Ethio is acting as Eritrean and intentionally screwing (for lack of better word) the on going discussion. Please be assured I have no issue with the fraternal people of Ethiopia. No offence intended.

      P.S. SalG, nay menqesaqesi ekua dehan, lomzeben grEm geirka Te’ftish hawiskalu aloKa ember 🙂

  • Papillon

    Dear Haile,

    In this part of the world, we have Talk-Shows and we have Jerry Springer Show as well. The audience in the latter is in a perpetual adrenaline junky where there is no a dialogue or a discussing line so to speak between the guests as throwing punchs and pulling out hair are opening statements. That has become the emblem of the show if you will. But imagine, if the guests were to settle for a sober introspection and try to solve their differences with a dialogue, sure enough the audience would be bored to death. My take is that, in this forum as well, there are people who sort of get excited when bickering, mud-slinging become orders of the day as they get a bit uptight when you and I “bury the hatchet” if you will.

    As Yodita haftey expresses her concern about your rather seemingly exclusive comment, the noise you alluded to sure enough belongs to those who are a replica of the said show’s audience. I sure agree.

    P.S. I am not sure if I should take the credit for bringing out the best in you but undoubtedly, you are looking good these days.

    Haft’kha.

    • haile

      Selam Papillon,

      I guess, regards my comment, it is a classic case of how limited language can be to represent what we are trying to describe (I mentioned this to saay).

      Glad that you understand!

      Regards

      PS. “looking good?”…Wa’E..Wa’E..haqu d’A…E’brhakn do aloKhu embeytey 🙂

  • haile

    Hey Saay,

    Nice try at what it is they call…prove by contradicition!

    But, hold your horses (or your horsepower engine four-wheel) till I demo. the transitive logic that would prevent you from Agreeing with 1 & 2 and concluding to disagree with 3.

    The subject is the same in 1,2 & 3
    You agree that this subject opposes IA rule
    You also agree that this subject distrusts the vocal opposition.
    Now, since the destruction of Eritrea by IA is at all time high, and weak nation will be in poor condition to defend itself.
    There fore, the distrusted entity, becomes feared entity as the deteroriation continues in time.

    Hope those in leadership chart a new course of bold, promising and new path and bring things to their logical place.

    • haile

      Saay: Just I had to go and find this one, you said asked:

      “How does one measure public opinion in a country where conducting scientific polling is illegal?”

      Let me offer you a practical solution, you may or may not have heard of it. I suggest you look into Ushahidi (crowedsourcing of social activism):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushahidi of general wikipedia entry

      or

      http://www.ushahidi.com (to visit their website, it was down earlier today)

      Just an idea!

      Cheers

    • Salyounis

      Haile:

      You are, I am sure, aware of the difference between causality (cause and effect) and correlation (relationship). At the risk of using your least favorite form of debate (analogies), I will try one on something very relevant to you:

      Relationship statements
      1. In January 2013, Haile’s debating style used to be in-your-face and confrontational (true.)
      2. In mid-March 2013, Haile’s debating style became more gentleman-like and civil (true.)
      3. Only one month, February, exists between January and March (true.)

      Cause and effect statements:

      1. In January 2013, Haile’s debating style used to be in-your-face and confrontational (true.)
      2. In mid-March 2013, Haile’s debating style became more gentleman-like and civil (true.)
      3. Therefore, sometime between January to Mid March, any and everything that happened (full moon, Subway February special, NBA finals…) is responsible for Haile’s change. (Only Haile knows.)

      Tag, you are it:)

      saay

      • haile

        saay,

        very nice…:)

  • haile

    Dear Awatistas

    It is great that participants appear more self-restrained and great ideas are starting to flow. It goes without saying that participants here don’t have the final say on matters, simply because they own the keyboard they’re typing on. So, my appeal to the rest of us who go anonymous is that to refrain from personally attacking individuals who are participating with their true identity.

    I have come to realize that they are far more credible than the rest of us and likely to be taken seriously in any event. For good or worse, they have demonstrated faithfulness to the belief and values they advocate. So, it is ok to give any old penname (metooism not withstanding, see saay:) as good as it gives, but let’s be decent with real human beings among us!
    This brings me to the discussion at hand. I argue that the significance of Ethiopia-Eritrea border issue is really poorly understood, albeit by choice or design. We like it or not, on the map of the political battle field, the Eritrea-Ethiopia border issue that is poorly understood by the vocal opposition holds the commanding strategic heights in the battle field. The regime of IA has long moved his heavy artillery pieces in, and as it stands, it is heavily fortified (closest analogy, as we are talking about battle anyways).

    What is ‘poorly understood?’

    This is an open forum, so I am mindful of many non-Eritrean voices which I consider just ‘noise’, hence we will focus outside of their bravados.

    -The Eritrea Ethiopia issue is the reason that the opposition failed to get meaningful support, to their lofty ideals, from the majority who elected to remain faceless. Their social-capital would have been tremendous source to their struggle. Look in this form, how many are willing to be identified with their staunch opposition to IA they manifest under in pennames? I am the first one to admit that I would have major problem to be identified with an opposition that is likely to carelessly put you in harms way for no reason. You will be less than honest to call people all kinds of demeaning names, because non of it holds. The fact of the matter if you are an open opposition, you are “woyane” at the current exchange rate. And we all know where that comes from (not that I agree with it, but I also have fallen to that mind-set trap before!)

    -The opposition has no clue that the border issue not only is a commanding heights in the battle, but also a strategic place linking the opposition with ‘legitimacy’ both in the eyes of Eritreans and outsiders included. Claiming the issue would in fact assert a major bold move that would bring something tangible and relevant on the table.

    – The total disorientation resulting from merciless attacks launched from this position has degenerated matters to such low level self depreciation. As we spiral downwards that is.

    When Amanuel Hidrat stated a bold idea on his last comment, I must admit, I was taken by surprise. It sure caused some quick fireback, but that is what bold moves are about, they’re risky. You need to know your surrounding, and the rules of engagement. Suppose the report above is published while you are battling at the border frontline, would it help Aman’s position or the status qou (PFDJ) position.? At least when battle lines are drawn, rules of engagement become easier to follow. Unfortunately, the opposition is chaotic, it says it has bayto, and then tells you it doesn’t count. It is okay to discuss the breaking up of Eritrea into ethnic enclaves, yet lack legitimacy to question the basis under which the people are held in bondage.

    The only cynical motive that would explain this is that, some in the opposition are made up their mind that Eritreans need to be in bondage for them to ascend to power without due process. That is the sad reality. And that is why the Eritrean people remained to be the only one’s holding this together. But, things are getting worse fast, and patriotic Eritreans (zeyhagerawyan as they may get called) need to pull together. The so called vocal opposition lacks the courage and clarity to raise to the challenge.

    I hope that that those in leadership are taking note.
    Cheers

    • Yodita

      Haile

      You wrote “This is an open forum, so I am mindful of many non-Eritrean voices which I consider just ‘noise’, hence we will focus outside of their bravados.”
      In this open forum, I have read informing, inspiring and enlightening pieces posted by non-Eritrean voices. As such, I find your above quote incorrect as far as I am concerned.

      • haile

        Yodita,

        I couldn’t agree more. I am talking of the one’s that only throw a one liner, intended to debase or inject fear and suspicion. Those are just ‘noise’ they are sent on an evil mission of dividing and weakening Eritreans. Just note that, whenever we started to regain mutual respect with papillon on the past posts, they were rolling over in agony, and were making stupid remarks. The one’s that you say are fine.

      • yegermal

        hahahaha…what’s wrong with avoiding chaff and delivering a message in one line? Are we in competition for best orator or what?

    • Salyounis

      Selamat all:

      The only time people should try to distill the views/opinions of the Eritrean people is when (a) they are stating an empirical fact or (b) they can cite credible sources for their generalization. One of my pet peeves is when writers/politicians say “hzbi Eritra”, “Eritrean people”, “the people”, when all they are saying is “the handful of people that I know.” (Meskerem.net is the master of “hzbi___ ybl alo” and the _____ always coincides with what meskerem is saying:) Sure, it is a bit flattering to think that “the people” agree precisely with your viewpoint all the time (isn’t that how Mitt Romney was shocked by the magnitude of his loss: he was in an echo chamber listening to people who feel exactly the way he does about everything), but in debates, you gotta back it up– which is why Isaiasists make terrible debators.

      How does one measure public opinion in a country where conducting scientific polling is illegal? Then one goes to the next step: looking for anecdotal evidence. What are people at the many Paltalk rooms discussing? What are they discussing at Starbucks? What articles generate responses? Which guests get the larger audiences? What do commenters say at the various Eritrean websites? What news is being covered at the Eritrean media outlets? What do Eritreans discuss at weddings and at funerals?

      If you consider all this anecdotal data, the only conclusion is that not only is “Badme” and “demarcation” of little interest to those whose mission in life is to see the downfall of Isaias Afwerki (including, by the way, those who bled and lost comrades at that war), but it is also of fleeting interest to the ruling regime: it is not even mentioned in every address of Isaias Afwerki.

      I don’t know how old you are Haile but I am old enough to remember the civil war of 1981-82. At the time, there was massive bitterness about the EPLF allowing the TPLF to the Eritrean field to join its attack on the ELF. You know how the EPLF dealt with it? It ignored it completely with the assumption (a correct one) that people will get over their hurt feelings if it shows them results. If the opposition shows results–something that means something meaningful to the people–I think the people* will get over whatever apprehensions they have about the opposition’s position re: border issue.

      saay

      * speculative statement preceded by “I think” 🙂

      • haile

        Selamat Saay

        …you just spoiled my fun, I was waiting to argue with your last paragraph, using your first one, well nice pre-emptive move on your part 🙂

        Back to your points, I am not old enough to have such detailed understanding of that time you mention. But have read plenty about it. However, in order to show the “__” a meaningful action, one needs to have the ability to defend their meaningful stands. This brings us to the main problem, simply put, the vocal opposition had it better than any similar opposition around the world yet has embaracessingly failed to show any tangible results. (Empirical evidence: Ethiopia’s strange statement following Jan.21)

        Ethiopian opposition never have half the good will of high offices that their Eritrean counterpart got on a golden platter. In fact, it is a rare luck that virtually every thing from UN to your local journalist is all ears to you, and the vocal opposition can only summon few at best. IA was in NY, what happened there? Revolution started by few brave souls is true say, but revolution held hostage by few dubious souls is quite the opposite. I hope that covers me as proof of section (b).

        Let’s be honest, public opinion has been measured so many times and shown to be accurate. But how it is effecting the secret sect of vocal opposition is what we have no data on. Here is empirical data: 0 number of people in the vocal opposition new anything or could find anything about the Jan 21. Well that makes mean 0, S.D. 0 and probability of 1 that they will not find out anything more soon either.

        My assessment is majority of Eritrean’s oppose IA’s regime, the same size are also deeply distrustful of the vocal opposition. The latter’s silence in the issue of the border war spurred them escalate their suspicion to out right fear of an entity.

        So, please see not what that meets the eye, but one that is found only when you scrach below the surface.

        Cheers
        P.S. You forgot ‘amorphous’ too, what’s up today:)

        • Salyounis

          Hi Haile:

          Quick, drive-by posting:)

          “My assessment is majority of Eritrean’s oppose IA’s regime…”
          Agree, although I would say a super majority.
          “…the same size are also deeply distrustful of the vocal opposition….”
          Agree.
          “The latter’s silence in the issue of the border war spurred them escalate their suspicion to out right fear of an entity.”
          Don’t agree at all, for reasons stated above:)

          As for the utility of Ethiopian support to the Eritrean opposition… I think Serray had a lot to say about that, and I will yield the balance of my time to him:)

          saay

      • yegermal

        lool

  • Horizon

    In reality, Badme is a hot potato the Eritrean regime does not want to touch, although it finds it convenient as a means to an end, thus insuring the longevity of its rule. It knows very well that moving the border, 100 meters or a kilometer or so, to the right and to the left of the borderline is not a problem. What bothers the regime in Asmara is the things it reads behind the limelight (the ሰምና ወርቅ of the issue, if I may say so) that Ethiopia is pushing for.
    If we try to bring the problem between Eritrea and Ethiopia to Badme per se, without giving it other ramifications, we are missing the whole point. In any discussion that is going to take place between the two, Ethiopia would be asking for two very essential things (I think). One, the removal of the bulk of the Eritrean armed forces from the border and secondly, an agreement on an outlet to the sea for Ethiopia; two fundamental things that would bring permanent peace.
    The Eritrean regime does not want to face these two issues. Moving back to their cities and villages hundreds of thousands of angry young soldiers to a life of no economic security and freedom is a recipe for a big trouble. In addition, allowing Ethiopia to have an outlet and going back to the pre-1998 situation, will raise very serious questions, like, why so much sacrifice for no reason.
    Proponents of the final and binding agreement want to hide these points, and they are trying to present Badme and the border as the main issue (the alpha and omega of the Ethio-Eritrean problem) and its solution as the panacea for the ills of Eritrea. They know very well that Badme is secondary with very little significance, and nevertheless, it helps ultra-nationalists to blackmail Eritreans as to their patriotism and create a fear factor. They cannot realize their obsession with force; nevertheless, if it lingers on, they know that it serves their purpose.
    For the good of their people, Eritrean elites should move beyond Badme and the border issue ASAP. They should give priority for their people. The border would be solved in the future or the issue would simply wither away to oblivion when the horn becomes a different place.
    The regime does not want to catch the bull by the horn, because it is scared of the possible consequences of a nation and especially it’s young, who are trained to hold guns and would be asking too many questions, which would undermine the regime’s power to rule unchallenged.

    • Dear Horizon,

      I like your pen name by the way as far as you keep looking beyond the horizon.. call it a strategy beyond strategy. In the era of globalization and new geopolitical paradigm, the mutual economic development in the horn will supersede “narrow nationalism” of the old era. Development strategy is the go forward for market economy without artificial border is the demand and exit from poverty in our region. So you are right that the issue of borders will fade away, if the people of the horn becomes conscious about the new geopolitical structure designed for the new fledgling “global community” and “global economy”.

      However, it seems Eritreans are resistant to this new dynamic and the euphoria of “political independence” sadly limited the scope of patriotism with geographical boundary a deflated version of the 16th century. Patriotism in its broader sense with the current structural economic community is has “a moral” and “communitarian” virtues as it was epitomized in John Rawel’s theory.

      In any case being farsighted does not preclude us from working in meeting the preconditions required to flourish a “modern state,” with economic development and social justice for fall within the concept of patriotism. Since the regime and his followers have a narrow understanding of Patriotism, we have to educate the bystander in conjunction with the politics of the region.

      • Moderator,

        please correct the following: In the first paragraph correct as “to meet the demand and find an exit from poverty”

        Remove “is” after structural economic community in the second paragraph.

        Thanks

      • Saleh Gadi

        Dear Amanuel,
        Your view might be defended intellectually, but your claim that borders are becoming meaningless and that “the horn will supersede “narrow nationalism” of the old era is just not supported by realities. As an example we have South Sudan which happened just a year ago, globalization didn’t prevent that… on the contrary, the fat-cats of globalization encouraged it. Then you have similar crisis fomenting in Eastern Sudan, Ogaden is unresolved, and Somaliland in limbo, etc, these are all examples just in the Horn of Africa without going to other parts of the world. It is too early to rule out the significance of borders and I do not see “…the scope of patriotism with geographical boundary [is] a deflated version of the 16th century.” That is too simplistic.

        On a different note: I am just curious why you often refer to the opposition in the second person when you are a memmebr of the ENCDC, the major opposition entity. I mean you often say, “They” instead of “us.” I hope it is unintentional.

      • Horizon

        Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

        I have asked myself on many occasions as to what we Ethiopians and Eritreans are trying to prove, first to ourselves and then to the world community, by sustaining this status quo that is destroying our people. To tell you the truth I have found no satisfactory answer to this very important question.
        Sometimes I entertain a simple and convenient answer by saying that it is due to our foolishness and arrogance that we have choosen war instead of peace, rivalry instead of collaboration, and poverty for our people instead of prosperity. We are seeing problems where there are non, and we are happy to perpetuate them. Nevertheless, I am sure that the reasons are not as simple as that, and they are to be found within and outside our countries.
        How far are we going to travel on this road of mutual destruction? Is it possible that we would remain enemies forever? This is another situation when I say to myself that for sure, Ethiopians and Eritreans are behaving like children, and they should grow up someday and see the reality on the ground.
        Assab has brought no benefit to Eritrea for the last decade, and I find it difficult to imagine if this is going to continue. Ethiopia is paying a hell lot of money for port services. Two people who have common heritage, history, culture and common interest fail to co-operate for the sake of mutual benefits, and they are happy at eachother’s lose and misery. This is crazy. What is the importance of Assab if Ethiopia can not use it and Eritrea can not benefit out of the services it gives?
        Roads are being built to connect the whole region, while the regime in Asmara is reinforcing the iron curtain it has construct to isolate its people. Countries of the horn are being joined with electricity, fiber optics, airlines etc. and unfortunately, Eritrea is not among them. At this point, the most important thing is that Eritrea should be a different country the next day after DIA. Otherwise, those who are destroying Eritrea would not be only DIA and the PFDJ but the Eritrean elites as a whole.
        Let us hope that those who have become obstacles on the way of Ethiopians and Eritreans would be removed, so that these two people would build again bridges of peace, rapproachment and mutual prosperity.

    • Merhaba Saleh,

      My argument was if sooner or later will have economic integration for the purpose of economic development to move with the global market and global community, then there is no need to be taken hostage by the border issue. When I say this it doesn’t mean we don’t put markers to demarcate the borders for purposes of political administration. In the new era demarcation is only for political administration. From the economic point of view , however the demarcation will be seen as virtual demarcation with no hindrance to the flow of goods and services. Am I not advocating for people like you who are market oriented Eritreans to take the lead and change the economic life of our society?

      By the way I am fully aware as you do to resolve the security and stability problem problem of our area. If the states agree some how for a kind of security pacts to render protection for the market flow, which I believe doable, we can see the transformational process taking place. Though, the Western African countries had started regional economic market, because they haven’t set the protection mechanism (security pact to protect any sabotage) they are facing a setback as we speak. So learning from their shortcoming the Eastern African countries could do better.

      On your note, I don’t notice on how I use the pronouns, but whether I am in ENCDC or not the opposition refers to all organized and non-organized who oppose the current regime. Who on his right mind will take me out from the opposition. May be sometime I use “we” and “they” interchangeablly….don’t relate it with the last ENCDC saga (you seem to be curious to know whether I am still in ENCDC). By now with all my writings that are in the public domain must now my positions. I have never had reservation in rendering critics whether I am in it or not.
      Regards,

    • Dear Horizon,

      I can’t add for the otherwise eloquently described malaise of our people. The problem is arrogance..arrogance…arrogance which I couldn’t see any remedy in the foreseeable future as it becomes part of our culture. Hopefully with the coming generation. I am still optimistic with the removal of our regime things will be changed for the good of the two brotherly people.Just Continue to hammer the issue and eventually will turn to the benefit of our people.

      • Yodita

        Dear Amanuel Hidrat and Dear Horizon

        In what you both write, the emphasis of the border impasse is on its negative impact on the peoples of both countries. Some debaters in this forum are engaged in enlightening us about the border impasse from the point of view of both leaderships, the opposition and/or individual commentators and what have you and to be honest, most times, they seem to be conversing between themselves. Is there an open contest going on? I sometimes ask myself. Be that as it may (I concede I may be dead wrong in my assessment), Horizon’s post puts the harm it does, it is doing and will continue to do to the two peoples as the key issue to highlight

        It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that both leaderships have everything to gain from instrumentalizing the border impasse to the detriment of the huge gains both populations would harvest from resolving it. I am one of those who for a long time put the blame squarely on our man in Asmara’s shoulders as the main culprit for the impasse but have recently come to believe that our neighbours do not seem to want to resolve it either. The PM of Ethiopia declared that he would go to Asmara to have a talk with Isayas, but we also hear that Eritrean regime’s efforts (through Qatar and South Sudan, among others) to engage them bore no fruit.

        As long as both leaderships are in place, it appears that the impasse also stays in place. The great losers of this situation are the people in the two countries with dire consequences such as the Eritrean youth leaving in hoards sometimes meeting death itself. The leaderships seem unconcerned by this.

        I say the above because I really got lost in the maze of the debate on the subject these days by none other than those who have the gift and ability to write. I think the message that both Eritreans and Ethiopians need to fully grasp and appreciate and fight for is that two leaderships are standing on their way from collaborating in creating the grounds for what could be a golden age for both peoples. Amanuel Hidrat goes as far as stretching this dream to the sub-region and I think it is proactive to entertain such a vision (since mechanisms exist for the realisation).

        By this I do not mean to say that academic discussions that flourish on the subject do not have their proper utility. It is just that when reading Horizon’s post on the subject, one touches base with the fundamental: almost two decades of keeping two people apart from PEACE, collaboration and development!!

      • Horizon

        Dear Yodita,

        As you know, it takes two to tango. Ethiopian PMs have shown their desire to sit with IA to negotiate the border issue and possibly other matters as well, but he has not reciprocated. In addition, it seems that the impasse serves both governments. Nevertheless, I would say that it serves much more DIA than the government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia can afford to wait. She knows that time is working against DIA, but unfortunately, it is also working against the people of Eritrea.
        If there is peace between the two countries, DIA might think that this would undermine his power and legitimacy, and he finds it convenient to have his doors closed and defended until something shows up. I donot know what that something is. In addition, a narcissistic dictator like DIA would not want to negotiate from the position of weakness.
        I believe that he has reached a stage where we cannot expect anything constructive to come from him to benefit the people of Eritrea. He is devoid of ideas and actions. Not in my wildest dream do I expect to see IA being received at Bole airport by Ethiopian officials or the PM of Ethiopia in Asmara during the lifetime of DIA. Therefore, it seems that we have to wait until hopefully a democratic government comes to Eritrea after DIA to untie the Gordian knot.

  • belay

    Dear yegermal,
    Cohesion around unsound premises is only till it collapse and take every body with it.
    Thanks for your last but not least comment about Badme.
    Thankyou.

  • T..T.

    Hi Yegerma and Haile,

    I am trying to understand what having an agenda mean in an open and free discussion. If you just have to jump in and discuss issues related to a topic, why would one need an agenda? If one comes with an agenda it becomes Isayasist kolel or hidden agenda to uproot the process of the ongoing discussion.

    A loud and clear agenda takes honesty and courage. However, a hidden agenda requires to fake honesty and to keep raising irrelevant issues in order to distract discussants from focusing on the discussed topic. In the process, the person with hidden agenda becomes jelly-like in behavior. I am, jelly-like in a sense not holding his/her ground through using slippery and tricky words. At times, the person with a hidden agenda fails to be fitted into any side or discussing groups. Risk analysts may treat a person with hidden agenda as a computer virus because s/he acts strangely.

    Leaders like Isayas with a hidden agenda they just uproot their people. Shelter, no – trench yes. Food, no. Schooling, no. Peace, no. Family members, no. And all these NOs are concurrent in Eritrea as reported by the UN.

    • haile

      Dear T..T.

      Help me out here. Why do some people find it within their right to judge others? This is one thing I learned here and decided to correct my approach? Could you please point me to the person/s I need to prove my sainthood to?

      I don’t take my self as more important in regards to this issues simply because I can air my views here at no cost. Just simple views, take them or reject them. But let’s call a day in devouring each others dignity and integrity. It really serves no purpose, unless you are in charge of: EEBC, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the opposition…

      • T..T.

        Dear haile,

        You are not the target of my comment. I have read many implicit attacks upon the innocent Eritrean youth escapees and many illogical diversions or attempts to change the direction of discussions focused on helping these escapees. If you would know those people are the Isayastists from Dehai. Those are the targets of my comment and those are with hidden agendas to impede the progress of our building one word against the oppressor. However, a clear and loud agenda are reflected honestly and courageously and those were my words of description in the comment. The purpose of discussion is to let flow our views and in the process we convince or be convinced. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming all the Dehaiwians. My rejected ones are the Alem Goitoem types of Dehaiwians who are blind supporters of the oppressors and who are responsible for the actions of Isayas because of their blind support.

    • Zegeremo

      TT

      You obviously haven’t been paying any attention; anyways,If you don’t have any thing to stimulate the debate, it is ok you can keep your fingers off the keyboard and relax otherwise please don’t be a distraction. I think those days are over!

      Regards

  • hizbawi

    Since there are no independent presses in Eritrea, how exactly are those data obtained? Please don’t tell me they interviewed eye witnesses. They keep telling us how Eritrea is isolated and no information can be obtained then they come out with a loaded accounts and data. Again for any one is kind enough to enlighten me, how were those data obtained?
    What bothers me is that, when there is positive news, you all say well, “since there is no independent press in Eritrea, the news item cannot be verified but when the news is negative, the item is accepted as the truth. Not fair!

    • rodab

      Fair criticizm.
      But I think the UN has a methodology (don’t ask me what it is) by which they compile these data for every country. If I do a 5 minutes reseach on their website, I could probably learn an item or two on how they gather the data, but I am on a “lazying around” mode at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you are not free to do that, and afterward you can come back and be nice enugh to share your findings with us 🙂

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Hizbawi:

      Your question must be one of the frequently asked questions because it appears in the UNDP’s FAQ here:

      http://data.un.org/_Docs/FAQs_2011_HDI.pdf

      For those who won’t bother to open the link (you know who you are), the relevant excerpt:

      Where do data for the HDI come from?
      Life expectancy at birth is provided by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs; mean years of schooling by Barro and Lee (2010); expected years of schooling by the UNESCO
      Institute for Statistics; and GNI per capita by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For few countries, mean years of schooling are estimated from nationally representative household surveys, and for few countries GNI was obtained from the UN SNA Main Aggregates database. Many data gaps still exist in even some very basic areas of human development indicators. While actively advocating for the improvement of human development data, as a principle and for practical reasons, the Human Development Report Office does not collect data directly from countries.

      saay

      • Truth

        Un is an arm of the American Empire, established to creat a one world order….UN LIES…

  • Merhab Haile,

    Continuing my argument from my last thread on the other page (piece), and seeing your points on the various specific battle ground arguing with Saay, I could agree with you on all except on the border issue. The other fronts are really doable if the opposition had a common purpose and a formidable leadership with meticulous plan. But remember Saleh is right when he said the opposition are “amorphous” with divergent views. The oppositions are not the organized Eritreans only but also the individuals that includes you as far you are categorized within the sphere of the opposition. So you can’t be exempted from sharing their failures. Critics is good when you are only trying to do something practically to change the reality on the specific battle grounds you aptly pointed out.Take my word the opposition could not and will not have legitimacy and leverage in dealing with Ethiopia and the border issue, no matter how well they are organized, until the regime has the upper hand in the nation. A fact we have to swallow and only do something within our reach.

    My preposition is not maintaining the status quo as you alluded in your comment. Not all.How could I support the do nothing and the endless squabbles among themselves in the day light for decades.What I was telling and pointing to you specifically is their “natural and legal limitation” on the border issue. Otherwise on the other fronts, such as on Human trafficking, on the issue of refugees, knocking the doors of international organizations UN, AU, EU, and the rest, and more the anything, in shaping the battle ground and bringing all the forces of change for one common purpose “to fight the evil regime of Asmara”. These were and are still within our reach. Let us say we failed miserably.

    Last but not least, on the border demarcation issue, nothing is wrong talking with your counterpart while your are setting the markers on the ground.Correct me if I am wrong, I believe that there is a provision in the verdict of EEBC itself, that while they are implementing the demarcation process, if both sides agree to make minor adjustment they could (remember if both agree). So coming to table does not mean to negotiate again as the Issayas government is distorting it.If there is a benefit for the people who will be affected in the border and both agree to make minor adjustment (if both sides agree) it is well and good, but if they don’t no one will force them….continue with letter of the EEBC decision. Any way at the end of the day, whether with this regime or future regime, there will not be a conclusion to the border issue (implementation) without talking each other Ethiopia and Eritrea). This is the fact we have to grapple with if we want peace and continue with our domestic problem. I believe on this fact.

    • hizbawi

      Why would you negotiate for something that is concluded with a ruling with final and binding?
      Again, if your weyane couldn’t adhere to something they agreed and signed in a front of the world, what makes you they will abide a talk and a deal in behind doors?
      Again Mr. Amanial, do you know, you will be forfeiting and surrendering to final and binding ruling of the court? As learned man as you are I don’t believe you are in a miss of the meaning and wording of final and binding. You could try and defend the weyane till the cows come home but there is no a single reason for Eritrea to negotiate with weyane. The only solution is for weyane to pack and leave. I know it is hard for you to swallow it. I suggest you do.

      • haile

        Hizbawi,

        What I think here is that there are two ways: to have a stand and not (at least be seen) to have a stand. What sways public opinion would be the function of how persuasively a stand is promoted and nobody would be able to counter it once the public have made their minds up.

        What we have at the moment is lack of clear stand on the matter. The content of which is really irrelevant, as public opinion would have the last call.

        So, the point is that, Aman has put his view, but it needs to be the case that this issue is dealt with battle lines clearly drawn.

        Regards

      • Tamrat Tamrat

        Your name has nothing to do With Your comment as usual. If the discussion brings a better situation, then why not give i a try? Since the beginning up to now we have seen the love and hate of woyane and shabia in hundred and one ways and they never have never failed to show us how a dictatorial system has littel regard for ‘Hizeb’, justice and Democracy and last but most important respect for treaty and rules of Law.

        So from so many breach of laws and treaties of woyane and shabia you stick to this one respected by both ‘woyane’ leaders of Eritrea and ethiopia?

        Are u saying we have to wait until shabia nad woyane understands the rule of laws and the consquence of breaching the laws?

        Are you saying we wait until woyane overthrown and replaced by other ‘woyanes’ (shifta) which are friendly With ‘woyane’ of Eritrea (shabia) or vis versa? (here i see only catastrophi concidering the external force like Arabs and the west)

        Are you saying Your families enjoy the fruits of no war no Peace for ever? In poor countries like ethiopia and Eritrea 22 years is already forever.

    • haile

      Selam Aman,

      Let me, without a shred of insincerity, express deep admiration to your candid stand on your last paragraph. We have finally converged our views! In fact, what you have just illustrated there, last paragraph, would amount for a formidable stand to launch a dawn attack on that particular battle ground. It is bold, it is daring it would constitute a watershed to the vast number of silent Eritreans by way of alternative. The problem about it though, it would mean nothing beyond mine and yours view unless those who shape opinion in the opposition camp show such boldness. Good for you, and I mean it, you have just proven it is doable.

      Leadership is a skill, and partly involves taking bold steps at a risk. If there is a lack of following, may be there is a lack of belief in leadership. And your bold move, translated as a public announcement of those in decision making would herald a new way.

      Thanks,

    • haile

      One more point Aman,

      Me? sharing failure? what,,,What about I am doing here? Give credit,,,I am giving ideas for free 🙂
      cheers

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear all,
        can i say that our domestic problem is more than the boarder issue? the illegal group in Asamara couldn’t manage it but that doesn’t mean our people can’t. we have seen the answer of late Melses’s for why they didn’t leave from Badme. what ever his answer is we could have closed the subject if we own a legal and matured government who can face and solve problems legal and politicly . we know how the governments save their country’s land see and sky and above all their citizens. i believe there is a strong force playing to make Eritrea a failed state by leaving the problem continue this way. I think we will not have any choice except to remove PFDJ. if we have clear stand on this then we will have to work on how to remove.
        now it is better to work on making the opposition clear, clean and practical with out blaming any single party or human as no single person can be responsible alone but we all.

      • Haile,

        As far as we don’t have a coordinated strategy with a common cause, no matter what we do singularly does not give fruits, hence so far every one of us is part of the failed strategy if we have any for that matter.

        Amanuel

  • haile

    Selam Saay,

    You have a number of valid points, but your understandable predisposition in this regard to shield away from perceived threat to the status quo might have brought us to a dead end, I am afraid.

    It is true that the activists and grass roots have played their part in feeding information that is published by international organs & co. However, this puzzles me even more as to why you would then conclude that there is a megaphone missing!

    Your point about the need of taking different stand against IA by the opposition, in this regard, betrays a glaring self-contradiction. That is, if IA is using EEBC as a political tool, the opposition is also doing the same albeit by sitting on the flip side of the coin. That is by calculating to take deliberate silence about it.

    The border issue represents current problem to the Eritrean people, by lending itself to be used as an excuse by the regime. It also represents a more sinister long term threat for Eritrea, if we discount the typical uncertified assurances forwarded as a cover or expedience. It would requires an honest and impartial take on the matter to admit to that.

    In the end, what is clear is that the Eritrean people stand alone, yet again, to face the eventual consequence of the actions of a reckless government and indifferent opposition. I hope something gives, to help them out of this very unenviable.

    • haile

      unenviable situation.

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Haile:

      * Though there is much room for improvement, the opposition activists (not necessarily the traditional opposition) have opened up lines of communications (megaphone) with the opinion-shapers of the world but have not made as big as an advance with their megaphone to the police state of Eritrea. This is typical not just for Eritrea, but for most closed, police states like North Korea, Cuba, etc: it is hard to get through. But this is improving greatly particularly with radio broadcasts (Erena, assenna, EYSC, etc), call-ins (Arbi Harnet) and soon satellite TV.

      * Isaias runs hot and cold with the EEBC ruling. Sometimes he screams “bloody hell this must end” and sometimes he says the issue is resolved and “virtual demarcation is better than actual demarcation.” You cannot really take the feverish statements of the guy seriously, much less use them as a yardstick to create a counter policy (at one point he said it was the US which ignite the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict.) I am sure you are familiar with the phrase “under his watch”: things that happen in Eritrea, good and bad, under his watch are things he gets credit or blame for. That is the very definition of leadership.

      In contrast to the Isaias administration, the opposition (almost all of it:) has been a model of consistency here: the border will be demarcated in accordance with EEBC and we are –without contravening the letter or spirit of the EEBC–willing to discuss with Ethiopia its implementation. To the extent it doesn’t say this every day, every week, it is because it believes (and it has calculated that the Eritrean people also believe) that the mortal threat (not just “current problem” but a mortal threat) to Eritrea is not the timing of the demarcation of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border, but the continued rule of Isaias Afwerki. It is a case or prioritizing.

      Who is right? You? Them? There is, of course, no reliable public opinion about Eritrea and everybody is practicing self-selecting bias: a survey of his family and friends it Eritrea. You may disagree with their assessment, and they may disagree with your assessment, but you can’t possibly ask them to do what they do not believe in unless public opinion (which can’t be measured) compels them to do so.

      In any event, let’s assume the opposition does not exist. Let’s say that they all called in sick for a decade or so. What exactly is your position about the border issue beyond what we all agree on. That is: what do you propose Eritreans do if Ethiopia refuses to demarcate the border and the world refuses to lift a finger to pressure it to do so. That is really the question, isn’t it? Isaias has calculated that the Ethiopian regime will fall (a bet he has hung his hat on now since the 2005 elections) and he is willing to wait indefinitely. The opposition is betting that Isaias will fall. Either way, both are betting that the border won’t be demarcated unless there is a regime change in either Eritrea or Ethiopia.

      saay

  • Alash Abelnayom

    okay so my nick will be Alash Abelnayom.

    Joining the opposition has become a business. Elsa Chryum, Elsa Kidane, Ghezae Hagos are all businesspeople. There is a lot of money to be had out there from NGOs who promote democracy, free press or whatever.

    They are not truly Non Governmental Organization (NGO) by the way!!! How can they claim to be a non governmental organization when their funding comes directly from their national governments???

    These Western governments aim is to return Eritrea to Ethiopia because it suits their strategic needs. They are using their NGOs, democracy, free press as cover. They don’t give a shit about democracy.

    • Yodita

      Alash Abelnayom

      You are disturbed by Elsa Chryum, Elsa Kidane, Ghezae Hagos (our Diaspora heroes), accusing them of using our predicament as a people to enrich themselves. It is like trying to find hair on an egg shell!! One can easily conclude that your stand is anti-people, anti-freedom, anti-justice, anti –rule of law, anti-democracy, anti-education, anti-development, anti –forging ahead, , in short anti-life.

      Awate.com is giving you the same and equal opportunity as SAAY himself and anybody else to freely express yourself and all you know what to do is accuse freedom fighters of enriching themselves while you shamelessly kneel down and worship a failed human like IA and his PFDJ who seem determined to taking the whole nation to the drains. Romania is still unable to find itself two decades after ridding itself of Nicolae Ceausescu!! With guys like you, Eritrea risks that even if IA gets removed. For this reason, I am full of revulsion for your likes and detest you more than the culprit of our predicament himself!!

      You have told us what you think about our heroes, but what do you really think about your heroes: Isayas (the monster), Yemane Monkey the brainwasher, Hagos Kisha the thief, and all those who are working against their people and the future of their own children and are bending backwards to serve a mad man and their deep throat thirst and hunger to be at the top (albeit in an extremely illegitimate and criminal manner)??

      • yegermal

        If money was the main motive for the above mentioned opposition activists, they would have fared better with DIA’s kingdom, as many of his cronies such as “Tanzania Rose” have.

  • Alash Abelnayom

    [From moderator: Refer to posting guidelines: do NOT use multiple screen names. You are either Ziggy or Alash. We don’t care which one just stick to one.]

  • belay

    ካብ፣ሃገራ ያ፣ዝነወሐት፣ማሽላስ፣ወይ፣ን ዒፍ(bird)፣ወይ፣ን ወንጭፍ።
    All is the grand design of Mr Issaias Afeworki.
    Any idea what sort of books he reads?or friends he hung around?

    • eriiiiiiiiii

      Isias favorite book is
      The Prince, by Nicolo Machiavelli.

      He usually refer the book as well as the author even in his interview.

      Now he is turning in to the mix Philosophies of Mao + Castro + Machiavelli.

      Unless we wipe him out by any means he will keep reverse the country in to < year 1991 era. No democracy, no human right,no trust in governement, no investment, no job creating, no hope, highest immigration, speedy distruction.
      Unless we become united irrespective of our faith, ethinicity or region, the country is going losted.

    • Yodita

      He likes the bottle, we hear.

  • haile

    Awatistas,

    This is I guess another day, another report, still being seen with the old and tired way of Ethiopia, Eritrea, index, rank, report, prediction…

    Let’s look at it this way. The reality depicted in the above report attests to the facts on the ground. IA takes responsibility for failed policies and unconstitutional rule. The vocal opposition camp also takes responsibility for abandoning centre ground in the Eritrean political arena at a strategic level. There by rendering any challenge to the regime libellous to say the least and ensuring that IA has firm grip in order continue failing the Eritrean people.

    Those brave souls who stood to challenge the system were cynically let down by the strategic decision of the opposition camp to abandon centre ground. They ended up paying heavily in social terms with slander against their otherwise courageous character. The opposition’s fatalistic approach in connecting with the Eritrean public opinion, has tied the hands of brilliant young activists and left them with few undesirable choices to use to advance their just cause.

    What has been the indirect role of the vocal opposition in regards to the deteriorating living conditions of Eritreans? As they say, ignorance is bliss. However, the new and awakened opposition recognizes the above reality and those who contributed towards it, directly or indirectly, separately. The latter sure has more one players.

    Silence is not an answer, those leaders of the vocal opposition need to come forward and either wash their hands clean or own up a grave strategic miscalculation vis a vis the Eritrea-Ethiopia border war. Not who started it, why Ethiopia holds the position it does or how PFDJ uses it continue its brutal misrule of the people. Not at all. Rather why is it the vocal opposition took the approach that hear nothing, say nothing that has and continues to be the sole battle ground in ascertaining who is “patriotic” and who should not be heard.

    Eritreans were paralysed from moving forward, as the vocal opposition has cynically taken a position that would drive the whole opposition concept to be a fertile ground to all sorts of dangerous undertakings that would likely destroy the country as we knew it.

    The public awaits your response.

    • yegermal

      Obsession and stubbornness at their worst! Incorrigible as you might appear, you have an agenda and you’ll push ad infinitum.

      • haile

        Dear yegermal,

        You are absolutely right that I have an agenda, as laid bare in the comments I made. The question is do you have an agenda? It would be puzzling to think otherwise. Because, what would be the point of responding if you didn’t!

        My agenda as put in black and white is that the fact that Eritreans are enduring unbearable hardship is beyond any kind of conceivable doubt. However, how/who/what are the key contributing factors to this is not ascertained unequivocally.

        My agenda is the elimination of fear from the whole process, do you have a problem with that? Or who stands to benefit by your subtle injection of suspicion? It is not a crime to be who I am and belong to the people that I do. Every Eritrean needs to wake up to the fact that no single entity owns the monopoly in the determination of who or what is valid vis a vis their life journey as an Eritrean.

        I am sorry, but the cat is out on this one.

        Regards

      • haile

        Yegermal;

        Thanks for correcting, bad habit…yes, sacrilege??? holly ghost!!! mind you, my English mastery has come a long way fro zero,,,,see anything does change with some work! Hope the opposition (amorphous) is taking note.

        Regards

    • Salyounis

      Selamat Haile:

      A few notes, in no particular order:

      1. “the opposition” is an amorphous group and it is hard to use that phrase as a subject in a sentence. I have read many opposition groups makings statements about the border issue (usually in their concluding statements after every single meeting, congress, conference.) The issue is not that they have the right or wrong position. Their position ranges from a call on Ethiopia to abide by the ruling (EPDP) to a call for “both parties” to enter into dialogue, etc. The issue is that they do not have the right megaphone and no effective way to communicate.

      2. There is nothing old or tired about indices, ranks and reports. It is the most objective measure we have of how a country is performing, particularly in relation to others. As was noted by a young Eritrean satirist (whose name I forget), Isaias Afwerki is very dismissive of all figures and statistics except for one figure he has memorized and repeats ad nauseum: Eritrea began from “below-zero” in 1991. (This is a false claim, btw, since post-war Eritrea had a relatively intact infrastructure and massive goodwill from Eritreans wanting to invest in their country. “Below zero” would be Congo.) If a supporter of the Isaias administration is going to take pride in all the things that many totalitarian governments are good at–the country’s high immunization rate against measles and DTP (99%), low HIV prevalence (0.2%), low infant mortality rate (42/1,000), low death from malaria (0.7/100,000)– and they do, then the supporters must also take responsibility for all the bad performance of the regime (shamefully low primary enrollment rate particularly for females; shamefully low majors in engineering; a stunningly large allocation of the GDP to the military; and a gross national income per capita that is less than half of the average of the poorest countries in the world) without blaming them on the UN, the US, Ethiopia, or the opposition. I find it absurd that the opposition are simultaneously blamed for being entirely useless parasites and, at the same time, hyperactive activists who prevailed on the UN to impose sanctions on Eritrea.

      One critical data point that this “old and tired” report would have given you is that of the median age in Eritrea. Then, you might question whether your assumption about Badme, border demarcation, etc is shared universally or is simply a reflection of the attitudes of your cohort group.

      3. What ails the opposition is an attitude. As the saying goes “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” What is true of people is true of organizations. After conducting a massive study, the psychologist Russell Jones concluded in 1977 (“Self-Fulfilling Prophesies”, a must read) that success in anything is determined more by somebody’s expectation. Expectation (attitude) is more powerful than IQ, than talent or ability. The entire focus of the Isaiasists is to demoralize the opposition: the language they use (pioneered by Isaias) is designed to demean, humiliate, degrade anybody opposed to Isaias. Most organized opposition groups have convinced themselves that they cannot defeat Isaias Afwerki militarily, and they don’t have a conducive environment to engage him diplomatically. So, all they are now is politicians-in-waiting. A shadow government without a portfolio. And, when we tell them that the “diaspora is useless”, “everything will be determined by people inside Eritrea”, that just justifies and reinforces their do-nothing attitude. The new opposition is fighting like hell and showing promising results and the last thing they need is an attitude that says that they have already lost or that they must inherit the “loser” label simply because they share the label of “opposition” with others.

      saay

      • haile

        Merhaba Saay,

        Before I deal with your points in the order received, let me share one inspiration that hit me one typical morning. Concepts are independent of language. Put in another way, it is impossible to express a concept precisely, using only language as a tool. language is constrained phenomenon, and concept inhabits an independent space outside of language. If you give this theory the benefit of doubt, I would like to use it as my defence in this instance. It may be that I haven’t explained well!

        Your point #1

        My honest appreciation of the matter is that it hasn’t been addressed beyond the form of pure tokenism (simply to embellish as a symbolic token i.e.). Let me bring to your attention that as we speak, the regime of IA is engaged in an offensive to re-take the Human Trafficking battle ground from the opposition (virtual opposition!), it has already made the Ethiopia-Eritrea border issue battle ground a strong hold. None of the ‘opposition’ had ever engaged a serious confrontation in that battle ground. Let’s look the other battle grounds, arrest of G-15 and journalists, the sanction, the Jan.21, the HRW report, the Ethiopian incursion, the deterioration of life in Eritrea, the flight of the young, the conscription, the repression of religious freedom, unending national service this report above… and many other battle grounds you can think of. IA has used his EEBC stronghold to turn them into a no-man’s land (as opposed to capturing them).

        The fact is that if you are to retake a battle ground, you need to launch an offensive (more like an onslaught), I don’t have a megaphone is not enough. Invent one! Or borrow from the other megaphones they use for dangerous enterprise.

        I am talking that on a strategic level, the real/virtual opposition needs to be clear on how to deal with this cluster-significant stronghold of battle grounds. A token acknowledgement of it here and there doesn’t count.

        Your point #2

        Again, I am referring to the way we “see” them in an old and tired way rather than their scientific validity or application. They are used in a disjointed, haphazard, ill prioritized way and supply little or no value in a real deal engagement to attack and take control of key battle grounds or even for tactical re-positioning for later engagements. Leadership must be accountable for how it leads. Every activist or grass roots sympathiser is rendered incapable of utilising them, because there is no cover from visionary leadership. Brilliant minds are were exhausted and wasted due to poor leadership.

        Your point #3

        Your first sentence in your point #1 unfortunately invalidated your opening assertion for point #3. It would be imprudent of me to admit it to the court of examination:)

        cheers

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Haile:

          1. Whatever the amorpous opposition has to say about Badme, the border, final and binding, is “me-tooism” at best and pretense at worst. They can offer a statement to explain their position and that will be useful only to the extent that it provides an alternative to the approach used by the Eri regime. If all they are going to do is advocate what the Eri regime is saying using softer or louder language, it doesn’t answer the Eri people’s question of “what would you do if you were in charge.” Opposition is about differentiating yourself from that which you hope to replace.

          The megaphone… if the Eri opposition had taken the “right” position on the border issue (whatever you think that is), that would not have stopped the Eri regime from lying about it and the people in Eritrea would not have been able to tell the difference. (I am assuming, for the purposes of discussion here, that the Eritrean people agree with the Eri regime that the right course is to wait indefinitely or, per Timbite Isaias, wait for the demise of Weyane–whose time was up in 2005, according to Isaias.)

          2. Don’t quite agree with you because the amorphous opposition includes many highly motivated, highly effective activists who are responsible for 90% of what gets published in what most of the report-writers write. HRW, CPJ, RSF, State Department don’t exactly have correspondents and reporters in Eritrea. What the Isaiasists forget (which will be the demise of the Isaias regime) is that the drive, motivation, they attribute to themselves only is shared by many many others. Many Eritreans work 18 hour days to expose the regime and they are responsible for giving the world a glimpse to the closed police state in Eritrea. If Isaias makes the human trafficking his next battleground (very unlikely: that was just a per-emptive statement in anticipation of a more damning UN report), then that won’t be the failure of the opposition…unless he sends a commando unit to liberate Eritreans from their captors, in which case even I will applaud him. (After noting that he was responsible for their situation.)

          3. Nice, well played, sir:) I am going to use the adjective amorphous anytime I refer to the opposition. (see above.)

          saay

      • eriiiiiiiiii

        Saay,
        Thanks for your wonderful ideas. The critical factors or stat what you state is very important than the stat of all dictators regime. Even Castro tries to enumerate that stat. But when you come to investment, job creation, youth hope & prosperity, people’s morality. It is almost zero. Even the Maynemmar tries to achieve that stat jus by employing free paid military servants. How our youth continue to work for free while the army leaders & thier master Isias are looting the country’s wealth?
        When we come to the oppositions, the oldies oppositions such as those remnants of ELF as well as Bayto couldn’t reflect the collective dream of Eritrean people at large. They were prison of power politics & identity politics. But the new youth movements have good hope, at least most of them are the one recenetly flee from the country & know the problem of our country very well. They are not prison of identity politics and they don’t base thier ideiology in religion or ethics.

        in order to have connection with the mainstream Eritrea ( back home ), we should have outline & use hundred techniques & strategies. First We should draft the strategies how to connect with our people, inspire and awake to struggle. Besides to that every opposition sistes should have private communication box , a part from ” Reply or Comment” box. If the sites have these sections, the HIGDEF supporters will have no access or chance to read VIP ideas.
        But if all ideas of oppositions are talken in conference or publish in open sites, the HIGDEF will get it & evolve or respond accordingly.

        Last but not least Radio or TV program that reach to home country ( like Ethiopian ESAT TV ) is very important because in Eritrea people have very limited internet access.

      • yegermal

        sacrilege! you can’t use “i.e.,” after you explained what you wanted to say:)….

      • yegermal

        “Let me bring to your attention that as we speak, the regime of IA is engaged in an offensive to re-take the Human Trafficking battle ground from the opposition (virtual opposition!),…………” BINGO!!!!!! And that is where the opposition should focus, i.e., debunking the regime’s hypocritical stance on human trafficking. I vehemently object any suggestion that shifts our attention towards the non-issue border saga. Should the opposition choose to mention the border issue as a political tactic, it should be only to demand that DIA be held accountable for wasting the lives of 20,000 young Eritreans, when he could have achieved the same result (occupation of Badme by Ethiopia) by withdrawing from Badme as the US/Rwanda peace plan has demanded. DIA irresponsibly rejected the plan with his infamous “the Sun will not rise” stupid utterance. DIA obsession with Badme has more to do with his ploy to cover up his incompetence as a commander in chief than his desire to bring back Badme to its right owner. Are we forgetting that Badme was handed over to TPLF during DIA’s love affair with Meles? And this marks my last comment on anything concerning Badme.

  • Alash Abelnayom

    The truth is, there is some shortage of materials in Eritrea as a result of the sanctions. Eventhough Eritrea has the money and wants to buy things, a lot of times it is not allowed to or companies don’t want to sell it things.

    This is exactly what Weyane and opposition wanted and got.

  • Alash Abelnayom

    After 3000 years Ethiopia comes in at 165 or whatever. It will take Ethiopia another 3000 years to make it to number 150. How pathetic!

    3000 years of civilization and you’re still at the bottom quintile of countries.

    If the sanctions are lifted tomorrow, next year Eritrea will be in the top 100.

  • dawit

    I am surprised that Eritrea did not came last, still beating five countries who got independence 1960 and Mozambique which became independence 1975, 18 years before Eritrea in 1993. What about Ethiopia Awate Team ideal role model ranked 173,to show for its 3000 years of independence and billions dollars aid? After tying the country with sanctions and human trafficking projects supported by UNCHR and several neighboring countries to depopulate Eritrea from its youth, how do you expect Eritrea’s human development index to rise? You should congratulate Eritrea which is functioning under UN fabricated sanctions surrounded by hostile neighbors. Everything should be viewed in perspectives. “It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present” (Fabian Linden).

  • I am sure Issais Aforeki will not be happy to read these reports. You know why? Because, all what he is fighting for is to see Eritrea hitting the ground level i.e. (186/186) and not 181/186. He still has to work hard to hit the bottom. ሕጊን ሕጋዉያን መራሕቲን ዘይብሉ ሃገር እዚ ኢዩ ውጽኢቱ።

    • yegermal

      Agreed!

    • eriiiiiiiiii

      absolutely right.
      He is trying day & night in order Eritrea achieve the lowest rank. He tries to use World bank loan but ironically he is not ineterested World Bank & IMF grants. even though they provide Eritrea Grant for free, the gov’t refuse it. This is merely in order the country can have highest amount of external loan & interest pay’t. Above all he purposely tried day & night so that the country be put under sanction . He knew the consequence of helping Somali Islamists, War with Djibuti, but he did so that Eritrea could be under sanction, allienated & impoverished the country. It is like renting your enemy’s car , driving& hitting it with big mountain or stone so that to make your friend incurr the loss or damage.
      Unless Isias is killed by any hero Eritrean , we will see more & more damage.

  • Papillon

    “Listen to me my friend, you’re right here and the pacific ocean is way out there and that is the way it is………….Hope is a dangerous thing, it can drive a man insane.” These are the rather distressing lines in the movie, “Shawshank Redemption”. Is hope actually a dangerous thing? To the contrary. Under a highly magnifying microscope, we see organelles in a cell interacting with each other and through the sieve of the cell membrane with the other cells as well. In an electrophoreses, we see nucleotides (DNA among others) moving with respect to their charges. But the know-how in science fails to show us the ever powerful and force of love and hope flouting between humans. Instead we feel them as they are the very entity of our nature and existence. The very terms “next minute, next hour, next day, next week, next month or next year” would lose any meaning if there is no room for hope. Hope is what we are.

    Last night I was watching with my family the T.V-rating-buster, “The Bible” series which is being aired on History channel. What stands out the most is, the perseverance, endurance and tenacity of the Israelites as they lose their land, Kings, and Temple under a series of rulers of Egypt, Babylonians, Persians and Romans. As the narrative gets intoxicated with present day politics, it warrants to stop here before I delve any further.

    However, the moral of the story is, hope is a tremendous force that help people sustain under unbearable circumstances. I sure don’t mean to draw a parallel between what the Israelites had gone through and the Eritrean people are going though, not only it is disproportionate but an out right hyperbolic as well but again, if we hold on to hope without losing our prospectives and practical venues, we will prevail for we have prevailed before.

    • Papillon

      Please read floating as opposed to flouting.

    • F.M.

      Papillon:

      Do you mind if we exchange emails? I can be reached at Eritus@yahoo.com. Paging Gezae as well.

      • Papillon

        Dear F.M.

        I don’t mean to be rude or anything like that but I have had bad experience before for giving out my email. My apologies.

        Haft’kha.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dearest sister Papillon,

      “It seems impossible until it’s done” Nelson Mandela

      ክብርቲ ሓብተይ ንሎሚ ጀበና “ተስፋ” ዝበሃል ቡን ከተስትየና ተቐሪባ ኣላ so don’t forget to open Jebena.

      • Papillon

        Dearest Kokhob Selam,

        Sure thing k’bur ayay. I will definitely check it out.

  • idris

    Eritrea ranks 181 out of 186. The country is rolling down from year to year.
    On the otherhand Ethiopia is climbing up from year to year. This year Ethiopia has raised its rank to 171 out of 186. It ranks above eritrea. in previous reports eritrea was by far above Ethiopia. Eritera was 164th in the previous years. Now it climbed down to 181th. what a shame?. But in actual terms eritrea should have ranked the least i.e. 186th out of 186 countries. because let alone human development everything is becoming a hell in the country.
    shame shame PFDJ

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    A country producing 300,000 military force out of 5 million People is definitly a country under war. A country where 60 to 70 youngsters leaving the country is definitly a coutnry underwar. So the result of the index is not surprising. What is frightning is when this index hits bottom and the pfdj gets more despperate the Power is going to fall to a banch of 4th greader Power mongor Groups. When that happens even eri refugees in Yemen refuse to go back home leave alone the ones who live in the west. A dictator like isayas not only creats Power vaccume but they are saddists to the extent that the country ‘was’ better while they were in Power denying that they are the very reason the country is in such a mess. The Arabs and the west already in action which Group must replace isayas.

    • Yodita

      Tamrat

      You say ‘The Arabs and the west already in action which Group must replace isayas.’ Pray substantiate. Thanks.

      • eriiiiiiiiii

        Tamrat,
        You re right DIA put the country in mess. Now everybody, the Eritrean at large as well as the external countries ( US, Israel, Arabs and Ethio ) are looking a viable alternatives. I hope he will be assassinated or have a coup if Woyane provoke war pressure. Then the gold mining companies will evacuate, and people will be against him or even assassinated him and his subordinates in the street out of frustration. Then his demise will be accelerated.

  • How surprsing, the UN Report didn’t took in consideration the road between Tzorna and the next village which that was paved for free by the slave labour. It did not took the well that was dug by the villagers with the gun on their heads. Least it did not include the education system that is given in several languages, of which none is valid, not for the langauge itself but for the purpose for which it is tought. Hurry window dressers for the regime, you have amunition at your hands this time, more then anytime, therefore don’t hesitate the defend the undefendable.