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Eritrea’s Feigned Longing for Peace

President Isaias Afwerki sealed border crossings not only because the outflow of Eritrean citizens to Ethiopia intensified, but peace, generally speaking, is not working for him.

Bestowing the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on PM Abiy Ahmed while leaving out his counterpart, President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, was a noticeable insult from which, ostensibly, the Eritrean regime and its supporters have not recovered yet.  Why was the Eritrean president snubbed by the Norwegian Nobel Committee?  Was it because the committee could discern that Eritrea feigned peace?

Activists, civil societies groups, opposition groups, analysts and many others expressed their views regarding the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.  Many sent congratulatory messages to the PM for his initiative to bring peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, while others were not convinced whether he really deserved the ‘half-baked’ nature of the peace agreement. In any case, the whole world talked about the prize except Eritrea.

Yes, there was not a single story published on government papers regarding the Peace Prize. Haddas Eritra (Tigrinya), Eritrea AlHaditha (Arabic), Eritrea Profile (English) as well as, the principal government website, and other pro-government media outlets simply ignored the story.  Why?

A bit of background history

The Peace Prize is a major victory for the charismatic Ethiopian premiere who dared to annul the 17 year old stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 2018 he declared he would honour the UN ruling of 2002.

It is to be remembered that the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was established pursuant to the Algiers Agreement of 12 December 2000 between the two countries; and then it reached a verdict a year later – a verdict that was final and binding.  In spite of that, it had been repeatedly rejected by Ethiopia until PM Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.

The two previous governments of Ethiopia – that of the late Meles Zenawi and Hailemariam Desalegn – refused to honour the verdict while resorting to quiet, punitive measures against Eritrea which went on for far too long.

The Punitive Measures

The primary punitive measure Ethiopia applied was by stalemating the resolution which caused a state of lingering tension between the two countries.  The tension caused enormous damages to Eritrea’s economy while Ethiopia continued to enjoy relative progress.  For instance, Ethiopia built universities and other institutions of higher learning during the stalemate period; and the country managed to produce tens of thousands of educated youth.  On the contrary, Eritrean students received mediocre education and the majority were relegated to do forced manual labour via the National Service programme.

The state of tension gave the Eritrean regime a pretext to rule as it pleased; as if the country was in a state of emergency.  The regime dodged demands to introduce reforms, continued with its open-ended national service, denied citizens space to operate freely, and prevented the youth to live a normal life.

The second punitive measure was designed to isolate Eritrea.  As Ethiopia was the darling of the international community, it successfully rallied its supporters to mete out UN sanctions on Eritrea. Eritrea was allegedly accused of arming terrorist groups in the Horn region.  The sanctions, subsequently, prompted Eritrea to stick to its hollow ‘self-reliant’ programme which in turn put a tighter stranglehold on the country’s economy.

Basically, the regime used its ‘self-reliance’ policy rather illicitly.  It misappropriated small businesses, plundered national and institutional resources, exploited the labour force and more in the name of ‘self-reliance’.

The third punitive measure was carried out through the pull/push factors in the region.  Ethiopia created a condition for the pull factor that enticed Eritrean nationals to flee.  And Eritrea, of course, played its part by pushing its own citizens out.  The stifling situation in the country became too unbearable for Eritreans to stay put.

The Eritrean dream crumbled as its population dispersed.  Consequently, Eritrea ended up becoming one of the highest refugee-producing countries in the world.  According to the UN refugee agency, Eritrean refugee numbers worldwide, 2014-18, has surpassed half a million.

It is amid this confusion and heightened youth drain that the Peace Accord was suddenly declared.

The ‘sudden’ 2018 Peace Accord

In 2018, PM Abiy Ahmed’s announcement to overturn Ethiopia’s stand, the longstanding stalemate, came unexpectedly. The change of heart was embraced and celebrated not only by the majority of Ethiopians and all Eritreans but by the international community as well.

Unprecedented, the Ethiopian Premier relayed a goodwill message to President Isaias via television in Tigrinya, one of Eritrea’s main languages; and by doing so he won the hearts of many sceptics.  On the other hand, the Eritrean president could not reciprocate well enough; he failed to articulate his thoughts on that historic occasion.  He is remembered for his infamous ‘you lead us now’ phrase which surprised, actually alarmed, Eritreans in and out of the country, including his supporters. By that he asked PM Abiy to take charge of the peace process, and perhaps more. Furthermore, many watched with amazement as the president, uncharacteristic of his stone-cold expression, was caught on camera giggling and beating his chest with elation.

After the two leaders held a series of meetings in both capitals in June 2018, they subsequently signed a peace deal on 8–9 July 2018 in Asmara, Eritrea.  It was rather a surreal experience to the citizens of both countries and international observers as the two leaders embraced and promised to end the two-decade-old state of no-war-no-peace stalemate between their two countries.

What did Peace bring to Eritrea?

As President Isaias enjoyed the newly found attention during his visit to Ethiopia, he somehow fumbled.  He started walking a thin line between opening-up and self-preservation.   At the same time, his supporters were still dumbfounded by the unexpected development and the shoddy ‘you lead us’ approach the president let drop.  Basically, the president and his supporters were seen marching out of lockstep for weeks.  Delegating the peace process to the Ethiopian premier was a bit too much for his supporters to digest.  Nevertheless, one can say that hopes went soaring with exhilaration after the peace accord was signed.

Credit is due to the Nobel Prize awardee, PM Abiy Ahmed, for breaking the ice and for triumphing over that crucial stalemate.  However, by holding out an olive branch to Eritrea and by conceding to Eritrea’s staunch demands, the PM ended up putting President Isaias, perhaps unintentionally, on the back foot.

Ethiopia’s sudden acceptance of the UN ruling of 2002 – Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decision regarding delimitation of the border – pulled the rug out from under president Isaias’ feet.

The sudden recognition of the ruling meant that Eritrea could not use the state of tension between the two countries as a primary motive for arresting Eritrea’s social, economic and political developments anymore.  Likewise, the logic of the perpetual entrapment of Eritrea’s youth through the national service programme was suddenly overturned by the ‘peace agreement’.

The Dictates of Exorbitant Fear

The ball has been in Eritrea’s court, so to speak, since that momentous summer of 2018. President Isaias signalled as if he was prepared to respond to the PM’s courageous move in kind. But it did not take him long to have second thoughts about the upshots of ‘peace’.

President Isaias reneged on everything he had promised to do during the signing of the peace agreement.  Actually, he started dismantling people’s hopes and expectations soon after the signing ceremony.

Instead of being magnanimous and pressing forward with the ‘peace-project’ he chose to focus on settling old scores with the Tigrayans, the ‘TPLF gang’, as he used to refer to them.  It was un-presidential of him to let off a lot of steam like that at that stage. Although his ‘TPLF gang’ rhetoric gradually subsided, he did exhibit his true colours then to the world at that crucial time.  Presumably, the Norwegian Nobel Committee took all that into account as it deliberated to pick a worthy nominee for the award.

Soon after the honeymoon period was over, the president began to re-assess the situation more vigilantly. He saw more and more Eritreans were fleeing to Ethiopia and others were directly engaging with Tigrayans positively and without any inhibition through trade – an act the government quickly frowned upon.  In Eritrea the PFDJ, the president’s party, is the sole owner of and player in business activities.

The new era signalled that his self-preservation policy came in direct conflict with opening-up the country to Tigray/Ethiopia.  That alone made him realise that peace comes with a ‘cost’, to his regime, not Eritrea.  It posed an affront to his rule by eroding some aspects of his authority; that is by opening up Eritrea to a new era of ‘peace’.

Furthermore, the president’s self-preservation ‘policy’ would be hard to maintain if he had allowed more and more Eritreans to compare and contrast for themselves the two divergent developments on his watch –  Ethiopia’s advancement as opposed to Eritrea’s decline.

Paranoia sets in once again

President Isaias Afwerki sealed border crossings not only because the outflow of Eritrean citizens to Ethiopia intensified, but peace, generally speaking, was not working for him.

After the peace deal, the government realised it could not justify its rigid rule anymore.  In other words, peace meant that the government could not sustain the strictly controlled existence it had imposed on the people.   Yes, the government’s mantra of the last two decades – “tighten your belt and remain vigilant at any cost” – was suddenly rendered void and meaningless.

Those who managed to visit Ethiopia during the brief opening of the border had learned the government had lied to them all along.  They also found out the region of Tigray, for instance, is far more developed than Eritrea; and the people in Adwa, Mekele, Adigrat and elsewhere have been, relatively speaking, enjoying a better standard of living.

As far as the president is concerned, the region of Tigray was put on a showcase during that brief period when people could cross the border freely. And it can be argued that showcasing Tigray did not bode well for the president’s puffery.

“A Leopard does not change its spots”

PM Abiy did take a gamble in reaching out to his Eritrean counterpart.  But Eritrea is wavering to do its part because it is not ready for ‘real peace’ yet.   Had Eritrea been seriously engaged in the peace process we would have noticed some changes on the ground by now.  But nothing has changed across-the-board in the Eritrean political, economic and social landscapes since 2018. Unfortunately, no substantive work has been undertaken to normalise relations between the two countries since the signing of the Peace Accord.  That leads us to ask questions about the sincerity of the peace process.

Questions that were raised soon after the peace agreement in 2018 still remain unanswered.   Will the government delineate the boundary which has been the main bone of contention between the two countries for a long time? Will it reform the national service? Can the regime loosen its tight grip on free enterprise and allow Eritreans to live a normal life?  Now we can confidently say that demarcation is a subject matter that is conveniently forgotten; putting an end to the open-ended nature of the national service is just swept under the rug; and introducing political reforms is simply unimaginable.

The peace agreement was supposed to change people’s livelihoods.  But it didn’t.  Instead Eritrea is still being governed with an iron fist and utmost secrecy.  The president continues to rule as if Eritrea is his personal property. Sadly, Eritrea has become a country where events are orchestrated and its citizens are kept quiet as government officials depict false realities.

Now many are questioning if the peace accord was a sincere effort intended to put an end to Eritrea’s woes.  Yes, livelihoods can be changed through peace processes only if the feuding parties stick to the terms of agreements.  Let’s just say Eritrea’s case is out of the ordinary.

It would be naïve to think that Eritrea will ever honour the terms of the peace agreement because the president and his abettors are very much living ‘la dolce vita’.

For now we can conclude by saying that leaving out President Isaias Afwerki out in the cold while his ‘partner’ was relishing his moment of glory in Oslo proves that the Norwegian Nobel Committee had figured it out that Eritrea was only feigning peace.

About Dawit Mesfin

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  • Selam All,

    Let me quote, “At its core, medemer stresses national unity, with diverse entities cooperating for the common good. A 22 November statement after the EPRDF Council meeting said the new party would “harmonize group and individual rights, ethnic identity and Ethiopian unity”.

    Ethiopian National unity is against tplf’s interest, and the new party (PP) will reduce tplf to its appropriate size as a minority party. Having these in mind, there is no way tplf and its supporters will be happy with medemer or the PP. They will demean and demonize Abiy, their nemesis, till tplf is replaced by a true tigrayan party that represents not group interest, but unlike tplf, the interest of all the people of tigray.

  • Selam All,

    His Excellency PM of Ethiopia, Nobel Laureate, Dr Abiy Ahmed, 😊 despite defamation, mad slinging, envy, etc by his enemies from day one since he came to power, has achieved a lot of things, to their utter disappointment. It seems that this has deprived them of their sleep.

    Why do they hate him so much is a million dollar question? Or, it may not be. It is not because they couldn’t become the pms of ethiopia because of him, or they lost the chance to become laureates, again because of him, but because he is not their darling as tplf officials used to be, they might have lost their benefits when Abiy became the pm and refused to serve tplf, and because he did not do what they themselves could not do, i.e depose the eritrean dictator.

    They do not want to accept that it is too late to do anything about it. Nobody is paying attention and nobody cares whatever they may say, other than maybe hurting themselves. The things they say and write about the ethiopian pm are simply words written on a block of ice or in the sand, signifying nothing.

    They better chill out and accept the bitter reality that there is nothing they can do about it. He is a Nobel Laureate, the PM of Ethiopia, and maybe other things in the future, depending on what he may succeed. He has left behind those who hated him for the sake of tplf. Tplf has crossed the rubicon of no return to arat kilo palace. They are fighting a lost battle. It is better if they do other things that are important for eritrea, and maybe for the whole region. Abiy can’t decide for eritrea, period, and hating him for the sake of tplf serves no purpose, because tplf will end up in the dustbin of history.

    • Paulos


      Sal is the measure of all academics and intellects [Sal, if you are reading this, it comes with a caveat–pride is the mother of all sins and make sure your head doesn’t inflate–“Prido-Cephaly” 😂.] And ask Sal what he thinks about Abiy!

      • Teodros Alem

        selam paulos
        u can read Sal’s take about 3A noble peace prize on eritrea digest, he wrote it overthere.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dr Paulos,

        Abiy is a dubious political practitioner who came with dubious solution of “medemer” to the intractable Ethiopian socio-political ailments. It is A deceptive approach intended to dismantle “Federalism and developmentalism”; and in lieu he intended to install “centralism and Unitary Government.” The states who already tasted the freedom of self-governing will fight back to resist the reversal attempt by the PM. It is a long battle between the “states” and the “central government” that will be seen at the center of their election in the coming election year. Dubious practioners do not have principle and are simply maneuvered by foreign forces. By the way can you extract any principle, for that matter, in his amorphous formal pronouncement of medemer? I tried to do so, but to no avail.


        • Berhe Y

          Hi Emma,

          I am asking because I don’t really understand. Does the Ethiopian constitution stipulates that there should be a coalition party made up of four major parties? I don’t think that’s the case. How is that then, you say “ intended to dismantle “Federalism and developmentalism”.

          What’s got creating a united party instead of a coalition party have anything to do with dismantling federalism.

          Until he changes the federation, I think what happens within the party is totally legitimate and totally the business of that political party.

          Still it does not mean he is taking over federalism.


          • Teodros Alem

            selam berhe
            “Sedama” just had referendum under 3A to decide if they want to stay as southern state or to form thier own state and they just voted to form thier own state under 3A.
            The point is, it is the people’s choice what matter, if the people’s say unitary or federal or independent is thier choice.
            by the way, some of them, i don’t think they know what they mean by federalism, it is self rule, self rule urself by ur own means and the whole of ethiopia will support tigrai’s self rule, by thier own means.
            by the way, what u say about ethio navy?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            A constitution does not depict on how parties are formed. It only depict pluralism of politics and the formation of election laws. It does not go beyond that. The parties are formed based on the realities of their society and how to win political powers. The can form Aliance, coalition, or singularly to win popular vote.

            Second, my assessment as to why the prime minister’s long strategy is to dismantle “Federalism and developmentalism”, his alliance with the Unitarian nationalist who are against the current federal arrangement and Developmental state. He is already working practically against developmental state on the ground and eventually if he is not faced with strong resistance he will dismantle the current federal arrangement. If you are seriously following the politics of Ethiopia you could see all kind of signals which gives you that kind conclusive assessment. Look at the movers and shakers of Ethiopian politics add all the factors in to your equation, it will give you hints of the direction of their politics, provided the unknown of the unknown in the mix give us unknown outcome in the upcoming their general election. In politics you can’t predict exactly. I can only give an educated guess from the reading on the ground.


          • Teodros Alem

            selam aman h
            ur “educated” guess is developmental state can apply in federalism(ethnic), that is not educated guess, that is moronic guess. u r not just funny but u r living in ur own pathetic and dream world.
            the other day the Educated Saay explain to u what developmental state mean but u don’t understand it.
            Listen to “abraha desta” recent interview, he talked about developmental state and federalism.

          • Amanuel Hidrat


            Can you grow up and speak like adult? You can’t write without insulting people? Now I will ask the moderator why they are allowing you to insult people who have different view than yours. They have seen you to throw all kinds of insults on me all the years. If they can not do anything, I have to look my exit. You win by insulting.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam.aman h
            I didn’t insult u , i said moronic guess, not u aman h .
            u r living in dream world means it is not reality. not insult.
            and we r not here to win or to lose, it is not a game.

          • Berhe Y

            Thank you Emma for elaborated response. The reason I asked is I didn’t see the relationship with what taken place to merge EPRDF and what people are saying who disagree with him being against federation (in Tigray and in Oromo). I know you didn’t say that.

            So far I have not seen a solid argument why the united party is against the federal state. I am sorry he may align with what ever that he wants but I really do not see how having a single party will take away.

            I still think the kilil will still have their own election and their own governors ? Isn’t that the case in Ethiopia. The local kilil have their own elections or they get ejected at the save time with the national election?

            May be I am confused and comparing to Canadian federal system, and that’s what I assume takes place in Ethiopia as well.


          • Teodros Alem

            In every election “warda” people will vote for two persons, at the same time. one to represent them in federal parliament and the other to represent them to thier kilil gov. and a party that has 50% plus vote in federal gov. will form gov in federal and a party that has 50% plus vote for kilil will form kilil gov.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            Remember the Ethiopian Government is parliamentarian Government. So the local parties in the states can compete in the general election for the national parliament. There are many parties especially in the Oromo, Amara, southern kilil, and Tigray kilil who will compete against one united party. What is the odd the PP will have winnable seats? They have to be careful with what they wish? b/c Politics is run on the realities of your society and their relationship to each other.

        • Teodros Alem

          selam aman h
          1st,No body ask u “e’ndetedemer” .
          2nd, 3A propose “medemer” as a best solution for ethiopia, he is not gonna force it by force , those who don’t like his “medemer” proposal has a right not to be included, they even have a right to use article 39 of the constitution and secede from the federation.
          my way or the highway don’t work in democracy, it works barbarism.

        • Selam Amanuel H.

          The things you are saying above are the exact repetition of what tplf is saying, that ethnic federalism and developmental state are being dismantled and a unitary system of government reminiscent of the past is being formed, and let’s save both. On the contrary, the present government is saying that ethnic federalism was meant to divide and rule Ethiopians, and not to bring their equality, prosperity and make them owners of their natural resources, because in reality the country under tplf was a unitary system of government with no real federalism.
          The coalition parties were created by tplf to legitimize its domination and the regional governments were indirectly in the hands of tplf officials, and there was no real federation that respected their equality. It was a federation in which a Somali, an afari, a gambellan, etc could not become the PM of Ethiopia, but only the golden people and maybe some others.
          As much as developmental state under ethnic tplf government was concerned, in which tplf official were put as heads of different economic organisations was nothing else but a means through which tplf looted the country and left behind sham constructions and some of them unfinished with most of the money stolen by tplf officials, and ethiopia was burdened by about 50 billion dollars in debt she can’t pay back, and today she has found herself in an economic quicksand from which it is difficult to extricate the country, thanks to tplf.
          In SE Asia where developmental state succeeded, it was because they had patriotic governments (look at saay’s past comments), who could cut off the head of a corrupt official if needed (my own conclusion), unlike tplf that encouraged and defended them and today it is hiding the big sharks and criminals in meqele .
          These are some of the reasons tplf’s ethnic federalism and developmental state didn’t work and couldn’t work (if for example, an oromo developmental state is implemented now). Ethiopia can never be a unitary state again. Ethiopia will find the right type of federalism that has worked for others, and not the type of federalism that was meant for tplf domination and exploration, and disintegration of ethiopia on which tplf could have created the extended independent tigray on the ashes of ethiopia and maybe others.

        • Paulos

          Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

          Ethiopia certainly is stepping onto a precarious and uncertain future partly due to the new players who have come to the fore where their political know-how is shoddy if not incompetence where Abiy is a case in point.

          As Major Dawit Weldegiorgis and Ezekiel Gabissa recently put it, Abiy not only lacks a deep sense of history but lacks resolve and effectiveness as well. I may not agree with the other recommendations Major Dawit puts forward, but I take him serious in his current reading of Ethiopia’s realities. The same goes with the charismatic and of stellar academic caliber Professor Ezekiel Gabissa.

          First of, there are no citizens in Ethiopia so to speak but nations and nationalities where the people identify themselves with their nations and nationalities instead. More over, citizenship is a political construct, on the other hand, identity is a cultural and linguistic reality intertwined with one’s psych and niche or natural environment. It is with in this backdrop that “Revolutionary Democracy” comes into the picture.

          As experts tersely put it, “Revolutionary Democracy is promoting the rights of the masses.” Here the key word is, the “masses” not the individual citizen where the Ethiopian historiography doesn’t reflect on. And the inherent flaw of the newly formed party undercuts individual citizen where again is not the social and cultural foundation of the nation.

          Of “Medemer”, Abiy is a wannabe as in Gandhi’s “Satyagraha” or Nyerere’s “Ujamaa” where his is neither a philosophical treatise nor a political novelty but a delusional guy with a messianic stint where as Cardinal de Richelieu famously put it, “Man owns immortality for his salvation is here-after, the State doesn’t own immortality for its salvation is here or never.” One can not mix the two! And that is precisely what Abiy has tried to scribble in his “Medemer” book.

          • Admassie

            Selam Paulos and Amanuel Hidrat,

            To begin with, Dr Abiy’s “Meddemer” is a dwarf word in its literal sense comparing to other similar words and the word is struggling like a frog trying to be as giant as elephant. It is just a word which does not have any philosophical explanation behind except Dr Abiy said it is philosophical and we all have to follow suit! He is trying to substitute words such as ማበር፣ መተባበር፣ መቀናጀት፣ መደጋገፍ፣ መተጋገዝ ወዘተ by “መድደመር” so that the word would have freshness and by any miracle a philosophical vibe.

            In his book “መ[ድ]ደመር”, he refers to some Amharic dictionaries such as አለቃ ኪዳነ ወልድ ክፍሌ and አለቃ ደስታ ተክለ ወልድ to the meaning of the word “ደመረ” where he derived “መ[ድ]ደመር”. He says the word “ደመረ” in both dictionaries means “ሰበሰበ፣ አከማቸ፣ አንድ ላይ አደረገ፣ ባንድነት አቆመ፣ ጠመጠመ”. Then, he explains (page 36) what “Meddemer” is.

            “መ[ድ]ደመር ማለት፡-…ሀገራችን ባለፉት ዓመታት ያስመዘገበችቻውን የፖለቲካና የኢኮኖሚ ድሎች ጠብቆ ማስፋት፣ የተሠሩ ስሕተቶችን ማረም እንዲሁም የመጻዒውን ትውልድ ጥቅምና ፍላጎት ማሳካት ነው፡፡ በመሆኑም መ[ድ]ደመር ከችግር ትንተና አንጻር ሀገር በቀል ነው፡፡ ከመፍትሄ ፍለጋ አንጻር ደግሞ ከሀገር ውስጥም፣ ከውጭም ትምህርት በመውሰድ የተቀመረ ነው፡፡”

            Under the sub-title “የመ[ድ]ደመር መሠረታዊያን” [the basics of “meddemer”] (page 43), he further explains:

            “ልዩነቶቻችንን ተሻግረን ዐቅማችንን ለማካበትና ከብቸኝነት [isolation] ጉደለት ለመውጣት የጋራ ግብ ማስቀመጥ እና ከብቸኝነት ጉደለት ለመውጣት ተነሣሽነትን ማሳየት አስፈላጊዎች ናቸው፡፡ እነዚህን ሁለት ጉዳዮች የመ[ድ]ደመር መሠረታዊያን ብለን ልንጠራቸው እንችላለን፡፡”

            Finally, he concludes the meaning of “meddemer” by putting its values under the sub title “የመ[ድ]ደመር ዕሴቶች” (pages 47-48), and he says:

            “ከመ[ድ]ደመር ዕሴቶች መካከል አንዱ ‹ሀገራዊ አንድነት› ነው፡፡…ሌላኛው የመ[ድ]ደመር ዕሴት ‹የዜጎች ክብር› ነው፡፡ …ከሌሎቹ ዕሴቶች ጋር እጅግ የተሳሰረው ሌላው የመ[ድ]ደመር ዕሴት ብልጽግና ነው፡፡”

            So, what is unique and philosophical about the above narration of “Meddemer” ? Well nothing and that is what “Meddemer” is! The book is 280 pages and 16 chapters and of which almost only one chapter, “የመ[ድ]ደመር ብያኔ”, with 12 pages is dealing with his concept “meddemer”. Why he gave the title “መ[ድ]ደመር” to his book is really confusing. Most chapters are dealing with the analysis of the challenges of major policy issues of the country. Most analysis and policy directions either you will find in Meles’s “ኢትዮጵያ – የህዳሴ ጉዞ” book or EPRDF’s December 2017 “የጥልቅ ተሃድሶ ግምገማ”.

            What is new is his analysis regarding the behavioral and cultural challenges of our society in perusing peace, democracy and development for the country.

            In conclusion:
            1. What he speaks, what he acts and what he wrote are contrary.
            2. There are no clear set of mechanisms he forwarded through out the book for the main policy challenges except what is already put in previous years by EPRDF. One may pose the question “and then?!” at the end of every chapter for he/she is alluded to expect a new vision by the fanfare of “meddemer”.
            3.The way he formed the Prosperity Party and the talk he talk about peace and reconciliation in his book are diametrically opposite.
            4.PP will not maintain the statuesque of the existing federal order for there are no ethnic group rather it is ethnic individuals in the party. Individuals will be represented based on the size of their population, the larger the population number the larger their vote in the party. It is not a marriage of equals! But, does the regional states of the country looks like wanting the existing federal order to vanish? Does the reality on the ground show this fact? OR PP is wishing like its “Unity” supporters? Time will tell!
            5. At the end of his book, Dr Abiy puts his readings as reference and as a major player of recent Ethiopian politics and economics, I am surprised Meles was not in his list. Really!?

          • Paulos

            Selam Admassie,

            Many thanks for the summary. I admire your patience and you took time to read a book authored by a guy incredibly difficult to take him serious but to be fair to him, he would do well on the pulpit instead.

            As Karl Marx [Or is it Carl Marc as Abiy referred him as such when he promoted his “Mededemer” book 😂] famously put it, “Philosophers may have interpreted the world, the point is however to change it.” Obviously Abiy philosopher that he is not much less of original thinker, there are far more pressing issues he needs to redress and tackle head on instead of deluding himself as you have aptly put it, inflating his own tiny self into a giant political stature.

            Millions are displaced, the economy is in a fast downward spiral and crime is rampant pretty much through out the nation but al’a King Haileselassie in his final years, Abiy is busy promoting himself in the world stage perhaps to live up the mandate given to him by the sworn enemies of the nation including Isaias the menace among others.

            Of the Prosperity Party, it is legally and politically paralyzed on arrival. Illegal, because it is not yet recognized as a party with in the Electoral Board and it’s members can not be a member of a still governing party simultaneously–EPRDF. EPRDF can not dissolve itself on a spur of the moment so to speak for there are party disciplines the members have to follow where only the Congress is mandated to do so and yet, neither of the member-parties have so far done so.

            Politically, Ethiopia is a nation of ethnic groups not of citizens, as such the new party’s talking points do not reflect the reality on the ground where again the core of the Constitution is based on unless otherwise Abiy intends to radically alter it where Ethnic Based Federalism loses any meaning. And of course, where the nation currently at is–a showdown between Unitarians pretending to be for Ethnic Based Federalism and authentic Federalists. And as they say, time is the hidden factor and we shall see. One only hopes good comes out of the incredibly tense political situation.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam admassie a
            1st there is no confusion on the meaning of “meddemer”, in meddemer book context it means one out of many .
            2nd. “Meddemer” is all about nation building. Nation building is constructing or structuring national identity, including the creation of national paraphernalia, such as national days , anthems, flags , languages , etc. as u know, now days there is no agreement on those things in ethiopia, thanks to u.
            3rd, with out nation building, no country remains politically stable and viable in the long run.
            4th, the last 27 years there was no nationa building in ethiopia, instead the nation was dismantled, thanks to u again.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Admassie,

            Very persuasive argument from one who read the book. Thank you for the excerpts you quoted from the book as to what medemer it means from the author’s writing himself. I listened his speech on the so called philosophy of medemer (which isn’t philosophy in my view), for which it means “integrity” according him, has failed to distinguish it from the philosophical terms out there in the political philosophy.

            Second, Dr Paulos’ s argument goes in to the heart of your constitution that Ethiopia is built not as a collection of “individuals” but as collection of “cultural social groups” specifically identified as “nations, nationalities, peoples” in the document itself – considered as the building blocks of modern Ethiopia. The entities are not the individuals but the linguistic social groups that formed Ethiopia as depicted in your constitutional document.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam aman h
            The constitution acknowledge both individual citizen rights and social groups(ethnicities) rights.
            the constitution said ethnics of ethiopia will build one social, poltical and economical society by the will of the people.
            according to the constitution all citizens regardless of ethnicity have equal right in every corners(kilil) of ethiopia.
            Read the constitution.

          • Paulos

            Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

            As remnants of the Dergue regime particularly in this Forum insinuate, TPLF is a liability to Ethiopia if not an enemy to the Tigrean people. This is obviously the cardinal and tactical flaw in Abiy’s mind set which is costing him politically where the more he badmouths TPLF in the company of politically clueless people as in Birhanu Nega and blood enemies as in Isaias the menace, the more the Tigrean people are united in unison with TPLF.

            TPLF is extremely popular in Tigrai more than ever and again this was due to stupid*ty of Abiy when he handed them a politically resurrecting gift on a silver platter when he first came to power as he tried to isolate them from the Tigrean people by colluding with Isaias in a broad daylight. I can not emphasize enough how stup*d this move was!

            What’s more, what they fail to realize is that, TPLF with all its blunders and neglect of the Tigrean people particularly with in the last 20 years when the leaders including Meles spoilt the Amhara and Oromos with perks and all with in the guise of political expediency, TPLF owns historical legitimacy nonetheless, when it restored the Tigrean dignity and national pride that had been completely destroyed for almost a century [1889 to 1991] since the death of Emperor Yohannes IV in Mettema. More over, TPLF is the son and daughter of every Tigrean and obviously the historical and political capital is too big to fail so to speak.

          • bardavidi

            HI..Paulos… Good Observation on your assesment of Tigray and TPLF………They are unbelievably popular in their Region and the Neighboring Amhara region as well………Mainly due to their Pride of Nationality, the Economic-Developments they Led and Higher-Education Institutions they Put in place………They have put themselves in a very strong and Advanced position in comparison to others……….Democracy is the only path that leads to Progress and that is why they Challenge Regionalism at its Core………..Selah

          • mokie berhe

            Salam bardavidi. You are asserting that the TPLF is unbelievably popular in Amhara region? LOL. Yeah right buddy…

          • bardavidi

            Yes…So…Most of the Amhara leaders as well are within their Sphere of Thought due to the Severe Persecution they are Facing in the South and East of the Federation……..Eventually, They will be forced to Allign with Tigray themselves for the Sake of survival……….Lately they have been gradually decreasing their participation in the Federal system and Concentrating on the growth of their Territory just like their Neighbors…………Selah

          • Admassie

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            What is sad is, a country is shaken and divided based on false and exaggerated premises and perceptions. Elites, including the PM, continue to push the narration of grand corruption, power domination, human right violation, etc are attributed to one group and by extension to one ethnic group.

            They reason the cause of all ailments of the country to ethnic federation and the constitution and again they tell that is also happened because of the decision of one group.

            According to these obsessed haters, large projects such as GERD, MeTeC, Sugar Factories, railways etc are designed and implemented to milking and benefiting individuals coming from the same group they continue to hate dearly. What else is not attributed!?

            However, the fact of the matter is:

            1. So far with all the PM and his supporters bad mouthing and exaggeration of the grand corruption on large projects, the PM has not produced a single audited report regarding the exact amount of loss; the amount of embezzlement; who attributed to the loss and embezzlement and who are accounted for it (except the one who are politically selected). By his own admission on his “meddemer” book, it is not only corruption that fails the completion of projects on schedule, as it is always propagated, but poor capacity and lack of strong commitment are also the other factors. He says (p 178), ” …በሀገራችን የልማት ፕሮጀክቶች ላይ ያጋጠሙ ተግዳሮቶችና ድክመቶች እንደየ ፕሮጅክቶቹ ዓይነት የሚለያዩ ቢሆኑም፤ በአጠቃላይ ሲታዩ ግን አብዛኛዎቹ ደካማ ከሆነ የማስፈጸም ዐቅም፣ ከመንግሥት በኩል ጠንካራና ቆራጥ ያልሆነ ክትትል እና ከሌብነት መንሠራፋት ጋር የተያያዙ ናቸው፡፡” So, instead of putting things in context, as he has put in his book, the PM used the corruption issue as a political weapon to attack and isolate the political group that he and the “unity” elites hate, as if no other group and people are part of the projects. The smearing and political isolation of one group is still continuing, though how much untruth they are.

            2. So far the PM and his group have not shown the courage to talk clearly and openly what was the exact failure of EPRDF and what was the role of the individual parties and their members in the crisis we are in since its starting. They have not made any fact finding report which helps us understand the crisis and who is accountable for. Instead they always talk lumping things and pointing to የፈረደበት TPLF.

            3. We all wish to have a united, stable and strong Ethiopia. Because, it is our land, our identity, our culture and our memory. There is no one who does not feel so and there is no one who feels more than what the others feel. Therefore, it is not ethnic federalism or the constitution that dived us or endanger the unity of Ethiopia, it is the denial if the very right of self administering of ethnics that puts the country in danger. Recognition of right should be celebrated. The PM puts the following in his “meddemer” book (p 85), “…መዋቅር በቡድኖች ላይ የሚደርሰውን ጭቆና ለመከላከል ቡድኖችን ማጥፋት ወይንም ማዳከም መፍትሄ ነው የሚል አመለካከት አለ፡፡…[ይህም] የሰው ልጆች አድማሰ ጠባብ አደረጃጀቶች በአጭር ጊዜ ውስጥ እየጠፉ ይሄዳሉ ፤ በምትካቸውም ሲቪክ ኅብረተሰብ እየተተካ ይመጣል ብሎ ታሳቢ የሚያደርግ ነው፡፡ የሰው ልጆች ጉዞ ከአድማስ ጠባብ ማህበረሰብነት ወደ ሲቪክ ኅብረተሰብነት የሚሄድ ነው የሚለው ይህ አስተሳሰብ፤ አሁን ከምንመለከተው ነባራዊ እውነታ ጋር የሚሄድ አይደለም፡፡“ This is the reality of Ethiopia now and TPLF and others are also saying so. Unfortunately the PM and his supporters are not true to his own analysis. They want us the opposite in the name of “unity”.

            4. Finally, in light of the above examples, the PM is not a person of democracy, peace and reconciliation as he is projecting himself as one; rather he is a one who chews on both checks!

    • mokie berhe

      Salam Horizon. None of those relentlessly attacking PMAA before dared to raise a scintilla of criticism against TPLF during their 27 years of economic rape, brutality and gross exploitation of non-Tigrayan ethnic groups. Instead, they chose to glorify the TPLF for whom they received financial and military support from. And still, they remain completely silent regarding the TPLF’s continued criminal wrongdoings. Just look at what these are saying and then look at the comments and articles at Tigrai online. The old Eritrean opposition groups which benefited (many still do!) from the TPLF simply cannot be distinguished from the TPLF. Nobody trusts them, most see them as traitors, and they have largely divided and destroyed PIA/PFDJ opposition efforts. They are a shamed lot that has not place in future Eritrean politics, and that is simply something that they appear unwilling to either accept or live with.

  • sara

    Dear awates…eritreans, specially those on the know…. i wish you respond to the writer of this article on this link.


  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear awatistas,

    I read this link from our own Saay in his FB. I found it to be valuable for us in this forum, in order to contemplate about our actions and our silence. The piece explains the speech made by Elie Wiesel “the messenger of mankind”, at Oslo, when he was receiving his noble peace prize in 1986. It reminds us about the act of inhumanity in our world including on our own people. Enjoy reading.

    • Paulos

      Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

      Many thanks for the link. I remember reading “Night” twenty years ago and was rather left with a deep sense of anguish as the author challenges the reader if God takes “time off” for there is no any other rationale to comprehend when men turn into evil beings.

      What is remarkable is that, Elie Wiesel, a man of incredible moral courage elected to embrace life instead of being wrapped up in a self defeat. And that was precisely for that reason, he became a beacon of hope and a testament to those who would face despair under tyranny or personal misfortune. Moreover, in the company of Albert Camus and Linus Pauling–truly giants in their own right, he won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize before it lost its luster when charlatans like Abiy Ahmed degraded its novelty. What a travesty!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Dr Paulos,

        Indeed Elie Wiesel “won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize before it lost its luster.” Elie Wiesel wrote the “night” and Abiy wrote the “medemer”. While the former is about the “silence of humankind” and the later is about “politics and power politics” that propelled him to power. Indeed it is a travesty to put them in the same league by giving the same prestigious award.

      • iSem

        Hi Emma and Paolo”

        “And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive,
        that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we
        forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.”
        If those of us who forget are accomplices, what about those who want to us to forget, those who lend helping hand in the erasure, those who are the errands men and women to deliver the tools of erasure, we have them plenty in this very forum, this August forum conceived and managed by August people.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Dr. Paulos, Aman and the rest,

        Comparison of Elie Wiesel and Abiy throws light on decadence of goodness making place for “civilization” of material greed and arrogance of power. Nobel Prize was meant to celebrate goodness through peace, but ended up as bargaining chip for making maximum gain at the expense of decent human value which peace is supposed to ensure.

        • Paulos

          Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

          Well said! As you know, classical thinkers tell us that, it is better for a leader to be feared than loved and in the beginning when Abiy Ahmed rode the mantle of power, he stole almost everyone’s heart to the extent of taking him for a messenger from the heavens but two years fast forward, he is neither feared nor loved, people take him for a clown if not down right scammer instead. This is not a hyperbole but it is what one hears in Addis particularly if you talk to Taxi drivers or Ride [It is similar to Uber company.]

          And now the travesty is beyond pale when he is given the otherwise prestigious Peace Prize when the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia is in a lockdown, millions of Ethiopians are displaced and crime is rampant throughout Ethiopia where people are not safe at all particularly at night. When this is the dire reality, if this guy had an iota of honesty in him, he should have addressed the said sticking issues and offer to give up the monies that comes with the Prize either to charity or to rehabilitate the displaced people but a scammer is always a scammer!

  • bardavidi

    I have seen a lot of negative Criticisim by Eritreans flowing to the Ethiopian PM and his other opposing group Woyane……….Lets get to the main Issue………The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded for one purpose and that is Peace……….The PM earned that by releasing prisoners,Inviting opponents to engaging in the Election system and Negotiating Temp.Peace with a Tyrant,,,,,,,,,,,,,Neither the Ethiopian PM nor Woyane has any obligation or a legal Jurisdiction to represent Eritreans………They are both working in Good Faith and Humanitarian gesture, encouraging Education and Stability for Eritrean Immigrants and displaced Eritrean persons by Aiding actively in their Turf…………. There is so much they can be expected to do when a Dictator is working against them from the other End………Let us be positive and neighbor friendly untill we solve our own problem……..After all, We created our own misery and need to remove him ourselves………..Selah

  • Paulos

    G. Morning My Good People,

    Abiy Ahmed”s speech was fine and dandy. The question is, did he dupe the Noble committee and the Ethiopian people when he pitched altruism and the Sermon on the mountain? I believe he did! Simply because the facts on the ground reflect otherwise.

    The other day, when he gathered Tigrean wealthy traders or businessmen in Addis in a bid to leverage the Weyane leaders to join the newly formed party [P.P.], he badmouthed Isaias when he said to them that Isaias is like a six months old infant who seeks constant attention and throws tantrums if he [Abiy] doesn’t talk to him over the phone twice a day. But two tongued person that he is, he praised Isaias all the way to the moon and back.

    More over, there is no peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia so to speak, what we have is political alliance between two individuals–Isaias and Abiy where the former is determined to his last breath to destroy a part and parcel of Ethiopia [Tigrai] where the latter is supposedly a P.M. If this is not a day light scam, not sure what is!

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Paulos,

      Good to see you back. I agree to what you said, except when you wrote “-Isaias and Abiy where the former is determined to his last breath to destroy a part and parcel of Ethiopia [Tigrai] where the latter is supposedly a P.M. If this is not a day light scam, not sure what is!”.

      IA may be want to destroy TPLF but never Tigray. I believe what Abiy said about IA wanting to visit Mekele and be with his people he loved.

      Ethiopia is his only occupation…and lately I have been reading the building that is being build in Asmara? Who do you think that will be for? I think he wanted to populate Eritrea with Ethiopians and over time they will take over, while Eritrean are being exiled.

      For Abiy no matter how many gaffes and mistakes he is making, if he managed to return Eritrea or some part of the sea access, no Ethiopian will ever be upset with him.

      And from political maneuvering point of view, I think having a single party that represent the whole country made up of people from all the region is a good political calculation. This may upset some hardcore Oromo and Tigray elite but it will serve the country better in the long run..and to counter that, another nationalist parties will soon emerge because it will be foolish not to do so. And soon Tigrayans, they will reliaze their future is better if they stay within Ethiopia and they will ditch TPLF and support any other Tigray party that is alligned with the Abiy or who ever gets to win the next election,

      It’s really madness the route TPLF wants to take the Tigray people i.e. to separation and build a new country, instead of building their economy and become a hub for something ….


      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Berhe,

        What I know about this evil man is, that he hate Eritreans more than the Tigray people. He is destroying the Eritrean social fabric in general and the Eritrean families in particular. TPLF as an organization, whether we like it or not, will be either in Tigray or Ethiopia for a long run, however the Tigray people determine their own fate. There is no an organization that defend the interest of Tigray people other than the TPLF, for now and for the foreseeable future. That is truth on the ground. Abiy can not solve the conflict of Ethiopia and Eritrea peacefully without them in the loop, if he is worthy for the accolades he received from the Noble peace prize committee. Who predicted Aung San Suu of Mynamar (Burma) will be a genocide leader after winning the noble peace prize? No one, The Tigray people are aware about it, especially, when a pastor admired the devil who devour his subjects including his enablers. A colleague of mine characterized Abiy as a “leader who confuse hope with reality”. And he is right to say that when Abiy expect the despot to be a full fledged peace partner.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Emma,

          I don’t agree with you. But honestly I really do not care much about TPLF and their politics. Honestly I don’t they will ever be a good partner for Eritrea even if the dictator is removed.

          I feel like they are playing with everyone and they are trying with what ever direction to create confusion, here distraction there.

          There is no principled and honest long term strategic plan that serve both people.

          In other words, I don’t think they can let go the loss of power in Ethiopia and manage to live with the current realities.

          Will that be good for the best if the Tigray people ? I don’t think so, they are creating long term consequences that will be hard to overcome.


        • Kokhob Selam

          Yes Amuni..

          “Who can predicted Aung San Suu of Mynamar (Burma) will be a genocide leader after winning the noble peace prize? No one.”

          Sure, who know what is going to happen?

          It may go to the opposite side soon, Problems are growing all over Ethiopia– just to see from the inside out-. Eritrean case is huge problem..We don’t Allow this fabricated peace to happen. We want to see justice to govern both nations and then see if we can do it..we both peoples don’t have objection to materialize..


        • Peace!

          Hi Emma

          I wish I can agree with you. Is there a tangible contribution TPLF has made to your cause and to your beloved country in the last 28 years you would like to share to support your position that they deserve a shared Nobel prize? You had a powerful TPLF that deported Eritreans because it didn’t like the color of their eyes, you had a powerful TPLF that divided Eritrean Oppositions to the extent they became practically dysfunctional, you had a powerful TPLF that tried to revise Eritrean colonial history, you had a powerful TPLF that showed zero interest for stable and Democratic Eritrea for decades; and now, you have a thuggish TPLF instigating vicious divisions to drag Eritreans into its quagmire and you have a confused TPLF begging Issayas to drive to Tigray, not to fly, in case he wishes to visit them. I mean what happen to the cause and principles? It is a proven fact that TPLF’s policies has saved PFDJ, and more importantly, its long term strategy has not showed any sign of compatibility with a stable and democratic Eritrea as a neighbor; moreover, its elites, its cadres, and its generals are now deployed to support Agazian/TigrayTirigni, a delusional group that do not mind seeing half of Eritrean population terrorized for looted money. For give me I am just trying to reconcile the vision we all have for our country with the notion that change is delayed because the seating dictator is a psychopath.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Peace,

            Good to see you back.

            Peace, which part of my comment gave you the impression that TPLF should deserve to share the noble prize? In fact what my comment is alluding to, that in order his award to be worth to his meaning and to bring peace with his neighbors, he must bring peace within his own domestic social forces before hand.

            Second, Abiy got his award as a leader of EPRDF the ruling party in Ethiopia. If it is so, how one could argue that he should share the award with TPLF. It is an absurd to say the least. The core of my argument was Issayas can not be a partner to Abiy for peace for they have different value in their personalities. Peace can not come through conspiracy. If Abiy is part of the conspiracy of Issayas, then Abiy is not worth for the award. It will be a sham award like that of Aung San Suu.

            The rest of you argument, I have answered you in our heated debate in the past. If you are for real peace and to see the resolution of the border crises it won’t happen without the engagement of TPLF and the Tigray people. You have to come in to terms with this premises. Otherwise, Peace and hate are antagonist in nature and we can not have them both at the same time.


      • Selam Berhe Y,

        I do not know if you have watched PM Abiy’s speech, i think at the dinner given in his honor by the President for the occasion. He brought the example of Norway and Sweden, two countries that had problems in the past and have managed their differences, and how they have created integrated economy and politics between the two countries that helped them to exist in harmony and in prosperity. He said, while Alfred Nobel was a swedish citizen and the prize money belongs to Sweden, nevertheless, the nobel prize is awarded by Norway. He asked, why couldn’t a similar thing, integration of the economy and politics could not happen between ethiopia and her neighbors eritrea, djibouti, and others.

        I don’t think that eritrea will be populated by ethiopians and they will take over eritrea. If it were not for the military, civilian ethiopians were very few even during the years of union, let alone now and in the future. Eritreans will continue to move to ethiopia as they did in the past and as they are doing right now, without reciprocation from the ethiopian side.

        The thing i really fail to understand is the continued fear that ethiopia may take back eritrea after three decades of independence. Abiy’s problem is the economy and how to make it function and bear fruits, and not another problem with eritrea, which will destroy his economic dreams he has for the coming decade if he remains the pm. I think this should be understood. Now, if the issue is about working together, it doesn’t matter if it is eritrea, djibouti, south sudan or any other country. Ethiopia is ready to cooperate with any country to serve their mutual interests. Some eritreans were afraid that ethiopia might come to assab. Nevertheless, she has chosen djibouti, and this must mean something, despite the friendship between the two leaders.

        • Saleh Johar

          By now you should know the real problem with Ethiopia.
          In some aspects, Ethiopia is still not freed from its prejudices. It doesn’t see one block of Eritreans but is selective on who it thinks is its partner in peace and coexistence. You cannot see Eritrea in parts and wish to have peace with it. Ethiopians also need to have to shed off with their obsession with the Red Sea–it just doesn’t bode well for a peace gesture. Importantly, Eritrea should not be discounted to Isaias and its minions. Finally, courageous Ethiopians should lead the way to a true reconciliation. Simply there is a lot of issues that is being pushed under the rug. Let’s take the rug out and see what is in there. I think that will do for a start.

          • Selam SJG,

            We can’t change the past and we can’t erase the future, may be a fact we habesha people should accept at last. Sometimes it looks as if the only solution seems to be building a tall wall between the two countries, as somebody had said in the past. When should Eritrea come out of isolation and work with others? In my opinion Eritrea could change only from inside. This dream will come true only if they see a light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise, they will be forced to accept the present situation as their fate they can’t escape, unless they run away, as they have been doing for so long with no end to it. IA is isolating Eritrea and some Eritreans are helping in this isolation by being suspicious about everything Ethiopian. Unfortunately, the country next door is Ethiopia with whom she can do business first and foremost. If it is the economy and the population size that is creating the suspicion on top of other things, Eritrea should find a way to exploit it and not reject it, because she can’t avoid living next to a bigger country.
            Eritrean refugees, men and women, are already doing business in ethiopia and they are succeeding. An example is an eritrean woman who is producing the tradition habesha women’s dress and selling it outside the country, and creating jobs for other refugees as well. The pull factor because of the possible opportunities Ethiopia is giving is big. Is it right to fight it instead of making the best out of it? Eritrea as a small country, who ever she deals with, she will not feel secure, but this doesn’t mean that she will not deal with anybody.
            If when we talk of the other Eritrea, it is Moslem Eritrea we have in mind, there are more than 30 million Muslim Ethiopians, and ethiopia is no more a Christian country as she was called in the past, she is a secular country and religions, especially the two main religions are equal. Therefore, i see no reason why part of the eritrean population should feel left out as much as relations with ethiopia is concerned.
            The past shouldn’t dictate the present and the future. Nobody knows about the future and how it will show up, but we can’t discard the present and we should use every little opportunity that may come our way. If we wait for the big thing, we don’t know when it will arrive.
            Finally, different people see differently when they speak of true reconciliation. If i say what PM Abiy is doing could be seen as the beginning of true reconciliation, i will be told that it is between the two leaders. Nevertheless, it should start somewhere and somehow. Unless somebody puts the bar at a lower level, no reconciliation and no improvement of relations is going to come in the near future.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Horizon,

          There is nothing wrong having peaceful cooperation that serve both countries and the region. I don’t believe there is a single Eritrean who is against that.

          The example of Sweden / Norway is good but Eritrea is not represented by elected president and legitimate government.

          What ever deal Abi is making today will not be final and binding if there is no parliament to endorse it.

          Abi says a lot of things, last time he said “there is nobody leaving Ethiopia (meaning separate) and we are trying to bring those who left back”.

          As to Ethiopians moving to Eritrea, I don’t think that’s a problem. But there was time, thousands of Ethiopians use to come to Eritrea for opportunities and the same to Ethiopia.

          But the last thirty years has been completely one way and during the Derg, it was also one way for the most part.

          My comments were, generally what does IA have a plan?


      • Paulos

        Selam Berhe,

        Thank you much for the welcome. And my apologies for the belated reply for I was busy at work.

        Before I delve into the issue at hand, I like to touch over a couple of points in the area of Medicine particularly the clinicals so that it can help us illustrate a key point as we address the political challenges Ethiopia is facing right now and what could be done about it.

        Suppose, a patient comes to you, say, complaining about chest pain, as a competent Physician, you would employ something called “Differential Diagnosis” to help you reach the exact diagnosis so that the next step would be on how to treat the case the patient is presenting with. For instance, how would you know if the pain is due to reflux or to use the medical jargon—Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease or Pneumonia or a Heart Attack or Costochondritis [pain related to the muscles in the chest]? The said cases present more or less with similar pain. Therefore, to rule out one from the other, you take a detailed history of the patient, if he had lifted heavy objects recently or if he has a history of high blood pressure or diabetes for that matter to rule in either Costochondritis or Myocardial Infarction [Heart Attack], for instance. Again, the key word here is taking detailed history. Understanding history helps you not only to reach a clear diagnosis but to treat the patient correctly as well.

        Enter Ethiopia: What of Ethiopia? Serious authorities on the history of Ethiopia tell us that, the present day Ethiopia came in to effect in 1906 when Emperor Menilik let up his expansion into the vast and fertile regions of the South, South-East and South-West of present day Ethiopia. Prior to that, the regions were autonomous Principalities, Fiefdoms or Kingdoms as the latter was the case with Wolayta for instance where Minilik himself participated in the invasion as it was the worst battle and bloodshed in the history of Ethiopia—close to 100,000 Welaytans were brutally massacred!

        More over, prior to 1906, Ethiopia was only two-third of its present size which started in the Axumite Kingdom that later disappeared into oblivion till the rise of the Zagwes and latter on the rise of the Solomonic dynasty which traces its legitimacy through a myth otherwise known as ክብረ-ነገስት which ended in 1974 with the fall of King Haileselassie. In between however, the Solomonic dynasty got severely weakened when Mohamed Ibn “Gragne” from Ifat present day Harrar almost destroyed the highlands of Ethiopia in the early years of the 16th century that lasted for almost thirty years. In the meantime, war ravaged highlands of Ethiopia in the said century created an ample opportunity for the Oromos to move further North in to the highlands otherwise known as “The Great Oromo Migration.”

        What’s more, not only they became the new players with in the political dynamics but Oromifa became the lingua franca with in the imperial courts as well. It was this resentment that gave serious incentive particularly to Menilik among others to invade the South in a bid to restore the weakened Solomonic dynasty including to share the booty of the fertile lands as well—[Interestingly enough, as Nietzsche put it, history is circular where the new ኣሃዳዊ party which is masterminded by the bona fide Amhara Abiy Ahmed is trying to bring back that semblance of the Amhara glory where the twisted rationale has it that, it had been weakened by the Tigreans during the last 28 years or so.]

        It was with in this historical back drop that Ethiopia, a country with over 80 nations and nationalities which came to the fold through brute force and bloodshed claimed to be by charlatan emperors including King Haileselassie as a unitary nation. The false narrative gave a way for ethnic based guerilla Fronts that overthrew a military junta that had taken the mantle of power from the emperor under the banner of populist ያለምንም ደም ኢትዮጵያ ትቅደም and ህብረተ-ሰብኣዊነት as well where it later turned into a Stalinist regime which became one of the reasons for its demise in 1991.

        Now, if we go back to “Differential Diagnosis” and take a detailed history, we learn that, what ailed Ethiopia was the oppression of nations and nationalities that has spanned for over a century by a single Absolutist take that had taken its foundation on a single language [Amharic] and a single nationality and a single mind set and culture as well. It was precisely and rightly so, in the mid 90s, the Ethiopian Constitution was written based on the rights of the over 80 nations and nationalities to use their language in school and media and local governance; to enrich their respective cultures and to be sole owners of their natural resources as well. And it worked! Ethnic Based Federalism worked! Again, precisely because of the historical trends stated on the above. Abiy and his posse on the other hand are trying to reverse it and giving a medication to a wrong diagnosis is a disaster to say the least where if Abiy has a sense of history, the only way forward is Ethnic Based Federalism.

        P.S. I was going to comment on what exactly ‘Revolutionary Democracy” is and why it is the right remedy including “Developmental State” but will pick up on it tomorrow or so, God willing that is.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Paulos,

          Thank you for elaborated respond and for the history lesson. I fail to see (as I have asked Amanuel earlier) how Abiy merging and creating a single party (PP) instead of the coalition (EPRDF) have anything to do to tamper with “Ethnic based Federation” or “revolutionary Democracy”.

          I am not necessary favoring the single party or not but I am not sure the counter argument that’s being made is really based on a fact or there is truth to it. It seems to me, those who oppose to the formation / merging of the single party, are making assumptions what this single party would entail, which is going back to the Emperor days. That may be legitimate concern but I don’t think, it’s good to make such an argument without facts.

          Is there anything that is on the PP agenda that suggests that. I understand people such as Lema Megersa (who did not support because of his principle stand that, such as what the mandate he got from the people of Oromo was not, and I understand TPLF wants to not to support the merger because it puts at a disadvantage in it’s political power it enjoyed) but I still don’t understand where all the other counter arguments are coming from.

          Off course if PP have the majority, they will have the power to change a lot of things, as was given to them by the people (including breaking their promise, as most politicians end up doing) but that’s the price one pays for having democracy and the people have th power to remove the party that didn’t upheld their wish in the next time around. It happens every where…that’s the ugly side of democracy but as long as there are credible independent courts, independent credible media, the government should be held accountable by the citizens.

          I think having a strong united party (made up of all people from all parts of the country) is a positive thing in the long run. And this will create another strong opposition party and another where the parties will unite/ merge for their own selfish reason. I think then division based on ideology, vision, etc will come to play and people forget to support or oppose parties based on ethnicity or religion etc. and strong nationalism will emerge.

          I think Abiy is making a huge mistake and taking a lot of risk by introducing too many changes instead of getting to power legally and implement his plans slowly and practically. I also think he is much showman person and as suppose to guided by principle. This I think will be a huge risk for the future of the country because he could easily lead the country to chaos if there is no much economic progress which makes the lives of the people better. And his inviting the IMF, world bank and selling key assets would make the problem worst in the long term.

          As to the way modern Ethiopia has become to exist, I don’t think it’s much different than most countries in the world. With all the problems the country has endured, I think it could have achieved a lot of great things if those in power had managed to transition to democratic institutions and principle stand that benefits the country. I don’t think the country is any different than most other countries of it’s size, Nigeria, India, Brazil, etc…if there is an problem for Amharic being a national language, there is no reason why it can change if the people wish for it. But that’s a constitutional issue and country issue and is not a reason to unite or break a’s a process that they need to work it out. Even TPLF when it was the dominant party in Ethiopia, they didn’t bother to mess with Amharic being a national language, which I think was a good idea in order to move the country forward.


    • mokie berhe

      Salam Paulos. How would you know that Abiy ‘gathered Tigrean wealthy traders or businessmen in Addis in a bid to leverage the Weyane leaders to join the newly formed party [P.P.], he badmouthed Isaias when he said to them that Isaias is like a six months old infant who seeks constant attention and throws tantrums if he [Abiy] doesn’t talk to him over the phone twice a day. But two tongued person that he is, in his speech during the Nobel ceremony, he praised Isaias all the way to the moon and back.’ ?????

  • Saleh Johar

    Hi Paulos,
    I just checked and true, your comment was quarantined because it had xxHomoxx, a term not allowed in disqus. Comments with such words are held until manually checked by a moderator, which depends on time. It’s now freed 🙂 Try not to use any suspect words.

    • Paulos

      Thanks much Sir!

  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. Below is from EP:

    TPLF Demonstrated Against Laureate Abiy

    10 Dec 2019 – (EP) Dozens of TPLF supporters (pictured) marched to the Norwegian Parliament building in Oslo ahead of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy’s lecture to protest the Nobel Committee’s decision to award him the prize.

    Dedebit supporters have criticised Ethiopia’s only peace laureate during his visit to Oslo, citing the role he played in ending the two-decade dispute with Eritrea.

    Some of the TPLF supporters, living in Norway as Eritreans carried Eritrean flag to demand economic and military sanction on Asmara and asked for Abiy’s friend President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea to be charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the release of the former head of Ethiopia’s corruption-riddled Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) Director-General Brigadier General Ayte Kinfe Dagnew.

    But the Noble Committee and invited guests gave Abiy Ahmed a standing ovation after lecturing the world about his comrade-in-Arms of the Eritrean President, “I accept this award on behalf of my partner and comrade in peace Isaias Afeworki whose goodwill, trust and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries.”

    • Paulos


      Mestyat Bietna was showing a video clip where Eritreans residing in Oslo demonstrating against phony Abiy Ahmed’s charade. And you are telling us that they are indeed Tigreans masquerading as Eritreans. Negadras Gheteb [ነጋድራስ ገጠብ*] and you are merchants of alternative facts where the dividends are heap of lies.

      *According to Harold Marcus, the author of “A History of Modern Ethiopia”, “Negadras” was a title given to merchants or financiers who traded Ivory with caravans in the early 20 century mainly from Southern Ethiopia to the coastal region of present day Eritrea.

      • iSem

        Carro Paulo
        Dr Paul is back and he is more potent
        Welcome back.
        You see things never change. Beraki was a hero, but once he spoke his conscience he is stripped away his contribution of leading battles (courtesy of GeHteb)
        Haile Drue was a hero once he said we have to pay attention to our chief goal for waging the struggle (building democratic Eritea, rule of law) he was treasonous .
        You see, the Bible tells us that every human being has a chance of redemption, but Satan has no chance of redemption.
        So are these types of people. IA can come to his megaphone tomorrow and tell us the Eritrea is part of Ethiopia and the EPLF fight was wrong. I can bet the farm GeHteb will still support him

        To be honest Paul, I am not sure what sends shivers down my body: the eternity of PFDJ rule or sharing Eritrea with such people and all is canonize a man that does not give a hoot to betray them tomorrow.
        We are dealing with people that if IA sells the video depicting the torture of the prisoners they will buy it and try to peddle to us, shamelessly

      • Saleh Johar

        Welcome back–I hope you didn’t consume much Tre Sga 🙂
        I am sure many missed your insightful and incisive comments. I did.
        Again, welcome back

        • Paulos

          Selam Kbur Ayay,

          Thank you so much! To be honest I didn’t eat much out for I had really bad experience with the food when I last visited. I am glad to be back to Awate and here to my city as well for Addis is changing for the worst where crime is rampant among other things. It is not safe at all particularly at night after 9 P.M. Thanks to Abiy Ahmed!

          P.S. Just posted a comment for Semerile and Disqus has it. Thanks again.

      • mokie berhe

        Paulos. You simply go spastic when anything negative is said against the TPLF. I simply copied and pasted an article from EP. I made no comments nor did I draw any conclusions.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam mokie berhe,

      Do you know whether the PM will share the prize money with his partner? Do you think his partner will feel consoled by the PM’s rhetoric? You and me know, how the IA’s ego has been wounded. The PM would do better to watch out because Eritrea’s despot bids for time but never forgets taking revenge.

      • Selam Ismail AA,

        Your question, “Do you know whether the PM will share the prize money with his partner?” is an interesting one. Of course, i do not have in mind that Abiy should share the money with IA, but something else. I think i have heard (can’t be sure) that pm Abiy will use the money to build some schools. Anyway, most probably he will not keep, maybe not all the money for himself. If so, using part of the money to build a school in eritrea as well will not be a bad idea. IA has played a role, whether we like it or not, although not the major role. Nevertheless, it is logical if part of the money is put to some use in eritrea as well.
        We should not be surprised if the hyperactive habesha mind comes with the idea that this may play a role in IA’s legacy, and therefore better avoided.

      • mokie berhe

        Salam Ismael AA. Nobel prize winnings? Why ask? Rather chump change as it is only a poultry US$ 1.1 million. Don’t you really want to ask the TPLF how Azeb Mesfun became Ethiopia’s second richest person at $ 4 billion, and how Berhane Gebrekristos accumulated $ 2 billion, Sebaht Nega $ 2 billion, Seyoum Mefin $ 1.8 billion, Samuel Tafesse $ 1.6 billion, Abay Tsehaye $ 1.5 billion.

        • Berhe Y

          Hi Mokie,

          Can you please share the Forbes link you got this or any other source?


        • Ismail AA

          Selam mokie berhe,
          Source or credibility of your info aside, how do you relate my comment to the persons you mentioned or TPLF?. It is just none of my business as an Eritrean to involve myself in Tigrai or Tigriyan affairs.

          • Paulos

            Selam Kbur Haw Ismail AA,

            This guy is obviously not well. We shouldn’t take him serious.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Dr. Paulos,
            You are quite right. It would be time wasted.Thank you for advice.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Ismail AA. Many thanks for your respect and willingness to engage in open discussion. Unless those in the far left come center a bit, they will be continuing to spend time on a treadmill.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Ismail AA. You say that ‘It is just none of my business as an Eritrean to involve myself in Tigrai or Tigriyan affairs’. Really? Please note that I referenced TPLF and NOT Tigrai or Tigriyan! But it is no problem for you to get involved in Ethiopian affairs? Notwithstanding Eritrea’s harrowing experience with the TPLF over the past 2 decades, TPLF continues to illegally occupy Eritrean land, act in a criminal manner, and is trying to destabilize the Government of a neighboring country (Ethiopia). Regarding the voracity/credibility of actual/numerical numbers being tossed around the net, would you be reluctant to say that Azeb Mesfin and top former/current TPLF members are among Ethiopia’s filthy rich?

        • mokie berhe

          Dear moderator. Defame or insult others? Kindly clarify if this is regarding the TPLF individuals that I mentioned or other.
          Regarding the TPLF extremely wealthy, in that I cannot provide links, one can google the below lines (I have added supporting links):
          Addis Star 10 richest people in Ethiopia
          Dr. Frank Ashall the richest people in Ethiopia
          Ekopa mag who is the richest person in Ethiopia
          Nexttop10 Ethiopia Richest: 2019 Top 10 Richest People in Ethiopia
          Millionairesuccessbusiness meles Zenawi
          Indapaper 7 richest people in Ethiopia 2019
          Victormatara 10 richest people in Ethiopia
          Nazret wikileaks-ethiopia-seeye opens up about effort aamp control over resources by super rich meles and azeb

          Abusing Self-Determination and Democracy: How the TPLF Is Looting Ethiopia

  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. The symbiotic relationship between the TPLF and the diaspora Eritrean opposition continues; this following two decades (1998-2018) wherein the TPLF served as benefactor to ELF spawned (& other) Eritrean opposition movements/organisations (many based in Ethiopia {Tigrai}) to include financial and military support. Immediately -after- PIA accepted the olive branch peace offering from PMAA, the symbiotic relationship between the TPFL and the diaspora Eritrean opposition resurfaced, as both immediately launched an assault on PMAA. Today’s postings at Tigrai online look little different from articles/comments on Eritrean opposition websites, to the extent, that they are practically indistinguishable entities. The TPLF view peace coming from PIA/PMAA as a nail in the coffin of its very existence whilst the diaspora Eritrean opposition view peace coming from a PIA/PMAA as: 1) A basis upon which PIA can extend his duration of power, and 2) An obstacle in their ability to usurp power from PIA/PFDJ. The sad fact is that neither the TPLF nor the diaspora Eritrean opposition wish ANY form of peace between PIA and PMAA to succeed even if it serves to benefit its citizenry.

    • sara

      selam…. very interesting …….. can you explain how this matrix work or will work ?

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Dawitom And All,

    ውሽጣዊ ልውጢ እዩ -ንደገ ዝጸሉ –
    ደጋዊ ግደ እዩ – ተወሳኺ ሓይሉ ::
    ….እንቛቖሖ ‘ ኳ ብውሽጢ እዩ ዝስበር –
    ….ህይወት ንኽህሉ ኣብ ዓለም ክነብር ::

    ‘ምበር :-
    ብደገ ዝተሃርመ ዝተሰብረ ሽፋኑ :-
    ይመውት እዩ ህይወት ኣጉሉ በርዒኑ ::

    ስለ’ዚ —
    ኣብ ውሽጢ ኮይንካ እዩ ድቅኻ ዝፍጠር :-
    ግዜን ቦታን ሓልዩ ኣካልካ ዝተርር ::
    ሙቁት ደገ -ክንክን ምስ ሓልዮት :-
    ዓቢ ግደ ኣለዎ – ንምቅጻል ዕብየት::


  • Kokhob Selam

    ….. ዕርቂ ክሰፍን እዩ ……

    ኣብ ክሊ ሃገርነት : – ዘይዕጸፍ መትከል :-
    ኣብ ክሊ ሓድነት :- ብሰላም ዝምእከል :-
    ቃልስና ንዕብየት :- ብጹፉፍ ምምዕባል :-
    መስተርሆ ውጹዓት :- ባንዴራ ተምበልብል ::

    ባንዴራ ናይ ሓባር :- ሰላም ዝዓሰላ :-
    ሰንደቅና ብጥሙር :- ኩሉ ዘጽልለላ :-
    ክት ህሉ እያ ሃገር :- ሓፋሽ ዝኾርዓላ :-
    ዓሙቕ ምክብባር :- ንፍቅሪ ሓዚላ ::

    ሓፋሸይ ይበገስ:- ዕላምኡ ሰንዩ :-
    ፍቅሪ ‘ውን ትንገስ:- ጽልኢ ሁከት ዓንዩ :-
    ታሪኽ ይተሓደስ :- ዝሓለፈ በልዩ :-
    ዝውረስ ይወረስ : – ጸጽቡቅ ተመምዩ :-
    …… ስውእ ‘ውን ይደበስ : -ዝሓለፎ በኽዩ :-
    ……ንተሓጎስ ደስደስ : -ዕርቂ ክስስን እዩ ::


  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. How can the Eritrean opposition make headway when it is so distrusted? It has before been said that the leaders of the Eritrean opposition are no better than PIA, the only difference is that they are not in a position of authority. While I do not believe this to be entirely true, certainly there is ample cause to distrust the Eritrean opposition as many had before received financial and military support for the TPLF Government, had attended TPLF sponsored Eritrean opposition meetings in Ethiopia, and yet, with the TPLF now a hated and marginalized group on the run, THEY CONTINUE in either refusing to criticize the TPLF or to hold it accountable for ANY wrongful actions. Moreover, they wish to often defend the TPLF, while at the same time they remain best friends with known TPLF sympathizers/conspirators. I just do not get it! If the opposition really wished to gain traction it must be willing to be critical of the TPLF; and distance itself from the TPLF to include cutting ties with known TPLF sympathizers/conspirators. If you continue to be totally unwilling to do this, then there is simply no reason for anyone to trust you. Then you appear to be simply part of an antiquated political (ELF or other {i.e. religious/ethnic)} power struggle game wherein you simply wish to usurp power by any means possible. Hiruy Tedla Bairu once said he believed any political group whose members belonged to the era of the liberation struggle would most likely turn dictatorial. Maybe he was right. So where does that leave everything? If elderly inclined Eritrean opposition groups remain unwilling to change their habits, then they sour the credibility and trust of all youth based diaspora Eritrean opposition efforts.

  • mokie berhe

    Salam all. Why nothing changes in Eritrea? It’s not tribalism but rather the result of two decades of external isolationist strategy against Eritrea and a brutal dictatorial government’s reactionary coping mechanism, in place from before the border war but with exaggerated activeness afterwards, wherein pervasive corruption from within which extends globally has transpired. In any country with an Eritrean Embassy, you will find an -economic section- which has for some 20 years served as a viaduct to quietly channel millions of dollars of State monies into foreign investments which are managed by individuals closely aligned with the PFDJ. Such foreign investments serve to generate income for the State and also serve as an insurance policy for the PFDJ in the event of power collapse from within at home and serve to benefit directly or indirectly a large percentage of Eritrea’s ‘privileged’ population that can ;largely travel without restriction and is not subjected to the same level of human rights abuse and economic vulnerability. Eritrea’s well-known exodus is comprised mainly of those with no connections with the political/corruption machine, leaving a large percentage of those remaining as dubiously connected in some way. At this stage and no different than other dictatorships, the PIA/PFDJ will by hook or crook cling to power for as long as it can, to include continued perpetuation of human rights abuses, while not opening the door a smidgen in terms of meaningful reforms, for such action would threaten the very existence of the regime.

  • said

    Selam Dawit
    Thank you for your well articulated article, I full agree with Amanuel Hidrat opinion .
    I full agree with saay7 in regard his quotation , IA “he has been more marinated in Maoism than Habeshaism so consider that first.” Gheteb respond about Ahbashat culture had some truth to it.
    In his seminal work Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire states: “Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who fail to recognise others as persons – not by those who are oppressed, exploited and unrecognised.”
    There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution”.– Aldous Huxley,

    The Socio-Political, Socio-Economic Situation in Eritrea, to an uninformed observer in my understanding, on appearance bear that the Eritreans continue to indulge in the futile self-defeating Recriminating Gossip reminiscent of the Byzantine Debate right before the imminent fall of Constantinople. Eritrea and the Eritreans, most regrettably, appear to be paying for sins long tolerated culturally , socio-politicaly and socio-economically , challenges that the Eritreans Intelligentsia and IA and chosen few cohort and Eritreans governing elites continued to overlook; never faced up to in a serious, consistent and in a collective fashion persistent and recurring existential challenges as Eritreans kept sweeping these challenges under the carpet, pretending they miraculously would just vanish or somehow self-regulate.
    Put bluntly, however – never maliciously as end of the day I am a caring member of the Eritrean citizenry – The IA Eritrean Regime for decades outplayed the role of a subservient vassal to dubious counterproductive , list of balme are mentioned by many / from Western/US hegemonic Designs to internal enemy ; the regime failed to establish clear and committal rules for equal treatment of citizenry, in distinct bias towards certain ethnicities to the exclusiveness of the other; and, sustenance of absolute rule of IA with continuing absence of genuine political reforms and the establishment of the rule of law and a true representative democracy.

    Eritrea, in its current deep existential predicament continues to play the Ostrich delinquent in the Establishing of a Salvation Plan around a consensual Social Contract to facing up Eritrea’s enduring existential challenges. A Salvation Plan that is creative, daring, bold and forthcoming that is needed .
    We face an absolute dictatorship rule by decree, is inherently lacking in transparency and independent systems of accountability along with whatever ineffective facades of apparent popular representations – continues to beat around the bush with misguiding glazing slogans; shy of addressing and getting to the core of Eritrea’s enduring predicaments. However, in the process, Eritrea s predicaments are only rendered more complex; more challenging and defying easy solution.
    Eritrean absurdity—indeed, truly Eritrean insanity: Eritrean sovereignty states to decide who matters and who doesn’t, what matters and what doesn’t. for IA what doesn’t matter and that the whole Eritrea is in danger it does matter to him. both political and economical collapses are evident to see, the country loses its youth in drove as you mentioned ,what a catastrophe and calamity for the country . This existential perils persist and never being addressed. Can we not look at matters from realty ,for IA he a master of dived and rule , us-vs.-them, perspective? For us , It means deciding not to fear differences of many language, many culture and ethnicity and it means number religious faith . It means realizing that all of us are equal at a Eritrean level and what we have to learn from one another is endless. Yet sadly that Eritrean youth and future generation are leaving the nation, what a future for nation ,what trembling on the brink of extinction and PFDJ political structure we’ve built is incapable of addressing or even acknowledging this. With out vibrant economises and productive society, it is death of a nation .Eritrean Borders will be obsolete . meaning less , Eritrean Nationalism is obsolete; it’s almost being been obsolete, whatever that might mean, and political consciousness seem beyond our collective imagination. But such an evolution it is necessary understand . with short period slowly but surly ,The new nation ,it start revealing itself to all want to see, Eritrea as nation state ,it in an advanced state of political and absolute moral decay from which PFDJ cannot individually extricate themselves.

    Today’s new brand of nihilism is married to the 30 year rule of IA /PFDJ. They feed off each other in an insidious way that neutralizes Eritrean opposition and dissent. When a people are denounced and denied of their inherent value through constant demoralizing language, dispossession from the common value , and alienation from one another they become atomized, and thus fodder for the powerful to use in whatever way they see fit. IA /PFDJ are emblematic of this are used to , of sukines language. His scapegoating of vulnerable Eritrean poor populations, ridicule, threats, and seemingly endless mendacity have the power to reinforce a quality of nihilistic aggressively and systematically and passivity implemented . IA /PFDJ. Are employing hard tactics to chilling effect their policy.
    The Socio-Political, Socio-Economic Situation in Eritrea, to an uninformed observer in my category, Not on appearance bear that the Eritreans continue to indulge in the futile self-defeating Recriminating Gossip reminiscent of the Byzantine Debate right before the imminent fall of Constantinople.Eritrea and the Eritreans, most regrettably, appear to be paying for sins long tolerated culturally , socio-political and socio-economic, challenges that the Eritreans Intelligentsia and IA and chosen few cohort Eritreans governing elites continued to overlook; never faced up to in a serious, consistent and in a collective fashion persistent and recurring existential challenges as Eritreans kept sweeping these challenges under the carpet, pretending they miraculously would just vanish or somehow self-regulate.
    Put bluntly, however – never maliciously as end of the day I am a caring member of the Eritrean citizenry – The IA Eritrean Regime for decades outplayed the role of a subservient vassal to dubious counterproductive , list of balm from Western/US hegemonic Designs to internal enemy ; failed to establish clear and committal rules for equal treatment of citizenry, in distinct bias towards certain ethnicities to the exclusiveness of the other; and, sustenance of absolute rule of IA with continuing absence of genuine political reforms and the establishment of the rule of law and a true representative democracy.
    Eritrea, in its current deep existential predicament continues to play the Ostrich delinquent in the Establishing of a Salvation Plan around a consensual Social Contract to facing up Eritrea’s enduring existential challenges. A Salvation Plan that is creative, daring, bold and forthcoming that is needed .
    Eritrea -, an absolute dictatorship rule by decree, is inherently lacking in transparency and independent systems of accountability along with whatever ineffective facades of apparent popular representations – continues to beat around the bush with misguiding glazing slogans; shy of addressing and getting to the core of Eritrea’s enduring predicaments. However, in the process, Eritrea s predicaments are only rendered more complex; more challenging and defying easy solution.

    I see the PFDJ as Communist Party , IA is reincarnation and manifestation of the KING H.S. and Derge administrative cast that has ruled Eritrea . since Independent its break of unification in 1991, For IA present and contemporary Eritrea is the continuation and development of historical Mama Ethiopia ,It doesn’t represent areal and sudden change and a just is continuation of oppression of an evil government that oppresses its good people. For IA and his die card minion and sellout Unionist are not true nationalist . For IA, Eritrean had similar history like Mama Ethiopia , in which capo di tutti capi IA government and the core people of his supporters are shaping each other to this end . They’re loyal to their Mama Ethiopia . is nothing but a necessary evil. The idea of public trust and subsidiarity that’s fundamental to democracy is unknown to the IA and his die card minion , an intolerant, anti-democratic, unsustainable—can be stopped before it is too late. But it requires that the best of us regain the conviction, Regime are determined to undermine democratic hope, They have attacked the cornerstones of civil society, including the press that is popular only among very small political group in diaspora and special groups of citizens. Regime do not have a sense of common love to hold a country together. IA system is similar to the Sicilian mafia . As a result of these tectonic shifts, what had once been on the furthest fringes of the sellout Unionist has now moved toward the center of PFDJ ,while the true nationalist has been pushed to the margins. IA is well known in using the language of nationalism and particularism. IA speak in the name of imagined majorities that are ethnically and religiously homogeneous. He has increasingly been active creating alliances across border with Mama Ethiopia —in a sustained, coordinated manner with is newly found partner PM AA. In short, the president was surrounded in his own administration, by his cohort and his foreign policy in regard to Ethiopia is well known for years . How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? for more than four decade and still is ,and that for some secret nefarious reason he remained a “Ethiopian puppet. It is hardily and scarcely a “secret”

    • Dawit Mesfin

      Dear Paulos,

      I wish you could present your views in an article format for wider circulation. I am not sure I am in a position to compose an adequate reply to your well-written piece in which you offer a compelling and thought-provoking theme by reconciling philosophical concepts with our day-to-day life.

      By mentioning Paulo Freire you grabbed my attention right away. I studied the theory of Education in Pedagogy of the Oppressed back in the days. Paulo Freire was one of my heroes.

      I can say, in line with Freire’s teachings, the making and remaking of man/woman (through education) is what Isaias fears the most. He knows the oppressed can teach themselves out of oppression if given a chance. And that is where IA comes in – denying opportunities to others to self-assess, self-organise, rise up to make themselves heard. We can think in terms of what is happening to the Orthodox Church of Eritrea today.

      I can see the different dimensions of the regime’s divide and rule policy and how it is trying to reduce the Church to impotency. In order to maintain its political hold the regime exercises deception as its strategy – to hold on to power for power’s sake.

      You wrote: “we never faced up to in a serious, consistent and in a collective fashion persistent and recurring existential challenges as we kept sweeping these challenges under the carpet, pretending they miraculously would just vanish or somehow self-regulate.”

      Yes, we do that. Family break ups are uncommon in our culture; what happens in our family, stays in the family. That does not necessarily mean that abuse was not taking place in our homes, but it does reflect the belief that family privacy was to be valued and protected. I remember the criticism I was receiving sometime ago for criticising the regime – I used to be accused of “washing our dirty laundry in public.”

      You also wrote: “Eritrea, in its current deep existential predicament continues to play the Ostrich delinquent in the Establishing of a Salvation Plan around a consensual Social Contract to facing up Eritrea’s enduring existential challenges.” I find that interesting. However, what I would it find more interesting if you could suggest how Eritrea goes about un-ostriching itself.

      Again, thank you for your comments.

    • Dawit Mesfin

      Sorry for referring to you as Paulos, Said.

  • Paulos

    Selam My Good People,

    Just want to say Selam and miss you all a bunch and more. Will comment more in the coming days or so. God bless!

    • Haile S.

      Selamat Paul,
      Welcome back! You were missed too. We were almost going to forget you:-) 🙂 🙂 ሞት ትረስዕካ!

      • Paulos

        Selam My Dearest Brothers Hailat, Professor A. Hidrat and Mahandsay,

        I miss you all so much and many thanks for the warm welcome. Been away due to personal reasons [has nothing to do with Awate] where one feels the unbearable pangs of withdrawal symptoms but will try to make up for it as I rejoin yours only warm and engaging company. Thanks much again.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dr Paulos,

      Good to see you back. No one could fill your science and philosophy class in your absence.

    • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

      I join Emma & Hailat to welcome you back but in my case, it depends on one condition: the reason for your disappearance is to invent a cure to one obnoxious disease.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Dawit,

    Thank you for coming with this well argued article on the prospect of peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea. From the get go, by deferring the “cause of war” from the peace process, it in itself is not Peace agreement. Despite the Ethiopian PM agreed to implement the Algeris agreement, our despot was interested on the Ethiopian domestic issues and did not histate to defer the border issue -the political instrument he used to hold our people as a hostage. Whatever the ambition of our despot is on the “greater Ethiopia” and his wishes to walk on the streets of Mekele and beyond, to resolve the issue of the bloody boarder war between the two countries is the least he will be worried about. Since he joined the Eritrean Liberation struggle, the man has set his personal ambition and was catering the internal politics to satisfy his ambition – and of course will naturally contradict with the aspirations and the collective wills of the Eritrean people, which can be observed at every twists and turns of our politics.

    In spite of our divided politics or divisive Eritrean attitudes on our politics, what bothers me more than anything is our complacency towards this evil man at the center of Eritrean politics. Every steps he took is to punish our people and to strengthen his power. Do you agree on this bold statement? Myself, I do. The man can not survive in peace time. While the man is making egregious crimes continuously, why are the Eritrean people on an endless hope that the man will change his behavior by the will of the people? For me it is very strange that defies our courage to bring change.


    • Dawit Mesfin

      Selam Amanuel,

      Thank you for your comments.

      You talked about our complacency towards the regime as one of the causes of our problems. I do agree with you but not 100%. We have run various campaigns, and stood up to the regime in every step of the way. In the process we managed to bring the international community to our side. That is quite an extraordinary feat.

      As a result of our campaigns the international community knows who Isaias is. There is no way he can fool them that Eritrea, under his rule, is yearning for peace. What I worry about is whether the international community recognises our resolve as groups of individuals in the opposition camp capable of going the extra mile. I believe walking the extra mile is doable in small steps. We can discuss that some other time.

      You wrote: “Every step he took was, and still is, to punish our people and to strengthen his power. Do you agree on this bold statement?”

      Do I agree with that supposition? Well, I can say that he took advantage of our goodwill.


    • Paulos

      Selam Professor A. Hidrat,

      Glad to see Dawit Mesfin gracing the Forum with his impeccable command of the English language that spans since the Dehai years and your insightful critique adds more intellectual caliber to the otherwise on and off fertile ground of Awate.

      That said, a partial disclosure on my part where one of the reasons I was away was as Laureate Hailat put it ከይተረሳዕኩ ከለኹ, I was in Ethiopia mostly in Addis for almost two weeks.

      And one of the trends I sensed and noticed is that most of the Ethiopians I talked to seem to take Isaias as a man with a strong conviction in the unity of Ethiopia including Eritrea as one family with a common purpose and destiny. This kind of lofty strong perception on their part is not based on an idealist take but again they truly believe that Isaias is a man with second thoughts about Eritrean independence. In the company of Menilik, he is their hero. Isaias’ enemy is not the Weyanes or other bogeymen in his diary but time itself for he wishes he was in his 50s to materialize his life long ambition to reign over as the Ethiopians say it the fiefdom of ኣራት-ኪሎ!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Dr Paulos,

        Good to see you back to your family in particular and to dembe Awate in general.

        Regarding the Ethiopians opinion on DIA, it could be from the signals he gave them during his visit to Addis. In any case, the peace agreement between DIA and Abiy will not go anywhere. What is strange for me is Ethiopians to wish the gruesome hand of Issayas to reign in Ethiopia. It is bizarre to say the least.

        • Selam Amanuel H.,
          I don’t think that there are ethiopians who are serious enough to entertain IA to rule over ethiopia. They know very well that he is no good for eritrea, let alone for ethiopia. Nevertheless, there are some ethiopians who believe that the best way to abort tplf’s conspiracy to destabilize and disintegrate ethiopia is by working with IA, the sworn enemy of woyane. It is simply people who believe in the known proverb, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Horizon. Many in the diaspora Eritrean opposition camp believe that it is a clever strategy to attack, defame and discredit PMAA. This simply shows how detached (a real continental divide) they are from realities inside of Eritrea where PMAA is hugely popular, even by those with intense hate of PIA and the PFDJ.

          • Selam Mokie Berhe,

            I have been watching the video of the acceptance speech of the NPP by pm Abiy. There are certain things which in my opinion will disappoint many eritreans, especially the known and not so well known detractors of the ethiopian pm. I was in doubt myself at first, if it was right that he mentioned the president of eritrea in his speech. Of course, no doubt, the people of eritrea rightfully deserved the prize, which he mentioned as the owners of the prize with the people of ethiopia.

            Nevertheless, on my second thought, pm Abiy afterall could not make peace with himself, but with somebody, and that somebody happens to be IA, the president of eritrea. It takes two to tango. IA may have not walked the walk as much as freedom and democracy for his people are concerned, nevertheless, it is up to IA to bring freedom, democracy and justice for his people and it is up to eritreans to demand for them. Abiy did not say that he will democratize eritrea or bring freedom for eritreans, things that are beyond his capacity, because eritrea is a sovereign country with its own government.

            As much as peace is concerned, for which he received the NPP, the dark clouds of war have not returned to the skies of ethiopia and eritrea, and peace between the two countries still holds, and as he said, the peace between the two people is cemented on firm grounds. I don’t think that the NPP committee judged pm Abiy on what he did for freedom and democracy in eritrea, but for peace between the two countries, which as i mentioned above, is in place as we speak, even if the borders are closed.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Horizon,

            Why should the Eritrean people get disappointed or happy. The issue is about the PM and the quarters who made the decision and spoken through the committee. In their view, he fulfilled requirements on both counts: domestic and external. The key issue for the decision makers is whom and what purpose “peace” serves. The Eritrean people are much smarter than what the PM had in mind when he thought to console them by mentioning his partner. Moreover, thinking that the prize at the present times genuinely serve the purpose for which it had been created would be self-delusion if not unsuspecting innocence.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Sir Ismailo,

            But where are you these days? We miss your balanced and perfect comments.. We all love you Ismailo. Be online always..

            As you know very well, I have mentioned to Horizon that it is impossible to see those two nations materialize this peace agreement. If we Eritreans are not happy with government,Several time in my comment earlier and this PM should only solve the internal problems that Ethiopia is facing..But the man is Horizon is extra love in his nation. That make him give his contentious wrong comment nonstop.


          • Ismail AA

            Dear Kokhob,
            Thank you. I am glad you have recovered. I can tell that from your articulation. Thanks God for that. Further, I am preoccupied by other things these days, which does not give me time to do what I used to do in this forum that I love and consider like home.

          • Haile S.

            ሰላም ኮኸብ ሰላም

            ካይዛረብ ወሲኑ እስማዒሎ
            ባዕሉ ይፈልጦ ዘሐከሎ
            ኣብዚኣ ምሳና እንከሎ
            ንልፍልፎ ‘ተንበበ ዋላ ድሓን ይኣኽሎ
            ተስፋ እገብር ገሊኡ ፍሽኽ ከብሎ

            እንታይ’ሞ እንታይ’ሞ
            እስማዒሎ ወዲ ዘሞ
            ባዓል ዋልታ ወላሞ
            ቆርበት ሓሪሽ ‘ተደርመሞ

            ገሊኡ ዘረባና የስደምሞ
            ገሊኡ የደናግሮ የሕምሞ
            ናይ ገሌና ከኣ ይኸውን ዘጽምሞ
            ስቕ ንበሎ ንስቕታ ባዕሉ ክሳብ ዘህድሞ

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Haile,

            Yes Hailat..

            “ገሊኡ ዘረባና የስደምሞ
            ገሊኡ የደናግሮ የሕምሞ
            ናይ ገሌና ከኣ ይኸውን ዘጽምሞ
            ስቕ ንበሎ ንስቕታ ባዕሉ ክሳብ ዘህድሞ”

            But see, what he reply..I can hardly see between his statements above the reason.. You better correct it and once again put your poem..

            ” ….things these days, which does not give me time to do what I used to do in this forum that I love and consider like home.”

            So, put another one please!!!


          • Haile S.

            Selamat Kokhob and Ismailo,

            Kokhob, I read Ismailo’s response and deliberately pasted my poem on his response instead of on yours. I was trying to force his fingers to the keyboard. Rest assured Kokhob, I have no doubt at all in Ismailo’s love and dedication. I just needed to amuse and slightly provoke him.

            ቃላት ኣበርቲዐ እንተመሲሉካ
            ናተይ ሓላፍነት’ዩ ተመሊሸ ከረድኣካ
            እንተኣድልዩ እወን ይቕሬታ ክሓተካ
            ግና ኣይመስለንን ናብኡ ዘድሃብካ
            ጎራሕ! ከተለፋልፈኒ ድኣ ስለዝደለካ
            በል ፍቐደለይ ሎሚ ምሽት ስዋይ ክጭልጦ
            ጽባሕ እዘን ኣጻብዕተይ እንታይ ይወልዳ መን ይፈልጦ!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yes Sir.

            In that case that is okay,,,


          • Selam Ismail A,

            Well, those eritreans and tplf supporters who were demonstrating in front of the venue were disappointed with the prize given to the ethiopian pm. In addition, eritreans who were writing about the winner have a different opinion from the committee. Otherwise, they would have been indifferent. Of course, it is not the first time. We have read even on this website people who were opposed to his winning the NPP. I don’t think that i said that every eritrean is opposed to the pm. As MB said there are many in eritrea who admire him.
            Peace however fragile it maybe, is worth celebrating when in this world war is simply too common and too destructive to ignore. Not to congratulate somebody who has done even the least towards achieving peace, especially when war and the no-war-no-peace situation between the two countries has been one of the main reasons for their misery, would be perpetuating it. It will have a negative influence on those who want to work for peace.
            Peace always serves the people who have a lot to gain from a peaceful environment. As much as the poor nations of ethiopia and eritrea are concerned, peace between the two is not a luxury but a necessity, and they will have a dividend from it if they implement it. Therefore the prize given for peace serves its purpose. These two countries are too poor to afford war and destruction. Unfortunately, they have lived through war and destruction for decades, and the reason they have the lowest human development index. What the people miss are the ingredients that follow peace; movement of people, trade etc. Nevertheless, they do not have fear of war.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Lovely Horizon,

            My dear just don’t keep talking like this,,For one simple reason at least, that we Eritreans demand just for Constitutions and you know very well that…We are not demanding the impossible only to see this selfish group to follow the wrong path…by now you know that as you are part of our part in this wonderful site. ,,

            And as you know your government of Ethiopia is suffering with internal contradictions. So we have to put in to consideration every thing and think logically when we talk about peace..As I sayed to you in the past

          • Dear KS,
            The problem in our case is that internal peace alone within our two countries doesn’t serve the purpose unless they have peace between them. I wish it were like that. Unfortunately, there is the history of war, and guaranting pece between the two is equally important.

            Bahr Dar is waiting for you.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Yep Brother Horizon,

            In everything, believe me the internal problem is to the first and most important thing. Just watch, this is scientific truth..and if you remember in one of my poems in searching my own self it was all over I search and didn’t find my self.. and then I went in my own self deep and found it..Not only that even an egg to to form the new birth is from within not from without,,Just think about it..


          • Teodros Alem

            selam ismail aa
            I remember what u said about “agaro” 3A birthplace but did u heard what 3A has said about his place of birth “bashasha”(near agaro jimma), how the community was great and full of love . and did u heard what 3A has said about his experience of “bademe” war?? how cruel and hateful it was and do u see the difference between them? It has big difference, very big.
            i know it is too late for u and u can’t do nothing about it but i want u to know that it is not like u expected, there is a big difference between “bademe” and “agaro” mentality.

          • mokie berhe

            Salam Horizon. I completely agree with what you have said. The borders might not be open, but there are 3 fulls flights a day between Addis Ababa and Asmara, diplomatic relations have been restored and clouds of war have disappeared.

      • Haile S.

        Selamat Paul,

        Ethiopians may be stroking him in the direction of his hair’s growth (caresser dans le sens du poil) as if he brought the immense suffering on the Eritrean people to deflate Eritrean nationalism first and now to preserve the unity of mother Ethiopia. That is sadistic! This mother is then infanticidal!
        He did NOT do what he did on Eritreans with such deliberate plan, but by pure incompetency and cowardice the opposite of what a leader does. ሥራ-ፈት፡ መንፈስ-ፈት መነኩሴ ቆቡን ቀዶ ይሰፋል, still evil!

        • Paulos

          Selam Hailat,

          The whole thing is sur-real to say the least. Imagine calling an expert witness to the stand who is an Anthropologist to profile a Psychopath and he says the culprit is the Habesha culture. The true believers either by design or out of malicious intention are pretty messed up. Go figure!

          The ubiquity of surrealism is not limited to the true believers [Eritreans] but it is also palpable with in the Ethiopian elites particularly the Amharas. The two pillars that had held the Ethiopian unity together were the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Emperor Haileselassie’ uncompromising Absolutism where the latter was rendered moot by the Weyanes and the former by the intense and fast spreading Charismatic Evangelical movements throughout Ethiopia. The core is threatened to the bone. They see a glimmer of hope in Isaias and the P.P. as well, however.

  • ‘Gheteb

    La Dolce Vita (እቲ ምቁር ወይ ጥዑም ወይ ምኡዝ ሂወት) : The Sweet Life

    Greetings Dawit And All,

    Dawit writes:

    ” It would be naïve to think that Eritrea will ever honour the terms of the peace agreement because the president and his abettors are very much living ‘la dolce vita’”.

    First, a full disclosure is in order. I wasn’t going to respond to Dawit’s article,not for any other reason, but I found the piece to be tendentiously one sided; utterly fails to present the other side of the equation in the Ethio-Eritrean peace process; completely ignores the tumultuous political developments in Ethiopia that has literally thrown a seemingly insuperable hurdles in the road that may lead to a genuine peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Such being the case, I don’t know how one can realistically and objectively assess Eritrea’s motives in the peace process. Yeah, how can one confidently aver that “Eritrea’s longing for peace is feigned” or real, or Eritrea’s motives are genuine or sham? You tell me!

    But, what piqued my interest was the afore-quoted which is at the tail-end of Dawit’s article. Not for anything else, but the sentence la dolce vita evoked and brought to my mind scenes from the 1960 comedy drama film of Frederico Fellini. The images of the main actor Marcello Rubini futilely searching for love and happiness in Rome’s cafe society.

    Now, contrast that with the real life in Eritrea, I mean the real lived in Eritrea for the past two decades. If one is to be brutally honest here, the one word that may appositely describe life in Eritrea is SPARTAN. To presume that life in Eritrea for “the president and his abettors are very much living ‘la dolce vita’”, is a stretch, tout court. The fact of the matter is that PIA leads an ascetic life pretty much devoid of all the trappings that one witnesses of many of the African leaders. Say whatever you want about the man. He is a lot of things; a sybarite he ain’t.

    • Dawit Mesfin

      Dear Gheteb,
      Thank you for reading and critiquing my article.

      Here is my brief response …forgive me for presenting a disjointed set of paragraphs for I am rushing. It is quite late over here.

      Article is one-sided: Yes, perhaps; I left out details concerning Ethiopia deliberately. But you seem to be missing the point. My core argument revolved around the issue why president Isaias was excluded from receiving the award.
      I am sure you know that when two countries, long-standing enemies like Eritrea and Ethiopia, have come together to make peace, it is customary for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded jointly. Why was President Isaias excluded? Please try to answer that.

      If you are suggesting that President Isaias’ hesitation to pursue the very peace deal he embraced has very much to do with Ethiopia’s domestic upheaval, then I will not get into that kind of circular discussion. There is a phrase we use in Tigrinya to describe similar situation – we say “ቀሚሽ ኣደይ ሓንኲሉኒ”.

      La Dolce Vita: please see it as furthering their careers (I am referring to the powers that be) by catering to narrow self-interests rather than to broader national platforms. They are enjoying themselves, aren’t they? Aren’t they enjoying the unchallenged rule? Isn’t life sweet when you do as you please, and when you are not answerable for your actions? They are morally and politically corrupt, as far as I am concerned.

      Please think in terms of what is holding up reforming the national service, demarcation, normalising life in the country, introducing much needed (and well overdue) reforms …etc. I am afraid peace has not moderated the behaviour of Isaias.

      I would be interested in your analysis regarding the implications of the rapprochement for the domestic situation in Eritrea. Please give it a go.

      Apropos, Abiy can be credited not only for making peace with Eritrea, but for releasing dissidents from jail, for acknowledging the wrongs committed by previous leaders, for bringing exiles (armed opposition groups) in from the cold, don’t you think so? What has Isaias done to accommodate peace?

      • ‘Gheteb

        Greetings Dawit,

        Thanks for the rejoinder. There is a lot I take exceptions to in your response, but I will limit my rebuttal and try to answer the two queries you posed.

        You asked:

        “Why was President Isaias excluded” ?

        To be perfectly honest with you, the answer is I don’t know. I can only guess and my guess is as good as anyone’s. It could be that the committee felt that PIA hasn’t done enough as a leader to deserve the award or that he is an arrant dictator unworthy of any recognition or that he has committed crimes against humanity or that he doesn’t listen to the NGOs and others. It could be anything, but the truth of the matter is I don’t know exactly what could have impelled the committee to snub PIA from the sharing the Nobel with the Ethiopian PM.

        You also asked:

        ” What has Isaias done to accommodate peace” ?

        If you are asking about reform in Eritrea, be it in national service, release of prisoners and overall ‘moderation of Isaias behavior’, all I can say is that none of that is going to happen anytime soon in Eritrea. After the Ethio-Eritrean rapprochement, I was of the mind that at the minimum there would be openings in the economic sphere, but that doesn’t look like it is on the horizon as I don’t see the state loosening its grip on the Eritrean economy.

        Politically, I am even less sanguine as I don’t see any change dawning in Eritrea in the near future. I used to ascribe the cause for such a recalcitrance to change and the resistance and delay of political change in Eritrea to other factors. However, these days I am leaning more to the belief that the main stumbling block has more to with political culture prevalent in Eritrea. Here, Dawit, you have to forgive me for I am not pointing fingers at the Tigrinya speakers only, as you put it by quoting an adage “ቀሚሽ ኣደይ ሓንኲሉኒ”.

        But the big problem and the main stumbling block that has precluded political reform in the Eritrean body politic has more to do with the political culture of Eritrea in general and what I have dubbed as “Ahbashat (ኣሕብሻት) tribes culture” that is quite pervasive in Eritrea.

        Isaias is nothing if one attempts to analyze him outside this ‘Ahbashat cultural substrate’ or why change and reform hasn’t dawned in Eritrea in the long past three decades. Or, for that matter, there is not a groundswell of those Eritreans clamoring for reform and change in Eritrea.

        All movements that aimed at effecting political changes in Eritrea starting in the early part and mid 70s to those in the 90s and the G-13, G-15, K-16, The Forto and Akhria movements fell flat and failed not because that they didn’t have legitimate demands, but because of the very cultural resistance to change that underpins the Ahbashat (ኣሕብሻት) tribes culture.

        Well, a friend of mine once said that change in the Ahbashat culture only happens in geologic times — long periods of times, sometimes the duration measured in thousands or millions of years.

        That this very Ahbashat tribes culture is the fons et origo of why political evolution and change hasn’t materialized in the past three decades in Eritrea is something that Eritreans who have been calling for change haven’t looked at seriously. All that one sees from those opposing the Eritrean ruling party is the full-throated attempt of trying to unseat those at the hem of power in what can only be described as competition for power. The tribal competitions for power by these ‘power clans’ has predominated the Eritrean political scene for a long while now.

        From Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv to London, the Ahbashat tribes political cultural maturity is in full display. The sheer violence is an attestation to the fact that those who are clamoring for change in Eritrea to take a closer look at this very big elephant sitting in the room — The culture of the Ahbashat tribes –. Dawit, as a member of the G-13, you had a personal encounter with PIA and you have witnessed first hand why the recommendations your group made didn’t fall on receiving ears. Similarly, Mesfin Hagos as a member of G-15 narrates as a mediator, his pleas with PIA vis-a-vis the issues raised by that group, but, alas, all his pleas fell on deaf ears.

        We can talk about reforms in Eritrea and blame Isaias, his abettors or the PFDJ until the cows come home. But, all I can say is that aren’t we barking up the wrong tree or missing the forest for the trees?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Gheteb,

          Can you explain the “culture of Ahbashat” in order to follow your exchange with Dawit? This time, I saw in you a change of heart on the regime. Am I right Gheteb?

          • ‘Gheteb

            Greetings Amanuel Hidrat,

            Thanks for your input/feedback. I don’t think you need from me further explanation about The Ahbashat tribes culture, as I am more than sure that you have a deeper understanding of the culture that predominates the Eritrean highlands and the main culture of the Tigrinya speakers of Eritrea. These tribes who are generally referred as Habeshas and their culture is that I am alluding to when I am talking about ‘the Ahbashat tribes culture’.

            Regrading my stances about the prevailing political situation in Eritrea is that progress, change, reform, evolution, moderation and accommodations must be ,at the minimum, tried and effected realistically and reasonably, if not at full speed and all at once. The status quo as it is untenable and that is why I am looking and searching for the main reason or obstacle that is preventing change from materializing in Eritrea.

          • Teodros Alem

            selam aman h
            Within the context and in plain language, ur culture is topical “culture of ahbashat”, very big ego, who see everything as black and white, as enemy and ally, conspiracy, deceiving, lying, a culture that is very proud of on killing poltical opponents and so on.

        • Teodros Alem

          Selam Gheteb
          excellent, as u know ethiopia politics is moving from “the culture of ahbashat” to other ethiopins and when it completely moved from ahbashat it will be good.

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Teodros Alem.

            Thank you for your feedback/input. Much appreciated.

        • saay7

          Hey Gheteb:

          I am afraid this sounds like a new chapter to the Book of “ኢሳይያስ መቓልስቲ ስኢኑ”: Comrade Isaias Has No Peers.

          A long time ago, Isaias was too progressive for the ELF. You know, the people who were so reactionary they sent him to China to learn progressivism.

          Then, it was the EPLF’s corrupt leaders: he was the only one who was as pure as driven snow, when all around him were people who sought privileges. They were so bad we were told ተሓንጊሮሞ ኣትዮም: he carried the lame and tired to the victory line.

          He has had almost 20 years of uninterrupted One Manship, with everybody deferring to him: those who joined the struggle before him, those who joined after him, those who contributed as much as him all arrested, frozen, exiled, dead. So now, what could we blame for the fact that he is a dismal failure.

          Aha! It is the culture! Something called “Ahbashat” (plural of Habesha). He can’t help it, you see, he is trapped: he is a product of his culture. He is not to blame, it is something else, not him. Wait, it’s more. Even when he wants to change, the culture won’t let him. He needs sympathy and understanding, poor guy.

          This is complete nonsense, of course. And it can be proven that it is nonsense. Why? Because a lot (most?) of the people fighting him, resisting him, have risen over this culture to espouse liberal democratic values. There is nothing (NOTHING!) in the Habesha culture that says it is ok to imprison, and torture children and elderly.

          It is simple, Gheteb: but you won’t like it. Go back to Sheila. Go back to Human Rights Council. Go back to Commission of Inquiry. They have produced overwhelming evidence that he is a Warlord, governed by warlord ethics which, in the modern world, is defined as someone willing to commit crimes against humanity to maintain power. You are into Shakespeare, I think, Gheteb, so here: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Paraphrasing: the fault, dear Gheteb, is not in Ahbashat but in ourselves, that we are the underlings.”

          Many, many moons ago, in these awate pages, Yosief Ghebrehiwet wrote “The K-Factor” (“k”, as you remember from your math class stands for constant.) Yosief’s point was that the supporters of Isaias Afwerki will hold him “the K -factor” as a constant in a formula and blame a long list of baddies (G-13, G-15, Bandini, EU, US, AU, Arab League) for all of Eritrea’s problems. Well, Gheteb, all you have done is added a new thing to Yosief’s K-Fator: Ahbashat.



          • መሃንድስ-ምዕባለ

            ሰላማት ሳዓይ:
            መጻንሒ ስጋዕ ገጠብ ዝምልሰልካ…..

            መቸም ውድቀት ናይ ኤርትራ ሓላፍነት ክስከም ዘለዎ ኢስያስ ‘ዩ። ስለምንታይሲ ‘ታ ሃገር ናቱ ካምፓኒ-ባራኪና ስለ ዝቐየራ።
            ምኽትል የብሉ: ተጋጊኻ ዝብሎ የብሉ: እንኮ ወናኒ ሃገር ንሱ ስለዝኾነ።

            ግን: ባህልና ጽልዋ ጌሩሉ ዶ ይኸውን? እስከ ቅድሚ ቁሩብ ምዝርዛረይ: ብኣኻ ክጅምር

            • ኣስኳላ ሓበሻ ኣይተመሃርካን መስለኒ: ቁሩብ ደቓይቕ ደንጉኻ ተባሂሉ ኣብ ጀያ ከምበርኩኻ
            • ወረ ንድሕሪት ክንምለስ: እንዳባቴ [ትምህርቲ ግእዝ] ዝረገጽካያ ኣይመስለንን
            • ምስ ኣቕሽሽቲ ዝተኻታዕካ ኣይመስለንን: ኣብ ክንዲ ሕቶኻ ዝምልሱ: ሎቕማጽ; ትምህርቲ ሸይጣን እንዳተማሃርኩም……ክብረት ዘይብልኩም ኢሎም ዕጽው ከብሉኻ
            • ከይተባረኸልካ መኣዲ ኢድካ ወስ ዘበልካ ኣይመስለንን: ኢድካ ቅርስም
            • ኣብ ቅድሚ ዓበይቲ ጦብሎቕ ኢልካ ዝኣተኻ ኣይመስለንን: ‘ዛ ጽፍዒትካ ናይ መን ኢልዎ
            ዝኹሉ ተደማሚሩ ን ኢሳያስ ኣስታት 20% ማህሰይቲ ኣውሪዱሉ ‘ዩ።
            ‘ቲ ዝተረፈ 30% ኣጆኻ ዝብሉ ባጎኒታት ስለዘለዎ ‘ዩ። ትዝዓበየ ኣሃዝ ግን ናይ በይኑ። ምንጪ ናይ ዝኣሃዛት ካበይ ዩ ከይትብለኒ ጥንቅቕ
            ‘ቲ ሓደ ክምርምሮ ዝኽእል ዶክተር ፍጹም ኣሲርዎ። ባቃ!

            መብዛሕቲኦም ሰዓብቱ ከምታ ናቱ ተመሳሳሊ ጸገማት ዘለዎም ክኾኑ ይኽእሉ ‘ዮም በሃላይ ‘የ።
            ስለምንታይሲ ኣነ ዳርጋ ከምዛ ናቱ ‘የ ሓሊፈ። እንቋዕ ስልጣን ኣይሓዝኩ ‘የ ዝብል!

            ሕጂ ናባና ክንምለስ:
            እሞ ሓደ ሓውሲ-ጽሉል ሰብ ከምዚ ክገብረናስ እንታይ ደኣ ‘ዩ ጸገምና?
            ኣነ ዝብል ከምቲ ናቱ ጽልዋ ዝዓበየሉ: ኣሽሓት ሰባት ስለዘለና ‘ዶ ይኸውን?
            ገለ ነገርሲ ክህሉ ኣለዎ።
            ኣብ ዓዲ ዘለውስ ፈሪሖም ንበል: ኣብ ወጻኢ ዘለና ኸ እንታይ ‘ዩ ጸገምና? ኣሕባሻት?

          • Haile S.

            ሰላም መሃንድሻ

            ዲኻ ተማሂርካ እንዳ መምህር ሓለንጊ
            ንተመሃራይ ዝኹክቡ ዝነበሩ ከም መስኪናይ ኣድጊ
            በል እንቛዕ ብህይወትካ ተረፍካ ካብታ ናቶም ዘንጊ

            ኣነስ እየ ተማሂረ እንዳ ደዓሩ እንዳ መምህር እዝራ
            ጤፍናቕ ኣይፈትዉን ኔሮም ኣፍንጫና እንተ ሓጺራ
            ናቶም ትመስል ስለ ዝነበረት እተሳሕለት ካራ

            ይመኽሩና ነበሩ ገጽና ካይትሓጸበ ንግሆ ንግሆ ክንሰሓሕባ
            ካይቆረስና ካይበላዕና ካይሰተና ማይ ይኹን ማይጨባ
            ክትቦቑለልና ክትጥጥዓልና ከም ተኽሊ ዕንባባ

            እንታይ ይሓይሽ እሞ ኣንታ መሃንድሻ
            ክትወጻልና እዛ እትበሃል መርገም ሓበሻ

            ንእቶ ናብ trance ናብ ጎርዒ
            ዛር ንኹን ኩላትና ደጊም ብወግዒ
            ነብስና ብኩርማጅ ንህረም ብዝይ ቅጥዒ
            ትጹም ትጸሊ ብዘይ መስተ ብዘይ ብልዒ
            ንቕጽዓያ ስጋና ንለውጣ ናብ ድኹዒ
            ክወጽእ ካባና ሰሪሩና ዘሎ ወቕዒ

          • ‘Gheteb

            Greetings SAAY,

            Wow! Wow! This is superb, I may as well say that it is a magnificently well-crafted rebuttal. Many thanks for the constructive critique and it is much appreciated from my side.

            First, what I am positing is NOT an attempt of ‘revising’ Isaias’s political trajectory here. Nor am I trying here to yarn a victimology narration that “he is trapped: he is a product of his culture. He is not to blame, it is something else, not him. Wait, it’s more. Even when he wants to change, the culture won’t let him. He needs sympathy and understanding, poor guy”, as you put it; far from it. Here, I think you are way over your skis.

            Second, since you give much credence to the assessments of the likes of Shila, Human Rights Council and The Commission of Inquiry, here is something to chew on and ponder upon. David Shinn, the former US ambassador to Ethiopia, when asked why the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea failed to strike a peace deal, he ascribed the main reason to rejection of making a deal or a compromise, to the absence of a give and take attitude and in general of the tendencies of leaning towards a zero sum game of winner takes it all. As he put it, it got to do something with highlanders Abyssinian culture or what I am dubbing as the Ahbashat tribes culture.

            What has precluded a peace deal from materializing between the leadership of both countries who are from these Ahabshat tribes is this very culture. The same can be contended about the 30 years war between Eritreans and Ethiopians did not find a peaceful resolution after so many attempts at peace parleys. Yes, again the main protagonists were the very same tribes of Ahbashat. I can reel off many examples, but I think that is more than enough to catch my drift.

            Third, if ‘warlordism’ is at the heart of Eritrea’s political problems, how does one square such an observation when one takes the case of Somalia where ‘warlordism’ was/is more prevalent than in Eritrea. What one notices though is that this phenomenon of warlords is receding in Somalia and the Somalis are making political headways while in Eritrea the political needle hasn’t moved at all. Why? I maintain that you can’t look at ‘warlordism’ outside the cultural milieu. By the same token, Isaias is unfathomable if one does not contextualize him within the very same culture.

            Fourth, you are saying also the problem and the main culprit is us, ‘the underlings’. But the question is why? Why have the underlings failed to register success, make changes or raise in unison. Why? What other explanation is there as I am all ears to hear them out. Sure, there are many a Eritreans who ‘espouse liberal democratic values’ who are of these Ahbashat tribes extraction. I have no quarrel with that assertion, but what I can’t reconcile it with is this: Why are these Isaias’s cohorts or his ‘co-culturelists’ are literally reduced to chasing rainbows and failed to register any meaningful success in the past long THREE decades?

          • saay7

            Selamat Gheteb:

            Two quick follow-ups and a rejoinder:

            (1) In Shakespeare’s “The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars….”, I think you misconstrued who is meant by the underling. It is actually very relevant to what we are discussing: Brutus is torn between his loyalty to his king and to his Republic, and his friend is trying to tell him that nothing is predestined (the stars) : we (the underlings) can’t blame remote and mysterious things (AlAhbash) for our dilemma when the problem is right in front of us (Isaias or Caesar). Since you are into plays, here is the scene:


            (2) While David Shinn was analyzing, the Shielas (CoI, HRC) were synthesizing. I wish the report was written by Daniel, Dawud and Dahab because all they did is synthesize testimonies of our own people. I would shy away from the analysis of the Shins and Hermans because they see us as a petri dish. (Herman, the PFDJ’s new best friend once said that the people on both sides of the Red Sea are barbarians.)

            Now to the rejoinder:

            The ruling power of Eritrea has many identities–by religion, gender, ethnicity, culture–and the latter, an ancien one, is so superseded by the merciless ideology of Maoism; the survivalism values of Ghedli; the built-in failure rate of African revolutions– that it has the least predictive value than all others. But the most visible negation of its causality is that many if not most of the people fiercely stubbornly resisting it are from the same culture.

            As for the comparison with Somalia, come on Gheteb, the EPLF, now the PFDJ, has had 40 Plus years of indoctrinating generations of Eritreans that their very survival is tied to its survival. I would say same thing is happening in Ethiopia–the winds of change have not visited Tigray where TPLF has indoctrinated Tigrayans for 40 years their survival is intricately tied to its existence. I was going to say that but then you would say: see, I told you so: Ahbash! 🙂


          • ‘Gheteb

            Greetings SAAY,

            You are opening new windows of insight to the issues at hand and many thanks for your input. I will confine my rejoinder to two issues only and I hope many don’t take this exchange as a tit-for-tat, point, counter-point sort of the Awate Forum’s rope-a-dope debate. It ain’t.

            You seem to attribute the problems that is afflicting Eritrea and its body politic to ” indoctrination” and “Maoism”. Well, here is my take on both issues.

            (1) INDOCTRINATION — It is true that the EPLF and now the PFDJ used it as a tool to disseminate their ideologies. The EPLF, even The Selfi-Natsnet group utilized it to the maximum and it was/is quite an effective strategy. The question to ask is why such a technique was/is quite effective when it was/is utilized by the EPLF especially in the Eritrean Highland Christian population. Why did the Selfi-Natsnet group grew so fast in a short period of time far outstripping the other Eritrean fronts in numbers of followers.

            I am of the belief that the EPLF grew fast and was able to garner more support and recruit more followers because of the dominant religion, The Orthodox religion, in the Eritrean highlands has provided a fertile ground. If indoctrination is to be defined as ‘teaching to accept a set of beliefs uncritically’, what other medium other than this religious belief is better than to use as a vehicle.

            The Orthodox religion is the central pillar of the Ahbashat tribes culture and I believe that it is through its instrumentality that the EPLF’s indoctrination to have found a fertile ground and also acting as buffer against any evolution or change from happening in Eritrea.

            (2) MAOISM — A lot has been written that the EPLF and Isaias are so thoroughly marinated in this ideology of Maoism. While the influence of Maoism as an instrument of suppression and control in the EPLF is undeniable, its effect as a guiding is ideology is quite exaggerated.

            Many ascribe Isaias’s foibles to his adherence to Maoism and Marxism and many even claim his adherence to the ideology and his role in the founding of the clandestine party within the EPLF. Though the Marxist/Maoist influence on the EPLF is undeniable, to claim that this ideology’s influence on both the EPLF and Isaias was/is dominant is quite a stretch. Sure, the ideology was conflated to the very Ahbashat tribes culture to such an extent that it has become a potent tool of control and suppression.

            A lot is taken as an article of faith in the stories about how Isaias was the founder of the clandestine party within the EPLF. A persistent belief that it is this ideology at the very heart that is ailing the Eritrean PFDJ. Well, I believe that there is more to the story.

            I will argue in my upcoming piece that Isaias was NOT the founder nor one of the originators of the idea of founding the clandestine EPLF’s party. I know I am getting over my skis here, but the upcoming piece, I am conflicted if it is going to be in a PLAY format or an article, will attempt to address that issue. The piece will be entitled ” Eta BuEra” — እታ ቡእራ — The BuEra;

            Finally, you said that, ” But the most visible negation of its causality is that many if not most of the people fiercely stubbornly resisting it are from the same Ahbash culture. So how did they raise above it if it is so compelling”?

            Yes, that is a very good question. But, you may need to remember that though this Ahbashat tribe’s culture may appear to be uniform, there are some fault lines. Well, think of those Ahbashat tribes of Eritrea who are not followers of the Orthodox church, but who happen to be Catholics and believers of other faiths than Tewahdos. These are the predominant opponents of the PFDJ.

            While you are seeing a silver ling in the opposition of these members of the Ahbashat tribes against Isaias and the PFDJ, I see a cloud in that very silver lining, though. The Agazians, Tigray-Tigrinis and other neo-fascists from the Ahbashat tribes of Eritrea, are cases in point.

          • saay7

            Selamat Gheteb:

            Well ok, I was using shorthand: Herman Cohen did not call us barbarians. He used a lot of words that are it’s substitute:

            “I would claim that the west shore of the Red Sea is not the east coast of Africa. Considering culture, language, and political outlook, I would argue that the Middle East includes the countries in the Horn. One exception would be Kenya….[Siad Barres’] disdain for human life and the ease with which he could order mass murder of his own citizens were in the mainstream of the subregion. I have seen similar policies implemented by heads of state in the Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.”

            To my knowledge, he never apologized for it but whorish PFDJ was happy to have him on its side. Notice he makes no distinction between Eritrea Somalia Eritrea Sudan: we are all brutes, except Kenya which you can bet he was consulting for.

            Anyway enough with that guy. Now, let’s take the fascists of Agazian: why do you find them objectionable? Isn’t it because they have defined humanity’s virtues and vice by some birther inanity? This “whatever group I belong to (by virtue of nothing I can take credit for) is a superior group and all others are inferior to it?

            With respect, isn’t what you are doing the same? This group I had identified is flawed because of some defect of inherited? I mean “culture” is just euphemism for inherited traits.

            I don’t think you can defend your claim that the “Ahbash” who oppose the Isaiasists are non-Orthodox. Although you and I would be hard pressed to present our demographic study, I dare claim I am in a more logical place when I claim you can’t agribusiness the generalization you have. Why? Because the murdering torturing disappearing exiling Isaiasist have victimized that group with abandon.

            Anyway. My point is that if you are going to look for reasons as to why Eritrea is in a standstill, I believe the simplest (and therefore according to Occams Razor the most likely explanation) is that he is unfit to govern due to many reasons, the least of all being his Habeshaness.



          • Paulos

            Howdy Sal,

            Can we blame it on Plate Tectonics instead? Precisely the reverse of Occam’s Razor [ናይ ኦካም ላማ]. As you know, circa 30 million years ago, the East African rift valley started to crack and with in the span of 2.5 or so million years, it stretched from Ethiopia to Mozambique and gave us the famous “Y” shape where the left side of the “Y” is the Red Sea and the right side is the Gulf of Aden. Right after the crack [not sure after how long] another tectonic created the Persian Gulf and the Arabian peninsula came about along the way.

            Experts tell us the the creation of the “Y” shape has had a serious ramifications on the ecology and biomass on the entire stretch of the valley where the moist wind that blows from the Indian ocean got blocked by the mountain ranges along the stretch of the valley and it was turned from grass-land to wood-land and gave us Lucy, for instance.

            More over, the two notable choke-points along the Red Sea and Persian Gulf— Bab al Mandab strait and Harmuz strait– respectively defined the geopolitics of the region to this day. The Axumite kigdome was weakened with the rise of Islam and the subsequent control of the said straits, for instance. And starting in the 16 century, first the Portuguese then the Spanish then the Dutch and finally the Britsh and now the US control the choke-points. It was a vital route to India including to the Silk-Road back then and a vital corridor for the transportation of oil now, for instance. Point being, where does cultural, social, economic or political analysis begin unless otherwise as you put it, one employs ናይ ኦካም መላጸ. In my opinion, the reason Eritrea is in such a mess is precisely because we have a certified Psychopath for a leader. It is as simple as that. There is no need for ምንያ ኾለል. No?

          • saay7

            Hey Paulos:

            Sure why not. You can even throw in global warming while you are at it:)


          • Paulos

            Selam Sal,

            I am sure it was Machiavelli who said that, “If a crime is committed for the preservation of a country, it is a glorious crime” but certainly the maxim was foretold to vindicate the latter-day realist leaders not to absolve them as they will have done so much good for the future generation of their respective nations. Isaias however, stands out as an exception simply because not only he has committed a heinous crime against the Eritrean people but he killed the future of generations as well. To kill people is not to eliminate them physically per se but to render them incapable of fighting back. It was someone who said it but I am sure it wasn’t Machiavelli.

            P.S. I always chuckle about the stuff you write in your Twitter feed every time “Bruno the Ambassador who mistook Eritrea for his hat*” says stupid things in his Twitter.

            *Paraphrasing Oliver Sacks.

          • iSem

            Hi Sal;
            I was going to flip through my book, The Tigrinya proverb book authored by EPLF kfli hzbi to find this: “ኣብ ዘይዘይሰምዕካ ደብሪ…” but I remembered my effort will be futile, I will not find it, because this one will be removed just like HD dancing with IA was, just like the unimpeachable contributions of the founding fathers, the ones you once called the Madisons, the Hamiltons has been erased.
            So I relied on my memory instead to whisper to you “ኣብ ዘይሰምዕካ ደብሪ….”
            This comment of yours is impeccable by any measure, from the heart but,,,

            So this takes me to say: our friend, the cousin whose thinking you humiliate with humility also thinks the new blood campaign does not and should not affect IA because IA’s blood is renewed, rejuvenated innately. Are you literally falling off your chair:-)
            The madness is endless. Good luck. I know no one should be left behind, but some deserve to be left behind in this world of PFDJ. Did I contradict myself? Yes, but contradiction is better than consistent lunacy

          • Haile S.

            Selamat iSem,

            The contents of that book were largely and directly copied from an earlier original book written by ሊቀ መዘምራን ሞገስ ዑቕበጊዮርጊስ who was the editor of weekly amharic newspaper Ethiopia, published in Asmara. I have both books and they are almost identical. Do not despair, find it and keep its contents.

        • Dawit Mesfin

          Selam Gheteb,

          Let me start by saying I am interested in knowing what is in the name Gheteb? Please don’t mind me much; I am a bit old fashioned. Trust me this has nothing to do with the discussion you and Sal are having concerning the ‘Ahbashat Tribe’ – the obstacle, as you put it, that is preventing us from having a breakthrough in Eritrean politics.

          Gheteb, you write well and you think clearly. That does not mean I agree with some of the thoughts you have put forth in our brief correspondence. I do not need to ask you to elaborate on your ‘Ahbashat Culture’ theory for it became clearer in subsequent discussions you had with Sal and Amanuel. I admit your supposition caught me off-guard … especially when you mentioned the G13 and other groups ‘succumbing’ to ‘Ahbashat Tribe’ attitudes.

          First you wrote: You wrote: “ … these days I am leaning more to the belief that the main stumbling block has more to do with the political culture prevalent in Eritrea.” And then you went on to state your “Ahbashat Tribes Culture” which surprised me a bit. You are blaming our predicaments, as Eritreans, on the Habesha culture perhaps? That is interesting indeed.

          Again, you wrote: “All movements that aimed at effecting political changes in Eritrea starting in the early part and mid 70s to those in the 90s and the G-13, G-15, K-16, The Forto and Akhria movements fell flat and failed not because that they didn’t have legitimate demands, but because of the very cultural resistance to change that underpins the Ahbashat (ኣሕባሻት) tribes culture.”

          Do you mean we are susceptible to village mentality? Perhaps you mean that we suffer from small town syndrome? If my interpretation of your supposition is within the ballpark figure, then Habesh’ism is the true expression of ourselves, isn’t it? Perhaps you are saying regionalism is the true expression of our identity? Could you be referring to ‘Kebesa’ or ‘Geez’ mind-set, if there is such a thing? If that is what you are saying then I disagree.

          I am not sure you know enough about the G13. As far as I am concerned, the move was a success. We did not set out to ‘topple’ the government but to raise issues of concern. Mind you, it was for the first time that a group of Eritreans rose up to criticise the government for failing to pass power to the people. That moment opened the gates, so to speak, of speaking out. We took a lot of flak but we managed to have our say – directly to the culprit. No failure – no “Ahbashat (ኣሕባሻት) tribes culture” there. Criticising the government became normal since then. As far as our composition was concerned, we (the G13) came from everywhere. That is not falling flat on one’s face, is it?

          Eritreans managed to get their points across since then. World governments heard us, international institutions heard us, world media heard us … what more could we ask for? Our campaigns were effective and we put Isaias on the back foot. I am not sure how much you know about things that are taking place back home … people do not speak kindly of the regime. “ሓደ ልቢ – ሓደ ህዝቢ” is no more, as far as I am concerned. People are fleeing. And the rest are biding their time. Eventually the truth will come out victorious … it is just a question of time.

          Look after yourself.

          • Paulos

            Selam Dawit,

            I agree with what you just said. A Spanish saying has it that, “A road is made by walking.” And certainly G-13 to its historic credit started the institution of Accountability in Isaias’ Eritrea where it has graduated into practically G-5 million with in the span of 20 years. No power can kill ideas in tandem with courage. God bless and stay well.

          • Dawit Mesfin

            Dear Paulos,

            Nice to hear from you, Paulos.
            I am sure our turn will come to fly to Asmara one day and tell ‘the way we were’ stories to one another.

            After I read the info you provided on the back of your book (The fighter’s Letter) I came to realise that you and I grew up listening to AFRTS /Kagnew station, didn’t we :-)?

            Yes, we have come a long way since the early nineties when we were strictly forbidden to say ‘ouch’ whenever pinched.

            I have a good feeling that we will survive the Isaias era and assemble in Asmara for the Last Hurrah. With a pinch of creativity we will certainly manage.


          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Dawit Mesfin,

            What, a great Moral?

            “I am sure our turn will come to fly to Asmara one day and tell ‘the way we were’ stories to one another.”

            Thank you And God bless you…

            “Yes, we have come a long way since the early nineties when we were strictly forbidden to say ‘ouch’ whenever pinched.”

            Yes, Dawitom, We will have to write our stories.. long life my dear.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dawit,

            The book titled “the fighter’s letter” was authored by “Paulos Natnael” an ex-fighter of ELF, and I think he is not the same “Paulos” in our house.


          • Dawit Mesfin

            Selam Amanuel,

            Thank you for the correction.
            Paulos, I am deeply sorry for the mistake. What an embarrassment!
            I have recently read an article under the title of “Eritrea Vision 2020: Building An Effective Civil Society” at Eritrea Digest which I liked very much. Could that be the same Paulos? I wonder if you could send me Paulos’ email address quietly so I can apologise to him personally. BTW, the contents of the message I post to ‘Paulos’ stand.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Dawitom,

            In the age of virtual world, it is difficult to identify one from the other – And thus, we all are prone to Mistaken identity. I don’t have their emails. Don’t worry about it.

  • Dawit Mesfin

    Dear Haile S.,
    You said “the regime is playing government …” It is true but what a dangerous game! A day will come when a true government will emerge out of this intentional misrepresentation. The curtain of pretence will one day be removed from those characters who are killing livelihoods softly under the pretence of keeping them alive.

    Dear Nitricc,
    The Norwegian Nobel Committee left out Isaias,Abiy’s partner in the talks, and awarded the prize only to Abiy. I wonder how you would interpret .that. Perhaps that made you say “ouch!” Would you say that is a serious matter?
    The peace deal, practically, ‘remains largely unimplemented, and there have been little visible benefits for Eritreans’ (The Washington Post).

    You also said “the simple reason the border was closed is because the TPLF used it to create lawlessness, crime and the distribution of the old Nakfa currency.” That I do not know. I wish you could share your evidence or your sources for that bold statement.
    Lastly, you stated that “Eritrea wasn’t ready for such cultural shock and influx of Ethiopians on that magnitude” … after the border was opened for a brief period. I would say you are right except for one thing. The regime was shocked to witness how people exhibited the joyful interactions between Eritreans and Ethiopians. Therefore, ‘Eritrea is not ready’ is not a true statement. I would say ‘the regime is not ready’.

    Dear ‘Halaw-sTuH’,

    Thank you for the note. Please forgive me for I am not sure how to compose a reply to your rebuttal.


  • ሓላው ስጡሕ

    Hello Awates
    We can not blame President Isaias Afeworki for closing the borders.”Reliable” resources have indicated that
    1) weyane
    2) The soviet union
    3) Yugislavia
    4)The planet mars
    5) The planet Jupiter
    6) The future republic of Akele Guzai.are planning to invade Eritrea…so Isaias is protecting Eritrea…. again.

  • Haile S.

    Selam Dawit,

    Allow me this “boutade”. ቡታድ french word whose closest translation is quip, not quite a gibe.

    Your image without the glasses looks like an Asberom Tessema, Bahta Segeneiti or Ra’esi Weldencheal (before loosing his hair), looking with amusement at this cravated long-sleeved “warrior” and saying to themselves: ካብ ምንታይ ዶሮና ክከላኸል ድኣሉ እዚ ሰብኣይ ዋልታ ተጎልቢቡ፡ ወደሺ! ኣፉን ኣፍንጭኡን ዘይዓበሰስ፡ ከብዱ?

    On a more serious note, thank you for this very interesting presentation of facts. Eritrea’s ‘government’ can hardly be considered a normal government for thousand other more important reasons, and in this case for failing to publicly congratulate a friend it just nominated as its prime minister, ምርሓና. It is the ultimate cowardice. The regime has reduced itself to a sham government after regularly amputating one by one its hands and legs. It is reduced to a collection of wartime lifetime-meritocrats who try to prove to themselves and secondarily to others that they are capable of simulating a government. ዳዊት፡ ወይ ባዕልኻ ወይ ኣሕዋትካ ኣብ ቑልዕነት ጊዜ ገዛ ገዛ ክትጻወቱ ዶ ይዝከረካ? The regime is playing government – government, copying the elders. Look at the its regular announcements on its newspapers and its website saying ‘Eritrea participated in this and that international meetings’ with the same handful of people participating and always accompanied by photo in support of, trying to make a lot of noise, beating an empty can. Instead of being, it prefer to appear. In failing to congratulate ‘its prime minister’, it even failed to appear.
    Best Regards

  • Nitricc

    Greetings Mesfin; I think sometimes people should tell the story as is. The simple reason the border closed is because TPLF used it to create lawlessness, crime and the distribution of the old Nakfa currency. Not mentioning the homicide attempt on General Shibhat Efrem. Simply Eritrea wasn’t ready for such cultural shock and influx of Ethiopians on that magnitude. lines. To make excuse and confuse people takes a lot to say but in telling the truth, I got it five lines.

    • Amanuel

      Hi Nitricc
      One of the reasons is that people from Adi-Grat were asking the wrong question something like “where is the nearest ATM machine?” Which is not on the list of Asmarino’s vocabularies.