Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Eritrea’s Flawed Beginning in 1991: How It Contributed to What it is Today

(This paper was presented a year ago at a conference in Geneva entitled:  “Eritrea at Silver Jubilee: Stocktaking on the Nation-Building Experience of a ‘Newly’ Independent African Country.” The writer now wished to share it with interested readers for further debate as to why Eritrea is in bad shape today and what is should do not to repeat past mistakes. Translations of same, at least in Tigrigna,  will be available soon. Good reading – WA).

Introduction

“The beginning is the most important part of the work” – Plato (in  The Republic)
“The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead” – Ralph Waldo Ellison

At starting to draft this article, the writer somehow mulled over the word ‘beginning’ itself,  and a quick look at today’s handy references provided two apt quotations: one ascribed to the legendary Plato and the other to an African-American novelist of the last century.[1]  The citations help in pointing out the article’s central subject-matter of highlighting the oft forgotten facts surrounding the very start of Eritrea’s independent existence. The approach intends to challenge the ongoing and so far dominant suggestion claiming that Eritrea went wrong only after the 1998-2000 border war.

At this silver jubilee of their independence, many Eritreans agree that their prolonged and costly struggle did not achieve most of its key promises that included national unity, peace, democracy and prosperity. And under today’s sad situation, many feel that the very survival of the hard-won sovereign entity is gravely endangered. Not having a political transition plan and not being able to address societal sensitivities through inclusion as of day one are argued here to be the most serious mistakes. Long-time friends and close observers[2] of the  Eritrean situation also nowadays concur with the suggestion that the flawed beginning was a factor that greatly contributed to failures experienced during the past quarter of a century.

The focus and the first assumption of this article is that inclusion of the other  political organizations of the pre-independence period could have encouraged dissatisfied elements within the winner front as well as other segments of  the civil society,[3] including religious establishments, to gradually coalesce into new pressure groups towards becoming voices to be reckoned with. The belief is that their combined voices could have succeeded in putting pressure on the new authorities to allow political space and thus help avert the growth of tyranny that bedeviled life in Eritrea for the past quarter of a century. (One would also add in passing that, since the excluded organizations were strong believers in Badme’s being part of Eritrea, they could have asked the return of that village to Eritrea before finalization of the referendum. Given the good relations that existed between the then ruling fronts in Eritrea and Ethiopia, one would assume – and why not! – that the issue could have been finalized then very easily, thus denying excuses for the latter day growth of  one-man rule in Eritrea.)

The second assumption is that inclusion of other organizations could have spared the country of the relative growth of religion-based groups in the mid-1990s, whose appearance worked in favor of the winner front’s leader and his close circle. The belief is that such an “Islamist” bogeyman was used to sow fear and stoke mistrust in the society in order to justify the exclusion of those forces that the front’s leader (or leadership) repeatedly generalized in describing  as “the rotten, ethnic and confessional factions.”[4]

This writing, which benefitted access to rare statements of some Eritrean political entities, secondary sources, personal testimonies and the writer’s own experience in the struggle, approaches the argument at hand by reviewing a number of essential  dynamics in the Eritrean historical and political landscape. These include religious, ethnic, linguistic and geographic cleavages which incontestably were and still are weighty in the daily lives of the people. The political divisions experienced during 50 years prior to independence (1941-1991) as well as the common people’s perceptions that the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) was ‘for’ the Muslims while the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) ‘belonged’ to Christians, also had their magnitude to be considered. They all reinforce the argument that adequately addressing the issues of inclusion and reconciliation were important for a successful start in independent Eritrea.

In this regard, the article first reviews some factors that led to exclusion. Secondly, it attempts to explain how the participation of the ELF factions in 1991 could have helped to avert the growth of dictatorship. The third section explains the uses of any kind of a reconciliation process in post-conflict situations, while part four examines the cleavages in the society which included paramount national issues that perturbed since the long past Eritrea’s leading patriots – the like of Sheikh Ibrahim Sultan and Woldeab Woldemariam. The fifth section deals with key reactions of the organizations denied return to Eritrea, their well expressed willingness to cooperate with the new authorities, and the belated vindication of their calls for inclusion. The sixth and final section makes concluding remarks briefly  pointing out the lessons learned for a way forward.

I. Factors that Led to a Bad Start in 1991

There were multiple factors that caused Eritrea’s flawed beginning. These included 1) the character of the strong-man  and the type of front he succeeded to build; 2) the excessive submission to and trust in the strong-man by his colleagues that ended with their inability to check the concentration of power in one person[5] as of the early years; 3) low level of political consciousness in the society at large, including of those in the diaspora; 4)  the weakness of other Eritrean political formations that had no strong voice to be heard domestically and regionally, and 5) the total absence of pressure/support or advice on the need of successful political transition in 1991 by Eritrea’s immediate neighbors as well as by the United Nations and the rest of the international community.

  1. The ‘Strongman’[6] and the Front He Built: The president of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, is usually judged to have a lion’s share in causing the ongoing misfortune in Eritrea. This can be explained by taking into consideration his aggressively vindictive and inflexible disposition as a person; his skilful manipulation of differences between individuals/groups as well as his very subtle use of Eritrea’s social cleavages at all stages of his political life.[7]

The EPLF was built to what it has become mainly under the firm guidance of the hard-working Isaias Afwerki, who remained its virtual top and unchallenged leader ever since the early 1970s when the group he led distanced itself from the mother organization, ELF, that suffered of many easily exploitable weaknesses. The left ideologies of the period that encouraged small elite control also had their impact in shaping the authoritarian character of the EPLF, as was the case for many liberation movements of that era.

In order to grow into an outstanding African liberation organization of its time, the EPLF successfully utilized effective mobilization capabilities; absolute commitment it succeeded to instill in its members; tight  internal discipline through fear of severe punishment, and the unshakable position of Isaias and his team to the nationalist cause they championed superbly.[8] The skilful formation of alliances[9], albeit temporary, and tightly managing diaspora communities in many places for material and human resources were among the methods the front used to survive and grow.

Unlike the ELF, which was diverse in composition and crippled by multiple power centers, the EPLF enjoyed the advantage of having only manageable internal differences. It also succeeded to  show to the outside world its good qualities – of which it had plenty. But the repressive nature of its security apparatus and the heavy-handedness of its top leadership remained little known outside the country. Not surprisingly, many of the front’s members also admit today to have been ignorant of  ‘the other side’ of their own front.  In this well-guarded situation, the western media was inclined to write only about the good aspects. However, there were  a few exceptions, like an American journalist,  John E. Duggan, who claimed his trip was arranged for him by the front’s supporters in North America. After three and half months of stay in the EPLF liberated zone in 1978, he wrote:

When I left the EPLF zone and got back to Port Sudan, I felt as though I had just gotten out of prison. This frustration was so great that I knew there would be no way I could honestly relate the things I had seen in the EPLF field without mentioning this all-pervasive background of controlled information… The EPLF is really a repressive organization with no internal democracy.[10]

Eritreans outside the EPLF-fold who watched its fast growth continually expressed concerns about the man on its driving seat who was perceived to be too unyielding and divisive in a multi-cultural setting. Fears of some segments of the society could also have sprung from the fact that the EPLF,[11] led by a charismatic leader and believed to be succeeding in mobilizing a big chunk of Eritrea’s critical mass (highland Eritrea), could eventually end as one-man authoritarianism in independent Eritrea or become a raw ‘majoritarian’ dictatorship in the name of one-party rule.

In the late 1970s, when fierce rivalry and mistrust deepened between the two liberation organizations, existing biases and fears were reflected in exchange of charges in the form of commonplace mockeries, folkloric songs, poetry and commentaries. From the ELF side, for instance, the EPLF was ridiculed to have become a force consisting of “one-man worshippers.” A letter, purportedly contributed by a reader and  published in an ELF official organ in 1982  also alleged  that the front was “driven by the insatiable ambition to power of one person.”[12] The same letter accused the ‘strongman’ of having used the ills of Eritrea’s social backwardness to turn the EPLF into his possession as “a private company.” Such insinuations sounded wild exaggerations to some people at that time – but may be not now.

Those fears of an all-powerful front and its leader intensified after the defeat of the ELF in the hands of the combined forces of the EPLF and the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). At last and when the EPLF realized the long-awaited dream on 24 May 1991, the first public statement[13] of the new Eritrean authorities was made on 20 June by Isaias Afwerki, who made it clear that no organization other than the winner front would be allowed to return to Eritrea. Leaders and members of the banned organizations were told that they could return home only as individuals. But these organizations and large numbers of refugee caseloads, who were their sympathizers, remained in the Sudan. Thus, the June 20 speech implied that there was no ground for starting a national reconciliation process in Eritrea, and denied the existence of other organizations.

But the truth was that the EPLF was not alone in the 30-year struggle that had its ups and downs.  As the calls made in 1991-92 by the various Eritrean organizations attest (see section five below), those humiliated and left out organizations believed that they were not only entitled to be  included but were also able to contribute in building a better future for a new Eritrea. Their demands matched the widespread expectations, but only if reason and logic were to prevail. One could say that even the simple requirement to satisfy the psychological factor of one’s compatriots itself could have required that,

no matter how respectable they are, how strong they are, how deviant they are, how badly they have behaved in the past – are included in the process.[14]

Instead, Isaias Afwerki preferred to stick to denial. When asked as to why Eritrea was not organizing a conference like Ethiopia did in the summer of 1991,  he responded:  “There are no Eritrean organizations but the EPLF. All what I know is of countries encouraging [some elements] to incite ethnic conflict in Eritrea” and that his front was not ready to make “theatrics in order to look democratic.”[15]  This was the true Isaias of yesteryears – and definitely also of today after 25 years in total grip of state power.

  1. Consequence of Excessive Trust

The other important factor that led to Eritrea’s failure to make a good start in 1991 was excessive trust on the top leader. Throughout the years, there was discernible absence of sufficient control by the rest of EPLF leadership over the doings of the front’s ‘strongman’ who, in the end, could also sell his ideas and characteristics to his close cirlce. Researcher and close Eritrea observer, Gaim Kibreab, who met many of the leadership elements  in the early years after independence, witnessed “ominous signs of vindictiveness”[16] by EPLF leaders against others. He added: “Not only were the EPLF/PFDJ leaders unwilling to listen to the ‘other’ voice, but they were also determined to suppress any such voice.”[17] What was taking place was the fear that was expressed long ago by those in the other organizations. And no wonder that  even outsiders found it quite ironic to see Eritrea’s liberators feigning ignorance of the internal make up and history of their own society.[18]

When the EPLF leader issued his 20 June statement that deeply debased rival organizations, the rest of the leadership members did not mind it. They appeared to have strongly believed that only their front was entitled to lead and forge a successful African ‘Singapore’ out of Eritrea[19]. This belief could have encouraged them to agree in their great majority to ignore the exigency and long-term benefits of inclusion. Their focus on realizing a developmental state required no ‘niceties’ like democracy. Thus, by accepting the exclusion of other organizations, the EPLF leadership appeared to be ready for ‘benevolent dictatorship’ with absolute rule by one-party as long as it allowed their presence in a ‘collective leadership’.[20] Very few of them, if any, could have thought that the trend would end up with the absolute control of one-man who on 22 May 1992 was designated – on top of his leadership posts in the EPLF CC –  “the Secretary General of the Government, the Chairman of the State Council, the Chairman of the National Assembly, and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.”[21]

  1. Eritrean Diaspora Communities and the Intellectuals

It was not only those who surrounded the emerging national figure in the pre- and post-independence periods that failed to help in making Eritrea’s new beginning a success. The social milieu that helped the strongman and his team to do whatever he/they wanted to do is also to blame. The support given to the EPLF by Eritrean diaspora communities during the days of the liberation struggle was much to be commended. However, the unqualified support given to the post-independence authorities in the past 25 years raises many questions. In the first place, giving unqualified support was not deserved, and, in addition, it was too harmful to other compatriots who were kept at bay after liberation. A good number of Eritrea’s intellectuals remained accomplices in this sin of providing life-giving resources and propaganda support to a regime that did not merit it. They were part of the blame as stated in this quotation:

The failure of the large majority of the Tigrinya-speaking Christian intellectuals in the transnational Eritrean communities to take a firm stand against the government’s appalling record of human rights, the exclusion of the opposition groups from power sharing and the relegation of the Arabic language into the background – all have led to the exclusion of the Middle East-trained Eritrean returnees from the labour market.[22]

This assertion is very true although one should add to it that a large number of non-Muslim Eritreans in the rival fronts were equally affected by the exclusion. To some intellectuals, who were supportive of the government, nothing was wrong in the country until the border war with Ethiopia because “the hopes and dreams [of Eritreans] were not misplaced”.[23] They happily referred as ‘big successes’ to the adoption of documents like the National Charter and the Macroeconomic policy. The initial economic growth reports were taken as indicators of a bright future as if that type of growth is not to be expected for some time in a previously devastated region starting from the scratch.

Indeed, those Eritrean elite were dodging the fact that absence of inclusive political and economic institutions finally leads to state failure. No attention was given to the truism that sustainable economic growth and prosperity are organically linked to inclusive political and economic institutions, while “extractive institutions typically lead to stagnation and poverty”.[24] It is hard to believe that those intellectuals to be unaware of studies concluding that the solution to “economic and political failure of nations today is to transform their extractive institutions toward inclusive ones.”[25] It was of his being fully aware of this fact that Eritrea’s prominent scholar, Bereket Habte Selassie, reportedly tried to ask the new authorities at that early beginning  to include in a unity government the other Eritrean organizations. But he had to lament in a recent publication, saying:

Unfortunately, the EPLF leadership did not see it fit to accept the proposal, which is one of the causes of our sad predicament.[26]

Amidst the euphoria of independence in 1991-93, therefore, the EPLF rank and file, their supporters, including the intelligentsia, cared less about others. There was no sign that they felt  the strongman of the winner front was being further emboldened and left free to start building an absolute dictatorship. One would say in retrospect that what they could have done was to call for inclusion of other political entities and the civil society as of that critical juncture in new Eritrea. Needless to emphasize, commencing with a wider participation in 1991 could have changed the direction that was taken after independence.

Unfortunately, it was only those affected by the exclusion that asked for a national conference to discuss the future of the newly born state. One can say they were ignored by their own countrymen and women who kept silent or took sides with the victor front and its leader. What was replayed was reminiscent of the Tigrigna maxim, Znegese Ngusna, zbereqet Tsahaina, which can be translated to signify: ‘Whoever is crowned is our King, as [the sun] that rises is our Sun’.

  1. The Weakness of Political Formations outside the EPLF

It is possible to say that Eritreans lived in wars and/or under war-like situations throughout their  short history of 126 years (1890-2016)[27], and their collective mindset could not escape being shaped by their history.  In this kind of highly militarized society, raw military strength and  competence meant a lot. This is to emphasize that after its defeat in the second civil war of 1980-81, the ELF was fragmented and the resulting pieces had small armed units which counted nothing compared to what the EPLF had become militarily by the late 1980s. The other distinction the EPLF had was its effective propaganda machinery which reduced the ELF factions (in the eyes of gullible compatriots) to ‘fifth columnists’[28] and all Muslims to ‘Islamists’. The inability of those factions to unify and challenge the propaganda of the winner front further weakened their position and voice. An additional severe blow was Sudan’s support of the new government in Asmara and ordering those political formations to go back home unconditionally, which they could not –  knowing well what awaited them in Eritrea.

 

  1. Lack of External Support

The right decision and wisdom lacked at home was not filled up by others.  The new authorities in Ethiopia, who held a relatively inclusive national conference for their country, did not recommend a similar process for Eritrea while they could, both legally[29] and morally. The Sudan also took sides with the new Asmara authorities abandoning  for a while Eritrean fronts based in its soil since many decades.

Likewise, the rest of the world was not helpful – while it should – based on learned lessons of the past.  In the 1960s, when ex-colonies in Africa were declared ‘independent’, the peoples of the continent dreamt of a glittering future in the making. (Eritreans were to be in a similar elusive atmosphere of hope 30 years later). But for most of Africans, the decades that followed territorial independence proved to be ‘shattering experiences’ mainly because colonial masters handed over independence with great haste and without preparing their former colonies for self-rule.[30]

Without contributing to make it happen, Eritrea’s well-wishers joined Eritreans in the wishful hope that the new state born after so many failures in the rest of Africa, would be spared the mistakes of the continent and its bedeviling tyrannies. Nothing was done to lay down the necessary conditions for a successful transition in Eritrea that could have ensured the dream of seeing a ‘model state’ in Africa. The UN and other international and regional bodies and governments did not give attention to the prerequisites for a successful start.

Therefore, one can say that it was partly as a result of lack of any internal or external pressure on, and/or advice to, the EPLF that this front denied the return to independent Eritrea of political rivals of the era of armed struggle and held a UN-observed referendum in their absence. Instead of holding an inclusive national conference, the EPLF held only its own congress and adopted a National Charter that tried to tackle big national issues like land and languages – in the absence of  the others. This was followed by the act of drafting and ratifying a national constitution – also in their absence. Still, many in the EPLF rank and file did not see that the ongoing chain of exclusionist measures against the ‘others’ may one day be extended to the very soul of their organization itself.

In fact, the EPLF mass organizations were among the early casualties when they were ordered to disband in the eve of independence.[31] Next to be affected were some of the front’s fighters who protested in May 1993 asking for, inter alia, the holding of the third EPLF congress without delay. War-disabled veterans who asked for improvement of their situation were silenced in a brutal manner that no one should have condoned. The malaise was, gradually but surely, spreading and affecting the higher echelons in the makeup of the ruling body. The rank and file of the winner front and the rest of the population kept its deadening silence that one can recall today only with shame. It fact, what was taking place in Eritrea as of the early 1990s does strike a chord with Martin Niemöller’s 1946 poem about the Germans of World War II who ignored the fate of the communists, the Jews and others until their turn came and no one was around to help them.[32]

II. How ELF Factions Could Have Made a Difference in 1991

One may question the supposition that return to Eritrea of the factions of a vanquished and fractured political organization like the ELF could have made a difference – i.e. help  avert both the growth of a tyranny and the appearance of fundamentalist groups in post-independence Eritrea. This author’s assumption is based on the likelihoods and facts discussed below.

  1. The spectacular military victories the heroic EPLF army scored during the late 1980s were overwhelming, awe-inspiring. But the tempting narrative that it was this front alone that mattered in Eritrea because it ‘alone brought independence’ to the country did not tell the whole story. Despite its organizational shortcomings, including lack of leadership that at the end weakened it, the ELF was everything for many Eritreans during the first two-thirds (1961-81) of the 30-year-long armed struggle.[33] Even by 1991, some of the moderate[34] factions of the ELF were not spent forces both politically and in account of followers. Above all, they still possessed conscious and capable political cadres scattered all over the region and beyond. A big chunk of them hailed from the highland regions and could have no problem in winning many hearts and minds in 1991 in Tigrigna-speaking Asmara. To the best conjectures of this writer, ELF members originating from the Eritrean highlands,[35] who, at one stage or the other were members of the ELF and still believed it was the embodiment of Eritrean unity, were at least as many as those in the EPLF – and only very few of them saw the latter as a democratic alternative although their ELF had its huge shortfalls. The ‘mother’ front’s contributions in both political and military spheres were also remarkable, although they still remain untold or distorted by continued and strong misinformation of the winner front. It is usually forgotten and down played that the ELF rank and file had enjoyed, especially during 1973-1981, an highly intense political education and open space for discussion within the front as well as in  its autonomous mass organizations. Therefore, former ELF members could have proven to be positive assets in building a state of institutions and of checks and balances in post-independence Eritrea.
  2. Similarly, the return to Eritrea of ELF cadres and members could have emboldened voices within the EPLF. The letter of G-15 in 2001 stated that by the late 1980s, there were leadership figures within the EPLF who had the feeling that “absolute trust and the uncontrolled family type of work” within the front was harmful and required reform and change of direction.[36] There were also senior cadres who distanced themselves from the EPLF in the 1980s questioning the handling of issues affecting the front and the nation. As noted earlier, the front’s highly active relief agency and its devoted mass organizations were unhappy with the increased controls. The fighters’ protest in 1993; the dissatisfaction caused by the heavy-handedness of the strongman at the February 1994 congress[37]; the fatal Mai Habar incident, and related events showed that there existed simmering discontents and disagreements within the ruling front. Former ELF members who joined the EPLF in the late 1980s[38] were aware of the excessive controls within the EPLF leadership of which they were very critical before joining it. Therefore, it can be safely assumed that these elements could have found it feasible to work with other political groups and individuals from outside the hitherto closed EPLF circle.
  3. During the armed struggle, the civilian population wished and repeatedly asked for the unity of the two fronts.[39] The return to Eritrea of ELF factions in 1991 could have provided the population with the opportunity of demanding dialogues which could at the end lead towards creating the necessary trust for launching a reconciliation process. On top of this, there were many former members of ELF urban cells in Asmara and the rest of the cities. Given the opportunity of meeting in independent Eritrea, those ex-members, who shared experiences in the field of struggle, could have joined hands in building viable political pressure groups. In addition, one could foresee significant contribution in this reconciliation process by a revived stock of social bonding and enduring networks in the Eritrean civil society that Gaim Kibreab proficiently illustrates in a lengthy volume.[40] It is true that this stock of social capital was subjected to setbacks and reverses in the pre-independence years due to unhappy episodes; but a sincere call for a new beginning could have empowered it to again play a significant role. Eritrea’s religious establishments, as members of the civil society, were depositories of this social capital which could be expected to have played its part in preventing the growth of dictatorship. To mention a few examples: the role of Eritrea’s Muslim intelligentsia[41] in building political awareness in the country, and church leaders who defied political authorities in the pre- and post-independence periods were laud voices to be reckoned with.

An exemplary Clergyman in Eritrean Civil Society, 1991

To briefly illustrate the huge capacity embedded in Eritrea’s civil society (e.g. religious institutions) and their exemplary voice in post-independence Eritrea, it is pertinent to cite one of the many voices that tried to be heard as of the early 1990s: that of Abba/Father Teweldeberhan Tzeggai, who warned against the consequences of a bad beginning. In November 1991, Abba Teweldeberhan was invited from his mission in Eritrea to Frankfurt, Germany, to address a thanksgiving and prayer gathering on the country’s independence to about 500 compatriots who were, interestingly enough, from different Christian denominations. By the fall of 1991, it was already made clear that the ‘other voices’ were being ignored. In reference to this, the priest told his Frankfurt audience:

We know there were two brothers in the [Eritrean] field of struggle. One has returned home, [but] we have not yet heard from the other. As we [read] the word of the Lord saying, “Cain, where is your brother Abel?” we are now forced to ask: Shabia, where is your brother Harnnet?[42]

In the same Frankfurt speech, the Eritrean priest of the Capuchin order, paid gratitude to God and to Eritrea’s martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifices  for “peace, justice, fraternity, solidarity and prosperity” and prayed for the new leader(s) to have wisdom.  He added:

It is also my hope, and  my personal call on our higher religious leaders, both Muslims and Christians, to openly come forward and demand for national reconciliation.[43]

The priest rhetorically asked as to what the country would look like without reconciliation and under exclusion of one by the other. In providing his own answers, Abba Teweldeberhan warned: “Abuses will pile up in the country” and that this can result in an endless cycle of resentments and revenges among a divided people.[44]  Abuses have piled up all along the past 25 years, but, fortunately, his fear of an internecine conflict did not take place – at least not so far.

Soon after the results of the Eritrean referendum were reported in May 1993, Abba Teweldeberhan hand-delivered an  article to the editors of the official newspaper, Hadas Eritra,  but they refused to publish it. In that article, the priest challenged the arbitrariness in choosing a national flag for the new state, and questioned the composition and mandate of the body electing the president. He also listed seven powers  allotted to the president, and this appeared to him as an act of “reincarnating Menghistu Hailemariam” in Eritrea. He challenged several other actions[45] of the provisional government and did not hide his fear that the new authorities were headed towards building a full-fledged “authoritarianism” by not opting to start “a new Eritrea with a new spirit”.[46]

III. Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Situations

Eritreans affected by the declared policy of exclusion demanded that there be a national conference at which the need for political reconciliation and national issues could be discussed and resolved. But other Eritreans supporting the new regime were also prone to deny such needs: ‘With whom does one reconcile; who is enemy of who?’  ‘What do they need other than independence’ etc.[47] Their argument was that political reconciliation was not applicable for the Eritrean situation. However, experiences in post-conflict situations manifest the importance of having it in order to transit to a long awaited  new beginning. Proponents of political reconciliation see it as an absolutely necessary bridge from the old to the new. In the words of Charles Villa-Vicencio, the leading author of the final report of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “political reconciliation is the litmus test of a successful political transition and peace endeavor”[48] and that it obligates the concerned parties  to make vital decisions “on how to deal with the past in order for a new kind of society to emerge.”[49] To Archbishop Edmond Tutu, reconciliation can also constitute a simple effort involving a minimum level of cooperation among  erstwhile rivals in order to ensure holistic justice that cannot and should not fail to include human rights, economic development and of course the rule of law.[50] This makes it clear that there is no rigid formula for political reconciliation, which is described as a multi-faceted process.

On this basis, Eritrea could have used the features in political reconciliation suitable to its situation without compromising basic principles and objectives of such processes. Thus, degrees of restorative justice, truth-telling, forgiveness, healing, fostering trust and  mutual understanding were not impossible to reach in Eritrea through time-taking endeavors. Vicencio also emphasized that it would be “immoral and irresponsible” for liberation movements, states and individuals to try to side-step the challenge of reconciliation that leads to sustainable harmony and national unity.[51] Isaias Afwerki’s Eritrea of 1991 preferred to side-step it.

IV. Why a Reconciliation Process for Eritrea?

In the late 1970s, when both the ELF and the EPLF were at their best and, in their different ways, preparing to become at least one of the ruling parties in Asmara, many foreign journalists were visiting Eritrea and writing about the country and the struggle. As mentioned earlier, the American John E. Duggan, was one of them, who, in his ‘first hand report’, described Eritrea in the following terms:

If you like politics, you will love Eritrea…[It] is a microcosm of the politics and problems of the Third World….nine languages, and two major communities – highland Christian peasants and lowland Moslem nomads and semi-nomads – Eritrea is typical of the manifold problems confronting any Third World country today.[52]

The Eritrean society underwent important changes during the years of nationalist awakening and the armed struggle – a period stretching from 1941 to 1991. However, with the considerably high rate of illiteracy-cum-poverty and the multiple cleavages noted above, the transformations are not to be exaggerated. Furthermore, there occurred serious reverses of the positive changes that were cultivated during the years of armed struggle. One notable reversal occurred after the 1980-81 civil war that deepened polarization in the society. This event created bitterness and anger within the defeated ELF that suffered fragmentation, and encouraged the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism.[53]

By the early 1990s, there were  half a dozen Eritrean political organizations other than the EPLF and the still nascent Islamist movement,[54] and fragmentation was continuous. Therefore, the claim of fully achieved unity in Eritrea – as the government’s hade-hizbi-hade libi (one people-one heart) slogan wishes to portray – can only be half true at its best. It may indeed be too early for Eritreans not to forget the fact the country was created by “severing its different peoples from those with whom their past had been linked and by grafting the amputated remnants to each other under the title Eritrean”.[55]  It was only a decade before independence that the ELF and the EPLF  were in the threshold of victory when they controlled nearly  90% of the country. But they failed to come together. This weakness, which by the way reminds one of what is going on in the current Eritrean opposition camp with several dozens of “political” formations,  was summarized by an Eritrea observer in 1983 in the following sharp terms: “The reality of ethnic, religious, regional, social and personal rivalries couched in revolutionary phraseology legitimizing disunity proved stronger than the relatively young sentiment of Eritrean nationalism”.[56]

Eritrean intellectuals, freedom fighters and even the simple folks knew well the apparent need of carefully addressing the question of unity and mutual respect as it was also  repeatedly urged by  leading Eritrean patriots. Sheikh Ibrahim Sultan, a towering figure in the growth of national consciousness and its awakening in Eritrea, for instance, urged his compatriots as follows in a letter addressed to the 1987 congress of the EPLF:

My children, make peace amongst yourselves. Be united. Don’t be Muslims and Christians… Avoid religious, ethnic and regional differences and confront the enemy through forging a solid platform.[57]

He was repeating this language after 41 years of the divisive conference of Bet-Giorgis[58] that he attended and at which he claimed he was maligned[59]. Similarly, Woldeab Woldemariam, in his eulogy for Ibrahim Sultan in late 1987, wrote:  “Do you remember [Ibrahim Sultan] that the most difficult challenge in our struggle was safeguarding national unity?”[60] It was in the same eulogy that Woldeab Woldemariam attributed 90% of the credit of keeping Eritrea united to Ibrahim Sultan.[61] Also emphasizing the importance of unity in the Eritrean diversity, Mohammed Saied Nawd, the founder in 1958 of the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM), had this to say in his 1996 book:

Our struggle has not finished yet, it continues. From our three objectives, only the [territorial] liberation of Eritrea is realized. As for the other two objectives, namely national unity and the formation of a democratic state, the struggle  is continuing to realize them. And the path to these is democratization – furnishing justice and equality among our people. And the struggle to achieve that would help us achieve a strong national unity, peace, stability and prosperity. But if we tread a different path, we will face unbearable difficulties.[62]

The unfinished struggle referred to in the above quotation naturally required addressing lingering problems. In fact, many Eritreans still remembered in 1991 what was documented in a 1971 pamphlet entitled Nhnan Elamanan[63] whose main author is alleged to be Isaias himself. In it were listed killings allegedly committed by Eritrean ‘Muslim leaders’ of the ELF. It was also in January 1973 that the same group argued that Eritrean nationalities were not treated equally in the national struggle and that “the history of Jebha [i.e. ELF] was nothing but a history of oppression of one nationality by the other.”[64] In short, there was no love lost between the rival Eritrean fronts: bitter allegations against one another continued till the eve of independence and beyond. This thorny relationship was encapsulated in a September 1990 radio broadcast of the EPLF that alleged the other Eritrean organizations  to be spies of the Arabs and the Ethiopians.[65]

The Eritrean president, who did not see the need for reconciliation in 1991, never failed referring to the ‘ugly past’ whenever he found it opportune. For instance, he gave the following puzzling account in an interview conducted with an Ethiopian magazine in September 1997:

If I were not aware of our own [Eritrean] situation, I would have described the grisly mass murders in Somalia, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia and Liberia as barbaric crimes perpetrated by backward peoples. I would have said ‘we are different, we are not like them’. But what we had gone through in Eritrea was not different from what is going on in other countries. We in Eritrea suffered mass murders, one ethnic and geographic group cleansing the other in a cowardly and inordinate manner. We have now come a long way from that past, and the present and future generations [in Eritrea] who had not seen what we did would be surprised of what is going on in Somalia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Liberia. The surprise comes because they did not know what had happened in our country. Seen from this angle, it would appear that the present and future generations would benefit from knowing about it. But unless done in a constructive way, making the new generation aware of a black spot in its history is a bit difficult”.[66]

Leaving aside their veracity, there have been allegations of ‘crimes’ committed by one group or individual against others. In the above quotation, the president was hinting at the importance of presenting the past in “a constructive way,” which is agreeable. Even in 1991, the expectation was not to find an  overnight solution to the entire historical baggage, alleged abuses, mistrusts and ill-feelings. However, allowing political inclusion, even limited, and then starting a process of reconciliation and accountability over past and future mistakes could have helped in averting the failure being witnessed today.

V. The Ignored Calls for a Rational Beginning in 1991

In their different ways, the organizations denied return expressed readiness to be partners in a joint rebuilding of the country. As noted earlier, they had deep mistrust of the winner front’s strongman, but appeared to have hoped that, this time round, he would not be allowed by his colleagues and by the general public[67] to ignore the promises of the 1987 EPLF congress. The front’s strongman was also making misleading utterances during that period. For instance, he affirmed in 1990 stating that “one-party system will neither enhance national security or stability nor accelerate development” and that exclusion of others “could be a major threat to the very existence of our country.”[68] It partly sounded believable.

In those post-independence days of excitement, few were interested to listen to other voices or read their statements. And no wonder that their significant pleas remain unknown to the Eritrean public to this day. Therefore, in order to shed some light on what was taking place in that historic juncture in Eritrea, this article will try give  some space to those  pleas for inclusion.[69]

The ELF-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) and the ELF-Central Leadership (ELF-CL/Sagem) were more vocal among the excluded fronts. The latter organization, which in the 1980s seriously tried but failed to work with EPLF, regretted with prophetic words in its 20 June 1991 statement that Eritrea’s hard-won victory “will not be consummated” due to the way the winner front was approaching major issues including unity and democracy. On its part, the ELF-RC was leading the contacts with fraternal fronts in the Sudan to jointly contact and urge the EPLF to forget the past and organize a national conference in which a new Eritrea of all could be launched. In the period between 24 May and 24 December 1991, the ELF-RC alone issued  seven statements, including two letters addressed personally to Isaias Afwerki,[70] literally begging for magnanimity. For instance, on 30 May 1991, only five days after the entry of the victorious EPLF army to Asmara, the organization issued a statement describing the formation of an EPLF government as  “a step in the right direction.” The other Eritrean organizations made similar appeals. But, the new government did not approach any of them other than trying to sow division within each group with the aim of winning  individuals.[71] Another ELF-RC statement issued on 7 June predicted what will befall Eritrea if the new authorities in Asmara fail to heed the calls of the others. The statement partly read,

We are passing through an important epoch in the history of our national struggle. The fate of our future generations hinge upon what we do today. History will pass its judgment on us all if we ever let this chance [for reconciliation] slip away…Playing ostrich and denying the existence of several national organizations with different political standpoints in the Eritrean arena today is absolutely unacceptable…[72]

What initially appeared to be a positive outcome of the letters to Isaias Afwerki was his agreement to meet the ELF-RC leadership in Asmara.[73] Accordingly, the ELF-RC Chairman Ahmed Nasser and  team finalized trip arrangements in October 1991 to fly to Asmara.[74] But while part of the delegation was already at the Khartoum  airport, a call from the EPLF government’s Khartoum representative, Mohammed Ali Omero[75], asked them not to fly to Asmara that day.[76]

For the Eritrean authorities, that was the first and last known attempt in 25 years to contact an Eritrean political organization. To Gaim Kibreab, the Eritrean scholar who followed the country’s developments at least for the past 30 years, the October 1991 event  could have turned to be an “unprecedented opportunity” for new Eritrea by making  “a difference in terms of setting in motion a process of negotiation, understanding, compromise, healing and, over time, trust and mutual cooperation.”[77] Unfortunately, the refusal to meet with a rival organization was, he added,  “a clue to some of the consecutive tragedies that have been befalling the country and its people in the post- independence period”.[78]

Fifteen months after the defeat of Ethiopia in Eritrea, and after the failure of individual efforts of the Eritrean organizations to be listened by the EPLF, they issued on 20 September 1992 a joint statement entitled the ‘September Declaration’. The statement affirmed that there was no disagreement with the EPLF on the objective of liberation but what they rejected in 1991 was “its exclusive domination of power” and warned the Eritrean people of what they called “emerging new dictatorship.”[79] One of the points in the Declaration stated:

We demand the convening of a national reconciliation congress in which all the Eritrean forces take part, and whose aim is to reach a national consensus on a charter defining the foundations and features of the independent state of Eritrea.

The signatory organizations were the ELF-RC; the ELF-Central Leadership/Sagem; the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea, and the ELF-United Organization which included pre-1977 EPLF factions. There was no reaction from the government, and efforts to call for inclusion died down by end of 1992. However, in relation to the referendum in 1992-93, the ELF-RC continued publicly asking for participation in organizing the referendum seeing it not only as an important milestone in the struggle for nationhood but also as equally significant  step towards recognized participation in a national affair – an ABC of democratic partaking.  For this purpose, it addressed two memoranda  in November and December 1992 asking the UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Qali to intervene. The 2 December 1992 memo explained that, “apart from settling the issue of independence, the referendum process shall be judged by its substantive contribution to the democratization of political life in future Eritrea.”[80] At the public level, a  massive demonstration was held in Germany in March 1993 underlining: ‘Yes to Independence’ and ‘No to Exclusion’. The requests for participation fell on deaf ears with even the  UN keeping silent. Exclusion of participation in organizing the referendum made the process remain exclusively an EPLF affair.[81]

Their Calls Vindicated, but When it Got Too Late

A decade later, after tyranny was well consolidated, the old pleas of the ‘others’ were vindicated when former ardent supporters of the government started questioning the  mutual denigrations of the past.[82] One such voice was from a group of 13 EPLF elite who appealed for a change of direction in a noteworthy letter, usually referred as the Berlin Manifesto of G-13. Addressed to the Eritrean president, the letter stated,

Eritrean military victory and the assumption of sovereign statehood should have been accompanied by a spirit of reconciliation fired by magnanimity…wisdom and statesmanship required a call for reconciliation extended to all Eritreans irrespective of belief or political affiliation to join hands in rebuilding a shattered society and economy. It is an opportunity that is lost but that can still be reclaimed.[83]

Numerous publications recounted how those mistakes of the early 1990s ‘wounded’ the nation and ‘deferred’ the dreams of the struggle. The border war with Ethiopia was an eye-opener for many who felt that it was time to ‘reclaim’ the lost opportunities, as G-13 hoped. The call started by G-13 was followed by another message of G-15 which did not succeed. As in 1991, the regime supporters and the general public  remained silent.

The last attempt for change of direction in Eritrea was the 21 January 2013 army ‘uprising’ (the Forto incident) by a small and  ill-organized unit. Most probably as part of continued exploitation of bogeymen, the president appeared to have directed his insiders  to demonize the incident as ‘a sectarian’ attempt by the leader of the armed unit in collusion with his name sakes in the PFDJ.[84]

VI. Eritrea’s Learned Lessons and a Way Forward

“We must create a state of equal partners”[85]  – Hussein Khalifa,  Nov.2015

The points raised in this appraisal of Eritrea’s shortcomings in the early 1990s and the quick assessment made about its enduring cleavages intend to warn of two risks that may still be ahead for Eritreans. The assumed risks are: a) another dictatorship replacing the current one, and/or b) the society plunging into a chaotic situation exploitable by external forces.[86]  Learning from past mistakes and addressing lingering problems properly can avert or at least help minimize potential damages of these awful risks.

One of the major shortcomings of the period under review was the winner front’s   unpreparedness (rather, unwillingness) to have an inclusive[87]political transition plan aiming to include all stakeholders in order to create a state of equal partners. Corollary to this was the refusal to positively respond to calls for national unity and political reconciliation process suitable to the Eritrean setting.

By the late 1980s, there was no lack of indicators that an end to the war with Ethiopia was in the cards. This was clear especially after the spectacular victory at Afabet in March 1988. Other indicators of victory included the intensification of dissatisfaction within the Ethiopian army and the changing policies of the two superpowers of the day towards Ethiopia and the liberation struggle in Eritrea. Moreover, backed by the resolutions of the 1987 congress, senior cadres of the EPLF who reportedly sensed some lack of accountability in the front, as the G-15 letter noted, were able to warn their top leadership that an act of “winner-take-all” formula will not have to be the way to go after independence. It was only a couple of years before independence that a prominent leader in the front at that time, now Era-Ero prisoner Haile Woldetinsae (Durue), confided to the British professor and author/activist, Lionel Cliffe, that the great danger facing the EPLF was how to tackle Tigrigna chauvinism.[88] This shows that at least some of the leadership and senior cadres were well concerned of what could happen after independence.

It is also important to note that there was hope that, as a victor,  the EPLF would act rationally and address the question of  inclusion of ‘the others’, especially at a time when winds of polarization were on the increase and old social bonds and mutual trust were being severely eroded. We have seen that existing perceptions of marginalization worsened after the defeat of the ELF in the hands of combined EPLF-TPLF forces in 1980-81 further widening divisions in the society and encouraging the growth of extremist and sub-national voices. It was no surprise that the denial of return to Eritrea of erstwhile rivals fell as total disdain and deeply felt humiliation to the affected organizations and their  followers  who belonged to all of Eritrea’s regions, religions and cultures.

Today, the loss of trust that was caused by those shortcomings of the early 1990s is continuing as a barrier affecting joint work; there are non-EPLF folks who still find it difficult to fully trust former EPLF/PFDJ leadership and senior cadres who are trustworthy and committed for a positive change in the country. At times, people forget that the cause of all evil in Eritrea is the PFDJ system of governance itself.  The fears and mistrust in the society are many times given religious and regional tones. For instance, a document called ‘The Eritrean Covenant’ claimed in 2010 that the dictatorship in Eritrea was enforcing  ‘ethnocratic policies’  which were a serious threat “to the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between Eritrean Christians and Muslims”.[89] The document justified the claim by stating that Eritrean Muslims do not enjoy “equal opportunities to education, employment and economic benefits”[90] and that their share in government, if any, remains less than 10% while Eritrean Muslims constituted about half of the nation.  The questions of land and official languages are also among the controversial issues many Eritreans raise for discussion and correct resolution in the future.

Fortunately today – and unlike in 1991 or 2001 –  the number of Eritreans, who are not happy with most of what the EPLF/PFDJ did in the post-independence period, is already huge and growing by the day. A collective Eritrean critical mass appears to be forming. Therefore, one can again say that victory could be in the cards. This makes it imperative to all concerned to learn from their past mistakes and prepare for a future better than what was experienced in the past quarter of a century.

The lessons learned can lead to the following conclusions: 1) Eritrea cannot afford to go through another round of exclusion; therefore, preparations for a better future need to be laid down before the actual event (removal of the regime) takes place; 2) taking onboard all stakeholders will safeguard not only national unity but also become a means in checking and balancing the forces towards creating a democratic state of institutions; 3) a suitable political reconciliation process need to be initiated in order to try to put historical baggage behind the coalescing forces; and, finally, 4) the support of external forces has to be garnered now to insure that they external inferences shall not affect the success of the transition plan.

The Eritrean situation makes it imperative that there be two phases for the transition plan: Phase I covering the period before the removal of the regime, and Phase II for the post-PFDJ period. To this end, a conference in diaspora sponsored by independent entity or entities, can convene and draft a provisional charter that defines the tasks of the stakeholders in the struggle. The conference in diaspora would adopt a provisional charter defining what is to be done in Phase I whose functions extend until the holding of another conference in Eritrea and launching Phase II.

As always, reaching a common agenda; building coalitions, and making hard compromises are among the challenges and priorities because “transition-making is not a task for the dogmatic.”[91] Therefore, every participant in the process for democratic change in Eritrea is required to learn from countless past weaknesses and prepare to face the two formidable challenges mentioned in the opening paragraph of this section:

  • Averting another tyranny after the one-man despotism of the past 25 years, and
  • Ensuring that post-PFDJ Eritrea is not another place like the post-Siad Barre Somalia.

No place for complacency in regard to these dangers; they may – who knows[92] – replicate themselves in Eritrea after the demise of the current dictatorship.

In 1992, this writer casually observed: “Woldeab Woldemariam has returned home but not yet Idris Mohammed Adem. And without the return of all […], the future of Eritrea could be still hanging in the scales.”[93] To this day – and only to emphasize – the challenge remains to be how to include  everybody and still remain effective. It is an uphill struggle, and what is  expected of Eritreans now is to do all what it takes to create a truly participatory ground well before the fall of the dictatorship in order to design the silhouette of the future state of Eritrea through continued dialogue and understanding among all stakeholders.

Bibliography

  1. Abba Teweldeberhan Tzeggai. Diggi Gifuat (In Defense of the Oppressed. Milano: published NA, November 2001.
  2. Alemseged Tesfai. Aynifelale: 1941-1950. Asmara: Hidri Publishers, 2001.
  3. Andebrhan Welde Giorgis. Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope. Houston: Strategic Books Publishing & Rights, 2014.
  4. Bereket Habte Selassie. The Wounded Nation: How a Once Promising Eritrea was Betrayed and it Future Compromised. Trenton: The Red Sea Press, Inc., 2011.
  5. Charles Villa-Vicencio. Walk with Us and Listen: Political Reconciliation in Africa. Georgetown: Georgetown UP, 2009.
  6. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. Croydon: CPI Group, UK Ltd, 2012.
  7. K.N. Trevaskis.  Eritrea, A Colony in Transition. Oxford: 1941-52, Oxford UP, 1960.
  8. Michael Banks, ed. Conflict in World Society: A Perspective in International Relations. Brighton: 1984.
  9. Redie Bereketeab. State-Building in Post-Liberation Eritrea. London: Adonis & Abbey Publishers, 2009.
  10. Rotberg, Rovert I, and Thomson, Dennis, ed. Truth V. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions. New Jersey: Princeton UP, 2000.
  11. Wolde-Yesus Ammar. Eritrea: Root Causes of War and Refugees. Bagdad: Sindbad Printing Co., 1992.

Journals, other publications

  1. Abraham Paulos. Senselet Sened No.3. Kassel: October 1998.
  1. Al Hayat, Arabic newspaper. Beirut, No. 10,453 of 19.09.1991.
  2. EPLF. Fitsametat, periodical, No. 193 of 1987.
  3. Eritrean Newsletter (vol. 45 of Jan. 1982). Reader’s letter entitled, “EPLF: Profile of Adventurism in Eritrea.”
  4. John E. Duggan.  1978 manuscript. Eritrean Newsletter vol. 45 of Jan. 1982
  5. Joseph L. Venosa. “Because God Has Given Us the Power of Reasoning: Intellectuals, the Eritrean Muslim League, and Nationalist Activism, 1946-1950”. Northeast African Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2012, 29-62.
  6. Lionel Cliffe, “Forging a Nation: the Eritrean Experience,”   (The Third World Quarterly, Oct. 1989
  1. Sandra Fullerton Joireman. “Minefield of Land Reform: Comments on the Eritrean Land Proclamation”. African Affairs, 95, No. 379, Apr., 1996, 269-285.

[1]  www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/beginning.

[2]  One was  Dan Connell, an American journalist/researcher, who until 2001 believed that the EPLF was everything in Eritrea. In his March 2016 interview with Ethiopian TV,  he confirmed  that a  mistake was made at the beginning in 1991 by excluding the ELF side –  see: http://awate.com/tefera-gedamu-interviews-dan-connell-on-ebc/.

[3] The civilians (gebar) and fighters (tegadelti) were treated differently  and complaints simmered from the start.

[4] Fitsametat (EPLF periodical, No. 188, Oct. 1986), 7.

[5] The ‘Menkae’ movement of 1973 criticized dictatorial tendencies  and demanded reform but was harshly nipped in the bud, leaving behind it a trail of fear, mistrust and increasingly deadening silence inside the front.

[6] Isaias Afwerki has been the unchallenged ‘strongman’ for the past 45 years of whatever group or regime he led.

[7] Isaias and this writer  were class- and ELF cell-mates  in the 1960s in Asmara and Addis Ababa.

[8] Contrary to hearsay, this writer believes that Isaias never  faltered from struggling for  Eritrean nationhood at least until the eve of independence. But Isaias believed only he and his front could do the job successfully.

[9]  In its early days, the small organization Isaias led forged an alliance with a prominent ex-ELF leader, Osman S. Sabbe in the early 1970s. The other  alliance was entered with the TPLF, although it had its ups and downs.

[10]  John E. Duggan, (1978 manuscript published in the Eritrean Newsletter vol. 45 of January 1982), 2-3.

[11]  EPLF leaders and total membership were dominantly from the highland and the Massawa regions since the merger of factions in early 1970s. Even between 1991 and 2015,  there has not been a single cabinet minister from the  western Barka region from where a high percentage of  Muslim Eritreans hail.

[12]  Eritrean Newsletter, ‘EPLF: Profile of Adventurism’, a contributor’s letter published in  vol. 45 of Jan. 1982,   4.

[13]  Usually referred to as ‘Hashewiye’ wudibat (‘merry-go-round’ of organizations) – an expression in Tigrigna.

[14] Michael Banks, ed., Conflict in World Society: A Perspective in International Relations, (Brighton: 1984),  17.

[15]  Al Hayat, Arabic newspaper published in Beirut, No. 10,453 of 19.09.1991.

[16] Gaim Kibreab, Critical Reflections on the Eritrean War of Independence (Red Sea Press, Inc. Trenton 2009), 402.

[17] Gaim, Critical Reflections, 414.

[18]  Sandra Fullerton Joireman,  African Affairs, Vol. 95, No. 379, Apr., 1996,  269-285.  In the article entitled.  “Minefield of Land Reform: comments on the Eritrean Land Proclamation”, she expressed surprise on the decision to deny return to the ELF, a mistake which she thought would ferment  conflict and instability in the long run.

[19]  Andebrhan Welde Giorgis,  Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope (Houston: Strategic Books Publishing & Rights, 2014),  191.

[20]  Letter of G-15 to PFDJ members, dated 7 March 2001.

[21] Andebrhan, Eritrea at a Crossroads,  158.

[22]  Gaim, Critical Reflections,  402.

[23] Redie Bereketeab, State-Building in Post-Liberation Eritrea, (London: Adonis & Abbey Publishers, 2009), 265.

[24] Daron Acemoglu, and James A. Robinson,  Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, (Croydon: CPI Group, UK Ltd),   91.

[25] Acemoglu, Why Nations Fail,  402.

[26] Bereket Habte Selassie, The Wounded Nation: How a Once Promising Eritrea was Betrayed and its Future Compromised, (Trenton: The Red Sea Press, Inc., 2011), 233.

[27]  Italians mobilized thousands of Eritreans for the 1896 Battle of Adwa; the 1911-1922 war in Libya and in their 1935-1941 invasion of Ethiopia. The liberation war (1961-1991) and the post-liberation 25 years under the repressive dictatorship which provoked hostilities with the Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti are part of the wars and war-like situations under which the people suffered in their short history.

[28] The blame that the ELF of Abdalla Idris received some material support from Ethiopia and the Dergue’s  ‘autonomy’ project  supported by a manipulated few lowlanders was used to demonize political  organizations as an additional excuse for their exclusion in 1991.

[29] The EPRDF was able to pressurize the new authorities in Eritrea because without Ethiopia’s consent for  independence, the  new Eritrean state could have remained in a limbo like Somaliland.

[30]   Alex Russell,  Big Men, Little People,  (London: Pan Books, 2000),  2.

[31] Some insiders however claim that the measure of disbanding the EPLF mass organizations, that was led by Mahmoud Sherifo,  was initiated in order to revitalize and widen an already weakened structure.

[32] German clergyman  Martin Niemoeller is famously quoted for his 1946 poem in German which partly says:  “First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” See: https://www.quotesdaddy.com/author/Martin+Niemoeller

[33]  The ELF  was started with fighters mainly from one region and one religion but,  at the end  included all regions and religions of the country. However, its leadership, especially the military office, remained from a narrow circle and that had discernible impact  in its eventual defeat and fragmentation.

[34] Moderate fronts at that time  were: ELF-RC; ELF (led by Abdalla Idris); the ELF-Central Leadership/ Sagem; the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea;  the ELF- NC/Obel, a faction of pre-1977 EPLF, and ELF-United Organization, (with elements from an EPLF faction) led by Ali Berhatu, a colleague of Osman S. Sabbe, founder of PLF in early 1970s.  Some ELF-UO leaders went to Asmara only to be  ordered to dissolve their front.

[35]  According to Gime Ahmed, a senior officer in the ELF military office, registration for military ID cards in 1978 found  that 85% of the ELF fighters originated from highland Eritrea.

[36]  Letter of G-15. This group of leadership figures,   formed after the border war with Ethiopia, ended with the clampdown of 18.09.2001 that incarcerated 11 of the signatories and their alleged sympathizers in the media.

[37] At the congress, Isaias Afwerki infuriated many congress participants by decisions he took without consultation. It was in this congress that Ramadan Mohammed Nur, formally the ‘top’ leader of the  front till 1987,  was dropped even from the list of candidates for new leadership reportedly hand-picked by Isaias himself.

[38] Former prominent figures like Herui Tedla, who was ELF vice-chairman in the early 1970s, and the ELF-CL/Sagem  that joined EPLF in 1987 had personalities like Ibrahim Toteel and Zemehret Yohannes.

[39] During the years of struggle, there were attempts by the civilian population to reconcile the ELF and EPLF. For a good example of the 1976 attempt that did not work, see  Gaim, Critical Reflections,  348-355.

[40] Gaim,  Critical Reflections.

[41] Joseph L. Venosa, “Because God Has Given Us the Power of Reasoning: Intellectuals, the Eritrean Muslim League, and Nationalist Activism, 1946-1950”, Northeast African Studies, vol. 12, No 2, 2012) 29-62.

[42] Abba Teweldeberhan Tzeggai, Diggi Gifuat (In Defense of the Oppressed),  a book compiling his articles in Tigrigna, English and Italian, (published in Milano, November 2001), 20. The name  shabia in Arabic refers to EPLF and Harnnet or Jebha to the ELF.

[43]  Abba  Teweldeberhan, Diggi Gifuat,  21-22.

[44]  Abba  Teweldeberhan, Diggi Gifuat, 21.

[45] Abba Teweldeberhan, Diggi Gifuat, 39. The Eritrean priest wrote to the authorities his strong denunciation of the press law and the closure in 1995 of a church newspaper, “Haqin Hiwetn/Truth and Life, a newspaper that was never censored let alone to be shut by previous  repressive regimes since its foundation in Asmara in 1947.

[46]    Abba  Teweldeberhan, Diggi Gifuat,  24-28

[47]  For instance, this writer  personally witnessed these phrases directed against him  in  the 1990s in Dehai, a pro-government email network, and comments to his articles in Awate.com entitled “Unity and Reconciliation.”

[48]  Charles Villa-Vicencio, Walk with Us and Listen: Political Reconciliation in Africa, (Georgetown UP, 2009)  2.

[49] Vicencio,  Walk with US and Listen, 151

[50]   Archbishop Edmond Tutu, ‘Foreword’, in Vicencio, Walk with Us and Listen,  ix-xii.

[51]  Rothberg, Robert I.,  and Thomson, Dennis, ed., Truth V. Justice: The Morality of Truth Commissions, (Princeton UP, New Jersey, 2000),  19.

[52]  Eritrean Newsletter, vol. 45 of January 1982, excerpts from his 1978 manuscript.

[53]  A group of ELF leaders staged a military coup that encouraged polarization based on religion and region.

[54]  The Islamist movement started in early 1980s;  four groups merged to become Eritrean Jihad in 1988.

[55] G.K.N. Trevaskis, Eritrea, a Colony in Transition, 1941-52, (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1960) 10-11.

[56]  Erlich Haggai, The Struggle over Eritrea, 1962-78 (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1983),  96.

[57]  EPLF publication, Fitsametat No 193 of 1987, p. 15 (author’s translation from the original in Tigrigna).

[58]  The conference,  held in Nov. 1946 was overtaken by unionists who side-lined Ibrahim Sultan and his followers.

[59] Alemseged Tesfai, Aynifelale: 1941-1950, ( Asmara: Hidri Publishers,2001),  186.

[60]  Eulogy entitled Yizikerekado (do you remember?) was published in several Eritrean magazines of the day.

[61]  To this day, many Muslim elite believe that Eritrean Muslims cared for unity more than their Christian compatriots. See, for example, The Eritrean Covenant (Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar): http://awate.com/the-eritrean-covenant-towards-sustainable-justice-and-peace/

[62]  Mohammed Saied Nawd, in the introduction to his Arabic book published in June 1996, entitled Harakat TaHrir al Eritria-al Haqiqa wa’tarik. See: http://awate.com/naud-the-legendary-founder-of-haraka/

[63]  English translation is “We and Our Objectives”. The document was widely distributed among Tigrigna readers.

[64]  Fitewrari vol. 1 no. 1, January 1973 (writer’s translation from the original in Tigrigna).

[65]  Horn of Africa Bulletin vol. 2 (6) Oct.1990, excerpts from Dimstsi Hafash, EPLF radio broadcast of 09.09.1990.

[66] Reporter, Amharic magazine of September 1997, vol 1 No 1), 5.

[67] In the same way that G-15 expected the general public to be on their side.

[68] An interview quoted in Gaim Kibreab, Critical Reflections,  412

[69]  The author has in possession unpublished statements of organizations mentioned in this section.

[70] The letters to Isaias were addressed on 26 June and 27 July, 1991

[71]  See Gaim, Critical Reflections,  369-371

[72] Senselet Sened No.3 of October 1998, (compilations by Dr. Abraham Paulos, Kassel, Germany).

[73]  The request was for all organizations but he only wanted to see the ELF-RC.

[74]  According to Tesfai Degiga and Negusse Tzeggai, the delegation consisted of Chairman Ahmed Nasser, Mohammed Nur Ahmed, Seyoum Ogbamichael and Michael Ghebreselassie.

[75]  Ambassador Mohammed Ali Omaro is now in prison after his recall from west Africa.

[76] No one knew then why it was cancelled. However, president Isaias told Mohammed Nur Ahmed, who left the ELF-RC and joined the government in Asmara in the early 1990s, that he (Isaias) personally cancelled it because he did not like the ELF-RC telling the world media about their to coming to Asmara!

[77]  Gaim, Critical Reflections, 368

[78] Gaim, Critical Reflections, 365

[79]  Memoranda in possession of this author in three languages.

[80]  The two memoranda addressed to the UN, were  signed by Seyoum Ogbamichael, the then ELF-RC  foreign relations head. They expressed the co

nviction that participation of  all stakeholders in the referendum would prove to be a significant step in starting a democratic process in new Eritrea.

[81] While demanding  for recognition and participation, ELF-RC leadership was encouraging its members to vote in the referendum  without saying this was their party line.

[82] Dawit Mesfin, who sent a strong letter of  personal apologies in 2000 and in 2001 addressed the ELF-RC festival in Kassala,  was one of the early brave voices. Dawit was one of the 13 signatories of the Berlin Manifesto.

[83] Bereket Habte Selassie, op. cit. 292.

[84] The PFDJ regime imprisoned  leading PFDJ figures whose Muslim names sent a message to gullible folks.

[85] Hussein Khalifa, chairman of the ELF,  speaking at the National Consultative Conference of 11 Eritrean organizations that met in Nairobi, Kenya, between 27 and 29 November, 2015.

[86] External forces can include extremists from afar or countries of the neighborhood.

[87] The 1987 EPLF congress was called “unity” congress although it had little that could qualify  it have that description. It was only very few former ELF cadres split from the ELF-CL/Sagem who attended it.

[88] Lionel Cliffe, “Forging a Nation: the Eritrean Experience,”   (The Third World Quarterly, October 1989), 17.

[89] http://awate.com/author/mejlis/. Initially introduced to be from a group called ‘Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar’ with no names given, the document was later on endorsed by a  new formation called Eritrean Lowland League.

[90]  http://awate.com/author/mejlis.

[91] Abraham F. Lowenthal and Sergio Bitar, “Getting to Democracy: Lessons from Successful Transitions), Foreign Affairs , January/February 2016.  pp. 134-144.

[92] Who also knows that further frustration in Eritrea may push some people to the old notions of annexation/partition that were defeated in the 1940s and nowadays appear to be impossible to contemplate.

[93] Wolde-Yesus Ammar, Eritrea: Root Causes of War and Refugees (Bagdad: Sindbad Printing Co., 1992)  94.

Pinterest
  • saay7

    Hey Sahay:

    Not to take away from your aha! moment but, you got nothing (again:) To repeat:

    1. I am no longer a member of the Awate Team. This means I am not part of its management, its editorial policy. This means when you see “The Awate Team” (editorials), I am not part of it;
    2. I am a member of awate forum moderating team. This is hardly kept a secret because you see (i think) the word “moderator” next to my name. This is done by volunteers who have nothing to do with management. You can volunteer to be one but then the Awate Team would have to do its due diligence and look at all your “contribution” to asmarino.

    And, um, whatever happened to your claim about kommandis. Are we going to pretend that you never said that? Or do you need help from your Agazian team to find it?

    saay

    • Sahay Erican

      Saay,

      lt is said that charity starts at home so let us start with you first and your demand will be met later: Did I ever say “camel puller”?

      Thank you for starting to censor my comments lately too. The control limits are getting tighter. Is this a sign for the next big bang to take place?

      • saay7

        Sahay:

        Ah, here comes the messiah-complex: I am being censored. When you violate the posting guidelines you will be and your preemptive complaints won’t change that fact.

        Don’t try to be too smart: you referred to MaHmuday, who has a name, as “former camel shepherd” or whatever which, in Tigrinya, is used not as a term of endearment but a language of bigotry. it’s the intent behind the words not the words. If you had any character you would apologize for that but you won’t: you will just play your Hlmi derho game.

        The thing is that you said that I have referred to Highlanders as deqi commandis. What I am not clear on is: did you actually think I said that and now you are stumped or you knew I have never said that and you are trying to muddy the waters?

        saay

        • Sahay Erican

          Saay,

          Now I don’t even know whether you are crying, lamenting or simply trying to show you are a tough guy from the hood. You are not getting any attention from the people you hoped to rain stones at me either. Give it up. It is good for your health. You have called me many names without adhering to the guideline you wrote. You called me “agaezian” and twisted my words to fit your peception.

          “ናይ ዓ…ነገር መዳከምያ” በለት ኣደይ ምሉ:: Please ask for help to fill the blank space. It is one of the most famous quotes of the twentieth century in Eritrea.

          Saay, ነቶም ኣያታትካ ብዘመን እኒ እኒ ኣንጻር እቲ ሒዞሞ ዝነበሩ ኣዕናዊ ideology መኪትና: ሕጂ ድማ ኣንጻር እቲ ሒዝካዬ ዘለኻ ኣይሲሳውን ጅሃዳውን መንሽሮ መኸተ ክቕጽልዩ::

          Case closed. I wish you all the best.

          • saay7

            Sahay:

            Not cry, not lamenting, just exposing you for the awatista audience who may not know you from your long paper trail for the bigot that you are.

            And either stay or leave: stop with all the fake goodbyes. Nobody is going to beg you to stay.

            saay

  • G. Gebru

    Dear tes,n
    Selam.
    ንወላዲኻ መንግስተ ሰማያት ንስድራ ቤትካ ጽንዓት እምነ።
    ራሕሲ ይገደፉ።

  • blink

    Dear sahay
    The game goes on and on ,none stop from the time you were in a camp in 1976 . One thing is clear and that is you will remain in the minority. The revolution was ✅ long time ago. Eritrea an independent with a sick leader and this sickness will end after that ,a great fight of ideas is expected but you will not be in the game.

  • saay7

    Sahay:

    Since I was mentioned, here’s the relevant part of awate.com’s posting guideline. And, yes, you are right: Nitricc and others have always struggled with 25.4 and 25.5. We do a slap on the wrist on that but our zero tolerance is for 25.6, which is a sports for you. Insult ghedli to your heart’s content but the minute you violate 25.6, is the minute before you tell your asmarino audience how the “taliban” website couldn’t take your hard truth and other self-aggrandizing comments:

    25.4 Use proper posting protocol: begin with a salutation and address your audience by name. Do not use abusive language.

    25.5 Use appropriate, family-friendly language. Foul language is not allowed.
    25.6 It is okay to criticize a political ideology but it is not okay to attack a collective identity (race, ethnicity, tribe, region, religion, nationality, gender, etc). Doing so will result in immediate suspension/ban.

    http://awate.com/posting-guidelines/

    saay

  • tes

    Dear Awate Forumers,

    Your comforting messages are indeed a driving force that will put my energy stay focused on the common march/struggle we are all moving/fighting for, To lose a father is hard to accept but a must. The time I heard the news, I thought I have the strength but then I became energyless. All my thoughts became thoughtless and all the sorrow I experienced became sorrowless. And I wanted to move on I just felt static. In the mean time, I was contemplating on the whole grief my family would go through. And what I felt is not different from the article I wrote here in 2015 under a title: A Sample of The Eritrean grief

    Here are some of the lines I dropped in between in regard to my father:

    ” My father, who was shocked over the death of his son to the extent that now he unable even to control himself.”

    And

    …, the story of what my family went through and what they real situation they are facing. I feel the pain of my mother, her sorrow, her loneliness, and her anguish. I feel the grief of my heartbroken father. None of us is around when he needs us most in his old age, we are forced not to be around. Incidentally, these are the type of helpless people that the Nobel prize nominee, Abba Mussie Zerai, has been helping.

    Yet this is not a unique experience. Every family is passing through such difficult times.

    Dear Awatistas, it is an honor to read your condolence messages. It is very comforting. But it is enough. God brings and God takes. Thanking God is the only thing we can do at this time. Let us instead fight for peace to reign in Eritrea.

    @disqus_lKwqAJTnje:disqus merci beaucoup.

    @kokhobselam:disqus I am blessed to have you as wisdom source. I thought facebook was enough for such social things. Let us all fight a good fight so that such sorrow can end.

    tes

    • Tzigereda

      Dear Tes,
      My heartfelt condolences. XinAt yihabkum.

      • Kokhob Selam

        To my friend pro. tes ..

        ….ሕሰም ኣይትርከቡ…

        ሰብ ወላ እንተሞተ መዓልቱ ኣኺሉ :-
        “ሕስም ኣይትርከቡ “እንተተባሂሉ ፡-
        ሓመድ ኣዳም እንተ ተሽብሊሉ :-
        ምባል- ጽኑሕ እንደኣሉ ::

        መግስተ ሰማያት ከም’ቲ የዋርሶ :-
        ናይ ኣብኡ ይሃቦ የውሕሶ :-
        ገነት ድማ ይሃቦ የላብሶ : –
        ክልና ከይድቲ ኢና ንብዓትና ንሓባብሶ ::

        KS..

    • Haile Zeru

      Hi Tes,
      Your father is a great man, he did a wonderfull job. I am confident you will pass his wisdom to your daughter/son.

      Regards,

    • Idris Ali

      Dear Tes
      I woud like to express my deep condoleces to you and the whole family.
      I can guess what kind of man was you father from his harvest (that is you).
      As its said “لم يمت من خلف زرية صالجة2”
      My god inspires you patience and solace
      Dr. Idris Shokay

  • Abraham H.

    Selam Tesfabirhan, I’m sorry to learn about the loss of your father. I wish you with all your famiily all the strength and courage you need to overcome the difficult time. May he rest in peace.

  • Peace!

    ሰላም tes,

    መንግስተ ሰማያት የዋርሶም ናዓኻን ንቤተሰብካን ድማ ጽንዓት ይሀብኩም

    Peace!

  • MS

    Dear tes
    My condolences. May the Almighty give you strength to get through this tough times.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Prof. Tes,
    You have my deepest sympathy on your loss. May God give you the strength you need in your time of grief.

  • Abi

    Hi Tes
    አምላክ አባትህን ከቀኙ ያውላቸው::
    ብርታቱን አብዝቶ ይስጥህ::

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Tes,
    I know that grief is neither an illness nor a pathological condition, but rather a highly personal and normal response to life-changing events. The transition through this difficult time is the courageous journey and I hope you are ready for it. We came to this world naked but we go back closed!!!

    Losing one’s father is never easy to forget nor is easy to overcome. Michèle Torr once dedicated a song for her father titled as: a mon père

    Cet homme du midi de la France/erytreé
    Ce baladin de la Provence
    Ce facteur du courrier du cœur
    Qui a toujours fait mon bonheur
    Il chante avec la même voix
    Des souvenirs qui sont en moi

    Mon père, oh oh oh mon père
    Mon père, oh oh oh mon père
    Papa je t’appelle Papa
    Mon père quand je pense à toi

    Il m’a récité les paroles
    De tous les héros de Pagnol
    Il se lève avant le soleil
    Il croit en Dieu il croit au Ciel
    Il est toujours auprès de moi
    Des jonquilles au dernier lilas

    Tu m’avais dit ne t’en va pas
    Mais je suis partie loin de toi
    Et de musique en music-hall
    Je t’ai gardé le premier rôle

    Pour lui je reste son enfant
    La mère de ses petits-enfants
    Il m’appelle Méditerranée
    Depuis le jour où je suis née
    Il a toujours été le même
    C’est si peu dire combien je l’aime

    On the behalf of Dis Donc!!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Tesfabirhan,

    It is sad to hear the loss of your father. Please accept my heart felt sympathy and condolence to you and to your family. May God give you the necessary strength to the entire family at this difficult time and rest him in peace the deceased.

    Regards

  • Hayat Adem

    Dearest Tes,
    I am so saddened by your loss. I was thinking of your absence from here lately and I was blaming it on your studies. But now this! Strength for you and peaceful rest for him!
    Hayat

    • Ismail AA

      Dear tesfabirhan,
      Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolence for you devastating loss. May he rest in peace, and you and your family be graced with power and patience to work out this tragedy. Be strong son.
      Kokhob Selam thank you for posting the information.

    • Hayat and I.AA,

      And now what?

      tSAtSE

      • Ismail AA

        Ahlen GitSAtSE,
        Muster strength, work out the grief, and move on.

        • መርሓባ ኣያ!

          ዳን!

          ጻጸ

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Mahmuday,

    Sehab Gemel is not a derogatory word except in the unconcious Eritrean mind. What is the difference between sehab gemel and Kobkab Aedug except both animals are trained to serve their owners. So Mahmuday do not worry b/c they don’t know what they are talking.

    Regards

    • blink

      Dear Mr .MS and Mr. Amanuel, I come from people who use camel and I am proud of it. My grandfather used camels to collect stone to build his house and he told me the whole community used to beg him to use his camel . If I could use any animal I will use camel too. Sahay is known for his begot but this one is perfectly ok for me. I have family members ,who continue to use camel even to go to market. What this guy doesn’t know is ” he is always alien to Eritreans way of life. If you know sahay in his website,you would probably not responded to him. Camel well , camel is a very good animal apart from the abuse he got from PFDJ. I hope his day will come .

      • Sahay Erican

        Dear blink,

        You sound so distressed so I have to give you some self consolation. But before I
        offer the help, let me to tell you a true story. Once upon a time I asked a grade eight history teacher (he lives in Australia at the moment) the following question,

        ” Why is Turkey not an Arab nation while it is a Muslim nation?” It was an honest question. I used to think that any white or yellow Muslim is an Arab. Here is how he addressed my question,

        “Are you one of those chauvinistic highland Christians who think people changed to Islam by the sword?” It was a ድቦላ shock and awe. When I said “No”, he continued to the question.

        That is exactly what I see with some of the notable gedli romantics. Criticize the barbaric history gedli at your own risk. Expect to be called all types of names: bigot, chauvinist, revisionist, neo-andnet, woyane, and you name it.

        Let me tell you what exactly happened in case you missed it. I never said “camel puller”. That was Saay’s invention to galvanize his troops. What I said was “camel herder”. Are these two words the same? It is for you to discover. I was once called a “donkey herder” in this website, and nobody cared about it. I did not mind it too.

        Take it easy. It is a war of ideas. No one has lost a life because of it:)

        • blink

          Dear sahay
          Why is this about Arab again? I don’t believe there are people here who wants to go toe to toe with you on such case, as you do in Asmarino. I am fed up with such topic. You can invite your friends if you want. Your phobia is simply not my interest.

  • Haile S.

    Dear MS,
    Please accept this post card through my Avatar; a card in honor of the decent seHab-Camel and the elegant Camel.

    • MS

      Ahlan HaileSemere
      As always, great response. Thanks buddy. My camel avatar will return soon after June 20, as a respect of the current avatar, the great patriot and first national martyr Abdulkader Kebire.

      • Haile S.

        Hi MS,
        On this Martyr’s day. I think of the first of them all, Martyr Abdulkader Kebire, your Avatar. Please consider keeping his image. I am upgrading/zooming my Avatar instead of you changing it as you had mentioned some weeks ago.
        Best.
        Haile S.

        • MS

          Dear HaileS
          What a gracious idea? I thank you so much for this thoughtful idea. I’m always intrigued and want to know more about the Eritrean giants who pretty much decided the direction of Eritrean nationalism: Abdulkader Kebire, abona Weldean Weldemariam, SheiK ibrahim sultan, and Ras Tesema ASmerom (Asberom). We have enough information on the three: WEldeab Woldemariam and Ibrahim sultan have become household names, and the lion of Maereba also left behind traces and impacts. The new book about Welwel, by Dawit Mesfun, will certainly add information to our knowledge about Abona WEldeab and the period he lived in. He was recently featured on awate.com. Abdulkader Kebire, in most cases, is mentioned as the first national martyr, also thanks to Alemseged Tesfai, now we know he was more than that. I think the man was a glue between Kebessa and lowlands. He had the education (law) and practice that made him the target of the British Administration and King HS. I hope scholars to dig into this man’s contribution and elevate him more than the first martyr.
          Related to this topic, I have read elsewhere some comments that say we should pay attention more to the living. Well, firstly, just because they are dead, it does not erase their human place. They were people of ambitions and dreams, they were breathing, making us laugh, giving us energy and direction. They are many, in the tens of thousands, and they have families. Therefore, it would the smallest thing we could do to give reassurance to those families that we have not forgotten about their loved one. The second and most important one is that yes, we observe it in a way it contributes to the life of the living. By the way, if they had a chance they would tell us that they had died so that the living ones could have a better future. Some have even come to question if they really died for a cause. The thing is: we tend to digress whenever the go gets tough. Just because of our failure to keep their promise, some find it easy to blame them for our weakness. They did their part, we have been failing on our part. Anyway, that’s my say for today and thank you, HaileS for the suggestion. I will stick with my Avatar, Abdulkader Kebire.

          • Haile S.

            Hi MS,
            Well said. You touched in few sentences all the challenges facing us in relation to handling our symbols and their remembrances. Like any aspect of our life these days, these symbols cannot be immune from the curtain of the prevailing problems and bitterness. However all is not lost, thanks to Awate and the various contributors many of them were highlighted on these pages and I hope will continue.
            Best

    • tes

      Dear Haile S.,

      It might not be relevant but I am against using a Camel in the official Government of State of Eritrea embelem. I will rather use Hamid Idris Awate.

      tes

      • Haile S.

        Hi Tes,
        Good to hear from you. It has been long time. I think there is a certain complementarity in those symbols. Awate among us, the Camel among animals and the Olive branch among plants could well be great symbols of our nation. The Camels has been the link between our lowlands and highlands, between our merchants, nomads and our sedentary or semi-sedentary farmers. Please don’t be against it because of who chose it. If I was to add among birds, I would have chosen one of the Starlings (ዋሪ).

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dear Haile S..

          Mr. tes’s father was recently dead ( R.I.P.. ) – he was very sad and couldn’t manage to visit this site..

          I am informing you this you can drop you comfort word as I have done it in FB ..
          all awate participants should also drop your kind words including the admin

      • Haile S.

        Hi Tes,
        Just learned from KS. Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolence. You have seen a lot and you have the internal strength and I hope you will come out strong of these challenges of life. I know there is much more to the normal challenge of life here, the burden of forced exile and everything that come with it that you the younger generation are facing. But I believe you are one of those who have the strength to overcome it.
        Best regards.

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Horizon,
    .
    I want to declare that I am not a worshiper of Donald Trump. In fact I will admit to you that I cringe whenever he speaks impromptu. Sometimes I let out a little ooh, oohta when conditions permit.
    .
    However, let me declare to you also that the U. S has survived 8 years of Obama and I have no doubt it will survive the next 4 or 8 years of D. T.
    Strictly using the measurement of U.S interest. D.T might surprise you and me. Let us wait. Let the left wing of the left go insane for a while.
    .
    Mr. K. H

    • Nitricc

      Hi Kim; I have predict Trump will win and I have predicted also he will be impeached within tow years in his presidency, now I have ajuestd my prediction in to that is Trump will resign within two years. His ego will never allows him to get impeached. You can not lead while fighting the intelligence community and the press. He is doomed. Believe me, I have never being wrong hahaha.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Nitricc,
        .
        Oh my goodness you sound just like him. You said “Believe me” then you followed it by saying I have never been wrong. That is something he would say too.
        However, you might be right. Abuse of power, lying to the FBI, conflict of interest are those grey areas they will use when the time is right. If you are right, I will call you Sir Nitricc, how about that.
        .
        Mr. K.H

        • Nitricc

          Hey Kim lol I meant to place under quote the believe me thing. Lol. You are right though, there is no way we can go this way for the next 4 years. Something got to give. in away, I would like him to stay in power so I can see punishing the people who voted for him. Wait till the healthcare and budget passes then you will see the real drama. But I don’t think he will last that long though.

    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Kim,
      You think Trump may turn out better in defending US vatal interests and delivering better results?
      You also think he may be even better than Obama along those presidential leadership roles? So far, unlikely. The rest remains to be seen. But I don’t know many intelectual brains such as yours being that generous to him.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Hayat Adem,
        .
        I was attempting to caution brother Horizon from veering off to far to the left into the ravine. An Ethiopian bringing in Mussolini into the conversation means that we have reached the out of bound line. I was telling him it was not that bad.
        .
        You said ..”The rest remains to be seen” in essence since this is too early, I am saying pretty much the same thing. You thought I was too generous but I felt I was stingy. Perhaps we can split the difference.
        .
        One of the reasons, I am cautious about in my early judgment of him, is the fact that his actions seem to contradict what he says. ….He must be listening.
        He has assembled top notch individuals for the various decision making departments based on merit. Had he chosen, Newt Gingritch or Rudy Giuliani as a Secretary of State for political reward, like Obama did, I would have completely written him off, but he didn’t. These are the folks who make him or break him, therefore, I said let us wait, that is all.
        This is the man who stood in front of people and said that he will eradicate Islamic terrorism quickly. I am gasping for air, when he added “Believe Me”. He, like a typical New York Hoodlum, demanded to take Iraqi oil. With all that, I said let us wait a little bit longer.
        .
        Mr. K.H
        .

  • Mez

    Dear Wolde-Yesus, great analysis.

    The author addressed a whole lot of political processes in a quite condensed write up; the eritrean internal dynamics–with Ethiopian, and Sudanese government (including regional and global players) impact at the last stage of the armed struggle.

    He mentioned some historical accounts like a) “The political divisions experienced during….. (1941-1991) as well as the common people’s perceptions …. on ELF & EPLF…., b) ….After the 1980-1981 war, ELF is fractured and there was no common voice. …. c) …After the civil war between ELF and EPLF, there was no any meaningful dialog or contact between the two parties….d) … notable reversal occurred after the 1980-81 civil war that deepened polarization in the society. This event created bitterness and anger within the defeated ELF that suffered fragmentation, and encouraged the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism, e) that EPLF never initiated any meaningful dialog with the defeated ELF or its factions since the end of the internal war, f) Unlike the ELF, which was diverse in composition and crippled by multiple power centers, the EPLF enjoyed the advantage of having only manageable internal differences. F) the undeniable organizational, leadership, fighters discipline, military success, and effective use of the media to reach local and global audience–of EPLF. G) He further argued, at the libation, in 1991: …of “Not having a political transition plan and not being able to address societal sensitivities through inclusion as of day one are argued here to be the most serious mistakes….H) the author assumed–I would add naively–….. that inclusion of the other political organizations of the pre-independence period ….could have encouraged dissatisfied elements within the winner front as well as other segments of the civil society….and also could have spared the country of the relative growth of religion-based groups in the mid-1990s, whose appearance worked in favor of the winner front’s leader and his close circle.

    As a core conclusion of the paper, the author observed:
    (After 25 years of Independence ), “Eritreans agree that their prolonged and costly struggle did not achieve most of its key promises that included national unity, peace, democracy and prosperity “

    I observed:
    The fact that Muslim religion is introduced in our region in the time of the prophet Mohamed, shall indicates that it is a solid peace-loving part and parcel of life in Eritrea for over 1500 hundred years; that there could be some with an extreme view of religious doctrines wouldn’t shatter this foundation. The political currents mentioned, albite indirectly, could be conceivably be: 1) Muslim brotherhood, 2) salafist, 3) baath arab socialist, or 4) a new form of islamic movement with a strong local flavour.

    If there could emerge extremist flavour, they shall be defeated in an open political dialog and run for power among the competing parties. there shall be no military engagement to unsit this government or achieve any political goal in the country, as that could, once more, quickly invites regional and global powers to hijack it to their primary purpose as a vehicle.

    Regarding the neighbouring countries interaction and influence, it is a big subject by itself. to start with, they would only act on their own interest–1) geopolitical, 2) different layers of commerce over the borders, 3) security, 4) peace and harmony, 5) not harboring and supporting armed opposition groups in each others territory and the likes. Contemporary interaction of nation in the region shows that they may have a) less and less interest in clandestinely supporting other countries opposition b) more and more work on economic integration, and c) more and more aligned regional and foreign policy doctrines to the benefit of all.

    The Observation by the journalist American John E. Duggan, applies truly for both the Sudan and Ethiopia. Therefore, the current state of affairs (geopolitical development for Ethiopia/Sudan) suggest that they, both, are going to have no true agenda (to interfere in the Eritrean internal political evolution); it will be unlikely to imagine that there will be any engagement with the objective of transforming the Eritrean politics, or lending support for the opposition.

    From the perspective of a pragmatic realpolitik standpoint, as of today, a) the current Eritrean government have no intention or inclination to be a more inclusive one in the near future, its power is well consolidated, b) this government shies away substantial capital flows–even from China and India– which may affect its power in the medium and long term, c) it is denying free critical thinking whenever possible all the time.

    The bottom line: There is a well functioning government in Eritrea–with all its shortcomings and ills, as well as strengths. For the Eritrean government, war was fought 1) with ELF, 2) the Ethiopian–and won; that cements its legitimacy as a government; it is blackmailing all others to secure its future power and survival.

    In terms of real politics what the current Eritrean government is doing is effectively riding the three major fault lines of the country (ethnic groups; religion; geography; even the country and language used in their schooling there; and of their combination) for its local and geopolitical advantage. It seems like the division of the 1941 conference cited, is still going on with the two faces EPLF & ELF; with the notable elimination of the Unionist political current.

    Under these circumstances, the ELF may better serve the nation if it relinquish its function as a political force, and rather be a platform for for social dialog and self reflection among Eritreans.

    Thanks.

  • Mez

    Dear Wolde-yesus, a great analysis.

    The author addressed a whole lot of political processes in a quite condensed write up; the eritrean internal dynamics–with Ethiopian, and Sudanese government (including regional and global players) impact at the last stage of the armed struggle.

    He mentioned some historical accounts like a) “The political divisions experienced during….. (1941-1991) as well as the common people’s perceptions …. on ELF & EPLF…., b) ….After the 1980-1981 war, ELF is fractured and there was no common voice. …. c) …After the civil war between ELF and EPLF, there was no any meaningful dialog or contact between the two parties….d) … notable reversal occurred after the 1980-81 civil war that deepened polarization in the society. This event created bitterness and anger within the defeated ELF that suffered fragmentation, and encouraged the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism, e) that EPLF never initiated any meaningful dialog with the defeated ELF or its factions since the end of the internal war, f) Unlike the ELF, which was diverse in composition and crippled by multiple power centers, the EPLF enjoyed the advantage of having only manageable internal differences. F) the undeniable organizational, leadership, fighters discipline, military success, and effective use of the media to reach local and global audience–of EPLF. G) He further argued, at the libation, in 1991: …of “Not having a political transition plan and not being able to address societal sensitivities through inclusion as of day one are argued here to be the most serious mistakes….H) the author assumed–I would add naively–….. that inclusion of the other political organizations of the pre-independence period ….could have encouraged dissatisfied elements within the winner front as well as other segments of the civil society….and also could have spared the country of the relative growth of religion-based groups in the mid-1990s, whose appearance worked in favor of the winner front’s leader and his close circle.

    As a core conclusion of the paper, the author observed:
    (After 25 years of Independence ), “Eritreans agree that their prolonged and costly struggle did not achieve most of its key promises that included national unity, peace, democracy and prosperity “

    I observed:
    The fact that Muslim religion is introduced in our region in the time of the prophet Mohamed, shall indicates that it is a solid peace-loving part and parcel of life in Eritrea for over 1500 hundred years; that there could be some with an extreme view of religious doctrines wouldn’t shatter this foundation. The political currents mentioned, albite indirectly, could be conceivably be: 1) Muslim brotherhood, 2) salafist, 3) baath arab socialist, or 4) a new form of islamic movement with a strong local flavour.

    If there could emerge extremist flavour, they shall be defeated in an open political dialog and run for power among the competing parties. there shall be no military engagement to unsit this government or achieve any political goal in the country, as that could, once more, quickly invites regional and global powers to hijack it to their primary purpose as a vehicle.

    Regarding the neighbouring countries interaction and influence, it is a big subject by itself. to start with, they would only act on their own interest–1) geopolitical, 2) different layers of commerce over the borders, 3) security, 4) peace and harmony, 5) not harboring and supporting armed opposition groups in each others territory and the likes. Contemporary interaction of nation in the region shows that they may have a) less and less interest in clandestinely supporting other countries opposition b) more and more work on economic integration, and c) more and more aligned regional and foreign policy doctrines to the benefit of all.

    The Observation by the journalist American John E. Duggan, applies truly for both the Sudan and Ethiopia. Therefore, the current state of affairs (geopolitical development for Ethiopia/Sudan) suggest that they, both, are going to have no true agenda (to interfere in the Eritrean internal political evolution); it will be unlikely to imagine that there will be any engagement with the objective of transforming the Eritrean politics, or lending support for the opposition.

    From the perspective of a pragmatic realpolitik standpoint, as of today, a) the current Eritrean government have no intention or inclination to be a more inclusive one in the near future, its power is well consolidated, b) this government shies away substantial capital flows–even from China and India– which may affect its power in the medium and long term, c) it is denying free critical thinking whenever possible all the time.

    The bottom line: There is a well functioning government in Eritrea–with all its shortcomings and ills, as well as strengths. For the Eritrean government, war was fought 1) with ELF, 2) the Ethiopian–and won; that cements its legitimacy as a government; it is blackmailing all others to secure its future power and survival.

    In terms of real politics what the current Eritrean government is doing is effectively riding the three major fault lines of the country (ethnic groups; religion; geography; even the country and language used in their schooling there; and of their combination) for its local and geological advantage. It seems like the division of the 1941 conference cited, is still going on with the two faces EPLF & ELF; with the notable elimination of the Unionist political current.

    Under these circumstances, the ELF may better serve the nation if it relinquish its function as a political force, and rather be a platform for for social dialog and self reflection among Eritreans.

    Thanks.

  • Abraham H.

    Selam Forum,
    I used to believe the internal contradictions in Eritrea regarding highland/lowland, Christian/Muslim, and various inter and intra-ethnic as well as regional contradictions are minimal and insignificant. However, with time, and from observing the history of our liberation struggle, I’ve come to realize that the opposing factors that I mentioned have indeed contributed and are actually contributing hugely to our current predicament in the hands of the authoritarian Isayas regime. I think we can no more continue to pretend as if these issues are not important and continue to shove them under the rug. Our elites from the cross-section of our society have to seriously deliberate on these issues in order to come out with a compromise deal between the various contituents. Who knows, may be that is what is needed to break the cycle of authoritarian rule in our country.

    • Mez

      Good Day Abraham,
      As a core conclusion of the paper, the author observed:
      (After 25 years of Independence ), “Eritreans agree that their prolonged and costly struggle did not achieve most of its key promises that included national unity, peace, democracy and prosperity “

      The bottom line: There is a well functioning government in Eritrea–with all its shortcomings and ills, as well as strengths. For the Eritrean government, war was fought 1) with ELF, 2) the Ethiopian–and won; that cements its legitimacy as a government; it is blackmailing all others to secure its future power and survival.

      In terms of real politics what the current Eritrean government is doing is effectively riding the three major fault lines of the country (ethnic groups; religion; geography; even the country and language used in their schooling there; and of their combination) for its local and geopolitical advantage. It seems like the division of the 1941 conference cited, is still going on with the two faces EPLF & ELF; with the notable elimination of the Unionist political current.

      Under these circumstances, the ELF may better serve the nation if it relinquish its function as a political force, and rather be a platform for for social dialog and self reflection among Eritreans.

      Thanks.

      • G. Gebru

        Dear Mez,
        Neither you and your likes nor the dictator you bow to eleminate the unionist ideals nor decide what the future role of ELF will be.
        Thanks.

        • Mez

          Dear G. Gebru,
          you gave me a slap on my face without any reasoning.

          The slap is accepted, but a couple of lines reasoning would help minimize the pain.

          Thanks

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Mez,
            I am sorry your slap is more pinching than mine.
            It was not my intention to antagonize you. It is your right to comment, but the tone of your comment was, as far as I am concerned, unbalanced.
            I hope this will normalize the situation.
            Thanks.

          • Mez

            Good Day G. Gebru,

            I don’t know whom to blame for the slap & the pinch.

            Two days ago I wrote a couple of paragraphs, including paraphrasing of the authors narration and my take on it.

            The Disque was saying all the two days: it is spam; I resent it–still they say spam. I was tired of it and took just 3 paragraphs and posted under Abraham as a reflection. I am acting within the allowable. …

            If Awate releases the original, you could be more comfortable with my narration–I believe.

            Thanks

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Mez, you wrote, “here is a well functioning government in Eritrea–“,which I disagree with. There is by no means no ‘well functioning gov’ in Eritrea; there is a criminal regime that rules by shear force, fear, and pervasive spy network. Even the dictator himself has admitted repeatedly that his regime has been incapable of rendering basic social services such as clean drinking water and electricity to the people. I cannot imagine how the situation would have been had the regime of Isayas was practiced elsewhere in Africa. The resilience and perseverance of the Eritrean people amid the intolerable situation created by the regime is really amazing. You also seem to allude that the ELF is a still existing organization, a position which happens not to be the case, As everyone knows ELF as a single entity has been out of the political landscape of Eritrea ever since it was disbanded in the early 80’s. However, I agree with you that the leftover of mistrust amongst our people starting from the 1940’s still lingers and it has been ever increasing with the length of the authoritarian regime’s rule. And the sad part is that the longer the Isayas dictatorship holds, the wider the cleavages mistrust, and internal frictions are going to be.

        • Mez

          Good Day Abraham,

          please see my comments in context; my comments are related to the years 1991/1992–after the libation of the nation; and the decades before.

          A lot of things had evolved since then; because the authorse was talking about that era, I also stayed there.

          Thanks.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Mez, it is ok then, I must have misunderstood the time frame of your comment. Thanks.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Mez,

        In politics, will a social dialog be feasible with a political force dominated from one social group like ours? Second, what is the advantage and disadvantages of one political force to run a country in a diversified society? What is the advantages and disadvantages of one political force to maintain the equilibrium of its parts? Could that equilibrium be maintained without a coercive power? If you can answer the above questions diligently and consciously you will find how wrong your assumptions are. Could you attempt please without wishful things but with how politics operate?

        regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Aman,

          Thank you for trying to understand what the sense of the last sentence of Mez is. Frankly, I have seen the post but I could not really make sense of it because it is a statement loaded by unverified assumptions.

          At first glance, it seemed to me to have been a product of crude pragmatism Mez appeared to have used in assessing the current odd governance situation in Eritrea in the light of his reading of Weldeyesus’ article, namely the EPLF and the ELF as protagonist in mind, and the outcome of
          their armed competition.

          Thus, in his view, since the EPLF won and formed a government, the ELF should loss its political essence and retain its social aspect as mission. This seem to me be pure mechanical thinking because only militaristic has been take account of. To his mind the ELF was mere cluster or
          collection of people. He did not realize that the ELF, and the EPLF for that matter, did also represent ideas embodied in programs.

          Hence, his conclusion that military victory and establishment of government by one protagonist should logically lead to the other protagonist shedding off its political essence or relevance. And the funny part of it all is that the thinking gets mismatched by suggesting a new role to that protagonist.

          So what we were told is that the ELF would do better taking up social function with a mission of providing space (dialog) for Eritreans to reflect about themselves. Outlandish in thought and logic to say the least

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            The Eritrean politics is always weird and does not follow the rule of engagement. Politics should be the process of administering the differences with in a given society in maintaining the harmony of the people to live peacefully. Mez does not understand that “the winner takes all” is a recipe of war, destruction, and disintegration. He does not even understand that we are merged in to that sad circumstances – as our young who are the productive human resource are leaving in droves. I hope he will answer my questions to see if we can make meaningful engagement.

            Regards

        • Mez

          Dear Amanuel,

          Sorry for my late response.

          In human history there is no monolithic society. There are diverse social groups with their own inclination, culture,commercial interaction, and more.

          No single political group, movement, or current can accommodate that. This is more true in contemporary Eritrea.

          My above comment is based on the author’s observation; and shall be viewed as one of the many paths to go forward.

          Thanks

  • Hi All,

    Ηave you seen how Trump shoves aside the PM of Montenegro and stands in front wearing the look of Mussolini on his face, dictatorial and authoritarian.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecTuW_KU7YE

    • Mez

      Dear Horizon,

      Of all personalities how you came to pic “Mussolini face”?

      Please be mindful of what you write; you sound like….

      Thanks

      • Selam Mez,
        Although you have not said it clearly, how i sound is not really important, but how a person like Trump behaves from the position of the head of the only world power. At the right time and at the right place, he could have been no less than the so many dictators the world has seen. This is not the way to behave in a conference of heads of states, when the whole world is watching. Sorry, i did not see a democrat, the leader of the free world, but an authoritarian personality. Try to find a video of mussolini, and you will see the similarity of the expression of their faces, whenever both feel bossy.
        Only 9% of europeans are either confident of him or trust him. Compare that with Obama, whose approval was 77%.

        • Mez

          Greetings Horizon,

          I will stay with what I said.

          Thanks

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Mez,

        He sounds like a woman gossiping in the kitchen over trivialities.

        • Hayat Adem

          SK,
          Check your attitude on women and see if you are okay. I don’t know what kind of person insults half of the globe, or his mom, or his wife… in trying to defend Trump from being likened to Duce Benito Mussolini.

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Hayat,
            Mesdemem. Mussolini stayed late in his office with his woman to show his silhouette through the windows to brag about his manhood. Our brother Simon denigrates women to defend Trump from being compared to Mussolini. Mesdemem. But then, perhaps he is defending Mussolini. According to recent interview, Isaias has stated it was 120,000 Eritrean Askaris that were the colonizers and not the Italians. Perhaps Mussolini is now considered one of the “heroic generals”? Topsy turvey world.

          • saay7

            Selam Abrehet:

            In reference to the role of the 150,000 Italy-conscripted Eritrean soldiers, I, too, thought Isaias Afwerki was saying what you described but upon reading the actual transcription of the interview in Hadas Ertra, and not the Eastafro livesteaming of the interview which jammed on that part of the interview, I have a different take.

            The question by the interviewer (Asmelash) was: why is there so much hostility to Eritrea (i.e. gov of Eritrea) given that it’s a small country not even aligned with a Big Power.

            IAs answer was that this is not new and we shouldn’t even necessarily take it personally: it’s an outcome of rule by proxy. The Italians (or whoever was ruling Italy itself by proxy, most likely U.K.) used 150,000 Eritreans to rule by proxy Eritrea, Libya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Later on when Italy became an unreliable partner, the US/UK used Ethiopia, Iran and Israel to rule the entire region.

            The 150,000 Eritreans ( which accounted for 40% of Eritreas able bodied men in 1935 according to Zemehrets book) were disposed off and those who opposed being used for imperial ambitions were sent to Nakura.

            saay

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Saay7,
            Thank you for the clarification. I didn’t even get a chance to refer to El Duce as Bitsay Mussolini wedi Sugo. I always think I would understand Isaias’ interview better if I watched it standing on my head, but thank God you are around to save me from such undignified behavior. That would be more ridiculous than “tsa’Eda Harmaz”.

          • Hayat Adem

            Abrehet,
            Thanks for the hammer and the humor hits packed in one:)
            Stay sharp and blessed.

          • Mez

            Dear Saay,

            The President just tried to sound abstract, and resemble as if he did complex analysis. Mussolini and the askari army had just a bad luck in being a pact of Nazianz Germany; I doubt if askaris had any say at all then. The US State Department didn’t make any secret in its implementation of the four major service centers across Africa; which presumably he believes is against the interest of Eritrea and his government. Under Trump, this may go even further down the drain.

            For him, by forging close tie with regional powers you mentioned, he did not fetch far away as they are even more tied up to the US with complex Web of connections; he doesn’t achieve his objective of forcing the US his way; or being the only guy roaring, independently, in the continent. I would say: Just a show for internal consumption.

            Thanks

          • saay7

            Hi Mez:

            Focusing on just the last paragraph, have you considered this possibility:

            He thinks that because Eritrea has a better relationship with the US allies in the Gulf nations, Egypt and Israel than Ethiopias relations with the same, then he could be a better ally (“khedami” to use his words) than Ethiopia?

            Israel is to Isaias what Russia is to Trump: you have two opinionated presidents who will rail against everyone and everything but there is one country they will not badmouth. Their third rail.

            Saay

          • Mez

            Dear Saay,

            If this logic works, where shall I check-out the dividend from the “khedami Nigus Afeworki”?

            What depressed me further is, he didn’t even bother himself to do the due diligence to approach China & India or in that direction; at least to get Massawa-Asmara-Teseney and/or Asmara-Adi Keyih/Adi Quala connection to be upgraded to a sort of railway line…

            Just a couple of ponds….
            I don’t know how long he can sell this.

            Thanks

          • saay7

            Hi Mez:

            No dividend for you buddy. In one of his interviews, IA said “in this country nobody owes anybody anythjng.” Of course this contradicts everything he says everyday–every Eritrean owes lifetime service to the country–and in return he/she is owed clean water housing, healthcare (which the govt is in no position to provide.)

            How long can he sell it? Hmmm, let me ask you: how many people said hey whatever happened to the constitution you started drafting 3 years ago? Exactly. Dictators best friend is people’s short memories, courtesy of media monopoly which comes up with new shiny objects every day.

            saay

          • Mez

            Greetings Saay,

            I just got more confused; let me take a nap.

            Thanks

          • saay7

            Mez,

            According to the American Sleep Foundation “One study has indicated that napping is associated with increased risk of heart failure in people already at risk.”

            Just saying.

            saay

          • Mez

            Dear Saay,

            I don’t like that either, so I am back.

            You know, as Y-pfdj, I have the liberty to get brainwashed by Yemane monkey & co. anywhere I want, and any time.

            Is there a way to extend that liberty, say, to bring “khedami Nigus Afeworki” to a circuit Court in my closest county?

            I have a lot of interviews year-in year-out as material evidence.

            How do my chance stand, please advice.

            Thanks

          • saay7

            Sure Mez:

            Replace Humpty Dumpty by IA and Alice by Mez and you have your answer:

            “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

            “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

            “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

            ===
            In the interviews their meaning is discerned only by IA and therefore they cannot be used against him.

            Yemane has not done his job in his orientation of YPFDJ 😉

            saay

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam cadre Hayat,

            Do all women gossip? I do not think so.

            I believe many of them show dignified behaviour. So, do not hide behind innocent women for your twisted political agenda.

          • blink

            Dear Simon
            Do you believe she is woman ?? Plus if she is woman ,she doesn’t gossip, she make and manufacture lies. There is a big difference between manufacturing lies and gossip.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam blink,

            The “gossip” style chat is related to ‘Horizon’.

    • blink

      Dear Horizon
      I wish we knew what was he thinking ,

      • Selam blink,
        He acts instinctively like a bull in a china shop. That explains his many gaffes. Instead of a leading, he was following, and not good even at that. He was a disappointment on the paris agreement for climate change and in helping african nations to curb human migration. Most probably europeans will carry on without him. He has done so many u-turns. Most probably he will do the same thing on these too.

        • Kebessa

          Selam Horizon,
          (Abu Ivanka al Amerika)* said he will make decision on the climate next week. Deadline is also next week on the decision to move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And then there is the Russia investigation getting worse by the day. Not a great time to be Trump.
          * – Arabic name for Trump.

        • blink

          Dear Horizon
          The guy loves dictators too, I think we should wait for more surprises.

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Hirizon,

      The best show for me now with regards to Trump is Bill Maher every Friday. I watch his show and I am all upto date with lots of funny twist.

      He was off yesterday may be he thought there isn’t much going on because he was on a trip, but there was so much material what ever this man does.

      Berhe

      • Nitricc

        Hi Berhe; I do follow Bill too and a while ago he summarized it the whole President Trump thing to one point. Bill said, “trump doesn’t want to be the president but he want to be called the president” I thought that said it all. What he did to the Montenegro president is says it all.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Nitricc,

          So, you get your knowledge about the World from Bill Maher. Can he build a car, a house, make a piece of nail, a table, manufacture button, a piece of zip …? Did he do any real job in his life? Which reputable University does he graduate from? He is just a parasite.

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Selam Simon Kaleab,
            After the information revolution, you don’t need to produce hardware to be considered productive. Bill Maher disseminates information in his own style and others find it useful or entertaining enough to pay for it. He earns a living so he is not a parasite. By the way, he graduated from Cornell. We gossipy women have google in the kitchen.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abrehet,

            So, the Information Revolution?

            Do you think it is related to waffling endlessly and purveying fake news? You have totally misunderstood.

            The Information Revolution is about designing and creating fast Digital hardware, the Database Systems, Computer Networks, and the efficient and secure Software Programs that run them. It is about a revolution in Digital Electronics and Mathematics.

            Cornell?

            World University overall Ranking [2017]:

            1) Oxford, 2) CalTech, 3) Stanford, 4) Cambridge, 5) MIT, 6) Harvard, 7) Princeton, 8) Imperial College, 9) ETH Zurich, 10) UC Berkeley, Joint 10) Chicago, 12) Yale, 13) UCLA, …

            – Source: Times Higher Education Supplement.

            Did Bill Maher study any productive subject?

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            So how does a sawa graduate fare in your line of reasoning? buhaahaha

            Gura bicha ale tedy.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Graviton the simpleton,

            Ethiopia is in a mess. Corruption, ethnic riots, mass prostitution …

            Save your women from the street trade. Then, you can talk about other people’s problems.

          • Hi Simon Kaleab.
            You continue to live in the gutter in disgrace. You continue to call ethiopian women prostitutes. You fail to understand that ethiopian women and eritrean women are the same habeshas, with the same moral values, culture, tradition, way of life, and at the same economic level. You are not insulting only ethiopian women, but eritrean women as well. If you say eritrean women are any different, you will be lying. There are prostitutes in ethiopia, and there are prostitutes in eritrea too, but mass prostitution exists nowhere. When eritrean women are raped at sawa, you say, no problem, that is what alpha male do. It shows the type of human being you are, I better not say.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Horizon,

            Take care of your problems first before you cry day in day out about Eritrea. The gutter is in your house.

          • Peace!

            Hi Horizon,

            I was going to upvote you but, at the end, you blew it up. The “yours too” attitude is forcing you to depart from logic and healthy argument. You could have easily defended such a ghetto attitude without mentioning Eritrean women. So easy..but but….

            Peace!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Simon; I guess you are not aware that satire and comedy are the greatest political weapon. They can deliver and influence very powerful messages. So, the way Bill destroys Trump is amazing to watch. But to put it simply, how can you compare Trump with Bill? Bill can differentiate from what is right and wrong while with Trump such thing doesn’t exists only win or lose. so, if there is a real parasite, that must be Trump, He has no moral compas.

  • sara

    Dear all,
    The blessed month of Ramadan is dawn upon us…..
    Ramadan Kareem !

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Ramadan Kareem
      Sara gualey.

  • MS

    Selam all
    A follow-up rejoinder
    1. “We are not a society who were carried out of the woods by ghedli. We were a society who had civilization and good life before ghedli. So questioning ghedli is not questioning the very essence and character of our society. Ghedli has to stand by what it took from us and what it gave us.” Hayat Adem
    Short comment: Ghedli was a revolution waged by Eritreans as a result of Ethiopia’s transgressions. Please get that right and don’t take us back every time we want to move forward. You try to paint ghedli or Eritrean revolution (starting today, I will try to stick to using Eritrean revolution) as an alien force that had imposed something foreign on Eritrean society. There are two groups who want to instill this type of notion: the very few who had never accepted Eritreans’ right fore self-determination, and the other very few who are swimming against the current in an attempt to undo Eritrean independence without firing a single bullet. You have already told where you fall, thank you. But it is contributing a dragging effect in our discussions. Eritrean revolution was imposed upon Eritreans; once it was imposed to them by the barbaric regimes of Ethiopia, almost all Eritreans contributed in making it a success. Its mandate was to liberate the land from Ethiopian occupation, and it did that against all the odds stacked against it.
    2. Wad Amar is within his right to discuss what went amiss during those first years; he is within his right and duty to criticize the process, and to suggest alternative. No question there. I just wanted he spent more time on what could be done since the elements of “what went wrong” have exhaustively been discussed, including in this forum.
    3. Anyone who had followed Issayas’ interviews, the documents of the Second Congress of the EPLF, would have realized that something must have gone wrong once IA assumed power; or he was an expert actor….Just go back and try to remember the following:
    – The EPLF mandate was clear: it was to liberate Eritrea. The Secretary General had repeatedly said that EPLF did not have a mandate to govern Eritrea (you may refer to 1990 interview)
    – It called for mixed economy, for multiparty political system.
    – IA said that democracy was not a luxury but a matter of necessity for a diverse country such as Eritrea…
    – Even during the draft of the constitution, IA is on record saying one presidential term was enough.
    -All recorded attempts (from G13 to G15, to group and individual dissentions by tegadelti, to the journalists, artists, and elderly and clergy people…), all those political prisoners, to some degree, belong to the EPLF…This is not to negate that non EPLF individuals and factions did not do their parts, but I’m just highlighting that there was an expectation from the mass and tegadelti who were affiliated with EPLF that a democratic transition would take place. And there were positive moves towards that end until the cut-off interval (starts 1998 and ends 2001).
    4. TPLF called a national conference out of necessity, to Ethiopianize their political Agenda, which was a smart move. The EPLF did not have to Eritreanize its agenda, it was already Eritreanized, but as IsmailAA and others put it, calling a national conference was a necessary benchmark to conclude the period of revolutionary struggle on a positive note and begin nation building based on inclusive political framework.

    • tes

      Selam Mahmud Saleh,

      I think we need to see two different things to make things clear:

      1. Eritrean Struggle for Liberating Eritrea from Foreign Occupiers
      2. Eritrean Revolution

      My understanding

      I believe that what Eritreans are now facing as their biggest problem is not with the first objective – Liberating from Foreign occupiers – war against Ethiopia – which is a legitimate struggle. What went wrong and has a strong effect in today’s dilemma is the Eritrean Revolution.

      I think the main question now is not with the former one but with the later. And in my understanding those people like Hayat Adem are labeling the Eritrean Revolution as “Ghedli” hence revolution. After careful analysis and deep self-initiated meditiation for redemption of political purity I am now trying to see those Ghedli criticizers from those aforementioned categorization. By doing that I am feeling confortable for their critical questioning of the Ghedli Era – hence “Revolution”.

      If people like Hayat Adem, YG and others come with those clear distinictions I think their political opinions/views will have some valid and strong theory to over-come the challenges we are facing today.

      tes

      • Ismail AA

        Selam tes (son),

        Glad that I see you back; your absence had worried me a bit lest you had forgotten the project you had been pursuing.
        Looking at the experience (history) of the Eritrean National Liberation Movement from the prism of two faces is plausible since the two phases you had mentioned had to be pursued side by side. That was the rationale for designing the national democratic programs as guiding and reference tools.

        If you break down those concepts you find the national aspect focused on military and mobilization of the people’s resources for defeating occupation, whereas the democratic aspect of the program gradually the necessary ground for the liberation of man. In other words, preparing the requisite factors for post independence succession phase. During the era of the first phase, the democratic aspects of the task translated to organizing the people in segments or mass movement that transcended subnational threshold such as workers, women, students, farmers, fishers etc. with the goal of organizing the people beyond narrow affiliations such as regions, tribes or clans.

        The crux of what went wrong was the failure of the fronts to unite on the idea I just outlined. Instead the national pursuit was swayed and bended to suit the power and domination seekers’ agendas. The national agenda was torn apart by relying on subnational and regional resources and the arena was plunged to narrow interest conflicts that cost the people blood and lives.

        Thus, dear tes, the young like who want to assess and criticize our national liberation era and the actors in it will do better and make their efforts productive if they understand those two phases you have mentioned in their proper perspective. That will save your efforts from being invested in dry pursuits such critiquing for the sake of its and ending up with distributing blames on that era’s generations. Serious and considered assessments had produce and alternative capable of rectifying the past failures and open window to the future. In other words, appraising the past and reaching conclusions have to focus on programs that answer question of the present and project towards the future that help to unite the youth and use resources to confront the current challenges. The young should and once and for all get convinced that the old generation whether erred or otherwise had played their role and are not out to vie for power. This is the first step to take responsibility of assuming control of your destiny of your nation.

      • G. Gebru

        Dear tes,
        Selamat.
        In the first place one can not make history by strangulating history. The war was not a matter of occupation. Because the same land the war took place was defended by the fathers and forefathers of both the warring parties in unision from foriegn invaders such as the Turks, Egyptians and later on the Italians. Of all the invaders the Italians were able to set their foot for some time in the area known today as Eritrea.
        Because of the occupation Eritreans gained some apperintice cabalities and a limited Eruopean education and of course they inherited some of their cultures. Plus modern way of living with the introduction of modern roads, electricity, clean water and of cource the geagraphical position of Eritrea also made it look like a promised land. But above all inherited the Italian way of boasting and arrogance that led them to the extent of bellitling and down grading their kins on the other part of their common country and unity with them meant uniting with a feudal back ward society.
        Thanks.

        • Abi

          Hi G Gebru
          G = Great!!!!!

        • blink

          Dear Gbru
          let’s assume Eritreans inherited arrogance from the Italians, but with that they supposed to get their independent country. So who is to blame for all the bloodshed? My answer is the Ethiopian feudal system. Hailessilassie is a genocider and mengstu was a heinous killer,who killed pregnant woman and bombed innocents by cluster bomb .,weyane also let ex-dergi soldiers rapists rape Old Eritrean women as well as dehumanized 80,000 Eritreans. The list goes on . Where do you inherit all this ????

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Blink,
            You know you are talking about genocide, yes and its victims were not the only ones killed on the spot but thousands were displaced and made to live in The Sudan as refugees. For your information even after the independence you are bragging are still in the Sudanies refuge camps. So the independence that doesn’t accomdate those who were victimised for the sake of their country is not an independence but occupation by proxy.
            Regarding the Derg it was a fight between two armed opposing groups.
            The TPLF were your partners of the dirt game so what they did if they have really did it, it must be some thing they learned from you.
            So next time don’t comment as you did above and expose yourself.
            Thanks.

          • blink

            Dear Gebru
            These people who live in camps Eritreans too and I do not enjoy their time in Sudan again who could possibly think you are the one to say to comment or not, again enjoy the meal, but you didn’t reply my question and that is called cowards behavior while the arrogance of Eritreans still hunt you to this day.

          • G. Gebru

            Dear Blink,
            I have answered your question. If it is not to your satesfaction it is another thing.
            First thank you for accepting that arrognce is your trade mark. But, believe me I will be only haunted if it can keep Eritrea in tact for the next generation.
            Thanks.

          • blink

            Dear Gebru
            What did you inherit from any one ? I am not accepting the “arrogance thing” but I rather wanted to know your basics plus the accusations you are making about the whole population, your generalizing view makes me question your attitude. I don’t understand how you accuse a vast majority of Eritreans with such again because of your views I assumed you are not one of them ,I asked you to zoom in to your genociders and yet you wanted me to not comment. In Eritreans mind Hailessilassie,mengie and meles are all the same killers

          • G. Gebru

            Dear blink,
            My friend, nobody can denai the spoil and damage of the past. The question now is the failure of independent Eritrea to address those damages and spoils. I generalize because it is my conviction that all Eritreans including you and I are a part of it.
            TPLF had done a great favour for the present regime because of their mercenary interference in the internal affairs of Eritrea the present day regime got a breathing space to get out from the ravines of Sahel.
            Thanks.

          • blink

            Dear Gebru
            So now you feel threatened , to feel secure you make yourself Eritrean just like that. You guys are amazing byproduct but yet the bar for your view is higher than you think. I wish to close my interactions with you by saying I do not think you are Eritrean, by your own account you admit it long time ago it is just you didn’t remember.

          • G. Gebru

            Dear blink,
            Do not wish it only, stop it. Whether you think I am Eeitrean or not doesn’t make any difference. Because as Eritrean you have your things that qualify you to be one. But one thing that I want to make clear to you, I am an Eritrean that doesn’t need regime evaluation.
            Thanks.

          • blink

            Dear GGebru
            Good luck with your defamation suit

          • G. Gebru

            Dear blink,
            Good luck for you too.
            Thanks.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Mahmuday,

      When you make your Hateta to long you ended up making wrong conceptual argument. National conference is always required out of necessity for any diversified society for that matter. It was necessary for Ethiopia as well as for Eritrea. National conference is needed to resolve political difference among the political forces of a given society and to chart out a common political platform either to launch their struggle or to govern their nation. According your argument (though conceptually wrong), if TPLF needs national conference to Ethiopianize their political agenda, equally EPLF should have convened national conference with the other political forces to chart out a common agenda and make it Eritreanized. In any case you don’t need national conference to Eritreanize or Ethiopianize any agenda. National conference is done to resolve differences whatever the difference might be, in any shape or form.

      Regards

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Amanuel Hidrat

        “National conference is ALWAYS REQUIRED out of necessity for any diversified society for that matter. It (National conference) was necessary for Ethiopia as well as for Eritrea.”

        “If TPLF needed national conference to Ethiopianize their political agendas, then I will say, equally EPLF should have convened national conference with the other (defeated) POLITICAL FORCES to chart out a common agenda and make it Eritreanized.”

        Amanuel: If that is what you truly believe, then:

        A. – Why are you for violent radical change – not piecemeal reform?

        B. – Why are you advocating (a) for complete defeat of PFDJ (b) to outlaw PFDJ as a political force (c) to dismantle PFDJ political infrastructure (d) capture arrest and put behind bars top PFDJ leaders (E) weed-out cleanse and disinfect any traces of PFDJ from the face of Eritrea………..

        Why was “National conference” with the opposing national forces the right thing to do for the Woyanes, and why is it, not the right thing to do with PFDJ when it comes to the current opposition? Are you sure you’re not contradicting yourself here?

        Semere Tesfai

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Semere T.,

          “(a) for complete defeat of PFDJ (b) to outlaw PFDJ as a political force (c) to dismantle PFDJ political infrastructure (d) capture arrest and put behind bars top PFDJ leaders (E) weed-out cleanse and disinfect any traces of PFDJ from the face of the earth?”

          These will never happen. You may call this wish: big talk for therapeutic purposes only.

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Simon K., never say never, many regimes that seemed to be insurmountable have been overcome and dismantled throughout the history of human beings. I’m strongly convinced PFDJ’s survival is directly tied to its ever strongman who does whatever he pleases without any form of objection neither from his subordinates nor from the rank and file of his organization.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            So, you are “strongly convinced” and counting the days, hoping and praying.
            When do you think your prayers will become true? Any time frame?

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Simon K., I want to remind worshipers of strongmen like you, that people prevail,but regimes, in particular those run by a supreme powerful, are fragile. And remember, if and when I pray, it is for the betterment of Eritreans not for revenge or dismantlement of certain organizations.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            Any time frame?

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Simon K, sooner or later. Do you have any idea as to who is the second in command of the Eritrean regime? How is the country run in those cases when the dictator is out of the country or may be ill? Do you believe that Eritrea has many potential leaders who could do a much better work for their people than your demigod DIA? Do you want to see the prosperity and progress of the Eritrean people?

          • Selamat SK,

            Oh no! Don’t tell us you missed it? 😉

            17 ማዓ ባቕሺሽ። ረጂዕ ባቒ።

            ጻጸ

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Hi Semere T,

          First, you are a kind of person when he is asked pertinent to your remarks and outlandish accusation ( do not ask me to bring them up. You can revisit disqus).

          Second, you are a pathalogocal lair who cooks accusation that are not said, and keeps repeating even when you are told, for instance “weedouts, cleanse, disinfect” “outlaw PFDJ” “dismantle the party”when to dismantle the state apparatus and to dismantle the party are completely different.

          Because of the above reasons, you do not deserve my answers in this forum and will let you to keep your lying until the public find it by themselves what you are doing purposely.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat

            Aman: Let’s say I’m “a pathalogocal lair who cooks accusation that are not said, and keeps repeating even when I’m told” otherwise – and some. Now, tell your readers:

            Are you FOR or AGAINST “dismantling the whole PFDJ infrastructure (when others told you it is a one man rule problem), weeding out any traces of PFDJ, cleanse, disinfect, outlaw…. PFDJ as we know it”? Or simply put, aren’t you for uprooting and outlawing the PFDJ SYSTEM (as you love to call it), and putting its top leaders behind bars?

            Where did I understood you wrong. ግን… ደሓን ኣይትሕረቕ: መዓልቲ ቀይርና ንካታዓሉ:: Have nice weekend.

            Semere Tesfai

    • blink

      Dear MS
      Thanks sir, you are worthy of every Eritreans time , all the other lairs will fail as they have been for years. EPLF or ELF historic move to cut off Ethiopia from Eritrea will give fruit after the dictator. I am always hopeful about dignified life for every Eritrean in his own land.

      • Abi

        Hi Blink
        You don’t know what is going to happen to the former province once the dictator is removed.

        Could you please explain a little bit more as to how cutting off “Ethiopia from Eritrea” is going to be fruitful?
        BTW, you cut off Eritrea from Ethiopia. Not the other way around.
        ግንድና ቅርንጫፍ ለየቅል ናቸው::

        • blink

          Dear Abi
          It was Ethiopia that was cut off from Eritrea not the other way especially if you put your love for our sea. Eritrea’s importance to the land of 3000 years of false history was simply paramount and even some learnt it lately “ask sibhat nega ” , I am hopeful because the misery of this time can and will lead to betterment of the future. Now Ethiopia under EPRDF is good only on cooked books and despite this add the Gonder deportation in the circle, Somalia region helped 10 million birr .

          • Mez

            Greetings Blink,

            Wow, Blink the philosopher brought darwinian theory upside down!

            Thanks

          • blink

            Dear Mez
            This is not a theory for Eritreans , it is not only the bloodshed either but the reality with cadre from south is always inverted. So this is the truth,Ethiopia a land locked state, divided ethnically and these ethnics hate each other , they already started to deport a Tigrai man from Gonder to Tigrai , whose fault is that ?? I don’t judge Abi for his love of feudalism but for his understanding of Eritrea and Eritreans.

          • Abi

            Hi Blink
            I forgot more about Eritrea and Eritreans than you will ever learn.

          • blink

            Dear Abi
            That is great news but I have to ask , why are you here then? Your bullying nature is simply opposite to your above comment or any presences of you to that point, you are the most dehumanizing member of this forum as far as I can remember. But you are ok when I compare you with hidden queen as well as some health workers turned to be cadres . X-men was a good film until jean come and changed the whole dream of Charles, I hope you know these characters.

          • saay7

            Hey Blink:

            I don’t know what’s up with Abi: he is regressing. Years ago, he had made his peace with May 24, in fact he called it that’s not Eritreas independence from Ethiopia but Ethiopias independence from Eritrea. Now, he appears to have been influenced by all the dead-enders: the ghedli defamers, the asmarino asylum seekers who pretend we don’t know they are incurable bigots and hate-mongers whose posts are nothing but hate speech serialized; the “queens”, who never (Never Ever) ask why did Ethiopia waste so many Ethiopians lives in pursuit of occupying and torturing a people and in the process bankrupting itself and setting itself back decades but ask why did the tortured exiled and carpet bombed Eritreans sacrifice so much to be independent…and Abi has sunk to the abyss. His state of mind d is never helped by a Guinness or two or a dozen.

            saay

          • Abi

            Hi Saay
            “ለማማት መሄዱ የሚያስወግዝ ቢሆን
            ለነፍሱስ የሚያድረው የሚያርፈው ማን ይሆን?”

          • Peace!

            Abish,

            ውሀ ቢወቅጡት እንቦጭ ነው ወሬህ ሁሉ…time to get creative buddy – retreating into two-liner Amharic poem/question every time you confronted with facts is getting too old. ስለ Eritrea ነገር እየመረረህ ዋጠው ካልተሻለህ ደሞ ገመድ አንስተህ ተሰቀል አቦ 🙂

            ኤርትራዊን ከደደብ ነፍጠኛ በደህና ቀን ተገላግለዋል

            Peace!

          • Abi

            Hi Peace
            ” ኤርትራዊን ከደደብ ነፍጠኛ በደህና ቀን ተገላግለዋል”
            ተባለ እንዴ?
            ጥይት እያመለጡ የሚመጡት ወደ ነፍጠኞች አገር መስሎኝ? ተሳሳትኩ እንዴ? ምኑን ተገላገሉት በየመጠለያ ጣቢያው ፀሐይ እየለበለባቸው የተወለዱበትን ቀን ሲረግሙ አዋቂው Peace ከደደብ ነፍጠኛ ተገላገሉ ይለኛላ!
            በል ተወዉ ወዳጄ ጨዋታ መጨመርህን መቼ ተረድቼው?

          • Peace!

            Abish,

            እረ ተው ወሬ ማሞቅ እውነትን ማወቅ አይደለም። አሁን ያለችው እኮ ቴዲ አፍሮ እየቸበቸበባት የምትገኝው ምናባዊዋ ኢትዮጵያ ናት ፡፡ You have enough challenges at hand ኣባ! “100 አመት አማራ ሆኘ ከመኖር 1 አመት ሰዉ ሆኘ መኖር እመርጣለሁ። ” this is coming from Ethiopian teens. God help, ወዳጅ ለመቼ ነው!

            If you are inviting us to help you, as we normally do, then man up and be honest.

            Peace!

          • Abi

            Hi Peace
            አማራ ሰው አይደለም ማለትህ ነው? ምን አዲስ ነገር አለው? ያደግህበት እኮ ነው የኛ ምርጥ ዘር!
            አማራ አድጊ ነው ብለው ያሰለጠኑህን ታላላቆችህን ነበር አርባ መግረፍ! አንተማ ልጅ ነህ ጨዋታ ያሳመርክ መስሎህ ነው የዘባረቅከው:: ጅል!

          • Peace!

            Abish,

            Come on don’t be chicken:)

            Peace! 1
            Abi. 0

            These are not my words rather I was trying to remind you you need to win the hearts and minds of people in your own backyard before begging Eritreans to come back.

            Peace!

          • Abi

            Hi Peace
            I don’t remember begging Eritreans to come back.
            ምነው እራስህን አንቱ አልከው?
            ደግሞ መለመንን ምን አመጣው? ከጥይት ትፈጥኑ የለም እንዴ አጥር ለመዝለል?
            የትኛው ፕላኔት ነው የምትኖረው? ድንገት እግር ጥሎህ ወደ መሬት ከመጣህ ደውልልኝ

          • Haile S.

            Hi Abi,
            ኣልነገርኩህም ወይ በኣጥር ተንጠልጥየ
            እንኳን ኣጥር መዝለል ትግሬ ET ይሆናል ብየ።

          • Ismail AA

            Good morning saay (my time),
            That “kamel herder” thing amuzed me. I don’t know for how long some individuals would keep on persisting on choosing to remain chained by relics of feudal cultural legacies. You herd kamels because you are blessed to own them. The poor creatures think kamel herding is a degrading occupation, and forget even the dictator they cherish did not miss the importance of the kamel. Had the kamel herders did not preserve those noble animals and realized their role in times of the nations adversity (lack of means of transportation), he would not have order to use the kamel’s image as symbol of the state seal.
            I wonder if this escaped the attention of the good brother who thought those two words were the best he could find to ostensibly insult the kamel herders and a noble compatriot whose views he did not like.

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Well Abi is far better than the guy from bigot society . The guy thought using camel is bad . I am 100% ok with that. In my extended family they still have camel to facilitate their daily activities. But I will take your advice of buying big heart.
            Thanks again

          • saay7

            Hey Blink:

            Abi is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. You can at least work with half of him.

            I don’t worry about Sahay because he has one goal: to break the posting guidelines here, get banned, then go to Asmarino and say the “Jihadists at the Taliban website” (which is what he calls awate and its editors) kicked me and make himself a martyr for his bigoted cause. He and a couple of others are responsible for taking advantage of my friend Tes (asmarino publisher) viewpoint that there should be zero guidelines in comment section and destroying his website.

            Abi and Hayat will embrace anyone who tarnished ghedli: they will no due diligence to see how repulsive the persons record is.

            Saay

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Saay,

            I like your comment. You are very funny. Have you ever defended Hayat from the filthy abuses she has been getting since she started to comment in this website…your website?

            One good change I see in the slightly reformed Saay is that he does not say “ደቂ ኮማንዲስ” to the highland Eritreans anymore.That is a tangible progress my friend.

            Let me close my comment with this memorable statement of yours which was written in rebuttal to one of the great YG’s articles.

            Here it is,
            “The only reason why the Jenertis named their daughters Hagosa and their sons Hagos was to shield themselves from the daily harassment and persecution. They were trying to blend in.”

            Amazingly, Ali Abdu repeated similar statements in his immigration application after serving the PFDJ regime for years.

            ምስ ብዓል ንስኻስ: ብሰላም እትነብር ሃገር ክትስራሕ።

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi gentle man,

            “ምስ ብዓል ንስኻስ: ብሰላም እትነብር ሃገር ክትስራሕ።” why are you hopeless? ..why not !! if you don’t work with this type of men with whom are you going to work?

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            I hope you are recovering well. I have never been hopeless in my entire life. I am a natural fighter against any type of injustices, and there are two things I truly despise in life: deceit and political correctness. I will always work with like-minded Eritreans.

            Cheers!!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Sahay Erican,

            Now that is fine..

            I was only trying to inform you that Saay7 is among important personality ..

          • saay7

            Hey Sahay:

            As you get older you are adding to your list of sins and the latest is completely making up stuff. Now I have been writing since 1993: and my writing is fairly accessible. My challenge: find where I referred to Kebessans as “deqi Kommandis”. Two predictions: You won’t because I never said; you won’t apologize for it because you have no character.

            As for YG, you must be referred to yet another article where he considers Eritreans history is defined by his biography and if it didn’t know it happened then it didn’t happen. If A was the prevailing names in my lifetime and B are the prevailing names after I became an adult then something big happened. I was suggesting to him that what he observed in his childhood was the anomaly not the norm but I wouldn’t expect him or you to research it: why spoil the convenient narrative?

            You said a few things about “your website”. You should thank it because the most civilized I have seen you. We all know what you wrote at asmarino: do you think you are fooling anyone?

            saay

          • Hayat Adem

            Selamat Saay,
            Please go easy on me this time. I have been working so hard to remain in better terms with you:)
            Ghedli is a socio political project. And as such, it can or shall be put to scrutiny by the curious eye.
            It shouldn’t be a crime to criticize ghedli at all. Nor is doing so necessarily a disservice to our society. While stating that for the record, my intention was not to challenge the entire ghedli history but the the much fictitious narratives blended in there so that we all can depend on the authentic narratives. Ghedli was so real but i do think it was riding plenty of fairy unicorns. Those unicorns are not real and we don’t need them in our stories. Again, ghedli has to stand by what it took from us and what it gave us. No more blank checks!

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi queen
            now visit Jebena page… and saay7 will come to replay you here ..

            Yours KS..

          • Tzigereda

            Selam Hayat,
            And what excatly is it what Ghedli took from Eritreans and what it gave to Eritreans?

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Tzigereda,
            Good to hear from you. Well, I would start with four colomns (if ghedli didn’t interven, pluses and minuses; with intervention of ghedli, pluses and minuses) and go all the way down to the 234th row and tally my itemized inventory. That will take a whole lot similar effort like developing a Social Accounting Matrix. I am sure you are not asking me to do that complex accounting here. But you will find all items aggregated into either benefits or costs under each scenario of both possibilities (with / without ghedli).

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hayat,

            You didn’t answer Tzigereda’s question. Answer the question however plausible it is to you, whether using “social accounting Matrix” or otherwise to convince your readers. Do not evade her questions.

            regards

          • Kebessa

            Aman,
            I think the answer she gave is plausible to her. Answers don’t always involve figures and bulleted lists. It is cumbersome to itemize benefits and drawbacks of a simple job let alone a complex mission like Gedli.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hey Emma,
            If I say IA must be judged by all the good things and the bad things he has done, it is a normative generic pointer for broader considerations, not necessarily a specific assertion. It is not a mistake if you come and ask me to list all the bad and good things I may think or know IA has done but it is just a general reference that I am not necessarily tasking myself on itemizing the list.
            Ghedli must have done some good things for our society, right? Example is it removed Ethiopia and brought independence. On the other hand, a huge sacrifice in lives and opportunity cost etc wss incurred- a big the price tag. Now, don’t always tell me ghedli brought independence. Tell me also what took to get there. Tell me also what ghedli has done with the costly independence it achieved to lead our society to tranquillity. Do not disaggregate the journey as if it is a work in progress where by we achived independence at phase 1 and we are on our way for the rest. If the end goal is to hsve prosperous nation of social justice and tranquility for its people, can you assure me with quantitative and qualitative certainities that we are closer to those goals today st post ghedli than we were then pre-ghedli factoring in all the time, resources and efforts that were consumed in between the two periods and the so many other better ways they could have been spent alternatively? Can you? Forget the other generational emotions and the social traumatic prices tagged to the entire period. Are we better off as a society now and in the future as a result of ghedli? Even if the answer to that question is “yes”, the other follow up question should be, could we have done (within ghedli) somethings differently to significantly minimize the sacrifice and improve the outcome?
            My questions point to the necessity and then to the optimality. Knowing what ghedli took and what it delivered, I should consider myself the worst incurious piece of human being bordering utter stupidity if i don’t ask those questions standing where i am today.

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Hayat,

            After enjoying the quite a few exchanges with your peer baters in this forum, I wanted to revisit the comments I exchanged with you he other day. But I thought I made one point clear, and got token of agreement from you. Now reiterating what I wrote would sound bad.

            I believe it is legitimate, and even necessary (when need) to criticize aspects of “ghedli” – a term with which I m not really comfortable since it is a collective noun chosen to project wrong otion by convenient generalization. I think it is a termed picked to suit ndividuals who negate the whole idea of struggle no matter what. But, in view the erm “ghedli” as collective noun lso included pronouns such as ELF, PLF and EPLF etc.

            So, when we are ut to make a score card of what “ghedli” took and gave back, must we ot be specific? If the government ritrea got after independence is our yardstick to sort out what it took before t became a national government, and what it gave back thereafter, why shouldn’t e be fair and refer to the side we criticize or not fulfilling what the revolution had promised: liberty, freedom etc.

            Briefly what I am saying is this: if we know women is a ollective noun, and Hanna broke the pot, why do have to say women broke the ot, instead of mentioning Hanna as the culprit. Thus, granted that individuals ave the right of expressing opinion on the Eritrean struggle, it is not fair o shrink the whole process, and all the actors, in the one term, “ghedli”, and hold them responsible.
            In my view, even he ordinary men and women in the ranks of the EPLF should be spared, and the
            criticism should target the core decision maker in the party that became PFDJ.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hayat,

            You make a huge statement. Tsegereda asked you to make an inventory to you statement as to “what ghedli took from Eritreans and what it gave to Eritreans”. Now do not turn her questions to me, rather you own your statement and live with it to tackle it. When someone try to make a huge statement, he should be ready to the challenging questions that might come from his/her readers. So do not go around the bush and throw it to others to tackle your statement. Go and answer her question. And please do not be a hindsight debator any one can do it when something got wrong,

            Regard.

          • MS

            Selam Hayat
            Give me ten positive items that you think Eritrean Revolution had brought. No, let’s make them five; or even three. I will give you three negative contributions:
            1. It manufactured hot-headed and egoistic leaders who plunged the revolution into fraternal killing (commonly known as civil war), never mind of the fact that there was no civil war in Eritrea except clashes of armed groups.
            2. Ertra ke enatwa EtioPia megenTelu, or as we Eritreans call it, Eritrean Independence
            3. It failed to produce what you would call “Sahel- baked pariamentary democracy”, commonly aspired by Eritreans as an “ehin-mihin” political climate , one that GiXaxe would call a government that should be established based on popular dialogue and consultation, where GiXaxe-abu Ashera would stand on May 24 representing SAAY and the Bay Area (bel-Hewaar wo attashawur), and the gentle camel is let to tellet it’s version of events…
            The above are three key negative elements which could be expounded to volumes. Your move. Three big positive contributions you attribute to Eritrean Revolution.
            Yeqenyeley.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hey Mahamuday, the soon to be great again,
            I noticed what you are doing there. There is this job interview classic cliché advice you are often told to follow. The employers would ask you: what is your worst weakness you can share with us?” Your mentors would duty-mindedly advise you how to tackle that question. “Remember, what you tell them is actually your strength but seemingly worded as a weakness. You can say, I am workaholic and I don’t stop when I need to stop or I am so organized and I get irritated easily when i see disorganized colleagues and that can get me into trouble sometimes…etc”.
            Almost everyone tells you this trick. What puzzles me is why everyone else thinks only the employers are never aware of this trick.

          • MS

            Hi Hayat
            I don’t believe that puzzles you. I don’t also think you are quite satisfied believing that you have evaded the questions successfully. It’s a matter of “Klte HamuKshti senqom” thing. What we (Tzigereda, Mahmuday & Emma) are hinting is that you don’t pretend as if you are scrutinizing our revolution fairly by repeating the terms positive/negative and pros/cons, etc. You have been belittling and mocking Eritreans. You have been insulting the intelligence of Eritrean tegadalay. You have been dismissing or downplaying the cause of our struggle. You have been insulting Eritreans’ own way of constructing their identity. So, it was a test to show fair minded people that you can’t be a fair examiner of Eritreans struggle. It was also a way of telling you that I(we) don’t shy away from discussing the cons of our struggle; that we don’t sugarcoat it. It was to remind you that we discuss the shortcomings of our struggle minus the fabrications and twistings you guys do in order to tarnish our history. Every time you venture out to demoralize Eritreans, you will be reminded of the despicable regimes that you defend; you will be reminded of the epoch journey Eritreans had gone through, a journey that created TPLF and Meles Zenawi. At lest, for that, you should thank Eritreans. The point is: just move on, you have already condemned Eritrean revolution, you can’t have any positive say for it.

          • Sahay Erican

            Hi Tzigereda,

            Please excuse for my uninvited intrusion. It is kind of ከይተጸወዐ ዝመጸስ: ከይ ጸገበ ወጸ:: Hayat’s answer may be too complicated for the average man to decipher. Here is a simplified version of it to answer your queries,

            1. What did gedli take from Eritreans?

            Their children, their dignity, their way of life, etc.

            2. What did gedli give to Eritreans?

            ባርነት: ድኽነት: ሓሳር: መከራ: ጥፍኣት: ስደት: ጽንተት:: The list can extend from earth to heaven.

          • Nitricc

            Erican; I wasn’t going to waste my time on wasted soul but you said to Kokhob ” I am a natural fighter against any type of injustices, and there are two things I truly despise in life: deceit and political correctness”

            and them you said this to Tsigereda ”

            “1. What did gedli take from Eritreans?

            Their children, their dignity, their way of life, etc.

            2. What did gedli give to Eritreans?
            ባርነት: ድኽነት: ሓሳር: መከራ: ጥፍኣት: ስደት: ጽንተት”

            If you are a natural fighter, why don’t you fight when Gedli is brought you all the miseries you have listed? Fighters, they fight what they believed is wrong. fighters are selfless and dignity means everything to them. You can think what ever you want about yourself but please keep it to your toxic self. If you ask me, I don’t see any fighting bone on you, what I see is, one miserable creature who has no respect nor regards to those launched
            their own war, for an honest purpose by their free choice. If you were a man of dignity and a fighter, why not fight them back out of dignity and the fighter you are? The truth is you have no moral compass to talk about “dignity” and “fighting” you have neither the fighter nor the dignity in you. you are nothing but a creature with decayed character and void to any dignity. I don’t know who you are but don’t waste your time. This web-site has seen many of you, die hard unionists and of them made it. Ask Hayat.

          • blink

            Dear Tsigereda
            She will not give you any honest answer, what she does is run around corners with many English vocabularies. That is what she does. Our revolution was like no other, it was simply beyond any thing. All of her beloved people like sibhat nega bragged about their bravery and she wanted Eritreans to forget their their history. Well people like her , YG are miserably mistaken.

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            Nothing!You are in the same state when we left you, if now worse.

          • saay7

            Hayat:

            Yeah but according to you everything about ghedli is a unicorn. That’s the problem: you don’t criticize it’s excesses or its form of justice but the entirety of it all. And what’s worse you always make it sound that it all happened unprovoked: in all your narration and that of your hero YG, the other guys waging a campaign of annihilation–the king and his enablers; the Derg and its deep Soviet pocket–are entirely missing. You are far far too smart for this to be an accident.

            saay

          • Abi

            Hi Blink

            What am I doing here? I am guiding the confused majority to see the reality. Pulling you out of the darkness.
            You welcome

          • Mez

            Dear Blink,

            The happening in the south or west of our border is only nominally important for the dynamics of politics in Eritrea.

            Eritrea is an independent country since 26 years with all sortimets and goodies of an independent nation. If something is not working well, you better look inward first & formost.

            Thanks

          • blink

            Dear Mez
            Have you ever seen a smooth way of looking inward in this forum? Mention one apart from our elders who debate only from Eritreans perspective but they are very few and are madshroomed by the people above. I don’t see any importance for these abusers as far as I am concerned. I am not blaming these southerners for our current problem either but their heinous presence here makes it difficult.

          • Mez

            Dear Blink,

            Try to look the details,the numbers,….

            That may help; ..there is nobody to look for who may have super-super knowledge on topics of our discussion. It will be rather acquired on the go.

            Thanks

          • Abi

            Hi Blink
            I think we have talked about the sea many times. There is no new information about it except the trophy Port is rusting and rotting by each passing day.
            You watch your trophy going down the drain.

          • blink

            Dear Abi
            Rusting is natural but eating each other ethnically is beyond drain

          • Abi

            Hi Blink
            Keep dreaming

        • Selam Gashe Abi,

          Would you be kind as to challenge I, yes and I, ኣውራ ጉንዳን፡ with the same. Warning, it may take you Ten/X/Assrr/Ashera Years to READ. (Lest you prefers ሓውና ሰላም?)

          STANDING ON 17! Aቡ ዓsherራ ወeaፖoን X, Eቮluሸን።

          Amኤርትrean GitSAtSE

          • MS

            Ahlan Aba-Tereg

            Ramadan Kareem, I say. I was going to link “enta gemel la mehierbay la bTretu Arkobkebaay..” but it’s already Monday….
            Standiong on 17, jah…
            “If you know your history
            Then you would know where you coming from
            Then you wouldn’t have to ask me
            Who the heck do I think I am” (Play Buffalo Soldier by the great Bob Marley)
            So, when I analyze thing…who the heck do they think I Xaxe, the Eratra, abu Ashera am?

          • “The Best” MaHmuday,

            Jah!!! “So now” ዘም zeይ” see The light!” “We gonna STAND UP for our RIGHTS!”

            IT’S Memorial Day, U.S.A.!

            ጻጸ

  • joseoph

    Hi,
    weldeyesus” Omar” sees a failure in not introducing arabic langauge in post independence era, the name of the game of the awatista mindset but,
    the key factor which drove the eplf to success, was the abolishment of arabic langauge and arabic sentiment once and for all ,which was completted in 1981,with all due respect to fallen heroes on both sides .
    Dergs propoganda “ertran korto le areb lemeshet” was no more applicable as the eplf, a secular organisation took over as the only viable force and stood for the rights of eritreans as a whole.
    It was by then , people from the highlands of eritrea joined the front in masses and with full dedication and formed probably the most sophisticated rebell group in africa and managed not only to liberate eritrea but also
    overthrow the then military junta in adisabeba and hand over power to
    the tplf ( traitors)

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Haw Joseph,

      With all due respect, language does not make one “Liberal” or “illeberal”. By the same token accepting Arabic as co-working language does not make the system in place a secular or unsecular government. Language is always insensitive to ideological values.

      Regards

      • cool

        hey,
        josi did not say anything about liberal or iliberal ,he said only secular meaning the seperation of front or government institutions and faith.
        In the elf fighters had 5times a day prayers and were getting their military acadamy in arabic which is ridicules.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Cool,

          There is no secular organization without liberal philosophy. Cash it home if you may.

        • Saleh Johar

          Really, Cool,
          And you mean the ELF many of us know! Where was the ELF you have in mind living, in Mars or Jupiter?

          • cool

            s,johar,
            not in jupiter or mars but in barka eritrea, the military acadamy was given in arabic, would you deny that?If you do you would discredit your site and above all your personality

    • Abraham H.

      Joseoph,
      “and managed not only to liberate eritrea but also
      overthrow the then military junta in adisabeba and hand over power to
      the tplf ( traitors)”, this claim is devoid of facts and too much bragging. The Derg was overthrown by the joint struggle of the ELF(earlier), EPLF, and TPLF(later EPRDF). No one handed over power to the TPLF or EPRDF in Addis on silver platter, they bled for it. This is not to deny both sides were helping each other at various stages of the struggle and esp. towards the final victory against the Derg.

      • cool

        hi abraham
        as the tplf marched in to adis the then rebel leader meles zenawi spent some days in a normal police station,until the gallant eplf special forces arrived at the scene along with their tanks and armored vehicles and escorted him to the betemengisti
        what is “more hand over power” than this

        • Abraham H.

          Hi cool, if the tplf were marching to Addis as you said, then what hindered them from escorting Meles to the Betemengisti? There were rumours that the US had asked the marching EPRDF troops not to enter Addis before some form of arrangements of transition were put in place. A lot of behind the scenes drama was taking place during the final days/hours of the Derg. I’ve even read from someone former OLF leader that negotiations were taking place to agree upon a transitional government in Ethiopia where even the EPLF would be part of, an initiative that was opposed by the TPLF/EPRDF.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Abraham,

            Your right that a lot of back and forth negotiation went on, and the USA through Herman Cohen was trying to do everything possible to persuade the EPLF and the TPLF to maintain some bondage in the hope of buying time and securing integrity of Ethiopia after the exit of Mengistu.

            The effort begun by to persuading Mengistu to flee to arranged destination so that some generals in the army could find a way of keeping a core military force that could be used as negotiating card for compromise with the victorious EPRDF-EPLF forces under the pretension of avoiding armed conflict and chaos. That was one of the reasons why the incoming forces were made to halt the march into the Addis Ababa and camp on the entrance points.

            But, after the pre-arranged escape of Mengistu the generals could not gather their acts together and the military simply dispersed in every direction. The USA was left with diplomatic option only without any military support on the ground. It tried to push for joint provisional transition scheme, but that was not on the card of either of the EPLF or TPLF.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Ismail, thanks for the rejoinder; it is always a blessing to have your views on matters discussed here, often sharing with us your first hand experiences.

          • cool

            Hi abraham, the march of the tplf in to addis was co-instructed and co-directed by the eplf command and control center , and by the way tplf fighters were not alone ,a mechanised brigade of the eplf was also part of the action.
            Note : no significant fighting took place in liberating addis as dergs troops have realised, that all was over and were surrendering
            The most critical and evident support of the eplf came in the liberation of shire ,there ,these wayane peasants dead like flies for days ,untill the eplf was alerted and it not only came in support ,but took over the command and control of the battle and liberated shire within hours.
            Fortunately every single event was recorded day by day and hour by hour and put in archive by the eplf so denial is not an option.
            On the other hand tplf`s support to the eplf was trivial and was limited in man power .for ex. shadeshay werar.

          • Abraham H.

            Hi cool, I coud see that you’re one of the victims of too much bravado, hence better to leave this discussion here from my side.

          • joseoph

            Abraham,
            cool might have been hyperbolic and his choice of words probably unfortunate ,nevertheless ,his assertions are in a large parts true.
            while it is true that the cooperation of both organisations(eplf ,tplf)was the gate way to victory, still one cannot deny the fact that the support of eplf to the tplf outweighed the opposite .here ,it is not worth mentioning the battel of shire or the likes but the efforts made by the eplf to enhance the overall orginisational capacity of the tplf(caltural, social and military). New tplf recruits were trained and equipped with military hardware in sahel,top tplf cadres acqired further education in sahel and so forth.
            By the way the eplf did not only march to addis along side the tplf, but also stayed there for some additional years
            The emancipation of the tplf started ,after the full withdrawal of the eplf from addis and the gradual control over the huge land and human resources of ethiopia

          • blink

            Dear cool
            Saying EPLF helped TPLF in this forum can put you in a very uncomfortable position. Here in this forum the weyane paid cadres will do every thing to make your point as PFDJ propaganda. We have people in this forum who sale weyane cooked books. Even we have people who insult our hero Hamid idris Awate , the list goes on up to making claims of billions aid given to Eritrea by weyane thieves. I say this to remained you that your accounts are true but weyane cadre are here in this forum to sale lies .

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Blink,

            Do not doubt that EPLF and TPLF had cooperated militarily inside Eritrea and Ethiopia to defeat the military of Derg and eventually toppled the regime of Mengstu Hailemariam. It was a smart and brilliant military cooperation in my book that brought the end of another brutal regime. Their cooperation and the sacrifice given to that strategy, both inside Eritrea and Ethiopia, is a well recorded history that should be emulated from a military strategy point of view. There is nothing wrong with it, rather it is a positive cooperation in tackling their common enemy. Unfortunately, both of them should’t bragg on it, as if they did it without cooperation of each other, be it inside Eritrea or Ethiopia. It was a smart strategy and done successfully. The problem remains when both came to power in their respective country, and failed either to resolve their differences or respond to the demand of their citizens, which demands another phase of struggle unfortunately.

            Regards
            Senay Mealti

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman, of course, not to forget the dark history of the EPLF, an Eritrean organization, joining hands with the foreign organization-TPLF to evict another Eritrean organization, the ELF, from the Eritrean field. We heard such claims as -ሜዳ ኤርትራ ካብ ሓደ ንላዕሊ ውድብ ክጸውር ኣይክእልን’ ዩ ‘* -the Eritrean field cannot sustain more than one organization’; during the liberation struggle; one of them had to give way, unfortunately, according to those who uttered so. As explained in this extensive article by brother Weldeyesus Amar, what we saw after Independence and upto now in practical terms, contrary to the program of EPLF and Charter of the PFDJ, is a continuation of that stated position. Eritreans have a huge task of building trust amongst us, and tolerance is in a very short supply as seen both within the PFDJ regime and the myriad of opposition groups that have multiplied after Independence.
            *I’m not sure by whom or which organization that claim was made

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            To answer your question, it was the policy of both organizations, ELF from 1971 to 1975, EPLF from 1975 to 1981.

            If it wouldn’t the lack of cooperation of our two organizations, Eritrea would have been liberated in 1977 when 95% of the land was liberated and the derg with encircled in four cities (Asmara, Massawa, Assenna, and Batentu). Despite of that unfortunate dark history of our two organizations, the military cooperation of EPLF and TPLF to defeat derg in the late 80s was smart, at least something EPLF couldn’t do with its sister organization.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, the culture of intolerance among Eritreans could even go back to the beginnings of the armed struggle when the ELM or Haraka/Mahber shew’ate fighters were liquidated by the ELF in the mountains of Ila Taeda in Sahel in 1965 according to Andebrehan W.Giorgis. Let’s hope the new generation of Eritreans develop the art of tolerance and mutual respect among the various constituents of our country, which is a prerequisite if we are to continue as a nation.

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Amanuel
            Yes you are right but I was telling cool to expect some harsh words from other people in this forum not from you as I know you as always reasonably fair in analyzing the issue.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Blink,

            Our brother cool do not understand the conceptual relationship between Liberalism and secularism. He is only repeating what is told by the regime. ስለዚ አይትሓዘሉ:: Very soon he will be on the side of the oppressed Eritrean people.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Amanuel
            Well I don’t think some one can read secularism ideas with out liberalism in it but some PFDJISTA cronies are willing to write their man’s book. They like to be told by yemane and isaias the king not by others that is our current problem with such people.

          • cool

            hi amanuel,
            i suggest to update your knowledge on some terminologies before you blame people for lies.
            the latest sceintific definition of secularisim is as follows
            Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries (the attainment of such is termed secularity). One manifestation of secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by government of religion or religious practices upon its people. Another manifestation of secularism is the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs or practices.
            In this sense the eplf is secular and the elf not , germany is secular iran not,egypt is secular saudi-arabia not
            keep cool

  • blink

    Dear all
    Reading this article makes some people run wild ,because they have been saying it from 1980 and they feel vindicated now ,what they didn’t tell us is that these people have been complaining for almost 40 yrs, they continue to complain again but we also know their own 17 years of failed attempts to have a united opposition days from 1991.we all know who weldeyes Amar is , what we do not know is his mission. The guy has been in Eritrean politics for ages.The man did write articles just to blame EPLF as so many do .His own organization was crushed to pieces and he know the main reason was not EPLF but his and his colleagues failures but such people keep coming back to paint EPLF every dirty words in the dictionaries , what does he and his friends like Ismail have interesting things about Eritreans future? None, such people can only complain and argue for years . I would ask him and his colleagues this , we are in 2017 not 1980 nor 1991 either. Your complain about EPLF does nothing to the current problem we have, it help you nothing, what it does is “make the young boring ” your complex nature of telling a story is simply worthless to a solution oriented people. Who in his right mind think ELF was super demanding for democracy? If there is one person he must be living in kessela .because the young can only care about the sadistic dictator in Eritrea not about some one who lost his majo . EPLF won not in mars or in Alaska ,EPLF won with the help of all Eritreans (I mean majority of them) and here we have people with old habits that don’t die easily. Mr weldeyesus ,,, time to move on from your own old habits and help the young topple the dictator. We are not your play ground and we will not be sold to any of ELF or EPLF fights.why should we care ?

    • Thomas

      Hi Blink,

      Mr. Weldeyesus has not achieved the desired goal because stupid people of your kinds are being used as cannons by the mafias inside the country. Ok, as you are saying Mr. Weldeyesus has been complaining for over 40 yrs and he has not made any dent on EPLF or the current regime. Let’s say that Mr. Weldeyesus and Ismail are just fighting to get to power and wanted their ELF as opposition or ruling party operating in Eritrea. It is fact that ELF are Eritreans and they have every right to participate in Eritrea’s doings/business. Who are you to question these people? Don’t they have every right like fight or not for their own rights and regardless how long it takes for them to achieve whatever they want? The PFDJ uses character assassinations to silence whoever they see as a threat? How are you different from the Issayasists? If you think the ELF have been fighting for over 40 years and have never changed anything, you should have sympathized with them as they are fellow Eritreans as you seem to be. Why attach the victims of PFDJ/the Issayas group if you are for the rights of all citizens?

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Blink,
      Congratulations, you have come a long way Yes, we are in 2017 and counting. That is why people like the author of this articles are carrying additional burden to what they had done during their youthful and productive phases of their lives to hand you, the young generation something you can proudly call an independent national homeland, to tell you where the EPFL had gone wrong so that you can be assisted “to topple the dictator”, as you rightly wrote. Had you and your generation been involved and gathered your acts together, I can emphatically assure you that you would not have been bored by the old generation because they would not have had reason to tell you anything.
      Dear Blink, Ismail and others have one and only one interest about Eritrea and its people: see its young staying in their homeland instead of flocking to life in exile, getting united and liberating their precious nation from ruinous dictatorship, crafting together just system of governance that operate under rule of law for all and opening an era of nation building that guarantee sustainable development and prosperity and happiness in peace and tranquility. Then, the elders who are still breathing would await their time satisfied that their sacrifices in lives and careers had indeed been not in vain.

      • blink

        Dear Mr.Ismael
        I am not questioning his service or yours to be honest. you guys have done enough to make Eritrea a country but not enough to know how the man operates.
        As you deeply know you and Mr.weldeyesus know each other and infact from the same political organizationpl of Eritrea way way before 1991 ,please tell me why you both could not have a priority to join hands ? Aren’t we in the circle? If you and him push for the urgent needs of your people ,why are we in disarray ? Eritrea is controlled by a sadistic person and yet what did we do !!! Talk about how EPLF was controlled by one man , Mr weldeyesus wrote about isaias manifesto (nihnan elamanan) long time ago. well we have two sides of every story and I do not believe both sides are important to cut the evil man from power. Mr. Weldeyesus never pointed a single finger to the opposition problem neither do you. Ab aynika zelo habela key alekas….

        • Ismail AA

          Dear blink,

          Your bold words and sincerity comfort my heart and flash my spirit with spate of optimism. When you confront me with my shortcomings in the past, and complain that the burden of the consequences were passed to you, you have all the right to get an a convincing answer or at least an admission with apology added.

          Yes, you are right that we had failed to unite and check or harness that “sadistic person” due to our failure to properly manage our social and demographic diversity under meaningful national platform. That had opened wide opportunities for the ambitious to manipulate across the width and length of our national liberation movement. The internecine clashes that cost us many lives could be explained within such scenarios.

          So, if I attempt to rationalize our failures in setting priorities that could have had shut off the way on the face of the ambitious from abusing the innocent mood of our people for liberation, I would be committing a crime of untruthfulness. Thus, dear blink, we are not trying to hide “Ab aynika zelo habela …”. What we are trying to do is keep the torch and the banner for you until you close ranks and take it from us. When that eventuality comes, nothing better in the world would console our souls and spirits.

          But I still insist that you must allow me to have the audacity and tell you that you cannot hide behind our past failures and take control of your destiny and that of you nation. The cause has not been lost yet. The right thing to do learn from our mistakes and chart your future in a liberated country that embraces its youth.

      • ሰኒ ሃሌካ ኣያይ፡
        ሰኒ ሃሌካ ኣያይ፡

        አወ ኣቦ ዓሸራ ንባበይ አንዳ ቀጸልኩ ኢየ።

        ጻጸ

        • Ismail AA

          Selam GitSAtSE wed Hawey,
          seni haleku wad hewye. Ramadan karim.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear all,

    I think it is fine that Woldeyesus decided to put this paper at the disposal of this forum. It helps readers to reflect from hindsight on the post 1991 events and enable then to make sense of the elusive question on the mind of cross section of Eritreans: how and why have we came to where we happened to be today?.

    Reading through the material, I must be frank and state that I found much of the content and substance of the narrative to be very familiar to me and could not find anything contradict my thoughts. This is perhaps due to the fact that my political and organizational experience and the author’s had been one and the same for long span of time. For many years we lived and worked very close to one another until, as usual, unfortunate and one political issue made us take opposing directions. However, personal attachment and memories of good times never left my mind.

    Thus, the points I will randomly scribble underneath will have to do more with what we can learn from the flaws the article detailed and focus on what should be done now, as Mahmoud Saleh eloquently state at the end of his rejoinder. Moreover, I must add that similar article on the flaws of the ELF, as Mahmoud had hinted, by an objective author with EPLF experience would help make the picture more vivid and complete for the post-independence youth since they are the primary stakeholders in what the fate of the post the current regime Eritrea is going to be. I think this is the reason why the author wanted to post the article to this web site.

    Now then, the first point I should note is something to do with my habit when a serious piece of writing such as this article or a book come my way. I just jump to the end of the work and try to have quick glimpse of the annotations and bibliographies. This time too I could not skip my habit, and perused through the list which is turned to be a careful researcher’s product.

    But, I missed what I expected to find. Save a couple or three sources such the late Mohammed Said Naod’s book and one widely read Arabic newspaper, the reference to Arabic sources is very has been visibly absent. Here, lest I be misconstrued, my point is not that had affected the message the article was framed to deliver. My point is that a lot of books and articles have been written on the Eritrea’s post 1991 developments that can broaden our insight on the situation. The emergence on the Eritrean arena of political formations that operate and communicate in the Arabic language, which the author had alluded to, should have warranted reviewing those materials. Thus, knowing that Woldeyesus is very much aware of the impact views and social and human perceptions those writings reflect and their role on rallying the population in the interest of common national agendas, I expected he would put up reasonable effort, notwithstanding the constraints of course, to consult at least some of them. I am dealing with point because I am one of those who worry about parallel cultural and literary developments in our country, and if the gab continues its effect of the national social and political cohesion could be damagingly negative.

    Jumping back to the main issue, all considered escaping the post 1991 flaws the author had deal with would have had served one crucial purpose. Wise and truly selfless choice of common national platform on the part of the EPLF would have had effectively close the national liberation war chapter and its intricacies. Had the referendum of 1991 could have been prelude to that national platform that could have usher the era of nation building. The EPLF and the provisional government it had installed, and the man at its center, which were widely endorsed by all organizations at the time, could have gained a chapter in the annals of history. In a word, the flaws Woldeyesus had enumerated had contributed to the pre-1991 status quo to continue. The fact that the EPLF had operated from Asmara and the urban centers did not change that status quo since it was the same organization that had militarily dominated the political life of the country. For those organizations that were active in one way or the other nothing had changed, and their only option was to continue as they were and watch how development would proceed. As the new government treaded on the path of hegemony and individualism, they also transformed on the path of opposition and self-defense no matter the degree of effectiveness.

    Thus, what has brought us to where we are today is flawed post occupation succession which this article has, in my judgement successfully outlined. But, how would appreciation and aesthetic value the narrative provide serve us in turning around the drastic damages the post 1991 experience of 25 years had incurred? The country’s affair during those years would not be served by distribution blames. The oppositions to begin with, and the entire justice seeker camps, should weigh the options judiciously and formulate priorities without being hamstrung by issues pertaining to power and its trappings. The issue now is how to save the nation from what the future might have in store, considering the geopolitical circumstances and saddening events we witness not far from out border. Saving the youth is equivalent to saving the nation, which one of the disheartening consequences of the flaw succession. The dilemma is what could be done to escape the ominous future that lurks on the horizon of our nation if we let the situation to fate.

    Regards, and thanks to my friend, Woldeyesus Ammar.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismailo,

      I appreciated the well researched paper of wedi Ammar. The document with its rich references could be good sources for building in documenting up the complete history of our ghedli and the two decades and half afterwards. What I didn’t agree with Weldeyesus is on expecting different outcome than the current reality, if there would have been a call for the opposition forces to be as part of the provisional transitional government or the general political process. Even if Issayas and his colleagues would have attempted to do that, by the time they entered the city, the man was already evolved to demigod, recognized as the alpha omega by the rank and files of the organization, and became the Omnipotent and omnipresent of the organization, that turned him to be the monster shark that eats anyone on his way. So once he reached that epic stage, there is no way to change his mind and there could be no way to fight him from inside. Since he is already morphed to a monster, the problem now is with the opposition who are failed to make a united effort to root out ones for all.

      Regards

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Author,
    This is a well put account. One of the things I loved about this article is the time/space chosen for the analytical accounts (1991/Asmara under ghedli). That was the time-space landmark trajectory point where closures of ghedli and beginnings of statehood happened or were supposed to happen for the most part. Analysts and chroniclers must zoom into that time-space at a microscopic scale to tell us what caused those decions and events and how they lend explanations to what followed at later time. The author did really good in framing the setting to say what he said about how we headed to where we are today. The author worked hard to support his points with relevant and generous references.
    If I were to think that Eritrea went off track after 1998, my analysis would always be limited to what went wrong about the relationship with Ethiopia and whether it could have happened differently before escalation to save the day or afterwards to minimize damage. If I were to think basic deviations started only on or after 1991, then I would have done what the author did for the most part. But, it is time for broader approach. It is time to stop treating Ghedli itself through a generous eye as if it was an unquestionable sacred project. We should start analysing it through a neutral prism.
    Pfdj being what it is, it is hard not to expect the 1998 or 2001 crises. Eplf being Eplf, it must have been so naive not have imagined 1991 or 1993 coming.
    The Eritrean ghedli being ghedli of that particlular nature, the law of political physics dictates that the factional or civil war, the protracted liberation war of 30yrs, the untold and always under reported sacrifices, the culture of enduring misery and proudly feeding on bitterness etc were natural products to follow.
    I hear you Mahmuday, “what about the Ethiopian side injustice and cruelty?”. Those too should be part of the account and the analysis. But I want us to start from the start. Ghedli should no longer be a given thing. Mahmuday says Eplf was a military organization. I would argue Eplf was a sophisticated political organazation more than it was a military one. But let’s agree with Mahmuday’s term and ask him “so?”. It seems Mahmuday is implying that Eplf tended to be militaristic out of situational necessity and some of the crimes it committed then must be attributed to that context of necessity.
    Relativism and Excusability are two dangerous elements always asked of us as a matter of implied forced magnanimity expected of us. Ghedli was justified on what Hailessilassie did to the federation. Excesses of ghedli are always excused because of the cruelty of the otherside. Independence is justified on the struggle and sacrifice paid. Exclusive control of power and monopoly of politics is excused on the newness as a state and on percieved external threats. Warsai/Yika’alo campaign is justified on extraordinary and tough challenegs of siege situations imposed on the country by external and hostile forces. Disappearances, incarcerations, youth depletion and exodus are all excused up on outsurviving global hostility with the usual resolve of mekhete and endurance.
    What this author did is great and I am grateful. But when are our analysts to start stepping back a bit and take incentory ofbthe journey holistically?

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Hayat,

      Frank and as-it-is said comments, as usual. It is true that one negative aspect of an act should be conveniently arguable to justify the same act in another way. I understand your point that such apparently had been the pattern. In fact, in my humble judgement historical events should be appraised and read in their own right and not chewed for political agendas, especially events that involve costs in lives and social fabrics. I agree with you that the history of the liberation war era and its contents should not be taken as something sacred and infallible.

      But my interest in reading this thread is reflecting on the past events to remind ourselves where things went wrong, and look forward on where the change seeker opposition segments also had gone wrong with focus on the next step that could halt the “hemorrhage” that has been emptying the nation from its youthful vital forces.

      The challenge now how could we come with an appeal that persuade the youth that it is worthwhile for them to get involved and turn the situation in their country around. Thus, the point I am trying to underscore, as I did in my cursory rejoinder to the authors of the articles, is that unless we get convinced that the liberation era chapter has been closed which the post 1991 transition had failed to do relapsing to aspects of that era would continue. Let us hope this article and more of its kind would make us stop and rethink the journey that brought us to where we are now.

      • Hayat Adem

        Dearest Ismail,
        I understand and agree with just what you said and have been saying in general.
        Here at awate, I have given my self a role venturing in to the taboo.
        It seems the ghedli gravity is heavier than what we all have thought. For example, I wouldn’t mind forgetting it altogther or saving it for later and focus on what needs to be done now. But apparently it appears quite difficult as we wander now and then in to the ghedli territory.
        Some of us try to jelously guard it and carry it in to the future. Others of us want to take it as a matter of fact of the past and move on without having to feel its weight. There are others who bitterly felt wronged by it and want to vent again and again for cleansing off the pains.
        For those reasons, it became like a weight tied to our feet. So I thought we may be served better by just questioning and discussing and in the process helping people to take Eritrea’s problem as a normal problem- poor country’s problem, typical African country’s problem, the usual small country’s or new country’s problem. There is nothing special about the problem nor about its solution. We are all there where others somewhere else are or have been.
        For example, I found the following while reading Eritrea’s history: “at no time in its history has the Hamasien been so tranquil or free from the interminable disputes which are today the characterstic features of its daily life.” If you have already come across such a study, give other awatistas a chance to guess the time this quoting is refering to. If not allow me to ask you to guess as well.
        We are not a society who were carried out of the woods by ghedli. We were a society who had civilization and good life before ghedli. So questioning ghedli is not questioning the very essence and character of our society. Ghedli has to stand by what it took from us and what it gave us. That is only a fair value scale.

        • Paulos

          Selam Hayatina,

          Fair questions. Gedli sure enough was not mandated if you will to render us civilized but to help us own an independent Eritrea. And we have independent Eritrea. I personally find it unreasonable to attribute all the ails Eritrea is currently facing to the genesis of Gedli or the edifice in general. Machiavelli once noted, “If a crime is committed for the preservation of a country, it is a glorious crime.” I am not in anyway condoning the exesses of Gedli but one can get tempted to see Gedli as a means to an end not an end in itself or by itself.

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Paul,
            “…one can get tempted to see Gedli as a means to an end not an end in itself or by itself.”
            It wouldn’t make to entertain the launch of ghedli just as an end by itself, would it? Ghedli is needed not as a normal stage of social development but as a conscious deviation in order to remove an obstacle. But in that process, it is equally important to be vigilantly guarding that the ghedli itself doesn’t end up becoming the obstacle. I think that is where we are right now.

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Hayat,

            I wish you had known the entire journey of the barbaric gedli. With your elequence and courage, you could have put the rascals who have brought so much pain and loss to the Eritrean people under the rags. You know how much I laugh when I read some comments here, mostly written by the phony gedli romantics claiming that “gedli’s goal was not to liberate the people but to liberate the land”?

            Ask them to show you a hard copy that if those who managed gedli with untold barbarity ever said or written that gedli’s goal was only to liberate the rocky and ever dry land. Ask them that if that was the case, why did the archaic and tribal ELF named itself “ተጋድሎ ሓርነት ኤርትራ” and the barbaric EPLF “ህዝባዊ ግንባር ሓርነት ኤርትራ”. Each of the two mortal enemies had the word “liberty” in their respective names, and you will not find any mention of the word “free” or “freedom”.

            Ask the former camel herder to share the first and second political programs of the EPLF which were written to guide the organization. Ask him to share with you the political vision of the EPLF for future Eritrea: ቁዋማት መጻኢት ኤርትራ:: It was written in the 1980s and mostly used as a training material for its cadres. Please don’t mention Tsehay told you unless you want to invite some filthy hordes to dethrone you:-) The great Abi will not be happy with that either:-) Everything that the PFDJ mafia has been doing in Eritrea for the last 26 years is taken out of that black book. Here are some points that I still remember from that hidden book.

            1. ኣብ መጻኢት ኤርትራ: ውልቀ ነጋዳይ ኣይክፍቀድን’ዩ:: The absence of private enterprise in Eritrea now is a testament to that mindless vision.

            2. ኣብ መጻኢት ኤርትራ: ካልኣይ ደረጃ ትምህርቲ ክሳብ ዓሰርተ-ሓደ ክኸውን’ዩ:: It was tried and Eritreans were told by barbaric mafia that it failed…a pretext to closing the grade twelve classes throughout the country and to create one military school in Sawa.

            3. ኣብ መጻኢት ኤርትራ: ዶባታ ዝካላኸል ሓያል ሰራዊት ንምቛም ኩሉ ኤርትራዊ ካብ ወዲ 18 ክሳብ ወዲ 50 ዕድመ ዘሎ ሰብ ወተሃደራዊ ታዓሊም ክወስድ’ዩ:: This is now reflected in the barbaric and endless national service. The age is extended to about 70 now.

            4. ኣብ መጻኢት ኤርትራ: ንናይ ኣታውን ወጻእን ዝምልከት ንግዲ መንግስቲ ብዝወሰኖ ክኸውን’ዩ:: This was clarified further by explaining that if someone is involved in the importation of electronics (radio, television, etc.), the government would have the right to tell the private importer to import wheat or corn instead of electronics.

            The romantics of the barbaric gedli never fail to amaze me.

          • Abi

            Hi Sahay
            I see a huge gambling problem with the old gedli romantics.
            They gambled with their lives and failed miserably. Now they are gambling with their children’s lives.
            What is sad is some of the young ones are repeating what the old ones have been preaching for years .
            The funny and the most rehearsed and probably overused talking points is ” Our Revolution was Hijacked by IA”. Really? Surprised?
            Nah, the Eritrean revolution has nothing to do with the people.

            The last couple of days I refused to congratulate my friends on their independence day. I refused to equate them with the mountains and the rivers and the bushes…
            I have a higher standard to the people.

          • Sahay Erican

            Dearest Abi,

            Thank you. There is nothing to congratulate. The Eritrean people are still shackled in chains.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Sahay Erican,
            .
            I think most of us (non-Ghedli romantics) base and respond to the assessment and information the likes of macho Mohamud Saleh and the non-sense technicalities Amanuel Hidrat bring to the table. I know it is a little simplistic, even for me, but bear with me.
            .
            Let us visit our very recent history. I think we have to accept the fact that a sizable number of Eritrean elite (It is always the elite) believed that they can do better by themselves, as they saw things marching during the federation and shortly after.
            We add to that Amharic and cultural impositions replacing familiar homes over time inflamed the situation.
            We add, no, let us multiply their unique experience of colonization and their identity specific to them that was being assaulted at a personal level.
            I am not going to bring religion aspect of this but it was there and is there for the asking.
            .
            These plus other chasms kept the irreconcilable differences in play for a long time seeping into sports and everyone’s daily lives.
            .
            Let us remember mother Ethiopia of the 70s and 80s. Mengistu, famine and all the bad press. It tested the metals of all Ethiopians to be proud of being Ethiopians. We Ethiopians didn’t have a choice. They did.
            (Don’t forget the elites of TPLF….some might call them the good times Ethiopians)
            .
            It so happened the elite leaders of Eritrea took the road through the mountains instead of the plains, such is life, nothing is guaranteed. However, that does not change the taking of the fundamental journey to be on your own.
            .
            There is nothing that will get me excited at Awate more than the prospect to read Hayat and Ismail AA debate in their calm and collected way about this topic. The flood lights they bring with them can enlighten everyone, except Nitricc, about our past and the future. They cannot change anything but will help some of us come to terms with the things as they are.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Selam K.H.,

            i think that gedli pops up in every day eritrean politics, not anymore for its achievements per se (which was mainly independence), but to fill the void created by the failures of both sides in eritrean politics. Indeed, as S.E. said, gedli promised both independence and freedom, which the majority of ordinary eritreans believed, but not the elites. The elites simply wanted to travel as far as reaching independence, which meant the throne of power, and for all practical purposes, gedli, as an armed struggle, ended in 1991, and it should have been put to rest then and there.
            The second phase, that of democratic and economic revolution should have started. unfortunately, the last two existed in the remote recesses of the elites minds, and not in their conscious mind. Their conscious mind was occupied mainly with power, which they try to nourish by bringing gedli so often even today, and by putting the issues of democracy and development in the backseat. That is why, i think that H.A. was right when she said that instead of having positive contributions anymore, gedli is now blocking the way. (sorry in advance, if i have misquoted you).

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Horizon, K.H., S.E., Ismael and Hayat and all,

            Looking at today’s Eritrea it may be fair to say it’s being governed based on “the black book” as Sahay described, assuming there is such book existed. It’s the first time I heard it mentioned.

            However that was the case, EPLF and the “Elites” have had several conferences, that led most people to believe that Eritrea will be headed to democratic and inclusive government once independence was reached.

            One particular event that I remember and heavily publicized was, the 1987 congress. Saay can bring more details but if I recall, it set a stage for future Eritrea government institution such as multiparty etc. There was also the call for other liberation movement join hand with EPLF in the liberation.

            I don’t know to what degree but I understand the ELF-leadership (may not all) have joined the congress and joined the ranks of EPLF.

            In my opinion, I don’t think the entire ELF or even EPLF dream was to seize power and nothing else. I personally even think, Isayas was going along knowing he will be the leader in however shape / forum is going to shape.

            In my opinion I think he had a change of heart once the constitution was ratified with 2 term limit, in1997.

            He was 51 years old (had been in power for 4 years officially) and all he was thinking was, I could lose this election and at best I can only get another 10 years. And who is going to put up with this parliament that I can’t control.

            In my opinion, those who draft the constitution knew exactly how difficult it will be to remove him from power, I think the 2 terms was sort of a tie they want to leave behind incase he changes his mind and have a means to remove him.

            What follows is just for him to stay in power by crippling all means and forms by installing fear to stay in power.

            Berhe

          • Selam Berhe Y.,

            Dia must be one of the leaders, who is difficult to psychoanalyze. His track record shows a successful person, revered and not only loved, and he had a whole nation behind him, who sacrificed a lot and was ready to sacrifice more, whenever he demanded. Nevertheless, he handled the nation as if it was a foster child, and as if he has some sort of a hidden hatred towards it. Even today, I am sure that eritreans are ready to forgive him, and they will line up behind him, just with a snap of a finger. Why he likes to do the opposite is a mystery to me.
            Do not bet on african constitutions, because they are easily amended as it happens in many african countries. He could have ruled any number of years he liked under any constitution. Moreover, if he had shown a little benevolence to the people, he could have become a life time ruler.
            Therefore, I really do not believe that the constitution was his main problem, nor any sort of insecurity. Only god knows what. Let us simply say that he was a big fish in a small pond to satisfy his ego, and he felt angry and uncomfortable, and ended up being an abusive father.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Horizon,

            I agree to all what you said about DIA. It’s really puzzling to me, why he does what he does. Someone said to me long time when he was in Medda, he read the prince (ordered it from the uk) and the main advice, I think is, they people have to love or fear you. He started with love and I think he changed to fear or combination of both. The only reasonable guess I have is, he does not trust himself, and his own ghost. He is 100% FAKE.

            My response to the conferences, constitution etc was that the elite, I think they did what they can and what it expected of them. They were not there to liberate the land and become rulers with out freedom.

            Let’s face it, why would they sacrifice their future their ambition, their life for some power, which means absolutely nothing. I think the ERITREAN leaders, I don’t think their life style is anyone who desires (may be the corrupt military leaders) but for the most I think it’s just sacrifice. I think anyone who is in diaspora would not trade their life for government position in Eritrea, at least what’s known to the public.

            So I think ghedli did its job, with all its faults, it achieved what it can, compared to most military revolution, Chinese, Cuban, Algeria, Ethiopia, etc. The main problem is the transformation to normacy.

            I think we are just one breath away.

            Berhe

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Kim Hanna,

            For a research historian who is making a first step in making of a check list of contents and prospective sources material for his subject, the points you have mentioned would constitute free and unsolicited gift. I assume these are products of seasoned observer’s mind.

            I agree that in most cases political choices are unenviable terrain of the elites of society. This is universal if may not be accused of unwarranted generalization. But the departure point is politics tend to be played on fields historical scenarios produce. You will probably agree with me status quos created by forces of history be by force or evolution are difficult to change because they come up with new dynamics that impact social and cultural milieus, produce new identities and interest. I think the legacies bequeathed by colonial rules provide many examples, and that is why at the end of colonial journey we got a new political religion: colonial border are sacred and tampering with them amounted to treason bordering the rim of sin.

            Thus, the shared story of Eritrea and Ethiopia cannot but understood in the framework I just dared to state. Note that I am not looking as the issue as veteran who had lived 75% of his life fighting for Eritrea’s self-determination. I am looking at the issue from hindsight as student of history who try to make sense of the many things we say and write in this forum.

            So, if we can reconcile with what had happened and understand them in proper perspectives, then would be saved from wasting time and dance in vicious circle of delivering and receiving blames. The good thing to do is for Eritreans to act in unity, diagnose what went wrong in their journey along the path to self-determination and design strategy fit to end the unwholesome conditions in their country. For Ethiopians, reconciling with what history had produced, and aspiring the wellbeing for their neighbors, and looking forward for mutually beneficial future relations for both peoples and the rest of the peoples in the general religion, would give a lofty moral ground.

            Thank you for sober and mature discussion that gave me reason to scribble a few things that sometime bother my mind.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Abi, I know you can’t contain your disappointment but the Eritrean independence was colorfully celebrated and will be celebrated for ever and ever. Don’t get too high if so sold outdated and distragled Eritreans showed you their grudge and sense of revenge. Eritrea will be forever and ever whether you wish her well or wish he ill. You don’t matter nor do the old and outdated who are clumping with your endless grudge with people and nation of Eritrea. She defeated you yesterday, she is deafting to day and she will defeating tommorow.

          • Abi

            Hi General
            Happy Independence Day

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi, if you had to say from the get-go, what do you have to lose? I see the worthless Eritreans congratulating you in everything Ethiopian, yet, you can’t bring yourself to be nice and say happy Independence Day to Eritreans? Make no mistake and don’t bank on those old and outdated Eritreans feeding you on negativity about Eritrea. We will built Eritrea to the envy of African and Africans. Simply put, Eritrea once again will the beacon of hope to the oppressed people of Africa. Bileave!!!! Till then enjoy the toothless and corrupted Eritreans dooms day wishful thinking. I know you have being sarcastic when you say happy Independence Day but I will take it anyways and I thank you sir. 🇪🇷

          • Hayat Adem

            Selam Sahay,
            You are just like me but even bolder.
            That thing Mahmuday and others telling us ghedli was meant to bring independence and consume itself after delivering it is just a naked miqshash. They never said it then. It would have never made sense if they said it then. Imagine the innocent teghadalay being told to give his life or his legs just for independence + the unknown.
            I heard a story of funny teghadalay during Sahel era. He was hearing all these propoganda of turning Eri to full of heavenly mana once and immediately the enemy is removed. He knew all those things were too good and too soon to be true. Then he had this phrase to repeat all the time: “deHan Asmara’mo nibtsaH wedi affom, deHri’eu ke kem shiTarana ninebir”. That must have been the Sahlean version of Saay’s Asmarino version of tiwigaH’mo! Apparently, this innocent teghadalay thought then Asmara was big enough to hide him from the ghedli suffocation. Saay was naive too to think Asmara was too small a place where criminals would never be able to get away with their acts of impunity in broad daylight. Ghedli prevailed in Sahil. Ghedli prevailed in Asmara. Normal life has been effectively bulldozed. Choices for citizens: fit or flee!
            PS: Horizon, spot on; you haven’t misquoted me.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Hayat,
            Dear Hayat

            Ramadan Karim; it is an occasion of reflection on what a person did and said during the previous months.
            While doing the ritual I do whenever I log in and visit the column of forum comment, I try not miss looking at you and a few others write before I return to the rest. This time, too, I read your exchanges with Sahay on critiquing the liberation war era and the actors in it. And, something that escaped my attention before caught my sight.

            While it is within the right of people to express opinion and appraise anything pertaining to that period of our history, including individual actors for that matter, is it right to lump every thing that was done and said during the period since 1941 to date in one and only word “ghedli”? Objectively considered, this term encompasses all involved – individuals and groups including the Wel Wel’s generation.

            The point is if the rationale of some one’s critique is the consequences of unfulfilled promises – like liberation, freedom – why don’t we trying to be specific and name things by their true names? For one who reads between the lines it is clear that the notion of “ghedli” is interchangeable with the ELPF when it was in the field and as a ruling party now.

            Thus, since it was the EPLF that took control of succession and establishment of government, is it objective to use the term “ghedli” that includes also other actors who had no share in post 1991 developments? It just occurred to me and pose this question to you, and whether or not you ever thought about it for sake of objectivity and fairness.
            Forgive if my question would not make sense to you.

            Best regards

          • Hayat Adem

            Dearest Ismail,
            Alahu aker. You are right.. it will be unfair to have a one brash solves it all type of approach over the entire period, events and individuals. We need a reminder like you not to lose the right balance and and become part of the other excess.

          • Kebessa

            Hayat,
            So the Tegadala thought Asmara was too big enough for the innocent to hide and SAAY thought Asmara was too small a place for the criminals to hide. Turned out the city is actually big enough for crimes and too small for natural/normal life. I am sure Tegadalay and SAAY realize it now😀
            I like your thinkings irrespective of my agreement/disagreement of a given topic.

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Hayat,

            Look what you have done now…you put me under the radar. Abi’s tireless effort of lobbying is to blame 🙂 The loyalists and their falsified gedli’s narrative have to be protected at any cost.

            Hayat, the story about the tegadalay in Sahel is one of a thousand stories that was told throughout the journey of gedli. Some paid their dear lives for speaking up, and others stayed quiet hoping that it might somehow change in tomorrow’s Eritrea. Gedli was led by two types of people from the beginning to the end. One group is the fanatical Islamist who continued the divisive religious problems of the 1940s and 1950s, and the second group is the mindless highland Eritrean elites. The rest of the Eritrean people (specially the overwhelming highland Eritrean peasants) were simply forced through endless and barbaric ግፋ to fight a war that was not their own making. Those who refused and raised guns to protect themselves and their properties, for example in ቆሓይን and ደምበላስ, were ruthlessly put down and their cattle confiscated in 1976/1977 and in 1978 respectively.

            The story of the barbaric EPLF is the story of one man from its inception to this moment. Isaias was and is the alpha and omega of the organization’s decision making. There has never been anything done or undone without the discrete consent of Isaias Afeworki. Let me tell you a real story that happened during the second organizational congress of the EPLF in 1987. There was one topic that particularly generated a little heat by those who came from the diaspora Eritreans. The issue was what to call the official gazette (ሳግም) in Arabic and English. People who came from the US, Europe and the Middle East did not have any knowledge about the absolute power of Isaias Afeworki until then. They debated the issue for some time, and all this time, Isaias was sitting and listening quietly…never said anything until he stood up without being given the right to speak and told the discussants this: “ብዓረብ ሳግም: ብእንግሊዝ ሳግም:: ይኣኽለኩም ዕጸውዎ:: ናብቲ ጽመጽእ ዓንቀጽ ሕለፉ::” Surprisingly, those who were fighting fiercely about the subject kept silent, and the name of the gazette became ሳግም in all three languages ever after. In an organization that the idea of democratic procedures and compromises were alien, Isaias was praised for his ingenuity and leadership for closing the discussion without consensus.

            Hayat, I am sure you don’t need my advice because supporters and detractors in this website know that you are not a simple person who would fall into the narratives of the gedli romantics. As they say that seeing is believing, what Eritreans have seen and experienced for the last 26 years are the continuation of what they had experienced during the barbaric gedli. Any attempt to beautify the history of gedli is an exercise in futility.

            Now let me add some humor (ዋዛ ምስ ቁምነገር) to this comment. It is a miracle that I have been tolerated this long in this website 🙂 Now I have gotten a warning that anything I say could be used to justify my expalsion. Luckily, I have another beautiful website that I have called it a dear home…the original home of the great YG. Let the gedli romantics continue to call Eritreans like myself “bigots, Neon-Andnet, revisionists” and what have you being reprimanded. I have heard it all. It is a vicious circular journey that keep the Eritrean people in total darkness and immeasurable misery.

            Keep inspiring and emboldening Eritreans to challenge the status quo and the debilitating groupthink that this website has miserably failed to do so.

          • blink

            Dear sahay
            You are good infact too good in dehumanizing the revolution but you and your queen plus your rotten philosopher YG will always remain behind the web .Nothing else will seen day light in Eritrea even after the dictator.She is a known lair and YG is a known unionist who failed miserably. The reason you and your group will continue to fail is not because you guys are not good but just due to the genius of the Eritreans that do not fall on your traps. Many people have been trying to throw the revolution under the rug yet they failed. YG is equal to the agazian man Eyob except his home is the website that you admire. What can we expect from a failed philosophy of evils ? Their failure . Eritreans do not pick guns to make 14 zone of Ethiopia but an independent country , that chapter is closed by the sheer determination of the Eritreans not by web lairs. Deformed minds increasingly think their world is perfect but they need time to know the other side. Web lying is crime only in honest society but your society lives in lies and there is no wonder that you all are praising each other. The main problem with your stand is irrelevant if we assume you all are fanatics. The main character of lairs has been consistent . YG suffers from his diluted identity of union mind that was thrown out from Eritrea. Weyane tags has been sailing through lies and their only reason is due to the dictator at home unless they can not face the oromos. Let you and your queen write about solving weyane problems first. She thought her lies was well founded truth and so do YG.

          • saay7

            Selam Hayat:

            17 years after it was written, TwgaHmo continues to be interpreted per reader. If you ask the author, it’s not anything novel or particularly insightful but about right-timing and prioritizing.

            For example: Ambassador Andeberhan Woldegiorgis explained the two “red lines he wouldn’t cross” when writing his book. One would be anything that compromised national security (i.e. What was the Eritrean armed forces doing in Congo in the mid 1990s) and anything that would endanger the life and security of his former partners in the EPLF/PFDJ.

            Every individual every organization in the world that has any goal it wishes to achieve does that.

            The rest on you favorite horse you enjoy beating up, Ghedli, no comment.

            Saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hayata My Queen..

            Did, I read What saay 7 said “TwgaHmo ” above? what about it? can he come an reply to you?-
            will you stand perfectly ?

            That is what it I try to tel him here long aback.. He will have to say “pardon me ” for that entire era …

  • MS

    Dear Woldeyesus
    Skimming through your over-referenced article, and recognizing that you have been in the Eritrean politics as long as IA has been, I could only say the following:
    1. The EPLF was primarily a military organization. If you could appreciate the military pressure it had to withstand, I think you would be able to see why organizational discipline was given primacy over civil rights. One can point out that it should have had a political wing, a separate but closely linked to the military branch, but which had the role of mobilizing the mass, charting out the political and diplomatic fields and preparing the country for nationhood…I doubt if that would have been the best considering the massive military operations which needed tight control of man and resource…but one can mull over those questions…Because: the EPLF I knew had only one goal, and that was to liberate the country…Political discussions were secondary. And in that regard it went through stages. From the beginning to the mid eighties, it considered itself as a leftist movement, it leadership style was based on the doctrine of democratic centralism, which means, by today’s understanding: dictatorship. However, beginning in the mid eighties, it espoused (at least officially) liberal democratic principles, all of its internal directives, literatures and discussions (even among the cadres) gave the impression that once the country was liberated, power would be handed over to the people…That’s why the biggest challenge around the declaration of independence was posed by its members. EPLF tegadelti challenged the leadership on how the 75 members of CC committee whose term had expired could automatically assume membership of the newly formed National Transitional Council, and the fate of the fighters living conditions (since the president said they would go for four more years without pay). There was resistance in other areas too such as the flag, the name of the State, and transitional charter. Heated debates went on for days, in some cases high ranking officials were made to stomp out of meetings. IA knew what was brewing. He taped a video explaining the situation. Some commanders advised him that the video would stoke unrest, he better came in person. He refused. That video ignited the famous 1993 uprising of EPLF tegadelti. Of course later, the government lumped everything to the issue of salary. The rest, we all have witnessed it…
    2. The key point is that there should have been a National reconciliation and rehabilitation conference. I agree. I agree the inclusion of ELF in that process would have cleared most of the challenges we experience today.
    3. The weakness of the article is on the lack of self-reflection and what could have been done by the opposition. Given what you have cited about the nature of EPLF and the bad beginning (which originates from the nature of EPLF leadership and past experience between Eritrean organizations, an experience that had been hinged on a zero-sum based strategies), which has been discussed widely in Eritrean politics, one would expect you to discuss the other side in a critical manner. For instance: if ELF was more democratic (democracy is not expressed on how many voices one accommodates but on how many conflicts one manages) why could not it held up its ranks? Could the same pattern also be expressed in Eritrea had it been granted to enter Eritrea? And when you say ELF which ELF are you talking about? Why could not you hold your ranks and files, as a leader of ELF-RC)? Is your organization growing in or declining, in number and influence? Why couldn’t you mount an effective opposition if you had the support and influence you mentioned your organization had? If you could rally Eritreans in 1991, you would better be able to rally them today because Eritreans are more opposed to IA and they are looking for a leadership? The point: We definitely know what went wrong, we just don’t know how to fix it. I was expecting you to focus on that.
    3. I appeal to all the leaders of the current opposition factions, please to speak of your current faction and not as representing the historic ELF. Eritrea needs a new generation of leaders with a native vision, one that is not marred by past grudges. The current and past conflicts between Eritrean organizations is mainly personal. That is the sad point. Personal conflicts are expressing themselves in disuniting political and civic societies threatening civil strife. Eritrea is in dire need of an Awate of the new era, some one who convinces Eritreans that she/he is above all the past-era squabbles. Better if she is a woman. Let’s try it.

  • Abraham H.

    Selamat,
    The question ‘how did we end up like this?’ is so daunting that I really struggle to find a clear answer for it. But, I think, I’m not exaggerating if I blame the ELF, and later on the EPLF leaderships to have let our nemesis Isayas Afwerqi to develop into the monster that he has become.

  • Dear All,

    Due to time constraints, I could only skim-read the article. Nevertheless, the few things I have concluded are that taking into consideration dia’s nature, which was their for everyone to see, and in addition the way he wa groomed by his supporters, and worshiped as if he was the earthly god, he could have become no different from what he ended up to be. Those around him chose to be blind and deaf to his crimes, intimidations and vices.They gave him eritrea as his bride, and of course, he would not have shared her with others (dia could not be benevolent to the forces he vanquished in the field; it is not in his nature). In addition, even if he had allowed elf members, he would not have acted differently against his nature. IA in asmara behaved the same way as IA in the field.
    The author does not believe that the 1998-2000 war was what derailed eritrea’s progress, but 1991 that did not come with an inclusive atmosphere. I believe that when the right time comes, unless eritrea makes peace with her nemesis (ethiopia), which I think was not mentioned, there will not be a complete solution. Internal peace alone without external peace at the same time, will not change the situation.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Horizon..(best Ethiopian)

      My dear brother I 2nd you when come no peace no war situation..( the reality ) ..

    • Peace!

      Hi Horizon,

      I think internal peace leads to external peace. If you believe a stable and democratic Eritrea is good for Ethiopia, you do not need to read the article you are on the same page.

      Peace!

      • Hi Peace,
        There is a ted talk with the title “why do societies collapse”, and two of the reasons given among others are internal contradictions and external relations. Environmental degradations and climate changes are of course mentioned. Internal relations within the society (social harmony, politics, economy, etc), and relations with neighbors (peace, trade, etc), are very important. The mistake with the regime is that it does not give importance to these points.

  • Abi

    Hi All Awatista resting from the Independence Day Madness!!
    The Title of the new article makes much more sense if the Author changed 1991 to 1961.
    Why start half way when the problem started much earlier. Things didn’t just start happening in 1991. Nah, we know better.

    • Brhan

      Hello Abi
      Don’t a book by its title …lbahal lelo yesmakay dikha..way wayo!

      • Abi

        Hi Brhan
        I’m sure you are kind enough to translate both the English and Tigrinya parts of your reply.
        Thanks

      • Paulos

        Birhanu,

        What is that supposed to mean? Thousands of Eritreans are fleeing to a land of people with that particular Tigrinya dialect where your little stupid mind dares to mock. Pathetic!

        • Brhan

          Hi Paulos,
          Mock? It is dialect and there is no mocking in languages because they are natural. Do not be or feel inferior. I am proud of that dialect.

          • Paulos

            Birhan,

            Waay wayo is mocking when you misplace it. That said, it is you who have an identity crisis when I own a sense of clarity where I came from.

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Selam Abi Hawey,
      You never miss a beat do you? Why stop at 1961? Why not take it back to 1889?

      • Abi

        Abrehet Haftey
        ሰውየው ተራራ ላይ ቆሞ ፊሽካውን የነፋው 1961 ላይ ነው ብዬ ነው::

        • Abrehet Yosief

          Hi Abi,
          Why start mid-way, go all the way back and back it never ends. ቆርበት ተበላሽያ:: ኣበይ? ኣብ ምንፋሓ? ኣይ ኣብምንፈሓን: ኣብ ምጥባሓ።

          • Abi

            Haftey
            በስመኣብ!
            በአቡዬ ይዤሻለሁ ቶሎ ተርጉሚያት
            አቦ ምን አይነት ጉድ መጣብን!

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Abi Hawey,
            Now that you mention our holy Abune Aregawi, I have no choice to but to try to translate it. May the gods of Amharic forgive me. ቆዳው ተበላሸ? መቼ? ሲገፈፍ ነው ወይ?ኣይደለም ሲታረድ እንጂ::

          • Abi

            Haftey
            That is beautiful. Thanks for the good laugh.
            I’m guffawing right now.

    • Peace!

      Abish,

      I think the article is pretty much about missed opportunities: forming a unified government, not unified armed groups 1961, from the get-go could have helped prevent, if not mitigat, the current deteriorating situation. Your argument would make much more sense if Eritrea was free and independent in 1961. Besides, it is not a secret almost all countries went through differences, divisions, and even civil wars, but never prevented them from political and social achievements.

      Peace!

      • Abi

        Hi Peace
        I did not read the article. I have no interest to read this book size article.
        What I see from Eritrean intellectuals is they all like to blame IA on each and every blunder. Just like the derg officials blamed everything on Mengistu.
        I challenge you to bring me an article written by an Eritrean intellectual criticizing IA and his administration before 2000. I prefer if there is one article by the Author of the current article.
        Anyway, I strongly believe your problem started in 1961 when you jumped on the madness train operated by a person who was intoxicated by hatred towards Ethiopia.

        • Brhan

          Hello Abi,
          It seems now your are talking seriously and the answer is in the same article above. Do you want me copy and paste for you. But that won’t be serious because you are now speaking seriously.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam Abi, though absolute dictators like Mengie and Isayas have created systems that protect them and execute thier orders, the survival of their regimes are incumbent on the dictators’ existence. Do you remember what happened to the Derg after Mengie escaped to Zimbabwe in 1991? Yes, the Derg was left in disarray after Mengie, and it crumbled within a matter of few days. I hope to live to see the day the same happens to the Isayas regime, the sooner the better!

          • Abi

            Hi Abraham
            Honestly, derg was dead long before Mengistu left. If you remember there was a situation where Mengistu was told to swallow his ክኒን by a priest in the Parliament. He was basically cornered . He knew what was coming his way. Don’t believe one Monday morning he made a call to Zimbabwe and arrived for lunch. That kind of move takes a huge amount of preparation .
            You can’t possibly compare Mengistu and IA except both are desperately stupid and ruthless killers. Mengistu was fighting big wars against formidable forces ( TPLF and EPLF). IA is relaxed because the forces that supposed to be fighting him are hopelessly disorganized and busy breaking up .
            Sorry Abraham, this is what I understand from a distance. You know how much I wanted him gone.
            You need a one liner to summarize my hateta?
            “ሞኝ የተከለውን ልባም አይነቅለውም” ይላል ጎረቤትህ

          • Paulos

            Abisensation,

            That’s just brilliant! Terse and to the point.

          • Abi

            Thanks Paul
            Proud to call you a brother.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Abi,

          You said: “What I see from Eritrean intellectuals is they all like to blame IA on each and every blunder.”

          In summary, the reason the Eritrean revolution failed is because Woldeyesus Ammar was not the co-pilot.

          Alternatively, the article should be entitled as “How to grab power through the backdoor.”

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Simon,

            If you dig a little deeper, you would even uncover some startling and amazing things about this guy. According to some of the phony gedli romantics’ account, he was the guy who recruited Isaias Afeworki and many other highlanders to join the ELF in the 1960s. He is a Bilin from the lowland like your good friend Tesfa-brhan or “tes” for short. He graduated from high school with Isias, Duru’e, Harestai, Weldedawit and others. Afer graduating from high school, he went to Addis and graduated from University. He worked in Addis as a journalist for many uears and then joined the ELF more than 10 years later after his high school peers joind gedli. He never saw action in the field. He was assigned to an ELF’s in Berut, Libanon, until the last day that the ELF was pushed into the Sudan for good.

            The rest is yours to discover 🙂

          • Abi

            Hi Sahay
            Was this guy also an urban recruiter like Amanuel Hidnrat who poisoned the minds of hard working Eritreans in Addis? Just imagine him going door to door like Jehovah Witnesses preaching the good news of self extinction.
            የከሃዲው ብዛት!

          • blink

            Dear sahay
            My question is ,why do such people live in 1980 while they expect change in 2017 by the youth??? I find such people to be not worthy of the youth time. We can only win if we say to such people, “we have passed such level of ELF and EPLF , we respect them for their service but we reject their disease and we would like to focus on the dictator because they seems to be clueless about him

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear blink,

            I understand your frustration. Every problem that the Eritrean people have faced for the last fifty six years traces its roots to these destructive people. And the answer to your question that why they live in 1980 is found somewhere in this old but still valid Tigrigna proverb: ብዘመን ውበ ዝጸመመ…Without shame now they are blaming the post independence generation for the problems created over the course of almost half a century. As the result of their extreme intolerance, rigidity and uncompromising actions, they have created numerous opposition groups which have become totally ineffective to challenge the mafia in Asmara.

            You also said that you respect them for their service, and I say, “what service?” I despise them for the unforgivable crimes they have committed on the Eritrean people.

            The future is yours, and you can mold it the way that serves the Eritrean people best. Avoid the old timers. The only thing they know best is not to unite but to break and create warlord-type factions. When you see them breaking up after working together under the same umbrella for over twenty and thirty years, you would think and conclude that there is something wrong with theses people. Indeed they are not worthy of your time.

          • Selam Sehay Erican,

            I think that most in the eritrean opposition live in the grey zone or the twilight zone of not knowing what they should do with the regime in asmara. The opposition does not really want to go all the way to the end to depose it from power, despite what it says, because of fear of compromise of eritrean independence. Even though they do not accept it publicly, I think that at the back of their minds, they believe that dia/pfdj are the guardian of the eritrean independence from the enemy ethiopia. That is why the opposition could not take a concrete decision and has failed up to now. In addition, weird as it may look, it might not be far fetched to say that there are even some who do not trust peace, because of the traction ethiopia exerts on eritreans. Therefore, nothing is going to change even after dia, because of ethiopia.

          • Sahay Erican

            Dear Horizon,

            My apology for this belated reply to your comment. The only thing that I agree with your comment is about the trust thing with Ethiopia. The Eritrean opposition is just a name. It is a diaspora based opposition that has lost its teeth a long time ago. If they had the strength to challenge the mafia in Asmara, they would have done it a long time ago. It is an opposition that has been reduced to smithereens through years of internal fission. It can be summed up to this: The root cause of the Eritrean opposition’s problem is religion, and region to a lesser extent. These problems have not changed faces for the last 70 years.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi Sahay Erican ..

            Trust is 2 way as well as respect does ..

            It should be from both not one only – So far EPRD has gone advance long, which as you have seen but that doesn’t mean hopeless the other side is that simply means ..

            Agree with me , we Eritreans in opposition are here watching the entire development, which one day you will witness (PFDJ ) destroyed..

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Tsehaye,

            Three questions:
            1. I remember you were a die-hard PFDJ supporter, when did that change occur for you to call it mafia?
            2. You have stated many times, for many years, your hate of people based on their faith. A few weeks ago you admitted that you never liked Muslims since you were in high school. If religion is the problem of the Eritrean opposition (you didn’t put qualifiers), what is your problem?
            3. After all these years, do you have anything original you didn’t plagiarize from the bigoted pamphlets of the Andenet of the forties and fifties?

          • Ismail AA

            Hi Saleh J.,

            If someone hailing from multi-faith and cultural society claim to been conscious about hating Moslems from such early and normally innocent age, when children mix in living quarters street corners and school play grounds to enjoy childhood games without even been aware of existence of that nasty word “hatred”, then such an attitude must have been learned like “mam” and “papa” and inculcated in the mind of the child from the day he started pronouncing words (melHas kewxi kelo). If that is the case, it’s simply incorrigible handicap with which society has to live.

          • Selamat Horizon,

            We have a proposal that will prove a win win winnnn…. On need to know basis for now. Thank you for the concerns.

            STANDING ON 17! Abu Ashera Weapon X, Evolution.

            AmErican Eritrean GitSAtSE. E!U.S.A.!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Tsehaye,

            He is an armchair revolutionary, trying backdoor entry.

            Broadly speaking, there are two types of people in this World: those that come through the frontdoor and those the come through the backdoor.

          • blink

            Dear Simone
            But are not you the one clapping to people who come through backdoor? Sahay is also a guy who has no love to any thing with our revolution!!! It is a horrible time for good hearted Eritreans. Shame that our revolutionary heroes are a play ground for bigoted , heinous and ugly people.

          • Nitricc

            HI Blink, what i don’t get is that the Gedli has concluded long ago and has achieved its objectivity, so much so, Eritrea is a country with its two ports. Now; what is the point talking about Gedli? can you help?

          • blink

            Dear Nitricc
            Well there is no reason to talk about it . At the moment there is no Harraka ,ELF and EPLF but ugly people are always ugly . At some point in time i read One guy saying there is no mountain called Adal ,Awate is not heroe ,ELF was Arab project and EPLF was selling lies about Ethiopian horror film in Eritrea. At first I was shocked and I waited some hours hopping such comments should not be accepted yet they doubled more and from that day I left the website. The only reason for such move can only be a stress that 4-6 million people own sea out let while they have arid land with hostile neighbors on both sides. Or they thought the born again educated sibhat nega vision about Eritrea could be reality ,just by employing super sophisticated lairs like ….. you know them all.

            Eritrea just made it 26 despite the arrogant man taking it to horrible journey. I give credit to Every Eritrean for not buying these bigot people to be born .

    • Haile S.

      Hi Abi,
      Didn’t you forget to flip the first 9? If you start confusing 9 for 6, you should read 1661. Here you go, you are at the Zenith of Abyssinian Empire where Fasiledes was building his capital city Gonder, building bridges on the Nile and reconstructing churches among which Mariam Zion of Axum to accommodate the original Tabot that was safely sheltered in Digsa during the Gragn invasion. After him the other great king who had good control of Beyond Mereb was his grandson Iyasu the Great. After Iyasu, king after king Abyssinia started losing full control of its parts beyond the mereb. Though the claim saying Eritrea was not at all part of Ethiopia is too exaggerated, it is not without foundation. The undoing of the link started then.

      • Abi

        Hi Gashye Haylye
        ያፄ ዮሃንስ ሹሩባ ሲጎነጎን ካየ ሰው ጋር ክርክር አይገጥሙም:: ጌታው እርስዎ እንዳሉ::
        “ማን ያውራ የነበረ
        ማን ያርዳ የቀበረ”
        ሌባ ሻይ ጥራይልካ

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