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Ethiopian Election 2020 and the Implementation of the Algiers’ Agreement

So far, no agreement has been reached between the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments regarding the demarcation of the supposedly vital borders which were the cause of the devasting two-year war of 1998-2000. The undemarcated border was the excuse by the Eritrean ruling party for the two-decades of economic stagnation and the abuse of human rights of Eritreans!

That is what the Ethiopian PM disclosed at a meeting with Ethiopian Diaspora in Minneapolis. Soon after Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace agreement in Algiers almost two-decades ago, a joint committee was tasked to implement the Algiers agreement, which the Ethiopian government indicated would abide by after a delay of 12 years. And since Ethiopia will have an election in 2020, what are the consequences of delaying or failing to implement the Algiers’ agreement before the planned elections? We believe that will be a watershed moment for Ethiopian peace and stability and will have a profound implication for Eritrea’s future.

Prospect for Peace Dividend

Eritreans hope that a peace dividend that would come in the form of limiting the duration of the indefinite national service, freeing political prisoners, the implementation of the rule of law, and the start of the democratization process in Eritrea. However, this aspiration exceeds  a realistic expectation for the following reasons:

Through its surrogates, the ruling PFDJ party has already started a campaign to manage the expectation. It is moving the goalpost of the prerequisite of the border demarcation for peace, to the need for a political stability in Ethiopia. Moreover, the PFDJ regime has not shown any sign that it will change its repressive policies and loosen its grip on power.

Since the two governments announced the signing of a peace agreement, no troops withdrew from either side of the border. As a result, many people who have been calling for the demobilization of troops will soon find it imprudent to do so before seeing the outcome of the 2020 Ethiopian elections, as it is, the situation does not bode well for a lasting peace.

So far, the only notable change in Asmara and Massawa is the presence of Ethiopian tourists who reported their mixed feelings about their visit to Eritrea. An Ethiopian business delegation led by the Ethiopian Chamber had visited Eritrea to explore business opportunities. However, the conditions that faced many Eritreans who attended past investment conferences has not changed. Still, there is a  lack of hard currency, uncertain tax laws, stifling business environment, and corrupt bureaucracy. In addition, there is an unfavorable investment situation due to an unfair competitive advantage enjoyed by PFDJ run and owned conglomerate, The Red Sea Corporation, and its offshoots. It would be very hard to assess the of viability investment prospects in the short term. Some investors who spoke to reporters seem to have toned down their initial enthusiasm.  The only gesture that could encourage investors is the fact that now, Eritrean and Ethiopian passport holders can obtain entry visas upon arrival to each other’s respective countries.

Another major peace divided touted to help the Eritrean economy, in the long run, is Ethiopia’s use of Eritrean ports including Assab. The road distance between Addis Ababa and Djibouti through Dire Dawa, Ethiopia’s’ main economic corridor, is 850 km kilometers (528 miles) long, while the distance from Assab to Addis Ababa, which has not been in use for the last 20 years, is 861 kilometers (535 miles). Notably, early this year China completed a $4 billion, 756 kilometers (470 miles) electrical railway between Djibouti and  Addis Ababa and cut back the travel time from three days to eight hours.

A few months ago, the Djiboutian government seized control of a  container terminal that was operated by Dubai Ports World (DP World) and signed an agreement with a Singaporean company that has a close business relationship with China Merchant Port Holdings Co. to expand Djibouti’s congested ports.

In order for the Assab Port to become a major international port and hub, to attract investors and compete with Djibouti’s International Free Trade Zone, it must develop a duty-free and tax-free zone and its facilities must be modernized. So far, due to the geostrategic importance of hosting foreign military bases in attracting foreign investments, Djibouti is hosting eight foreign military bases while Eritrea hosts a UAE military base.

China is building a $3.5 billion infrastructure for what is expected to become Africa’s largest free trade zone. The first phase of the project started this summer at the cost of $370 million; it will offer services such as trade and logistics, export processing, business and financial support services, as well as manufacturing and duty-free retail merchandise outlets. The Duty-Free Zone will also be a major connecting node in the “Belt and Road” initiative, the multi-trillion Chinese project that aims at becoming a critical gateway into the African markets.

If Ethiopia intends to use the Assab port, it must upgrade the Assab Addis Ababa road which at the moment is insecure for travelers crossing the Afar and Dankalia regions. The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), one of the few armed Eritrean opposition groups may continue its military operation in the southern part of the country. Several Eritrean Afar opposition groups stated that any peace deal that does not include them is doomed to fail. Also, the Tigrai republic has expressed similar concerns and has requested that the Tigrai and Afar be part of any border demarcation process. Therefore, the assumed peace dividend is extremely dubious and has yet to be realized.

Ethiopia’s 2020 Elections

As many nascent electoral democracies in Africa, election results are often contested by the opposition that accuses the incumbent of either rigging the process or tampering with the ballot count. Ethiopia is no different. The EPRDF was widely accused of “stealing the 2005 election” whose rejection caught it by surprise. To prevent future surprises, the EPRDF created an unfair political environment by monopolizing the state media and implementing underhanded policies that curtailed the ability of the opposition to compete, and that led the EPRDF to control 98% the parliamentary seats. Thirteen years later, the Ethiopian opposition in exile used effective satellite broadcasts and succeeded in mobilizing ordinary Ethiopians to protest against the EPRDF monopoly on power and force it to reform.

Initially, the protest started after the arrest of Muslim scholars and leaders, and the situation was further aggravated by the rejection of the Addis Ababa urban development plan. Gradually, over 2015 and 2016, it spread all over Ethiopia and incited demonstrations against human rights abuses. In October 2016, Ethiopia declared a state of emergency that further exacerbated the unrest.

On February 12, 2018, protesters waged a three-day strike demanding the release of political prisoners and the lifting the state of emergency. The protesters erected makeshift roadblocks which hampered transportation activities. Vehicles leaving or entering Addis Ababa were stopped many buses and trucks stayed off the roads. A day later,  the government dropped all charges of terrorism against Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and he was released from prison. In December 2015, Bekele had led mass protests by farmers in the Oromiya region, emphasizing on the land grabbing by international investors.

The destructive protest had led to a significant capital flight, and the burning down of factories that followed disrupted the economy and limited the country’s ability to earn hard currency. In turn, that led to the imposition of capital control, austerity measures, and currency devaluation. As we reported earlier, last fall the IMF director visited Ethiopia for the first time in 72 years to urge political reform as a way of averting the impending economic crises. The EPRDF leaders, in their marathon meeting last fall failed to see the writing on the wall, and grudgingly promised to release political prisoners and to introduce political and economic reform. However, it still remains to be seen if the reform plan will be replaced by realpolitik, election campaign politics, and security imperatives.

As of today, the Ethiopian election is twenty-months away and there are concerns that some groups will not play it fair and abide by the election results. In his US tour ten days ago, PM Abiy asked for forgiveness on behalf of the EPRDF for the ‘lot of dirty deeds it has done in the past 27 years’. Having been pushed out of the political process, some of the opposition members, particularly those who returned to Ethiopia, believe that one way to prevent future political disenfranchisement and ‘dirt deeds’ is to hold the EPRDF accountable. To that end, they plan to either vote it out of office or at least win enough votes to challenge its decisions. And that will translate to challenging its ability and its will to share power.

Some of the opposition groups want to amend the federal constitution, which they think is the source of Ethiopia’s political ills. The EPRDF, as well as the TPLF, in their conferences of last fall, defended and reiterated their commitment to the federal constitution. Therefore, any attempt now or after the 2020 election, will give rise to discontent by the historically disenfranchised ethnic groups. Organizations such as the OLF and ONLF, who were purged by the EPRDF in 1993 when they demanded the right of self-determination, may invoke article 36 to exercise their right to succeed. Other ethnic groups such as the TPLF are also threatening to impede the Eritrean-Ethiopian border demarcation process if their concerns and that of the Afar region are not addressed.

It remains to be seen what the political landscape will look like in Ethiopia in the next 20 months and beyond. If the recent realignment and dealignment of Ethiopia’s ethnic and political groups, in the midst of the current tectonic political shift in Ethiopia is any indication, it is very hard to foresee the future. It would also be difficult to foresee the outcome of the elections or what it would entail for the implementation of the Algiers agreement. And by extension, its implication for Eritrea’s political future.

Meanwhile, the current political uncertainty in Ethiopia, which was a result of three years of deadly ethnic unrest, has manifested itself in last week’s violent disturbance in Dire Dawa and Jijiga. So far, close to a million people have fled their homes following violent confrontations between Somali and Oromo as well as between Oromos and Gedeos of the SNNPR region. Abi’s rhetoric, emphasizing on preaching love and peace, might be undermining the importance of the rule of law and in a diverse country like Ethiopia, that might lead to an uncontrollable chaos.

That will certainly keep the already skittish investors at bay until the dust settles–a time that Ethiopia cannot afford to waste in bringing employment to the very Ethiopian youth who compelled EPRDF to reform.

About Awate Team

The PENCIL is awate.com's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Hope,

    I do not think you are paying attention to what I wrote.

    What I wrote has nothing to do with academic title. It has to do with:

    1) Management and administrative experience in a big organisation setting. Woldeab was not even a department head at HSIU.

    2) Integrity and personal character. Woldeab is a zealot who will cross a red line in his sycophancy to impress his superiors. In terms of character, he is odious and fake.

    Andeberhan is a management and admin person and he also has a plenty of decency.

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Hope,

    Sometimes yours is zAKlen TiHinen Beale Mariam yibla. You, PFDJ, IA take advantage the people decency not to fight fire with fire and hold back but they exploit it with no shame. IA started with Nhnan Elamanan to use Islam / Christian to create wedge and eventually used it to destroy ELF.

    They use the regional (deqi Akekeguzay) as a grouping to eliminate menkae.

    As you sayd it Abdul I heart it, I don’t know who but may it’s Andebrhan who said “Menkae Atfienayom tebelnas Abzi Teakibom SeniHomna”, again referring to pleople Akleguzay.

    This is tactic is always played out when it fits them, G15, Forto, Al Dia school, etc.

    Dear Hope, please say what ever is in your mind because it’s your opinion but do take it as a fact.

    I think it shame that opportunists like like dr. Isaac are considered model citizens while they ruined people’s lives and live in comfort.

    I don’t know when we are going to take our discussion into activism but there was no chance in hell that he would be considered for the position if enough people protested against his nomination.

    But that’s a problem with us Eritreans, we never learn from the past just move forward and repeat the same things again and again.


  • Alex

    Hi Now inc,
    First of all stop saying military colleges and its shows you bias. I have been to most of the colleges and never seen any military inside or outside the colleges. I know there are more than 200 students who are pursuing their MA and PHD in China,Russia,Japan,UAE and Turkey in the last few years. So what you state above “I am not aware of any student from the current colleges who went outside the country for higher education” is false. If you want please see the presentation made by professor Tadesse Mehari who was Executive Director of NBHE last summer in London regarding the number of students they sent to overseas for Higher education.

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Hope the great,

    Why do you disagree with my assessment of Woldeab?

    Trust me, I had a ring side seat with the best view available.

  • abdulworld

    Hello Hope-
    You made the allegation that my response was full..
    “If so, why all these negativism ,fear-mongering propaganda, moaning and gossiping about the 30-days old Peace Agreement?”

    You are free to disagree with view and dissect if you want… facts like Eritrea been one of top producers of asylum seekers in world.. at UNHCR website remember this country with less 5 million people and no war or open rebellion like Syria.. I don’t know if this something you calling “negativism”?
    One thing that triggers Eritrean to be asylum seekers is indefinite national service… who hell wants to die in Mediterranean sea or be refugee scattered around this world…

    Again- you can disagree with facts or view them differently.. or express different opinion but where is “fear-mongering propaganda” I am spreading?

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Hope,

    No he didn’t send them out of his good will. The project was already funded and underway by the donors and the had to go as soon as possible otherwise they forfeit (other with more details can elaborate). But it was his strategy that he wants to ship them out of the country so they don’t cause more trouble if they stayed.

    He went to SA and had meeting for them and he told them, don’t worry if you don’t want to come back. Because of globalization we are able to import teachers from India and Philippines at cheaper rates.

    Why open the military collages. It’s simple, he wants the people get occupied and think of their survival rather than think critically to challenge him.

    The key word is – Disorganized.

    By the way, all the money spend to build or to run the collages comes from AID (Development aid so he has to show where it’s spend).

    Like Hope, give him all benefit you want. What’s the point of closing a university that thought 1000 students and it had the potential to teach thousands more which has the capacity and experiences.


    • Haile S.

      Selamat Berhe,
      The PIA sentence you quoted “Because of globalization we are able to import teachers from India and Philippines at cheaper rates” reminded me of the Amharic proverbial expression ያገሩ ሰርዶ፡ ባገሩ በሬ. But accoding to our PIA it is:
      ያገር ሰርዶ፡ ያገሩ በሬ ሰዶ
      የውጪውን በሬ ኣስተናግዶ

      • Berhe Y

        Hi Haile S and David,

        You know one of the thing that irks me, the total disdain he has for the people and the country. For example, in 2001 he was paying Indian high school teachers around 550 US dollars paid, most of it in US dollars, including accommodations. I remember meeting my brother teacher who was exchanging Nacfa for Dollar.

        At the same time he was sending the same high school teachers as national service servants for 450 Nacfa and they had to also take the students during the break to maetot for the same salary.

        I know many Eritrean professors from the west wanted to go back and teach in Eritrea and they asked very basic living expenses covered. You should read the letter Dr. Haile Debas who was member of the G13 read to the president when they met in Asmara. At the time Dr. Haile Debas was making over 350,000 US dollars annually as a Dean of the university and he told the president in his face, my specialty is “Education and Health Care”. I am ready to leave my job and come and serve in my country for “free” at my capacity and help. He said, there are many others who are ready to do so as well.

        But 03 and others tell the story that Eritrean professors wanted to get paid in the US dollars the same as what they make in America. And we can’t afford them, halew melow…

        One thing that I never take Dr. Andebrhan and Dr. Isacc sincereley is the role he played in dismantling UoA. They should be challenged and they should explain the role they played honestly and sincerely and they need to applogize and own the mistakes they made and the role they played in destroying the Eritrean higher education system. And they should device a way to help resolve and fix it for the future generations.

        The students form SA or those who are able to attend Ethiopian higher Education are probably the last sets of students who will be able to proceed their studies at graduate and Phd levels for next foreseeable future.

        BTW, Professor Legesse, Dr. Haile MihSun and others who had a a choice but chose to be servants and enablers of the regime and allow the destruction of the University to take place. The damage they have done will haunt Eritrea higher educations for generations to come…


        • Haile S.

          Selamat Berhe,

          I agree with you, Berhe. The present Eritrean environment is a desarming and paralysing environment, it is an environment without merci. Once you enter that den you loose your capacity to use your conscience. The regime uses the force that we well know as evidenced by the >decade incommunicado incarcerations and plus. But it also mastefully kept the revenant alive, i.e. kept the martyrdom ghost roaming around checking everyone and obliging everyone to self-check from “deviating”.
          በርሀ፡ ህዝብና ደቁን ኣሕዋቱን ቀቢሩ ወዲኡን ቀቢጹን፡ ዓመት ዓመት ዝብጻሖ ሓወልቶም ጥራይ እዩ ዝጽበ ዘሎ። እዚ ኣመሓድድራ ግና መስዋቲ ከይቀበረ ብኣጉል ‘ሰማዕታትና’ እናተባህለ ዘይቀበርናዮ መስዋእቲ ከም ዘሳድደና ይገብር ኣሎ። ሓወልቲ ሰሪሑ፡ ነጻነት ተረጋጊጹ፡ ዜጋ ናይ ባዕሉ ኣመሓዳሪ ክገብር ምኽኣል ዘይኮነስ፡ ብኣጉል ኣረኣእያን ኣተሓሳስባን፡ ናይ ገድሊን ናይ መስዋእትን ተገዛኢ ኰንና፣ “ንሶም እኳ ዝነበርዎ” እናተባህለ ካብ ዘለናዮ ፍንትት ክንብል ዘይደሊ ስርዓት እዩ። To function and do the little you can do, you have to place yourself under the boot of the regime. I am not trying to defend those who place themselves deeper than the underneath, but those who are there doing what they can.

        • Paulos

          Selam Berhino,

          Dr. Debbas is obviously an over achiever who has done well for himself and all but he may probably got carried away the fact that he is an excellent surgeon, could have it easy in Eritrea and aim for the highest office. Isaias may have strongly sensed that and denied him to even open a Medical School in Eritrea. The take home lesson is that one should play it safe if one wants Isaias’ approval. As long as one is not overly ambitious, one can get along well with Isaias.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Paulo,

            I will find the link and will send you next week. There is no ambition at all except to provide free service.


          • abdulworld

            Hello Paulos,
            I don’t understand what you are saying IA feared that Debas would threaten his power? How is that possible? I don’t think IA feared any power threat from Debas. I believe it is simple jealous…

            IA doesn’t want anyone to sunshine or be “worshiped” by people.. The guy is sick. The idiot doesn’t realize by bringing prestigious people and building his legacy…his sun will shine… in his head he still running a guerrilla army in the mountain.. where there is only one top dog..

            This retard has basically put Eritrea and its future into his pocket like a wallet.

            The President of TanZania welcomed Dr. Debas and named part of medical school after him.
            can imagine that you have an native Eritrean running or an administer of top medical school in world coming home and trying to open medical school- and you got college drop out “president” getting in way….
            Within a generation Eritrea had an opportunity to gain one highest international medical know-how… can imagine Eritrean walking around saying I graduated from Dr. Debas medical school…

            “Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) to be named after UCSF Senior Global Health Advisor Haile Debas”

        • Alex

          Hi Berhe,
          I agree with most of your point above but some of them are inaccurate. You stated “The students form SA or those who are able to attend Ethiopian higher Education are probably the last sets of students who will be able to proceed their studies at graduate and Phd levels for next foreseeable future” That is farther from the truth. There are more than 200 graduates from the current colleges who are pursuing their MA and PHD in several countries overseas. If you want listen the presentation by professor Tadesse Mehari in London last year.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Alex,

            Well that’s good news and glad to hear.


  • Berhe Y

    Hi Hope,

    No you make no sense at all. You never get tired making excuses for PFDJ government.

    The students went to SA around 2001 – 2002 time. Asmara University was closed in 2005. The reason it was closed was, to disperse students from organizing and be at one place and and create problems (as in protest) to the government. The decision was made after 2001 incident when they send all 2000 of them to WiA after the disobeyed the government orders to work for free in the summer when there was funds were slotted for the project they were asked to work on. So they only allowed those students in the stream to graduate, the end was around 2005 and they stop accepting students after 2002 but instead they start sending them to Sawa.

    Sanctions come in 2009. Even if there was sanctions, there was no reason to close the university and open new collages. They could just continue the University to operate and those collages could be under the umbrella of the same University.

    Actually it’s not because of sanctions but IA evil desire and the war he opened on the Eritrean people. Not only that he wanted to control the people inside the country, but those very few and lucky who are able to made it outside the country, he doesn’t want to open doors for them to grow and prosper using their University Degrees and benefit.

    He is EVIL and he doesn’t want anything good for the Eritrean people.

    Not only the University Students, even those high school graduates do NOT get official transcript and diplomas. He doesn’t want them to go abroad and continue their education. Lucky for some people, there are many who create/ smuggled the official transcript and recreate for them. Blink wants to see it now:)


    • David Samson

      Selam Berhe,

      The decision to close UOA was made right after independence. Under disguise of “Reform”, its destruction was headed by Dr Andeberhane, the then President of UOA. Many of the experienced staff were fired. We were told, they had “Regional inclinations”.

      As chancellor of UOA,IA never attended a single graduation’s ceremony, while he never missed a single Sawa’s graduation ceremony. IA does not even hide his allergic reaction when one mentions education.

      The writing was on the wall, and it was only a matter of time before UOA rested in peace.

      Dr Sarah, who I believe was a lecturer at the time, has written about the fate of UOA in this site

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam DAvid,

        At the UOA, there was an ongoing conflict between some lecturers and Andeberhan which was tearing the University apart. Basically, the lecturers were demanding for the establishment of a freely elected academic staff union.

        The question for me was not whether the demands of the lecturers were Right or Wrong. Looking at the tradition of the EPLF and the power of the lecturers, the likelihood of success of the adventure, was NIL. To top that up, Andeberhan was a relatively liberal and humane chap. Also, by default, the [self-selecting] groupings also took a more or less regional characters.

        As the saying goes: “Be careful what you wish for!” You campaign against Andeberhan Woldeghiorgis, you will end up with Woldeab Yisak, an odious, sycophantic and a fake person, whose sole life mission is self-promotion.

        • abdulworld

          Hello David and Simon,

          I never knew that IA was Chancellor of UOA- how do you put a college drop as Chancellor?

          It is strange that David says when it come to UOA “its destruction was headed by Dr Andeberhane, the then President of UOA.”

          Simon has more nuanced view that staff union and culture of EPLF clashed but that Anderberhan was a liberal and human chap and seems to imply the University’s problem was aggravated by Woldeab Yisak?

          So- what is real story?

          Have either one you read Andeberhan book Eritrea at Crossroad… What is your opinion or view?

          • David Samson

            Selam abdulworld,

            Many articles have been written by ex-lecturers and ex-employees of UOA. I suggest you should read their account.

            Once you have a political appointee at the helm of an institution, you are going down a slippery road. If IA had good intention, he would have appointed someone from the world of academia. What was Dr Andeberhan’s credential?

            Even during the derg’s time, many of Ethiopia’s universities, to some extent, had academic freedom. I stand to be corrected, but I believe the last chancellor of UOA before 91 was a certain DR( I think he is Tigrayan), and he was not member of a political party.

            The crucial question we need to ask ourselves: why an institution which founded in 1950s and went through many challenges was suddenly decided to disappear? If you look at many other the country’s established factories, education and hospitals, you see the same trend. They are all made to disappear because there are orders from the president’s office. Recently, I have met a certain Economist who went back to Eritrea in 91. He was tasked to do a research on the country’s economy. One day, out of blue, he received an order to close down a factory. He tried to reason with the person who brought the message. He was told, no, no explanation, just an order from president’s office.

            I have neither the desire, nor the intention to read Dr Andeberhan’s book. If you happen to read it, please tell me if he bothers to mention his role in the demise of ENESA and the tragic death of Mengisteab.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear David,

            I never read his book either (not that I am much of a reader) but I never reconciled myself for the damage he did to the University. I have very credible story that he was personally appointed the president to be a Chancellor without discussing with the board and getting consensus. He told them IA will be the new Chancellor.

            Like you said, he never attended any graduation ceremony or giving speech at the university.

            If I am not mistaken he was there when the university was closed first in the 90s and during the dismissal of the university lecturers.

            I don’t know about Dr. Isaac and his political involvement. But he was there giving orders for the students to report to work, and eventually when they were send to WiA and caused the death of two students.

            I was there during that time, and I clearly remember notice being read on radio and on the news paper from Dr. Isaac.

            Sure we can give them the benefit of the doubt but both of them left the country and the regime and moving on with their lives as if nothing happened.

            Haile S. this is the problem I have with this Doctors. They have to come forward and tell their stories, tell their involvement (not inciminate themselves) but at least admit the mistake and ask apology publicly to the families who are victims of their decision (directly or indirectly).

            The damage to the University and the future of learned class to the country is not something that we will be able to recover from in the near future.

            Alex, you said there are 200 plus students doing masters and PhDs. That’s fine and good.

            Do you know how many of them are majoring in social science like history, philosophy, law, literature, political science etc ?


          • Desbele

            Selam Berhe,
            On 10 June 1998 , Dr Woldeab ordered science students to go to the front to help the medical team in Senafe. I was a member of the team. He personally see us off from the campus with thumbs up.
            We arrived in Senafe and meet Dr Bereket (now in Ethiopia). Dr Bereket was baffled what to do with us. He was not informed and he doest request help. He explained that there was no need for us to stay at the front and politely send us back. We went to Ala as it was the medical center for the front. No one to receive us there too. We returned back to Asmara late at night.
            This seemingly simple and trivial incident explains a lot about this sycophant Dr. Very disorganized , insensitive to the lives of students, and above all he acts as a political tool solely driven by emotion. He may have reported the same day to DIA to show his nationalism. Not only that he didnt keep the institution independent of the regime interference but actually collaborate with them to undermine it. Even after the tragic death of 2 students in Wia , no protest from him against the regime and unapologetic to the families.
            I think one of the reasons we need justice with reconciliation is that people who perpetuate crime dont seem to understand the pain inflicted on others. They are not shamed & not penalized. That implies if opportunity comes their way they are there to exercise their inhumane acts again.

          • Paulos

            Selam David,

            I read his book and I don’t think he mentioned anything to that effect including about Mengisteab. I have heard different versions of Mengisteab’s tragic death and it is equally tragic that there does not seem to be a clear account on how he died. May his soul rest in peace.

          • David Samson

            Selam Paulos,

            I would not expected him to reveal any dirt secrets of his beloved front. Most ex-Tegadeltistis take as a “Badge of honours”, for not revealing dirt secrets, so as to “Preserve” the honour name of Gedli.

            From my vague recollections, I know the followings:
            An American by the name of Trisha Harris(Not sure of name) has written a book on ENASA.

            Someone was writing or has already written a book in Tigrigna. I have read it somewhere in Assenna.

          • Paulos

            Selam David,

            I agree. And you’re right, I remember reading on Assenna to that effect but not sure about the book you mentioned. As much as he was of a considerable clout with in the ENASA, he deserves a full account on his formative years and a closure to his tragic death as well.

          • David Samson

            Selam Paulos,
            I have got it, but I am now not sure why I thought the book was about ENASA.

            Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles: Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora
            by Tricia Redeker Hepner

          • Paulos


            I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the info.

          • Desbele

            Dear David,
            The last chancellor during the Derg was Dr. Tewoldebirhan Gebregzhaber .

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam David,

            Who was Mengisteab?

          • David Samson

            Selam Simon,
            He was the head or leader of ENESA—Association of Eritrean Students in North America.

        • Now inc.

          As it happens, Dr. Woldeab has been elected Chancellor of a top college in California. Hmmm…they must have seen some quality in him.
          With that being said, he will have to answer questions regarding his role in the 2001 University students’ brutal crackdown that resulted in deaths and injuries.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Now inc.,

            Knowing Woldeab, he may have talked his way into the job.

            Which College?

          • David Samson
          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam David,

            Looking at his picture he gives the impression of a genial grandfather. I recognise the smiles of a callous self-promoter who will do anything to rub shoulders with the powers that be and stay in the limelight. Very probably, he sweet talked his way into the job by talking big and using ‘I am part of the Black community’ card.

            But to be a Chancellor of a humble Community College is not the highest of achievements.

          • Paulos


            Any of us can not achieve what he has achieved. It is a tough world if you don’t know it yet. Sorry to say it but you sound jealous!

          • Simon Kaleab


            Is that the highest he can achieve with his bombastic style of talk?

            Relax. I congratulate your hero for becoming a Chancellor of a 3rd rate institution.

          • Paulos


            My hero? I don’t know the guy from Adam so to speak. All I am saying is that, it ain’t cool to belittle any achievement. He competed and prevailed among equals and that is extraordinary. We should be happy for him and proud of him as well.

          • Simon Kaleab


            We? You should say ‘I’ am happy and over the moon. Rejoice!

          • David Samson

            Selam Simon,
            As it is a weekend, it is good time to dump some clips.
            The Good Dr was challenged by the young reporter. He, however, glossed over and fudged his role.


          • Desbele

            Selam Now Inc,

            Definitely , Dr . Woldeab omits from his resume that he was a campaign manager for war mongers and destroyed a third world university in collaboration with a dictator. ሓላፊ ምጽልጻልውን ነይሩ እዩ።
            Then also , as today, it was the Catholic church that protest about ምጽልጻል . It is shame our so called elites Prof. Asmerom Legesse, Dr Woldeab and Dr. Gideon not only turn a blind eye to crimes against humanity but corroborate.

        • Desbele

          Selam Simon,
          Fr. Tewolde – a historian was one of those fired under the pretext of regionalism in 1993. But well untill 1996 UOA was using his “History 101 ” book as freshman text book. Glad that they dont burn his book as they used to do in Meda

  • AMAN

    Awates !
    Greetings All
    Dear Awates
    Sometimes it amazes me when I see how some of your patrons read and understand Global politics and its conyext and consequences.
    For instance,
    Do they really think the KSA is helping or it is in a position of helping Ethiopia considering the underdeveloped nature
    and backward stage of its political reality?
    Actually it is getting help itself from Ethiopia using it as its political mentor and learning from its political development and transformation over the last 4 decades as its role model.
    This is done and accomplished with the help of close guidance and mentorship of washington in exchange of cheap oil
    supply to the US market.
    The last time KSA and Ethiopia were at the same point in their political development was in 1973. Since then Ethiopia’s politics has dramatically changed passing through rocky and rough ride while that of the KSA’s remained frozen in time. Hence, the helping hand from its ally the US by using Ethiopia as KSA’s political role model .

  • abdulworld

    Hello Hope or Hopeless,
    I am a firm believer in constructive criticism. I believe the role of any citizen of any country is provide constructive criticism of governments and their policies- for me it sign of healthy civic society.
    What exactly is peace agreement? Is Badme under Eritrea? IA behaving the way he is not because he cares about Eritrea or its people- no he believes Dr. Abiy is best chance he got against his enemy or feudal lord cousins in Tigray. After all, why would he make 180 degree change on Badme?

    With regards to university closing most the PDJF/EPLF are college drops who went into mountains with no skill or knowledge on running a civil society… so for them closing a university is not a big deal.. Other countries are ruled by meritocracy we have dinkrocracy(rule by idiots)…

    Most content of your response in words of Shakespeare is “sound and fury, Signifying nothing”.

    I was about 13 or 14 years old when realized people resort to personal attacks and verbal stoning throwing when their position is either weak or they can’t make a strong case based on facts…

  • haileTG

    Hey Hope,

    The one thing I agree with you is that “IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP”, For you of course. Ethiopia has built 32 Accredited universities, 28 of which in the last 27 years. These include the Universities of Aksum, Adigrat and Mekelle in Tigray alone. The rest are spread all over the country.

    You say “what are the 7 collages”. Those are unrecognized places of higher education because they don’t meet standards. The only accredited university was established by HS and survived Mengistu and abolished by PFDJ is Asmara university. You say the students protested and believe that is reason enough to shut down the only place of accredited university in the country!! Robbing a future off all young Eritreans of course.

    PFDJ is only good for wrecking havoc at home and the region. Where on earth have you heard that a university is shut down for decades because of a protest 17 years ago. AAU students protested all the time, imagine any of the rulers of Ethiopia shutting it down for that reason??? Imagine them doing it when it was the only national institute of higher education?

    Hope, PFDJ is full of @#$%, never trust a damn thing they say. They are classless sadists with whom the only life is to stare at death endlessly. They didn’t saved you from anything, wake up and you will feel totally ashamed that you said it. The danger you faced was being uprooted from your birth place, and no one saved you, it actually happened. How many hope did they sell? In fact, what else have they ever done? Didn’t they feed you false hope all these years, aren’t they selling the same again. Have they ever accomplished one single thing in all these decades that you would care to flag up?

    • Alex

      Hi HaileTG,
      You stated above Ethiopia has 32 accredited universities and the 7 colleges that are spread all over Eritrea are not. Personally based on your writing you know less with what is going on with the colleges in Eritrea. If you know you could not have said closing UOA is robbing a future of all young Eritreans which is false. The 7 colleges are better equipped and have three times the # of students that UOA was holding plus they offer postgraduate courses in 15 different fields. The graduates from the colleges can go to any University in the west to pursue their education for masters or PHD with out any problem. So please get your fact straight.

      • haileTG

        Hi Alex

        I know first hand that many Eritreans from those collages having their qualifications not being recognized. Norway sent investigation team 5 years ago as there is no way of accepting them. Any how, please read this article and give me your pointing:


        • haileTG

          Thx Moderator. Noted.

        • Alex

          Hi HaileTG,
          I can tell you my cousin who graduated from Eritrea institute of technology with degree in Electrical Engineering was asked to do only one yr in Canada and based on his good background from EIT he was able to finish the 4th year with A average. Do you believe the seven colleges are inferior to UOA and if you think that is the case what is the proof.

          • haileTG

            Hi Alex,

            Based on EIT obtained Electrical Engineering degree, here is the response:
            Based on the information you provided, Engineers Canada does not have sufficient research about your Electrical engineering. Therefore, no information can be provided on how your academic qualifications compare to a Canadian undergraduate engineering education at this time.

            Currently, there are no degrees from EIT Eritrea that are comparable to the Canadian Bachelor degree.

            You may wish to consider the following suggestions:

            Further your engineering education by enrolling into an accredited undergraduate engineering program (link)

            Explore career opportunities in Canada’s technology professions. For more information, please visit the Engineering Career Pathways at (link)

            Apply to the provincial/territorial engineering association in the jurisdiction in which you wish to practice engineering and have a thorough assessment of your qualifications for licensure http://www.engineerscanada.ca/constituent-associations.

            Your cousin must have been lucky. Please share the University so other Eritreans can approach them.

            Accreditation does not. guarantee quality of the institute or university. It simply gives recognition. Nursing is recognized from Eritrea because the Nursing students didn’t protest hence PFDJ didn’t cut it off. So the Italian legacy lives on. The best bet for Eritrean would be scholars is to do their degrees in nearby Aksum, Adigrat or Mekelle Universities as those are all accredited and are only a bus ride away.

          • Alex

            Hi haileTG,
            I can tell you the university he went is Ryerson university which is in downtown Toronto.

          • haileTG

            Hi Alex,

            Graduates from EIT are not normally issued with degree certificates. And Many that I know who succeeded in obtaining their credentials were because they were sent to another country by the gov (like SAfrica) and hence they got it from there. This was also mentioned in the Norway report but the govt claimed that the color copier was not in operation thus no certificates were printed (I know we can’t do links but you can find the Norway report). So, does this collage accept in good faith, those without the documentation and non-accredited overseas institution? Do you see how cruel the regime can be here???

          • saay7

            Selamat HaileTG:

            The UoA was closed because it was the ultimate nightmare of a police state: 5,000 educated youth in the hub of the capital city, with their own independent student union. If their intent was to decentralize and enhance its capacity to accommodate more student, the way to do it would have been to keep it (its history and its decent reputation which translated into almost automatic transfers of credits) and opened schools/colleges under its umbrella. But dictators first priority is power preservation with everything else relegated to low or no priority. Isaias Afwerkis neighboring dictator did the same thing with University of Khartoum, a school whose credit were once 1:1 transferable to Biritish universities.

            Actually, it’s even worse than you think. There are very reputable evaluators who can translate foreign transcripts. But they insist on getting original transcripts (preferably on sealed envelopes) from the registrar of the sending school. Now, if you are not a citizen in “good standing” with the PFDJ, what are the chances they will accommodate this request before you bow down and ask for forgiveness from the PFDJ embassies?

            Oh wait, it’s even much worse. In 2012, in one of his many terrible decisions, President Obama’s Department of Education eliminated something called “Ability to Benefit” (ATB.) This is where colleges could accept freshman who do not have copies of high school diplomas (or dropped out from high school) by administering an entrance exam. After the elimination of ATB, students had to show some kind of high school diploma or its equivalence if they want to receive financial aid for the college attendance. College will accept foreign diplomas IF they are evaluated by an independent qualified evaluator. Now, what happens to an Eritrean who graduated from Sawa High school and like many of his classmates left the country “illegally”? In the US, he has to get his GED because there is zero chance he will get from Eritrea whereas every Ethiopian I know who fled the country could still get transcripts of his or high school diploma.

            The anecdotal information of people who were able to get transcripts that were transferred to US, Canada universities and colleges are all (1) “nationalist” Eritreans who flew not walked out of Eritrea; (2) are in “good standing” with the government either because of (1) above or signing a “letter of regret”, (3) had to have their transcripts evaluated by a third party before the colleges admissions office could process their application.

            Sometimes, when the cheerleaders weave their stories I don’t know if we are talking about the same country.


          • Paulos


            Ryerson is actually a good school particularly the Engeenering program is reputable. Two buddies of mine [Eritreans] went there.

          • Blink

            Dear Alex
            In Haile TG mind there is no value in any Eritrean who got his certificate from Eritrea after 2004 from any college in Eritrea. Even though The truth is far from his words . I know people who are excelling at the highest level of Engineering in the west who got their degree certificate from PFDJ colleges but talking to people who made up their mind is a waste of time because they will say these are the lucky once and that so was that on and on until they see the head of Pompey head on plates and that is even they know they don’t have Cesar at their side and they will never produce one . The fact that people see every Eritrean by the failure of Issias tells you where their heart and mind is .
            You see first Haile said “ it is not acceptable in the west and then changed it to quality and then he goes on to advance the known Pompey position getting aid from Axum or mekele just as Pompey went on to find aid from an Egyptian young leader who got outsmarted by his older sister. The notion these who bet against the Eritreans will win by getting aid from weyane was non starter from the beginning and here they are already defeated by their own wrong moves but remember there remains some leftover of the old residuals .what we have to do is expose these people to the wider audience while telling their past bidding as well as their dream of future Eritrea while opposing the dictator in a very different way that they can not refuse to mention. So how do the Finish education system get involved in to Eritrean college especially in engineering ? I mean how could they be ? I have been in Asmara university not only as student but as a person who scraped a dirty old blackboard to write solve so many equations that could have been done easily in a laptop but that was then and people are talking about Now to future. Hold to your own conclusions.

          • haileTG

            Hello Blink,

            I think the least that we can do at this stage of the game is to be frank and straight forward with all that we say about Eritrea and its situation. Eritreans have nothing they can lose anymore and it is a matter of moral conscience when we speak and write about them.

            1) You say that my mind is made up;

            On this one, I fully agree with you that my full inclination is that nothing good will come out of PFDJ. Prove me wrong with tangible and verified positive net gain from the regime. I guarantee you that there will not be able to do so. In the last 27 years, every single darn thing that PFDJ touched had flopped.

            2) You say I changes my argument to matters of quality:

            In case that you misunderstood me, Eritrean collages that were set up after the UoA closure have no accreditation whatsoever. They are not recognized anywhere else. The Norwegians, having had problem with Eritrean asylum seekers claiming that they were taught at Eritrean higher ED, they sent a team to investigate. That report is available. I read it fully, please do so.

            3) Why did the Belgians worked with the collages, you ask

            Their 2015-2017 initiative was part of their humanitarian project, involving approx. 1.6 million euros aid package. The aim was to assist the actual collages with structural and human resource development. That is called an aid package, not peer collaboration on academic field. They focused on information and communication and teacher training aspects of the collages. That is structural assistance. If a German company comes to fix the WC of the campus, you will not call it academic collaboration, would you? If the collages are legit, could you tell me which universities around the world are they linked to for research purposes?? None. Additionally, do you know that the Ministry of Education lied to them by claiming that they are part of UoA as it has been structurally re-located into 7 collages and hadn’t closed down. Do you believe the UoA is closed or not?

            4) Linking Tigrayan universities to “woyane”

            On this one I have to make a strong allegations of RACISM towards the innocent people of Tigray. How on earth would you connect the universities to TPLF/woyane? Is it not a civilian institution? I think you gave it away here. Are Tigrayan churches, schools, universities, hospitals… woyane to you or your covert hatred for the people of Tigray is garbed as weyane?? Much like the code word “immigration” in the west is used negatively and only applies to black and brown people, I believe in the context you put it, “woyane” appears a coded language to reject the people of Tigray. That is Racism, stay away…it is evil and could burn you in the end.


          • Blink

            Dear Haile TG
            Honest ? Do you think think yours and only yours which is loyal to your goal views are facts ? Or finding alternative facts to manoeuvre your views are being circulated as facts . Just to remind you the Norwegian institution which is (NOKUT) require Eritreans to bring certificate from Eritrea in order to get certificate from them , what they did is they removed the 1 year of the engineering process and with that reduce the total credits to 180 points . I know the system for Eritreans even the 12th grade is accepted in Norway . But I am no t saying the colleges are accredited or sound once because when you ask for your masters in Norway for engineering NOKUT says the following.
            1. 5-year bachelor’s degree (12 + 5), in subjects such as engineering, pharmacy and law, is normally granted general approval as equivalent to an accredited Norwegian bachelor’s degree / 3 years higher education / 180 credits and in addition 60 credits at bachelor’s degree. I know three people who are doing their masters in Norway just as we debate .
            2. For other diploma and 4 years degree NOKUT says the following,The first year of higher education is not approved as a higher education in Norway. Usually, higher education is then fully approved according to the time-by-time principle.
            2-3-year Diploma programs (12 + 2/3) are normally granted general approval as one year higher education / 60 credits at bachelor’s degree or equivalent to an accredited Norwegian university degree / 2 years higher education / 120 credits.
            4-year bachelor’s degree (12 + 4) is normally granted general approval as equivalent to an accredited Norwegian bachelor’s degree / 3 years higher education / 180 credits.

            The notion that you can’t see Eritreans away from PFDJ educational administration is simply your strong held belief that you refuse to see the facts .

            To go point by point to your reply .
            1. Yes I do believe and know anything PFDJ hold is not up to our needs or wishes but to completely colour these who are dying to do what ever it takes to help Young Eritreans at the face of PFDJ is simply erroneous.
            2. I said finish not Belgian because I know nothing about Belgian what I know is a finish one because I do have a close friend who worked the process .
            3. No , I am not racist but what I do believe is weyane means everything in Tigray but there are hard working Tigrians in every field that is my understanding and this has nothing to do with racism . I see you trying to colour me with racism , no Haile I am not . I only and openly do not believe there is Habesha blood that unites the Eritreans and Ethiopians because facts on the ground don’t support this false claim .

            Let’s see , many Eritreans have one problem and that’s getting their certificate from Eritrea unless there are many things that can be said about the students of these colleges. Now how do the South African , Chinese, Indians as well as Japanese , Russians Universities accept Eritreans to take Masters in their universities? Is there a different perspective to accept for a government sent student and reject for individuals who come by the boats ? Your logic doesn’t add up at all. I was in Texas for longer time and I know people were getting problems to in role in masters because they have their pass some exams or evaluation process despite this I saw great Eritrean students pass the evaluation as well as the exams , how do these people who come from through longest rout ever made pass these evaluation process just by enrolling in Eritrean colleges ?

            Now , Haile I know Eritrean education is a messed one but that’s not to say all about it is nonexistent. I saw people who mastered casino and dance club jobs insult the intelligence of Eritrean students of these colleges but I check these people are no better at all.
            Honestly I believe anyone who come after PFDJ will be surprised by the determination of Eritrean educators in these colleges sweat despite the difficulty they faces under PFDJ.

          • haileTG

            Merhaba Blink,

            Let’s be clear (I appreciate the detailed answer btw) what we’re saying here:

            1) The 7 collages have no accreditation thus don’t meet the standards in credit transfer.

            2) UoA was accredited thus it met the standards of credit transfer

            Now, leaving aside all that PFDJ does to control the youth through cruel denial of certification and sending privileged individuals on govt to govt scholarships, what part of the above two claims say Eritrean students or their teachers are of low potential/aptitude.

            No Blink, that is a worn out bait. The only way to disagree would be to state:

            1) No, the 7 collages are accredited and meet standards of credit transfer

            2) No UoA was not accredited and/or its accreditation was revoked by its own failure and PFDJ has nothing to do with it.

            Why do we spend so much energy on hating or loving some one or something and trying to prove the opposite on the other. The questions are clear, there is no two way about it: is it or is it not?

            Sorry for mixing up with the Belgian assistance, I could say more about the Finland-Eritrea bilateral which was an aid package too, but I don’t think it would add to point at hand.

            Some years back, saay might remember, baiting was part of my debate strategy, but these years my debating is consciously limited to direct and factual exchange. So, I don’t think anything I say about IA’s regime reflects on Eritrean’s work ethic and desire to do well. selam ms kulu hgdef zeyblu:)

          • Saleh Johar

            Hello HaileTG,… and others
            Nothing to add but just to register my appreciation for the style, insight, and civility with which you are debating. I am learning a lot from the debate. Thank you

          • abdulworld

            Hello HTG,
            I appreciate your fact checking and providing evidence. But remember you are dealing with what are called “True Believers”…
            I am reading some of responses above with

            “The Finnish Project complemented and supplemented the above with the Promising Outcome”

            I just started shaking my head! What hell does that mean? Language and phrasing seem to be straight out shabait website. Hers some examples of recent articles from Shabait…

            “Milan: Rally in support of Eritrea and Ethiopia peace deal”
            “Commendable blindness prevention effort”

      • Hope

        selam Alex:
        Welcome back!
        Add this:
        -That the Norwegian Team did indeed come up with a factual report on the Achievement of the Eritrean Colleges.

        -The Finnish Project complemented and supplemented the above with the Promising Outcome

        -That Eritrea and Eritreans have achieved all the above while under serious sanctions and when they are between life and death situation

        -To compare the Ethiopian and Eritrean Achievement in this regard in particular and in all other types of infrastructure is totally unfair for obvious reasons in the last 18 years!

        This is for the sake of arguement though,as the PFDJ has failed in many fronts.

        My major concern is on the PFDJ’s mismanagement, lack of transparency and accountabilty and for alienating those,who should not be alienated.

  • Nitricc

    Hi All; sometimes evidences come from unsuspected sources. Whenever the Ethiopians tells me that they have been for the last 3000 years, I just shake my head leaving me deserted. My apology, you were right, not only you have been around for the last 3000 years but you never evolved an inch from it. That is the exact way people were punished
    back then around 3000 years ago. What I have seen in Sham-Lene; or is Shashemene. What a shame to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I understand you will have a few evil people in every society and large country like Ethiopia but how is it there was no one person to stand up and say it is wrong? Where are the security personals? Where are the police? Where the religious fathers? I mean is there a rule of law in that country? I understand, when there is a system change, there some problems and unrest but to kill people the way this innocent young died, every Ethiopian should stop and think the direction you are going. What PMAA needs to know to understand is that love can’t rule a country but fear
    does. You are the most loved leader by Ethiopians from what I see, but your futile love will destroy the very country you are trying to make. I am not sure if you understand what the
    stakes are here. You have enemies who want see you not only failed but as they told you themselves, the next “Rwanda” You are dealing with three dangerous and deadly combinations. You have determined enemy you seem to lack to know their capability, the TPLF thugs; you have passionate love from the people who are comfortable enough to carry out street justice and you are showing incredibly detrimental weakness. Unless you take appropriate measures to face the situation, I am afraid the result of the deadly combinations. You should keep the initial P; for Pastor, you will be very good in churches and leave the Prime ship to someone who can save the country and protect innocent lives of the people.

    • Teodros Alem

      Selam Nitricc
      The way i see it the ethio people mindset is changed and changed for good,for the last 27 years tplf was working hard to change the mindset of the people using different techniques and it looks like they r succeeded, so with right now mindset, it is not a time to build a country or democracy but the right now mindset is a good opportunity to defeat tplf and it’s ideology once and for all.

      • Nitricc

        Hi Teddy, I understand that the way to come to the center is by pulling and pushing both sides. For instance, Obama took things so far left and when Tramp came to power, all he did was undo what Obama did. So in theory,
        one takes one thing to the far right and other comes in and takes things to far left and during this process, the center is achieved. Similarly, I can understand for PMAA to act the way he does. For the last 27 years under TPLF thugs, everything was about hate, force, prison, language, ethnic, tripe, you name it was there under the TPLF, so I can understand when PMAA came to power try to swing it to the center by love, Forgiveness, inclusiveness and the Medemer politics, I get that but again PMAA and the people of Ethiopia doesn’t know the magnitude and enormity of TPLF’s capability. They don’t and that is troubling for the people.

  • Blink

    Dear All
    Who are the alternative to the UAE and KSA investment to our region? Qatar and Turkey out side China or the scavengers of the west , many interesting things in a very short period of time . I am happy Qatar and Turkey are being whacked in this and on their persuasion of to be for brotherhood madness. Qatar has been the backbone of Issaias regime for two decades and now , well good to see they got paid well with respect by Issaias. I think with the current KSA young leadership and a good UAE guys who knows business well should take a big chunk of our region investment chances. In the interest of the Eritrean people this border issue plus peace with Oromo lead Ethiopia must hold firm . Anyone who is against this peace will get its best hope for war if infact the peace process is to be shallow but I hope not . The Eritrean military oppositions are cornerd and I am happy they will get lost once for ever.

    This post is like advertising the Afar military wing as if they have power to change any but the reality of these lunatics who wanted a small afar state is just a joke . They will not stop any pipeline or anything related to that .

  • Abel

    the Tigrai republic?

  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,

    The heart wrenching spectacle at Shashemene should be a clarion call to all Ethiopians to stop and realize that they are running of time. If such mob savagery would not alert them of what it would mean when the constellation of fragile socio-political set ups get out of control and left free in environments where central authority melts down, I do not understand what would.

    The series of sad events that are flaring up in many spots, and most of them at seams of demographic-ethnic fault lines, do not calm down by promises and restoring hopes while letting political expediencies erode institutions that safeguard minimum social harmony and order. It seems for aware authorities and contenders alike the sad events should serve as real indicators that priorities are shifting fast and in ominous directions. Jockeying for power and gearing up for elections may count as greed and luxuries when contemplated in the backdrop of what the situation could be if the sad trend of violence and dispersal of society continues to slide to total chaos.

  • haileTG

    Merhaba Awatista,

    The last couple of months have been surreal in the horn region. In most cases, objective assessment of what is actually/objectively happening hasn’t been easy to get up to speed with. There has been increased activity of sensational reporting and almost nothing substantive. Africa’s No.1 Carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, believes to be most favorable in its bid to establish Nigeria’s national Carrier. Leading Ivory Coast and Rwanda, Ethiopian economy is predicted to top all of Sub Sahara Africa this year. Some economists say that Ethiopia is on the path to following China’s foot steps in becoming a hub for cheap labor manufacturing destination. The Oromo lead unrest may likely subside, returning things to normalcy in the political front. This would likely accelerate economic growth and opportunity creation for Ethiopia.

    Eritrea is rated one of the least in human development index, well below the average for Sub Sahara Africa, closing rock bottom. It is a closed off economy with hardly any export other than those by foreign extraction companies. It is the worst rated in ease of doing business, holding the bottom rank 190. Lufthansa abruptly cut off its services few years ago amid concerns relating to obtaining hard currency. The economic arm of the regime is also known for its expropriation of foreign investor’s assets and properties.

    The Ethio-Eritrea peace deal is likely to have a positive impact for Ethiopia’s overall economic climate. As far as Eritrea is concerned, it is difficult to assess, if any, the potential gains. However, even if political instability could be one possible scenario, it is not known the extent to which external security and intelligence interferes to quell or stoke conflict. Eritrea’s unhinged dictator is often restless not to involve itself to any whiff of a conflict it sees. Even as far as involving in an internal diplomatic wrangling of Canada and KSA. There is no employment per se in Eritrea. The last time a pension scheme was in operation was during the derg era of Mengistu. Most cities and towns are ghost places and majority of highland villages are long depopulated. Most families have their entire children of 7/8 in exile. Spread from Ethiopia, Sudan, Israel to the Europe and other western countries. Overwhelming numbers being the youth, at one point Eritrea was known as the No.2 refugee producing nation at the height of Syrian mass migration.

    Summing up the above mentioned facts on the ground, it is unlikely that Eritrea, under the current leadership and its intractable and disastrous quagmire, will see any relief soon. Ethiopia’s penetration into the Eritrean body politic at this juncture wasn’t predicted to advance so swiftly and in stealth. Eritreans are caught by surprise and still in deja vu.


    • Hope

      Welcome back HTG!

      Your analysis is to the point and spot on but a bit pessimistic unnecessarily about Eritrea….

      I disagree with you from that aspect as Eritrea of 2018 is NOT the Eritrea of 2000-2016.

      you declared:

      “Eritrea is rated one of the least in human development index, well below the average for Sub Sahara Africa, closing rock bottom. It is a closed off economy with hardly any export other than those by foreign extraction companies. It is the worst rated in ease of doing business, holding the bottom rank 190. Lufthansa abruptly cut off its services few years ago amid concerns relating to obtaining hard currency. The economic arm of the regime is also known for its expropriation of foreign investor’s assets and properties.”
      Well, that could be an old story and let us give it few months rather than being stuck on the old stories.

      My few Optimistic Impressions/Observations on Eritrea:

      On the Diplomatic and political Fronts:

      -Unexpected peace deal with Ethiopia, a good start irrespective of the stagnation domestically but the Positive Psychological impact is to be appreciated.

      -The successful Eri-GCC relationship in general and Eritrea’s swift sky-rocketing friendship with the UAE and SA as well as with Cairo.

      On the Economic Front:

      -The economic Relationship of Eritrea with Ethiopia,definitely shall have its positive impact as well(Aseb Business,Eri Airlines,jump-starting of Tourism–even the Ethiopians flocking to Asmera and Massawa should not be ignored

      -The GCC role IN GENERAL AND THE LATEST Gestures BY THE UAE AND SA in particular should not be minimized from economic point of view(the underground cash flow included).

      -The potash business is going to start soon($1-2 billion per annum)

      The Ethiopia issue:

      Surprised that you talked ‘too nice things” about Ethiopia when the facts on the ground speak volumes other wise??Back to square 1 of propaganda 101?

      The only “issue’ is the sanction regime, which will not have that much of a negative impact now.

      My only major concern :

      -Even though I would give the PFDJ 3 months,am still concerned about the YG analysis that PIA might keep Eritrea and Eritreans on the status quo by appeasing Ethiopia, which is less likely but something to worry about and that should the core issue we Eritreans should FOCUS.
      *Did U know that Lufthansa started begging Eritrea to resume flights?
      *Don’t forget what Ethiopia has gone through within the last 1 year or so-on the verge of COLLAPSE–politically and economically–ONLY to be rescued by the UAE.
      “zemen ghirinibid mai ni akeb”,Eritrea was the one ,which was predestined and set up to collapse overnight militarily, economically and politically.
      and guess who is standing taller and walking stronger than ever?
      ‘Too bad that it is NONE but PIA/the PFDJ/E R I T R E A!
      If in doubt, check it out with and ask the Scandinavian man called Trenvil.

      • haileTG

        Ahlen brother Hope wed Keren TsaEda!

        I have very clear intentions for writing my post in the manner I did. I know you would and should be offended by what you read, after all as an Eritrean, you have the best at heart for your country and people. But let’s stop there and really see things for what or how they are. Trust me, I feel as bad as you. However, what are the objective realities.

        Let’s forget future prospects for this second. In fact, assume that today is our ONLY focus of interest. You have what you have today and you don’t have what you don’t have today. In this way, what did Eritrea build today? What, if any, does Eritrea build that it can showcase? Economy, political or social? The potentials for the future have always been there and will always been there. Has any of its stated goals came to fruition? Free Trade Zone, industrial undertaking, health provision, education, youth opportunity, highways, construction…Nothing, Nada, Zero. How many conflicts did we involve with? How many sanctions, condemnations, isolation, degradation and misery of its youth, so much to list here. The hard and cold truth is that IA mislead the country, wrought unbelievable destruction, gambled the future of our generations and nothing to show for it. Please notice that even the dams that were built, most get washed away and are covered with mudslides. Fisheries had never been touched even though illegal fishing on our waters was offered under the table. What exactly did Ethiopian investors had chance to observe other than Italian era relics of baratello and meloti?

        Dear Hope, IA has played the nation for fools. Today we have no clue what various regional powers are up to inside our territory. Why would one talk about potential mine fields and projects? 70% of Eritrean land contains precious metals. It always did. But 27 years went by like nothing. Eritreans are reduced to a life of misery and indignation and bitter sweet nostalgia of what it was like in the past. Eritrea has nothing whatsoever to show for all these years that were lost for false promises and polarization. Does this mean something? Please tell me which highway or university that I forgot to mention. You know that better than me, it is a sober realization that all was in vain.

        Ethiopia in contrast has a million and one thing to show right now, today. You too are very aware of that. So, why can’t you and be honest to one another and accept what actually is. IA is the last person to be trusted with anything for the future. His resume of 27 years attests to that. He will bring nothing in the end other than misery and loss to all that put their trust on him.

  • Girmay

    Hello Awatistas, not the awtistas of trucks but the awtistas of discussions. As I have said the Abyssinian mind is sleep. You see black on black crime elevated to its highest point. The herd mentality which is a trade mark of the Abyssinian personality has taken the worst turn .
    At the meantime pundits are busy making excuse for this heinous crime. We in the Abyssinian world don’t make personal accountability as a necessity. In our part of the world personal accountability is optional.
    In the western society you could be as crazy as you want but personal accountability is a must .
    It was Jawar rally that caused this henious crime but Jawar has yet to say a word. Karma is real, there will come a day when all of us will be accountable for our actions.
    In regards demacration between Eritrea and Ethiopia it will never happen. The unresolved issues between Eritrea is the honey of the Rich Arab countries. They use those issues to divide us the niggers or Abbed as they call us, to play game with our heads.
    We in Ethiopia and Eritrea are rushing or hoping to intstill smart leaders, while the rich Arab countries are rushing to instill dumb leaders in the horn of Africa.
    When we the niggers of East Africa accept that we are, all niggers,with different languages. But at the end of the day we are looser niggers whose sisters are suffering in the Arab world, whose brothers and sisters are pershing in the Mediterranean sea, tortured by savage Boduins, and Libyans.
    How is it when we look at the mirror we see different face than our brothers and sisters?

    • haileTG

      Hey Girmay,

      How did you know the moderator was asleep:) I didn’t know the n** word can be freely sprinkled in the forum! What say you…