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Human rights lawyer vs. trained healer

Ethiopia: Time to Remove Isaias’ Skirt Cover

While the world mourns with moral outrage about the tragic death Eritreans and other African refugees in two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea last week, the Eritreans government is busy blocking out its media or deflecting its propaganda by stating:

“This is by far the greatest opportunity the enemies of Eritrea have had to destroy the name Eritrea deliberately in malice… To be Eritrean is the greatest gift our heroes gave us paying with dear life. Eritrea is the most coveted nationality in Africa today precisely because of our strength. There were many nationalities in the boat. Yet, the only nation talked about is Eritrea. CNN did not mention any other country. Let us not forget that and maintain their legacy by stopping these tragedies. Let us look deep-inside and stand together to avert this tragedies”

(http://eastafro.com/Post/2013/10/06/lampedusa-the-tragedy-amanuel-biedemariam/). Eastafro is the mouthpiece of Eritrea’s Ministry of Information. With such cold hearted and politically calculated comments the majority of Eritreans cowed of the unfolding tragedy.

Eritreans in the Diaspora are unsure whether to deny it and side with government twisted rationale or to cry at the top of their voice with the traditional dirge “Melqes-woye woye.” Hearing the heart wrenching grief and cry by those at the scene and seeing rows and rows of caskets (majority Eritreans) and to worry about “the name of Eritrea” is adding insult to an injury. According such twisted logic, implicitly, among others, Ethiopia is the source of this tragedy causing the good name of Eritrea to be tarnished. It is about time to expose the hypocrisy of Isaias regime by calling for immediate implementation of the border ruling.

We all are waiting for the reality to hit, learning the particular identity of those perished and break the bad news to the next of kin. Such inevitability always come to Eritreans in a delayed motion, consuming the family members in untold grieving of the uncertainty though deep in their soul the end outcome is always tragic. We are also watching carefully the reaction of the Eritrean government, when family members learn the bad news; will it allow them to mourn the death of their loved ones? If past experience is an indication, the government will blame the families but will never acknowledge that these youth were the children of Eritrea.

Eritrea’s bad luck continues to pile up while the world notices intermittently when such incidents happen here and there. Eritrea remains a giant prison, where the young see no light at the end of the tunnel while the old die of neglect and broken heart mourning the untimely death of their children one after the other or of simple loneliness.

The bad turns of events seemed to be sudden and unexpected for those who were wallowing in “independence euphoria” never questioning the value and price of liberty. The first five years of normalcy and apparent progress with positive foreign media coverage and fledgling local Medias gave a veneer of new era dawning for the small nascent nation. In spite of clear signals that some kind of sorcery was being concocted behind the scene, we shrugged and let our moral antennas down in complacency.

The conflict ignited against Ethiopia with the pretense of border issues further blinded our vision dulling our common sense and moral integrity. Most of us erred in favor of Eritrea as a victim of the border conflict with some nationalistic fervor demonizing Ethiopia. Again we lost our objectivity for obvious reason, afraid of losing hard earned independence bartering it with our liberty and freedom of expression.

Igniting a border conflict, Isaias Afeworki might have calculated to undermine the Tigray dominated Ethiopian ruling party. However, the border aggression had the opposite effect; Isaias was able to unite Ethiopians which Meles had struggled to do since the fall of Dergue. Standing up to Isaiass bullying tactics gave Meles an opportunity for self-redemption against his critics that he is a true Ethiopian. Reversing Eritrean aggression further emboldened Meles status deflating Isaias’ ego blaming his own ministers and confidants as defeatists. It looks that Isaias never recovered from that humiliating military defeat though tried to skirt it by moral victory when The Hague awarded Badme (allegedly the flash point of the border conflict) to Eritrea.

In his paranoid state, Isaias kept Eritrea – its people and economy hostage; using an immanent Ethiopian aggression as scare tactic. He refused to implement a constitution ratified in 1997 with same of excuse that the country is in a state of emergency. To justify that he continued amassing up to half- a-million standing army out of a population of less than 5 million. Under the shadow of the tragedy of 9/11in USA, Isaias clamped on the budding private media and his ministers for allegedly challenging his authority. Since then Eritrea has become a prison nation literally and figuratively. For example, there is only one military camp, where all 12 graders attend to finish high school. With no viable higher education institution only tiny minority are accepted to attend the newly started substandard and unaccredited colleges and the rest are kept as captives to serve in the unending national military service under slavery condition. With no exist strategy from such trappings, Eritrean youth have chosen to run out of the country regardless of the danger that might await them like the tragedy we witnessed recently at the coast of Sicily (Italy). Read also http://awate.com/eritrea-hazardous-to-eritreans/.

Isaias has used the unresolved border conflict with Ethiopia as a cover to continue making Eritrea as hell on earth; emptying its human and resource capital. Isaias should be denied any excuse or pretension and Ethiopia has the capacity to remove his skirt cover and show his true color. Eritreans and Ethiopians have lived as a family long before their adopted Greek names. The issues of Badda and Badme are immaterial to the people who lived across either side of the artificial borders. The current impasse of implementing the World Court decision being purely political, I hope Ethiopia would make a cost benefit analysis calculation and remove the cover-skirt of Isaias. The cost benefit analysis Ethiopia should analyze is looking beyond the era of  Isaias’ regime in order to avert Somalia-like scenario to the north. Badme has served Ethiopia as a rallying point reversing Isaias aggression. However, implementing the border ruling would be much more beneficial for normalizing the relationship between family members on both sides of the border than symbolic victory or loss of Badme. Isaias should be left with no excuse to prolong the suffering of Eritreans and endangering the security of Ethiopia and the Horn Region.

About Fessahaye Mebrahtu

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  • noah

    Team AWATE could please give explanation to why ,are you not posting my comments?

  • luna

    Dear readers:
    Why do we all the time go back to the Badme conflict even when there is no clear relevance to the topic being discussed. I think that can be taken for a weakness. For a detailed fact on who started the Badme conflict listen to the interview done by Amanuel Iyassu on Assenna with Micheal Ambaye (Aranchi) who was on the ground during the 1998 Ethio-Eritrea border conflict in the vicinity of Badme.

  • merdsa geda

    I am an Ethiopian ,also an Eritrian I don’t like wayne so does shbaye you maghit wonder why this guy think he could be both cuntry national ,becuse my Grand mother was fro Hamasion eritria and and also adwa tigray,not only that my gerat grand father was from harer gejga somalia,who went with Gerat Minilik and setelled thire.ET%hiopia and Eritria have more in common tahn others in sronding area.;.But Issias is more of african ,eritrian ,ethiopian than Wayne gojele.I knew one day Issies will be The great uniter of Este Africa than narow mindeded melse and shbate Nega.

  • gebre

    Fissehaye Mebrahitu is sleeping in the thinking of the 1950s. This is typical thinking of the Eritrean leadership and old scholars. The lack of dynamic thinking in the so called scholars and leadership leads the beautiful country Eritrea and its hard working people into deadlock. Leave Ethiopia. Ethiopia is doing its homework. Learn to do the same. Forget the small plot of land, even the fertile minds of your people is ended up in the seas and desert.

    Think twice before your write.


    • author

      Dear Gebre,

      It looks many of the readers misunderstood my article. First, I never meant for Ethiopia to resolve Eritrea’s problem but to make sure that Isaias runs out of any excuse of keeping the country hostage; second, failed state of Eritrea will be security hazard to the region, which will be even worse than the current situation. I am not sure what makes me “sleeping in the thinking of 1950s.” It is up to you to offer me critical assessment of the content of my article but to say “think twice before you write” is a veiled attempt to curb my freedom of expression. Thanks.

      • Hammer

        I have understood the article as if it is begging the Ethiopians to give up the Badme issue so that Eritrea will be at peace and do not stabilize the region. I say that is not in the interest of the Ethiopians. Ethiopia has moved on protecting its own peace. It should be up to Eritreans to remove this crazy guy( nowadays I think Esayas is purposely trying to destroy Eritrea) for their own existence. The current status quo hurts and is hurting Eritreans than any country in East Africa. If he was smart and Eritrea-loving president,he should have negotiated with Ethiopia even up to not giving up Badme but also free access of ports. Well at this point, I even doubt the Ethiopians have any appetite using any of those ports even for free. one,due to the untrustworthiness of the Eritrean regime. Two,Ethiopian business communities had bad experience of being looted by the Eritrean government. Third,the ports were so idle for so many years that they need serious renovations. Fiveth,there is serious competition now in port services than 10 and 15 years ago. The Ethio-Eritrean conflict awakened Djibouti so much,they will do anything to keep their prime position in port services. In conclusion, it is only in the interest of Eritreans to fix their country. It is a 80 percent failed state now with no major impact on Ethiopia at this point.


    [Moderator: “Rahel”, no insults and no upper cap shouting comments are allowed.]

    WHAT HAS IT TO do with THE rights of ERITREANS AND THE BORDER WITH ethiopia .this mad man HAS BRAIN WASHED you so much, and your writting is useless and out of touch what ERITREANS specially the YOUTH are facing ,regardless WHETHER , there is war or border demarcation the rights and dignity of any human beings have to be respected.YOU and your MAD LEADER will very soon face justice ,like HITLER ,MUSSOLINE AND IDY AMIN

  • Tesfa

    To be Eritrean is the most coveted thing in the world? What are you smoking man? When will you come to reality. Why then are you outside the coveted country? Yes, people have died to see a better day. That did not happen. Even if, the current brutal regime in Asmara is gone their replacement will be worst of the past. Did not Somalia wanted change by overthrowing Mr. Barrie? Look what they have now. Nothing, Zero!
    The tragic story of Africans will continue. There are many players that see us fail. For sure, we are not helping ourselves at all.

  • ShewiT

    Whenever I read the usual bravado of HGDF affiliates, it prompts me say “Ethiopia should completely close” the border and design new policies to insure continued development to the affected northern region – particularly Afar and Tegray. Once the railroad connecting Northern Ethiopia to Tujura, Djibouti is completed, I believe the economic relevance of Eritrea will come to a permanent end. Once the rail service starts rendering service, goods and services – including exports and imports can be handled better and fast. The late PM was incredibly wise enough to start this enormously important project and I look into its completion.
    As to the contents in the comments of the supporters of the Eritrean tyrant, it is part of the same old habits – emanated from the Gedli Made mindset. In substance, it has NO describable, progressive or defendable substance to debunk, except affirming the solution I put above. HGDF supporters have their own version of “truth” and “reason” for justifying servitude and the shared miseries of their fellow citizens, and their cause is Ethiopia. Although tacitly expressed, their comfort, security, identity and collective existence is predicated at Ethiopia’s cost. Their narration of anything Eritrean is centered on Dark Age like mentality stemmed out of the archaic accounts.
    Although it pains me deep the agony innocent Eritreans pass through, politically speaking, why should Ethiopia waste its meager resource to remove the thug? The longer the people suffer, the better they will understand the alternatives.
    Hence, unless otherwise there is marked danger that warrants war, Ethiopia should continue the NO war NO peace stalemate. In the meantime, the Ethiopian government should give more emphasis to its northern territory so that to assure the inhabitants unhampered development and security. Once the developmentally conducive mega projects specially the rail roads that connect northern Ethiopia to Djibouti become functional, talking about Eritrea will be permanently irrelevant.

    • Fithawi

      THERE WE GO,
      Its well said and I couldn’t agree more.Kibret yihabeley,

    • melk


      [Moderator: please type in small caps, all upper cap comments are not allowed. Sorry for deleting your message.]

    • Hagerawi

      Good opinion ShewiT, but Mekele at any cost will be nearer to massawa than Djubuti, don’t U think so ??? especially the Agame region, Adwa, Shire region, forget Gonder, Gojjam region… It takes only half a day to reach Adigrat from Massawa if the roads are well repaired… Let us all hope to friendship rather than to kill each other… Of course you Shewit will and most probebably never seen or participated war… thanks sis

    • melk

      Dear Shewit

      Thanx for the genuine explanation about the economic growth of Ethiopia,as you try to explain the development of Ethiopia is very fast and the world is watching in amazement let me give you one example coffee is major export of this nation but theses days the coffee price is soaring but the growth of this nation is doubling year to year, suppose if Eritrea is economic partner of Ethiopia no doubt about this growth will tripled,unfortunately this could not happen this time,the rail road expansion is the major projects which everybody like shewit needed to see the completion with out any problems,but we Ethiopian from the art sector likes to make a statue for Isayas Afeworki in Addis Ababa for his great contribution for his fight for the unity of for the rest of Ethiopia ,no nation or nationality even OLF(onege) want to separate from Ethiopia because what has happens in Eritrea has given a good lesson for every of us so very soon we hope will make a good statue of Isayas in addis for his contribution,

  • Badme is irrelevant

    The Eritrean government and the nationalist opposition, especially those focus on sovereignty and territorial integrity of Eritrea land, have been claiming Badme is the root case of the PFDJ’s policies. I absolutely disagree on such a claim. The root cause is the totalitarian political culture that the EPLF/PFDJ have been advancing AND WE THE PEOPLE rallied behind each and very insane move by the government. We supported the government when it involved in Somalia in 1992, when it sent Eritrean soldiers to Sudan in 1994/95, to Yemen, to Djibouti to Democratic Republic of Congo long before the eruption of the Badme conflict. How do you explain its involvement in Sri Lanka???? We should stop blaming Woyane, CIA, UN, Human rights organizations, UNHCR. We need to take responsibility of our past actions COLLECTIVELY AS ERITREANS and work for the durable solution. Though Isaias and his high-ranking officials are primary responsible for their role, how about those of us who are still dancing while Eritrean woman is giving birth while drowning in the Italian waters.

    • Hagerawi

      To err is human Mr Badme but to continue erring is a crime.. that is what is happening to erireans, we believed at first, we leared and we went against the dictator… but some are still following him, so let them be… afterall even after the fall of Hitler, there were and still are many Germen citizens who miss him a lot, the same with eritrea

    • Badme is not irrelevant; it is Eritrean territory confirmed by international court of justice. Its current states is a reflection of woyane’s fundamental nature, a villain.

    • Noah

      [Moderator: shouting is not allowed here. All upper cap comments are deleted]

  • Kokhob Selam

    That was interesting and thank you Mr.Fessahye as usual.

    Pfdj is not for truth and has no problem to play another round instead of accepting that his era is finished. The way pfdj sees politics is different. For PFDJ politics is a game to prolong his life and nothing else. I know pfdj is using the border issue as Centrifugal force to stay from From falling down but it is not difficult to use it again if Ethiopia retreat from Badme
    I prefer to use all current events to expose the group and let supporters know that they are going against truth. I prefer to use every single in exposing the group to the world. I prefer to work more within internal developments than to give more space for chances to come which may not. For me boarder issue now is minor issue as the nation itself is in danger.

  • Serray

    Selamat hayat and tazabi,


    On the eritrean side, there are two scenarios if the border conflict ends: either the dictator will claim victory and goes on consolidating his power post no-war-no-peace era or, the people, specially the youth, will be empowered to ask an end to the perpetual servitude disguised as national service – if they succeed or not depends on how the power consolidation is proceeding.

    In the idle sense of the word, fishaye’s approach sounds reasonable. But in reality, if there are people who STILL support the regime, STILL support the slavery of our youth because they think we are under threat, then those people are the last to revolt, the last to bring change. With or without demarcation the regime is exposed.

    An intilligent end to the conflict before all this damage is done would have helped the eritrean people. But the woyanes were never interested in helping the eritrean people; they want to punish the eritrean people for supporting the war without question. Pity, the woyanes didn’t even spare those run to them to flee the misery created on their behalf. They housed our young in remote and barren camp far from view while denying them any opportunity for education or betterment. When the refugees complained that their officials are denying them even the benefits due to them and that they are switching the resettlement program to benefit their own, what do they do to them, exactly what shaebia would have done to them: killing them and disappearing them.

    This too will pass…but not because when woyanes come to their senses, but as you made clear, when we do.


    Let’s be honest, on the your side, it has never been about security. Before the conflict ended in 2000, the woyanes knew they have the upper hand and that isaias will never attempt to play with fire again. The security reason you gave was bogus from the get go.

    The woyanes decided to hold on to badme (and demand for negotiation) to punish eritrea. Some of us believe that, given its impact on the eritrean people, the woyanes all along knew that the stalemate strengthened the hand of the dictator in the eyes of some portion of the population: the naive and the opportunists. If they had allowed demarcation immediately after the EEBC decision, the conversation would have headed to its logical direction: how exactly did it start? What made it difficult for those of us who have been arguing the regime started the war from the beginning, is the woyanes dense response and rejection to the logic that the stalemate is working in favor of the regime.

    For some weird reason, your rulers have been a curse to our people. If they are not fixated with our land, they are fixated with our rulers and they are completely oblivious to the bloodshed or, to the misery that results from their fixation.

    Finally, I don’t hold you rulers responsible for what isaias is doing to our people, but we are all watching what they are doing to our young who went to your country seeking refuge and better life but are held in concentration like camps for years and years.

    • Sarcasm

      The level of entitlement in your comment is astounding. A very Eritrean trait in fact. After accepting your refugees and giving the brightest of them free education in AAU and other universities, despite the persistent Eritrean security and our very meager resources, you accuse Ethiopia of mishandling your refugees. Do you realize that we are a poor nation with our own people to worry about? Our own youth to send to universities? Show some gratitude for heavens sake.

      • Serray


        Level of entitlement on my part is astounding? This from a guy who thinks his country is entitled to a free access to our ports because a dictator invaded his country. Do you have any idea what your rulers did to eritrea during the thirty years of genocide? Or are you one of those dummies who thinks because your rulers did that to you too, we are even?

        People like you are the mirror image of the pfdj. If you find out that the woyanes killed hundreds during the last few days of demonstration, you would have come here and told us to be grateful because they didn’t kill thousands.

        Buy the way, your regime spends nothing housing or feeding these people; part of the demo was some officials are stifling funds allocated to them by international aid agencies. This is very difficult for a someone like you to understands, but take a look at the video below, most were soldiers; given our countries are at war, their defection should be good news to you. Now, about educating them, take another look at the video, how many school aged kids caged in remote barren area for years.


        You are a very good example why this article doesn’t make sense; it is asking dergi incarnated to solve our problem. The reason I hate isaias is, after going to hell and back to get away from you, he brought us right back to asking your rules to be humane again – to show mercy again, when you and the regime you speak of have no trace of it.

        • Sarcasm


          I’m practically laughing here reading your skewed logic. Since basic literacy obviously does not seem to be your forte, I’m going to have to ask to go back to my original comment and read it again. According to you we just have to give up Badme, normalize relations with Eritrea without negotiating on Ethiopia’s basic national interests. Do you know how naive that sounds? If you, much like your malaria infested dictator,are too deluded that you won’t even consider this option, then please don’t act surprised when the next shipload of Eritreans drown in the sea.

          As for the lack of empathy on “my” leaders part, you seem to forget that we are still one of the poorest country in the world. Yet we managed to give from what meager resources we have, to a people that are historically antagonistic towards Ethiopia, come from an actively hostile nation. Yet this generosity is not enough for you, and you accuse us on not providing you with first class accommodation, something by the way which even first world countries like Australia do not do.

          Furthermore, historically, Eritreans have been the most prosperous people from all the nationalities in Ethiopia, akin to the Jewish population in the United States, succeeding in a variety of fields. Yet you take the worst period of brutality in our history, applied almost evenly throughout Ethiopia, by both Haileselassie and Mengistu, and use that as evidence of our “obsession” with your country.

          Either your extremely dim, or you still have that misguided empty pride that your compatriots are well known for. I would advise you to raise your room temperature IQ and look dispassionately at the facts.

          • Serray


            What does “negotiating on Ethiopia’s basic national interests” mean? Free access to our ports or we don’t demarcation?

            I am a strong believer that eritrea’s problems are caused by eritrea’s rulers. Therefore, the solution is to fix the way we are governed not to pimp our ports. Listen, as long as people you like exist, it is better that we plan an independent relation rather than an interdependent one. Look, our victims are not buried yet and you have the audacity to wish us another boatload of victims if we don’t do what is good for you. Classy.

            By the way, we both live in region whose people are constantly and alternatively punished by nature and men; today you are dancing on the graves of our dead, tomorrow the pfdjs will on yours.

          • Sarcasm


            You really would fit in at the Eritrean ministry of information. I don’t think I’ve read a poster more determined to miss the point.

            First I’ll start with the most egregious of your accusations. I did not wish Eritreans more deaths. Despite your low opinion of Ethiopians, we are capable of compassion. I merely said it would be a consequence of more defiance and hostility with Ethiopia. Despite all that pride, a nation of 5 million cannot withstand a prolonged stalemate with a nation of 85 million. This is not a boast. Its elementary arithmetic.

            As for your lame attempt to compare this as just another event in a brutal neighborhood “punished by nature and men”, I think we both know that the level despotism that is at play in Eritrea, and inflicted on Eritreans is far beyond the norm. Ironically, for a person who claims he is opposed to the PFDJ, your statement seems to mesh perfectly with theirs. Eritreans are not fleeing their country because of the oddities of the Horn of Africa. They’re fleeing because of an unreasonably heartless government which insists of depriving Eritrean youth of what little hope that a developing country can have.

            Now I won’t prolong this discussion further and am going to give you the last word(unless you say something particularly outrageous), but I’ll leave you with some food for thought. But as you read, please remember I’m not wishing this on Eritreans, or taking satisfaction in what I say. I’m hoping that maybe if I’m as explicit as I can be on the urgency of your plight, it will galvanize you into action.

            A generation of youth that could have helped develop their country have already been wasted. Many of them will not complete a university degree or fulfill themselves in other areas of life. Much like the hordes of parking attendants and taxi drivers that fled Ethiopia during Mengistu’s regime, their life will be mediocre at best. Even even in the wildly optimistic scenario that Isaias goes within the next five years, Eritrea will still lag far behind neighboring countries in quality of life and development for decades to come. That is not a just crime against the State of Eritrea. It is a crime against humanity.

            Knowing this, your primary focus.should getting rid of the regime. No matter how satisfying it is to hate Ethiopians, it still will not help your compatriots in your homeland. Focus. There’s plenty of time to wish ill on your cousins south of the border, after you’ve gotten rid of Isaias.

        • Serray


          Starting with the last paragraph of yours that my “primary focus” should be getting rid of the regime, it is. Remember, I am not the one trolling here, you are. I am at an eritrean opposition website recounting the tragedy gripping eritreans wherever they are. You, an ethiopian, came here to respond to an article whose author accepted the misguided initial response of eritreans and recommends that, to weaken the dictator further, a decision by an international court of justice be implement. And your response was, and I quote, this time in full….

          “So let me get this straight, you want us to just cast aside the fact that thousands of Ethiopians died for Badme, and give it back to an unstable and deranged dictator, with delusions of grandeur, without any negotiations or agreements on free port access and regional security. Dream on buddy. The best you could hope for is joint administration. Even then, any Ethiopian government who would do that wouldn’t last a day. Not one Ethiopian, not one, including the vocal Ethiopian opposition in the Diaspora would be up for such a self-defeating move. The fact is Eritrea invaded Ethiopia with the belief that we would be too weak to resist and fracture along ethnic lines. The exact opposite proved to be true, we sacrificed thousands of young men to restore our dignity. The sooner you realize that Badme will NEVER come back to Eritrea the better. Saves you a lot of grey hair. Might is right. Live with it”.

          We cleared my primary focus, what is yours? What are you doing lurking on eritrean opposition website telling us “might is right” and “live with it” and crap like that? What is your primary focus of being here? You job?

    • Asmerome

      Dear Serray
      Badem has nothing to do with all the miseries our people are going through it just a side issue. I am surprised of you blaming the woyanes it’s unbelievable woyanes are responsible for the security and interest of their nation first and I don’t think you miss that. You have all kind of accusations with no proof do you have any figure of how many Ethiopians pretended as Eritreans to migrate to a third nation ?? If there is a case of such kind why should woyanes be blamed instead of bringing the problem to UNHR in peaceful way . Letting a certain amount of refugees to continue their higher education is not enough for you remember Ethiopia is a poor nation too;
      Are you expecting woyanes to put the refugee camps in Mekele??have you any idea how the refugees in Sudan are living for so many years compared to refugees in Ethiopia ??why should our refugees be tread in some different way than the refugees of Somalia or Sudan living in Ethiopia ??
      Please let us be thankful for what the woyanes has done so far and discuss on a peaceful manners to the things that have not been done .
      Serray you have no idea of how some of our brother refugees behave in some towns of Tigray so before all accusations let’s get our facts correct

      • Serray


        First, try to read what I wrote carefully. It also helps if you watched the video I linked showing the eritrean refugees making their demands. Second, stop acting like an ethiopian and eritrean at the same time. It is fine with me if you argue as an ethiopian. Third, how does ethiopia’s security be compromised if they keep watch behind line A or line B after demarcation. Nobody is asking for disarmament. If you read the article we are discussing, fessehaye is not asking for lowering the security level, just given back an excuse that worked for isaias very well.

        I am not asking for the camps to be in mekele at all…ethiopia is a transit point for eritreans; nobody goes to ethiopia to settle in barren no man’s land. If at all, I am asking to facilitate their resettlement in third country instead of caging them for years out of sight where they have nothing to do.

        Finally, you said, “Please let us be thankful for what the woyanes has done so far…” I will be when the people on that video are. You, on the other hand, as an eritrean/ethiopian you can be thankful on their behalf. But then again, how do you explain their demand to be treated like human beings on that video…why are they asking that if, like you said, people like you are thankful for them? Because they are ungrateful brats?

        Here is a saying I found long time ago that would equally apply to both isaias and woyanes: “I sit on a man’s back chocking him and making him carry me, and yet I assure myself and others that I want to ease him of his lot by all possible means except by by getting off his back”.

        I feel so sorry for our young..quah tebelu semay, letek tebelu mdri

        • Asmerome

          Dear Serray

          You seem you are so concerned about my identity to be honest I don’t know you and I don’t care about your identity I’m just arguing your thoughts on your posting .to clear your concern I’m Eritrean who proudly did my part with ELF for more than Eight years but b/c I didn’t buy your idea you try to label me as Ethiopian this is how far you can go .I am not sure if you have seen what I saw in the fields of Eritrea so please stop your empty bravado and to tell who I am .People who know me know me

          • Serray

            You seemed more concerned about the powerful ethiopians than the poor, helpless refugees. Here is what you said, “Serray you have no idea of how some of our brother refugees behave in some towns of Tigray so before all accusations let’s get our facts correct”. In other words, they deserve to be punished? But if you insist you are an eritrean, a former tegadalai at that, it is fine with me. There are all sorts of eritreans.

        • Hayat Adem

          I have seen on previous video clips Eritreans grateful for being admitted to universities in Ethiopia with special consideration, i.e., they are admitted with lower grade requirement than the standard set for Ethiopians; and they are admitted with full expenses covered by the gov’t which also is not done for all Ethiopian students). Serray, these are in hundreds from the refugee camps if my memory serves me right. Also, the top person in UNHCR has been officially on it to thank Ethiopians on allowing Eritrean refugees to be free to move in to towns if there is some one to support them or they can support themselves. I can’t remember the exact date, but this was said this year. I’m not saying the Ethiopians can’t do better than that or we should not ask them for more; but fairness dictates we need to be thankful for what they did and are doing as well. I am a person who longs for a better and tighter attachment between Ethiopians and Eritreans; as such, I want Ethiopians and Eritreans to treat each other like people of the same house when help is needed on both ends. While I’m grateful for some of the unilateral good will moves from the Ethiopian side, more is needed. Well, at this time, you can’t expect any acts of reciprocation from the Eritrean government, which is not even good to its own people, but Eritreans have always very long memory to whoever helps them in their time of need.

          • Asmerome

            Dear Serray
            You still don’t get it either you are missing your morning or afternoon coffee
            No body suggested that they have to be punished I don’t know where you got from and nothing can be accomplished by force in a refugee camp I said they have to address their grievances peacefully through the proper channel but your ego is far from reality and seem so much accustomed to a cheap shot of hegdef

          • Hayat,

            Well said. My recount about the good will of the Ethiopian governments is the same as you aptly put it in your reflection. They are thankful for that. I don’t know how the smart Serray with acute mind, perceptive, with good discerning ability could miss this obvious thing.I think we need to know the complete story of the incident….and serray wasn’t from those who goes for a rush judgement dictated by emotion.This is unbecoming from his side. Serray the well read,comprehensive solution seeker, who foresee issues with in the context at hand and beyond shouldn’t delve to such inconvenient argument.


    • Girma

      Dear Serray,

      Ethiopia is giving a scholarship to those eritreans who has the capacity to study in the university, any eritrean who has relatives or somebody who can sponsor him, is allowed to leave the camp and settle in any part of Ethiopia. What else do you think Ethiopia should do ?

  • Isac

    This is the most naive article at best and so dumb at worst I have ever read. Why would any sane person think Ethiopia would give up Badme to expose IA ? Why would Ethiopia even consider removing IA? He is the best thing that Ethiopia ever hoped to be ruling Eritrea right now.

    The Eritrean people are too good, too strong to remove this fool out of power. But Eritrean people have been brainwashed for so long that they are the best, have a nation like Singapore, and better than Ethiopians in every aspect. It has been 30 years of propaganda during liberation and 20+ years after liberation, hard to believe there are still majority who buy into that, that it’s going to take more tragedy, more suffrage and agony to get the Eritrean people that all of the propaganda was a hoax. Eritreans suffered as much as the rest of Ethiopians have. That Ethiopia was never a core problem. That Eritrea can only be a nation of prison without Ethiopia. That Eritrea even post IA, if lucked out and get democratic governance (that is a big if because without Ethiopia help, Eritrea is yet up for another Somalia), Eritrea cannot stand by itself without Ethiopia’s economic integration.

    So, solution is the sooner Eritrean wake up from their dream of IA, the better of you guys are.

    Of course, the impact of economic, social and political integration will benefit Ethiopia immensely probably more that Eritrea would but on the flip side, Ethiopia is OK without it. Meles told us two decade ago and what’s happening is what he said. Eritrea is a parole state without Ethiopia. Last 20 years speaks this very fact!

  • Dibe Kulu

    Dear Fessehaye,

    Although your suggestion to the Ethiopian government to accept & implement the border demarcation is noble, it is not going to happen at this moment. The Ethiopian government does not see any benefit in doing so. Therefore, the opposition must come together and be focussed on what is good for Eritrea and Eritreans and not for their little groupings(parties). Eritreans are the only ones who should bring solutions to their problems.

  • Tazabi

    Ethiopia is comfortable with its policy of no war no peace regarding Eritrea. Eritrea poses marginal security threat to Ethiopia, no one knows what the result is if Ethiopia changed its current policy. For one thing the Eritrean leader is unpredictable. Thus changing the policy for an unknown outcome is not wise.

    Even if the Ethiopians accept the border decision and withdraw from Badime, it seems Isaias will find another reason to keep doing what is doing in Eritrea and Ethiopia. He is a typical bully who only understands force not reason

  • melk

    Dear all

    Their is no skirt that Ethiopian can tear from Isaias it is the responsibility of Eritrean people to tear it off,i understand that the suggestion given by the writer is out of hopelessness and doesn’t know what to do to overthrow Isayas regime because Eritrea is a small nation not only by size and population but also by history,the only government of this nation is Isayas and the people doesn’t know what to do when such governments become dictators,let me give u an example what happens in Ethiopia for the past 40 years Hilesilase overthrown,the same is Derge,(a history u know and u share)
    Now this tragedy in Eritrea, make human kind feel disgraced and painful,the whole world was in tears and heart breaking mode (except the Eritrean government)when it was seen that all those Eritreans and other nation migrants body taken out of the sea of Mediterranean,
    U all Eritreans know that this is the price of ‘Natsisnet’ freedom,the whole nation is paying.
    The fabrication of Eritrea nation has no concrete basement,to cover this truth Isayas is fabrication lies above lies and soon,one thing which always makes me amaze is that the Eritrean people is listening and believing these lies,Hanish,bademe,Djibouty border etc and now today silently the people of Eritrea is seeing the tragedy of Lampadusa and doing nothing,very pity,
    The irony comes here,doing nothing siting side by side to Isyas and asking Ethiopians to fight and overthrow the dictator(we have good experience doing so) this is bad thinking of Iseas with the expense of Ethiopians to get the freedom lost,it wont happen,go get it!

  • Seare

    We Eritreans are not going to make the same mistake over and over again. Ethiopian government is an enemy. Had it not being for the enemy, we would not see all these tragedies. The people would have seen the current government off; however, they don’t want to fall prey to the real enemy in the process. Most Eritreans have decided to endure Isias than to fall into the same Ethiopian trap again.

    So forget Ethiopia it is not an alternative now and never hace being for before.

  • Crocus

    Many things can be said about this article. Let me just say it is naive to expect Ethiopia to implement the border ruling simply to expose the nakedness of the Eritrean regime, not without a definitive security agreement anyway. What is the profit for the Ethiopians if they implemented the border ruling? Would it buy them peace? From the perspective of the Ethiopians, Eritrea is primarily a security issue. (Believe it or not, the issue of access to the sea is a distant second.) Eritrea has always been a security issue. The 19th century Italian incursion, the WWII Italian invasion, the two Egyptian invasions of the 19th century, and the Ottoman Turks before them, were all launched on Eritrean soil. Now, with a hostile regime in Eritrea, the security concern is even more pronounced. Ethiopia will not hesitate to invade Eritrea if it senses the land being used as a launching pad for foreign forces once more. Short of that, however egregious it is, the internal squabble among Eritreans does not pose quite the same security concern for Ethiopia. In fact, the continued border stalemate functions as a security assurance. You can see that from what it is doing to the Eritrea regime. Governments go bankrupt before they fall. And the Eritrean treasury is bankrupt because of the militarism that the regime has adopted as a paramount policy of the government. It has devoted the every nickle of the country’s resources to this demented policy. If it were to be attacked, it can not even hold up one week. It has no money to mount a meaningful defense. War is expensive.

    The Eritrean regime is using the unsettled border issue as a pretext to oppress its own people. The border issue is no justification for closing down institutions of higher learning, or driving the country’s economy to the pits. Dozens and dozens of countries in the world have border issues. But they do not go to war over unresolved border disputes. Neither do they hold their nations hostage because of it.

    It all adds up to a simple reality. Isaias is an Eritrean problem. And the solution will have to come from Eritreans. The border issue will be resolved with a sensible government that may replace the current regime. Until then, do not expect Ethiopians rushing to change the status quo, specially to expose Isaias and his tyrannical regime for what it is. Whether Isaias wears a skirt cover or not it does not change a view that has calcified around the world: the king has no clothes! No one doubts that he is naked. And that makes the suggestion of this article naive and wishful thinking at best.

    • Crucus,

      Right on the mark. “Isaias is an Eritrean problem. And the solution will have to come from Eritreans. The border issue will be resolved with a sensible government that may replace the current regime.” A statement that should set on the wall every one to read.


    BouAziz of Tunisia who self sacrificed was enough to ignite Arab spring. Couldn’t those victims of Lampedusa instantly overthrow PIA’s regime?????????????????????

  • Abinet

    The more you talk about Badime, the longer IA stays in power .

  • I would like to share my observation in our Victory and our failure. In the ghedli time especailly in EPLF. culture of struggle that there weren’t open discussion in most levels of the organazation.If it happens it was only on the level of leadership. The rest was only to take orders and to act on it. These was by the name of discipline. It was .If some movement Exist that was impossible to sustain. Least to say these tactics were well helpful to accomplish in the battle zone any where to become successful against any enemies. I don’t mean all the heroes they know nothing,But that they made their mind to pay the highest price that was their life to achieve their main goal was to free that the country they love and they did God bless their soul. However, after paying high price the leadership failled to fulfill their second goal which is lebrity to all people of the country with peace and security.Instead as we all share the arish time with out of freedom we all like to see.It is very sad least to say. Even after independence it goes like that of the Ghedli time. As we all Know once a while there weresome rissitance, but the don’t last longer. Because the partyor leadership is very strong in security level for self defence before any thing else. The Organzation is based in security matters before anything else. Therefore, those who start to oppose that the became easy targets or controlled by the name of securityapparts. To say the truth we the people failed them when ever movements start even with the organazation itself. For example in the year of 2001. when the DIA round them up from their homes. WE din’t blink our eyes. We let them die in prison like it wasn’t for our cause. I admit my self to defend them by uprising as a people to gether.

  • Mesel Seb


    We cannot call for rewarding a hostage-taker by paying the ransom. The victims of this criminal regime did not deserve their treatment by this cruel regime. The border cannot be an excuse for gross violation of human rights. The lack of morality and the prevalence of savagery in Eritrea by pfdj against the Eritrean people is the root cause of the problem and must be reversed without precondition. The border is secondary to the fundamental rights of the Eritrean people enshrined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Godefay

    Demanding Ethiopia to succumb to Shabia’s claim to curb the outflow young Eritreans is tantamount to supporting the wacko Isaias and the bone-headed Diaspora supporters. A couple of reasons:

    1. The boarder issue is not the cause for the unceasing military service! It is not the cause for the illegal detention of G17 members. Bademe is not cause for the current impasse with Djibouti.
    2. Bademe is not the reason for the lack of political pluralism in Eritrea.
    3. Bademe is not the cause for the arbitrary detention and forcible recruitment.

    Forced conscription in Eritrea predates the Ethio-Eritrean war of 1988. And, even if Ethiopia voluntarily ceases Bademe to curb the outflow, Isaias will continue pressgang the youth. Afterall, the Shabia government and its generals are the direct beneficiaries of the unrelenting outflow of youth. They are the ones who are facilitating the outflow; the wholesale to Bedouine nomads for a high profit. Folks, this is not a heresy or unsubstantiated allegation. The UN monitoring group reported it repeatedly. THE POINT IS BADEME IS NOT THE CAUSE. Shabia and its generals are!!


  • ShewiT

    The suggestion presented in this piece is among the worse in content and delivery in solving Eritrean politics. In short, the article sounds to subtly suggest for the reign of the tyrant. Politically, its rational is a dry bone, lampoon as it reiterates the tyrant’s hallucinations. HGDF has unscrupulous and yet disciplined cohorts who will never hesitate to do and say anything in order to save the increasing isolation of the thug.
    The political condition in side Eritrea has nothing to do with the neighboring countries, including the issue of Bademe. We should remember many African countries have political boundaries are not demarcated, and yet seldom do we hear war. The article echoes the talking lines of the thug, and its supporters are using it to find lee ways to the tyrant.

  • wed garza

    One thing is true, Eritreans and Eritrea take the matter in your hands. Give the same judgment to the Eritrean generals and its head of state. REvenge, and shorten his life as he did to our youths along the seas, deserts and beyond.
    The Crocodile tears, enough is enough, to the barbaric leader who continues to deplete the nation from its potensial resources.Instead you fleeing face him, face to face. this cowardice has no choice except: on bullet in his chest.

  • Hayat Adem

    I don’t understand the logic of returning Badime helping undermine Isaias. We’ve so many political tools to undermine Isaias if we could. We have piles and piles of national messes he has accumulated over the last decades of his rule. He shot at our veterans and disables. He led the country to so many conflicts, to a devastating war and its consequence with Ethiopia unnecessarily. He locked 10k Eritreans along with political leaders and journalists without a single day in court and denied them of humanitarian access and family visits to-date. He has mismanaged the economy in a level unprecedented in other parts. He led Eritrea to pariah status, an awkward status for a new country. He put our youth in enslavement camps and projects indefinitely. And now he brought this current type of national tragedy and has gone quite in his palace caring less and leaving it to the rest of the world to bother on collecting the bodies and mourning. Did he have any skirt that covered him from all these crimes he has committed and continues to commit? Nope.
    Are you really serious that you need to do one more test to illegitimatize this guy? Do you think he is still in power because he is masked by one or more skirts that need to be removed first? I call this assumption the mother of all sorts of naivety.
    The Ethiopians thought the long conflict and war with Eritrea would be settled once and for all with Ethiopia recognizing Eritrea’s de facto independence and agreeing to an outcome of a referendum. They were the first to officially welcome Eritrea to the world of sovereign nations. The 1st letter of recognition received by the UN was sent from Ethiopian leaders. Did that spare them from what was to come as unpleasant surprise of an awakening attack by Isaias on their back? You tell me brother. Did he even bother to create any reason when he decided to attack Ethiopia at Badime and Sheraro areas? None. Do you know what he said when sensible individuals who could see what was to come like Barakhi advise him to accept the Djibouti-US-Rwanda proposal and pull back? This was what he said, “we have no reason to surrender in hurry”. If you are thinking that he would feel out of excuse to continue with enslavement projects, well you have some dark spots to check in your thinking process, brother.
    Even at that, we all know he is not using our youth for defense. He is using them as free labor and as one way of controlling Eritreans. Otherwise, nobody can be fooled anymore that Isaias can stop the Ethiopians if they want to attack. If there was any doubt that Isaias’ military capability is no match to the Ethiopians post 2000, that doubt must have gone after witnessing the March 2012 attacks by the Ethiopian military in the Eritrean hinterland, twice. The Ethiopians returned to their places unharmed and with tens of POWs, which they later released. So, our youth are being best spent as slave workers not as part of a defending army.
    If the Ethiopians let Badime go, and Isaias refuses to demobilize and continues instead to use the Eritrean youth in the same way, what are you going to do about it that you haven’t done so far or you are not doing right now? I know the answer- nothing.
    And what bothered me a bit is that you don’t seem to mind going on anti-climax issues, do you? Of all the times, you bring the issue of Badime now when and where our emotions and thoughts are tightly tied to the Lampedusa victims. Why? I think, if you are not innocently naive, you are shrewdly trying to lend him a hand of help out of all this recent crisis.

  • Abdu

    Guys,you need to be clear with the situation in Eritrea. The young are not fleeing the country because they long for democracy or elections and to take part in one of them,nor are they fleeing out of the moral question of not serving a dictator. Neither are they unpatriotic to take part in the national defense nor do they have a different acumen to leave for Europe;learn and do scientific research. Their reason for fleeing is just poverty, and unavailability of any hope and positive development at home which in turn is a result of not only wrong political philosophy of PFDJ but also the wrong communist economic philosophy of the government and lack of any will or deliberate ignorance to bring economic change in the country. What is DIA’s nationalism about? Eritrea or himself?

    DIA’s dictatorship would have assumed a secondary position in the psyche of the young and stop fleeing if he performs better in the economic front. However, he engages in hostility with the neighbors which are by and large the heart beats of the tiny local Eritrean market; putting her on the losing end. This is the reality! Don’t just confuse issues of delimitation with internal issues of economic hardship.

    So would implementing the border decision result in an automatic betterment of the life of the Eritrean people? Or would that disown DIA the local support he has for keeping a large number of the youth in the Army? In my opinion most of the people are aware of the undesirability of the regime but fail to have someone with a better option or are tired of politics at all.

    The opposition should present itself with better organization and infiltrate even in the army leave alone political agitation amongst the populace.

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    It is always difficult not to involve Eritrea and Ethiopia concerning any big political or economical challanges due to the long good or bad historical (inseparable) relationships. But at least for the time being it is wise to involve Ethiopia as little as possible. Now is the time for forcing pfdj and its supporters to take responsiblity for endangering so many eritreans for so long time for this type of horrible tragedy.

    Let the world know why the international world forgetts the little Eritrea With the most sadistic rulling party. When speciall in 2009 isayas was propagating how the west specially US is controlling the Whole world, when he was acting like the african Hugo Cahvez only in Words, the international community was paying attention to stop the ‘crazy man’ once and for good. Soon sanction was set into Place. Now the presidant is not a danger except for his own People. But the Lampdusa tragedy puts pressure not only on pfdj but on the so called international community. 6million People can not flee their land in a magnitude Equall to Syria or Somalia who have world recognized problems. So this must be the task now, to let the world know why eritreans leaving their land.

    Any diversion is a free glucose for pfdj to prolong its tyranny.

    • kassahun lemesa

      tamerat tamerat: i thought u were toxic Ethiopian diaspora whenever i read ur stinky openion on reporter website. now i got u Mr. Shabia man!!! to divide Ethiopians with their tribes. so sad and pls stick on your /Eritrean matter/ and leave us alone. achberbari and Meseri

  • Sarcasm

    So let me get this straight, you want us to just cast aside the fact that thousands of Ethiopians died for Badme, and give it back to an unstable and deranged dictator, with delusions of grandeur, without any negotiations or agreements on free port access and regional security. Dream on buddy. The best you could hope for is joint administration. Even then, any Ethiopian government who would do that wouldn’t last a day. Not one Ethiopian, not one, including the vocal Ethiopian opposition in the Diaspora would be up for such a self-defeating move. The fact is Eritrea invaded Ethiopia with the belief that we would be too weak to resist and fracture along ethnic lines. The exact opposite proved to be true, we sacrificed thousands of young men to restore our dignity. The sooner you realize that Badme will NEVER come back to Eritrea the better. Saves you a lot of grey hair. Might is right. Live with it.

  • L.T

    Ayya Fisahaye;
    Isaias is here to stay and his power base in people.Eritrea rebounded 1998 when he crushed your great Tigria dream and he started to fulfill its promise to becom a new powerhouse in Horn Africa.Your nightmare did not end even until after the death of God Isaias.
    Stop your Jingxi(Weyane) opera style

  • Zola

    Dear Writer,
    Thanks for the piece. I agree with many of the points raised. Indeed the conflict has costed both countries a lot. But the crux of the argument that implementing the border decision as it stands would expose Isayas and that it will strengthen post Isayas relations is only partly true. Here is why: to Ethiopians Badme signifies a lot. It embodies aggression and victory, it is a name that echoes uncalled for invasion and unnecessary scarification. Demanding the Ethiopian government to implement it therefore means that it will be done against the reasonable and indeed emotional demand of the Ethiopian public, a price Ethiopian authorities can not afford. It is not really easy as you seem to think. Besides, there is no guarantee that just leaving the town would make things work as it will give Isayas yet another years to boast. This is not to imply that sustaining the statuesque will be in the interest of Ethiopia. But the solution demands an assurance that it will bring sustainable peace in the area. In other words, as peaceful resolution is not thinkable with Isayas leading and removing Isayas is more beneficial to the Eritrean people much more than to Ethiopia, you, in the opposition, need to lead a movement and topple the government after which a mutually beneficial settlement would be practical feasible.

    • Gebre

      Dear Fessahaye, Saay

      This year, the Nobel Prize for medicine is awarded for three scientists who unveiled the mystery of the transport of materials by cells in the human body.

      To quote BBC description, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24427951
      “The billions of cells which make up the body are not empty blobs, instead they are packed with precise machinery. In order for a cell to function properly it needs the right materials in the right place at the right time”.

      Exactly! Not only biological systems but also all kinds of processes (political, economic, governance, engineering and science projects, etc ) absolutely need the right thing to be done at the right time. This seems very obvious indeed. But we have failed numerous times and underestimated obvious things ( as one member of staff at awate.com sternly despises obvious things to hear) without regard to the dire consequences these obvious things might lead to if carefully and critically understood and dealt with at THE RIGHT TIME. Do you hear me Mr Saay? Incidentally, in one of my short comments some time before in this forum, I have stressed the need of doing the right thing at the right time. Otherwise, it is almost always true that failing to do so has grave consequences taking the long view.

      Let me go back to 1991 and say something at the risk of repeating things in our long discussions over the years. But let me begin with Fessehaye’s belated acknowledgment of past mistakes. Striking the nail on its head, Fessehaye laments:

      “In spite of clear signals that some kind of sorcery was being concocted behind the scene, we shrugged and let our moral antennas down in complacency.

      The conflict ignited against Ethiopia with the pretense of border issues further blinded our vision dulling our common sense and moral integrity. Most of us erred in favor of Eritrea as a victim of the border conflict with some nationalistic fervor demonizing Ethiopia. Again we lost our objectivity for obvious reason, afraid of losing hard earned independence bartering it with our liberty and freedom of expression.”

      What was the right thing to do for EPLF to do after it entered Asmara in 1991? Here comes, Mr Saay, the very obvious thing to do. EPLF had every responsibility to prepare the young nation for a well-defined and managed declaration of independence in 1993 that included a well-defined and demarcated border agreed upon by the two neighbors. This was the RIGHT TIME to demarcate the border. But they failed miserably; and the consequences today, we have to bear heavily and uncomfortably. Still, even though not optimal, the time up to 1998 was again the right time to do the right thing: demarcation.

      Another missed opportunity, to do the right thing at the right time, by the Eritrean elite during 1993-1998 was the complete disregard of the design and implementation of sober economic policies with long term view. Professors of economics and other areas were simply blinded by the euphoria of short term benefits that they were amassing without much hard work. Unfortunately that proved disastrous leading to the border war.

      Lastly, the wrong thing to do by the Eritrean elite when the war broke was torally behind the dictator when Ethiopia, Rwanda, and many others were begging for peaceful resolution of the conflict. Many scholars including some in the G13 were warmongering by insulting, ridiculing and calling Ethiopians herds for the slaughter house.

      Many mistakes have been made. But we can learn from those mistakes and improve our ways of interaction and communication with each other to build a better horn of Africa.

      Mr Saay, can we do the “OBVIOUS THING”, doing the RGHT THING at the RIGHT TIME?

      • Gebre

        Correction: –if carefully and critically understood– SHOULD READ — if not carefully and critically understod—