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Ethiopia: the Elephant in the Room

Suppose a patient walks into an emergency room with a big axe sticking out of his head. The medical staff is bewilderingly looking at this guy, perplexed at how on earth he is even alive.  They prepare to do something about this deadly axe and ask the victim how he is feeling. He simply states that he feels just fine except for some minor stomach ache.

“You give me some anti-acid and I am all set,” he replies.

“But what about this … thing! … sticking out of your head?”

“What thing? … Oh, you mean the axe?  Never mind that, it’s not a big deal”

When there is a glaringly obvious truth that no one wants to discuss or address, in English, the idiomatic expression “Elephant in the Room” is aptly used. It is supposed to help us imagine having a living, breathing elephant in the family room, in the kitchen, in the meeting room, doing whatever elephants do. It’s not an invisible elephant; it’s just that no one wants to acknowledge that it is there. Instead, everyone prefers to deal with other issues as if this huge thing is not even in the same space.

While I like the “axe in the head” metaphor better, it might be too gory for your taste, and perhaps it sounds something straight out of a Monty Python episode. Ok, let’s stick with “Elephant in the room” then, after all, an elephant is good national symbol for Ethiopia.  I am thinking of the “zhon” mega lottery whose advertisement use to include an elephant carrying a jackpot prize of cash (do they still have that?). Anyway, in this analogy, the elephant is Ethiopia’s policy toward regime change in Eritrea and its direct and indirect intervention in Eritrea’s opposition politics.

Misplaced Pride

This discussion is aimed at Ethiopia’s policy toward Eritrea and Eritreans. However, I know that issues of national interest vis- à -vis relations with neighboring countries can quickly devolve into issues of prejudices and ethnic identity politics, pseudo history and even hatred. When we are talking about Ethiopia and Eritrea, we are talking about two poor African countries still at the bottom of the list of countries by per capita income. Two countries whose people have a lot to gain from peaceful co-existence and collaboration instead of purposeless posturing that is often pushed downward to the people by those in position of power.

I think it is safe to say that being from either side of the Ethio-Eritrean border does not come as a result of divine intervention; it is pure accident of fate and history. There is nothing inherently better about being or having roots from a certain dot on the map. National pride should not cloud reasoning, nor should it justify injustice and unfairness.

The nation-state is indeed not something that was conceived by a super-natural being. It is a man-made phenomenon that, and for better or worse, we are destined to use it as a source of identity and to create relations based on mutual respect and fairness. However, it can also easily be used for adversarial purposes to garner unfair advantage, create instability, use it as a bargaining chip and weaken your perceived enemy.  Needless to say, the Ethio-Eritrean relationship has yet to enter the “relations based on mutual respect and fairness” period. It is till in the “adversarial” period and if we will ever move toward good neighborliness and far-sighted relationship, the architects of Ethiopia’s foreign policy toward Eritrea must keep the Eritrean people in mind. They must not mistake political emissaries and viceroys for true representation of the heartbeat of Eritreans in Eritrea and Eritreans throughout the world.

Wherever they are, be it inside Ethiopia or elsewhere, Eritreans must be allowed to decide how they will remove the regime of tyrant Isaias Afeworki, and the Eritrean people will eventually decide what kind of government to erect in its place. It would be foolish to expect Eritreans to start trusting Ethiopia’s “support” when it is actually thinly veiled interference. It is time for Ethiopia to clearly state its policy, mandate, role and scope pertaining to the democratization and/or regime change in Eritrea. Only a genuine homegrown revolt morally supported by the world community will guarantee Ethiopia a good neighbor to the north. Yes, Ethiopian authorities have the right to deal with whomever they choose to achieve whatever their ultimate goal is. The people of Eritrea also have the same right to look at the processes and maneuvers and speak-up when something awry is afoot. Hey, it’s our country, dammit!

I am confident we can stay above the fray and discuss issues of balancing state interest and creating a win-win environment. The long term good neighborly relations between the two countries rests on garnering genuine goodwill toward each other and not on hoodwinking and the political mechanizations of moving chess pieces across the board as we have witnessed for the last decade. It has been almost a taboo to criticize Ethiopia’s handling of Eritrean pro-justice movement, especially its systematic rendering of the opposition to a toothless and ineffective entity that is neither capable of bringing about regime change nor tolerant enough to alternative strategies. Yes, the Ethiopians are not entirely to blame for that, but let’s start with the axe sticking out of the head, the Elephant in the room, first and ensure Eritrea’s interest is duly considered. Naturally, when it comes to discussing the role of Ethiopia in the democratization of Eritrea, as Eritreans, our opinion may be biased toward the interest of Eritrea. No need to apologize for that. Hey, it’s our country, dammit!

In 2010, when Eritreans were gathering in Ethiopia for the first “National Conference”, many Eritreans, including myself, were hoping against hope that it could turn into a bona-fide popular movement. The vast majority (if not all) of Eritreans who went to Ethiopia then and afterwards are of course patriots; justice seeking citizens who are simply looking for a solution that will shorten the life of the dictatorship in Eritrea. This is not about questioning their motive but about the ultimate result, which can only be described as utter failure; or we can even dare say that it was designed to fail. Yes, so much passion, emotion and credibility have been invested in the “regime change with the help of Ethiopia” basket and there is nothing to stop some from wanting to continue to have faith in it. Yet, the consequence of granting Ethiopia’s policy makers a blank check in the affairs of Eritrea and shielding them left and right from the wrath of Eritrean public opinion affects us all. A change in strategy is not failure but flexibility. But of course some proud egos will be wounded at the mere suggestion that they may be failing, and may want to keep going with the musical chair game, whose rules seem to change based on whom the Ethiopians decide should win or lose.

So, where did the opposition movement go wrong when it comes to Ethiopia? Volumes can probably be said about this topic but I believe the following 4 points have been ignored by all of us though it was pretty obvious at some point they were going to grow to be, well, as big as an elephant in a room.

1) Forgetting the Masses

At the core of any movement for social change there is the notion of convincing the public. In order to stay relevant an idea must be able to move the masses; to unite them under an idea they want to rally behind.  The keyword is: convincing. So, can we say that the Eritrean people are convinced that the way to replace the despicable regime of Isaias Afeworki is by using Ethiopia’s strong arm or simply by using Ethiopia to launch a military campaign? Of course not.  No matter how much it is sugarcoated, it was a difficult idea to sell and very few have actually bought it.  More importantly, what we have seen in the last few years can not be considered as convincing or selling an idea. It was simply the systematic and sometimes brute intimidation of Eritrean activist, as the plethora of organizations based in Ethiopia compete to impress – not the Eritrean masses – but Ethiopian officials. The result speaks for itself.

2) Looking for Exclusivity

Any organization, be it political or civic, can not appeal to the masses if its aim is “purity” or “the exclusion of others”.  Instead of trying to achieve its declared mission, if all an organization does is to purge and exclude people based on sub-national or parochial sentiments, it’s bound to fail. Just like the elephant in the room, this fact has been well-known among Eritreans, and it seems to have been encouraged by the Ethiopians who use some unconvincing justifications. This is probably one of the most dangerous side-effects that should not be ignored any longer, even though these types of organizations do not have a mass appeal. By definition, exclusivity leads to narrowness and limited scope but a close study of how Somalia became Somalia should give us Eritreans a dire warning.

3) Assuming Ethiopia Wants Isaias Out

This one is a perplexing phenomenon that has confused many. Judging from the stand point of justice and fairness, and from the several signals the Ethiopians were sending, we could have been hoodwinked into thinking that the removal of Isaias Afeworki benefits Ethiopia.  Unfortunately, international relations does not have the sense and sensibility of our mother’s uqub, where what you paid forward pays you back eventually. We all know it is a little more complex than that.  From the standpoint of national interest – or at least the interest of those in power in Ethiopia – Isaias Afworki is actually serving his purpose. At best, he is a very weak neighbor who can only bargain from a point of weakness and at worst (God forbid), he is co-conspirator of whatever hidden agendas are brewing beneath the surface; hidden agendas that seem to require the waning of Eritrean nationalism and its viability as a state.

4) Underestimating Change from Inside

Until that fateful morning of January 21, 2013 when we saw a glimmer of hope on a hilltop in the heart of Asmara, those who believed change from inside is quite possible were ridiculed, and hope was mainly placed on some surgical military operation that is likely to have the Ethiopian army in front or behind it. Then came the coup attempt that came to be known as “Forto” or “nay Wedi Ali”. Surprisingly, the attempt was widely celebrated while the argument “change can not come from within” continues to rage on, not surprisingly, from those who have placed their hopes in the Ethiopia basket. The fact of the matter is, the few times that the Isaias’ dictatorial power was challenged, was from within the system; the G-15 and Forto incidents being prominent examples.  More importantly, Eritreans are quite capable of rallying behind a genuine homegrown movement aimed at removing the dictator and swiftly transitioning to constitutional governance.

In these sensitive times, Ethiopia can still play a positive role without meddling in the internal issues of Eritreans. The first of which is to continue to treat Eritrean refugees with care, respect and dignity; something that will go a long way in building goodwill and trust for generations to come. Ethiopia can also, without a drama, settle the border ruling instead of stalling its implementation and giving our dictator the ultimate ticket for justifying his rule.  However, backroom dealings that shortchange the future relations of the two downtrodden people of Eritrea and Ethiopia in general and Eritrea and Tigray in particular would be a big mistake.

The Alternative

If the “Elephant in the Room” is actually why the silent majority of Eritreans remain silent, then as Eritreans we owe it to ourselves to seek for an alternative idea of waking up the fighting spirit of our compatriots. Eritreans have a very respectable recent history of stepping up to the challenge even when the chance of winning seemed glim.  Even if the strategy to seek Ethiopia’s support was paved with good intentions, it has not worked and in fact, it is one those major reasons why we have a silent majority.  The quest for liberty, freedom, justice, lawful administration, equality and peace is honorable and decent; something that should appeal to the vast majority of Eritreans everywhere.  There is a good reason why our Second Revolution hasn’t sparked yet. It’s time to deal with that axe sticking out of our opposition movement’s head. It’s time to deal with the Elephant in the Room and usher the era of Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems!

Twitter: @DanielGMikael

About Daniel G. Mikael

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  • I would like to agree with salayonis, I think some idiots deserve explanation to why a 3000 year civilization remained backward until it got rid off Eritrea and seems to be doing better since…perhaps was the parasite stupid?

    • Eyob Medhane

      Ouch!…. 🙂

  • Michael, B.

    The “elephant in the house” could also be understood as an encased metaphor of the lost cause. The animal would suffer claustrophobia and in the end die for lack of air, just simply as Ethiopia lost all the battles and the war in the battlefield Eritrea! However, we better be careful to be proud of anything
    I think that Christ said: Father forgive them, for they do not know … You people could quote better than me.
    I think that Socrates said: no one does evil with purpose or knowingly. You people who speak about who are evil draw your own conclusion.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Ok Ok it is a Sunday…only fun psychology for today:) Group Conformity was famously studied by the Asch Experiment. The experiment involves a group of participants with only one of them the real subject and others pretends. This is our silent majority that just goes along with the flow even if they know something is wrong. You can look up other formal presentation of the Asch Experiment, but here is a fun one that is guaranteed to make you laugh like crazy:-)


    PS. What I like about the Asch study is that it also includes studies on how to increase or decrease Conformity under such circumstances. I will say more later.

  • goeritrea

    The elephant in the room is not Ethiopia. It is America, the evil empire. What is Ethiopia without America? Nothing but a land of hunger and misery. Ethiopia can not last more than 2 month with out the funding from USA. It is a known fact that 60% or more of Ethiopian budget is a foreign aid. It is pointless to talk about welfare aid recipient to leave you alone when you should be talking to the government who cut the check…..just pointless…this whole debate is just a waist of time.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      I wish you succeed in convincing all shabia this ‘truth’ of Yours. Where is Eritrea With out the Arabs and the west then?

      How could ethiopia survived more than 2 months in derg time including feeding the ‘colonized’ People?

      • abe z minewale

        by the way humanitarian aid did not stop flowing to Ethiopia when derg was in charge. that is how the company called TERRAra survived in the sahel mountains(gift of canada)(not to be sold)

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          So you have been colonized by soldiers who fought arab petroll mercineries With aid Food marked With not for sell!! And to every one surprise you cellebrate the day you became freed from aid Food fed soldiers. So which heroism you are cellebratin the success that let the eritreans to leave for ethiopia for sharing ‘the aid’ ethiopia is getting or to make a mockery how we ethiopians get aid while shabia senging its Citizen all over the world like tourists?

          • abe z minewale

            it reminds me my old friend from Ethiopia when he called my name ante interested in KITSHKISHNET.iam stating facts.for every season there is time have so much time in your hand.i just got home.shabia liberated you from the dergi regime by openning the kings palace using T 55 tanks (PETRO)same time being helped tplf foot fighters with respect

    • abel

      the author of the article starts with the section “Misplaced Pride” and states “When we are talking about Ethiopia and Eritrea, we are talking about two poor African countries still at the bottom of the list of countries by per capita income”. I totally agree both countries are so poor and last on the human development index list of countries. so I believe that is specially why self-reliance or self-sufficiency is a bad thing. that kind of mentality stymies progress. prime example is North Korea they have attempted achieved absolute self-reliance.. and that is a hell-on-earth of a place with no progress. self-sufficiency or self-reliance by definition removes external trade and foreign-aid. no-one in their right mind would like to do that because we have come to know with exact certainty.. that foreign trade with comparative advantage concept helps nations become more wealthy than they would have been otherwise. but i will assume that you are just talking about foreign aid. yes it is true Ethiopia gets lots of aid that is relatively to the absolute amount of aid given to countries but not per-capita(we kinda are middle tier on that aspect and even hold your breath! comparable to Eritrea). I think that misses the point the author makes… we are so poor that such arguments sound ridiculous .. no-one is freak-en better or worse.. but allow me to predict.. Ethiopia as of now is one of the ten fastest growing countries.. second Eritrea is one of the ten poorest countries in the world which we were part of not long ago. Ethiopia will grow to be a middle income and then more in the next two decades and that will also bring Eritrea out of the doldrums. Both countries have there own advantages. Government wise i am glad Meles chose this side of the ‘country’. But sure Ethiopians have a lot lot more to do.. we are still in the dog house(at the back of the dog house rather) and with God’s help.. we will in the foreseeable future come out of such level of poverty. the secret is work hard(now you know..).. but the farmer or herder(most of the population in both countries) already works hard… but you as your government lectures it people.. are you going to tell him/her to be self-sufficient or.. or.. do what you can to help him/her gain knowledge, build infrastructure and provide services.. I refuse to call the peasant a foreign-aid addict.. cause he is not…he is proud, hard worker and provider to his/her family except of difficulties beyond his/her control..
      and mark my work when Ethiopia rises all Ethiopians(Oromo, Amhara, Southern Ehtiopia peoples, Somali, Tigre, Afar etc..) everyone will rise… even Eritreans(you might have left us but for us the struggle is always common to all who are/been with us)

  • Tzigereda

    Reply to “Zelku dea, or “asmara” (quoted by Haile),

    How perverted must you be to install such unbearable, barbaric, unprecedented and tastless parallels? This is a virtual violence against women. It should be unacceptable misusing women`s fate for the “sake of making arguments attractive or justifiable”. Try to bring smarter examples!
    Eritrean women like their sisters elsewhere are neither creatures without soul nor an anatomy to be used as substract for your dullness! You crossed the no-go line!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      He has passed the tresh hold in communication With normal People if you see thoroughly his comaprison and analysis. This is simple proof that one has to be this much sick to defend the shabia regime.

      • gebreab

        and another must be XL-sick to defend the murderer TORSERAWITS.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Chalenge pfdj in Eritrea then you appreciate why the Torserawits must behave that way. A Torserawit task is to defend a sovernighty of a country.

      • abe z minewale

        what is the meaning of shabia regime in english?

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          eplf+pfdj regime

          • abe z minewale

            pfdj got nothing what so ever to do with eplf specialy militarly

          • Tamrat Tamrat

            First stape is denyal!

          • abe z minewale

            dear to mess with shabia i know even FRANCE had to obey to hand over all the military equipment from retreating Ethiopian soldiers.sad,we africans are killing each other in cyper war

    • asmara


      You said above “……asmara” (quoted by Haile)….”

      Now, if you felt like replying to me or been thinking of saying something (something nasty, if I have to guess) to “asmara” for a while, you could (Still can) have directly replied to what I wrote here (Scroll up to the beginning of this post, you will see I threw in a couple of comments, doing my things*). That way you could have been sure you are actually replying to “asmara”

      Regarding the woman issue you said above, if you felt offended by what Haile posted here (and claimed it being posted by others) and if you felt you need or have to be angry, logically, you should have been:

      – Angry with Haile for posting something you felt is over the border
      – Angry with, for allowing something you felt is offensive to be posted here, directly or indirectly.

      As it is, the only thing you accomplished is the following
      – That the anger you tried to portray was simply fake, and you were simply throwing stones at “asmara” (something you been planning before) for other reasons. That would also make you guilty abusing or misusing the women card
      – That you can easily fall for anything and anybody without checking or without thinking
      – You unnecessarily and undeservedly rained you temper, and used the women card on me
      – You unnecessarily crossed my view, and blocked my shooting range. And it is not that cool shooting at women.

      * List of some of my things
      1. Woyanie should get the hell out of our sovereign land

      2. Almost all the problems we see in Eritrea, however remotely, have the border issue and the no war no peace situation Woyanie is imposing on us, as a root cause

      3. The reason Woyanie is keeping the no war no peace situation is to suffocate Eritrea and benefit from grievances that would come about as a result. Think of people in acute misery turning against each other (Gereb bi hakli)

      4. There are three types of the so called opposition

      a. Those who want to benefit from the border issue and the stalemate at the expense of Eritrea and the Eritrean people (Just like the Woyanie)

      b. And those who are created as a result of the grievances and miseries which in turn were created as the result of the border issue and the no war and no peace cruel woyanie scheme. A case in a point or an example of a new opposition who was created due to this is none other than your guy Haile. He is the new victim who is falling into the Woyanie puzzle work. The result of a long chain reaction, with Woyanie at the base of it all. Sure he will tell you the regime this and the regime that, and would not allow you to see beyond that.

      c. There are few, very few who saw this for what it is and are standing with their people against the root cause of our misery – the woyanie

      5. The Eritrean people are God and country loving very smart people. Meaning, the reason you see them standing alongside the Eritrean government is because they see it fit and because they want to. There is no other explanation. Meaning, the biggest mistake you can make is underestimating the Eritrean people

  • haile

    Selamat Oasis,

    Your answer is something that I agree with, i.e those who obey evil are evil. I understand there are deep divisions among those who debate the issue. Essentially they bring in ethical and moral issues.

    In our case, we are not asking if it is ok to follow authority in a normal circumstances, rather we are focusing on obeying from those you recognize as “authority” to be complicit in crimes by supporting it or remaining silent. I want every one to watch this powerful video of less than 5 minutes, that puts into perspective the notion of using NATIONAL SECURITY as a “greater good factor” to make people party to heinous crimes.

    Throwing G-15 never to be hear of again, exposing the population to the most cruel treatment, refusing family of Tegadalay the right to bury him in a land he fought all his life for, being accused of serious charges of terrorism and human trafficking and refusing to grant access to the country to clear the name, bankrupting the nation and denying all sorts of normal citizen activities of work and trade, brutalizing religious believers… is something the silent majority has become an unwilling partner not in causing it but NOT DOING ANYTHING TO CONFRONT IT.

    Please watch the above video and note that we are not talking about natural forms of authority doing normal things.


    PS. This is one of very short and powerful video that I came across, note the last concluding remark, very powerful food for thought!!

    • Oasis

      Thanks again Haile it’s interesting video. Evil or no evil obedience to authority is a prerequisite for the functioning of any organized group or nations. So the problem with evil doesn’t come from obedience to authority/government. The problem with evil authorities comes from the system they operate.

      If you have a bad system then you will get bad authorities like what what we have in Eritrea or what the germans and italians had with their fascist systems.

      • haile

        Selam Oasis

        Very true and thanks for clarifying. I see what you mean and agree that such subtle distinction must be recognized. There is nothing wrong with authority inherently, and I hope you see what I was on about, i.e. ” The problem with evil authorities comes from the system they operate.” as you stated.

        The scary thing about this whole thing is that most people go all the way, unless something gives way. Many Eritrean silent majority seem to pray that they can somewhat survive the National Security ride to oblivion. All hopes are pinned on the utter stupidity of those at the helm that has now brought them to a dangerous ALL ROUND SHOWDOWN internally and externally 🙂

        • haile

          Actually forgot to mention the case of the Serbian atrocities upon the Bosnian war was dangerous and had to be brought to an end by external intervention. Otherwise, the Serbians would have tolerated (I suppose) the massacres and exterminations under the illusion of preventing from “Serbs being dominated” as a greater good factor. Much like many are now prepared to look the other way with the distraction of Eritrea under the greater good factor of holding through “no-war-no-peace”. Crazy and scary.

        • Oasis

          Haile, your right yes there is nothing inherently bad about legitimate and responsible authorities. In developed countries the authority there alway emphasize on taking responsibility. Elected head of a states takes full responsibility for his or government contacts.

          In professional military the code is clear, you do what your superiors orders you to do without any question. basically you have to put your full trust on your superiores. Depending on sophistication of the military there is a codified limit what your superiore can order you to do.

          The remaining nazi germans foot soldiers after WWII said they were just doing what their superiors told them to do so. It is classic obedience to authority. But the thing is those soldiers have no choice but to follow the military code.

          The question of who takes responsibility for what the nazis did was all blurred because of the nature of the madness that germany was in under at that time.

  • Eyob medhane

    @haile Walekum Selam 🙂

    @Wedieri (Osman),

    That is not conspiracy. Starting from the inception of creating a nation of Eritrea, which was concocted by more of Arab loving than Islam loving lowlanders in Cairo the strong push of Arabization of the horn of Africa, particularly Habesha has been progressing in varying pace. Sometimes in slow and incremental way and sometimes in fast and frog leaping way. It seems that the owners of this plan think that the culmination of their grand scheme is about to become to it’s fruition. They are pushing hard. They are happy and satisfied in their century long Arabization of North Sudan. They managed to creating a confused “Arabs” in North Sudan and they want to emulate that in Eritrea and extend it to Ethiopia. The only problem is the pesky staborn country called Ethiopia and it’s large Orthodox Christian and Sufi Muslim population.Only if they hadn’t refuse to abandon their culture, language, religion, way of life and identity and swap it for the Arab culture and language, their plan would have been easily completed.


    If you take notice of, who largely is a victim of Sinai kidnapping, you would have noticed a marked trend. Eritrean highlander Christians. Darfuris and to a lesser extent some rural Ethiopians. Darfur Sudanese are people, who insist to keep and live by their traditional Sufi Islam belief, and say “no thanks” to Arab cultural imperialism. That of course made them a target of the Arab thugs called “janjaweed” and of course to be trafficked to Sinai and sold. As the former leader of Darfur rebels said “they refused to be a willing participants of “Abeedization” of darfur. Hence, that is the motivation for their struggle”. The method of Arab cultural imperialism invaders is very clear and easy to figure out, as it has been seen recently in so many places.

    Watch this trend….


    They saw the secular Egyptians, democrats and coptic christians demanding a change and removal of Hosni Mubarek. They joind the chorus and waited the right time to strike. Until Mubarek was removed, they laid low and did not let their voice to be heard among those, who demanded change. When Mubarek was removed, they quickly gathered their supporters to use the “democracy” and “election” that was brought about by others and get just 50+2 percent of the vote to grab power. As soon as they are in power, they started to dismantle the former social order and went as far as to appoint an “Islamist” to rule Luxor a place that is a pinnacle of the world civilization. The end result of that appointment was to charge islamists to erase what was before the Arab expansion to Egypt and to configure the world history to start it with “Arab” and their version of Islam. Some of their loud mouth leaders were even saying they want to destroy the pyramids, because the pyramids and many symbols of world civilization were “idols”…


    Syrians wanted change. They demonstrated like everyone else. The snakes saw the opportunity and jumped on the wagon. When Assad proved to be a bit stronger and found support from Christians, Druze and of course Alawites, who know them very well and what they could do, they went to war. Some of their “generals” even went as far as eating a flush of someone they killed (Even president Putin gave a credibility by speaking about the flush eating horror to explain his support of Assad)


    The Tuaregs were fighting for the nationhood of Awazad. They wanted their own nation. Again the Arabs saw that opportunity to slide into the Tuaregs movement and once they managed to divide and drive out the government of Mali out of North Mali, they started their distraction. They flattened thousand year of buildings and burned books and historical artifacts.


    They noticed that muslims were not happy with their leadership (Mejlis) They saw opportunity and slid in and they made a friday prayer a shouting fest. The problem they had there is a number problem. They just couldn’t manage to muster enough support even among the muslims (go to their main communication center “Dimstachin Yisema” face book page . You find only about 1,500 likes) They were also found very little liberals, Christian and general population that will be fooled with their smoke screen. Even those, who supported them initially pulled back their support, noticing what their up to…

    I will be back with more, but it seems Eritrea is in a much weaker position to repeal these people than anyone having it’s young and strong getting shipped out of the country….

    • Salyounis

      Selamat all:

      For those of you who want a shorter version of Eyob’s* hilarious piece (where he interchangeably uses Arabs, Islamists, Muslims all as substitutes for one another) here’s the 3:00 minute video edition (SNL’s: The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With):


      * You know I love you Eyob. But for people who want to know why a “3,000 year old civilization” is so backward, you really are Exhibit A 🙂

      • Eyob Medhane


        Say what you like. Mock, redicule go and be Alinsky on me. The reason why a 3000 year of country has kept its culture, languge, identity and INDEPENDENCE and religion to the book is because it thinks ahead, figueres out it’s enemies and protects itself. There actually is nothing backward than stonning women and other assorts of 4th centuary “civilization” practitioners, who seem to try to revive their “Civilized” way of living on the rest of us. If that is what you call not being a ‘backward’, I’d hearlad my ‘backwardness’ every minute of every hour of every day…. 😉

    • bukretsion

      in ethiopia they also noticed,the division between Habsha politician and their weakness
      for those of u who said habsha culture is backward is wrong by any standard Habsha is way civilized then arabs and the neighbor pastoral society except arabs got oil, the pastoral society of ethiopia and eritrea they don’t even start to live in town as a society

      • Eyob Medhane


        Honestly, I am having sort of a problem to make head or tail out of your comment. Having said that from the little I understood in your comment, many gulf Arabs, seem to fancy themselves as “Civilized” and even manage to impress Sal and the likes to make them go around call Ethiopians ‘Backwards’, in manner that is a little self hating, because they are drenched with their oil wealth. The funny thing is their “civilization”, which impressed Sal very much about had aboslutly nothing to do with finding that oil and put it to use. It’s someone else, largely Eurpoeans and Americans that came to the deserets that these “non backward” people live from very very far away and informed them and provided them with the technology to extract the oil. The participation of these ‘civilized’ people in this endover? Take the money and investing it on incubationg jihadists…I again say that, that kind of “non backwardness” is really not for me.. Sal could call me and my people “backwards” at any time he wants, I will stick with it……

        • bukretsion

          those who say ethiopia (habesha) culture backward is not self hate they don’t believe they r part of it they more relate themself with the arabs because of religion what i think it is step of abeedization first they make u hate yourself by calling ur culture backward in order to replace it with the ‘civilized arab’ culture

          • Tamrat Tamrat

            The Arab like any ‘super’ Power use politics and religion to expand teritory and wealth. In Syria School they teach Eritrea, Somalia, and djibuti as part of the arab world. If the arab secured Eritrea as part of the world then the world nown Strategic red sea would be under arab controll. That is why you witness the horror in Egypt and part of the arab world. the muslims like any religion followrs follow their religion. But the arab politician use islam as pure political instrument. They dont care if they go hell or paradise because they have choosen their paradise on Earth.

        • Salyounis

          Selamat Eyob:

          Ha! I am just saying that I find it hilarious that a civilization which saw its greatest contribution to world civilization come to an end in the 10th century AD, mocking a civilization that saw its greatest contribution to world civilization come to an end in the 14th century. Kettle, meet pot 🙂 Islamic civilization has been in a state of decay for 700 years (not much inspiration coming from that world). But it should take a bit more humility to make this observation if you come from a civilization which has been in a state of decay for 1,100 years.

          What triggered all this was your piece which began with the ill-informed piece about the genesis of the Eritrean revolution* (really, it’s a bit embarrassing: I know you hate books but make an effort) and quickly got worse it it’s confusion of Arabs and Islamists.

          You seem to have ocassional nervous breakdown about Arabs. Now tell me, given the neighborhood, what is stranger: the Arabization of Darfuris or the fact that people of South Sudan speak to each other in English 🙂 or the Ethiopians of Harar told that Amharic is the official language of their country?

          The first cosmopolitan city in Eritrea was Massawa and not Asmara. And the lingua Franca of Massawa for centuries (not surprising for a port city surrounded by Arabs) was Arabic. There is a great book about that, too, but you seem to revel in your “low information”status.
          It’s much more dramatic and Zeraf Zeraf to believe that Arab literacy is due to an ominous agenda than boring things like trade, commerce and geography.


          * when Eritreans write about Ethiopian history, it’s because it was required studying for us in school and we can say we know about it as much as you do. You are at a disadvantage: you don’t know Eritrean history particularly that of the armed struggle. And when u write about it authoritatively, you make a fool of yourself. Either invest the time/energy to learn it, or get ready to be ridiculed 🙂

          • Eyob Medhane


            Thank you clarifying. Now I got you, and I agree with you 110%. As you see, unfortunately, Sal is on of those. To them, almost anything Arab is supirior than anything, especially certain areas that they believe need to be under their contorl and replicate their image.


            Islam as we used to know it in Africa and Arab culture are totally different things. Unless, you want to confirm my theory that you and many your type of school of thought believe Arab is Islam and Islam is Arab, I never attempt to confuse the two. Turkish are Muslims, but largely, they are devoid of “stone women, chop hands and heads” theory of Arab backward intepritation of Islam. Indonesia, Malesia, etc…are Islamic countries, yet they are not big on propagating imposing of certain draconian, backward, absurd, crazy “I will be ruling you with my sword or else..” typr of Islam. We all know, where that comes from. From the Arabian deserts and particularly the gulf.

            South Sudanese speak English, and chose not to speak Arabic, because no English speaker in 21 centuary thinks and threats them like a slave. Imposing Sharia on them, burn their villages. To them English is a language that once a distant colonizer’s legacy, which they use to communicate to trade cross border with Kenyans, who to your surprise also speak English. (Since you tend to assign language by Geography, I bet you demand of them to speak in Arabic also) I don’t know what Massawa’s lingua franca was Arabic at one point has to do with anything. In Ethiopia, in the surroundings of Assosa, Benishangul Region, the “lingua franca” is still Arabic. You should hear Saladin Seid (The Ethiopian Soccer star) who isfrom Assosa speak Arabic. (You can find it on some Egyptian sports TV channell, which I forgt the title to provide the youtube link for you :-)) But that doesn’t mean he is an Arab, should swap his tradition and Amharic language to Arabic culture and abandon anything other than Arabic language. If Darfuris comply and accept being Arabized, that is fine. Commerce and integration leads them to that, that is also fine. But, the problem starts, when it is forced on them, when they say, ‘don’t abeedize me. Keep it to yourself’. If Arab thugs called ‘janjaweed’ are hired to exterminate them, because they objected to the ‘abeedization’, and if you call that “commerce and integration”, you have a strange way of naming things.

            So Sal,

            your lecture about “commerce and natural integration, because of geography” falls ver much flat, especially the culture and the tradition that you bring along with your commercial goods is not desirable to buy and rejected roundly. Just like the example I gave you above, in Assosa, people speak arabic, to trade with their Sudanese neighbors. But if those Sudanese neighbors bring the undesirable and repulsive culture and tradition, what they will have to leave behind is just the language, so they would understand, when they are told, “your crap is not needed here, so get the it the heck out of here”.

            Your turen, sir… 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Hi Eyob:

            Nah, I think I will pass. I insist that an argument must have an arm and leg (ide-igri) before I join it in earnest. Ridiculing is a different thing… As in: when was slavery outlawed in Ethiopia again compare to Egypt? 🙂 you are so angry that u actually think I am an admirer of Arabic civilization: I just told you that both Arab and Abyssinian civilizations are decrepit and in decay. Just that one has been decaying for 300 years more than the other 🙂


            Eyob, you do know that a civilization is judged by its contribution to the world and NOT by how many years it successfully avoided the world, right?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Please forgive my spelling…my ipad is to be blamed….. 🙁

          • I have followed what appears to be somewhat a heated exchange between Sal and Eyob. I understand why Eyob is arguing for Abysinazation (Protecting the Habesha culture) and against Arabaization of the horn. What I don’t understand is Salyounus’s tenacious defense of the Arab world (Arab civilization)?

            Is Sal an Arab or Arab wannabe Eritrean (trying to identify with the Arabs)? Or, is it just one more bizarre manifestation of Eritrean pride?

            After all, the Arabs (not all but most) condescendingly call black Africans “Abd”(بد‎.). Egyptians are well known to openly declare that they are not Africans but middle easterns, an indication how much many Arabs hate the so called abds.

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Dawit:

            Ah, it appears that you have succumbed to Eyobs blackmail. If I admire Japanese civilization (and I do) it doesn’t mean I want to be Japanese. Chinas communism is based on Conficusim: when the PFDJ emulates it, it doesn’t mean it wants to be Chinese.

            If there are two schools, one with an English medium one with an Arabic medium, and I am enrolling my kids, I will choose English (hint: doesn’t mean I want to be British or I appreciate them calling me nigga.). If there are two schools, one with Arabic one with Amharic medium of instruction, I will choose the Arabic one for my kids. All day, every day.

            Some civilizations are ascendant, some stagnant, some atrophied. When I reject the atrophied civilization and want to adopt and borrow from a more dynamic civilization, it doesn’t mean I want to become it: it means I recognize its superiority. People have no problem admitting this when it comes to issue that really matter to their loved ones– medicine, education — but they get all defensive in articulating it.

            Abyssinian culture has nothing modern and relevant to offer. It does make for a great musuem that I wouldn’t mind visiting with Eyob as my tour guide, embellishing along the way.


        • yegermal

          Honestly,you have a lot of pfdjitis since you seem to possess your own set of facts which your thinking cannot be contested.

          • Eyob Medhane


            “…Abyssinian culture has nothing modern and relevant to offer….”

            Oh yeah…ha ha ha…..ሲያመኝ አታስቂኝ:: አለ ያገሬ ሰው:: So it’s the Arab culture that has something to offer? What would that be? A rocket science or chopping someone’s hand off for stealing a peanut? Or beheading or sexual repression? Oh I get it. Women libration. An Arab told me once that they brought civilization to Spain and particularly Andalusia… I researched that and what I found out was that their great achievement there was turning an already built church to a Mosque. Here you go! Here is your progressive “civilization” you crave….ወቸ ጉ……….ድ:: የባሰ አለ አገርህን አትልቀቅ:: አለ ሌላው ያገሬ ሰው….. 🙂

          • hahah Eyob,

            I was going to reply Sal but changed my mind. I will hold my horse for now. Yet, I can’t wait to read Sal’s rebuttal to Eyob’s rebuttal.

            When ያገሬ ሰው see Sal’s argument , he or she would typically say: ኣዲኣ ገዲፋ ሃትናኣ ትናፍቅ 😉

    • yegermal

      It shows your knowledge of Eritrea is very rudimentary for you to compare our situation to all the other countries’ you mentioned!

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    Call them eritrean, ethiopian, etc the mass in both lands struggled for a better life. Shabians and woyanes have choosen th big elephant as their basic economical Resource with different political systems. Regardless how pridectable the hazardeous suck the big elephant solution shabia and woyane had managed to develop their socio economic and military success in both lands till the Natural disagreament that is who gets the bigger share of the elefant matreraliazed. And who loose most? The owner of the elephant from both sides while the shabians and woyanes still enjoy their sucess. Both shabia and woyane still see the border issue from their advantage.

    Woyane prefers a tigrinya dominated Eritrea rule Eritrea as long as it cooperated with tigray first policy. If Eritrea makes sure that, woyane prefers not a single cm of ‘eritrea’ border given to the Afar state, even though Afar is part of ethiopian federation. This much shows woyanes tigray-tigrinya policy. Woyane has developed a unique understanding of Ethiopianess since tplf creation. Being ethiopian or not shall be seen purely as buisness. If it comes to culture and common values then they prefer the tigrinya of Eritrea. So if Eritrea is dominated by any other Groups then woyane Plays the Afar, kunama, etc Cards.

  • haile

    As-salam alaykum (including Eyob 🙂 )

    Recently, SAAY correctly called out how the commenter “asmara” doesn’t think of much about the regime in Eritrea. virtually anything that happens is the fault of someone else, and as far as the commenter “asmara” is concerned the regime might as well be considered DEAD. Without further ado, let me share with you awatista a script that the commenter “asmara” wrote over on dehai discussion board back in May. Asmara can protest this is not theirs, but I have credible information to believe it is. It is rather long and boring, but just want you to observe the length that person would go to paint a monster, so that the regime continues to destroy our people and nation:)

    First Name Zelku_Dea
    Date 12:27 PM – May 15, 2013
    ደቂ ኤረይ፡ ረኣዮ በሉ ፊትሒ፡ ሪጉማት፡ ረኣዩ በሉ ዚፈሓስ ዘሎ ኣባና

    Imagine a woman with a new born baby, ok?
    Now consider the following scenarios

    Scene 1: normal scenario
    A woman with a new born baby

    The normal accordance would be – mom breast feeding her baby happily. A happy baby.

    Scene 2: The abnormal scenario

    But, imagine cuffing both her hands and tie them behind her back.
    The normal accordance would be – mom loses hugging capability, but still manages to feed her baby. But the baby is vulnerable, and could be prone to predators. The mom is not comfortable, but at least she managed to do something for her baby.

    Scene 3: Worst case scenario

    In addition to tying her hands behind her back, shackle both her breasts with iron cups, and fasten it behind her back so hard, that you are almost crushing her chest.
    Digest that for a second
    Now, let us check what the normal occurrence would be under the given condition.
    The baby is not fed hence is hungry and is crying like crazy. The woman is in an extreme pain due to the shekels. But worst of all she is in extreme pain and misery because she cannot feed the baby that she is supposed to provide and protect. It breaks her heart. But the woman, very loving as she is, very caring as she is, she twists her body in a peculiar and extremely painful way , trying to squeeze out some drops of milky that could possibly leak through the sides of the metal breast cup and reach her baby’s mouth. Oh, God!

    Scene 3: Epic

    Now add the following to scenario 3:
    – The mean neighbor comes to the woman’s house and starts to crap there. He also comes with a syringe to suck the milk from her breast, fill it in a cap and takes it to his house. And lures the hungry desperate baby, to crawl to the neighbor’s house in search of that milk.
    – That mean neighbor also, time and again throws blows to the woman’s head and chest, and kicks her tummy kun Fu style.” Karate kick” right in the rib cage, every time he feels like it. Painful!
    – Here comes her older son who was so jealous because his mom was breast feeding the new baby instead of him, and because he believes he is not the center of her love any more, starts to bit his baby sibling. That is not all. Because of his deep hatred for his mom; he goes all the way to the neighbor’s house and bends so low. He chooses to be the neighbor’s bitch. And conspires with the neighbor to suck the blood out of his mom and his baby sibling. And older number 2, gets confused aand gets lured by older brother number one, falls for the lure to go to America, crosses to the neighbour’s house and lie untill he reaches to the big USA
    – In the meantime, the “ABITI ADI” of the community, the superpowers of the community, the “SHIMAGLE” of the community, sits there making sure the neighbor is not touched. Actually they support the neighbor and supply him with new techniques of torture and cover his financial expenses. And also do their utmost in luring the children of that poor woman in deserting her.

    Scene 4: Intriguing

    – The “ABITI ADI” of the community, the superpowers of the community, the “SHIMAGLE” of the community – now call for a meeting. They say “we have a problem at our hand. We have to stop this problem from going out of proportion”. What is the problem, you might ask. To these people, the problem is the woman. See?
    – They accuse the woman of
    o Not feeding her baby
    o Not protecting her baby
    o Human right abuse
    o Human trafficking – for allowing or for sending her baby to the neighbor’s house.
    – They consider some measures to punish the woman
    o Blind fold her
    o Starve her
    o More biting
    – End result? Well, until the woman submits herself to the neighbor and be a puppet for those superpowers of the area.

    May be I should do some definitions here:
    – The Woman = Eritrea
    – The Baby = Eritreans in Eritrea
    – The neighbor = Woyanie
    – The older son, who hates and bits his mom = Antsu Nay Woyanie who are conspiring with Woyanie
    – Abaiti adi = US, UN, OAU…etc
    – Son who is lured to go to the neighbor = Eritreans who are fleeing to Ethiopian camps and then to USA



    • Tamrat Tamrat

      To Asmara!

      What has the woman done that pfdj shackles the woman?! in the first Place.

    • haile

      A little postscript here to readers:

      – I have a build up of commenter “asmara’s” activities in many forums, some going back to 2010. I was only interested to research the person, because they kept coming back and took it upon themselves abuse those who oppose the regime in Eritrea.

      As such, I have seen “asmara” in many forums including some Ethiopian websites. The catch phrases/words as: “dude”, “IDIOT”, “Mr IDIOT”, “weyane crapping on ower land”… are standard component of their vocab. profile. In some cases, exact text is reproduced here under “asmara” and other forums such as Erigazette (a meskerem linked blog page) under their other pen name. As you read “asmara” when they don’t expect to be read (as in what I did, reading them across multiple websites as they interacted with different commenters) you learn that their basic argument is that the regime in Eritrea is beyond reproach.

      Now, I chose the above dehai post article because strangely, that is one of the few times “asmara” wrote “ደቂ ኤረይ፡ ረኣዮ በሉ ፊትሒ፡ ሪጉማት፡ ረኣዩ በሉ ዚፈሓስ ዘሎ ኣባና” and I believe most Eritreans can tell who is an outspoken regime butler who speaks grammatically mixed up Tigriyna but claim to be very sure of what they’re talking about Eritrea. Of course, my last hypothesis is just that (albeit with strong bases).



  • M Aman

    Salam Danny
    Lot’s been said and many dimension in your article has been discussed hence, just wanted to highlight specific perspective has been raised in point 4 underestimating change from inside when you referred to Forto as evidence that indicates the possibility of change from inside, it’s fact that Forto COUP ‘DATA or Movement whatever you want to call it was from inside however, it’s from inside Geographically, but what that has to do with the main argument your article trying to promote which Eritrean Solutions for Eritrean Problems, which can be read preventing the elephant from meddling in Eritrean issues, I am saying that because very little information is reveled from the Forto COUP ‘DATA or Movement and no one can confirms if there was No foreign dimensions or interference, bearing in mind that the G15 was accused by DIA and his clique as Ethiopian agents, furthermore, revising the history of COU’DATAs shows clearly the foreign interference or influences . Don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting that there was/is relationship between Forto and foreign powers, however it’s unwise to eliminate such possibility, therefore, and it’s incomprehensive for me to promote such accident as example for the long waiting change from inside, not change for the sake of change but change to democratic system which can’t be granted by COUP’DATA, from unknown group (No political programs to be judge by or accountable to). I wished if you could focus in the possibility of popular revolution and the elements for such possibility and the Diaspora role in fostering such movement

    • yegermal

      Coup d’Etat, from french coup= stroke and d’etat = of the state 🙂

  • Eyob Medhane

    You know,

    There seems to be that there is no remedy for Ethiopia haters. None what so ever. I have actually stopped, particularly with Kebesa Eritreans to debate over that point. But, please get this. While you are hating Ethiopia and stomping your feet to demand everything in the world from us, your existence, especially highlanders, is really seriously threatened like it has been in NO OTHER TIME. Please observe the depopulation of your land and your country. Think about it. The overwhelming majority of those, who are leaving the country and especially suffering in Sinai are highland Christian Eritreans, Largely, those, who leave their villages and disburse all over the world are Kebesa Eritreans. It is not Ethiopia that wants Isayas to stay in power. It is his Arab benefactors, particularly, Qatar, so the mission of depopulating and clearing Eritreans off of their country be completed. Qatar along with Saudi Arabia has taken it upon itself to carry the mission of imposing Arab cultural imperialism, and it seems they found Isayas to be a perfect tool to accomplish that goal. It’s them, who want him to be around not us. He and his generals are helping them as far as selling their own to the traffickers (Mostly Saudi descent Rashaidas) to get highland Christian Eritreans out of the country. Even though they try the same scheme in Ethiopia, because of it’s Ethiopia’s large population and a government that at least to some extent feels responsible to its citizens, they are having a hard time to do the same. Oh no. They don’t give up that easily. Instead, they revised their scheme in Ethiopia, and try to unleash salafists to wreck havoc. The good thing is that also does not seem to be successful, because they lackeys don’t have the number (the manpower) to charge a kind of effect they desired, and as divine intervention, Egyptian generals out of no where action against muslim brotherhood exposed them for who they are and their burning coptic churches shot a warning shot for Ethiopians what could happen, should they are allowed to let their plan progress. Yet, they seem to have an unaware tool in Eritrean Kebessa blinded by hate of their own kin in the south of their borders, they are being driven to their own slaughter house….Very sad, but true…

    • wediere


      I tought you would take any complaint by Eritreans, the way an American would take a criticism of his country….. some are giving Ethiopia much weight and influence in what is able to do, instead of being happy about it and explaining that Ethiopia has its own problem to deal with and what have you…… went into Arab conspiracy theory and your believe that there is plan to empty Eritrea of Highlanders or more to the point Christians……Meskinay, worse you probably want to extend the theory to your country……is people like you that perpetuate wars.


      • Tamrat Tamrat

        pfdj has said the youths are running away due to the west campaigne against pfdj.

        Statistics shows that tigrinya People are most influential both in politics and religion in both in or out of Eritrea. If you see the richest poorest (this is my own Expression how ‘Our Third world’ Rich People use a great amount of their wealth just only to end up in refugee camps of the west while the mass who suffer by the opperation has no option leaving the ountry uless it is in its dream) people of Eritrea both in west and arab country tigrinya represents the vast majority. This shows that pfdj People are the one who can leave the country for better life out of Eritrea. So Belay or anybody must have been compelled to any kind of conspiracy theory.

        Who knows other might say it is the pfdj plan to earn more hard currency by sending only its ‘own’ People abroad.

    • Hameed

      Dear Eyob,

      I was very saddened when I read your comment. I thought you are a world citizen, but unfortunately your comment revealed that you are still a dim corner citizen. The propaganda you have written worked with Haile Sellase in the forties of the last centuries, but I don’t think it will work in the 21st century.

      If Qatar and Saudi Arabia stand against Isaias believe me Isaias would haven been toppled a long time ago. Do you think USA will sacrifice with its interests in Saudi Arabia for the sake of Ethiopia? Think about it.

      The Rashaida and bedouins of Sinai whom you spoke about are recruited by Isaias and not by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and this reality Eritreans know about it. You have to know Isaias is in weapons and human trafficking business with the Rashaida and bedouins in Sinai.

    • gebreab

      Dear Eyob Medhanye.
      you said it all…apart that it is not only the highlanders are affected what is going on in side the country but everybody regardless of his/her ethnicity and religion and region.Of course the highlanders are affected enormously by this Holocost-like cleancing and they are the ones who are leaving the country in droves.And at what speed!unbelievable.
      “Wembedie’s plan is to seperate Eritrea from its mother land and to sell it to the Arabs”Dergue’s propaganda of that time.No one imagined at that time that today Eritreans will ever collude with that propaganda.
      When Qutar started acting as conduit and speaker for Eritrea affairs to the Outside world we all were suspicious by the mysterious things going on between Eritrea and Qutar.And please do not forget the with deceases contaminated sheep from Australia which were destined to Saudi-Arabia but after the sheep’s health came into questions,at last they found a place(Eritrea) were to dump them and were fed to Eritrean soldiers and people in the middle of war against our brothers and sisters.It is high time for Eritreans to examine the credibility of those officials who are in higher positions of the administration.i do not want to name any names without having any poof at hand but we all suspect it is the people in high offices undermining and disrespecting Eritreas sovereignty.Administrating a country is not a part-time job.

      • gebreab

        sorry my computer is spinning.It did not let me to finish my thoughts and click and sent.How could happen that?mysterious things happen…

      • haile

        Dear Gebreab

        You confuse me 🙂 Here is what you told me about ten days a go, on the other post:

        ” …and secondly the 999 out of 1000 Eritreans leaving or already left the country after independence are/were looking for a better life some where else.having said that it is not a crime…,it is human nature to search for a greener pasture some where else.and third,it is the diaspora Eritreans to blame for the part of brain-drain going on.let me tell you a short neighbour with their four children fly every year to Eritrea,they cargo three or four barrels(fisto)food ration with you know how it is viewed by the people back home?…we all know that…and on top of that cars clothes you name it…despite that their SHuRo,TuMTuMo,BaMia,AHMiLTi,DuBa healthier and nutritious are than the rubbish from one pound shops.but people back home view it differently and appreciate it simply ’cause it is from MiERaB. so to put it in a nut-shell our people back want have exactly what the Eritrean diasporas it is nobody to blame for the brain-drain but life.”

        I am glad that you now seem to think the regime is involved in what you call “cleansing” and describe as “Holocaust-like” (just to paraphrase you). Enkua nab lbkha meleseka gebreab!


        • Haile,

          You absolutely noticed him. Gebreab sometimes he said they are forced by the oppression at home, and at the same time he said they are lured by the Eritreans who left earlier and make good living abroad. He seems to have ambivalent view on the reality of our young who leaving the country.

      • gebreab

        sorry my computer is spinning ,it let me in lurch without finishing my thoughts.
        A continuation from above.
        It is easy to blame others for our own mistakes and failings.To say”Eritreans are making rooms for other folks to settle in””Eritreas sovereignty is sold to the highest bidders”Or”many in the higher offices are not of their own bosses they are just puppets,there is someone stands behind them who pulls the strings”and so on and so forth.We can speculate a lot from the realities taking place in front of our eyes.and it is our legitimate right to do so.
        Eritreans are lured and forced to leave the country.Lured ,because they are witnessing closely…others who left the country can make a difference, economically, to their families and relatives.Without taking into account to look at the broader picture,namely that many Eritreans in their new-adopted-countries lead an impoverished low life.Many of our peopl back home do not know what difficulties the Eritrean diasporas are going through.And the big errors of that lies on our sides ’cause we do not reveal the truth.And of course everyone who believes every thing that sparks in Europe or USA is gold,is willig to leave the country better today than tomorrow regardless under what circumstances,by the Rashaidas or not Rashaidas. Main thing is get out of that country and make big money and support families back home.It is crazy,they are losing their minds.
        Forced ’cause of the circumstances at home.the administrations policies are pointed against the people.lack rule of law, under such circumstances it is the law-abiding citizens who are going to suffer while the criminals are going to get away with it.The young people view the limitless- military conscription as a waste of time.And that is exactly the meticulously planned goal of the administration.To make Eritrean young people barren.well you do not need to build gas-chmpers like the Nazis did there are other methods to decimate and annihilate innocent people.

        • Tamrat Tamrat

          Sorry but I have to write it all over again.

          If human beings have two lives then may be you could have been correct at this time. Other wise the time what you have done for your country has gone and now is the time for what my country has done for me lately.

      • Abe z minewale

        The good Dr. From Australia said to the best of his knowledge it was ok to consume those sheep by humans. I remember the interview with VOA

  • haile


    I am sure most are puzzled by commenter asmara’s utter confusion. It wiggles its tail to say the regime is most respectful to Tigrayans, it twists and turns to say how jilted it feels by woyane’s lack of resolving the border war, keeps coming back to check if the opposition have changed their mind…

    Such frenzy is characteristic of some one deeply disturbed by something they are forced to be part of. In the following video, the regime is the role played by the “professor”, the Eritrean people is the role played by the “learner” and the commenter asmara is the role played by the “teacher”.

    Every regime supporter/sympathizer owes it to themselves to watch this video.

    PS. Michael Portillo is a British parliamentarian and high ranking figure of the conservative party in the UK.


    • wediere

      I think AT should consider having the clip in the side of the front page or in their Facebook……I think it explains a lot about the “silent majority” and it helps us reflect that at times silence or conformity is not an option to take.


  • asmara

    You know what is grinding my gears?

    The fact that Woyanie is getting away with it is what is grinding my gears….

    The fact that we are allowing them to think they can get away with it is what is grinding my gears….

    Listening to my podcast, VOA Tigrigna program the other day. A political advisor or something (Haleka Tsegay) was talking, first about Ethiopian stuff and finally he was asked about the Ethio-Eritrean condition.

    You are speechless, I know (Or maybe not. This is not the first time we heard these people twist things. But still)

    My question to all of you Eritreans out there (You can call yourself Hagerawi, you can call yourself opposition, you can call yourself activist, you can call yourself silent, you can call yourself anything, it doesn’t matter) is :

    – Don’t you get pissed off because these people are getting away with lying, cheating and aggression?

    – Don’t you get very angry for an outside aggressor to believe they can crap on our Eritrea whenever they want?

    – Don’t you get pissed off because these people are underestimating Eritreans and are telling us , in an “In YOUR FACE” kind of way that they can get away with it, and telling us in “What are you going to do about it” kind of way?

    – Don’t your blood boil to see them bullying Eritrea? Taking advantage?

    – Don’t you get pissed off for getting played by Woyanie. First through twisting Eritrea’s hand through the no war no peace situation, then bask on all the “wach wach” that would fallow and again twisting the arms of those who call themselves opposition

    I know, I know. Some of you will start barking the Regime this and the regime that. But my answer to you is REGARDLESS.

    IT DOESN’T MATTER IF WE HAVE A DEMOCRATIVE GOVERNMENT, A DICTATORIAL GOVERNMENT, A MONARCY, A SOCIALIST, A CAPITALIST, SHERIA LAW. And it doesn’t matter whether we have a good leader or bad, it doesn’t matter our leaders are angels or monsters and it doesn’t matter if we are chewing each other out….

    ERITREAN-ness dictates the following:



    • asmara: yours is a kind of trash writing trying to hoodwink the main isue and typical of pfdjites.You highlighted REGARDLLESS. There is no such thing called REGARLESS man. You consider or take in to account everything I.E DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE ,FREEDOM ECONOMIC WELEING .Shaebia in its negotation with ethiopia is posturing strength. That’s where the whole crook lies cs everybody knows how strong shaebia is militarly and economically and cohossively.

  • tazabi

    Poor Ethiopia damn if you do damn if you don’t. The author after trashing any kind of fairness by saying Eritreans should look after Eritrea’s interest only proceeds to criticize Ethiopia for allegedly looking after its interest. To the extent of accusing Ethiopia of wanting to maintain Isaias Afeworki in power. The author wants Ethiopia to make Eritrea what Eritreans want it to be – which no one seems to agree on what that is. How about the Eritrean oppositions doing what they needs to achieve their objectives whatever that is. I think the Ethiopians are making grave error by interfering in Eritrean affairs. Let them sort it out. After 30 years of war I do not know why any Ethiopian want to interfere in Eritrean affairs

    • asmara

      How about Ethiopia does the right thing for a change? – Abide by Law, and get out of Eritrean sovereign land and give normalization a chance?

      See, what the Eritrean people want from Ethiopia is really simple

      • Well, we have to figure out in the first place why Eritrea invaded our country and killed our people. A Border issue has never been as disastrous as it happen to us. Because we have spent huge capital and scarified many life’s to defend our country. We believe, the Eritrean polices and attitudes which broke the war ten years ago are still in place. As long as the evil policy of Eritrea to ward Ethiopia has existed, border demarcation cannot solve the issue.

        • Abe z minewale

          Your talk is straight like MegeDi BaTsiE

  • Kokhob Selam

    …….ዕርክነት ሓርማዝ……..

    open jebena and read.

  • asmara

    Hey Look – It is my Toy Soldier again!


    I thought I took off the battery from its back. Crawling all over the place now, seeking attention and bugging people. I guess these things run by residue power as well.

    Imitating me was fine. It is what I trained it to do, but trying to do its own thinking is so creepy. I guess it is also sneaking in to the owner’s den as well, as it is singing. Mocking the people…or something like that.

    Christmas is round the corner. Time for a new Toy.

    {…A reminder for myself: My Toy-soldier is starting to LEAK now Time to properly discard it with the hazardous materials..}

    • yegermal

      Childish! And very telling of the fabric of which DIA’s worshipers are made! Once they are slowly exposed to their bare core by crafty debaters (e.g., haile), they degenerate to unruly childishness…eway wirdet!


    Respected Daniel ,

    In general I enjoyed it,specially ¨3) Assuming Ethiopia Wants Isaias Out¨…because we need to think in different channels ,because lots of things do not make sense .I love & respect Weyane & the Ethiopian government ,because I only care about my fellow Eritreans, not the Qebele called Ethiopia…As mush as I stand with my people ,I am not sure even if Eritrea ,the country, is good for our peoples´health…¨But for a person that cares about Eritrea, the country ,I would put Ethiopians or even EPLF/TPLF/CIA intention under big question mark.




      I meant to say The qebele called Eritrea ,and not Ethiopa ..

      thank you

  • haile

    This is an answer to asmara from the other post…. 🙂

    so asmara {let me think loud; laleye lalo laleye lalo wedebat adey yreAyeni’lo; end of loud thinking}

    Let me also speak in my capacity as an “influential” member of my local ‘Shimagle mekhete’. So, asmara you think that Eritreans are to blame for agitating the Tigray people of Ethiopia, Eritrean diaspora are to blame for motivating Eritreans to leave Eritrea, again Eritreans are to blame for causing the chemlaq regime to postpone building Eritrea because the diaspora wanted villas….

    How useless can you be!! My sharing of experience back home is nothing more than small chat here. You’ll need to be aware of my communications with Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth of the UN human rights rapporteur on Eritrea. Nothing big, other than sharing some worrisome issues that she need to be aware of to inform her investigations.

    I can see you are wiggling your tail for some one to take you under their wings. You stand for something horrible, no one would.

    No need for the Tigray people of Ethiopia to give you any value, you need to study their history. They can’t be bout that cheap. You think we are to blame, no problem we can settle that.

    {thinking loud again (seriously, not “mocking the people” laley lalo…}

  • Bisrat

    Hello Haw Daniel,
    I am really saddened to see that your intellect has been attracted by the Short-sighted, Selfish Politicians.Well, rationalizing politics in terms of STAGE is a big profit in the eye of politicians but this has nothing to do with Eritrea’s Status-quo as We have not been lucky to deal with a Constitutional regime.
    Pardon me but I am inclined to conclude that you are immersed in a principle that you have never believed in it but forced to be part( Center of gravity) of it because some of your former Comrades stood against you…I don’t blame you…Seriously not !! why would I ?…Because you are typical Eritrean who is loyal to Non-sense Courtesy(if that is the culture,I say ” that culture should go to Hell”)….If there are few ears , I would loudly say ” the SKFTA culture is killing us and eventually controlled our mind from following our Heart”…True That!! I think I should say some thing here…Please, Salh Ghadi, Sal Yonus, Yosief Gebrehiwet, ….etc…, The people is tired of Politics and desperately looking for some miracle…..Please

  • In spirit of the Right and Wrong on the Scale of the Absolute & the Relative
    The dogmatic & political fervency the average Eritrean is experiencing in the melee of a Hodge Podge confusion of utter Lack of Clarity in the absence of a recognized Paradigm: fictitious, delusionary, or possessing a stabilizing element of practicality, render an objective Eritrean intellectual a mere observer never all that immune, despite one’s pacifism, to the fallouts of the folly, idiocy and lack of rationality of the so-called activists of the all varied political, ideological and religious leanings and adherence who are influencing and at times dictating the turn of events.
    The Definition of the Right and Wrong, even for a mere philosophical wasteful mental exercise and speculation, becomes, at times, even often, Eritreans, who are a detached, learned and objective intellectual in the melee of shifting Paradigm(s), a question of practicality dictated by the requisites of the maintenance of a minimal sense of coherence and social relevance, the social animal a human is.
    For Eritrean intellectual, detached and objective to the vying dogmatic and ideological torrential currents playing havoc with existing Paradigm (s), finds solace in reaching out and reaffirming the constants that shape one’s perception and ever evolving conception of objective reality stemming from one’s vision of the absolute as the fulcrum for selective preferences and none conflicting choices.
    Judgmental and subjective the conventional realities are and one’s need to asserts social relevance, all are factors that place incredible mental and emotional pressures and an arduous test on a detached intellectual’s values, convictions and even one’s ideological stands. While these are temptations for a transient respite, easing a burdened soul and a fatigued mind, to a truly detached intellectual, these are false signals that would only ultimately alienate and profoundly shatter an intellectual’s inner peace and Self-Acceptance.
    French Philosopher Gustave Le Bon, possibly of all the Age of the enlightenment philosophers, subtly analyzed the predicament and dilemma of the learned and intellectuals being swept by the torrents of the madness of the crowds.

  • Fanus

    Ethiopia is not the elephant in the room. Ethiopia (weyane) is the weasel in the room. They have already tried to weasel out of the Algiers Agreement even though they signed a “final and binding agreement.” Their word means nothing to them.

    Unlike Eritreans, to Ethiopians (both Amhara and Tigray) their word is not their bond. Eritreans are honest and straightforward people. To an Eritrean, his word is his bond. Not to an Ethiopian, whether he is Agame or Amhara.

    Ethiopia is not the elephant in the room. Ethiopia (Weyane) is the hyena in the room. The jackal in the room.

    Do not be fooled Eritreans. Learn from history. We have already been fooled once. Let’s not get fooled again.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      In you eye Eritrea is the absolute honesty and any deviation from that is the way to dishonesty. Good eritrianism. Imagine if other nations have also that notion! Tigre was not like amhara in the eyes of ‘eritreanism’ till 1998, and boom 1998 then we found another amhara called tigre. I have no doubt the Third ethiopian representative would be oromo and then Eritrea will have another dishonest Group.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas

    Here is a philosophical dilemma: Are those who obey “evil” or also “evil”?

    I’ve heard “evil” defined as “blindly obeying authority.” How can we better educate the population about the motives of “authority”?

    We’ve all heard that power corrupts and its been proven in the past (Mai Habar, Adi Abeyto, G-15, Sinai, indefinite military service…), and we’ve seen attempts at trying to discover the line between conforming and conscience (Milgram experiment). But then there are the everyday heroes that have defied the conformity (Meron Estifanos, Elsa Chyrum…). How can we foster an encouraging environment that promotes behavior like that?

    Here is less than 25 min video – The psychology of “evil” (thought provoking and soul shaking content) that I invite you to invest your time to watch, especially if you consider yourself a supporter/sympathizer of the current regime in Eritrea. Nonetheless, everyone would benefit.


    • haile

      correct “are also evil” instead of “or also …

    • Oasis

      haile, thanks for the video. Coming to your question, are those who obey “evil” or also “evil”? No doubt obeying evil to do evil things is definitely evil.

      Obedience to authority is instilled in us from birth-obedience to our parents, to our teachers, to our bosses and the law. Moreover, it is a prerequisite for the functioning of any organized group.

      Few people ever realise when they are acting according to their own beliefs and when they are meekly submitting or obey to authority….The habit of obedience to authority figures is so ingrained that people can act out of it without even knowing they are doing so.

      For more on this and other interesting things I recommend reading book called: Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland


  • Lemlem

    The very notion of an independent Eritrean State is anathema to Tigrayans and Weyane. How can anyone even contemplate of involving them in Eritrean affairs? Did you already forget how they conducted themselves during the border war 1998 to 2001? They showed their true colors then. It really was not that long ago. Remember they attacked Assab and failed. Assab was not even disputed territory yet they launched a full invasion to try to take it.

    If you think WEYANE has Eritrea’s best interest at heart, I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. You are fools.

    It’s one thing to oppose the government. It’s quite another to side with the enemy of the state.

    • yegermal

      “The very notion of an independent Eritrean State is anathema to Tigrayans and Weyane.”

      Nonsense! TPLF (and Meles) was/is the only entity that recognized the right of the Eritrean people to chose independence and has not retracted its support in that area. DIA on the other hand has embraced and promoted Ethiopian group like kinijit and gunbot 7 that openly and to date not only do not accept Eritrean independence but are hell bent to reverse it or at the minimum take Assab by all means at their disposal. You can chastise and detest TPLFf for its failure to abide by the EEBC ruling to hand over Badme to Eritrea, but no matter how bitter you are you can’t rewrite history.

      BTW, if DIA decided to hand over Assab to Ethiopia by way of Qatar, I am 100% certain you will say “What is wrong with that ? Even port of Baltimore in the US is administered by Qatar ! And it’s not like we ‘re using Assab or we can drink its water!”. It’s the latest talking point being spread within inner DIA’s diaspora operative circles. Jaw dropping, because Assab is significantly more important to Eritrea than Badme will ever be! Therefore, whatever you say all claim we know it is not coming from your own intellect…you ‘re will change it the minute you’re given new instructions.


      • Tamrat Tamrat

        So what you are saying is isayas and pfdj wanted to unite Eritrea and ehtiopipa while tplf is trying the opposite. Absolutilly yigremal.

        • yegermal

          Am only stating facts….but interpretation is free.

      • haile

        Selam Yegermal,

        Here is the interesting puzzle. The people who are indifferent to the worst form of suffering that is being undergone by the Eritrean people, are concerned by events that transpired during the border conflict which made some Eritreans suffer.

        How can one reject and act of evil from one corner and justify or help perpetrate the same act of evil coming from another corner.

        This is the case of situational evilness rather than dispositional evilness. The former is an act of perpetrating or being indifferent to evil, because the situation under which it is taking place has managed to “shut off” your conscience. The second (dispositional) is limited to the main instigators of the evil, they are naturally evil.

        Under the Eritrean regime, Eritreans were picked up from their homes and thrown to dungeons never to be heard of again, refused to live in peace and made to migrate in great numbers with heart wrenching tragedies, their nation has been reduced to insignificant weak and isolated barren and all their dreams shuttered. The Lemlems and asmera’s of this forum are situationally made to remain indifferent and support the perpetrators.

        On the flip side, they are so disheartened and saddened by the things that befallen upon the Eritrean people during the 98/00 border war from the woyane!

        Please look a short narration of the famous Stanford Prison Experience (that had left some of the participants mentally injured – it was such a powerful experiment):


        • haile

          BTW, as you watch the short video, please notice how the regime now days resorts to giving t-shirts or other camouflage type wear to its diaspora supporters to guard entry into its festival and other regime events:)

          • Saleh “Gadi” Johar


            You need to see (if you haven’t) The Experiment, starring Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, etc. It’s a fascinating movie about the same topic–how normal humans,given the opportunity and circumstances, can turn into monsters.

          • haile

            Selamat Sal

            Thanks, I will check. If I remember correctly, I looked into this topic more intensely some time around 2001/02. My current interest has also evolved to look at the remedial side of the equation. Do also feel free to, please, share more resources that may address this side. Kemey geyrna knfwsom, mai chelot klte shewAte may be a start, are there more? 🙂


          • Hailat,

            Your objective is well taken. But it could only be productive if they are taken seriously by behavioral psychologists. The cure started by separating them from this toxic Eritrean politics.

        • yegermal

          Salut haile,

          Thank you for the link. Will check it out as soon as time permits. Will give my take after I watch it, although it might take me a couple of days since I am visual ADD and procrastination takes over me anytime I am forced to watch something so passive as a video/tv piece. Of course, Nova, National Geographic and C-Span do not fall in that category. Those, I can watch while toiling on a thread mill. TMI mish?

          In the meanwhile, I find the topic quite interesting and it might go a long way in helping us understand the reason that compels a significant minority of our population to support “evil”. One can’t help but ask the perennial question “What is more influential in shaping a personality or character, nature or nurture?”.

    • Asmerome

      Hi Lemlem
      Hope you are not consumed by hate its absolutely wrong to generalize the Trgirian people .
      For your information the woyane have been involved in the Eritrean affair when they were first invited by your beloved Shabia (EPLF) in the Eritreian fields From late 1970’s so blame your dictator .
      You better know what you are writing cause it’s going to hunt you

      • Gebre

        Hi Lemlem,

        You are a perfect example how hate and ignorance can totally demolish the human soul and mind.

        During the liberation time Isayas (EPLF) was on the verge to abandon the struggle for independence and to make a deal with Mengistu. It was the TPLF leadership which insisted on the continuation of the struggle and never to give up the fight until victory was won. Mengistu himself abhors, to date, the TPLF for hindering that deal. And more, and more.
        I know personally Tigrians who fought for Eritrean independence. And more, and more…….

        It was Meles who ended the war in 2000 while the Ethiopian military was ready to take anything including Asab.

        Today you are here to hate, insult and denigrate Tigrians.

        Wey Gud! Misgana zebilkin sebeyti! Zibelakinlu tsahli Etisebra

  • Shewit

    Again the writer is exhibiting the same outdated, unrealistic political expectations from another country as opposed to analyzing the maladies within the Eritrean elites. What exactly is Ethiopia supposed to do in ameliorating Eritrean politics? EPDP is preaching the same diatribe. They say Eritrea is capable of removing the thug without any help from outside, and I say Aseey! But, is that possible? Well, I for one, I do not believe that will happen due to the absence of change inducing elements in Eritrea and due to the tight grip of the tyrant.
    Eritreans will bring the change they want but only when they have genuine desire. So far, we do not see that preconditions. All they do is fight among themselves or live in the past. Right in our eyes, changing is occurring and had they had the will to stand vanguard in matters dear to their country, there was more than enough support to garner.
    Come on, admit it, Eritreans are to blame for their inability to know what exactly they want and for failing to device time fitting national objectives to meet the goal. Ethiopia, particularly the EPRDF government, is doing what it should do under difficult circumstances. Expecting more from a neighboring country (Ethiopia) cannot be a substitute for the detrimental roles citizens of the country (Eritreans) play.
    It is imperative for Eritreans to know they are the ownership of their country and if they have the genuine will to become selfless including by paying the required sacrifices to remove their tyrant, they can do it. If you truly abhor the general circumstances in your country, hate the tyrant that is considering the country as his property and the people as his subjects, it is time to focus on the NOW by crafting an all-inclusive, progressive time fitting political approaches and act. And the beginning to that feat is talk less and act more.
    I am tired of the opposition’s blame game of Ethiopia while failing miserably on the very issues they were supposed to do.
    Damn it! It is your country, leave Ethiopia alone and act to reclaim your country. If you cannot, let Wedi Embeytey Medhin Berad reign!

  • Alex

    Eritrean national interest should be a total disintegration of ethiopia. Do you truely beleive
    That the so called oppositions hand fed by ethiopia
    And others who have ill intentions will protect eritreans interst more than HGDEF.

    • bukretsion

      we will see, which country is going to disintegrate, if things don’t change one of them will be like somalia for sure most probably eritrea.

      • zegeremo


        you wish 🙂

      • melk

        IT IS ERITREA!

  • L.T

    As far as I concerned I had spent the best part of my time from the very top to read you,a series of offensive onslaughts against Isaias.So long as there was no more resources of you all you could deliver what Gen Mesfin and Bereket had asked.
    And this is the whole picture you are.
    From Sagim-D.M.H.E
    To Huruy T-Abdela I
    From Tewelde G-Qereleos O
    To Daniel T-Mussie Zena.

    From Amahaztion Dominica
    To pilot

    From Selam Kidane
    To Dr Afewrqi Pawlos.

    From Semeereley
    to Paltake.

    From Social media
    To Ali Forto.

    From Individual battle
    to Diplomatic negottation.

    From Migration
    to Religious heterdoxy.

    From Peace public debate
    To Che bei consigli mi hanno dato alterantive histories….

    What happened then matters now?

    • Danny


      At least the list you have tried to mock shows a multitude of people and their ideas for Eritrea, which is what a real nation should be composed of. What does your side offer for a list? Let us see:

      From Isaias to Isaias
      From Isaias to nsu
      From nsu to Isaias
      From Isaias to Isaias
      … Ad infinitum just like a mirror house

  • yohana

    hello daniel
    both the methaphores, u came up with in ma opinion are excellent and explanatory…
    but first thing is first. we Eritreans need to stick together “hade libe”…, “bderfi deykone blbna eti tarikawin zneberen zelon hadnetna knserhalu alena”.
    your article is good …. but first lets perform our duties as eritreans and if we do so the middle will justifie the end. for instance if you are planing a wedding in ur home u dont clearly discuess it WITH ur ” GOROBABTI” …. u just announce them. so lets discuess and discuess…. the well being of our people and the development of our nation. And then we see and handle the ” GOROBABTI”.

    Awet nhafash !!!

  • Hayat Adem

    Worry not about Ethiopia for two reasons: First, the current leadership unequivocally supported the struggle for independence and the outcome from the referendum. That stand has never changed during calm or stormy weathers. 2nd, today’s Ethiopia strongly believes in collaboration for mutual growth. Last but not least, Eritrea is not that weak without a bargaining power to assert itself in protecting its vital interests.
    As I read the situation in Eritrea, change is coming and coming soon from within without the involvement of Ethiopia’s operating hand. The opposition, however it looks weak and loose from outside, is gaining some grounds. Isayas is now at par balance with his Generals. read my lips: Isayas can not do big moves any more. He is locked at stalemate politically with actors around him.
    Now, this situation must tell you a lot to worry more about putting our house in order in time before talking non-existent white* elephant stories. We have a messy legacy from PFDJ. We have a monster (what I call ERR) on the wait: Eritreans are more polarized than ever along Ethnicity, Religion, and Region. PFDJ has been shelving them for long in stead of addressing them. The opposition lacks real consensus on how to handle those issues. Nor are ordinary Eritreans discussing these issues. We should no more pretend as if they are not Eritrean realities. My fear is if we are not holding the bull by the horn NOW, and we run away or pretend about them, they will be unmanageable later once the cat is out of the bag.
    Afars, Kunamas, Sahos were all on-board during the struggle for the independence of Eritrea. Do you still think they feel as destined to be part and parcel of future Eritrea? I think that is the real elephant in the room. Bringing Ethiopia as scarey hand here is more of a white elephant talk.

    *white elephant is an expression used when someone pretentiously brings a diversionary issue.

    • L.T

      Don’t worry Hayat this is not untold story and we heard this from Ato Meles Zemawi 1993″AytiHkeku” fm Ato Gebru Asrat”You are not Arab,you are our brothers Habesh”fm Ato Sibhat Nega”If anybody outsiders come to you and invade you “KinzerlKum ina”fm Ato Tsegay Berhe”Your pain are ours”…….Even Col Mengustu wedi Harari”We don’t need the sea but you people”Our struggale Part one…..
      W/ro Hayat do you think I am from today?

    • Selam Hayat,

      Precisely that is the point. The big elephant is the “mutual mistrust” of all sort. There is one section of our society who are dismissive to our reality and who say “abey kibetshu eyom.” Their arrogance and hegemonic attitudes is astonishing and mind boggling. Watch them in their tyrannical language they uttered. Just continue to educate the reality as is, even if they are dismissive. By the way what for ERR stands?


      • Chef

        Selam Amanuel
        You are seasoned writer and a member of the Awate community of long-standing. While I admire your patience and persistence, I doubt if your approach works as might be aiming at ‘teaching the unreachable.’ The cohorts you try to ‘educate’ are either totally out of touch with the Eritrean reality or have difficulty understanding and reflecting on it. All we are reading lately is a recycled material revolving around blame theory.

      • Hayat Adem

        ERR: to mean the polarization along Ethnicity, Religion and Region.

    • Mesgena

      Dear Hayat,
      Thank you for putting it so clearly. I fully conquered with you. Externalizing problems and creating non-existent fears would hurt than help the struggle.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    What kind of Ethiopia was/is needed by both pfdj and oppositioners?

    An ethiopia which removed its dictator With the help of pfdj and its international supporters.

    An ethiopia which used guns against its own children who opposed the cecession of Eritrea in its own teritory including kunama, bilen, afar etc. An ethiopia which entertained the splitting of afar in to two where by Eritrea can land Lock Ethiopia (the elephant, not the lion). An Ethiopia which cellebrate how ethiopians sacrificed from liberating Eritrea to what eritea is now.

    An ethiopia which uses only eritrean port for the sake of many ethnic Groups we share and the long history we have shared in thousand years.

    An ethiopia which sacrifices itself in removing an ill minded government in Eritrea regardless the government is backed by millions eritreans the way the multitude oppositions wishes. And ethiopia must choose the right oppostion so that no eritrean feels doubt fool in case the oppostion has ‘sympathy’ for Ethiopia.

    An Ethiopia With a big Brother gesture where if any disagreement appears then ethiopia must play the big Brotherhood (not the tv show big Brother kind, just the opposite of it).

    An Ethiopia which takes care of eritrean refugees With respect and degnity. Ane ethiopia which can not interfeer in the internal afair of Eritrea what ever Eritrea does interfeer in ehtiopian internal afair.

    To millions Ethiopians surprise ethiopia has done most of the above. Why do eritreans expect this much from Ethiopia? This brings us back to YG the great son of the post 1993 Eritrea and the pree 1993 Ethiopia. YG has the solution. Read the Works of YG. He is the God of eri-ethio social and political life.

  • Crocus

    “If the “Elephant in the Room” is actually why the silent majority of Eritreans remain silent,…..”

    I am afraid that premise of Ethiopia as the “Elephant in the Room” is tenuous. The way I sense it, Eritreans are vexed and anxiety-ridden because they are unsure how events will turn out should Isaias be deposed. They fear a demon greater than Isaias lurking in the shadows. Eritreans know it even if they do not like to admit it or name it. That fear garners the dictator much support, even among people who might wish him gone. The irrational attitude towards Ethiopia only plays to that fear, such that painting Ethiopia as the enemy goes a long way to ensure that the Isaias regime continues.

    Sooner or later, Isaias will be gone. But, the greater demon will still be there, and that should keep everyone sleepless. As for Ethiopia, all this talk of enmity will blow away, and it must. I cannot see how the Eritrean economy can be resurrected to provide for its people without Ethiopia. Do not deceive yourselves. Had there been an alternative, the dictatorship would have already exploited it to the fullest. All the more reason why reckless Eritreans should think twice before continuing burning bridges behind them. They might need them to cross back.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Ya, this part not been told! The tigrinya People have lade Eritrea for 23 years and here wer are. Who is taking over?

      But other wise Eritrea can sustain itself economicaly like any other africa lands as long as dwell all its Resources on its military to ‘destroy’ Ethiopia.

  • Shewit

    I read your article “Ethiopia: the Elephant in the Room” and the rationales you presented within, and I must say, it is the same old diatribes. I wish you had the genuine will, the temerity to see it changing the subjects to the contrary. Though I am not a political figure or try to feign as an expert on the complex and intricate national regional and global provisions, I know firsthand the multifaceted affective socioeconomic and known historical elements that are prone to play out. As you alluded to what we are witnessing in both countries are not innate but the outcome of protagonists, communities and the shared behavior the people. Leaders do not pop up from nowhere but are born and raised and influenced by the cumulative norms and beliefs. You gave value to waste analyzing the obvious instead of addressing the center, the core problem of the predicament. Your blame of Ethiopia to substitute your failure may not find a guidable buyer somewhere but will not lead to understanding, peace and development. Yes, Eritrea is a sovereign country and it is your country, and whether you overthrow HGDF or crown him to become the first Emperor, it is your country, damn it!
    So what propels you to misplace the blame game? Do you expect other countries to love and care about your country and subscribe the medicine?
    I am mindful there is NO country on Earth that has fought and succeeded its political objective. That was true during the war of American independence, ANC, Bolshevik, China, Vietnam and all progressive movements in Asian, Latin American and African countries. The same was true during the Eritrean Liberation Movements (all of them) and, in spite global changes, the same remains true to current Eritrea. As you know better than I do Ethiopia is a poor country with meager resources, therefore, what exactly do you want Ethiopia ought to do in alleviating your political wants? You wrote “Yes, Ethiopian authorities have the right to deal with whomever they choose to achieve whatever their ultimate goal is” but you contradicted blaming Ethiopia for the feebleness of most of the oppositions in achieving their political goals. You also tacitly suggested Ethiopia want Isaias to stay in power fearing having a new DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ERITREA next door brings negative ramifications to Ethiopia itself. I must say it made me laugh out loud to read that.
    You should have the modesty to acknowledge Eritreans are deficient of the needed political experiences in self-governing and what we are witnessing is part of that symptom.
    Although who should lead Eritrea, how it must come, or even whether HGDF should leave or stay for a million years remains purely Eritrean issues, the beginning to solving your problem starts on possessing a realistic approach that is solely predicated on Eritrea not Ethiopia. I say this knowing the current Ethiopian government has bended backward on anything that relates to Eritrea. When you write on this issue for the future, it is my hope that you focus on your Eritrea not Ethiopia.

    • yegermal

      Best response so far! Thank you Shewit for so eloquently articulating what many of us have been thinking! The take home lesson to all of us is “stop barking up the wrong tree ” and by God stop obsessing with Ethiopia!

  • abel

    now, i am confused.. the author looks like to me likes Ethiopia as a tool to be used by the Eritrean Opposition, to reach a goal of becoming a democratic constitutional state.. which Ethiopia, my country, is not.. are you guys open to one party .. ethnic federalism.. something like that..

    first time i met an Eritrean here in US, i was pissed of why are my family friends with an Eritrean.. they did “abodon” us after all.. after time, i only am unconfortable with Eritrean company because i think they think they are better… something like how the Aryans are kinda better right… so pardon me, if my instincts force me to attempt to disprove that.. but i see my fellow contry man.. they are all “chigre yelem” .. no problem.. what the heck? they left us freak-en largest country on earth without access to a port(land locked)!.. I mean we are locked!… true that… but that may be water under the bridge for some it looks like… may be because there seems nothing that can be done to rectify that..

    I like awate articles though… they are, a bit easy, most of the time to digest.. not like Ethiopian ones in one you have a full blown government policy discussion which.. i don’t want to read the every minute policy instance of the agriculture will lead to industrialization crap.. because on the theoretical discussion if fails for me.. badly.. i would rather see a free market capitalist.. i like that discussion but that does not look like an option… on the opposition sites.. i don’t even understand what the point they are trying to make .. to be honest..they always sound content free. they sound like sean hannity… they may bring joy to someone but it sure annoys the hell out of me..

  • ogbai

    In the begining it was a rabbit, but in the later days the rabbit became to be an elphant. Because the rabbit was very smart in most cases in evil intention that is studying hard its surrounding area from the point of its safety.In any case no one try to challenge it on its course even if it was wrong.Then it became a dog barking against its foe and friends.later on it became a wolve,and so on– an ELPHANT. Even though it is a rabit. In the mind of its followers it,s an elphant. However, it didn,t reach the stage of a lion for God sake,especaily in the BADMEs,case.It declare itself it is the king of the animal world. BUT the problem is not to becaome an elphant from a rabit. It became the most cruel elphant.It denied every other animal in the room to express its veiw and ideas. It is the only voice of the world.That is why all its fellowers intimdated. Some how if the elphant is removed from the room even the blinded fellowers will be free. and we willbe okay. The fer and mistrust is sowen by the evil elphant.By any means lets get ride from this kind of animal and everything will be okay . With respect and understanding we willachieve peace and securit inside and out side of our beloved country. and rld

  • amde

    I understand that your elephant metaphor specifically represents the Ethiopian involvement within the Eritrean opposition. You would have been better served if you had stayed simply with Ethiopia itself as the elephant (per your own title).

    There are options for dealing with an elephant in the room. Move it, kill it, dismember it, shrink it, seduce it…. some are feasible – some are fanciful. But if you can’t take it out of the room, the only real option is to accept you cannot change its elephantness, and learn to live with it.

    What I don’t see in this article is anything articulating a post-Isayyas vision to deal with the elephant. It is rather a list of demands for the elephant to meet, with the implied threat that otherwise”… we’ll take our marbles and play by ourselves…” Except you are still in the same room.

    I personally do not see a way out than a confederation in everything but name only between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The other options are gradual Somalization trying to cut the elephant to size. Or Eritrea could strike it rich with some exotic cash cow, and finally leave the room (metaphorically speaking) to join a neighborhood of extraction economy rich states.

    • Gebre

      Dear Amde,

      The post Isayas vision is undoubtedly to finish the divorce amicably and equitably with the dignity of both the parties strictly observed and fulfilled.

      Realistically, the botched divorce between Ethiopia and Eritrea has not ended the marriage yet. Emotionally, psychologically, and economically, people are still affected and traumatized by this unholy and never pre-studied divorce. We are still talking the same problem even though 22 long years have elapsed.

      The whole muddy content of the water in the pond has to settle down to give clean water for drinking. Similarly the divorce between the two countries has to dismantle all the impediments hooked up to it. The divorce would then acquire its low energy that would place it at its lowest and long term position of stability, until no side tries to play foul game again.

      The long term stability and economic integration of the region can only be achieved when there will be a win-win solution and no side harbors long term grudge in its stomach. This will lead us, of course, to seek a genuine solution for the use of the ports and well agreed upon demarcated border between the two countries. To achieve this long term solution, Eritreans have to open their minds to realistic and genuine relations with their neighbors.

      Dear brother Amde, somalization of Ethiopia is not a long term solution and it will never ever happen.

  • Fretta.

    Ato Dawit Moconen,

    you said “I hope I will not offend my brothers and sisters of Akuloguzai origin by reminding them that two woyanes have targetted them to be the launchpad of Eritrean disintegration. Adhanom and Bereket, both from Akloguzai, have become potent weapons of woyane against Eritrea.”
    You just got it wrong, these two individuals don’t represent the people of Akeleguzay, it is not only offensive but an insult to generalize like that.
    You seem to be intrenched in to such divisive ideas of ethnicity and regionalism your reply to Daniel mentioned Oromo, Amhara Tegaru and then you crossed the border and started your insult of Akeleguzay. ( have miss spelled it)
    shame on you.

    • Yodita

      Ato Fretta,

      After observing the contents of Dawit Meconen’s posts here in Awate and Assena for some time, I am left with a net impression that he is obsessed and obsessive about his wrong understanding of ‘ethnicity’, seemingly driven by an ardent hatred of Tigreans that knows no rational bounds. It has been pointed out to him by many that generalization such as his, loaded with acute hatred of a specific ‘ethnic’ group is dead wrong and most harmful to any logical and progressive way of thinking but to no avail.
      Furthermore, it has been pointed out to him that, apart from a slight cultural distinction (probably as a result of Eritrea’s coastline exposure to and influence by other cultures), ethnically speaking, there is NO difference to speak of. Ato Dawit writes well in English, but fails to grasp a very elementary principle that it is indeed ideas and aspirations that coagulate (outside the boundaries of ethnicity, religion, race, etc.) and transform the world (for good or for bad) and not as Ato Dawit wants us to believe that whether you are born in Tigrai, Eritrea, Canada or Timbuktu, as long as you are of Tigrean origin, you are evil. What this obsessive person Dawit Meconen has been obsessively writing about for some time now is tantamount to a prelude for ‘ethnic cleansing’.

      Dawit Meconen specifically addresses his concerns to ‘genuine’ Eritreans, conveniently ignoring facts such as untold atrocities being committed by who he considers ‘genuine’ Eritreans over their own brothers and sisters in the torture department inside Eritrea, not to mention that some are selling their own people for profit (one young girl was sold (she claimed) by her own cousin!!). Ato Dawit would either ignore these facts or attribute a Tigrean origin to these criminals notwithstanding they may be thoroughly indigenous (if this has any meaning) for many past generations.

      I am for a world that gives equal freedom of expression whether the ideas expressed are to one’s liking or not. I consider the system practiced by the regime at home obsolete and obscure because it is reminiscent of Mao’s China, i.e. there is no freedom of expression. However, the way Dawit Meconen obsessively plays this one tune of blind hate for Tigreans, I consider it so dead wrong and dangerous, after attempting to rationalize and come to a fair understanding and failing, I would not allow his poisonous ideas to contaminate a world (in spite of the turmoil) that is agitating for a higher ground of justice and equality. If ethnic cleansing is his motto, he should be denied the platform to hammer on it day and night as he has been doing, undeterred

      • Fretta and Yodita,

        Would the supporters of Nazi also have the moral high ground to categorize the Jews as racists for hunting the Nazis in their hideouts?

        If you are to be consistent with your argument, your answer must of course be Yes. If otherwise, then you do not know what you are plunging yourself into.

        Why do I put woyane (tegaru) in a par with the Nazis?

        Because each of them comitted herredous crime against humanity: woyane, against Eritreans, and the Nazi, against the Jews.

        When Meles Zenwai was asked why he committed the herrendous crime on Eritreans, he replied the he would it again on anybody for any reason, including if he did not like the color of his/her color.

        But the woyanes’ anti humanity act was not limitted to Eritreans residing lawfully in Ethiopia but also on the Eritrean Martyrs, whose remains they desecrated and coffins they stole.

        But we must all remember that it was the magnanimity of Eritreans that brought into their fold, organized,trained , armed etc. the woyane to fight their way out of the squalid existence they were exposed to for centuries by the Ethiopian.

        Who would repay such magnanimty with such herrendous crime, and who would pretend as if such thing never happen and attempt to whitewash the crime of the criminal? … Only he/she who is devoid of any sense of human morality.

        • bukretsion

          when PM meles said ‘he will deport who ever don’t like the color of his eyes’
          he was talking about the low of ethiopia and the world that we can deport foreigner any time when it is necessary. he wasn’t talking about specifically eritrea.
          the rest of ur talk is like ‘a whip bits himself and cries’

        • Yodita

          You ask “Why do I put woyane (tegaru) in a par with the Nazis?”.

          The logical answer I believe is because you do not know the history of both!!! You seem to navigate in the dark, perhaps supercharged by a deep personal wound which you may be unable to metabolise and rationalise. If so, it becomes not easy to blame you. But please note that the objective reality is a totally different ball game and doesn’t (always) match our emotionally charged assessment. In your case, it is black and white: the Eritrean side is totally absolved and put in a pedestal; the Weyane side is so demonized that you shamelessly put them at par with the Nazis!!!!

          You probably will not like what I am about to say, but I can hardly wait for the day that the impasse between these two countries is over and this ungodly situation of tension and enmity is absolutely behind us. It is a day I look forward to and pray for when genuine peace and full collaboration between these two countries will go into full swing to eradicate poverty and foster education, thus setting the pace for some countries in the sub-region and the continent.

          The day Eritrea and Ethiopia come to agree for a genuine peace, I will burst with JOY and celebrate the day henceforth as the day of winning over ignorance and pettiness (by both governments)!

          • Yodita,

            I answered my question with objective evidence, The Hundreds of thousands of Eritreans woyane Deported in the worst inhumane manner, after stealing their properties, stamping their PassPort with red ink, Never To Return Again etc. These are irrefutable Human Crimes, which your evasive ploy, howevermuch you try, cannot erase.

    • L.T

      I guess you think you know this story.The real one’s much more and the one you know Adhanom.He was here in Sweden fm 1996-99 and he cooked up to keep his skin and both are from Tsinae-Degle Segyneti.Adhanom are the wicked person with darkness answered Halloween.He blemed for disinformation/defaramtion/fiction to Tesfai Temnew/Nitsimemo/

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas

    Here is another elephant: the Sinai crisis. An Egyptian human rights activist recommends pressuring the US to put conditions on US assistance to Egypt, to push the latter to take action.

    Here is a short YouTube by CBN

    Presenting the issue of Eritrean victims, including a five month pregnant Eritrean woman [still?] in captivity.

    N.B. Disturbing content


  • Where the two largest Ethiopian ethnic groups, Oromo and Amhara, are systematically and effectively excluded, and where few people from the smallest single ethnic group, Tegaru, run the government as a proxy of foreign powers, I think it is an insult to the people of Ethiopia to refer the government as Ethiopian.

    The fact is that Ethiopians are languishing under Tegaru-ethnic apartheid rule, which any human with average intellegence and with moral sense to distinguish between right and wrong should have no problem to understand. By the way, the very powers that had enabled the apartheid system of South Africa are behind woyane.

    The Eritrean situation is a mirror image of what the Ethiopian are passing through.Isaias Afewerqi and his inner circle are all of Tigrai descent.They came to dominate the Eritrean Government through conspiracy of Eritrean-Ethiopian war of 1998 hatched betweeb Isaias Afewerqi and Meles Zenawi, a war in which Isaias Afewerqi purged and placed behind bars all genuine Eritrean senior EPLF officials, suspended the ratified Constitution and disbanded the Baito indefintely.

    I know that there are no Ethiopians, except Tegaru, that have been fooled by woyane deceptive maneuverings. It is simply by a power of a gun that they have been forced to remain silent. However, the Eritrean case is different. Although his popularity is wanning at Geometric Progression,Isaias Afewerqi has still managed to fool seizable Eritreans , at home and abroad, through his evasive skills and euphemisms.

    It is good development that Eritreans of all walks of life are waking up to the treachery of the woyanes including Isaias Afewerqi. I hope I will not offend my brothers and sisters of Akuloguzai origin by reminding them that two woyanes have targetted them to be the launchpad of Eritrean disintegration. Adhanom and Bereket, both from Akloguzai, have become potent weapons of woyane against Eritrea.

    Even the authors of the article has rightly,although timidly, indicated that Isaias Afewerqi and his inner circle are working hand in glove with woyane to build Abai Tigrai in the ashes of Eritrean Sovereignty.

    The duplicity of woyane and Isaias is unravelling but the question is: What does it take for the so called Eritrean Opposition to finally realize their fifteen year folly in the hands of Tegaru?

    • belay

      Dear Dawit Mekonen,
      Bereket and Adhanom are proud Ethiopians,no matter to which ethnic group they belong,includingany Eritrean ethnic group at the time of referendum was Ethiopian.They knew who they were then they now who they are now.Simple.
      Enjoy your Eritrea,let them enjoy what they really are,Ethiopians.
      You wake up from your nightmare and lecturing ,the Amharas! wey Gud,Alena Malet.

  • john7


    First, I would like to give some background. Recently, The chairman of the opposition group( what ever their name is) has been expelled from his power..and the rumor was it is work of Ethiopia. Also, reports:
    Ethiopia summons Eritrean opposition for meeting on 08.23.2013, a week before Bologna 2013 .
    As you can see Ethiopia is interfering into Eritrean politics to get rid off isayas. Daniel. meles has clearly stated his policy of regime change. The elephant in the room is MISTRUST. For many years, PFDJ has bombarded us with media propaganda that woyane is not to be trusted. Also, we learn from the history the mistrust between EPLF/TPLF goes fro decades.
    IN politics, there are NO permanent Friends but permanent Interest. Ethiopia want Isayas out. We want Isayas out. We have mutual interest. The million $ question is how can we achieve that without compromising our sovereignty? One of the opposition leader, Dr Assefaw thinks Ethiopia NEVER to be trusted. Many think same. Eritreans are giving up hope on the opposition group and suspicious their cozy relation with woyane. It is discouraging situation..

  • Fanus

    Anyone who thinks anything good can come out of Weyane Tigray’s meddling in Eritrean affairs needs to get his head examined.

    After you shake Weyane’s hand, you better check to see how many fingers you still got!

    Seriously guys! Our forefathers didn’t name those crooked mountains “Libi Tigray Tiwiyway” for nothing! There is a lot that we can learn from their centuries old accumulated wisdom.

    • belay

      Dear Fanus,
      1.Weyane supported from day one the question of Eritrean independence.
      2.They wel come and help Eritrean refugees to the best of their ability.
      3.They even wel come any Eritrean from Egypt to come to Ethiopia,to Avoid deportation To the monster you love.etc…So is that really bad?
      Fanus admit it,you are brain washed like brother Mr Dawit Mekkonen.
      Do you know,all the fighting we are doing now is not our fight?
      Do you know if Eritrea and Ethiopia settle their differences and work together,how mighty they will be?
      we 2 as a country and 1 as people.So we might as well be sensible.Gruges ,no need.
      Any way i am not lecturing you,pardon me just saying what i think.
      Thankyou a

  • Horizon

    When is it going to end, blaming Ethiopia, for everything that goes wrong in Eritrea and for all the failures of Eritrean elites? We are not completely sure that the elephant Ethiopia has a policy for regime change in Eritrea and it is intervening in Eritrea’s opposition politics. The last time Ethiopia went to war was because war was brought to her doorsteps by shabia, and if the opposition thinks that Ethiopia is meddling with its internal affairs, it could easily refuse any Ethiopian help.
    It is true that when we are speaking of Ethiopia and Eritrea we are talking of two extremely poor African countries. Nevertheless, we should not forget that Eritreans are also suffering from an extreme form of superior self-image that has become an obstacle that has kept their country moored in a situation that has become profoundly toxic for its citizens. What has the Eritrean elites (the opposition, forget about the regime), have done or said in public about peaceful coexistence and collaboration between the two countries? Nothing. At the best, it had been a half-hearted statement and approach.
    It is unfair to say that Ethiopia has not kept the Eritrean people in mind. The problem is that Eritrean elites are not sure of what they could demand and have. Eritrean refugees are protected and given more rights in the country of the enemy than anywhere else, Ethiopia has been falsely accused as wanting Eritrea the land and not the people, and during the period of Ethio-Eritrean coexistence, Eritreans had enjoyed high political, economic and social status, which unfortunately they threw at Ethiopia’s face. Eritrean elite failed to care for the true heartbeat of the ordinary Eritrean who is living today under the yoke of the worst form dictatorship, humiliation, abuse and extreme economic difficulties.
    We have not yet seen even the first rudimentary step for regime change in Asmara by the opposition and the writer is lamenting of Ethiopian interference. This is the sign of a relation of mistrust. How much the opposition expects to achieve this way time will show. It makes me remember of Ethiopian opposition fighting over the sharing of the imagined power cake, who takes what and how much. Much more, why should Ethiopia be burdened with the failures and inefficiencies of the opposition? Ethiopia is not going to fight for them and bring regime change in Asmara. Dammit! It is their country, they should do the fighting themselves, if they really want to get rid of DIA. It seems that they the opposition have picked an easy fight, that of fighting among their different functions. Ethiopia has its own priorities, which she should never sacrifice to save those who do not have yet a clear-cut opinion as to their future relations with Ethiopia. Ethiopia is not going to do anything on Eritrea’s terms, and everybody should better know it.
    In addition, Ethiopian incursion could be a double-edged knife, doing more damage than good. At this stage Ethiopia cannot be both the nemesis and the panacea, the problem and the solution.
    What are the important points in any Ethio-Eritrean discussion, either with the opposition or the regime in Asmara? Let us be bold enough to say a spade a spade. They are badme, a guaranteed sea outlet for Ethiopia and a friendly government in Asmara in the future. These are going to crop up in any discussion between the two countries as long as Ethiopia is asked for help, otherwise the opposition should do it alone. That is politics. All the rest are secondary. If you do not solve these, there will never be harmony between the two countries. Dammit! Every country works for its national interest.
    The important question is, where are the limits of each country’s national interest that would bring peace, good neighborliness and collaboration, and does not lead to a cold or hot war. In addition, how could you be sure that this or the other opposition group would not sell Eritrea’s national interest to the Ethiopians? Any group that has anything to do with the Ethiopians is to be suspected of treason. Wow.
    One can say that Ethiopia has more or less a crystallized opinion on how to handle the Eritrean issue; that is to leave it to Eritreans to decide themselves on the nature of their relation with Ethiopia. For Ethiopia, it is negotiation from a higher ground, from a stronger position, and therefore, no real hurry. She can respond in kind, depending on what Eritrea does. Nevertheless, if there is good will there is always a way forward and a level ground for all.
    I do not think that one man DIA is the problem of Ethiopia. The problem is the generation of DIA and the PDFJ and the young generation of Eritreans that have been nurtured to hate Ethiopia. Therefore, if DIA goes, it does not mean that our women both in Asmara and Addis would deafen us with a prolonged ululation of happiness because a new era of peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation has come upon habeshas to lift them out of their misery. We are very far from it, thanks to the die-hard generation of haters. There is no trust on both sides.
    More than twenty years later, we have yet to see an Eritrean Liberation Army. We hear of OLF, ONLF, EPPF etc (armed groups that have tried to show their presence) but not an Eritrean armed group, at least recently. The opposition is in disarray, not effective on the political field let alone on the military. Therefore, who is going to do the fighting, as long as freedom is not coming through peaceful struggle? The Ethiopian armed forces? Do not even dream of it. An Eritrean problem should be solved by Eritreans themselves. Fortunately, using Ethiopia’s strong arm or simply using Ethiopia to launch a military campaign is an anathema for the majority of Eritreans, Ethiopia would be spared of all the troubles of sacrificing her young, bleeding her meager economy and the repercussion of world reaction. Sudan would not like to repeat the grave mistake of harboring an armed group against a neighbor. Last time it resulted in losing SS, this time it could be Darfur or her Eastern state. Launching an attack from the Red Sea is out of the question. Could it be that DIA knows that his Achilles’ heel is the border with Ethiopia and he would defend it with all his power as much as possible?
    Finally, there remains homegrown resistance and armed resurrection as the only solution to depose the dictator. Unfortunately, it does not seem that Eritrean armed forces are at that stage. Look at forto 2013 which was not well prepared, and drew no support from the armed forces. No unite came out to support them, especially from the border area where they could easily cross over if they find it difficult and form the nucleus for a resistance army. The silence of the armed forces of Eritrea was deafening. HS was deposed by units that revolted and many units simply denied support to the emperor. It is the armed forces that could bring a change in Eritrea. Unfortunately, no such thing seems likely to happen in the near future in Eritrea. I wish the opposite is rather true.
    Therefore, one can say that the elephant in the room is rather the plight of the Eritrean people within and outside Eritrea, to which many Eritreans have become deaf, blind and insensitive, by dwelling much more on the supposed enemy south of the border, on demarcation and a cautious condemnation of DIA that does not go far enough, because to the majority of Eritreans he (IA) is Eritrea and Eritrea is IA, and the culture of sacrifice has made the plight of the ordinary Eritreans insignificant in the eyes of many elites. Otherwise, there should have been less ifs and buts and conditions that are sometimes impractical for cooperation. One would have worked even with the devil to save the people. The opposition could have said today and not tomorrow that if it comes to power it would demobilize most of the armed forces, demand the removal of both forces from the border area, send back Eritrean soldiers to their families, stir the Eritrean economy by cooperating with all its neighbors and negotiate demarcation when the spirits of contention have lost their power. Unfortunately, it seems that the opposition is as secretive and stubborn as PDFJ, and it is not helping a lot. Are we going to see an other lost decade or two as the result of the stubbornness, mistrust and shortsightedness of Eritrean elites? What would the impact be on the ordinary Eritrean and the whole region? Have Eritrean elites thought about it at all?

    • Asmerome

      You said it all thank you I hope those who are demanding a lot from Ethiopia will get it

    • bukretsion

      you gave them a free lecture for those who want to see bright eritrea.

    • Daniel#2

      Well said,
      Here blaming neighbors for own problems / master race philosophy /doesn’t take us anywhere rather make us stagnant as Tigrigna saying goes “a whip bits himself and cries /chiguraf ya bailu harimu bailu yibeki/.

    • Danny


      I am an Eritrean but you just spoke for me. Thank you.

  • Tomas Solomon

    I read the articles by Miriam and Daniel with great interest. We can summarize the two articles as follows:

    Daniels started off by telling us there is an axe on our head and yet we are complaining about stomach ache; the axe being Ethiopia and the stomach ache is supposed to be the problem we are having in Eritrea (PFDJ). Miriam and Daniel tried hard to convince us self-reliance is the way to go; Miriam calls it “self belief” which she thinks is absent in the opposition while Daniel claims the opposition has misplaced pride. Miriam seems to have forgotten she is outside Eritrea or she must not have the “self belief” she wants us to have when stating change should only come from inside. If she was confident in herself I would have hoped to see her saying “I CAN bring the change … and here is how I would do it …”.

    Miriam seems to have made a stunning discovery of several opposition forces that are currently operating inside Eritrea but she failed to tell us who those groups are and why we should assume they are democratic force. I hope she is not going to come back to tell us some of the groups that supported Bologna 2013 but wanted their names to remain private are actually from inside Eritrea 🙂 Daniel went further claiming the opposition has not moved the masses because of its association with Ethiopia and yet he failed to explain why his organization and other organizations that are stubbornly against Ethiopian help are doing the worst when it comes to moving the masses. Daniel also tells us the opposition is failing the masses because of its sub-national interests and at the same time he wants us to believe the opposition has cross border interests. Isn’t that like telling someone you don’t love your brothers but you love your neighbors kind of thing? But anyway, Daniel is not done yet. Like many conspiracy theorists, he claims Ethiopia does not want Isaias to go and he has no evidence of such a speculative claim.

    But there is one good news in the two articles. After a whole year of shenkolel claiming “change should only come through peaceful means” Miriam and Daniel seem to have abandoned that idea. There was no mention of that idea in the articles. Instead they just kept fantasizing about unknown groups inside the country and Forto. This time their idea can be summed up as – there should be some change by whoever, whenever and for whatever reasons as long as long as it is done from inside Eritrea and our role should be to assume there are change forces inside the country and just support them even if they don’t exist 🙂

    There are disturbing similarities between the two articles and pro-PFDJ view of the opposition as well. All of them claim

    -Ethiopia is the problem
    -Self Reliance is the way to go
    -The opposition is of sub-national interests
    -Change should only come from within
    -Ethiopia withdraw from our land first

    If this is an alternative idea then I am sorry to say this but, why you reinvent the wheel or package it differently?

    Miriam and Daniel could have been clear about their stand on complete change and reform but they did not. Unless we place a clear distinction between the things that constitute complete change and reform, I think the opposition will have a long battle ahead simply because those pro-reform elements will see the opposition as a thread to their existence.

    Finally, the two articles sounded to me like someone shoots you on the head and then asks to pay for the bullet 🙂 After a laundry list of accusations of the opposition, Miriam and Daniel concluded they have an alternative idea and the opposition should support Bologna 2013 – kind of we don’t want you but we want your money … wey gud, abza Alem si kulu Aynet seb eyu zelo eba.

  • Danny,

    The big Elephant is not Ethiopia on the discourse of our politics. The big Elephant is the “mutual Mistrust” of our social groups. Please understand our social groups before you try to prescribe any solutions. Besides there is no need brooding “Self-reliance” the much hated policy of the regime. We can’t live like nonhuman primate who don not understand about “relationships” and the benefit that comes out of it.

    Danny, we are completely paralyzed by “fear factor” and “self-reliance”. Any demand of adjustment on this two issues becomes traumatic and is consuming our energy. You see Danny, changing the politico-psychology of our mind is hard and we will suffer as long as we are not willing to make “adjustment of consciousness.” A Conscious individual always make the necessary study being on the “area or field of study” to learn first hand and make a conscious judgement. Our politics are based on perceptions not on realities. Perceptual argument is the enemy of our politics.

    Ethiopia had never dictated our politics, but perceptions and mistrust within our social groups did dictate and held us from moving forward. It is not an insult but let me tell you the fact you don’t know our “diversity.” As a young hopeful individual and if you want to do something good to the Eritrean politics, the first thing you have to do to know practical the diversity of your society.

    • Correction: Read as “please understand our social group…..”

  • yegermal

    Sorry Daniel,

    You can’t fool us again!

    I have personally seen your group at work during the EYSC 2012 conference in DC where your collective utter incompetence was in display, especially the last day when the audience took total control of your documents discussion and the election process. I cringed for you guys and am still irked that you squandered the unprecedented and unconditional opportunity that was given to you by well-wishers like myself. You turned out to be no different than the traditional opposition, but only worse. In the aftermath of the conference you didn’t even have the courtesy to inform the public about what was ailing your organization. And now you emerge as a “”revamped organization and the sole guardian of Eritrean interests? Please! Some of you have already let your dictatorial tendencies slip by ignoring your base’s calls for transparency, refusing to disclose your funding source for your radio/TV, and holding on to your seats in spite of the fact you were voted out by the majority of your committee. In any case why should we trust individuals that woke up to DIA’s brutality only recently (6months prior to EYSC conference for some of you).? And what did you do once you joined the opposition? You reversed to your comfort zone and are already using DIA’s talking points. Thanks, but no thanks! By now we have learned to recognize the real boogieman !

    • Alex

      Thank you, you read my mind

  • ttt

    Eritreans have only one target to view in a magnifying glass. The object is one and has only one dimension regardless of the glass’s magnification and resolution. But the Eritreans keep on to watch the object with different magnification and resolution hoping to see something different. The word insane would describe this action, I believe.

  • haile

    Awatistas, this one is an odd one out. Nothing to do with the debate on this section. I just saw a unique reporting style [candid] of a guy who wrote about his experience in the festival Holland, and thought of sharing it in case you have’t read it. Excerpts read as:

    “..ኮነ ድማ፡ ዑስማን ሳልሕ ፍልይ ዝበለ ኩዳ ከኹድድ ስለ ዝጀመረ፡ ኣብ ዓይኒ ሰብ ክኣቱ ግዜ ኣይወሰደሉን። ክልተ ኢዱ ንታሕቲ ትኽ ኣቢሉ ቢምዝርጋሕ፡ ሕቑኡ ንቕድሚት ኣጎብጥ ኣቢሉ፡ መቐመጪኡ ንድሕሪት ፍሊይ ኣቢሉ ብምውጻእ፡ ናይ ስሉስ ኩርናዕ ቅርጺ ቢምሓዝ፡ እግሩ ጎሰስ እናበለ ክስዕስዕ ተራእየ። ገለ ሰባት ኣፎም ብኢዶም ሸፊኖም ክስሕቁ ስለ ዝጀመሩ…”


    • Aman


      I read the entire report by this genuine writer and was laughing my ass off. I indeed enjoyed his writting and my hats off to him

    • L.T

      Haile haile ha-ile…I also read it and it invites close inspection.But the prime his target was Yemane Gebraeb and his Tigringa words are truly unique(Sigr Mereb)(Kuda,Mekemecheuu,Slus Quernae)and it attracts oppostions.
      The second newest Kuda are attractive and better then the oldest and I felt perfectly walking over it but to me,the most impressive Kuda in all their gayla of Weyane is their recently completed Kuda designer ..their plan to walk,prepared to Gayla,Their Origin of Gayla,reaction at Gayla and confidence in Gayla.They broke “Hasotat”world records.I like their development art of “Hasot”

  • Zola

    Selam Daniel,

    As an Ethiopian, I read the piece with curiosity.

    I would say you are quite demanding.
    A grand point that you seem to forget or willingly ignore is a fact that the Ethiopian government is responsible to the Ethiopian people and needs to deal accordingly. Eritrea or Eritreans, as such, would come latter, just as a mere neighbors. With this in mind, please note that any action the Ethiopian government takes, be it in relation to Eritrean opposition or settling the border dispute, will focus on the national interest of Ethiopia. In other words, it is only clear that interests of Eritrea/ns would be protected as far it it strengthens that of Ethiopia.

    As to the accusation that the Ethiopian government encourages sub-national groupings, let me remind you that it’s quite common in Ethiopia and is difficult to expect the government to act any differently on Eritreans.


    • Tom

      In my understanding I feel like you are missing what he is talking about. “Eritrean solution to Eritrean problems” is the main objective behind this article, for its crystal clear the Ethiopian gov. will primary work for its national interest which we all agree. On the other hand we have some Eritreans who think there could be a solution out from Ethiopian gov. which they miss the national interest of Ethiopia doesn’t allow us to get what we are looking for and I believe the writer (Daniel) is trying to address this issue.

      • Mesgena

        But as to me, the writer is not really advocating for Ethiopia to refrain from Eritrean affairs per se. Instead, he wants to support, but only in such a way that it prioritizes Eritreans’ interests, which to me is illogical.

  • asmara

    Wey Gud,

    I had to use a magnifying glass and a little help from “ctrl F” function to find anything about the border issue. And there it is, right at the bottom!

    Reading only the title, I thought “Anta Lomis Lebimom Gidi”, but alas,
    There is something inherently wrong here. Simply hopeless!

  • welde

    Dear haile,

    you keep parroting the the strong man in Asmara, have you ever thought of the people of Tsorona, they have fought and sacrificed for the realisation of Free Eritrea and also furthermore they have voted for the independent of Eritrea. On the contrary, the people of Badme have done neither. Now, are you willing to ignore this people. You see, Isayas have reason why he connect every problem with the border issue- survival. what is your reason?

    • haile

      Selam Welde,

      Sorry, I don’t do “parroting”. The issue one of a stand. It is about making your stand clear regardless of what it is. The “people” have hard time buying into something that is not clear. The following may be one of the few clear stands you can take:

      1 – the border is finalized, we accept and honor the outcome hence we call for its finalization.

      2 – the EEBC has undermined the fundamental interests of some of our “people”, we don’t honor it. We wish to rework it.

      3 – We can not force Ethiopia, let’s accept its position on Badme and the whole host of other demands and move on.

      4 – we have a better alternative resolution ______________ please support us on it.

      It doesn’t really matter the grounds you wish to hold on to and make it your basic argument. The problem starts when you have no position and all other parties have a position. People sense weakness and politely decline your approach because they don’t trust you mean business.

      My ground is #1 and yours is #2 and nothing wrong with that. However, you have a job to do to convince public opinion on that as your position represents a departure from the status quo.

      If I am going to propose your solution, then I need to make it palatable to the “people” the prospect that I have the capacity to disengage the delimitation from the UN, renegotiate, fund a new set of cartographic work, make the final outcome to be honored by both parties, receive international backing and commitment to its implementation…

      If people fail to believe that I can take them through all that and deliver at the end of the day, then many Eritreans may not disagree with the notion of recovering territories lost by the current set up. If they doubt my ability to deliver on such risky and daunting task, they may say “well we’ll cut our loss, let’s just settle up with what we got at hand”.

      You can’t possibly say they’re all parrots! If you believe my position is IA’s position, we might have entirely world’s apart reasons for seeing in a similar ways. And I hope you also consider the possibility that may be the “strong man” is parroting me 🙂


      • haile

        correct: please add “…Eritreans may not disagree with the notion of recovering territories lost by the current set up but may also not accept my proposal.”

  • abe the MINEWALE

    for get the elephant just get closer to a ca_el.

  • haile

    Selamat Daniel

    What is the objective here? To improve the current pro Ethiopia opposition camp’s relationship with Ethiopia or to make the opposition relevant to Eritreans?

    If the aim is the former, you’ve done well to draw the focus on the zehon in the room. However, if your aim is the latter, then you need to draw the focus on the harmaz in the room. By harmaz, one Eritreans will be able to understand, I mean that you need to prominently and boldly write on #1 the need for Ethiopia to withdraw from areas that it holds in the border and allow for the final emplacement of pillars on the ground to finalize the stand off for good.

    The issue doesn’t deserve to be just mentioned in passing at the bottom of your discussion on how to warm up relations and a gentle reminder in the form “by the way don’t forget…” type of thing. The issue is not regime monopoly, defined borders, people and shared identity /history are the corner stone of a national existence. If an opposition lacks the guts to have that under the belt, well it is a tough call to say the least.


    • Daniel#2

      Daniel & Haile,
      “The elephant in the room” metaphorical idiom better works in the other way round than you intended for. you actually aware of the dictator HGDF and his cliques activities from the start but you deliberately ignored dealing with this looming big issue. So we half to finish our homework before jumping to border issues and relations with neighbors for these are secondary task.